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When you really break it down, fitness is pretty simple. 

Want to gain muscle and get stronger? Lift heavy weights and make those weights heavier over time to keep making progress.

Want to lose weight? Eat fewer calories than you burn by eating less, moving more, or both.

However, dumbing it down to such simple tenets isn’t always helpful. 

For someone who’s very overweight, for example, blunt “eat less” advice isn’t necessarily the most motivating or even practical tip. Helping people requires a bit more nuance. And it often helps to hear from someone who has made it through that journey themselves rather than a trainer who’s never been a pound above ripped.

Enter Ethan Suplee, who has had one of the most impressive transformations I’ve seen. I’ve had him on my podcast before to talk about his journey from over 500 pounds to jacked with abs. 

In case you’re not familiar with Ethan, he’s a Hollywood actor who’s appeared in quite a few blockbuster movies and hit T.V. shows including Mallrats, Without a Paddle, American History X, Cold Mountain, Remember the Titans, My Name Is Earl, Chasing Amy, and many more. 

Not only has Ethan walked the walk in terms of losing a lot of weight and keeping it off, but he’s using his celebrity and story to help spread the word about proper nutrition and training through his Instagram account and podcast, American Glutton

In our discussion, we talk about . . .

  • Getting emotional eating under control
  • The merits of the motto “food is fuel”
  • The psychology of getting really lean and how to maintain weight loss
  • Being afraid to eat more after losing weight
  • Motivation to keep training once you reach your goals
  • And a lot more . . .

So, if you want to know what it’s really like to go from very overweight to lean, and what it takes to lose serious amounts of weight and keep it off, listen to this podcast! 

Timestamps:

0:00 – My fat-burners Phoenix and Forge are 25% off this week only! Go to buylegion.com and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% on any non-sale items or get double reward points!

6:10 – How is training 6 days a week going for you? 

6:57 – Have you added volume? 

11:30 – How do you make someone want to change on their own? 

16:35 – At what point did you decide to make a change and why?

22:42 – What was holding you back that stopped you from changing yourself? 

26:57 – Would you say you were emotionally eating? If so, how did you get that under control? 

23:52 – What had to change in order to live your life differently? 

32:45 – What are your thoughts on people who disagree with labeling food as “just fuel”? 

42:08 – Have you experienced any unique challenges? 

48:05 – Was there ever a period where you started to gain weight back? 

59:44 – What’s your motivation now? 

1:06:03 – Where can people find you and your work? 

Mentioned on the Show:

My fat-burners Phoenix and Forge are 25% off this week only! Go to buylegion.com and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% on any non-sale items or get double reward points!

Ethan Suplee’s Instagram

Ethan’s podcast American Glutton

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

Transcript:

Mike: Although many of us insist on making fitness complicated or believing that it is complicated when you boil it down, it really is pretty simple. If you want to gain muscle, if you want to gain strength, you have to lift heavy weights, and you have to make those weights heavier over time to keep.

Progressing. If you want to lose fat, you just have to eat fewer calories than you burn consistently. And if you want to retain muscle, you have to eat plenty of protein. And if you want to minimize your risk for disease and maximize your longevity, you want to eat a lot of nutritious food. And while those tenets are technically accurate, technically that is all it takes to get into great shape and get into great health and stay that way.

They are often not very practical because for many people, they’re easier said than done. Take someone who’s very overweight, for example, if you just tell them to eat less and move more. If they were to do it, you’re right. They probably will lose weight. If their calories in, go down enough and their calories out, go up enough, then they will create a calorie deficit and they will lose weight.

They will lose fat. Chances are though, they’re not gonna do it. If you have somebody who’s overweight who needs help and you just tell them, Hey, you just gotta eat less and move more, they’re not gonna find that very motivating. They’re not going to buy in. Follow through. And so the real trick to helping people get into better shape is often not just helping them understand abstract concepts, even ones that matter, like energy, balance, and progressive overload.

But ultimately it is helping them understand themselves, helping them believe in themselves, helping them overcome inertia. You know, just get into motion and start making progress. And it often helps for people to hear from someone who has been in their shoes, who knows what it’s like to be very overweight, for example, and who has gone from very overweight to very fit, as opposed to hearing only from people who have always been fit or who went from just normal to fit.

And that’s why I was excited to have my friend Ethan Sipple back on the show because he has made one of the most impressive transformations I’ve seen. Yet, in my 10 years now in the fitness racket, Ethan has gone from 500 pounds to jacked with abs. And in this episode he talks about various aspects of his journey, of his transformation and how he overcame some of the big obstacles like emotional eating and how he learned to go from a severely disordered relationship with food, to seeing it more as fuel and how that has helped him, uh, not only lose a lot of weight, but keep it off.

And he talks about the psychology of that, of getting lean and then maintaining weight loss, which for many people is actually harder than losing weight. Ethan also talks about finding motivat. After you’ve already achieved a major fitness goal and a whole lot more. And if you are not familiar with Ethan, by the way, he is a Hollywood actor who has appeared in quite a few movies and TV shows, including Mallrats Without a Paddle, American History, X Cold Mountain.

Remember the Titans? My name is Earl Chasing Amy and many, many more, and he also has his own podcast called American Glutton, which I’ve been on a couple of. Before we begin, if you want to speed up your metabolism, lose fat faster, reduce hunger and cravings, and save quite a bit of money, then you want to check out my Natural Fat Burners, Phoenix and Forge, which are on sale this week only [email protected], y legion.com.

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It’s real science. And you can learn about that science [email protected] And the reason these supplements are so effective is simple. Every ingredient is backed by peer-reviewed scientific research and is included at clinically effective levels, which are the amounts used in the studies that demonstrated benefits.

So if you wanna lose fat faster, and if you want to experience less hungering cravings when you’re cutting, without having to pump yourself full of harsh stimulants or. Harmful chemicals. And if you want to save 25% this week only though you want to try Phoenix and Forge today [email protected], ui legion.com, you will not be disappointed.

In fact, if you don’t absolutely love Phoenix and Forge, just let us know and we will give you a full refund on the spot. No forms, no return is even necessary. You really can’t lose. So go over to buy legion.com now. Order Phoenix and Forge, save 25% and see if they are for you. Ethan, happy What, what is it today?

It’s Thursday. My, my, uh, my days are messed up because I’m not on my normal training. Schedule, like I started this week squatting, and then that’s how I normally know what day of the week it is. Like, what did I train today? Oh, that’s right. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a Thursday . That’s 

Ethan: so weird. My training is skewed too.

I was doing five days a week almost all last year, and I moved it and I would like, my fifth day was legs and back, and then I was like, why am I taking two days off? I don’t need two days off. So now I have a proper six day p l schedule, but it has thrown me because I started and ended on a Saturday and then began the next week.

Anyway, my schedule’s totally screwed to the, the, that single day instead of double day off is, is 

Mike: tripping me. Uh, so six days a week. Interesting. And, and how is that going for you versus the five days? I haven’t done a six day in a, in a long time. 

Ethan: It’s good. I, you know, I struggle with my days off. I prefer, like, the best feeling I have every day is as I leave the gym and I feel like I can conquer the universe.

And, and, and so Saturday and Sunday I actually find my energy to be kind of lessened, whether it’s a little bit of fatigue and just not getting that excess energy that I get out of going to the gym. So I’ve just reduced that down to a day. It doesn’t seem to be harder now when I get deeper into this training block it, it could, it could be.

I don’t know. We’ll see. 

Mike: And, uh, have you adjusted. Your, have you just added volume or did you just take your previous volume that you were doing and then, uh, distribute it out differently so you could get in the gym six days? You know, cause I, the reason I ask is I, I’ll, I will get asked here and there more experienced weightlifters about training six days per week or seven days per week.

And I’ve generally told people I’d recommend at least one day of, of no weight lifting. Um, and if you’re gonna do six days, If, if you just take what you’re doing right now, five days are usually training five days a week on average. And if you just add another day on top of what you’re already doing, it might be too much.

Like we’d have to look at what you’re doing, particularly in, in volume. Um, and then what do you want to do on this sixth day? Because if you’re adding, uh, uh, let’s say it’s just even another six hard sets to your lower body that week that can catch up with you, um, and, and get in the way of recovery eventually.

Ethan: Yeah. So how it was, was a. My fifth day used to be a mixture. It would be like hamstrings and back, but neither one was worked as hard as the, the single day of back or legs. And so now I wouldn’t say it’s a whole other day, but it’s probably 50% more of like half a day. You know what I mean? Yeah. It balances out.

So I just split it up. I didn’t, I’m not doing, I, I, I’ve reduced one day and increased another. So it’s not quite a whole extra day. It is a whole extra day, literally. But it’s not quite an, an additional day, but it’s almost, it’s probably half a day, I think. 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. And so, With your, your training.

It’s been, I mean, for people who, who aren’t familiar with you and your transformation, they can, they can go into your, probably your Instagram would be a, a great place where you’ve posted a lot, uh, of pictures and you’ve talked a lot about it over the years. And, uh, it’s, it’s remarkable. It’s one of the, one of the best transformations I’ve seen in a long time.

And, and I, and I do occasionally. I mean, I hear from a lot of people and just to give credit to a lot of other people out there, I will hear every few months someone do something similar to, to what you’ve done. And, uh, something that I haven’t spoken or written that much about and, and I thought that you’d be a great person to come on the show and talk about it, is.

What, what it’s like, there’s the, the, the physical and the psychological dimensions of going from where you were at and your relationship with food and your lifestyle to where you’re at now. And, and the reason I I say that is because, um, often if, if someone is very overweight, if they’re gonna get advice from someone, even a, even an evidence-based fitness person, it’s gonna be very forthright, very blunt.

Like, well, you just eat too much. You need to eat, you need to eat less, you need to move more. Uh, or something along those lines. And yeah, yeah, that’s true. But that’s not helpful. It’s not, it’s like telling somebody who is very depressed that they should just cheer up and you just tell ’em every day they should just cheer up.

It doesn’t work. Right. , 

Ethan: it might eventually make them feel crappier. 

Mike: True. True. And, uh, so, uh, I wanted to bring you on the show for, for you to talk, uh, I mean, I really, you could probably, I, there are, are certainly, um, a fair amount of people who would fit that mold, who are in my orbit, who are probably listen, probably listening, um, talk to them in terms of what, what has been successful for you.

And, you know, I sent over a few little bullet points of things that I know are, um, at least, uh, issues that I’ve been asked about. And I’d love to hear your thoughts because you’ve, you’ve, you’ve gone through it firsthand. It’s one thing for me to offer, um, advice that maybe I’ve, I think has helped people or has helped people, but you’ve lived it.

And then also I, I think you talking about this will help give other people listening who are not in those shoes. Some perspective, uh, uh, either on how to help somebody like this, maybe who is in their life. Or, or just how to not be as, as judgey as, as they say, or at least to have some understanding what, what other people are going through and why it is, uh, not helpful.

It is not as easy as, oh, just eat less food. Yeah. In, in, even though in the end, yes, you do have to get to that point, but how do you get to that point? 

Ethan: No, I think this is very, uh, a very interest. Thing to, to dive into. And, and the first like analogy that pops to my mind is like the i, the, the, the ability to know and believe in something.

Hmm. Without understanding its practical applications or how to use it practically. So like, I believe that light travels, that’s 300 kilometers per second. That is a belief I hold. That has zero practical application to me today. I can’t use that information. So if I believe that eating less will make me lose weight, that doesn’t, that doesn’t automatically mean I know how to use that data.

Um, and then I, and I also think like there’s like this, this idea compounds with like belief in yourself in doing it. And so I really, I really think that, um, You gotta know, first off, that you can do something right? So that you are an able person. When I was first confronted with this, when I first had the idea on my own, I want to lose weight, I, I had no idea.

Like if somebody had sat me down and sat say, well, well how do you do this? I would’ve just said, I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know, right? And so I had no point of reference to go like, well I’m gonna clinging to this. I believe a guy who eats predominantly McDonald’s can lose weight eating predominantly McDonald’s if he reduces what he’s eating, right?

I think that’s true. Um, I don’t think that’s like a great strategy, but I think that’s true. And so if, if he has to figure out that he can stop eating his fries at halfway, or whatever it is, whatever strategy he’s gonna employ to lose weight, there’s like a first step. And you gotta, you gotta put that into application.

I today can get a lot of use out of like the toughen up, pull your bootstraps up, like Jocko willin ink, like just get up at 3:00 AM and crush yourself. Right? Like, this idea resonates with me today. It didn’t always, it wouldn’t have been useful to me before I made, uh, a lot of progress, right? When I didn’t believe in myself, when I didn’t care about myself, you know, prior to having the idea of wanting to change, I didn’t give a crap about myself.

And so if you’re, It becomes very tricky because I think a lot of people are looking for help for themselves, but then there’s a lot of people who are looking for help for their loved ones and, uh, suggestions on that. And then we get into a whole thing of like, how do you make somebody want to change on their own?

It’s a very, very difficult thing to do. I’ve had basically zero success doing that, but when a person does have that period where they go like, I need to change, I think concentrating on small stuff that’s easy to accomplish and then progressing is, is kind of the key of what allowed me to get from. You know, a person who couldn’t do anything in the area to, like, I, I don’t think you could give me a challenge today that I wouldn’t somehow figure out how to do if I wanted to do it.

You know what I mean? Like if you told me to climb Mount Everest, I have no desire to do that. I don’t particularly like heights, but like if I’m into it, I’ve, you know, ridden 200 miles on a bicycle in a day, and I’m a really big guy to be doing stuff like that because I wanted to, and I, and it took me a while to be able to do it, you know?

Does that make 

Mike: sense? Yeah, absolutely. You know, that that point of the, the process of change is something that I find interesting and, um, it’s, it’s applicable to body transformation, but it’s applicable to, uh, marketing, uh, business, I mean in, in many areas of life. Really, really where there’s any attempt at persuasion, right, at getting somebody to say yes.

And there’s, there’s, uh, a whole, it’s, I guess multiple steps. I mean, you have to get somebody’s attention. You have to get them to engage with you. You have to get them now to continue listening to what you have to say. They have to believe now what you’re saying. They have to come to a conclusion, then they have to make a decision, then they have to follow through, then they have to stick with it.

There’s so much that has to happen. It’s a lot. Some people, uh, it, it seems like no matter how skilled somebody is at, at walking people through that process, you, the other person there, you have to have that willingness and some people are not ready to make that change yet. Did you h how did that play out for you?

And, and then what was that point where you made a decision to change? Why? 

Ethan: So, for the majority of my life, I was, uh, put on diets that I did not want to be on, and these, I perceived as a punishment. So I think if I, like from a, from a more external point of view today, look back on it, I go like, oh, my grandparents loved me.

They were deeply concerned for me. My parents loved me. They were deeply concerned for me. They used the tools they had to hand to do what they thought was right. The way somebody does something and the way we perceive it. These are two separate things, I think, and I, I wouldn’t put the, um, onus of importance on either.

I think they are two distinctly separate things. I’m interpreting this as, as a punishment, I had zero interest. So for a long time I just kind of was rebelling against this effort that was put on me when I finally kind of, you know, I, I, I’ve also been addicted to drugs and so there was a, there was like, um, Not a, not a desire to die, but there was a real carelessness with my body.

And then I got involved with a girl and I kind of, for the very first time in my life, had this perception of the future that I’d never really had before. I kind of was living just day by day and not thinking long-term. And when I suddenly had to think long-term and go like, what do I want out of life for real?

Um, and now I have another person who’s involved and wrapped up with this goal. It became a whole different thing. It was like, oh, I, I have to change radically. I had no idea how to do it. And then there was, you know, years and years of really bad information out there that I was inundated with that were.

Solutions to this problem I’m now seeking to, to handle. And it was like, you know, your blood type and what you’re eating is the issue. And so that was a year of my life. And then it was carbohydrates and grains are the issue. And that was a big section of my life. And then it was lectins. And you know, I, I went through all these iterations of looking for a solution before I, before I, before I took that position and went this, I keep making it the responsibility of the food.

I keep putting the responsibility of my condition into the food and saying, it’s your fault, right? What am I doing? What, what are my actions and behaviors regarding food that. Continuing this problem. And when I really kind of changed my point of view and my perspective on it and started looking at some data of like, it really is at its most fundamental when you’re dealing with somebody of my size, just a matter of eating less.

It’s not even you need to go exercise at this point, it’s just that you’re eating too much. You know, I was 550 pounds. I could have, I did lose 80 pounds without leaving my house, like zero exercise, like walked to the bathroom, walked to the chair, walked to the bed. That was my exercise for two months and I lost 80 pounds.

And, and like, you know, if you’re 550 pounds, that’s perfectly fine, I think to, to like start 

Mike: that. That’s, that’s an easy fitness win, so 

Ethan: to speak. Right. Exactly. Yeah. Um, so it took me a long time to. Cipher through all this stuff, and, and like, I don’t, I don’t come today with animosity towards the people that don’t eat lectins, although lectins are in almost everything.

So I don’t think they’re really avoiding them completely. But, but I, I have some, uh, empathy with them and some desire for people to not have that as like, um, a presupposition before they act. You know, like, I think the action is within us. What are we gonna do? And, you know, refine it later. If you find that raw vegetables give you gas when you’re, well, you don’t eat raw vegetables.

Like there are quick fixes. But I think that when I, I fell into this trap, , you know, a bunch of different ones. But the easiest one is like carbohydrates. Like that carbohydrates were causing this inflammation in me that was causing me to gain weight and be hungry all the time. But the reality is, I wasn’t hungry all the time.

You know, I wasn’t hungry to the point of eating myself to sleep. Like, that’s not how that works. I do eat too fast. I still eat too fast and I’m losing weight. So those two things, you know what I mean, don’t quite balance out and I eat carbohydrates. Um, it was really getting data and looking at myself and my habits and, and how I interact with things and, and changing that.

It was more of like, well, I’m not. Eat while I watch TV anymore, I’m going to start thinking about what I eat and the portions and, and those are the things that made the biggest, most profound long-term 

Mike: effects. Speaking of, uh, of, of Jocko, well, like it’s that extreme ownership kind of mentality, right?

It’s interesting that, that you had said that once you started looking toward the future and then started obviously picturing yourself in something of a future and then, uh, decided to, it sounds. Uh, except at least a lot of the responsibility for your condition, that, that those changes in your beliefs, uh, then allowed you to make better conclusions, better decisions, and better, um, and then, and then take better actions.

But, but before those beliefs changed, it sounds like what you ended up doing it, it wouldn’t, it wouldn’t have been possible. You weren’t ready for that, so to speak, because of what was holding you back previously is 

Ethan: Yeah, I wasn’t ready for it. I w you know, had my mom, uh, come to me at 13 and said, you need two total ownership.

You need to be responsible. . Well, you know, that, that’s her thought. That’s not my thought. It took, it took a while for it to be my thought. For me to have that thought. Took a while. You said mostly responsibility. I, for me, I have to take total responsibility. I can’t, you know, I think of it in these terms.

If a car hits me and I break my leg, I am not saying that I’m responsible for the car having hit me. But now I can only, I can be responsible for the state that I’m in. What am I going to do with this broken leg? I have to figure out how to rehab the leg. I have to, I ca if I’m sitting and dwelling on it’s, that’s car’s fault.

What am I doing? I it, it’s my leg. How am I fixing my leg? So even if it’s the food’s fault, even if the US government is subsidizing foods in a really unethical way and pumping everything full of sugar and fat and carbs and making us fat, what? That doesn’t help me at all. I can’t do anything about that.

Yeah. We 

Mike: don’t have to. We don’t have to play the game. We don’t have to eat. Eat. Exactly. 

Ethan: It’s up to me at the end of the day until 

Mike: they’re showing up at your house, uh, 

Ethan: right. Holding you down and forcing with the fire hose. Uh, yeah. At that point then I go like, fuck, guys supposed this way? I go, come on guys.

Stop, stop doing this to me. But until that, like, that’s the cutoff. But until then, it’s all on me. A hundred percent. It’s on me. And this seems to be a very tricky point of view for people to take now because, because some 

Mike: people would say, oh, well now this gets into victim blaming. You can’t, you know, I have 

Ethan: no desire to blame victims.

I just think that the act of being a victim is going. Force you to continue to be a victim. Like the, the way out of being a victim for me has been what can I do about it? And when I’m thinking, what can I do about it? I’m no longer a victim. I’m responsible. I am now out there going like, what you’ve done to me doesn’t really matter because I own my future.

I own my present. I am going to make decisions that allow me to have the existence that I want. If I sit and, uh, dwell on what has been done to me by food, I don’t get anything done. So it’s just a not a productive headspace to, and I’ve been in that headspace, you know, I’ve sat and you know, you drive by McDonald’s or the one that really gets me, and it’s not even my favorite fast food, is Carl’s Jr.

Seems to like. Have the right blowers so it like hits my nose in a certain way as I’m driving by or walking by if I’m in. 

Mike: Not that I’m surprised, but Is that a thing? Do they have blowers that, that, I don’t know if it’s 

Ethan: intentional. Okay. But like I can go within a block or two of a Carl’s Jr. And I just get a blast of their Char Grill smell, and I go like, I need that.

Why are they doing this to me? You know? And, and I, I, I’ve, I’ve had that feeling like if they weren’t, if they weren’t advertising to me, if they weren’t blowing that delicious smell into my face, I would be much better off maybe. But that’s what they’re doing. So what can I. 

Mike: So previously, uh, you, you, I’m, I’m sure a lot of times though there, you would’ve, you would’ve pulled into the, into the drive-through these days.

Probably not so much if, if at all. Uh, depending on it’s probably a lot more regimented. Uh, uh, and I Is that, um, would you say, would you characterize it, uh, as what it, what it was as more of an emotional type of eating? Just just to use a, a phrase a lot of people are familiar with, and if so, how, how has that changed for you?

How have, how have you gotten that under control? Because if that’s something that you struggled with previously. Uh, a lot of people out to me who have this 

Ethan: issue. Yeah. It’s funny. I was talking to Lane Norton recently and he said, and we were talking about hunger cues and all of this, and he said, you know, people don’t, Eat themselves to 500 pounds because they’re hungry.

And I think he’s absolutely right. I was not hungry. I, there was a secondary effect of being overfilled that I had become accustomed to enjoying. So whatever, you know, biological processes happen, dopamine kicks from expanding my stomach to the max. I, I started to like that. And so it had nothing to do with hunger, it was for sure emotional, but it was comforting.

It was, um, which, which is 

Mike: an emo which is an emotion totally mean. 

Ethan: Yeah. Every day I could have this sense of wellbeing by eating myself. Basically one step away from sick is silly in my book. So, you know, , uh, not quite to the point where I had to give anything up. And then there would be days where I wished I had that.

Like, if I just ate a little bit more, would I be vomiting and then not gain so much weight. So there are all these, you know, chaotic, um, irrational thoughts happening. But yes, totally. Um, emotionally if I would get nervous, I would rather like go hide somewhere and eat and I would feel calmer and a sense of wellbeing.

Like those are the emotions I associate it with. But certainly anything. Really good that happened in my life would be celebrated with food. And anything really bad that happened in my life would be celebrated with food, which could be every day. 

Mike: And how has that changed for you? Did, and, and how have you, what, what has had to change inside you?

Like it, uh, it sounds like obviously you had to get used to not being so full all the time, but then you probably also had to work out other ways to navigate your life, so to speak, other ways to celebrate things, other ways to deal with stress or setbacks or. . 

Ethan: Yeah. And, and, and like looking for things to do with people that are not food-based, which becomes surprisingly difficult.

You know, we’re, we’re just kind of coming out of the, um, holidays. It’s, it’s a new year, but we just had that, and, and there’s like a, a whole gauntlet of, from like basically Thanksgiving and then it dies a little bit and then it comes up again towards the end of December. But from really from Christmas through New Year’s where it’s just like, People want to eat all the time and, and drink and drink and, and, and so sometimes I’m the party pooper because I’m not a participant in that anymore.

But like, I’m not gonna be the guy who’s only eating sliced Turkey breasts on Thanksgiving. I’m not that I’ve been that in my life. I’m not quite that anymore. Um, but like practicing, uh, temperance and, and, and looking at food and, and, and it’s this thing like I talked about, knowing that, um, you know, the speed of light versus having some practical application for it, knowing that food is an energy source for my body.

Um, and then putting that into practical application and, and learning it in a practical way and using it as an energy source. Which takes a lot of willpower, but it does get easier. I’m not saying it’s gone, you know, I’ve been doing this for years now, and it’s not gone. I still have to remind myself like, you know, uh, Carl’s Jr isn’t really food.

It’s a, it’s a good time. It’s entertainment, but it’s not like what I need from food. 

Mike: Yeah. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a treat, I guess. I mean that’s Sure, sure. That that’s, that’s how you know, if you want to have a treat meal, I don’t think you cheating doesn’t have to. Some people, they don’t like that terminology.

Okay, fine, let’s talk about treating then fine, whatever, semantics. But of course there’s, there is a place for that. Uh, and in it, it just needs to be, um, it needs to serve your, your, your goals and, and obviously you know that now. If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world.

You mentioned this point of seeing food more as, or, or maybe not exclusively as, but seeing food, at least understanding the dimension of it that is, is just fuel. Right? And that’s something also that I don’t know if you’ve seen, will get criticized, uh, because that’s pretty common among fit people, right?

Uh, food is just fuel and then, and then other people will say, well, no, it’s not just fuel. It also does provide, uh, enjoyment. And it also is usually involved in a, it’s part of a, of a social get together and it’s culture. And, um, there are, there are all these other dimensions to food. And so it is incorrect or, or almost like it is, it is wrong to just label it as fuel.

What are your thoughts on that? 

Well, 

Ethan: I don’t believe in right and wrong first of all, which is very tricky for a lot of people. My wife hates this about me, but I don’t think right and wrong are a true. Ways to gauge anything I think right and wrong are, 

Mike: I mean, is killing a baby wrong? Just grabbing somebody’s baby?

And for 

Ethan: me, absolutely 

Mike: for me, I think this is another discussion. Yes. I didn’t know. So you’re a committed moral relativist. 

Ethan: Really. I am a wholehearted moral relativist, interesting. Ruining through. And I just go like, food is whatever the hell you want it to be. Okay. For me, sometimes it’s just entertainment and it’s just a good time.

I am never going to eat popcorn at a movie theater because I need fuel. That’s just not, I, there would be another choice for me. I’d rather eat a bowl of white rice and some fish. Um, but I have to, for myself really, um, decide how much entertainment I. Deserve, or I need, or is good for me. So when people say all this stuff, it’s, it’s cultural, it’s this, it’s that.

It’s like, okay, for you, it’s those things. For a morbidly obese person who needs, um, very little reason to rationalize, overeating, maybe it shouldn’t be that. Maybe it, maybe they need a break from it being that, and they might find their path to whatever their goal is a little bit easier if they just considered it fuel for a little bit, you know, and then they could go back to the cultural aspect and the, you know, whatever.

You know, I also get into, Sometimes thinking about like, why do we have any kind of a reaction to eating food? Like what is happening physiologically when we eat sugar? Right. And, and our, and our drive, you know, they do all these tests, like you can fill your stomach on protein and then you see a chocolate cake and your stomach will make room for it.

It’s not gonna make room for more chicken breasts, but it will make room for the chocolate. Like, what is that? Well, that’s about like some weird. Historical situation where carbohydrates were super rare and we were meant to eat all of them when we came across them, we were not meant to leave a berry bush with any berries on it.

We were either carrying them off or stuffing our faces with them. And we just haven’t caught up to that, uh, physically to the present where like every 7-Eleven could kill us if we just ate in that fashion. You, you know, so I like, I don’t think, I don’t think it’s wrong to, to make it whatever you gotta make it, like, whatever your goal is, that’s your goal and whatever you gotta make it to achieve that goal.

That’s what you gotta do. Yeah, 

Mike: I can appreciate that. Uh, I, I also am of the same mindset. I’m very pragmatic about it. Food doesn’t mean much to me, but that’s just because that’s a, it’s just a, a useful, uh, lens to view it through for, for my lifestyle. Yeah. Uh, I enjoy food like anybody else, like you. I’m not the guy who just eats the plate of, uh, the leanest Turkey breast.

I can find, you know, I talk about eating until sick. Uh, I’ve, I’ve gotten close. I, I stopped because it just, it’s actually too painful. But, but quite a few Thanksgivings in a row, I would eat until I actually couldn’t move. I’d just be lying on the couch sweating. But it was, again, the last time I was like, okay, this is too much.

This is unnecessary . I don’t need to eat eight plates of food. You know what I mean? Yeah. Uh, but, but I’ll enjoy. And, and then at the same time though, and, and I can appreciate what you said, it, it’s, it’s, it’s being able to change that lens, okay. Entertainment mode and going to eat good food, and I’m not even gonna think about the calories.

I don’t care. Think about the macros. I’m gonna eat what I want. Um, uh, and then, but that’s, that’s the minority that, that lens comes out. It’s also, yes, sometimes, but most of the time I use the fuel nutrition and, and I do though, for what it’s worth, I do try to make my nutritious food taste good. I don’t, uh, I don’t just eat, you know, uh, boiled spinach and, and and, uh, what’s the tilapia, you know, the, and, and unseasoned.

Tilapia. Right, right. Um, still try to make it taste good, but, but to your point, that is, for me, it’s just useful to be able to change those lense. 

Ethan: Yeah. And, and, and again, I think that this is like the problem with when I was, um, introduced to the four Hour Body and through my lens, the four Hour Body.

They’re that diet that was in Ferris’s book, which is probably a great diet for somebody that wants to lose a pound or two or whatever. But when he talks about a cheat day, you know that I’m not, I, when I encountered that, I wasn’t looking at it through these lenses that we’re talking about. It was just like, well, cheat day means I get to really damage myself.

And this was always to the detriment of the entire week. All the hard work was ruined in a single day. And so after a long time of seeing like, I’m not pro making any progress on this, I’m, I moved it down to a cheap meal and I could still like, Really destroy a lot of you put it away. Yeah. 

Mike: So especially if you add some alcohol, you can gain a fair amount of fat.

I mean, it’s not gonna be pounds, 

Ethan: but Right. But you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re screwing up your weak if you’re doing that. And so, like, I just think in, in those terms, it’s like, you know, people should think about that or, or maybe not should think about that, but if, if they’re, if they’re having issues getting to their goals and they’re following these things and not thinking about that, it’s just a, another like, useful thing to think about maybe.

Mike: Yeah. Cheat days are, uh, something that, um, for, I mean, really since the beginning I’ve, I’ve never recommended for this reason. If we want to take individual meals, of course that’s totally fine, especially in the context of understanding energy balance and understanding that, um, not every excess calorie is stored is fat, but, To your point, if, if you eat 5,000 calories at dinner, That’s not, that’s not gonna be conducive to your weight loss goal, regardless of how well you do on the other days.

And, and I’ve, I’ve said many times that to this point of weekdays and weekends, and those are often, um, you know, I mean, in the more extreme, it’s basically starve yourself throughout the week so you can gorge on the weekends. And that, that’s, that’s very unproductive. And the more you can make your weekends look like your weekdays, the easier it is to improve your body composition, to maintain your body composition.

And of course, that does not mean that you can’t have some treats and, uh, have some entertainment. You, you can, you can pull out that lens for sure. Um, but, and, and many people, um, they, they chime in when I. Share that little snippet on social media because they’ve just learned it through experience, like you’re saying that Yeah, it’s just easier if you don’t have the cheat days and you just have your, your meal plan that could have as much variety as you want.

You don’t have to weigh in, track everything, but that you don’t deviate too much from it generally you, that that’s, that’s basically where you’re at. And you sometimes you eat a bit more, sometimes you eat a bit less, sometimes you’re eating a bit, uh, some different foods. And so it sounds like that that’s a, that’s also a lesson that you’ve learned.

Ethan: Oh yeah, totally. No, no, I, it’s, it’s getting on a routine and then I happen to be, uh, have a job that takes me out of town a lot and, and I’ll find myself. Really getting put into tricky positions. Like now you’re in Mexico City for three months and uh, none of the hotels have kitchens like in, in your room.

And, and so I’ve got like, you know, a hot plate and a small refrigerator, , I’m running to the store. Now. You have to get creative. Yeah. It becomes very difficult. And I still make it work over the course of three months, but I’m also not beating myself up when it’s like, I gotta eat the food that they’re preparing for me.

Even though, you know, lawyers have had long conversations with them about my macros. They’re not maybe making it right every day. And I’m not gonna, I, you know, I just have to go like, okay, this isn’t gonna kill 

Mike: me. So let’s, uh, that, that, that’s a good segue to what I wanted to ask you next about, which is, The maintenance side of things.

And, and by that i I, I don’t mean trying to keep your body composition exactly the same. We’re always trying to improve it at least a little bit in some way, even if it’s just gaining another 15 grams of muscle somewhere on our body. Right. And and have you experienced any kind of unique challenges that, so you’ve lost a lot of the weight now you have, uh, this, this physique that sounds like you probably never had.

This is you’re in the best shape of your life and, um, and, and a lot of people on the outside looking in, they may not realize that it, it’s not as easy necessarily to maintain it as it looks. How, how has that been for you? 

Ethan: You know, there, it, it, it’s, it’s, it’s so, there’s so much to talk about here too, because I think that maintenance is the, the single most magical thing that I’ve ever come across for.

The idea of diet and, and weight loss, because I think if you implement it in the midst of dieting down towards a goal, you’re training yourself basically on what life is gonna be like when you’re off your diet or what, you know, if, if you’re, if you’re plan is to maintain the weight loss, this is, this is your practice at that, basically.

So it’s super valuable in that way. I, I happen to have gone. I have visible abs today. However, I had much deeper lines in my abs when I did like a prep week at the end of a cut and, and that meant quitting salt. And the day before, taking photographs, not drinking a lot of water, and then carving upright like the day of.

So all of this happened, and then that day I was. How do I maintain this? Right. That, 

Mike: oh, so yeah. So you experience that’s the, the curse of being shredded. Yes. That’s what that’s called, dude. And anything but that 

Ethan: is fat. Right, exactly. And, and this really screwed, which must have like 

Mike: messed with your head cause you’re like, I used to weigh 550 pounds.

What am I actually, how do these thoughts make 

Ethan: any sense, ? Totally, totally. It didn’t, it none of it’s rational. But I’m going like, no, I want every abdominal vein to remain visible forever now. And that’s not, and 

Mike: I wanna look at it like fif, I wanna 15 times a day. I just wanna, I just wanna remind myself.

Yeah. I have ab that’s right. I have ab veins 

Ethan: rub my fingers over them, you know, feel ’em through my shirt and stuff like that. And that’s not really in the cards for me. It’s just not in the cards for me. And so, 

Mike: well to be fair, it’s not in the cards for, I would say, The vast majority of guys and gals who are not on drugs.

Right. To stay, to stay that lean and not feel like complete shit is essentially impossible. Yeah. And, and that 

Ethan: day I felt like complete shit. And then, oh, you looked great. Oh, thank you very much. And then I had like, uh, you know, I think I even just had, um, my, uh, regular cutting calories that day, the day of my photo shoot, but I added salt back and gained nine pounds.

Yep. And was just like, this is, this is not fair. This is not okay at all. Um, I can’t not eat salt forever cuz I need some salt and I get lightheaded and have actually like, really low blood pressure if I don’t eat salt. Um, Anyway, it, it was a real thing to wrap my mind around that. Um, that’s like something I get to for a very short period of time, and I gotta just be happy with my, just, just visible abs, you know,

Mike: Yep. And I’ve, uh, I, I’ve gone through that. Uh, I know exactly what you’re talking about. Uh, I’ve, I’ve done a few photo shoots and got, you know, photo shoot, not stage lean, but photo shoot had veins pretty lean. Right. And, uh, I tried to maintain it for a bit and I did, but I noticed, and this is when I was, the last time I was that lean, well, I mean, I’m, I’m within striking distance of that, but what I learned is, I can, I can maintain, um, like where I’m at right now, maybe four to six weeks of dieting from, from that point and, and that I can be comfortable at.

But the, the cost wasn’t worth it. Low energy. My sleep was, was disrupted. Lower sex drive. I just didn’t feel, I just didn’t feel that great. I didn’t feel terrible because again, the last time I was that lean, I was in my late twenties and now I’m in my late thirties. So it’s a little bit different. Um, but you know, it’s something that I also just had to.

You ha I felt like I had to override my feelings with just acceptance of reality, you know? Yeah. . 

Ethan: Yeah, no, I mean, you know, there’s that, there’s all these balances. It’s like, if I’m 550 pounds, what is the quality of my life? If I’m 8% body fat, what is the quality of my life? I found the quality of my life to be not great at 8% or 9%, but at 12 or 13% I’m doing cartwheels.

Like I have all the energy in the world. I have actually more cardio ability at 12% body fat. And like I kind of had to just go like, I can, you can still see my abs. Like it’s not the end of the 

Mike: world, you know? Yep. On. Only we notice the little differences. Yeah. You know, where we look in the mirror. Even when you’re that lean and you just look a little bit even better or you look a little bit worse and nobody else would actually see it.

There’s, 

Ethan: they seem so profound. Those little differences. so profound. Cuz there’s not a vein anywhere in sight in my abs. Now , 

Mike: how do you, how do you, how do you even get outta bed, man? 

Ethan: I know. That’s how I feel. Some days. Some days it’s a Jess getting out of bed in order to find those. 

Mike: Uh, were, were there any struggles?

Uh, so, so you’ve lost all the weight and then now you’re transitioning into maintenance. Was there ever a period of where you started to gain weight back or did you run into any issues? I know some people, they’ll run into issues where, um, after losing a lot of weight, they’re afraid to start eating more food.

Even, even if they understand energy balance and they understand that it’s time. That they can, they should be able to eat more or they should eat more. Uh, did, did you run into any of those things or any other interesting, just challenges that you had to deal with to get to where you’re at now? Well, 

Ethan: even on maintenance, I, you know, I find that I sweat a lot.

So I eat a lot of salt. If somehow it’s up one day I can retain water. And so it’s weird. So maintenance, there’s always a little bit of a fluctuation there and it’s always ticked up a little bit and then kind of balanced from whatever my cut was doing. And I try to give myself a five pound window. Um, But I’m also 260 pounds.

So five pounds is not the same as like when I talked to my wife and she’s 130 pounds and five pounds for her would be way too much. Um, but I did do a, a bulk and trying to put on muscle and I, I really was not for me because it wasn’t, um, I never did like you can just eat whatever you want. Bulk. Yeah.

But it was like a lot more food and actually gaining weight and 

Mike: noticeable weight. And it sounds like nutritious food as well. You’re not 

Ethan: just Totally, no, it was an increase in, it was actually, the only thing that didn’t increase was protein, but it was just more fat and carbs. But it was all like rice or olive oil or avocados.

These were, these are like my main sources of those things or you know, holy wheat pasta or something like that. Or even bread. But it was not Carls Jr. Yeah. Um, it was not Pizza Hut. Um. and I gained weight and I just, you know, kind of went like, I don’t know that I need to try to put on muscle any more rapidly than I can.

When you talk about 15 grams, I go like, I gotta be okay with that. You know, whatever I can put on during maintenance, whatever I can preserve when I’m cutting. Yeah. And try to spend more time in maintenance and being okay with that. You know, I, if, if I’m being completely fair or frank, um, uh, there’s a little sicko in me that actually prefers cutting.

You know, I, I want, I want to know that the number’s going down , I want to feel some kind of a struggle and that makes me feel like I’m doing something positive for myself. And so maintenance is really many layers of, of working on like, it’s okay to not be working towards a lower number. It’s okay to be hanging out here and cutting yourself some slack.

It’s okay to eat the amount of food that you’re allowed to 

Mike: eat. I, I totally understand. I, I, if I leaned in one direction versus the other, it would be toward cutting too. It’s always nice. Like we even were just saying, it’s, it’s always nice to be a little bit leaner. Yeah. Have a little bit more vascularity.

And I haven’t done a, a lean bulk in, in years and I, the last one I did, it was productive, but. For me, I was okay with, with gaining some weight and gaining some fat, because you can just get rid of it. That’s fine. But it was simply the amount of food I, by, certainly by the end, it was just force feeding myself every day.

You know, I, I, I got up to, I wanna say about 4,000 calories a day. And like you were saying, I mean, I was eating no fast food. I wasn’t drinking, you know, half of those calories. I was eating pasta. That was my second dinner. So there was that. I was having pasta every day, , but I remember I was, I mean, I had to force myself to get that second dinner down.

And the, the, the feeling of being over full all of the time, that’s something I never came to enjoy. Even in the car with the seatbelt, I’m just like, ugh, I just felt gross, basically. . Yeah. It, and that was it. That was like, okay, this is not for me. I, I don’t need to, to, to your point, I mean, I’m happy with my body comp.

I’m happy with, um, Well, I have to be happy with the amount of muscle I have because genetically speaking, this is it. I I could gain a small amount here and there over the course of the next few years probably. But whether I lean bulk or not, it, it’s, it’s facing the, uh, the, the, the cold facts of, okay, I’m gonna do this for, to make it productive four to six months.

Anything less than that is just probably not even worth it at this point after I’ve been, same thing for you. After you lift weights for a long time, you have to commit to it for some time. And then, um, I’m gonna feel that way and I am just gonna get fatter, which isn’t particularly enjoyable, even if I don’t, even if I don’t dramatize it and don’t make it into a big thing, I don’t like it.

Um, and. And then I, and then I have to follow it up with a cut. And that’s probably a couple of months to get back to where I like to be and what have I gotten for that very there. I’m not gonna see any difference. I’m gonna go through that whole process. It could be eight, nine months if I did a good job.

Especially if I could, if I could drag that lean bulk out and I’m gonna look in the mirror, I could take before and after pictures and be like, nothing changed. Yeah. And, and if I did that six times and then I look very specifically and I, let’s say I really specialized in my training, so I’m like, all right, um, here are the exact body parts that, that I want to improve.

I’m gonna do 20 to 25 hard sets per week of those. I’m gonna bring everything else down and, and then I go through several phases of that. After two years, maybe I’ll look at those pictures and. Oh yeah. I think my shoulders are a little bit bigger. I think so. , right? It’s like, why? 

Ethan: Yeah. I have, I can’t, I’m not, I’m not, no.

I, you know, I had a moment where I was like, yeah, I’m gonna get giant. And then it was like, no, I’m not, what am I gonna do? I’m gonna be 60 years old, still trying to get bigger. I just want to, I just wanna have a happy life, you know? 

Mike: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s part of, uh, that, that’s just part of the journey, so to speak.

And, and, and these are, these are common experiences that, that everybody has. Um, and, and I, I’ve often said, what, what you basically said about maintenances, once you can get to, to that, that’s the real payoff. Once you can get to the point where you’re like, I’m happy with how my body looks, I feel good, I feel confident.

I enjoy my workouts, I enjoy my, my diet. I eat foods I like, I don’t feel like I’m eating more than I want to eat, or less than I want to eat. That is, uh, that, that’s really, I think what, what the majority of people are going to enjoy the most once they get there and they look back on the whole process and they realize that this is something that they can sustain now for their, for the rest of their life.

Ethan: The other issue that I had, um, cuz that is the whole game in for me. Yep. Every time I made the decision to start a new diet, it was always just with the idea that I, I want, I need and want to lose weight. It wasn’t ever thinking really much beyond that. It was just, that was as far as if I just lose weight, everything will be fine.

That will fix this issue. I never, no, you know, maintenance on maintenance after H C G or one of those crazy diets is a joke. You know, you, you 

Mike: there, I mean, there is no maintenance component to to, to that diet or many other diets. No. They kind of, it’s, it’s starvation and then you’re out on your own. 

Ethan: Yeah.

Please don’t eat the way you were before maybe. Yeah. Yeah. But, you know, I 

Mike: remember. Or, or actually maybe please do. So then you come back and buy more H C G and do it again . Sure. 

Ethan: Yeah. There was a diet book I read, which I don’t remember what, what it was. I. It might have been fit for life, but it was one of those books where it just had a page that just said over and over again, do not overeat.

Do not overeat, do not overeat. And it’s like, well what does that mean? I don’t know what that means. Right. You know, and then I, I sometimes think about that Christian gal who had the church where it was like, you don’t get to eat until God makes you hungry. Do you know about this gal? No. No. Wild. I mean, a ton of people lost weight doing this.

Um, but it’s just like , is that what, is that what it takes? Or is you know, a little bit of understanding of what my body can eat in a day and not gain weight is super helpful to me. Cuz now I know what it means. Overeat because the minute I eat more than this, I’m overeating. Right? Um, but I, I never had that on those diets and I never had that as a goal until I kind of got fed up with dieting and was like, wait a second, I’m doing something wrong.

Well, my goal has never been, I want a life without, uh, you know, doing a strict diet. I want a life without desperately needing massive weight loss anymore. And so how do I get to that point? And, and it was really kind of looking and thinking about maintenance and going, oh, maintenance, that’s just, The other word for that is like, living life and not gaining weight 

Mike: basically, unless you want to.

Right. I mean, sure. And, and for, for like, like you said, many people, especially, uh, many women that, that I hear from or that I have heard from over the years who have gone through their own transformation and they get, they, they get down to a body comp they’re happy with. Um, and, but they’ve never tried a lean bulk before and it just sounds kind of fun.

They eat a bit more food and. Women, uh, in my experience, um, they, especially if they, if they get pretty lean, they’re like, well, hey, if I, if I gain some fat, my boobs are gonna get bigger. My butt’s gonna get bigger. It’s not, uh, it’s, it’s not like it all just goes straight to my stomach or, or you know, the, the part that I, that I hate the most.

And, uh, so, so that can be fun, uh, just for women in particular to try. Many guys who are into weightlifting have, have at least tried the, the, you gotta eat big to get big. And, and so they, they know what that’s like. Uh, but, but to your point, yeah, that, that once you get to that, that, um, that place where you don’t feel like you have to make any more dramatic changes, then I, I think that it takes on fitness takes on a new dimension.

What about the motivation to keep training though? Because a lot of people, that messes with them a little bit because previously they were very goal oriented and they were making steady progress toward that goal. That’s very motivating. Then they reached that goal and they understand they have to make a new goal, but, but kind of just staying the same, uh, that doesn’t sound very exciting.

Doing the same kind of workouts that they’ve always been doing. That doesn’t sound very exciting. And I’ll get asked this like, so, you know, cause I’m pretty consistent with my training. What, what’s your motivation now when, when you didn’t have that, that scale going down, down, down, down. Well, 

Ethan: yes, and so my motivation now is like the idea of the next.

Cut I do and prep and, you know, have pictures taken. I want to get a little bit leaner than I was the last time, and I wanna, uh, retain a little bit more muscle or have built a little bit of muscle, like whatever that is. So there’s that idea of improvement. And then there’s also just that, like, I feel better after the gym.

It is the single best feeling I have all day. It’s not, it’s not my coffee, it’s not after a meal. It’s, it’s the minutes after the gym or the, the hours after the gym where, Nothing can touch me. Where if I was having a shit day, a crap day, sorry. If I was having a terrible day, 

Mike: I, I, I swear now and then it’s a okay, maybe it’s not gonna have the explicit label, but it’s Right, right, 

Ethan: right.

Yeah. Yeah. We didn’t, we didn’t hit any of the real taboo ones. True. Um, true. But like, I, I just feel better. Um, when I, uh, when I go and, and have like a few days of work that don’t allow me to get to the gym, I start to feel not great. I start to get a little bit more irritable. So it’s just now more than anything, quality of life.

And if, if I can hit the gym first thing in the morning, I just have a better day. Um, I wish I enjoyed playing pickleball cuz my friends play pickleball and I know they get that out of playing pickleball and plus they’re playing a game which they enjoy. I, I like lifting weights. I just, this is what I’ve found that I like to do.

I like, I like progressive overload. I like week one where it’s like I’m keeping a little bit in the tank, and I like week six where it’s like I’m real close to failure every time. Like I enjoy that. It’s fun. It’s a fun game for me. And so that’s my biggest motivation 

Mike: now. Uh, that’s, uh, that, that’s, that’s very similar to, to my answer.

And, and again, the, the, the answer that I hear from many people is they find something about their training that they like. Often, something that I recommend to people is to make sure that you allow yourself to find training that you like, because, um, it, it’s if, if you don’t really like what you’re doing and now you’re not gaining a bunch of muscle and strength or losing a bunch of fat like you were previously, that’s, that makes it real easy to get stuck into a rut.

So, uh, many people, what, what got them to that point of maintenance? Uh, maybe, maybe is, is wasn’t the most interesting. Maybe there wasn’t much in the way of variety. There weren’t many moving parts. It was pretty simple, pretty straightforward, but it worked. Uh, now though, it’s just going through the motions and I’ve been there.

I’m sure you’ve been there. And just like what you’re saying, something that has helped for me is to have a system. Not that it has to be complex, but that it is complex enough or that it is, there’s enough, um, enough there to make it a game that I can, I like, I like trying to, to beat my numbers, right? So like to beat my one rep maxes on the bigger exercises.

And so in my programming every four months I’m doing, uh, some am as many reps as. Tests on those big exercises, which is kind of like, okay, what did these last four months get me? And if I’m five pounds up on my squat, I’m super happy. That’s actually pretty good for where I’m at. And the fact that I’m not lean gaining and I’m staying fairly lean.

And so, uh, to, to anyone listening, I I, I just highly recommend that, especially when you get to that point where you’re like, this is basically the physique that, that I have. Not much is gonna change from here is don’t be afraid to try other types of programs. Maybe if you’ve done a lot of body building stuff, don’t be afraid to try some power lifting, even if it sounds fun to you or vice versa.

If you’ve done a lot of, uh, just barbell banging weights and some body building sounds fun or seems interesting, go ahead and try it and, and find something that, uh, like, like you’re saying, Ethan, that. That you enjoy, you’re not gonna enjoy every workout. Yeah. You’re always gonna enjoy having worked out, but that you generally enjoy, you generally look forward to.

Ethan: Yeah. I, I don’t, I don’t look forward to legs. I don’t, I just don’t look forward to it. And then it’s probably the best I feel, you know, those two days a week after legs. But it’s my least favorite thing to do going into it. Um, 

Mike: and it doesn’t change, right? I mean, it’s just every time you’re like, every, every time, I don’t wanna do this, but I’m gonna do it because I know I’m gonna like that.

I did it . Yeah. 

Ethan: I, I’m, I’m personally fearful of power lifting because I had some injuries and I’m scared of really heavy weights, but I, I. Also trying to increase my cardio this year cuz there was a, there was a point in time where I, um, in one of my iterations of weight loss was, you know, doing competitive rowing on an ERG and like actually competing with people and like doing, uh, fairly well for seniors heavyweight.

Um, and I, I got on an UR recently and like was just shot in five minutes and so I was like, oh, I, I know I can get good at this, so what, what are the metrics gonna be if I work at this every week and watch my progress? That’s gonna be a fun thing to do. So like, yeah, building those games I think is super, I.

Mike: Totally. Yeah, I think that’s great advice. And, um, I’m sure we can keep going on and on and on, but I want to, I wanna be respectful of your time and I have somebody coming soon, so I have to get ready for, uh, the, it’s a TV thing, but they want to, they’re sending a crew out to my house. It’s like, you know, we don’t, we could just do it over the internet, but then sis so I’m like, okay, I guess we’re doing that then.

But they wanna 

Ethan: light 

Mike: you and everything else. Yeah, I guess. Um, but, but no, this was a, a great interview. I really enjoyed it. And why don’t we wrap up with where people can find you, find your work. Let’s, of course, tell them about your podcast. Yeah. 

Ethan: American Glutton Podcast available where podcasts are available.

And you can find me on Instagram at Ethan. 

Mike: and any any exciting movies, uh, movies that are coming out soon that people should look for. Yeah. 

Ethan: Um, dog. A movie called Dog with Channing Tatum. That’s in February. Is 

Mike: that the one that you, you were all tatted up for? You looked 

Ethan: like a, that’ll be later this year.

That’s called, um, God Is a Bullet. Okay. But those will both be out this year. Um, and both should be pretty. Cool. 

Mike: Yeah, I’ll, I’ll will check them out. I don’t, I don’t, uh, make too much time for, the problem, for me is if, if I watch tv, if I watch a movie, watch anything at night, there’s a fair chance it’s gonna mess with my sleep.

Right. Unfortunately. And so, even if it’s just 30 or 45 minutes, if I don’t take that time to just let my brain shut down, uh, I’m, I’m gonna probably wake up several times at night. I don’t have a problem falling asleep. It’s staying asleep. So, uh, I was like, well, I guess, uh, I guess I’m no longer, uh, much of a TV or movie watcher, but That’s okay.

Ethan: Yeah. And then, but there’s always a good like Saturday afternoon. 

Mike: Exactly. There, there are times, but it’s just, you know, sure. Not, not, they’re only like little windows maybe on the weekends, but, um, but no, I’ll make a note of that and, uh, I’ll, I’ll check it out. Yeah. Perfect. Thank you, dude. Yeah. Thanks again for coming on.

Well, 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, uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, mike muscle for life.com, muscle f o r life.com, and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, 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.

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