New year health and fitness advice from the man who helped Gabriel Medina become world surfing champ

New year health and fitness advice from the man who helped Gabriel Medina become world surfing champ

Updated: Mar 26, 2024Veronika Larisova

Coming into the new year, we know many of you will be looking to get your health and fitness back on track. Rodrigo Perez is one of our go-to experts, so we sat down with Rod to get some words of wisdom. 

For the past 25 years, Rod has been working with top athletes and everyday people achieve peak performance through better breathing and mind focusing techniques, as well as better mobility and precision of movement. He’s an Exercise Scientist, biohacker, movement and performance expert, surf coach, yoga practitioner, personal trainer, triathlon coach and, to top it all off, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! Actually, that’s not quite an exhaustive list but suffice to say, Rod knows his stuff. 

Why do you call yourself a biohacker and what does that mean to you?

During my 25 years of coaching I've tried many supplements, diets, and protocols. -I've learned about some really good ways to make my body work better and stay healthy for a long time. I use these methods to teach my athletes and students how to do the same and perform better while feeling good.

For me making small, incremental diet and lifestyle changes to leads to consistent improvements to my health and well-being. This can be anything from maintaining my ideal body weight to enhancing my brain function. For example, using Intermittent Fasting and incorporating a daily meditation practice.

You work with a lot of pro athletes and non-athletes, what have been some of your most satisfying or memorable experiences?

The best experience working with athletes was when I supported Gabriel Medina in winning his first World Title in 2014. As a Brazilian, it was emotional to watch Gabriel become the first Brazilian to win a world title in surfing!

I had a client who wasn't an athlete, and they had a big surgery on their back that changed their life. I worked with them for more than six years to help them move better, and it was one of the best moments in my career when they could move again.

When it comes to health and fitness, are there any common work-ons that often have a significant impact on performance?

Diet is crucial; everyone can make small or significant improvements so start there. That's why I love all of Chief Nutrition's range (including your new liver capsules) as they help me eat clean and tasty real food even when I don't have time to prepare a sit down meal.

Secondly, resetting the muscular neural pathway, as many clients have poor awareness of their bodies. Many muscles aren’t working optimally during training and in daily functional movements.

What would you say are the best first steps for everyday people wanting to improve their health, performance, and longevity?

Firstly, gather the right information, research and ask questions to the right people. You need to change your daily habits slowly, beginning at home by improving the quality of your food.

The next thing is your hydration and sleep. They’re such simple things that people often forget how important they are. It doesn’t matter how good everything else is if you don’t get the fundamentals right.

Next, it's important to create a good morning routine that includes exercises to make your body move better, stretching to keep your muscles flexible, and breathing exercises. This routine will help your day begin on the right track and stay that way. Developing these daily habits will make a really big difference in the long run.

Where can people learn more, like resetting their muscular neural pathways?

The easiest place to start is to follow me on Instagram @holisticprohealth or Youtube for free tips and training. If you’re interested in intermittent fasting, you can grab my eBook, The Longevity of Fasting. And you can come and train with me in Coolangatta on the Gold Coast at my studio Holistic Pro Health Performance (HPHP). I also have a bunch of online programs for surfers and non surfers.

Or, if you’d like a 10 day complete reset, come and join me and surfing legend Tom Carroll this April at our Surf, Meditation and Mobility Retreat in Sumba, Indonesia!

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