Dr. Joel Rosen: Alright, Hello, everyone. And welcome back to another edition of less stress life where we teach exhausted and burnt-out adults the truth about adrenal fatigue so that they can get their health back quickly. And I’m really excited to be interviewing our next guest, Charlie Johnson, He is an online transformation coach. And he works with busy professionals who enjoy the qualities of life, while at the same time being able to achieve the dream physique.
I’m really excited to interview Charlie because personally, I had developed my fatigue and exhaustion as a result of overtraining. And I really wanted to pick Charlie’s brain and get some insights on how to avoid that and all the other things that are associated with transforming your physique. So Charlie,
Charlie Johnson: Thank you so much for being here today. Pleasure show. And so this is a fascinating topic, and something that I love discussing in these little rabbit holes, we can go down with this. And I’d start with the low-hanging fruit first get straight into it. And that’s like training and training volume. Because I think the biggest mistake we have as a society at the moment, I don’t know if you’ll agree with this is that we have this opinion that necessarily doing more of anything or more of reading more of something or doing more of everything is better, and not necessarily doing more is better, better, is better.
So I think the biggest mistake a lot of people make is they associate working out more than doing more sets or training more frequently, or getting better results. When in reality, I actually find that a lot of clients, when they come to me, we actually stripped their training back, then you do maybe three hours a week of weight sessions, and they get way better results from doing less work. And there’s less stress in the body, because one of the things people don’t think about is that every time you’re doing repetitions a see an elbow issue, it’s quite common to see your elbow tendonitis, or your knees, this used a nice example.
Every time you just say, for example, a leg extension leg machine, you’re putting stress on that joint, you’re gonna be causing inflammation. If you’re training over and over again, to do high reps and lots of sets, like that’s gonna create a lot of extra inflammation and fatigue within the joints in the tissue within that area. And the reality is that you can get a lot more bang for your buck by having fewer sets, but higher quality within the set that you’re doing in terms, your technique, the amount of load, you’re doing, how hard you’re pushing yourself.
And that, for me is the first thing that I would really try and address with people when they come to me and they’re in the situation where they might have adrenal fatigue, they’re rundown, they’re not recovering. As the first thing, we’ll be looking at. Okay, what’s, what’s the battering ram that’s literally like nailing down our nervous system and causing this from a training point of view? And I don’t know if you agree with that, Joe, is that something you see with people coming to you that they have this association with, like, I have to do or have to do more, I have to do more doing?
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, 100%. And it’s interesting, I like that. Not more is better, better, is better. And what we tell people, Charlie is that there’s a Goldilocks zone of not too little, and not too much, but you want to be somewhere in the right, the right amount, because we process so many stimuli daily. And I think that’s what’s leading to so much fatigue and exhaustion between notifications on our phones, SMS, text messaging, all of these things, plus, you know, putting out fires to-do lists. So much micromanaging of different stressors cumulatively, cumulatively over and over and over again, and I think exercise is really good.
And weight training is a really good sample of that specific thing happening in the body. And you’re right. And that’s, that’s very true in terms of, it’s the quality of the movement, and it’s also the ability to not overload the system. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about your story, in terms of I know, you potentially had some challenges yourself health challenges, and how did you get into doing what you were doing?
Charlie Johnson: So to give a brief synopsis, so when I was 1718, I qualified as a trainer, and I was always a little bit overweight at that stage, and I was in my teens, early 20s. And that probably resonates with a lot of people who are listening to this right now. But I always loved working out. And again, that was interesting. We’re talking about the training more, and not getting results situation because that’s 100%. While I was doing I had this belief that if I train twice a day, I’d get twice as good results. If you do 10 sets of bicep curls if you do 20 or your arms grow twice as fast, which obviously couldn’t be further from the truth. So I qualified as training was at 19. I was beating people for about a year and I wasn’t necessarily training the demographic of clientele. I wanted to train so I went and did a ski season random fact I’m a qualified ski instructor. I came back and then went into the Property industry.
And then because I didn’t want to get back into training people in the gym, personally one to one, and then I managed a branch for real estate agents for 510 years. And then in the meantime, I started to take my own training and nutrition much more seriously. And probably when I got about 2526, sounding like a flip switched, some flip switches switch flipped around, and I like to decide, Okay, I’m gonna do a physique competition. And that was an interesting experience, to say the least, as interesting as reading a book today, one of the things he said is that, like, you should do one thing every single week that scares you, like, it could be anything. And that at the time was like terrifying because you’re standing your pants on a stage and you pre can’t put yourself out there much more than that.
But what that gave me the ability to do is it gave me a very concise goal with a specific deadline. And I pushed myself to complete fatigue, probably adrenal Lee everything, like I remember the point where I was at work, and I tried to walk down the street, and I could literally hardly put one foot in front of the other. Because I was overtraining, I trained like think, up until the show every day for three weeks straight, which, again, in hindsight, is a terrible idea. So like, I’ve been there, and I’ve been that person, I’ve gone to like the complete extreme of like, deplete your training every day for nearly a month. And now I go to the complete opposite to where I am now where, like, I train a lot less, and I get way better results because now I’ve learned through age and experience that is listening to your body is the most important thing you can do. And you have to take back these little bits of feedback and like a real thing that I teach clients now there’s the real hit home point I want everyone to focus on and everyone to who’s listening to this to take on board is that the whole point of training and nutrition, everything is becoming self-aware and aware of your body and how certain things make you feel, and learning about yourself.
And once you become more aware of how certain foods make you feel how certain training makes you feel. It’s an easy way for you to make more informed decisions based upon how you feel on that day. So one of the most stupid things you can people do. So for example, they, their back hurts, and they go to the gym, and they’ve got deadlifts in the program, and they still do deadlifts. It’s like, if something’s not right, don’t just do it for the sake of doing it. And I think that’s one of the big things people need to take on board. I think there’s a big element when it comes to training that people need to understand that when you come, I like to give the analogy with your body and energy levels. Recovery is like when you’re training, you’re digging a hole. And through exercise, if you’re in a calorie deficit, you’re burning body fat, you’re digging a hole.
And a lot of people would dig such a big hole, that they can’t get themselves out from recovering that permanent that hole of recovery, where their body is just constantly rundown or fatigued. And then it’s that compound effect that just goes on and on and on. And then inflammation within the body will increase and it goes on and on until it gets to a breaking point, then they probably get a serious injury. And that’s why one of the things that we’ll talk through later on the podcast is like, there are some telltale signs I would look at in terms of from a training point of view, where you can realize this is happening. And there are certain techniques that we use with clients that help to dig you back out of the hole and fill the hole if that makes sense.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, no, that’s awesome. Why don’t you kind of go right into that Charlie and come up with those who share the telltale signs that you see people doing?
Charlie Johnson: So I listen to everything else. narcissist, Jocko willing podcast today. And he says something completely bastardized in his quote. But he says something that’s very, very good. That was basically like, all failure in life is psychological rather than death. Because like, if you say, for example, you’re, you’re trying to run a 5k. And you want to try and beat your time as you will psychologically give up before your body gives up. And unless you actually die, like that’s pretty much fact. Because you’re constantly deciding to give up.
So that’s something that I think is very important to take on board. But then also on the other side of things, people need to be aware that, like, you need to use your brain more than your balls for when you’re training. And when you’re looking after yourself. Because the more I age, and the off, I get more experience I get, I now see life as a way of protecting my energy and protecting my body. So then that when I want to train, I have the full capability to go like full steam ahead.
And the rest of the time I rein it in. So someone who has been a bit of a mentor to me the last few years is a guy called Ben Pakulski. And he talks a lot about having two mental states in terms of her I mean, the warrior and the monk and it’s like flipping your nervous system between the two. And that’s quite a good analogy to think of in terms of you almost have like an alter ego. But looking for signs to tell you where you’re starting to get run down. The first thing I saw says that if you’re at the point where you’re going into the gym, and you’re like, you know, I can’t be asked to this, I’m not really feeling it, and you normally love training that, for me is normally a big sign that something’s Probably not, right. If you’re trying to really push it, you have to force yourself to do it. And you normally like training.
So one of the best things I find with clients in that respect or myself is like dealing with children, we have to like reverse psychology ourselves. So if you take the gym away, like, Okay, I’m not allowed to train for three days. By the time you come back on the fourth day, you’re literally chomping at the bit ready to go and your body will be completely refreshing. So that’s one of the first things I look at is when people say like, all I’m really not enjoying training at the moment, I like whatever’s going on. And then maybe they got a lot of personal stress going on. The best thing they can actually do sometimes in that situation is actually taking a step back to take two steps forwards. I don’t know if that’s anything you’ve experienced yourself, Joe?
Dr. Joel Rosen: Oh, absolutely. Less is more for sure. And one of the things that I used to train a lot myself, and I don’t I mean, obviously, you’ll know Dorian Yates, but do you remember Mike mentor mech skirt? I think it was, yeah, so he had a book called heavy-duty training. And it was about like, every time you go to the gym, I don’t know how I feel about it now. But at that point, when I read that, it was, it was a paradigm shift for me because it kind of resonates with what you said I had that where you would go to the gym and you didn’t feel like being there and your enthusiasm and your physical capacity were a lot less.
And that’s what he was talking about with the heavy-duty training is going about it in the with the way of bringing more energy each workout so that you’re building on that and, and make make sure you’re listening to your body. And it’s not set and regimented that you got to do every single day. So how did I guess it’s it? You do have sort of this yin yang of the monk and the what was the other? What was the warrior? Yeah, so you also have like the regimented and the instinctual, right. So how do you balance those two?
Charlie Johnson: One of the ways to really look at that in terms of balance, the two of those are very much like data in some respects. So, for example, I’m a big fan of safest like a conventional gym training point of view, tracking your main lifts. And you’re at the point where, for example, say everyone in America loves benchpress will use bench presses as an example. always fascinated, everyone in America loves the bench, but they go. And so say, for example, you got bench press in your program, and that is now no longer progressing, you’re not improving anywhere on that.
Like that, to me, again, would probably be a telltale sign that you’re probably starting to burn out your nervous system, where your performance levels are no longer starting to increase. Now, that being said, you could also reverse engineer this back and think, Okay, is there any other reason why this could be happening? Because it’s almost like you’ve played the game of being a detective like Sherlock Holmes in your body. So if you think about what’s happened the day before that incident, your training sessions and try and identify if there’s been anything else that could be causing issues?
So how’s your sleep been bad? Have you been overly stressed? Have you not been eating correctly? Have you been dehydrated? Have you been doing a lot more exercise than usual and just try and identify if there are any other reasons why your performance could be decreasing or not improving? And if it’s not progressing, and you are being honest with yourself, you’re trying your best to progress that then that would be again another telltale sign to me physiologically that you’re could be pushing at the end of the point where you might want to maybe take two, three days off. Now, one thing I would say this thing in mind, like, quote-unquote, the jazzy term in the training industry is a D load we call them and I don’t think you need to program in like every six weeks, we take a whole week off every eight weeks, we take a whole
partner’s birthday comes up, you’ve got Christmas, you’ve got a new year, you’ve got something like you might come unwell, all these small things happen. That will mean you might have to take 234 days off a train that will naturally mean you have to take a little bit of a break or go on vacation. We used to be allowed to do those sorts of things. No jokes about that on the podcast, but so like listening to your body in that respect is very important. And the other set telltale scientists from a training point of view or look at is if you’re finding that you’re not recovering between sessions in terms of joint like joint integrity if your elbows knees are feeling more inflamed than usual, and you just don’t feel quite 100% that’s normally a very obvious sign.
Now when it comes to muscle soreness, you can still train some muscle soreness because generally, All muscle tissue will repair within 48 hours, anything beyond that just generally tends to be inflammation. So I’m not overly concerned if someone has a little bit of muscle soreness still. But one thing I say to anyone listening, if you are going into your next training session and you’re still a bit sore, you probably actually need to reduce again, like we were saying, the amount of workload you’re doing within those sessions, or maybe spray spaced them out an extra day, just to optimize your recovery. Because again, it’s not about how hard we can train, it’s about how hard we can recover, because recovery is the key bit, that’s going to help you take two steps forward rather than taking two steps backward.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, and I think for people that are listening, I hope they have a couple of lightbulbs go off. Because even though it’s tough to hear like you want to make those gains, you want to work out twice as hard to get twice as many results. You realize through wisdom and going through it yourself that you got to train smarter. And to get those gains, you got to do less, that’s kind of a tough paradigm for people to understand.
So, Charlie, as far as when you were you mentioned when you were training for your show, and you ended up doing something fearful and having to do that you learned a lot about yourself, but I would imagine the best thing, or one of the top things that you learned was how your body processes nutrients, and how to be able to cut body fat, and to be able to get leaner and leaner, which is in a recipe book where you just read an article, and then you apply the information because as you suggest, with all the people that you work with everyone’s individual, and everyone’s going to have customized recommendations.
So kind of get lead us down that rabbit hole, Charlie, in terms of what you learned with the individuality of the body and for yourself specifically, but how do you then apply those principles to the people that you make transformations for?
Charlie Johnson: Big thing I’d say first, this and this is my greatest gift and skill is given giving people and clients the ability to believe in themselves. Because I didn’t believe in myself until I did it. And then once I realized I could get in shape, I was like shit, like, this is what happens when you like when you turn up the dial or 10% or being more accurate with stuff, you get an extra 50% results. It’s not like a, we’ve done a bit 10% more accuracy in terms of what we’re doing, we get 10% more results is literally like night and day. And when that pet that the penny dropped. For me, that was really life-changing.
And that’s my gift now the clients and how their client or their businesses Peter who said to me He’s like, my biggest surprise when I speak you speak with one of my coaches and then we’ve spoken with speak with me, it’s like a company how certain you guys are about getting results I was like, is full proof is impossible because it just it is and it’s the whole thing is just having the individual believe in themselves. Because once I begin to that law of attraction, if you believe you can do something, you can achieve anything.
So I’m currently sitting in Dubai looking over the Persian Gulf, and two years ago, still working full time in a real estate job. So like, and then I’ll work for myself do what I want when I want and like anything can happen when you commit to something wholeheartedly and you believe in it. But you just have to have the confidence to do that and have the support network around you, which is really what I provide.
But in terms of from a practical point of view for anyone listening, the real low hanging fruit in terms of what you really need to pay attention to in like learning about yourself is, as I said, those like those small details, they do accumulate and compound and make a difference over a period of time. So if you’re, for example, the week at you Monday, the class examples like the weekend warrior, Monday to Friday, everyone’s perfect and there but where everything’s grammar is not you have to weigh stuff. And then Saturday, Sunday comes and it’s like a car crash. And then Monday rolls around again and people are guilty.
And in that same trap of them. They probably burn themselves out in the week because they’d be working lose their train loads, they won’t eat enough. And then they go back into the weekend and they overeat. And it’s just that repetitive cycle over and over and gone. And what you want to try and do is really break that cycle. And as soon as Penny drops with the client, they realize, okay, I can still eat some stuff that enjoyed the weekend, have a meal with my partner, and go out and enjoy myself. And then like 80% of the time I stay on track, I’ll get world-class results. And it’s just teaching these habits that are the key. And the big thing that like we focus on is teaching. Like, say, for example, you want to walk around at 10% body fat.
What we want you to do is create the right habits daily that a person who has who would be 10% body fat will have so you eat the right foods your active you have a positive mindset, all these bits, and pieces. And as these habits come into your life as a byproduct your physique will become an end The result but I’m digressing a little bit, but in terms of things for people to look at, I think the big overlooked aspects are digestion will be the first and foremost, and the quality in the food you’re eating, because there’s a lot of things which can cause problems digestive Lee that people aren’t aware of.
And like, I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last 12 to 18 months with things triggering my digestion, causing bloating. And we have to remember that a huge amount of our immune system is based within our digestive tract. So we’ve got digestive problems, we’ve got inflammation in the gut, that’s going to cause a whole host of other issues, which can lead up to that. So to the easy things, I probably look at trying to take out three things or take out your diet. Try and remove anything processed in terms of very heavy in artificial sweeteners, colorings, anything that’s not generally a single ingredient item of food and try and limit it, I would generally recommend limiting dairy because most people tend to have issues tolerating lactose.
And then the last thing I’ll say is most people don’t realize that they have an issue with gluten, which is something that I’ve only clocked on to in the last six to 12 months. And I don’t know if those are things you’ve experienced with some of your clients’ shows.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, I mean, the first thing though, is the mindset. It’s amazing. Because, you know, a lot of people, when whenever you talk about the word transformation, whether it’s transforming your body or Transforming Your Life, you have to believe that you can do that. And I think a lot of people don’t believe it, whether it’s stinking thinking, or the inflammation that’s in their gut goes through their brain, or they’ve tried so many different things, and it hasn’t worked. Or life’s not fair, and it’s not going to happen for them. Whatever it is, it’s, it’s almost like a foregone conclusion.
I mean, if you don’t have that belief set before you even embark on the tools that you need to do to get there, I think you’re not going to get there anyway. So that would be the first thing that resonates with me. And then also in terms of, you’re more than just a transformation coach, Charlie, in terms of everything you’re talking about, you’re taught, you’re telling, like when you work out the muscles of the skill, skeletal system, in the gym, but you’re also working the brain system, as well inside and outside of the gym. And it’s all one unit. And the evolution is you read magazines in the beginning, and you just kind of do what everyone’s doing. But then when you start with that journey, you learn how your body works. And you evolve all the muscles, not just the muscles of the body, the muscles of the brain.
But yes, as far as gluten and dairy, if I have never worked with anyone, I will tell them like you should get off a gluten and dairy, dairy for more than one reason, not just the fact that they can’t break down lactose. But most of the bovine hormones if it’s not hormone-free stuff, that’s a huge problem. Also, they’re eating corn and they’re corn fed. I mean, it’s, it’s almost become neurotic, knowing how bad that is. plus the protein in dairy looks so similar to the protein in wheat. So even if you don’t have a lactose problem, you’re probably cross-reacting to the protein and gluten, it’s 80% similar.
So I’ll tell people, it’s like putting a key in the lock, the gluten key will open the door, but the dairy key will still fit in the lock, it just won’t open it which basically means your immune system will still react to it if you’re reacting to if it’s reacting to gluten. So those are the big things and plus gluten has been adulterated, it has glyphosate. And there’s you know, chemicals in that as well. So I love that the idea of getting rid of processed food if your grandma doesn’t recognize that food, it’s probably not good food for you to be eating so. So as far as I guess the next question would be Charlie, as far as the dietary go a lot, you’ve tried different diets, what has worked best for you?
Charlie Johnson: Okay, and that was one other thing I actually think it might be worth adding value in to mention is that signs or symptoms that things might cause issues for you. So this is something that really triggered me a lot, not Christmas this year, the year before. So Christmas Day, obviously you tend to go overboard and enjoy yourself. And I get an awful lot but like in one day, I put on five kilos, which is a hell of a lot. And it was just waterways upon five kilos within five, four, or five days I dropped it again. And that was just inflammation from my body in terms of like, I was eating cheesecake cheese, dairy, gluten, you’d like chocolate, whatever you name it was going in and yeah, I went completely overboard.
No, it was moronic, but that again was a very obvious trigger to me being like okay, My body clearly cannot cope and does not like processed foods because my inflammation just goes to the absolute roof. And I also noticed that I get very heavy brain fog when I start to have foods like that. So anyone listening, if you notice that you have a quote, unquote cheat meal at the weekend and your weight go to the absolute roof because you’re eating things like ice cream, cheese, cakes, whatever, then that’s probably a sign that those things really don’t agree with your body. And it’s setting off a very heavy auto-immune response. So that would be something I would add-in. When it comes to nutrition.
This is so specific to the individual and more so to the psychology of the individual. So I’ve tried pretty much everything. The one thing I wouldn’t I generally don’t advocate as a whole would be a ketogenic diet from the point of view that for most people, all they want is fat loss. Now, they do a ketogenic diet, and they lose weight on the scale. So the scale starts to drop because they’re depleting the muscle tissue of glycogen, which is gonna make them lighter, they’re generally also going to be eating less volume of food, which means their stomachs gonna have less food within them. So they’re going to be lighter. And yes, they will start to lose body fat because they’re in a calorie deficit. After all, they’ve removed one of the three macronutrients so that the body has no choice but start to start to use body fat, for fuel.
But what I would what my preference is, is generally, and I know this isn’t sexy or glamorous, and it’s not like something you can put in a magazine is using a balanced diet, or we’ll use all three macronutrients. But the thing that I would do, I use with myself and with clients, if I was put a jersey term when I call like a metabolic priming approach, where we basically will put carbohydrates around the workouts when our body needs them to fuel training and fuel performance. So we can optimize body composition. And we can focus on saying like, it’s like, feel the great form, great look great. So if you generally feel awesome, you can train awesome. And then as a byproduct, your look awesome.
So we really try to fuel the training window with that today, when you’ll be working out you have slightly higher carbohydrates and maybe a little bit less fat, protein will always stay consistent. And then days where you’re not training, we would reduce your carbohydrate levels down to have slightly fewer carbohydrates and calories on those days because you don’t have the same energy output. And what it effectively does will put you through a calorie in a carbohydrate cycle as you go through the week, and it will keep you sensitive in terms of insulin sensitivity, improving nutrition, nutrient partitioning.
So these are all very important in terms of for body composition point of view, a very common question that a lot of people say and have a big fear of is regards to carbohydrates, and particular iconic carbohydrates office, it’s like an evening because you’re turning to auto, you can’t turn it the BFG or something like it doesn’t work like that. So one of the things I find works really, really well with clients and works myself, like I’m inherently quite greedy, and like eating food. And what I like to do with clients generally is I like to try and eat their carbohydrates journey to the later in the day, in particular, on days, we’re not training if they’re slightly less food for a couple of reasons.
So number one is that you genuinely if you’re going to be sitting down enjoying a meal and relaxing more, it’s going to be in the evening at the end of the day, which is also when you’re gonna be more likely to get led astray and want to pick other stuff. So you have probably your biggest meal of the day towards the end, the likelihood is that it’d be easier for you to stay to adhere to your diet, which is ultimately the key to anyone getting results is it is adherence and people being able to stick to something.
So that’s obviously what’s optimal in terms of like scientifically and like the small percentages and versus what’s practical, and what’s practical that someone can stick to, psychologically, we’ll always get the best results that will always be my preference in that respect. And again, that comes down to as well. One thing I always recommend with people, myself and clients, anyone is that if you want to go to the weekend, you will have a meal we have wherever you want that is completely awesome. That’s no problem. But I would always suggest people do that as the last meal of the day because if you’re going in to breakfast, you’re like okay, Saturday, I want to have a meal this week and have whatever I want. 90 am I’m gonna have a ton of pancakes and have bacon have all this stuff. There’s no way on earth you can be eating sensibly probably the rest of the day. So that’s some basic tips in terms of what I’d suggest people should be looking to in terms of setting up their nutrition, and some other things that can help I would suggest you try and meal frequency is a common question.
Again, person-specific. So I would say when days people are working out, you probably want the maybe higher frequency of meals and maybe four or five, potentially six depending on how long you’re awake and how hungry you are. And then days where you don’t work out you could probably have slightly less and potentially maybe even push back your first meal of the day today. Maybe mid-morning if you wanted to. That would be generally how I tend to structure diets with clients and myself. But again, it’s very specific to the individual in terms of what works for them. But again, in terms of food choices, like we were talking about a minute ago, it will always be very
easy to digest foods that sit well with individuals. So we’ll be avoiding things like even say, for example, the best one, I love oats. So like, I’m big Ah, man. And I never realized why I was getting issues with oats, like bloating and stuff until I was like, Okay, I’ll try gluten-free oats, no issue at all. So again, like, the big thing with me, big clients is just making sure that the food choices you are making there on the plan are the correct ones. Because those small little differences can make it make a compound over a period of time to get much, much better results. And ultimately, my job is to make it as efficient and easy as possible to go from point A to where you are now to point B, which is the result with as little stress as possible if that makes sense.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, no, that’s a great answer I what was it What was the jazzy turn the metabolic reboot, or as.
Charlie Johnson: I call it, a metabolic priming approach metabolic priming diet. So it’s like, we just tried to utilize the body to use fuel when it actually needs to feed the body nutrients when actually needs it. So we’re basically giving it the right food and fuel at the right times. Whereas a lot of people don’t tend to take in necessarily pay attention to the small details of that.
And ultimately, like, the other meals today don’t really matter. But for me, the most important ones, for anyone listening would be the meal before training and the meal after training, making sure you’re hydrated within that window. Now, I’m not necessarily a big advocate of promoting supplements with people. But the other big thing that I find for most people makes a big difference is also adding in an intro workout drink, which would contain carbohydrates.
So like a form of glycogen for performance, and make sure that towards the end of the session, you don’t drop off amino acids, which are basically like broken-down forms of protein, which again, will prevent muscle breakdown to muscle breakdown as much with age recoveries, that again, we can train harder more frequently. And it’ll also add in things like creating that as well because our body’s most receptive to take in nutrients when we’re training. And when we’ve actually got like, blood within the muscle, if that makes sense.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, no, it’s great suggestions. I love it, Charlie. And it’s its common sense is not so common number one, right. And in terms of what your say, it’s not, it’s not cracking the atom, it’s, it’s just common sense. Like, if I’m going to work out more, I’m going to need more fuel. And if I’m not working out as much, I’m not going to need as much fuel, I’m going to also need more available fuel that gets into the gas tank a lot quicker, and that would necessitate me having more carbohydrates.
So I love that information that you’re giving, as far as when you have clients that reach out to you. And ultimately, they want to lower their body fat and low, you know, increase their mass, if they hit a plateau, and they are not moving because that could be really difficult for a coach. How do you troubleshoot that? And how do you what do you usually find are the reasons or the common reasons for people hitting those plateaus.
Charlie Johnson: So the body is complex machinery we like to think it is and it will eventually adapt to everything we do. So at some point, things will need to change, and like we have clients check in every week. And the best result a client can have is where we don’t have to change anything because it means it’s working perfectly. We will only change things when there is a need to where something slows down our progress stops. So that’s when we will then maybe look at changing training volume and training frequency. Depending on the goal if their goal is to get leaner then maybe look at an increase in cardiovascular output. So burning more calories, or maybe looking at dropping calories slightly.
And we can also look at manipulating macronutrients slightly depending on where people are at within the quote-unquote fitness, journey, and transformation. I often see that with, say, people who have a higher body fat percentage, say, for example, a guy comes to me he and he’s 18 to 20% body fat now, and we work our way down, he gets to maybe say 12% and then things start to plateau. We can even keep his calories that same sort of level. But what I’ll actually often do and I’ve done with myself, this unit works superbly well. So I use myself as a case study as a great example.
So I think November time I was dying for a photo shoot and I’ve hit a wall of hungry all the time. Like training sessions are starting to dip. And what I did. And what I do with clients is I dropped my protein intake down. So from like 300 to 200. And that’s what I did, I just swapped it for carbohydrates. So I added the calorie still say the same because there are four calories per gram of carbohydrates, four calories per gram of protein, but just altered the macronutrient ratio. And generally, when you’re leaner, your body is much more receptive to use carbohydrates more efficiently.
And you don’t actually generally need as much protein as you think all the time. So and also, another benefit of a higher carbohydrate diet generally met doesn’t make you feel fuller. So at that point, I was starting to feel quite hungry all the time, which again, when you start to get a client who’s starting to push from going from 12% body fat downwards, that’s when it then becomes much more about staying adherent to the diet and pushing a little bit harder. Because once you’re starting to say even lower, like 10%, and below it, then there is no ifs, buts, or maybes, you’re probably going to have to push the calories lower and lower and lower it to get to where you want to be. So altering those macronutrients, when you get to that sort of trigger point can sometimes be an absolute game-changer. But it’s looking at the telltale signs in terms of client feedback.
And this refers back to what I said at the very start of the podcast is like, the greatest gift that this journey of transforming your body has is making yourself aware. Because the big thing that I need from people is, how do you actually feel so like being aware of your own body and how certain foods make you feel how your energy is, how your mood is how your digestion is, and then passing that feedback on. So then I can make an informed decision for the client. And that is based upon my own opinion, and then anecdotal experience working with 1000s of people, but that’s an excellent example in terms of how we will look to manipulate things if that makes sense.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, no, I love asking, having you as a guest, because typically the people that I work with are exhausted and burnt out. And there, they’re not at the luxury of wanting their body fat to go below 10. They’re just wanting to get out of bed and be able to make sure they clean the house. But I think it’s a great example of let’s just assume you did have the ability to do all this. It’s all the details in the minutiae of all the small little things in terms of timing and, and percentages and ratios, and, most importantly, actually contracting the muscle and moving and bringing oxygen and blood flow.
And I think it’s a really important lesson for people listening, like, obviously, you’re not going to just transport yourself into this conversation and be right and commensurate where we are. But it should be informative to them that hey, like if, like, we’re not even talking about people that are burnt out, we’re talking about people that are wanting to get their levels of body fat lower, because they are doing the basics, they’re exercising, they’re eating healthy, they’re removing crap from their diet, they’re so it’s a really great lesson that we’re talking about, as far as when you have someone that is, has a lot of mental stuff going on in terms of stress in life, and relationships, and maybe even health issues that are part of your coaching clients. How, what’s your approach with that, Charlie?
When like, okay, like we are dialing in, you know, the easy ones are the ones that we don’t have to change anything, it’s working for them. But the tough ones are, it’s not working for them. And it comes down to more than just the macros and it’s maybe as you guys mentioned, the bollocks. It’s all that other stuff that’s going on. So how do you deal with that?
Charlie Johnson: So this is where the big thing in life, you can’t go. If you want to achieve success, you’re generally not gonna go there alone. And that’s where it comes down to having accountability and support and community around you. So it’s actually quite poignant, have this conversation today. So last night, we had a chap called john Fleming who is basically a performance psychologist, he someone I worked with personally. And I think more people should talk about mental health and optimizing the way they think and feel.
So john does cause for us once a month with all the clients is like an open format. And then we also have we have a very interactive and supportive community of clients and coaches as well. And that’s very much where people lean on each other and take inspiration from each other because people will share their own journey. So within the Facebook group that I’ve had x problems going on this week, I’ve got an addiction to x y Zed, however, I’ve still managed to get back on track and then people see it’s one of the things like if you see someone else’s done what you want to do, and they’ve got the same situation you do like I could do this, like, it’s that realization. And that comes back to saying earlier, like, my gift is giving people the confidence to go and fulfill their maximum potential. because realistically, we can all, within reason achieve what we want.
But we can achieve the greatest version of ourselves. But we hold ourselves back within our own limiting beliefs. And we just need to always like, like, release ourselves from the shackles sometimes and have that confidence to really go for it. Whereas we stay too much in the shadows, and almost just like, play it safe too much. And that’s where the big thing is, for most people, is the hardest bit with anything is say, for example, reaching out to you, Joe for, for help being like I’m stressed and rundown or to me to get into shape, or whoever it might be. That’s the hardest bit is that first step and asking for helping initially engage in that conversation. And then once you’ve taken that first step is then easy for me to guide the person through their journey or you. And that’s really what we’re here to do in life.
Like I as a person. I’m a product of coaching, I have coaching for every different aspect of my life, basically, because I see life as a weird game of like skill acquisition now and like an improvement, and I take fulfillment from progression. And the fastest way to progress with no stress is by having people support you along the way who have been there and maybe done what you want to do. And then them giving you the structure of the systems to follow. And the big thing for anyone listening who has anxiety or stress and like these are all things like a year ago, I was a bit of an anxious mess, to be honest with you because I was trying to do too many things and didn’t have a structure in my life or whatever.
And as soon as you have everything structured and systematized and you turn up to the gym, you know what workout you’re gonna do, you turn up at work, and you know, you’re supposed to be doing straight away, you get up in the morning, you know what works for us to be doing, you know, it’s supposed to be in that day, you don’t have you take away some of these decisions you have to have, and you get rid of some of the decision fatigue, and then life becomes quite simple. From then onwards, that would be my input on that.
Dr. Joel Rosen: That’s a great, great, lots of nuggets in there, Charlie, cuz the first nugget that I think about is crabs in the bucket, you know, they want to pull you down when you start to get out of there. And that’s the trap of people that go to these support groups, which I think are great in that it gives them information. But you have to be careful of who you surround yourself with, even if you’re getting information because as you start to come out of that, that challenge, you may get some people that are married to their identity.
And they’re not. They don’t realize consciously that they’re not able to change or they’re not willing to change or they’ve embraced or identified with that label. And, and so the on the flip side, it’s that much more important to surround yourself with people that want to uplift you. And surround yourself with those people. And I agree to the first step is always the hardest step, it’s looking in the mirror, and realizing your faults, and being willing to make the necessary changes. So that is really great information.
There was a couple of things that I wanted to say too, but I forgot. As far as one of the curveballs I wanted to throw you through as women, you know, and I was a trainer for many years as well. Women will always say, Well, I don’t want to lift weights. I don’t want to get muscular.
Charlie Johnson: You know, are you gonna say that for you say that?
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah. So So as far as like, a lot of my clients that I work with are women. And I’ve encouraged them to work out. And, you know, I get so frustrated when I go to the gym and I see really overweight women that are on the Stairmaster or you know, and they’re not doing any weights, and I just, I don’t go up to them, I wish I could and just say, Hey, listen, I want to I’m telling you this from like, the bottom of my heart of wanting to help you, but we could use a couple of muscle contractions as well.
Because that you know, so anyway, so as far as what do we tell women that that are overweight, and they’re going to the gym, and they’re watching their diet, and all they’re doing is cardio because they don’t want to, quote-unquote, get really muscular. So how do you approach that? Or I would imagine, you don’t even have to approach that because people that see you can already know that.
Charlie Johnson: It’s this is probably one of the most frustrating things and like, I don’t know, I thought this throwaway bio, I think about my mom straight away, because my mom’s got osteoporosis, and she’s got Scottish as a spine and loads of things. And like, for example, I’ve said to her for ages, you’d be doing some form of resistance training because that’s a great way to combat some of these things. And a little bit off-topic in terms of from a longevity point of view when people say people have died from old age, generally that’s because they’ve become weak and feeble.
And one of the main reasons people actually die is that unfortunately not be morbid is that say, for example, your elderly and your Walking and you fall over. Because you’re weak, you break your hip, and then you go into hospital, you end up dying from some sort of complication. And unfortunately, it’s a reality. So like forget weight loss or looking good for the beach or anything like that, if you want to be around and you want to be around for a long time, keeping this vessel we have for life, which is our body, fit and strong is going to put you in good stead, that’d be the first thing I’d say. I’d also say it’s not actually that easy to gain a lot of muscle mass, and particularly if you’re a woman because your hormonal profile isn’t aligned to gaining a lot of muscle tissue I’ve been trying for a long time. And trust me, it’s not that easy.
And, like, with women, and Gen people, generally, we need to get away with this thought process when it comes to fat loss and food and exercise and calories have a debit credit approach in terms of, okay, I’ve eaten 300 calories, therefore, I need to do 300 calories on the step mill to burn them off. Like that is not the right thought process, what we actually want to do is create, make our body a fertile environment for fat burning and lean muscle growth to change our body composition. And we’re going to be able to do that by as I was saying earlier in the podcast and proving our physical capabilities in terms of our performance. So I’m not saying that women want to go out there and we’re going to squat 100 kilos for 50 reps or whatever it is. But you want to try and improve your own personal strength and fitness levels.
Because you will then be able to if you add more lean muscle tissue, you will change the shape of your physique, because we’ll all know, there’s a skinny guy who looks like he just looks like a skinny fat guy, and he’s skinny. And you see women who are stuck thin and they still haven’t got the body they want, it’s because they haven’t got the muscle tissue to have the shape they need. So even if your goal is okay, I’m overweight, but I want to have an awesome bikini body. Guess what you still need to weight training resistance training, because without any muscle tissue in your frame you’ve just had you have no shape. So that’s the first thing we want to think about if that’s your goal. But when it comes to actually, resistance training, there are so many benefits. And I’m sure you’ve probably shared these before.
But in terms of the way your body utilizes fuel, food for fuel, in terms of improving your BMR it’s a bit different. So your basal metabolic rate, in terms of calories you can eat daily. And a lot of these you can’t even there’s not necessarily studies or formulas that the previous work. But I can say from my own experience where I’ve had women come to me who have been overweight, eating like 1300 100 calories a day. And then 12 months later, they’re like four stone lighter, they’re eating 1000 calories a day more, and then paying half the amount of cardiovascular work. And like, there isn’t really any studies or research to necessarily explain, like to give you a specific as to why that happens.
But it’s easy, you’re just setting your body up to work the way it wants to work optimally. Rather than you’re almost trying to drive a car and empty which is what I see a lot of people doing, they try to say, particular women will try and do a, like a gimmicky juice diet or Spanish diet or whatever that’s like 1000 calories a day. And then they’ll try and burn 1000 calories a day doing cardiovascular work. And then what actually ends up happening is you’re shooting yourself in the foot because week one, week two, you’ll lose weight. Week Three, your body’s adapting, like I was saying earlier to everything you’re doing your metabolisms down regulating everything slowing down, your body’s basically going Holy shit, we’re into starvation mode here, and it’s clinging on to body fat for dear life. And then guess what happens?
As soon as you start trying to eat anything normal, your body weight will balloon back up because your body’s like, Oh my god, we’ve got calories. Again, let’s store these calories because we don’t know where the next starvation is coming. And if you think about it, that simple analogy if you were looking at the desert now in Dubai if you’re in the desert, and you had no food, you and you couldn’t you were in a calorie deficit the two-three weeks, you’d want your metabolism to do slow down to keep you alive. And that’s essentially what’s happening when you start to strip it that back to that sort of the basic point of view. And then the client starts to understand that and they understand, okay, I actually need to sometimes eat more to get better results. It’s a little face like a penny drop moment or Mic drop moment.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, it’s a lot of paradigm shifts. And as far as that is a metabolic priming approach for sure. And as far as what I tell clients is, I think Adrenal Fatigue is a terrible term because the adrenals don’t actually stop putting out cortisol and they’re exhausted. If they do they call that adrenal insufficiency and it’s an autoimmune disease, but there are Shades of Grey, but what I do tell people is at the end of the day, you have a demand and supply problem.
You’re not producing energy at the level that your body needs to meet the demands of your daily basis. And the problem is, is that mitochondrial Lee at the mitochondrial level, your body is not the power of the cell, they’re not producing energy. And we’ll know a better way on that knowledge to increase mitochondria by doing muscle contraction, as well. So there’s that whole the whole aspect. As far as Did your mom start exercising with weights?
Charlie Johnson: it’s one of those things that your neighbor list is silly, but my brother’s a little bit overweight as well. And like he’s trying to lose weight again. And I try and help to try to guide the people who are closest to you. Sometimes it’s a tricky one.
Dr. Joel Rosen: That Yeah, that is good. That’s a very diplomatic answer. Yeah, I know that I know the same thing. Because, you know, my sister’s a real doctor. And I am a holistic chiropractic doctor. And whenever I tell my father about what I do, and what he should do, it goes in one ear, and it goes out the other year, the people that you know, even my kids, like, I have a son who has some health challenges, and we did testing on him. And, you know, it’s hard to have that compliance with the family members.
I remember going to visit my dad not too long ago, and he was in, he’s on kidney dialysis. And they were serving just Wonder Bread, which is horrible on its own, with margarine, and it was like, like margarine you could leave out in the woods for 50 years, and it would still be intact, you know? And it’s like, if I tell him like, my advice on that is like, I don’t know what my doctor said, my, my doctor says, it’s okay. Tres,
Charlie Johnson: I could I can go down that rabbit hole all day long. It’s my front of my family live in Spain. And it’s even worse.
Dr. Joel Rosen: So it’s Yeah, yeah, well, it’s good. I mean, it’s a lesson for you to like, eat, when people want to get help, they’ll get help, you know, and when they reach a lot of the times it’s reactionary, right, it’s at that point where they are given life, you know, a life sentence in terms of, Hey, your health and your how long you have to live and you have this illness. And that’s when they want to do something about it, unfortunately. So so in parting, Charlie, I always ask this question, what would the wise sort of sage Charlie tell the bright-eyed and bushy tail? Charlie, I mean, you learned a lot along the way.
And it’s kind of a question that if you didn’t have to go through all those things, maybe you wouldn’t have learned all the things you did to be able to tell the wise and, you know, tell that naive, Charlie, but that being said, What would you have told your younger self, that would have gotten you quicker, faster, further, in terms of health and wellness that you didn’t know, then?
Charlie Johnson: Three things I’m going to say. So point number one is Don’t believe everything you read, or you see is factual, like we were just saying about doctors. So the amount of poor advice I’ve seen given to family members or people generally, in the last 24 months is astounding. And there’s a lot of weird things in the news at the moment but there could behold on the podcast. And point number two would be to drop the ego because I think when as a young man, it’s very easy to have an ego thinking, you know, at all. And just because something’s taken you so far, doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something else that could take you there faster to the next level.
And the last thing I’d say is that, for me, what’s helped me really accelerate everything in my life, the last 24 months, will be the biggest tip, I recommend to anyone, I’m not trying to plug anyone to coach with me or you or whoever is if you want to go if you want to achieve something, and you want to get results quickly, the fastest way to get there is to go to someone who knows how to get you the results. And he’s been there and done it over and over again. And the real telltale point is to think about, okay, what happens if I spend six to 12 months, working as hard as I can, but going completely the wrong direction, doing the wrong thing, you’re not only completely wasted a year of your life, you’re never going to get back, you’ve also wasted a hell of a lot of money and investment within that.
So that’s something that almost is why I’m hell-bent on a mission to learn to level up at the moment, because I feel probably from 18 to even maybe 28, maybe 10 years. I just wasn’t open-minded. And that’s enough as I am now. And now I literally just try and be like a sponge and absorb everything from anyone and try and go to the best people in the world within specific niches and specific fields and pull and extract information from them. So then I can use that to help improve myself and the lives of the people I work with.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, those are great answers. I know cheap is expensive and when you can leapfrog and invest. You know, I always tell people that story of like, Okay, if I’m in Florida and if I want to get to California I can have different ways of getting there. And if I take a bus or I take a plane, the plane is going would be a lot more expensive, but I’m going to be buying time. And with that buying of time, I’ll be able to have a return on investment. And there’s a lot of paradoxes and shifts in terms of what we’ve talked about.
Because you’ll leave an echo, I’m sure when you have clients who are, who are tired or who, what I tell them is like, you have to exercise. Well, I’m too tired to exercise. And I will, that’s why the more you exercise, the more you’ll have energy. And so there are all these sorts of flipping these sacred cows on their side with what we’re talking about. I appreciate everything that you’ve sent today and shared.
And there’s no success leaves clues, as you know, and you could see a lot of clues in why you’re doing so well, personally, and why you have such an amazing community that you’re making huge transformations with. So where do we see how do we find out more about you? And when you go to your website, you’ll see these transformations, and they’re quite awesome. So give our listeners How do they hear more about you and get in contact with you.
Charlie Johnson: The best thing to do is my main social media platforms, mainly Instagram. So if you reach out to me at Charlie Johnson fitness, if you found this episode of the podcast helpful, please make sure you share your stories, and tag both I and Joe will be cool. And drop Feel free to drop me a message with questions. I’ve also got my own podcast, which is called the shredder show. We’ve got tons of educational information on there. talk you through a lot of the stuff we talked through today in more detail.
And I’ve also got my own YouTube channel which is charged on some fitness. There’s lots of cool helpful content on there. And yeah, I’ve got my websites there, Charlie Johnson fitness calm. So if anyone wants any help with anything, feel free to reach out and, and yet the podcast, YouTube channel, Instagram, I’ve got tons of helpful content out there to help you.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Awesome. Well, thanks so much, Charlie. And what time are you there now? What’s the time over?
Charlie Johnson: 6 pm so we’re just warming up for the evening.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Okay, well, awesome. Well, listen, I appreciate your time. And perhaps we get back on another call for part two. But thank you so much for everything that you shared with me and I wish you fruit future success, Charlie.
Charlie Johnson: Thank you. Pleasure.
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