Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chat with Chip

Chip Conrad
Matt Wichlinski July 8 at 7:48pm
i was just interested in what gives you ideas to write about. I've never been much into writing articles, but am finding it more compelling and even necessary to get my name and business out there. But more so, I have ideas I would like to share that i feel are helpful and useful that others really aren't touching on as I see it. Where did you start? What gives you ideas? Any info would help. Do you just write about experiences of yours or what?

Chip Conrad July 8 at 8:55pm
Here's a secret... I hate writing. But something in me needs to do it. Ya ever watch Dexter? Writing is my "dark passenger."

But you are astute in your observation of the necessity of writing to promote yourself. I started years ago with a crappy little newsletter that I published that I'd hand out to people at the crappy little gym I worked at. I typeset it by hand and photocopied it on my gym's xerox.

Then this world wide web thing started growing. Mel Siff had a wonderful online forum which I participated in, and that got my feet wet (and my ass handed to me... his forum was full of folks with more brains and experience than I had, and if you weren't prepared to fully support everything you stated, they were quick to educate you. Folks like Louie Simmons, Dr, Verkoshansky, Dr. Michael Yessis and a bunch of other folks with more titles and initials after their names than I'd ever had were regular contributors, not to mention Mel Siff himself, the reigning king of Physiology and Biomechanics at the time). Then other forums followed, and although the intellectual sparring wasn't near the level of Siff's forum, at least I could hone my skills and sharpen my ideas.

Eventually my own forum began, and my newsletters went digital. About 7 years ago I started collecting some of my writing together, improving on it and then putting it together in my first book. Since then there has been the blog world, and many websites have taken notice and asked me to write for them.

Now I blog weekly and am almost done with my second book, for the same reasons you find the need to write. It helps spread the gospel of your philosophy, and there might be some stuff that needs saying. My gym is built on a philosophy that was created, tested and shared from my writings. As my tribe grows, so does the need to keep the information flowing, but frankly, as mentioned earlier, I dislike the process. But the brain needs a vent, so I write.

My first breakthrough idea was when I asked myself and the universe why am I doing all of this? Why am I hoisting around heavy toys and straining myself to limits I didn't understand? Starting like most folks, it was to get bigger and look better, but after a couple of years of that, it seemed silly. What's the point? Any goal based on external feedback exclusively is shallow, or at least lacking in true empowerment.

That got the words flowing, figuring out what the purpose of strength and fitness truly was. I'm still figuring it out almost 13 years later.

I don't know if that helps at all, but that's the genesis of my writing. Being an avid reader helped too, and reader other iron heads who are superior writers... Dave Draper, Krista Scott Dixon, Dan John... always keeps the flame stoked.


Chip Conrad is the owner of Bodytribe Fitness in Sacramento and I've been a huge fan of his for a long time, but this is the first contact I've had with him. Awesome dude. Learn a little more from an older interview he did with Jim Wendler from


  1. Sorry about the cut off script, I hope you get the gist. I didn't want to rewrite the whole thing and the copy-paste deal came out like this. If anyone knows how to fix it, let me know.

  2. Cut and paste a paragraph at a time change it to a small font to make it fit. Hope this helps...

  3. Great to see you communicationg with Chip! I been a fan of Bodytribe for a couple of years. Loved Chip's book and DVD. Can't wait for "Brutal Recess" to come out.

    He's a great writer and his advice to you is right on.

    Like the both of you, I hated writing too. I got a degree in writing out of fear. I didn't think I could make in grad school because my writing sucked so bad when I was an undergrad. In fact, I plagurised (spelling?) and often payed students to write essays for me. As a result, when it came to writing I was full of anxiety and fear.

    Learning to write was a very painful experience for me. What was key for me was learning how to trust my voice. I never knew I had much to say, but when I discovered I had voice, it was very empowering for me. Luckily, I had a great support group who believed in me.

    Matt, I love your writing. It's free and powerful like how you train. You write with great knowledge and I love how you articulate your thoughts. They always come across with passion and with inventivness.

    Your writing is an expression of your self. You can't hide who you are in your writing.

    As much of a fan I am of your videoes, I look forward to reading your thoughts more.

    Keep it coming.