Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

Ep 115: How Tony Lost 15 Lbs, 8% Body Fat, and Built Lifelong Strength with Barbell Training

October 20, 2023 Tony Perri Episode 115
Ep 115: How Tony Lost 15 Lbs, 8% Body Fat, and Built Lifelong Strength with Barbell Training
Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
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Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
Ep 115: How Tony Lost 15 Lbs, 8% Body Fat, and Built Lifelong Strength with Barbell Training
Oct 20, 2023 Episode 115
Tony Perri

Today, I’m sitting down with my friend, fellow lifter, and client, Tony Perri. We first met in Andy Baker’s Barbell Club, where we soon realized our unique personalities complemented and pushed each other to new heights of strength, health, and physique.  In this episode, we’ll discuss his transformative journey, the intricacies of nutrition and barbell training, and the mental hurdles. Tony’s insights, which at this point are at the core of his being, could radically change your perspective and approach to fitness, nutrition, and health.

Tony played various sports throughout his life. In his 30s, he competed in obstacle course races after doing calisthenics for a few years. He realized that functional bodyweight training and occasional competitions provided diminishing returns and little carryover to regular life.  Barbell training became his central training mode due to its incredible carryover and longevity benefits. It boosts his confidence, making him a better spouse, father, and business operator.
__________

Click here to apply for coaching!
__________

Today you’ll learn all about:

[3:55] Evolution of fitness interests over a decade
[6:14] Decision to embrace barbell training
[8:03] The guiding role of curiosity in life
[10:44] How discipline in the gym translates to life
[16:28] What was and wasn’t learned from a nutritionist
[19:06] Reasoning for not seeking a coach in Starting Strength
[24:07] The balance between making progress and hitting PRs, and being your own worst critic
[31:11] Combining intuitive eating and tracking for nutrition
[38:14] The role of nutrition and sleep in recovery
[42:36] Overcoming mental hurdles during a cut
[45:54] Top three educational takeaways from body composition improvement
[54:28] Mental challenges and breakthroughs in barbell training
[57:22] Unexpected benefits of switching to barbell training
[1:06:50] What question did Tony wish Philip had asked
[1:11:02] How to connect with Tony
[1:12:36] Outro

Episode resources:

📲 Send me a text message!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

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Show Notes Transcript

Today, I’m sitting down with my friend, fellow lifter, and client, Tony Perri. We first met in Andy Baker’s Barbell Club, where we soon realized our unique personalities complemented and pushed each other to new heights of strength, health, and physique.  In this episode, we’ll discuss his transformative journey, the intricacies of nutrition and barbell training, and the mental hurdles. Tony’s insights, which at this point are at the core of his being, could radically change your perspective and approach to fitness, nutrition, and health.

Tony played various sports throughout his life. In his 30s, he competed in obstacle course races after doing calisthenics for a few years. He realized that functional bodyweight training and occasional competitions provided diminishing returns and little carryover to regular life.  Barbell training became his central training mode due to its incredible carryover and longevity benefits. It boosts his confidence, making him a better spouse, father, and business operator.
__________

Click here to apply for coaching!
__________

Today you’ll learn all about:

[3:55] Evolution of fitness interests over a decade
[6:14] Decision to embrace barbell training
[8:03] The guiding role of curiosity in life
[10:44] How discipline in the gym translates to life
[16:28] What was and wasn’t learned from a nutritionist
[19:06] Reasoning for not seeking a coach in Starting Strength
[24:07] The balance between making progress and hitting PRs, and being your own worst critic
[31:11] Combining intuitive eating and tracking for nutrition
[38:14] The role of nutrition and sleep in recovery
[42:36] Overcoming mental hurdles during a cut
[45:54] Top three educational takeaways from body composition improvement
[54:28] Mental challenges and breakthroughs in barbell training
[57:22] Unexpected benefits of switching to barbell training
[1:06:50] What question did Tony wish Philip had asked
[1:11:02] How to connect with Tony
[1:12:36] Outro

Episode resources:

📲 Send me a text message!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

Tony Perri:

barbell training is not just about the muscles. I can't stand when I even hate saying that because it's about tissues. It's about the tendons, the ligaments. It's about the neurological changes the metabolic change. It's about so many more things than just muscle. And I think I think once I realized that I realized that it was a lot more than just moving load.

Philip Pape:

Welcome to the Wits& Weights podcast. I'm your host, Philip pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger. Optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition will uncover science backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry, so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in Wits & Weights community Welcome to another episode of the Wits & Weights Podcast. Today I am sitting down with my friend, fellow lifter and client Tony Perry. We first met in any Baker's barbell Club, where we soon realized our unique personalities complemented and pushed each other to new heights of strength, health and physique. He would constantly tell me how weak I was triggering the deeply competitive nature of me to keep improving my list, and I would shake my head at his revulsion to carbs to the point where eventually we both realized each of us was right. What we have in common is a love for the process and self improvement, a curiosity for learning about ourselves as individuals and in particular men getting older who want to be strong and capable for the rest of our lives. When he finally saw the light and realize he wanted to learn more about nutrition to gain control over his body fat and health. We worked together on what turned out to be a mini cut for six weeks, where he lost 15 pounds of fat four inches in his waist size at 8% body fat, which is a huge improvement in body composition and physique. His blood pressure resting heart rate even came down, he increased his carbs maintain most of his strength during the cut. Most importantly, Tony was extremely curious throughout the process, always asking great questions as we discovered his individual body's response along the way so we can make better adjustments. In this episode, we'll discuss his transformative journey, the intricacies of nutrition and barbell training and the mental hurdles along the way. Tony's insights which at this point are at the core of his being could radically change your perspective and approach to fitness, nutrition and health. A bit about Tony, Tony has been active all his life playing different sports including racquetball tennis, mountain biking, road biking and running. In his 30s. He did a few years of calisthenics, where he competed in obstacle course races before realizing that functional bodyweight training occasional competitions provided diminishing returns and very little carryover to regular life. Once he began barbell training in his late 30s, it became a central mode of training due to its incredible carryover and longevity benefits. Tony packed on muscle and some fat, and learn that his ability to be strong is dependent on his ability to recover, both of which are dependent on the quality of his nutrition and sleep. Since barbell training is a mental activity expressed physically, the challenge to continually drive progress has boosted his confidence, making him a better spouse, father and business operator Tony, my brother, welcome to the big time.

Tony Perri:

Phillip, how are we doing?

Philip Pape:

How's it going? Man? You have to sit there and take it but you know that is the story.

Tony Perri:

Not bad. You're weak bastard. Not bad, not bad.

Philip Pape:

Get stronger every day. No,

Tony Perri:

we're trying you all try you do impress me. Hey, man,

Philip Pape:

we impress each other.

Tony Perri:

So he should compliment you.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, just rankles. You. I know.

Tony Perri:

But you so you do impress me. So.

Philip Pape:

So Tony and I have have a good sense of humor, which I really appreciate. Because, you know, there's a lot of just not gonna use the word but they are out in the world that just don't. Don't. And we try to keep it light. Yeah. All right. So so to start with the personal side, before we dive into the specific experience here with nutrition. You know, I mentioned in the intro, how your interests have evolved over over over about a decade plus, right, you used to do functional training the OCR hours, and you trade differently today. So tell us about that transition

Tony Perri:

in a bit more detail. I did the I did the OCR hours. After I did calisthenics, because it was a lot of fun. Naturally, I'm pretty athletic. So I did very well in that form of training. But the biggest downfall with that I realized was it was external validation. I would go to the gym and I would change up the workout every single day and I would do all sorts of different stuff. And people would say, well, that's cool or this and that and I did improve at certain things. I did great at OCRs. But you mentioned my my perspective evolved and it was really based in realizing that what I was doing a was only fun in the moment and be I did it because I liked the audience. And so there was no satisfaction, the diminishing returns added up really quickly for me. So there was a whole, there was a, there was a really big fitness hole of my life and they didn't really know what that was. So

Philip Pape:

then so really two good things that are right one, the idea that you can have fun, but at the end of the day, it's not really fun, because it's this instant gratification type of fun. Like, that's what it was. Yeah, kind of like, you know, I talked about people say, Well, isn't it hard to do this or that? Like, in the moment? It's hard, the long term, it's fun here, you're talking? Well, at the moment, it's fun, but long term, what are you getting out of it? Right,

Tony Perri:

I trained I did a lot of running for my training. And that's one of the reasons I was so successful in my OCR is I was always top five. I trained as running mostly I would do six miles seven, eight miles, I did a 13 mile, you know, I think it was an eight minute mile, maybe 730 minute mile. But um, that was probably the hardest I worked at that time. But after I after I got to a certain point in running. Again, there was a there was a void in me, I'm like, I don't want to just run and I don't want to flip around. I don't want to work toward one headed. Yeah, pull ups. So there's just a void that was not filled.

Philip Pape:

Alright, so you've got that this void this emotional void? Not necessarily enjoying your training? What was the internal switch or the revelation that led you to embrace Barbie

Tony Perri:

object specific like the objectivity? Well, we all I'm gonna say a general statement. When we strength trained long term we like we do it for the durability, it makes us stronger, we feel more durable, we feel better, all that. I like, the objectivity of barbell training. Once I started to NLP, I was hooked. Because I had data on the improvement or the regression. never recorded myself every single, every set, probably to a fault, because I overthought it but I can see, again, I had that I could see what I was doing. Because in my head, I'm like, I just squatted this, right. And I think I sent you a video a while ago of my squat, like it's 2017. And I looked at the video, and it was terrible, really not depth. Oh, my foot. I wasn't over there was over my mid foot wasn't bracing, right. So from the data point of barbell training, offered me objective data for improvement. And I really latched on to that, because before that point, again, it was very immediate gratification. It was subjective, it was what I wanted to do that day and didn't work. So horrible training, really, that produced the data, no matter how I felt, when I walked into the gym, no matter. You know, when I walked in, or when I walked out, I looked at the paper, and I'm like, Okay, this is this is the progression of the regression. And that was that void that was filled. It was showing me okay, this is, this is actual data of what you're doing. Right? I don't do the workout of the day thing. I don't do the subjectivity of feel like doing this. That doesn't work for me. That was that was the switch, you asked about the switch? That was the switch? Yeah, I

Philip Pape:

can relate to that. Tony is I mean, we probably had very similar experiences where you almost dread the workout of the day, but knowing that you just added five pounds and did it again. And again. Now you're like, Well, I want to go in there. So if I can keep that move it, you know, added a

Tony Perri:

pound added a rep added a set, I shortened the rest times, I switched up these two exercises. And even though, you know, the first exercise was was was second last week, I maintained the load, right? There's all these different ways that you can progress. And that was really key for me, because I had evidence, it was actual objective evidence of progress.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, let you know how much I love data and talk about it all the time. And I think a lot of people conflate data with obsession, whereas in reality, when they start tracking data, they realize it sort of liberates, the uncertainty liberates you from the uncertainty, the ambiguity. And you talk about objectivity. It's the microcosm of that is a single squat or single rep. And I haven't talked about that in a while. So I'm glad you brought that up. The idea that even when we do a squat, our form is done in a way to ensure objectivity from rep to rep. Right. So even consensus microcosm, which you won't get from, I don't know, box chunks, or something.

Tony Perri:

No, no, I mean, even with this is, again, why I record myself to ensure that that consistency, because say you go from 100 pounds, one week to 105 to 110. But you're inching up, up, up, okay? You have evidence that you're not progressing. You're reducing the load, that's a stress stimulus is going down. So you got to maintain all the same parameters, and then progress progress, which is why I'm a big fan of recording. I mean, yeah, different angles. Look at him.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, I mean, that's a good point. It's not just are you progressing but are you regressing and then you can decide what's causing that.

Tony Perri:

You can tell yourself so much and you're you could you could convince yourself of so much record one set. Look at yourself, look at your hips now go from this angle. The bars traveling forward, you may not you may you may think my squat is great. And then you look at his side view the bars traveling forward and it's like, yeah,

Philip Pape:

totally agree. If you're listening to this, do that, like in your next workout, literally record yourself and be your own worst critic, and then feel free to share it with others who might be able to give you exactly the

Tony Perri:

point prove yourself wrong. I look for it. I love it. And it's sometimes the guts me because I'm feeling great about a lift. And I'm like, I have a little bit of doubt. And I'm like, You got to record yourself from this angle. Look for this one thing, ya know, it feels good. You feel like everything's working? Well look at it, because reality is going to tell you. Yeah, reality is going to tell you whether or not it actually you just got to listen. Yeah.

Philip Pape:

Now this this newfound love for the process and objectivity and data. Did it have the reverse effect on you as well of translating into your philosophy or approach to life in general? Like, you know, we can call it discipline but whatever word you want to use? Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Tony Perri:

Yeah, you know, me at this point a little better than than many people but it barbell training the the not let giving yourself and out and barbell training and being very aggressive and looking for the ugly things and doing the hard work, the grind, the grind, that fit that fit me, it really fit my personality. So from there, that was the that was the athletic void that was filled. And I could be a critical bastard with myself. And I'm I mean, that's why I don't mind being a critical bastard with other people. Because guess what I am that? Yeah, like, so it's like I will, I don't shield myself from any ugly critique, I will look for it. And be you know, and look for those flaws. Because once you find those flaws, I was just explaining to my son this morning, when you're solving the problem, the hardest part is finding the problem. Once you identify the problem, and you can solve it, your most of your work is going to be doing looking and searching for what the problem is. And then you can say, Okay, this is the problem. And this is how we problem solve it. I do that with training all the time. Again, it's a mental activity, expressed physically, I'm very mental about it. It is not a it's not a physical or emotional thing. It's how can I problem solve these things? Look for the flaw. Once I find the flaw, I can fix it. We just talked about it after I was doing my cut. My squat was terrible. And then I figured out who was my leverages that were way. And I've never been in that position before. So I had to think about it. And once I figured that out, other things came together. Just fantastic. Yeah. And I'm already back to where I started.

Philip Pape:

I think it's a principle based approach, because you said you got to do a brand new experience and a new problem that you've never encountered before. But rather than think, okay, there's something wrong with me, or there's something wrong with the process. It was, there's a new problem that just needs a solution. Right? Yeah, absolutely. Which applies to everything about nutrition and everything else.

Tony Perri:

So absolutely. Yeah. I don't assume I know the answer. I'm like, What's the what is it? That's why I I will ask people at the gym are very respectful about it. And you know, as people, I'll seek out your advice, what's your perspective on this? What am I not seeing? Just so I can see it and then move forward? That's it. Yeah. Ego in there. There's no it's

Philip Pape:

curiosity. It's pure curiosity, which is Yeah, so you go curiosity. Yeah, I feel that. Yeah, I feel that. So you mentioned it being a grind. And I know you weren't necessarily saying that in a negative, you were just more of a momentum and persistence perspective, but just explain that to people who may be hesitant about even getting into barbell training they could think is this really hard to say? It's,

Tony Perri:

it's hard to get around the fact that barbell training is hard. I embrace the fact that it's hard. And I actually am one of the people who really liked that grind, though hard, hard work. I like to be in the trenches. I don't like to be, I don't like to have too much of a tailwind. I'd like to be working against something. Because, again, when you're working against something, that's what resists your will. And that's what allows your will to exert itself even harder. When things are not that hard. We're not going to work as hard to overcome them. So I always I like to have the challenge. I like to grind. Sometimes it's more fun than others. But I, it's hard to translate it because a lot of this is my own personality, my own take on it. Some of it is just the fact that barbell training is progressive barbell training is going to be hard. I realize not everybody is going to progressively overload. I see it in the gym all the time. Right. So if someone is interested, let's qualify this as someone who's interested in getting stronger fitter, more durable, resilient, you have to do progressive overload. And you have to do the grind. You have to search embrace those last two, three reps of that stuff that triple the fourth fifth restaurant, the triple you have to embrace that to get the benefit you All right, you may not like it, you may not go toward it like me. But you have to do that if you want to progress with barbell training guy just happened to be one of those psychos who embraces that you got

Philip Pape:

to get the mechanical tension, right? We conversation about that this week. But let's let's just put one more lens on it because is it harder to do that? Or is it harder to not progress and go to the gym over and over and over again and not progress? Like,

Tony Perri:

what do you ladder?

Philip Pape:

Yeah, the last I just want to be clear for people like, it's different types of hard. There's the hard that helps you grow and feel fulfilled? And there's the harder it's just you're stuck, right? Yeah.

Tony Perri:

And that's a good question you just asked, because during my cut, it was very hard for me to switch my training lens from grind to just hold on to whatever muscle you can because the priority was to maintain the deficit. The priority is not to gain mass or set prs. So I had to change my perspective to just do what you can. That's not me. Yeah, except it's not me at all. I had to just I couldn't stand it. But I'm like, this is the right thing for the long term.

Philip Pape:

Yep. It is. It is frustrating. And I know you've you've experimented with it and talk to me this week about the next time you do it, maybe you will try a different mode of training that still holds muscle of maybe gives you a little more of that. That enjoyment of the of the training itself.

Tony Perri:

Yeah. Just again, you doing more of the embracing more mechanical tension through the rep ranges that we talked about? Yeah.

Philip Pape:

All right. So let's dive into let's dive into the nutrition. Right. So going back to your past, and then we'll get to now you had guidance from a nutritionist during your calisthenics days.

Tony Perri:

I did work with a nutritionist. I was I was definitely, I think it was 181 85. But I was untrained. I was sedentary. Right? I was in terrible shape. So she, we didn't track anything. What she did was she she wrote the meals. And basically, she cut out the fat and we ate a very, a lot of Whole Foods. And it was just lean meat, a lot of grains, a lot of grains, it was boring, but the weight flew off. Once I hit 168 She's like we got to stop we got to stop with with the cutting and whatnot. I wasn't strength training, per se. At that point. When I say per se I was doing like sprints in my yard push ups on the picnic table and that kind of stuff. Right? I enjoyed the process. She did individualize it every week, she'd write the meal plan, and then still, how you doing do check ins and then we would change certain things based on the outcome. I learned how to eat cleaner. But that's pretty much it. Just eat whole foods cleaner. I mean, yeah, the grocery bill was ridiculously expensive, because we were putting all sorts of stuff in it. And then it's like, that was that was the long and short of that process. I don't think I learned a lot. Okay. So action. It was an it was a successful from the action standpoint that lost weight, ate better foods. But I didn't learn much. And this is why when, when when I talk to you initially boycott, I'm like, I'm not just interested in cutting weight. I want to actually learn stuff from us. That's why that's exactly why because I learned from that process. Like, I don't want to just succeed. I'm not ins driven. I want the means. Yeah.

Philip Pape:

Yeah. And I think you did. And it's funny because I have clients who are super curious and want to learn from day one and others that they want the results, but then they're surprised that it is really that they develop skills, and they learn a lot. Because I lay us out well you to fire me after six months, you could do this on your own. And yeah, keep working together if you have new new goals and challenges, but meal plans are not the way to go. You know, cutting out foods is not the way to go. I think you are you know that by now.

Tony Perri:

Yeah, you know, understanding, making the informed choice for yourself about where you're going to eat and when you're not going to eat and it's not the end of the day, if you have Oreo cookies. Yeah,

Philip Pape:

ya know, for sure I love like we said already, so drop me to give them in milk. Good stuff. So, okay, so that was your past of nutrition, we're gonna eventually connect that to the present. I do want to tie in the training a little bit more, because you mentioned the starting strength NLP, which is the novice linear progression, which for the listener is a three day Full Body program to get very strong very quickly. You said you didn't seek out a coach at the time you didn't attend a seminar? What was your reasoning for going in alone? And what was that, like?

Tony Perri:

My idea of training from scratch is that if you have if you have some kind of a safety net, you're gonna take it, right. So what I did was I put everything on the table and I said, I am ultimately responsible for learning this. I had the starting strength books, I had the videos, and I accepted that it was not perfect. It was not comprehensive. But I was so new to the sport that I didn't want to expose myself to so many different resources because I didn't have the tools to discriminate. Make between those resources. So I kept it simple, I kept it. I did what I could with the videos in the books, and I just trained on my own through recording myself and critiquing myself to the point where I was satisfied that I had done everything I could in my head to train and figure out and improve. And that's when I that's when I, you know, got Andy Baker, you know, that's why I signed up for this group, because I'm like, I realized that I take in my own brain as far as I could. And I took it really far. I gotta tell you, like, I I bashed myself against this my personality. But there were signs where I'd have a pen and paper and I'm trying to figure it out. Like just solving the puzzle. That's all it was to me. It my NLP took a while because I did a lot of resets, because the my videos showed that my form was terrible. So I reset the weight. Yeah. So that process, it taught me so much because it was so intense. It was just me. I had nobody, it was just me. There's no lifting buddies. Right? It was a great process. It was sloppy, it took long, but at the end of it, I had a lot of confidence, because I'm because I was the one who will, who figured it out, figured out.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, I understand that that process of self experimentation, which you can take to a certain level and but sometimes, right, you want help? So you mentioned Yeah. You mentioned you didn't have the tools to discriminate between the resources. Right? Didn't that didn't? You weren't necessarily you thought it would be just spreading yourself too thin to go and go this all these different directions? Is that what you're getting at?

Tony Perri:

Well, that is a good question. So I realized that the SS crew mainly would rip who's on who's on the videos knew what the heck he was talking about. It's easy to see that because he's simple. He's upfront, he's very objective. He will talk about the simplest thing for 10 minutes and lay out every single part of it. So you know, he's talking about, you know, he knows what he's talking about. So I said, I trust this source. I am not experienced enough to, to meet through all this other stuff to see who else is going to be a positive influence. So I said, for now, I'm just gonna do this one source, not forever. I'm just gonna do this one source until I have a basis. And then I will allow myself to open up doors. This is one thing I've I think people screw up about social media, they, they look up, they just confused themselves. And they distract themselves with all these different resources. And then they wind up where?

Philip Pape:

Yeah, it's a shiny object syndrome.

Tony Perri:

Exactly. That's a shiny object syndrome. And I resisted that. And it worked very well. So it was a great, it was a great idea I had.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, no, it is funny. You say that? Do you remember you remember probably early in starting strength, when you looked at form checks, there were different places to see form checks, right? They had their own community on Facebook, but there was also the Reddit community that they made fun of because it's just every man for himself. There's no moderation whatsoever. And so even in the starting straight Reddit forum, you could get led the wrong direction with a bad form check. You know,

Tony Perri:

I wanted to insulate myself from that because I recognized I didn't have the ability to not see bullshit from good stuff. So I said, I'm only gonna look at search right? Until I grow a little bit and then the door now the door is open. Now I look at all sorts of stuff. Sure. I can be like Idiot, idiot, you know, he's talking about oh, look further into that

Philip Pape:

this and that got the judge rebuilt up now. Yeah. And that nice. judge, judge,

Tony Perri:

judge the hell out and

Philip Pape:

I think you know, you're gonna like, next week, Cody Nino is gonna be on he's, he's like the I think he's the only guy in Connecticut that's starting strength coach, I think there's only one right? And he, he actually helped me for one session, one session that fixed your squat, it's my squat and deadlift and press or know squat, squat and press. Yeah. So you know, but again, you have to know to discriminate, find those resources. Okay, so you and I, we always talk about the value of either there's the people who want to max out all the time, right, like on starting strength in your NLP, that's effectively what you're doing, you're maxing out your three by five, by five, you should set exactly. But then there's, then there's the idea of making progress, which at some point, you hit a wall, right? When you become an intermediate lifter, and you're not always hitting PRs, or you get injured or you have recovery issues, or you go on vacation vacation. So I mean, what is your perspective just for the listener on when when you focus on PRs versus when you would,

Tony Perri:

when you focus? Okay, are you talking about there is are two questions in there.

Philip Pape:

So, what's the value of maxi now versus making progress without necessarily always maxing out? Okay,

Tony Perri:

well maxing out period, if you are, there's no point maxing out if you're if you're a novice. This is pretty common knowledge because every single session, since you can recover so quickly, every single session has a max right? Once you get to a certain point where you recovery takes a longer period of time you maxing out, it does have a certain benefit, because specifically if you're in a percentage based program, because your percentages are based off your one rep max, right? Also, rep max out like one RMS, they're gonna teach you to grind, like to do a 101 RM is completely different skill set than a three RM, you're putting everything on the line for that for that one, Max. And if you're gonna make it a regular process, you have to learn how to program well, because that one Rm is going to drain your nervous system, right? So if you're going to do this is why these random, the random maxing out is so stupid because it drains so many resources, you're not thinking oh, yeah,

Philip Pape:

the Hey, I'm gonna test my deadlift. Today, I'm gonna test my dad. Yeah,

Tony Perri:

if you're gonna max out well, you, you got to think about from now, if you max out your deadlift, your squat and your deadlift are going to be affected. If you're let's say, generally, if you're after 30, I'm going to say 10 to 20 days, it's going to be affected, right, if you're younger, you'll probably be able to recover a little bit faster from that, that's huge. Because if you're in a training cycle, where you're doing weekly training, and you just did one lift, that's going to affect you for 1014 days, guess what your entire your whole training has to change the next couple of weeks, that's a big, that's a big cost to pay. So if you're gonna max out, it does have benefits, it recruits a whole lot of muscle fibers, it gives you a it can give you confidence, it can be very humbling. It tests your form. But it's it's really going to test the rest of your training. So I think you really got to take it seriously. And if not, you're you're just going to be spinning your wheels, you're not going to be setting.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, no, for sure. I think that's one reason we both like Andy's conjugate program, right? Because you rotate through what you're maxing out, which is an innovative concept, because you can't necessarily know intuitively that a back squat versus a front squat. Wouldn't have taxi out the same

Tony Perri:

taxi the same does because yeah, it's cycles, the cycles, the stress, so a max effort front squats, not going to completely drain you for the following weeks max effort box squat, right? Yep, I don't do the conjugate, I do the 852. And I've det I talked to Andy about it because I've really morphed my my programming. I've melted basically conjugate in a five to two. So it allows me to hit higher intensity lifts. So for people that don't know what a five two is, you do an eight rep max for you're working separate first week, second week is five rep max, third week is a two rep max. What I did is I made my twos week, twos slash one week. So if my lifts are really progressing, my body feels great. I'm not just going to go for a two on that twos week, I'll go for a single, right. And it'll be draining. But guess what the following week, it's an eight or eight rep max, cool, load comes down. It's more, it's more of a work capacity thing. So that's how I program deliberately plugin, he is deliberately programming your max effort lifts. Because if you don't use your your strength train is going to be shot. That's how I program the max effort. And it's actually working out pretty well.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, let me ask you that. And then we're going down a programming rabbit hole, which I didn't necessarily intend to. But I think it's awesome, because people are really fascinated about that. For when you do the twos when he on twos week, do you still hit the two at the intended load for two and then go for one,

Tony Perri:

no, one kind

Philip Pape:

of skipped that.

Tony Perri:

Much, because the two the two was the rep max so senior year, which is basically 9592 to 95% of your one rep max, one

Philip Pape:

rep max or it's it's a max for three sets of two.

Tony Perri:

It's the idea as a two two rep max a single. Now, depending upon your training, you can do three sets of that I do not okay, don't respond well to set all right. Again, you have to individualize it. So to answer your first question, I will know if I'm, if I'm going to close to a one rep max attempt instead of a two if the previous week and fives I did. I hit like a seven. Right? So for example, the other week I did, I did on fives week I hit seven, right? So I know that I'm progressing, I might be able to do have the have the strength and progress to do a one RM instead of just the two. If I grinded against that fiber am I only hit four reps, or barely hit the fifth. I'm gonna know that next week. I'm probably just gonna get a two maybe I'm gonna have to drop the load a little bit. See what I'm saying?

Philip Pape:

You're doing a top set on the on each of these that you find you're not doing two or three, you're just doing a top set.

Tony Perri:

Not with squat and deadlift anymore. Can I do one top set and I'll do a 10% Back off 10% Back with a dressing I can do top six through the roof

Philip Pape:

and on your top set sounds like you will push past the programmed reps if you can't. So that's the

Tony Perri:

thing. Yeah, my program is circle load. So again, I don't know I don't have a crystal ball. I don't I didn't know the other day that I was gonna be able to hit seven Yep, I thought I was gonna go for five because the previous cycle five, I did five pounds less and you incrementally increase five pounds each cycle. So I'm like, I'm just gonna go for three, you know, 350 is what I got programs, this is what I'm going to do and that just 1234567 And I'm like, Oh, wow, that's pretty good, right? I didn't I wasn't the hero after that I dropped the load 10% But that told me that the squat is progressing were the twos week might actually become a one week.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, I love it. And and for people listening, like who are confused in any way. Like it took you a long time to get to this point, right? It's yours, like the basics, and then more advanced programming that was still tempt sort of templated then getting into a barbell club where you got feedback and individualized coaching. And now you can kind of tweak yourself. Yeah,

Tony Perri:

trial. It's a it's trial and error, critique yourself, but go easy on yourself. You're not going to get it in one week, or one month or six months. It's gonna take a while to figure out what like, I have my own programming now. Like, yeah, yeah.

Philip Pape:

So there's some parallels to this on the nutrition side, because you and I knew each other for a while, before you reached out for help, specifically, as a client. Early on, you reached out to talk, right? We had like, one of my free calls that I do, and we chatted about your outlook and what you could do, and you're like, Yeah, I'm not ready. You know, I don't need to hire you right now. But I understand where you're going. And for a while, we went back and forth. Like you would share your data with me, I'd say you gotta eat more carbs. You'd say No way. And we go.

Tony Perri:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. But

Philip Pape:

your experience before I view it as and correct me if I'm wrong, like a form of intuitive eating, right. Your routine allows you to maintain your wheat for for awhile without tracking. And you're eating the whole foods and stuff. Maybe some of that you had learned from the past experience? Yeah. And then I came along, and I said, Hey, maybe maybe more tracking, you get more precision, more objectivity, right? If you're going for a change in your body, that's the key. Yes. Right, if you want to really cut and do it efficiently. So what are your thoughts on all that the intuitive eating stuff side the tracking skills, etc? Yeah,

Tony Perri:

so intuitive eating I think is a skill, like anything else that unbilled I'm big on people acquiring skills, so that you can have independence. That being said, if you don't know much about nutrition, your intuitive eating is only going to be that is only going to be up to that level. Right? So when we say intuitive eating, we act like it's this universal value, like we just I'm just going to eat intuitively and everybody's going to perform the same way. We are not. So I can now since I've, you know worked with you and learn more about macros, and how to balance them. I can eat, I can eat intuitively, right? But the how I eat intuitively has changed, because I am more informed and effective at eating. Right. So in terms of bulking and cutting, I would prefer to be more precise, therefore tracking, I would lean on macro factor to track, right? I still track I'm at maintenance right now I still track but I'm more loose about it, because I have a better understanding of things. So I really think intuitive eating and tracking are they don't have to be at war. They can they can work, they can both be tools that have skills that you can use at different times. And if you have the ability to use, if you have the certain ability to use either one of them, then you're a fuller, more independent person than if you just did one. And that's what when I first started talking to you, yeah, it was I was eating intuitively, but I had a lot of holes. So what's the sense, right, yeah, I want to learn the basics, start tracking, see it, and then I can eat intuitively again, go back to tracking, learn more, and basically, Ratchet my way toward just a better way of nutritional life.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, yeah. I love the way you put it, how it's acquiring skills, you gain independence, and the way you've done it has changed, right? Because people are eating, quote, unquote, intuitively, and it's terrible.

Tony Perri:

Exactly. That again, I hate to compliment you, but I'm really happy with what I learned from you working with. Like, what, specifically carbohydrates, dropped, the fats don't eat too much fat, I eat plenty of protein. And another thing that you really helped me see is food is just energy. It's just energy. Right? And if you approach it from a weekly intake standpoint, rather than daily, you have more flexibility. Like for example, yesterday, I accidentally ate in a deficit, right? I think I was even 10 grams of protein short. No big deal. Yeah. Just eat a little bit more today. Right? It's not a big deal. Yeah, just make up for it. I love that. Yeah. It's not as like the end of the week. You're still eating what you need to eat. You're fine. Yeah,

Philip Pape:

don't stress it. I mean, clients all the time when they check in and it's like, I'm off of my targets. It's like, okay, you know, it's okay. Obviously, if If you're you know, 1000s and 1000s of calories off, that's gonna be a different discussion. But chances are most people are if you're aiming for a target, you're gonna be in the ballpark. That's good enough.

Tony Perri:

Yeah, exactly, yeah. And just nudge yourself in either direction you have you overeat one day, or for a couple couple days, just take it easy the next couple

Unknown:

to Philippe an awfully for a long time and know how passionate he is about healthy eating, and body strength. And that's why choosing to be my coach. I was no stranger to a dieting and body training. But I've always struggled to do it sustainably really helped me prioritize my goals with evidence based recommendations are not over stressing my body and not feeling like I'm starving. In six months, I lost 45 pounds without drastically changing the foods I enjoy. And now I have a more balanced diet. I weight train consistently. But most importantly, I do it sustainably if a scientifically sound healthy diet and a link strong body is what you're looking for. Really paid Easter guy.

Philip Pape:

Tell us about your thoughts. Okay, so I was out with my family. This was like on a weekend and my wife and daughters, they were like in the bathroom or something. And you had texted me your macro factor? image this is before we were working together. And and you said what? What would the ratios Be or Not the ratio zero? Like what would the macro levels be your opinion? And I said pretty much flip the fats and carbs, right? He was like, way more carbs. And you just besides the way you respond, you're like, That's ridiculous. I don't know what that was. I mean, tell me your thoughts at that time. Why? What were you thinking of what your experience told you that this was this guy's nuts? At the moment?

Tony Perri:

I didn't know how to consume that many carbohydrates without consuming Ultra processed foods. And I remember asking you what do I eat? And you gave me some suggestions. You're like, Well, why potato, sweet potato, rice? And I'm like, looking at myself. And I'm like, Well, I just asked a question. That was a stupid question. But it was good. That asked a stupid question. And I understood that most of my eating thanks to the first nutritionist was all those free foods, greens, I would eat greens and colorful things that don't have a lot of caloric value. I was eating nutritionally dense foods, specifically micronutrient dense foods. But when it came to the carbohydrate, macro, I really wasn't consuming a lot. Yeah. So that's why after you, you know, you're like, You got to flip those numbers. I'm like, How do I do that? And so now I literally just had chicken and rice. I'm getting used to it. I've gotten used to it now. And I love it. Yeah, at the beginning, it was hard. Because I mean, you're switching fats and carbs. It's like your diet is drastically changed.

Philip Pape:

It's true. Because it because teens, and then fats and carbs are often together and processed foods. And it's like what

Tony Perri:

what exactly do you eat? Yeah, and fats can be calorically dense. It's like it just anyway, it was very, it was jarring at first. But I realized that I needed to make a change. And I'm like, this is the guy that helped me make the changes slowly just implemented the changes to now there's less inertia to doing that, actually, there's no inertia to doing that

Philip Pape:

now, to get through that comfort zone and kind of expand that comfort zone to get through exactly for people listening who are like maybe worried about increasing their carbs. And I've definitely had many, this is a very common story to be honest, in terms of going from lower lower to standard or higher carbs. You know, a lot of women that say well, I feel bloated, or I have digestive issues or whatever, there. There is an adaptation period. What was that? Like? If you went through that

Tony Perri:

there was no physical okay should probably just have more energy. What i my i have the same cliche that many people have was probably just I just accepted the ignorance makes me fat. It makes me slow. It makes me gain weight in these we hold water. There you go. After, you know, I just again, they let you influence me. I said, this guy knows what he's talking about. I'm just gonna listen. Do it. Whatever psychological BS I had was just set aside and I just did it physically. It felt fine. Yeah.

Philip Pape:

And it helps. It helps with your energy and recovery.

Tony Perri:

Oh, goodness. Yeah. That's why I'm not rushing to a bulk right? With my diet change. Sticking Oh, seriously, I'm sticking to maintenance. My lips are doing great. My recovery is great, right? Strength is good. Once I get to a certain point of plateauing then I'll just bulk a little bit right the carbs have definitely helped with recovery with energy with pretty much with with everything I think. I think looking back on it, I really misunderstood certain biological feedback I was receiving as to not having enough protein when it was really not having enough carbohydrates. Yeah,

Philip Pape:

yeah, cuz yeah, I remember you asked about like the protein sparing effects of carbs and we went down that rabbit hole of you know the body out you will use protein if it doesn't have enough carbs, and convert that to glucose. It doesn't go straight to your fat people would like to think that but it doesn't. It's going to go and use up some routine which then prevents its availability. for muscle building, so when you gain you know, we know this from keto diets that the people on keto gained like 1/5 the rate of muscle gain of people that aren't, you know,

Tony Perri:

so, because of the protein sparing, yeah, that's it. Great. It's just carbohydrates are the Boogeyman. And hopefully this this BS stopped. Yeah. But like the boogey man for no good reason. Yeah. for no good reason.

Philip Pape:

So speaking of recovery beyond that, right? I know you believe in the value of not only in nutrition, but also sleep and just recovery in general, especially as we get older. To the point where I feel the way you message it is like that almost should be the first thing you think about, before you start programming your lifts in your week, what are your thoughts? That's just my opinion of how it comes across?

Tony Perri:

What should be the first thing? What

Philip Pape:

are your thoughts on recovery in general, basically, especially for people in like the 40s and

Tony Perri:

50s training is sleep and recovery is sleeping nutrition, right? Training is that because, again, you can't put garbage in your vehicle and expect the vehicle to go very far. Right? So I don't think about I don't think about recovery. Because I've mastered certain points of this. I tried to get really good sleep, continuous sleep. And it worked on eating whole foods. Now, specifically, more carbs, right. So that automatically fills in the request that maxes out my ability to recover. And then we have the other stuff like stress and whatnot, which psychological we try to balance that. But that is, that's recovery. I don't do I don't roll around on a foam roller, I don't use the massage gun. I mean, if I have a really, really sore, if I have a not a really bad knot, which doesn't happen very often, I'll take the massage gun to it. But I don't do this, like the what he calls static stretch recovery, and it's eating good foods, I gotta get good food in the body. I got to sleep, let the body rest. And I have to program smart. Meaning I don't go out to the beginning of the conversation. I don't go out max out all the time. I have to cycle the stress. This is all this all produces recovery.

Philip Pape:

Yeah. Yeah, that's a great way to think about I think people you know, when you're younger, you don't think about it because you recover so easily. And you kind of learn the hard way. So if you're listening to this, learn the slightly easier way am I listening to Tony talk about how important that is?

Tony Perri:

It is when you're younger, you can get away with a whole lot of stuff. And a lot of young lifters don't get away with it. They get they get hurt. Yeah. And then they look back. And when they're when they're 50. They're like, Oh, yeah, I wish I wouldn't have done that when I was 22. But you did now so we can do so.

Philip Pape:

During during the cut specifically, I imagined recovery becomes even more important. Yeah,

Tony Perri:

didn't recover. Yeah.

Unknown:

I didn't talk to him. Yeah,

Tony Perri:

I didn't i Oh, my goodness. Yeah, I see it. I see guys a tangent. I see a lot of other lifters who who want to cut some fat and their progress looks great. And I'm like, You guys are awesome. Me. I was like a shriveled raisin, I was holding on for dear life. I was like, Oh, it was really hard to perform. My recovery, I had to stop. I was doing some running on a number that is outside trail. At that time, and I remember I just said I have to just walk at this point. Yeah. And so I had I had no ability to recover from anything. I was just in mentally it was taxing because I'm like, I felt like kryptonite. Yeah, I just feel so weak, right. But the deficit was just to be maintained. That was the priority. So I maintained the deficit and accepted all those costs. Until I started eating again, and then I recover fine.

Philip Pape:

Yeah. I want to highlight that because you are at the viewer pegged at the upper limit of what we'd recommend for deficit, you were basically going all out at 1% a week. And sometimes it even crept past that, because you were just pretty disciplined. And like you said, you were that was your priority, and we kept the duration. And he was only six weeks, right? Whereas you could go how's that? Right, but now you're doing it for three months? And what's different trade? Right?

Tony Perri:

Yeah. So my expenditure was about, I don't know, 20 903,000 on the cut in my intake was 2000. I have when I've when I dipped below 2000 is when I was like, can't do it. So I was I was sitting about 1000 calorie deficit a day for what six weeks? Yeah. It's big. It's bits. Yeah, it was a lot. It was a lot it is. And that's right around the point that 1000 calories used to be around the trigger point for a lot of people where it starts to go downhill fast, does it? It does. And,

Philip Pape:

you know, we're doing this Rapid Fat Loss Challenge now for two weeks. And like, I have a similar expenditures, you 28 2900 And I mean, in around 1600 calories. So, you know, and I feel it's crazy, but you also have a couple of refeeds in there. But anyway, yeah, again, people listening, it's like, it's not about the quick fix. It's making the trade off between you know, how focused you want to be in the fat loss phase and deal with some of those recovery issues which are just going to happen it's your body saying, Hey, give me more physical I'm gonna release that to give you energy. Exactly versus you know, taking a little bit more lightly and but dragon Now for

Tony Perri:

a while. And that's the thing. I didn't want to drag it out because I already feel like I've wasted enough time doing, you know, other stuff in life. I want to catch it. I want to make gains. Yeah. So I want to do exactly as short as possible. Exactly where as possible cut. Yeah, but that I mean, you made a good point that if you're going to cut, or bulk, or train or do anything, you have to be consistently put in the effort over time. Like, even though I only had a six week cut, I, every single day I took everything, every single meal was very, very serious. stuck with it got to the end goal, right? It's just like training. If you want to build up your bench, it's gonna take a long time. You can't switch goals. Yeah, you got to stick with it. Yeah, you'll get the goal, you'll get the result. What do you think so many kids take peds? Ya know, they don't want to

Philip Pape:

get set up in a cut like yours is a short term, quote unquote, extreme, but a controlled extreme done the right way to get it over? No. So So speaking of your cut, because you talked about learning and education, what did what did you learn, either in general, from nutrition, and specifically from that cut, like, top two or three takeaways?

Tony Perri:

Well about my body, I realized that my body down regulates hunger very quickly. After that first week, I didn't really experience much hunger, to a point where now I'm back on maintenance, I still have to, I don't have much hunger, but a little bit. So I just I learned that my body responds very well to being in deficit, in respect to the goal of cutting fat that, again, strength goes down, energy goes down, but my body says we're going to cut off a lot of fat. So that was a really big learning thing. For me. I also realized how simple it was very hard. But it was simple. Which is exactly one of the tools of understanding that I wanted to get wanted to achieve. It was very, very hard. But now I have so many more tools where I can in the future, you know, say I woke up a little bit over time to get the strength and I realized that I hate myself. I'm gonna cut again. I can just it's not as mystery on how to do it. Yeah. Very simple. It's very, it's very simple. What else did I let's see, what else did I learn? Again, I have a new appreciation for food and that it is just energy. Right? So I talked, I came down with COVID About a week ago, right? And I told you that I dipped into a deficit. And how did I keep get keep from going into the deficit? Oreo cookies? Is it ideal? No. But the point is, food is just energy, and I needed a couple 100 calories to go keep them going into deficit. So I just had some Oreos, and it's funny because people like no, you ate him because you liked him. It's like no, I didn't I did wasn't hungry. Yeah, I made an objective choice. calorie dense based on you know, being energy partiers usually easy to eat with some milk, boom, boom. So in terms of manipulating the energy that comes in, even I even talk about food as energy this point, so boring, but in terms of manipulating certain goals, just look at food as energy. Yeah, instead of food. Because then who is think of food? You can kind of get a little emotional about it? For sure.

Philip Pape:

It's part of our culture. Yeah, it's part of being human.

Tony Perri:

Yeah, yeah. And I still love food, like pretty much everybody. But that's one of the biggest things I learned is I just looked at look at food as energy. Yeah. And choices become a lot easier to make when I look at it just objectively like that.

Philip Pape:

I think that's a healthy mindset, man. Because mindset because your brain is everything in this process. And that, yeah, you really just hit on a very key principle where the Oreos story, right? Because I will I will throw in a pop tart, if I'm like, short on my carbs, and I need the energy and I don't want to go in a deficit, and I'm not that hungry. And that's okay. You know, because it's tailored in my 10 20% and the rest of the total foods. In fact, the fact that you don't make it such an emotional thing and you're doing it for objective reasons, tells you everything else is pretty dialed in from satisfied, you're satisfied with what you're eating.

Tony Perri:

I also, as I said the other day, I also don't sit down with the pack of Oreos. Of course, I say, I'm going to have two servers. I'm gonna have three servings because three servings is 2080 280 calories. My milk is going to be 70 calories, right?

Philip Pape:

portion. A portion of you put it in a bowl, whatever. Yeah,

Tony Perri:

exactly. It's an events I chose the event and that's over. I'm not sitting there blindly watching the film through Instagram rules as they go through like 20 Oreos because then it's like, that's not the goal either. Yeah, no, I

Philip Pape:

love those little tips because we talked about flexible dieting, and intuitive eating but it's not like a free for all with everything single thing you do there. So you still want to have some guidelines and strategies like controlling your food environment, you know, using portions using plates, like all those little things not grazing, having mealtimes having times for your meal and not just like free for all and that doesn't that's not restrictive. That's just having a little bit of self discipline or restraint.

Tony Perri:

Well you're having good having restraint you're making an informed choice on the preferable results. Yeah, right. I don't I don't see it as any more complicated is that you want there is a certain results and then you choose within certain framework. I think when when We lose the loss of discipline is is like the absence of discipline. It's like, well, I don't know what the result is. I just want to be in the moment where it feels good. Yeah,

Philip Pape:

there you go. And many of us have been there many people listening might still be there. So there's there's all there's a better way. I want to ask about hunger, because he said he didn't have too much. Were you hungry years ago when you're working with a nutritionist and losing weight? Yeah. Okay. Yeah.

Tony Perri:

Okay. I was hungry. She said, If you're hungry, eat, you know, there were approved foods, though. So I would only the approved foods. After a while, the hungry did downregulate I didn't really have much of it. Eating became I'm not gonna say a chore. But acumen became more more, more boring. And I knew in the back of my head, I knew that it wasn't sustainable. Yeah. I'm like, like, this is the stuff that we're making my wife and I'll be making us food. And it's like, it's good. But we're not going to be making all this food for the rest of our lives. This is

Philip Pape:

ridiculous. All right. So here's why I asked this. Because if at one point in the past, you were able to get hungry in a deficit, and this time you didn't I know, you said that. You know, my body's good at this. But could it also be your food choice and selection? Could it be protein, and fiber? Which you were pretty good at getting in sufficient

Tony Perri:

amount might be the biggest leading question I've ever heard in my life. You

Philip Pape:

know what I want to say? Don't worry and say what ever comes to your mind?

Tony Perri:

Yeah, of course. Yeah, I'm sure and I have a lot still to learn about satiety and manipulating satiety. Yeah. Whereas if I know if I want to go in a bulk, stay away from certain foods, so increase the hunger, and these are all future lessons for me to master. Yeah, right. I don't know. And I don't expect myself, I don't require myself to No, I only require myself to say, you know, there's more things here for you to learn to look at. I mean,

Philip Pape:

that might be a cool thing to go back and look at the patterns in your food and and compare to the satiety, I mean, you could even use the satiety index. So for those listening like there is an index that was done in a study that's well validated that shows you ranks foods by their level of subtypes of potatoes, white potatoes are the most stations. Yeah, they're very high. Like they, they're like double the next food and has to do with resistant starch apparently, in the white potatoes. If you want I would pretty much guarantee because I saw your food logs, I didn't always see the specific foods you had it, but I would do your macros all the time. Your protein was was up there consistently. And I think you were pretty good at bringing getting fiber because you had a lot of Whole Foods. And right there, those would be the two things people would say keep you full. Even if I didn't have just make mention that for the for the audience, because we talked about objectivity and it makes sense.

Tony Perri:

We want to know why ultimately, yeah, yeah, that makes sense. That's that's a good point. Yeah. And speaking of satiety, I really appreciate rice now because I mean, I just had chicken and rice. I feel great. I'm not like bloated and full Yeah, feel great. If I had bunch of potatoes it would be like, I'm not going to eat for hours. Right? It's they're all serious big things when you have nutritional goals and strength training goals like Israel actually really big things. Well, you know, it makes potatoes easier to eat deep frying them and all that oh,

Philip Pape:

boy girl, makes them easier to eat. And actually, that's physiologically a thing. The fact that there's fat there anything with fat so people don't realize it's like any fat at all you add to anything. Sad is a magical macro that makes you want to eat it. And there's something about that mechanism that you add fat to something you eat it I mean, package. That makes sense. It's a survival.

Tony Perri:

Yeah, because survival evolutionary wise, evolutionary wise, we want to add fat to store energy. Because we may not have food in the wintertime because we're still cavemen, right? We forget that we're still we're not we forget that we're cavemen because we have trucks and houses. But evolution doesn't move so fast to say, Okay, we're not we're out of those environmental conditions anymore. We're going to down regulate this fat necessity. No, we we want that to, you know, to store energy. Yeah, right. Yeah. It's

Philip Pape:

amazing. It's amazing. That's why you start with twice

Tony Perri:

unnatural, unnatural for all you people who want abs. not natural.

Philip Pape:

So funny. It's so funny, but it's true, right? That's why your fat ends up getting pretty low on a cut just naturally, that usually makes it easier to get through calorie wise. Alright, let's get back to training a little bit kind of going back and forth between these. You said earlier that barbell training is a mental activity expressed that physically. Yeah, and you kind of explain what that meant. But can you elaborate on the mental struggles or the barriers that you had to break through in that process?

Tony Perri:

Well, I mean, when I was growing up, I that was never in. instilled full of confidence. Right? So the grind of barbell training really. It filled that void that Been there for a while. So on a personal level, it was like self therapy. But when you're dealing with barbell training is not just about the muscles. And I can't stand when I even hate saying that because it's about tissues. It's about the tendons, the ligaments, it's about the neurological changes, the metabolic change, it's about so many more things than just muscle. And I think I think once I realized that, I realized that it was a lot more than just moving load. Because you've got to, you got to figure out how the load is to be moved and when not to live, move the mode or move the load. Right. And, and the effects of and the effects of moving that load. For example, like I had a, my rotator cuff got a little sore months ago, I don't know doing what, but guess what? That's a Those are, those are tendons. I mean, yeah, you're taught, you know what I'm talking about. And they heal very slowly, the muscles are fine, but the tendon is sore, right? So we have to adjust the training. And that's a mental thing. To not go to figure out how exactly to work around this obstacle strewn in training is a bunch of obstacles, especially after I envy the NLP people that just add five pounds. I can't do that anymore. Even like the Keep it simple. I can't do that. I keep it as simple as I can. But the programming, and the training has gotten pretty complex. And the way we navigate complexity and overcome it and solve those obstacles is the mind, the brain is the only thing that's going to do that we're not going to accidentally figure out how to how to blow past the plateau on our bench or not, you're gonna get stuck. I see it all the time in the gym. People do stupid stuff, because they just left emotionally. Yeah. So when I say liftings, a mentally mental thing expressed physically, it's really, your brain has to be evolved. At first, it's not optional. It has to be fostered or else you will not progress. You're not going to progress anywhere.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, that we just wanted to deep stuff there, which is, which is worth bringing it up because we do talk about here. The health benefits of lifting, right, the bone density, you mentioned tendons, ligaments, hormones are another like a huge hormone. Oh, my God. Exactly. And hormones are just still this mystery to a lot of people. And it's hard to explain it. But mental health, it's definitely we're heading into November, which is I think men's mental health month, I'm about to be collaborating with some folks on that from a strength perspective and talking on some podcasts about how lifting affects your mental health now, you said self therapy, we know there's physiological change that occurs. I don't I'm not educated in all the research yet. I want to be. But did you ever struggle mentally? And this is more of a sensitive topic, but like anxiety, depression, anything like that, that listing helps with?

Tony Perri:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, data, I think that's pretty common. And I think that's an I don't say that to justify it. I just say that it's lifting, doing hard things. Again, this is why I really like my approach. If you go 100% At hard things, and you require yourself to do the work, you're gonna learn something along the way, you're gonna get some kind of confidence. It's not, you're gonna get knocked on your ass, but you're not gonna get defeated, just because it's hard. And just because you didn't hit whatever goal doesn't mean you're defeated. It just means you hit an obstacle, bounce off it to something else, when we're doing hard things. requite they bring the best out of us. Really doing hard things, bring the best thing, bring the best out of us. And when we're overcoming. When we're experiencing anxiety, anxieties, worry, worry about the future of the unknown future. Well guess what barbell training is in the now it's in the present. And when you overcome the presence, that hypothetical future, it kind of it doesn't mean so because right now you're mastering the now right? So training helps that we have to deal with anxiety, depression is is that feeling, it's really feeling of being low not being able to do anything? Well, training is literally doing something you are you are moving something around. And this is why I encourage people to keep logbooks and your training logs and whatnot, because you'll have objective data. So no matter how you feel, if you're depressed, no matter how you feel about it, you can look at it and say, Well, my squat, okay, that I had just to add a rep from last week. I know that there's improvement there. Right? So I would say the objectivity of training and the requirement of doing something hard, hard things bring up the best, easy things, make us complacent. Just make us accept things and just go with the flow of hard things. They bring out the best of us, they transform us, and it's very transformative training. And we don't if we don't put a cap if we don't predict or try to constrain who we think we're going to be, then we can do amazing things. It's very transferred formative because it's in the moment. It's a hard thing in the moment. Yeah. And it's good for our bodies. It's not like, I always use this example gaming, when you're gaming. Yes, it's gonna be hard. But like, that's really a dopamine dump. Training is not a dopamine dump. It's probably the opposite of it. It's so hard in the moment you are requiring yourself to do something you might not be able to do. Yeah. So it's going to transform you, if you let it. It's going to take you places you may not know. You'll become someone you may not know. Some people that may find that scary. But just leave the unknown open. Just train and see what happens.

Philip Pape:

become someone you may not know that you may self identity thing like you're trying to Yeah, identity. I love it.

Tony Perri:

Just let it happen. Yeah. Yeah, surround yourself with other people that work hard and just see what happens. You don't have to have certainty of what will happen. And I think that this, the idea of certainty is really destructive. It's like, No, we don't need to, I have no idea what my numbers will be, or what condition I will be in in a year. All's I can control is this moment, right here. This week. This week's programming is only thing that's in my control. Yeah, I'm gonna crush

Philip Pape:

it in a crushing COVID.

Tony Perri:

You think I wanted to get COVID when I was rocking my program? No, but it was out of my control. Oh, yeah. I didn't want to get here. It's there you go.

Philip Pape:

Exactly. It was gonna set you on your ass like you said, but it doesn't. It doesn't stop you from moving forward in some way. Yeah, it's funny you say that? Because? A lot. So for me, I talk about that a lot. But I also experienced it early on when I finally figured this whole thing out. But when others tell me what you just said. So for example, I actually wrote an email about this to my list this morning, a friend of mine earlier this week finally got a rack of barbell. No, he didn't even get his gaming his rack yet. Right? Yeah, just started deadlifting. And he did it in secret. And then he because he was embarrassed maybe from his wife or his wife didn't believe he would go through with it. And literally, he said from like, the first session when he realized he could just do something. And then the next one do a little more, is I just started to get confident. I just started to feel better about myself. Did you go man like it's incredible. It happens to everyone. Exactly. And you will enter you will make progress of some kind. You just will. Man once you get to this, you know, get in an accident get totally guilty. But yeah, it's incredible.

Tony Perri:

You will get confidence doing hard things produces confidence, doing easy things. It's going to keep you just insecure and depressed. Ya know your heart, you will find your confidence skyrockets, for

Philip Pape:

sure, for sure. And so if you could offer one piece of advice that would make the biggest difference in someone's journey toward this ideal identity of a stronger, healthier person. And maybe something has radically changed your own life that you wish you knew when you were 20. What would it be? And why?

Tony Perri:

No, nobody cares about you, or your progress or your look nearly as much as you do. When you're 20 you believe that other people? Do you get the looks. You have the feedback people you get the likes online, we have this idea that that attention is an accurate assessment of how other people's place value on us, we think that other people are carrying us around with them all day long. That's just not true. So my advice would be just accept that, given nobody's walking around with us in their minds and in their hearts every day. And the reason I say that is so that we can look at ourselves and say, Are we acting according to internal validation? or external validation? Because, and I revisit this question frequently, because it's, it's easy to develop an ego again. And when you start to appreciate that other people don't really care, whatever you doing, you can see what I'm doing right now or what it just did. Yeah, that was that was for other people. But it lets you let it go. If you think that other people, if you convince yourself that other people think about you a lot more than they do, you will allow yourself to deceive yourself into doing things for external validation because you think it's so important. It's not Yeah. And that's one thing that my calisthenics taught even though people in the gym, they thought it was looked so cool looking. They didn't care, they just walked away. Right? So I would say internal validation versus external validation, identify the external, get rid of it. Focus on internal because that produces real satisfaction and indefinite fulfillment. It's you being fulfilled, you're not doing it for other people. You know, you want your abs. Make sure you're doing it for you, for sure. And test J Yeah. And, you know, if you want to lift your heavy weights, make sure you're doing it for you. Ask yourself the tough questions. Ask yourself where to look for that external validation in your life and get rid of it. Because then you're really going to become more confident If I agree,

Philip Pape:

it actually gets you to take actions on things you might not have otherwise, because you otherwise you think people are judging you, or you're gonna be embarrassed? I mean, my experience with that is, with everything I do with this coaching stuff, every every single step I took was like, What? Are they going to think about me? It doesn't matter, just do it? And what is there? Is there a nuance there, when it comes to doing things to help other people? Knowing that there's also external validation? Do you know what I mean? Like, so? What am I trying to say here? So for example, I will, I will gladly share with the world what a client says about how I helped them, because I'm proud that I help them. Is that is that seeking external validation? Or is that? You know, what do you think of that?

Tony Perri:

You're sharing it for who? And for why? That's really a question. It's hard for me to answer that right now. But it's it's it's it's, what are you looking for? What are you searching for? What is the reward you're searching for, if the reward is to, is to open up doors for other people to potentially improve their own lives? I think that's I think that's, that's pretty cool. Because it shows it's not about you. But if the reward is getting the attention upon you, and that, hey, I taught this person this thing, then that's more of your ego getting involved. And that's more external validation, you got. So you got to I think, really, we got to look at the basis of the reward we're seeing and then test ourselves like, Why do I want to reward when we want to reward perfect? And that will help us answer those kinds of questions, because it can get hard to distribute to delineate those kinds of things. Yeah,

Philip Pape:

you're a philosophical guy I had asked. You think about this stuff. Yeah. All right. So the magic question that you know, is coming. What question did you wish I had asked, and what is your answer? Oh,

Tony Perri:

gosh, yeah, this is hard. Even even you know, it's Kelvin. I would say, Why have I become so critical of what have become so critical of physique? I, I see that it, I think physique, there's a place for physique, I think it's very easy to get lost. Again, this goes exactly with my external validation point. That's probably why I brought it up. I think it's very easy to get lost in the physique train. And if we over subscribe to the external validation, and this is why I, I'm very critical of modern bodybuilding. In terms of the average Joe and the average chain doing bodybuilding, if you're if you're competing, if you're making money. That's one thing. But if you're the average Joe or Jane showing up a couple of times a week, and you're doing the body building, I'm critical of that. So that's probably the that's probably the question that I would that flows through external validation. That's probably the question that I would have. wished you would have asked. Okay, yeah, if you could read my mind. Yeah,

Philip Pape:

that's what I asked. You know, that's good. I mean, we have talked about that. The physics side of things. And it's interesting for me, because when I when I talk to people who have goals, you know, true deep goals, to change their identity to be a better role model for their kids to be healthier, whatever, along with that always have some level of physique enhancement. Anyway, I wanted to look better. Yeah, exactly. And I think that's okay. The question is, why are you doing like you said, it's, is it the external validation? Or is it you're just handling to be comfortable, and I see that thing, that person in the

Tony Perri:

mirror, you know, and that's the thing about physique too, which I realized is so much different than strength training. Strength training is objective improvement, measurable, objective proven? Well, physique training is based on looking better, which is a belief system to construct to look better. It's true, it's a debt, it's a belief system. So you can ask 10 different people. So that's why I'm critical of it. Because, because if someone says, I will look better, and I'm thinking, according to what, because if you get someone's opinion, you could get five opinions today, and someone like me will be like, I don't think that looks great. That could crush somebody. Yes, not intentionally, but because physique, it's a belief system. And I think if people are honest about that, and accept that, it's just it's a belief. It's very subjective, and it changes, I think people people could be a little bit more calm about the physique, rather than thinking that it's this objective, I'm gonna look better. And it's like, well, you know, that not everybody thinks that right? Yeah, I guess just because I'm objective based with strength training real, but

Philip Pape:

it's a valid thing for people to think about. Because there is there's standing there are standards and women face this a lot in society with the object, the body image standards. And there's also the fact that we're focusing on focusing on performance and strength. There are lots of periods where you go through where you're not going to have what somebody would call an ideal physique because you don't want to you want to have the extra fat you want to have the leverages you want to be eating because you're building muscle and you know, you're gonna live a long time that way, and be healthy. But then it's like You know, how do you combine all these things. So kind of keeping kind of combining physique with health with strength and finding that sweet spot where it kind of all works together is a nice place to be if you can get there. You know, I get that people's, a lot of people are very overweight. Right. And we understand that for them. It's a health issue. And of course, they are going to, I think, even objectively have an improved physical appearance once they lose on the way. But again, it is a construct, so yeah, yeah.

Tony Perri:

Yeah. All right. Yeah. A lot of people are underweight, too, I think. Oh, yeah. I think that's what that's, yeah. No, I mean, I've seen it in the gym a lot. Yeah. And it's like, I want to gain a little bit. You know,

Philip Pape:

I hate it, but I hate it when I see it. And I see that 18 year old boys walking around. I'm like, Man, if only I had a hold of you right now, in your, you know, get your shoulder racing and start listing.

Tony Perri:

Begin with, there's that belief system. Yeah. Oh, it looks.

Philip Pape:

The Surfer do that. Yeah. Okay, man. Well, where do you want listeners to reach you? Or what resource Do you want them to check out?

Tony Perri:

I'm just I'm just average Joe. I don't really. I'm not very present on social media. I mean, I'm an anti Baker's group. But I don't I don't, coach. I don't. You know, I don't think I have much on Instagram. Yeah. But um, I mean, if someone wanted to contact me, they could just contact me through my email. Right. But other than that, just average Joe. Okay. Yeah.

Philip Pape:

How about this, we'll put a link to the Facebook group, which you're in. So if people want to come in, they can reach you there. And we'll put a link to Andy's club. I don't mind I love promoting his club. It's fantastic. Yeah, I

Tony Perri:

love it. I mean, you're I mean, I'm in your group, too. I love I love you know, dropping into your group, you know? Yeah. And seeing what's there. It's a lot of fun stuff there. It's pretty cool. It is it's like

Philip Pape:

it's not a massive group, but it's highly engaged in that and helpful you know, we help each other out which is I constantly say that because I'm not trying to grow into like 10s of 1000s of people I'd rather have people that really care about being there,

Tony Perri:

but you're not trendy. Yeah, it's not it's not it's not trends. It's not do this one thing you'll do it's again, it's flexible dieting, which is which is hard to reach people on because people want a product give me products I make change is not is that that

Philip Pape:

they've got laser fat removal for that. Alright, just just to put the extreme on it. Okay, so man, this is a lot of fun. We went down some nice rabbit holes and philosophy, metaphysics, you know, training, nutrition, the whole thing. So thanks for coming on.

Tony Perri:

It was a lot of fun, man. Thanks, man. So all right, talk soon.

Philip Pape:

Thank you for tuning in to another episode of Wits & Weights. If you found value in today's episode, and know someone else who's looking to level up their Wits & Weights. Please take a moment to share this episode with them. And make sure to hit the Follow button in your podcast platform right now to catch the next episode. Until then, stay strong.

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