Men's Journal

What Works For Me

NASA astronaut and former Navy SEAL CHRIS CASSIDY never shies from a challenge. Here’s how he stays tenacious.

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NASA Chris Cassidy’s out-of-thisworld advice on how to achieve your dreams.

Prepare for Anything

During my time with the Navy SEALS, my team was deployed to investigat­e caves in a mountainou­s region between Afghanista­n and Pakistan. What was going to be a 5- mile patrol downhill turned into a 10-mile trek with 55-pound packs because the helicopter couldn’t land. Then headquarte­rs decided they were going to have us stay another nine days. Experience­s like that taught me there’s only so much you can control, and you won’t accomplish anything without help from fellow soldiers. It’s important to be prepared for the unknown.

Build Mass

We work with NASA’S Astronaut Strength, Conditioni­ng and Rehabilita­tion group coaches for six months leading up to our launch dates, and they also design workout protocols for our time in orbit. [Cassidy’s 2020 stay aboard the Internatio­nal Space Station lasted 196 days.] If we didn’t work out, we’d return with severe bone-density decay. For that reason, the majority of our training is based around legs and core, and we train for two hours every day. There’s a stationary bike, treadmill and weight machine right by the cupola window that looks down on Earth 250 miles below. I have a Peloton bike at home, but nothing competes with that view.

Blast Junk Food

Because we’re in such a uniquely controlled situation on the ISS, we often partake in research, like how diet affects the human body. In the last one, I was on an enhanced diet with more fruits and vegetables. We can snack on nutritiona­l bars should we need to get our calories up. I felt great, and I’m trying to eat more like that on Earth. I eat healthier on the station than I do at home, because there’s no freezer in orbit, and thus, no ice cream, which is my downfall.

Shoot for the Stars

When I returned from my last mission, I signed up to do an Ironman. I respond well to having a goal—a reason to train and work out with purpose. Now it’s about finding that next mission. I’ve done three flights to space and could have seen my last, but I’m prepared to go again.

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