The InForm Fitness Podcast

Welcome to the InForm Fitness Podcast, 20 minutes with New York Times, best-selling author, Adam Zickerman and Friends. Inform Fitness offers life-changing, personal training with several locations across the U.S. Reboot your metabolism and experience the revolutionary Power of 10, the high intensity, slow motion, strength training system that’s so effective, you’ll get a week’s worth of exercise in just one 20-minute session, (which by no coincidence is about the length of this podcast). Your hosts for the show are Adam Zickerman, the founder of Inform Fitness, Mike Rogers, trainer and GM of Inform Fitness in Manhattan, Sheila Melody, co-owner and trainer of Inform Fitness in Los Angeles, and Tim Edwards, founder of the InBound Podcasting Network and client of Inform Fitness in Los Angeles.
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The InForm Fitness Podcast


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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 19, 2017

Adam Zickerman and Mike Rogers discuss how developing an extreme attitude toward a reasonable plan is a formula for success in diet and exercise.

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

To purchase Adam Zickerman’s book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at

Nov 14, 2017

Adam Zickerman and Mike Rogers of Inform Fitness are joined by Luke Carlson of Discover Strength to discuss a book authored by Greg Mckeown titled Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. The principles described in this book directly apply to the slow motion,

The principles described in this book directly apply to the slow motion, high-intensity, strength training protocol practiced at all 7 InForm Fitness locations across the country and the 3 Discover Strength location in and near Minneapolis, Minnesota of which Luke is the founder and CEO.

Adam Zickerman - Power of 10: The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution

Greg McKeown - Essentialism -The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

For a FREE 20-Minute strength training full-body workout and to find an Inform Fitness location nearest you, please visit

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

For information regarding the production of your own podcast just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at

Sep 25, 2017

We are welcoming back our guest from Episode 20, Bill DeSimone. As you might remember Bill is a personal trainer himself and the author of the book, Congruent Exercise: How To Make Weight Training Easier On Your Joints.

The reason we have invited Bill back to join us is to discuss Episode 36 that was released a couple months ago featuring body-builder Doug Brignole. Doug too is an author and his book is titled Million Dollar Muscle: A Historical and Sociological Perspective of the Fitness Industry.

Today Bill, Adam, and Mike will be comparing and contrasting their different methodologies and philosophies regarding weight training with that of Doug Brignole.

Bill DeSimone - Congruent Exercise: How To Make Weight Training Easier On Your Joints

Adam Zickerman - Power of 10: The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution

Doug Brignole - Million Dollar Muscle: A Historical and Sociological Perspective of the Fitness Industry

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at or visit

Sep 11, 2017

Strength care is health care!  Building muscle throughout your lifetime has many more benefits than just burning fat so you can look good and maintain your functionality. 

Mike Rogers shares intimate details of how building muscle can actually assist you in staving off disease and quite possibly even save your life.

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

To purchase Adam Zickerman’s book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at or visit

Sep 4, 2017

Is it possible to actually be stronger in your 60’s than you were in your 30’s? It is if you ask Broadway theatrical lighting designer, Ann Wrightson!

Ann has been an InForm Fitness client for 15 years and is stronger than ever. Did we mention that Ann has been nominated for a Tony Award? For her impressive resume and examples of her lighting designs visit

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

To purchase Adam Zickerman’s book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at or visit

Aug 28, 2017

Episode 39 is inspired by the Functional Fitness Movement and for those who subscribe to the notion we should train and strengthen our bodies in ways that mimic the activities of our daily life. Adam Zickerman, Mike Rogers, and Sheila Melody discuss the dangers of participating in this form of exercise.

Joining the conversation is InForm FItness client and filmmaker Davis Carlson. David has produced several amazing videos for InForm Fitness:
Intensity -
Mobile Gym -

Adam mentioned in this episode that our old friend from Episode 19, Bill DeSimone, has a series of videos regarding congruent exercise:

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

To purchase Adam Zickerman’s book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at or visit

Aug 14, 2017

The Power of Ten workout, as discussed here at The Inform Fitness Podcast, is a high-intensity, slow-motion strength training protocol closely modulated with your very own one-on-one, personal trainer. 

Here in Episode 37 we discuss the potential dangers of not closely modulating a high-intensity exercise program such as CrossFit, excessive spin classes, or marathon training.  Working out under very extreme conditions could result in a rare but serious health condition called rhabdomyolysis (rhabdo).  

Rhabdo occurs when muscle tissue breakdown results in the release of a protein (myoglobin) into the blood that can result in kidney failure.  In this episode, we explain the symptoms rhabdo, the short & long-term effects, and how can you avoid it?

Good Morning America recently reported on the dangers of rhabdo:

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

To purchase Adam Zickerman’s book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at

Jul 31, 2017

Professional bodybuilder, author, trainer, and biomechanics expert Doug Brignole joins us here on Episode 36 of the InForm Fitness Podcast.

Doug will share his deep knowledge of and training principles, including compound movements vs isolation movements, exercise vs. recreation, the pros and cons to adding variety to your workouts, static vs dynamic exercises, the proper forms of exercise to improve your balance and core strength, and intensity & recovery.

For more information about Doug Brignole:

To purchase Doug Brignole’s book, Million Dollar Muscle: A Historical and Sociological Perspective of the Fitness Industry click this link to visit Amazon:

To purchase Adam Zickerman’s book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit


If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at

Jul 10, 2017

Six months since launch, 34 informative and thought provoking episodes, and over 10,000 downloads!

In celebration, Episode 35 is a re-release our very first episode, "Adam, You Look Like Crap!" Hear what inspired Adam Zickerman to build InForm Nation up from a small basement studio in Long Island, with just a few machines, to the growing force we are today.

For those of you who joined us late and have not had a chance to hear how Adam Zickerman started InForm Fitness, we are re-releasing our very first episode titled, Adam, You Look Like Crap!

Subscribe now for future episodes that will teach you how to reboot your metabolism, burn fat, and build muscle with the revolutionary Power of 10, the high intensity, slow motion, strength training system that’s so effective, you’ll get a week’s worth of exercise in just one 20-minute session.

Your hosts for the show are Adam Zickerman, the founder of Inform Fitness, Mike Rogers, trainer and GM of Inform Fitness in Manhattan, Sheila Melody, co-owner and trainer of Inform Fitness in Los Angeles, and Tim Edwards, founder of the InBound Podcasting Network and client of Inform Fitness in Los Angeles.

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

Join Inform Nation and call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

To purchase Adam's book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at

The transcription to this episode is below:

01 Adam You Look Like Crap - Transcript

Intro: You’re listening to the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with New York Times, best-selling author, Adam Zickerman and friends. Brought to you by InForm Fitness, life changing personal training with several locations across the US. Reboot your metabolism and experience the revolutionary Power of 10, the high intensity, slow motion, strength training system that’s so effective, you’d get a week’s worth of exercise in just one 20-minute session, which by no coincidence is about the length of this podcast. So, get ready InForm Nation, your 20 minutes of high intensity strength training information begins in 3, 2, 1.

Tim: And with that we welcome you to the maiden voyage of the InForm Fitness podcast with Adam Zickerman. How about that guys? We're finally here. [cheering] Yeah. [laughs] You're hearing several voices in the background and of course we're going to get to know each and every one of them here in the next few minutes.

After about, what, two months of planning and scheduling and equipment troubleshooting? Now finally recording and excited about passing this valuable information onto those who are looking to build muscle, lose fat, maintain cardiovascular health and maybe even improve your golf game or whatever it is that you love to do. I'm certainly on board.

My name is Tim Edwards and I'm the founder of Inbound Podcasting Network and we are very proud to add the InForm Fitness podcast to our stable of shows. Not only because we've assembled a knowledgeable and entertaining team to present this information but I am also a client of InForm Fitness. I've

been training, using the system for close to about four months I believe and very pleased with the progress I'm making and I certainly have become a believer in the Power of 10 in which we will describe in great detail later in this and in future episodes.

So, let's get started by going around the room or the various rooms that we're all recording from via the magic of Skype and formally introduce each member of the podcast team to our listeners. Of course we'll start with the founder of InForm Fitness Studios and the author of the New York Times, best-seller, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution, Adam Zickerman. Adam, it's a pleasure to finally launch this podcast and get started with you.

Adam: Longtime coming. I'm so happy we're doing this.

Tim: And I believe joining us from the Manhattan location of InForm Fitness, from across the hall from Adam, is Mike Rogers. Mike's been training at InForm Fitness for about 13 years and has served as a general manager for the New York City location for the past five. Mike, glad to have you in.


Thank you. It's great to be a part of it.

And finally, joining us from the Los Angeles area is Sheila Melody. Sheila became a Power of 10 personal trainer in 2010 and in 2012 helped Adam expand to the west coast by opening the first InForm Fitness Studio just outside of Los Angeles in beautiful Toluca Lake and has since instructed hundreds of clients through the years, myself included. Sheila, this was your idea to launch the podcast. We're finally here doing it. Good to see you.

I'm so excited to do this, to bring -- to introduce Adam and Mike and the Power of 10 to everybody out there and let's go.

Let's go. Alright. So, there's the team, Adam, Mike, Sheila and myself, Tim. And we're all looking forward to diving deep into the content. But Adam, before we do, remind us of that very sophisticated title you came up with, for our very first and ever so important episode of --

The InForm Fitness podcast. That title of the show again, Adam, is what? You Look Like Crap.

[laughs] Very interesting title and in addition to the story behind that title, tell us -- before we get into that, tell us a little bit about your background. What led you to launching InForm Fitness and writing the book, Power of 10?

Well, exercise has always an interest of mine, since I was a kid. I was a jock. My father's a jock. So, I became a jock and, you know, I had trainers and people telling me how to train and I read books on it [inaudible 04:06] magazines and I did it the way everyone was doing it, the way my trainer just wanted me to do, the way my coaches were telling me to do it and it was the conventional biometric type stuff. It was the free weights.

When I was in high school, they didn't even have Nautilus yet. [Inaudible 04:25] Nautilus had just started. We had a universal machine in our gym. Those are -- but it was the first introduction to machines that I had. You know, looking back on it, it was kind of primitive but, the bottom line is, you know, you have -- you worked out hard. You worked out often and you got hurt a lot. [laughs]


Did you get hurt sometime in that progress, in leading towards InForm Fitness, did you suffer an injury?

I had plenty of tweaks up until the point I had my major injury during a deadlifting program but way before that I was -- and what led to the title of this, was way before my major injury, what led to the title of this, was when a boss told me that I looked like crap even though I exercised all the time.

Well let's -- let me stop you there. So, you said you looked like crap. Did you in your mind?

Oh, no. No, I thought I was a stud.


And nothing's changed.

[laughs] And you could see Adam for yourself if you go to and [laughs] see if he really does.

Confidence is important in life, you know?

[laughs] Yes, it is.

And you got to fake it too sometimes.

So, you were an exercise guy, you were doing it all the time and he knew that you were exercising. What is it that led him to tell you that you looked like crap?

As you can imagine, I was working in the laboratory at the -- that I was working and as you can imagine from Scientific Laboratories, there aren't too many jocks hanging around Scientific Laboratories. I was -- [inaudible 05:49]. What Mike? I see you want to say something.

A lot of studs are hanging out with [inaudible 05:57].

Yeah, exactly. There are always too many. You know. So, I kind of -- and I was new on the team and I was probably -- I would -- I'm an over -- when it comes to scientific inquiry and research I was over my head. I'm an overachiever with that. It was such a passion of mine that -- but I had to work ten times as hard to get where I was in that laboratory, where all my colleagues, you know they read it once and they got it, you know, and I had to spend hours into the middle of the night trying to figure out what we were doing in the lab.


So, the one thing I had on everybody because I didn't have brains on them and I had brawn them and I had my so called experience in exercise and I tried to [profitize 06:33] how they should be exercising. Again, it was like lots of hardcore stuff, everyday working out. You got to do a cardio, you got to do at least a couple mile runs every day. You got to do three weight training programs.

Mhm [affirmative].

I was working out with this guy, Ken [Licener 06:48], maybe he'll be a guest one day on our podcast. He's a real pioneer in this and he used to work out -- he was a chiropractor that worked out of the basement of his house. And when you puked, you had to puke in this bucket.

Oh jeez.

And then, you can't just leave your puke there and you had to walk out with your bag of puke in your hand and everyone would see you and they'd clap if you had a bag of puke in your hand.

Oh my God. [laughs]

And you'd have to throw the puke, the bag of puke, into a garbage pail on the corner of his house.

Oh my God.


And by the end of the night there were like 30 bags in this thing.


You know, I can imagine the guys picking up this stuff, you know, in the morning --


So, Tim, that was the best. That's the type of workout that I'm trying to explain to these exercise -- these scientists in my lab and so my boss, he was kind of tired of hearing it all and it didn't make sense to him at all and he's a smart guy, obviously.

And so he said to me, he says, you know, Adam, someone who knows so much about exercise and works out all the time, I have to say, you look like crap. That's where it came from.

Tim: Did that piss you off a little bit or did you maybe kind of step back and go, “Hey, well maybe he's right. Maybe I am taking the wrong approach.”

Adam: At the time, I paused. It was a seed that was planted and it didn't start germinating for many years later and it was through other experiences, other injuries, and all the comments from friends that said, this can't be good for you and then there was the epiphany, when I read the Ken Hutchins manual which basically put into words things I was questioning and he kind of answered a lot of those questions for me.

Tim: So, tell us a little bit about Ken Hutchins. Who was he and what's in his manual?

Adam: Ken Hutchings. [laughs] He's an eccentric guy. Ken questions all the things that I couldn't articulate and he made -- he point -- he made the point about how exercise is your stimulus and then you let it -- then you leave it alone. It's not about more is better.

He also brought home the point that exercise has to be safe and it's not just the acute injuries that he was talking about. It's not the torn muscle here and there, or the sprain here and there, it was the insidious effects of over training that are much more serious than a strain or a sprain. The kind of insidious things that lead to osteoarthritis, hip replacements, lowered immune systems and therefor susceptibility to disease and those types of problems associated with chronic overtraining.

My father ran marathons his whole life, didn't eat very well. In his early 70s he had quadruple bypass surgery and this man ran many, many miles and you know so that -- all this, all this experience and then reading this manual, you know, that -- it blew me away. I mean, honestly it changed everything for me.

Then I started seeking out people that were already kind of gathering around Ken Hutchings that also were touched by what he had to say, that also I guess were feeling the same things I was feeling leading up to that moment. And it kind of reminds me of the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where, you know, like, the aliens kind of shone that light on them and the people that had that light shown on them all of the sudden were compelled to go to Devils Tower. They didn't understand, you know, but they would just -- they just couldn't help themselves. They were driven.

And I felt, you know, you read this manual and all of the sudden -- and somebody else reads this manual and all of us, these people that read this manual like zombies being led to the Devils Tower to you know congregate and talk about this and that's what the original super slow exercise guild was about. I mean it was a bunch of exercise nerds now, you know, that were touched by these ideas and our mission, the power phrase was to you know change perception of exercise and change the way people look at exercise and why we exercise and how we exercise.

Tim: So, Adam, with this new mission of changing the perception of why and how to exercise, tell us how InForm Fitness came to be.

Adam: So, it was 1997. 1997 where Rob Serraino actually sold me some of his original equipment. He was upgrading his equipment and I bought his, his original [inaudible 11:28] five pieces of equipment [inaudible 11:30] MedX leg press and new MedX [inaudible 11:32]. So, I spent about, I don't six grand initially to start my business and I opened it up in a client's basement. A client of mine said I can have his basement, rent free, as I perfect my trade. I was like, thank you very much. I went to his basement and it was like 300 square feet and it was musty and there was another tenant down there that was a chain smoker.

Tim: And you learned why it was rent free. [laughs]

Adam: Now I realized why it was rent free. Exactly. So, that's where I started. I didn't have paying clients right away at that moment. That's where I had this equipment and I trained myself and my clients who owned the building and a handful of friends.

Tim: Well --

Adam: And from there I started trying to get as many people as I can to come to this basement and it's a testament to the workout that I was able to build a solid client base in a very inconvenient part of Long Island, by the way. Not to mention the fact that it was in a basement that smelled like smoke but it was also not easy to get to this place because all my connections were on the north shore of Long Island and this place that I was talking about was on the south shore of Long Island and I didn't know anybody on the south shore of Long Island. So, I wasn't getting clients from my -- from the neighborhood. I was getting clients where I'm from, my network.

I mean, listen, I was passionate about it. I was and I had the war wounds and I, you know, I was licking my wounds and I told a story about -- and people, you know, as you know people were able to relate to my story because I'm not -- I'm not like this gifted athlete or with this, no matter what I do my physique is perfect. You know, I mean, I have to work maintaining my -- I'm not a natural like that. So, I am a regular guy. You know, I'm a five foot nine and a half Jew. You know, I mean
[laughs] You know, I had some things to overcome. [laughter] Giant among us Jews though. [laughter]

So, you were mentioning earlier, you know, you wanted to test to see if this had any staying power and here we are about 19, 20 years later almost. So, mission accomplished.

I couldn't be prouder to be associated with these two people. Mike Rogers I've know him now -- how long, Mike? It's so long, it's like --

[Inaudible 14:00] 14 years.
Like, we grew up together at this point. 14 years.

I'm always attracted by something that's a little counterintuitive, that something that seems -- I mean, that's -- I’m just -- I find interest in that and I like to just sort of look deeper into it. I wasn't sure what we were doing was right or wrong. It just felt like it made sense and then it was very hard.

And you know, I had a shoulder injury. I still have it. It's a separated clavicle, separated shoulder from when I was 20 years old, a snowboarding accident and it always kind of nagged me. It was fine. It was okay but like, I couldn't lift boxes without it bothering me. I couldn't do a lot of things without it bothering me.

And the big thing that made me really believe that this is like "the thing" is my shoulder stopped bothering me after about seven weeks of doing Power of 10 and I couldn't believe it. I was just like, “Oh my God, that injury just -- it just went completely away.” That nagged me for at the time like nine years, nine or ten years and then I couldn't -- I saw -- I felt and saw and felt incredible results with my own body within -- with less than two months.

And so, and Adam, you know, I think, you know, we liked each other and I thought we could help each other and I literally -- I was working at Citi Bank and I literally one day I just quit my job and I became a trainer and it was that, that was it and 14 years later and it's by far the best job I've ever had in my entire life.


I've trained, you know, over 2,000 people. I don't know how many and I've seen magnificent triumphs over the years. I have a lot of experience with questions and stuff and it's been, just the most unbelievable experience for me to everyday, look forward to helping people and to work with the team that we have here and to the expanding global team as well, so --

Well, and you mentioned the global team and I think that would include Sheila Melody over here on the Westcoast. Adam, tell me about how you and Sheila met and how that came to be.

First time I met Sheila was through a course, a little certification, a little class that I had out in LA. It was my first time -- it was actually my first time in LA.

I had been introduced to the Power of 10 or the super slow technique by an ex- boyfriend and he brought me to a guy here in Calabasas, California --

[Oh, that's nice 16:17].

Named Greg Burns and Greg Burns is known to all of us super slow people. He's real old school and he works out of his garage and he's got about six pieces of equipment. So, I learned kind of the old school way and I loved it immediately. I was like, “Wow, this is so cool. I get to --” I felt strong and, you know, I had always worked out just typical workout. Go to the gym three times a week and then a few years later as Adam said, this is where Adam comes into the picture, I had been given his book, Power of 10 and saw his picture on the back and, "Oh, look at this cool guy. You know, he looks so cool." [laughs]

[Crosstalk 16:59].

Yeah a cute guy because it's hot guy on the back of this book, you know, and Greg Burns actually gave me that book. So, I was training with a girlfriend of mine who had been certified by Adam and she started her own place and then after a few years, I was like, “You know what? Maybe I should get certified and just kind of do this on the side. I really like it.” And so that's how I got introduced to Adam and first of all just over the phone doing, you know, we had conference calls weekly and just, you know, fell in love with him right away. I mean, I mean that in the most, you know, brotherly sense really [laughs] --

Every sense of the word.

We just definitely hit it off and he -- mostly because of Adam's style. He is very -- not only is he knowledgeable about all of this but I just -- he's such a great teacher and he knows what he's talking about. He has great integrity and he, you know,

makes sure that all the people he certifies are -- he will not pass you unless he believes that you really get this and you really know what you're doing and so, he's got great integrity when he does that.

And I was so proud -- when I did that first certification it was one of the best things I've ever done, like, what Mike is saying. I'm definitely drinking am drinking the Kool-Aid here. It's one of the best things I've ever done. So, I called him up and said, "Hey, you want to start an InForm Fitness in LA?" And we worked it out and next thing you know, three years later -- it's three-year anniversary today actually.

No, shit.
Wow. Very cool.

Three years. I was looking at Facebook posts things and it was saying, oh, two years ago today, Adam, you were in town and we were doing our one-year anniversary, so.


Three years ago and, as I said, the best thing I've ever done and love all these people that are involved with -- the clients and trainers and, you know, that's my story. [laughs]

So, we're getting kind of close to the end of the very first episode of the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. The name of the book is Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. It can be picked up at several bookstores across the country and through Adam, before we put the wraps on the show, if you would please, tell us what your vision is for this podcast and what you hope to accomplish in upcoming episodes.

I want to inform people of current exercise ideas and I want to push things forward and there's a lot of things that we need to talk about to push things forward. We're finding out -- I want to talk about genetics and its role in how we progress and exercise. I want to talk about the physiology we're learning about and the kinds of great things that happen from high intensity exercise that no one's talking about. You'd think by reading what's out there, that we'd have it down.

That we've got it. We got the secret to exercise. That just do this, just do that and you're fine but we are so far from fine. The injury rate for exercise is huge. Obesity is through the roof.

I mean, we're resting on our laurels and I want people to realize that there's so much more to this than meets the eye and I want to bring on the experts that are going to bring this new stuff to light. I want to bring out some really good pioneers in this and talk about the science that's out there, talk about the successes that we've had. You know, and educate and inform. I mean that's the, you know, the mission of my company and the name of my company and I want to continue that.

Tim: And we will. So, there it is. Episode one is in the books and by the way, we have hit the 20-minute mark in the show, which means, if you began your slow motion high intensity training at the start of the show, you'd be finished by now for the entire week. Intrigued or perhaps skeptical? We understand. I was until I tried it for myself. Just a couple months in and I have already shed several pounds and I'm getting stronger every week. If you'd like to try it for yourself, check out for all of the InForm Fitness locations and phone numbers throughout the country and please tell them you heard about it from the podcast.

In future episodes we will introduce the interview segment of the podcast. Our goal is to schedule interviews with experts, authors and other podcasters, as Adam mentioned earlier, who's specialties land somewhere within the three pillars of high intensity exercise, nutrition and recovery as discussed in Adam's book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. As our listenership grows and our community, we call InForm Nation starts to build, we'll have some swag available in the form of t-shirts and whatnot so stay tuned for that.

And, hey, if you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. It's very simple. Just shoot us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to You can even give us a call at 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. That's 888-983-5020, Ext. 3 to leave your comment, question or even a suggestion on a topic you'd like covered here. Or perhaps you have a guest in mind you'd like to hear on the show. All feedback is welcome and chances are pretty good your comment or question will end up right here on the show.

And finally, the best way to support this show and to keep it free for you to learn from and enjoy, subscribe to the podcast right here in iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher Radio, Acast, YouTube or wherever you might be listening. Of course, again, it is absolutely free and please rate the show and leave us a review. That is vital to the success of this program. I'm Tim Edwards reminding you to join us for our next episode, Can Recreation Really Be Considered Exercise? For Adam Mike and Sheila, thanks for joining us on the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends, right here on the Inbound Podcasting Network.


Jul 3, 2017

Adam Zickerman and Mike Rogers discuss a recent USA Today article citing The American Heart Association’s report advising against the use of coconut oil (

However, could this study contain some flaws? Could the trusted, highly respected  AHA actually be skewing the results of their study?  Adam and Mike breakdown the data behind the recent AHA study and point out the obvious flaws that could be misleading the population to eliminate natural oils (such as coconut oil) for unnatural oils (such as canola oil).

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

Join Inform Nation and call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

To purchase Adam's book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at


Jun 26, 2017

Joining us in Episode 33 - The Women of InForm Fitness are Sheila Melody and Ann Webb Kirkland from the InForm Fitness, Burbank/Toluca Lake location and Nicole Gustavson from the Leesburg and Reston, Virginia InForm Fitness Locations.

This one’s for the girls and Sheila, Ann, and Nicole discuss:

  • The main issues they encounter with their female InForm Fitness clients
  • Whether or not there is anything special about the Power of Ten Workout specific to females
  • The battle between a client’s desire for weight loss  or body composition
  • The pursuit for vitality and strength over just being skinny

Learn more about Sheila Melody, Ann Webb Kirkland, and Nicole Gustavson:

Sheila Melody

Ann Webb Kirkland

Nicole Gustavson


To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

Join Inform Nation and call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

To purchase Adam's book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at


Jun 12, 2017

How and why do some people respond to certain physical training protocols and others not? GENETICS!  Find out how your genetics can determine the success of your workouts and how to find the most effective protocol for you.

Exercise Physiologist and Certified Master Trainer, Ryan A. Hall joins us for the conclusion of a 2 part series.  Ryan has over 25 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Ryan’s Exercise and Genetic Variability Lecture formed the basis of Chapter 8The Genetic Factor in Body By Science by Dr Doug McGuff and John Little. He also contributed to Chapter 3: The Dose/Response Relationship of Exercise.

For more information regarding Ryan A. Hall please visit

Below is a link to the article mentione bt=y Ryan Hall:

Resistance Exercise Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

Join Inform Nation and call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

To purchase Adam's book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at


Jun 5, 2017

Joining The InForm Fitness Podcast is Exercise Physiologist and Certified Master Trainer, Ryan A. Hall.  Ryan has over 25 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Ryan’s Exercise and Genetic Variability Lecture formed the basis of Chapter 8The Genetic Factor in Body By Science by Dr Doug McGuff and John Little. He also contributed to Chapter 3: The Dose/Response Relationship of Exercise.

This is part one of a two-part series titled: Working Out According to Your Genetics

For more information regarding Ryan A. Hall please visit

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

Join Inform Nation and call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

To purchase Adam's book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at


May 29, 2017

Best-selling author and longtime InForm Fitness client Gretchen Rubin joins us for Part 2 of our discussion regarding the process of developing healthy habits.

If you are interested in losing some weight, gaining muscle, eating healthier, or even strengthening your relationships, Gretchen’s got ya covered with brilliant suggestions as to how and when is the best time to change a habit's trajectory.

To purchase Gretchen's books, listen to The Happier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin, and to take the quiz to learn more your tendency visit

To find Gretchen's audio books in Audible click here:


It's the LAST WEEK to earn one FREE SESSION when you leave a review for InForm Fitness in iTunes, Yelp, Google+, Facebook,  & Amazon! Simply write a review and send a screenshot to - that's it!  For each review you leave, you will receive and entry for the GRAND PRIZE!

One lucky listener will receive a personally autographed copy of Adam Zickerman's book,  Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. That listener will also get decked out in InForm Fitness apparel including an InForm Fitness T-shirt, hat, and a hoody jacket. And we’ll top off the prize pack with an Amazon Echo! Click here to see the Amazon Echo in action:

Contest ends May 31st, 2017.  Listen for more details!

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

Join Inform Nation and call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

To purchase Adam's book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at


May 22, 2017

Best-selling author and longtime InForm Fitness client Gretchen Rubin talks about her forthcoming book titled The Four Tendencies, Learn how to understand yourself better—and also how to influence others more effectively. 

In this episode, we will discuss what those four tendencies are, how you can find out what your tenancies happen to be and how those tendencies might affect how clients of InForm Fitness approach their workout. 

To purchase Gretchen's books, listen to The Happier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin, and to take the quiz to learn more your tendency visit


Earn one FREE SESSION when you leave a review for InForm Fitness in iTunes, Yelp, Google+, Facebook,  & Amazon! Simply write a review and send a screenshot to - that's it!  For each review you leave, you will receive and entry for the GRAND PRIZE!

One lucky listener will receive a personally autographed copy of Adam Zickerman's book,  Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. That listener will also get decked out in InForm Fitness apparel including an InForm Fitness T-shirt, hat, and a hoody jacket. And we’ll top off the prize pack with an Amazon Echo! Click here to see the Amazon Echo in action:

Contest ends May 31st, 2017.  Listen for more details!

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

Join Inform Nation and call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

To purchase Adam's book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at


May 15, 2017

Inform Fitness Founder, Adam Zickerman, welcomes Clinical Psychologist and InForm Fitness Strength Training Instructor, Joshua Cagney to discuss the varied psychological and emotional aspects encountered by both clients and trainers and how high-intensity strength training can be a cathartic experience.

We want to reward you for listening to the InForm Fitness Podcast by offering a free training session at an InForm Fitness location nearest you plus an opportunity to qualify for an InForm Fitness Prize Pack.

Earn one FREE SESSION when you leave a review for InForm Fitness in iTunes, Yelp, Google+, Facebook,  & Amazon! Simply write a review and send a screenshot to - that's it!  For each review you leave, you will receive and entry for the GRAND PRIZE!

One lucky listener will receive a personally autographed copy of Adam Zickerman's book,  Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. That listener will also get decked out in InForm Fitness apparel including an InForm Fitness T-shirt, hat, and a hoody jacket. And we’ll top off the prize pack with an Amazon Echo! Click here to see the Amazon Echo in action:

Contest ends May 31st, 2017.  Listen for more details!

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

Join Inform Nation and call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

To purchase Adam's book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at

28 The Psychology of the Trainer/Client Relationship

Josh: The truth is that if we’re doing our jobs effectively as instructors, that’s entirely placing the clients’ needs ahead of our own. We each have an innate need to want to sympathize, to want to offer our sympathies whenever someone suffers a loss or a stressful period of time emotionally, but the longterm consequence of that is we blur those lines. The goal is making sure that you know the client well enough to understand what is going to be most conducive to getting her through a really productive workout. That’s when an instructor is really showing his or her metal, when they’re able to put the clients’ needs ahead of their own.

Tim: Hey InForm Nation, can you believe it? We are already at episode 28 of the InForm Fitness Podcast: Twenty Minutes with New York Times bestselling author, Adam Zickerman and friends. I’m Tim Edwards with the InBound Podcasting Network and I’m a client of InForm Fitness, and in just a moment, we’ll hear from the founder of InForm Fitness, Adam Zickerman. Sheila Melody, the co-owner of the Toluca Lake location is back with us, and still on vacation is Mike Rogers. Looking forward to having Mike back with us next week, as we interview one of his clients from the Manhattan location, Gretchen Rubin. Next week’s episode is bound to be one of our most popular episodes, and I’ll explain that at the end of this one. Also at the end of the show, I will remind you of our May 2017, exclusively for InForm Nation. We have a really cool prize pack, valued at over two hundred bucks, but let’s not get ahead of yourselves. Remember that voice you heard at the top of the show? That was InForm Fitness trainer/instructor, Joshua Cagney from the Restin, Virginia location. Joshua also happens to be a clinical psychologist, which is why Adam invited him to join us here on The Psychology of the Trainer/Client 

Relationship. Sometimes after a period of time, those who are being trained become so comfortable with their trainers, they might start to share some intimate details of their life, and the trainer, in essence, becomes their therapist. So where do we draw the line? Can this type of relationship actually help, or hurt the progress of your strength training? Let’s join the conversation with Joshua Cagney, Adam Zickerman, Sheila Melody, and myself, with The Psychology of the Trainer/Client Relationship.

Adam: So first of all, I’ve had this conversation with Josh in person, a resident clinical psychologist/exercise instructor. I was talking about — I was there giving a certification course, and many times when I’m talking with trainers, we talk about how to motivate, how to inspire, how to keep people on track. How to make them feel that, I know this is hard but you can do it anyway and stick with it. During that conversation, we were talking about the relationships that develop over time and that there is a definitely a psychology involved in maintaining these relationships and motivating your client. Then lines start getting blurred, and I hear very often, it’s kind of a pet peeve of mind, and maybe it’s a pet peeve of mine because I’ve been doing this for twenty years now and I’ve seen the damage, I guess. The pet peeve is when I hear that you’re more like my therapist, the client would say. I come here and it’s like a therapy session, or the trainer would say, I feel like I’m a therapist sometimes or I act like a therapist. People come to me, they talk about their problems, they lay it all on me, they can tell me things that they can’t tell anybody else, and I get all that, but when I hear that, the hair on the back of my neck goes up a little bit. Maybe because it’s my twenty years experience, and the reason that the hair goes up on my neck is just because there’s a psychology involved in motivating and working with your clients, doesn’t mean that we’re psychologists, and that’s when Josh said, unless you are a psychologist. I realized that Josh is not only an exercise instructor, which was what I was talking to him as, but I then realized that he’s actually a clinical psychologist. So I guess that doesn’t apply to him, he is a psychologist when he’s dealing with psychology of training clients, and we have to be careful, both as clients and trainer, to make sure we’re not blurring those lines, and the instructor doesn’t get all full of himself or herself, thinking that they can actually solve these people’s problems. I think that the client themselves needs to know what their boundaries are as well, and as much as you connect with your trainer, as much as you appreciate your trainer, as much as this trainer builds you up, not just physically but mentally, as much as all of that happens, they’re not their therapist. The reason this is important to me and the reason the hair goes up on the back of my neck is because we end up, both client and instructor, we end up not doing our jobs. What we find happens during the exercise session is a lot of chit-chat going on, there’s a lot of wasted time, and the workout suffered. It’s a twenty-minute workout, and there’s no way you can be a therapist and a trainer in twenty minutes. So then you lose a client, and this is where my twenty years experience comes in. What ends up happening is one day, the client wakes up and says, what the hell am I going there for. I’m getting bored, I’m not feeling the results, I’m feeling a plateau. It’s becoming a chore to go there. Maybe the time before that, the quote unquote therapist trainer said something they didn’t like, the way therapists sometimes do, and then you’ve got your patient not wanting to come back anymore, when they weren’t your patient in the first place. They were your client, the person you were supposed to train, and now that they don’t like you as their therapist anymore, they don’t want to come back. So it’s a slippery slope, and if you’ve been a trainer long enough, you’ve been there. If you’re listening to this and you’re not a trainer but you’re a client of a trainer, and if you’ve been doing this for any amount of time, you might also relate to this trap that we tend to fall into. If you’re listening to this and you’ve never hired a trainer, when you do, or if you do, this is an important thing to keep in mind. So Joshua, being both an instructor and a clinical psychologist, am I making sense? Am I right?

Josh: I think you are absolutely right. From a clinical perspective, one of the things that’s important for a therapist to understand is that we each specialize in something that’s unique. So if I specialize in trauma based therapy, it does not mean that I’m a good marriage counselor, doesn’t make me a good family counselor, and the inverse is true. So when we look at what the specific goal is for any kind of relationship that we have with a client, we need to keep that goal premiere in mind when we develop that relationship. There’s blurred lines that come to play when, based on vulnerability and the relationship that you’ve built, and this is something that you commonly see in a clinical environment when you’re dealing with long-term therapy, where clients will be opening themselves up in ways that make them vulnerable, exposed, and it’s very easy to misassociate or misassign feelings that a client will have towards a therapist based on that vulnerability. Being in the studio isn’t a whole lot different in that regard. You’re in physically compromising positions, you’re in incredibly intense situations under a lot of physical and emotional stress, so you feel incredibly vulnerable for those twenty, thirty minutes at a time. So the net result is, people tend to feel, when they’re working out, open and extremely emotional and extremely anxious and stressed at different points, and the one person that they have contact with is their strength trainer, their instructor. So it’s easy for those lines to get very blurry and it’s absolutely critical for the strength training instructor to be in a position where they have clear boundaries and clear guidelines about what’s appropriate, what’s not, and leading that relationship. I think that you’re actually really on target, I think that’s pretty insightful. Whether it’s twenty years of experience or whether it’s something you’re able to impart to people, it’s important.

Tim: Speaking from the client’s perspective, as a client of InForm Fitness, as you mentioned Josh, it’s a very intimate relationship and connection with that trainer. As you said, we’re vulnerable, we’re hitting muscle failure, but also the environment at InForm Fitness is conducive to building that relationship with your trainer because it’s not a crowded gym. It’s a very private, one-on-one situation so I guess it’s incumbent on the trainer to manage where those lines are, where that blurred line stops.

Josh: It is important, and those boundaries again, they’re not always very clear, and there are certainly things that are critical for the client and the trainer to both bare in mind. Ultimately that is what is contributory and what is conducive to achieving the goal that my client is here for in the first place. If you have a client who walks in after having been thrown out by their spouse the night before, they’re not going to be in a position, chances are, to exercise. So that may be an appropriate time to say, you’re just not ready for today, and that’s alright. Take a day, take as much time as you need to be able to put yourself in a position where you’re ready to focus, but that’s part of the boundary. Not saying, please talk to me about what it is that is going on and how can I help, but instead, staying focused on the goal and supporting the client back to what the real mission is.

Sheila: Yes, people come in and they may have gone through something or they may have just received a very disturbing email or phone call or something like that, but they want to continue on their schedule because it helps them to stay feeling normal. I have had people come in and they’re not revealing to me what happened, but then in the middle of the workout, you’re in that really intense position, and after a couple times of exerting that, they can’t hold it in anymore and they start crying because they cannot hold that emotion in anymore, because you’re letting all of that energy go.

Adam: This workout definitely brings out, for me and I’ve seen it with others, it definitely brings out your emotions. It’s an emotional experience with such intensity, and if you have something going on in your life like you just mentioned Sheila, that’s going to pull right on out.

Sheila: We do need to be prepared to deal with situations like that, and understanding the difference between being a therapist and just being encouraging or being able to tell the difference of this person shouldn’t be working out right now. Sometimes just quietly allowing them to move to the next exercise and get through it, we’ve had people say, thank you so much. For instance, after the last election, it was very emotional for a lot of people, and some people came in the day after. Especially in L.A, and it was like, we just took people through. They were all saying thank you, thank you for helping me to do something good for myself even though I’m really upset right now, but maybe because in L.A, everybody already has a therapist. 

Josh: That’s different than Washington D.C. where everybody needs a therapist.

Tim: For somebody who has been working out at InForm Fitness for quite some time, say with one trainer in particular. You can’t help but have that relationship build. You’re seeing that person every single week, you’re vulnerable with them. There is a little bit of time between some of the machines and the exercises, and a good trainer, I believe, will find their client’s interests and use those interests to motivate them through those exercises, so there’s a connection that’s made there. As in any relationship, it grows, there’s ebb and flow, but do you think after a certain period of time, where it gets too comfortable, maybe it’s okay or you should shift to a different trainer to kind of mix it up a little bit or start over again? What do you think about that?

Josh: I think that’s a healthy question to ask, but I think there is no one size fits all answer. This is really entirely dependent upon what the client is like, what their disposition is, what their needs and goals are, and then what the trainer is able to give them. So when we’re talking about someone who is developing a relationship and a degree of trust, that’s not really something that is easily transferable to another trainer, because we personalize that. So outside of that, when you’re looking for something that’s ultimately going to be most enhancing component of a relationship for a specific client, maybe it is breaking away from that personal relationship and creating something that’s much more concrete and core.

Adam: When you’re a sole practitioner and you don’t work for a company like InForm Fitness and you’re the trainer, it’s hard to give them to somebody else, one of your colleagues, and kind of swap out. So that’s not even always an option.

Josh: Particularly if your income is based on client retention.

Adam: That’s what you mentioned earlier before, Josh, the mindfulness of knowing when to speak, when not to speak. Knowing what to say, what not to say. They’re coming in in a very emotional state. It reminded me of a client that I have whose sister passed away, and she’s a client for a year. When I first met her, her dog had passed away, and I remembered how as soon as it brought it up with her, how are you doing with the dog, she’d get all teary eyed and the workout kind of suffered. Now her sister passed away about a year later, and I knew better this time. So it was interesting how I didn’t say anything to her. Now here’s somebody whose sister died, she comes to her workout, and I don’t even give her a hug like hey, sorry, because I just know how that sets her off. It might have seemed insensitive but I think she really appreciates it because she comes in, we go in there, we work out. I don’t say much, and she leaves and every once in a while, we’ll talk after the workout, and I’ll say next week, we’ll talk about the future of her plans and stuff like that because we are friendly, and she says I’m not quite ready for this or that, she’ll say. I’ve had a tough year. She knows I know what she’s talking about, yet I’ve never even sent her a condolence. I know when I see it in her eyes, she looks at me when we talk about these things, that she appreciates the fact that I’m not talking about it. 

Sheila: I know I can be like that.

Adam: This is one of those cases where you just don’t bring it up. She knows you know, she knows you care, and because you care, she knows this is why you’re acting this way.

Tim: Well that’s because of the relationship that you’ve build with her through the last year or so, but there might be some others that think how insensitive for them to act as though nothing has happened.

Adam: Including me. I’m listening to this conversation with us right now, and I’m finally — this is like therapy for me, because I’m realizing I’m even judging myself. Like I can’t believe I didn’t say anything, but I just didn’t feel right to say something, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just my own discomfort that I didn’t say anything and my own avoidance. So if you’re listening to this and you just listen to this podcast because you want to learn about techniques of training and health, and how exercise is related to that, so why this conversation? How is this going to help me, you might ask yourself, if I’m not a trainer or I don’t have a trainer. At first, I think Josh hit on something, and that is knowing whether you should work out or not. We have somebody come in here after some kind of bad news or tragedy, and it might be too soon. I know they want to keep their schedule, I know they want to keep their routine, maybe but maybe not, you have to make that judgment as a trainer, to say to somebody, maybe today is not the day. Let’s sit down, let’s have a cup of coffee, no charge, let’s just sit down and talk for a second and I’ll see you next week. Other times, you might say to yourself as an instructor who is confronted with this particular person, say you know what, let’s go in there, let’s workout, let’s not talk, let’s just get this thing over with and do it. Let’s just focus on the workout, that’d be the best thing for you. Let’s face it, this is meditation. A high-intensity workout done properly — I had one client who I loved to death, he’s definitely somebody I admire and has influenced me in a lot of ways. Very successful business man, has a great mental fortitude, discipline, and he knows himself, a guy I admire, and I remember him saying to me, I love this workout because it’s the only time in my week that I’m concentrating on just one thing for twenty minutes, it’s amazing. It’s freeing for him, and I was like wow! Here’s a guy who is very disciplined in his life always. He always has his stuff together, and he’s saying that this is the thing that he has that keeps him totally focused on one thing and one thing only. So coming from him, that was like a big statement. So I get sometimes you might want to just do that with somebody who has all this stuff going on. I remember during a financial crisis, especially in Manhattan, I had guys that worked for 

[Inaudible: 00:18:53], guys that worked for Bear Sterns, coming in and I’m thinking these guys are going to cancel left and right, and gals for that matter, and they weren’t. Matter of fact, they looked crappy, they looked beat up, but they came in and said, thank god I have this.

Sheila: I also think it’s very important to maintain — to remember that it’s good to make people laugh and to feel like they’re having a good time. That’s how we kind of — we’re like a family environment in Toluca Lake, and make people have a good time because I’ve recently heard, even in that Secret Life of Fat book and in some things that Gretchen Rubin’s podcast and things they’ve done, studies that they’ve done about people who watch a funny movie or laugh about something, and they actually become stronger. They can maintain a little longer, so I think it’s important to keep that mood fun and happy, and that’s kind of what we try to do, and then the clients are competing with each other and things like that. So we try to keep that environment like a fun place so that they want to come in and they know they’ll be uplifted.

Adam: Good point. Levity in the face of a very intense workout can be very helpful, just not while they’re in the middle of a set.

Tim: Agreed. When I’m in failure, I do not need to laugh.

Adam: I’m guilty of that. I think we might all be guilty of that. I am so guilty of like saying something to a client when in the middle of a set, it cracks them up and they laugh and I’m like, why did I just say that, that was the dumbest thing I just did.

Tim: Agreed though. As a client coming in, I love the levity, I love the family atmosphere, that can only be achieved through connection. That’s one of the reasons that I like to keep coming back, is because of that connection, those friends, that community that you instill over there at Toluca Lake and I’m sure at all of the other locations as well.

Adam: Well it’s important, but it’s a bit of irony because it is a very intense, serious workout. Twenty minutes in and out, we’re not wasting your time. It’s not necessarily a coddling thing, but at the same time, we should all be excited that — first of all, as instructors we’re doing incredible work and for me, it’s very fulfilling to do this kind of work, very rewarding, but also it’s fun. In a way, even though it’s a serious workout, we’re rejoicing in this fact, this idea, that we’re getting incredibly strong and healthy from a twenty-minute thing. Whether it’s InForm Fitness or any of the other great practitioners out there who are understanding brief intense workouts are where it’s at. There is joy in that, that there is rejoicing, there is fun. We have lightening in a bottle and I almost feel like to a lot of people, it’s still a secret in a way and I don’t want to it to be this way, I want the whole mainstream to be understanding. In the mean time, I feel like I’m in an exclusive club, that we know something that nobody else does, but there’s too much at stake to keep this a secret. So many people are not working out at all because they think they have to do everything. There’s people working out too much, and listening to your advice that intensity at all costs and more is better and you got all those problems. So not only are we helping one person at a time, but wouldn’t it be unbelievable if all of a sudden, as a society, the paradigm shift is what we’re doing and everyone understands less is more? That would be fantastic. For the person who is listening to this that doesn’t have a trainer, who is not a trainer, your emotions are important. Your emotions when you go into a workout are really important and it’s okay to miss a workout if you’re just not mentally up for it, that’s okay. It’s a once or a twice a week thing anyways, so it’s not like you’re not going to lose all your gain so to speak if you miss your Monday workout. As a matter of a fact, if you’re an emotional wreck and you try to do it, you might lose focus, you might get hurt because you don’t have the focus. It’ll be a sub-par workout, it’s just not something that you necessarily have to do just because it’s your day and you want to keep your routine, and you don’t want to think about it.

Tim: So how much of this do you bring into your training when people are being certified, this component of managing the relationship.

Adam: I end up talking about this stuff a lot, sometimes to the detriment of what it needs to be taught also. Sometimes two days of the workout will go by and I’ll find that we talked a lot about these types of things, and then I realize oh darn, I didn’t go over glycolysis with you guys did I?

Sheila: One of the number one things you tell us —

Adam: And that’s on the test, so you need to know glycolysis here.

Sheila: One of the number one things you tell us and teach us is to connect with that client. We have to connect with the client in order to understand what their needs are and to be able to design the workout for them, to make it work for them.

Tim: The client, I can just speak for myself, we don’t want a robotic experience so again, that’s where the lines come in, the blurred lines. How close are the InForm Fitness trainers supposed to get to the clients? Would you encourage outside activities between the trainer and the client, is that something that shouldn’t be approached, or is there a definite yes or no answer to something like that?

Josh: I think honestly that one of the most critical things that we have to embrace at InForm Fitness, and I think this is more true than it is for conventional exercise personal trainers, is that I work with every client to teach them about mindfulness and self-awareness. This isn’t just about a philosophical abstract idea of mindfulness, it is about being conscious of what is going on so that your mind controls the pattern of thought, throughout a stressful situation. So that there is judgment removed from what’s going on associated with pain or discomfort, and instead, the mind is able to be focused purely on breathing. Focused on what muscles are being used, focused on the position of the shoulders relative to the hips. The goal ultimately is to create maximized performance. There’s just a tremendous amount of research that’s been done in the last 30 years or so about mindfulness training for top performance and top athletes. The relationship between the head and the body is overwhelming. That’s something that I think we commonly understand to be true, but the mental gain, the metal component, the mental skill set of what we’re trying to help InForm Fitness clients achieve is the level of awareness of what their body is doing, and a level of calm, devoid of anxiety, when they start to feel the anxiety build. When they start to feel the tension to build in their body, to be calm in the moment, to focus on letting go of the results and instead, let the results be what they are, and instead just be calm and focused on breathing, presence, and that’s about it. So outside of that, I would suggest that the relationship that we build and the sort of contact that we build with our clients as Adam talks about is something that is being very conscious of the fact that we are instructors. I sort of pull back a bit when somebody refers back to me as a trainer. I’m not training anyone, I’m instructing someone on how to be calm in a time of high stress and tension. Outside of that piece, the physical benefits follow, but the mental piece has to be there at least at a basic level in order for them to build to a point, because without that, intensity can’t come. In every consultation, I encourage clients to follow what I have found, and that is, this is a purely meditative and monastic time. You’re in a very intimate environment where it’s very calm and very peaceful, so to connect yourself with the environment such that you are focused entirely on just a handful of things, the phone, the iPad, the computer, the children, the family, the job, the dead car, all the things that are bothering us emotionally when we walk into the door, they stay at the door of the studio. They do not come in, they’re not allowed. Everything in the studio is purely the relationship between the instructor and the client, and what the client is focused on doing at any given exercise.

Adam: The idea of staying focused, the idea of working out when the conditions are good. Don’t use the excuse not to work out every time you have a little bit of strife, then you can very easily say, I’m not in the mood today and Adam said it’s okay if you’re not in the mood, if you’re emotionally — and then use it as an excuse not to work out. Obviously,  sometimes you have to kick yourself in the pants and pull yourself from the bootstraps and say Adam, go work out. Right now. Do it, and focus, and try to be meditative. Try to block out all of that stuff, which is exactly what meditation is supposed to be also. You’re focusing on one thing, and understanding that while you’re working out or while you’re meditating, things break through that you don’t want to have break through. Acknowledge it, move on, and keep going. Bring it back, bring it back to what you’re there for. Sometimes, as a trainer, we have to understand that the best thing we can do is get out of our client’s way and I think sometimes we are too empathetic. We try to be more empathetic, and we end up not giving them what they need which is a really good, kick butt workout that doesn’t allow all these distractions to come in, and helping them to really focus.

Josh: Adam, I think you hit the nail on the head. I think what we’re really looking at when we look at the example you spoke about earlier with the client who had suffered a death in the family, where you were judging yourself by not being more empathetic, not offering your sympathies for the loss. The truth is that if we’re doing our jobs effectively as instructors, that’s entirely placing the client’s needs ahead of our own. We each have an innate need to want to sympathize, to want to offer our sympathies whenever someone suffers a loss or a stressful period of time emotionally, but the long term consequence of that is we blur those lines. When those lines and those boundaries stay clear is when I’m placing the client’s needs ahead of my own, as you did by recognizing that your client is going to most benefit from not talking about something, that she talks about probably the other twenty-three and a half hours out of the day.

Adam: My wife has to know this. I have to put somebody else’s needs ahead of mine.

Josh: The goal is making sure that you know the client well enough to understand what is going to be most conducive to getting her through a really productive workout. That’s when an instructor is really showing his or her metal, when they’re able to put the clients’ needs ahead of their own.

Sheila: And luckily, our workout is only the twenty minutes or the thirty minutes, so you can completely focus, you don’t have to think about — I have to go in there for an hour and not think about this or not think about that email, phone call, or terrible thing that just happened. So that’s what’s so great about our workout for anybody who is listening and want to give it a try. It’s just as effective and yes, it’s a very cathartic thing to just say okay, for the next twenty minutes, I’m just going to focus on me.

Josh: The truth is that when we talk about — rest is a good segway — when you talk to clients that you only have to work out once or twice a week, I actually suggest to clients that you may only work out once or twice a week. It’s not that you don’t have to do it once a week, you may not do it more than once or twice a week. So then when they walk in with any kind of emotional stress or whatever it is that’s bothering them when they walk in the door, I tell them you may not bring it in here with you. This is your opportunity to not think about it, I am absolutely demanding of you that you leave this at the door. You can pick it up on the way back out, but for the thirty minutes that you’re here, you’re focused solely on what it is that we’re doing together.

Adam: Question that comes up very often with me and clients of ours. When we talk about how you shouldn’t be working out so often, like once or twice a week, and each workout is twenty or thirty minutes. How do you respond to the client that says, but I need exercise for stress relief and I’m afraid once a week for that purpose is not enough. How do you respond to that saying, I want to come three, four times a week but you’re telling me not to. Part of it for me anyway, they’ll say, I need more exercise for stress relief. You’re telling me that I shouldn’t do anything else, and I can’t come here more than once and it’s only twenty minutes. I don’t know if this is for me.

Josh: I think a that’s healthy question to ask, but I think that the simple answer is something that we preach very heavily at InForm Fitness and that is creating a very clear line between constitutes exercise versus what constitutes recreation. With every client, I encourage them to walk, run, bike, swim, whatever it is that they enjoy doing that provides them some physical benefits, but that’s not the primary purpose behind why they do it in the first place. People who run regularly, at some point, they cease to do it purely for the physical benefits, they do it for the endorphin rush, they do it for the stress management, they do it because they disconnect from the world around them. That’s good stress management, so stress management from the physical manifestations, how it builds up our blood pressure, how it builds up muscle tension. Those are all things that we can address concretely here at InForm Fitness, but recreationally, those are the things I encourage clients to deal with. If they really want to do some good stress management techniques, get outside. Go for a walk, take your dog out, take your kids out to a park. Do something that is going to provide stress management and be recreational in the process, that’s good mental health.

Adam: Josh, do you have trouble separating the different hats you wear? Do you find yourself acting like a psychologist with your clients from time to time, do you catch yourself?

Josh: Well yes, but having said that, I think it’s more of an asset for me in the long run, simply because I’m relying on my clinical expertise and education to be able to keep clients focused on what it is that I want them to do. I let my expertise and my experience influence the way that I navigate a relationship with a client, but I never sit down and say, step into my office and tell me about your mother. That’s not what we’re trying to do here, but I think that the point simply is in any environment, when you’re working as a therapist or as an instructor, the goal is going to be to keep the client focused on the specific set of goals. In the studio with InForm Fitness, that specific set of goals is entirely about getting the absolute best performance that I can get out of the client for a thirty minute stretch at a time, so that they’re deeply fatiguing the muscles and achieving a level of intensity that is appropriate for what it is that I’m asking them to do. That environment is totally different in a correctional setting or in a therapist’s office or something like that, but ultimately the drive to achieving those goals, whatever those goals may be, is the same.

Adam: Like I’ve always said, there’s definitely a technology involved in training people. Like Sheila pointed out, it’s so important as an instructor to make that connection. I know plenty of instructors that are technically very good, they can put somebody through an incredible workout, but the experience overall for the client is left flat. They don’t feel a connection to the person that may just seem like they’re just dialing it in. As good as they are. So you can be the greatest technical instructor in the world, if you’re not making that connection, if you’re not figuring out how to motivate, to inspire this person to do what is arguably a very, very hard thing to do, even for just twenty minutes, you’re not going to succeed. You’re not going to be able to really help these people because they’re not going to stick with it, they’re not going to want to see you. So there’s definitely that psychology that’s really important, so I don’t want people to misunderstand that psychology isn’t involved in being a good instructor. Knowing people listening, being a good listener and hearing what they’re saying, but also knowing what not to say sometimes is also very important, and just to be a listener. Not to be so full of yourself, and think that you’re going to be able to solve all of their problems. The best thing you can do for them, the best thing that I think I can do for them in times is like that is to really, even more so, double down on the quality of the workout at that moment, and even pull back more from a friend position. Almost like a tough love type of thing saying hey, let’s go there. This is for you right now, let’s just go in there and do it. Even if you’re training yourself to maybe have that same attitude sometimes and let it go. When you sit down at that machine or you pick up that barbell, take a deep breath, visualize, let it go, and do the job, be in the moment and do the job.

Tim: Many thanks to InForm Fitness trainer and clinical psychologist Joshua Cagney for joining us here on the InForm Fitness podcast. Hey, if you’re in or around the Washington D.C. area and would like to have Joshua as your high-intensity strength trainer, head on over to, click on the Restin, Virginia location, and request Josh. You’ll also find six other InForm Fitness locations across the country, and you’ll see Adam’s blog, InForm Fitness Videos, and every single episode of the InForm podcast there at Okay, next week: author, award-winning podcaster, and happiness expert, Gretchen Rubin joins us here on the show. Gretchen has a new book coming out titled The Four Tendencies: Learn How to Understand Yourself Better, and Also How Influence Others More Effectively. Utilizing the Four Tendencies framework as mentioned in Gretchen’s book, we’ll discuss how those tendencies might affect how you approach your workout, and why exercise is an important component to happiness. And one last thing before I let you go. Remember, here in May 2017, we are giving away a personally autographed copy of Adam’s book, Power of Ten: The Once a Week Fitness Revolution, InForm Fitness apparel in the form of a hat, T-Shirt, and a hoodie jacket, and a device to listen to all the InForm Fitness podcasts, Amazon books, Audiobooks and more, using the Alexa voice service. I’m talking about the Amazon Echo, and if you haven’t seen the Amazon Echo yet, check out the link in the show notes for a full description and even videos explaining what it does and how it works. This is a really cool prize pack, worth over two hundred bucks. Okay, so what do you have to do? Step one, leave InForm Fitness a review here in iTunes or on Facebook, Google Plus, Yelp, and even Amazon. If you do, you’ll receive a free training session at an InForm Fitness location nearest you. Step two, take a screenshot and email your review to That will be your entry into the grand prize drawing for the all the items I just mentioned, so here are the rules. You can only receive one free training session for your review, however, you can get an entry into the grand prize drawing for each review that you submit, thereby dramatically increasing your chances to win. For instance, if you leave us a review here in iTunes and then one in Yelp and Facebook, you only get one free training session, but three free entires into the grand prize, but you better get on it. You must emails to us by 11:59PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 31st to qualify for the free session and the grand prize. The winner will be announced on our Monday, June 5th episode here on the InForm Fitness podcast. So good luck, and thanks again for joining us. For Sheila Melody, Mike Rogers, and Adam Zickerman of InForm Fitness, I’m Tim Edwards with the InBound Podcasting Network.

May 8, 2017

We want to reward you for listening to the InForm Fitness Podcast by offering a free training session at an InForm Fitness location nearest you plus an opportunity to qualify for an InForm Fitness Prize Pack.

Earn one FREE SESSION when you leave a review for InForm Fitness in iTunes, Yelp, Google+, Facebook,  & Amazon! Simply write a review and send a screenshot to - that's it!  For each review you leave, you will receive and entry for the GRAND PRIZE!

One lucky listener will receive a personally autographed copy of Adam Zickerman's book,  Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. That listener will also get decked out in InForm Fitness apparel including an InForm Fitness T-shirt, hat, and a hoody jacket. And we’ll top off the prize pack with an Amazon Echo! Click here to see the Amazon Echo in action:

Contest ends May 31st, 2017.  Listen for more details!

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

Join Inform Nation and call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

To purchase Adam's book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

If you would like to produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at



Tim Edwards: InformNation Hello and welcome to a very quick bonus episode of the Informed Fitness Podcast. 20 minutes with New York Times Bestselling author, Adam Zickerman and friends. Well Like I just said, this is just a quick bonus episode, so just a couple of minutes today. I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network and a client of Informed Fitness. Adam Zickerman, Mike Rogers, and Sheila Melody are taking some much deserved time off. Just for one week. Then we'll be back at it again next week. I'll get to some of the topics that we have in store for you coming up in just a minute. But first, we want to reward all of you for listening to Inform Fitness Podcast by offering a free training session at an Inform Fitness location nearest you. Plus, an opportunity to qualify for an Inform Fitness prize pack. 

Now, this is cool, listen up. One lucky listener will receive a personally autographed copy of Adam's book Power of 10: The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Evolution. That listener will also be decked out in Inform Fitness apparel, including an Inform Fitness T-shirt, hat, and a hoodie jacket. And we'll top off the prize pack with a device to listen to all of the Inform Fitness podcast, Amazon music, audio books from Audible, and more using the Alexa voice service. I'm talkin' about the Amazon Echo. Now, if you haven't seen the Amazon Echo yet check out the link in the show notes for a full description and videos explaining what it does and how it works. 

Okay, so what do you have to do? First and foremost, if you would be so kind, we would love to hear from you in the form of a review of either the podcast here in iTunes or a review of Adam's book on Amazon. We would also appreciate a review on the Inform Fitness Facebook page and, of course, a review in Google+ or in Yelp of your experience at one of our seven Inform Fitness locations across the US. We have them in Manhattan, Long Island, Port Washington, Denville, Burbank, Boulder, Leesburg, and in Reston. So, leave a review, take a screenshot of that review, and email it and you will receive one free training session at one of our seven locations. Plus, you'll qualify for the grand prize of the personally autographed copy of Adam's book, inform fitness apparel, and the Amazon Echo. And this prize is valued at over $200. 

So here are the rules. You can only receive one free training session for your reviews. However, you get an entry into the grand prize drawing for each review that you submit. For instance, if you leave us a review in iTunes, Yelp, and Facebook you get one free training session, but three entries into the grand prize. Got it? Okay, so get on it. Submit those reviews, screenshot it, and email 'em to You must get those emails to us by 11:59 PM on Wednesday May 31st to qualify for the free session and grand prize entry. Now, the winner will be announced on our Monday,  June 5th episode here on the Inform Fitness podcast. 

Now, like I said, we have some terrific topics lined up for you over the next few weeks. We'll be joined by clinical psychologist Joshua Cagney with an episode titled Blurred Lines. Adam, Joshua, and Sheila will have a discussion about the trainer to client relationship and maintaining proper boundaries. We'll also be discussing genetics and exercise response with exercise physiologist Ryan Hall. And an episode with long-time Inform Fitness client and author Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen will be discussing how by regularly participating in an exercise program, such as the one we do at Inform Fitness, can actually contribute to your overall happiness. You see, Gretchen is a happiness expert and has authored several books and has sold more than 2 million copies in 30 different languages. 

So, we have a lot in store for you coming up here in the next few weeks. Get those reviews submitted in iTunes, Facebook, Amazon, Google+, and Yelp. Send them to, grab that free training session, and qualify for the grand prize of an autographed book, Inform Fitness apparel, and an Amazon Echo to be announced on Monday June 5th. Until next time, thanks for listening. For Sheila Melody, Mike Rogers, and Adam Zickerman at Inform Fitness, I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network.


May 1, 2017

Our guest here in Episode 26 is Dr. Martin Gibala, the author of the book, The One-Minute Workout, Science Shows a Way to Get Fit, Smarter, Faster, Shorter. 

Martin Gibala, Ph.D., is also a professor and chair of the kinesiology department at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. His research on the physiological and health benefits of high-intensity interval training has attracted immense scientific attention and worldwide media coverage. 

 Dr. Gibala and Adam Zickerman compare and contrast the high-intensity interval training as Dr. Giballa explains in his book with high-intensity strength training performed at all 7 InForm Fitness locations across the US.

For The One-Minute Workout audio book in Audible click here:

To purchase The One-Minute Workout in Amazon click here:

Don’t forget Adam's Zickerman’s book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution.  You can buy it from Amazon by clicking here:

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you to give this workout a try, please visit  At the time of this recording, we have locations in Manhattan, Port Washington, Denville, Burbank, Boulder, Leesburg and Resten

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

Join Inform Nation and call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

For information regarding the production of your own podcast just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at

The transcription for the entire episode is below:

26 Life is an Interval Training Workout


InForm Fitness - The One Minute Workout

Adam: Dr. Gibala, you have this book with an eye-raising title called the One Minute Workout, and the argument, if I may,  is this. That what you’re saying is the benefits we gain from traditional two and a half hours of recommended a week exercise with moderately intense exercise, also known as steady state exercise, can also be obtained with just one minute of extremely intense exercise. Now for many this sounds too good to be true, and I’ll allow you to explain how these exercise benefits can be obtained in just one minute. Now before you do that, maybe we should start with what are the benefits of exercise that we’re looking for?

Dr. Gibala: We’re mainly interested in three primary outcomes, one being cardiorespiratory 

fitness so, of course, that’s the cardio health that everybody normally thinks about. The ability of the heart, lungs,  blood vessels to deliver oxygen to muscle. We know that’s a really important measure for athletes, but it’s equally important for health. We also look at skeletal muscle health, so we’ll take biopsies and look at the capacities of muscles to use the oxygen to produce energy, so we like to think of that as a measure of muscle health, and we’ll also measure health-related parameters like insulin sensitivity, as well as things like blood pressure. So we’re looking at a range of physiological markers that translate into improved health outcomes, and we know that any type of exercise is beneficial for all of those parameters. We’re of course interested in time efficient versions to produce those benefits.

Adam: Exactly. So speaking of those time efficient ways, you have termed it high-intensity interval training and would you agree with that? That’s the official term for the protocol?

Dr. Gibala: Absolutely. Why I just raised my eyebrows a little bit, it’s been around of course since the turn of the century so high-intensity interval training is rediscovered every decade or so and that was my only reason for doing that.

Adam: Got you, you’re right. So how can these benefits be obtained in one minute, using the sensory old protocol?

Dr. Gibala: So where the title of the book comes from is work in our lab where we’ve had people do as little as three twenty second hard bursts of exercise, so that’s the quote unquote, one-minute workout. Now typically that’s set within a timeframe of about ten minutes, so you have a little bit of warmups, cool downs, and recovery in between, but as you alluded to in your intro, we’ve shown that that type of training program so one minute of workout done three times a week can confer at least over several months, many of the benefits that we associate with the more traditional approach to fitness. So in our recent study where we directly compared that type of protocol to the hundred and fifty minutes a week of moderate-intensity training, the improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness was the same over three months of training. The improvement in markers of muscle health was the same, and the improvement of insulin sensitivity was the same as well. So in our lab when we made these head to head comparisons, we have some pretty compelling evidence I think at last over a couple of months, you can reap the benefits that we associate with a more traditional approach with these short, intense workouts.

Adam: Let’s talk a little bit more about these intense workouts. I’d like you if you will to take us back to turn of the century, 2004, when you were brainstorming with your grad students. Can you please tell us about that first experiment, and what did those muscle biopsies show? Since your first study, as a follow-up, have the results been repeated in similar studies and with other independent labs as well?

Dr. Gibala: Yeah, so I guess our work at the turn of this century was influenced by work from a hundred years prior and part of my interest in this topic was I teach a course in the integrated physiology of human performance, and my students are always interested in the training regimes of elite athletes. They would wonder why do these elite endurance athletes, world champions, Olympic distance medal winners, train using these short, hard sprints. So in short, how can short, hard sprints confer endurance capacity. So that really influenced our thinking, and we wanted to ask the question well how quickly can you get these benefits, and how low can you go? We’ve subsequently gone lower, but at the time, there was a very common test and physiology known as the Wingate test, I’m sure you’re familiar with it. It’s a test that involves thirty seconds of all-out exercise on a cycle odometer, and we knew that Wingate training was effective from some other studies, but we said okay, let’s have people do just six training sessions over a period of two weeks. So we argued back and forth about the number of Wingates, and how long we would have the training program last, but we settled on this very simple design; a two-week study with six sessions of interval training over the two weeks, and our primary outcomes were endurance capacity, so basically how long subjects could ride a bike until they fatigued, and muscle biopsies to look at those measures of muscle health. Lo and behold after just two weeks of training, we found a doubling of endurance capacity in the recreationally trained students, and so it was a very dramatic illustration of the potency of these short, hard workouts, to confer endurances like benefits. Since then, we’ve continued to push the envelope I guess in terms of how low can you go, and our work has extended out to less healthy individuals, so we’ve done work on people with type two diabetes, and of course have been very pleased to see other laboratories around the world replicating and extending these findings as well.

Adam: We’re going to get to that, what you’re referring to now, with Catarina Myers work for example, that you mentioned in later chapters. What I wanted to ask you was when you said, what I want to point out right now, what you said is that you’re seeing these incredible improvements and you said that study lasted two weeks. That is mind blowing. Two weeks to have those changes occur? So first of all,  I want to point out number one that that is mind blowing, secondly have you done other studies where you would do it for longer than two weeks and have those changes gotten better even after two weeks, or do they just basically stabilize at just being fantastically endurance but you’re not seeing it continually — like a straight line, maybe it’s more of — obviously it plateaus a little bit eventually, but anyway what do you think?

Dr. Gibala: Our longest studies have gone out to a couple of months, so I think you continue to see improvements but the rate of improvement starts to decline. So in some ways it’s a microcosm of what happens with any training program, the longer you do it, there’s points of diminishing returns and of course, that can be very frustrating to people and it leads to periodization and all these techniques that we use. In short, you get a lot of benefit early on, so there’s a tremendous boost of fitness early on, and like I said, a point of diminishing returns after that so it’s not a continuous straight line. I think that’s one of the benefits of interval training is you can get a boost in fitness very very quickly, and in some ways that helps with lots of other sports and events that you might want to take on after that, but you get this rapid boost in a very short period of time.

Adam: Great, so now let’s get to who I just mentioned a little bit earlier, Catarina Myers. The German cardiovascular physiologist who did some important research trying to answer this question: what sort of exercise can substantially slow and possibly even reverse the age-related loss of our cardiovascular function?

Dr. Gibala: Catarina Myer, and actually the history there is fascinating because some of her training dates back to other classic German researchers. The Germans have had an interest in this since at least the late 1950s. Catarina Myers worked in the late 80s and early 90s — what was particularly unique about her work is she was applying interval training to patients with cardiovascular disease. So in a cardiac rehabilitation setting, these individuals who had had a heart attack and what was the best way to train these individuals to improve their function,

improve their heart capacity. So it was quite revolutionary at the time because it’ll go back 30 or 40 years, if an individual had a heart attack, they were basically told to take it easy, right? Lie on the couch, don’t challenge past your system because you were worried about subsequent adverse events, and so Myers’ work, she had cardiac patients exercise at about 90% of their maximum heart rate for typically about one minute at a time, with a minute of recovery, and she showed very profound improvements in their health outcomes and cardiovascular parameters. So she was a real pioneer I think in applying interval training to disease populations, and in particularindividuals who have cardiovascular disease, and since then, her work has expanded. In Norway for example, there’s another large research center that’s doing a lot of this work. It’s quite common to incorporate interval training in cardiac rehabilitation settings now. 

Adam: It’s breaking major paradigms there, to think that you could apply high-intensity exercise to somebody that just had a heart attack. It’s fantastic. I’m familiar with Dr. Myers work actually. One of her papers in particular was this paper that she published in 1997. This paper was showing that of three groups, only the group that performed very intense exercise at 80% of their max were able to improve their cardiovascular function. So she had another group at 60% of their max and the control group didn’t do anything, and neither one of them showed the kind of the improvements. These kinds of improvements I’m talking about is increased venus return, decreased systemic vascular resistance, an increase in cardiac index, and an increase in stroke vine. Now these are consistent with her other research that you were talking about because she did a lot of these, and what struck me about this particular one is that these cardiovascular improvements in function were done on a leg press. They weren’t done on a bicycle, they were done on a leg press, so my question is do you think high-intensity resistance training can also be used to change our physiology? That it can improve our endurance, our VO2 max, and citrate synthase for example, if you were to do a muscle biopsy. The same way as say a bicycle or a treadmill.

Dr. Gibala: I don’t think you get the same effects, but it’s going to depend on the protocol there. I think without question, high-intensity resistance exercise can be applied in an interval training manner, especially if you keep recovery durations short, and you can see some aerobic improvement. There’s research to show that interval style resistance training can improve cardiorespiratory fitness, can boost some mitochondrial enzymes, can improve other health-related indices as you alluded to. My personal opinion is that a varied approach to fitness is always going to be best, and I don’t think you’re going to see the same cardiovascular fitness improvement with interval based cycling as you might see with high-intensity resistance exercise, but of course, the gains in strength or hypertrophy that you might see with the bike protocol are going to be markedly lower as well. So I think high-intensity resistance training applied in an interval based manner can sort of provide multiple benefits. You can get a cardiovascular boost and obviously get muscular strengthening, and some hypertrophy benefits as well.

Adam: So you think the high-intensity strength training protocol is really a separate and distinct program?

Dr. Gibala: I do. I think the resistance exercise element is different there, and so the stimulus for adaptation is not going to be exactly the same. 

Adam: Has that been tested? Have you compared let’s say a Wingate type of protocol with say somebody doing a high-intensity strength training program where you’re doing one set to failure with major compound movements. You’re going from machine to machine with the heart rate staying elevated, and each rate is going to at least 20 seconds of what you would probably consider an interval. Like a twenty-second sprint, those last twenty seconds on the leg press ,for example, are pretty darn intense as well. Do you think it would be worthy of comparing those two types of protocols to see if you get the same benefits and improvements in citrate synthase that way, VO2 max, etc?

Dr. Gibala: Yeah, I think without question it would be. Of course,we can come up with all of these comparisons that we would like and there are only so many ways that you can do it in the laboratory. When you do a Wingate test for example, we know that there’s no stimulation of growth pathways, so if we look at [Inaudible: 00:13:35] signaling and some of these pathways that we know lead to skeletal muscle hypertrophy, even though Wingate test is perceived as very demanding, the relative resistance on the leg, or the relative stress on the leg is quite low as compared to heavy resistance exercise. So with most forms of cardio based, high-intensity interval training, you’re not seeing growth of muscle fibers because the stimulus is just not sufficient to provide the hypertrophy stimulus. Now when you do high-intensity resistance training, as you alluded to, especially with short recovery periods, you maintain the heart rate so it’s elevated, you can see improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness in addition to the strengthening and hypertrophy elements as well.

Adam: I’m with you on that. I think you’re right. What would you think for example, we don’t know everything yet about how low we can go and the style, what tools we use for these things. I’m wondering, knowing what we know at this point, what would you think would be the perfect — for somebody who is pressed for time and doesn’t have the time to put the recommended 150 minutes a week into it. What do you think would be perfect, do you think maybe two interval training workout sessions a week with some high-intensity strength training? Like what are you doing, what do you recommend to a relative of yours that just wants to get it all, and what do I need to do?

Dr. Gibala: Obviously an open ended question and it depends a lot on the specific goals of the individual, but I’ll sort of take the question at —

Adam: Not an elite athlete. I know you work with a lot of elite athletes, we also have the population that Myers works with. Your typical person, your middle aged —

Mike: Busy professional who just wants to be in shape and have the markers that you were talking about before.

Dr. Gibala: If they want the time efficiency aspect — you alluded earlier, what do I do. I’m someone who trains typically every day, rarely are my workouts more than thirty minutes, and I typically go back and forth between cardio style interval training, my go to exercise is a bike. I can’t run anymore because of osteoarthritis in my knee, so typically three days a week I’m doing cardio cycling. As the weather starts to get nicer it’s outside, but typically in long Canadian winters, it’s down in my basement. 20-25 minutes of interval based work for primary cardiovascular conditioning. The other days are largely body weight style interval training, I sort of have the classic garage set up in the basement. I’ve got a weight rack, I do large compound movements to failure, pushups, pull-ups, and so that’s typically the other three days of the week. Usually a rest day a week, or I’ll play some ice hockey as well. That’s something that works really well for me, so I think for individuals, I would recommend that style of approach. If you’re someone that can mentally tolerate the demanding nature of intervals, because let’s be realistic here, there’s no free lunch at the end of the day, but if you want that time efficiency, high quality workout, then I would recommend that alternating pattern of some sort of cardio style interval training with some sort of full body resistance style training. If you’re really pressed for time and you have maybe three sessions a week, then using all interval based — maybe two resistance sessions and one cardio or vice versa. Obviously a lot of the work that you advocate is showing tremendous benefits with even one session a week, and maybe even two sessions a week in terms of that quality of style training.

Adam: The search continues. Like you said, it depends on a lot of things, goals, and body types, genetics, response to exercise, and even somebody’s neurological efficiency. So I get that, and the question always is when we work with thousands of individuals on a monthly basis, do you mix intervals with their strength training, how much of it, balancing all of this with their schedules, with their schedule, with their lifestyle. Are they stressed out, max type A people, do they get enough sleep. So that’s why it’s so valuable to talk to you, you’re on the cutting edge of doing a lot of this stuff and trying to incorporate research into somebody’s every day life is the art and trick to all of this I think. Until we keep learning more and more.

Dr. Gibala: Absolutely, and sometimes the most fundamental questions science still doesn’t have the answers to which is quite ironic, but you’re right. The book was written really as an effort to translate the science around time-efficient exercise. As you all know, the number on cited reason for why people don’t exercise is lack of time. Nothing wrong with the public health guidelines, based on really good science, but 80% of us aren’t listening and the number one barrier is time. So if we can find time-efficient options so that people can implement this style of training into their every day life, we think that’s a good thing. The more menu choices, the better. The more exercise options the better, because then ideally, people can find something that works for them, and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Adam: That brings me exactly to the next thing that I wanted to talk about. It’s this idea that we’re being told we need 150 minutes. That’s two and a half hours a week to work out, and you make a very interesting point in chapter five of the One Minute Workout. You say despite knowing that exercise has all these near magical qualities, approximately 80% of the people from America, Canada, and the United Kingdom don’t get the recommended 150 minutes that they need, and you say that’s a problem. You point out something very interesting, I didn’t know this, it’s very cool. You point out that lifespan has jumped ahead of our health span, and I’d love for you to tell us what the difference is between lifespan and health span and what that means.

Dr. Gibala: Yeah sure. So lifespan is just that, how long you’re going to live, but health span encompasses — I call it how close to the ceiling you can work. So basically you want to live a long life, but ideally, you want a long, healthy life as well so you can think of it as functional capacity in addition to longevity. I think most of us, you want to live as long as you can and as my grandmother would say, you sort of fall off the perch right at the very end. In a high standard of living, a high quality of living, so that you can do all the things that you like as long as possible and so exercise I think is a tremendous way to do that. You bring up a good point, that as we age, perhaps there’s a little shift there. Obviously, strength is important and cardiorespiratory fitness is important, but especially as we start to get older, functional strength is really important. If you look at what’s going to keep people out of assisted living, it’s basically can you squat down and go the toilet and get up from that.

Mike: It’s getting off the floor, exactly.

Dr. Gibala: So functional training to maintain lower body strength, that’s what we’re talking about in terms of health span. You may be living a long time but if you need all this assistance in order to get by, that’s not necessarily a high standard or quality of living. So that’s what we’re really talking about here and improving both of them.

Adam: So think about this. Despite knowing how important it is to put those 150 minutes in because you’re going to have this life of misery and your health span is going to be horrible, people don’t do it. You quote this guy Allen Batterham from Teesside University in the United Kingdom, who says that we have, I’m quoting him — actually quoting you quoting him, that we have this perverse relationship with exercise. So here we are, we know what we have to do but we don’t, and this is where high-intensity training is so cool because — well first of all, why do we have this perverse relationship with exercise?

Dr. Gibala: There’s a multifaceted answer. I think Allen made the observation that we have hunger pains to get us to eat, so there’s that innate biological drive. For reproduction, there’s a sex drive, but there’s not necessarily this innate biological drive to be physically active and that was the perversity that Allen was making the point, that even though it’s so good for us. 

Obviously, you can take the evolutionary perspective and for the vast majority of human civilization, we had to be physically active to survive. We had to either sprint and hunt down an animal and kill it and eat it, or you had to spend a long time gathering food. Especially over the last hundred years or so, we’ve done a great job of engineering physical activity out of our lives through the ways we designed cities and — so now we basically have to make time to be doing this activity that’s so good for us, and ironically we seemingly don’t have time to do it. Clearly an excuse for a lot of people, you just look at time spent on social media, but a lot of lead very busy, time pressed lives so we’re looking for more efficient options to be able to fit all of that other stuff into our day, and I think this is where intervals can play a really big role.

Adam: Exactly, it’s fascinating. So keeping this exercise avoidance issue mind, what has your friend and exercise psychologist, Mary — how does she pronounce her last name — Jung, I’m assuming there’s no relationship to the psychiatrist Carl Jung. What did she discover and what was her advice, because you talk about that she has these five tips for starting an exercise program.

Dr. Gibala: Sure, and I’m not a psychologist — what I tried to do in the book was consult with some other experts, and there’s a real rift right now, as we make the point in the book, around the potential application of high-intensity interval training for public health, there’s sort of two schools of thought. The traditional school of thought would be that people aren’t going to do this because if exercise is intense, they find it uncomfortable, they’re unlikely to do it and stick with it, but there’s a whole new school of thought and Mary epitomizes this. We’re saying wait a minute, continuous vigorous exercise is very different from vigorous exercise where we give people breaks, and especially if they don’t have to do very much of it. So Mary is very interested in issues of motivation, mood, adherence; what keeps people to stick with healthy behaviors, and her research is showing that a large number of people actually rate the enjoyment of interval exercise higher, and they would prefer this type of training and they’re more than willing to make this type of tradeoff between volume and intensity. So if they have to do less total work, they’re more willing to work hard for short periods of time. We get this habit, Mary makes the point that if people can’t do 30-45 minutes of continuous exercise, they consider themselves a failure, they might beat themselves up a little bit. She’s like wait a minute, even if you can do a few minutes of exercise, take a break, do it again, let’s celebrate that. So rather than beat yourself up, view it as I’m an interval training, I’m doing this type of training that elite athletes have used for a long time. It’s sort of turning a negative into a great message.

Mike: For us, failure is the only option.

Adam: When you were talking about this in your book and talking about her work, I was screaming amen, because for twenty years that I’ve been in the high-intensity business myself, I’m seeing the same thing. So many people would much rather do this, in a much briefer time and get it over with than drag it out all week long. I remember when I told my mom twenty years ago that I was going to do this for a living, and she knew that I was a little nutty when it came to high-intensity work and she said Adam, people are not going to workout that hard, you’re nuts. I would never workout the way you workout. Granted I was doing crazy like Crossfit stuff, high force, dangerous stuff. I’ve created a more gentler, kinder way of doing that but nonetheless, it was really intense but much shorter. I said mom, I don’t know, I think if someone thinks they’re going to be — number one safe, and getting it over with even though it’s more intense, I think they’re going to do it. I said wish me look, because I’m going for it, and by the way I’m moving back into the house because I have no money. Anyway I moved out a year later. I didn’t know about Mary Jung’s work, and I was reading in your chapter I was like see mom, I told you there’s proof now.

Dr. Gibala: In some ways science plays catch up a little bit. You alluded to the fact that you’ve been doing it for twenty years, so people are seeing this in real life and again the book was really just an effort to say there’s some gaps in the science, but here’s science to hopefully validate what a number of individuals are already doing, but they can point to this and say see it is backed up by science. So it was really an effort to translate that science into a message, that hopefully people can find in an accessible read, and hopefully in a compelling manner as well.

Adam: So without getting into every single work that you describe because you get into a whole different number of variations, maybe you can just give us two typical ones that you would recommend for someone who really has never done intervals before, and how would you get them started?

Dr. Gibala: As crazy as it sounds, we have a workout that’s called the beginner which is just. So if we have people who are completely new to interval training, we’ll just say just get out of your comfort zone. Don’t try to go from zero to a hundred overnight, but just push the pace a little bit and back off. It’s based on research that shows that even interval walking is better for people at improving their blood sugar, improving their fitness, improving their body composition, as compared to steady state walking. So that’s about as simple as it gets, interval based walking, but it can really effective. One of my favorites is the 10x1 which is workouts based on Katarina Myers’ work, so it’s twenty minutes start to finish. Not super time efficient but it’s not a 45 minute jog either, and I like that workout — so this workout involves ten one minute efforts at about 85 or 90% of your maximum heart rate, so you’re pushing it pretty good but you’re not going all out, and that workout has been applied to cardiovascular patients, diabetics, highly trained athletes as well, so it’s a type of workout that can be scaled seemingly to almost any starting level of fitness. It’s also then I think the type of workout that can be scaled to other approaches as well, so if you want to bring in resistance type exercise, it’s a little more suited to that type of protocol as well, and then, of course I love the one minute workout as well because it’s so effective and so efficient. We’ve had people do the one-minute workout on stairs now, just three twenty second bursts of stair climbing. Again, you can do it anywhere, in your apartment, in your office complex, showing that you get a big boost in fitness with that type of workout as well. So those lower volume workouts I think, they’re in your wheelhouse I’m sure and really resonate with some of the stuff that you’ve been applying for a long time now.

Adam: Yes, and I’m so glad that your research has been making me realize that my life decision twenty years ago, my instincts weren’t so off, so thank you so much.

Dr. Gibal: To go back to this idea that the public health guidelines, only 20% are listening. For those folks who say people won’t do this, I would point at the ACSM, worldwide fitness trends for the last couple of years. Interval training and body weight style training, on the top, two or three many years running now, so I think there is a lot of interest in this type of training, if only to provide people with more options number one, and on those days when they are time pressed and might otherwise blow off their workout, no. Even if you’ve got fifteen minutes, you can get in a quality training session.

Mike: Everybody sees the trends, the New York Times with the seven-minute workouts, the bootcamps, you can see all the chatter. Fitting Room is one of the things that they have in New York City, I don’t know if it’s beyond New York City but what we’re trying to present is a safe option for creating that exact same stimulus in the same time.

Adam: Especially when the safety is around weight training. So all the weight training injuries, so it becomes even more important when you have weights attached to your body to make that intensity safer. 

Dr. Gibala: Absolutely and you’re spot on there. I think maybe it’s a little bit easier for some people to apply these cardio style workouts on their own, but getting qualified instruction from people who know what they’re doing is really important, especially when it comes to the resistance based stuff.

Adam: So now, you end your book with a nutrition chapter and I don’t know, weight loss. I’ve never really put too much credence in exercise for weight loss, it’s generally a diet thing, but there’s definitely a synergy if you will, an approach. If weight loss is part of your goal, and I always joke around, only half joking around because there is truth to this, that a lot of people that do these high intensity workouts and workout in general, they always that I’m concerned about my cardiorespiratory health, but if I told them that it doesn’t help your cardiorespiratory health — or actually if I told them that it doesn’t help them lose weight, they just wouldn’t do it. They say they care about their heart, but really if they found out that they’re not going to lose any weight doing this, they walk out the door. So let’s face it, we all care about losing weight and what is the contribution of high-intensity interval training to weight loss and is there a one-two punch with high-intensity interval training and diet. And sorry if the sirens in New York City are overpowering me.

Dr. Gibala: It’s fine, and I agree with you, whether it’s 90/10, whether it’s 80/20, clearly the energy inside of the equation is much more important. Controlling body size, body composition through diet is the primary driver there. Exercise can play a role with weight loss maintenance I think over time. High-intensity interval training just like it’s a time efficient way to boost fitness, it’s a time efficient way to burn calories, but the primary driver is still going to be nutrition, and so we’ve shown in our lab that a twenty minute session of intervals can result in the same calorie burn as a 55 minute of continuous exercise, so again, if you’re looking for time-efficient ways to burn calories, intervals can be a good strategy there. Personal trainers talk about the after burn effect, this idea of a heightened rate of metabolism in recovery. It’s often overstated but it’s real, we’ve measured it and demonstrated it in the lab, but again, they’re small. As you all know, the key controlling variable there is the nutrition side and you use the exercise side to help maintain that over time, and it’s mainly important about cardiorespiratory fitness but you’re right, the people are still interested with how they look in the mirror, absolutely, all of us are.

Adam: I’m sorry, it’s not going to be in your exercise camp. Exercise does a lot for us, but we put too many attributes on exercise’s shoulders if you will. Let’s leave that one off please. It does enough, you don’t have to also ask it to lose thirty pounds.

Dr. Gibala: People think you exercise to lose weight and that’s what confers all the fitness benefits. We like to just remind them, there’s that straight line between exercise and fitness, regardless of the number on the scale, and if you want to attack that number on the scale, you’ve got to make changes on the diet side. 

Adam: I appreciate all your time, and I’ve been monopolizing the whole conversation. I’m just curious if Tim or Sheila or Mike had any other questions or comments they’d like to make before we wrap this up?

Tim: Sure. If you don’t mind Dr. Gibala, one of the questions that I had was for somebody middle aged to pick up this high-intensity interval training, HIIT, what are some of the risks involved for somebody that says look, I haven’t worked out in years, I want to get started. You mentioned earlier a beginner program but what are some of the risks you’d be looking out for?

Dr. Gibala: The first one is our standard advice is always that if you’re thinking about starting or changing your exercise routine, you want to check with your physician. We’re doing a study right now with interval training in people with type two diabetes, and most of these individuals are fifty, sixty years old, many of them are overweight. So the first thing is they go through a full, exercise stress test cardiac screening. Now that’s obviously in a research setting, but I think checking with your doctor is always good advice on the individual level, because that’s going to potentially catch something, or maybe there’s an underling reason that you might not be cleared to engage in vigorous exercise so let’s get that out of the way. That being said, interval training has been applied broadly, in many different ways, to all of these people that we were talking about. Cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, metabolic syndrome, elderly individuals, and so I think there’s a type of program interval training that’s suitable for just about anyone. I go back to my earlier comments, you want to start out easier, so don’t go from being on the couch to the one-minute workout of sprinting up stairs as hard as you can. Progress to that beginner workout or maybe the 10x1 or some of these other workouts that we star in the book. Again, it sounds like common sense and it is. Start out slow, build, progress from there. So the risks, exercise carries a transient risk. Let’s be realistic about that and so when you’re engaged in exercise, your risk of having a cardiac event is slightly higher, but the other 23 and a half hours of the day when you’re not exercising, your risk is markedly lower. So if the choice is even a single weekly bout of high-intensity exercise or nothing, you’re much better off doing the exercise. Here in Canada, you read the high-profile reports of the ice hockey player skates on a Friday night in a beer league with his buddies, and occasionally there’s these one off tragic events were someone has a heart attack and dies on the ice. Very tragic for this individual and people get scared of exercise and it’s like no on the big picture level, if you look at the epidemiological studies they will tell you that single weekly bout of exercise is protective in terms of reducing your risk of dying, but again, at the individual level, you want to make sure that you’re probably screened and cleared to begin with.

Adam: That was a point you made in your book and I thought it was great.

Dr. Gibala: We talk to some of these people who write the exercise guidelines, who deal every day — we talked to Paul Thompson, who is an expert exercise cardiologist and that’s the point that he made. He said that if your choices are remaining sedentary or doing HIIT, do HIIT. If you’re an older individual with some risk factors who is not time pressed, then maybe consider the moderate approach, but that message doesn’t resonate with a lot of individuals so I think as an individual, get checked by your physician, but people don’t need to be afraid of interval training. It comes in lots of different flavors, and there’s a flavor in my mind that’s suitable for just about anyone.

Mike: Right. Are there any known cardiac conditions where you have to be concerned about it that we know about? Valve or something?

Dr. Gibala: I’m not a cardiologist but certainly some schemas, some unstable anginas, things like this where those are really high-risk individuals that need to be carefully monitored, but I point to the fact that there’s a lot of cardiac rehabilitation programs now that are incorporating interval exercise and resistance exercise on a regular basis.

Mike: You spoke before about how you get a new boost. Like if you’re doing intervals for the first time you get a boost, and after a while, it goes up and then there’s some diminishing returns after a while. With your studies, with your experiments there, if you vary the stimulus, like say you do the beginner for a while, and then you find that you plateau. Have you shown that you just do a different interval workout and a new boost will happen?

Dr. Gibala: I think a varied approach is always going to be best. I think there were take some clues from the athletes again. Periodized training over the course of a season really is just about changing up workouts, hitting the body in different ways, and it’s just a common sense strategy that even average, recreational based people can incorporate. So yes, stick with a program for a bit of time, and then vary it up, or if you want, change the interval workouts every week, but the body thrives on variety. After a while, anyone is going to get a stale doing the same thing, so that’s why I think that varied approach to fitness is always going to be best.

Sheila: Adam actually asked the question that I was going to ask. It’s the question that most girls usually want to know about is burning fat. What I have a question about is are there any apps that you know of or do you have an app? Like I love apps, like you go outside and you have your phone and your headphones, like is there an app to do these different types of interval training?

Dr. Gibala: There are, a ton of them. Personally, I don’t use a specific one, but even recently I’ve gotten this question on Twitter so I’ve answered it a number of times and just pointed to a few sites that have the top ten best interval training apps. I think you can find a lot of them out there and it makes it easy. You sort of short your brain off and you just go when it says to go, and you back off when it says to stop. There’s lots of options out there.

Sheila: Exactly, great. So I’ll check that out and maybe we’ll list them in the show notes here.

Tim: How about rest and recovery, Dr. Gibala? Here at InForm Fitness, we go and workout once a week, we workout hard for 20-30 minutes, and then we take that week off to recover and prepare for that next workout. With this interval training, do you have any recommended rest and recovery periods

Dr. Gibala: I think it comes back to the intensity interval, so the more intense the nature of the training, the longer the recovery needs to be. It depends a little bit on if you’re talking about training for performance, training for health, so there’s all those variables but I think as a general rule of thumb, the more intense the interval, the longer the period of recovery that you’re going to need, and the more intense the interval training session, the longer the recovery days in between you might need. Again, it’s really individual then in terms of what you’re specifically looking for, especially if it’s just general health or if it’s performance.

Tim: So if somebody is near an InForm Fitness or decides to do this somewhere else perhaps, they can just listen to their body if they don’t have a trainer.

Dr. Gibala: Again, lots of common sense stuff but it’s common sense for a reason. It makes a lot of sense.

Adam: That’s a great way we can wrap it up I think, that says it all right there. This whole workout just makes sense, this whole idea that it’s the intensity over duration. 

Dr. Gibala: The other moniker we’ve come up with is life is an interval training workout. We don’t just sort of plod through life like this, you run to catch the subway or whatever, so I think this alternating pattern, alternating energy demands, interval training rewards that. 

Adam: Well thank you so much, I really enjoyed this talk. I appreciate your work so much. Don’t retire anytime soon please, keep going, there’s still a lot to find out, and I hope we can stay in touch.

Dr. Gibala: Pleasure to speak with all of you, I really appreciate the opportunity to be on the show and the great, insightful questions. Thanks for this opportunity. 


Apr 24, 2017

Adam Zickerman discusses his 90-day journey of religiously dedicating himself to following a ketogenic diet here in Episode 25 of the InForm Fitness Podcast.  Adam reveals the challenges of sticking to the ketogenic diet along with some misconceptions and the dramatic results.

Here is a link to the website Adam mentions in this episode:


Don’t forget Adam's Zickerman’s book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution.  You can buy it in Amazon by  clicking here:

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you to give this workout a try, please visit  At the time of this recording we have locations in Manhattan, Port Washington, Denville, Burbank, Boulder, Leesburg and Reston.

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

Join Inform Nation and call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

For information regarding the production of your own podcast just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at

The transcript to the entire episode is below:


Adam: You know when you’re wearing clothes, my lean muscular build, it’s hard to know that I was getting a little bit of a spare tire underneath them, but I was getting a little bit of a spare tire, but besides that, there were two things. One, my chronic back problems which you covered last episode, and I wanted to do whatever I could to ameliorate these back issues. Consistent and safe back exercises are one of them, and the other thought I had was maybe my diet is affecting my back, because I was reading a lot about the typical American diet and it’s inflammatory. I’m thinking I might have an inflammation issue going, my back keeps going into spasm, it’s probably chronically inflamed. If I can not only exercise my back properly but maybe reduce my chronic inflammation, that might be my answer. 

Tim: InForm Nation, welcome to episode 25 of the InForm Fitness podcast. Twenty minutes with New York Times bestselling author, Adam Zickerman and friends. I’m Tim Edwards with the InBound Podcasting Network and a client of InForm Fitness. Joined as always by Sheila Melody, Mike Rogers, and of course Adam Zickerman. Okay team, at the time of this recording, spring has just sprung, summer is just a few months away, and I’m sure a good portion of InForm nation is already thinking about summer which means they’re thinking about slimming down a little or in some cases a lot, so dieting is on their minds. We’ve all heard of, and I’m sure participated, in at least a few nutrition plans, like the paleo diet, the Atkin’s diet, or the one that I really enjoyed a few years ago was the slow carb diet from Tim Ferris. Most recently I had tremendous success by just eating cleanly as you describe Adam in chapter three of your book, Power of Ten: The Slow Motion Fitness Revolution.

So Adam, you visited LA. just a few months ago when we recorded the Adam in LaLa Land episode and frankly, you looked extremely fit. So in the last episode, you mentioned that we’re going to talk about a diet that you’ve been on for the last X amount of days, and my question is why did you even consider going on a diet in the first place because you don’t look like you need to go on one.

Adam: I picked up a few lessons from my female friends and I know how to dress to hide it.

Tim: You wear Spanx, that’s what you’re telling me?

Mike: Spanx and New York black. Everyone in New York knows how to hide it.

Adam: Hide our emotions.

Tim: You don’t hide your emotions in New York, come on.

Adam: The people in L.A want to hide their emotions.

Tim: We’re the passive aggressive ones.

Sheila: Oh no, we want to talk about our emotions.

Tim: That’s down in the south where they’re passive aggressive, but anyway, we digress. You mentioned the diet, and here’s a guy, the guru, the InForm Fitness and you’re fit. So what prompted you to go on a diet?

Adam: I’m so glad you asked me that question, because you know the other question I get asked in a similar vein is why do you work out Adam, you look great. 

Sheila: You say because I never want to look like you.

Adam: That just reminded me of something Yogi Bear once said. Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore, it’s always too crowded. So listen, why did I go on this diet. Well first of all, diets are not always about weight loss, fat loss. Diets are about health, or they should be. Now I know that anyone who goes on a diet, their number one concern is I want to lose body fat, which is a noble goal because being overweight has health problems associated with it. Now I did want to lose a little weight first of all, because I always said that I hide it well half-jokingly, because the other half, I did need to lose a couple of pounds and it is true that when you’re wearing clothes, my lean muscular build, it’s hard to know that I was getting a little bit of a spare tire underneath them, but I was getting a little bit of a spare tire, but besides that, there were two things. One, my chronic back problems which you covered last episode, and I wanted to do whatever I could to ameliorate these back issues. Consistent and safe back exercises are one of them, and the other thought I had was maybe my diet is affecting my back, because I was reading a lot about the typical American diet and it’s inflammatory. I’m thinking I might have an inflammation issue going, my back keeps going into spasm, it’s probably chronically inflamed. If I can not only exercise my back properly but maybe reduce my chronic inflammation, that might be my answer. So for years, I’ve been reading about the ketogenic diet, and for years I was poo-pooing it.

Tim: Why?

Adam: Because I had a vast misunderstanding about what a ketogenic diet was. Basically using ketones for fuel. I’ll get into what a ketone is a little bit later, but my understanding of ketones was when your body is using ketones for fuel, or if you’re producing a lot of ketones, I always understood that to be very dangerous. In my mind without realizing it, I was really thinking about what they call ketoacidosis, which is much different than nutritional ketosis, using ketones for fuel from a nutritional point of view, as opposed to something very dangerous called ketoacidosis. That was where the confusion comes in. Whenever you talk to a doctor or a nutritionist and say I want to go into ketosis, they say it’s dangerous, and being in ketoacidosis is very dangerous but you cannot go into ketoacidosis just by eliminating carbohydrates or going to what they call nutritional ketosis. Ketoacidosis, let me explain what that it is. It usually afflicts people with Type I diabetes. Type I diabetics cannot produce insulin, and when you cannot produce insulin, when you eat carbohydrates, the sugar starts building up and building up, and what happens is the body can’t utilize that sugar, because the insulin is not there to use that sugar and bring it into the fat cells and the muscle cells, or bring it into any cell that needs that for energy. So the body, if it can’t get glucose for energy, it starts metabolizing fat for fuel. That’s where it’s going to get it’s energy from, and it starts going crazy producing these ketones. You see ketones come from fat, the metabolism of fat. An alternative sense of energy for the body are ketones, fat gets broken down into ketones, carbohydrates get broken down into glucose and when the body breaks down carbohydrates for glucose and those glucose molecules can’t be used, the body will say okay, let me go break down some body fat, get some ketones out of it, and utilize that for fuel. So it’s another source of currency if you will, and if you’re a Type I diabetic, your body goes crazy producing these ketones and you end up having so many ketones that you go into an acidic state, a dangerously acidic state where basically all functions of the body cannot produce and cannot function when you’re in such a high acidic state. In other words, we have to have a pH level that’s very, very stable, like about normal, about 7. Our pH is about 7, that’s the normal functioning pH of the human body. When you start having all these ketones that start going through the roof — ketones are acidic by the way, and ketones that are not being checked or regulated, start going through the roof and you are in a very dangerous state. So a Type I diabetic can very often go into ketoacidosis and they have to go the hospital, they have to get the injections, and usually it’s a diabetic that’s not taking care of themselves. You cannot go into that acidic state being in what I have been in the last ninety days which is called nutritional ketosis. Nutritional ketosis is a state in where you body instead of using glucose for fuel, not because there’s no insulin, but because you’re not eating anything that’s going to produce a lot of glucose, your body says well I need energy, so I’m going to start using fat for fuel. Every cell cannot use actual fat for energy, they have to break down the fat. Just like we have break down carbohydrates for glucose, we have to break down fat, and we’re breaking them down into fat and these ketone bodies are being used for fuel. Well there’s a lot of evidence right now that’s showing that these ketogenic diets which are to break it down into macronutrients about 70-75% fat, about 10% protein, maybe 15% protein, and then the rest which is about 5% carbohydrates.

Tim: Now immediately, red flags are flying all over when you say the diet is made up of 75%  fat. Now let’s drill down on that a little bit more. We’re not talking cheeseburgers.

Adam: Well we’re not talking cheeseburgers with the bread, but we are talking cheeseburgers. I will have red meat, I will have cheese. Red meat has to be grass fed, not this factory raised cow. So the quality of the foods that you’re eating is also very important, so I eat grass fed beef and beef, the fat in the beef is very good for you. What you have to be careful of, this is what I realized and this is a very common mistake that people make on ketogenic diets, that they think it’s a high fat, high protein diet, but it’s not really high protein. Having too much protein can actually produce an insulin response or produce sugar, because protein can be converted into glucose, it’s called gluconeogenesis, and it can be almost as bad as actually eating carbohydrates. A lot of people will eliminate their carbohydrates and they’ll end up having tons of red meat, which is a lot of protein.

Tim: That sounds like the Atkin’s diet to me.

Sheila: That’s what I was just going to say.

Adam: The Atkin’s diet, in essence, a ketogenic diet and the misinterpretation of the Atkin’s diet of a ketogenic diet is that the image is like a bunch of caveman sitting around gnawing on a dead animal or something like that and just eating fat and bacon and protein all day long. It’s not like that, it’s mostly vegetables that are saturated in fat like olive oil, or coconut oil or avocado oil. Salads that are doused in that kind of fat, so getting vegetables or other types of oils and avocados in general, grass fed meat, pasture raised chickens, eggs, and of course wild fish. That is my diet, and it’s not like I’m eating tons of meat. I’m eating six ounces of a steak, I’m eating tons of brussel sprouts that have been roasted in coconut oil.

Tim: All sounds good to me so far.

Sheila: Probably 85% of the time I eat exactly what you just described.

Adam: I committed to eating this way without exception for ninety days. I started at the beginning of this year.  Here we are. 

Tim: Where are you now at the time of this recording?

Adam: It’s a coincidence but I am literally, today, on my 90th day. It started January 3rd, which is a Tuesday. So I don’t know if it’s the 90th day, but I just finished my twelfth week starting January 3 and this is a Tuesday. So today is the last day of my twelfth week.

Mike: I don’t think 90 is divisible by seven.

Tim: Well he’s close.

Mike: I’ve got my advocates in the corner there.

Tim: So nonetheless, let’s review.

Adam: By the way, at the beginning I said why I did this. I thought it’d help my back, anti inflammatory. Ketogenic diets are well suspected to be anti-inflammatory. The second reason why I wanted to do this diet was because I had my annual checkup and I’m in my early 50s now, but 50s nonetheless, and my blood work is creeping the wrong way. They’re starting to get on the high side of normal.

Tim: Let me ask you, is that prior to going on the diet?

Adam: Prior to going on the diet, I had my annual checkup and the results came in and he said to me hey, nothing to be alarmed about at this point but you’re trending the wrong way. You’re C-reactive protein is creeping which is an inflammatory marker, and he said your cholesterol is creeping up, it’s not too high per se but it’s on the higher side of normal. My A1C which is an indicator of your blood sugar was creeping up again on a high side of normal. I was like wow. These are all things that indicate that I’m going towards what many Americans go towards which is metabolic syndrome. It reminded me the same situation that Dr. Peter Attia, his story when he started his quest on ketogenic diets, and he was in the same situation. He worked out all the time, he thought he ate well most of the time. We think eating well is eating whole grain breads, and fruits, and occasionally what’s so bad about having a beer here and there, and next thing you know, in a day you’re still ingesting 250 grams of carbohydrates without even thinking about it. So he started taking control of it as well, and when I saw that my blood numbers were going up and then I read what Dr. Attia went through as well, I was like holy cow that’s me. So that also prompted me, I wanted to see if going on a ketogenic diet would change these numbers. Well this is the 90th day so I’m about to get those numbers checked, so I’m going to report back on this but when I can talk about now is how I feel. 

Tim: Let’s start with your back.

Adam: And what has happened. First of all my back, in combination with what I’ve been doing with my lower back exercises and staying consistent with that, my back has never felt better. I can sit for hours in a car, or I can sit for hours at my desk, and get up sideways.

Tim: And you’re giving this ketogenic diet credit for assisting with that.

Adam: First of all, I’m a sample size of one, so this is scientific at all, but I am giving it credit. That in conjunction with taking care of my back with the exercises. So I don’t know where the cause and effect is because I’ve been doing a couple of things at once, but the big teller is going to be obviously the blood work that I get done soon. Besides that and besides the fact that my back feels better, I’ve lost fifteen pounds of weight that you didn’t think that I needed to lose. So I look a lot better naked now, so I don’t have to wear clothes anymore. I don’t have to wear a T-Shirt to the pool anymore.

Mike: You know when your body gets a little bit smaller, it gives the illusion that other things are bigger.

Adam: You have that as well. Big thing that I noticed was my digestion. My digestion changed dramatically. I don’t have upset stomach, my elimination if you know what I’m talking about has been undramatic, it’s been beautiful.

Sheila: It’s a beautiful thing.

Tim: Well your good friend Dr. Oz would be proud of that.

Mike: Maybe this will get edited out, maybe it won’t, but I’m just curious. What does beautiful mean? 

Tim: That actually is so it will not be edited out, so describe beautiful? You mean like one clean long — 

Adam: Exactly, tapered on both ends, perfect.

Tim: Dr. Oz was his thing right?

Adam: It’s embarrassing, especially since you’re talking about me.

Mike: You don’t sound like you’re embarrassed.

Adam: I am. You’ve got to remember that this is someone who is too shy to urinate in front of his wife. 

Mike: I’m going to remind you that you’re the one who is talking about himself right now. 

Tim: So nonetheless there’s a lot of fiber in this diet and it’s really helping Adam a lot, so good.

Sheila: That’s really, really very interesting and I want to ask a question about is there a difference in how women react to this diet as opposed to how men react to this diet? Coming off that interview we had a few weeks ago with Dr. Sylvia Tera and The Secret Life of Fat, and how different men and womens’ makeup is and how we process fat and everything. It sounds like something I’d like to try, and I feel like I’ve been kind of doing this for the most part.

Tim: I think she’s committing, I think she should jump on 90 days.

Adam: I’m not sitting here saying everyone should jump on the ketogenic diet bandwagon first of all. I need to make that disclaimer. First of all, women are different and we’re all different. I’m different from another man, and women certainly have their issues. When you talk about nutrient partitioning and that no matter what you eat, some of it is going to be partitioned to fat. 

Hormonal issues with women as they get older, all kinds of things. Genetics for men and women are different amongst ourselves and all these things play into it for sure, but having said that, sugar is bad. Sugar is bad, sugar is inflammatory. There is nothing good that comes out of sugar and excessive carbohydrates. I don’t believe being in ketosis is dangerous anymore, and this idea of eating a lot of fat, even if it’s saturated fat, especially if it’s saturated fat, is not bad for you. It’s been shown over and over again that dietary fat does not raise your cholesterol, so just check that box off. It’s not true, it is just not true that eating egg yolks and eating red meat raises your cholesterol, that is not what is raising your cholesterol. The last ten, fifteen years have been really showing that. My blood work will show this, if I go to my blood work and my cholesterol is through the roof I’m going to have to eat my words. It might even be another cause of it, but the thing is if all my triglycerides are good and inflammatory makers are lowered and my cholesterol happens to stay on a higher side, and everything else is really, really good, I’m not going to worry about high cholesterol. High cholesterol, high LDLs are not a very good marker on heart disease.

Mike: On its own.

Adam: On its own. Now there’s this other test that Dr. Attia actually told me to get which is an NMR, nuclear magnetic resonance test, to test for your LDLP. See when you go to the doctor and you get your cholesterol and blood work done, you’re getting blood work for your LDLC. LDLC is how much cholesterol, low density cholesterol is in your blood, whereas the LDLP is showing you how many LDL proteins are in your blood. I’m getting technical right now, but it’s a different marker and a much better marker and indicator of potential heart disease, this LDLP. So I’m going to get that done, and see if my LDLP is nice and low, and if that is, regardless of what my LDLC is or total cholesterol is, I’m not going to be worrying about it. Again, my A1C, my C reactive protein, these markers, if they stat going down after ninety days of eating, I’m not kidding you, 70% of my diet being fat, I’ll be pretty convinced. At least for myself. Let me tell you about my experience psychologically.

Tim: I’m curious how you managed this, because it seemed like a lot of drastic changes.

Adam: This is why I’m not necessarily telling people to just go on this ketogenic diet. First of all, I’m not a nutritionist, I just play one on TV. So I’m a nutritionist, secondly, I’m not going to lie, it's not easy to adjust to this type of diet. If you’re used to eating grains and carbohydrates — I’m essentially a vegetarian that is saturating their vegetables with saturated fat and all kinds of fats, and having small portions of animal protein, whether it be a chicken or a fish or a cow, all well raised, but they’re small quantities. I’m not eating a lot. I’m also intermittent fasting. I’ll go at least two or three times a week, I’ll go anywhere from eighteen to twenty four hours without eating. I’ll be drinking lots of liquids, I’ll be drinking homemade beef broth or chicken broth, and that’s it. So that’s all I eat, one meal all day.

Tim: So tell us your schedule Adam. So with this intermittent fasting, what time are you stopping eating at the end of the day?

Adam: I’ll eat dinner.

Tim: At what time?

Adam: Anywhere between five and seven most days. So let’s say I finish eating seven. I won’t eat again until at least two or three o’clock the next day. On some cases I won’t eat again until dinner the next day.

Mike: When you work as much as we do, I’ve got to be honest with you, time flies and you sometimes forget about food. I’m not as strict as Adam is, but I’m probably doing about 85% or 90% of what he is doing in regards to the ketogenic model, and the fasting model without even trying to.

Adam: We work a lot and that speaks to one of the techniques that people recommend to help you through these intermittent fasts and that’s distraction techniques. So when your mind keeps saying eat, eat, eat, distract yourself, pick up your guitar, write a letter, do something else. Distract yourself. A lot of this hunger by the way, is psychological, we’re just not used to it mentally, but besides that, at the beginning, your body is physically wanting that food but once you start utilizing your fat for fuel and you become what they call keto-adapted where your body is primed to really use fat for fuel, and that takes a couple of weeks. Three weeks, four weeks sometimes. The first there or four weeks was the toughest because I was not adapted yet, so I was very hungry. Now, well it’s 4:30 and I haven’t eaten yet today. Last time I ate was dinner time around five yesterday.

Mike: That’s a lie, he had two celery sticks from me.

Adam: That’s true, it’s two celery sticks so I broke my fast. Honestly I grabbed them because they were there, it was not because I was dying to eat something, and if I was dying to eat something, I certainly wouldn’t have picked that.

Sheila: When you say you’re fasting, so you mentioned the broth though. So you have that when you’re fasting, or you just have nothing, you have water.

Adam: I have water mostly, but yeah, we serve bone broth here, we’re making our own bone broth now. We can talk about that at a later date, but yeah, that doesn’t count as cheating. It’s 99.9% water, it just has the minerals and the amino acids in it. So I don’t consider that really cheating, but come on. Even if I was to have a small meal, the gist of it is going long periods of time without eating, and that from my understanding is the real anti-inflammatory aspect. I mean sugar causes inflammation, and eating a lot also causes inflammation because you’re breaking down all this stuff and getting all these free radicals and all this oxidative work going on, and that’s what causes a lot of the inflammation. Now I’m reading and I’m learning that intermittent fasting forces the body to regenerate its cells at a lot faster of a rate. There’s something to that.

Sheila: I also read that an easier way to do the intermittent — well, for a sixteen hour fast that you can basically do is just stop eating at seven, and then don’t eat again until eleven AM. That’s sixteen hours.

Adam: Basically skipping breakfast.

Tim: A lot of people do that anyway.

Adam: But this is the problem with intermittent fasting. When I go 24 hours, I’m hungry by then. A lot of people say they can go days without eating and these are people that are really and truly keto-adapted, maybe they’ve been doing it for a year or more. I don’t know, but so far, I haven’t been able to go more than seventeen hours without all of a sudden having all those hunger pains, and at that point I just deal with it for another few hours. At that point, when I do eat, this is the hard part. You have to eat a regular, small meal. 

Tim: No binging.

Adam: It’s so easy when you’re famished like that and you’ve gone all day without eating, it’s like you want to eat lunch, breakfast, dinner, and snacks all at one time in one sitting. You have to stop yourself from doing that.

Mike: That’s probably one of the differences to what was going on even before you did this 90-day thing. Our lifestyle really lent itself to — none of us eat that many carbohydrates ever. Adam hasn’t for a while, but when you were, you probably — I’m just guessing because you’re like me, I do these all day fasts also. If I don’t have some snacks or prepare my food throughout the day as I did this week, I will come home and I will eat like seven pieces of chicken and I’m not proud of it afterwards. Unless you can control that voracious urge, you’re not going to get what Adam is talking about here.

Tim: So Adam, as we come to end of this episode, I really would love you to encourage you to get those tests done quickly, and if you don’t mind, share some of them with our audience so that we can gauge your success. The question that I have for you right now as we put the wraps on this is okay, we’re close to or at day 90. Are you going to continue and forge ahead with the exact same plan that you’ve had for the last three months or so, are you going to augment it a little bit, what are your plans?

Adam: I’m going to continue, I’m going to stay on this. I might eat a little bit more often at this point, because I don’t really need to lose anymore body fat. I’ve got the six pack going for the summer, that’s all good.

Tim: Look at you, he’s in his 50s and he has a six pack, that’s impressive.

Sheila: Do you drink coffee, can I ask that?

Adam: I drink coffee. Let me speak to something Mike just said. He was saying that we’re generally very good about not eating carbs, and that’s partially true, with me anyway. What I mean by that is I have two young kids and I grab the M&Ms. My wife buys five-pound bags of them so she can make pancakes for the kids. Don’t get me started, my wife will not let me put my kids on a ketogenic diet.

Mike: My wife is a nutritionist and she would never let it happen either.

Adam: Because they’re afraid of ketoacidosis, but anyway what I wanted to say was this. My diet before I started this, yes, I’d go three or four days really good, and then I’ll eat a whole pizza. I would never really string along many consistent weeks or days. I’d eat well one day, not very much the other day, summers come, barbecue, hotdogs, hamburgers, I just went for it. I can get away with it. You said at the beginning of this piece, Adam you don’t look like you need to lose weight, why’d you start this diet? I was creeping up, and even though it appears that I eat very well, and I obviously eat well most of the time. I certainly eat good foods but I also supplement them with not such good stuff. This last 90 days, I made a commitment not to deviate from that, to be really consistent with it. Yes it’s higher fat than I would normally do when I did eat well. Less protein than I would normally — that’s what I learned about a ketogenic diet, that most people make the primary mistake of eating too much protein on a ketogenic diet, and so this has been the first time in my life that I’ve been this disciplined in my eating. I’m older now, I can’t get away with what I used to get away with. The other thing that I want to say before we wrap this up is about cravings. I always hear about how you go on these low carb diets and when your body starts getting used to and primed for utilizing fat for fuel, they say you eliminate all your cravings. Bullshit. To me anyway. Maybe the physical cravings aren’t there and I told you I could go all day and not really be hungry, but the truth of the matter is, I’m craving the foods that I’ve been giving up nonstop. To this day, 90 days into it give or take, I still crave the pizza. I still see my kids eating the pizza, I still see the buns on the hamburgers and I want it, I want it bad. I say no, the cravings are there. Maybe the physical cravings aren’t there as much.

Tim: What do you mean by physical cravings, define that.

Adam: My stomach growling and saying man you’re hungry, you’ve got to eat. Or feeling a little lightheaded, or physically feeling the effects of hunger. Now that I’m keto-adapted I don’t have those physical — when I’m 24 hours in I start to feel them, but eighteen hours fasts, it’s a no-brainer for me, it’s as easy as it could be. Even though those physical things aren’t there, I pass a pizza place, I pass chicken wings at the Superbowl, hot dogs at the baseball game. Beer, alcohol, I want it all, those cravings have not subsidized. I don’t look at them and say ew. I want it badly, but I don’t do it.

Sheila: It’s easier to not do it.

Adam: So going forward, I’m going to continue my strict ketogenic diet for at least another 30 days. I might eat a little bit more food, but not the foods I’m not supposed to be having on a 

ketogenic diet. The foods I can have, add a little bit to my portions, but that’s the extent of it for the next thirty days. By that point, I’ll have my blood work done and we’ll talk about this some more.

Mike: I just think before we wrap up, I think blood tests aside, that’s data that we all need. It’s great to get all that stuff, but the bottom line is you’ve taken an educated approach to selfexperimentation and troubleshooting your body to figure out how to improve it, and your back has felt better. Do we know it’s because of the ketogenic diet, maybe it did, maybe it didn’t, but regardless you’re in a trend where you feel so much better. Your body feels better, your back feels better. You like the way you look, you feel, it’s like I almost want to say — if the tests are completely negative or there’s no improvement or any markers have been changed, who cares. Looking at someone who looks healthy also. They say that they feel great but they don’t look healthy, but this is not the case.

Adam: Like vegans. First of all, I want to say that this is not a ringing endorsement or a push for people to go ketogenic. I’m not going to be that bull at this point to say something like that. It’s definitely a viable option, and before you go into something like this, check with your doctor and do a lot of research, because compared to the recommendations by the ADA, the American Diet Association, this is not what’s recommended. I want to make this disclaimer. Look into it for sure, do your research. If it sounds like you, if I sounded like you, definitely look into it. Like Mike just said, I’m very well researched. I have a background in biochemistry, I know how to read these things. I’m a little bit different than your average bear when it comes to this type of thing. If you’re not in that world, you should get advice when you do something like this.

Sheila: Can you give us a starting point?

Adam: Yeah, I do, I recommend the doctor that I mentioned earlier. Dr. Peter Attia, and his website is called the eating academy. Read everything this guy writes, and he also refers you to other things he reads so that is a great start. The eating academy by Dr. Peter Attia. So if you're interested in possibly doing this for yourself, well pay attention to our podcast, we’re going to be reporting back on this in a little while when I get my blood work back and we’ll take it from there. Good luck.

Tim: Okay. So don’t forget to check out the show notes for a link to the website that Adam referenced, spotlighting the research done by Dr. Peter Attia. That’s

Looking forward to the results of Adam’s blood work to gauge the success of his three-month ketogenic dietary journey, and we should have that for you coming up in the next few weeks. Also on the way, we have a couple of interviews that we’re really excited about here at the 

InForm Fitness Podcast. In two weeks, we’ll be speaking with happiness expert, Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen has authored several books and has sold more than two million copies in thirty different languages. She has been a client of InForm Fitness for many years, and she has a popular podcast of her own, titled Happier with Gretchen Rubin. So give it a listen and even subscribe to her podcast so you can become more familiar with Gretchen before she joins us here on the show, and in the process, pick up some valuable tips on being, well, happier. Next week, we’ll be talking to Dr. Martin Gaballa, the author of the One Minute Workout. Adam and Dr. Gaballa will contrast and compare high-intensity strength training like we do here at InForm Fitness, and high-intensity interval training, as described in Dr. Gaballa’s book, The One Minute Workout. If you’d like to find an InForm Fitness location nearest you so you can give this high-intensity strength training workout a try for yourself, please visit and at the time of this recording, we have locations in Manhattan, Port Washington, Danville, Burbank, Boulder, Leesburg, and in Restin. If you aren’t near an InForm Fitness location, you can always pick up Adam’s book via Amazon: Power of Ten, The Once a Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. Included in the book are several exercises that support this protocol that you can

If you aren’t near an InForm Fitness location, you can always pick up Adam’s book via Amazon: Power of Ten, The Once a Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. Included in the book are several exercises that support this protocol that you can actually perform on your own at a gym nearest you. We’ll have a link to Adam’s book in the show notes as well. Thanks again for listening, and for Sheila Melody, Mike Rogers, and Adam Zickerman of InForm Fitness, I’m Tim Edwards with the InBound Podcasting Network.

Thanks again for listening, and for Sheila Melody, Mike Rogers, and Adam Zickerman of InForm Fitness, I’m Tim Edwards with the InBound Podcasting Network.

Apr 17, 2017

You might recall in our last episode, Adam shared the very intimate details of his lifelong struggle with lower back pain and how he’s conquering it by combing slow motion, high-intensity strength training with a positive attitude.

Here in episode 24, we get into some of the psychological aspects of a negative diagnosis, such as a lower back problem, and how that diagnosis alone can prolong an illness or injury.

Conversely, we’ll share some interesting data that supports the notion that a simple attitude adjustment can change the course of your rehabilitation towards a faster recovery.

Dr. Louis Fierro who is a chiropractor and works with the InForm Fitness Active Rehabilitation program joins Adam Zickerman to offer up his suggestions and solutions for those experiencing back pain.

Below is a link to the book Adam mentioned in this episode: Foundation: Redefine You Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence:

Below is a link to the article Adam mentioned in this episode:

A Rational Approach to the Treatment of Low Back Pain by Brian W. Nelson, MD

Don’t forget Adam's Zickerman’s book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution.  You can purchase Adam's book in Amazon by  clicking here:

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you to give this workout a try, please visit  At the time of this recording we have locations in Manhattan, Port Washington, Denville, Burbank, Boulder, Leesburg and Resten.

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

For information regarding the production of your own podcast just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at

Transcription to this episode is below:

Motion is Great Joint Lotion

Louis: People get diagnosed, and then they go into this sick syndrome if you will as Adam described and their anxiety levels go through the roof. They’re told to take [Inaudible] and medication and immobilize, rest, don’t actively engage and really here at InForm Fitness, it’s the opposite. The patients are clients with the clients and taught to enthusiastically actively engage in not only an exercise program of high-intensity, but a healthy lifestyle.

Tim: InForm Nation, good to have you back with us here on the InForm Nation podcast. 20 minutes with New York Times bestselling author, Adam Zickerman, and friends. I’m Tim Edwards with the InBound Podcasting Network and a client of InForm Fitness. You just heard the voice of Dr. Louis Fierro, he’s a chiropractor who works with Adam in the InForm Fitness Active Rehabilitation program. Now in this episode, Dr. Lou as he’s affectionally called, will offer up his suggestions and solutions for those experiencing back pain, much like Adam has. You might recall on the last episode, Adam shared the very intimate details of his lifelong struggle with lower back pain, and how he’s conquering it by combing slow motion, high-intensity strength training with his attitude. Here on episode 24, we get into some of the psychological aspects of a negative diagnoses such as a back problem, and how that alone can prolong an illness or injury. Conversely, we’ll share some interesting data that supports the notion that a simple attitude adjustment can change the course of your rehabilitation towards a faster recovery. Joined as always by Sheila Melody, the co-owner and general manager of the Burbank location, and Mike Rogers, the general manager of the Manhattan location. Here is the founder of InForm Fitness, Adam Zickerman.

Adam: I read this article a couple of years ago which really resonated with me, written by some doctors that treat lower back problems, non-surgically, the way we’re actually doing it here and the way we recommend people do it, but it’s not just a physical program of exercise that he was talking about. There was another aspect about people getting better, and that was the mental side of it which I found really interesting. For years and years and years, people kept telling me you’ve got to do something about your back. Every so often you’re getting these spasms, you’ve got to get some MRIs and some interventions, like surgical type of interventions. At the very least, get injections into the facets of your spine, all these techniques that I was very resistant to because in my mind, my back problem was a temporary thing that I had to solve. I didn’t really believe that I had a back problem, I thought that there were some muscular things that weren’t being dealt with and putting me into spasm, it wasn’t a structural thing with my back, I was convinced of that, and therefore I never accepted the fact that I was somebody with back problems. Obviously when I had a spasm I had to accept the fact that I had a back problem, but the chronic pain that came and went from a one to a four, back to a one, I was just saying I need to do something in a nonsurgical way, I just haven’t figured it out yet, and then the article talked about that. He was saying that a lot of patients, they fall into this sick role when they’re told they have a back problem and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and now they have a back problem, and they just accept the fact that they have this back problem, and there’s a huge psychological component to this. I realized that one of the reasons why I wasn’t debilitated long term is because I never accepted the fact that I had this back problem and it’s because of that nonacceptance if you will that I am where I am right now, but my attitude towards this whole thing is what I’m saying is what got me through this and there are a lot of people that kind of feel when they have a back problem, that’s it and you rely on these surgical methodologies because there’s no other way to fix it. Even though they have MRIs that are less remarkable than mine, so Dr. Lou Fierro, chiropractor that works out of our studio here in Manhattan and is involved in our active rehabilitation program and uses some of our equipment to help patients, is here with us today and I want him to talk about this idea that people play this sick role when all of a sudden they’re told by a doctor that they have a back problem. Do you find that to be true?

Lou: Absolutely, and you shared this article with me several months ago, and I thought the title said a lot [Inaudible: 00:05:10]. 

Adam: Brian Nelson, exactly.

Lou: A rational approach to the treatment of lower back pain, and after I read it, I said this is really a proactive approach and that’s the model we’ve always taken. Whether we had an elite level athlete, a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, the de-conditioned mother that’s caring for kids that have so much anxiety when they’re given an MRI and shown the results of a herniation, and the reality is if we took 100% of the population and gave them an MRI, specifically in the lumbar region, about 82% studies show, there would some shape or form of a degenerative change or a herniation between the ages of 22 and 65. Only about 30% of that population has a subjective complaint to follow and mirror that objective finding, so people get diagnosed and then they get into this sick syndrome, if you will as Adam described, and their anxiety levels go through the roof. They’re told take [Inaudible: 00:06:02], take medication, immobilize, rest, don’t actively engage, and really here at InForm Fitness, it’s the opposite. The patients are educated, the clients are taught to enthusiastically actively engage, not only in an exercise program of high-intensity, but a healthy lifestyle. Once they’re shown that I can BLT, bend, lift, and twist, and not exacerbate my condition, now I can walk up a flight of stairs. I can care for my children, I can be a good spouse. They just really decrease in their pain threshold, and inflammation in their body, because there have been studies to show that inflammation is not only caused by poor diet, overactive activities, but by stress levels. Cortisol —

Adam: Lack of sleep.

Lou: Side effects of medication, so I don’t know the exact date that I first met Adam, but once I really saw the program that they were doing here, I kind of had to look twice at it and I realized wow, he’s onto something. He’s onto something more than most medical doctors have doing for the last twenty-five years. 

Tim: He’s the guru, I keep telling you.

Lou: I think as recently as last week in [Inaudible: 00:07:56], I said Adam you’ve got to come in here, I’ve got a patient that actually had a three level laminectomy and she’s got rotational scoliosis in her back, and she has had nagging, nagging pain. I cannot remember [Inaudible: 00:08:13] may be the medication she’s on, but without that medication, it’s hard for her to function. I said you know what, we’re going to throw her on the MedEx machine here, lumbar extension machine. This is after I did a little bit of what I call white knuckling, trigger point release into one of her spinal muscles that was contracted. Put her on that machine, she stood up, and she said I’m pain-free. Holy crap, I’m pain-free.

Adam: It’s like one of those evangelists that touch you.

Lou: I said to her listen, marching orders are go leave now, live your life, don’t do anything out of the ordinary, and she says I’m going to see my trainer tonight that’s going to come to my house. I said you never told me you had a home trainer, what do you do with the trainer? She started demonstrating rotational chops, high force activities, high load activities, high back torque, loading the spine in ways that really aren’t necessary. So she said do you mind talking to my trainer, I said not a problem. So I spoke to her and I have a patient the person and trainer may listen to this podcast, which is all cool but anyway. I spoke to the trainer, and I said let’s just remove certain of those BLTs for right now, no bent over single arm rows and just keep it very linear, very static if you will. She was feeling good and I didn’t want to say don’t train at all because I didn’t want to impede on her lifestyle. She came back in today, and she had discomfort, and I said when did the discomfort start? She said from the time I left you guys all the way up until I had my training session, I was pain-free, and then after my training session, it started to exacerbate again. I’m going to give a little bit of a time out, I don’t know how comfortable I am giving this admission from her testimonial today because I don’t want to offend her trainer.

Anyway we put her back on that machine today, and once again she felt phenomenal. So this machine, essentially what is allows someone to do that is in an active back spasm or even or has a neurological deficit from a disc compression, locks down the pelvis in such a way that when you actively extend, the only muscles being engaged and being recruited are the lumbar and rector, and even some of the deep spinal rotators have to engage in straight extension. So it allows for a term that I like to use, instead of traction it’s called decoaptation, where it’s a joint segment that’s being lengthened without cavitation of the joint.

Adam: So for those of you that don’t speak science, what he’s saying here is that by fixing the hips in place and by doing a back extension but pushing yourself back, you’re actually opening up the spaces of the vertebrae which gives you relief. 

Lou: On the note, it also gives kind of a self-massage into those spinal segments. The only time — I’m starting to question some of the traditional medical research, the only time where they say don’t put a patient into extension is if they have facet arthrosis or facet arthritis, degeneration of the joints. Lately, I’ve kind of taken Adam’s approach a little bit and said I’m going to test this, and I’m put a patient or two on there with facet arthrossi as diagnosed by a radiologist and confirmed by a surgeon, and they came out of it feeling better. So it goes back to my principle of motion is great joint lotion, and if we can actively engage a patient, not passively. The difference there is passively is the therapist is moving the patient, actively is them moving themselves and us assisting as a coach, making sure they’re in the bio mechanical correct position. They feel better, not only from a physiological point of view, but from an emotional and social wellbeing. I can do this, I can exercise. Guess what, we do that for two or three sessions and then we move them to a leg press. As you mentioned earlier, I don’t remember who said that they were struggling with it but then you just altered your position and you were pain-free.

Adam: The leg press actually — I don’t want to give the leg press a bad name, the leg press is actually very good for the lower back because it’s strengthening your hip extensors which are your glutes. Those primary moves are also very important to work, matter of fact one of my mentors, Rob Francis told me that it’s very important. Once you start doing some lower back extensions and you’re starting to feel that relief, that it’s important to start doing some of the major hip movements like leg press.

Mike: Dr. Lou you can add onto this. There are probably sometimes, like if you wanted to do a leg press, there may be some conditions or just a status that a person is in, a client is in, where they’re just not ready to perform a certain movement pattern and I guess the low back machine can prepare you for a leg press, or manual therapy of some kind. Is that what’s necessary sometimes?

Lou: Absolutely. Even when we had the patient in today, she was saying that she was getting some burn in her quads while doing the back extension.

Adam: There’s some static contraction in there.

Lou: Exactly, but it’s just a progression physiologically but it’s also a progression mentally where hey, I just did that pain-free. Not only pain-free, I’m not in pain anymore therefore I’m going to do something else, and there have been many times where I’ve had a patient that’s gotten acute lower back exacerbation. We get them through the back extension pain-free, and you say you know what, you’re going to do one of the safe chest presses here. I’m going to add that in, what does that have to do with their back? Maybe not a lot but everything to do with their psychological profile about themselves, and years ago, I’m trying to remember the first time. I don’t think I’ve ever shared this with Adam, but he actually probably knew. In 2002, I had opened up a rehab facility as part of my practice, and around that time I had a really bad, acute lower back condition and it was in the summer, and mine came — it was actually on a tractor. I was cutting my lawn, and the tractor went into an old kind of stump hole, it went down, I went up, and we met somewhere in the middle. It created an avulsion fracture on my left hip, and some secondary lower back issues. I went to see a doctor and they said take an epidural, have these pills, I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to let my body heal, and I was in such excruciating back pain one morning that I said I’m going to get up and do some deep knee bends, and I did and it immediately increased my range of motion. So I started testing on patients, I started having patients who had acute lower back pain doing kind of wall squats if you will. We were loading the muscles, strengthening and opening up the spinal segments, and now that I really think about it, probably as Adam just said, it had a lot to do with the mental approach of them actually being able to exercise. After being told immobilize, bed rest, don’t do anything and I was doing the opposite. Fast forward to now, I’ve met Adam and he’s created this circuit where I look at InForm Fitness and in my mind, people ask me how to describe it and I say it’s probably one of the hardest forms of exercise that I’ve ever come across, while being the safest form of exercise. 

Adam: That sums it up pretty well.

Lou: It really does. Recently I had the pleasure of bringing in what I consider an elite level 

athlete. Not a professional yet but an elite level athlete who just finished his two years of junior hockey and he’s going own to play at a high level one collegiate hockey. This guy is about as conditioned as anyone that I know. I had him do the protocol here, and he said that was by far the hardest twenty-five minutes of exercise I’ve ever done. I just don’t understand why it was only twenty-five because he was so mind conditioned that it has to an hour, or hour and a half. As opposed to being able to get it done in what I call short duration, high intensity.

Mike: Real quick, we’ve had a few pro athletes here over the years and they’ve all made the same comment in regards to this strength training program, as opposed to any other strength training they’ve been a part of.

Adam: I want to bring it back to first of all, I want to summarize on kind of what we just said. So these passive modalities of back treatment, taking medication, inactivity, some of these things that physical therapists do on a passive level such as electric stem, heat packs, so the thing about those is they’re all well and good for acute situations but they’re not going to help an overall situation for long term. I think the takeaway from this is one, inactivity is not what you should be doing if you have some back problems. First of all, don’t accept your back problems, and know that most people, if they don’t have something really serious going on like a spinal tumor or some kind of neurological deficiency, you have to move that joint, but you have to do it safely. There are ways of doing it safely, I don’t want people just running out there now and just doing all this crazy stuff because they listened to this episode of our podcast and they just said move, so all of your sudden you’re doing all these crazy things like doing Crossfit or some of the things we were talking about with Lou’s patient. It has to be controlled, but this idea that you have to immobilize and not do anything, and be very, very careful, you have a back problem. That has not been working.

Lou: No, and on that point Adam, this article by Dr. Nelson does a great job about utilize the science that’s there, utilize the diagnostic studies, the MRIs. If there’s a space occupying a spinal tumor, something that needs surgical intervention, you go for it, but what Adam is saying is very similar to this article is go through the correct markers and then actively engage and take an active role in getting your body mobile.

Adam: The second thing besides just knowing that you should not be inactive just because you have a back problem, and not give up life, is doing some very specific things for your lower back. Dr. Lou is mentioning our program here, and we have some very special equipment. It does, it fixes the hips in place and allows somebody to go into a type of back extension that you cannot do without a machine like this, without something that can actually keep the hips fixed. So to plug InForm Fitness, we all have these machines in our gyms at InForm Fitness, so if you’re fortunate enough to be near to one of our locations, it’d be great to try one of these machines. These MedEx, lumbar extension machines. Having said that, and knowing that most people listening to this episode are not going to have access to these machines, all is not lost, and I want Mike, since he does a lot of work with people on these types of movements, I want Mike to talk about some of the things that you can do should you not have access to this type of machine.

Mike: It starts with a few mobility exercises, and they don’t take long at all to do, and the first thing I would recommend people to do is just to get down on all fours on a mat and get into a little child pose. You sit on your heels with your feet tucked underneath, and you tilt your body all the way over as if you’re bowing towards the sun. Just stay there for about twenty seconds or so, and for a lot of people who are dealing with acute pain or just some ordinary tightness, that often times gives some simple relief. After that, Adam mentioned before, pelvic tilts. They can be done from many different positions, from all fours once again to on your back, to standing up. Basically from an all fours position, you are doing what’s called an anterior pelvic tilt and a posterior pelvic tilt. The posterior sort of feels like you’re, while being on all fours, you arch your lower back up a little bit and you’re creating what feels like an ab crunch, and then the anterior tilt is when you do the exact opposite movement. After that, I usually guide people through doing another child’s pose for about twenty seconds, and then come back to all fours, and then a more extended version of what that last pose was which is cat cow, which is recommended by every chiropractor and physical therapist. It’s a full tilt of spine, the whole thoracic spine to the lumbar spine, and then a full arch as well. Followed by that a bird dog, so once again, being on all fours and where you extend your left arm forward in front of you, and then the opposing leg, the right leg back, and hold the position for ten to twenty seconds and then switch off. After that, some glute bridges, which are just lying on your back with your feet placed down on the mat, and your hips will come off the floor, and you just do some very, very light bridging off the floor and then coming back down to the floor. So these can all be demonstrated online, it’s a little difficult sometimes to say them without a visual, but it starts with simple stuff like that, and then a few more beyond that. I think if someone is dealing with some back tightness, it’s generally safe. Without any diagnosis, it’s probably safe to go down and give these little things a try. Obviously, if you’re dealing with some acute pain while trying these very simple movements, then you definitely some advice from a professional.

Adam: There’s a good book on the subject. There’s a lot of books on the subject, but a good one that I like, it’s well written and has great pictures, it’s called Foundation, subtitle Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move With Confidence. I like the subtitle because we were just talking about moving with confidence, this confidence thing keeps coming up doesn’t it. It’s by Dr. Eric Goodman and Peter Park. Not Peter Parker. Foundation.

Tim: We’ll have links to that in the show notes as well.

Mike: I personally loved this book and there are a lot of different exercises. It gives a great 

explanation of the anatomy of the low back, some of the common problems that can happen to the low back, and it goes into several different exercises but it revolves around one fundamental exercise which they call the founder, which is essentially a back extension, and they show you how to do it in that book.

Adam: So my final thoughts are, and the takeaway I’d like you to have and I mentioned this, is one, don’t accept your back pain, and use surgical methodology really as a last resort, and really try some of these — hire somebody or try some of these movements, therapies if you will, to help with this. Movement is so important, movement is really important, and I can tell you from my own experience that I’ve never thought of somebody who has back problems. I always thought of myself as somebody who had muscular problems in my lower back, and I think I might be right. What I’d like to do is come back to this in six months to a year, and let you know how I’m doing. I’m going to continue doing what I’ve been doing, and I’ll let you know because let me tell you something. If it doesn’t come back after another six months and I’ve been doing what I started doing six months ago, almost a year ago actually, and I don’t have these episodes going forward for the next six months or a year, I think my conclusion is going to be right because nothing else ever worked, short of doing surgical types of things which I’m not going to do. So stay tuned. The other thing that we’re going to be talking about on our next episode is the second thing I did which I feel contributed to a lot of the alleviation of my lower back problems, and that is my diet. That is what we’re going to be talking about in our next episode, the diet that I undertook in the last ninety days and how it’s changed me forever.

Tim: So there you have it. In next week’s episode as Adam just mentioned, we will be talking about a diet plan that Adam has been participating in for the last three months. A plan that Adam credits for assisting with successfully managing the lower back issues that he’s been dealing with for most of his life. Coming back in the next couple of weeks, we will be speaking with Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen’s books have sold more than two million copies in thirty different languages. She has a popular podcast of her own, it’s called Happier with Gretchen Rubin, and she’s also a client and has been for many years of InForm Fitness. Also on the way we have a terrific conversation with Dr. Martin Gaballa, author of The One Minute Workout. We will contrast and compare high-intensity strength training with high-intensity interval training. Looking forward to this one. Hey if you’d like to find an InForm Fitness location nearest you to give this workout a try for yourself, please visit At this time of this recording we have locations in Manhattan, Port Washington, Denville, Burbank, Boulder, Leesburg, and Restin. If you are not near an InForm Fitness location, you can always pick up Adam’s book, Power of Ten, the Once a Week Slow Motion Revolution. Included in Adam’s book are several exercises that support this protocol that you can actually perform on your own. We’ll have a link to Adam’s book here in the show notes. For Sheila Melody, Mike Rogers, and Adam Zickerman, I’m Tim Edwards, with the InBound Podcasting Network.






Apr 10, 2017

As the Founder of InForm Fitness’ Power-of-10 Workout, Adam Zickerman makes the claim every day that InForm Fitness offers the safest, most efficient strength training program around. But Adam has a confession for InForm Nation. 

Adam suffered an injury while exercising that resulted in acute, knock-you-on-your-butt, back muscle spasms. You can imagine Adam’s dilemma as to whether or not he should fess up or cover up his recent injury.

Hear the whole story in Episode 23 beginning with the surgery he experienced as a child, the details of his injury, and how he seems to have found a cure for his lifelong ailment.

Click this link to read Adam's story at INFORM INSIGHTS:

Pick up Adam's Zickerman’s book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution.  You can buy it in Amazon by  clicking here:

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you to give this workout a try, please visit  At the time of this recording we have locations in Manhattan, Port Washington, Denville, Burbank, Boulder, Leesburg and Resten.

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

Join Inform Nation and call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

For information regarding the production of your own podcast just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at

The complete transcriptions for this episode is below:

Tim: And we’re back, InForm Nation! Glad you’re doing us once again here for episode 23, on the InForm Fitness Podcast. Twenty minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. For those  joining us for the very first time, let’s go around the horn and introduce everybody. I’m Tim Edwards with the InBound Podcasting Network, and a client of InForm Fitness, and joining me here in person at the InBound Studio is co-owner and general manager of the Burbank InForm Fitness location, Sheila Melody. Sheila, nice to see you three dimensionally instead of 2D via Skype nowadays, thanks for joining me.

Sheila: Yeah, this is fun!

Tim: And still in boring old 2D through the magic of Skype is general manager of the Manhattan location, Mike Rogers, and the founder of InForm Fitness, New York Times bestselling author, Power of Ten: The Once a Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution, also affectionally known as the guru, Adam Zickerman. What’s up fellas?

Adam: Hey.

Mike: I’ve never called him the guru.

Tim: No, ever? 

Mike: I’m going to start calling you that now, matter of fact, the guru.

Adam: Mike was booking some guests on one of our podcast episodes, in his letters he writes, and he refers to me as his boss. I meant to talk to Mike about that, saying boss. Refer to me as your — I don’t know — 

Tim: Your superior. The boss, the founder, Adam.

Adam: Your colleague and the founder of InForm Fitness. 

Mike: You’re going to go there, okay. You’re going to wish I said boss next time.

Tim: Alright well the boss has been having problems with his back, or at least he has in the past, and here in episode 23, we’re going to refer back to a blog post of yours Adam from June of last year, 2016: Back Spasms From Exercise, which we’ll have a link to in the show notes of course if you’d like to read them. In the blog post Adam, you offer up a confession, and you mention a back injury that you suffered as a kid. Now we’ll get to that confession in just a moment, but let’s start with the injury you suffered; what caused the injury, back many, many decades ago?

Adam: Yeah I was a teenager, and I don’t know exactly what caused the injury. I think it was a combination of sports and being active, but I also had this weird obsession about jumping staircases, and when I think back on my childhood life, I really think that my back injury was from trying to jump down ten stairs or fifteen stairs. I started to keep increasing the amounts of stairs I could jump.

Tim: I did the same stuff, I really did.

Mike: You probably hit your head one time and that’s why your memory is —

Adam: I do remember where it manifested itself. It could have been the stairs — when the back problem happened, I didn’t feel it right away. It was during actually a basketball game, I was a point guard, and up until that point I was a pretty good point guard. At this particular game, I couldn’t cut to my left. There was no pain, I was just very slow cutting to the left, and the ball kept getting stolen from me at mid court, and my father who was watching the game was like, and my coach and everybody was like, that’s very unusual for Adam to get the ball just taken from him like that, every time he brings the ball up. It was that night that all of the sudden the back pain started. Now I’ve been saying for years that I think it was the basketball game that hurt my back, but very likely it was probably something before that that led up to it, and I’m thinking that crazy idea I had about jumping off of staircases.

Tim: So 35, 40 years ago is when this probably began. 

Adam: Yeah, the symptoms were numbness in my right leg, radiating down my leg. I couldn’t bend at all, I couldn’t bend at my waist at all. I couldn’t sit for more then a couple of minutes without the pain, I had to stand or lie down.

Tim: As a kid.

Adam: I was a kid, and the back of my leg was in a lot of pain and numb at the same time, my calf was numb. To this day, there is slight numbness to my slight calf compared to my left calf. I can feel some sensation, but it’s definitely dulled; to this day, it’s never recovered, so there’s probably a little bit of nerve damage back then.

Mike: So did you go to the doctor and find out what exactly happened?

Adam: So we go to a doctor and remember I’m eleven, and when you have these symptoms as an adult, right away they say let’s look at the back, but as a child, the last thing they were thinking about was a nerve compression of a herniated disc. So they were looking for everything else,
including tumors of the spine. So there was a point there where I was meeting with oncologists and getting tests at NYU at New York University Medical Center. The tests for everything but a herniated disc, and when they eliminated all those things, they said could this kid have a
herniated disc, and they performed a procedure called a myelogram. Which is a crazy procedure where they inject a dye into your spinal column, and they turn you upside down on a table, literally upside down, and let the dye kind of go down the spine or really up the spine, and when they see the fluid, this dye that they inject into your spinal column. When they see that dye deviate to the right or the left, that’s where the herniation is, and that’s how they were able to  determine disc herniations back in the day, in the 70s. They still do that procedure but much less so now. So a myelogram is more or less an archaic methodology now, MRIs have pretty much taken over that. So when they saw the fact that I had a disc herniation, they were like holy cow, and I had surgery. I had surgery by a neurosurgeon, the surgery is called a laminectomy, and in part of the spine vertebrae, there’s something called lamina, and the lamina was removed to
pretty much reduce the pressure that was being pushed against it by the disc, pushing a nerve into the lamina. So they took away the lamina, no more pressure against the nerve, and the pain went away, but there was a compromise there. There was a structural compromise done when you remove structure from your vertebrae. So ever since that surgery, I’ve been able to bend and I’ve been able to play all my sports, and I’ve lived a fairly normal life. However, probably ten years into post surgery, I would start getting back spasms. These horrible, horrible, bring you down to your knees, can’t move, and if you move, you go into another spasm. It’s almost like being hooked up to a car battery and every time — you sit and you’re kidnapped, and every time you say something wrong, they hit the switch and you’re shocked. That’s what a back spasm is, where there is sometimes I would be suffering spasms and if I tried to move out of my position, I would go right back into position. It was just nonstop spasm after spasm after spasm, and this can go on for hours. They’re excruciating, it’s literally like being shocked.

Sheila: It sounds like torture.

Adam: It’s very painful.

Tim: And this is something you experienced in your twenties now? These back spasms.

Adam: I’ve been experiencing those from my twenties up until now. 

Mike: I’ve seen Adam over the years about half a dozen times, during the workday, they kind of come out of nowhere. I don’t know if he worked out earlier that day or whatever, but I’ve seen him have to go down to the ground and put a tennis ball, just lay down on a tennis ball and stuff like that. 

Adam: Those are for the good ones. Sometimes they got so bad that I would literally get nauseated and want to vomit, and it’s just relentless, it doesn’t go away. The only thing that makes it better is time. A couple days on my back, it finally starts to subside. I also take
Flexeril, which is a muscle relaxant, and that seems to take the edge off when things are really bad. Alright so that’s the history.

Tim: Let’s fast forward a few years now, right, because Adam, let’s jump to the confession now. I’ll tell you, if I’m listening to this and I’m hearing you, Adam Zickerman, the founder of InForm Fitness, suffering from back spasms, my first question honestly is, well did that happen as a
result of high-intensity strength training? 

Adam: No, definitely not. Although I’ve tweaked it during workouts, the confession that you’re referring to, this blog that I wrote, I was doing leg press, and I was pushing myself. I set a new weight, it was a new seat setting that put a little bit more strain on my back apparently. I was training myself and probably my thought went somewhere else, and my hips lifted a little bit, and all they have to do is lift a millimeter, and bam, I felt something. It wasn’t the spasm, but I felt something, I was like oh boy. Usually, you feel something and it just progressively gets worse, and I know I’m in for it. Sometimes you feel that pain, I’ve been dealing with this for so long in my life, you feel that initial pain and you say to yourself, okay, five more hours from now, I’m going to be on my back. I’ve got to get my ass home, put that ice pack on, and hope for the best. Of course, it comes, it does come, and it came this last time, and this was less than a year ago.

Tim: I remember we recording some podcasts last year, and you were really struggling with your back during one of those episodes that we had. So this happened, that’s your confession Adam, in your blog post was —

Adam: The confession is here I am, exercises quote unquote guru with a bad back. It’s like being an obese nutritionist or something.

Mike: They’re out there.

Adam: I interviewed one, not to change the subject, but somebody came looking for — making some nutrition referrals and she was overweight, I was like come on. 

Tim: So here you are, again like we said, founder of InForm Fitness, on one of your machines. You just lost focus, and maybe one of the mistakes you made I guess was training yourself, and someone not watching you as closely as all of the trainers at InForm Fitness do with their clients, and this happened. So there’s that confession. So since this incident Adam that you mentioned in your blog post, have you had any back spasms?

Adam: No I haven’t, and I think there are a couple of reasons for it. One reason we’ll talk about now, and another reason we’ll talk about in another episode of our podcast.

Mike: Real quick Adam, is this the longest period you’ve gone without a back spasm?

Adam: This is — I’m approaching the longest period I’ve gone without a back spasm right now. The last five years, I’ve been getting about maybe two or three back spasms a year, now it’s been about a year since I had one. When I was in my twenties, I only got one a year. The difference between when I was in my twenties and recently was they came more often, and they healed a lot slower when I got older. When I was in my twenties and thirties, I would get one, a couple of days later, back to new. Now, been lingering, my wife has been saying, wow Adam, it just seems like your back is always hurting now, always crooked. Even when I wasn’t in spasm, my posture was just off, and there was always this like — I would say, I would give it a 4/10 in terms of pain, just ongoing. So I was always feeling something in my back at a level four, spasms are a ten plus. When I’m about to go into spasm, sometimes there’s an eight and seven, and I can work. I can go into work with an eight and deal with it, and I kept saying this is muscular, this is neuromuscular, this is not structural. I know my body, I know an MRI is going to be what they say in medicine as remarkable, it’s not going to show much of anything, but of course, because they were lasting longer and becoming more frequent, I was like what do I have to do lose? Go get an MRI, what’s the big deal? So I got it, and I got it about a year ago, and it showed some slight herniations, grade one vertebrate slippage, but there are MRIs out there that show a lot worse, and the patient is asymptomatic and they don't have any back problems. And there are people that don’t show anything that have severe back problems, so my MRI was basically unremarkable, and it didn’t indicate anything major that would be causing all of these spasms, let’s put it that way. So I was frustrated, I trained people day in and day out with safe exercise, and I strengthened their lower back, and there’s that expression that cobblers’ children don’t have any shoes. I have to — here’s another confession, I was not doing my back exercises that I keep imploring my patients or clients to do, to do that regular back extension, back strengthening
exercise, and I wasn’t doing any follow up type of work like pelvic tilts, hip thrusts, things that could create movement of that hip and lower back area. I was working all the time, I was sitting, I was commuting long commutes, and I really wasn’t doing what I thought I should be doing. I just couldn’t take it anymore, after the MRI came back and showed that there was nothing to really write home about, I said you know what, I’ve just got to start taking care of myself. I was doing all of the major exercises, the leg presses and the chest presses and all of the things that guys like to do, but I was ignoring the lower back. So I’ve been doing that regularly now, absolutely regularly for the last year, and I have to say especially in the last four or five months, I am, well, for the first time since I was in my twenties, I can say that I don’t feel my back anymore. I don’t feel that thing there that’s been following me around like a black cloud. I have literally no pain in my lower back, and it hasn’t been this way for quite a while now, knock on wood, because it can come at any time, but I don’t remember the last time that I could say that I have no pain in my lower back.

Sheila: And would you say consistently?

Adam: I was at a three or four for months at a time, I can keep it at a three or four. The one long airplane ride or car ride and I’m back to a five and six, or funny enough, when I would do sports, it would feel better. So there’s something to that movement that would make it feel better. I remember going to skiing and thinking to myself, I don’t know if this is a good idea dude. I know you love skiing, but maybe it’s time to hang up the bindings, and well I went, and I’m telling you, it felt batter. My back would feel better after something like that, or long bike rides, my back would feel better. So there was something to that movement, and all these things together made me say let’s take care of your back finally. Get on that lower back extension machine on a regular basis, do your pelvic tilts. Ice, I would ice my back on a regular basis. I would get massages on a regular basis, and now here I am.

Sheila: You say on a regular basis, are you talking weekly, weekly you’re doing a routine that supports your back?

Adam: Yes, weekly and daily. The weekly thing is the high intense, lower back extensions. The daily is the icing it once a day for twenty minutes or so. I would do pelvic tilts, I would do some light stretches, and I would also on a weekly basis, I’d have some manual therapy. Some deep tissue massage, and the combination thereof — I’ve been doing a lot of things, so it’s hard to know which one of those things is the answer. It’s probably the combination, and the reason we’re doing this podcast, this episode of the podcast right now is because I think I’m onto

Tim: You see a very dramatic change.

Adam: Mike has also been doing a lot of this stuff recently with his patients or clients.

Mike: The thing is, I think all around health, this is from my experience and I’ve talked to chiropractors, physical therapists, orthopedists, and we’ve read lots of books on the matter, and I’ve taken other courses in fitness, and what I’ve learned is there is our weekly exercise that we need to do for our strength, and we’ve found a nice, safe, efficient way of doing that, but Adam mentioned some daily exercises, and I’ve prescribed very, very simple little things that take about five minutes on a daily basis, and people who are compliant to these little things — and these are just mobility exercises, activation of the muscles, nothing intense at all, and they
involve little pelvic tilts. Whether you’re laying down on your back or you can be on all fours, like a child pose, bird, dog, some little glute bridge leg raises type of things, and very light stretches of the hamstrings and calves, and I’ve found unbelievable results from people, in addition to their workouts that they come for once a week. The ones that are compliant, doing it three, four or more times a week, within two weeks they’re feeling a lot better. So I think the formula involves some small daily exercises as well.

Tim: In addition to that Mike too, I’ll just speak for myself. I had some lower back issues and when I first started at InForm Fitness, the leg press was really giving me some problems, and Anne Kirkland, one of the trainers at the Burbank location, went in and made some adjustments to how I was sitting in the leg press. She put something behind my back I believe.

Sheila: A lumbar pad. Anne has additional certification in low back.

Tim: And immediately fixed whatever issues I was having with the leg press, so you do the same thing there I’m sure as well in New York.

Mike: I’m sorry to interrupt — if you’re in the wrong position, things are not going to be good no matter where you are, and I think that’s the benefit to being here is it’s one on one, it’s slow motion. We have time to sort of assess and see where we are, first of all, to make sure that the seat position is correct, and then to monitor your form throughout the set.

Tim: That’s right, and that’s what happened to me as I mentioned a few moments ago. I was on the leg press, having a few issues with my back, just a few minor adjustments from my trainer and the back pain went away. Hey guys, as you can tell by the music, our twenty minutes allotted for this episode is up, so it’s time for us to wrap it up. It also means that for you, on the other side of the speakers, if you began your high-intensity strength training workout at an InForm Fitness when we began this episode, you too, would be wrapping it up. For the entire week, now you’ll be wiped out, but you’ll be done, and you can begin enjoying your rest and recovery, to prepare for next week’s workout. We’ll do the same here at the InForm Fitness Podcast, we are going to continue our talk regarding back pain. We’ll also be joined by Dr. Louis Fierro, a chiropractor who works with Adam in the InForm Fitness Active Rehabilitation program. Dr. Lou will offer up his suggestions and solutions for those experiencing back pain of their own, plus we’ll dive into the psychological aspects of a negative diagnosis, such as a back problem, and how that alone can prolong an illness or an injury. We’ll share some interesting data that supports the notion that a simple attitude adjustment can change the course of your rehabilitation.

If you’d like to give this workout a try for yourself, to find an InForm Fitness location nearest you, just visit At the time of this recording, we have locations in Manhattan, Port Washington, Denville, Burbank, Boulder, Leesburg, and Reston. If you’re not near an InForm Fitness location, you can always pick up Adam’s book: Power of Ten, the Once a Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. Included in Adam’s book are several exercises that support this protocol, that you can actually perform on your own at a gym nearest you.

Hey we have a lot planned here at the InForm Fitness Podcast that we can’t wait to share with you. In the next few weeks, we’ll be speaking with Gretchen Rubin from the award winning Happier podcast. We’ll also be talking to Dr. Martin Gibala, author of the One Minute Workout, and in another episode, Adam will be discussing a diet plan that, in his words, has changed his life, and of course as I mentioned earlier, chiropractor Dr. Lou Fierro joins us next week. For Sheila Melody, Mike Rogers, and Adam Zickerman of InForm Fitness, I’m Tim Edwards, with the InBound Podcasting Network.

Apr 3, 2017

The secret to losing 20 pounds? You have to work with your fat, not against it.  Here in Episode 22 on The Inform Fitness Podcast, Adam Zickerman and his team are joined by biochemist and author of The Secret Life of Fat, Dr. Sylvia Tara.

Dr. Tara explains how you can outsmart your body fat, with cutting-edge research and historical perspectives to reveal fat’s true identity.   Once you understand it…you can beat it. 

For The Secret Life of Fat audio book in Audible click here:

To purchase The Secret Life of Fat in Amazon click here:

Don’t forget Adam's Zickerman’s book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution.  You can buy it from Amazon by clicking here:

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you to give this workout a try, please visit  At the time of this recording, we have locations in Manhattan, Port Washington, Denville, Burbank, Boulder, Leesburg and Resten

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

Join Inform Nation and call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

For information regarding the production of your own podcast just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards at

The Transcriptions for the entire episode is below:

22 The Secret Life of Fat

Tim: Hey InForm Nation, thanks for joining us once again here for episode 22 of the InForm  Fitness Podcast, twenty minutes with New York Times bestselling author, Adam Zickerman and friends. I’m Tim Edwards with the InBound Podcasting network, and a client of InForm Fitness, and after some time off, excited to finally get back behind the mic with our team. Let’s start with Sheila Melody, the co-owner and general manager of the Burbank location. Sheila, nice to see you again.

Sheila: Hey Tim, great to be back with everybody again!

Tim: It’s been a while, and the rest of our team as always, still joining us via Skype from the Manhattan location in New York City headquarters for the InForm fitness empire. General manager Mike Rogers and the founder of InForm Fitness, Adam Zickerman. What’s up gents, good to see you again!

Adam: Hey guys.

Mike: All is good.

Tim: Adam, in your book Power of Ten: The Once a Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution, you described the three pillars necessary to achieve maximum success with the slow motion, high-intensity strength training system. For those who are just joining us for the first time, Adam please remind us of those three pillars.

Adam: Exercise, rest, and nutrition.

Tim: And nutrition. We spent a lot of time on this podcast discussing pillar one, exercise, and our special guest today also joining us via Skype, will allow us to dive deeper into pillar number two, which as you just mentioned Adam, is nutrition. We’re pleased to welcome our guest who has a PhD in biochemistry and is the author of The Secret Life of Fat, Dr. Sylvia Tara. Glad to have you with us today.

Sylvia: Great, thank you. It’s terrific to be here.

Tim: All four of us have spent the last couple of weeks digesting this book. I think Adam and Mike read the book, and Sheila, we listened to the book via Audible. It really helped us all change the way we look at fat, which I know is the point of the whole thing, but before we get started, Adam, I know you were the one who introduced this topic to the team here. What is it Adam that made you want to bring Sylvia on, to discuss The Secret Life of Fat?

Adam: Well it was back in 2007 that I read this Scientific American article, that was called, if I remember correctly, What Fuels Fat, and it was then that I saw that Scientific American article that I realized how complicated fat is, and how complex it is. It was the first time that somebody had referred to fat as an organ, and then, recently, I’m listening to NPR and there’s Dr. Tara talking about this book, which I thought the title was amazing. The Secret Life of Fat, and it reminded me of back in 2007, ten years ago, about this article I had read in Scientific American, and I was like oh my god. I had forgotten all about that, I’ve got to get this book and read it. You did such a great job, Dr. Tara, as far as breaking down such a complex subject and making us understand, quite honestly, how difficult it is to understand fat and we’re in the personal training business, high-intensity exercise business, and all of our clients, most of them, are struggling with fat loss. I thought maybe we can use your book to prompt conversation and be honest with our clients and basically tell them what the facts are. What to expect when it comes to battling the bulge.

Mike: What they’re up against.

Sylvia: That’s a great idea, and that’s also why I decided to go and do all this research, because I’m one of those people who has a lot of trouble managing weight. I always gain weight very easily, even as a child, I packed on pounds much easier than my friends who ate candy and ice cream all day long, and as I got older, it just got worse. Some of my old tricks stopped working, I had all these tricks in my twenties where I could take weight off pretty quickly if I had to, but then after having two kids, after launching a career and getting very busy, being stretched and traveling, my old tricks weren’t working anymore. I went on a number of diets, there’s always this new diet, and I tried a number of them every year, and sometimes they would work, they would work temporarily. Sometimes I could even gain weight on some of these diets, and I’d worked with personal trainers too, and they’re all really — just [Inaudible: 00:03:59] their
dogma, they have a certain philosophy they follow and one of them is you have to eat enough calories to lose weight. They were always stunned at how little I actually had to eat, and even then, I wasn’t skinny, so I was about to go on yet another diet; I think paleo was all the rage and I said let me try this, and I started reading about just how complicated it was and I thought you know what, forget it. I said before I go on even one more diet, I’m going to understand everything there is to know about fat. I’m a biochemist by training, and if anyone can understand fat, I can. So I read everything, I think I pulled over a thousand articles out of the scientific literature, I read them all, and I talked to over fifty thought leaders, leading researchers around the world about this, their cutting edge research on fat. What I was finding out, which was so interesting, so astounding; it turned out that fat wasn’t anything I thought it was, it’s not just a reserve of calories, it’s not just holding energy, waiting for us to use it. It has a whole life of its own underneath there. It can fight back when we try to lose it, it controls our thoughts about food, it controls metabolism. It can divert blood supply to itself, it’s doing all these really strange things. It’s as if it’s another person inside of you, and if you’re not equipped, if you don’t understand what fat really is, you’re just about bound to keep going on diets and regaining and regaining. The diet industry tends to make you think you’re doing something wrong. If this diet doesn’t work for you, it’s really simple to follow, and then it’s your fault; surely you’re not staying on it, surely you’re not adhering, and that’s not the case. Having people feel that guilt isn’t helping them, it’s causing frustration and then it’s leading to binging, it’s leading to
depressed feelings and things like that. So I think once we just educate ourselves on fat, what it is exactly, why it’s so hard to lose, the better equipped we are to stay very persistent. So knowledge is power, and in this case in particular, I think just having that knowledge helped me stay on something. It also helped me not just follow siren songs, like with the new diet fad of the year, let me try that. It’s like now I’ve got it, I know what works for me now, I can tailor my own diet. I really just felt empowered, and hopefully, some of that is what I’m trying to do with people. You don’t have to follow my diet that worked for me, and I did something pretty extreme in my own experience to get off weight, but you can tailor something to work for you, depending on what you need psychologically, biologically, and for your lifestyle as well.

Adam: That’s a great introduction, and so while we’re talking about your quest to find out exactly what fat is, why don’t you explain what exactly is fat, and why is it called an organ?

Sheila: Like I said, fat, the way we think of it is like this blubber. It’s like this excess, greasy yellow stuff, and it’s funny because I have this plastic model of fat, and when I show it to people, their first reaction is like ew, that’s disgusting. We just have this whole image of what it is, but it’s doing so much more tha n just sitting there as this greasy, yellow substance. It actually produces hormones that our body depends on, and these are hormones, mostly only produced by fat. So you can think of fat as not just a reserve of calories, it’s an endocrine organ, like your adrenal cortex, it’s like your thyroid gland, it’s like any other endocrine organ we have. One of these hormones is leptin, and leptin has vast influence all over our body, I mean you’d be shocked at how much we defend on our fat for this hormone. Our brain size is linked to healthy fat, our brain size and the way we think, cognitive abilities even, is linked to an adequate supply of leptin which comes from fat. Our reproductive organs, particularly in women; if we get too low levels of fat, or if we have defective fat that’s not producing leptin, we can’t reproduce. Then there’s bones, bone strength is reliant on fat as well. Even wound healing, this was really interesting, that leptin binds within our veins and so people that have anorexia or, again,
defective fat, they don’t heal as quickly. We’re just at the tip of this, I think leptin was really in the 90s when it came out, and we’re just discovering more and more how important it is in our body, and how much we’re dependent on our fat for good health. One of the things too, is that leptin, because it does control our mind to some extent and it controls appetite, when we lose a lot of fat, like say 10% of our body weight, it has a big effect on us. Actually, our appetite will go through the roof, so leptin is released from fat cells, it goes into the blood, and it binds to the
 hypothalamus region of our brain, and there’s an appetite center there. So with lower levels of leptin after losing quite a bit of weight, we actually get very, very hungry, we’re driven to eat. So our fat in a way is controlling itself, it’s driving us to actually come back. It will also lower our metabolism, so skeletal muscle during exercise, 25% fewer calories is what we’ll end up using, and 15% fewer during rest. So overall, you need 22% fewer calories after you’ve lost about 10% of your weight or more, compared to someone who has never lost weight. So to make that a little clearer for people, if someone is 150 pounds and they’ve been at that weight naturally for a good part of life, compared to someone who has lost 20 pounds, who was 170 pounds and lost 20 pounds to get to 150 pounds; the person who has lost weight to get to 150 will have 22% fewer calories than someone who is naturally there, and that’s because of the effect of lowering leptin, and the reduction in metabolism we get. So a diet is not just for six months, this effect I just talked about, higher appetite and lower metabolism, it’s been studied for six years, it’s seemed to last for six years. I think it can even last longer, I’ve talked to some people who have lost weight and they say they still feel like this, they still have to eat a lot less. So don’t pick a diet for six months, pick a diet that you’re going to stay on for years and years, that you like. It works with you, works with your lifestyle, works with what you like to eat, and in having its effect, it’s
helping you lose weight. Just knowing that I think has helped people a lot. I know my editor, when he read my manuscript for the book, he actually lost 15 pounds because he actually understood fat. He knew what was going on, he understood why he was hungry at night and all these other things, biochemically what fat was doing, and it’s just helped us all persist a little bit more.

Tim: Dr. Tara, for our audience, of course, they’re listening to the InForm Fitness Podcast because they participate with this high intensity, strength training system through Power of Ten. Let’s talk about exercise for a minute, and tell us how fat is affected with high-intensity strength training, like we do at InForm Fitness.

Sylvia: There’s a bunch of things, so what we can do really to get smarter about fat and how we manage it, is it’s one thing to not just manage it and be able to persist for long periods of time because we now understand fat, but you can start using hormones to your advantage. One of the hormones that’s been talked about all the time is insulin, lots of books on insulin and fat, and making sure we have low sugar. We’re not provoking too much insulin because insulin helps store calories into fat tissue, and that’s all good and fine. Two other hormones to know about, one is growth hormone, that’s a great fat burning hormone, and we get less of it, we have less of it as we age, and so one thing is that it peaks at night. So what you can do is extend that overnight fasting part, and that will actually extend the release of growth hormone, really important as we age. Testosterone is another great fat burning hormone, and that also decreases as we age. Now high intensity interval training is good for a number of things: one is that is associated, exercise in general is associated with the release of growth hormone and testosterone, so some strength building exercise is good for growth hormone and testosterone, and even jogging is good for both hormones. Then [Inaudible: 00:11:32] is another hormone fat releases, and this is a hormone made by fat, and it actually helps clear our blood of triglycerides and put fat, circulating fat into fat tissue where it belongs. High-intensity interval training three times a week is associated with some of these hormones as well, and it decreases visceral fat, and so how I think of it is that you’re really affecting your hormones when you do HIIT. You’re increasing some of these fat-busting hormones, you’re helping get adiponectin, and you’re reducing your visceral fat. I think it’s one of the reasons that works very well, because when you think about it, you’re not exercising for long, you’re doing it for a short period of time but extremely intensely, and that’s affecting your hormones and how your body is reacting to it. It’s a great trick, I think, to just help remove stubborn fat.

Sheila: I was so inspired by your book Dr. Tara because I totally related to your personal story, and I’m middle-aged, and I’m suddenly going what in the hell is going on here? So it was really nice, even being in the fitness business, being a personal trainer, being involved in all of this for my entire life basically, so I was very encouraged by your story, to make some changes and to understand why you want to add certain exercises in. The diet thing is one thing, but for me, what was a real a-ha moment was when you described why you would exercise. The hormones are listening, your fat is listening to you, so can you talk a little bit more about how your fat listens to you, and the messages you send to it. It’s way more important than just the calories you’re going to burn by doing that cardio or whatever exercise you’re doing.

Sylvia: That’s exactly right. So your fat can talk and it can listen, so it’ll talk by sending out hormones. It can talk to your brain and tell you how to think about food, and it can talk to your muscles and have it lower metabolism, so it’s a way of communicating, and a lot of different organs in our body will emit hormones, and it has a whole communication system inside that you’ve never even considered and thought about. So it can talk by releasing leptin, adiponectin, and even other hormones. It can also listen, our fat, it can listen to other hormones coming from other organs. It has receptors for estrogen and testosterone on them, a number of other receptors too, so when other parts of our body starts releasing those hormones, our fat grabs it, it listens to it. It has ears if you will, and those hormones will tell fat what to do. So testosterone will help fat liquidate itself, even estrogen will, growth hormone certainly will. So when we’re exercising, we’re changing the communication signals in our body in a number of ways. Not only is our fat listening, but our muscles, our bones, we have a lot of different communications between these different organs, and so I think that’s the smart way to fight fat. Calories do matter, I wouldn’t say they don’t, but more importantly is what are you doing with your hormone levels, and very small changes can actually have a pretty good effect. That’s shown, I do a little writing about hormone replacement therapy which is really big here, especially in California, and it works wonders for people. I’m not ready for that yet, I wasn’t ready to get external hormones injected in, but I did really work hard at ways to naturally increase some of these hormones that decline with age, including growth hormone and testosterone in particular, and adiponectin, just releasing that from fat. You did bring up women, and women in particular, we battle fat much more. I don’t think there’s a single woman in the world who wouldn’t agree that men have an easier time losing weight than women do.

Sheila: That’s the other thing I got from this book, I was like oh my god, it’s true! It’s just the hard truth though, it’s the way it is, and understanding that helps us to — what about even the way that we eat and the nutrition partitioning? Also if you could speak a little bit about the cardio, when you said women exercise and when it goes over beyond 4-600 calories, how it’s different between men and women.

Sylvia: Sure. Just to make everyone feel better, women are fatter, we think even in utero, compared to — from the time they exist, girl babies have more fat than boy babies, and the single best predictor is gender when it comes to fat in infants. It’s not age, it’s not length, not any of those things, it’s gender, so many reasons for why women do gain more weight than men, but we can go over a few of them. One of them is nutrient partitioning, so when we eat something, say like a hundred calories or so, we’ll actually partition more of those nutrients into fat,
compared to what men will do. So as an example, if we eat about a hundred calories, we’ll put about thirty calories say, for example, compared to men who might put 15 calories of those into their fat, compared to their lean tissue. So we put more in, and women actually utilize their fat differently as well. So after a time of energy depletion, like after an overnight fast, after we’ve slept for a long time, or after we’ve exercised intensely and we’ve depleted some energy, women’s bodies will reach for fat as a source of energy, whereas men will reach more for
glycogen and for protein. You would think this was a great thing because we’re using our fat and we’re going to lose all this weight now. The issue is that after we’ve replenished and after we went to energy depletion, we’re actually storing fat much more efficiently than the men, two to three times more efficiently than men do. So for the one hour we’re exercising or whatever, yeah, we’re burning more fat off, but the rest of the day, we’re packing more fat away. There’s some good news for women in all of this, that even though we tend to be a little bit softer, a little bit fatter than men, the good part is that we are clearing those triglycerides out of our blood and putting it into some subcutaneous fat tissue where it belongs. So subcutaneous fat tissue is that fat tissue right underneath our skin, compared to visceral fat, which is fat underneath the stomach wall, which is less healthy. Women are very good at clearing triglycerides, fats, out of our blood and putting it into subcutaneous fat, and that keeps us more safe from cardiovascular disease, from metabolic issues, that tend to run a little bit higher in men. Men actually are not as efficient at this, and it’s one of the reasons why they have more visceral fat, and more cardiac disease as well. So just take some solace in that, although we’re softer, we don’t fit into jeans as well, we can’t eat as much, overall our bodies are doing what they’re supposed to do, which is putting fat into our blood and storing it into safe deposits where it belongs. So when we burn off, say, around six hundred calories, so a really good bout of exercise, we release more ghrelin, 33% more ghrelin than men do, and ghrelin is a hunger hormone that comes out of the stomach. So we respond more to exercise, and then it also leads to more compensation. If you put a buffet out in front of us after we’ve done that exercise, we’ll eat more than men do, and the interesting part is even after we eat more, we still have 25% higher ghrelin, and so that’s a lesson learned for women I think. Either keep the exercise a little bit more moderate, or really distract yourself after you exercise. Go watch TV or go shopping, in fact go shopping for jeans and you’ll see how much you don’t want to eat. Just do something, be aware that you’re hungrier and you have to really control the reaction to want to fill yourself up.

Sheila: Does it pass after a certain amount of time?

Sylvia: I haven’t seen research on it but I can tell you my experience, no, it’ll be all day. My own little trick is I exercise at night, so I’ll exercise between 7, even up to 10 o’clock, and I’ll just go to bed. If I sleep on it, it’ll disappear, I’m not as hungry the next day as I am during the day.

Adam: Dr. Tara, to change the subject a little bit, because there’s so much in your book that you touch on, and one of the most fascinating things about fat and how we retain fat is this biome in our stomachs. It turns out, as you say, people have different biomes in their stomach, and depending upon their bacterial content if you will, the types of bacteria that make up their biome, that will depend on whether you’re obese or not, or whether you’re thin or not.

Sylvia: That’s a really interesting field, and a quickly changing field, I feel like they’re learning new things all the time. The thinking, the standard thinking was that if you have a higher proportion of [Inaudible: 00:19:59] in your gut compared to [Inaudible: 00:20:02], that those people tended to extract more calories out of food, they tended to be heavier, and it’s a cycle. So what we eat also affects the bacteria that we have, so people who are eating higher fats, higher carbohydrates, they were having the type of phyla associated more with extracting calories and having a heavier body type. People who were eating more fruits and vegetables had a different phyla, they had more diversity, and so I think what they’re seeing now, there’s a little bit of movement away from that type of thinking of [Inaudible: 00:20:33] and more thinking about diversity in our gut. People who have higher diversities of bacteria tend to have a leaner body type, and it’s all really interesting because another observation was that the bacteria we have in our gut, it tends to run in families. So they’re wondering if this is how obesity is growing,
because once somebody has someone’s bacteria that is associated with a thicker body type, is it spreading to children, is it having something to do with childhood obesity? This is moving, so there are things we can do though. One is what I just said, when you eat more fruits and vegetables, it’s tougher to digest those. So one way bacteria works is that it helps us digest foods that our normal body could not, things like polysaccharides and fibrous foods, plants. It helps turn all those starches into glucose, something we can easily absorb. It also helps with fat storage as well, so the more we’re giving our microbiome a run for the money, really nice tough salads and things like that, more is passing into waste than would be getting absorbed into our gut. Also just keeping your gut healthy, I think some of these probiotics and like artichokes, bananas, legumes, also keep a nice gut lining, a healthy mucous lining, that also fosters a good diversity of bacteria. So there’s a lot of diet books on this in no field alone, but it is a quickly changing field scientifically. I think the best advice we can take from it right now is just try to eat more fruits and vegetables; it’s very trite advice, I’m aware of that, but part of it is that I just wanted to understand how the microbiome was working. It’s viruses too that do have an effect, and I write about being able to catch fat in a way. There’s some viruses associated with higher weight gain and obesity, and I write about that pretty much at length in the book, but I think it’s not all bad news. We just have to work harder, so if you have a microbiome that’s tilted towards gaining weight, you will have to work harder, you'll have to eat a little less, you’ll have to eat more
salads versus more fats and high carbohydrates. If you have the virus, I mean that’s tough too, and I write about one patient who did have the virus and he gained weight excessively easily. He just has to eat less, it’s harder for him, he’ll eat about 1200 calories a day and he’s 6’1”, he’s a big guy. It’s just the way it is, and I think part of what I want to do in my book is let’s just face facts. Let’s not pretend this is easy, let’s not say it’s the simple diet of 1, 2, 3, and you’ll lose weight. For some of us it’s just harder, and at least know why it is harder, and then there are some small tweaks you can make that will help you fight your fat in a smarter way.

Tim: Dr. Terra, I’ve got to tell you one of the many things I enjoyed about your book is how you not only provided all of us with a very detailed science lesson regarding fat, but how you describe both the harm fat can cause, and its usefulness in the form of the patient stories, one of which you just referred to right now. So it’s a great read, it’s very informative, I think it’s changed the four of our lives in how we look at fat and it’ll do the same thing for our audience as well too. I know we’re short on time but I do want to, if we can, add one more element to this. You mentioned genetics. We’re all victims of our genetics, but exercise can help us fight what we’ve inherited negatively through our genetics.

Sylvia: That’s right. So for genetics, what they do find is that exercise can attenuate some of the effect of these genetics, so if you increase exercise by six times or more over resting metabolism, which is achieved by running four to six miles an hour, or cycling about twelve to sixteen miles per hour, it actually attenuates some of the effects of those genes. It’s like even at some point your genes have to just give up and give in, and admit that you’re using a lot of energy and it can’t hold on anymore. Again, it’s one of these instances where we just have to work a little bit harder, there’s one gene, FTO, that actually causes a higher desire to eat energy dense foods, so things like cookies and brownies, and with kids who have this variation, when we test them, they’ll actually go to a buffet and compare them to normal kids who don’t have this FTO
variation, they found that kids with the FTO variation, they actually will load up much more on things like chips and cookies, compared to the other kids. It affects appetite as well, so it still gets down to the things that we can do, and that includes food, it includes eating smart, eating for your hormones, exercising for your hormones. Just being a little smarter about it, don’t quite think of it as calorie in, calorie out. There’s certain times of the day that you can eat or not eat and it’ll help you release more of that growth hormone, more of those fat busting hormones.
Certain types of things that you can eat that will affect your hormones, and I’m not just talking about insulin, but growth hormone and testosterone too. So think very holistically about it. There are some treatments coming out in the future that I’m hopeful will help people lose weight. One of them is leptin injections, if that will ever get approved. So like I said, we lose leptin when we lose fat, and what they’ve done is actually inject leptin back into people who have lost 10% of their fat or more, and they find that their metabolism improves, and their quest to eat is not as strong anymore. So it helps them maintain the lower weight, but that’s way off in the future I’m sorry to say; that’s going to be another ten years, minimum, before that would ever reach consumers. There’s other things too, there’s injecting brown fat, brown fat is a type of fat which will actually burn calories versus white fat, which the main function is to store, and that will is also far into the future. In the meantime what we can do is just be smart, customize a diet that works for you. Really keep a log of what you eat, when, what type of food it is, and then weigh yourself every day, and you’ll start to see where the correlation is. Everybody is really different, and in The Secret Life of Fat, I write about this research from Israel actually, where they’ve studied a large number of people and they look at their blood sugar after they eat various foods. What they noticed is that some people can eat chocolate and they can have alcohol and they don’t get a blood sugar spike; other people can’t, they react, and so they’re storing more fat as well because the blood sugar spike leads to insulin, that will help store all of that into fat. So we’re all really different, and it varies based on a lot of things that we talked about, like the genetics, microbiome, gender, etc. So some things will work for you that don’t work for your neighbor and vice versa, so just be very attentive. Watch what you can eat versus can’t, I know there’s some things I can’t believe I can get away with, everyone will tell me I’m crazy for eating this but it doesn’t make me gain weight. I can have small amounts of chocolate in the middle of the day, nothing bad happens to me, thank god because I really can’t live without it.

Tim: You just made a lot of people mad, Dr. Tara.

Mike: And happy. They’ll have to troubleshoot for themselves. I have one last quick question, Sylvia. We talked about nutrition, we talked about fitness and the troubleshooting processes with regulation of your fat, to either gain or to lose. I know you mentioned in your book a little bit about cortisol and stress management, and what we know about as far as weight gain or weight loss. I know we have a lot of clients who are under stressful times in their life, and I’m not sure if the correlation is directly related to that or other things or whatever, but I’ve seen people gain a lot of weight or lose a lot of weight as a result of stress.

Sylvia: I know there’s news about cortisol, I actually think too much might be made out of cortisol. Cortisol has a link to abdominal fat, so when we’re stressed out, we have more cortisol which is linked to some amounts of fat. I think more the issue is how we psychologically react to stress. So being on a diet, maintaining a good, healthy regimen, it actually takes an application of willpower, and when people have stress in their lives, like even during the recession or a bad economic time, or they lose a job or are going through a divorce, they are less able to stay with something else that requires stress. It’s like all the stress is being focused on this one event, and they can’t absorb more. So in a way, our willpower is like a muscle and it can be depleted. In fact, in the recession that we had more recently around 2008, candy sales soared. So people didn’t feel like being on a diet, they just want to indulge, they’re stressed out, so I think psychological factors are more of it than even cortisol. Those are things that are important to note because we never get rid of stress in our lives, I mean I get stressed out just sitting in traffic. There’s stress all around us, so one thing is if you’re going through a really stressful time, it’s not a great time to start a diet honestly. You’ll just feel like a failure if you do try because it gets hard. So choose a diet at the right time and then manage to stay on it. Two important things to know when you’re staying on a diet and really giving a good effort is that you actually need to reward yourself. Our willpower gets depleted at times, and they find that hospital workers who are told to wash their hands all day, towards the end of the day, they’ll just stop. They just don’t feel like doing it, but if they give them longer breaks between their shifts, they’ll continue to wash their hands during the day. So there’s something around being depleted, feeling like you’ve had enough of a break in between that you can stay on a regimen. So give yourself a break either by going off your diet every once in a while, or going off and doing something fun, but make sure that you’re entering in some happiness. Another study I talk about is people who have a hand exerciser for a long time, a hand gripper, and they divide them into two: they have one watch a sad movie for a while and then another group watch a happy movie, and then they give them the hand exerciser back, the hand gripper back. They find the people who watched the happy movie can stick with that hand gripper a long time, so scientifically, you actually need to recharge, you need to come off and have some fun. The important thing is to get right back on, and this is where dichotomous thinking can come on. So people sometimes when they go off a diet, they go down this slippery slope where they can’t get back on. Like I’ve had ice cream, I’ve completely failed, and now I’m just going to go off, it doesn’t matter. That’s called dichotomous thinking, and people who have that problem are actually more prone to depression, they’re more prone to eating disorders, so it’s a really bad thing to have, and women have it much more than men do. I’ve read about that in studies —

Adam: Add that to the list.

Sylvia: So the self love element is really important, and it’s funny, I write it about in the book. There’s one researcher from Mayo who said that women get something out of food that men don’t; when men come off their diet, they’re like yeah I had a beer, so what? I’m going to get back on and women are going to be like I had all these problems and I gave up, and I feel really badly now. The successful weight coaches or weight loss coaches, they’re very good at coaching people back on. So if you can do that for yourself, you’ll have so much more success than if you just beat yourself up every time you come off. You’re going to have come off, you can’t stay on, you need to recharge yourself, and then be forgiving. You came off, but you had 30 great days ahead of that, so now you’re just going to have another 30 great days going forward. So tons of advice in the book, and as you can see from all my talking, there’s a lot of research in it, a lot of points to know.

Tim: The book is The Secret Life of Fat, it brings together cutting edge research with historical perspectives to reveal fat’s true identity, and this episode, like you just said, we’ve just scratched the surface of all of the valuable information contained in this book, which is available Walmart, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Audible, and other locations as well. Dr. Sylvia Tara, thanks so much for joining us here at the InForm Fitness Podcast. We certainly wish you the best of luck with your book, and really appreciate you being with us, thank you.

Sylvia: Great, thank you so much. It was great to be here.

Tim: We’ll include links in the show notes to Dr. Sylvia Tara’s book, The Secret Life of Fat. Just scroll down past the description in your podcast app, and you’ll find links to purchase the hard copy of her book in Amazon, or if you’re like me and you like to listen to your books, we’ll have a link to the book in Audible. You’ll also find the link to pick up Adam’s book, Power of Ten: The Once a Week, Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. Included in Adam’s book are several exercises that support this protocol that you can actually perform on your own if you don’t
happen to live near an InForm Fitness location. For those that do live in Manhattan, Port Washington, Denville, Burbank, Boulder, Leesburg, and Reston, good news, there’s an InForm Fitness to you. Pop on over to to get a glimpse of each location. Better yet, set up a consultation to begin your own journey with the Power of Ten. Be sure to join us next week, because Adam has a confession he would like to make to all of us who are a part of InForm Nation. I’ll tell you this much, it’s something that he’s been struggling with most of his life, and something that a lot of us might have in common with him. To guarantee that you don’t
accidentally miss an upcoming episode of the InForm Fitness Podcast, just subscribe, it’s very simple. Hit the subscribe button and every single Monday morning, we’ll have a new episode waiting for you. For Sheila Melody, Mike Rogers, and Adam Zickerman of InForm Fitness, I’m Tim Edwards, with the InBound Podcasting network.


Mar 27, 2017

After 9 years of slow motion, high intensity, strength training at InForm Fitness in Manhattan, client Hence Orme decided to change up his workout and leave InForm Fitness.  After a year and a half away Hence decided to come back.

Why did Hence leave Inform Fitness in the first place, what type of exercise program did he do, and why did he come back.?

Join InForm Fitness founder, Adam Zickerman and Hence’s trainer Mike Rogers for their interview with The Prodigal InForm Fitness Client.

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you to give this workout a try, please visit  InForm Fitness has locations located in Manhattan, Port Washington, Denville, Burbank, Boulder, Leesburg, and Resten.  

If you aren’t currently near an InForm Fitness grab a copy of Adam’s book, Power of 10, The Once a Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution, click this link to visit Amazon:  Adam breaks down the three pillars necessary to achieve maximum benefits of this workout along with simple to follow exercises you can do at home or in a gym near you. 

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to  You can also call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

To produce a podcast of your own just like The Inform Fitness Podcast, please email Tim Edwards a

The transcription for Episode 21 - Return of the Prodigal Client is below:


Adam: Well Hence, welcome to our show. I’m very excited to have you here.

Hence: Thank you, it’s great to be here.

Adam: The reason that I’m excited to have Hence here is because he is a client that started here many years ago —Hence: 2006.

Adam: 2006, was here for many years. He’s experimented his whole life with exercise, and then he took a hiatus and he started experimenting with some more things after here, and now he has come back. Then Mike said to me, guess what Adam, Hence is back and I said oh great, and Mike started to tell me what you’ve been doing Hence, and then what led you to come back. I was like wait, wait, don’t tell me yet, let’s get this fresh on our podcast, because I think a lot of our listeners would appreciate to hear about your journey. How you came full circle so to speak.

Mike: I was enormously excited when Hence came back — I think it was about three months ago. He started in 2006, in September, and ten years, we’re enormously proud to have clients have been here for that long, and I just looked on the system, 351 sessions you’ve done with us over that time.

Hence: Is that right, wow.

Mike: That’s an incredible thing, and once a week, it’s actually — it averages, over the eight and a half years, it’s about forty-one sessions per year, which is… that’s pretty good, it takes into account vacations, time away for business trips or something like that, but yeah, it’s been really exciting.

Adam: Let’s start the beginning, like what brought you here in the first place, back in 2006.

Hence: Sure, I think to start off with, Adam is right that I’ve been interested in exercise and fitness and health for a very long time, and have been training since I was a teenager, mostly weight lifting and running, and along the way, have done a fair amount of reading and research, and going back to 2006, at that point in time, I was doing a lot of running. Or at least a lot of running for me, somewhere in the range of 25-35 miles a week, and I had ramped up to that level pretty quickly, and what I was finding was that, at the age of, I guess at that time 42, 41 actually, a lot of little things were starting to break down. Nothing major, but the running was starting to take a toll, and I was starting to notice, for example, that I was having trouble walking the stairs up out of the subway. It was starting to bug me, so my family and I were on vacation in San Diego, so I was out of New York, I was out of the routine, and I could get a little time to think. At the time, I happened to just be leafing through the local San Diego magazine, and they profiled some local trainers. One of whom focused on high-intensity training, and I called her up and just said tell me about what you do and can I come train, and she did, but said I’m sorry, I can’t train you while you’re here, where do you live? So I told her that my family and I lived in New York City, and she practically jumped through the phone at me and said oh wow, well Adam Zickerman is the one that I follow. You should read his book and you should go talk to him. 

Adam: I forgot that story.

Mike: I looked it up on the sheet, I was like oh San Diego.

Hence: It was a really random occurrence, so I read the book, it made sense, and at this point I really started to say to myself look, I’ve been pushing running for me, in my context, fairly aggressively, and it’s having some negative results that I didn’t anticipate and I certainly don’t want. At the end of the day, I don’t want to run so much I can’t walk.

Mike: Did you have a goal in mind when you decided to start running aggressively, 35, 40 miles a week? Were you going to do a marathon or something?

Hence: I was never really thinking about doing a marathon, I was thinking about being able to run maybe a fast 10k or maybe a half marathon.

Mike: Did you feel like you had to lose weight at the time, or you wanted to lose weight at the time?

Hence: No, not particularly, that wasn’t really in the parameters at that point, but the negative effects were really starting to pile up and so I said alright, I’m going to do something different. I’m going to go cold turkey, I’m going to stop running. I talked with Adam, we had a great conversation, what he said made a ton of sense and so I made a big leap, a big experimental leap and said alright. I’m done with running for now, and I’m just going to train once a week at 

InForm. The results were fantastic.

Adam: I remember you telling me that you just gave up running cold turkey.

Mike: I remember it too.

Hence: I did, and I like running, I’m not somebody for whom running was — or even is a chore, I still like it, but I had to balance that versus the wear and tear that I was accruing. So I stopped, and started training once a week, very high intensity. It required something completely different of me which is to be highly focused for a short period of time and with really no possibility of oh okay, if I don’t give a hundred percent, I’m going to train in another couple days anyway so it really doesn’t matter. I really had to focus, and over the next several months, all my running aches and pains went away, which is fairly predictable. If I just stopped running, I’m sure a lot of those aches and pains and issues would have resolved themselves, but I did get stronger…

Mike: Did it make sense to you immediately that the idea of a once a week workout was going to be effective, or did you actually have to take a leap of faith into that?

Hence: There was definitely a leap of faith. I had done enough reading, not just Adam’s book, but some other authors, to have the seed planted that maybe we all have been taught about high frequency exercise is really not the whole story. There’s a lot of damage that can be built up over time that is understated from higher frequency methods of exercise, but I still had to make that leap, and again, I came to InForm as an experiment. 

Adam: How long did that experiment last?

Hence: The initial phase of the experiment really started in September of ’06, ran for about nine months where I really did nothing other then train once a week at InForm. I did no running, I did no weight lifting.

Adam: What was your conclusion after the nine months?

Hence: My conclusion was that it was just shockingly effective. The aches and pains from 

running went away, my ability to climb stairs came right back, I got a spring in my step again. Certainly got stronger, and sort of the most counterintuitive finding for me was that I lost weight. Now when I was running, I wasn’t thinking about my weight, I hadn’t weighed myself in a long time, but I did what I think happens to many other runners which is because I was running, call it 30 miles a week, I thought I could eat everything. When I finally stepped on the scales, I was pretty shocked at how heavy I had gotten. What happened over the next nine months is because I was only training once a week, I couldn’t deceive myself that oh you’re going to click off six miles tomorrow so you can go ahead and eat that extra piece of pizza or cake. I couldn’t fool myself that way, so my diet improved and I don’t remember the numbers right off the hand, but I did start to steadily lose weight. Which was an unanticipated benefit, and clearly just all around felt better.

Mike: I was looking at his consult form, and what he put down for his regular dinner was PB&J sandwich and ice cream.

Adam: Did that change too, did you change your eating when you started working out?

Mike: Well first of all, this is New York so it’s a very glamorous lifestyle, so this is dinner in New York.

Mike: Hence is a portfolio manager, pretty busy, schedule.

Hence: Pretty busy, not unlike most people, but pretty exotic and elaborate meals. Certainly, my diet changed, and I attribute it to finally, in my early 40’s, coming to understand that you cannot out train a bad diet, and by decreasing the frequency of training, I couldn’t deceive myself that I could just eat all I wanted. So that was an unanticipated benefit of moving to a high frequency, or high intensity, lower frequency form of training.

Adam: Okay, so you had the nine-month experiment and then you were here for many years after that, so the experiment was over. You were kind of convinced and you stuck this out, you did it for once or twice a week, so I’m dying to know. When you left, what did you do?

Hence: I didn’t just say I’m out. I continued to do a fair amount of reading and research. What I was really doing was experimenting with something else, so reading McGuff, very helpful, learned a lot. I also learned to start to read some of what people had been writing about regular, old school weight lifting. The power lifts, dead lift, back squat, bench press. I though their claims were interesting —

Adam: You’re talking all free weights?

Hence: Exactly, so Olympic bars, and I thought the claims of the school of thought were interesting. That these exercises are very functional, and if you think about it, there really isn’t very little that doesn’t revolve around a squat or a deadlift, or an overhead press or a bench press in one way or another. So I thought well this is interesting, and it seems to make some sense. Going in, I thought there were some issues that I would have difficulty with, such as barbell on your back, or lifting a barbell off the ground, and there’s also just the time involved, because this method of exercise, the free weight training method of exercise does demand several days a week. So these were issues that I knew going in, but I was interested in the so-called functional benefits of this form of exercise. For some period of time, period of weeks I believe, I did some weight training away from InForm. Then I’d come to InForm and do my normal workout.

Mike: I remember, you were splitting it up a little bit.

Hence: I was splitting it up, and I was not going to learn what I wanted to learn by doing that, so I said alright. Let me take a break from InForm, let me see what I can learn in the free weight world and so I did. I was cognizant of the risks, so I made sure to learn how to do the more dangerous exercises the right way, really did invest quite a bit of time.

Mike: I remember that I didn’t even discourage Hence. I loved our conversations, I loved the exploration. It really forced me to even evaluate and think about all the other ways of doing things, and I remember just encouraging you to just be very mindful to what you were doing in regards to range of motion… I remember when we were working together and you were doing your workouts independently and coming into InForm, and you were showing me how you were doing some squats with weights, and you were going really deep into it. I said I’d be very careful about going that far down, almost where his butt was below the level of his knees.

Hence: Like sumo wrestler low.

Mike: Exactly, and I was like I need you to be very mindful about doing that because it could be — you’re going to an extreme range of motion with a lot of resistance and those are usually what causes those breaking points.

Adam: It’s hard to bite your tongue, because when you hear somebody say that they’re going to do a dangerous exercise safely, that’s like — you know what I hear when I hear that? When someone says that, to me, it’s like saying I’m going to play Russian Roulette safely. There is no safe way to play Russian Roulette, you are eventually, or could eventually, get hurt and regardless of how careful you are — only because, the nature of let’s say a barbell squat is you have this long lever with weights at the end of it, being supported by a structure, a skeletal structure, a spine in particular. If you go to the left or right a little bit too much, it’s all over and it’s just hard to defend against that long term that you can get away with that. There’s no reason to do it if you can get the same effect of an exercise like that from a leg press or something where you don’t take those kind of spinal risks, but I’m digressing.

Hence: Right, well what I found from switching over to free weights is that the exercises are very effective. I felt like I definitely got stronger in some really basic movements, I learned how to squat, I think about as safely as one can, and I learned how to deadlift actually quite safely, and I enjoyed the movement of those exercises. They were pleasant to do, but — and I was able to progress and move the weight up and all that, but over a period of — I guess it was a total of about eighteen months, I got to the point where I had gotten more capable of lifting heavier weight, but to the point where I really believed that I was starting to get to a tipping point. Where yeah, I had gotten stronger and yes my technique was pretty good, but if I were going to get stronger from there, I was going to be taking some risks. It really took me that long also to really understand that even as the weight got heavier and even as my technique stayed pretty solid, that I could not generate the intensity safely that I wanted to achieve. I would feel like maybe I have another —

Adam: What happens when you have a barbell on your shoulders and you’re reaching muscle failure?

Mike: Or after you’ve failed on let’s say, doing dumbbell flys, how do you safely put those weight down? There’s a lot of different scenarios.

Adam: So you didn’t have a trainer Hence?

Hence: Well I did early on just to get the technique right, but then I was really training myself. It became really clear that there were times when I might have, let’s say, half a rep left in me but I had to rack the weight, just for safety’s sake. After getting — I never really got injured, I got a little tweaked once in a while, but I never got truly injured. Certainly witnessed a couple things in the gym that were a little disconcerting, but never myself got hurt, but after I got to a certain level at the major exercises, it was just really clear that I just couldn’t safely progress. 

Mike: Like an intense stimulus, to go forward with it.

Hence: Right, just could not generate the intensity with the safety that I wanted.

Adam: It makes total sense. So I guess that’s when you started thinking about InForm again.

Hence: Right, so I went back, I reread the Power of Ten, I reread McGuff, and I think as with any discipline, it’s one thing to read the book once or twice. It’s another thing to read the book and then go experiment, try something, live it, and then go back and reread it and say oh, that’s what McGuff meant. Now I understand what he’s talking about, or that’s what Adam meant. 

Mike: Real understandings, I think is a process like that often times. To read it you get the information, but as you said, to live it and then to go back and look at the text and what it’s all about, that’s when it really seeps in when you’ve done that a little bit.

Hence: The time I spent training with free weights is absolutely not wasted at all, I learned a lot from doing it, I’m glad I did it. I saw some tremendous athletes workout, and I got a sense of what that world was all about but there’s a difference between training for a particular sport, whether it’s Olympic weight lifting, whether it’s power lifting, versus training for health and strength and general well being. I think one of the things that comes through in McGuff and that Adam tried to tell me ten years ago and I wasn’t really ready to understand it, is the difference between fitness for a particular activity — whether that’s a big bench press or whether that’s a fast 10K, and health. The two really are quite different, and I certainly have known people who are tremendously fit at a given activity, marathon running be a prime example.

Mike: Or football players, they are extremely fit and being able to run and jump and sprint and tackle, but they’re dealing with a tremendous amount of pain.

Hence: Health issues —

Adam: Well that’s the thing, fitness is not — being really fit does not guarantee being very healthy. You can become fit and not undermine your health, or based on how you determine the choice of how you get fit, the whole reason I chose to practice a form of safe, high intensity training is because why in the name of fitness, or really why in the name of health should your — I mean it’s ironic that a fitness program would undermine your health in the long run. Sports are one thing, if you want to play a sport and excel at a certain skill and activity, recreational pursuit, and it happens to make you strong and fit, so be it, but do it because you love the sport. Not because you think it’s going to make you fit. The idea of choosing a sport to get fit is a little bit backwards. You should choose a sport because you love that sport and some sports, depending upon the sport of course, and the intensity of that sport, can get you very fit, can get you strong. But if your idea is just to get strong to live a healthy, long, strong life, choosing a sport for that purpose is probably not the best idea. Choosing an exercise program that is going to make you strong and is going to delay that aging process, truly delay that aging process, and not at the same time undermine your health in the process and the things that I’m talking about is that you were talking about before. The arthritis, the pain in the joints, all those kinds of overtraining injuries that can occur. It’s not worth it. Sports are worth it if you love sports, but if you just want to get fit, again, sports are not necessarily the best choice.

Mike: It’s tough because often times those things are insidious. They don’t happen on day one, they happen on day 400, and you’re like oh wow. That little tweak which you can tolerate on the 20th day of doing something, and even on the 80th day, all of a sudden comes something that’s like wow, now my shoulder is really bothering me. Those are the type of things that kind of sneak up on you. One of the things that I really admire and I try to continue to apply to my life as a trainer and everything is the idea to explore and to try things out. I feel like that’s how everything, even the power of ten evolved, is seeing what else out there. Obviously you want to have a good head on your shoulders and make sure you’re trying to take relative precautions and just reasonable sense over whatever you’re trying to do. Going back to power of ten, you can achieve the intensity, we know that the intense stimulus on the muscles is really what makes the adaptation a meaningful adaptation, and if you can do that in a safe way, then why wouldn’t you try.

Adam: Consistently.

Hence: I mean I think the — whether it’s running, the weight lifting, both of which I’ve experimented with to quite an extent, they don’t generate the intensity that we get through this form of exercise, and if you read through McGuff, there are tremendous metabolic benefits that come from achieving that level of intensity. 

Adam: McGuff is talking about a lot of research that has been going on out there about how intensity is what is driving these health benefits, these physiological adaptations. It’s the intensity, it’s not the duration of the exercise. You can eventually get these adaptations with slow, steady state activities,  but the risks to do so add up. For the same adaptations, you don’t need to take those risks by just increasing the intensity and shortening the time of the workout, and doing it in a safe manner.

Mike: And also the time in-between workouts. It seems like it is still very contrary to what people think about exercise. Like more is better, but if you do things intensely, whatever the activity is, whether it’s boxing or running, weight training, yoga. The more intense the stimulus, the more time your body needs to recover in order for it to actually adapt and change.

Hence: I thought the number that you mentioned earlier was interesting. So you said that I’ve logged, what 341?

Mike: 351, yeah.

Hence: So 351 — over eight and a half total years. So 351 sounds like a large number, and I think it should be actually to be considered a large number but if you’re doing a conventional type of workout, you would triple that workout.

Mike: Well you think about if it’s —

Adam: Well how many workouts a year does that turn out to be?

Mike: It was 41 a year on the average.

Adam: There are people that think you should do that in two months.

Mike: Well the prescription and like the American Heart Association says three moderate or two high-intensity a week, or actually, some people prescribe even more than that. They say four or five days a week, but let’s say three days a week, over three years, you do 350.

Hence: I think also there is a psychology there too that I’ve found, that I have trouble with. If you believe that you have to run four or five days a week, at first it’s kind of a cool challenge. It’s like oh I’m going to go do this, it’s going to be awesome, but then you start to realize okay, what am I having to not do. I’m having to — I’m not able to help my family the way I should, I’m not able to — it really takes a lot of time.

Adam: We’ve got lives to live.

Hence: And then that understanding of effectively the opportunity cost of what I am not able to do because I’m doing this, it starts to erode at least my willingness to do that exercise, whereas here, look, training once a week is great. Going back to when I first started training with Adam ten years ago, I asked the question a lot of clients ask which is well what should I do on vacation, and Adam said nothing. I’m as Type A as anyone and I was like, what do you mean nothing? I took him at his word and I actually did go away for a week and did nothing, and was shocked to then come back and find that that extra rest resulted in my strength that following workout being quite a bit better.

Mike: It’s consistent almost in every case when people take — when people come back from their vacation. They make their personal best or they make a jump, just by having that extra rest, it’s amazing how counterintuitive that is. 

Adam: That’s why I always like to tell people to not do anything on vacation, just enjoy your 

vacation. Don’t stress out about where you’re going to exercise. Besides usually the gyms at the hotel suck anyway. So that was great, Hence, you know, I learned a lot, it was great to hear that story. I’m glad you’re back, and I hope — and Mike you did a great job, you two as a team did a great job over the years, and I love the communication. So kudos to you Mike, and to you guys, and how you work through that. There’s no defensiveness, it was truly an attempt to discover what was best and it’s a great story. I hope for those listening out there, whether you exercise all the time and used to do what Hence does, or want to experiment with free weights or realize that maybe less is more, there’s something for everybody in this I think. So thank you very much Hence for joining us. It’s been a great help.

Mike: It’s great Hence that you were on the podcast. Thank you very much for being here.

Mar 20, 2017

Adam Zickerman and Mike Rogers interview author, weight lifter, and personal trainer Bill DeSimone.  

Bill penned the book Congruent Exercise: How To Make Weight Training Easier On Your Joints  

Bill is well known for his approach to weight lifting which, focuses on correct biomechanics to build strength without undue collateral damage to connective tissue and the rest of the body.

So, whether you are an aspiring trainer, serious weight lifter, or even an Inform Fitness client who invests just 20-30 minutes a week at one of their seven locations this episode is chock full of valuable information regarding safety in your high-intensity strength training.  A paramount platform of which the Power of Ten resides at all InForm Fitness locations across the country.

To find an Inform Fitness location nearest you visit

If you'd like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question or have a comment regarding the Power of 10. Send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to 

Join Inform Nation and call the show with a comment or question.  The number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 

To purchase Adam Zickerman's book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

To purchase Bill DeSimone's book Congruent Exercise: How To Make Weight Training Easier On Your Joints click this link to visit Amazon:

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Below is the transcription for Episode 20 - Author Bill DeSimone - Congruent Exercise

20 Author Bill DeSimone - Congruent Exercise

Adam: So there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think by the way that I don’t think of something Bill has said to me when I’m training people. Bill is basically my reference guide, he’s my Grey’s Anatomy. When I try an exercise with somebody, I often find myself asking myself, what would Bill do and I take it from there. Without further ado, this is Bill, and we’re going to talk about all good stuff. Joint friendly exercises, what Bill calls it now, you started out with congruent exercises, technical manual for joint friendly exercise, and now you’re rephrasing it.

Bill: Well actually the first thing I did was [Inaudible: 00:00:43] exercise, but the thing is I didn’t write [Inaudible: 00:00:45] exercise with the idea that anybody other than me was going to read it. I was just getting my own ideas down, taking my own notes, and just to flesh it out and tie it up in a nice package, I actually wrote it and had it bound it up and sent it off to Greg Anderson and McGuff and a couple others, and it hit a wave of interest.

Adam: A wave, they were probably blown away.

Bill: Yeah well, a lot of those guys went out of their way to call me to say boy, a lot of what I suspected, you explained here. But when I read it now, it’s pretty technical, it’s a challenge.

Mike: There’s a lot of, I think, common sense with an experienced trainer when you think about levers in general, and I think what you did in that manual was make it very succinct and very clear. I think it’s something that maybe we didn’t have the full story on, but I think we had some — if you have some experience and you care about safety as a trainer, I think you are kind of looking at it and you saw it observationally, and then I think when we read this we were like ah, finally, this has crystalized what I think some of us were thinking.

Adam: Exactly. You know what I just realized, let’s explain, first and foremost. You wrote something called Moment Arm Exercise, so the name itself shows you have technical — that it probably is inside, right? So moment arm is a very technical term, a very specific term in physics, but now you’re calling it joint friendly exercise, and you called it also congruent exercise at one point. All synonymous with each other, so please explain, what is joint friendly exercise or fitness?

Bill: It’s based more on anatomy and biomechanics than sports performance. So unlike a lot of the fitness fads that the attitude and the verbiage comes out of say football practice or a competitive sport, what I’m doing is I’m filtering all my exercise instruction through the anatomy and biomechanics books, to try to avoid the vulnerable — putting your joints in 

vulnerable positions, and that’s so complicated which is why I struggled with so much to make it clearer. So I started with moment arm exercise, and then I wrote Congruent Exercise, which is a little broader but obviously the title still requires some explanation. And then — how it happened, as for my personal training in the studio, I would use all this stuff but I wouldn’t explain it because I was only dealing with clients, I wasn’t dealing with peers. Since it’s a private studio and not a big gym, I don’t have to explain the difference between what I’m doing and what somebody else is doing, but in effect, I’ve been doing this every day for fifteen years.

Adam: I have to say, when you say that, that you didn’t explain it to clients, I actually use this information as a selling point. I actually explain to my clients why we’re doing it this way, as opposed to the conventional way, because this is joint friendly. I don’t get too technical necessarily, but I let them know that there is a difference of why we’re doing it this way, versus the conventional way. So they understand that we are actually a cut above everybody else in how we apply exercise, so they feel very secure in the fact that they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing, but I digress.

Bill: Generally what I do is any signage I have, a business card, website, Facebook presence, all lays out joint friendly and defines it and kind of explains itself. I would say most of the clients I have aren’t coming from being heavily engaged in another form of fitness. They’re people who start and drop out programs or they join a health club in January and drop out. It’s not like I’m getting somebody who is really intensely into Crossfit, or intensely into Zumba or bodybuilding, and now they’re banged up and need to do something different. The joint friendly phrasing is what connects me with people that need that, I just find that they don’t need the technical explanation as to why we’re not over stretching the joint capsule in the shoulder. Why we’re not getting that extra range of motion on the bench press, because again, they haven’t seen anybody doing otherwise, so I don’t have to explain why I’m doing it this way.

Adam: Yeah but they might have had experience doing it themselves. Let’s take an overhead press for example, having your arms externally rotating and abducted, versus having them in front of you. There’s an easy explanation to a client why we won’t do one versus the other.

Bill: But I have to say I do not get people who do not even know what a behind the neck press is. Now in Manhattan is a little bit different, more denser.

Adam: So for this conversation, let’s assume some people know, or understand in a way what the conventional is, but we can kind of get into it. What is conventional and what’s not conventional. So it’s joint friendly, how is it joint friendly, what are you actually doing to make it joint friendly?

Bill: Well the short answer is that I use a lot less range of motion than we’ve got accustomed to, when we used to use an extreme range of motion. If bodybuilders in the 60s were doing pumping motions, and then you wanted to expand that range of motion, for good reason, and then that gets bastardized and we take more of a range of motion and turn it into an extreme range of motion — just because going from partial motions to a normal range of motion was good, doesn’t make a normal range of motion to an extreme range of motion better. And in fact —

Adam: What’s wrong with extreme range of motion?

Bill: Well because —

Adam: Don’t say that you want to improve flexibility.

Bill: Well the HIIT guys who would say that you’re going to improve flexibility by using —

Adam: HIIT guys means the high intensity training sect of our business.

Bill: So the line about, you’re going to use the extreme range of motion with a weight training exercise to increase flexibility. First of all, either flexibility is important or it’s not, and that’s one of those things where HIIT has a little bit of an inconsistency, and they’ll argue that it’s not important, but then they’ll say that you can get it with the weights. That’s number one. Number two, a lot of the joint positions that machines and free weight exercises put us in, or can put us in, are very vulnerable to the joints, and if you go to an anatomy and biomechanics textbook, that is painfully obvious what those vulnerable positions are. Just because we walk into a gym or a studio and call it exercise instead of manual labor or instead of — instead of calling it submission wrestling and putting our joints or opponents’ joints in an externally rotated abduct and extended position, we call it a pec fly, it’s still the same shoulder. It’s still a vulnerable 

position whether it’s a pec fly stretching you back there, or a jiujitsu guy putting you in a paintbrush, but I don’t know, for most of the pop fitness books though, if anybody else is really looking at this. Maybe not in pop fitness, maybe Tom Pervis —

Adam: What’s pop fitness?

Bill: If you walk into a bookstore and look in the fitness section for instance, any of those types. No offense, but celebrity books, glossy celebrity fitness books, but I don’t know that anybody — and the feedback that I’ve gotten from experienced guys like [Inaudible: 00:08:26] or the guys we know personally, is — even McGuff said yeah, I never associated the joint stuff with the exercise stuff.

Adam: Let’s talk about these vulnerabilities that you’re talking about and extreme ranges of motion. So we have to understand a little bit about muscle anatomy to understand what we mean by the dangers of these extreme ranges of motion. So muscles are weaker in certain positions and they’re stronger in other positions. Maybe talk about that, because that’s where you start getting into why we do what we do, like understanding that muscles don’t generate the same amount of force through a range of motion. They have different torque potentials.

Mike: And is there a very clear and concise way of communicating that to a lay person too, like we have practice at it, but in here, we’re over the radio or over the podcast, so it’s like describing pictures with words.

Bill: The easiest way to show it to a client who may not understand what muscle torque is, is to have them lock out in an exercise. Take a safe exercise, the barbell curl, where clearly if you allow your elbows to come forward and be vertically under the weight, at the top of the repetition, clearly all of a sudden the effort’s gone. There’s no resistance, but if you let your elbows drop back to rib height, if you pin your elbows to the sides through the whole curl, now all of a sudden your effort feels even. Instead of feeling like — instead of having effort and then a lockout, or having a sticky point and then a lockout, now it just feels like effort.

Adam: Or a chest press where your elbows are straight and the weights are sitting on those elbows, you’re not really working too hard there either.

Bill: Same thing. If you have a lockout — what’s easy to demonstrate is when the resistance torque that the machine or exercise provides doesn’t match your muscle torque. So if your muscle torque pattern changes in the course of a movement, if you feel a lockout or a sticking point, then it’s not a line. If all you feel is effort, now it matches pretty evenly. Now here’s the thing, all that really means, and part of what I got away for a moment on — all that really means is that that set is going to be very efficient. Like for instance, the whole length of the reputation you’re working. It’s not like you work and lockout and rest, all that means is that it’s going to be a very efficient set. You can’t change a muscle torque curve, so if you were just to do some kind of weird angled exercise, you wouldn’t get stronger in that angle. All you would do is use a relatively lower weight. Nobody does like a scott bench curl, nobody curls more than a standing curl. You can’t change the muscle torque curve, you might change the angle, which means the amount of weight that your hand has change, to accommodate the different torque at that joint angle, but you’re not changing where you’re strongest. If you could, you would never know you had a bad [Inaudible: 00:11:36], because if the pattern — if the muscle torque pattern could change with a good [Inaudible: 00:11:44], it would also change with a bad [Inaudible: 00:11:47], and then you would never know. Take a dumbbell side raise, everybody on the planet knows it’s hardest when your arms are horizontal. Your muscle torque curve can never change to accommodate what the resistance is asking. Now if you go from a machine side raise, which has more even — like where those two curves match, that set feels harder because you don’t have to break. You do a set of side raises with dumbbells to failure, if it feels — if it’s a difficulty level of ten, of force out of ten, and then you go to a machine side raise and go to failure, it’s like a ten, because you didn’t have that break built into the actual rep. So the moment arms, knowing how to match the resistance required by the exercise and the muscle torque expressed by your limbs, that makes for a more efficient exercise. In terms of safety, it’s all about knowing what the vulnerable positions of the joints are and cutting the exercise short, so that you're not loading the joint into an impingement, or into like an overstretched position.

Mike: How different are these…. like thinking about limitation and range of motion on them, we mentioned that before and I think it’s kind of adjacent to what you’re talking about is — we also want to help people understand that if they’re on their own exercising or there are other trainers who want to help their clients, and for our trainers to help our clients… troubleshooting, we know generally how the joints work, where the strength curves exist, but how to discern where those limitations are. Like you said before, that one of the things you do is you limit range of motion and get much more stimulus and muscle.

Bill: I’m saying limit range of motion because that might be the verbiage that we understand and maybe listeners would understand, but it’s really a lot more complicated than just saying, use this range of motion. So for instance, in a lower back exercise, say a stiff leg or dead lift, which, when I used to misinterpret that by using a full range of motion, I’d be standing on a bench with a barbell, and the barbell would be at shoe level. My knees would be locked, my lower back would be rounded, my shoulders would be up my ears as I’m trying to get the bar off the ground, and so yes, I was using a full range of motion.

Adam: That’s for sure.

Mike: That can be painted for that description.

Bill: It’s also pretty much a disaster on your lower back waiting to happen, at least on your lower back.

Adam: I’ve got to go to a chiropractor just listening to that.

Bill: Exactly, but you still see it all the time. You see it all the time on people using kettle bells, you see that exact posture. The kettle bell is between their legs, their knees are locked, their lower back is rounded, and now they’re doing a speed lift. At least I was doing them slow, they’re doing speed dead lifts, so if I was going to do an exercise like that, it wouldn’t be an extreme range of motion, I’d be looking to use a correct range of motion. So for instance, I wouldn’t lock the knees, and I would only lower the person’s torso so that they could keep the curve in the lower back. Which might require a rep or two to see where that is, but once you see where that is, that’s what I would limit them to.

Mike: Do you do it at first with no weight with the client?

Bill: That’d be one way of lining it up.

Mike: Just sort of seeing what they can just do, make sure they understand the position and stuff.

Bill: So for instance, the chest press machine I have in the studio is a Nitro —

Adam: [Inaudible: 00:15:37] Nitro.

Bill: And it doesn’t — the seat doesn’t adjust enough for my preference, so the person’s elbows come too far back. So for instance, to get the first rep off the ground, the person’s elbows have to come way behind the plane of their back, which —

Adam: So you’ve come to weigh stack them

Bill: Weigh stack, right.

Mike: It’s like our pull over, you know how we had to pull it over at one point?

Bill: So what I’ll do is I’ll help the person out of the first repetition, help them out of the bottom, and then I’ll have my hand to the clipboard where I want their elbow to stop. So as soon as they touch my hand with their elbow, they start to go the other way.

Adam: So they’re not stretching their pecs too far.

Bill: Well more specifically, they’re not rotating their shoulder capsule. So that’s another thing we tend to do, we tend to think of everything in terms of the big, superficial muscles — right, those are the ones that don’t get hurt, it’s the joints that [do]. That was one thing of all the stuff I read, whether it was CSCS or Darton’s stuff or Jones’ stuff, there was always a little murkiness between what was the joint and what was the muscle. That stuff was always written from the point of view of the muscle.

Adam: What’s a joint capsule, for those that don’t know what a joint capsule is. A shoulder capsule.

Bill: It’s part of the structure of what holds your shoulder together, and so if the old [Inaudible: 00:17:06] machines, 1980 vintage, that bragged about getting such an extreme range of motion, some of them… it really took your shoulder to the limit of where it could go to start the exercise, and we were encouraged to go that far.

Adam: And what would happen?

Bill: Eventually it just adds to the wear and tear that you were going to have in your shoulder anyway. And that’s if people stayed with it, I think a lot of people ended up dropping out.

Mike: Often times exacerbating what was going on.

Bill: You rarely see, it’s occasional that we have that sort of catastrophic event in the gym, it’s occasional —

Mike: Almost never happens.

Bill: A lot of the grief that I take for my material is well, that never happens, people do this 

exercise all the time, people never explode their spine. Well a) that’s not true, they do, just not in that persons’ awareness, and b) but the real problem is unnecessarily adding to life’s wear and tear on your joints. So it’s not just what we do in the gym that counts, if somebody plays tennis or somebody has a desk job or manual labor job — let’s say a plumber or some other manual 

labor guy has to go over his head with his arms a lot, that wear and tear on his shoulder counts, and just because they walk into your gym, and you ask them about their health history, do you have any orthopedic problems and they say no, yes. I’m on the verge of an orthopedic problem that I don’t know about, and I’ve worn this joint out because of work, but no I have no orthopedic problems at the moment. So my thing is, the exercise I’m prescribing isn’t going to make that worse.

Adam: Well you don’t want to make it worse, and that’s why you’re limiting range of motion, that’s why you’re matching the strength curve of the muscle with the resistance curve of the tool you’re using, whether it’s free weight or machine or the cam.

Bill: Yeah, we’re supposed to be doing this for the benefits of exercise. I do not — I truly do not understand crippling yourself over the magical benefit of exercise. I mean there’s no — in 2014, there was a lot of negative publicity with Crossfit, with some of the really catastrophic injuries coming about. There’s no magic benefits just because you risk your life, you either benefit from exercise or you don’t, but you don’t get extra magic benefit because you pushed something to the brink of cracking your spine or tearing your shoulder apart.

Adam: Well they talk about them being functional or natural movements, that they do encourage these full ranges of motion because that’s what you do in life.

Bill: Where? 

Mike: Well I mean like in sports for example, you’re extending your body into a range of motion — and also there are things in life, like for example, like I was saying to Adam, for example, sometimes you have to lift something that’s heavy and you have to reach over a boundary in front of you to do so.

Bill: Like… putting in the trunk of a car, for example.

Mike: Things like that, or even —

Adam: So shouldn’t you exercise that way if that’s what you’re doing in every day life?

Mike: If your daily life does involve occasional extreme ranges of motion, which that’s the 

reason why your joints of kind of wearing and tearing anyway, is there something you can do to assist in training that without hurting it? Or exacerbating it?

Bill: You know it’s interesting, 25 years ago, there was a movement in physical therapy and they would have back schools, and they would — it was sort of like an occupational oriented thing, where they would teach you how to lift, and at the time, I thought that was so frivolous. I just thought, get stronger, but lifting it right in the first place is really the first step to not getting injured. 

Mike: Don’t life that into the trunk unless —

Bill: Well unless you have to, right? For instance, practicing bad movements doesn’t make you invulnerable to the bad movements, you’re just wearing out your free passes. Now sport is a 

different animal, yes you’re going to be — again, I don’t think anyone is doing this, but there’s enough wear and tear just in your sport, whether it’s football, martial arts, running, why add more wear and tear from your workout that’s there to support the sport. The original [Inaudible: 00:21:52] marketing pitch was look how efficient we made weight training, you can spend more time practicing. You don’t have to spend four hours a day in the gym, you can spend a half hour twice a week or three times a week in the gym, and get back to practicing.

Adam: I remember Greg [Inaudible: 22:06] said to a basketball coach that if his team is in his gym more than 20 minutes or so a week, that he’s turning them into weight lifters and not basketball players.

Bill: Well there you go. Now —

Mike: The thing is the training and the performance goals in getting people stronger, faster, all that kind of stuff, is like unbelievable now a days, but I’ve never seen more injuries in sports in my entire life than right now.

Bill: It’s unbelievably bogus though is what it is. You see a lot of pec tears in NFL training rooms. 

Adam: So why aren’t they learning? Why is it so hard to get across then?

Bill: Well for starters, you’re going to churn out — first of all you’re dealing with twenty year olds. 

Adam: So what, what are you saying about twenty year olds?

Bill: I was a lot more invincible at twenty than I am at sixty.

Mike: Physically and psychologically.

Bill: The other thing for instance. Let’s say you’ve got a college level, this is not my experience, I’m repeating this, but if you have a weight room that’s empty, or, and you’re the strength and conditioning coach, because you’re intensely working people out, briefly, every day. Versus the time they’re idle, they’re off doing their own thing. Or, every day the administrators and the coaches see people running hoops and doing drills, running parachutes and every day there is an activity going. What looks better? What is more job security for that strength and conditioning coach? 

Adam: Wait a second. What is Jim the strength training coach doing? He’s working one day a week and what’s he doing the rest of the week?

Mike: And what’s the team doing the rest of the week?

Bill: But again, don’t forget, if you’re talking about twenty something year old athletes, who knows what that’s going to bring on later.

Adam: You are seeing more injuries though.

Bill: Right. A couple of years ago, ESPN had a story on a guy. He had gotten injured doing a barbell step up, so a barbell step up, you put a barbell on your back, you step onto a bench, bring the other foot up. Step back off the bench, four repetitions. Classic sports conditioning exercise, in this guys case either he stepped back and twisted his ankle and fell with the bar on his back, or when he went to turn to put the bar back on the rack, when he turned, it spun on him and he damaged his back that way. Either way, he put his ability to walk at risk, so the ESPN story was, oh look how great that is he’s back to playing. Yes, but he put his ability to walk at risk, to do an exercise that is really not significantly — it’s more dangerous than other ways of working your legs, but it’s not better.

Adam: The coaches here, the physical trainers, they don’t have evidence that doing step ups is any more effective in the performance of their sport, or even just pure strength gains. Then lets say doing a safe version of a leg press or even squats for that matter.

Bill: And even if you wanted to go for a more endurance thing, running stadium steps was a classic exercise, but stadium steps are what, three or four inches, they made them very flat. Even that’s safer because there’s no bar on your back. So on the barbell step up, which I think is still currently in the NSCA textbooks, the bar is on your back. If the bench is too high, you have to bend over in order to get your center of gravity over the bench, otherwise you can’t get off the floor. So now you’re bent over with one foot in front of you, so now you don’t even have two feet under you like in a barbell squat to be more stable. You have your feet in line, with the weight extending sideways, and now you do your twenty repetitions or whatever and you’re on top of the bench, and your legs are burning and you’re breathing heavy, and now you’ve got to get off. How do you get off that bench when your legs are gassed, you’re going to break and lock your knee, and the floor is going to come up — nobody steps forward, they all step backwards where you can’t see. 

Mike: Even after doing an exercise, let’s say you did it okay or whatever and whether it was congruent or not congruent, sometimes, if it’s a free weight type of thing, just getting the weight back on the floor or on the rack. After you’ve gone to muscle failure or close to muscle failure —

Adam: So are these things common now, like still in the NFL they’re doing these types of training techniques? 

Bill: I don’t really know what’s happening in the NFL or the college level, because frankly I stopped my NSCA membership because I couldn’t use any material with my population anyway. So I don’t really know what they are — I do know that that was a classic one, and as recently as 2014 — in fact one other athlete actually did lose his ability to walk getting injured in that exercise. 

Adam: It’s cost benefit, like how much more benefit are you getting —

Bill: It’s cost. My point is that the benefit is — it’s either or.

Mike: That’s the thing, people don’t know it though, they think the benefit is there. That’s the problem.

Bill: They think that for double the risk, you’re going to get quadruple the benefit. What, what benefit? What magic benefit comes out of putting your ability to walk at risk?

Mike: One of my clients has a daughter who was recruited to row at Lehigh which is a really good school for that, and she, in the training program, she was recruited to go. She was a great student but she was recruited to row, and in the training program, she hurt her back in the weight room in the fall, and never, ever was with the team. This was a very, very good program — 

Bill: Very good program, so it’s rowing, so a) it’s rough on your lower back period, and b) I’m completely guessing here, but at one time they used to have their athletes doing [Inaudible: 00:28:22] and other things —

Adam: Explain what a clean is —

Bill: Barbells on the floor and you either pull it straight up and squat under the bar, which would be like an olympic clean, or you’re a little more upright and you just sort of drag the bar up to your collarbones, and get your elbows underneath it. Either way it’s hard on the back, but at one time, rowing conditioning featured a lot of exercises like that to get their back stronger, that they’re already wearing out in the boat. They didn’t ask me, but if I was coaching them, I would not train their lower backs in the off season. I would let the rowing take care of that, I would train everything around their back, and give their back a break, but they didn’t ask.

Adam: I don’t know why they didn’t ask you, didn’t they know that you’re a congruent exerciser?

Bill: You’ve got to go to a receptive audience.

Mike: I think because there are things we do in our lives that are outside, occasionally outside our range of motion or outside — that are just incongruent or not joint friendly, whether it’s in sports or not. The thing is, I’m wondering are there exercises that go like — say for example you have to go — your sport asks for range of motion from one to ten, and you need to be prepared to do that, if you want to do that, the person desires to do that. Are there exercises where you go — can you be more prepared for that movement if you are doing it with a load or just a body weight load, whatever, up to say level four. Are there situations where it’s okay to do that, where you’re going a slight increase into that range where it’s not comprising joint safety, and it’s getting you a little bit more prepared to handle something that is going on.

Adam: So for example, for a golf swing, when you do a golf swing, you’re targeting the back probably more than you should in a safe range of motion in an exercise. I would never [Inaudible: 00:30:32] somebody’s back in the exercise room to the level that you have to [Inaudible: 00:30:34] your back to play golf. So I guess what Mike is asking is is there an exercise that would be safe to [Inaudible: 00:30:41] the back, almost as much as you would have to in golf.

Bill: I would say no. I would say, and golf is a good example. Now if you notice, nobody has their feet planted and tries to swing with their upper body.

Mike: A lot of people do, that’s how you hurt yourself.

Bill: But any sport, tennis, throwing a baseball, throwing a punch. Get your hips into it, it’s like standard coaching cliche, get your hips into it. What that does is it keeps you from twisting your back too much. In golf, even Tiger who was in shape for quite a while couldn’t help but over twist and then he’s out for quite a while with back problems.

Mike: Yeah, his story is really interesting and complicated. He did get into kind of navy seal training and also you should see the ESPN article on that which really — after I read that I thought that was the big thing with his problems. Going with what you just said about putting your hips into it, I’m a golfer, I try to play golf, and I did the TPI certification. Are you familiar with that? I thought it was really wonderful, I thought I learned a lot. I wasn't like the gospel according to the world of biomechanics, but I felt like it was a big step in the right direction with helping with sports performance and understanding strength and mobility. One of the bases of, the foundation of it, they — the computer analysis over the body and the best golfers, the ones that do it very very efficiently, powerfully and consistently, and they showed what they called a [Inaudible: 00:32:38] sequence, and it’s actually very similar, as you said, in all sports. Tennis, golf, throwing a punch, there’s a sequence where they see that the people who do it really, really well, and in a panfry way, it goes hip first, then torso, then arm, then club. In a very measured sequence, despite a lot of people who have different looking golf swings, like Jim [Inaudible: 00:32:52], Tiger Woods, John Daley, completely different body types, completely different golf swings, but they all have the — if you look at them on the screen in slow motion with all the sensors all over their body, their [Inaudible: 00:33:04] sequence is identical. It leads to a very powerful and consistent and efficient swing, but if you say like if you have limitations in you mobility between your hips and your lumbar spine, or your lumbar spine and your torso, and it’s all kind of going together. It throws timing off, and if you don’t have those types of things, very slowly, or quickly, you’re going to get to an injury, quicker than another person would get to an injury. The thing is, at the same time, you don’t want to stop someone who really wants to be a good golfer. We have to give the information and this is a — people have to learn the biomechanics and the basic swing mechanics of a golf swing, and then there’s a fitness element to it all. Are you strong enough, do you have the range of motion, is there a proper mobility between the segments of your body in order to do this without hurting yourself over time, and if there isn’t, golf professionals and fitness professionals are struggling. How do I teach you how to do this, even though it’s probably going to lead you to an injury down the line anyway. It’s a puzzle but the final question is, what — I'm trying to safely help people who have goals with sports performance and without hurting them.

Bill: First of all, any time you go from exercise in air quotes to sports, with sports, there’s almost an assumption of risk. The person playing golf assumes they’re going to hurt a rotator cuff or a back, or they at least know it’s a possibility. It’s just part of the game. Football player knows they could have a knee injury, maybe now they know they could have a concussion, but they just accept it by accepting it on the court or the turf. They walk into our studio, I don’t think that expectation — they may expect it also, but I don’t think it really belongs there. I don’t think you’re doing something to prepare for the risky thing. The thing you’re doing to prepare for the risky thing shouldn’t also be risky, and besides, let them get hurt on that guy’s time, not on your time. I’m being a little facetious there, I don’t buy the macho bullshit attitude that in order to challenge myself physically, I have to do something so reckless I could get hurt. That’s just simply not necessary. If somebody says I want to be an Olympic weightlifter, I want to be a power lifter, just like if they want to be a mixed martial artist, well then you’re accepting the fact that that activity is your priority. Not your joint health, not your safety. That activity is your priority, and again, nobody in professional sports is asking me, but I would so make the exercise as safe as possible. As safe as possible at first, then as vigorous as possible, and then let them take that conditioning and apply it to their sport.

Adam: If a sport requires that scapulary traction at a certain time in a swing or whatever they’re asking for, I don’t really think that there’s a way in the exercise room of working on just that. Scapular traction, and even if you can, it doesn’t mean it’s going to translate to the biomechanics and the neuro conditioning and the motor skill conditioning to put it all together. 

Bill: You can’t think that much —

Adam: I’m just thinking once and for all, if strong hips are what’s important for this sport, a strong neck is what’s important for this. If being able to rotate the spine is important and you need your rotation muscles for the spine, work your spine rotationally but in a very safe range of motion. Tax those muscles, let them recover and get strong so when you do go play your sport, lets say a golf swing, it’s watching the videos and perfecting your biomechanics, but there’s nothing I think you can do in the gym that is going to help you really coordinate all those skills, because you’re trying to isolate the hip abductor or a shoulder retractor. 

Mike: Well I was going to say, I think isolating the muscles in the gym is fine, because it allows you to control what happens, you don’t have too many moving parts, and this is kind of leading up to the conversational on functional training.

Adam: Which is good even if you can do that. You might notice there’s a weakness —

Mike: Yeah but if you’re going to punch, you don’t think okay flex the shoulder, extend at the — 

Adam: There are a lot of boxers that didn’t make it because they were called arm punchers. 

Bill: So at some point you can’t train it. You need to realize gee that guy has good hip movement, let me direct him to this sport.

Adam: So I think what Mike’s asking is is there some kind of exercise you can do to turn an arm puncher, let’s use this as an example, turn an arm puncher into a hip puncher? If you can maybe do something —

Bill: I think it’s practice though. 

Mike: I think there’s a practice part of it. Going back to the golf swing, one of the things that they were making a big deal out of is, and it goes back to what we mentioned before, sitting at a desk and what’s going on with our bodies. Our backs, our hips, our hamstrings. As a result of the amount of time that most of us in our lives have, and we’re trainers, we’re up on our feet all day, but a lot of people are in a seated position all the time. 

Adam: Hunched over, going forward.

Mike: Their lower back is —

Bill: Hamstrings are shortened, yeah.

Mike: What is going on in the body if your body is — if you’re under those conditions, eight to ten hours a day, five days a week. Not to mention every time you sit down in your car, on the train, have a meal, if you’re in a fetal position. My point is, they made a big thing at TPI about how we spend 18-20 hours a day in hip flexion, and what’s going on. How does that affect your gluten if you’re in hip flexion 20 hours a day. They were discussing the term called reciprocal inhibition, which is — you know what I mean by that?

Bill: The muscle that’s contracting, the opposite muscle has to relax.

Mike: Exactly, so if the hip is flexed, so as the antagonist muscle of the glue which is being shut off, and therefore —

Bill: Then when you go to hip henge, your glutes aren’t strong enough to do the hip henge so you’re going to get into a bad thing.

Mike: Exactly, and the thing as I said before —

Adam: What are they recommending you do though?

Mike: Well the thing is they’re saying do several different exercises to activate the gluten 

specifically and —

Adam: How is that different than just doing a leg press that will activate them?

Mike: Adam, that’s a good question and the thing is it comes back to some of the testimonials. When you deal with clients, often times if you put them on a leg press, they’ll say I’m not feeling it in my glutes, I’m only feeling it in my quads, and other people will say, I’m feeling it a lot in my glutes and my hamstrings, and a little bit in my quads.

Adam: But if they don’t feel it in their glutes, it doesn’t mean that their glutes aren’t activated, for sure.

Mike: Bill, what do you think about that?

Bill: I think feel is very overrated in our line of work. I can get you to feel something but it’s not — you can do a concentration curl, tricep kickback, or donkey kicks with a cuff, and you’ll feel something because you’re not — you’re making the muscle about to cramp, but that’s not necessarily a positive. As far as activating the glutes go, if they don’t feel it on the leg press, I would go to the abductor machine. 

Mike: I mean okay, whether it’s feel it’s overrated, that’s the thing that as a trainer, I really want the client to actually really make the connection with the muscle part.

Bill: Well yeah, you have to steer it though. For instance, if you put somebody on the abductor machine and they feel the sides of their glutes burn, in that case, the feel matches what you’re trying to do. If you have somebody doing these glute bridging exercises where their shoulders are on a chair and their hips are on the ground, knees are bent, and they’re kind of just driving their hips up. You feel that but it’s irrelevant, you’re feeling it because you’re trying to get the glutes to contract at the end of where — away from their strongest point. You’re not taxing the glutes, you’re getting a feeling, but it’s not really challenging the strength of the glutes. So I think what happens with a lot of the approaches like you’re describing, where they have half a dozen exercises to wake up the glutes, or engage them or whatever the phrase is.

Mike: Activate, yeah.

Bill:  There’s kind of a continuity there, so it should be more of a progression rather than all of these exercises are valid. If you’ve got a hip abductor machine, the progression is there already.

Mike: The thing is, it’s also a big emphasis, it’s going back to TPI and golf and stuff, is the mobility factor. So I think that’s the — the strength is there often times, but there’s a mobility issue every once in a while, and I think that is — if something is, like for example if you’re very, very tight and if your glutes are supposed to go first, so says TPI through their [Inaudible: 00:42:57] sequence, but because you’re so tight that it’s going together, and therefore it’s causing a whole mess of other things which might make your club hit the ground first, and then tension in the arms, tension in the back, and all sorts of things. I’m thinking maybe there are other points, maybe the mobility thing has to be addressed in relation to a golf swing, more so than are the glutes actually working or not.

Bill: Well the answer is it all could be. So getting back to a broader point, the way we train 

people takes half an hour, twice a week maybe. That leaves plenty of time for this person to do mobility work or flexibility work, if they have a specific activity that they think they need the work in.

Mike: Or golf practice.

Bill:  Well that’s what I’m saying, even if it’s golf and even if — if you’re training for strength once or twice a week, that leaves a lot of time that you can do some of these mobility things, if the person needs them. That type of program, NASM has a very elaborate personal trainer 

program, but they tend to equally weight every possible — some people work at a desk and they’re not — their posture is fine. Maybe they just intuitively stretch during the day, so I think a lot of those programs try to give you a recipe for every possible eventuality, and then there’s a continuum within that recipe. First we’re going to do one leg bridges, then we’re going to do two leg bridges, now we’re going to do two leg bridges on a ball, now we’re going to do leg bridges with an extra weight, now we’re going to do two leg bridges with an elastic band. Some of those things are just progressions, there’s no magic to any one of those exercises, but I think that’s on a case by case basis. If the person says I’m having trouble doing the swing the way the instructor is teaching me, then you can pick it apart, but the answer is not necessarily weight training.

Mike: The limitation could be weakness but it could be a mobility thing, it could be a whole bunch of things, it could be just that their mechanics are off.

Bill: And it could just be that it’s a bad sport for them. The other thing with postural issues, is if you get them when a person’s young, you might be able to correct them. You get a person 60, 70, it may have settled into the actual joints. The joints have may have changed shape.

Adam: We’ve got people with kyphosis all the time. We’re going to not reverse that kyphosis. You have these women, I find it a lot with tall women. They grow up taller than everyone else in their class and they’re shy so they end up being kyphotic because they’re shy to stand up tall. You can prevent further degeneration and further kyphosis.

Bill: Maybe at 20 or 25, if you catch that, maybe they can train out of it, but if you get it when it’s already locked in, all you can do is not do more damage.

Adam: So a lot of people feel and argue that machines are great if you want to just do really high intensity, get really deep and go to failure, but if you want to really learn how to use your body in  space, then free weights and body weight movements need to be incorporated, and both are 

important. Going to failure with machines in a safe manner, that might be cammed properly, but that in and of itself is not enough. That a lot of people for full fitness or conditioning if you will, you need to use free weights or body weight movements —

Mike: Some people even think that machines are bad and only body weights should be done.

Adam: Do you have an opinion about if one is better than the other, or they both serve different purposes and they’re both important, or if you just use either one of them correctly, you’re good.

Bill: Let’s talk about the idea that free weights are more functional than machines. I personally think it’s what you do with your body that makes it functional or not, and by functional, that’s —

Adam: Let’s talk about that, let’s talk about functional training.

Bill:  I’m half mocking that phrase.

Adam: So before you even go into the question I just asked, maybe we can talk about this idea, because people are throwing around the expression functional training nowadays. So Crossfit is apparently functional training, so what exactly was functional training and what has it become?

Bill: I don’t know what they’re talking about, because frankly if I’ve got to move a tire from point A to point B, I’m rolling it, I’m not flipping it. 

Adam: That would be more functional, wouldn’t it.

Bill: If I have to lift something, if I have a child or a bag of groceries that I have to lift, I’m not going to lift a kettle bell or dumbbell awkwardly to prepare for that awkward lift. In other words, I would rather train my muscles safely and then if I have to do something awkward, hopefully I’m strong enough to get through it, to withstand it. My thought was, when I started in 1982 or so, 84, 83, somewhere in the early 80s I started to train, most of us at the time were very influenced by the muscle magazines. So it was either muscle magazines, or the [Inaudible: 00:48:24] one set to failure type training, but the people that we were training in the early 80s, especially in Manhattan, they weren’t body builders and they weren’t necessarily athletes. So to train business people and celebrities and actors etc, like you would train an athlete seemed like a bad idea. Plus how many times did I hear, oh I don’t want to get big, or I’m not going out for the Olympics. Okay fine, but then getting to what Mike said before, if someone has a hunched over shoulder or whatever, now you’re tailoring the training to what the person is in front of you, to what is relevant to their life. 20 inch arms didn’t fascinate them, why are you training them to get 20 inch arms? Maybe a trimmer waist was more their priority, so to my eye, functional training and personal training, back in the 80s, was synonymous. Somewhere since the 80s, functional training turned into this anti machine approach and functional training for sport was [Inaudible: 00:49:32] by a guy named Mike Boyle. His main point in there is, and I’m paraphrasing so if I get it wrong, don’t blame him, but his point was as an athlete, you don’t necessarily need to bench heavy or squat heavy or deadlift heavy, although it might be helpful, but you do need the muscles that hold your joints together to be in better shape. So all of his exercises were designed around rotator cuff, around the muscles around the spine, the muscles around the hips, the muscles around the ankles. So in his eye it was functional for sport, he was training people, doing exercises, so they would hold their posture together so that that wouldn’t cause a problem on the field. That material was pretty good, went a little overboard I think in some ways, but generally it was pretty good, but then it kind of got bastardized as it got caught into the commercial fitness industry, and it just became an excuse for sequencing like a lunge with a curl with a row with a pushup, to another lunge, to a squat. It just became sort of a random collection of movements, justified as being functional, functional for what? At least Boyle was functional for sport, his point was to cut injuries down in sport. Where is the function in stringing together, again, a curl, to a press, to a pushup, to a squat, back to the curl, like one rep of each, those are more like stunts or feats of strength than they are, to me, exercise, 

Adam: So when you’re talking about the muscles around the spine or the rotator cuffs, they’re commonly known as stabilizer muscles, and when we talk about free weights versus machines, a lot of times we’ll say something like, well if you want to work your stabilizer muscles, you need to use free weights, because that’s how you work the stabilizer muscles. What would you say to that?

Bill: I would say that if they’re stabilizing while they’re using the free weights, then they’re using the stabilizer muscles, right?

Adam: And if they’re stabilizing while using a machine?

Bill:  They’re using their stabilizer muscles.

Adam: Could you work out those stabilizer muscles of the shoulder on a machine chest press, the same way you can use strength in stabilizer muscles of the shoulder on a free weight bench press?

Bill:  Yes, it’s what your body is doing that counts, not the tool. So if someone is on a free weight…

Mike: Is it the same though, is it doing it the same way? So you can do it both ways, but is it the same?

Bill: If you want to — skill is very specific, so if you want to barbell bench press, you have to barbell bench press.

Adam: Is there an advantage to your stabilizer muscles to do it with a free weight bench press, as opposed to a machine?

Bill: I don’t see it, other than to help the ability to free weight bench press, but if that’s not why the person is training, if the person is just training for the health benefits of exercise to use it broadly, I don’t think it matters — if you’re on a machine chest press and you’re keeping your shoulder blades down and back, and you’re not buckling your elbows, you’re voluntarily 

controlling the range of the motion. I don’t see how that stabilization is different than if you’re on a barbell bench press, and you have to do it the same way. 

Adam: You’re balancing, because both arms have to work independently in a way.

Bill:  To me that just makes it risky, that doesn’t add a benefit.

Mike: What about in contrast to lets say, a pushup. A bodyweight pushup, obviously there’s a lot more going on because you’re holding into a plank position which incorporates so many more muscles of your entire body, but like Adam and I were talking the other day about the feeling — if you’re not used to doing pushups regularly, which Adam is all about machines and stuff like that, I do a little bit of everything, but slow protocol. It’s different, one of our clients is unbelievably strong on all of the machines, we’re talking like top 10% in weight on everything. Hip abduction, leg press, chest press, pull downs, everything, and this guy could barely do 8 limited range of motion squats with his body weight, and he struggles with slow pushups, like doing 5 or 6 pushups. 5 seconds down, 5 seconds up, to 90 degrees at the elbow, he’s not even going past — my point is that he’s working exponentially harder despite that he’s only dealing with his body weight, then he is on the machines, in all categories.

Bill:  So here’s the thing though. Unless that’s a thing with them, that I have to be able to do 100 pushups or whatever, what’s the difference?

Mike: The difference is —

Adam: The question is why though. Why could he lift 400, 500 pounds on Medex chest press, he could hardly do a few pushups, and should he be doing pushups now because have we discovered some kind of weakness? That he needs to work on pushups?

Bill: Yes, but it’s not in his pecs and his shoulders.

Mike: I’m going to agree, exactly.

Bill:  The weakness is probably in his trunk, I don’t know what the guy is built like. The weakness is in his trunk because in a pushup, you’re suspending yourself between your toes and your arms.

Adam: So somebody should probably be doing ab work and lower back extensions?

Bill: No he should be doing pushups. He should be practicing pushups, but practicing them in a way that’s right. Not doing the pushup and hyper extending his back, doing a pushup with his butt in the air. Do a perfect pushup and then if your form breaks, stop, recover. Do another perfect pushup, because we’re getting back into things that are very, very specific. So for instance, if you tell me that he was strong on every machine, and he comes back every week and he’s constantly pulling things in his back, then I would say yes, you have to address it.

Mike: This is my observations that are more or less about — I think it’s something to do with his coordination, and he’s not comfortable in his own body. For example, his hips turn out 

significantly, like he can’t put his feet parallel on the leg press for example. So if I ever have him do a limited range of motion lunge, his feet go into very awkward positions. I can tell he struggles with balance, he’s an aspiring golfer as well. His coordination is — his swing is really, I hope he never listens to this, it’s horrible. 

Adam: We’re not giving his name out.

Bill: Here’s the thing now. You as a trainer have to decide, am I going to reconfigure what he’s doing, at the risk of making him feel very incompetent and get him very discouraged, or do I just want to, instead of doing a machine chest press, say we’ll work on pushups. Do you just want to introduce some of these new things that he’s not good at, dribble it out to him a little bit at a time so it gives him like a new challenge for him, or is that going to demoralize him?

Mike: He’s not demoralized at all, that is not even on the table. I understand what you’re saying, I think there are other people who would look at it that way. I think he looks at it as a new challenge, I think he knows — like we’ve discussed this very, very openly. He definitely — it feels like he doesn’t have control over his body in a way. Despite his strength, I feel that — my instincts as a trainer, I want to see this guy be able to feel like he’s strong doing something that is a little bit more — incorporates his body more in space than just being on a machine. If I’m measuring his strength based on what he can do by pressing forward or pulling back or squatting down, he’s passed the test with As and great form. He does all the other exercises with pretty good form, but he’s struggling with them. He has to work a lot harder in order to do it, and to be it’s an interesting thing to see someone who lifts very heavy weights on the chest press and can barely do 4 slow pushups.

Bill: Let’s look at the pushups from a different angle. Take someone who could do pushups, who can do pushups adequately, strictly and all. Have another adult sit on their butt, all of a sudden those perfect pushups, even though probably raw strength could bench press an extra person, say, you can’t do it, because someone who is thicker in the hips, has more weight around the hips, represented by the person sitting on their back, their dimensions are such that their hips are always going to be weighing them down. So that person’s core — like a person with broader hips, in order to do a pushup, their core has to be much stronger than somebody with very narrow hips, because they have less weight in the middle of their body. So some of these things are a function of proportion.

Adam: You can’t train for it, in other words you can’t improve it.

Mike: Women in general have their center of gravity in their hips, and that’s why pushups are very, very hard.

Adam: I have an extremely strong individual, a perfect example of what you’re talking about right now. I know people that are extremely, extremely strong, but some of these very, very strong individuals can do a lot of weight on a pullover machine, they can do a lot of weight on a pulldown machine, but as soon as you put them on the chin-up bar, they can’t do it. Does that mean they’re not strong, does that mean that they can’t do chin-ups, that they should be working on chin-ups because we discovered a weakness? No, there’s people for example who might have shitty tendon insertions, like you said about body weight and center of gravity, if they have really thick lower body. I notice that people who have really big, thick lower bodies, really strong people — or if they have really long arms, the leverage is different. So it begs the question, lets start doing chin-ups, yeah but you’ll never proportionally get better at chin-ups, given your proportions, given your tendon insertions, given your length of your arms. So maybe Mike, this person is just not built to do push-ups and you’re essentially just giving him another chest and body exercise that is not necessarily going to improve or help anything, because it’s a 

proportional thing, it’s a leverage thing. It’s not a strength thing, especially if you’re telling me he’s so strong and everything else.

Bill: The only way you’ll know is to try.

Mike: Well that’s the thing, and that’s what I’ve been doing. We just started it, maybe in the last month, and frankly both of us are excited by it. He’s been here for a few years, and he is also I think starving to do something a little new. I think that’s a piece of the puzzle as well, because even if you’re coming once a week and you get results, it gets a little stale, and that’s why I’ve tried to make an effort of making all the exercises we’re doing congruent. Joint friendly, very limited range of motion, and the thing is, he’s embracing the challenge, and he’s feeling it too. I know the deal with soreness and stuff like that, new stimulus.

Bill: In that case, the feeling counts, right? It doesn’t always mean something good, it doesn’t always mean something bad.

Mike: Right, it is a little bit of a marketing thing. 

Adam: It’s a motivator. It’s nothing to be ashamed of for motivation. If pushups is motivating this guy, then do pushups, they’re a great exercise regardless.

Bill: Getting back to your general question about whether free weights lends itself to stabilizing the core better or not, if that’s what the person is doing on the exercise, then it is. If the person is doing the pushup and is very tight, yes, he’s exercising his core. If the person is doing the pushup and it’s sloppy, one shoulder is rising up, one elbow to the side, it doesn’t matter that it’s a pushup —

Adam: He’s still not doing it right and he’s still not working his core.

Bill: Right, so it’s really how the person is using their body that determines whether they’re training their core appropriately, not the source of the resistance.

Adam: I’m sorry, I’ve done compound rows with free weights in all kinds of ways over the years, and now I’m doing compound row with a retrofitted Medex machine, with a CAM that really represents pretty good CAM design and I challenge anyone to think that they’re not working everything they need to work on that machine, because you’ve still got to keep your shoulders down. You’ve still got to keep your chest up, you still have to not hunch over your shoulders when you’re lowering a weight. I mean there’s a lot of things you’ve got to do right on a compound machine, just like if you’re using free weights. I don’t personally, I’ve never noticed that much of a benefit, and how do you measure that benefit anyway? How would you be able to prove that free weights is helping in one way that a machine is not, how do you actually prove something like that? I hear it all the time, you need to do it because you need to be able to —

Mike: There’s one measuring thing actually, but Bill —

Bill: I was going to say, a lot of claims of exercise, a lot of the chain of thought goes like this. You make the claim, the result, and there’s this big black box in the middle that — there’s no  explanation of why doing this leads to this. 

Mike: If you made the claim and the result turns out, then yes it’s correlated and therefore —

Bill: I was going to say getting to Crossfit and bootcamp type things, and even following along with a DVD program, whatever brand name you choose. The problem I have with that from a joint friendly perspective is you have too many moving parts for you to be managing your 

posture and taking care of your joints. Especially if you’re trying to keep up with the kettle bell class. I imagine it’s possible that you can do certain kettle bell exercises to protect your lower back and protect your shoulders. It’s possible, but what the user has to decide is how likely is it? So I know for me personally, I can be as meticulous as I want with a kettle bell or with a barbell deadlift, and at some point, I’m going to hurt myself. Not from being over ambitious, not from sloppy form, something is going to go wrong. Somebody else might look at those two exercises and say no, I’m very confident I can get this. You pay your money, you take your chance.

Mike: As a measuring tool, sometimes you never know if one is better or worse but sometimes — every once in a while, even when we have clients come into our gym and you have been 

doing everything very carefully with them, very, very modest weight, and sometimes people say, you know Mike, I’ve never had any knee problems and my knees are bothering me a little bit. I think it’s the leg press that’s been doing it, ever since we started doing that, I’m feeling like a 

little bit of a tweak in my knee, I’m feeling it when I go up stairs. Something like that, and then one of the first things I’ll do is like when did it start, interview them, try to draw some lines or some hypotheses as to what’s going on. Obviously there might be some wear and tear in their life, almost definitely was, and maybe something about their alignment on the leg press is not right. Maybe they’re right, maybe they’re completely wrong, but one of the things I’ll do first is say okay, we still want to work your legs. We still want to work your quads, your hamstrings, your glutes, let’s try doing some limited range of motions squats against the wall or with the TRX or something like that, and then like hey, how are your knees feeling over the past couple weeks? Actually you know, much much better, ever since we stopped doing the leg press.

Bill: Sometimes some movements just don’t agree with some joints.

Adam: There’s a [Inaudible: 01:05:32] tricep machine that I used to use, and it was like kind of like —

Bill: The one up here? Yeah.

Adam: You karate chop right, and your elbows are stabilized on the pad, you karate chop down. It was an old, [Inaudible: 01:05:45] machine, and I got these sharp pains on my elbows. Nobody else that I trained on that machine ever had that sharp pain in their elbows, but it bothered the hell out of my elbows. So I would do other tricep extensions and they weren’t ever a problem, so does that make that a bad exercise? For me it did.

Bill: For you it did, but if you notice, certain machine designs have disappeared. There’s a reason why those machine designs disappeared, so there’s a reason why, I think in the Nitro line, I know what machine you’re talking about. They used to call it multi tricep, right, okay, and your upper arms were held basically parallel, and you had to kind of karate chop down.

Adam: It wasn’t accounting for the carrying angle.

Bill: I’ll get to that. So your elbows were slightly above your shoulders, and you had to move your elbows into a parallel. Later designs, they moved it out here. They gave them independent axises, that’s not an accident. A certain amount of ligament binding happens, and then —

Adam: So my ligaments just were not coping with that very well.

Bill: That’s right. So for instance, exactly what joint angle your ligaments bind at is individual, but if you’re going in this direction, there is a point where the shoulder ligaments bind and you have to do this. Well that machine forced us in the bound position, so when movement has to happen, it can’t happen at the shoulder because you’re pinned in the seat. It was happening in your elbow. It might not be the same with everybody, but that is how the model works.

Adam: So getting back to your client on the leg press, like for instance — you can play with different positions too.

Mike: Well the thing is, I’m trying to decipher some of — trying to find where the issues may be. A lot of times I think that the client probably just — maybe there’s some alignment issues, IT bands are tight or something like that, or maybe there’s a weak — there can be a lot of different little things, but the machines are perfect and symmetrical, but you aren’t. You’re trying to put your body that’s not through a pattern, a movement pattern that has to be fixed in this plane, when your body kind of wants to go a little to the right, a little to the left, or something like that. It just wants to do that even though you’re still extending and flexing. In my mind and through some of the literature that I’ve explored, it has made me think I don't have the answer but I’m thinking something along the lines of, we’re working with this person’s issues. I still want them to be able to do a squat or a leg press in this fashion or that fashion. This is where they got some knee pain, this is where they didn’t, I don’t know exactly what the cause is or whatever, but no pain, exercise, okay. Pain, exercise, not okay, and that’s kind of where I’ve directed those types of things.

Bill: I think that’s where a lot of attempts at franchising one right way to exercise, where it fails. Whether it was Curves, where the attendees had to fit into those machines or they couldn’t exercise, or go back to the 80s when you had all these fitness centers all over the place, but it was one set to failure, no rest, it was cookie cutter. It doesn’t really catch because nobody has perfectly fluid joints that can fit into everything. In our type of environment where ultimately it’s personal training, we feature machines, but it’s personal training. At least we have the option to say if this hurts, we’re going to try an alternative, we’re going to work the same muscles in the same joint, we’ll just find the way it doesn’t work. I don’t see that you’re losing anything from it. I’m also not selling the equipment. That is what I’m selling though, that service of saying okay, this hurts, we have an alternative that maybe doesn’t hurt, and we can get the same benefit.

Mike: With my experience, that’s the thing with our business and what we all do quite well is understanding that we have basic movements. We know what we want to do to strengthen the quads, strengthen chest, strengthen the shoulders, but there are some customizations and things that we have to consider when we take a new client or an existing client over time and work with what’s going on. Psychologically, there’s so many different things to take in.

Bill: I do think though that one thing that was better in the early 80s, is because we had all these novice fitness centers around with the one right way to work out, even though that didn’t catch, I noticed the trainers who came through that system, you had a common vocabulary that you could work off of. At Sports Training Institute, which was around that time, we would get trainers from those types of novice fitness centers, and it was like that was sort of like the default workout. One set to failure, full range of motion on this machine, but if the client didn’t like going to 

failure or if the machine didn’t agree with them, it would take us — we had the option of doing what we do now. Trainers today, people coming out of school today or even with multiple 

certifications, there’s a definite — to me, there’s a lack of — it’s like the anything goes school of exercise. If I call it an exercise, it’s an exercise. There’s no common vocabulary, so a young trainer will come into the studio and see that I have a kettle bell. He’ll say great, I’m going to do… no you’re not, no, no no. Kettle bells hold the door open, that was for experimentation only and I was the guinea pig. No, we do not do that with clients. There’s too much of an anything goes mentality, just because some physical labor you did makes you breathless, makes you sweat, makes your muscles burn and pumps you up, doesn’t necessarily make it a good idea. That I think is very common among newer trainers, and again I definitely sound like an old —

Mike: I think you’re definitely right. I think younger, newer trainers, they get high off of selling themselves as someone who is going to kill you, and they want their client to tell their friends, oh my god you’ve got to meet my trainer, he just beat the shit out of me, oh my god.

Bill: Personally I think that that is more of a turnoff than they realize. There’s a reason why, I don’t know about the city, but there’s Planet Fitnesses all over the place by me, and I judicially ride by them during some peak hours, and the parking lots are all full. It’s a much more low key, now granted maybe the quality of — I don’t really know what they’re doing inside, I’m going to assume it’s not too highly intensely vigorous based on their marketing.

Mike: Spend the ten bucks and find out.

Bill: The thing is, there’s a reason why people join health clubs in January and drop out the rest of the year. Something isn’t connecting, and I really think that hard ass presentation is part of it.

Adam: It was a great discussion. We’re in Manhattan right now, and Bill came all the way from New Jersey.

Bill: Central New Jersey as a matter of fact.

Adam: Where?

Bill: Cranberry, New Jersey.

Mike: Where is that?

Bill: Exit 8 off the turnpike. 

Mike: It’s one mile off that exit.

Bill: As a matter of fact it is, but smaller than you guys have. 800 square feet, approximately a [Inaudible: 01:13:43], with other things, a couple cardio pieces. Mainly to say I have it, and if I can do one worthwhile thing with it, I’ll use it. Like a heavy rope, that’s kind of a silly piece of exercise equipment to be blunt, but I figured out one exercise I could do that’s not going to hurt people, that seems to work, so just to have it for variety and novelty, we have it. I have a Swiss ball, medicine ball, and various items, again, just for the novelty.

Adam: So do we by the way.

Bill: So the difference between what we do is virtually nothing compared to what we do — what any of us do compared to the bootcamps and —

Mike: The key is time efficient and safe.

Adam: Maybe we should invite some of those people on our podcast, people who think what we’re doing is bullshit and see what they have to say. They dare walk into our space.

Bill: It is interesting because the exercise industry has created this structure that I don’t think — I kind of think is a house of cards. It appears to have a lot of substance to it, but if you can’t apply it to most people who walk in your door, what good is it? That’s kind of why I got away from NCA type stuff and heavy industry stuff.

Adam: Let me tell you, you say that, but Crossfit is very popular from what I understand, and various bootcamps —

Mike: There’s a lot of boutique fitness centers.

Adam: I know a private equity company bought out Barry’s bootcamp —

Bill: Listen, I’m not giving investment advice, but I’m talking about as far as — 

Mike: So you’re shorting it is what you’re saying.

Bill: No, but if you talk to people at any bootcamp by us, everybody is banged up.

Mike: All the physical therapists that we have here, they say that their business is fantastic because of Crossfit and bootcamps.

Bill: See those things, things like that normalize getting injured in exercise, but it’s just like 

politics. If you say something outrageous, everything up to outrageous gets normalized, even if that stuff is outrageous.

Adam: Like a low carb diet, I’m eating 100 grams of carbs a day and that’s considered a low carb diet, well yeah. Compared to the average American diet of 500 carbs a day, but 100 grams of carb is not that low.

Mike: Jamie, my 630 on Tuesday morning, he said a girl in his office is hurt, her lower back is hurt, and she can’t wait to get back to Crossfit when her back feels better. It’s unbelievable, it’s like what!

Bill: Again, it normalizes getting injures as a part of exercise.

Adam: Well forever, it’s been no pain no gain, forever.

Bill: I think [Inaudible: 01:16:36] in the early days… granted there was some excessive — we overtrained and trained too hard, stuff like that, but there was a little more of a — [Inaudible: 01:16:47] and stuff like that, there’s a little more awareness of the exercise itself not causing new problems.

Mike: At the time, you said in your books, in your pamphlets, it was all about body builders at the time. People now, like everybody thinks, I’ve got to go to the gym, I’ve got to get fit. My cardio, my heart disease, I’ve got to make sure I’m healthy for my kids and all that kind of stuff. I think it’s everywhere now, and everyone feels that they have to participate in getting exercise, whether they do it or not.

Bill: See that person really can’t justify getting hurt at exercise. I’ve got to stay healthy for my kids, so I’m going to trash my back and lower rotator cuff in my workout.

Mike: That’s a separate thing, but the thing is the Crossfit thing, it’s amazing how the community and they just can’t wait to be back at their next session, which was yesterday. Tomorrow. The relatively, very intense classes or sessions —

Adam: I haven’t met too many people that have been doing Crossfit for years. I’ve been doing Crossfit for two years, three years —

Mike: I have a client right now who does it every weekend, and he’s got a lot of problems by the way. Shoulder problems, back problems —

Bill: See I can not relate to that guys’ thinking at all.

Mike: Honestly, here’s the thing going back to connecting with the — every time someone tells me they’re going to do their bootcamps or whatever, I’m like listen, be very mindful about what you’re doing. I never want to say don’t do it because — I used to do that and I saw that people stopped listening to me immediately. 

Bill: Or worse, they stop coming to you.

Mike: I’ve wrestled with that for many years, and now I just try to encourage mindfulness and some people, they listen and other people just keep on going. Mike you’re going to kill me man, I went to the fitting room again, and man it was crazy.

Adam: We also get misrepresented and misunderstood when, for example, I’ve heard recently even, like some people were like I like that InForm Fitness, I like that concept of the once a week, high intensity workout, but I like working out every single day. So I don’t know if that’s for me, because I’d rather workout every single day, as if it’s a mutually exclusive decision. What I like to say, and that’s where we stand, that’s not what we say. We don’t say if you do this, don’t do anything else in your life. What we’re saying is all you need is one really highly intense workout per week, and then do all your other things if you like doing all your other things. If you’d like to get on a treadmill and burn off some steam every single day, then do so, but do so in moderation and do so carefully, and understand the risks associated with that. You don’t have to not do it. What you need to be careful of is overdoing too many really super duper intense workouts, that’s what we’re really saying.

Mike: Exactly. If you’re doing intense yoga or intense boxing, there needs to be more space in between weight training and those types of things.

Bill: Well I probably, especially over the summers, quote workout every day. I’m still only using weights once a week, but every day I’m either on a bike or I’m doing a fast walk with the dog.

Adam: You’re recreating man, you’re living. Nothing wrong with getting your heart pumping.

Mike: Honestly I’ve been encouraging, and I do this with myself. I use the cross ball — I really have no pains on my body, but I do a little of the cross ball stuff on my hips and my lower back, like foam roller type of things, and then some mobility exercises. Some pelvic tilts, I like some glute bridges and [Inaudible: 01:20:37], that type of thing. With some of my clients who are very, very tight on a regular basis or feel their lower back tightness, I just say try these things. They’re relatively innocuous, it doesn’t feel like much, but I teach them how to do it. Almost all of them are reporting, you know Mike, I’ve been doing that for a few weeks and I feel a little bit better. A little relief from the general strain, and that’s the kind of stuff I like to encourage on a daily basis. Keep their mind on their body —

Bill: I notice you have like pilates on the door. I really think once a week, high intensity, whether it’s machines or free weights, and the discipline like a pilates or yoga, or even if you want to use a non branded term, mobilization exercises, I think that’s an exactly right combination. As far as staying healthy and being physically capable as we get older, that’s the exact right combination. The days of heavy lifting, five times a week —

Adam: So there you go. If I was anti — if we stood for — we wouldn’t have an acupuncturist here, pilates instructor here, we wouldn’t have a massage therapist here. It’s not one size fits all number one, and they’re two different things. This is high intensity exercise to get you strong as hell in the safest manner possible, and then like you said, mix it in with some of these more body aware things.

Mike: The pilates instructor thinks what we do here is fantastic. We have a lot of clients between both of us, it’s fantastic.

Adam: Bill, thank you so much for coming here, I hope you come back. There’s so much more to talk about, will you come back for some more?

Bill: Of course I will, very good.

Mike: Thank you very much Bill, we appreciate it.


Mar 13, 2017

In Episode 19 Adam discusses his biggest surprise in how the fitness industry has changed since starting InForm Fitness almost 20 years ago.  Following the IForm Fitness protocol, Adam, Mike, and Sheila share some of their individual techniques for accessing their clients' goals and motivational factors.

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