Talking Nutrition

#54 - Effective Workout Programs w/ Aaron Straker

June 19, 2023 Aaron Straker
Talking Nutrition
#54 - Effective Workout Programs w/ Aaron Straker
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What does a 'good' training program look like? How often are you supposed to change it up, and how do you train for maximal muscle gains? Do you even need a training program?

This week Johan interviews our friend and fellow nutrition coach Aaron Straker to answer all of those questions for you, and to talk about what it takes to train effectively for your goals.

You can find more from Aaron here:

0:00 Introduction
8:54 Why you need a workout program
19:13 When to adjust training & how long can you still see progress at the gym when dieting
25:45 Transitioning from cutting to bulking
43:03 What about cardio?
51:10 Outro - Where to find Aaron

Let's connect!
IG: @talkingnutritionpodcast
IG: @johanvesters_ocs
IG: @kristineandali

Hey, what's up and welcome back guys to Talking Nutrition episode 54. I just had to double check 54 Yeah. We have a returning guests who are their first ever guests and our first returning guests, Aaron Straker, what's up, Aaron? What's going on? Hopefully doing well, once you bring Aaron Beck to talk about training this time, I feel like a lot of people either think that working out really hard at the gym. Maybe. So that's even too much, or at least like too much of like the wrong thing. So I guess. But we do see a lot of people kind of like, struggle with the gym, or at least not get the results, you know what I mean? And I feel like a lot of that comes from just not having a program, people maybe changing it up too much. Or just kind of like not really knowing what a effective training program looks like. Plus, I do feel like a lot of people are still kind of like training, like for fat loss or those kind of things as well. So we might even touch on that as well. Because I think that's a big misconception still, you know, but so since the last time you were on, we do have a bunch of new listeners. So for those people do a quick introduction of who you are, what do you do? Let's say like your Uber driver asked you like okay, cool, like what do you do? Yeah, for like, a couple minutes, you know? What would that be? Yeah, so online nutrition coach primarily, I guess, nutrition slash like physique coach, I should say, pretty much nutrition is my is my bread and butter. It's my kind of first professional love, let's call it that. And where I strongly believe the biggest needle movers will be so that I work primarily with men but I have and I'm not sure if we talked to on this last episode or not. I have started taking on women clients again, in that started more real so I got some propositions that I felt I felt like I felt I felt really bad saying no to so instead of like letting someone down I was like, Yeah, sure, I'll be uncomfortable and just, you know, get get back into it. And it's been actually been quite rewarding. So I do have like a smaller number now a lot of from a roster to female specific clients. But overwhelmingly male, I guess, through my messaging and positioning and just, you know, resonates mostly that way. But been doing this full time for five years now. Previous digital nomad, I am very happy to report that that lifestyle has dwindled down. And it's been great for business in great for my, how I thrive, which is off of routine, but I'm sure we might touch a little bit on that as well. I thought so kinda goes or at least I can tell that you just really like your routines, you know, I listen to your podcasts as well. And I can really tell like you you just like like being in your place, you got the food delivered, you got the gym, when just want to work, you want to get shit done. I feel you because like, I spend like the majority 10 years touring and traveling and stuff. And as much as I wasn't coaching yet. It's definitely a very different lifestyle. And it wasn't until I moved to Norway, when I actually had a place where I stayed more than like, let's say one week, you know, and all of a sudden, I got this kind of like feeling of like, okay, cool. So now I have my place of routine, I have like work going on, you know, like, this is kind of nice, you know what I mean? And then over the years, I realized, like, I actually really need that myself too. Yeah, I found like, I would just find myself like, not on like, it's one, it's awesome. I feel super fortunate that I have, you know, the schedule, you know, flexibility and the funds to be able to travel and stuff. But I would almost find myself like very irritable or not wanting to do things or I'm like, I don't want to go try this new restaurant. Like I know, I liked the breakfast we had yesterday, let's just go back there for the next four days. You know, that's, that's not really a way to travel sort of thing. And I just found like, you know, that's one of the beauties, I would say, of getting older as you know what you like, so there's less like trying to go find what you might like, because one thing that I personally find is like, the possibility of the grass being greener, is less than less or I'm like, I don't know, man, this grass here is pretty fucking green. Maybe I need to stop searching, you know, because this grass is green. It might might be greener, but in the in the experiences, it's not and then I just get mad. I'm like, I knew that the grass I had was good. Why don't I just go back there? Sort of. I love that. I do feel like you're right, though. Because I think and this even this even ties into what we're going to talk about today. But like, it's even with training like that. You know what I mean? I feel like people they might just be on a roll, but they kind of feel like well, I've been doing the same things for like, let's say two weeks. cuz I want to change it up, you know, I want to train like like this athlete, or should I add like another workout? Or should I change this? Or what's like a better way to do this? Like no, like, I feel like we just kind of like do better with repetitive stuff, just in general at least. Or at least me personally, I know that, like, I know, there's definitely differences in terms of people liking, like a bunch of variety. And then people like us who are kind of just kind of like, I got my kind of like setup, and I want to kind of stick to this, you know? Of course, you can combine the two, but I do really think and especially with the training stuff I want to talk about today, it's probably good, just in general to kind of have that structure, you know? Yeah, I would say it really comes down to understanding what your goal is, and your prioritization of it. If your goal is like, I want progress above all else, the less novelty in the less variation you have, the more progress you will make, like very cut and dry. If you're someone you're like, hey, I maybe you're super green, right? And, you know, hey, because I'm green, there's so much progress to be made. I can handle a bit more variation and novelty and still progress. But no, as your training age, you know, advances and you make more progress. Therefore, there's less progress left to be made novelty in variation, become essentially hindrances when compared to the opposite, which is less novelty and less variation. No, totally. Do you feel like with training, so let's say you have a client, right, and I know you kind of changed this, and we talked about this offline or sorry, yeah, pop that real quick. But like, did you start with just nutrition like you weren't training? Or doing training in the beginning? Right? Correct. For the first, you know, four full years of my coaching. Practice was only nutrition. Yeah. Yeah. So when When did you make that switch? What have been the changes that you've noticed, like since adding that, right, which I can imagine is probably way more muscle gain. Because we kind of know people tend to do random stuff, when they're left to their own decisions, you know? So tell me a little bit about that, like transition? Why you were like, hey, no, I have to add this now. And kind of like the changes that you've noticed. Yeah, so in the beginning, I didn't want to add it in the biggest reason there was. So I guess backing up to myself, personally, like training was my first love, right? I have, you know, literally, at this point, which is crazy, two full decades of training in a gym, you know, four or five days per week, which is absolutely insane. But like literally two full decades, training was my first love, I was very afraid that if I made it my job, that it would ruin it for me. So I was very, very scared. And I kind of for personal and selfish reasons, didn't move that, you know, into my professional role. What was the reason I ended up doing and like you said, when left to their devices, clients will go, they'll make the decisions with the tools that they have in mind, most often people are trying to do their best. But in many times the tools that people have, they're not great tools, or they're getting their information from, you know, some rando on Instagram who's like, providing kind of poor information. And I don't mean this to be, you know, cocky or conceited. But once you've been around the block, like a number of times, and you have some experience, like as a coach, the higher number of my clients decisions that I make for them, the better outcomes that we have, right? So if I get them to stop making really poor training decisions, we can control our outcomes and in what it really came from, it's just the random client conversations that I would have. And some a few examples. stand out. I had a client, we were in the very, very end of our fat loss phase, we were down like, you know, almost 30 pounds or so and in his check, and he was like, I'm so mad. I almost had a brand new one rep max deadlift this week, and I was like, what was it one rep max? What are you doing? Like we're at like 1800 calories per day. You're not like you're gonna get hurt maxing out you're like, No, why are you deadlifting? So that was like one another one found out the client was training seven days a week and we know if you're training seven days a week, like your intensity, your effort, your volume, like none of those are They're at a threshold that they should be, because if they were, you wouldn't be recovered enough to train seven days per week. And it's, it took a lot of those, like just real world interactions with clients to be like, Okay, if I do not help them with these decisions, they're gonna go get them from somewhere else, that's something that I don't have control over in, they may, unfortunately, get some pretty poor, you know, advice or programming. And that's ultimately what pushed me over the ledge to really start taking control of both. Yeah, I feel you, it's just better. I've recently talked to someone who got this program, I think it was like a six a week, high intensity, kind of like a CrossFit program, but then for muscle gain, whatever they call it. But then it's, I looked it up for him, because I was like, yeah, just send it over, you know. And I said that, you know, like the training program of like this, and this athlete, and who's done this, and then whatever. But then my client over here is like working night shifts, often having like, five hours, sleep at night, you know, already dealing with it, because it's a really high stress job, you know, he's taking care of kind of like, kind of like a mental hospital situation. So like, there's a huge difference there between the athlete who is just the athlete, and the person with a regular job, who has stress and disrupted circadian rhythm. I should probably train less, you know, what I mean? So those kinds of things I feel like you can definitely avoid by having that option and being okay, you know, we have a couple of programs, or maybe you do personalized, but here's like something that will work for you. Did you get a bunch of people who were almost like surprised that they should pay quotes only train, let's say four or five times a week? Not really, I mean, I would say generally, the clientele will come to me are decently educated, it's very rare that a very, very green person, like, you know, I've never been in the gym before something. And then in those people, I'm like, you know, like, I need to be in there, you know, I need why, why is there only six sets for chest I need like 20. And I'm like, you don't write zero muscle mass, right? We point the needle north and you make progress. Instead, we're going to focus on you actually learning things instead of just throwing a bunch of shit at the wall to make it stick. And but yeah, I would say, I didn't get too much of that, like, I need to be trading six days per week, I haven't gotten much of that. That's actually good point you brought up because, because we do definitely work with like, kind of like different clients, you have way more like advanced people. I will say I get a lot of green people who kind of like just getting started with their journey, you know what I mean? Maybe just getting into the gym for like, almost the first time. So there's, of course, definitely differences there. But yeah, I mean, either way, whether it's kind of like days per week, or like volume, or those kinds of things. People are always saying the car, we need to be doing this whole list of stuff, I need to do this much. While in reality, like, you got to recover, you know, and I feel like that's even, like there's a bit of a delay. So one of the things I love I apologize, one of the things I do like there and I still do get some some green people, which I actually kind of liked, because I just think if when you can get someone at the onset of their journey, like you can save them so much turmoil and wasted resources in you know, poor information in that sort of thing. So I'm like, This is great, like, we're going to teach you the right way from the get go sort of thing. But something that that's beautiful with the landscape of you know, current technology and stuff is I'm like, Okay, show me your, show me your like top, top two sets, or your sorry, your top three, your top set of these three exercises, right, I want to see your intensity, your, you know, that sort of thing. Not even close, not even close. Like that's why you want eight sets, because those sets are a 65% effort. You know what I mean? Like, zero rep speeds, slow down that sort of thing. And I'm like, like, once you dial in intensity and everything, like when people like Oh, I'm not sore at all, like okay, well one, I know what we're feeding you. I know what your schedule looks like. So I know your intensity is nowhere near where we want it to be sort of thing. Yeah, makes sense. I feel like especially there because we started using our IR and as much as it's a learning curve for people to kind of get that and really know okay, this is a three or this is a two. I feel like it's so to a good approach, because once once people learn that we can apply it, then they'll really start to see progress. And then it gets way easier to kind of like, make adjustments. And I mean, we all see people at the gym, go like a chest press and go like this, you know what I mean? It's the same thing, like the bicep curls and stuff. It's like, Well, cool. I see you out here every week, doing the same repetitions, same weight, same everything, you still look the same, like last year. You want to change something there, you know, like, we want to get you to a program, you know? So let me see. Because that being said, right, so do you personalize programs to people? Do you have like a couple, kind of like general ones that you may kind of like customized to to the person if it's needed? Or? Yeah, it's never will I just send a program like, okay, you know, new new clients sign up, like, here's your program, I want to know first, like, what type of environment are training in, right? I'll be super transparent. Someone's gearing, I'm working out in my living room with like, one set of dumbbells, like, I'm not the resource for you, right? Let's, let's go find you something else for that. But depending on the type of gym, you're training it your desired frequency, your scheduled frequency. And then as people are further along their training age, what discrepancies do we have, right? Do we need to put more volume, or a higher frequency to maybe the quads or the hamstrings or something and like less to pressing and so there's a number of different varieties. But what I did is, I've always enjoyed, like writing training programs and stuff, so I had a massive backlog of them. So I just started, like cleaning them up, okay. And then really, in now, I have like, I have a huge resource of ones and, and I kind of have them characterized by like training age, and then sequencing and that sort of thing. So I have like my base kind of templates that I work off of, and know like, Okay, this new client fits, you know, client avatar, a of my five most common client avatars. They are a male, intermediate, No wife, no kids wants to throw everything at it, okay, we're going to train five or six days a week with a high volume, so that he can get a lot of practice at performing these reps. And then after we maybe have eight months of that, we'll move from like a higher volume program into a higher intensity now that are not cadence, but our I can't think of the word I want to use our like, our, our form is like perfect, right? Or our ability to, you know, create a stimulus is there so we can move into higher intensities and lesser volumes and those sorts of things. So I have like, kind of cadences and like frameworks that I move people through. Nice. I like that. I feel like that's a good good way to do it. Because you do change it up when it's needed. You know what I mean? Not just like after like two weeks. Do you first make sure like okay, we're getting I really liked what you mentioned to like actually getting the last couple sets, you know, seeing Okay, are we training close to failure? Are we kind of doing well? Are we able to stick to this? Okay, no, I will now let's move on. I think that's really cool. Because I was actually wondering how you kind of structured that with your periodization because of course as you mentioned, you probably don't have people Max deep down in cut you know. So what are kind of like the different kind of like seasons let's let's call it in terms of training and how do you kind of like parallel that with the nutrition side of things? Yeah, so I'm definitely not someone who is that nuanced in it in in the real reason there is until you have your like one percenter client who you never have to question their adherence to a nutrition protocol or their sleep and that sort of thing. I just, I can't honestly say that I find it makes that big of a difference except for the use case of hey, we have a client who's at an unhealthy body composition right? We need to get things moving better for like a health standpoint. And we know because we're at essentially just have a lot of body fat, right? We've had a decent period of life with health completely on the backburner. Maybe some like glucose dysregulation sort of thing like insulin insensitivity, those sorts of people I will use like a more metabolic The focus program and that's going to be like shorter rest periods, we're not going to be training in the six to eight rep range, a lot of things are going to be like eight to 12 at a minimum 12 to 15 is 15. Plus. And that's just really to help getting like, like, from a metabolic standpoint, more cardiovascularly fit in a more like a mitochondrial efficiency sort of thing. So that are like calorie deficits and other things or work a little bit smoother. Like, if you're 30%, body fat, like we don't care about, you added 20 pounds to your benchpress. Like, we want to get the fat off so that your health improves. And outside of that kind of Premier context, it's a lot of very rarely like, if someone's errand, I want to get super strong, I'm like sick, you're gonna go to my friend Ryan, who writes like the best damn powerlifting program out there, you'll get strong shit, I'm not the resource who's gonna get you super strong, right? You want to get jacked, I can help you, you want to get strong, you go to Ryan sort of thing. So very rarely Am I programming less than like six reps for something. And then we'll it's a lot of like your general very, you know, rarely in my programming ever more than 20 reps, but the work and like a six to eight, or six to 10, often an eight to 12, a 12 to 15. And then maybe for certain things like some intensity techniques, or certain things like that. But that is the majority of it. And then okay, maybe we're moving into a calorie deficit, it might be a, hey, it's time to like nutritional periodization is changing. Let's change our our training stimulus. Or let's see how long we can still continue to progress our current program with the calorie deficit before changing, because that's something I think that people kind of put the cart before the horse sort of thing. They think, oh, I'm in fat loss now. So I won't make any progress on my on my program, and they just like, you know, give up sort of thing. And I think while there is truth to that, like this expressing maximal strength in those sorts of things are much less likely in a calorie deficit. But you have to cover a pretty good gap of fat loss before objectively your progress starts to decline sort of thing. Yeah, I think especially if I'm thinking about kinda like mostly like my people, in the beginning, once a just get into training, you can go quite far. Or quite long as you'd say, I get away with training, like the same program, because you'll know too, especially in the beginning, it's a lot of getting used to movements, it's kind of like the body just adapting, and even just technique stuff. I've seen that too, where people can still progress for quite a long time, like surprisingly long sometimes while they're doing it fat loss rates, you know, so I do mention this to where, Hey, okay, cool. Like, it does kind of require the opposite in some sense, right. So we have also gain a surplus, obviously, or performance, and then fat loss, especially in the beginning, like, let's just not expect through our like the whole cuts to see PR of the PR after PR. But you might just be able to still get a whole bunch of progress out of like, the most parts still, or at least in the beginning, you know? Definitely. I think in one thing that I find, like personally, when not like, I guess it was about two years ago, when when I was the leanest I ever was I was able to progress. For weeks and weeks and weeks I did about a 20 week calorie deficit at like week 17 1819 I would still get some progress. It wasn't across the board and almost every time it would only be like a one rep progress but it was still progressing like nothing like ground to a complete halt. The difference is like now I'm in a calorie deficit. I might have like, you know, a one week progress of like three reps, holy shit, I got three more reps than last week that you're probably not going to have in a calorie deficit but like the one rep maybe every two weeks or something like that on an exercise. And then obviously like your exercises, your compound lifts that have multiple muscle groups working together to generate force, you're much more likely to have progress over that as opposed to like, you know, an isolated like a like a single arm, tricep extension, right there's like one muscle group that could produce the adaptations to gain that extra rep but something like a row or a pulldown we have you know the biceps, we have the the lats upper back things like contributing so that the the necessary adaptation to produce one extra rep is kind of get across to larger musculature. So it's just a little bit more practical in more compound movements as opposed to isolations. Cool. So bigger. So that was when you're, you're at your leanest, just to kind of like a off topic kind of question. What do you then do like, once you're done, like for yourself, because I know not everyone needs to reverse it, but like, kinda, how do you go about that? Or how did you go about that? What do you afterwards in terms of kind of going back to maintenance? Or did you kind of go into a bulk almost like right away or? No, so that was we did a pretty slow reverse in the real reason there is my digestive capacity at the end of the calorie deficit took a very negative term. So I just couldn't handle a lot of food. I was getting really bloated, super gassy. And it's one of those things like it almost it almost takes personally experiencing it before you really maybe buy into it. But I literally went from being like, okay, you know, in at at maintenance, or sorry, in my surplus, I was regularly having bananas in oats, right, no problems. At some point during the calorie deficit, bananas needed to come out because they were just that it's a denser fruit, right, we push those cards over to like a berry or something that's gonna get me more satiety. And then the oats eventually came out when I reintroduced them after the like the lowest part of the calorie deficit, all of a sudden, I can't digest oats or bananas, super gassy, stomach aches sort of thing there. So with that it was a sweet, we switched to a higher fat approach, and then added things slowly as digestive capacity, I guess, like improved. And that's one of the things and not to really sidetrack us into nutrition. But when people talk about like, Should you slowly reverse or just jump back up to me and it's like, sometimes, if you jump back up to me, and it's like, you can't digest all the food, because as you're like, your body adapts to the environment. So as you're going through a deficit, you produce less digestive, sorry, less stomach acid, because there's not as much food to digest and like these sorts of things. And if you just like flip a switch, your body may not respond like you would like. So you may need to kind of massage things a little bit. And that's where adding food back more slowly can be more beneficial. Yeah, yeah, I agree. I will say I do prefer the reverse. I'll do well with everyone. Sometimes it might just be a few steps where if we can squeeze out a couple of extra weeks, you know, of controlled going back up, it's so it's, it pays off like fuckin every time you know what I mean? Like, or at least in my experience, like, it keeps you in check. You're not done yet. After the diet like you, you actually control your way up. And it's so important, I think. I think the thing where people miss the context missed, the majority of times this conversation is had is how lean did you get? Are we on single digit body fat, like sub 7%? You need to get calories up fast because your life sucks objectively. Better than that? Did you die from you know, as a male did you go from obese, you know, or overweight and unhealthy to like 18% body fat, which is still not ABS or anything like that, okay, we don't need to jump you back to maintenance. Like you still have plenty of body fat. We do not you're in you're not hurting for calories sort of thing. And with those, you know, types of populations of people, keeping things better controlled, and not just widening the gap is going to generally be more effective, because our margin of error is not as large. Yeah. Yeah, I feel like it's, it's important to just keep people in check. It's difficult to you know, we always think like, oh, we dealt with fat loss. I'm good. I'll just go back to normal but like No, like now. Now we get to that point where we actually have to do the right thing. I controller way back up. But let's, let's actually go back into the trading side of things. So okay, cool. So that was cutting there was kind of like reversing. Now of course, you're kind of like going back into gaining with I guess. It's not just training. It's also nutrition. But anyway, I recently I think he talked about this on your podcast. But you're now going with a little bit more of kind of like, almost like a faster gaining approach right? Yes, faster than I would say, I use with the majority of my clients and that I would probably recommend for most people in the real reason there is, I have been quite larger than I am now in the past. And I am in the firm belief that reclaiming, you know, muscle mass that you previously had and lost is not only easier than the first time you gained it, but also faster. So, I mean, I met this morning, I was like, just shy of 213, which I believe that's about like 96 kilos, I'm still like 15 pounds, or about, you know, seven kilos, or whatever off my biggest I've ever been. So I still there is still have quite a room to go if I wanted. And because of that, I feel like I can move a little bit faster. So that's the first reason. The second reason is, I just didn't want a 12 month gaming period, you know, I was okay, putting on a little bit of extra body fat, that sort of thing, just to cut my timeline down. And I've been doing this, you know, for a number of years now and I know my body, it's it's easier for me to lose body fat and gain muscle mass, like all things considered. I do well dieting, I'm very easily control my variables and that sort of thing. And it's, it's just essentially easier. So I'm okay, hey, if I put on an extra two, three pounds of fat, like I'm okay with it, because I know, I can, I can get that done in weeks sort of thing off. So that's why and that's one of the beauties of individualization and that sort of thing is like when you know your body, you can you know, change your variable slightly, because of the knowledge you have there. Do you feel like sometimes, because I know like lean gaining and I let you just had a podcast about this a couple episodes ago about Lean gaining, like going slowly not putting on too much body fat? Do you feel like people often go in and with almost unrealistic expectations in terms of like, what's called Lean gaining, so I'm just gonna gain muscle. Do we feel like that's, that's almost like taking like too far at this moment? I think so. There's in the very first, like, let's say the first like four to six weeks of a surplus, what you're essentially going to do is like you're topping off glycogen stores, right, your muscles are filling out, that's going to cause weight to increase. Like if you've been operating at, let's say, 75% you know, muscle glycogen stores because you're trying to stay lean, but not diet, you're like, you know what a maintenance or whatever that essentially a maintenance minus sort of those first few weeks that you're going to be refit, you're going to be topping stuff off that that's going to it's going to look your weight is going to increase, you're going to be looking better, you're going to get performance benefit like that is like that little golden set of weeks where things are fantastic that it's not necessarily might like cloud your judgment thinking like oh, I'm going to be able to do this for like 19 weeks or whatever and it doesn't really work that well you're eventually going to hit a point where like you are now officially in a surplus. And for every you know, let's say 500 grams, you go in the future now a portion of that is going to be body fat in generally as the number continues to climb, that ratio slowly slides against you sort of thing so as the more weight that you gain, the ratio of fat mass to lean body mass starts to work against you. Do you feel like that's like probably the hardest part of just gaining like, like it just before we were hit record like when I did my gaming phase in 2021 took a long time. And I definitely got to a point where I felt a little uncomfortable with you know, losing the definition and just feeling like puffier and I honestly do like if I now look back at photos from them I'm like I look puffy as well you know I'm definitely a little bit more more fat than I wanted to do you feel like that's like one of those main kind of like things that messes with you like whether we know our shit or not like it's kind of one of those things where I kind of want to admit it cuz it's I think that's it's human emotion, right? That's human psychology right there and that that exact scenarios, there's the beauty and having a coach right because if you're trying to coach yourself do that. Your odds of making the right call are significantly less cuz it's hard to look at yourself objectively, when you have an emotional investment. And yeah, I think like you kind of reached that point of I don't, should I should I keep going, I feel kind of uncomfortable. And I would imagine it's multifaceted, right? If you're single doing this, if you're like, single looking for a partner, like, do you really want to be fatter than you need to be? I couldn't imagine. I could imagine that's a little bit harder. And even so like, right now, like, I know, I'm in like, my final push of pounds, right? I'm averaging around the like, to 12. I have, like, 215 is where we said, we're going to kind of cut it. And I know that like to 14 to 15, I'm going to be like, Yeah, I'm sadder than I really want to be. But I'm committed to that number, you know, because what I want is now then when I do that deficit, I want there to be like, I want it to be objectively clear, this is my best physique I've ever attained sort of thing. I'm not leaving anything to question. So I'm pushing the number high enough so that I can make sure that that happens. And I think, really, that's where like having a goal, a longer frame goal, as opposed to instead of just like, I'm going to do this for six weeks, or I'm going to do this for eight weeks, right? Like, like, when I when I set out with my coach to do this, on January 1, we put together a plan that will not come to fruition until like October, November. So I, you know, 50 60% of the way through this plan, and then I think that's ultimately what what works best is like putting a plan together. And knowing ahead of time, okay, there's going to be a period where I'm a little bit fatter than I want to be. But maybe it's worth it. Maybe it's not, that's the beauty in it, everyone's gonna have to make their own decision. That being said, so you recently went back to the US. And I heard I think this was last episode, but you kind of felt like he kind of missed out on like a month of progress. He said, Right. Oh, yeah, I made. I will make no qualms about it. I had made absolutely zero progress on my time in the States, not i and this. This past week, was the first week that I had got the the scale back above like the previous high. And that was essentially five full weeks of no progress. Yeah. You feel like in the long term, is that like a bad thing? Or is it kind of like, well, no, no. I mean, how I'm, I got to see my mom and one of my sisters, and you know, at this at this point in my life, it's been four years since the three of us were together, like that. That's the silver lining for me, it is worth it. But I will say if I didn't get to see my mom and my sister, I might not fuck it. Dude, I would have never. So I Yeah, it was frustrating. But I also want to point out though, like, it's not like every one will run into that. But I am chasing like the final 5%. Like I said, I've been lifting for 20 years, I'm 35 years old, it takes me being damn near perfect to move the needle, like the 8020 just doesn't cut it anymore, I can't, I can't produce a significant stimulus to move the needle, I can't get a really good training session. And if I haven't had if my weights down, because I'm dehydrated, and not carbohydrate compensated and sodium compensated. And these things like when you're near when you're near the top of your own kind of Pinnacle, what it takes to move the needle is not a 80% effort. And that's ultimately what it is, when you're traveling in these different things. There's just too many variables to control because there's all these other things. But if you're in your first two years or three years of training or whatever, yeah, 80% effort could still really move the needle, but it all that's all relative to where you are on your journey. For sure. Again, there's workout like that individualization comes in, you know, it's, it's important to also kind of like know, and this is maybe like a message to everyone listening, like, there are so many kind of like opinions and statements and shit out there on social media. You'll see a lot of conflicting stuff. Be aware of like, who you follow, and like how it applies to you because I feel like there's a lot of statements being made almost as if like, this is the way to do it, you know? And then hey, like it might just not apply to you might apply to someone like you, for example, like you got 20 years of training for me. It's like 10 years, of which I know, a bunch of it. I was on the road, a bunch of it. It was not really training, like, close to failure enough, you know what I mean? Like, there's so many things there. So I think people need to keep in mind as well, like, just be aware of that. There's a lot of kind of, like, stuff that just depends, you know what I mean? And we can't just run with something that we just hear online, like, oh, that's, that's the way should we trade it, you know? Yeah, and it will, it'll change for you. You know, like, I mean, training has shifted many times for me, over the years, you know, when I first got involved in it, it was for sport, and we were essentially powerlifting. And I did that, you know, for a number of years. And then I moved into just like, a general gym goer through like university and that sort of thing. And then I went into CrossFit, you know, super deep for a number of years, and then into Olympic weightlifting. And I did that for like, two years. And then I went back into powerlifting for like, another two years. And now for the last like, three, four years, I've been more of like, you know, bodybuilding. And sure, I am like bodybuilding. I'm like a hobbyist. I don't have much interest in competing or anything, but that's how I eat primarily, that's how I train and just know, your interests and stuff will vary over the years. And you'll find your own way, essentially. Yeah, I've definitely gone in and out like so. So for me, it really started kind of like with this when I was overweight, but like with general gym, then into CrossFit, I really kind of really got into it never like at a high level, but I was just like very much into it, you know, kind of went in and out of it because of music mostly. And then here in Norway, got way back into CrossFit. Again, ventures kind of got burned out on it, because I was kind of overdoing it the program. And at that moment, it was just too much. It was like, programmed for athletes, basically. And like, I was building my business, I was still coaching CrossFit as well than doing the training as well. It just ended up being too much. And then I kind of transition also to I think I was, I think a messenger I did a juggernaut for a little while. I told you like the volume, it was just too crazy to keep up with me. So I stopped that as well. So I went from kind of like CrossFit, for to like power building, or at least that program for me at the time was too much to that kind of like bodybuilding. That's where I've been hanging out for a while now. It's also got a nice ride just to change it up. So that being said, in terms of changing it up, I know you guys, you and, Brian, you've been talking about cardio a lot. Tell us a little bit about that. Because I'm very interested in that is definitely a weakness that I'm going to have to attack personally. Yeah, so I mean, Brian really was the spearhead on that. And I think some of it too, is like, hey, like, I'm, like I just said I'm 35 Brian's 40. Now, once you're around long enough, like things, you just start to explore, you know, hey, or something that I think probably kicked it off as Brian's okay. 40 Now, you know, I got small children, I want to make sure that I'm actually like, as healthy as I can be, to be around for as long as I can be, you know, sort of thing. So I think that was a little bit of the motivator for him. But also, it's one of the things like you're, you know, I like to I still feel like I'm really young, you know, but like, but make no mistake, right? Your DNA is multiplying slower than it used to it, these things will eventually start to manifest themselves. And the longer you wait, the harder it becomes. And for a long time, like, yeah, just training hard, and those things like that, that keeps me fit. But now I'm like, hey, maybe it is time to make sure that like, the heart is doing really, really well. Or that from a cardiovascular standpoint, like when I add, you know, dedicated cardio and those sorts of things in, I get like my lipid profile improves, right, like we have these very real manifestations of the positive physiological benefits that come with it. And once you kind of reach that threshold of like, like young, but like, I'm kind of not that young. And if I do these things, I will like help me stay younger, I will start to add in these things that I don't want to do, right. And I kind of jumped in the deep end, you know, with my coach talking about it, or I just have like a hit day where we're just doing airbike sprints and I mean, it's essentially some of the hardest cardio you can just show up and start doing in that day. It's actually on Thursdays. I did it today. It doesn't get any easier. Like each day I am it's it's absolutely awful. It's absolutely awful. But I have my first one of the benefits when I when I did To go back to the States, I got bloodwork done. And I was honestly expecting it to be a little bit worse because, you know, from from for the last like four or five years, as I've gotten the majority of my bloodwork done, I've been about like 190 to like 196 pounds, right? I've really kind of fluctuated within that little bit. There was one period where I went up to, like, you know, 203204 sort of thing. So I was like, hey, you know, I'm 20 pounds over at this point now, I expect I'm kind of I'm interested to see what my labs are gonna look like because I'm you know, I'm above 15% body fat, make no make no mistakes there. It's not my bloodwork was was arguably better. I know, my lipids looked better than they normally do, like my blood glucose, and those sorts of things were good. And I don't think it's the cardio. It's it was a was a little bit eye opening for me. So is watches. It's not fun, but it's you're working on, like, like in very few places does, like pushing yourself challenging yourself, like cardiovascularly have a trade off. And in those trade offs that does become like, is it impacting my bodyweight? Greg, can I not recover because of these things, but when it's for the majority of us that are not like elite athletes or competing for a job or something like that we're would take away or you do have the 20 minutes to spare, like one day per week. The benefits outweigh the negatives for sure. So it is something I think will stay in. And I would say like in a perfect world for myself. I would like like one more longer, you know, zone two type session per week in like the 3030 to 40 minute mark. And I think once the dieting starts, we'll probably add that in. Nice. Yeah, I like that. It's definitely something like I'm super guilty of this. But it's honestly, it's just been crazy busy this year so far. Just back into like actually trading like four times a week, not a little bit of a gap where I kind of just telling barely wins. I mean, sometimes I feel like sometimes those seasons are just like, you know, the calm depending on where you're at. There was a trade off, right? I kind of made that trade off of, hey, you know, business goes first now for me, and then I'll get back into my own fitness. So I'm currently there and now I want to start adding the actual like cardio cardio aspect as well. Because it I noticed that I've not done that for a long time, you know? So I was actually thinking about because I'm actually going to start training at across the gym now. So I'm actually going to do the air bike as well. What do you do? Do you do like on and off? Do you do like a Tabata kind of thing? Sprint a sprint eight is the workout 30 seconds on 90 seconds. So like 30 seconds all out sprint, 90 seconds, like a you know, a slow as shit recovery pace for eight rounds is the workout. I've been doing Yeah, we're gonna start doing that. Yeah, yeah, please do. It's really funny is like, once there's these times were you. Like, there's the things you learned about when you were going through a good nutrition certs and you know, maybe your personal training services you learned about like the energy systems, and these sorts of things, you know, okay, I have this energy system for approximately like this many seconds, right? And then that drops off. And then the next energy system, like picks up, but what I what I find, I mean, it's interesting, it sucks. But when you're doing that sprint, eight workout you can feel when that first energy system drops off, because like your go, it just, it's not there. You know, it's like, it's like that, like, you know, video game when we played when you were younger, you had like your turbo booster. And then like, at some point, you hold the turbo booster for like, 12 seconds it fuck it shuts off and like you could see what it shuts off. It's like, I can feel it. And I'm like, okay, there goes. And it's funny and like, oh, that's exactly what's happening in my body right now. Yeah. That is interesting. I think it's super fascinating also. And with the zone two stuff, I've also been kind of like looking into that more now. I mean, honestly, because you guys are talking about him all the time recently, or your podcast. So like, that really got me to be like, I know, I kind of want to learn more about that get into it as well. Because, again, man, I do feel it now. I do really feel it where it's like, well, my cardio absolutely sucks. I gotta step it up. And something that I've been leaning more into is it's a challenge, right? It is a mental challenge so much differently than then I feel like like how training is a challenge because I genuinely love it. Enjoy training. So even like my hardest day, you know, my quad sessions were, I'm getting my ass kicked and I'm dying and you know, everything's on fire. Like, I don't hate that I don't have to convince myself like, don't quit Aaron, you know what I mean? Like, I'm not going to quit my legs, I'm just going to fail a wrap, you know? Whereas like the cardio stuff, I'm like, don't quit, don't you fucking quit. Like I have to keep myself in the game. It's so much more of a mental challenge that I just don't normally get in my day to day, you know, resistance training. Cool, dude. I also want to be respectful of your time. I know that at 7pm Over there. So that being said, first of all, thanks for joining us again for the second time. Do you have any like important updates coming up? Anything you want to share? Like where can people find you? Yeah, so you can find me. I would say the easiest jumping off place is my Instagram and that is Aaron Aaro N underscore striker, str. AK, er, I've coaching spots available. Generally. Ping me if you have any questions about that. Podcast with Brian which we which we talked about, which is eat train prosper. Then I have some other small projects and stuff going on. But you can find out about all that once you hit my Instagram. Perfect, dude. Thank you once again to the listener. We will be back with you next Monday, starting soon. Thank you

Introduction - Aaron Straker
Why you need a workout program
When to adjust training & how long can you still see progress at the gym when dieting
Transitioning from cutting to bulking
What about cardio?