Meet Jason Khalipa, a CrossFit Games champion, a founder of NC Fit, a podcast host, and the author of the book, As Many Reps As Possible. Jason is talking about how he built that work-life balance and the right mindset, which is essential for serious multitasking. Furthermore, he shares how he manages his business, organizes charity events, and faces life challenges while remaining devoted to his family.
What You Will Learn About As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) with Jason Khalipa:
- What inspired Jason Khalipa to start with CrossFit
- How to figure what kind of healthy lifestyle works for you
- The 3 main verticals of Jason’s business
- Why he wrote As Many Reps As Possible, what the book is about, and how you can get a free copy
- What he likes the most about his work
- The power of digital products in marketing
- Which one of his trophies is the most special to him and why
- How to achieve the work-life balance
- Why Jason is involved in philanthropy
- The ways to contribute to Jason’s charitable activities
- Why taking shortcuts in life is not a good idea
- The 3 guiding principles that earned him success
- How you can get in touch with Jason Khalipa
- Discover his YouTube channel
- Watch the full video version of this episode on YouTube!
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Speaker 1: This is Theriault Media.
Jason Khalipa: …With the money that’s kind of motivational. I get to the point where it becomes a non-factor where to help these other families we want to get to a point where … For us, it was a non-factor in the hospital but for them, it is a factor. How do we give them that the hope and just a little something to get them through the day, get them through the month and maybe that changes their life?
Matt Theriault: I’m Matt Theriault, The Epic Real Estate investing show and welcome to another episode of Thought Leader Thursday.
All righty, so on today’s episode of Thought Leader Thursday, I’m joined by a devoted father, a 2008 CrossFit Games champion, and recipient of the Spirit of the Game award at the 2009 CrossFit Games, and is the founder of NCFIT. Not to mention, being selected to participate as a member of Team USA in 2012, ’13, and ’14 CrossFit Games invitational. So, please help me welcome to the show, Mr. Jason Khalipa. Jason, welcome to The Epic Real Estate Investing show.
Jason: Yeah. Thank you very much. I really appreciate you for having me.
Matt: Yeah, no. I’m glad to have you here. We have a mutual friend and he made the introduction, so I’m really looking forward to getting to know you a little. What you’ve accomplished is amazing in CrossFit, so congratulations there.
Jason: Oh, thank you.
Matt: You bet. Having been a recovering Cross Fitter, I did that for a couple of years and I don’t think I had one day out of those two years where I wasn’t sore. So I was like, “Oh, I’m getting too old for this.” Anyway, what were you doing just before CrossFit and what inspired you to take it on at such a high level?
Jason: Before I was introduced to CrossFit, I was doing the mainly conventional gym thing. A lot of body building type workouts. I was also doing some Jiu Jitsu, some Muay Thai, but primarily I got introduced to it really young, so I was doing mainly high school sports. And then when I got out of high school and went to college to go … I was gonna pursue football. It ended up not working out. And that’s really when I found bodybuilding, and then I got into CrossFit shortly after that and been doing it ever since.
Matt: That’s great. You’re not competing today anymore, are you? You’re all done?
Jason: Well I have a … So, I competed eight times in CrossFit Games, seven times in individual, one time as a team. And then in 2016, I stopped competing. Our daughter got sick and stopped competing then. She’s doing well now, but in May of this year, I’m competing in what they’re going to call a Legends event. So that should be interesting. So I got invited to do this event. And so, I’m pretty excited about it.
Matt: Fantastic. So, what is life looking like for you right now getting prepared for that?
Jason: I mean obviously from a … Our business, my family, and fitness. So, for me, we have locations all over, so trying to make sure we’re growing the right way with our company. Trying to be as good of a husband and father I can be, and then obviously I’m just trying to get in the training protocol at least … I add in Jiu-Jitsu about three days a week, but I try and get in at least 30 minutes of fasted cardio in the morning, some type of, mainly, CrossFit high-intensity training mid-day, and then every now and then try and get something in later on in the evening for 20 minutes of just stamina work to try and get me ready for that. But I’m not putting in nearly as much volume as I used to put in.
Matt: Got it. You just said something and I was gonna … Now I wanna ask you a self-serving question. So there’s something to the fasted cardio in the morning?
Jason: Yeah. It’s just something I like to do. For me, I think your body’s just kind of like, you’re your own laboratory, just test out different things. Try doing cardio while fasting. Try different eating and see how you feel. For me, I like doing that kind of stuff without much in my stomach. Also, I’ve been playing around, obviously, with different diets, different coffees, different this, different that, just to see what works and what I like and what I don’t like.
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Is that the answer because I know someone will say eat six small meals a day. The other person will say they intermittent fasting. So is it just a testing thing to see what works best for you?
Jason: Yeah. I mean, I’ve been doing this long enough to realize that everybody has their opinions and it’s important that if you’re going to have your opinions, you need to find what works for you. And everything’s gonna be a little bit different for your lifestyle and what you have going on. ‘Cause you have intermittent fasting, then you have to eat some six small meals a day. Then you have… looking at how many hours you actually eat versus not eat. So intermittent fasting, you could be not eating for 24 hours, whereas just consolidating the amount of time you can give yourself, let’s just say an eight-hour window, to eat. Or you could start talking about keto, which is high fat, moderate protein, low carb. Or you could talk about paleo. There are so many different options out there. Most people, they wake up, and they kind of feel like crap. And they go throughout the day and sometimes they feel like crap. And a lot of that has to do with your nutrition and what you’re filling your body with. And if you play with that, you never know what you could do.
Matt: Got it. All right. We’ll get back on track here, but I’m gonna keep all that in mind. ‘Cause I’ve always just wondered which one do you follow ’cause you said everyone’s got their own opinion, but it seems like everyone has a study to back up their opinion. And I’m just like, “Well all these studies seem to contradict each other.”
Jason: Well, I’ll tell you what I like right now. What I think is pretty powerful right now. I mean, if I was young … As an entrepreneur, I think mental clarity is super important. And I think that a lower carb diet generally leads to better mental clarity, meaning you’re not gonna have these spikes up and down of these highs and lows. You’re not gonna have this brain fog. You’re just gonna feel more consistent. Now there are various ways to do that. But that’s just something I’ve found success with is a lower carb diet. Then also, when you start looking at your body, if you’re feeling like crap and you constantly, your stomach is constantly in pain, you might need to look at gluten. You might need to look at dairy and start taking that out. And just listen to your body.
Matt: Right. Cool, thank you. The NCFIT, did I say that correctly?
Matt: Okay. And what is it? What does your business do?
Jason: So we used to be called NorCal Cross, which is where the NC came from. And we used to provide CrossFit. And over the years what we’ve been able to do is we’ve now pivoted from just CrossFit to a variety of programs. So, we have three main verticals of our business. We have our open to the public locations that you could go to. We have our corporate locations, which we have corporate centers inside companies all over the world. Western Digital probably being our biggest partner, or definitely being our biggest partner. And we have Lucas Films and other partners that we basically provide service-based fitness in. So, that’s a second vertical. And then lastly we have our digital products where we have our own app and things of that nature.
Matt: Got it. So did that start after competition or kind of coincide with it?
Jason: Coincide, yeah. So, I graduated from college in 2008. I won the CrossFit Games then, and then. I opened up our gym in the same year. They basically both grew as time went on.
Matt: So, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re an amazing athlete, and you’re an author. You got the book, As Many Reps As Possible.
Jason: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, basically what happened was, I wanted to write a book, I don’t know, like four years ago, just about … I used to travel a couple of hundred days a year. I don’t know how much you travel, but when you’re traveling a lot, I pick up books in the airport bookstore and I’m looking for some type of insight. And I just … Everything I saw didn’t align with what I was actually seeing in real life. So, it’d say work less, get paid more. And from my experience, it wasn’t that way.
So, I wanted to write a book about hard work. It kind of took a turn. Our daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia in early 2016. And so, it kind of shifted my mindset. And so, what the book is about now is about basically being as present and as focused in each facet of your life as you can, to get as much productivity throughout your day, so that if God forbid, anything ever happens to you in your life, you’re best prepared to attack it. That’s kind of how it shifted from just being about hard work to being about being present, focused, and hard work across all the things you do in your life.
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Nice philosophy. It has many … The AMRAP philosophy right? I remember that from [crosstalk 00:07:51]-
Jason: I mean, yeah. If you’ve done CrossFit, you know that AMRAP’s are so valuable because you’re pushing against the clock. And so for me, basically in each area of my life, I’m trying to get as many reps as possible. So, if I’m with my kids, I’m AMRAPing. If I’m with my wife, I’m AMRAPing. And when you take that philosophy … Someone who’s never heard of an AMRAP, just think about it this way, if I ask you to do as many pushups as you can in one minute, that’s all you’re gonna focus on. You’re not gonna do anything else but that. And now, imagine if we could take that focus from pushups and translate it into emails or translate it into something else?
Matt: Got it. Got it. Yeah. Just that I wish I would’ve picked it up before we started recording, but I went ahead, and I bought 10 copies before we started recording.
Jason: Oh, thank you so much.
Matt: Yeah, you bet.
Jason: I hope you like the book.
Matt: Yeah. I’m gonna check it out for sure. And if you’re watching this on YouTube, the first 10 people to comment below, we’ll go ahead and send you out a free copy. I’ll pay for the shipping and everything. We’ll send it right out to you. All righty. So, that’s a good way to get Jason’s book. Check him out. I’m gonna check it out.
So, Jason, what do you like best about what you do?
Jason: Well, I like the fact that I can help people. I mean, I remember when I first got out of college, and I was looking at different finance jobs and different things like that. I remember I decided to open up a gym and at the time it was pretty nerve-racking. You’re a 21-year-old kid about to start a business. I had no money, no credentials, nothing. And I remember my dad said to me, he was like, “Hey look. This is …” Obviously, this isn’t the path that he would’ve chosen. He wanted me to be more conservative. He’s an engineer. But at least what we’re doing was ethical and helping people.
For me, what I like is that we have a business and we’re not a non-profit, so we do make profits of course. But, we’re founded on trying to get people in better shape. And then our coaches provide for them, and et cetera. So, it makes me feel good that we’re kind of doing something bigger. And then how do we take this community and then do even bigger things for the rest of the community is the next step that we get to kind of dive into.
Matt: Got it. In today’s world of social media and so many different avenues for people to promote their business, I’d imagine your leveraging your celebrity to promote your business as well. What does your marketing look like?
Jason: Well, obviously, we have a decent social presence. We have a couple of podcasts and things of that nature, but for us, the digital products have been a good way to reach the greater audience. I think that’s something I wish I would’ve recognized earlier as I was competing at the highest level. We’d make money off of selling t-shirts and things of that nature, but what I never recognized is at our gyms that we’re doing great, but if you lived in Germany and you wanted to be a part of our brand, the only way you could do it was through our t-shirts. What I wish I would’ve recognized earlier is how do we create a digital product to allow this person in Germany to feel a part of what we’re doing. So now, that’s one of the things we’ve done: we create our own app for gym owners and for athletes at home, and that’s been a really good way to leverage our digital presence and social media tier point.
Matt: Got it. That’s great. I’m looking behind you, I’m seeing all the awards, the medals, and the trophies. Which one is most special to you and why?
Jason: That’s a great question. I think this one. This one’s a third place at the CrossFit Games in 2014. I took third overall in the world. At that point, I stood on the podium with both my kids. That was a big accomplishment because it took a lot of time and effort to learn how to balance competing at the highest level, building a business, and also trying to be the best father and husband I could be. That was a good representation, all that culminating together. Then after that day, I was in my last time competing as an individual, so that was a big accomplishment for me.
Matt: That’s awesome. Congrats. I read a little bit about your daughter, so I know that your personal life has had some ups and downs and thank God it’s up right now. Your business is going well, you have the training to always consider. There’s an amazing amount of things there to balance in life and I know a lot of entrepreneurs look for any advice they can to get that work-life balance. Is that something you strive for? Is that something you’ve obtained? What have you learned along the way that might help another entrepreneur?
Jason: It goes back to the AMRAP mentality. I think for a while, you’d find me on conference calls with Asia on a headset like this, and riding a bike trying to get in my cardio, and I’d be the guy who’d be on mute the whole time, and then all of a sudden they’d ask me a question. I’d unmute it like, Yes, I think that’s a good idea! Mute back again. I think I was out of breath. What I didn’t realize at the time was I was actually cheating myself on both ends, meaning… because I wasn’t getting the most out of my cardio, that’s for damn sure. And I also wasn’t getting the most out of that call. I would always finish the call and ask myself, could I have done a better job then?
When you talk about work-life balance, or life balance or this and that, I’ve known so many people — I’m sure you have, too — who are so busy but never seem to get anything accomplished. I think it’s because we get about eighty percent of the way, and, for lack of a better term, they don’t finish. Something I’ve incorporated is this idea that I wake up in the morning and I say to myself “What are my priorities? What am I trying to get accomplished? How do I segment out my day? AMRAP each focus, and then at the end of the day reevaluate, how did I do today to AMRAP that?” Look at a big picture, look at the small picture, but basically when I’m at work, be I work from home, be at home. When I’m training, train. That’s been a great way to kinda get more work done in less time.
Matt: Mm-hmm, Mm-hmm. Jason, with being so immersed in your sport and in your business, what do you wish you could talk about more that you don’t get the opportunity to?
Jason: Well, I’m a big sucker for some great coffee. Obviously, I wish I could start a business, a coffee bar and a gym put together, but obviously I talk mainly about the fitness business, because that’s what I’m really passionate about. That’s what I live in day in and day out. Obviously, I’m very passionate about our philanthropic efforts, pediatric cancer. I think that my wife and I have fund-raised heavily for that, we’ve put on a lot of events for that. That’s something else I’m strongly pursuing right now.
Matt: Mm-hmm. That’s something that you’re actively involved in right now?
Jason: Yeah, my wife and I, we host events. We do a lot of blood drives. That’s something… when our daughter was diagnosed, we recognized that we were so fortunate to be in the position we were in and now we kinda wanna pay it forward and help other families ’cause a lot of them don’t have the resources that guys like you and I might have. It a weird thing the way money works, I just want money… just like my fitness, I want it to be a non-factor, meaning with my fitness, if someone is listening to this and they’ve never really been motivated to work out, I get it. You don’t care about six-pack abs, I get it. If you don’t care about the health benefits, I get it.
By now, if you’re 40 and you don’t care, you’re probably never gonna care. But maybe when you do care is that one day where your kids get older. You don’t want fitness to ever play a role where you can’t do something if they wanna do. With money, that’s kind of motivation when it gets to the point where it becomes non-factor to help these other families who want to get to another point where for is, it was a non-factor in the hospital, but for them, it is a factor. How do we give them the hope and just a little something to get them through the day, get them through the month, and maybe that changes their life. You never know.
Matt: Right. If my audience wanted to support you, what would be the best way for them to do that?
Jason: My wife hosts an annual event called Ava’s Kitchen, and it’s with chef Michael Mina, and we do it every February. It actually just passed, it was an incredible event; I’d wait again for that. Also, they could purchase the book. A lot of the proceeds from that benefit pediatric cancer. That’s a great way to get involved. Lastly… look, if you don’t have money to share, that’s fine. No big deal. Just go ahead and go to donate some blood. You never know what kind of impact that could have.
Matt: That’s awesome. We will do that, alright? I’ve got a good audience, and they’ve got big hearts. Cool. So, Jason, what commonly held truth do you disagree with?
Jason: What commonly held truth do I disagree with? Just the hacking mentality, probably, I disagree with. I think this idea of life-hacking has an allure. It’s sexy. It’s like, Hey, I’m gonna hack my way to this. But I think what we often tend to forget is that anytime that we have our way into anything, or create some type of shortcut, oftentimes it comes with some type of long-term or some type of potential downside, and sometimes we don’t talk enough about that.
I’ll give you an example: let’s just say you’re a guy at a company and you’re a middle-level manager and you get brought up to a CFO position or whatever. At first, you’re saying to yourself, Man, I got this salary. I got this, I got that. But all of a sudden, you then shift your lifestyle towards that because you’ve been given this, but maybe you didn’t have the earned confidence, maybe you didn’t have the background to actually deserve that position, and eventually it’s gonna catch up to you. When you get let go, you don’t have the foundation to be structured on to then go do it again and again and again. I think that’s something that people need to realize is that with any hack, there’s generally some type of potential downside. That’s all.
Matt: I like it. I really like that question. I always get a really interesting answer from people, and that was one of the better ones. I really liked it. I think the shortcuts, especially in this fast-paced, immediate gratification society we live in, a lot of people doing themselves a disservice by looking for those hacks, for sure.
Jason: Yeah, it’s something. I was talking about it earlier today. You get what you pay for. When I was in high school, college, I bought this car and, long story short, I learned a valuable lesson that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. With hacks, I think there’s a way that you could… when we talk about fitness hacks, at the end of the day you gotta put in the work. That’s one of the things I love about fitness is that it doesn’t matter how much money you have, doesn’t matter where you’re from, doesn’t matter anything. If you’re not willing to put in the work, no one else could do it for you. So I think it’s a great equalizer for most people because it doesn’t matter your ethnic background, it doesn’t matter. You gotta put in the work.
Matt: What is something that few people know about you that you wish more people did?
Jason: A lot of people know… those who have been following our story for a long time have a lot of information about me. But I would just say that I’m not just a CrossFit Games athlete. I think I get pinned a lot as an athlete because of my accolades in that. But I think what oftentimes people … what I’m really passionate about is improving people’s lives and building these businesses that can do that. The entrepreneur side of me is something that I’m really passionate about that often people don’t see that as much of a side because it’s not as sexy as saying that I was on ESPN doing CrossFit stuff or whatever.
Matt: If there were three guiding principles for your success, what would they be?
Jason: I think it’s important to identify what you’re passionate about, but also at the same time you can’t be all foo-foo about it. Just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you should actually pursue it. I think you have to have the earned confidence and the background to be able to go ahead and get yourself into it.
Take for example me: I was really passionate about fitness, but I knew that for one, to start a business, I need to educate myself on that. Just cause you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you should open a business. But for me, I then sought out mentors, sought out experts to allow me to feel more comfortable and confident to do that. I’d say, obviously, following my passion, knowing what I know, knowing what I don’t know, are two really important things. Then obviously incorporating this AMRAP mentality, I think, has been really important for me. I think it’s allowed me to have some levels of success not only in business and CrossFit but also trying to be a good husband to my high school sweetheart and trying to be the best father I can be. I’d say those three things: knowing what I know and knowing what I don’t know, identify what my passion is and having the confidence, the earned confidence to be successful in what I wanted to do, and obviously incorporate it in this mindset.
Matt: Right. Repetition, they say, is the mother of skill. I think it’s the mother of success as well. If someone wanted to get in touch with you, Jason, what would be the best way for them to do that?
Jason: My Instagram is probably what I’m most active on. If you wanna check it out it’s JasonKhalipa. If you wanna check out my website, JasonKhalipa, we have a podcast; we interview interesting people just with unique backgrounds in athletics and business. I have a YouTube channel, I have a lot of other stuff, but in general, it’s my Instagram and my website.
Matt: Fantastic. Well, Jason, it’s been a pleasure. Let’s stay in touch, let’s do this again.
Jason: Yeah, no, thank you very much for having me. Really appreciate it. Hope everybody has an awesome day and I thank you again for having me on your show.
Matt: Yeah, you bet. We’ve got ten copies of Jason’s book, As Many Reps as Possible. The first ten people to give comments down below the YouTube channel, we’ll go ahead and make sure that you get a copy of that. God bless to your success. I’m Matt Theriault, and I’ll see you next Thursday on another episode of Thought Leader Thursday, right here on The Epic Real Estate Investing Show. Take care.