Good friend of the show Sam Miller was recently in town and we found ourselves talking about what it takes to not only help ourselves but what it takes to do so for other professionals in the space. How do we come up with educational products or services to sell to our audience, how do we make sure we deliver value and help others get that ROI in their business... how do we go from living health and fitness to teach it?
Connect w/ Sam @sammillerscience and check out his podcast Sam Miller Science
Connect w/ Jade @jadeteta Learn more about becoming a Next Level Human at www.jadeteta.com
Jade: [01:17] Hey everybody, welcome to today’s show. I have a recurring guest on the show today, my good friend Sam Miller. He was rolling through Los Angeles, and we sat out on my deck in Santa Monica and had a wonderful chat regarding how to teach health and fitness information. We touched on a lot of stuff, actually, and we didn’t really plan the podcast, but it’s one of my favorites because it really got into the idea of how to teach what we teach. Now, I know a lot of you are professionals. I get an awful lot of professionals and very savvy health enthusiasts listen to this particular show and we all know that a lot of us are teaching people constantly. We’re teaching our friends, our family, and our clients about this stuff. So, we didn’t really know what direction this was going to go in, but it really turned into a really interesting discussion about how we do what we do. You know, me and Sam both teach professionals. It’s part of what we do, so we find ourselves at the front of, you know, on the stage, in the front of the room teaching doctors and chiropractors and nutritionists and health coaches, and we both have developed a reputation – which is very kind of people to say – of the idea that we can explain very complex topics in simplistic ways. Some people have said I wish I could learn to do that, and we talked about that today. We talked about the idea of how you can come up with a hook, and analogies, and how we learn, and how you do lateral thinking, and all of these things. It was a really interesting podcast. I think you’re going to love it. I certainly enjoyed it, and I hope you will also enjoy it. Before I let you get into the show, make sure you go and check out Sam. He’s @sammillerscience on instagram. He has the Sam Miller Science podcast. He actually posted this exact same episode on his episode a few weeks back. Definitely go check out his show, he’s a wealth of knowledge, and also his website sammillerscience.com. Alright, let’s get into the show. Hope you love it.
[03:13] Alright, everybody, I’m here with my boy Sam Miller. You guys know Sam well. He’s someone that you’re going to hear more from, and someone I’ve been hanging out a lot with, teaching me a ton. I wanted to have him back on the show. We’re out here on my deck in Santa Monica, and he just rolled through town, and we’re going to get some workouts in today, and just wanted to talk shop and give you guys some insights into mainly, we’re probably going to be talking about our process and how we teach and think about things. So, welcome on the show again, brother. Welcome to sunny Los Angeles.
Sam: [03:48] Thanks, Jade. Glad to be here. I’m glad to sit down with you again. I think last time we did it we were actually across the country from each other. We always try to sync it up where Jade will either be in Nashville, which is a few hours from me, or if I have to come out to California, try to do this. But I always like the vibe of an in-person podcast, so I’m excited to chat. I think one thing we definitely have in common is as we’re learning and going through our own evolution and figuring things out for ourselves, and then transitioning into teaching coaches, like you said, it really does place an emphasis on not just understanding the concepts, but how do you simplify them and break them down to teach other people.
Jade: [04:25] You know, it’s funny, I had someone tell me – I typically get this, and then after I met you, someone else said this about you – what it was was they say, Jade, you have a really nice way of simplifying everything, I love listening to your stuff; and then, somebody – I think it was commented on social media or something – that said, oh my God, you’re like Sam Miller, like he has the best way of explaining stuff. I love the way you guys explain stuff. And I was like, I love that dude for the same reasons. So, one of the things I think’s interesting is you and I both coach coaches. It’s kind of what we do, we train other trainers. I do a lot of education for MDs and NDs; I know you do that as well. We both train nutritionists, chiropractors. We have a lot of professionals that come to us, and I thought it’d be interesting just to kind of ask you a little bit, and also give people a little bit of insight into how I think about things. How do you, when you’re putting all this stuff together, how do you think about this stuff? How do you simplify this stuff? How do you get better at teaching some of these concepts? Because let’s face it dude, what we do is some pretty technical things, and I think a lot of people get lost when they teach in the jargon, in the mechanisms, in the biochemistry, and you and I seem to be getting a lot of sort of feedback on the fact that we’re able to make this simply. So, I’m just interested in your approach, and then maybe I can go through some of my approach as well. How do you deal with that stuff when you learn something new and you’re going to teach it to someone else?
Sam: [05:50] Well, one great thing about when you do learn and then you’re teaching, I think it reinforces your learning. So, the first thing is, well, how do I outline this in my own mind to cultivate my understanding, and then, if I were to explain this to a client, not necessarily another coach, what end goal, what result, or what pain point are we addressing. You know, when we talk about metabolism a lot, frequently that goal is either fat loss, or maybe the person’s experiencing something with their health, internal health, that’s unresolved and they’re looking for some type of solution on that front. So, I’m trying to identify what is really the problem here, what obstacles or roadblocks are holding this person back, where are we reaching that crossroads, and then I try to come back to the origins of really that scientific component, or for us, it might be physiology. But, I think if you only start with the physiology, only start with the text book, and not the end result of what someone’s actually experiencing or what they’re trying to accomplish, becomes very hard to explain. So, one of my models that I use a lot is as people – most people, on instagram, on Facebook, or on the internet in general – when they’re looking for help with nutrition, or looking for help in a functional medicine perspective, it’s usually because they have some sort of physical goal. What Jade and I teach is, you know, that goal’s essentially preceded by their physiology, their internal health, those internal workings. By understanding that, then I need to gather my information, my resources, and my tools and figure out, well, what can I do to be manipulating the physiology or to get that person to that physical goal. And that’s sort of how I start unpacking those layers. I think you really have to start with the problem first, and what’s interesting is it’s not that different from marketing; when we’re in business, is I think you really have to understand well, it’s not just about the features of how many times I get to check in with my coach, it’s, well, how is that element or item actually serving to address the pain point that the client or customer has. So, I think they’re similar in that way, and that’s how I kind of try to view frameworks both in coaching and in business.
Jade: [07:52] I love that thought, man, because part of – I mean, I know we get a bad rap too sometimes – because, certainly, I start with marketing too because I kind of go alright, this is marketing language, which I know for people like you and I, pure scientists, bothers them a little bit, but I also know that marketing language captures the attention of the person I’m trying to teach. And I’m also, you know, in marketing they teach that whole thing ping the pain, paint the possibilities. So, when we talk about marketing we always go, let’s ping their pain so that they know we get what they’re going through, which is sort of what you’re talking about. Like, ok, we get your problem, you’re feeling fatigued, you’re waking up in the morning achy, with achy joints, you look in the mirror, you don’t recognize the person you see. We kind of get into that sort of emotional state of the problem of the person. And in the background, of course, we have a deep understanding of the biochemistry, like maybe we’re dealing with metabolic endotoxemia, or maybe we’re dealing with insulin resistance, or maybe we’re dealing with these other things; but what I’ve noticed about the way you and I deal with this is, we won’t necessarily talk anymore about insulin resistance in a way for clients. We might talk about that when we’re talking to coaches, but when we’re talking to clients, insulin resistance becomes hunger and cravings, because we know that when you’re insulin resistant, you’re going to have hunger and cravings. So, they don’t necessarily want to hear about I have insulin resistance; we just go, look, your hunger and cravings are causing the problems. Like, you and I both have models. I use something called SHMEC, you use something called SHRED.
Sam: [09:22] Yeah, SHREDS.
Jade: [09:23] SHREDS. These are acronyms, frameworks we can teach people, and they come from just what you were talking about where it’s basically like hey, here is the real issue for you, you don’t need to know all this background biochemistry, and then people become interested in that vs. confusing them. So, I think that’s part of the reason why you and I have had some success in both working - a lot of success in working with clients – but also being able to teach coaches and professionals how to come up with these models for themselves. Where it’s sort of like, to me, if I’m going to sit here and talk to you about insulin resistance and you don’t have any background in biochemistry, you’re going to get incredibly confused by that. But if I just say something like sleep, hunger, mood, energy, and cravings – SHMEC – insulin resistance, the concept of that, the sort of clinical manifestations of that are included in the way you sleep, and whether you’ll be hungry or not, whether you have predictable or stable energy, and what’s going on with your cravings and your mood, insulin resistance is wrapped up in that… excess cortisol production is wrapped up in that. You and I, it seems, are always thinking from those sort of perspectives, and I think other coaches and trainers would be well to start thinking in these ways.
Sam: [10:36] Yeah, I think it’s branching out. As a naturopathic physician for you, and as a nutritional professional, then also educating coaches and serving in a mentorship capacity, I think it’s important to branch out beyond conditions and symptoms. Because if they were to go to a more, or excuse me, more like Western medicine, and they hear oh, well, your blood sugar’s high, oh, well, you need Metformin, sticking with the glycemic dysregulation or insulin resistance issue. And I think rather than thinking of conditions or symptoms, if we come back to – and this is almost like a stoicism or mindset thing – which is what does this client or coach actually control. They don’t necessarily, right now, they’re very focused on the end result of what they’re experiencing, their reality in their experience, but what’s actually shaping that reality are – it’s basically the consequences of actions that may have been from decades prior, or what they’re doing in their day to day life currently, or how they’re living their lifestyle, like you said, maybe it’s sleep, maybe high stress levels leading to excess cortisol production. So, there are things, there are practices, there are elements of their routine that are contributing to that actual manifestation of disease or what they’re experiencing chronically. I think all too often both coaches and a lot of other physicians who may don’t teach in frameworks and models or providing tools, they only stay on this physical side of the experience, or they only stay on, well, this is what high blood sugar is, or this is what is going on on a physiological or biochemical level. When I think, you know, when a client can understand, well, my behavior, this is how my living and my reality is actually shaping this, so it’s a lot easier to say, you know, what is your hunger level like before this meal, or how does your energy feel throughout the day, and identifying these things. Because they start to realize that by being self-aware, by identifying those things and taking very simple actions, the condition becomes less overwhelming. So really, the process of having the tools, having the system, having the framework, is all just about, I think, giving people traction in their transformation because otherwise they just feel overwhelmed, and sometimes that’s where people end up kind of in circles and not making progress over the years.
Jade: [12:58] Yeah, and I think for everyone who’s kind of wanting to understand this, and we’ll get into some tips and tricks and things like that, but here’s one, I think, example – and you correct me if I’m wrong, if you think this fits – but here’s one example maybe of where this can go wrong and how to make it better. So, those of you who understand intermittent fasting, have heard about the concept of autophagy, let’s say, what a lot of coaches will essentially do, or a lot of lay people will do, they will read about autophagy, and this idea that autophagy can be anti-inflammatory, or anti-aging, or something that you want; but in reality, most people have no way to anchor to autophagy. It just becomes this thing that is sort of this amorphous thing that I want, but not really understanding what it is. What you and I tend to do is we’ll say well, how can I explain autophagy in a metaphor or an analogy that people will never forget, that anchors them to autophagy. Like, one of the things that I will teach, and I did a podcast on this as well, is I’ll say well, imagine, you know, we’re in my apartment right now, so imagine if, in this apartment, you have all these people coming in constantly, and I’m throwing parties all the time, and furniture’s getting broken, and dust is on the floor, and it’s so busy in this apartment that I can’t ever clean it up, and the tv gets broken, it’s so busy, it’s like a party, it’s like Animal House in this place and I just can’t fix anything. What’s going to happen to that apartment? It’s going to begin to fall apart. So, what I need to do is get everyone out. I need to have a cleaning crew come in, I need to have a maintenance man come and fix things. This is what autophagy does. When you stop eating, and when you go through intermittent fasting, it’s essentially asking everyone to leave the party, giving your body and yourself a chance to recover and repair and recycle. Now all of a sudden, that analogy, people go ohh, I see now why maybe I want to stay off food, and why eating burgers and pizza and all this stuff all the time might be gunking up my, you know, my apartment. And what’s interesting is pure scientists and PhDs don’t like to think about this kind of language and these analogies, but in reality, when you’re teaching someone across the table who has no background in this, they understand what a house party is. They don’t understand what autophagy is, and you and I seem to always create models like that.
Sam: [15:11] Right. I think teaching with analogy is very important and people can relate to – so, autophagy is not necessarily a relatable thing, but when you create an apartment or a home, or using, you know, I know with several different scientific concepts you’ll use the example of driving in a car, being stuck in traffic, using the hypothalamus as the 5 star general of the endocrine system. I think people can understand command and control, they can understand driving in a car, they can understand checks and balances, they can understand very basic things. And I think a byproduct of the education system, and this isn’t necessarily the fault of coaches or medical professionals or PhDs or anything like that, as we have very close relationships with all of those types of people, but I think there’s less emphasis on teaching in analogies because in academia, it’s more of publishing the research and speaking about the science; but I think the bridge to real like application comes through anecdote, it comes through teaching in analogies and using those examples. Without it, I think we often struggle, and so, you know, common analogy I use with fat loss is kind of each attempt at fat loss, or each person’s attempt at fat loss might be slightly different. It’s like climbing a mountain. You know, the way you prepare to climb Mt. Everest might be significantly different than Mt. Rainer, Mt. Kilimanjaro, you might have climate differences. There are important considerations, so what works for one person, which might be a lower carb approach, might not work for someone with a different lifestyle or activity level, or things like that. So, trying to use the analogies, I think, maybe some people are afraid of sounding too simple, or breaking it down, but I think it’s a really great way to teach. It makes, I think it makes the teacher more approachable, and it also makes everything easier to understand and keeps everything very simple.
Jade: [17:01] You know, so, I’ll give you mine as well. So, I love that, and I often times will take stuff from Sam because I’m just like oh, that’s good, I want to use that. Mine is running a marathon. At the beginning of a race, you know, you shoot off the gun, everyone starts at the same place, but then one person’s going to run it fast, one person’s going to walk/jog, one person’s going to stop and get water, another person won’t, some people will have gel packs, some be will listen to music, some people won’t. That’s how I explain the journey of fat loss, and I would say every coach needs to kind of have their way to explain that. Now, one of the things about working with clients that’s really interesting is you have to build, in my mind, frameworks into this, and you have to kind of look at things that we’re all familiar with. Which is why Sam and I will often times – I know popular ones we both tend to use is like analogies to computers, because we all use computers every day; or analogies to driving your car, we all drive a car everyday; or analogies related to being in the kitchen, we all prep food and eat. So, when you think about the common human experience as you’re trying to develop your own sort of analogies, think about what humans do everyday that they relate to. They sit on furniture everyday, they live in apartments everyday, they drive in cars everyday, they work with computers everyday. If you can think about how to take these things and make them relatable to certain concepts that you’re teaching, you actually help people marry themselves and anchor themselves more to what you’re trying to get them to change. But this brings up a big question and I want to ask you about this, because then, we get into concepts that cause peers in this space to get in an uproar. I’ll give you an example about this and I want to get your take on this. So, what happens is when we’re teaching to the lay public – if I’m teaching to the lay public, I’m going to use certain terms and certain things that I’m trying to get their attention. Part of it’s marketing, partly because I know marketing anchors people. Even if I’m not trying to sell them anything, I’m still marketing so I can get them to buy in to the changes I want them to make. So, we’ll use terms like, maybe metabolic damage, or metabolic resistance, or metabolic adaptation, or some of these things that are sort of pseudo-scientific terms that work-
Sam: [19:11] Adrenal fatigue.
Jade: [19:12] Adrenal fatigue. Yeah, these terms that work in sort of the lay person’s mind, and work well actually, but if you and I are talking and we’re sitting around with a bunch of clinicians and people like that, they get very upset about this. And this creates this problem for people because they’re like, but yeah, but my clients knows and has heard about adrenal fatigue and can kind of understand what it is, even though technically, physiologically, there’s no such thing, really. But it works in sort of a marketing sense and helping clients understand, so how do you manage that stuff? Does it bother you? What’s your advice for people who are worried about, well, if I use some of these terms, I’m going to be seen by my peers as, you know, whatever; not smart, or doing pseudo-science, or anything like that. Me personally, I just don’t care because I’m serving the client, but I also wonder – I know this goes on – so I wonder what your feedback is on that and how you manage that yourself.
Sam: [20:11] Yeah, I definitely – it depends on the context of the message, and the information that follows. So, you might have a title that implies something about adrenal fatigue, or metabolic adaptation, or something like that. I think if you explain the compensatory actions that are occurring in the body or why the body adapts and provide some solid education that is based in actual science, I think you’re ok. I think it’s people who only lead with the clickbait and are not – there is no substance that follows, or they’re misinforming people. Because I think, while there are a lot of great people out there providing great information in the fitness industry and just health in general, I think there’s a lot of misapplication of good information, and there’s also just a lot of misinformation that is then applied in transformations as well. So, I think as long as you’re very clear about proper application and how things should be carried out, that using a catchy title or maybe using something in marketing is ok. I think in this day and age it’s very hard to get people’s attention, just in kind of the instagram and instant gratification world. I think part of it is just I can’t teach someone unless I have their attention. So, if you have another way to get someone’s attention, that’s fine; but also, you have to remember your impact at the end of the day is the number of people you can reach and inform with the correct information. If that involves sort of getting them into the fold with that, I think, you know, you could argue it either way. I think people might agree just based on their philosophy or their principles, but I think we’re similar in that we want to teach people, we want to help people, and spread that information. It’s very, very hard to do that without capturing someone’s attention, which sometimes requires polarity and controversial, or having some points of difference in order to get to that place.
Jade: [22:11] I’ll tell ya a funny – I’ll tell everyone a funny story and tell you this – but, I don’t know, several years back now, I mean, time seems to just go so fast, probably 5-6 years ago, I’m sitting with a group of clinicians and individuals who are, sort of like this clinical roundtable discussion at one of these conferences that I went to. They’re sitting there and one of them said, you know, Jade, how did you do, how did you get so successful in your business. I knew some of these people personally, I was like, honestly, I’m not afraid to market. That was the answer that I gave them. I was like, to me, a lot of you are afraid to market, you’re afraid to put yourself out there because you’re more talking to your peers. And I’ve always been one of these guys that’s like I don’t care about that. I know that I’m dealing with the clients that – the end client that I’m trying to teach. So, one of the things that they said, well how do we bridge this gap then, and I remember saying, well, you know what a hook is, right? And they’re like, well, just walks us through how you look at it. And I’m like, well, you can take a concept like adrenal fatigue, and you can just provide a good hook, and I’ll teach everyone this right now. The hook is everything. It’s the thing that will sell your book; it’s the thing that will get people to keep watching your video; it’s the thing that when you’re sitting across from someone, teaching them about biochemistry, that will make them listen and not tune you out. The hook is everything, and the hook is a very simple concept. It just goes like this – it goes you think it’s X; it’s really Y. That’s a very simple hook, and that should be the lead-in to everything you do. Now, watch what happens with this. You think X, it’s really Y. As soon as you do that to the human brain, people anchor and now they’re listening. They’re like oooh, I’m sort of wrong about a thing. So, now you can take things that we’re talking about, Sam, like adrenal fatigue, that have sort of confusions around them and are controversial, or metabolic damage, and you just make it a hook. You go, you think it’s metabolic damage, it’s really more like dysfunction; or you think that metabolic damage means that your metabolism is damaged and never will be repaired again… it’s really just what the metabolism does naturally. Can you see by taking these things, and instead of avoiding them, you can create hooks out of them and immediately get everyone paying attention. I think this is something that you and I have just naturally gravitated towards doing. If I see someone using a particular term, I grab that term because I know it’s interesting for people; and then I turn it into a hook and do exactly what you said to do, which is like, I’m going to throw it into a hook and then I’m going to give them the really good information about it. Now, if you’re someone that really is not up on your biochemistry like Sam and I or whatever, then learn that stuff. That’s part of what you and I do, we teach other people to teach this stuff. But you won’t get yourself in trouble if you know what you’re talking about and you just turn the hook around. Matter of fact, not only will you not get yourself in trouble, but everyone, including peers, will want to listen to what you have to say because every human brain, no matter how smart someone is, loves a good hook. If I say to Sam, you think it’s about adrenal fatigue, it’s really about brain fatigue, then Sam’s going to go – he knows what I’m talking about – but he’ll be like damn, Jade, that’s good. Like, that’s good, and that’s what we want to kind of do. So, I’m kind of wondering-
Sam: [25:20] Or you think it’s brain fog but it’s really XYZ.
Jade: [25:23] Exactly.
Sam: [25:24] Right? I think what’s nice about that type of title though is, it instantly clarifies hey, I’m using this term in here but it’s really not this. So, it brings it back to… I think it just brings it back – it addresses the symptom or the pain point, or what someone is experiencing, but then also allows you to reel it back in to where you maybe are able to provide more education. So, I really like that. Which kind of provides a little bit of a natural segue into some of the marketing, but I think also, you know, when we’re talking about tools and frameworks, I think in addition to just the biochemistry and metabolism and hormones and endocrinology, I think we’ve both kind of come to the conclusion over the last decade, or maybe more – Jade’s got a little bit of heads up on me. Still my little brother.
Jade: [26:14] I love when you guys call me the OG of metabolism. I’m like, I’m [inaudible], I’m old now.
Sam: [26:18] No… well, I got an early start, so even though - we’re not too far, but… you know, I think one thing we both realize is it’s not just the science of – and we were actually talking about this the other day with my instagram handle and the podcast and Sam Miller Science, and this, that – it’s not mean to only be physiology, it’s kind of like everything about life has a science to it, and that’s where tools and frameworks are required. I think this lends itself to, ok, what about tools and frameworks from a personal development standpoint, and why is personal development so important in a journey to repair physiology or internal health? Because I know we both believe that if you don’t have the proper mindset towards your transformation, or proper routines in place, proper habits, and really a solid level of self-awareness, it becomes very hard – I feel like your physical goals or achievements that you’re accomplishing are very fleeting because you don’t actually have the foundation, the cornerstone or linchpin, which often times is personal development. And I know you’ve been doing a lot of teaching on that as well.
Jade: [27:24] Yeah. I mean, it really comes down – people’ve heard, and I forget, who was it, Sinek, who wrote Find Your Why or whatever, I think it was him – but people get this concept. You do things for a reason. For example, why is it so easy – let’s be honest – why is pretty easy in our 20s to get in shape? Vanity is our why, we want to look good. That is a strong sort of why. And then what happens is, as we age, vanity becomes less of a concern and we have to begin to tie this why to something else. What’s really interesting is we know from research that health concerns that are down the road, the brain doesn’t really grasp that. So, if they’re just like, you keep smoking, you’re not going to be able to, you know, you’re not going to be able to live a long, healthy life. A lot of people that doesn’t resonate with. It’s not until they start seeing that other people find smoking disgusting, and think that their clothes smells, and find them rude if they’re smoking in public, that it’s the real thing that starts to get people to change. That actually has more impact on people stopping smoking, these public campaigns about making you a public pariah if you do smoke than actually the fact that you’re going to get lung cancer. To me, this is – very few people respond to fear tactics. What they respond to is, they respond to the why am I doing this, why does this make a difference. Is it vanity, is it for purpose, is it so I can live for my grandkids or whatever it is. That is the reason why self-development is so important. Most of what we are doing with health and fitness, the reason why we want to look good, feel good, live longer, function better, goes back to the key needs of the human brain. We want status, and autonomy, and certainty, and relatedness, and fairness, and these things that we know the human brain is geared to latch on to. So, if we, as coaches, aren’t aware of this research and this psychology, we might be able to give good information that it’s almost just like water off the back of a duck; we’re like here’s some great information, and then people are like, so? In the end, I don’t care about that. So, to me, that’s why it’s so important, and again, it’s the hook, or it’s relatability. If I say something universal about pain, I know that every single person listening to this podcast right now – me and Sam know – you’ve had pain as a human. It’s a universal. You’ve probably had heartbreak. Many of you have lost loved ones. Many of you have had these deep-seeded, triggering, lightning strike moments in your life that really make you stand up and pay attention and make you who you are. If I can tap into those deep needs of you as a human, then give you good quality information about how to change your health, for example, I can make a difference whereas I couldn’t otherwise. So, personal development becomes everything, and I’m interested to hear your sort of take on why you think it’s so important. But for me, I kind of – after you see thousands and thousands and thousands of clients, and see how often they fail, like one of the things I often say to people is I say, if you want to be humbled every single day, go into the weight loss business. I mean, you will fail most of the time, and part of the reason you’re failing most of the time is because you have failed to connect to people’s brains, and instead you’re trying to – to the real human needs, of the emotional needs of the human brain – and instead just trying to feed them information. So, to me, that’s why it matters, and that’s a lot of us, like me and you, spend an awful lot of time understanding that stuff. Because if you don’t, you’re going to fail most of the time. Now, you could be ignorant and arrogant about it and just be like, well, that’s their fault, that’s the other person’s responsibility, but I would say a good coach knows that stuff. What’s your take on it?
Sam: [30:58] Yeah, I think it’s interesting. I have some real life example to attach to that too. You mentioned the smoking or, you know, I have a friend in North Carolina, it’s still common that – there are a lot of guys who still chew and stuff. I actually have a friend who I know through the fitness industry who actually just finally quit, not because of the long-term health consequences, but because he is expecting a child and realized, ok, this is now his why. He then attached value to wanting to overcome this form of, I guess you could call it addiction, or this habit, and to drop it because of this new factor in his life, which was then enough because, obviously, for a very long time didn’t really, it didn’t register in terms with what was going on with internal health, or in terms of oral cancer or anything like that. So, it’s very interesting that as soon as you said that I could attach a single person that maybe experiences that. As far as the personal development, I think the further that I got into metabolism and endocrinology, hormones, physiology, anything really dealing with that, I mean, even the concepts we listed earlier, whether it was adrenals, whether it was insulin – if we take men, for example, and testosterone considerations, it all ties back to stress. Well, then I’m thinking, ok, well, what types of stressors do we have in our life; and a large percentage of those deal with our perception of our day to day life, our experience of our day to day life, and our reality, as well as the foods we eat, the choices we make, and the amount that we move. So, if I have almost two different columns, and if you guys follow me on instagram, I post kind of a diagram that’s more circular, of all the different facets of stress kind of bearing down on a human, but you start to realize - there’s an entire field on this, which is psychoneuroendocrinology – how important psychology and mindset are in integrating with making a change to whether it’s your hormonal profile, or whether it’s your body composition, or anything like that. So, I think as I was going through the process of coaching people in nutrition or training fitness, getting them to adhere to a plan, you realize, well, if it doesn’t fit with their life, if they don’t attach value to what I’m trying to get them to do, there’s no stickiness to it. So, to get it to stick in their life, you really have to have that integration and have it mesh. But, I also think that such a large component of really everything, from both a physical development perspective and in our own lives, is just the perceptions of what we’re going through, the pain that you talked about, and that’s sort of when I began having the realization that hey, this is really more than just fitness, this is really this crossroads or intersection of all these different areas of life, and you can’t really separate them; or at least not to have long-term, permanent results with something. I think if you separate them, maybe you follow a good routine in the gym for a while, or maybe you follow – you find something nutritionally that might work, but as soon as your lifestyle changes, if you don’t have that full integration of all those different areas, and I think, you know, you talk about… you have both the Ps that you use, and then with metabolism, with teaching that, you have the multiple Ms of metabolism, with movement, and mindset, and all those different things. It’s really hard to separate the two. I know we both talk about community and relationships, and it plays a huge role. I mean, food in general is just such a big part of our community, our social interaction; people want to go grab drinks or something like that. So, if those elements don’t fit, then all of a sudden people, I think, that’s where you get blame, or self-deprecation, or people losing self-esteem. Because every time they break that promise to themselves and they can’t adhere to the lifestyle that’s in place for whatever reason, in terms of what’s going on, their mindset changes about something, that sort of tears away, or digs away at things like integrity, and self-efficacy, and your belief to actually accomplish your long term goals. And that’s where I think people end up in trouble.
Jade: [35:06] Yeah, I think that’s so incredibly well said, and I won’t add to that, but I’ll actually tie it back to what we were talking about before… because I think it’s just a great segue to bring this all full circle. So, for example, if you follow what Sam is saying about all these things that go on in the brain and psychologically, the old model of metabolism really isn’t able to account for that, the sort of metabolism as calculator, or metabolism as chemistry set – it doesn’t really take that into account. But if you start to perceive and use the analogy of, and teach people the analogy of metabolism as stress barometer, you start to sort of understand ok, well, if the metabolism is a stress barometer, then obviously the way I perceive stress, and the way I handle stress becomes a huge component of things, and all those things you just talked about. So, the reason this drives it home is because if I’m coaching you, and I am teaching you macros and calculator type stuff, and helping you understand, and you only see the metabolism as a calculator, you will absolutely miss 1000% everything Sam just said about make a difference in the way you behave in the kitchen or in the gym. So, once I started just teaching the fact that no, the metabolism is actually a stress barometer, it’s a better way to perceive it… once I create that analogy, once I create that framework for a client sitting across from me, now I can immediately start the conversation that Sam just had, and say by the way, if your metabolism is a stress barometer, and you also understand that stress is something that we actually perceive. Some people can be under one form of stress and see it as the end of the world. Some other people can be under that same exact form of stress and see it as growth promoting. Which is kind of why psychology research actually shows one of the major determinants of success is your ability to see failures and fears and setbacks as growth promoters vs. something to blame and complain about. Now all of a sudden, you’ve just expanded your arena of areas to intervene in, so it’s no longer just about diet and exercise. Yes, too much or too little food, or too much or too little exercise can both be stresses, but then we can expand it and be like, oh yeah, then the quality of the air and the water, and endocrine disruptors, and most importantly, the stress we are impacted by socially, and our ability to see that as growth enhancing or growth degrading impacts us in huge ways. So, it kind of goes right back into this whole thing that that’s why you have to teach. In my mind, you have to learn to teach in a way that gives a more truthful way to intervene fully in the metabolism.
Sam: [37:56] Right. And we use the term thermostat a lot too in addition to stress barometer. You have to factor in, with Jade’s apartment example earlier, what’s going on in the external environment. While there is a calculator component to it, there’s also a lot of facets that are determining what’s going on and what that internal temperature change will be. So, if you have – we use, whether it’s a car or house example – if you have to temperature set to 68, and your environment becomes hot outside and you have the air conditioning on, the HVAC system will take that into account and then kick on the cold air. The metabolism is similar. It’s going to factor in the level of nutritional stress, so whether that’s a calorie deficit, or I also view caloric excess as a stressor, so for some people that might be the case. So, nutrition could be a stressor, training, too much training, too little training, too little movement, too much movement, too little sleep are all examples of those stressors that are going to be factored in, and Jade’s stress barometer example, so I really like that. I use the example of drains and charges, because most clients understand, well, I know how to charge my iPhone. So, they don’t care what the parasympathetic or sympathetic state is, but I need them to understand that recovery is a key component of transformations, and that restoration and bringing yourself back to a place of wholeness, and controlling things like your heart rate, and getting recovered from your training and your movement will allow you to achieve better results long term in your transformation. And what’s a drain for someone may not be a drain for someone else; it might actually be a charge for someone else. If I’m Type 2 Diabetic, and I’m eating too many calories and I’m not moving enough, a charge for me might be a caloric deficit and moving, whereas for someone who’s maybe over-trained, doing CrossFit 14-21 times a week, not eating enough calories, for them, additional movement or further caloric deficit would actually drain them further. Because they’re so different physiologically, they have very different cases of what they’re experiencing; but if I were to reverse diet that person, or in your case, kind of give them more food – you have the quadrants of EMEM, ELEL, or eat more exercise less – so in that case, that person potentially eating more food and potentially getting more time for recovery, they might actually be better off from a physiological standpoint. So, whether it’s stress barometer, drains and charges, understanding these different things, I think there’s so many different things you have to account for, and if you’re only doing that linear calorie model of calories in-calories out, well, what happens if, socially, something happens, or you’re depressed and then your NEAT then decreases – so, non-exercise activity level – maybe you’re staying in more because you’re not feeling great about yourself, and now all of a sudden, that’s changed our linear caloric equation, but it’s really a result of all of these other areas of our life. If, as a coach or health professional, you don’t have a pulse on those things, I think it’s really hard to have this fully integrated approach, or for your clients to achieve long term transformation.
Jade: [41:09] Yeah, and if you’re listening to that discussion with Sam, you see that there’s a huge level of sophistication about metabolism in that whole discussion, yet you didn’t hear him use one time any of these big terms that people throw around. There was no, you know, autophagy’s not mentioned in there, insulin resistance’s not mentioned there, he doesn’t have to say GIP and GLP and PYY or any of these things, but yet there’s this huge sophistication. And part of the way, I think, that that happens is sometimes when you come up with these frameworks you essentially see how many elements fit, and you start to try to put things on there, and then you see the framework sort of fall apart so you use another one. I think where we are, these will evolve, but I think if you’re a coach and you’re listening to this, it’s really about coming up with those frameworks. Of course, I talk about this with Sam all the time, and I think he feels the same with us, some people are like, well, I don’t want to take Sam’s thing, I don’t want to take Jade’s thing. But the fact of the matter is is that until you have your own, it’s far better to do that, and that’s part of why you and I educate. Of course, you come and take a course with you and I, it’s like, we want you to take our stuff, and then what we want to do is we want to see you improve upon it. Because then, like one of the things that I’ve seen with Sam is, I've seen him take some of my concepts – some of his concepts are brand new and I’m taking them from him – I’ve seen him take some of mine and improve upon them. Then, I’m like, oh cool, I get an extra brain, and then I can take that back, and then I can improve upon it. Then, he sees it and goes, oh cool, Jade kind of added this component, and so we kind of go back and forth like this. There’s a learning aspect to this, but I think first it’s the level of sophistication you do sort of need to know this thing. And I will say one more thing, because it’s going back to sort of the idea of personal development and psychology – one of the things that happens is if you only have, and I just really want to drive this point home, but if you only have a model of metabolism as calculator, metabolism as chemistry set, you don’t realize it’s metabolism as stress barometer, you’re never going to going, for example, talk to your client about maybe their relationship with their mom; that every time they drop the kids off at mom’s house, and mom is doing XYZ, and this why they go home and binge on whatever and are not being able to sleep, or any of this kind of stuff, you’re not going to make an impact. And then, you as a coach are going to – that client’s going to eventually leave you. Which, to me, is like, once I started – it’s like this – once I understood science, and I want to see what you think about this, and really got clear and understood a lot of these mechanisms, I did see my results with people change slightly. But once I started understanding about intervening, and peoples’ lifestyles, and around the mindsets and behaviors and the way we socialize with other people, that’s when my results went sky-high, that’s when I started becoming known for someone that got results; it’s when I started to integrate that stuff. So, what I would say is, there’s a big discussion in our field now about evidence-based medicine, and this, this, and this, and what I always – I kind of laugh at this all the time, because I’m like, you know, if you really look at what evidence-based medicine is, yes, it’s research oriented; but if you’re just doing the science, man, I’m sorry, you are not going to be nearly as successful if you’re not integrating people’s individual psychology and their personal preferences around what they’re doing. I don’t care how much you know about metabolism. I know a lot of people who know a whole lot more about this stuff than me and I tend to get better results and sell way more programs, because I’m integrating these frameworks, and these analogies, and these metaphors, and I also understand that it’s about lifestyle, socializing, recovering, all of these kinds of things. So, I’m wondering what your take on that is, because we do have this battle going on where it’s sort of like it should all be just research-based stuff and only science, and I’m just curious what your thought is on that. Because, personally, I never saw that be something that really elevated my results as much as the stuff that we’re talking about right now.
Sam: [45:18] Right. It’s kind of that example of with clients, sometimes your emotional sensitivity is going to matter more than understanding leptin sensitivity, you know, things like that.
Jade: [45:26] Absolutely. [inaudible] sensitivity line.
Sam: [45:28] So, I definitely agree with a lot of that, and I also think studies are meant to inform us and provide us with sort of… it’s like if you were learning to bowl and you have the bumpers that keep you from rolling your ball into the gutter. I think it keeps us on a playing field of what’s intelligent and what’s safe, and then within that playing field, certain clients are, you know, they might be on the left side of the pin, or the right side of the pins. They have different, you know, they’re each kind of unique in their own way and where they’re positioned and things like that. If our job is to draw from those generalizations and also realize that the specific population studied in the research may not be reflective of that specific client, but we can take tools, or observations, or anecdote, or information from those researchers and say how does this best apply to Sally, or how does this best apply to Janet, or Tom, is really where I think the science comes in and where research is important. I think it sort of keeps you in check, in a way, to make sure you are practicing appropriately; but, I will say a lot of times, how many studies are there on resistance trained females in a specific age population, who also know how to track their food and this, that, and the other thing. Then, conversely, it’s like well, there might be a lot of studies on sedentary people, or untrained populations, or things like that. So, I think evidence is good, science is good, research is very, very important, and I think we need to continue to invest in quality research and get information; but research without anecdote, or personal understanding, or connection, I think you’re not going to be as successful. I think you have to be able to take that off of paper, per se, and bring it to life, and also have clients have that perspective too. I don’t think you can just throw correlations at people and expect them to change.
Jade: [47:30] Yeah. So, two things I’ll say on that. I mean, I think to sum that up, it’s sort of like – I always use this term – it’s basically like, research is a tool for averages, it’s not a tool for individuals. Now, averages, I read research constantly; I know Sam does too, because we definitely want to know those averages. It makes a difference. Most people will fall into that. But it’s not individuals, so often times a lot of people will fall out of that, so you use it as a guide. We also don’t want to just make shit up. We don’t want – and that happens a lot, as you talk about in this field. So, I often times, the way I do this, is I use research to refine my approach rather than define my approach. In other words, I use my general knowledge base of physiology to define my approach, and my general understanding of psychology to define my approach; but then I am open to the fact that if I see a study say this or that, or that I’ve been doing this kind of wrong, research is going to refine it. I’ll have an idea of my clinical experience, but I have to understand my clinical experience is a small drop of water in the bucket of individuals out there. So, I always use science to refine my approach. And the final thing I say about evidence-based medicine, because I know this, and evidence-based nutrition, evidence-based sort of practice in general is, what we have to understand is there’s a very specific definition for evidence-based, and basically what it is is the current research consensus, all the research out there, along with the background and experience of the clinician who’s actually doing the work, along with the way that intersects with that person’s individual physiology and psychology and personal preferences. That’s actually what the definition of evidence-based practice is that. Yes, it’s the research; yes, it’s sort of the art of the clinician, and the intuition, and expertise of the clinician; and then, you have to take into account that individual. If you’re one of these people that says I’m doing evidence-based medicine, all you’re doing is reading research, and you’re forgetting these other two things. You’re sort of missing it for sure, so I don’t know if you have any thoughts on that that it brings up for you.
Sam: [49:36] Definitely. I think the way that Jade just defined evidence-based is unique in that a lot of people on the internet put science-based coaching, or evidence-based coaching in their profile or in their marketing materials and they don’t fully understand that it incorporates all of that. And I did have a couple points about research, but they kind of slipped my mind there for a second. I think it is important to draw, like you said, to refine your approach and not necessarily define your approach. I think there are some limitations in terms of research overall, in terms of applicability, and I really wish I remembered my point on that. I was so into what you were saying that I just got so focused on it.
Jade: [50:19] I do that all the time, and I’ll be like I got 3 points, you know, point 1 is this, point 2 is this, and… never mind!
Sam: [50:25] I really only had 2! Yeah, I forgot it.
Jade: [50:27] It’s like the older I get. I’m glad I’m not the only one. Well, let’s do this man; we’re kind of coming up on the hour, so why don’t we – I’ll let you go first – what would be some sort of take-homes that you would say alright – I love discussions like this, by the way, because you and I didn’t know where this was going to go. We just get together and talk about it, but if you were going to say what are some take-homes for someone who’s really trying to get good at this. If they’re like, you know, Jade, Sam, you guys are two experts in this field, in metabolism, I would like to learn how to think like you, and just any summation points that you have to kind of wrap up. Like, how do people begin to think like we have been able to do? Where should they start, what kind of education. I mean, I know you have some courses that definitely talk about that, I have some courses. But how else should people begin this process if they want to become a true expert and really start to incorporate things you and I have been able to do?
Sam: [51:19] For sure, and I remembered my point, so I’m going to add that in.
Jade: [51:21] Yeah, let’s add that in.
Sam: [51:22] Which is just with nutrition studies, I think we have a lot of epidemiology, a lot of retrospective stuff, it’s very hard to have randomized controlled trials on specific populations. Then, also we have to look at who is funding the research, and a lot of times, there may be companies with certain biases that might be funding the research that we’re looking at. That’s just for nutrition. Obviously, with medicine, that’s kind of another story. Then, for training and exercise physiology, I think those studies are kind of unique in themselves, and we kind of have to look at these categorically. In terms for advise for Jade’s question, as far as practitioners, I think people need to get comfortable – and you can do this at home, or in your office, or just with clients, or maybe with another coach, or with your peers – you need reps explaining the material. You just need to practice, and the information is valuable, and you can deliver it in really any way, but you have to find your style. It’s kind of like… it’s almost like hip-hop in a way, or any type of music, or an artist – some of it just requires practice and reps, and getting the feel for how you want to teach things. I think every time I have to teach, or every time I have to prepare something, every time I talk about something, I get just a little bit better at talking about it. But if you never talk about it, if you never try to use anecdote or analogy, you’re not going to progress at being a great storyteller or using analogy. So, I think the first step is think about your own story, your own fitness transformation, and leverage that story to talk about how this information actually applies. Make it real so people can connect. I think you have to start with stories there, and then I would just say getting reps in terms of teaching can be very important, and really, anyone who will listen, or just practice by yourself, write it – I think writing is very, very helpful. Not enough people actually write about this material; they’re only sort of – they read it in a textbook, think about it, past the test, and then they take on clients. But I think things like writing articles or trying to outline your thoughts can really help propel you forward in terms of even just your ability to execute with clients on a day to day basis.
Jade: [53:31] Yeah, I love those. I love those, and I’ll add a few more here. One thing is too, you can practice lateral thinking, and this is something that you can do wherever. So, typical example of lateral thinking would be if you’re having your coffee in the morning, well obviously, that cup that you’re drinking out of can hold coffee, it can hold liquid; that’s one thing. But it also can be many other things that you probably haven’t thought about. It could be a pencil holder if you empty out the coffee and put pencils in there; you can turn it upside down and make it a drum; you can, you know, when we were kids, we used to take those paper cups and cut holes in them and they acted as phones. You can make them a storage thing. There’s many different things you can do with a cup besides drinking liquid out of it, and that helps get your brain thinking differently. You know, there’s a funny story about the guy who came up with the Dyson vacuum cleaner. One of the things he did is he worked in the, I think, in the sawmill industry, and one of the things that he saw in the sawmill industry is that they used these big turbines that would basically pull all the stuff in and then blow out all the dust to the side where it would fall down. He saw that from one area of expertise that had nothing to do with vacuums and decided to bring that technology into the vacuum space. That’s an example of lateral thinking, and you can do that with everything completely unrelated to metabolism and get very good at it. The other thing that I did that was really weird when I was in biochemistry, in undergrad and in medical school, is I just got into the habit of doing sort of a Socratic style of learning where I would say, well, insulin does this – why? Well, because of this – why? Because of this – well, how does that work? And I would go 5-6 whys deep to really understand. One of the key points I got to is this whole thing of insulin resistance; I was like, well, asking questions like is insulin resistance always the same? Is it the same in the liver, is it the same in the fat cell, does muscle experience insulin resistance the same way? Can the brain become insulin resistant? What you find when you start going down deep into these holes is you find like no, it’s not a full body thing. The liver can have insulin resistance while the tissues may not. The brain responds differently. So, once you start really asking these deep questions, you start to get very, very good at this stuff. That’s my second point, and my last point would be – goes into something that you said, Sam – to me, it is about reps. I have this saying that I always like to use, this is in life, it’s in career, it’s in the gym – easy is earned. And one of the things that Sam said is just reps, reps, reps. That’s an example of easy is earned. So, to me, part of easy is earned is also sort of an Adlerian psychology statement of the courage to be disliked. For me, if you really want to learn this stuff, you blog, you podcast, you post on it. We’re in an era now where you can literally get direct feedback. So, if I put something out and a troll or someone has something to say about it, it’s a great opportunity for me to go oh, how can I think laterally about that, or how can I ask why deeper, and really understand or explain it better so that I’m not open to that. I used to get that stuff all the time; now I get it very little, and part of it is because I think, well, I’m more well known now, but I also think I just explain things a little bit better. So, those would be all the ways that I would say to look at this. Any final thoughts before we wrap up?
Sam: [56:46] No, I really like that easy is earned, and always remember that you can start with the most basic concepts; so, maybe you just teach what a protein is. You don’t have to start with teaching someone about insulin resistance. I think it would be much more simple to start with where you have the most education and foundation and then branch out. Guess what? As you get better at teaching about protein or calories, or as you get better at teaching about exercise, as you learn topics, you’ll progress with your ability to showcase more difficult information. I think people try to start with just the fancy stuff because it sounds cool, but getting really good at explaining the basics still has a lot of power to it, because your audience out there, there may be folks who need to cultivate an understanding of the basics. I think this was in The Obstacle is the Way, it’s like [inaudible] is a myth behind mountains. It’s a Haitian proverb, behind mountains there’s always more mountains. So, as you get better at explaining things and teaching things, you know, Jade and I have kind of progressed, like sure, we might be able to teach about metabolism, but then finding a model or a framework for something else, it still becomes progressively more difficult as you try to tackle larger concepts to really have an impact.
Jade: [57:54] Yeah, I love it, man, and love this discussion. Thanks for hanging out, and let’s go hit the gym, brother.
Sam: [58:00] There ya go.