EP 22: The Spirit Of The Everyday Athlete With James Breese

On today’s show, I speak with the founder of Strength Matters James Breese. We talk about the journey and changes we have gone through over the last six to eight months, and how the concept of the everyday athlete grew after a lifestyle change for James. We talk about training, the future of Strength Matters, and a lot more.

Strength Matters started out as a kettlebell company called Kettlebell Fever, but it is now transitioning into a fitness company for everyday athletes. The concept of the everyday athlete came about because the way James would train changed on a day-to-day basis. He started paddle boarding and trail running. He also followed the Run Strong book by Andrew Read for running training. His workout is now a more diverse program and so is the philosophy of Strength Matters.

Today’s topics include:

  • James shares how kettlebells are a tool, but not ideal for building cardio.
  • How James rediscovered his love of running.
  • There is so much more to Strength Matters than meets the eye.
  • James also used to play cricket at a high level, he also needs to train consistently.
  • How people lose athleticism as they age. James started doing drills with an agility ladder.
  • The idea is to be more athletic based on training to become more athletic.
  • Everyone’s an athlete, but not everyone is elite. That is the whole spirit behind the everyday athlete.
  • The seven human movements that are the key to athleticism. We talked about testing and certification.
  • How challenging rowing was for James when he first began.
  • How James has discovered so much about himself and his own ability. Cardio is hard and it is time to stop making excuses.
  • Bulgarian split squats are one of the most humbling exercises one can do.
  • Rowing can help build volume and push James out of his comfort zone. He followed Phil’s rowing plan.
  • All of the combined exercises started to completely change James’ body.
  • Running Strength Matters can be stressful with the traveling and eating out. James was focusing on strength training. With the increased cardio he has lost weight and his body composition has changed.
  • His running and rowing times have also improved.
  • He is also enjoying life more and that is the key to being an everyday athlete.
  • James wants to inspire people with this concept.
  • He spends 10 to 15 minutes moving and doing mobility. He then does push-ups and pull-ups. Then heavy snatches and Bulgarian split squats.
  • The ability and flexibility has improved. He feels more alive and more awake.
  • There was a point when James was holding back on his workouts because he was embarrassed.
  • The everyday athlete is a lifestyle concept. The spirit of the everyday athlete is humble, courageous, never quits, doesn’t make excuses, and loves life.
  • People can be helped when they want to help themselves. It is about training weaknesses, so people can take on the world.
  • Identifying your weaknesses with the 10 points of movement. It’s better to not be pinned down to only one tool.
  • Tests are 2000 meter row time sub 7 for men and sub 8 for women for pro level or do the crawl test and see how long you can crawl.
  • James wants to inspire people to seek adventure and love life. They want to do a big ski tour in France and some trail running challenges.
  • We are on a mission to become the most trusted fitness media brand in the world.

Links and resources:


“I think we have really nailed our focus with the everyday athlete concept.” James Breese

“As people age, they are not only losing strength, they are losing athleticism, speed, and agility.” James Breese

“I’m an everyday athlete because I want to be better at life. I train to have fun and enjoy life.” James Breese

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