Life is about choices. You are going to do one of two things – you are either going to escape that pain into a vice that does not make you better, or you are going to develop a virtue. Patrick Veroneau’s guest, Alan Lazaros, chose virtue over vice. Although he’s been in deep emotional pain, he believed in his own brighter future enough to turn his adversities into an advantage through fitness and personal development. Alan is a peak performance business coach and the co-host of Next Level University Podcast, a Global Top 100 self-improvement podcast. Today, he discusses the 5 pillars of health and how they impact so many aspects of our life. He breaks down each pillar and how we can benefit by understanding its importance.
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Alan Lazaros Outlines The 5 Pillars For Health
Health Is The Key To A Long And Successful Life
We are going to talk about fitness and the five pillars of fitness. My guest is Alan Lazaros. He’s a performance fitness coach. He also co-hosts a show called The Hyper Conscious Podcast. In this episode, he goes through and breaks down the five pillars of health. I learned several things in this episode. Let’s get into it.
Alan, thank you again for taking the time to be on the show. We met for the first time and I loved our conversation. We went to dinner together. A mutual friend of ours invited us to dinner and the volume kept going back and forth in regards to personal development. I knew I wanted to have you on the show to talk about your area of expertise because you bring so much depth to what you are doing.
First and foremost, thank you for having me on the show. Our mutual friend, Mark Metry, it was nice to meet him and some of his associations. Like attracts like. It’s clear to me that I like that you do leadership. I remember asking you at dinner, “When did you get into personal development?” You said, “Honestly, it has been forever.” To me, personal development and fitness have saved my life. My father passed away when I was two years old. I lost something near and dear to my heart from an early stage in life but I did gain something else.
I was raised by two mothers. I had an older sister who was three years older than me and my mom. From a young age, she said, “Alan, you can be a CEO or farmer. Life is about choice. The problem is that if you are a CEO, you can wake up one day and decide to be a farmer but if you are a farmer, you can’t wake up and decide to be a CEO. If you are smart enough, you will have choices.” I think she didn’t feel like she had choices, especially when her husband passed away. She always instilled that in me, “Life is about choice.” That has been such a common denominator in my life.
I remember I was eight years old. We were driving past WPI because her older sister is seventeen years old that lived in Holden. WPI is Worcester Polytechnic Institute. It’s in Western Mass. At the bottom of the hill, there’s the sign WPI. I remember it to this day. My mom said, “You should go there one day, Alan. You are smart. Smart people go there. Again, life is about choice.” I was good at Mathematics and naturally gifted at that time, even that early on. She thought that I should be an engineer. In hindsight, this was so gutsy. She said, “You can take eighth grade off if you promise me that when you go to high school, you will get straight A’s and the President’s Award.” President’s Award is you cannot get a 95 or lower GPA out of 100 on any report card for all four years.
She let me take eighth grade off. If you were to look back at my academic career, you would see in eighth grade D’s, C’s, B’s and then everything else, you would see straight A’s. I’ve got one B plus in Honors English 1 and I never took Honors again for English. I’ve got the President’s Award. She helped me get into WPI. I’ve got into WPI and going to that school was one of the best decisions I ever made because it’s interesting. You are in high school and you are the smart kid. Academics always came fairly easy to me but then you go to WPI, which is like a mini-MIT, and you realize quickly that you are not all that smart and that everyone is as smart as you.Life is about choices. Click To Tweet
I remember what we did in Physics. I’ve got a Physics Award at the award ceremony in high school. I took Physics-Mechanics at WPI freshmen. I remember in two weeks, we did what I had already known and I was so over my head. I had to surround myself with these ridiculously smart people to learn from them. I was the fun one, they were the smart ones and we helped each other. It’s funny because, to circle back, I’m good at Math. I wanted to make a lot of money. I have always been super ambitious. I’ve got an Electrical and Computer Engineering degree, which still to this day is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I didn’t like Engineering all that much, even though I did persevere and get that degree. I went back to school for a Master’s in Marketing and Technological Innovation. I’ve got my Master’s and then I went into Corporate America. I did a lot of jobs out there. I was all over the place.
Eventually, I landed at a company called Cognex. Cognex sells industrial automation equipment and I started an inside sales team there. Now up to this point in high school, college and sales, alcohol was a big part of the culture. My kryptonite and I say this to people on the show all the time like, “We are all a warning and an example of something.” I always ask people, “What’s your kryptonite?” For me, it’s arrogance and alcohol. I always try to stay as humble as possible. I also try to stay out of vices and in virtues. This is the moment that shifted my mentality, made me start living a more hyperconscious and intentional life, and focusing on my own personal development.
I was in the Providence Place Mall, I’m watching a movie, 300: Rise of an Empire. I was 26 at that time. We were paying for parking. There were little kids around. We were not out at the bar. We were not doing anything crazy and I’ve got punched from behind. I turned to my right and I saw the evilest eyes I had ever seen and knew in that instance. If you have ever been in a life or death situation, in a moment, it’s a fight, flight or freeze. It was like, “I knew this dude was trying to kill me.” I can’t explain it. I just knew it. He either thinks I’m someone I’m not like a Providence gang or something or he’s crazy. It turns out he was a schizophrenic who hadn’t taken his medication.
He tried to fight me and my buddy Kiki pushed him off me. I ran away and Kiki didn’t run. Fight, flight or freeze. I chose flight. He chose to freeze. Kodo, that was his name, beat the hell out of my buddy. We ended up pulling the fire alarm. The cops detained him. He told the cops we were trying to kill him but it turned out it was a schizophrenic rage. This messed with me. I often say to people, “If you have ever had the death of a loved one, near-death experience or illness that has made you question your life, it shakes the snow globe.” Everything you think you know gets shaken up. You start to question everything, “Have I been living congruently with my highest purpose? Have I been chasing my dreams courageously? Have I been loving fiercely and openly?” You start to question like, “What if that was it?”
I had that shake and snow globe experience. I had a lot of shame around leaving Kiki behind because to this day, if Kodo had had a knife, I know for a fact that we would both be either deathly injured or dead. He punched me from behind and he was trying to kill us. That was the first real snow globe shaking that got me to question the way I was living. To me, I was so ashamed. I’ve got made fun of by my friends for leaving Kiki behind. “You are such a coward. You ran away.” I decided to hit the gym. At this time, I was 160 pounds, 6’2″. What I often say is skinny, fat alcoholic. I don’t like that label but I drank too much and too often. Again, Cognex was work hard, play hard. I did well in sales and the culture was a lot of socializing. I know you know the atmosphere.
That’s a sales atmosphere too in most places. That’s my environment. I always say it.
Work hard, play hard. I used to say, “Work hard, play harder.” I gained 60 pounds in six months. I went from 160 to 220. I do not recommend that since I’m a peak performance fitness coach. That was too much fat that I gained but I also gained a ton of muscle. I decided, “If anything like that ever happened again, I’m going to be stronger and be able to defend myself. I’m not going to run away.” This is where the real snow globe got shaken.
I was up in New Hampshire. I was with my little cousin. He was seventeen years old and we were going to TGI Friday’s. The road was supposed to stay right. I thought it stayed left. I was looking down at the GPS. This was a weird intersection. It was a cold winter night. It was one of those bad winters where the snow was all the way up near the signs. I ended up on the wrong side of the road when I was looking down at the GPS. I was only looking for a second. I looked up and I remember seeing the biggest lift-kitted truck with the brightest lights I had ever seen. I remember thinking, “That was it.”
Remember, I was 26 at that time. My father was 28 when he died in a car accident. This messed with me a lot. Fortunately, I was driving a 2004 Volkswagen Passat, which is an absolute steel trap. I used to call it The Tank and the airbags went off. Neither one of us was direly injured but that got me to question everything. In my speeches, I show this car and the accident. It was completely totaled but fortunately, we are okay. I hurt my face on the airbag. He hurt his knee but he was still seventeen with that invincibility complex. He was tweeting about it. He was okay. He was not questioning his life. I was sitting in an armchair at my little cousin’s house. I was drinking a glass of whiskey and contemplating everything. I was like, “What if that was the end? Would I have been proud of the man I had become? Would I have been proud of my contribution?”
Here’s the interesting thing. A lot of people talk about legacy and the impact we have on others but I spent my whole life hearing stories about my dad. What I find the most fascinating, now reflecting, and what I tell people on the show and speeches is like, “They don’t talk about how he died. They talk about how he lived.” I have a very emotionalized version of the impact we have on others. It’s more profound than any of us can fathom while we are here. The one word that I focus on is legacy and I live from that place every single day. I say to people the following quote that resonates so deeply with most people, “You cannot see the stars during the day. They are always there but sometimes it takes the darkness to see clearly, which we simply could not within the light.”
What did I see clearly after my snow globe was shaken? I saw a couple of things. Number one, there’s a book by Bronnie Ware called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. To this day, I have a flashcard in my pocket with all five of them. The number one regret of the dying is, “I wish I had lived a life true to myself and not what others expected of me.” Here’s the cool part. I’ve got to interview Bronnie Ware. She’s from Australia. She came on the show and I’ve got to ask her about these things. That was one of the things that I found. The other thing I found was Tony Robbins’ TED Talk. It’s called Why We Do What We Do. It’s one of the best speeches in the world. It’s my second favorite speech ever of all time. The first one is Steve Jobs at Stanford address.
The third thing I found was my peak performance fitness coach, Nate Smithson. He’s a dear friend of mine. This was when I started to turn it all around. I was in the dark. Here’s what I have figured out that I want to bring to the world. When you are in deep emotional pain, you have a decision to make. Life is about choices. You are going to do one of two things. You are either going to escape that pain into a vice that does not make you better or develop a virtue. Here’s the interesting part. Why would Warren Buffett invest in a stock he didn’t believe would grow? It all comes down to belief. I realized that the reason why I normally chose virtue over vice is that I believe in my own brighter future.
What I have come to realize speaking at colleges, podcasts listeners, hosting events and co-hosting events, people struggle with self-belief. If they do not believe in themselves on a subconscious level, they are always going to escape pain rather than use it to be better. Every single time I’m in emotional pain, I know I have a choice. I can either try to escape this and distract myself with alcohol, Netflix or marijuana. I’m not against any of those things per se but the reason why you are doing it, if it’s to escape your life, I would argue it’s a vice rather than developing a virtue. That’s my long story of how I became the man I am now. It’s because I was in deep, emotional pain but I believed in my own brighter future enough to make those adversities become an advantage through my own personal development.
It’s interesting as you were talking about mindset or a choice that people can make. There was a book that I read every morning as part of my ritual meditation. It’s by a gentleman named Emmet Fox who has passed. He died in the 1950s. There’s a reading in there every day. One of the lines here said, “Doubt and fear are the cruelest things that can come into the life of man.”People won’t talk about how you died. They talk about how you lived. Click To Tweet
When you are doubting yourself, you are going to choose vice over virtue. The day is always filled with that choice.
Your story plays into this. As we come into the new year, that’s not when you need to set goals but that’s symbolically when most people do it as they say. If it was just about intellectually setting a goal, that would be a piece of cake. Everybody would do it. You wouldn’t have January 15th and most people not following through on what they had said they were going to do. Health plays an important role in so many aspects of our lives. That’s a great place for us to start. I know in one of the promotional videos that I was watching of yours, you talked about the five pillars of fitness. I would love to know what those are and how those come into play for you.
For a long time in my life, I often say to people, “If you are grateful for your gifts, prove it by developing them. Make sure when you develop them, you use them to serve others.” I do have several gifts. I’m blessed to have a powerful mind and a capable, strong body. The problem was I wasn’t developing those gifts and using them to serve. The five fundamental pillars of natural fitness are what I use to help my clients achieve the greatest life they possibly can. If you were to go to my Instagram bio, it says, “I help you design the life and body of your dreams.” That is, in a nutshell, what I do in one sentence. What are the five fundamental pillars of natural fitness? Sleep, hydration, nutrition, training and mobility. That is holding up the whole building. If you had to pick a sixth one, it would be oxygen but that’s automatic.
Even that one, I would argue, can be done inefficiently.
It can if you are not breathing well 100%. They are all connected. Here’s the cool part. They are in order of most importance based on what you will die without. Let’s throw oxygen in here. You will die without oxygen quicker than you will die without sleep. You will die without sleep quicker than you will die without water. You will die without water quicker than you will die without food. You will die without food quicker than you will die without exercise. You will die without exercise way quicker than you will die without stretching and mobility. This is holding up the whole building.
I like to think of life as a pyramid. You have your true North at the top. That’s your mission, your desire to serve something greater than yourself. The bottom of the pyramid is your core values and fitness. If you are out there now, what is some of why power to get better sleep? A lot of people set goals and know of these. One of the first things I want to say is, “The reason why these are so important is that they are fundamental. You can’t sell these.” The fitness industry personally is a tornado of misinformation because it’s predicated on trying to sell something. To be completely honest, health is free if you do the right things. The right foods cost money but generally speaking, you have to eat food anyway so you can be strategic.
I’m not trying to sell anyone anything other than their own health and well-being. These sleep, hydration, nutrition, training, and mobility, you can’t sell those. Those take time, investment and energy. They are not sexy. They are boring. The industry doesn’t talk about them because they are too boring but those are the fundamentals that make the big difference. I recommend to my clients that they get at least seven hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep. It’s not the amount of time you spend in bed. It’s the amount of time you spend in REM. I’m a big fan of earplugs, making sure you are not interrupted constantly throughout the night. New mothers would tell you, “I can spend ten hours in bed but if I’m woken up by the baby throughout the night, you are still exhausted when you wake up.” It’s all about REM.
Here’s the interesting thing about sleep. We have a lymphatic system in our body, where if I were to jump up and down, it would flush out the junk of my cells. It’s like the sewage system of the body. The problem is the brain doesn’t have that. We are having an intellectually stimulating conversation that takes focus. Our brain cells are creating plaque, gunk and waste. The only time that gunk gets washed out is when we sleep because when you are in REM, your cerebral fluid flushes that stuff out. What they are finding in all the Neuroscience is that people with Alzheimer’s have histories of poor sleep. If you want to be long and healthy, sleep is so fundamental. It’s critical. Get quality, uninterrupted sleep.
When you talk about sleep, for me, I listen to a delta wave when I go to sleep.
Any tactics that I do personally are earplugs and face masks. Make sure that there’s no light before bed. Start winding down an hour before bed. If you can, try to turn your devices off. A lot of people have heard this before but few people do it. The other thing too, I listen to books before bed but a specific book. Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning is a soothing voice to me. I put a timer on it so that it shuts off at fifteen minutes. People who have the TV on in the background, are priming your subconscious with the wrong stuff. Remember that your subconscious is going to chew on whatever you gave it right before bed, which is critical. I also think journaling practice is huge and also hard copy books. Let’s be honest. When we are reading a hard copy book, how easy is it to doze off? Pick a boring one. Hard copy books are the cheat code to go to sleep quickly.
Also, you bring up a great point when you talk about journaling before you go to bed because I’m a firm believer in that as well. I speak to it from the sense of, “What do most people do when they go to sleep?” If they are not doing that, they are thinking about either what went wrong during the day or what they are going to have to deal with tomorrow that they are dreading. If we can, at the end of the day, write down what went well during the day, it forces you. I believe in that restorative aspect of it. “I’m going to go to sleep with a positive sense as opposed to dread. I have to believe that has some impact on my restorative sleep.”
If you have ever read a book called The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton, he talks about how the subconscious mind is 40,000 times more powerful than the conscious mind. In my speeches, I use an analogy. Imagine a 4K TV. One of those pixels is your conscious mind. The other 3,999 pixels are your subconscious mind. Technically, you would have to 10X that. The one pixel that is your conscious mind is the general. That’s steering the ship. The problem is you have to prime your conscious mind. You have to use your conscious mind to cry on your subconscious before sleep. For example, I asked myself four questions. Number one, “What did I learn now?” Number two, “What am I going to do differently based on that?” Number three, “What am I most grateful for about now?” Number four, “What are my top three strategic focuses for tomorrow?”
Do I do that every single night? Sometimes I miss it. The compound effect of that over time will change your life so much. I also do a gratitude game with my lady where we never miss. We always say at least three things we are grateful for about each other and we read them to each other. If we are together, we read them live from our notes app. If we are not together, we voice memos. She loves to hear my voice before bed and vice versa. That’s another wonderful soothing thing. Here’s the cool thing. For anyone willing to do that with their intimate partner, it’s going to give you the cheat codes of what she values so that you can do them more and vice versa. It’s the best thing. We haven’t missed since we met, which, believe it or not, wasn’t all that long ago. We never plan on missing. We will not miss it.
Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools in the human condition, especially before bed. I will get a new client and they will say, “Don’t worry about hydration. I drink a lot of water.” I will say, “What does that mean in terms of numbers?” We can tell ourselves a story but numbers never lie. I remember one time I had a client and I will keep it anonymous. She was very obese and struggling. I have nothing but compassion for someone who has let themselves go physically because I have been there as well. She said, “Don’t worry. I drink a lot of water.” I said, “How much, though?” I’m a numbers guy. I have this all graphed. Every one of my clients has a full spreadsheet.Health is free if you do the right things. Click To Tweet
She said, “Thirty-two ounces.” In my mind, I went, “This person is 270 pounds and they are getting 32 ounces a day. They believe that that’s enough, which is not even close.” What I recommend to my clients is 0.6 ounces per pound of body weight. I’m 190 pounds. That’s about 110-ish. For me, I usually get about a gallon a day. The point is you want to be drinking water consistently. I tell my clients, “You will never catch me without water on my person.” I have my water right over there. It’s always within arm’s length.
I took your number down here. I’m not there and I know that’s something that I need to pick up on. I have never heard the 0.6 ounces.
I like to pride myself on understanding why people do what they do and don’t do what they say they are going to do. What’s the bottleneck? This is a common pattern. It’s because I’m a fitness coach, I start to notice these patterns. Everyone gets sick of having to pee all the time.
For me, it’s more a habit of not having my water bottle with me at all times.
That will do it because that’s the trigger when you see your water.
When I’m working out, I’m drinking the whole time I’m there constantly but it’s in certain spaces that I don’t have that water bottle with me and I need it.
I tell my clients, “Don’t let me catch you without your water.” Even at nice dinners, I’m going to bring my water bottle. I always have it with me.
You had it at the night we were at dinner, I remember.
Here’s the thing, too. Some people will say, “I’m getting 8 ounces a day.” “Are you drinking 64 of them during your workout?” It’s not just about the number. It’s about consistency throughout the day. You can’t take 1 hour out of 16 hours you are awake and drink half of your day with water.
That’s like watering plants that you only water them on Monday but you can’t spread the water.
It’s like, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away but what if I eat seven on Sunday? Does that work?” No, that’s not how the universe is set up. Trust me. I’m a Math guy. It’s all about logarithmic differential equations. Nothing is linear. Third, we’ve got nutrition. This is a big pillar. To me, what I rate my clients are is simple. Are you hitting your daily caloric intake that we have set in advance? Are you keeping your plate colorful in terms of micronutrients? The biggest bottleneck I see under this pillar is people are way too focused on what they are eating and not focused enough on how much. If I were to ask you openly, just transparency, do you know how many calories a day you get?
A lot of people are afraid of the scale and mirror. Whenever I get a client, I always notice they have an aversion to the scale, calories and mirror. I know why. It’s because when human beings don’t feel like they are in control of their own outcomes, it causes emotional pain and they avoid it. If you are not good at finances, then chances are you are avoiding spending money. You are scared to spend money. You are avoiding your bills when they come in and that interest rate. The problem is if you keep avoiding the feedback, you are not going to learn how to master it. What I tell people is, “I can get that scale within reason to say any number you want. Give me enough time.” That’s why I have spreadsheets for every client.
To add value to your readers, in the fitness arena, if you feel like you are not in control of your own body and physique, it’s because of this primarily. If you are in a caloric surplus, which means that you eat more than you burn on a given day, you will gain weight no matter what you eat. If you are in a caloric deficit, which means that you eat less than you burn on a given day, you will lose weight no matter what you eat. I go in phases. My clients are either building muscle or burning fat. Never both. Most people are trying to do both simultaneously. Chase two rabbits. You will catch neither. Most of them are in a muscle-building phase. Why? It’s because it’s winter and they want to prepare for next summer. I make sure they are eating at least 300 calories more than their body burns in a given day and their weight training so that most of that is muscle.We can tell ourselves a story, but numbers never lie. Click To Tweet
Here’s another bottleneck in fitness. You cannot gain muscle without also gaining some fat. You cannot burn fat without also burning some muscle. The key is to maximize muscle gain and minimize fat gain and then to maximize fat burn and minimize muscle loss. I know that this is a lot. If you are out there now and you want to get serious about fitness, the only wrong answer is to not educate yourself. The whole industry is trying to give you a fish. I want to teach you how to fish. I tell my clients right up front, “When you work with me, my goal is to teach you why everything is the way it is so now you can make your own educated decision.”
I have one client. He’s a C-Suite executive, multi-millionaire and sold a company in the billions. He told me, “Alan, red wine doesn’t have a lot of calories.” I immediately sent him a screenshot of WolframAlpha of 9 ounces of red wine, 212 calories. I will keep the name anonymous. We will call him John. “John, who told you that crap?” We don’t make bad decisions. We have bad assumptions because we have low awareness. He is a CEO of a multinational tech company. He has been going into all of his decisions of what he is doing based on a false assumption. “Red wine has fewer calories. Therefore, I drink white wine.” How much progress has he left on the table because of that one misbelief? That’s the thing.
My goal with my clients and all of your readers isn’t to work with me. It’s to raise your awareness. Your success will come down to your ability to make intelligent decisions consistently but you can only make intelligent decisions predicated on your awareness of what an intelligent decision is. We had a man by the name of Micheal Burt on the show. His name is Coach Burt. He’s a world-class speaker and an unbelievably prolific person. He said, “Alan, success comes down to good decisions but your decisions are predicated on your understandings. You are not bad at fitness. You just have low awareness in this arena.”
What you can do is get around someone who has high awareness and let their awareness rub off on you so now you can eventually make intelligent decisions yourself like in finance. In investment, how do you go invest in the right assets when you know nothing about personal finance? To me, raising your awareness is everything. That’s what I’m trying to do for all your readers. Before I go down another rabbit hole, that’s the nutrition pillar. Focus more on how much you are eating, not as much on what you are eating. If I were to ask you how many calories are in a banana, would you know?
It’s 120. I’m speaking on natural health and fitness on January 25th, 2021. I speak on natural health and fitness a lot. What’s cool is I pick the in-shape people in the room and I don’t tell them that I’m going to call on them because I want everyone else in the room to realize they look like that for a reason. It’s not because they’ve got lucky. I did this and said, “Matt.” He’s the most in-shape in the room. I picked him and said, “Stand up. How many calories are in a banana?” “120.” “How many calories in an apple?” “90.” “How many calories in a piece of bread?” He was like, “What kind of bread?” I said, “He looks like that because his awareness is higher than yours.”
I said this, “What’s your current weight?” He told me, “Two hundred fifteen and seven.” “What’s your goal weight?” He said, “Two hundred twelve.” It’s awesome because I tell the audience, “I didn’t know. I didn’t ask him ahead of time. I just knew he knew his weight because you wouldn’t look like that otherwise.” Life is a numbers game. How did I know he would know his exact weight? What you measure improves. That’s what I love. If you want to improve in a given arena, the first step is to raise your awareness in that arena. We have all heard of Pareto’s Principle, 20% of your inputs are responsible for 80% of your results. If you don’t know what that 20% is, you are going to be spinning your wheels. You are not going to have a system and going to struggle.
Next is training. This is a big one. I remember I was at a Brendon Burchard event. To this day, the person who spoke on fitness is a close friend of mine now, which is so cool. It was called High Performance Academy. Physiology was one of the topics. He had us do a breakout session where we’ve got into groups and Brendon asked us a question after the fitness speaker went up, who is now a dear friend of mine, Anthony Trucks. He’s a great guy. Brendon asked, “I want you to write down the top three health decisions you have ever made and share them with your group.” I went through my whole group. They all told me theirs. I said, “Honestly, guys, weight training three times.”
What bothered me is you didn’t talk about weight training once in your whole hour-long presentation. Weight training is the most important part of fitness, hands down, bar none, especially if you want to look aesthetic. Most people don’t admit that they want to look well but I have heard a lot of the studies about how the number one form of shame for women in this country, in particular, is body image. For men, the number one form of shame is lack of success or competence. These are generalizations. These are just studies that are done.
The point is that if you don’t admit to yourself that you want to look better, feel better or be better, then chances are you are going to keep avoiding feedback. You are never going to master that arena and feel in control of your own body and life. Before I get too morbid, the point is this. This still bothers me. When I go into a gym, the cardio machines are all taken and then you go over to the weights and it’s empty. It depends on the gym but generally speaking, most people focus on cardio. I think that’s a huge mistake. Why? The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn in a day, even at a resting rate. Therefore, your metabolism will be better and the negative effects of overeating won’t be as drastic.
I saw a short video of a guy that was saying what you were saying. It was like, “If you want to get in shape, left. Use weights. Don’t do cardio. I can do far better just lifting weights and burning more than you can do in cardio.” It’s counterintuitive because you are thinking, “I’m both. I’m a runner and I will lift weights.” If I were to choose the two thinking, “Which is going to burn more?” I would be thinking, “I need to go out and run again.”
I’m so glad that you said that. Thank you for that. That’s full transparency. Let me break this down for your readers because this will be quick. Let’s say there are two versions of you. One of them runs and one of them weight-trains. Tomorrow, you are going to weight train or run for one hour. Let’s say, hypothetically, you burn 500 calories in both instances. One of them is an investment and the other one is a savings account. One of them is the stock market that will grow. One of them is a savings account where it stays the same. Here’s why. Let’s say you burnt 500 calories and you lose weight doing cardio, person A. Person B loses weight doing weight training. One of them is going to retain more muscle. What does that mean? The retention of muscle is a long-term investment in burning more calories ultimately. If you and I go on a run together, the same distance at the same rate, I’m going to burn way more calories than you. Do you know why?
You have more muscle.Success comes down to good decisions, but your decisions are predicated on your understandings. Click To Tweet
When you build or retain muscle, it is a long-term investment, whereas cardio is a short-term calorie burst. If you switch those and get good cardio workouts in while weight training, you are merging the worlds and you are going to be unstoppable. You saw me eat at the dinner. People see me eat now and they think, “How has he stayed in shape? He must be genetically gifted.” No, you should see me years ago. The point is I have more muscle mass. Every action I take has a compounded effect of calories burnt. You have to find someone who understands where you are at because they have been there and learn from them because they have to give you the cheat codes of you at that level. If you try to eat like I’m eating, you are screwed. If I eat like I’m eating years ago, I would be fat instead of fit. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to anything. It’s all customizable based on principles. You have to understand the principles.
Mobility is staying pliable. I will give you the short version of this. You have joints, ligaments and tendons that when you weight train, take too much of the load when you become less pliable. All of us are aging. We all have a calendar age and biological age. I look young. My biological age is far lower than my calendar age. I turned 31, I looked 12. I hit puberty late. I’m still hoping to hit puberty soon. The point is that when you age, your muscles naturally become less pliable. Here’s the problem. When you weight train and get stronger, your muscles also naturally get less pliable. This is why I’m trying to bring yoga and foam rolling to bodybuilders because as you get stronger, your muscles become less pliable.
I will give you an example. If you have ever read Tom Brady’s book, The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance, he’s big on pliability because he’s still the best quarterback arguably. Why? It’s because he spends most of his time focused on pliability so that when he gets hit, it’s much less likely to injure him because everything is loose. This is my biggest issue too because when I’m not doing my mobility work, I’m much more likely to get injured, especially because I’m lifting such heavyweights. What are some practical tips for people for mobility? Every single day, when I first wake up, I jump on the foam roller. I do my morning mindset workout and then I do my posture work. I have these bands that I will use and stretch. I will try to do all of my stretches. Usually, it takes me about fifteen minutes. I will focus primarily on my foam rolling on the muscle group that I either trained yesterday or I’m going to train that day.
To jump back to the training pillar, if you are going to start weight training, start small, put the ego away, don’t let anyone laugh at you, and form first. The fundamentals consistently done over time are everything. Michael Jordan practiced the chest pass when he was still the best basketball player in the world because the fundamentals are what matter most. I taught all five. Other than oxygen, breathing is the whole game of your health. If you take care of this body, imagine how productive you are going to be for the rest of your life. Imagine waking up every single day, feeling good physically, you are going to have more belief in yourself, more capability, more self-esteem, take bigger chances, and your whole life is going to snowball in a positive direction. Fitness saved my life because I remember when I was not taking my health and fitness seriously, I was very unhappy. Now, I like to bring that to people.
Alan, this has been such a good conversation, especially on those five pillars. I have learned a couple of areas that have the potential to be game-changers.
Thank you for having me on. I hope that your readers took a lot out of it. If you have any questions or need anything, be sure to reach out. Honestly, you and I hit it off. I want to help you in any way I can, Patrick.
With that said, what’s the best way to get in touch with you?
I’m on all of the Big Six, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat. The best way to get in touch with me is Instagram, which is going to be @Alazaros88. If you type in Alan Lazaros, I will come right up. Thank you so much.
It has been awesome.
Alan had so much energy in this show. It was great to know his five pillars of health. I learned a lot in regards to muscle and burning fat, as well as the amount of water that I need to be drinking. As we start a new year, we all have goals about getting in shape and this is one of those episodes that can help you do that. If you know somebody that might find this interesting, forward it to them. If you haven’t already subscribed, please go ahead and subscribe to the show. It would mean the world to me if you would leave a rating or comment because that’s how the message continues to spread. It has been awesome to know the feedback from people from all over the world that read this. It blows my mind. Until our next episode, I hope you can go out there and not only lead like no other but rise above your best.
- The Hyper Conscious Podcast
- The Top Five Regrets of the Dying
- Bronnie Ware – Past Episode The Hyper Conscious Podcast
- Why We Do What We Do – TED Talk
- Steve Jobs – Stanford address
- Man’s Search for Meaning
- The Biology of Belief
- Micheal Burt – Past Episode The Hyper Conscious Podcast
- High Performance Academy
- The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance
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About Alan Lazaros
Alan is one of the Founders & Hosts of the Next Level University, a Global Top 100 Self-Improvement podcast with more than 700 episodes reaching over half a million people in more than 100 countries on how to improve your life, love, health & wealth.
Alan is a Business Consultant specializing in helping Business Owners & Executives maximize their growth, impact & profitability.
Alan believes in a heart-driven but NO BS approach to inspiring, motivating & educating others on what it REALLY takes to get to the Next Level!