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Michael O'Dowd

functional fitness

Los Angeles, CA

Mike spent over 9 years in Naval Special Warfare with extensive combat operations experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. He served as a JTAC, Intelligence Analyst, Lead Breacher, Communications Specialist and various other qualifications for his team. He spent his last 3 years in the Navy teaching combat shooting and helping to develop the modern-day Combatives program at the Basic Underwater Demolition School (BUDS). He has trained thousands of military members, government employees, law enforcement, and civilians. He has an MBA from University of California, San Diego and a Bachelors from Boston University.
  • 9 Year Navy SEAL
  • Iraq/Afghan Deployments
  • Weapons Instructor
  • Breacher, Fighter, Waterman
  • NCAA Division 1 Athlete (Rowing)

10 MINUTES WITH MIKE

Q: WHAT IDEA, PERSON OR BOOK HAS BEEN THE MOST INFLUENTIAL IN YOUR LIFE? WHY?

The idea that Special Operations is a mindset. This means that anyone can have it. Anyone can be Special Operations. The mindset is about never accepting failure and never accepting mediocrity. It’s about constant improvement, and bettering your state. Living this idea has helped me tremendously as I transitioned out of Special Operations and into civilian life.

Q: WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM FITNESS THAT HAVE SERVED YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE?

I've learned that fitness is a mental sport. Anyone can workout on Monday morning. It takes mental toughness to repeat that step on Tuesday, and Wednesday, and next week, and next year. Fitness is a grind, and it never ends.

Q: WITH ANY NEW MODALITY YOU GET INTO, HOW DO YOU APPROACH IT IN ORDER TO MASTER?

I always approach mastery with the same mentality… Full immersion. Nobody likes putting in the reps because reps get old, quickly. It takes discipline to put in the repetitions. I like to think that I apply discipline to mastering new skills.

Q: WHAT’S THE ONE WORKOUT YOU ALWAYS DREAD? WHAT’S THE ONE WORKOUT YOU ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD TO? WHY?

I always look forward to running stress courses on the range. It’s an opportunity to see how well I can stay calm while under pressure. It’s always a humbling learning experience, whether I crush it or not. I dread ruck runs. I do them a lot, but they never get easier. Each ruck run is the worst day of my life...

Q: WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR TWENTY-YEAR OLD SELF?

“You have two ears and one mouth. Shut the fuck up and listen."

Q: DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE FAILURE? HOW HAS THAT SET YOU UP FOR LATER SUCCESS?

I don't have a favorite failure because I hate to fail, but I do fail often. Failure keeps me humble and reminds me that I can never stop working for what I want. The fear of failure is a powerful motivator, and I use it to accomplish some of the more ridiculous things I've done in my life... Like joining the Navy.

Q: WHY DO YOU PRIORITIZE FITNESS IN YOUR LIFE?

Physical fitness makes us mentally stronger. I want to push the boundaries of my physical and mental performance for the rest of my life.

Q: WHAT’S ON YOUR FITNESS BUCKET LIST?

Ultra Marathon, The Picnic Teton Triathlon, The Great Pacific Race (Rowing to Hawaii from CA).

THE TACTICAL SHORT

PRODUCT LAUNCH

Designed and tested in collaboration with members of the U.S. Special Operations Forces, the Tactical Short represents the ultimate combination of durability, mobility, and versatility. Perfected through intense field testing by elite operators across all branches of the military, the Tactical Short was created to withstand the demanding and ever-changing requirements of military fitness. Ready to take on anything, from long rucks to hard gym sessions, the Tactical Short has been built for men who take their training extremely seriously.

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