Revolutionary You! #117-Dr. Mike Israetel: Considerations For High Intensity Exercise

It’s been since Episode #52 when Dr. Mike Israetel first joined me on this show. Even now, it is one of my top 5 most downloaded shows ever. He joins me again this week to tackle some of the pros and cons to high intensity exercise programs. We look across the spectrum from boot camps to CrossFit and many methodologies in between. To learn more about Dr. Mike’s work, visit and on Instagram @rpstrength. To learn more about your host, check out and like our Facebook page at Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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Weight Loss For Busy Parents

There is so much pressure on parents these days. What shots to give (or not give), organic food or conventional, scheduled nap times or intuitive, germ-friendly or germ-ophobe, you make the best decisions you can even when it means they may not be the perfect decisions and sometimes your friends, social media, and parenting manuals just don’t have the answers.

In the midst of all of those things, we parents have to figure out how to be functional at our jobs, for our partners, and this whole “adulting” thing in general.

Welcome to 2018.

If the above references sound anything like you, you might be one of those parents struggling to lose weight who is just trying to balance it all without losing your mind.

The struggle, as they say, is real.

Here are four (slightly unconventional) tactics to get you on the path you want to be on that you can put into place immediately.

1. If it’s a priority for your children, it’s a priority for you. 

This concept can be a tough one for many parents which is why I’m starting with it. All too often, we’re focused on the needs of others before the needs of ourselves. As a result, it’s our own health that stands to suffer if we don’t find time to focus on taking care where it’s needed.

In the same sense that visits to the doctor, extracurricular activities and even school are scheduled events for our children, we have to schedule time for ourselves too. This can be 30 minutes of time on a treadmill daily, 1 hour of meal prep on a Sunday, or two to three scheduled bouts of strength training throughout the week.

Put these things on a calendar.

Otherwise, your time will become dominated by the needs of others or you will just find time to waste.

Remember that if we, as parents, are not healthy, we can’t give our children the attention or care they might need. To whatever extent you believe in being a role model, these attributes will shine for your children.

I’m reminded of my client Stacey, who sets in stone her Tuesday and Thursday appointments here that she never misses unless she is sick or out of town. These sessions are so ingrained in her lifestyle that even her two boys will say “Today’s the day you go see Mr. Jason!”

For Beginners: Set one week up of your scheduled “For You” appointments.

For Advanced: Set one month up of your scheduled “For You” appointments.

2. Master your food intake.

After our son Sebastian was born, my wife’s activity level changed dramatically. Not only was she not as active with choreography and dance instruction but she found that she would graze on food throughout the day while watching our baby at home. Once the initial weight loss happened as a result of breastfeeding, etc. she told me it was time to get serious about the rest of her weight loss goals. Knowing my wife better than most, I knew she historically fell into some fasting patterns. I showed her ways to make those patterns work for herself with regards to her goals and we started cooking more meals at home.

And as shocking as this may be to those who think they need more cardio to lose weight, Marissa has lost nearly 20lbs with next to no change in that decreased activity level. That weight came off from a measured, methodical approach to her food intake.

I should also caution that it is painfully easy to graze on the food we feed our children, especially if they don’t finish their meals. Many parents don’t want to see food go to waste so they will add to their own intake by noshing on what their kids have. If you can’t stop yourself from doing this, you’ll need to be honest enough with yourself that it happened so you can cut calories from another meal in the day.

The simplest solution is to not have the easily accessible, easy to overeat foods in the house at all. However, some parents feel they “need” to have chips, cookies, juices, and other goodies to feed their growing children. I won’t say right or wrong to that. What I will say, is that if you can’t control yourself with those foods, they may need to find a home in the trashcan until you start seeing the progress you want to see.

For many of my clients, getting control over these mindless snacking patterns can be all that it takes to see weight loss occur. No calorie counting, no food tracking, just conscious effort to say no to snacking and focus on the meals that are in line with the goals.

For Beginners: Stay conscious of only eating the meals you have in check, Eliminate snacking and second/third helpings of portions.

For Advanced: Try keeping a food journal (writing down what and when you ate) or tracking food through an app (we like MyFitnessPal, MyPlate, LoseIt, and EatThisMuch.)

3. High stress lifestyles don’t necessarily need high stress exercise routines.

It’s easy to get caught up in the bigger, better, faster, more approach to training. As most professional trainers know, you can be the worst trainer on the block and still know how to push someone to their limits (including nausea, dizziness, and unusual amounts of soreness.) This does not equate to intelligent training.

Since you’re already stressed to the hilt with raising a family, possibly working full or part time, your stress levels are at an all-time high. Asking someone in this position to subscribe to a murderous workout doesn’t bode well for long-term results or happiness along the way.

Find the training you can progress with that doesn’t annihilate you. Be able to see where you’ve made changes in strength or endurance with a mind-frame of “How do I sustain this over time?”

Referring back to my client Stacey, she’s harnessed the philosophy that it isn’t about dieting, it’s about being “strong and healthy.” Using that verbiage removes the conversation about dieting from the household so children may be less likely to view it as a good or bad thing.

As your children age, life doesn’t necessarily get less stressful or busy, you just find new things to be stressed and busy over. Referring back to tip #1, schedule your time to train, make progress, and move on. You’re not much good to those who depend on you if your body is a train wreck after an outrageous workout.

For Beginners: Focus on 2-3 days of progressive strength training with some low-intensity cardio

For Advanced: Add 1-2 days of high intensity training to change things up slightly (no more than 30 minutes at a time.)

4.) Sleep matters (and maybe more than you think.)

We’ve talked about lifestyle stress, so now we need to cover the stress that you get when you’re not sleeping enough. When you have an infant, they might dictate your sleep patterns more than you’d like. It’s generally a temporary phase so you do need to be able to sleep when you can.

In efforts to control what you can, remove the temptation of electronic screens (phones, tablets, computers and TVs) at least 30 minutes before bedtime so your mind and eyes are not as stimulated before you go down. You’re aiming for quality sleep every time you can get it.

And it’s not just for the sake of sleep, it’s to let your body recover from your workouts and repair the muscles you worked on in your training. In addition, you may be less likely to crave those sweet/salty foods or over-reliant on stimulants to get you more alert throughout the day. Lack of sleep has an interesting correlation to overeating the next day so the better you sleep, the more control you will likely have when you need it.

For Beginners: Remove (or turn off) the electronic screens 30 minutes before bed time each night.

For Advanced: Aim for dark, quiet rooms and 6-8 hours of restful sleep each night.  A supplement like melatonin may be worth considering.

Here’s a shot of our little boy from last week. While he does manage to keep Marissa and I on our toes, life is settling into it’s relative normal for now. If you’re looking for the perfect time to get to your goals, it won’t come.

You have to make time (and effort) work for you.

Most importantly, the family you care so much about will benefit from the care you gave to yourself.

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Revolutionary You! #116-Hannah Howard: Feast

Hannah Howard is the best-selling author of the new book “Feast: True Love In and Out of the Kitchen.” She joins me this week to give you a little teaser just before she hits a domestic tour to promote it. “Feast” discusses not only Hannah’s struggles with eating disorders but how her romantic relationships and her involvement in the food and restaurant industries shaped much of her self-image. As a personal trainer, this book was a fascinating and in many ways heartbreaking story to read and Hannah does an amazing job of showing her emotions and her passion for life before finally finding body acceptance and success through Overeaters Anonymous. I can’t recommend this book enough. You can buy your copy on Amazon or your through your local bookseller. To learn more about Hannah’s work, she is on Instagram at “hannahmhoward” and To learn more about your host, visit and like our Facebook page at Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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True Grit

“You should be dead by now.”

That’s what the doctors told Hugh after some tests were run on him following a series of ischemic strokes.

He got some of his affairs in order on the outside chance that he not survive his surgery and he went in for an aortic valve replacement and quadruple bypass surgery.

On April 4, 2017 he was released from the hospital.

Within a few months of being cleared to exercise, his daughter (and current client) Kellie had persuaded him to come and see me.

At 75 years young, Hugh was no stranger to exercise. He consistently used his Bowflex at home and even had the pedigree of an amateur boxer. Over the years, I’ve worked with several members of his family and this was the first time he had considered making the 30 minute trek to come and see me.

Initially, he was given clearance to lift no more than 20lbs. So, we played with some light dumbbell and machine work to get him started. However, it didn’t take long to notice that if I stepped away from him, he might push the weight stack up an extra plate by time I came back. Clearly, Hugh had a slight agenda of his own beyond what the doctors suggested. Kellie and I kind of chuckled about it but I was still aiming to keep the workouts more conservative.

I’d check in on him routinely and ask how his recovery was: Any soreness? Any aches and pains that don’t seem normal? Hugh seemed fine by all accounts and I could tell that he was more than a little frustrated that I wasn’t pushing him harder.

I would frequently give Hugh a rep range for a given exercise, say 3 sets of 12-15 reps. And I’ll be damned if he didn’t gut out every last rep of that range even if it looked like it was all he had in him. I started to joke with him “No one can ever say you don’t leave it all in the gym!” Hugh would smile and nod in agreement.

So, as we developed more of a relationship, Hugh started to get some heavier weights. His doctor was informed that he was under my instruction and didn’t appear to have any reservations about Hugh progressing.

If you don’t know much about my training style, I do err to the side of conservative. Yes, our clients might lift heavy weights. And yes, some days are harder than others. I do not subscribe to the philosophy of burying people in high intensity training every time they step through the door.

I also tend to be forgiving when the body puts up a fight. As a result of what Hugh has gone through, his right side does indeed push back. And where I have been inclined to give some slack and say “It’s okay if you’re not able to finish.” Hugh would shoot back “No, it’s not okay.”

And it has been moments like this when I’ve known that Hugh is quite special.

So, my dialogue started to change and I began telling him how much grit he had. Other clients began to notice too. Hugh was going to give his all, no matter what.

Little by little, we’ve been able to push where we can. Hugh’s body, post-surgery, doesn’t move as smoothly as he might like but he is progressing. Last week, he saw a huge jump in his traplift and pulled an easy 235×3.

Yesterday (just one week later), he pulled 255×2.

As I said, he is quite special.

I would love to tell you that I can get anyone in their seventies to do what Hugh is doing, but I can’t.

I can try my best but beyond skill level, Hugh has determination and will beyond the average person. That’s saying a lot because I get the opportunity to work with some amazing people day in and day out.

So, this is my little tribute to the man I now affectionately call “Mr. Grit.”

We are so happy to have you healthy and thriving in the RevFit family.



Revolutionary You! #115-Sarah Ashman, RD: A Primer On Gut Health

Sarah Ashman, RD returns to the show after her excellent primer on functional nutrition and this week we dive into gut health. If you wanted to know more about fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, and more THIS is the place to start. As always Sarah is an amazing source of information and you might find yourself taking notes to the episode or listening more than once to get all the details of everything she has to share. For more info on Sarah, you can find her at or email her at To learn more about your host, visit and like our Facebook page at Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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A Life Of Perfection

I woke up yesterday morning: bright-eyed, well-rested. I didn’t even need my alarm clock.

Sebastian slept through the night without a stir and Marissa slept well also.

My morning coffee was on point, I got some reading in, got my email inbox to zero, washed up without delay and got to work with time to spare before my first client.

I spent a few minutes preparing programs for a handful of clients who needed updates and was amped up, ready to face my day.

Client sessions went flawlessly, everyone seemed to be feeling the vibe off of my day. No dragging feet, no frowns, just pure excitement and great attitudes to get through the work day.

My own workout went great, hit a couple of personal records, ate my food (portions and all) in line with my goals so I felt like a million bucks all day.

I paid some bills to keep finances current and didn’t feel the least bit stressed about waiting for certain bills to clear before I could pay others.

I had a few moments to talk to Marissa in the middle of my work day and it sounds like her day was going as seamlessly as mine.


Scratch that, Life.Is.Great.

Come to think of it, I didn’t hit any red lights coming to and from work so I was able to make it home in a reasonable time frame each direction.

I cooked dinner for Marissa and myself, got to enjoy some relaxing time with the family and was in bed at a decent time so I could get a full night’s sleep only to repeat another day of flawless living.

Does something sound wrong with this?

Well, for one, my days never go like this. Not ever. Some days, there are bits and pieces of this description that might be accurate. I’ll let you decide which of those are more realistic than others.

More often than not, there are several of these items that can (and do) go wickedly off track and (potentially) set me in a tailspin.

And no matter how many times it happens that I don’t get to live a “perfect” day, I don’t cash in my chips and say “Oh the hell with it, let’s just give up on life too.”

Funny thing, we treat our diets like that.

If we can’t fit in our perfect bouts of exercise, we might resort to being slugs.

If we can’t eat the way we’re supposed to in line with our goals, we might eat everything in sight.

If the work day gets the best of us, we might console ourselves with comfort food.

Truth be told, I have no idea what perfect looks or feels like. As much as I love my wife, our marriage isn’t perfect. As much as I love my boys, I am not a perfect father. As much as I love my work, I don’t know what a perfect day looks like.

So, it stands to reason that I don’t expect my clients to be perfect. I just expect (and encourage) them to try and keep trying.

All this aside, much of your success will come from a certain level of forgiveness. The workouts won’t be perfect and neither will the diet and neither will your lifestyle.

It’s fine. You’re good.

You can still progress.

You can still move the needle.

You can still succeed.

You just may have to get that idea of “perfect” out of your way because it’s setting up shop as a distraction from your goal.

Here’s a little shot of one of our RevFit power couples: Roger and Cherie. And while they’re pretty close to perfect, I can assure you that what helps them succeed is a realistic outlook, a slow and steady approach to success, forgiveness when the curveballs come their way, and consistency to the plan. 29355252_1846196072059586_7980010397282196450_o






Revolutionary You! #114-Dr. Carl Juneau: Muscle Basics With “Dr. Muscle”

Dr. Carl Juneau is the creator of the new AI app Dr. Muscle and joins me this week to set the foundation for strength training. While this episode may serve as a refresher for those listening who are in the fitness industry, Dr. Carl and I wanted to break strength training down to the basics for the listener who just needs to know where and how to start with a realistic plan. This is a phenomenal episode and Dr. Juneau has a unique and sustainable approach for anyone tuning in. To learn more about the Dr. Muscle app and to get special pricing to try it, visit To contact Dr. Carl directly, you can reach him at To learn more about your host, check out and like our Facebook page at Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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Revolutionary You! #113-BONUS-Peter Baker: The Complete Contest Prep Guide

Peter Baker and Layne Norton have just released a fascinating book that goes into exceptional detail for those looking to dive into physique and bodybuilding competitions. Peter joins me on this week’s bonus episode to discuss his work on the book. There is a great deal of excellent information that would apply to anyone looking to lose weight as well as there are diet tips galore and plenty of insight by two guys who have the clientele to back up their knowledge. You can purchase the guide at To learn more about Peter’s work, visit To learn more about your host, check out and like our Facebook page at Download, subscribe, share with your friend and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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*The title of this post was inspired by the George Michael song of a similar name*

Julie first heard about me after hearing me on Heather Robertson’s podcast, Half Size Me. If you’d like to hear that episode, you can find it here.

Like Heather and myself, Julie also hosts a podcast of her own called The Julie Tussey Show which you can learn more about here.

After connecting and setting up a time for me to be a guest on her show, Julie inquired about my online training services. She had seen some of my posts on social media about working with clients remotely to help them see results. Since I am in Ohio and Julie is in Kentucky, this seemed like the most advantageous way to move forward.

We discussed some of her current injuries/impairments, her current fitness regimen and a short list of previous dietary attempts that worked to varied degrees of success. Julie is the epitome of “busy.” So, everything that we embarked to do together from diet to exercise had to fit that mold or it just wasn’t going to get done.

Julie affectionately calls herself the “Menopause Momma” and truly feels as if her body has been betraying her at this stage of her life. Like many women going through a similar event, menopause is one stage where the body can have a mind of its own.

However, of the few things I was able to work on from her prior dieting attempts, we had to re-establish a new calorie goal and a different expectation of what carbs, proteins and fats were likely doing for her.

She had already been through the aggressive low-carb/low-sugar plan and was miserable. She had also been through the very restrictive (less than 1000) calorie diet plan as well which proved to also be miserable.

And as can sometimes be the case with women who embark on cycles of Weight Watchers, there was a fair amount of conversation about good food/bad food, food shame, etc. I tend to call Weight Watchers out for this not because I think it’s a bad program but since it has been around for so long, there are some patterns I’ve seen with clients of mine who have worked with it that seem to repeat themselves.

The good news for Julie and myself was that she was already acclimated to counting calories, she just hadn’t previously been given much to work with. We discussed a new approach that had her eating a bit more than she thought she could. I also asked her to put a primary focus on protein intake within the new calorie goal.

As for carbohydrate and fat intake? She can do WHATEVER she wants as long as it fits within the calorie goal and she feels her best on it.

Giving Julie this protocol gave her a freedom she hadn’t previously known. And almost immediately, there was a shift in her voice, her attitude and her mindset to move forward.

That’s not to say her “rite of passage” will be easy. Eating below maintenance is not fun but you can make it tolerable. We also had to help her get creative with her protein sources since she professed to not being a big meat-eater.

I asked Julie to start finding some food trends on the days where she felt like she really nailed it with her intake. You don’t need a ton of food variety and I can definitely make a case for keeping the diet more conservative as opposed to adventurous. But, like me, Julie likes her spicy foods and definitely had to keep those in. Chips and salsa were going to be a staple which I am perfectly okay with as long as they fit within the parameters we discussed and she could determine that neither was a trigger food (something she couldn’t control.)

While our working relationship is still very new Julie has already reported several pounds of weight loss so far. I wanted to write this particular article to highlight how  a less judgmental view of food and a deeper understanding of how it works for you can change your path to progress.

Julie is off to an awesome start and I know she’s going to see more great things come at the rate she’s going.


Revolutionary You! #112-Rafal Matuszewski: Prove Them Wrong

I have the pleasure of turning the tables on fellow podcaster and personal trainer, Rafal Matuszewski, this week. He hosts the excellent show “Cut The S#!t, Get Fit”, which I hope you will tune in to as well. Rafal gets to share more of his personal story of adversity and what he overcame to break into this industry and make a mark for himself. To learn more about Rafal’s work, connect with him on Facebook at and at To learn more about your host, check out and like our Facebook page at Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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