Day 6: The Human Movement Training Tour – The Mad Scientist of Powerlifting

THMTT – Day 6

Three things you need to know:

  1. Bring your squat face
  2. Go by feel
  3. Keep Whiskey in your top draw

“I will be back, I am just going to go have a shot of Whiskey”

Probably the single greatest line I have ever heard someone say before they deadlift.

I literally could almost finish this article here and be entirely happy with it.

Although unique, strong and powerful – a shot of whiskey just would not do Duffin justice.

Nor a barrel of the finest.

Duffin mentioned today that if you were to use the generic measurement the industry uses for success as a gym then his gym hasn’t been overly successful.

let’s be honest – you and I both know that doesn’t mean squat.

The leaders of this industry are not your globo gyms. They are not your LA fitness or Fitness Firsts.

There is no emotion there. There is no story. It’s a corporate hierarchy that wants numbers in the door. They want you through that door once and only once.

The leaders of this industry are those who are building tribes. Tribes of just genuinely good fucking people.

I believe that the best measurement of success is the beneficial footprint you leave upon society.

Therefore – their success is second to none.


Duffin’s story is both amazing and gut wrenching. It will pull on your heart strings and make you want to lift all at the same time.

It’s like as if you need a drink of whiskey just to deal with the plot and then use that dutch courage to lose all concept of fear to pick something up. To calm the nerves to complete the task at hand.

Duffin wrote an article on the benefits of a shot of whiskey before a Personal Best attempt. (And it is no joke –

They don’t call him the mad scientist of powerlifting for no reason.

From creating a whole brand new barbell to reduce stress on the bicep in a squat and designing and crafting intra workout drinks (I had one today – they are the real deal), right through to coaching people to cut 40lbs before a comp!! That’s 18kgs.

See, weightloss isn’t a goal.

It’s an equation.

One that Duffin owns.

He has trained State, National and World Record holders. And he holds a few of those records himself.

He did this whilst still working in the corporate world. Now, he is in the gym. Full time.

So you see all of these accolades I am mentioning?

They are just the beginning.

He has dipped his toe in and now it’s time for the cannonball.

The powerlifting world is about to get soaked. And I can’t wait.

As for his story? I will share some now and you will have to wait for the rest in a podcast.

What I can do is introduce you to the Kabuki Warrior.

Kabuki Strength as Duffin has gone by for some time stems from the philosophy of a war mask.

In ancient tribes you have the everyday man having to go to war. To fight for their life whilst taking someone else’s.

It is not the concept of life we are using here.

It is the mask they wear which allows them to transform from a hunter, a gatherer, a family man into a warrior.

It’s as if they had this power in them the whole time. It was just sleeping.

The mask brings it out to play.

To perform.

The Kabuki Mask of the warrior.

So once you have walked through the door, there is no turning back.

You must bring your mask.

In this day and age, the mask is not a tangible thing but rather a state of mind.

A place that is safe for you to bring out what’s been sleeping inside this whole time.

In short – they will supply the equipment.

You supply the attitude.

Overall, there are two things that have become apparent again and again with the Individuals I refer to as leaders in this industry:

  1. The game is won and lost in your head
  2. Go by feel – learn to listen to your body

We live in a world where every damn “fitness guru” is giving you tips on how to improve your squat, your bench, your abs, your muscle tone, your jaw line – friggin everything!

It’s all crap.

The real leaders won’t even waste their words until they know you are in the right headspace to receive them.

From Bobby Maximus’ ‘Take 5 to Analyse’ right through to Duffins ‘Warrior Squat Face’.

Without even trying they continued to reinstall the necessity of being in control of what happens between your ears.

The mind is primary.

As for listening to your body – learn to know that when it’s on, it’s on.

Follow your intuition just as much as you follow a program.

Some days it’s just on. It’s actually that simple. It’s like everything collaborated and worked against you but for some reason your relationship with the bar that particular day has a slightly stronger pull.

If you feel that – Go!

And then there are some day’s gravity is just heavier. That is life.

Just smile, take a shot of whiskey and do what you can.

No one can take effort away from you.

My last words on Duffin?

He is a gentleman with a welcoming smile. Sounds familiar, I know.

He is transforming from the Kabuki Warrior to The Mad Scientist of Powerlifting.

Truth be told – he is a Wicked bastard child of both.

The guy is insane.

And I love it.

I mean, we are all a bit insane, too many of us just try to hide it.

Not Duffin. It’s displayed in its raw form and beauty for all to see.

I take my hat off to gentlemen like Duffin who have invited me into their home and let me throw down with them.

That, my friend, is what its all about. That’s what this industry needs more of.

That’s how magic happens.

Dave Nixon