Sebastian Copeland's Absolutely Insane Arctic Training Plan

In less than seven months, Sebastian Copeland and Mark George will attempt “The Last Great March[1],” trekking 480 miles unsupported from Canada’s Ellesmere Island to the North Pole. He’s aiming to break the current record of 49 days, but perhaps more significantly, to complete what may be the last chance at this classic polar expedition, which relies on being able to walk across sea ice that’s rapidly melting due to climate change. Copeland’s crossing will be more challenging than any arctic traverse in history due to the fractured sea ice and pools of meltwater.

MORE: Sebastian Copeland and Mark George's Record 404-Mile Trek Across Australia’s Simpson Desert[2]

Copeland just completed the first part of his training plan: a 404-mile desert crossing in Australia. Copeland and George used “the same harness that we'll use in the arctic to pull our supply sleds, so the stress on the body will be similar, if not worse,” says Copeland. “I’m thinking we’ll have more drag with the soft sand and rolling dunes, and maybe even a heavier sled. We’re bringing 120 liters of water, so that’s 250 pounds of water alone, plus all our gear.” The two set a record for the longest crossing along the latudinal axis of the desert in the process.

While the desert crossing was a success, Copeland, who is 52 years old, won't be resting on his laurels. He's already resumed his grueling strength-training regime, training six days a week for 1.5 to 2 hours a day using a combination of cardio and circuit training. He starts every session with the foam roller, then jumps on the stationary bike for 30 minutes, getting his heart rate to 150–160 beats per minute and holding it there for the duration of the ride. Next comes circuit training with a focus on core, legs, and glutes, and some upper body (pull-ups, bicep curls) added in for overall muscle balance.

ALSO: Sebastian Copeland Sets Sights on the North Pole[4]

“I typically cycle between 8–10 exercises in the circuit, with three of those being abs from each of the three angles — upper, lower, and side,” says Copeland. “For muscular strength and endurance, I definitely favor TRX and calisthenics, like squats on a BOSU ball and burped-style push-ups on the BOSU ball, to machines.”

Some of Copeland’s go-to exercises include dead lifts with 100 pounds, TRX mountain climbers (three sets of 50) for core, and the “monster walk” using lateral bands for glutes and legs. To best prepare for the desert crossing, he added in more upper body than usual, specifically for the triceps, in anticipation of the need to push the sled up sand dunes.

“The people who come back from the gym and tell me they’re energized, well, I think they’re not training hard enough,” Copeland says. “I’m exhausted when I get home. I take a shower and get in bed with my computer so I can be horizontal for 30-60 minutes. The pain of training is very much part of it.”

Six weeks out from the arctic expedition, Copeland will add in an extra workout where he hitches a large truck tire to his harness and hauls it for an hour on the dirt paths near his home in Los Angeles, or on the beach. He hopes to build up to being able to do two of those workouts per week, in addition to the six cardio/circuit-training days. Sunday is always his off day, where he goes on an easy bike ride with his wife or takes a long walk with his toddler and new baby.

For all his physical efforts, Copeland feels the most critical preparation is his head game. Each night before bed, he visualizes the conditions of the expedition, what it’s going to look like and feel like to be there. “It’s mental equity,” he says. “It’s something I do naturally, and have come to realize plays a big part in building my drive and motivation so that once I get out there, I don’t quit.”


Cyclist Hits 89 MPH to Break Human-Powered Speed Record

At highway speeds, it's the most efficient vehicle in the world. Credit: Courtesy Aerovelo

Take the flattest, smoothest, straightest highway in the world, add the world’s fastest human-powered vehicle, and you’ve got yourself a new world record.

The Mountain's Latest Badass Record: World's Highest Keg Toss[1]

The highway is the 305 in Battle Mountain, Nevada. And the bullet-shaped recumbent is the Eta, created by the Canadian design lab AeroVelo to break land-speed records. It’s done just that — twice. In September 2015, the bike hit a speed of 86.65 mph. Then, a year later on September 17, the Eta reached 89.59 mph during the five-mile World Human Powered Speed Challenge.

Analysis of the performance showed that Eta required less than 198 watts of pedal power at 56 mph. That's a wattage easily achieved by most casual cyclists and translates to a 9,544 MPGe (the electric car equivalent of MPG) highway fuel efficiency. This is the highest per-passenger MPGe of any existing transportation technology at this speed. 

Named after the Greek symbol for efficiency, Eta seems to be living up to its name. Eta’s aerodynamic shell gives it 100 times less drag than a modern car, and the bullet-shaped design allows it to exceed average highway speeds of 60 mph using less than one horsepower. Outfitted with custom Molten Speed Wax bike chains, paper-thin tires, an ultra-lightweight frame, and piloted by AeroVelo co-founder and aerodynamicist Todd Reichert, Eta was able to better its previous top speed of 87 mph with ease. “We were surprised and excited to see that the bike was even faster than expected,” says AeroVelo co-founder Cameron Robertson. “This last year [of development] was largely about doing incremental work we had always planned for, and it really paid off. There are some small changes still to be made in the whole system (bike and rider), and we hope to push the record again next year.”

Todd Reichert pedaling the Eta without its shell. Aerovelo

Robertson says that it’s not out of the realm of possibility to hit triple-digit speeds with Eta. “People used to think in terms of impossible limits and unbreakable barriers,” Robertson says. “Twenty years ago no one thought 70 mph would be broken. We've made clear that with this bike, 90 mph will be reached very soon.” He says that the largest impact comes from excellent aerodynamics, but the drivetrain efficiency, reduced rolling resistance, internal aerodynamics, and ergonomic design are all very important. “New thinking and technologies will likely be needed to break 100 mph, but these are well within the capabilities of the creative people in the community.”


Karl Meltzer Sets New Appalachian Trail Record Fueled by Spree, Oreos, and Bacon

"At home, I actually have a pretty good diet. But when you’re out there, the body wants fat, it wants fuel. I mean, your body is basically like a furnace when you’re doing these things." Credit: Interpret Studios / Red Bull Content Pool

After Scott Jurek[1]'s inspiring 2015 traverse of the Appalachian Trail, we didn't think we'd be talking about another speed record being set on the trail for some time. Now, just one season later, ultrarunner Karl Meltzer conquered the trail in just 45 days, 22 hours, and 38 minutes, shaving nearly 10 hours off Jurek's time. Like Jurek, Meltzer ran the AT supported, which means he used a crew to supply meals and set up camp. The accomplishment was especially satisfying for Meltzer, who has made two prior AT record attempts in the past eight years, falling short by a week on the first and aborting the attempt early due to injury on the second.

We caught up with Meltzer at his hotel in Georgia after the feat to talk about his physical and mental state, his candy-fueled diet on the trail, and what’s next.

ALSO: Scott Jurek's Masterpiece, Taking on the Appalachian Trail[2]

It seems third time’s a charm for you. How does it feel?

I finally got it done, the monkey is off my back. I’m super happy with the performance. I realize it was kind of like an on-and-off, back-and-forth kind of thing with my miles — there were definitely some problems out there — but now I feel great. And I’m pretty psyched to go home and chill out on my own couch.

How is your body holding up?

It’s actually in really good shape. I mean, when I’m sitting in this chair right now and I get up, I’m walking around kind of slow, but I don’t have any injuries. I’m not hobbling around where I can’t move or anything like that. With that said, I don’t plan on going running anytime soon. I’ll do it again for that first time when I feel like it, which could be two weeks, two months, I really don’t know yet. I’ll just let that evolve, let it come. Naturally. But generally speaking, my feet are in great shape, and I only lost like three pounds on the whole thing, which is essentially nothing. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m feeling so good — I’m not emaciated. My body is recovering well. I expect it will take three to four months before I’m probably, hopefully, back up to speed, if you want to call it that.

ALSO: Heather Anderson's Record-Breaking Self-Supported Hike on the AT[3]

Your diet on the trek, was, well, unusual, especially compared to Scott Jurek, who eats very cleanly.

Yeah, Scott lost 19 pounds when he set the record last year. He’s vegan, so he’s not taking in as much fat as the rest of us. And I think with long adventure things like this, your body needs fat. And yeah, sure, I realize it sounds horrible to say I was eating bacon and sausage and fried chicken, but it’s not like I eat those things normally, or regularly. At home, I actually have a pretty good diet. But when you’re out there, the body wants fat, it wants fuel. I mean, your body is basically like a furnace when you’re doing these things. And the second something goes in your mouth, 10 minutes later it’s like it’s already burned — it’s like throwing a piece of kindling on a raging fire, it just burns right up.

What exactly was your kindling?

You want, like, a list? Okay, let’s see. Cinnamon rolls, ice cream, Spree candy — I ate Spree every day — Milky Ways, 100 Grand bars, rib eye steaks, a lot of oatmeal raisin cookies, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pierogies, chicken, pork loin — I ate as much meat as I could for protein — sweet rolls, donuts. I never buy donuts, but my crew was like, "Hey, we bought you a dozen donuts," and I was like, "Bring those over here," and I’d wolf three down like nothing. Donuts are great for energy. Bacon, I ate a lot of bacon out there. My dad would buy me Oreos. Chips Ahoy, I definitely loved Chips Ahoy. My crew would make me things like quesadillas, steak-and-cheese wrap, grilled cheese, pizza. The only things I don’t like are mayonnaise, vinegar, and sour cream. I’ll eat anything other than that.

What was your favorite part of the AT Trail?

Roan Mountain in North Carolina is a really cool place because you get above tree line and the valleys are super green, and it’s super beautiful up there. And you’re up higher, so it’s a little bit cooler.

Max Patch bald is a place that’s just super nice, beautiful, so kind of southern and central Virginia, those types of areas are really nice. But my favorite part of the trail was just the fact that it’s a green tunnel and you’re in the woods all the time. That’s really the beauty of the AT. It’s not the viewpoints, it’s the tunnel part. Maine and New Hampshire have the best tunnel for sure. You don’t see anything. It’s just like this tunnel right in front of you. It’s awesome.

What kept you going out there?

When you do something like this, you treat it as day-to-day or section-to-section. You kind of have to, because it’s so, so long, When I’m in Maine and have like 40 days to go, you don’t think okay 40 to go, 39 to go, 38 to go. You just think about how far it is to the next leg, to the van. You just treat it like, "Okay, every day I gotta go 50 miles," or whatever it was. The hardest part is getting up in the morning, at 4 a.m., and being like, "Okay, I’ve got to go again all day." My goal was always to get to the van so I could get to sleep so I could be ready for the next day. I don’t do good with sleep deprivation, so I wanted to get down every night by at least 8:30 p.m., which I did most of the time. So I was really focused on just getting done with the day so I could get enough sleep. And then eventually it was day 40 and I had a chance to get the record.

You went hard on the last day — 83 miles nonstop, finishing at 3:38 a.m. That sounds brutal.

The plan is always to go big on the last day. I’ve done so many 100 milers that 83 miles is nothing. I mean, it wasn’t nothing, it was hard, but it was just another day, except that I had to go until four in the morning instead of until eight at night. So it wasn’t that big of a deal to go that far at the end. I just wanted to be done. The weather was perfect too, so it was just really nice to be out there. Scott Jurek ran the last 30 miles with me, so that was like a pretty special thing too, for both of us to be out there and just reminisce about old times, chatting about whatever. We’ve known each other for 15 years, we’re good friends, so it’s always cool to run with Scott. It’s pretty inspiring any way you look at it.

What’s next?

Rest and relaxation. As far as what I’ll race next year, I’ll do something, but I don’t think it will be early season, probably more of a fall season thing. Like I said, I’ll go running when I feel like it, and that could be two weeks or it could be two months. I’m going to Hawaii in April with my wife for our anniversary. Other than that, I don’t have anything major planned right now. It’s just to decompress, enjoy the moment of having the record, and just chill out, play a little golf, do some stuff around the house, just kind of tool around and get back to the real world.


If You Have One Day, What's Your Adventure? Renan Ozturk in Alaska

On Friday, October 14, we will remind all of you of your God-given right to ditch out of work to raft, hike, learn how to surf, or take a motorcycle tour — basically to do any fun outdoors thing you've been putting off. National Day of Adventure[1] is a skip day for adults where we encourage you to take a single-day adventure that will turn your sick day into a sick! day.

Here, we asked mountaineer and one of Men's Journal's 50 Most Adventurous Men[2], Renan Ozturk, what adventure he'd pursue if he had one day to do it. Here's what he said. 

"I’d probably spend it based out of Talkeetna, Alaska, which is my home away from home. I’d get dropped on the Ruth Glacier, bust out of a big unstretched canvas that’s five feet wide, take my multimedia art supplies, and do a little art — probably be shooting a time lapse at the same time. 

Then, maybe do a tiny bit of rock climbing with a buddy or two and get essentially picked up before the day is done, and I’d go out in a boat and have it go top speed against the current up the river for fresh Alaskan salmon fishing. 

In the summer, Alaska is still light out [at night]. It’s now getting twilight and you’re just watching the light change on the high peaks of Hunter, Foraker, or Denali. It’s just good to be in a place where the inspiration is right there. You look up, and depending on what time of year you’re there, you might even be able to capture some northern lights, which keeps you fired up to keep going." – Renan Ozturk


  1. ^ National Day of Adventure (
  2. ^ 50 Most Adventurous Men (
  3. ^ NDOA: Your Spot for All Your National Day of Adventure Inspiration (

Tinder for Thrill-Seekers: Introducing LuvByrd, the First Dating App for Adventurers

Credit: Buena Vista Images / Getty Images

Two years ago, Mike Keshian, a self-described ski bum living in Crested Butte, was looking for new ways to meet women. “Most ski towns are, like, eight guys to one girl, so it is pretty tough for guys to meet women,” the 32-year-old told Men’s Journal.

Hooking Up With Tinder[1]

At the time, Keshian was using OkCupid, Tinder[2], and Plenty of Fish, but found the dating apps never really worked for him. He saw an ad for[3], which targets the agriculture community, and wondered why there wasn't an app for ski bums like himself. With the help of a few friends, Keshian created LuvByrd[4], a dating app for outdoor enthusiasts.

“It is a lot different than meeting someone on a typical dating site,” Keshian says. “On my typical online dates we’d meet at a restaurant or bar and connect that way. But most people on first dates on LuvByrd would like to go hiking or skiing together.”

Best Places to Live 2016[5]

The app, previously only available in Colorado, is now expanding to cities like New York, Chicago, and L.A., where Keshian says it can be harder to meet outdoor enthusiasts. Users can search out possible dates based on their favorite activities, mountains to ski, and level of ability.

“The dating industry is all about some kind of common interest,” Keshian says. “For someone who is an outdoor enthusiast, that is probably their number one interest, and it’s the easiest way for people to connect. Like, ‘Oh you’ve got the epic pass, let’s go ski Breck. I’ll meet you there.’ ”

The basic LuvByrd app is currently free to use, with a premium version that includes features like unlimited messages, and the ability to see who has liked you. The company plans to launch a feature where users will be notified if someone they have been messaging with is in the area, for example, at the same ski resort.

A walking advertisement for his product, Keshian actually met his girlfriend, Kelly, through the app. Shortly after they connected, they bought some plane tickets and headed to the Redwood National Park.

“We drove to the coast, and we woke up in the morning for sunrise, and there was water on both sides of us and it was amazing,” Keshian says. “We continued through the Redwoods, and we parked the car, and just kind of wandered around together. She was so into it, and for me, someone who can rough it a little bit more than most girls, was definitely a selling point.”


  1. ^ Hooking Up With Tinder (
  2. ^ Tinder (
  3. ^ (
  4. ^ LuvByrd (
  5. ^ Best Places to Live 2016 (