Earn The Day w/ Functional Mover Adam Von Rothfelder — 305

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Adam Von Rothfelder is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin Native and a former professional MMA fighter currently living in Venice, California. He developed himself through family tragedy, learned primal movement from Ido Portal, sparred with Brock Lesnar, and was featured on NBC’s show Strong as one of America’s top 10 trainers.

Von Rothfelder currently coaches some of America’s top CEOs and corporate executives to sustain success in life by building physical strength through movement. When he’s not coaching clients he’s operating as the CEO of Strong Coffee Company, a new venture that allows him to connect the things he loves most: creativity, movement and motivation.

In this episode, we look into what it means to Earn the Day, why bodybuilding is the best entry point for most athletes, why eating carbs before bed is good for you, and much more. Enjoy!

Fun fact: Von Rothfelder became a good friend of Barbell Shrugged, has co-hosted previous episodes, and is co-hosting some future shows.

From a nurse to a MMA Fighter

Adam Von Rothfelder grew up surrounded by health, fitness, and love. His mother was a nurse who was always taking care of everyone and his family raised him on values of giving. When he was a teenanger, his parents adopted a paraplegic kid, who became his brother.Over the years, he also had foster siblings, hosted foreign exchange students, and had random pets.

Von Rothfelder’s two older sisters became nurses and he went to nursing school himself. When his older brother had alcohol problems, he dropped off school to join his brother’s construction business to help support him. He went onto a different path, started doing personal training on the side, and was going to become an electrician.t 22 years old, one week before his union electrical apprenticeship, his brother passed away from drug overdose.

After hearing an ad on the radio, he signed up to fight for the Milwaukee rumble, a local men and women amateur kickboxing competition. Von Rothfelder didn’t have fighting experience, but learned various martial arts as a kid. He did well in the competition, but didn’t win. The second year, he came back and cleaned the house, which led to offers to fight in MMA, which was at its infancy at the time.

In fighting, he trained at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy with some massive dudes, including Brock Lesnar and Brett Rogers.

Earn The Day

At 28 years old, Von Rothfelder retired from fighting after his shoulder snapped. He realized he was living a life that he didn’t want to live and moved back to Milwaukee. He got more into fitness and built three gyms with the help of his father. Once his father passed away from cancer, life punched him in the face again, and he went onto another new path.

Von Rothfelder felt emotionally closed from years of fighting and figured out his fascia was holding trauma. He approached movement and the body from a whole new perspective and even started doing ballet to open up his heart.

When he realized tomorrow is not inevitable, he set his intentions on doing his best and working the hardest everyday. He set intentions to call and connect with people he appreciated, letting them know they are being thought about and are valuable. That’s how he came up with EARN The Day, which stands for Exercise, Activity, Recovery, and Nutrition.

Von Rothfelder connected with Rave Kelly, who got him more into nature and helped him increasing his movements and emotional capacities. He also went to Thailand to train with Ido Portal, whose movement practice opened up everything for him. He started connecting all of his martial arts, without being concerned about pushing more weight, else controlling his body on a higher level.

“You can’t just move past things, you gotta deal with them too.” — Adam Von Rothfelder

Key Takeaways

  • Bodybuilding is the best entry point for 90% of people — Von Rothfelder did bodybuilding from age 12. He recommends beginner athletes to do isolated hypertrophy movements with lots of volume, switching volumes between 60–75% and dropping to 40% for deload weeks, playing with intensity, tempo and tensions. It’s a great way to increase muscle fibers, neural pathways, and get to understand the movements and what’s happening.
  • Eating for ADD — Von Rothfelder has ADD and gets high wired on a fasted state. To slow down, he makes sure to eat dense foods and uses marijuana on occasion.
  • Keto sport diet mindset — You get keto benefits and maintain muscle by eating carbs only around workouts (before and after) and before going to bed. You can eat more fats and lower carbs when you don’t have high intensity workouts and get into intermittent fasting to enjoy keto benefits.
  • Eating carbs before bed helps you sleep better — It’s good to eat carbs around 20–60 min before going to sleep as you will get an insulin spike and then crash. If you try to sleep in a fasted state, you will be restless.
  • Training with kaatsu bands — Kaatsu bands help pump blood into your muscles at a greater rate with less resistance, which means less impact on the joint. It helps fascia expand, allowing muscle to grow, and releases IGF 1.

“There’s age and then there’s training age… Biceps a day or triceps a day keeps the doctor away.” — Adam Von Rothfelder

Connect with Adam Von Rothfelder

Connect on social: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Strong Coffee Company Instagram

Resources: Strong Coffee Company, Earn The Day

Strong Coffee Company

Adam Von Rothfelder just launched a new company this week called Strong Coffee Company. As a Barbell Shrugged fan you get dibs on his brand new coffee product – Vanilla Latte – created to give you a solid foundation to tap into strong body and mind. Time-released caffeine (200 mg) over the course of 6 hours, combined with l-theanine, MCT’s and 15 grams of collagen from grass-fed cows gives you the perfect combination of hustle inducing energy for the gym, office or on-the-go. Instructions: Rise & Grind (cross out grind) Stir. Go do something bold.

Strong Coffee has a special technology that is microencapsulated energy, which means it’s time released, like adderall.

Special offer: Use promo code: BBS20 for 20% OFF!

“Just because you get out of bed doesn’t mean you’re AWAKE. Strong Coffee Company is here to elevate your hustle every damn day. Through strength, inspiration and progress we’re here to help you do something bold. It’s time to Wake the F** Up” — Adam Von Rothfelder

FLIGHT Weightlifting program

Adam Von Rothfelder did our FLIGHT Weightlifting program with kettlebells! He doesn’t like to work overhead with barbells because of his past shoulder injury. Can you do our FLIGHT program with kettlebells?

For a comprehensive 3-5 days per week program with a coach join FLIGHT WEIGHTLIFTING TEAM!


Doug Larson Fitness

Doug is working some new stuff! Sign up to get notified when he launches at DougLarsonFitness.com

The Bledsoe Show

The Bledsoe Show (Mike’s personal show) is back! Check out new episodes and the new website at TheBledsoeShow.com


If you have low back, knee, or shoulder pain, check out Movement-Rx. Dr. Theresa Larson and Anders Varner will get you healthy and strong.

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Train smart,

Mike, Doug and Anders

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