#658 – Gav Pratt

Sevan Matossian (00:01):

Ba, I’m more live. I started a minute early to address this Clyde’s Dale thing. You guys made me nervous. There was a show tonight and I didn’t know there was a show tonight. I was like, Oh, we’re live Yellow Pie. I wasn’t, wasn’t They were saying in the comments, Are you guys ready for the show tonight? And I’m just like, Wait, what show? Cause I, because Susan been going back and forth on the schedule of shitload and I didn’t see anything on the schedule, but I think what I’m seeing is Travis from Vindicate who does the shirts for the Seon podcast and Hiller Fit and many others now in the community. It sounds like he’s going on with Scott Schweitzer, Switzer Schweitzer, Switzer Schweitzer. Mr. Butter. Hi, how are you brother? Good to see you. Always.


I’m pumped about this show this morning, guys. I am really, really, really, really, really, really, really pumped. Good morning, Bruce Wayne. Good to see you brother. Miss Redow. Good to see you. Geez Louise. Kev. Good morning. I dunno if I’ve seen Kev before. I apologize if my memory is not sitting with me. Well, do you guys know who we have on? Oh Devesh. Good morning. Where are you in the States? I just see your name and I just think you’re not in the States, but maybe you are in the States. There’s probably a lot of DSS up in Palo Alto and Silicon Valley. My kid went to a tennis tournament in Lafayette California and it was predominantly Indian cats and Asian kids. Big, big sport for those people in this area. For the bougie. For the bougie. My wife said Ari was the only, he said Ari was the only white kid at the tennis tournament. It’s not a very diverse sport. Hi Gavin. What’s up brother?

Gavin Pratt (02:07):

How are we guys? Good to see

Sevan Matossian (02:08):

You. Good morning dude. I am so pumped to have you on.

Gavin Pratt (02:11):

It’s lovely to meet you both. It’s really nice to be on. Thank you so much for having

Sevan Matossian (02:15):

Me, dude. Crazy. Are you living the dreamer?

Gavin Pratt (02:20):

Oh, I think that’s what we all say. It’s it’s definitely a good thing to be in Vegas and a different country and all those experiences that come with it. For sure.

Sevan Matossian (02:29):

You are a man of a fisha of human movement and health and performance at the highest level. And now you’ve landed in an institute that I don’t think it’s arguably, I think it is the most profound thing human beings can do with their health and fitness and movement. And that’s to fight off other men and women. It’s crazy. Well for sure the most on the line is the most is on the line. There’s no other sport. I mean there’s probably some obscure sport in the mountains of Afghanistan that has more on the line. But I mean, holy cow, you’re doing it.

Gavin Pratt (03:12):

And look, I daily have this huge respect for these men and women, their warriors. And one of the craziest things about this sport is that they only get to generally compete two to four times a year. So let’s say you have a bad scrap, you don’t do well in your fight, you’ve gotta mull on that for three to four months before you get the opportunity to go again. Now can you imagine the nerves of having a bad game of football? I’ll just go next week and I’ll just change that around. And here we go again. You gotta wait three or four months where you mull over the bad decisions you made. And it’s not like you lost by points a lot of the time. You might have lost fairly brutally as well. So I couldn’t do it professionally for sure. It’s very, very different sparring or hitting bags to actually getting in the ring and doing it for a living

Sevan Matossian (04:03):

And all. There’s this thing with tennis, it doesn’t matter what the score is. If you’re on the court you can win. There’s no time limit that you are always in control of your own shit. But you could put in the most insane 12 weeks of training camp at the ufc. That’s the most physically demanding thing you’ve ever done on your body. And for any reason the guy pulls out, the guy knocks you out, you knock the guy out, the whole thing could be over even before it starts in one second in two seconds. There’s like not everyone gets backup fighters. I mean when I have the UFC fighters on, I’m always like, every one of your fights is the Super Bowl. You don’t get any your three and oh it doesn’t matter because this is your Super Bowl. Even though if you’re the first fight on the early prelims, it’s crazy.

Gavin Pratt (04:54):

Exactly. And the work that goes in to the off camp and fight camp preparation, you see the amount of work and how hard these athletes push themselves. And then they might make one technical error and they get cod in the first minute and how hard they’ve worked, how good they are. And they made one small tiny error and it’s all over.

Sevan Matossian (05:17):

When you see these guys, Zot who had these, and there’s other guys obviously too, but who have these remarkably quick fights and that they’re ready to just go. They’re in when Daniel or whoever’s interviewing them afterwards says, Hey, I’m ready to go again. Dana, I always think to myself, coming from the fitness background, they don’t wanna waste all they’ve put in so much work. And is that one of the things you think that’s going through their mind like, Oh shit, I’m not gonna be able to stay peak forever quick, get me in next week.

Gavin Pratt (05:53):

Totally, totally. And they know they’re thinking of all the work that they’ve just done to get them to there. They almost want to show that off. They want to go three rounds or five rounds cuz they know they have that capacity to do so. And it’s almost somewhat disappointing that it’s somewhat that it finished in the first two minutes because I’ve got so much more to express and to highlight to everyone of how hard I’ve worked on this component of my training so that they genuinely mean it when they say they want to get back in there if they’ve had a quick win. And imagine the adrenaline too. Just let’s go. I don’t beat anyone <laugh>.

Sevan Matossian (06:28):

I wanna show you something. We’ll start with something very, very light here. <affirmative> the only person I ever saw take off their pants after a max performance effort was a Derek Lewis. Derek Lewis, okay. Yeah. He took off his fight to cool down his balls. I think that’s paraphrasing, but I think I’m pretty close to verbatim. And the other day this gentleman, Andrew Hiller WeWork commentating the Rogue Invitational, that’s a CrossFit event that happened in Austin this past weekend. And one of the commentators, he commentates from his garage said, Hey and he’s recently started doing TRT testosterone replacement therapy and he said, Hey, I’m gonna do heavy grace, the final workout cold. And he didn’t tell any of us he was gonna do it and he just put 2 25 on the bar. And I wanna show you this and I’d never seen this before except with Mr. Lewis. So I think he 5 0 8, So he just finished his 30 30th rep. He just finished his 30th rep of taking 225 pounds off the ground into overhead. And he did it in 5 0 8. He did the first, I think 25 reps in three and a half minutes and then of course hit a wall. But here we go. Watch this behavior here.

Sevan Matossian (07:48):

5 0 8, 5 0 8 31. Total reps completed. Yeah, take them

Sevan Matossian (07:58):

Your pants off buddy. Take your pants off. Whoa, whoa, whoa. What is he doing?

Sevan Matossian (08:02):

<laugh>? Oh my god, your dick is huge shit in the real show.

Sevan Matossian (08:13):

Why now is your YouTube on, by the way? I’m getting a slight echo. Do you have two windows open Gavin? No. Okay.

Gavin Pratt (08:23):


Sevan Matossian (08:25):

I’ve worked out so hard to where the music is overstimulating me and I have to turn the music off right away or I’m starting to tingle in my head or some weird shit. I’m having some weird physiological effects, but I’ve never been like, Hey, I have to take my pants off

Sevan Matossian (08:38):


Sevan Matossian (08:39):

But I clearly recognize that there’s something going on. And do you have any explanation for this? Have you ever seen guys do that? Just wanna start just taking their clothes off?

Gavin Pratt (08:51):

Definitely. Definitely taking shirts off. Yes. Not so much pants because we train with males and females at the ufc. So <laugh> imagining even in that moment, they understand that might not be appropriate but I definitely think it’s probably to do with something along the lines of the central nervous system just being fried and they’re like, Ah, it’s that whole flight or flight response and they dunno what to do. And so that’s just that cooling mechanism to take the pants off. But yeah, thankfully we haven’t had to deal with that at the gym, at the UFC Performance Institute.

Sevan Matossian (09:26):

And you have to imagine that Derek’s core tent must skyrocket

Gavin Pratt (09:30):

For sure very quickly as well. And that was a pretty tough bout for him as well. So yeah, he would’ve been overheating for sure.

Sevan Matossian (09:40):

I wonder if it’s some sort of evolutionary mechanism. I mean I’m grasping at straws. Straws here, but hey, you can’t let the testicles get so hot because it starts killing the sperm. Or if your genitalia do I mean you have more sweat glands down there. At least it seems like that when we work out. It seems like it’s your armpits, my chest and around my cocking balls and my anus that are just dumping

Gavin Pratt (10:07):

<laugh>. Well that’s what they say when you’re in the ocean. When a concern for hypothermia, the armpits, the head and the groin region is what you’ve gotta keep the warmest. And as soon as that gets cold, that’s when hypothermia kicks in. So you’re probably under something there.

Sevan Matossian (10:23):

Wow. Armpit groin

Gavin Pratt (10:27):

And head.

Sevan Matossian (10:28):


Gavin Pratt (10:29):


Sevan Matossian (10:30):

My kids recently, my kids just recently started surfing and one of the guys was out there wearing a hood the other day and he said the difference is unreal.

Gavin Pratt (10:39):

Oh for sure. It’s like a bad ice cream headache when you’re surfing without that hoodie and the cold water. It’s a big, big difference. I certainly felt a difference when I lost my hair.

Sevan Matossian (10:50):

<laugh> where were you born? Gavin?

Gavin Pratt (10:52):

Western Australia.

Sevan Matossian (10:55):

And what year were you born?

Gavin Pratt (10:58):

Nineteen seventy nine, nineteen seventy nine,

Sevan Matossian (11:02):

Seventies. And did you get into sports early as a child?

Gavin Pratt (11:09):

Loved sports and still love it To this day, I think I played most things that Australia had to offer. So tended to play in field sports a lot more than martial arts, but throughout that whole time there was martial arts involved. But I certainly am better prepared mentally for team sports. I like that environment much better than I’m too hard on myself for solo sports. So it’s better that I work with teams, it’s better for me mentally.

Sevan Matossian (11:37):

Explain that to me because we see that in CrossFit too. There’s an individual competition and then we see guys get a little bit burnt. Well my words, but they get a little burnt out and then they switch to team to a four man team. What’s the difference? What do you mean that you’re too hard on yourself or individual?

Gavin Pratt (11:53):

I mean I think a lot of athletes, it’s what gets you to the successful point in the first place, right? You’re a driven human, you want perfection a lot of the time as well, which is often unachievable. So we tend to force ourselves to be better and better all the time. Now that’s obviously a great thing to a point at some point that’s gonna start damaging you because of that. I’m not sure if you guys are familiar with the Chimp paradox book, but it’s a great book talking about the mindset of all humans and how we’ve got a chimp brain, which is our emotional brain, and that’s faster to react than our logical human brain all the time. Everyone’s the same. And so we get this chimp yapping away at us telling us all the bad and negative things about ourselves almost like a survival in a sense.


You are not gonna be able to do that, you shouldn’t do that, blah blah, blah. And it’s 20 seconds faster to react than your human logical brain. So if you give it time, you let it exercise its mindset, then the human kicks in and says, Well actually, if you look at the facts, I’ve been training this way, this way. I am capable of doing it. And so that’s the challenge of our mindset. That’s the one. Perfect. And so I found that to be a really helpful book. And what it also helped me understand was as athletes we’re driven to be better than we were yesterday, that’s fantastic. But at some point that chimp overtakes our human logical brain. And when you’re around others, they might provide you with that motivation, that feedback that you’re actually on the right track and you’re doing well and you almost feel like it’s now not about me. So I can’t be as hard on myself. We’ve got other input stimulators to push ourselves forward and that’s why team sports work so well. You’re in it together and if you lose, you can kind of do that as a group and talk about it with each other. If you are a solo athlete and you lose, the chimp goes crazy and it’s a horrific place to be.

Sevan Matossian (13:59):

You’re describing a phenomenon that’s unfortunately because we have people who haven’t created space in their brain for that 20 seconds. It’s interesting, I’ve never heard a time domain put on that, but I communicate with people often to where they think they’re communicating with me, but they’re actually reacting to I say something, they have an emotion and then when they communicate back to me, they’re actually communicating back to what their emotion said to them. But they think they’re communicating to me. And it causes a dissonance in the conversation. Basically stops. I don’t mean to be harsh, but a very common place. You see that if you are around, a lot of women will be that week before they go through menopause <affirmative>, you’ll see that, oh, I can’t follow this conversation because they’re reacting emotionally to something I said and now I’m lost. And we kind of take stabs in the dark if we’re not aware of that. We take stabs in the dark to try to communicate with those people. And so people don’t even know they’re doing that, right?

Gavin Pratt (15:02):

Oh absolutely. That’s the emotion kicking in. What’s another great example of that road rage? Someone someone pulls in front of you reaction is you idiot. But they don’t actually probably know that they’ve done that a lot of the time. It’s not a deliberate ploy, they’ve just not paid attention for that second. And just through weight of numbers, we’ve just happened to run into that person at that particular time. And it’s not like they went, there’s that person in the silver car, let’s cut them off. They’re not thinking like that, but we think they are because that’s our chimp talking to us.

Sevan Matossian (15:33):

Yeah, and you get in that, get in that echo chamber with yourself bouncing back and forth.

Gavin Pratt (15:38):

Absolutely. And that’s that chimp the whole time. So you have to, you’ll never lose that. We all have that. But the challenge as this book goes into great detail of coming up with is working out management, how to manage that. So one of the funnest ways I’ve found is you’ve gotta give that chimp a name because we often associate those thoughts in our head as us. It’s us talking, but it’s not us, it’s our emotions. And so mine’s called Stephen with a V and it’s close to seven but it’s not. So just wanna clear that up. It’s Steven. You

Sevan Matossian (16:13):

Could change his name. I wouldn’t be

Gavin Pratt (16:14):

Offended <laugh>. And so whenever Steven starts talking to me, I’ll talk to him. It’s another person. Now it sounds a bit crazy, but at the same time it’s disassociating you from your emotions and therefore you’re actually a bit kinder to yourself cuz your human logical brain is not being that asshole basically.

Sevan Matossian (16:31):

I often will tell people and tell myself those are not my thoughts, those are not my emotions, but I am 100% responsible for them still

Gavin Pratt (16:44):

<affirmative>. Great way to put it.

Sevan Matossian (16:45):

Yeah. I am responsible for it. So that’s not fair. Irrelevant.

Gavin Pratt (16:52):

Yeah. It

Sevan Matossian (16:54):

Is what it is. It’s the mechanism that we are as humans.

Gavin Pratt (16:56):

It’s a mechanism, but we can manage it. And I think that’s really important to know that we need to disassociate from it, but we also need to be aware that it’s still us acting upon it. So we need to make sure we manage what we act upon basically and how we act upon it.

Sevan Matossian (17:14):

It’s interesting you bring up these speeds. Let me throw this out there and ask you what you think about this part of the brain. So there’s this logical part of the brain where I could give you instructions and tell you how to come to my house <affirmative>. And you could logically think, okay, I turn here and you can remember it. And let’s say that’s the slowest part of the brain and then there’s the emotional part that can just come up and we don’t even see where it comes up from. Like you were saying, the well it comes up, I don’t want to be angry when someone cuts me off, but for some reason it just comes out of the well and can take over my beam. And that’s a really fast one. And you have to be kind of super alert to see that happen. <affirmative>, hyper focused and what we call space or stillness or a meditative state to witness it. <affirmative>, what about this other part of the brain? And I don’t even know if it is part of the brain where you learn that learns how to swim or it learns how to ride a bike where you can’t even teach that part of the brain with words or with emotions. It has to be, It is so fast. This one.

Gavin Pratt (18:17):

Yes. And yeah, you’re right. Seven, it’s, it’s the

Sevan Matossian (18:21):

Fastest if you trip, it’s the one that catches you from falling. But it’s also the one that’s so hard to manipulate. As we all remember when we learned how to ride a bike, it’s like, dude, I’m telling you to ride this bike. And it’s like bro <affirmative>. And if the other two are on, if the emotional one’s on, it’ll wreak havoc on that one that learns how to move. Or if the talking one’s on, I mean you can’t be like, okay, lean right, it’s too slow.

Gavin Pratt (18:43):

<affirmative>, exactly. The way that this book describes it is that’s our computer. So the computer is actually the first thing to react because they’re learned whether it’s techniques or behaviors, we do that autonomically, we do that as an automatic response. We’re not even thinking like you say. The thing with that is think of a computer, you get viruses in the computer, so he calls them gremlins and those gremlins can build up over time. So that creates a different psychology in that computer so that your reaction does actually change based on repeated patterns of poor behavior. So let’s look at a perfect scenario. Your computer in a road rage incident over time knows that no one’s trying to do this to you deliberately. So that’s how you react. But over time, maybe you grew up in LA and there’s a heap of crazy drivers on the road and over time you’re actually, I’m pretty sure these guys are doing this deliberately to me every morning, every morning I’m driving to work, this idiot cut me off. That’s your emotion that starts putting a gremlin into your computer for you to react that way. And then you’ve now gotta have a conversation with the human logical brain, which is the slowest out of all three to go, well actually remember how this happened. And then you’ve gotta go about trying to change that behavior. So kind of like autopilots is another term that he uses in the book. Autopilots are the things

Sevan Matossian (20:07):

That, yeah, I use that too. People who are, I see people all around me on autopilot

Gavin Pratt (20:12):

In this way. It’s like this is just what we do right now. That could be good or bad. So you’re saying it like they’re on autopilot sometimes it’s not the best thing. Sometimes it is a good thing. But that’s all built into the computer and all things we can manage and change depending on what you want to happen.

Sevan Matossian (20:31):

I call those programs for people who use PC spyware and there are behaviors that create that too. So lying, lying will really bog down your spyware every time you lie. It creates a program in the background that dishonesty will create spyware that that’s why it’s not good to be dishonest. Not because for all the things that people think. And same with stealing. It’s not like who cares if you steal? But the problem is, is it bogs down your computer, lying, dishonesty, stealing these things, create spyware that require you to defend a position and inhibit your ability to be present.

Gavin Pratt (21:09):

And like you say, it becomes a spiral too if you lie about something that’s gonna create another place in your life where you’re probably gonna have to lie about that too, so that you keep that initial lie <laugh>, truthful, you know what I mean? And then your life becomes all these stories made up stories instead of the facts. So it’s a dangerous game I imagine, to get into.

Sevan Matossian (21:33):

So you’re born in Western Australia and you start, Do you remember why you got into sports and what your earliest sports were?

Gavin Pratt (21:41):

My dad’s fairly sporty as well, so he was always a big not a driving force, he just did it. So a lot of boys followed their dads through example. And so I just saw him playing sport as a kid and I enjoyed it and he often became my junior coach. When you’re in the local team, he would be the coach that he’d get involved quite heavily. I just enjoyed the competition and being active. I was an active kid there he is. Well played. Yeah. So that was about two years ago during Covid when I managed to get back to Australia and spent some time with him. So that’s in the master’s cricket game. And that was a great moment for me. That was the first time we actually played in the team together instead of him just coaching. So he’s about 72 there, still going strong.

Sevan Matossian (22:29):

Awesome. Isn’t that fantastic? I think one of the greatest gifts a parent could give their child is to maintain their physical health. And then second to that is to maintain, to be financially independent. Cause those are things that weigh on a child. You want your parents to be healthy and you want them to be financially independent.

Gavin Pratt (22:58):

Absolutely. And it’s certainly two of the main concerns off the list when they are. Right. So now it’s just about spending time with them as best as you can and enjoying them. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (23:11):

Did you wanna be a professional athlete?

Gavin Pratt (23:15):

Absolutely. That’s why every strength coach turns to a strength coach, isn’t it? Cause they didn’t quite make it. <laugh>. <laugh>.

Sevan Matossian (23:20):

Tell me what did you wanna play

Gavin Pratt (23:23):

Australian rules Football was, or cricket. In that picture with the two sports that I was pursuing at the age of about 16, 17, I probably had to make a choice cuz in Australia they’re not played at the same time. But there’s a big crossover of the preseason of football and the main part of the cricket season. So I chose Australian rules. Football went reasonably well as a kid. And then funnily enough, I spent a lot of time in the gym cuz I was always getting injured. So that’s probably where my passion for that started coming from and my understandings of how the gym could help me potentially prevent injury or at least improve performance. So I retired very young because I just had a knee operation at 18 I think. And then that led to all sorts of other things. And so I ended up being a strength coach, getting a qualification, being a strength coach back at the same club that I grew up playing for.


And that’s sort of how I started my strength and conditioning career back in 1998. So it’s been a long journey, but yeah, I’ve sort of, My thing now is it took me a long time to get over that, to be honest. Cuz that’s all I ever thought I would do. But now I’m looking at how, if I’m training world champion athletes in the gym, well I wanna be the world champion strength and conditioning coach. So I’m trying to make it almost, that’s my sport now is I’m around it, but let’s be better at everything that we can do as a strength and conditioning coach.

Sevan Matossian (24:57):

It’s a remarkable field that’s gone through a lot of evolutions, a ton of, maybe evolutions isn’t the right word. Trends. We see footage of high schools in the US 50 years ago and they were doing CrossFit and you know, see the ropes and the jungle gyms and you see all the boys look fit and everyone’s seen the black and white footage and then it went away and we had kind of the Hulk Hogan Arnold Schwartzenegger era and then Greg Glassman came back and sort put it all, pieced it all back together again. He defined what fitness is using scientific method and it’s back again, right? But in that time there was a severe damage done to society somewhere between nutrition, pharma and this lack of understanding, I guess, of what we’re capable of with our movement or what healthy movement looks like, what healthy training looks like.

Gavin Pratt (26:15):

And that’s a social media thing as well. If you’re trying to sell a product, then that’s all you’re trying to do. You don’t care if it actually matters. So that’s where these trends have been difficult to deal with when that there’s a deeper meaning and deeper requirement from the human body than just this one particular method or tool or something that person is selling. It goes so much deeper than that. And yet people are making a hell of a lot of money from selling these products. People that think it’s gonna change their world instantaneously when I think all of us probably know, it just takes consistency and a little bit of hard work and sweat and discipline and you’ll get there. It’s not easy. It’s not supposed to be a one hit one, the solution. So it, it’s now about, well work out what works for you. So if someone’s not into CrossFit, that’s okay, but what’s your thing? If you are into CrossFit, that’s also okay. Make sure you get after it. It’s about finding what works for you. Because we’re all such different individuals. There is no one solution for the entire population yet some people still come across. There is, and there just simply isn’t. Our psychology works too different for that to happen.

Sevan Matossian (27:34):

We’ve reached a point where to push back on what you were saying I don’t know if it justifies it, but we’ve reached a point to if you move, it’s good. And I mean we’ve reached such high decrepitude with society, at least in the United States, that even these fads or these things that anyone’s trying to, the ThighMaster is better than what half the people are doing these days, right? I mean, at least that those people are moving now

Gavin Pratt (28:05):

I was talking to someone about this the other day and it’s exactly right. The hard thing for me sometimes is that my life has revolved around working with people trying to get fit through my online business. So I’m helping people train all the time, or I’m at somewhere like the UFC or around athletes. So that’s pretty much majority of what I see. But you’re exactly right. When you look at the statistics that’s actually far away from the norm, and I’m sure that’s quite similar in CrossFit circles as well, people are very community orientated. They’re there for each other and that’s what you see. But that’s probably not the norm either. It’s almost like that’s this small percentage of people that are trying to keep themselves healthy and looking at longevity and pushing themselves to be better than they were yesterday. And you surround yourself with that enough. You think that’s actually what happens in every household. One of the things that’s been really interesting for me is an Australian coming from to America is you mentioned the big farmer component and that’s blowing my mind. What was one of the athletes said, Mate, we’re born medicated here. It’s phenomenal. Yeah, it’s been a new thing for me.

Sevan Matossian (29:23):

I wanna show you something if I can find it here. This right here. Sorry Caleb, I didn’t send this to you. This blew me away. I, I’m so touched by this. I, I’m so touched by this kid, Jake Paul I’m big, I don’t do a lot of scrolling on social media. I’m not really up to speed on pop culture. He entered the fight game and so he popped on my radar. It’s kind of the.

The above transcript is generated using AI technology and therefore may contain errors.

Check out our other posts.