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March 8, 2022

How to build a fitness program that is right for you

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Many people walk into the gym without an idea what they are there to do other than get a workout in. As a result, they don't see the results they want. On this episode, we discuss how you can build the right fitness program for yourself.


Let's Say Hello


[00:01:11.230] – Allan

Hello, Ras. How are things going?

[00:01:13.440] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:01:15.530] – Allan

Going well, just kind of busy, actually. Kind of funny. I was supposed to have a call and I completely lost track of days.

[00:01:23.780] – Rachel

Oh, Jeez.

[00:01:26.650] – Allan

I switched up my workouts and I did a weight lifting workout on a Sunday. And as a result, I woke up the next day thinking it was Tuesday and did a weight lifting workout and then woke up today thinking it was a Wednesday, when, in fact, we're recording this on a Tuesday. And so it's like I was completely backwards on my thinking, fell behind, thought I was way behind. And then even though everything being what it was, I should have known different. I didn't. And as a result, kind of miss some appointments and things I was supposed to do. So if I was supposed to be on a call with you on Monday night, I apologize. I thought it was Tuesday night. I just don't even know what was going on last night when I thought, okay, it's Tuesday night, tomorrow's Wednesday. What do I have going on? And okay, well, tomorrow is another weightlifting day, and it wasn't today was a cardio day. And we'll talk a little bit more in detail about that at the end. But it was just kind of one of those things of the weather here is the same every day.

[00:02:35.170] – Allan

There's not a lot of differences. I don't really have weekends the way a lot of people have weekends. Any day could be a weekend. Everybody's here on holidays. So it doesn't feel different one day to the next, for the most part, any day here. So, yeah, just kind of lost track of days.

[00:02:54.420] – Rachel

Oh, my goodness. How crazy is that? Do you keep a calendar? Do you have a paper or a digital calendar?

[00:03:00.430] – Allan

I have a digital calendar, but it's kind of one of those things where I'm trying to condition myself to not look at things unless I need to look at things. So social media maybe not look at it all the time. Log in and check in on my clients once a day or so where I need to and do what I need to do. And then it's the same thing with a calendar. It's typically just, okay, what do I know is going on today and on the Monday, but I knew I needed to record something so we could have this call because I failed to do it on what I thought was Monday. And then again, just like, complete confusion. Didn't do what I was supposed to do when I was supposed to do it and then didn't know what day of the week it was and did other things, failed to do other things I was supposed to do.

[00:03:56.110] – Allan

So it just kind of put me in. I'm in this kind of weird juxtaposition because my weekend and the first part of next week is going to be intense because we're moving all the gym equipment. We're moving in. So the paint is late, the light fixtures are late. So those are going to be like, I had to go actually buy replacement/alternate light fixtures, not the light fixtures I want to keep. I had to pay for those just to have light fixtures because you need light the building to do what you got to do sometimes. And then the paint is not in because we were put off the paint waiting on the light fixtures because it's coming from the same source. And I'm like, no, I got to have the paint because they're finishing up now and now I don't have paint. So I told the person we were telling them, okay, look, regardless of whether the lights are ready, bring the paint, because I've got a paint because we're moving all the equipment in on Sunday.

[00:04:51.080] – Allan

So I'm hopeful I'll get the paint on Thursday, Friday the latest, and then I'll start painting where I can paint. And then I'll start moving equipment in and continue to try to paint around the equipment. That's going to be harder, but it kind of is what it is. So a lot of moving parts in my life right now, and I just completely lost track of days. But I won't lose track of days those days because those are going to be four or five really hard days.

[00:05:18.510] – Rachel

That sounds like it. My gosh, no wonder you've lost track of days. There's a lot going on. A lot of things you're balancing right now.

[00:05:25.780] – Allan

Yeah. How about yourself?

[00:05:28.690] – Rachel

Good. I'm far less busy than you are, but things are going good. I mentioned I have a trainer and I'm working on my marathon program, and over the weekend I ran 16 miles on my treadmill, and it was hard. It was a challenge.

[00:05:51.190] – Allan

When you're training on the treadmill, do you use the distraction, like watching Netflix or something like that?

[00:05:58.820] – Rachel

I can't watch anything because I feel like I have lost balance and I don't want to accidentally trip. I think I was watching something like, I don't know, the Matrix or something ages ago, and I was trying to bob and weave along with Neo there, and I almost fell off the treadmill. I prefer to listen to podcasts or on certain days, music is actually easier to listen to. So that's about my limits of my distraction. But it was just a long day and I chose that over outside, we had single-digit temperatures and double-digit wind gusts, so I chose the safer route.

[00:06:41.130] – Allan

Yeah. And those are not the conditions that you're going to be running your race in. So there's no value to pushing yourself through something like that, other than just saying, I want to be uncomfortable for what was probably about two and a half hours.

[00:06:55.180] – Rachel

Yeah. It was definitely the right guess. Exactly like that. The snow and the ice is just too sketchy, and it would have impacted my gate so greatly that I probably would have put myself at more risk than I got off the treadmill. So at least on the treadmill, I had a consistent gate, which I think is far more beneficial for that long run.

[00:07:19.910] – Allan

Day treadmills were originally a punishment.

[00:07:24.730] – Rachel

I know, I know. I could tell you. Yeah. So things are good up here.

[00:07:32.220] – Allan

Good. So let's go ahead and get into today's episode where we talk about programming for yourself.

[00:07:38.550] – Rachel



Hello, and thank you for being a part of the 40+ Fitness Podcast. Today, I want to talk about a topic that is actually really important if you're looking to build your fitness and make it really matter. A lot of people approach fitness programs the wrong way. They try something that's generic. They don't get the results they really wanted. As a result, a lot of them give up. So today I want to discuss how to build a fitness program that's right for you. So first, let's define the problem. Now, the initial problem with a fitness program is that most people seem to have a singular view on fitness. So you either think that you need to build cardio or you think you need to build strength or you think you need to do this. And as a result, people get tied into one dimension of fitness. So they become runners or they go in and they start taking the classes. They really enjoy them. And so it's just basically you're doing classes. And then there's also things like people that just go in and do yoga and think that's sufficient for what they need, or people that actually just go in and do weightlifting and say, okay, that's all I need.

The reality is most of the time that's not enough. And when we do this, what happens is we tend to put the workouts first. So you enjoy the class. The class is what you do. You feel like you're getting what you need. And as a result, what we've done is we've effectively put the tactics in without really having a strategy for what we're trying to accomplish. So if you're going to work on your fitness, you need to ensure that the fitness is doing. The work you're doing for fitness is working for you. So why do we do some of these things? Well, the first one is if you enjoy doing something like you really enjoy running or you really enjoy your fitness classes, you tend to want to do it more. Or another thing that I've seen quite often is people are really good at one thing, so you're really good at running or you're really good at lifting. And as a result, that's why you want to do that one thing. But movement for the sake of movement is not necessarily always a good thing. Now I will be the first to tell you I'm not going to poopoo anyone who takes the time to do a workout.

If you're doing a workout, that's a thousand times better than not doing a workout. But there's a reason why the treadmills are at the front of the gym. And the reason the treadmills are at the front of the gym is because 99% of the time that's as far as most people are going to go, they're going to walk into the gym and they're going to get on the treadmill, they're going to do their time, literally, and then they're going to get off the treadmill, and that's their workout. Now, again, movement for the sake of movement, fine. But realize that won't necessarily get you where you want to be. You need to get a little deeper. You need to do a little bit more because you're not only missing modalities, you're missing key one of the ones you're doing. Okay. So it's great you're on the treadmill. It's great that you're lifting, but are you really pushing yourself? Are you really doing the things that are necessary to move the needle for your health and fitness? So how do we make this happen? Because it's so easy to get wrapped up into the I'm really good at lifting, and I really don't want to do these other things or I'm really good at running, and I don't want to do these other things or I really enjoy doing the elliptical or the treadmill.

And I'm really somewhat intimidated by doing anything further. So the first thing you want to do is you want to go all the way back to the beginning. I'm going to do this to you over and over again. You have to go back to the grounding that you did at the front of this whole process. And if you don't know what that means, I'd encourage you to go back and listen to any of the lessons I've talked about with regards to commitment. And so within commitment, we have this vision. Okay. And within the vision, there are multiple segments of fitness that you're going to need to have. I've never seen anyone who has this vision to be able to run 50 miles a day and that's their vision. That's not what people emotionally attached to. The vision is about enjoying your life. It's about being the person you're meant to be. It's about being able to do the things that you need to do, which is fit for task. So if you want to be fit for task, you've got to really pay attention to what that means. What does the future you what are they capable of doing?

Okay, so let's say, for example, you want to be able to travel and there are certain places you want to be able to go, like let's just say Europe and you want to be able to do the Mediterranean, you want to be able to arrive there and enjoy yourself and do the things that you want to do. Well, I can tell you one of the first challenges you're going to get when you get that trip going, because you're most likely going to have to get on an airplane or some kind of mode of transportation that's public and you're going to have to load your bag, you have to carry your bag, you're going to put it up over into the overhead bin. There's things you're going to have to be able to do that will require strength. If you're going to do something and go somewhere and you're going to be doing walking or anything like that, you're going to need some stamina. And if the roads are cobbled like they are in most of Europe, you're maybe going to need some balance and mobility is always a good test thing to have just to keep your body moving in the way that it's supposed to so you don't injure yourself.

So just in that one vision of being able to travel successfully, you're going to need strength, stamina, mobility and balance. Okay, so that's four different training modalities that you don't get if you're only doing one thing. Now, how much of each of these do you need? Again, we go back to the base. The base is your vision. Okay. If your overhead is not going to weigh over £30, then there's very little reason for you to train to be able to press over £30 over your head. Okay. If the most you feel like you're going to ever have to walk or run or do. If you're going to go do a tour or something would be about three or 4 miles, then maybe that's the stamina that you need to have. So if your vision is travel, then you need to be fit for that task. If your vision is to do something else, like be an awesome grandmother and keep up with your grandkid, maybe your stamina needs to be a little higher at certain points in time. You're picking up the child, maybe your strength needs to be a little higher at certain points in time.

And then the other thing is mobility and balance. Obviously if you live in locations where there is a potential for you to fall or slip, you need to have those skills too. So looking at your vision is really an independent topic, independent approach to you doing you to you being the fit that you need fit for task. So what you need to do, the work that you need to do is really should be driven by that vision. And if it is, that breaks down all the motivational problems that you would have. Yes, it can be intimidating to try something that you're not good at. I walk into a yoga class. I am like a bear in a Penguin shop. I don't belong there and I know I don't belong there. But if I need to work on mobility, that's a great place to do it. If I want to get into body weight strength, that's a great place to do it. Even if I'm uncomfortable, it's important for me to push myself through. And if my vision is a part of that, it makes it a lot easier to do. So how do we get started with all of this?

And I'll say the first step is always going to be a self assessment. Now the self assessment goes along with my GPS model, and the S is the self assessment. So how are we going to self assess? Well, the first is to look at our fitness and what our capabilities are. Okay, so what areas of fitness am I really good at? And I'll tell you generally strength. However, I did tear my rotator cuff a few years ago, and as a result, I am not as strong in my upper body from a pushing perspective as I was back then. So there are areas of fitness where I'm good, particularly leg strength and pulls with my back. But there are areas of strength that I'm not so good at. So kind of looking and saying, what are the areas of fitness I'm good at? I know that I'm good at strength. I know that I'm good at long, slow cardio. Where am I not good. I'm not good in balance, I'm not good at mobility. So those are areas that I may need to focus on. Okay, do I want to do more where I'm already strong?

And the short answer to that is it depends. If I need to be stronger, like I'm trying to work on building my pushing strength because I'm weaker, then that's something I need to consider. Okay, so what effort is now necessary for me to maintain or gain the fitness I need? For most of us over 40, that's going to require working each body part at least once per week. But probably just twice per week would be enough for most of us to maintain or gain some fitness at that level. Meaning if I want to get stronger at lifting weights, I'll probably need to do weight training for my whole body or for body parts at least twice a week. So what are some fitness areas that I'm not so good at? And I mentioned earlier, I'm not so good at balance. I'm not so good at mobility. So what effort is necessary for me to gain or maintain those? And that's some balance training that's putting myself in some positions where I might not be as comfortable. So instead of doing a two legged squat, maybe I'm going to do a one legged squat, or maybe I do some form where I'm moving side to side and then doing a squat.

So there's opportunities there for me to work on my balance. As for mobility, that's paying attention to where I'm tighter, where I'm not as mobile and working on stretching, working on some other efforts to make sure that I'm gaining that mobility. And for those types of modalities, for balance and for mobility, those are things that I could practically do every day. So if I'm lifting two times per week as a whole body workout, I now have five days left. I can focus on doing these other things and in some cases, maybe go ahead and double them up and I can do these others more often. So you kind of see how I'm beginning to do from this self assessment to build out the training things that I need to get in to build fitness, to maintain fitness based on where I currently am and based on where I want to go. So the first question is, is a predefined workout for you? Because they're everywhere. You can go on the Internet, you can do a quick search for anything you want to train on. And basically a workout is going to come in. So if you went on YouTube and you type, which is the second largest search engine in the world, and you Typed in mobility workout, you would be inundated by all kinds of videos that you could do as a predefined workout.

Now, I would say that for most of these, yes, for balance and mobility, a typical class or plan will work fine. So you can go in and say, okay, I'm going to do this basic stretching class or I'm going to work on this balance program. Those typically are fine for just about everybody. However, I'm going to say this, not all muscles need to be stretched. If you have good solid mobility in certain movement ranges, say you're almost double jointed in the upper body or in the lower body, you don't need to stretch those muscles. Those muscles are already long. They're already doing what they're supposed to do. Look for other muscles that are a little tighter and focus on those. So while basic plans and classes work, you just need to make sure that where you need to be focused, you are getting that focus. The next is stamina. Now, stamina is kind of one of these things that I think a lot of people struggle with particularly as we get older, and that's because we have physical limitations. Now, as we went through that self assessment, we talked about reasons why we were good or not so good at things.

I mentioned the shoulder problem, so you may have issues with your needs. There's a lot of different examples of where we have physical limitations that would prohibit us from doing certain activities where we're trying to build stamina. So at least knowing those ahead of time is really important. For most of us working on stamina, it's really good to try to get this done outside. Getting outside is going to be better for you. However, there are a lot of machines that can help you do this, particularly when the weather is not so nice. This episode is coming out in March, maybe it's in March, but as this episode comes out, you're going to see that the weather is starting to improve. This is a great opportunity to get outside, but in the event you can't, it's raining, the weather's not good. It just isn't conducive for you to be outside doing these things. Treadmills, elliptical rowers, bikes. There's all kinds of machines that can help you build different forms of stamina. Mixing them up, trying different things always a good thing. Get that variety in there where you can, particularly if you're trying to work around a problem like knees or shoulders or something like that.

All that said, like I said, outside is better. Outside is better. So if you can do these things outside, go ahead and do it. And then if you're going to do a program for stamina, I strongly encourage you to use one that has been proven to be effective. One of my favorites is Jeff Galloway's run walk run method. We interviewed him on episode 248, so you can go back and listen to that episode. I'll have a link in the show notes, but that's a great program about how to build your running stamina without injuring yourself. Other great programs. You can find a couch to five K program. It's going to be sort of a similar walk run kind of thing. So you can build up that stamina in a controlled perspective to try to get you ready for a five K, which is 5 km or basically 3.1 mile. So you're looking to do something specific, either just program or the five day programs. Both are great programs and it can help you start your spam in a process. And as you get a little bit more specialized or start building up to longer distances or longer periods of time, there are other things that you can use that are fixed and then always.

We had a conversation with Rachel not long ago. She has hired a running coach to help her improve her stamina even further so she can run faster and have better times on her run. So if you're looking for that, sometimes having a running coach can go a long way towards helping you build superior stamina. So now we'll talk about my favorite thing. Okay. As I mentioned earlier, it's really important for you to understand your limitations before you start a strength program. Some of those are physical limitations. As I mentioned, my shoulder, my ability to push, my ability to do shoulder exercises very much different than what it was just even five years ago. So I have to be aware of that. I have to address that as I put my training plan together, and then the other is knowledge gap. So one of the reasons that I work on getting my certified personal trainer and the different specializations that I did was just recognizing that I had a knowledge gap in what my body was capable of doing and what I need to do. I was building most of my programming for the first several years off of what I knew when I was in my 20s.

And guess what? It doesn't work and it breaks you time and time again. So I knew I had a knowledge gap. If you have a knowledge gap, you don't know the form of particular exercises. It's really important for you to get this right. Don't do an exercise right and you put load on yourself. Opportunities to hurt yourself is huge, so make sure you've bridged that knowledge gap before you leap into any kind of program. Now, when you're getting started for most lifters, as long as you do know the form and you find the right coach or you find the right website. Strong Lifts Five by Five is one of my favorites. They teach you basic workouts, basic programming, simple lifts, five sets of five reps. It's pretty straightforward and it will help you get stronger. It's a really good entry level basic workout that you can do for quite some time before you need to switch that up. And then most gyms will have a machine circuit. And while machines are not optimal from a form perspective, it's really hard to screw up. If you're sitting in the seat properly and you've got the right posture, a machine workout can be quite good.

You just have to make sure that your settings on the machine are appropriate so that it fits your body. Most machines can adjust seats up and down, back and forward. Just making sure you're in a good position to do that workout is really important. You go to most gyms, they're going to have people available to help you learn how to set up that machine and use that machine appropriately. Take advantage of that or as I mentioned earlier, hire a coach to walk you through it. But strength is probably the only fitness modality that I would say is non negotiable. You have to be training strength, and second behind that is stamina. You have to be training stamina. Mobility and balance are also important, but if you aren't building strength and you're really just focused on stamina, you're going to lose strength, you're going to lose muscle mass. And in the long run, as we age, that's not going to be a good thing. So strength has to be a part of your program. Stamina must be a part of your program. Mobility and balance will very likely need to be a part of your training.

It's just a function of how mobile and how much balance you have now and how much work you need to do to enhance that or at least maintain it, depending on where you stand. So those are the basic training modalities. Now I want to skip into something a little bit deeper about fitness that I think is probably some things that people really struggle with in the long run. First off, a lot of people will start a fitness program and then they'll get bored. And like I said, if you downloaded a program and you started it and it's not something that's progressive, then it can get kind of boring. So if your decision was that you were going to go out and run or walk the same path, and so you're going to walk around the field or you're going to walk through the neighborhood and you've got your horse, if you will, you've measured it out and you know the length and the distance that you're going, and you're maybe keeping up with your time. You know, this takes you a certain amount of time so you can get your workouts done before dinner or before you have to go to work.

So you know how much time it's going to take you to do this. But if you keep doing the same route week in and week out, other than changes of weather and other things that might be going on in that neighborhood or in that field, it could get pretty boring. So that's one thing to be very concerned about is if you get bored and you want to quit, it can be a problem. Likewise with lifting weights, you may go in and do the same basic five exercises. When I mentioned strong lifts and you do them and do them and do them, and then you kind of say, okay, I do these every two times a week, and then eventually kind of getting boring. I mean, okay, squats are great, bench press is great, pulls are great. But in the end, that can get a little boring when you're doing the same workout week in, week out. And yes, maybe you are seeing some progression on that, but it can get kind of just dry. And so don't make sure that what you're doing and the fitness routines that you're doing don't bore you. Some people are able to do the same thing over and over and over again, and they're fine with it.

Others do need some variety. So at least be aware of where you stand with some of those things. Next, some people will see diminishing returns or plateaus. Now, this is completely normal in all phases of training. Initially, you see some pretty good results because your body is not accustomed to what you're doing. Your brain and your muscles are having a conversation. It's a very easy conversation to have once they figure out the wiring, the very difficult conversation when you first get started. So you will see yourself from a strength perspective, potentially from a stamina perspective, from a balanced perspective, and even from a mobility perspective, actually sees some pretty good gains in returns when you first start. And then it kind of slows down and then it kind of Plateau. You've seen this with weight loss. You'll see it with fitness. So a lot of people get disgruntled or upset when they don't see that continued linear progression. And I'm going to tell you, you almost never see a linear progression over and over, because if you did, then the strongest people in the world would never stop getting stronger. So there's a natural limitation on what the brain muscle conversation can do.

And then there's a limited potential for when you're actually building muscle and building strength or building stamina that can continue. At some point, you will Plateau. Now, there are things we can do to break those plateaus, but just realize, don't get dismissive. Don't quit just because you're not seeing the return. And then the other thing is sometimes you're going to see unequal returns. And so maybe your stocks are not exactly what you wanted it to be. Whereas some individuals just really can't put on a lot of muscle mass, they're getting stronger, but they're not seeing their muscles get bigger. They're putting on all the stamina. They're capable of going further. Distances are going and or going faster, but they're not necessarily losing weight because they thought, okay, I'm burning all these calories, I should be losing weight. So just recognize that even though you're pushing yourself in a fitness direction, you won't always see equal gains going forward. And even within body parts, you might not see the same. So like for me, it always was the case. My legs get stronger. They get bigger very easily now. Probably not as easily now as they did before when I was younger.

But that said, I can get really strong with my legs. I'm not capable of getting that much stronger with my upper body the same way. So I see unequal returns. And I also see my legs getting bigger when I lift weights with my legs do leg strength stuff, my upper body doesn't respond quite as well. So recognizing that I'm going to have those biological limitations, I have to keep pushing through, I cannot let that break me mentally. So these are things that are really hard to get through mentally, as if your workout is boring. If you're not seeing the returns that you used to be seeing or you're seeing unequal returns a lot of times that makes it really difficult to stick with, but I want you to go back to what commitment your grounding. There's a reason why you're doing this. There's a vision of what you want to accomplish. If you want it bad enough and you know where you're going, you will still get there. It's never going to be a straight line, so you got to keep pushing through. And that takes a lot of guts, it takes a lot of mental fortitude.

But if you have a good why and you have a good vision, that makes it a lot easier, stick with it and it'll pay off. Okay. So the whole reason we're on this podcast is to learn how to program for yourself. Okay, so first, let's get into the basics of all this. Now, the first thing is you have to know your muscle groups. You have to know what you're doing and why you're doing it. I'm going to talk about this predominantly from a lifting perspective, but a lot of this will fly across the board. Okay. So first, know your muscle groups. When you're doing a certain movement, what muscles are you supposed to be building? What muscles are you supposed to be using? For most exercises, there's going to be a pro mover, there's going to be a primate mover that's causing that exercise to move. Even if it's a compound style movement, there's a prime mover for parts of it and then potentially a different prime mover for other parts of it. So knowing which muscles you're trying to work for each exercise makes it easier for you to know that you're doing the exercise.

Right. So knowing the exercise. Okay, so what muscles am I going to work if I'm doing the deadlift? Well, the deadlift is a very complex work exercise. It is a compound movement, meaning multiple muscles are working. The deadlift happens to work the entire posterior chain. So you're working basically your back, your butt and you're working your hamstrings. So all the way from almost top to bottom, you are working the back of your body, the posterior part of your body. When you do squats, you initially start by using your quadriceps, which are the muscles in the front of your legs. And then as you get deeper into the squat, eventually your glutes are going to kick in and they're the braking mechanism at the bottom, and they're the muscles, the biggest muscle, they're going to start you moving back upwards. So knowing that a squat will require you to use both the front of your legs for a period of time and then the back your butt for the rest of the movement, and then reversing that going back up will help you make sure that you're keeping good form, working the muscles you're supposed to.

So understanding the work that you're doing is really important. That starts with understanding the muscles. Okay. Next is for every exercise you can do has a particular form to it. The form is important to making sure that, one, you avoid injury. But two, understanding that form also affects the angles on the muscles. And so a couple of examples would be whether you're doing something a pull from above your head, like a lap, pull down or pull up, whether you're doing a high row, a low row or a shrub. So what I just talked through were three different angles of rows that are all intended to work a different muscle group across, mostly your back. So the laps when you're pulling down the lats are the main mover, the prime mover. It's going to pull that bar down. If you're pulling the bar, the cable potentially to your upper chest, that's a high row.


So that's working more of the upper back, the rhomboids and the trapezes. And so there you go. There's a whole different set of muscles. When you're doing low rows, you're now working more of the middle back. And when you're doing shrugs, you're working most of the traps and larger traps there. So you can kind of see as you change the angle of something, it's a different exercise. Hand position can also be a very different thing. If your grip is wide. When you're doing something like a bench press or push up, you're really focusing on the chest. If you get your hands closer together now, your triceps are more involved in the movement and maybe less of the chest. And if you get your hands all the way together almost now you're doing well, you're doing a push up, push up. And at that point, now you're working mostly your triceps, the back of your arm. So where you put your hands also affects the movement you're doing. So as you're putting together exercises, again, knowing the muscle you want to do and understanding the form of the exercise, these are critically the next important phase of this, or at least understanding level, is to know your volume.

Now I'm not going to get into that on this episode because we're probably already going long. But on episode 506, we discussed how to increase volume and knowing what your volume is. And volume relates to the amount of weight, the amount of reps, amount of sets, and also how fast or slow you're moving the weight. And so all of those things add to your volume. And so knowing how to adjust those so that you're getting the most benefit out of the work for what your goals are is important. So you might want to go back after you get started here, go back and listen to episode 506 just to make sure you've got a grip on what your volume is as you're getting into work. Now if you're someone who's going to get bored and you start a program, the easiest way to change a program that you already have is to swap exercises. So I'll give you a couple of examples. Let's say you have a program like the five by five. And the back squat is the exercise that was in the book or on the website. You say, okay, I'm going to do this exercise.

And then you get kind of bored with your back squats or you've got toe and you want to try something different. Maybe you try a front squat. It's a very different exercise from the perspective of the angles with which the bar is going down, how your body structured. You're going to move that center of mass a little bit. That's going to change the exercise. So the front squat is a good exercise to go back to. Another one is a lot of people will work on a leg press. Leg press is a great way for you to build overall leg strength.

A lot of leg strength, actually.

You can get really strong in your legs using a leg press. But sometimes people get to a point where they're a little bit tired of the leg press. They've gotten up to a particular weight and they feel like, okay, they've done enough. They really want to change the structure of their work or they want to do something slightly different. Maybe you introduce a hip rust. So you're basically at this point, you're elevating your back maybe on the bench and you've got a weight on your lap and you're trying to do rust. So your feet are flat on the floor, your butt goes down your hips, and then your hips go up to basically try to thrust upwards against the weight. This is a great butt glute word, which again is similar to the leg press. So something you can swap. So basically, anytime you have an exercise, you get a little bored with it or you're not seeing the progress, you can swap out another exercise that works the same muscles or muscle and plug it into the work and use that as your exercise. So not the easiest thing, but every exercise that you do, particularly if one of them is bothering you, can be swapped with another exercise, typically works the same muscle groups and gives you the same effort or at least similar effort and results.

Now, if you're going to make a change, if you're going to do something, I highly recommend that you stick with something for at least six to eight weeks before making a change. You're doing a different workout every day, every time. You're not really going to get the optimal benefit of what you're doing. For one, we talked about that brain muscle, the neuromuscular connection. That's really important. If you don't do an exercise enough, you're not going to get that your brain and your muscles are not going to talk as well as they could without that communication. You're not getting enough work. So you're not going to continue to see gains. If you're swapping exercises every week, you're not going to see those gains the way that you'd like. That will be. So you're going to want to make sure that you stick with something for a while. Six to eight weeks tends to be a really good time before we make a change. Next, you got to increase the load. If you stay with the same weights. And I see this all the time, people will go in and do a circuit. They'll set the machines on exactly the same weight and they go through them time and time again and then they don't really know or see that they're getting any stronger.

The fact that they try to raise it up one weight, they don't really feel like they're able to do it. And that's the struggle. They really haven't pushed themselves, they really haven't made it progressive. So adding a little bit of load when you're using good form creates the stimulus that causes the muscles to react and get stronger and get bigger in most cases. Okay. And then when you're doing this work and sticking with it for a while, you begin to see that strength starting to kick in. So last week you were doing the pulls and you were only pulling £20. This week you're pulling. You're now up to 22 or 25. So now you're seeing the weights get bigger as you learn the exercise, there's communication between the muscles in the brain and then actually, yes, your muscles are changing, they're adapting to the stimulus and they're getting stronger. That's a huge motivation. You start realizing that the work you're doing has a positive effect of actually seeing fitness improvement. That's a great way to know. That's a mile marker to know, hey, I am moving towards my vision. I see it, I see what I'm doing and that's important.

So make sure you stick with it at least long enough. Six to eight weeks to know what you're doing is working before you start trying to mix it up. I know, boredom, boredom, boredom, right, but that's important. So find that balance between switching things up and sticking with it long enough to know that it's working. Okay. So this is how most of us got our start. Most of us, back in the day, it was trial and error. We walked into a gym much like you might, and we had no idea what was going on. There was all this equipment, all these weights. Sometimes there were really big guys back in the back rowing around big dumbbells and big plates and all that. We see that. And I agree it can be a little intimidating for the trial and error part where we just really don't know what we're doing and we're approaching it. I hope today that I've given you some ideas of how you can approach this from a little bit more upscale. You have access to the Internet, you have access to a lot of information, you have access to me. So you won't have to go through trial and error.

Another thing that we did back in the day was we had fitness magazines, so Flex and Muslim Fitness. Those were the main magazines that came out. There were a lot of other bodybuilding magazines in the day. Those have pretty much been replaced by YouTube and different websites. But the concept is the same. There's stuff out there, some of it's good.

Some of it's really bad.

So just kind of knowing that, okay, I have to learn and I can't just try to apply this thing because I can tell you, I read magazine articles where guys were doing 100, which means they're doing 100 reps for a muscle group. A little muscle group at that. I tried it. It hurt. Did it give me additional muscle gain? No, not at all. It was probably a wasted workout because it was too much and it really wasn't set for what I was trying to accomplish at the time. But it looked cool, it sounded cool. And the bodybuilder that was touting it in the magazine was someone that I respected, but again, not necessarily the right thing to do. So take what you see online with a grain of salt, spend some time doing some research, asking questions, and put together a program that's going to get you to your vision. All things considered, being over 40 does add some challenges. Now, as I mentioned earlier, I went to NASM and got certified. And yes, there was a good bit of expense to that. I can't even tell you how much money I have spent on my education, my fitness education over the years.

And so there are ways for you to get around that. Hiring a trainer is a great way to do that. And along the way.

I've done the same.

I've hired coaches to program for me and to push me because when you have someone there, you work harder. So every time I've hired a coach, I've never regretted it. I've never regretted having someone there who wrote a program. I could look at the program and say, this is reasonable, this makes sense. And then I could push myself. And they were there to help. They were there to encourage, they were there to critique. And so my form was better, my work was better, I worked harder, I got more results, and it was well worth the investment. Now, if you want to fast track your fitness and weight loss, I'd encourage you to go to 40 Plusfitness.com. I have an application there had some problems with that website up until I today, but I will have a link to the application there. Go ahead and complete that form. And then we can go ahead and connect and see if 40 Plus Fitness Online training is for you. Programming is not rocket science, but it's also not something you can just pull something off the Internet and do and know that you're optimizing your health and fitness. So if you're still stuck and you need help or you want help or you really want to fast track what you're doing, go to 40 Plusfitness.com and there you'll see a link for an application.

Go to the application. It's not long. It won't take you long. But then we'll get on a call, I'll get on the call and we'll come up with a plan just for you. And it may not be 40 Plus Fitness online training. And that's cool. I really want to help you get where you want to go. And if this training program isn't the right thing, I will help you find the thing that is and get you started and get you moving in the right direction. So thank you so much again for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Post Show/Recap

[00:46:38.750] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:46:40.290] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. What a really great and timely podcast. I think the tips that you've given about developing your own training program could not be more perfectly timed. I'm seeing a lot of questions on the Internet about why do we do this or how do we do that? And right now it seems to be revolving around strength training. That's an important modality that people just don't know how to fold into their current training programs. But I like what you set up here for the listeners because there's a good way to go about developing your own program.

[00:47:14.800] – Allan

Yeah, well, first it has to align with what you're trying to do. And that can be an event or that can just be a lifestyle you want to have or both and probably should be both. Me, I get highly motivated by having an event in front of me. I think I posted something this week in the group about how even the most elite athletes are not what they would call optimally fit all the time. They have their ebbs and flows, their seasons and off seasons. And so they're going through those things themselves.

[00:47:48.480] – Allan

But that said, they're hiring the professionals. They're doing little things that they're supposed to do. And yes, you can do those things yourself. And when I work with clients, I think the thing that sometimes just it kind of frustrates me a little bit is to have a client that really just wants to work out in front of them. They don't want to think about it. They don't want to learn anything about what they're doing. It's just like make me skinny is sort of the mantra. And I'm like, well, okay, skinny doesn't mean healthy. Lifting weights will get you stronger.

[00:48:24.560] – Allan

If they're asking questions. Well, how strong do I need to be? And I'm like, I don't know, what do you want to do? And so they're not able to answer that question because they haven't really done the initial homework. So to them, it's the workout is. And I hate to say this, as we said earlier, the punishment for being unfit. I'm not healthy and fit. I'm not the weight I'm supposed to be. So I have to effectively punish myself. So I've got to do this running. I've got to get on the treadmill or elliptical and they're not really planning out what they're doing. And then even if they do pick up a program, they don't know why they're doing the exercises they're doing. Other than that's what the program says. So they're following a program.

[00:49:05.880] – Allan

And while I said in my talk, that can be great. But at the same time, it's really hard to stay motivated. When you get to the end of that program, it's like, okay, well, I just do it again. Is there something else? And a lot of people get stuck at that. And so I'll work with someone for a number of months, maybe even a couple of years, and at the end they're like, okay, I'll see you. And I'm like, okay, cool. And then they just keep doing what I gave them until they stopped because they get bored or something gets in the way, and then they just don't know where to start back. They're like, well, I was doing this weight and doing that exercise, and now I don't know, should I lower it this amount do that, or should I just go back in and do what I was doing?

[00:49:51.610] – Allan

And that fear keeps them from starting again. And then they're out. And so I talked to him a couple of months after that, and they're like, how's it going? It's like, well, kind of fell off with the exercise. I still run and they still do the thing they enjoy doing. So they're still doing the cardio stuff, if that's what they enjoyed, or the hiking or whatever, the biking. They're still doing some of that stuff. Not all the time, but some.

[00:50:17.030] – Allan

But their eating completely falls off because again, the exercise kind of drives eating. And I don't mean that you can exercise out of bad diet, but what I found is almost implicitly 100%, someone who works out, puts time in in the gym, pays the trainer, starts eating better, and when they stop paying the trainer and then they stop working out, they go back to their old habits. So just realize that there's more there than just doing a workout.

[00:50:49.390] – Rachel

Well, I think you mentioned the very first place to start is to have your vision, to have your long term goals. And it's not necessarily like for me right now, I'm training for a marathon in April or the ultra, maybe I'll do in the fall, but I've got good role models in my life. My great grandparents didn't leave their farm property until they were in their 90s, their late 90s at that.

[00:51:14.080] – Rachel

So I'm looking that far forward. I want to be active and able to live independently well into my 70s, 80s or 90s if I'm so allowed to do so. So lucky. But that's the thing is that I've got these long-term goals and then in the medium, I've got these short-term goals about running, and I think that's what people might forget about. Sure, you can do a couch to 5K program. That's a great place to start. Absolutely. But what are you going to do after that? What is going to keep you motivated to stay active and to stay healthy and fit for the long-term? And some of these tips, like having a vision is a good place to start.

[00:51:56.800] – Allan

Yeah. When you have that vision, then everything seems to make a little bit more sense. You know, that okay, I could have all the stamina on the world, but if my grandchild comes running up to me and I can't pick them up or I have to sit in a chair because I can't kneel down and tie their shoe, those are things that are going to emotionally affect me in a way that I don't want to experience. I want to be able to get down on the floor and tie their shoe and roll around with them in the grass and not feel like, okay, now someone has to come help me up. I want to be able to do all this stuff. And so, yeah, there's this long-range plan.

[00:52:34.090] – Allan

And then for me, the short run is okay, I'm doing another Tough Mudder. And what I found is these particular obstacle course races are requiring me to be more fit in more direct ways, meaning I have to have more stamina than I think I would ever need with a grandchild.

[00:52:54.290] – Rachel


[00:52:56.810] – Allan

Grandchild is not going to make me do 15K running in addition to 25 obstacles in a given day. Now over the course of a month, maybe. And then the other side of it is just the physical strength and being able to do the things that I'm going to have to be able to do without knowing what some of those things are because they don't broadcast all of their obstacles. You know, some of them, but you don't know all of them unless you've already done a race that season. And then generally maybe you do. But for most of us going into the race, they don't broadcast and tell you what all the obstacles are. So I know I'm going to need strength, I need grip strength, and then I'm just going to need grit.

[00:53:38.570] – Rachel


[00:53:41.730] – Allan

One of the things I can say my training is that my cardio came back really quickly. I've taken a break I've taken a break from training and everything to kind of just say, okay, I'm off. I'm going to take an off-season. Good long off-season. And then I said, okay, now I'm back in and I'm going to work really hard all the way up until the race. But my cardio was right back there. I'm hitting anywhere from ten to twelve and a half miles easy. I'm not doing the run the way you are. I'm literally just doing a good Huff walk. But doing that today, I think I did a little over 7 miles, but the terrain was hilly so some of the grades were up to I would probably say somewhere around 15% in places that I was going so…

[00:54:29.380] – Rachel


[00:54:31.170] – Allan

It was a good walk, particularly considering it was just the 7 miles. And I know I say just the 7 miles. Oh my God, 7 miles. I'm like, I didn't start with 7 miles, I didn't start with 7 miles. It was a progression that I did over time and then your body has some memory to it and you're able to take a break and get back at it at some level and work your way back up. And that's part of fitness. It's the ebbs and flows of working your way through.

[00:55:01.490] – Allan

Now, same way with strength. I'm back in the gym, I'm working with weights that are in my opinion pathetically low. But at the same time I know for other people I'd be like, oh my God, if I could actually do that, I would be really happy. So this is not about evaluating where you are relative to other people, it's about evaluating yourself relative to those vision. What do I need to be successful for this Tough Mudder/ and a couple of things we've talked about is I've got to lose body weight. I talked about that, what is it, two or three weeks ago? Okay, well, I've already shed 12 pounds.

[00:55:40.760] – Rachel

Good for you.

[00:55:41.600] – Allan

Okay, great. And that was again, I got into ketosis and one of the cool things is a good long walk really strikes up your ketosis levels. It's kind of insane. A good long walk for you and I that's two to 3 hours or so. And so I tell you, if you check your ketones before and after doing one of your events, one of the things your trainings, particularly the longer trainings, you'll be surprised at the change in your ketones. Now if you do a weight lifting, it's actually going to increase your blood sugar and you might not see that. So just kind of knowing that and knowing where I'm going and having the experience, which is great, but you don't get the experience without the experience.

[00:56:31.020] – Allan

So if you're going to put something together, know why you're doing what you're doing, have a plan, pay attention, do some research. And above all, if you're going to hire a coach, which I encourage a lot of people to do like you've done like I do, is ask why. Have those conversations learn from it. Because that's your ability in the future be able to do some of those things for yourself.

[00:56:58.750] – Allan

I just wish I had a coach on this island that could be in there for my workouts because I know physically if they were there, I would work a lot harder. Other than the fact that I have my way of eating and my way of doing things, I don't know of another coach for people over 40 that would know how to treat me like I was 20 when I needed to be 20, because there's things I can do that I was doing when I was in my 20s.

[00:57:28.610] – Rachel


[00:57:28.910] – Allan

Some people in their 40s can't. Okay. But also know when to treat me like I'm in my 40s and be cool with the fact that I have a way of eating that is different than what they would encourage people to typically eat. You got to have your carbs before you work out. And I'm like, well, no, if I had carbs, I just go to sleep. I'd be in a coma. So no, I don't need the carbs before and I don't even need them during literally I can take a liter of water and I'm good. That's my 3 hours of go, go, go. A liter of water.

[00:58:07.190] – Rachel

That's awesome.

[00:58:08.630] – Allan

And I do hydrate a lot after, and I've hydrated a bit before. But all I need to have with me as I go is that liter of water and I don't bonk. There's no bonk if there's anything that's going to stop me, it's just the fatigue and the legs.

[00:58:27.630] – Rachel


[00:58:28.510] – Allan

At that point where, OK, you push yourself to the line, which is where you need to be for this training session. Good. But I know that again, from experience, from being a coach and coaching myself. So as you're putting your programs together, I think it's just really important for you to take those lessons. Realize you're also you're bio-unique. So downloading a program off the Internet works for 80% of the people. That Bell curve. But if you're an outlier, you're out of luck. You're going to have to figure something else out. And that takes experience and time and effort and paying attention to your body and doing those things.

[00:59:09.000] – Allan

And so I just encourage people, if you don't know what you're doing, ask for help. It's not that hard. And I am opening up five slots in my training. And for these five slots, I'm particularly looking for people that want to up their fitness game. So in the past, I've really focused on the weight loss. I think I've gotten those clients in that want to really work on weight loss. And if you still want to work on weight loss, you can reach out to me.

[00:59:37.960] – Allan

But right now, for at least the next six months or so because of what I'm doing for myself, my brain has really turned on to the fitness aspects of it. So if you're looking to up your game in fitness, and that can mean starting from zero and wanting to get to level one or that can be being at level five and wanting to be level seven wherever you are, I'm able to meet you there. And we can put together training programs. You can learn why we're doing what we're doing, and we can help you get that fitness together. So if that's what you want, go to 40plusfitness.com, not 40plusfitnesspodcast.com, but 40plusfitness.com and I'll have an application link there. You can fill out the application. We'll get on the phone and we'll figure out what you need. If it's my training program to get you there, it's not a fixed program. It's custom. So like I said, if you're starting from zero and just want to get to one, we can do that. If you want to ratchet it up a little bit more, we can do that too. So do reach out if you're interested in that.

[01:00:42.330] – Rachel

And then of course if it's running that you're interested in really getting good at then Rachel?

[01:00:49.940] – Rachel

I'm here. Just ask me any questions.

[01:00:52.500] – Allan

Where should they go? You've got a website, too.


Strong-souls.com. You can just reach out for me there or even on my socials. I'm on Facebook and Instagram. Just shoot me a message and I'll be happy to help you out.

[01:01:05.730] – Allan

All right. And we'll have the links in the show notes for this one so if you have any questions, please do reach out to us.

[01:01:12.440] – Allan

Also, again, we're trying to put together a Q&A episode. So if some of these questions you would rather just ask and have answered on a podcast then I do want you to reach out Allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com and just email me there. Allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com. We'll take those questions. I may reach out and see if you want to record and ask your question vocally and be on the podcast that way. Or I can just read your question from your email on the podcast. But if you have a question you'd like for us to answer on an episode, we do want to try to accumulate some of those so we can get those questions together and have a duo episode with Rachel and I answering your health and fitness questions.

[01:01:58.420] – Rachel

Sweet. That would be fun.

[01:02:00.320] – Allan

Great. Rachel, anything else you want to get into?

[01:02:02.910] – Rachel

No, this is great.

[01:02:04.460] – Allan

All right guys, have a great week and we'll talk to you next week.

[01:02:08.080] – Rachel



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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


February 28, 2022

What history tells us we’re doing wrong with our health and fitness

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

A lot has changed in the past 200 years. And while we're living longer, we're not necessarily living better. On episode 527 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss what some of those changes mean to our health and fitness today. Those lessons can help you see where progress is not as it seems.


Let's Say Hello

[00:01:11.770] – Allan

Hi, Ras. How are you doing?

[00:01:13.680] – Rachel

Good. Allan. How are you today?

[00:01:15.680] – Allan

I'm doing well. It's kind of an interesting week. I'm in the process of doing the build out for the new gym. And so we're getting into the new space. And obviously as you start doing construction and things like that, you learn things about the building you just rented. And so there are leaks and there's this and that. Just things to work through.

[00:01:37.430] – Allan

And then my wife, Tammy, we were supposed to spend some time together this week, go out to dinner and all because we're recording this over the Valentine's week, and she got a last minute opportunity to go see a specialist for nose and throat (she's had some sinus issues) in David, which means, okay, she's got to take a boat and then take a bus, and then it's a five-hour trip over. So she goes over and she's over there and I'm like, okay.

[00:02:03.870] – Allan

And then she says, well, yeah, they called me. They did get me in at 05:00pm tomorrow. I'm like, okay, well, you could have done tomorrow. But anyway, so she spends the night and then her appointments can be for us later today. And then she spends the night, comes back tomorrow.

[00:02:18.520] – Allan

And like most times when Tammy leaves and things look reasonably open, like we had three rooms open. So really low volume here for us to kind of just say, OK, there's basically three breakfast to do in the morning. One check out easy stuff. Actually, we had no check. I'm not supposed to have any check out this morning. But then all of a sudden we have two couples booking. I'm like, okay running around because I don't she usually goes picks them up and this and that. So I'm trying to manage all that and run that. So it's a little bit of juggling. But it's good juggling because it's growth and it's opportunity, new people. So, yeah, it's good. It's just kind of busy.

[00:02:59.530] – Allan

And I do have some other news. I have signed an agreement and affiliate agreement with Keto Mojo. And this is my favorite glucose keto blood monitor. And the reason I like these guys so much is that the keto strips are the cheapest you're going to find on the market. They're really expensive if you want to do blood ketones all the time, regularly. But the Keto Mojo makes it much more cost effective to do it if you want to do it every day. And the machine they have does both the glucose and the ketones. And they have their own proprietary little formula for kind of how you're potentially optimizing your glucose ketone levels. Now the new one there's, the GK Plus. It actually syncs with your phone. So you have an app on your phone and you take the readings. You don't have to write anything down or put anything like a spreadsheet. It just literally just goes right to your phone. And you've got charts and diagrams and the whole bit. It's actually really cool. And they just came out with this GK Plus. I had their old monitor. When I saw they had the GK Plus, I immediately bought it. And so I've been using that for about a week. And this thing, it's literally like having someone standing there telling you how to do it because you turn it on and it tells you, okay, put the meter thing in. And you put the meter thing in. It tells you it's in, all right? And then it says, okay, now put the blood and you stick yourself and you put a little bit of blood on there not much actually, probably less than on the last ones.

[00:04:31.950] – Allan

And then boom, it counts it down from nine all the way down. And then it gives you your reading. And like I said, then it can sync with an app on your phone and you've got that data right there. So it's a really cool thing. And the other thing that's cool about it is they're giving anyone that follows my link a 15% discount off the meter. Any of the meter kits, they got like a couple of different kits, like a starter kit, like a Deluxe kit. They can't do that on the strips because the strips are already really well priced. So they can't give you the 15% of the strips, but they will on the meter. So if you go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/mojo. So 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/mojo, that will take you to the site. If you purchase either one of the two major kits, like the starter and then the Deluxe. If you purchase one of those kits, when you get to the checkout, they'll apply a discount of 15%. So it ends up being a really cost effective meter with really cost effective strips. And like I said, it works like a charm. I love this little thing.

[00:05:39.600] – Allan

I'm using it every day now because again, the strips are inexpensive and it's so easy to use. So I'm keeping up with my ketones because I'm just now kind of cycling back into ketosis after the Superbowl and monitoring where my ketones are, because again, as I'm looking at starting to try to build up my fitness level, I want to understand if I have a bad day in the gym. Was that because my glucose was a little low? Is that because my ketones weren't where they needed to be and that kind of thing? And I also use their urine strips, even though, again, I don't think they're going to be included in the discount. But those are all available. You can go to 40 plusfitnesspodcast.com/Mojo. It's going to give me a slight little kickback on that. Not much, but it's going to give you a 15% discount, which I think is really cool.

[00:06:25.920] – Rachel

That is fantastic. What a great partnership.

[00:06:28.770] – Allan

So, Rachel, what's going on with you?

[00:06:30.940] – Rachel

Good. Things are good. You know, once a year I take a visit to my hospital where I visit the high risk breast cancer clinic. I've mentioned in the past that I've got a high risk, high family predisposition to breast cancer. And so I see this particular doctor every year, and every year, it's like a breath of fresh air to hear that I'm ticking all the right boxes. My doctor mentioned that I get enough exercise. Obviously, I eat well, of course, I eat the foods that they suggest we eat to have a healthy, reducing our risk cancer type diet and don't smoke, don't drink in excess. And I'm living the right lifestyle that should reduce my risk for developing breast cancer. And the other interesting thing is that now that I'm 50, I am eligible for breast MRIs in addition to a traditional mammogram. Although based on my age and my lifestyle, the doctor feels like it's not a really good cost risk benefit. So I probably am going to put that off for a little while longer. But the other benefit to this appointment, again, probably because I'm 50, they connected me to the hospital's cancer genetics Department.

[00:07:53.670] – Rachel

And so I have an appointment a couple of months out because everybody's backlog these days. But I have decided to pursue genetic testing to see if there are any predispositions to breast and other cancers. So I'm pretty excited to take that route. So it was a great visit. I'm glad I went. And I feel pretty good with my health right now.

[00:08:16.280] – Allan

Yeah, well, there definitely are some genetic snips, I think is what they call them that give you that predisposition to that Angelina her mother and had family history. So she went kind of radical, which a lot of people talked about, which is good. You have those conversations. We're not into October right now, but it's just don't wait until October. There's no reason to wait until October to do the right thing for your health. So glad you got that opportunity. And it will be interesting to hear how your foray into the genetics? Because obviously, the science is always getting better around some of these things. So it'll be interesting to hear what your geneticist doctor or whatever, whoever you're dealing with is going to be able to tell you what information and how things look for you on that side of the equation.

[00:09:10.170] – Rachel

Absolutely. Yes. I'll keep you posted for sure.

[00:09:13.010] – Allan

All right. So let's have a little bit of a history lesson. What do you think?

[00:09:17.540] – Rachel

Sounds great.


Today, I wanted to take a moment to give you a little bit of a history lesson about health and fitness, particularly in the United States. Interestingly enough, in the last 200 years, we've managed to extend our lives almost double. In 1860, the average lifespan for someone was 39.4 years. Take that in context to what it generally is today. And we're looking at an average lifespan of about 78.9%. So effectively doubling the life that we have on this Earth. And there's a lot of reasons for that. But lifespan does not equal health span. And I want to talk in more detail about what that means is living longer does not mean living better, and in fact, it actually probably means living worse. And so I want to take a few minutes to kind of talk about those things, how they relate, and some of the things that have changed over the course of the last 200 years that have made these things possible. So let's talk a little bit about lifespan. How have we managed to double our lifespan in just the last, really, 200 years? Less than 200 years, really. The first is babies live. In the past, more babies were lost to early death, infant death, birth death at birth.

Those things were happening on a fairly regular basis. And it was relatively hard to get a family member baby up to the age of about 15 and still be alive. There were a lot of diseases, a lot of things going on, and then just again, just the loss at birth. We fixed a lot of that. We have a lot more technology around medicine that allows us to have the babies live longer and in many cases, live full, productive lives. So that's been one good thing for increasing our lifespan. Probably the biggest overall mover in lifespan. The second would be basically safer conditions. We're aware of a lot more toxins, things that are not safe. We've changed the way we do construction. We've changed the way we build cars. Cars today are much safer than they were when they first came out. And just everything else, as far as a general lifestyle puts us in a safer position to survive longer. And now, again, labels on things typically, you know, there's a story for a reason why you don't eat the Silicon packet. And there has to be a sign on it for you to not eat that Silicon packet because you're not supposed to eat it.

But someone eventually did or obviously did, or they wouldn't have to put the sign there. So again, there's a lot more safety encouraged in the workplace, in the home and consumer products, and all of these different things that have made life longer. We've invented medications and vaccines. So the invention of penicillin, which I'll get into in more detail, the invention of certain vaccines, which I'll also get into in a little bit more detail later, they've actually allowed us to live longer. Fewer people are dying of polio and smallpox and measles and that thing. And then, of course, when someone gets sick, they get an infection. We have medications to keep them alive, and we're able to do that. And people are living longer as a result. And again, just general medicine. We're able to do heart bypass surgeries and things like that and remove tumors and do things like that that we weren't able to do 200 years ago, even 100 years ago. And as a result, people are living longer. And then there's generally food security. In the past, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of people have starved due to not having enough food to feed their family.

We have much more food security today, which is allowing us to grow healthier. Babies have healthier lives. Unfortunately, the type of food we now use is actually detrimental to our overall health and our overall lifespan. But no one's starving to death today. In a general sense, very few people on this Earth starved to death today versus 100 years ago and 200 years ago. So a lot of things have happened in the last 200 years to extend our lifespan. And so as a result, in the past, they would have more babies because fewer babies would survive as a percentage. So law of average is if you have ten kids, you can expect a few of them to survive. Now, we know that's not necessary. We don't have that problem. So people aren't having multiple babies. They can have one or two and generally understand that those two have a very high probability of making it to adulthood. So lifespan hasn't been increased incredibly, but that creates some problems for us on the other side. Health span. So when we look at our overall health and particularly the Western economies, some of the things we find is that we're overweight and obese.

The overweight obese category now makes up the majority of people in Western countries, particularly United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. So if you start looking at that, you realize, okay, if almost 70% of people are overweight and obese, we are not helping our health span while we might be living longer. That's leading to some pretty significant problems in what we call now lifestyle diseases heart disease, high blood pressure, autoimmunity cancer. These diseases were not a huge problem 200 years ago for various reasons, but predominantly because of the foods and the types of foods that we eat, the lack of movement, different things that have happened. And I'm going to get into that in a lot more detail coming up. But just realize we now suffer from lifestyle diseases that really were very rare 200 years ago. And so the other side of it is, though, we also by living longer, we subject ourselves to more opportunities. So someone may have died an accident on the farm at the age of 30. Now they're not working. The same individuals are not working on farms. They have much safer jobs. They're living until their 60s. And that's just given them more time for certain lifestyle problems to catch up with them on a Healthspan.

So we've increased our lifespan, but we haven't necessarily done as much to improve our health span over that same period of time. And there's a lot of reasons for it, and I want to dive into those today. So what has changed in the last 100 and 5200 years? Well, probably the biggest is convenience. We do a lot less physical work. Tools, machines, everything else. All of that has made our lives easier. So when you look at it 200 years ago, if you were going to travel to the next town, you would take a horse. Okay, well, riding a horse, if you haven't done it before can pretty much wear you out, depending on how long you ride and what the course is like, that you're riding on the path or the road or whatever. Being on a horse takes a lot more physicality than a lot of people think. If you're not used to riding a horse, you're likely to be sore after you've ridden a horse for a while. Then there were cars, but the first cars were cranked cars and required a little bit of effort to get started. They were a little bit more work to drive.

We didn't have power steering. We didn't have those other things going on. So there's a little bit more even with a car, there was still more work than a current car. A current car, you can literally start it with a push of a button or start it before you even get in the car. You can literally drive away without using almost any effort at all sitting in a seat. And when you're going the speed you want to go, you can literally push a button and it will stay at that speed until you tell it not to. And now with autonomous cars, you don't even have to do that. You tell the car where you want to go and it just takes you there. So less and less effort. And then the other side of it, well, why even get in a car when there's takeout and delivery? So recognizing that we've had conveniences thrust on us, we've taken advantage of those conveniences because it makes our lives easier. But easier does not necessarily improve health span. So the next big thing that's happened and one that's just really circling back around as being a problem is an understanding of the dangers of over consuming sugar.

In 1800, the average American consumed £22.5 of sugar per year. Now, that may seem like a lot when you look at what a five pound bag is, but let's compare and contrast that with what's going on today and realize most of the 1800 food was not processed at all. It was literally coming from fruits and vegetables. Today, that's not the case. So by 1919, we're going to see some changes in the way food is done. By that time, we were eating £99 over four times as much 100 years later. And even today at 2000, we got up to over £150 per year. That is a ton of sugar. That's a whole person worth of sugar. Now, it's trailed down in the last few years, and mainly because of an outreach of people to understand how bad sugar is. So people are cutting back a little bit on their consumption, but we're still well over £140 per year. So in contrast, we're looking at almost a seven fold increase in the amount of sugar we're eating relative to what our ancestors ate as late as the 1800. Now, one of the reasons that we eat more sugar is processed food, just a few little tidbits.

Oatmeal was invented in 1854. Now, the interesting thing about oatmeal is up until that time, it was horse food. So all this joking about taking horse meds, the real joke back then was who's eating horse food? But once it was accepted that people were willing to eat horses, the cereal market was born. So in 1877, they started making cereals. And in fact, most of the major brands you recognize today started in around that time, shortly after that time, or in the early 1900, those large companies, they started making cereals, then perfecting recipes, competing with each other, combining and forming these global companies that sell tons and tons of this stuff, a lot of it with a lot of extra sugar. And it's all high calorie, low nutrition. I mean, they add nutrition or they try to make it nutritious, but in a general sense, they have to go after taste. And so food science today is about taste and texture. It's not about your health. And so recognize that these food companies are making products they know you'll eat more of. They want you to eat more of them. And they've even done some things that really are uncool to make sure that you continue to consume a lot of these products.

But processed foods are not your friend if you're looking at health and fitness because they're not designed to help make you healthy. They're not designed to be like real food. They're designed to make you buy more, to make it taste good, to make it appealing so you buy more. Another thing that's happened in the last 200 years is we've moved to a format of industrial farming. So large farms of animals, be it cows or chickens or whatever, are raised together in very, very tight spaces, being that close to all these other animals illnesses get passed around relatively quickly. So antibiotics are introduced on a fairly regular basis. And then, of course, they want the largest possible animal they can get for the meat or basically to make sure that they're getting volume. So they're injecting these animals with hormones to make them grow faster. So the effect of all of this, the lack of space, the antibiotics, the hormones and everything else that they do these animals makes them very sick animals. Eating a sick animal does not make you healthy. So even though you think you're getting a better cut of the animal or you're farming at a better pace, the reality of is most of these animals are very, very sick and they're not healthy for you.

So let's talk about plants, because then everybody says, well, let's move to plantbased nutrition. And that would be better, right? Well, not necessarily. So fertilizer was originally invented in slightly before then, and then it was adopted as a normal thing. So we're talking about there were fertilizers probably back as far as we know, people were growing things, but we're talking about chemicals. We're talking about synthetic fertilizers, these kind of these inventions of if we add this to the soil, the plant grows faster. And that was adopted early 1861. And all the way through World War II became kind of this growing trend of using more and more of these chemical synthetic fertilizers so that the crops had a larger yield. Those fertilizers are causing some problems I'll get into in just a moment. Next, they had to develop these plants to be able to be transported. So if I'm going to try to get this avocado to you that is grown in Mexico, it has to last a little while. If I'm going to take apples that were gotten in, say, Washington state, and I need to deliver them to Florida, I have to make sure that they're transportable so they've bred the plants, the fruits and vegetables, to be more durable, not necessarily for better health, but just durability.

How is this thing going to look when it arrives at its location? And then another thing that they do to make sure that these plants are just right when they get to your grocery store is they pick them early, so they will pick them before they ripen. And then they use this technology to keep them from ripening until they get to the location. They call it delayed ripening technology. And they use this ethylene gas that they'll spray on these plants to ripen them up quickly right there at the store or right at the warehouse for that particular vendor. So they're not in the ground nearly as long as they would be if they were normal plants. If you just planted a heirloom tomato in your backyard that hasn't been farmed lately. Those plants will grow slow. They will grow a little. And when they're done and they're ready and they're ripe, they've drawn as much benefit out of the ground the minerals and the vitamins that you need that they possibly can. Whereas when you pick them early and they're ripening at the store, they didn't have nearly as much time to pick up that stuff that you need.

And then again, with the fertilizers and all the other things that are going on, they're growing very quickly and not necessarily for the right reasons, and you're not necessarily getting all the nutrition. So plants that we have today, fruits and vegetables we eat today are not as nutrient rich as plants were when our great grandparents and our great great grandparents were farming. So just realized that we're not getting as much value for the calorie as we would have in the past. And then, of course, with plants, there's the weed killers, like roundup glyphosate. Okay, this was introduced in the 19s 70s. And even though that more and more they know that this is a cancer causing element and it's in our foods. And when we eat the foods that are made with these things, if they're not cleaned properly, and even then, maybe not, then we're getting these getting this glyphosate in our body. This chemical is in our body as a function of these things. Next, I want to jump into light pollution. Now, it seems like a mild thing, but most folks don't realize that actual household lights are not something that's been around forever.

Incandescent lights were invented by a guy named Humphrey Davy, but it was Edison that kind of made these things more popular in the 1880s. And so most houses didn't have electricity for a long, long time after that. So most houses were lit by gas lighter, candles all the way past well into the 1019 hundreds. In fact, almost half the houses didn't have electric power. So you're looking at lights not being a part of the indoor or at least unnatural lights not being a part of our normal environment, really in less than 100 years. So for our bodies to adapt to night time light, that can be a problem. The next area I want to jump into as toxins. Tens of thousands of toxic chemicals are released into our environment and homes every single day. And over 800 of those are known as endocrine disruptors. Now, an endocrine disruptor basically means it messes with your hormones, in particular your sex hormones. So if you're feeling kind of blah, you're a little bit maybe feeling a little bloated, it might be that you're being subjected to too many endocrine disruptors. And your estrogen is messed up, your testosterone is messed up, and it's causing you some problems.

So where are we getting these toxins? All these toxins are out there. This is not necessarily plants pumping a lot of it in the air, although they are. It's also in your home. So if you have furniture that has flame retardants in it, the pesticides you're using in your yard, the Pharmaceuticals that we flush down our toilets that end up in our water. And on and on and on. We are subjected to tens of thousands of toxic chemicals every single day, and those are adversely affecting our endocrine system, our health, the function of our liver on and on and on. So the subjection of these toxins, which were not available, not out there 200 years ago, is another problem that's affecting our health span. And then the last one I want to talk about is stress. We live in this new 24/7 news cycle. The news is always there. This was not the case 100 years ago. Even when the TV was on, there was one news or two news casts per day. When I was growing up as a young adult, I know they had the morning news, and then they would turn off and talk about other stuff.

You'd come home, there might be a 04:00, 05:00, and 06:00 and then 11:00 news, but they'd give you one news cycle each day. It might change a little bit from the morning to the evening. But most people sat they read the newspaper in the morning, and then they watched the news that night, and that was about it. Now news hits us every single day, all day, all the time. We have notifications on our phone, notifications on our computer, and then add social media, the toxic relationships, the things that are going on there. And then just the fact that the news media is on the social media feeding you the stuff, the headlines all day and all night, it's there constant, constant, constant. And then, of course, we have to add tribalism. And this takes all of that, the 24 hours news cycle, the social media. And this literally takes up a factor of ten. The tribalism that's going on in the world today, particularly in the United States. And now we're seeing in other places like Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and elsewhere. This tribalism is exploding our stress levels, and that's really adversely affecting our health.

And so I put these in an order. As far as we're talking about our food, our food is messed up. It's not what it used to be. We're not training or working out as much as we used to or at least doing things physically as we used to. We don't have good quality food. And then there's light pollution. Cell phones did not exist, and now they do, and they're in our hands 24/7. We've got watches that buzz and beep and moan, so we're not sleeping as well. We've got all these toxins that our liver and our body is having to deal with, and we're not functioning very well with these toxins. And then, of course, the introduction of stress your job, whether you're going to keep your job, lose your job. People used to live knowing that they're going to work. They have a job for the next 35, 50 years, and nothing is going to take that away from them. That's not the case today. Too much is changing too fast, and it's really struggle for most of us to keep up with that. So with all this bad stuff that's going on, what do we do?

How do we take the fact that our bodies were not designed for the lifestyle that we live today? How do we take that step back and solve this problem? The first step in solving any problem is knowing you have a problem. So the first thing I want you to do, listening to this podcast is come to the realization that these things are affecting you, even though you might not believe that they are. They are. And so it's important for you to recognize that first and then take some actions. Now, in my kind of mindset, my opinion, the first place to start is food. It's the easiest for you to change, and it's the one that's probably going to move the needle the most for most of us. And the answer for food is get the highest quality, real food you can afford. So when I say high quality, I'm not just talking about organic, which, yes, is more expensive in the grocery store. I'm talking about food that didn't have to be transported across the world, meaning it was locally grown, it was fresh. You didn't have to go anywhere. So, you know, stayed in the ground until it was ripe, and then it was picked and then it was sold to you.

You can do this at farmers markets. You can do this at coops you can look for in your grocery store locally grown product that's typically going to be better for you than what you find in most standard grocery store aisles. The other is frozen foods. Surprisingly, a lot of frozen foods, organic frozen foods were grown all the way to ripeness and then flash frozen, so they were then able to be distributed. That's a better model than the distribution and then ethanol, Ethylene, gas. So look for foods that are going to give you the highest quality that you can still afford. And farmers markets, local farms, buying half a cow with your friends, whatever you need to do, find ways to get the highest quality real food that you can possibly afford. And that's going to move the needle the most for most of us. The second is movement. You have to make movement a priority. And the easiest way to do that is to stop leaning on basic conveniences. If you live within a mile of your grocery store, in all likelihood, you could walk to that grocery store to do your shopping most days and walk back.

You don't have to buy 15 bags of groceries. You can go to the store by a couple of bags. So you get some fresh vegetables, some fresh meat, everything fresh. Go home, Cook up meals, and then two days later, go back. Yes, it takes time, but that investment of time is going to improve your health significantly. So make movement a priority. It doesn't have to be exercise, but just make movement a regular part of most of your days and try to pull some of those conveniences back. I don't own a car here. I live on an island. Quite literally, the furthest thing for me right now is 15 km. I could walk there if I had to. So as you look at the way you're living and the things you're doing, look for those conveniences that are not serving you unless they need to serve you. So yes, of course, if you need to get somewhere quickly, an automobile is the best way to do it. If you don't, can you walk there? Can you walk there? Can you take a taxi back or a bus back? Can you walk there and walk back? Take those opportunities to add more movement to your day stress.

Now, stress was the biggest one for me and it took a long time, but finally I started saying I have to prioritize this and it was the last thing I addressed. I wish I had addressed it earlier. Choose When You Let News and Social Media In So if you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is check news and social media, you're already setting yourself up for kind of a frustrating day. Something bad is going to hit you in the face every single time you do that. Now there might be some nice things. You might see a little cat video and this and that make you laugh. That's great. But just recognize that you control your consumption of social media. And so choose when you're going to let that end and do it in bite sized pieces. It does not need to be a 24 hours cycle. And if you find yourself at 200 in the morning checking social media, you already have an issue. Okay? And then the final thing is on stress is check yourself and see if you feel like you're getting wrapped up in this tribalism stuff.

It's really easy because the headline is built to set you off. It's built to set you off as a yes, that's good. Or it's built to say, oh my God, they're doing that again. Every single one of those headlines is built to do that. It is a tribal, one sided message focused on an ideology that's intended to upset the other ideology and get both ideologies reading that copy. So check yourself. If you find yourself getting drawn into this stuff on social media or just when you're reading different things, recognize when it's happening, take the step back and turn it off. You don't need this. Do some meditation do some things that help you relax and get over this, particularly if it's in the evening, if you know that it's going to affect your sleep, which is the next one. Sleep is huge, very important. I'm not going to put it over food, but I'm going to put it way up there. But I'm just going to say this is probably one of the hardest things for most people to address because you either feel like you sleep well or you don't. But I'm going to say you need to have a natural nightly ritual, something that's going to relax you, something that's going to let you unwind, something that's going to communicate to your body.

It's time to go to sleep. And that means getting away from unnatural light, like screens and light bulbs and other things, TVs and literally just saying, I need some time to unwind. And this can be a warm bath. This can be listening to music and can be reading fiction in a paper book. It can be just meditating, it can be a lot of things brushing your teeth can be a part of and it should be a part of your nightly ritual. So just set yourself up with a nightly ritual that communicates to your body. It's time to let go. Move away from the unnatural blue light, move back to the more Amber, flame based lights like candles, and let yourself relax before sleep so your body can get a good restful sleep. I know this is harder said than done, but it's really important. And then the final one is toxins. And again, toxins are all around you. So consistently take a moment and audit your lifestyle. The Environmental working group has resources@ewg.org. They've got this really cool app that you can put on your phone and it literally lets you look up consumer goods.

Just scan the barcode. So you go to EWG.org and go on your phone. You can look up EWG or Environmental working Group pull down their app. It literally lets you look this stuff up so you can see what's in the products that you're using. So your cleaners or your shampoo or your body wash or your makeup or any of that. It may be introducing toxins into your system, including some of those 800 or so endocrine disruptors we talked about earlier. So to recap this, the first step in fixing your health and aligning your health span with your lifespan is to understand that there is a disconnect, there is a problem. The first step is getting good, high quality real food, the highest and best quality you can afford. And that preferably means organic, fewer pesticides, fewer hormones and locally grown. So there's not the artificial things that they tend to do with the food and where possible, heirloom and some of those and a proper rotation of crops where they're getting all the nutrients your body needs. Again, highest quality, real food you can afford. Movement. Movement has to be a priority. Walk if you can, ride a bike when you can, don't lean on the conveniences of having a car for something as simple as taking a little jaunt over to the convenience store, the grocery store to buy something you need.

If you can take the time, walk there, walk back, ride a bike there, ride a bike back. Those things are going to help you feel a lot better. Be healthier, more fit, and align your health span with your lifespan. Anything you can do to manage stress, which means not letting some of it in in the first place. Tribalism, the 24 hours news cycle and social media are all within your control. You control those inputs into your brain. You control those stressors. So if you let them in, they're going to mess with you. Don't let them in. Choose the times, particularly in the evening. There's no reason there's nothing on the Internet, there's nothing on the television that's going to adversely affect you before you wake up in the morning. 99 point 99% of the time. So let it go. Let all that go. Find a distressed way to spend the evening. So that the final thing here. Sleep. You're getting great sleep. Have a good nightly ritual that pulls you away from those things and get your body ready for a good restful sleep. And then finally, toxins. So do an audit of your lifestyle.

What are some things that you're doing that are adding toxins to your life? I talked about the website or the app from Environmental Working Group, but also just other things like if you smoke or if you drink alcohol, those are toxins and so they're adding to your toxic load. So think about the toxins in your life. Do that lifestyle audit and do what you can to reduce those toxins. So if you do these things, you will make sure that your health span is more in line with your lifespan and you'll spend less of your life unhealthy. And in the end, none of us really wants to live longer if we can't live better. So focus on aligning your health span with your lifespan and you'll be happy, healthy and fit. Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:41:28.850] – Allan

Welcome back Ras!

[00:41:30.590] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. You know, way back when I was taking the NASM certified personal trainer course and test, they had said that at that time, 66% of Americans older than 20 are overweight, 34% are obese. And it was such a high percent to me that it was just really it just stuck with me. And then they went on to say that, of course, the World Health Organization thinks that lack of physical activity is probably a culprit of that, which I kind of agree with as well. But based on your history lesson, that is certainly not the only reason that our country is overweight or obese.

[00:42:12.650] – Allan

Yeah. A couple of things come to mind. One is it's worse now that textbook was not that old. But every year the number gets bigger on both sides, the obesity and overweight. So the number is getting bigger. And we're not being given necessarily all the data we need to resolve that, because you're absolutely right. The movement aspects of it are a park, but it's like part of a car. You're not going to get anywhere with the chassis. You need the wheels and everything else you can look at and say, okay, this is part of the problem, but you could take and fix part of the problem and not really fix the whole problem. It's all of it. It's nutrition, it's movement, it's stress management, it's sleep. Yeah, it's all of those things. And the frustrating thing for me is that I could pull 100 people off the street and say, if you needed to lose weight, what would you do? What would you do? What are the things you need to do? And so it's like if you put them out there, like the squares where you can fill in more than one, okay, everybody's going to know it's diet.

[00:43:32.290] – Allan

And the term they would probably use in the survey would be exercise, better sleep, stress management, take a pill. And a small percentage would click, take a pill, of course. But they all know you change what you eat, you move more, you try to get better sleep, you try to manage your stress. Those things are going to help you lose weight. Now, they may say exercise is the most important and we can go back and forth. I've had doctors tell me sleep is actually maybe the most important. And I personally believe the food is the most important, but we can go back and forth on that. But I think everybody generally knows those are the things you have to do.

[00:44:12.260] – Rachel


[00:44:12.680] – Allan

The problem is this is the guidelines and things that come forward. And we've seen that in history, is that it gets skewed. It gets skewed by politics and people being involved. And so the nutrition rules that we've been given, the things we think we're supposed to do, they're politicized. And as a result, they're not right. They're wrong. And in many cases, they're so horrifically wrong that we now have an overweight and obesity, 70+ percent of Americans are overweight or obese. It's like 39% of Americans are obese. That's insane.

[00:44:56.180] – Allan

And it's based on data that was skewed. And even if new data comes out, the guidelines barely budged. And if they do budge, like they recently decided to drop saturated fat or cholesterol from being the bad food, the bad guy, but they didn't announce it and say, oh, well, guess what? You should actually probably eat eggs and bacon for breakfast. No, they didn't. They just quietly shoved it to the side. No harm, no foul. And there is harm, and there is a foul, but it's this quiet back away that occurred two or three generations later, and we're suffering the consequences of that.

[00:45:40.330] – Allan

Now, what does that mean for the go forward? And unfortunately, we are repeating history again, and we will continue to do so until we learn from history. So with Covid and this frustrates me more than anything. So if I get a little rowdy, I apologize and I have to bleep some of my language out, which kind of happens. I apologize.

[00:46:03.170] – Allan

But you do not hear the leaders anywhere explaining to you the best thing you can do for this disease is to be healthy in the first place. And so anything you do to improve your health and fitness makes you a better combatant against this virus. This virus kills the weak. I'm sorry, but that's what happens. It's people over 85. It's people with comorbidities. That's who it's killing. It's not killing generally healthy people. Now, if you see someone who thought was healthy and they died, you probably can look around. And if they did some workouts, they might find some other things that just weren't visible on the outside. We know people who have type II diabetes, but they look completely healthy. We know people who have heart problems, but they look completely healthy. We know people who have lung issues, but they look completely healthy.

[00:47:07.070] – Allan

And so it happens. And yes, it can be hit or miss if you're already healthy to know those things. So a good check up and making sure you're dotting your I's and like you said, checking off the boxes you're supposed to check off. We have this within our power if we do the bare minimum, which okay, so per the World Health Organization, you keep your sugar down here. Per the government guidelines, US guidelines, if you move intensely for 75 minutes per week, that's enough. Okay. But that's low bar thinking.

[00:47:44.660] – Rachel

It is.

[00:47:45.450] – Allan

Yeah, I'm just going to get by.

[00:47:49.310] – Rachel

I agree.

[00:47:50.750] – Allan

It's the same thing as like if you sat there and said, oh, well, here's this chart. And as long as my BMI is 29 and not 30, as long as my waist is 39 and not 40, I'm okay. And that's low bar thinking.

[00:48:06.820] – Rachel

That's a good point. I think that's absolutely right. I think the information or the guidelines that are out there are just that just guidelines and not necessarily the right things. And I think my main takeaway would be to consult with your doctor and get some more information or…

[00:48:30.170] – Rachel

The Standard American Diet is an old diet. It's been around and it's hardly changed over the years. But maybe it's time to experiment. Maybe it's time to try a plant Forward diet or a low carb/keto-type diet or the Mediterranean diet. I think it's worth changing or switching things up to see if that benefits you in any way.

[00:48:52.570] – Allan

Well, the standard American diet has drastically changed since the 1950s. As we talked about the introduction of cereals, we talked about the introduction of carbs, and as a result, people started eating more of those things. They were cost effective. More sugar was available, it was cheap, it was easy, and it was delicious. So more of that was being eaten. And then there's more processed food. So it's calorie dense, nutritionally weak.

[00:49:23.010] – Allan

And we kept doing that and kept doing that. And then they're like, well, why the heck are we having heart attacks? And they asked the wrong guy. They literally asked the wrong guy. And everybody got in line. And the corporations that were benefiting from it, they paid off scientists. They did the things they had to do to make sure they were on the bottom of that pyramid to make sure that they were the ones that got the most juice out of the whole thing and noone will back away completely from it. You can look at the Canadian guidelines, relative, the US guidelines, and kind of see the divergence. Canada is going in the right direction with nutrition. The United States is not going fast enough.

[00:50:06.830] – Allan

And as a result, we are suffering this crisis. And we have to learn from this. We have to learn that the guidelines and things that are put forward to you while rudimentary and right can be great. So Covid, wash your hands.

[00:50:22.620] – Rachel


[00:50:23.570] – Allan

Try to avoid touching your face and stay away from sick people.

[00:50:29.360] – Rachel


[00:50:30.100] – Allan

Those are excellent. But then as soon as the vaccine was introduced, they stopped talking about that. Up until that point, that's all they talked about those three things. It was like over and over. I actually walked around and took pictures of different sinks I was washing my hands in. It kind of became a thing. And that was it. Just remind people, wash your hands more often. And then beyond that, all they had to say was, we noticed the data says the people who are older and have comorbidities are the ones that are dying the most. You can look at a chart, it's easy as you see it, and it's like, okay, so if you have a comorbidity, that is a lifestyle disease, like diabetes, like heart disease, like being overweight those things, you can do something about it. If you're listening to this podcast, then you know you can because I've said you can. But beyond that, you wouldn't be listening to this podcast if you didn't know there was an answer.

[00:51:27.400] – Rachel


[00:51:28.420] – Allan

You're wanting to change something. So to change something, you got to do something. And all I'm saying is from this whole prospect is learn from history. You are your advocate, you are the right person to take care of you. And you know in your heart exactly what you need to do. You need to change the way you eat. You need to change your movement, improve it, do more.

[00:51:49.120] – Allan

You need to look at this all holistically and say, what do I need to do to make myself healthier? And that is going to make you more resilient. And that's going to help you beat this. Yes. You can go get vaccinated. And I encourage you, particularly if you're in a high risk group, go do that. Yes. Stay away from sick people if you need to. If you can. Do what you have to do to protect yourself, for sure. But the most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to just be healthier. Get your vitamin D, get outside, move around, find joy in your life, sleep well, eat well, do the things you know that are going to make you healthier and happier. And that's going to help you get past this.

[00:52:33.900] – Rachel

Absolutely. Like I mentioned in the beginning, I work really hard to maintain as healthy of a lifestyle that I can because I want to suppress as much as I possibly have under my control, the chances of me getting breast cancer. That is my biggest health fear, because that's what I've been dealt for genetics. And so I work really hard at that. But that translates to everything. I'm also working hard to reduce my risk for diabetes and heart disease and survive illnesses, whether I get shingles or the chicken pox or even Covid. So I feel like the healthier my body is, the healthier I'll be able to respond. And I think that's the key takeaway that everybody should take home today.

[00:53:19.070] – Allan

Yeah. Because when I went into the hospital here and got tested, because Tammy tested positive first for the next day, because you have to go in the morning. It's like a two hour window for testing. So I went in the next morning, and I got tested, and I'm sitting out there, and the doctor calls me over, and he said. “positivo”. I'm like, “okay.”

[00:53:39.780] – Allan

And he's like, no. I'm like, okay, I got it. I'm going to go home. I'm going to stay home for a couple of weeks, and then I'm going to get over it. But he's looking at me. He's like, no, I know what he's thinking. You're 56 years old and you have Covid. You're going to die, right? And he's like, no, Positivo. This is solemn Positivo. And I'm like, okay, I know this is not good news, but okay. And then I just said to him, I just go home. And he's like, no. He says, you have a ride? And I'm like, no, I was going to walk home, and I think that hospital is something like about maybe a mile and a quarter.

[00:54:23.680] – Rachel


[00:54:24.390] – Allan

No, maybe 2 miles. Maybe close to 2 miles from my home, from Lulu. I'm just going to walk home, and then I'll be there, and he's like, no, you have to go in the ambulance.

[00:54:34.990] – Rachel

Oh, gosh.

[00:54:38.570] – Allan

Right. Well, I had Covid, so in their minds, I was done. My blood oxygen never went below 95.

[00:54:47.160] – Rachel

That's good.

[00:54:48.420] – Allan

Most of the time I was sitting right around 97, 98. I was never in any danger. I was never anything. I was fatigued and lost taste and smell and I still don't have my smell back. But that makes me capable to do a lot of jobs around Lulu's that most people wouldn't want to do.

[00:55:07.490] – Rachel

Oh, gosh.

[00:55:09.350] – Allan

But all that said, and I don't mean to joke about it because I know it's a very serious thing, but I ate well, I slept well, I managed stress. And while during that period of time because of Covid, because everything else I couldn't do the things I always did, I had put on some weight and so I was at a higher weight than I would normally like to be within the normal ranges that I bounced around. I was maybe about 5 or 8 pounds over what my normal roof was for a feasting period of the year. But that makes sense because I stretched a normal feasting of like 4 months into 16, of course. But that said, even when I feast, I tend to eat really good food, I go for the higher quality stuff, I eat a lot of vegetables, I eat meat, I don't eat a lot of processed stuff, I don't eat a lot of bread and other stuff.

[00:56:08.050] – Allan

When I'm on my feastt, I tend to eat a little more of it. But now I'm back in a famine and I don't. It's just meat and vegetables, that's it. But that's the point. If you want to learn from history, history tells you that the guidelines that are out there are not what you necessarily need to be following and in many cases they just don't go far enough.

[00:56:31.010] – Allan

So find your lines. Yes. If you're not getting the 75 minutes of intense exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise, set that as your next goal. A lot of people sit there and say due to that 10,000 steps you're looking at, I'm only doing two. Now that seems like a huge well then just make a five. Just start with something.

[00:56:50.540] – Rachel


[00:56:50.960] – Allan

Set it at 5000, start with something. And then when you get to five, look at ten, you get to ten and say, Well, I wonder what 15 would feel like.

[00:56:58.780] – Rachel


[00:56:59.520] – Allan

And that's how you get there. But if you just sit there and say, oh, well, I'm at ten, I'm just going to stay at ten, and then that's not enough to help you get to your goals, you'll give up on it. So just realize that those guidelines are fine. The rules of thumbs are simple because we love simple. But life is more complex than that. Our biology is much more complex than that. So take the time, but be your own advocate and don't just settle for what the government or what the standards say you should do. Do what you know you need to do for yourself.

[00:57:35.220] – Rachel

Yes, I think that's great. Great takeaway, Allan.

[00:57:38.370] – Allan

All right. Well, as I'll talk to you next week then.

[00:57:41.250] – Rachel

Sounds great. Take care.

[00:57:42.620] – Allan

You too.

[00:57:43.500] – Rachel



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

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


December 6, 2021

It’s time to take a digital detox

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For all the good social media has brought to the world, there is a down side that affects almost all of us. On this episode, we discuss why it's time to take a digital detox.



This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.

Organifi is a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant based nutrition made with high quality ingredients. Each Organifi blend is science backed to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic, free of fillers and contain less than 3g of sugar per serving. They won’t take you out of ketosis, if that’s your way of eating.

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This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Unidragon.

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Say Hello

[00:03:54.880] – Allan

Hey, Ras. Welcome back!

[00:03:56.810] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. Yeah. Thanks.

[00:03:58.340] – Allan

It's been two whole weeks.

[00:04:00.230] – Rachel

It has. I've just had the most wonderful vacation. I feel so relaxed. I feel so refreshed. And really, my heart is just full. I really enjoyed spending so much time with my friends back where we used to live. It was just the most perfect vacation.

[00:04:14.770] – Allan

Good. We've been here. Tammy was diagnosed with dengue fever

[00:04:23.850] – Rachel

Oh, no.

[00:04:23.850] – Allan

So, she got sick. Got sick just as we were really starting to open up the bed and breakfast and got sick. Really sick, like high fevers and all kinds of weird symptoms. Went to the doctor. He said there are three types of dengue that you test for. There might be more than that, but she had two of them, so she's an overachiever when it comes to those types of things. But she went through it and she's recovered.

[00:04:50.650] – Allan

Other people we're hearing around here haven't been that lucky. They're sick for weeks and months. So she's doing okay. She's still a little fatigued, but it was just touch and go there with her fever and getting her tested. It was not Covid. She went in for the Covid test and wasn't Covid. And then she went in to the doctor a week or so later, and it was dengue fever, but she's doing better now. And so that's the good thing. But just kind of weird times you're living in a tropical paradise and then dengue fever because there's mosquitoes,there are everywhere.

[00:05:27.590] – Allan

But, yeah, that's kind of been my week. Plus, we launched the Crush the Holidays Challenge, and that's been huge fun with the daily videos and all that kind of stuff. So that's going on right now, and I'm just having a blast. I haven't really done a whole lot of new coaching with new clients or anything like that. And even though this isn't what I would call a full coaching program, it's really just sort of a group thing as we go through together. It's been fun to get back into it after taking kind of a break with my vacation and then trying to get Lulu's open.

[00:06:03.120] – Rachel

Wow. Wonderful. I'm glad to hear that the Crush the holidays is going well. It sounds like a lot of fun.

[00:06:08.520] – Allan

Yeah, it will be. It has been. We have the Panamanian holidays at the beginning of November, and then you have the American holidays, Thanksgiving and whatnot at the end of November. So there's a lot going on everywhere. But this is just a good reminder if you're falling off your track sometimes having accountability, having people around you can be a really good thing.

[00:06:32.750] – Rachel

Oh, absolutely. This is the season to get all your buddies together and make some really good health and fitness goals that you can stick to, at least through these next few months.

[00:06:42.510] – Allan

Absolutely. So, are you ready to talk about digital life? The toxic digital life?

[00:06:49.160] – Rachel

Yes. Let's do this


The other day, I got into an argument on Twitter and, well, I guess you know how that went. The thing about these things is that you never really get them to understand or believe what you believe and they'll never get you to understand or believe what they believe. Very seldom do we change anybody's mind. So show of hands who spends too much time on their phone or computer? Well, my hands raised, and maybe yours is, too for me, it's on the computer. I don't like being on my phone all that much, actually, most of the time, my phone is still plugged in at my nightstand for most of the day.

Unless I go somewhere. The only reason I have a phone at this point is for WhatsApp? It's the application we use down here to communicate and message. And really, that's the only reason I have it is I can't use WhatsApp without having a smartphone. So I have that phone and I use it for that and very seldom. And I'll use it for my sleep and things like that, which we'll talk about in a minute. But I spend very little time on the phone. I spend a great deal of time on the computer now.

Part of that, obviously, is because I work on the computer. My clients are on the computer. My podcast is on the computer. I am recording this on a computer. And so the question that you have to ask yourself is with all the digital time I have for work and the things that I need, am I spending time on there for things I don't really need? And what is that doing to my health and fitness? And maybe just maybe you could do well with a digital detox.

So first, let's talk about why this is a problem. Why what's going on on our computers can be a big problem for us. The first thing I want to talk about is our brain. Now our brain was designed to look for movement. It was designed to look for things that are out of line. And so if you look at the way most of what's going on with social media, you scroll down the page, you see images, you see videos, things that are drawing your attention, and all of that is on purpose.

If we were out in the wherever forest or in the Woods or in a jungle, movement meant that there was something going on. It meant that there was an animal. And we need to know is this animal a predator or food. And so immediately we're drawn, our attention is drawn to it, and we're focused on it, and we're looking at it now. If it's a person, we have to decide, is this a friend or a foe? Because in tribal environments, sometimes people you don't know, the others, they're dangerous.

And so we need to know if there's movement, exactly what's causing that movement. So our brain is naturally drawn to these things, video and audio and all the different things that are going on. So it's very easy to draw our attention to these things. And one thing that happens in the brain that's responsible for making that happen is a dopamine response. So we see something that's interesting. There's a dopamine response. And so getting on Facebook saying, those likes, seeing those shares, seeing everything that's going on, that interaction, that movement, that stuff is all a dopamine hit, and it's easy to get addicted to that dopamine hit and want it more and more.

Which is why people are spending so much more time on social media and social media is getting so much better at getting us in and keeping us. In fact, they want you on their platform every waking hour if they can make that happen. And I kind of think that's what meta is all about for Facebook, but I'll get into that in a minute. The second reason that this is important is it's about distraction and things are happening that really shouldn't be happening, like texting and driving, because again, those dopamine hits are coming from those dings, they're coming from those likes, they're coming from those responses, the comments many people find it very hard to set their phone down and focus on any one task.

So this can be very distracting, which takes away not just from performance, like if you're doing things with work or trying to do homework or things like that, it's quite literally taking your attention away from things that could be problematic, like driving. And then there's the problem of this distraction being basically a time suck. And what I mean by that is, I guess a good example would be I was having a conversation with a friend and she asked me if I was on Treehouse, which is an audio platform where people can get together.

There can be a forum. There can be basically kind of a group person or one person talking at a time. They can bring on guests. And so it's kind of for lack of a better word, an audio chat room. And what I found was that when I got on Treehouse, it was just a time suck. I would sit there listening to various conversations, and they could be interesting. But in reality, they weren't as valuable as I needed them to be. And they were taking me away from things that I needed to be doing.

Facebook has an algorithm that is built to keep you engaged. It's built to keep you on their site, keep you on the platform. And I think the meta thing he's working on, that Zuckerberg is working on over there at Facebook. I think it's going to be just as addictive. It reminds me a lot of Second Life, which was kind of a multiplayer game type of environment that had a lot of promise that's actually still around, but not used nearly as much as it was when it first came out.

I think he's going to basically try to marry those two things together so that the interface is a lot more inclusive, a lot more in. You're going to feel more like you're on in Another World, an automated and augmented world, and it's going to have a lot of the features that Facebook has. And I really think that's going to be kind of a scary, scary thing for a lot of people, particularly if they get sucked in and don't want to come out. So a little dystopian, but it is what it is.

It's a distraction.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.

Organifi is a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant-based nutrition made with high-quality ingredients. Each Organifi blend is science-backed to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic, free of fillers and contain less than 3g of sugar per serving.

In our 24/7 always on world, going without sleep seems to carry a badge of honor. But that’s not how your body sees it. Sleep is when all the wonderful things happen inside your body. Hormones reset, and healing and restoration happens. You know how much better you feel after a good night’s sleep. Getting good quality sleep is a priority for me

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Next is sleep, your computer, your phone. They all put off light and we know that blue light reduces melatonin production and melatonin is the hormone. We need to start feeling sleepy and just go to sleep. And so if you're doing anything that's limiting your melatonin production, you're not going to sleep as well.

And so getting on your computer getting on your phone is going to be a problem. And even if you're using the blue blocker glasses or using the features that now come on computers and phones to change the lighting on your computer. It's still basically going to have some you're not getting back to candlelight and sunsets and all the things that our body was used to. So there's going to be an effect. And then the other side, as we talked about the dopamine hit. But oftentimes if you get onto these platforms and you're dealing with an issue that's political or medical or this or that it's very likely.

And that's how they keep you on the platform, that there's going to be an adrenaline spike. Someone's going to post something. And as I mentioned at the beginning of the show, got on a Twitter site, and then immediately you realize, okay, I'm angry. I'm frustrated. My heart is racing, my head is racing. I'm no way ready to go to sleep. And so these things can be very disruptive to your sleep. And if you're having issues with sleep, the less time you spend on your phone, probably the better.

Finally, is stress. Social media strives on tribalism right now. We've just recently gone through some court cases and very strong polls by political parties on both sides of this thing. And it was just back and forth, back and forth. And you could just see if you followed enough people and you paid enough attention, the disparity, the gap in this tribalism, and what was going on around that and how stressful that was for a lot of people. And the thing about social media is because you're not sitting in a room, having a conversation with someone, it's very easy to dehumanize someone.

So when someone is discussing something with you on Facebook, unless you know them personally, very likely, they have dehumanized you and don't even think of you in the light of the way they would if they were sitting face to face with you. And that's really changed the way people communicate on social media, which can be very stressful because they're going to be amplified considerably amplified. The other thing that happens on social media is that it's seldom based on real life. People will say things, do things, post things that just aren't them.

They're living a life or they're presenting a life that's not real. So we have these filters, and I'm sure you're aware of those where you can make yourself look a little prettier, cut out some lines, do this and that I see some of them. They don't even look human anymore. But they put them out there. And so you see someone and you think, wow, they look so great. What they're doing, look at their skin. They look so great. It might not even be real. Okay. And so stressing yourself out about that can be a problem.

And then the other side is everybody feels like they're an expert. Someone will sit there and post a post. I fell off a ladder. What should I do? And everybody's trying to be their doctor put ice on it. This is bad. It's like go to a doctor, go to go to the emergency room if you need to do not try to self medicate, falling off of the ladder. But people believe they're experts. This is what they did. And that's how it's going to work. And the reality is they're not experts.

And everybody's going to chime in and you're going to hear some people say one thing and some people say another, and some of it is just quite frankly, scary and dangerous. So don't fall for that. Don't be a part of that. If you get on these things and someone's asking for help, you can tell them what your experience was. But first and foremost, get the medical attention that you need. And then there's just the trolls and the bots and the data miners. And so it's just this constant trove of people trying to egg you on, trying to cause issues, trying to get you going and also trying to steal information from you so they can steal money from you.

I just realized that social media could be a great thing, but for the most part, there is a lot more bad out there than there is good. I'm sorry, but it's just how it is. And then the final thing I want to talk about why digital detox is important is because it affects your posture. If you see people who are on their phones a lot, you'll notice, particularly while they're on their phone, their chest is collapsed, their shoulders are rounded forward and their head is craned forward.

So they're in this kind of rounded upper body thing, and most of them because they're spending so much time in that way, they're sticking. They're becoming more like that. They're having some issues with their posture. So here's a test I want you to try either. If you have a flat bench available, it works, or you can do this on the floor. But lay on a flat bench. Just lay on the flat bench and your head and your shoulders and your upper back and your lower back should your butt and your legs should all touch the bench.

There should be a slight curvature to your lower back, but everything else should naturally follow an alignment. And a lot of people you'll notice if you lay down your head doesn't necessarily want to touch that bench. That's an issue where you've been on your computer or on your phone too much. If you don't have a bench, you can do it on the floor. If you're familiar with what a snow angel is, where you lay on your back and you'd raise your arms over your head and you basically move your legs and your arms, making a circle with your arms and making kind of a triangle with your legs.

That's a snow angel. Try that on a flat floor and see how that feels. And for a lot of people, it's a little uncomfortable because your head again doesn't want to touch the floor or your feet don't want to touch the floor. And so you just see that there's some general misalignment of your body when you're trying to lay there flat. We've gotten comfortable with couches and beds and things like that to kind of remedy some of the stuff. But the reality of it is if we just spent less time on our phone, we would have better posture, we'd be taller and we'd feel better and look better.

Okay, so now the disclaimer. It is really cool to have all of the world's information at your fingertips. If you have a question how to do something, you can look it up on Google or YouTube. It saved people probably millions of dollars over time, billions of dollars over time because they're able to do things that they wouldn't otherwise know how to do, because they can look it up and they find a YouTube channel and they figure it out and then they do it themselves and they didn't have to pay somebody to do it.

It's cool to have that information at your fingertips and then being able to watch a movie or a documentary or a TV show when you want to. That's really cool. Some distractions are worth it. And so if you want to watch a good movie, watch a good movie if it's available to you 24/7, and then having access to your favorite music and podcasts, this one included, hopefully, is just one of those great things about having access to digital environments that you wouldn't normally have. If I had to mail you a CD of this episode every week.

It would be problematic for you to be a listener because we'd have to pay for the CD. We'd have to pay for the shipping and all the burning and all of it. Whereas I can post it very cost-effectively, and you have it available on your podcast or your iphone, your Android device, or wherever you listen to podcasts. It's there almost immediately. And that's really cool. And then the ability to connect with people as we're getting into the holidays, you may not be able to visit everybody.

I know last year with Covett, everything was going on. A lot of people weren't visiting or able to visit family members. So we got on Zoom and we spent time with family members doing Zoom calls. And so the ability to send an email, send a text, get on a Zoom call or Facebook FaceTime. All of those are really cool technologies that we should enjoy. And so I'm not saying that you should not have a phone, you should not use it. I'm just saying we should be a little bit more careful about how we're using it and understanding when we're in a toxic usage stage and when we're using it appropriately.

Okay, so now I want to get into a little bit about how we can now make this progress. How can we get away from the toxic aspects of this and get more into the value usage of the phone and the computer and make sure we're finding the right balance for our health and fitness. Okay, the first thing is the self-awareness. So ask yourself this question. How do you feel about your phone if you're disconnected from your phone for 30 minutes? Is that a problem? If you're disconnected from your phone for ten minutes?

Is that a problem? If you feel very uncomfortable about being more than arms, reach away from your phone. Something's going on. If you find yourself on Facebook or checking your email or your text messages 10, 20, 30 times a day, you might want to consider that there's something going on there. Okay, you can do a screen time report on your phone again. When I run them. It shows me using my phone, probably somewhere between six to ten minutes per day, and most of the time that's just for me to set my alarm and turn it back off.

Maybe check out WhatsApp here and there if I'm walking around. But I spend very little time on my phone, I spend an exceptional amount of time on my computer. So doing a screen time report will give you an idea and a measurement criteria to know if you're starting your cutback and doing it right. And then think about the things that you do on Facebook and ask yourself if time was money or health or fitness. Is it worth the investment? Is it worth the time I'm trading the health benefits I could get or the fitness benefits I could get for the time I'm spending on Facebook?

An argument on Twitter is not. So just recognize that there's value to distraction. There's value to the things we're doing. But at the point, we need to do that kind of cost benefit analysis to think of where we're spending the time, because that's going to help you understand what to cut and how to cut.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Unidragon.

As the holidays approach, you might be looking for a unique gift that will entertain and delight. Unidragon has you covered. They make high-quality wooden puzzles. But these aren’t like regular puzzles with the standard style pieces. Their unique design is something I’ve never seen before. They’re works of art.

We all know that as we age, we risk a loss of cognitive strength. But with neuroplasticity, we can train our brain and slow decline. Puzzles do just that. Plus these beautiful puzzles are something you can do with the whole family, be it your significant other or your grandchildren.

Each month, Unidragon comes out with a new design. And most of them have multiple levels of depth and difficulty. These make great gifts, but you might just enjoy buying them for yourself.

I received the medium-sized Playful Parrots puzzle. It came a beautiful wooden box. You should have seen my wife’s eyes light up when she saw it. I fully expect to buy more of the Unidragon puzzles for ourselves and our guests.

You have to check them out at unidragon.com and use the promo code 40plus to get 10% off your order. Gift-giving problem solved. That’s U N I D R A G O N dot COM and 4 0 P L U S for 10% off.

The next stage of this is to set achievable boundaries. Okay, one easy boundary that absolutely everybody should do unless there's an emergency reason or reason you need to have your phone on at night is to put your phone on airplane mode after 09:00 p.m.. That will help you sleep. You can read a book, a paper book, but make sure it's fiction, so it's not going to get you all engaged. And again, pushing up those dopamine levels and getting your brain moving. An enjoyable fiction book reading that in the evening versus being on your phone.

And if your phone's on airplane mode, the dings, the whistles, the pops, those aren't happening. So that Pavlovian Paul to get you back onto Facebook, isn't there? So consider that another easy achievable boundary is to say, I'm not going to have my phone at the table during family meals or at parties. So many times when I leave to go out with my wife, I don't even take my phone. I just leave it because she's got her phone. So if we need to call somebody, we can.

There's nowhere on this Island I can't walk. We're going to be with friends on the island, so it's not like there's anybody else that I need to have a conversation with at that point. So I just don't even take the phone. So sometimes going to dinner, sometimes going out with friends, I just leave my phone at home. I know that's a big step, but taking the step of at least not having your phone at the table during family dinners can go a long way towards having you a lot more present in the moment and a lot less distracted.

And back on Facebook, remember years and years ago when I first started seeing this was going to be a problem. I'm driving down the road and I see this truck with four guys in it and all four of them, including the driver, are looking at their phones. They're texting. And I was like, what's going on and the reality of it is we're not present most of the time. We're not here where we are, most of the time, we're spending a lot of time being somewhere else, and we need to fix that.

So set some boundaries, set some little tricks and things like that where times you're not going to use your phone and start trying to stick to that. And then from there, set a stretch goal. What I mean by that is if I say I'm going to leave my phone on airplane mode from nine on. Then I leave my phone on airplane mode, and then maybe I say as a stretch goal. I know when I get up in the morning I'm going to check emails, but then I'm going to go for my workout, my walk, maybe not taking my phone with me.

Now, I like having a music playing. I like having a podcast, but if I just said once per week or twice per week, I don't take my phone with me, and therefore I listen to everything else. I'm paying attention, I'm doing something else. And so helping to set those little time windows tighten those windows gives me more time off the platform. Now, is that going to detract from my ability to respond to important emails? No. Am I going to do it when I'm expecting an important email?

Probably not, but for the times where I know that it's not critical for me to have my phone for a personal reason or a business reason. But just because I have it, that's a good time to consider putting it on airplane mode and moving on again. We talked about the time suck things. What are the things that you're doing that really aren't adding value to your life and paying attention to those? Because there's this videos button. If you're on Facebook on the browser, there's a button for videos and everyone see it's a red light, and that's just the effect you click on that red button to basically turn it off and it opens up the videos.

And sure enough, here's highlight plays from football games or some crazy street chase or something like that. And before I know it, I've spent 1015 minutes watching that stuff. It just drew me in. Watching an incredible football play to me is really exciting. And so I'm sitting there watching these football plays again, not doing the things I should be doing because they got pulled in so kind of setting some boundaries and some stretch goals about not pushing that button. So I'm not finding myself watching those videos is another great way to have less screen time and get more done.

The next thing is to get back to nature. One of the concepts that I'm really trying to push myself on when I do my walks out is to realize I'm not going to see a sloth. If I'm looking at my phone, they're up in the trees. And so if I'm paying attention to the world around me, I'm likely to see a lot of cool things if I've got my headphones on and I'm listening to a podcast or an audiobook. I'm probably not going to hear the bird song around me, and I might miss something really cool if I'm looking at my phone, I may not see the sloth in the tree that I'm walking past.

So just recognize that if you're out and get yourself out in nature, there's going to be plenty of things to be looking for, the natural things that we usually did look for when we were in nature, living in nature. So just recognize that getting back to nature is going to help. And then one of the cool things is when you can find a place that doesn't have service. We lose service about 5 miles out from town. And since we hit that gravel road, I know I'm about to lose service.

So when we go out to dinner out there, it's like totally cool because nobody has cell phone service. So we're all hanging out talking. So it's a really cool situation. And I think I told you a few weeks ago about doing a camping trip and we were way out of cell phone signal for everybody. So people we talked, we spent more time together as together versus looking at our phones and talking about things. One downside of me not even taking my phone there because I knew that was going to be the case was I didn't get to take some pictures I would have liked to take, but a lot of my friends took some pictures, and that's cool.

But you kind of get the idea. Get out someplace where having your cell phone is less important. And I think you're going to enjoy it a lot more. And then we talked about posture. And so I want to finish up a little bit with that on the houses. If you notice that you have some posture issues. And I kind of gave you that test of laying on a bench, flying on a bench and seeing how that feels, you can also look in the mirror and see if your shoulders are slouched, your chest is collapsed or how your head aligns with your spine.

If you've got some issues there, then go get some work done, go get a massage, go see a physical therapist, and maybe even get a chiropractor to adjust you to start fixing that posture. Now, once you get your posture fixed, then you have to use that and realize, okay, I paid this person money to fix something that I broke. And do I want to go break it again? And the short answer should be no. But hopefully you're not creating a cycle of on the phone all day.

Go to a massage therapist or a chiropractor once a week. Probably not going to work out for you in the long run, financially much cheaper for you to just decide. Okay, I'm not going to spend as much time on my phone, and I'm going to do a lot more to make sure that my posture is better. And so doing the strength training exercises, particularly the physical therapist, would give you or that I could give you will help you make sure you're maintaining good posture and therefore not having those problems that come with being on your phone and on your computer too much.

So in summary, most of us are spending too much time on digital technology. We're not prioritizing our time. And so it's not really aligning with our health and fitness goals. If you're missing workouts, you're saying you don't have time, but you look on your screen time on your phone and you're spending an extra 4 hours per day on your phone. Guess what? You had time. You just prioritized differently, being on Facebook or playing words with friends or whatever the thing is, today was more important to you than your workout.

But was it so I really want you thinking about your best interest and aligning your priorities with that interest. And I don't think social media in the long run is going to be one of those priorities. And then you're looking at it. You see it if it's your posture, if it's your stress levels, if it's your sleep, you know that this is adversely affecting your health and fitness. So it's time for you to start doing something about it. Now. I had Dr. Dela Toro McNeil on not long ago, and he talked about change.

And so to do change to change this because getting away from the toxic digital stuff, you have to want it, you have to believe you can do it. And then you have to make the change. So I talked about that self awareness and putting achievable boundaries in place. And then setting stretch goals. You have to push. You have to make this change because Facebook and all the others, their job, their whole way of life is to keep you on their platform. So it's a battle. It's a battle for your time.

It's a battle for you. And so for you to win the battle, you have to be in charge of you. You have to be the boss of you. So go set good goals and make it happen.

Post Show/Recap

[00:36:53.250] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:36:54.790] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. Boy, did you open a can of worms with the digital world we all get sucked into?

[00:37:02.040] – Allan

We do. Even I do. I raised my hand. I'm just as guilty, I think, as most others, but it's one of those things. And you'll have this conversation with someone. I'll say, okay, how about you go ahead and start doing a little bit of training or you do this. And, like, there's no way they're like, I have these half hour moments in my life that I just scarf down lunch and dinner. But other than that, from six in the morning until twelve at midnight, I'm just go, go, I can never get things done.

[00:37:32.640] – Allan

And I'm like, okay, well, look at your screen time on your phone and how much time did you spend on Facebook and that kind of pause. And it's like, okay, what's your Netflix or Amazon Prime video binging like. And they're like, oh, I only do that on the weekends. I'm like, really? And they're like, okay, I might watch a couple of episodes during the week on a week night. I'm like, okay, how many week nights? Three or four. You're kind of like, okay. So the reality of it is you're spending 5 hours per week per day doing this digital stuff and you don't have time to work out.

[00:38:09.450] – Allan

So that's just a prioritization problem. I don't have time problem.

[00:38:14.790] – Rachel

Yeah. It's amazing how once you open up those apps on your phone, that time just seems to get away. You're scrolling and scrolling and you think you're just looking at it a few minutes here, a few minutes there. But that all adds up really fast. And to be honest, I haven't looked at my screen time. I think I'll have to look at that on my phone once I figure that out. But yeah, it's just so easy to get sucked into that. But you mentioned that the key is to be self aware, to be aware of how much time you're spending online.

[00:38:48.950] – Rachel

Totally important. But also, I think to be aware of what you're using social media for. And every time I hear people bashing it, I kind of just cling to it a little bit because really, social media is the only way I interact with my family. My personal Facebook page, for example, is all about family. I don't have a whole ton of friends on Facebook. I do certainly have a lot of running friends, but really, it's the easiest way for me to see my family on a regular basis because we're all spread out across the United States.

[00:39:20.960] – Rachel

So to spend less time on that part of it, I don't know.

[00:39:26.460] – Allan

Well, there are apps. There are apps that you can set. They're originally probably intended for children because you wouldn't place your child and say, okay, you can be on your phone for 2 hours or 1 hour, and then it lets them have the time the 1 hour. And if you sit down and you put it on your to do list and you know, okay, in the evening after dinner, we finished dinner by 730 from 730 to 830. Okay, I can do the Facebook. I can do those things, and then your phone will turn it off.

[00:39:58.930] – Allan

Now you can obviously go into the settings and delete that app and go back in if you needed to. But there's another app that I use that I think is wonderful. And it's called Social Fixer. And the one I have actually is like an add on extension for Chrome because I do everything on my computer. I don't really do it on the phone. And what it does is it takes your feed and it'll put it in chronological order because Facebook is going to show you everything and keep showing you everything.

[00:40:31.450] – Allan

Every time someone goes to comment on it, every time somebody does something. What this does is it puts every post in chronological order, meaning that if you posted something yesterday, I wouldn't see it unless I scroll down far enough to get through all the posts that happened today. The reason that's valuable is if you're only following people that add value to your life, you're not seeing the same post over and over and over again. And now the new comments and people what people have said and all that stuff if that's not interesting to you.

[00:41:01.880] – Allan

And there's different settings on this thing, like scrolling it. So after it Scrolls like, after 75 posts, it just stops the feed. So it's not an infinite feed. I get down to 75 posts. I realize I've already been on here way too long because I've worked through 75 posts on Facebook. And at that point, I'm like, Is it really worth me going any further to see any more?

[00:41:27.510] – Allan

And it also lets you eliminate certain posts that you don't want to see so you can click on and say you don't want to see any political posts. It does a fairly good job of going through and saying, if someone says something uses like, I hate to say it, but I put the word Biden. I put word Trump in there. If someone puts that in one of their posts, I don't even see it.

[00:41:47.400] – Rachel

Oh, I like that.

[00:41:51.310] – Allan

I can eliminate most of that stuff. And now what I'm seeing is exactly what you said. It's my friends and family, clients, people I care about it's, what they're posting out there. And I'll get out there in the morning, spend a little bit of time. But every day my wife is like, “did you see this post?” No. Sure didn't. I haven't been out there. And I think that's part of it is once you start cutting into that addictive algorithm thing that's going on, then suddenly you just realize it's like, okay, I've seen the post from my mom posted, the ‘rescue the cat' posts, or most of what she does on Facebook.

[00:42:27.610] – Allan

I've seen what my sister posted, and those can go from very good to psychotic. And then I see what my wife posted, and after my daughters and our sons. And after that, I'm kind of like, okay, what's this next layer of time I'm going to invest in doing this. And once you start doing that, it's like, you want to spend less and less time out there.

[00:42:49.230] – Rachel


[00:42:49.790] – Allan

And then what I found is that I can get the messenger app on my computer. And if I want to do, then I just focus on messengers. If I want to see what's going on with my daughter, I message her, “hey, what's going on?” My mom, “what's going on?” I don't have to get on Facebook. It's just like a separate little app, and it's on my desktop. So I'm not even on Facebook. If I need to message and talk to somebody.

[00:43:10.010] – Rachel

Oh, absolutely.

[00:43:11.130] – Allan

If you want to get in touch with me, messenger is probably the best way to do it if you're not on WhatsApp? But those are the two messaging apps that I have open all the time, so I don't have to be on Facebook to do what I do.

[00:43:23.400] – Rachel

That's nice. That's really nice. I think it's important for everybody to take a minute and determine what they want to get out of social media. And like you had mentioned, set a priority as to how much time you want to spend there? And is it really taking into account whether or not it's really worth that time? Are you getting out of it as much as you are thinking you are? Or is it all those constant dopamine hits like you had mentioned the likes and the follows and the shares and all that nonsense.

[00:43:52.210] – Rachel

I think like you had mentioned asking yourself if the digital world is somehow better than the real world and to really determine whether it is or not.

[00:44:07.590] – Allan

Yeah. And unequivocally, it is not.

[00:44:15.470] – Rachel


[00:44:15.470] – Allan

There's no decision there, no real decision. To say you'd rather spend time chatting with people on Facebook than actually sit down with them in person.

[00:44:23.370] – Rachel


[00:44:25.550] – Allan

I get it. You can't be in your pajamas or in your boxers or wearing your comfy clothes if you're going to go out and spend time with your friends and your family, but at the same time, it's not better. It's in no way better.

[00:44:38.740] – Rachel

Well, you mentioned taking a walk and getting back into nature, and I spend a lot of time outside running, and Mike and I do a lot of races outside with our friends, and we don't always get pictures of what we're doing. We don't always post every training run or what's going on, but we do get a lot of value of just being outside. And in fact, on this vacation, I rarely took my phone out.

[00:45:03.390] – Rachel

I just wanted to make sure everything was safe at home with the kids. But other than that, we spent a lot of time out and about, and I didn't even bother looking at my phone, and it was really relaxing. It was just a peaceful, relaxing vacation, and I'm sure that's part of it.

[00:45:19.920] – Allan

Good. All right. Well, I guess, Rachel, that's it for today. I'll talk to you next week.

[00:45:25.890] – Rachel

All right. Take care.


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

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
– Deb Scarlett– John Dachauer– Margaret Bakalian
– Debbie Ralston– Judy Murphy– Melissa Ball
– Eliza Lamb– Tim Alexander

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


November 29, 2021

How to restart your weight loss and fitness journey when you feel stuck

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

From time to time, you might find yourself stuck, flat-footed. Getting restarted seems impossible. On episode 514 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how to restart your weight loss and fitness journey.



This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.

Organifi is a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant based nutrition made with high quality ingredients. Each Organifi blend is science backed to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic, free of fillers and contain less than 3g of sugar per serving. They won’t take you out of ketosis, if that’s your way of eating.

Your body is an amazing organic machine. The food we eat and drink is information for that machine. This includes adaptagens. These are compounds that balance hormones and help you deal with stress in a healthier way. If you’re feeling tired, these compounds give you a boost of energy. If you’re stressed, they help you return to a natural state of calm. They literally help you adapt to the stress of life.

This is why I’m a big fan of Organifi Green juice with essential superfoods and a clinical dose of Ashwaganda. It helps reduce stress and support healthy cortisol levels. It mixes well with water or your beverage of choice and it tastes awesome! This has become a part of my morning ritual.

Organifi offers the best tasting, high quality superfood beverages without breaking the bank. Each serving costs less than $3 per day. Easy, convenient, and cost effective.

Go to www.organifi.com/40plus and use code 40plus for 20% off your order. That's O R G A N I F I dot com forward slash 40plus and use code 40plus  for 20% off any item.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Unidragon.

As the holidays approach, you might be looking for a unique gift that will entertain and delight. Unidragon has you covered. They make high-quality wooden puzzles. But these aren’t like regular puzzles with the standard style pieces. Their unique design is something I’ve never seen before. They’re works of art.

We all know that as we age, we risk a loss of cognitive strength. But with neuroplasticity, we can train our brain and slow decline. Puzzles do just that. Plus these beautiful puzzles are something you can do with the whole family, be it your significant other or your grandchildren.

Each month, Unidragon comes out with a new design. And most of them have multiple levels of depth and difficulty. These make great gifts, but you might just enjoy buying them for yourself.

I received the medium-sized Playful Parrots puzzle. It came a beautiful wooden box. You should have seen my wife’s eyes light up when she saw it. I fully expect to buy more of the Unidragon puzzles for ourselves and our guests.

You have to check them out at unidragon.com and use the promo code 40plus to get 10% off your order. Gift giving problem solved. That’s U N I D R A G O N dot COM and 4 0 P L U S for 10% off.

Let's Say Hello

Rachel was out this week, so we don't have a pre-show hello. She will be back next week.


Every once in a while, you might find yourself flat-footed without intending to. You've stopped moving. In fact, you might be letting some old habits return. Now this is a little different than a plateau. In a plateau, you're still doing the things that were working. They've just stopped working. But now you're standing there flat-footed and maybe not doing everything that you were doing. And it becomes sort of this feeling of inertia. It seems really hard to push forward and you just feel stuck.

So now this term inertia that I'm using is a kind of a term out of motion. It means motion, and it means no motion. So it's Newton's first law, and it basically says an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and an object at rest tends to stay at rest. And you probably feel this when you're in a car. If you hit the brakes in the car, you don't just stop there's. This tendency for the car to go forward a little bit further until it finally comes to a stop.

And the same is true. If you're sitting still, you have to give it a little more gas, a little bit more RPMs revolutions per minute to get the car moving. Now, once it gets up to a cruising speed, the rpm is dropped back down and you find a comfortable thing because you're not trying to accelerate with the gas and you're not trying to decelerate with the brakes. So realize the braking and the accelerating are kind of giving you the concepts of inertia. And then there's just sometimes you just feel like you're just parked.

You may not put your car in park. You may not think you're in park, but you're basically either in neutral sitting there or you're in park. In either case, you're not going anywhere. So I want to talk about today three things that you can do to get moving again to get going again. These are don't wait, start small and then lean into your strengths. So let's start with the first one. Don't wait. So I want to show of hands who's ever said I will start my diet or I will start my workout program on Monday, or I'll start my program on the first of next month.

It's a fairly common thing, and we see people doing it with New Year's resolutions all the time. I'll start my diet on January 1. I'll start getting in shape on January 1. It's a very common thing. So how many days are there between now and then? What you may be doing is not only that you're going to be sitting still for those number of days you might actually be creating inertia because you start moving backwards, and it's the same problem. An object in motion going backwards tends to stay in motion.

So the longer you wait, the less likely you are to be successful waiting till Monday. Waiting till the first never a good strategy. Now, a lot of times we do this because we think we need to go big. We think I'm going to have to completely cut out everything and do everything at once and that holds us back. That puts that procrastination in there because we want to steal ourselves and it will be easier for me to steal myself on Monday and do this. It will be easier for me to motivate myself over the weekend and through the rest of the month and then start on the first.

We approach them that way because we think we need this huge change, which takes me to the second point.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.

Organifi is a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant based nutrition made with high quality ingredients. Each Organifi blend is science backed to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic, free of fillers and contain less than 3g of sugar per serving.

In our 24/7 always on world, going without sleep seems to carry a badge of honor. But that’s not how your body sees it. Sleep is when all the wonderful things happen inside your body. Hormones reset, and healing and restoration happens. You know how much better you feel after a good night’s sleep. Getting good quality sleep is a priority for me

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Organifi offers the best tasting, high quality superfood beverages without breaking the bank. Each serving costs less than $3 per day. Easy, convenient, and cost effective.

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Okay. The same works for rock slides. One single rock moves and that one single rock starts the rock slide. That can be huge. So which rock is it for you? What is one small thing that you can do today? Or better yet, right now that will get things moving. Perhaps you just need to stand up and walk around for a few minutes right now. If you can do it, you're listening to this and you're not already moving. Consider it. Stand up and walk around. It's one small thing.

Maybe you can get yourself a glass of water next time you want to go for a soft drink. So you go to the machine. You're like, I should really just get a glass of water and you get a glass of water and you cut out one small thing, that's soft drink, which was probably 39 grams of sugar and calories you didn't need because they're not nutritious. They're not helping you. Or maybe when you go out instead of going out to eat or getting your lunch, you can pick up at the grocery store.

So you give them a call and say, okay, I want to order a rotisserie chicken, some veggies, a prerossed salad. And rather than doing pizza night or calling a restaurant or going to a restaurant, I'm going to go buy the grocery store and pick up those things. And that's going to be our dinner. This is not like you're trying to completely change the world at once. You're just trying to make one small movement. That small movement, though, creates the next movement. That glass of water becomes the habit of drinking enough water every day where you stay hydrated and you're not always maybe confusing thirst with hunger.

Perhaps that getting up and walking around gets you more comfortable to say, I can walk a lot more while I'm trying to do other things like listen to a podcast or take a phone call or whatever, and then the picking the food and saying, no, I'm not going to go to the restaurant because it's easy because I didn't do what I needed to do. I'm going to go do a better choice. When I go in, I'm going to go to the deli. I'm going to find better food.

I'm going to go to the produce section, find better food, and I'm going to make better decisions as I go so that I'm not backtracking so that I'm not stuck. So it's this little small thing that can get the ball rolling or the rock sliding that's going to have a big payoff later. So look for the little things just to get the ball rolling later on. You can take that big leap of your big rocks and say, okay, now we're moving now. I can take on a big rock.

Okay. And then the third thing that I want to talk about here is leaning into your strengths. Most of us have this idea that improving our health and fitness involves eliminating something. I have to get rid of sweets. I have to get rid of soft drinks. I have to stop my sedentary lifestyle and not be watching Netflix all the time and doing those other things. And I'm not going to say that can't be a part of your solution. But if you're finding yourself flat footed, that might not be the best strategy.

The easiest and quickest way to get things moving is to do something you know you can do and that you enjoy. So it's a strength and maybe even a superpower, because if you know you enjoy walking and you can do it, just blocking out a little bit of time each day to take a short walk. Okay. We talked about in Tip two something little. It can be a short walk, but just something to get you started. And if you enjoy it all the better. Another example is maybe you enjoy dancing.

And so you say, okay, I really enjoy dancing, but I don't want to go out to the clubs and bars or whatever and do the dancing there, because then there's the alcohol and the friends and everything else. So maybe you go ahead and take a dance class so you can learn more complex techniques in your two step. I don't know. Or you just find some fitness class, like maybe a Zumba class or something like that that incorporates dance and music and you're moving. And so you know, you enjoy it.

You know, you're going to enjoy doing it and you're getting the fitness benefits, the health benefits of doing something or then another one. And this one fits me to a tea. Is I really like cooking. I like cooking big meals. I like cooking things and putting them together. So just sitting down and having a batch cooking session, invite a friend over, say, okay, look, you bring park the groceries, I bring park the groceries. We do a huge batch cooking together. You take half of it, I take half of it, and we've got meals for days.

Okay. It's tying into something that you enjoy, it's tying into something you're good at, it's tying into something that you know you can do. And so it's a strength, maybe even a superpower. And you're just going to lean into that.


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So I know this is a relatively short episode, but this is not a hard thing.

If you can get your mindset around it is that being stuck doesn't mean you're always stuck. Notice that Newton didn't say an object at rest can never be moved, or an object moving can never be stopped. It's just a function that it feels harder. There's an inertia. There's something pulling it or keeping it. And so what you can do within your power today is one start, two, start small, and three start with something. Do something that you enjoy and that you're good at because it'll be easier.

All those little, easy things gets the first rock going, gets the little bit going. And so if you find yourself flat-footed, you've lost your momentum. You feel like you're standing up. Don't beat yourself up. We all get into this place. This happens to every one of us. Every one of us will find ourselves at one point or another, not making the progress that we think we should make. And when we really are honest with ourselves, we know we're not putting in the same effort the same time, the same everything we were doing before we've let some things creep back in, and that's what slowed us down.

That's what eventually left us in this flat footed place. So don't beat yourself up. But know that this is within your power to stop, to start, not stop because you did stop. Let's start. Don't wait. Start small and lean into your strengths. Find something that will get you jumpstarted. Just that one little thing. Do it. Do it now and enjoy it. And that's going to be the thing that gets things rolling. Once you get them rolling, it's easier to keep them rolling. And that's what you do next.

But the first step is the first little rock. Just get it going.

Post Show/Recap

[00:18:30.090] – Allan

Hey, Raz.

[00:18:31.180] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. I really feel the inertia a lot, because sometimes it is hard to get going. And I've been stuck at a plateau. I feel like I've spun my wheels. It's just hard to make a pivot to get moving again. I really feel for people that have this issue.

[00:18:53.730] – Allan

Yeah. And I do want to go back and just kind of delineate the difference between a plateau because the plateau is hugely frustrating because you're saying I was eating this, my TEE says this and that and I'm logging everything and I'm measuring everything. And I'm doing the exercise and every day the numbers on the computer, the app I'm using are saying I should be losing 1 pound a week and I get to the end of the week and I didn't lose anything. And then I got to the end of the next week and I didn't lose anything and you're like, but I'm doing everything right.

[00:19:30.310] – Allan

And it was working so well. And now it's not. And that's just homeostasis. That's just our bodies adapting to what we're doing. So that's a very different thing to be hugely frustrating. And I've talked about plateaus before, so you can go back and you can kind of search and see if there's some shows there. Obviously, I will keep talking about plateaus because we all face them.

[00:19:54.400] – Allan

This is something slightly different. This is where you kind of just get a funk and, you know, you let up, you know, you're not putting on the gas as we talked to Delatoro. You know, you put the car in park or maybe now even into reverse. And so as you're making these decisions and you're doing these things now you have a harder start because you've put yourself in a stopped position.

[00:20:24.160] – Rachel

Yeah. Well, it's hard not to give up. It's hard not to see that progress and get so frustrated that you just what else are you going to do? Obviously, it is what it is and you just want to quit. But it's important that you don't. And it's important that you keep trying and do something different.

[00:20:44.830] – Rachel

But like the three tips that you offered to get out of this funk and to get out of this stopped/parked space. I think the first one is don't wait like you had mentioned. And don't wait till January 1 or Monday, but just do something get started somehow.

[00:21:02.150] – Allan

Yeah. I mean, this episode comes out on a Monday. This episode comes out on Monday 29th. If you're going to wait until Monday, that's a whole week if you're going to wait until January 1, that's 33 days.

[00:21:15.310] – Rachel


[00:21:16.060] – Allan

If you're listing this on the Monday it came out. And so you're just going to give away a month now if you think about it. Yeah. We have 70 years, maybe on average or maybe 80 years on average on this Earth. And then there's twelve times that. So it seems like a lot of months. But the distance between you right now and that 80 years is not that far, not as far, times twelve still seems like a relatively big number. But why give away an entire month?

[00:21:50.010] – Allan

Start something now and the easiest way to start something now is based on the other two tips of something small.

[00:21:57.770] – Rachel

Yes. Like you had mentioned replacing one glass of pop with a glass of water. I mean, you don't have to throw out your whole pantry.


I didn't call it pop, but…

[00:22:14.350] – Rachel

I'm a pop girl. So we stayed up here in Michigan. But if you just make that one change, some people just want to go cold turkey, throw out all the junk food out of the pantry in the refrigerator, which breaks my financial heart a little bit. But instead of just going cold turkey and just revamping everything and making it such a drastic situation, just start with one thing. I think baby steps are far more effective than going cold turkey and making some drastic change.

[00:22:45.570] – Allan

Yeah. And those little habits stack pretty quickly, you realize? Okay. I went a couple of days without my Pepsi or without my Coke or Mountain Dew or Doctor Pepper or whatever. Your thing is a monster drink.

[00:23:02.110] – Rachel

No. Please don't.

[00:23:04.810] – Allan

So you do without that, you cut out 39 grams of sugar or maybe more per day. That's a big deal. And if you're drinking more than one and now you're drinking none, that's even bigger. And so you start moving down that trail, and then the next step is like, okay, what else? And that's where, again, leaning into something you're really strong at.

[00:23:35.120] – Allan

It's like, I really like playing tennis. Now, maybe at this point, you don't feel confident that you can go get on the tennis court and play. But you could get your tennis racket out and you could go and typically by tennis courts they have the practice walls with the line straw on the concrete. And you literally just sit there and just take the racket, take the ball and just start hitting the ball and jogging around a little bit, hitting the ball and just get into the act of moving. And it feels good. And it's something you love and it's coming back.

[00:24:07.740] – Allan

And now, you know, okay. If I can build up my stamina, then I'm going to be able to get back on the court. If I build up some strength, I'm going to get better. If I build up my speed, I'm going to get even better. If I help build my agility, I'm going to be able to play this sport. And you see it. You go out there and it's like a lot of younger people do play singles. And then some of the older people I noticed they tend to move to doubles or mixed doubles. And then as they get a little bit older, there's pickleball. So I've never played pickleball.

[00:24:42.250] – Rachel

I haven't either. But it does look very fun.

[00:24:44.970] – Allan

Yeah. And it was sort of when I was a kid, they had a golf team on the high school. And it's like, Why would I play an old man sport? Because to me, golf was an old man sport. When I was in high school, I'm like, I'm going to play football, baseball, whatever, and run track and tennis. And so I felt like I'm going to play these more aggressive sports. And then, yeah, now if we had a golf course, I would probably be playing a lot of golf.

[00:25:11.530] – Allan

But it's just one of those things of saying if there's something you really enjoy doing, you might not be doing it at the level you did 20 years ago, but doesn't mean you can't do it at some level, right? Even again, if it's just going out there and doing some practice serves and hitting the ball against the wall and just getting out and being active. Doing something you really enjoy doin

[00:25:35.770] – Rachel

That's exactly it you hit it right on the nose is finding what you love to do and embracing that and finding ways to do it. You had mentioned dancing and cooking, and I know that at my local YMCA, there are drop in classes where you could just take some yoga class or a cardio kickboxing class or something crazy.

[00:25:57.870] – Rachel

Why not try something new? Why not try something you've never done before because you might like it. And then on the other days, you had mentioned walking, if all you do is walk around your block, make it two times around the block or take a walking trip up to the grocery store or the coffee shop like I like to do almost every day.

[00:26:16.990] – Rachel

But as long as you're out moving, that is such a huge thing. And if you start moving now, you're 30 days or so ahead of the game, when New Year's resolutions roll around.

[00:26:28.750] – Allan

And if you're just not feeling it because there's a reason why you probably feel this inertia, there's a reason why you got held back. And now you're in park and to get past that is sometimes as a mental game, but just say, give it five minutes, put on your tennis shoes, put on some comfortable clothes, get out there and just go for five minutes. After five minutes, you're not feeling it. Then come back, shower and you're done even if you didn't bother to sweat. But shower and move on.

[00:27:00.760] – Allan

But most people will find five minutes is easily ten minutes is easily 15. And then you feel like you've actually accomplished something. And then the next day it's easy 15, and then it's 20. Then it's 30, and then you're out 45 minutes, and that's kind of the allotted time you have. So now you're walking a little bit further, a little bit faster. And those are the kind of things that snowball, the rock slide. It's just to get something small going, even if it's just the five minutes, walking is easy. Do it someplace that you love. So you're kind of doing all three.

[00:27:34.500] – Allan

You're not doing it. Now you're doing something small and you're doing something you enjoy, and that just builds on itself.

[00:27:40.960] – Rachel

I think that's absolutely perfect. Those are great tips.

[00:27:44.650] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, I will see you and everybody else next week.

[00:27:49.640] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:27:50.690] – Allan

You too.


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

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
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Another episode you may enjoy


November 22, 2021

How to survive potluck/group meals without blowing your weight loss effort

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On this episode, I share strategies to survive potluck/group meals without blowing your weight loss effort.



This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.

Organifi is a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant based nutrition made with high quality ingredients. Each Organifi blend is science backed to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic, free of fillers and contain less than 3g of sugar per serving. They won’t take you out of ketosis, if that’s your way of eating.

Your body is an amazing organic machine. The food we eat and drink is information for that machine. This includes adaptagens. These are compounds that balance hormones and help you deal with stress in a healthier way. If you’re feeling tired, these compounds give you a boost of energy. If you’re stressed, they help you return to a natural state of calm. They literally help you adapt to the stress of life.

This is why I’m a big fan of Organifi Green juice with essential superfoods and a clinical dose of Ashwaganda. It helps reduce stress and support healthy cortisol levels. It mixes well with water or your beverage of choice and it tastes awesome! This has become a part of my morning ritual.

Organifi offers the best tasting, high quality superfood beverages without breaking the bank. Each serving costs less than $3 per day. Easy, convenient, and cost effective.

Go to www.organifi.com/40plus and use code 40plus for 20% off your order. That's O R G A N I F I dot com forward slash 40plus and use code 40plus  for 20% off any item.

Let's Say Hello

[00:03:18.790] – Allan
Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:03:20.570] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:22.810] – Allan
I'm doing pretty good. We've worked through kind of our first major holiday season here in Panama. Tomorrow is also a holiday here. They have three independence days in Panama because they're Spanish influence when they were under Spain as a part of Colombia. And then Colombia got away from Spain. And then with a little bit of assistance from the United States, Panama was broken off from Colombia. So they call independence from Columbia. And then now they had the third one, which is independence from the United States. When President Carter gave over the Panama Canal, we were occupying the canal zone for most of the time.

[00:04:12.470] – Allan
That canal existed because we came down and created the country and dug it. But then the United States pulls out about the time that Carter was in office. They also do an independent state for that. The biggest one they have is they do Spain, and then they do Columbia. Those are the big ones. But from a true independence and their own country and their own revenue and everything, this last one is really where they're now. Okay. You're on your own. And they've done well with the canal.

[00:04:48.650] – Allan
They redeveloped a lot of the areas where the military bases were and so pretty cool deal. We've had all these holidays and we've had different people in, like, really different people in. And so it's just been kind of this interesting moment. And then Tammy got sick just after that, just after the holiday, she got sick. And so now it's like, okay, I have to run the place. I have to check people in. I have to check out. It's like, okay. But that said it's nice because it's not like I have to be on 24/7 people understand, it's a bed and breakfast and not a hotel where you go down to the front desk at 03:00 in the morning and ask for something, so far.

[00:05:38.290] – Allan
But it is kind of a little hectic just checking doing the things you do to run a six room bed and breakfast and do the podcast and do my online training and own the gym. So there's a lot of moving parts in my life right now, but I'm pretty excited about all of it as we go into this final season of the year. And so, yeah, I'm happy where we're going, but it's a lot of work. But we're now making it. And we're actually seeing income from a bed and breakfast, which is so exciting.

[00:06:11.810] – Rachel
I love that. That's wonderful. I'm very happy for you. I hope Tammy feels better soon, but that's so exciting to see your bed and breakfast getting right off the ground.

[00:06:21.390] – Allan
Yeah. So I did the accounting. I'm the accountant, too.

[00:06:26.560] – Rachel

[00:06:28.450] – Allan
And the bellboy, sometimes front desk staff and sometimes maintenance and whatever needs to get done. But yeah. So she had a horrible October because we were right at the beginning. We opened the middle of October, which we're buying all this food in anticipation of all the people that are checking in the first week of November. And then we had one room night in October, 1 night in October. But one room, one night that we had someone booked. And then after that, it's like, okay, now we've got bookings.

[00:07:05.760] – Allan
Now we've got this and people coming in and people walking up like, just before recording. So it's good. It's really good.

[00:07:14.720] – Rachel
That's fantastic. I'm so glad to hear that.

[00:07:17.400] – Allan
So how are things up there?

[00:07:18.810] – Rachel
Oh, good. I'm in the middle of packing my suitcase, so I'm pretty excited. In a couple of days, I'll be heading down to Pensacola Beach, even though it's not super hot down there. I'm actually going to be leaving Michigan at our first snow. So I'm kind of a little sad that I'm going to miss the first snow, but not that sad.

[00:07:41.210] – Allan
But, you know, the first snow is never the best snow.

[00:07:43.920] – Rachel

[00:07:44.880] – Allan
Because if it comes and then it warms up that day and then it's flushing, it's gone. You're like, okay, what's pretty now it's just black and ugly. It's just dirty and ugly. And it's like, so we need a good freeze coating on the ground and then it sticks, and then we're good. That's the kind of snow you want. So you'll come back to that.

[00:08:03.140] – Rachel
I'll come back to that probably. Yeah. I think you're expecting about three inches of snow when I leave, so I need to go find my snow shovel for the kids.

[00:08:14.130] – Allan
Put them to work.

[00:08:15.130] – Rachel

[00:08:16.060] – Allan
Got to keep it clean if you want me to come back.

[00:08:18.400] – Rachel
That's right.

[00:08:19.200] – Allan
Yeah. I saw Mike was already down in Pace, so I guess you're headed down there, which is nice.

[00:08:25.860] – Rachel
Yeah. He's actually working this week. And then next week we both get to take a vacation. So I'm pretty excited.

[00:08:31.540] – Allan
Yeah. Good. We'll tell everybody down there we miss them.

[00:08:34.790] – Rachel

[00:08:36.090] – Allan
All right. So let's go ahead and have this conversation about how to deal with these holidays we're taking.

[00:08:42.410] – Rachel


How to survive potluck/group meals without blowing your weight loss effort.

Did you know it's eating season? Yeah, it sure is. As we approach Thanksgiving in the United States, and there's a lot of eating seasons that are coming up. A lot of eating events, I might say, as we go into this New Year and isn't going towards the new year, this is eating season. There's no other way around it.

And so where we're going to find ourselves is going to office potlucks extended family meals. Or in my case, there's a group of us friends here in Bocas that are going to get together. Tammy ordered the Turkey. I'm pretty sure I'll be cooking it, which I enjoy doing. I actually really do enjoy cooking a Turkey. So I'll be making the Turkey, and I'll probably be carrying some other things but otherwise it's pretty much potluck, which means everybody's going to be bringing different things. And I can pretty much guarantee you that most of the things that are going to be around there, including beer and wine and everything else, are not really going to fit my plan.

If I want to stay on track of cutting some body weight as I go towards the upcoming events that I have. So if you're on a weight loss journey right now and you're facing eating season, you need a plan I'm going to share with you a few of the cool things or things I think of when I'm looking at an event like this or looking at the season like this and what I'll do. And I hope that you'll do as you go into it. So as we get ready to go into this process, there's a few things that we want to do now.

The first one is, do you want to make this a full detour? Do you want to go completely off plan and say, okay, it's fine. I'm on holiday. It's a holiday. I'm going to a holiday event. I'm going to eat Aunt Martha's cookies. I'm going to do this. I'm going to eat that, and I'm not going to care about it. And if you do, I'm going to say, Please enjoy it. Enjoy the crap out of it. Enjoy it. And we'll talk about that in more detail later.

The second one is if you decide you're not going on a full detour, you're going to have to do some planning, and that means you've got to know how you're going to approach that and what you're going to be doing and maybe some of your rules. And obviously, then with rules, there's structure. So you're going to have to set a structure for how you do things. And there are different ways that you can make these events easier to manage. And then finally, I want to talk to you about how we can take and make distractions that will keep us from potentially overeating mindlessly.

Okay. And so I'm going to talk about each of those three things if you decide this is not a full detour. But let's talk about the full detour first. Now, most of the time you're doing these things, they're not just events where you don't care about the people that are there. You're either doing this with the work colleagues, you're doing this with friends, you're doing this with family. And so these are social connections. And social connections are really important in the studying of the blue zones, which are the areas where people tend to live the longest.

They've noticed a common core component that those individuals have very strong social bonds. If you're going to live a long time, you do that because you've got connection. So realize that these events, these meals are a part of that social connection. And we see this in a lot of different things. But probably the best way I can articulate. It would be in the breaking of bread. We break bread with people we're close to, and that's kind of a symbolic we're together as a family. We're together as friends.

And that's a connection. Now the other thing to think about as you go into this, because whether you make a full detour or not is, as I mentioned, if Martha gets upset, if you don't eat her cookies, then are you really ready to go in and have that conversation? Or if you're on a certain way of eating, let's say you're going low carb and you're there and you're going to spend most of the day explaining to your family how you're not going to have a heart attack.

That's not going to be an enjoyable environment. Sometimes it's not worth going in and having this argument because you're now avoiding 99% of the food that's there. But if you're ready to do that, then that's cool. But if you want to go on the full detour, you kind of eliminate that because you can have a little bit of all these things. And while you might not be on plan, at least you know you're not on plan and you've made the conscious decision beforehand to do that.

So this is not just some random thing you knew going in, you were going on full detour and you're going to enjoy it. And then the final bit is when you go on a full detour. Now it completely removes all the guilt and all the stress out of all this, at least from a food perspective, because you can go in and basically not care what you eat. You maybe don't even care how much you eat. So those concepts are really important. If you want to really enjoy this meal, really enjoy this time, but pick your battles.

You can't do this every week, every time or you're going to slide. You're going to slide during the season. So I would just say if you're going to go into eating season, you're going to go into a potluck particularly, and you're going to just go full bore and make it a detour. Number one, enjoy it. But number two, just realize that you are off plan. You're going to have to get back on the road as quickly as you possibly can.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.

Organifi is a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant based nutrition made with high quality ingredients. Each Organifi blend is science backed to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic, free of fillers and contain less than 3g of sugar per serving.

In our 24/7 always on world, going without sleep seems to carry a badge of honor. But that’s not how your body sees it. Sleep is when all the wonderful things happen inside your body. Hormones reset, and healing and restoration happens. You know how much better you feel after a good night’s sleep. Getting good quality sleep is a priority for me

This is why I’m a big fan of Organifi Gold juice with ingredients like Tumeric, Reishi Mushroom, and ginger, it’s designed to support rest, relaxation, recovery, and repair. It’s a delicious and nutritious warm, golden tea. I use water, but you can also use milk or a milk alternative. This has become a part of my evening wind-down.

Organifi offers the best tasting, high quality superfood beverages without breaking the bank. Each serving costs less than $3 per day. Easy, convenient, and cost effective.

Go to www.organifi.com/40plus and use code 40plus for 20% off your order. That's O R G A N I F I dot com forward slash 40plus and use code 40plus  for 20% off any item.

Now, let's say you decide. No, I'm not going to make this a full detour, but I might want to do something a little bit different, so maybe a little bit of both. Eat your cake and have it, too. My first thing about planning and this is where we're going to go next, because when you go into one of these events, if you don't have a plan, you're going to struggle because you're going to see foods that you want.

You're going to see foods that you just have almost an urge for now that you've seen them and smelled them and tasted or maybe tasted them. Now you're going to want more. So as you go in, one of the things to consider is that the food that's there is maybe not always yours. So if you're going to bring the food, if you're part of the structure of bringing food like for a potluck, bring real food dishes, focus on protein and vegetables. And if you really want to get meticulous about this and do it right, I would encourage you to bring both.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm bringing the Turkey. I'm also probably going to bring some vegetables. Okay, so I'll bring the Turkey. I'll probably bring some vegetables. I don't think I could get my hands on some cranberry, so I won't be able to make cranberry sauce. But I'm going to go in and make at least the protein and the vegetables. So I have that readily available as a fallback to bulk up my plate to fill my plate with the foods that I know I can and should eat versus other foods that might be there.

I don't want to get myself stuck with what's there because I brought a bad dish. They brought bad dishes, that's all there is. So if you can and you're part of this, providing the food, bring real food dishes. You can still make them taste great. People love my Turkey. They may not eat my vegetables, but that's neither here nor there, which brings me up to my next point. Be prepared to bring home leftovers a lot of times. If you're bringing steamed vegetables. A lot of people are just going to walk right past them.

But if you brought steamed vegetables with a side of, say, a cheese sauce that they could pour over it, then they might do it. But if they don't just be prepared and realize you might be bringing some of your food back home. And that should be totally cool to you. Be prepared for that. Don't get yourself emotionally involved in your dish. They didn't like my steamed broccoli. I wonder why. You know why that's not what they eat on a day to day basis. And it's not the kind of crazy food they want for the holiday.

So it's not going to fit what they want. And so just realize, fine, you had the food you wanted to have and you had it there. And that's cool when you upset a few people as possible. And that's why I talk about why you might want to consider this a full detour. But if you want to make it a partial detour, bring some of your own. Bring your own protein, bring some of your own vegetables and go that way. Another thing of planning you can do if you just don't want to eat too much or eat too much of that stuff is to eat a little before you go.

Okay, so having a small, healthy meal before you get there means you're not going to arrive at what's basically a buffet potluck. You're not going to arrive there hungry and have the tendency to overload your plate. They tell you not to shop when you're hungry, and I'll tell you not to go to a potluck when you're hungry because you will overeat you can't help it. And then the final thing I'll say is this is make sure you're hydrated, so drink plenty of water, make sure you get your electrolytes, make sure you're hydrated going into it, because again, thirst can feel like hunger.

And if you go in hungry, you're probably going to overeat. So three things I'd say under planning is if you can and you're part of the food, bring healthier options that are made from real food. They can still be delicious. They can still be great, but make them out of real food. Second is to eat before you go, if that makes sense so that you don't arrive super hungry. And then three, make sure you're hydrated. If you'll do those things, you can get through the basis of setting up to go through your potluck without really having a hold back, you're in a good position.

Now, the second stage of this is to have a structure. So structure basically means that as you go through it, you have kind of a set of rules. And the first rule I'd say, is if there's different size plates because a lot of times you're at a family meeting and yeah, they got multiple sets of plates out. Go with a smaller plate, a smaller plate, you fill a smaller plate, you're going to get adequate number of protein. And we're going to talk about that in a minute, adequate amount of food and it's going to be on a smaller plate.

It'll feel like you're eating more. Okay, beyond the smaller plate as you approach the buffet or you approach the potlot, focus on the protein first. I've noticed when I go into a buffet, particularly that they tend to put the salad and vegetables first and they put the protein on the back. They do that from a cost perspective. They know that if you load your plate up with this other stuff, by the time you get to the meat, you're not going to use much of it. And I'm going to tell you to do that completely backwards.

And this is not about saving money or costing money. It's a function of the protein is going to serve you better. You're going to be better satiated and you're going to eat less. So focus on the protein. Now, a few things I'll tell you about that a portion of protein is about the size of your palm. Okay, so getting one or two of those on your plate first is key better if it's not souped up and gravy or a whole lot of other stuff. But basically making sure you have two types of one or two servings of protein.

And if it's baked, broiled or grilled even better. But focus on that first. So in the case of a Thanksgiving thing, go for the Turkey, and it can be the dark meat or the light meat doesn't matter. But go after that first. Okay, then go over vegetables and look for vegetables again that are not in casseroles and all this other creamy stuff with the little onion stuff on top. Avoid that kind of stuff. Focus on the vegetables that are well prepared and you know them, you see them.

So go for the protein, then the vegetables. And then if you're going to get some of the other stuff, maybe a dessert or maybe a little of this or a little bit of that. Just get a little bit. You don't need to load your plate up with a full serving of those things. So if you can take a partial serving, do that. So if you want a little bit of Aunt Martha's cookie, break the cookie in half and have half of it. If you want to go in for some of those creamy things, we talked about the casseroles and this and that and the other or this fruit salad or that or this dessert or that this pie that get a little piece, take a part of the piece, put that on your plate and then take your time and savor it.

We're going to talk about that in a minute. Okay. The second structure to this or third structure, I guess now is to eat slow. Okay. Eating slow by maybe putting your fork down between each bite. Having conversations with people where you're not eating during the conversation or during the talk can go a long way towards slowing you down and letting your body's natural satiety kick in to a point where you know that you're full and then you don't necessarily have to feel compelled to eat the whole plate of food.

You eat what you want to eat and then you stop. So if you feel like you're getting full, it's easier to stop, but you have to eat slow to make that happen. Also during the evening, during the day, whenever make sure you're drinking water. Okay. Yeah, you might have a beer, you might have some wine, you might have something else, but make sure you're also drinking water that will slow down everything. It'll make you feel Fuller. It'll help with the hydration so you won't feel any hungrier and it'll slow down your drinking.

So make sure you're drinking plenty of water during this. And then after you do your first round dump your plate, you're done. Most of us are not going to need a second or third or fourth serving because that's not going to serve us. We got what we needed from the first plate, we got our protein, we got our vegetables and a little bit of everything else that we wanted to taste, and now we're done. So throw your plate away so you avoid seconds and more and then move away from the food.

The closer you are to the food, the more likely you're going to be compelled to go again. So move away from the food, particularly if it's food that's going to tempt you. So if you happen to be sitting close to the dessert and that's your thing, your sweet tooth sitting there is not going to help you. It's not going to serve you. As you watch people walking up to that table, it's going to keep your attention on that, and you're eventually going to want to stand up and have some yourself. So move away from the food.


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And that takes us to kind of the final bit of this is use this event because again, you're with people and you're doing things, use it and find distractions.

Okay. So one of the things you can do is as soon as you finish eating, move away from the food and start visiting with people who are also not eating. So if they're past eating and they're moving on, you move on and you go over there and start having conversations with them that will get you away from the food, away from the temptation and keep you a little distracted. Consider other things like invite someone to go on a short walk with you. There's a study and I'll share this in the notes for this podcast that going for short walks after you eat helps moderate your blood sugar, so you can just tell someone it's like I read that going for a short walk ten to 15 minutes after I eat helps regulate blood sugar.

How about we go for a short walk and they may go with you? They may say no, but try to go for a short walk that's definitely going to help you. And if someone can go with you all the better. And then while you're taking that walk, if they decide to go with you, talk about things that both of you enjoy. Try to avoid the such and such as this disease and such and such as in the hospital and those types of things. Talk about things that bring you joy, the new grandchild that's in the family, the promotion that someone got, the great event that you had last year and how much this one's bigger and better.

Talk about things that bring you joy, because that's going to give you little shots of dopamine and dopamine is the exact same neurotransmitter that we get when we eat sweets. We eat foods that are kind of addictive. It's a dopamine hit. We're addicted to dopamine. We're not addicted to the food. So if you can do things that are going to provide the dopamine, you're going to have a much better event, a much better time and you're going to get your little dopamine hits. So you're not missing the dessert nearly as much.

So do things to distract yourself. Another great distraction is to do a game or a puzzle. I just got a new sponsor. I think they're going to come up in a couple of weeks. Well, I guess a few weeks, but they do puzzles. They make puzzles. And I just think that's great to sit down with people and start working on a puzzle and you're not so distracted. You can't have a conversation. But you're distracted enough. You're probably not thinking about the food that's sitting somewhere else in a building.

My wife, Tammy, what she likes to do at these events is she'll take and she'll take money and like lottery scratch off cards and then other little prizes and things like that. And she'll wrap it up in that plastic wrap, like Saran wrap. Okay, here's a little pro tip. If you're going to do this when I get done is cut those into three or four foot sections. Okay. So when you cut it, they have to keep finding the edge. But anyway, what you do is you take the stuff and you start making a ball and you roll it all in there.

So you put a little bit of prize and you roll it a little bit. Then you put maybe a dollar bill or something. Roll a little bit, put a scratch off ticket, roll a little bit, and you make this big, big plastic little ball with all these prizes in it. And someone looking at the plastic ball can see there's money in it. There's scratch off tickets, there's other stuff. So the way the game is played works like this. Okay. One person gets the prize ball, and the way I like to do is we take the youngest person gets to start with the price ball.

First, give it to the youngest person, and then the person to their immediate left gets two dice. You say, go, and the person who has the ball starts to try to find edges to open it up. Now you can't tear it. You have to actually find a true edge to start rolling it off that ball. The person with the dice starts rolling the dice. As soon as the person that rolls the dice gets doubles, meaning two of the same on the dice. Then the person that's unrolling has to stop and then you pass it over.

The person who's rolling the dice now gets the ball and the person with the dice passes the dice to their immediate left and you repeat the process until the ball is finished. And so what's cool about this is people are watching. They're seeing people win prizes. It's kind of a cool thing when someone realizes, OK, dollar bills came out or $5 bill or a lottery ticket or something like that. And you can decide how much you want to invest in making this kind of a better game or some more valuable game for the people playing.

But everybody starts watching this because it's just kind of exciting to watch someone who's under the time pressure trying to unroll this Saran wrap plastic wrap ball to win prizes while someone else is trying to frantically roll doubles because they want the ball next. And so it's kind of a cool dynamic. Tammy does those games at most of our Christmas parties and things like that, but she loves doing that. She loves putting it together. And it's just a good distraction when the food is done. When you're done with the food is to kind of start that process of having some distractions, a puzzle, a game, something that's going to keep people energized, something you enjoy again, the enjoyment and the joy with people.

It gives you the dopamine hit that you would have gotten from sugar and other things that you probably shouldn't be eating if you're trying to stay on plan with your weight loss goals. So we talked about a lot today, but I want to kind of just roll this up into one little thing when we go into a potluck or a family dinner or a group dinner or whatnot. These are not surprises. We almost always know these are coming up. They're on our calendar. Sometimes we're traveling to go to to these things.

So when you know it's coming up, then, you know, to get ready for it. So you have to have the plan. You have to make the decision. Ok. Is this going to be a detour, or do I need to prepare for something that's coming up on the road? If I need to prepare for something, then yes, it's planning and structure. And then once I'm in it, I need to have the distractions that keep me from going way off kilter. If I don't want to go all the way off Kilter, and then I need to have the plan to get right back on the road.

So if you go into these meals, enjoy them, please. But at the same time, recognize what your goals mean to you, what your commitment to them is, and then make the decision detour or not. If you make the decision to not detour, you have to have a plan. You have to have structure.

Post Show/Recap

[00:33:41.190] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.

[00:33:42.820] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Next to Summer, the eating season is my favorite season.

[00:33:49.170] – Allan
It is. Well, one, it's when most of us… Well, practically, it was the only time that I really was able to go out and spend some time seeing family. I was never a big summer vacationer because I lived in Pensacola, so going to the beach. I never saw as vacation because that's where I wanted to be and I didn't have family that lived on the beach. So if I went to the beach, it was typically just me and mine going to the beach. But during the holidays it used to be particularly Thanksgiving and early Christmas.

[00:34:27.590] – Allan
We would drive around and see family. And that was kind of Tammy and my thing. And then, you go in and it's like, okay, there's food and what do you want to eat? And I purposely started doing my keto in a seasonal way just to kind of accommodate some of that because it was like, how am I supposed to go into Christmas with Tammy's family and keep keto and not lose my mind? So the opportunity to take a detour and say, okay, this is a detour.

[00:35:02.590] – Allan
They're having their Christmas dinner at a pizza place. So, yeah, I can scrape off the top and be that weirdo or I can just say, okay, I'm eating pizza and move on with my life. I learned a lot of strategies as I was going along. I'm just saying, okay, sometimes it's just best to do a detour, but I know for a lot of people, you've worked up to a point. You're in ketosis or you're in this and you're trying that it's all working and you're just not necessarily terrified.

[00:35:33.940] – Allan
But you just know, okay, I'm going to go out of ketosis. I'm going to put on some weight. I'm going to hate this scale. I'm going to hate this. I'm going to feel bloated to feel sick and maybe have a bathroom issue. And, you know, those things are going to potentially happen if you take this detour. So I wanted to do this show just to show people that there are ways to strategize and structure this so that you don't feel like you're a freak. You're in the buffet line like everybody else or in the line with everything else.

[00:36:04.580] – Allan
You might be doing it a little backwards because you're not putting any vegetables on your plate. You're waiting till you get to the proteins and then do a little U turn. Go back, start at the end of the line and then start putting vegetables and the other things on there so that you have a plan as you go through or walk down the line front to back and say, okay, I see all the proteins here at the back, and then I get to the beginning and I'm like, okay, here's all this.

[00:36:30.270] – Allan
The desserts are over there on the right. I don't want to go on the right. As soon as I get through with my plate, I walk to the left and I go sit down. I want people to have some strategies where they would feel comfortable that they could go into these situations and not be completely lost.

[00:36:46.570] – Rachel
These are really great strategies, especially with starting with the protein part. I wish I had known this probably about 20 years ago. I was in my 30s. And when we get Halloween and all the delicious candy and then Thanksgiving hands down my absolute favorite meal of the year. There's nothing wrong with Thanksgiving. And then Christmas. And then you're spending all the time with family. And like you had mentioned in the podcast, people make these family heritage meaningful dishes that you almost have a guilt trip if you don't try.

[00:37:22.240] – Rachel
And every year at this time of year, I would start my New Year's resolutions with needing to lose ten or fifteen pounds because I enjoyed the eating season a little bit too much. And I never even had these strategies. It never dawned on me to pay a little bit more careful attention until I made running a priority in my life. And I was doing a lot of running and I can't digest this type of food and still maintain a good run. And then now that I'm keto, I really can't digest this food because I've had a couple of times where I've accidentally had too much sugar.

[00:37:58.100] – Rachel
I ordered something and I just wasn't thinking and there was so much sugar in it. I was sick for the rest of the night. So I have a pretty fast biofeedback loop. So, for Thanksgiving no detours for me. And for Christmas, I will definitely take a nibble of my mom's baklava. It's Greek heritage. It's a family dish and quite delicious, but I know not to over indulge because I'll just get sick, but the strategies you put in place are just spot on and so helpful for avoiding these extra pounds.

[00:38:31.430] – Allan
Yeah. So I'm going to go in and like, Tammy knew to volunteer us for the turkey for our friends, and we're going to have a big get together. And I'll probably also put together some form of vegetable dish. It's warm here, so it won't be heavy. It might even be just something like a cucumber and tomato vinaigrette salad kind of thing just to have something. And then that'll make up most of my plate is the Turkey, and I'll be the one that will go for the thigh meat, like nobody's business.

[00:39:05.550] – Allan
And then the skin. While I'm cooking the Turkey, I'll be eating the giblets because that's my thing because I get to because I bought the turkey. And I'm cooking it. And no one else wants it anyway. But no, I'll fill my plate 75% 80% with that. And then I'll go around and I'll be listening to people. And if someone seems emotionally invested in their dish, then I'll try some. And maybe it's a casserole where they did Ritz crackers and the fried onion things and all that stuff.

[00:39:40.230] – Allan
And it's like I had some of that that actually tasted really good. Now I had a tablespoon, maybe two, but I tried it and actually now opine on it of oh, you must put something in there other than cream of mushroom soup, because I actually ran into someone at the grocery store that was looking for that today. So I assume whatever she's cooking is going to have cream of mushroom soup in it.

[00:40:01.960] – Rachel
Yeah, that casserole.

[00:40:05.180] – Allan
if she can get it. Yes. And so that's cool. So I'll have her casserole, but it's just a little dab of this little dab of that so I can taste the different things that people brought and I can speak to it.

[00:40:16.620] – Allan
And then as I mentioned, as soon as I've finished eating, I'm away from the food. I'm over by the pool. A friend has a pool he had put in. I'll go over and I'll hang out by the pool, get some sun, maybe even go for a walk. I might just say, hey, I need to go for this walk, and I'll go for a walk, walk over to the beach and walk on the beach a little bit and say, okay, I'll walk back and then converse and do everything else with the pool and with everybody else.

[00:40:43.430] – Allan
So mine is going to be what I would call a partial detour, and I will probably have some wine just to relax and hang out with friends.

[00:40:52.960] – Allan
So on Friday after our Thanksgiving, which we have in the United States, is on Thursday. And I think that's when we're actually doing this, I won't be in ketosis. I'm, like, 75% 80% sure, I won't be in Ketosis that morning when I wake up. But it doesn't matter. I'll fast half the day if I need to do an intermittent fast just to kind of kickstart things and maybe do a long walk that morning just to kind of get some of that glycogen burned out of our muscles and my muscles in my liver and then say, okay, here I am ready to take on the day and get back into Ketosis. If not that Friday, then at least by Saturday.

[00:41:33.050] – Rachel
For sure, taking that walk will make you feel so much better. You probably won't even be hungry after eating so many delicious foods. I mean, it's not only physically filling it's emotionally feeling, too, to enjoy that time with your family and your special meals. So I think that's a fun thing to do the next day or plan for that the next day. I know that our Thanksgiving last year because we were in the middle of Covid. We didn't get to visit with our family for Thanksgiving. And so this year we can.

[00:42:02.570] – Rachel
And I am excited to see relatives that I haven't seen in quite a long time. So I imagine that we'll spend a lot of time also after the meal, away from extra food and seconds. And whatnot just chatting because it's been so long since we've seen each other.

[00:42:17.340] – Allan

[00:42:18.790] – Rachel
Absolutely. And I love that Saran Rat game that you described as well. I think that would be so much fun.

[00:42:26.780] – Allan
Yes. Tanny loves doing that. Everybody loves it when she walks out with that. And it's like, here's how the game goes. And I was like, oh, this is totally cool. And then they see money fall out of the thing. They're like it's $2. But I mean…

[00:42:38.370] – Rachel
I love it. It's still fun. And what talk about distraction? My goodness we often do a craft project or something like that, like make Christmas ornaments or something. We've done some unusual things for the holidays, but I like your game idea. That sounds like a lot of fun.

[00:42:54.260] – Allan
Yeah, we have a new sponsor coming up. Not on this show. I think this is this on the 22nd. So no, I think it's starting maybe next week, we have a sponsor Unidragon that makes these puzzles. And they're wooden puzzles, and they are gorgeous. And the pieces are not cut like standard puzzle pieces. Standard puzzle pieces with the ball in the hole. You put them together. These are totally different. Some of the pieces are actually in the shapes of little animals. They're totally cool. So, yeah, catch that.

[00:43:28.780] – Allan
If you go to the website, check out episode this coming out on November 29, I believe. And maybe December 6. Check them out. Reach out to that because that is and we do have a discount. Code 40plus. If you get a unit Dragon 40 plus and they're giving you 10% off. So while I'm giving them a little bit of extra kudos on this show, only because again, I think their puzzles are just awesome. And I'm going to bring the puzzle with me when we go up there to do the thing with everybody. And so if there's space and there's time and it makes sense, I'll go get the puzzle and we'll sit around and do the puzzle.

[00:44:06.070] – Rachel
That sounds like fun, too. That sounds great. Well, enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday.

[00:44:10.990] – Allan
Yes. And just let folks know that next week Ras is going to be on vacation. As she mentioned down in Pensacola Beach. I'm envious because I love that place. Go to Peg Leg Petes and tell them Alan said Hello.

[00:44:25.460] – Rachel
I will.

[00:44:30.410] – Allan
But next week on this show, there won't really be a Hello Segment. Unless I feel like there's just something I want to talk about before we get into the episode. Rachel, you enjoy yourself and we'll talk in about two weeks.

[00:44:43.720] – Rachel
Thank you. Take care.

[00:44:45.660] – Allan
You too.


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Another episode you may enjoy


October 25, 2021

The art of quitting

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There are points in your health and fitness journey when you have to make a decision, keep going, quit, or pivot. How you approach these decision points can make all the difference.


Let's Say Hello

[00:00:44.630] – Allan
Hey, Raz, how are things going?

[00:00:46.730] – Rachel
Good, Allan, how are you today?

[00:00:48.710] – Allan
I'm doing all right. Kind of getting back into the groove of being back in Bocas and things like that and social events and things. We had a fundraiser. We had a fundraiser for the local guy that takes care of all the cats. So we have street cats and street dogs. And so this guy, he's always kind of played a part in making sure that the cats and some of the dogs get fed. And then when they have a litter, he's always trying to catch the kittens and get them spayed neutered.

[00:01:19.070] – Allan
And so he's trying to catch cats and do all that. And so everybody calls him Papa Gatto, and he was doing a fundraiser. So just kind of go there, hang out with friends and buy a T shirt. I think one guy, one of the local guys here who's really talented, he was doing the tattoos. He's a tattoo artist, amongst other things. And he was donating the proceeds from all his tattoos he did that day, and he doesn't do it, like with the little gun thing. He has a little pin thing that he does by hand.

[00:01:53.930] – Allan
So he draws things by hand on people really talented. But, yeah, so they're doing a fundraiser. So it's just kind of being back into the theme of the island. And we're getting ready to get into busy season. So we're seeing more tourists, and a lot of people are popping up and opening restaurants, some that have closed, and then some that were just never there before, because this is kind of the season to do it. And there's one thing on this island that was kind of a big thing, particularly for the young backpackers.

[00:02:28.310] – Allan
It's called Filthy Friday, and it is exactly what you think it is. Hundreds of people going to like a disco tech with a DJ. And basically it's a pub crawl, if you will. But they hop from island to island. So typically, like, three places that used to be three places I don't know how they're going to run it now, but there used to be three places, so they all get together at one place. And then there's a series of boats to take them to the second place, and then a series of boats to take them to the third place.

[00:02:57.230] – Allan
And then it's over. So it starts at 03:00 in the afternoon and runs until they drop them off around six something, and then they can just hang out and enjoy themselves. It's terrifying. I would never do it because there's just too many people in a space. Actually, I kind of get hives every time they got a Billboard at the near the airport advertising there and there's like hundreds of kids standing on this deck and there's like, no room to move. They're all just standing like face to face now, pre covid that gave me the heebie jeevies.

[00:03:31.730] – Allan
This is that packed in with that many people, not my thing. But it is sort of one of those things that when that's going on, it draws a lot of people to the island. So you see a lot more young backpackers and people on the island. So it just kind of gives it more of that touristy vibe when you have that going on. So even though it's not something I would ever want to do or care to do, it's good to see that we're getting back to kind of a normal here.

[00:03:59.270] – Rachel
That's right. It sounds wonderful that restaurants are opening and all these activities are taking place again. It's nice to hear that things are changing a little bit.

[00:04:08.510] – Allan
Yeah. Now it doesn't mean it won't go backwards at some point, but at least at this point, they didn't expect to reopen. In fact, we were doing classes in the yoga studio, and they took over the studio because the yoga teacher quit because we couldn't pay the rent while we're closed. And then when they wanted to reopen, it still wasn't tenable for us to run our classes. So we had to move out. She moved out and closed up. The people that were doing this filthy Friday, they took over that space and they turned it into a big liquor store, but something to keep him going until he was able to get it.

[00:04:43.770] – Allan
His other business is more lucrative. Business reopened. So it's just good, even though the folks that come to that don't spend a lot of money on the island. It's just good to have them here because it gives violent kind of that healthy vibe.

[00:04:56.190] – Rachel
That's awesome. Sounds like fun from a distance.

[00:05:00.390] – Allan
You guys go over there. I don't mind seeing them walk up and down the street, walk right by the gym and go party butt off. But at the same time, it'll just be good to kind of see that starting to happen here.

[00:05:13.470] – Rachel

[00:05:14.370] – Allan
How are things up there?

[00:05:15.870] – Rachel
Oh, good. We're in the middle of October. The weather up here in Michigan is sometimes beautiful, sometimes frightening. The leaves are changing colors and dropping, which is always beautiful. And we are getting a little bit of rain today. We're going to hit 80, so that's kind of unusual. And sometimes in October we might see a few snow flurries, although that hasn't happened yet and probably won't after not for at least another week or so. But that's the fun part of October. But while I'm mentioning it, I want to remind everybody that October is also reserved for breast cancer awareness, and for all the ladies out there to make sure they schedule their mammograms as soon as they get the chance.

[00:05:59.790] – Allan
Absolutely do that. We've talked about screening, we've talked about cancer a good bit, and we'll keep talking about that. But the screening that you need to do it's critically important if you want to stay healthy. I did have one aside, though, that I want to do. This episode is going live on the 25th. And so we're less than a week away from Halloween. And so now there's going to be all this candy in your house. And if you have a sweet tooth, that's an issue. And so I did a little bit of reading on this because I did want to talk about it.

[00:06:30.810] – Allan
I thought I might end up being actually doing an episode on it, but then realize there's probably not enough content to do a whole episode, but a couple of tips that I found one of these I got from US News and Roll Reports articles five, six years old. But they made a few recommendations. So you get this candy. They recommended some things like make cookies. So you take the chocolate or cookie or whatever it is a candy bar, a piece of candy, and you make cookies and you put these in the cookies while you Cook them.

[00:07:02.010] – Allan
So they kind of make it part of the cookie. And then rather than eating them and just adding more to your candy, put those away as holiday cookies. And then you have ready made in the freezer gifts for when Christmas actually rolls around. So you get the Christmas tins, you Bake the cookies, put them in there, and you can repurpose those candies rather than eat them.

[00:07:23.730] – Rachel

[00:07:24.390] – Allan
Another one was to basically donate them. And I had a couple here Ronald McDonald's House or even the troops, even though I know we're not as heavily involved overseas. Now, there still are troops overseas that you can actually donate your candy, too. So they'll take your candy for you and just ship it to them. You can look that stuff up online. I'll have a link to this US News and Roll Report article, and hopefully some of those links are still the same. The other is to look at opportunities for things that are coming up.

[00:07:53.370] – Allan
Like, for example, my daughter's birthday is on the 14 December, and so she was younger. I could take the candy and put it in a pinata for her birthday.

[00:08:04.170] – Allan
Okay. And the kids would have a pinata. That candy would go into the pinata. And there you go. And then the final one was bring it to work. And again, that depends on where you work and how those folks will feel about the fact that you're trying to offload your candy on them. Some people will love it. Other people won't. But, yeah, just taking it to work. Now, again, if you're going to put it on your desk, realize that that's going to be an issue. Maybe because it's sitting there and you might end up eating more of it than you'd like to.

[00:08:30.570] – Allan
So take it to the break room or something like that where this public area where they can get to it and you don't see it all the way. But one of the best tips I saw while I was doing my research was this when you're buying Halloween candy, buy something you don't like. I always made this mistake. I'd go out and buy the Snickers because the little bite sized Snickers and Milky Ways and things like that. And then the what is it? The Hershey's chocolate, the dark chocolate, because that was my favorite.

[00:09:01.830] – Allan
And then, of course, if you don't give out the candy, you're stuck with the candy. You can do one of these other things. But if you buy a candy that you don't particularly like for me, it'd be black licorice can't stand this stuff can't stand it at all. So if I had black licorice, that would be a perfect candy corns would also be one, although some people love them. I'm not one of those people that love them. So again, candy that I wouldn't use a lot of people the black and Orange peanut butter kind of candy.

[00:09:31.710] – Allan
I actually like those, which is sad because they're horrible, but I know they like them. So just kind of thinking in terms of if you're buying this candy as you're in the shopping, obviously, you don't want to be the house that gets egged because you've given out substandard candy. But just buy candy that you don't like that most people other people do like, and then you're less inclined to sit there and nibble and pick on them during Halloween and then having them in your house afterwards.

[00:09:56.790] – Allan
You're less inclined to deal with those. So have a strategy. I talk to my clients all the time when you go into a situation that you are familiar with, which this is it happens every year about this time. Have a strategy for how you get through this. If you know that you have a sweet tooth and you know that this is something that strips you up in the past, have your strategy so you can work around it.

[00:10:19.290] – Rachel
That's great. Great tips. Definitely.

[00:10:22.170] – Allan
All right. Are you ready to get into the episode on The Art of Quitting?

[00:10:27.870] – Rachel


Today I want to talk about the art of quitting. Now, I know that sounds kind of odd to be talking about quitting when we're talking about health and fitness, because we as a people, particularly in the United States, we really appreciate perseverance. We appreciate those people, those stories where people have gone above and beyond and accomplished things way beyond the realm of what's possible or seemed possible at the beginning, like the movie Rudy or the book Rudy or the story of Rudy who tried to get on to and play for Notre Dame and actually did get on the field during a football game with the team through Perseverance.

And we love that story. There's also the children's book The Little Engine that Could by Waddy Piper. And again, it's a story about Perseverance and going at it and having the right attitude and sticking with it until you get something that seemed impossible done. We love those stories. But there are also stories that kind of push back the other way, like in Greek mythology, with Cispus pushing that rock up the Hill that's invariably going to roll down the Hill again. So no matter how much Perseverance that he puts into that effort, he's going to end up right back where he started.

Or we're watching Rocky four, and Apollo is fighting Drago in an exhibition match, and Rocky knows the next punch is going to basically kill his friend, but he doesn't throw the towel in. And a lot of people were upset about that in the movie. I was upset about it watching the movie. It was a very emotional point in that movie. And in a sense, we fought Rocky for not quitting, not throwing in the towel. And we know that that was because Apollo wanted to continue the fight all the way through to the end, and it ended up costing him his life.

And so there's these stories that we have about Perseverance and then about quitting. And they both have a place, particularly when we're talking about health and fitness. So I want to talk today about some times when quitting is actually the right answer that you're better off quitting something than sticking with it. Okay.

Sometimes when you quit, it just opens up opportunities and we're going to talk all the way through this as you look at how quitting might actually help you get to the results you want faster. So for this discussion, we're going to talk about big things. We're not going to be talking about quitting little things like quitting sugar, quitting this or quitting that. Obviously, you know, there's challenges and structure and things and strategies and tactics and things you're going to implement that will work and not work. And some of those strategies and tactics you just throw away because they're obviously not working.

But we're going to talk about some big things in the health, fitness and joy categories because in reality, this is literally life and death. Now, maybe not right now but some of the decisions you're making are going to decide which side of the aging curve you're actually on as you go forward in life. So we're going to talk about is the five key health and fitness drivers, the five key health and fitness drivers. And those are nutrition, which includes hydration, sleep, stress management, fitness and avoiding toxicity.

And that can be chemical, biological, or emotional. So we have those five key health drivers, and today we're going to go through those five key health drivers and look at some scenarios where it might make sense to not stick. It might make sense to quit. Okay, now, here's the other caveat as we get into this discussion, because I'm going to be throwing out some examples. And I want you to understand that sometimes the decision that you need to make is different than the decision I might need to make.

So as we go through this discussion, I'm going to go back and forth a little bit on that so you can kind of get a flavor for how to do this analysis, if you will.

So first, I want to talk about a few reasons why you should probably stick to what you're doing. If your strategy is sound and you just need more time. So everything's working, it's generally working, and you just need to give it more time for you to see the results that you want to see

That's probably a good reason to stick if it's working, but not as fast as you want it. Now, what there might be instead of quitting is just alternatives that you can add on to make it better. And we'll talk a little bit about that. And then another reason to stick is there really isn't another alternative. This is really the only way that's available to you based on who you are, what's going on in your life or anything else. We'll get into that as well. But what are the reasons that we should quit?

If the thing you're doing isn't serving you, you should quit and try to find another way. If you know, in your heart of hearts that there actually is a better way. You were just trying this as an opportunity and it's not working for you, and this other way would be quicker and easier. It's probably time to quit. And also we want to make sure that quitting won't hurt us, and that what we are doing is helping us. So if there's something you're doing that's not helping you, then quit and we'll talk about that as well.

So what I'm going to do for the remainder of this podcast is I'm literally going to go through each of the five drivers, and I'm going to give you a couple of examples, and then we're going to kind of talk through a little bit. Is that a good reason to quit? Is this something you should quit? And I'm going to give my opinion on it from my perspective. Realize, again, your answers could be entirely different than my answers. So your circumstances would be entirely different than mine. And you should think through these scenarios to kind of get an idea of how this process goes.

So the first key driver that I want to talk about is nutrition. So here's the scenario. You are three weeks into the carnivore way of eating. You even quit coffee and tea. And while you've lost weight, your energy level has bottomed out and you're constipated. So is this a stick, a stick and pivot or a quit? Now, obviously for some people, the carnivore diet is fairly extreme and it's very difficult to do long term for a lot of people.

Now, other people thrive on that kind of diet and that's fine. But if you're having issues with your energy level and you're just not feeling like you're losing weight the way that you should and you're dealing with other biological problems like constipation, it's time to think about that. For some people, it's obvious that you need to quit and maybe do something different. For others, it might just be a stick and pivot. So maybe you're not getting enough electrolytes. Maybe you need to implement something else like better sleep or something else to help you make sure that you're keeping your energy level up.

And then obviously with the electrolytes that I spoke to that can include magnesium that can include potassium and sodium. And in many cases the introduction of magnesium might help with that constipation. So you can kind of see as you go into this concept of I'm trying a way of eating carnivore and I intend to do it for a long time, but I'm starting to have difficulties with it. You can answer the question of OK, is this something I can just pivot, try some add ons and see what works, or do I really want to quit this?

And in many cases I would say if this was something you really wanted to do, try the stick and pivot for a little while and then if that doesn't work, quit. Here's a second scenario for nutrition. You cut your calories much lower than you used to eat. It was working for a few weeks, but you're hungry all the time and you find yourself binging at night, stick, stick and pivot or quit. Now this one is a little bit more difficult because a lot of people will want to follow the calories in calories out model.

And the reality is for a time that can definitely work. But over time your body is going to adjust to try to find Homo stasis based on the amount that you're eating today, based on the exercise you're doing today, it's going to find that balance. And so the question then is, is this low calorie going to work for you long term. For some people, just pushing through a little while can restart the weight loss. But you may need to do a couple of pivots. You may need to have a couple of days where your calories a little higher just to keep your metabolism, keep everything flowing so your body is not locked into 1200 calories a day thing.

Maybe just having a couple of days where you're up closer to 18 or maybe 2000 might be enough for your body to adapt and adjust to a point where it can continue to lose weight. That would be a stick and pivot. But for a lot of people, just cutting calories isn't enough. They need to focus on what they're eating when they're eating as well to try to figure this out. And so sometimes you just have to quit that low calorie and figure out a different way.

So I hope that made sense as I went through the nutrition piece of this, that there are different answers for each of us based on what we're dealing with, where we are in our lives and what's working and what's not. So there is stick, there is stick and pivot and there's quit, and you have to look and figure out which one makes the most sense for you. And many times, as I mentioned earlier, sometimes stick and pivot is the right answer, and then if that doesn't work, then you quit.

Let's move on to the second key driver of health and fitness and joy, sleep.

And this is one of my favorites. Okay, so here's the scenario. The first scenario. You usually go to bed at 10:30, and you've recently hired a personal trainer that can only work with you at 05:00 a.m. This only gives you 6 hours of bedtime and less than 6 hours of sleep. You know, you need more. Stick, stick and pivot or quit? Now, this is a tougher one because for a lot of people, their time is locked, and they're very deep into getting a lot done and being productive.

And the concept of sleeping more is often difficult for us. It feels like we're giving up feels almost like we're quitting something, but in a sense, getting more sleep can help you have more energy, get more done, be more productive, and definitely have fewer mistakes and issues. So the question then here is we've got two endpoints to the sleeping night. Now you could try to go to sleep earlier, but that might mean giving up family time. That might mean giving up time with your significant other time that you love to spend together.

Obviously, if you've made dinner, we've got to wash dishes, we got to get things cleaned up. So there's probably a limit to how far you can push your bedtime up and then on the other side, yes

You've hired this personal trainer that really only had that 05:00 window. Is there a way to move that training period to a later period or different part of the day, or is it better for us to go ahead and maybe find a different trainer if we really want to continue with the personal trainer that we have or that we're with a personal trainer? And those are tough decisions. I'm not going to say there's an easy answer here, but the reality of it is the bigger you make your bedtime opportunity, the more you're likely to sleep, the more you're likely to sleep, the better off your health and fitness are going to be.

So this is a tough one. It's probably a quit something, but we've got to figure out what that is for you and then you've got to decide how to make that happen. Here's a second scenario. Lately you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep. You pull out your phone to look at social media. You feel this helps you calm down. But the report on your phone shows your screen time is way up. Stick, stick and pivot, Quit?

Now, I have some pretty strong opinions about this to me. You've got to quit the Facebook, the social media stuff. You got to quit that in the middle of the night. The lights off your phone are actually keeping you up. The excitement and the dopamine stuff that's happening when you're on your phone is keeping you up. Whether you feel that way or not, it is. So the reality of it is you could do something better with that time and still be winding down. You can listen to a fiction audiobook and have the lights out.

You can actually get a hardcover printed book and turn on a candle, light a candle and read that book. You can go ahead and decide to go into the bathroom and take a warm bath with some lavender and some other scents that really help calm you down and get back to sleep a little bit faster. So I would say you quit the Facebook and then you implement something else in that place. Obviously laying in bed awake at 2:00 in the morning for hours is excruciating. But you've got to get your sleep.

You've got to figure out a way and getting on the Facebook is not going to be the answer most of the time. Now, how you do that? How you discipline, keep the discipline to do that? I can't help you there right now, but I can just say if you value sleep as much as I do, you won't turn on your phone, you won't turn on your computer, you'll figure out a way to calm yourself relax whether it's breathing, meditation, a warm bath with some oils, or reading a book, listening to an audio book.

Any of those things will be better for you than opening up your phone. So I hope that makes sense on the sleep side. You're going to have things, if you're going to try to improve your sleep, there are things you're probably going to have to quit. Screen time is a huge example. Having short sleep windows with early alarms. Another thing that you need to work around to get the sleep. You've got to be in bed and that requires you to push your windows around and have some discipline around that.

So I hope that helps you on the sleep front. If you've got some questions there, we can talk about it.

So the next key driver or key driver is stress management, and this is another big one for me, but I really only have one example. I want to walk through here. You've started setting aside 30 minutes to meditate each day, but you find you spend most of this time thinking about the things that you need to do. This leaves you even more stressed. Stick, stick and pivot or quit?

Now, this one is kind of also a little interesting to me, because a lot of people will just quit. They'll say, okay, I don't have time for this. I know meditation would be great for me. I enjoy it when it's working, but it's not working most of the time. So I want to quit. I'd like to give you an alternative. Instead of trying to meditate for 30 minutes, just try to do five, just five good minutes, clear concise minutes, letting your thoughts happen, letting things happen and relaxing and getting into it.

Now, eventually, you might be able to add a little bit of time to that. But obviously giving up five minutes is not a huge deal in the grand scheme of 24 hours, and it will feel more attainable. So you're not overwhelmed with the fact that you're losing a half hour out of each day to do this task. It won't feel as much like a task when it's only five minutes. And who knows, maybe you go a little bit longer even though you didn't plan to because you were able to relax and get into the right state of mind, helping your stress, helping you feel better.

And that's going to kind of be a positive feedback loop. So in this case, I would say stick and pivot until 30 minutes feels right, and maybe it never will. But at least you've given it a shot.

All right. Does that make sense? Okay.

The next key driver is fitness. Okay, so here's the scenario. Your fitness tracker shows that your progress is stagnating you're halfway to your set goal and hitting certain milestones. Now it looks like you won't make those milestones. So you've made progress, and you are making good progress. But now things are stagnating. You're not seeing the growth that you were seeing before, you're not seeing the strength gains or let's say we're talking about the number of steps or how fast you can go or your time or any of those things that you would want as a personal record or just some kind of measurement criteria for your fitness.

And now you're stagnating. And that goal is beginning to look unattainable at the beginning, it looked like you could get there, and now it's not. So do you stick, stick and pivot or quit? Well, I think quitting this particular time is not the right answer. You still have that goal. That's not going to go away unless you just completely changed the goal. But rather than sliding the goal post or the time to attain the goal post. This might be a good time to stick and pivot.

Maybe you just need to do something to change up your training. Maybe you need to take some rest. Maybe this is a recovery problem, and maybe this is a nutrition problem, so all of those can factor into your basic performance. So it's worth looking at. Is this a time when I change up my training? Is this a time when I change up my nutrition? Is this the time I look at other aspects that might be affecting my performance? And if I'm not approaching my goals as quickly as I wanted to just see if adding some of those differences, fixing tweaking some of those things gives you the benefits gets you removing.

I found times where someone was doing a back squat, for example, and their back squat was starting to Plateau. So they got to a certain strength, a certain capacity, and then they just seemed to slow down and they were really upset because they did have a goal of, say, being able to squat their body weight for reps. And that's admirable. That's perfect. That's a great kind of goal because it shows a level of strength relative to your weight. That's really important. So now they're not getting there.

They're looking at they're halfway to their goal, and they're just not quite getting there. So what I'll often do is I'll program other ways for them to work with the weight. That's different for some clients. I'll have them on the leg press because they're mentally challenged, not necessarily physically challenged. It can be challenging mentally to get underweight, particularly when that weight is approaching your body weight and feel like you're in control. So I'll put them on the leg press for other people. It's about their form and how they're pressing and what they're doing.

I may move them to a completely different exercise, like a front squat, which changes the angles of everything and gets them working in a different way. And then when we transition back to back squats, they find that they've either in the first scenario increased their leg strength significantly or in the second one, they now actually have better form and are able to perform the exercise better. So in both of those cases, the changes we did, those pivots are giving them the added capacity to be able to do more, and they start seeing that progression happening again.

So that's a situation where I think a stick and pivot can be really good for other people. They might just want to stick and keep grinding at it, and sometimes they're successful. Just push a little harder, do a little more, and they're there. So just recognize that there are options as you're looking at fitness. So here's the second scenario. You're doing a fitness class, and after an awkward movement, you feel a tweak in your knee. There are only ten minutes left in the class, stick, stick and pivot or quit?

Now, this is a tough one because a lot of fitness classes have you on your feet moving around both forward and backwards and side to side. And so there's a lot of opportunities there for you to injure your knees. If you're not careful with your form and how you're placing your legs and not locking out. And there's a lot of things that can go wrong. If you've already felt a tweak in your knees, then it's highly possible that you've done something to one of the tendons and leguments to flare it up.

That's what that pain is. And continuing and trying to grind out through that class is more likely to hurt you than not. It's definitely not going to help you. You're going to have to slow down. Most likely you're going to be ginger on that knee and you're not going to get the full benefit of doing the class. Now, does that mean you completely quit the class? And that might be no, it might be. Yes, it really depends on the nature of what you've done. But if you feel like all you've done is a little twist and maybe you'll be fine, just slow it down, go into just marching in place.

If you want to continue moving for the remainder of the ten minutes and not walk out in the middle of that class or actually towards the end of that class, then maybe the pivot is just you down scaling to a point where you're still moving and still getting work done and everything is great. I at one point in a CrossFit class hurt my back, I tweaked my back, and so I just quit. I tried to go a little bit further. I'm like, no, this is not working for me.

I can't do these movements as well as I want to. I can't use the form I want to and it hurts. I stopped, I quit, and that turned out to be a really good decision because I didn't do exceptional damage to myself. I had done some, but it was really just a strain instead of something that could have been much, much worse. So recognizing your body's limitations, knowing when it's time to quit, when it's time to stick, or maybe just stick and adapt a pivot. Those are good.

Now, these questions about stick, stick and pivot and quit when you start talking about fitness are really hard because we have two things happening. We have this drive for ego that a lot of us share, and then we have this drive to laziness that a lot of us have. If you feel like you're quitting just because it's getting hard or you're slowing down as a pivot just because it's getting hard, that's not necessarily a justified reason. Again, exercise is helping. You can do it. You're not harming yourself.

So in this particular case, there's not really a good reason to quit. But if you find yourself where you're pushing yourself past your boundaries, what you're capable of doing, and you risk injury. It is definitely time to quit or downsize to enough where you know you're not in harm's way. So again, that's a harder area, but it's one that if you want to stay in the game, which is key, you have to obey fitness rule number one, thy shall not hurt themselves. So managing how you do this and staying within that sweet spot of not letting ego get in the way and not letting laziness get in the way, that's going to be a key here.

So the fifth and final health driver is avoiding toxicity. So here's the first scenario. You're wearing a smartwatch and this could be Apple Fitbit, garmin, whatever. And you notice your heart rate goes up when you read posts from certain persons on social media, stick, stick and pivot or quit? Now, I know every one of us has some of these people that they turn social media into a battleground. They're always posting material that is just hard for you to stomach. They're a good friend, but some of the positions they take, some of the things they put on social media just really aggravates you.

They cause you stress, they hurt you. And maybe you've even had a few conversations with them there, and they've always ended up poorly. Is this a stick? Is this a quit or is this a stick and pivot? Now, for most of the time, because of social media, my position is just go ahead and quit. Don't respond to their posts. In fact, maybe you can even do the function that allows you to unfollow them. You're still their friend on Facebook. You just don't see their posts. And if it's more egregious and it's a problem, then you just block them on social media.

You tell them in person, I can't deal with your social media. So I'm going to block you, not the personal friend, but I don't want that on my feet. I don't want that in my life. So you quit in a sense, my social media, something that maybe I haven't talked about in here is that I break my Facebook up into two profiles. So if you actually went out and searched for me, you would see that I have two profiles on Facebook. Now, one is my business profile, and that's where I interact with you.

If you want to be my friend, you look up AllanMisner.CPT. And that's my work, my training profile. And that's where I have conversations with clients. I have great friends in the industry, and I enjoy the conversations there. And I don't worry about the political posts. I don't even pay attention to them. And then I have my personal personal, which is family and friends. I would say 99% of those folks I actually have met in person and have personal relationships with. And so yeah, some of them are going to post some things that whatever I don't agree with, but I only check that really to pay attention to friends and family and see what's going on here on the island.

I don't spend a lot of time on my personal personal Facebook because there's just not material out there that I'm all that interested in other than staying informed about what's going on with my family, some of my friends and what's going on on this island. So that's the only time I check back on that profile. And maybe once a week again, I saw that that was toxic. I saw a lot of toxicity in that, and I came up with a pivot and that pivot works very well for me.

You can also again do the other pivot where you're not actually blocking someone, but you're not following them or other settings within your Facebook, where you can control your feed and you're seeing the things that you really want to see without dealing with this much toxicity. The second scenario I want to talk about in the health driver of avoiding toxicity, you decide to read the label on your personal care products, and I'll tell you right now, the Environmental Working Group has a great app to help you do that.

It's go to www.Ewg.Org/apps and this site when you go there, you can literally scan the barcode with your phone, your smartphone, and it'll tell you whether this stuff is toxic or where it rates. So let's say now you've used that app and you've looked at your personal care products and you notice that your favorite shampoo and conditioner rank very poorly on this rating scale. And so now here you are. You love this condition of the shampoo. It works great. It makes your hair feel look good.

Everything is awesome when you feel when you're using this product, but now you find out it has some problems. It has some allergens in it, maybe some carcinogens, that type of thing. Do you stick, stick and pivot or quit? Now, the thing about toxicity is it tends to be cumulative. Rather, it's chemical, biological or social or relationship stuff. It tends to be cumulative. If you're in a toxic situation, it doesn't get better if you just reduce the amount of toxicity that you're taking in, it's still cumulative.

It's still adding in. So for many of these things, you need to get away from toxicity. And I would say the answer is going to be quit. It's very seldom that you can pivot on those types of things, but there are exceptions. So if this brand of shampoo and conditioner that you're using is a good brand and that particular type of product is the problem, maybe you move to another product that they have that's hypoallergenic or has less of these things in it, and that's a better option for you to continue to use a brand that you enjoy and works well for you.

But cut back on that toxicity. But in a general sense, I would say most of the time the answer related to toxicity if it's a product or a relationship is to quit. Now, that's easier said than done. But I have done it, and you can, too. So I hope this all made sense. I tried to come up with some examples that would show you on either side of the stick or quit model, and then some that were in that stick and pivot range. As you can tell, this isn't as simple.

And since there are thousands and thousands of things that you do every day, there's a lot going on. There's a lot for you to consider as you look at this. So for that reason, I would say, focus on the big rocks. Think about the things that you do or don't do that would move the needle. If you know there are things that you're doing now that just adversely affect you, like smoking. That's a no brainer. It's a quit. So there are things you're doing that really it's time to quit.

There are other things that you're doing that are actually for good, but they're not giving you the results. That's the time to reassess. And as you're going through this analysis, I think it's really important for you to keep your why and your vision in sight, because the things that you're doing should always align with that. If they don't, then it's a quit. So the why is the reason you're doing this? Why are you working on your health and fitness now? And when you come to that, it's this emotional, deep thing.

It becomes so important to you that there's no other option. You're not going to say no. Okay, so when you're doing these things, it's the question of am I doing it the right way? Can I pivot? And then if it's not working, find a different route.

Now, the vision is where you ultimately want to go with this activity, with what you're doing, with what you're eating, fitness, nutrition, all of it. All those things are driving you towards some vision of yourself. And so you're building these little habits, these little mile markers that are measurable as you're going through this process. And as you look at what you're doing, if you're not seeing the progress to get to that next mile marker, that's time to evaluate. And when you evaluate things, you have to get rid of things you can tweak.

And that's called the pivot. And then things you just bear down and keep doing because they are working. You just have to keep at it. So if you're interested in exploring these things a little bit more, whether you should quit, whether you should stick and pivot or quit, I'd encourage you to join us on Facebook at our Facebook group at 40plusfitnesspodcast.Com/group. And there you can go ahead and ask questions. Maybe you have something you're dealing with and you just like the sounding board of hey, what do you think?

What are some ideas here? Because maybe quoting doesn't really make sense to you, and maybe sticking to it doesn't make any sense. We've got to find that middle ground of the stick, maybe stick and pivot. So there might be these other alternatives that I can share with you in that forum. So again, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.Com/group. Go ahead and start a conversation there about your particular situation, and we can try to figure out the right alternatives for you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:42:11.650] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:42:13.390] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. You know what I love about the concept of sticking with something, sticking with it and pivoting or just quitting it altogether is that you have to make an assessment and make a decision. And while I absolutely hate the word quit, it's really hard for me to quit anything. Sometimes that is absolutely the right decision.

[00:42:35.650] – Allan
Yeah. And maybe you find another word for it. For me. It's like, okay, sometimes I just need to be upright with myself that I'm pushing myself further and harder than I should and just taking that half step back or just overall, just quitting. You're in a toxic relationship, you really have to evaluate that relationship and say, is it worth me keeping? And sometimes the answer is no. As we were going through the pandemic and being locked up, one of my friends that she was a client even here on the island was having a lot of issues and was lashing out at everybody.

[00:43:18.850] – Allan
So it's like, no, I'm going to call her on her BS, and I'm just going to say, chill out and she didn't like it. And so we're not really friends anymore, which is fine. We still sort of see each other on the island anyway, but I'm cordial I'm not going to be a problem with it, but I don't need that negativity in my life. So I quit. And it's hard and it's hard but you have to think about this holistically of your stress management and your fitness.

[00:43:48.670] – Allan
I think it's easier. We can talk about the fitness side because quitting sometimes it just makes a lot more sense when we were talking about this. And you talked about marathon training as we get into the heart of marathon season, there's a lot of legs putting on a lot of miles and going through a lot of pain.

[00:44:10.070] – Rachel
October is the best time to run a marathon. The weather is probably the best it's going to be, at least in the north here. But marathon training is no joke. And there comes a point where you might be hitting those peak weeks where your mileage is going to be the highest it's ever been. Your speed drills and tempo work will be the highest it's ever been, and you're going to be hurting. And on the one hand, that's the intention of a peak week is to put your body through the wringer.

[00:44:39.290] – Rachel
But then you come off of those weeks, and you're backing it down into the taper and relaxing and recovering until you hit the marathon until the race day. But there's also that fine line where you could be digging yourself into a hole if you're injured. And if you've got that little knee pain or maybe a little pain in the quad or the hamstring or something. Sometimes runners are egos get to us and we go out there because we have to do the training. We have to go out there and run.

[00:45:10.550] – Rachel
We have to follow the plan. Otherwise, we won't succeed on race day. And unless you're paying really close attention and stop when you're hurting yourself, then you're not going to make it to race day. And sometimes our egos just shade that we just can't see ourselves in that light. It's really hard.

[00:45:29.390] – Allan
Yeah. It's kind of the interesting thing I noticed when I was doing that type of stuff, even when I do the tough Mudders and Spartans and things like that is there's so much freaking adrenaline going through my body. Quite literally I will do a lot better on that run than I trained for if I didn't train enough. What I found was I tended to over train. I tended to spend more time running longer distances than I really absolutely needed to do. For me technically, I kind of evaluate like this.

[00:46:03.530] – Allan
If I could run 8 miles without stopping, I could do a marathon because the rest of that race is mental.

[00:46:12.230] – Allan
and so as you're going through the training and you're thinking, okay, I'm in my peak weeks and I'm hurting and I'm going to start my taper. I just recommend people take five days off. In five days, you're going to be able to and drink plenty of water, make sure you get in your electrolytes, do all the things that you need to do to allow your body to recover. And over that five days, which you'll probably find is all the muscle aches and pains go away, which kind of removes a lot of static.

[00:46:41.990] – Allan
And now you can actually feel pain in other places, like joints and things like that. And if you're feeling the pain in the joints, that's not something that's going to go away. And it's not something you can train through. Muscle pain, you can train through. You can recover a lot faster. Those joint issues, you're not going to be able to, but a lot of people because they put so much stress on their body, they have both. And therefore they can't really isolate where they're hurting because they're hurting everywhere.

[00:47:13.610] – Allan
And so just realizing that it's not a quit, it's a pivot. My plan was set and then I'm like, okay, but if I'm going to be ready for the race or at least be able to complete the race, I have to take that little step backwards. I have to take that recovery time.

[00:47:33.590] – Rachel
Yeah, absolutely. It's time to pivot the plan. It's time to stick with the plan, but make a pivot and do the recovery that needs to get done. See a doctor. If you find an injury that you just can't pinpoint or need help figuring out the difference between a strain or an injury, and then if it's time to make that decision to DNS or do not start, it's imperative that you take care of your body because our runner ego is really strong and we want to line up and gut out a race no matter what.

[00:48:09.170] – Rachel
We signed up for it. We paid for it. We told all of our friends and family about it. We're going to be there no matter what. But like you had mentioned in your discussion, go back to your goal, because if you're running a marathon, you want it to be a great day. You want it to be a celebration of all the hard work you've just put in there. You don't want to run yourself literally into the ground and making an injury far worse than it already is.

[00:48:35.930] – Rachel
There's always going to be another marathon you can pivot and sign up for on another day when you're healthier and ready. So it's time to make those really hard decisions and they're hard.

[00:48:49.610] – Allan
They are. One of the ways I like to kind of give you a visual of how this whole process works is to think about each type of training that you're doing each time in nutrition or stress management. Think about those as like channels. You got your sides. I'm running. So this is a race. I'm going to be running a race, and I need to have this amount of stamina and speed and all that to be able to complete the race. And so then somewhere in that channel is your roof.

[00:49:19.490] – Allan
And somewhere in that channel is your floor. And as long as you're between your roof and your floor, you're doing what your body needs. If you start pushing up against that roof, which a lot of your hard weeks, that's what that's about. Let's push our roof up. Let's try to get our roof higher. Let's raise the roof. I guess.

[00:49:39.950] – Allan
Anyway, you're trying to raise that roof a little bit, okay? And if you push too far past it, you have the potential to injure yourself and break. So you've got to find that line and you've got to really listen to your body when you're at that point. So find your roof. Don't let your ego push you too far past that roof too often, occasionally. Okay, you overdid it. So your recovery is much more important, but in a general sense, you didn't break. So that's good. You're right there at that point of stressing and getting outside your comfort zone with that roof, the other side is the floor.

[00:50:13.310] – Allan
And that's just where you say, okay, I hurt so bad. Now I'm just going to quit. And again, you had a goal. You had a reason why you had something you were really after. That didn't change. So if you let yourself just fall through that floor, then the term again, not a term everybody likes, but it's laziness is keeping you from accomplishing your goal. So find your floor and always stay above that. Find your roof and only push that roof when you're in a particular point of training where it makes sense.

[00:50:49.130] – Allan
And then you've got to tap that ego down so that you're not breaking yourself. So find your square and find your sweet spot. And wherever you are in your training, you're going to have times when you're down in recovery. And guess what you're not doing. If you're in recovery, you're still above your floor. That's on your training plan. Not doing anything is still in your box. Not feeling like I need to be doing something, even though the training plan says to not do something, don't do it.

[00:51:16.010] – Rachel
Yes. The question you asked earlier, too, was, is this serving me? Is what I'm doing right now helping me achieve my goal? Or could it be hurting me or keeping me from achieving my goal? And it's a good question to ask when you're trying to decide whether you should stick with something pivot or quit it altogether. I think reminding yourself, is this helping me is a good question.

[00:51:40.430] – Allan
And that's where I was when I did my alter the 50 miles way back when it was okay. I wanted to do it. It was just felt like, okay, the percentage of people on Earth that can run 50 miles at one time at that point was very low. Almost nobody did it. Marathons were seen as this crazy out of the box. How would someone do that? Why would someone want to run twice as much see if you can?

[00:52:08.570] – Allan
And then I did.

[00:52:09.890] – Allan
And I noticed that one of those things realize, okay, that served the point. But I thought maybe I was going to run 100 or do something like, no, my body was very clear with me. You are not going to run 100 miles in a day, ever. Just don't even think about it. I knew where my box was. I knew where my roof was, but at the same time, I knew that just being in that high of a box on that channel in the long term would not have suited me.

[00:52:42.770] – Allan
It was cool. It's something I can talk about and enjoy. It's actually still out on the internet's. Internet was coming around in 95. I think so they published the results on the Internet. It was the first time my name was on the Internet, and so it's just kind of one of those things of saying, okay, I did it, done it. What's next? And finding another challenge, another thing that would keep me excited. And then staying in that box. Every time I've gotten outside of that box, I've either put on a lot of weight or I've broken something, so I kind of know where my box is and it's like, okay, if I'm going to be healthy and fit, I have to stay in my box.

[00:53:22.310] – Allan
And defining that box is the real challenge of all of this. Being comfortable. Pushing the roof when you need to is also a big part of this. And it's not easy. It's honestly not easy, but you have to listen to your body or get a trainer involved and listen to your trainer because they'll be able to see what's going on and tell you, okay, what are we measuring here? What are we doing? How do you feel? Some of it can be very subjective, but a lot of it can be what's your HvR HRV how are you recovering? The shorter, faster runs?

[00:54:00.230] – Allan
How's your speed going? Are you getting the times and the splits that you need for that? And if you're not, then maybe you're not recovering enough. And maybe there's something and a good trainer will see that. Whereas if you just have a program that you purchased or got downloaded for free off the internet, you have to do that for yourself. And that's really hard when there's an ego involved. And there's an aspect of, oh, I just not do this today involved staying in the box. That training is a lot harder, but find a way to stay in the box.

[00:54:33.770] – Rachel
That sounds great. Great points. Stick with it, pivot or determine whether it's time to quit. Really good rules with them here.

[00:54:42.170] – Allan
All right.

[00:54:42.890] – Allan
Well, Rachel, that's all I have for this week. I'll talk to you next week.

[00:54:46.670] – Rachel
Take care.

[00:54:47.690] – Allan
You too.

[00:54:48.710] – Rachel


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

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


October 4, 2021

Intermediate resistance training over 40

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On this episode, Coach Allan discusses some intermediate resistance training strategies to boost the effectiveness of your weight training.


Let's Say Hello

[00:00:45.420] – Allan
Hey, Raz, how are things going?

[00:00:48.240] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:00:50.140] – Allan
I'm doing well. We're recording this a couple of weeks in advance, so I'm still on my trip in the United States, kind of rounding down the Miami area, finishing out the last couple of stops up further north in Florida and then into Mississippi. But by the time this goes live October 4, I should be back at the Bed and Breakfast in Bocas Del Toro and trying to get things back into some semblance of normal.

[00:01:20.850] – Rachel
Right. Well, good. I hope you've had a good time visiting all your family and friends.

[00:01:24.490] – Allan
Yeah, it's tiring. And then a friend of mine, he's doing a YouTube channel and he asked me to go out there and like it and comments and do things like that to help him get his YouTube channel going. I went out there and he had a video where he's eating at the restaurants that I would usually be eating at, talking to friends that I would normally be talking to. And so it kind of got me a little homesick, which is strange. I'm in the United States visiting family, but I'm home sick to get back to focus.

[00:01:54.190] – Rachel
Sure. How long have you guys lived in Panama?

[00:01:57.310] – Allan
we're approaching three years.

[00:01:58.820] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh. That's a long time. That's definitely your home. I can totally see that. Yeah.

[00:02:04.790] – Allan
Yeah. So our dogs are there and our place is there and then something happens like this guy, apparently, I don't know. He just decided he wanted to throw a flower pot at the window of the gym and bust the glass. And I did bust it open open, but he busted the glass and so it's now get that fixed. And the guy came back and apologize for doing it and said he would make it right. You pay for it. But it's not my building. So we're, like manager, insert my message.

[00:02:31.580] – Allan
We got to get that window fixed, so just stop. You know, it's like if you're there, those kind of things are not hard to deal with, but when you're over 3000 miles away, it's a little bit more difficult.

[00:02:43.600] – Rachel
Oh, for sure. My goodness. Well, I'm glad you've had a good time visiting family and friends. That's the most important part. It's a long trip for you, though, but I think 4000 miles.

[00:02:53.570] – Allan
You know, when we're getting done with get done with this, we'll put over 4000 miles on a rental car. Yeah. So Tammy is gonna drive down to Key West. I think tomorrow, and I'm not gonna go. She's gonna go down there and hang out with a friend and spend the night and then drive back the next day. But, yeah, I'm not doing that part of it. I'm gonna step here and hang out my family here. So we'll put on over 4000 miles on that rental car before we return.

[00:03:20.050] – Rachel
Amazing. My gosh.

[00:03:22.730] – Allan
So it'll be a long month, long five weeks, but good stuff.

[00:03:28.000] – Rachel
Yeah. I'm glad you got to spend the time here.

[00:03:31.270] – Allan
How are things up there in Michigan?

[00:03:33.320] – Rachel
Oh, good. Good things are good. You know, one of the great grand prizes for turning 50 is a colonoscopy. So I will be prepping for that in the next few days. And hopefully by the time this air, I'll have some good results to share. But this will be my first colonoscopy.

[00:03:50.940] – Allan
That sounds like a show.

[00:03:52.390] – Rachel
It is. It's actually, it's not terrible. The prep work, I'm sure it's going to be real thrilling later, but I'm kind of excited to have this done. Colon cancer does run in my family, and since I've hit that age, it's just one of those things I can check off the list like a mammogram, which I do every year anyway, but, yeah, it's just one of those things that will give me a little peace of mind.

[00:04:16.370] – Allan
Okay. Well, good. I hope it all comes out good.

[00:04:20.820] – Rachel
Good one. Yeah, it'll be fine. But I'll be sure to share my results once I know them.

[00:04:27.600] – Allan
Good. Are you ready to talk about some resistance training?

[00:04:30.880] – Rachel
Yes. Let's do this today.


Today, I want to take some time and talk to you about some of the more intermediate and advanced resistance training, things that you can do. And these are some of these things that are appropriate for people over 40. So I'll kind of emphasize this that if you're new at training haven't been doing something for more than a year, this episode is probably not going to be for you. You might learn a few things about muscle resistance training and things like that, but just recognize that the strategies and tactics that we're talking about here today are not for the new training.

If you haven't been training for at least six months and maybe a year or more, you might not want to look into these, but this is something, if you're really interested in weightlifting resistance training, you might find interesting. So I do want to start this episode off with a caution. If you're new, if you're new to this, then yeah, definitely think twice before trying some of these. These are not things that you do, particularly for if you're just bored with your program. If you're bored with your program, change up some of the exercises, change up your sets and reps do those other things that change up the workout and make it different and more interesting.

These are not something that you want to do if you're under trained, and that means, yes, probably about a year or so of consistent training, and then you kind of plateaued and you're not seeing the improvements that you wanted to see. Most people are going to be able to get enough benefit out of just basic weightlifting that they don't really need to do these things. You can build strength and muscle without these tools without these strategies, but just recognize that, yes, if you want to optimize your growth, optimize your strength, optimize your power.

These can be very powerful tools in your tool chest. And then the other side of it is when you implement some of these things because of the additional volume because of the way you're working, you do increase your risk of injury. I do take that into account. Injury is a very important thing. It's rule number one in resistance training, do not injure thyself, and so you do not want to injure yourself. So you really have to be very thoughtful about how you approach intermediate resistance training.

To start this conversation, I really want to get into volume because that's what we're really doing when we're doing these processes, we're trying to increase the volume of work or we're trying to increase the volume of intensity for what we're doing when we're doing these exercises. So just recognize that normally we could do weights, reps and sets, and that's going to be enough for us to improve or increase the volume of the work that we're doing. If I do one more set than I did before, then I've increased the volume.

If I've added more reps, I've potentially increase the volume. And obviously, if I'm doing the same number of reps and sets and I've increased the weight, you know that I've increased the volume and each of those is specific to how you're trying to train. So are you trying to train strength? Are you trying to train for muscle growth? Are you trying to train for muscular endurance or stamina or power? And so as you look at the way you're lifting, recognize that the way your lifting needs to align with what you're doing and the volume increases that you do also have to align with that.

So there are different ways. Like I said, we can do this. We can do more work per week. We can do more work per workout. We can increase the time that it takes for us to do each exercise. It's called time and attention, and we'll get into that in a minute. But what you do, what we're doing here is we're basically in most of these, we're trying to increase the volume of work, the volume of work that the muscle has to do. And so we'll get into a lot more detail in that as we go forward, but just recognize, I'm going to keep coming back this term volume and just realize that volume just means more work.

It means more work for the muscle, either in reps, set, time under tension or the weight we're lifting. Before you get started on a program like this, it's really important for you to define the purpose of why you're doing what you're doing, because each of these strategies helps a certain aspect of muscular development. And so you don't want to do something that's going to improve your strength if you're absolutely actually trying to increase power, and you may not want to increase muscle mass if you're trying to increase power.

So in looking at what you're trying to accomplish, recognize that the goal, the purpose drives the strategy that makes the most sense for you. Probably the most common way to increase volume. And the one that I would usually start with someone who's approaching the intermediate lifting stages, meaning they've done some lifting. They're comfortable with the full body workouts. It's an hour or so of work, and they get the reps in. They get the sets in, and as a result, they're seeing some benefit. But a lot of times what happens is then that kind of plateaus, and we need to add volume and a lot of times it's really hard to add volume to a single workout.

Meaning if I have you doing one exercise, two exercises for legs, one for chess, one for back, one for shoulders, and a little bit of core work. That's practically an entire hour workout already. To add more time to that workout isn't practical for a lot of people.

So one approach is to do splits. So typically a split. What that means is that you're splitting up the work across different body parts so that you can do more work each workout. But you're also going to have to do more workouts each week.

So a very common split is the upper and lower split. So what we'll do is we'll come in, say on Monday, and we'll do a lower body workout, so that's mostly leg work. So squats, leg press, lunges, split squats, maybe a little bit of machine work. And that's your leg workout. You'll hear the term leg day called out a lot. So you do a leg workout on Monday, and then on Tuesday, you come back in and you do an upper body workout. So that's where you're doing pushups, bench press, pulls, rows, different things like that.

You you might even throw up in some arm workout, some shoulder workout, and that's your upper body work. And so you've split into an upper lower Monday, Tuesday, maybe you take Wednesday off. You come back Thursday, Friday, and you do another lower upper. As a result, you hit your legs twice in the same week, which is what you would have done before. But now you've actually added more volume because you had more time to do more exercises, more exercises, then more sets and more reps for each of those parts. And as a result, they're getting more volume.

The other common split is called a push pull legs. And the way that works is you would come in and let's say on Monday, you go ahead and do your push and push is where you're moving away from your body. So you think of pushups bench press flies overhead, press that type of thing. So you're mostly working your chest and shoulders and then probably your triceps. A pull is when you're pulling something towards yourself. So you're doing a rows, you're doing lat pull downs and then potentially some other movements where you're working your biceps.

So that would then be the pull. And then your legs obviously is just a lower body workout, and you do a leg workout. Now the advantage of pushpull legs is then you've already given yourself the full two days off from that push workout. You could come right back the next day and do another push and you can rotate this all the way through and not have a day off effectively. Although I'd still encourage you every once in a while. Do take recovery day. There's a lot of volume.

So at some point it's probably worth taking a day off. So if I'm going to do a push pull legs, I'll do a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and then I take Sunday off and that's six days of lifting. Each day I'm working a different part of my body. I'm getting each body part in twice per week, which is what I was doing mostly when I was doing full body, and so it gives me the opportunity to add a lot more volume by doing the split.

But it also means you're dedicating a lot more time to the gym than you would if you were just doing two 1 hour full body workouts. Now you're in the gym up to 6 hours a week, which can be quite a bit of time. So recognize to get more volume, you've put more time in.

Now, one way to get around this little bit of volume and time is to mix in a thing we call super sets or monster sets. Now, this is where you're going to do two exercises pretty much in a circuit, and the two exercises work different body parts so effectively you can get an exercise in faster because your rest period is effectively when you're doing a different exercise.

So an example of that would be if I wanted to do bench press and then I wanted to do dumbbell rows. And so I would do my bench press. As soon as I finish my bench press, I turn around and do my set of rows. And then as I moved back to the bench and make sure I'm getting enough rest between exercises. But you can kind of see how because I did it that way. I cut out a rest period that I would have had in between each exercise.

And as a result, I could get a lot more done. A monster set is where you put three or more exercises together in a circuit. And I don't want you to get this confused with circuit training, where you would walk in and there's a series of machines and you're just doing these eight different exercises in the circuit. This is when you're going heavy. If you're intermediate lifting, you're doing a lot more weight than you would be doing on those machines. You're probably working with free weights.

And so you would put together potentially three exercises that could be again, it could be the bench press. It could be a dumbbell row, as I said. And maybe your third exercise is squats or something for your legs. And so you do that monster set, and then now you can go right back into another round, and you basically have eliminated the need for those rest that'll allow you to get more volume in a shorter period of time. So you don't necessarily have to split your workout in multiple days.

You can add super sets and monster sets to reduce the amount of time, which allows you to do more sets or exercises for each body part in the same amount of time. It also can be very fatiguing. And I found that super sets and monster sets really aren't for me because I don't recover from the cardiovascular perspective of just exercise exercise. I need that little bit of rest time to get myself fired back up to really be able to optimize the weight that I'm doing. And another aspect of this is it is really hard in a commercial gym to set up a series of super sets without really just being all over the gym.

And in an age of COVID, that's even worse if someone's trying to work out in a gym and you're taking up three or four pieces of equipment at a given point in time, it's really hard. Unless you're going to a commercial gym when no one else is there off hours or like me, own the gym, then you can go in and do it when you want to. But it's really hard in a commercial gym to do super sets and monster sets effectively without a lot of planning and doing it at times that are just more appropriate for that.

But that is a way to add more volume that you can do. So ways to add Volume Right now, we have split and we have super sets. And I mentioned earlier time under tension.

So when we're doing our normal workout and we're starting out, you probably notice a lot of muscle growth and you probably know, I mean, maybe not physically muscle growth, but you notice that you got stronger pretty quick. You might have started with five pound dumbbells and you're almost within a month, you're up to ten pound dumbbells.

That's 100% increase that's huge. What's typically happening during that period of time is not that you're piling on a bunch of muscle and getting a lot stronger. What you're doing is your brain and your muscles are beginning to communicate more effectively. So your brain is trying to fire off enough muscle fibers to do the movement that you're asking it to do. And as you go to do that movement, you get more efficient and that efficiency of the communication where your brain can know what a weight is and can fire off just the right amount of muscle fibers is a really cool thing that allows you to get stronger. Now, by doing time under tension, which just basically means slowing down our tempo.

So you think normally if you were going to do, let's say push up, you would go down a count of one, you go up. So it's really almost like up up up up right. Now, to do time under tension, I'd say slow that down to maybe 2 seconds, 3 seconds. So it's 3 seconds down 3 seconds up. Another way that you can put time under tension is when you're in that down position, maybe you stay there for a pause and that pause training will keep you fired. The muscles firing longer.

That will help your brain and your muscles talk much, much more. Because as you're trying to do the movement slower, the muscle is going to have to fire off more and more muscle fibers to keep the weight under control and moving. So time under tension is a very effective way of building muscle and strength. But time under tension is not beneficial if you're training for power. So if you're trying to do something like sprints and you want to be able to sprint faster, I would not do time under tension training for your legs because you're training your muscles to fire slowly and consistently, and that's not the kind of thing you need if you're trying to build power.

So if you want to build a little bit more muscle mass and you want to get a little stronger and you're looking for a way to kind of bump up the volume of what you're doing. Time under tension is a really good tool to do that. You can take a smaller amount of weight and make it harder for your body because you slowed down your body's, firing off more muscle fibers, and that's causing more stimulus, which will cause more growth in both the muscular and the strength aspects.

Another interesting approach is called variable resistance training, and you can do variable resistance training even as a beginner. But when you really want to kind of leverage some things, this is where a variable resistance training becomes really, really good. Basically, variable resistance training just means that you're providing a variable level of resistance based on where your strength points are in a movement. So to give you an example, because there's a certain amount of muscular leverage in working each bit of weight. If you think about a bicep curl.

So you're holding a dumbbell by your side and you want to bring that dumbbell up to basically your front deltoid to curl and use the bicep to do that. At the very bottom, you're at your worst leverage point. And so the weight that you can start at that bottom is much lighter than the way you could do. If you had your hands say just six inches away from your shoulder, you're at that point have a much better leverage point and can do a lot more weight.

So that's one of the disadvantages of fixed weights like dumbbells and kettlebells. And things like that is that they aren't variable, whereas you can use bands or chains or the cambers on certain machines to change up the resistance throughout the movement. So here's an example, let's say I had that same dumbbell in my hand, and instead of just the dumbbell, I had a chain draped over that dumbbell so that as I lifted the dumbbell closer to my chest, on my shoulder, as the dumbbell came up, more chain is off the floor, meaning there's more resistance against the movement.

So that at the top, I have a much higher resistance than I did at the bottom. Cables do the same thing. I mean, sorry, bands do the same thing. That's probably what you've experienced as you stretch a band. It provides a variable resistance. And then some machines, you may notice that if you're looking at the mechanism, the camber that's lifting the weight, that it typically spins and it's pulling typically a strap or something, it's pulling that and as it turns, if that's just around camber or around pulling, it's a very straight resistance if they put a camber on there where it's like lopsided that can provide variable resistance.

The NATOs machines were really famous for this in the 70s and 80s, as they provided this kind of variable resistance through different movements. So it's very common now to see those on machines. The cool thing about resistance training when it's variable resistance is that it is providing you the maximum amount of resistance or at least a better range of resistance as you do a lift. As you get that muscular leverage going, looking for ways to add variable resistance to an exercise can help a lot. So one way that you can do this is you can use bands.

So if you strap a band to something or you're doing the band curls that's band movements that's one thing. I talked about the chains. So you'll be doing a bench press and you can have chains over the bar. So the bar goes up, more chain is off the floor and therefore more resistance. And then there are bands that you can use to assist you on, like pull ups. So you take one of those bands, you wrap them over the bar, you put your foot in that band.

And then as you go down and you're in your weakest position at the bottom, then the band is fully extended. Therefore, it's giving you resistance up to help you. And as you get closer to the top, there's less pull on that band, and it's giving you less assistance. So there's lots of different ways to use variable resistance in assisting you to have the maximum amount of weight effectively resistance in an exercise. So you're increasing the resistance based on your strength profile and the leverage of your muscles.

So variable resistance is a pretty cool tool, and it can even be used by some beginners. And if you're using bands for your workout, then you've experienced some of that.

Another one is called negatives. And I'll explain this in a little bit more detail, because sometimes it really confuses people. But in every movement, you're going to be constricting muscle. Tighten a muscle to affect that movement. And so basically, if you're doing a curl, a bicep curl we talked about you are shortening your bicep. In shortening, it that is the concentric portion of the movement.

As you shorten your bicep, that brings the dumbbell up as you go back down, that's the eccentric portion of the movement. In the eccentric portion of the movement, you are resisting that resistance. Okay, that sounds weird, but your muscle is preventing the weight, the resistance from going where it wants to go. It's fighting gravity. And that's the point where your body is building core strength, getting really stronger and that you're firing off the things you need to be stronger to hold that weight against that resistance.

So a negative is effectively where you're doing a time under tension thing, but you're only doing it during the eccentric portion of the movement. Let's say I want to improve my pull ups, and I know I can do a few, but I want to be able to do more. I want to get stronger in the pull up. What I can do is I can get myself a little step ladder, and I can step up to a point where the bar is at my chest, and then I can let my body go down slowly fighting that resistance.

So I'm working through the negative portion of that exercise. The eccentric portion of that exercise. And I can tell you that don't do this unless you really want to have DOMS, because this is one of those situations where DOMS is going to happen if you're doing this. Another way that this could be done is you could be doing a dumbbell curl or barbell curl, and someone can help you get the bar up and then you fight it going down. And so that's another very common negative resistance training that people will do.

But again, this is is very extreme. It's a lot of volume and does some damage. So you just be aware that if you're using this as a means for building strength or some mass, but mostly strength, it's a really good tool to break through some Plateau. So if you're struggling with pull ups and you've been lifting for a while and you've been doing pull ups and doing other polls and things like that to build some strength, a negative approach, getting someone to help you through the positive or using step ladder in some cases can be a good way of getting a little bit of extra volume in there.

But again, be careful because this is bordering on more of the advanced stuff, and it is something you have to manage.

Another one I wanted to bring up, and I almost didn't want to talk about this one because it's one, it's a little controversial. And two, it's not entirely safe. You be very careful with this one. And it's called Occlusion. Now occlusion is basically where we're blocking blood flow to a muscle, and then we're doing work. And there's been some studies that basically show if you're looking to build muscle mass, Occlusion can be a good tool for allowing you to add that volume of that work and changing the nature of that work.

So the muscle does some different things. So basically what you do is let's say I wanted to do a bicep curl. I would put a strap on my arm above that bicep and tighten it just enough to slow down or reduce the blood flow to my arm. And then I would do those bicep curls. I've tried Occlusion before. It's moderately effective. It's not great effective. So it's not like some of the other things that we've talked about today, but for the advanced lifter that's looking to add a little bit more mass to a limb, because obviously there are certain parts here you just can't exclude.

So it's mostly used for arms and legs. And if you're looking to add a little bit more mass to those, this could be something you do, but I doubt there's very many people over the age of 40 that really ever need to consider Occlusion training. But I wanted you to know it was out there because you might see someone doing it and wonder what it's about. Now, by no means was this an exhaustive list of all of the things that you could find in a bodybuilding magazine or a power lifting magazine?

But I wanted to put this out there from the perspective of just understanding. There are additional strategies to mix this up. People who've been lifting for years don't necessarily still just go in and do the full body workout. And if you go into a gym, you might see some people doing some relatively strange things. And I wanted to just give you an idea of why they might be doing those things. If you have any questions, I do encourage you to come message me. Let me know what's going on.

If you have a question, you see someone doing something in a gym and you're just interested in why they might be doing that thing. Just let me know now, don't videotape them, but maybe you can just describe to me what you saw them doing.

So let me kind of summarize all this. If you've gotten into resistance training and you've lifted for a while and you find yourself beginning to Plateau with the workout that you have and you want to mix it up, that's cool. Mix it up. Add additional exercises, just pull out an exchange exercises.

Make sure you're covering all your bases. Don't be the guy that doesn't lift with the legs. You need that too. You need to at least make sure you're doing something for your legs. So if you're a runner and you want to build some more upper body strength, cool, do that. But make sure what you're doing is a balanced training based on what you're trying to accomplish. Now, when you're ready to do something more and you want to move into some of these more advanced lifting approaches, you're going to have to manage the volume.

You do not want to jump into these things full board. When I mentioned negatives, I'll only do negatives for one set. So I'll do my sets pull ups or whatever I'm doing. And then if I want to do negatives, it's only going to be pretty much on the last set. So I'm finishing out and I'll do that. Manage the volume. We're over 40. We don't want to get injured. So as you're increasing volume, do it responsibly and then have a purpose. So don't just go into this and say, I want to just try these different things for the sake of trying them.

Understand each of these different approaches has a different benefit. So don't just do something for the sake of doing it. Have a purpose, a mission, a reason why you want to do a certain thing. Time under tension is great, but not for power. It's great for muscle and strength. Negatives are really good for strength. Occlusion is good for additional muscles. So just understand what the work you're doing is going to do potentially different things and do the things that help you do that. Pick the right approach.

Like I said, don't just jump in and do something. Pick the approach or approaches. And I would recommend one at a time. So you see how it works for you. Make that change. Try it. If it doesn't work, check it. It's working for you. Then maybe you keep it. But don't pile on all of these. There's no reason for you to be doing variable resistance training, time under tension, negatives and Occlusion all at the same time. There's absolutely no reason for you to do that.

So find the thing that works for you and start working it in. And if it works, then keep it. If not, toss it out and then know when to say when. I was talking to a client, and he was asking the question, when am I strong enough? When is this enough? And the reality of it is it is enough when you can live the way you want to live now. I mentioned earlier in one of the earlier episodes that I'm planning to do a tough Mudder, and so now I have very specific purposes for my training, which is what I kind of needed.

So as I go into my training, I need to build strength, particularly in my ability to pull, because a lot of the tough Mudder activities are climbing related. So the ability to pull my body weight, it also means, yeah, I got to kind of lose a little bit of body weight and I get to build some stamina and then this one other little caveat, which is probably going to be the biggest challenge for me overall. Is there's one obstacle called the Everest. And it's a ramp that you have to run up and then jump and grab.

They do have a rope there, but I'm not sure about that, but they didn't have that when I did the first one. But running and jumping requires some speed. It requires some athleticism. And so I've got to do some work to build up a little bit of speed. So my training is going to be very specific to that. Now I know that doesn't relate to this whole process of talking about intermediate weightlifting, but just recognizing that to run faster, I need power in my legs. I don't need a lot of strength in my legs.

I need power. So I need strength in my upper body. I need grip strength. I need power to be able to run a little faster for at least a sprint. And those are the things that I'll be working on as I build what I got to build, to be able to be competitive and do what I want to do in this tough mudder. And I say you need to do the same. But also then know when to say when if you get into splits and you're working out every day of the week, eventually you're probably going to break yourself so kind of build in those rest days, build in those recovery periods and then pay attention to your body because your body is going to tell you when things are not going well, and you just have to be open minded and check the ego and listen to when your body tells you to stop.

Post Show/Recap

[00:32:27.880] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:32:29.160] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. I do love to talk about resistance training, and sometimes I often use the word weight training, but I do my fair share of weight training and body weight training. But whenever I think about increasing what I'm doing or making things a little bit harder, I just simply think about adding weights or adding more weight to what I'm doing.

[00:32:52.800] – Allan
And for most of us, that's exactly the approach to take. You get to a certain strength level where you feel good about the amount of weight you're moving, then you're good. You're maintaining muscle, you're maintaining strength. And as long as you're not struggling with that same weight, then you're staying about where you need to, because that's quite frankly, no reason for anyone to be able to put 160 pounds over their head. The most you're ever going to probably ever try to put over your head is 25 pounds and that's just putting luggage

[00:33:22.920] – Allan
The overhead bin on an airplane. So if you want to be independent and be able to do that and then being able to open a jar, so there's things that you're going to want to do for independence purposes, but you're not going to have your body weight that you're trying to put into an overhead bin. That's just unless you're bringing a person with you, we don't want to talk about that. But just realize a functional level of strength for most of us is all we need.

[00:33:50.570] – Allan
Now I have set up to do a tough Mudder in August of 2022, and you can go to 40plusFitnesspodcast.com/Chicago. I'm on the 10 to 10:45 run of that. And so if you're interested in doing a tough Mudder, there's one in Chicago I'll be doing it. I'd love to see you. If there's enough people that are interested in, we might do a little meet up or something afterwards, have a couple of beers and have some dinner or whatever. So yeah, if you're interested in maybe doing a tough Mudder, the classic is the one I'm doing.

[00:34:23.940] – Allan
There's also a 5K in 10K. There's shorter versions of it. If you don't think you're going to be quite up to that. But that said, my training for the tough Mudder is going to fundamentally alter the way that I approach training. I'll be using several of these intermediate principles of ways to increase the volume of what I do. I'll definitely be using splits because for me to get done what I got to get done, I won't be able to get it done. Just doing two to two and a half workouts per week, on average, just doing full body, and then I'll be doing a lot of things and there'll be a lot of two days kind of things where I'll do the weight training in the morning and then later on I'll do some endurance work to get myself to a point.

[00:35:12.570] – Allan
But the way I do my training will change because I'm trying to affect different things. I'm trying to affect strengthen some places, I'm trying to affect power in others and then muscular endurance and others. And so as I go through my training more so towards the back end of it is I'm starting to specialize for that sport, if you will. But on the front end, there will be some basic things that I'll be doing to build up core competencies and strength, power and endurance so that I'm able to get that done.

[00:35:42.350] – Allan
And it won't be about muscle mass. So I'm not going to try to become a body builder for the sake of doing this event because that won't benefit me at all. In fact, the goal will be to actually get stronger and smaller, so it will change a little bit about what I do. But again, that's where these kind of these intermediate level things come in, because I will be specializing. I will be doing something different as you're doing longer runs, looking at doing an ultra or anything like that crazy stuff you did this weekend with the five K, ten K half and then full marathon, four days in a row, that kind of mileage.

[00:36:19.630] – Allan
Do you really want to have leg training in your full body workout? The Monday after you do all that and short answers? No.

[00:36:28.070] – Rachel
Definitely no. Yeah.

[00:36:31.360] – Allan
So you have opportunities to use some of these principles is intermediate principles to have volume where you need it and specialize it for the types of things you need where you need it.

[00:36:42.620] – Rachel
Well, that's exactly right. My goals right now are a little different than yours, but that's the whole point about putting these types of plans together based on your goal. And you mentioned you're not going to be adding muscle mass. You want to be leaner. So you're gonna choose activities that correspond with that goal. In the offseason, I'll probably spend a little bit more time in the gym not gaining mass. Like you said earlier, the keyword for me is maintaining strength. And so in the winter, when I'm not running as often, I can do some more of those leg days to keep some strength.

[00:37:23.240] – Rachel
And yeah, it just fluctuates with what my schedule is. And just like you, you've got your eyes set on this tough Mudder, so you'll be putting your training together to address those goals.

[00:37:34.660] – Allan
Yeah. And so in that specialization, and that's where this stuff really becomes critical as a beginner. It's really just about building fundamental skills when you first start lifting weights and to go back to the whole weight training because I will go back and forth. But just recognize, I know when I say weight training is like we don't want to go pick up iron bars in a gym. If all these sweaty guys grunting and all that stuff, it's about resistance is the end game of it. It's a little bit more technical term for what we're doing.

[00:38:05.300] – Allan
We're applying resistance to build strength, muscle endurance or muscle mass or power. And so if I use one interchangeably to me, it's all the same. But I understand that some people get turned off by terms like bodybuilding and weight lifting and all that. So just realize it's all resistance training just how you decide to do it, whether it's your body weight or its weight or its resistance bands or chains, whatever it is, it's still the same are generally the same. But the perfect example would be there's an obstacle called Everest, and it's basically it's a ramp that as you get to the top of it, it gets steeper and steeper until it's straight up.

[00:38:47.950] – Allan
And to get up this thing, you have to sprint, you have to sprint and you have to keep running. And then you reach out and try to grab the edge. Now, truly athletic people can run up, grab the edge, pull themselves up and over. But because this is a tough mudder and not a competition, there'll be plenty of people that will be sitting up there ready to help you. Oh, you reach your arms out as you're running up this thing, and they'll reach down and credit grab you and help you over.

[00:39:13.950] – Allan
So it's a very helpful, very cool vibe there. But that said, I'm not a sprinter from perspective of being 56 years old at that time and trying to sprint, I'm going to have to build some speed. I'm going to build some power into my legs. And that means when I get on like a squat or a leg press, I'm not going to have a whole ton of weight on there. And I'm not going to go slow, like time under tension, like I would normally do for muscle mass.

[00:39:41.210] – Allan
It's going to be about quick, high rep, low weight stuff to get my legs faster, pumping get with the strength relative to weight that I need to build the power so that a sprint will help me at least get myself halfway up that wall and then hopefully the other half of my body up his body length. And so hopefully at that point, I'll be able to grab the edge. And then I'll probably need one or two of those guys up there to help me over. And then I'll reach out and help the person behind me, which is what it's all about.

[00:40:15.370] – Allan
So it's a very different type of training. Then I would be doing otherwise because otherwise, like you, I'd be like, okay, add more weight, slow down time under tension splits to add volume. I'm not a big fan of super sets and monster sets. That's just not something I've ever really enjoyed when I was trying to put on muscle mass. Those were actually valuable for me, and I've used them, but I'm not a fan because I actually like to lift. I like to rest. For heavy weights,

[00:40:52.210] – Allan
I will easily take two minutes to three minutes off between each set so that I've got the maximum amount of energy to apply into the next one. And that really helps me for building muscle mass. But that's not again, not the type of training I'm going to be doing here. If I did a monster set, it would be because one I didn't feel like I had enough time to get everything in or it would be where I was actually just trying to do something fast. Again, building power in parts of my body.

[00:41:18.490] – Allan
So for my legs, I might put together a period of time where I did. I'm probably not a monster set, but a super set with two exercises that were working my legs in different ways and then just the quick back and forth between the two. So there's limited rest and trying to just raise my energy level for that. But each of these has their place. But probably the only one I'd say is just don't do is the Occlusion training. There's not a lot of reason unless you're going to try to do some kind of Masters level body building or something like that.

[00:41:58.970] – Allan
Occlusion is not safe. Unless you do it wrong. You can do it really wrong. So it's not one of those things I would encourage most people to try. I've done it before when I was trying to put on mass, and again, it shouldn't have been putting on mass because I was also training for a sport, but I don't always do the right things, but there's a lot to this stuff. There's some books, ebooks, volumes of books on how to do this stuff. So simple is good.

[00:42:32.620] – Allan
And then over time adapt because most of my clients all train for a while and it's like they get that neuromuscular connection and they start getting a lot stronger and that feels good. And then now you're starting the Plateau and you're like, oh, no. What am I going to do? And then I'm like, okay, well, you're just going to change the workout up a little bit, give you something new, some workouts, some exercises that are going to complement what you've been doing and build strength in a slightly different way.

[00:42:59.410] – Allan
And then you just keep doing that. And that can work for most people almost all the time. But then there's others. They'll say, okay, I want to take it to that next level, and that's where splits and time under tension and variable resistance. All of those things can come into play at one level or another. Not all necessarily at the same time, but at different points in time, we're going to do it. I will definitely be doing negatives. I talked a little bit about negatives. I will definitely be doing negatives to build strength in my back for pull ups.

[00:43:32.130] – Allan
there's gonna be pulls. So I will do like, I think I said it in there, that I'll climb on a ladder or step, and I'll get my chest up to the bar. And then I will hold myself in that position and slowly lower myself down as a function of trying to build more strength in my back and arms.

[00:43:53.630] – Rachel

[00:43:54.770] – Allan
It's gonna hurt. It's gonna hurt a lot. And I'll have DOMS the next day. But over time that's going to build a lot more strength in my back. I'll be able to hold positions that I wouldn't normally be able to hold because there's there's all kinds of, like monkey bars and swings, and that. So there's a lot of upper body strength required climbing ropes, all of that. So I'll want to build that that up to a really high strength level and one of the fastest ways for me to get there,

[00:44:27.350] – Allan
again, someone who's lifted for a while will be these negatives. But I would not encourage most people to do negatives unless you just really want to hurt or you want to build a much stronger back than you would normally have if you became a goal. Like Rachel, you said, okay, I want to do ten foot pull ups. I want to be able to do ten pullups. We would start with just you using doing lap pull downs and some other rows to get your body basically strong. And then we'd get a resistance band, and we would use that resistance band to assist you or have Mike stand behind you and give you a little bit of assist on your pull up, and you'll be able to start being able to do pull ups.

[00:45:06.560] – Allan
You'll get to a strength level, you can then it's just a function of doing more volume to get to where you can do. The ten that you want to do is your goal that if that is the goal, but a way to get past even that would be then as an intermediate lifter to start looking at negatives or effectively, maybe even attaching weight to your torso or your legs. So you're pulling more weight up than just your body weight. So then that might be again, another strategy that I use to increase the strength that I have in my back.

[00:45:41.560] – Rachel
Wow, that all sound like really wonderful methods that we could try to employ in the gym when it's time to do something different.

[00:45:50.460] – Allan
But not all at the same time.

[00:45:52.240] – Rachel
I know. One thing at a time, right?

[00:45:56.790] – Allan
I don't want you having straps around your biceps, and then you're doing variable resistance, negatives and trying to stay time under tension the whole time. Don't.

[00:46:09.680] – Rachel
But this is great because like I said earlier, whenever I think about making any advances in the gym, I'm sure a lot of people think the same way. Just add pounds, just add weight to your weights. And obviously there's a lot of other tactics that could be employed.

[00:46:26.300] – Allan
And no, like I said earlier, that's a perfect approach if you're getting there. But there's a point you're saying, okay, I did X weight, and then I did X plus five, and then I did that plus 5. And then it's like, okay, now I'm stuck at this weight. And so let's say your original weight was 40 pounds, and then you're doing 45, and then now you're doing 50. But now you just don't seem to be able to go past that. Every time you try to put 55, you get stuck, you're like, okay, I wanted to do this many, and I didn't.

[00:46:58.580] – Allan
And I can't yet. I can't yet. And so the question will be is, what can we do then, to get you past that? Because just adding more weight won't necessarily get you there. If you can't move that weight so we can look at things that would change it up a little bit and be a little bit different, taking long, sometimes even taking a longer rest before you try to do the next set can be all that you need to get that weight moving. But you can look at some of these strategies and say, okay, what's a way for me to do this.

[00:47:31.880] – Allan
I probably should have put in here now that I'm thinking about it. And that's called drop sets. And so let's say you're trying to do deadlifts and you're doing 50 and you want to be able to do 55. I might tell you. Okay, put the two and a half on the outside of the callers, start doing them, and then maybe you only get three done. Pull those two and a half off and finish your set. And so that drop set there again. It's just a strategy.

[00:47:59.340] – Allan
There's a lot of them. But I should have probably covered that one, how they think about it. But it's just there's these strategies. And so if you're struggling with something, particularly with your weight lifting, in this case, because we're talking about, come on to the Facebook group, ask that question, say, hey, I'm stuck at this or this isn't working the way I wanted it to or I want to understand this concept a little bit better. That's why we have the Facebook group. You can go to 40PlusFitnesspodcast.com/group

[00:48:27.890] – Allan
and ask any of those questions. I'm on there regularly. I've been on there less, of course, over the last few weeks because I'm spending time with family and taking some vacation and doing that. So I haven't been out there nearly as much as I was. But as this goes live, I'm there. I'm there for you. So if you have questions about weightlifting, resistance training, all of that, just feel free to come out there and give us a call. Let us know what's going on.

[00:48:51.480] – Rachel
Perfect. And you've got so much experience in the gym. I appreciate all your insight on this. This is great.

[00:48:57.690] – Allan
Well, thank you. But I'm serious about that colonoscopy. So we're going to get you on the line. We're going to have a conversation about your experience there. And because it is something we all need to be considering. I'm looking forward. I'm actually looking forward vicariously experiencing this three.

[00:49:16.750] – Rachel
I appreciate that. I'll take copious notes and I'll let you guys know how it goes.

[00:49:23.140] – Allan
Awesome. Well, Rachel, you'll enjoy your week and I'll talk to you next week.

[00:49:26.590] – Rachel
Thanks. Bye now.


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– Deb Scarlett– John Dachauer– Margaret Bakalian
– Debbie Ralston– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
– Eliza Lamb– Judy Murphy– Tim Alexander

Thank you!

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