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Join me and my guest, Alli Fahrenbach, on the Flex Diet Podcast this week as we break down the evolving landscape of female fitness and confront the lingering myths that keep many women from embracing strength training. We discuss the nuances of body composition, progressive overload, and the misleading pursuit of scale weight that can sabotage genuine progress.

If you’ve ever wondered how to translate the discipline from the world of figure and physique competition into your everyday fitness routine, this discussion sheds light on practical, transformative strategies that prioritize fat loss and muscle building over the scale.

Episode Chapters:

  • (0:00:00) – Female Fitness Trends and Lessons

  • (0:05:53) – The Confusion Surrounding Nutrition and Training
  • (0:18:55) – The Complexity of Nutrition Discussed
  • (0:23:51) – The Importance of Basic Health Habits
  • (0:35:12) – The Importance of Quality Sleep
  • (0:40:48) – Optimizing Lifestyle for Better Sleep
  • (0:48:36) – Navigating Complex Client Expectations and Goals
  • (0:55:23) – Strength Training Power and Progress


Flex Diet Podcast episodes you may enjoy:

  • Episode 266: Health Beyond the Gym with Expert Advice on Wellness and Aging From Ashleigh VanHouten

  • Episode 200: How to Coach Clients From Athletes to Gen Pop Using Macros and More: An interview with Eve Guzman

Connect with Alli:

Get In Touch with Dr Mike:

Rock on!

Download the transcriptPDF

Full text below

Dr. Mike T Nelson

Dr. Mike T Nelson

PhD, MSME, CISSN, CSCS Carrick Institute Adjunct Professor Dr. Mike T. Nelson has spent 18 years of his life learning how the human body works, specifically focusing on how to properly condition it to burn fat and become stronger, more flexible, and healthier. He’s has a PhD in Exercise Physiology, a BA in Natural Science, and an MS in Biomechanics. He’s an adjunct professor and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. He’s been called in to share his techniques with top government agencies. The techniques he’s developed and the results Mike gets for his clients have been featured in international magazines, in scientific publications, and on websites across the globe.

  • PhD in Exercise Physiology
  • BA in Natural Science
  • MS in Biomechanics
  • Adjunct Professor in Human
  • Performance for Carrick Institute for Functional Neurology
  • Adjunct Professor and Member of American College of Sports Medicine
  • Instructor at Broadview University
  • Professional Nutritional
  • Member of the American Society for Nutrition
  • Professional Sports Nutrition
  • Member of the International Society for Sports Nutrition
  • Professional NSCA Member

[00:00:00] Dr Mike T Nelson: Hey, what’s going on? Welcome back to the Flex Diet Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Mike T. Nelson. On this podcast, we talk about all things to increase your muscle mass, improve body composition, and do all of it in a flexible framework without destroying your health. Today in the podcast, we’ve got our friend Alli from Alli Fitness, and she’s talking all about specifically female training.

Everything from body composition to meal planning and much more. And currently I am here just south of Amsterdam. I’ll be teaching with my buddy Luke Lehman here as we’re recording this right before we’re getting ready to teach a two day conditioning seminar here in Amherst Fort. You want to say hi, Mr.

Luke, as I slaughter the name of the town we’re in? What’s up, guys? Enjoy the show. Oh, that was it. We set up this special mic for that and that’s all I get.

All right. And then also check out, we’ve got the Flex Diet Cert. Opens again June 17th for one week. Go to flexdiet. com for that. And then if you’re interested in a ketone beverage that actually tastes pretty darn good, Check out Tecton. I’ll put a link down there below in a code. That’ll save you around 20 percent I am a scientific advisor to them and an ambassador So it is a conflict of interest and then we’ve got the flex for question, which was I asked Ali What are the top four things specifically for females?

Should they do if they want to improve their body composition and you can get that by being on the newsletter So I send out daily information to the newsletter. Just go to mike t. Nelson. com forward slash flex 4. com. We’ll put a link down below and that’s where you will get the answer to that question.

So thank you so much for listening to this podcast here and enjoy this one with Alli.

[00:02:06] Dr Mike T Nelson: Welcome to the podcast, Alli. How are you?

[00:02:10] Alli: I am good, Mike. How are you

[00:02:12] Dr Mike T Nelson: doing? Good. Thank you so much for being on here. We’re in a chat about. Lessons from, let’s say, female figure physique competitors, but not necessarily focusing on that.

Like what are some of the trends and lessons that you could apply to everyone? Like my little thing that I like is that, I don’t remember who said this, I would definitely give them credit as the extremes inform the means, but the means don’t inform the extremes. And so like my background, I did a master’s in mechanical engineering.

So from a design standpoint, if you can figure out what your constraints are on both ends, then the middle will be fine. So I always think of like exercise equipment, right? Cause anyone who’s been around fitness long enough, there’s certain exercise equipment and you look at it and you’re like, Oh, that should be a cool machine.

And it’s just. feel good or I’m a little bit taller. So it’s like designed for six foot people where you do like a high, like hammer strength pull down. And it’s like a cheap hammer strength machine. And you can’t get the seat all the way at the bottom. And you’re like, elbows are still half bent.

You’re like, Oh this kind of sucks. But if they designed the machine for whatever the high, the tallest person, the shortest person. Like anyone in between there is going to be fine. So I think there’s lessons in the extremes ends of the spectrum, even though most people listening to this are probably not going to do, competition or things of that nature.

[00:03:40] Alli: Yeah, I would agree.

[00:03:42] Dr Mike T Nelson: So what would you, what are some common things that you see with Women in general that you work with what are some common problems? Oh

[00:03:51] Alli: gosh, so many. No, I, you know, I even hesitate to say this, but I still see women who, who shy away from legitimate strength training.

[00:04:05] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yes.

[00:04:05] Alli: Still will find a lot of women are drawn to forms of exercise that they might even think are strength training or categorize as strength training in their own mind. Yet. aren’t really strength training. I call it like hit in disguise. They’re drawn to things like, wads or CrossFit or Orange Theory or, just a lot of high intensity work, so to speak.

That’s their form of strength training, but they’ve never really actually implemented or desired to implement just like good old fashioned progressive overload, like traditional forms of strength training. So that’s one, one. common issue I see. And then still, just women who are driven by weight, by body weight, and by scale weight, and by pant size, and it still seems to be so difficult for them to wrap their heads around this idea of fat loss versus weight loss.

You say building muscle and most women still lose their shit. They’re like, Oh my God, I’m going to get big. Or does that mean the scale is going to go up? Or So those are the two that like come to mind like immediately.

[00:05:19] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. I think it’s gotten a lot better and actually I don’t know what your thoughts are.

I do think CrossFit did a lot of good in terms of realizing for women that it’s okay to lift heavy ass weights and you’re probably not going to get too big. And again, if you’re looking at games competitors, you are seeing The outliers, the freaks of the freaks, in that sport, just like you wouldn’t any elite level athletics.

But I think at a local level, it was as somebody came to me like 10 years ago and said, Hey, I got this idea in eight years from now, you can go to most major cities, walk into a gym that will be primarily female in my experience. No machines, all barbell lifting, Olympic lifting, and. Yeah, there’ll be some metcons, there’ll be some metabolic work, but a lot of the gyms have actual dedicated strength training.

And if you told me that was going to be primarily a female population, I would have said You’re out of your tree. That’ll never happen. And it did, which is great.

[00:06:20] Alli: Yeah. Yeah. I think women have it in their head, the type of physique that they want, but then they’re just confused about how to go about achieving it.

Like that whole concept of toning, they want, I hear that a lot. Like women want this toned physique. Let’s set aside the fact that muscles don’t tone. They don’t get like softer or harder, like they can get bigger or smaller, but let’s set that aside. But like most women don’t really understand what goes into achieving like a lean defined physique.

They wind up going about it all wrong. They think the methodology needs to be, like I said, a lot of high intensity work, a lot of cardio and a lot of calorie cutting. There’s still just this like I just feel like women in general, they just tend to want to under eat. They tend to I honestly have more women who come to me under eating and not reaching their goals because of that than I do women who come to me over eating.

[00:07:13] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yes. Yeah, I would agree, especially I see that commonly in women who are doing some color theory training five days a week.

[00:07:25] Alli: Yeah, exactly. I always say it’s so much easier to for me to work with and fix somebody who’s overeating like legitimately overeating versus somebody who’s actually under eating.

Or doing the weird combination of both, right? You have the woman who doesn’t eat all day long and then sits down at night and has like a pint of Haagen Dazs and like a bowl of spaghetti and her kids leftover chicken nuggets and does two kitchen sweeps before she goes to bed. So that odd combination of I starve all day and then I like overeat at night.

[00:07:57] Dr Mike T Nelson: But they’ll usually self report that I’m in a caloric deficit. Like I don’t need hardly anything. I’m hungry all the time. And I had a few of those clients very early on. And I was just like, what the hell is going on? Like this, and I told a couple of clients, I was like, okay. Something’s going on here.

This doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, but let’s try to figure this out because last time I checked like Thermodynamics and physics like still works like this. I haven’t found an exception to it yet And again, it’s not that they’re not actively trying to lie to you. It’s just a lot of the behaviors They’ve made unconscious so they’re not Reporting them to you because they literally, it just, it’s not registering.

[00:08:42] Alli: I like, I 1000 percent agree in it. So I I belong to Dr. Bill Campbell’s body by science. Yeah, Bill’s

[00:08:49] Dr Mike T Nelson: awesome. I love Bill.

[00:08:50] Alli: I love Bill too. And he did a live, which I sat in on and he was talking about nutritional audits and how, Yes. As unsexy as it sounds, the mate, like still the main reason why people don’t lose body fat is because they are not in a caloric deficit.

They’re not accurately tracking. They’re not, they’re like, they’re not accurately right. It’s not. metabolic damage. It’s not like metabolic adaptation. It’s not all this fancy pants stuff that, we like to point the finger at. It really just boils, most, in most cases anyway, it does boil down to just not accurately reporting.

And, he talks about the importance of doing these nutritional audits. And I thought to myself, I’d like just for shits and giggles, I’m going to do one for myself. Where you just, Get super laser focused with everything that you’re eating, right? Everything goes on the scale, everything you put in your mouth.

Mike, I’m not lying. I, and I’m really dialed in myself. I was off by 200, 250 calories a day. Oh, that’s

[00:09:50] Dr Mike T Nelson: easy to be off by 300 calories a day. Yeah.

[00:09:55] Alli: Just from, I don’t know, guesstimating my lettuce or eyeballing a condiment or, just stuff like that. And, or just, Being like, oh, wait, I did put that in my mouth like just being my next

[00:10:05] Dr Mike T Nelson: are big one Yeah, this is don’t seem to register

[00:10:08] Alli: No, like you and people just people almost do it mindlessly They put it in their mouth and they eat it then they forget that they ate it And so they’re still just this I agree with you 1000 percent about inaccurate reporting or under reporting and again Not by, it’s not, intentional.


[00:10:28] Dr Mike T Nelson: I

[00:10:28] Alli: feel like some people, and I do feel like a lot of people, like they just don’t know, like they literally don’t know. I once had a client who just my God, I forget what it was that she was like putting in her coffee. But she was putting, I think it was like some kind of creamer or something. And she didn’t think it had a lot of calories, but then she was using like a quarter cup and it had this truckload of, and she just literally didn’t know I had to walk through every single thing that she put in her mouth and she was just totally unaware.

[00:10:58] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. I told this story in the podcast before people were probably annoyed by it now, but I had a female client many years ago. We couldn’t figure out what was going on. I’m like, what the hell? We tried everything and eventually I said, okay. So get on a call and like literally walk me through yesterday from when you got up in the morning everything you did and at one point just oh yeah well then I had my morning coffee I said okay what did you put in your coffee oh no it was fine I said I didn’t ask if it was good or bad like what kind of coffee it was like what did you put anything in your coffee she’s I had a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of coconut oil and I’m like Okay, and I said, I don’t remember that in any of your logs.

She’s oh, well, it doesn’t count because it’s just fat. I’m like, well, hold on. How does it not count? And she’s well, there’s no insulin response, so it doesn’t matter. So I didn’t log it. And I’m like, how many of these do you have in a day? She’s well, I typically have three. I was like, holy shi

[00:11:59] Alli: Oh my god, all that fat content, nine gram, or nine calories a gram.

So we

[00:12:03] Dr Mike T Nelson: cut her down to one and she started losing weight like crazy. And again, she wasn’t, it wasn’t intentional. She wasn’t trying to lie to me. She had heard somewhere from some guru that, well, fat doesn’t have an insulin response. So it just doesn’t matter then and don’t worry about it. So she’s thinking, oh I’m great.

[00:12:22] Alli: Gosh. Yeah. And there’s even something to be said too, for, you mentioned like she heard from some guru and sometimes I think, so what, so when I started doing all that like when I started lifting and then even when I started competing there, there was like, there was no social media, there was no, and

[00:12:38] Dr Mike T Nelson: what year was that just for reference for people?

[00:12:40] Alli: Oh, for God’s sakes. I started competing. I did my first show when I was 18. I’ll be 40 in April. I can’t do math in my head. It’s

[00:12:50] Dr Mike T Nelson: about 22 years ago that I do my math. Yeah. There you go. That was a 2002 ish. Yeah. Yeah. So back in the day,

[00:13:00] Alli: I know. And there was no information like there is now.

[00:13:04] Dr Mike T Nelson: That was very different.

[00:13:05] Alli: It was so different and you had to learn. By doing, there was no, like now sometimes I think there’s just, there’s too much information and it’s so readily available and there’s so many voices in your ears and there’s so many people calling themselves experts. And I feel like, I almost feel like it’s just.

It’s too much. Like that saying too much, too many cooks in the kitchen leads to chaos. I feel

[00:13:32] Dr Mike T Nelson: like

[00:13:33] Alli: people are more confused now and we have more information than ever. And sometimes that just is people don’t need to know more. They need to do more like they, at some point you just need to roll up your sleeves and get in there and just start doing it.

I think about so much of what I learned was just by doing, like I learned what didn’t, or I learned what worked by doing what didn’t. Yeah. Didn’t work.

[00:13:56] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, I think that’s, it’s hard because there’s so much information you can get lost and be like, well, I don’t have enough information or I don’t have the right information.

And there’s so much variability from one person to the next yes, physics still works. We have some basic principles. We’ve got some pretty good ideas of some stuff, but there is, also individual differences in people and lifestyle and goals. And. Yeah. I think now with the advent of so much information, people I think are more reticent to not pay a coach.

And I would argue that it’s the direct opposite. Like when you’re influenced and influxed with that much information, like to pay someone to help you sort through it is to me is more invaluable. Like I was just talking to a business guy the other day and we’re both saying yeah, it sucks. I have to pay my CPA this amount of money.

But at the same point, My CPA does a great job and just ask basically what I should do. I don’t sit around and read the tax code. I don’t go to Instagram to look for arguing CPAs about stuff. I’m like, why would I pay him then? I don’t have any interest in it. I just want to pay my fair share. I want to make sure it’s good.

Everything is solid. And I just go on my way. But it seems like when there’s a lot more info and something weird about movement and nutrition, because everybody does it, that they, it’s this weird thing where they feel like they should be an expert in it, even though they don’t have formal training,

[00:15:25] Alli: yeah. And it does. And it seems like everybody’s an expert and. A zealot about it too.

I feel like nutrition and exercise have gotten so much more polarizing in the last like couple of years, like especially online. I feel it’s just, it blows my mind. It’s like people operate in these black and white areas and there’s just no more nuance.

There’s no more context. Like you can’t. I don’t know. I feel like you have to have this firm position on absolutely everything. I see people squabbling and fighting and screaming at each other about carnivore and plant based and keto and fasting and, like, all these different things. And, even when I work one on one with clients, um, sometimes one of the biggest things, one of the biggest struggles I bump into is, they hired me, but they’re still listening.

There’s still all this stuff coming in. So then so much of it is them coming to me with that stuff and going Oh, well, so and so on such and such podcast said that I should be fasting and menopause should I be fasting? Why am I not fasting? Or so and so said that the ketogenic diet is the best way to lose body fat.

Why am I not doing the ketogenic diet? And, there’s just, it’s like information overload.

[00:16:39] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, my little rule with clients is, and it took me a while to figure this out, I wish someone would have told me, excuse me, about this earlier, is that, I want you to be educated, I will answer any question you have.

The big caveat is, you have to keep doing the action. If you stop doing the actions and only start asking questions, I will not answer your questions. Because you’re not paying me to answer questions. This is assuming you have enough information in order to act. If it’s not clear, or I screwed up and didn’t explain it, yes, by all means please, call me out, we’ll get it clarified.

But, if we have you do a certain moderate carbohydrate diet, and you’re not following it at all, you’re not even in the same ballpark you can’t ask me about what Keto Karen said on Instagram. Yep. Yep.

[00:17:27] Alli: Yeah. And at the end of the day sometimes it’s, you don’t know until you try. Oh, for sure. You have to try for yourself and I worked with John Meadows for years.

Yes. Oh,

[00:17:38] Dr Mike T Nelson: I miss John.

[00:17:39] Alli: I miss him all the time. He was

[00:17:42] Dr Mike T Nelson: like this super knowledgeable. Can you meet him in person? Just super nice. Just down to earth. Dude,

[00:17:48] Alli: he was so genuine and so kind. Yes, very kind as human being, but he was my coach for almost four years. And I remember I, I sent him an email one time and I don’t even remember what I asked him, but I remember he emailed me back and he just said, a couple words and he’s well, let’s try it.

We won’t know until we try it. And that’s always stuck with me. And it’s, I feel like most people want this perfect plan or this clear path or this guaranteed result. Or if I do X, will this guarantee me why? And at some point it’s you just have to try different things. Even as a coach, sometimes with clients, I’m like, well, But we’re going to try it.

We’re going to try the method and see if it works for you. We’re going to try macro tracking. Doesn’t work for you? Maybe we’ll try hand portion control. Doesn’t work for you? Maybe we’ll try, you have to just try different things. And I feel like a lot of people are resistant to, like I said before, just rolling up their sleeves and just getting in there and doing the doing like they, everybody’s wants to just know more.

And there are sometimes I feel like maybe that’s even an excuse for inaction, right? I think it

[00:18:55] Dr Mike T Nelson: is.

[00:18:56] Alli: This quest for more knowledge is just a form of procrastination in disguise.

[00:19:01] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yes. And that’s where I get even worried about some, and again, it’s not necessarily the podcast or the person’s fault.

It’s if you just name a mechanism and you throw on a few like geeky words and then you give someone a protocol, everyone’s Oh my God, this must be the thing. And it’s well, maybe not. Maybe in certain contexts it might be good. Maybe in other contexts it’s horrible. A ketogenic diet, I don’t think most people should do a ketogenic diet.

However. I’ve worked with people who are general population and we did a ketogenic diet and it worked for them. I’ve written whole programs for the Kerrigan Institute about the use of a ketogenic diet for, TBI and concussion and, different pathologies. So again it’s not as easy as keto is right for everyone, nor is high carb right for everyone or, but nobody wants to talk about context because you can’t make a 20 second TikTok video about context and no one wants to hear it.

[00:19:56] Alli: I

[00:19:56] Dr Mike T Nelson: just sound like an old cranky man yelling at me to get off my lawn. But

[00:19:59] Alli: yeah no. I like I think the human brain is just drawn to black and white.

[00:20:06] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. Wants the answer. Um,

[00:20:08] Alli: Like we’re always trying to make sense of things and so I think it is almost the same type, almost the same reason why people are still drawn to extreme diets and extreme dieting methods even though there’s a plethora of information out there saying that they don’t really work as for, for long term sustainable results.

We’re still really drawn to them because I think because of the simplicity, right? It’s so easy to say, cut out all carbs. Or eat all meat and plants are bad or eat all plants and meat is bad, right? We’ve got this black and white, this dichotomous like thinking it’s real easy to separate.

But when you ask somebody to sit in the context or sit in the nuance or sit in like the gray area, then shit just gets real confusing and people just can’t make sense of it. And so I think that’s why, I think that’s part of why people just don’t like operating in that area is it’s just really challenging.

[00:21:03] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, because it’s people want the rule because they want to feel like they’re doing it correctly, which I understand But at the same point I never thought Nutrition would get so polarized that we’re literally having discussions if broccoli is out to kill You know, like out of all the things that we could be discussing like this is the thing Oh, wait, and we’re not talking about people who have you know, digestive disorders or ibs or pathologies.

We’re talking about healthy people Really? So you’re so non robust as a human organism that broccoli is gonna that’s the worst of your issues like oh my god

[00:21:39] Alli: I had a client send me a I won’t name his name, but whatever he made a video about how oatmeal was bad You

[00:21:47] Dr Mike T Nelson: Oh, does his last name have salad in it?

[00:21:50] Alli: Perhaps.

[00:21:51] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, which is, even more makes me laugh. Oh you hate vegetables? Your last name has fucking salad in it? Oh my god, this gives me hours of entertainment, but, go on.

[00:22:01] Alli: She sends me this video because oatmeal, so one of the ways I work with clients is even if I do macro tracking I usually like to provide food lists because I will always encourage single ingredient whole nutrient dense foods as trying to comprise the bulk of somebody’s diet.

[00:22:20] Dr Mike T Nelson: Crazy idea.

[00:22:22] Alli: Oatmeal was on her food lists, right? And she sends me this video and she’s like, Why did you put oatmeal on my food list? Oh no. Oatmeal is bad. And she said this, and I’m like, are you serious? I have to deal with this? Oh my god, I have to defend poor oatmeal. We’re in the, we’re in this.

Stage in the health and fitness space where we’re fighting about oatmeal. I’m like, you’ve got to be kidding me.

[00:22:43] Dr Mike T Nelson: The other one that came up for a while that I’m sure I’ll come up again was coffee. And so I got pissed off one day and I’m like, okay, so I’ve done research on coffee. I’ve been peer reviewed and been on, coffee position stands and stuff like that.

I don’t, I haven’t seen all this data. And so I went and pulled. Umbrella meta analysis. So for listeners, meta analysis is a study of studies and umbrella meta analysis is pulling together multiple meta analysis, like more than one for everything from Parkinson’s to type two diabetes to, and 98 percent of the data is like positive, but Ooh, one, cell Petri dish and, four eyed ferrets, we found that their liver cells didn’t like caffeine or whatever, so, but that, no one cares about that because it’s boring. It’s much better to just yell from the rooftops that coffee is gonna kill you and people are like what? I love my coffee. How dare you take my coffee away? And then it gets, outbursts and eyeballs and the cycle continues.

[00:23:45] Alli: Yeah, it’s not sexy. And what’s sexy is what sells.

That’s, I say that all the time too, the stuff that works is the boring stuff.

[00:23:53] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, the basics still work.

[00:23:55] Alli: The basics still work. And if you do want to talk about like generalized health and fitness advice, it’s not keto is for everyone or fasting is for everyone. It’s sleep, eat whole nutrient dense food, move more, go exercise.

It’s so boring. It’s so boring.

[00:24:13] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And that’s what’s hard because. One of my favorite quotes of all times is still the Stu Phillips quote. He was like, he’s if we went and asked, most people do we really think that they don’t know they should move more and eat less? He’s telling an overweight person to move more and eat less is like just telling a depressed person to have a nice day.

He’s it’s technically correct, but it is the most useless information at this point.

[00:24:39] Alli: Cause they need it. They need help applying it. Yes. They need guidance application is the, putting rubber to the road is where people struggle. Most, the, when people say, and so many clients, when I start working with them, it’s why I know what to do, but I just can’t do it.

I hear that.

[00:24:58] Dr Mike T Nelson: Oh, yeah,

[00:25:00] Alli: but and they’re not wrong. There’s truth to that. I think they do know what to do, but they are struggling to do it because, that’s what they need is help strategizing. All right. I know I need to whatever, eat more vegetables or eat more protein or move more, but I can’t seem to find ways to do that.

That fit with my life. And that’s where a coach can come in.

[00:25:21] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And I think that’s the benefit of a coach is, just figuring out, like I had a text message with a client the other day of how can we reduce friction to increase, compliance is it’s got a busy life, got a bunch of stuff going on, a lot of stressors, things like that.

So it was simple stuff of Hey, you’ve got a rower in your place. Great. Set up the rower. So it’s ready to go. Put your gym clothes. If you’re going to row first thing in the morning. Have your gym clothes already set out your row is fasted So you don’t need to do anything before that and just you know, these small things that seem very Inconsequential, but a lot of times especially when you get up you’re tired I don’t want to I hate the stupid roar, but oh, I got my clothes there.

I told my coach i’d do it today You know all that stuff does Make a difference and to your little comment. You mentioned my other reply that I like which I stole from Krista Scott Dixon is Well, then just show me Like if you know what to do and you haven’t got it done or it’s too easy to do it, and that’s why you haven’t done it, which is a weird thing in and of itself.

And it’s okay, let’s take a week and just show me how you can do this thing. And they’re like, Oh, but it’s too easy. Like one week. If it’s so easy, then you should be able to hit this with 90 percent compliance, like no problem. And then what you realize is, Oh yeah, they underestimated how Easy.

It actually was which happens all the time.

[00:26:45] Alli: Yeah. Removing limiting factors is huge. Yes. Just, it’s not because. Somebody has a goal and they’re like, Oh my gosh, I want to lose weight, but I can’t stick to my diet. Well, why can’t you stick to your diet? And then you start to part, you start to reverse engineer that and parse backwards and you’re really trying to get to the real first roadblock that you have to get through that’s creating this barrier for somebody to make change, like you said, like somebody was super busy life and it’s okay, get the rower out.

I’ve had to work with clients where it’s set your clothes out the night before, Put your supplements on the counters. You remember to take them like just working with people to, habit stack and remove some of these limiting factors so that they can apply all that information that they already know.

[00:27:26] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And those are always hard too, because, I’ve had clients that are like, Oh, I feel so stupid. I should have known that. I’m like, Why should you have known that? No one’s ever taught you. No one’s probably ever, might be the first time you’ve ever heard this before. So, like, why would you expect to have figured it out?

That’s why you hired someone to help you figure it out, so, it’s you can’t be negative and expect yourself to have figured everything out because if like the first time someone comes here to squat, they’re like, Oh, my squat’s so horrible. I’m like, have you ever really squatted with a kettlebell before?

No. Okay. So it’s your first rub. Do you think you’re going to be amazing at something that’s your first rub? Well, probably not. Okay. So why do you think you would be amazing at it? You’re probably going to suck and you’re just going to get better. And it’s a starting point and that’s okay. That’s why you’re here.

[00:28:12] Alli: I say that to clients all the time. I’m like, Oh, It’s okay for this to feel awkward.

[00:28:18] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, it’s going to feel awkward. It’s going to suck.

[00:28:21] Alli: It’s a transition. Like you’re learning, I was speaking with a client of mine the other day and I said, the first time you plopped your kid on a bike, did you just push him down the road and expect him to know how to pedal or did or did you help him and did you guide him and did you teach him?

And it’s it’s the same thing. You’re learning something new. Like you’re learning new skills. You’re learning new strategies. I have some clients who come to me. They don’t even know the difference between a fat and a protein,

Peanut butter is a protein to them, they’re, they don’t, I bet that

[00:28:47] Dr Mike T Nelson: happened before declines.

[00:28:49] Alli: Yeah. Like they don’t even, so, we’re starting with just very basic things and, you have to, I always say to clients, you have to give yourself permission to practice and permission to learn and permission to make mistakes because that is how you learn. That’s how everybody learns.

It’s how I learned, like I said before, I learned what to do by Doing it incorrectly nine times out of 10.

[00:29:10] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, it’s progress, not perfection. And everyone generally feels like they should be. Perfect at things they’ve never really done before, which is a weird thing. And I think it goes back to everybody does movement.

Everybody kind of eats. So we just assume we should have all this stuff figured out when reality, you just default to a lot of weird unconscious habits that you don’t even really know that you’re doing. A

[00:29:38] Alli: perfectionist mentality, man. That’s the worst.

[00:29:41] Dr Mike T Nelson: That’s hard.

[00:29:43] Alli: I’m a, I call myself affectionately a recovering perfectionist too, because I have that tendency.

And for some reason, and maybe this is just me, I don’t know if you can see this too, but I see it more in women. I see it. I generally do

[00:29:55] Dr Mike T Nelson: too.

[00:29:55] Alli: Yeah. Like a lot with women, this like type a, have to get it right, have to get it perfect thing, but it re it really is a limiting factor. It really is.

Because if you’re always operating in, in this, in this, I’m either failing or I’m nailing it. Perfect. And then you start to apply that to nutrition and fitness. So it’s either I’m eating the burger and the fries, or I’m eating the tilapia and the asparagus. There’s like

[00:30:21] Dr Mike T Nelson: the magical fish to thin your skin,

[00:30:25] Alli: but there’s it’s like, there’s a whole lot between.

Tilapia and asparagus and crap. There’s a whole lot in between there. What would that look like? But you, again, I think it comes back to we just tend as human beings, we tend to like black and white thinking, putting things in boxes. Good food, bad food.

I hear that all the time. Tell me which foods are bad. So they go in this box and which foods are good. So they go naughty versus

[00:30:48] Dr Mike T Nelson: nice list of foods,

[00:30:50] Alli: right? Because foods have morals. Yeah. But Yeah. I don’t even know where I was going with that. I got lost.

[00:30:57] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. I remember years ago, someone asked John Variety at a conference.

They’re like what do you think of peanut M& Ms? And he’s and John’s so nice, he’s like, Oh, well, what do you mean? What do I think of peanut M& M’s? He’s they’re like, well, they’re bad, right? And he’s well, if I’m stuck on a desert island, and the only thing I have is crates of peanut M& M’s,

[00:31:18] Alli: That’s not

[00:31:18] Dr Mike T Nelson: so bad, really, he’s it’s okay.

He’s if I’m at home, and I have many other options, other than peanut M& M’s. I could probably make a little bit better option.

[00:31:30] Alli: I get that. Oh, that always cracks me up when people are like, what do you think about? You can insert anything like greens powders. I don’t really think about greens powder. So give me the context what’s the specific reason that you’re asking?

Oh, I just heard that they were good. So why do you want to take a green? You have to ask a 50 million questions. Like, why do you want to take a greens powder? Because just trying to get people to understand that it’s all about context and it’s all about bio individuality. And it’s not. I always love the saying like one, one man’s or one man’s poison is another man’s like what one food works really well for one person could work horribly for somebody else.

Because it’s not just about the food itself. It’s also about the environment you’re putting the food into.

[00:32:12] Dr Mike T Nelson: Oh, definitely.

[00:32:14] Alli: So

[00:32:14] Dr Mike T Nelson: I think that’s why a lot of people are like, Oh, but I went to Europe and I ate all this other food and I was fine. I’m like, Okay, like it could be a difference in food. I’m not saying that’s it’s not but How many other variables did you change you’re on vacation?

So your stress is probably lower and if you’re in europe and other cities, you’re probably walking around a lot more So you’re getting a lot more movement. You’ve got probably hanging out in social things. You’re enjoying your time with friends You’re not as stressed there’s so many variables that it’s hard to replicate, but it was better, right?

So let’s try to take some of these variables and bring them back to your life at home and see if we can, try to replicate some of those too.

[00:32:55] Alli: Stress is so huge and such a difficult thing to discuss and tackle with clients. I feel like stress and sleep. Those are the two like hardest things.

Oh yeah.

[00:33:06] Dr Mike T Nelson: Sleep’s the worst in terms of trying to get people to do things with it. That’s when I did the flex diet cert like sleep is the eighth intervention. It’s eight because psychologically it’s Hey man, at the end of the day, you go through the whole day, you’re not giving up your kids for adoption.

You’re not moving closer to work. You can only work, two days at home in your pajamas or whatever. And you’re like Oh, I sleep six hours a night. So you’re telling me those two hours I relax and watch Netflix with my spouse that I’m not supposed to do that. I’m just supposed to go to bed. Yeah.

[00:33:37] Alli: Yes, actually. Ah, I hate you.

[00:33:40] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yep,

[00:33:42] Alli: it’s like the same thing. I bump into the same thing, I’ve got the mom who runs like a million miles an hour and she finally puts the kids down and her husband’s all taken care of and so she’s scrolling Instagram or doing like her, I don’t know, Amazon shopping, like in bed and then she can’t sleep because she’s glued to her phone and and then I try to tell her she needs to like, Put her phone down before she goes to bed.

And it’s but that’s the only time I have to myself. So it’s, I bump into the same thing. I feel like stress and sleep, two of the most powerful drivers of change, I think, but still two of the most challenging things to work with when it comes to working with clients.

[00:34:17] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. I realized that probably maybe four years ago I figured out, and it sounds so obvious when I say this is that the one other thing I’ve just figured out recently, but that.

If I can go to bed at a reasonable hour, get good enough sleep, and allow myself to generally sleep in until I wake up, so I’m getting enough sleep, per night, and I tend to sleep a lot, Oh my god my outside stress can be pretty damn high, and I’m okay.

[00:34:43] Alli: You still feel okay, yup. And I still feel okay

[00:34:46] Dr Mike T Nelson: but if I have two or three nights of, four to five hours, I can get by if my stress isn’t real high.

I can sneak by. I don’t feel amazing, but if my stress is high by oh man, by the end of that second night, whoo, I am I’m a crispy critter.

[00:35:03] Alli: I was going to say you’re a fun, you’re a fun person to be around. Yeah. I’m the same way. And I’ve definitely noticed it too. As I’ve gotten older, when I was younger, I used to be able to skate on four or five hours of sleep all the time.

And now if I don’t get like a good, like seven and a half to eight. Like a day or two goes by and I manage, but then by the third or fourth day, like my husband’s Oh my God, you need to get some sleep. He’s somebody give her a nap. So it just, it’s a powerful driver change.

And I agree. It actually, I think it makes me feel so much more resilient to stress.

[00:35:38] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, and I’m always reminded this usually when we travel when I get a little bit less sleep that I’m like Oh, it’s not so much that I enjoy sleep. Like I do but I’m like, oh man I really hate being tired now like you just feel so unproductive and everything is so Hard and I look back at like how many freaking decades of my life I lived like that, and I was convinced that was normal.

I thought I was doing good, and when I finished my PhD, I knew I wasn’t doing good. It was really bad, but

[00:36:10] Alli: yeah,

[00:36:11] Dr Mike T Nelson: it makes a huge difference.

[00:36:13] Alli: Yeah, I had a lot of sleepless nights in college, an absolute lot, but blows my mind how little value people place on sleep.

[00:36:21] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yes.

[00:36:22] Alli: Even as adults, like so many of the women I coach, it’s well, I sleep six hours a night if I’m lucky.

Yeah. That’s Oh, I have time for, and I’m just like, and they’ve been doing it for like years. You and I are talking about skimping on one or two bad nights of sleep, which is a whole separate animal. But when you have people who are just like chronically underslept like that, and then they wonder why they have food cravings or they’re craving sugar, or they can’t stick to a diet or they don’t have energy to go to the gym.

And it’s but still, like I said, sleep is just, it’s so hard to help people reroute that.

[00:36:56] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. Another blinding flash of the obvious I had just recently was, Oh, cause I came back from a trip and I was just sleeping like for a long time. And I realized, Oh, shocker. If I can still sleep, then. I need sleep.

I know it seems so obvious, but it’s okay, if I’m tired at nine o’clock at night and I go to bed and I sleep till eight the next morning and I do that for a couple of nights in a row, yeah, maybe I should reappraise my life and look at and make some other changes. I agree with that, but at the same point for that.

Moment in time. That’s what I needed because I was able to sleep. And when I replete the sleep shocker, I wake up, huh?

[00:37:40] Alli: I think you make a good point too. And then it made me think that, so often we don’t even listen to our bodies like that.

[00:37:46] Dr Mike T Nelson: Oh no, just shut up. Yeah. More coffee. Yeah. I’m just so used

[00:37:50] Alli: to overriding our body’s cues. And I know I’m guilty of that too. From competing and from bodybuilding cause all you do is override what your body’s telling you yeah, please slow down, please rest, please eat more, you just override it.

So I know I’m guilty of that too, but I think so many people just don’t. They lose touch with their bodies. They just don’t listen.

[00:38:11] Dr Mike T Nelson: I, the analogy I’ve used, which I stole from my buddy, Carl and Nora is that, and there’s research to show this too, that the more sleep deprived people get their ability to accurately predict how sleep deprived they are, like it’s actually worse as a running joke with like buddies I have who run sleep labs is Everybody thinks they’re the exception they’re the Detective Mutant who can do Jocko and, sleep four hours a night and be fine.

And he’s we put them in a dark room during the middle of the day with no stimulants and have them do a boring, repetitive task. And he’s half of them will fall asleep within ten minutes. But they’ll tell you that, and they honestly believe it, that, oh, I’m fine, I’m good ah, no, it’s all great.

So their ability to predict how bad they are isn’t very good. That’s why my buddy Carl Lennar said that his analogy is, imagine you’re working in a warehouse with a hundred light bulbs, and every day only one light bulb goes out. He’s a hundred days later, you’re probably sitting in the dark, but you have no idea you’re in the dark if you never left the warehouse.

It’s just this so gradual drop that it’s just so sneaky you don’t realize it.

[00:39:16] Alli: It’s a sneaky decline. Yeah. A hundred percent.

[00:39:19] Dr Mike T Nelson: Any tips for sleep for clients? Do you try to target sleep quality first? Do you try to look at a routine or you’re just be like, ah, I’m starting on something else.

[00:39:30] Alli: I usually have my first conversation is so one of the questions on my intake and it’s my favorite question is I will say, walk me through a day in the life.

[00:39:41] Dr Mike T Nelson: I like that one.

[00:39:41] Alli: I will literally just say. Start when you get up in the morning, right? What do you do? When do you eat?

Where do you go? Walk me through your day. When you get home at night, what do you do? What time do you eat? When do you go to bed? What do you do before you go to bed? And I start asking, I asked that question because, when you go through it, I can literally just circle all of the places where we could start to make improvements to somebody’s life, particularly when it comes to sleep and sleep hygiene.

Because I’m not just paying attention to what they do before bed, I’m also paying attention to what they do when they get up in the morning and then what they do throughout the day. So I will usually ask, take from that question and try to give one or two, start very small. Pieces of encouragement.

In other words, like I said with that woman who was on her phone, could we maybe get off the phone an hour before we go to bed? Could we maybe, get some sunlight first thing in the morning when we get up? Could you maybe just open the curtains? Could you step outside for five minutes?

And just starting with really small things in that area to just improve their overall circadian rhythm. But it also depends on what they tell me, right? If I have a woman who tells me that she lays down to go to bed, but like her brain is racing and her mind is super busy, then I’m going to start talking about, Hey, do we need to do could you journal earlier in the day and do a brain dump and get some of those worries out on paper?

That’s when I’m really like, we need to get away from anything stimulating before we go to bed because I, people think that the brain can just go from a hundred miles an hour to a full fledged stop. Within people want to lay down and go to sleep as soon as they lay down right after they got, I don’t know, got done watching the news or got off, got finished doing work or anything like that.

I know personally for me, I have to put work down and away from me at least like an hour or two hours before I go to bed because if I don’t, my brain is still just churning, because the brain needs, I feel like the brain needs space to disconnect from the day.

[00:41:43] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah I agree with that.

It’s a lot of looking at lifestyle, looking at small changes. The morning sunlight, I have that in the flex diet. Cert is like the number one thing, and it’s a weird thing. Like you mentioned it too, because it’s something that affects the end of the day, even though you do it at the beginning of the day And I’ve just noticed across time and I originally got this from Dr.

Dan Party many years ago, that if they get a fair amount of sunlight early, like they can mess up a lot of the other stuff later in the day and they feel tired and they actually go to bed, and so I’ve used that a lot with clients who, I have the ability to get up in the morning, Just do a fasted walk.

You’re like, what do I do beforehand? Don’t put your shoes on? Do I need to warm up? No. Do I need to take any supplements? No. Do I need to eat? No. Just get up and if you can only do ten minutes, give me ten minutes. Give me five minutes. Give me something. It’s like you get sunlight, you get some movement, you get outside, you get your day going.

So I think there’s a lot of benefits to these simple, basic things, but it’s something also that most people don’t think about. They’re like Oh, you mean if I get more sunlight in the morning, then I’m more tired in the evening because my circadian rhythm is actually regulated. You’re like, yeah. Oh.


[00:42:58] Alli: Yep. Yeah. And. One of the things too, I always like recommending and I recommend it and people literally like they’re, they look at me like I’m recommending something when I recommend like a happy light, which is like that light therapy device. So I got turned onto it because, so my husband works really early in the morning.

So we get up at four, four 30. So we’re up before the sun. So there’s no option to get sunlight when I get up in the morning. So you get up, you put this happy light on and people are like, Oh, so what? I have to just sit there and stare at it. And I’m like, you just put it on in your space, right?

Put it on your space. Like I’m in the kitchen in the morning. So I put it on in the kitchen, leave it in your space and just be exposed to it. I’m telling you, Mike, it does wonders. And I will tell clients, you can use it throughout the day when you get tired. But so if somebody really pushes back and they’re like, well, I can’t open the curtains in the morning.

My husband’s sleeping in, I’m like, get a happy light, turn on the happy light. Give me something, do something. But I am almost always looking at, to circle back to the answer to your question, I’m almost always looking at what are they doing in the morning and what are they doing to right before they go to bed to just try to optimize that window and just giving them small things because I feel like change is really hard.

I don’t feel like it is. It is hard. It’s hard for everyone. It’s hard for me. Yeah. And when you ask too much of somebody at once because your tech, chances are you’re already going to be changing their nutrition, changing the, and then all of a sudden you’re not trying to rearrange their sleep habits.

I feel like that’s one of those areas that I go at it very slowly, like one or two recommendations and we can just build from there.

[00:44:35] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, I was guilty initially in the past of looking at someone’s going, Oh my gosh, like I didn’t like giving them a checklist of like 17 things to change on day one. And that doesn’t go well, so now it’s okay let’s find the leverage points and let’s do a little motivational interviewing and can you rate this thing? Give me a one to 10 scale. So you’re trying to rig the system in their favor of, things that are going to, I call this coaching leverage, things that are physiologically going to move the needle.

But psychologically, they are easier to do, right? So eating more protein tends to take some education. It takes a little bit more effort, but most people can do that. And as opposed to trying to get to bed an hour earlier, right? So great, you’re eating 40 grams of protein a day. Let’s go with the protein, right?

Because it’s going to be easier. You’re going to get some wins. You feel confident. They’re like, Oh wow, this coach really knows what’s going on. And then you get some buy in and you can do the more difficult things later. My biggest mistake starting off was like only looking at physiology and being like, Oh my God, you sleep five hours a night.

You’re a train wreck. And pounding my head against a wall, trying to get them to sleep two more hours a night.

[00:45:44] Alli: Yeah, no, man, my, I think of all the mistakes I made when I was younger, so much of coaching is not. knowledge of nutrition and knowledge of training and even knowledge of lifestyle.

It’s behavior change. It’s psychology. I almost feel like I should have went to school for psychology instead of sports science, but yeah,

[00:46:03] Dr Mike T Nelson: I had that feeling

[00:46:06] Alli: because you’re, you’re working with people and it’s messy and, I don’t know if you’ve run into this, but even sometimes I find Starting off people, starting people off slow and simple is a harder sell than giving them all the strategies at once.

Because I come back and they’re like, they want to do all the things all at once. And I’m asking them to, I don’t know, drink more water and eat more protein and they’re going like. What the hell is this?

[00:46:36] Dr Mike T Nelson: Why did I pay you this obscene amount of money? What am I doing? Where’s my

[00:46:40] Alli: fancy plan?

Like, where’s my in depth program? And, sometimes I feel like it’s harder to sell them on the easy stuff. But truthfully I almost want it to be, at least for the majority of people I coach, to be so stupid simple that they don’t like, they can’t come up with an excuse not to do it because that’s how change happens.

[00:47:00] Dr Mike T Nelson: It’s almost like. Stepping into bizarro land, like people go into the gym. It’s not, Hey, how can we set things up to accomplish the most amount of work at the highest quality at being the least amount fatigued it’s let’s just do the craziest shit we can find that may not be sustainable, that may not get us a result.

And let’s be as fatigued as possible. When we walk out the door, let’s hire a coach and then demand a 17 point secret squirrel checklist to do every day. for nutrition because it’s got to be complicated. It’s you don’t, you hire someone, you hire a professional to simplify things, to give you the things that are actionable.

But no, it feels like in training and nutrition, we, it’s, it feels like people want the opposite, even though they know that it doesn’t match any other area of their life.

[00:47:48] Alli: Yup. Yup. It’s like they want what’s sexy and complicated and complex, even though, ah, They’ve never, even though they’ve never been able to stick to that stuff in the past too.

[00:47:58] Dr Mike T Nelson: That’s all the things that they got no results with.

[00:48:01] Alli: Yeah. That’s, and that’s usually what I will say, to clients think about how many times you’ve tried the set meal plan and the complex like training program and the five days a week in the gym for two hours, has it ever stuck?

Or have you really just been losing and gaining the same, like 10 pounds over and over in your life because you’ve not. ever figured out how to do these things consistently. So why don’t we just try it this way? If for no other reason, then it’s different than what you’ve done before. And that’s usually what I’ll say.

[00:48:34] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. The only other thing I’ve figured out a little bit is I think there’s something where we feel like when we’re stuck on a problem that it must be difficult and we don’t really want to be insulted and we don’t want to see someone come along and solve it easily. Like I remember years ago, locking my keys in my car, calling the locksmith, And he gets there and I think it literally took him 30 seconds.

And he’s like, all right, here’s your keys. That’s 138. And I remember my reaction initially was like, well, shit, 138 for it. It took him 30 seconds. I realized I wanted to see him like struggle with it. At least fake it, make it look like it’s more effort. But then I’m like, well, that doesn’t make any damn sense.

Do I want to stand there and watch this guy jingle around with my car for 10 extra minutes to charge me the same amount of money? Well, no, I don’t, but I do.

[00:49:28] Alli: Yeah, no, but that’s, you want somebody who’s going to be able to, Sift through all the complex and the complicated and like to spill it down into these are the few things that you need to do.

And that’s, I honestly feel like that’s what I do when I go through a client intake, right? Cause I’m taking this whole mess and I’m going, okay, but what are like

[00:49:52] Dr Mike T Nelson: the

[00:49:53] Alli: big dominoes that I can, Get this client to do to knock over like what are the big rocks that we need to move right let’s not pick at the pebbles like let’s find the big rocks and you know I feel like that’s what you really want with somebody is somebody who’s going to take something that’s super messy and super complicated and go okay we can fix all of this if you just do this if you just do these couple of things

[00:50:17] Dr Mike T Nelson: yeah and that’s one thing I’ve gotten A little bit better on, I think, is showing clients.

Again, most of my clients are, trainers and that kind of thing, too. So showing them a little bit of Hey, yeah, we, we did this whole seven day assessment and here’s all these things. Here’s where they’re useful. Here’s where you’re good. Here’s where you’re not. And then on the end of that being like, okay, but here’s the things we want you to do to start where I think for a while I made things way too complicated, which didn’t work.

And then I went to the other extreme and made them so simple that yes, they worked, but clients were like, why am I paying you this large amount of money to tell me to eat a chicken breast for breakfast? What are you, what the hell’s going on here? And I didn’t convey that. Well, yeah, it took me three and a half hours of going through all this other shit and looking at this and writing a program and doing all these things to get to that one thing.

So now I’m trying to figure out what the happy medium in there is also between the two,

[00:51:17] Alli: yeah, I do. I just, and I just started doing this probably like a year or so ago, but so like mapping the journey with the client. So in other words, I will explain to them like, okay, this is phase one.

This is phase two. This is phase three. So we’re here and we’re focusing on this, but by doing this, we will get to this. and laying it out and so then they can see that even though they’re starting here the process like builds on itself and there’s still a purpose for what they’re doing now, even though what they’re doing now feels so simple.

And ever since I started doing that I feel like it’s genuinely helped a lot especially with clients where it might be a complex or a com, complicated situation because I do work in the functional health space as well. So I will get clients who come to me with, gut issues or hypothyroid issues or hormone issues and it feels very complex and complicated to them.

But then when I go through all their paperwork and I see, Oh, well, we’re eating like shit and we’re sleeping like shit. And so we’re still going to start with these things. But they can see then, okay, if I start with this, it’s going to have a downstream effect on these major glaring issues that I have.

So just starting to map their journey. And so, and I also feel like that helps with expectations too. It really does.

[00:52:36] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, that’s one thing I should get better at doing because I’m pretty good at doing it with people who have hard goals and are competitive, but I’m not as good of writing that out for their clients.

So I’m taking a note that I need to get back to doing that. And I, there was no reason that I went away from it. It wasn’t like I was just being lazy. It’s just some clients lives are so chaotic. I feel like I don’t want to. Stress them out by giving them this plan that they may not be able to execute, but at the same point, every time I’ve done it, it’s actually been the reverse, like they feel like, oh, okay, here’s this phase we’re doing.

Oh, okay. Because the reality is I have it all written out. Anyway, I might as well share,

[00:53:16] Alli: Got it in your notes on your end. So, and I feel like it helps to circling back to what I mentioned in the beginning, when I have women like, for example, who are super fixated on the scale, but maybe losing weight shouldn’t be their primary focus, right?

Maybe in order to lose weight, we have to focus on other things first. We have to focus on getting healthy first, or we have to focus on building a foundation first, right? If they’re eating like crap and they’re. eating at random times of the day, or they’re not eating at all during the day, they’re eating spaghetti and ice cream and everything at night, like we need to start there and work with some of those limiting factors.

It’s helpful for them to see that, okay, I’m in this phase and I’m focusing on just the nutrition habits and weight loss isn’t the focus. Because we’re not even there yet. We’re just focused on laying a foundation, and, Oh! In phase 2 or phase 3, then we’re going to start working on fat loss or weight loss.

And they can see it’s coming and they understand that, in order for them to get there, they have to focus on the foundations first. I think it’s It just helps manage those expectations. So if they don’t see their weight changing initially, they’re like, well, that’s okay. I’m not in that phase. That’s not our focus right now.

Right now, my focus is to just, I don’t know, eat an apple and peanut butter instead of a sub from Jimmy John’s today, that kind of thing. Yeah.

[00:54:34] Dr Mike T Nelson: Cool. And as we wrap up, I wanted to get back to the, we briefly touched about, what are your thoughts about just weight training and for women who want to add more muscle?

Like I, I think it’s getting better, but I still run into a fair amount of people who generally aren’t my clients, but general population, you’re on the airplane, you’re in the elevator or whatever. They ask what you do. Most of the time I lie and tell them I’m a sanitation engineer or something cause yeah.

Otherwise it’s going to be. A talk of Oh, what do you think of keto? And what they really want to say is I’m doing keto and it’s amazing. Or, It’s rarely ever like a serious conversation. It’s they just want to tell you what they’re doing and they just want you to nod in approval and there’s no skin in the game.

There’s no connection, and again, I don’t mind talking about it with people if they’re honestly interested in having a discussion, but yeah, so I just still feel like there’s still this misnomer of, Oh, I’m a woman, I’m going to go to the gym. And man, if I. If I just lift too heavy, I’m just going to add so much muscle so fast.

And I’m like thinking, have you been to most gyms? There’s, scrawny little dude, bros, like trying to do whatever they possibly can to add as much muscle as possible and it’s a slow process.

[00:55:51] Alli: I’m always like, I’ve been lifting seriously and progressively and heavily since my twenties. And do you think I’m bulky?

Like I’ll usually say that to people because it hasn’t happened yet.

[00:56:05] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah.

[00:56:05] Alli: Don’t, and I’m pretty precise and dialed in and I track and I, and it has not happened to me, but so I guess your question is.

[00:56:15] Dr Mike T Nelson: What would you recommend them to do? Do you want, do you like try to So my favorite piece of advice I stole from Dan John, I, cause I don’t know if someone was asking him or I was asking him or what it was and it his advice was, so he’s okay, so here’s what I would tell him.

He’s okay, if they’re worried about gaining too much muscle too fast, he’s don’t worry, I got the perfect solution for you. We’ll cut you back right before that happens. You’ll be perfectly fine. I was like, ah, it’s brilliant. I’m still in that.

[00:56:45] Alli: I usually have them start. If they’re not strength training, I usually have them start with something super easy, like three days a week, full body and I don’t have them lifting heavy.

Because for women, I feel like it’s the heavy lifting. It’s the squats for sets of three and five they’re like deathly afraid to do, which is odd to me because That’s the stuff that’s really shaped my, my, I’m anything but bulky, I’ll try to, I do the best I can to meet them where they’re at and get there and introduce them to it slowly and truthfully introducing women who don’t strength train to strength training is half is three fourths of the battle because most women, once they start doing it, they freaking love it.

[00:57:34] Dr Mike T Nelson: Oh, yeah. Yeah. And they’re easy to train. I’d rather I’d still rather train women all day than most guys, like by far. Oh yeah. Really?

[00:57:42] Alli: Okay. Why is that?

[00:57:43] Dr Mike T Nelson: They usually listen. Okay.

[00:57:47] Alli: I had to ask cause, cause John Meadows used to say the same thing. He’s I like training women better than men.

I said, why? And he’s cause they work harder. That’s what he said.

[00:57:55] Dr Mike T Nelson: Most of them honestly do. Like I would a hundred percent agree with that, especially the ones. I’ve worked with that are competitive, like even the volume record of like person who’s done the most volume of any program I’ve ever done was Aaron Christ Elliott, she just doing seven sets of stuff.

And it was high, it was like, looked nice. It was like legit, like shit, like you go girl, like crazy.

[00:58:21] Alli: Yeah. I feel like most women, once they get, once they start strength training they really enjoy it. And once they see what it can do for their body. They enjoy it even more and not just from a, not just from an aesthetic standpoint, but just with how they feel, and I think the, I think one of the biggest rewards of strength training is you see the results of your efforts.

faster, you can increase reps or decrease rest time. There’s so many ways for you to progress yourself in the gym on a daily weekly basis that I feel like it’s very rewarding.

[00:58:57] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, I think that’s one thing even with, physique or fitness competitors, like I just hammer performance all the time.

And they’re like, Oh, but I’m trying to get my glutes bigger. My shoulder is wider, whatever. I’m like, yep, I get that. But

[00:59:09] Alli: it’s

[00:59:10] Dr Mike T Nelson: so hard to tell. We can’t put you in an MRI every week to see what’s going on. Yes, we can take pictures. We can take measurements and all that stuff. And that’s great.

But I can tell you 100 percent that if you have enough calories. And you are progressively doing more volume, better density and intensity. So shocker overload at some point, the muscle has to get bigger. Now that’ll be different between people. Rate of response is different. Yeah. There’s some women and some guys who look at a weight stack, they get bigger.

They don’t have to work as hard. I get it. But. The idea is the same and, like from most women or guys, say, natural athletes who are competitive in, bodybuilding, physique, whatever, all the top ones I’ve ever worked with, they’re all freaking strong. I can’t think.

of an exception. Now, are they powerlifters strong in Olympic leglifting? Not necessarily, but compared to the vast majority of people in the gym, like they are significantly stronger than most people by far in my experience.

[01:00:12] Alli: I would agree.

[01:00:15] Dr Mike T Nelson: But that’s the thing I think that gets missed. But that’s like you said, the most powerful thing you can focus on.

Cause you can see those small improvements. And especially if you’ve been doing this, like you have for many decades. I was looking at my strength logs today and I was like, Ooh boy, I picked up a one 35 pound inch replica dumbbell for a single rep more than I did two months ago, right? And I did a whole bunch of stuff in between.

I made a bunch of progress on other lists and other things, but. It’s like week to week. It’s Oh, I had another set here. I’m like my other lift, like this week I added one more rep compared to yesterday. It’s these small little things because it sounds inconsequential, but I know that.

Compounded day in and weekend and month in and month out. Like those are the things that you’ll see changes then. Gosh,

[01:01:04] Alli: a hundred percent. And I still keep, I write out my workouts. Like I have

[01:01:08] Dr Mike T Nelson: yeah, I do too. My little little notebook here.

[01:01:10] Alli: Yes, same thing. I have them. I have stacks of them back from oh my gosh, the early two thousands, like just decades ago.

And I can even look back and I’m like, holy crap. I got stronger. I’m almost. I’m almost, and that’s another thing too, I hear all these women like, Oh, when you get older, I’m almost 40 and I’m stronger, way stronger now than I was when I was 20. And so I feel like that is just one of the most rewarding things with the strength training.

My husband is always like probably rolling his eyes because I’ll be training in the gym. He’s at work and I’m like texting him. I’m like, today I did incline dumbbell presses for this much weight. And I’ve been stuck at this weight for the longest time. And it’s still exciting for me. Like it’s still exciting.

[01:01:55] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And it, I was just thinking about this again today. It’s the weirdest things I did a podcast earlier. And so one of my goals is to pick up a Thomas inch dumbbell. So it’s 175 pound dumbbell with a two and three eighths inch handle. And so I’ve been working on that for about eight years. I actually hired a coach this year.

So my stretch goal is to try to hit it by December. We’ll see. But she asked a good question. She’s well, well, do you just move on to another goal? Like after you’ve hit that, or do you have, parameters or what does it look like? And I’m like, in my brain, I’ve already realized that I will hit it.

It’s just a matter of time. And then I have the checklist of, okay, well, I want to do it on my left hand now. And I want to have it flat. And I wanted to be able to walk into a gym and do it cold. And so you have all these

[01:02:37] Alli: progressions.

[01:02:40] Dr Mike T Nelson: And it’s never ending. You know what I mean? It’s. there always will be something you could do the rest of your life related to strength training.

Like you talked to high level lifters and we’re talking to a guy, I was one of the Gillingham brothers. I think it was Brad who was, drug free powerlifter, deadlifted over 800 pounds competition, like 55 times or something like that. And I’m like, when you were doing that what was your next goal?

He’s have your deadlift. I’m like, Oh yeah, well, no shit.

[01:03:10] Alli: There’s no ceiling, there’s no ceiling, the goal is always just growing.

[01:03:16] Dr Mike T Nelson: But I think that’s, it’s a odd thing to come to peace with that also. When I first started lifting, I thought, oh man, cause I got crushed by the empty bar in high school, my first deadlift was 95 pounds, I’m like, once I can bench rest body weight and deadlift twice my body weight in a meet to me that was like my first big marker.

And I did it and I’m like. Oh, it’s anti climatic. Nobody gives a shit, I was cool. I was happy. I did it, but it’s like, everything else looks the same. The world didn’t change.

[01:03:48] Alli: It is achieving the goal is never as it is never really as enjoyable as the process. I honestly believe that like you get there and you’re like, ah, Okay, now what?

What’s next? I always think the process to achieving a goal is so much more satisfying than the goal.

[01:04:09] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, and that’s hard to convince the people at first who are paying you for the result, right? And, but that’s the only way. It’s going to be a lifestyle change and they’re going to stay with it too.

So I always think even in my wording and stuff, I always feel like I’m going back and forth of, yes, trying to get them invested in the process, but also making sure they’re making progress towards their goal, because that’s the main driver and it’s only after weirdos like us who’ve been doing it for fricking decades that we’re like, yeah, it’s just all the journey, man.

It’s no one wants to hear that shit when they start.

[01:04:42] Alli: First for people like us, yeah, maybe, we are all gung ho about this, but not everybody is, not every, I get that a lot when people say, how do you stay motivated to train? And the truth is, Mike, like I don’t have to be motivated. Like I love it. That’s how, that’s where the motivate, like I love it.

The gym is the best part of my day every day. Even if it’s a bad workout, it’s still a good workout if that makes any sense.

[01:05:07] Dr Mike T Nelson: Totally.

[01:05:08] Alli: So I don’t have to be. If you think about it in general in life, we don’t have to be motivated to do things we love to do. We do them because we just genuinely want to do them.

So, freaky people like us who love the gym like that, yeah, it’s We can say things like, Oh, it’s all about the process. And it’s all about the journey, but for some people it’s not, they’re there because they just want to lose weight or they just want to make sure that they’re like aging.

Well, it’s not this big, enjoyable thing. They don’t thoroughly love to lift weights. They just know that it’s good for them. So I agree with you, to a certain extent too, as coaches, I think we need to remember that. And not everybody’s like us, this isn’t everybody’s like enjoyment.

This isn’t everybody’s hobby. For some people, they’re just in this to, change how they look.

[01:05:55] Dr Mike T Nelson: And my long term thing then is the two things. Can I get them to buy into the process so they become quote unquote a lifer? And then can they transfer those skills to something else? So like some of my clients in the past of yeah, I just took up wakeboarding.

Now I went kiteboarding. I started learning surfing. I took up mountain biking. I’m like, Oh, to me, that’s like the ultimate, it’s yeah, that’s cool. You won your show. You do whatever great. That’s awesome. But I get more excited when I see them transferring all those skill sets to other aspects of their life, because in every single case, they’re like way happier.


[01:06:33] Alli: And it’s. It is true. I, I can think even onto my own journey, so much of my success and other areas of my life came from what I learned in the gym. And it came from that like self discipline and delayed gratification and the things that whole process of physique change teaches you.

[01:06:54] Dr Mike T Nelson: Awesome. Where can people find more about you, all your programs? And if you, are you currently coaching anyone? Do you take applications or how does all that process work?

[01:07:04] Alli: Yeah. So, all they have to do is go to my website.

Perfect. So it’s revivewellness. health. I’m almost always accepting client applications if I am on a wait list for whatever reason it’ll say so right on my website. But I’m also fairly active on social media. So if anybody wants to get ahold of me I pretty much only do Instagram and Facebook.

I just can’t get my brain around 60 different social media apps. No, I barely

[01:07:31] Dr Mike T Nelson: get on Instagram.

[01:07:32] Alli: Yeah. I don’t tweet. I don’t. I don’t have Tik TOK, I don’t any of that, but my handle on Instagram is Alison, it’s just my name at Alison Moyer and it’s, I’m pretty active on there, so I will almost always answer, answer answer DMS.

And yeah, that’s how people can get ahold of

[01:07:50] Dr Mike T Nelson: me. Cool. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for all your time and I really appreciate it.

[01:07:55] Alli: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

[01:07:57] Dr Mike T Nelson: Thank you.

[01:07:59] Dr Mike T Nelson: Thank you so much for listening to the podcast. Really appreciate it. A big thanks to Alli for coming on here and discussing all of this stuff. Things related to females and competition and calories and everything else.

Make sure to check out all of her stuff. We’ll put a link to her great Instagram account and her website down below. And also the Flex Diet Cert opens June 17th, 2024. And then if you want to know four things that women can specifically do to improve their body composition according to Alli. Check that out in the Flex4 question.

Go to MikeTNelson. com forward slash Flex4. And then also if you’re looking for a tasty ketone beverage you can check that out at the Tekton, the link below. Unfortunately getting fluids through the TSA is not really easy to do a lot of times, so fortunately I couldn’t bring anything over for the seminar I’m teaching, but normally I do in the U S so thank you so much for listening to the podcast.

We really appreciate it and we’ll talk to all of you next week.

Well, they say all good things come to an end. What’s that got to do with this show?

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