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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Apr 24, 2017

Adam Zickerman discusses his 90-day journey of completely 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:


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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.

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


Mar 6, 2017

Here in Episode 18 Adam, Mike, Sheila, and Tim discuss the Time Magazine article titled, The New Science of Exercise. Does the information shared in this article line up with the high intensity training that is offered at Inform Fitness? Perhaps the truth is in the science.

Click here for the link to the Time Magazine article:

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

Feb 27, 2017

What do you mean "failure is the ONLY option"?  It's a hard concept to grasp, but we are talking about muscle failure. Reaching muscle failure safely is scientifically proven to build muscle, burn fat, and to assist in rebooting your metabolism.

In this episode, Adam Zickerman, Mike Rodgers, Sheila Melody, and Tim Edwards define muscle failure and how the expert trainers at all Inform Fitness locations can get you there safely.

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


Feb 20, 2017

Want to look like a fitness model? Well, we have some bad news for you. No matter how hard or how long you workout, if you don’t have the genes, it’s not going to happen.

In this episode of the Inform Fitness Podcast, Adam Zickerman interviews Jay Vincent, who is also a high intensity trainer. Jay also happens to be a professional fitness model for popular athletic clothing lines such as Under Armor and appeared in small acting roles for Jay’s MuscleTech ads have been featured in many popular fitness magazines including FLEX, Muscular Development, Muscle and Fitness, FitnessRx, Ironman and more.

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

Feb 12, 2017

A couple times a year Adam visits the Burbank/Toluca Lake Inform Fitness location.  During his visit to La La Land in the holiday season of 2016, we set up our podcast studio in the lobby of Inform Fitness for our first ever, live, onsite podcast recording.

Sheila Melody introduced us to all of the trainers at the Burbank location, including Tim’s personal trainer Joseph Altamirano.  Joe share’s Tim’s progress after working out for an entire year at Inform Fitness.  We will also hear from several Inform Fitness clients who have benefited from The Power of Ten.

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


Feb 5, 2017

This podcast episode includes about a 10-minute interview between Adam

and Joanie which basically recaps what we talked about in the last two episodes of

The Inform Fitness Podcast. Then at the completion of the video a little magic happened.  A relatively spontaneous little jam session broke out between Adam and Joanie.

Adam pulled out a guitar and Joanie shared her voice with us and we captured it all on video. It was really great and we hope that you enjoy it as much as we did.

Click here to see the video of this episode:

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:

14 Jammin with Adam and Joanie - 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: Hey InForm Nation. Welcome into a special bonus addition of the InForm Fitness

podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. I'm Tim Edwards with the

Inbound Podcasting Network. A few things are a little different about this episode.

For one, it's definitely going to be a little shorter than 20 minutes. And Mike and

Sheila won't be making an appearance but certainly will be returning in the next

week's episode. The audio was captured from a video that my company, Inbound

Films, produced for InForm Fitness.

Now, if you listen to the podcast with any regularity you know that Sheila and I

are here in the Los Angeles area but we record the podcast from two separate

locations. Mike Rogers and InForm Fitness founder, Adam Zickerman, participate

from their Manhattan location in New York City. Well, in June of 2016 Adam

Zickerman visited the InForm Fitness location in Toluca Lake near Burbank,

California and we filmed a ton of trainer certification and marketing videos for

InForm Fitness. Some of which you'll be able to see at Well,

during Adam's visit here in Los Angeles, Joanie Pimentel from the group No

Small Children and the special guest of our last two episodes here in the podcast,

Fat Loss and Face Melting, stopped by InForm Fitness to chat with Adam in one

of the videos that we were producing.

Now, this podcast episode includes about a 10-minute interview between Adam

and Joanie which basically recaps what we talked about in the last two episodes of

the podcast. Then at the completion of the video a little magic happened. A

relatively spontaneous little jam session broke out between Adam and Joanie.

Adam pulled out a guitar and Joanie shared her voice with us and we captured it

all on video. It was really great and we hope that you enjoy it as much as we did.

So, here is our bonus episode of the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with

Adam Zickerman and friends. This episode is called Jammin with Adam and


Adam: Hi, I'm Adam Zickerman. I'm here with Joanie Pimentel from No Small Children,

one of my favorite new bands. And she was just a recent guest on one of my

shows called 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. Joanie, I love your

band. I love No Small Children. I've met you guys. I've seen you live. Your


albums are great. You have high energy. It's really awesome. Your voices are --

your voice, it kills me. It kills me.

Joanie: Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you.

Adam: Really. Really. So, tell me about the band a little bit. Tell everyone about that.

Joanie: Well, we are a power trio as you had mentioned.

Adam: Yes. It's a power trio.

Joanie: We play original rock music. We've been playing together about three years now. We have three albums out and we are super active on all social media, Facebook, Instagram, all those things the kids are doing nowadays. And we actually

something very exciting has just happened for us. We were -- one of our songs

was selected to be in the new Ghostbusters movie.

Adam: Oh my gosh.

Joanie: We had actually recorded a version of the Ghostbusters' theme song and

submitted it to Sony Pictures, thinking this, you know, probably nothing with ever

happen of it but it did and they actually fell in love with our version of the song at

the last minute, snuck it into the movie. So, you will hear --

Adam: It's going to be opening credits of the movie.

Joanie: It's going to be in the closing credits of the movie and over the blooper reel. Yes.

Adam: Wow.

Joanie: So, you will hear us playing that version.

Adam: Oh, right on. Congratulations.

Joanie: Yeah. It's really exciting. It's really, really exciting, so.

Adam: That's great.

Joanie: Yeah.

Adam: Yeah. Well, it couldn't happen to a better group of people.

Joanie: Why thank you so much.

Adam: You definitely deserve it.

Joanie: We are very serious about having fun.

Adam: Yeah [laughs].

Joanie: Very serious, so.

Adam: So, tell us, the reason you were on our podcast is because you went through a

transformation recently.

Joanie: I have indeed. Yes.

Adam: And you've been -- part of that transformation was using the Power of 10

workout. So, why don't you tell me a little bit about that?

Joanie: Well, over the past about a year, just over a year, I have been in the process of losing quite a bit of weight. I've lost about 120 pounds at this point. And early on I

met with Sheila through InForm Fitness. I met her through my sister who is a

longtime friend of Sheila's and I came to the open house and I have always been

one of those people who despises working out. There really is nothing that beats

relaxing on the couch. It's very hard to beat that [laughs] but --

Adam: [laughs] I'm with you.

Joanie: Yes. It feels good, right? So, I came to the open house and I was a total skeptic

and I said to Sheila, just so you know, I hate all exercise. I don't like going to the

gym. I do not like going to classes. It's not for lack of effort or willingness. I just

tried it and really disliked it. So, she said, great. I said, what do you mean great?

She says, this is going to be perfect for you. This approach it takes 20 minutes. It

speaks to the things that are very important to you. There is lots of data and

scientific information to back up its effectiveness and it's results driven. So, I said,

alright. I'll believe it when I see it.

So, I started working out with her once a week and within three weeks it was very

clear that it was working. I started to feel really strong and for me personally

that's actually very important, that part of it. I have to move a lot of equipment

and gear, often have to do it very quickly. And when you're in an all-female trio

and you're the biggest person [laughs] --

Adam: After the Ghostbusters you can have roadies soon.


Joanie: Yeah. Oh, wouldn't that be amazing? I would love that. Yes. But in the interim we manage all of our own gear and things like that. So, being able to do that's very

important. And also not getting hurt is very important because those things can

really end your career if you get seriously hurt. Not being able to jump around on

stage and perform is a big problem. So, that was always a concern.

Adam: Yeah. Well, that's our number one value principle is don't do any harm and

[crosstalk 06:41] results.

Joanie: That's right. And actually that was one of the things that appealed to me right

away, is that the emphasis was put on safety. All the equipment looked like

something you would see in a medical rehab center. Not even necessarily at your

local gym. So, and I did the workout the first time and I could barely walk to the

car. And I said, okay, this is clearly a workout. I was skeptical that you could get it

done in 20 minutes but it definitely worked for sure. And then I came back the

next week and came back the next week and like I said, after three weeks, I really

noticed a difference. And then it continued to grow from there.

Adam: [Crosstalk 07:19].

Joanie: About four years earlier I had been treated for thyroid cancer and one of the

treatments, the treatment requires that you essentially be starved of thyroid

hormone which makes you completely exhausted to the point where every muscle

in your body stops working effectively. And that was very difficult for me.

Actually, strangely enough that was the most difficult part of the entire process.

Because I have always self-identified as being very strong, physically strong

person. Being able to lift things that are heavy, more so than the average woman.

So, when that part of me was gone I felt like part of my identity had gone.

Adam: Hm [contemplative], interesting.

Joanie: So, maintaining that was very important to me. And, so that three weeks later I

said, okay, this is working and the Sheila and I continued to work out for quite

some time and then we had some trouble with our schedules and things didn't line

up and I got busy with touring and I'm also a teacher as well, music teacher. So,

that became difficult. So, I had gotten the book. The Power of 10 book early on.

My first time, the open house and --

Adam: New York Times best-seller by the way.

Joanie: Yes, and so --

Adam: For one week.


Joanie: It was -- it's -- and I'll tell you, it's not like reading through a novel. It's very

practical the way the book is laid out and written. So, what I did was after I read

it, I took pictures of the various workouts and then kept it on my phone.

Adam: That's [crosstalk 08:45] [laughs]--

Joanie: And when I couldn't meet with Sheila I would go to the gym and look at my

phone and look through all the workouts and do it at the gym. And I get a lot of

strange stares here and there.

Adam: That's interesting.

Joanie: You know, everybody's kind of going fast and putting in and I'm there --

Adam: Yeah. I know.

Joanie: One, two and then three. You know, slow and steady and the people at the gym

that I've gone to have seen me shrink over time.

Adam: Yes. That's funny. You talked about this weight loss. 100 and how many pounds?

Joanie: It was 119 as of today.

Adam: 119 pounds. So, let's talk about that because I think it's important for everyone to

understand how you lost that weight.

Joanie: Yes. It is.

Adam: That obviously no exercise program in the world can ever be responsible, solely

responsible for weight loss, fat loss. So, how'd you do it?

Joanie: Well, as you said, exercise is relatively small part of losing that much weight.

Adam: Absolutely.

Joanie: So, I did have a vertical sleeve gastrectomy in September of 2015. That's a type of

weight loss surgery. It's not as --

Adam: Bariatric surgery, mhm [affirmative].

Joanie: Yeah. It's not as -- it's not as restrictive as a gastric bypass but it is a very popular,

growing in popularity procedure. Now, the thing about weight loss surgery, what they often don't tell you going into it is that actually 50% of people who have

weight loss surgery gain all of their weight back.

Adam: Mhm [affirmative].

Joanie: And also during the process and you're losing weight very rapidly, it's very easy to lose muscle mass. And you also excess skin is a problem, especially the older you

get. So, what the Power of 10 did -- what the surgery did for helping me lose

weight, the Power of 10 helped me to actually make my body strong and fit. So,

my body does not look like it would if I had not done Power of 10. Absolutely

does not. The extra muscle not only aides in the weight loss because at a resting --

when I'm resting metabolically, I'm still burning more calories than I would if I

didn't have that added muscle mass. It prevented me from losing muscle mass

during this process which is very easy to do and it -- the added tone to my frame

helps to support excess skin. I mean, there's really not a whole lot you can do

about excess skin but you can help how it looks by supporting the skin with

muscle. And I feel stronger right now than I ever have in my entire life, ever,

hands down.

Adam: Right on.

Joanie: Yeah.

Adam: Well, congratulations.

Joanie: Thank you so much.

Adam: You look so great. You look great.

Joanie: Thank you so much.

Adam: You always looked great to me actually.

Joanie: Thank you. Thank you. And I'll tell you there is no weight loss surgery, there's no exercise program in the world that's going to change how you feel about yourself.

That way's a two stage process. I had to start with my body and then I had to work

on my head. So, the in -- that the only -- that it's a lot easier to change how your

body looks than how you feel about how your body looks so.

Adam: Right. Well, you said on our podcast that you never thought of yourself -- you

were not an insecure person. [laughs]


Joanie: No. It's very -- thankfully, music -- that's one of the gifts of music is that from a very young age my identity was more about being a musician and being on stage

and things like that. I before the surgery I was not ashamed to be an obese person.

I was -- I didn't feel like I was ugly or disgusting. Fitting in airplane seats was

kind of tricky and --

Adam: [laughs] [Crosstalk 12:04].

Joanie: Finding matching clothes was a little -- because our band we actually always wear matching dresses. So, it's much easier now find matching dressing than it used to be. You know, we don't have to worry about finding extra small, small and a

double extra-large. Now it's small, medium and large. So, or actually small, small

and medium. I am at a size eight right now.

Adam: You're a medium. You're a medium, officially.

Joanie: I wear size eight pant and I wear a size six dress. I have not been in a single digit dress or pant size in my entire adult life ever.

Adam: Now, I asked you also and you said no. And the question was, it doesn't affect

your voice losing all that weight.

Joanie: Nope. That's a misnomer. That's a very old like classical --

Adam: Mhm [affirmative]. Yeah. Can you prove that with me?

Joanie: Absolutely. Are you asking me to sing with you?

Adam: I am asking you to sing with me. Yes.

Joanie: I would love to. I would love to.

Adam: It would be a real honor because I'm a frustrated rock star. And never had the

talent for that so I went into fitness. But this would fulfill a fantasy of mine.

Joanie: Oh my gosh. Hey, you know the difference between a frustrated musician and a working musician?

Adam: Probably not much, right?

Joanie: Just getting up on the stage and doing it. Just got to get up on the stage and do it.

That's the only cure.


Adam: Alright. Alright. So, let's do it then.

Joanie: Alright.

Tim: So, there's a little backstory that I want to share with you before we get ready to

hear Jammin with Adam and Joanie. Since Adam was traveling he didn't have his

own guitar with him and Adam wasn't quite sure if Joanie would be interested in

singing when she showed up for her on camera interview. But he wanted to be

prepared just in case. Well, I have a guitar so I offered to let Adam use it. Now,

even though I have a guitar, I don't play it. It really serves as a decorative piece in

my house.


Well, many years ago I had it signed by many popular musicians and since it's

been on a shelf for close to 20 years, the strings were as Adam calls it, dead.

Nonetheless, it was all we had. So, when Joanie graciously accepted Adam's offer

to perform with him Adam made the most of my 20-year-old dead guitar strings.

My guitar truly never sounded so good. Judge for yourself. Here's Joanie Pimentel

from the group No Small Children with Adam Zickerman performing Tracy

Chapman's ”Give Me One Reason” live from the InForm Fitness studios in Toluca


Joanie: Alright, Adam, you ready?

[“Give Me One Reason” cover by Joanie Pimentel and Adam Zickerman plays]

Adam: [laughs] [claps] I love it.

Joanie: [laughs] Nice.

Adam: Very good.

Tim:  That was pretty cool. That was Joanie Pimentel from the group No Small Children and our very own Adam Zickerman with Tracy Chapman's Give Me One Reason. Remember the ladies from No Small Children will be hitting the road out in the east coast and the mid-west here in the month of August in 2016 and don't forget to head out to the movies this summer and see Ghostbusters. If you do, stick around to the closing credits and the bloopers so you can hear Joanie and her group No Small Children perform the song “Ghostbusters” over the closing redits and the bloopers. Very, very cool.

We'll be back again for another regular addition of the InForm Fitness podcast, 20

minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. Please don't forget to subscribe right

here in iTunes, we would greatly appreciate it. Thanks again for listening to the

special addition of the InForm Fitness podcast. For Adam, Mike and Sheila, I'm

Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network.



Jan 30, 2017

In this episode we'll revisit Joanie's amazing weight loss journey and of course, we'll finally explain the title of this episode, Fat Loss and Face Melting. Here at the Inform Fitness Podcast we have the great privilege of announcing a major development for Joanie's group, No Small Children. News that was received just a short time after the recording of this podcast. News that after hearing this episode you'll want to grab your friends and family and head to the movies. 

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:

13 Fat Loss and Face Melting Part 02 - 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: InForm Nation, thanks again for joining us here once again at the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. This is part two of Fat Loss and Face Melting. A little confused by the title? Hang on. We’ll get to that in just a second. But before that, if you didn’t have a chance to listen to part one, we recommend you go back and give it a listen first before venturing on into this episode. Of course again today we have the regular cast of characters, Mike Rogers, Sheila Melody, myself, Tim Edwards and the founder of InForm Fitness, Adam Zickerman. But our special guest joining us once again is Joanie Pimentel of the LA based all-female trio, No Small Children. Rocking chicks by night, school teachers by day.

The main reason Joanie's joining us again is because she has lost over 118 pounds over the past two years in large part through her participation in the Power of 10. In this episode we'll revisit Joanie's amazing weight loss journey and of course we'll finally explain the title of this episode, Fat Loss and Face Melting. Oh, and one more thing, I have the great privilege of announcing a major development for Joanie's group, No Small Children. News that was received just a short time after the recording of this podcast. News that I know that after hearing this episode you'll want to grab your friends and family and head to the movies here in the summer of 2016. That's enough hints for right now. What do you say we rejoin the conversation with Adam, Mike, Sheila, myself and Joanie Pimentel? Here's part two of Fat Loss and Face Melting.

You know, Joanie, one of our last few episodes was about fat loss. And it really ties into what we're doing today too because we're going to talk a little bit about your career as a musician, your career as a teacher and weight loss too but looking at your website and I was trying to do a little research and learning a little bit about you before we had you in the program I love the very first line in the about section. It says, "Three teachers walk into a bar, onto the stage, plug their instruments in and then ... they melt your face." And [laughter] after watching all of you play through some of your videos you definitely perform some face melt-ers there. So, I love the way that all tied in perfectly.


13 Fat Loss and Face Melting Part 02 - Transcript


Adam: Joanie:

Adam: Mike: Adam: Tim: Adam: Tim: Joanie: Adam:

Tim: Joanie: Mike: Joanie:


You know, I -- melting somebody's face is a common term used by punk rockers and metal guys. And, so, Tim you read on our website that we try to melt faces with our performance and that is true. But my face has literally been melted by doing this workout so I'm very grateful.

Joanie, what do you consider your most face melting song?

[laughs] You know, my most face melting song is the next one we're going to write, probably. I would say, it's the next one.

Ah, as in like --

That's a great answer. [laughter]

It's also a copout. [laughter]

Alright. Okay, now we're going to challenge you from this point back --

It is a great answer but just give me one.

Yeah. One you love to melt people's faces with.

There's a lot of them. It's like being asked to pick your favorite kid.

Well, you know, it's not going to be one of your ballads, right? So, come on. Narrow it down a little bit.

One you love to do.
Well, you know what, that's not necessarily true. That's not necessarily true. That's not necessarily true. I'm with her on that.

Because, you know, most of my life I have been a soul singer. This is really the first project I've ever been involved in where I'm doing punky rock songs. To me the idea of melting your face is more about the intensity of your performance. And it has not so much to do with the tempo of the song but how you deliver it. And so there's been plenty times in my life when I'm singing soul music that I just pour everything I have into it in that moment. And that's for me what it means to melt someone's face, so --

It's an intensity thing, just like slow motion weight training.

That's right.

Just like our workout.

I was thinking more like Motorhead type melt.

Adam, honestly, I was thinking more about slow motion weight training which is very slow and very, very intense.

Yes, it is.

Yeah and it totally melts your face off.

That's right.

And your fat cells as well.

I totally get what you're saying regarding how you can melt your face off being a very soulful singer.

That's right.

Well, and the proof to it is if you look up Joanie's version of “Hallelujah”. My gosh, my face was melted when I heard that. It was beautiful and really depicts your amazing range as an artist.

Thank you so much. And actually that was recorded for my mother who has been --

I remember.

Yes, who asked me one year in typical Italian mother way said, I don't want any presents this year. I just want you to record this song for me. I love it so much and will you please do it. I don't want any presents. So, I --

I wish my wife would say that. Yeah. [laughter]

When I write her a poem or a song, she's like, is that it? That can't be it, is it? You can't just come in with just a poem. [laughs]

No, but I've actually gotten a lot of positive feedback about that.


Tim: Joanie:

It's gorgeous.

It's one of my very favorite songs composed ever. I really love it but the song that comes to mind right off the top of my head is the very first track on our most recent album. It's called Big Steps. It's kind of synonymous with some of the changes that have happened for me over the past year which, you know, if you’re going to do it, do it 100%. You know, I had to basically making and getting in control of my health a full time job. And, so, I went into it big. So, you know, if you get a chance to look up the lyrics of that song they're really powerful. And when I play that song I feel really powerful and Lisa sings vocals on that but, you know, I get to sing some backup vocals. I just feel really powerful when we play it. We actually, recently have been opening our set with that song.

Joanie, were you concerned when you went on your weight loss mission that when you lost the weight that it would affect your voice?

You know, that's a question I've received more than once. And that's kind of a misnomer. It doesn't actually happen with weight loss, any effect on the voice really. It used to be thought many years ago, it's kind of a throwback to a classical voice and I'm trained as a classical singer believe it or not but they used to believe that, you know, Opera singers had to be really hefty in order to project their sound effectively and that's actually not true. There's really no difference at all.

If anything you could say it might help because in order to sing properly you have to use your diaphragmatic muscles in your belly and the better developed your diaphragmatic muscles are, the better it is for your voice. It was, like I said, it's kind of a throwback to a very old fashioned premise that has been pretty much disproven but -- so, the short answer is, no. I was not worried. [laughter]

Well, that's a great concern. I'm sure there are a lot of singers that might be concerned about losing the weight that it would change their performance. So, I think it's a fantastic question. Thank you for answering that.

Just to add to that, it's beneficial because the type of music that I do requires me to be very lively on stage and I am, have always been kind of lively on stage but now it's just a little easier to get around. You know, I can jump up and down and not worry that my clothing is going to split. [laughs]

Or the stage is going to fall down.

That's right. That's right Yeah. Hopefully -- thankfully that's never happened to me. Never had any stage collapses so. [laughter]

Adam: Joanie:


Tim: And let's circle back, if you don't mind, back to the exercise and back to the Power of 10 and InForm Fitness because your story is a little bit different. Certainly your success is astounding.

Joanie: Thank you.

Tim: To have such amazing success and which I, seems to me, like a relatively short amount of time to lose that much weight but to do it in a nice, steady pace and a very healthy way to do it. But you worked out with Sheila at InForm Fitness for how long?

Joanie: I believe we did about six months. Sheila, is that right, from beginning to end.

Sheila: Yeah, I think it was at least that. Yeah.

Tim: And you have a very interesting, busy schedule. You're a musician. You're on the road. So, it doesn't necessarily work out for you to workout at one facility because you're on the road. So, what's interesting, what one of the components that's interesting about your story is that you continue to practice this Power of 10 but not at an InForm Fitness facility.

Joanie: That's correct. Yeah, so, Sheila and I had worked together for about six months and then at some point our schedules just despite our best effort just couldn't coordinate and it was primarily because of my schedule. Like you said, between travel and touring, things like that. So, at the very beginning when I attended the open house, I received the Power of 10, the book and read through it. I treat it like a bible honestly. And I've actually since loaned it to a number of other people saying, “Everything you need to know is in this book.” So, when Sheila and I could no longer meet together I was still really committed to the process and was so happy with the results I didn't want to give it up.

So, I took the book, opened it up to the workouts, took a picture of each of the various workouts with my phone and then took my phone with me to the gym and did the exercises on my own using the pictures and you can choose how many times a week that you want to do the workout. And because I'm still in some active weight loss right now I choose to do it twice a week but in the beginning I was only doing it once a week. Now I do it twice a week.And I use an app on my phone where I can log in everything that I eat and all my exercise and it allows you to create your own exercises.

Tim: What's the name of that app?


Joanie: I use MyFitnessPal.

Tim: Mhm [affirmative].

Joanie: And the exercises you can enter them in and create your own. So, I actually created the exercises, Power of 10 workout 1, Power of 10 workout 2, workout 3, [inaudible 11:16] that so forth and so on so that when I log in all of my exercise, my physical activity, I just click a button and it updates it. So, I can always keep track of the last workout I did. So, when I go, you know, on Mondays and Thursdays I can see what I last did so I know which one to do next. And it has worked out really well.

There's a couple people at the gym who have kind of watched me shrink over the last year and I know they're really curious and they really want to ask me because I am not doing the same thing that they're doing at all. You know, there'll be a person sitting next to me lifting really heavy, grunting and carrying on and you know they do fast and fast and in my mind I'm thinking slow, slow, slow. You know, go slow. And I actually one, one thousand, two and I count to ten and I do the same thing every time and I know they're very curious and I'm just waiting for the moment for somebody to ask me, “I'm just curious, what are you up to?” And then I'm going to evangelize Power of 10. There's no doubt about it.

Tim: Hey, don't forget to stick around till the end of the podcast for a major announcement for Joanie and her bandmates in her group No Small Children. An announcement that will make you want to head to the movies here in the summer of 2016. Can't wait to share all of that with you.

Right now I'm going to share with you a promo code that will save you 15% off your grocery bill. If you are here listening to this podcast, there is no doubt that you are dedicated to living a healthier lifestyle. It's not like this is a radio station and you're flipping around the dial looking for a good song. You're listening to this podcast to make some changes in your life and with your health just like our guest Joanie did to lose over 118 pounds. Let's start with your food. is the place you'll find InForm Fitness friendly food, wholesome food at wholesale prices. It's just that simple. I have already done the research for you. Thanks to Adam's book I now know the right foods to eat, how much I should eat and I've lost several pounds of fat and replaced that weight with new muscle thanks to the Power of 10. I've researched the prices between the grocery store and Thrive Market along with the selection and the winner hands down is Thrive Market. You heard me talk about it over the last few episodes now it's time to check it out for yourself.


Visit to register for your 30-day free trial, place an order and if you're happy with the service and the products, join the community. At that point it's just an annual fee of $59.95 which you'll probably save in your first order. On top of that, email me directly at and I'll send you a promo code that will shave 15% off your first order. InForm Fitness and Thrive Market are on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone.

Speaking of healthy living, let's get back to the conversation with Joanie Pimentel who continues to fill us in on her mindset and strategies that helped her lose over 118 pounds.

[“Can’t Say No” plays]

There's another taste of Joanie and the girls from No Small Children. If you need more than just a little taste check out their website There you can sample all of their music and even purchase all three of their albums. They also have several tour dates up there for you to check out. Some shows here in the Los Angeles area this summer and several dates back east throughout the month of August. So, if you're in the area stop on by, say hello to Joanie and tell her you heard her right here on the InForm Fitness podcast. Joanie, in order to lose over 118 pounds, you really had to make a serious commitment to this weight loss journey. What was the mindset you adopted to tackle this, what I'm sure must have felt like an impossible task?

Even though the changes I've made have been small and incremental, I did have to change my mindset and that had to be -- that was the one dramatic thing where I basically decided I was going to make getting in control of my health a fulltime job. That was going to become my fulltime job and I had to be committed to it 100%. Now, that commitment may come in small little increments but my head really had to be in the right place for it. And then the other thing I wanted to mention, this is actually really important to me is that I have never been ashamed of being a fat person.


I felt beautiful before and I feel beautiful now. It honestly has absolutely nothing to do with the way that I looked although, I mean, I love the way that I look now but it was never about shame for me. I've never been ashamed of being a big person. It's 100% about I need to live a long time. That just wasn't going to happen if I stayed at that weight.

I wrote that down earlier when you said you want to live a long time because it's something that I think about like all the time as well. Like I even, I always joke, I say, I plan on living to 140 years old and be spry and energetic and could do anything. Even though it sounds like a ridiculous joke it actually is something that's in my mind and speaking of music and rock 'n roll and you know, I recently saw, I saw Straight Outta Compton. Did you guys see that film?

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's terrific.

And the scene with Eazy-E when they tell him that he has AIDs and you know, it's right when he's about to get his band back together again and everything. And he has all these hopes and dreams and all of the sudden it kind of gets flushed, they’re like, your T-cell count is like 14 and I was -- like, I watched that and I just thought to myself and I looked at my wife and I said, man, you got to stay healthy, man. You got to [inaudible 16:55] your dreams to do everything. It just made me think do whatever it takes to be healthy. I don't know, like you just brought it back to me that whole idea and it becomes visceral for my own personal life and, you know, I don't want to evangelize, I mean, we all have to figure out what we all want for ourselves but it's to hear you say that though, I think, we all want to be healthy so we can see our children and -- Adam what was your mantra again?

Exercise you need so you can live the life you want.

Exactly. Exactly.

And Joanie, are you -- you are living the life you want. You're a teacher. You're influencing young lives and you're rocking all around the country. How has this change in your lifestyle and in your body, this has been only what, about two years or so, a year and a half, so you can notice the difference now. How you feel, how you look, is there a confidence thing? Tell me the difference between before Power of 10 and now.

I would preface this by saying even at my biggest I was not ashamed of being heavy. I felt beautiful then and I feel beautiful now. There are some practical things though that come with losing that much weight that have improved the quality of my life. I can fit airplane seats way easier now and I love to travel and I have to travel quite a bit. So, that's been a really big change. Buying clothes is a little more fun because there's more fun things for people my size. Those are more superficial things but in all honesty, the world is designed for people who are not as big as I was. So, I feel like I fit into the world around me a little better. I would also say that I feel very strong. That I don't worry about something getting hurt if I pick it up a certain way.

And as I get older, I will admit that is something that's important to me. I want to protect my body and having lean muscle mass is really the best way for me to do that. And I said this before, I want to live a long time but I also want the quality of that life to be as good as possible and I know that having a fit and strong body for me anyway is the best way for me to achieve that. I've recently actually come across a number of studies that are making really kind of remarkable connections between the health benefits -- between exercising and reduced risk of some serious diseases, in particular cancer. I was just -- I think, Sheila, I shared those with you and how important it is not only for your heart and for your body but also to reduce the health risks that threaten so many of us as we get to be older.

When you talk about benefits to cancer, you know, we're seeing the actual proteins, these myokines that we talked about in another episode. I mean, we're seeing properties of these myokines that actually have cancer-fighting properties. So, we're actually starting to learn the actual mechanisms involved in how high-intensity exercise actually helps fight cancer among other things. It's fascinating.

It is fascinating and something that drives me very much is evidence-based action. Like, if I'm going to pour myself into something, I have to really believe it and I can't really believe it unless there is evidence of its effectiveness and it's -- that's something that's followed me pretty much throughout my whole life. Not just about health and fitness but about anything. If I'm going to really buy into something, it has to be believable and I had mentioned that earlier, this system makes sense to me. It's believable. And as somebody who has a cancer history, that connection between exercise and reducing cancer risk just appeals to me a great deal. And just add that to the enormous list of reasons why it's good for you to do it.

What was the thing that made -- what was the point where you actually believed it. Because most people from our experience when the first time they hear a 30- minute workout once a week, a lot of people I find to be -- thing is, people believing that oh my God, you can't -- obviously that doesn't work 20 minutes, 30 minutes, once a week or twice a week. When was it that you actually believed it?

It was about three weeks after I started working with Sheila. And [laughs] in the interest of full disclosure, I met with Sheila because she's my friend and I felt like I -- you know, I didn't want to hurt her feelings and, you know, but honestly --

So, you didn't buy it at first when she told you.


Not at first. And, you know, she made a good sell but at first I didn't but after the first workout I was like, I was spent when I walked out of there. That's honestly -- that's a first thing. I was convinced it was going to be a workout because my legs were like jelly when I walked out of there that first time to go into my car and I think I texted you Sheila right after that and said, “Oh, my God.” [laughs]


It was -- I felt really like it was definitely strenuous and then about three weeks later it kind of happened of the sudden where I became very aware that I was actually stronger, physically stronger. And I think I was picking up a piece of equipment, going into a show it was an amplifier. And Lisa plays through this triple rectifier which for non-musicians it is a very heavy piece of equipment and we don't have roadies right now, I'm hoping in the near future that will come but for now we move all of our own gear.

I'll be a roadie. I'll be a roadie. Yeah.

[Laughs] You got it. you got it. But at the time I was picking up this amplifier and moving it on stage and I know the amplifier didn't get any lighter. So, it had to have been me and that was kind of the moment where I realized that it was really working. And the next week when I came in to talk to Sheila I was very excited to share that with her and told her that it's working. It's working. And then that was really the first time in my life that I had stuck with an exercise routine that long. And secondly that it produced results that were very noticeable to me. In a relatively short period of time. I mean, that was three weeks.

Yeah. You know, I don't even know, Sheila, do you have the 6, 12, 24 pack? Is that what you sell in LA?

Yeah. That's what we do sell. Mhm [affirmative].

Yeah. That's what we're doing in New York, also. And Adam and I have talked about this a long time ago about like, why 6, why 12, why 24? And it seems like from our experience, you usually make that turn around somewhere in the first, around six weeks. Like where you're like, oh my God, I really am feeling stronger right now and it's only because of this once a week work out and it makes sense that you had a hard workout after your first workout but, you know, muscle takes a little bit of time to actually adapt.


And then you get acclimated to it pretty quickly, right. Like your body starts to go, okay. You get used to having that little feeling after your workout but you recover quicker. It doesn't take me down like it did in those first few workouts, you know.

Yes. Yeah, and I think it was also I knew what to expect after that too. So, and you know, in the very beginning I had to actually experience it in order to believe it, so --

I know. I remember sitting there in the office with you and you were just like, I hate exercising. I just have to be honest with you, Sheila. I hate it. And I said, well, good. You're going to love this. And you're like, well, you seem very confident about that and I'm like, I am. [laughter]

You did.

It's also what's on the 48 hours, when we were on 48 hours Barbara Walters said that too. She goes, first thing she said was, I hate exercise.

That's true. That's true. And you know what, the other thing that really appealed to me about it was that when you're sitting down at the equipment the main focus first is always to make sure that you're doing it safely. So, nothing -- you don't hurt yourself. But secondly, you know, all the time at gyms you see trainers working with their clients and they're like come on, you can do it, you know, one more, push it, der de der [aggressive]. You know, and it's loud and it's you know in their face and come on and this and that and Sheila's like, okay Joanie. Just give me one more. Good, that's [gentle] -- and it was -- but it was -- there was a certain amount of quiet focus that made it easier for me to concentrate on exactly what I was doing. Not just to muscle through something but to really focus on the exercise so that I could do it precisely and --

That's a great point.

As somebody who is surrounded by noise and activity all day and all night, to have my focus become so much more precise, that really helped a lot. And I enjoyed the kind of quiet pace of it.

That's important for performance [inaudible 26:20] we know and what's funny is just this past week or sorry maybe last Thursday but new client who said, who literally said, it's amazing how your voice is so calm and so peaceful and so wretched. [laughter] I was like, thank you.

That's great.

So, she's lost close to 120 pounds. She's a cancer survivor. She's a teacher by day and a musician by night and a member of the LA based band, No Small Children. Joanie Pimentel, you're an amazing woman. You really are.

Thank you. Thank you so much. Yes.
I appreciate that.

So, now that everybody's had a chance to get to know you through the podcast, let's let our listeners get to know you through your music. So, if you tell us about the albums. How they can find your website and where about you'll be touring in the summer and fall of 2016.

Absolutely. So, we actually have three albums. We have two full length albums and an EP. The first one is Dear You. That's our EP and then Trophy Wife is the second one and our most recent release was is called Hold Tight I'm Flying. All of our music is available online, iTunes, CD Baby, Bandcamp. But if you go to our website which is, you can see links to all of our videos, all of our music. You can buy merchandise, all of those things and learn also about our performance dates, tour dates, things like that.

And we're super active on social media. Please like us on Facebook. [laughter] We are also going to be on tour on the east coast and in the Midwest for the entire month of August or most of the month of August. So, like I said, if you go to our website, all those dates are up there so we will -- and we post regularly. So, if people want to come out and see us, we'd love to see them.

We'll certainly put the links to your website and tour dates and everything else up on the show notes here. And so if you're listening in the Midwest or you're here in Los Angeles, go out, see Joanie and walk up and say, hey, I heard you on the podcast. And become a fan and give them a like on Facebook for sure as well. Joanie, thank you again for joining us. What a treat it's been to meet you via Skype. I can't wait to meet you in person.

Thank you so much. I appreciate you having me.

And there you have it. It's fat loss and face melting here on the InForm Fitness podcast. Now, as I mentioned at the top of the show, the ladies in No Small Children received some awesome news shortly after the recording of this episode. What's the first thing you think about when someone says, "Who you gonna call?"


Go ahead. Say it out loud, unless you're at the gym or walking the dog or something then you might get some weird looks but, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters. Well, Joanie and her cohorts in No Small Children have been asked by the folks at Sony Pictures to perform the classic Ray Parker Jr's song over the closing credits and bloopers in the July 2016 Sony Pictures remake of the 80's classic, Ghostbusters. Isn't that cool? So, head out to the theater. See Ghostbusters and stick around for the credits and listen to Joanie and the girls in No Small Children.

Hey, by the way, we have a special bonus episode coming up next week. If you've listened to the podcast with any regularity you know that all the members of the podcast team here are spread out all over the country. Sheila is in Toluca Lake. I am also here in the Los Angeles area at a different location. And then we hear from Mike and Adam across the country in New York City. Well, Adam Zickerman visited the InForm Fitness Toluca Lake location near Burbank in June of 2016 and we filmed a ton of videos that will be released shortly and you can see those at Well, during Adam's visit here in LA, Joanie stopped by InForm Fitness, not only to chat with Adam on film but Adam pulled out his guitar and Joanie lent us her voice and we captured it all on video. We'll have the audio for you InForm Nation right here on the podcast. So, make sure you come on back and give it a listen. You'll be glad you did.

If you have a question or a comment for Adam, Mike or Sheila, we sure would love to hear from you. Shoot us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to Or you can even give us a call and leave a message at 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. That's 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. All feedback is welcome. And I'm going to ask you to do one more thing before we let you go, if you like the show and want to hear more of them, please subscribe to the podcast right here in iTunes or wherever you might be enjoying your podcast. Of course it's absolutely free to subscribe and we would love it if you left us a review. Thanks again for joining us InForm Nation. We sure do appreciate you listening right here on the InForm Fitness podcast. For Adam Zickerman, Mike Rogers and Sheila Melody, I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network.


Joanie singing Hallelujah on YouTube

Two app links for Apple and android. The app mentioned was MyFitnessPal.

1. 2.



Jan 30, 2017

InForm Nation member Joanie Pimentel, from the Los Angeles based rock band No Small Children, joins the Inform Fitness Podcast here in Episode 12.  

Joanie talks about her 2-year weight loss journey with Adam Zickerman's Power of 10 that resulted in her losing 118 pounds!  

For more information regarding No Small Children's music and tour schedule 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

The transcription to this episode is below:

12 Fat Loss & Face Melting Part 1 - Transcript


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.

What's up InForm Nation? Thanks again for joining us here on a very special addition of the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. Now, why is it so special? Well, today, we have added a very talented guest to Adam's group of friends to discuss high-intensity weight training, weight loss and face melting. And we'll explain that in a minute. But first, if you are joining us for the very first time, let's roll around the room and introduce the team. I'm Tim Edwards from the Inbound Podcasting Network here in Los Angeles. And approximately 2800 miles from our LA studio is Mike Rogers and the founder of InForm Fitness, Adam Zickerman there in Manhattan. Now, back over here on the left coast is Sheila Melody. And Sheila, I'm going to go ahead and let you introduce our very special guest today.

I am so excited to have this very special guest on our show today. She is not only gorgeous and super talented but she is just an amazing person and she has a really, really inspirational story to tell us. She's in an incredible band called No Small Children. She's also a music teacher. Please welcome Joanie Pimentel. [applause]


Hello. Hello. Hello.

Thanks for joining us Joanie.

Unfortunately, what you're hearing at this very moment are my dogs going crazy. [laughter] I apologize.

How many dogs do you have, Joanie before we dive into the content here?

I have two small dogs that hopefully my husband can wrangle then before they cause too many problems. I apologize.

We're glad to have your dogs on the podcast right there along with us. Yeah. It's --

12 Fat Loss & Face Melting Part 1 - Transcript


That was a great introduction.
Yeah. It's a little like an ice pick in my ear but --

Joanie, before we go into the incredible success you've had with the Power of 10, please just give us a little rundown on what you do not only onstage but offstage. I think it's a terrific story.

Thank you so much. And first of all Sheila, thank you for that -- your kind words and that awesome introduction and right back at you. So, I, as Sheila mentioned, I am a professional musician. My primary instrument is voice, but I am also instrumentalist and during the day I am a music teacher and in fact, the band that I play in all three of us are teachers at the same school. So, we can get into that more a little later.

Well, I find that interesting because all of you are teachers yet the name of your band is No Small Children. Is this because you've had your fill throughout the day and you need to just kind of get away from the kids and get up on stage and rock out a little bit?

You know, there's a number of ways to interoperate that. The first being that myself and my two band mates were all female and it first came about as a kind of protest to this expectation that is made of women to somehow that we have to have kids and we have to do this and that a lot of our identity is wrapped up in being a parent and finding a way to celebrate the life of a woman outside of her role as a mother. So, that's the first part of it. Then the other part is in fact, you know, what we do during the day is all about kids but a lot of our music is not for children so -- [laughter]

Oh, I can attest to that.

Well, okay, so, in a little preparation for today's show I did go through and I'm so thankful to have discovered you and your music and your group thanks to Sheila introducing you to the team here. What fun music first of all. It's very fun and it's terrific but it's also quite funny. There were a couple of songs that I really -- and just the titles alone. One of them was FU in Any Language. Am I correct with that?

Yeah. Yeah. That's a song about world peace.


[laughs] Oh, of course it is. [laughs]

I got confused on the chorus track, right?

That's right. Sheila [crosstalk 04:33] --

Did everybody hear that? Sheila say that again for those that didn't quite catch that. I was in the FU chorus, had to sing it. [laughter]

[FU in Any Language plays]

Well, there's our first little sample of some music from our guest, Joanie Pimentel's group, No Small Children. If you listen closely you can hear Sheila singing backing vocals. Joanie, how did you and Sheila become acquainted?

My sister Lisa and Sheila are friends for many years. And Lisa's actually in the band with me. She is the lead singer and the guitar player. And she introduced me to Sheila and that's how I became familiar with InForm Fitness. She said, just come to the open house. Just come to the open house. And I said, okay, but Sheila I have to tell you this. I hate working out. I mean I hate it. I hate it with a burning passion. I really do. She said, trust me. Trust me. Just come and do the open house. I said, alright, okay I'll go. So, I did and I listened to the information about the workout and she quite honestly talked me into it. She made some really, really compelling points to me about the way that the workout is done. And I really loved that it looked super safe because as a musician, it is very important to me that my arms are not hurt.


That I can stand up on stage. That I can move heavy gear and if I'm hurt, I can't do any of those things. And that was literally the first thing that she said to me is that this is very, very safe. So, I said, alright. And then the other thing and this is how she really hooked me was that it only takes a very short amount of time. I said, alright. I'll give a try. So, I came in and I did my first session and she completely kicked my butt and I remember a couple of times saying to her, Sheila, I hate you. I love you. I hate you. I love you and then other times saying, Sheila, why do you hate me? [laughs] But truthfully it worked very quickly. I honestly, within probably about three weeks I really noticed a difference and at one point I think it, probably, Sheila and you can correct me if I'm wrong, it's probably about three months in, I honestly felt like I was physically stronger maybe than I have ever been in my life.

Well, yeah. I remember you telling me because you also had the thyroid cancer.


And so part of that is you get very week when you're taking the medication and when you lose your strength is when you realize, oh my gosh, how important your strength is. By this you started to realize, oh my gosh, this is a great way that I can, you know, find my strength and really get stronger safely and without taking up too much of my valuable time so --


I remember because you were doing gigs and having to lift gear and things like that and you were like, it's so much easier for me now. [laughs]

Mhm [affirmative]. That's true and actually you brought me back to the original reason that brought me to this process. At the time when I first came to you Sheila I was close to my largest size ever and just to kind of give a little information in the past year I've lost 118 pounds.

Holy smokes. Wow. Congratulations. Oh my gosh.

Yeah and -- yes. And it was kind of serendipity that Sheila introduced this system to me when she did because as she had mentioned, I had been treated for thyroid cancer. First of all, that really spooked me. I'm very grateful that I've been, you know, haven't had any issues with it since. It is certainly one of the more treatable forms of cancer but anytime you hear that word it is terrifying. And the treatment made me very, very weak and being physically strong is something that has always been an important part of my identity that being able to lift heavy things and move heavy things and maybe even being stronger than the average woman, I guess, I will admit that. That something that has, like I said, was a big part of my identity and when I went through that treatment it really shook me. It really disturbed me because I felt like I wasn't myself.

So, it kind of set me on a trajectory because I want to live a really long time and when something like that happens to you it has a way of motivating you in a way that other things can't. So, right and I think that this particular system, why it has worked for me is because it's easier to execute. It makes sense to me. It's short. It's intense. And I can be done with it and for somebody like me it means that I'm going to comply. My mantra for the past year has been, the solution to obesity is really simple, it's just really hard to execute. And anything that I can incorporate into my life that makes it easier to execute, that's what I'm going to do. And literally this is the one and only thing any fitness system that I've ever tried in my life that A, I can stick with, and B, I have results and C, it makes sense to me.


Really enjoying getting to know Joanie Pimentel on the podcast today. And we're going to learn more about her weight loss strategy that led her to shedding about 118 pounds. And coming up on the back half of the show Joanie will be talking about pillar number two in the Power of 10, nutrition. You can't lose the weight you want to lose with exercise alone.

And our friends at Thrive Market make it easy to establish new habits with wholesome foods at wholesale prices whatever your lifestyle. Be it Paleo, gluten free, vegan or maybe you just want to eat cleaner, you'll find what you're looking for at You'll also find great prices on all your purchases. Compare them for yourself to your local grocery store. We've been using several Thrive Market products at our house for the last few months and we love it.

Give it a shot. Visit to register for free. Once you do your 30- day free trial begins. If you love it, join the Thrive Market community. It's only $59.95 and often times you'll make that investment back within your first visit from all the savings. Tell you what, I'll add an additional 15% off your first order if you email me directly at I'll respond with a promo code that will slice an additional 15% off your order. Thrive Market is on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone.

[KMA plays]
You're listening to No Small Children featuring our guest Joanie Pimentel here on

the InForm Fitness podcast. Joanie, what are you ladies working on now?

So, we have just released our third album and actually one of the tracks from the previous album we recorded a video for. It's called Might Get Up Slow, but I Get Up. And a segment of our video we actually shot it at InForm Fitness. You can see the logo right behind us. It was an homage to an 80s throwback video kind of, that segment. It was really fun. And Sheila was happy enough -- we were happy that Sheila agreed to let us do it there. You'll see me pumping iron there.

They were on the equipment but they were also did their little dance which was, you know, it was awesome. You have to see the video. And we'll put a link to that on the podcast page.

So, let's sample a little bit of that song. That song was called what again Joanie? I Might Get Up Slow but I Get Up.
[I Might Get Up Slow but I Get Up plays]


This is us at InForm Fitness right here.
There it is.
By the way I made those [inaudible 13:07].
Did you? [laughter]
Is that a trombone or a tuba?
That is trombone.
Trombone. Cool.
Nice and the alarm clock getting her up but getting her up slow for sure. That's right.
Very cool. No Small Children. Joanie, that's fantastic. Wow.
Thank you so much.

And not only was the music terrific but the video was great and like Sheila said, we're going to put the link to the video in our show notes as well but I love the fact that you're there at InForm Fitness location Toluca Lake in your -- what, your Jane Fonda clothes, it looks like, right? [laughter]

That's right. Right. Our matching Jane Fonda outfits.

Joanie you look very different now from how you looking in the video. How long ago did you film that?

That was filmed, I want to say about two years ago. Two years ago. You look like a different person.

It was probably about six months after that, that I really things started to kick into high gear and --

What was it that made you -- what was the catalyst that made you say, alright, now, I'm going to go ahead and make this change and change my lifestyle and adopt the Power of 10 into your life? What was the one moment that made you decide I'm going to make a turn?

I wish I could say it was like an ‘aha’ moment where you know the sky's opened and I just figured it out. But it was actually more gradual than that. I think sometimes when you're really, really big, when you -- the bigger you are the more impossible it seems to reach your goal. It's like an insurmountable task and there was a time in my life where I felt like I was being asked to move a mountain with a spoon. And what I've realized is that it's more about chipping away at the mountain. The mountain will move. Even if you only chip at it with a spoon. But it will move eventually.

So, I think it started with, A, I had to make the decision that I was going to do something, like I said before, the having being treated for thyroid cancer, that was the first thing. And then it took me a little while to figure out how I was going to go about doing it and when I moved to Los Angeles from Boston -- I'm originally from the Boston area.

I couldn't tell really. No, I'm kidding. [laughter]

You should hear me with a couple drinks in me. [Inaudible 15:34] I sound like you know something you see in the movies but --

[Inaudible 15:40] from Brooklyn.

[Inaudible 15:42] you should ask my mother or my father about that. They'll tell you.

Yeah. There you go. There it is.
There it was.
It's -- going to go to Dunkin' Donuts and get a coffee.

Joanie, when did you start -- when did you make the decision to do -- make nutritional changes? Was it simultaneous with starting Power of 10? Was it shortly before? Was it after the cancer treatment?

It was -- that's a great question and I will say that, you know, I didn't get to be 278 pounds, yes, that's how big I was, 278 pounds because I exercised too little. I got to be that size because I ate way too much and too much of the wrong thing. So, the workout actually came first and then the eating was the thing that it kind of came in stages. The changes came in stages and once I got -- I really buckled

 down and changed how I ate, that's when the weight loss really became rapid. You know, the weight loss for me has been probably 70% about the food and 30% about the exercise. I do -- it's the only weight training that I do and --

Don't ask her to take a yoga class. [laughs]
Oh, man. You know, cheers to anyone who loves yoga but, man, do I hate it. She hates it.

Yeah. And it's not -- and everyone I -- and of course I'm in LA so everybody wants to sing the praises of yoga and like I said, everybody that I know that's crazy into it, they're in great shape but it is just not for me at all.

It's a classic contrarian punk rock attitude. [Inaudible 17:26]. [laughter] Yes, it is.
Why do you hate it?
You know, I think it's maybe the kind of --

Because everybody else in LA is doing it.

No. You know what and I tried it when I lived in the Boston area too. It's more about I don't have --

You said to me when we were -- Patience for it. I don't --

Yeah. When we were talking about it at first when you said I hate exercise and I hate yoga and I hate this and I hate that. I don't like group classes and don't ask me how I feel. [laughs]

Right. Exercise to me is something I just need to get it over with. You know, it's like to me what I've learned is that it's like going to the dentist. Right, I don't really like going to the dentist but I love having teeth. [laughter] So, exercise is the same way. I don't particularly enjoy working out but I love being strong. I love not worrying about being hurt. I love that things don't ache when I wake up in the morning.

Joanie, I like that you're very much like, hey, you know, I don't like yoga, everybody else could do yoga. It's like live and let live type of thing. And you know what I've learned is that there's so many different personality types that we train that they're out there that have the same goals or same, even situations that Joanie has but they just don't have the same personality type and there's a different approach to how that goes. I mean, I guess one of the things I would want to know, you know, like I -- your exercise stories is the classic one we hear with anybody who gets results. It's amazing.


What I -- is there anything that you would give as advice to people who are like you or maybe even not like you personality wise for motivation for the nutrition part because that seems to be always something that, you know, we hit and miss with all the time. And often times I think it comes down to the, you know, when someone's ready to make a certain commitment that it's usually it's never an easy thing to do. I think if anybody thinks that there's an expectation that's an easy thing to lose five pounds, ten pounds, twenty pounds, a hundred pounds. It's a challenge always. And my question is, do you have any advice for people out there? Like, what's the starting point for some real motivation?

Just don't do nothing. You know, start there and I know for me that it is more dangerous for me to look at eating like every little bad decision I made it's all is lost. You know, it's like say, you know, I decide I'm going to change how I eat if I in the past when I had like one little thing that's not on my diet. I would just throw my hands up and say you know forget it. All is lost. and then I'd just go off the rails and eat whatever I wanted but that in fact is more dangerous to my long-term success than anything that I'm going to put in my mouth. That every moment is a new moment. That, you know, don't wait for the perfect time to start it. That the perfect moment is the next one whatever it is.

And then I would also recommend maybe starting off small. You know, like I said, when I know for me because I was really big that losing that much weight just seemed like almost impossible like an insurmountable task. So, I have to set small achievable goals for myself. I say okay. So, my goal was not to lose 118 pounds. My first goal was to lose five pounds and then after that to lose another five and then another ten and I might say my first, another goal would be I want to be able to do a certain amount of weight that I'm going to lift or I want to be able to drink a certain amount of water every day or to stay --

You'd set like short term targets, right. Yes.


Right. Right.

Make it because smaller achievable goals because those little things really do add up --

And when you started Joanie if you can if you can go back to the beginning of this what were some of the nutritional changes you actually made?

Well, at first -- well, let me tell you where I am right now. Mhm [affirmative].

What I do right now. And then I can break it down more incrementally. So, as of right now I don't drink soda. I stay away from caffeine. I try to eat only whole foods. You know no prepared or you know, processed food. My diet is primarily made up of vegetables and protein and fruits. I really don't eat a lot of carbohydrates but I won't say that I never do. I just don't eat refined carbohydrates. I drink a minimum of 70-100 fluid ounces of water every day. I don't eat artificial sugars. And what else -- yeah. That's primarily where I'm at right now.

Wow. It's like a -- it's a pretty large leap though for somebody who -- It's a huge leap.

Ate anything they wanted. So, did you just start that way and just cut everything off cold turkey or was it kind of gradual? How did you start?

I would did it incrementally. My largest vice has always been volume. So, I would start of saying okay, I'm going to cut out soda. I'm going to cut out bread. Or I'm going to cut out pasta or I'm going to cut any of those things and I was never really a big junk food junkie but I just ate a lot of everything. So, most of what I eat right now, I mean, I don't weigh and measure every single thing that I eat. I did for a while but now I can kind of eyeball it and know how much is a cup or things like that. But I started off with small things and then worked my way up.

Well, sounds like a perfect plan. Just get started. Start with the small things and work your way up. Well we're not done with Joanie. This was part one of our episode, Face Melting and Fat Loss. We talked a lot about the fat loss today but nothing on the face melting. That's coming up in next week's episode. The name of the podcast is 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends and we have surpassed the 20-minute mark in the show which means if you began your 20-minute slow motion high-intensity workout at the beginning of the show, you'd be done by now and you wouldn't need to do it again until next week. How about that? Sound too good to be true? Well, just listen to Joanie's story and that of countless others who have come through the doors of all eight InForm Fitness locations. It just works.

Visit for a location nearest you. If there isn't one close by, purchase Adam's book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion High-Intensity Fitness Revolution just like Joanie did. And follow the simple instructions. It worked for her and it will work for you. Click on the link in show notes and it will send you right to Adam's book in Amazon.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast right here in iTunes so that you don't miss a single episode and we have a lot of exciting and educational topics on the horizon. It really will help ensure the success of this podcast. And if you do subscribe we would greatly appreciate it. Thanks again for listening to the InForm Fitness podcast. For Adam, Mike, Sheila and Joanie, I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network.


Here is another link for your show notes. This is a link to the YouTube video that takes place in InForm Fitness. The song title is I Might Get Up Slow, But I Get Up. VFmNbfU75Gs





Jan 30, 2017

The number of women clients who express their fear of “bulking up” from doing strength training at Inform Fitness grows every day. Almost all the people who train at an Inform Fitness locations want to ‘tone up’ and create “long and lean” muscles. The fact is most women won’t “bulk up” from weight lifting. After listening to Episode 10 of the Inform Fitness Podcast visit Adam's blog for even more information to debunk the myth that women will 'bulk up" from weight training:

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:

11 Will Women Bulk Up with the Power of 10 - Transcript


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.

Alright. Welcome back InForm Nation. Thanks again for joining us here on the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network joined as always by Sheila Melody with the InForm Fitness Toluca Lake location here in Southern California with me. And across the country we have Mike Rogers from the Manhattan location and Adam Zickerman, the founder of InForm Fitness. This podcast is designed, created and produced to help you super-charge your metabolism and to increase cardiovascular endurance which will make you leaner and stronger. Just ask one of our founding members of InForm Nation, Susanne who feels that she's discovered the fountain of youth within the walls of the Toluca Lake InForm Fitness location.

I'm in my early 60s and the workouts have made me feel a whole lot, like, younger. I've been coming here for a few months and I can already see the results. Not just in having more energy but I can see the results in muscle tone. Other people are like, “Wow, you look great.” And that obviously makes you feel good so you keep coming back but I can see it when I look in the mirror. I can see the muscle tone and that's one thing I wanted to get from this workout was not only to feel more healthy and more energetic, just to look better.

I'm glad that she's looking better and aesthetics is obviously a very important thing to people but what really resonated with me was when she said she felt younger. And then went on to say that she felt stronger, improved endurance, more energy I think she used the word, energy. And that is markers of youth.

In part of Susanne's interview that you'll see in later videos that we produced for InForm Fitness, she does mention the fact that she did want to work out. She did want muscle tone but she did not want to get that bulky buffed look. Is that something that you hear from a lot of your female clients when they come in for an intake? Are they concerned about bulking up?

Every single one of them. [laughter] Really? Really?


Yeah. Exactly. I was going to say the same thing. Almost. Almost every single one.

Unless they already have, you know, a lot of experience working out. Then they don't really ask that question but most women think that they're going to, if they're building muscle, they're going to get bigger, you know, and it's just not true.

When a female tells me they're afraid to bulk up, I say, you should want to bulk up. But I don't want to bulk up, I said, you do want to bulk up. Says, but I really don't want to bulk up. No, you do want to bulk up. [laughter] We go back and forth and right before she's about to walk out of my office I finally come clean with her and I say look [laughs] you know, listen, you know, you have such little potential of getting bulky the way you're afraid of being bulky. But the reason I say you do want to bulk up because every muscle you do put on your frame is just going to be a huge benefit to you and it's not going to look bad and you really need it. So, let's hope that this will be too much for you where you bulk up so much that you don't even like all your muscles. That's a good prompt to have. We can just work out less at that point but --

Very hard to achieve. Especially for a woman. Yeah. It's like if you're going to be a bodybuilder and --

It's hard for guys for crying out loud. Yeah. It's hard for guys too.
Crying out loud.
Oh my gosh.

I'm one of those guys. [laughter]

It's one thing that I want to make clear too is just they say, “Oh, I want to be toned.” Well-toned is muscle. You know, when you're toning up that's what you're doing. You're building your muscle.

So, what's the difference between toning and body building? Genetics. That's the difference.
Hm [contemplative].


I mean the reason those women look the way they do is they have multiple genetic cards not just one genetic card but a combination of a bunch of genetic cards that just happen to go in that direction. It's rare. That's why it's so rare because that's like a royal flush of genetics as opposed to a straight or three of a kind. You know, it's not that hard to get three of a kind but to get the kind of genetic combination like these women have, it's like a royal flush.

So many different factors have to be pointed in that direction on a genetic level. The way your body stores fat, the way your body builds muscle, the tendon lengths of your muscles, the muscle belly sizes. The list actually goes on and on. Your levels of other kinds of hormones.

There's also a lot of supplement -- in body building and especially the competitive body building there's a lot of supplementation and a lot of hormone supplementation. And it's actually very hard to do that --


Naturally for a lot of the people who are involved in that.

Well, yes and no. Yes, absolutely the steroids helped but there are a lot of natural body builder competitions and those people that win those competitions or even have the chutzpah to enter those competitions are still already blessed even without the drugs and they are much different from your average joe.

Yeah. It's a genetic predisposition. Certainly. Yeah. It's like the question --

And we talk about genetics, it's also, you know, how they react to the way you eat. And we all say like, oh it's diet. It's diet. It's mostly diet. Well a lot of it is diet for them but even for them when they go on a low carb diet it works beautifully for them whereas some people that go on a low carb diet, which is supposed to work for everybody, and I say low carb loosely because I don't want to get into the whole, you know, philosophies of fat loss but, you know, the paleo type of diet has been shown to really work well for a lot of people. You know, it doesn't work well for everybody and it works particularly well for body builders for example. I mean, it's just they have all the genetic cards including how they metabolize glucose and sugar and all that stuff.


Tim: Well what about -- are the body builders are they working out more than once a week and perhaps rising injury by -- then that's how they're bulking up is because they're lifting three times a week or five times a week.

Adam: No. Not necessarily. They could actually be inhibiting some of their progress. But again, those kind of guys, they just have to look at a weight and start getting bigger. I mean, it almost doesn't matter what they do. As long as they do something they're going to get big and they are getting hurt if by overtraining. A lot of them are getting hurt overtraining and they necessarily have to do that and that's --

I'm glad you brought that up because I'm interviewing tomorrow, a person that's going to be on one of our future podcasts, a fitness model who is essentially a body builder. He has entered some competitions but he's really on the cover of a lot of fitness magazines that you see without their shirts on and completely ripped and huge. And he's going to be talking about how he just does this type of workout and that the idea that bodybuilders have some kind of magical or special workout is a fallacy. And he's going to say I look the way I look not because I work out more or better. I look the way I look because I have these type of genetics.

Tim: Alright. Certainly looking forward to hear that interview which will appear in future podcasts here at the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman. Speaking of which we're pretty close to that 20-minute mark. Any more thoughts that you'd like to add? Sheila, perhaps, being the lone female on the show [laughs] in terms of bulking up.

Sheila: I just wanted to say, you know, I get this all the time obviously but one of the questions that we discuss in the certification Adam has on his questionnaire when we're practicing is, you know, what do you do when a client says, “I want to get Michelle Obama arms.” [laughter] And you're like well, that, those are her arms, you can't get her arms. You're going to get the best version of your arms because everybody's muscles are shaped differently and everybody, you know, my arms don't look the same as Ann, who's the other trainer in our studio, because our bodies are totally different. So, you know, be the best you and as Adam said, the muscle on your body is going to benefit you in so many ways. So, bulk up, ladies.

Tim: Bulk up. Bulk up, ladies. It's a good thing. Again we invite you to head over to to review the blog post that we discussed today. Will women bulk up from weight training? And the answer is, of course,  Adam mentioned earlier and Sheila just alluded to it again, yes, you want to bulk up and I think we've answered those questions here today. In just about a minute we have a question from another member of our InForm Nation family. Aiden in Thornton,


Colorado shot us an email and asks how old is too old to participate with the slow motion high-intensity weight training system. Adam, Mike and Sheila will give us their two cents on that in just about 60 seconds.

But right now I'd like to welcome a brand new sponsor to the InForm Fitness podcast. It's Thrive Market, wholesome products at wholesome prices. Thrive Market is an easy online shopping solution that will enable you to save some money while enjoying InForm Fitness friendly products. If you read Adam's book Power of 10, pay close attention to chapter three. It's all about the second of the three essential pillars necessary to supercharge your metabolism, burn fat and build muscle. Of course, I'm talking about nutrition. You'll be surprised at the variety of food, health and body and even baby and pet products available to keep you and your family healthy. You'll even be more surprised by the prices. Compare them for yourself at your local grocery store. I've been using several Thrive Market products for a few months now and my wife and I love it. Try it for yourself. Visit to register for free. Then you can start your 30- day free trial. If you love the convenience, the service and their products, then join us in the Thrive Market community. And it's only $59.95 to join. I saved way more than that in my first order. You can too and I'm going to save you even more money. Email me directly at and I'll send you a promo code that will cut an additional 15% off your first order. Thrive Market is on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone.

Alright. In just a few minutes we'll get to that email from Aiden. But first let's hear from longtime InForm Nation member, Amir.

I started with InForm Fitness about two years ago and I really love it. I mean, I actually live about an hour away. So, I drive an hour to come here. Honestly, it's amazing to me that in, you know, 20, 30 minutes, you can walk out of here and I can feel like, you know, some of the workouts I had where I was going for an hour. You know, here it's like I'm getting the benefits but I'm not just completely wiped out. I feel it but it feels good afterward. It's like it feels right.

The thing I react to when I heard which is the very last thing he said, it feels right. I tell people that after a couple of workouts that they're not going to need me to sell them on this concept anymore.

That's true.

They're going to intuitively realize, “Ah, I get it.” Their body is going to understand. They're just going to intuitively understand that this is what they should be doing. And that's what I felt when he said, it just felt knew that the safety, the logic behind it, how they feel when they're done, the results later, it makes total complete sense.

Tim: It does and that's my favorite part of Amir's comment. Appreciate him participating in the program. He attends the Toluca Lake location where Sheila trains and when he said it feels right as somebody who's been training there for several months, that's exactly how I feel. I'm not wiped out after the workout but I do feel like I did something really great for my body and that lasts for several days to where I can't wait to get back in the gym the following Sunday. So, you know, I think what he was comparing his workout that he has been doing now or has been doing for the last two years at InForm Fitness with the workouts he's been doing before, years before where he was there for an hour and it would just kill him, well, he's getting that workout now in 20 minutes and consolidating his time in the gym.

Now, let's focus on those individuals who may be interested in starting the Power of 10 but have never really participated in any type of exercise regime of any kind. For instance, we have InForm Nation member, Aiden, who is in the Thornton, Colorado area, is concerned about his mother. It says:

"Adam, thanks for your podcast. I'm very interested in learning more about your Power of 10 and just ordered your book from Amazon. My mother is severely overweight and in her late 60s. I'm considering visiting your location in Boulder and want to take her with me to check it out. She says though that she's too old and fat for a workout as intense as yours. I look forward to hearing from you, Aiden."

So, here's a guy that's close to the Boulder location and wants to do it himself but Aiden wants to bring his mom in because she's overweight and in her 60s. Is she too old to start this workout and possibly a little bit too overweight, Adam?

Adam: No.

Tim: [laughs] Plain and simple.

Sheila: Never too old.

Tim: Do you suggest perhaps that she should maybe see a doctor prior to beginning her workout?

Adam: Yes.


And that's it for today's episode. That's all -- [laughter] is that a concern do you think? Do you ever get that from people that think I'm too big to do this, severely obese people?

No. It is a concern and the answer is that simple. Yes, you should check with your doctor or I'd want to know if there's any health problems associated with being obese. Some people don't have a lot of other associated health problems such as high blood pressure and things like that. It's actually amazing to me how many people can be pretty overweight and not have a lot of those dangerous markers. On the other hand, a lot of people do and we have to get clearance if they do, from a doctor, make sure that it's okay to do. On the other hand, the intensity in of itself because you're overweight or you're older, you build up the intensity to somebody that's severely out of shape. You know, you're conservative at the beginning but there’s no reason why over time that somebody that hasn't been in shape and is overweight can't work out intensely.

Sheila, don't you have a client that came to you a few years ago who was severely overweight did this protocol on their own and had some tremendous success?

Well, I wouldn't say she was severely overweight. I would say she was, you know, definitely would be considered obese. She was probably over 200 pounds and you know just an average sized girl. She was very active though. You know, musician. Not active in sports or anything. She actually came into me, she hated going to the gym. She hated group classes. She was like, literally was like, I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to do this. I said, good, you're going to love this workout and she was like intrigued by that. By my answer and my, you know, like I was confident she would love this.

So, she went and tried it and I did work out with her for several months. I showed her. She absolutely loved it. Actually, she did put a yelp review several years ago when she started. She's continued to do the workout according to the book. She looks at the book. She goes to her gym and she does it. She said, everybody's looking at her and going why is she going so slow? And she's been doing it --

And why is she holding that book in her hand?

[laughter] Well, I think she, like, took pictures of it with her phone and so she could know what she's doing. She really attributes her continued weight loss and her sticking to the program, she would not be exercising, if it wasn't for this workout.

Well, the woman of which we speak will joining us in the next two episodes of the InForm Fitness podcast. Her name is Joanie Pimentel. She's also a member of the

LA based band, No Small Children. Sheila just gave us a quick overview of what Joanie will be talking about but Joanie will go into great detail on how she shed about 118 pounds over the last two years with the Power of 10. If you're thinking about embarking on a weight loss journey, make sure you join us. I guarantee Joanie will inspire you. Plus, we might even turn you onto a great new band. Check out to see their music videos including the one filmed at InForm Fitness in Toluca Lake.

If you'd like to participate in the conversation here on the podcast and officially join InForm Nation with a comment or question, send us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to You can even do it the old fashioned way by giving us a call at 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. That's 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. A few more reminders for you before we get out of here. If we've piqued your curiosity and you want to learn more about the Power of 10, click on the link in the show notes that will guide you to Adam's book. It's a nice easy read with a simple nutrition plan and all the exercises you need to lose fat, build muscle and supercharge your metabolism.

If you want to try the workout for yourself with one of their many cool and certified trainers, bounce on over to to see if there is a location near you. And finally, please subscribe to the podcast here in iTunes. It's absolutely free to subscribe and all it takes are a few simple clicks. We would greatly appreciate it. Thanks again for listening to the InForm Fitness Podcast. For Adam, Mike and Sheila, I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network.


This following link leads to an InForm Fitness blog post that was mentioned during the podcast.






Jan 29, 2017

It's almost sacrilegious to say you don't need to stretch before a workout or a sporting event because it's part of our culture.  However, recent studies suggest that stretching does not improve performance, prevent injury or reduce soreness.

Check out Adam's blog post to the link below for Adam's Twist On Stretching:

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:

10 Adam’s Twist on Stretching - Transcript


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.

Alright. Welcome back InForm Nation. And thanks again for joining us here on the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network joined as always by Sheila Melody with InForm Fitness in Toluca Lake. We also have Mike Rogers from the Manhattan location and Adam Zickerman, the founder of InForm Fitness.

This show is chock full of info to help you supercharge your metabolism and increase cardiovascular endurance which will in turn make you leaner and stronger. In addition to the many health benefits from the high-intensity training you'll experience at InForm Fitness you'll also enjoy the time you spend with your trainer and other members of InForm Nation such as John.

My trainer, Sheila, very knowledgeable. Incredibly friendly and warm and conversational and, you know, when you come here, you know, obviously you feel like a client but you feel like you're coming back and just hanging out with friends. Like, “Hey, here's what we're doing this week. Cool, alright. How you been?” It's always very conversational. So, that adds a fun element while, you know, you're burning your muscles. [laughs]

[laughs] I know John is awesome. He's been coming for about a year and he takes it very seriously. And so therefore he's getting a lot of benefit from it. You know, so, he's a great client. He's achieved so much. He's doing like over 300 pounds on the pull-down. Very proud of him.

Wow. That soundbite you heard from John is just one of many soundbites that we're going to include here in the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. And that came from a series of testimonial videos that my company Inbound Films is producing for the Toluca Lake InForm Fitness location. And if you'd like to see more of John's story and maybe grab a glimpse of what this slow motion high-intensity workout looks like, jump on over to We'll have a bunch of videos over there for you.

And while you're there you can also check out Adam's blog which has over 30 informative topics regarding this protocol. And one of the topics Adam tackles stretching. And, Adam, I got to tell you, at first glance, when you first look at Gumby there at the top of [laughs] the stretching blog post. You would think that your twist on stretching your muscles prior to exercise is something you should do. But after reading the article that's not necessarily the case.

It seems to -- [siren] it's almost sacrilegious to say you don't need to stretch before a workout or a sporting event because it's part of our culture. Speaking of culture. So --

[laughs] You hear that siren in the background? Just -- Yeah.

Just, you know, if you're listening to this podcast while you're in your car, you're not being chased by a police officer. They're --

Well, there's the thing, stretching is so much part of our culture, even talking about it sends the police over [laughter] to where we are.

I got to tell you. I've listened to a few of our podcasts and I do hear sirens in the background and I look in my rearview mirror and I realize that, oh, well, Adam and Mike are Skyping this podcast from New York City and they're right next to windows. So, that is a sound you hear all the time, all day long in New York City. So, but you're talking about how it's almost sacrilegious to mention that you should not stretch prior to an activity.

The bottom line is it's been looked at a lot. This is not one of those subjects that has been ignored and we don't know much about it. What we have been finding out over and over again is that all studies that talk about stretching and the efficacy of stretching have not proven out. And maybe it's still true, these ideas that we have about stretching, but we haven't proven it yet. And I don't think we will.

I think, I'm not saying we know everything there is to know about stretching the benefits or lack thereof but it's not a topic that I spend a lot of time on anymore because I'm pretty convinced. I've seen it and what are we talking about? We're talking about the idea that number one, stretching prevents injuries during sports. That has been a big reason why stretching has entered athletics because it will warm up the muscles and prevent injury. Has not been proven to be true, at all. At all.


Tim: Wow. See, every time I walk into the gym it's just natural for me to just start stretching just because you know my whole life playing sports that's just what we're taught and told to do.

Adam: Doug McGuff talks about that a little bit. Doug McGuff talks about the idea that the reason we do all that before a sporting event especially when you have teams involved --

Tim: Mhm [affirmative].

Adam: It's cultural. It's preparing for battle. It's no different from what -- Doug McGuff points it out in the movie, Gladiator where he grabs sand in the pit and rubs it in his hands before he starts the fight. What was the actors name again in Gladiator?

Tim: Russell Crowe.

Adam: Yeah, Russell Crowe. So, Russel Crowe before every fight, if you remember, he picked up some dirt and rubbed it in his hands before that. Doing that didn't give him any actual advantage from a physical point of view. Didn't add more friction to his hands for some reason that he needed. And Doug McGuff points out that the stretching before sporting events you're doing it together. You're all on the sideline. You're all doing your stretches. It's a comradery thing. It's a team thing. It feels good to do that together and prepare. Even if you're all doing your individual stretching but you're all doing it together, you're all stretching and doing -- it definitely has a sociological element to it.

Tim: But not a physiological element is what you and Dr. McGuff is saying.

Adam: No. And remember we have to differentiate, I mean, and maybe define what we're talking about when we talk about stretching. What is stretching, right? We're not talking about the kind of stretch you do in the morning or a cat or dog does when they wake up in the morning and that [stretching noise] downward dog yoga kind of just feel good stretch. There's nothing wrong with that. You know, we're not talking about and some of that stuff will straighten your spine a little bit and get you moving but it doesn't warm up your muscles. It doesn't warm up your muscles.

And one of the things that I talk about in my blog and research has shown in regards to warming up your muscles is -- what you're actually doing when you're stretching -- the kind of stretch where it's a static stretch and you're holding a position that's somewhat uncomfortable for a little while until it's not uncomfortable anymore, that kind of stretch. That kind of stretching for a cold muscle actually it's very dangerous and not only is it helpful but it's many times detrimental. To take a muscle and put it at its most vulnerable position which is the stretched position, that is when the filaments of the muscle are at their most vulnerable and weakest point where they're most vulnerable to tear and here you are going into a static stretch thinking you're warming up the muscle. Stretching actually takes blood away from the muscle. Only contraction actually brings blood to the muscle which is what you want to do.

So, warm up -- you're much better warming up just by, kind of, you know, light jog in place or, you know, walking around even. You know, just walking around if you just got out of bed and move a little bit. But actual stretching, static stretching has been shown to also make you weaker, not just maybe just tear a muscle and hurt you but if you're not hurting yourself, at the very least you're making yourself weaker after a series of static stretches. And think about this. You're making yourself weaker going into a sport that you're about to play for 60 minutes or so. Something where you need as much power and speed and endurance as possible and you are doing this ritual beforehand, making yourself weaker before you enter into it. It's not logical. It doesn’t make any sense. That's -- and this research is out there. It's not like these coaches don't know this but you're never going to see an athlete not stretching before an event.

Tim: Well, let's use -- if you don't mind, Adam, if I could interject. So, I'm a softball player and I've been playing baseball my whole life or softball and so before the game we warm up. We take the ball and we, you know, we loosen up and we play catch to warm up. And I find I certainly get much more benefit from that and I can throw harder after about maybe two, three minutes of some light toss and then we start firing it and it feels good.

Adam: Right.

Tim: Now, the other type of warm up is, you know, when you're almost 50 years old like me and your legs are like they are and I feel really tight and so maybe this is, I'm just conditioned this way but I do stretch my legs and I feel better or looser. Do you think based upon the research off some of the references, that you include at the end of your blog post, indicate that's all in my head than it is in my body and stretching my legs before I sprint down to first base and pull a hammy?

Adam: Maybe a little bit in your head but maybe it's also because you're not doing the kind of stretching I'm talking about. Again, we have to make sure we understand the kind of stretching we're talking about. Light stretching before you're about to go into a game where you're just kind of bending over a little bit and stretching your back and your hamstrings a little stretch and you're not doing it very much or very painfully. You know, it’s a little side bends here and there, throwing the ball around lightly, you know, walking around and chatting. If it's not a serious stretch,you're okay. And that's fine. Like, I said, you know, like the way a dog or a cat stretches when they wake up in the morning. That's all good.

I'm not talking about that but if you ever sat and watched a bunch of soccer players before a match or if you sat and watched a bunch of football players before a match, they are doing all those hurdle stretches where their leg's behind them and their quadricep is totally stretched and they keep it there for a while and they're bouncing and they're trying to make it looser and looser and doing the other leg and they're all these serious static hold stretches that really are damaging their joints and they don't realize it right away because they're athletes and they're flexible and --

But maybe it catches up to them later.

They don't, they don't even understand the insidious damage that they're doing and then they're going into a sport that's ballistic and then, you know, by the time they're retired or way before that actually, their careers are cut short by an injury. They never connect all that stretching to the possible injury. They actually might say, “Well, I might have got injured sooner if I hadn't done all that stretching.” I mean, all the research is not showing any of this to be true, any of it.

You're promoting ease of mobility. I think the warm up is not in the stretching itself but in a very slow progression of the movement that you're trying to do. You know, Adam --

So, there's the difference between stretching and warming up and that makes sense. I can visualize that. Having played softball where instead of, you know, getting down on the ground and doing those hurdle stretches which we were taught to do, get to the point where it hurts and then hold it for 15 seconds and then switch legs. Right, the damage that can be done there really just kind of go through the motion of the sport loosely until your muscles get warmed up. Am I understanding that correctly?

Exactly, you are.

What about with yoga? Okay. So, let's go with the yoga. Sheila, I know that you've done yoga for many, many years and participated in Bikram yoga and other forms of yoga. How does stretching tie in with yoga and high-intensity training? How does that all fit together?


I do yoga for totally different reasons than I would do strength training and yes, it adds -- but you're doing yoga, you're specifically, kind of, trying to -- there's more of a core balancing and you're holding positions while breathing and kind of releasing, you know, tension. That's kind of how I look at it. [Crosstalk 12:06] --

Well, Tim, you just -- yeah. Tim, you just brought up a question that indicates a common misunderstanding about yoga in general which is yoga is good for your flexibility or good for stretching

Right. That's how I've always perceived it. I've never participated.

No, I mean what --


Yeah, what Sheila is saying is it's really more about holding certain positions and it's kind of like static weight training in a way. It’s just holding positions.


And sometimes they're not hard positions to stay in and that's why you do focus on your breathing and all kinds of other things. It has a meditative, I think, benefit to it. And I'm more of somebody who feels that the more the meditator breathing yoga is more beneficial than let's say some of the more physical yoga like a Bikram yoga, for example, is very physical. And that is on the continuum of exercise is getting closer to what weight training is. So, if you're going to go towards weight training you might as well just do weight training because yoga is quite inefficient than when it comes to that.

I do -- the yoga -- yeah. I mean, for me I feel like the balance is perfect to do this Power of 10 workout and then if I want to do yoga I do that separately and actually the Power of 10 helps me in my yoga. Like, if I do Bikram yoga it is an hour and a half class and it's very -- there's a lot of endurance and I'm using my muscles. As I said in a previous podcast that I do not get as sore as I used to if I, you know, miss my yoga class for a couple months because my muscles are strong.

So, just one more question as we get close to wrapping up this topic on stretching is, where does flexibility factor into the Power of 10? Of course, I imagine, like myself, most people figure that the only way to become flexible and pliable is through a rigorous stretching regime. Can flexibility be acquired through high-intensity training like you do with the Power of 10?


Yes. The flexibility will be enhanced through strength training. A lot of times our reduced flexibility comes from the fact that we're just weak. So, getting stronger will enhance your flexibility but you have to make the differentiation between enhanced flexibility and improved flexibility. Strength training or stretching for that matter will not improve your flexibility or very, very little. And anything that is improved is nominal. You know, even if you can improve your range of motion a little bit through stretching. I mean, I think the most anyone has ever really observed is like 20%. You know, and most people way below that. So, for what purpose? And --

If you're going beyond 20%, you're often times creating an injury in the connective tissue probably.


If you're going -- yeah, I probably say, if you're going beyond 10% you're [crosstalk 14:55] --

Yeah, or whatever the number is.

You know, but it's a very low tolerance for it and then the question is, is there any benefit to that? And again there doesn't seem to be any benefit. Matter of fact studies are showing the opposite. When, you know, they went into these studies thinking they were going to prove that flexibility is good and then they find -- and then these studies end up finding out the opposite.

That flexibility, not only, isn't it good but it creates joint laxity and joint problems. And that's --

And isn't there a whole thing to about as far as the understanding of what is flexibility. Like, you're born, basically, it's just like your muscle, you know the DNA and your genetics and how you're born, some people are just a little more flexible and they always will be, right and then --

Of course.

Yeah and --

And a lot of people say they lose flexibility as they get older. Though that's not necessarily a problem either or a bad thing either. And it might not have to -- it doesn't probably have anything to do with your muscles. It has to do with your bones are changing. Your hip sockets are developing more and deeper and your femur gets larger as we get older and quite honestly you end up becoming less flexible because of that. Which is a physical thing. It's not something you can change.

I think the word flexibility sometimes is -- it's the word that everyone's used to but it's not necessarily I think how we should be thinking about it. I always think about ease of mobility to do whatever you're trying to do. The more stable you are, the less flexible you are. The more flexible you are, the less stable you are.

This is reminding me of a story I heard once about this woman who was really into yoga and she was just like, you know, really flexible and everything and then by the time she was in her, you know, I think late 50s she literally had to get hip replacement because she had totally overstretched and, you know, ruined her hips.

Mhm [affirmative].

And, you know, so what we do is protect your joints and hips with you know, this by strengthening the muscles to support them, like what Mike was saying making them stable.

So, to sum up, let me just list once again the things that we expect from stretching that we don't get. Okay, first of all, stretching does not improve your flexibility. Stretching does not warm up your muscles. Stretching makes you weak. Stretching leaves joints and ligaments vulnerable to injury and overstretching causes injury. So, those are the things that we are finding out happens from stretching. So, buyer beware.

Buyer beware. And again we invite you to head on over to to review the blog posts that we discussed today. It's really easy to find. Just click blog and then look for Gumby. At the bottom of the article you'll find references to additional articles that support the science behind Adam's approach to stretching. Alright. Coming up in a mere 60 seconds we're going to hear from another member of InForm Nation, Nicole, regarding the convenience of her once a week workout and we'll read an email we received from the Santa Rosa, California area with a question regarding cardio in fitness fact or fiction right here in the InForm Fitness podcast.

You know, we spent a lot of time on this podcast discussing the important of high-intensity slow motion weight training and getting the proper rest so that you're ready to jump back into the gym a week later but let's not forget the ever so important component or pillar to this lifestyle. It's nutrition. You got to feed those muscles and be very mindful over what you put in your mouth. Adam does an excellent job simplifying the nutrition system necessary to supercharge your metabolism, burn fat and build muscle in chapter 3 in his book Power of 10.

And you will find plenty of InForm Fitness friendly feed at And at wholesale prices. If you're into the Paleo diet or perhaps you might be leaning towards being gluten free or even exploring a vegan lifestyle. You'll find everything you're looking for at In addition to simplifying the buying process, it's much more affordable than the grocery store and they deliver your items right to your door. Plus, with all orders over $49, you get your shipping absolutely free.

You can try it for yourself, just visit Register for free. You can start your 30-day free trial and if you're happy with the service and the products you can join the community. It's only $59.95 and most customers will save that amount in their first order. And then you can continue to save a bunch of money and grow healthier in the process. As a matter of fact, I'm going to save you some more money right off your first order. Simply email me directly at and I will send you a code that will shave 15% off your first order. Thrive Market's on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone.

Alright. Let's get back to the show. Let's hear from InForm Nation member Nicole who absolutely loves the convenience of a once-a-week workout.

The convenience is huge. I do work a full time job. So, having, you know, only one day a week that I have to commit to a workout has made my life less stressful because the pressure of having to think you have to work out three to five times a week can kind of take a toll on you. So, the once a week it definitely works with my, you know, job, personal life, and it's been really great.

So, there you have it, the psychological benefit of this whole workout. Just the thought of working out five days a week can raise your cortisol levels. [laughter]


Just at the stress of just thinking about what you have to do and the -- she said a key thing, something that I wrote in Power of 10 and that is the pressure is off. That's huge. That is so huge. Not to mention the fact that it's sustainable because you come, you do your hard workout, it's hard. I get it. You don't even want to do that one workout but it's one workout 20 minutes a week and you do it because you have to do it and it is relatively stress-free and it's sustainable. Something that you can do. You can kick yourself in the butt to say just do your 20-minute workout once a week, you wimp. And you get yourself to do it. It's not as easy to get yourself to psyche yourself up to do your five day a week workout every single Monday that you start your week.

I got to tell you, Adam, I've been trying various types of workouts my entire life, all of them required me to participate three to five times a week and I quit all of them. [laughs] And now that I've been doing the Power of 10 workout at the InForm Fitness location in Toluca Lake, I've been going since November, the middle of November and I've only missed one week because it's doable. It's easy. It's easy to fit into your schedule. If you can't fit it into your schedule, then you probably have some other time management issues you need to deal with for sure.

Alright. Time for another feature here on the InForm Fitness podcast. It's fitness fact or fiction. We've got an email here from Rachel from Santa Rose California. Rachel writes:

"Hello, InForm Fitness podcast people. I just --" [laughter] We're the "podcast people" [laughter].

"I just subscribed to your podcast and listened to the first five episodes. How come I'm not hearing anything about adding cardio to your Power of 10 workout? I've always thought that cardio is necessary for optimal health. I hope I hear my question on the show. If so, does that make me an official member of InForm Nation?"

Yes, Rachel, you are an official member of InForm Nation and we certainly appreciate you listening to the podcast. So, I guess the fitness fact or fiction question is, is cardio necessary for optimal health.

Well, that is not a very quick answer. But to give you one, no, it's not necessary, not in the conventional form that we all think of cardio.

So, give us examples. Such as? Jogging, biking, walking -- Treadmill.

The treadmill. These conventional forms of steady state cardio that we have mentioned a little bit in previous podcasts.


Tim: There are definite cardiovascular benefits through this slow motion high-intensity strength training system.

Adam: But I also have to add that it is very controversial. And if you think that the idea that you don't have to stretch is controversial, you know, that's nothing compared to the controversy that swarms around the idea that you need to do cardio.

Mike: The thing I want to emphasise is that strength training is cardio. It's not an addition to cardio. It is cardio. You're getting your cardio in it and your heart has to support your muscles in order to do that. And if you do something that is a mechanical work, that considered mechanical work that is outside its comfort zone, what's it's conditioned already to do, then which is what you are doing when you're doing high-intensity strength training big time, then your heart is going to have to work a lot harder. And until it gets conditioned to do so, you are doing cardio.

Tim: And Rachel, we dive deep into cardio in episode eight, titled the Cardio Conundrum. So, you might want to go back into iTunes and download that episode. Better yet, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and that way, every new episode as it's released is instantly downloaded to your phone or whatever device you might be listening from. If you'd like to join InForm Nation like Rachel did and have a question for Adam, Mike or Sheila with fitness fact or fiction, send 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 and you can leave your comment, question or even a suggestion. All feedback is welcome.

Hey, we have three really cool episodes on the horizon here and we hope you'll join us. Next week is for the ladies. Especially for the ladies who might be concerned about bulking up with the Power of 10. Many women don't want to bulk up or have that body-builder look. Adam, Mike, and Sheila will weigh in on that very topic next week. And in two weeks we will be talking to InForm Nation member Joanie Pimentel. She is also a member of the LA-based band, No Small Children. For a glimpse of Joanie and to sample her music head on over to The reason we'll be talking to Joanie is she lost 118 pounds over two years with the Power of 10. She is a ton of fun, incredibly talented and can't wait to get her on the program.

You know, when Joanie's on tour with her band she takes Adam's book Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution and performs the exercises by herself in a local gym. And you can do the same if you are not near one of the several InForm Fitness locations across the US. You can order Adam's book through Amazon. To see if there is a location nearest you just click on over to Hey, thanks again for listening to the InForm Fitness podcast.


We really do appreciate it. For Adam, Mike and Sheila, I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network.





Jan 27, 2017

Body fat is stored energy. And the body stores it because it doesn't need it at that moment. So, what you have to try to do is get your body to utilize that fat.  Ther are 3 pillars to enjoy the profound benefits of Power of 10.

Adam Zickerman explains the 3 pillars of success here in Episode 9 that will assist you in supercharging your metabolism and increasing your cardiovascular endurance with slow motion, high-intensity strength training.

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:

Ilf 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:

09 Losing Fat Without the Treadmill - Transcript

Tim: Hey gang it's Tim from the InForm Fitness podcast. We'll get to the show in about 60 seconds but first I want to save you some money while you adopt the Power of 10 lifestyle. There are three pillars necessary to amplify your success of the Power of 10. Pillar number two is nutrition and our friends at Thrive Market are going to make following this protocol easy and affordable. At Thrive Market you'll find wholesome products that are InForm Fitness friendly at wholesale prices. Their products are much more affordable than the grocery store and they deliver the items right to your door. Plus, with all orders over $49 you get shipping absolutely free.

Try it for yourself. Visit Register for free. Start your 30-day free trial and if you're happy with the service and their products you can join the community. It's just a one-time $59.95 fee and most customers save that amount in their first order. Then you can continue to save a bunch of money and grow healthier in the process. Want to save some cash? Simply email me directly at and I will send you your own personal code that will shave 15% off your first order. Thrive Market is on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. Alright. On with the show.

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: InForm Nation, welcome back in. Thanks again for joining us here on the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network and the gangs all here once again. We have Sheila Melody with InForm Fitness in the Los Angeles area, Mike Rogers from New York City and across the hall from Mike is the founder of InForm Fitness, Adam Zickerman.

This show will assist you in supercharging your metabolism. It will give you the information that you'll need to increase your cardiovascular endurance, make you leaner and stronger especially if you engage in the principals of pillar number two in the Power of 10, nutrition. And that's exactly what InForm Nation member Hayley did and she lost 35 pounds with this system.

Hayley: At one point in my life I was 35 pounds heavier and I was not happy with it. I was depressed and I didn't feel confident and I definitely didn't have the strength that I have now and so I started coming to InForm. My friend told me about it and I came and I have loved it ever since.

So, she's had some great success, lost 35 pounds but it took more than just exercise, high-intensity exercise for her to reach that goal. Right, Adam?

Oh, yeah. Definitely. I mean, listen, when you're strength training, when you're doing high-intensity exercise, you're definitely helping your cause for sure by raising metabolism a little bit, by controlling the blood sugar a little bit. And we'll get into how that happens. But she definitely had to have changed her diet to lose those 35 pounds.

I think it all comes down to another misconception which is that it all has to do with calorie expenditure versus calorie intake. And that's why I think a lot of people think that they have to do a lot of cardio because it's all down to calories. And what we realized, in short, is that that's not true and Adam you can dive a little bit deeper into this but fat regulation has very little to do if any -- to do with calorie expenditures. Isn't that correct?

But actually, the body wants those calories back. So, yes it does. The more you increase your activity level, the more it's going to actually increase your appetite. And so the more calories you burn, the body is going to try to reach some homeostasis and slow you down in other ways. You can't fool mother nature. So, activity level to burn calories have been doomed to fail since we started trying and it's not working. People are not losing massive amounts of weight by adding a lot of cardio to their routines. Alright. They're only doing it really by proper nutrition.

There's an old YouTube that we saw years ago -- do you remember? There was a couple of personal trainers --

On the treadmill?
It was a couple of personal trainers who -- Eating the pizza. Yeah. On the treadmill. Yeah.

One trainer was going to run as fast as he could on the treadmill for as long as it took the other one to eat two slices of pizza and when it was done in eight minutes or whatever, one trainer, he burned 90 calories running and the other one consumed like 900 calories in the same amount of time. And their whole point was you can't out train a bad diet. No matter what. There are a lot of benefits to what you are doing in exercise that can get your metabolism going which will be making a fat burning machine which Adam will go into but what we do know is that it's not just sitting on the treadmill burning calories the whole time.

Tim: So, Mike, you just mentioned turning your body into a fat burning machine. And that requires all three of those pillars for the Power of 10. And we'll just reiterate again, of course, high-intensity exercise, nutrition and rest and recovery. So, Adam, if you can, dive in a little bit deeper on how to turn that body into a fat burning machine through nutrition.

Adam: Body fat is stored energy. And the body stores it because it doesn't need it at that moment. So, what you have to try to do is get your body to utilize that fat. And the only way your body is going to utilize that fat is if you don't give it anything else besides that. In other words, it's going to go to sugar first. It's easier to metabolize sugar. It's less, you know, less effort in doing it. It's kind of like when you come home and it's cold in the house you just turn on the -- you turn the dial on the thermostat and it gets warmer.

But what happens if you didn't get an oil delivery? You know, you don't have any oil. Now you have to do something else. You have to heat the house. So, now you have to go down, outside, get some firewood, start a fire, get the kindling going, you know, it's effort to actually -- and then it takes time to warm up the house that way because it's not a very efficient way of heating a house. And that's kind of what we're essentially doing when we try to burn fat. We want to try to run out of gas.

The easy way of heating a house which is the glucose, the sugar. If you can eliminate that, the body is going to say, hey, there's no sugar. There's no easy gas. I'm going to have to actually work to get my energy right now. And I'm going to have to go to fat for this food. And the body learns to metabolize efficiently the fat by finally telling the DNA to express for the enzymes that it's never had to express for because the person's blood sugar was so high all the time. But now all of the sudden blood sugar drops, now we have to metabolize fat. That needs special enzymes to do that. So, now the body says, hey, DNA we need some, you know, enzymes here that metabolize fat. There's none around. You know, make it ASAP and the body, you know, works as hard as it can to do so but it takes some time. So, there's adjustment period from going from a high sugar diet to a very low sugar diet. It's kind of like going from sea level to high altitude. The body has to adjust to that as well.


So, knowing this, I feel that the diet that we should be generally thinking about or at least as a starting point is reducing sugar in your diet and see how that goes. And there's a lot of hidden sugar in our diets and we don't realize it. Even when we're eating a lot of vegetables and fruits we are getting plenty of sugar. And if you're having more than 50 to 100 grams of sugar a day it's going to be hard for the body to really need to use fat for fuel. It's just the way it is because fat is regulated by hormones and I'm oversimplifying it for sure. But that's a good starting point. Everyone's metabolism is different. Everyone's genetics is different.

So, this 50 grams or 100 grams of sugar thing is just a guideline and there might be other considerations. You know, but that's where I usually start. Our obesity epidemic in this country is not because we're [inaudible 08:34] and we're sitting behind computers more. Alright. Our problem is because we are as a society eating way too much sugar, way too much sugar. And it really means to me, depending upon the person, anywhere from 100 grams or less per day of sugar.

And that's including fruit sugars and all kinds of sugars.

Exactly. So, if you're going to have an apple which is already 20 grams give or take.


Alright. Which is -- who's going to say not to have an apple, you know, I mean, I know weight loss is important so you still have to count those calories as those grams of sugar. So, there's 20. Now you have either 30, you know, 30 to 80 left. So, you just take that into account and when you have your vegetables and your salad, alright and you have some nuts which have carbohydrates in it and maybe you eat some beans. That's plenty of carbohydrates in beans. I mean, that has good protein as well. All of a sudden you're like, oh, boy, that hundred comes up fast. Those hundred grams -- and then nowhere is there room for cake, pizza, bagels, bread. Even yogurts and oatmeals are going to start putting you over the top if you're eating your veggies. [laughs]

Mhm [affirmative].

Then if you want to have fruit, I mean there's some people that just don't have the fruit. There are people that are very sensitive to the spikes of sugar and those people to really lose weight really have to go really low on the sugar side. And sometimes that doesn't even work, you know.

Adam, you mentioned that high-intensity training helps in controlling blood sugar. Why don't you talk a little bit more about that?


Okay. Well, like I was saying about nutrition by not having a lot of sugar in your diet your body's going to say well there's not that much sugar in my diet I'm going to need fat for the rest of this fuel. Well, in keeping in line with that and helping control that blood sugar, high-intensity strength training does something really cool. When you work out to muscle failure and it's the whole body, you're depleting your muscles of much if not all of its glycogen stores. What are glycogen stores? Glycogen is where the muscles -- is a polymer of glucose. In other words, it's a chain of glucose molecules that is stored in the muscle. And it's stored in the muscle because the muscle needs it right away for fight and flight.

So, biology, evolution has kind of made this really nifty system where you can actually store the fuel right there at the muscle site where you need it the most. So, when you exercise and you dump your muscles of all their glycogen. To the body, that is actually having a fight and dumping all your glycogen. Fighting a bear for example. Alright, so when that happens, your body wants to put that sugar back. It wants to put that sugar back. And this is where it gets really cool because in an attempt it's put the sugar back into the muscle after high-intensity exercise. That's another usage for the sugar. That's not going to go into fat store because if your body needs it in a muscle it's going to take whatever carbohydrates you are eating and instead of storing it as fat it's going to actually try to put it back into the muscle.

Alright. So, that's just a little bonus. The reason the body wants to put it back, by the way is because -- why is it uncomfortable? Why when you dump glycogen out of the muscle does the body prioritize putting it back? It's kind of like the spare tire in our car. Alright. We don't feel comfortable striving around in a car that doesn't have a spare tire because if you get a flat somewhere in the middle of nowhere you're in trouble. Well, the body says if I don't have any glycogen stored in my muscles and I get into a fight with a bear, I'm going to lose. I'm going to probably lose anyway, glycogen or not. [laughter] You know.

The Revenant.
Yes. [laughs]
Yeah. [inaudible 12:13] Leonardo DiCaprio. So, we're back to that fight or flight response.

So, the body is like wants to be prepared for an emergency and it is going to prioritize replacing that glycogen in an attempt to replace that glycogen it's going to keep your blood sugar low. It's going to be taking that sugar out of your blood and putting it into the muscle instead of putting it into fat. But again, you have to eat a low glycemic diet to start with for that to actually have a benefit.

So, Adam, you were just saying that how if, you know, your muscles use this the glycogen that is stored when we do this high-intensity workout but if you're not marrying that with a good nutritional diet that has low glycemic, you know, values in it, then how is that different. When you're doing this high-intensity workout and you're not and you're say you're eating a lot of sugar, say you're not really matching it with a good diet. What's the difference?

Yeah. I say it's not going to help much if as far as fat loss is concerned. If you're still eating a lot of carbohydrates in your diet because for a average sized male that is fairly well built, you can probably only expect to store maybe 225 grams of glycogen in his muscles. In other words, you don't have to eat too much sugar to replace all that. That's, you know, if you're eating -- a lot of people eat a lot more sugar than that in a day. So, you do this workout. You deplete your muscles of 200 some odd grams of carbohydrates, [laughs] and then you eat a bagel. You just gained it back. So, it's only in conjunction with a low glycemic diet, a low sugar diet that this will actually give you some extra boost for controlling your blood sugar.

But in the same breath, are you still productively doing something? Are you still building muscle? Are you still increasing [crosstalk 14:03] but you know --

Oh, yeah. I mean, we're talking specifically about fat loss. Right.

I mean again we're trying to control the hormone insulin. Fat is regulated by hormones. Period. Alright. You have to play that right. You have to have the right hormones that you want suppressing the hormones that you don't want. You want insulin to be suppressed. So, the hormones necessary for using fat for food or have free reign to do what they have to do.

Sometimes the people start this workout and they're not really prepared yet to go on that proper diet but they're still going to do the workout and maybe it will take them a couple of months to kind of get, you know --

Well, the, yeah the workouts -- The motivation.


I see what you're saying. I mean, the workout, of course is still worth doing. Just because you're not losing fat or you're not willing or if you're not ready to engage in a rather what some people might consider a draconian type of diet. I'd rather be strong and overweight than weak and overweight. I mean, they're going to reap all the benefits that come from being really strong and from maintaining muscle mass and we've talked about all those benefits and we're going to continue to talk about profound benefits of building strength as we get older and maintaining it as we get older. That goes way beyond fat loss.

And then when they're ready, let's say they've been working out for like four months and then they finally say okay, I'm really going on this diet now, do you think it will be easier?

Well, their metabolism will be a little bit higher obviously. They'll have more muscles. So, probably. [laughs]

I think it just means the truth is everyone's very, very different and we see great results very fast. We've heard several testimonials already on this show before and what Adam and I have seen so many hundreds over the years of people losing, you know, 10 pounds to 20 pounds to 70 pounds even up to 150 pounds.


And that readiness if different for everybody. The reality is it's a little bit of a troubleshooting process to get to the bottom of it all. There's a little bit of exercise involved which is high-intensity strength training and there's a lot of nutritional work that's involved. And it's unfortunately it's not an easy thing for most people. And as Adam said, insulin is the primary regulator of our fat but there are so many other factors involved and there's nothing lost in attacking your strength training program immediately.

And it's definitely going to have an effect, a positive effect over the course of whatever the journey is for that client. But it's -- the reality is there's nothing that happens quickly. Well, for most people. And it starts I think the usual suspects start with what Adam said is your simple carbs and then your complex carbs and then they can go into other things too depending on where allergies and sensitivities occur. It's a tough topic but an important one.

And one that is covered in great detail in Adam's book, Power of 10: The Once-a- Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. Adam does a terrific job simplifying the information so that it is easy to understand. You'll find easy to follow tables and charts and descriptions in chapter 3, nutrition the second pillar. We invite you to pick it up at an InForm Fitness location or you can order it through Amazon. We have a link available to the book right here in our show notes.

We have a lot of interviews lined up for future podcasts. So, we hope that you'll stick around and continue to learn more about the Power of 10 from other experts in the field of fitness. Along with some amazing testimonials like the one we have lined up for you over the next two weeks. We will be talking to InForm Nation member, Joanie Pimentel. She is also a member of the LA-based band, No Small Children. And for a glimpse of Joanie and to sample her music, head over to The reason we'll be talking to Joanie, she lost 118 pounds over two years with the Power of 10, slow motion high-intensity weight training She's a lot of fun with some really great stories and highly inspirational. So, make sure you come back and join us.

And to join InForm Nation for yourself and give this workout a try, pop on over to to find a location nearest you. If you would like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question, maybe you 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 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. All feedback is welcome. And speaking of feedback, please leave us a review right here in iTunes or wherever you might be listening and don't forget to subscribe. We really do appreciate you listening to the InForm Fitness podcast. For Adam, Mike and Sheila, I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network.


Jan 27, 2017

Can a strength training workout really take the place of a typical cardiovascular conditioning program?

Adam Zickerman, the founder of Inform Fitness and the author of the New York Times best-selling book: Power of 10, explains the difference between steady-state cardio workouts and the slow motion, high-intensity strength training workouts offered at 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's book, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution click this link to visit Amazon:

Ilf 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:

08 The Intro: Cardio Conundrum - Transcript

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.

InForm Nation, welcome in. Thanks again for joining us here on the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network and the gang's all here once again. We have Sheila Melody with InForm Fitness from the Los Angeles area. Mike Rogers from New York City. And the founder of InForm Fitness, New York Times best-selling author of Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution, Mr. Adam Zickerman. So, Adam, we introduced you as the New York Times best- selling author. Are you always introduced that way when you're at parties hanging out with your friends? [laughs]

Actually, no.

[laughs] You know, much like an Oscars' winner is always Academy Award Winning, Tom Hanks or Baseball Hall of Famer, Mickey Mantle, New York Times best-selling author, Adam Zickerman, has a nice ring to it.

You know, it's been on the -- it was only on the best seller list for one week by the way.

Don't diminish it. You don't need to throw that out there. [laughs] Hey, [crosstalk 01:41].

And by the way it was the publisher's list. So, in other words, the published -- what's published in the New York Times paper itself are the first ten. Fiction or nonfiction, ten of each.

Mhm [affirmative].

I was number 15 which is the publisher's top 15 list which still makes me a New York Times best seller but I wasn't actually in the paper itself.

You know what we need is like a top 15 list of how many ways Adam can de- emphasize his achievements.


[laughter] Yeah. He's so humble. [laughs] I would have that on my business cards.

I've known Adam a long time and he is a people person but for some reason he likes to -- he doesn't want to be announced about anything.

[Inaudible 02:26].

[laughs] Well, he is a New York Times bestseller and it's a fantastic book. It's the Power of 10: The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution and we recommend you go out and pick it up.

If you want.
If you want. [laughter]. You must pick up the Power of 10 at [Crosstalk 02:41]. You can get it at the library. You don't have to buy it. [laughs] You're a horrible businessman, Adam. I'm surprised -- [laughter] Yeah.
[Inaudible 02:50] library [inaudible 02:51].
No, it’s true [inaudible 02:53].
People still go to the library? Okay.
The library's actually [crosstalk 02:55].
I don't even know what the library is anymore. Amazon's my library.
That's true.
Starbucks or something. I don't know what's my library but it's not the library. It's not the physical location.
Do you remember the Dewey Decimal System?
Yes. Those cards that you'd have to pull out --
I do.

And go -- well, you're not supposed to pull them out. You're supposed to write them down but I always cheated and snagged it [laughter] and walked around.

Did you put them back?
I'm not admitting that here on our podcast. There's so many people that don't even know that.

[laughs] Yeah. Dewey Decimal System, right along with eight-tracks. Alright, we have a lot of info to cram into our 20 minutes together. So, let's get to it. This show will assist you in super charging your metabolism, increase your cardiovascular endurance and will make you leaner and stronger. Just ask James a proud member of InForm Nation.

After doing this workout for the past two, two and a half years I've gone down from a 36-inch waist to a 32 and I've gained a lot of muscle, lost a lot of fat. I have a lot of energy. I'm able to keep up with my guys on job sites and basically have been able to increase my efficiency at work.

And you'll notice he mentioned he went down in waist size with no cardio all through the Power of 10 workout at the Toluca Lake location. So, that's our topic today, is the cardio conundrum. I love that alliteration, the cardio conundrum. I had to look up conundrum, I got to be honest with you. I didn't know what a conundrum was but [laughs] I found that it means a confusing and difficult problem or a question. So, Adam, what is it about cardio that makes it so confusing?

We think that the activity itself of a steady state cardio activity is actually going to either help us burn calories and lose weight which it doesn't and there's conundrum because people get frustrated when they do it and it doesn't really work all that well. Another conundrum with cardio is that we feel that that activity is the only way to actually affect and improve the heart and that gets confusing as well because everyone's told, well, if you want to improve your endurance and your oxygen uptake, you need to do cardio. And we have to make sure when we talk about cardio that we get all of our definitions straight.

So, you know, Adam, one of the first things I noticed when I was first exposed to InForm Fitness and the high-intensity strength training workout with Sheila at the Toluca Lake location was when I toured the facility I didn't see any treadmills and I was a little taken aback when I realized that there is not a mainstream typical cardio portion of the workout. And honestly, I've been doing this for now about six months. I've loved the results and I love telling people about my results and my workout but I get asked 100% of the time, well how can that work if you're not doing any cardio?

Adam: Well, my answer, and I have to admit it's a little snarky when I say this, but I say, well, this is cardio but just not in the conventional sense and I say, you see the way the heart gets stronger is by responding to demands. The higher the demand on the heart the better it's going to respond and it's going to improve for that demand. So, if the demand is low, the heart's not really going to adjust very much or it's not going to become more efficient. It has no need to. But when the demand is really high via high-intensity exercise, doing a leg press for example to muscle failure where the demands are huge the body is going to react to that and the heart's going to get stronger.

Now, the heart doesn't differentiate between where the demand is coming from. It just knows demand. So, the demand is coming from a leg press or from a treadmill it doesn't differentiate. It has no idea what you're doing. So, when we look at studies, especially recent studies, that are actually able to show that there are improvements to the heart via high intense -- brief high-intensity exercise versus a long steady route. Now we're faced with a choice. There's no need now to spend five hours to improve the heart and the markers that show that the heart's been improved or endurance has been improved. When you can actually improve those same markers with much briefer but more intense exercise.

And I'd rather choose that not only because it saves me time but it also saves me from injury because when you're doing a lot of so-called conventional cardio, we're talking hours a week versus minutes a week and when you're spending hours doing a repetitive motion that is where we start getting into problems of injury, of energy depletion, lethargy, lowered immune system, cortisol levels going up. So, we started getting into some messy territory when we start extending our workouts too long. It's a very fine balance. So, I'd much rather do a very brief, intense, make the demand high, have the heart respond equally.

Mike: The conditioning happens when you actually work the muscles and, you know, our workout is the one that will prepare you to do any task that you need whether it's a sport, whether it's a simple task, everything seems to be better if you're building your muscles and our -- the Power of 10 is the way to do it safe and efficient.

Sheila: Yeah. And I also think there's something to be said for, you know, the quality of the stimulus. You know, you're stimulating -- it's an intense demand and then you end your exercise at InForm Fitness -- the way we do it, when you end your exercise your heart may be beating a little bit like you just did a sprint but then what happens is when you walk out of there your heart has to continue working to go repair, you know, the muscles and what you just did. It stimulates that to continue on in a productive way.

Tim: Would that fall under the third pillar with rest and recovery where your heart is still working as your body is recovering from that high-intensity strength training?

Sheila: I feel so. I feel that it's -- that's what we're doing is stimulating that. So, that then when you let your body fully recover and you let your heart get to work and deliver the nutrients all over the body and help to replace the energy that was just used and help to heal, then you come back and it's a way more efficient and productive way to build your muscle and to simulate those systems in your body.

Mike: Cardiovascular conditioning as we understand it, as the people outside the world of science, who are trying to exercise and become healthier, as I understand it they do cardio because they, A, think it's the way to lose fat and, B, it's the way because their doctor said, oh, I have to make sure my heart is healthy. Those methods have always been, oh, I should run you know, jog on a treadmill, three times a week for 20 minutes and/or bike for half an hour or do the elliptical if my knees are bad because I have to make sure all those things are going on. And I'm just following my doctor's orders because he says I need to have a very healthy heart. And --

Adam: And that would work if you had the time and your body didn't give out for that amount of time every single week for the rest of your life. That could work. And how do we know it works? Scientists look at certain markers of improvement and some of these markers for example are oxygen consumption. If your oxygen consumption has improved, the cardio is working. And aerobic enzymes are improved, that is scientific evidence that your endurance is improving.

Now, this is the interesting part about it. Compliance is a big problem. You have doctors telling people to do cardio all the time. You have people being told to go walking and then the walking programs all the time. Compliance is a big issue. People don't have the time. They don't want to do it. They get frustrated. They get hurt. Well, the good news is with these markers of health and endurance can improve with much less time if the intensity is improved and increased.

Several studies coming out of McMaster University in Canada that have actually had two groups, one doing steady state exercise and then one group doing high intense exercise similar to what we do except on bikes but they’re like interval training. Much less time spent on the bike compared to how much time the other group spent doing steady state cardio on a bike. And they measured the O2 max which is the oxygen consumption. They measured some of these enzymes. After

the study was completed, the amount of exercise that the high-intensity group did was tenfold less time. Eight minutes a week of exercise versus like six hours a week for the cardio group.

Then they measured the improvements in these markers. This is the fascinating thing. The markers improved equally for both and to me and to a lot of people, what does that say. That says that it's not how often you work out or it's not the tool in which you work out on that creates these changes, it's the demand. It's the intensity of these changes. What that means is the real winner, the real thing we should be going for in exercise is not how long or how often or how high we get our heart rate but how intense is the exercise and how safe it is. We've talked about that.

This intensity turns out to improve these markers that the cardio, the aerobics camp has always been hanging their hat on for saying hey the reason you should do this cardio is because it improves oxygen consumption this much. And if you do cardio it's going to improve these enzymes which proves that you're building endurance. That's why you should do all this cardio. Hey, guess what guys, we improve those markers equally by doing like six minutes a week of exercise. So, now what's your reason for doing all that cardio? If you could improve all those markers by just doing six minutes a week versus your whatever, what six hours a week. Is it really the treadmill that's doing this? Is it really the heartrate that's been up for an hour a day every single day that's really improving these things? No.

What's happening when you see those improvements from doing cardio is that eventually there's a lot of demand doing six hours of exercise a day. Of course your body's going to eventually respond to that but that's the scenic route. Who has time for the scenic route most times? Right? I want to improve those markers. I don't have time for that. I'm going to do one really brief, intense workout and then live my life. And those markers, my heart, my endurance will improve just as much and these studies are starting to be repeated by other places. So, there's not just one one-off study that McMaster did. Other places are starting to do similar studies like this and very similar findings are presenting themselves.

Mike: And some people they enjoy taking the scenic route but I think they need to also understand that there are costs taking the scenic route a lot more that they need to be concerned about. And there’s an alternative. And what the Power of 10 does is present that alternative.

Tim: And that alternative is an express route to get it done quickly, safely, with the same if not better results.


Adam: The scenic route is not just the scenic route. I know people like to take the scenic route but the scenic route is also fraught with potholes and dirt roads and things that can get you kind of stuck. So, as much as we like to romanticize about the scenic route, you know, unless you have a four-wheel drive you might not make it. My point is really that there are costs taking the scenic route. It's not all you know fun and games. Alright, when you're working out that much it's inevitable that you eventually get hurt.

So, yes, like Mike said, people like taking the scenic route and we don't like discouraging people from doing what they like and if you like doing cardio because it's a stress reliever or it's just in your DNA to just be active and do that, okay, so be it. Just understand the risks involved with that and that they're not necessary for health improvement. Period.

Tim: Alright guys, we're getting close to that 20-minute mark and we still have a few more elements to cover here in this episode. So, Adam, like I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, the cardio conundrum, it's going to bleed over into other episodes because there is so much content to cover. What can we look forward to in the next episode as we continue?

Adam: Well, the other confusing aspect of cardio, besides the fact that we all think it is the only way to strengthen our hearts is that cardio is the only way to lose weight or if you want to lose body fat, you have to do cardio and that's what we're going to talk about next. Do you need to do cardio to lose weight?

Tim: Alright. So, that's coming up in our next episode but on the way here still in this episode we're going to hear from another InForm Nation member who works out at InForm Fitness in the Los Angeles area with Sheila. She's a retired pediatrician and actually one of the stars of the Hallmark Channel. Plus, we received our first question via voice memo for Fitness Fact or Fiction. It's from Linda with a question that has to do with alcohol and exercise. Interesting combo. That's coming up in a mere 60 seconds. Right here on the InForm Fitness podcast.

Well, this certainly is an episode of firsts as this podcast continues to grow in popularity. We welcome in our first sponsor to the InForm Fitness podcast. It's Thrive Market. Now, I want to remind you that one of the three pillars necessary to maximize your results with the Power of 10 is nutrition. Especially if you're looking to super charge your metabolism, burn fat and build muscle which is the point of this podcast. At the time of this recording I've been working out at the Toluca Lake InForm Fitness location for about five months and in that time I've already lost a couple of inches off my waistline and I'm getting stronger every single week.


But I've done more than just my once a week workout. I've been pretty mindful of what I've been eating and where I've been buying my food. Of course you can get everything on that list at your grocery store but I found everything I need to maximize my results at At Thrive Market you'll find wholesome products that are InForm Fitness friendly at wholesale prices. If you're into the paleo diet or perhaps you're leaning towards being gluten free or even exploring a vegan lifestyle, you'll find everything you're looking for at In addition to simplifying the buying process it's much more affordable than the grocery store and they deliver your items right to your door. And with all orders over $49 you get shipping absolutely free.

Try it for yourself. Visit Register for free. Start your 30-day free trial and if you're happy with their service and their products you can join the community. It's just $59.95 and most customers save that amount in their first order and then you can continue to save a bunch of money and grow healthy in the process. As a matter of fact, I'm going to save you some dough right off your first order. Simply email me directly at and I'll send you a code that will shave 15% off your first order. Thrive Market is on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone.

Alright. Jumping back into the program let's hear from InForm Fitness member, JJ Levinstein who also happens to be the medical expert on the show, Home and Family on the Hallmark Channel.

JJ: Hi, I'm JJ Levinstein. I'm a retired pediatrician and I took care of kids for 30 years so I probably lifted several tons of children every single week. As a result of that I didn't really take good care of myself. I took great care of them but my average diet was a Diet Coke and red licorice for lunch and zero exercise. So, when I retired a few years ago I had an epiphany. I literally said to myself, “If I want to live and enjoy my retirement in a good way, I've got to start taking care of myself.” So, I found this place.

First of all, I left so many dollars at so many gyms and so many paid training hours that I never took advantage of because I didn't like the environment of gyms. Gyms are for younger people and folks who didn't really look like me or want the same things in life that I did. So, I found that it just was a really noxious experience for me. I live four blocks away. So, the fact that I can just literally get up, walk over here in whatever I'm wearing during the day, have my little workout in a half an hour, not really sweat. I swear but I don't sweat. [laughs] I can actually move on with my day and it's not a big intrusion. There's not a whole big social scene. It's not expensive for what you get and the amount of bang for your buck it has really been worth it for me.


And for me as someone who's hitting 60 next year, I think myself and all my peers we live in fear of stepping off a curb and breaking our hip. Did my homework, found out about this particular mode of exercise, was intrigued with it and here I landed 18 months ago. What's really great about this is that it's real people training other real people. There's just no bravado. It's a lot of fun. It's sincere. It's empathic and it's effective.

That's JJ Levinstein. I like how she said she doesn't sweat but she swears from time to time. [laughs] And I'm a little guilty of that as well.

I was raised on George Carlin so I can connect with that.

She also said a lot of funny things about lifting several tons of children over the years.


And she ended with something that always rings with me and we've pointed this out before. Once again, when she's talking about the broken hip stuff and how she can do this workout and not break a hip and not hurt herself. Again, it came down to the safety aspect of this. The intuition that doing it this way is going to allow her to have her cake and eat it too. That she can finally get stronger the right way and not get hurt in the process. Once again, what I feel is the mission of exercise is to make yourself as strong as possible and reap all the benefits of that while at the same time not undermining your health.

Well, again, that comment that we heard just a few moments ago, from JJ Levinstein is from a series of videos that my company has produced for InForm Fitness which you can see for yourself at Sheila, I noticed that as we were filming I had a chance to meet some of the clients there in Toluca Lake and a good share of them seem to have their own, IMDb page.

Well, yeah. We have a lot of people who are in "the industry." Mhm [affirmative].

But overall I would say that all of our clients are basically just very smart people. They are very busy people. They are very successful people. They find us and they get it and they don't have time to waste their time doing things that aren't working and those are the people that we -- and the same in New York and I'm sure the same in all of our other locations.

Yeah. I'm sure there's no shortage of --

Same thing. Smart people.

Of smart people and celebrities over there in your location in Manhattan, right guys?

Yeah. Well, you know, over the years we've had our share of those A-listers coming in here, you know. We don't really like talking about it. One celeb who I know wouldn't mind because she's talked about our workout and her workout in the past is Gretchen Ruben, the author of The Happiness Project and also of the podcast of -- what's the -- Happier.

Happier. Mhm [affirmative].

Happier podcast. She wasn't a celebrity when she started working out here but she sure is now. [Crosstalk 22:17]

Absolutely. Well, we'd love to have Gretchen on the program. So, we'll have to see.

And I train her sister Liz and who just completed her 100th workout last week.

Oh, congratulations.

Mike trains Gretchen actually and the whole family as a matter of fact.

I train Gretchen, her husband, their daughter, her in-laws. They're whole family.

Her daughter has her own podcast too.

Well, we'll put the links to their podcasts in our show notes as well too. So, our audience can go ahead and check out their podcast. And plant that seed in Gretchen's mind. See if she'd like to join us sometime on the InForm Fitness podcast. Alright. Now, time now for Fitness Fact or Fiction. If you have a question for Adam or a member of the crew here regarding fitness, you can type out an email to or better yet use your phone to record a voice memo and email it to the same address. That way you can hear yourself right here on the InForm Fitness podcast just like Linda will.

Hi, Adam. This is Linda calling. I work out at the InForm Fitness studio in Toluca Lake and I have a question for you. My husband brought me a newspaper article that says having a glass of wine is just as good as working out for an hour in the gym and we're winos. We love our wine but I'm really trying to get my husband to come in and work out. What do I tell him? Help! Help! Help!

I wish it was that easy. And I wish I can rely on these studies that they're talking about. He can't. Most of --

Are you sure about that, Adam? [laughter] Yeah, I'm sure.
I saw you looking at to dispute that.
Well, I looked up --

I don't know. I don't know if -- I don't know red wine. I don't know good wine Yeah. [laughs] Obviously.
It's a scam. [laughs]
Yeah. [laughs] Well --

It's like, you know, really, a glass of wine.
Adam, are you really going to continue talking about it?

[laughs] So, remember, it's Fitness Fact or Fiction. I think this lands under the fiction umbrella.

I'm calling fiction on that one.
[laughs] Well, you know, I looked it up on --
I'm looking at Adam and I see friction right now.
Yes. [laughs] Look at -- his face is turning as red as the wine. Yeah. And I see affliction. [laughs]
Have some wine.
And very little diction.


Adam could use a glass of wine today.

[Crosstalk 24:22].

Well, I found the article on Brightside. Brightside's a website and the article that I think she might be alluding to after a search from receiving her voice memo says, “A new study says a glass of red wine is the equivalent to an hour in the gym.” However, in the article they don't list where the research has come from. Just conducted, possibly, somewhere in Canada. So, no --

[Inaudible 24:48] talking about this all over the news and all over -- like it was on a recent John Oliver show and in his piece he was talking about all these "studies" and if you just start an article with a new study, a new study, a new study says and nobody really looks into the science of this study. They just go by that headline and then it goes viral over the internet. Hey, I can just drink a glass of red wine and I'm just doing the same thing as you're doing, you know. So, I'm calling fitness fiction on that one. [laughs]

Fiction. I think it's across the board, fiction, fiction, fiction, unanimous. Sorry Linda but I don't think that's going to work. You got to find other ways to get your husband into the gym and pull that glass of wine out of his hand.

Get him a gift certificate. We got gift certificates here. Just buy it, say, “I spent the money. Get in there.”

[laughs] So, you're committed now. Alright. So, again, if you'd like to ask Adam a question on fitness fact or fiction, you can send a voice memo or just type out an email to Or you can do it the old fashioned way and give us a call at 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. 888-983-5020, Ext. 3 and you can leave your comment question or even a suggestion. And while you're on your phone, why don't you scroll over to the podcast icon, find our show in the search and subscribe. It's very easy. It takes just a few swipes and clicks and of course it is absolutely free. This is vital to the success of this show and we would greatly appreciate your feedback with a review right here in iTunes.

Alright. We have surpassed the 20-minute mark which means that if you started your high intensity workout when we began this podcast you would be wrapping it up right about now just like we are. We are going to continue our conversation regarding cardio and fat loss in next week's episode. Then in a couple of weeks we have a very special treat for you. We will be speaking with an amazing woman who in the past two years has lost, get this, 118 pounds by participating in the Power of 10 workout. She also plays a mean bass and has one hell of a voice.


We'll introduce you to her and sample some of her music right here on the InForm Fitness podcast.

To learn more about slow motion high intensity weight training and to join InForm Nation by trying it for yourself, visit for locations nearest you. If you don't have a location nearby, pick up Adam's book, Power of 10: The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution and we'll have a link for it right here in the show notes. For Adam, Mike and Sheila, I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network. Thanks for listening.


Jan 27, 2017

In Episode 7 of the Inform Fitness Podcast, Adam Zickerman, Mike Rogers, Sheila Melody and Tim Edwards discusses the pros and cons of high-intensity strength training with free weights versus machine weights versus your own body weight.  You will learn more about the type of equipment you can expect to use with your very own personal trainer at Inform Fitness.

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 

You can 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:

Ilf 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:

07 Working Out with Machine vs. Free vs. Body Weights - Transcript


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.

InForm Nation, thanks for being with us once again. I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network. We have Sheila. We have Mike. And we have Adam, the founder of InForm Fitness and New York Times best-selling author of Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. That's what this show is all about, supercharging your metabolism, increasing your cardiovascular endurance and getting you leaner and stronger to enjoy your health and your life to the fullest.

In today's episode we'll discuss working out with free weights versus machine weights versus your own body weight and the equipment you can expect to see when becoming a member of InForm Nation. Mike, let's start with you. Give us a quick rundown on the type of equipment InForm Fitness uses to support the Power of 10.

In regards to the machines versus the free weight versus body weight, you know, InForm Fitness, here in New York, we have the Rolls Royce set up here as Adam said many times before and all of the locations in California, Virginia, etcetera. Our machines, they're outstanding. They're made by Nautilus. They're made by MedX and they're all retrofitted for our style of weight training to accommodate for the strength curves of the body.

I never knew what a strength curve until I got certified and went through all this, you know, information. Basically, it's like when you start out a movement, like what Mike just said, you know, you go through this movement in the muscle group that your isolating. At the start of it you're normally a little weaker and then there's a point in that movement that you're the strongest and then there becomes another point where it's weaker. And what we want to do is stimulate that strongest part of the movement. So, if you're in the middle of this, you know, compound row and in the middle of it where you're strongest you can do 150 pounds but at the back you can't or at the very beginning it -- the equipment allows for the resistance to fall off where your strength curve is the weaker part and then you get that -- the best stimulus in the middle of it. If that [crosstalk 02:59].

And this cannot be accomplished, I'm sure, with free weights or regular machines that you would see at a conventional gym.

There are tricks. You can simulate cams on free weights if you know how to use them properly. Like a lateral raise, you wouldn't be standing straight up. You lean to the side while you did a lateral raise, you actually in effect create a cam that's proper and congruent. So, if you know what you're doing, if you understand the limitations of free weights and how to work around them, you can have a very intense and safe workout.

One thing that I think we overemphasize that people give more importance in, is actually needed is this thing, this concept called full range of motion. That we need to go through a full range of motion and some people in the older generation might remember this but there used to be, you know, a protocol called statics or isometric training and that's where you don't move at all. They don't go through any range of motion at all. You just fatigue the muscle just by pushing and using the muscle in a stationary position but pushing as hard as you can until it exhausts and you got good results from doing statics or isometrics.

The range of motion for a lot of situations in trying to maximize that range of motion can end up being a very dangerous situation. When you're at the extremes of the range of motion, those are the most vulnerable parts of the muscle, the most stretched position. That's where things tear and go a little and get really dangerous. I like to stay right in that midrange and if unless you have specialized equipment, you should stay in that midrange and avoid the extremes. Only with retrofitted equipment where the machine makes it actually lighter where we're right in our most vulnerable and weakest positions. So, the weight is not being taken over by the connective tissue because the muscle can't handle it all right in that position.

So, that's why we retrofit our machines and we do get a little bit more range of motion using machines like that. But again, I'm -- I don't really care about maximum range of motion. It doesn't matter. You can strengthen a muscle group or single muscle by just working it really deeply in a static position. In its strongest position. In the middle position.

I think, you know, Adam I think one of the best examples of that is the leg extension because of all the controversy and all studies and all of the, you know, it's -- over the last -- as long as I've been a trainer there's been a lot of news articles and studies that said the leg extension is absolutely the worst machine and one of the most dangerous machines in the gym and the thing is -- well, the question is, how are you doing the study? How are they doing the exercise? How is the leg extension set up?

And, you know, for example, our -- you know, Adam can describe probably the best exactly the alignment of the seat and how it drops off at the top and you know to -- I mean where if he doesn't do that, if you are going through a fuller range of motion, you are putting your knee in a lot of jeopardy at a regular gym versus at -- our leg extension makes that accommodation if you're going to a fuller range of motion but as Adam just sort of stated, it's and often in many cases, it's not necessary to do so.

A leg extension is a rotary movement. The rotary movements are more challenging for free weights and the leg extension does have risks associated with it if you don't -- so our leg extension machine has a lot of retrofits done to it to make it a safe machine and exercise. Without getting into all the details, if somebody was to say to me, I want to do this exercise on my own and I belong to a gym, what should I do? I would not have them do the leg extension machine because I don't know what kind of machine they have and it's harder to use that correctly. I would stick him on -- I would keep them on the basic leg presses. That's what you can do on your own or a wall squat is even safer in these compound movements versus the rotary movements.

So, right there would be how somebody can do this on their own just knowing what machines to avoid, what exercises to avoid and what is more effective given that you have crude equipment or free weights available to you. There's ways, again, of having an incredible workout in a full gym and avoid 90% of the equipment that's in that gym.

Adam, you have state of the art equipment at all of the InForm Fitness locations across the country. Can you briefly just kind of run through this type of equipment that you have? What makes it so special for InForm Fitness and this type of workout?

The key to this type of workout -- the impotence to this workout in general, lifting weights slowly was to make it safer and the special equipment is just one more step in that direction of making it safer. And one way you make exercise safer is making sure that while you're fatiguing a muscle, you’re not doing anything harmful to the joints around that muscle and that's where the specialized equipment really shines.

Because when you go through a range of motion through a particular exercise, let's take the bicep curl for example, when you start the bicep curl when your arm is straight versus when it's bent at a 90 degree angle that change and range of motion, your muscle is not the same strength. It's much weaker when you start to position -- 20%, about, weaker, than it is in the 90-degree angle. So, if you could handle 100 pounds in the strongest position, that means you can only handle about 80 pounds in the week position.

And what does this macho, tough guy do when he wants to do bicep curls? He takes the most weight he can handle which is 100 pounds in the strongest position. So, he takes 100-pound dumbbell and he starts in the week position that can only handle 80. What's going to make us the other 20%? Well, I can tell you this, whatever is making it up, it's not good. [laughs] Because that's the connective tissue of the elbow, of the shoulder, of the back needing to heave and hoe just to get that extra 20%. And there's no good that comes from that.

And if you do that regularly for all these kind of exercises for all the joints, all the time, there's an insidious negative effect to all that because you might not have tendonitis on day one doing that but if you keep doing it where you're straining the joints and in order to lift a weight in a certain position, over time it's going to bite you. So, our equipment just makes it lighter in the weaker points and makes it heavier in the strong point so it matches that strength curve. And therefore, you're not straining the joints and connective tissue is not doing the work of what the major muscles should be doing.

Tim: So, as we wrap up this episode on machine versus free weights versus body weight exercises, Adam, you did say that you don't need to be at an InForm Fitness location in order to perform a high-intensity slow motion strength training system. There are safe ways to go about this with free weights and body weights but you do need some type of a trainer and some education before you take this type of a workout outside of an InForm Fitness gym.

Adam: Yes, you do. And it doesn't take a lot. Knowing some of the pitfalls of free weights and certain exercises, knowing to stay away from some of the dangerous things, it wouldn't take too long to know more than most trainers out there actually. [laughs]

Tim: Well, a good first step might be to pick up Adam's book, Power of 10: The Once- a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. Inside the book you'll find several workouts that support this slow motion high-intensity strength training system whether you use free weights, your own body weight or are fortunate enough to live near an InForm Fitness location. By following the three pillars Adam discusses in his book along with just a small investment of 20 to 30 minutes a week, it won't be long until you start seeing some measurable results and achievements from your newfound strength.

Adam: How about, “Hey, Adam, guess what, for the first time I was able to put my stuff in the overhead compartment in the airplane without some young gentleman offering me any help. I did it myself.” How about that small achievement that is a big deal to a lot of people right now?

Just the everyday tasks alone is worth it. A very small price to pay, truly, 20 minutes --

[Crosstalk 11:36] that's the real functional training right there. [laughs] Yeah.

And then I'll take it to the, you know, older, to the senior crowd I heard one of our friends Greg Burns who had some very senior -- they were probably in their late 70s. They loved going on cruises and the wife had been very upset because they couldn't go on cruises anymore because she had to -- she couldn't, like, walk around that well. They started working out, doing this workout and within the next year -- like they did it for about a year and they went on a cruise and she was so happy. She felt like she had their life back again because she didn't have to have a wheelchair. She could walk around on her own. It's that kind of a level. It goes from snowboarding, gardening, whatever to simply being able to walk and balance yourself.

Yeah, I've heard -- I've recently also same thing, senior used to have to go up the stairs, like, you know, up one step and meet the other foot with the other foot and then up the next step and so like -- and then would go on from that to one step to the next step to the next step to the next step. So, it's like little stuff like that and --

It becomes very noticeable.

And what is this older person going to do if they didn't have us? Like what other kind of strength training that involves the necessary intensity. What are they going to do if it's not this? What is an older person that has problems walking up a flight of stairs, for example, as simple as that one flight of stairs they have major pain and problems with it, what are they going to do if they are that far gone already that they can't even walk up a flight -- what else are they -- what is their option? A walking program? I don't think so. What is it?

They got to strength train. How about -- they going to join a CrossFit class? [laughs]


Like physical therapy is the other option. [laughs]

They may find other exercise alternatives but probably one that's not going to -- they might not hurt them along the way, you know, I mean, it's very difficult to do that and that's why we --

They have to strength train. They got to strengthen the muscle. They got to do it without any force because they're so week already the last -- they can't afford any additional force that's not necessary. They can't afford it. They'll break.

So, let me ask you this then. So, how old is too old to call InForm Fitness and say, I'd like to sign up for a high intensity slow motion strength training program. How old is too old?

That's a good question. Dead. [laughs]

Honestly, I don't think we can answer that question. [laughs] I don't know if there's an answer to that question but we can say we have people in their 90s. We have a 92-year-old woman who's on our website. We have a nice video of her and we've had another 90-year-old who would still be here but she moved to Baltimore, remember, Adam?

Yeah. Yeah.
So, it's like -- we have several in their 80s, several in their 70s, lots in their 70s. More than several. Yeah. More than several.
Yeah. Lots and lots. It's -- so --
We forget they're in their 70s, Mike.
Yeah. I mean --
It's unbelievable. That's true.


Adam: Honestly, like, anybody that's over 60 and working out here, I think they’re all 60. Like I basically say, yeah we have a lot of people in their 60s but it turns out that a lot of the people that I think are in 60s are actually in their 70s.

Tim: So, we found the fountain of youth at InForm Fitness and is not a magic pill. There's work that goes into but like Adam was saying, a 20 minute a week investment is about as minimal as it gets. It's safe and it's effective and we've interviewed people over the last couple of months, Sheila, with the videos that we've been producing that I think they're in their 50s and I'm not kidding, with no exaggeration they're in their late 60s or early 70s and Keith comes to mind in particular.

Sheila: Yeah. Keith is [crosstalk 15:10].

Tim: We're going to be talking about Keith here coming up shortly in another episode, a very charismatic gentleman and I think he's 70 something. Is that correct? 71?

Sheila: 72.
Tim: He's 72 for goodness' sake. My gosh, I thought he --
Sheila: And he's like solid muscle.
Tim: Yeah.
Sheila: And talk about intense. He just really goes intense. You know?

Tim: So, if we have people listening we know just looking at demographics a lot of older people, baby boomers don't necessarily listen to podcasts but we know their kids do or their grandkids do. So, if you're a child or a grandchild of somebody that you love that you think could use some physical conditioning, you might want to give InForm Fitness a call or check them out on the website so --

Sheila: Well, not only that. I don't want to seem like we're only for old people too. We have, you know, younger people that are -- you know, we have 15-year-olds. We have a number of, like, in their late 20s to, you know, early 30s. And they don't have time. You know, they're trying to build their lives. They're working. They're starting to get into their, like, the peak of their, you know, careers. And they love this workout. You know, so, we have a, you know, grandson and a grandmother coming in and, you know, it's funny because he was like, look, you know, my grandma can lift more weight than some of the girls I know.

Tim: [laughs] That's awesome.

You know, which is true because she's been coming in religiously and just doing it, you know. Just slowly building and consistent.

The workout is certainly for everybody. I have an 11-year-old client. I have athletes, very serious athletes here and it's for everybody. The whole point before was just that because a lot of people get very concerned about how much they can actually exercise when they get into their golden years and even up to like their 90s, which we have them here and they're thriving so. The limit is pretty much nowhere.

There is no limit. Yeah. Yeah.

You know, I think the only limit -- there are two limits. There are definitely some orthopedic or medical [inaudible 17:17] indications to exercise that.

True. True.

That's how we gauge whether there are limitations to this, not age. Age in of itself, it doesn't matter. It's really the state of the person. There are some medical issues that needs to be dealt with and cleared with some medical doctors but the other limitation that I think that exists more than anything else is the mental limitation.

Mhm [affirmative].

You know, I mean, if you can get somebody to kind of let go and really push themselves to an uncomfortable level that they might not be used to, if you can get them to break through that barrier, it opens up a whole world in a profound way, way beyond just getting stronger actually.

Not just to their physical abilities but if -- you know, when you're physically pushed to the point of failure in a specific movement, I know for a fact that that mental shift can also take place in anything you do in life. I believe that what we learn in those seven or so exercises in that 20 minutes can be applied outside in every area of your life not just in your body.

I mean, I think absolutely, when we push ourselves in almost any capacity and then afterwards we take a proper rest, our body grows, our mind grows, our, you know, like, you wouldn't -- if you didn't sleep, your memory wouldn't improve. All these things, all of your cognitive abilities and it applies to everything and that's where, how do you do that in a safe fashion is and I think that InForm Fitness and the method that Adam has developed here is your best option.

That was really cheesy. I kind of liked that moment for a while. Yeah. [laughs] Were we getting deep?

You know a little cheese every once in a while, you know, as long as you're not lactose intolerant. I guess.

[Inaudible 19:01].
[laughs] Never underestimate the power of cheese. I'm not lactose intolerant. I'll go there all day, Adam.

[laughter] Yeah. Just cut back on putting that cheese in your mouth if you're looking to shed a little fat while you're building your muscle with the Power of 10. Again, check out Adam's book for a simple and handy list of food that you should avoid and enjoy in chapter 3, nutrition, the second pillar. We'll provide you a link to Adam's book in the show notes. Well, that episode went by fast. If you started your high-intensity training with InForm Fitness at the start of this episode, you'd be wrapping it up about now just like we are.

Hey, we're going to be kicking off a new segment called, Fitness Fact or Fiction, in the next couple of episodes. So, if you would like to ask Adam, Mike or Sheila a question, maybe you have a comment regarding the Power of 10 or maybe you saw something on your Facebook feed regarding the many fitness trends that are making the rounds, send 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 to leave your comment, question or suggestion. All feedback is welcome. And seriously, this is very important to us, the best way to support this show and keep it free is to subscribe to the podcast right here in iTunes or wherever you might be enjoying your podcast. Of course, it is absolutely free to subscribe and we would love it if you left us a review.

Hey, our next four episodes promise to be both entertaining and educational. In this podcast you've heard a lot about weightlifting but not a lot regarding cardio. Should you hang onto that treadmill that's collecting dust in your garage or continue paying for that spin class you hardly ever go to or is the cardio you need included in your 20-minute workout with InForm Fitness? We'll discuss the cardio conundrum and fat loss in the next two episodes. Plus, we'll be speaking with a very talented musician who's lost 118 over the past two years by adding the Power of 10 workout to her weight loss program. We'll catch you next week right here on the InForm Fitness podcast. For Adam Zickerman, Mike Rogers and Sheila Melody, I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network.



Jan 27, 2017

Coming up in this episode we'll weigh in on the immediate physiological benefits of high-intensity training. What is the difference between weight training and weight bearing exercises? And steady state exercise, what is it and how does it compare to high-intensity weight training?


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:

Ilf 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:

06 Benefits of High-Intensity Weight Training - 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: Welcome in to the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. I'm Tim Edwards the founder of the Inbound Podcasting Network back with Adam's friends and colleagues. Sheila Melody from the InForm Fitness Toluca Lake location and Mike Rogers from the New York City location. And across the hall from Mike is the founder of InForm Fitness and author of the New York Times best seller, Power of 10: The Once-a-week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution, Adam Zickerman.

Coming up in this episode we'll weigh in on the immediate physiological benefits of high-intensity training. What is the difference between weight training and weight bearing exercises? And steady state exercise, what is it and how does it compare to high-intensity weight training? Adam, Mike and Sheila, good to have you back on the show and looking forward to today's discussion. Adam, let's start off with the debate between high-intensity training and your, say, run of the mill exercise routines that we're all familiar with.

Adam: Why is high intensity so important versus just getting on a treadmill and doing that steady state, getting the heart rate up a little bit and spending the time, maybe an hour, every single day, which is generally what's been recommended and why do I say, and why do plenty of people in my camp say, that's the, you know, big deal. I mean, like, you don't have to do all that. And this is what we're finding out. First of all, a lot of people like to say to me that I don't think that steady state cardio is worth anything. I don't say it. Plenty of studies have shown that the physiological benefits that we see can come from steady state exercises. Certain markers have definitely been shown to have improved.

Tim: I have a question Adam, if you don't mind, for the layperson like me, what is steady state exercise?

Adam: Steady state exercise is doing cardio to the point where you can read People magazine for a while.

Tim: Got you.


Steady state cardio is the kind of cardio that passes the talk test. That you can have a conversation with somebody next to you while you're doing it. And steady state cardio gets your heart rate up maybe 20/30/40 percent above its normal heart rate sustained, steady state.

Got you.

Sustained. Steady-state activities as such has definitely been shown to cause certain physiological improvements. They've been shown to raise certain markers that we look for. Some of these markers are oxygen consumption, improved oxygen consumption. They call it the O2 max. Certain anaerobic and aerobic enzymes go up. Glucose sensitivity is improved as a result of steady state exercises. These are all good things. You want to be able to handle glucose better. In other words, somebody that is out of shape, their ability to -- if they eat something that has sugar in it, their ability to metabolize that sugar is very slow and keeps your blood sugar up high and that leads to obesity and all kinds of metabolic problems.

All these kind of markers are improved from steady state activity. What I'm saying is you don't have to spend that kind of time to improve those markers to that level. Turns out, you spend a lot less time doing it but it's a lot more intense actually, you can improve those markers equally and that's what the McMaster's studies have shown. At McMaster University in Canada they compare steady state activity and the markers of improvement to high intense exercise. And you'd think that the group that did the steady state activity for like for hours a week versus four minutes a week, that they would have at least a little bit better improvement of those markers compared to just four minutes of exercise but as it turns out there was zero improvement compared to the high-intensity group. In other words, the marker that went up for the steady state group, hours of exercise per week were no better than the group that just spent about four minutes a week exercising at a much higher intensity.

So, it begs the question, why are we doing all that steady state activities if the markers that we decided are markers of improvement -- if high-intensity exercises are improving those markers equally, why are we taking the scenic route. So, the question is this and this is it. I don't think that if you like to do steady state cardio and you want those physiological improvements, we're all big boys and girls, go ahead and do it. If you want to spend the four or five hours a week doing it, fine. If you also understand the risks associated with doing four or five hours of exercise a week at a steady state level. If you understand those risks because a lot of people don't understand but if they did understand these risks because they still want to do it that way because that's what they like to do, it's certainly better than sitting on a couch doing nothing and those risks are orthopedic risks and overtraining risks of course. And, you know, quite honestly, some people don't see it this way but I see it as a risk of time, I mean --

Tim: For sure.

Adam: You only have so much time on this Earth. I mean, like, I don't want to spend four hours a week of my time exercising if I don't have to. I'd much rather be with my family.

Tim: Mhm [affirmative] and that's the part that's most attractive about this exercise, your exercise, the high-intensity slow motion strength training system as opposed to riding a bike for four hours a week. I mean, who has time to do that unless it's something that somebody really enjoys to do or they use it as a recreational activity. I do not have four hours a week to work out and I'm sure the majority of the people listening don't have four hours a week to work out especially when the benefits are equal [laughs] if not better.

Adam: Well, that's the point. So, we have choices. So, we have choices. When someone says you don't believe in cardio, you don't think people should do cardio, I'm like, you know, we have a choice and I have mentioned scenic route before. I mean, some people like to take the scenic route. Again, it's a choice and most people I think want to just get it done, get it over with. And the people that want to take the scenic route, take the scenic route but I think a lot of people that take the scenic route, number one, don't realize it's just a scenic route, that there is even an express route. And number two, the people that take the scenic route, they don't know about the side effects of it and maybe they'd think twice about it if they knew what the side effects were. I think exercise programs don't have enough disclaimers with them. You know when you see a drug commercial on TV, they always have a disclaimer at the bottom.

Tim: Yeah. [laughs]

Adam: They read really fast and really small letters. Alright. Well I think, for the most part, that's the way the exercising industry kind of covers their butts but they don't really tell you truly what the risks are doing these types of activities and that's sad.

Tim: So, in addition to the obvious benefit of becoming stronger, what are some of the other direct physiological benefits that we can enjoy as a result of this protocol?

Adam: Well, there's a lot of anti-inflammatory responses and free radical absorption responses that occur when you push the muscles that deeply we're finding out. This is kind of new stuff. I mean, last five years or so. When you work out that intensely the muscles are starting to produce things that really have more profound effects and like you just mentioned, just getting stronger can affect our immune system. It could affect how we deal with free radicals. The fact that we're balancing the intensity with plenty of rest, allowing the body to do these things. So, you are actually enhancing your immune system as opposed to actually the opposite where your immune system is actually run down and you get more vulnerable to sickness because you're over trained. So, the balance there is very important.

Yeah. I mean, the immune system, I think the immune responses, that's a huge thing because we always think about that's how we keep our body's, you know, to be able to fight disease and everything but you know something, I think even more direct and we talk about just strength training in general. We know strength training in general, you know, it, you can -- when you have a program, hypertrophy, increased muscle sizes is a benefit, burning fat is a benefit, cardiovascular endurance is a benefit and it's interesting. And Adam, I don't think no one describes it better than you do, about what the effect of intensity has on hypertrophy or fat burning for example versus a steady state stimulus.

I mean, when you're pushing the body to that level of intensity, it sets off a cascade of things and basically all the systems -- it's a supply and demand thing. When you're producing -- so, intense exercise, that kind of demand and the muscles are growing and require constant demand, all our systems need to meet that demand.

Osteoporosis, the bones have to get stronger when the muscles are stronger. The cardiovascular system has to become more efficient as your muscles become stronger. The integrity of your joints need to improve if your muscles around those joints are stronger. Your digestive system needs to keep up with the demands of more muscle and high, intense exercise. Temperature regulation is improved as a result of this. When noticing all kinds of benefits just because you're spending 20 minutes to push your energy systems to their max.

Yeah and the other thing that I just want to make very clear is that how safely we achieve that intensity with this Power of 10 workout because, you know, you can get the intensity, CrossFit or those other things that people are doing, that's intensity, yes, but it's very injury prone. And by going very slowly it is really amazing when people try this for the first time. They don't believe it and then you get them on there and just by simply going very slowly with the right amount of weight in the perfect form, how deeply and how quickly they can achieve that muscle failure or that deep intensity.

You know how you have to think of this is meditation with weights.


Hm [contemplative].

Mhm [affirmative].

Going to muscle failure is very similar to meditating. You have to focus on one thing and not -- and try to cancel out all the other distractions. And you have to accept the fact that there are going to be other distractions. In the occasion of reaching muscle failure the distractions are, you know, the big obvious one is the burn. The absolute discomfort that comes from going to muscle failures. You have to kind of ignore that burn and realize you have a very specific goal and that is to reach a certain level of muscle fatigue and you have to breath properly through this. You can't hold your breath. You can't do all the gyrations and histrionics associate -- those are distractions.

So, what you're trying to do, just like meditation, is focus, as like meditation on the breath, here you're focusing on the movement on the objective muscle failure and as soon as a distraction comes in, what do you do? You note it and you bring yourself back and this is -- you never perfect it. I'm doing this workout for 18 years or more and you're never perfect at it. And when you think of it that way, I think all of the sudden, intensity is not so bad.

So, Adam, let's say we have somebody listening in an area where InForm Fitness is not located and they're interested in doing this workout but they don't have the actual machines that you have there in your InForm Fitness facilities or gyms. Can this workout translate to free weights or Nautilus machines they could find at a gym where they might be located or maybe even just body weight exercises? Does it translate across the various platforms?

Yes. Principles of lifting weights slowly, keeping it safe, crossing that threshold of intensity can be applied using almost anything. My father, I remember building stuff in the garage with my dad growing up and he had all hand tools. And I would say, you know, why don't you get one of those nice electric routers or hand sander, you know, like the electric sanders and things like that and he's like, a good craftsman never blames his tools.

Hm [contemplative].

Point is my dad didn't have the money to buy this kind of stuff but he still didn't let that stop him from building some really cool stuff for the house. And that comment always stuck with me and to achieve muscle failure, to work out intensely according to muscle and joint function safely, you don't need to have our fancy retrofitted equipment that we spent lots and lots of money on [laughs] because if you're going to do this for as a business, a good craftsman will also tell you he'll use the best tools available if he had the opportunity. So, yes, you can absolutely do this with anything because you have to just reach intensity and you want to try and do it as safely as you can and you want to keep it as brief as possible.

Tim: But if you are within the area or within driving distance of an InForm Fitness, it certainly would be to your advantage, clearly, to jump onboard, join InForm Nation and try this out for yourself. And if you would, remind our audience of the markets where they can find an InForm Fitness place.

Adam: Sure. I mean, there's a reason why I spent all this time and money on this retrofitted equipment. You know, we're in New York City. We're on Long Island. We're in Burbank, California. We're in a couple places in Virginia, Boulder, Colorado and of course people in these areas are really enjoying the service of using equipment like this with a trainer that kind of has taught them the whole way how to go into that level of intensity and how to find that Zen master in each of us.

But again, you know, lifting weights slowly or pushing your muscles to their ultimate threshold, exhaustion point, doing that safely, doesn't take much, doesn't take much. A set of wall squats, a push-up position, a plank. Doesn't take much to stimulate this type of change, now, there are all kinds of people, all kinds of orthopedic issues, motor skill issues, genetics, where having a trainer, of course, is a benefit.

Tim: Mhm [affirmative].

Adam: But in theory, anyone can do this, with anything and I know the subject is equipment versus free weights or our equipment versus any other kind of equipment. Not too long ago I was interviewing a trainer who was thinking about becoming a trainer at InForm Fitness and I'm talking about the equipment and the special cams and the low friction and how -- and all the body mechanics and matching resistance curves of the machines with the strength curves of the human body. And I got into all this biomechanics and I'm thinking he's like eating all this stuff up, like, this is like unbelievable and in the end he was like, you know, I think this would be a little bit more varied, I'm kind of thinking I don't want to limit myself to just equipment like this. You know, I think free weights is important and all kinds of different exercises, you know, for a well-rounded workout should be applied.

And I was like, this guy did not hear a single word I said for the last 12 weeks, honestly. He didn't get it. He says, you know, you're a little bit more machine -- you're like a machine based company and I'm thinking I don't know if I want, as a trainer, I want to limit myself to a machine based type of protocol. You know, I was like, oh boy. Either he didn't listen or I didn't do a good enough job in explaining what we're all about because his takeaway was we're a machine based company then there was some kind of miscommunication going on because I really, I mean, I have this beautiful pulldown machine that I personally don't use because I like to do chin-ups. You know, it -- but the pulldown machine is great and it should be used by a lot of people. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter.

And you have in your book too. In your book, there's a whole, like, the last, you know, part of the book is all exercises you can do at home, right?

Of course.

Yeah and for those that have stumbled across this episode and haven't had an opportunity to listen to some of the early episodes, the first few episodes of this podcast, the book is called Power of 10: The Once-a-week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution with Adam Zickerman. Of course,  you can pick this up at and I would imagine there are some bookstores across the country that carry it as well too and you have these as each one of your facilities too.

So, explain the difference Adam, between when women come in and they're told that they need to do weight bearing exercise in order, you know, to stave off osteoporosis. What's the difference between weight bearing exercise and weight lifting? Is there a difference and what is it?

Yeah. I don't know what -- there's seems to be a lot of confusion because I don't think doctors are explaining to their patients clearly enough what they mean by weight bearing or even if they know what weight bearing is because a lot of doctors are a little paranoid to get and recommend their patients, especially if they have some kind of osteoporosis or some kind of orthopedic issues, I think they're a little nervous telling them to start doing a high-intensity program. So, what they do is just say weight bearing. I guess they can't get sued for just saying do weight bearing exercise. And weight bearing has become such a ubiquitous word if you will. It almost means anything as long as your active. Like a walking program by some is considered weight bearing exercise. Especially if that person doing the walking program has a big butt. [laughter]

You're bearing your own weight. That's weight bearing.
That's right. Well -- Yeah. Weight bearing is like Zumba.

To me that's not what weight bearing is. That's not -- to me, weight bearing is high intensity exercise. Pushing the muscles to their max. That's what weight bearing exercise is to me. A walking program doesn't qualify. Jogging doesn't qualify. Lifting five pound dumbbells to music while you're riding a bike does not qualify. You have to go into the zone. You got to push yourself to your limits. Doesn't have to be long. Doesn't have to be unsafe. Doesn't have to be with fancy equipment but you got to do that and that's weight bearing exercise.

So, Adam, are there opportunities for other professionals in this industry who have been listening to this podcast who really are starting to subscribe to this high-intensity slow motion strength training system, enjoying the science behind it and all that you and Mike and Sheila have to say, they might be able to get in contact with you about maybe getting certified to teach this in their area where an InForm Fitness is not located.

Yes. As a matter of fact, I just got back from San Francisco with a group of six people for exactly that. There was an owner of a gym up there that wanted to get all their trainers exposed to this and certified in how to teach this exact type of training. So, I just did a 12-week course with them, Skype and lectures and then a workshop at the end for two days and then boom, they're off and running.

So, you have a curriculum in place to go ahead and bring --
Yeah. The curriculum I've been working on for, like, the last five, six years. Mhm [affirmative].
Every time I give this course it gets better and better and better.

And I just want to add from personal experience, it's one of the best things that I've ever done is to take that certification course from Adam. And I've also been through probably two or three different, probably three different groups of people that he has certified including some of our own trainers and if anything, you learn, you know, this whole new way of exercising which you can take with you for the rest of your life.

And a lot of people imagine that are getting in touch with you like the folks in San Francisco, they already have a gym. They already have members. They already have a client base and they're just going to teach this new method, something that they haven't taught before.


Sheila: I was just going to say that we've actually had people call us up and say, you know, I know that we’re not -- you know, there's not an InForm Fitness in my area but I read the book, I wanted to learn this. Can I just -- I'm going to fly in and can I do a little mini-workshop which is like a consultation or whatever. We'll take a couple hours with you and work with a trainer and show, you know, show them how to do this. And we've had several people, like, fly into Burbank Airport. And, I'm serious and I was like really. Do you really want to do this? And yeah, we've done it. So, that's always something. If you're kind of close but you're not really close, find a trainer that is certified in this and then just, you know, pay them to go through it with you.

Tim: Yeah. That's a great idea. Or perhaps if you'd like to hire Adam directly to train you or your staff to offer this slow motion high-intensity training to your clients, just send Adam an email or a voice memo from your phone to You can also leave us a voicemail by calling 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. That's 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. And to join InForm Nation for yourself to give this workout a try, just visit for phone numbers and locations nearest you.

That puts the wraps on this episode. We are close to that 20-minute mark in the podcast which means if you began your slow motion high intensity workout when this podcast started, you'd be finished with your workout for the entire week. Join us next time as we learn more about the equipment necessary to perform the Power of 10 and we'll discuss age limits for this very unique and effective workout. How young is too young and how old is too old to begin?

And please, don't forget to subscribe to this free podcast from whichever platform you might be listening from, iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher Radio, Acast and even YouTube. And please, rate the show and leave us a review. It only takes a couple of minutes and will ensure the continuation of this podcast. For Adam, Mike and Sheila, I'm Tim Edwards and we appreciate you listening to the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends right here on the Inbound Podcasting Network.

Jan 27, 2017

In the last episode we discussed understanding failure. Reaching muscle failure in your workout to be more precise and by hitting muscle failure safely, you get a weeks’ worth of exercise in just one 20-minute session. In this episode Adam Zickerman provides a very descriptive and detailed definition of a high-intensity workout from Ken Hutchins, one of the pioneers of this slow motion, high-intensity strength training system. 


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:

Ilf 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:

05 Who is Ken Hutchins - Transcript


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.

Thanks for joining us for the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. I’m Tim Edwards, the founder of the Inbound Podcasting Network. Back with Adam’s friends and colleagues. Sheila Melody from the InForm Fitness Toluca Lake location and Mike Rogers from the New York City location. And across the hall from Mike is the founder of InForm Fitness and author of the New York Times, best-seller, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution, Adam Zickerman. We are in the middle of a series of high intensity during your workout.

In the last episode,  we discussed understanding failure. Reaching muscle failure in your workout to be more precise and by hitting muscle failure safely, you get a weeks’ worth of exercise in just one 20-minute session. Now, coming up in this episode we'll provide a very descriptive and detailed definition of a high-intensity workout from Ken Hutchins, one of the pioneers of this protocol. We'll also discuss how this type of workout will enhance your performance and whatever activity it is you enjoy but first, Adam, let's dispel the stigma associated with the word intensity. I mean, we don't want to scare anybody.

Intensity, yeah, an intense workout, I think will scare most people if they feel like they're out of shape or they haven't worked out in a long time and yeah, that raises concern for sure, raises the red flag so to speak in peoples' minds when they hear that this is not only an intense workout but a very intense workout and one of the first things that pops into a lot of peoples' heads is, "Can I do this?" Or, "Is it safe for me?” And that's what I meant when I said it depends who's telling the story about intensity. I think what we do so well is explaining that intensity is not the problem but it's the way we try to achieve intensity that's really where the problems lie.

When I talk to clients and when I say high intensity and when I personally think of high intensity I think of that -- the first thing that comes to my mind is that Insanity Workout. High intensity! You know, it's like -- and I always try to tell people, you know, “You're not going to be jumping around. You're not going to be like you know, we're not going to kill you.” So, you have to kind of -- yeah, you do have to kind of qualify it a little bit, you know, when you say, high intensity.


Yeah. It's interesting because a lot of the medical research and fitness research that's been coming out over the last few years which we've been advocating for, you know, I don't know. Adam, how long now? Almost 20 years. Is --

My whole life.
Exactly, you know, but it's a -- Yeah, sure. [laughs]

Everyone's now a big advocate and they've showed through a lot more of the studies that a high intensity stimulus is the more worthwhile stimulus in order to gain the adaptation and the effect over the muscle in the body. So, it's a, as Adam said, it is the modality. It's defining it. I mean, some of the things that have taken the headlines are the 7-minute workout in the New York Times, CrossFit boot camps. You know, all engaging, fun, highly intense and where people have gotten, like, a lot of results but often times they're not assessing the risk when entering into those types of workouts and I think that's where Power of 10 and InForm Fitness is really, really -- that's where we have the advantage.

And when we're talking intensity too and for 20 minutes, we really want to make it clear to somebody who's considering this type of exercise that it is not 20 solid minutes of intensity. Really. I mean, based upon, you know, the five to seven or however many exercises somebody's going thorough within that 20 minutes, the intensity really is in the last 30 seconds of the exercise. At least that's how I feel.

Well, Tim, you make a good point actually. Your question is right on because you're not doing 20 minutes of high-intensity exercise. If you're doing six exercises that last a total of a minute and a half, that's nine minutes actually of exercise.

Mhm [affirmative].

Alright. So, one and a half minutes, times six is nine minutes. You know, when it comes down to it, whether it's a two-minute set or even a three-minute set or a one-minute set, at the end you've reached muscle failure. At the end it's still those last 20 seconds. Now, there are a lot of people that if you pick a weight where those last 20 seconds come in 60 seconds. Alright, so come on -- that means it's already starting hard and challenging but it's not like grueling. Now, I understand that some people, especially beginners need to kind of work up to that burn but, you know, what I found is once you understand what the bottom line is and where you have to go, a lot of people want to get it over with. People want the weight to be heavier so they don't have to take two minutes to get to that point.

And as long as their form is solid it's going to be okay. When on the first couple sessions it's usually not about deep muscle failure. It's just about understanding intensity anyway. So, it's something that you know, we're focusing more on the form and making sure people feel confident and safe while they accept and understand what it feels like to do to have an intense stimulus on their body. Usually, it's unlike anything they've had before. Even with very, very competitive athletes. It's quite a challenge.

Right and it certainly takes some getting used to but it really doesn't take long. So, Adam, let's shift gears a little bit here. In your book, Power of 10: The Once-a- Week Slow Motion Revolution, and in earlier episodes of the podcast, you've mentioned the name, Ken Hutchins, one of the pioneers of the super slow technique. Tell us a little bit more about Ken and share with us his definition of a high-intensity exercise regime.

We'd be doing everyone a disservice to not mention where this all came from. This was not my brain child, this idea of exercise versus recreation. I wish it was but it's not. Regardless, I'm following it but the person who's responsible for this is a guy named Ken Hutchins and he worked for Nautilus. He was a protégé of Arthur Jones who was the founder of Nautilus and Nautilus had their own protocol. They weren't just an exercise company. They were a protocol, an exercise protocol. A lot of the early body builders were using it back when he came out with this thing in the mid to late 60s, the Nautilus equipment.

The protocol was high intensity -- this is the beginning of high-intensity exercise where finally intensity, almost above all else was the key to seeing results and it was done in a -- he called it a two, four protocol which is lifting in two and lowering in four. So, that was drastically slower than what was -- that used to be done and it was being done on equipment which is also very radical because free weights were king at that time, especially for body builders. So, Arthur Jones had approved that equipment. You know, it doesn't matter what the tool is. Matter of fact, the equipment can actually do some better things for you.

Ken Hutchins realized that the protocol can even get better. So, here is Ken Hutchins' actual definition. I'm going to read it. "Exercise is a process whereby the body performs work of a demanding nature, in accordance with muscle and joint function, in a clinically controlled environment, within the constraints of safety, meaningfully loading the muscular structures to inroad their strength levels to stimulate a growth mechanism within minimal time."


What does that mean?
Simple, right?
Who wrote that, Justice Ginsberg? [laughs]

Yeah, exactly. [Inaudible 08:04]. Wow.
I need a law degree to understand that. Yeah. [laughs]

Exactly. It's brilliant and it is a true definition because as he points out, the definition of definition is to delimit, which means that there are no other possibilities that could exist. For example, if I said somebody, please define what a pen is and they said a pen is a writing instrument. So, therefore, I can hold up a pencil, I can hold up a quill and say, well, therefore this is a pen, right? Says, no. No, actually a pen actually has ink. Oh, so, a pen is a writing instrument that uses ink? Yes. Okay. So, this quill and ink is a pen, right? Okay, so you have to define it, you have to break it down even more. You see where I'm going with this?

Mhm [affirmative].

Alright. So, that's what he just did with this definition. I mean, there is no possibility of exercise being anything other than lifting weights really slowly on retrofitted equipment in a very cool environment that is going to reach a certain level of intensity. Alright. There's no other way of doing it according to this definition.

He wrote this definition, to narrow down exactly how you have to perform exercise which is to life weights ten seconds up, ten seconds down, according to muscle and joint function so you better have your biomechanics right and your machines retrofitted for those biomechanics. Alright and you better do it in the minimum amount of time and reach failure pretty darn quickly and not hurt yourself in the process, he says here. That's what he just said in a very long way but, like, there is no room for error there. There's no ambiguity with a definition like that and that's his brilliance. He finally did it. Now gardening is not freaking exercise anymore.

Tim: [laughs]

Adam: Alright. Doctors can't tell their clients, “Oh, go on a walking program. Get some exercise.” They can't say that anymore if they go by this definition of exercise which is good because a doctor that's telling their patients that all they have to do is get out there and be active and go on a walking program because they want to save their ass because even if they die on a walking program, they can't get sued for that.

Tim: [laughs]

Adam: That's his definition because that is what it has to be but this is how we interoperate it and this is how we explain it to our clients which comes down to basically what Doug McGuff did, which is another great contributor to this movement, writing the book Body by Science who hopefully will be a guest on our show one time.

Tim: Mhm [affirmative].

Adam: Yeah.

Tim: In that definition nowhere did it say -- in Ken Hutchins' definition, nowhere did it say a leisurely activity.

Adam: Right, what I've been doing and what Doug McGuff did in his book is kind of tweaked that definition for layperson, something that you can just kind of have as a mantra if you will. Alright. And have it be that [inaudible 10:51] that will guide you to deciding how you want to engage in exercise and his definition was much more succinct. To build fitness, to improve and enhance your fitness while at the same time not undermining your health and that is the essence of what Ken Hutchins wrote in his definition.

Tim: And what you -- Adam: Although --
Tim: Built and based -- Adam: You know --


Yeah. Exactly. When it comes down to it you just have to work out and not hurt yourself in the process. You know, and it only -- it comes down to like doing five exercises or so to work the whole body really hard and then move on with your life.

Well, Adam, I have a question. So, as we move forward with the exercise versus recreation debate, so, say somebody comes in and I'll use myself as an example. So, I want to enhance my game in softball.


So, somebody comes in with some specific goals because they want to get better at an activity that they enjoy for recreation. Do you tailor an exercise regime based upon that or is it pretty standard throughout?

Read Doug McGuff's book. [laughs]

That's an excellent question. I get asked that question all the time. You know, “I want to get better,” you know, “I'm a softball player,” to use your example.

Mhm [affirmative].

And how are we going to go about that? Do we do certain exercises for throwing? Do we do certain exercises -- we're going to do plyometrics and jump side to side laterally like a shortstop would or how are we going to train for this? And the application is very general. We have to strengthen your hips. So, we're going to do a leg press. We're going to do some abductor exercises. We'll do some adductor exercises to strengthen the whole complex. We're going to do lower back exercises. We're going to strengthen your lower back but we're going to do it in a way that's not mimicking what a stress stop would do. We're going to do it the way your body was meant to move.

What's great about our program is we are building all of the muscles of your body which are involved in the movements that you're going to execute when you're performing a sport. And, you know, all the people who are playing golf and playing tennis and playing softball and skiing, they've been -- you know, they report incredible testimonials about it.

The bottom line is, doing leg press is not going to make you a great softball player. Doing hip abduction, lower back extensions, they're going to make your hips and your back and all the muscles involved in playing softball very strong and hopefully those joints really safe. And then it's up to you to practice that skill. So, it's a two prong approach and you do both. You have to get strong, you have to do -- you have to get strong without using up all your resources. The last thing you want to do is do an exercise program that's going to make you so tired and so fatigued and put your joints in such stress that as soon as you leap for a ball in the softball field, that's when you spasm in your back and it's because you just worked out like a crazy man in the wrong way all week long. Alright.

So, what you want to do is get out of your own way when it comes to exercise and not make -- put yourself at even worse advantages. It's already a demanding sport. You don't need your exercise to be just as demanding in that sense. What you want to do is get strong and not compromise your joints. Alright. So, when you go out on a softball field you're not going to spasm. You're not going to tear something or hopefully not and it's still no guarantee.


But to get better at softball though like Mike was saying, you have to just keep playing softball and as the stronger you get without compromising your joints, it gives you your best chance of being the best softball player you can be.

Just to put it simply, it's physical conditioning or strengthening versus skill. Right? There's a different skill for every activity, for every recreational activity. There's a skill that you develop and then there's the physical conditioning. So, there's those two and there's a great chapter about that in Doug McGuff's book, Body by Science.

Oh, terrific.

And the likelihood of actually getting hurt while you're practicing softball is going to go down significantly if you're stronger.

And that was my question. It wasn't necessarily geared towards just softball but I think everything that you just said probably applies to any activity or any recreational activity that somebody might be enjoying and my question was, do you create a specific training, physical training program for that activity or is your system there at InForm Fitness pretty universal to where just about anything that you want to do whether it's golf, tennis, swimming, hiking, skiing, softball that kind of fits that mold to train physically for those activities.

Alright. So, check this out. My story with this, alright. I've been staying very strong for a long time and I took up snowboarding as a 42-year-old.


Mhm [affirmative]. That's encouraging. Right.

If you talk to anybody that tries snowboarding at middle age most of them give up. They're like, “It was too hard. I was falling. I was getting hurt. I couldn't -- I didn't want to do it anymore. I didn't really stick it out.” I only was able to learn how to snowboard because I was a slow learner and it took me a good five solid days before I can kind of put a turn together on a snowboard without falling. Five solid days of being basically thrown into the ground all day long. All day long. And if it wasn't for my basic strength, my overall basic strength, there's no way I would have survived those five days.

To just to get back up off my ass. Alright, on the snowboard. I mean, it was one of the hardest things I've ever attempted. And that's why a lot of people that if they're not young trying to learn how to snowboard they just don't -- they give it up because it's just too hard on the body to learn how to snowboard.

It's a great testimonial to this workout that you can pick something up as physically demanding as snowboarding at the age of 42.

Yeah and that's just like I said, that's a hugely demanding sport that Adam was trying to do. And we hear time and again, like we heard on the weekend when we were taping testimonials, can be as simple as gardening, you know, or doing things around the yard that people thought, “Oh, I just don't have the energy to do this anymore,” and then they start doing this workout and low and behold a few months later they're like, “Oh, this is fine again. This is easy again. I'm enjoying doing my gardening and yardwork again.”


And not just the recreational activities but just being able to work effectively to make a living. There's one woman that we interviewed that works for a television studio that's in wardrobe department and has to lift and carry and drag. We interviewed a gentleman who's in IT and has to do a lot of crawling and climbing and carrying and so this will [laughs] not only just -- this exercise won't only just benefit you so that you can be a great softball player or golfer but also help you continue to do what you not only love to do, but have to do.

And how long does it take to have all these achievements, to reach all these successes. How long does it take to be able to do these things? Oh, just 20 minutes once a week. Are you fucking kidding me?

[laughs] Yeah. Shorter than a television episode, right? Preach it. Hallelujah.

I mean, seriously, you know if you started telling people, what would you say if I can get you to do all these things that we just talked about like being able to snowboard at 45 and not kill yourself or to be able to actually garden a full acre of land and your property and enjoy that fantasy of actually being an organic gardener and have your self-sustaining garden while you're in your golden years. Alright. Just imagine being able to do that because that's a lot of hard work. Just being able to do that and not pay the price for it. What would you do for that? Well, I don't know. What -- I mean, sounds like it takes so much. It would be like -- I mean, what was it? A five-day week workout and all that cardio and then doing weight training too like those crazy people on TV. I'm like No. No actually. How about just 20 minutes once a week and you can do all that?

Yeah and realistically over time what I've noticed with these types of testimonials, when they record something like skiing its I mean, I've seen it as early as six sessions but usually within like eight or ten sessions. So, like, less than three months I think people are noticing very discernable changes in their body in regards to their sports performance or recreational activity.

Alright. Thanks, Mike. That music means that we are close to the 20-minute mark in the podcast which also means if you began your slow motion high-intensity workout at the start of this podcast, you'd be finished by now. Done for the entire week. Thanks again to the gurus from InForm Fitness, Adam Zickerman, Mike Rogers, and Sheila Melody.

And remember if you have a question for Adam, Mike or Sheila, or a comment regarding the power of ten, it's very simple, just shoot us an email or record a also leave us a voicemail by calling 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. That's 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. All feedback is welcome. And speaking of feedback, if you enjoyed the show, the best way to support it and to ensure that we continue to produce additional episodes is to subscribe to the podcast and please rate and review the show in iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher Radio, Acast, YouTube or wherever it is you might be listening.

And to join InForm Nation for yourself and to give this work out a try, just visit for phone numbers and locations nearest you. You'll be glad you did. I am. I've been using this workout for several months. In addition to shedding a few pounds I'm feeling great and getting stronger with a minimal investment of just 20 short minutes a week. I'm Tim Edwards, reminding you to join us in our next episode as we continue our discussion on high intensity training with the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends here on the Inbound Podcasting Network.

Jan 27, 2017

What exactly is high-intensity training?  Is high-intensity training safe? In this episode we’ll hear from a longtime Inform Fitness client, who is 72 years old,  describe the intensity of his slow motion strength training at Inform Fitness in Toluca Lake, California.  Adam continues his explanation of muscle failure in high-intensity training and the value of having a personal trainer guide you through your 20-minute workout.


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:

Ilf 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:

04 Intensity Defined - Transcript


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.

You know, I like the philosophy of the program of taking each one of the muscle groups to meltdown [laughs]. Surely what it is and you know there’s a certain amount of emotion that goes along with these meltdowns. So, you kind of have to be willing to get into that thing where, okay, the sabre tooth tiger’s got me and it’s going to bite off my head and it’s -- but it’s a slow bite and you just got to be willing to stay there [laughs]. You know, I mean, anybody can do half an hour a week.

Anybody can do a half hour a week of a sabretooth tiger biting down on your head. If that doesn’t define intensity, I don’t know what does. That was Keith from the Toluca Lake InForm Fitness location. He’s one of the clients. He’s been coming for quite some time, I believe. Is that right, Sheila?

Yeah. He’s been coming for probably a year and a half now, I would say. And Keith is how old?
Keith is almost 72 years old.

And he has been doing this for quite some time and that’s how he describes high intensity strength training and great selling point for InForm Fitness and that’s exactly what we’re doing here today. Welcome to episode four of the InForm Fitness podcast. My name is Tim Edwards and of course joining us again is Sheila Melody from the Toluca Lake location. We have Mike Rogers from New York City and across the hall from him, the founder of InForm Fitness and the author of Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution, Adam Zickerman. This episode, intensity, could probably turn itself into two, three, maybe even four episodes because this is kind of the foundation of what you put together with InForm Fitness, Adam.

Yes, and that description of a sabretooth tiger biting down on his head slowly -- I’m almost cringing thinking about what people who’ve never heard about this work out and they come across this podcast and if they listen to this they’d be like, “Screw that.”


Well, it’s a slow bite, Adam. [laughter]
It’s a slow bite but you know what, you got to listen to what he said. Yeah.

Anybody can do anything for 20 minutes and the last episode that we had, The Importance of Muscle, is the result of what happens when you’re able to just do something for 20 short minutes a week which is also the length of our podcast as well. So, just to kind of give you an idea of how little of an investment it is for some long-term bigtime gains. So, yes, we don’t want to scare anyone away with the sabretooth tiger comment but here’s a 72-year-old man talking about something he’s able to endure 20 minutes a week and I think that’s just a fantastic testimonial, maybe not the most accurate description. [laughs]

No, no, no. I don’t want to -- listen, I was smiling and smirking and kind of cringing at the same time. I mean, I understand why he’s saying it and the fact that you just pointed out that he’s 75 and doing it should say it all that --

It does.
You know, if he’s 75 and enduring this kind of intensity, it should give you -- Well, let’s not give him that much credit. He’s 72 but -- [laughs]
[Crosstalk 03:53].
But close enough. [laughs]
72 years young [crosstalk 03:57].
He’s an intense guy too.
He is.

Now, you know, this is such an incredible topic because what I’d want people to get from this episode today, is understanding that, as important as intensity is for exercise, it doesn’t mean danger. Doesn’t mean I can’t do that because I’m out of shape or I’m not that strong right now. I can’t work out that hard or I’m not young enough to work out that hard because that’s not where the danger lies. It’s not intensity that causes the dangers of exercise. It’s intensity coupled with high force crazy movements, ballistic movements, high repetitions.

It’s this force associated with that intensity. So, we don’t realize that you can have a very intense experience weightlifting and have it be of the utmost safety at the same time which is the real profound thing about this. I think we talked about this on the first episode, about the safety and intensity.

Mhm [affirmative].

So, the thing about intensity is you can get there. I mean you have to get there and if you can get there in confidence that you’re not going to get hurt, like our friend Keith just mentioned.

Mhm [affirmative].

At 72 years old being able to work out that hard and not worry about hurting himself, that’s the beauty in this. That is the true beauty in this.

Things that are generally worthwhile often times are not easy and that goes with everything I think we do in our lives and I think it’s just, you know, if you want to do something that’s worthwhile that’s only 20 minutes once or twice a week, I mean, the bang for your buck, this really, really hits hard there. I mean, and we hear all sorts of different scenarios. Like he’s mentioned being bit by a sabretooth tiger. The most common one I think I hear especially for women is childbirth and things like that. [laughs] you know something and it’s not and they go all over the place.

Another really attractive description. Yeah. [laughing]
People are going to be lining up. Sign me up. Yeah. [laughs]

Well, let me just say, you know, as a, you know, as someone who never really went that intense before I started doing this workout and when I was opening InForm Fitness in LA here and our trainer -- I brought our trainer, Ann Kirkland on and she’s amazing and we were doing each other’s workouts and there was one moment that I’ll always remember because it was doing the leg press and the leg press does get scary. Like what Adam says, we don’t want them to think that intensity means danger but in your mind it is a little scary when you’re lifting the heavy weight and you’re feeling in your body that you can’t go on but I remember I was getting a little scared, you know, because I was going up towards 200 pounds at that point and Ann said, don’t worry nothing bad is going to happen.

And that just all of the sudden, that’s was like an ‘aha’ moment for me because we go so slow, we’re watching you the whole time and nothing bad is going to happen. I’m not going to die. I’m not -- the worst thing that’s going to happen is I will not be able to push that weight any longer. I will not be able to hold it. The worst thing that would happen is that I suddenly, you know, just stop doing it and drop the weight a little bit. That is the worst and that’s what you have to kind of have to work through in your head is just this -- to me it’s a very great mental conditioning, you know so.

Tim: And that’s the value of having a trainer like the three of you and the rest of the staff you have at all the InForm Fitness locations is the fact that there’s a trainer with you one on one for that 20-ish minutes or so. And then the part that got a little scary for me like you Sheila was my very first time through the workout is when you hit that point of failure where you can’t move that weight anymore, well our natural response is just a boom let it down but as Adam has said, that’s where the magic happens.

And so then you say, “Alright you’re at that failure point, 10, 9, 8,” and you’re counting down to one and we’re holding it and we’re sitting there struggling. That’s the pinpoint of the intensity that it doesn’t necessarily hurt, there’s that burn. It’s intense and you want to beat it. You want to be able to hold it as long as you can and then you let it down and there’s that amazing release. That to me is the intensity and as Adam, you said in previous episodes, that is where the magic happens.

Adam: It is and, you know, again we talk about failure too. The word failure, muscle failure and that scares a lot of people. If you’re not careful to define what failure is and that failure is a good thing, people can feel, “Oh, I suck at this,” or, “I’m too weak. I can’t do this,” and working out to that level of intensity and muscle failure will do that to you.

So, you have to educate. You have to understand that there’s a totally different mindset, totally different objective to what we’re trying to achieve when we do a set of exercise here. We’re lifting weights slowly because it’s safer. We’re going to safely lift this weight until our muscle has nothing left and that can be a scary proposition. There’s a natural survival instinct that I want to kick in, this fight or flight thing but we’re smart people. Right? And we’re human beings and we have thinking capabilities.

So, we’re going to overcome that fear. We’re going to overcome that temptation to panic and we’re going to stay in the pocket and we’re going to push that level of intensity where we can’t lift the weight anymore and push a little bit beyond that and endure that burn, embrace that burn if you will and then just expire and then like you said Tim, that’s where the magic happens but it’s also where the exhilaration comes in. You actually get it that you focused on it and the whole experience is only a minute in a half and really it’s the last 20 seconds or so that will be uncomfortable part. So, it’s 20 seconds of what I like to just call, severe discomfort.

That’s right. That’s really all it is.

Severe discomfort. And when Ann said, “Well, what’s going to happen?” Because as soon as you stop, the severe discomfort goes away immediately.


It goes beyond just goes away. It’s almost exhilarating. [laughs]


It really is.


There’s seven times a workout where I’m like, “Oh, that feels really good for that to stop.”

So glad you’re done. [laughs]

[laughs] Yeah but --

You know, I think the word sometimes -- you know, like Adam is a very, very direct and I appreciate that and the truth is I actually am attracted to that term ‘muscle failure.’ However, over the years I have noticed a lot of people, they don’t connect to it and it’s something I think we do have to work on with some people. They just won’t stick around and sometimes the concept, especially with type A people, the word failure does not sink in quickly. Even if they love a good challenge. I mean, I play around with the terminology. I almost always go back to muscle failure also but --

That’s a big hurdle to overcome when I was first exercising with Sheila and she was training me through this, I didn’t like the failure. I was like, “Oh, I failed.” Right, you know --


But after a while, once you learn to manage that and understand it as failure, that is the goal. It’s the only option and then we’re able --



Well, that’s how I like to approach it. I call it what it is and I say, “But that’s okay because failure can have different meanings.” That you can have personal failure, we’re not talking about that kind of failure. We’re talking about different types of failure.

The threshold.

Kind of like the word ‘shalom’ in Hebrew. It can mean goodbye and hello. You know and the thing is failure can mean several things also. Alright. So, we’re smart intellectual people. We’re all big boys and girls here. Alright. We’re using the word failure in a different way. Alright, get over it. Stop being so touchy feely sensitive, you know. You know a lot of people will say, “Well, I’m not really in great shape. I haven’t worked out in like six years.” I mean, I’m very careful -- we all are very careful explaining when you start this workout we’re going to kind of build you up to that. We’re not treating you like an advanced client from day one.

We’re going to teach you what muscle failure feels like. We might not even go to muscle failure the first couple of workouts. We might get close to it. We’ll bring you up, we’ll bring you into it. Then I always like to say to people, we’re not going to go anywhere where you’re not willing to go yourself. I’m not going to make you do anything. You’re going to feel confident enough to do this the right way. You will go to muscle failure and confidently go to muscle failure. Not because I’m imploring you but because you feel safe doing so.

Well, what you just said supported what I was about to say and I’ll just follow up with this. I really struggled with understanding A, what failure was until after a full week of going through all the exercises, understanding I can’t move that weight anymore. Then dealing with the fact that oh, well I failed. I wanted to go more. I believe it takes a couple of weeks at least for me it took a few weeks to my brain around what failure was and my trainer Sheila helped me get there to understand that.

And then the beautiful thing about reaching that failure, that threshold, that limit, is understanding those limits later were pushed just a week or two later when you go up weight in maybe two to four to five pounds up on the amount of weight that we’re pushing, lifting or pulling. When we passed that threshold that helped me understand it and that’s the goal and it’s wonderful to push yourself to the limit because otherwise, you don’t know how far you can go. You’re not going to see any strength and I have seen incredible gains over the last four months.

You know Adam talked about educating and talking to people and giving credit to our clients and he’s absolutely right about that because you know when you -- like failure if we look at in exercise or all aspects of our lives, like when we look back on times we’ve failed we’ve always grown from those types of things in everything. They’re always -- when we look back it’s always a very positive aspect of our life and we’ve -- I’ve conveyed that to clients and reminded them about, “Hey, what about the time when you lost that job but you got a better one later?” Or this thing happened but then the next thing came as a result of that.

I read something that my brother wrote years ago and he said something like, I trust my failures much more than I trust my successes because they happen much more often, you know. And I think as a result of just life experience and I think that’s what -- like, literally, most things that are worthwhile are difficult. They are challenging. They’re -- and this workout is a part of that. This is not a recreational fun activity. I mean, it can be because the trainers are all fun and we have a wonderful environment but when most people come to do is to work out safely and efficiently so they can get back to their life, their work or whatever. And, hey, well, that’s my take on failure. I think it’s a good thing and we should be looking at it in a very positive light as we educate the clients.

So, Tim, you talked about your relationship with failure and how you kind of learned to embrace it and it took you several workouts and several weeks to kind of understand where we were going with this and where you should be going with it. And it made me think about any process whether it be a language, guitar, martial arts. The thing about -- martial arts is a good example because you get your black belt but you’re not done learning. Black belt, you’re considered fairly proficient at that particular martial art but you’ve got different degrees of black belt. So, there is no ends in this process.

I’m doing it 18 years this way and I am still learning about myself and I’m still finding out things about myself and it’s interesting because it’s a simple thing going to muscle failure in a way it’s a simple, you know, just go until you can’t go anymore. I mean it doesn’t get simpler than that. I mean there’s no degrees of muscle failure. Either you go until your muscles don’t have anything left. Done. So in one sense, muscle failure is very simply just go until you can’t go anymore, where your muscle just fails. At that point you can’t lift the weight anymore and there’s no degrees of failure. You didn’t almost fail. You either failed or you didn’t. It’s like being almost pregnant. There’s no such thing.

So, it’s very simple in one hand but then it gets kind of sophisticated on the other hand where there are nuances to going to muscle failure, your breathing, the way you approaching it mentally. It’s kind of like meditation in a way. The idea of meditation is very simple, just focusing on your breath and staying focused on your breath. Very simple premise but you never perfect it. Even the gurus of meditation never perfect that.

I think a lot of it is reading your client and their attitude towards a challenge and some people are very excited to about this 90 second challenge ahead of them. Some people have a mediocre attitude towards it and some people have a very poor attitude towards it and among other -- even if you have poor attitude towards it a lot of them are here because they know that what they’re doing is very, very good for them still you know. And I think we have to work with that and that’s where we set the level of intensity. So, we don’t -- so they can continue doing it and they can get the stimulus that is necessary. It’s a little bit of an art form from the trainer’s point of view.

Adam’s right though, inevitably the goal is to get to the point where you just can’t go anymore and as you evolve as a client or in just doing the technique on your own or with a trainer you get better at it. At tolerating what is an unpleasant feeling, what’s a lot of discomfort which people sometimes use the word pain dare I say, but it’s like it’s just a hard activity. It’s a hard stimulus but the good thing is it’s over quickly. It’s a worthwhile stimulus. It’s very challenging but it’s over fast.

And then the other thing about that too is they might be a little afraid to go to that level of intensity. We do have to guide them through it and it takes a few weeks for you to really kind of mentally get into it but you will leave that first session feeling something and that is what, “Wow. Oh my gosh. I’m going to go back and try a little harder next time.” You know and then they get to know themselves better that they can handle more than what they thought they could.

And after six to twelve sessions you start to notice and feel and see benefits like the changes in your body and people feel it. So, it’s all very worthwhile.


Adam: When I give a consultation I’m not trying to push them as hard as they ever worked out in their life before. I’m not trying to prove to them how tough I am as a trainer. I’m not trying to get them to prove to me how tough they are. What I’m trying to do the first workout is to get their attention if you will. Like, “Wow. I can’t believe how my legs feel after just two minutes of doing it.”

When they say how amazing it is after their first workout and I know they didn’t go into muscle failure and I know they have a lot of experiencing to do. I always say to them, I’m glad you just said that to me. If you think this is crazy cool now, I’m going to ask you how you feel about it in six to twelve weeks and you’re going to look back on today’s workout as like, “Wow. I thought I was doing it back then. Now, I see I’m doing it.” You know, so, you’re going to look back on today’s first workout with fond memories if you will because it’s never going to be so easy ever again.

Tim: Well, there’s definitely something special about that first workout. It is an eye-opening experience and a first step towards rebooting your metabolism, burning fat and building muscle. Thanks team. Alright, here’s our music composed and performed by our very own Mike Rogers, the GM at the InForm Fitness location in New York City. That music means that we’re close to that 20-minute mark in the podcast. So, if you began your slow motion high intensity workout at the start of this podcast, you’d be finished by now for the entire week.

If you’d like to ask our InForm Fitness experts a question or have 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 also leave us a voicemail by calling 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. That’s 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. All feedback is welcome. Chances are strong that you’ll end up right here on the show.

And if you’re learning from the show and enjoying it the best way to support it and ensure that we continue producing additional episodes is to subscribe to the podcast and please rate the show and leave us a review right here in iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher Radio, Acast, YouTube or wherever you might be listening. And to join us here at InForm Nation and to give this work out a try for yourself just visit for phone numbers and locations nearest you. Please tell them you heard about the Power of 10 from the podcast.

Don’t forget to join us in our next episode as we continue the series on intensity. We’ll provide you with a very descriptive and detailed definition of a high-intensity workout from Ken Hutchins, one of the pioneers of this protocol. We’ll also discuss how this type of workout will enhance your performance in whatever activity it is you enjoy. I’m Tim Edwards. 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.



Jan 27, 2017

This episode Adam discusses the importance of building muscle beyond just looking good at the beach or in a cocktail dress.  You will learn about of the profound effects building muscles safely has on all the organs of your body. Some questions answered in this episode are: Will I become more “toned” working out with low weights and high reps? What is muscle failure and is it necessary to build muscles safely.  What is the dose-response relationship and how does it apply to building muscle?

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:

Ilf 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:

03 The Importance of Muscle - 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: Alright. Welcome back to the InForm Fitness podcast with Adam Zickerman. My name’s Tim and we are at episode three, The Importance of Muscle. We’ll get down to that in just a minute but listen to that music in the background. Just kind of get that -- it’s got a good groove to it. Don’t you think guys?

Adam: Mhm [affirmative]. Tim: Yeah?
Mike: I sure as hell think so.

Tim: [laughter] And of course was Mike Rogers, GM of InForm Fitness in New York City, who wrote and performed our theme music. What’s the name of that song, Mike?

Mike: That song is called, “Allergic To The Medication.” I actually co-wrote that with my partner, Brian Lord, who currently lives in Portland, Oregon and hence the demise of the Hypertonics, that was our band.

Tim: [laughs]

Mike: But, you know, every once in a while, we pop out and we have a show every once, you know, to bring back the love but yeah, that was one of our favorite songs.

Tim: Well, we’re going to put you on stage at our one-year anniversary show perhaps, maybe and we’ll have a show in New York and LA because that’s where we’re broadcasting from or podcasting from. Alright. Let’s get into it, guys. Let’s dive in. So, we’ve had a couple of episodes under our belt now. And if you haven’t had a chance to listen to episodes one and two, we invite you to go back and do so.

Episode one, we talked to Adam Zickerman in great detail about Adam’s history, what led him to building his empire at InForm Fitness and this slow motion high-intensity workout which is what this podcast is all about. This show is for those that are looking to supercharge their metabolism, increase cardiovascular endurance and build muscle. That’s what today’s episode is all about, building muscle or just, The Importance of Muscle, beyond the obvious, guys. The obvious is, you know, functionality. We want to look good and get as many right swipes for all of you single people out there [laughs] I suppose. Adam, walk us through the importance of muscle. Not just the obvious, the things that we’re all aware of.

Well, actually I do want, you know -- yeah. First of all, the obvious is not so unimportant. I mean, there’s so many things but let’s start with the obvious.

Mhm [affirmative].

I mean, I guess the one obvious thing about building muscle would be looking better. Right? You know, looking chiseled, looking defined, looking strong, looking fit and that’s an aesthetic thing and that’s probably the obvious one. To me though, especially for baby boomers, I’d have to say that’s probably fifth on the totem pole of importance, you know. To me, probably the most important thing about muscle is the strength aspect that it gives you. To me, that is the foundation of any fitness program.

Do you find that that is more prevalent, the importance of strength to, say, baby boomers because that’s when the age group that starts to notice that they’re not nearly as strong as they once were, is that why that’s at the top of their list?

That’s exactly when they start to realize what’s important in life. [laughs] They have the family. They got the girl or they got the guy.


You know? They sell the BMW. They get the minivan and now they don’t want to be in pain anymore.


Now they want to be able to go play sports with their kids and not be in pain and to enjoy life and to not exacerbate or have the injuries they’ve had of their youth start creeping up on them. What this does, what strength gives you, it buys you more time to be pain-free because those injuries they’re lurking and as soon as you start getting weaker, those injuries start becoming more pronounced. The main way I think to keep those things at bay is just to not lose any muscle strength as we get older.


You know what I’ve noticed from all the years I’ve been training and really, really thinking about this and living it as well is that around age 30, you know, people, both men and women are losing muscle just from the nature of aging. Maintaining that has become and should become the priority in our life. I mean, everything sort of slows down a little bit. We start to store a little bit more fat. Our joints get a little weaker. When we’re playing sports, the little injuries that used to go away in a day or two sometimes linger a little bit longer, those little aches and pains and I mean, I’m an active guy and so that happens.

A lot of it, what women think is toning, “Oh, I want to tone up. I want to tone up. I want to tone up.” Well, girls, that’s muscle. That’s what it is. It’s muscle and you get, you know, and you’re not going to bulk up, you know, and get -- you’re going to be the best you can be. Right, Adam? Why don’t we talk a little bit about bulking up?

Alright. The thing about muscle is this, we all think that if you work out one way, the muscle will respond one way and if you work out another way, the muscle will respond the other way. For example, if you do -- the old adage is if you do heavy weights low reps, you’ll bulk up. Your muscles will get big and bulky. And the other thought would be if you do high reps, then you get toned. You get cut. That’s like ridiculous.

Alright. When a muscle gets stimulated, when a muscle is fatigued, it makes itself stronger and the way it makes itself stronger is by creating more, what they call, myofibrils which are the cells within a muscle fiber and the muscle fibers get thicker and thicker and stronger and either it’s stimulated enough for that to happen or it’s not stimulated enough for that to happen. Period. It’s not like it’s going to bulk up one way -- a myofibril is a myofibril. It’s the same. That’s the reaction. More myofibrils, thicker muscle fibers.

So, Adam, when I started my workout with Sheila several months ago and she was explaining this work out through the Power of 10, the slow motion high-intensity strength training system that you developed at InForm Fitness. Sheila did a great job. I loved the word she used when I was in the middle of the workout. I was getting a dose. I feel like I’m getting a deeper penetration into the muscle. Am I visualizing that correctly? Are there different types of muscle fibers that are being stimulated through this protocol?

Right. Well, first of all, let’s talk about dose and usage of the word dose. I’m so glad that you that resonated with you.

Very much.


That that made that kind of affected, “Oh, like,” because, you know, Doug McGuff author of Body by Science talks -- had a whole chapter in his book, Body by Science, about the dose-response relationship. And Sheila, you used the word ‘dosage’ because in her head that’s how she sees it.

Mhm [affirmative].

Because that’s exactly what it is and the dose-response relationship that McGuff talks about is a relationship that every medical student, every doctor has to know and deal with. And that is understanding the dosage of a certain medicine to get the proper response. And doctors all know that they have to balance just the right dosage to get just the right response because if the dosage is too little, there’s not going to be a response.

Or too much.

And if a dosage is too much, it becomes toxic. So, this it’s balancing act of having exact right doses deal with whatever needs to be dealt with. Now, exercise is exactly the same way because medicine is a dosage and a high-intensity exercise experience is a dosage. And while we need to do it individuals, understand what dosage works best for us to get the response we need. And that dosage in general, on a bell curve of the human population, is about once a week that dosage. It can vary for the individual by days and even weeks for that matter but you have to start somewhere. When you look at the general population, it seems that one week, one work out per week, you start seeing progress, you start seeing muscle strength and muscle gains.

Wow, that fast. But this type of workout. Not just any workout, right? If anything --

And the analogy works really well with more or less than you need. If you have too much exercise, well now we’re getting into my personal story about how my boss said I didn’t look very good even though I was always very fit because I was tired, I was overtraining. I was getting hurt a lot and then you have the opposite. You have people that, you know, they do it half assed. Let’s face it. They go through the motions. They go to the gym. They’re talking and reading People magazine and they’re not really getting any real doses even though they might be spending a lot of time. Point is, they’re not going to get any response. The dosage is too weak.

Yeah. I think we’re always trying to figure out how to create this balancing act and it is a little difficult sometimes because we’re all individual. We’re all very different. Some people can benefit from going two times a week, sometimes one time a week is absolutely appropriate. And the thing is, I think depending on what you’re doing and how intense you’re doing it, we have to try and figure this out.

And figuring out the right dose, you know, we always start on a conservative level when we’re trying to understand peoples’ bodies but then -- and then it usually becomes very intense very, very quickly. But understanding this dose-response relationship I think is one of the most important things in how we think about our health in all aspects. From what we’re eating, to how much we’re sleeping, to the how much in the frequency of our exercise. So, it’s something that is worth everyone thinking about a little bit.

And one of the thing that, you know. I -- that really had an impact on me when I first heard this is, and Adam said it, was the fact that muscle dictates to the rest of the body what happens. Basically, the muscle is the most demanding tissue in your body. So, when you place a demand on that muscle, it makes the rest of the body stand up and pay attention.

Mhm [affirmative]. Right?

Well, now you’re bringing up something different now. So, we got the dose response thing which means, you know, you have the right stimulus. Alright and therefore you’re waiting for the right response. The response that we’re looking for is strength. Now, what does strength, getting back to the beginning of this podcast, what does strength give us? Why is strength -- why is muscle so important? That’s what Sheila was referring to now when she talked about the demands of muscle. Right?

The demands of muscle -- another analogy I like to make is like the demands of a population. What happens when a lot of people start moving into a new town and start developing a new town? Alright. The more people that move into that town, the more services need to be built to service those people. Alright. You’d have to have more restaurants. You’d have to have more supermarkets. You’d have to have a better transportation system. Everything has to improve to meet that demand. The utilities, new electrical units whatever that they call that stuff when they build out a city. So, that’s the demand and demand is the people.

So, when you’re building muscle let the demand [inaudible 11:54]. The more muscle that you put on your frame, the more demands you’re making on your body to meet those demands. And what does that mean? That means the heart, the transportation system, has to become more efficient. The infrastructure of the town has to improve. The roadways what do you -- well that’s our bones. That’s our skeletal system. Once again, that’s it’s more of a common fact that people understand that building strength will help with bone density. The idea of strength training and exercise and staving off the effects of osteoporosis has been known for a while now. Well, it’s because when you have strong muscles, again, the bones have to support those new stronger muscles and they become more dense.

So, question I have, is you bring that up and that’s a fantastic analogy of the demand and supply and using that city analogy and you’re talking about with the building of the muscle, the strength training and its effect on various parts of the body like Sheila introduced a minute ago. What about organ functionality? You mentioned the heart as well too but does that also -- does building your muscles and becoming stronger also help you with other functionalities? What, like say, for digestion?

Exactly. [Inaudible 13:07] digestion, our ability to utilize -- our glucose metabolism improves. That’s a very interesting point because when I talked about these factors that I wanted to have separate podcasts about. One of those things, the research being done on myokines. Myokines are these proteins that are generated from the muscle after high intensity exercise. They have anti- inflammatory properties but they also have what they call organ crosstalk. Your muscles can release these myokines and talk to other organs in your body to have them perform better.

Mhm [affirmative].

Like the pancreas is actually utilizing insulin better. The liver’s ability to store more glucose improves. All these types of things, the mobilization of body fat for fuel improves as a result of these myokines being generated from the muscles. That really high intensity exercise can only do for you. So, and this is recent stuff that we’re learning about.

So, it’s called organ crosstalk. So, when you never thought in the past that high intensity strength training -- it only lasts 20 minutes once a week mind you, have these profound effects. Not just on our strength and getting rid of our aches and pains and allows us to put something in the overhead compartment in an airplane, but to be able to actually improve a digestion to be able to help us mobilize body fat in a more efficient way. Fantastic stuff that we’re just learning about, anti- inflammatory properties. It’s beyond what I ever thought possible. And the thing that just really, really turns me on about this is the bang that you --

[Crosstalk 14:52].


Tim: [laughs]

Adam: The bang that you get for your buck. I mean we’re talking about yes, an intense experience but we’re talking about a 20-minute intense experience on an average of once a week to have these really profound effects occur. I mean you’d think that for those types of positive effects you’d have to work out every single day, hours at a time, to have these things happen.

Tim: Mhm [affirmative].

Adam: But, no. So, to wrap up what we’re talking about as far as the importance of muscle, of course we started with aesthetics. Everybody wants to look good and one of the challenges that we have as trainers in our field, in our particular business, because we’re not selling the pipedream about you’re going to look amazing. And this is the problem because everyone expects exercise to give them the body that they want and to lose all the, “In once a week I can look like this?” Well, no. I mean body fat loss is also another part of it and nutrition is as important as the strength training part.

Now, what I want to point out all the time to people when they say because you can see the disappointment in their face when you hit them with that dose of reality that no exercise program is going to make them have that hard body that they’re looking for if they’re not watching what they eat. Everyone wants that exercise to be the magic bullet for them

So, they first go, “Ah, are you kidding me? You’re telling me that this once a week work out is not going to like give me -- and I’m not going to lose 30 pounds the next 30 weeks this way.” Well, no. Not from the exercise alone but let me tell you something, if you don’t lose a single ounce here but you come here once a week and you work out really hard, you’re going to be getting so many other benefits and you’re going to have a lot of benefits and still be overweight. [laughs] I’d rather be strong and overweight than weak and overweight.

Tim: Mhm [affirmative].

Adam: Now, if you want to be strong and svelte, then you got to do the nutrition part too. And you can make that decision whenever you want to make that decision, but if you just did this. If you make the decision to do this once a week, you’ve found the fountain of youth and you might be overweight but you found the fountain of youth. Your bones will be stronger as a result of it. Your glucose metabolism will be a little bit better because of it and these are things that people don’t see and this is the challenge.


When I try to tell people, forget about the fat loss, you’re getting all these other benefits, they’re like, “Eh, I just want to look good in a cocktail dress.” Like that’s almost all that matters and it drives me nuts because there’s so many more important things about strength training than just losing body fat especially since weight training or any other exercise [gets louder] is not all that good at helping you lose body fat anyway.

Mhm [affirmative].

I mean I just never got that. It’s about these incredible profound things that we’re finding out are happening, just from 20 minutes of intense exercise. That’s what I want to say in conclusion of all this. That you should understand that there’s so much more than meets the eye. I mean, the weight loss and looking good is a tip of the iceberg and when you go underneath it’s like, “Oh my God, look at all this.”

Just do it.

Well -- just do it and all this takes is, I don’t know. What? Five to seven exercises to supercharge your metabolism, increase cardiovascular endurance, and it will make you leaner and it will make you stronger if you follow those three pillars. Again, Adam, tell us what the three pillars are please to support the Power of 10 in this protocol.

Exercise, to maintain muscle mass. Nutrition, that will help foster fat loss. And of course, the secret weapon, and what came up in a way with our discussion on dose response, enough rest. This is the third pillar, rest and recovery. Which is the response part of the dose and response equation.

Now, that is all explained in detail in Adam’s book which you can get at It’s right here, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. I’ve got highlights. Everything’s highlighted in here. I’ve got tags. I’m going through it and really digesting this information and it’s changing my life and you can do the same thing as well. There are several locations if you’d like to try to work out for yourself in California, Colorado, Virginia, New Jersey and New York where Adam and Mike are. We invite you to join InForm Nation. And to find an InForm Fitness near you, just visit and when you call, please mention the podcast and maybe they’ll throw some swag your way. I think we’re working on some swag. Aren’t we Sheila? You talked about some InForm Fitness shirts and what do we got?

Yup. We are. Yeah.

Tim: Alright.

Sheila: We’re working on some InForm Nation shirts. Yeah.

Tim: InForm Nation. That’s right. We’re looking for you to become a member of folks is InForm Nation. And now, if you have a question for Adam, Mike or Sheila or a comment regarding the Power of 10 or something we’ve talked about here on the podcast, you can shoot us an email to You can also record a voice memo on your phone and send it to And pretty soon we’re going to start including some phone calls, some questions and some comments from our listeners. The phone number is 888-983-5020, Ext. 3 and hopefully we’ll go ahead and get some of those pretty soon to start including those on the podcast.

And finally and very importantly, if you wouldn’t mind, please, if you like what you hear, if you want more of these shows to continue to be released through iTunes and SoundCloud and Stitcher Radio and Acast and wherever you might be getting your podcast from, please leave us a review and subscribe to the show. That will ensure the success of this program and make sure that we have more episodes coming your way. Alright guys, great discussion today on muscle. The definition of muscle and why it’s so much more important to build and maintain than just to look good in a cocktail dress. Thanks guys for joining us today. Good job.

Adam: [laughs]

Tim: I’m Tim Edwards reminding you to join us again next time as we open up a series on intensity, high intensity in your work out. We’ll define it and discuss the many benefits that await you by joining InForm Nation. Thanks for listening to the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends on the Inbound Podcasting Network.


Jan 27, 2017

The purpose of exercise is to build muscle as quickly and as safely as possible so you can live the life you want. So, does performing the physical activities you enjoy like hiking, cycling, playing basketball, golfing or gardening count as legitimate exercise?


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:

Ilf 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:

02 Exercise vs Recreation Rough - Transcript


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.

Alright. Welcome into episode two of the InForm Nation podcast with Adam Zickerman. If you stumbled across this episode in iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher Radio or YouTube and have not yet had a chance to listen to our first episode, we invite you to go back, give it a listen because in that episode you’ll hear some important foundational information to help you understand the mission of this podcast and be formally introduced to all the members of the podcast team but we’ll quickly run through the room here and reintroduce everybody.

I’ll start. My name’s Tim Edwards. I’m the founder of the Inbound Podcasting Network and have been training with the Power of 10 system at the Toluca lake location in Southern California. Joining me here in the Los Angeles area, just a few freeways away from the Inbound Podcasting studio, is one of my trainers at InForm Fitness, Sheila Melody. Hey, Sheila.

Hi, Tim. How ya doing? I’m coming here from sunny Southern California. It’s a beautiful day. It’s perfect today. Maybe not --
[laughs] Yeah. I’m just going to rub that in to our --
[laughs] Well --

To our New York cohorts here.

Yeah. As we record this through Skype we can see our other cohorts here wearing sweaters and jackets. So, probably a little chilly over there across the country on the East side of New York City. We’ll start with the GM of the Manhattan InForm Fitness location, Mike Rogers. What’s up, Mike?

Hey, what’s up? Yeah, it’s like an arctic 50 degrees here right now. It’s hell. [laughs]
No, it’s actually not so bad. I just came back from Vegas over the weekend. So --


You know, I’m ready to sort of recharge, restart and -- And recoup.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, but I’m excited about the podcast today.

[laughs] And of course, the reason we’re all here, the founder of InForm Fitness and author of New York Times Best Seller, Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution, Adam Zickerman. How you doing, Adam?

Hey guys. Looking forward to this.

We got one under our belt and here we go with number two but before we drill down into today’s topic, the definition of exercise, Exercise vs Recreation, let’s quickly recap what we discussed in the first episode. Adam, if you don’t mind for our listeners who have not yet listened to that show, what is the Power of 10?

Well, it’s the name of my book, Power of 10. There wasn’t a Power of 10 until the book came out actually. It was just Inform Fitness. The premise of InForm Fitness and then the book was to understand and put exercise in its proper perspective and what we should expect from exercise. Ultimately, the premise is that the sole purpose of exercise is to build muscle, to maintain muscle mass as we get older. That to me is the number one priority and the exercise plan. The whole book Power of 10 and the whole technique starts there.

The technique, of course, enters into intensity and safety considerations as well as balancing exercise, with proper nutrition and rest. There you have the Power of 10, balancing exercise, rest and nutrition, the three pillars we call it. On there that’s the foundation. Then there all your recreational pursuits, the life that you want to life, sits right on top of that. If you want to life the kind of life you want to live, an active life, a happy life, a pain free life, it starts with exercise, rest nutrition and everything else follows from there.

Adam always says like, you know, the mission of InForm Fitness is to provide people with the exercise they need to give them the life that they want, you know, so --



I could have just said that. [laughs]

Could have said that but --

We need a little more [laughter], a little more detail. Of course InForm Fitness -- Sheila, why don’t you chime in on that? If you don’t mind, why InForm Fitness?

I always say there’s a couple reasons for that. One is that we want to inform our clients always. We’re all informed. We’re informing them about why you’re doing this exercise, what it, you know, even to the point of what muscles are working at that particular time. Then we also are real sticklers on performing the exercise in proper form. So, I might find, you know, myself saying, “Okay. Stay in form.” Then I’ll go, “Oh, yeah. That’s our name.” [laughs]

It’s perfect. That is -- we are calling our community, that we’re building here through the InForm Fitness podcast, to InForm Nation because that’s what we’re trying to do. If you’re listening to this podcast and you’re enjoying what you hear and you’re becoming educated, becoming informed, we invite you to join InForm Nation. We’ll have more details on how you can do that at the conclusion of the show.

Now, this show is geared towards those who are looking to build muscle, lose fat, maintain cardiovascular health and maybe even improve whatever it is that you love to do which really ties nicely into today’s topic, Exercise vs Recreation. Briefly, let’s go around the room and discus, what are some of the physical activities we all enjoy that might be confused with exercise. Let’s start with you, Sheila.

What I really love to do, around LA especially, is hiking. Lots of hiking, lots of canyon hiking and tennis and yoga. Those are things I actually enjoy doing.

So, when you’re hiking do you ever go up to Runyon Canyon? Is that right? Up there off of Mulholland Drive and see some celebrities.

I’ve gone up there. It’s definitely a very busy hiking area actually. It is.


I prefer to kind of be out here in Malibu Canyon area because it’s way more wide open. That’s kind of the city hiking area but there are plenty of places here in Southern California to hike. As I’m sure there’s plenty of places in New York and the Upstate New York and surrounding areas too.

Are you a hiker, Mike, or what do you do for exercise or for recreation, I should say?

You know, I like to take a hike often times in life. [laughs] [Crosstalk 06:43] -- You’re told to hike often. Yeah. [laughs]

I love hiking. I don’t do it on a regular basis. It’s usually if I’m away or wherever. If I was in California, I’d probably be taking a hike. You know, I grew up with a lot of -- very, very active. Every sport and I did soccer and lacrosse very competitively. As I’ve gotten older, I sort of phased into triathlon sports, like, biking, swimming and running. Love cycling the most there and even more recently, tennis and golf over the last few years. So, I do a lot of, a lot of stuff. I just have a problem sitting still. So, being active is extremely important to me. You know, using my body is very important to me, so --

Adam, what do you do? I know -- I thought you told stories in the past, you liked to ski.

I’m a seasonal, recre-ator. I mean, during the winter I pretty much are limited to skiing. In the better weather I like to hike. Actually, I go fish. I do a lot of fly fishing. I love fly fishing. We just got a puppy, just got a puppy.

[laughs] What kind of dog?

A golden doodle. So, we’re going to -- we have some beautiful preserves by our house and we’re going to start doing some more of those walks and hikes with the dog now.

Walk the dog. It will force you outside. Then in New York City too, do you drive through the city or do you do a lot of walking to and from somewhere?

Well, that’s another thing. It’s a walking city for sure. Yeah. Mhm [affirmative]. Boy, I got to --
We’re on the move all the time.

Tim: I got to take up hiking just to keep up with all of you. That’s not something that I’ve really explored. All I do outside of what I do at InForm Fitness in Toluca Lake is I play softball once a week. Outside of that basketball with my kid and that’s it. So, I probably [laughs] need to get out a little bit more often and add to my recreation list.

How is all of this different from exercise? All of these things that we’re mentioning, one would say, “Well, isn’t that exercise?” You’re playing tennis a few times a week. You’re hiking. Tell us the difference Adam. This is really -- it seems like a relatively easy concept to grasp but you say there’s a difference between exercise and recreation.

Adam: I think once it’s explained it seems easy but you still have a push back. It’s hard for people who have been told their whole life that you have to be active and be out there. They’ve been playing tennis their whole lives and playing soccer their whole lives, to tell them that’s not exercise. They’re not wrong by thinking it is in some sense and that is there’s an exercise effect. Again, exercise, specifically is to build muscle and get stronger.

There’s no doubt that a lot of these sports and recreational pursuits have an exercise affect in the sense that they do make you stronger. A tennis player is going to get stronger legs from it, a stronger arm or upper body in general from that sport. That’s not necessarily the goal of that recreational pursuit. The goal of that recreational pursuit is to enjoy that recreational pursuit is because you love it. Alright. That is the goal of that.

The goal of exercise is to make you stronger. The problem with recreational pursuits being perceived as exercise is that’s not the goal of recreational pursuits. They can get you stronger to an extent but it comes with its risks. It’s not comprehensive. It’s not going to do what you really want exercise to do. It’s not going to build your muscles from head to toe. It’s going to build them in a very specific way for that particular sport. That’s not a general conditioning program.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time to get strong. 20 minutes once a week without the risk of getting injury. As opposed to being a weekend warrior or maybe even more so and thinking that, you know, you join a bike club and you’re biking on the Wednesday night bike trips and you have the weekend stuff. You’re thinking you’re doing all of this because it’s in place of your exercise.

Tim: For people that are saying, “Well, I don’t need to work out,” or, “I don’t need to lift weights or do anything because I play tennis three times a week,” or, “I golf every week.”

That’s the problem, people who think --

We hear that a lot. We hear that -- I’m sure Sheila and Mike and myself, we hear that a lot when we do an intake. We say, “So, have you exercised in the past?” They’ll say, “Yes,” and they’ll start listing the sports that they play. [laughs] Right. We get into that discussion. I said, “Alright, well, great. I mean, those are great things and I hope you continue to do them or maybe will want to do them again once you feel up to it.” That’s one way I make that distinction with people, to help them make that distinction. That this exercise program might get -- especially if they haven’t done their recreational pursuits in a while because they don’t feel like they’re in shape to do them. [laughs]

Or they may have hurt themselves in the process of doing them. Tennis players constantly, we have them all the time, like they had tendonitis, tennis elbow or golf --

[Crosstalk 11:35].

Golfers with back problems and it’s just like and it’s keeping them off the course. I mean, and to -- and so I mean, that’s the thing. It’s walking like four miles and they get to miss out on type of thing. It’s unfortunate.

So, what’s --

I have an interesting story just personally as far as I did -- I’d done a lot of yoga and I was always doing yoga. Then I started to get into do this. Then when I got certified and I opened the Toluca Lake facility. Then it was like, you know, my life got very, very busy and I couldn’t go to my yoga class for over a year. So, and I go to this very hot, you know, the Bikram yoga which is an hour and a half. It’s very, you know, intense, kind of.

So, I finally made it to a yoga class after a year and this was the testament to me that this works as far as just building your muscle because I used to like go to the yoga class and then I’d be off for a couple months and go back and the first time back the next day I was so sore. You know, just from doing it. This time I hadn’t been in a year I went and even though, yes, it was a little more, like a different kind of endurance getting through that class, the next day I was not sore. That was like, “Oh my gosh. This is because I have been building my muscle and I’m strong.” So, it was a whole different eye-opening thing for me.

Yeah. I noticed it when the first time I went skiing and I went to high altitude and when you’re coming from the East Coast and you go out to Colorado and you’re at 12,000 feet, 11,000 feet, and you do a couple of runs you really feel it. My ski mates that were living in Colorado were always impressed that the East Coaster, me, actually hung in with them until about 3 o’clock. They went till five but the fact that I even lasted until three doing the runs that I was doing with them coming right off the plane from the East Coast, they were impressed.

Yeah. I get that as a testimonial. So, like, probably more often than any other in regards to sports performance or recreational type of performance in regards to their strength and endurance and ability to stay out on the slopes. I hear it all the time and I just heard it last week from one of our clients. He specifically said, “It’s night and day. Night and day.” He’s a very athletic person already but he said, “It’s absolutely so clear that the strength training that he did here,” for only a couple months too, maybe about 8, 10 sessions previous to his skiing, he said, “It was unbelievable.” Frankly, over the whatever how long I’ve been here, thirteen years, I think I’ve heard that the most. At least, you know, a few times a season I hear that. Especially from new clients.

Yeah. So, this is a thing I want to say. Alright, what Mike just said is very interesting as far as what I would want to know is why. Why? What is happening? What is it about this exercise in particular that is actually preparing somebody in some sense to be able to handle a ski trip at high altitudes for the first time even when in the past they would need at least three days to adjust to the altitude. What’s actually happening there physiologically and what is it about our exercise program that’s causing that?

Before we get right to that I just want to sum up the difference between exercise versus recreation. Alright, again, exercise has a very specific goal to build muscle and to do it without undermining your health at the same time. When I say not undermining your health, I’m not necessarily talking about getting hurt right there on the spot. That is part of it of course. The acute injuries that can happen from lifting something too fast or the wrong way and then boom, herniated disc, torn muscle. That happens.

I’m also talking about the insidious things that occur that when you don’t realize are happening. When you go for those runs and runs and runs, five days a week and everything feels okay but you know, your knees are sore from time to time but you know an ice pack, an Advil later and it’s okay. You’re feeling that year after year, next thing you know it’s getting a little worse. It’s getting a little bit worse.

Fast forward another five years or so and you’re still doing all that, you’re being told you need hip replacement, knee replacement, you have arthritis here, you have arthritis there. Your neck is hurting you now. Your shoulder’s hurting you from the repetitions. Tennis isn’t fun anymore. Alright, the back is killing you after a tennis game, the knees are killing you, the shoulder is killing you, the elbow is killing you --

These are our experiences. These are direct observations. We’ve heard these all through the years. It’s unbelievable. You know, I think we have a front row seat to these type of complaints too all the time so.

These are primarily -- these are people that looked upon their recreational activities as their exercise as opposed to making their exercise foundation.

And now they’re realizing -- exactly. Yes. But now they’re saying, okay, this is great. So, the pressure’s off. I don’t have to look at these activities or feel guilty that I didn’t play tennis this weekend or I didn’t run this weekend. I don’t have to feel guilty about that. As long as I took the time, 20 minutes, about and worked out really hard, really intensely which is the whole reason and the whole way you should be exercising because what we’re finding is all this magic that occurs. All the strength that we get, all the endurance that we build comes from the magic of pushing your muscles to a level that they rarely get pushed to. When that happens, all that magic happens. All that change, all that positive change actually occurs.

Having said that, also, exercise is not about entertainment. The purpose of exercise is to build muscle as quickly and as safely as possible so you can live your life. If you want to have something that’s not boring, join a book club, join any kind of group where you can have fun but when it comes to your exercise just work out. Do what you have to do. You know, trying to make exercise not boring is kind of like trying to make brushing your teeth not boring. You know, you don’t consider that because it’s ridiculous to try to change the way you brush your teeth just so you’re more entertained during the process despite the risk you take of having rotten teeth.

This is the challenge though. Like, Adam’s points are absolutely valid and that’s the way it is. I mean, people have to consider that if they’re really, really taking seriously their health and thinking about it. I think some of the challenges sometimes is A, helping people believe that you can actually get a workout in 20 minutes. And we know you can and we have hundreds and hundreds of testimonials that you can but it’s -- but sometimes people I think just plain don’t believe that you can do it in 20 minutes. That’s A.

B, I think some people, they really, they need to feel like distracted if they’re exercising unfortunately. That’s why they need to be in a spin class with the music pumping and the candles and whatever. That’s the challenges that we do have being, you know, before you experience InForm Fitness, it sounds very counterintuitive to what you’ve been taught to make yourself healthier but when you experience it you realize that what Adam said is absolutely right. It really is just like brush your teeth, you know, you want your teeth to be healthy? Brush and floss and you know what, drink water.

You know, on that note, from a female perspective, I have found it to be very fun. Are we stopping? [laughs] I found it to be very fun because it’s challenging. Women don’t typically go to the gym and try to like, you know, compete or lift heavy weights or I mean for the most part. I never did. I feel like it’s just kind of like a fun little victory every week when I come in and you see other clients -- our clients have developed friendships. You know, they’re seeing each other coming in and out. They love telling a new client, you know, like, “Wow, I’ve been coming for 62 sessions.” You know, and it’s just -- they’re so proud of themselves. You know, that’s what I see. It becomes fun.

Not the process. Not when you’re in that leg press. What’s fun for you -- True. [laughs]

Is the results from it. What’s fun for you is the culture of InForm Fitness because we all feel we have lightening in the bottle and we have this big secret and no one knows about that you can get in the best shape of your life in just 20 minutes. That’s all fun. That’s all something to be very proud of and very enthused about but when you’re on a leg press, those last ten seconds on a leg press, I mean, I don’t know, I’m not thinking fun at that moment.

That’s not fun. No. [laughs] [laughs]

To me, again, I think a lot of people appreciate the very direct approach about this as far as, you know, saying listen, I understand that you think exercise has to be fun and I can understand your reasons for wanting it to be fun especially if you’re going to spend three hours a week doing it. [laughs]


Adam: You know, I get it. I get that feeling. Here’s a relief for you, you can have fun without the guilt. You can have fun without mixing it up with your exercise and just do your exercise for 20 minutes not thinking about fun but get it over with in 20 minutes. I’m going to show you and convince you that 20 minutes is enough for that. That’s how you start the consultation. That’s how you start your introduction. Right now you have to believe or want to believe that 20 minutes is enough. All it’s going to take for you is to follow my lead for six weeks and you’ll get it. You won’t have to have me have to talk you into it anymore. Then you’ll be like, wow this is great. Now I can have fun the other how many minutes or less in that week.

Tim: Well, that certainly is what first attracted me to this workout, minimal time investment, great returns. In just a few months I’ve shed a few pounds, my clothes are fitting better, and more importantly, I’m getting stronger. As a matter of fact, we’ll include the PDF of my progress in the show notes. That way you can see how each week I’m lifting, pulling, pushing more and more weight. I love it.

Alright. There’s the music which means that we’re close to the 20-minute mark in the podcast. So, if you began your slow motion, high-intensity workout at the start of this podcast, you’d be finished by now for the entire week. So, as Adam just said, you can have fun the remaining 10,060 minutes of your week. Great discussion today.

Remember, if you’d like to ask the team 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 also leave us a voicemail by calling 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. That’s 888-983-5020, Ext. 3. All feedback is welcome. Speaking of which, if you enjoyed the show, the best way to support it and ensure that we continue producing additional episodes is to subscribe to the podcast and please rate the show and leave us some feedback and a review right here in iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher Radio, Acast, YouTube or wherever you might be listening.

To join us here at InForm Nation, give this work out a try for yourself. Just visit for phone numbers and locations nearest you and please tell them you heard about the Power of 10 from the podcast. I’m Tim Edwards reminding you to join us in the next episode, The Importance of Muscle, and we’re not talking about just looking good at the beach but all the physiological benefits that come from losing fat and building muscle. For Adam, Mike and Sheila, thanks for joining us here at the InForm Fitness podcast, 20 minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends, here on the Inbound Podcasting Network.

Jan 26, 2017

Welcome to the first episode of 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.

To find an Inform Fitness 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:

Ilf 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.