Eric McCormack on Fitness Nutrition

Eric McCormack is a retired police officer and trainer with a client list of heavy hitters such as Rihana Cary, Mark Scott, Lori Winberg and Cam Hanes. We invited Eric and some of the MTNOPS crew up for a day to hang, do a workout and have some great conversations. In this podcast, we sat down with Eric specifically to talk about nutrition, but the conversation also naturally started with his time as a police officer.

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Episode Transcript:

Yeah, but it was good. I mean, I happy I did it, but I mean, yeah, it's the hardest job in the world I think. I bet. Because you're, you're not like a soldier cuz you're just, you know, your job is to take care of business. Right. But as a police officer, you have have to dive into that person's life and sort of juggle it and talk about it and um, yeah.

You have to really take it in, you know? Yeah. And that was just like when I started, was in 99. , they didn't have any counseling. Uh, um, you know, I've had eight people die in my arms. Geez. And, uh, I eight eight. Mm-hmm. crazy. I'm not good for cpr if I'm doing cpr, I, you, you're not good. Yeah. Oh, for eight. Uh, yeah, it was just a, a, I mean, that's where I took training.

That's where training, uh, used to teach at academy in defensive tactics on how to use your tools and also physical fitness. And I think that really, catapulted me into how important it is. Mm-hmm. , because, you know, this could be someone's life or death. Yeah. You know, this brief training could save your life one day.

And that's where I took how important it is to a different level. Yeah. You know, so it matters. Yeah. And that's where I met Cam, was at the end of my career. And then, um, I had a personal thing. My fiance, she died in a swimming accident. Hmm. And she was the one that was sort of holding me together and it broke me.

And then when I was broken, I was just like, man, I can't, I can't do this job anymore cuz it's just, I had 13 years to go. Yeah. And that's where I was just like, well I was training Cam, I sort of see what he was going and we were gonna make a, a workout DVD together. I was like, okay, I'm stepping away. So that's where I just.

And that's where Outlaw strength came in. Crazy. It's like I'm stepping away from a career, I'm just stepping away to do something that I love. Yeah. And that's where I just started doing this full-time. Wow, that's wild. Little crazy story, huh? Yeah. . That's crazy. And that's why they're like this tactical training and everything that you're doing, it's like it's.

It's good. You know, it's like it's back in my roots. Yeah. Um, but that's where I was just like, it's a special niche. Yeah. And that's where I've been brought in mountain ops to sort of maybe make it more generalized, but now we're bringing back together. Yeah. So it's like he can take that concept of fighting for quality of life.

It's worth fighting for it. Yeah. Let's just give you a direction to do it in. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. And you have the chance to touch. Close to a million people, probably. I mean, well, with working with Cam, I mean, every time we'd do a video we'd have a hundred thousand. Yeah. You know, or you know, multiple, thousands.

Hundred, thousands and millions of people would see our workouts, but it's not really making that. impact that I want of educating is like, this is where you need to find your balance. Yeah. Know. Nutrition, training, cardio, recovery, deeper. Yeah. Yeah. More holistic. Yes. Yeah. Yes. And that's where, you know, leaving or leaving Eugene and not working with Cam, you know, was sort of hard, but now I think God has a different twist for me to work.

Yeah. And working with you guys is like, man, I think we can just make this so. Making everybody healthier. Better. Yeah. Yeah. The country needs it. The world needs it. Yeah. Right. And we can make a, I don't know, I just think these basic concept and fundamentals, we can really just make it so it makes sense.

Mm-hmm. , you know, that's one of the things I learned as a police officer is like we overcomplicated things. . He was like, keep it simple. Yeah. Keep it very basic and, and work at the basic, and then build that foundation and then start experimenting from there. You know, and that's where I've obsessed about like nutrition and exercise and body composition.

And, uh, you know, I've made a lot of mistakes. Mm-hmm. , I mean, I've made. So many mistakes on nutrition. Um, when Covid hit, I got away from weight training. I just did, uh, endurance training. Yeah. Cause I wanted to experience that, you know, it's a marathon, just some 24 hour races. Yep. And, uh, I lost 25 pounds of muscle in two years.

Yep. You know? Yeah. And it's just finding your balance. What are you trying to do? Right. The goals. Yeah. Yeah. So I think. That nutrition concept is like man, eating for health and then building yourself up to performance and using like blood work to find out where your deficiencies are and then supplement with your base nutrition into supplementation to find a holistic that you're really are using science with what you're doing, so then you're truly healthy.

Yeah. You know what I. , how much blood work are you doing nowadays to, to see where you're Every six months. Every six months. Every six months I do it. Check your markers. Yeah. I mean, it's like, uh, the way I look at it is like you could clone your dog if you wanted to. Mm-hmm. , you know, so why wouldn't you want to use technology of finding out?

You know, are you deficient in vitamin D? Are you deficient in vitamin A? Are you deficient in this or what's your testosterone, thyroid? I mean, you can test all those things. So where should your car be at? Yeah. You know, where should your body be at? Yeah. And training for your age, eating for your age. I mean, it, it, it changes.

Mm-hmm. , I mean, I can't eat like I did when I was 20. Yeah. You know? Yeah. I mean, it's, it makes sense. Your digestive system. You gotta watch. Yeah. And you gotta monitor, see where you're at, and look for red flags and catch 'em early. And that's why I think, uh, we're all a little unique on how we digest and break down and transport foods.

So you sort of have to use an experiment, what foods work best for your body. Mm-hmm. , you know, we can sort of say, generalize these foods are good, but what works best for your body's unique. Yeah. And that's where like the blood type. Um, I don't live by it, but it still gives you suggestions of how your body breaks down foods and how it transport it.

So, um, I'm o positive, which is a very common, so I thrive off fattier proteins. Um, I shouldn't eat very much fungus, but. You know, it sort of gives me like parameters to sort of pay attention to. Yeah. I don't live by it, but it still gives me ideas. Yeah. Just knowing that it definitely helps with your decision making.

Mm-hmm. for sure. Mm-hmm. , you know, and like, same thing for you, do you, when you eat a certain food, how does it react to your body? How does it make you feel? and most people don't even have an idea of how that works, you know, because they're always just shoveling in because they're just like, what do I have?

What do I have available? You know? Yeah. And that's where it's just like, it's, it's a, it's a very interesting process and cuz it's always changing. Mm-hmm. , I mean, it's, it's constantly your buy's adapting to what you're asking of it. So Eric's in the Mountain Tough Lab. We are honored to have you here. We just got done showing you day one of our on-RAMP program.

It was fun to have you check that out. Great program. Definitely check it out. Thanks. Yeah, we're excited to see people dive into that, especially people that have been nervous and intimidated about working out, and that'll be their first step, which I think is super cool. So, related to that, wanted to ask you about nutrition for.

For someone who hasn't worked out ever in their life, maybe someone played college sports and hasn't worked out in 20 years, and they're very intimidated. Not only around workouts, but they're very. confused about what's out there around nutrition. Mm-hmm. , and if they're not confused, they just don't know where to start.

So I wanted to chat with you about that and pick your brain on, on someone who really needs to turn their life around and needs that catalyst moment where they're looking for a trajectory nutritionally, where would you have them start? . Um, you really just sort of have to look at yourself on what you're doing on a day-to-day basis and, and start making small increment changes and then listen to your body when you're making those small changes.

I think that we go from one extreme to another all the time. We do extreme diet or something extreme, and, uh, there's consequences for. So we just need to start building you up in a slowly, methodical way. And, uh, I'm all about eating for health first. And then once you get that foundation, then you can start evolving into it maybe for performance.

Um, I'm a true believer in, uh, not starving. Mm-hmm. , I'm a true believer in giving your body what it needs to function correctly. So I would definitely stay, uh, starting with the basics, starting off with a breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Um, and when you're thinking about food choices, you gotta use some common.

And that's where it really comes in as common sense. Um, when you're thinking about proteins, fats, and carbs, um, where do they come from? Um, the cleaner source of proteins are gonna be a better choice. Mm-hmm. , um, something is EAs easy on your digestive system. How does your body digest foods and how does it work?

And we're all a little unique, but that's where this is your journey and you need to start making choices in the right direct. , I would definitely start off with a good, uh, healthy breakfast. You always need to eat proteins and carbs together because one is energy and one is building blocks to protect muscle tissue.

Mm-hmm. . So they sort of work together. So breakfast should be your biggest meal the day. Because you have all day to experiment that energy. To use the energy. Yeah. So breakfast should be, uh, focusing on energy. It's the most important cuz you have all day. So focus on a carbohydrate, uh, whole grain, multi-grain.

Get away from enriched or bleach products. So you gotta look at the ingredients. What is the product made out of? Um, if it says enriched or bleached. Multi-grain, whole grain things that God has created, it's probably better for you to choose from. Mm-hmm. . Um, and then lunch should also be energy focused, um, because you still have hours in the day that you have to be mentally focused and engaged.

So you're, you should have a good, healthy lunch also, but it should be maybe a little. and then your dinner. Uh, I would transition to more of the vegetables because there are still a source of energy, but there's not as much calorie value. Mm-hmm. . And then, uh, that's your protein, that's when you're implementing to try to implement.

Uh, the muscle muscle's, living tissue and it burns calories doing nothing. And that's what we want, is to build more living tissue all night to make your body work fe Yeah, more efficient. So the idea is that energy, energy building blocks the only time your body repairs it during sleep process. So if you have the protein, why you sleep is going to repair your body for the next day.

Love it. So that would be the very basic that I would start. And then hydration. Um, it's the most important nutrient for your body is water. I would definitely start there. Mm-hmm. . Um, I would recommend drinking close to a gallon a day. Starting with that. It's always good of getting extra water cuz that's a transporter to everything in your body.

So good, sensible breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And then hydrate, hydrate your body and that's a transporter to your muscles. Uh, nerve endings, everything works with the hydration. So that's, That's the basic I would start with, so I'm a beginner, I'm nervous, I'm scared. Maybe I'm 45 pounds overweight. Mm-hmm.

if I just focus on a healthy, clean breakfast, lunch and dinner, breakfast being my largest meal of the day. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . And I shop the perimeter of the grocery store. I'm not going down the aisles looking for the boxed high sugar foods. Mm-hmm. , I'm looking for, Whole foods that God created. Mm-hmm. , I'm gonna start noticing a difference.

Of course, of course you can still like, uh, get crackers and chips, but what are they made out of? And that's where looking at labels and start educating yourself of what they're using. So just sticking to not enrich your processed foods. If it says bleach or unbleached, just don't. I mean, if it's whole grain, trisquit, trisquit cracker is good example.

Mm-hmm. a multi-grain cracker. You can choose on 'em. I mean, put some Turkey, put some cheese. Simple. Yeah. I mean, we can make it so it's simple, easy snacks that you don't have to make a, a huge meal, but you can make your breakfast. Lunch is always sort of the challenge, you know, where, what are you doing during lunch?

And that's where I like to use wraps. A whole grain, multi garden wrap a sandwich. I mean, those are simple, easy things that has a carbs and proteins intertwined together. Mm-hmm. and the dinner salad, meat and vegetables I like to use cuz there's more value content. Um, but you gotta eat your green stew. So it's sort of, I mean it's a juggling situation, but you have to remember is.

When you're overweight, your body has to expend more energy to just move. . So you're burning a lot of calories just pumping to your heart to move your body. Yep. And, uh, you're gonna see some ch some changes in your body, but that's where the implement of the exercise is important because it's gonna give you a more, um, exerting the energy and putting it out there.

That's awesome. And if I am struggling, I need to make a life change. I need to replace a lot of that soda and alcohol with water step by step. Oh, for sure. I mean, that's the, I mean, the alcohol, it dehydrates your body. It shuts your metabolism down. Um, and the soda is just sugar. I mean sugar. And that's where diabetes and heart disease, it's the.

Highs and the crashes are our blood sugar levels. So I eat like a diabetic. I'm constantly controlling my blood sugar level throughout the day. I'm trying to trickle in energy. I'm not trying to overload it. I'm just trying to trickle in to keep my body running at efficient level. Mm-hmm. . So we should all eat like a diabetic.

controlling your blood sugar level throughout the day. Yeah, because when you have crashes or peaks, that's when the release of insulin and your body starts doing weird and wacky things. Yeah. So controlling your blood sugar level, eating, uh, sustained energy throughout the day. , that's where you should start.

So beginner, first step, start tomorrow with a big, healthy breakfast. Yes. Yes. Uh, I recommend, uh, you know, um, oatmeal, uh, maybe some whole grain, multi-grain bread. I use a Kodiak power cake every morning. It has proteins and carbs in it. Super simple. And then I implement some ve um, some maybe strawberries, blueberries, raspberries.

Use the. Fruit is an amazing source of energy and antioxidants for your body. People are scared of fruit. Well, sugar, of course it is, but it comes down to how fast is it? Usable energy. That's the key. So, I'm really sort of diving in here right now. No worries. There's a thing called a glycemic index list.

It tells you how fast the foods turn into usable energy. Look it up. But most of fruits, um, like I use apple, pineapple, grapefruit, kiwi, those are the power foods that are slow releases of energy. The melons are something that's gonna be faster acting. Mm-hmm. . So maybe after done training, that'd be a time that you want to use a cantaloupe or a melon.

Yeah. To get your body back to that optimal. . So when you exercise, you're burning up the energy in your, in your body. So it is starting to plummet. Mm-hmm. . And that's what we need to get to the optimal level that you're functioning. So breakfast, lunch, and dinner, that's where I go back to that basics. A lot of beginners that we hear from through the Mountain Tough support team, they're gonna struggle a little bit with sweet.

So you know they're going to struggle giving up some candy, some ice cream at night. Mm-hmm. , they essentially do need to replace that stuff with something else though. Is that accurate? Yeah. And, and I think that you slowly have to phase those out. This comes down to control, you know, and balance. So if you're eating that every single night, so say with alcohol, if you're drinking every single night as a coach, I would say, Hey, can we cut it down to two days?

A. Can we make it maybe a Friday, Saturday thing mm-hmm. and then get that control. And our whole job is here, is to make you a little bit better. Uh, give yourself that grade who know where you at in your overall health, unless it's improved that grade a little bit. So if you've been a D or an F for a while, let's try to get you a C.

Yeah. And, and that's where I think people do. , they set themselves up for failure cuz they go too extreme. They're trying to go F to a overnight. Yeah. And you can only be a for a short period of time. Yep. You need to be a B or a C student for longevity. Yep. So if it's alcohol, if it's sweet, cut back. How much?

Don't do it every day. Do it every other day. That's a start. And then maybe cut it back to another day, every third day. Mm-hmm. . And that's where you're sort of building. just like training, right? Same thing. You're slowly building that foundation up and nutrition. It's the hardest thing cuz you have to eat.

Yep. You have to eat and it's not like an alcoholic that you just cut it out. You got to give your body what it needs to function correctly. Mm-hmm. . , but it's about micro changes, right? Micro changes 1% better each day. Yes. Yes. And really, and, and mapping it out and, and like there's apps out there, uh, MyFitness pals and one I like to use.

Um, and it will sort of map it out what you're doing on a day-to-day basis. And it's not exact. , but it's gonna give you a ballpark. Mm-hmm. , you know, it's gonna give you an idea of what you're implementing to your body of how much protein, how much carbs, how much fats. And we are all looking about balanced nutrition.

I'm a true believer in balanced nutrition. Yeah. Um, not extremes. Yeah. Not extremes. Something that's sustainable. Mm-hmm. for decades. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. That's the whole idea. And I love to. MyFi Pal is a great one, but the, the greatest benefit I've seen is just getting someone to sit down and record what they're eating.

Mm-hmm. , because a lot of folks, they don't even have a single clue, like how many calories they're consuming in a given day. Mm-hmm. and just taking, taking a day and tracking that and adding it up, and actually looking at what a day looks like. For total calories and for their macros is usually a pretty revolutionary moment for someone just to see that data.

Even if it's just one time, oh, it's it because we eat the same 20, 30 foods. Mm-hmm. , I mean, realistically, I eat the same 20 foods. And if you get those foods dialed in, you're really gonna start seeing that change. But that's why you gotta find. Foods for your body for what you enjoy. And that's where it comes down to experiment finding that list and start picking out, oh, how does quinoa, how does brown rice work?

How does baam rice work for my energy level? Yep. And that's where it's just finding the right foods, but using some common sense will really get you a long ways. Awesome. Well, thank you. I think that's golden information for a beginner. Mm-hmm. . I think just starting small micro goals, focusing on those whole foods will make a big difference.

And also remember, men and women are different on the output of energy that we use. Um, men we are heavier, uh, more muscle tissues, so we're burning more calories in. . So sort of finding that balance of how much energy you need to put in and how much you need to consume. Men or women are gonna probably be about seven to a thousand calorie deference.

Mm-hmm. on the intake, um, and how much we need. Yeah. So just something to think about also. Yes. But the abs, they sort of puts you in a basic, general ballpark with your age, your gender, your weight, and your activity. It was sort of like, this is how much you need to eat. Yeah. But it's it's not specific for you.

It's just generalized. Yeah. But that's a good start. It's a data point. Yes. Yeah. It's just a data point and then you gotta tweak it. Then you gotta tweak it. And that's where we sort of come in. We can tweak it so it makes sense. Cool. And get to that next level. Athletes that are in that intermediate and elite category.

And I, I love this topic cuz fitness is a never ending journey. Mm-hmm. people can always get better. And human performance is the coolest thing ever because. , we've only scratched the surface surface of human performance. I mean, you can see that in the ultra running community. You can see that in the CrossFit community.

You can see it in professional sports, like people are getting stronger every decade. I remember when I first started in the ultra running community, like a a hundred mile or was the, the top of the food chain. Mm-hmm. and then a few years later, Now 250 milers are the top of the food chain and it just keeps going up.

Mm-hmm. And people just keep crushing these records and so, Human performance is, is super cool. And in the mountains of community, we have so many phenomenal humans and athletes that have been with us for a long time. They've gone through several of our programs, they've cleaned up their diet, they're eating healthy, um, they're performing really well at, at home and on the mountain, but they're starving for little nuggets of wisdom on how they.

continue to get better, continue down this human performance journey. So where do you usually start your conversations coaching wise with an intermediate, elite type athletes? Maybe some things that they're not focused on yet. Okay. Um, so I always like to take one step back from that and, and first start with our starting points.

Where are we starting and where can we really show tests to improve? Um, I like not to guess. I want to know and see what my progress is happening. It's like a map. Um, so my first starting point would be my internal health, which is the most important. Um, going to your doctor, getting blood work done, seeing what's going on internally, getting that full panel done and um, finding out where deficient, and then figuring out do you need to supplement, change your nutrition, or whatever that is.

How is the motor. , I like to say that we're working on high performance cars. Mm-hmm. , uh, not just regular cars. Nascar, I mean, that's where the fine tuning comes in. Yep. And, uh, they, they have a team doing that. It's not just one individual, it's a team going into that. So you gotta look at who's on your team, implement that team to make your car run more efficient.

So starting it off with, uh, your internal health, getting that blood work done, seeing what's going on internally and seems there's anything off. That's the number one thing. Cause that's for longevity and life. That's what we want to make you physically health. But we wanna live a long, productive life in the mountains, outdoors, or whatever activity that you want to do.

So internal health is number one. , then we move on to your physical fitness. Um, I think that we're sort of transitioning into the hybrid athlete, which is sort of like new, um, finding that balance between endurance and strength. Yeah. And it's a fine line that we're always moving. and, uh, finding some tests that sort of covers both perspectives of that endurance and strength.

Mm-hmm. and also, you know, our ages changes are, are, what we're looking at is change. I'm not gonna be training the same as I did when I was 20. , you know, I'm almost 50 years old. So those concepts and changes have changed. Uh, what I, I'm more for endurance, not so much strength these days. Yeah. When I'm younger.

Yeah. How much can I lift? How much I can move. Yeah. But my body's sort of broken down and changed. So what is the right test for your goals at this time? and then using those tests to see if you're improving. Let's break that down for a second. So do I just go into my local doctor and ask for a full panel and then start breaking down?

Am my high, low, medium on, on some of those metrics? Oh, I mean, that's a good start. I mean, you always want to have a doctor that listens to you. Mm-hmm. , I mean, , I run a little different than most people, so I want to have a doctor that listens to me. It's like, you know, I train almost every single day, so I put a little more, uh, onto my body.

So finding the doctor that understands you, that listens to you, that will dive into your internal health. Yeah, and that's where West Coast Medicine, it's a lot of bandaid. Oh yeah. Pain here is your pain bill. Mm-hmm. , uh, let's fix it. Let's fix it with a short term. I want a long-term goal. So finding the doctor that actually listens to what your goals are and then going through that blood panel and getting the physical done, seeing what's going on is most important.

That's like the, the most important team. because you might look healthy, but what's really going on is different. Yeah. He's, he's like your, he's like your NASCAR under the hood mechanic. Yes. He's the no, he's the the coach that's watching everything going on. Yeah. So you gotta find a good doctor. I mean, that's number one with training and exercise nutrition.

Find a good doctor that listens to you. And what are you looking for in your blood work? Anything is. , anything that's in the red. Mm-hmm. , . And you're looking to, it's pretty simple. It's gonna be anything that's in the red, but also it's geared to general population, which is unhealthy. Yeah. So I could say, ah, you're fine.

But are you really, you know, to the general population, you might, but general population's pretty unhealthy these days. Yeah. So that's where you really want to be able to find those numbers and find out where you're off. And the blood panel will tell you at the very last page, it will tell you what's not right.

Mm-hmm. , and then that's where you look at your nutrition, your training, and then supplementation. If you need to supplement something in, supplement an in to find that balance. Okay. So that car's running inefficient and you can take it a level deeper than blood work. And you can go into different devices such as.

uh, we should chat a little bit about the wearables, but also if you want to go really deep, if you have access to this in your area, you can go to the DEXA scan and actually look at your body on a body part level. Oh, it's, uh, I definitely, because it, you know, this is all experiment. Mm-hmm. , right? And. Your body is, uh, it's always changing and it's, it's a self experiment on your body.

What's more important than that, right? Yeah. Shouldn't, you know, especially if you're putting all this time and energy and money into something, don't what you want to know. So I don't, I don't guess anymore. I, I like to use these tests so, Um, I want to know my body composition. I want to know of, uh, how much muscle tissue I have, how much body fat, where is it carry, what you know, where am I at?

Uh, I'm preaching for the hybrid athlete and what I've learned is for performance over longevity. You don't wanna be carrying extra weight that you don't have to carry, but also you want to have some to protect muscles, ligaments, and tendons. You don't wanna be too lean. Mm-hmm. so, I believe in getting a body composition test done.

The best is the DEXA scan. DEXA scan is a 75,000 to a hundred thousand dollars x-ray machine. It scans your body and will tell you exactly how much muscle you have in your right arm, left arm, left leg. It's gonna break it down to specifics, internal fat, how much you have in your organs. It's gonna really break down your body com.

they're amazing. It is amazing Text. Yeah. Yeah. And, and then you can really say, well, where am I at with my body fat and my muscle tissue? And our whole goal is to build more muscle and control how much body fat we have. Because you have to think about, your heart has to pump that blood through the fat. So if you have intestinal fat, your heart has to work.

So we want to make the heart work less so the blood flow is easier. Mm-hmm. , I mean, does that make sense? Yeah. I mean, it's like we want that heart to run more efficient and carrying extra body fat. Your body has to work harder. Yeah. The DEXA scans are remarkable. I mean, you can see. The difference between like your left bicep and your right bicep.

Mm-hmm. one might be stronger than the other or be holding more muscle than the other. Mm-hmm. . And then you can start to notice on that data how maybe it's, maybe there's some corrections you can make in your training to fix that particular issue. . Mm-hmm. . And it even gets down to bone density. Oh, yeah.

That's another huge thing is that, you know, what's your bone density? Because that's the, the structural, we're looking at what your structure is, because that's longevity to keep you outta a wheelchair, keep you functioning a hundred years old. Mm-hmm. , that's our main goal here, is to be functional at a hundred.

I mean, that's life. Yeah. Yeah. That's huge. So in the body composition, DEXA scans number one, hydrostatic is another great one. Another gold test. But that's just general. You submerge yourself in water, you gotta breathe your air out, but you have to perform. That's a hard test to do. Mm-hmm. . Then you have the end by, which is done through electric current, but that can be off by 5%, which is big.

And then you can go down to tape, measure, cas, and just a mirror. Mm-hmm. . But if you're spending the time and doing. get the most accurate test Dex can. So I'm an intermediate or elite hybrid. I should find a great doc. Mm-hmm. , I should be looking at my blood markers. Mm-hmm. about every six months I should be doing a DEXA scan.

They're, they're available in most parts of the country now. Yeah. Yeah. You can find any big city, you're gonna be able to find one. And then what are your thoughts on the, the new wearable technology? Uh, I'm a huge believer in, um, the fitness trackers, um, because it's, uh, There is a formula called a basic metabolic rate that doctors have came up with for your age, your gender, and your weight of how much energy your body puts out.

And the reason they came up with this formula is that if you're in a hospital, in a coma, they know how much calories pumping your body, keep you alive. Mm-hmm. . But the cool thing about the trackers, they take that formula and then it's geared to your heart rate. So whatever your heart's beating is calculated into that formula.

So, They're super accurate with somebody that's active. If you are moving your body and your heart's pumping, it's gonna be very accurate to what that number is. Um, if you're more sitting around, it might be a little bit more off, but it's still, it's gonna give you a number of how much energy you're putting out your sleep pattern, um, your active minutes, your elevation.

I mean, they have a lot of information that you can say, well, what's my fitness tracking? What am I doing? Yeah. And that's where I gauge my nutrition is off my. So I take that number and then I implement what I'm eating for, what my goals are. Yep. If I'm trying to lose body fat, I need to eat at a deficit.

If I'm trying to build muscle, I'm gonna try to eat a surplus. Mm-hmm. , I mean, it, it, it makes sense of what you're trying to do, but you gotta have the numbers, the data you gotta Yes. Not a guessing game. This, it's all. and once it's in front of you, like for the sleep is the most obvious one to me. , once you start noticing your data points mm-hmm.

you can start making those micro corrections, but it, it gives you the chance to pay attention to it. Where before you're kind of just winging it without much data out there. Yeah. Yeah. And you're just sort of going off a feeling. Mm-hmm. and I mean, And we're trying to be tougher. We're always trying to push ourselves to that limit of, um, improvement.

So, I mean, recovery is one of those most overlooked areas of fitness. You know, how are you taking care of your body? How are you recovering from your workouts to improve? And that's where sleep is, number one. And then that's where it comes into food, hydration, supplementation. I mean, there's a lot goes into keeping our bodies running.

Yeah. And that's why we gotta find a balance. But you really gotta be for. intermediate to advance, you gotta be a solid B. Mm-hmm. you can be as for a short period of time, like right before your hunt or something, b a for a good 30 days. So when you get out in the mountains, you're dialed in, crushing it, you know what I mean?

But you sort of gotta build yourself up to those short durations of b a plus. Mm-hmm. . But you can't do it forever. because you can't balance it. No. Yeah, you can't balance it. What are you doing these days around sauna and cold plunge type movements? Um, I'm a true believer in, you know, inflammation on your body.

So the cold plunge, um, I, I do it twice a week. . Um, definitely it sort of resets your body and it puts you in a whole different mental toughness area. , you're not thinking about anything, you're not thinking about bills, you're not thinking about nothing . So it's a whole different level of, um, getting your mind and body reconnected.

It's all in your central nervous system. Mm-hmm. , I mean, it all goes back to your nerves and that's where hydration, remember talking about hydration muscle. all goes back to hydration. Yep. So yeah, cold plunge. I do the cold plunge right into the infrared sauna, so I do the cold right into the heat with movement and it really helps with my joints, my ligament in inflammation.

So, , that's a good thing to implement into your program. Oh man. Like the science around sauna therapy now is insane in terms of heart health. Mm-hmm. , longevity, uh, stress. Yeah. Sleep, digestion. So much crazy. And there's so much to, to being healthy. Mm-hmm. . And it's just like finding your balance and making those little tweaks and then seeing how it goes.

Cuz you can spend all day doing. . I mean, we do, yep. . We spend all day trying to improve this, so let's get into supplements. So, okay. I, I'm rocking enrolling on my program. , I got my diet pretty fine tuned. I'm sleeping good. I'm, I'm playing with some recovery tools. What should I be thinking about in terms of amino acids, BC a's, uh, protein, pre-workout, postworkout?

What should I focus on? Okay, so supplements are exactly what they. They're supplements, but supplements are designed for athletes. They're designed for us. Um, and that's where we use 'em for whatever you're at and where your goals are at. Um, but they're an easy way to supplement your extra calories in. Um, typically I'm burning.

5,000 calories a day, just being active of what I do. So it's very hard for me to eat 5,000 calories. So that's where supplementation comes in to fill those gaps, to make it easy for my digestive system and my body function, and that's where with probably the most important thing is protein. Protein is probably the most important thing cuz we're causing damage to our bodies all the time.

Yeah. And the repairing process. And also for cost effectiveness, um, for, uh, a protein shake, you're looking at, uh, maybe a dollar 25 for 25 grams of protein. Yeah. You can't get that in the meat process. It's gonna cost you $3. Can't. Yeah, exactly. So for being cost effective and for absor, , you have to remember, it's very easy for your body to break down a liquid based protein.

It just absorbs into your body. There's no effort. Mm-hmm. , and that's where we're trying to implement. How much effort do we need to put into digestion? How much energy do, because your body has to, um, send in blood and it has to break down those foods, and it has to transport 'em. How much effort is used during.

and that's where we implement the supplements in between our meals to make it so we're not overloading the system. Mm-hmm. . Cause if we overload the system, the system starts shutting down. So probably the biggest, most important supplement is implementing is protein. , um, because we got to build, protect that muscle tissue.

Okay. Muscle, tissue's, gold, A good high quality protein powder. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. using it. Are you using it morning, night or are you just watching your macros? Uh, I trickle it in throughout the day. Mm-hmm. , because it's easy on digestion. So with a hybrid athlete or I, I'm always going back to that basic concept, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

If I have a big. , uh, I do a double lunch. Mm-hmm. to get my, uh, cuz if I'm burning too much and I'm not implemented, I lose muscle tissue. and that's where it's like, how much do we put in? And if you're putting a lot of solid meals, it's hard to run on those solid meals. And that's why the protein shakes. I implement 'em in the middle.

So I do breakfast two hours later. Protein shake. Mm-hmm. with some source of carbohydrate I like to use. Fruit. That's a simple thing to put into my body cuz it's energy. Then I go to my lunch and then I do another shake, which might be a meal replacement or a protein shake again with some fruit. Then dinner and then I implement another protein shake right before I go to bed.

Cool. So those are, that's how my concept is. I'm always trying to trickle in that good quality protein. because only 110, 120 calories per scoop. Mm-hmm. . And if you're burning 5,000 calories, 4,000 calories, you need to protect that muscle tissue or it's gonna be burned up. And it's just key for recovery too.

It's gotta rebuild those muscles. Yes. Yes. It's so important for muscle function in protecting that muscle. And where would you go next? Um, so protein powder, that's gonna be your big investment. Mm-hmm. . Um, I double scoop all my shakes too. No . So you're thinking I'm spending probably, you know, $7 a day on protein powder.

Mm-hmm. , you know, but that's where it's like you could go down to McDonald's and buy a happy meal for $7. Yep. It's fit into your budget, you know where you're at. Um, then I would probably say, you know, where are you at? What do you need? ? Uh, definitely I think a multivitamin would be important. Remember that balance we talked about, uh, minerals, uh, and nutrients to your body?

I definitely think a good multivitamin would be important. And then anything that's gonna protect ligaments, tendons, and joints, uh, collagen would be another good one. Also has protein in there also. So implemented more protein in there. Um, those are probably the staples we can dip or dive into a little of the pre-workouts.

Mm-hmm. , um, I'm a true believer in pre-workouts. Um, At Moops, we have a, uh, quite a few different ones. We have Enduro, which is for, uh, just endurance and it does have no stimulant, but allows you to absorb more oxygen, allows you to function a little, be better on your cardio. You can really feel that when I like the Enduro.

Then we have Ignite, which has 200 milligrams of caffeine. It's a little more geared to. , like the training we're doing, uh, the weight training with the circuit training. Yeah. You get a little caffeine push, but not overloading caffeine. You're not gonna feel it in your chest. Yeah. You know what I mean? Like your heart is exploding, you know?

Yeah. And that's where we don't wanna dive too much into that. If you're doing the heavy lifting, that's where we have Yeti, which has 300 milligrams of caffeine. Yeah. Which is more of the heavier lifting with maybe bigger breaks in. , less cardio. Mm-hmm. . So you sort of use those sports supplements for what your training is.

So if you're gonna be doing a hike and outdoors activity in ds, you're one that you want to use. Mm-hmm. if you're coming into the lab to get a workout. Maybe the Yeti or the Ignite, maybe the balance between those two just depends on what the workout is of the day. Yeah. Um, those are the pro the, the pre-workouts.

And then we have another great one, which is Phoenix and Diffuse, which is an anti-inflammatory. Uh, which helps to recover from the next recover day. Yeah. I take that right before, after hard training day and I'm not a sore the next day. It re it is a really great supplement. Is that a amino acid focus?

Yeah. I mean, so with the branch chains, branch chains are another good thing. You get 'em from foods in your proteins, but if you could implement into your water, Anything that's going to help absorb more protein into your body. That's what branch chains pretty much do. They make it a more, uh, absorption, easier and better.

So if I can take a branch chain, especially with all the different flavors we have these days mm-hmm. , it makes you drink more water. Yeah, we just talked about just drinking your gallon. Yeah. Now if you have fruit punch lemonade, you're gonna be drinking more water. And that's the key. You're getting a better bang for your buck.

That's the key to everything is the hydration and any way you can get more water in there, it's uh, it's gonna implement your body so much. The muscle function's gonna be better, recovery's gonna be better. Um, and then we also have electrolytes, which is another good one to throw in there cuz you're sweating all the time throwing that.

Yeah, but branch chains, electrolytes, those are two things that you can just implement into your water source that makes your water a little more efficient. But for Mo, most folks starting out on their, on their first supplement journey of their life, you're gonna recommend protein. Protein. Yeah. Because you get those numbers up.

Yeah. You gotta, and that's where man, we're, our bodies are always being broken. and I mean, uh, especially through age, most people I see are deficient in proteins. Mm-hmm. , they don't have enough, and people are saying, well, how much are you gonna absorb? Are you gonna absorb enough? I'd always much have extra.

And bare minimum use it all. Yeah. If, and to make sure that you're running at the most optimal level, you know what I mean? So a protein, that's your biggest investment, but it's the most important. Mm-hmm. for what we do. Yeah. I mean, when you're putting strain and stress onto your joints and muscles, you gotta repair.

So that's your biggest investment when you, when you got into your endurance journey. and And lost a significant amount of muscle, 25 pounds of muscle I lost in two years. Crazy. Yeah. But I was focusing on more energy. Yeah. Because when endurance training, you don't care about muscle. Yeah. Muscle. And that's where it does.

It does. And then when I got into the endurance training, remember we talked about the fitness trackers? Yeah. So my heart rate was around, 59 to 60 beats per minute, which is still 33 million beats in a year. Right? When I was doing that endurance training and I lost all that muscle, my heart rate got down to 47.

Crazy. So that's where it's like your heart has to pump that blood through the muscle. So if you have more muscle, the heart has to work harder. Mm-hmm. . So it's finding that balance of where you're at. And now I'm finding that comfortable weight that I'm actually like, I have some strength, but I just do have some endurance also.

Yeah. And it's finding that groove for you. Mm-hmm. , I, I'll be 50. this next year. So my priorities have sort of changed. I think it's for you and it's for your goals. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Like what's the optimal balance for your specific goal? We spend a lot of time with the Mountain tough community talking about that.

Like you can have. You can want to add 30 pounds of muscle, but is that gonna help you on your sheep hunt in the last end, September? Uh, maybe the pack out, maybe a little bit of the pack out. But realistically, I mean, how, and that's where you have to remember your output of energy. Mm-hmm. . So if you're packing around extra 30 pounds of muscle, that out output, you're there, bring a lot of food.

Yep. You know what I mean? Because you have to feed that muscle. Because if that muscle doesn't, it's going to, it's gonna hit you pretty hard in the mountain that we talked about, that person that was crashed. Mm. And that's where prepping your body for the hunt. Yeah. You know, so that's where when before I'm doing some major adventure.

I'm doing three months of conditioning training and losing that extra weight because I know that I don't need it. I want to be. light and mobile out in the mountains. Mm-hmm. . And that's where transitioning through this process is gonna make you more efficient. I think that's huge. I think it's huge for the intermediate elite athlete community to just realize that these are systems that you can fine tune.

And that was something I learned later on in my fitness journey, cuz early on it was about, Just toughen your way through it. Mm-hmm. . And then as you get older you realize, wow, if I eat this, I feel really good. Mm-hmm. , wow. If I do this, my workouts feel 50% better. Wow. If I do this, I'm not nearly as sore as I ever was before.

So you start, I think that analogy of the NASCAR is so accurate that like our human body is like a nascar and there are. Systems, technologies, food, supplements, therapies that are out there available to us, like our pit crew, and you can just make these micro tweaks based on what you want to accomplish this year and, and feel a hundred times better.

I think just having that light bulb moment that, that we are like, like a Ferrari engine, and we can make those little tweaks. Mm-hmm. is a pretty big eye-opener that it, like you can make small changes that have big ramifications. Oh yeah. It's, it's the key to this whole fitness journey that we're on.

Mm-hmm. , it's like when you get older you gotta be smarter. You know, and that's where we're trying to share with you what mistakes we've made and learn from those mistakes. Yep. And we're just trying to make it so it makes sense. I mean, there's just so much fog out there, but if you really keep it simple and look at where you're at, and let's just bring up your grade one level.

and really find those goals and let's train for those goals. Mm-hmm. , whatever that goal for the year, let's train for that moment and that will give you purpose. Yep. And diving back into families. I'm all about families and sharing this with your children. . Mm-hmm. , step it up, start taking control. Find that breakfast, lunch, and dinner for your kids and implement, you know, multivitamin to your kids.

Give 'em some protein. Give them what they need to thrive, not just survive. Yeah. We want to thrive in this society. Mm-hmm. . And that's where, I mean, I wanna build as many beasts as I can. . I want to build as many savages as I can. And this is where it comes down to, it's, it's finding a balance between your team, your fuel, your motor, your armor, your recovery.

That's a lot. Yeah. But those concepts, if you find it, and you know, I'm pretty broken, I have. Shoulder issues. I have hip issues, so I spend more time on recovery taking care of my body, not just running until it breaks. You know what I mean? Yeah. So it is being smart and being, um, real with yourself. Yeah. So it's sustainable.

Yes. I mean, you only get one body, can't return it into something else, can no refunds. Yeah. And you gotta be there for people too. Yes, yes. Well, thanks man. I appreciate that. That was a, a wealth of knowledge. It's super valuable. Uh, I sure hope it helps. I hope that, uh, we can really build this community together and just lift up the mountain Tough to that next level.

Yeah. That I know that you're hungry for. That we need to, to share our passions that our loved what we've learned mm-hmm. and just make everybody a little bit better. Yep. Better each day. Yeah. Better each day. Thanks Eric. Appreciate it. Awesome.


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