In this episode, I interview Jamie, who read Thinner Leaner Stronger and used my coaching program to bulk up from an underweight 93 pounds, to lean and muscular at 105 pounds.
At 5”1’, Jamie has always been petite. Somewhere along the way, though, she got up to 125 pounds and 33% body fat, and decided to make a change. She wanted to lose some weight, so she did what most people do: a lot of cardio and restricted her food intake.
Unfortunately, this lead to a lot of yo yo dieting, bingeing, and even anorexia, without much progress in the way of body composition. It also lead to low bone density, which spiraled into full-blown osteoporosis.
Doctors told her she had to gain weight, and luckily, Jamie discovered strength training and found my books. This transformed her understanding of what it takes to gain muscle and eat well, which lit a fire under her to lift weights and improve her diet.
Given her history, however, Jamie was terrified to gain weight. So, after buying herself a home gym, Jamie signed up for my coaching program to help assuage her fears of bulking and get on the right track.
And in about 6 months of bulking, she gained 7 pounds of muscle. And after 10 months, a DEXA scan showed she improved her bone density by 5%, which is very impressive!
In this interview, Jamie and I talk about her story and the important lessons she’s learned along the way, including how what she was doing before finding TLS, how misconceptions about “good” and “bad” foods lead to bingeing, how she overcame the fear of gaining weight, and more.
So if you’re looking for a jolt of inspiration and like motivational stories, I highly recommend you listen to this episode.
Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!
5:48 – How has quarantine been for you and your fitness journey?
8:37 – How has your lean bulk been going?
11:36 – Where were you before you found me and my work?
26:36 – How did our personal training plan work for you?
27:37 – How was training for you psychologically?
28:55 – How did training impact your bone density?
35:52 – How was the experience from maintaining to a deliberate surplus?
46:21 – Where are your fitness goals from here?
Mentioned on The Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hello, welcome to another episode of Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews and thank you for giving me a bit of your time today. And in this episode I interview Jamie, who is a woman who read my book, Thinner, Leaner, Stronger, and then signed up for my v i P one-on one coaching to go from an underweight 93 pounds.
To a lean and muscular and defined 105 pounds. Now Jamie is five foot one, so she has always been petite and before she found me she had gotten up to 125 pounds or so and 33, 4 5% body fat, and she really was not happy with her body and so she did what many people do, and particularly what many women do because that’s what many women are told to do.
The mainstream fitness machine, and that is to do a lot of cardio and eat very little food. And of course that works, you will lose weight. But it also led to a lot of yo-yo dieting for Jamie binging and purging, and even anorexia. And of course, her body composition did not benefit from that. As Jamie talks about in this episode, she did accomplish fat loss.
Of course, she did get her body fat percentage to a low number, but she also lost a lot of muscle, and that’s of course very unhealthy and was underweight and had lost a lot of bone density. This turned into full blown osteoporosis actually, and so her doctor said she had to gain. And that’s when Jamie discovered strength training and found my work and learned for the first time what it really took to get the body composition that she wanted, how to gain lean muscle, how to eat right so you don’t just pile on fat.
And then how to maintain your ideal body composition. And like many women I’ve spoken to over the years, probably the most important revelation for Jamie is how important weightlifting is, or I guess you could say resistance training, but weightlifting is the most effective form of resistance training you can do.
Previously, Jamie had stayed away from resistance training and weightlift in particular because she was terrified to gain weight and to end up looking bulky. And so in the beginning it was hard. Jamie to deal with the psychological factors of lifting heavy weights, but fortunately, she stuck with it and ended up gaining about seven pounds of muscle in her first six months of lean bulking, and after 10 months of regular resistance training and eating she had improved her bone density by.
Percent, which may not sound like much to you, but is significant. It really surprised her doctor, for instance, her doctor did not expect that. And things have only gotten better since then. And so these are some of the things that Jamie and I talk about in this episode, and if you like, listening to motivational and inspirational stories of how other everyday normal people have.
Evidence based fitness methods to transform their body and life. And if you are always looking for ways to get better results in your journey, diet, exercise, supplementation, mindset tips, then this episode’s for you. Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i.
One-on-one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and all circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible, and we can do the same for you. We make getting fitter, leaner, and stronger, paint by numbers simple, by carefully managing every aspect of your training and your diet for you.
Basically, we take out all of the guesswork, so all you have to do. Follow the plan and watch your body change day after day, week after week and month after month. What’s more, we’ve found that people are often missing just one or two crucial pieces of the puzzle, and I’d bet a shiny shekel, it’s the same with you.
You’re probably doing a lot of things right, but. Dollars to donuts. There’s something you’re not doing correctly or at all that’s giving you the most grief. Maybe it’s your calories or your macros. Maybe it’s your exercise selection. Maybe it’s your food choices. Maybe you’re not progressively overloading your muscles, or maybe it’s something else, and whatever it is, here’s what’s important.
Once you identify those one or two things you’re missing, once you figure. That’s when everything finally clicks, that’s when you start making serious progress. And that’s exactly what we do for our clients. To learn more, head over to www.by legion.com. That’s bu i legion.com/vip and schedule your free consultation call, which by the way is not a high pressure sales call.
It’s really just a discovery call where we. Know you better and see if you’re a good fit for the service. And if you’re not for any reason, we will be able to share resources that’ll point you in the right direction. So again, if you appreciate my work and if you want to see more of it, and if you also want to finally stop spinning your wheels and make more progress in the next few months than you did in the last few years, check out my VIP coaching [email protected] legion.com/vi.
Hey Jamie, thanks for taking the time to, out of your quarantine day to do this.
Jamie: Thank you. I was very busy, but I’m happy to join.
Mike: You somehow squeezed it in. Woke up. Woke up extra early to get all the important stuff done. That’s right. How is quarantine for you and your fitness? I’ve been getting a lot of people reaching out via dms and emails.
Some people struggling, some people not. It’s interesting to hear how people are doing and what’s working for them.
Jamie: Yeah, actually Harry Barnes is my coach, and I have kept everything going. I actually have all of the equipment I need in my house.
Mike: You’re one of the lucky ones. You’re one of the privileged few.
I don’t even have a proper home gym set up. I got, but I went looking too late. So it was early on. Yeah. When, I don’t know, I maybe started looking in the beginning of March where I was like, Oh, this is gonna be a thing. Not too late. Yeah.
Jamie: Oh no. Yeah, I have a squat rack and we have everything literally, like I don’t have to leave my house for that.
I even have a Peloton bike, which is amazing. That’s great. So I actually, as soon as I knew we were gonna be quarantined, and I think Harry was floored, I said, I think I’m gonna bulk. What will we do? While I do quarantine, since nobody’s gonna see me.
Mike: Yeah. And I, And you’re gonna probably be more inclined to eat even.
Even if it’s not an emotional thing. But it’s just if you’re not normally at home and around food that you have there, then chances are you’re gonna be more tempted to eat more calories anyway. Absolutely.
Jamie: Yeah. It just worked out perfectly and I thought, it wouldn’t really be a smart time to try to cut, like I could have done a cut cuz I was in the middle.
And I could have cut for summer, with a pandemic happening, it’s not really smart to restrict calories on top of. All of the other immune things going on, so yeah.
Mike: Yeah, that’s something I’ve been getting asked about and my understanding, and I looked into some of the research actually, is that it’s probably okay from the immune perspective if we’re just looking at it physically or physiologically, unless you were to dramatically restrict your calories and overtrain.
However, I guess it depends on stress levels because. Even when things are normal and we don’t have all the added shenanigans of a pandemic remaining in a deficit, there is a period where it does start to put more stress on your body. And even if you’re not a high stress person, you start to notice it.
So that’s what I’ve been telling people is if you’ve are not stressed right now, generally, and you feel okay. And you want to go into a deficit, that’s fine. Again, don’t overdo it, but if you’re on an emotional roller coaster of sorts, even if it’s not a, even if it’s not a wild one, then maybe it’s better.
And even if the immunity is not the issue might just be a better idea to not cut right now because why add the extra aggravation, right?
Jamie: Yeah, absolutely. For sure. I’m not one of those not stressed people. with business and all that. And I think it’s great. You just have to know yourself too.
Mike: Totally. So how has your Lean Bolt been?
Jamie: Really well, this is really interesting, is when I first started, I initially started reverse dieting on my own after I read your book. And I immediately gained five pounds, like just upping my calories to 1300 a day. Oh wow. And I was like, Holy crap. I got really scared.
So we slowly have been, and I was fully balking like gain. Two pounds a month previously on 1500 calories for my first bulk. Wow. So now we went into this one and I was at a maintenance of 1500 calories starting. Yes. Nice. Yeah, really good. It really works. We just have to keep bumping my calories up. I’m starting to lose weight every time we get add calories.
So I’m almost at the end of this bulk and I’ve only gained a. No, that’s not quite true. Two pounds in next week will be nine weeks. Nice. So I think really successful,
Mike: That’s pretty optimal considering that you’re not a newbie anymore. So you wouldn’t expect to be gaining like a pound a week or even a half a pound a week.
Jamie: Yeah. No it’s really good. I’m really happy I did it and I have not gained much body fat at all with it.
Mike: My waist is the same size as when I started. That’s great. And have you seen an increase in your. In the last couple of months?
Jamie: Absolutely. Actually, overall, and a decrease in like just feeling.
Fatigued and injury. I’m feeling super strong.
Mike: Yeah. That’s great. That’s the fun part of, at least as far as the training goes, Absolutely. Is when you are just full of energy, your entire workouts, like you work hard and then you end a workout and you feel like you could do it all over again.
And I hear that in particular from. Women who have never, It’s more common for guys to have been into heavy weightlifting one and two to have done some sort of bulking, even if they do it wrong. Whereas many women who are at least getting into this newly, have not done much in the way of serious resistance training and certainly not done much in the way of controlled, intentional overeating.
Yes. as a plan. You know what I mean? And so it’s fun to hear from women who go through that experience that you’re experiencing where you’re like, and I guess we’ll get a sense of this is when we rewind and hear your story, but whether this is your first time doing it properly or not, it just is.
It’s surprising to women I’ve spoke, many women I’ve spoken to over the years, because they’re a little bit, at least when it is their first time going to a lean bulk sometimes. A little bit anxious, like the idea, again, of purposely overeating, purposely gaining weight. But of course now that they’re confident in their ability to drop fat, they’re confident in how they’re going about it and that it’s not gonna be a major episode of fat gain, and then they can just enjoy it and then really find it rewarding to be able to train hard and enjoy all the benefits of mild overfeeding, basically.
Yeah, for. Let’s rewind to before you found me in my work. What were you doing in your fitness? And that would be your diet and your training and what was working, what was not working? How did you find me? What solutions were you looking for? Okay.
Jamie: Before I found you, I many, back in my twenties, I did some dabbling in weightlifting.
Never a structured program, never progressive overload was just following my boyfriend around and doing whatever he did and actually when I was in my twenties, I was a spinning instructor and I taught kickboxing, so I was definitely into fitness, but way more cardio based. I never did any sports or anything growing up, and I was always super, super thin.
I’m pretty petite. I’m five foot one and starting. Your program. I was 91 pounds. And I was that thin actually in high school till about my sophomore year, and I suddenly, could eat so much food and all of a sudden I couldn’t. I started gaining weight like crazy and I really just had no idea what to do.
So I got some fitness magazines and I started walking and. Started dieting and I didn’t count calories back then, but I just restricted how much I was eating. Basically cut it in And back then, it was the nineties and fat was the devil. So I didn’t eat any fat, and I was just really calorie restricted and I wound up losing.
I was like 125 pounds at that time. I went up to, and at that weight I was around 35% body. I remember having it tested my freshman year in college and I was like, Holy hell. It took me a couple years to lose that weight and I knew how to lose weight. I didn’t really know how to maintain my weight.
So being that restricted for so long, I started binging and then restricting, and then binging, and then restricting. And of course I went back to a weight that was somewhere in the middle and wasn’t super happy with how I looked or how I. And of course my doctors all said, you should never weigh less than a hundred pounds.
And I’m like, Okay, but at a hundred pounds, my body fat without lifting weights at that time, 105 pounds, my body fat was like, still 28%, 29%.
Mike: They were probably saying that based on bmi, I’m assuming.
Jamie: Yeah, they were based on numbers without actually looking at me and absolutely bmi, or the wrong numbers.
Mike: BMI is fine when you’re looking at a population, but when you’re looking at an individual, you have to look at body composition. You know this, but this is again, one of the first lessons that I like to teach people who are new to all of this. Body weight is fine. Tracking your weight is fine, but we really wanna look at your body composition and let your weight fall wherever it’s going to fall.
Because in your case, what do you weigh
Jamie: now? Now after lifting with you and Harry is my coach. For a year and a half, I weigh 105.
Mike: Yeah, And the difference though of 105 now versus 105 then I’m sure is night and day right. In terms of like when you look in the mirror and you’re like, What do I see?
Jamie: Yeah. So then it was 105 body fat of probably 20 and now it’s 105 at the end of a with a body fat of 20%.
Mike: Yeah. So that’s a huge change in body composition. Absolutely. And if you were to look at now your physique, if you wanted to. Very lean. So let’s say something that maybe wouldn’t be sustainable, but you wanted to do for a photo shoot or something, right?
And so for women, that’s probably 16%, 16, 17%. Again, not the best place to stay, probably, but not unhealthy if you just want to get there healthily and then maintain it for a little bit and let yourself come back to a more comfortable settling point. But if you were to do that, then your weight would dip.
You’d be under. A hundred pounds. Oh no. But you’d be perfectly healthy. There’s nothing wrong with that. Absolutely. Yes. Yeah. Okay, so that’s where you were at. So you were in this middle place where now you weren’t technically underweight by bmi, but you also weren’t happy with your body composition.
Jamie: Then fast forward a little bit, I had twins. Oh, they’re not 10 years old. Yep.
Mike: And that’s an efficient way to have a couple of kids. Yeah. Seriously.
Jamie: And I had my twins when I was 36 and I. Actually in my twenties, I’m also a physician assistant. I retired from that healthcare field. But in my twenties, when I was in PA school, I had a DXA scan and at the time, or I was probably 26, I knew then that I had osteopenia or low bone density.
And they always, they just said, your bone frame is so small and I really do have a very petite structure. You’re just kind of high risk. And then, going. Anorexia or not eating enough for several years obviously contributed significantly to that. So sure, fast forward, I have twins and I’m using intuitive eating really the first time in my life that I felt like pretty comfortable with how I was eating and.
My weight went down like 92 pounds and I looked amazing. I was like, Yes, this is awesome. And I was doing just yoga at the time and taking care of my kids. I broke my thumb actually, I think at probably when they were three or four, and I had to be in a cast and I couldn’t do yoga, so I started.
Doing some beach body programs. Actually I was doing 21 day fix in those and I would just hold the dumbbell in my cast . And I really liked it. I liked
Mike: You didn’t get sick of how your cast smelled after a bit. That’s Oh
Jamie: I actually paid and made ’em keep changing it.
Mike: Oh, smart. I didn’t think of that.
That’s smart. I fractured my wrist when I was like 20 playing football. I was in a forum cast for six weeks and so I was working out for the first couple of weeks. And then I was like, I can’t do it. This is too disgusting. And I didn’t even, I didn’t even know that I could have gotten it recasted I probably would’ve.
So I was like, Oh, whatever. Fuck it. I’m just not gonna work out for it’s three or four weeks. It was actually gross. Like we’re, you’re sitting there and you smell your class.
Jamie: It is so gross. Actually, it’s, it is really gross. I forgotten about that too. You said that. But yeah, I had, it changed like four or five times, but I had to have it on for 12.
In lieu of doing surgery. So I started doing that program and I was starting to get a little bit of muscle and I was really happy with the results. But again, I was still really thin. And I would go out on the weekends for dinner and stuff and I would find myself like eating a lot. And then during the week I would restrict again and I’m like, this is so not helpful.
About two years ago, I think, I wanna say I was 45. My doctor finally was like, You need another DXA scan, bone scan. And I said, All right. I’ll go. And I get in, I come outta the scanner and actually my husband’s a radiologist and he read my bone scan. He’s You have full blown osteoporosis now.
And I was like, Oh God, I know what that means. Like I worked in healthcare, I worked with the geriatric population and I just got really scared.
Mike: Yeah, I mean that plus muscle weakness is a recipe for disaster as you get older.
Jamie: Yeah, I mean it’s got a huge morbidity rate, mortality rate with it.
It’s really scary. So I went back to my doctor and she looked at me and she said, you qualify for monthly IV infusion. For bone growth or, you could gain like 20 pounds. And I was like, I’m looking at her. I go,
Mike: Can I have door number three, please?
Jamie: Yeah, exactly. Does anybody do either of those?
And I said, Would you do IV infusions at my age? I’m premenopausal. And she’s And I said, Okay. And I go, What do I do? Just go get fat. She’s You have to gain weight. That’s like your only option. And so I’m like, ok. So we take a family trip and I was trolling around on the internet and I just kept thinking to myself, my body has been in this catabolic state clearly.
For a really long time. Cause why else would my bone density keep going down? So what if I put it in in completely anabolic state, what could happen? And I just started researching it, just digging up as much as I could. Body building and bone density, weightlifting density,
Mike: I’m sure you came across that literature pretty quickly. Because it’s actually really, that’s one of the great benefits, right? Of strength training and it’s conclusive the weight of the evidence is so strong at this point. There’s no question, they’re not even, they’re not even doing more experiments on it that if you train your muscles with heavy weight and it doesn’t have to be absurdly heavy, but it just needs to be heavy, you are going to have stronger bones.
Jamie: Absolutely. Yeah. And then of course as soon as I started looking that up and the weight lifting and bodybuilding correlation, your books popped up. We were heading on a family VA vacation and I have a Kindle and so I downloaded First Thinner Leaner Stronger and I read it, which I had a hard time naming cuz you’re a perfect example, someone.
You saw thinner and you’re like, No, that’s not really, that’s not the goal here.
Jamie: Oh, no, it still totally spoke to me like .
Mike: Ok. Cause I went back and forth between should it be fitter, fitter, leaner, and stronger. Which is a better, I think in some ways, maybe a, I don’t know if a better, such a vague word, more desirable state.
But also many women, and I just know from doing this for a while, many women who find me the vast majority are looking to lose weight and understandably a lot of them, they’re not just being vain or neurotic, like it’s, in many cases It’s even a health issue, right? There is a point where if you have too much body fat, it’s not good for you.
So I ultimately went with thinner cause I was like, from a marketing perspective, I think that’s the better button to bring in as many women as possible. But then I’m gonna educate them on why the goal is not just to. Skinny, fat and thin and no muscle and malnourished like we’re. In some cases, like in your case, it sounds like it wasn’t even a matter of getting quote unquote thinner.
It really was a matter of getting fitter. But I always find that interesting when I speak with women who, if their goal was not to lose weight, how they perceived the book just based on the title.
Jamie: I still love it. Like you put throw thinner at a girl, she’s gonna scoop it up, . It’s just ingrained in there, that’s,
Mike: Yeah, it’s true. It’s. I guess it is probably the best again, for guys. Oh yeah. Like bigger, leaner, stronger is the ultimate, like that is a guy never feels like he’s big enough. He never feels like he’s lean enough and he is never strong enough. Cut and dried .
Jamie: Yes. No, I think the title, I think it’s absolutely what the title has to be.
And then you can speak to people about, all of it inside once they get the day. Cause it’s very well done. So you understand where you need to be when you read it. So yeah, I read the book on that vacation and this light bulb went off, Oh my god, I need to start tracking my calories. So as soon as we came home, cause I ate like a pig and drink like a fish on vacation, which I do every time.
And I came home and started tracking my calories and. I actually, too, also before I started measuring was, believe it or not, overestimating how much I was actually eating. I was not an underestimater. I was weirdly an over estimator, so it came out to be like a thousand calories, 1100 calories on most days, and I just thought, oh
Mike: God. I’ve seen that with a lot of women who have a similar background to you who were into fitness, who were doing a lot of cardio for a long time and got into a pattern of. A lot of exercise and not a lot of food.
Jamie: Yeah, it’s super. Now looking back, it’s really actually very scary. And so that’s when I sat down, I started ordering equipment.
I was like, I’m gonna do this. I looked at my husband, I’m like, I’m doing this. I said it my only chance to reverse osteoporosis without IV infusions. This is crazy. And I said, If I put on a bunch of muscle, it’s weight and I bet you it. Help my bone density. Anyways, I ordered all the equipment and I, based on your calculations in the book, started reverse dieting and freaked out because I started gaining weight really fast with just very small chloric increments, like a hundred cats.
Mike: Yeah, and that was doing the workouts too, right? Absolutely. Yeah. Okay, good. Of course, you know why that is, and again, this is something. I still get emails from women in the latest third edition of Thin Stronger. I address this more thoroughly. So I, So women really understand to expect rapid weight gain in the beginning.
But don’t worry about it. You’re not gaining fat now. Your muscles are soaking up a bunch of water and a bunch of glycogen, and I still hear sometimes from women who just want reassurance This is okay, right? I’ve gained this amount in the first month. That’s okay. Yeah.
Jamie: Yeah. It was really scary, but started catching myself, restricting my eating again. And I just knew I, it was like a turning point for me. I know this is actually gonna, it’s gonna feel like it sucks. And if I leave it in my own hands, I won’t do it because it’s super scary for me and I can’t, like every time a scale would change a way, I didn’t wanna see it.
I would get scared and restrict again. And I’m like, Okay, you know what? I gotta get this done. And then I reached out to your coaching.
Mike: Oh nice. And then so you find your way to Harry. Then we put together obviously meal plans for you and training plans that are specific to you and your goals. I’m sure something similar to what’s in the book, but we always look to make them as customized as possible.
Jamie: Yeah, it was really customized. I have a few old injuries that, needed working around and at that time was actually still doing a little bit of a restricted, like a gluten-free diet, but eventually, went off that, I just wanna eat like a normal person Again, , all these restrictions I had about food, which were really just.
Crazy at this point, like I can’t believe I had so much around food. And Harry was really great with that food and eating and yeah, so he wrote up my plans. He told me exactly how many calories I needed to eat, exactly what they would look like. Meal plans, workout plans, and also really importantly, exactly what to expect, projected expectations for weight gain, all of that, so that I was like fully prepared and knew that this was part of the plan.
Mike:. And so how did that go then?
Jamie: Obviously it was scary, but I trusted him so much that we actually, I did a bulk for six months. Nice. And ended up gaining a total of, let’s see, 15 pounds.
And then I did, I cut and dropped off, hit in the end, gained seven pounds of muscle.
Mike: That’s great. That’s really good. Considering that you had already been doing some weightlifting, and I mean a great year one for a woman who’s brand new to weightlifting is 10 or 15 pounds. I’d say 10 pounds is probably a, maybe a low responder or maybe not so great compliance and adherence.
And then 15 would be a higher responder doing everything pretty much no one is perfect. You don’t have to be perfect, but no major kind of flubs, so that’s really good for six months
Jamie: I was really, obviously when. At the peak of my bulk and I had to go up three pants sizes cuz I’m literally that small.
Mike: How was that psychologically? What did you tell yourself or how did you keep yourself going and not did you ever get to a point where you were questioning like, man, maybe this was a bad idea? Every day
Jamie: Okay. Every day, Every time I had buy new pants in Louisiana
Mike: What am I doing again here?
Jamie: I had to upsize pants three times. Like I normally assign my waist is. After my cut, my waist was 23 inches and so I’m little and I went up to a, I had to buy a size 10 pants. Cause my body just goes, it can’t go anywhere Oh yeah. Day. But, I’m not going on IV Medicaid. I knew that this was gonna take time.
I knew if I didn’t do it now, I would never do it. And I also knew that staying where I was so ultimately not healthy that. I was, I had such a bad relationship with food. I was so restricted. A thousand calories a day is like now nothing. It’s nothing, my overall health took the driver’s seat and, suck it up for a little while.
And that’s what I just kept telling myself, you’re gonna look amazing at the end of this. And it’s for a bigger pur, it has a really big.
Mike: And how did it impact your bone density?
Jamie: 10 months after I started training, I had my second bone density done in exactly the same scanning machine, in exactly the same person reading the scan.
So there was a tech, and then my husband confirmed my bone density overall improved 5% in 10. And the weird thing is, Before I went in for my second scan, I said to my husband and my doctor, my gynecologist, what should I expect? Just so that what would you expect? And they both agreed that, if my bone density had stayed stable, that would be amazing.
They told me not to expect an improvement because it takes so long to lose bone. It also takes a long time to build it. The 5% improvement in 10 months was. Nobody really could believe it. I actually had a doctor, another doctor tell me that I missed the bone building window and I should just suck it up and do the infusions.
Mike: It just goes to show that it’s important to get multiple opinions when you are , considering consequential medical decisions. Yeah, absolutely. It’s not on that doctor. I’m sure that there was no malice behind that. They were just wrong. No, they just, they were just misinformed. That, that’s it.
Jamie: I think that it’s a gross underestimation of how powerful food and diet can be at changing your
Mike: overall health and how capable the body is of rejuvenating and regenerating, right?
Jamie: Absolutely. Yeah. Like you give it the proper ingredients and it does what it needs to. To stay as healthy as possible.
Mike: Totally. And it’s really just that point that it’s never too late to get into great shape and to be healthy, to look great, to feel great. That’s something that is really the central kind of tenant of a book that I’m wrapping up.
This is a book I’m doing with Simon and Schuster, and it’s gonna be out next summer, and it’s specifically, it’s fitness, but specifically for the 40 plus crowd. And Marketing, the whole package is a bit different. And then a lot of the details are a bit different. Some of the details are the same-ish, like energy balance is what it is, right?
It doesn’t matter regardless of what age you are, it still works the same way. However, you can frame that conversation in different ways and you would frame it differently if you’re talking to a 20 year old than you would to a 50 year old, because the 50 year old, for example, is gonna be concerned about their metabolism.
And many of them are gonna believe that their metabolism is shot now, whereas a 20 year old. They’ve never even considered that. All they know is they can do whatever they want. They’re invincible.
Jamie: Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. I’m gonna be 47 next month, and I am honestly in the best shape. I’ve, I never thought I would have abs like , I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. I just, I look the best I’ve ever looked. Actually, my husband signed on with Harry. Two months ago, and in that short time, he’s already lost 12 pounds and 6% body fat.
Mike: Wow. That’s awesome. That’s fun. My husband’s 60. That’s great. That’s amazing.
So he’s probably super excited, he really is. Cause he sees now that yeah, again, it’s never too late. The only and I talk about this in this upcoming book, while it’s true that for some people they may, you’re not one of these people, because you’re saying at this point you. Are in the best shape of your life.
And I do often hear that from people in their forties and fifties and even sixties. But okay, let’s say somebody when they were 20, they were jacked and then they didn’t train for a long time. They got really outta shape, and now they’re 60. Are they gonna look exactly like they did when they were 20? No.
But can they still look great? Yes. Are they gonna feel the way that they felt when they were 20? I don’t know. Maybe. But they’re still gonna feel great. You know what I mean? So it’s never too late to get to great. It might be too late for some people to get to what great was when they were an invincible 20 year old, yeah, that makes sense. But that’s a matter of expectations, and there’s nothing. That’s a so what? You know what I mean? It’s like I look at it in the context of athletes, right? So a great athlete who is, let’s say 40 years old, is never gonna be as good as they were when they were 20. If, let’s say you have someone who was a professional athlete in their twenties, and now they’re 40, they’re never gonna be as good as they were when they were 20.
But they still can be great by objective standards period, and relative standards for their age. And so fitness is similar in that.
Jamie: Yeah, I agree. Nobody’s excluded. Like everyone can benefit if you just do the work, put in the time.
Mike: Totally. So you get the 10 month bone scan and 5% increase, and then what happens from there?
Jamie: So I decided from there, I was really lean again, when I had that done, I was probably 98, 99 pounds. So I had put. Seven or eight pounds of muscle. And I decided that I didn’t love bulking , but that I still wanted to try to put on a little more muscle. And so at that point we just did a maintenance, which was.
A slow, lean bulk for sure. Yeah. And when I ended my, cut my calories. So for me, as to do a cut, my calories have to be really low again, because 500 calories or 400 calories off of what I eat in a day, starting with that lower number is back down to 1100, 1200 a day. So I had to reverse diet again.
Back up slow. I actually think for me that was the best way to do it. And then I got back up to a new maintenance calories of 1500 while I was lean, bulking. And then as soon as the quarantine hit, I said, Let’s go. I really wanna do like a full. Eight or nine weeks hard. And so we put my calories up, hair, put my calories up by a hundred more at first and then another a hundred because I started losing weight.
So from the time I stopped cutting, went into maintenance. And now currently I am 105 pounds at around 20% body fat. That’s great.
Mike: If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p one-on-one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible.
And we can do the same for you. And what was the experience like? So you did maintenance for a bit? Yep. Which really just means that some days you’re in a slight surplus, some days a slight deficit. Cause you never can, what you’re burning is a moving target. You never get it perfectly. Yep. And then, so how did that experience compare to a deliberate slight surplus?
You mean maintenance? Yeah. Yeah. I’m just curious, the experience for you of maintenance. Versus deliberately overeating for a bit.
Jamie: The results are so much faster if you just deliberately overeat. And that was, Harry pushed me in that direction. He’s You’ll just get so much faster results if you do it this way.
And again, it’s a trust thing. And actually having somebody who’s way more objective than you looking at the numbers and help, guiding you along Oh yeah, I’ve been there. I’ve done. Here’s how we do this. Let me show you. It’s very different than, and this is what we expect. And you’re doing all of those things is very different than, okay let’s try this today.
And so it’s scarier, obviously, to deliberately put on weight. The first time was obviously the scariest. This time I was just, So excited to be able to eat so much food in so many calories, and my weight’s barely budging and he told me that would happen. And so I just feel like my health is that much better overall.
Like my metabolism is up, my energy is up, my strength is up. Yes, it’s a tiny bit scarier, but after you do it, It’s easier every single time.
Mike: So I think I prefer the lean bulking. Yeah. Yeah, I understand. Did you hit any point along the way where you got sick of eating that much food? I’m
Jamie: There right now, I’m never hungry.
I actually schedule my meals every two hours so that I can get my calories. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night though starving, which is really cool. So I come downstairs and eat and my husband’s cutting right now. So he, I’m just complaining about how full I am all the time, and he just wants to kill me, I think.
Mike: Yeah. As your calories approach
Jamie: And they are actually, my calories are literally, 100 calories a day less than his right now, and I’m five foot one and he is six feet, 200 pounds . It’s even funnier I’ve heard from couples where the woman is eating cuz it is the lean bolt cutting where the woman’s eating like a couple hundred more calories per day.
And it’s funny to hear some of the guys getting to watch their wives or their girlfriends eat more than them , if you do it right, obviously you don’t starve. For most people, once you’ve been in a deficit for probably about four weeks, you start to notice it again. If you do it right, it’s not grueling, but you do start to notice it.
If nothing else you feel like, it would be nice to eat some more food, even if you’re not hungry a lot or dealing with too many craving, it’s just you feel like your body is telling you, Please, can I have some more food? We need some more energy. So even just that is enough of it’s enough of its sensation for the guys to find it ironic when they’re watching their wives out eat them.
Jamie: Yeah, I know. And we, I’ll bring our dinner plates over. I make a book dinner and mine’s twice the size of it here you go.
Mike: Here’s your, That’s funny. Yeah. It actually ha Have you gotten any bone scans since? Do you know where that stands now? The last
Jamie: one was in July. And actually they won’t do them more than once a.
Sure. Because yeah, the, So this July I will have my next one done. And so the first bone scan had taken me to a very, So I was in a, like five numbers, fully erotic, and the next scan has me borderline just about to flip back to low bone d. So I guarantee the next one will be probably still osteopenic, low bone density.
But if I keep going at this rate, I’d imagine in another year that I will be, have a normal bone density.
Mike: Yeah, that’s one of the reasons why people who. Are into strength, like competing powerlifters, Olympic lifters. One of the reasons why many of those people peak in their thirties, usually mid thirties, probably about my age, has to do with bone density, has to do with their skeleton, like their muscles that hold them back, per se.
It’s that there’s skeletons can’t handle. The crazy heavy loads until they can, and like you had mentioned, the bone adaptations are very slow. So it takes a many years for those guys and then women as well who are into that. It takes many years for them to develop bones that are strong enough to handle crazy amounts of weight.
Jamie: I totally feel that, and I feel like too, for me, someone that’s pretty petite, often my muscles are stronger than my joint. It’s just interesting. I know I could lift heavier weights, but sometimes like my joints just can’t take it and it’s not fun. But, I just modify everything if I have to.
Mike: Yeah. I’ve experienced a bit of that as well. I haven’t looked actually, in terms I definitely am gonna be on the thinner boned side of the bell curve. I don’t know exactly which percentile I would fall in, but What are my wrists? They’re maybe seven inches. Oh, wow. Yeah. Yeah. And I think my ankles were like eight, if I remember correctly.
And so I’ve run into the same thing just over the years of training where I’ve been able to push, I have decent genetics, not great genetics, but I have decent genetics for maybe pretty good-ish genetics for gaining muscle. But I’ve run into some joint issues, no major injuries, but just minor kind of acute injuries that where I had to back off of weights because for the same reason.
Jamie: Yeah, but it’s great. It’s nice to have a coach too, who can just say, Oh, do this instead. It’ll get the, Oh, I wouldn’t have thought of that. . Totally. It’s interesting cuz you, I literally probably did only. Air quotes need Harry for the first 90 days, but it’s so great having him that I just don’t wanna fire him.
Mike: Yeah. Which is for anybody wondering why the terminology on the page that describes the coaching service, that’s part of the usp, right? The unique selling proposition of the coaching service is, I’d say it tongue in cheek, but it’s I want you to. Be able to fire us after 90 days. I want you to feel educated and know what to do and feel like you could continue without us.
I don’t want our clients to be dependent on us forever or for as long as possible. That is one way of doing it. That’s one model. I just don’t like it. I’d rather really set people up to be able to succeed on their own. And then many people though, do exactly what you’re doing where they get into a groove and they just.
Enough, and they enjoy working with their coach enough and so they just continue and then make good use of it. Like you are saying, Okay, let’s try this now. Okay, let’s try this now. So you’re accumulating these experiences and you are getting help from Harry that will serve you at some point.
If you wanna say, All right, I think the next six months or whatever, here’s what I’m gonna do. I know what I need to do. Where you then. Really prepared for it, so that’s cool.
Jamie: Yeah, I do, I feel like I could, I’m very well prepared. For me, I just like having the, it’s also having the ease of, I open my workouts and I know my targets for the day and Yep. I know my calories and I know it takes all the guesswork and the thinking out of it.
Mike: Yeah, and like you had said earlier, it’s nice to have somebody objective too. Who is gonna look at it from, okay, objectively what would be best here? And then you factor in this subjective, which would be how, for example, like you mentioned with joints, if objectively, let’s say this would be probably the right thing to do with the training, let’s go in this direction.
But if you were like here’s what I’m running into, it’s nice to then have somebody who say, Oh, okay, here, let’s change it. Let’s do this. And as opposed to sometimes I’m not, I’ve even run into this myself, where when you’re programming. Where you wonder sometimes are you biased? Even if it’s like trying to train too hard.
I’ve done that before, more so than trying to ease off the gas too much. I remember just a couple years ago I would train to the point of where I’d go past the point where I should’ve deed, where I’d be like, I probably should deload right now, but I want to try to go one more training block.
Again, nothing, no major consequences, but one thing I’ve noticed since changing that, going from that kind of auto regulating with Deloading, but allowing myself to go a little bit too far. To consistently deloading, like on a schedule that makes sense given the science to support deloading. One of the things I’ve noticed, for example, and there are many factors that could contribute to this, so I can’t say it’s just deloading regularly and properly, but I haven’t.
Gotten sick and I’d have to look, keep a spreadsheet, but it’s probably been a year or so, maybe even longer. Whereas previously my deal loads would often coincide with, I would get a cold or something and that would turn into my deal load. So it’s nice to have somebody too that isn’t gonna have any of the inclinations maybe that we all have to move outside of what’s optimal.
Jamie: Yeah, a couple of times I have definitely. Overtrained for sure not stopped. One or two shy of failure. Like I, in the beginning was like, Fall in, I’m gonna kill every workout, I’m gonna kill myself. And I ended up getting, minor injuries, like my forearms would throb at night and little stuff like that.
And it was pretty evident early on that I also need a deload scheduled every eight weeks without, right now. And when I’m bulking in a calorie surplus, I don’t feel like I need it as much, but I still take it.
Mike: Yeah, that’s. Because really by the time you’re feeling it, it’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’ve gone too far, but it’s not necessary to go that far.
You can deload before you get to the point where it’s blatantly obvious to you. And do think that probably is the smarter play if we’re looking at the bigger picture and long term progress.
Jamie: Even if I don’t feel like I need it, I take it, I do it anyways because why risk it, cause then I’ll, if I go to that point, then I’m gonna suffer.
Mike: Have to back off, when I don’t wanna back off and, if I have it scheduled, there’s, it’s no loss, and so now where do you want to go from here? What are your future plans? for your training for your physique. What’s the game now?
Jamie: So I’m gonna bulk for one or two more weeks and then hopefully when this pandemic ends
Right after that I’m gonna start a cut. Originally, I thought after this bulk it would be like a six or eight week cut. Yeah, it doesn’t sound like it. No, I think it’s gonna be like three or four maybe, and then I’m. Having a surprise birthday party for my husband. He’s turning 60 if the place is open.
So after that, it’ll be the middle of summer and then I think I’ll write out the summer maintain, and then probably one more bulk in the fall. I think my end goal is I would say a hundred and. Six or seven at like 18% body fat.
Mike: Yeah, that makes sense. Which would be for any women wondering what that looks like, that would be a very athletic look.
So at about that level of body fat you’re gonna have definitely. Abs or lines in your stomach, it doesn’t mean you’re gonna look like a dude. You’re not gonna have a six pack per se, which many women, that’s not the quite the look they want, but you’re gonna have clear ab definition and you’re gonna have clear muscle definition really all over your body, but you’re still gonna look feminine.
You’re not gonna have a bunch of veins everywhere and stuff. That kind of, when it gets too far and many women go, Okay, no, that’s too. That’s like kind of the sweet spot that I see many women they get to is probably about from where they start, probably about 20 ish pounds of muscle total gained, put in the right places where they want it, and about 18 to 20% body fat is the end game phase of Hey, this is awesome.
And then you can choose from there. Obviously then you understand that you know how maintenance is, and you can do that. You can also kind of change the type of workouts you’re doing if you want to experience different things. So you just have more flexibility And I often tell people that’s the, I think the biggest reward and the biggest payoff if we’re just looking at it from a physical standpoint.
That you get by putting in all the work is you get to have an outstanding physique, and it requires a lot less work to maintain it than it does to build it. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to work, it doesn’t mean you have to. Stop working out. But again, it just means that you ha get to ride on the compound interest to some degree now where you can afford to do many different things and still look the way you wanna look and feel.
Jamie: Great. So as you were saying it, 20 pounds in muscle. If I were listening a year and a half ago, that would probably have scared me. And now, with about 10 pounds on already, I can easily see how another 10 pounds would be amazing. Probably five pounds for my frame. I think so many women, I now know what it takes to put on muscle.
It’s insane the amount of calories in the work that goes into it. I think it’s such, it’s a. People have this, women in particular have this fear because actually, you look leaner with that much more muscle and you look, you just have more definition and you can. Truly eat so much more and look better at a higher body fat than you can the other way around.
So it’s like a win-win all the way around.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah, totally. And at a higher body weight too, right? That’s often a surprise to many women. I’ve gone through that, where in the beginning, women would ask me, What body weight, What would their ideal body weight be? What should they be going for? Or they’re concerned about weight and then come through a similar journey that you’ve had where then they realize Oh, the body weight is not the key.
And oftentimes they’re very surprised when they get to the point where they’re like, Yes, this is the body I’ve always wanted. They’re often surprised how much they weigh.
Jamie: Yeah. Yeah. Starting at 91 pounds and now. I’ll probably, after I cut again right now, I’ll be 101 pounds, maybe. Yeah.
At 16% body fat, 17% body fat, maybe a hundred pounds. The old me at a hundred pounds looked a little flabby, I’m not gonna lie. And now, It’s like amazing.
Mike: That’s great. I love the story, Jamie. Really appreciate you taking the time to come and share it. And you mentioned early in the podcast, this is before we started recording actually, You mentioned that you have yoga studios and right now you’re doing online stuff and people are really liking it.
Maybe you wanna let everybody know, can they check out what you’re doing online? Can they join up if they want to, if they.
Jamie: Yeah, of course. Absolutely. The studios are called Power Yoga Buffalo, and that’s the name of the website, www.poweryogabuffalo.com. We’re also on Facebook and Instagram, and everyone is welcome.
Our classes are, yogas for everybody, and it’s such an amazing strength and flexibility building exercise that,
Mike: I do a little yoga routine every day. I know,
Jamie: I read that about you.
Mike: That’s good. It’s simple. It’s only 10 minutes or so, but it was just specifically to address some of the imbalances that I had and I had done yoga classes and pick the poses or their positions that I was like, Okay, that one’s good for my right hip.
Okay, I’m gonna do this one for this. This is good for opening my shoulders and I’ll turn into my own little thing that I can just do at home.
Jamie: Yeah, it’s great. I’m actually a senior. Teacher, the style of yoga that we teach is baptized power yoga. I write a lot of programs and classes and specifics for people.
So if you ever need that, Oh nice. Help you. But yoga really is for everybody. I think it’s great when you’re especially doing heavy training to offset that with a lot of, flexibility work and some dynamic movements as.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. I agree. I have definitely noticed benefits for that is Buffalo.
Like, Buffalo, New York. Yeah, Buffalo, New York. That’s where my dad’s from Get Up. I was just there recently. Oh, really? Yeah. Oh next time you, He grew up in what’s it called? West Seneca. Yeah.
Jamie: Yeah. West Seneca. We have a lot of people from West Seneca come to the studios. Which is pretty far, considering this to downtown is like 35, 40 minutes from West Side.
Oh, actually it’s further. But Oh, that’s awesome. Do you ever get to bill to ski?
Mike: Did I don’t. Where did we go? I was just there semi-recently is Orchard Park That I remember. Is that, Yeah, that’s where the football stadium is. Okay. So I was over there and West Seneca, my dad drove me around. I think I.
My aunt mentioning Eckville. No, I don’t think I went out there. Rob
Jamie: Gronkowski is from Buffalo as well. , yeah. Yeah. He often, when he’s in town, he comes to the studio. Gigantic huge pink yoga mat.
Mike: That’s great. He’s Awesome. Yeah, he seems like he’s a fun guy. Like he doesn’t take himself seriously.
Jamie: Not at all. Like his head almost hits the ceiling. He’s just great. And he takes pictures with my students afterward.
Mike: It’s actually fun. I’m sure they love that. Just cuz it’s cool. He is, it’s a, he’s truly a hall of fame athlete.
Jamie: Yeah. It’s really awesome. Yeah. Buffalo’s nice, it’s, Pandemic. It’s a little rough being stuck inside still. We had snow last week.
Mike: Every day still? Yeah. Oh yeah. Here in Virginia it’s still cold, which is unusual. Yeah. It’s so weird.
Jamie: This is a little slow.
Mike: If it’s still snowing, then at least you are not missing out on like beautiful spring weather
Jamie: We’re just trapped in our homes.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. All right. Great. Jamie, again, thanks again for doing this. Really appreciate it. Great story. Keep up the good work. Thanks so much.
Jamie: Thank you for everything.
Mike: All right. That’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful.
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