Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Culture is Everything - Chad's Experience with us at EHP!

Me & Chad (all the way from California)

As you know I hosted an trainer all the way from the States who is travelling the WORLD visiting Strength Coaches to athletes & or clients who are athletes of life!

Well it's been 2wks since Chad Skrederstu left us where we invited him into our home to stay with us as a family & see me behind the trainer mask.

This is taken from his own blog that you can visit here Sand, Snow & Street

The big picture by Chad Skrederstu

After spending a week with Spida Hunter in Christchruch, New Zealand I still find myself processing the lessons I learned. Spida Hunta is a coach/trainer (for MMA fighters and general population), a father, a soon to be husband and an overall good guy (unless he’s ground and pounded you). Spida like many of the other veteran strength and conditioning coaches I’ve met on my trip makes complex ideas simple to understand.

So after spending a week with Spida at his house and at the East Side Barbell Club in Christchurch I came away with three major take homes:

1. It aint where you’re from it’s where you’re at (CULTURE IS EVERYTHING)

2. A good coach instills new beliefs and helps break negative ones

3. A strong tribe (group)brings out the best in it’s members

1. It aint where you’re from it’s where you’re at (CULTURE IS EVERYTHING)

I was amazed with the first session of women I saw Spida training at the Eastside Barbell at 6am on Monday morning by how strong they were. These women were dead lifting 155lbs for 8 reps super setted with 70lbs log cleans (in the video below). My first response to Spida was “damn the Kiwi women are strong dude,” and we talked about the difference in upbringing of kiwi women compared to other countries. Spida and a few of Kiwi women he coached explained to me many of the women grew up and still live on farms. As a result when something needed to be moved they moved it!

So I jumped to a conclusion that Kiwi women as a whole are stronger than women from the U.S. (I know really American of me). But……………………… I was wasn’t exactly right and it didn’t hit me until I was on a bus to Queenstown that it doesn’t matter where in the world you from it’s the culture (environment) that your in that will determine how successful you are.


  • If you look at cultures around the world they are very unique as societies but when you look at successful gym cultures around the globe ( east side barbell club, smart fitness, underground training station, College of the Canyons, Joe Defranco’s and Results fitness they share a few similarities:

Take homes

o Hard work-General public and athletes’ just blend together you can’t tell who is who everyone works hard.

o Competitive- It doesn’t matter if it’s MMA fighters or 60 year old femail they all want to out do others ( usually men) and out do themselves ( usually women)

o Simple/No Flash- It doesn’t matter if you’re in New Zealand or in Santa Clarita Ca the ideas are the same…… People push,pull,squat,sweat and do work sprinkled with some science and shit load of great coaching!

2. A good coach instills new beliefs and helps break negative ones

One of Spida’s great traits is that he is trustworthy. As a result he gets his clients to believe in him and believe in what they are working towards (like the placebo effect but with the results). Spida has this amazing ability to help clients get over their fears i.e. of lifting heavy weights, getting injured to accomplish work they had no idea was possible ( must be that Kiwi Haka he does before you do a lift). Very simple points but tough to master….

Take Home

  • If you believe it’s more likely to happen then if you don’t

  • Understand the person and basic human nature to move forward

Fiona how no idea how much she lifted

After a failed first attempt

3. A strong tribe (group)brings out the best in it’s members Spida comes from a strong Maori background and has implemented a few of these cultural ideas into his Enhancing Human Performance (EHP) training systems.

Spida trains his clients and mma fighters in small groups. I got to go through training sessions with both groups and felt the power of the tribe atmosphere when I wanted to lay down and quit.

Take homes: * A group is more motivating then training one on one (i.e. higher levels of extrinsic motivation, helps break negative beliefs and provides accountability

* Groups offer a learn by doing approach ( i.e. if 4 people are training and 3 people are doing the exercise correctly the 4th person will learn visually).


Thanks Chad for keeping it real & taking life by the balls & inviting other people's worlds into your own so you can learn through their eyes & then filter what you like (or don't) & carry on the "Art of Coaching to the Human Spirit, Body, Mind & Soul"

To learn more about Chad please visit his sites below!

Chad's Facebook

Chad's Youtube...

Chad's Website

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