#983 – Oldest L1 Coach | Mike Suhadolnik of CrossFit Instinct

Sevan Matossian (00:01):

Bam. We’re live. Lemme make sure Mike’s got the link here. Let’s see. Still getting used to the new setup. It’s nice.


Here we go. Mike, I think, am I pronouncing that right? We’ll find out. I remember last time I had him on, I had trouble with his name too. Surprise. Surprise. 80 years old coach over at CrossFit. Instinct, I think is the name of the place. And he’s, he’s coming in via cell phone. I think this camera’s out of focus when I’m this close. Do I dare mess with it? I don’t think so. I just maybe sit back. Shit, maybe I’m just going to be out of focus this episode. What’s up guys? Good morning. Kendall O’Connor, Jessica Valenzuela, Audrey. Hi. Good morning, Michelle. Ms. Shanks. Hi Frank. Go. Hello. Good morning.


Good morning, Franco. Are you the one that I dmm with a lot? I think maybe I even gave you my phone number. Are you at Hot Chow or something? CrossFit. Damn, you’re looking good. Se really different glasses today. I don’t normally wear these. Maybe that’s what it’s, damn. I am out of focus. Fix the focus. Shit. I don’t know if I should mess with it. Ooh, yeah, that didn’t work. Oh, that’s better, right? How’s that? Is that good? I think that’s good. Wow. I did fix it. Fucking genius. You look better further back. I know, but I got my keyboard up here. What am I going to do? I guess I could back the camera up a little bit. Not today. You cannot be a camera nerd and be out of focus. I know, but I got a show to run and there’s so many little things that I’m doing in the office. Tweaking. I wonder if Mike’s coming. He said he was coming. Oh, I’m ready.


Okay. Oh shit. Oh shit. Houston, we have a problem. Did you click the link? He says he’s ready. He’s coming in on a cell phone. Oh, raise yourself too close. No, it is what it is today. It is what it is. Sorry. You have to stare at my ugly face then. Good shot of the, with this view. Oh yeah, right there. That’ll be covered up soon. I ordered. God, I don’t even know how this camera shit works there. Anyone else? Resolution looking bad. Tell me. Tell me. Help me out. Thank you. Yeah, I’ll take it. I think maybe that’s where I went. S you look okay today. You seem sad. No, no, no, no, no. Not sad at all. Oh, I do need to be this far back, right?


I dunno what to tell you. Not in this show. What happened? This is how it was yesterday. The wire does need a name. I’m going to slip one of these foams behind it very, very soon. I ordered a shitload of ’em. Mine looks. Sit back, relax. Have a great time. Mine looks grainy. Is only letting me choose 10 80. I don’t know. I can’t worry about it. Oh, I did not get the link. Oh shit. Oh shit. Houston. Now even Sus is texting him. Oh. Oh no. I don’t think he knows that. The picture is the link. The picture maybe. Should I tell him? You click the picture, you click the picture. The picture is the link. All right. Oh, I’m going to go with this. Geez Louise. My resolution is good. Okay. That’s what I’m going with. Wow. Highest superchat names The wire. Geez. What happens when I kill the wire when I hide it? It’s a cord, not a wire. Don’t misgender it enough. Oh, look at you. Look at you. Fox. Trott, Yankee. We finally get to see you. You are strong. Geez, Louise. Resolution is awesome. Okay, good. Mine looks great. Mine looks great. I can see the wrinkles on his forehead. Thank you.


In the good old days, I might’ve panicked a little bit. Greg Glassman’s coming on tomorrow. I’m starting to build the stuff that we’re going to talk about. Let me share this with you guys. This is Travis from Vindicates Idea, not my idea. Oh shit. Don’t even know where his QR code is. Usually it sits at the bottom. Damn it. Of course. I’m going to try to sell you guys something and there’s no QR code for it. This is the new c e o colorway now live. This is, he thought of this because of the Chicago Bears. I guess that’s their color. And what’s funny, so many people dmm me and said that. That’s awesome. Look, even Hiller knew it’s the dub bears cool, right?


Oh, this guy wants to know if he’s using a company other than next level, unless it’s stuff already printed. I’m not using Next Level apparel until they fix their issues. Way too unreliable. And their urgency to fix the issue or compensate for the issue is non-existent. Do you ship to the uk? Yeah, that one’s going to be cool. An orange one. I don’t know how we thought of that. Didn’t think of that before. So there’s that. Oh, and let me show you this. There is this, I rocked the shit out of this. I’ve started wearing this every day now. Oh shit. There he is. There’s Mike.

Mike Suhadolnik (07:11):

Hey, you got me. I had to get in first.

Sevan Matossian (07:15):

No problem.

Mike Suhadolnik (07:16):

So should I hit get in right now?

Sevan Matossian (07:20):

No, you’re in. You’re in. I can see you. You’re good.

Mike Suhadolnik (07:23):

Okay, because there’s a screen in front of me.

Sevan Matossian (07:29):

I see you in all your glory, dude, Mike. What’s up, dude? Did you get a haircut for this? You look all cleaned up.

Mike Suhadolnik (07:38):

Well, I’m good. I want to tell you, I got 22 people in my class and almost every limitation is represented in there by somebody. Okay. We’ve got replaced knees, we’ve got replaced hip, we’ve got stents going to our heart, and then we have somebody with Parkinson’s degree, Parkinson’s disease, and they’re all doing wonderful. I couldn’t be happier. This is a big time in my life. We had our last conversation

Sevan Matossian (08:42):

Five years ago, six years ago. Yeah. Yeah. Crazy.

Mike Suhadolnik (08:45):

And that was big. That came across wonderful. So we have our own garden

Sevan Matossian (09:02):

At the gym.

Mike Suhadolnik (09:05):

Yeah, we have our own garden

Sevan Matossian (09:07):

At the gym, huh?

Mike Suhadolnik (09:08):

Yeah. And that’s how we produce our vegetables to eat. And,

Sevan Matossian (09:15):

Hey, Mike, can I ask you a question? I want to start to show off with something crazy practical in a way that you inspired me. I want to give people just one thing that they can do today that you do with food. Like what you got me doing is you got me to start sprouting. It’s so funny. I’ve seen my mom sprout stuff my whole life, and I never did it. And then I saw you do it once and I’m like, yeah, I’m going to start sprouting stuff. Can you tell us about this celery jar? I’m going to do this today. Tell me about the celery and the natural salt it has in it. Can you tell me, I pulled a post up and it’s like one stock of celery cut into tiny half inch pieces. Will you tell me about that?

Mike Suhadolnik (09:52):

Well, now listen, the realistic story is we got to make our own food. We can’t rely on a third party making food for us. And the reason is, it is got processed salt, it’s got processed fat and it’s, it’s got ingredients that do nothing but want us to eat more, and we got to make our own food. And it’s just as simple as that. It’s not hard making our own food. I don’t know if that answers your question sufficiently,

Sevan Matossian (10:45):

But I want you to tell people exactly something that they can do today. And I love your celery thing. So go out and can you tell me the process? Go out, get a jar, clean your celery, fill the jar with distilled water, put the celery in it, close it, seal it up for five days, leave it in there. And then what happens to the celery? I’m going to do that today. But you’re saying celery because I see that on beef jerky all the time. It says celery salt, and I’m always like, what is that? What’s celery salt? And you’re saying that somehow the celery’s own salt will ferment the celery?

Mike Suhadolnik (11:15):

Well, the celery is tainted. Unless you have your own garden, you don’t get stuff that’s clean and somehow you got to clean it up. And that’s one way to do that. Okay. Because when he put it in there, I know it kind of ferments, but that’s the real deal.

Sevan Matossian (11:52):

Do you do that regularly? Is that part of your regimen? Always having celery that’s been soaked for five days?

Mike Suhadolnik (11:59):

No. I’ll tell you what, I eat a variety of things, all kinds of things. And mostly I keep it different so that I nourish the things that we don’t even think about. And no, Hey, don’t forget, I’m going to be 81 years old,

Sevan Matossian (12:27):


Mike Suhadolnik (12:29):

And I love it. Savanna. I couldn’t be happier that you allowed me to be on his podcast. I got a lot of people watching, and I’ll get feedback. I’ll get positive feedback from one. This gets aired.

Sevan Matossian (12:51):

What year were you born, Mike?

Mike Suhadolnik (12:53):

Pardon me?

Sevan Matossian (12:54):

What year were you born?

Mike Suhadolnik (12:57):

I was born 1943.

Sevan Matossian (13:02):

Okay. I’m going to do the math really quick to make sure you’re not lying about your age. Okay. It’s 2024. Okay. Yeah, that works out. You’re 81. Damn near. And when’s your birthday?

Mike Suhadolnik (13:13):

June 29th.

Sevan Matossian (13:17):

Hey, happy birthday.

Mike Suhadolnik (13:20):

I appreciate that. And I’m going to have many more.

Sevan Matossian (13:29):

What city? Where were you born?

Mike Suhadolnik (13:31):

In Waukegan, Illinois.

Sevan Matossian (13:34):

Oh, wow.

Mike Suhadolnik (13:35):

That’s northern Illinois.

Sevan Matossian (13:38):

Wow, man. You’ve seen the world change.

Mike Suhadolnik (13:41):

Oh, unbelievable.

Sevan Matossian (13:44):

And were you a sportsman as a kid, as a child, as a young man?

Mike Suhadolnik (13:48):

Was I a sportsman

Sevan Matossian (13:49):

Fan? Yeah. No, a sportsman. Did you play sports? Did you play junior high, high school, college, any college sports?

Mike Suhadolnik (13:57):

Yeah, I played in high school in college. I was a starting tackle for Illinois State.

Sevan Matossian (14:13):

And was that your premier sport football?

Mike Suhadolnik (14:16):

Yeah. I was just fortunate to be humble and work hard and just get out there and do the best I could. And before I knew it, I was doing things I never dreamed I could do. Wonderful.

Sevan Matossian (14:43):

What running and jumping and those kinds of things with your physical body?

Mike Suhadolnik (14:47):

Yeah. I mean, just playing football at the level I dead and I don’t think I was ever programmed to play football. It’s just that it was an opportunity and I loved every minute of it.

Sevan Matossian (15:08):

And Mike, was there a point in your life when you realized, oh man, it’s kind of like the first time you experienced mortality where you’re like, oh shit, I better start taking care of my health. Was there a moment in your life when that set in?

Mike Suhadolnik (15:23):

Not really.

Sevan Matossian (15:24):

You always were like this. You always knew from a young age.

Mike Suhadolnik (15:28):

Yeah. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (15:32):

And did that make you an oddball? Did that make you an oddball? I mean, you went through some really crazy eras, the whole microwave era and the era of eating low fat stuff. And then all the artificial sweeteners. I mean, you’ve lived through some nutritional milestones. I mean, do you remember when the microwave came and all of a sudden every grocery store had an aisle of microwaveable stuff? You’re like, where did this show up from?

Mike Suhadolnik (15:53):

I know, same. I was just kind of research oriented all my life, and I knew enough to stay away from that kind of stuff. I mean, just from reading and studying.

Sevan Matossian (16:11):

How about your parents? What did they do?

Mike Suhadolnik (16:14):

My dad was a fireman, put out fires, and my mother was a homemaker.

Sevan Matossian (16:26):

And now firemen really don’t put out fires. They tend to people with chronic disease.

Mike Suhadolnik (16:30):

That’s right. That’s right. I mean, then we had a radio in our house that when there was a fire, the radio would go on and it would blur out for North Chicago Fire Department a fire at 10 10 South 15th Street. I repeat a fire. And so my dad had to get up and he had to wear asbestos suits and couldn’t drive. So I had to get up and get out with him and start the truck up and get the truck going and driving through the fire.

Sevan Matossian (17:29):

He couldn’t drive because the asbestos suit didn’t allow someone to drive.

Mike Suhadolnik (17:33):

Well, it was so big and heavy. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (17:38):

How old were you when you did that?

Mike Suhadolnik (17:40):

I grew up different.

Sevan Matossian (17:42):


Mike Suhadolnik (17:44):

And then in the meanwhile, my mom’s home crying. She knew my dad. If it came time to bust a hole in the roof and do whatever and get down there and say somebody, he’d do it.

Sevan Matossian (18:01):

Yeah. Were you even 16 at that time?

Mike Suhadolnik (18:06):

Yeah. I’m not supposed to tell anybody now.

Sevan Matossian (18:08):

I won’t tell anyone. Were you driving the firetruck underage?

Mike Suhadolnik (18:13):


Sevan Matossian (18:14):

Me? Were you driving the firetruck underage?

Mike Suhadolnik (18:17):

No, but his pickup truck

Sevan Matossian (18:20):


Mike Suhadolnik (18:22):

At that time, all the police knew who I was and it isn’t like it is now. And quite frankly, the police love to see that happen, father and son working together.

Sevan Matossian (18:41):

Right? Absolutely. And then when you got out of college and you were done playing football, what did you do after that? Where did your life take you? I see you have grandkids in your Instagram that you’re very fond of.

Mike Suhadolnik (18:57):

Yeah. Well, waitlisted.

Sevan Matossian (19:04):

Y M C A Y M C A.

Mike Suhadolnik (19:09):

Yeah. Power lifting. Who’s the guy that who invented Nautilus?

Sevan Matossian (19:25):

Oh, what is that guy’s name? It’s two guys. Between me and you, we couldn’t remember anything. I have a feeling, let me think. A founder?

Mike Suhadolnik (19:35):

Yeah. Of

Sevan Matossian (19:35):

Nautilus. Let me see. Oh, Arthur Jones. I didn’t never

Mike Suhadolnik (19:39):

Arthur Jones.

Sevan Matossian (19:40):


Mike Suhadolnik (19:41):

A lot of people don’t even know who he was.

Sevan Matossian (19:43):

Yeah. I don’t even know who he is. Who is he?

Mike Suhadolnik (19:46):

I followed him. He created the Nautilus wheel.

Sevan Matossian (19:52):

Those were all the pulley machines and all that?

Mike Suhadolnik (19:54):


Sevan Matossian (19:55):


Mike Suhadolnik (19:56):

Yeah, he was a man and he was no bss. You either work your butt off or don’t even work out. Yeah. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (20:16):

Oh, you must’ve been in heaven when you found CrossFit. And then, so you met your wife and you had kids. Did you have a job before you were a coach? You’ve been a coach your whole life.

Mike Suhadolnik (20:31):

I’m sure I did. I did something. I mean, you’re catching me a little off right now.

Sevan Matossian (20:35):

Yeah, no problem. Hey, how long do you remember how you found CrossFit?

Mike Suhadolnik (20:44):

What now, again, ask

Sevan Matossian (20:45):

How you found CrossFit, how your, the first time you found CrossFit and started to embrace it. Do you remember that story?

Mike Suhadolnik (20:56):

My daughter and son-in-law, they introduced me to that. Okay. I thought I was pretty good. Good. Until they gave me a workout and that changed my life.

Sevan Matossian (21:17):

And how old were you at that point?

Mike Suhadolnik (21:19):


Sevan Matossian (21:21):

Were you in your sixties or seventies?

Mike Suhadolnik (21:23):

Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. I was my late thirties

Sevan Matossian (21:31):

When you found CrossFit.

Mike Suhadolnik (21:32):


Sevan Matossian (21:34):

So you would’ve been doing just intense workouts for a long time.

Mike Suhadolnik (21:38):

I’ve always done intense workouts. Yes.

Sevan Matossian (21:42):

And so you, it’s been just a lifelong journey of fitness and working out.

Mike Suhadolnik (21:49):

That’s what it’s all about.

Sevan Matossian (21:51):

Yeah. God, I love that.

Mike Suhadolnik (21:53):

Hey, and I’m not done yet, buddy.

Sevan Matossian (21:57):

Yeah. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I didn’t. I wouldn’t have found CrossFit, what I would be doing if I would be running, or what would I do to stay in shape even. What do people even do to stay in shape if they’re not doing CrossFit? I guess they just run or walk.

Mike Suhadolnik (22:15):

Yeah. CrossFit’s a complete game. Running’s not running’s. Okay. It’s really the only way to go.

Sevan Matossian (22:34):

Mike, do you have a routine that you, a pretty strict regimen that you stick to? What time you work out the movements you do just for your own personal mobility and health?

Mike Suhadolnik (22:48):

Yeah, of course. I coach and I change that around, and then I do the same for myself. Doing the same thing over and over again. Wears off. So whatever you do, you got to change it all the time. Repetition is, repetition is bad.

Sevan Matossian (23:25):

You definitely are a CrossFit coach. I hear it in every word and thought that you have. And how long have you been teaching coaching at CrossFit? Instinct?

Mike Suhadolnik (23:40):

Oh, I don’t know. 14 years.

Sevan Matossian (23:43):

God, it’s wild. Are there any other 80 year old coaches in the space?

Mike Suhadolnik (23:51):

Not that I know of. Not that I know of. And I know a lot of coaches.

Sevan Matossian (24:00):

Yeah. You sure do. You sure do.

Mike Suhadolnik (24:04):

Johnny Colley, one of our nurses let you know that. And she’s one of our sparks.

Sevan Matossian (24:17):

Hey, you used to post a lot on Instagram, and then I noticed you stopped posting as much. Is there a reason why for that? Oh, we lost him. I was going to show him this. This is wild. Look at this. Coach. Ice bath. Yikes. Cold, cold, cold, cold. Oh, Molly Hahn, my husband and I own CrossFit Instinct. Oh, and you have your father-in-law as a coach there. I like that. I can’t wait until I can use my kids to do something for me. Edit videos for me. Let’s see if Mike comes back on. Wait, isn’t that one of those five K ice buckets? No. Oh, here he is. There he is. I

Mike Suhadolnik (25:15):

Lost you.

Sevan Matossian (25:16):

Yeah, it happens still there. Sorry. Hey, Mike, I’ve pulled up a picture of you in an ice bath. Do you do this frequently? Do you like it?

Mike Suhadolnik (25:36):

Yep. What else I do is take cold showers. When I get in the shower, I turn it on a cold. Wim Hof.

Sevan Matossian (25:54):

Yeah. Yeah. Hey, Mike. I’m 51. And for me, I have this story going on in my head that if I take a cold shower, my back is going to seize up. So I like taking the hottest shower possible to loosen myself up. You don’t feel that you wake up in the morning, you need to take a really hot shower just to loosen all the stuff up.

Mike Suhadolnik (26:17):


Sevan Matossian (26:18):


Mike Suhadolnik (26:22):

Okay. Cold promotes circulation where? Heat restricts circulation. You got me?

Sevan Matossian (26:37):

Yeah. Okay. Okay. Yeah.

Mike Suhadolnik (26:39):

So when I get under that cold shower, yeah, that’s not like that for very long.

Sevan Matossian (26:48):

How long do you think you could go a minute?

Mike Suhadolnik (26:51):

A cold shower?

Sevan Matossian (26:52):


Mike Suhadolnik (26:53):

Seven minutes.

Sevan Matossian (26:54):

Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. And then do you finish up with it hot?

Mike Suhadolnik (26:59):

No. No,

Sevan Matossian (27:00):

No. You get out?

Mike Suhadolnik (27:02):

I get out.

Sevan Matossian (27:04):


Mike Suhadolnik (27:06):

Wow. Hey, this has been a great podcast.

Sevan Matossian (27:10):

Thank you. I feel that way too. You coaching today, did you coach today already or do you still coach ahead of you?

Mike Suhadolnik (27:17):

No, I’m going to coach tomorrow morning because of our podcast. I arranged other things. I have another coach that covered me early this morning. I would’ve coached at seven o’clock our time.

Sevan Matossian (27:36):

Is there anything, when you look back at your youth, are there any habits that you thought if you were to share something with people, are there any habits that are like, yep, everyone should, I’m so glad I started this habit as however old you were. Do you have any premier habits, disciplines, things that you do that you’re like, Hey people, this one really worked for me.

Mike Suhadolnik (27:58):

Look, I never quit. Things get hard, and I’ve had plenty of things get hard. I sucked it up, but I never quit. And most people, as soon as the stuff starts hitting the fan, they shut down. And the last thing you want to do is shut down. You want to fight your way through it. And when you do, you’re a better person.

Sevan Matossian (28:37):

And for lack of a better word, what’s your motivation? What’s your motivation to fight through it? How do you not surrender and indulge in the agony?

Mike Suhadolnik (28:49):

I’ve still got a lot to do in life,

Sevan Matossian (28:51):


Mike Suhadolnik (28:54):

You’ve got to stay in shape, you got to be prepared. And this will allow you to be prepared and stay in reasonable shape

Sevan Matossian (29:07):

To get through your days to do what you need to do.

Mike Suhadolnik (29:12):

And I don’t have a problem going to sleep at night.

Sevan Matossian (29:17):

Right, right. Yeah. And Mike, do you live life by any certain values?

Mike Suhadolnik (29:26):

Do I have what? Again? I’m sorry.

Sevan Matossian (29:27):

Do you live your life by any certain values? Like you treat others how you want to be treated, stuff like that. Any religious values, any personal values? Do you have any values that you live your life by that help you get through the day, through life?

Mike Suhadolnik (29:43):

Yeah. You always want to treat somebody the best you can. There’s no excuse for being a jerk to anybody.

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

Check out our other posts.