- in fitness , guest/interview by allan
How to get fit in just minutes per day with Dr. Robert Davis
One of the biggest obstacles to getting is shape is finding the time to exercise. In his book, Fitter Faster, Dr. Robert Davis shows us the current science behind getting there faster, literally in minutes per day.
Let's Say Hello
[00:03:24.190] – Allan
Hey, Ras. How are things?
[00:03:25.970] – Rachel
Good. Allan how are you today?
[00:03:27.960] – Allan
I'm doing all right. A little waterlogged. We got about 2ft of rain in the last three days.
[00:03:37.400] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh.
[00:03:39.410] – Allan
And it happened during what's supposed to be one of our driest months. March is supposed to be one of our dry months. In fact, the first year we moved here in March, we had three week drought, and they ran out of water on this island. They had a truck water in from the mainland for us. And then in December of that year, we had probably one of the worst rains they'd ever talked about, and they flooded the streets and flooded everything. I think the rain we got this time was even worse than what happened back in December. We literally got 2ft of rain in three days. We were in the middle of reroofing Lula's, so we're investing in this plastic PVC roof because we had a tin roof and it was rusting through and we're getting leaks. Well, we got leaks. So we had guests with leaks in the rooms, leaks over their bed, this and that. It was a little bit of a challenge there. And I had leaks at the gym. So we had this strip here, and I kind of knew it probably would leak, but I thought our guys had done enough to kind of help it from not happening.
[00:04:46.210] – Allan
But I just think the volume of water that was literally when we say buckets, that doesn't even really describe it. It was the hardest rain I've ever experienced. I've been here for over three years, but it was more than buckets. It was wild.
[00:05:06.390] – Rachel
My goodness. I can't imagine.
[00:05:09.350] – Allan
Yeah. So we're a little waterlogged. A lot of the papers and things that were on my desk because it just happened to leak right over my desk.
[00:05:16.620] – Rachel
Oh, no. Oh, my goodness.
[00:05:20.220] – Allan
It was a good thing I don't keep a computer just sitting on the desk here. It probably would have got ruined, but everything is kind of right now starting to have a little bit of an Orange hue to it. Everything metal. That is a bit of water and humidity. But hopefully another day or two will dry out and we'll figure out what my problem is on this road. But, yeah, the roofers are back at Lula's, so good. They know to kind of probably do a little bit of work there and two or three more days touch wood. We'll have our roof at Lula's Redone, and hopefully my landlord here will be able to do something. So next time we get a heavy rain, I don't have to move everything out of the way and have buckets cross the floor.
[00:06:03.220] – Rachel
No kidding. My goodness. Well, my fingers are crossed for you.
[00:06:07.200] – Allan
So you had a race?
[00:06:09.110] – Rachel
[00:06:10.080] – Allan
And you did a lot better than 5 hours.
[00:06:12.200] – Rachel
I did, yes. Last weekend we were in St. Louis for the St. Louis Marathon, and it was my husband's first official marathon, although he's done an ultra before, so kind of skipped a step. But he ran very well. And I also ran very well and secured a new PR at the ripe age of 50. So I'm quite excited to have a new PR of 4 hours and 38 minutes. And it was just a great day. It was a beautiful day to run. And I had a fantastic trainer who made me even stronger and more confident as a runner. And I did what I did, set a PR.
[00:06:54.400] – Allan
[00:06:55.680] – Rachel
Thank you. Thank you so much. It was a wonderful time. I could not be happier.
[00:07:01.350] – Allan
Kind of the takeaway from this is if you set something in your mind and you make the investment. And the investment was time, effort, patience, and money because you did hire a trainer, but the trainer was telling you to do things that were like counter to what Rachel was saying traditionally. Yeah. It's like, no, I got to run more, not less. I've got to run harder. I got to run slower, not faster. She was challenging you to get outside your comfort zone and do some things. And you did. And the results speak for themselves?
[00:07:41.200] – Rachel
Very much so. Yes, very much. I had a great 16 weeks of training with her. And the different types of running that we did throughout the training period were a little different for me. Usually I run for different goals and different reasons. And you're right, this was definitely out of my comfort zone. And it was a very strong training cycle and it showed on race day.
[00:08:06.920] – Allan
Good. Congratulations again.
[00:08:08.900] – Rachel
Thank you so much.
[00:08:10.420] – Allan
All right. Well, we have Dr. Robert Davis back on the show. He did the Super Size Lies book, and now we're going to go. He's done a review of his book Fitter Faster. So you're ready to have that conversation?
[00:08:24.780] – Rachel
[00:08:50.370] – Allan
Dr Davis, welcome back to 40+ Fitness.
[00:08:53.370] – Dr. Davis
Thank you, Allan. Great to be with you again.
[00:08:55.830] – Allan
I love seeing a book from an author who wrote a book that I love. And your Lies book. I can't remember the exact title of it, Super-Sized Lies, and it was about weight loss and all the lies were told about that's great book. I recommend everybody get a copy of that, too. But today we're going to talk about your book, Fitter Faster: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day. And one of the things that's really cool about this is that this is not the first time this book has been out. You're actually updating it, meaning you've learned a few new things, a few new tricks, a few things we can do to get fitter faster. And you've touched on maybe the number one problem that most people will say. It's like, of course, my doctor tells me to eat better and exercise more. But working my working day, by the time I get home, I get dinner and get everything settled. When, when am I supposed to do this? And getting it done in minutes a day is true because as I went through your fitter faster program, those workouts, almost every single one of them is probably less than 20 minutes.
[00:10:09.960] – Allan
I mean, you need some warm up time for these obviously some cool down time stretching and things like that. But literally, if you can dedicate 20 minutes to your health and fitness each day, six days a week, this program is excellent.
[00:10:25.230] – Dr. Davis
Well, thank you. You're absolutely right. That is the number one reason people say they don't exercise can't exercise consistently because they don't have enough time. And the idea is that we wanted to help people overcome that barrier in addition to other barriers. And we can talk about those. But the number one barrier being a lack of time. And to do that by coming up with ways to exercise that are more time efficient. So to use certain techniques, they can allow you to get just as much, if not greater benefits in less time. And that's really the key. So that people can, when they have only ten minutes or 15 minutes, can still get in and work at it, because often people say, well, I only have ten minutes. I only have a few minutes. Forget it, because I don't have enough time. And so we try to eliminate that as an excuse.
[00:11:07.050] – Allan
And the cool thing about this is you're not just giving them shorter workouts and saying, okay, just do these shorter workouts and they're going to work. This is science based. You didn't just go and say, okay, how can I give them this easy button? You look back at the science and said, what does science tell us? Is something that we can do that's going to give us the benefits at the kind of the minimum dose.
[00:11:32.130] – Dr. Davis
Exactly. Readers will see. I have hundreds of footnotes in the back of the book, and I hope it didn't come across as a textbook. I tried really hard and so that it did not. It was very user friendly. But for people that want to know about the science, wanted to delve into it more. And to see that what, as you say, we're recommending is based entirely on the latest science. I wanted to make sure that people knew that those references were there for that reason.
[00:11:55.480] – Allan
Well, even though I geek out on a lot of this stuff, obviously, I can tell you it's not a textbook. It's very well written, it's very easy read. And we even talked about it before we got on the call, the workouts themselves and the demonstrations that you have in there, the pictures. I know how hard that is. I've seen a lot of books, a lot of workouts printed. It's among the best I've ever seen. So this is a good book if you're short of time and you want to get something done. But we're going to spend some time today talking about first, why would I want to sweat? Because that's uncomfortable. I can sit in my air conditioner and I can do this. Let's have some conversations. Let's have some phone calls, let's watch some Netflix or do something else. In the book, you go through what you call the Big Six benefits. Can we go through those Big Six? Because I think they're really important. Obviously, as a personal trainer, I would, but they are. And you go into the science in each and every one of these of why exercise gives us this benefit.
[00:13:01.850] – Dr. Davis
Sure. And let me say first, Allan, I like to say that if there were a pill, they could do everything that exercise could do, we'd all be clamoring for it, and we can talk about these Big Six, and there are others as well. And so the list is really very long of all the benefits that exercise has. I really believe it's the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. And yet it's a shame that so few people take full advantage of it. With that in mind, we can go through, as I say, as you said, what I call the Big Six.
[00:13:27.780] – Dr. Davis
So the first one is simply the research shows that exercising regularly, regular physical activity, helps people live longer. And not only does it help people live longer, but it helps people live healthier so that there's in many cases what's so called compression of morbidity, which means that the time that we have debilitating conditions is condensed, typically toward the last few years or the end of life, so there are fewer years of disability. You cannot say that it adds years to your life, but life to your years as well.
[00:14:02.090] – Dr. Davis
So that's a key point there also we hear about this all the time. Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease. That's something many people are familiar with. Less risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease, lower risk of certain kinds of cancer. That includes colon cancer, breast cancer, and boost your brain power. What that means is there's a lower risk of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and those who exercise regularly. Also, people who are not affected by dementia just have clearer thinking, often better memory, who often experience that people experience that often who regularly exercise. Mood is another area of important area. There's a lower risk of depression among those who exercise regularly and among those who have symptoms of depression. Exercise can often help improve those symptoms. And then finally, what I like to call fending off feebleness as we get older, we have various conditions that can make it harder to do everyday tasks. So bones tend to become less strong. Osteoporosis, arthritis, we lose muscle mass as we get older, and so regular exercise can help all of those things, and particularly muscle mass as we lose all those muscle mass as we get older.
[00:15:22.110] – Dr. Davis
And what that means is that people often as they get older, have trouble doing everyday activities, getting up and down from a chair, walking up and down steps, doing simple things. And so this impairs their quality of life. And by helping to preserve muscle mass, particularly exercise, can help us live Fuller, more active lives longer.
[00:15:41.490] – Allan
The interesting thing is and I think every one of us, if we just sat down, we're all in our 40s, 50s, 60s, maybe even more. But as we sit down, we start thinking about this. It's like, well, of course I want to live longer, but I want to live better. And every one of these benefits, if you really think about it, what's the number one killer of men and women in the United States? It's heart disease. What's number two and maybe even scarier is cancer. And so there's evidence to support the fact that this is going to make us not just fitter. So what we're capable of physically doing is going to make us live longer and live better. I think those are huge, and they're really big. Now you go into too many more, as you mentioned, I think I could sit down and probably come up with a list of 100 things that exercise does for you every day and for the rest of your life. But there's one surprising one that's missing from your list, and it's probably the main reason people walk into a gym in the first place and see all those treadmills sitting there is most people believe that they need to exercise to lose weight, but weight loss is not one of the benefits that you list in either your big six or your surprising step.
[00:16:55.830] – Dr. Davis
Yeah. And people find that surprising, that weight is not there. And as you say, Allan, people that's often the number one reason people start an exercise program or look to exercise to help them. And that's unfortunate because helping you shed pounds is the one thing of all the things we talked about and the other things exercise can do, it's the one thing that it doesn't do so well. And the reason is fairly simple. And that is the kind of exercise that most of us do that is going for a brisk walk, taking a yoga class, riding a bike, all of which are fantastic for your health, have all the other benefits we've talked about. And people should absolutely do. They don't typically burn that many calories. And so what that means is that you're going to get a much bigger bang for your buck if you focus on your diet, changing your diet when it comes to your weight rather than exercising. Now that said, there are benefits related to weight that come from exercise. For example, exercise, while it may not be so great at helping you actually shed pounds, it has been shown to be effective at helping you keep weight off.
[00:17:52.380] – Dr. Davis
So once you lose weight or in the maintenance phase, help trying to keep that weight off. Exercise is very important for that. It's also important for helping you to avoid gaining weight in the first place. So there is good evidence for that. Also, there is evidence that exercise can change your body composition so it can reduce body fat, particularly visceral fat. That's the kind of fat around the waist that's often associated with negative health effects. So while it can have weight related benefits, it often does not have the benefit that we look to the most, which is just to help the shed pounds. And I think it's important that when people go into an exercise program that they're fully aware of that their expectations are managed, because too often I think people go in, they start a program, they say, okay, I'm going to do this, I'm going to lose weight. They don't lose weight. And then what happens? They give up on exercise. And so they say, well, it's not working the way I intended, so I'm not going to keep exercising. And that's a shame, because as we say, it has all these other benefits.
[00:18:48.050] – Dr. Davis
And I think it's important to reframe exercise not as a weight loss tool, but as something to enhance our lives and to improve the quality of our lives. And I think if we do that, then people are less likely to give up on exercise the way they do if they see it simply as a weight loss tool.
[00:19:03.060] – Allan
Yeah. One of the things I like to say is weight loss tends to be a side effect of getting healthy and fit. So if you're doing the right things physically, you're putting information in your body. So movement to me, any kind of exercise that you do is a form of communication. You're telling your body, I need to get stronger. I need my bones to be more dense. I need the capacity to be able to run a little faster, run a little further. So I'm building stamina. And through that process, then your body says, okay, well, we're viable, healthy human being here. Maybe this body weight doesn't need to be here. So our hormones start acting the right way, our body starts sleeping better, our stress management is better. All those surprising seven stuff that's in there that I encourage you to get the book. And so all of a sudden, yeah, you do start losing weight, but if you focus on weight often, that does derail you because you might be putting on muscle mass, you do a particularly hard work out your body water. The amount of water your muscles carrying, your body's carrying might vary and you very well could put on weight.
[00:20:16.650] – Allan
That's water weight. And so weight itself is measuring one element of about four to include your actual muscle, your bone, the water in your body and fat. And so if you want to lose weight, there's easier ways to do it, cut off a limb or something. But exercise is not specifically for weight loss. The diet is going to do a much better deal there. But I think the exercise is very important, as you mentioned. One, it helps you keep it off. You've got more bone, you've got more muscle mass. Your resting metabolism is going to be a little higher, not much, but a little, which says annual hormone profile, your sleep, your stress, everything is going to be telling your body you don't need to accumulate fat. You're in a good place.
[00:21:07.810] – Dr. Davis
[00:21:09.450] – Allan
Now for many of us, okay, you can say, hey, you can live longer, we can boost your brain power, which I think a lot of us would love that we don't forget where we put our keys often, which is kind of a plus 40 thing. But there's the motivation of that that comes around. And then there's the other things that go on around us, someone kind of cheering us on or a friend that's working out with us. And those levels of motivation and things that push us to do things are really important. Some are more valuable than others. Some come from within and some without. We call them intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors. Can you talk a little bit about motivation, where it comes from, and what those two elements are really are? Internal, external, intrinsic external, and how we want to use those to make sure we can get better faster?
[00:22:06.870] – Dr. Davis
Sure. Well, extrinsic you mentioned motivation means motivation from the outside. And this is the kind of motivation that's particularly important as you get started, because if you're just starting an exercise regimen, it often is tough and it's tough to sort of get in the habit of doing it, to keep doing it. We all know that. So certain things can help this kind of extrinsic motivation, one is trying to make it more enjoyable. So, for example, listening to music or save if you're exercising indoors, saving a favorite TV show or on Netflix or whatever it is, so that it's something you look forward to doing, teaming up with a friend, joining a class, things like that, that can essentially make it more enjoyable and give you more motivation to do it. Interestingly. Money is a motivator for some people. I talk about how that is a motivation for people, and their studies have been done. People are given money that particularly the beginning can help them exercise to continue their exercise program, rewarding yourself with something like a vacation or a concert or massage, something you enjoy and saying, if I reach a certain goal, then I'll do this, by the way, it shouldn't be food.
[00:23:13.200] – Dr. Davis
So if you're trying to lose weight, that can be counterproductive. But some activity you enjoy as a reward. That's another example of extrinsic motivation, just sort of external motivation to help you keep going. So those kinds of things can be very helpful, particularly, as I say, as you get started. But over time, what we want and what happens to many of us I know it's happened to me over time. It wasn't this way at the beginning, but it is now is that you shift to intrinsic motivation, meaning you exercise not because of some external reason, but because something inside of you just wants to do it. And I think the way at least I've arrived at that and tell other people they can is instead of focusing on a lot of these long term benefits, and certainly they're fantastic, all the things we talked about lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer, and all the rest. But sometimes that's not enough to motivate you to go to the gym today, right. If you think about I'm not going to have a heart attack in 20 or 30 years, it's easy to stay on the couch.
[00:24:07.500] – Dr. Davis
So the thing to focus on in that case is how am I going to feel right away right after exercise? What is the immediate payoff? Think about that instant gratification. Does it mean that you're less stressed, that you feel better, that you feel less anxiety, you're better able to deal with a stressful job or screaming children, or you're going to sleep better tonight, or you just feel more empowered? Those kinds of immediate feelings that you get from exercise can be very motivating to help people keep going over time. And you don't feel that you have to go exercise. You feel that you want to because you have these benefits. And so that's an example of intrinsic motivation that we all sort of, I think can achieve over time, which is to say that exercise goes from something that you have to do to something you want to do because it's going to help you feel good. And I think that ultimately is what can motivate us to continue exercising for the long term. I know that's what's worked for me because now I started off as a kid who never wanted to sweat, never wanted to get off the couch, who hated gym class.
[00:25:12.180] – Dr. Davis
And over time I started exercising in various ways. And now I can't imagine not having exercise as part of my life because of how I know how it makes me feel better. And I think that's not something we can't expect or cannot expect to have intrinsic motivation overnight. But over time that's I think a very powerful force to get us on track to make exercise something that we continue to do.
[00:25:36.210] – Allan
The way I like to look at it is for me to really push myself so to push myself past what I would call my baseline. So I have a baseline of fitness that I'll just do. This is who I am. This is what I do and to push myself past that. So let's say I want to do a little bit more. I'll typically do something like sign up for a race. So I'm signed up for a tough Mudder in August, and it's going to be the 15K one with the obstacles.
[00:26:04.990] – Allan
Yeah. There's some electricity and some water and some heights, cold and a lot of uncomfortable things. I find that fun. I really enjoyed the time that I've done it before, so I'm really looking forward to a future event. But it's intrinsic. It's extrinsic knowing, okay, there's this event, this thing coming up. I have to kind of push myself to be ready for that or not. I can just go in and suffer through it and probably still do it, but just not enjoy it. And then there's the intrinsic, which is I can't wait until Sunday. And the reason I can't wait until Sunday is that's my long day. And my long day means that I'm going to be walking from here. And about mile four, five, I start hitting the beaches of Bluff here in Bocas, and they are gorgeous. And I get deeper and deeper into the jungle. There's fewer and fewer people. I'm a huge introvert. So that opportunity to spend some hours by myself is a huge reward. It recharges my batteries like nothing else. When I can go an hour or so without seeing a human being, for me, that's brilliant. If I could go a day without talking, it would be brilliant.
[00:27:19.800] – Allan
I would love that. So just knowing myself, the intrinsic motivation of getting out there on the trail, and there's a part towards the end I'm just now getting because I'm starting to push my mileage up. I found a spot they call Jungle Highway now, and you're literally walking through the jungle. There's no one. It's just you on a nice path walking through the jungle, the birds, the monkeys, all of it. To me, that's a huge opportunity that I look forward to, but it means that I'm already at something like ten to 12 miles. So there's an element of I have to push myself to earn that. If I want to see that jungle, if I want those birds and those monkeys, I've got to get past that four mile out and 4 miles back. So there's a push to get to the better parts the next thing. So if you can find those opportunities where you're going to enjoy what you're doing even more, signing up at a gym that you really like, it's got all the stuff you really enjoy. For some of us, that's wonderful. Having a home gym where you can just feel proud when you're sitting there in your basement or garage and just enjoying the heck out of yourself because this is my space.
[00:28:33.870] – Allan
Those are just opportunities for you to bring that inside and really have some pride and some enjoyment in what you're doing.
[00:28:41.490] – Dr. Davis
Yeah. And I think that's a great point. And as you say, that works for you. And I think it's important for everybody to find and it takes time sometimes what's going to be motivating for you. Right. And it's going to be different for all of us. But to sort of give exercise and fitness enough of an opportunity to allow you to find that, because it may not be readily apparent when you start. But over time, you can see okay, I can see these things in ways that I feel or these aspects of my routine where I do feel really good and motivated and motivated to continue. So I think it's important to find what works for you.
[00:29:16.290] – Allan
Now we talked about weight loss a little bit, and as I said, I would say probably 99% of the folks that walk in and want to talk to me about training them, their number one goal is weight loss. We said that's not going to necessarily happen in the gym, but it's going to come from what you eat. And your performance when you're working out is also hugely affected by what you eat. So in the book, you include eight eating rules. And these rules are designed to kind of help you on your fitness. So you're getting the nutrition your body needs and making sure you're not just, I guess, following broscience, because again, there's you didn't do broscience here. Can you go through these 8 eating rules? Because I think it's really important for someone to understand that when you start thinking of food as fuel and food as building materials, those two primary things. There's other reasons we eat. But once you get on those two, I think it makes the fitter faster program even better.
[00:30:23.910] – Dr. Davis
Well, let me just say first, I think I went through these rules because so often, as you say, people here around exercise all kinds of different advice. And often they come from gym rats, eat a bunch of egg whites, drink chocolate milk after you work out, or drink a bunch of Gatorade, the list goes on things you're supposedly supposed to do if you're working out. And I think often these things are not only not effective, but they can actually derail people, particularly if they're trying to lose weight or other things by adding calories. So what I've tried to do is sort of issue some guidelines here. Now, granted, everybody's different. So part of it depends on what your goals are. So somebody who's a middle aged woman is going to be different from a young man whose bodybuilding in terms of what their diet needs to be. But nevertheless, there are some general principles I tried to sort of lay down for people to keep in mind. One is to get plenty of protein and to try to include protein at every meal. And you hear about the importance of protein and building muscle. And it is important.
[00:31:23.070] – Dr. Davis
But sometimes people end up getting all their protein or most of their protein, for example, at dinner. And it's important, I think, to sort of spread that out and get some protein at every meal. And that protein sources are things like poultry, eggs, dairy, beans, soy. And then at the same time to go easy on the processed red meat. It doesn't mean you have to never eat red meat, but it just means to minimize that. So that's obviously one macronutrient to focus on is the protein. Number two would be the carbs. So here to go for complex carbohydrates rather than refined carbohydrates. So that means things like complex carbs will be fruits, vegetables, whole grains. And to try to minimize things like chips, cookies, crackers, sweets, those kinds of things that are refined range, white bread, the third thing. And the third macronutrient, of course, fats. And here to go for the good fats, we all hear about the good fats, fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, things like that. And to de emphasize saturated fats and trans fats. So those are the three macros. We hear those principles. Those are principles that apply to healthy eating, but they apply also when we're trying to eat in an optimal way for exercise, when it comes to hydration, water is your best bet.
[00:32:43.720] – Dr. Davis
So we hear, as we say, about sports drinks, Gatorades, replacing electrolytes. That may be important for athletes, for people that are exercising for very long periods, particularly in hot conditions. But for the vast majority of those people going to the gym for an hour or going for a walk or going for a bike ride, it's not necessarily necessary to have a Gatorade or any kind of electrolytes to replace once you've lost. So water is your best bet. There fad Diets again, we hear these different diets. I talk about a lot about this in my previous book, Super Sized Lives. And there's sort of all kinds of diets that people hear about when it comes to related to weight training into the gym. But I think generally the idea here is to just focus on healthy eating and forget about diets with a bunch of rules. Not only are they not sustainable over the long term, but in some cases, they can actually cause harm. When you're looking at ingredient lists, a general principle I like is that shorter is better on boxes, on food labels. And if it has a long list of unpronounceable ingredients, it's take it as a red flag.
[00:33:50.790] – Allan
I'm going to step in just a second and say if it has no ingredient list, you're probably better off. You'll notice the tomatoes sitting on the farmers market, the chicken, if you want to buy chicken from a Butcher, particularly no ingredients list, doesn't need one. It's tomato.
[00:34:15.690] – Dr. Davis
I like that. Yeah. The best is no, the best is zero ingredients. Right. And so it has some ingredients when a box shorter is better. So that's an excellent point. And then when it comes to related to this, so you have the nutrition label. Right. But then you also have marketing claims on packages, all kinds of marketing buzzwords. We see things like gluten free, vitamin fortified, organic, multi grain. All these words and studies show these can often lead people to falsely conclude that the food is more helpful, it's better for them when in fact, it's not. And so generally, to ignore all of these claims and to look just at that nutrition label, look at things like calories, protein, added sugars, fiber. Those are the things to look at in that ingredient list, as opposed to all these sort of marketing buzzwords that you often see on the front of the package to look beyond those. And then finally, foods that are often marketed for exercise, energy bars, particularly not to be fooled by this, because again, if you look carefully at that label, you'll find that many energy bars have lots of calories and in some cases, as much sugar as a candy bar.
[00:35:20.100] – Dr. Davis
And yet people will eat these after they exercise, think, oh, this is good. I need to get this refuel after I exercise by any energy bar because it has protein or because it just seems like it's something that people who exercise should eat. And in fact, they can be eating unhealthy foods and adding a lot more calories to their diet more than they realize. So, again, not to be fooled by these kind of in many cases, these are highly processed as well. So I think that to sort of look beyond, again, that kind of marketing around these so called exercise friendly foods.
[00:35:50.370] – Allan
The core for me is experiment with your nutrition. There's some basic rules that most of us can follow. These are intended to make your performance when you're working out sufficient so that you're recovering from your work, you're fueling properly and you're getting the protein your body needs. You feel full, you feel satiated, you're not overeating. Because, again, if weight loss is part of your overall program, you still have to manage that part. But knowing you're fueling, knowing what you're putting into your body is equally important if you want to make sure that you're everything you need to be to be able to do these programs.
[00:36:31.650] – Dr. Davis
[00:36:33.690] – Allan
Now, your Fitter Faster program has a lot of variety. It's a six day on, one day off kind of program. Obviously, if someone needs to ease into this, then maybe they skip a day here and there as their body tells them. You talked about a lot of that. That's one of the things I really like about your book is you have a lot of asides, if you will, of that. This is Dom, and this is what this feels like and why you're having it. And this is this and this is what's going on there's a lot of information in there that's put together in a way that okay, here's a little bit of information to help you. But as someone's going into this, they're going to ease into these and get into this program. But the program itself has three levels. So regardless of whether you're a beginner all the way to advanced, this is a program that's going to be able to work for you. Can you give us a little bit of insight into your program, how it's put together and what someone can expect?
[00:37:29.670] – Dr. Davis
Sure. And we'll continue at that point you made about beginner, intermediate advance, because somebody could be different levels for different types of exercise. Right. So we have both cardio exercise as well as strength training, and so somebody might be intermediate or advanced when it comes to their cardio, but just starting with weight training or strength training. So it's important to assess where you are. And we have tests and there are ways to assess self assessments where you are with that. But yes. So it includes what we try to do is to include the various elements of a well rounded and comprehensive exercise program. And those are aerobic conditioning, strength training and also flexibility, because we hear for the official recommendations from the government or you should have at least five days a week, 30 minutes a day of cardio or aerobic exercise. You should have at least two days a week of strength training and then have some flexibility. And that's a lot. And so it's easy to see why people like I can't do all that. That takes too much time. So we tried to do is to combine all of those in a way, as we said earlier, that is more time efficient but allows you to incorporate all those elements.
[00:38:34.550] – Dr. Davis
So we have a couple of days, a week of more traditional kinds of strength training. But we would do it in a circuit. So as opposed to someone the way that many of us training, you do a set, you rest, you do another set, you rest, you go through a circuit. And we have people go through one circuit which research shows can be very effective. Certainly two or three can be more effective, but that first one is the most important. So if all you have time for is one circuit, that's great. And so we have that. So a couple of days a week, you have a circuit of just traditional strength training. And also you go through relatively rapidly. So there's some aerobic benefit there, too, because you're going from one exercise to the next pretty rapidly. One day a week, we have what's so called hit training, that's high intensity interval training. That's where you instead of going at a steady state, say on walking or biking, you go hard for, say 30 seconds easier then harder than easier. And research shows, as many of your least listeners, I'm sure know is that hip training, high intensity interval training can be just as effective, if not more effective with regard to cardiovascular and other benefits than conventional aerobic activity.
[00:39:40.610] – Dr. Davis
So again, this is a great way to save time. You can get more benefits, and just about anybody can incorporate this. You don't have to be a high level athlete. It doesn't mean you have to run. If you walk, you simply walk at a faster pace for, say 15 or 20 or 30 seconds, and then go at a more moderate pace. So whatever activity you do, you simply do it with more intensity for a short time. And that's how you can incorporate hip, whatever your level happens to be. We incorporate conventional cardio for one day. We have what's called hit plyometric exercises. Those are jumping exercises that are done in a high intensity interval fashion. And then we have one day where you pick your own activity. And this is an important, crucial part of this is because you're not going to stick with exercise if you don't do things you enjoy, or at least you do things you don't hate. Right. So it's important to do things that you're going to enjoy. And so there's so many different ways to move your body. And so we have a day that it's important where you just pick what you do.
[00:40:36.920] – Dr. Davis
The same goes for the hit day to pick the activity that you enjoy and for cardio. So there's a lot of choice built into this, tailoring what activities you like to do. And I think that the other important point I'd make here is it's also varied. So you notice every day of the week there's something different because number one, if you do the same thing day after day after day, you have a greater risk of injury, overuse injury. And it's important to mix things up. And second, it just reduces boredom. So that often you do the same thing every day. You get sick of your workout, you get bored, you're more likely to stop. So if there's something different every day, that's crucial as well to keep you motivated and keep it interesting.
[00:41:13.270] – Allan
Yeah. But you have two different resistant training exercises up for each level in the book. So as you go through on day one, you'll do workout A. I don't think you called it workout A, but you'll do the first one, and then on your next resistance day training, you'll do the next one. And if you get through that and you're doing that, it's like then your step up would be potentially doing another level of circuit. So you did one, and now you're worked up to where you can do two and then maybe the three. By the time you can do three of these, now you're ready to potentially move up to the advanced on some or more of these exercises. And so it does provide quite a bit of variety with regards to the training. And then yeah. The kind of the add in there of kind of doing things you enjoy. So if you like playing tennis, your standard day of doing what you want to do can be go play some tennis, enjoy yourself. So I like that. I like the way you put that all together.
[00:42:13.530] – Dr. Davis
Well, thank you. And it's a testament to my co author, Brad Kolowich, who's a personal trainer who I work with to come up with the plans. And again, it was very important for reasons you said, to make them so that people start basic exercises at the beginner level, and then we move to more compound movements as you get to the advanced levels. And people again, as you say, can move once they're ready, they've been able to do three sets to move to the next level.
[00:42:36.470] – Allan
Yeah. Like I said, doing the workouts in the book, the way you presented them, you guys did a great job with that. I've seen a lot of them, and this was among the best. And they're pretty standard full body things. So these are not going to be confusing. You don't have to have a ton of equipment in most cases. I think the equipment the only two pieces of equipment I'd say Besides shoes that you'd really need would be a set of dumbbells and varying degrees based on how strong you are and a yoga mat so you can get on the floor comfortably and I guess a bench or a sturdy couch.
[00:43:12.570] – Dr. Davis
Yeah. And I think that's a key point, Allan, because so many people I like going to gyms. I didn't always like going to gyms. I was intimidated by gyms when I started. And so many people don't like gyms or it's inconvenient to go to a gym. And I think the key here is that any workout program you do needs to be convenient. Right. So if you don't like gyms, if you can't go to the gym, if it's not convenient to be able to do this at home. And so this is design where you can do it at a gym, but if you don't want to go to a gym, that's fine. You can do this at home. And I think that's, again, another crucial element of any kind of successful workout plan is it's something that's convenient for you and it works with your preferences.
[00:43:45.870] – Allan
Dr. Davis, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:43:53.520] – Dr. Davis
Well, I'm going to quote the late, great Jack Elaine, who said that when it comes to wellness exercises, as King, nutritionist, Queen, put them together and you have a Kingdom. And so those are two elements. I think that there's pretty self evident, but in my world view, they're both crucial. So first of all, we've been talking about movement, all the reasons that incorporating movement into your life is so important for wellness. Second is nutrition, eating a healthy diet. That way we've talked about focusing on a whole foods diet, and that's again, also imperative when it comes to living a healthy life. So what you put into your body, how you move your body, the food you put into your body. And third, I would say for me at least would be sleep, getting adequate sleep. That's just something that so many of us don't do. We have busy lives. We're up late scrolling through Facebook, whatever, and at late at night and don't get enough sleep. And I think it's so important to prioritize sleep. It has so many benefits with regard to our health, with regard to our risk of disease, with regard to how we feel, with our ability to exercise and to do other things to make healthy food choices.
[00:45:02.080] – Dr. Davis
So really, all these things work together, I think, to incorporate, make sure that we try to get enough sleep is another crucial element of a healthy lifestyle.
[00:45:12.280] – Allan
Great. If someone want to learn more about you, learn more about the book, Fitter Faster, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:45:21.170] – Dr. Davis
So they can go to my website, Healthyskeptic.com, and learn more about this book as well as my other books. There are links there to Amazon to purchase the books. In there by the way, I have short videos I've created about fitness and nutrition and other wellness topics that take on various claims and look at the science show what's true and what's not. And then they can also go follow me on social media. I'm on Instagram @HealthySkept, and I'm also on Facebook at Robert Davis Healthy Skeptic.
[00:45:50.930] – Allan
Great. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/535. And I'll be sure to have the links there. Dr. Davis, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:46:01.050] – Dr. Davis
Thank you, Allan. Fine to talk to you again.
[00:46:10.030] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:46:11.530] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. It's really nice to hear from Dr. Davis again and Fitter Faster. Sounds like he's got a really interesting book available now.
[00:46:20.660] – Allan
Yeah, the book it's interesting because we did Supersize Lies and that was about weight loss. And then he redid his Fitter Faster book, which I think the last time he had done it was like 2017. So it's about five years old. So he did add some science and stuff to it. I didn't cover the book back then. But if you're looking at the book, though, if you're looking at buying the book and you say, oh, it's got an audiobook. Just beware and beware when you're buying it. Sometimes Amazon will do this. They will show the old book and the new book. But you got to be careful. He has not done the audiobook for the new book yet. So the audiobook will be the old version and some of the paperbacks and hardbacks that might be out there might be the old version. So pay attention to the Copyright date. It's 2022 already. Pay attention to that date if you want the most updated book. And so to take it together, that book and his super sized Lies but fitter faster and his super sized Lies book really do give you a good, solid basis for understanding how to get into this stuff, how to do things right, and why some of the traditional approaches, the broscience, the hearing and this bad diet.
[00:47:41.190] – Allan
That why all those things aren't going to work for you, so you don't waste your time doing it. They're both really good entry level books for you to kind of understand these things. If you're looking for something that will let you dive a little deeper into the geek, but in a good readable way.
[00:47:59.420] – Rachel
Great. Well, why don't we get started with his exercise schedule he has in his book?
[00:48:08.230] – Allan
Yeah, the programs are really good. I'm not sure that a true advanced lifter. Now, again, I look at advanced maybe a little differently than he does, which is fair. We can all look at them the way we want to. For me, a beginner lifter is probably for about the first six to eight months that you're lifting. You're really getting used to learning how to do the exercises you're using very lightweight or body weight. It is stuff you can easily do at home as you start getting further along. So after about six to eight months, if you're starting to really get stronger, starting to figure some things out, you're going to want some variety in there. You're going to want to mix things up a little bit. This is about the time that people even consider things like splits. So you're going to do certain body parts one day. So you're actually allowing yourself to lift more often than the traditional workout. Take two days off, work out. Now you're working a body part the next day, working the body part the next day, working a body part. And as you go through, you don't really even have to take a day off if you didn't want to.
[00:49:13.430] – Allan
His program blends in both the lifting and the cardiovascular fitness things. So you are doing some hit training, some longer cardio, some fun days, your two lifting days and then off day. But as you get into more intermediate, you're probably going to have to make some choices. Okay. If I'm going to do the hit, I might have to do my hit training on the same due. I do my lifting if I'm going to do a split because I'm going to lift instead of two days a week, I'm going to lift five days a week and kind of see how you're probably going to have to double up if you really want to get all that volume in and then advanced. My advance would be if you've been lifting for over two years, you know the form, you know how it feels, your brain knows how to talk, your muscles, everything's there at this point, it's really about fine tuning. It's about making decisions on whether you're truly in this just to build more muscle, to really get stronger if you're going to compete or do things like that as an advanced lifter, it's really at this point, it's just really about kind of polishing it.
[00:50:24.810] – Allan
getting your life, getting your fitness where you really want it to be at points in time, maybe a little bit further. So you challenged yourself to do something a little different. Like maybe you want to get your physique to a certain level or you want to get your strength level to a certain thing. As I said, competitions are just saying I want a PR on the deadlift. Those are things that advanced lifter is going to be looking at is okay. Can I do the main three lifts? So bench press, squat and deadlift. Can I top 1000 lbs? Can I top 1500 lbs? Can I top 2000 lbs? I know that sounds like a lot of weight, but you're advanced lifters and the people that are really good at lifting, those are doable things. Those are possible things. Even in your 40s and 50s and 60s, there are people that do those three lifts and get over 1000 lbs.
[00:51:16.110] – Rachel
I think if somebody loves the gym that much and loves body weight training that much, I can see that type of a goal. But for most people.
[00:51:25.670] – Allan
Mostly, yeah, there's a line and you just say, okay, so I want a certain level of fitness and it will just stick there. And that's cool too. The core of it is, though, as you go through this, you're going to have some trade offs. You have some trade offs to say, Do I get a gym membership and what are the benefits of that? Do I do this at home? And I can just say, if you start out and you buy a couple of dumbbells, a few sets of dumbbells and that's working for you, or maybe the adjustable dumbbells, which take you from five to 55 lbs, I think the last time I priced them like three $400, you get a whole basic set up to 55 lbs that's cost effective. They're kind of bulky, particularly when you're starting to do low weights. Seems kind of odd to have this big bulky thing for 5 lbs, but it is what it is. But there's going to be a point where you have to just make some decisions. Am I going to have all these dumbbells sitting around my apartment or my house? Do I go ahead and buy a rack in the bars and all that?
[00:52:26.060] – Allan
And people do. What I've found is the people who make the investment, and particularly that investment in the equipment, they get into it. The ones that didn't do it initially, don't go out and buy a rack and all this waits. If you're not listing yet, try the dumbbells, do his easy beginner level stuff, get yourself into it, and at some point, you'll be like, yes, this is my thing. This is it. And now I want the rack and I want the bar and I want the lap pull down and I want this special attachment. Then that's when you make those kinds of choices for your equipment. But don't just run out and buy all this equipment or see. Okay, someone is selling this on Craigslist. I'm just going to go buy all this stuff and fill my garage with it. If you're never going to use it.
[00:53:13.390] – Rachel
[00:53:13.950] – Allan
Get yourself started. And it's a key we've talked about over and over. Get started.
[00:53:18.140] – Rachel
Yes. Got to start somewhere. And if you did have a gym membership or if you've decided to get one, you can spend some time in the gym and see what types of activities that you like. Gyms often have trainers. They could help you. They often offer classes. If you try something new, take advantage of those types of amenities. You'll never know what kind of maybe you'll like a spin class or a yoga class or Tai Chi or some such thing, as well as spend some time on the weights, just see what you gravitate to, and then maybe make a bigger investment if you decided to bring that type of stuff home.
[00:53:53.080] – Allan
Yeah. And that was his thing was, you know, you're going to have some fun days because it's a six day a week program that he's basically got set up for you. And it's balanced it's balanced across all the fitness. That's why I really like it. And I think they did a really good job with their workouts. There's a fun day in there. So maybe you go down to the gym and like you said, there's a class, water aerobics, Tai Chi, racquetball something. And you get out there and you start playing around and you start having fun. And that makes you want to maybe build up your speed and agility more, maybe build up your strength a little bit more or any of it. So the point being is there are opportunities out there. Gym memberships, they can be expensive or they can be really inexpensive. Buying equipment can be inexpensive or can be really expensive. You're going to have to make the choice, but do it on the knowledge that you are committed doing this, not just okay, I need the equipment and therefore, I will lift.
[00:54:58.550] – Rachel
Save your money. Lift first.
[00:55:01.310] – Allan
It's just a very expensive coat rack is what it is.
[00:55:03.940] – Rachel
Yes. Oh, gosh, I hate that. The other thing I wanted to talk about, too, is the trickle down effect that exercise offers. A lot of our clients come to us asking to lose weight and to have us help exercise them to weight loss, but it's not necessarily the order that it goes in. I think we need to still continue to look in our kitchen first when it comes to weight loss goals.
[00:55:27.730] – Allan
Yeah, you're absolutely right. People come to us and they say, okay, I want to lose, what's your health and fitness goal? I want to lose 20 lbs, I need to lose 10 lbs. I'm like, okay, well, personally, the way I think in my head, I don't say it out loud because I try to be a nice person. But the internal part of me in my brain says, well, that's not the question I asked you, but, okay, so you want to lose some weight, what are you eating? So then now where have I done? I'm going to go right back to what's actually the cause and effect here. But what I will say that is probably where I disagree just a little bit with Dr. Davis on this is what I have found, though, is people who exercise do lose weight faster, easier and more consistently than people who don't. But it's not because of the exercise, which is kind of weird, right? Say, okay, so if they're doing it and it's not the cause, what is the cause? And the cause is once you start doing one thing that's a healthy lifestyle choice, it becomes normal for you to do other things that are a healthy life choice.
[00:56:41.300] – Allan
So it's not that someone becomes a vegan and they become a runner because they were a vegan. But what happens if the vegan decides, okay, I'm a vegan and I need to do some exercise because I'm seeing some good health benefits from being vegan. And then they start running and they enjoy the running and they join a run club. Now they're really good and they're losing weight and they're vegan and it works, it works for them, but it doesn't mean that being vegan makes you a runner. That can cause you to run. But being vegan, if it's making you make the right lifestyle choices, other healthy lifestyle choices happened. Maybe you drink less. And that's why a lot of these studies, you have to take them with a grain of salt because they'll say vegetarians and vegans have lower this than meat eaters that eat processed meats. Well, if someone's eating just meat and processed meat and it was just a questionnaire, how much meat do you eat in a week? Because that's how they do it. How much meat do you eat in a week? I'm like, let's see, I have a meat with just about every single meal, so that's going to be 21 servings or more.
[00:57:51.900] – Allan
So I fall into that eats a lot of meat category. But a lot of people who are in these categories that they go through when they're not thinking about food, it's like, well, I had to actually do that calculation of I meat every meal, therefore I eat this many servings and then they fill out the questionnaire, whereas the vegetarian is making a healthful decision about or maybe they're doing it somewhat for social reasons, but at least at that point they equate it with a healthy lifestyle choice. If someone's making one healthy lifestyle choice, they're very likely making others. And therefore they're healthier, not necessarily because they're vegetarian or vegan. They just because they've started down a path of better choices. They make better choices. They're also probably less likely to drink as much alcohol and they're less likely to smoke and they're more likely to exercise. From a normal standard perspective, that's what you get. Whereas if they had said, how much grass fed meat do you eat in a week amongst meat eaters, if they had segmented and said how much processed meat do you eat within a week? And then they took those and segmented them, they would probably find a very similar cut around is the people who don't think about the quality of their meat.
[00:59:11.870] – Allan
They don't think about the difference between processed and unprocessed stuff. They're making different healthy lifestyle choices. In fact, that I'm investing in grass fed meat means that health and fitness is a little bit more important to me.
[00:59:26.360] – Rachel
[00:59:27.100] – Allan
And so therefore, I'm going to make other healthy lifestyle choices. It's not a cause and effect. It's just a commonality because of what happens. But to go back to the thing is, exercise won't help you lose weight, but it will help you lose weight.
[00:59:46.050] – Rachel
That's how I feel as well. I think healthy diet and exercise go hand in hand to make you an overall healthier person and give you a higher quality of life. And just in my own example, as a runner, I've been running for almost 24, 25 years now, and I sweat a lot, so I drink a lot of water. It's just a causality for that situation. I know that I can have a beer and I love a good beer every now and then, but not in the night before an important run like my St. Louis marathon. I choose my meals very carefully. While I might enjoy a little bit of cake and ice cream at a birthday party or celebration, it's not part of my daily lifestyle because I know I need to run well the next day. So, you know, once you pick up a healthy habit, you're right, it leads to other healthy habits and then you'll feel better at the end of the day.
[01:00:40.420] – Allan
Yeah. So now if you came to me and told me you really want me to exercise you and help you lose weight, I would do it. I would do it. Here's how I would do it. I would say, okay, show up tomorrow, we step on the scale, and then I run your butt. I literally just run you ragged in here for an hour. And then I say, okay, you're coming back in two days. And if you weigh more than you did today, I'm going to work you harder.
[01:01:06.630] – Rachel
That sounds scary.
[01:01:07.960] – Allan
[01:01:10.470] – Rachel
Not very fun
[01:01:11.760] – Allan
right. Not fun at all. Not fun at all. It's not an exercise program that you want. It's not a hamster wheel that you want to start because the workouts if you're not losing weight, the workouts have to get harder. And guess what? We're not getting younger so they don't get easier. So maybe when you're in your 20s, Put exercise off a few pounds, Get out there and do a few days of running, Push yourself a little bit, make a couple of other probably healthier lifestyle choices and you drop a few pounds, drop a dress size. That was easy in your 20s. It's not when we get over 40, Particularly for women, as they get closer to menopause and into perimenopause and menopause, it's not easy at all.
[01:01:52.600] – Rachel
[01:01:52.980] – Allan
So just recognizing we have less muscle mass, we have less energy, we have less capacity, less resilience. So for us, it has to start in the kitchen and then a whole lot of other healthy lifestyle choices Support that process.
[01:02:09.100] – Rachel
Yeah, well, great discussion with Dr. Davis. It's always nice to hear from him.
[01:02:13.740] – Allan
Yeah, it's really good. I really appreciate that his two books, Even though they're not like part of a series, like a lot of authors will write a book and then they'll know, okay, the next book in the series is this book and then they fit together. These weren't written that way or even planned that way, but they really do complement each other.
[01:02:32.740] – Rachel
Great. They sound like great things to have on my bookshelf.
[01:02:35.830] – Allan
All right, well, you enjoy the rest of your good weather for the next week or so. Yeah, and then winter we'll be here before you or summer will be here, hopefully, but yeah, we got our three days of rain, So I'm hopeful that we'll get a couple. Today is no rain. It's clear skies, so it's evaporation. So we're at about 115% humidity, I guess.
[01:03:01.710] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh.
[01:03:03.690] – Allan
I can literally walk on the air. It's that humid. So we'll have a few days of this humid, Then the mosquitoes will come out and then we'll probably be fine.
[01:03:16.220] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh. Good luck to you, Allan.
[01:03:18.440] – Allan
Yeah, you too. I'll talk soon.
[01:03:20.400] – Rachel
[01:03:21.220] – Allan
You too. Bye. Bye.
[01:03:22.600] – Rachel
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