Eat Train Prosper

Thanksgiving Strategies | ETP#136

November 21, 2023 Aaron Straker | Bryan Boorstein
Eat Train Prosper
Thanksgiving Strategies | ETP#136
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This episode is titled Thanksgiving Strategies where we cover our approaches to help ensure you don’t end up feeling negatively about decisions made on the upcoming American Holiday. Heads up this part of the episode is covered at the end. The first parts of the episode cover the November Q&A questions we couldn’t fit into last week’s episode.

0:00 - Life/Episode Update
21:40 - Does Aaron attribute the majority of his deficit to the cardio or his training intensity with Jackson? 
30:30 - Tips on managing eating protocols that differ from partners/family’s wishes/needs?
39:30 - How to know when it’s time to end a gaining phase?
43:35 - With the new research on deloads, have you considered changing the way you program deloads for your group programs? Auto regulation?
49:18 - Pros and Cons of Barbell Hip Thrust vs a Plate-Loaded Hip Thrust Machine. Is one better for hypertrophy?
53:20 - Thanksgiving Strategy #1: Manage that expectation
55:13 - Thanksgiving Strategy #2: Put the extra food to work
57:23 - Thanksgiving Strategy #3: Choose your battles
1:01:07 - Thanksgiving Strategy #4: Choose which day you will return to your regularly scheduled programming
1:03:46 - Thanksgiving Strategy #5: Get walks after big meals

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What's up, guys? Happy Tuesday. Welcome back to Eat, Train, Prosper. This is episode 136 titled Thanksgiving Strategies. So Brian and I are going to cover some of the leftover or flow over questions I should say from last week's November Q&A. And then we're going to talk a little bit about Thanksgiving, which is one of the larger, you know, American holidays that is going to be a few days after this episode releases. And it is... I mean, let's call it for what it is purely centered around food. And I know a lot of clients will struggle with that. So we want to just to get out in front of it with some strategies that we will use and recommend to others. Before we jump into today's episode, just a heads up that next week we will not be having an episode. I will be taking some personal time in New Zealand. And then the following week, we are going to, Brian and I are going to have some conversation around lining times up. At that point, I will be on the Gold Coast of Australia, which I think is a 16-hour time difference from where Brian is. So we're going to have to do some math and some schedule modification to make that one work. So that will be a little bit of a TBD. So we may be taking a two-week hiatus while Aaron is on the far side of the world and time zones are very challenging to line up. But... Before that, Brian, kick us off with some updates, please. Can we kick it off with your updates? I mean you just had a perfect lead-in by talking about how you're gonna be on the Gold Coast So now I'm sure everyone's dying to know what your plans are Yeah, so I'm doing a little bit of personal travel. If I'm being honest, I have planned absolutely nothing. Jenny and her mom have basically planned everything. Jenny's mom, Jenny's my girlfriend, her mom has come to visit us everywhere we've been, right? So she came to visit us in Vietnam when we were in Columbia in South America. She came to visit us in Mexico. She came to visit us last year here in Bali. And she was like, hey, I wanna go to Australia. It's really like. Okay, you know, fortunately for us, Australia is very, very close, you know, so like, yeah, we can do that. And then we just decided to make it a bigger trip and see New Zealand as well while we're, while we're doing it. So they have done everything. I'm pretty much just tagging along. Um, but we're going to spend a couple of days first in Auckland in New Zealand and then go up to, oh my goodness, I can not, I cannot remember the other one. I keep forgetting Queensland potentially or Queen's town. I'm not sure. One of the two, I apologize for getting it wrong if anyone's listening. But we're gonna do that for a couple days and then we're going to head over to the Gold Coast of Australia and I'll be there for like six days, I believe. So that, I'm excited to return into, I'll be more or less on my normal schedule in the Gold Coast, planning on hitting some gyms, potentially linking up with some Instagram friends, previous clients, those sorts of things, and seeing what. the Gold Coast has to offer for a few days. Very cool, that's awesome. Is Jenny's mom retired? Wow, that's amazing. She's getting all these trips in. That's great. Very cool. Yeah. can manage things, but no, she's not retired yet. Sweet. Cool. Well, I have a few quick training updates. Progress with lifting has been great. It is a, I always note this every year and I hear other people note this too, but when you're dieting, it's very easy or maybe dieting is wrong, but when you're in a deficit, because I felt like when I was biking, I wasn't dieting. I was, I was in a deficit. It's easy to convince yourself that everything's great and training is fine and I feel wonderful. And then you actually start eating food again and having like actually really good quality training sessions and you're like, oh, I wasn't totally fine. It's really funny that this happens every single year and yet every single year I think that I'm totally fine and it's all good. And so I've just been kind of laughing and reflecting on that this week because some of my training sessions have been so good. I mean. It's like a complete shift of mindset when I go into the gym for this leg day the other day. And I was legitimately excited about the opportunity to add more weight to my hack squat and push this thing to like zero to one reps from failure and the confidence of knowing that I was going to progress because I felt so good. And it was just this milieu, I keep using that word every week it seems, of different things coming together. And it was just such a such a cool feeling. And I'm really enjoying this period of time right now. So my body weight is up to 192 this morning, which is about, you know, 12 pounds up over the lowest that it was right before the bike race and just feeling really good filling out. It doesn't even seem like I've put on a ton of body fat. I just feel like I've been adding slabs of muscle, which I know isn't true. It's, you know, water and glycogen and and all that stuff, but getting back to regular training and having great sessions, it's all just a snowball effect that's super positive. And so I've just been really enjoying training and just wanted to let you guys know that, you know, it's kind of funny when you reflect back on things like that, and then you end up in the moment and it's just so different. So in this excitement that I have for lifting now, which I think was a bit muted during that period of time where I was training, I have also been reflecting a lot on training in my youth and some of the programs that I used to run in the early 2000s, you know, pre-college during, or I call it during college and slightly post college. And I've reflected a lot on my experiences with the max OT program here on the podcast, which was kind of like a bro split. It was a lot of low reps, you know, four to eight reps of pretty much everything, all sets to failure type thing. And that was really the program where I got the best results I've ever had. I've talked about this on Dave McHoney's podcast and stuff like that as well. And it's tough to say whether it was the program itself that caused me to get the greatest results of all time or whether it was just the timing of when that was in my life and that I was 19 to 23 or 24 years old and the testosterone was pumping and I was eating lots of food and young and hungry and all of these different elements. But I really... I really enjoyed the bro split aspect of it. And since coming, so I started CrossFit in 2009, and then I came out of CrossFit and the evidence-based space was super hyped on this frequency being a huge factor. And it was like, you must train each body part a minimum of twice a week. And so I haven't run a bro split since 2008, maybe. It's been, what is that, 16 years almost. And I just really want to do it again. And so for the next cycle on Brian's program, which is still isn't going to be for a little while, it's probably going to end up dropping early to mid January, because I still have another messo cycle of my PPL split. But I think I'm going to do a bro split starting in early to mid January. I'm not going to do like a max OT style where it's four to six reps of most things, but. I am gonna split it up similarly, and the way that I always did this was chest, back, legs, shoulders, arms. And so there's five days with a two-day weekend off. What I'll likely do this time is split the legs into two sessions because I just prefer it that way. I just don't have the gumption to go attack hams and quads simultaneously and get the most out of it anymore. So likely I will train six out of seven days. But literally each session is going to be 45 minutes, which is one of the things I loved the most about the Bro Split was, hey, today's chest day. I got six to nine sets of hard work and I'm out. And so it's the same thing. Like not a single day of this program is going to have more than nine sets, except maybe the arm day. Potentially the arm day will have 12 because there'll be six for biceps and six for triceps. But something I've just been thinking a lot about and really excited. to give it another shot and see if the magic can happen again, you know, 16 years later. But there's nothing like in training, changing some major thing up to elicit progress. And given that this is something I haven't done in so long, I think it has all of the ingredients to potentially spark some progress or at least, you know, some interest and reinvigorate training a little bit. I think it will for you. I think given like it's been so long and I mean your knowledge now is just so vast comparatively to those last times. I think you're going to be able to put together something very, very interesting. And then even once it is put together, you're going to have some of your, you know, realizations and those sorts of things. Like, okay, maybe if I'm training chest, you know, Monday and then I don't train it, will this be on a calendar week? It'll likely be on a calendar week. And I see where you're going with this point. And so one of the things I always did on my bro split just intuitively, which I think speaks to some of the frequency literature or whatever, is I always felt like if I trained chest on Monday and I trained back on Tuesday, they were always recovered by the time I would get to Friday for arm day. And I would always make arm day have some pull-ups and some dips in it. So I would always have. auxiliary work for the back and the triceps on arm or the back and the chest on arm day. And so I don't know, to me that always felt like it made sense. Like I was like, why, why would I not train chest and back when they're recovered? And I have an opportunity here on arm day where I can both train arms and I can train more of these torso positions. And then, you know, the shoulders get trained through everything. They're going to get hit on back day on chest day on arm day. Like the shoulders are just always going to get hit. Um, And then my legs recover slower. So they're the one that may actually need that full week of recovery. So I think it's gonna work out really well, but yeah, continue with kind of where you were going with that. Yeah, that's exactly what I was getting at. You can sprinkle some things in that are more of a, you went with dips, I was gonna say more of like an incline close grip or something like that that's still going to be obviously lengthened overload but a little bit more of a, I'm using air quotes here for the podcast listeners, compound-esque tricep exercise. So I think it will be really, really cool. I'm excited to see what you put together. Sweet dude. Awesome. And then my rowing plan, Mike Nelson just dropped my next, literally I looked in the app and the next five weeks of my rowing are all planned out. And literally every week is a replica of the next one with just intensity increasing. So I have one session that's a 2K row and that increase is actually not in intensity but in distance. So it starts as 2K and then it goes 2.5, then three, then 3.5, then four. So the 2K row each week increases in distance, but intensity stays the same. And then I have a 20 minute row that never changes. It's just a 20 minute row and I guess it's an RPE seven. So I just try to improve performance while maintaining RPE. And then I have one day of rowing the third day. That's I'm going to mispronounce this, but it's like mid Joel near intervals. M J O L N I R mid Joel near. And I had never heard of these before, but Mike is a huge fan of them. And apparently they have a lot of really good research backing them on improvements across the entire spectrum of energy systems from, you know, short sprint energy systems all the way up to the longer, more aerobic energy systems. And so it's essentially a escalating ladder of, of time slash distance where. output decreases as you go. So the way it's set up for me is I roll 100 meters at 170% of VO2 max. So that's like just under 500 watts for me. And then 200 meters and then the watts go down and then 300 meters and the watts go down again, and then 400 meters, they go down again, and then 500 meters and you know, they're at their lowest, which is about at my 20 minute row pace. And so I do these series of 100, 200, 300, 400, 500. with 30 seconds rest in between. And then you take a really long rest at the end of that sequence, and then you do it again. And then you rest and you do it again. And so the one he programmed for me this week was two rounds of that, which was 3000 meters of rowing. But over the course of the next five weeks, it's gonna get all the way up to four or five rounds of that, which is gonna be 15,000 meters of rowing in a session if I do five of those. So. So yeah, the rowing shit is gonna be ramping up for sure. And we also had a conversation with trying to set a goal for the end of our time together, which I think will be in the spring when I pick biking back up again. And so the goal is to hit a sub seven minute 2K row, which is gonna be fucking awful. As soon as he said it, like my face kinda dropped and I was like, wow, that's really gonna be painful. So. My all time best was 713, which was in 2011 when we were trying to qualify for CrossFit competition. I did 723 a couple months ago and then 714 at the beginning of testing two weeks ago. So I have a number of seconds to shave off. If 714 was my best time a couple of weeks ago, I got to shave about two to three seconds per 500 meter. We'll see what happens. Yeah. Should be exciting. Any thoughts on any of that stuff? I have like two more really quick updates too. I think it's gonna be hard, but that doesn't mean it won't be worth it. Yeah, for sure. All right, two more quick updates here. Natural bodybuilding is insane. I don't know how much attention you've been paying this year to some of the shows and shit going on. But some of these dudes are just ridiculous. There's a dude out of Germany Benjamin something or other who just slayed everything at WNBF Germany a week or two ago. And he even beat Dirk Emmerich, which is savage dude that Nunez trains who basically went pro in his first season and then made improvements last year. And he was, he came, like he brought the package this year and this Benjamin dude beat him. But you know, with all of that said, fucking Eric Helms went pro, which is so dope. I mean, I've been following that dude for so long. And he's been such a gift to the industry in so many ways. And it was really cool to see him in his sixth season of competing, maybe, finally GoPro. And then on top of that, two days ago, Eric Helm started following me on Instagram. So I feel like such a little fan boy right now because I looked and I was like, actually I didn't even notice that he followed me, but he started engaging on my stories. And I was like, why is Eric Helm commenting on my stories? This is so weird. And then I went and scrolled through my updates and I was like, oh, he started following me. This is amazing. So I don't know if he's going to keep following me or if this is just like, just like, oh no, this guy's not worth it. I'm going to move on now. But in the moment, the last two days has been cool because he has, he's been engaging with me on stories and I don't know, it's just really cool. It makes me feel really good. So wanted to update you guys on all of that. And then go ahead. No, I was just gonna say that is really cool. And I haven't, I have been seeing more of the natural bodybuilding stuff through Brandon Kempter, who we had on the show. He, you know, he obviously just coaches all natural bodybuilding competitors. And he's through, you know, his work in history and stuff like that. He works with like a lot of like really, really good guys. And some of them are just insane, insane. What? these dudes, they look like they're not natty, natural. Like they are freaks. And that has been really cool to see like a very, very high level side of it where they're all like, you know, generally winning overalls and the pro cards and all that stuff and then winning the pro shows and stuff. But yeah, it's pretty wild. Like there is a very impressive, like I don't wanna use the term like league, but caliber. of athletes that are floating around. Like one that comes to mind to go, any of the listeners to go take a look at, is this dude, we live in this world where I only know people's Instagram handles. I believe it's Keefe West, he's in the UK, like we'll train with AJ Morris sometimes. He's the only person I've ever seen max out the Cybex hack squat with like seven plates per side. As some like, I think he's young too, maybe like 20. 425 maybe somewhere like that natural dude with like That is an unheard of amount of plates on that hack squad. It's particularly heavy and he he's just a freak and it's really Yeah, like absurd numbers, um, so yeah, it is cool to see uh that Man, it makes me feel small though. Like there was definitely a period of time a few years ago when I was hanging out with Nunez and Miner and I'd go up there and get my physique assessed and all that stuff where I really thought that if I really dialed it in that I had what it took to go pro natural bodybuilding. And now I look at where it is just two years later and it seems like it's leveled up, you know, ding ding, a new level. It just, it really feels that way. Yeah, I think it's definitely, definitely the jump to like a new caliber of, especially in the past few years, the level of leanness that it takes, right? Like you look like a really good example, look back to where like Lane Norton and stuff, which you know, not to trying to discredit him or anything. I want to say in one of those like his like bigger shows where a lot of those photos and stuff are from, he's reported to be 195 pounds on stage at five foot 10. which is fucking huge, you know? But like walnut glutes and stuff weren't like a thing then, like they are now. So it's like the level of conditioning is insane. And I mean, these guys are doing 50 week preps and stuff, which is bonkers, but. mean, back in the day, like if you five, six years ago, if you just showed up with walnut glutes, it almost didn't matter what the rest of your physique look like. Like they're like, Oh, that guy's going pro. He got lean enough. You know, now it's now it's like you not just have to have walnut glutes, but you also have to be fucking massive and have perfect proportions and no weaknesses. And it's just, yeah, it's, it's a completely different game. All right, quick last update for me. Paragon will have new cycles starting on November 20th. So literally the day this drops or the day before this drops. We're starting new strength cycle with hypertrophy option. So this is our new way of doing things because not everyone wants to do strength. We provide hypertrophy options with hypertrophy rep ranges and different hypertrophy movements. We make it pretty seamless in the app so that you can relatively quickly choose which movement and which rep scheme track you wanna follow. but those new cycles will be starting on the 20th and it'll just be a six week strength or hypertrophy cycle which will take us literally through Thanksgiving and Christmas. So all of the periods of time that you're going to be eating all the food which actually happens to be the center of our conversation today with these Thanksgiving strategies. It would be a great time for you to jump on the new cycle and get super yoked as you eat all the food. So yeah, that's all I got. And if you have any more updates or we can jump into questions. just that my diet is progressing very well. I'm just about as lean as I've ever been, but things still feel relatively easy, I would say, which leads into kind of into the first question that we have, so. Before we jump into that real quick though, I just want to note that those pictures you posted the other day on Instagram were very telling of the progress that was made. And so that's got to be really a… for us, but you must feel really good about that. And you know, especially across the chest, shoulders and arms that we mentioned, as we were discussing on your post, it just, it looks very different. And that's awesome considering the body weight is the same. Yeah, yeah, it was cool to have that like final 44 week comparison. It's actually funny in my in my check in this week, Jackson made fun of me because he was like, your photos last week are objectively better, because like my stomach was fucked up that morning and I was like, it is what it is. I'm a little bit like bloated and watery, like I'm posting the pictures. He's like, you would post like the worst, the worst photos just because like it's the weights are identical and stuff like that. Right, right. have like, oh, last week's photo set is like significantly better. But I'm a stickler. I'm a stickler for the rules per se. Yeah. I know. All right, cool, well yeah, let's jump into this. Do you want me to read this to you? I know it's a question primarily directed at you real quick. Yeah, so you've had minimal caloric adjustments this cut. Do you attribute the majority of your deficit to the cardio or your training intensity with Jackson? Additionally, how do you feel with this approach in comparison to previous cutting phases if they were standard caloric drop approach? So yeah, I've had two diet adjustments or calorie adjustments. The second one just came at the beginning of last week. So I have gone basically from 217 pounds down to what let's call it 200 pounds with only one caloric adjustment, which is at the beginning of the diet, right? We just adjusted carbs down. And I cruised 17 pounds through that it took me 17 weeks. 16 weeks, something like that. So, or no 15 weeks. So I do, I have some notes here that I do attribute the majority of the of the deficit really to consistency, right, brutally consistent. And I think this is something that people really, really overstate if you're following like a macronutrient based approach where you're having you know, let's say two or three, let's call it, let's call it like three plus meals, like outside of your home that are not cooked and prepared by you. Your accuracy goes down, right? And that's just, we know that's the nature of the game. If you're planning more variation in your accuracy goes down, right? Everyone has to have that kind of trade off for that, that spectrum of where fits best for you. But just you have to. Be honest in that the more variation there is in your diet The less the smaller your margins for success are and that's why people are typically move slower when they take this approach I have not taken that approach. I've just followed the exact same meal plan day in day out I get one sushi free meal on the weekend, which is typically over the same thing Anyway, and ever so recently we started adding in a second high day because I was, my fatigue was rapidly kind of catching up to us again and again and again. So what do I attribute the majority of the deficit to? We have very long training sessions, right? Every single training session is at least two and a half hours, right? And we're doing that on average four times per week. So like four point X, sometimes we end up with a fifth training day in there. It's just simply more time of work being done. Every single day, whether that's a training day or a non-training day, I am in the sauna or the hot bath for 17 to 18 minutes. So higher body temperature and in higher prolonged heart rate from those, I am regularly sweating like an hour and a half later still sitting once I'm home eating breakfast or whatever after those, I'm still sweating. So there's that. And then I have 30-minute cardio, sorry, I lied, 40-minute cardio sessions three times per week. in the morning, right? And those are, I am very, very sweaty there. And it's pretty much hot here most of the time. So I'm, I'm generally sweaty a lot. So I think between those three, I do attribute that to why we could, I just have a lot more activity, you know, being done in hard activity. Hard is in terms of like just relative intensity. So I do attribute a lot of that to it. And everything comes back to the consistency. I've never been as consistent as I am right now or in this year. And I think that really does change everything. It absolutely changes everything because it just removes decision-making and you're just copy pasta every single day, right? And it makes it very, it's bulletproof. So now how do I feel with this approach in comparison to previous cutting phases? I will say I prefer the cardio over the steps because I feel like I can compartmentalize it, right? On my non-training days, I wake up, I'm at the gym by 7.30, I do my cardio, some abs, sauna stuff, I'm home by like 9.30, 10, and I have this whole day to work and I don't have to leave again. I don't personally don't like the like, oh, it's 2 p.m. I need to go for this like 30 minute walk again or anything like that. I Especially if you're just doing like laps in the neighborhood, it's I've just never really loved it. Um, for me, I rather just get my heart rate up and get a little bit sweatier. And I think from an overall health perspective, I think the zone to ask cardio sessions are more correlative with better overall health than just the steps. Yeah. And I think just, no, we planned having plenty of time, right? So it's not like, Hey, we're going to diet for eight weeks, or we're going to diet for six weeks. It's, we're going to start a diet. We're going to make some adjustments. We're going to keep training and we're just going to, it was open-ended. I said, Hey, majority of my diets have been about 20 weeks, but let's just, let's just see what happens. This one will end up being longer than 20 weeks. But like I said earlier in the episode, I'm already about as lean as I ever have been. So we'll just keep pushing it. And I decided I'll push it till I'm a little bit miserable because I'm still essentially having fun right now. So I feel like it would be kind of a waste to cut it early here. Yeah, that's awesome, man. I actually recently was thinking a lot about this idea of steps versus cardio when it comes to dieting. And I was talking about it. I was on a round table with Dave and Abel a week ago, and we were talking about that as well. And somebody in the comments of the YouTube clip that Dave posted actually brought up that there's like some studies showing that appetite regulation is better with cardio. like when you actually do proper cardio. And I was, because this was on the heels of me noting on the podcast that, you know, last, the cuts that I've done over the prior years, when I would do caloric deficit and steps, I was always hungry. I just felt like very food focused and hungry all the time. Even if I was trying to convince myself that I wasn't. And this time, doing the cardio, even though my cardio was excessive, but doing cardio and not focusing on steps, it felt like my hunger was much more manageable. And maybe there was just enough metabolic activity going on in my body that I was able to eat enough so that I didn't feel hungry. I didn't feel quite as restricted. So that's interesting. And then second, you mentioned eating meals out. How often, or is it just on your? refuel day or whatever you want to call it where you would eat something out or like how often in a week are you Eating something that's not prepared at home So this is a really good question. And I'm kind of eating my words or becoming a hypocrite here a little bit. I have one meal out that is sushi weekly. That is my meal out. I cook my own breakfast every morning, which I post a lot on Instagram, which you guys see every other meal I eat comes from two restaurants. One is a place here called macro kitchen, which is run by our friends, Matt and Hennem. They are Hennem does the majority of it. She is super anal about everything. Everything is down to the gram, right? So and they've prepared my meals for the entirety of the year, right? And I just on repeat order every week. I play, you know. they or they deliver me the exact same food. So while I'm not cooking it myself, it doesn't change right and I know exactly what that is. It's been in for literally 11 months now. The second place I will order from is Pump Kitchen, which is owned by Jackson. So again, he's anal on the macronutrients and everything being incredibly precise. That is essentially the crux of these two businesses. So I guess I am being slightly hypocritical there in that I don't prepare them, but they come from the exact same chefs who make my same order every single week. It's been completely dialed in. And people that I really respect have put their name on it. This is what's in it. And I do believe that because I order the exact same things. things have worked, you know, from that. Yeah, I mean, it's essentially home cooking in that you trust them that they're being accurate with what they're putting in there that you're not going to a restaurant that's going to be pouring oil that's untracked onto everything, et cetera, et cetera. I mean, you're pretty confident where the macros are coming from. So it's almost as if it's home cooking, but in someone else's kitchen. Yeah, cool. That makes sense. All right. That's all I got on that one. Uh, you done with that question? Yeah. Tips on managing eating protocols that differ from partners or families wishes and needs I think this one, I think we may answer this in kind of a few different ways, and I think you would have some very good perspective on this one, Brian, as having like a family, and you know, wife, children, those sorts of things. What are your thoughts here? Well, so we did cover this in a sense in the episode that we did about when your significant other doesn't have the same goals or objectives as you. And I think we centered more on that with like training than we did lifestyle. Um, but I do think that we covered the lifestyle piece as well in that episode. So we'll have to, um, find what episode number that was and drop it into the show notes. But um, my thoughts on this are that when you prepare food for your family, it is relatively easy to prepare things in a manner where you can eat certain parts of the meal and not other parts of the meal. So as an example, let me think for a second. I often eat chicken, rice, and a veggie or a fruit. as like at least one, maybe two meals a day. And my family is not always a huge fan of eating the exact same thing as me. My wife's not a huge fan of large portions of chicken, and my son won't eat chicken at all unless it's in a chicken nugget. And so it's a process of kind of preparing four things. So my meal is chicken, rice, and a veggie or a fruit. But oftentimes there's then a fourth item prepared that I probably won't be eating, depending on where I am in my goals for the season. And so maybe that meal is chicken rice, a veggie and... pizza or chicken rice, veggie and pasta with butter or I mean, whatever, whatever it is, a lot of that is what Kim is going to eat or what Bryson is going to eat. And Yeah, it's very complicated. I'm stumbling over my thoughts and words here because there isn't like a super easy solution to it aside from kind of accepting sometimes that maybe you have to make an additional food item. And then you have to abstain from eating that item yourself depending on where you are in your nutritional periodization. Or you can find ways to make the food that you're making appropriate for you. So say we're having pasta for dinner and I know that my son is gonna put butter and Parmesan cheese on his pasta. But I'm gonna prepare mine differently because I'm gonna have some sort of meat in there and, and maybe like some broccoli or whatever other vegetable wants to be included in there. And I know he's not going to eat that. But the base of the meal being the pasta can still be the base of the meal because everybody's gonna eat the pasta. It's just prepared slightly differently. And so I don't know. I find it. not overly complicated and I try not to overthink it. Um, I just really focus on what I need to consume. And then I make enough options for others to consume too, so that they're, they're content as well. And yeah, I mean, those are, those are my thoughts on it. What do you think? Okay, yeah, I was interested to hear, because you have like practical real world experience with like a more family dynamic per se. Well, the conversation that I have with clients when this comes up is, you need to communicate with your wife, husband, partner, however that dynamic is in family. And the most common time we're really talking here is a calorie deficit, we're dieting, right? Let's be honest. And you just explain it as such as like, If it's coming, like if we are having, if we are in the calorie deficit because we have like a health concern, we are 30% body fat, we have bad biomarkers and we need to get into a healthier standpoint, it is very easy to frame that as such as saying, I am taking this big health initiative because I am concerned about, you know, my longevity in life being a head of this household, I need to make some changes. When you frame something as such, it's very unreasonable for your wife, husband, partner, whatever to be like. that's ridiculous, you need to eat this pasta that I'm making for the family, right? So I think everything, when I approach this conversation with clients, always comes back to clearly communicating, right, it's not, I can't eat this, it's not on my planet, many times people don't understand why, right, or it's only one meal per day, why can't you eat? blah for three meals per day and eat this for the one meal per day. Well, it's a 1500 calorie meal. That's fucking why. And many times it's people that aren't intimately familiar with many of these conversations that Brian and I have with all the listeners every week just don't understand. So what I say is you need to just clearly and effectively communicate the reason why. Say this isn't forever. It might be we're starting with this 16-week dieting phase or whatever it is, and we would typically have something like, okay, what are the non-negotiables in your relationship? The wife wants a date night, wonderful. We can work in a date night once every two weeks, maybe once every week, but we're gonna try and steer those things to these sorts of restaurants, not the fucking chicken sandwich waffle place down the street sort of thing. So. I always approach it from such, what is the context of the goal? How long might that goal take us to achieve in presenting it at as such there and just being open and communicating. Yeah, that's a good point that you brought up there about the health initiative piece, because that wasn't the framework by which I was answering the question. I think that it's tough. Like it's easier when it's a health initiative, I think, because then you have a legit, like, stand, you can stand on a podium and be like, look, this is this is the most important thing right now. When you're doing it for a goal oriented purpose, I think it complicates things a little bit. And I just keep reflecting on a conversation that I heard Steve Hall have with on one of his podcasts relatively recently, where he was talking about how his macro plan for the year, like he plans out his entire year of periodization for nutrition and training. And he said, well, the way I wrote this plan up was that I'm supposed to do a three-week mini cut over Christmas. And he was like, I don't know how that's going to go because I'm like going with my girlfriend to visit her parents and we're going to be going out to eat a lot and like all these different things. And so it's important to follow your goals for sure and to follow your plan to get you to your goals. But I think that it also is very important that if it's not a health initiative and it literally is a matter of your goals and you're still eight months out from competing or whatever it is, like maybe you just don't do that mini cut over Christmas because it's gonna be easier on your life and your family in that way. And you know. you do your best to not completely screw yourself up and overboard things, but at the same time, a mini cut is uber aggressive. I mean, you're talking like 800 to 1200 calorie deficit in a mini cut, it's not even a regular cut. So you're going into a Christmas vacation in a mini cut. That's pretty restrictive and in some ways, like could be deemed as being quite selfish. So I do think there's a piece of trying to meet your family and significant others in the middle somewhere. Yeah, I think it's really, it comes back to relationship dynamics. I think that's really how it is. And what's most important to you there, right? Gonna be honest, my mom might cry if she listened to this. I'm not a big family person, right? That's just how my life has kind of turned out. I will diet through Thanksgiving and Christmas and those sorts of things, but that's how I have structured my life sort of thing. I wouldn't... Recommend it needlessly doing that unless you felt that it was very beneficial to you and wouldn't necessarily You know negatively impact those who are important to you, right? Jenny's not gonna give a shit that I'm not having we're not having some like Christmas dinner or anything like that Like Christmas will be another day of my diet for me But that might be different in your personal relationships, right? And that's the most important thing Yep. All right, cool. Next question. I feel like this has been answered prior in a Q and a, or maybe even an entire podcast, but how to know when it's time to end a gaining phase. my most. The answer I like to use most is when the timeline for what it takes will take you to get back to whatever the ultimate, not the ultimate dream physique, but whatever the physique is that you want becomes larger than you for you to wrap your head around. Let's say we push the gain phase to the dream or bulk sort of thing. Then you run the numbers and you're looking at things and you're like... I have seven and a half months of dieting, you know, ahead to get to like the physique I want. That's probably more than you intended to bite off to chew, bite off, bite off and chew, whatever. So, I think that's a really, really good one. If you're looking for a little bit more subjective of a definition, one thing I find is like bicep, right? When the bicep vein completely disappears, that's a typical... you might be pushing that a little bit. Because even at like, let's call it like a 20% body fat for something like that, a male who's training, you know, pretty intensely and has built a decent amount of muscle, you should still have some bicep vein, like the one, not many, but like the primary one that runs down the front. No, yeah, just, but you should still have some of that visible, I mean, if that's completely gone, and you have maybe like a... if weight is starting to like hang over, you know, your belt line or something like that. Once we have like the hanging body fat in the Android region, that might be another quite telling cutoff. Yeah, that's the one that I was gonna go with the most. I mean, everybody holds body fat in different areas. Women sometimes will hold it more in their thighs and glutes and guys more in their abdomen or low back. And so for me, it's primarily, well, actually, what's funny is what I see and what bothers me is the low back and love handles area. But when I do my DEXAs, the area that shows the most body fat relatively is actually my thighs and glutes. So that's interesting because those areas, they don't bother me. Like I don't notice them being fat, so to speak. I can be the biggest that I ever am. And I still am like, wow, my legs look muscular and pretty solid. Like, yeah, they're losing some definition, but they don't feel fat per se. But when I get to a point where I am with my shirt off and I can feel that bulge of stuff on my low back, love handle area. And I pull my pants up and I'm like, oh, that is just not feeling the way that it was feeling before. Those are the things that convince me that it's kind of time to turn around. So everyone holds body fat in different places. And I think assessing for you where that point is, where it's just too much and you don't enjoy it anymore. And then also just keep in mind that like, with all the new research we have on, like Helms just put out a long study about bulking and how much of a caloric excess you actually need to gain muscle. And it's a lot smaller than we think. And so, like we already knew the dreamer bulk probably wasn't necessary. Now it seems like even a 500 calorie surplus isn't necessary. So if you're trying to chase maximum muscle gain, you don't have to get fat to do it. Um, I, yeah, I mean, you just need time. as Aaron said. So I would just encourage you maybe to not get to the point where you're like, oh shit, I'm fat now. Because there's a number of downstream ramifications of that too, aside from, oh crap, I have to diet for eight months now. There's the health concerns and just the fact that it's unnecessary to get you where you wanna be. This one, let's kick this one over to you first, Brian. With the new research on deloads, have you considered changing the way you program deloads for your group programs? So this question came from an advanced trainee that's been following my programming for a number of years now. And we had did a whole episode on deloads, episode 129, where we talked about deloads, and then we also talked about training age, dependent proximity to failure. So it was kind of like a double topic episode. So I would encourage you to go back and listen to that episode if you are questioning what we think about deloads. And this all is... based on that research that we covered in that episode where I think it was Max Coleman and his group for his part of his PhD project. They basically had two groups go through nine weeks of training and one group just trained for nine weeks straight and the other group did four weeks and then took a week off and did another four weeks. And all the headlines around the study, especially like Menno Henselman's just put one out that I seem. seemed to grab a lot of attention and he loves these really catchy headlines. And so I think his headline was something along the lines of like, deloads hurt your progress or it was literally it was something crazy like that. It wasn't exactly those words, but it's like he completely changed the way that the that I would interpret the study. So the way that I interpret the study when you look at the results is that the group that did the deload ended up with the same results at the end. So it's like the data is skewed slightly such that it does seem in an insignificant manner that there was a slight increase for those that didn't do the deload that trained nine weeks all the way through. And then the group that did the deload, insignificantly had slightly less total muscle mass gain. But again, insignificant. So it didn't actually show up in the study. You would have to read much further to see that. And so the way I interpret that is you can take a week off and end up at the same place as if you didn't take the week off. Um, on top of that, the way the study was done was that the D load was an entire week off. It wasn't actually a D load where you're going to still continue training. Um, but you're just going to train. with less intensity or less volume, because that's the way most people deload. Most people aren't like, oh, four weeks, time to take a week off. Okay, four more weeks. Now I need another week off. So I think that the misinterpretation of that study is important to note, because in that same conversation we had about deloads in episode 129, I also commented on the Oga-Sawara study that was... I think pretty poignant in that it showed that you could train six weeks on, three weeks off, six weeks on, three weeks off, six weeks on, and get the same results as people that trained 24 weeks all the way through. So both of these studies seem to point to the fact that taking time off doesn't negatively impact your results or potentially that it impacts them so little that you gain it all back when you start training again. And so one person could look at that and be like, why would I do load? It seems like it's unnecessary. Whereas another person might look at it and be like, this is really freeing because now I can take D loads or I can take a week off and it's not a big deal because I'm going to end up at the same place anyways. And so when you look at this extrapolated out over long term, like this study was nine weeks long. If you're looking at a year of training or two years of training or three years of training, nobody's going to go that length of time and not take time off or not take a D load. The problem with the study was that they forced you to take a deload after four weeks. The better option, of course, is to auto-regulate deloads, which was the second part of the question is, has this changed the way that maybe you'll program for your group programs by instituting auto-regulation for your deloads? And no, you can't, you can't auto-regulate deloads for a group program. When we have 3000 plus people following a program, I can't just be like, here's your program and whenever you feel you need it, take a deload week. It takes an advanced trainee with a lot of self-awareness to understand when and where the application of a deload would be. But the way that I program my group programs is that we increase intensity and a little bit of volume week to week. And then we take a deload once the intensity and the volume is at the highest point. That highest point is likely to correlate with your need to deload for. it was 80% of the people following the program. Maybe 20% needed to deload earlier, or 10% needed to deload earlier and 10% probably could have deloaded later. But my goal in a group program is to program for the masses in the best possible way. And so the way I do it is five weeks of accumulation and one week of deload. Even in the deload, it's not like we're taking a week off like they did in the study. We're still training short overload movements to two reps from failure. and we're training length and movements to four or five reps from failure. So it's not even that we're not getting effective reps, even in our D load, we're still getting effective reps. We're just doing it with a little bit less intensity and volume than we would in other weeks. And so I, I'm not going to change the way that I program this. And I don't think there's a better way to do it at this point. So that's where I stand on it. wonderfully answered question there, Brian. Cool. All right, last one. I don't, I guess I do have some thoughts on this. Pros and cons of barbell hip thrust versus plate loaded hip thrust machine is one better for hypertrophy. I've always used a barbell, but I'm wondering if I should switch to the machine version. This is a big it depends and I apologize that we're answering in that context. And the reason being not all hip thrust machines are created equal. Some of them are made amazingly right where you have a very, very tight support on the hip. The way that the foot plate angle in the distance from where the foot plate is to where the load is distributed across your waist is wonderful. and you get like a very solid, you know, back support and you get a very good hinging angle. Some of them are great. Other ones are dog shit, right? Especially where like hip thrust and building your butt is like very popular now. So the market gets saturated with people trying to make a quick buck or pump out equipment and you get some shitty ones. So that is unfortunately the answer is it really depends and it depends on your size, right? And your anthropometrics. So if you're gym, has some or a hip thrust machine, test it out, see how it feels, right? Set up the same thing, the same kind of setup cues that you would with the hip, with the barbell version, right, we want that load or the force of the load to be moving in a direct, you know, force in line with gravity. You should be able to reach a fully shortened glute or close to a fully shortened glute. And then one that I see people botch a lot is you don't want your lumbar spine doing a lot of degree of motion, right? Like that should be pretty much fixed in your extending at the hip. Ones that have kind of like the seatbelt strap around, it can be a little bit of like you move into like thoracic, or sorry, not thoracic, lumbar flexion and lumbar extension and that movement happens each rep as opposed to, because when that's happening, like that's not, you're not putting that force through the glutes. That force is going through you know, abs and hip flexors to a degree. Pay mind of that. I see people botch that one all the time. Even, and that's with the machine and the barbell. So that's one to pay attention to, but you're really just gonna have to see what works best for you based off the equipment that your gym has. Yeah, no, I agree. That's really, really well said. You took most of the words out of my mouth. The nice thing about the barbell setup is that you can set it up perfectly for your size. So you can find the right bench height, or use a block, or whatever it is, so that you make sure that you're in this perfect tabletop position when you get to extension, so that you're not in any sort of lumbar extension at the top of the rep. So that's really nice about the barbell. The downside of the barbell. is that you have to set everything up. You have to drag a bench over and drag a bar over and get the hip thrust pad and like load the bar. I mean, loading the bar, depending on how strong you are is a massive undertaking. So the nice thing about the machine is that it mitigates a lot of that necessity and you just kind of strap yourself in and go. But I've noticed like, I've never tried one of these hip thrust machines ever, but I've coached enough people that do. And I would say it's less than 50-50. It's like a 30-70 proposition that most of my clients will find one that fits them really well and works well. So like Aaron said, you just have to kind of get in there and experiment and see what it looks like. Send a video to your coach. One thing I will say, a decent happy medium is using the Smith machine, because that you don't have to balance like the barbell and your bar path is completely fixed. So it does remove some degrees of freedom from you and you do have the kind of flexibility to set it up with the bar bench height and where your feet are and that sort of thing. Yep. Cool. Well, we are an hour in and so it's just enough time for us to attack some brief strategies on Thanksgiving here. So you want to kick us off with some things and we'll go back and forth. Yeah, so I have some notes here. And the first one that I would say is know the periodization that you are in. If you are in maintenance, it is going to be very auto-regulatory. And what that might mean is maybe you skip breakfast, you know, Thursday morning, something like that, just to free up more space later in the day, or you can take a very, very kind of acute spur of the moment sort of strategy there. If you're in a gaining phase, I would say maybe in the days leading up to it, in the days post, you might train a little bit harder, right? Put a little bit of that extra food and caloric resources coming in to good use. In the event that you are in a calorie deficit, which is the most kind of common concern of people heading into Thanksgiving, know that you are probably not going to have a net positive fat loss week. And that's just the nature of some of the holidays, right? not chalking the week up as a loss and trying to see how much damage you can do, but you may not be setting new lows in the five days post-Thanksgiving sort of thing, and that's perfectly fine. It could end up being a slight refeed or what I use, the terms I use with my clients, or a temporary physiologic and psychological reprieve from the adaptations of the calorie deficit. and it's nothing that we cannot account for on the back end. So that is the first thing that I wanted to start off with is understanding your current periodization. Yeah, no, that's a really good point. So weird right now, you're moving in like extreme slow motion in your screen. It looks like you're still talking. Okay, so I don't wanna minimize this because I know that it is important and it feels very significant to many people in the midst of. of Thanksgiving and you know, how am I going to handle this? And I don't want to gain all this weight or I don't want to ruin my completely kibosh my goals. I just think of it as one day and that you should just go out and enjoy yourself and that one day of eating isn't going to change what happens the other 364 days of the year. And so like one of the strategies Aaron mentioned is potentially not eating breakfast that day. And now you have potentially double the amount of calories you could eat in the afternoon, potentially doing a big training session. I remember back when I was growing up, we would always have a Thanksgiving football game. So we'd wake up in the morning and we'd go out and we'd basically exercise for two hours and play football. And then we'd come back and we'd be famished and we would eat a bunch of food because that's what you do. And it was the food served a purpose. It was there to recover. Now as adults, I don't have that football game with my friends that we play in the morning, but I always get up and I always make sure I have a really big workout. And I do tend to graze or eat. mostly protein throughout the earlier part of the day. And then the latter part of the day comes. And it's like there are plenty of choices you can make on Thanksgiving that are that are poor choices. Like you can eat a entire apple pie with ice cream or, you know, you can eat too much of whatever side item, the breading thing that people eat. But you can also not like you can have a whole big bunch of turkey and you can have some mashed and you can have some cranberry sauce and you can have a slice of apple pie. And it really isn't going to completely demolish you or your goals as much as it would if you were to just say, hey, fuck it, it's Thanksgiving. I'm gonna just go YOLO on it. So yeah, I know I probably covered a bunch of things there but I'll send it back over to you for some structure here. Yeah, one of the other notes I had is like, choose your battles, right? Brian kind of brought up, I believe stuffing was potentially the word that you were looking for. So like, choose your battles, right? And some of the Brian also brought that up like apple pie. Don't like... If we're gonna drink, we're going to be drinking then. Maybe you have crazy uncles who are so much fun to drink with and that's something that you're looking forward to. That's perfectly fine, right? Let's do that, spend the time with those uncles drinking, but then don't have three slices of apple pie and your one crazy uncle's aunt who brings a chocolate cake or something like that. You need to choose your battles, right? You can't have six alcoholic drinks, like four slices of pie. you know, whatever chocolate cake and then be like, I don't know how the scales up, you know, seven pounds the next day. Like you do know sort of thing. So choose your battles there of the things that are more indulgent. But like Brian said, have the turkey, right? Have the big main staples, right? And it's okay, yes, to have seconds in these sorts of things. Like Brian did say, it's only one day, but you want to choose your battles like within the what I will refer to as like the caloric damaging. sort of things. Just because we're drinking, which is fine, doesn't mean that we have to have like, I don't know, like apple cider is a really good one, right? I think people have like hot apple cider. Apple cider is like a liquid carbohydrate, you know what I mean? So if you're having like glasses of that with the alcohol, like you're going to be putting down like loads of liquid carbohydrate and that will accumulate like rather quickly. So like knowing your battles and then choosing them as opposed to trying to abstain from all it's like pick which you will participate in and which ones you will not. Yeah, really good point. I was out laughing because when I was younger, I remember we used to actually try to see how much we could get the scale to jump up the next day. So I'd be like, oh, I'm starting this meal at 195. Let's see if I can get to 202 tomorrow morning or something along those lines. And so it's just a very different objective if you're going into it with the semblance of trying to be healthy or even, you know, I mean, a caloric deficit type thing versus, you know, I... just embracing that this is a day that this is gonna happen and fuck it. Let's just go YOLO and literally try to eat as much as we possibly can and see what happens. And so both ways can work. It just really depends, like Aaron said, where you are in your nutritional periodization. Another thing that I think is relevant, at least for me, I find that alcohol fills me up. And so if I'm on a mission to try and eat a bunch of food for Thanksgiving, I almost will never drink or I'll have one beer, maybe one drink of some sort, because as soon as I start having two, three drinks, I get into that meal and I'm like, oh, like, you know, one piece of turkey and some mashed potatoes and I'm already full. So maybe that's a strategy. Like if you're like me and you get full from drinking alcohol, maybe you do drink some alcohol right before, fill your stomach up and then you're less hungry for more of the calorically dense food because having a... couple light beers or a couple mixed drinks could be three, four or 500 calories, but eating all the slices of apple pie and all the Thanksgiving food could be 1500 or 2000 calories. And so the potentially using liquid as a filling strategy could actually work for you. So there's a number of different ways you can approach that. I like you, Brian, here, thinking outside the box on that one. Nice. The last one that I have, and I think this one is really, really important. Thanksgiving is a day, right? It does not need to turn into Thanksgiving weekend of food deviations. Choose which day you will return to your regularly scheduled programming, and then get rid of the food that doesn't align with that. This is something that a conversation I'll have oftentimes with clients is it's like Tuesday now after Thanksgiving, they're like, ah, well I had to finish my wife's aunt's famous mac and cheese. And I'm like, the fuck you did not, throw it out. You had it for four days, you don't need to have it for six. Throw it out and let's get back to it. Choose which day you will return to it. Because you can always play that leftover game of well I have it and these sorts of things. It's just you justifying it when you don't need it. Get rid of it, maybe put it in your kids' food for lunch or whatever, but give it to anyone else except for you and get back to the regularly scheduled programming. But like I said, pick which day. And if I'm being honest, I wouldn't. I probably wouldn't recommend Friday. I would say at the earliest, Saturday, give yourself Friday as well because many times you might be sleeping over at whoever's house or having further get togethers and stuff. I would say Saturday at the earliest, probably Monday at the latest. There's a couple clients who I've specifically told them I don't want anything tracked, Thursday through Sunday, but choose your day there. I feel like that's very, very important. Yeah. Super good point. I actually find that when I do leftovers, I try to stick mostly to just turkey, maybe some mashed potatoes too. But I really try not to have a bunch of the more indulgent side items and desserts on the subsequent days. And I find that if I just allow myself to enjoy the Turkey, which is a mostly healthy food, I mean, even the dark meat is going to be pretty healthy in comparison to a lot of other things. I try to stick with mostly turkey and I find that is satisfying enough for me. It's definitely hard when there is apple pie and cake and all these other things in the fridge for sure. Like I resonate with that. I understand that. But it could be one bite of that. Like I'll have my turkey with whatever side item I'm having. And then at the end, maybe I'll reach in and I'll have like one bite of the apple pie to just have the taste in my mouth. But I won't often cut myself like a huge slice and put whipped cream or ice cream on top something like that. And so thinking about your post Thanksgiving strategy in that manner might be helpful. And then the last thing I'll say, it looks like was skipped over in our notes here that you made a really good point about going for walks. And that is just, I'm just such a huge fan of walks after big meals anyways, that it's something that I always will do on Thanksgiving too as soon as I finish my last bite of dessert or whatever the last thing I'm gonna eat that afternoon evening is. and we get everything cleaned up. I'll usually just go out and take like a 10 to 20 minute brisk walk and just get everything moving. It helps with glucose control and appetite control. And it separates you from the table. So it's really easy if you're just sitting at the table to just keep eating and keep eating and keep eating. But if you're like, hey, I'm full, I'm gonna get up and take a walk. By the time you get back from that walk, you'll usually find that you're not actually hungry anymore. And so. if that's socially acceptable within your family, once the meal is over to get up and take a brisk walk. Yeah, can't believe I forgot that one. I think that's it from what I have on Thanksgiving. Is there anything, nothing else you want to add on this one? I don't think so. Thanksgiving's a great holiday. I love it. It's, you framed it as being mostly about food, but I think that if you go into Thanksgiving with the mindset of it being mostly about food, then it is gonna be mostly about food. If you go into it and it's more about watching football and being with family and connecting with people and things like that, then maybe that changes the framework by which you approach Thanksgiving and maybe you end up with kind of a better end result as a result of that. Very, very well said. All right guys, so as always, thank you for listening and just a final reminder that next week we will be taking a break, potentially two weeks if we cannot figure out the timing and schedule lineup. Talk to you then.

Life/Episode Updates
Does Aaron attribute the majority of his deficit to the cardio or his training intensity with Jackson?
Tips on managing eating protocols that differ from partners/family’s wishes/needs?
How to know when it’s time to end a gaining phase?
With the new research on deloads, have you considered changing the way you program deloads for your group programs? Auto regulation?
Pros and Cons of Barbell Hip Thrust vs a Plate-Loaded Hip Thrust Machine. Is one better for hypertrophy?
Thanksgiving Strategy #1: Manage that expectation
Thanksgiving Strategy #2: Put the extra food to work
Thanksgiving Strategy #3: Choose your battles
Thanksgiving Strategy #4: Choose which day you will return to your regularly scheduled programming
Thanksgiving Strategy #5: Get walks after big meals