In an absolute first, we have a world record holder on our site. Chris Duffin holds the Guinness World Record for both the deadlift and the squat. Color me impressed. He is an accomplished powerlifter, training coach, and a complete inspiration. He’s a dedicated father a family man, an innovator in his field and it was an absolute pleasure to get to know him better in this feature. Not much I can say will give this man the introduction he deserves, so check out this video to see what kind of man we are dealing with here.
Ya dig? Read on and get to know Rad Dad, and absolute warrior, Chris Duffin.
1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?
I have just made some significant career changes to become a better father. For the last 18 years I’ve been advancing in the corporate world moving from engineering to leadership. Over the last 10 years I have been a Corporate Executive managing operations for companies. This has typically been in a company or division turn around role bringing about positive change via both process and cultural change. During this time I also trained as a strength athlete at a very high level and opened a large and serious training facility with a partner to support that. As an athlete I have set the World Record on the Squat on two occasions, have beat a Guinness world record for BOTH the Squat and the Deadlift with the most lifted in one minute on each. I’ve been ranked #1 in the world for one event or another for 6 years straight. During the course of this I used my analytical approach to training, research, and networking to establish connections to increase my knowledge and become a movement specialist. This year I walked away from my Corporate Executive world so that I could have more time to focus on my family, my training, and my passion and gift for helping people.
Despite my education being Engineering, an MBA, and tons of Leadership I regularly teach and coach clinical Doctors of Physical Therapy and Doctors of Chiropractic. I am sought out due to my innovative approach to applying clinical based approaches to rehab and movement directly into strength sports and my ability to distill and explain these fundamentals clearly and how they apply. With that ability to coach and cue lifts and correct movement problems I have been sought out by the best of the best and have trained more All-Time Record Setting Powerlifters than any other strength coach in the world.
My new role involves developing online content to help people get out of pain and move better, traveling & speaking, and a small manufacturing company developing innovative tools to improve human function. And of course picking up heavy weights at my gym and being a generally massive, bearded, tattooed up, and intimidating viking looking dad that you will find out is one of the nicest, friendliest, and most helpful/giving person if you actually speak to me.
2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?
I am incredibly passionate about pushing people to achieve beyond what they thought they were capable of. This trait was why I was so successful in the corporate world and driving change through engaging people and create REAL change in companies. I feel its my duty to help my kids grow up and not become what I call the mediocrity of the masses that we see today. To know and believe that they can shape the world around them and define who they are and who they will be with their choices and actions. That is if the seek the challenge, the uncertainty, and accept the fear of the unknown to realize growth and live outside the comfort that everyone loves to ‘fall into’. It is also my duty to always provide stability and be a pillar of strength for the family to rely on so they have a safety net. To be a man, to be strong Physically, Mentally, & Emotionally even when the world feels like its crashing down around you.
3.How did becoming a father change your life?
My life has been a crazy ride. I’ve essentially already been a father once. I was raised homeless, like living in the woods in a tent or in a condemned house homeless. Shooting animals for food, foraging for mushrooms, filling gallon jugs with water in the creek and setting them in the sun to heat up for your weekly shower homeless. By the time I graduated high school half my life had been this way and I had seen a lot of things most would. This upbringing shattered my younger brothers mind and the rest of his life so while putting myself through college on a full ride academic scholarship I began working full time as a manager at a local manufacturing plant so I could buy a house and take custody of my 3 young sisters. I functioned as both they brother and their father for for those years as I completed my Bachelors in Mfg Engineering, worked on my Mech Engineering degree, and completed my MBA. I’ve been in a leadership and mentoring role for people around me on a personal level and in the professional world for a long time so not much is changing there. But all that said, being a father has helped me realize I in fact do have limited time resources and I need to prioritize and and cut the waste out of my life. It is the true impetus for creating the new me that I am today and what I will be in the future. I have only my family and my passions. All else has been removed.
4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?
There is just nothing better. Its so hard to explain that I don’t think I could do it justice. I love even the bad times. My kids are not morning people and getting them up every morning and getting them ready for school is frustrating and challenging chore but in the end I look forward to it and love that I can do this every day with them now. But the best is when I go pick them up from school and my little girl is literally skipping with every step and bubbly with excitement talking about all the happenings of the day or questioning what we are going to do. The world is so new and existing and full of fun, exploring, and challenges. This is life and I often wonder when people stop living, as I certainly don’t want to.
5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?
My kids just love coming to the gym with me and playing and you will often see them dropping into some of my coaching video’s as they come interrupt some video production. I usually leave parts of that in because I in fact love it as does my audience. But early on I thought i was so cool because every time I picked my son up from daycare he would say ‘daddy can we go to the gym’ and I thought he thinks i’m cool, wants to watch me lift, or loves hanging out with me. So one day i queried him. With a ‘Why’ i asked for more to which he responded “to see my people”. “Oh” “yes my people at the gym”. “What people” i asked and got “one girl… girl with the blue shirt”. Yes he wanted to go because he was the star at the gym. Everyone played with him and the girl in the blue shirt would chase him around the gym and tickle him. Nothing to do with daddy at all. But a 2 year old talking about “his people” was pretty funny to.
6. What advice can you give any new father out there?
Never lose your authenticity which in this day and age seems to happen all to frequently as we try and adapt to what our perceptions of what society wants us to be. Realize that fundamentals of being a father and a man never change and are not ‘redefined’ by cultural agendas or political correctness. Follow your intuition and do what you feel is right and you can’t really go to wrong. There is no level of perfection with anything and you will make so many mistakes it will make you sick if you think about it but if you let authenticity and intuition be your guide it will be a fantastic journey. Being a father is your ‘unknown territory’ that I referred to earlier. Use that to grow as a human being and to create who YOU want to be and if you do so your children will have a role model to look up to and not someone that ‘made it through’ life.
Wow! Thanks so much! You are an inspiration and it was awesome to get to know you a little it better. I appreciate you taking the time to talk with us and to continually inspire those around you. All the best, brother!
More info on Chris:
Personal Website http://www.kabukiwarrior.com/
o #1 Downloaded Podcast for Super Strength Show
o #1 Downloaded Podcast for Strength Matters Magazine
EliteFTS.com (Click articles tab as it defaults to training log)