Living Unscared with Brian Mackenzie: Endurance Training, Breath Work, and Why You Need to Unplug – Episode 206

Posted by Jason Ferruggia

If you want to improve your performance, optimize recovery and build endurance, Brian Mackenzie is the man to listen to.  From breath work to proper programming, to ice baths and saunas, Brian has a toolbox with something for everyone in it.

Brian is my guest on Episode 206 of the #RenegadeRadioPodcast.  He is a world-renowned strength and conditioning coach who founded Crossfit Endurance and Power-Speed-Endurance. He is also the author of several great books including “Unplugged: Evolve from Technology to Upgrade Your Fitness, Performance and Consciousness”, “Power, Speed, Endurance” and “Unbreakable Runner”.

In this episode, we discuss the relationship between strength and conditioning.  Brian details how to add conditioning to your training without risking injury or burnout.  We delve into how to breathe to improve performance, provide tips for optimal recovery, talk about the mistakes people commonly make in training and so much more.

Scroll down for show notes.


This episode is brought to you by Four Sigmatic, which I use every single day.  What is Four Sigmatic? It’s mushroom coffee made with the active ingredient, Lion’s mane mushroom (also known as the “smart mushroom”). Lion’s Mane has long been used by Buddhist monks for better focus during meditation for years. I know you’re going to say you don’t want to drink coffee that tastes like mushrooms, but it doesn’t. Four Sigmatic:

  • Is gut friendly and great for those who get an upset stomach from regular coffee.
  • Gets you cranked up for your day, but not jittery and anxiety-ridden because it contains less than half the caffeine of regular coffee.
  • Comes in handy packets that you just mix with hot or cold water. Takes just a second to prepare.

Go to and use the code JAY to get 15% discount.

This episode is also brought to you by Audio Books

Click HERE to start listening to critically-acclaimed, best-selling audiobooks including some of my favorites like Essentialism, How to Win Friends & Influence People and The Art of Noncomformity!

With Audiobooks you can learn and generate new ideas anywhere, anytime.

  • Download or stream audiobooks on your smartphone or tablet with our free apps for iOS and Android
  • Choose from more than 100,000 titles, including top-rated business books written by leaders and innovators in the field
  • Listen to your first audiobook for FREE and if you like the service, enjoy a new book every month
  • Access our Member Deals section where you can take advantage of great bundles and BOGOs

Click HERE to get your free book.

This episode is also brought to you by Athletic Greens. With 75 ingredients working together to help with eleven different areas of health.

You never know what’s going to come up in your day; however, with just one scoop of Athletic Greens when you wake up or add it to your morning smoothie, you know you have all of your bases covered. It’s easy, and it tastes great.

Go to to receive a special offer as a listener of the podcast.


Show Notes:

  • Why everyone can suffer anxiety and stress from too much exposure to social media.  [5:33]
  • The life lesson he learned while surrounded by sharks in the ocean.  [10:35]
  • Why “Unplugged” is not about totally removing technology but how to use it more effectively.  [11:39]
  • Why the co-author of Unplugged, Dr. Andy Galpin, didn’t like Brian at first.  [14:59]
  • Is it possible to evolve while you’re still young or does it only come with age?  [20:09]
  • How Brian determines which relationships to prioritize and put time and effort into.  [25:50]
  • His early days as a coach and how he developed the Crossfit Endurance training methods.  [30:10]
  • How the creation and evolution of catapulted Brian to success.   [35:43]
  • How his introduction to Laird Hamilton sparked the creation of Extreme Performance Training (XPT).  [38:02]
  • How a training mask helped him develop his breath work methods.  [42:51]
  • Why almost everyone can use breath work to optimize recovery and improve performance.  [53:07]
  • The mistakes people commonly make in their training.  [56:43]
  • Brian’s instinctive approach to his own training and conditioning.  [1:00:01]
  • His thoughts on how conditioning and endurance training affect strength.  [1:00:56]
  • How to add conditioning to your training program without setting yourself up for injury or burnout.  [1:05:37]
  • Why he likes the Dorian Yates approach to training.  [1:13:31]
  • Recovery methods that Brian uses daily.  [1:16:01]
  • Can some recovery methods actually add more stress to your body? [1:16:46]
  • How to correctly implement ice baths and saunas.  [1:17:46]
  • Why it’s important to get outside and spend more time in nature.  [1:21:04]
  • Why you should leave your sunglasses at home sometimes.  [1:24:27]
  • The pros and cons of wearable fitness technology.  [1:26:43]
  • How to prepare your feet for minimalist shoes and barefoot running. [1:32:54]
  • What is VO2 Max training and why is it important?  [1:35:44]
  • The best predictors of mortality and why you may want to become a farmer or gardener (or at least live like one).  [1:38:19]
  • Tips for success, decision making and maintaining balance in life.  [1:40:59]
  • What is Brian’s biggest struggle or weakness right now?  [1:46:30]
  • His “meat eating vegan” nutrition plan.  [1:47:18]
  • How Kelly Starrett inspired Brian’s Instagram handle and his mantra.  [1:49:12]


Connect with Brian:





Mentioned in the Episode:

If you have questions or feedback please use the hashtag #RenegadeRadioPodcast and shoot them my way on Instagram or email

Thanks for listening.