Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Taco Fleur, 45, going on to 46, I’m from Amsterdam the Netherlands but haven’t lived there for the past decades.
I’m currently living in Spain and moving to Italy in a few weeks. After Italy we’ll go to Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece to live. For how long we never know, could be a year, or could be two.
After completing Europe, we’ll go back to Asia and travel between India, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and from there we’ll see what happens.
My life, I don’t call it a job, is educating people in the art of kettlebells and becoming healthy and strong.
I run Cavemantraining.com with my wife and other people. Cavemantraining is all about back to basics, nature, movement, and with the ultimate goal being happiness.
It might sound corny, but if you analyze life then it’s clear we all seek happiness, unfortunately, most think that happiness is earning money, buying a house, and owning lots of stuff.
I’ve never been happier since I owned just enough to fit in a backpack and pack up whenever I/we want and have the ability to conquer the highest mountains and trek for days.
I’m lucky to have a wife that enjoys the same things I do and thinks along the same lines.
We have a son who recently left home and went back to Australia, he’s not that adventurous, unfortunately. But I love him more than anything in the world.
Some of the major accomplishments in life are our 3 babies, that is the 3 gyms we set up in different countries and from which we ran group classes and personal training.
It was then I decided that we needed to get online so the world would be our oyster.
After we closed our last gym, the main effort has been to produce high-quality kettlebell education covering all aspects of training and taking any person from zero to kettlebell superhero.
I’ve never stopped working on this no matter how difficult things got, and I mean, there was a time where I slept on the porch for a year because we could not afford the rent anymore, but still, I never gave up and never will.
Now, we have a successful business that is well known for kettlebell workouts and education, we have online kettlebell courses on DVD/Blu-ray/Primevideo, books on Amazon, kettlebell certifications, downloadable kettlebell books from our website, and much more.
It doesn’t stop there. As far as our business plan is concerned we’re only 20% of the way. It’s a slow process as income increases, so can we devote more to progressing with the plans.
And no, we don’t travel with the kettlebells. In Australia we had our gyms, in Vietnam we had a gym, and from there we had none in Thailand, just the gyms, then Spain, we imported new ones.
Now we sold them all, my wife is really good at selling all our stuff 🙂 We just got two kettlebells each now. Once we find a place to settle for a while we’ll just buy new ones.
Describe a typical day of training
I’ve been active and training most of my life but actively pursued training with kettlebells since 2004/2009.
Although kettlebells are my main form of training, I do a lot of mobility work, calisthenics, and also do some barbell work.
I used to train in CrossFit but the more time passes the more I shy away from the CrossFit culture.
Don’t get me wrong, I love anything that gets people moving, it’s just not for me. I’ve seen the light and I’m fed up with the come first with sloppy form kind of attitude that is ingrained from day 1.
I see so many people end up with knee replacement, shoulder surgery, herniated discs, you name it.
The only serious injury I’ve ever had was a neck injury and that was from Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Otherwise, I train safe and make sure that my last rep is as good as my first rep.
Cavemantraining’s motto is “Form and technique first, reps and weight second.”.
I’m also not very huge, which is what most people will judge you on when you say you train, but my training is focussed on mobility, increasing range of motion, endurance, strength, and power with the priority being that I keep enjoying what I do and stay free of injuries.
Here’s an example of what this weeks training looked like.
Monday Strength Full-body
Several EMOMs consisting of the combo demonstrated in the video
Several EMOMs consisting of the combo demonstrated in the video
Friday Strength Upper-body
50 chest push-ups, 20 times the combo demonstrated in the video and 50 triceps push-ups
I train to be able to tie my own shoelaces and retain my dignity when I’m in my 80’s.
I participated in martial arts. It started with going to Thailand for Muay Thai training camps back before 2000, that’s where I started my passion for Muay Thai.
I remained amateur, had one fight, then I discovered Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and enjoyed that even more. I trained in my own gym where we had black belts teach our BJJ classes and within two years I received my purple belt.
When we moved to Vietnam we set up the first-ever functional gym and BJJ/No-gi club in that area. We then moved back to Spain and I was inconsistent with BJJ, I just never found my groove or club where I felt good.
So, at the moment I’m a very rusty purple belt, probably more like a starter blue belt.
Sometimes I wish you could take a step back and turn in your belt for a while until you’ve earned it again as it’s a pressure to step back on the mats when you’ve been out of action.
I’ll always love BJJ and will definitely get back into it again once I find the right place or we’re at the stage in our business plan where we open up a gym again.
My hobbies are what I do every day, writing, filming, educating, growing the business, teaching people, helping people, having a purpose in life.
I love climbing mountains, trekking, camping, adventure, and especially with a kettlebell.
What I like about exercise is that it allows me to move freely without pain, to be able to jump up, hang on ledges, pull myself up, crawl under stuff, move out of the way when there’s danger, and protect myself and family if need be.
My training is as often as the body/recovery allows. I don’t follow any specific program and program on the spot for myself based on how I feel and what I’ve done.
I try to be active every day if possible, whether that is in the gym, on the beach, or on a mountain.
How do you keep going and push harder?
I don’t need motivation to go and train, I train, it’s like breathing, it’s part of life.
If you have to force yourself to go and do something then you’re doing it wrong and for the wrong reasons.
When I do 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 60 minutes of non-stop lifting, I’m talking hundreds of unbroken repetitions, then there is always a point where that little voice starts nagging and I just push him away, the best thing to do is to do another rep when that moment of doubt is there.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
My goals for the next 5 years in training or life is to experience as much as possible, that means seeing as many countries as possible and trying different ways to train.
Always growing the business, either by starting one of the new projects on the list or refining an old one.
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I avoid injuries by training smart, making sure technique is down before upping the weight and reps, and most importantly, leaving the ego at the door.
I also don’t train super heavy, I don’t want to push the boundaries too much in that respect and run the risk of injury, to me, it’s just not worth it.
For recovery, I find sleep is number one, and I sleep like a baby, at least 8 hours every day. To sleep like a baby requires control of the mind and having everything good on the inside (gut etc.).
I don’t take supplements, I try and find that which the body needs in the food I eat.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I don’t track my diet on paper, I keep track of what is good and what is not by listening to how my gut and body feels.
There are plenty of signs you can take note of to tell if what you ate does not agree with you.
What you put in can affect your thinking, how you feel, how you heal, how you perform, etc. I’ll never say I quit alcohol or coffee altogether, but at the moment I’m on a 30 day no alcohol (actually think I passed 30 days and will continue) and no coffee.
I’ll be the first to admit, I like how a drink makes me feel and the buzz I get from coffee, and if I was able to moderate it properly it wouldn’t be so bad, in fact, I think either of them in small qualities, irregularly, are good.
It’s like bacteria, if you live in a world where you always try to stay away from them then your body will be weaker because of it.
Your body needs to be exposed in the right dozes to, let’s call it poison, to get stronger.
I eat good clean food, vegetables, raw, half-cooked, not much meat, red meat maybe 5 times a year, chicken and pork 2 to 3 times a week, fish, the main thing is variety and the focus is on how I feel not how I look.
In other words, if eating a horse would turn me into the hulk but make me feel like crap, then I wouldn’t.
What has inspired and motivated you?
The biggest motivation for me has always been seeing older people that have given up on taking care of themselves,
I’m talking people 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 years old.
One is never too old to start again, as long as it’s done with the right progression. But yes, that’s what motivates me, seeing 50/60-year-olds with canes and big bellies hanging out, not being able to tie their own shoe laces, needing to depend on others, etc.
I never want to be like that, and truth be told, there is no need to be like that, it’s a choice, it’s not a fact of getting older.
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
I encourage anyone, no matter what sex or age to take that first step and find something active that will improve their quality of life, whether that is a kettlebell, hiking, swimming, tennis, golf, or a martial art, pick something.
Start with a book. Set a small easily attainable goal, beat it, and then set the next one and before you know it you’re not needing to train anymore, it’s just part of life.
A great resource to start with if you want to try the kettlebell, which is an awesome tool as one can get you started, is the 21-Days to Kettlebells for Beginners which I created.
People can buy it as a DVD, a course, a book, or even as an Android app, they can get it with coaching or without, and they can even join an 11,400 strong community of other kettlebell enthusiasts to post their progress, ask questions, and more.
The most important part is to take it step by step, don’t rush it, no matter how enthusiastic you are, learn the fundamentals, invest the time to understand the tool and how to train safely.
Are you taking on clients right now?
I take on clients in the online kettlebell courses I run, and I have about a hundred each week in that.
As for personal coaching clients, I only take on a select few and they have to know exactly what goal they want to reach and be committed about reaching that.
Outside of that, I run a private group called The Caveman Inner Circle which is limited to 50 people, they get a new kettlebell workout each week with personalized coaching at the cost of a beer per week.
Where can we learn more about you?
Ready to get really fit and inspired?
I’m Mads Phikamphon, founder of Bulk Hackers.
Here on Bulk Hackers we interview bodybuilders, personal trainers and fitness heroes. We ask them to share their stories and all their greatest hacks!
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