Category Archives for "fitness"

November 7, 2023

Pain-free knees and shoulders with Dr. Alan Reznik

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Shoulder and knee problems seem to crop up after 40, usually because we didn't take very good care of them when we were younger. In his book, The Knee & Shoulder Handbook, Dr. Alan Reznik walks us through how to take care of our joints so we can live pain-free.


Let's Say Hello

Rachel Discussion


Text – https://amzn.to/4714lt4

Post Show/Recap

Post show with Rachel.

Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


October 24, 2023

Doing fitness different in your 40s, 50s and 60s with Tony Horton

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Fitness legend Tony Horton shares information about how he approaches health and fitness as he's aged including training style and recovery.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:16.170] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:02:17.930] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:19.790] – Allan

I'm doing all right. How are you?

[00:02:21.620] – Rachel

Good, thanks. It's beautiful and fall up here. Leaves are changing, and I just realized we're into the month of October. And I just wanted to remind all the ladies out there to make sure they schedule their mammograms. This is breast cancer awareness month, so I feel like I got to push

[00:02:38.620] – Allan

We're almost at the end of it. At least get it scheduled. Go ahead and call your doctor. Get the appointment scheduled. Do a little bit of self work because I think there's some things you ladies can do to make sure that you're taking care of your tatas.

[00:02:54.780] – Rachel

Yes. And coincidentally, what made me think of it was I had just recently had a visit with my dermatologist for my annual skin cancer check. He checks if you've ever seen me. I've got a lot of freckles moles. I got all sorts of spots. And he takes a look to make sure that they all look safe. And he was actually just schooling me on habit stacking. And one of the habits he was saying was to take your birthday whatever day you were born on. I was born on the 22nd of the month. He's like, use that day to schedule to do healthful things for yourself. Do your breast exam, do your skin self check, make your doctor's appointments. It's an easy day to remember and make it's an important day, obviously. So that was an interesting little habit.

[00:03:41.450] – Allan

Well, did he mean that by every month of every month, like, you do a self exam, you do looking at yourself over check, something over an appointment? So this is every month?

[00:03:51.340] – Rachel

Every month.

[00:03:51.930] – Allan

Usually the 27th of every month, which is just a few days from now.

[00:03:56.730] – Rachel

Yeah, that's right. Yeah. So that's a good thing to do.

[00:04:01.120] – Allan

Yeah. Good. Well, we had that huge vacation, and so you would think, okay, well, things are slowing down for Allan. Not exactly. We have a chili cook off that just happened about a week ago. Of course, we're recording this early, so that's this weekend for me right now, calling from the future. But it's this weekend anyway. Yeah. So it's a chili cook off. I'm responsible for the chili. So I've got a 13 pepper chili that I do, I'm going to do. I call it Superstition Chili. Although my team kind of went rogue on me and decided that they wanted to do Roman stuff, so they want to wear togas what it is. But we're trying to tie 13 chilies to Roman stuff now. But anyway, they're creative. They're going to be the fifth year in a row they're probably going to win the best booth thing, and I just want to win the best chili, so I'm working on that. So all that's going down this next weekend, so that's got me busy. And then I'm going to host a murder mystery dinner here at Lula's on the 11th. I'm planning that. And then, of course, my wife Tammy, she's really into Halloween.

[00:05:15.290] – Allan

So there's the Halloween thing that everybody's got together and said, okay, well, we're going to be this, and so it's like boom, boom, boom, and then that. So a lot of things going on here, but it's fun and it's interesting, and I'm just enjoying myself. And no, it's not getting cooler, and no, the leaves are not falling. I'm still walking beaches and shorts. Shirtless to get a little bit of sun.

[00:05:41.710] – Rachel


[00:05:42.180] – Allan

My birthday is on the second, so that's when I can do my little skin checks. And there you go. Good. All right, well, I've had Tony on before, and that was a really good conversation. Exciting. He's got so much energy, it's insane. But are you ready to have this conversation with Tony?

[00:05:59.720] – Rachel


[00:06:00.500] – Allan

All right, here we go.


[00:06:31.530] – Allan

Tony, welcome back to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:34.030] – Tony

Allan, I know, it's good to be back.

[00:06:37.150] – Allan

It's crazy how time flies when you're having fun, but it's been over three years, the summer of 2020 that you were on the show

[00:06:46.930] – Tony

before the Earth got very confusing.

[00:06:49.390] – Allan

Yes, every day. But I just try to have fun and see where it takes me. But, yeah, that was episode 446. This is going to be episode 611 or 612. No, 612. I got that. 612. So, yeah, I've been working. You've been working. A lot has changed, but a lot stays the same. So I'm glad to have this opportunity to have a conversation with you today.

[00:07:12.380] – Tony

My pleasure, man. Good to be here. Good to see you again.

[00:07:14.990] – Allan

So, the last time you were on here, you mentioned something, so I have to share this with you. You'd pulled out your calendar and talked about your red X's to stay motivated. That was kind of one of the keys of and I kind of keyed into that. It's like that visual representation of consistency and how it drives your mind, particularly if you're someone who's driven by the gamification of things and just kind of seeing it versus just feeling it and knowing it. I had a client, her name was Anne, and so I kind of talked to her. We were talking about a couple of different things. One, we were talking about self love, because I think if you don't love yourself, the fitness game is really hard to stick to. And then the other thing was the consistency. She needed the consistency. So I told her about your calendar tool. Well, she put the two together and she went out and bought some heart stickers. And so every day she did her workout, she put a heart sticker on her calendar, man, and it was so cool to see her going through that. And the consistency improved, and the way she felt and the way she felt about herself improved.

[00:08:17.610] – Allan

So really cool tip. I appreciate you sharing that with me.

[00:08:20.350] – Tony

Oh, hey, man. Hey together, we help somebody get to the next level.

[00:08:24.400] – Allan


[00:08:25.730] – Allan

It is. Again, I think if we all just pay attention to the tools and things that are out there, everybody's bringing something to this game, and I'm looking for you to really bring it this time. Okay.

[00:08:39.890] – Tony

I've learned. I've learned a thing or two since we spoke last, Allan.

[00:08:43.820] – Allan


[00:08:44.660] – Tony

Fresh tidbit. We only hope. Maybe there's a good joke in here somewhere.I don't know.

[00:08:49.870] – Allan

Okay, well, one of the things I really wanted to get into this time we talked about your shingles last time, and for anyone that doesn't know, go listen to four, four, six. Tony went through about the worst thing I think you can go through with regards to it

[00:09:07.860] – Tony

visited the demons.

[00:09:09.400] – Allan

Yes. But that required you to kind of restart, because a year of not being able to beat Tony Horton for lack of a better word, you lost 25 pounds of muscle. You came back, you weren't where you were. And for a lot of us that were at a level, particularly as we get older and recovery and getting back to things is that much harder. Can you give us some ideas? If someone took a long break from training, or maybe never was training, how do they get the right mindset and really kind of get themselves moving in such a way that they could get this stuff done?

[00:09:51.310] – Tony

Well, here's what's interesting. Let's say, for example, you were committed at some point, like you were into it, and maybe you were single at the time and you had spare time and maybe who knows? Everybody's different, of course, right? One size does not fit all. And you were that person. And whatever happened, you got married, your house got flooded, you ended up with a really horrible flu. Or maybe you had got Ramsay Hunt syndrome like me, and you lose like me. Like you said, I lost 25 pounds. But for me, at that stage in my life, I'd already been doing it for three decades. You know what I mean? It was already ingrained. It's who I was. It was as important as anything else in my life. And the reasons why I was doing what I was doing then had changed from when I first started. Now, when I first started, it was all about ego and size and how much you benched and the circumference of your biceps and whatever. A lot of ego driven stuff, a lot of comparisons of me to others, you know what I mean? And that's all fine if that sustains you.

[00:10:56.450] – Tony

You got to kind of notice when life is shifting that you might have to shift your strategies, your techniques, your methods, whatever. And so when I came out of my situation and again, this applies to anybody who was into it, and then whatever happened and it was two months, three months, a year, five years, and you're getting back into it, it's important to look at your reason why. And my reason why was all ego and esthetics and comparisons to others and looking for compliments, which is not sustainable as you get older, I don't think. And for me it was about health and wellness and my mental and emotional state or much more so than my physical appearance. And far too often I meet guys who are in their fortys or fiftys. I need to get bigger. Really?

[00:11:44.600] – Tony

Are you playing hockey now? What do you want, a rugby team? Or are you going to be the oldest professional football player in the world? Why do you want to get you got three kids and a wife. Does she want you to get bigger? What do you want, dude? What's important to you because you're wanting to get bigger as an example didn't work for these last six months, a year, two five years, whatever. So maybe it should be something different. And for me, my raison detra, as the French would say, my reason for being is to be a super healthy, fit 65 year old. And what does that look like? And how am I prioritizing now? So I'm prioritizing on exercising today because it helps my creativity and my productivity and my ability to solve problems and improves my sex drive and my sleep and my range of motion and my body's ability to move quicker in situations where I wouldn't if I didn't do these things. To be a better skier, to be able to get through a ninja course on Sundays with guys half my age. You know what I mean? So it's more about performance, it's more about quality of life, it's more about better brain function and improving my emotional state as I make my way into my 60s, right?

[00:13:01.530] – Tony

So I think we spoke about this before. When you move, whether it's yoga or cardio or weights or Pilates or CrossFit or P90X or our new program Power Sync 60, you release norepinephrine dopamine serotonin and brain derived neurotropic factor BDNF that happens inside of your head, inside your temporal lobe, inside your hippocampus, inside your little tiny dentate gyrus. And you don't have to wait 30, 60, 90 days for a better look, bigger arms, more you get it today. And if you don't work out, you don't get it. You don't get it. It doesn't happen. And so the temporal lobe and the hippocampus and the dentate gyrus are not stimulated. Those chemicals are not released inside of your head. So you're just a little sadder, you're a little bit more depressed. Your ADD and your ADHD and your elemental P and whatever it is that you have overtakes, right? You don't have all that good brain chemicals to be able to counteract the doldrums of your life. And that's life altering. You know what I mean? Annex is the plan, right? You get your calendar, whatever it is, figure out what you're going to do and when you're going to do it, and you announce it to the world.

[00:14:14.230] – Tony

I got a friend right now. She's so committed. I'm in. And she's been super inconsistent because she doesn't tell the world, hello world. I am going to be working out at 08:30 A.m. every day so don't even begin to think about scheduling anything there because I've already scheduled it till now, until the day I'm dead. Tell the world my workouts are morning and night because I'm working around other people's schedules, because I want those other people in my world motivating me, inspiring me, and helping me push harder.

[00:14:48.100] – Tony

All right?

[00:14:48.490] – Tony

So if you wing it, you won't do it. If you plan it, the odds go up. And third is accountability. Who are you accountable to? If you are one of these people who get up in the middle of the four in the morning and you go down in your basement and you live in Minnesota and it's February and it's 59 degrees down there, and you do a plotty routine or a yoga or you're a superhero, we crown thee. We say, you are better than me, because I don't invite those people to my house. I ain't doing it half the time, man. I mean, I felt like, oh, Horton, he must love working out. Not really. Purpose, plan, accountability. If you got that in your life and you understand how important those are, you go from surviving like everybody else to thriving like I know you want to.

[00:15:34.170] – Allan

Yeah, I kind of break that down into the two different what I call motivational lines. So there's an extrinsic motivational line which falls along the accountability, and then there's the intrinsic, which is more about self efficacy. And the self efficacy stuff is hard. It's hard because at that point, you have to be your own boss. At that point, you have to identify yourself as being more than just a desk wonk doing your job. You've got athletic aspirations, you see yourself differently. I never want to be a spectator in my grandchildren's lives, ever. I don't care what they're doing. When I started, P 90 X was maybe the hardest, craziest thing I'd ever done in my life. Now they got tough Mudders and Spartans and all that kind of stuff going on CrossFit, and it keeps going CrossFit and all that, and I don't know what my grandchildren are going to be doing. They're not even born. Most of them aren't even born yet. So when they come along, it's like, okay, well, when they get older, I want to be the grandpa that's a participant in their lives. Correct. I don't want to be the grandpa that's watching from the rocker or sitting in the aluminum stands watching them.

[00:16:51.090] – Allan

I want to be out there playing with them.

[00:16:53.540] – Tony

Yeah. Building memories. Memories that you're going to have while you're here, and the memories they'll have for the rest of their lives. The influence that you have on them is I went to a show the other night, and P 90 X is ancient. Really? At this point. I don't know, it's been a while. And I don't get out of the house much because,

[00:17:12.250] – Allan

like, 40 years, let's be honest, Tony.

[00:17:16.490] – Tony

I went to Fargo, and I went to Jackson, and I went to Paris, and I went to Rome, and I went to London, and I'm going to Miami, and I'm going to know, like, when I'm not traveling, I'm here, you know what mean? Like, I haven't been to the grocery store in like, seven years, whatever. That's just who I am. But I go to this club, right, packed theater, and they call me on stage, which was not planned, so I had to do this MC thing. And of course, I'm up there reading these three by five cards, my glasses going like I can't. Anyway, it was fun and it was great. And then the show is over, and I would say a fourth of the audience I mean, I'm talking to Pac Theater, all come up to me and say, you changed my life, and P 90 x this and that. And I started in high school, my parents did it and then I did it. And they're like, you have no idea, man, what this did for my and I'm like, wow. And that's what you would be doing on a smaller scale for your grandkids and your grandkids friends and your grandkids kids when they have kids.

[00:18:16.270] – Tony

I mean, it trickles down, man. And it's powerful and it has a tremendous effect. You don't think, oh, you don't really think? Because I didn't really think about it, then all of a sudden I'm like signing and doing selfies and people are crying in front of me. It's like, holy smokes, wow. You forget because you're just doing your thing. And then you let other people market it and send it out to the world. And I don't know how much is getting used, but apparently quite a bit. And so you're in a field, Allan, that is so important right now for this country, you know what I mean? Because too many people are suffering needlessly. And it's up to us to come up with ways to get people off their butt and changing their lives. You know, there's two things that we control. It's whether we move and what we put in our mouth. I mean, pretty much everything else is out of our control, you know what I mean? So if you have the right strategies, the purpose, plan, accountability, whatever, and other intensity, there's other things on the list, too, and you learn that hydration and proper sleep and supplementation and mindfulness is another thing that's really key.

[00:19:24.480] – Tony

There's a lot to learn here, but once it becomes ingrained, once you get that routine down, it feels impossible to abandon it. But there are people out there who are like, I'm in, I'm out, I'm in, I'm in, I'm fit, I'm fat. You know what I mean? And it's up to us to rein them in and say, hey, man, you got this. You can get going again. Here we go.

[00:19:44.330] – Allan

So now, one of the things I noticed is, like, you kind of said the ego thing. It followed me. It wasn't something I said, okay, I'm on my 20s, and okay, I got the ego, and I want to have the arms and the chest and the thing. And it kept following me every time I get in the gym. It's like, okay, just a little tad ego.

[00:20:06.520] – Tony

And as we get older, that can get you hurt.

[00:20:09.210] – Allan

It can get you hurt. That's why I tore my rotator cuff. Exactly. I was as strong at 51 as I was ever in my life. And then I tore rotator cuffs and then I wasn't so as someone gets older. 50s, 40s, 50s, 60s, are there things that we should just say, okay, look, those are childish things, I'm going to put them away and then I'm going to focus on things that are more suitable for who I am and where I need to be. And just kind of as a preface to that, how has aging affected your training?

[00:20:43.550] – Tony

Great question. Well, aging is inevitable, so therefore change is inevitable. It just has to be. But if you still have your high school college mentality and you're in your 40s, 50s and 60s, you're going to tear your rotator cuff, you're going to blow out your knee, you're going to screw up your back, you're going to end up with sciatica. And there are ways to mitigate those things. It doesn't mean that you have to stop training hard. You just have to start training smart. A lot of people can continue to do the workouts they did then, but they're going to have to maybe back off on the reps and back off on the weight, you know what I mean? I would suggest go to more body weight gravity type exercises and get away from trying to do the bench pressing and trying to do the heavy squatting, you know what I mean? And a lot of people who are still hung up on wanting to get bigger, no, live big. Get big. Yeah, that's true. But is it still necessary? Is it still that important to you? I mean, we're getting back to my first answer, right?

[00:21:46.050] – Tony

And I'll get into how my training has changed to a degree. What people need to do is add new stuff. So the recovery mindfulness category of this lifestyle is more important than ever, more popular than ever. I have foam rollers and I use them. I have a Theragon and I use it. I have an infrared sauna and I get in there. I have an infrared mat that I lay on. I have a cold plunge, which I absolutely despise, but I do it. I have a regular pre workout, post workout regimen. Warm up, cool down. Really important, right? I have a regular yoga practice. Every Friday is an hour, 15 hours and a half session. Always trying to work on that, you know what I mean? I have separate stretch routines that I do. And most people just want to start and they want to finish, and they don't want to do any of that stuff because I don't have enough time for that stuff. I barely have enough time for my workout alone. All right? And then the other piece of the part of the recovery is what you're putting in your mouth. Certain foods, certain beverages cause inflammation.

[00:22:55.950] – Tony

And that inflammation occurs not only in your organs and in your pancreas and your liver, in your esophagus and in your digestive system, and in your stomach and everything else. That inflammation happens in your joints. It affects your tendons and your ligaments in your body. The wrong foods that sugar, salt and chemicals over and over and over again at processed food is weakening the muscles, weakening the tendons and the ligaments and your bones. Right? So everybody knows calcium is good for my bones. Well, duh. You think your ligaments and your tendons and your muscles are like my new protein powder has HMB and vitamin D, three massive doses that helps muscles actually grow without having to do much. And when you do much, it's a whole lot better. I mean, I'm 65. There she goes, you know what I mean?

[00:23:40.490] – Allan

Flexing again,

[00:23:41.910] – Tony

still vascular, still strong. But at the same time, if you want to do what you did to a certain degree, you got to add all this extra stuff. And sleep is important. Most people are sleep deprived and dehydrated and malnourished. Right. Get that in order. Like, most people aren't drinking enough water, their sleep is terrible, they're not getting enough of it.

[00:24:05.520] – Tony

This is all part of the recovery process. And then last but not least, it's really learning how to change gears. Maybe you add pilates, maybe you go hiking instead of sprinting on the track. It's really understanding that age is happening. So change is happening. Can you change with the age as you age? And a lot of people just forget that and they don't understand that, and they don't know how to do that, and they don't know who to reach out to to help them get there. And it's about form and function, too. Like today I was on a stability ball. I'm doing tricep extensions with 75s, with the 75, not 275, but 175. Right? So first of all, I got to get into onto the stability ball, and then I got to get the weight on my chest, then I got to get it extended over my face, and then I'm doing ten or twelve reps with that because I've done it so many times. I've built so much the routines for so long that I can get in there and do that, you know what I mean? And it's also the other thing too is P 90 X was successful because there were twelve workouts.

[00:25:05.590] – Tony

My new program, the Power Four, has 24 workouts. So the same adage, we called it muscle Confusion, which was just a made up word term, like it's not real, it's just a term to explain what we're doing. It's not like it's scientific already, so relax everybody. But Jack Lane had something called periodization training. We called it muscle confusion, which was working on your weaknesses as much as your strengths. Yeah, you don't like yoga, we're going to make you do it. You don't like martial arts, we're going to make you do it. You don't want to lift weights, we're going to make you do it. Right. You don't want to work on your ABS? Well, we're doing Aberbarex you've decided to do it or not. And so it was avoiding the boredom and the injuries and the plateaus that come from doing the same things over and over and over again and expecting you're going to look gorgeous and you're going to be right for me. I work on my speed, my balance, and my range of motion as much and more than the resistance, weights and cardio, right? So these three are as important as those two.

[00:26:00.180] – Tony

And when you add all five, you know what I mean, then you're going to be able to do what? I can't jump as high and I can't run as fast, but everything else is pretty much in play for me because I've added the variety, and I have all the recovery aspects of my lifestyle now.

[00:26:20.230] – Allan

Well, I do like that you said form and function, because I think that's the missing piece. When you talked about the why at the beginning, it's like I said, I want to be the grandpa that can climb on the floor and do coloring books. I want to be the grandpa that can keep up with them when they're playing soccer or whatever the thing is. I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105.

[00:26:39.560] – Tony

Um, let's hope we get to 105, and we can.

[00:26:43.010] – Allan

Right? But the whole point being is a lot of people get to a point where they're not able to take care of themselves. They lose their independence because they lost their fitness, not the other way around. It's the function of living the life that you were intended to live, the way you want to live it on your own terms. And so the things you do and you talked about it mobility, balance, speed, keeping those things up takes work. It's not just something you lose. You lose it because you're not doing it. And so it's putting those all together and saying, what does my workout need to look like? I don't need to be able to press 160 pounds over my head anymore. I never actually probably ever really did, but I tried a lot of weight.

[00:27:26.360] – Tony

Over your head, man.

[00:27:26.990] – Allan

It is, but I don't need it now. The heaviest thing I put over my head is an overhead bag. An overhead bin. You put it up in the overhead bin, it's literally that. And that bag doesn't weigh more than 25 pounds. So from a form and function perspective.

[00:27:43.010] – Tony

You'Re good to go to you're 105?

[00:27:45.080] – Allan

Yeah, I can turn that down, but looking at that okay, so I'm sitting on the couch. I got to go to the bathroom. I've got to be able to hop up. This is not a slow thing. This is a get to the bathroom thing. You get there, sit down. That's squat, leg strength. I sit down, I do my work, and now I got to be able to do the paperwork. So that's Dexterity mobility, being able to move around and do things, and then it's standing back up. So there's speed, there's mobility, there's balance, there's strength. That's all built into just a basic function of human life. We don't think about a lot when we're in our 50s and 60s, but we're sure going to think about it when we're sitting on the couch watching, I guess Jeopardy will still be on different hosts. Yeah, different hosts.

[00:28:25.830] – Tony

But we're still we miss you, Alex Trebek.

[00:28:29.690] – Allan

Yeah, but we're sitting on the couch.

[00:28:31.570] – Tony

The other thing, too, that I think is important is and people don't realize that a lot of folks, as they get older, especially if they've never had any kind of a fun activity that they've done in their life, you know what I mean? They're exercising purely to lose a certain amount of weight or have a certain amount of certain kind of appearance. But what if you started training because you really wanted to go on a bike ride on the Appian way outside of Rome? You know what I mean? Like, you really train for these activities. For me, winter comes every year and I ski at least two months, not in a row, but two months worth days, like at least 60 days a year I'm trying to get skiing. And so my mindset the other three seasons, summer, spring, and fall, I'm always training for that one season because I'm out doing something. And maybe it's as simple. Like, I know a lot of people who rode bikes and didn't think about it, and now they're in their 50s and 60s and are afraid to get on a bicycle. Like, damn, man, that's just like, go buy your plot, you know what I'm saying?

[00:29:36.680] – Tony

Like, holy smokes. So what is it about you? I tell people, get a piece of paper and get a pen and write down ten things that are physical, fun things that maybe you did as a kid or you never did. Maybe it's surfing for some of you. Maybe it's just going on hikes on a vacation. Maybe for some it's ice. It's, you know, getting on a skateboard again or getting on a know when I had Ramsey Hunt and I balanced and my balance still isn't right, it's never going to be right. That's permanent damage in these nerves in my brain, but whatever, it doesn't slow me down. But I was wigged out about getting on a bike. And then when I got out one, it was like, oh. And then I did it about five or six times, and it wasn't like I fell over sometimes when I was trying to start, like, I stopped and I was on a hill and you get on the bike and you're trying to go up the hill. That wigged me out. But I go, what's the word? I'm going to scrape my knee. I mean, who cares, you know what I mean?

[00:30:32.330] – Tony

But that's a great motivator, having something else that you want to do physically that you enjoy, that you want to share with other people, friends, families, coworkers. I don't know what it is. And sometimes maybe your purpose is that along with wanting to feel good the day you do it, there's a lot of good reasons why.

[00:30:51.970] – Allan

Anyway, now, I know you're big, and you already spoke to it a little bit today about accountability and getting accountability and having accountability. I know you have people actually come over to your house.

[00:31:06.550] – Tony

Yeah, I've built my home. I have 1 2 3 4 places I work out on my property, three outside and one inside. And so it's a playground. It's an adult playground with stuff pegboards and 20 foot rope and 17 foot rope and parallel bars and a whole dang ninja course in the backyard.

[00:31:24.250] – Allan

But this is not Tony just getting up at 05:00 in the morning and going out there and doing his little ninja course. And it's not just a little ninja course. It's actually kind of exceptional. But you're bringing in people, you're staying in it, and they're holding you accountable. You're holding them accountable. One of the things that a lot of people will poo poo a gym. They'll say, I don't want to go to the gym. I don't like the gym. But to me, that's a ready made accountability group just already there somewhere in your neighborhood.

[00:31:57.810] – Tony

Park the car, go inside.

[00:31:59.480] – Allan

You don't even have to talk to them. If you're the 05:00 workout person, which I was when I was corporate, it's the same people in the gym every morning at 05:00.

[00:32:08.460] – Tony

Yeah, man.

[00:32:09.460] – Allan

And you see them and you nod, they nod, you get and do your thing. So it's not even like I could call them friends. I don't even know their names, but I just knew they're there. They're going to be there and pushed me to

[00:32:22.250] – Tony

maybe they become friends at some point. Hey, man, what's your name again? Especially, hey, will you spot me? Sure enough, tell me your name, blah, blah, blah. And you find out you have a lot in common. It becomes your best man at your wedding.

[00:32:33.810] – Tony

Those stories happen all the time,

[00:32:35.440] – Allan

and that goes to the gym. Wrong. You're some of the five people you spend the most time with.

[00:32:41.300] – Tony


[00:32:43.090] – Allan

Some of those folks should be in fitness. Just saying.

[00:32:48.070] – Tony

Yeah, totally true, man. Totally true.

[00:32:51.340] – Allan

So I'm going to ask you this question again. I think you'll probably give me a different answer. It's been over three years. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:33:06.330] – Tony

I kind of covered them already, you know what I mean? Curiosity maybe is something I didn't really touch on, but being open to trying new things that you feel like you've never even tried before, because I talk about it in my book, The Big Picture, there's two kinds of love there's the thing that you just love to do. If you don't like fitness, there's probably not much that you love, but you got to be open to something, right? I mean, like a lot of guys just want to lift weights, that's all they want to do. They love lifting weights, but they don't want to try anything else. Like, yoga is not my favorite thing to do, but I understand how important it is. I love yoga like the last ten minutes of yoga, I love it the first hour, that's.

[00:33:46.810] – Allan

When you're laying on your back about to take a nap.

[00:33:48.580] – Tony

Yeah, when I'm in Shavasana, right, or whatever, I'm going through those final stretches and I'm in Vinyasana. I'm pretty Vinyasa is the flow. So curiosity is great, what is it out there? And again, break out your paper and your pen and you write down maybe some things that you've heard about. And by the way, there's Peloton, there's beachbody, there's my platform, there's Tonal. I'm on Tonal now, you know what I mean? There's running clubs, there's rock climbing clubs, there's just so many things, you know what I mean? And category one is what are the activities that you could do on your own, right? Like, if you're on the road and the gym is terrible and it's raining or snowing outside and you know that you need to move today, what is your plan? You know what I mean? What are you going to do? Me, I have this thing I call the warrior workout. I do a set of push ups, I do cardio for a minute, I do 30 sets of ABS, I do 30 sets of legs, 30 reps of legs and ABS. And I go three rounds, four rounds, five rounds, six rounds, whatever I got time for.

[00:34:53.340] – Tony

And all you need is the human body, gravity and mother Earth and you're good to go. And that just means, oh, I'm open minded, I'm curious, I'm trying things and it helps me stay consistent. And then again, you touched upon it too. You are the company you keep. And a lot of people, as they get older, they stop making new friends. They just, I got my friends and I don't want to meet new people. Well then you've just put the blinders on. Wham, you know what I mean? So everything in your world gets smaller because your friends are going to eventually a not to be able to do anything anymore because they're not on the same path you're on or they're going to start dying. All right, I meet new people and I invite them over to my house all the time, I've known people ten minutes and I go, hey man, here's my email address, email me if you want to show up for a workout. I do that all the time, right? So creativity, curiosity, when it comes to how you train, constantly searching, go to the gym and don't just look at the same people for six months a year and not say anything to them.

[00:35:53.620] – Tony

Go up and say hello. You know what I mean? I mean, if you're not a weirdo, then they'll probably be cool. I have so many friends. Like, some guy with an FBI agent was walking by my house with his dog and his daughter, and he came up, and he thanked me because I helped him get fit, and I just liked him. And, hey, you know, here's my email. Call me if you want to come over. And the guy was over here five days a week until he had to move to London. And then there was another doctor. It was an eye doctor, same thing. He's just some guy who I was at a restaurant, and he came up to me and thanked me because I helped him with his career, and now he and I are pen pals and email pals, text pals. And I'm always giving him advice and whatever. If you open up your world, then that's everything. And then the other thing too, that I don't talk about much. I mean, I just say form and function. But get in front of a mirror and watch what you're doing. Look to see if what you're doing is correct.

[00:36:50.690] – Tony

Your form is everything. I've been with friends of mine, and I'm always saying, go lower. Get in your heels more. Straighten your arms. You're too hunched over. And people are just kind of arbitrary going through stuff. And as you're training, you're doing the same things over and over and over again incorrectly. I lost you.

[00:37:11.020] – Allan

No, I'm here.

[00:37:12.160] – Tony

Did you hear all that? If you keep doing things wrong all the time, well, then you're even more vulnerable to injury long term, because you get out in the world and you want to try something, and that range of motion isn't there. Your tendons and ligaments and muscles aren't prepared to do what you're about to do because you don't have that flexibility. You haven't moved very quickly. Your form has been terrible for decades. You know what I mean? And that's like, oh, man, here I am. I've been working out. I'm taking care of myself, and now you're telling me everything I'm doing. My form sucks. Well, either you address it or you don't. You know what I mean? Because if you address it and you're willing to get your arms straight or get your squat prop get a proper squat or you're landing like a ton of bricks as opposed to like a kitten, these are things that are important, especially as you get older, because you become more and more vulnerable if you're not really paying attention to those types of things.

[00:38:03.690] – Allan

Thank you, Tony. If someone wanted to learn more about you and the things that you're up to right now, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:38:10.830] – Tony

Oh, there's so many places, tonyhortonlife.com. That's the easy, simple one. You can find everything. There's a lot of tabs, my equipment, my supplements, my live events, my clothing line that we still have a few of in a warehouse.

[00:38:25.500] – Allan

And your blog. And your blog.

[00:38:27.670] – Tony

And my blog. But if you want supplements, go to mypowerlife.com mypowerlife.com and put in the code tony30, which means you save 30%. Awesome. That's really good. And then our brand new my wife and I have got a new thing called Power Nation. In Power Nation, we have lots of our own trainers, we have lots of our own programs. Like I said, the power of four. I left Beach body and everybody said, where's p 90 x four? So we made one called The Power of Four. It's kind of like, what that's all about? But it's about exercise, it's about nutrition, it's about supplementation. And most importantly, the fourth leg of that very important table is the mindfulness component, which I think a lot of people are saying, oh, wow, I didn't realize that if I do breath work and box breathing and meditation and body scan work and everything else, that it just gives me the energy to be able to keep coming back. So the power of four is there. And our brand new program, which is designed I designed it with Dr. Mindy Pells. And Dr. Mindy Pells has done years of research on why women aren't getting the results that they want, is because they're doing the wrong things on the wrong days.

[00:39:37.500] – Tony

And women have a much more complicated hormonal situation than dude. Dudes, we got testosterone and some estrogen, and women are pre pedomopausal and postmenopausal and perimenopausal. And so some women have to train based on the moon. Some of them have to train because their menstrual cycles are gone. And now we added stop options, which means in a lot of these routines, there's two stop options at the ten or 20 minutes mark, at the 40 minutes mark. So that way if you don't like, oh, it's 55 minutes routine, I'm out, I can't do it. But I gave you a stop option. All you have to do is fast forward to the cooldown, and that gets more people in the room, helps them be more consistent. And then, of course, we have our power up and power down stuff, which we used to call modifications with P 90 x. So you can intent if you want, because there's somebody here that shows you how. And if you want to back way off, there's somebody on my other shoulder that will show you how to do that. So our two test groups are getting blown away. These women are getting in the best shape of their life.

[00:40:38.250] – Tony

They're losing weight for the first time because they're doing the right workouts on the right day. So men have one schedule. Women have like three and four based on where they are in their cycle. So we're really proud of that. And you can get all that at powernationfitness.com that's powernationfitness.

[00:40:55.150] – Allan

All right, well, you can go to 40plusfitness.com/613. It's actually episode 613. I thought it was twelve, but it's 13 613. And I'll make sure to have the links there so you can find whatever you want to find for Tony. Well, Tony, again, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:41:16.390] – Tony

Allan, my pleasure, man. I love being on with you and I think we struck some gold today.

[00:41:21.840] – Allan

I think so, too. I think we're going to get a lot out of this. Thank you.

[00:41:26.120] – Tony

Thank you, brother. Bye

[00:41:28.530] – Allan


Post Show/Recap

[00:41:31.070] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:41:32.690] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. I'll just fangirl again for a minute. Tony Horton, he's such a name in the industry and it's been really fun to watch him all these years. So it's nice to hear he's got something going on these days.

[00:41:44.850] – Allan

He has a lot of things going on. Like I said earlier in the intro when we were talking before, the man has just so much energy. He's like a nuclear power plant. It's insane. And that's cool. I think that one of the things that is really interesting is, yes, he was a big, huge name through the 90s into the 2000s with p 90 x, x two and x three, and then he had all these celebrity clients. One of his best friends was Tom Petty and things like that. So it's he's he's in the industry. He's been in the you know, a lot of times people are in the industry and then they're not and then they're not the same person. And so he's had some health issues with his shingles thing, which was he had he had one of the worst cases of it. So it was not a good deal. But at any rate, he is the healthiest, fittest, happiest version of himself. And you can't compare yourself and I think this is where I can literally say, do not under any circumstances compare yourself to someone else. Because Tony wanted to do a pull up competition against me because he sees my pull up rack behind me when we're doing the video and I'm like, not a chance in hell, Tony.

[00:43:19.470] – Allan

I said, now, if you're stuck and I happen to be walking down the side of the road, I'm the guy you want because I can push your car. That's my skill set. So I'm not going to compare myself to Tony Horton. I'll never have that amount of energy and, as he put it, have hollow bones to be able to do a whole lot of pull ups. But I know my way, I know where I'm going. I know what I want for my life. And my training is effectively geared to make me who I want to be tomorrow.

[00:43:49.850] – Rachel

Well, I think that's an important concept. I think you said in his 60s somewhere I'm my 50s. And what we can do today is a little different than what we may be able to do in our 20s and 30s. I mean, there's something to be said for decades of change and maybe training smarter instead of harder. It's an important pivot to recognize.

[00:44:15.100] – Allan

I've been very open and transparent about the fact that I wanted to get super strong in my early 50s, I blew out, you know, tore up, ripped out a rotator cuff, and I did CrossFit until I realized, okay, CrossFit is fine. But at the time, my ego would often overshoot my capacity and I would find myself hurting after a workout and trying to do another workout before I had fully recovered. And so it was just one of those things of saying, okay, CrossFit's great if you can do CrossFit. CrossFit's terrible if you don't have control of your ego or you're doing it too often and not recovering between them. And so it's just kind of finding where you are being realistic about it and then pushing. Now, the way I say pushing is those gentle nudges that kind of get you just outside your comfort zone, not the extreme. I'm going to see what Tony's up to today and then I'm going to emulate Tony's workout. It's not going to be in your best interest, right?

[00:45:24.620] – Rachel

Well, it's important. That's right. It's important to know what your capabilities are and then how far you can push that without causing any injury. Like, I like to say I'd like to live to run another know. I don't want to overdo it and really get injured and then not be able to do the things that I love. But Tony was mentioning that too. He had an ego in his maybe younger years. And now you just need to find what you love. You talk about being fit for task, if that's important to mean. You just need to figure that out for yourself. We're all quite individual.

[00:46:01.090] – Allan

Yeah. And then the other thing that I really like that Tony got into was that this is not just about doing know, this is about doing you. And you is more than fitness, it's nutrition, it's rest and recovery and all of these other things wrapped together. And the funniest thing is, I'll talk to somebody and they'll say, well, I did a long run or hike on Friday or Saturday on Saturday, and then they're hurting on Monday. And I said, okay, well, what was your Sunday like? Because just to see if it was recovery, it's like, oh, well, there was a potluck at the church. And I said, okay, so how'd the nutrition go that day? Not so great. I had some of the cobbler. It was really good. I went back for seconds and I had this and I had that. So, yeah, I completely washed out on my nutrition on Sunday. And I'm like, okay, so you're hurting on Monday. Your knees and ankles and hips are all hurting on Monday, and you think it's the run you did on Saturday.

[00:47:06.450] – Rachel


[00:47:07.930] – Allan

You ate all that inflammation food, and they got inflammation. That's where the pain is coming from. And you think you earned it, you said, well, I was moving for over an hour and a half. I did this distance, and over an hour and a half, I felt like, yeah, I can have a few little treats. And like, okay, so you burned maybe 400, 500, maybe 600 calories. Let's go on the high end. And then you go and eat 700 calories worth of cobbler.

[00:47:40.770] – Rachel

Oh, jeez.

[00:47:42.370] – Allan

It's so easy to eat it.

[00:47:43.990] – Rachel

It is.

[00:47:44.450] – Allan

It's so hard to burn it.

[00:47:45.970] – Rachel


[00:47:46.800] – Allan

But we think we deserve it.

[00:47:48.760] – Rachel


[00:47:49.300] – Allan

And then we're hurting, and we blame the wrong thing for hurting.

[00:47:52.880] – Rachel

So true.

[00:47:53.770] – Allan

So now it's like, well, I got to cut back on my mileage.

[00:47:57.210] – Rachel

Yeah, well, that's an important concept, too, as we age, especially if you're a runner. We need to do all these other things to get those adaptations that we're trying to get in the gym or running on the road like I do. So you need to have good sleep, you need to have good nutrition, you need to do the stretching and mobility work. And if you're not, or worse yet, sabotaging yourself by not doing these things, not getting enough sleep or eating maybe the wrong foods, then you're ruining your own goals. You're really hamstringing yourself at this point.

[00:48:34.950] – Allan

Well, the worst part of it to me is that you have a goal and you want to work towards the goal, but then not that you're doing something specifically to sabotage it, but that you're just not doing the right things. Fine. If you want to have a day and it's a potluck at the church and it's important for you to be there, and yes, if you don't eat the pastor's wife's cobbler, we're going to excommunicate you, or whatever, have some cobbler. That's not where the real problem comes in. Where the real problem comes in is that you don't objectify it. You don't step back and say, okay, I need to have some cobbler, but I don't need to have a four pound piece. That's what they're going to hand you. They're going to hand you that cobbler on that little paper plate, and it's going to feel like you should be doing overhead presses with this thing because it's heavy. You don't have to have that much. You can have a taste of it, enjoy it, relish it, and then move on. But we kind of turn that off. We're like, oh, well, I have to have this, and therefore, boom.

[00:49:55.670] – Allan

Okay, it's a bad day. I screwed up. I'm emotionally upset about it. Don't be. It was fine. Not that you were entitled to it, but you're a grown person. You can have that decision. But you don't do the other stuff. You're not sitting on the floor, rolling around with the kids and doing stuff like you did when you were in your thirty s and now you wonder why it's so painful and hard to get down on the floor. Just because you don't do it enough. You just don't do it enough. I can sit down on the floor and get back up. I can roll around on the floor with my dogs, I can play. I can do all those things at 57 years old. And it's not because I'm some superhero fitness guy. It's just because I actually get on the floor practically every single day. I make a point of getting down there and moving around. Is it dedicated stretching? Is it dedicated mobility work? Do I feel like I'm working out when it no? I just get up in the morning, start my coffee, sit down on the floor and hope my dog doesn't bite me in the face because he's just a little too childish.

[00:51:05.770] – Allan

He likes to nip. It's not a bite bite. Lev is just a nip nip guy. But it's just one of those things of get on the floor, roll around, move around, get the hips open as often as you can, particularly if you had a sitting job.

[00:51:20.090] – Rachel


[00:51:21.210] – Allan

And then the other thing I'm on this interview, I've been on this call. I've got two interviews today.

[00:51:26.620] – Rachel

Oh boy.

[00:51:27.260] – Allan

So I set up my workstation right now where I can just be standing up. So I'm standing up right now. I'm not sitting down. So my hips are open, my chest is open. I can have a conversation with you, and I can do that like I have a phone call or anything and just not be sitting in the chair hunched over there's times that works very well. There are times I need to be sitting down because I got to take notes, I got to be doing some work, got to do some stuff. But I pick my battles and I say, okay, I can be sitting, I can be standing, I can be on the floor. And I try to be all three at different points of the day where it makes sense. So it's not that you have to do all these extra workouts. It's just look at your day and say, what can I do to be moving in a different pattern than I would be? Because if you're sitting for eight solid hours, that's really hard to undo.

[00:52:21.760] – Rachel

That's a lot.

[00:52:22.600] – Allan

Yeah, it's really hard. And I get it. Some people, you have to be sitting at the computer. You got to be typing notes while you're on the phone or whatever's going on. You have to be at the computer. Okay, that's fine. Get up, move around, do a stretch break. It's not like you're going to do a workout, but just do five squats. Five squats. A Samson Lunge. If you don't know what that is, look it up. But just different things that are moving your body to open you up, to get your body moving in a different way so that you're not getting locked into a position. And that's the thing, he has the time. And so he does dedicated yoga, he does other dedicated workouts. Heck, sometimes he's just out there throwing hatchets at a target. Oh God. Because he's made his house his playground.

[00:53:12.330] – Rachel


[00:53:12.860] – Allan

And so it's not that you have to do that. I'm standing here in basically what was our living room of our apartment and guess what? It's a gym. I see. So it's easy for me to walk in here and just say, okay, well, I don't have time for a full workout. Okay, well, I'll just get back in real quick. I don't have time for the full thing. But I'll do a few pull downs, I'll do a few pullovers, I'll do a few rows. Takes me five minutes, put in a circuit and go. And so not that you have to have a bunch of equipment, but just have things that you do that are not sitting at your desk or sitting watching the TV, have other things that you do. And that's really kind of the lesson of all this, is that by doing, you take care of yourself.

[00:54:04.110] – Rachel

For sure. Well, I'd like you both. Well, Tony had said he wanted to be a super healthy, fit 60 year old or in his 60s. And I love that. And it means something different to everybody. And like you had said, we have watched him grow from the beach body days in, what was that, the 80s and 90s even to what he's doing today. And he's made being active and fit a daily activity for his entire life. And he is pretty darn healthy for somebody in his 60s. Super healthy.

[00:54:40.730] – Allan

Yeah, I would definitely put him in the top one percentile of people his age. There's not a lot of people that you're going to see in their mid 60s that can even hold a candle to what Tony's doing. And he had all the reasons to not. I mean, he went through that, lost 25 pounds. He could have just said, okay, done, because he's made enough money. He doesn't need it. He just enjoys being a part of this.

[00:55:06.630] – Rachel

That's it.

[00:55:07.170] – Allan

Enjoys doing it and being so that's what gives him drive. That's what makes him happiest, is when he knows he's helping other people. Me telling him the story about Anne and her stickers with the calendar, he lit up. He lit up because again, this is what he's doing. This is what he's dedicated his life to, is helping people find their health and fitness. And he has his message and his approach. I think it works very well for people in the next generation because we're fired up when someone else is fired up. And so again, the message is you do you, take care of you. No one else is going to do it for you. You've got to do you and just be cognizant.

[00:55:55.150] – Rachel

Just like you were saying, just simple movements throughout the day is enough to get you to be in a healthier, fit place each decade.

[00:56:05.630] – Allan

Each decade, each decade, all the way up to where I can wipe my own butt when I'm 105.

[00:56:10.950] – Rachel

That's right. You could be a super fit, 105 year old.

[00:56:15.100] – Allan

That is a super fit, healthy 105 year old. I can tell you it is.

[00:56:18.880] – Rachel

And that could be you.

[00:56:20.330] – Allan

It will be me. All right, well, I'll talk to you next week, then.

[00:56:24.490] – Rachel

Take care, Allan.

[00:56:25.570] – Allan

You too. Bye.

[00:56:26.560] – Rachel

Thanks. Bye bye.

Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


October 17, 2023

Eat better to run better with Carissa and Jeff Galloway

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On episode 612 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we speak with Carissa and Jeff Galloway about their book, Run. Walk. Eat.


Let's Say Hello

Rachel Discussion


Text – https://amzn.to/3tqJmRv

Post Show/Recap

Post show with Rachel.

Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


October 10, 2023

11 must know gym etiquette tips

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On episode 611 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss gym etiquette so you can feel more confident when you go to the gym.


Let's Say Hello

There is no hello session for this episode as Coach Allan is on vacation.


Hello. Today I'm going to share eleven must know gym etiquette tips. I want to start this though. I want to congratulate you. If you are someone that's just new to the gym, you're just trying to go to the gym and you want to go back to that free weight section, I just want to say congratulations. That's a big step. I know, for a lot of people to go somewhere where you're uncomfortable, to get outside of your comfort zone, but I can tell you that's where all the growth is going to happen. So congratulations for joining the gym. Congratulations for deciding that you want to go back and start working in the free weight section and the machines. You're going to get away from just doing the treadmill and you're actually going to do some things that are really going to help improve yourself, your body, your life, all of it. So congratulations. I'm glad you're there. We're all glad you're there. So I want to share eleven gym etiquette tips that you should know when you decide, okay, you're going to go work out in the gym. Now, these are general tips. They apply to almost every place you're going to go.

You may see some of these that are not as well followed, but I can just tell you if you avoid doing these things or you follow these tips, you're going to be away ahead of the game and people are going to respect and like that you're at the gym a lot more. Okay, so the first one, and this is one that a lot of people don't know about, is about mirror and line of sight. So if someone is sitting on a bench or basically set on a bench, like maybe at an incline and they're doing some work and you see them looking at the mirror between them and the exercise they're doing, they're looking at it while they're exercising. Don't cut in front of them. Don't walk between them and the mirror until they finish their set. And sometimes you need to go in front of them to get the dumbbells that you need. Just be patient, wait a couple of seconds, let them finish their set and then you can excuse yourself and step in front. But let them finish their set. They're using the mirror as a guide for their form. They're trying to concentrate on their lift.

And for you to step in front of their line of sight to the mirror can be a little distracting for some people. And so if you see someone working out and looking into the mirror while they do it, just be patient. Wait, don't cut in front of them. Walk around behind them if you can. The second one is small talk, advice and spotting. So when you go into the gym and you keep going consistently and you go at the same time, you're probably going to start running into the same people. It's just kind of the way gym works. Most of us are going in at 05:00 or the five o'clockers and we're going to see the same people. You're going to see the same people in the gym most of the time you're there. So it's quite common that you're going to strike up conversation with someone. Someone might see you doing something and offer a little bit of advice. They may ask you for a spot. By all means, make this social, but don't make that the sole purpose of the trip. There are people that love to go to gyms and use them as pickup places and do all that kind of stuff.

Don't just go in there. Be respectful of other people and they're trying to get their workout done. You're trying to get your workout done. If someone does offer you advice, just take it for what it's worth. If someone asks you for a spot or you need a spot, by all means. That's part of the reason we're all in there is to help each other. So as you get in there, just understand the culture of the gym and realize that some places are going to be a little bit more social than others. Some are going to have a lot more heavy lifters than others. And so as you get in there, just get comfortable with that situation and just be astute to what kind of the environment is and kind of stick to that. The next one, number three, is to just show up. If you have a workout partner and you started with someone and you said you're going to be there, show up. They are there. They're going to need spots from you. You're motivating them by being there. And so please, if you have a workout partner, you agree to have a workout partner show up.

Now the fourth one relates a little bit to the second one. And this is staring. It seems to kind of be kind of a thing now for women in the gym to photograph themselves or videotape themselves and notice that people are staring at them. Now, many times they are dressed in a way that's not wholly appropriate for what they're doing, but just avoid them. Just don't even look at them. Just go on about your day. They will embarrass you, they will take video of you. If they notice you're staring at them, they will put you in a video and they will share that with the gym management and potentially online. So if you notice that someone is in there kind of doing their thing and they look like they want attention, they don't. They just are doing that to get some attention. But it's not the way you think it's going to be. If they catch you staring, they will videotape you and they will call you out on it. The next one, number five, is about banging and dropping weights. Now occasionally, yes, you're going to drop a weight, that's going to happen. You're going to set a weight down a little harder than you intended, that's going to happen.

The weights are fairly much resilient, but there are certain types of weights, the bumper plates particularly, that are made to be more dropped. And manhandled, you might see that in a CrossFit style gym. In a standard lifting gym, it is not good form to drop your weights. So try to manage your weights. Many times, even though there's a rubber coating on the floor, you can bust the weight, you can bust the concrete underneath. If you drop too much weight and you drop it particularly the wrong way. Plus, it's the opportunity of hurting someone else if you're just slinging and dropping weights around. So unless you're in an environment like a CrossFit gym, where dropping weights and banging and doing all that stuff is appropriate, then don't. And most gyms that you're going to go into, most commercial gyms, are not going to want you dropping their weights. The next one is a similar one, it's grunting. And there are certain gyms out there that basically will kick you out if they catch you grunting. They don't want you grunting. There are other gyms that are more of the weightlifting and you're going to hear some of that.

You're going to hear people yelling, you're going to hear people grunting. So it's kind of like I said, when you get in there, start paying attention to what the norm is. But generally, there's no reason for you to be grunting. If you're lifting within your means and you're doing it with good form, you've got control of the weight, so you're not banging them around and dropping them. And there's very little reason for you to grunt as you're doing the lift. You're pushing yourself, but you're not pushing yourself to a point where you need to be grunting and yelling. The next one is a general rule when you're using a piece of equipment, is to use one at a time. So if you need dumbbells, a set of dumbbells, and maybe you do want the second set of dumbbells here and try to do a superset, generally it's good practice to just grab the one that you need. You'll see video or pictures online where someone has grabbed like a dozen different dumbbell sets and it's all sitting at the floor by their feet. That's not necessary. Grab what you need. If you want to do some super setting, that's awesome.

But go to the gym at a time when you're not going to be interfering with other people getting their workout done. So again, 435 o'clock in the morning, you might be the only one back there in the free weight section. If you want to grab a couple of different dumbbells so you can do a drop set or you can do a superset or some sort of work like that, that's fine. If you're going to be on multiple pieces of equipment, one right after the other, that's fine as well. But just recognize that if you go into the gym when there's other people there, it's bad form for you to put your towel on a piece of equipment while you're using another piece of equipment. So you can complete your superset timely. Just one piece of equipment at a time so the others have an opportunity to use that equipment that you're not using. This leans into the next one, which is let other people work in. So you may sit down on a piece of equipment, a machine or bench or something like that, and you're working and someone comes in. It's usually machines, but someone comes in and says, can I work in with you?

How many sets you have left? If you only have one or two sets left, then usually you can just tell them, I've only got one set left, let me get my set done and I'll be out of your way. But if you have a few sets left, two or three sets left, it's probably worth telling them letting them work in. For the most part their work session is going to be over literally in seconds. So your rest period between lifts of being more than that would give them plenty of time to get in, adjust the weight to what they want and then you can let them work in. Now most people, and again, this would be good form if you do go and ask someone if you can work in, always try to put the weight back at what it was. So if you change the weight on the machine, ask them, would you like me to set it back to what it was? And then do it if they do. Again, that's just good form. It shows that you're a good gym goer and you're there to work and get your stuff done. But at the same time you're respecting that they want to get their work done in time too.

The next one is rerack and return your equipment. I don't know how many times I go into a gym, particularly early in the morning, and I'll find dumbbells laying everywhere. I'm looking for a particular set. They're not on the rack, the racks are not in order. It's hard to find equipment. And if you run around the gym looking for equipment because someone left a set of dumbbells on a bench on the other side of the gym, that's just uncool. So when you finish with your workout, return all the equipment back where you got it from, re rack it, put all the dumbbells where they came from, put all the plates back where you got them. If it's a machine, obviously you don't have to do much after that because someone else can just pull the pin and set it for what they want. But then in gyms where you go in, then basically the leg press has all these plates on it and weaker people are not going to be able to do that. So they have to then take the time to pull all those weights off because that's not the weight they want to train with.

It's just, again, not cool. So rerack and return your equipment. The next one, and this is a big one, so these are getting bigger and bigger as we go. But wipe the sweat off the machines. Anything you use, a bench, a machine, anything like that, clean it up after you're done. Nobody wants to get on a sweaty piece of equipment. Almost every gym has a spray bottle and paper towels or something like that. If you're a sweater, I'm a sweater. I sweat a lot when I work out, so I always bring a towel, bring a workout towel. But then again, just get the spray, spray it down real quick, wipe it down. It takes a couple of seconds and then you're off the machine and it's clean and ready for the person that comes in after you. And one of the main reasons we do that, and this is the final one I'm going to talk about. Number eleven is don't go to the gym when you're sick. Nobody wants to get your cold. And while, if someone asks me, should I work out when I'm sick, the general answer that we give is if it's above your neck, you're fine to train.

If you feel like you're okay, if it's below your neck, don't train. Or you have a fever, don't train. So if you have a head cold, for the most part, you should be fine to do some exercise. If it's in your chest, don't. But all that said, even if it's okay for you to exercise, don't go to the gym and do it. Everybody else, sir, wants to get healthy and fit and they really don't want to catch your cold. And with the things that are going on right now in the world with COVID and everything else. We really don't need to be spreading this stuff around. So if you're just not feeling 100% work out at home, do a body weight workout, do some cardio or something different where you're not exposing other people. Just don't go to the gym. So if you follow these basic eleven rules when you go to a gym, you're going to be seen as a good gym goer. People are going to be glad you're there. You're not going to upset anybody. And so I'm going to go through them real quick just as a summary. So number one, if you notice someone is using the mirror, standing there looking at themselves in the mirror, don't walk in between them and the mirror.

Don't block their line of sight. Wait for them to finish. And then if you need something, you can cross over and grab it. The next one is small talk and advice and spotting is all a little bit different to every place you go. It's always good to make friends at a gym. I mean, as a part of your social circle, it can be part of your motivation. But just play within the rules of how that gym is structured socially and that just takes some awareness. If someone asks you for a spot and you can go ahead and give it to them, please. That's part of being a good gym goer. The next one is to show up if you have a workout partner. If you have somebody you're showing up for a trainer, show up. Don't call out every time, say, well, I'm not going to make it tomorrow. I mean, I get it, things get in the way, but that person is depending on you. That trainer has broken out the time in their day to train you. And so if you do have a workout partner or a trainer show up. The next one is staring.

People don't like it when you're staring at them. People don't like when you're watching them. You probably wouldn't feel comfortable with it. What are they thinking? What are they asking? What do they want? That kind of thing. But beyond that there's kind of this social thing of some girls are going to go to the gym, they're going to take pictures and selfies and videos of themselves to post on their social media. And if you stand there look like you're gawking, they're going to call you out on it and they're probably going to put you in a video just to embarrass you even further or get you kicked out of the gym. So people are going to do weird things at a gym. You just let them go on about your business. You're there to do your thing. Now one of the weird things people do is they bang and drop equipment. This has become very popular with CrossFit and things like that. You don't need to drop your equipment. You don't need to be banging it around you're under control. You're with good form, so don't bang and drop your weights. And this goes to the next one.

Grunting. There's no reason for you to be lifting heavy enough that you need to be grunting while you're doing the work. So loud, obnoxious grunting is probably going to get you kicked out of most gyms or at least the manager is going to come over and have a conversation with you when you're working out and you want to do super sets or things like that. Or maybe drop sets and you think you're going to need multiple pieces of equipment, go at the right time to do that. If you're in there at a busy time and you're trying to use multiple sets of dumbbells at the same time, or multiple pieces of equipment and you got a towel on something and you're sitting somewhere else, very poor form. So one piece of equipment at a time, or go to the gym when no one else is there so you can use the equipment the way you want to. The next one is let others work in and don't be afraid to ask if you can work in. The basic protocol is if you have about two or one sets left, you usually will just tell them, I've got one set left, let me get that done and then it's all yours.

If you have two or more, that's usually probably a good time to say, sure, pop on in and get your set done and then you just work around them. It's not that hard to do and it just shows good form. You're sharing the equipment with the people that are there. Okay, the next is to rerack and return all equipment that you're using. So take the dumbbells back where you got them from. Most dumbbell racks are in a certain structure of lightest to heaviest and so just if you return it back about where you got it from, that's going to help other people find the equipment they want. Take plates off of the equipment that you've been using. Even if it's a machine that had some plates on it, it's worth pulling them off and putting them where they belong so someone coming behind you doesn't have to unrack the equipment and then wipe sweat from machines. So anytime you sit on a bench or you lay on anything, wipe it down afterwards just to make sure that it's clean and sanitary for the next person coming through. Most gyms are going to have that, but it's worth bringing your own workout towel just to make sure you're keeping things tidy and clean for the next person behind you.

And then again, this is my big one. If you're not feeling well, just don't go to the gym. I get it. This kind of conflicts with my show up item number three. But still, if you're sick, we don't need to get that, so just don't go find something else to do. Get your workout done somewhere else besides the gym. That's not the place for you when you're sick. So I hope these help. We are all glad you're in the gym. You're doing something special. It is uncomfortable. You are outside your comfort zone. But if you'll follow these eleven tips, I think you'll feel a lot more welcome at the gym. You'll know a lot more people, you'll become a good gym goer and you're going to enjoy the time in the gym a whole lot more.

Post Show/Recap

[00:19:09.200] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:19:10.440] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Alan. I love this. I love your rules. Or must knows about gym etiquette. I think that when I remember my first time stepping into a gym and feeling like, oh my gosh, what do I do? Where do I go? I didn't know half of probably most of this etiquette. I didn't know how to I should be wiping down machines. I didn't ever even touch the free weight, so I didn't have to worry about not reracking. But these are all great reminders, great rules. I think this has been super helpful for anybody who plans on getting a gym membership or just good reminders if.

[00:19:47.610] – Coach Allan

You already have one and you bring that up. But I want to say as someone who first walked into a non school gym when I was 14 years old, so first commercial gym I ever walked into, I was 14 years old. I didn't know these rules because in a gym locker room when you're on a football team or something, you don't wipe the equipment down. You don't bother with most of the stuff that's in here. People are grunting and banging because we're football players. So most of the rules that I talk about here, they don't apply there. And you have your own home gym. It's gorgeous. I have my own studio here. But that said, it's like, I think a lot of people walk in way a commercial gym is typically structured is at the very front are your cardio machines, the treadmill and the elliptical. And then a little bit deeper in, you start getting into the machines. The first bit is probably going to be like a circuit training thing. It's not going to be a big deal. Then the bigger machines and things, the heavier machines, they tend to be further towards the back.

[00:20:50.590] – Coach Allan

Do you get to the leg press where you actually have to put plates on. And some of these other machines, then you get to the free weights. They're usually in that back corner along the wall, almost out of the way, if you will. Other than all the benches and all the stuff that they have, all the bars and things that they've got going on and then the big racks and stuff. But the point being is I want you to feel confident and comfortable that you belong there. You're paying your gym membership and lifting weights is the way you build muscle and retain muscle. It's the way you build bone density. And that's important for men and women, I think, knowing some of these rules. And they're not really rules as such, but they kind of are if you know these etiquette tips. You go into a gym, I think you'll start seeing these things happening without anyone saying a word about it. You'll see someone sitting on a bench doing bicep curls and no one's walking between them and the weights in front of them, and there are people standing around talking and helping each other and so that's happening.

[00:21:56.760] – Coach Allan

But in most gyms, it's not overbearing unless it's kind of gym where that is kind of the dating thing is a thing people want to be seen and talked to, and then there are other places where they absolutely don't. So sitting there and watching someone working out is probably going to get you an earful and maybe even a post on Instagram or something and look at this creep kind of thing. So what this is really all about is you go in the gym and you get your work done and then you leave. It can become a social thing, but these are just the tips of, okay, if you want to just go in there and get your work done, follow these and you're going to fit in just fine.

[00:22:43.770] – Coach Rachel

Oh, for sure. And I just want to speak out for the ladies out there, too. If you're feeling intimidated at the gym, bring a friend with you. Work out like you had talked about. You could share equipment, alternate your sets with each other and get comfortable. And don't be afraid to go by yourself either on the days that your friend maybe can't make it with you. And the other great thing about a gym is that it's so full of equipment that you can't possibly own at home and think of it as your playground because there's so many different things that you could try there and incorporate into your workout routines. It's so much fun to try something new. Use a piece of equipment that you may never have tried before, work a different muscle group you may not normally do. I mean, there's just so much to there for a short time. Alan, I was working at a gym, a franchise facility, and whenever I had a new person come in expressing an interest, I gave them a tour of the gym and I showed them all the equipment and what they could possibly do there.

[00:23:47.050] – Coach Rachel

And I just wanted them to feel comfortable and welcome. And the people that work at the gym want to do the same thing, too. So if you are feeling intimidated, just ask one of the trainers or one of the employees there for some assistance or just some guidance.

[00:24:02.960] – Coach Allan

Yeah, most gyms, what they're going to require their trainers to do, they're going to require their trainers when they're not training someone to circle the floor they want them going on the floor, and they want them finding clients. So they are going to approach you and they're going to offer maybe even a free workout or something like that. Take them up on that. Let them know. Now, one thing I will say is they're probably going to reach in the file cabinet and pull out the same workout that they have everybody else doing. So just take that with a grain of salt. They're going to teach you some exercises, same exercise they would teach a 20 year old. It might not be the best workout for you, but it's a workout. And just let them know, okay, look, I'm 57 years old. My body's not going to respond the same way a 20 year old does. And no, I'm not going to do upright rows. I don't care how many times you ask me to do them, they're not going to be on my workout plan. We got to figure out another way to work the front delts and the traps because I'm not doing upright rows, period.

[00:25:04.320] – Coach Allan

And so just realize that they will teach you some exercises. They will get you back there. But hire a coach that cares about you. Hire a coach that's going to make you feel comfortable. And I know for a lot of people, it's like, okay, well, Alan's an online coach. How is he going to do that? Well, I can't personally, I can't walk you back there and stand next to you and make you feel completely comfortable. I can give you a workout where you can go into any gym and do it, and we can customize it for you and your age and what you need to do. But you got to get back there and do the work. And that means just turn it off. I think I talked on one of our previous episodes not long ago on meditation, that when I'm lifting, I actually have no awareness of anything but the lift. I don't hear sounds. I don't hear anything else. I just do my lift. And most of the time I probably look like I'm zoned out in between lifts because I just sit there thinking about the next lift. I got a minute to sit there and wait.

[00:26:06.170] – Coach Allan

I wrote it in my little notebook, what I just did, and I know the next one I got to do, and I know the energy level I need to bring for that next set. Most people don't lift that way. Most people don't act that way when they lift. They're talking, they're texting, they're this, they're that. And so just realize that the gym environment can be pretty dynamic and a little intimidating, but don't be. This is your home, too. Do what you got to do to be comfortable. And if it means starting on the machines first, by all means, do that first. They're a lot more intuitive, a lot easier to understand, a lot easier. To load and unload by yourself. And then, yes, when you get done, wipe the sweat off the machine.

[00:26:48.980] – Coach Rachel

Yes, please.

[00:26:51.620] – Coach Allan

But that's why I wanted to share this. I know a lot of the people listening may not want to go to the gym or feel like they need to go to the gym, but it is like you said, it's really hard to do what we've done. You've turned an entire garage, so probably where you could be parking two cars. You have a gym. I have a studio in the living room of our apartment at Lula's. And I'm really good at tetris. If you're looking at you guys don't see the video, but the equipment I have behind me is there's a place for every single bit of it and it can't be left out and do anything else. Everything has to be moved sometimes to get certain things done here. But it all fits. And it only fits because I know how this stuff works and I'm able to do that. And it means when I'm training someone, I'm very active because I have to move all that stuff. So that's part of my workouts each day is just when I'm training someone here. But you can buy the equipment and have it at home, just do it in a safe way.

[00:27:56.140] – Coach Allan

And I think you're going to find, even when you do it at home, some of these rules are going to make sense to you there too. You're not going to want your dumbbells and everything strown around where you can't find what you want. You're not going to want to leave your equipment all sweaty and dirty. And while you won't have to worry about someone working in or staring at someone, you got to stay motivated. And sometimes it's just a little easier to stay motivated when there's other people around you that are like minded, working just as hard or harder. And so sometimes that fires people up. And that's why occasionally I like walking back into a commercial gym just to hear the noises and the sound, everything that's going on. And then when I start my workout, that's just me. I don't see anything else other than occasionally I'll see someone doing something silly that can get them hurt. And so I watch. Just because someone drops weight on themselves, someone's going to have to go save their lives. And so I do notice when silly stuff is going on that could get someone hurt.

[00:29:08.200] – Coach Allan

But beyond that, I'm just doing my thing. And that's how most people are. They're not there to watch you. They're not there to gawk at you or laugh at you. They're there to get their workout done. They may happen to have a whole lot of friends in that gym because they've been there for a while and they and their friends work out at the same time. But it can be as social as you want it to be or it can just be you going in the gym, getting your work done and getting out of there.

[00:29:34.090] – Coach Rachel

Absolutely. Yep. Don't miss out. I love a gym, I love working in the gym, and I love helping people at the gym, so yep, just go. It's fun.

[00:29:42.940] – Coach Allan

All right, well, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:29:45.020] – Coach Rachel

Take care, Ellen.

[00:29:46.180] – Coach Allan

You too. Bye.

[00:29:47.540] – Coach Rachel

Bye. Bye.

Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


October 3, 2023

Getting fit and feeling good for a lifetime with Robin Long

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On episode 610 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Robin Long and discuss her book, Well to the Core: A Realistic, Guilt-Free Approach to Getting Fit and Feeling Good for a Lifetime.


Let's Say Hello

Since Coach Allan is on vacation, there won't be a Hello Section today. We'll return next week.


[00:03:14.270] – Allan

Robin, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:03:17.160] – Robin

Thank you. I'm excited to be here.

[00:03:19.570] – Allan

I am, too, because your book is called, Well to the Core: a Realistic Guilt Free Approach to Getting Fit and Feeling Good for a Lifetime. And what I knew about you was that you were basically heavy into Pilates. You teach Pilates, and that's your thing. And then I got into the book, and I'm like, this is not a Pilates book. I was just expecting to see a bunch of pictures of you in different poses all the way through the book. There are a lot of pictures. It's a beautiful book, but with your kids especially, I thought that was just awesome. I love when family stuff, and it's just you showing the joy of what you do and what you live. I really enjoyed that. But this was not so much of a workout book, although there were QR codes to help you find a little free workout that you could go do. 14 15 minutes, boom. And you've done your first Pilates workout, which is pretty awesome. But this was a true core health book. This is a way you get yourself well. And I really appreciated that you shared a lot of yourself and a lot of how you view these things, because this didn't just happen.

[00:04:25.570] – Allan

You didn't just wake up one day at 21 years old and say, boom, I'm a Pilates instructor and I know how to live. These are life lessons that you've personally gone through, and now you've coached thousands of women, and this is things that you've helped them through, and you've pulled all those lessons and put it into the book in a very easy to absorb format. So I really appreciate that.

[00:04:46.090] – Robin

Thank you. And you're right. I think a lot of people were expecting a Pilates book since I've been a Pilates instructor for more than a decade. But I know that you share similar passion and understanding through working with clients of just how the format and the method of exercise is one component of wellness. But there's really so much more than goes into how to actually live well and be well and so similar to you. I knew that that is really where you have to focus and start before you can see any real change.

[00:05:18.060] – Allan

Yeah. And fitness can be an anchor for many people because they start recognizing, well, if I sleep better, I train better, when I train better, I look better. If I eat better, I have more energy, and I train better, and I look better and I feel better, and when I feel better, then therefore everything else in my life just sort of starts falling in line. So for a lot of people, there is kind of that first domino or that thing that they fall in love with and they have passion for. And for a lot of women, pilates is that thing. It can be that thing. Can you tell us a little bit about what Pilates is, the practice itself, and why it's valuable for us?

[00:05:58.690] – Robin

Yes. And it really was that thing for me, actually. So I had been working out for years. I was an athlete growing up. I was a dancer growing up. I always loved physical fitness and activities. However, it was always tied to esthetics, really. As I got older and I got out of sports, it was like, I need to work out because I don't want to gain weight or I want to lose weight. And it was pretty much as narrow as that for me. It wasn't until I found pilates that I recognized a completely different and experienced a completely different relationship with movement and my body. And I like to think it kind of started reprogramming my relationship with exercise. For me, that was pilates. For many people, it might be something else. It might be running or weightlifting or cycling. It could be any number of things. But Pilates is really unique in that it's a mind body form of exercise. So we hear mind body form of exercise. Sometimes it's a buzz word. What does it really mean? It means that it is an exercise form that requires you to be incredibly present in your time on the mat, and you are frequently connecting your mind to your body.

[00:07:14.780] – Robin

So when you're on the mat, you're not zoning out. You're not thinking about your to do list for the next day. You're not just listening to a podcast or headphones. There's a time and a place for that. But Pilates is a place where when I'm guiding you through a workout, you are thinking, what does my lower back feel like right now? Am I engaged in my core? How much can I lengthen my left leg out to feel that extension? Can I lift a little higher in my chest? Can I switch this? Like you are very present with your mind and your body. And for me, and for many people, that can be an incredibly transformative experience, because you connect to your body maybe in a way that you never have before. A lot of people go through life actually being pretty disembodied or not having a very strong connection to their body, and we could talk a little bit about that. Or they have a negative relationship with their body or exercise, and it's a constant kind of overriding your body, or being annoyed with your body or frustrated with your body. And that was me.

[00:08:11.940] – Robin

I was pretty frustrated with my body all the time. I had really poor body image. I was constantly trying to change myself. I just was never happy with how I looked, or my inner critic was really loud, and it really ran the show. And so exercise before Pilates, for me, was like, I need to burn more calories. I've got to get my waist smaller. I've got to burn off what I ate last night. It was just this sort of negative thought loop, which puts a negative connotation with exercise. So when I found Pilates, it allowed me to rebuild a new connection of, like, wow, this feels like I'm recognizing how I feel in my body. I was dealing with really bad back pain and really bad shoulder and neck tension as well as really debilitating anxiety. At the time I found Pilates, I also found that the benefit of taking that time to connect with my body while also building strength, while also stretching and getting my mobility improved. Oh my gosh. My neck pain started going away, my back pain lessened, my energy was up. I didn't have that same feeling of being exhausted after a workout.

[00:09:20.220] – Robin

I actually felt more energized to go into my day. So it was a big shifting point for me. And I think a lot of people have a misconception about Pilates, that it's just stretching or it's a relaxing form of exercise. While it is mindful, it is a great workout and it is a great way to build functional strength. And so I think it's great for everyone to consider how it could fit into their fitness routine.

[00:09:44.750] – Allan

Yeah, well, I could just tell you, when one of my clients is doing the bird dog, they are present. They are 100% present with where they are right there, and they are not thinking this is just an easy stretching routine. This is building core strength where it matters most. A lot of these movements are very challenging. It's something you're going to have to work towards because it's not just something that's inherently natural to people to start with, but anybody can do it.

[00:10:11.010] – Robin

Yeah, absolutely. I used to work in a gym and it was a glass studio, and I used to love when people would walk by and then they would say, that looks relaxing. And I'd say, come join me for my next class. And they would experience a different kind of challenge because it is not strenuous in the sense that it doesn't put as much strain on your joints as some form of exercise. It's a great low impact form of exercise, especially for people who need to make that adjustment in their life due to stressful circumstances or joint concerns and things like that. But it calls your entire body into action and really focuses on the core, but as well as some smaller accessory muscles that you may not target as effectively in other repetitive forms of exercise. Even I think of I work with a lot of runners or cyclists who we tend to build certain muscle groups that support that activity. So Pilates is a great way to make sure you're balancing out the rest of your body so you can go do those other activities without injury or pain.

[00:11:13.830] – Allan

One of the things I like about it is pretty much all you need are comfortable clothes and maybe a mat. You can do a workout right in your living room or bedroom or hotel room or wherever you are. You can get that you don't have to invest in a ton of equipment, although there are pieces of equipment that you can utilize in your practice.

[00:11:33.050] – Robin

Yeah, I think that's a big misconception for some people. So I'm so glad you brought that up. A lot of people think you do have to be in a studio with the reformer or these contraptions that you see, but you don't. You can do mat Pilates, and that is the foundation of the practice. And like you said, I always say you can do it with a mat. You can do it in a hotel room. I used to do my Pilates in my bathroom for years because it was the only place that I could get a little separation from my four little kids and lock the door. And you can do it. So I think that's important for everyone to know.

[00:12:07.530] – Allan

Yeah. And it's a type of workout that's not a no pain, no gain thing. It's something you build up to, and you build the practice. You get stronger, you get more mobile, and you build balance. A lot of it's about balance as well. So it's a good exercise across multiple modalities. It's not going to be cardiovascularly challenging or anything like that, but this is more about balance and strength and all those things that you're building. And again, the fact that you can do it just about anywhere with just a mat or maybe even without a mat, if you're so inclined, if get soft carpet, you could probably do it there. But you don't have to have that big investment, which I think makes it a very good practice to do. And it's not that you even have to do the whole workouts. It's just you find certain things that are serving you, and you can kind of incorporate those movements. I actually can watching some of the workouts that you had, there's just a QR code in the book. You just hit it, and then there it is, the videos right there, which I thought was great.

[00:13:08.010] – Allan

I already used some of those movements with my clients. They're already doing some of those. And I'm like, okay, well, I never would have really just said that was Pilates, but that may actually be where that came from, I don't know. But it is a part of the workout, and you can build that in. So it can be a part of your warm up, it can be a part of your workout. It can be the workout across the board.

[00:13:29.090] – Robin

Yeah, definitely. And historically, actually, pilates hasn't been so accessible. It really has been reserved for if you have a lot of money to go into a studio and take private classes and trainings or a lot of people don't have Pilates studios even in their area, that's convenient for them. So for me, that's a big reason of taking Pilates online. And that's what I do for a living, is I'm the founder of Lindywell, which is a place to find online Pilates workouts. There are also some in the book, included in the book. But the reason for that is I wanted to make it more accessible. It's like this should not be reserved just for the people who have the big budgets and the access to the studios, but everybody should have access to these type of exercises to support them. So I'm really passionate about that.

[00:14:16.340] – Allan

Good. Now, earlier you talked about kind of some of your headspace stuff when you first started this out with Body Image and all the other things that go on. And the way you put this in the book, this was one of your ten components, was and you started with it, which I was like, good, I'm glad you did this. We're not throwing nutrition and fitness and all this stuff in and then later on saying, well, you should. This was the first thing and you called it reframe. And in the book you gave us five reframes. Could you kind of talk through what those are and why they're important?

[00:14:49.530] – Robin

And you nailed it. And I'm sure you can relate to this. What I get asked the most usually as a professional in the fitness industry, and I'm sure you do too, is just what am I supposed to do? Tell me what to eat. Tell me how to exercise. I want the plan. I want the practicality. And that is why it's the first chapter of the book, because you can't even get to movement. You can't even get to the food component. If you haven't, you can. However, I don't recommend, and you will be much less successful if you don't first stop and consider how you're approaching things, the lens in which you're viewing this. And I speak pretty directly to women in the book, but I want to also share that this would apply to many people regardless. But there's some messaging that we've received for years that we may not even notice how that's kind of creeped into what we believe about exercise or what we believe about food or what it means to be healthy. So we talk about changing the way we think. That's the first step. And so in reframing, the first reframe is that wellness doesn't always equal weight loss.

[00:15:53.090] – Robin

And I know even putting that in the front of the book, some people are not going to like that.

[00:15:59.970] – Allan

If I lost 20 pounds, my whole life would be so wonderful.

[00:16:03.880] – Robin

Yeah. And that's why I want to get healthy. Right. I know that's kind of not the best news for some people. However, it can be because what we're looking at is true wellness. Right? And I think we have gotten the two confused at times. I was just talking about before and after photos. Nothing inherently wrong with before and after photos. However, what do they show? They show one aspect of progress and success, which is the physical appearance. Right. And we know that health and true wellness is about so much more than that. The number on the scale or the physical, what you see in a before and after photo. So true wellness in order to pursue it to really be well. And it's called well to the core. So to truly become well in both body and mind, we do have to say, you know what, it's about more than that. And we have to expand our view and recognize that just because something helps you lose weight doesn't always mean it's healthy, right? And so those two things are not the same. So it's first just calling out that truth so that then you can widen your view as you move forward in your health and wellness journey. So that's the first.

[00:17:13.720] – Robin

The second is that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. And this is something that I think just creeps in honestly through years of dieting and years of going on programs where you're either on program or off program, right? And then we start to develop this mentality of, okay, I'm on, I'm doing this diet, I'm doing this thing. And then as soon as you have a day where you skip a workout or you go out to dinner with your family and you don't eat what's on your meal plan, what do we all do? We think,

[00:17:48.790] – Allan

I'll blew it and I may as well just stick with what I'm doing and I'll start back on Monday,

[00:17:53.710] – Robin

start back on Monday.

[00:17:55.020] – Allan

It doesn't matter if it's Wednesday. I'll start back on Monday.

[00:17:57.100] – Robin

Start back on Monday. And then like a Monday and it's like, well, maybe next Monday because I have a birthday party this week, right? And we've all been there. So it's not about applying guilt to that or shame. It's actually just about recognizing that the more we stay in that all or nothing mentality, the more we set ourselves up to stay in that pattern of starting and stopping and never actually seeing true progress. So we have to first intentionally reframe. It's not about all or nothing. In fact, we know that this is for our lifetime, that we want to be well. And so focusing on those small changes, those small steps, and recognizing you're going to have ups and downs along the way is a necessary reframe in order to actually build the habit of consistency and stay consistent. The next reframe is success and failure are not defined by outward appearance. So this kind of goes a little bit back towards speaking of those before and after photos and speaking of just how we can get this hyper fixation on if I'm healthy, I will look like this. Or in order to be healthy and be well, I have to hit this goal weight.

[00:19:07.080] – Robin

Or I have to have this ideal physique that I see plastered all over social media or wherever it might be when I actually ran that through my lens, because I used to think this way all the time. That's totally how I thought too. But I started thinking, what is success really for me? Really for me at this stage? In my life and the mother that I want to be to my kids, and the wife I want to be to my husband, and the business owner I want to be. It's success. I say some things in the book. It's actually getting dressed without falling into a spiral of negative thoughts about the way I look. That's actually more success to me than do I look the way I have idealized myself I want to look. It's actually about the process. I want to get dressed, not fall into a negative shame spiral about myself and go live my life with my family and my kids. Success for me is putting on a swimsuit and jumping in the pool with my kids instead of hiding under a cover up because I'm so consumed with insecurity about what others might think about me.

[00:20:11.140] – Robin

Right? And again, that's regardless of the size and shape of my body, so it's not, I have to get the swimsuit body before I do that. That's an approach to life. I want to jump in that pool. I want to build that confidence regardless of what the scale says that day. And success is freeing up my headspace that used to be full of rules and inner critic that is just constantly beating myself up so that I can show up as the best version of myself for my kids. For myself, I can model positive body image and self care and self love. So again, it's just about doing some work. And I get into this in the book. But to really start to redefine what success actually looks like for you, not just inheriting what we've been told success looks like on the health and wellness journey.

[00:20:57.610] – Allan

That's a tough one, but when you get that done, it's a pretty cool place to be.

[00:21:01.960] – Robin

It's a tough one. I think sometimes, too, we're scared to take away the esthetic goals because we think then we might be less motivated. I've noticed that in myself or in my clients. But I found that it's actually when you get to your deeper why, that's when the motivation sticks. That's when you really start to see, and I know you've shared this in your journey of that for you, of what's your deeper why, what is this really about?

[00:21:34.190] – Robin

and then there's another reframe, which is it is possible to replace guilt with grace. And so this is another reframe in order to get through the whole rest of the book and get through how to actually make improvements in your health and well being. We have a saying at Lindy well, that's grace over guilt. We choose grace over guilt. And again, with that all or nothing mentality that so many of us get stuck in that, oh, shoot, I messed up, I'm going to throw in the towel. I'll start again on Monday, or I'll start again when school starts, when the kids are back in school or after the holidays, whatever it might be when we get stuck in that habit, that pattern, we're just piling guilt on ourselves. We may not like, I feel so guilty. I feel like a failure. I feel like I can't ever follow through. And some of this is subconscious, but it builds over time. What we want to do is get to a place where we can say, I can extend self compassion to myself on this journey if I skip a workout today, I'm human. This is a part of the journey.

[00:22:36.910] – Robin

This is life, right? I don't actually have to layer on and define myself as a failure or define myself as someone who can never stick to anything. I can actually say, you know what? I had a really busy day. I had meetings that went over. I didn't feel good, my kids were sick, whatever it might be. And I'm going to extend Grace to myself, and I'm just going to start fresh the next day, and I'm just going to keep starting fresh. And when you have a little mantra like that, that you can hold on to, it gives you that opportunity to keep moving forward instead of going in these starts and stops that really keep you stuck.

[00:23:11.070] – Allan

Yeah. So one of the things that you brought up is this is another one of your components is listening. And this is an interesting one because I've just really started getting into that headspace with how this all works because I focus so much on what are the inputs? What are the inputs, what are the inputs? And so the inputs are well, what food am I putting in my body? What movement am I doing today? What's my self talk like? Because all of those are just general inputs. How toxic is my environment? How toxic are my relationships? All of those I've always known, okay, those are inputs that you're either going to serve me or they're not. But you got into the book and you started talking about the other side of that conversation because conversations are supposed to have two sides, not just the inputs, but the outputs. And your body is giving you outputs all the time. It's telling you you're hungry. It's telling you you're thirsty. It's telling you you're sleepy. It's telling you you're fatigued. It's telling you skip this workout and sleep in. Your body is telling you these things. And we've been trained our whole lives to not.

[00:24:20.930] – Allan

Yeah, you got to go to the bathroom, but the bell isn't going to ring for another ten minutes. So wait, she's not going to give you a hall pass. We're taught wait, we're told not, listen to our body. Don't eat. Because if you eat, you're going to gain weight even though you're hungry or you're having this desire for something that you know is not going to serve you. And now here you are not listening to your body to try to understand what it's actually telling you. Can you talk a little bit about how we can listen to our body and particularly as we get older and then I think the other key one here, which is really important, because this is really where it's hard, is trusting ourselves that what we're hearing is a valid concern. It's something we do need to do because it is important to us. Can you kind of talk through that? Because I think this is a fascinating topic.

[00:25:16.550] – Robin

And it is. And I want to first call out that it's complicated, right? So I talk a lot in the book about how this is a practice that we need to practice and kind of rebuild the skill of because you're exactly right. I mean, we've been told in so many ways for years how to override our body's signals, right? And that comes in so many different ways. So, like you said, from not necessarily being able to go to the bathroom when you need to go to the bathroom, from being told there's all the sayings in the fitness world of no pain, no gain. If it doesn't hurt, it's not worth it. Like this kind of attitude. And I understand that. So I think that's important to acknowledge where you're at in your journey. You might be in one place and it's like, oh, this is the other side of the conversation. I need to grow in a little bit or I'm really good at this part of the conversation and I need to focus a little more here on pushing myself a little harder. Right? So I want to call out the nuance of that. But we do ingrain a lot of messages that are basically ignore your body signals, especially if we've grown up with any kind of guilt around food or dieting.

[00:26:30.750] – Robin

That's a big one right there, right? Like, oh, I shouldn't eat that. I should eat less. My tummy is growling, but I'm not supposed to eat until I've already had my snacks today, right? Like, I can't eat until dinner. And what this does is it's confusing. It's sending really confusing signals to our body and we end up confused as a result. Like, why should it be so hard? Our body is incredible and there is so much we could do. A whole podcast episode around the body's, communication and how it tells us things and even how when we are experiencing different things, how it expresses through the body, different life changes what happens in our body. You cannot deny that the two are connected. And so what I talk about in the book is building the habit, building the muscle to begin to listen to your body again and doing so in really practical ways. So different checkpoints throughout your day, even of I mean, right now, in this moment, we could even just if you're listening to this podcast, you can even just pause if you're not driving, close your eyes for a second or if you're driving, please

[00:27:33.890] – Robin

Keep your eyes open and just even just do a body, like a quick scan, like, what do I need right now? And it's so simple. But we get so busy and we're onto the next thing and we've got a meeting coming up and we've got this and DA DA DA, that we may not even notice that we're hungry or we're thirsty or our back hurts. God, I didn't even notice. Maybe I need to get up and walk around. My hip is starting to ache. But I've just been ignoring it because I got to get this work done. And so finding little ways to build the practice and I think the confidence piece and learning to trust ourselves again is a really important piece of it because I think we are afraid. I've seen this in myself and in other people. We're afraid to trust ourselves. We've lost that trust in ourselves because we're afraid. If I listen to my body, maybe I'll make the bad choice. I say that with air quotes, the bad choice, or I'll make the wrong choice, or I'll go overindulge in this area or I'll binge eat or I'll never work out because I don't want to.

[00:28:39.400] – Robin

And I get that. But that actually is a result of not being in tune with our body in the first place, those things that we're trying to avoid. So it's almost a little counterintuitive to say actually, the more we learn and develop the muscle and the confidence in listening to what our body truly needs, the more likely we actually then are to be able to make the choices that serve and support our body. But it can be a little scary to give up a little bit of that control of following rules or trying to override our body in an effort to quote, unquote, be good.

[00:29:13.410] – Allan

Yeah, the whole be good thing. Yeah, that gets me because you run into people and they'll say, well, I'm going to this place and it's like, I'm going to meet with my friends and I know I'm going to want to have a drink. I'm blowing it, right? I'm being bad. And I'm like, well, are you going to have a good connection with your friends? This is going to be a meaningful event for you, a chance for you to connect and have conversations and fun and to laugh and to have joy. And they're like, yeah. And I said, and have a damn beer. Your grown ass woman or your grown ass man, have a drink, enjoy yourself. Don't go crazy, but choose to do this. So it's in you to be the person you want to be, but you have to own your decisions and you have to know why you're making the decision. So it isn't something that's just automatic, because if it's automatic, it's a bad habit or it's a habit and you can make the decision. But the reality of it is you're either making a choice or you're making a choice to not make a choice.

[00:30:22.910] – Robin

Yeah, Right. And in that moment, too, the more we can connect, right? Think you're going out to drinks with your friends and you're forced with a decision. Right? We have them all day long. But this is one where you're like okay, what do I want to do in this situation? The more in tune you are with your body and how you're feeling and how you want to feel and have built up more of that connection, the easier it is to choose something like that. Because you might say this is in the book, but I went through a long series of just struggling with my health in a few different ways of burnout and hormonal imbalances, and I had all these things that really my energy. Let's just say I was, like, flatlined. So my goal, what I needed to do was listen to my body. I was not resting. I was not taking care of myself in the way I was being hyperproductive and doing really great in that area, but not in the rest, not in the recovery, not in recognizing my body. Was saying, hey, slow down. Like, slow down. And so, for example, when I would go there to have a drink with my friends, I was like, okay,

[00:31:32.720] – Robin

Alcohol for me at the time didn't work very well with me. Like I was very sensitive to it. I didn't sleep well. If I had it So I was making a choice in that moment, though. Okay. How do I feel today? Do I feel rested, well fed, energized. If so, I think this is actually a good time for me to have a drink with my friends. If I'm feeling depleted and I'm tired, I know I haven't been sleeping good, then alcohol is just actually going to have a worse effect on me. And I'm going to feel even worse after just one drink. So this is a time where I should have a soda water with lime. But I wouldn't have made those decisions as consciously if I wasn't as in tune with how I was feeling, what my body was needing in that given season, day or week.

[00:32:16.410] – Allan

Yeah. And I think that's another important thing is as we go through life, things happen. Women go through their child rearing and raising days. Which four? Oh, my goodness. But you chose that because you listened to yourself.

[00:32:30.580] – Robin

Well, I had twins.

[00:32:36.050] – Allan

And you got four. Overachiever. But that was a thing you'd said in the book. You were asking for advice from other people, and you weren't just truly sitting back and saying for who I am and who I want to be and where I am, my seasons. What do I want? What do I need? And then you did. You stopped and said, okay. No, this is my decision. This is my I'm going to listen to me and what's in me. And Then You made the decision to move forward. That takes a lot of trust.

[00:33:11.290] – Robin

Yeah, we have so much information these days. We have information

[00:33:18.350] – Allan

you can go on Quora and ask them any question at all, and someone will answer it.

[00:33:23.250] – Robin

Right. And then the podcasts that we love, but Instagram and the articles and the news and we have so much information and it's great. And we have more access to experts than ever, which is so great. But sometimes as we do lose the ability to say, well, what works for me? Let's look at my life. Let's look at my daily routine. Like, I see this person over here who's saying, wake up at 05:00 a.m. Meditate for 30 minutes, 30 minutes of cardio, 30 minutes of weight, fast until noon. Right? I'm just giving an example of maybe what you see someone doing and you're like, yeah, okay, so that's what I should be doing. And then you look at your life and you're like, well, no, okay. I'm up with a sleepless baby all throughout the night, and my hormones are out of balance. And so my decision should be totally different than what I'm getting from out there. So I think that is that making sure you turn in and you say, run this through your filter. What season are you in? What stage of life are you in? And this can look can be stage of life oriented in terms of where you're at in your career.

[00:34:37.100] – Robin

It could be related to your age. It could be related to your health. You may be in a season where, gosh, you've had a shift in your health or you have an injury or you have something going on that requires you to make a change and think differently about what healthy looks like for you in this season. For example, when I was in that season of Burnout, pushing myself hard with high intensity workouts was actually not healthy for me. Right. But for you or for someone else or my husband or someone else during that time, that was a great healthy choice for him. So bringing it back to what season are you in. Listening to your body and recognizing what is it about you, your unique situation of life that you need to consider what is best for you and not other people and what everyone else is just saying.

[00:35:28.500] – Allan

Yeah. Now, one of your other components was choose. And this is another one I like because you've probably heard me use the word choose several times, is that once we own up to being the human we are and being in control of who we are and we start doing some good things for ourselves, we're going to have to make choices. And kind of the big one is who do you want to be when you grow up? So you're going to make these choices. And some of the things that you're going to have to do to make that happen are to make new habits and to invest in change. Because so often people think, well, I'll just do what I've done before and that should work. And then it doesn't. Wait a minute. I used to be able to do this and then it helped. And I would lose the weight or I'd feel the way I wanted to feel. I'd be where I wanted to be, the clothes would fit, things would be right. And now I'm doing the things I used to do and they're not there. And so just recognizing and asking or choosing to ask for help I think are really important aspects.

[00:36:32.230] – Robin

Yeah, I agree. And I'm sure you see that all of the time with your clients and the people you work with. Is it's an intentional choice? And I talk about this in the book. I like that you said, who do you want to be when you grow up? That never stops, right? So I'm looking at still who I want to be when I grew up, and we have to be intentional with that. So I love to say, think of the type of person you want to be. Write it on paper. There's an activity in the book, every chapter has action steps at the end. Just kind of put stuff into practice and I guide you through this vision process in the book. But a short version of it, it's like, write a vision of who you want to be. What does this person do? They're active, they're energetic, they're vibrant, they travel. Very few people are going to write a vision that's like they're immobile and have a lot of

[00:37:30.240] – Allan

I live just like my mother does. No, that's not my path.

[00:37:35.820] – Robin

That's not right. If you actually stop and paint that picture of where you want to go and we don't really do that. We kind of just think. We think where I am now and maybe what my next step is next week. And but if we actually look at who do you want to be? And then we create that vision when we do that, then we actually get to make a choice to say, okay, now I'm going to start acting as that person would act, right? So what would that future version of myself do? And she would probably go for a walk instead of sitting here scrolling her phone for another 30 minutes. She would drink some more water instead of maybe the 6th, 7th cup of coffee. These different things. You start to get a vision for where you want to go. And it's a choice. And every day it's a choice. And here's the good thing with grace over guilt is like, you're going to make choices against that sometimes. But actually, if your vision is someone who lives in balance and someone who has a sustainable lifestyle, you're never too far off from where you're headed.

[00:38:47.200] – Robin

And I also think it's intentional, and I share this in the book, but you also have to choose the way in which you go about it. Because in the book I challenge quite a few of the traditional views of fitness and weight loss and health. And it's a choice for me every day to hold true to that approach. It's really easy to get distracted or to get pulled into conversations that are toxic and not healthy or to want to hop on the latest trend or craze with some friends because everybody's doing it. No, I'm choosing to take this to truly pursue wellness to my core, to truly take this approach. And that, again, is like a daily choice for who I want to be, for myself, for my kids, what I want to model for them. And you have to be willing to invest in it. And I know you talk about that as well, but we're so much better at investing in other people and other things than ourselves. And the reality is that if we don't invest in ourselves, whether that's in time with our finances, with effort and energy, we're never going to see the change that we're hoping to make.

[00:40:00.780] – Robin

And so I want everybody to know, and I talk about this in the book, is it's really about you're worth it? And that takes time. For some people that's like, yeah, that's great. But to really understand that if you are not well, if you are not able to show up, then you're not able to love and care for the people around you in the same way. Right? So we have to first, and I know that we hear this a lot, but we have to really recognize that if we are not well, everything else is going to suffer.

[00:40:32.990] – Allan

Yeah. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:40:42.930] – Robin

Yeah, I love that because I love that you include happiest in there and I would say kind of goes back to the way in which we're viewing things like we've talked about a lot today. So first thing we'd say would be ensuring that you are not falling victim to the all or nothing mentality. So that even just asking yourself frequently is going to open your eyes to where you're holding on to that, whether it's in your workouts or in your food or some other area of your life where you think you have to be perfect in order to make progress. So busting that lie and bringing yourself back to that regularly. Two, I would say rediscovering the joy in movement. So finding a way to move that you enjoy, that you feel so good afterwards, that you love having as a part of your life. There are so many forms of movement and I think sometimes we think I have to do this or I have to do that. Find what you love. If you love walking, walk more. If you love dancing, sign up for a dance class. If you love Pilates and that gets you on your mat every day, do that.

[00:41:45.490] – Robin

If you love weight training, then go do that. But understand that it's really about movement. Like, if we're really looking long term, the more you move, the healthier you'll be. So find something you love and enjoy. And then the third thing I would say is that choosing grace over guilt for yourself. So recognizing that when you have an off day or you skip a workout or you make a choice you didn't intend to make, you don't have to sit in the guilt and shame in that. You can extend grace and self compassion and kindness to yourself, because you're just human, just like everybody else, and you can start fresh the next day. So holding on to that grace over guilt mantra as you continue on your health and wellness journey.

[00:42:25.720] – Allan

Thank you for sharing those with us. So, Robin, if someone wanted to learn more about you and your book, Well to the Core, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:42:34.400] – Robin

Yeah, so you can go to lindywell.com. That's lindywell.com all one word. You can also find the book anywhere. You will purchase books. So Amazon or bookshop or Barnes and Noble. And I would just love for you to check it out. Like you said, there's recipes in the book. There's QR codes for free Pilates workouts, so you can give it a try. And there's also an offer to get a free month of the Lindy Well app when you purchase the book as well. So I think you'll have a link to that in the show notes as well.

[00:43:04.060] – Allan

Yeah, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/610, and I'll have the links there. Robin, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:43:14.070] – Robin

Thank you so much for having me.

Post Show/Recap

[00:43:16.430] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:43:17.690] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. This is kind of a neat discussion coming from the viewpoint of a Pilates instructor. She has a lot of reframing mindset, kinds of things that she must have learned as she's coached or been an instructor.

[00:43:32.220] – Allan

Yeah, well, a lot of it came from her own experiences. I can't say I know what it's like to be a young girl with body images, but I was a young guy, and I could tell you we have body images, too. We still do. Still a little young guy, I guess. Depends on how you look at it. But we do have to reframe. We have to sit back and realize that change is a mental thing. It is hardly ever physical. Yes, we have to do the work. We have to do the work. That's the thing. But to get there, you have to work through the mental blocks. You have to look at this and say, okay, what do I really want? And as silly as it sounds, and people say, Well, I want to lose weight and I'm like, well, okay, do you really want to lose weight? Then the answer is, well, yeah. And I'm like, so what's going to happen if you lose weight? Well, then I'll be able to fit in that dress. I says, So you want to fit in a smaller dress size? If you weighed 100 pounds more and fit in that dress size, would you be okay with that?

[00:44:43.770] – Allan

Of course. There's a little bit of smell of smoke as the brain starts turning. It's like, what do you mean? It's like, well you could weigh more and be that size if you had more muscle mass. I mean, maybe not 100 pounds more, but you could weigh more than you do now and be in that trust size. So is it really weight that you're worried about? Weight just happens to be the convenient thing you can measure.

[00:45:06.700] – Rachel

Well, that's just it. It's the easiest thing. Everybody's got a scale in their house. But I think that we place so much value on that scale. And just speaking of the mindset part, the number that's on that scale does not define who we are as a person. It doesn't define how kind we are to other people or how smart we are or how good we are at our jobs. There's just so many other facets that are way more important. But just to bring this round back to being health, at the end of the day, we want to be healthy and we want to be happy, and we want to be fit enough to be able to live an appropriate lifestyle or a happy fit lifestyle. And so that number on that scale has almost nothing to do with any of those things versus how we accomplish being healthy or happy or fit or all of the above.

[00:45:59.490] – Allan

I have a client, and he hired me because his blood pressure was high. I can't tell you how happy I was when that was the conversation we were having. Well, he knew he probably needed to lose some weight, so that was also on his mind. But he knew he'd probably end up losing weight to make this happen. And he kind of had a number in his head because we all do. We just know, okay, when I was this weight, that was when I felt my best and DA DA DA DA. So we all kind of have that number, but his number was blood pressure. And the interesting thing was he started eating right, he started moving right, and his blood pressure dropped down below into the normal range like that. I mean, literally, we're in a twelve week program and he's four weeks in. He's like, well, that goal is done. And he lost some weight. He's gained a little back. He's lost a little, he's gained it back. So he's kind of seesawing in this little zone, he knows he could probably be thinner, but he's like, that's not what I want.

[00:47:08.970] – Allan

Esthetics is not the goal. I've got my blood pressure where I want. I feel good. I've got lots of energy. I'm enjoying time with my family and doing the things I enjoy doing, which was really what all of this was about for him.

[00:47:22.060] – Rachel

That's huge.

[00:47:23.060] – Allan

Now he's got some injuries to work through and stuff, so he can do everything he wants to do. But it's just one of those things of saying no, wellness was the goal, right? And some people are going to want to measure weight if I just said, okay, I've got a wellness program. I help you lower your blood pressure if it's high, help you improve other blood markers if they're off, help you get off of some medications that you might need to be on today, but you might not need to be on for the rest of your life. That was another conversation I had with someone, was he had changed his life. This guy's changed his life. He's lost over 40 pounds and his blood pressure and everything was his numbers were, like, coming down and coming down fast. So he told his doctor he wanted to get off the medication. His doctor is like, no, you're going to be on this medication for the rest of your life. Okay? Personally want to choke that doctor out right now, but

[00:48:17.870] – Rachel

time to find another doctor.

[00:48:19.490] – Allan

Well, what he did what he did, and again, I don't condone this, but he just decided he was going to take himself off of his own medications. Now, again, I don't condone that. You should talk to your doctor. Find another doctor. If that doctor doesn't want to do the change, doesn't want to help you taper it down. But he just went off of it, and he came back to his next blood test, and his numbers were perfect. And his doctor says, just keep doing what you're doing. He's like, Doc, I stopped taking all the meds. He's like, oh, okay. Well, then stop taking don't take the meds anymore. Again, that's practice, that's medical practice for you right there. Again, time for an exam with a doctor. I am not a doctor, but I can just tell you that some doctors believe you're not going to be able to change your lifestyle, and you're going to need those medications for the rest of your life. That's what they've seen in almost all of their client, other patients. So they're not thinking in terms of you doing the change because it's hard. It's a mindset thing, like I said.

[00:49:15.390] – Allan

And most people don't do the mindset work at all. They just try a diet, they lose some weight, and then they gain it all back. And what the doctor doesn't want to do is get you off of the medications because you did lose the weight, and now you're going to put it all back on, and a year later, he's going to put you back on all those meds. Again, he doesn't want to do that. He just says, we'll just keep you on the meds because you're going to probably gain all that way back. I know that's why the guy's thinking that way. But again, if you change your lifestyle, you could change your life. And so weight is not the answer. It did happen that the guy lost 40 pounds as a part of changing his behaviors. The way he ate, the way he moved, the way he did things, the weight came off as a side effect.

[00:49:58.430] – Rachel

I love that.

[00:49:59.300] – Rachel

And you've said that before in other podcast episodes, Allan, that the weight can be the side effect of what changes you make in your lifestyle. And I think that really takes a lot of pressure off because especially when you're trying to focus on losing weight, you're focused on you're measuring every little calorie you eat and you're running or exercising at the gym far more than what you really need to, and it's just too much pressure. So when you kind of take that off your plate and focus on having fun at the gym or doing fun activities, then weight is a side effect. And that's awesome. That's way more easy and more fun.

[00:50:37.180] – Allan

It is. One of the things about her book is that she goes through it and she really does that deep dive into mindset throughout the book. And I think that's core you mentioned, the guilt, grace over guilt and that type of thing, we've talked about that before, too. It's a slip to success that I talk about it's like, okay, it happened, forgive yourself. And then can we not do that again? What will we do next time? Look forward. What can we do next time? And then just do it. Go. We have the power to learn and change. So a failure is not a failure unless you quit.

[00:51:19.010] – Rachel


[00:51:19.880] – Allan

And then that's your last statement, I'm out, and then that's your last statement. So, yeah, it was a failure if it made you quit, so don't let it. Learn from it.

[00:51:31.200] – Rachel

And then exactly, yeah, it's a learning experience. And the last thing I want to mention real quick, too, is that she talked at the end about listening to your body, which we talk about that all the time. We need to pay attention to what our body is telling us because it is sending signals. But she was saying how if she wasn't feeling super great, but she wanted to go out for a night with the girls and instead of drinking with them, she drank water because she wasn't feeling great. But if she was feeling good that night, then she could have a drink with the girls. And I think that she was trying to get to is that we are

[00:52:05.270] – Rachel

At different phases in our lives. Some days we're feeling at peak shape and we could extend ourselves some grace and have a few treats every now and then but if we're not feeling great, why add fuel to that fire and then have too many drinks or too much junk food or something and make ourselves feel worse? We need to really pay attention to where we are at each stage in our life. I thought that was really pretty awesome.

[00:52:28.800] – Allan

Yeah. Treat your body like you love it.

[00:52:31.860] – Rachel

Yeah, that's so true. Yeah, we need it.

[00:52:37.350] – Allan

Yes, we need it. It's the only home we got.

[00:52:39.960] – Rachel

That's right.

[00:52:41.570] – Allan

All right, well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:52:44.470] – Rachel

Take care, Allan.

[00:52:45.420] – Allan

You, too. Bye.

[00:52:46.650] – Rachel

Bye bye.

Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


August 1, 2023

You’re going to die – Martinus Evans shares his journey and expertise for anyone interested in running

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On episode 601 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Martinus Evans and discuss his book, Slow AF Run Club: The Ultimate Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Run.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:48.550] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are you?

[00:02:50.540] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:52.540] – Allan

I'm doing all right. I'm traveling to see family. We're doing a family reunion on my father's side. First time I'm probably going to be around all of my brothers and sisters on that side of the family in it's got to be 15 years. No. They all came to my wedding. So there was the wedding, which I guess was a little over eight years ago. So eight years ago we were all together. But this is extended families, so my father's brothers are going to be there with their families and my stepmother's sister is going to be there. There's going to be all the nephews and nieces and all that. So what turned into what was going to be just probably about a dozen of us is now going to be something like 30 or 35.

[00:03:41.990] – Rachel


[00:03:43.110] – Allan


[00:03:43.580] – Rachel

That's awesome.

[00:03:44.390] – Allan

It's kind of crazy. Yeah. And you may have recognized that last week I didn't really talk a lot about my life, about what was going on, and I apologize. I did that on purpose. I was going through a pretty rough week. I lost a really good friend, and it was very frustrating because he was staying with us at Lula's, and he was supposed to stay through July 5th, and then he left two days early, and he died of heart attack on the morning of July 5th. Now, the thing was, when he got to Lula's, he wasn't feeling well. He told us he wasn't feeling well, stomach issues and that kind of thing. And so we were like, okay, you got a parasite, go get some medication, that kind of thing, because it happens down here. It just does. But he started complaining about heartburn, and then he justified that in that he had had spicy soup the night before. There's a Japanese chain here. It's the only chain restaurant we have on the whole island. And I don't actually like their sushi all that much, but he had one of the spicy soups, and as spicy as they'd make it, that's one thing he and I had in common, was we like spicy food.

[00:05:11.570] – Allan

But he was complaining about heartburn, and then he was complaining about just difficulty breathing, and that's what I heard. And I was like, okay, well, just try slowing yourself down, slowing your body down, and try breathing through your nose. If you can get yourself to where you're breathing through your nose, you're going to regulate your sympathetic nervous system, and that should help calm you down. That's why people will, if they're hyperventilating, will breathe into a bag. It's all about slowing down your sympathetic nervous system anyway and getting a balance of CO2 and oxygen. But I wasn't in the conversation where he talked about the arm pain, so I didn't know about that symptom. But my wife had tried to talk him into going down and seeing the doctors and having a conversation, getting an EKG or something. Again, had I known this, I think I have an EKG at the house somewhere. I still find it, but I have one. And we could have sat down with him and done that, or we could have just made him go to the hospital, which we didn't. We didn't do either of those. And so it's kind of one of those things where you're like, I should have paid attention to the symptoms.

[00:06:25.870] – Allan

I know the symptoms. He had poo pooed them as being the soup, and I should have paid a lot more attention. So I was just saying, the only reason I'm bringing this up today instead of I didn't bring up last week because it was still really raw, was just pay attention to the people around you. If they're not feeling well, tell them to go get checked out, particularly if they're over 50, over 60. Just tell them, don't play around with it. Don't play around with it. Just go get checked out. In our little hospital, it would have cost him I shouldn't even probably say this on the air $18, $18 to get an EKG. He'd gone down to the emergency room. They'd have brought him in. They'd have hooked him up to an IV, because that's what they do. They would have hooked him up to an EKG a little bit later. They would have probably seen some problems, enough problems to tell him, we've got to ambulance you to Changanola or David, where he would have gotten proper care in time. And as a result, now he hasn't, and he passed. So I'm only saying that to bring you down or anything, but I just recognize your body tries to tell you when it's hurting.

[00:07:44.380] – Allan

It tries to tell you when things are wrong. And if you feel things are wrong, things are wrong. So listen to your body. Listen to what's going on, and then just go get checked out. It's not that big a deal. And yeah, there's a little bit of expense, even more expense maybe for you up there in the US. But just realize that if you don't get checked out, what's the alternative?

[00:08:11.790] – Rachel

I'm sorry, Allan. I'm really sorry for the loss of your friend. My heart goes out to you. And I think just to emphasize your point again, I feel like we're in our 50s. Most of us, and a lot of our listeners are certainly over 40, but we're not as invincible as we used to be. And it's easy to dismiss common aches and pains because we're weekend warriors or we're doing these really big projects around the house and we hurt our joints and we're fatigued and stuff. But I think that once you hit 40 or maybe even over 50, those little aches and pains can also signal something else. And you're absolutely right. I'm not a doctor, and I need a doctor to help diagnose what's going on, and it's just a quick trip to the hospital. I'm a better safe than sorry kind of person myself. Good to listen.

[00:09:07.150] – Allan

Go get your regular tests, the things you're supposed to do. If there's blood in your urine, go talk to a doctor. Urologist, if your chest is a little tight, if your arm is hurting, if you're having trouble breathing, if you have what you think is heartburn and it lasts more than a tums, go to the doctor. It's worth it. And you don't even have to make it a 911 thing. It's just a simple, hey, let's head on down to the emergency room, let them know I'm having this symptom. And I can tell you from experience when you go up to an emergency room and you're over 40 years old and you walk in there and tell them your chest hurts, you go in first.

[00:10:01.020] – Rachel

You get attention.

[00:10:02.330] – Allan

They just walk you back there. There's no questions about, oh, go sit in the no. They just come on with me. You're literally sitting down and you're hooked up to an IV and an EKG. Boom.

[00:10:15.070] – Allan

Like that. They're handing you a nitroglycerin and saying, here, take this. And you ask them what it is. It's a nitroglycerin is it just a precaution. Doesn't hurt you if it's not a heart attack, but could really help you if it is. For me, that one was dehydration and water poisoning. I collapsed and I threw up, and I defecated at the same time, which is not a nice thing to do. I don't recommend it. Probably was really close to going into a coma and didn't know it. Went home and I told my coworkers, don't call 911 because it's kind of the thing. I got dirty underwear now, I didn't when I came to work, but I do now. I'm going home and getting cleaned up. And I went home, got cleaned up, I rested, and I didn't feel any better. I went to the emergency room, but I didn't call 911. I just got in my car, calmly drove down to the hospital, walked in and told him I have chest pains. So we'll kind of get off that topic because we are going to talk about running and new runners and health and things of that.

[00:11:24.860] – Allan

So, yes, let's have this conversation with Martinus.

[00:11:29.310] – Rachel



[00:11:55.350] – Allan

Martinus, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:11:58.190] – Martinus

Hey, man, thank you for having me.

[00:12:00.250] – Allan

So your book is called Slow AF Running Club: The Ultimate Guide to Anyone Who Wants to Run. This is a family-friendly kind of show, so I'm not going to spell out what AF is. But even if you're not one of the hip kids, I think you kind of know what that is.

[00:12:16.250] – Martinus

And fabulous. Slow and fabulous.

[00:12:18.910] – Allan

Slow and fabulous. I'm really glad that you took the time to write this book because so many of the books that are out there and I think you even mentioned it, they're written by previous Olympians. They're written for someone who wants to shave 30 seconds off their time so they can come in with a PR on their half marathon or whatever, and where they're going to get that one, two or three place in their run. But you're this person that's in the back of the pack that doesn't fit the mold, if you will. When I was doing my longer runs, I weighed about 195 pounds, and that was called a Clydesdale. In those days, we'd call those Clydesdales because there weren't a lot of us that big running marathons and ultramarathons. And you kind of saw it because I was probably a good 60, 70 pounds heavier than just about everybody else out there. But I was also somewhat of a back of the packer then because I just couldn't run as fast as most of them could. But I still ran. And I think that's what was so awesome about your story is you were basically told you need to do something or you're going to die.

[00:13:31.420] – Allan

And then you told him what you were going to do, and then he says, you're going to die. You mind telling that story?

[00:13:38.230] – Martinus

Yeah. So approximately ten years ago, I was working at Men's warehouse at the time. Let's give it a little context. Working at Men's Warehouse was on my feet eight to 10 hours a day in hard bottom dress shoes selling suits. And I developed some hip pain because of this, right? Like, who wouldn't in your hard bottom dress shoes walking on concrete. So I go see a doctor. First time he ever meeting this doctor. He has no previous experience with me, and he goes, I know why you in pain. Okay, what's that? He's like, you're fat. And then he goes on to say, fat, you need to lose weight or die. And I remember being frustrated, just being a person of size, and just going through all of this again. Like, you telling me to lose weight or die, but you don't know me, right? Like, you're here to figure out what's going on with my hip. So then he's going like, you need to start walking. You need to go buy walking shoes and all this other stuff. And I was like, screw that. I'm going to run a marathon. And then he laughs at me and tells me that's the most stupidest thing he has heard in all his years of practicing medicine.

[00:14:44.340] – Martinus

So now you didn't call me fat, now you didn't tell me I was going to die. And then he goes on to say, well, if you run this marathon, you're guaranteed going to die on the course. So I'm just sitting here with all these options where it just ends up just me being dead, for lack of a better words. So, like, lose weight or die. All right, I'm going to run a marathon. No, you can't run a marathon because you're going to die then. So I just left that doctor's office very frustrated and very irritated, and on my way home, I just happened to drive by a running shoe store, and I went in there and told them, I need running shoes. I need them now.

[00:15:20.410] – Allan

And that's awesome. It's funny. That what will actually trigger us to basically say, we've got to do something different. We're going to do something different. And I love stories like that, because yours was one of being a rebel of just saying, screw it. I know what I can do. Don't tell me who I am. I'm going to prove you wrong. Now, when you decided, okay, then you had those new running shoes, and you put them on, your first running story didn't quite go as planned. How does someone get started doing this? Because I see a lot of people thinking about it the same way you did as well. Just jump on this treadmill and go, can you talk a little bit about that, your story? And then how does someone get started?

[00:16:06.470] – Martinus

Yeah. So I get home, I got these shoes on. I was like, I'm going to run a marathon today, and I'm inconveniently sandwiched in between two gazelles on a treadmill. These guys are going nine and ten on the treadmill. They made it look effortlessly. And here I am, 300 pound guy who haven't been on the treadmill in years, and trying and sizing these guys up to figure out, all right, how fast do I need to go? So I thought to myself, where these guys is going nine and ten, I can at least go seven. And next thing you know, 15 seconds later, I fell off the treadmill. Mortified, embarrassed, because the gazelles all on their pedestal. They just looked down at me as they're still running. I just feel like they just look down on me like, hey, bro, are you all right? So I went home, tears in my eyes, embarrassed. And it's something about that, right? I have this tattoo on my right wrist, and I talk about this in the book of like, I have a tattoo that says no struggle, no progress, which is a famous quote from Frederick Douglass. And the portions of the speech that stands out to me is where he goes, if there's no struggle, there's no progress.

[00:17:22.330] – Martinus

Men who favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation is men who want crops without plowing the land. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want ocean without its roar. He goes on to say that the struggle may be a physical one, a moral one, or even a mental one, but there needs to be some type of struggle in order to get progress. And I think for myself, going through that and hearing that speech rang true in my head in this situation and being like, okay, I really know what this quote really means. This really means that, all right, I have to go through this struggle in order to figure out what's on the other side. And I think that's one of the things I want to mention to the people who are out here, right, where you're starting to get started. Hopefully, you don't fall off the treadmill like I did.

[00:18:10.220] – Martinus

Hopefully. I pray that you don't, but I think that when it comes to most individuals, when they do start out, they do what I call the terrible twos. They start out too fast, too soon, or do too much. So if they do too much too soon and too fast, you're still going to have that fall off the treadmill instance because they are going out the gate and not necessarily going at a speed or at a rate that can be healthy and something that their body can get used to.

[00:18:42.710] – Allan

Now, the run plans that you do have in the book, I like how they kind of start someone out where they are. So not everybody's going to jump right into maybe your twelve week program for the 5K. They might need to do a little bit of base building first. And you kind of have almost like a four week plan in there that they can repeat and do until they feel like, okay, now I can do this and now I'm ready to do this. And so it's kind of stairstep built. So I really like how you put that together because I think it makes it, I'm not going to say brainless, but at least makes it to where someone knows, okay, I have to conquer this thing first and then I'm ready for this thing. And I just like how you did that.

[00:19:24.240] – Martinus

Thank you. And I think that really just goes from the amount of experience I have coaching individuals as well as the experience I had when I was going through this journey when I first got started running, is that most training plans start you off with, let's start running with a slow ten minute mile. And it's like, wait a minute, this is what you're assuming is slow and this is what you're assuming a beginner should do? And I think that's where a lot of people get tripped up at.

[00:19:58.940] – Allan

Yeah, I think that's important because for some people who have never run and you say ten minute mile, that doesn't actually mean anything to them until they get out there and actually get on their watch and they do a mile, and they're like, okay, well, that mile took me 20 minutes, so I'm not ready for a ten minute mile yet.

[00:20:18.550] – Martinus


[00:20:19.750] – Allan

I'm ready for a 20 minutes mile. But here's the key of it. You put in the 20 minutes of work and you got that mile behind you. And every mile that you do after that is just another one that's building on the one you're going to do next. And I think that's when you talked a lot about how you got started and then you were going and there are times even when you were well trained, that you struggled and you fought. And so I appreciate again you saying that this is about the struggle and running for anyone that's done it for any amount of time knows that that's what most of this is, is a struggle and it's an internal struggle because no one else is going to pick up your foot. You got to do it, and you got to take that step in the next step. And the next step. And I liked how in the warm up, because everybody will say this, okay, well, do your warm up. And so you're going to put a warm up in there. But your warm up is not just physical. You have a mental component to your warm up.

[00:21:22.810] – Allan

Can you talk a little bit about your warm up process?

[00:21:26.330] – Martinus

Absolutely. So running is just as mental as it is physical. And I personally think that running is 90% mental and 10% physical because anybody, if you do it consistent enough, you can lift this bottle of hand sanitizer and get something out of it. Right. So the actual movement part, I think it's the easy part. I think it's the mindset part that a lot of people struggle with. Right. Like, anybody can be a runner, but not everybody do it. And it's because of the mindset aspect of it. So when it comes to my mindset, warm up, it's one of the things of really just getting yourself mentally prepared for this bout of movement. You're understanding, how do I feel in this moment? Did I get an argument with my significant other? Did my dog bite me? Whatever may happen, right. To really figure out, all right, where am I at mentally right now? So then you can figure out, all right, do I need to have a mental adjustment to really get into this? Because for a lot of people, when it comes to running, it's like, oh, I don't want to do this. The weather is not good.

[00:22:39.430] – Martinus

The wind is blowing in the wrong way, like all these other things, right. So first is where are you mentally and do you need a mental adjustment? And then the second thing is really understanding, all right, let's go through your body. Let's go through from head to toe. How are your legs feeling? How are your arms feeling? So that way, once you start to go into the physical aspect of it, you'll already know where you need to add more focus. 

[00:23:08.620] – Allan

And the reason I think all that's really important is this is not a straight line. You're going to have great training runs, and you're going to have some that just suck. And it's your energy level. It's something. But you got out there, and it wasn't your day, and you've got to kind of accept that because that one day doesn't define you unless you let it. And so I really liked that idea of checking in with yourself beforehand, because that kind of gives you some precursors to know, my energy level is not 100% today. Maybe I didn't sleep as well as I needed to. Maybe I haven't been recovering as well as I need to. Maybe my nutrition is off. And you talk about a lot of all this in the book. So that's why I liked the book overall, because it was not just a just do it kind of thing. It was, here's everything that you need to consider as you go into this, because for you, a lot of what's out there isn't designed the way it should be for a runner that's going to finish back of the pack or maybe not even finish before time.

[00:24:17.730] – Allan

And I think that was another important thing that I kind of took out of this, was for a lot of people going out to run their first five or 10K, they don't really take into consideration, well, what happens if it takes me over the 50 minutes for this 5K and I'm not finished? What are they going to do then? And there's a lot of other considerations that you brought up that I thought were really important. Can you talk about some considerations if someone's looking at their first five or 10K, maybe even first half marathon, that they should consider looking into before they get started?

[00:24:51.500] – Martinus

Absolutely. I would say the first thing is really understanding what is the pace limits? Like, what is the pace cut offs for this particular race? And then that way you can understand, all right, where are you at physically to understand if you're either going to have a good time with this pace cut off, or you're going to have what I like to call a bad time with this pace cut off? So I think that's the first thing that you think about. And then you ask yourself, all right, can you do it within this pace time? The answer is yes. Great. If the answer is maybe. All right, now let's see what happens to the runners who fall behind the pace limit. Do they let you continue to run? Do they put you on a sidewalk? Do you put you on a bus? You really need to understand what is the ramifications if you don't make it to the finish line in the allotted time. And then you have to ask yourself, are you okay with those ramifications? Are you okay with having to run on the sidewalk because they're open the streets up? Are you okay with getting on a bus because they're like, hey, the race is over.

[00:25:57.410] – Martinus

You got to get on this bus because this thing is done. Are you okay with that? I know for some people, they'll be devastated if they participate in their first race. And the bus is like, hey, you're too slow. We got to open this course up. You got to get on this bus. We're sorry, but your race is over with. And some people will be devastated. They might not even run ever again. So making sure that they understand, what are the ramifications if you don't make it to the finish line in that certain time period? And then I think there are other ancillary things that you can also think about the time of day the race start. Like is it a morning race, is it a night race? I think about for longer distances. Say you're training for a half marathon or a marathon. Are you training for a spring marathon, which means you have to train throughout the winter, or are you training for a fall marathon which means you have to train throughout the summer. And those have their own ramifications as well. Whether you're training throughout the summer months and I don't know if you're down south or whatever, but that's something you also need to think about as well.

[00:27:04.390] – Martinus

And I also think about the last thing is for individuals who enjoy traveling to know how easy is it to get to that particular place. So for example, I went to a race in Montana, I live in New York City. You would think out of all the places, there would be a straight shot or a non stop plane to Montana, to New York City because it's one of the busiest cities in the world. That wasn't the case and I ended up getting delayed on a stop and all types of things that goes along with that. So it's also understanding where are you going and what does the airfare looks like or the travel look like to get there as well.

[00:27:50.580] – Allan

Yeah, I was running the Big Sur Marathon. They had the expo the day before and I went to the Expo and they had this speech and the director did not say anything about the four hour limit for the finish line. So what they were doing was they said okay, because they had some mudslides. So they were having to close this particular road, this particular bridge for the race, and they didn't want to shut it down any longer than they had to. So they were looking at the first finishers finishing in 2 hours and a little over 2 hours. And then at 4 hours they said, okay, well, we're going to have to open up the bridge. And so I'm running and all of a sudden they divert us and now we're running through this artichoke planting. This is down a gravel road into the middle of nowhere. There's no fans down there, there was no nothing. You finished the race and it's like, here you are, here's your medal. And it's like, okay, there's two guys standing down here besides the people that were just running in with me. So we're walking back up to where the finish line is, which was now about another mile and a half away.

[00:28:55.800] – Allan

And then all the people that had come to watch people finish, they didn't see us finish. So there's these things that happen because 4 hours, that was a slower marathon for me at the time, but it was that whole thing of had I known, I could have run just a little bit faster pace, particularly for the last few miles, and I probably would have made. Their cut off. But you brought up a couple of other important things in the book as far as they may run out of medals, they may not have your Tshirt size. There may be all these other little things that are going to somewhat be little digs into you and being a slower runner or your size or those different things. And that can really mess with you as a runner because you did finish the race, and now you don't have the medal to hang up in your closet or wherever you hang up your medals. And so there's a lot of considerations that you had in the book that I agree you want to make sure you're paying attention to because we all do it. We're all going to make mistakes as we prepare for our race.

[00:29:58.180] – Allan

Like you said, not having a nonstop flight. I had my luggage lost when I was flying to the DC marathon, the Marine Corps. Fortunately, I was wearing my running shoes. But I had to go into the Expo and break your primary rule, which is nothing new on race day. My shorts, my shirt, everything else I was wearing besides even my socks, all I had on was I had my running shoes on on the plane. And that's all I had going into the next morning for the race. So I had to stop at the Expo and buy everything I needed. And that was not the funnest race because I broke your rule. And I agree it's an important rule, nothing new on race day. Now, another area that you got into, a lot of runners kind of skip because they think, okay, well, I'm running, so that's my exercise for the day. I'm done. And they're going to run even if it's just I'm going to run three or four times per week. That's all I need to be in good shape and be able to run. But you're a big proponent of cross training. Can you talk a little bit about why you're a proponent of cross training and what someone should consider doing for cross training if they're running?

[00:31:12.680] – Martinus

Absolutely. So what I like to tell people is the things that you don't do as a runner that actually makes you a better runner. And I have this phrase that I tell all the people that I train, and that is you make time to cross train or you're going to make time for doctor's appointments and physical therapy appointments because you're going to get injured. And it's not if you get injured, it's when you get injured. So that's something I always tell people, is that make time for cross train. Are you going to be making time for doctor's appointments? Because that is the true fact about running. And this sport that we do is a very repetitive sport. I think that a lot of people forget about all the other ancillary muscles or accessory muscles that needs to help keep you upright while you run and get injured a lot. So I'm a big proponent of cross training, more particularly, most people, since we all have jobs that makes us sit on our butt. There's this phrase called gluteal amnesia, dead butt syndrome. And this is thing, this is real. And it's the fact that you sit on your butt for so long that your glutes don't fire properly or don't fire at all when you're running.

[00:32:35.860] – Martinus

So then while you run it, you rely on some of the smaller muscles versus some of the larger muscles in your body. So you rely on calf or mainly your calf and your soleus muscles to help push off versus using your glute muscles, which is like one of the larger muscles to help move your body. So that's one of the things that I like to tell people and let people know that you need to strengthen your glutes. And then the last thing is like engaging your core. I think that comes with another thing. We're just sitting down for so long is that a lot of people forget how to necessarily engage their core and really think about that. When people say core or like AB workout, they think about like sit ups. Right? But your core moves in multiple directions. It just don't go in that crunchy format. It goes to the side, it goes left to the right, to the front and the back. We need to make sure that our core is stable in order to make sure that everything else is grounded while we run as well.

[00:33:42.380] – Allan

Yeah, I like to explain the core to people I train and say think of it as like a soda can. And when that soda can is full, it's solid, you can put something on top of it, you can move it around, it's not going to crush. But you take that fluid out, which is how most of us are walking around, or worse, put a kink in it and it's going to collapse. And so any kind of training volume you put on yourself, if you don't have a strong core, it is going to break, it is going to break you at some point. So I totally agree with that. Strength training, core training, and then even doing some of your endurance training off of your feet or off of the road so that it's not so much extra repetitive effort on your body just to have a certain level of cardiovascular strength.

[00:34:29.150] – Martinus

Yes, and I think that's a great thing to mention right inside the book. I break up cross training in like two ways, right? You have strength cross training and you have cardio cross training. And I think a lot of people tend to forget that cardiovascular fitness can be brought on through various methods of exercise. It don't necessarily have to be running, it can be swimming, it can be cycling, it can be a plethora of things. But all of that still helps you with running as well.

[00:35:04.060] – Allan

Yeah, well, when I trained for my first one, I was in Washington, DC. And I was training during the winter because it was a spring, it was a February marathon. So I'm like, okay, I'm in Washington, DC. It's cold January in December in Washington, DC. And I was from Mississippi, so I was flying up there, but that's when I had to train. So I'm like, well, I'm going to go over here to this YMCA and go in there and just do some training. There some cross training inside and they had a 20 minutes limit on the machines. So I would get on one machine like an elliptical, and I'd do that for the 20 minutes, and then I'd have to move over to a different machine like a bike or a Stepper or a treadmill or whatever. And then that's how I did a lot of my training was just to cross train there. And I think one of the core advantages of it was that I got my cardiovascular endurance way up without putting so much stress on my knees, particularly running around Washington, DC. Where the pavements like granite. Oh my, yeah, it's not a fun place to run, even when I was in a safe part of the town.

[00:36:11.450] – Allan

But it was cold and it was hard, and I was like, no, I'm not going to do that too much. I did get out some and run, but for the most part, I did a lot of cross training and that was enough. That was enough to give me the endurance to be able to complete the run and my goal time. So I agree with all that. And I think one of the cores and things that you have in here is you're repeatedly thinking about the needs of the runner from the perspective of protecting their investment, protecting their body. So you talk about cross training, you talk about recovery and sleep and nutrition and all those different things. So I think it's a really good book for someone who does. You call it The Ultimate Guide for anyone who wants to run. Boom. That's exactly what this book is. Now, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:37:06.190] – Martinus

Oh, man. So let's start with the happiest. Right. I think when it comes to physical activity, a lot of people get into a comparison trap. They look at you, they look at me or whoever, and it's like, oh, I'm not where I need to be or I'm not where you at, and so on and so forth. And I think that one of the things that I've learned throughout all these years of running is that comparison is the thief of joy. It's the thief of joy and happiness. And one of the things I always like to tell the people that I train is that if your life doesn't depend on winning 1st, 2nd, or third place in the race, you're here and you're running a race to get a participation medal that you've already paid for. So there's no need to take yourself so seriously and get yourself so riled up for a race that A, you're going to get participation medal at the end of it, you're not winning. So you already know that. So you got to have something else that's going to drive you to run. So that's the first thing comparison is a thing for the journey. Fittest, being the fittest that you can possibly be.

[00:38:19.380] – Martinus

I think the best way to do that is through consistency. I think a lot of people underestimate the power of just being consistent, and this can be okay, I'm going to be active most days out of the week, which is, I say four days out of the week. Right. I think there's so many benefits that come with being regularly physically active that you'll get in your body even if you don't lose weight, that I think that there's still so many benefits to continue to be active. And I think that's another thing that a lot of people fail to realize as well is that we've been so taught to understand that exercise equals weight loss, right? So when people do exercise, they don't lose weight. They get all upset and sad and depressed and then stop exercising, not knowing that there's so many other benefits. Better A1C's, better cholesterol, better blood pressure, all these other things. The mental health benefit that comes with it that it's so beneficial that even if you don't lose weight, it's still a benefit, you still continue to do that. And I think that also rolls into the last part of the healthiest right by being regularly physically active.

[00:39:40.090] – Martinus

All of those markers that we look into or look at when we are going to a doctor, those markers get affected in a positive way when you are consistently being active.

[00:39:54.280] – Allan

Cool. Thank you. Martinus, if someone wanted to learn more about you, more about your Run Club and more about your book, Slow AF Run Club, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:40:05.730] – Martinus

You can go to slowafrunclub.com. That'd probably be the best hub to go there to get more information so we have information about the book there. The book is available wherever books are sold. And then we also have an app on iOS and Android. So if you download the Slow AF Run Club app on your favorite phone Apple device, you'll be able to find the app there as well.

[00:40:29.080] – Allan

Cool. Well, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/601, and I'll be sure to have the links there. Martinus, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:40:41.060] – Martinus

Thank you for having me, Allan

Post Show/Recap

[00:40:42.050] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:40:44.570] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. You know me. I love everything to do about running and listening to Martinus share his story was super motivating. His story and his run club, I looked up his Run Club and his website, Slow AF. It sounds like a really fun group of people. It's a really great community.

[00:41:03.570] – Allan

Yeah. And that's kind of one of the cool things. Again, it wasn't one story. I think that was what I really liked about the book, was that he really talked raw about the tough things that he went through, the chafe monsters, and being told he should get on the bus because he's not going to make it. And he knew he was going to make it, particularly because the guy on the bus told him to get on the bus and kept coming back and asking him to get on the bus. And so there's a lot of lessons in there about what running means, particularly for a slower runner. A lot of the things that slower runners have to put up with. He talks about shoes, he talks about everything else. But I think one of the big stories out of all of it was that running, it's a solo thing because you have to do the work, but it's also a very social thing when you let it be.

[00:42:04.460] – Rachel


[00:42:05.450] – Allan

And so the Run Club thing, he formed that online run club predominantly because he couldn't find his tribe in real life. He was trying and he went out with a group and in a place where you would kind of expect a lot more tolerance and acceptance. And he went out to join the slow group and was informed, okay, they're running this trail that he didn't know, and they were going to run ten minute miles, which was about twice as fast as he would normally have wanted to run. That because his running is going to be more in the 15 to 18 range as a normal run, just for a marathon or any kind of longer distance. He wasn't looking to run ten minute miles. Now, he tried because that was the slow group. And then they left him.

[00:43:02.200] – Rachel


[00:43:03.080] – Martinus

And as a result of being left, he turned to go back to the parking lot and got a little lost and then found two other runners that were trying to get back to the parking lot. So they all went back together. I only say that story not that you would avoid a run club because there's a lot of advantages. And I know, Rachel, you can talk a lot more about being in run clubs, forming run clubs and all that, but to me, the cool advantages of a run club is the social aspects of it, of having friends, having those peer groups. When we talk about motivation, there's a peer group waiting for you on Tuesday night to do the 07:00 run. You guys show up and do the 07:00 run, have your beer together, and then it's a social thing, but it's also a safety thing, especially if you're doing trails or doing areas. Running with other people is a huge safety thing. But it's not either of those things if the group is going to leave you. Because, again, now there's no social. You're alone on the trail and there's no safety because you just got left alone on the trail.

[00:44:12.930] – Allan

But there are run clubs out there. And if there aren't, you could form your own.

[00:44:16.770] – Rachel

That's right.

[00:44:17.600] – Rachel

And the great thing about Martinus putting his book together is that he is one of those back of the packers. He was a new runner. He made all the classic new runner mistakes and finally found his people. He found a group of people that he could form a club with and do their thing together, which is so important. And I want to point out a couple of things, is that a lot of people are afraid to start running because there are those fast people out there. There are people that run Boston, which those are only fast runners run the Boston Marathon.

[00:44:54.680] – Allan

But not only no, because again, if you read his book, you'll know that there are lotteries.

[00:45:00.860] – Rachel

Oh, yeah, there's charity, charity groups and.

[00:45:04.710] – Allan

There are lotteries where you can be picked for a lottery. Because he went through that process, too, of lotteries, because he's run some of the big ones, too.

[00:45:15.030] – Rachel

There's some races where you have to qualify, though, have a fast time. And Boston is one of those ones. And Allan, I've been running for 25 years. I am not a fast runner. I will never run the Boston Marathon. I'd have to shave 2 hours off my marathon time, which is not meant for me. But that's the intimidating part of running. And that's why having a run club with people who are not always the fast runners is helpful because then you get to be with people that are more your speed and more your ability and have the goals that you have, which are a little different than running marathons and setting PRs. So the problem with run clubs, though, is that there are so many run clubs. The Roadrunners Club of America has a website where you can look up running or run clubs in your community or nearby your community. And most of them have a website and they'll tell you what they run and they'll give you an indication of what type of club they are.

[00:46:19.280] – Rachel

Right here by me, there's probably, I would have to guess, five, six, seven different run clubs in my area. And I know because of experience, some of them are the fast ones. There's one run club in the city that I cannot even keep up with and it twists and turns through the city. So if I don't have my eye and look which direction the guy's turning, I'll be lost for the rest of the day, just like Martinus was on.

[00:46:45.430] – Allan

That just means you get to do more miles.

[00:46:48.610] – Rachel

As long as I can find my way back to start, I guess we're okay. But with my run clubs that I participate with or that I manage on my own, is we have a local trail. It's an out and back course. And when somebody new joins us, I ask them all the questions. How fast do you run? How far do you want to run if this is your first time out? We'll run a mile together. If you're an experienced runner, I'll tag you with the faster runners that are more experienced. So I kind of watch for people in my run clubs, but not all run clubs are that way. So it's important that you kind of pick and choose. Don't just blindly show up and then not be aware, just like what Martinus had experienced with his run club.

[00:47:31.230] – Allan

And so, you know, again, it's a really good book if you're a beginner, because he does tell the stories of the mistakes and the struggles, and that's actually a big part of why he runs. He runs because of the struggle.

[00:47:49.350] – Allan

Okay? And he runs because he's not supposed to run. He's over 300 pounds. You're not supposed to run when you're over 300 pounds. His doctor even said that. So just realize that you should run if you want to run. You should do what you want to do to live the life that you want to live. And again, as long as you don't have some underlying condition that you don't know about, which he didn't. He didn't have the underlying condition other than being a big boy, a very big boy, then it was, okay, now if I want to run, I just got to do it right. He went and got shoes, and he started, but still, lesson after lesson, the chafe monster got him on one bit. And then there was this getting lost when the run club left him, and that so there were a lot of lessons that hopefully you go through and you start your journey and you've read his book, you kind of have the idea, okay, Cotton is not my friend. Once I start doing more than about 30 minutes of running, just little things like that that don't seem like a big deal, can be a very big deal.

[00:48:58.800] – Allan

But that's what's so cool about running, is at first, you just need a pair of comfortable, sturdy shoes that are going to last a little bit, get out there and start going. Then you can start investing in better shoes. Then you can start investing in better clothes, and then you can start investing in all kinds of gear and stuff and goose and all kinds of stuff. But in a general sense, it's the easiest sport to start and then grow into.

[00:49:26.040] – Rachel

It is it's a great sport. You get out of it what you put into it. It's really all on you, and it's how you're feeling, how far you want to go, what you feel like accomplishing, but it gives you so much more back. It can give you your health. It can bring you to friendships in the run clubs. And that's why I love it so much. And I could drone on for hours about how great it is, especially how great run clubs are, but also back to run clubs. That is a good place to learn, because every single one of us runners has made all of these mistakes at one time or another. And this is how we can help you become a better runner by maybe getting you through some of these mistakes so you don't have to make them all. But it is a great place to be. And his book sounds really fun.

[00:50:14.080] – Rachel

Sounds like a great read.

[00:50:15.540] – Allan

If you're thinking about running or you're a beginner runner, it is a really good book. All right, well, Ras, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:50:23.370] – Rachel

Take care, Allan.

[00:50:24.490] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


How to overcome pain and heal from injury – Dr. Tom Walters

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Injuries and pain are a fact of life. In his book, Rehab Science, Dr. Tom Walters walks us through the science of pain and injury and gives us some tools to work through them.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:25.680] – Allan

Welcome, Ras.

[00:02:26.710] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:28.510] – Allan

I'm doing all right. I'm doing all right. Pretty excited. Well, we still haven't gotten any rain. Much rain anyway over the course of the last few days, but things are going good. I'm feeling good. I'm healthy again and moving around and lots of sunshine. Just having a good time.

[00:02:45.960] – Rachel

Back to your long walks.

[00:02:47.680] – Allan

Back to long walks. It's slowed down at Lula's a bit because we're heading into the low season, so things just aren't quite as busy. So it gives me a little bit more time. Southern Miss is playing well in baseball. Nice. They're going to the Super regionals. By the time you hear this, the super regionals will be over and they'll probably end of the College World Series. But they're one step closer to getting into the World Series.

[00:03:11.700] – Rachel

That's exciting. That's always fun to watch. Very cool.

[00:03:15.140] – Allan

I enjoy the College baseball and football. A lot.

[00:03:18.500] – Rachel

Of course.

[00:03:19.960] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:03:21.540] – Rachel

Good. Same thing. We haven't gotten a lot of rain either. So it's hot summer, beautiful, great to be outside as long as you get out early. So yeah, just making our way through the summer.

[00:03:33.610] – Allan

Good. Are you ready to talk about physical therapy?

[00:03:38.160] – Rachel


[00:03:39.270] – Allan

All right, let's do it.


[00:04:02.350] – Allan

Dr. Walters, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:05.300] – Dr. Walters

Thank you so much for having me. Excited to chat today.

[00:04:08.050] – Allan

I am too. This is a book. It's called Rehab Science: How to Overcome Pain and Heal From Injury. And there have been a couple of times in my life when I hurt myself really bad, usually doing stupid stuff, but having fun while I was doing it. And then I would find myself going to a doctor who knew a little bit, and then I would end up in the office of a physical therapist who knew a whole lot and did a lot of good for me. I turned my ankle really bad when I was playing volleyball when I was in my 20s. And I went into the first doctor, he's like, It's broke. And he took X rays and it wasn't broke. And he gave me this cast or this thing to wear. And so I try to put it on. I couldn't get my shoe on. And I'm walking around elephant foot for three weeks. And I'm like, Okay, I got to do something. So I go into a sports specialist doctor and he's like, Okay, cool. He says, It's broke. And I'm like, Well, that other doctor said it wasn't. So we did another X ray.

[00:05:02.880] – Allan

He says, Man, it'd been better if you broke this thing because you've done so much damage down there. And then I went into he said, I want you to go over to this physical therapist in the office and he'll take her. And I walk in, he's like, Why don't you have that brace inside your shoe? And I'm like, Look at my elephant foot. There's no way I get my foot in the shoe. He says, Well, that brace is supposed to work with the shoe. If you don't have the shoe on, the brace doesn't do you any good. And so here's a doctor, gives me something to do, to use, doesn't really know how to use it, so he doesn't tell me how to use it. I walked in, they did ice therapy, elevation, and constriction all in one move. Put me on the table, lifted my legs up, ice water on my ankle. They got my shoe on before I left that office 25 minutes later. With that brace, I was walking around. He says, You need to be walking around on it, not those crutches. Just throw the crutches away. You need to be walking on this.

[00:05:56.430] – Allan

You need to be moving. This is what the ankle needs to heal. It needs movement to heal. The exact opposite of what every other doctor had told me, stay off of it for six weeks. So I have a whole lot of respect. And to see you put this in a book where now it's in our hands to do our own prehab, rehab structure. I just really like that.

[00:06:17.600] – Dr. Walters

Yeah. Well, thank you. You hear a lot of stories like that, right? I have a very similar story. From high school, I was an athlete and had had knee surgery. It used to be more like that where doctors would immobilize people longer. And I think the treatment of these injuries is slowly getting better. But I had a very similar type of thing where I was immobilized and not really given much direction and ended up developing a contracture. I couldn't bend my knee past 90 degrees. It really atrophied and eventually made my way to PT. And that was my first experience seeing how I was an athlete. I knew I only really thought about exercise and movement at that time for performance, getting stronger, jumping higher, all the things I was doing. I was in taekwondo, so I was kicking. That was my first experience with movement and exercise in terms of just muscloskeletal health and rehabilitation. I think these things are slowly getting better. But yeah, that was a huge goal of the book. Just like you said, of course, sometimes it's appropriate to have a temporary period of rest, but too often people are just prescribed rest and without a lot of clear direction after that.

[00:07:32.790] – Dr. Walters

And they end up resting too long. And we know now that there was actually an article a couple of years ago published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine where they looked at what are the best interventions for managing soft tissue injuries. And immobilization is not one of them. And movement, though, protection, elevation, compression, movement, all these things are really important, of course, in the right amount. You have to be smart about the movement. You don't want to just sprain your ankle. I'm just going to go jog in two days. But that was the goal of the book was to take basically what we do in rehab and create programs that have three phases and help people navigate, walk them through the process, gradually exposing the system to more stress, going from less challenging mobility exercises more and then to transition to strength and resistance based exercises to help people get back to normal function, get rid of pain. Because so much of this stuff, if you have the right education, you can just do yourself.

[00:08:38.560] – Allan

Now, I think a lot of us understand that certain people feel pain differently than other people. And in the book, you got into it. And the term you used was bio psychosocial. Can you talk a little bit about pain being bio psychosocial?

[00:08:56.530] – Dr. Walters

Sure. Yeah. The first five chapters of the book are on pain. Pain science is a really important area of science for all of us humans to know a little bit about. And that was why it was the beginning of the book. Pain is the number one symptom any of us really go seek medical care for. And years ago, we used to look at pain in the physical body from a more mechanical standpoint. It's like you think about something's broken on your car, you go to the mechanic and you get it fixed. And that was how I was trained in pain and injury when I came out of physical therapy school. And how most people were trained. It was what we used to call the postural structural biomechanical model. So all pain was looked at from posture, anatomy, biomechanics, how you moved. So it was very mechanical in that way, very physics based. And what we realized over time in the pain science research is that there's a lot of people who have pain that can't be really linked to tissues in their body or how they move. It has less to do with physical forces and things.

[00:09:59.750] – Dr. Walters

And so those studies pointed towards other factors, like how you think, your thoughts, your beliefs, your emotions, stress, sleep, things that might promote inflammation in the body, social factors. We see that people who have chronic pain, for instance, are often more socially isolated. They laugh less. It just becomes more complex. And so the biopsychosocial model came out of that and really this concept of, let's look at all of these factors that go into pain. If we're really going to do anything about pain, because we know the medical system really isn't very good at treating chronic pain, chronic conditions in general. The medical system is great at you fractured your tibia. We can pin it back together, put you in a cast or whatever and fix that thing. But if you've got chronic low back pain, a lot of people that have chronic pain that just suffer with it, and nobody really has a great answer. The biopsychosocial model is, I think, moving us in the right direction of looking at the whole person and trying to figure out what are the primary factors contributing to their pain experience.

[00:11:05.070] – Allan

And I guess the way I thought through that is you've also got into the whole idea that just because you have an injury doesn't necessarily mean you're going to have pain. And just because you have pain does not necessarily mean you have an injury.

[00:11:17.270] – Dr. Walters

Exactly. Yeah, that's so important, that one for people to separate. Chapter 6 of the book, we really separate pain from injury and talk about that because most people do are under the assumption that if I have pain, I've injured something in my body. And just like you said, we have lots of cases where most pain things that people come to see me in physical therapy for are more just irritations. They didn't have a trauma, something cute, injury didn't happen to them. They just slept funny or they tweaked something a little bit. And it's not like something… If you did an MRI or an X ray, you wouldn't see any damage. There's nothing that would be inconclusive. There'd be nothing there, but they still have pain. So for sure, you can have situations where you have pain and no injury. And then you have people who have injuries and don't experience any pain. And a lot of the pain science research actually came from those situations. A lot of it came from phantom limb pain where people have lost a limb and still have pain. So the injury isn't there anymore. You'll hear of people who have pain in a foot, even though, and maybe they've had everything from their knee down amputated.

[00:12:19.470] – Dr. Walters

So their foot is not there anymore, but they still have pain in that foot like it's there. And so those cases and research really, in a lot of ways, started the pain science research. And some of the best examples for injuries that don't create pain are studies where they do MRIs on people who are asymptomatic, who have no pain. And they'll find lots of us, almost half the population, have disk herniations in their neck and low back, have meniscus tears in their knee, labral tears in the hip and shoulder, arthritis in various joints. Those would technically get classified as injuries. If you went in that had pain and had an MRI and say, Oh, you have this injury, and your pain would be blamed on that. But we're finding more and more that it's just complex and you have to think about everything as a piece of a puzzle and see how it all works together and try not to rely too much on what your physical body looks like on a picture.

[00:13:17.320] – Allan

Now, pain is important, obviously, because if it's a signal, it's telling us something's not the way it's supposed to be, even if that's not coming from an actual injury. But in the book, you talked, and you just a minute ago talked about chronic pain, this is one of the three types, but you mentioned the three types of pain. Could you go through those? Because I think these are important for us to understand, the treatment has to follow along with the type.

[00:13:41.240] – Dr. Walters

For sure. Yeah. So when you have pain, you can, in most cases, break it down into these three types. Most people are going to have… If you've had an injury, like you're talking about an ankle sprain, like you sprain your ankle, that's going to fit into the first type, which is the most mechanical type of pain. Sometimes it's called nociceptive because it has to do with these… In our body, we have nerve ending called nociceptors that detect danger and they relay danger to our brain. And so if you turn those on and it creates pain, then that's called nociceptive pain. And that's usually what happens if you break a bone or you twist your ankle or you do something that's traumatic to your body, then you'll have that mechanical pain. You could be picking something up heavy and strain your back. It's something that happens usually in a sudden moment, and it's very localized. It's obvious why it hurts in that spot because you notice that you hurt that spot. Then we have neuropathic pain, which is the nerve type of pain. It's injury to the nervous system itself. Most people, from a general population standpoint, will have things like sciatica or carpal tunnel syndrome.

[00:14:48.860] – Dr. Walters

Even if you hit your funny bone, you bonk your all nerve in your elbow, that's in a type of acute neuropathic pain. It's a sudden stimulus to a nerve. Those are the big ones that most people will think of. That neuropathic pain is the pain that we think of as radiating or traveling. You might even have, maybe you do have a disk hernia that's irritating a nerve in your neck or your low back, and then it shoots down one arm or down one leg. A lot of people are familiar with those. That's called radicular pain. Nerve pain will often travel along the nerves path. That's another type. Then the third one is chronic or oftentimes now we use the term persistent pain because chronic carries a whole set of negative meaning with it. People often feel like you say chronic pain, that means they have no chance of getting better. So the term persistent pain is used more. But that's a type of pain that's been around longer, usually longer than 3 to six months. And it's the type of pain that doesn't do a good job of accurately telling you what's going on in your body.

[00:15:55.220] – Dr. Walters

So it tends to spread. It's more vague. People might think about fibromyalgia or a chronic low back pain or neck pain that's been around for a long time, maybe years and years. And you know you don't have an injury, but it just gets set off. Maybe you get stressed out and it gets set off, or you had a couple of nights of bad sleep, or some people even say they get a cold, they get sick and then their back starts hurting. So you'll hear these things where it's a pain that's been around for a long time, but it's not really telling you something helpful about your body.

[00:16:27.060] – Allan

This is the weirdest thing. I know I read that and that must have put something in my head because I'm coming down with a bit of a cold and I was feeling sore in the back. And it's almost like that got planted in my head. It had to have because I don't have any back problems. It's just weird. Pain is a weird thing.

[00:16:46.670] – Dr. Walters

It's super strange. I think this happens. I've always been interested in this where you might read about… This happens to me often when a patient comes in with a particular pain problem, I will sometimes experience that pain for a day or two after they've been here. We do see… You think about visualization with athletes where you can think about doing a movement and it fires those same circuits in your brain. I often think that maybe when we read about something painful or hear about someone talking about it, maybe we fire some of those regions in our brain.

[00:17:18.280] – Allan

Yeah. You talked about dry needling. And in my head, I could refill the pain of going through dry needling sessions before with a therapist. And I was like, Okay. And so you're right. Yeah, you can feel pain for no reason whatsoever. And it's important to get to the bottom of that because I don't need surgery on my back because I have a little bit of soreness to my back today when I was walking over here. I know it's psychosomatic. It's just coming out of my head and it'll probably go away as soon as I stop thinking about it. Now, when we're going to go through the process of overcoming pain, I think this is important because there were three phases that you mentioned. And I think a lot of times we actually skip the last two. We get stuck and we do the first one and then we don't really follow through. Can you talk about the three phases?

[00:18:07.920] – Dr. Walters

For sure. Yeah. I'm glad you're high telling this because I do agree. I think a lot of times people do skip the last two. I think sometimes that they feel better and so you're just not motivated to keep doing those. Sometimes it could be your insurance ends and you're going to physical therapy and you just stop doing things. And that's where trainers and PTs are such good compliments to each other.

[00:18:28.480] – Allan

And this book.

[00:18:30.180] – Dr. Walters

Totally. Yes, exactly. That was something actually my co author, Glenn and I talked a lot about was using this because we don't want to tell people don't go to physical therapy. Of course, there are times when there's a lot you can do on your own. But if you're not getting better, then you go and the book can be a compliment to that. And it could be something that helps you continue when you're done. But when you look at those phases, the first phase is really about reducing pain and reducing sensitivity, helping the system calm back down, really desensitizing it so that you don't just keep it flared up. You want to try to get rid of that acute pain state and not prolong it. Maybe you've got an injury, you're moving on it too much and you're creating more inflammation, stirring it up. Maybe it's just a non inflammatory… It's a low back pain that you've had before and you just want to try and let your nervous system desensitize and calm down. Most people are pretty good about that. It hurts so you're going to try to do things. But then after that period, as it starts to calm down, the next thing that we'll look at in rehab is addressing impairment.

[00:19:34.590] – Dr. Walters

So trying to resolve impairment, which are really things that would limit your function. So maybe a mobility loss, maybe your joint, you can't move it as far because of that pain. Maybe you've got a strength deficit, maybe you have a balance or appropriate receptive type deficit. So a lot of it in phase two, that second phase, a lot of it revolves around mobility and control, how well the person moves, the quality of their movement. And we really want to work on mobility early because… Your ankle sprain example, right? You don't want to let someone be totally immobilized for too long. And my knee example, because people can get stuck, their joints can become stiff. And as time goes on in the area of heels, it's much harder to gain that range of motion back. So we really try to start right away as soon as pain is coming down to work on mobility and movement control. And then the third phase is all about rebuilding capacity, which is really focused on resistance training. Any good physical therapy program should ultimately turn into a resistance training program where you're using your body weight, maybe external tools like dumb bells, bands, barbell, whatever you do that you eventually get back to where you are loading the system externally and building strength.

[00:20:49.250] – Dr. Walters

And that will help your tendons, your muscles, your ligaments, your bones, everything. A lot of times in the PT world, we'll talk about increasing capacity of the system. And that typically means by strengthening it with resistance training, because we know your musculoskeletal tissues are physical tissues. We're putting load and stress on them all the time. So the stronger they are, they're naturally going to be more resistant to tearing and being injured.

[00:21:14.750] – Allan

Yeah, I know this from experience because I asked for a tore rotator cuff about six years ago. And I mean, tore tore, it was not a partial tear. It was a tear off the bone. Bad, bad one. But I kept training. I kept exercising, I kept lifting. I just told my personal trainer, strength trainer at the time, I said, okay, I can't do pressing movements right now. That's just not going to happen. I can't do presses, particularly overhead. We tried some different things, and that was just a no go. The pain was there, and I knew I was just compensating too much with everything else, and I really wasn't getting any work on my chest of any substance. So I didn't do any pressing movements, but I continued to do lap pull downs and rows and dead lifts because that didn't impact that injury at all. But as a result of doing that work, I felt like I felt less pain. So there's a tie to exercise and pain that even beyond resistance training, just even you mentioned in the book, aerobics and everything else. Can you talk a little bit about that?

[00:22:13.250] – Dr. Walters

For sure. Yeah, we talk about this a lot with pain that movement and exercise are one of the most powerful modulators of pain. A lot of people probably will recognize this. Sometimes when you're really sedentary, maybe something's come up in life. Maybe you're on a vacation or on a plane or whatever. When you sit more, often people will feel worse. Once they get out and walk and just move, there's something I think our nervous system really craves, movement. Like you said, it doesn't have to be resistance training. It can just be active mobility work, whatever. It could just be going through range of motion exercises. Just moving tissue tends to really be helpful in terms of pain. What was the second part you asked on that?

[00:22:53.180] – Allan

Well, the connection of the two. I just felt like I didn't feel pain the way that I would have felt it because a full tear of a rotator cuff and you're moving in a gym doing stuff, you would think I would be in intense pain, and I wasn't. Now, at other times, I did certain movements that would cause pain. But at the same time, I was out running, I was out lifting, I was doing things. And in the end, it actually worked out great because doing those lap pull downs and those rows, the range of motion in my shoulder after the surgery was exceptionally better than it would have been if I had just put it in a sling and sat at my desk for three months while I was waiting for surgery.

[00:23:36.450] – Dr. Walters

Yeah, it made me think. Yeah, exactly. There's a couple of things there. I think we're often trying to encourage people, and I think this has been a change in maybe the last 10 to 15 years, but just that exact idea of keep training as much as you can. So if you've got an injured shoulder, you injured your rotator cuff, you found all these things that you could modify your workout and keep strengthening. And we know that people, like your example, where if they're working on mobility and getting stronger and they do end up having surgery, they recover faster. And we see that people, say you can't even work that side, working the other arm and your legs. We've seen in the research with resistance training, there's this cross transfer effect where actually people lose strength less if they keep training, even if they're not even working the side that's injured, if they work the other side, it transfers over. And I think the other cool thing about movement, especially when you start looking at more chronic, longer lasting back pain, such a good example. A lot of times it doesn't have to be real fancy specific exercise for low back pain, for example.

[00:24:37.930] – Dr. Walters

Things like Pilates, yoga, walking, aerobic exercise, just stretching programs, resistance training, they all have been shown to have a significantly positive impact on chronic low back pain. So I think sometimes people get in this mindset, again, because of probably outdated narratives, but I've just got to do core strengthening if I've got back pain. And really the research is saying more and more, you just need to move, just find something that moves. And if you do have some of the exercises that do target the low back area, that probably is good to add in. But a lot of times it's just moving. Just try to move and find something that you enjoy and isn't threatening to your system. A lot of times when we're talking about pain, that's what we're trying to help people with is you don't want to just blow past your pain, past that flair up line. You want to find something that challenges it, goes up to that line. But it's not considered really threatening by our nervous system. And over time, you can desensitize the system and help get rid of that pain.

[00:25:36.280] – Allan

But do no harm. Don't continue to injure yourself. Do what you can. Like I said, twist your ankle. You're not going out for a jog two days later, but you are walking around with compression socks or compression brace and doing the right things to help that heal.

[00:25:52.780] – Allan

Dr. Walter, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:26:01.780] – Dr. Walters

Yeah, I would say in thinking about this one, the three that I would focus on right away would be sleep. Sleep is… We know there's so much research on sleep, and it definitely applies to the musculoskeletal system. Our musculoskeletal system remodels while we're sleeping. And whether you're looking at performance in the musculoskeletal system or healing from pain and injury, just getting enough sleep should be the foundation, in my opinion, before you even think about these more physical therapy based exercises and interventions. Sleep, and then I would say exercise movement. And like we're alluding to, I always say exercise movement because we just talked about how powerful just basic movement is. So it doesn't always have to be you're getting your heart rate up or doing something that's strength based. It could just be range of motion exercises or activities of daily living that you might do around your house, just moving. But then, of course, exercise, especially aerobic exercise and strength training, can have huge benefits for helping to reduce your chances of having an injury and helping with all kinds of different pain issues. Even just aerobic exercise for people with chronic pain has lots of research for reducing inflammation and sensitivity in the nervous system.

[00:27:14.610] – Dr. Walters

Sleep, exercise, movement. Then the third one, I would say, really revolves around how you think in your psychology. There's a huge degree of stress, fear, and anxiety that comes with pain and injury. That really goes back to that bio psychosocial model. We've been trying to spend a lot of time educating people about pain and injury, the differences between them, what's going on in their system, how their pain system works. And you see lots of studies where the fear of injury, the fear of pain is almost more limiting than what they're actually experiencing. And a lot of times when you're looking at pain, fear and anxiety can actually ramp the nerve system up because you're basically telling your brain that there's something to be worried about, that you need to be threatened. There's something threatening going on, there's danger. Your brain is going to tap into that and be more likely to output pain because it thinks it needs to protect you. That piece, trying to figure out, learn about pain as a strategy for reducing fear and anxiety. Then if you don't have a lot of fear and anxiety around pain and injury, then I would say stress management, which goes in that same category.

[00:28:27.690] – Dr. Walters

Just trying to maybe it's meeting with a PT, maybe it's implementing meditation, mindfulness based things. Even just laughing, trying to find something that makes you laugh. Injuries suck. Nobody likes being injured. You see a lot of people who with true injuries like ACL tears or something, your likelihood of being reinjured is higher if you're fearful of that injury happening again. So there's a lot to be said for, I think, that your mindset and your mental framework than how you look at pain and injury.

[00:29:02.420] – Allan

That's why this book is really helpful because you have the protocols in the book where you can somewhat, let me say, self diagnose, but if you know you have an injury, you're working with a PT, or you're through working with a PT and you want to keep working to work your way through these three phases of recovery, all that's in the book set up exactly like that. So you say, okay, I hurt my shoulder. What can I do to strengthen, to resolve this problem over time and make sure that I'm at least as good, if not better for it? And it's all in the book. The book is called Rehab Science. If someone wanted to learn more about the book or about you, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:29:42.510] – Dr. Walters

Yeah, thank you. So yeah, the book, like you said, Rehab Science, how to overcome pain, heal from injury. The best places are usually Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If people are in the United States, there are groups for international individuals. Black Wells is a bookstore in the UK that's useful. And then people can always message me. I'm at Rehab Science pretty much everywhere on social media. Instagram and YouTube are the big platforms where I'm the most active. But people can always reach out to me if they have a question or want to know where to get the book or how to navigate it because there's a lot. There is a lot of content in there. And I think, like you said, most people are going to come to this for the programs because they're looking for a program, they've got some pain and they want to see some exercises they can implement. My hope is that that will then motivate them to look at the first 10 chapters, which are the science of pain and injury, and then that will give them that framework we talked about because it is so… It's like putting an armor on yourself.

[00:30:37.650] – Dr. Walters

I think if you have that education, you're probably going to have pain or an injury again in the future. The book covers the 50 most common. They're all the things that most of us humans get. So if you have that framework, that toolset to know how to approach a future pain or injury, it just makes it that much easier and it helps reduce some of the fear and anxiety about it. So my hope is though people will be interested in the science, and we try to write it in a way that we were thinking really about the regular person, just somebody who doesn't have a rehab background that wants to learn about these concepts. Of course, I think movement and medical practitioners will benefit from it, too. But we were thinking about both of those groups. And a lot of people asked me, it's not just for practitioners. It was really at the beginning just for the regular person.

[00:31:22.370] – Allan

Well, I'm going to have a copy on my bookshelf.

[00:31:24.960] – Dr. Walters

Thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you.

[00:31:27.730] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/595, and I'll have the links there. Dr. Walters, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:31:37.640] – Dr. Walters

Thank you so much for having me. This is awesome. Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:31:49.290] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:31:50.780] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. Right off the bat, I have to tell you, I think having a physical therapist is just as important as having a general practitioner doctor. They can play such an important role, especially for people in my running community. We get injured a lot, so we'd rather be back on the run, and a physical therapist is the guy that's going to get you there.

[00:32:11.530] – Allan

Well, yeah, I go with the concept of fit for task. And as you try to be fit for task, if you injure yourself, guess what, you're not until you get it fixed, until you actually get out there and say, Okay, I'm going to do something about it. And it's unfortunate that most doctors don't necessarily want to stay in their lane on some things. If you're a general practitioner, I apologize, but you're not a physical therapist, and those guys can work magic. And so I don't mean anything when I say my general practitioner let me down. I just went to the wrong doctor. It wasn't until I said, Okay, this isn't getting better the way he said it would. I've got to go to an expert. And I went to a sports doctor. The sports doctor knew more but still didn't know how to fix me at that point because I wasn't in his world broke.

[00:33:07.890] – Allan

He was effectively a carpenter and there was nothing to fix. It was just, Okay, we've got to get the swelling down. We've got to get this boot on. We've got to have the pressure. And so it was just, okay, now you got to do this contrast therapy and all the things that probably are outdated today. But what I did back then, and so it was just a function of getting to the right person, which was the physical therapist when it was all said and done, that knew the thing. Same thing when I tore my shoulder, it was okay. Not playing around with this. I did not go to a general practitioner. I went straight to a sports doctor, told him it was broke. He told me it was broke. He said, Let's get an MRI. We got the MRI, it was broke. He goes in and does his carpentry work and staples me back together, shaves off a little bit of bone and says, Okay, just go do physical therapy when it's time. And I thought, Well, no, he didn't really say when. So this was Thursday. I made an appointment with a Division 1 football physical therapist.

[00:34:17.450] – Allan

He'd been with the Division 1 football team the year before. So he had seen breaks. He had seen stuff like this. And I told him, I said, I don't want to just recover. I want to be back to exactly where I was before this all happened.

[00:34:32.090] – Allan

And he helped me do that. So yeah, they are among my favorites. But what I really liked about this book was it does allow you to do some self work.

[00:34:44.550] – Allan

When the injuries not as bad as what you would require physical therapist. And if you have a physical therapist for an injury, this is going to be additional aid that will help you because you can pull this book out and sit down with them and say, here's this injury. What do you think about this workout? Because they're going to give you a little Xerox piece of paper that's grainy because it's a copy of a copy of a copy that's been around for 15 years and say, Here's your prescription for homework. Here you can say, well, this guy recommends this training. What do you think about it? And the physical therapist will say, Yeah, that'll do the same thing. But you'll have it in your hand. And so if it's a minor injury, you'll know how to recover from it. Well, if it's a more major injury, then I would say go seek medical attention. Don't be your own doctor.

[00:35:39.190] – Rachel

Yes. Well, I want to just highlight that section right there because we all go down the rabbit hole of googling this symptom and that symptom, and you can get 20 different answers of what your ailment or injury could be. And it is really important just to go straight to the doctor, the sports ortho, or if you can get a consultation with a PT and get the test done and get a proper diagnosis and then do what needs to get done because you're not a doctor, I'm not a doctor.

[00:36:10.510] – Allan

But I want to flip that a little bit. You still are the CEO and their advisors. So if you know there's something wrong and the doctor says, Well, you're just going to have to live with it, that might not be the answer that you want to hear. But get a second opinion. Or if surgery is the only way that, Oh, well, it's a partial tear of this or that. Surgery is your best option. Let me cut you open, please. No, let's take a step back. Is there a way for me to rehab this? So go get the second opinion. Have some conversations. Understand the risk, understand the likelihood that that's going to pay. I knew with my shoulder it was a complete tear. There was no not getting a surgery. I wouldn't have been able to scratch the top of my head ever. So I needed surgery because I would not have been able to lift my arm up over parallel from the floor. And so from that perspective, I knew I had to get the surgery, got it on my own terms. And when it was the right time for me, I did live with it for three months.

[00:37:15.210] – Allan

And I also did a spartan with it, and that was part of it. I didn't want to miss the spartan for the surgery. I was like, I can't tear it more, so I'll go in when it's time to go in. I kept moving my arm. I didn't brace it and hold it and nurse it. I was careful not to hurt myself because I don't like pain anymore than anybody else does. But it was just this concept of, I know I'm going to need the surgery. I'll fit it in when it makes the most sense. And then I'll do the physical therapy like a madman to recover as quickly as humanly possible.

[00:37:51.250] – Allan

And my range of motion was great within a few weeks. Reality is the strength took a lot longer to get back to the strength I had before. Now I'm a smarter man because I know there's no reason for me to be lifting that much weight over my head with dumbells. My shoulders are just not going to be able to handle it. And I assume whatever happened on my right shoulder could invariably happen on my left. And I don't want to have to go through that again. So I'm just a lot more careful. But I still weight train. I didn't stop training because, oh, I might hurt myself. I still want to be fit for task. And that includes scratching the top of my head.

[00:38:31.580] – Rachel

Yeah, that's important.

[00:38:33.290] – Allan

When it itches. When it itches. So make health care professionals your partners. They're your advisors. Put them on your team. Anytime you learn something about yourself. It's an illness, it's a cancer, it's a this or it's a that. Get some professional advice. Dr. Google is fine for you to get some base information. But if you get on one of those forums and someone says, Well, I just made this tea with ashugandha and all this other stuff in it and that cured my cancer, maybe. But that's just a bit of information. That anecdotal post out there on the internet is not a study. They might be right. But again, take it under advisement and do what you feel is right for your health care, for your well care, so you can be the person that you want to be.

[00:39:22.630] – Rachel

Absolutely. And a PT is a good guy to have on speed dial.

[00:39:26.520] – Allan

And this book is like having someone like that. So I would trust what's in this book over anything you're going to search on Google because this guy knows his stuff.

[00:39:37.650] – Rachel

That sounds awesome. Great interview. Great book.

[00:39:40.530] – Allan

I'll talk to you next week.

[00:39:42.490] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:39:43.600] – Allan

You too.

[00:39:44.420] – Rachel


Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb

Thank you!

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