#687 – Dubai Fitness Championship Predictions with Brian Friend

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Sevan Matossian (00:01):

Good morning guys. Good morning, Sam. Good morning, Jethro. Good morning, Kenneth. Good morning, Heidi. I’m gonna get that worm today. I dunno what that means, Christian. Good morning. Uh, let’s see. The Liver King. I, I, uh, saw that the, uh, Andrew, uh, Andrew Hiller has made a very concise five minute, uh, video on his, um, YouTube channel in regard. It’s basically a summation of the one hour video that the, uh, the Naty or not guy did. There’s this guy just, basically all he does is all it looks like all his videos are, is calling people out on their lies and specifically regarding steroid use. And Andrew summed it up, where are I? I took my Liver King pills today. Good morning, Steven. Uh, those of you who watch the show know that, oh, liver King is Naty, don’t at me. Uh, as you guys have known always, I have always said I could give two shits if he’s naty or not.

(01:11):

That is not, uh, that is not part of my, I just don’t care. I just don’t care. Well, I, that’s not, actually, I thought I didn’t care. But now that, um, all these videos have come out saying he’s not nay and I, and I suspect they’re true, Andrew’s video is very good, and I assume that that other guys is very good, that they didn’t, um, that they didn’t want to get sued into oblivion for saying something that’s not true. But the reason why, I guess the one cool thing about it, at least for me, is, is now I don’t have to wonder why I haven’t gotten that big. And the sponsor of this show, I think can help you get that big California hormones ca hormones. So I guess in that way, I guess, I guess I guess in that way, it’s because, fuck, I’ve been working out forever. I was tripping. I was talking to Andrew last night, and I remember the 2007 games. I could do all the workouts, 2008 games, I could do all the workouts. Good morning, crystal. Good morning, Mr. Halpin. I remember in 2007, I could do all the events. 2008, I could do all the events. 2009, I could do all the events. I could even beat a bunch of the games athletes in those events. And then in 2010, I couldn’t, I couldn’t do the game. All the games, workouts. There was something in there I couldn’t do.

(02:35):

And granted, I started CrossFit when I was 34, but those first three years I was doing two workouts a day. I was addicted, like hard workouts, you know, do, do a hero wa in the, in the, in the morning. And a, um, and, and, and, you know, something else at night, maybe even another hero wad, who knows? But, uh, liver King has a business that made a hundred million a year. He don’t give a fuck about being naty. We keep buying his stuff. Well, I did ask Andrew about that. Hi Brian. I did ask, uh, Andrew about that. I said, what do you think? Do you think his, his supplements are junk? And Andrew said, no, absolutely not. He goes, he, um, even in the, uh, in that video where they know that he, he admits to being on steroids because they got some leaked emails. He talks about how committed he is to taking those supplements as part of his regimen. Stephen Flores, Mr. Friend, welcome to the Matrix. Um, he was taking stuff before second work, which was CrossFit workout. That’s crazy. He was taking stuff before. Um, yeah, I, I, I sent him a text, uh, last night after I saw the video. I said, yo, brother, I love you. There’s anything I can do for you? Let me know. Keep your head up.

(04:08):

Hi, Brian.

Brian Friend (04:10):

Hey,

Sevan Matossian (04:11):

Any fancy haircuts, new clothes? Um, got your nails done. Um, try to tighten up your body. Anything you’re doing superficial to make yourself that are looking for, um, Dubai.

Brian Friend (04:25):

I did get a haircut.

Sevan Matossian (04:27):

Yeah, look good. Good. That’s

Brian Friend (04:28):

Awesome. Look at that. Look at that light there. That’s nice, huh?

Sevan Matossian (04:32):

Yeah. Is is it, is it, um, is it blended? Can I see from the side? Is it blended? Uh, not so good. No, it’s not. Uh, it’ll look blended in a couple days.

Brian Friend (04:43):

One of my best friends and a supporter of this show gave me this haircut. So, careful what you

Sevan Matossian (04:47):

Say. Well, it’s not, it doesn’t look blended. Well, I’m glad it was free. How’s that? Was it free?

Brian Friend (04:53):

Sometimes I sneak money and hide it around his house. He hates it.

Sevan Matossian (04:57):

Oh, very good dude. Uh, so I do wanna thank California hormones for two things. If you want to get on the journey of, um, the Liver King, um, with a, a clear mindset that can push you towards a hundred million business and, uh, get your testosterone levels high. Uh, California Hormones has always been a great supporter of the show. And, um, they are our, um, one of our primary sponsors for, uh, Wadada Polooza. And I will be, uh, making sweet love to them the whole time. I also was notified of this today, uh, a colleague of Brian’s and a friend of mine, I don’t have colleagues, I only have friends. Um, Brian Spin from the barbell Spin. It looks like he is doing something fun for Dubai. The barbell spin wants to win barbell spin. Want to win $100 gift card to L S K D? Register for an account at the lawnchair leader boarding.com and enter the username in the comments or fill out the form on our stories. Winner of the Dubai Fitness Championship tournament on L C L will win a hundred dollars gift card to lsk. I don’t know what Lsk D is, but hold

Brian Friend (06:10):

On. I’ll help you out.

Sevan Matossian (06:11):

Okay,

Brian Friend (06:12):

Thank you. The reason that this is such a cool thing is because he’s a member of the media. This is with regards to a major CrossFit off season event. Lsk D is a sponsor who’s in the last 12 months, has made a, a move into the CrossFit space and sponsors a bunch of athletes and, and competitions. Uh, they’ve sent me some stuff. They reach out to a bunch of in influe and influencers and personalities in the space, and he’s helping out Tyler Watkins, who’s another friend of ours who’s, you know, building up this, this lawnchair leader boarding fantasy community opportunity. So he’s merging a bunch of different entities of the CrossFit culture surrounding the sport, um, into kind of one, one opportunity here to get fans engaged, not just with the competition, but with, uh, a brand who’s been supportive of CrossFit this past year or maybe a little bit longer.

Sevan Matossian (07:04):

It’s a clothing brand.

Brian Friend (07:06):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. I, uh, they, I have, um, a couple pairs, pieces of their clothing that are incredibly comfortable, usually wear their pants, uh, in the evening, one of their sweatshirts. I’ve a couple pairs of their shorts.

Sevan Matossian (07:23):

When I hear the word influencer, I, I replace it with shit, shit, shit. Bag, shit turd.

Brian Friend (07:28):

Perfect. I think that’s, uh, yeah, we should probably start doing that. That’d be good.

Sevan Matossian (07:34):

Oh my God, you’re a shit turd. That’s awesome. A lot of butt shots on this, um, account. Okay, cool. Well, thank you. Uh, thank you Lsk d

Brian Friend (07:47):

Did you see the big news this past weekend?

Sevan Matossian (07:49):

No. What? 2022 cold Turkey. 17. You got third at the Turkey Trot. That’s your trophy.

Brian Friend (08:03):

It’s a dis golf tournament. I, I actually, uh, tied for a second and then with two other guys and we went to a little playoff, uh, playoff. So I ended up with the third place trophy, but it was by far my best performance in one of those things, which was unexpected and kind of cool.

Sevan Matossian (08:17):

Was the playoff a one hole?

Brian Friend (08:19):

Uh, yeah, a one shot closest to the pin. So I had to Oh, wow. I was a second close side of three shots.

Sevan Matossian (08:25):

Wow. Congratulations. That’s awesome. Uh, I, I’m gonna say this about that, uh, Tyler Watkins, uh, fitness challenge thing. I’ve, I’ve done it twice and both times, because I was working on this show that at least that’s my excuse, I wasn’t able to stay up to date. So basically what you do is you get four friends together, or 10 friends together, and you guys do a draft and you just get on the phone and everyone picks their athletes. And when you run outta athletes, you’re done. And then usually I think the way it works is you can use every athlete twice. And so if there’s 10 events, you, you, you, right before the, uh, event happens, you plug in your athletes. And what happened to me is, is I wouldn’t plug in my athletes cuz I’d be fooling around on the show or preparing for the next show. And every time I regret it because these guys are having so much fun and I’m on the thread and I can’t do any of the shit talking. It’s lame. I always regret that I, that <laugh>, I’d rather just stick in somebody. I don’t even care. I just want to be a part of it.

Brian Friend (09:17):

That is true. And I, I actually put fill in my roster ahead of time, even if I don’t know all the workouts, just so I have something just in case. Oh.

Sevan Matossian (09:26):

But

Brian Friend (09:27):

We’re also playing in, I don’t know what he calls it now, but I call it the pro league or the pro division. But he has since created an easy game, which is much, uh, less, it requires much less interaction over the course of the, of the weekend, I believe. So you can just kind of pick some players and play ’em up front and, uh, not have that thing happen.

Sevan Matossian (09:47):

I, I, I, that’s cool. Uh, I, I look at, um, the brand, Brandon Wa uh, Waddell, I, I look at the PFL and what they did, they gave away 6 million this past weekend. And I think how easy it could be that I could have sold them 10,000, um, this community to seven on podcast, and the people on it could have, we probably could have helped ’em sell 10,000 more pay per views if they just would’ve reached out to me and been like, Hey, will you please interview these six athletes the week prior to the pfl? I bet you we would’ve increased, uh, viewership by 10,000 and, and, and if they, and maybe not the first time, maybe we increased it by 3000 the first time, 6,000 the second time, 9,000 the third time. And they, and they, people don’t do that. People don’t take advantage of the resources.

(10:33):

They have PFLs kind of pod dunk. They don’t have any promotions, but the fights were insane. And that’s what brings me to this what br Brandon Waddell said, does Brian have a closet disc golf podcast and do rankings for their athletes too? I, Brian and I have talked about doing a DISC golf podcast, but those I’ve, we’ve reached out to a half dozen, dozen disc golfers and no interest. And this golf could be blown up exactly the same way USA weightlifting could if they were just to swerve into the CrossFit lane because these fucking CrossFitters, they have all of this fitness and they just want to use it. They just want to use their athleticism. So I, I don’t know why it’s a, it’s a slam dunk to swerve over into this lane. And, uh, and I’ll interview anyone. I would interview a basket weaving contest. I just want, I just want to hang with the best.

Brian Friend (11:24):

I’ll j I will say this, I am, I feel like I’m doing with disc golf, what I did with CrossFit between 2014 and 2018, where I just have a interest in it and I’m watching it. And similarly, it does stick in my mind. I know a ton of the pros that, you know, travel on the tour and the international players and whatever. So maybe down the road we’ll have some more luck with it. But I, I do think I have a lot of knowledge and insight that can be

Sevan Matossian (11:50):

A lot, a lot. Don’t get, get em started. Barry mc Cocker,

Brian Friend (11:57):

You got the best followers, man. Just great names. These

Sevan Matossian (12:00):

People. I know. He’s a good dude. Uh, I don’t,

Brian Friend (12:02):

They’re just so bunch of shit towards,

Sevan Matossian (12:05):

Uh, yeah, <laugh>. No, none of these guys are influencers. There’s no shit towards Whoa,

Brian Friend (12:09):

Whoa. Trade, trade award.

Sevan Matossian (12:10):

Yeah, yeah. Sorry. Um, coming up this weekend is the Dubai Fitness Challenge.

Brian Friend (12:16):

Hey, this, this guy in the chat. We reached out to Brody Smith. I actually met Brody Smith randomly when I was in Texas with, at a Disc golf course with Chase Ingram. He doesn’t wanna come on our podcast. Uh, you know, so if he wants to get big, that’s great. He’s, I think he’s doing good things. I actually like the way that he thinks about the game, but he won’t come and talk to us,

Sevan Matossian (12:37):

Bother

Brian Friend (12:38):

Him, go bother him and make him come over here.

Sevan Matossian (12:41):

I’m, I’m just gonna float my own boat here. Pretty much every single person who comes on this podcast afterwards, within a week will DM me or text me and be like, holy shit, I had no idea how ravenous your crowd is because apparently you guys will go over to their accounts and start spreading the love on them, which is crazy. Uh, cool. Uh, Seon, uh, you’re losing viewers Seon enough. Disc golf fine. Okay, fine. I understand. Yes, sir.

Brian Friend (13:08):

<laugh>,

Sevan Matossian (13:10):

Uh, this weekend is the Dubai Fitness Challenge. Brian, uh, will be going there and commentating with Derek

Brian Friend (13:17):

Forst

Sevan Matossian (13:18):

Fort. Uh, it will be there. Is this the first time you guys have matched up to do commenting?

Brian Friend (13:24):

Yeah, the only, uh, commentary that I’ve done apart from Xlo games last month was, uh, I did Dubai. No, I did, uh, waap Alza one year with Bill Grundler. No one, probably no one watched that cuz it was behind the Flow Elite Pay wall. And I did a few events at the Filthy one 50 alongside as Jacobson back in 2018 or 19. Uh, and other than that, this is my first time doing it. Derek did, uh, wa Dubai, excuse me, last year with Tommy. And so this year I’m filling in for Tommy

Sevan Matossian (13:56):

La just to, I’m trying to remember cuz all the years last year was the year that they ran in the inside, uh, on the inside ski slope, right? Correct. Okay. I watched all that. I thought, I thought the comment, the commentary was great that year. I enjoyed it. As I recall. I don’t, nothing negative sticking in my head, so

Brian Friend (14:12):

I’ve been watching it back just to kind of learn Derek’s style a little bit and reacquaint myself with what, uh, you know, what, what happened there Last year, I, I went to Dubai three years ago and I wor I was in the truck, uh, basically acting as a producer for the broadcast there. And, um, so I have, and, and I learned a lot in that year. And so watching back some from last year, Dubai is, uh, its own, it’s its own entity. It’s like a different beast. It goes about things differently than most of the other competitions because it’s, you know, that country is different. It’s funded by a different person or group of people. And, uh, just the way they go about doing things a little different. But I think that based on the things I’ve watched and the conversations I’ve been able to have with not just the event organizers, but also the people who are programming this competition, which is the H W P O crew that we can, that we can hopefully bring a pretty good broadcast. Um, but you know, part of the thing this season for Dubai is you might not know all the athletes competing as well as some of the years passed there when they’ve had some invites. So I think that hopefully to enhance the experience for people who are watching, we can start to educate ’em on who these people are and where they might do well. Um, so I think that’s what we’re gonna do today.

Sevan Matossian (15:30):

Let me ask you a hard question off, off the bat.

(15:36):

In, in, in years past, let me start over. Take two, take three. When people put on events, I’m assuming that every year they put on event the following year they wanna put on a bigger event, a better event, maybe better athletes, maybe more prize money, maybe more creative events, new locations. But I’m guessing that it’s a building of on a building onto the previous events, right? So, or at least match it, you know, even at the Super Bowl, like the halftime show, I don’t know how they do it in the NFL or maybe even the, the people who make the commercials for the Super Bowl, they wanna make better commercials. And even talking to, uh, JR Howell a little bit, I could tell that he was invigorated by, um, the crash crucible this year. In the following year he wanted to do a better event. Do you see any of these events as kind of like burning out? Yes. On the men’s side, we do have some amazing people. Janowski Romanoff, Brent Falkowski, pat Vener, we have some heavyweights over there.

Brian Friend (16:38):

Well, not Pat Vener,

Sevan Matossian (16:40):

Not Pat Vener

Brian Friend (16:41):

In this competition this year.

Sevan Matossian (16:43):

Oh, I apologize. I didn’t do my, uh, due diligence. Um, oh, sorry. Uh, lizard gi um, we’ll even throw Comp Porter in there.

Brian Friend (16:55):

Comp Porter actually pretty cool. He’s returning to the individual field for the first time in a while, so excited to see him out there.

Sevan Matossian (17:02):

Is is Dubai on a decline?

Brian Friend (17:05):

I mean, it’s a relative question. You know, Dubai is like a, it’s a privately funded event. Um, it was a big, like a big time bucket list item for a lot of, uh, premier CrossFitters or the elite CrossFitters for like the middle teens. I would say like 2016, 17, 18, 19, especially those years, it was a really popular event to go to. Obviously a lot of things changed in 2020 globally, but, um, some of the, and you gotta be careful when you talk about the prize first. Like for example, last year at Waap Palooza, they had a hundred thousand dollars first place prize, but it was a huge drop off to second place. Like 30,000 was second place or something. So it was like, it was a bigger price tag for the first place. But most of the athletes going there know they’re not gonna win first place.

(17:54):

There’s maybe three to five that actually have a chance to win first place. So if, if you’re like being drawn to Guap instead of Dubai because it’s a hundred thousand instead of 50,000 this year it’s 75,000 instead of 50,000, you should still like take that for what it is. What are your chances of winning either of those? Look at the fourth, fifth, sixth place spots, something that might be more attainable. What do you get if you finish 10th place there if you’re going there for, for prize money? So is it on the decline? I don’t know. They’re, they’ve always done things their own way. They don’t have, they’re not very much influenced by the other things that are going on. Programming. They’ll do what they wanna do, prize versus, they’re not gonna try to like keep up or one up or whatever. They’re just do their thing.

(18:38):

Uh, it’s still an awesome event. It’s really fun to be there if you ever have a chance to go as a fan, or at least from my experience, it’s very intimate, meaning, you know, there’s not 10,000 people on site. So you can, like you can see the athletes, you can get pretty close. It’s a pretty good experience. I’m curious to see some, uh, the new venue they have this year. As far as I know, it’s the first time they’ve had a new venue. They’ve always been in the duty free tennis stadium. They’re going to the Coca-Cola arena this year. So I, you know, I think it might be a little bigger floor space. I’m curious to see what they can, you know, do in terms of production. It’ll be indoor and out set of outdoor. Um, I wouldn’t say they’re necessarily on a decline. I just think that they’ve, uh, in some ways have kind of just been steady or stagnant.

(19:17):

Like they haven’t been trying to get better and bigger. In fact, they’ve scaled down their competition. They used to have like 12 and 14 at 15 events and they were really heavy and long and very difficult and it was a beat down of a competition. Now I think it’s very well tailored as an event that is, um, approachable for both fans and athletes. Uh, the programming is much more in line with, you know, it’s, it’s high level for sure, but it’s not this crazy CrossFit games style beat down off season event. I mean they, you know, they realize that a lot of these athletes are trying to manage a season an entire year and that it’s, uh, maybe not that appealing to come and do a 15 workout event, um, in the middle of the off season.

Sevan Matossian (20:01):

And would you argue that the really the biggest limiting factor for Dubai, at least from the kind of the American centric point of view, is just to travel? It’s just far. So if you’re into watching American athletes or North American athletes, they don’t, we only have one female, um, athlete from the United States this year. But that being said, Dubai does have, as I saw from your article in Barand, they do have four, uh, out of the 20 women they represent 14 countries, which is pretty impressive.

Brian Friend (20:31):

Yeah. And there’s one, there is one, uh, United States competitor and there’s, there are three from Canada, Brent Frankowski, and then two on the women’s side. Uh, both games athletes, Emily, Ralph, Andre Berger. Um, so yeah, I mean that certainly could be a deterrent to people from the US or Canada. They might not know a lot of athletes, but they still have a, a good global representation. Like you mentioned Con Porters coming from Africa, Jamie Simmons, who’s lives in the UK but is from New Zealand originally will be competing there. And then they have people from all over Europe. I mean, obviously the travel is a lot easier from Europe to get over there, um, than from North America. But I think that, you know, in general, Europe is, uh, is up and coming and there’s gonna be continue to be more and more relevant Europeans, um, in the hunt for top 10, top 20 games spots on the men’s side, especially I’ve, you know, spoken at nauseum about how good the women in Europe are.

(21:25):

And these aren’t the, maybe the biggest household European names. You don’t have, uh, any of the Icelandic women, um, you know, some of the ones that I’ve been around for a while, like Sam Briggs and Krista Holta have retired, but this is the next generation of, uh, you know, European women that are going to be significant as well. And Dubai’s a good opportunity to get to see them. It’s only a 20 person field for most of the events. There’ll just be two heats. So you get a really kind of in depth or personal, uh, view of some of these athletes that might become relevant on the, at the games level in the next couple seasons.

Sevan Matossian (22:02):

And with only 20 athletes, especially with, uh, those four men that I mentioned, you’re gonna get to see a lot of action, uh, without the weight, right,

Brian Friend (22:12):

Without

Sevan Matossian (22:13):

The weight, without the

Brian Friend (22:14):

It

Sevan Matossian (22:15):

Or no, no, without the, uh, w ait without the weight, you’re gonna get to see the, the good you’re gonna get to see good heats going regularly.

Brian Friend (22:22):

Well, and what I, what I, I should have clarified this, what I meant earlier, the schedule for the competition, um, on Saturday and Sunday, it’s five hour windows from four to 9:00 PM in Dubai. That’s the, that’s the, the whole competition on Saturday and Sunday. So you get to see however many workups they do in a five hour block on, on two consecutive days. They will have one, uh, offsite event the day before Friday in Dubai would be like Thursday night in the, in the United States. But, um, but that, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a smaller period of time to tune in and, and watch. It’s not like it’s going on from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM or something like sometimes happens at a, at a Wap oos or something like that, where they have, you know, thousands of competitors they have to get through.

Sevan Matossian (23:07):

You said, uh, you said four to 9:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday

Brian Friend (23:13):

In

Sevan Matossian (23:13):

Dubai? In Dubai. So that’s ba that’s 4:00 AM to 9:00 AM uh, Pacific Standard Time. So ba if you’re on the East Coast, uh, you could, you could, it’s actually feasible to watch it if you’re in Eastern standard time.

Brian Friend (23:27):

Is that like seven to one or something?

Sevan Matossian (23:30):

Yeah, seven 7:00 AM to

Brian Friend (23:31):

Noon.

Sevan Matossian (23:34):

I’m looking It is the same day, right? They, we don’t, you don’t cross the Okay. It is the same day. You don’t cross the date line. Okay.

Brian Friend (23:40):

The first event will be on a, I think will be kinda weird because I think think it’s on Friday morning in Dubai, which would be like 10:00 PM Pacific time or something like that on Thursday. But, uh, the majority of the competition will take place Saturday and Sunday evening in Dubai, which is Saturday and Sunday morning in the states.

Sevan Matossian (23:59):

And, and you know, no joke, that venue was built in 2019. So for some people, this will be the nicest venue that they’ve ever been in. For most people, they’ll never been in a venue venues age quickly to go into a venue that’s only three years old, uh, made over there by those guys. Those guys don’t fuck around. They got some of the best engineers in the world over there. It should be a nice, nice host.

Brian Friend (24:20):

Yeah. And that venue hosts a lot of different, you know, conferences and get togethers and events and gatherings. So, um, it should be, I mean, I think it was basically built for something like this.

Sevan Matossian (24:32):

Brian, in that article that you wrote for Barb Bend, I think one of the things that caught my attention there was is that, uh, Brent Frankowski competed in an event in Egypt, I think it was called Elite Elite. Elite Elite. What was it?

Brian Friend (24:45):

L

Sevan Matossian (24:46):

L, okay. L CrossFit, um, championships or something like that. Why isn’t Dubai using the word CrossFit anymore?

Brian Friend (24:54):

I wrote an article about that also.

Sevan Matossian (24:56):

Oh, uh, I think you told me to read that a couple weeks ago and I did, but it didn’t stick. What was, what was the reasoning? Do people have to pay for that?

Brian Friend (25:06):

Uh, yeah, I think so. Uh, and there’s certain, there’s certain, you know, expectations on both ends when you do that. And I think that, uh, kind of what I said earlier, you know, Dubai does their own thing and I think that for a few years it made sense for them to have that, um, partnership with CrossFit and include that in their branding and their name. And that this year when they looked through the terms or whatever, they just decided that, uh, they were okay without it. And so they were gonna return to, to buy fitness championships, which is what they originally were.

Sevan Matossian (25:36):

So nothing, uh, nothing nefarious or dramatic?

Brian Friend (25:40):

I don’t think so, no. I mean it’s, it’s notable in the fact that it is one of the major off season events and they’re, you know, they’re changing away from including the name CrossFit in it, but not, I don’t think anything negative.

Sevan Matossian (25:55):

Uh, Brian has put out his predictions on his, uh, Instagram account. But before we get to that, uh, let’s, I’d like to ask some questions about some of the individual guys. Um, what, what do you think Brent’s doing is this uncharacteristic of him to be doing, uh, two, two off season events back to back, uh, before the open, before we go into the CrossFit games? And I, I’m making the assumption that he is gonna compete in the CrossFit games this year.

Brian Friend (26:21):

I think he’s intending to, yeah. Uh, is it outta character for him? Uh, yes and no. Last year I don’t think he did any off-season competitions. Um, but I also, you know, I think that he was coming off of a games where he didn’t compete at a hundred percent, or at least a portion of the competition. And he was, you know, I think he’s very realistic and, and aware of his age and his, and his window of time relative to the up and coming, you know, generation of young CrossFitters right now. So I think he knows that he’s still very good and still has a chance to get top 10, top fives and maybe even one more podium finish at the games. But he has to be extremely specific and calculated in his buildup to that which he views as an entire year process. So last year he took the whole season off, got healthy, did his thing, looked good, one semifinals came to the games and had his worst live event, live finish at the games ever.

(27:19):

Um, I know that he’s gone back and reevaluated since then. He has taken note of some things that, you know, this is a, this is actually a good principle for people to understand forever. He was good enough at running that he could just show up and do well in the running events last year. And so, and so he wasn’t investing a ton of time in that. Cause he knew there were other areas where he could get more bang for his buck. And we’ve talked about, I always refer back to Spencer Hendel 2015 example for this. The guy was super strong, one of the strongest in the field. He kept doing well in the, the strength events, but he was finishing 10th to 20th every year. And all of a sudden he finished fifth, which is a substantial improvement to move up five spots that high on the leaderboard.

(28:02):

And he, and he did his worst ever in the strength events, but he just invested in all these other things. So Brent was also trying to make a move up the leaderboard where there’s a very small margin, you know, to go from third or fourth to first or second is very difficult. So he wasn’t investing in running well, he took a hit on some of the running events this year. And so he’s, he’s realized, well, I have to start running again because I, you know, I’m not elite anymore. I’m just pretty good. And, uh, so he’s, he’s always doing this. So he looked back and I think that also he decided, um, that he might not have, and I don’t know this, I’m just speculating in this one, that he might not have that many great opportunities to travel and be a very well recognized elite ambassador of the sport internationally for years and years to come.

(28:45):

And so, you know, I’m guessing that someone from LFI reached out to him and said, would you like to come to our event? I’m assuming that’s why Vener was there also. And they said, you can come and watch. You can come and compete. We’d just love to have you here. He took him up on that opportunity, figured he’s gonna be in the Middle East anyway. He’ll just turn it into an extended trip and get a, and get a competition in Dubai. The last time he competed in Dubai was the last time I was there, three years ago, 2019, he won the competition. So he has good memories and experience there and, uh, I think it’s a, I think it’s a great move for him at this point in his career to go over there, get to see a different part of the world, compete in a different part of the world, meet some different people. And for him, especially the fact that now he’s been in the Middle East for five, six weeks leading into this, I think he’s probably gonna be coming into this competition. Very dialed in, obviously feeling very acclimated and comfortable and will likely do very well.

Sevan Matossian (29:38):

Uh, how, how many years has Dubai been going on?

Brian Friend (29:40):

This is their 10th competition. I believe it’s the 11th season. I think they missed one year.

Sevan Matossian (29:48):

And, uh, Brent is the only male who, is he the only male that’s ever been on the podium before at Dubai? No, but he’s the only one who’s ever won it.

Brian Friend (29:56):

Uh, correct. Laar was second last year.

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

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