Breakthrough Spotlight –
Our Breakthrough Spotlight for February is Livius Bossanyi! We are excited to feature Livius because he embodies one of our core beliefs which is that physical training can not only improve the body, but also mind and spirit!
Breakthrough: Thank you Livius, for sitting down with us today. We were remembering just the other day that it’s been not quite a year already that you’ve been training with us, because it was right before the spring Tactical Strength Challenge that you joined us.
Livius: Yes, right after I started was when the TSC training began, and I remember saying “Ooh I’m going to jump on that.”
Breakthrough: And you did great! Speaking of when you started, what were you doing before you joined us here at Breakthrough?
Livius: What I did before is, you go online and you try to read books and you get some material. A lot of these guys have their own opinions, and they’re not really based in anything. Did they compete, did they go to a powerlifting competition? Then you find out they did neither. They cobbled some information together…
Breakthrough: Bro science!
Livius: Bro science, hah! The first book I ever read which was really, really good, back in 2003, was Power to the People by Pavel Tsatsouline. That was absolutely amazing and I love how he broke down how to get stronger. But again, if you don’t have someone guiding you, you know, how good can I get by reading about how to drive a car rather than having someone sitting there saying “oh maybe you should adjust here, adjust there.”
Breakthrough: Of course. So then what was the turning point for you when you decided to approach your training differently and invest in having a coach?
Livius: Well my objective – you know I like to talk about this too – my background is ever since I got sober which was like almost 7 years ago, I’ve always wanted to get stronger and to be more physically in shape. But when you’re not sober, it’s kind of hard to be stronger and physically in shape. It kind of side tracks you from going to the gym, haha. So once I did get sober, it’s always a positive in my life to be healthy. So that was a big turning point. I had another coach, but he moved too far away for me to drive. I always wanted something that gravitated around powerlifting, and kettlebells, so you start looking and start searching, start google-ing, and you kick the tires so to speak. And none of the places that came up were really appealing… until Breakthrough Strength & Fitness came up.
Breakthrough: You found us! And we’re so glad!
Livius: I found you guys! And at first when I came in here I thought “Oh there’s just a bunch of kettlebells and I don’t know,” but you never want to judge a book by its cover right? So I saw Caleb and I saw you, and you’re two little people and I thought “I don’t know.”
Breakthrough: Haha! Yeah, we get that sometimes because we don’t necessarily “look” like we can do some of the things we can do!
Livius: I remember I watched Caleb when he stood next to me and pressed a 40kg kettlebell like it was nothing, and I thought “alright.” And it’s actually very, very refreshing to be here because yourself and Caleb are very, very knowledgeable and you’ve been in the trenches and are still in the trenches. You guys go to powerlifting competitions, you re-certify as instructors. Again, you don’t want to judge a book by its cover!
Breakthrough: Very true… and thank you! So what kind of differences do you notice in terms of what you were doing before versus your training now? For example, I know you were primarily powerlifting before, but when you joined us, we do a lot of kettlebell work in addition to powerlifting.
Livius: Well one thing that kettlebell training has done for me is, I have some disc issues in my neck and in my lower back, and it’s really strengthened the area around those discs so my back doesn’t really hurt anymore. Occasionally I feel it if I work a 10 or 12 hour shift where I’m on my feet, but otherwise my back feels good. My posture has benefited, my body fat percentage has gone down and I have gotten stronger. I definitely have gotten stronger.
Breakthrough: And a lot of that has to do with using these tiny little kettlebells!
Livius: Yes! Using these tiny, tiny little kettlebells… And the conditioning aspect of kettlebell training is out of control. It gets my heart rate up! And in terms of longevity on the body, it seems that it’s very joint friendly.
Breakthrough: Yes, definitely low impact on the joints! That’s a big reason we use them with pretty much all of our clients – even those in their 70s and 80s! So you’re gearing up for your second Tactical Strength Challenge now. How do you feel about that? Excited?
Livius: Oh of course! For me it’s sometimes that I forget about the process and I just want to be “there.” I just want to be there already. But I think it’s important to enjoy the journey, and to go into the training and just take one day as it comes. You know, I really don’t want to chase numbers anymore, but as a measuring stick, you want to do a little bit better, whether it’s a little more weight, some more reps, whatever the case. So that I’m not just coming here and going through the motions.
Breakthrough: Right, you have to have a way to monitor your progress.
You can see that you’re not just feeling better, dropping body fat percentages or your back feels good and all of that good stuff, but you can do things you weren’t doing before, or do them better than before. Seeing that kind of progress is very motivational!
Breakthrough: So then speaking of motivation, we always like to hear from people, what’s your “why?” We all have those days where we don’t necessarily feel like training. So what keeps you going even when things get challenging?
Livius: My why is that I get to feel healthier. For me it’s important to stay healthy, to stay physically fit, and sure, some of it could be superficial… because of “Hey I’m this old and look at me, I look pretty decent.” But another big why for me is, I deal with depression, and instead of “oh take this medication, take that medication,” this is much more helpful and much more beneficial. So I think for me the why is just a sense of well-being, not just mentally and physically, but spiritually, and this encompasses it all. And I get to interact with some nice and cool people.
Breakthrough: We are lucky to have really awesome people around here!
Livius: And who knows, you never know who you may help.
Breakthrough: Yes! You are a walking example of taking care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually, as you said. I know you are an inspiration to us around here, and I’m sure to so many others in your life as well! Thanks so much for sharing part of your journey with us, Livius!