Michael Andrew: Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the Maven Nation. I am so thrilled and excited to introduce to you the first super athlete that we have on the show. Paul Romero is an ultra marathon runner and he also does these survival races. We’ll have him talk about it. But if you don’t know what an ultra marathon is, it’s a 200 mile race. This is in one race. If you run a marathon and you know how hard it is, this will give you an idea. And the thing that just blows my mind about Paul is he is 47 years old and he is dominating, including much younger athletes that he competes against. The question is, Paul, what are you doing that gives you a competitive edge? We’re going to pick his brain.
Something I have to tell you is, this is crazy. His son, Jordan, has the world’s record for the youngest person to climb Mount Everest. He did it when he was 13 years old. This is the kind of father … Holy cow, that just blows my mind. I’ve met Jordan, he’s an outstanding young man, I’m sure we’ll get to hear a little bit about that. But ladies and gentlemen, ultra marathon runner. Crossfit gym owner, if you come to Maui, it’s Makena Crossfit. You can come work out with him. He’s a fantastic instructor. He’s the best one I’ve ever met, and I have met many in my life. Paul, welcome to the Maven Nation. So thrilled to have you here in my studio.
Paul Romero: One hell of an introduction, Michael. Pleasure’s all mine.
Michael Andrew: Tell our listeners a little bit about what you do as an athlete. Anything that I missed. I know you’ve done a lot of interesting things in your past, but what are your most proud achievements? Any things that I’ve missed about ultra marathons and survival races?
Paul Romero: Well, that’s a whole encyclopedia of knowledge and information to share, and I’ll try to can it. More of my story is, I grew up one of nine siblings and father training us to be athletes early, early, on. I’ve played every ball sport on the planet, to the beach volleyball, to racing bicycles since I was a kid on a competitive national level. And that led to me discovering that I had a knack for going long, long distance. Combined with the paramedic career that gave me som critical thinking skills and knowing how to take better care of myself and others, I found myself doing these adventure races.
These adventure races where these five, six, seven hundred mile nonstop races where we’d go nonstop through the most godforsaken terrain you can imagine. Jungles of Borneo, jungles of the Amazon, through the middle of China, through polar regions, the deserts, the whole nine yards. That sport bred me to be a well engineered ultra marathoner. Marathons, all that, has led to the explosion of these 100 mile and these ultra marathons that are very vast in their description now. An ultra marathon is anything over a marathon.
First of all, the first baby ultra marathon is a 50 kilometer, that’s 30 plus miles. And then you get your 100 kilometers which is about 80 miles, or 70 miles or so. And then you get your 100 milers. 100 miles was unthinkable, nobody thought a human could run 100 miles. And lo and behold it started in California. And then we started doing 200’s here recently. And then now the latest breed of them all is these survival runs where we will go unsupported into uncharted terrain and do these ultra marathons. Doing strength and survival skills along the way with no support. And that’s sort of the new hybrid of ultra marathoning right now.
Michael Andrew: Couple questions. How long does it take to run 200 miles in one of these races? How does that work?
Paul Romero: My last 200 mile ultra marathon, I ran for 60 hours, 16 and a half miles nonstop. And that was in the mountains of California, and I ran 49,000 vertical feet climbing along the way. And some searing heat. Conditions were incredible. Encountered mountian lions, encountered the deepest, darkest corners of my brain and my soul, and did well. I was leading that race until the end when this skinny fast kid form Ecuador past me along with Canadian Jason. And so I podiumed twice now in the last 200 mile ultra marathons and I was leading until mile 170 more or less so.
Michael Andrew: This is gonna sound weird but what do you think about while you’re running and in pain?
Paul Romero: First of all, these events take place in unbelievable locations. They’re always in stunning vistas, stunning landscape that captivate you. I love nature and I love running in mountains so when you have a beautiful journey. In the case of Lake Tahoe we run around the rim of Lake Tahoe. I’ve run other events all over China and all over the world that are just in stunning landscapes. So there’s just an incredible journey that you’re in.
What do you think of in the pain? Well, you think of how to manage it. Through being a strength conditioning coach, and through being a paramedicine for years I learn to manage problems. Conflict resolution, problem solving. And that’s what pain is. How to solve it, how to medicate it, how to reduce it, how to continually move through it. As long as you’re not doing something completely crippling and completely debilitating to your body. A loss of a limb or an eyeball or something, just ridiculous like that. Pretty much anything will heal. Our bodies are amazing if they’re fed right, treated right.
So when you know that, and you know that you’re just not gonna die, you’re gonna suffer, and that you’re gonna build character and you’re gonna be a better person because of it. You just keep hammering. And that’s kind of the gene that I have that a lot of people don’t. Even just saying this some people are just gonna roll your eyes and say, “You’ve gotta be a genetic freak.” Or something, and I’m not. I don’t come from phenomenal genetics. Have you seen my family? And I love my family by the way, but I’m not from a long lineage of Olympians or anything like that. I just found that I have the brain, the mindset for it.
Michael Andrew: You did a survival course in Nicaragua a couple months ago, right? You were the only one to finish that race, or?
Paul Romero: That’s right. This new breed of the survival runs, we call them, they’re ultra marathons on steroids and it was a competition, yeah.
Michael Andrew: How many people were involved in that?
Paul Romero: 70 plus, maybe it was 80 plus lined up for …
Michael Andrew: For the start?
Paul Romero: For the start. And then they make the race incredibly challenging. There’s a 24 hour cap to this race, through the jungles and mountains and waters of Nicaragua. The harshest climate they could find. And it’s survival, there’s no support in the race. And every ten miles they bring you through a challenge. It’s massive load carrying, swing an ax, cutting down massive trees, open ocean rough water night swims with no support. Basically think of the roughest navy seal training you’ve ever seen plus nonstop over 100 plus kilometers or so, that’s what these races are like.
Michael Andrew: With no support?
Paul Romero: No support, yeah.
Michael Andrew: If you guys can imagine what this is, so this is an elite level contest with 70 elite level athletes. Paul was the only one to finish. And this is the second year in a row that you’ve finished it right? Last year you finished it.
Paul Romero: Yeah.
Michael Andrew: So, you’re doing something that these other athletes, and these other athletes are younger right? They can be, what age?
Paul Romero: 30’s. A few are in the 20’s. Few athletes in the 20’s really have the guts and the audacity to do ultra marathons. But 30’s. And then the 40’s are definitely happening. When you become 40 you’ve got the … Most endurance athletes have the experience and the – to try to complete ultra marathons, at least. Generally pretty good shape.
Michael Andrew: Tell us about your greatest failure. It could be in athletics … We want to know what your greatest failure was, what did you learn from it?
Paul Romero: Boy, I think the greatest failure is not trying and not attempting something, in my experience. I don’t consider any athletic achievements or any second places or anything like that as failures. My biggest failure was not pursuing a … The thing I lay in bed thinking about, wishing I had done, and it’s failure because I wish I had done it, was a failure not grasping the opportunity. That was, believe it or not, pursuing a snowboarding career. I was in the snowboard racing, snowboard alpine giant slalom racing back in the day. And I was good at it on the regional level. I coached it, I was good at it, and it was at the time when it was new to the Olympics. So I always felt that was my one little crack that I could’ve been an Olympian in snowboard alpine racing. I think of it as a failure, I kicked myself in the pants, man, that I just didn’t pursue this little window I had to hang with this crew and this coach and pursue that. That might’ve been not the glamorous failure response you were looking for but that’s what I think about.
Michael Andrew: Tell our audience a little bit about the Mount Everest trip with Jordan. What was the thought and the logic behind that, and any insights from that experience? And then I’m gonna start asking you about supplements and some of the things that you use to get a competitive edge.
Paul Romero: I’ve been to Mount Everest twice now. Climbed on the south side, on the Nepalese side, and then on the north side in Tibet, China. That was just part of a massive quest to climb the seven summits of the world with my son, Jordan. So my son came up with the brilliant idea at the age of nine that he wanted to climb the seven summits of the world. And I, along with Karen [inaudible 00:09:59], my phenomenal ex partner, we made it all happen.
We threw incredible years of hard work, made it happen that at the end of it all he became the world record holder for the youngest human being to stand on the highest mountain on all seven continents shattering world records along the way. Mount Everest being number, next to last, Antarctica was the finish of it all. But Mount Everest was, 13 years old, traveled with my son and Karen and a couple of Sherpa’s. And we did a very small, light, fast, lean team in Tibet in the north face. The unsupported, uncharted wild west side of Mount Everest that not many people can go and climb on, and know about. And it went incredibly well. I trained my son to be an elite athlete, as he wanted, as he wished, and 55 days and 55 nights of climbing yax.
A terrible, terrible avalanche, which resulted in death in one of our parties on day 17 of that expedition. We persevered and on May 21st 2010 we stood on top of the world, with my son, and had the entire ridge, the entire mountain to ourselves. We climbed on a day when no one else climbed, up and down all by ourselves. That was a special time in my life.
Michael Andrew: And you were criticized for that by many people for bringing your son up there at a young age, right?
Paul Romero: Yeah, got beat up a lot by the media. And then everybody that got to know us and got to meet us, interview us, and got to know Jordan, just sort of backtracked. He was phenomenal he’s big strong kid, he was a leader, he was strong, he was savvy. He’d been all over the world climbing. I was a critical care life flight paramedic with rescue skills, high altitude trained, high altitude medicine. Sports nutrition, specializing in high altitude, my partner Karen was one of the strongest women on earth with incredible leadership skills. So we were a little ninja team, and it showed off. To do seven summits of the world all in first attempt with no failures, and not losing any fingers or toes is kind of unheard of.
Michael Andrew: That’s amazing. Tell us a little bit about … So you’re in incredible shape, you do amazing things, that’s hard to grasp even now talking to you. But the question is going to be, that the audience wants to know is, what are you eating? What are taking for supplements? What machines are you using to get a competitive advantage? Cause clearly you’re doing something that other people are not doing. And I’ve used a lot of your advice, Paul has had a huge impact on my health, I’ve probably lost 30 or 40 pounds of fat under his guidance and I’ve gained some muscle, I’m in the best shape of my life right now.
Paul Romero: You’re doing amazing.
Michael Andrew: We had an episode on the Bemer mat, we talked about the Bemer mat a little bit. Tell us a little bit, first off, about your diet. What do you eat, usually?
Paul Romero: I do claim to practice a relatively clean food program. A relatively paleo based program. That is a food program that is free of processed foods, free of most refined sugars, and free of breads and pastas and processed foods, anything that’s just not real food. I find myself just keeping things really simple. It’s nothing incredibly scientific about what I have, I eat a lot of chia, a lot of whole vegetables.
Michael Andrew: Tell us about chia pudding, how do you make chia pudding?
Paul Romero: My breakfast go to, if you eat anywhere around me in the mornings when I’m coaching or crossfit or if I’m surfing or whatever, it’s a big bowl of chia pudding. Chia seeds overnight soaked in almond milk with some maple syrup, some cinnamon, some vanilla, and some berries, and some cashews. This incredible nutritious …
Michael Andrew: It’s really good.
Paul Romero: It’s incredible. That’s three, four, five hours of fuel and energy and fiber and fat and everything, it’s incredible. That’s my breakfast go to.
Michael Andrew: What about lunch?
Paul Romero: I kind of have a second breakfast, I always have a giant four, five egg omelet. Avocado, spinach omelet with a good mango salsa, cooked in coconut oil.
Michael Andrew: That sounds good.
Paul Romero: Really, really, I don’t know, americana basic. It’s just what I don’t do. I just don’t do that rubbish. I call it prison food, your white food and your white carbohydrates.
Michael Andrew: Rice, potatoes, stuff like that.
Paul Romero: Yeah, your processed foods.
Michael Andrew: Breads.
Paul Romero: Your breads, your pizza crust. All that stuff that just creates inflammation and slows us down and has no nutritional value. It’s like eating newspaper, most of it. So colorful fruits and vegetables, I love my fish, I’ve reduced my chicken and poultry intake. I have been off of red meat for 25 years plus, minimal pork intake, it’s hard to find good, clean pork these days.
Michael Andrew: So you go on plant …
Paul Romero: I’m not gonna lie, I have been veering toward a plant based food program. Ten years ago you couldn’t figure out how to do it. Five years ago there was very few people that were figuring how to be an athlete and be plant based, it was just so difficult how to get the quality foods and finding organic good foods around here enough that you could feed your body properly was hard to do. But what’s becoming available to us now is exciting and I find it working well.
Michael Andrew: Tell us a little bit about the supplements that you’re taking in addition to your diet.
Paul Romero: My quick answer, my elevator pitch answer is Adaptogens. Adaptogens are a class, think of in the last 25 years what has come about. They discovered vitamins, you’ve got your vitamin C’s and your main isolate vitamins. Then amino acids came, and oh my god you’ve gotta have amino acids, gotta have your protein powders. There’s all these five year trends I call it that just have come into the athletic and the wellness world. But I believe the biggest, most important one, not discovered, but that has come to the table now, and it comes from the eastern world of course, from Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese medicine, Adaptogens, botanicals. Mostly grown from the slopes of high altitude Mongolia, Tibet, Siberia. And these are the likes of maca, maitake mushrooms, cordyceps, ashwagandha, these are centuries in the research and practice by from the Sherpa’s, from the high altitude people that have lived long lustrous lives. And most of all they perform extremely well at high altitude.
This is how I came about this many years ago. Was when how to get a competitive edge at altitude, and it was cordyceps that I first got my hands around here. It’s been 15 years ago I learned that the Sherpa’s are chomping on a little mushroom from the high altitude. And it’s called cordyceps. And they make you oxygenate better. Clinically proven, and that is found in … [inaudible 00:16:32] specifically M drive elite is what I use. It comes out of Phoenix, Arizona. It’s a phenomenal formula full of 17 Adaptogens.
So when you take a really proper clean dose of these Adaptogens, all of them at once … Not all of them but I mean, well a formula of them. There’s a synergistic effect that creates cortisol lowering, oxygenation improvement, mental clarity, fat burning, blood sugar balancing, overall energy that’s really, really incredible coming form just botanicals. So they balance out your hormonal system, they work well with a good cardio program and a good strength building program. And I’ve also recommended this formula to hundreds of athletes. And it’s almost unbelievable how quick it works with …
Michael Andrew: It’s called M drive, I actually take it and I have noticed a huge difference in my cardio and my workouts. I perform better, it works, it really does work.
Paul Romero: Adaptogens.
Michael Andrew: Where do people find it, if they’re interested where do people find it?
Paul Romero: Mdrivesport.com, I get most of my supplements from my good friend and the nutrition expert, feedthemachine.com. Feedthemachine.com is a little store front in Hermosa Beach, California, but he is a amazing resource for all things sports nutrition. [inaudible 00:17:52], my Canadian buddy on there is … Oh my gosh you can get anything you need from feedthemachine.com. You’ve got the Adaptogens there, that’s your one stop shop.
The second thing, I can’t go without mentioning, is the antioxidants. Of course the kind of them all is the astaxanthin. It’s the algae that has been proven, I think the last research, 60 times more powerful than the number two, number three antioxidants in the world. Your C’s, your E’s, your blueberries, your resveratrol, all of your antioxidants.
Michael Andrew: What is astaxanthin? What is that?
Paul Romero: Astaxanthin is, it is a byproduct of algae that is a protective in it’s nature. If you’ve ever set a bucket of water out in the back of your yard for a week or two weeks and you come out and you see a red layer on top of the bucket, if you’ve ever seen that, everybody has that. That is algae that has, by the sunlight, it creates a protective layer to protect itself. It’s a byproduct and it takes a while to grow. It’s very delicate to grow. And if you capture that substance and capsulize it, your body uses that ingredient to have a phenomenal protective mechanism that is an amazing sunblock, skin regenerator, eyesight repair, it’s in all your top grade … Any proper eye physician or proper eye medicine will tell you astaxanthin there’s nothing better to correct, it corrected my eyesight.
Michael Andrew: Interesting.
Paul Romero: Eight, ten, heck it’s been … Yeah ten months ago I could not read a supplement bottle, my eyes were gone. Now I’m testing 20/20. Due to astaxanthin for sure, it happened in two weeks. My eyesight’s corrected. Now the joint and pain reduction, the joint and soreness and muscle soreness goes virtually away with astaxanthin. I use it in my ultra marathons religiously.
Michael Andrew: So basically makes you heal and recover faster?
Paul Romero: Yeah, it’s doing that in your body, it’s regenerating. Regenurex is the brand that I use out of Canada. It’s regenerating your body, this is nothing debatable, this is simple, simple science. We need antioxidants and so that’s one day to slow your aging down and it helped my skin. Man, I had crows feet and my skin was … I’m 47 I’m going 48, I grew up in Arizona, California, in the sun, you name it. And my skin was showing it. And astaxanthin did amazing results, I have people commenting about my damn skin. I’m just some guy saying, “Wow your skins like a …
Michael Andrew: Tell us a little bit, bullet point some of the other supplements if a man was in his mid forties what supplements, real quick bullet points, what should they be taking? M drive, astaxanthin, what else?
Paul Romero: M drive elite, Adaptogens, astaxanthin for your antioxidants. Every human being, man, woman, and child, should be supplementing with magnesium. Magnesium is the mineral that all of our food is stripped out of. Stripped of, our soil has been stripped of so our food is low in it. And we deplete our bodies very easily of magnesium and that is what, on a cellular level that is actually what creates the soreness and the ickiness that you feel from post performance and post training, post workout. If you could just inject magnesium in your body, during and right after workout, you would firstly never be sore.
Michael Andrew: Hm, interesting, what else?
Paul Romero: Well every man and woman over the age of 40 should be supplementing with a children’s chewable aspirin. That’s the wannabe physician side of me. That has been shown to curb heart attack and stroke risk by 50%. 50%. If you’re not doing that …
Michael Andrew: Interesting. Is that just like a bare standard?
Paul Romero: Children’s chewable aspirin. I’m not a physician to prescribe that but my gosh, as a paramedic as it was for years that was the first thing you’d given anybody in a heart attack.
Michael Andrew: What else? Any other supplements?
Paul Romero: Branched-Chain amino acids, BCAA’s.
Michael Andrew: But not whey protein?
Paul Romero: Yeah, the whole protein conversation is definitely an emotional conversation. The fact that whey comes from cows and from the dairy industry, and just relying on that instead of plant based proteins. So first of all, whey doesn’t disagree with my body, it works fine. When I was using whey and had a good, clean, whey source it was okay with me, I felt good having it, it felt that it worked. I’ve since switched to plant based proteins and find that I’m getting as just good results from it.
Michael Andrew: You can find that at Costco too.
Paul Romero: Costco’s got that organic.
Michael Andrew: It’s the green cap it’s amazing. Tastes great.
Paul Romero: Giant portions of it, giant canister of it. And it tastes amazing and the profile is beautiful, and it’s organic. There’s no reason not to. If you go down the path of avoiding cow products and all that is very interesting to me. And has been very easy. I think I’m probably saving money and I think I’m doing something better for …
Michael Andrew: Some of our listeners want to know what your thoughts are about soy protein?
Paul Romero: Understanding fermented versus unfermented soy, and what soys you should have is a complicated topic. My quick elevator pitch to that, I got one floor on the elevator and you’re asking me about soy products, avoid. Avoid, thank you see you later, have a good day. Now the soy industry might kick me in the crotch for that but it’s easy to avoid and it should be avoided by most accounts it is less than desirable for your body. And its been shown to have adverse effects for men. That’s the short answer.
Michael Andrew: I appreciate it. Tell us a little bit about some of these machines and devices that you’ve introduced me to. They know what a Bemer is, we had an episode on the Bemer. Just give us your quick thoughts on the Bemer and what it does for you and then let’s hear about some of the other stuff you’re using.
Paul Romero: The Bemer is a device that delivers PEMF, pulsating electromagnetic frequency, it is one of the most important things you can do. It gets to the conversation of the earth and the magnetism of our body and how we relate to the earth. It starts to sound hocus pocus, and it starts to sound a little, gets a little almost to a spiritual conversation. But once you keep it on a scientific level, and understand our polarity, we’re entirely electrical. When you understand sailor biology and how our muscles work and how our heart moves.
We are an electrical device, our electrolytes, your calcium, magnesium, your potassium, we’re all electrical. So, my point is, when our polarity and our electricity is off from not being in touch with the earth. The biggest culprit to that is exhaustion, stress, but from actually not touching the earth, touching the ground, touching the sand, touching the grass. If we stay in our concrete home, put our shoes, walk out shoes, into our car, out of our car, into our office, onto a concrete floor, back into our car, back home, you never touch the earth.
Michael Andrew: You’re always insulated.
Paul Romero: You’re always insulated. And so your polarity can be off and that results in low energy levels, immune system suppression, the whole nine yards. This is all no brainer, this is … [crosstalk 00:24:52]
Michael Andrew: It’s amazing.
Paul Romero: The Bemer device center that all. And does what the earth does for you, and then some. And it does it at a concentration that’s safe and smart and gets to every organ every bit of tissue in your body. And in eight minute session, I don’t go a day without it, I travel everywhere in the world with it, in my carry on bag. And it is one of the main reasons I’m able to do what I do at my age, and recover and recover and recover and wake up every morning. It puts me into the deepest sleep I’ve ever had in my life.
Michael Andrew: So you bring it with you on your trips and your competitions?
Paul Romero: Always. Have it right before my competition, right after, and it helps my recover at an alarming rate.
Michael Andrew: Tell us a little bit about the vibration machine that you recently introduced me to.
Paul Romero: In the same conversation of circulation, microcirculation, and waste removal, and pre workout activation is this vibration therapy. Working with a company called vibration zone, vibrationzone.com. And I have made an investment in a couple of machines at my facility to have for the athletes, such as you. And oh my gosh, I’ve never seen people take such a liking to something probably ever. I could be handing out coca cola and have half the people not like or not want it, but every single human being wants this, needs it, lives on it. And people are beating up each other to get on it.
Michael Andrew: Let me explain real quick, I haven’t talked about this device. The vibration machine, it’s a plate that you stand on, you can sit on it too. And it osculates and shakes your body. And the idea behind it is that you get these micromuscle twitches, you get improved circulation in your lymph. Now heres the strange thing, when I first saw it, I was like, “This looks like a gimmick.” So I thought I would just try it out, and until I started trying it out I could do crossfit maybe twice a week because I was so sore. Combining the shaker, I call it the shaker, with the Bemer, and the supplements that Paul is talking about, I can do crossfit five days in a row, without being sore. And on top of that, I also work out in the afternoon. So we’re talking about ten workouts in five days. At my age, I’m 43, about to turn 44. And I’m not getting sore anymore, which is unheard of. I haven’t been able to do this since I was in my late 20’s.
So I know this is working, I think it’s between the Bemer, the shaker, and supplements. It’s working. And so this is part of the reason why I wanted to bring Paul in. So everybody in our crossfit box stands on these vibration machines after the workout. I’ve seen different priced ones but they can cost anywhere from a grand to two grand. And if you are an athlete, or even more 5 grand, right?
Paul Romero: Yeah.
Michael Andrew: Depending on which ones, there’s some nicer ones, but the ones that we’re using at the gyms they’re great. They’re amazing, I use them every day, before and after every workout and I don’t get sore and I don’t get injured anymore. It’s incredible.
Paul Romero: I couldn’t have said it any better than you. It’s just astounding. It’s also very simple. Our body is constantly trying to get rid of waste. We pee, poop, sweat, breathe, everything we do is trying to get rid of waste. And when we don’t get rid of waste is when we underperform and when we get sore, and when we have issues. If all we could do is perfectly get rid of waste out of our body all the time, lactic acid, urine, poop, sweat, CO2. If all we could do is get rid of waste we’d perform optimally all the time and that is what the Bemer does incredibly well. And then on a different frequency and really getting the muscles super activated, and the lymphatic system super flushed out with the vibration zone, then you’re just ridding yourself of waste. And if you’re eating halfway decent you’re suddenly nourishing better and it’s … We’re in a very special time right now. This is really special time.
The vibration therapy is not brand new. You remember the old ship shakers and the waist belly shakers. That stuff worked man. People did this, they circulated, when you can jiggle cellulose and cellulite like that, it will burn fat. It’s delivered now in a much better fashion where you can stand on it and get proper frequencies and get that lymphatic flush, which is flushing out waste our of your body, so.
Michael Andrew: What are your thoughts on cold baths? Because we had a lot of conversation about circulation.
Paul Romero: The same answer I just gave. Circulation, the immediate ice, every pro athlete the first thing they do post competition or post training is get into that wretched ice bath that does extreme vasal constriction. And by vasal constriction, all the organs in your body and your muscles you squeeze out waste. So it squeezes out that blood to get to your liver, and to your kidneys and everything else. And you get rid of waste our of the muscles. And then once you warm up and dilate then you flush it with new nutrients and new blood and it’s the same conversation it’s the same thing, you’re getting rid of waste. That’s what cold water submersion and ice therapy does.
Michael Andrew: It’s about circulation, microcirculation.
Paul Romero: Waste removal.
Michael Andrew: It’s all getting your blood into your capillaries and …
Paul Romero: That’s the conversation we’re having right now is recover, recover, optimize through just homeostasis. It used to be perform higher, perform higher, take drugs to make you go harder, take EPO so you can get more oxygen, take things that made … All the doping, all the artificial and blood doping that was happening. And so it was all by the [inaudible 00:30:19]. So they figured out now, let’s just get rid of waste and optimize and circulate better and before you know it you’re performing better on clean food and Adaptogens. And that’s where Adaptogens is kind of replacing illegal drugs.
Michael Andrew: Performance enhancing.
Paul Romero: Yeah, performance enhancing drugs.
Michael Andrew: What other machines do you use in preparation for your races? Things of that nature.
Paul Romero: I have a device that uses infrared laser and heat therapy that I keep at my home, it’s one of my little secret weapons. It’s deep muscle …
Michael Andrew: What’s it called?
Paul Romero: Deep muscle …
Michael Andrew: Is it a brand name or?
Paul Romero: It’s not a brand name, there’s multiple brand names but the idea of getting infrared heated and infrared treatment into your muscles specifically my back. Does amazing things for me. It helps me out, I’ll have to show it to you. Infrared is coal laser which Russians have introduced and what you’ll find, most proper natural pathic and chiropractors using these days, the little red laser if you’ve ever seen doctors use it. Oh man, that is no joke there, that is extremely effective and that’s another little shortcut I figured out.
Michael Andrew: What about high altitude training? Are there any devices that you would use or recommend?
Paul Romero: If I know I’ve gotta be in high altitude or I’ve got a super A race we call it, the most important race of the year for example, I would do hypoxic sleeping. Hypoxic training, where I would put myself in a tent and sleep in a simulated high altitude environment where you trick your body into thinking it’s going into high altitude. And when you’re in deep sleep when you’re in REM is when your body, through it’s chemoreceptors, it regulates how much red blood cells you have. If your body thinks you’re starving on oxygen, you’re low on oxygen, thinks you’re at high altitude, creates more RBC’s and more RBC’s means that you carry more oxygen. So then when you go back to training, if you could test your blood, you’re basically doing blood doping.
Michael Andrew: You’re doing blood doping without blood doping?
Paul Romero: Yeah, and it’s legal and it’s safe. It should be controlled and it should be monitored. And it’s a little difficult, it’s a little hard to do. Takes 15 to 20 days to do really proper. Oh man, does it work. I’ve done it many times.
Michael Andrew: So you basically acclimate yourself, artificially, in a tent, you reduce the amount of oxygen in the tent, sleep in it. That forces your body to create more red blood cells, which is the effect essentially of doping without the narcotic side effect or the actual drug taking to make that happen, is that right?
Paul Romero: Well said. You nailed it. And when you go in altitude you actually stay at the same amount of oxygen but you get lower barometric pressure. Less atmosphere pressure when you go up, still have 21% oxygen, it’s just less pressure, and the tents it does in fact suck oxygen out of the room. So you’re getting less percentage of oxygen in your body, and there’s a little risk to it.
Michael Andrew: Interesting. So something I always like to ask, I’m gonna be asking everybody about this is the idea of efficiency in your races. Do you ever use any tactics based around, outside of the supplements and the machines, in the actual race. For example, when we do wall balls, you’re talking about the efficiency of the distances, is there anything in terms of running or the race itself where you’re looking for advantages in efficiency.
Paul Romero: Boy, right to the very heart of it is my striking gate, my foot, my run form, and the way I propel off the girth and move forward. I am nonstop thinking about putting my body in a biomechanical advantage that I can move across earth and move my 200 pound carcass body forward as smooth as I can. So it is a nonstop challenge, a nonstop pursuit of efficiency.
Michael Andrew: And you have a video of the top three mistakes that people make when they run, it’s on youtube right?
Paul Romero: I sure do.
Michael Andrew: You guys should go check that out.
Paul Romero: My youtube channel Paul Romero.
Michael Andrew: Paul Romero.
Paul Romero: Amazing filmmaker. We just started making some running efficient videos that illustrate that really well. So in these ultra marathons I get efficient, I want every gram off of me, I carry only the very minimal water, the very minimal food, the very minimal nutrition. My clothing is minimized, my jackets, my cold weather gear is minimized. And when that efficiency comes, you move more efficient, you move faster, and you get the race over with. And you might win because of it, as I’ve proven time and time again. And people that aren’t as concerned about weight and things like that, the weight is a direct relation to weight and time, in movement, in body weight movement.
Michael Andrew: Think about it, every step that you take while you’re running, if there’s anything that you can do to improve your efficiency by even a centimeter or half a centimeter. Because there’s thousands of those steps over the course of the race, that adds up.
Paul Romero: Well said.
Michael Andrew: It’s gonna make a huge difference. So check out that running video if you guys are interested in running. He talks about the position of your arms, your foot strike, critical, something that I’ve learned, your head position, all those things are really critical for efficient running. Paul you’re also an entrepreneur, you just opened your first crossfit box basically. Tell us a little bit about crossfit and maybe if somebody’s visiting Maui the other day, where can they find you?
Paul Romero: I came across an amazing opportunity to acquire a crossfit space and we rebranded it, refigured it, reprogrammed it, it’s pretty, it’s fun. I feel so blessed to work with a team of amazing coaches, and dozens and dozens, a couple hundreds of athletes that coach over the course of the month. Anybody considering a getaway to the tropics and want to get to Hawaii, rated the most beautiful island in the world, Maui, we’ve got the ultimate fitness wellness resource in Makena crossfit. Makenacrossfit.com
All of what we’ve just talked about in terms of shortcuts, and tools, and adjunks, and sports nutrition, and Bemar device and therapy, we’ve got it on sight. We’ve got an ice bath we’re gonna install here in just days, we’ve got the programming and the environment that creates a very friendly place to optimize your body and your mind. And it’s working out pretty good. It’s only four months, I’ve been coaching a long time but it’s four months now with this brand in this location and I couldn’t be happier.
Michael Andrew: This is an entrepreneurial question, but I have to ask this. As an entrepreneur what are the things that you’ve learned since opening? And what are your challenges as an entrepreneur owning a crossfit box, I have to ask it because we have a lot of entrepreneurs listening about this.
Paul Romero: Boy, staying committed when the going gets tough. Being in Hawaii, being in Maui, and dealing with the pace of business here is quite interesting. Just staying the course man, and just sticking to the mission, sticking to our business plan. And through thick and thin, keeping the chin up and going forward man. I’ve learned to trust and involve my peers and my coaches and my staff and team. I had that selfish thing going where I can only do it right and nobody else can do it the way I do it.
Michael Andrew: It’s very common.
Paul Romero: So trusting and letting go so that I could do more important things for the company, for the brand, for the vision, for the objective of the company in terms of marketing and better vision planning and so on. And I had to let go of some things that I felt … It was very tough to do. So boy, just bringing in a team and trusting and letting go of some old habits. But the bottom line is passion. We all know it’s gonna come passion, you’ve gotta be able to be a brand, you’ve gotta be able to smell it, people gotta be able to smell it and taste it and feel it and deliver it. And the minute that you don’t feel you have it I think you should sell your business and move on.
Michael Andrew: Yeah, that’s a great point. Some of our listeners are gonna wonder if you coach, if you have any training, if you have any camps. If somebody wanted to be trained online by Paul Romero, how would that happen?
Paul Romero: Right now, I gotta be honest with you, I did a lot of online training for years and I’ve got that on hold right now. I can’t, I have too many things. I’m gonna answer your question a moment ago that passion and the focus, the clarity, and thinking that I can multitask when … I can multitask better than the average guy but when it comes to business, keeping some clarity and some focus on really what has to be done and building this facility and building this membership and having a loyal delivery to my members. And keeping that focus was important. So, to answer your question about online coaching, it’s a tremendous effort to do that work. And it’s on hold right now. I did it for some time.
In the meantime, really to answer your question, how do people get this coaching and this mentorship, they gotta come to Maui. Just book a flight, it’s not that hard, it’s only the most beautiful place in the world. And come Maui, spend at least ten days here, a week is too short. Ten days is decent, two weeks is perfect, and you might even stay. With our team, and with that kind of talent on our hands we can do a complete mini camp and indoctrination. We will be launching a product, everything from a three day to a ten day product camp, where you’ll have a complete assessment and a complete strategy and complete private sessions. Apparel head to toe, sports nutrition, and a complete reprogramming in your crossfit, in your strength and conditioning program, right here in Maui.
Michael Andrew: So people can basically come to these camps, running camps, crossfit camps, whatever the cramps are, and they can get the training, the interacting with you, the consulting and all that.
Paul Romero: That’s right, strength and conditioning camp, whether you’re an iron man triathlete, ultra marathoner, crossfitter, or whatever be it, so much of it requires the same strength and conditioning training. Runners, iron man athletes, they all need some version of crossfit, strength and conditioning. They may not be doing all the crossfit moves but it all comes down to the mobility and the hip strength and the back strength and the core work, it all just ties in on the crossfit board. That’s the awesome time that we’re in right now.
Michael Andrew: When will these comas be available?
Paul Romero: Starting October of 2017, these products will be online and be marketed. Specifically to our cold weather friends up in Canada. But certainly in the US and anywhere else in the world that’s listening, you’re welcome to come to Maui. But those Canadians, as soon as the leaves turn, they like to come where the warm weather is.
Michael Andrew: Paul, thank you so much for coming, do you have anything else that you want to share with our listeners? Any tips or suggestions, last minute thoughts before we go?
Paul Romero: Hashtag [inaudible 00:40:53] Michael. I’m blessed with this opportunity to speak to you, I really appreciate your kind words. To see what you have done in the last couple months, you know I see your praises every day you’ve come in, and watching you every morning putting in the hard work and just recovering. You’re never coming in bitching about the day before, or that we did 50 deadlifts the day before, or that we squatted. You just come in like a machine every day.
Michael Andrew: I’m not sore anymore.
Paul Romero: That’s so impressive. And that’s because you’re coachable, and you’re humble, and you listen, and you apply, and I wish every athlete did that.
Michael Andrew: I appreciate that a lot, you’ve been great, you’ve been amazing. And you know what it is? I’ve always had the go hard mentality but it’s the go smart, there are some things. I just looked at Paul I said, “Look at this guy, he’s older than me, he’s dominating a sport that I can’t even wrap my mind around, I should just listen to him and ask him what are you doing.” And that has made a huge difference in me, that’s why I wanted to have him on the show. Paul thank you so much for your time, for joining us, for sharing the insights.
Ladies and gentleman, Paul Romero, you can find him online, he’s on youtube. Paul Romero youtube channel, instagram, where can we find you on instagram?
Paul Romero: Makenacrossfit.
Michael Andrew: Makenacrossfit on instagram. Are you on twitter?
Paul Romero: Makenacrossfit.
Michael Andrew: Makenacrossfit on twitter.
Paul Romero: And Makenacrossfit.com
Michael Andrew: Awesome. And you have a race coming up this weekend, where you …
Paul Romero: We’re heading to British Columbia, Canada. Where there is the all new Canada survival run. It is gearing up to be what’s called one of the most grueling, ugliest, toughest ultra marathons in the world ever.
Michael Andrew: When does this happen?
Paul Romero: This happens on August 24th, 25th.
Michael Andrew: That’s my birthday.
Paul Romero: Outstanding, I’ll be thinking about you when I’m out there. I think of all the special people in my world.
Michael Andrew: Is there gonna be a place where people can watch the race online or?
Paul Romero: Yeah, survival run Canada, they have a very comprehensive mapping and leader board to watch and you’ll be able to see some drama unfold. Incredible images and video work and drone and photography work that they do capturing this ultra marathon in one of the most beautiful places in the world in British Columbia, the mountains of Squamish and Whistler.
Michael Andrew: How do you think you’re gonna do?
Paul Romero: I’m a little nervous about this one. I have not been running in the mountains a ton lately, I’ve been here in Maui. But my strength and conditioning is pretty on, I know once I get back there and get my feet on the ground I’ll be feeling more confident about it. But this was promised to be extremely challenging by all standards od any ultra marathon, any mountain running standards. So, we’ll see. Thanks for your support man.
Michael Andrew: We wish you the best of luck. I know you’re gonna do very well, we’ll be watching to see how well you do, especially online. Paul thank you for everything you’ve done for me. For the coaching, your friendship, everything. Ladies and gentleman, Paul Romero. Thank you guys so much for listening to the Maven Nation, we’re going to continue to have top level size six, seven, eight thinkers on the show. I know that some people may not know what that is, it’s the efficiency play book but we’re gonna bring in some very special people for you guys to learn from the best. Thank you guys so much for listening and we’ll see you next time.