The You Project Podcast

The You Project Podcast is a 30-90 minute dose of inspiration and education hosted by Craig with great stories, ideas, strategies and lessons from high-performers in sport, business, science, media and health.

Listen to the Podcast now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.


#302: Making Sh*t up as We Go

I was recently on The Daily Talk Show with Tommy and Josh and as I’m essentially lazy, I thought I’d use their show description.
“Craig Harper is back and today we discuss:
  • Coaching and mentoring online
  • Switching off
  • The fitness industry during COVID-19
  • Standing out in the fitness industry
  • Customer life cycles in training and coaching
  • Self-awareness and awareness of thought
  • Culture and leadership
  • Influence
  • Empathising with truths and stories
  • Observing thought
  • Cognitive overload
  • Trial and error
  • Old school culture”
Thanks Boys. Enjoy everyone.

#301: Bad Bosses and Toxic Workplaces

Michelle Gibbings is bringing back the happy to workplace culture. The author of three books and a global keynote speaker, she’s on a mission to help leaders, teams and organisations create successful workplaces where people thrive and progress is accelerated. Among other things, on this episode of TYP we chat about toxic workplaces, bad bosses, crappy leadership, non-existent communication and what we can do about it all. Enjoy.

*Michelle’s new book is called.. Bad Boss: What to do if you work for one, manage one or are one.

#300: Performing Under Pressure

299 episodes later, our first ever TYP guest is back for our 300th show. 323 games, 4 x All-Australian, 3 x Best & Fairest, St. Kilda Team of the Century and current Western Bulldogs (AFLW) Coach, Nathan Burke is back and this time we explore all things high-performance, adaptation, creating a new normal, dealing with uncertainty and performing under pressure. Enjoy.

#299: Dr. Dinesh Panipala

Medical Doctor, Lawyer, Disability Advocate, Researcher, TED Speaker and Order of Australia recipient Dinesh Panipala does life from a wheelchair because half way through his medical training, a car accident left him a quadriplegic. He is a truly remarkable human with a truly remarkable story. For me, this conversation was a privilege and if there was an ounce of self-pity in me before this podcast, it’s definitely gone now. If you know someone who needs some inspiration, hope and maybe perspective, please share this with them. Enjoy.

#298: The Bloke who Catches Crooks and Pulls Trains

Grant Edwards is a recently-retired Australian Federal Police Commander, with over 34 years of service protecting vulnerable people around the world. He is a former elite athlete and strongman competitor, participating in the World’s Strongest Man competition and he’s an all-round big unit. Big interesting, inspirational, passionate and compassionate unit. Grant is a sought-after public speaker, author and passionate mental health advocate helping reshape the police force’s approach to mental health. He’s on a mission to remove the stigma around mental health, not just in policing but society-wide. This was a great chat with an inspirational, authentic, courageous and super-interesting bloke. I loved it. And I may have a man crush. Enjoy.

#297: My Forty-Year Apprenticeship

I feel like my entire working (learning) life has been an ongoing training process. An apprenticeship, of sorts. And while I know (intellectually) that I have some competencies, skills and attributes which enable me to get certain things done, the ‘feeling’ of inadequacy, self-doubt and mediocrity is never far away. And as weird and ‘un-inspirational’ as this might sound coming from me, I kind of like it. I like it because my ‘non-special-ness’ keeps me grounded, practical, realistic and doing work. I think if was uber-gifted or smart, I might be lazy. I might not do the work. Having to work hard when some don’t, is not always the handicap it might seem to be. Sometimes it’s a gift. The gift that builds strength, awareness and resilience. For me, it was the thing that made me who I am. This brief episode is about my failures, flaws, fuck-ups and growth. I hope you find some encouragement in it. Enjoy.

#296: Being a Contrarian

The wise-beyond-his-years Pete Shepherd is back at TYP Central and without doubt, this is my favourite conversation with him. We got lost in a number of fascinating topics and I totally love his conversational cadence, calmness and ability to be fully present and connected. And say clever shit.

#295: Dr. Jodi Richardson

Dr. Jodi Richardson is back at TYP Central and we continue our conversation around managing our mind, emotions, body and of course, life. Jodi is both inspiring and fascinating because, while being a respected educator, author and expert in the field of mental health and wellbeing, she is also courageously managing her own chronic anxiety disorder and speaking about it publicly. Love her. Enjoy.

#294: Flow (what, why, how)

The You Project favourite Braniac Bobby Cappuccio is back and this time we go deep exploring the science, process, practice and value of… flow. That beautiful space where time bends, magic happens, productivity accelerates, effort decreases as performance increases and we become part of something bigger than us. We dive into Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work and ideas (from his book ‘Flow’) and along the way, the Braniac manages to slip into Neuroscience Lecturer mode.  Enjoy.

#293: Post-Dream Anxiety (and other stuff)

What about when you wake up from a stressful, anxiety-producing dream, only to realise that you were just… dreaming? It’s not real. Well, the anxiety is real but the threat is not. And while your mind understands the reality of the situation (I am safe, there is no danger, it was my imagination), the anxiety, discomfort and ‘fear’ in your body (elevated respiration, heart rate, stress hormones, blood pressure, nervous system) remains. Despite your knowledge (there is no imminent threat), the stressful physical experience continues. Often for hours, sometimes for days. This is a very brief (but interesting) chat about how that works.

#292: Chronic Fatigue and other Debilitating Conditions

I first met Toby Morrison when he was a teenager suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The once-elite junior athlete spent four years battling exhaustion, debilitating pain, confusion, frustration, mis-diagnoses, judgment (of others) and the multitude of physical, mental, emotional, social and practical challenges that come with such a condition. A few years later, Toby worked in one of my gyms specialising in CFS recovery and these days, he and his team work with thousands of CFS sufferers around the world. His insight into the condition is significant and fascinating and for some people, this chat will be invaluable. I learned a lot and enjoyed our catch up.

#291: Don’t Wait for Your Hill to Change

This brief podcast is one of the thirty sections from my online audio program and it’s certainly a message and metaphor which generally resonates with people. I’m a little under the pump today in terms of available time, so I’ve decided to share this (new to the podcast) audio with you. Enjoy.

#290: The Lady Who Lost 138 kgs

When we recorded this chat (Saturday Oct. 10, 2020), Anna Kambranis weighed 68 kgs. On January 3, 2018, Anna weighed in at 206.5 kgs for her first workout. For my overseas (non-metric) friends, that 138.5 kg weight-loss represents 305 lbs. And no, that’s not a typo. Along with her Trainer (and now friend) Kyle Johnston, Anna has had an interesting journey since setting foot (reluctantly) in the gym almost three years ago. This is a conversation about that journey. Enjoy.

#289: Creating New Habits

Since I was the eighteen year-old gym instructor working all day, every day with humans who wanted to look, feel, function and perform differently, I’ve been having conversation about choices, behaviours, mindset, motivation, self-control and of course, the ever-present challenge of creating new healthier habits. 

#288: PALEO: A Guide to Getting Started

The Paleo Warrior is back and she’s not pulling any punches, sparing any feelings or giving too many f**ks about ruffling feathers or feelings. And by ‘too many’, I mean zero. Which is why we love her. In this episode of TYP, the very bossy, somewhat anti-social, anti-establishment Dietician Vicky Kuriel dropped by to provide a basic ‘how-to-get-started’ guide for (a) people considering dipping their toe in the Paleo Pool for a short-term (4-6 week) test drive or (b) those seeking to switch to Paleo over the long term. This episode is not for everyone (obviously) but even from an education and information perspective, I found it fascinating. Enjoy.

#287: YOU: Public, Personal, Private, Secret and Fantasy

In this brief episode, I talk about the five versions of you (and me) and the way we choose to reveal (or not) those ‘people’ to the world, depending on situation, circumstance, audience, environment, mindset, confidence, fear and motive. Enjoy.

#286: Menopause, Mano-pause and Middle-Age (part 2)

Exercise Physiologist Unna Goldsworthy (B.Ex.Sci, M.App.Sci) is back and this time we go deep with listener questions to continue our chat on all things hormones, emotions, exercise, nutrition, hot flushes, body composition, lifestyle, energy levels and the unavoidable reality of navigating the midlife sh*tfest!


#285: Catastrophes, Courage, Comebacks and Championships

Jacqui Cooper is a five-time Olympian in freestyle skiing (aerials), world champion, five-time world cup champion, mum of three, corporate speaker, entrepreneur, author, all-round inspiration and funny AF. I had the pleasure of being Jacqui’s first strength and conditioning coach and without doubt, when it came to competition, she was equal parts talent, skill, courage and crazy. Jacqui is ace and this was a truly fun conversation. You will love her.

#284: 2,633,256,000 Seconds

2,633,256,000 Seconds. If you’re a statistically ‘typical’ Australian woman, that’s about how many seconds your heart will beat for. Us typical dudes on the other hand, we get a miserly 2,538, 648,000. If I’m statistically average, I have 23.5 years to live and annoyingly, Melissa has 51.5 years. Almost a year ago (October 11, 2019), my training partner died while we were lifting heavy shit. For seventeen minutes (5.05 – 5.22pm). Yesterday we went for a bike ride. Weird. Death is an inevitability and unlike Mark (my training partner, AKA the Crab), most of us will only die once. And while death (the actual cessation of heart beat and respiration) happens in a second or so, life is lived over billions of them. This is a chat about that. Enjoy.

#283: Common Exercise Mistakes, Misconceptions and Fallacies

Exercise Scientist, Gym Owner and Conditioning Coach Russ Jarrett (M.Ex.Sci) is back at TYP HQ and to be honest, this episode doesn’t require an overview because it’s all in the title. Enjoy.

#282: Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation 

Successfully navigating life and its many components (physical, mental, emotional, personal, professional, practical, spiritual) is the ever-present human challenge but without doubt, two of the most important components are self-awareness and self-regulation. That is (1) our ability to recognise and understand our own drivers, strengths, weaknesses, biases, beliefs, stories, fears, values and (let’s be honest) bullsh*t and (2) our ability to manage our choices, actions and reactions in a manner which best serves us and those we care about. This solo episode is essentially a mini workshop, so feel free to hit the pause button, take notes and answer some of the questions I pose or just let it roll. Either or neither. Enjoy.

#281: Agoraphobia, Anxiety, Addiction, Overwhelm and Art

*Before I give my normal show synopsis, I want to tell you that this is one of my all-time favourite TYP chats (top 3 out of 281).

To say that Dylan (Keys) was nervous, uncomfortable, anxious and hesitant before we recorded this is a massive understatement. Dylan is a follower of my work and one day I peeked at his page and saw his breath-taking talent. I told him he was a star, he replied and since that time we’ve interacted with regular messages and calls. The quiet, humble, unassuming gifted artist (who drew the charcoal gorilla), lives in rural New Zealand, has seen very few people in six years, deals with ongoing mental-health challenges, is a recovering addict, suffers from chronic-fatigue syndrome and seems to have no idea of his own potential. So, this is not a ‘typical’ podcast with a typical guest and while it took some encouragement (some might say.. coercion), to get Dylan through the TYP door, I wanted you to ‘meet’ him because I think his story might be a source of interest, encouragement and/or inspiration to many of you. Enjoy.


#280: The Fruit Salad Episode

It’s fair to say that Paul and I covered a lot of territory in this episode, hence the title. We explored everything from implantable brain tech that gives us direct access to the internet (not terrifying at all), Elon Musk’s plans for the integration of biology (you and me) with technology (computers, AI) to produce superior humans (more terrifying), sex robots (good grief), vegan meat, the way games hijack kid’s brains and the potential dangers of technology more broadly, through to raising free-range kids, Paul’s teenage waterboarding experience (for real), corporal punishment in the schools (well, my school) helicopter parenting and a thing called post-traumatic growth. Paul is always fascinating and this episode was no exception. Enjoy.

#279: People Stuff (a New Book)

Zoe Routh knows about people. And stuff. Which is why her new book is called… People Stuff. In this episode of The You Project, Craig and Zoe chat about the social, emotional and psychological Pandora’s Box that is, people and their stuff. Specifically, they explore constructive feedback, the 3 traps of power, subterfuge, undermining and backstabbing, how to design a workplace to avoid the four devils, toxic behaviour and the four devils of people stuff. Enjoy.

#278: How I Organise my Ideas and Downloads

For years, I’ve been keeping an electronic journal where I jot down thoughts, realisations, ideas, anecdotes, questions and topics. It lives in the form of a Word Doc. consisting of hundreds of thousands of words; around the equivalent of three or four 250-300 page books. Over the years I’ve learned that thinking happens despite me and while a lot of it is complete shit, some of it is worth paying attention to and more importantly, taking action on. Ergo, the journal. Sometimes it’s the beginning of something that I intend to expand on later, sometimes it’s a complete idea and/or message in and of itself and sometimes, it’s a piece of a cognitive puzzle that I’m yet to figure out. Often it’s a paragraph or two, occasionally a single sentence, sometimes a dot-point list and with increasing regularity, it’s a page of rambling ideas that seem to come through me, not from me. Sometimes it’s a very intentional, logical, conscious download and sometimes, it’s more of an overwhelm of creativity, inspiration and insight coming from somewhere beyond my acquired knowledge, experience and/or education. I try not to over-think it or ‘get in the way’ but rather, just type.

#277: Busy Head Syndrome

TYP favourite Geoff Jowett is back and as always, the boys have fun going deep talking about stillness, turning down the internal noise, living the simple life and redefining success.  Enjoy.


#276: Coaching Humans

Lisa Alexander is one of the winningest coaches in Australian Sport and after nine years at the helm of our national netball team (the Diamonds 2011-2020), Lisa walked away with a winning record of eighty-one percent. In this episode of TYP, we talk about the evolution of coaching (in all areas.. sport, business, health, life), what it takes to get the best out of people and why being a successful coach in any domain is largely about awareness, empathy, emotional intelligence, psychology and communication. Enjoy.

#275: Lies, Taboo and Bullsh*t

Marketing genius, thought leader, story teller and straight-shooter Simon Hammond is back to chat with us about the key themes and messages in his new book.. Brutal Truth: Surviving in a world of Lies, Taboos and Bullsh*t. At first glance (listen), some of his ideas might seem somewhat controversial (brutal, even) but be patient because when he eloquently explains why inequality is not the same as discrimination (among many other interesting ideas), it becomes apparent that, while he sounds like a hard-arse, he’s actually someone who cares about deeply about people on a micro (individual) and macro (societal) level. This was a good chat.

#274: Menopause, Man-opause and Middle-Age

Exercise Physiologist, Educator and all-round Grouse Chick, Unna Goldsworthy is back and this time, hormones, emotions, exercise, hot flushes, body composition, lifestyle, grieving through Menopause and something called ‘Meno-spread’ (good grief!) are on the conversational menu. Enjoy.


#273: Managing in the Mayhem (a workshop)

A few weeks ago, I decided to run a free workshop for people who were hurting and struggling and for those needing a little inspiration, encouragement and support. The first one booked out in two hours (1,000 people), so we ended up running three workshops over three weeks. This episode of TYP is the audio from our second session and it runs for nearly an hour and a half. We cover lots of territory, ranging from the cognitive, emotional, physical and practical, through to the philosophical, existential and spiritual. If you’ve heard me speak often, feel free to give it a miss, although revision, reminders and reinforcement never hurt. Love ya guts.

#272: Laughter, Bare Feet and Slumpy Posture

This was one of the funniest chats I’ve had on TYP with a great Mate, who also happens to be one of the most down-to-earth, intuitively intelligent and gifted practitioners I know. He’s also highly inappropriate, swears like me and seems to have no apparent filter. Perfect. OD (Ian O’Dwyer) is back and this time we explore the mental, emotional and physical health benefits of fun, laughter and play, we discuss the way emotion ‘lives’ in our body and we also talk about slumpy posture (kyphosis), biofeedback, having hard (but necessary) conversations, life in lockdown, self-experimentation, finding our optimal operating system and self-awareness. So not much at all, really. Enjoy.

#271: Lessons from Failure

Among other things, this is an episode about my numerous failures and f*ck-ups and how those things became lessons, opportunities, growth experiences, resilience builders and motivation to do better. It’s also a broader conversation about the ‘psychology of failure’. That is, the way we think about it, talk about it, process it, understand it and sometimes, turn simple ‘outcomes’ into catastrophic failures.

#270: Dealing with the Uns (part 2)

Through no fault, choice or desire of our own, most of us are currently dealing with all things ‘UN’… uncertain, unpredictable, unfamiliar, unwanted, unknown, uncomfortable, unhappy. Which is both interesting and challenging because we humans like the opposite of all those things. We like predictable, known, familiar, comfortable and happy, which is why right now, a significant increase in anxiety, depression, sadness, fear and a myriad of related mental health issues are telling us that, for many people, Covid is as much (if not more) a psychological, emotional, sociological and economic threat as it is, a biological one. TYP Fave Anna Feringa is back with Craig to go deep on the Uns.

#269: Dealing with the Uns (part 1)

Through no fault, choice or desire of our own, most of us are currently dealing with all things ‘UN’… uncertain, unpredictable, unfamiliar, unwanted, unknown, uncomfortable, unhappy. Which is both interesting and challenging because we humans like the opposite of all those things. We like predictable, known, familiar, comfortable and happy, which is why right now, a significant increase in anxiety, depression, sadness, fear and a myriad of related mental health issues are telling us that, for many people, Covid is as much (if not more) a psychological, emotional, sociological and economic threat as it is, a biological one. TYP Fave Anna Feringa is back with Craig to go deep on the Uns.

#268: Body Transformation Programs

In this episode of TYP, I discuss the Pros and Cons (yes, there are both) of body transformation programs. And while it might seem like a singular focus on a singular topic, it’s actually a much bigger (and broadly relevant) conversation about everything from consistency, mindset, temporary behaviours, expectations, self-sabotage, why people fail and post-program bingeing to subconscious programming, organisation, goal-setting, accountability and (of course), creating lasting transformation. 

#267: Bodyweight, Body-fat and Body Composition

Depending on the assessment tool, my body can be classified anywhere on the continuum from borderline obese (height-weight chart, BMI) to very lean (body composition analysis). No wonder people get frustrated and confused. *Note: Apologies for the audio quality in this episode. Few challenges in lockdown recording conversations over the ol’ interwebs.

#266: The Slippery Slope of Addiction

I was recently interviewed by Jack Nagle on his Podcast ‘Real Drug Talk’ and I think this is a conversation that many people will find interesting. Jack and I first met working at DayHab (our major sponsor); the one-time teenage ice addict and the boofhead Exercise Scientist. Among other things, Jack questions me about my thoughts and experiences around all kinds of addictive and obsessive behaviours, working with addicts, the ‘less-conventional’ addictions, my somewhat obsessive and addictive personality (I used to run 365 days a year, even when I was injured or sick) and the bullet I may have dodged by not picking up a beer when my mates did.

#265: Oldies Lifting Heavy Sh*t

Dean Mawby, is a pioneer in the area of strength training for the 60 plus age group and this is a great chat about an important issue. I’ve long been an advocate of strength training for our ‘more experienced’ citizens, with benefits ranging from the obvious physical, practical and medical, to the not-so-obvious social, emotional and cognitive. Everything from improved strength, function, bone density endurance, balance, energy and overall physical performance, to improved self-esteem, confidence, happiness and quality of life. If I created a drug for our older population that could do what strength training can (1) that shit would sell like hotcakes (2) everyone would take it and (3) I’d be rich AF. *Note: as is often the way with Zoom recording, we had a few minor audio glitches in spots. Apologies.

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