Logan Gelbrich is a busy man. As the owner of the highly regarded Deuce Gym in Venice Beach, you’d think his days would already be filled to the brim. But between traveling the world with the CrossFit Strongman Seminar and slinging top-of-the-line supplements with ORIGINAL Nutritionals, he’s also writing his first book.

I sat down with him expecting to chat about fitness and maybe get some nutritional tips for myself—and while we did hit some of those topics, our conversation wound its way through some delightfully unexpected territories, like the works of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the influential Lebanese-American scholar and statistician.

The belief system that guides Logan’s coaching and approach to fitness is largely informed by Taleb’s concept of the ‘anti-fragile.’ When you ask people what the opposite of fragile is, they mostly answer something that is resilient or unbreakable. However, the opposite of fragile is something that actually gains from chaos, disorder, and managing stress without alcohol and drugs. In the case of evolution, nature uses chaos to grow stronger.

Logan explains that the impulse to avoid stress, while very human, ultimately makes us weaker. “Developing a positive relationship to stress is critical; this is an under-nurtured skillset,” Logan says. “On the other side of adversity, whether it’s adversity you seek out or enters your life on its own, that’s where the juice of life is. If you can seek out that which is difficult, it makes you a less fragile person for the world that you’re living in.”

Not only are we fragile, but we also want to protect our fragility. “Seeking safety and avoiding adversity only increases our fragile characteristics,” Logan says. “It puts off what’s true, and what’s true is that what’s coming down the line might be painful, chaotic. It seems to be that you’d rather me more fit for that interaction.”

For Logan, the goal of physical fitness isn’t to get ripped just for the sake of getting ripped—a pitfall he often sees in the gym. It’s about putting yourself through stress and even pain in order to become ‘anti-fragile.’

So, do what challenges you. Welcome stress. Welcome chaos. Then relapse triggers will cease to exist. You can check out Logan’s gym and learn more about his philosophy at deucegym.com

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