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In this podcast, I interview Jay, who read Bigger Leaner Stronger and used what he learned in my books and podcasts to turn his life around both physically and mentally. Not only has Jay lost over 50 pounds so far while getting stronger every week, but his mental health has radically improved. 

Jay is the perfect example of how getting in shape and taking control of your health can dramatically boost your mood and mindset. Before finding my work, Jay battled post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression, and even tried to take his own life. 

Luckily, he failed, and started to take baby steps towards improving his physical health, which dramatically affected his mental health. As Jay puts it in the interview, he doesn’t know if he’d be here if it wasn’t for using what he learned in Bigger Leaner Stronger to start nourishing his body with nutritious food and getting active with resistance training and cardio.

Since then, Jay decided to sign up for my VIP coaching program and in this interview, Jay and I chat about his story, and the obstacles he’s navigated along the way, including how he eased into fitness with walks and bodyweight movements, how he overcame gym intimidation, how he stopped coping with alcohol, why he decided to sign up for coaching, how fitness has affected his mental state, and a lot more. 

So if you’re looking for a jolt of inspiration and like motivational stories, definitely listen to this episode.


0:00 – Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching:

7:32 – Where were you with your fitness before you found Legion and where are you now?

50:02 – How was your experience going through the program twice?

57:37 – How has your mental health improved? 

1:09:37 – How do you differentiate if your body is warming up, rusty, or sore?

1:24:14 – Is there anything you would like to add?

Mentioned on the show: 

Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching

Bigger Leaner Stronger

The Shredded Chef

Muscle For Life

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


Mike: Hello and welcome to Muscle for Life. I’m your host, Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today to listen to an interview I did with Jay Shaw. And Jay read my book, bigger, leaner, stronger, and he used what he learned in that book and a few other books of mine and my podcasts to turn his life around really physically and mentally because not only has Jay now lost over 50 pounds while gaining a ton of strength, getting stronger every week, it’s fun to be new, right?

His mental health has also radically changed and radically improved. In fact, I think Jay is just a, a perfect example of how getting in shape. And just taking control of your health and taking control of your body composition can dramatically improve your mood and improve your mindset and encourage you to take control of many other things in your life.

Because before finding my work, Jay battled post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, even tried to take his own life. Fortunately, that didn’t work. And he then started to take baby steps toward improving his physical health, which then spilled over to his mental health. And as Jay explains in this interview, he really doesn’t know if he would be here if it wasn’t for using what he learned in bigger Lean or Stronger to start training his body and nourishing his body with nutritious food and getting active using his body.

Then Jay decided to sign up for my v i P coaching program, and in this interview Jay and I talk about his story, the obstacles that he has navigated along the way before and after coaching. Uh, so on. Bigger, leaner, stronger, and then. Working with one of my coaches, Jay talks about how he eased into fitness with walks and body weight movements, which I love.

Great tips. Uh, that’s exactly what I recommend in my newest book, muscle For Life, for example, which is intended for, particularly for the 40 plus crowd and for people who are brand new to all of this stuff and who are not in good shape or, or maybe in very bad shape right now. Walking Body Weight Training.

Great place to start. Jay talks about overcoming gym intimidation, how he stopped using alcohol to cope with his problems and more. But first, how would you like to know a little secret that will help you get into the best shape of your life? Here it is. The business model for my v I p coaching service sucks.

Boom, mic drop. And what in the fiddly frack am I talking about? Well, while most coaching businesses try to keep their clients around for as long as possible. I take a different approach. You see, my team and I, we don’t just help you build your best body ever. I mean, we do that. We figure out your calories and macros, and we create custom diet and training plans based on your goals and your circumstances.

And we make adjustments depending on how your body responds, and we help you ingrain the right eating and exercise habits so you can develop a healthy and a sustainable relationship with food and training. And more. But then there’s the kicker because once you are thrilled with your results, we ask you to fire us seriously.

You’ve heard the phrase give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Well, that summarizes how my one-on-one coaching service works, and that’s why it doesn’t make nearly as much coin as it could. But I’m okay with that because my mission is not to just help you gain muscle and lose fat.

It’s to give you the tools and to give you the know-how that you need to forge ahead in your fitness without me. So dig this when you sign up for my coaching, we don’t just take you by the hand and walk you through the entire process of building a body you can be proud of. We also teach you the all important whys behind the hows the key principles and the key techniques you need to understand to become your own coach.

And the best part, it only takes 90 days. So instead of going it alone this year, why not try something different? Head over to Muscle For Life. Do show slash vip that is Muscle, f o r and schedule your free consultation. Call now and let’s see if my one-on-one coaching service is right for you.

Hey, Jay, thanks for taking the time to come and chat with me. 

Jay: Thank you for having me, Mike. It’s a pleasure being here. Yeah, yeah. Where do you live, by the way? Um, I’m in a town called Gilford Surry, which is about 30 miles south of London, about half an hour on the train. It’s very, um, it’s very green. It’s a small place.

Um, quite an affluent area. It’s like being in London, but not 

Mike: nice. Yeah, I’ve never been to England. I’ve been all around Europe, but for whatever reason, I just, I never, never made it over, across, uh, across the channel. My wife is from Germany, so again, I’ve been to Europe many times, and I feel like every time I would go, we’d end up going other places and then we would say, all right, let’s, let’s go do England on the next trip.

But then on the next trip we would end up just, Uh, so one of, one of these days, maybe I don’t, I don’t know how the restrictions are right now, maybe when, when I can have fun, at least my 

Jay: requirements. I think in the last couple of years, England’s been anything but fun. And in fact, even two years before the pandemic, uh, with all the, uh, all the shenanigans were Brexit, it’s just been, uh, everyone’s been in, in quite an angry and miserable mood.

Uh, I think things are starting to improve now, but next time you do, make your way over to Journey, it’s worth having a couple of days stop over and, uh, in, in, in London and just go and see the sites just to take it off and say you’ve done it. 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. Go to the museums and yeah, it’s, I mean, I enjoy doing in most places I’ve, I’ve traveled to for the first couple of days.

Uh, there’s always touristy things that at least I like to do that. Yeah. Uh, just because, you know, like walking around and seeing the sights, I mean, it literally is just looking at the rocks and eating the food, but it’s fun for a few days, you know what I mean? Absolutely, 

Jay: absolutely. Just to say you’ve done it.

Um, and the good thing about London is you can get around on foot. I know it’s a big city, but it’s better done on foot and there’s a lot to see and, and take in, uh, lots of places go off the beaten track as well. Uh, don’t have to look far to find somewhere that’s not too touristy, um, and get great places to eat.

So, um, yeah, I think you’d enjoy it. Cool. 

Mike: Cool. Well, um, it’s, uh, it’s, it’s on the list. It’ll, it’ll happen maybe, I don’t know about this year, maybe next year. Again, I haven’t, I haven’t, I’ve just been so busy. I haven’t even been paying attention to where Europe and where the UK is at with, with Covid restrictions and so forth.

I’ve just seen some headlines that things are generally loosening, but I don’t know what that really means on the ground, you know what I mean? We’ve got, 

Jay: um, open door policy now, and I think it was about a few weeks ago. Uh, we travel restrictions from people going in and outta the country. Cool. 

Mike: Well, uh, let’s shift gears and let’s talk about your fitness.

And where I like to, to start these discussions is why don’t you just give us a quick overview of kinda like a before and after snapshot where you’re at now Yeah. Versus where you were at maybe before finding me and my work. And feel free to, uh, share whatever dimensions of where you’re at mean the most to you.

Maybe it’s body comp stuff or maybe it’s a combination of body comp plus other lifestyle, health benefits, whatever. Okay. 

Jay: So, um, this is the second time I, I’ve come back to you and your work. Um, um, we’ll probably talk about the first time just because, um, I think it’ll, um, paint a better story in terms of why I’m here now.

Uh, but I, I think it’s about three or four years ago, I’d suffer in a number of calamities, uh, which it results in various mental disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, um, but quite suicidal. Um, didn’t take good care of myself. Um, stepped into some really bad habits, uh, drank too much, ate completely nut of garbage, didn’t move around.

Um, I was in the back of a couple of really nasty car accidents. Um, so that took me some time to mentally recover. And the physical recovery wasn’t as bad. It didn’t take that long. It was the mental scars. But what had happened was over the course of a couple of years, I’ve just completely let myself go, um, and fell into some terrible habits.

Um, and as a result, I, I think I gained a good three stone, which. Originally I was, I was quite a slender person at six two and quite fit and active. Uh, I saw a face of myself at Christmas dinner, uh, in 2018. And this is the one that really prompted me to, to sort do something about it. I, I’m staring at the camera.

I’ve been caught off guard and both my cheeks are full. I look like I know a beast. JAL has been caught red-handed. Um, I decided to to start the new year office. Most people do with some, with some health goals. Um, did a bit of reading research, um, about you started to, to read, um, read your blogs and, and, and your website, so to listen to some of your podcasts.

Ordered a bunch of stuff from your website. Um, I think I’ve got some triumph, pulse, forge, phoenix, anything I’m get my hands on without incurring too much of a hit on duty. Um, and then started following, uh, uh, your, your program from b l s loosely. But what I found was, um, I didn’t, without someone sort of beating me, I wasn’t really sort of following it to the t uh, and I don’t think my nutrition was that great.

So I hire a personal trader who he was pretty good, but, um, most, most personal traders are, they’re not, they’re kind of in there for themselves. Um, and got myself into reasonable shape in 2019. Um, that’s about probably 14% body fat. Considering I was a beast only three or four months before quite a turnaround and.

Things were going great. I had a plan in mind in terms of the sort of body I wanted to get to. Uh, 2019, met a girl, got a job which involved a lot of travel, lots of hope hotels, fancy pants, restaurants, and for, you know, I’m back into, into crummy habits and eating out all the time, drinking too much entertaining.

Um, um, and then the pandemic, uh, which meant I was sat on my ass for a good, a year and a half indoors. Felt very depressed. Uh, really bad habits. Ordering food straight to my door, pretty much put into my mouth. Too much drink. Um, and gradually the say, little bit shortly, the weight side to supply lot, and it came to the head last summer.

Where I, I had a really bad bout of depression brought on by some extreme pressures at work. I think with the pandemic and people working from home, uh, the boundaries between working life are, there were no more, there was no commute to bookend, uh, at the start and the end of the working day. And the company I was working for at the time was multinational.

So even during normal, uh, during, you know, this normal world, people going into the office, there would’ve been a lot of demand on my time. But when you were at home, it was kind of expected constantly on call, 24 hours a day, very high pressure. It’s all about sales numbers. I didn’t really cope very well with that given the fact that I was not coping at all by being indoors, um, and being isolated from friends and family.

And it got to the point where I. At one point, I, uh, in the middle of the night got up, put my clothes on, and took a walk to the river with full intention of not coming back. Um, obviously I’m, I’m still here. I didn’t, I didn’t, uh, take that final swim, but it was enough to, to scare me, uh, the fact that I couldn’t suffer into this position.

So I made some big changes. I quit my job, took some time out, um, went back up to see my parents. They lived them in the countryside. Uh, get away from it all. Uh, dusted off my cough copy of b l s whilst I was there, and again, extremely overweight. I was, I was of east, I was 104 hundred five kilos. Uh, outta breath, just getting up, out outta bed, brushing my teeth was an effort.

So I, I listened to, uh, I listened to the small things that, you know, despite how out control the world around you might be, there are some things that you can’t control of. And, and, and two things you can start with. Can have a profound effect on the way you feel, um, is what you put into your body and how much you move.

And just with those two small changes, uh, I started to, I cut out all the crap. I started to eat nutritious food. Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, whole food, and started to move. And I started off slowly, um, just by going out for long walks. Um, so you built myself up to do the couch to 5k and there was one constant throughout it, which was what prompted me to reach out to you as, um, I listened to one of your podcasts every time I went out a walk.

And every time I went home, I reread a chap with b s. And I think that thing is so well thumbed now. Uh, it’s probably, it’s no good to anybody now, but, um, I got to the point where by the end of the year, I think after about six weeks of just watching what I ate, uh, making sure I got some steps in every day, some of it low intensity through walking and some of it high intensity, some interval training.

Um, I managed to drop about 30 pounds or so, then joined the gym in December, started following the bls five days split, um, slowly to begin with. Cause I was a bit nervous, um, in terms of how my body would respond. Uh, and thankfully it responded really well. I mean, there is such a thing as muscle memory, thank the gods of gains for that because it really, my body, it’s nice to actually experience, right?

Absolutely. It just soaked it all up and it just wanted more and I wanted more as well. Cause I can see the changes and every 

Mike: day. And you know what’s cool, just to interject quickly is Sure. Re research suggests that those adaptations are likely permanent, meaning that you do the work once. Now I, in an ideal world, we would more or less maintain what we want to maintain indefinitely, right?

Uhhuh. But, but life, life can get in the way. The world can get in the way. And so what research suggests is you do the work once and you always have that capacity for the accelerated regaining of muscle, even if the time off. I mean, it could be years off and then you come back to it. Yeah. Uh, it’s not entirely clear, but I would say that that’s where the research seems to be pointing.

And so it’s just another nice, uh, kind of fringe benefit to, to doing this, just knowing that there is a, a permanent payoff. Yeah. If, if things get in the way and you have to get back to it, it, it will always be, it appears that it will always be, Easier and more rewarding. Yeah. The second, third, fourth, whatever time than it was the first time.

Jay: It’s like seeing an old friend again. Nothing’s changed, you know, and you just pick up where you left off. And it’s, it’s very comforting as well, knowing that you, you will, you’ll see progress relatively quickly, as long as you sort of stick to the plan and, and take care of about, take care of, uh, what you eat.

Yep. So, follows your basics. Principles, nutritious foods, stick to whole foods. Um, try and do a better cardio per week every week. And, and I found, I never thought I’d ever call myself a runner, but I’d really embraced it. I mean, I hate it to be fair, but what I have found is that it’s great for clearing the mind, getting away from my desk, from my laptop for half an hour, smashing out a quick 5k, come back and everything’s very different.

And I feel like I’ve, I’ve, you know, I’ve done something worthwhile as well. So sticking to the principle of doing a bit of pin entity cardio, maybe a bit of light, light cardio if ici it, but progressive overlay, just constantly going in and trying to beat the person I was last week. It’s me versus me every time I go into the gym.

Um, and I’ve noticed that I’ve got stronger week on week. I feel fitter, I feel healthier. My mind is clearer. I’m sleeping like an absolute baby. I haven’t sw let this wa well in, in years. I can’t remember the last time I put my head down and woke up eight and a half hours later, maybe with one bathroom break, but eight and a half hours later being refreshed and ready to face the day.

Um, and yeah, so 

Mike: I’m jealous. I’m jealous after having my second kid. Uh, I’m just a, I’m just a lighter sleeper now than I was when I was younger. You know, I’m, I’m guaranteed to wake up at least once or twice. Have 

Jay: you adapted to that? I mean, do you. 

Mike: Yeah, I, I just have to spend more time in bed now to get enough, you know?

Yeah. The, the, the glory days were, when I was 26, 27, there, there was actually like a five year stretch where I would, uh, I would go to bed probably 1130, and I would be working most, at least most weeknights, um, up really until I’m getting ready for bed, right? Mm-hmm. So that’s a computer screen that’s mentally, you know, usually I’m writing or doing something that requires thinking.

It’s not just roly processing information or something. Yeah. Like clicking buttons, you know what I mean? And, uh, go to bed, fall asleep, you know, five minutes, blackout unconscious for six and a half, maybe seven hours. Wake up before my alarm and that’s it. And, uh, yeah, rarely have any other experience. Now I’m gonna wake up.

I probably gonna have to pee at least once or twice. And then, and then if it seems to be what I’ve isolated is, um, it seems to be related to stress, but it, it wasn’t obvious to me because, It’s, I don’t feel stressed out, but what I, what I notice is if my aggravation levels generally are just too high, Uhhuh Yeah.

It messes with my sleep. And so that is in connection with, it’s always in connection, almost always with work stuff. Yeah. And so that’s just made it clear to me that there are things that I need to, for as well as the businesses are, are doing, there are some things I need to, to change about how the businesses are working.

And my role in some of ’em, I’m, I’m in the weeds a bit too much with certain things. And so, sure. Some we have to make some, some key hires and, uh, I suspect on the other end of that, then again, aggravation levels will be lower and sleep gets better. And when I was younger, there wasn’t, there weren’t as many moving parts.

Everything was smaller and everything was new. And um, you know, I think I have a pretty high pain tolerance in general, but you can only take so much. But anyway, I don’t wanna hijack the conversation. No, 

Jay: no, no. That’s cool. That’s completely fine. I mean, I, I think, um, I’m wondering, your podcast, I think you mentioned that you try and seek in the odd power now wherever you can, if you can, 

Mike: yeah.

Yeah. I just, you know, it’s these days, I’m, it, it has gotten even harder to do that because I’m, I’m in a, uh, a rental property. I’m building a house. Mm-hmm. But it’s gonna be a, a year and a half from now until we’re in it, and this rental house is, I don’t know, the square footage. It’s not very big, but it’s made out of like cardboard and tile, so, sure.

And I’m exaggerating, but the, the, the acoustics for, for echoing are really good uhhuh in this house. Right. And I have two kids. So really the only way to make that work is if I have a window where no one is going to be here for 30 to 45 minutes. But then that also has to jive with my schedule and what do I have to do for the day, you know?

So, uh, it, it, it, I would say I, I, I don’t get the nap in more often than I do. Mm-hmm. But for, for people listening, napping is a great strategy for. Uh, improving your, your health and your wellbeing. Um, when you are not sleeping maybe as well as you would like to or getting as much sleep as you’d like to.

Ideally we would have Jay, your experience, uh, we, we would all sleep like that. But in the, in the cases where that, that is not possible or it just doesn’t happen a nap, even if it’s just 30 or 45 minutes, it can make a big difference if you can just fall into light sleep for what might actually only be 15 to 25 minutes of actual light sleep.

Um, that that can, can take you from feeling lethargic to fresh enough to carry on the rest of the day. 

Jay: I don’t think I’ve had the need to take a power nap, uh, in in recent weeks. Yeah. Yeah. Which is, 

Mike: which is great. I mean, that’s, that’s, that’s where you wanna be. 

Jay: That could easily change though. One bad day at the office and who knows.

Um, or if I miss a workout, um, but I have such to cut back up, but I’ve drastically cut back in the amount of caffeine I drink as well. I probably have about two coffees a day. I start the day off with a long black coffee and I might have one early afternoon. Um, and then that’s it. Um, I was drinking vodka.

I was probably using it as a, as a crutch as well, and I was really strung out, which conversed even more strung out. But anyway, we are where we’re, so, uh, where was I? So Ignite brought me up into, they brought me to, so, so you’re, 

Mike: you’re back in the gym and now you’re making progress again. And That’s right.

You’re cardio in and you’re sleeping better. 

Jay: I, I’m seeing some great results in the gym. Um, the weight keeps dropping off, and I think it’s in January where I felt compelled to reach out to you. Cause I, I felt like, you know, I, I owed you some thanks for, for, you know, sort of being there for support in the, when you didn’t know each other at all.

Uh, but listen to your voice and listen to the people you’re speaking to. Some weird and wonderful people with some very backgrounds and, and, and wonderful stories to tell and some great wisdom as well. Really, really helped. So, yeah, I got in touch with you. Uh, you responded, which is fantastic. And at this point I’m really into the, I’m, I’m, I’m part of, you know, I’m in the ecosystem.

I’ve got BBLs, I’ve just downloaded the muscle license that came out, uh, bought a copy of the Shredded, she, I’m buying lesion, uh, products, uh, supplements whenever I can, um, shipping and that, you know, it’s all a bit crazy at the moment. We we’re shipping. 

Mike: Um, well we’re, we’re working on that by the way. What we should be able to get up this year.

Um, assuming I, I suppose that supply chains don’t get significantly worse. Like if they just stay, everything’s messed up. Yeah. If this stays about this messed up for the rest of the year, it does look like we can get Amazon UK set up and then use that as a hub also for fulfilling website orders. That, that does look positive currently.

Jay: That, that’s fantastic. I just ordered a bunch of stuff and it might turn up next week or it might turn up next one. I know, I know, but it’s the order in there. Um, and I’ll be a kid on Christmas Eve as it rocks up. Um, but yeah, so I thought, right. Um, I might as well go all in, um, really see how far I can take this and nuke it from orbit.

It’s the only way to be Sure. So let’s, let’s go with the elite coaching. Um, uh, I’ve heard you little, yeah. Heard you talk about it and at the beginning of, uh, some of your podcasts, Um, I’ve seen it been mentioned on, on your site. I thought, why not? Uh, in the past I wouldn’t have thought twice about, uh, spending, I don’t know, x amount of money on a new laptop, which wouldn’t, you know, in the few months would be out today.

What, what, what’s the difference in spending? Investing a little bit of money on my, on my health and wellbeing that’s gonna set me up. Um, and, you know, I’ll take lessons away from this coaching. It’s gonna set me up for life. Um, that knowledge is not gonna disappear the day I kiss goodbye to, to, to Ryan, my coach.

I’ll carry that forward. So, yeah, that’s where I am at the moment. I, I’m now at the point last, I, I had a way in last Saturday. I think I’d done some passive cardio. Hadn’t had a great deal to eat on the Friday, just because I wasn’t that active, so I didn’t feel that hungry. Um, and I was at 79 kilos so that, so officially 51 pounds lost, uh, which felt like a great round number.

Um, and I’m now starting to see, I’m seeing definition on my shoulders. My arms, slight hints of abdominals. Not quite there yet, but, uh, my winnings say I’m 18%. The calibers I, I, I bought on Ryan’s advice. Uh, put me at 14. Say I’m somewhere in the middle. I think, you know, next three months I’m gonna follow the meal plan to a tea.

I mean, today, I’m, I’ve been, I’m very anal about weighing my food. If I’m giving instructions, I will follow them. Um, I’m a 1,913 calories is my allowance for the day. I’m bang on the calorie, bang on the macros. So, uh, I’m, I’m really enjoying this pro. I like. I like science, I like process, and this is what it brings to my life.

Uh, something that I felt had been lacking over the last couple of years. So this kind of gives me, you know, an element of control. And 

Mike: it’s a, it’s a great exercise for, uh, being able to eat well, let’s say intuitively off of a plan or maybe not off of a plan, but where okay, you’re not gonna weigh things anymore.

So that can work well for maintenance, for example, and you’ll probably move to that at some point where naturally, um, You’re gonna be familiar enough with the foods that you like to eat, where you just know what portions should look like. And yeah, you also know that, alright, if you accidentally overeat for a couple of days, it’s not a big deal, then you could just eat a bit less for a couple of days.

Or not just it exactly. You know, it, you’ve, you’ve experienced firsthand what it takes to, to really gain a lot of weight to it. You know, you really have to eat a lot of food for a long time and Yes. Do very little movement. So you know firsthand that you don’t have to worry about, oh, you ate a couple hundred calories more than you wanted to one day think 

Jay: no big deal.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s, it’s, it’s nothing. It really isn’t. Um, and as you say, You can just make up for it by, and no, I don’t wanna get into the whole sort of t book accounting and debit credit of, of calories where you think, okay, I’m gonna earn those calories and by binging today, I’m gonna binge today and then earn it by start.

Mike: Yeah. Or like purge. Yeah. Right. Yeah, exactly. 

Jay: That’s, that’s, that’s battle. But like you say, it’s, I’m not going to. Self emulate in, you know, in the front garden in front of all the neighbors just because I had, uh, uh, an extra ounce of chicken rest or some extra, uh, beans or whatever, you know, or, uh, I doubled up on the protein bars, um, cause I felt I needed to.

Um, there are days when I feel quite hungry, but that’s probably, they normally coincide on the, on the days where I’ve lifted quite heavy. Yep. And I’ve tried to hit a p, hit a BB on 5k. Yep. Uh, and I’ve just been busy as well, so, you know, my active calories throughout the day. Are a lot higher. Yep. Um, and I’m not going to starve myself just for the sake of an extra couple of a hundred calories.

If I feel like I could eat a bit, I need a bit more chicken on my plate. I’ll, I’ll do it. Um, it’s not gonna do any harm. It’ll do me good. Um, but what I like about the meal planner is that you got, uh, uh, a lesion that are, they, they listen to you. They don’t just, um, hit you with something. And I’ve seen meal plans that people you can download off the internet.

Um, I’ve used a couple as well from the, from friends who’ve given me so called trainers, and you can tell their copy and paste jobs. And you know, they are because they’ve, um, they’ve got stuff in there that you’ve told me you can’t eat. You know, like, um, okay. That’s, that’s, that’s great. Thanks for putting in the time and effort.

But your guys, they, it’s almost like a, a, an interview process. They get to know you and they want to know what makes you tick. What, what do you like, what do you wake up and look forward to in the morning? And what are you kind of crave in the afternoon? What do you like to sit down on for a long day or a heavy session in the gym?

Um, where do you like to buy from? I mean, they take it to the next level. You know, where’s the supermarket near you? They try to make it easy so you don’t have to go out your way to get something. Um, And then they just sort of give you a first draft. It’s not a pH complete when it ends up in your inbox.

It’s what do you think? Does this work? Give us some feedback. Uh, and they seem to thrive on it. Uh, and there’s a couple of iterations of it, but you know, what they sent to you is about 95% there. Cause it was like, wow, you read my mind. This is like what my ideal day would be. Uh, this is how I like to start my day.

This is the kind of stuff I crave at lunchtime and this is what I want Brit stack and it’s my ideal dinner. And I, I, I guess it kind of made it easy for them as well. When I, when I spoke to, is it Cody who, who uh, sort on the sort of discovery call. Yep. Um, he sort of laughed and I said, um, To me, I like chicken breasts.

Um, I could eat it all the time. I love broccoli. I love brown rice. I love tilapia. Uh, I love green beans and asparagus, and it’s like, well, the meal planners are gonna have a field day. They’re gonna love for you. You’re not one of those fussy eater chaps. If anything, they’re gonna struggle to think of something that’s going to be creative because I am quite vanilla.

Um, I’m quite happy. I mean, that’s all. I’ve eaten this for the last three months. It’s chicken, breast, broccoli, brown rice, asparagus. I love asparagus. Can’t get enough of that stuff. Um, the odd protein bar, a good isolate. Uh, oats, yogurt, eggs. Yeah. It’s all the stuff that any, uh, a good diet should have. 

Mike: And I’m, I’m very much the same way.

I mean, I, I can eat the same stop been doing it. I’ve been eating the same stuff essentially every day for, it’s, it’s been years now. I make little changes here and there. Um, eventually I get tired of, uh, the vegetable slop dinner the way I was making it. Yeah. And so I changed the sauces and now I’m probably onto the next vegetable slot for two years, and I like it every day.

So I think, um, it’s, it’s worth saying that, you know, there are, there are things that are worth maximizing and there are worth, and there are things that are that, that are worth satisfying. Right. And there’s a big difference there where when you’re maximizing, you’re trying to find the best possible. And, um, that mindset is, is useful if we’re talking about maybe.

Who you should marry. Um, now I think absolutes are unattainable, but that mindset makes sense. It’s probably not smart to have a satisfier, like good enough whatever kind of mindset. If we’re talking about who do I marry, who do I go into business with? Uh, yes. What, what should my career be? Right? Yeah.

Where do I live? You know? Right. Yeah. But with something like food, I’m very much a satisfier where so long as I reach good enough and good enough means, and, and like you, we and everyone listening probably are most people listening. We do have actually a fairly high standard. Good enough means we have to enjoy every meal, uh, every day.

And maybe there’s the occasional. Time where we don’t enjoy that food as much as another time, just like there are the occasional workouts that aren’t that great, we always feel great afterward, but going through them sometimes feels like, uh, a bit of a bear and that’s fine. But generally speaking, the standard is we should eat the foods that we like every meal, every day.

We should be looking forward to our meals and we should feel satisfied after every meal. And so long as I hit that, I don’t care to try to find out how much more satisfaction could I get. Some people are more into it. I’m just not like, that’s enough for me. And yeah, once, once I’m consistently below that standard, once the vegetables slop, I really am not looking forward to it anymore, and I’m just forcing myself to eat it.

Okay, now it’s time to change something about it to bring it back up. Uh, but I, I, I don’t care to try to explore the boundaries of. Of how much satisfaction can I possibly get from food while hitting my calories and macros? It just, it just doesn’t. If I had a personal chef, then I would be more interested in it.

I would make it his project. I just don’t have, I don’t have the time to want to give to that, you know what I mean? 

Jay: Yeah, yeah. Just give my, gimme the list of the sort of macro hit you eat to, 

Mike: and here, here are all the foods. I mean, I like to eat pretty much anything, so, so wow. Me, you know what I mean? Yeah, sure.

Jay: But that, that, this leads me why I, um, I think you’re doing yourself a bit of a disservice. Cause Australian chef, it is an amazing cookbook. It really is. Um, a girlfriend, she’s a fussy eater, uh, and she’s made a bunch of stuff from there already. Um, this. Full of flavor takes what, you know, I’m never gonna get 40 chicken.

It’s a very versatile meat. Yeah. Uh, for what you get. The bang for buck in terms of, uh, calories versus protein is perfect. It’s almost perfect. 

Mike: Um, and you, and you could prepare it in so many different ways. 

Jay: Exactly. Right. And I can’t wait for the summer to kick in because I’ll be out outdoors grilling, um, most of the time are eating outdoors.

Um, but the shredded chef, uh, shows that you can just take some pretty humble ingredients. Um, and so them a very nutritious meal, so are packed full of flavor for very little effort as well. Those, the other thing really surprised me, there’s so many cookbooks in there that, and so the methodology, you, you need to give up half a day and probably shop in some very exotic re um, uh, supermarkets, uh, to get what you 

Mike: need and have a bunch of stuff left over that.

Unless you’re gonna make that meal multiple times, you’re like, all right, what do I do now with half of these leftover ingredients? Exactly. I mean, 

Jay: I think the Muscle Australia share great cookbook. I’m, I’ve. I haven’t used a cook, but as often as I have used yours, I mean, I, I’ve got too many cook. I love cooking, but I probably in the past, you, you pick out a couple of recipes outta this book, you probably 30 quid for, and then it’s on the shelf along with the rest, but it’s yours.

It’s constantly being picked up. Uh, my girlfriend uses it to, to prep her lunch, so she makes, we’re big fans of the, the muscle equals uh, yeah, 

Mike: that was, we really love those. Eh, I like the meatloaf a lot too. That was a fun, that was a fun project to work on. See, but I worked with a professional chef. I had to, I had parameters and had to explain, here are the types of recipes that we need, and it’s exactly what you’re saying.

Like, we need, we need to have a lot of protein, uh, in a lot of them. We need the carbs and, and. Uh, the ideal, a lot of the ideal recipes are going to include some protein. They’re going to be maybe moderate in carbs and lower in fat. Now, we don’t have to go low fat. We don’t wanna sacrifice all flavor, but that, that is going to be ideal.

I know for most of the people like us who, um, are wanting to eat a, a relatively, uh, higher carb diet for our training, and of course we need to eat enough protein, we need to make it tasty. And this point of ingredients, I wanted to make sure that, um, it does that. None of the recipes require too many ingredients or cooking ability because that there are.

A lot of cookbooks that are for people who are good at cooking. And if you are not good at cooking, you’re gonna struggle. You’re gonna spend a lot of time, maybe spend a fair amount of money and then end up with something that isn’t even that good. That’s annoying. 

Jay: Exactly. That’s, that’s the, everything that’s so good about Tricia, it’s accessible.

Uh, as you say, um, you don’t need a, have a lot of cooking experience. Um, and I love the fact the first couple of chapters is its the basics of cooking. You know, how to sharpen a night and stuff like that there. So any, any dance could pick it up. Uh, I never have, uh, cooked a single dish board egg before, but, but I haven’t read the first couple of chapters.

You kind of primed in. You’re able to, to work your way through it. Um, So, yeah, fantastic. Uh, fantastic. A bunch of recipes. Very accessible. Um, it’s my go-to. It really is. Um, 

Mike: and I love the fact I need, I need to do a follow up. I, I want to, I just, there’s so many things that I want to do. If I didn’t have to sleep, my life would be more exciting.

Hey, there, if you are hearing this, you are still listening, which is awesome. Thank you. And if you are enjoying this podcast, or if you just like my podcast in general and you are getting at least something out of it, would you mind sharing it with a friend or a loved one, or a not so loved one even who might want to learn something new?

Word of mouth helps really bigly in growing the show. So if you think of someone who might like this episode or another one, please do tell them about it. 

Jay: But you always seem to have various drafts of various books on the 

Mike: go. I know. So I have, um, I have new fourth editions coming. All of my work is done on these projects, um, for bigger leaners, stronger and thinner.

Leaners Stronger, which basically were rewrites overhauls. The fundamentals are not changing, of course. Yeah. But, uh, the, the organization has changed. I think it’s more user friendly, um, especially for people who want to get into action as soon as possible. Wanna start like doing this stuff as quickly as they can.

Yeah. And um, so that’s coming. Let’s say BLS will be out, at least the digitals in the next month or two. And then hard copies, the order will be placed in the next month or two. But lead times are, are absurd. Right now it’s like three or four month lead times. So it’ll take that long to get the new books out.

And then the Women’s book, thinly Stronger Digitals will be probably out in the next two to three months. And that’s, that’s when I’ll be able to place hard copies. And then I’m also working on, uh, a book that it’s going to be a, a devotional is the idea. So, so take, um, daily Stoic is a good example of, right.

So these books where you read one, uh, essay per day is kind of the idea. Yeah. Right. For a year. Um, but do it for fitness and do it, uh, I would say, My way and my, and so like half of the essays are going to be educational. Half of the essays are going to be inspirational. And I’m having fun with it. I think.

I mean, the format is very popular. Yeah. And, um, nobody has has done it successfully that I know of in the fitness space. It’s been done successfully in many other genres, but not in fitness. And I think I can do a good job with it. And, um, so that’s what I’m working on right now. Maybe after that’ll be a cookbook.

Jay: What, what stage is this? Um, is this the now, um, I 

Mike: have, let’s see, I have about half of the essays, uh, first drafts done for about half of the essays. And I think that I can get the other half done first drafts over by, by summer, by sometime in summer. I think I can have first drafts done, then I’ll probably need.

A month or two to, to go through the editorial process. Probably just myself. I’m not sure I’ll be able to get like final edited, uh, a final edited manuscript done in that time. But I think I’ll a month or two of just me working with it and then I’ll be happy, happy enough with it to give it to the editor I work with and, um, and then she’ll probably need a month or two to go through it.

And so all in, uh, I will be happy if I can release it in the first quarter of next year. If, if that’s like the official release, I’ll be happy with that. I, I think that, um, I think that’s doable. It gives me some flexibility, uh, because there are a lot of things that I, I kind of have to do that are, this is a, this is like one of those important projects.

Yeah. But it’s, it’s not as, it’s not as urgent as some of the, some of the. The, the legion stuff I’m involved in and other stuff, you know, you would 

Jay: genuinely help a lot of people. I’m, I’m a great believer in para positive messaging and, and reading something every day agreed 

Mike: to really instead. I mean, you, you mentioned it in this interview that, um, you had said that you had started with, you were going out, going for a walk.

You were listening to podcasts and you were doing a little bit of reading every day. Yeah, 

Jay: absolutely. And, um, it was, it just brought up a, it was something for myself. It was something that was really good for my soul whil. So I was doing something that was good for me physically as well. And the great thing about listening to your podcast, something, especially the chunkier ones, which go on for like an hour, sometimes an hour and a half, and particularly when they’re with people, you, you, you know, and there’s a lot of sort of back and forth.

I think Mark Es is one of my favorite. I’d love to meet him over a beer one day. Um, but, um, really interesting point. Um, but. It just, it really passes the time. Right now I’ve popped up six and a half K uh, and I’m out in the country just getting fresh air and I feel so distressed. Yep. Um, so I, I think that that book would be fantastic.

And there are a few friends of mine who, who can really do with something like that I’ve already whispered in their ear about, uh, getting hold of copy of Muscle for Life. Uh, I dunno what feedback you’ve had on that today, but I’m reading it now. Uh, and then next up, uh, Ryan’s told me to, to pick up a copy of Beyond Lina.

Stronger. Yeah, that’d be good. Start reading up on that. But, um, muscle Life is written in such a fantastic way and it’s, it’s a great, it’s a great book. Um, you can tell you put a lot of time, heart and soul into that. It’ll be interesting in what kind of feedback you’ve had to date. 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you.

Thank you. So far the feedback has been great overall. I mean, there are always, uh, detractors and sometimes people bring up valid points. I’m, I’m, I’ve always been not only open to constructive criticism, but actively interested in it. Uh, I mean, I, I used to, you can’t reply, I think. Yeah. Amazon got rid of the, the, the commenting feature on, on reviews some time ago, but I used to not even read.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think it just turned into too much of a shit show, and they determined that this isn’t adding anything to their, uh, objectives. And, and you have in many, it’s all constructive. It’s not constructive in many pe in many cases. It, it turned into like Twitter spats almost. Yeah. Where people were just arguing about things.

Right. And, uh, but, but I used to not only read every review, but also reply to every review, and, and I still regularly review. Negative reviews. One stars are usually not very helpful. Sometimes they’re even just kind of random, like it’s very black and 

Jay: white. You know, someone’s very set minded. They, they haven’t really opened their mind to, to, you know, critical thinking or new ideas.

One story, which means that this person got into that already hating 

Mike: it. Or, or, or are they just, just one thing that triggers them and that’s why they gave, uh, it might be something that’s so exactly. It might, it could be something kind of silly like, oh, the fact that I even talk about calories in and calories out, and they don’t, they don’t believe in that, and that’s the one star review.

Okay, fine, whatever. Um, however, there, there are often little nuggets in two star reviews, three star reviews, and, and from the beginning I’ve been very interested in that because that has given me a lot of those reviews have given me a lot of good ideas for how to improve the books. And so as I go through these iterations, yeah, I would say, um, Maybe not half, but somewhere between 25 and 50% of the changes that I make, the, just the notes that I end up making, which once those notes get long enough, then it’s time to start the process of the next edition.

I would say at least a quarter of them come from people’s feedback. And, and, and it’s via reviews and via emails mostly. Yeah. And, and so, um, with, in, in the case of Muscle for Life, there are some people who are like, oh, this is, this is just, just read bigger than you’re stronger instead. Okay, I understand that, but the, they didn’t quite understand who I was writing this book for.

And it’s a audience, it’s a different audience and, and the programs are totally different. If you look at the programs like in Muscle for Life, the advanced program is, is kind of like bigger than or stronger light. It’s not as difficult, it’s not as challenging as bigger than that’s the advanced program.

Right? So, um, if you have somebody who, let’s say, Regardless of age, I mean, you can relate to this, right? So think back to when you were very overweight and you were not doing well. To jump right into BLS is a bit much. If I were training you personally, I wouldn’t start you there. I wouldn’t say, oh yeah, we’re just gonna go do some heavy squats and deadlifts.

Um, I would start you with more or less what you did. I would say let’s get on some walks and let’s clean up the diet a little bit and, and, and then if we’re incorporating resistance training, let’s say it was the first time that you’ve ever done that, you could get in the gym and follow bigger than or stronger.

You’re gonna have to modify it a little bit here and there. You could do that, but it is, I think, It’s, it’s a bit of a steep learning curve, so to speak, and, and steep difficulty curve. Yeah. Why not? Why not make it a little bit easier and more enjoyable by starting with, uh, for talking about resistance training?

Why don’t we start with some body weight stuff and maybe add some bands and then maybe within a month or two you’ve already mastered that. Okay, great. Now let’s, let’s move over to some dumbbells. Maybe it’s time to get in the gym, but let’s, let’s now incorporate some dumbbell exercises and some machines.

Yep. Okay, great. You’ve done a couple of months of that. Now we’re ready to squat and deadlift and bench press. Yeah. You know what I mean? So, um, there, there, there have been some comments along those lines and I understand those comments, but the people, I’m, I am excited to, to see the feedback from people who the book.

Is intended for. Um, and, and so I’m getting a lot of great feedback, especially on the, on the programs where people were either intimidated by bigger lean or stronger or thinner, lean or stronger, or were not able to do it for one reason or another. Sometimes, um, physical limitations, uh, like past injuries, for example?

Yeah. Sometimes, sometimes physical limitations because of a combination of age and and body composition. So take somebody who’s 55 years old and they have 80 pounds to lose to get to a, let’s say a healthy body comp and they have a lot of joint pain. Okay. You really are not gonna. Tell them to just deadly day one today.

Yeah, exactly. I mean, you, you, you could teach them how to do it safely if you were there working with them, but I still would question that programming like, we don’t need, we don’t need to start there. Let’s work our, let’s work our way toward that. Right? Yeah. And, uh, so, so yeah, I’m excited too. I’m actually putting together a, a quiz to help that people can take.

To help them find the book and the program. That’s for them. Yeah. Because now people are, understandably, people will ask me, Hey, should I do your bigger, leaner, stronger? Should I do your thinner, leaner, stronger. Sometimes guys are even like, I don’t wanna get too big. Should I be doing thinner? Leaner? I don’t wanna be thin either.

Precise is the same, right and right. Right. But I understand though, because they’re just, they’re just, um, looking at it from, from the outside and they don’t know, you know what I mean? They’re, they’re just, should I be doing beyond bigger than your story? Now you have this muscle for life. And so I have a quiz that, um, it should be up in the next week or two, that, uh, similar to like the supplement quiz on the website where we’re asks you different questions and then there’s, there, there’s, you know, some different logic built in, in terms of, um, um, okay, based on your answers, here’s what I recommend.

I recommend bigger than or stronger, here’s why. Or I recommend Muscle for Life. Here’s why. And I think that that’ll be helpful because then I can make that just like a standard. Promotional, uh, blurb that can kind of get worked into all the communication channels so people can clearly know, like which is for them and why.

Yeah, I 

Jay: think that’s a great idea. Um, I think you, you raised, you made a really good point just taking note, hopping back a couple of steps just on where to begin, uh, and body weight exercises. So before I sort of, um, I spent this first couple of months last year sort of moving, doing a bit of, uh, catch to 5k, but no resistance training.

So before I got into the gym, I was committed to a gym membership. Um, I started ops and body weight stuff and. It’s actually, you know, uh, a pushup, executing with the right form, it’s actually bloody difficult. Um, same with body weight squats. Um, with the right form, they’re actually quite hard. And that’s what I did is just do some body weight stuff indoors, uh, just by myself, just, just to wake everything up a bit and just to have, um, give us a, the confidence as well of going back into a gym cuz it’s, um, it can be quite inhibiting after a long layer.

Yeah. I wanted to 

Mike: ask you about that. How was that process? Cuz you probably experienced it twice, it sounds like, when you So the first time around and then, yeah. And then, um, the second time around as 

Jay: well. So the first time around, I, I just, um, I ignored everyone around me. Um, it was really that simple. Uh, I just, uh, I didn’t care what people were thinking or, or what they were saying, because the reality is no one’s looking at you.

Uh, no one gives a shit. They’re too busy sweating their nuts off on a, on a bench press to, to, 

Mike: and, and 

Jay: looking at themselves. Yeah, exactly Right. Um, so I, I didn’t pay any attention to anyone. Um, the, I mean, if anybody 

Mike: wants to test that out, it’s, it’s hard to get people’s attention if you try, like, if you wanted to, if you wanted them to notice you, but you need a spot.

Jay: Yeah, 

Mike: exactly. Yeah. It’s, it’s hard. 

Jay: No one’s, no one’s, no one’s looking at you. Um, so that’s how I started it the first time round. And I did have a friend that would accompany me to the gym, and then I had this chap and sort of did some personal training with me so that, that helped, uh, a lot the second time round, um, I was nervous about form rather than.

Appearing. Um, like I didn’t know what I was doing because I don’t, you know, I knew the fundamentals of, of pushing weights around and, and I’d had good form drummed into me. One of my friends was a professional body builder, uh, competing one, a few Titus, and he was, and it came to form his complete Nazi. So I had some of that stuff drummed into me, but I was still worried about looking like a bit clumsy, a bit gangly, a bit rusty.

Um, so again, I just, uh, same entire, I think the first few times I went in when I knew it was gonna be fairly quiet, um, so I could avoid the crowd. But then I just, um, again, just put on a Muscle Life, uh, podcast, uh, that was, takes your mind, our stuff when you got something you’re focused on. Uh, but just remembered why I was there and as a mantra, keep, I still, I still use that.

Remember why you’re doing this wrong, why you’re doing this, why you’re doing this, and very, very, um, conscious of form. Um, one of the things I’m really fortunate this week weekend is. Filming myself. It’s not something I’ve done yet. I always felt a bit weird about it, but I have to do it now for the coach.

So, you know, what he says goes, um, so 

Mike: I’m, people ask me about that cuz I, I, I video myself for social media and then it’s also nice for me to check my form. Yeah. Um, and, and I’ll still notice things sometimes if it’s a fourth set and it’s the final rep or two, you know, it can be hard to maintain proper form on a, on a heavy squat, for example.

And people will ask me though, if I, if I feel embarrassed or self-conscious about videoing. And at first when I started doing it, it was a little bit, felt a little bit awkward. Mm-hmm. Because I hadn’t, I hadn’t done it before. But I think, I think there’s value actually in, in. Doing things and being willing to put yourself in that.

I mean, to use a, a trendy term, a a vulnerable position where you do feel a little bit awkward and where people might look at you a little bit funny. I, if nothing else, I think it’s good for staying humble. 

Jay: Absolutely. And, and I’ve know, I’ve noticed quite a few people doing it now. I clock a lot of people doing that.

It’s become, it’s not as, as weird as it was. And I think as you say, you can use it. It’s a tool, right. Uh, to, to improve yourself. Um, you know, progressive overload, uh, sorry, progression, um, comes in many different forms. And then I think just, uh, analyzing yourself when physical form, I think this is, uh, lot to be said for that.

Um, so it’s great. I’ve got Ryan now on my back asking, send me those videos. Send me those videos. Send me those videos. Uh, and I’ll, um, so I. I, yes. So to answer your original question, I just remember, I just remembered why I was there, remembered why I remembered my form, and just focused on some positive messaging.

Um, whilst, you know, whilst I was doing my workout and in the shape of your, your podcast and remembered, just tell myself up. Everyone else probably feels as dumb as I do. I’m sure they’ve got their own insecurities. Um, yeah. But I know for a fact I go in and I suck in the stomach and even though I don’t need to anymore, but I’m sure everyone else does, all, all men do, you know, and all women are conscious of their backside and my girlfriend is.

Um, so it is just everyone’s in there cuz they’re insecure about something where it’s their physical health or the way they look or, you know, or it could be, um, stressed, you know, that they’re really stressed out with life needs. That gym is a way of, uh, relieving some of the hang anxiety, our team stress day.

So everyone’s there for the same reason, is to be better in some way. Um, and I think that’s a great leveler. It really is. 

Mike: And I find that, uh, Most people that I think of the gym I go to now and gyms have gone to in the past, the people who I have ended up engaging with are almost always friendlier than.

Maybe they look or then you Sure. Yeah. You know, then, then the impression that you get. Yeah. Uh, and, and so I remind myself of that too. I mean, again, I’m not one to take things personally. Um, if, if somebody is, is, uh, is not interested in, in talking to me or is even rude, it doesn’t bother me personally. But, um, it’s, I I know, I know.

It’s just, it’s, it’s helpful for, especially for people who are kind of new and feel a little bit out of place. Yeah. And, and I’ve heard this particularly from women when they’re going over to the weightlifting section and it’s a bunch of sweaty, tattooed dudes, grunting and groaning, and they don’t look very friendly, um, when they’re bench pressing and, uh, even when they’re in between sets.

Uh, but, but in, in my experience, most people, even some of the gnarly looking dudes are actually quite friendly. Yeah, I mean, 

Jay: everyone’s a human at the end of the day. Um, I’m sure like, just like in any, in any place there, there’s the odd idiot or, or asshole. But that’s, you know, you get that if you went into the local pub.

Um, yeah. Or in an office, you know, God knows I’ve seen my face show office assholes in, in my life. But, um, no. So I, I, I just kept reminding those two things and I knew it within a, what my first week. Um, it became, it’s just second nature, you know? I, I get, thanks, Steve. I wasn’t walking over to the gym or we you making time for a workout.

I, I do encourage anyone out there that’s probably nervous about sitting foot in a gym for the first time. Only gotta do it once, get it out the way. But after that, it, it really is, uh, it’s enjoyable. We never regret going to the gym, ever. I’ve never come home, uh, and thought, I wish I hadn’t gone today.

It’s the opposite. I, and now I, I feel. I’m upset if I don’t have time in my diary, um, during the day. Cause I like sneaking out to do a quick half an hour or 40 minutes. Um, I get upset. Um, but you, you just gotta do, take that leap of faith once and you won’t, you know, you, you’ll thank yourself, your future.

You will. Thank you. You know, thankfully for taking that, making that decision, um, only good things will come with it. Um, I, I, I’m, I’m living proof of this. If it wasn’t for the gym and for moving and nutritious food, there’s no guarantee I’d be here now. Um, because I could have suffered another, uh, relapse.

Um, my mental stay. 

Mike: I wanted to ask you about that. Could you talk a bit, uh, about that in particular? So you’re in a pretty dark place. Yeah. Um, before you got back, um, on, on the wagon, so to speak, and how has your, your mental health. Ben as you have improved your physical health? 

Jay: Uh, like night and day? I think, uh, I mean my girlfriend is not everyone that’s close to me and cares about me.

Uh, been shocked by not just the physical transformation, but just my general wellbeing. The way I come across the way I. Uh, I talk, I act, I’m smiling. I’m, I’m laughing at things, you know, I’m finding humor in everything around me. I never, you know, like I used to back in the day. Um, I’ve got a very stupid sense of humor, quite a dark one as well.

Um, and I’ve, you know, I’ve found that I’ve rediscovered it. Uh, but I, I feel like I’ve, uh, I’ve got a regain control of my life in the way I think. I know if I have a dark moment or if I feel aggravated or anxious, I know. It’s just, it’s fleeting. It really is. It’s fleeting. It’s like bad weather. It all will pass because you gotta let it pass.

Um, you know, it never rains forever. Um, and I just, um, I re I remember that. I don’t dwell on that, on that, on that moment. I, I remember what was really cool, uh, before I felt like that. And what’s gonna be really cool when this cloud passes. Um, 

Mike: it’s interesting that if you would’ve, I’m sure you, you probably did try to do that previously.

Right. That, like, my, my point is, what it sounds like is it’s not like you discovered some unique, uh, coping strategy, so to speak. It’s that, that there you have changed, uh, in a, in some fundamental ways that you respond differently to, uh, The, the rough patches now than you did previously. Am I, am I 

Jay: right?

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think, 

Mike: um, like it probably wouldn’t have been helpful previously if somebody was said, Hey, why don’t you just remember, so let’s say you’re really not feeling good. Like Yeah, why don’t you just, why don’t you just remember? Yeah, exactly. It’s basically like saying, why don’t you just cheer up, dude, it’ll be okay.

Yeah, yeah. 

Jay: It’ll be fine. No, I, I think, um, no, you’re right. And that’s a very valid point. Um, there have been a few factors as well that have probably contributed to, um, this additional strength. I have, I don’t really wanna simplify it too much, but it, it is down to nutrition. Um, you are what you eat, and I noticed that within a week of.

Stop stopping eating shit and drinking too much. Or drinking too. I don’t, I don’t drink really now at all. Um, I just didn’t see the point in it. It doesn’t add any value to my life and certainly doesn’t, it’s not gonna add, make my, uh, journey with Ryan any easier. Um, so I just don’t bother with it. But it was as simple as, um, see yeah, without the risk of simplifying it, nutrition, um, and exercise.

Uh, it’s, we, we all know the sciences behind science and, and the chemicals, right? So, 

Mike: It’s just a lot easier to use that as a, as a lever, right, than 

Jay: it is because anyone can go for a walk. Um, I think it was tough during lockdown because then the, the gyms are open and I did try to, uh, join the gym last year just for that brief moment.

And the UK came outta lockdown only for it to go back into lockdown. Um, I took up running, I got shin splints at the start of last year, and it felt like I’d been meca. Uh, that knocked me for six as well. Um, so now I, I, I do, I I have a, I have a plan on following, you know, I’m following the workout plan.

I’m following this, um, this, this, this program that I’m on now with Ryan and yourselves. Um, but I, I, I’m very conscious about what I, what I eat. Cause I know well have an affect on me physically. If I go out and eat Domino’s Pizza. We sure of taste great. You probably won’t actually. It tastes like shit. But, um, I know what it’ll do to me the next day.

I know I’ll feel crap, I’ll feel lethargic. My guts will be playing the drums all day. Um, and I’ll just look really, I have grease coming outta my ports. So it is the same thing where you mentally, right, whatever you eat, will affect you mentally. It’s, it’s clear as, you know, light day that, um, your hormone ends will be affected by what you eat.

So now I’m, I’ve really, um, embraced the, the, the signs behind. Uh, I guess I wasn’t, I wasn’t really much of an, ive either, uh, mom and dad swear by it. They’re Indians. It’s kind of, it’s in their jeans. Um, but now I really look at what I’m eating and the, the medicinal effects it will have on me. Um, and I know that’s what I really respect.

Your, your product range, just because it’s all, it’s all natural, it’s all science backed. Um, whereas before, No, I didn’t, I didn’t care about what I was eating. Even when I was in the gym a couple of two, three years ago and got really good shape, I’d be really good for two, three days of the week. Um, I even, I had a, a Muscle Life meal plan back then as well.

I, I sent a copy. I dug it out from the archives. I sent it on to Ryan so he could laugh at it. But, uh, just in terms of how, um, how similar it is to, to the one I’m on now. Um, but I still, for the, the other sort of four days of the week, I still went out at the weekend, got loaded, my mates came home with a filthy kebab and then I thought, okay, I, I blown Friday night.

I might as well just pissed Saturday and Sunday away as well, but I’ll start again on Monday. And that was the life I was living. Uh, now I’m not like that. Um, I don’t see the point in wasting my weekend. I started wasting the, the time and the effort and care I put into myself for the sake of some, uh, frivolity in, you know, with food and, and, and alcohol.

Um, cause I know it’s just, I’m gonna feel like shit on Monday. I really will. And it’s gonna, it’s not the best way to start your week. Um, and I’ll don’t sleep properly. So there’s so many reasons why I shouldn’t be doing all the things I used to do. So that’s the difference, Mike. I, I care about what I do in my body and I care about how much I move every day.

I expect, and I do that for myself. No one else cares what I eat. It’s not gonna affect them. No one cares if I hit a BB in the gym tomorrow, but I will. And I know I’ve done something better and I’ve beaten the same j that was, uh, walking year last week. And that’s what sparks me versus me. And I just want, uh, walk le do do something good for myself every single day, no matter how big or small it is.

And, and try and make people around me happy by being a happier person, uh, by being good to myself by proxy. I’ll be good to others. Uh, and it’s, it’s a good way to live your life. 

Mike: I love it. I love it. And I agree on, on, on all fronts. The, the weekend point in particular that that’s like, um, in, in the, in the game of fitness, that’s one of the bosses that you have to beat.

Many, many people are still stuck on that level, so to speak. Yeah. Yeah. Where, and, and, and, uh, you know, I’ve heard from many people over the years who they just didn’t understand who were doing that. And they, because they, it was in many cases just a lack of education. They didn’t understand energy balance, for example.

They didn’t understand that the body processes carbs and fats and proteins differently, and they didn’t understand how adding alcohol accelerates fat storage. Right. And so, so they didn’t understand why they were not losing weight when they were following a, a, a decent meal plan, maybe decently throughout the week, and then drastically overeating and over drinking on the weekends.

So being able to, Uh, to understand that that’s the first step. And, and then for, for many people, just understanding it was enough to help them start overcoming the, the habits and, and maybe it wasn’t getting rid of it all right away. For some people it was toning it down and then once they had toned it down for a couple of weeks, it was.

Doing it now, maybe just on a, on one day instead of two or three days. And then eventually they, they beat the boss like, like you have. And then they’re like, you know, I actually don’t need to do this anymore. No. Why, why 

Jay: bother? It’s, there’s no value add in it at all. It doesn’t bring me any, you know, it’s gonna bring, it’s gonna make my life better in any way whatsoever, but me sticking to a healthy diet, um, and a good exercise regime is going to pay me pay dividends as I grow, as I grow older.

I’m gonna be mid, I’m gonna be 45. This, this, this summer. You know, bits will start falling off in a few years from now. And, uh, I wanna try and keep hold of as many of my parts as I can. And the way to do that, the 

Mike: way to mitigate, I wouldn’t have guessed. I, you don’t look, you 

Jay: don’t look 45. Thank you very much.

Thank you very much. I, I moisturize every day, uh, and drinkers of water, but, um, uh, the mitigate against the, you know, the thes of age. The way to do that is by looking after yourself. Now, uh, and again, you know, 10 years from now, I’ll thank myself for it. Um, I’m not gonna thank myself 10 years from now for basically spending my mid forties just pissing my money off the wall, going to parties, going on, you know, fancy, fancy holidays, buying nice clothes.

Um, but I’ll thank myself for, for what I’m doing to my, you know, for myself now. And this is a long thing, right? It’s not like producted in past where I’m gonna throw myself into it for three or four months, looking for the summer. And then if something shiny comes along, my attention will be, it’s pushed like I did in the past with a new job and all the traveling and, and so on so forth.

This, this is now gonna be a way of life for me. Uh, I know I’ve done it in the past, but only for short periods of time. Uh, so I know I’m capable of it, but now it’s about the commitment and really, really challenging myself to, to make this me. Um, and I’m, I’m very excited by it. Slightly nervous because I, I, I don’t wanna let the Ryan down.

I mean, one of the reasons why I went for the coaching is I was gonna say that’s what the accountability, right. So 

Mike: might as well use it to your advantage. That’s another lever that 

Jay: just helps. Exactly. Exactly right. Um, I’m, I’m, I’m enjoying sort of putting my stats down into the app. You’ll read it and review it and you’ll know if I’m bothered or not, you know, on that given day.

Uh, and there’s, I wouldn’t able to skip leg day. I used to do that all the time in the bus and, oh God, no. Find any reason. Oh, it looks a bit cloudy out there. I’ll probably stay indoors and flip the ke on, and that’s better than go into the gym and doing some spots. But, you know, I had a, did my first leg day under Ryan today.

I’ll be sending some hate mail to him tomorrow, no doubt when I can’t get outta bed, 

Mike: but it’ll probably be the next day. It’s always the day after. Yeah. I think the day after leg day, this is the worst. The day after you’re like, oh, I’m, I’m a little bit sore. And then it’s, then it’s the next day when you’re, you’re hobbling out of bed.

Well, even if you don’t overdo it, you know, it doesn’t, you, you’ll, you’ll see as you get fitter and you, you keep pushing yourself appropriately. I mean, I still run into this, um, I still get a fair amount of soreness in my lower body, not so much in my upper body. Yeah. Um, may maybe to the touch, maybe if I were getting a massage, there’d be some soreness.

But yeah, the lower body, you know, it’s just such a big, these are big muscles, a lot of muscles moving, heavy loads and just slight increases in volume or intensity, uh, can, in me at least, it, it can still trigger it. It’s not the level of soreness that. I used to experience when I was doing wild stuff, when I didn’t really know what I was doing, like doing 10 by tens, for example, on squats where I couldn’t sit down on a toilet, I would have to get over to the toilet and just fall.

That’s it. And then getting off of the toilet required, uh, yeah, my, my arms, you know what I mean? Yeah. It’s not quite that bad, but I still, I think I fairly sore from, from a few exercises, the squat to deadlift if I, if I just make a little bit of progress. Yeah. But it’s, it’s normal. Well, 

Jay: what would your advice be to, so I, I think, you know, for me selfishly as well, so, um, not long backing the gym, um, yeah, yeah.

I’m still trying to tune into the little niggles and squeaks and aches and gro gro groans in my body. Yep. So I’m, I’m really nervous about tweaking something and then putting myself out of the game for well few days or a few weeks even. Worst case scenario, but I don’t want that. Fear to hinder me from sort of pushing myself appropriately.

Yeah. So at the moment I, I’m super nervous and I’m in high alert, so slights tweak. I better put that down. Move on to the next exercise. How, how do you differentiate between the two? Is it like between like, I’m a bit rusty, just a bit of a warmup, or my body’s trying to tell 

Mike: me something. Yeah, so, so my best advice for getting back into the gym because what.

Well, a mistake that, and I’ve made this before, uh, when I was younger and my wife at the time, my girlfriend, so she was in Germany, we did a, uh, long distance relationship for two and a half years. We were together for a year, year and a half, and then long distance for two and a half, and then she moved over here to the states.

And so there were a couple of instances where I went over to Germany and we would just run around, have fun for three weeks, and I might do a couple body weight workouts, maybe a couple gym workouts here and there. Um, but I, I was a little bit detrained when, when I got back and then I would go and try to do exactly what I was doing before I left.

And that was a bit much, I remember, uh, ending workouts like nauseous and that. That even now I don’t, it would take a lot of training for me to, to get to that point. Right. And, um, so like training to the point of nausea, that’s, that’s too much and, and then getting very, very sore. And so the, the, the simple advice is to dial your.

Your, your intensity, so your loads dial that back and the the rep range that you’re gonna work in. That, that, if you’re currently working in, if you’re doing like a bigger than or stronger approach where you’re doing a lot of four to six and maybe some six to eight, you can still work in the same rep ranges, but you want to adjust the loads so you’re finishing your hard sets with, uh, on compound exercises.

Yeah, you should, you should feel like you have one or two good reps still in the tank, meaning that you, if, if it’s one good rep left. I, I, so currently, uh, how I like to, um, uh, you could call this intensity discipline. What, what I like to see in, in a squat, for example, is in my first set, I like to feel like I have two to three good reps left, meaning I could do two more and then I probably would fail maybe three more, and then I probably would fail and.

I, I am fairly calibrated to that because every four months I do some AM wraps and I push myself hard. I go close to failure. So I, I do have a good sense of, uh, how many reps I actually have left in the tank, because if you don’t ever really go close to failure, sometimes you can think you only have one or two left.

But if you really went for it, you actually had four or five. But regardless, my point is that. Uh, maybe, maybe before you were squatting, 2 25, let’s say for six, and that was two good reps left or so, like pretty hard, pretty close to failure. Yeah. And you can still squat for six, but you might have to go down to 180 5 or 1 55 to still have, let’s say those two good reps left.

Yes. Or maybe even three. Right? So what you wouldn’t want to do is put the 2 25 on the bar and squat it for six and have zero good reps left, meaning that last rep was a grinder and if you went for another, you’re gonna fail. Yes. Because then what’s gonna happen is even if you rest a little bit longer, you rest four minutes.

Let’s say you probably aren’t gonna get six in the next, you’re probably gonna get five and maybe even fewer depending on where you’re at. It might be four. And then, You know, zero good reps left. And, and so that’s how you can hurt yourself is training too hard. So again, pushing right up to that point of failure, using too much weight and pushing right up to that point of failure.

Well, that makes it even more problematic, right? If we’re talking about a biceps curl. Okay. Um, not very dangerous, right? Like sure, we can technically, I, I didn’t hurt my back today, but I was lazy on my, uh, standing calf raises. And so I like let tension out of my core and I was like, oh, that doesn’t feel good.

So, like, you know, that could have been me hurting my back on a standing cafe. Yeah, it can happen. It can happen, right? Um, but, but we, we are most interested in what I just described in terms of intensity, discipline with the big exercises, the stuff that they’re not dangerous, but. If you train right up to that point of failure.

Yeah. Or, or you train literally two failure. So let’s say, you know, get young kids coming in the gym and they’re squatting and they squat until they actually have to sit the bar down. Like they just get stuck at the bottom. Uh, the more often you do that stuff, the more likely you are to get hurt. So again, when you, uh, as you get back into, into your training, um, I, I wouldn’t be concerned that you are at a higher risk of injury because you are feeling a little bit detrained or a little bit detrained.

That’s definitely not the case. You just have to understand that you’re gonna have to work back to your previ, your previous training weights. Mm-hmm. And you want to make sure that you are calibrating your current training rate, uh, weights to your current fitness. And so you’re gonna have rep ranges to work in, reps in reserve as it’s referred to, to make sure you’re working hard enough in those sets and you can air on the side of.

Maybe a little bit too little weight as opposed to a little bit too much. But you’ll quickly, you’ve done this so you’ll quickly understand. You might put 1 35 on the bench. You’re supposed to do six or whatever, and you immediately know by rep three. Like, all right, this is, this is a bit too easy. Easy.

Yeah. Yeah. I’m gonna, I’m gonna get six and I could probably do another six. And the problem, the, the only problem with that is unfortunately research shows that we do have to get, we don’t have to go to failure, but we do have to get close to muscular failure to achieve a. Uh, an effective training stimulus.

And that’s particularly true as you become more experienced when you’re brand new. You can do sets of six with six reps in reserve and get some results, but, you know, yeah, you’re gonna, that’s only gonna drive so much in the weight of a, of adaptation. There is a point where you’re going to have to start training harder, training closer to failure, and then you’re gonna have to start doing more volume, more training to continue driving those adaptations.

And so you can just use that as a guide. And if you are leaving again, let’s say set one of three or set one of four on a bench press, you feel like you have two or three good reps left. Uh, what, what you’ll find is by that final set, it’s probably a one, a one to two. And if it’s a zero to one, that’s okay, but.

I I in my training and what I generally recommend is that’s what I, I like to see that I attract my reps in reserve, in my, in my training log. Um, and I like to see on the big lifts, two to three, uh, yeah, may, or maybe even like a solid three on that first set, because I know that by the last set. That’s gonna be a one or two, and I’m okay pushing a little bit harder than that here and there, but that’s, that’s my, my baseline in terms of training, uh, intensity, discipline.

I’m just kind of making up that term. I don’t think that’s really a term, but that’s the concept. So, uh, hopefully that’s, that’s helpful. 

Jay: Absolutely. Absolutely. And, and 

Mike: I’ll, I’ll, I’ll say one other thing with your accessories. It’s okay. What I like to do is, it’s okay to train a little bit closer to failure, even go to absolute failure on a lot of accessory exercises.

Not all sets, um, but take a biceps curl, right? I’m okay with, um, the, the, let’s say, set one of four that, that’s how I’m training right now, right? I’m okay on a biceps curl if I feel like I have maybe two good reps left. Yeah. Even a, even a one to two, um, because that might be a zero or a zero to one on that final rep.

I’m thinking about the biceps curls that I did yesterday. So my fourth set was basically right up to the point of failure. Like I had, I, I had to even like, move my torso a little bit to finish the rep, which is basically, I mean, once your form breaks down, that means that you can’t really do it correctly anymore, right?

So yeah, I’m okay with that on certain accessory exercises because I know that. There’s no risk really of getting hurt because I, um, strained hard on a biceps curl or I strained hard on a triceps push down. Right? There are certain accessory exercises though, where I don’t like how that feels. I don’t like how that feels on an overhead dumbbell press for triceps, for example.

Yeah. I don’t like going right up to failure on that exercise because it feels funky on my shoulders. Uhhuh, and yeah, so you, you, you have to, you have to use, um, some, some common sense and you have to, you have to also kind of listen to your body, so to speak. And like you said, if something, if it feels okay to push right up to failure and it’s an accessory exercise, the risk of getting hurt is very, very low and it feels fine, then you can do that.

Um, but. If it does not, even if it’s an accessory exercise, then I would say, uh, don’t do it. 

Jay: Yeah. Okay. Cool. Uh, I think that’s pretty much what I’ve been following. Um, I’ve, I’ve been a bit cautious. I’ve been with the, with the, the big three, um, which is fine. 

Mike: I mean, you can always, you’re not gonna, you’re not gonna regret, um, starting that way and then easing into Correct.

Maybe, maybe a more optimal, uh, training intensity. Exactly, 

Jay: and, and, and I have been quite, uh, probably a bit more carefree or less risk averse with the, as you say, the accessories. Remember going back to December, I think it was my first biceps workout after good 2, 2, 2 and a half years off. I had the worst case of Doms.

I was walking around like this for three days. Um, I couldn’t do anything at all. I was utterly useless. Um, but I knew they weren’t, they, they were, they were just mad at me, but they weren’t injured. Yeah. Um, so I’m, I’m a bit, uh, I’m not too worried about, and this is where, this is why I sort of, um, Wanted to take up the coaching.

Cause I think there’s real value to be had in someone sort of monitoring your progress and, and challenging you to, to try and to, to see, you know, to, to read the numbers, look at the data and go, ah, okay. Look, I I think you could, I’ve seen your form. I think you can go heavier. I’ve seen your numbers.

You’re telling me, you, you, you know, you’re doing your final set with one to three reps in reserve. Uh, I think the next time next week we should go up a little bit and, and I need that. Just, uh, I need that some, someone sort of watching over me and gimme a bit of, um, helpful advice. Next’s my own devices. I mean, I will follow, uh, BLS to the T, but will I progress as quickly?

I doubt it. I will, um, if I follow the, follow the, the advice within the book, but, I’m the kind of person that sometimes does need a bit of a, I need the accountability and I like it as well. I like the challenge. I like, uh, I like the, the idea, the concept of reporting back to somebody and saying, look at my homework.

How well have I done? Can you mark it for me? Uh, and being set new targets and I think lot to be said for 

Mike: that. Totally. Yeah. And it’s nice to, to be acknowledged, um, by somebody who, who really gets it. Yeah. Yeah. Who actually cares too, because, uh, y you know, aside from maybe our family and our closest friends, Most people, they don’t care whether we, we reach our fitness goals or any goals for that matter.

And, and some people actually would rather see us fail. So generally seeking validation isn’t a good strategy, but when you have somebody like a coach or somebody who’s close to you, who you know really has your best interests in mind mm-hmm. And, and in the case of a coach, they also understand what it takes to do what you’re doing.

It is nice to be validated. I think that’s okay. You, you don’t have to, I think it’s better to not, not need it and not seek validation, but it’s okay to enjoy it when it happens. I think really, 

Jay: I, you know, it, it’s nice to have a pat in the back when you’ve, uh, it’d be, it’d be nice to get a pass in the back when I’ve had a really product week in, in the gym.

Um, I mean, I, like I say, you don’t necessarily need validation. I’m not that kind of person that goes out looking for it. But I think when you are working together with someone on a joint objective, which is that this is, um, It’s, it’s nice to buddy up and, and bounce things off and, and, you know, and also, you know, on the flip side, have that critique as well.

Um, I’m, I’m really interested to see what he, you know, when he sees these videos over the weekend and see what he, what he says about my form. Because as much as I try to be, uh, very good with it, I’m, I’m pretty sure he’ll find, you know, issues with it. And, uh, I, I, I value that as well. Um, so I think this is, um, yeah, I, I’m all for having projects in my, uh, in, in your life.

Um, most of my projects in the past have been pretty shit. I, buying a new car, um, buying a bunch of tailor-made suits or Gucci LOAs or whatever it is, I needed a new laptop. Do you really? No. This is, um, this is a project I can, um, I’m, I’m really genuinely proud that I, I’ve kicked off. Um, and then I’ll read the rewards for it.

Mike: I love it. I love it. Well, um, this has been a, a great talk, Jay. Uh, thanks again. Yeah. Thanks again for doing it and keep me posted on your progress. Sounds like you’re gonna do great. And, um, I, if there’s anything else you wanted to say before we wrap up, we can, you can get that out there or we can, uh, yeah, 

Jay: I think, um, anyone that’s listening, um, you know, I, I’m pretty sure most of your listeners are probably fairly, sort of well versed with the, you know, with the fitness game and, and your work.

But anyone that’s like me who are coming back from a long layoff or dipping their toes in the water, I found Mike having not trained at all, um, completely cold, uh, trust, trust the science that’s laid out in his writings. Listen to the podcast, uh, just soak it all up. I really encourage you to. Just join 

Mike: the cult, you know, just join 

Jay: the cult.

Right? I’m a believer, I really am. I’m gonna get, um, mus life and lesion that tattooed on me, I think. But, uh, just, just believe in the, in the, in the science. A lot of thoughts. That’s, that’s 

Mike: when I know that I’ve achieved cult leader status. When, when somebody shows me like my face tattooed on their body, then I know 

Jay: I made my first born after you.

You’ll be a buffalo of pulse. Not my 

Mike: ultimate ambition fulfilled my true ambition. What I’m really doing all of this for. You’re on the 

Jay: right path. I guarantee it, buddy. Um, but yeah, so anyone listening, do just, just have faith and, uh, believe in the science and more importantly, have faith in yourself that you can achieve some pretty wonderful things and you will surprise yourself in a very short space of time.


Mike: it. Love it. Well, thanks again, Jay. This was a great interview. Thank you for having me. 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, muscle f o r, 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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