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In this podcast, I talk with Todd, who read Bigger Leaner Stronger and used what he learned to go from over 230 pounds to 175 pounds (and 10% body fat) in a year, all while gaining gobs of muscle in the process.
Before finding BLS, Todd was very overweight and unhealthy. He wanted to get in shape, so he started intermittent fasting, but he didn’t know anything about energy balance, meal planning, or what really moves the needle. He ended up stuck in a rut.
When Covid hit and Todd got sick, he realized he needed to make a real change and finally get healthy. He couldn’t keep doing what he was doing or he could literally lose his life.
Luckily he found my work, gobbled up the information, and started implementing what he learned.
He started tracking his food and quickly realized he was eating too much. He also started training properly, and he was finally able to break through weight loss plateaus and get down to 175 pounds with an impressive physique.
In this interview, Todd and I chat about his story, the biggest epiphanies he had after reading BLS, how he continues to stay on track and motivated, the importance of having a willingness to change, the value of cheat meals, and more.
So if you’re looking for a jolt of inspiration and like motivational stories, definitely 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!
5:13 – What was your situation before finding my work?
23:22 – What has been your experience with cheat meals?
30:59 – How does overeating affect your workouts?
39:32 – Was intermittent fasting helpful?
42:37 – Did you use any supplements?
45:51 – Do you think you’ll have trouble maintaining what you’ve achieved?
Mentioned on the show:
Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hey, and welcome to a new episode of Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today. And quickly, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast, you wanna make sure that you don’t miss future episodes. Go ahead and subscribe to the show in whatever app you are listening in, because then you’ll be notified.
I guess it depends on the app. They don’t all notify you, but you will not miss episodes because the app will automatically download every new episode and queue. Them up for you to go through and check out. And also if you subscribe, it’s gonna help me because it boosts the ranking of the show and therefore makes it easier for more people to find me and I work.
Okay, So this episode is a success story. This episode is an interview I did with Todd who read my book Bigger, Leaner, Stronger, and used what he learned to go from over 200. 30 pounds down to 175 pounds and about 10% body fat. And of course, he gained a bunch of muscle and strength along the way and is now in the best shape of his life.
And before finding me in my work, Todd was overweight. He was unhealthy. He wanted to get in shape, so he started intermittent fasting because he heard that is the key, but he didn’t understand energy balance. He didn’t understand macronutrient balance, and so of course, Todd ended up stuck in a rut and then Covid hit.
He got very sick and he realized that he needed to make a real change, a permanent change, and he found me. He found bigger leaders stronger, and it made a lot of sense to him. He started to implement what he learned in the book, started to see. Real and consistent results for the first time and just kept going.
And the rest is history as they say. And so in this episode, you are going to hear from Todd and you’re going to hear his story. You’re going to hear some of the lessons he has learned along the way. He shares some of the tactics, some of the dietary tactics and training tactics that have helped him stay consistent and.
The process. And so if you are in the middle of your own transformation or if you are just about to get started, I think you’re gonna find this interview enlightening and motivating. Also, 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 all circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possib.
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 is follow the plan and watch your body change day after day, week after week and month after month.
What’s more, we’ve. That people are often missing just one or two crucial pieces of the puzzle, and I’d bet a shiny shackle, 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 it out, 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.buy legion.com. That’s by 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 get to 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, 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/vip.
Hey, Todd. Hey, how’s it going? Pretty good, man. We’ve successfully started to record this podcast for people listening. We had a couple of misfires on, they were probably, I don’t remember exactly, probably my fault. But here we are and I’m excited to, to talk to you. Yeah.
Todd: Yeah. Our commingled busy schedules have finally come together.
Mike: Our stars have aligned. So I like to start these conversations with a quick, before and after snapshot just to grab people’s attention really. So could you tell us quickly where you were at before you. Found me and found my work. And before you, you really started to take your fitness seriously, I guess you could say.
And then where are you at today? And you could talk about, yeah, whatever is most meaningful to you. For some people it’s pretty straightforward. They’re just like, I wasn’t in shape and I was a bit overweight and I I lost the excess fat and I built some muscle. Now I’m in great shape.
And for other people there is that, but sometimes there are other factors as well. Have more weight, sure, yeah.
Todd: Yeah. I can give you a quick, there, there’s a sort of an image that I think of that, an actual photo, but I think of some pictures that were taken at my daughter Taylor’s baptism in 2017.
I was about 2 65 probably. 30% plus body fat. I was big. Waste. Coming in at probably 46. I was a big boy, I was, I’ve always been a larger guy. My whole life I’ve been, overweight to some extent. It was only just in the past, probably, five years.
And really just couple years after I had kids that that things just started spiraling outta control. And I. I, I think of that image in 2017 as just a really embarrassing self judgment. I see it on Facebook from time to time. We had this little picture in our living room that, that cascades through.
Family pictures and things like that, and it comes up and I’m just like, Oh man, come a long ways. And so I think of that, 2017 and nothing really changed. I think that, seeing those pictures afterwards, maybe in 2018 I tried to a couple different diets.
I tried intermittent fasting. I had read a bunch of articles online and made some attempts. To change but was unsuccessful for a couple years. And really my, that’s the so of my whole life is I really just have never been able to hone in my own personal fitness. And it it’s a depressing thing for anyone who’s ever.
Gone through their whole lives like that. Just, always feeling overweight, not really reaching any kind of potential and just really not knowing what it’s like to be healthy. That, that was definitely my story. And then really what occurred and I’ll fast forward to today, give you a glimpse of what, what the kind of metrics are.
Now. I’m 178 pounds. I’m not sure the. Body fat percentage, but floating around 10, 11, 12, 13%, somewhere in there, it goes up and down. And feeling really good, feeling a lot healthier. I feel like my thought processes are more clear. I feel that I’ve got a lot more control over.
over my my eating habits and my, my fitness routine. And so it’s it wasn’t easy, but I certainly have come a long ways. If you’d I can jump into kind of the, what was the catalyst and what catapulted me to make this huge change. If if you’d I can walk through that.
Yeah. Yeah. I would love to hear it. Yeah. So really what transpired was, like I said, going into 20 20, 20 19, 20 20 kids are growing. We’re growing our family progressing into the career. I happen to be in a a line of business that requires that I travel quite a bit.
And the first part of 2020, it’s on the precipice of of the global pandemic. It’s early January, February. No one really knows what’s about to hit them. But I was on a business trip in Seattle just going about. Normal routine. Meeting out with clients, going to lunches, driving around town, taking Ubers, doing this, doing that, just operating business as usual.
On the night before I was to come home and I had had a, I had felt like I was maybe coming down with a, a head cold or something coming up to the last night. But night before my flight to, to come home, I just have I wake up in the middle of the night cold. The best way to describe it, and I tell other people it was like an asthma induced stroke or some, it, it felt like I was going in and outta consciousness just really in a bad state of mind.
I couldn’t breathe. I thought I was dying. And if you’d ever felt like that or have gone through an experience like that, it’s terrifying. It’s absolutely an utterly terrifying. And I, long story short I, 10, 12 hours straight of just, Heating in my hotel room, I feel terrible for, whatever poor soul had to come in and get exposed to whatever I had.
Who knows if it was Covid or something else, , but whatever it
Mike: was sounds co covid ask, that’s for sure. As far as the symptoms. Yeah. Yeah.
Todd: I, like I, I was telling you I haven’t gone to, to prove whether I’ve had covid or not. I think it’s a fair assumption that was probably, it was one of the early cases in 2020.
So looking back, thinking about how things transpired it was one of those moments in time in my life that I just I looked at, Okay what’s, what is everyone talking about? You look at the news stories, they say perfectly healthy, 30 year old dies of Covid. And then you see the picture of them and it’s like they don’t.
Exactly. Look perfectly healthy. Yeah. Not
Mike: exactly a model of health define perfect and healthy. I think we’re . I think we have some semantic differences. Yes.
Todd: So this must be related to, obesity the getting sick and dying must have something related to being obese and dying of this disease.
And so I just took a real hard look at my. That I have to change, I have changed for my kids. The, my worst nightmare is my kids growing up without a dad. And I, I started getting serious. I started, googling different things, like what’s the best book to scientifically change your body just doing a lot of article reading at first.
And I happened to come along the series of Mike Matthews books and I guess the first book, the bigger, stronger book was. That was my epiphany that I need to get scientific about the way that I’m treating my body, the way that I’m eating, the way that I’m working out the way that I’m measuring myself.
It was just a sort of a, an epiphany that I just needed to. Tighten in the, my metrics and just get a make it more of a scientific experiment than I was making it. Because really, what I’ve been doing my entire life wasn’t working and I had never tracked anything. So it
Mike: is similar to how I came into all of this.
I was I wasn’t I was into lifting weights and I was. Good shape by anybody’s standards, but I was not approaching it scientifically at all. And so it was a similar, for me, it was more just I’m already putting my time into this. I might as well at least try to get more out of it, yeah.
Todd: Quit spinning our wheels here and then try to make some progress and noticeable progress. Yep. Yeah. That was certainly the first epiphany. The second epiphany was just the. The energy balance realization that fir first of all, that I’m eating way too much.
When you start to, get yourself to a point where you’re actually eating somewhere around, 2000, 2200 calories a day, you’re like, Ma’am, still. Hungry. Yeah. What am I doing wrong here? Am I weighing it wrong or was I just eating triple the amount that I should be for my entire life?
And it’s the latter. I was eating way, way too much, and I just gotten used to just stuffing my face constantly and just didn’t have a concept meals. Portion sizes and what was really appropriate for an adult to be eating. And weighing my food, weighing food, weighing not just the meat that you’re gonna cook up, but also the, little snacks in between.
I weigh everything. I still to this day, weigh all of my food. People think I’m crazy when I sell them that, but it’s listen, this is what I have to do. It’s just a routine that I know that I have to keep myself. In, or I’ll fall off the wagon. Yeah. And my, grabbing a handful is just different than weighing it.
It might feel the same, but it’s
Mike: not. And just to chime in on that if anybody listening hasn’t consistently measured in weighed. Their food for any, I would say decent amount of time. And if you, So you’ve not done that and you are struggling to manipulate your body composition the way you want.
If you’re struggling to lose weight or lose fatter, maybe you’re struggling to gain. Weight to gain muscle, and you’re fairly certain that your workout programming is good. Maybe you’re following one of my programs. And it’s not to say that my programs are the best possible programs, but they’re time proven at this point, and they’re based on solid principles.
Then it’s a good exercise to do, to make a, make an exact meal plan, decide what you’re going to eat and measure. The foods. And the reason is you will then start to gain more familiarity and more understanding of portion sizes and how different amounts of different foods correlate with different amounts of calories and macronutrients.
And given your success that you’ve had, Todd, of course, that. You could if you were taking, You mentioned that this is just what works for you to make sure that you stay on track. However, you certainly have now intellectually grasped what I just explained. You now understand you eat, I’m sure you’ve.
You’ve measured the foods that you like to eat enough where you have a very good idea of what portion sizes are like, but it sounds if you give yourself too much latitude, it just tends to turn into overeating too easily. And so you’ve kept it in simply as a tool for just keeping your calories and macros where you need them to be.
And you feel it’s not a major imposition, You don’t mind doing it. So why not? Am I right?
Todd: Yeah I think that psychologically it’s probably more of a psychological thing. Yeah. I could measure up my food ahead of time and, it’s it plays into the whole idea of flexible dieting as well, in that I know essentially, where I want my macros to end up.
I know essentially how many calories I need to have. And then, for on that point, just this idea. If I have one bad day, or if I have a day that I’m really on target, it’s really not gonna make that much of a difference. Correct. The small trends small changes, small trends, you have to have consistency over a long period of time to actually see true change and really getting this concept of, okay, I.
Kind of map out where, what I want to eat and the food that I’m gonna buy at the grocery store for the whole week. And then, if something comes up and there’s birthday cake, I eat the birthday cake, it’s not gonna, it’s not gonna ruin my life. But I can make up for it over the course of seven days and just, be very disciplined the rest of the time.
And just to say I
Mike: do the same thing and my. My job is, one of my jobs is to stay into, is stay in really good shape, unnecessarily good shape if we think about it from any other perspective, right? It’s not necessary, not that I’m super jacked or shredded, but for a natural dude, I would say I, I probably am about as in shape as I could be without causing.
Problems if you get too lean and stay too lean, for example, without drugs you just feel terrible all the time, blah, blah, blah. And I’m the same way. I have my meal plan. I like to eat certain foods and I just get into a rhythm of eating those foods. But there will be opportunities just the other day.
So I moved, I was telling you before you get recorded I moved to Florida. Farm now in Florida, and I have a couple of horses. It’s my wife’s thing, like I don’t ride. She rides and there’s somebody who helps with the horses and helps with the farm. And his mom or his mother-in-law made she, I don’t know if she does this as a caterer or I don’t think she has a restaurant, but she made Mexican food like a spread of like little tacos and there.
I think, Oh yeah. I don’t, I’m not familiar enough with Mexican food. There were a couple of, There were, yeah, there were a couple. And she’s authentically Mexican, right? or something? Yeah. Yeah. I don’t, I’m not familiar enough to know what these different dishes or what they were called.
But Raha is the guy who works with us. He brought it for me and my family to eat. And so instead of eating, Salad with chicken for lunch. I had that knowing like what you said, it just doesn’t really matter if these small deviations are totally fine where it becomes an issue. Not that let’s say that Mexican food, there’s nothing wrong with that, but let’s say I work or five to six days a week, I were skipping my couple servings of leafy greens to just.
Corn tortillas. Maybe not the best nutritional decision, but so long as you’re doing the most important things, mostly right, most of the time you can afford the detours and not only you can afford them, you should enjoy them no matter how robotic you may be able to be. And I’m one of those people for sure.
It’s still nice to. Have something that is not on your meal plan now and then, and even to plan in all on Friday night I like to have ice cream. That’s my kind of go-to indulgence. Yeah. So once a week I’ll eat a pint and I don’t like to eat a little bit of ice cream. That sound, if I’m gonna eat ice cream, I wanna eat the whole pint.
So once a week I’ll eat a pint of Jenny’s is the brand, is my go-to these days. Delicious. And they have a. They have quite a few different flavors that are good, but my favorite is Gooey butter cake. think it’s called Gooey something Cake. And oh boy, it’s like their take on milk bars, crack pie.
They had crack pie ice cream or something, which I tried, and it’s not sure. Jenny’s just shits on it. So I tried it once and that was the end of that . But anyway I’ve hijacked the conversation, but I just wanted to, I just wanted to chime in and say that strategy is it really makes all of this.
Todd: And to that point, the diet is, it’s been crucial and really, say what’s your secret? I always say cheating. Cheating is my secret because I actually plan. Every week we have family dinner night on. Friday night, and then, sometimes we do it again on Saturday night, and it’s just the time where I get to be with my family.
We go out to dinner, we eat out at a restaurant, and I, I don’t have cauliflower and broccoli and squash and, chicken and whatever else is, ultra healthy that I eat on the regular course of the
Mike: week. Yeah. You’re not, yeah, you’re not ordering the. Tilapia and asparagus with no oil.
I just, Yeah. .
Todd: Oh man. No we go all out. And so the plan sheet, it’s just I look forward to it and it keeps me in line all week. And that’s my secret. It’s that and it’s got me through. A lot of the real tough weeks because at first it’s tough cause you worked your ass off, And I could get into kind of the exercise routine a little bit, but I did, I was doing some sometimes two a days, I’d be, waking up early to, to lift in the morning.
And then later in the day when it’d cool off I’d be going out and doing, 45 minutes of hit workout, sprinting kinda, running my ass off in our neighborhood and all the neighbors kinda looking at me weird, and. You do that for weeks on end at first, and you just don’t see much difference.
You don’t see much progress. And I think that psychologically that’s why a lot of people drop off because they don’t see, they don’t get the reward of seeing the results right away. And when you’re as big as I was, it takes a lot to I always tell people like they’re asking for, like, when do you see difference?
Man, I feel like I dropped five BMI points before I actually started. People actually started noticing. Yep. And that’s a lot . Yep. That’s a lot of weight that I had to lose before I actually got this, the gratification of noticing a difference. And there were a lot of weeks in there where I was like, Man, is this even working?
But I read, your book I read you, It wasn’t the only book I read a lot of different materials and come to the conclusion that this is the path that I needed to take and I wasn’t gonna give up. Because I always think back to that, the catalyst moment, which was, it’s either this or you’re gonna die of covid in a hotel room in Seattle, right?
Some something’s gonna get you eventually, if it wasn’t covid, it’s gonna be a stroke or heart attack or something that’s a result of just being, just in terrible health. So yeah, the cheat meals. Awesome.
Mike: How I’m curious how has that been for you? Because it sounds like previously you, you cheat meals were the rule, not the exception.
And I’m curious cuz my experience with it is one of the reasons I like to eat that way. I actually do enjoy all of the nutritious stuff that I eat, but there is a different enjoy. Comes from going to the restaurant and just ordering everything you want. Eating the pint of ice cream making the huge bowl of pasta.
I like to make homemade pasta. That, that, that’s something I really enjoy as well. But the fact that it is the exception, not the rule, makes it a lot more enjoyable than if it were the other way around. Yeah. But that’s me. Have you, how has that experience been like for you? Oh,
Todd: absolutely. Yeah. It’s it’s way more enjoyable and when you are forced to go out, And it’s not your cheat day.
You do find yourself, I think at least personally, this is me sticking to the plan a little closer. If I got, if I’m forced to go out on a business meal that’s not on cheat day, it just happens through the course of life, you’re gonna have to put in situations when you’re trying to be ultra healthy, you’re not comfortable in, and one strategy I’ve learned is that I like to know where I’m going ahead of.
I like to look at the menu and I in my head put together like the healthiest possible meal that I can and abstractly calculate what I think the calories are gonna be. Yep. If I say, Okay, I wanna get that salad, but I don’t want the dressing. I don’t want any dressing. I want you to put the chicken on the side and I need to have as many vegetables as possible, but not, no oils.
It’s it’s like there are strategies around doing that. It’s all part of the process and getting used to, living your lifestyle a little bit differently in order to have this, body that you’re sort satisfied with and that you get compliments about and that, it just makes you happy.
The happiness, you start to realize after a while that it’s yeah there’s Things that you could enjoy more in life. Like I could, eat a pin of ice cream every night. But, I did that for 34 years, 35 years and I felt like shit . So I just don’t, I don’t wanna live, I don’t wanna live that life anymore.
I’ve made a decision to to get away from that. And so the cheat meal is it’s like an exodus where I can just relax a little bit. Enjoy. Food that I don’t normally have. I think it is extra tasty when you get, get off of the regular health food train for a little bit and yeah.
Yeah. I’ve really enjoyed it.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s those sentiments have been echoed to me. From many people I’ve spoken with over the years who went from yeah. Consistent overeating and consistently eating way too little nutritious food to this type of lifestyle that, that we live.
And a lot of them have been surprised at how much. More, how much more they enjoy that flexible dieting approach where you are getting, if we look at it on a, even on a weekly basis, most of your calories from very nutritious stuff and a minority from not so nutritious stuff, old them would’ve Oh yeah.
It would’ve thought that there’s no way, it ju it just would’ve been so terrible. And and that it’s really only for like fitness freaks. 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.
Todd: Something that’s really strange is before, before I lost all the weight and gained the muscularity that we, So my wife and I would go to the, this capital grill that’s our date night splurges capital grill. Before, I could eat a steak and lobster, mac and cheese and dessert and, drink my face off and feels just fine afterwards.
Now we kinda look forward to the date nights. A day afterwards, I don’t feel very good , yeah. Before I I guess maybe I wouldn’t notice, but if I stuff my face like that and really splurge, man, I really, you can see it inside of you. It’s not really sitting so well.
It tastes good, your body now recognizes that, yeah, that’s not so good. .
Mike: Yeah. You’ve upgraded your machinery. You’re no longer up like a pinto now you’re maybe like a Porsche and. It . It doesn’t like the the 75 octane fuel that you just filled it up with. Exactly. No I’ve had the same experience actually.
I’ve similarly my quote unquote, splurges have become less less splurgy have become less decadent just for that reason where. When I was younger, I don’t know if it was cuz I was younger. It was just, Yeah, it was fun to go to. I used to go to Flemings actually it’s similar to Capital Grow. And just eat.
Oh, nice. Oh yeah. Fleming eat two or three appetizers and eat huge steak. Everything. Yeah. Huge steak that is, is probably like by weight. Half of it is butter at this point. And then the dessert. And it was fun until, I got home then I just, I didn’t feel terrible, but it was the, Then the next day, when I wasn’t even beginning to get hungry until 2:00 PM I was like, Okay, that probably tells me something I just ate.
When you eat 7,000 calories for dinner, it’s a bit much. And so these days I don’t need to eat that much, I would say to actually enjoy the overall experience more because, you get to a point where you’re just, you’re not hungry at all anymore, and you don’t even, you’re not even really getting much satisfaction from continuing to eat.
You’re just eating for the sake of eating at that point. And that’s where I draw the line now in terms of diminishing returns of enjoyment is yeah. I want to, it’s nice to enjoy it as the enjoyment curve is going straight up and then it starts to flatten off.
And for me, for example, that’s probably around 1500 to 2000 calories of whatever. I’m eating. If it’s one food, that’d be a bit much. If it’s ice cream, that’s a bit much. Probably about, again, at the half pint mark, I’m like, Okay, I could stop, but I just finished it because it’s worth it and it’s a thousand calories, 800 calories, whatever, 2002 pints of ice cream.
That second pint. I would just be, Forcing it down almost. But for me that’s what I’ve found is that if I stop there, then I enjoy it. And going further than that doesn’t really provide much more enjoyment. And of course, when you understand the first principles that we’re operating with, is it really necessary to just add another 2000 calories, 3000 calories to the surplus for the day?
Todd: yeah. So I can definitely identify with that. But I guess that on the other side of that, it, when you do have a, catastrophic day and you feel terrible and regret it, one thing that I found is, your next day workout and maybe even, several subsequent days are, Pretty spectacular.
That’s true, right? You just have this new focus of yeah, I’m not gonna do that for a while and I’m gonna get back on the horse and I’m gonna kick some ass and really make the best outta my time here when I’m focusing on working out. And I guess that was the other thought that I had was the last most important thing that I found about.
This path was that I’ve changed several times. I’ve changed the way that I do things several times when I’ve plateaued. And one, one article that I would point to was, there’s, I’ve plateaued, I think four times in the, I think 80 pounds that I lost four times that that Probably anywhere from one to two months where I just, couldn’t lose any weight.
I wasn’t seeing any differences in the mirror and I just felt like I wasn’t making more progress. And, but I knew that there was more to go. I knew there was more progress to make. And so I, I told you an article that you wrote, I don’t know when you wrote it, but it’s way back. It’s listen it’s a simple equation.
If you’re plateauing, you’re either not moving it off or you’re eating too. Figure out what it is, need to change and change it. And so it’s okay, I don’t want to eat less cuz I already feel like I’m starving myself. What is it about my routine that I need to change? And that’s gone both ways.
As I’ve gotten leaner, I’ve found that, the types of workouts that I do tend to be either less effective or more effective. One thing that I’ve found is I, I. Did get more lean was that I make a lot less progress by doing just so much high intensity interval training. I make a lot more progress when I kind of stick to the weight lifting and just really focus on my diet and and I feel less fatigued that way just in, in the, in regular course of the day and I have a little more time to myself, and when you’re at this stage where you’re just maintaining, you’re not really trying to do anything, you.
Just kinda don’t really wanna get bigger, don’t really wanna get smaller, just won, maintain. It’s you kinda, you can drop off some of the things that you were focusing on before and I think a willingness to change has been the it’s been number one for me because there have been times where it’s man, you’re, I was.
Not lifting enough or not moving enough or eating too much or not tracking my calories close enough and just being willing, being accepting that the routine that you have might not be the right one, even, regardless of how used to it you are. Just that willingness to change I think is It’s been crucial.
And I think that, if people can accept that, that, something doesn’t work, just, try something else for a little while. Try a different path and see if you see the results. If you see results and it’s not killing you, then you know, maybe that’ll work. So that’s one thing that I think that you’ve written about that’s helped me.
Mike: it’s been good. Yeah, to that point with high intensity interval training, I was a bigger proponent of it years ago than I am now. At that time, there was research that was showing that it was possibly more. Promising than just being more difficult, just burning more calories in a shorter amount of time, that there may be some unique mechanisms whereby you will just lose fat faster with high intensity interval training than lower intensity cardio that are not simply explained by calorie expenditure.
And fast forward to today, and I think the weight of the evidence is clear that’s probably not true and that the primary. Is just you burn more calories and less time. But that depends on how you’re doing your high intensity interval training. Because of course you’re burning a lot of calories when you’re sprinting, not, you don’t have to be sprinting on the ground, of course, but let’s say you’re on a bike and you’re doing your sprints, but then you have your rest periods where you’re not burning many calories.
So if those sprints are too short and those rest periods are too long, the calorie expenditure may even out to, it may take a little bit more time, but or not, it may be like, Let’s say 15 minutes of high intensity interval training. And again, the sprints are short, the rest periods are long, or 15 minutes of lower, maybe moderate ish intensity.
Let’s give it, like a four out of 10, maybe a five out, a 10 out of 10 where you could, maybe we wouldn’t record a podcast while doing it, but we could be. Phone and we’re gonna be huffing and puffing and it, but we could still have a conversation about that level of intensity. The calorie expenditure may even out Where high intensity interval training will win out is if you are fit enough to have longer sprint periods.
Not longer than your rest periods per se, but longer, like maybe one to. Sprint to rest periods. And so now I’m actually I’m finishing up a it’s really a fourth edition of Bigger, Leaner, Stronger. And I’m also gonna be applying these changes to thinner, leaner, stronger. And in the cardio section I’m gonna, I explain some of this.
And so I’d say my current recommendation on cardio is, That it’s great to do, and I do recommend including it in your regimen, even if you are mostly just interested in getting bigger and stronger. It has health benefits, but it actually can help improve your performance and your strength training.
And I talk about why. And as for a. How to go about it. I recommend that you do most of your cardio. It can be high or intensity. It doesn’t have to just be walking, although walking is perfectly fine if you understand that it doesn’t burn that many calories. It burns more than most people think a few hundred an hour, but it’s not the same as hopping on a bike and.
Pedaling around for busting it. Yeah. Or even just at what I was saying, a five out of 10 you’re gonna burn quite a, you’re gonna burn those three to 400 calories in 30 minutes. So though, to make most of that cardio low or moderate intensity, and if you want to supplement that regimen with a little bit of high intensity, probably no more than an hour per week than you can, and there are some reasons to do that, and I’m gonna talk about that, but you.
Talk about things changing. My position has changed, whereas previously I was like, if you’re gonna do cardio, you might as well get, you might as well just get the most bang for the buck. And yeah, hit is difficult, but if you do something that is not high impact Bicycling, and you don’t have to even go outside to do that.
Not that going outside is bad, but it’s pretty convenient to just have an upright bike. You can hop on and do your sprints and and maybe 20 minutes a few times a week and you’re done. Again, I don’t think that was bad advice, but the advice that I’m sharing in these updated fourth editions I think is.
Better. And it’s just better for the crowd that I’m addressing. It’s better for people like you and like me, who we care about our body composition. We care about being healthy. But we don’t care if we can’t win the triathlon because, our sprint capacity just not there.
Todd: Yeah. To, to that point. Yeah. I think when I was early on and, 265 pounds I really, moving and doing anything would’ve helped. Just the fact that I was moving was a good thing. And as I’ve gotten leaner. It’s just that it the approach has, And I think that’s it’s been for the best and I think that, I’ve got more time to, to do other things now instead of just exercise all day, which is a good thing for sure.
Mike: It’s one of the big payoffs of maintenance, of getting to that point where you’re just happy with your physique and you’re happy with your health. And sure you want it to improve because nothing just stays exactly the same, right? Things are either getting better or worse, even if it’s in very small amounts that are not obvious in the day to day.
So yes, you want things to continue on an upward trajectory, but you are not as concerned with the steepness of that trajectory as you were a year or two ago. You.
Todd: Yeah. And I think that to the point you made on just having a different position on things. At first, I remember you in the first book you had mentioned, intermittent fasting, you weren’t really a proponent of it.
And then this latest book you’re more of a proponent of it. But, for not the same reasons as most people are. And I think I. As I’ve gotten older and moved along path, I’ve realized, I’ll try different things out just to, give it a whirl and see how I like it.
And intermittent fasting’s one of those things. It’s when it comes to managing a, a weekly calorie, maintenance schedule, intermittent fasting makes it a lot more manageable. You can kinda load it up at dinner time more than you, you would otherwise.
Mike: And that’s a great reason to do it. Some people, they just like to eat that way. They’re naturally not very hungry in the morning. They don’t really care to eat breakfast food. That doesn’t mean anything to them, and they like to eat fewer larger meals, especially if you like to eat your larger meals at night.
I’m the same way. I don’t follow any kind of intermittent fasting protocol because I do have a scoop of protein powder and I put a scoop of my green supplement in it and a scoop of my post workout. I just mix it all together, but I do eat very light. So that’s a very light breakfast, obviously. And then my lunch is a salad with some chicken, maybe some other stuff thrown in depending on if I want to add some variety, but it’s pretty light.
And then I’ll have another protein shake in the afternoon. So again, not too many calories, mostly protein with some vegetables. I’ll throw in some fruit here and there as little snacks. Cause I like to get in about two to three servings of fruit per day. But I prefer to have a bigger dinner and even after dinner, I like to eat some oatmeal with some nuts and some protein powder.
. I would be the kind of, yeah, I would be the kind of person who would like intermittent fasting if I cared to completely skip breakfast. But I don’t, I, I do prefer to have something usually around. Nine. And I guess before that I also, I drink I have a cappuccino that I makes, so I’m not gonna give up that.
I like my, I go outside, I read I drink my coffee. That alone is not worth it to me. to, to fall an intermittent fastened of it. . I
Todd: hear you. Yeah, I hear you. Gotta be careful with the caffeine though. That’s . If you’re like me, it’s, some people are like a, A pot of coffee day kind of guy, like I can really throw it down if I’m not careful,
Mike: yeah, I stick with four shots of espresso in the morning and that’s it. Sometimes I will have one scoop of caffeinated pulse that the stem stemmed pulse, so that would be an extra 1 75 before I go train. But usually, It’s usually just three to 400 milligrams, first thing in the morning, and that’s it.
Because unfortunately, I am a bit sensitive to it. If I have caffeine consistently in the afternoon, I can get away with it here and there, but if I do it two, three days in a row, it, it starts impacting my sleep, unfortunately.
Todd: Yep, same here. And then, you start supplementing with something to help you sleep and you’re like, Wait, what am I doing
Do I like caffeine that much? I could just stop drinking as much caffeine. Yeah. And that’s the other thing, supplementation I think a lot of your guidance is pretty good. It’s just listen, it’s, there’s no supplement out there that’s gonna completely change you. But there’s lots of great supplements out there that can certainly.
Enhance what you’re already doing, which I think is another good lesson. From a lot of the readings is that there’s some good stuff out there that, that’s proven to work. Protein being , first and foremost, one of the most important. Picking good protein and just, getting on a schedule and just monitoring everything.
Mike: Exactly. Yep. And that’s never gonna change. I’ll say if it ever does change, no, it just won’t. It won’t. Look at even. As far as body composition goes, the wonder supplement, Creatine. I don’t know if there’s ever gonna be another, maybe someday. I don’t know of anything on the horizon that shows promise to be the next creatine.
There are some things that seem to help. But in similar like bottom line results like beta alanine seems to help you gain muscle faster regardless of what it does in, in, in terms of improving your performance. Not mechanistically similar to creatine, but the results are similar in that it appears to just enhance muscle gain.
Again, separate to. Enhancing your workout performance, but the effects are not as significant as creatine. But you look at the effects of creatine, they’re completely insignificant. If you compare creatine to testosterone, , for example, and again, creatine right, is like the gold standard of body comp supplements.
And so supplements will always be supplementary by definition. That’s just not gonna. I wish there were otherwise, as somebody who has a soft company, but that’s just the reality and there’s no, no reason to pretend otherwise. Yeah,
Todd: to that point I was gonna say, yeah I tried some of your your proteins there is one that’s like a fruity cereal, and I’ll tell you, it does, it reminds you of like liquid fruit loops.
So I was like, this is. Really weird, like I did a double take on the ingredients. I was like, is this like liquid fruit for pretty pe
Mike: That one, Yeah, that one’s popular. A lot of people were surprised because we obviously use all natural ingredients and flavoring naturally. Is much more difficult and sweetening naturally is much more difficult.
And I was impressed with what they did with that, that’s become one of the few flavors that are in my rotation these days. I usually have three or four that I like to switch between and that’s one of them. Yep. That’s good stuff. It’s really good stuff. Awesome, man. Hey, this was this was a lot of fun.
I, I really appreciate you taking the time to do this and definitely keep me posted on your progress going forward. But it sounds like it sounds like you’ve reached that point and it sounds like you’ve reached it some time ago, but it’s always fun for me to see people. Reach that point where the lifestyle that I’m promoting is, and it’s not just me, obviously this is promoted by a lot of people but the fitness, lifestyle and a healthy, balanced fitness lifestyle is just something that you do now where somebody.
They get to that point where they’re like, I’ve done this enough. I have the habits established, and this is just what I do now. And you know that you can do that now for the rest of your life. And I’m guessing you’ve reached that point where you’ve decided you’re never going back to the way it was.
Todd: Yep. That’s 100% true. People always ask, getting to that point where, people stop you on the beach and they’re like, What in the world are you doing ? It’s And then they immediately ask for advice. And a lot of times I just, I throw out the Mike Matthews books, I just listen, you want a good place to start?
Try these books. Cause it’s a, it’s where I started and let me down. Pandora’s box and now I’ve I’ve just got this toolkit of, things that I follow and it’s just, it’s ever changing, but it is always the same at the same time. Yeah. It’s like
Mike: the core never changes, right?
Because it is, these we’re dealing with. First principles that don’t change, but it’s the trappings. It’s the window dressing. There are many different ways to set that stuff up, but you now know what simply is non-negotiable. Some of the things are negotiable, some of them are not.
Todd: Yep. And many thanks to you and For doing what you do. Cuz I think the voice that you have in your books and the the entertainment of reading the books, it’s funny here and there. I think that’s what kind of, got me interested and intrigued, to spend an entire flight reading chapter after chapter and kind of delving in and then doing my own research, so to there.
But yeah. Yeah, it’s definit. Definitely something I hope to maintain coming forward. Thank
Mike: you. Thank you. And I appreciate the support. And it is funny, a lot of people say the same thing and that it’s easy for them when they get asked for advice, they’re like, honestly just go check out this guy’s stuff and go check out his blog search.
Probably any question you have, you’re gonna find something on it. Whereas when I get asked questions, I feel like I can’t just say, Oh, just read my book as you would just, it would come off wrong. So it’s just funny that, I’ll get wrapped up in conversations probably more than you would because I don’t want to be rude and say, Yeah, whatever.
Just buy my book. Stop asking me questions. Not that I would say it that way, but that’s how it would come off, yeah,
Todd: you certainly could. And and they’d probably thank you for it.
Mike: Yeah. Yep. But, Anyway. Great job. Thanks again. Keep it up. Thanks so much, man. I hope you liked this episode.
I hope you found it helpful, and if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.
And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have. Ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share. Shoot me an email, mike muscle for life.com, muscle f or life.com and let me know what I could do better or just what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.
I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.