"Living with a SEAL (David Goggins)" by Jesse Itzler

Book Summary:

What do you get when you put a U.S. Navy SEAL and a millionaire entrepreneur in the same hous for a month?

Jesse Itzler, the book’s author, is a gritty entrepreneur who co-founded Marquis Jet (he later sold it to Berkshire Hathaway) and helped pioneer the coconut water craze with Zico coconut water (later acquired by Coca-Cola).

He is also married to Spanx founder (and now billionaire) Sara Blakely.

Itzler had it all.

Successful in just about every aspect of his life. However, he felt stuck in a routine.

Wake up, go to work, come home, have dinner, exercise, sleep. Then do it again.

“I wanted to get off it; I wanted to shake things up in a big way,” he writes.

And what better way to shake things up than by asking a SEAL to train you and push you to new limits.

That SEAL, we know now, is David Goggins.

Itzler was speechless when he saw Goggins (then weighing about 260 pounds) run a 100-mile race without any support staff, and he had to meet this incredible man.

Itzler ended up inviting Goggins to live with him in hopes of getting a bit of Goggins’ magic sauce.

Each day, Goggins came up with a new workout to show Itzler that he was nowhere near his potential. This included running with a 50-pound vest, doing 100 chin-ups in a row, swimming in a frozen lake, running 4 miles every 4 hours and much more.

By pushing Itzler physically, Goggins was also pushing him mentally.

Itzler thought many of the tasks where impossible, but by doing them, he realized his mind was playing it safe and was capable of doing more than he thought possible.

In addition to being about fitness and mental toughness, this book is also hilarious (look on the cover, Lebron James agrees). If you’re a fan of David Goggins or Jesse Itzler, you’ll enjoy this book.

Book Lessons:

1) Measure your foundation & track your progress

If you don’t challenge yourself, you don’t know yourself.
— SEAL (page 229)

One of the first things SEAL (Goggins) did when training Itzler was giving him a fitness test and writing down all of his reps. It’s important to know where you are and what you’re capable of doing.

Once the foundation was set, Goggins started to push Itzler in all different types of workouts and at the end of each day, workout totals were jotted down.

After training with Goggins for a month, Itzler’s mile pace went from 9:20 to 7:50 (7 minutes and 50 seconds). A whole minute and a half faster per mile.

Here are Itzler’s workout totals:

  • 222.5 miles run

  • 6,488 push-ups

  • 236 pull-ups

  • 957 sit-ups

  • 200 burpees

  • 800 jumping jacks

  • 50 box jumps

  • 150 flutter kicks

  • 14 fireman carries

Measure your current abilities and track progress every day to see concrete evidence of what you’ve done and how your performance has changed over time.

2) No one ever regrets a workout

Every day is a challenge, otherwise it’s not a regular day.
— SEAL (page 128)

Goggins made Itzler do some crazy things:

  • Running in a snowstorm

  • Doing 100 burpees in the office

  • Jumping into a frozen lake

  • Jogging with a 50-pound vest

  • The list goes on…

Many of these workouts flat out sucked. A lot of them Itzler didn’t want to do and he even tells Goggins for him to write down “MISERABLE” in his journal during one workout.

However, Itzler never regretting working out.

He never said, “Man, I really wish I didn’t do 100 burpees today.”

Does Itzler complain that the workouts suck? Yes.

But, to be fair, many of the workouts would be extremely difficult for the average adult to complete and Itzler never said no to a workout.

Even after doing 100 burpees in a row, his legs shaking, but he couldn’t help but smile afterward.

Working out may suck, but no one ever regrets doing it.

Snowing? Cold? Tired? Doesn’t matter, when SEAL says it’s running time, it’s running time.

Snowing? Cold? Tired? Doesn’t matter, when SEAL says it’s running time, it’s running time.

3) Excuses only exist if you make them

Don’t get too comfortable. Ever.
— SEAL (page 169)

Have you heard these lines before or told yourself this?

I was going to exercise today, but:

  • It’s raining

  • It’s too cold out

  • It’s snowing

  • I’m sore

  • My shoulders hurt

  • I don’t have time today

  • I have to watch the kids tonight

Sound familiar? I know that I’ve said at least half of these lines to myself.

Here is the honest truth, when you tell yourself these “reasons” you can’t work out, no matter how “good” the reason is, it won’t help you reach your fitness goals. And, all of these reasons are actually excuses.

When Goggins and Itzler were traveling, Itzler didn’t pack an extra pack of underwear. Here is how that conversation goes:

  • Itzler: I didn’t bring any extra underwear.

  • Goggins: So what?

  • I: I can’t run without underwear.

  • G: Nah, bro, you can’t run without legs. It’s on.

Itzler ends up going “commando” style and the two go for an 8.3-mile run.

Whether it was raining, snowing, cold, windy, it didn’t matter to Goggins. They went running.

What happened when Itzler had to watch his kid? Goggins told Itzler to put the kid in a stroller and run with him. Goggins also gave Itzler a 50-pound vest for some extra fun.

You can have excuses or you can have results. Pick one.

Book Review:

This is one of the funniest books I’ve read. It’s two different worlds colliding, one from a strict, tough, military background, and the other from a business, luxury, laidback setting. And when two worlds collide, a lot of interesting things happen.

As a fitness book, Goggins no BS or excuses approach is inspirational. You won’t find workout plans or what foods to eat to get in shape, but you will learn not to make excuses, track your progress and to get creative with your workouts.

Goggins does curse a lot so this book may not be suitable for children, but if you’re an adult, you’ll find this book to be hilarious. It’s rare that I laugh out loud from reading a book, and yet this book made me do just that several times. You won’t find any deep life-changing lessons in this book, but if you’re looking for an entertaining book about fitness that will make you laugh one minute and motivate you to get off the couch and run the next, I highly recommend getting this book!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

If you’re interested in getting the book, click here or on the image below.

For literally a few dollar a book will give you an enormous amount of valuable information that can help you in life. It’s practically highway-robbery. So take advantage of this and read as much as you can.

If you want to check out my list of recommended books, you can find that here.

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