The Demystification of Nutrition Strategies
There’s probably no other topic in fitness where there is more frustration and confusion than the topic of nutrition strategies. With so much information out there, how do you decipher what’s legitimate and what’s not?LISTEN ABOVE OR CHECK OUT THE VIDEO (WITH TRANSCRIPT) BELOW TO LEARN:
- Current Nutrition Trends, and how to choose the best Nutrition Strategy for your specific goals
- How to identify nutritional “RED FLAGS” and how to tell the Real-Deal nutritional effectiveness from the “Snake Oil” Hype
- Tips on how to stay on track and find a sustainable balance between living your life and reaching your fitness goals
James Grage: Welcome to another episode of the Under the Sun podcast where we talk about everything: Fitness, Nutrition, Motivation, even a little bit of Life in Business mixed in there, or at least how to juggle all those things. So today what I would like to talk about is an extension of a past conversation, but maybe just a little different take on it. But talking about nutrition, or more specifically nutrition strategies, there’s probably no other topic in fitness where there’s more frustration and more confusion. I’m actually looking right here at my laptop. We did a poll recently on the Undersun Fitness Instagram account asking people what some of their biggest struggles are when it comes to nutrition. And I see a lot of the same things, but the biggest one is confusion. And I think a lot of that stems from the fact that there’s so much information out there and there are so many different people saying something different.
James Grage: So that is one of the things that I want to address. I, as most of you know, we did launch a nutrition strategy on Undersunfitness.com, but this isn’t about pushing that nutrition plan. In this conversation, I want to be more objective. Or as objective as possible. That’s always my goal with any of the content that I create is to be as objective as possible, and give you guys unbiased information. Of course, I’m always going to have my bias is based on my own personal opinion based on my own personal experiences. But you know, look, I think that kind of leads right into topic number one in this discussion, which is: There is no perfect way. There is no one size fits all approach. It doesn’t exist. What there is, is good starting points with a nutrition plan. There’s a good education, and there is this idea of learning what’s best for you, what’s best for your body.
James Grage: So that’s a little bit what I want to talk about. And some of this was stimulated by the fact that I was on Instagram, and I think a lot of it is because of the fact that we just launched a nutrition plan. Maybe I’m out there looking at more nutrition-related keywords or maybe it’s just, big brother social media eavesdropping on my conversations. But for whatever reason, I’ve been hit with a ton of ads on Instagram for nutrition plans and it seems like everybody and their mama is coming out with some sort of workout plan or nutrition plan on Instagram. You know, from someone who maybe five years ago would have just been starting off as a personal trainer at LA Fitness or 24-Hour Fitness, now all of a sudden has their own app and touting themselves as an expert. Now some of these people may very well be experts and some of them might be talking out their ass.
James Grage: So it’s a bit of a dangerous world out there right now because how do you decipher what’s legitimate and what’s not? So I can tell you from my perspective, the red flags, the things to look out for, and then you guys can make your own informed decisions.
James Grage: So I’ll use one of the ads I saw today as an example. So a guy’s sitting on a sofa eating two cheeseburgers. Now, if you’re on Instagram, you probably even seen this because it’s a paid ad and he’s talking about this idea of, you know, carb confusion. There’s always some sort of nichey little catchphrase that people like to use.
You know, the big one we’re training back in the day used to be muscle confusion that that one always made me laugh. That was a P90x thing which they took from just this idea of a progressive overload. This concept of keeping your muscles guessing, which has been exaggerated through the years. People kind of like attached to that and really held onto that idea. There is such thing as progressive overload, but this whole idea of muscle confusion, some of it’s gone a little bit too far. But anyway, getting off track here: My big issue with his ad that I saw is, well first of all eating cheeseburgers and it’s making people think, “Okay, this looks really appealing. I can sit there and I can eat cheeseburgers and have it be part of my nutrition strategy and get in great shape”. Now, this is part of the issue that I’ve had with a lot of the people out there promoting the Keto diet the wrong way. It’s one thing to promote it the right way in a healthy version of it.
James Grage: It’s another thing entirely to promote it the way that a lot of people have, which is what was really appealing to a lot of people, which is: “Hey, just eliminate your carbs and then you can eat all this fat that you want. You can eat cheeseburgers and cheese and greasy bacon and all this crap!”. And I think that appealed to people like, “Wow! I can get in great shape and still lead all the foods that I want to eat.
So specific to a keto program, I would tell you that anyone who really is a true Keto person and is conscientious of their health is going to tell you that yes, you can follow a keto program, but with the right kind of fats, you know, the right type of healthy fats, not eating cheeseburgers and bacon or bacon and cheeseburgers, which sounds really good to be honest with you.
James Grage: Who doesn’t like a Bacon cheeseburger? Or just bacon in general, but would that be instead, it’s not going to get you in the shape that you want to get in. There are the foods that we all like to eat, the foods that tastes good, but depending on the results that you want eating, those types of foods aren’t going to get you where you want to get. So for someone to jump on Instagram and try to beat you, which is clickbait, to bait you into a nutrition plan by saying you can eat cheeseburgers and getting the shape that you want. When the dude’s probably only 20 years old, like when I was 20 out of metabolism, I can eat anything, especially as active as I was. So it’s different to say, for example, me now, I may work out, let’s call it an hour a day tops.
James Grage: But the rest of my day, let’s face it, is sedentary. I sit in front of a laptop all day long, whether I’m doing work for Undersun. Or I’m editing videos or whatever I’m doing, I’m sitting down and it’s a sedentary lifestyle. Now older, I’m not as active as I used to be. My metabolism isn’t the same as it used to be, so for me to sit down and eat cheeseburgers, I don’t care what the nutrition strategy is. It’s not going to get me in the shape that I want to get in. So I just think that there’s a lot of stuff that’s disingenuous because we’re being told what we want to hear. We’re being told, hey, it’s easy. Number one, it’s easy. That’s lie number one, Shit’s not easy. Okay, working out with the right amount of intensity is not easy. The concept of working out is really simple.
James Grage: It’s not that complicated. Where the results come from is the amount of effort and the energy, the intensity that you put into it. And how far you’re willing to push yourself and take yourself out of your comfort zone. That’s where the results come from. So in the nutrition plan, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. But the results come from the discipline and, it does mean making some sacrifices. It does mean not eating all those foods that you would normally like to indulge in. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of really delicious things out there to eat and there’s no cheesecake and burgers and fries and all this stuff that tastes amazing, which hey, you know, if, if that’s what you want to do, if you’re a foodie and you’re into food, great. But if you want to have abs and be in great shape, the two don’t mix together very well.
James Grage: And that’s just the fact. So if anyone’s telling you that there’s some sort of like an easy shortcut for getting results, whether it’s with your training or with your nutrition, that’s bullshit. There is no shortcut and there is no easy way to do it. There’s an easy plan. There’s an easy to follow plan, right? As far as the steps. But just because it’s easy to follow doesn’t mean that it’s easy to follow in terms of your discipline, your commitment. So you know, the real answer is none of this stuff is easy. It’s not. If you want the results, then you’re going to have to make sacrifices. If you want better results, you’re going to have to make more sacrifices. And if you want the best results, then you’re going to have to make even more sacrifices. And that’s just, that’s true of anything. It’s true of your training and nutrition, that’s true of business.
James Grage: Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, you’re only going to get out of it what you put into it. And that’s just facts. So stop looking for the shortcuts. So I can’t tell you out of all the bazillions of like nutrition plans and online programs that I see out there now, which one’s good and which ones are not. I don’t because there are so many that pop up every day. I couldn’t even begin to evaluate them all. So that’s why having this conversation now, so you can evaluate for yourself and know that I’m not trying to push you towards what it is that I’m promoting. That again, I want you to feel like you’re making an educated decision. So that would be criteria number one. Red Flag is if someone tells you it’s easy, someone tells you it’s fast cause usually, you can get fast. But it’s not that easy.
James Grage : I used to be, and a lot of you don’t know this, but I used to be a union carpenter. My brother was a contractor and I always thought I was going to be an architect and he would always bitch that architects would draw plans that weren’t realistic in real life. They worked on a piece of paper, but then when you went to build it didn’t work. And so he said, well, why don’t you come out? Why don’t you actually get some hands-on experience and start building? So I ended up doing that. I became a union carpenter and went to the union, signed up, and so I did that for years actually. And one of the simple sayings I learned, and I heard this time and time again: There’s Good, Fast and Cheap. Pick two, you can’t have all three.
James Grage: It can be good and fast, but it’s not going to be cheap. It can be fast and good, what did I already say that one? Maybe I did. Anyway, pick two. You can’t have all three. It’s Kinda the same thing. Similar concept here. You can have faster results but it’s going to require a crazy sacrifice. I mean you look at say physique athletes: So bodybuilders, bikini pros, the men’s physique competitors, you’ll hear them get in shape over a 12-week period of time and you’ll look at some of their before or after pictures and then they’re stage ready. Competition pitchers. That happens in, I think you said 12 to 16 weeks. It’s an insane amount of work that goes into one of those diets. It becomes almost all-consuming, to the point where when I was younger I had a really difficult time balancing that or forget balancing.
James Grage: There was no balance. I had a hard time managing that and everything else that I had going on in my life. For example, I had a really hard time getting ready for a show and being able to maintain a girlfriend during that time because I was so mono-focused on my training and my nutrition. Because you really have to be, you know, most of the professional bodybuilders that I know are very, very structured and that’s what it requires. It requires this day in and day out. Structure has to be very habitual. You do the same thing the same way every day. So yes, you can get faster results, but it’s going to require an extreme amount of time and energy and commitment that’s going to go into it. And most people aren’t prepared to do that. Uh, like I said, because it’s going to require sacrifices. So, if you’ve got to be on your A-Game at the office, for example, it’s going to be really difficult to do on these programs, especially when you’re going through periods of super, super low carb.
James Grage: You’re doing like all your carb cycling and all these different things. It’s difficult. You feel mentally tired, you feel distracted. All you’re thinking about is your next meal. You’re carrying around Tupperware everywhere you go. Now imagine juggling other things on top of that. So career and maybe kids or wife or whatever else you have going on. What if you have to travel, et cetera?
James Grage: So yes, you can get really fast results, but don’t measure yourself based on ads that you see from someone who’s likely a competitor because what they’re doing is not easy. All right, so I guess ultimately that’s what I’m trying to tell you. You can get great crazy results pretty fast, but it’s going to require an extreme amount of time and energy that goes into it. Now, there’s also a backlash to that. And that’s one of the things that a lot of people don’t talk about. If you look at the cycle throughout a year of a competitor, so let’s say a bodybuilder, so they’ll go through this extreme diet, really restrict themselves.
I mean, they’ll just really like tighten down the screws on themselves. And I’ve done this time and time again. So I, I speak from experience, not to mention all the people that I know, they’d go through the same. This is like a common, whoa! It’s like you restrict yourself so much and you’re so disciplined and you work so hard and you do your cardio and you push yourself and you push yourself towards this goal, this singular goal, which is really a matter of minutes. It’s peaking at one moment, which is when you step on stage. You want to hit your peak-peak condition at that one point in time. And there’s one thing that every one of these competitors thinks about the day before. Which is, I can’t wait for that meal after this whole thing’s over, I’m going to go to dinner and all the things that I want to eat.
James Grage: And you eat until you’re like disgusted with yourself until you know, you feel like you’re gonna blow up and you’ve taken so much sodium that your ankles swell up like this big. So the point being is, you’ve restricted yourself so much. It’s, it’s an extreme. And I always like imagine literally a pendulum. So take a pendulum that’s hanging at a neutral position and you pull it to one side, far to one extreme, and you let go. It’s not going to swing back to balance. It’s going to swing all the way to the other side. And that seems to be a law of nature with most things. That one extreme results in another extreme. And so what happens is in these extreme diets, there’s an extreme rebound. And so you’ll see people go from like shredded condition, they look amazing, and then all of a sudden you see them two months later and they’ve gained like 30 pounds.
James Grage: Some of these people, I mean they’ll gain 10 pounds, 12 pounds in a day just based on all the sodium and water retention. Most of that’s just water, but still, it’s like this downward spiral. So if you were to look at that over the course of the year, you’ve got these highs and these lows. Highs and lows, it’s like: high – okay, peak condition. “I look great, I’m ready for a competition or a photoshoot and I feel great. I’m ripped and I’m shredded and I feel really confident and good about myself!”
And then all of a sudden it’s like, and I realized a long time ago that I just didn’t want to live that way anymore. That for me, I wanted to find some sort of compromise, like a financial advisor, had a conversation with me once about my portfolio and saying, look, my goal for you is not to hit these home runs with your investments to get these crazy kind of returns.
James Grage: My job is to even out those highs and lows and to create a little bit more consistency there. And you know, that philosophy kind of stuck with me and other things that I do. I’m always trying to even out the highs and the lows. So maybe I may not be ripped and shredded as I used to be stepping on stage, but I’m also closer to striking distance to that condition based on my everyday level of conditioning because I’m not going to these crazy extremes.
So when it comes to a nutrition strategy, here’s my simple philosophy over the course of a year: If you were to, let’s say your goal is you’re a guy and you want a bulk, right? So it does a good old fashioned comparison of a bulk versus a cut. So what happens is, as you go through this bulk, what traditionally would happen is you increase your calories because you need a calorie surplus in order to be in an ideal anabolic environment to be able to build muscle.
James Grage: So you increase your calories. And I used to do this. I used to eat cheeseburgers and all kinds of bullshit. A friend of mine, Micah, we used to go to McDonald’s and they would have, I don’t know what it was, it was something crazy. It was like not even 99 cent cheeseburgers. They were like, I swear to God, they were like 50 cents or something on some special. And so we would go by like eight cheeseburgers, any of these things. And so yeah. Did I put on size. Yeah. In all the wrong places. So you go through this bulk and yeah, you get stronger and you put on muscle, but you also put on a bunch of unwanted body fat. So they say, okay, well that’s great to put on body fat. But now I don’t really like the way that I look. I feel like I’ve gotta wear a sweatshirt all the time.
James Grage: So now I want to go through a cut. So then you go through this process of a calorie restriction or a slight restriction in order to lose this weight. And in the process, you end up sacrificing some of that muscle that you just gained. So I looked at it and said, “Okay, well what is my net gain, right? So from the muscle that was gained and then by the time I drop all that body fat, how much incremental muscle that I gained over that entire period of time”?
And what I realized is that I could probably gain that same amount of incremental muscle, that net amount just by following a slower and steadier approach. And that way I felt better on a daily basis throughout the year and looked better. And if I ever wanted to get in great shape that I was, like I said, within striking distance of that.
James Grage: And then as I came back down, I came down to a more normal baseline as opposed to these extreme highs and these lows. So when creating this plan that I did for the fitness website, and I’m not saying go buy this plan, I’m telling you the philosophy behind it so you can take that and look for other things. If you don’t want to follow my plan, you can go follow another plan. But the things that I recommend that you look for is something that is more sustainable because what, excuse my language, but what the fuck is the point of going through all this hard work and sacrifice to look a certain way. If you can’t maintain it, like unless you’re just doing it for a bodybuilding show and you just want a peak for that five minutes that you step on stage, your moment of glory and it gets your trophy.
James Grage: That’s cool. I get that. Cause I’ve been there and I’ve done that. But for the rest of us, we’re putting all this work in so we can feel better about ourselves, hopefully on a daily basis, not just for five minutes. So a plan’s gotta be a little bit more sustainable. So there’s an approach, or I could say, hey, you can get great results. It can be fast results, but you’re going to have to crank down on yourself. You’re gonna have to do all these restrictions. You’re gonna have to weigh your food and measure your food and do all this crazy shit that’s going to wear you out. You’re going to get tired of it and you’re going to quit. So what’s the point? So I would rather create something, and this is what I did for myself. It started with me – like, I didn’t create this for anyone else.
James Grage: To be totally honest. I created it for myself because I was looking for something that was more sustainable. That’s more of a lifestyle, something I can do on a daily basis without fatiguing out of it. Without feeling like I’m dieting, without feeling like I’m restricting myself. You know, waiting for just that cheat meal like a nick. And I talk about it. So I started this plan. I figured I would go ahead, and this was a good motivation for me to get back and peak-peak shape again because, with business, I’ve kinda slid a little bit. I’ve spread myself a little bit too thin and, so I figured this was a good opportunity for me to get back in shape. And so we’ve been doing this, following the meal plan, the same thing that’s on the website exactly the exact same way.
James Grage: And we were talking about it and I was saying, I don’t feel like I’m dieting because I’m eating food that tastes good. It’s nutritious, you know, I’m well-nourished. There are people around the world, they don’t even get one meal a day, let alone two meals a day, let alone being able to eat throughout the day. Healthy, good food. So it’s like, we talk about these first world problems. So when people complain about doing a nutrition strategy and they’re like, “Oh my God, this sucks so bad”! It’s like, shut the fuck up! Like that’s, that’s not a real problem. Like, not being able to eat. That’s a problem! This is a luxury, like being able to get in good shape. Being able to go to the gym, being able to like build our physiques. That’s a luxury. So, you know, a matter of fact, I just heard a story, uh, from a guy, his name is Shad Gaspard.
James Grage: He was a WWE superstar. He’s out in LA. I went out there recently to go hang out with a buddy of mine and we went into Gold’s gym, the Mecca of bodybuilding. And the funny thing is we did resistance bands in there, which was quite a spectacle, especially with him. Cause he’s six foot six and he’s a big monstrous dude. But he was telling us the story after we went and grabbed something to eat over at a, it’s called The Firehouse. Any of you guys who’ve been out there in Venice Beach, kind of like, it’s the thing you do, right? You go to Gold’s gym and you train and then you walk the two blocks over to The Firehouse and you go eat your chicken breast and egg whites. So, we’re over there and he was telling us a story how he and another guy from the WWE went over to, I believe they were in India and he said they got there and everyone’s swarmed on him.
James Grage: And they like, “Wow! Everyone recognizes us, We’re pretty famous over here”. It turns out they didn’t know who they were, they didn’t know that they were with the WWE. And they were like, “Well, who do you think we are? And they’re like, “Well, you’re rich!” And they say, “Oh! Well, why do you think we’re rich”? And they said, “Because you have muscles”. Because to them, they equate having muscles with having to eat, because you do. If you want to build muscle, you have to fuel that growth with food. And that’s one of the hardest parts about building muscle is not the training, it’s the eating. So over there they equate muscle with being rich. So I always think about things like that and keep it in perspective. When we want to bitch and complain about our nutrition plan, it’s like, come on, give me a break.
James Grage: This is a luxury. We have the ability, the freedom, like I said, again, the luxury to be able to do this. So, I don’t dare ever complain about following the nutrition plan to get in shape for myself. So I feel good. So I think also important for us to keep that in perspective when we’re doing a nutrition plan like this, we’ve got this goal, and even if it feels like we’re making sacrifices, we’re making first-world sacrifices. Like, “Oh God, I can’t, you know, I can’t eat cheese cake”!
James Grage: As far as other things to look for in a plan, I already gave you the number one red flag. If they tell you if it’s easy or if they tell you it’s fast, it’d be cautious there. Those are, those are two of the biggest ones I, and the third one is anything that’s an extreme.
James Grage: It is very difficult to maintain anything longterm when it’s an extreme. And so my philosophy is this: my ultimate goal in life period is balance. With everything that I do with balancing out being a father, being a husband, running a business, my own personal goals like fitness, how do I balance that all out? And that’s, that should be all of our goals in life. Is to find a balance for whatever it is, all the things that we want to do in life. So knowing that balance is one of the keys to life, why would it be any different on a nutrition strategy?
James Grage: So we’ve got different types of macronutrients, we’ve got protein and we’ve got carbohydrates and we’ve got fats. Why does it have to be an extreme It doesn’t have to be? So my philosophy is one of balance. And so you look at the program that I created and that was one of my goals.
James Grage: So there isn’t any restriction of fats. Like I used to follow a traditional bodybuilding diet when I first got into training, it was super high protein, low, low, low, low fat. Everything that I looked at was low fat, low fat, everything. And then it was a moderate amount of carbs. Like a lot of bodybuilders will tell you if you want to maximize muscle growth, you do need carbs. It doesn’t mean you can’t build muscle without them. It doesn’t mean you can’t look great without them. But if you want to maximize muscle growth in size, then carbohydrates are important. Part of that, even if you just look at it from the most basic level, which is you take in carbohydrates, that glucose is stored as glycogen and stored in your muscle. That glycogen attracts, I think they say three times its weight in water. That’s giving you cell volume.
James Grage: That’s actually creating volume within the muscle. So we talk about making our muscles bigger. Well, that’s literally making our muscle bigger. There’s a reason why when we go on low carb and we drive a lot of water that we also dropped some of that, muscle volume that sell. We feel a little bit flat. We don’t get the same kind of pumps. So there is a reason why bodybuilders like carbs. So what’s the downside of lots of carbs? Well, the downside is they absolutely can make you fat. A: You eat a bunch of carbs, you raise your blood sugar levels, therefore you raise your insulin levels. Your body has a tendency to want to store all these extra calories. The insulin levels, high insulin levels also block light policies, meaning blocking your body’s ability to burn fat as a source of fuel. So for example, imagine this, imagine you wake up in the morning and you eat a big bowl of oatmeal, or you eat an English muffin or a Bagel or whatever carb source that you like in the morning.
James Grage: And then you go to the gym and you do cardio. So now you’ve got all these carbohydrates, all this glucose right in your bloodstream, your body, first of all, it’s going to want to burn that as a source of fuel. It’s gonna want to burn that Glucose because your body likes glucose. It likes to burn it, right It’s a preferred source of fuel. If in an ideal world, our body would just preferentially burn fat, but it doesn’t want it, we have to like force it too. So you go to the gym, you got all this glucose right into your veins, you’re not going to be burning fat. So it doesn’t mean that carbs are a bad thing. It means that you have to be more cognizant of timing. And that’s a lot of what I talk about in this nutrition plan is nutrient timing.
James Grage: It’s okay to have fats. There’s a good time to have fats, there’s a good time to have carbs. And then there’s the wrong time. So it’s still a fairly simple concept. And for me, what I’ve found is depending on my goal, that I don’t have to drastically change my strategy.
So for example, what I created in this program, it’s called TA2 LEAN BUILD. And it is a lean muscle building program. So primarily it is to build muscle, but to do that without putting on unwanted body fat. But in order to build muscle, that means that there is a calorie surplus in there. So if I want to modify that, and I said, okay, well my goal isn’t really to build more muscle right now. I’m happy where I’m at as far as muscle. Now I want to start tweaking this. I want to start getting a little bit leaner.
James Grage: I don’t have to go and reinvent the wheel here. All I have to do is make small adjustments. So what are some of the adjustments that I would make Well, ONE, I would shrink my portions just slightly because again, we’re in a calorie surplus to build muscle. So now we want to lean down. So now just gradually I can start making changes and see how my body reacts. But now here’s the thing. This is like your own personal science experiment. And here’s where most people go wrong, they’re too impatient. They want to see results fast and they want to make radical changes and they jump from one thing to another thing, hoping that they’re going to see some sort of dramatic change fast. And you’re not going to, the only time I’ve seen dramatic changes really fast with the nutrition strategies. Yes, when you drop all your carbohydrates, yes, in four days, you’re going to make a drastic change as far as weight because you’re going to drop a shit ton of water, right?
James Grage: And that goes back to the glycogen storage. When you deplete all your glycogen in your muscle and deplete most of it in your liver. That’s when you’re finally going to go into ketosis. That’s what Ketosis is. You don’t have any more glycogen stores. You’re not taking in enough carbohydrates. You’re keeping your carb intake very, very low. It’s like say, let’s say you’re at 20 grams of carbs a day and your body says, “Well, this isn’t enough”, especially to fuel your brain. Your brain likes glucose as a source of fuel. Your brain can’t use fat as a source of fuel like your body can. So now your body starts taking fats and converting them into ketones to fuel your brain. So that’s the basic concept there. But you know, imagine that you drop all your, your carbohydrates, therefore your glycogen, like I said. So that means you drop all that water.
James Grage: So over three, four days you could drop, you know, depending on your body size, you can drop 10 pounds, 12 pounds, et cetera. So that’s the only time you see a drastic change. But that’s not body composition. You’re not altering your, the difference between, you know, body fat percentage, lean muscle, et cetera. It’s just water. To create real change takes time. And so that’s going back to these little adjustments. You have to be patient because it takes time. So if you’re inpatient and you make all these hasty decisions, you’re never going to learn what works for you. So if I were to give you my best piece of advice is stick to a goal for the longterm. Be patient and be disciplined. That’s how you get results. And there’s nobody out there that can tell you what’s best for your body, more than you can if you start to learn. Because we are all built different and our bodies all react to things differently.
James Grage: We all have different tolerance for carbohydrates. Some of us have different tolerance for fats. Some of us have different tolerance for different types of proteins. Think about it. Some people are fine with milk-based proteins, you know, whey, casein, et cetera. Some people can’t do it at all and they prefer vegetable source proteins. I can’t do vegetable source proteins or make my stomach swell out to here and I’ll fart for like 15 days straight. So everybody is different. But the only way that you’re going to learn is by being super focused and disciplined and structured. One of the best things that I ever learned from someone, it was one of my first jobs in, I call it the fitness industry. So I was in sports nutrition at the time. He was an ex hall of fame bodybuilder and he actually journaled all his, his prep.
James Grage: So every single meal, every workout he ever did, he journaled it because when he stepped on stage, if he really liked the way he looked, if he made one little change, he could always go back and reference and see exactly what he did. Or if he showed up and didn’t like the way he looked, he could go back and look and compare it to the last time and say, “What did I change here”?
But here’s the basis of any kind of scientific experiment. And it’s the same thing. Like we do this here at Undersun with digital marketing, which I happen to be very fascinated with because of the scientific method. Because it’s the same kind of discipline, which is changing one variable at a time. Think about it. If you do something that works, okay, and you want to improve it, if you change one thing and it works better. Then you know what that one thing is. If you change one thing and it doesn’t work as well, you know what the one thing that didn’t work, but what if you change two things and it works better, which of those two things made the change?
So you have to be very disciplined and you have to try to only make one change at a time. And that’s a scientific approach. But again, this takes patience. So going back to a nutrition plan, you take someone like myself who creates a plan or someone else that you trust and you feel that one, they have the knowledge base. Two, they have the experience and three that they have your best interest in mind. And you find the program, it’s only a starting point. That’s how I started this whole conversation off in the very beginning is by saying that even the best nutrition plans are just a starting point because you’re going to have to make little tweaks. So for example, even me, the nutrition plan is on the website. It’s a plan that I created. It’s the plan.
James Grage: I followed this plan in the past, and now I’m following it again. But I’m looking at my results even just over the last couple of days. And I went ahead and decided, “Hey, I’m not going to change anything here. Even though my goal is not necessarily to build more lean muscle because kind of Max out like I’m not going to get any bigger. I’ve been training for almost 30 years now. What you see is what you get, you know, progressive overload stops it at a certain point, you just can’t keep progressing and progressing”. Otherwise, I would be the incredible hulk after 30 years and I would be lifting up buses at this point. And that’s just not the case. You reach a point, it’s your genetic limit. So as far as muscle, probably not going to get any bigger arms. I might, I mean, you know, I’ve had them bigger.
James Grage: I just did my measurements, I did them relax and then I made Annik do them flexed as well. That was just from my own ego though. And I think on the flex they were 17 and a half. Have they been bigger? Yeah, I think of that biggest they ever got up to was maybe 18 and a half. Uh, but even then I wasn’t probably that lean and that makes a big difference too. So yeah. Is it my goal to improve little body parts, you know, maintain shoulders size as I try to, get my waist size smaller. Yeah, it’s all those little tweaks. But still at the end of the day, my goal isn’t to really put on a lot extra muscles. So I’ve gotta be very careful and watch over the next couple of weeks and see if I need to make adjustments in my portion sizes because that’s how all make little tweaks as a nutrition plan is just by changing my portion sizes.
James Grage: So, because that’s my goal, my primary number one goal is I want to bring the waist in a little bit, bring the abs back. I’ve been kind of lazy here lately. Not lazy, I’ve just been distracted. I think I’m far from a lazy person. I’m always busy. But that’s the nature of things. We direct our energy towards one thing and in the process, we neglect something else, maybe not entirely, but we just don’t put as much energy to it. So over the past, you know, six months plus of trying to build Undersun up, and put all this energy into creating something. And that’s all creating is, that’s all building your physique is really is energy. It is focused energy and the more energy and the more focused you are, the more that you can create something. And it literally is, that’s what this idea of manifesting something is, is taking in an idea and a thought and making it a reality. But it’s your energy and your focus that are gonna make it a reality. So putting all my energy and my focus into Undersun. Yes. My own personal fitness goals have gotten neglected a little bit. So now I’m trying to redirect that a little bit.
James Grage: We actually have to wrap up now because we have to get ready for another segment. So I appreciate you guys. As always, one of my big things is building this community and that’s one of the reasons why I really dig this. And the Facebook group. Let’s face it, I’m not, look, I’m not a Facebook person. I’m probably, I mean since Instagram came out, I just have not ever really spent the same on Facebook that I used to. But one of the things that I like about it is that you can create these groups. And why do I like the group because we can create a community in there. You know, we got people from all over the world that are on there that now becoming friends and talking to each other and supporting each other and answering each other’s questions and sharing before and after photos, all kinds of cool stuff.
James Grage: That just a good vibe. I just like creating a good vibe, and seeing everybody succeed and seeing everyone, you know, encourage other people to succeed. So, definitely join the group there. I’m going to be spending more and more time building that developing that. Matter of fact, with my youtube content: So if anyone follows any of my personal youtube content, they’re on a youtube slash James Grage Page. You’ll see they’d, over the past nine months, it’s been all more educational content on resistance band training. And the one thing that I haven’t brought back in a while is, let’s call it more lifestyle content.
James Grage: A lot of people call it vlogs, but I really am just so tired of hearing that word just because the whole youtube world is just saturated with vlogs of, “Hey, follow me around as I go to the grocery store and put gas in my car”. Uh, not really interested in, sharing how I put gas in my car, but I will share how I eat and how we grocery shop or you know, when and how I train and all those little tips and you know, kind of the behind the scenes. And that is all going to be really directed towards this Undersun Tribe. That’s what that lifestyle content is, is to continue to develop that. And so a lot of the questions that will come out of those groups will be the topic of conversation. Or at least, stimulate ideas for that lifestyle content. So keep an eye out for that. That’ll be coming out pretty soon. It’s still kind of tough for me to be honest with you, to juggle all this, uh, that I’ve got going on.
James Grage: You know, people ask about youtube and creating content and it’s tough. It’s not easy, especially when consistency is one of the most important things we talk about consistency when it comes to your training and nutrition. Like I always say it, it’s number one, it trumps everything else. It trumps strategy, that trumps even hard work because hard work doesn’t count if you do it sporadically. So consistency is number one and it’s the same exact rule with youtube. So it’s really tough to get on a consistent schedule and juggle all these things, you know, do business and be, be a father and be a husband and then, you know, like go home and edit videos as well. Not Easy. I’ve even struggled with it with just the basic educational content. So now I’m about to mix in the lifestyle content. So let’s get going to get a little bit hectic, to be honest with you. So I’ll do it as long as I can do it. So enjoy it while it lasts. With that being said gonna tune out. I appreciate you guys and I will see you!