As of right now, I’ve produced over 500 episodes of Muscle for Life, totaling over 700 hours of content.
I’ve talked about a huge variety of things related to health, fitness, and lifestyle, ranging from the basics of diet and exercise like energy and macronutrient balance and progressive overload and training frequency and volume to fads like the ketogenic and carnivore diet and collagen protein to more unfamiliar territories like body weight set point and fasted cardio.
Some episodes resonate with my crowd more than others, but all of them contain at least a few key takeaways that just about anyone can benefit from (that’s what I tell myself at least).
And as cool as that is, it poses a problem for you, my dear listener:
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Well okay, some people do make the time to listen to most or even all of my podcasts, but my wizbang analytics tell me that while many listeners tune in on a regular basis, they don’t catch every installment of Muscle for Life and thus miss out on insights that could help them get a little better inside and outside the gym.
People have also been saying they’d like me to do more shorter, multi-topic episodes, like my Q&As.
And so I got an idea: how about a “best of” series of podcasts that contains a few of the most practical and compelling ideas, tips, and moments from my most popular episodes?
This way, people who are new to the show can quickly determine if it’s for them or not, and those who enjoy what I’m doing but don’t have the time or inclination to listen to all of my stuff can still benefit from the discussions and find new episodes to listen to.
So, in this episode of The Best of Muscle for Life, you’ll be hearing hand-picked morsels from three episodes:
- Eric Helms on the Simple Science of Making “Lean Gains”
- Helping people, building a brand, and my biggest lessons learned
- Here’s How I Go About Setting and Achieving My Goals
And we’ll be starting with number one, the simple science of making lean gains with Eric Helms.
5:59 – Eric Helms on the Simple Science of Making “Lean Gains”
16:05 – Helping people, building a brand, and my biggest lessons learned
25:13 – Here’s How I Go About Setting and Achieving My Goals
Mentioned on The Show:
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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 Mike Matthews. Thank you for taking time outta your day to listen to me talk about health and fitness things. Now, as of right now, I have produced over 500 episodes of Muscle for Life, and they total over 700 hours of content probably, and I’ve talked about a huge variety of things related to getting fit and healthy.
Ranging from the basics of diet and exercise, like energy and macronutrient, balance and progressive overload, and training frequency and volume to stuff that is more faddish like the ketogenic and carnivore diet and collagen protein and M C T oil to more unfamiliar territories like body weight, set point, and fasted.
Training. Now some episodes resonate with my crowd more than others, but all of them contain at least a few key takeaways that just about anyone can benefit from. At least that’s what I tell myself. And as cool as that is, it also poses a problem for you. My dear listener. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
500 plus episodes, 700 plus hours. I mean, some people do actually make the time to listen to most, or even all of my podcasts, but according to my whizzbang analytics software, many listeners do tune in on a regular basis, but they definitely do not. Catch every installment of the show and thus miss out on insights that could help them get a little bit better inside and outside the gym.
And people have also been telling me that they would like me to do more shorter multi topic episodes like my q and As you know, stuff that is more easily consumed during a commute. For example, and so I got an idea why not do a best of series of podcasts that contains a few of the most practical and compelling ideas, tips, and moments from my most popular episodes.
So this way, people who are new to the show can quickly determine if it is for them or not. Because if they listen to a couple best of episodes and don’t like them, then chances are they’re just not gonna like the podcast. And for those out there who do enjoy the podcast, who do like what I’m doing, but just don’t have the time or the inclination to listen to all of my stuff, well those people will then be able to still benefit from the discussions and find new episodes to go listen to.
So in this second installment of the Best of Most for life, You are going to be hearing handpicked morsels from three of my most popular episodes. The first one is an interview I did with Dr. Eric Helms on the Simple Science of Making Lean Gains. The second is an interview I did years ago on a podcast called The Business of Coaching Podcast, and we talk about a variety of things ranging.
From the biggest business lessons learned as of that time, I could probably do an updated version of that with more things. Now we talk about building a successful brand and some of the things that have worked well for me. Along those lines, uh, we talk about personal growth, some of my thoughts on happiness and how that ties into it.
Money and fame and more. And then there’s the third and final episode highlighted in this best of episode, and it was an interview that I did with Scott Bte on his podcast called The Food for Fitness Podcast. And it was all about goals, how I personally go about setting and achieving. Goals, and it’s not just a boring rehash of the standard platitudes, you know, smart goals, affirmations, meditations, journaling, and so forth.
I go a bit deeper than that and really get into the principles and processes that I use to build my businesses and to build my body and to accomplish any of the things that I want to put my mind to. Now, before we get to the show, if you like, What I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you wanna help me help more people get into the best shape of their lives, please do consider supporting my sports nutrition company, Legion Athletics, which produces 100% natural evidence-based health and fitness supplements, including protein powders and protein bars, pre-workout and post-workout supplements, fat burners, multivitamins, joint support, and more Every.
Ingredient and dose in every product of mine is backed by peer reviewed scientific research. Every formulation is 100% transparent, no proprietary blends, and everything is naturally sweetened and flavored. To check it out, just head over. To Legion athletics.com and just to show how much I appreciate my podcast peeps, use the coupon code MFL at checkout and you will save 20% on your entire order if it is your first purchase with us.
And if it is not your first purchase, then you will get double reward points on your entire order, which is essentially getting 10% cash back in rewards points. So again, that U R L is. Legion athletics.com and if you appreciate my work and if you’ll wanna see more of it, please do consider supporting me so I can keep doing what I love, like producing podcasts like this.
Okay, so let’s start with the first highlight reel from my interview with Dr. Eric Helms on how to make Lean gains. What are some of the common mistakes that people make when they go, okay, I wanna, I don’t, I don’t need to have, uh, I don’t need to be super shredded anymore and I want to gain some, I wanna, you know, really focus on gaining muscle and strength.
Um, and then where it goes, where does it kind of go off the rails from, from that point, you know, what have you seen in your experience?
Eric: Sure. It, it typically comes down to basically two different camps, and they’re normally differentiated by, Who do they follow? You know, like if, so, if you’ve got people who came up reading muscle magazines or, or the, or the 2017 equivalent, and they are basically following bodybuilders, typically they overdo it.
Um, they’ll, they’ll kind of go on a, a, a seed diet, you know, a seafood diet where they’re eating everything. They’re gaining a lot of weight very quickly, and they go on a, uh, basically, uh, Uh, a goad diet or, or something where they’re, they’re, they’re eating everything and they’re getting a lot of weight and, and a large part of it’s body fat.
Mm-hmm. Um, and very quickly they’re, they’re running out of room to continue bulking, and they may be putting on effective muscle mass, but the, the timeframe that it can last before they start getting uncomfortable with their body, uh, is short.
Mike: And can, can you, can you talk a little bit more to that point of that timeframe?
Is it just about comfort? Because, you know, I’ve, I’ve spoken with a lot of people that, uh, they. They don’t really care if, they just think if that’s what it takes. Like if I just have to kind of be a little bit disgusted with myself, uh, for half the year, then I’ll, then I’ll do that. But is it, is it, is it just that the psychological or is there also a physiological element there?
Eric: Uh, there’s definitely both. Um, you know, if you’re, if you’re a drug free person with any, any kind of experience underneath your belt, uh, the amount of muscle mass you can be able to put on and the rate that it can get put on is typically slower than what you might be told in the mainstream. Kind of bodybuilding information.
Hmm. So you’re gonna have, you know, the idea that you can put on a pound a week and have that be relatively clean weight, uh, when in reality it might be more like a pound a month that’s gonna be clean. Hmm. Um,
Mike: and would you say, like, is that, is that, is that for beginners or your immediates or that number there?
Eric: You know, really I, the range I like to use is about 0.5 to 1.5% of your body weight per month is a recent. It’s a decent rate to try to focus on gaining. Okay.
Mike: And you’d say what the higher is for the, the newer you are? The the, the more you’re gonna be on the higher end of that?
Eric: Yeah. Basically it scales to your training age.
So the faster rate you gain, you should be lowering your training age. ’cause the closer you get to your genetic ceiling, You know, the harder it’s gonna be to, to put on, uh, muscle at that rate.
Mike: Can you just speak quickly to why the, I mean, it’s, when you say lead gain, lean gains, you obviously think of burka, but that is kind of the concept, right?
Is that like you can keep your body fat at 10% and still gain muscle? Why that doesn’t work as well as many people hope?
Eric: Yeah, certainly. Well, I, I think the big problem is that a lot of people just want to have a certain level of leanness in their mind because they’ve been told it’s maintainable. So, I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve Skyped with someone, uh, for a consultation and they tell me, Hey, this is my, you know, my fourth time trying to cut down to 8% body fat.
And each time they, they, they get there, but then they can’t stay there. Yeah. Um, and they think it’s their approach that if they just use a different diet, if they reverse diet or if they what have you, they’ll be, be able to maintain it. But in reality, it’s just like, dude, your, your set point’s like 15% and until you accept that, you’re just gonna be, you know, Struggling and, and focused on food and, and not making great gains and having a relatively suppressed hormonal system and sleeping poorly.
Yeah. Um, and you know, so, so it comes down to they have to a, accept that they’re walk around physique, maybe just not quite as lean as they’d hoped, um, which can take years for some people
Mike: not insta worthy.
Eric: Right. Right. Yeah. You know, so, Not something people like to hear, but something they need to hear if they actually wanna make progress.
Eric: And then, then, then the second part of that relevant to what we’re talking about is that they can learn that a 15% body fat physique in this example is gonna look better over time if they actually put in the years. Mm-hmm. And, um, actually spend some time not trying to cut, but actually building a good physique and, you know, someone with a lot of muscle mass at 15% body fat.
Looks pretty good. You know, that’s the type of person that, um, you know, would, would definitely be comfortable taking their shirt off at the beach. Yeah. So, so yeah, these people have typically spent much more time cutting than they have actually, uh, gaining. And, uh, normally I, I talk ’em into going, right, we need to set like a minimum time ratio limit of uh, you know, time spent in a surplus versus time spent in a deficit.
And I normally tell ’em you like the minimum should be like four to one. So for every, you know, four months of, of time spent in a surplus is one month. You’ve earned yourself in the deficit.
Mike: Let’s, uh, circle back around and talk about how to do it right. Do you wanna just start on the diet, nutrition side of things?
Eric: Certainly. Yeah. So I think the big one is, is realizing that there’s a direct relationship between the calories you take in and the rate of weight, uh, that you gain. Um, so if our goal is to gain, you know, 0.5 to 1.5% of our body weight per month, Uh, that’s really, you know, less than 0.5% of our body weight per week.
So the average, let’s say 170 pound male, that’s, that’s not a lot of body weight you’re trying to gain per week. And if you need roughly a 500 calorie surplus per day to get roughly a pound of tissue gain, that means you’re only gonna want like a 100 to 300 calorie surplus, depending on how, how big you are to start, you know, and how, what your training age is.
So, if you’re a, if you’re five six and you’re a intermediate, It’s gonna be a small surplus if you’re, you know, six foot in a beginner, sure. You might have like a 400 calorie surplus to, to get you in the right position. Um, and then the second question becomes, okay, well if I’m only trying to gain a little bit of weight over time and it’s a small surplus, how do I even track that?
And, um, the, the way to do that is looking at longer time period. So I’ll often tell people to look at like a 14 day body weight average and compare that to the next 14 day period. And, you know, then, then you’re working with. You know, let’s say, let’s say you’re trying to gain, you know, a pound a month. You can look at a 14 day average and see whether, whether or not you’re up, you know, half a pound.
Yeah. Or close to it, say 0.4 to 0.6 or 0.3 to 0.7 pounds. And if you’re in that range, then you’re thumbs up, you’re in the sweet spot. If it’s too low or too high, then you can make a small calorie bump by say, like 50 or something like that. And just kind of nudging it in the right direction, um, because you’re not looking for, for too much.
Mike: Um, and just to that point, for people listening, the problem with this in particular with just trying to use the mirror is. You know, you’re not really gonna see that much of a difference, uh, week to week if you’re not, if you’re not tracking your weight, like what you’re talking about. Especially with, with, with working out an average like that and you’re just trying to go off of like, do I look bigger?
That’s, uh, that’s not gonna serve you very well.
Eric: Yeah. I mean, honestly, the last time I was able to look in the mirror as a, as a drug free lifter and, and assessed whether or not I was bigger, it wasn’t like the first year of my training. Yeah. And then, you know, after that I really can’t, I kind of have a moment of, of like, Of reflection where I go, wait a minute, I’m, I’m two 15.
Last time I was two 15, I couldn’t see my ass. You know? Yeah. And so I’m like, oh, okay. Yeah. Um, so, you know, and that, so that’s, that’s the kind of thing where it, that’s, that’s like years apart where before I notice, you know, gates or, or the other kid scenarios are when I actually diet down for a bodybuilding show.
There’s no body fat to obscure, uh, my physique at all. And I can look from 2009 to 2007 or 2011 to 2009 and see what progress I’ve made. Yeah. Um, but you know, obviously that that’s not a way to assess, you know, for the general pop, like, was your gaining face successful? Well just die it down until you’re shredded and then see, then you’ll see it just, just take six months after you’re done bulking and, and get diced.
You know, that’s, um, probably not a useful, you, you know, like kind of tool to put in your tool belt. So yeah, assessing progress, primarily what you wanna focus on is the, the ingredients that will result in gaining muscle mass rather than just, am I getting muscle? Yeah. So are you in a surplus so you’re gaining tissue?
Do you have an appropriate amount of, uh, you know, volume and frequency and intensity in your training program? And is progressive overload occurring? And if those three things are happening, then, then you can probably be sure that that, uh, the most percentage of that weight you’re gaining that can be lean muscle is, uh, and if you’re not satisfied with it and you’re doing everything right, then it’s just a matter of, you know, coming to terms with the fact that you’re not a beginner anymore, which is, is tough.
You know, I remember when I. I, I thought I was doing something wrong for many times when I moved from the beginner to the intermediate phase. And often I was, ’cause you know, I was still relative, beginner and didn’t know what I was doing, but many times I was changing things just because I was still expecting to gain like a newbie.
Yeah. And, you know, falling in love with kind of the training approach I had at the start because that was the rate of gain that I was now accustomed to and expected, um, being frustrated by anything less than that and that that is quite the mental hurdle for people moving from. You know, the, the kind of the honeymoon fa honeymoon phase.
So, um, just, just something to to think about for, for people who are been lifting for maybe more than six months seriously. And they’re just starting to notice that the progress is not the same that it once was. Um, so yeah. So on the nutrition side, the first piece is really making sure that your surplus is, uh, appropriate and probably not as much as you think.
And then how do you track that Is by looking at, say, 14 day averages or even. Monthly averages and making small changes over time to push you in the right direction or pull you back if you’re gaining too quickly.
Mike: All right, so that was it for Eric Helms and the Simple Science of Making Lean Gains. If you wanna listen to the full episode, it was published on June 29th, 2017, so you can just go back. To that period in the podcast feed or in the YouTube feed, wherever you are and find it. The title is Eric Helms. On The Simple Science of Making Lean Gains, you can probably just search for that too.
Uh, muscle for Life Podcast, Eric Helms, lean Gains and it will come up. Okay, so let’s move on to the next highlights from the interview I did on helping people building a brand and my biggest business lessons learned. Honestly, I don’t really like the fitness space. Uh, it’s a lot, a lot of bullshit, a lot of scammers.
I mean, I like helping people and I like that element of it, but I, I wouldn’t be willing to do the standard type of approach, which is you have to get networked, you have to, you have to get in with people if you normally, you know what I mean? Like if you wanna. Have a guest article anywhere, on any website that has any sort of traction in traffic.
You have to either know someone or you have to already be established. Yeah, so it’s kind of, there’s, there’s that catch 22 there, but it can be hard to get to know people if you’re not established. So a lot of that in the beginning, I. I just wasn’t really interested running around, trying to suck up to people who I honestly didn’t really respect.
And now that I’m obviously much more familiar with the industry, I would say that’s still true, although there are quite a few people whose work. I really do like more of the evidence-based type people. A lot of them are not necessarily great marketers, so there work is kind of obscure in the grand scheme of things.
You know, a guy like Lyle McDonald, super smart dude, really knows his shit. Um, I had him on my podcast recently. I really like, yeah,
Miles: my wife, my wife loved that episode, by the way. She loved it.
Mike: Oh yeah. Great. So, yeah, I mean, Lyle Lyle’s an example of someone who I really respect him for, for the work that he does, but he’s not a great marketer and I don’t think he would even take offense if you were listening.
I think he would say. Yeah. I mean, that’s just not his thing. He’s more of a science guy, you know. So I didn’t, when I was initially getting into it, I didn’t know about Lyle actually at all. I just kind of looked around like. Go to the bookstore and just go see what, what, what do you have available for you in Barnes and Noble?
If you want to try to, let’s say you’re someone that wants to get in shape and the people that get the book deals and that are most out there, you know, in in the public eye, are generally just full of shit. That kind of includes people in the cooking space. Like what? Like Rocco DiSpirito, negative calorie plan, you know, shit like that.
Yeah. Where it’s just ridiculous. So, so initially I was like, eh, fuck, I don’t, I don’t wanna do that. Let’s do, let’s, let’s, let’s create a publishing company. There’s an opportunity, still actually is an opportunity, and it’s something I’m gonna be pursuing. There’s an opportunity because traditional publishers have distribution and they have that locked down.
Of course, if you want to get into Barnes Noble, you can get in as a, as a self. Publish author. It’s just hard. You have to have serious numbers. Like I, I know I can get into Barnes Noble and get to into other places. I just haven’t, I’m bringing somebody on this year to kind of help expand everything on the book side of things.
’cause I’m not gonna do it myself. But if you don’t have big numbers that you can show, it’s gonna be hard to get, you know, a buyer at Barnes Noble to even care. So, uh, of course you have to go through a traditional publisher. Now, traditional publishers, that’s what they have. What they don’t have is, Most cases, they’re not very good marketers.
They’re not good at helping refine concept of the book and the hook of the book. Taking the, that initial rough idea and turning into something that will really grab people’s attention and make them wanna buy, they’re not good at necessarily, I mean, this is, these are generalizations, but they’re generally true, not good at helping with.
Getting to a title that, again, really grabs your attention and really promises strong benefits and evokes curiosity and so forth. Um, and they’re not good at writing copy for the book and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So they also don’t know shit about internet marketing, and there’s so much that can be done there.
So I, I was saying like, we could do this.
Miles: Why do you do what you do? Like what’s. Different for you neurologically that made that shift for you, where you went from, maybe you’ve always been this way, but maybe doing things just for you and your needs to go and You know what? I’m actually gonna do what I say I wanna do, and I’m actually gonna give a shit about people and not just say it so that I can achieve my own little financial goals.
Why? So? Why do you do what you do?
Mike: Um, it’s a good question, you know, and it’s sometimes hard because I’m me and I’m in my head looking out and it’s just, it’s just, it’s been a part of my personal, I wouldn’t say that I’ve always been a super selfless type of person, but I definitely have always had a, maybe a, a sense of, of ethics and some sort of integrity.
But where it probably begin would be in how I was raised. So my parents and my dad in particular is very much like that. I mean, I say, and I say my dad in particular because, uh, I saw it in his work. I mean, my mom’s like that too, but she raised me and my brother, my dad, he has built up a couple businesses and so he is a successful business person.
So I always had that as like a model growing up. And he’s very much like that. I mean, he’s, he has a bigger heart than I do for sure. And that’s not a slight against myself. It’s just he’s like one of those guys that everybody likes. ’cause he’s super generous and super nice and really cares about people.
And again, like I actually don’t know of anyone that actively really dislikes my dad. I mean, some people here and there, whatever, especially his ex-business partner maybe doesn’t like him so much, but that, but you know that guy though, that that’s a whole nother story. That guy’s an interesting dude. And my, that was my dad sucking, getting into because he was too nice and giving this guy so much stuff.
But, but anyways, you know, that I probably kind of internalized a bit of that just growing up and it was never, um, and how I was raised, I guess I wasn’t, um, maybe raised in the same way that many of. Other millennials have been raised, which is a whole nother discussion, but I think we’re seeing a lot of blow back from just terrible parenting.
And I was, uh, maybe instilled, you know, had certain values of, of hard work and personal responsibility and also just responsibility and general responsibility to others. I’m all for individualism. In certain ways and to a certain degree. But I wouldn’t say like, you know, I think Ayn Rand took it a bit too far.
Uh, I liked parts of what she had to say in Atlas shrugged, but then other parts I was like, all right, well, I mean, I disagree with that. I think that we all live together and so we do have. And I mean, it’s, I don’t think it’s, I don’t look at responsibility as a burden, you know, as I don’t look at, I have a responsibility to do these things for other people, and it’s such a burden.
I look at it as something positive as, uh, I mean, I truly believe that, you know, service to others is, in a way, it’s like a rent that we pay for, for living on the planet. And I very much disagree with people that only live for themselves and don’t want to give back to society, and don’t want to give to others and just want to take, you know, those are, I guess, kind of just deep seated.
Values are virtues for me, and they’re very much kind of tied into the type of person that I want to be. Um, I’m more interested in, in being the type of person that I want to be, and that matters more to me than even the things that I’m doing or the things that I get from what I’m doing, like what I have from it.
So what I mean by that is, I get satisfaction more from, I would say, exhibiting the type of person that I want to be and being that person actively and doing the things that, like that’s, but what I do is more coming from that as opposed to doing things just to have shit. Just to be like, oh, I want a Lamborghini, so I’m gonna do whatever it takes to get a Lamborghini.
Like those types of. Ambitions are, I think, meaningless. And they are more conducive to the corner cutting and the selfishness. And just because they’re, they’re, they’re so empty and they actually, you know, they, they are just inherently meaningless. Getting into great shape or just getting into good shape and, you know, just getting into the routine of it all is probably one of the easiest things you can do to improve every area of your life.
Everything, everything gets better if you are exercising regularly. If you have a good diet and if you’re not overweight, and there’s a point obviously where there’s, there are diminishing returns in that regard, but if you just look at how the average person lives in terms of like sedentary living and overweight and terrible diet, and then if you change all that to active, there’s also something to be said for the, the vanity of it too.
I mean, there is. That matters to all of us, how we look. So there are the psychological and the emotional benefits that come with that, that just go, go beyond the physical. But yeah, it’s cool.
Okie dokie. That’s it for that one. And if you wanna listen to that whole episode, it was published on March 31st, 2017, so you can go find that. And the title is Helping People, building a Brand. And My Biggest Lessons Learned probably should say, biggest Business Lessons Learned, but that’s the title.
Before we Carry on, if you are liking my podcast, would you please help spread the word about it? Because no amount of marketing or advertising gimmicks can match the power of word of mouth. So if you are enjoying this episode and you think of someone else who might enjoy it as well, please do tell them about it.
It really helps me. And if you are going to post about it on social media, definitely tag me so I can say thank you. You can find me on Instagram at Muscle for Life Fitness, Twitter at Muscle for Life, and Facebook. At Muscle for Life Fitness. Alright, now let’s get to our third and final key takeaways, our third and final highlight reel, which is how I go about setting and achieving my goals.
How do you go about helping people just make realistic goals? Yeah, I mean that’s a whole section in, um, The little Black Book of Workout motivation that I recently published, um, and Onsetting goals and the book was kinda interesting for me ’cause it was, I did a, a fair amount of research and tied in quite a bit of scientific literature and anecdotes, but also it was heavily influenced by what I do and what has worked well for me as well.
And so, As far as goals versus aims, obviously in the dictionary those things are synonymous. So I guess it kind of depends how you are defining them. But one of the first things I like to do with goals is a lot of people, when they start with a goal, they just go, what do I want? And that’s a fine place to begin, but I think that.
If you don’t answer that question in a very specific way, the chances of actually achieving anything worthwhile plummet dramatically. And what I’m talking about is really I think one of the first questions that you need to really reflect on before you get into the tactics of goal setting and how do you break goals down into actual plans that you can implement and execute.
And how do you. Get feedback, right? How do you track your progress? That’s important to know that you are progressing or not and blah, blah blah, is really thinking about what kind of pain you want. ’cause it’s very easy to state a desire and especially when it’s something that everybody wants. Like everybody wants a better body, everybody wants more money, wants more time or freedom or whatever.
The hard part, I think, is taking the stars out of your eyes and really asking yourself. We’re asking. I mean, this rep applies to me too, asking ourselves how much pain we are willing to endure to get there. And I’m talking about sacrifice, tedium, doubt, disappointment, despair. All these are all painful, psychologically painful experiences.
And really what I’m talking about is assessing costs first and seeing if we’re willing to pay it. And. That has been very helpful for me in a number of ways where there’s first getting to the nuts and bolts of it, because in the book I talk about Tom Brady and his story. A lot of people don’t know that when he was in high school, he wasn’t even good enough.
He, he was a baseball player. And he had a good arm and he wanted to play football. People were saying, don’t, because you suck. You’re, you have no, you, you’re slow. You have no athleticism like you can throw a baseball. Well, dude, you just need to do that. And he didn’t listen to him, right? So he starts on his high school football team.
He was just a ben. He was on the bench. They didn’t even, they didn’t even start ’em, they wouldn’t even let up and play. They finished oh four eight. They didn’t win a single game and didn’t score a single touchdown. Right in the, in the season that he joins them. Yet he wasn’t even good enough. The coach wasn’t even confident enough to put him in to play a single, a single play.
Right. Despite that Brady, and this is, this is one of those kind of cool things where he, he was telling his family who were very supportive and he also had very athletic and he had sisters who were accomplished athletes. Right. And he was the little, you know, a little Tommy and he was telling his parents, you know, one day he even wrote this in a paper, I’m gonna be a household name, and his family were, Good hearted about it, but kind of laughing like, okay, dude.
Sure. And you know, in um, Facebook in, I think it was this year they released, it was a multiple part, like a six part documentary called Tom Versus Time. And in the beginning, um, he is kind of just talking to the camera and, and he’s talking about what are you willing to do, what are you willing to give up?
To be the absolute best that you can be. ’cause we only have so much energy. The clock is always ticking. And I really liked, I think this is just, just really captures the essence of him is he was saying that anyone out there, if you’re gonna compete against me, you’d better be willing to give up everything.
You better be willing to give up your entire fucking life because that’s what I’m doing. I’ve given up my life to get to where I am. So good luck. You know what I mean? Yeah. And so that inspired him to do things that teenagers, no normal teenager did what he did. Like he didn’t just go to get off school, go home, play video games.
No. He would go home and he came up with these like jump rope, uh, workouts to improve his footwork. And he would then do strength training workouts and he would obsessively practice this kind of. Tedious hopscotch like exercise called the five dot drill that everyone hated. Yet he would do it every day without fail, even on vacations and in time.
He made up for his deficits and compounded his strengths, which were his mind for the game and his arm. You’ll find that if you just study the biographies of a lot of successful people is they’re willing to sacrifice. Basically everything to get to where they are. So I think that that’s very important in the context of goal setting, is starting with what is this actually gonna cost me?
What is it gonna cost me in time? What’s it gonna cost me in energy? What is it gonna cost me in money? And honestly assessing, asking yourself, am I willing to pay that? Really am I willing to pay that? And for me, this is, I’m just speaking personally. If I can’t answer that question with absolute conviction saying yes, like basically it has to be.
If I don’t feel that, I’m either going to achieve this or I’m gonna die. I am very wary of pursuing that goal. And in some cases I have chosen not to pursue goals simply because I didn’t feel it and I’ve had enough experience now to when I don’t feel that level of conviction. If I’m, if I’m kind of wavering and I’m like, ah, that sounds really hard.
I don’t know if that’s gonna work. I dunno if I wanna do that, I would never start in on something. With that type of outlook, what are some actual practical things people can do to make it easier to get their workout in so they don’t go and say, oh, I had planned on doing leg press, but that machine’s busy, and oh, the, you know, I can’t get on a platform, or There’s no weights.
What are some. Just little hacks you can do to make your workout more efficient when you are training in a packed gym. I’ll answer that. First. I, I wanna say one other thing is something else to consider when you’re starting out is, is look for things that allow you to attack, to get at your goal in multiple ways.
So take just losing fat, right? For example, a lot of people wanna lose, wanna lose weight. If you go, I can go do a bunch of cardio and sure you can lose weight and you can lose fat, or I can do a bunch of resistance training. A lot of people don’t know that. Resistance training is more or less as effective for losing fat as cardio.
Cardio. Depending on what you’re doing, it can be a bit more effective. However, with resistance training, you are also gonna be gaining muscle. You’re gonna be improving your body composition, you’re gonna be improving your metabolism. You’re gonna get a lot more out of the resistance training. So there’s also a point of when you’re looking at where to start out, look for the things that have the highest.
Possible return. Um, so on the training side of things, I think it’s resistance training all the way for a number of reasons. So much so that I recommend that 80% of people, or sorry, people spend. 80% of their time that they have to exercise and the average person has like three to five hours a week. I’ve, at least by my experience, working with a lot of people, spend 80% of that time on some, doing some sort of resistance training and 20% of that time doing cardio.
So that’s also something I just wanted to throw out there for people. If you’re like, where should I start? If it’s on exercise, start with the resistance training and if it’s with the diet, start with energy balance. And if you don’t know what that is, head over to muscle for life.com and search for energy balance.
That’s where you start just there. Just understanding calories in, calories out, understanding how to make that work for you. Don’t worry in the beginning so much about the macronutrients, the protein, carbs, and fat. Don’t worry about the fad diets keto, or that’s the. Fad diet du jour. But don’t worry, in six months it’ll be something else.
Don’t worry so much about even the foods that you’re eating. Sure, it’s good to eat nutritious foods, but let’s first just hone in on energy balance and understanding that and seeing how that works. Enjoying your training program, enjoying your diet. Those things are in some ways even more important than the technical details of how they work so long as you follow a few basic principles, um, on both the training and the dietary side, in, in both of those areas, you have a lot of wiggle room.
There are only a few things that are not negotiable. Energy, balance being one of them. Progressive overload or mechanical tension being one of them on the training side of things. But so long as you understand just like these are the core principles, these are the fundamental pillars. Beyond that, you have a lot of room to do something that you enjoy.
And you know, I say this, I’ve said this many times that somebody could have the most scientifically optimal based on our current understanding of everything, training, program, or diet. But if they don’t enjoy it, I would not recommend it for them. I would recommend something that is clearly scientifically suboptimal, let’s say, but that they really enjoy because compliance is everything, long-term, compliance is everything.
So there’s no reason to just force yourself to continue doing some sort of workout, uh, routine or follow some sort of diet that you don’t enjoy when you don’t have to understand. All that much. It’s fairly easy to get yourself up to speed so you can then create something or find something that you do enjoy.
All righty, that’s it for the third and final takeaways. If you want to go listen to that whole interview. It was published on February. First 2019, and it’s called, here’s how I Go about setting and achieving my goals. I hope you found it interesting and helpful, and if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, could you please leave a quick review for the podcast on iTunes or wherever you are listening from?
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