Nick Collias: I said, "Welcome to The Bodybuilding.com Podcast ." It is our fourth, which we record today. So, if it looks like we're always wearing the same stuff in these podcasts, it's because we're the ones.
Heather Eastman: We are.
Nick: If you're fed up with looking for my hat, just listen to SoundCloud instead, I'm sorry.
Heather: I'm tired of looking at your hat.
Logan Aldridge: It's a cool hat.
Nick: Thank you. Hey, where were we? I'm Nick Collias. I'm the moderator of this podcast, along with Heather Eastman here. Our guest over there is a new Bodybuilding.com team athlete, Logan Aldridge.
Fans of the show may remember that last year we had KC Mitchell, "the one-legged monster". This is "the one armed monster" over there.
Logan Aldridge: Beautiful.
Nick: Do you know KC?
Logan Aldridge: Good ol & # 39; KC. Yes / Yes.
Nick: He's a pretty intense guy. We had a great conversation with him, yes.
Logan Aldridge: Yes, he is. I can not compete with that.
Nick: But not about him, but about you. Let's talk about you.
Hey, Logan is an accomplished CrossFit athlete who recently took second place in men's adaptive athletes in Wodapalooza, right?
Logan Aldridge: Yes, sir.
Nick: Obviously, you also saw yourself in Spartan races and seemingly done what the hell you want.
Logan Aldridge: Just do it, you know?
Nick: Anyway, Logan, my husband, welcome to the podcast.
Logan Aldridge: Thank you. An honor to be here.
Nick: Recently engaged.
Logan Aldridge: Recently Engaged. Yes.
Heather: Oh yes. Congratulations.
Nick: Congratulations on that.
Logan Aldridge: Thank you.
Nick: When I researched you for this podcast, I entered this fascinating world of adaptive CrossFit. You know, you think of adaptive athletes, with advertising as a guide, you think of the bionic leg for the runner and things like that.
CrossFit, however, is a completely different culture of problem solving, just bootstrapping solutions. People are always making jarring movements, it's so fascinating to watch. So, I want to ask you about it.
Logan Aldridge: Yes.
Nick: But before we do, I think we have to start with your story.
Logan Aldridge: Yes, please.
Nick: Tell us something about who you were athletic before you lost your arm at the age of 1
Logan Aldridge: That's right.
Nick: And who were you after?
Logan Aldridge: Definitely. Great place to start. So mostly from Raleigh, North Carolina, born and raised there. Family is also everything from there, so I am very local in this area. When I grew up, I was a child outdoors all the time. I could not sit still, you could not make me finish eating on my plate because I just wanted to go outside again. I've played all kinds of sports, you know, everybody … have an older brother who somehow guided me on the way to the cool sports and just followed in his footsteps at a young age. Then you know, with a bit of hard skin from his inevitable bullying and all that.
So I fell in love with extreme sports at a young age. I loved skateboarding, wakeboarding, surfing, snowboarding
Nick: Take a breath.
Logan Aldridge: Honestly. Yes, everything on a board that was extreme, where you could catch your breath and do tricks, things of this kind, that fascinated me. Not to say I did not belong to a traditional sport, and I mean football, baseball and basketball played it all. My parents have brought me to gymnastics at a very young age, which I still recognize as the most important thing one can do for a child, for all but physical ability, for gymnastics.
Nick: We've heard that from different people.
Heather: Learning how the body works.
Logan Aldridge: It's unbelievable. It is incredible, until today.
Nick: Andy Speer, who is a great force professional in New York City, was in the podcast a long time ago and said, "Anything I owe to gymnastics"?
Logan Aldridge: Yes. I would confirm that too. So I loved wakeboarding. We bought a lake house near … between North Carolina and Virginia, called Lake Gaston. I was so excited that my parents wanted to somehow enable me to do wakeboarding the way I wanted it. So, as in competition, you know, trying to get into the racetrack and become a professional wakeboarder. You know, boy, you have these aspirations to be or to be in the NFL … whatever the case may be. Well, wakeboarding was mine.
I was really pretty good for a young kid, 11, 12 years old and fearless. If you said, "Hey, get out there, beat the wake as hard as possible, close your eyes and try a flip." I would do it. I would say, "Okay, that sounds great."
Nick: No stranger to follow the fall?
Logan Aldridge: No, no, no. You hit the head, you see a few stars, you get water in the eyelids, but it did not stop me, I still loved it. Well, I was really … I was all in and I treated it as such. It was a workout, it was like we were going out to get better at the sport.
So, at the age of 13, we just went wakeboarding with my training partner, if you like, a good friend of ours who lives by the lake a few docks away from me. We just rode him out and dropped him off at his dock. If you are familiar with a wakeboard boat, do you know how it has a tower on the boat? Here, the rope connects, so that they are pulled a little in the air when jumping.
Logan Aldridge: The rope is connected to the tower, and the other thing about wakeboard ropes is that they are very thin and have no elasticity. They want them to behave like a cable, to be really tight when you cut in the track. So I started doing my job after dropping him off, cleaning up the boat. Well, we just had to ride, if you like, you know, just the boat that's going through a gang, like five docks lower, maybe 150 yards away or something.
So, I just put off some lifejackets and pull in the rope as I always do, and when you pull on the rope, I apply the technique you make, like over the thumb. under the elbow, as you would do-
Nick: Sure, like an extension cord, right. Mm-hmm (in the affirmative).
Logan Aldridge: Exactly. I try to do things well. So I had a couple of such loops and noticed that I was looking at the back platform again and noticed that the rope lay a bit loose under the boat's aft platform. On wakeboard boats, the prop is not right, the prop is almost in the middle of the boat. There's a wedge on the back platform that drops down, helps the wake get bigger, and this pad where you can lay your board and all that stuff.
So I thought it might get stuck somewhere nearby. It happens sometimes, you know, a bit careless wakeboarding. So, I quickly … and I had the few loops, and I said, "Ugh, dad, rope is under the boat." So he saw "Oh, shucks" and went to turn off the propeller … turn off the engine. As soon as he started to turn it off, the rope was close enough to catch the propeller turning as fast as it was. What, mind you, we were just in gear, we were not driving, we were not driving 20 miles an hour, just going.
But it was enough power, and it started early enough, you know, that it was winding around the buttress. The only thing that was between the rope that wound around the propeller and the attachment to the tower was my arm with these two loops. Well, that pressure, that amount of pull, made it slip … this rope slipped from my thumb and wrapped itself around my arm over the elbow, if you like, almost like an extreme tourniquet just above the elbow ,
Well, 13 years old, that happens, feeling a bit like an idiot, I'm still standing on the back of the boat, asking, "What, what on earth, just …" I mean, I remember Look, as I looked up at the rope: "Rope is here," and when I look at it, my arm is like that, and it looks … it was the wildest thing in the truest sense of the word. It looks like it's going to get into my biceps and then just get on the other side. You could not even see the cracks from which it had just been pulled off and fished out.
Nick: So fast.
Logan Aldridge: So it cut all the meat and muscles to the bone. Well, it was basically wrapped around my humor, my left humorous from my arm right there. You know, my eyes are wide with shock, I did not even feel it, but something just happened.
So, my mother is on the boat, a few family friends and my dad. My mother says to my father, his name is Wesley, "Wesley, his arm." So he steps over the rope, grabs it immediately and starts to handle it. Now this rope has been covered with plastic, just to keep it in mind. It was literally almost like a cable, and I think that's why it behaved like that, more than just a really tight squeeze, it just cut through.
He started to release it from my arm, and as he did that, I knew that a serious, traumatic event had just happened. Because this was a white 21-foot boat and when he did that, the boat went red. It was not like "Oh, there's a wound here", it was like … without getting it, you know, graphics, I mean, it was just … it was crazy how much blood just got out of this wound exploded.
I think, in retrospect, it's because this artery, coming straight from your heart and left arm, has been severed. So immediately massive blood loss. Well, my dad tore off his shirt, wrapped it around and tightened it, you know? Had the tourniquet immediately. If he was not, yes, I would not be here now. I would be bled in two to five minutes.
So he did that, and now there's just a bit of chaos going on, you know? We yell at my friend who is on his way to his house, shouting, "Call 911." I still have big eyes like "What, what …"
Logan Aldridge: "We're just having dinner, we're done wakeboarding now, we're just having dinner, it's not happening, it's not happening." I thought that in my head. Finally we come to our dock and we put on the boat and my dad picks me up. I remember thinking, "Just bring me to the house, show me my bed, I'll see myself sleeping, and I'll just wake up, and then we can all just eat or whatever, wakeboarding."
Nick: Imagine that never happened.
Logan Aldridge: Yes, right? And then reality started for me. He carried me up there, he did just that and showed me the room and I said, "Damn, all right, that's just happening." At that moment, I began to think, "Alright …" I started to realize the reality of the situation and the possible outcome.
Well, to stage the scene for you, you probably imagine in such a case, "Oh my god, I can not believe that happened, get in the car, drive to that Hospital as soon as possible. "We did not do that, and that was really what I wanted. Obviously, you look back and say, "You should have done that." But I wanted to wait. I wanted to sit and wait for an ambulance or whoever, 911, to show up. So we did it. We sat and waited and it took a long time.
This is the middle of summer, in the middle of nowhere, in Lake Gaston, border with North Carolina, Virginia, and the local hospital was volunteer crew this weekend. So they turn up and I jump in with my mother and we go to the local hospital. Along the way, I remember that for the first time, I'm really working out, like, "Oh my god, I could … that's pretty serious and I could lose my arm."
Because while we were waiting, my arm rested on my lap and I kept saying, "Take that thing off my lap." They say, "That's your arm." I could not feel it, could not feel anything.
The crucial moment for me and my attitude and perception of this whole experience was in this ambulance when I started to think about what the result might be that I
Nick: You were pretty sure you would live at this point, right?
Logan Aldridge: Yes, yes. Yes, I was very confident that I would live in this moment. I'm not sure if that was my mother, because at that moment, when I asked her, I said, "Well, Mom, what if I lose my arm?" She just looked at me without skipping a beat or thinking twice about it and said, "Logan, it's just an arm." These words give me goose bumps when I tell this story –
Logan Aldridge: Because such a simple statement, but frankly, is so profound for me and my perception of this event in my life. Okay, it's just an arm. I mean, that's very clear, but very true. You have two of them, okay. If you lose one, you still have one. At least it's not your life, at least it's … it could always be worse, right? You know, and the list goes on, fill in the gap. At least that's not what it is.
Well, at that moment I realized immediately that everything is alright, it will be alright. Well, the catch was that I was left-handed, so maybe it would lose my dominant arm, which is a great pain and, as you know, could have its own obstacles and hurdles to overcome. But whatever, that's fine.
Well, to make it short, we come to the hospital, they can not do anything, they say, "You need a trauma … level 1 trauma unit to do that." They call UNC, send out a helicopter, put me back in the ambulance and send me to this field. That was like shit out of a movie. They bring me to this field, I'm on this stretcher, you see how this nasty helicopter is coming, "Vvvvmm", lands and I think, "Is that for me?" Yes.
Nick: What is the helicopter doing here?
Logan Aldridge: Yes. I am like "sick". So they put me in the helicopter and we flew to the UNC Children's Hospital, which took no time, not 30 minutes or so. The parents drag their car in the ass to catch up. We'll go there, you know, all the doctors around you, take off your clothes. "What happened? Blah, blah, blah."
They're trying to save my arm, I spent a few weeks in the hospital because it was not just, "Okay, we'll cut it off." It was trying to save it. Have taken an artery out of my leg and put it there.
Logan Aldridge: Yes, and they have blood flow. But the … they have blood flow and the arm just swelled, looked like I was allergic to bees and was stung or something.
Nick: Have you ever really regained the feeling?
Logan Aldridge: No feeling, no nerves. They wanted to start with the blood flow, and then they wanted to see if the muscles would start to take the blood and pump it up again, back into my body. What they quickly noticed was that we had missed this window. The window for these muscles without circulation is about six to seven, six to eight hours, and I think we were at the very end of it. So we missed this window when we went to practice and it was all said and done.
A few days later, they realized that it was not … the muscles are not coming back. So the reality is that we have to amputate your left arm. That was the moment when everything became very real for all of us as a family. Before that we kept a lot of hope, and then it was just like, "Okay, that's it, that's how it's going to be." So we decided to amputate.
After that, the response from my church and I say community, like friends, family, friends of friends, friends of friends that I did not really know, but I once heard her name when I came to the hospital. The stuff was really important, really important I believe in my recovery because it's just … I was full of love. There were so many people around me who told me everything would be alright.
But a big fear of mine was that all these people would see me and perceive them as a disabled, slightly disabled, impaired person.
Nick: True, as if your story were to some extent over. Yes.
Logan Aldridge: Right. You know, "Oh, so much for this extreme athlete, Logan, dammit, he's lost his dominant arm now and what …" I mean, I was really good at lacrosse and loved lacrosse. Played this sport the most, in the sense of a team sport.
Nick: Jesus Christ, you played everything.
Logan Aldridge: I played them all, man. Played them all. But that was definitely my niche in terms of team sports, I would play for school and all that stuff. That was the first thing I said when they told us we were going to amputate, that they were bringing me out of the surgery, just enough to come, and they said, "Logan, we're sorry …" That Whole family stands around, "Sorry, we'll amputate your arm." The first thing I said was, "How should I play lacrosse?" That was the first thing I thought.
I did not know … obviously did not know the answer, but the attitude that I had was not that I have to prove the opposite to people, but that I must first and foremost show myself, but also a great byproduct of all these others, my friends, my family and the community in which I live, that I am the same child I was before, I will have the same aspirations and try to do the same things that I have done before , I'll find out on the way what I can and can not do.
But I will not accept the expectation that I can not do these things because I have an arm now. I will not. I will just not accept it. I have to experience it, and I agree with the failure, but I have to learn it myself. Because a prime example I like to tell was the doctors who told me that writing is always … it would be very difficult to learn writing. They did not even say it so politely, they said, "You will not be able to write with your right hand."
Logan Aldridge: I'm just, you know, maybe it's the younger brother and I have the old one … but I like, "Okay, now I'm definitely going to with mine Write right hand. "
Nick: Do you know what I'm going to write? Kiss my ass.
Heather: I write circles around you.
Heather: Doctors are not known for their subtlety.
Logan Aldridge: Right? I think it was the best she could have said to me, because when I was there, I started writing the letters A, B, and C, it looked like chicken scratching, and I could barely figure out how to use that Should hold pen. But yes, I write well now with my right hand, better than with my left.
So, I say that, that was my first experience with an expectation, all right. They laid it on me and said, "This is the expectation you have outwardly, how you will be as a one-armed man in this world." I refused and said, "No, no, no, I do not have to be like any other before, and if I want to be like that, I have to find out for myself."
So get out of the hospital and I had to try, had to go back and try to play lacrosse. I had to try again to start the wakeboard.
Nick: It's amazing. You're serious about wakeboarding
Logan Aldridge: Yes, man. After mine
Nick: After … in wakeboarding.
Logan Aldridge: Later, as the real … you know, the motivation to do well or try to do well in sports arose. Yes, it became a really cool piece in Wakeboarding Magazine, where they said in the magazine that Logan will be taking part in the contest, which I did not even know. So I thought, "Oh, now I have to go, I have to take part in this contest."
Nick: Obviously they are fortune tellers.
Logan Aldridge: So I went there and did very well there. It's called … it was called Extremity Games. It was wakeboarding for adaptive people. I was the youngest of many older people who are much more experienced than me, but I did well. I landed a series of tricks and a run that would have been like the holy grail of … the perfect score for me and I pulled it off there. It was a really, really, cool circle feeling of "Wow".
I landed more tricks one-armed than ever before with two. With flips and as you can imagine, all those things.
Nick: Wow. Was there a steep learning curve? I just imagine how you … I mean, all I see you do, I look at it, I'm like, "The grip this guy needs is unreal."
Logan Aldridge: I accredit it for that.
Nick: Yes. Okay, so you already had that power.
Logan Aldridge: I think so, just from the wakeboarding background. But then, you know, to drive with one arm, the sessions were very different. You know, I could drive 35 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour, up to a maximum of 15 minutes, and then I can not even grab a water bottle, my hand is so dead.
So yes, it was a lot of fifteen minutes, one hour break, fifteen minutes in the water, one hour break, fifteen minutes … but it was the world I lived in, it's what surrounded me. Nevertheless, we went to the lake every weekend. My close friend lived five docks deeper than me, and we drove all the time. That's exactly how it was. I started more to drive the boat, and also started to climb again in lacrosse, like …
I spent the summer concentrating on hand-eye coordination, playing ping-pong with my boyfriend for seven hours, no joke. We had no life, we only played table tennis. But it was … I did not realize it at the time, I thought we were just kidding, they are like "That was really important to develop hand-eye coordination" and all I tried then was to apply in other aspects.
So yes, I got the motor skills back, taken a lacrosse racquet and started working on it. You know, I'm 14 years old and by no means fat or fat, so I was a branch then. So everything was weak, I was just weak, you know? I had to develop strength.
So I was obsessed with developing strength in that arm, whether he was sitting there squeezing one of those little spring-loaded things, or those little, those little Chinese bullets you're wielding in your hand. That's for the sake of skill. Or take a card game and sort a card game to hide all hearts. It was strange stuff, it was almost like physiotherapy, but I just did it. I said, "I should do this stuff because it's funny and hard and I feel uncomfortable and I think it helps somehow."
Nick: Right, I mean, it just makes this a magic wand.
Logan Aldridge: Yes, I said that. And that has permeated my mentality from high school to college. I said, "All right, if I want an arm, that arm will be the most jacked arm anyone has ever seen."
Nick: Do not dare to put on this arm.
Logan Aldridge: Yes, it will be the size of two legs, this one arm. That did not happen. I do not eat enough to make that happen. But that was the mentality. And that was, it was never to show how capable I am. It was for me. It should be the same child I was before. It should be included and perceived by peers as you are used to from any other high school student.
Now I say that, and then I say so, on the other hand, that's why I had a very unique experience in high school. The school I visited is incredible. Small private school in Raleigh, North Carolina, Ravenscroft. So accommodating. I mean, I was there between 1st and 12th grade and it was my family. Is still.
They were so accommodating and supportive of me, but I remember going to class 8 on the first day of school, getting up in front of the class and just saying, "Hey guys, I look different, like Have lost my arm this summer Let me tell you how it happened
And I told them how it happened. For me that was … what I should do on the first day of school. But to the students, my colleagues, and the teachers, they thought, "Wow, this kid did not think twice about just getting up and owning it, just so it happened, I'm still the one I was when you know more If you want to see it, if you want to touch it, come over and see me, come talk to me, everything is good, I love curiosity, I encourage it. "
At that moment, I believe, my mother realized that I was very comfortable talking about it. I think that's a parent's biggest fear when it happens to a child. How they go
Nick: You were persecuted.
Logan Aldridge: Yes, how they will perceive it. "Oh, I'm a freak, I'm different, I do not know."
And that was not my situation at all. Well, I think my mom really saw that and said, "Do you know what? Let's do this thing to something really great if he wants."
By speaking publicly. At the age of 14, she was very successful in the mortgage industry, working for Wells Fargo. The big annual conference was on. So I have to be a guest speaker there.
Nick: With 14!
Logan Aldridge: At the age of 14, I do not know what my mother thought. I do not know what she was … I was not well spoken or anything. I was a 14 year old
Nick: That's what I say … It's a pretty small community of 14-year-olds who will talk to the bankers.
Logan Aldridge: Yes, man. I do not know what they are … We have not ironed out anything. It was not this motivational, inspirational conversation. It was like, "Tell your story, Logan, tell your story."
You know, it was about a year later, just over a year later. A lot had happened this year. A lot of road … like benchmarks, a lot of really cool swing, psychological success for me. And I told my story. And I told about these successes along the way.
Dann versuchte ich, diese Vorlage auf das Leben einer anderen Person anzuwenden, unabhängig davon, welche Herausforderung das für sie gewesen sein könnte; Eine Scheidung, der Verlust eines geliebten Menschen, der Umzug ins ganze Land, die Hypothekenindustrie leiden. Dies war, bevor die Hypothekenindustrie litt. Also, ich hatte etwas Freaking, ich hatte einen Einblick.
Nick: Ja, Wahrsagerin.
Logan Aldridge: Also, und das Publikum, ich dachte, ich wäre nur ein Kind da oben und rede, und das wäre wie Wohltätigkeit für sie. Aber sie sagten: "Sie sind ein großartiger Redner. Wir dachten, Sie machen das schon seit Jahren."
Also wurde mir schnell klar, dass ich gut sprechen konnte. Ich habe die Bühnenpräsenz genossen. Mir hat es Spaß gemacht, mit Menschen zu reden, und vor allem hat es mir Spaß gemacht, meine Geschichte zu teilen und zu versuchen, sie mit den Herausforderungen, Kämpfen im Leben anderer Menschen in Verbindung zu bringen und wie sie diese Denkweise anwenden und erreichen oder überwinden können, wenn man so will.
Und das auf eine wirklich coole, aber organische und überschaubare Weise. Dieses Engagement führte zu einem anderen, führte zu einem anderen, führte dazu, dass ich meine Marke als Beyond Expectations, abgekürzt als BE, gründete und was das für mich bedeutete. Und die gemeinnützige Organisation, The Logan Aldridge Foundation, die Spenden für Kinderkrankenhäuser sammelte, weil ich so viel von meiner Erfahrung derjenigen verdanke, die ich in diesem Krankenhaus hatte, und weil es keine weißen Wände und keine weißen waren Ärzte.
Es war bunt, Schmetterlinge … irgendwie, warum ich jetzt ein Schmetterling Tattoo auf mir habe. Und nur Persönlichkeit. Die Ärzte kümmerten sich darum. Sie weinten, als sie meinen Eltern sagten, dass sie meinen Arm amputieren müssen. Sie fühlten sich wie eine Familie. Ich glaube, das war eine einzigartige Erfahrung in einem Krankenhausumfeld. Da war dieses Spielezentrum, zu dem wir auf der Intensivstation den Flur hinuntergehen und mit allen Besuchern abhängen konnten. Es war einfach wirklich mächtiges Zeug.
Also wollte ich dem etwas zurückgeben und gründete meine Stiftung, die dem UNC-Kinderkrankenhaus zusammen mit anderen Kinderkrankenhäusern im Südosten dabei half, coole Methoden zu implementieren, damit sich Kinder wie Kinder fühlen. Ob das eine Partnerschaft mit Nintendo Wii war, um Wiis, mobile Wii-Stationen, damit Kinder im Krankenhausbett noch spielen und sich aktiv fühlen konnten. Das war wirklich wichtig, was ich damals gemacht habe.
Als ich 15 Jahre alt war, haben meine Mutter und ich gemeinsam ein Buch verfasst, und dieses Buch war wieder ein Selbsthilfebuch. Ich erzählte nur meine Geschichte und gab Ihnen einige Handlungselemente auf dem Weg, um herauszufinden, was Herausforderungen, denen Sie sich möglicherweise gegenübersehen, und Möglichkeiten, sie zu überwinden. And then, frankly, I was about to graduate high school, all this was going really well, I'm speaking a ton, traveling all over the country on these speaking tours, if you will. It was encouraged to continue the speaking thing, do that as a career.
And I did not want to miss out on the experiences of college. Not only for the academia and education, I wanted to learn more about how to be an entrepreneur, a better marketer, a better business person, but I wanted the social experience, too. Like, man, I said when I lost my arm I wanted to just be like I was before, and now these incredible opportunities have come before me, and I love it, and it's amazing, but I'm not going to miss out on the opportunity to be a student, just be a kid, go to university.
Nick: In order to just keep talking about the arm. Keep talking about … You are missing something at some point, absolutely.
Logan Aldridge: Right, exactly.
So, it was such a cool way to turn such a tragedy into such a success, but also, I just wanted to be normal, and so went off to college. Went off to college as just a kid going to college, no baggage, no nothing. So frankly, put a lot of that on pause. Just put it on pause for four years. And went to school and had a phenomenal experience. And that's when I graduated and discovered my passion for fitness and working out with friends all along that way, and-
Nick: What did you study?
Logan Aldridge: So, I studied Supply Chain Management, Entrepreneurship, and Marketing. It was kind of like an all-business, admin-related, but a double major with a Marketing Supply Chain. And then I had the opportunity to have an independent study with Additive Manufacturing. I became, my senior year of college, and I'm not a nerd, I'm not geeky about anything, but I became obsessed with 3D printing, and additive manufacturing, and its relevancy to supply chain management. And how efficient it was, and all this sort of stuff.
And then I started to turn the wheels from my experience with orthotic and prosthetic companies, and my own prosthetics that I had made for me that I didn't use. I had them made, wore them a couple times, and they sat in the corner, collected dust. So, I started to really become interested in how can we take this technology and apply it to that industry. And now, it's quite common now to find it in there, but at the time it wasn't.
So, I continued to learn a lot about that. I graduated and got a … I was very fortunate to get a great job offer back in Raleigh, at a big IT, enterprise IT company, called Red Hat. I worked there for a little over a year. Great company culture, incredible. But wanted to pursue my passion, do something that really struck home for me, and that at first was this 3D printing opportunity in O and P. In orthotics and prosthetics.
So, I got the chance to do that for a local orthotic and prosthetic company, and implement the technology, and do it well. That was amazing, and it worked out really well. What I discovered in that moment is what led me to ultimately being here today, is that I was a bit jaded in how I thought people became amputees. I thought it was a lot of traumatic accidents. People like me, young kids, people … and then they lose the limb. But unfortunately, more often than not, it's due to kind of medical complications such as diabetes and what that leads to, and the chronic illness that it leads to with a leg amputee, and then the likelihood of the next leg getting amputated with five years.
And the patients that we saw, just generally coming in, just had very poor qualities of life. And I tried to look at it from a macro perspective. I'm in here micro, trying to help make these devices fit better, function better, be more cost effective, and that's great. But how do I instill and help assist bigger change on a more global scale here? Because we're missing something … this isn't the way these people should have to live.
Nick: Right. It's limiting how they can benefit from the other technology, too.
Logan Aldridge: Of course. Quality of life. So, I said, "You know what? It's the fitness. It's the health and wellness and fitness that people aren't getting."
Not people, but like the impaired community. The people with suffering from a disability, or a chronic illness, or disease, or … That doesn't mean that that aspect of life has to get turned off, and that's when I stepped into a CrossFit gym, and I drank the sugar-free CrossFit Kool-Aid, because you know, we're a lot about being healthy.
Nick: Sure, sure.
Logan Aldridge: Frankly, just became obsessed with it. Became obsessed with the methodology and the whole approach to functional fitness, and saw the benefits in myself. Started to train in that way, and see opportunities where I was challenged every day, and I had to be creative and come up with something to do or implement to create the same stimulus as prescribed in the workout, if you will. And that's when the real light bulb moment went off for me in my journey. And I said, "This is my opportunity to be an advocate, a thought leader, an ambassador, a pioneer for adaptive training."
Adaptive CrossFit, as you mentioned in the beginning of this podcast, but it's training. It's adaptive training. CrossFit's just a great platform we've been in. That was when I just said, "How can I spread this message? How can I grow this first locally in my community," but then, thank goodness for platforms like Instagram, and all the social media platforms that exist. Post about it, all day long. Just like a typical CrossFitter, you post about all your workouts.
But this was a different message, and it started to work. We started to get other, I started to discover local amputees in my own backyard, who would then, we would invite in to the gym, and they would train. And now I have two members who have been members ever since I started, and they came in shortly after. One's a congenital amputee, older lady, Christy, and then the other's a young girl named Kippy who … her injury was kind of a botched rotator cuff surgery. It turned into arm paralysis, but long story short, the community was right there in the backyard.
And now the trickle effect it's had internationally, and then coupled with CrossFit creating its own seminar, Adaptive Training, where we're teaching these individuals how to, coaches and gym owners, how to welcome a wheelchair athlete. How to welcome someone missing a leg above their knee, into a class, a group training environment, and they feel comfortable and well taken care of in a safe environment.
Nick: What do you think it is about CrossFit that this seems to have really flourished so much there? Because yes, there are adaptive powerlifters, strongmen, bodybuilders, wheelchair bodybuilding's an event at the Arnold, right?
Logan Aldridge: Absolutely.
Nick: But, when I started looking, it's like, there's something unique about how it's expressing itself in CrossFit, for just looking for really unique solutions, and doing whatever's necessary to make something accessible to somebody.
Logan Aldridge: Oh, that's a great question, and you know, I … you hear this all the time, so it almost gives it less value to say it, but the word that I believe makes it so impactful in there is "community." And to expand upon that is like, the camaraderie of that environment. The principle of suffering together makes us all better, and when it's a group workout, I don't care if it's your first day and you're 200 pounds overweight, or if you're the fittest person according to, you know, CrossFit World, the former CrossFit games winner, I don't care. If those two people are next to each other, if they do a workout together, it hurts both of them just as equally. It's painful. It hurts. You're pushing through. You're breathing hard. You're trying as hard as you can to finish.
And then the camaraderie aspect of when it's all said and done, the person who is trying to finish, who's coming in last, is getting support of the entire group. They get the most praise for sticking with it, not giving up, and following it through until the end. We all hit a wall in a workout where we stop and say, "I don't know if I can keep doing … I don't know if I can do another rep. I don't know if I can do another burpee. I don't know if I can go on that next 400-meter run."
But then we do. And when we do, we come back, and we're like, "I didn't die. Wow. I'm a lot more capable than I thought I was 10 minutes ago, five seconds ago." And that-
Nick: Day in and day out.
Logan Aldridge: Golly, man, did that not resonate with the message I'd been sharing for a decade on a public speaking platform. Not only did it resonate with all that, but then I said, "Wow, if this is the experience everybody's having; able body, any body, it doesn't matter, what kind of experience could you have if you created standards and acceptable ways to modify movement for somebody with a permanent physical impairment?"
You know, there's always scaling. You can always scale workouts for somebody if they're very overweight, haven't done this in a long time, just are new to athletics, or unathletic. That's fine. That's a totally welcomed and acceptable.
But the bigger question was, how do we modify? How do we adapt movement to achieve the same stimulus, the same prescription as a CrossFit workout of the day, the WOD, is written? How do we achieve that? And that's where my mind started to geek out on having fun with innovating equipment, and creating gadgets and straps, and different rep protocol, and different multipliers of the weights, and modifications of the weights to mimic that. And that's, and here we are, five years later.
Nick: There's some really interesting stuff that I see you come up with, too.
Nick: It seems like every movement is kind of a puzzle to be cracked in its own special way. Like you're doing walking handstands using a plyo box. I saw guys using split ropes in wheelchairs, those weighted split ropes. You've got the mono rope. It all looks uniquely challenging. It all looks like it still just taxes the shit out of your grip.
Heather: My favorite was that article about a Spartan Race that you did, and you know, they've got, I don't know what it's called, but it's where you've got the rings and you have to monkey bar your way across it.
Logan Aldridge: Those darn rings.
Heather: And I love that your foundation is called Beyond Expectations, because I'm sitting there and I'm like, "Okay, man, I don't want to admit this, but I don't know how he's going to do this."
I'm trying to imagine in my head how you could kip your way, and then it shows the progression, and I encourage anyone who's listening to this or watching this, to go and look at some of those articles. It shows how you figured it out, and you're just like, yeah, yeah. That's, you know, it's a lot harder the way you have to do it, but you do it.
Logan Aldridge: That's right. That's right, and it was, that was just "try." That was purely a moment of, "All right, Logan, try it."
I hadn't done that before. I don't train obstacle course racing in my free time. I just, I love Spartan Races, and I go do them when I can.
Nick: Communal suffering.
Logan Aldridge: Yes, right, exactly. Misery loves company. And that was one of the last obstacles, and I was like, "Man, I have got, if I can just get this little chicken wing held in that little ring, maybe I can get to that next one."
And then that little swing happened, and it got to the next, and I was like, "Oh my, I'm three rings in now. I've got to just keep …"
And yes, I was surprised myself. I didn't think that that was very possible for me, and got a lot farther. So now my goal is to definitely complete that obstacle, because I didn't. I didn't make it to the end. I had to drop and go do the freaking 30 burpees that you had to do when you can't do it. But that's my goal in the Spartan Race world, is to complete that freaking obstacle. I was so close.
Nick: In the CrossFit world, what kind of, what continues to allude you, or what have you yet to crack yet?
Logan Aldridge: Great question. The handstand stuff. You know, the real, the true handstand walking. Any version of a muscle-up, right. I, especially ring muscle-ups, that's just something I just can't do. I can physically do a bar muscle-up, but I have a philosophy on understanding the difference between "now I'm just a circus show," and "I'm doing fitness to enhance my functionality and quality of life."
To do one-armed bar muscle-ups, I think is profound, it's cool, it's badass, but I believe it has tremendous diminishing returns. I believe there's a lot more potential and opportunity for injury, severe injury. You know, like, this is the only shoulder I got. It's the only arm I have left. So, I'm cautious of that. And I see that perception a lot from the outside world looking at the way adaptive athletes train, especially those pursuing it as, very competitively and to be elite in the sense of traditional elite athletes of their sport. How it can be like, "Man, you're already missing an arm. What are you trying to put 220 pounds over your head for? What if you blow that shoulder out?"
You know, all these things, and I get it. But I'm not a complete idiot. I do have an understanding, and I have, I've never had an injury. I've been very aware of that, and I'm very diligent about prehabbing, you know, taking care of this stuff, so that that's prevented. Not to say, you know, you never know, anything could happen. It's not like I'm guaranteed safe. Anything could happen. You're right. But that's a risk I'm willing to take, and I don't think it's so risky that it's likely to happen, I just think it's something that any professional athlete, any athlete, you know-
Logan Aldridge: There's always risk involved, right?
Nick: Well, you seem like you have the right mindset, though, that displaying strength versus building strength, right?
Logan Aldridge: Right, right.
Nick: You see people in every gym, every day of the week who are displaying strength …
Logan Aldridge: That's a great way of putting it.
Nick: … and they act like they're training strength, but, really, you're just doing something.
Heather: You're showing off.
Nick: I mean, even if you're just showing off for yourself. It doesn't necessarily have to be like, "Oh, I'm doing it for somebody else." But you're like, "How strong am I? How strong am I today? How strong am I today?" As opposed to actually building strength.
Logan Aldridge: Right, right.
Heather: Well, that's what I was curious as I was watching some of the videos, is, you know, you're doing an overhead movement, and I'm like, gosh, that's applying different forces on your spine, and, you know, you'd almost have to have a protocol for how to train the other side of that that people don't get to see. You know, you're putting a cool video up, so then there's got to be work on the back end that we're not aware of.
Logan Aldridge: You know, and you bring up a great point, and it's an objective of mine to do a better job of sharing the stuff that goes on behind the Instagram scenes, if you will, because that's something we reiterate constantly in the seminars that we teach, the adaptive training seminars. The accessory work, the other stuff, like you see on the Instagram, all the cool stuff. And every now and then I'll try to promote some of the accessory stuff I do, but, yeah, that's critical. That's critical. Any opportunity to train symmetry, to work on your weakness, whether you're able body and your weakness is gymnastics in the world of CrossFit, you know… And there's weightlifting, gymnastics, and the conditioning monostructural stuff. If your weakness is in gymnastics, yeah, you got to work on that stuff. After workouts. Outside of doing workouts.
Same with adaptive athletes. You got to work on accessory stuff. I need to work on building strength in my left side. You know, my spine, I was very concerned about that when I first got into CrossFit, like the deviation of my spine. The scoliosis, if you will. And there's only so much that you can do about that. Like the day I lost my arm… Bodies are incredibly complex and incredibly intelligent, and my body adapted. When I lost my arm it said, "All right, you just lost a lot of weight over here, how do we compensate for the lack of weight?" And so, there was a natural torso shift where that arm tries to become a little bit more centered in the body for use. That's inevitable. Now, to try to correct that or prevent it is almost silly, because that's your body trying to be efficient. It's trying to help you. So, to correct it completely would then actually put pressure in places that you wouldn't want it, and would be more likely to be prone to slipping a disc or something like that.
So instead, I'm at a deviation, or my spine is what it is, and I've built a lot of strength around that. There's a lot of stability around my core and around how my body is now. I feel great. I don't have any back problems. I mean, everything seems fine, and I think I'm just more aware and accepting that I'm not supposed to look like everybody else. I'm not supposed to have a perfectly straight body.
Heather: You mention when you were 14 years old, standing up in front of a class and inviting curiosity. As an adult and in your dealings with other adults, is that curiosity still there? Do you still invite that? Are adults more hesitant?
Logan Aldridge: Great question. Yeah, it's definitely still there. And yeah, I welcome it completely. We're just sharing my story on this podcast. I still love to do that. You know? Gosh, it's been how many years? 13 years? 14 years? Yeah. I encourage the curiosity because I know I put myself in the other shoes. Like when I meet someone in a wheelchair, or when I was a kid and I would meet an amputee, I would ask, "Where's your arm? What happened to you?" And I get that all the time. All the time. In the gas station, anywhere.
Nick: My son would ask you if he was here right now.
Logan Aldridge: Yeah. I get kids looking up my sleeve, and they pull my sleeve open, and they look at it. And I'm like, "Oh yeah? You want to see something wild? This thing's still got a bicep. Look at the sucker on there." And they're like, "Oh, my gosh!" and it freaks them out sometimes. I have fun with it. You know? I tell kids that, "Where'd your arm go?" I'm like, "You know what? I was your age, and I stopped eating my vegetables, and look at what happened." Yeah, right? And they're like, "Oh, let's go get some broccoli."
Nick: That's great.
Logan Aldridge: It's hilarious.
Nick: Now, one thing that I love that you do is one-arm barbell lifts. So, it would be very easy for you to say, "All right, you know what? It's nothing but dumbbells and kettlebells." But I love one-arm barbell lifts, and they were things that used to be competed back in the old days, right? Like in the 1904 Olympics, they had the one-arm barbell lift, however you get it over your head, as an actual Olympic event.
Logan Aldridge: Exactly. That's so true. I forget about that.
Nick: Yeah. Yeah, no. It was one-arm dumbbell, one-arm barbell.
Heather: The strongmen with the singlet and the mustache.
Logan Aldridge: Yep. Exactly.
Nick: But I was wondering, yeah, the one-arm snatch, one-arm clean and jerk, one-arm deadlift, they were competed events. They're still competed in weird places.
Logan Aldridge: Yeah, yeah.
Nick: But I was wondering what the learning curve was like for that, and where you found guidance for those?
Logan Aldridge: I really… The learning curve, I picked it up and just did it, frankly. I wish I had a better story about that, but the truth is, I just didn't know. I didn't know how it was supposed to be done, or how to do it, but I just thought I would figure it out along the way. And like I said in the beginning, I would determine if this was a good, smart thing to do, or if I just shouldn't do barbell stuff. And, fortunately… You know, at a young age, being involved in all these different sports and going to different sport performance camps in the summers, I've been exposed to Olympic weightlifting before my accident, which is crazy. That means I was younger than 13, which I can't remember exactly where, but I know I was.
Nick: You knew what it was at least.
Logan Aldridge: I knew points of performance on a clean. And I've never… I don't know. I can't even really put a reason behind why I knew that, but I remember with two arms having done those movements before. Obviously, it was probably an empty barbell or something, but you know, with football summer camps, strength and conditioning coaches I had gone to before with my older brother, just kind of being thrown into the mix. So, I understood the importance of the movement, and how the movement was supposed to function. To me, it wasn't that different by just taking an arm away. It was just, all right, grab it in the middle now. Hold it in the middle. But I didn't touch a barbell until I had built up what I deemed tremendous stability with a kettlebell and a dumbbell with this arm on all planes, like strength and stability and push-ups, the ability to do a push-up.
All that stuff was really important. And then a massive focus on core strength for me, because I knew I got to protect the spine, and a lot of this is going to be unilateral all the time. And so, got to protect the spine. And once that happened, the barbell stuff just kind of clicked, because I took the right progressions. I didn't come into it, I was new to it, and, "All right, I want to do some barbell shoulder presses and overhead squats." I mean, I still suck at overhead squats. I'm working on that. But-
Nick: Everybody sucks at that.
Heather: Yeah …
Logan Aldridge: Yeah. So, it just kind of happened. And then the traditional progression of strength and comfort, and a progression of technique as it would be for anybody new to the barbell began to happen for me with one arm.
Nick: Hm. Now, you set a couple of records as well, right? I don't know what they are.
Logan Aldridge: Yeah. Some Guinness World Records.
Heather: Let's see. World record, most one-arm, one-leg push-ups in one minute.
Logan Aldridge: Yeah.
Heather: Are you still the record holder?
Logan Aldridge: I am. Yeah.
Heather: Very nice.
Logan Aldridge: Yeah. That was a really cool, really cool experience to do that and most weight… This one's just so weird, how specific it is. Most weight cleaned with one arm on a barbell in one minute.
Heather: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Logan Aldridge: So, I got like 2000-something pounds. I don't even remember.
Heather: And a 455-pound deadlift.
Logan Aldridge: Yep. Yeah, yeah.
Nick: So, that one-arm, one-leg deadlift, or push-up, is an interesting one to me, because I'm a fan of the one-arm push-up. I think it's totally under-utilized.
Logan Aldridge: You're right.
Nick: And it's a great goal. I mean, talk about a movement that just… It trains everything from head to toe. You got to use your toenails in a movement like that.
Logan Aldridge: Yes. Right. Right.
Nick: Where did that fit in the progression?
Logan Aldridge: Oh, my gosh. You're going to think this… Once again, this is not a very good story.
Nick: "I was born doing it."
Logan Aldridge: I was training CrossFit, training CrossFit. I was working very closely with Reebok at the time, and Reebok calls me up Monday and says, "Hey, we're getting together." And the Nano 7 was coming out, their new shoe at that time. They said, "We're putting together three different groups of our CrossFit athletes. One group out in California, one group in New York, and one group out in Australia. And we've invited Guinness World Record to come out to all these places, and we're going to try to break… We're going to set a record for the most records broken in a day, in 24 hours." And they're like, "Do you think you could break some one-arm records?" I'm like, "I don't know. What are they? What are they?"
They're like, "How about most one-arm, one-leg push-ups in a minute?" And I was like… I literally read the email, pushed out my chair, got down, got in the push-up position, picked the leg up, and did like 10. And I got back up, and I was like, "Yes, I can do that. I can try that."
Nick: What was the record?
Logan Aldridge: I think it was 12 or 16 or something.
Nick: Oh, really? Oh, okay.
Logan Aldridge: Yeah.
Nick: And you could do 10 without ever having done one before?
Logan Aldridge: Yeah, I just did 10. I just got down and just did 10.
Heather: I can do that.
Logan Aldridge: You know, I like a challenge. I wasn't arrogant and like, "Yeah, I'm going to crush that," but I was like, "That would be cool. That would be cool. Yeah, I'd love to."
Nick: Give it a shot, sure.
Logan Aldridge: And then the other one, I don't even know how that one came about. I think I didn't even know about that one until the day of.
Nick: These were all on the same day.
Logan Aldridge: Yeah, yeah. The same day. I mean-
Nick: Now there's a WOD, man.
Logan Aldridge: I show up. I get flown out to New York. I stay in a hotel. They treat … It was an incredible experience. They had some media people from like Men's Health and other avenues, and the CrossFit athletes that I revere, like Dan Bailey and Annie Thorisdottir, and all these athletes are in… I come down the next morning. I got in late. Come down the next morning… We're going to meet in the lobby to go, and they're all sitting there in the lobby. I'm like, "What?" And they're like, "Yeah, you're here with us. We're going to go break some records." I was like, "This is surreal." And that was it.
It was literally a Wednesday. Flew up on a Tuesday night, did that Wednesday, flew back Wednesday evening, and I was back home. I was like, "I just broke two Guinness World Records. That was pretty cool." And then it was over, and it was back to just normal life.
Logan Aldridge: It was a cool experience. Very cool experience.
Nick: Yeah, sure. I want to ask you what strength accomplishments you're most proud of, but it seems like you moved so quickly between things that there maybe isn't an answer there. But is there really something that stands out, where it's like, "You know, this was really special to me?"
Logan Aldridge: In like a lift itself, or in a movement, I really… There are. Yeah. There's a goal I had for a long time, was to squat clean 250 pounds, and I did that. And I weigh 160 pounds, so that was important. And to deadlift 500 pounds. And I've done that, while maintaining like a five-and-a-half-minute mile. So, being conditioned and exhibiting strength. Those were really cool things. Now, that's great, and yeah, I guess those would be the ones I'm most proud of, but it doesn't feel that way. Like, I didn't do them to be able to say that I can do them. Like, I didn't want to do it to be able to then say that that's what I can do. It was just… Like you were saying, it wasn't me displaying strength to do that. It was just a progression of my strength that that came about.
Nick: Right. Feels better that way, even if it's not like you break down on the floor like, "Thank you! Thank you!"
Logan Aldridge: Right, right.
Nick: But yeah, it's like you earn them.
Heather: Check that box.
Logan Aldridge: Yeah, yeah. And that's just the continued journey in that way. It's not like I can hang my hat up when I hit these things. It's just like, "Wow. If you're capable of that, then what else can you do?"
Nick: Sure. Sicher. Well, what else can you do? I mean, what do you want to keep doing? You know, this is where you've come in, what, 13, 14 years?
Logan Aldridge: Yeah, yeah.
Nick: What do you want to do with the next decade, aside from just get stronger?
Logan Aldridge: Yeah. I do. I want to get stronger. I'm 28 years old. I will always try to pursue my maximum physical potential, and right now, I feel really good. I feel extremely healthy. So, I think that's very much performance-based right now. I think my aerobic capacity can be better, so I'm focusing a lot on that. Like running, being able to run faster and longer, and it's sustainable, and recover better. Just be a better CrossFitter, frankly.
But my real vision and hope and dream for my future is to be on the forefront, or be a part of, the growth and inclusion and empowerment of adaptive training, and what that can mean for people that are not adaptive. What that can mean for the person who has really struggled psychologically to walk into a gym, because they just feel like they don't belong. And forget even that scenario, a gym, but just to get up and start walking.
I truly believe… I hope this doesn't come across as arrogant or anything, but that I was put on this earth to do that. To try to empower people to realize their potential, their capability. To defy the odds. And if there's any way I can do that, I believe it's through education. I hope, I aspire for it to be through my actions, and the opportunities I can help create through development, whether it be equipment, or event inclusion, or legitimate professional platform, such as that of CrossFit, right? And that's my first journey.
Nick: Or Bodybuilding.com.
Logan Aldridge: Yeah. And now look where we are. And that's been my first experience for five years was… And it's been phenomenal. It's not over. It's just getting started in the CrossFit world. It's just getting started.
But to have the course available, and to be on that staff, and to be spreading the education, and then showing the inclusion in events like Wodapalooza are massive steps in the right direction.
And this right here, right now, this week out here at Bodybuilding.com headquarters, officially onboarded as an athlete with you all is one more confirmation that it's happening. But secondly, my mission is to bridge that gap, to take adaptive training into every form of fitness discipline and lifestyle and demographic around the world. So, I think that's what I was put on this earth to do, and I hope that I can do that justice by the end of my life and watch it evolve.
Nick: Well, we're thrilled to be part of it as well, man. Thank you so much for coming and talking with us, Logan.
Logan Aldridge: Thank you. Sorry I'm a talker, man. I just talked the whole time.
Nick: We wanted you to talk. It's better than the alternative.
Logan Aldridge: I warned him. I warned him. I said, "You're going to have to shut me up."
Nick: So, where do people find you if they want to follow your journey?
Logan Aldridge: Instagram, frankly, is my most accessible platform. I treat that very intimately and interact with everyone on there, so if you send me a message, I will respond to you, and I will share with you information or whatever interest you have. And that's just my last name, first name. So, Aldridge Logan.
I do have a website, LoganAldridge.com. You can always go there. But through the Instagram, you can email me through there, and we can talk, or reach out through the direct messages. And I'm on Facebook and that stuff, too, but those are the best ways.
Heather: You definitely want to follow him. It's remarkable.
Nick: There's just some pretty cool shit happening on your Instagram.
Heather: Yeah. Very, very cool stuff.
Logan Aldridge: Oh, absolutely. Thanks.
Nick Collias: All right. Thank you so much.
Heather Eastman: Yes. Thank you.
Logan Aldridge: Thank you all. Appreciate it.