Feb 2, 2021

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Scot: It's "Who Cares About Men's Health?" We want you to think about your health as a currency that enables you to do all the things that you want to do in your life. And that's what this podcast is about, giving you information and inspiration to better understand and engage in your health so you feel better today, and it is a huge investment in the future. My name is Scot Singpiel. I'm the manager of the scoperadio.com, and I care about men's health.

Troy: And I'm Dr. Troy Madsen. I'm an emergency physician at the University of Utah, and I care about men's health.

Rashago: This is Rashago Kemp. I'm a natural bodybuilder, and I compete in the NPC, and I care about men's health.

Scot: Rashago, great to have you on the show. Thank you so much.

Troy: I've wanted to have Rashago on our show for over a year now. So I'm so excited he's on here. This is great. We were talking, you know, it's been over a year, we were talking about this. So this is really cool.

Rashago: I've been holding my breath for over a year and I'm really glad to exhale.

Troy: It's a good thing you have not breathed in because there's been a lot of bad stuff to breathe in this year, Rashago.

Rashago: Yeah. This is true. This is true. It's what's kept me healthy.

Troy: It's a good strategy.

Scot: So, today, we wanted to talk to Rashago about what it's like to be a bodybuilder. You know, what it takes to be competition ready, the time involved, eating, the training. And then also about your philosophy on wellness, etc. And then Dr. Madsen, or Troy, was telling me that you're actually working with a friend of yours now that, you know, has a few extra pounds they're trying to lose. They're trying to pay more attention to their health. So how could that translate to just us regular guys? Because what you do, you know, we look at you and I think we realize the time and work that goes into it, but I don't think we realize the time and work that goes into it, so.

Rashago: Yeah. You know what? You know what, it's both harder and easier than you probably think it is. And so, so I lead into it that way. Kind of depending on where you are, it's harder and easier. And you know, when you're stupid and you don't know what you're doing, it's really hard than when you know what you're doing. And I've been there. I've been there. I started stupid. I started really, really stupid.

Troy: So, Rashago, you're saying it would be really hard for me and Scot. That's kind of what you're saying.

Rashago: No. No, no. You guys are smart guys. You guys are smart guys. So once you figure out the basics, it's not . . . it's simple. It's still challenging, but it's simple.

Troy: Yeah. So I'm curious, Rashago, just tell us about what you do. I mean, in terms of competition-wise, what kind of competitions do you do and, you know, how'd you get involved in that?

Rashago: Yeah. So I've been involved with two different competition leagues here in Utah. I started off in the NGA, which is a tested bodybuilding league. That is, they actually test you. You're subject to polygraph tests and to urine and blood tests. And I started off that way because I'm a natural athlete and I wanted to compete against other natural athletes. I didn't want to go . . .

Troy: And when you say natural athlete, what do you mean by that? Like, somebody who's like, "Oh, I'm naturally gifted," you know? But yeah, and I think there's a different meaning there. What does that mean?

Rashago: There is. So, in bodybuilding, when we say we're a natural athlete, it means that we're not using any type of steroids. We're not taking testosterone. We're not taking anything that you can't get across the counter. So if you can buy it at GNC, you know, I've probably taken it. But if I need a prescription for it or if I need to go across the border, I haven't taken any of those things.

Troy: Interesting.

Rashago: So the first league I got into was all natural. The second league I got into, which is the NPC, which is a more popular league. It's also the amateur league that leads up to the pros, the guys that are in the Mr. Olympia, kind of what Arnold Schwarzenegger used to do. But I got into that league because it's just a bigger league. I remained a natural athlete. They don't test in that league. So I do compete against people that are untested.

So you never like to point the finger at other people and say they're using but, you know, the odds are I've probably competed against people that have used steroids or other substances. But it's something that's been a challenge for me because I was an athlete as a kid, coming out of high school and going into college. And this was just kind of a way for me to scratch that competitive itch.

Troy: Interesting. And so these competitions, then, you know, you're, it's obviously, I think you explained it to me, like, they're looking at your physique. Like, you're up there, they're checking out your physique, and you're rated by judges based on your physique. Maybe tell us a little bit more about that and how you're judged in within a fitness competition.

Rashago: So within bodybuilding, and specifically men's bodybuilding, there's kind of three categories. The three categories. The first category is what we call physique. This is what the normal person would kind of view as the, you know, the beach hero. You're actually posing in board shorts. And so this category is based on a kind of a board short ideal beach body look. The extreme opposite of that is bodybuilding. This is what Arnold Schwarzenegger used to do or Ronnie Coleman. These are the biggest, most conditioned individuals you can be.

I compete somewhere in the middle. I compete in what's called classic physique, which is bodybuilding, but it has caps on the height and weight. So you can't get too big for this category. And so it really focuses on muscularity, but not too muscular. They don't want us to look like freaks up there. They want us to look real. They want us to look like kind of the Greek God look. You know, the Hercules, the Zeus', that style of look. And all three of these categories, they judge you in three different ways.

They judge you based on your muscular development, they judge you based on your conditioning, so how lean you are, and they judge you based on your balance or symmetry. So how balanced are you? I mean, we've all seen those guys that have those huge, bulky upper bodies but then they've got chicken legs. Those guys don't . . . they can't fly in these types of competitions. You have to have a balanced look. And then kind of the fourth element, which is unofficially judged, is how you present yourself. And so it's kind of a dance. It's kind of a men's beauty pageant per se.

Troy: Do they have questions for you too?

Rashago: They don't. They don't. They don't. Yeah, peace. I really want world peace. That's what I always say. No, no. It's just, it's all about how you look and how you present yourself.

Troy: Wow. This is a whole different world for me. You know, like, again, it's something I've never been exposed to, never been a part of. And you know, I think for those of us who are listening to this, we imagine that you're probably just a single guy who just works out a ton, but I know that's not the case. Like, tell us a little bit more about . . . I know that's . . . Yeah, I know, you [inaudible 00:06:17]

Rashago: That's how I started. That's definitely how I started. And a lot of people think that, you know, bodybuilding's a single man sport, right? And in a lot of ways, it is, because it's a pretty selfish sport. Because not only are you in the gym, you know, two or three hours a day, but you're also having to watch everything you put in your mouth. You're having to make sure you have the appropriate amount of sleep. And so it doesn't really sound like a recipe for a family man.

Troy: Yeah.

Rashago: But I actually got into . . . so about five years ago. So after I got married, bodybuilding stopped. And I had started having kids and was the family man. I mean, I kind of figured bodybuilding was behind me. But I kept working out because it was just, I care about my health, I care about presenting myself well. And so I kept working out. I kept working out. And then I had a, you mentioned a friend, I've helped several friends, or I had several bodybuilding partners, but I had a friend who called me up with the opposite problem.

He wasn't overweight. He was underweight. He called me up and he said, "Hey, Rashago. I know you're into this whole fitness thing." He said, "I'm sick of my wife weighing more than I do." And he's like . . . So he's like, "I need to put the pounds on. I need to be the man." And so he traded stocks all day long, and he was just what he called skat, skinny fat. And so I said, "You know what, man, just come work out with me. And so, and I'll train you. I'll show you what you need to do." So he came out and worked out with me.

And having a partner, even though I was training every day, really pushed me because I was in a teaching moment. And so I had to be my best as a teacher to teach him to do what he wanted to do. And so, as a result, he ended up putting on 30 pounds of muscle and lost fat, just drastically changed his physique. And I put on muscle as well. And I leaned up. And he challenged me right back, because he was really progressive.

He says, "If I'm going to go after my personal goals, I think you should go back on stage." Because he had been to my original bodybuilding show before I got married. He knew me before then. And I said, "You know what, why don't I?" And so I committed to jump on stage. And I got back and I competed for the first time while I was married. And it was a challenge juggling the kids and juggling the wife and juggling a career, but it was really fun. It was the challenge that I could put all of my energy into.

My wife was awesome. She supported me. And I got up on stage and I did well. I got second, I believe. The first time I competed in eight years, I got second in my class. and it was a blast. And so I said, you know what, I think I'm going to kind of make this a part of my adult life after this.

Scot: Is that when you got smarter, is when you found yourself . . . when you didn't have all that time in the world, you had to go, "Wow, how do I make this sustainable?" Is that when that happened?

Rashago: Yes, you have to. Because you know, as a young man, you know, I would go to the gym three hours a day, sometimes more. And I was also stupid in regards to nutrition. When I first got into nutrition, I just figured, eat less. And one of the things that our society likes to tout is fat is bad. And so I just eliminated all foods that had fat and I had just protein and some carbohydrates. And I remember that first competition I did, you know, I was so amazingly depleted. I came in, I . . . You know, I normally walk around at 190. The first competition I did, I came in at 160.

I was ripped. I was completely ripped. I was . . . You couldn't pinch an ounce of fat all over my body, but I felt terrible. My energy levels were completely gone. And I remember, after I finished that first competition, I actually did it with my little brother, he was a teenager at the time. Because I didn't know anything about nutrition and all I did was restrict calories. And I was doing things like two and three hours of cardio on top of two or three hours of lifting. And it was just nuts. And so, that following week after my competition, I put on 30 pounds in 7 days.

Troy: In a week.

Rashago: In a week. 30 pounds.

Troy: That's insane.

Rashago: And so I went from being completely ripped and as lean as I've ever been to looking like the Pillsbury Doughboy. In one week.

Troy: Wow.

Rashago: Like, I literally had to fog up mirror in my bathroom so I didn't see myself naked when I took a shower because it was that drastic of a difference.

Troy: Wow.

Scot: Well, I mean, that's what the tears in your eyes did, right?

Troy: That's insane. So what's that process like then, now that you have gotten smarter about preparing and preparing for a competition? What is that process like of actually getting ready for a competition, you know, in terms of your workout routine and just the diet and all those aspects of it?

Rashago: Yeah. So most experienced bodybuilders, they'll kind of have what we refer to as an off-season and an on-season. And so, and there's kind of two ways you can do your off-season. And I've done both ways.

One of those ways is to do what's called a dirty gain. That is where you eat whatever you want, you stop doing cardio, and you lift heavy weights. And the idea here is you're trying to put on as much muscle as possible. And this is not super demanding because you just need to eat and get a good lift in. And that takes, you know, an hour and a half, two hours tops at the gym and you just eat fairly normal, except you're eating a lot. That's pretty sustainable.

The second thing is kind of doing a clean bulk. And I tend to go for a clean bulk, where you still do some cardio, you keep your cardiovascular, and usually, it's around 20 minutes for me, and you're eating more than your body needs, but you're not trying to get fat. So you're aiming to put on maybe five, six, seven pounds of muscle over a course of, you know, three to six months. And you're still eating healthy.

So I focus on macronutrients. So I focus on getting the proper amount of protein, the proper amount of carbohydrates, and the proper amount of carbs, I mean, of fats. And I go almost, I go a 40/30/30 split. So 40% protein, 30% carbs, 30% fat. And so . . .

Scot: That's kind of a Zone diet split, isn't it?

Rashago: Yeah. Yeah.

Scot: Yeah.

Rashago: And so it's a popular macronutrient, but it keeps you balanced. And it's hard to eat garbage that way. I mean, because you have to get so much protein in. And you can't have too much carbohydrates as it forces you to eat, you know, I do a lot of lean meats, I do potatoes, you know, some rice, vegetables, fruits. It's a nice balance. I prefer . . . And I also prefer to eat paleo style, which is unprocessed foods. And so, typically, I'm paleo-ish. So I'm about 80% paleo with about 20% of wiggle room with some things that I like.

Scot: That's interesting. That 40/30/30 split is something that I've done for a lot of my life. And you're absolutely right, because it is fairly limited in carbohydrates. So you do have to watch your carb intake, especially those refined sugars and whatnot. But then, also, you're taking in your fat. So, like you said, before, you weren't doing fat. Now, you are. Explain what you learned about fat in your diet as far as how it impacts your body.

Rashago: So, you know, for me, fats are huge for my psyche. You know, one is just satiety because eating proteins and carbs alone, your body doesn't get full. And so I was always in this state of hunger. And so, throwing the fats in created this satiety where I could eat reduced amounts of calories and I still felt good. And fat is really important for a lot of your organs, as I'm sure both of you know. And so, and I didn't understand this.

And also, making sure I'm getting in my fruits and my vegetables, getting my micronutrients. That's what kind of caused me to be so crazy after my first competition, is I depleted my micronutrients into where my body just wanted food because I'd starved myself of things that I needed. And so it was kind of understanding that balance, you know, of proper amounts of fats, proteins, with carbs. And then making sure I'm getting whole food sources that are nutritious, that gives my body the nourishment that it needs. And so . . .

Scot: And when you're talking fats, you're talking, like, nuts and seeds?

Rashago: Yeah.

Scot: Or what kind of fats do you consume?

Rashago: So I'll do nut, seeds. I do eggs. I'll do avocado oils, you know, when I need an oil base. But those are typically, or even just avocados. I do a lot of avocados. I do a lot of omelets with avocados and eggs. I mostly go paleo every once in a while, put in a little bit of cheese, even though I like to stay away from dairy for the most part. But from time to time, I'll put some cheese in. I'll get some fats from those.

Scot: And to be clear, you can get lean eating fat. Because I think, like you said, initially . . .

Rashago: Yes. Absolutely.

Scot: . . . the kind of the logical thought is, "Well, if I want to get lean, I can't eat fat."

Rashago: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. And I'll stay to that macro split for almost the entire time, whether I'm bulking or whether I'm trying to cut or go into season. I mentioned before, there's an off-season. Now, when you go to an on-season, what we refer to as a prep, we're doing a lot of the same things that we did before, but we're doing some key changes. And one of those key changes is just a reduction in calories and an increase in workload.

So things like cardiovascular work, you know, running, elliptical, stair stepper, things like that. And we're doing evaluations, you know. In the beginning, every two to three weeks. And as you get towards the end, about every week. And a prep, for most people, is about 15 to 16 weeks of prep. That is, we're trying to reduce the amount of body fat on the body as much as possible in that time frame.

Troy: And where do you get on your body fat? Like, once you're competition ready, where's your body fat percent?

Rashago: So, for me . . . It can be different for everybody builder. For me, it's usually around 5%.

Troy: Five percent.

Rashago: Yeah. And when I start a comp, it's usually about 13%, 14%. And so, if you're looking at someone to get down to around 5%, you need to have kind of a manageable starting point. Because I helped a friend, as I mentioned before, that lost over 70 pounds and he did a competition as well. But his prep, because he is 70 pounds behind, his competition was in October and he started training with me in January. He basically started prepping in, like, March. And so his prep was much longer than my prep. My prep starts usually in, you know, for an October show, July, August is where I'm kind of starting my prep.

Troy: And what does it do to you, to have a body fat percent that low, just physically? I mean, is it? Do you think it . . . Is it sustainable? Is this something we should aim for? Or how do you feel when you get down to that?

Rashago: So I found that there's certain . . . My body can maintain itself. When I say maintain itself, I can have good energy. You know, I function sexually, and I work, as an individual, until around 8% body fat. So when I get to 8%, things start to change.

Troy: Everything really shuts down.

Rashago: Yeah. So from 8% to 5%, my energy starts to go down. You know, my wife doesn't know who I am anymore. I have no libido whatsoever. And I'm just, everything's lethargic. I kind of look like that California surfer dude. I'm like, "Hey, what's up, dude? Yo. Hey, that cheeseburger looks really good, man." And so it's a complete change in that time frame. And the body starts to look different too. So there's this kind of there's this wizardry that happens in bodybuilding. So, typically, when you start a prep, again, you're reducing your calories.

You know, let's say it's a 16-week prep, and we'll split this into fours. So that first four weeks, you know, we're just cleaning up our diet, increasing our cardiovascular. And we'll typically lose weight pretty quickly because our body's not used to us restricting things. And then we'll go from that second four weeks. It gets a little bit harder and you start paying attention to your diet a little bit more. You might do a little bit more cardio or you might reduce your calorie intake a little bit more. To give you an idea, I start off at about 2,400 calories a day in the beginning. 20 minutes of cardio, 2,400 calories.

Troy: I'm surprised it's that low. Wow.

Rashago: Yeah. My body doesn't have a really fast metabolism.

Troy: Okay.

Rashago: And so, in the off-season, I'll typically be at about 3,000 calories. And so I'll reduce it from 3,000 to 2,400. I'll stay there for about a month. And then the next month, I'll reduce it to around 2,300 to 2,400 calories. Not much. But I may increase my cardio from 20 minutes a day to 30 minutes a day. And then once I'm about 8 to 10 weeks out and, you know, I'm really evaluating myself. In fact, this last show, I hired a coach and I send in weekly progress pictures and updates to him.

And he basically, he knows I'm experienced, so he'll let me do what I need to do. And if I hit a roadblock, he'll help me out. But for this last competition, so I was making really good progress. When I hit around six weeks, and that's about the time I hit about that 8% body fat percentage, things start to become harder. The body's like, "Hey, I want to hold on to this. You're getting . . . This is getting uncomfortable."

And so, at around six to eight weeks, I drop down to around 2,000 calories a day and I bump up my cardio to more like 40, 45 minutes, maybe 50 minutes. And I'll do that week over week. And by the time I hit two to three weeks out from the competition is where it really gets challenging. I got down as low as 1,700 calories with as high as 70 minutes of cardio, in addition to an hour and a half lift.

Troy: Wow.

Rashago: But in this stage, you feel really, really crappy. And then that last week is the only time I play with my macros. So that last week, we start to cut back the carbohydrates pretty significantly. So I'll be under in between 30 and 50 grams of carbohydrates. So not quite ketosis, but really, really low. And when you do this, your body starts to look like garbage, which is funny, because you're pulling out all of the glycogen from the muscle tissue and it leaves you looking really flat. So you might be really, really lean, but you don't look good. You look kind of like a cancer patient.

Troy: Wow.

Rashago: And the idea . . . and then another key thing that a lot of experienced bodybuilders will do is they'll play with their sodium levels. And so they'll pay attention to their sodium levels. So, usually, within about two to three days of the competition, you'll start to reintroduce carbohydrates back into the system. You know, like, competitions are always on Saturdays. So, on Thursday, you'll do maybe 150 grams of carbohydrates. And then, Friday, you'll do carbohydrates pretty consistently throughout the day. And you might do as much as 200 to 300.

And then the morning of, you'll do considerably more. And in that time frame, your body completely changes. You do what we call, you fill out, or you pop. All that glycogen rushes back into your muscles, but you maintain your body fat percentage. And it really gives you a different look than you would normally have. And it's not a look that can be sustained at all. You can hold this look for two or three days max before your body will start to regulate again. But it's kind of interesting. So it's a lot of the same principles until the last week. In that last week, a lot of things change.

Troy: That's fascinating. I mean, I think part of my takeaway from this, too, is, you know, in terms of body image, like you said, this is like the ideal body image you're going for, like, these, you know, these sculptures, like, the Greek God. And the effort that goes into that and the things you have to do to achieve that, like you said, it's not sustainable, but it's pretty remarkable.

Just, you know, it's essentially like your body is, like, this lab for, you know, various, you know, as you mentioned, changes in your carbohydrate intake, just to see what that does to you. And it sounds fascinating, just the transition your body goes through just over the course of that week prior to competition.

Scot: And even beyond that, like, not being sustainable, from what I'm getting from Rashago is, I mean, you've got to time that thing. Like, so when you step on stage, I mean, it's only sustainable, it sounds like, for a day, you know, after you start putting those carbohydrates back in your diet.

Rashago: Yeah. So it's called peaking. You've got to peak right. And it's actually one of the most challenging things in bodybuilding because bodybuilders will often peak late. So that is they'll come into the show looking gaunt and lanky and depleted and then the next day they'll look awesome. But it's too late. It's too late.

Troy: Yeah. They're like, "Guys, come back. I'm ready now."

Rashago: Yeah. I know. Exactly.

Troy: I'm ready, guys.

Rashago: Yeah. So. And some people will miss it and they'll peak too early. So they'll look great the day before the show and then they'll start to flatten out and water out, where they look all kind of puffy and not really conditioned the day of the show. And so that was the real motivation for me in hiring a coach is to make sure I peaked correctly. And really, the value of a coach has almost always had in that last one to two weeks.

Troy: Wow.

Scot: Classic scene from "Pumping Iron." Was that the Arnold Schwarzenegger documentary?

Rashago: Yes. Yes.

Scot: Is that what it's called?

Rashago: Yes. Yeah.

Scot: Classic scene. Troy, I don't know, have you seen "Pumping Iron" with Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Troy: I've never seen it. I've got to watch it now.

Rashago: Oh, it's a classic.

Troy: I'm fascinated by this. Yeah.

Scot: There's a classic scene about peaking where Arnold Schwarzenegger is playing head games with Lou Ferrigno. "Oh, you know, if you would have come here a day earlier, you would have been perfect, you know? But you know, you peaked too early." And his parents, Lou Ferrigno's parents are sitting there and Arnold is trash talking his peak right in front of his parents. Like, I don't know if it's the morning of or the day before the competition. It's just like, wow, that's harsh.

Rashago: Yeah. I think it was the day before the competition. I totally remember.

Troy: You know, obviously, this is, again, fascinating to me. It is something I can't imagine ever being able to do, but it's fascinating, just that process you go through. But you, again, you talked about a friend you ran across who you said had put on a lot of weight, who, you know, said, "Hey, I want to get fit." And another friend who you mentioned who is just, as you described, skinny fat. How do you translate this to the average guy out there who's listening and says, "Hey, I just, I want to get in shape?" Like, where do you start with someone like that? How do you get them motivated? And where do you go with that?

Rashago: So I always tell anyone I ever work with, and it's true for all bodybuilders, is you've got to get really clear on what you want. A lot of people will go to the gym with this generalized, you know, "I'm going to start working out. I'm going to start working out." And they go to the gym and they kind of meander around, lift some weights, you know, get on a treadmill. They don't have a real plan and they don't really know what they're doing. And so they kind of waste a lot of time and a lot of effort and don't make that much in regards to improvement.

And so anyone I work with, I tell them, get really, really clear on what you want. Get clear on a time frame on when you want it. And then, you need to get a good strategy to do that. And that's where I come in. Or, there's millions of resources online where you come up with a strategy. And the one thing that always holds true is you've got to do something different, drastically different than what you've been doing. Because what you've been doing is giving you your current result. And so, if you want a different result, you need to do something significantly different.

And so, with all the people that I work with, you know, I tell them, "If you want to lose weight, it starts with what you put in your mouth. You got to be conscious with what you're eating." And for a lot of people, they don't have to do anything crazy. You know, I always start with, I say, "Stop eating all the crap that you know you shouldn't be eating." And number two, right after that, is start identifying foods that you like to eat that are also good for you and replace those things. Because it's tough to just stop something.

Because if you just stop eating what you've always been eating, what do you eat? And so you have to have a plan for what you're going to eat, but that you also enjoy. And so I'll often point out, you know, a lot of the guys I work with, they start smoking. They'll get a Traeger or something because most of what you throw on a Traeger is fairly healthy. You can throw your smoked meats. You can smoke vegetables. You can do a lot of things like that.

And just by doing that and getting rid of the soda pops and the sugar drinks, getting rid of those really obvious things. And just doing that by itself, your body will start to lose weight. But then when you start going to the gym with a purpose, you know, cardiovascular work, I'll usually throw everyone on the treadmill for 30 minutes, or whatever type of cardio they like to do. So if they like to walk around their neighborhood, they like to do elliptical, they like to play basketball, find something that you enjoy. Because if you hate what you're doing, you're not going to do it.

So you've got to find a physical activity that you enjoy and you've got to do something different than what you've been doing before. So it's all about getting rid of bad habits and building new habits that are also enjoyable and sustainable.

Troy: And when you put them in the gym and you're just like, "Hey, start lifting." I mean, do you say, "You should be lifting for an hour a day or 2 hours a day or 30 minutes or . . ." What do you usually tell them there?

Rashago: So, typically, I always start people, if they're not experienced lifting, you always got to start off nice and easy, because you can easily hurt yourself. Especially as we get older, as we get into our 40s and 50s and we think that we're back in our 20s, it's just a bad idea. And so I always start everyone off on a really modified easy lifting plan. It takes them 45 minutes. It doesn't take a lot and it's not too challenging. I like to break the body up into different body parts. I have a push day, which is chest and shoulders. I have a back day, which is your back and your biceps or a pull day. And then I have a leg day.

And then I have them repeat that if they want to go more than three days a week. But they need to lift for at least three days a week and then you need to do cardio five to six days a week. If they're wanting to lose weight, usually about 30 minutes a day. And kind of, and most people, in the first month, we'll see tremendous amounts of progress. They'll lose like 10 pounds that first month because their body is used to crappy habits. And once they change those habits, the body responds pretty quickly.

But after that first month or two, when you get those easy gains out of the way, things become a little bit more challenging, but they also have got an appetite for working out and they've got an appetite for eating healthy. And it's easier for them to continue to move on from there. And the key is consistency. For most people, it's show up to the gym, get your workout, and do your cardio, do your lift. And then for a lot of people, I say, you know, during the week, eat clean. You know, don't eat your fries, don't eat your potato chips.

And then give yourself a free day on the weekend. And you know, whether that's Saturday or Sunday, you can relax. And if you do those things consistently, you'll be fine. It's kind of the 80/20 rule. If you can eat 80% of the time good, healthy stuff and stay on your workouts, you have 20% that you have wiggle room and you'll still get results. And so that works for kind of the average Joe that just wants to get into some better shape.

Scot: So get straight with what your goal is, whether that's you want to build some strength or build some cardiovascular endurance or whatever that goal is, and then modify that diet, get rid of the stuff you know that you probably shouldn't be eating at least 80% of the time. You can have a little bit of fun on the weekends. And then, consistency. That's what I'm hearing. Are those kinds of the three keys?

Rashago: Yeah. Yes. It's really simple. It's really simple. It's not hard.

Scot: But it's like anything else, right? It's really simple in premise, but sometimes can be really hard to execute in practice.

Troy: Consistency is key. Yeah. Yeah. That's . . . Yeah. And you know, for me, I'm not a . . . I get tons of cardio. I mean, that's the thing I get. I just, I don't get a whole lot of resistance training, a whole lot of weight training. I mean, I do kind of some stuff every day, but certainly nothing on par with what you're talking about, like 45 minutes, for even 3 times a week. So it sounds like just even doing that, if you can start to do just 45 minutes, 3 times a week, that's a good starting point. And then, like you said, maybe increase that to six, just repeat that routine, chest, back, and legs, and you'll start to see results with that.

Rashago: Yeah. And I find that with weights, for people that are inexperienced with weights, it really just takes . . . They don't have experience, right? So they get in there and they don't feel comfortable in the gym. And they've got all these meat heads that are around them that are intimidating and they're like, "This is just . . . I don't feel comfortable here. I don't know what I'm doing." And in the beginning, you're also tend to be really weak. Almost every single person I've trained with, they double their strength in about one to two months.

And it's not because they put on twice as much muscle, it's because there's a mind-muscle connection that has to be strengthened. And when that is strengthened, you're able to utilize the muscle that you do have. And so they see these tremendous strength gains in that first one to two months. And what tends to happen is once they see that, they start to think, "You know what, I feel comfortable here. I like this. I'm getting better." And it kind of reinforces their habit and it makes them enjoy it. But lots of times, half the battle is just getting there, getting comfortable doing it. And once you do it, you're like, "Okay, I got this."

Scot: Yup.

Troy: Yeah.

Scot: Looking around and going, "I don't care what anybody thinks for the first couple months." Because I mean, that is hard. I've been through that before.

Troy: It is. I know.

Scot: It's super, super challenging.

Troy: That's probably the hardest thing for me. I just, I'm not a gym guy. Like, I just don't. Yeah. I just . . . Yeah. I mean, I'm a thin man and I see where you fit, I'm just like, "I don't fit in here. This is not . . . These are not my people."

Scot: Well, we can have Rashago back on and maybe he can give you a few resistance training tips on that you can do at home.

Rashago: At home.

Scot: Yeah.

Troy: That would be great. If we could . . . Yeah. Maybe we could talk about just, yeah, setting up a home routine for someone like me and maybe, you know, for some people too. It's just the logistics of finding that time in the day to make it down to a gym. Obviously, there've been the closures with gyms and that's disrupted lot of people's routines. So maybe that's something that we could talk about, just how do you make this happen at home? And what's a sustainable routine to see results with?

Scot: I've got your next project, Rashago.

Rashago: There you go.

Scot: His name is Troy Madsen. I don't know if you've met him before.

Rashago: A time or two.

Troy: Yeah. Yeah.

Scot: And maybe me too. I don't know. You got me really . . . Yeah. You got me really excited and stoked to kind of get back at it. Strength training has been part of my life off and on. Consistency is always my deal. I'll go eight, nine months and then kind of fall off the bandwagon. But I've enjoyed it. So you've kind of inspired me to get back in there. So I do appreciate that. Thank you, Rashago.

Rashago: Yep. Thank you.

Troy: Yeah. Thanks, Rashago. That was great. Appreciate it.

Scot: It's been great having you on the show. And yeah, thank you for sharing your story and thank you for caring about men's health.

Rashago: Thank you, guys.

Scot: It's time for "Just Going to Leave This Here." It could be a random thought. Might have something to do with health or the things we talk about on the show and just couldn't find a place else somewhere else in the show. So, Troy, why don't you go ahead and start?

Troy: Scot, I'm just going to leave this here. You know, this past year is all about making lemonade out of lemons. One of the biggest benefits I found of this last year is wearing a mask. Sometimes I get food on my face and I may not know. The mask covers the food. But I've found the disadvantage of the mask. I was eating a protein bar at work and then I went into a patient room and this patient just gives me this look of fear. Like, what is going on?

She says, "Is that a spider on your mask?" And I look at my mask and realize that in the process of eating a protein bar, I must have gotten some chocolate on my hand and in moving my mask back in place, got the chocolate on my mask. So there's certain disadvantages of the mask. It does make that chocolate a little more obvious and did give that patient a little bit of a scare. But in the big picture, it is nice to have a mask to cover food on your face.

Scot: My hidden advantage to masks is it keeps my face warm on those cold winter days. I kind of . . .

Troy: Oh, yeah.

Scot: Sometimes, even though I don't have to wear it outside if there's nobody else around, sometimes I do because it keeps my face warm.

Troy: I agree. Walking into work at like 6:00 in the morning and cold, I really appreciate the mask.

Scot: Just going to leave this here. On Instagram, I follow a lot of kind of health and wellness accounts. And one of them posted this little picture, and I really love this, because we think about what we feed our body or, at least, you know, we tend to keep it in mind. Like, you want to feed it healthy stuff, right? Same is true for your mind. And this little graphic says you become what you feed your mind.

And on the left side, there's this brain that's evil, has got fangs and a fork tongue, and it's feeding itself drama and bad news and negativity that looks like a pile of poo on a plate. And on the right-hand side, there's a happy crisp brain smiling. And it's got positivity, discipline, dreams on its plate. So, just remember, what you're putting in your brain, the thoughts that you have, do affect the health of your mind, because as this says, you become what you feed your mind.

Troy: Scot, I'm going to, just with that in mind, I'm going to create a new computer or a new app or something that will emit a smell that is comparable to whatever we're consuming mentally. So if we're reading just miserable news, it's going to smell like a pile of dog poop. And so maybe it'll create that association and we'll do a better job of feeding our minds.

Scot: All right. Time to say the things that you say at the end of podcast, because we are at the end of ours. First of all, if you want to get in touch with us, you can do it a lot of different ways. The way that would be kind of cool is if you called 601-55-SCOPE, that's 601-55-SCOPE, and leave us a voicemail with your message, your question, your feedback, whatever. But there are other methods as well.

Troy: You can contact us, hello@thescoperadio.com. We're on Facebook, facebook.com/WhoCaresMensHealth. Our website is whocaresmenshealth.com. Also, subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts. We're on Apple, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, whatever works for you.

Scot: Thank you for listening. Thank you for caring about men's health.

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