The WarriorU Podcast
Episode 77 - Special Operations - Anthony Plater.

Episode 77 - Special Operations - Anthony Plater.

December 8, 2019

Episode 77 - Special Operations - Anthony Plater.

This week Bram Connolly talks to retired Special Forces Warrant Officer, Anthony Plater. Bram and Anthony served together in the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, the 4th Battalion (Commando), the 2nd Commando Regiment and the Special Operations Head Quarters. During the years they served on operations together including Somalia and Timor and they also recount stories from more recent operations in Afghanistan. Anthony is now a Crossfit Coach located in Canberra and an advocate for Veteran health and well being. This conversation, just like their careers, is littered with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. They recount the characters throughout their careers that had the biggest impacts and influence on them personally and they talk about how Anthony dealt with the effects of PTSD; as a warrior walks one more time into the breach. 

A note from Bram Connolly: This episode is a timely reminder that a career in the Australian Defence Force is temporary and that the most important factor for mental fitness is the strong relationships that we build and maintain. Remember, not everyone is affected the same way in the same circumstance. During this episode we used a sound effect to protect the names of those still serving, or those that may wish to remain below the detection threshold. We have omitted anything that is not available through public discourse or on the internet. Listen to the end for a shout out to the fine soldiers of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment - The Big Blue One - our first operational deployment in 1993 will always remain the most special of memories. 

Episode 76 - Jake Matthews - UFC

Episode 76 - Jake Matthews - UFC

November 24, 2019

This week Bram Connolly talks to Jake Matthews, a mixed martial artist who is currently competing in the Welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. They discuss the different disciplines that make up MMA, as well as the skills that Jake has incorporated into his own fighting style. 

Jake also shares his thoughts on learning from different fighters from different disciplines and the value of their insights regardless of rank.
He also touches on defeat and how he bounces back after feeling crushed by it.



05:45 Growing up & dissecting disciplines 

24:20 Mental resilience

30:43 Weight divisions & training
39:35 Bouncing back after defeat
44:11 Social media, nutrition & diet

Just a reminder that the Echelon Front Muster is being held in Sydney on the 4th and 5th of December. You can get around $1000 off if you enter the discount code WARRIORU at checkout for

You can register for World of Tanks by following the link in the description or visiting '', and entering in 'WARRIORUWOT' into the redeem code section, to receive three days of premium time, a tank, and much more! 


Episode 75 - Mental Toughness - Gaj Ravichandra

Episode 75 - Mental Toughness - Gaj Ravichandra

November 11, 2019

This week on the WarriorU Podcast Bram Connolly talks to Gaj Ravichandra, an Organisational Psychologist and co-founder of Kompass Consultancy. Gaj works with organisations to enhance talent management initiatives and leadership capability. They discuss mental toughness and resilience and how these influence one's reactions, views, and especially leadership strategies.

Gaj poses lots of interesting questions that are aligned with human optimization, like having a critical mindset, managing strengths and weaknesses, and improving leadership. There is also an entire discussion on regaining control from situations where it seems like there is no control.


(07:13) Resilience & mental toughness

(17:26) Strengths & weaknesses

(24:56) Leadership traits

(34:20) Support and regaining control

(46:32) Personality

(52:32) "Problemtunity"



Episode 74 - Wellness for humans - Coach Joe DiStefano

Episode 74 - Wellness for humans - Coach Joe DiStefano

November 3, 2019

This week Bram's conversation is with Coach Joe DiStefano. For eight years Joe was the Head of Sport and Training at Spartan Race. Joe is now the Founder of RUNGA, which is an experiential lifestyle brand. Joe helps to empower individuals through effective and sustainable practices that fuel health, wellness and performance. His teachings focus on reinforcing mindset shifts that give people the courage and the tools to align their actions with their objectives.

 This conversation is HUMAN OPTIMISATION 101.

 They discuss

  • Training as a circuit breaker for PTSD.
  • Understanding the primary drivers for why we are exercising.
  • Searching and aligning with our life’s purpose.
  • Snowball effects of learning better habits:
    • like drinking more water;
    • consuming no sugar; and
    • not eating fried foods.
  • They discuss the power of learning meditation and self-care.
  • AND…they also talk about making workouts fun, cold water therapy and Joe’s mate, Ben Greenfield – Ben is a personal hero of Bram's and the actual reason he started this podcast

    The WarriorU Podcast is brought to you by World of Tanks.
    You can register for World of Tanks by following the link and entering in WARRIORUWOT into the redeem code section, to receive three days of premium time, a tank, and much more!

    Major Sponsors: Ironside Coffee, Aussie Strength and SORD Australia.

  • Ironside Coffee
  • Aussie Strength
  • SORD Australia
Episode 73 - Warrior Philosophy - E.M. Burlingame

Episode 73 - Warrior Philosophy - E.M. Burlingame

October 28, 2019

This week on the WarriorU Podcast I talk to EM Burlingame.

EM is a fascinating guy; he has trained as a Zen Buddhist, he’s an electrical engineer, has a degree in Strategic Studies and is currently completing a PhD in Computational Science and engineering.

Now consider this....after 911, he rejoined the US Military at 42 years old and did all the courses to qualify as a USSF Green Beret. At forty two!!!! He is now the founder and the CEO of BioCourt which is a traumatic brain care whole of health initiative, and he was a Co-founder previously of a startup called Sanopic - which we will talk a little about in the episode. 

This is primarily a Warrior Philosopher conversation. 

We discuss international relations, the possibility that we are in World War 3, Clausewitz and also the ancient Greek philosophers.

Some of the main topics:

The human condition and war.

Political correctness leading to war as a hard reset back to civility. 

Brain injuries and how that effects strategic decision making. 

PTSD and the difference between that and natural combat wear and tear.

Oestrogen versus testosterone, or -  is it in fact really Alpha versus Beta.

Episode 72 - Ironman - Pete Jacobs

Episode 72 - Ironman - Pete Jacobs

October 21, 2019

This week on the WarriorU Podcast Bram talks to professional triathlete, Pete Jacobs.

Pete is a previous winner of the Iron Man World Championship race in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii winning the event in 2012. This is made all the more remarkable when you hear that he is not only self-coached, but that Pete also lives with a type of chronic fatigue.

Bram and Pete discuss low carbohydrate diets, shifting from low carb to the keto diet and then onto the even more extreme carnivore diet. They also discuss learned patterns and how these effect an athlete’s choices; and in addition to all of this, Pete shares his understanding on what it takes to build mental toughness.

Pete isn’t out there in the wilderness with his views on low carb racing either. As a professional triathlete and 2012 World Champion he has access to many and varied brilliant people within the sport and nutrition communities, Dr Tim Noakes and Dr Phil Maffetone; as examples.

Hey gang, this is a great episode if you're interested in why some foods make you feel the way they do and if you would like to start a journey of dietary self discovery. Warning though - I'm still confused as to my own personal relationship with food. Bram Connolly. 

Episode 71 - Red Six - Michael Handley

Episode 71 - Red Six - Michael Handley

October 13, 2019

This week on the WarriorU Podcast Bram talks to Michael Handley. The discussion starts with the two reminiscing about their experiences on operations with the First Battalion in Somalia way back in 1993. They discuss the ADF and its modern operational tempo and the need to support veterans on exiting the services. Micheal is the creator of the @redsix application and they go in-depth around its utility and functionality.  

Episode 70 - Coffee and Leadership - Ben Horton

Episode 70 - Coffee and Leadership - Ben Horton

October 7, 2019

In this episode of The Warrior U Podcast, Bram chats with Ben Horton of Ironside Coffee Co. The two share a similar background of military service and trade stories of their deployments - like dealing with RPG threats, getting promoted, and working under excellent leadership. 

Ben served a total of 19 years before discharge and eventually opening Ironside Coffee Co with his family. He shares the mistakes he made on the way and the lessons they learn as a whole to keep the coffee business running and scaling. 


18:33 to 18:49 "The troop leader that we had, I'd made real change in the way that I started to develop myself and that was driven by him. And so I was really lucky to spend a couple of years with him."

25:46 to 26:05 "I got attached to Task Force 66 for an operation and the level of preparation blew my mind."

28:08 to 28:22 "One of my mates said to me once, he goes, if all else fails and you can't do anything else, you can't do any other planning, do a rehearsal of concept drill. Just do a ROC drill. And when you finish the ROC drill, then do the ROC drill with radios. And then when you've done it with radios, then go and fight the battle. And he's right."

51:56 to 52:17 "You've got all these projects but what that says to others is like, hey, look. Learn from these and I'll engage with you. I've built this business, I've built that business. These are things you can do. The end of ADF isn't the end. It's just that chapter's done. Reinvent yourself. And I think that's what Ironside Coffee means to me." 


05:13 Deployment around the world

14:53 Getting promoted: Dealing with boundaries and respect

24:04 Serving in Afghanistan in 2009

36:02 Ironside Coffee Co: Starting and growing a business

48:44 Lessons learned: Scaling and social media






Episode 69 - Peak Preparation - Sacha Fulton

Episode 69 - Peak Preparation - Sacha Fulton

September 23, 2019

This week on the WarriorU Podcast Bram talks to Dr Sacha Fulton PhD. Sacha is one of the humblest people you will ever meet, and also one of the most accomplished. In this podcast she teaches us the importance of having a wider skills focus, being a generalist rather than a specialist. Sacha’s undergraduate degree was in human movement studies and her PhD focused on Movement Characteristics of Paralympic swimmers, an area where a wide focus is surely an advantage. Her academic achievements and support to the highly successful Australian Paralympic swimming team is only the tip of the iceberg. Sacha has also completed a marathon, a handful of sprint distance and half distance triathlons and eight ironman triathlons, one of which was the iconic Kona, Hawaiian Ironman. If that isn’t enough to prove her legitimacy as an athlete – she has also completed two solo Rottnest island swims (bear in mind these are twenty-kilometre crossings) and she has also walked the Camino De Santiago, which is the Pilgrims Trail stretching 1700kms through France to Spain. The Camino was the birthplace of her business Peak Preparation – Sacha now uses her depth of academic study, personal experiences and vast network to assist coaches, business and athletes to prepare for whatever their missions might be.

Episode 68 - The Man That Can - Lachie Stuart

Episode 68 - The Man That Can - Lachie Stuart

September 16, 2019

This week on the WarriorU Podcast Bram Connolly talks to Lachlan Stuart. The man that can. Where to start with Lachie – he’d hate me to call him a life coach, and yet he’s instrumental in so many people making positive changes in their lives from his guidance. He’s been a legit A grade athlete, playing Rugby in France and then turned to drugs in a bid to escape depression before having a life changing moment, being called out for the life track he was on – a forced epiphany, I suppose you’d call it and now he’s sorted himself out. He had to find vulnerability to he is once again a formidable athlete and a top level performance coach. His journey is inspiring, and his podcast and Instagram are motivating countless people. At WarriorU we want you to see yourself as the mission and Lachie is a guy that helps people do just that.