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“My hormones are all out of whack.”

“My metabolism isn’t what it used to be.”

“My body just can’t handle heavy weightlifting anymore.”

I get hundreds of emails, blog comments, and social media messages like these every day from guys and gals in their 40s (and some in their 30s), and they’re some of my favorite messages to answer.


Because in most cases, it’s just a handful of common mistakes that are keeping these people from achieving their goals, and after fixing these blunders the results come thick and fast. What’s more, many of these people thought they were at the end of the line for muscle and strength gain and more or less unable to lose fat, and would have been happy with any progress, much less getting the best shape of their lives.

In other words, they have a lot more room for improvement and low expectations, and it always brings a smile to my face when I get an email from them a few months later sharing their stories and showcasing their impressive physiques.

That said, I certainly don’t know all there is to know about transforming the aging body for the better, which is why I invited Marc Perry back on the podcast. In case you’re not familiar with Marc, he’s the creator of and specializes in helping men in their mid-to-late-30s and beyond create systems and habits that allow them to reach their fitness goals faster and enjoy themselves along the way. 

In this episode, we discuss . . .

  • The different stages of getting fit as you get older
  • The unique challenges of getting in shape especially with hectic work and home lives
  • Where to start if you’re out of shape
  • The benefits of crawling (seriously)
  • The importance of accountability
  • And much more . . .

So if you’re 40 or older and want some actionable fitness advice that goes beyond “tough love,” give this podcast a listen!


13:10 – How would you start to form an individual program for a person?

16:39 – What do you with people who are in stage one and want to reach the next level?

18:27 – What are some common habits and beliefs you work on with people during stage one? What is the winning mindset?

25:56 – How can you change the mindset of “I can’t eat properly”?

27:38 – What are some common examples to eating properly and forming a habit?

51:07 – What type of workouts do you typically have your clients do?

52:33 – What are some of your favorite exercises to do and have your clients do?

55:01 – What are the benefits of crawling smoothly?

57:11 – What does the form look like to crawl correctly? Where can I find more information on crawling?

1:02:13 – Where can people find you and your work? 

Mentioned on the show: 

Shop Legion Supplements Here

Books by Mike Matthews

Marc Perry’s Website

Marc Perry’s Instagram (@marcperryfit)

Marc Perry’s Twitter (@builtlean)

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Mike: Hello, and welcome to another episode of muscle for life. I am Mike Matthews. Thank you for being here now over the last six or seven years now, since I’ve been in the fitness racket, I have sent and received my inboxes is over 150, 000 emails now. And I get hundreds of emails every day. And a few things that I here fairly often are some variants of I don’t have time to work out or eating properly is too hard or I’ve tried everything and I’m still out of shape.

I guess fitness doesn’t work for me. I guess it’s just not in the cards and I hear these things. Especially from people who are in their mid 30s is where it starts, and then older, 40s, 50s, and beyond. Now, whether these people have fallen off the wagon and they’re just trying to get back into shape again, or in some cases they’ve never even tried to get in shape, they’ve never really been serious about fitness, they are frustrated.

And I understand building muscle and losing fat is not easy and maintaining a great physique is much harder. Creating a sustainable lifestyle that allows you to stay consistent over the long haul is the holy grail and is something that few people achieve. And especially people who are older because they now have busy lives.

They have careers, they have spouses, they have families, you know, kids to attend to. And oftentimes these people travel fairly frequently as well, and that makes things even more difficult. And all that is why I invited Marc Perry. back on the podcast. I had him on some time ago to talk about how to stay very lean year round practical tips for achieving that.

And that episode did very well. One of my better performing episodes that I’ve ever done. So if that sounds even remotely interesting to you, then go check it out. You’ll find it in the feed. You’re gonna have to go back a bit. Cause again, it was posted, I don’t know, maybe two years ago. And so coming to the topic at hand, I invited Marc to come back because.

This is really what he specializes in. So he is the creator of BuiltLean. com and his forte is helping men in particular who are in their mid 30s and beyond create systems and habits that allow them to reach their fitness goals. So allow them to Get bigger, get stronger, stay lean and maintain it and enjoy their lives, enjoy their meal plans, enjoy their workouts, not feel like they are beating themselves into a pulp in the gym or burning themselves out with a highly restrictive and unsustainable diet and so forth.

And so in this episode, Marc and I discuss things like the different stages of fitness as you get older because things do change a bit from your 20s to your 40s, for example, some of the unique challenges of getting in shape. And especially when you have a hectic work and home life, where to start right now, if you are.

Let’s say 40 plus and out of shape. The benefits of crawling, his take on that was interesting. The importance of accountability and much more. So if you are in your mid to late 30s or beyond and you would like some practical, actionable fitness tips that go beyond just tough love, suck it up, work harder, I think you’re going to like this interview.

Now, before we get to the show, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you want to help me help more people get into the best shape of their lives, please do consider supporting my sports nutrition company, Legion Athletics, which produces 100 percent natural evidence based health and fitness supplements, including protein powders and protein bars, pre workout and post workout supplements.

fat burners, multivitamins, joint support, and more. Every ingredient and dose in every product of mine is backed by peer reviewed scientific research. Every formulation is 100 percent transparent, no proprietary blends, and everything is naturally sweetened and flavored. To check it out, just head over to And just to show how much I appreciate my podcast peeps, use the coupon code MFL at checkout and you will save 20 percent on your entire order if it is your first purchase with us. And if it is not your first purchase, then you will get double reward points on your entire order, which is essentially getting 10 percent cash back in rewards points.

So again, that URL is And if you appreciate my work and if you want to see more of it, please do consider supporting me so I can keep doing what I love, like producing podcasts like this. Hey, Mark, welcome back, man. It’s been a while.

Marc: Thank you so much, Mike. I appreciate it.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah.

I’m glad to have you because you’re a cool guy, you know, a lot of things. And the reason why I originally, I mean, we’ve been in touch via email, but we haven’t spoken in a while is I was looking back over episodes that I’ve. Done in the past, which were most popular and yours was right up there at the top.

It was, it was like number one or number two, number three, something like that. So I was like, Oh, I should go back to people who I know, who I like and who I know have good information to share and who have already proven themselves with my crowd. And so here we are.

Marc: It’s awesome. I’m happy to help out. Happy to hear that it went well.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. So for anybody wondering the last time, if you want to go find the interview, it was Marc was talking about, cause one of the things that is his superpower physically, that at least as far as I can tell is he stays very lean year round and he does it in a way that’s sustainable for some people.

And we don’t have to get, so you can just go listen to that interview. If you want to get into the specifics for some people, it’s not sustainable because they don’t want to have to. Pay attention to their calorie intake much. And I understand that, but if you are willing to at least pay attention to what you eat and you don’t necessarily have to like weigh everything, but he shared good strategies for just staying quite lean year round without hating your life.

Basically. And that discussion, a lot of people liked and it got shared around a lot. And so this time around, what we’re going to talk about is something different. It is something that it’s good timing for a couple of reasons. One is well. I’d say it’s, it’s a good topic for a couple of reasons. One, it’s something that I haven’t spoken that much about, but I have written a little bit about and spoken a little about.

And whenever I do touch on it, it gets a lot of response. And that is some advice specifically for, let’s say the 35 plus crowd, definitely the 40 plus crowd. But I’ve found that people, and we’ll get into this, the psychology around training and the expectations and the goals. Starts to shift for most people, once they reach their mid thirties in good ways and bad ways, depending on where a person’s at, that can mean that they should be going about their fitness a bit differently than they did when they were in their twenties, or then they would have if they were in their twenties, if they haven’t gotten started yet, this is a good topic to talk about because.

The next book project that I’m going to get working on after I finish the second edition of Beyond Bigger, Leaner, Stronger, which I’m chipping away at every day and I’m getting there. I’m close. I think I’ll finish the first draft this month in December and then go through the remaining punchless things, you know, go through successive drafts and edit and get it all ready to go is going to be a book specifically for the 40 plus crowd.

And the reason why I think that’s a good idea is I hear from these people. I, every single day I get emailed from people who are generally. In their forties, but again, I’ve seen it start in their thirties guys and gals who have read bigger than you’re stronger or thinner than you’re stronger and emailed me to ask, like, is this for me?

Can I do this? Is it too late? And those are just kind of general concerns or having very specific issues like certain past injuries or just restrictions, limitations and, and wondering, Hey, how do I work around? This. And so that’s why I was like, okay, I need to actually create a book. Cause there is a lot to say that the bigger, leaner, stronger, thinner, stronger were written more with a, I would say up to probably mid thirties in mind.

And most people that have done well in those programs are say up to about forties. And then there are quite a few people in their forties and even into their fifties who have done well with it. It’s just, if I look at it in terms of the bell curve right there in the middle is probably from 18 to 40.

Those are most of the people. And. If I were to write a book specifically for the 40 plus crowd, it is a different discussion. Some of the stuff is going to be no different, like energy balance is energy balance, but there are a lot of things that actually do need to be discussed differently and different.

There are different myths to address and different kind of fundamentals to discuss and then different implementation in terms of like what to do in the gym. And so. After five minutes of rambling, hijacking the conversation. That’s what I wanted to bring Mark on to talk about. Cause this is really what he specializes in is, is working with people who are busy and let’s just say 35 plus in many cases were once fit, but not now anymore.

Or maybe we’re never. Fit, we’re never into working out and also maybe do have some injuries that they’ve sustained in the past that now limit what they can do or are concerned about, you know, not wanting to get hurt. And when those people were to read, when they do, when they read my books, bigger than you’re stronger, thinner than you’re stronger, which tell them, Hey, get in the gym, start squatting, start deadlifting, start bench pressing.

That can work certainly. And it can work for people who are in their forties and even fifties and even sixties. I’ve heard from people in their sixties. But you do need to be in a pretty good place physically. You don’t have to be fit per se, but you have to have a body that works pretty well, that isn’t going to hurt or get hurt when you do get in there and start squatting some weight and dead lifting some weight and so forth.

So long preamble, but that’s what we’re here to talk about. And over to you, Marc.

Marc: I think it’s a, it’s a great overview. And so, so yeah, I focus on really helping these guys. Uh, get consistent with their exercise and eating, right? Cause the truth is, is. I mean, how many guys are really consistent with both their eating and exercise for a sustained period of time, right?

The answer is usually pretty few guys. Right. And so, you know, I help a lot of these guys at one point, they might’ve been fit, um, you know, so maybe some of these guys are yo yo diet, like I have this yo yo style. Maybe they’re kind of a spectator. They’re maybe on the sidelines looking in, they’re kind of thinking about getting back in the game, or maybe they’re just hit a plateau and they’re like, man, I just need to lose that 10, 15 pounds.

I just can’t figure it out. I really help these guys. Get results as efficiently as possible and really sustain them for the long term.

Mike: And just to be clear, do you work mostly with men or exclusively with? Yeah, that’s a great question.

Marc: As of now, exclusively with men in the past, it’s been 90 percent men.

So I’m like, you know what? I think it’s best for everyone to really just focus on guys. Cause I think they have unique challenges. And that’s what I focus on.

Mike: Okay. Good. Yeah. And also in my experience, I have a coaching program, which I don’t personally coach anybody currently. And it’s no, it’s like, I’m pretending people don’t think they’re working with me.

I have a whole team of people, but our female clients almost always prefer to work with our female coaches and, and I understand because when you’re talking to a guy about anything related to fitness, you are speaking in terms that he thinks in, like you really do understand exactly who you’re talking to because you probably were in his exact position at some point in your life and you understand the unique obstacles that guys face, both physical and psychological.

And the same thing goes for women. That doesn’t mean that a guy can’t be an effective coach for a woman. But humans, we tend to, to just like people like us instinctively more than people who are not like us. And gender is a big aspect of that. And so I’ve just found that women tend to do better, or at least they tend to be happier working with women.

And I understand because really, truly a woman who, again, has gone through the whole experience herself is going to really understand another woman going through it better than you or I would, even if we can intellectually understand. Oh, yeah, this is probably what it’s like, you know?

Marc: Absolutely. And I think it’s, it’s also very personal, right?

Like fitness is personal. It’s your body, it’s your health, it’s your life. And so, you know, that certainly plays a factor as well.

Mike: Yeah, absolutely. So let’s start with, okay, so let’s say you’re speaking to a guy and he is in his mid to late thirties or beyond and he is not in shape now and maybe he was in shape in the past or not.

Like where do things start changing in terms of your recommendations? Cause there’s that like, okay, let’s just say where it’s definitely going to be different is. What kind of physical impairments does he have? Does he have any, or how do you take somebody and then start tailoring a program? And what are some of the things to consider that maybe a 20 year old wouldn’t even think about?

Marc: Right. That’s a great question. I think ultimately it’s really like a strategy, a strategy session where we want to really understand the current situation. Like, where is this person really at? Right. Like when’s the last time they exercised or are they exercising? What are they doing when they have fallen off?

Why have they fallen off? And we also wanted to kind of dig into their nutrition and even lifestyle. So it’s really, we want to, we want to get a nice flavor for like what their current situation is and kind of where they’ve come from in the past. And then ultimately we want to establish kind of what their goal really is.

And I think a lot of people would be surprised. Most guys could not clearly articulate what their goal is like, okay, I want to get this by this date. Very, very few. Right. And so I think helping guys crystallize where they really want to go is hugely valuable. So it’s really a combination of like crystallizing the current situation where they are.

And by the way, helping guys. Express this because as we both know, like guys just aren’t as communicative as ladies in general. And so like helping guys express and create awareness for like, okay, here’s my current situation. Here’s where I really want to go. And then I can, you know, create something that really helps bridge the gap.

Mike: And how does that discussion usually go with people that you? Let’s just say, yeah, say this is a 40 year old guy and he’s not in shape. Now, what are some, I mean, you’re going to guide those discussions toward realistic expectations. So how does that look for the average guy? I think we could probably lump, I think you would agree.

Probably what least 35 to 45, if not 35. To maybe 50, like, you know, I’ve written about this in my opinion, you can look at things in terms of phases, right? So they’re just ranges of, if you’re in this kind of phase of your fitness and in this age, and that would range from this to this, here’s generally what you should be doing.

Here’s generally what you should be expecting. Here’s generally what you should be avoiding type of view, you know?

Marc: Right. Right. I think that’s, that’s a, that’s a great point. And so like one way I think about is in terms of stages, right? Like kind of Stage one is kind of like, you may be 30 plus pounds to lose.

Like you kind of fall off the wagon. Maybe the weight creep, a lot of guys. It’s like, okay, you have kids, you get a new job, you got a longer commute. And next thing you know, you’re like, your weight is creeping up and it’s creeped up for like five, 10 years. You’re like, oh my goodness, what’s going on. And so that’s kind of one area.

And then I think phase two is kind of like, usually it’s a little bit. Um, and typically, and again, this isn’t perfect, right? Like obviously the phases kind of flow together, but, or stage one, the guy may not be exercising at all. Right. And he may not be eating well at all. And then, uh, stage two is usually maybe 10 to 30 pounds to lose.

Maybe he’s exercising here and there. He might even be exercising consistently, but his eating’s all over the place. Maybe he travels a lot. He’s just having trouble finding the time to exercise, right. And to get everything to work together. And then stage three is really okay. I’m within striking distance of my goal.

Maybe he’s hit a plateau and he just needs to like lose the last 10 to like really feel great and just make some optimization improvements. And so of course, again, they’re not like clear cut, right? Like it depends on the person. Like some guys who are 30 plus pounds, like they actually exercise relatively consistently.

But it’s really, I think those are kind of like three general stages. At least those are the guys that I’ve worked with a lot in the past.

Mike: And now that makes sense. Let’s take the first stage and talk a bit about that of like, what do you do with those guys to help them get really it’s to the second stage, right?

Marc: Right. Right. It’s a great question, Mike. And it’s like the million dollar question, right? It’s like, how do you help someone make difficult changes? And I think in the industry, it’s like, Oh, it’s, it’s all mechanical. So if you do this running and you do this eating and then everything works out. But I think it’s really a mindset shift and it’s really.

And as you’ve written about, like in the little book of workout motivation, it’s a mindset thing, right? Like a lot of people say it’s 80 percent nutrition, 20 percent exercise. And I’m like, after doing this for so long, I’m like, no, it’s a hundred percent mindset. Right. And so ultimately I think it’s really helping these guys become aware.

And I kind of mentioned this from aware of like, what are their challenges? What are limiting beliefs that they have about exercise? It’s like, why are they really in the situation they’re in and helping them become more aware of their habits and create better behaviors. And so maybe that involves some type of like journaling, like, you know, food, journaling, it might involve, of course we want to establish like a specific goal and a reason, but a lot of it is around.

This kind of mindset shift and behavior change, because at the end of the day, like, I mean, obviously what we really do, again, for someone who’s not super, super motivated, like, oh yeah, I can’t wait to get up at 5 a. m. and work out today. It’s ultimately behavior change, right? It’s about adopting healthy behaviors that are sustainable and then, you know, implementing them not to talk too much, but it’s really, I think it really comes down to two things.

It’s beliefs and habits. And so I help these guys who are in that stage and ultimately it’s actually all stages, but particularly the stage one, it’s like, we really got to work on the beliefs they have around their health and their fitness and even their life in some sense, in some cases, and then also begin implementing some habits that are going to give them.

The best bang for their buck.

Mike: What are some of the common ones that you work on with guys? And then what’s the winning mindset? What do you want to work them toward?

Marc: Those are great questions. I mean, there’s a laundry list, as you know, of limiting beliefs, but I’d say the top ones are. I just don’t have the time, right?

I just don’t have the time. Another is I have a hectic schedule. I just don’t have the ability to eat properly because my life is like, sometimes it’s like a tornado. And then I think another limiting belief is that they just are unable to change, right? They’re unable to kind of get the results they really want.

So they have this vision in their minds of the goal they have. And they just been like, there’s no way I can achieve it. There’s just no way. Like I’ve just got, you know, kids I’m busy, I’m getting older. So that’s, I’m kind of rattling off limiting beliefs and as a part of this one, but, you know, I’m getting older, I can’t do this, it’s just a laundry list, but it really relates to the fact that they’ve kind of given up hope on their ability to achieve great results, which the truth is they can achieve incredible results.

It’s just their own limiting beliefs that are holding them back.

Mike: Yeah, I totally agree. Let’s dive into those a bit more. So, and it’s interesting that some people might be thinking like, Oh, are those really beliefs though? I don’t have time or maybe I don’t have the energy. Like I only have so much time.

Look at how busy my schedule is, but I totally agree with you in that. Okay. Let’s talk about time. Right? So if you are going to have that discussion with somebody, what does that look like? I’m suspecting that it goes in the direction of priorities, right? Like. It’s not that you don’t have the time. It’s that you are not giving it the time, right?

Marc: That’s huge. And also when people just throw the, I don’t have the time objection, so to speak, they really do. So what I have done is I’ve developed a program that’s three workouts a week for 30 minutes based on strength circuits. You literally get flexibility, conditioning and strength benefits. And it’s like.

Like anyone can do three workouts a week for 30 minutes, right? Like it’s hard to say you can’t.

Mike: And anybody thinking, Oh, I don’t know if I can, how much TV do you watch?

Marc: How much are you on YouTube or whatever?

Mike: Yeah. And so, or social media, if it’s zero minutes, then I’m impressed. And then we can go to the next thing on the list, but I’m most people be like, okay, fine.

Marc: Exactly. And I think another thing is people just say they don’t have the time cause they have no structure. Right. And so that’s another big theme is like all of a sudden when we kind of create a little bit of structure and they’re like, Oh yeah. Like I can definitely do this a few times a week and we’ll literally, and you brilliantly pointed out in the little motivation book, it’s like we establish what they’re going to do when they’re going to do it and where they’re going to do it.

That has a dramatic impact because all of a sudden the human brain is like, okay, done. I’ve got it done. So we lock in specific days and times they’re going to do a specific type of workout. And so anyways, you have a time objection. It’s like, it’s typically a matter of priorities and lack of structure.

Mike: Yep. That’s a lack of structure is good point to where I’ve corresponded with so many people over the years now, but I’ve had people keep time journals before just so they can get an idea of where their time’s going. And often like when they’ve said, Oh, my life is so chaotic and things are changing every day.

And I don’t know when I could schedule workouts and say, okay, well, for a week, why don’t you just track everything that you’re doing from the minute that you wake up? Until the moment you go to bed in the notepad app in your phone, you have to be, if you don’t have to have a journal or an app, anything fancy, just keep notes on exactly what you’re doing when you’re doing it.

And they were often surprised that how much time was just being frittered away on. Frivolous things and if they were to apply a couple simple time management techniques, like just blocking, for example, saying, okay, at work, I’m going to do this type of work all at this time. And okay, I’m going to take some time on Sunday and meal prep.

So I’m not like frantically running around trying to decide what to eat every day or find food or whatever that they were then able to consistently have blocks of time that they could say. Okay. I can give that to exercise and 80, 90 percent of the time I’ll be able to stick to that. Sometimes things change and that happens to me as well.

I’m sure it happens to you. Uh, life can get in the way and maybe you can’t do exactly what you wanted to do or what you plan to do. Uh, but one day, two days a month or whatever, even if it’s a few days a month, but so long as you are mostly good, most of the time, that’s all it takes. We don’t need to be perfect, right?

Marc: Absolutely. And by the way, I think the time journal is so powerful and it’s almost like a food journal. Like even if you do it just for a few days, it’s going to be useful. But like, I mean, the time journal is so powerful. It’s also, and you start to realize, I think one big. Element is you’re eating sometimes takes a long time.

It’s like, Oh, like if you’re at the office and you need to go like pick up some lunch, it’s like next thing you know, it’s just, it’s like waiting in line. And then there are little things that you don’t, you aren’t really fully appreciate like how long, and it’s like, Oh my gosh, I’m spending like an hour, just like somehow procuring or food or something a day easily.

And so, as you’re saying, it’s like, yeah, you’re frittering away. All this time in your day. And it’s, it’s almost become like something you don’t realize until you actually journal it and make it aware and you become aware of it.

Mike: Yeah. You know, it’s actually probably worth doing when you say, I think of for me, for anybody, once a quarter or something, just for a week and then step back and look.

Now, okay, where is my time going? Does this really, does this make sense? Are there any obvious kind of yellow or red flags where it’s like, Oh wait, like you’re just saying like, wait, I’m spending how much time on, I didn’t even realize that I’m spending that much time on something that I could easily, whether it’s delegate or.

Make more efficient or just eliminate altogether. It’s probably just a useful exercise, particularly for people who are busy and who are trying to get the most out of every day and who don’t like feeling behind or overwhelmed.

Marc: Absolutely. Totally agree.

Mike: Hey, if you like what I am doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you want to help me help more people get into the best shape of. Please do consider supporting my sports nutrition company Legion Athletics, which produces 100 percent natural, evidence based health and fitness supplements, including protein powders and bars, pre workout and post workout supplements, fat burners, multivitamins, joint support, and more.

More every ingredient and every dose in every product is backed by peer reviewed Scientific research every formulation is 100 percent transparent There are no proprietary blends and everything is naturally sweetened and flavored to check everything out just head over to legionathletics. com and just to show how much I appreciate my podcast peeps use the coupon code MFL at checkout and you will save 20 percent on your entire order if it is your First purchase with us, and if it is not your first purchase with us, you will get double reward points on your entire order.

That’s essentially 10 percent cash back in rewards points. So again, the URL is legionathletics. com and if you appreciate my work and want to see more of it, please do consider supporting me so I can keep doing what I love, like producing podcasts like this. Let’s talk about I can’t eat properly that objection, right?

Marc: So I think it really comes back to a lot of structure. So there are a few different kind of challenges guys have, right? One might be kind of late night snacking. One might be they’re doing pretty well during the week and then the weekend spiral happens and then it’s just complete chaos during the war or just can’t keep with the eating during the weekend or, you know, maybe just dinner in general.

It’s like they eat pretty well for breakfast and lunch and then like dinner is just. The whole idea of portions just goes out the window, right? It’s like, okay, I’m just going to stuff my face. And so I think it comes back to what we talked about. It’s like creating new beliefs and new empowering beliefs.

Like maybe you don’t have to eat a ton of food at night because it affects your sleep, right? It’s like kind of making that causal relationship because if you eat a huge meal at night. It’s absolutely going to affect your sleep.

Mike: Especially if you include alcohol too.

Marc: Oh my goodness. Yeah. So I mean, alcohol is certainly a big challenge and that is going to curtail results.

I mean, just anecdotally and just empirically based on my own experience working with a lot of guys, I mean, that is a results killer, even just a little bit of alcohol sometimes. But, and so I think, you know, changing beliefs, creating new empowering beliefs and also creating, you know, specific tactics. And as we were talking about, like a little bit more structure.

So a lot of guys, it’s like. They skip breakfast. Like what guy hasn’t said they’re intermittent fasting, right? It’s like, everyone’s, Oh yeah, I’ve intermittent fasted. Like that’s what I’m doing right now. But it’s like, at the end of the day, creating structure can really, really help and creating like specific, like fallback meals or go to meals can be really helpful as well.

Mike: How does that look specifically for people that you work with? It really depends. Just for people wondering, like, what are some common examples? Because chances are, of course, I have people listening who are probably in similar situations to many people that you’ve worked with and, and feel like maybe they haven’t been able to eat properly really for the same reasons or very similar reasons as many other people that you’ve worked with.

Marc: Absolutely. Absolutely. And so again, I think it really depends on the person, right? Each person has their own kind of challenge and it’s. It’s ideal to focus on that specific challenge, but in general, it’s like coming up with even like a template. For example, it’s okay. It’s like, maybe you have a shake in the morning, you know, maybe you have a certain type of lunch, um, in the afternoon.

And then maybe you have, let’s just say you’re, if your wife cooks a meal, you have a balance. Let’s just say you emphasize more vegetables and proteins. And so I think it’s really becoming more strategic. It’s like being a general, right? It’s like, you’re the general of your own life versus being. A leaf being blown in the wind.

Mike: Being bullet fodder?

Marc: Right? Exactly.

Mike: Yeah. This really comes down to what we’re talking about is meal planning really. And then you can meal plan very strictly and very specifically. I’m going to eat exactly this food and it’s going to be exactly this amount and I’m going to weigh it. And there’s a time and place for that, but you can also be a lot.

Looser with meal planning, like what you’re talking about, where you have general guidelines where okay, my first meal of the day is going to be, I’ll speak personally, I just have a protein shake because it’s easy. I work out and I come to the office and that’s easy and I eat an apple because I like apples, but it could be like, cool.

I don’t have to eat an apple. It could be some other piece of fruit if I wanted more variety. And for lunch, like what you’re saying is okay. So let’s just say it’s going to be a salad of sorts. Now, depending on who you’re working with, I’m sure some people are like me and probably like you, or I eat the same salad every day.

I don’t care. I like it. Who cares? It doesn’t really mean that much to me, but. If I wanted to have some more variety, it wouldn’t have to be the same salad. I could change it up. I could include different ingredients, but it’s going to be a salad of some kind. So I can get in leafy greens. I mean, I do it because I actually prefer to eat more of my calories later.

I don’t eat a huge dinner, but I like to eat lighter throughout the day when I’m working and I have to have maximum. mental clarity and focus. And then when I’m done working and I’m at home later at night, I don’t care if I’m eating more food and feeling more lethargic, just because that’s how you feel when you eat more food, period.

Even if it’s healthy food, right? Because there is a point where like you fill your stomach with enough food, your body goes, Oh, it’s time to relax now and digest all this. So then there could be a snack in the afternoon that is, could be very specific. I have one of my protein bars because I like them, but.

It also could be just a number of things. You can be like, Oh, maybe if I feel like having the skier, the Icelandic yogurt with some nuts, I’ll do that. Or I’ll have a piece of fruit and maybe another protein shake or. And dinner, like you’re saying, going, Oh, okay. I’ll have some lean protein, whatever we have, whether it’s fish or chicken or beef, I’m going to grab some vegetables and I’m not going to weigh, you know, make sure that it’s a hundred grams of vegetables, but I’m going to get a couple of handfuls.

And some extra carbs from whatever’s available. Is that kind of the idea?

Marc: Absolutely. And, and one very important thing that I should have already mentioned is, you know, over many, many years, I’ve realized that ideally these guys not only have a system that they can follow, right? Like, okay, here’s a system of like thinking about nutrition or kind of setting it up and structuring it.

Here’s like a system for exercise. It’s like having guidance and then accountability. Right. It’s like someone there kind of grading you and overseeing progress. It is a dramatic difference in results. Right. So even if people are a lot of these guys like rationally or intellectually understand something, they don’t implement it.

And it’s like, well, why not? And I think having the extra guidance, the accountability, especially has a huge impact. It’s like going to school and not having like a teacher grade your papers. Like you’re just not going to get that much improvement. Whereas I think it’s just hugely valuable. And it’s. Key elements in helping guys really get the best results.

Mike: I agree. Just having, there’s the feedback element, which is crucial. And then there is just that point of it makes an any, I’m experiencing this. So I’m learning. German in the beginning, I was doing some self where I was using SRS flashcards to build vocabulary because it’s a very simple, effective way to do that and going through a grammar book.

So I can start to understand because the grammar is quite different. I mean, it’s not just the grammar, really the syntax of the language is quite different than English. So started with self study and got through. about 2000 words. So I’ve now I’ve learned the 2000 most frequently used words in the language through SRS flashcards and a basic understanding of the grammar.

But now there was a point where I go, okay, I could keep going with this just on my own. I could just learn the next several thousand words and then learn more grammar. But I know that I’m going to get more out of regular speaking now, like I think now of another example of learning golf, I’ll leave it to one tangent, but where I go, okay, I know now that speaking regularly is going to benefit me actually more because my vocabulary is now getting to a point where I can understand my wife is German.

So I’ve been listening to German for a long time, but I never understood any of it because it’s so different than English. Like you could listen to. Germans speak for the rest of your life and you will know nothing. Like if you don’t go about learning it, you will never figure it out. It’s such a weird language.

The words are different and how you structure sentences is so different that until you under start understanding really how the language works and building vocabulary, it just sounds like fucking gobbledygook. And so, but now I’m at a point where I can actually start understanding a lot of their, the discussions she has, uh, conversations with her mom, for example, where there are certain words now where I’m like, I don’t know what that word means, but I understood a lot of the.

And so I’m working now with a tutor and the reason why is there’s a difference speaking with a teacher is what she does. She teaches German for a living and speaking with my wife because she’s now kind of running the program now saying, okay, this is where you’re at. This is the next thing we’re going to work on and here’s how we’re going to go about it.

And then after that, like I can try to talk to my wife about things I just want to talk about. But the point is I’ve experienced this, that just what you’re talking about, even with German, I’m not a person who. Really tends to struggle with motivation per se, but what I found is that it definitely was getting less interesting, just doing flashcards and studying a grammar book.

And there was a point where now working with somebody, it makes me more interested in the activity. And the fact that I have to show up every week, we just do one less than a week. And so I’m still working through, I’m still working on building my vocabulary and working on learning the grammar more cause I might as well, but.

It definitely has improved my, I’d say just, it’s just made me more interested to continue just having somebody there that I know, like, okay, Sunday at 1130. I’m going to have an hour lesson with Kristen and I want to have made some progress. I don’t want to just have excuses. So I’m going to make sure that I do my flashcards every day and put some time into the grammar book as well.

Marc: That makes perfect sense. And it sounds like she’s got, you know, she’s got a system. You’ve got like a step by step system you’re following. You know, you’ve got the guidance and accountability and it’s like, you’re just going to get much, much faster results. And if you’re going to do it on your own, it’s like a shortcut, right? To the results you want.

Mike: It totally is. And then of course, there’s also the supplies to training as well. It’s nice to have someone who I can ask questions to and get good answers. And, you know, in fitness, there are so many, it’s worse probably than language learning. I don’t know. I don’t really pay attention to the language learning space at all.

I’m just doing what I’m doing. But in fitness, as you know, there’s so much conflicting advice out there and there are so many different ways of going about it. And some are ridiculous and others are not. Others are even. Perfectly workable ways to get to the same goal. And so having somebody that you can go to who also understands you and your situation and what has worked well for you and what is likely to continue working well and what is not to have that person you can go to, it can save you a lot of time and frustration where they can just tell you like, yeah, you don’t want to do that.

Yes. Some people do all of that. That’s probably not for you. Let’s go over in this direction that’s valuable because otherwise, who knows you might lose months and months and months trying that other thing. And then you might not ever even find your way to where you need to be because maybe you’re going to get really discouraged with maybe it’s intermittent fasting and you heard like, Oh, that’s it.

That’s the ticket. And you try it and it doesn’t work well for you. I hear from many women. Where that’s the case where they do not do well in general, it seems to be, and it’s probably related to that. They’re physiologically, you know, they tend to be more carbohydrate burners than fat burners. And so what I’ve found working with many women is those longer extended, even if it’s just an 18 or a 16, eight program, like a lean gains program by hour 12, many women are not feeling good.

So there’s an example though, where they go, if they think, oh, well, but. You know, intermittent fasting is the thing that this expert says, like, this is the best way to do it. And if I can’t do it the best way, I’m not going to do it at all. You can avoid all that by working with somebody who is an expert and who is becoming an expert in also you and your physiology and your needs.

Marc: Couldn’t agree more. And really having a system in place that works. And by the way, what we’re talking about really is information overload, right? Like Information is great, but it’s ubiquitous and it’s increasing at like an increasing rate. And so there’s just so much information. One person says this, one person says that, Oh, it should be only vegetarian.

No, you should eat mostly meat, you know, ketogenic intermittent fasting. Again, there’s just a million different ways. Oh, it should only be, you know, bodybuilding or high intensity interval training. Again, like it’s so confusing out there for a lot of guys. And I think. Having like, okay, one specific place that helps you again, bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be efficiently as possible is incredibly valuable and useful.

Mike: Yep. And knowing that you can just keep going and keep getting results and you can keep getting results at a rate that makes you happy and where you can see. The light at the end of the tunnel, you can see, okay, I’m going, I am going to get to where I want to be if I just keep doing this, everything. So then it gives you peace of mind, knowing that you can’t just ignore everything then. Like.

Marc: That’s the game. That’s the game is like ignoring most of it.

Mike: Basically, like figuring out what works for you. And just sticking with that. And, and this is true for many people who are getting into fitness for what they want to do. They can do just that. They can figure out, and it’s really just going to the basics, the fundamentals, maybe tweak things a little bit to fit their exact needs and do just that.

And they could then ignore everything else if they wanted to, and to get to exactly where they want to be and be perfectly happy with their fitness and their health. Now, if they just like health and fitness, and they just like learning things, and it’s something that’s just interesting to them, and they just have a curiosity that they want to scratch.

Well then sure. Go learn other things. Go learn about. Keto go learn about intermittent fasting, go learn about hit, go learn about whatever. There’s nothing that’s totally fine as well, but there are a lot of people out there who they would rather take that time and put it into something else. Like they wouldn’t want to spend an hour a day just reading about health and fitness because they just want to know what they want, what they need to do to get into good shape, to look good, to feel good, to be healthy, to live a long life.

And they’re just going to do that. And then all their other time is going to be going to other things and there’s nothing wrong with that. I mean, that’s a sweet spot for many, many people. And I totally understand if I wasn’t in the industry as a professional, I wouldn’t spend as much time as I spend on.

Health and fitness. I mean, I have many other interests as well. So I do understand that where it’s like, you don’t need to know most of the stuff that’s out there. You don’t need to know. It’s not going to hurt you. It’s not going to hurt you that you don’t know. You’re not like screwing up your body by not intermittent fasting or not following a ketogenic diet.

Much of it is not going to speed up your results either.

Marc: I think that’s really well said. I, you know, I think in today’s day and age of like dopamine hit instagram. You know, shiny object syndrome, where they’re just a million different things out there and focusing on the fundamentals, not only will help people get results more efficiently, but I mean, you can get a world class body and health if you wanted to, just by focusing on the fundamentals and like ignoring.

99 percent of what you hear. And so I know we’re both very big on the kind of focusing on the principles and the fundamentals, because that’s really what’s going to help, you know, guys get the best results. And that’s really what I’ve been promoting for the last 10 years.

Mike: Totally. And one final note on that, and then I want to move on to this other limiting belief that you had mentioned about, I just can’t change.

I’m kind of just stuck like this, but one other thing is that, and this is just top of mind for me because I am working on. I’m wrapping up this new second edition of the sequel to bigger, leaner, stronger, which is meant for intermediate and even advanced weightlifters. So even there, we’re talking about really what we’re talking about is how do you get maybe the last to put specific numbers?

Like this is a book called beyond bigger, leaner, stronger for anybody listening and wondering. So this is for men specifically, and I will do one for women. It’s going to be after the middle aged book though. And so really what we’re talking about is. Let’s say the final 30 percent of muscle and strength gain really is what we’re talking about.

Like what I give in bigger leaner, stronger, we’ll get, I stand by the statement that I think everything in that book will allow the average guy to get the majority of the muscle and strength available to him genetically. Not all of it, but certainly more than 50 percent of it. And if you put that in absolute numbers, the average guy can gain probably 40, 45 pounds of muscle genetically.

That’s it. That’s what he’s going to be able to do bigger than you’re stronger. Should be able to get him his first 20 to 30. Now, if he wants to see what, what else he’s got, then he’s going to have to do things a bit differently, but even that, so now we’re talking about for that guy, he’s an intermediate weightlifter.

He’s strong. He’s gained plenty of muscle. A lot of it comes down to just more fervent application of the fundamentals. It’s not that you abandon everything that you learned about progressive overload and volume and intensity and frequency, and those basic training variables that you have to know how to.

Program properly to get results. You just have to take those things. And most of it is just turning up the volume knob. You just have to ratchet up the overall intensity, a bit, work a bit harder in the gym on those fundamentals. And there are a few kind of, you could say, fancy. Advanced type of techniques that you could consider adding that I talk about in the book.

Like there’s a place for drop sets. Mostly it’s just time savings. There’s a place for rest, pause training. There’s a place for calorie cycling. If we’re talking about dieting, but those are still more. Peripheral, you don’t necessarily need them. A lot of what it comes down to still is just taking those fundamentals and doubling or even tripling down on them.

And I’m sure you’ve experienced that in your training as well.

Marc: Absolutely. I mean, for someone who wants like more extreme levels of strength, like for example, I mean, I did, uh, last year I pressed half my body weight over my head with one hand, like strict standing, just pressing. And it was not easy, but the thing is, is it’s just really getting good at the fundamentals.

Like, for example, if you want to get like insanely strong, if you can deadlift double your body weight, like no problem. Like you’re going to be strong at everything else. The thing is, is you could attempt to do 15, 20 different exercises, but if you just get really good at like a deadlift or a squat, or like, I mean, you’re going to be a strong animal.

I mean, you don’t need them and.

Mike: You’re going to look strong.

Marc: You’re going to look like an animal. You’d be like, okay, I can like rip like my arms off. So the point is, is like, it doesn’t take a lot. Like if you get really good. At the fundamentals. I mean, you can get beastly strong and the same thing, like it just in terms of, you know, flexibility and conditioning, I kind of call it the exercise triad, right?

It’s like strength, flexibility and conditioning, and it’s like getting a nice blend of those. And again, I think for people who want to get like beastly strong, as you were saying, like that next level focusing on the fundamentals is great. But even people, if they. Just want to improve their health and well being, the fundamental still work.

So it’s, it’s really, they work in both situations. Totally.

Mike: So let’s shift gears quickly back to what we were talking about previously. And let’s talk about the limiting belief that like, where they just think they can’t change, or they’re just kind of stuck like this. And in my experience, just to add to that, oftentimes when people feel that way, they’ve tried and failed a number of times previously.

And so in some ways, it’s not even an illogical conclusion, you know, where they’re like, well, I’ve already tried five things before and. Failed. So chances are probabilistically speaking, whatever you’re going to tell me to do is probably not going to work either.

Marc: It’s great that we’re talking about this.

Cause not many people talk about this. First of all, I just want to say that, but yeah, there are a lot of guys out there like, listen, I tried this. I tried to join the fasting. I tried ketogenic, I tried this exercise and it just hasn’t worked. And I think it kind of goes to back to what we were talking about, which is like, have they had any accountability?

Right. Have they been using a system that actually works with their life? The answer is probably no. In fact, it’s definitely no, right? They’ve kind of taken the lone wolf approach, which is what I call it, where guys just, you know, so I’m going to do everything on my own. I don’t need any help that doesn’t work.

Well, for almost anyone, like anyone who’s performing at a very high level. Has got coaches, they’ve got systems in place. Like, I mean, to say the least, right? Like anyone performing at a high level at all.

Mike: And oftentimes they didn’t even build the systems. Like they actually just, they’re just following them.

Yeah, exactly. They were given to them by experts and they just go, sure. Yeah, I’ll do that.

Marc: Absolutely. And so, you know, it’s this kind of lone wolf approach. It’s hard to understand the cause and effect of things. And so. You know, you’re kind of chasing your tail, you’re in this, like chasing your tail, banging your head against the wall situation.

Whereas, you know, if you really have a system that hits on all cylinders, it’s not just like an exercise thing. It’s not just an eating thing. It’s like a overall like mind body and like health thing, right? It’s like life thing. It’s like. You can’t just slice off one little aspect and expect to make a major body change and health change.

Like it’s really a holistic whole thing. And so anyways, as you’re saying, like a system plus some guidance, plus accountability, just from, again, from my experience, it’s been the game changer for guys who complain, Hey, you know, it’s just, nothing has worked.

Mike: And just an example of that is if you don’t like your workouts.

That is a problem. It doesn’t matter. It is. I mean, it doesn’t matter. It’s a major problem, how scientifically optimal they are or how many other jacked dudes swear by them. They don’t work for you because you just don’t like them. You got to do something else. And that’s something though that I’ve mentioned here and there and I’ve written about it here and there, but it doesn’t get that much airtime in the fitness space.

A lot of the advice. Yeah. Is more just kind of aggressive, you know, this is just, just suck it up and no days off and stop complaining, stop being a little bitch, whatever. Right. Right. Macho man. And sure. I understand you do have to have a bit of spunk to. Do anything in life, including get into shape. I get that.

You can’t be a complete whiner or if everything doesn’t work for you, well then yeah, you’re in a bad place, but that’s probably not the case. And in having worked with many people myself over the years, it’s often been where, while one approach to let’s say it’s working out or eating the same thing goes for diet.

too. If something that they were recommended, even if it’s a simple, Hey, this is a good general one size fits all recommendation. See if this works well for you. If it doesn’t, well, then there is something that can work. For example, I’ve emailed with many women over the years who have gone from reading thinner, leaner, stronger, getting in the gym, getting strong with barbell training, losing weight.

And then being like, okay, I want to do something else now. Like I’m very happy with what I’ve achieved, but it’s feeling a bit stale. And then many women have enjoyed going from just kind of the solo lone wolf right in the gym, just lifting weights to classes. And they found that as a new, exciting, fun challenge that.

Allowed them to continue to have the body they want and to be healthy and look forward again to their workouts in the same way that they did in the beginning. And then oftentimes, and again, cause I’ve been in touch with people now for years, like the same people for years, where then what they’ll do is they’ll come back then to barbell stuff.

And it’s okay. If one approach. Doesn’t work for, for you, Mr. or Mrs. Listener, just because it worked for somebody else. If it doesn’t work for you, the thing is like, let’s find what does work for you. And even if, again, you know that, let’s say scientifically speaking, it’s not optimal, like optimally you would do something different or do a bit more or whatever.

But if that just doesn’t work for you, if you dread getting out of bed every morning to get in the gym to do it, that’s not for you period. And that’s not a reflection on you as a person or that you’re just not strong enough or you don’t have the willpower or that could be the case. But often I don’t think that is the case.

I mean, I think it’s there’s a subjective nature to this right where. I don’t like trying to think what it’s a food. Actually. I like most foods. What’s a food I don’t like. And a niece is I pronoun anise. How do you pronounce that? A N I S E. That’s spice.

Marc: I don’t know. I, you know what? I don’t, I’m not even.

Mike: A nice, whatever it is.

I don’t like that spice. I just don’t like it. It tastes bad to me. And I do like a lot of, it doesn’t matter how many times I eat it. I just don’t like it. Um, similarly. There are some workouts, some types of training that I just wouldn’t like, and that’s okay. And the thing is to find, okay, what do you like?

What do you actually, you’re not gonna look forward to every workout. Some days you’re going to be low on motivation, low on energy, whatever, but more often than not. What do you look forward to and get in the gym and then enjoy and leave the gym feeling good. Like those are the things that you want to go for.

And same thing with diet, right? You want to be looking forward to the meals. You want to be eating foods. You like, you want to feel satisfied and getting to that point is crucial, especially if we are looking at the bigger picture, right?

Marc: Excellent. I totally agree. And, and really what this comes down to and what we’re kind of talking about is eating and exercise consistency.

I mean, how does that happen? What you’re saying is doing things you actually enjoy is one huge hack, right? To ultimately achieving that sustainability and that consistency. Cause that’s the biggest challenge I’ve seen is really exercise or eating consistency or just both. It’s like the people who get the best results are the ones who do both, right?

You’ve got the eating, you’ve got the exercise, they synergistically work together and it creates like a really powerful effect. But as you’re saying, it’s like, if you look forward to it and you enjoy it, you find something that you enjoy. It has a huge impact on your ability to stay consistent and enjoy it.

And ultimately what we all want, we want to maximize our vitality and live a long, full, healthy life.

Mike: What type of workouts do you generally have your clients do? Let’s take somebody who is again, stage one. So they’re not in shape. Maybe they don’t have. 50 pounds to lose. Maybe they have 30, 20 to 30 pounds to lose.

They’re not in shape. Where do you like to start with them on the exercise side of things?

Marc: Right. So, so those guys, I think they’re ready to get straight into strength circuits. I mean, that’s kind of my bread and butter, so to speak. I really love it. And it’s something I do religiously three times a week.

And so I’ll give them, you know, program that’s based on the strength circuits where it’s again, 30 minutes. It starts with a warmup, goes into circuits, typically five exercises done a few times, have a little bit of a finisher at the end to kind of lock in, get a little more conditioning. And then the end is like a cool down, some stretching.

So literally in 30 minutes, it’s. It’s timed. Like that’s a huge deal, right? Like when something’s timed, it’s like the workout density where you can get a lot more done in a lot less time. And so that is kind of the structure and in terms of the exercises that are chosen, they’re typically dumbbell based just because I want to make it simple and easy for people to be able to do.

And they’re movement based, right? Cause it’s, I’m not really trying to target muscle groups. Like I think form follows function, especially, I think it’s just really a good framework to use. And so. You know, movement patterns, squatting, lunging, like doing different types of core work, helping people open up their body and ultimately just get stronger, more limber and in better shape.

Mike: What are some of your favorite exercises to do yourself and to have your clients do for that?

Because really what you’re talking about is I guess you could say functional fitness, although that’s kind of a loaded term because it can mean different things. You know what I mean? But these are functional movements in that like the squat is a functional movement. The lunge is a very functional movement because that’s how your hips were designed to you’re loading them in a natural movement pattern, right?

So it’s yes, that’s good.

Marc: No, absolutely. And so I think. One way to think about exercise is like when most of us are growing up, we think about it like a coloring book. It’s like, Oh, or like a body’s like a robot with like the machine with like parts stuck together. Right. But to think more in terms of movement patterns over muscle groups and like, just to give you one example of like an exercise, I think is actually tremendous either as a warmup or part of your actual routine.

Uh, is, is crawling, literally crawling on the ground smoothly.

Mike: I know this is a thing too. I have never done it. I’m going to say, but I’ve seen people in the gym doing it. I came across, uh, forget who it is. Somebody whose work was recommended to me. I have it bookmarked. I just can’t think of the name off the top of my head.

Marc: Was it an original strength?

Mike: Yes.

Marc: Tim Anderson?

Mike: Yep.

Marc: Or no, that’s right. Yeah. That was him. Yeah. Yeah. He’s great. And I think like one thing that I’ve learned just working with so many guys and doing functional movement screens on them and be okay. Like, where are they off? What’s going on? Yeah. Ultimately, like a functional body is, I think like foundationally, it’s like having that reflexive core, like a core that is reflexive in nature.

It’s not like, okay, I need to like, you know, do a crunch with 200 pounds. It’s more of like, can it be reflexive? Like is my right hip and my left shoulder working together? Cause it’s like a cross pattern.

Mike: What do you mean by reflexive core reflexive?

Marc: I mean, it’s, it’s like a reflex driven, it’s like, okay, I reach for this.

And the right muscles are firing in the right sequence, almost like an orchestra. It’s like perfectly timed. And that’s how I really think about human movement, right? Cause that’s really what this is about is how do you move well for the long haul? Instead of just focusing on the aesthetic, it’s like, Oh, I want the six pack.

I want like my shoulders to look like this. We want to move well for a long time. So when you’re 60, 70, you can bend down and pick up your grandkid and it’s not gonna be an issue, right? You’re not gonna like rip your back out or something like, you know, and so I think moving well and creating that reflex driven type of core is, is incredibly valuable anyways, you know, crawling is.

It’s a really interesting exercise and it’s weird. It sounds like, okay, what the hell is this guy talking about? But even so, by the way, actually, I think crawling forward and backwards is actually really powerful.

Mike: What specifically is, what are the benefits of doing that?

Marc: Right, right. And again, there are a lot of different types of functional exercises.

I think this one is particularly powerful that people just don’t talk about it or think about what’s so powerful about it is the way the body moves. It’s really kind of rotational. Right. So a lot of exercise that we do in a gym is like just in one place. It’s like frontal and plane. We’re just kind of.

Mike: It’s like up or down or it’s forward and backward.

Marc: Exactly. Up or down, forward and backward. Whereas. There’s a whole rotational element. It’s really captured with even when you walk, by the way, you’re actually rotating, right? You’re rotating your shoulder forward. You’re rotating your hips. It’s actually rotational walking. So you’re walking forward. You’re actually rotating in order to walk forward.

And so with actually like crawling on the ground, it helps develop your core. And so your right shoulder should be working with your left hip. And it actually helps open up people’s hips and become more flexible. It helps activate the core. And one big thing is, as you know, with deadlifting, like when you activate the core, the hips just open up and you can get much more depth.

And you’re like, oh man, I thought my hamstring is really tight. Well, actually it’s like the whole complex is just jacked up. It’s just one example of an exercise.

Mike: And that’s also what provides protection for your lower back, a core that’s working properly.

Marc: Right, there’s intra abdominal pressure. Right.

It’s like kind of like is a huge factor. And then you’ve got the kind of forward flexion, you’ve got extension, you’ve got kind of lateral flexion with your core. But I think it’s that reflex driven core is like, it’s hugely valuable. And I think it’s what helps people move really well and smoothly. Right.

It’s like, I used to think about, you know, my ideal, like. Body is like, Oh, it’s just someone who looks like this fitness model. Right. It’s like really, but now it’s like, yeah, I want to look great, but I also want to move really well. And so like my whole perspective has changed. And I think, you know, thinking more in terms of like joint health in terms of, you know, reflex driven.

That’s why I kind of talk about. Like this crawling thing. I was like, what does it mean? But like, if you crawl forward and backward and like, you do it slowly, you’re going to be moving pretty well. Right? Like you’re, you’re going to be able to jump up and pick up something and not hurt your lower back.

And so it’s just, it’s a representation of like a body that can move well.

Mike: And as far as form goes on crawling, is there for people who are sold or like, I’m going to do it. I’m going to crawl forward and backward for, I mean, what are we talking about in terms of time? And then is there a specific where you’re like, yeah, just go search for this type of crawl.

Do this for a minute forward. And then, or whatever, like for people who are like, I want to do it. I want to see the difference.

Marc: And by the way, just to be clear, like crawling is not part of every workout. I do. In fact, it’s like not many, when I say not like the workouts I give to most guys, like it’s not part of it.

Cause they’re not going to do in their own gym, but it’s something. That is a part of some, right. It’s something that I think guys should know. So in terms of like, okay, how to build this and I think you just do it as part of a warm, just do it a few forward, a few backward, just to kind of get the blood flowing.

I mean, if you look online, there are a million different ways to do crawling. I mean, there’s leopard crawling, there’s bear crawling, there’s a million different ways to do it. But just in terms of how I do it, I, again, I personally have it as part of my kind of like warm up routine. It’s something I literally like religiously do because I just go forward and backward.

Typically, I mean, it depends if I actually go to the famed goals gym in Venice right now, I’ll go like down this path, maybe 15 yards, I guess, go forward and backward just to kind of get the blood flowing. If I’m actually gonna do it as a workout, I’ll do it for like a few rounds of maybe. You know, almost probably like 20 yards forward and backwards.

And I’ll do that a few times kind of at the end of a training session. That’s something else I’ll do. Like kind of as a finisher.

Mike: Is there a specific type of crawl?

Marc: That again, I mean, there’s so many different variations, I mean.

Mike: Or a style that someone who goes, I want to, I want to do exactly what Mark’s doing.

What do I do?

Marc: That’s so funny. Yeah. I mean, I keep it pretty simple. It’s not the bear crawl where you’ve got your like hips really high. I mean, I do it more of like kind of a Tim Anderson style from original strength, where it’s like, keep your hips kind of like flattish and then just move forward so that your hips don’t spill from side to side.

Like, that’s the thing you want your head. You want to keep your hips kind of flat. And then that is what helps kind of promote the flexibility and helps increase the reflexive nature of the core. And by the way, I mean, ultimately it’s like crawling, like instead of like hiking or sorry, like a climbing, right.

You’re climbing upwards. That’s also. Like incredibly powerful and functional, right?

Mike: Yes. It’s similar, a similar type of movement, but you’re just moving laterally instead of horizontally, right? Right. Exactly. So if somebody were to imagine they were kind of climbing up a wall, but on the ground, then that would be probably more or less the right type of movement.

Marc: Right. That’s kind of what it’s like. That’s actually what it’s like. But again, like I think that the big key is ideally keep your kind of hips flat and try to avoid them smelling from side to side, which is not easy. That’s where the reflexive nature goes. And then I think there’s a lot out there that you can check out, but ultimately just making it look smooth.

That’s the hardest part is if you can make your crawling actually look smooth, you’ll be at a different level. Seriously. Like you’ll, you’ll be like just in terms of overall function and health, but I’m just giving you a random kind of exercise that I guess it’s a little bit different than most people have heard.

You know, it’s something that I think is useful. It’s something I personally use in my warmups all the time.

Mike: Yeah. Great. No, it’s a great tip. And it’s one that I don’t think has been shared ever on my podcast. It reminds me of the, I did an interview with Dan John months ago where he shared a huge fan, simple.

Yeah. He’s a good dude. He shared a simple shoulder tip that I had never heard. And it was simply to hang for like 30 seconds. I think it was no more than a minute. A day, that’s all it takes to improve shoulder health. And it’s something that he just has always done with his athletes. And he’s seen it. For example, you were saying that it’s helped a lot of baseball pitchers who obviously just, they just wrecked their shoulder for a living.

And he’s also worked with a number of discus throwers and people who just are prone to have shoulder issues and just hanging, I think it was only 30 seconds, hanging 30 seconds. Definitely no more than a minute. A day was often enough to alleviate or even eliminate the problems they were having all together.

Marc: Right. So, I mean, hanging is huge. It comes out your gripping your core, right? So the crawling thing is a kind of a core thing. I mean, grip is huge. And one other thing to mention, just like a simple exercise that also, since you brought up Dan, John is like a farmer’s carry. Yeah. Yeah. He talked about that too.

Yeah. Very, very powerful exercise and something I, you know, as part of the programming that I do so incredible. And it’s not like, you’re not like curling anything, but it’s just in terms of overall strength and longevity, like a farmer’s car is really powerful. Cause like when you get your grip strong and your core strong.

The game changes, right? You’re going to be a strong person. That’s just how I see it.

Mike: As you know, there’s, there’s research that even correlates grip strength to overall mortality, right? Absolutely. And there’s more to going on there. I mean, I don’t think you can’t quote unquote hack that by like using a grip ball all day and just sitting on your ass eating Cheetos and being like, I’m going to make it.

Marc: Yeah, exactly.

Mike: But I think it more speaks to that. If you’re going about it in a correct, sensible way, if you have a strong grip, you got there by doing things that are promoting, like you’re talking about, are promoting a strong functional body that is not going to fall down and break. I think you said it perfectly.

All right, man. Well, this was a great discussion as expected. I really appreciate you taking the time and let’s wrap up with where people can find you and your work. If they would like to work with you directly, do you have availability? How does that work? Do you have anything new and exciting you want to tell people about?

Marc: Sure. So I’ve been running built lean. com thankfully for the last 10 years, and you can find me there, go to built lean. com. We have a, you know, like essentially like a get lean guide. You can see like a free get lean guide. And then at the end, you can set up a conversation with someone, with myself or someone on my team.

If you are interested in getting started with our program and system, you know, to help you get a lean body, right. To go from where you are to where you want to be to bridge that gap, but go to builtin. com. You can check out like a free video and then you can book a call with myself or someone on my team.

And, you know, we can kind of discuss where you are. And where you want to go and, and go from there.

Mike: Awesome, Mark. Well, thanks again for taking the time. I really appreciate it. I look forward to the next discussion.

Marc: Awesome. All right. Thanks, Mike. And, uh, enjoy the rest of the day.

Mike: All right. Well, that’s it for today’s episode.

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