Thosh Collins

functional fitness, strength

Scottsdale, AZ

Thosh Collins is a father, a husband, and an Indigenous Lifestyle coach. He is the co-founder of an Indigenous wellness initiative called Well For Culture. Since 2011, he has served as a board member and senior trainer for the Native Wellness Institute, a non-profit organization which focuses on trauma-informed healing in Native American communities. Thosh was raised on the Salt River Reservation, immersed in Indigenous teachings about healthy, balanced lifeways. He utilizes this knowledge as the basis of his wellness worldview. For Thosh, the purpose of functional fitness is to be ready for real-world tasks like hunting, fishing, foraging, cultivating the land, and staying connected to the outdoors. Thosh believes that everyone has a spiritual fire inside of them, and through healthy lifestyle practices, we can all build that fire to foster success in every aspect of our lives.
  • Co-founder of Well For Culture
  • Board member and Senior trainer for the Native Wellness Institute
  • Deadlift PR: 485
  • Squat PR: 405

Thosh’s field tested gear

10 MINUTES WITH THOSH

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

I'd tell my 20 year old self to keep on the path you’re already on. You will experience loss, heart ache, chemical dependency, failure, scarcity and low confidence, and you should because that’s a part of everyones life journey these days. Just keep chipping away at the goals because you are watched over and everything is going to turn out in a good way.

Q: WHY DO YOU PRIORITIZE FITNESS IN YOUR LIFE?

There are so many reasons why we’ve made Movement/fitness a norm within our family culture. As an Indigenous person, I come from people who were resourceful, resilient, intelligent and very active. Growing up on the reservation we ran a lot. It’s a way to honor our ancestral way of life. We were always told by elders that we should always be grateful for what health we have and to honor it through running. Today I carry that teaching into all modalities of movement. I training to be well for the family and to support the active life I live as a community person. I train so I can be on the land, hunting, foraging and enjoying the outdoors. I train to reduce risk of disease. I train because I simply love the challenge of training in different and unconventional ways.

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

What I’ve learned from fitness is that we as human beings are highly adaptable and resilient if we can by-pass our brain’s hard-wired desire to conserve energy. Fitness have contributed to my overall grit that I harness in life when things don’t go smoothly. During injury, I would have had a harder time completing basic home tasks and parenting had I not been in good shape from exercise. I’m well aware of my physical capabilities and I feel confident that whatever barriers I’m faced whether it be a tough hunt or a laborious work task on our land, I can complete it. Fitness has taught me that having patience, a plan and a positive vision of myself is key to overcoming obstacles and success.

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

I feel it’s critical to first learn the most practical and logical ideology from those that have the most experience in whatever modality interested in. Wether it be via tutorial videos or in-person from mentors and coaches. Next, learn the different methodology in achieving a path to mastery. Goals and timelines work for many people. Whatever the approach maybe, you have to be able to visualize yourself as the desired outcome and begin to shift your mindset into a state of becoming and owning it.

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

I believe failure is a part of success. It’s commonly said by many, if you’re not failing you aren’t trying hard enough! Failure humbles us and teaches that we have room to become stronger, faster, more accurate, or whatever. I think how we deal with failure and bounce back from adversity are important because it reveals who we truly are.

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

Interval wind-sprints are the most grueling workouts for me but I do them. And after I do I feel that sense of empowerment and a release of pent up energy. I always look forward to explosive power days. I enjoy the feeling of exerting heaps of energy to move an object away from me and off the floor in lightening fashion. I believe we all have a fire inside of us. The exertion of energy builds that fire and simultaneously helps us to release, leaving us with a sense of positivity after the release of feel-good neurotransmitters.

Q: WHAT'S ON YOUR FITNESS BUCKET LIST?

I have a short term goal to deadlift 500lbs. My current PR is 485 and I’m absolutely driven to get stronger and improve my technique to meet this goal. As a father of two girls with a busy and committed work life, I have little time or opportunity to pull off epic feats feats. Perhaps in the future I can put more time into completing a longer, more strenuous feat that will inspire. Until then, working through a program that will get me to 500 is a big obstacle for me.

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