On episode 578 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Joey Thurman and discuss his book, The Minumum Method: The Least You Can Do to Be a Stronger, Healthier, Happier You.
Let's Say Hello
[00:02:51.960] – Allan
[00:02:53.060] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. How are you today?
[00:02:54.900] – Allan
I'm doing well. I'm doing really well. How are things up there?
[00:02:58.380] – Rachel
Good. We're in the middle of the weird part of winter where it's taking a little long.
[00:03:04.420] – Allan
[00:03:06.540] – Rachel
Yeah. It's just the weather changes. We had single digits last week. Today it's 40, which really does feel like a heat wave when you're comparing it to the single digits. We're going to get more snow this weekend. It's just a roller coaster up here, but I'm making it through, making plans.
[00:03:23.850] – Allan
Good. Yeah. I'm, I guess as this is going live, I think is the days the 21st of February. So I just launched pre-sale. So as you're recording this, I'm actually getting ready to launch presale. And so that's going to go to everybody that had joined the waiting list. When I say there's an interest list, there's an interest list. And if they buy all the slots, I'm sorry, you can log in right now and you might not be able to buy a slot. It might be gone. But I'm planning the retreat and I'm ready. I've got it all mapped out how I'm going to do what I'm going to do. And so, yeah, it's one of those things, it's the calm before the storm where I'm like, okay. And it's anything new, anything, because this is the first time I'm doing this. But it's like with anything new, you have these second thoughts, you have these moments where you're like, What if no one wants to come down here that week? I know, I know, I know. But again, we're going to talk a little bit about this later, but people will say they want something, and then when it comes time to do that thing, they just don't.
[00:04:38.640] – Allan
And it happens. And we say it happened every day. We train people for a living. That's what we do. And so people tell us, it's like, Well, I want to lose weight. I want to get fit. Okay, put that down and pick that up. The simple advice, put that down and pick that up. And they know that. They're like, Yeah, I should have been picking that up all along, and I shouldn't have been picking this up. And so it's like, just start making these gradual changes and good things will happen. But we're not there yet. We're not ready, willing, and able, and so we don't. And so that's one of those things. I'm at that moment of saying, Okay, I'm going to put this out there to the world and I know how good it is. I know what's going to happen. Are you on board? And that's where that thing is. When you offer something new, it's like, okay, is this going to happen? So I'm in that little right there and it's a little bit of second thought, but it's where I am mentally right now.
[00:05:41.780] – Rachel
Sure. Well, it sounds like a really fun retreat and a beautiful part of the country.
[00:05:46.560] – Allan
Well, the world. Yeah. Well, in our country, yeah. But the cool thing about Panama is there's just so much diversity for such a small country. You have mountains with the coffee and the chocolate you have here with some chocolate, but the beaches and the jungle, you have the big city of Panama. You have the whole Pacific Coast, which has its own flavor. And then you have some of the more shady parts of it like cologne and all that. But anyway, that's a whole another part of the world, part of this country. But the thing is, yes, I am in paradise and I want to share that with people. But it's also a fitness retreat. So the point being is you can come here and find the most efficient and effective way for you to get fit the way you need to be fit. Not the way a coach wants you to be fit, not what you see on TV or magazines. This is you defining fitness on your own terms and then building a plan and making it happen. So I'm pretty excited about what the content is going to be about and where we're going with it.
[00:06:56.380] – Allan
But I need you here, because I guess that's the answer. I need people here. So check it out and go to 40plusfitness.com/retreat. The interest list is probably already over, so that link will probably take you to the page where I described the program. And then you can decide if there are any seats for VIP, whether you want to do VIP or general. But yeah, it's going to be pretty massive. It's going to be pretty cool.
[00:07:23.940] – Rachel
Awesome. Sounds great.
[00:07:25.850] – Allan
All right. And while we were talking about efficiency and all the other stuff. It's probably a good time for us to talk to Joey Thurman, right?
[00:07:35.920] – Rachel
[00:08:20.000] – Allan
Joey, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:08:23.040] – Joey
I am a fresh 40, my friend. So thanks for having me.
[00:08:25.990] – Allan
you were 39 when you wrote the book and the way these things work. You write the book and then seven, eight, nine, 10 months later, the book is coming out. So this has been out for a little while. And so you're just turning 40. And so this is probably some top of mind stuff as you look at some of the differences when someone walks into train with you and they're not 25 years old and they've done a lot of things wrong or they've done a lot or they've stopped doing things because we're all really busy and we've got careers and kids and parents and all those other things. When you talked about the minimum method, I think that's what really hit me because the name of the book is The Minimum Method: The Least You Can Do to Be a Stronger, Healthier, Happier You. And it's almost like you read my book where I'm talking about wellness, those are the elements. You got to have all three of those or you're not living a balanced life. And the people that think they've got to spend hours and hours in the gym or hours and hours doing other stuff to get their fitness and health and all put it all together.
[00:09:40.900] – Allan
You've basically given us a shortcut and say, hey, just cut to the chase. Do these few things first, and then do these few things next and then do these few things, and you're stronger and you're fitter and do these few things and you're sleeping better and do these few things, and now you're even sleeping better. And now you're a ninja at sleep. And you put that together in a structure where, hey, flip to the back of the chapter and you're kicking it, man. But if you want to know why, all that's in there, too. So I really like that.
[00:10:15.080] – Joey
Well, thank you. Yeah. I understand that most people don't read a book cover to cover. You should read it cover to cover if you get the book or when you get the book, let's say. But at the same time, some people don't want to read the whole chapter. They just want to flip to the end and see where's my buffet of protocols and behavior change. And there it is.
[00:10:31.070] – Allan
Now I'm going to encourage them not to do that with your book. I know you say it's fine, but there's some things you put in there that I don't think you just want to skip to the fitness section or the nutrition section and miss some of the really good stuff that you have here. And one of those that you go through is the health and fitness myths. And again, there's a lot of this stuff that's been out there for a long time, and it's ingrained. And I think understanding that not everything you've been brought up to believe is true is really important for you to wrap your mind around why these other things are actually working, why you don't necessarily have to do it a certain way, or maybe the way you've been thinking about this is wrong. Can you talk about those myths and what people should be aware of that isn't actually true?
[00:11:28.840] – Joey
Yeah. There's a lot of them, and I didn't have room to fit every single one because it would just be a book of the miss. Maybe that's like the next one, the book of the miss. But yeah. Number one, still, for some reason, females, I think all of a sudden they're going to pick up a weight that's not pink, and they're going to look like the incredible Hulk. That's just not going to happen. You don't have enough testosterone, you're not having enough supplementation or illegal supplementation, if you will, it's not going to happen. I tell people this all the time, do you ever see a bodybuilder lifting a five pound weight? Probably not. They're lifting a high amount of volume, a high amount of volume load, and there's a lot of intent in that specific movement. And then they're in the gym for a long time and they're eating, breathing, sleeping, just that trying to grow, grow, grow. And most people are not doing that. And speaking of going into the gym and another myth, you don't need to work out for an hour. Who said it needed to be an hour workout?
[00:12:27.600] – Joey
I don't know where this arbitrary number came from. And how a workout isn't effective if it's not an hour. Well, how many times do you see a guy at the gym do a bench press and go on Instagram, maybe look at Joey Thurman Fitt's account for Seamus Plugg? And spend 10, 15, 20 minutes on there and do another set. And they do three sets in an hour. So is that more efficient as far as longevity and health as opposed to somebody that's in there for 20 minutes does 10 sets of a full body workout? Probably not. If you're just trying to get strong, yes, do a set, wait three to five minutes and lift as heavy as you can and keep doing that. But then you need to be in the gym for an hour, hour and a half. But your amount of work and load during that time is going to be completely different. So you can do exercise stacking where you're working out 10 minutes one time. You're doing a 10 minute walk out afterwards. Maybe you have five minutes to do three sets of bicep curls, why not do that? So it's cumulative load throughout the week that matters the most.
[00:13:22.060] – Joey
Same body parts two days in a row. You could do that. It's fine. That whole myth came from body building folklore where they're doing 20 plus sets of chest in a day. Yeah, your chest needs to recover when you're doing that. But you could do legs. You could do three sets of legs one day. You do three sets of legs in the next day. It's going to be fine. Look at the professional athletes. They're doing the same body part. They're doing the same drills, the same movements every single day. They're okay. They're taking some recovery days and some off days. So that's going to be fine. The whole carbohydrates are bad thing. I don't know where that happened. That's crazy because carbs are fiber, fruits and vegetables. If I said, hey, fruit and vegetables is bad. Most people in the Western car, we're going to say, no, they're great for you. Okay, no, there's carbs. Wait, what? So it's just crazy. All of these things that people will think and they try to get too much caught in the weeds of all of these myths and these protocols and these things that they're supposed to do or their neighbor does or whatever.
[00:14:16.840] – Joey
And then I really think about the overall consistent picture. Yeah.
[00:14:19.610] – Allan
And I think a lot of that is, well, so you see a friend and the friend goes and works out or you see someone and you look at the magazine and you're like, Okay, so how did Jack Hughman or whatever that was going to play a role? Or Downey Jr. Played Iron Man. And I'm like, Dude, it's the same age as me, maybe even a little older. And how did he get so ripped? And I'm thinking, okay. And I was even at the time blogging, and I wrote, I'm not Iron Man as a blog because I'm like, I don't know how he biologically did that, but I just don't know that I could mentally push myself to be in the gym that much to potentially supplement in ways that were not healthy and to change my body that drastically in a very short period of time. Because he was also in a Sherlock Holmes movie. And you're like, Okay, that's insane. But he did it and he kept doing it. And now he doesn't do it as much. So if you look at Iron Man, they don't really show you a lot of ripped out of uniform pictures.
[00:15:38.180] – Allan
But it's this whole idea that we have to be something that we see on a magazine and that if, oh, heaven forbid, we lift more than 15 pounds, we're going to become the man in the magazine. And those things are just not fundamentally right because we're not juicing and we're not spending that effort of that amount of time. And we don't need to for the basic levels of strength and fitness that we're after.
[00:16:06.400] – Joey
Yeah. I mean. Tell you what? I tell you how they did that. I've been the guy that's been hired by Fox and HBO to get those actors to that point. And you're going to pay me 10, 15 million dollars or a million bucks per episode? Yeah, you bet your ass. I'm going to just focus on that. I want to train Terence Howard before season 3 of Empire. His character was in prison. So I said, We need to make it look like you've just been in prison doing prison workouts and getting big traps and arms. So I trained him twice a day, seven days a week for three months. I showed up with all of his supplements, everything. I told him exactly what to eat. And that's all he did was I showed up to his place twice a day. And he didn't have to worry about anything but sleep, eat, work it out, and I showed up and told them exactly what to do. So that's how you can do that. But for most people, that is not their life. So it is not achievable to look like that. I've written articles for mental health, for muscle and fitness, all that stuff, even that they're not necessarily doing exactly that in the articles.
[00:17:01.230] – Joey
They have to fit it in there. They've got the amount of words. They're not putting some different things in there. Maybe you're sending them to a TRT replacement doctor. There's all these different or whatever hormones you're on or peptides. And there's all these things that you can't possibly do because your life isn't supposed to fit into your training. Think about that. You're supposed to fit the training into your life. And that's where people get it wrong. And that's why I apologize in the beginning of this book, not only for the entire fitness and nutrition industry, but also for my younger self. Nobody has the same 24 hours in a day. Nobody. You got kids, grandkids, you say you were in the same generation where we've got these children, we're still taking care of them, but you're not taking care of parents or whatever, we've got all these obligations. So it is not feasible for you to look like anybody else except for yourself. So stop trying to look unless you're a twin or quadruple or whatever. Stop trying to compare yourself to anybody else because you can't look like me, I cannot look like you.
[00:18:04.650] – Joey
You can only get in the best shape as you can with the time allotted.
[00:18:09.780] – Allan
Yeah. And the other side of it, if you enjoy it, I honestly enjoy spending an hour in the gym. It's my meditation time. It's my zen time. Guess what? No one else is talking to me time. And so for me, it's actually a pretty cool thing to go in there and do the old school, do a set, wait for 60 seconds to two minutes, and then do another set, and then just work my way through, feel every movement. But I'm still doing a lot of the things that you talk about, like time under tension and those types of things are still protocols and things that I follow, but I'm not in a hurry, and that's because I enjoy what I'm doing. But not everybody has that time or enjoys doing the things that I enjoy doing. So I have to taper that and say, Okay, so for someone who's time strapped, there are minimum ways, minimum methods, things for them that they can do that will get them the results they want without spending that much time. Now, you went through and like most fitness guys, I think we all… If we're all honest with ourselves, we're pretty clear that we're a minor, a little minor thing in the health and fitness aspects of all this.
[00:19:30.400] – Allan
So you did a little pie chart. And for me, if I did a little pie chart, I'd be like, okay, I have to admit, I'm 10 % of the pie. You got to work on these other things first if you want health and fitness. And your big one was sleep. Can you talk a little bit about why you see sleep as the most important thing you need to take care of? And then some little things that we can do right off the bat as soon as we get off this podcast because you and I are recording this, it's already 6:30, and so I'm going to be going to bed in about two hours. So what are some things I can do to sleep a little better tonight?
[00:20:10.050] – Joey
Yeah. So consistent sleep is one. If you can't get as much 7 to 9 hours of sleep or 6 to 9, depending on whatever research you're looking at, consistent, same time bed, same time of week. If you're getting five hours sleep, that consistency will regulate your endocrine system. So your 24 hours clock, which regulates your end, which regulates your testosterone, your estrogen levels, your cortisol levels. Right there, just the consistent sleep. If you're like, I don't have enough time to get seven hours of sleep, great, get consistent sleep. What it really thinks about that. So that consistent sleep will regulate that, will have you crave less highly processed, palatable foods the next day, which are nutrient devoid. So that'll help right there. And actually your cortisol levels are going to be down. They naturally raise in the morning, it's called the cortisol awakening response. Don't worry about that. That's an okay thing. But you want that cortisol to be able to go back down. So they're turning off the overhead lights, staying away from the blue light, wearing blue light blocking glasses. Those are all great before bed. If you can do that, one of the best things you can do is maybe take a walk at night as the sun is going down, preferably outside and look at the horizon as the sun is going down.
[00:21:13.960] – Joey
That's going to trigger your melatonin production and your adenosine production, which also makes you tired to work in parallel. That'll help you get a little more tired and a little sleepy. You're staying away from caffeine probably after noon ish is going to be okay. Depending on how you metabolize the caffeine, that's going to be very beneficial. But also your day sets up your night. So getting sunlight as early as possible as you can when you wake up in the morning. If you wake up and it's still dark outside, people, they say this all the time, we're trying to get bright lights, whether it's studio lights, where I'm at or something like that. Get that light that will trigger that super charismatic nucleus in your brain to get you elevated and wake up and get your system, your endocrine system, everything wrapped and ready to go. Then that starts regulating your night. People often think about what to do at night, even you just have to ask the question. But we don't think about what we're doing during the day to set up our night. So focus on that. Get movement as early as possible if you can.
[00:22:09.010] – Joey
If you're somebody that works out at 8 PM and you're all jacked up, like when I used to play hockey late at night and then it will have been beer League, if you're all jacked up and you can't go to sleep, okay, maybe you shouldn't work out at night. But if you work out and it makes you tired and you sleep more, sound great. Maybe you save your carbs for night. Why? Because carbs are satiating. They have a dopamine response and they make you sleepy. How about you use that for the evening? There's all these different protocols in the book that you can do at a minimum. You just listen to them there and you can try that. Try one or two of these behaviors without trying to pop melatonin or something like that, because we want to change the behavior first and see what happens to our biology as opposed to trying to override it with these pills that were trying to pop.
[00:22:51.300] – Allan
The funny thing was your book, The Minimum Method, is available on audiobook that you read. I happened to be walking to work as I was listening to that part of the audiobook, and I had the sun in my eyes. And then you're like, try to get as much early morning sunlight as you can. Yeah. And I'm like, oh, my God, I guess I'm doing the right thing. But yeah, my office is to the east of where I live. So I'm always walking against that sunshine in the morning. And yeah, it definitely helps you wake up and start your day the right way because you just feel like, okay, I'm here, I'm awake, it's daytime, it's time for me to get my stuff doing. And I found that if I get a really good night's sleep and then I get that early morning sun like you're talking about that light, the blue sky and the light. I don't have that two o'clock lull that I used to have. When I wasn't sleeping consistently, as you mentioned, I wasn't getting always early morning light because I was getting up before the sun rose and I was staying up well after it was over and never even seeing most of that day, getting that light and just having that time to unwind in the evening.
[00:24:12.550] – Allan
All of those are just perfect. And so you walk someone through that protocol in the book and it might seem a little overwhelming because there's a lot of little things you can do. But I think that's one of the key things I really took away was it's little things. You're not asking us to go invest in a hyperbolic oxygenated bed or buy a new mattress. There's just little bitty things that if we do those are going to help us sleep a lot better.
[00:24:43.500] – Joey
Yeah. And by the way, when you're walking outside, don't wear sunglasses, at least for the first five or 10 minutes, because the sunglasses is going to block the delux rays that you're trying to get in your eyes.
[00:24:52.650] – Allan
Yeah. So now the next one, and this is actually my favorite one, is nutrition. So let's talk a little bit about if you want to optimize your nutrition, what are some little things we can do to make that happen?
[00:25:07.880] – Joey
Yeah. And I think with nutrition, we need to talk about sometimes is it optimizing your nutrition to feel better or to look better because those aren't one and the same often. Like, if you're having your standard American crap, highly processed diet and you start making better food choices, you're going to start looking better. But if you want to look completely back to the movie star analogy, we're doing some things that are leaving them a little bit electrified efficient. We're doing some water tapering and things like that. And they are cutting complete macronutrients at a certain point just so they look better, just that snapshot in time for camera before he puts on Iron Man suit. They're not that healthy then. They look like what we think is the epitome of health and isn't. So for most people with nutrition, I say one of the best things you can do is add about 10 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories that you're consuming, roughly. If you're having 2,000 calories a day, you want to have about 20 grams of fiber. Fiber is satiating. It helps you obviously go to the bathroom. It helps your gut microbiome, which 70 % of your immune system lives in there.
[00:26:10.680] – Joey
Fiber also feeds probiotics, which we take these expensive probiotics, but probiotics are less effective if you don't have fiber and prebiotics. So that is huge. Adding more whole foods or foods that have moved and lived and grown before. There was a study out of University of Michigan where people had the options of having just highly processed foods and still having those highly processed foods but adding more fruits and vegetables. And I believe they had clean cuts of meat, too. But just by adding the good whole foods, they ate 500 less calories overall without counting. Because why? They were fuller, they were more satiated, they had more micronutrients, which helps feed your body and make you feel better. So they just naturally had 500 less calories today. And we're doing the math here, 30 to 500 less calories per week. You're probably going to lose a pound ish. It doesn't necessarily work that equally as anybody has been asked, but you're going to probably a pound a week just from doing that. And that's tremendous from having these little things. So increasing the fiber, having some more greens. If you can't handle greens, have one of those greens powders.
[00:27:12.900] – Joey
I think those are actually getting much better than they used to do. So have a serving or two of fruit a day, three, four servings of greens. And if you're not having a ton of fiber now, don't go crazy with the fiber because that'll create some digestive distress. If you can add some like Sillium Husk or some fiber powder into your smoothies or drinks, that is still going to be beneficial for you. A lot of people are like, Oh, I read this study and this artificial sweetener is bad for my gut health. Well, dude, you're 300 pounds. So what's really bad for you is carrying that extra weight. So if it's a matter of you having artificial sweeteners and your diet soda and still moving more and cutting your calories and losing weight, what's going to matter more for your health right now is losing the weight. And then when we get down to losing those last few pounds, then maybe we start going with the whole gut health thing. Your gut health will get better from losing all the weight, too. So people just like they lose sight of the short term once for the long term goals. And you need to think about both of those.
[00:28:17.080] – Allan
Yeah, I really like that. And I think that's maybe one message that gets missed a lot is we're always thinking with regards to nutrition, what do I have to cut?
[00:28:29.460] – Allan
And you're approaching it from the perspective of, Okay, what can I add? And I've seen this hundreds and hundreds of times is you add something good, like you say, okay, I'm going to start eating fruit after my meals. And for one reason or another, we know why. But it satiates their sweet tooth. So they're not eating a dessert and they're not hitting the cupboard an hour or so later. They're like, Well, I already had my dessert. Those berries were actually really good and I enjoyed those. And I don't really feel like I need the cookies or crackers, or crisps, or whatever right now. I'm good. I feel good. And as a result, you're almost like you're with the good, you're pushing out the bad. Your body is getting what it needs. And I like also how you said that in the book is when we're giving our body the nutrition that it needs, it turns on the satiety hormones and turns off the hunger hormones for us. And if we don't and we keep eating the standard American diet, our body is always hungry because we're not giving it the nutrition it needs.
[00:29:41.440] – Joey
Yeah, you're creating a positive feedback loop. It's the same thing where if you have a good experience and you're like, God, that's good. And you stop and think about it, you got a dope in response to the positive feedback loop. Do you have something like you had a bad food or maybe you got food poisoning from something like, oh, that's not good. That's a diversion and then negative feedback loop. So you keep creating this positivity, but also think about it and stop and anchor that thought like, oh, I had that piece of fruit, normally have ice cream, whatever it is. Which is not saying that's necessarily a bad thing to have that every now and then. But if you can't control it, like me, I have one scoop of ice cream, I'm going to have a longing to have four or five more. And that's not good because I know I can't control myself once I have that. But for me now, my salad with some berries or apples and maybe a little bit of dressing that might have like three grams of sugar in it and some lemon, whatever, that is actually my dessert and I crave it and I feel so much better for doing so.
[00:30:32.070] – Joey
Because for years I was the low carb, the no fruit, oh my God, whatever, that stuff. And then once I started paying attention to my friends and world renowned experts, Allen Aragon is a good buddy of mine in nutrition research, got a quote on the back of the book. He's like, Dude, send me something like what to eat. And it was very simple. I'm like, Oh, my God. It's this simple? He's like, Yes, it's simple. And I'd like three cups of berries and whatever. I'm like, Wow, I feel amazing for doing this. And my body actually did start to look better because I was fueling it as opposed to literally I used to have lunch meat and carrots. That's all I would have. No greens, no fruits, nothing. And once I started incorporating that into my life, my life became much better. Yeah.
[00:31:11.640] – Allan
And I noticed you're saying berries and not Twinkies. Very different carbs.
[00:31:18.500] – Joey
But here's the thing. Look, if you want to have ice cream and you have to have it, add some berries on top of it. Think about that. So you're having some extra antioxidants in there. You're having those phytonutrients, you're having that fiber that maybe you wouldn't have. So maybe as opposed to the three scoops of ice cream, you have two scoops and a cup of berries. So you're still getting it and then slowly you're weaning it off but you're adding more good into it. Nobody thinks about that. I prefer you not to have the ice cream, sure. But like I said, if it's a matter of the two scoops or you go and have the four scoops and then the berries, you have the berries, you'd be fine. Just some nuts and seeds, something like that.
[00:31:56.420] – Allan
And you can get higher quality ice cream and pay a little bit more because you're only eating two thirds of the ice cream that you would have eaten otherwise.
[00:32:03.840] – Joey
There you go. You should host a podcast. Nice job.
[00:32:07.440] – Allan
All right. Now, I know, and that's why I'm avoiding this topic. I could probably sit here and talk to you about fitness for, I don't know, what, three days till one of us had to go to sleep. And I know how much you care about your sleep, so we would both be taking breaks. But there's so much to talk about with nutrition. And you do a really good job going through the book and talking about, again, the minimum amount of work necessary to get the results that you're after. But I think an area where a lot of people can get really confused is when you start getting into the area of stretching. And some of us, we remember PE sitting on our butt in the grass doing the little butterflies with our knees and doing those types of things. And then now we watch professional sports and we see them doing these dynamic bouncing around on the field. We're like, Well, they're not doing what I did when I played football. What's changed? Can you talk about stretching and some of the other things that we might want to do for flexibility and mobility?
[00:33:14.040] – Joey
Yeah. So stretching, people used to think, well, first it was like you had to stretch beforehand. Then there was a study that looked at where they held the stretch for 90 seconds to two minutes, and it limited force production. All of a sudden stretching beforehand wasn't good. People just get too caught up in the black and white. Stretching before can be amazing if you're stretching. So a muscle that is short and tight is often overactive and a muscle… There's some nuances to this, but a muscle that is long and lengthy and is often weak and underactive. So the perfect example might be like your Peck Meyer. So if you're touching the front part of your shoulder and go right down towards your back, that's your Peck Meyer, the smaller part that gets tight, pulls your shoulder forward. Then the opposing muscles in your back, your round voids, different parts of your lats, your lower traps, things like that, will become long and under active because your back is pulling forward. So if we think about stretching appropriately beforehand, so most people, I could generally say they have upper cross syndrome, which is their rounded forward or like text neck, whatever.
[00:34:14.820] – Joey
If you did a 30 second wall stretch, which you find a corner and you can stretch that, have your elbow slightly above your shoulder and lean into that and stretch that for about 30 seconds. And then you do some exercise for your back to activate the back, the long and under active muscles, that'll be night and day difference from you if you just did that at a minimum. But we don't want to stretch muscles that are loose. So people always go to stretching the hamstring. It's like they bend down, they stretch the hamstring because it feels good. Your hamstrings are likely tight, and I could say this with probably 95% relevance here. I'm a human movement specialist and corrective exercise specialist, so we look at different tightnesses. Your hamstrings are tight because your anterior chain in your hip fluxes are pulling them up, making them tight. So by stretching your hamstrings, feels good, but it also makes the anterior part of your hip fluxers tighter and able to pull more. So we need to think about that tightness and that stiffness. Where are you tight? Then we need to stretch that. For the hamstring, I'd say that's pretty much the one muscle that is deceiving a little bit for most people.
[00:35:26.250] – Joey
But your doctor's in her party where legs get really tight. Your hip flexes. Your quads are part of that. Those get really tight. Your peck minor gets really tight. People maybe stretch their lats. It's like if you go into a modified Down Dog or like yoga pose, that will stretch out your lats. That top part gets tight as well because that's overworked. 30 seconds to 60 seconds of stretching before your workout is going to be completely fine. You can hold it, which is your static stretch, where your dynamic stretch is moving through a movement where you're kicking your leg. You probably see athletes doing that. And then when you see them jumping around and kicking and swinging, they're doing that. And then a little bounding, which is getting the tissue warmed up. They're getting the tissue to fire and react and fire and react. So that's what they're doing, that they're warming up the tissue. So there's a number of different protocols you can go through for that. And then we get into self myofascial release or rolling, if you will. But basically, like, and percussion guns, those still have a time and place. But for most people, if you're going to do a protocol, I like them doing self myofascial release with a foam roller or a percussion gun before and then stretching if they have the time and then going into an activation technique.
[00:36:35.840] – Joey
A lot of people don't have that time. So what's that linchpin that we can add? If your chest is tight and you have only 30 seconds, stretch out the chest, lean into the wall, do a back activation technique like some rows, something like that, tier X rows, some banded pull apart, and then go into your workout. If you're doing a run, stretch out the hip flexors, maybe do some glue bridges, 15 or 20, and then go for the run. Get that going. At a minimum, that's actually going to turn on the muscle that are stabilizing and helping propel you forward. There's a lot of nuances into the stretching. If you can't stretch after your workout, amazing. Your body is warm, it's more pliable. That's when you hold those stretches 30, 60, 90 seconds or even longer. That will help that adaptive process help stretching permanently. Going through full range of motion when you're working out, that actually helps your flexibility. A full range bicep curl, a full range chest fly, a full range RDL without your lumbar spine taking over too much. So all of these things are stretching as you're under load, too. People get lost around that.
[00:37:40.950] – Allan
Yeah. Well, I would say, and I agree with you, I also went through corrective exercise and things like that. Just really initially for myself because I would watch a squat on YouTube and I'd be like, okay, I don't look anything like that. I look like I don't know. And so for me, what I found was, again, having an office job for over 20 years, yeah, my shoulders were a little bit collapsed. My neck was a little bit down. And so now my monitor is always up at eye level and I adjust my seat or I'm standing, I'm always making sure that's moving. But there are things I didn't do back then. So my calves is extremely tight and my hip flexors are tight and sometimes my glutes are under active. And so for me, it's a function of saying, okay, I want to make sure I'm moving well. So I also have injuries to my ankles when I played volleyball when I was younger. So my dorsal flexion on my ankles are not what they're supposed to be, which dorsiflexion is when you're bringing your toes up towards your shins. So having a problem with dorsiflexion, having tight calves, having tight hips, when I try to go into a squat movement, it's almost like my face wants to kiss the ground.
[00:39:01.920] – Allan
And so I'm leaning forward, which means that the bar that's on my shoulders, that load is leaning a lot more forward than it should, as does my head. Again, if I'm not stretching out my chest. So there's just this whole movement where I feel like I'm doing a squat, I'm almost like curling up on myself if I don't do this first. And so while it does take a little bit of time, it will take less time later if you go through what he's talking about here because you're going to go through and say, Okay, I know that I need to mobilize my calves. And if I mobilize my calves, then I'm going to have a better range of motion through the whole chain. My squats is going to be better. And as a result, I'm going to be able to do my squat through the full range of motion and feel good about it and strong. And then, yes, after it's over, I've got that good warm up. I'm able to take my calves now and say, Okay, let's go ahead and lengthen them. And I've done it before. You can actually put your knee, stand with your toe about two inches away from a wall and try to touch your knee to the wall.
[00:40:05.070] – Allan
You should be able to do that. That's a normal range of motion for your foot to do its dorsiflexion. And what I found is usually before I start doing the stretching or do the squats, I can't until I actually mobilize it well enough then I know once my knee can tap that wall that I'm close enough and I can do my squats. And then after the squats, I do some stretching and my knee can touch that wall. I'm now full range of motion in my ankles. So this is important because a lot of people hurt themselves by not having good movement patterns. And if you're not comfortable with this, I mean, there's a lot of great information. You have videos that people can go to to look at what you're talking about in this, which again is great. But this is an area of fitness. I think a lot of people skip over or forget, and as a result, you're setting yourself up. And it's not so much to stretch to avoid injury as the injury is going to happen if you're not doing things and you're putting load on a body that's not built to cover and hold that weight.
[00:41:08.880] – Joey
Yeah. And like this thing, I always say that things start from the ground up. So yes, if you got limited ankle mobility, maybe you don't have time to do some joint distraction or something like that. Or by the way, put your fist on the wall. It's an easier way. And then your knee should touch there. Or you can elevate it and you can do that and do some stretches and just move it in and out. Your Soleus often, which is like, think about right above your Achilles tendon, that often gets really tight. So stretching that 20, 30 seconds, just like on a step, that will help squat down, see, assess and then reassess all those things or even you could put some plates or a slant board underneath if you want to go right into it. That will help the towards you flex and help you move so much better. If you don't want to back squat, you can do a gobble squat if it's loaded in front of you that will turn on the left, so it'll stabilize you more when you're front loaded. Belt squat's amazing. I love belt squats because it reduces that arm, but you can load up a lot, so you're not loading your spine.
[00:42:03.380] – Joey
There's things that you can do. If you're like, I can't squat, it hurts me, it takes too much, and you're hurt every time, then fine, don't squat. Pick a different squat, pick a different motion. Do a unilateral motion, do a single leg, do a belt squat, whatever. It's going to be okay. Do a step up. Great for the glutes. All these things, just focus on that. If your movement looks funky, your movement is not going to look like anybody else's squat. You won't look like anybody's body. I've got a long tibia. My knees go way past my toes and my foot's still flat, which is completely safe. So think about your movement and does it look funny? Are you shifting to one side or the other? And to have that awareness first and awareness, sometimes it will fix it right then. Feel like I'm going down on my squat, I'm shifting to my right. If you're just aware of that and think about addressing it as you go down in that movement pattern, that might be enough right there because you just know that you're compensating. And then you can go down the road of thinking about what you need to do.
[00:42:53.340] – Joey
But you need to prepare, just like you prepare for a meeting, anything else, prepare your body for that workout. Take an extra two or three minutes, do that same thing. Take an extra two or three minutes after the workout. Do some recovery breathing or at bare minimum, just lay down your back and just breathe in and out through your nose. That'll calm you down and get your body ready and move into that parasympathetic state from sympathetic state. These little things, five minutes right there is all I said. Like two to three minutes beforehand, some stretches, some foam rolling, some percussion, whatever, some movement protocol, and then two or three minutes afterwards, and you could still get your 55 minute work out and you'd be fine.
[00:43:29.260] – Allan
And even a shorter one. But I'm just saying if you're looking at working out, stretching has a place. And we pooh pooh it a little bit more. And as we're over 40 and so many of us have developed these by having office jobs or repetitive motion things and just taking a little bit of time to do that maintenance before you take the road trip is going to save you a whole lot of pain.
[00:43:56.520] – Joey
[00:43:57.640] – Allan
Joey, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:44:07.240] – Joey
Yeah. A lot of this is mindset to me. So one, I touched on a little bit is your awareness. Awareness of your life, awareness where you're at awareness, what you can get done, awareness of your goals. So think about your life and your day and where you can fit in that movement, where you can fit in that training, where you can fit in your relationships. That's huge. Just having that thought process in that life cycle, I'd say, Go over it like it's a trailer, like your day is a trailer in a movie. What can I fit in? What can I do right here? That makes a lot of sense. Just having that awareness here, thinking about you and what you can get in and adding those positive behaviors. After that, I would say consistency. You need to be consistent in all these aspect of wellness, like sleep, nutrition, gut health, all this stuff. Consistency over intensity wins every single time. Once you have that consistency, maybe you add some intensity. But if you go at it really hard and you haven't worked out since high school football, 30 years, you try squatting the same way and doing whatever.
[00:45:07.200] – Joey
I used to be able to do this. Well, it's the same body, but you've got more mileage on it. You want to drive your car the same way that's 30 years old. You're not going to push it as hard. So you need to be aware of that. You're 40 plus right now. So let's think about that. Where can we add that? Maybe we touch a little bit of intensity here, but we don't go anywhere near where we're at. So you've got that awareness. Acl here is where we're going with this. You've got that awareness, you've got that consistency, and now you need to have the love. You need to have the self love for yourself to put yourself first every now and then. Take care of you and take care of your body and your health and your mental and physiology and psychology. They're one and the same. And taking care of that will take care of everybody else you love. So you have to be healthy to take care of those people. And sometimes in life, you're going to get less sleep. Sometimes in life, you're going to be more stressed. You're going to have more load on you.
[00:45:58.170] – Joey
It's going to happen. But be aware that's going to happen. Take some protocols, maybe do some breath work. There's a whole breath work chapter in there. Use that. That takes 10, 20 seconds. There's a few times that will just calm you down. Reassess. When you get up in the morning and there's something I call MVP, where it's your mindset, you visualize and you think about perspective. So if you got that in the middle of meditation and mindset in the morning, what are you going to call it? You visualize your day and then you have your perspective and where you were at. So ACL, which I didn't put in the book. I was just thinking about it today because you sent me the questions. It's good. Acl.
[00:46:34.800] – Joey
Awareness, consistency and have that love for yourself.
[00:46:41.380] – Allan
Awesome. Joey, if someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about your book, The Minimum Method, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:46:48.670] – Joey
Easiest places. Amazon, you said audio, hardcover, Kindle, JoeyThurman.com. I've got a bunch of links on there. Joey Thurman Fit on all social channels and Joey Thurman Fitness on YouTube.
[00:47:01.980] – Allan
You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/578, and I'll be sure to have the links there. Joey, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:47:12.030] – Joey
Well, thank you, my friend. I'm 40 now, so I'm in the club.
[00:47:16.360] – Allan
Happy birthday. All right.
[00:47:21.340] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:47:22.960] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Minimum method. I've got a love hate feeling for the concept, but back when my kids were younger and I had a very busy schedule of work and kids and school and all the things, I can see how finding a way to do the minimum amount of work to move the needle would be an important priority, an important thing to do.
[00:47:47.800] – Allan
Yeah. We're going to have this theme for a couple of different weeks, this week and then next week I have Dave Asprey on, and he's a biohacker. So it's really about efficiency and getting results as quick and easy as you can. So we're going to talk a little bit about why that actually is not a bad thing. But at the same time, I want people to take the step back. It's like, are you really that busy?
[00:48:17.620] – Allan
Or is this really a question of priorities? And the reason I say that is I know there's a lot of people that will say, well, there's just no way I can get eight hours of good sleep every night because my work schedule and this and that and the other thing, there's just no way I could be in bed before 11 o'clock and I have to be up at six. So already that's seven hours. I don't have eight. And I think if they did a little time audit, I said, okay, so what time you get off work? They're like, Five. I'm like, What time do you get home? It's like, okay, 5:30 6:00 o'clock. I'm like, Okay. And then, of course, you're maybe cooking dinner and doing this and that. I said, What if everything was precooked? You did a batch cooking on the weekend. How much time would that save you on a weeknight? They're like, I don't know, half an hour, 45 minutes, maybe an hour. So you could have dinner ready in 15 minutes instead of an hour. Okay. And then what? Well, now we clean up the kitchen, we get it all together, and then we sit down, we watch Netflix for three hours.
[00:49:27.120] – Allan
And then I lay in the bed and I get ready to go to bed. And then I'm on Facebook and Twitter or Instagram or TikTok or whatever for another bit. And then I finally fall asleep about 11 o'clock. I'm like, okay, well, what I heard was Facebook is a higher priority than your sleep. And I heard that Netflix was a higher priority than your sleep. And I heard that investing 15 minutes, investing some time on the weekend to save yourself potentially hours over the course of the week was also not your priority. And so I see this often as not just a reality. Sometimes it is. Someone pulls a 16 hour day, you get home, you're tired. No, you didn't do the precooking because you thought you were going to get home at five and you're not. It's like I'm thinking, okay, what am I going to do for dinner tonight? And then yeah, you're picking up the phone or Grab hub or whatever is available to you and you're ordering what you can order. You're getting what you can get as quickly as you can get it. But set your priority, at least have it.
[00:50:45.320] – Allan
and then work your way toward it. And then when those things happen, that's when things like this, what Joey is talking about, become valuable. Because then you can sit there and say, well, I actually don't have an hour, or I am getting to bed later than I wanted to. And therefore, getting up at six and working out for an hour is just not going to be reasonable tomorrow. And it was for the right reasons. Kid broke their arm. I had to take them the emergency room, and I'm not getting in until 10 o'clock. That's different than sitting there watching Netflix for three hours and saying, I just don't have time. But you end up later and you're like, okay, it doesn't make sense for me to set my alarm for 6. What I'll do is set my alarm for 6:45. I'll get up, I'll do a quick little high intensity interval training session of like, maybe 5, 10 minutes, and I'll shower and I'll head to work, and I'll call that a win.
[00:51:48.330] – Rachel
Sure. That would be a great win.
[00:51:51.040] – Allan
And so I think there's just a lot of opportunities here that we leave on the table where we just say, I lose.
[00:51:57.520] – Allan
I lose, and we walk away from it when we could have a plan B and maybe even a plan C for how we're going to get this done. And then we would just do it. And it wouldn't be this big thing because it would just become a part of us. You and I, we'll get up, it's just no problem. It's three hours to go do a cardio session. Who has three hours? This guy. And why do I have three hours that I'll go do that? Because it's a priority. And it's a priority because it's not just the exercise. Yes, I could go out and do a hit training on the beach, go down. It's like three tenths of a mile. So just walk down five minutes, I'm on the beach. I could do sprints, and then I could do that little walk back to cool down. And so I'm out for a total of 15 minutes, done. And I got just as much cardiovascular fitness from that as I would get from my three hour walk. But in my three hour walk, I would have seen these beautiful beaches and the waves and the surfers.
[00:53:04.400] – Allan
And then I wouldn't have seen maybe the howler monkeys and the sloths and just leaf cutter ants and just things that you don't think are just super cool. You're like, I know they're tearing up something that is beautiful already, but it's just you're watching. I mean, this is just something interesting that you're not going to see and do anywhere else. But you can't do that in your house and you can't go do a 15 minute workout and then see that you're done. You go in and start doing your other stuff. So again, there's value. And I think if we just look at our time and say, okay, what's the value of the time? And yes, sometimes sitting down and watching Netflix is what you need to do. We're going to have Kelly and Juliet Starret on. And it's their day. They unwind with their kids watching shows, TV in the evening. And that's what they enjoy doing. But they're sitting on the floor and they're working mobility while they're doing it. So they've got their mobility implements, the cross ball and the roller. And they're literally sitting on the floor watching their show and they're working on their mobility while they're doing it.
[00:54:24.080] – Allan
It's that thing where it's not just one thing. You can stack this stuff. There's lots of ways to be more efficient. Yeah, find joy.
[00:54:34.680] – Rachel
Well, I guess you had said earlier, do a time audit and take a good look at your schedule, which I think that we feel so busy because we've got a lot going on in our lives. We're coming and going, kids and work and all the priorities of the house and whatnot. And it feels busy. But if you were to actually write down day to day, hour to hour, what you are doing, where could you squeeze in a workout? And maybe it's a short workout like what Joey Thurman has suggested, quick and easy, get it done because even something is better than nothing. Or when can you get a longer workout in? You were saying you enjoy these really long walks. I enjoy really long runs and being outside. I know our schedules are hectic, but where can you squeeze in that time, whether it's short or long? I don't know that we all have such a firm handle on what our schedules are more so than what we feel is going on. Like, oh, I know I have a busy day, all these appointments and all these deadlines and all these things. But what reality is going on?
[00:55:46.810] – Rachel
Just like you said, are you spending too much time on your socials, which I do? Or are you spending a lot of time at night unwinding? But again, with the people you'll have on pretty soon, that time in front of the TV with their family is a priority. That is important. But yeah, I like the thought of doing a time audit and looking at your schedule and seeing what do you really have time to do?
[00:56:13.300] – Allan
Yeah. Tammy was in this charity event thing, it was a fashion show thing. And so I knew I needed to be there.
[00:56:20.660] – Allan
I also needed to read this book for this interview. And I wanted to go for a good long walk. And so I had three things that were like, okay, these are things that are important to me that I want to get done. And rather than figure I'm stuck, well, I got to go to this event thing. So I'm just going to have to suck it up and just go. And then I'll try to catch up with reading later, and then I'll stay up later than I want to. And then I guess my walk isn't going to happen. I went online, I bought the audiobook book for this book so I could listen to it rather than try to read it. I set it on 145, which is usually what I do audiobooks at. And I planned and left about an hour early and walked the three and a half miles to the event location, got there in plenty of time, had gotten through, basically at that point, a whole hour of an audio, a little over an hour because I was listening at 1.45. So it's probably close to two hours of audio time that I'd gotten through this book.
[00:57:31.700] – Allan
And most audiobooks are anywhere from five to eight hours. You can get an idea, maybe probably even a quarter or more of this book in that time. And I got to walk the beach for the three and a half miles to get to the location. So I got all three done. It took a little creativity. It took a little thought. It took an investment.
[00:57:53.900] – Allan
But it was just one of those things of saying, I'm not going to shortchange my priorities. My priorities were, of course, my wife and being there for her. My priorities were doing the walk. And at the same time, I still had this obligation, responsibility, not priority, but I had this responsibility to get the book read so I'd be ready for the interview. And I figured out how to make them fit in the best way that was the most efficient.
[00:58:26.920] – Allan
And then the cool thing was I invested in the audiobook, so the next day I was able to get out and go for another long walk and listen to more of the audiobook and get the whole thing done while I was still doing other things versus having to sit and read, which I do a lot of times. I will just sit and read the book. But I'm always looking for, not that I got to get more done, but how do I get my priorities done.
[00:58:58.160] – Allan
And still do my obligations.
[00:59:03.790] – Rachel
That worked out very well.
[00:59:04.730] – Allan
Yeah. And that's the balance. And so, yes, there'll be times when I'll say, okay, it's better for me to do that short workout. It's better for me to just go ahead and get this done. But I'm not going to sacrifice a priority over an obligation. I'm going to figure out how to do both.
[00:59:25.060] – Rachel
Yeah, absolutely. That's the best part about listening to your interviews or podcasts like this is that I can do it while I'm sitting on the spin bike or on my treadmill because I'm not going anywhere. I don't have to look out for roots and cracks in the sidewalk, so I can listen as I work out at the same time. I absolutely love that. It's a great way to multitask.
[00:59:48.520] – Allan
Yeah. So don't get that I'm having these guests on for all these efficiency style people, bio hackers and this and that, to just say that that's what training really is. It can be whatever you need it to be. But it's just a function of if you think life is getting in the way, it always will. It always will. You've planted that seed to say, my life is too busy, therefore, I can't. And you're right. You're right. You won't. It's not that you can't, but you won't. So yeah, you can't. To me, it's about saying, okay, what are my priorities? What needs to get done? I have a little notebook here that in the morning I write down my gratitude. I write down, okay, what's my priority today? If I had to say that I only get one thing that I get to do or have to do, what's the one thing? And I write that in this book and it relates to my goals and what I'm trying to accomplish. It's one of those. And then I have my top actions. It's usually three to four items. And I say, okay, these are the three to four things that I do want to really need to get done my obligations, but my priority is always at top.
[01:01:03.080] – Allan
It's that first thing. It's like, this is the thing I've got to get done. And then at the end of the day, I recap and say, okay, what did I do to move the goal? What did I do to move towards my goal? Well, it's typically that I accomplished that priority thing. I set my priority, it relates to my goals. If I get that done, that's usually what moved the needle for my goals. And then I go through and do a reflections over what my day was like, what did I learn? And then I go in and just write some notes. Okay, what are things I could do better next time? And what are things that I did well that I want to keep doing. And I just collect those notes. And so that's my day in a journal that I do practically every day. And it's just one thing, but it's one of many. And you just get a structure to all this and you just start doing it. And then it's just the normal thing. I wake up, I plan my day, I put this together, and then I'm off. I'm like, okay, I know the one thing, I know the priority for today, and I'm going to focus on that priority till I get it done.
[01:02:15.500] – Allan
And then yeah, there's this other stuff I've got to do. I'm working on this certification, so I do need to spend probably about an hour and an hour and a half doing that. But I'm going to fit that in where it makes sense for it to be fit in. But the priorities are the priorities, and they are happening every day. And I got to get that done first. Or maybe not even first, but know that I have to block the time to make it happen.
[01:02:41.000] – Rachel
Oh, yeah, for sure. Well, just like Joey had said, and you both discussed that you need to fit training into your life. Just find a way to do it. And it sounds like you've got an effective method for yourself. So that sounds great.
[01:02:54.700] – Allan
And if you want to learn more about how to do this stuff, I encourage you to check out the Retreat. Go to 40plusfitness.com/retreat. And there you're going to find a link that will let you sign up or learn more about the retreat. And that's actually going to be part of what we do in our workshop is talk about, okay, what does fitness mean for you? And then how do you make it happen?
[01:03:22.840] – Rachel
[01:03:22.880] – Allan
Because we can write all the workouts in the world. I can give you the workouts and say, go do these workouts and you'll be the monster that you want to be. But what happens when this and that, and you're there and you're not there? How do you still move the needle forward? How do you make it happen? And sometimes that's efficiency. It's often planning. We're going to talk about how all of those affect your journey. So I encourage anyone that's struggling with this, listen to the podcast, read the book. But if you're really interested in putting it to practice, I encourage you to check out the retreat.
[01:04:01.770] – Rachel
Awesome. That sounds great.
[01:04:03.660] – Allan
All right. Well, Ras, I'll talk to you next week.
[01:04:06.260] – Rachel
Great. Take care, Allan.
[01:04:07.630] – Allan
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