How to Increase Physical Activity, Nutrition and Overall Wellness w/ Spartan Race Founder Joe De Sena – EPISODE 153


Audio Only: iTunesStitcher

We’ve had some amazing discussions in Pittsfield, Vermont recently.

It was an honor to chat with Dr. Fred Bisci, who’s been training and lifting heavy for over 61 years. Our favorite farmer, Joe Pimentel, schooled us on the benefits of community supported agriculture and the, as well as the need for a family driven food revolution in the country. Next, our mind’s were blown by our new friend Tony the Fridge, who will soon continue his epic fight against cancer by running across the continental United States with a 90-pound refrigerator strapped to his back!

Individually these are all amazing stories, but the truth about this little town of Pittsfield is that absolutely everyone here seems to have a similar tale. They all want to change the world in some way, in their own way. That’s not at all by accident. They’ve been drawn to this place. Joe De Sena is building a team of exceptionally driven people, and changing the world is the entire point.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 10.57.54 PM


Joe has found a tremendous amount of success by building amazing teams. The most powerful example of that is Spartan Race, which is inspiring millions of people across the globe through the power of obstacles. The races are incredibly fun and physically brutal, but the core lesson carries all of the power – If you surround yourself with great people and are willing to persist then you can clear any hurdle.

You can do anything.

That belief has driven thousands and thousands of Spartan Racers through to the finish line, well past their old fears and perceived limitations. Now, spreading that same belief further might be just what’s required to inspire a few more people to get fit, eat well, and radically improve their overall well being. By a “few more”, try 300 million!

That’s not a typo.

Joe De Sena is assembling a brand new team of astronauts, technologists, screenwriters, CEO’s, educators, podcasters, farmers, you name it, to take on the gigantic healthcare obstacle that is currently looming over the United States. The motive behind his 431 Project is simple. Just talking about change will not make it so. Scaring people with study results and obesity facts isn’t doing much better, we’ve seen that. What we actually need is plenty of vision and some clear, actionable plans.

There’s little doubt that ending inactivity and obesity in this country is a gigantic obstacle, maybe it’s THE biggest obstacle of all. But I’ve seen enough of Pittsfield and these stories to remain optimistic. Again, its just a matter of persistence. I think if you give a guy like Joe enough time and enough amazing people then he really can do anything. And we plan on being right there for the ride.

Joe, it’s always a pleasure. We cannot wait for our next visit up to the Green Mountains. Maybe we’ll make time for some proper racing this go around.



For more

40 Responses to “How to Increase Physical Activity, Nutrition and Overall Wellness w/ Spartan Race Founder Joe De Sena – EPISODE 153”

  1. Corey

    Joe, bit of an elitist eh? 25-30 minutes in. Thinking that the common man is too ignorant to choose their own way. “Government ought to mandate…” Wow. I’ve heard about people like that but never actually heard them say the words themselves.

  2. Campbell Sproul

    Nice work by Mike explaining some basic economics to Joe, and an even better job explaining the necessity of allowing individuals to make their own choices. Always loved the nuggets and pearls from the podcast, but I really liked hearing Mike give some defense of actual liberty.

  3. Collan Baker

    Looks like some people beat me to the punch but the number for the cruise is 1063!
    Also I gotta get one of those #spartanhoodie

  4. Stef

    While I think we can all agree that soda is terrible for our bodies, I think Mike & the team need to get their facts straight.
    -Yes subsidizing corn is horrible and leads to artificially low prices of added sugars
    -No, it wouldn’t make a difference if the added sweetener came from unsubsidized cane sugar, and here is why:

    In recent years, Mexico (where coca cola and most beverages are produced with CANE SUGAR) was ranked first among countries with obesity problems and type two diabetes. It comes as no surprise that Coca Cola, a staple in the many citizens’ diets, also boasts its highest sales in this country. With soda being more readably available than clean drinking water in many areas, leaders in this country took a chance on a highly controversial sugary drink tax that has already proven worthy in its early months.

    The National Agency for Public Health in Mexico reported that in the first quarter of the new policy
    * Sugary drink purchases dropped by 10%.
    * Non-sugary drink beverages rose 7%
    * Water purchases rose 13%

    While I don’t think the government is almighty and should “mandate” what you can and cannot eat or drink, I do think a sugary drink tax (which wouldn’t restrict anyone from buying their tasty poisonous colas) would be a step in the right direction, and as important figures in the Crossfit community I think you should empower your listeners to support laws like these because inaction, is worse than any opposition. And while I don’t think a tax on sugary beverages will solely diminish this multifaceted problem, I do believe change is incremental and it has to start somewhere. Take for example the case against the tobacco industry: inform the consumers of the possible side effects of this deadly product, label the packages, tax for externalities, and with this revenue fund anti-smoking campaigns. Doing this with sweetened beverages could fund educational campaigns, or heck, subsidize those yummy vegetables or that grass fed ribeye steak you love so much.

    I’ll end with this, I think we all want to see big corporation move away from the processed piece of shit products they produce and move toward healthier alternatives, and as the law of supply and demand shows, the market will produce what the consumers ask for, and if less people buy their shit, they’ll eventually be forced to start advertising water the way they do pepsi and coke . So let’s to not make it easier for them to hook kids on their terrible beverages, and cost us billions in healthcare bills.

    PS: This is NOT an issue of civil liberties. Plus y’all don’t drink soda anyway, right? 😉

  5. Cory

    1063 #spartanshruggedcruise
    Or how about a #spartanhoodie. Please with cookie butter on top…

  6. Chris lemmel

    Awesome episode love the no BS from joe and all of the great ideas and thoughts you guys have!

  7. Eric Pritchard

    Interesting comments by everyone! Thanks for bringing Joe back on! Next time get Zach in the mix too! #undergroundstrength #spartanshruggedcruise #spartanhoodie 1063 as others have pointed out!

  8. Jon

    Love the show, weekly listener. #spartanhoodie for Christmas
    #Spartanshruggedcruise 1063
    Can’t wait for next weeks!!!

  9. Darin Kroger

    Getting more and more into Barbell Shrugged and am a Spartan racer. Usually download the podcasts and listen to them in the car when I travel. Great info and a lot of laughs. Thanks guys, keep up the great work. Thanks Joe for the generousity. Aroo Aroo Aroo!!!

    #spartanshruggedcruise 1063 and #spartanhoodie

  10. Allie

    Love the show! Listen every week and its the only podcast I listen to. You guys are great and it really has helped my crossfit/olympic lifting journey.


    #SpartanshruggedCruise #1063

  11. John

    A nice #spartanhoodie sure would be nice this time of year for my winter runs! Get that Arkansas Sprint race date set!!!

  12. Colby Treliving

    Pittsfield Vermont seems to be the place to be



  13. Ross Dailey

    #SPARTANHOODIE #spartanshruggedcruise

    P.S You were spot on about the corn subsidy and soda issue! Why expect the government to solve a problem that they caused in the first place? @stef you ignored the part where the government is subsidizing corn and jumped right to the tax option. You can ask for more taxes if you want to but would you feel the same way if they decided to tax something that you liked but that may be dangerous for you? IMO lets cut off that subsidy and let farmers find more grassroots approaches to feed their communities.
    P.P.S I would hate to see the NYPD choke a guy to death for selling untaxed soda.

  14. Jasper

    The answer for the #spartanshrugcruise or #spartanshruggedcruise is 1068 total steps plus the black cat in ep. 68 with Louie Simmons from westside barbell. There are no notes for what # you used so not sure if you are still taking answers or not.

  15. Becky

    Joe was great! So funny I literally lol’d. Great stimulating conversations and questions, Im a new Spartan fan.


Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS