Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss

Bonus Episode: The Over-40 Fitness Blueprint for Sustainable Dieting, Muscle Growth, and Lifelong Health

February 10, 2024 Philip Pape, Nutrition Coach & Physique Engineer
Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss
Bonus Episode: The Over-40 Fitness Blueprint for Sustainable Dieting, Muscle Growth, and Lifelong Health
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This conversation is from my appearance on Brian Gryn’s podcast, Get Lean, Eat Clean, where we discussed so many topics related to over-40 fitness and sustainable results.

Learn the step-by-step formula that helped me reveal my best body and energy after 40. Learn how flexible dieting, evidence-based training, and proper carb intake fuels workout performance. Discover why most people struggle to build muscle and end up spinning their wheels. Plus find out my #1 tip to transform your health, physique, and mindset for good.

By the way, Brian will be on the show next month so make sure to subscribe to Wits & Weights to get notified when the episode comes out.

Enjoy my conversation with Brian Gryn!

Episode summary:

Unlock the secrets to a sustainable fitness and nutrition plan post-40. We're talking about tangible steps, like the art of food and exercise tracking, while indulging in the flavors you love. Muscle mass takes center stage in this health crusade, proving it's a formidable opponent against obesity. And if you're looking for a sign to start lifting, this is it—backed by scientific savvy and spiced with real-world success stories.

The gym journal debate is settled here, and I'm dishing out the details of my muscle sculpting regimen crafted by coach Andy Baker. Feel the burn but also learn the quintessential role recovery plays—because muscle isn't just built on sweat alone. Sleep, nutrition, and the clever use of technology or good old pen and paper become your allies in the quest for gains. And for those who ever doubted the might of machines in your workout or demonized carbs as the villain of your diet story, prepare for some myth-busting that could just reshape your fitness journey.

Finally, weave exercise into the tapestry of your daily life, no matter the time crunch. Be inspired by tales of incremental triumphs, like the woman whose life was changed by mastering the art of standing up from a couch. It's about celebrating the small victories that snowball into a lifestyle transformation. Hop aboard the fitness 'bug'—it's an infectious ride that elevates your health and spirit, step by step, rep by rep. Join us for an episode that's more than a listen—it's the first stride towards your best self.

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Speaker 1:

Oh, you like to eat pasta and you like to eat bread and you like I don't know donuts. Well then, is a diet that cuts carbs gonna work for you long term, even if it's quote, unquote good or perfect? Of course not. So then we say well, how do we incorporate those things and align them with your goals? So, at the end of the day, the flexible dieting approach, which is, when compared to rigid dieting, has been shown to be a quite mentally healthy way to approach this, and sustainable is the one that allows you to eat for fullness. It allows you to enjoy your foods and not have any guilt. Right, those three things were big for me and then, when I tied it to the muscle side of the equation, it all started to click.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Whits and Weights podcast. I'm your host, phillip 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. We'll 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 Whits and Weights community. Welcome to another bonus Saturday episode of the Whits and Weights podcast.

Speaker 1:

This conversation is from my appearance on Brian Grinn's podcast called Eat Clean, get Lean, where we discussed so many topics related to over 40 fitness and sustainable results. Learn the step-by-step formula that helped me reveal my best body and energy after 40. Learn how flexible dieting, evidence-based training and proper carb intake fuels your workout performance. Discover why most people struggle to build muscle and end up spinning their wheels. Plus, find out my number one tip to transform your health, physique and mindset for good. By the way, brian will be on the show next month, so make sure to subscribe to Whits and Weights to get notified when the episode comes out. With that, please enjoy my conversation with Brian Grinn.

Speaker 2:

Hello and welcome to the Get Lean, eat Clean podcast.

Speaker 2:

I'm Brian Grinn and I'm here to give you actionable tips to get your body back to what it once was five, 10, even 15 years ago. Each week, I'll give you an in-depth interview with a health expert from around the world to cut through the fluff and get you long-term, sustainable results. This week I interviewed nutrition and lifestyle coach for high-performing professionals, philip Pape. Philip also is the host of the popular podcast Whits and Weights, and we discuss the importance of tracking your food and lifting routine, along with the pros of flexible dieting, how most people are under-eating, evidence-based training to build strength, eating carbs for performance and his one tip to get your body back to what it once was. Really enjoyed my interview with Philip. I know you will too. Thanks so much for listening and enjoy the show. All right, welcome to the Get Lean, eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Grinn and I have Philip Pape, and welcome to the show. Thanks, brian, for having me. Yeah, glad to have you on Podcast. Host of Whits and Weights. I have to say I like that clever, clever line.

Speaker 1:

You know, I came up with it while watching my girls play soccer and I was just brainstorming, Like brain couldn't shut off and came to me and there you go Love it.

Speaker 2:

yeah, I know I've had mine for a while and I've always thought, well, maybe I'll rebrand and change it, but if it works, stick with it, right.

Speaker 1:

Exactly.

Speaker 2:

And maybe explain to the audience a little bit about your background and how you sort of got into health and wellness and this and that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, I think I like to say it's a combination of curiosity and frustration, right? Like many of those listening, there's always a point where you get frustrated with your results or lack thereof, and same thing happened to me. A lot of what got me into health and fitness was personal experience. I've been in the engineering world for a couple of decades as an engineering manager and leader and work with a lot of people and coach a lot of people, and I love helping people. You know get over the hump of whatever is in the way, but I could never do that personally when it came to my fitness, my physique, my health, and I've always been an action taker. Right, for some people, the issue is not that they take action, it's that they don't know what to do, how to apply it and so on. So let's just say I spent my 20s and 30s flailing around going to the gym, not knowing what to do, doing all the diets right. It was always a names diet, from Atkins to Paleo to Keto, all mostly low carb diets.

Speaker 1:

And it wasn't until late 2019, after probably a decade of CrossFit, which also didn't get me very far personally that I stumbled on the world of evidence-based strength training and nutrition First strength training and then nutrition. Once I gained about 50 pounds of muscle and mostly fat. I learned a lot about nutrition at that point. But you know I'm a big reader and I like podcasts. So around that timeframe I came across the muscle strength pyramids guys like Dr Eric Helms or you know, stronger by science and some of these other guys. That then led me to the various podcasts out there and I started to lift weights, you know, with progressive overload, actually using proper training principles and recovery and so on, and that led me down, you know, building muscle for the first time and realizing that muscle. In fact, I don't know what you think about this, brian, but I'm pretty convinced now that muscle is a bigger either cause or solution to obesity than weight loss today. Like I firmly believe that now because I've worked with so many clients who come to me 50 pounds overweight per you know health guidelines who have a lot of muscle mass they might have lifted for 20 years and their blood works great, right, they just want to look a little more shapely and maybe drop the resting heart rate. But muscle being the key to everything was one revelation for me. And then, on the nutrition side, finally realizing it was about freedom and flexibility and not others telling you what to do and what to eat. You know what's good or bad. That unlocked things for me and realized that this individualized approach is where it's at. So that led me to starting the podcast in late 2021, wits, and WAITS as a passion project.

Speaker 1:

It's all it was. It was like, hey guys, like I know this information's out there, but I had trouble finding it all these years. I'm going to share it with you. How do we get strong? How do you build your home gym? Like all these little topics that I thought would help people and that spiraled into meeting a bunch of great folks, including a power lifter who asked me to be her nutrition coach because she felt that the way I communicated and shared information was eye-opening. It wasn't do this, it was here's how it works. Let's make it work for you. And that was about two years ago, so we can fast forward, you know, between that, but that's how I got into the space.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, thanks for sharing that and it's interesting. I mean, you talk about building muscle, I think. Yes, I think it's obviously really important Sometime. What would you say? I know you mentioned like you'll have people come in who are strong but they have those extra 15, 20 pounds. That is just tough to lose, right? They're probably in their 60s and they have that. You know, a lot of men gain weight around their, obviously their waist, visceral fat. What would you say? There's probably not a one size fits all, but what first steps for that individual? What should they do, you think?

Speaker 1:

I think the first step is awareness, right. So a lot of big guys and I work primarily with people who have been lifting weights. I used to work with beginners, but primarily people who've been lifting weights, and so two thirds of my clients are female, one third are male. A lot of the men have been lifting for a decade or so, and yet they'll latch onto things like the carnivore diet, right, or something like that, and so I'm getting a little fluffy. I want to cut, but I want to stay strong. I want to keep lifting weights. I want to. What do I do?

Speaker 1:

And so, very much like you hear, women go into this low energy availability state, which is a very common problem for women. A lot of men have that same issue where they're kind of been hovering just below their maintenance calories for all these years trying to diet, and so guess what? It's been holding back their lifting as well. So I'll get a guy saying I want to push my deadlift and I want to lose fat. Now some people might say, well, you can't do both at the same time, and my argument is actually, if you optimize your nutrition a bit, you can do both, and you're probably lacking some things. You're probably lacking carbs, for example, like a lot of guys are just lacking carbs. So the first thing is awareness, brian, and it's no surprise to you. Awareness of everything awareness of your calories and macros, your eating habits, your timing, awareness of the quality of your food and, of course, how this all ties in with your performance and your recovery.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I love how you say awareness, because I'm a fan of that, because you know, as far as tracking, I don't think it doesn't necessarily have to happen like every day, every week, every month, right, but I think, like initially, when you have someone that they've never done any tracking, it's good to just get a base on this Cause a lot of people don't have no idea how much they're eating or what they're eating, because it's just become such a habitual thing that they just go about it every day and don't even think about it.

Speaker 1:

That's exactly it Like, and I would say that you almost have to track. It's like with your budget. It's with even with your lifts if you're trying to push your deadlift up, you've got to know what your PR was last time to go up a little bit. So you've got to track something. And for me, if you track everything, it kind of gives you the data as quickly as possible, therefore allowing you to save all the time later that you think you're saving now by not tracking.

Speaker 2:

Right, and if you track for like a week of what you're eating, that's probably good enough to tell you it's huge. Yeah, I mean because, like, you're probably eating the same things over and over again At least I do. I try to change it up a little bit, but I would call myself a boring eater and so tracking is truly important. And then tracking lifts obviously is. Do you track your own lifts? And for me, I've gone on and off with tracking. To me sometimes when I'm in the gym it's like I don't want to be on my phone a lot, and so I try to go in there and just focus and lift, and then maybe I should write it down after, but then by then I'll probably forget. So I'm curious to know how you go about that.

Speaker 1:

That's interesting because there's a middle ground, which is a physical notebook, and there's some in the lifting community that are really hardcore about that, like, no, you gotta use a notebook, don't use apps, and there's debates and, honestly, it's whatever works for you.

Speaker 1:

I do use an app and you're right, you could easily start messing around and like your rest periods get too long and get distracted, right? So I like to track it, just so that I know, because I usually increase my weights on certain lifts once a week, like that's the training age I'm at right, and right now I'm doing a six week cycle and then a one week D load, and in that six week cycle I'm doing exactly the same lifts on Monday, every Monday. So it's easy for me to say, okay, if I'm working the eight to 12 rep range or I'm doing triples or whatever, I need to either increase the load or increase the reps or something. So, yeah, I encourage people to track whatever they want to measure. So food, lifts, also your body circumference measurements, your biofeedback. I'm a huge fan of understanding where to stress, hunger, digestion, mood recovery, libido tie into everything you're doing, because at the end of the day, it's a choice that gives you a consequence, and now we can change our choices.

Speaker 2:

Right, and how is your split right now? I'm just curious. I've gone through different splits and. I'm trying to figure out. Now that it's winter and you're up in the Northeast, it's like you have a little more time and it's like, oh, should I change my split up? I'm just curious to know what you're going through right now.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so three weeks ago I started a new six day per week bodybuilding split. Previously I was doing a four day a week West Side style, where I was testing my one RMs every Monday and Tuesday on lifts, a rotation of the main lifts. Now I'm doing a six day bodybuilding. So what it looks like is upper, upper, lower, upper, upper, lower and the uppers are split like back arms chest, so on.

Speaker 2:

So you're doing like a push pull legs, is that?

Speaker 1:

Kind of. Yeah, it's split a little bit differently than that, but it's from my coach, andy Baker. He's actually gonna be on my podcast. I probably came out before this one comes out. Yeah, and it's a lot of fun. The reason I like it is I'm in my 40s, so for me recovery is more of a concern than when I was younger. I get beat up really easily. My low back gets fatigued pretty easily if I'm doing too much deadlifting or squatting. And six days a week you're talking 40 to five minute sessions, maybe an hour, and what I can do is I can make Wednesday my recovery day. So now it's like I'm working out four days during the week anyway, and then I can work out on the weekend, which is very flexible and it keeps me active on the weekend. So the recovery is optimized for me because I'm spreading out the fatigue and I have like two hard days being like pretty much the leg days are the harder days.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so that's what it looks like right now.

Speaker 2:

And what I find being in my 40s is, yes, recovery is so key. What type of things do you do to recover from workouts and make sure that, like, every session in the gym is worthwhile?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the sleep and food is big. So right now I'm in a gaining phase. I have been since April. We're recording this in December and I have probably another two and a half months. So I always recommend if you're gonna go after muscle building and spend a good six to nine months, don't shortchange the process. So for me, eating well over 3000 calories is fun, but also needed for the recovery.

Speaker 1:

I will notice and I see this a lot with clients too, guys especially who call themselves hard gainers I'll notice that as your environment becomes more anabolic and you're really pushing it, your metabolism can start to ramp up in certain phases very quickly to the point where it outruns your eating. You have to get ahead of it by jumping up those calories every week, sometimes on a daily basis. You'll feel it if you don't. So that was my point here. Recovery wise, if your lifts start to stall, even though you're in a gaining phase, you're probably not eating enough. If you're getting six hours of sleep, you probably need seven or eight. Those are the two big ones.

Speaker 1:

Other than that, don't do too much Like, don't be doing hours and hours of cardio and hiking and this and that and the other, and do some mobility, plus stretching, plus Pilates, plus yoga, in addition to 15. Okay, just focus. And then I feel like one other thing came to mind for recovery. Oh, and it's take the loads as needed, right, like listen to your body. You may not need them for 12 weeks. You may need them after four, it depends.

Speaker 2:

And what did you learn? I mean, you mentioned that you did a bunch of fad diets and you've done CrossFit. What did you learn from, like you know, paleo, atkins, Keto. You did some fasting it looks like at some point and to sort of where you're at today?

Speaker 1:

I mean, I guess the big lesson was that if there's no one-size-fits-all approach for anyone and there's a lot of misinformation out there as to why we do these right, so if someone's trying to sell a book on a diet, they're going to have to justify why the diet looks like that right, and a lot of times that means overreaching on the science or going to just pure false foods. And so there are a lot of quote-unquote myths that we want to unravel. For people like that, carbs make you fat, right. Things like that where you can get down into the details and start talking about insulin sensitivity and timing and like what kinds of carbs and sugar source of carbs versus whole grain. Yeah, you can get into all that. There's a lot of red herrings.

Speaker 1:

But at the end of the day, if I took you and sat with you and said what do you like to eat? Let's start there. What do you like to eat? What do you like to eat? Pasta and you like to eat bread and you like I don't know donuts. Well then, is a diet that cuts carbs going to work for you long term, even if it's quote-unquote, good or perfect? Of course not. So then we say, well, how do we incorporate those things and align them with your goals? So, at the end of the day, the flexible dieting approach, which is, when compared to rigid dieting, has been shown to be a quite mentally healthy way to approach this. And sustainable, like you talked about in your intro and your show, like what's? The sustainable approach Is the one that allows you to eat for fullness, that allows you to enjoy your foods and not have any guilt.

Speaker 1:

Those three things were big for me and then, when I tied it to the muscle side of the equation, it all started to click. Oh, you're an athlete and you're training. Well, now your appetite signals are going to be regulated. You're going to crave the carbs and protein. You're not going to want to eat too much quote-unquote junk. Anyway, it's going to be a small part of your diet. If you love donuts, put them in there, but it all kind of works out. Is what I find.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I've gone through some phases myself. I was doing fasting for quite a while and I think it can play a role. I think, if no one's ever tried it, I don't think it's a bad thing to try. I think some people like it because it gives them boundaries around their day. But like anything else, you can also overdo it. I think there's a lot of these diets that go on one extreme or the next, because one it sounds sexy and they can sell it, and it's just like there's a lot of people who have great results from a lot of different diets, like you said. But sort of self experimentation I think is important in trying out what works for you, because I've introduced a lot of whole food carbs back into my routine and I feel like I've gotten stronger from that. I was probably under eating. I mean you talk about eating, I mean how much do you weigh?

Speaker 1:

Right now I'm 185,. Trying to get to 190, 195.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, nice, I mean you're at 3,000 calories. Would you say that most people, especially in the clients that you're teaching, are under eating, especially the women?

Speaker 1:

Oh, yeah, Always. That's step one. When I talked about awareness, my clients will all start tracking on day one and I tell them not to change anything, just track. And the first week I'm like you're way under. And for the women, I want them to just get to maintenance. Right, Most women aren't saying, yeah, I want to gain, Just get to maintenance. And that is often a struggle. It's a struggle because of the protein and the carbs and how those balance, but also their fear, their fear of gaining weight, their fear of it. How could I do that? And it's just because they're persistently living in this low energy availability state.

Speaker 2:

How do you go about because I know it's not a perfect science figuring out their maintenance?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean. So we use an app called Macro Factor. I love that app. I know a lot of people use my fitness power chronometer and so on. I'm very vocal and opinionated about why I think that app is better personally, and the reason I like the app is it helps you find your maintenance very accurately. So most apps and again you can use whatever tool works for you.

Speaker 1:

As I always say that most apps will either not even calculate your expenditure and they'll just they're just a tracker, or they'll do it based on BMR formulas, right and and, or combined with your activity tracker.

Speaker 1:

The problem is the BMR formulas can be off by like three or 400 calories for individuals, because it's a population level mean it's based on, and then the activity wearables are off by up to 70 or 80% accuracy, because your metabolism is made up of more than just BMR activity. What Macro Factor does is it says how is your body weight changing and how much are you eating relative to that body weight change. It's just like if you told somebody eat exactly the same for two weeks and let's see what happens to your weight, and now we can tell you maintenance calories. It's kind of like that line of thinking. So that's how we do it, and within about two or three weeks you have a good idea of oh, you thought you were burning 2800 calories, you're really burning 2200. That's why you haven't been losing weight, because you haven't been in a deficit, you've been eating at maintenance.

Speaker 2:

Gotcha and do you obviously like we talked a little bit before about, like Lane Norton and he's very on that evidence based side Is that where you sort of got a lot of that from, or tracking calories and stuff and I know it's not all about calories and calories out but is that, like, obviously plays a role? What type of role does it play for you and your clients?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know you mentioned Lane Norton. His influence for me was the body fat overshooting science, the idea that most people who are dieting, especially women, diet like 100 something times in their life. When you're dieting, if you don't have a sufficient training stimulus right, you're not training hard in the gym and then, secondarily, not enough protein, you're going to lose a bunch of muscle mass and I think I used to say it could be up to like 50% of the tissue. I think the science has more, like 25, 30%, but that's still a massive amount of muscle mass loss. And then it leads to a whole bunch of other symptoms like hunger and wanting to binge on carbs and sugar, and that causes you to overeat when you diet, when you get off the diet, and so on and so forth. So this is the yo-yo dieting phenomenon and that kind of ties into. Okay, the important thing here is muscle mass. When we're dieting, we want to hold on to our muscle mass to the tune of no more than a couple percent loss at most. And then when we are gaining, we don't want to gain too much fat, right, we want to maximize muscle mass.

Speaker 1:

So when we say evidence-based, you know, I want to I want the listener to understand. That doesn't necessarily mean science-based Science is just one little piece of the evidence. It's meaning scientific papers which are full of examples of poor methodology that you have to watch out for, and so it's hard to suss that out. Other evidence is N equals one right. Your personal experience is probably the most important evidence. You have Also anecdotal experience, also coaches who have lots of experience working with thousands of clients. So when you add it all together and use your critical thinking hat and don't just believe all the fit influencers, you can go really far for you.

Speaker 2:

And you've talked about for yourself that you've like at one point had like the dad bod, and so I think a lot of times when you get into your forties and beyond, you don't, like a lot of guys, probably feel like they can't make inroads and like get their physique back. And it's I like hearing about how you're like setting all these goals and doing one rep max is because I will say for myself I've Not that I don't go heavy, but I think sometimes there's a hesitancy just because you know the last thing you want, I want to do is get hurt in the weight room. So how do you sort of walk that line the while, you know sort of trying to get rid of the dead bod but also not overdoing it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, what you brought up is very common fear In terms of safety and hurting your back and hurting this or that, two big ones that I hear our Deadlifting is gonna hurt, is gonna injure you, and then, like squatting is gonna hurt my knees or I can't squat to death, or it's all all these things that I'm gonna be honest, 99% of the time it's an excuse, or or just at least comes out of ignorance, that you can do something that works for you. If you are deadlifting with bad form, you can get injured. If you're deadlifting and twisting your torso, you can get injured, but I could argue that's not deadlifting, that's doing something else, that's not deadlifting. So that brings us to well, what do you do? Well, having a good training trainer, a good coach that understands the mechanics and becoming very, very well educated that and then getting feedback early, early when you're lifting very light weights, you know you're you're deadlifting 95 or 135 on the bar instead of you know 315. That's the time where you have a lot of tolerance to avoid injury and get it right.

Speaker 1:

So I would say that I've had a back surgery. Two years ago I had micro discutomy and you know what I did. Right after I recovered from that, I started deadlifting, because deadlifting is one of the best things you can do for your back health. You know it. It strengthens your spinal erectors. It's an isometric, you know movement that causes you to really have to hold something and tight contraction. And now guess what you're doing? You're supporting your spine. So, anyway, I sometimes I get off on my diatribe of like why it's right. But I would ask somebody to work with a knowledgeable person and figure it out for themselves and see, you know.

Speaker 2:

And to what I've found is like not that I don't squat from time to time, but you know you can do an Alternatives right. There's so many options, like single leg Bulgarian squats, for example. I tend to lean towards those with some weight on my back, but I'm not putting so much load on my spine and my back is pretty much straight up and down. And let me tell you, I've never seen anyone else. I'm, you know it's not the biggest weight room, but I don't see anyone else doing it ever and I'm there, you know, four days a week because it's tough, it's not easy. Yeah, you do single leg Bulgarian squats with back weight on and I've just gotten into that rhythm of doing it and I and so I don't need to put on you know a ton of weight and load on my spine. So you can definitely make adjustments.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean I just had a conversation with Andy about a lot of this stuff.

Speaker 1:

We were talking about bodybuilding style training and there there's there's a difference but also an overlap between strength and hypertrophy and you can make a lot of progress in terms of size and mass with the the types of movements you mentioned. Like you don't have to have full on giant compound lifts for everything and in fact the programming I'm doing right now doesn't always have those programmed it and you can still make progress if you're trying to increase maximal force production and maximal strength. That's where you bring in the bigger lifts. But like you're saying, brian, I'm not dogmatic about this stuff. Like, even though when I first started lifting heavy, I did it through starting strength and their culture is very much like you got to do the big three or the big four and that's the only way to get strong, build muscle mass. I think for beginners it's very effective and efficient to do that and it teaches you a lot about mental resilience as well. But then, as you become an intermediate advanced trainer, there are a lot more options.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and also to using machines. I mean, I've started. I never, I was always sort of anti using them, thinking oh, you know that. Then I, you know, I'm not stabilizing the weight myself. I got the machine, but there's some great machines out there and I would, I was, I've been using I got this from you know, jeff Nippard, nippard, yeah, yeah, and it's obviously basic thing, but just doing a slight incline press on the, on the assisted bench press, as opposed to just always using the free weights. And it's nice because you, I think there's something mental about unless you have a spotter, right, if you don't have a spotter, I think it's a great thing using the assisted weight machines because there's a freedom like you feel. You just feel like, okay, I can push as hard as I want and all I got to do is make sure I just clip it and I'm fine. Yeah, so like I think mentally, it allows me I've just started doing it more it allows me to push harder.

Speaker 1:

It depends on what your goals are, right. I mean Lauren Kalenzo, simple. She is a pretty well known researcher that writes for the mass researcher view and she studies female physiology. But she also studies things like free versus machine, free weights versus machine weights, and she'll tell her machines, and she'll tell you that we find that there you can get equally comparable results for the most part Between the two. It depends on your goals, though, like if you're only using Machines that isolate planes of motion and you're completely neglecting certain muscles, you're gonna you're gonna notice that.

Speaker 1:

But I love machines. For one, like you said, the safety, but for another is to get the mind muscle connection in the target muscle. So, for example, if you do barbell rows and you really don't feel it in the lats, like you feel like you're just yanking with your arms or something and you don't feel in the lats, go to use a t bar machine row right which isolates like a what do you call it? Chest supported machine row, because you can't help but get exactly on the last. Then you build that feeling and that Neuromuscular connection. Now you can go apply it to a free weight movement and see what else you get out of it the free weight movements, of course, are gonna give you other things like stability. Maybe they engage your core a little bit more and then they use they use the muscle mass as a system, right, they use the whole movement pattern as a system, and that's where you can hit often neglected muscles doing it that way too.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. No, there's tons of advantages to it and I was always sort of anti, but now I'm getting back into them and it's nice, I mean, I think that's one thing, just if you've been lifting for a long time. It's just trying to mix it up and, and you know, find different programs or different, different exercises just to keep you engaged.

Speaker 1:

It's, it's fun, man, it's a lot of fun. Also, the Cape cable machines. I consider that free weights too, you know, and that's kind of a middle ground. You know cable flies and Cable. I don't know everything you could do with a cable, even if you want to have movements, you could do loaded ab crunches with a cable machine, whatever, yeah what would you say like some of the biggest mistakes that people make, you know, when they're trying to sort of get their health and physique in order.

Speaker 1:

There's a few things. It usually comes down to mindset. They're the biggest things. A lack of patience and a lack of consistency are probably the biggest things, to be honest, and people hear that and like, oh, there we go again talking about the mind stuff, the emotional stuff. But once you dial in how to do something and you start tracking, that's the easy part Can you do it every day? And that's where I love to focus on.

Speaker 1:

When you look at the tiny habits approach or you look at behavioral psychology, how do humans get to a goal where they don't focus on the goal they focus on here and now? What am I accomplishing today? What are my wins today? What did I lift? I did my meal planning for the day.

Speaker 1:

If you look at your day, you probably have 10 wins that you can celebrate, and so being proactive about that, setting yourself up for success and having those wins, is how you make progress. And if you're 80% on, you are far beyond most people. Most people are 10%. You know they've got zero days all the time. If you're there eight out of 10 times, you're going to be just fine, and so when you have that mindset, the other big mistake people make is the all or nothing. Right, the all or nothing, thinking like oh, I just went crazy. On Saturday I went out with my friends in Mexican restaurant. We had the appetizers, the beer, we had the dessert. I don't even track, I don't even know what. So, what, that was yesterday, today's today, like, what is your plan? Make a deal, plan, get the win for today and move on. So that's, I think, mindset's, the biggest one.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. No, that's a good point. I mean consistency. It's like when I first started I was lucky. I started lifting when I was I don't know when you started. I started when I was like a junior in high school. I remember like getting somewhat into it, pushed my, actually my parents got me into, which was great, probably the best thing I could have done. And then just being consistent and I think I wasn't, you know, maybe three days a week of lifting and and that was and that did that for so long. I've changed it, you know, since then, but like it wasn't anything crazy and I think that's key Like you can even doing. I mean, you see a lot of stuff out there like one set the failure or guys that are just doing the big lifts like once a week. I think I'm is it Mike Maltzel? Or there's a, there's a, there's a few big names that really push, push that For me once a week. I was not enough. I just even if it's the best science in the world, for most people it's not.

Speaker 1:

let's be honest you can't train the most people can't train that hard to do it only once a week, once a week, I know Well, let's just say this.

Speaker 2:

But if, if you're not, if you're finding that you're going in the gym for four or five days a week but that's not lasting a while, you're not, you're not able to sustain that, then you know what? Once or twice a week, if you can consistently do that, that's above and beyond what going four to five days a week.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's better than zero. That's what it is. It's like what is zero, what is zero? Okay, here's another way to look at it. I think Adam Bornstein has this in his latest book, where he talked about the expanded comfort zone. So you've got? You've got your comfort zone. All the things that you don't even think about. You just do it every day.

Speaker 1:

And everybody talks about getting out of your comfort zone, which and he challenged that, challenges that. He's like well, why do we, why do we want to go so far out of what we do and make it where it's almost impossible to stick with it? Why don't we just push our comfort zone out a little bit and expand it with a couple things, like one thing this week, one thing next week, and it almost feels like it's still your comfort zone. And then you still have all these things in your comfort zone. Like, okay, you eat pizza every Saturday, maybe that's in your comfort zone for a while, while you add in protein for breakfast, right? Maybe you know, like you said, training, if you don't train at all, maybe you go in once a week, while you do a lot of walks on the other days in your comfort zone, right? So what you're saying makes a lot of sense and it gives you the bug to then get in two, three days a week. Once you get that one day going, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Sometimes it takes a little while to get the bug. It may and I know people who never get the bug. They just they don't like it. But I always say, find something that you enjoy. I mean, even if it's, I don't know, going and playing tennis.

Speaker 1:

I mean.

Speaker 2:

I know that's not resistance training and we all know resistance training is like the best, you know. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I mean I was going to challenge it until you said, until you said, like it's got to be something you enjoy. Because if you say you don't like it, that's the problem. It's not that the thing itself isn't quote unquote good for you, that's the problem. I really do think everyone should resistance train. Like that's one of very few things on my list. It's like everyone should be doing it. But how you do it?

Speaker 1:

And here's the thing I've had female clients come to me and they're doing the Peloton and they're playing tennis and they're hiking and they're they're doing high rep training in the gym and they're like I don't like lifting weights. Well, what does it look like? Well, I'm going in for an hour and I'm sweating my butt off doing, you know, 10 to 15, 15 to 20. Like you know, I'll mentally taxing and tiring and boring that that could be for some people. What if we just step back and do three movements, three sets of five? You know it's going to be heavy. Well, isn't that hard? Yeah, it's going to be hard, but it's a different hard. And you and you're going to do it and you find out you have all this recovery and the stress comes off, and then next time you go in, you want to increase the weight by five pounds. It becomes a game and you start to like it Like I've seen that time and again, where it's just you're not doing it in the way that that serves you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what? What's your opinion regarding like cardio? I've had John Jakewisch on my podcast and he you know he's a bit out there on his views for some things, but his book is titled like cardio is a waste of time. Where do you think it lies? Cause you know, like I was just at East Bank Club, which is a huge club in Chicago, and the second you walk in it's like the cardio room is just staring you in the face. There's like a thousand ellipticals and what is your opinion about how that should be implemented?

Speaker 2:

I think, or if it should be yeah, I mean, I mean cardio, cardio.

Speaker 1:

There's different forms of cardio, right? What is the purpose of cardio? If it's to burn fat and calories, I say absolutely not, it's not. It's not an effective way to do that. You're better off building muscle and watching your diet, right? That's going to be way more effective for the time and for the stress and everything else. If your priority is to lift weights and build muscle, any cardio that interferes with your recovery is going to be too much cardio. But a lot of people take that to the extreme and say no running, no cardio, nothing. You can. Definitely.

Speaker 1:

If you have a decent fitness level and work capacity and you're able to deadlift three sets of five at 90% of your max, you probably have a pretty good resting heart rate just from lifting. But then that also enables you to go enjoy some cardio outside of that if you want. As far as burning calories like I think walking is is one of the best things you could do. For that, you know, increase your expenditure, because it's easy, it's no stress, you could do it anywhere and everywhere, everywhere you could. It's good for your mental health, you could do it in nature and give vitamin D, on and on and on. So I like Mike Matthews' recommendation. He says limit your cardio to half the time that you lift, like medium to high intensity cardio to half the time you lift and it probably won't interfere with your lifting and you're good, right, and that's it. Let's not be on these extreme camps. Let's stop that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think some, I think you know people go into a weight room and they just go to the elliptical machine for 45 minutes and then they're done and that's all they do and they and they expect to get results and that could be a tough way to get results.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and honestly, a lot of people are doing, are doing too much cardio, thinking it's for burning fat, and all you have to do is ask yourself the question do I enjoy this? That's the number one thing I'm going to say. Are you running? Because you love to run, you love the competition, you love the training of it as a sport, as a you know, a mode of movement, and you're like no, I hate running. Didn't stop running. You don't have to run at all Right now, just for people on the phone like I have pretty good body composition and I'm strong and everything. I almost never do any cardio other than walking.

Speaker 2:

Me too, okay, and most of my cardio.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so you, if you're looking for permission not to do cardio, you've got it. Like you could be fine, but you still want to walk a lot and still want to move. I think you need to keep the energy flux high, as we call it by movement in general.

Speaker 2:

Right, yeah, that's a good point. And I would say you look at like would you rather look like a marathon runner or like a sprinter?

Speaker 1:

Sprinter yeah, it's a good one, it's a good one.

Speaker 2:

It's myth about losing weights out there. You might have just touched on it.

Speaker 1:

I guess, yeah, there are a ton. Maybe that calories don't matter is one of the big ones out there, right? I mean, I already mentioned the carbs make you fat thing, but there's a lot of. It still persists the idea that there are good carbs versus, or good calories versus bad calories, or actually carbs are a big part of this, because you'll hear the narrative that you're fat because you eat too many carbs and that causes more fat storage than if you ate something else. No, it's the calories. It sort of comes down to your over. It's the calories.

Speaker 1:

Now, what you eat, when you eat it, the quality of what you eat, will affect your body composition, your ability to perform, your sleep, your hormones. That'll affect your satiety and then those ultimately can have effect on your calories because they affect your expenditure. So I think that's a huge myth. Still, that causes restrictive diets to take center stage, and I got some hate on my recent episode called more carbs, more muscle. You still get the hate from the low carb crowd. Saying like this is terrible. How can you be telling clients to eat more carbs? Insulin, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, it's all the same thing. And let me tell you, if you're lifting weights, not if you're sedentary. If you're sedentary, carbs aren't going to help you very much, right? But if you're lifting weights, carbs are beautiful because they give you energy, they help you with your blood sugar control, they help you with recovery. I mean, I can go on and on. I did a whole podcast episode about it. That's the one I'd point out.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I do think that a lot of people, if they're like, oh wow, I want to lose weight, well, I'll just completely cut carbs out and this can help, I think, especially if the carbs that they were eating and I'm curious about your opinion were highly processed right, because that does lead to overeating and there's obviously the whole carnivore craze out there. And I'm curious how long were you in low carb until you realized that you wanted to implement more carbs in general?

Speaker 1:

I mean I did low carb for well over a decade. Oh, wow.

Speaker 1:

Either did it or didn't do it, but that was what I would go to and what you said was you can lose a lot of weight on low carb, or I don't know if you said it precisely this way, but you can lose a lot of weight going low carb because you are cutting out generally processed foods, which aren't just carbs off in the carbs and fat. But what am I trying to say? Every time I did keto or low carb, I definitely lost a lot of weight, but I also wasn't training and so I lost muscle and I got more skinny fat, right? I think there's a beautiful balance in between where, even if you are in a dieting phase, if you're in a calorie deficit, the carbs are going to come down to be pretty low anyway. So that's kind of the irony of this whole thing.

Speaker 1:

Brian is my clients. When we go really deep into a deficit and they're getting leaner and they're almost done, the carbs are probably sub 100 grams of that point, which most people would say, oh, that's getting into keto territory, you know. Or even 50 grams for a petite female, because we're keeping the protein really high. But we're keeping the protein high, we're training really hard, we're getting a lot of sleep and recovery. It's very different from just cutting carbs randomly, not training, not having high protein you might have a high fat right. It's very different. So that's what I would say. Now, on the other side of the equation, building muscle I have seen differences and there have been many studies, including made analysis, that show us you will build a lot more muscle with a moderate to high carb diet than a low carb diet. It's just been demonstrated time and again and it has to do with a lot of things the energy, the protein sparing and so on.

Speaker 2:

Anyway, stop me if I'm going on here, brian Don't know. That's good and yeah, I mean I've had J Feldman on Might be a good guy to get on yours and with Energy Balance Podcast, and I think carbs get villainized when really they're not the big players in it. I think for a while I was fairly low carb and implement them back into my routine and it's been good and I think a lot of people go that road Also too I've talked about it with Jay before sometimes if you're having some gut issues and you cut out some certain carbohydrates that are causing gut issues that's why I think a lot of people with carnivore maybe get great results is because they cut these gut stressors out and they end up improving digestion and not having to deal with a lot of these gut stressors that could be harming whatever their health, even like certain vegetables. I know some people demonize vegetables and I think vegetables are fine for most people, but some people have issues with them.

Speaker 1:

My general take on all of that is, when you go to an extreme, you're changing many variables at once. So when you go to carnivore, you're cutting out 80% of potential foods from your diet and you're changing a lot of variables. So you're going to move a lot. Some things in the right direction, maybe some things in the wrong direction, but if the net effect is positive, that's giving you feedback that this thing is quote unquote, good for you, when it might have been just one thing that you needed to change. For example, you mentioned the gut issues.

Speaker 1:

I might have found that a client just doesn't have enough fiber in their diet and most of their carbs are coming from more simple carbs and all they need to do is shift it a little bit toward fruits and vegetables and whole grains and oats and stuff that have fiber and all of a sudden, the GI issues get solved and they still have the same macros. That's not about the carbs in general, because carbs are a whole, entire, huge source of food on the planet. Every plant has carbs, basically. So yeah, that's my thought would be if you can do an elimination type approach, or the reverse of that, or you eliminate one thing at a time that you think is a culprit and then track feedback. That's probably a more reasonable approach rather than cutting out 80% of what you eat.

Speaker 2:

So it's my take on it. That's a good point, and if people are on restrictive diets for too long, it's been shown that that's not optimal for hormones, so that's something to keep in mind as well. I know the keto diet can be good for some people, but if you're on it long terms for some people I know I used to have, I've had a keto savage on. There's some keto bodybuilders out there, so there's going to be cases where it works for some people.

Speaker 1:

That's all it is. It works for you, just like with intermittent fasting. What does the science show us? Well, it shows us that from a weight loss perspective it's just as effective as not fasting. But from an adherence perspective, it's helpful for some people to constrain the feeding window, and now you've kind of regulate your hunger signals and then, in the fasting window, your body's used to that, so you're fine. And then now you can have bigger meals during the feeding window. And guess who? That works great for Smaller women with lower metabolisms who are on a dieting phase, and I almost naturally gravitate toward that sometimes, if the calories get low, where I'll have a little bit later breakfast, a little bit earlier dinner, and I don't want to be hungry, and so I take that approach.

Speaker 2:

Is it been tough for you to consume over 3,000 calories, or has that been pretty easy for you?

Speaker 1:

I love it. Close to 4,000 is tough. So I've been up there where I was like 38, 3900 before, and that gets a little tougher because you're tempted to just eat poptarts and cinnamon toast crunch or whatever to fill in the gap because you're like I still want more carbs but I'm not really hungry.

Speaker 1:

And something has to go down really easy. So, however, I've got plenty of clients who they're at 2900 calories and they're like, oh, I can't eat enough. I'm like, dude, 2900 calories is nothing. I'd listen, I'm not judgmental. Some guys need tough love. I'm like you know what we need to do? Just increase that calorie density. We need to increase calorie density and eat more throughout the day. That's usually the solution. You're eating three times a day. Let's make it five, let's make it six, let's enjoy nuts, let's enjoy raisins, let's put some oil on your salad. There's easy fixes like that that are so whole foods but they're more calorie dense, and then, of course, 10, 20% your diet can be whatever the heck you want. I mean, that's my approach. That's how you stay sane.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly, and I'll have to check out that macro factor because I've never used that app.

Speaker 1:

I do have an affiliate code if you're on.

Speaker 2:

YouTube and sharing it. It's Whits and Waits, all of them.

Speaker 1:

Whits and Waits. Okay, whits and Waits, and I'll just say I've been using it since they launched. All my clients use it and I tell everyone about it. I can't shut up about it. I think it's great, it's an amazing app.

Speaker 2:

No, that's good to know, because I've used some other apps in the past, but I'll definitely check that out. So let me ask you this question. I usually ask all my guests and they come on what one tip would you give an individual if they're looking to get their body back to what it once was 10, 15 years ago?

Speaker 1:

and what it was 10 to 15,. I want to get them even more than what it was 10 to 15.

Speaker 2:

Well let's start there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean I'm going to sound like a broken record, but it's got to be resistance training of some kind, like that's it. I had a call. I do these like breakthrough calls for free for people all the time. I had a call the other day where it was a male, probably in his 50s, very stressed. He's an entrepreneur with like 14 hour days and he's said I want to lose some excess weight, I want to fix my nutrition. I said are you lifting? No, no, no, no, I don't have time for that. I said so.

Speaker 1:

Now you want to add to the stress of your 14 hour day job by tracking food and trying to meal prep and meal plan and all the things I don't want to probably ask you to do to make sure we dial this in. That to me sounds like it's not going to work with your schedule. Can you find two hours a week to lift weights? Because he was looking at me like, do I have time for that? And I told him lifting weights is going to be the catalyst to everything else, because you're going to have a little bit better mood for the day, you're going to feel a little bit less stress, you're going to have better appetite regulation and you're not going to eat as much junk. We kind of mentioned this earlier. It is the key to unlocking everything else. And then come back and talk to me about nutrition in, say, two, three months after you start lifting. So anybody listening? Who's not lifting weights? I really think that's number one, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I've talked before on this podcast about these micro workouts I personally don't think you need to be in the gym for a long period of time.

Speaker 1:

Sure.

Speaker 2:

And you can go in there and just do a few things and be done, and even during lunch or whatever, you'll find time. But even in your house, like Brad Kerns will talk about, he is like I don't know, not that everyone can do pull ups, but he's a pull up bar, that's, you know, right in his office and he is, you know, or even just doing some walking lunges, or you know, you can find time. You doesn't have to be necessarily even a designated time, it could just be throughout the day, as you go throughout the day and then when the day's over, you're like oh, I did that. You know, I did those many squats or this many pull ups, yeah.

Speaker 1:

It's simple principle If you don't challenge yourself, you're not going to change, If you don't challenge it. And so for I'll tell you my mom, she's in her sixties and she doesn't mind me sharing this, but like she could hardly get off the couch, she's young.

Speaker 1:

She could hardly get off the couch and I had her start to literally squat off a chair and then squat off a lower chair, and the other day she posted saying like she had tears in her eyes because she can get off the couch without effort now, and this is after what? A couple months at most, wow, and that's because she's progressively overloading her squat and yet she hasn't gotten under a barbell. So of course now she wants to go to the, she's going to the gym, she's using dumbbells and everything, because she's got the bug, as I mentioned before. So, like Brian said, it's just how to be relative to where you are right now, what you have access to and what you'll be consistent with.

Speaker 2:

Love that. Alright, phil, I appreciate you coming on. I look forward to coming on your podcast.

Speaker 1:

Like, yeah, Likewise. Brian, thanks for having me on. It was a lot of fun.

Speaker 2:

Thanks so much.

Speaker 1:

Thank you.

Flexible Dieting and Sustainable Results
The Importance of Muscle and Nutrition
Tracking and Recovery in Fitness
Building Muscle and Avoiding Injury
Benefits of Using Machines in Training
Cardio and Carbohydrates Myths and Purpose
Finding Time for Exercise and Progression

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