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Best of 2021: Health and Fitness Principles Edition

by Shaun Kober
January 17th 2022

I've had some amazing conversations with people who inspire me and bring value to my life during the course of this podcast. In these "Best Of" editions, I'm bringing those conv... More

Yo, what is up guys, welcome back to the live transform podcast, I'm your host, Sean Cobra. This is episode three of 2022 I'm still going through some of my best of editions from 2021 in this episode, we are going through some of my favorite conversations from the interviews that I've conducted with, numerous people across multiple domains. So the first part of this episode is with luke Lehman who is going to explain the autonomic nervous system in his words. Now, anyone who's been listening to the podcast for awhile knows that I speak about the autonomic nervous system and heart rate variability all the time, which gives me an indication of where my nervous system is at, how much stress my body is under, how much I need to focus on recovery, how much I can add some training load and stress stimulus. Okay, so um I learned this stuff from luke lemon, so what you're going to hear is from the horse's mouth, I did his level one foundations course in Singapore a couple of years ago and it really changed the game and changed my mind on how I looked at coaching people um, from beginners, general population right through to professional athletes.

So, tune in, enjoy this first part of the conversation with luke lemon of muscle nerds, let's go And most trainers are like, I want to train professional athletes and 1% of people actually make it there where they're training professional athletes, but going through that journey, you have a lot of general population clients that you're dealing with and every single person that walks into the gym is a jigsaw puzzle. Everyone's got different stresses, Everyone's got different lifestyles, everyone's got different traumas that they're carrying from childhood and ship like that. So, you know, every single person is a jigsaw puzzle and um your methodology has really opened my eyes to, I was kind of already doing some of that stuff, but um without kind of knowing the mechanisms behind it. Um just by looking at how people moved and how they walked into the gym, what their body language was, like, how they were speaking, etcetera, etcetera. Cause I did my NLP um courses and things like that when I was younger. Um but yeah, your course really put a lot of that stuff together for me.

Um and I think it's a really powerful tool for trainers and you know, it's one of those courses that I would recommend to really new trainers that are getting into the space to manage people's fucking health first before they then start putting the foot on the accelerator and trying to get them, you know, to the end state because a healthy organism is an adaptable organism and we need to be in a healthy position first, before we can then start going into beast mode, like you say, um can you give your explanation of the autonomic nervous system for people listening at home because I've spoken about it numerous times on the podcast are probably sick of hearing me speak about it. Um I'd like to hear your take on it and how you would explain that to people. Absolutely, absolutely. And just to come kind of on the back end of what you just said, I when I wrote the foundations course, I I said, okay, I'm going to write the course that I wish I had 20 years ago when I started training people. So what would have been the most valuable thing? And how do we say, Okay, as a trainer, you shouldn't be like, I know some trainers want to read labs and biochemistry panels and all this stuff, It's not your job and most of us don't have the training for it.

How do I find, Okay, let's have a symptom profile and let's take those symptoms and let's match them up with objective data to form a blueprint and fit those jigsaw pieces together so that we can make the right protocol that's going to work for that person and that at that moment, at that time. And then how do I progress them through proper prioritization to improve their health and then then improve their performance. Now, when we look at the autonomic nervous system, there's the two main branches that that people think about and and just to define the autonomic nervous system. This is basically all the stuff that keeps you alive. That's pretty much automated. Now we do have some control over this training and nutrition can't control, we have supplementation that can control these things, breathing techniques, more sleep, less sleep. This can move things in positive and negative manners. But if you didn't have the economic nervous system, you wouldn't remember, you have to constantly, constantly remember to breathe, right? And then there's there's things that control stress response, uh relaxation response and all that. So when you look at the traditional two branches, you've got sympathetic and parasympathetic.

Now, we are designed to be mainly in the parasympathetic pathway the majority of the time. The way I look at a lot of stuff and a lot of people give me flack about this, but I look at things from an evolutionary perspective, okay, if you took our environment away and put us back in loincloths with spears, the only reason you would have a sympathetic system is in case the lion jumped out of you and you had to either run or you have to fight. That's realistically all it is. So are Are those pathways aren't really different than they were, say 10,000 years ago. What's different is our environment? And so the environment is causing this sympathetic system which is a very acute system, it's supposed to go up in and immediately go down now, it's revved up all the time. So it would be like getting in your car, shut, slamming in the first gear and then trying to go, you know, 100 and 20 K on the motorway, Your engine would go ramp, boom, But that's exactly what people are doing with their own physiology, right? Um so what we need to do is make sure that we have a good parasympathetic reserve and where most of the time in that pathway, it's better for everything.

It's better for fat burning, it's better for relaxation, It's better for long term health. Um But we need to be able to flip that switch and we still need to stimulate the sympathetic drive at some point. So that's what training is supposed to be. But if you're massively sympathetic all the time and you go and train and drive that harder, you're just making it worse when you try to go back to rest and you never actually really recover properly. It's gonna impair your sleep, it's gonna impair your hormones going to pair your gut, it's gonna pair your brain, your immune system, everything, it just makes everything crash. And there's a third part of that that sometimes you'll see associated with that sometimes not, which is the enteric system which is the enteric nervous system is your gut. So Used to when I was a publican group, the solution for a gut issue was an elimination diet and then throw 500 fucking pills and potions at it. I quickly found out after I left that, you know what the easiest way I still believe in elimination diets. I never run any allergy testing food intolerance panels, any of that. I just do an elimination test. Um, we remove things that, that are bothering your gut will replace it with something else for 6 to 8 weeks.

Then we add back stuff slowly. But and that works really well to calm things down. But the main thing is we have to get control of the brain's response to things. So the more hyped up you are, the more sympathetic you are, the more likely you are to have gut issues, bloating, diarrhea, belching gas, gas that kills the paint off the wall, you know, all that stuff, pain in your stomach. If you can get everything calmed down, Most of your gut issues will just disappear. But that's not what people want to hear. It's like, Hey, maybe you shouldn't work 80 hours a week. Hey, maybe you should sleep more than four hours a night. Maybe you shouldn't go to the gym twice a day for two hours. You know, maybe you should not eat 1200 calories. May try 2400 calories. Maybe you should take a multivitamin. That stuff's too hard. It's a lot easier for somebody to go to Australia sports nutrition and ask some 18 year old about a gut and they hand you some box of bullshit that just makes you shouldn't push yourself all day and it doesn't work right. It's, it's absolutely free to heal most gut problems by getting your brain and your autonomic nervous system balanced right now.

the last thing I'll say on this, don't think about this as a teeter totter because it's not think about those two elevators and they can go up or they can go down. So if if your parasympathetic system is down here and you're sympathetic drive is up here, what we need to do is remove things that keep the the sympathetic system up. So maybe reduce your training a little bit or change your training. Focus from neural to maybe more metabolic stuff. Don't do hit training, do more aerobic style stuff, only go to the lowest effective dose and prioritize sleep and having a hobby and spending time with your family and whatever else that makes you happy in life. And gives you self fulfillment, journaling reflecting long moonlit walks at the beach, whatever floats your boat. If you start removing the stuff that is causing the sympathetic drive it will lower. But the missing pieces. You have to actively work on parasympathetic system. The sympathetic system go down. Parasympathetic system can still stay suppressed. You have to work on sleep, passion, unionism, family, friends, social life, you still have to work on that.

So you have to train the parasympathetic side just as diligently as you train the sympathetic side or you're kind of wasting your time. I love that man, that's an excellent explanation. Um now for people listening, the sympathetic state. The fight or flight state is essential for short term survival and the parasympathetic paris, Parasympathetic state, rest and digest is essential for long term survival. And as luke said, it's your body is constantly trying to get back to homeostasis and balance everything out so that you know, everything is running optimally. And as luke said, there are different stress responses. Low level stress in your everyday life adds up to chronic stress. So how I like to explain this to my clients is I will take a sheet of paper and I'll draw a line down the middle left column, right column, Left column is going to be a sympathetic state. Right column is going to be the parasympathetic state and I add up all the things on the left side that create stress and that might be a poor night's sleep, it might be poor nutrition, um less than optimal hydration levels, might be problems with my relationship, might be career issues or you know, anxiety around what I'm doing with my life and where I'm going and um financial problems and you know, the kids are being little ships or whatever and they might all be like level 12 threes, Okay, But all of those things add up and if they're not dealt with then over time that's going to become chronic stress and then you know, your sympathetic state is going to be jacked up.

Your parasympathetic state is going to be well suppressed and there's gonna be a massive imbalance there, which is then going to lead to illness and disease and inflammation and all that type of stuff. The next conversation is with Simon Hall of Nourished Life, he ran a ten-day event in 2020, probably about three months after the world went into lockdown where he got in professionals, he got in experts from multiple industries to basically put on a free event so people could tune in, um give themselves some purpose, give themselves some structure, um teach them how to manage their day, how to manage their mind, how to put together their own fitness um training sessions at home whilst they were going through that lockdown period, he's one of those guys who is just a really good dude is always trying to provide high value content, um has his own podcast as well, we had a great conversation around his life um and some of the values that he's um developed over time, going from being a successful entrepreneur to then having the wheels fall off and having his world crumble around him to then having to rebuild his life.

So incredible conversation with Simon Hall, listen in and see if you can pick up anything that you can implement into your life, you and your health, have to confess, because if you've not got your health, you've not got your energy, your confidence is gonna go, your self esteem is gonna go, it's gonna ripple into every other area of life and I really think if you can create boundaries around health, self esteem, confidence, time and energy, your major assets in life, everything else will grow and thrive around you. And the biggest shift that I see, and I said this at the beginning is like a lot of people feel really guilty about putting themselves first, A lot of people feel really guilty about having boundaries and the perception of it's really wrong, it's like if I do this, people are gonna hate me and it's like maybe the wrong people and this is the other thing, like you're being selfish, okay, so you want me to stop doing the thing that's better in me, so that I could do something for you, who's the selfish one, like let's really think of that paradox.

So I think once you really like change, change that you start to attract better when you're being better when you're doing better, when you're growing things around you grow things around you thrive and and that's really the big thing on that, and just before we pause Another great little exercise and I spoke about this when we did the speaking gig on the 10 day, that is the thing that really, really helped me the most was I call it the core four areas of life. And so I have a yearly one, I have a monthly one, have a weekly one and I do it daily. So this is how I break things down health, mental health, physical health, emotional health, spiritual health box number one Box # two Love relationships, social circles, family, kids, dogs, area number three, business money, you know personal growth education area number four, adventure life travel like and the way I set things up is those are really like the core four things number one if I'm not healthy, none of the other four can happen, I have to make this my priority goal so go for the year then goes for the month, maybe the week and then what do I need to do?

Like what are my daily actions to make sure that this happens and then the same in the others. Like if you're not like again going, going down to love if if you're not like if you're suddenly feeling a little bit like isolated and yes we are in lockdown and exercise just pick up the phone and send a WhatsApp to three messages and start a conversation with someone who have not spoken to for a while and you'll notice just from and that will help you in the future. Like like it's just mental and the thing that I love about the beautiful thing about this topic of conversation is it threads into every single area of life and when you really start to understand that every single action is a transaction with your future self, everything you do every transaction in time, every action you are transacting with who you're going to be in the future. That text message you just sent to that person a yes you'll feel better because you'll be in a sense of communication and connection with them but they might remember you next time an opportunity opens up and send it back your way like little things just start to ripple an echo and you notice this in fat loss and body composition in like your industry.

If we put it down into that is like the transaction with yourself is an echo. It might not happen straight away such as if you eat the salad you're not going to lose the weight tomorrow or in a month or X. Y. Z. But it will echo through into the future like and what you do today might not show up immediately if you understand that the bigger echo will bounce back further down the line, you know what I mean? And you start leading things through that way you know you start doing things like that. Yeah I love that bro. One of my favorite quotes is don't judge the day by the harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant that and this is what I'm doing with the podcast man like you know I bought a new laptop I bought you know all the equipment software um you know intro music and all that sort of stuff like you know subscriptions for you know the different types of software and spent fucking Man I've got like 80 episodes or something. Some episodes took me like five hours to put together when I was researching and recording and editing and uploading and Blah Blah Blah Blah. So you know, it's been a massive investment for me and I have not made a single cent from anything I'm doing on the podcast, but you know, it's, it was never about making money of course, at some stage I'm going to monetize it, but you know, I'm planting the seeds now, I'm creating myself as an authority in the space people, you know, someone that people can listen to and go, well I trust what this dude has to say, he's put out fucking you know, 80 episodes, he's got these amazing guests on that are all pretty much saying the same thing, you know, like when is this dude gonna put out some programs, some online coaching, some nutrition e books and things like that, and I'm building towards that, you know, but again, it's planting seeds and you know, there's not always, like you said, there's not always going to be an immediate return, we need to move away from this instant gratification and we need to start doing things for ourselves to like you said, invest in our future.

Yeah, Exactly that um like the other thing is that with the podcast is like you've done the podcast. But the other thing is you've just created 88 interviews with different people, like you have now connected with those people, you've grown your connection list, you've grown your like your touch points, like they'll be able to connect you with other people to help you and and that sort of process just in itself will grow you even further, you know? It's yeah, that's a temple, that's a great point dude, great point man, you know, so many people, I've got a couple of minutes of like what are you investing so much time, energy, effort, money into the podcast and if you're not getting any return on it right now, and I'm like, you know what, like I get to talk to some amazing people and I get to educate my listeners, my audience on, you know, certain topics, people ask me questions and I'm like I know the answer to that, but I'm going to go and double check my information, I'm going to present it in a manner that you know, is understandable to an eight year old, you know, so I'm getting to learn this stuff again and I'm getting to reinforce these ideas and I'm getting to talk to amazing people like yourself that you know, are achieving big things in their own industries and in their own careers and things like that and man like it's I'm doing this as much for myself as I am for other people, I love it, it's part of this is this is part of my personal and professional growth bro, you can't cheat, you can't cheat a long form conversation right, totally.

But then the other, the other same thing is as well, like you're actually helping people, like, you know, you might never get enough of the money, but you might have just stopped that guy pulling, you know, blowing his brains out. Like your conversation might genuinely help someone who's in a bad place to change their life. You know, this is a fun thing about social media as well, like you don't realize who's watching or who's listening, like, yes, you get like some valedictorian things, but when the DM hits from the person who's never made themselves noticed like, hey, I watched this a few days ago, it really helped, I've been going through some troubles, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and you're like, that's what fucking matters, not the likes, not this, like you're doing something that's growing year, but you're genuinely helping people and selfless Service will give you more growth than immediate gratification period man, you make a really good point there and you know, I've received numerous messages, um, over the last probably like nine months or so that I've had the podcast going, um you know, I had some messages before I start the podcast, but they've, you know, they've ramped up a little bit since I've started a podcast where you know, never heard from these people, I don't know who they are, They just sent me messages.

Like, thank you so much. You know, your podcast has helped me and the content that you put out really resonates and you know, I love the angle that you take and I love how real you are and blah blah blah. And like, I've literally had people say, you know, I probably wouldn't be here if I hadn't have found your content, man. And dude, like, some of these messages fucking brings a tear to my eye, May I get super emotional? I'm like, I don't know how to respond to that, and I'm like, man, I'm like, I'm really fucking glad that you reached out to me, I'm really glad that you're still here to send me this message and it means so much to me and like, you know, I don't ask, I don't I'm not doing it for those people to get those messages of gratification. But man, when you get that, when you get those types of messages, just like you've indicated, right? It's like, man, like if I get one of those messages a year, it's worth it. Yeah, that's that's what it's all about. And it's maybe like, you can have £100 for the for the one episode or you genuinely just helped someone change the life who's now going tell, going to go and tell another 100 people about you and how it was you here's here's something in school.

There was one teacher whose name you remember who helped you when you were young, everyone's got an emotional attachment to a teacher, but who the father of the rest of the other teachers, you remember the person who really helped you, who genuinely selflessly served you when they didn't need to, the one that went over like over the over the odds of that person, you will take that person's name to your grave, but I don't remember any of the other teachers. Yeah, great point. Dude, Next up, we have Andrew Papadopoulos, otherwise known as pap in the fitness industry. He is an entrepreneur. He's a big name in Australia. Many years ago. He was on a tv program called Search for hurt where he made his name. He's got a really strong following in Australia and through certain parts of the world, had a great conversation with him around mindset around training around discipline and around time management. In this portion of the conversation, we just discussed how I injured myself doing Brazilian jiu jitsu, I dislocated my shoulder, partially, dislocated my shoulder and I went through a period where I wasn't training because I was focusing on rehab.

That's where we kick off this conversation. How did you feel? Not training for a month. Uh, good question. Um I felt fine because I had made that decision. I was like, I'm not going to train for the next month. I know that something's not right Instead of training around it, I'm going to give myself time to rest, recover rehab. So then I can, you know, address my movement patterns and in any muscular imbalances and dysfunction so that when I do go back into proper training again, then, you know, I'm going to be in a good place, so sometimes you need to take a couple steps back so you can take, you know, a number more steps forward. But yeah, I think that's a that's a great question, man, because, you know, so many people go, well, if I don't train for a month, then I'm going to lose all my gains, you know, and it's it's if you have a solid foundation, yes, you're you will lose a little bit of that, okay, but you don't just stop training for a day Or a week and you lose everything you've built. Like it does take for the most part, most people can train or not train for up to roughly 10 days.

It's going to be obviously a little bit of individual variants here, but Most people can not train for up to 10 days and will likely walk back into the gym, like feeling better, moving better because now they've reduced inflammation. Now they've actually, you know, given their body a little bit of arrest, probably driven the parasympathetic nervous system a little bit more, which is where they get that recovery and then they get that adaptation on top of that, you know? So um I think that's a that's a great point man, a very that's an awesome question bro, I love that. Yeah, well look, it's it's definitely a necessity to have to have some time off and it's gonna be like you said, case by case basis, whether someone is an elite athlete or you know, the weekend warrior, how much time do they need and to take off and what kind of routine do they need to follow is is going to be predicated on on that individual and what they're doing. You know, if you're gonna be comparing elite powerlifters compared to a novice, you know, elite powerlifters are gonna be pushing their bodies so much more and they're gonna be recovering between their their their lift. So um you know, I know for myself originally, um you know, quite some time ago, I had a lot of problems I had problems with, with, with having days off and I was serving an obligation to my training and to my nutrition and I would either overtrained because I went out the night before or I deprived myself from food because I didn't train, I had this really unhealthy relationship to to those those elements and that was something that I had to get around because my identity was built built from such from from a young age of what it looks like and you know, that's how I got it was noticed and that's how I end up getting paid and found work and so I started building this, this identity identity, that's like people like me because of what I look like, like do I have anything else to offer was like that?

I've got something else to offer, surely. Um and to really change that took took some time, but that's been the best thing ever and whether, you know, I'm going from doing ultra endurance work too, you know, building up power and strength again, you know, these inflows and training, they all demand so much from your body that there needs to be some sort of give somewhere and I think just as you do get older and things start to get a little bit creaky and you've got past injuries to work around and life gets busier, you have to start trying to juggle everything at once, and that's what we're talking about with those eight elements, you know, it's, it's not impossible, but it's very hard to get all imperfect balance and unity. Yeah, man, great point. Um, a couple of things to unpack there, I've just written a couple of things down, we'll come back to um discipline in a moment, but let's talk about those eight pillars instead of those eight pillars, do you have your own pillars that you kind of look at within, you know, your essentially wheel of life? Well look, I don't have anything that I have said written up on a board, um or any particular, I've got a mantra, but it doesn't really focus around pillars per se.

Um, I just, for me, I, I, I really do work well within structure, um, I can adapt quite well to changing circumstances, you know, lives forever changing. Um, and I guess I'm someone who plans well ahead, you know, you look at my calendar, it's just like dot point dot point dot point dot point, you know, lunchtime dot point dot point dot point. And I'm just going through ticking away and that's, that's a really good way for me to do things and, and everyone else works differently. I understand that, but that's my capacity, you know, you tell me to do something, I'll go and do it. Um, and I have to be someone who has to be very disciplined with time management, particularly if you're self employed and if you're working from home or you have multiple, you know, things happening at once, it's so easy to disperse yourself and dilute your energy and attention to things and then get backlogged and you're spinning your wheels and getting nowhere. So that took me a long time to, I understood the concept, but action, it was something that I took some time.

Um, so whether I was, would go day by daily monday, I'm focusing on X b a focus on X and then you go to monday to saturday or monday to sunday, depends on if you are working seven days a week, which is not, not a rare thing, um, but that gave you that, that extreme focus to get everything done and of course you, you might take an email here and, and, and a phone call here. Of course things change not to be, I guess married up to, That's another point, I know I'm going a bit around, but you know, create a plan not to be married to that plan, understand that there will be circumstances not of your choosing or things will happen that you need to be able to counteract and engage with um for, for the, for the ultimate outcome. So just be ready to pivot, which I think everyone learned in 2020 as well. Yeah, for sure man, um now I want to tie discipline into that because you did mention that before, um obviously guys like us that have been Training for a long time again, I've been training for 20 years for rugby and in the gym etc etc and you know, that month or both times where I got injured within the last six months and I had that month off, I had to change my mindset and it took me a lot of discipline, it takes me more discipline to not train than it does to train because training is something that's so ingrained for me and I've connected the dots with how it makes me feel and the results that I get from it, you know, I'm not training to burn energy, I'm not training to build a heap of muscle, you know, that is a byproduct of it and there's gonna be times in my life where, you know, I'm really dialed in with my training, I'm dialed in with my nutrition, I'm focused on, you know, making gains, but I'm not spending all of my time there.

I might spend, you know, maybe a month to three months in that game mentality where, you know, I'm counting my macros, I'm counting my calories, I'm ration my food, I'm having it, having my breaking my food down at different times of the day for depending on what I'm doing. Um you know, I'm really dialed in with my sleep and my hydration and training and all that type of stuff, you know, but for the most part I'm spending 6 to 8 months of the year in kind of a maintain phase where I'm training because it makes me feel good, you know, and I'm not trying to maximize anything. I'm just kind of like keeping myself in this general physical preparation phase where I'm essentially able to live the life that I want without, um, you know, any restrictions and we'll talk about this in a moment for you as well. Um, well relate this to the thing that you said was that the search for hurt program and come back to that in a moment, man. Yeah, yeah, we'll come back to that in a moment, but before we do that, I want to talk about the, your discipline in regards to your time management. You're obviously a very busy man. You've got a lot of stuff going on, you're working on a heap of projects and you know, you spoke about diluting your energy and your resources um and I'm the same man, like I'm, I'm very disciplined, I'm very structured.

I've got, you know, my the night before, like I'll go to bed and before I go to bed I'll ride out my schedule for the next day and then I'll check that off in the morning and I'm like, cool, I've got some, this is what I need to get done. These are the things that I want to get done. I'll list them in order of priority. So if I do the first two things I miss the third, that's fine. That gets pushed to the next day, you know, But then there's actually going to be some free time where I'm like, cool, I'm going to go and eat food here and listen to a podcast or I'm going to go and do some meditation. I'm gonna go lay by my pool and get some sunshine and things like that. And for me like that discipline gives me freedom when you have so much stuff going on. So many projects you're working on, you need to be disciplined with your time, you need to manage your time as efficiently as possible so that you can be productive man because there's a massive difference between being productive and being busy and that comes down to prioritizing what the most important things are and what you need to get done that day and then what you want to get done that day. Can you talk to me about your process with your time management and some of the tools that you use to get the most out of every single day?

Yeah, look, for a long time. Nine AM was my starting my start to the day. So I would get up at five AM and that gives me even sometimes 4 35 5 30 that would give me 3.5 to 4 hours of getting, getting my time, everything I wanted to get done for the day. So if I wanted to be disciplining and maintain that consistency across the board with my training and meeting up with somebody, maybe going for a walk with my wife after my own training, I could get condensed that in that period. And that would also set aside any of the jitters or you know, that you may have going, how am I gonna get my training? And I know I've no, I've programmed in for 3:30 p.m. But however, like these things just keep accumulating. So for me, I like to get it all done first thing in the morning and I operate quite well first thing in the morning as well. Um like you, I have a list and you have my priorities at the top and then I have my bonus items at the bottom and they're all right to be pushing back um So that doesn't build any anxiety.

Um and I had that just this calendar in my phone that sometimes I remember something jot it down and then I can just review it that evening and for the and planning for the next day. So I function well like that working from home is something that is, that can be very difficult. Like you, I wanted to, I had to learn how to separate my, my private life and my work life, otherwise I'm sitting there on my laptop and I'm meant to be sitting next to my wife or I'm at dinner and all I can think about is work. Um I walk into the lounge room and all of a sudden I'm just thinking about work so like I need to have an office space to kind of keep everything separate. That's where I found great productivity cause you're not bleeding yourself across, you know, multiple things, you know, I'm not trying to have a conversation with someone not trying to watch television program with your family and also, you know trying to work at the same time. So I think if you're able to segregate that like that's a huge win. Um and then also obviously just future planning and having some fail safes like okay well you know what you're gonna do when this doesn't happen.

Have you given yourself extra time, have you given yourself enough allowance in time and being able to have that really kind of precise time management is huge for me because like you said, I've got multiple things going on. I'm gonna wear multiple hats and try and do it all at once. I'm just drowning in workload. Next up is Danny Landon who is the founder and ceo of sigma nutrition. He's a very well respected and sought after dietitian in the nutrition space. He has worked with a number of world class athletes, particularly weight class athletes. Ah He has a very good training system, He has his own podcast which is quite popular. It's one of my favorite podcast, one of my go twos in terms of nutrition information that has around five million downloads currently had a great conversation with Danny around working with weight class athletes and a very common um issue that we see in the sport which is relative energy deficiency in sports where essentially athletes are training way more. Then they're taking in in terms of calories, macronutrients, etcetera.

So they're creating a massive imbalance which then creates metabolic adaptation and this is something that we see in chronic dieters. People that have been dieting for long periods of time trying to lose weight? We get this metabolic adaptation. So in this conversation we discuss everything that red is and what metabolic adaptation is and why it's not a good idea to stay in diets for long periods of time. What we know from weight class based sports is a huge problem is this concept of low energy availability where essentially there is not enough calories coming in to support both the training workload and certain essential processes within the body. So what the body does and how it adapts. It has essentially save energy and turn down energy expenditure from some essential processes. So with female athletes, we see this super commonly where they experienced loss of their menstrual cycle. So amen area, which is basically a way of the body to conserve energy by saying right now, I don't need this reproductive function and I'm not getting enough calories in.

So I'm just gonna turn this off. The same thing happens with immune system function. Something happens with digestive function uh bone health. And so you see this classification of what is now termed relative energy deficiency in sport is where we have a chronic low energy uh availability state. You have this manifesting in various different body systems, like I said, well, that's reproductive bone health. So that means it's increasing risk of like stress fractures or even long term complications like osteopenia. Um it's impacting immune system function. So now you have athletes more susceptible to illnesses and if you're ill you're either not able to train properly or even missing training sessions, they stack up enough over multiple years. You're missing time that you're could be getting better at your craft. So there's all these components of of low energy availability and what's important to realize is sure we may need to dip into that state during the tail end of times where we're getting super lean or an athlete's cutting weight.

That's almost unavoidable. But we don't want that happening chronically over the long term. So when we don't have a fight coming out, making sure we have appropriate energy to fuel all those training sessions and getting plenty of calories coming in is the way to prevent a lot of those downsides so that the athlete doesn't run into those those very real problems. Mm That's a great point because when someone is in a you know, a caloric deficit for extended periods of time, um the body essentially thinks it's under, through its it's under threat, Right? It's fighting for survival. So like you said, it's going to start, you know, shutting down some of those 11 systems of the body or some of those systems are not going to be getting the required nutrients for optimal function. And particularly if you're training 2-3 times a day, you're literally robbing from Peter to pay Paul. You know, you're taking that energy away from the body's physiological processes to fuel your training session, right? So, you know, that's why I wanted to bring up this conversation, the difference between health and performance.

Because those things really, they kind of go in hand, but they don't as well. So what I mean by that is we want someone to be healthy the majority of the time so that when it is time to put the pedal to the floor now we can start training for performance. Now we can start dialing everything in and we can go through that 8 to 12 week period of high stress um where we're cutting weight were um you know, building our strength, speed, power, energy systems, um etcetera. We're sharpening our schools skills. We're sharpening our acts and we're reducing our weight as we get closer and closer to the fight, you know? But then on the other side, you know, there's the most people don't have that period sized planets. Just like All right, cool. I signed a contract. I don't know how many calories I'm eating, I don't know um how many macronutrients I'm having. I'm already training 23 times a day. You know, where do I go from here? You know, they've got to start pulling from somewhere, you know, and that's when you get into a massive calorie deficit and then you start creating metabolic adaptation and particularly on the other side of the fight or, you know, a weight class athlete competing in an event.

Then on the other side, people haven't been taught how to go through a reverse diet or have essentially a plan to come out of that. They've been restricting for long periods of time. We need to teach them how to come out the other side, you know? Cool, go and enjoy yourself. Okay, but have it for a couple of days, just understand your um digestive system is probably going to be a little bit stressed out and you know, you're going to be super sensitive to certain things that come into your body like alcohol and maybe if you smash a heap of carbs and things like that, you know, you might cause some indigestion and bloating and things like that, you know, have that understand that Have a couple of days to enjoy yourself but also think like we've got a plan the other side of it, where we start going through a little bit of a reverse diet and then we start changing our training as well, where we, you know, we put our body under a shipload of stress for the last eight weeks, 12 weeks or whatever. Let's have a plan nutritionally and training wise to come out the other side so we can start rebuilding those health markers and get ourselves back to a good position. Um can you talk about metabolic adaptation?

Sure. So yeah, this is a really important concept to be aware of and it's essentially relates to an important aspect of energy balance, where calories in influences calories out and vice versa? They don't work as two separate things in an input output machine. They're inextricably tied. So what happens when we either go into an over feeding or under feeding state is there is an adaptation by the body as an attempt to kind of maintain some degree of homeostasis. We can think of it, we're trying to balance out that intake and expenditure because in the long term the body chronically doesn't want to keep losing mass. And it also wants to prevent as much as possible from continually gaining mass. Or at least it's set up that way hormonally to be able to try and defend against. And so what happens for example, when we go into a calorie deficit is as we reduced our caloric intake, there is an impact in our energy expenditure. So the body will kind of turned down our normal energy expenditure by a certain amount.

So this could be contributed from small things like we're obviously eating less food. So there's less thermic effect of feeding so that the energy we expend to digest food. But most of it is driven by changes in non exercise activity, thermogenesis. So these small movements that we subconsciously do throughout the day that contribute to our energy expenditure can start getting turned down. Now the bigger the deficit and the longer it goes on we're going to get a greater metabolic adaptation downwards. So even though some an athlete that say it drops their calories by 800 compared to their normal maintenance intake. Their calorie deficit is probably not going to be exactly 800 because their energy expenditure would have dropped a certain amount and the longer they go, there's probably gonna be a greater adaptation. And so at some point that deficit is no longer that big. And so this is why over time people see a slowdown in the rate of weight loss or they need to start changing their diet again or reducing intake again to continue losing at the same degree of wait.

What we also know is that there's a huge degree of inter individual variation here, that from one person to the next even to athletes that's that maintain their body weight on the same number of calories. If we were to reduce their intake, both by let's say 600 calories per day, there may be a difference in that metabolic adaptation. So in other words, how much their energy expenditure decreases. And so we would see a different response in terms of the rate of weight loss between those two athletes and the reverse also happens when you go into an overfeeding state, you overfeed beyond your normal habitual intake or what you actually need to maintain weight and your body can increase its energy expenditure. Some people there's a bigger increase, some people a smaller increase and this is why we would see differences in people who overeat by a certain amount, how likely that is to translate to weight gain over a certain period of time. So these are all just adaptive processes by the body to try and account for this over or under feeding. And this is kind of useful that if we think within normal circumstances, let's say we're not trying to overeat or under eat.

We don't need to eat the exact number of calories every single day and match up with our energy expenditure to stay the same weight. People stay in and around the same way for multiple months and years. So it's on this day to day fluctuation. The body is able to account for what we've actually consumed in our intake by slightly changing expenditure or having influences on what we're likely to eat the next day. And so that's the adaptive kind of thermogenesis idea of that when we change our calories in, there's going to be an adaptive response by the body to change our calories out. Mm hmm. Yeah. Great explanation, mate. And this is why there will be some fighters listening to this as well. Um So this is why when people are cutting weight as they approach a fight and they get closer and closer to that fight, they start cutting more and more calories. They're sleeping between training sessions because their body is literally like there's not much energy coming in. I need to conserve it. So I'm just going to sleep between training sessions, man. And we have come full circle back to Luke. Lemon of Muscle Nerds who's going to round out this episode with a segment from our second interview from 2021, 1 of my favorite guests, excellent guy, great person to talk to has been in the fitness industry for a long time and absolute wealth of knowledge.

Um and he's essentially going to tie in all of the content that we've discussed throughout this episode um where we dive into stress physiology and gut health and why it's important to address that stuff so that you you can create health within the organism because a healthy organism is an adaptable organism. Enjoy. Let's Go back to the stress physiology because I think that's such an interesting topic man. Um this ties into gut health. So was it like 80% of your immune system lies within the gut. So if your you know not looking after your gut health because you're under chronic stress or you've got all this stress that you're not dealing with turns into chronic stress then that can suppress your immune system which that has an impact on so many other physiological factors in the body. Let's talk about that for a moment. Yeah I mean that's a lot to impact. But you're absolutely right and you know most of the time when people get gut issues they go to somebody and they run a bunch of expensive tests that they don't actually need to run and they prescribe them a bunch of supplements they don't actually need.

Um I always assume that if somebody comes to me with a gut issue, most of the protocols that I would use as far as supplements, nutraceuticals and food, it pretty much works on anything whether you have something or not or whatever that thing is. So I would rather let's try this for 12 weeks and if you're not significantly better then we'll we'll order you know, 708 $100 worth of testing and see exactly what it is. And if I need to refer you up to somebody that like a doctor, somebody who specializes in Gun Hill. But what I find is the majority of the time if I can get your brain to calm down and get you out of a chronically sympathetic state. A lot of your gut issues go away if I get you to chew your food like an adult, a lot of your issues go away. If I get such a simple one man, it's so simple dude. But like people think it's they're like well that's sucking, that's that's stupid. Like that's way too easy. Yeah let's let's talk about that for a second. Um you know why is it so important that people actually chew their fucking food properly? So what happens at a like at a base level in the gut.

Actually let's let's start from, let's start from the start from plate from the plate. Okay. So well the first thing is you look at that that first stage that that stage of your brain and its interpretation of the food. So you've got your the smell, sight, touch texture, All of these things can have a massive impact on how that food is in regulated downstream. So you have that the secondary thing is is mechanical and chemical digestion. So a big overarching theme of digestion, assimilation is surface area. So if you were to pull your intestines out, you cut them in like split them down and stretch them out, it would have the same surface area of a doubles regulation tennis court. So that that's massive. Like I don't I don't suggest anybody do that, you know that's probably not a good idea but please don't do it to someone else either. Actually, years ago, a friend of mine was a cop and he sent me a picture. Some dude had been on meth for like five or six days and when he showed up, the guy had surgically cut his stomach, it was pulling his intestines out and they had to handcuff him.

They had to handcuff him with his intestines just laying out until the guys could get there to stabilize him to take and put his fucking intestines back in. It was pretty wild. So maybe he read that in a textbook and wanted to test it out. I don't know but I don't do math, kids don't do math. Um So to increase surface area, you obviously you already have the equipment to do it. But the secondary have thing you have to do is you have to break food down in the smallest pieces possible, which means initially it's mechanical digestion by mastication. You need to chew your food until it's a semi liquid state and you also need to have the digestive enzymes to do it as well. So you have to have enough gastric juices, hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Peps in you need enough pancreatic enzymes, enough bio acids. All of this stuff is really important to continue breaking down proteins in a single amino acids or di and tri peptides. You need to be able to break sugars down into mono sacha rides, you need to be able to break all this stuff down. Um If you have a lot of stress and you have poor metabolic flexibility, there's a good chance that your mitochondria don't have enough available energy to make those gastric juices.

So the more ramped up you get the more anaerobic you get um and the less 80 P. You're making your body starts prioritizing that a teepee for survival. So it's like it's Bruce ames triage theory. So in the case of some type of deficiency, whether that's a nutrient deficiency or stress causing some type of substrate deficiency, like a teepee, your body's gonna prioritize short term survival over long term needs, so digestion is not that important, your body if a lion jumps out at you. So if you are running life with a monkey on your back all the time, the body is going to prioritize that stress response, which is then going to cause a desensitization or, or down regulation of creating gastric juices. So chewing your food effectively is good and then possibly even taking a digestive enzyme for a while. Um a good comprehensive blend that has the hydrochloric acid, peps and pancreatic enzymes. Ochs bought all that stuff to give a little bit of support. If you give a little bit of support, you get more nutrients in, stop chronically dieting, stopover over exercise and get more sleep, start doing some of that hippie yen shit like journaling and you know, headspace or whatever, meditation and ship, which I'm a big fan of um start taking that stuff more seriously and then your, your body won't have a problem breaking things down.

And I find that if you just calm the brain down, chew your food like an adult, take a good digestive enzymes for a little bit of time. A lot of cases, probably 95% of the good issues. I see just go away mysteriously. Food intolerances go away. Um immune system issues go away, diarrhea, constipation. That stuff goes away. Yeah man. Yeah. Just to echo what you said and tie into that as well as like, you know when you're sitting down for a meal, like Tony fucking phone off, like stop working and actually pay attention to the meal, take in, you know what you see what you smell, you know what you can taste because you know that's essentially prepping your body to eat. You know, as you said, it's producing certain enzymes, your body is producing your mouth producing saliva so that you can start breaking down that food into its smaller pieces. Now what are some tools that people can use to actually get into the moment and slow the funk down so they can actually digest, absorb and assimilate those nutrients because you know, as you said, if you're in this sympathetic state where you're on your phone while you're eating, you're not paying attention to your food, you know, you're not chewing properly, then that's going to have a file on effect downstream.

You know, you're not gonna be able to break down those foods, they're going to stay in your um in your stomach, in your intestines for a lot longer. Um and potentially you're missing out on a heap of nutrients and some energy as well by calories. Is that correct? Yeah. Yeah. And the thing is the longer, so let's say let's say you have a long term low energy availability and your body is starting to tone down things like um thyroid conversion. Um it's starting to tone down some gastric juices that can lead to a level of constipation and being sympathetic will actually make your, your anus will stay in a contracted state um So it's going to be harder and harder to push you out and you start losing hair stylists if your neurotransmitter start to get wonky and you start losing serotonin and melatonin the gut. You can't really push, you have a reduced ability to push pull out, right? So anytime that that that that fecal matter stays in your intestines, people need to understand that when you're detoxifying things and you're constantly detoxifying things around the clock.

Part of that is getting that into the gut and then pulling it out. Well if the longer it sits in the gut there's a high chance especially like this bio sis that you can uncouple those detox toxins and then re circulate them through the entire aerobatic portal back to the liver which then causes the liver to get sluggish. So then you might have a slow down ability to detoxify because the liver's just working too hard. You know, it's like a single mom working three jobs and you can't keep up. So you've got to treat your liver right? And a lot of people have nutrient deficiencies where they they don't they can't detox fast enough anyways and especially if you're in a fat loss diet. So this that type of stuff can cause a long term chronic fatigue it can cause an inability to recover from workouts, poor sleep and then that compounds the stress so that and you can cause over over absorption of certain things. You're not supposed to like food particles that aren't broken down enough and that causes the immune system dis regulation that then affects cortisol and histamine release which then suppresses your immune system. So it gets harder and harder to fight this stuff.

And then you end up with a long term low grade chronic illness where you're just kind of sick all the time. You're always got the sniffles and the cost and feeling run down and you just wish, I just wish I just get sucking sick if I just get sick and get it over with. Um And then the minute they de stress, they end up getting sick, they go on holiday and they're sick of ship for three days and then they feel amazing. But yeah, so you know, low forward, low serotonin issues. So I was going to say like the so if people aren't chewing the food properly, you know, it's going to stay in the digestive system in the digestive tract for a lot longer, could potentially increase intestinal permeability. Which then can lead to bacterial overgrowth, right? Um Yeah, so if you have, if you have people call it leaky gut and testing permeability whatever they want. Some people get really frothy, if you see a leaky gut for me it's the same thing. But whatever, yeah, if you're if you're not getting these these particles down, they end up in your bloodstream. And when they get in the bloodstream, the immune system sees that and it goes okay, you're not supposed to be here, you're not you're not food and you're not manufactured by the body.

So I'm gonna start attacking you. And then your immune system gets hypervigilant, you start getting food intolerances and then over time the hypothalamus will react by creating more cortisol to manage all this inflammation that's been induced by the immune system. And eventually it just suppresses the immune system. Point where now you can't fight the stuff, you're constantly bloated and gassy undigested food in the stool and everything just gets worse. And then like you said you can get cibo because some of the stuff isn't getting absorbed and when it gets into the later stages of small intestine, the bacteria like oh great we've got something to ferment, we've got something to eat. And then the bacteria starts to get out of control and your immune system is suppressed so it can't keep it under control. And then you start getting a little lower bowel pain And then you go to you go to a natural path to the future food person. They put you on a ketogenic diet and give you like $2,000 worth of worth worthless supplements that you don't need, you know which is it'll fix it but you'll feel horrible. Um and you'll uh it's not great for training or or health but there are so many things going to happen but it all starts here and it starts here.

So you asked strategies. The first thing I tell people is if you're sitting with your grandmother or your mom and you're eating a meal and they were cutting up your steak for you, how they cut it up and they cut it up in tiny little bites. So if you just cut your food in the tiny your bites, it's a lot easier to chew it more effectively because you don't have to chew it as much. Um, like if you go out with with your bros and you go for a steak dinner, everyone will buy 400 g rump and we'll see if they can swallow the damn thing and three bites like there's no, there's no trophies, forget for deep throated a fucking steak, you know, And there we have it guys, another episode of the live train perform podcast under the belt for 2022. I hope you guys enjoyed these conversations as much as I did. The final point before I let you go is I started a Facebook forum last year where I included all of these people that I've spoken to throughout the podcast that have provided good quality content and information.

Um, to get onto the forum right now it's free to get in there. All I ask for is a five star rating and review. Then send me a screenshot of that at coach underscore codes ko bes on instagram, go onto facebook, type in live train perform that will come up with the group request access, make sure you answer those questions and please make sure that you do send me a five star rating and review to before you grant access. Otherwise I'm not going to let you in right now. That is free to get into at some point in the future whilst I build out my online business, I will be asking for payment to get in there so you can get in there now just by giving me a five star rating and review. That's it for me today guys. I'll see you all next week. Much love peace.

Best of 2021: Health and Fitness Principles Edition
Best of 2021: Health and Fitness Principles Edition
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