The bodybuilding coach who guided Wade to victory 25 years ago is back, helping Wade crush his 50th birthday.
One day back in 1996, our host Wade Lightheart happened to catch a lecture at the BC provincial bodybuilding championships. Scott Abel was presenting the lecture, and Wade quickly noticed Scott’s impressive knowledge of bodybuilding. One of Scott’s students stood on stage during the class, and her bodybuilding physique was aesthetically flawless. The experience made an impression on Wade.
Over the next year, while Wade struggled in all of his bodybuilding competitions, usually coming in dead last, he kept noticing how multiple students of Scott’s were winning contests and looking fantastic onstage. Wade decided he should find out what these other bodybuilders were learning from “Coach Abel.”
So, Wade hired Scott to be his bodybuilding trainer, which turned out to be one of those defining moments in Wade’s life. Scott guided Wade to many victories – not only in bodybuilding competitions – but also internal wins involving fitness, nutrition, mindset, and developing high-performance habits.
As Wade approaches 50, he has hired Scott a second time to be his fitness trainer to help guide his 50 weeks to 50 fitness plan.
Wade wants to hit his 50th birthday feeling fantastic (and he is documenting the entire process for biOptimizer followers), and Scott is highly qualified to help Wade achieve this milestone.
Scott Abel is a 40+ year veteran of the fitness industry whose expertise is in using metabolism to transform the physiques of both everyday people and bodybuilders alike.
Scott loves helping ordinary and everyday people lose weight, look better, and feel great – so don’t think this episode is only for bodybuilders. Far from it – the groundbreaking information in this episode is already helping overweight, average Joes and Janes get into the best shape of their lives without feeling deprived by food restrictions.
Intrigued? Be sure to tune in!
In this podcast, we cover:
- Why Scott thinks the Keto diet is “the worst diet ever.”
- What is the “cycle diet?”
- How Scott’s high-performance bodybuilding history makes him one of the best fitness coaches for “regular people”
- What you need to do to stay fit and healthy beyond age 50
- Metabolism changes as we age and how hormones play into this
- Scott’s recent pivot on plant-based diets
- Why Scott has never been a low-carb advocate
- Some gold nuggets found in Scott’s exciting books
What Professional Eaters Teach Us about Metabolism
Scott was ahead of his time back in the 1970s with metabolism. He and Wade talk a lot about the science of metabolism, along with the hype and misinformation out there.
As a high-performance expert who constantly seeks out real-world evidence before making claims, Scott points out how his book The Cycle Diet talks about professional eaters and what they teach us about metabolism. He points out a petite, skinny female competitive eater they call the Black Widow and how she can eat crazy amounts of food in a short amount of time – like nine pounds of cheesecake in ten minutes – yet she remains “skinny as a rail.” Her example supports everything Scott has taught about metabolism for forty years.
Competitive eaters eat very little before a competition. This is what Scott teaches with the Cycle Diet: regular undereating with well-timed “refeeds.” This approach keeps your metabolism in fat-burning mode rather than getting sluggish and shifting into a fat-storing mode.
You see, diets – meaning long stretches of food deprivation that only work if they last forever, are not the right approach. They set people up for failure because when someone only eats a low-calorie diet for a long time, their metabolism goes into starvation mode, meaning it slows way down to a standstill. So then, when you do enjoy a cheat meal, your body stores it as fat.
This illustrates why most diets don’t work in the long run.
Accept the reality of where you are physically.
Scott talks about his spiritual transformation over the years and how he is a different person now. Scott Abel from the 1980s was much different.
One of Scott’s spiritual principles he now takes to heart is “acceptance is better than resistance.” He points out that none of us can change the aging process, so it is better to accept the reality that aging is not something you have to fight off. Aging is not a bad thing. Go ahead and accept how aging is like a snowball going down a hill. “It accelerates as we age, and it’s a very real thing. You’re going to lose muscle. And you’re going to have to accept that. You can mitigate it to some extent, but you cannot stop it.”
“In my book Physique After 50, I say that ‘it’s not enough to stop comparing yourself to other people based on your age, gender, or whatever. You must stop comparing yourself to the younger version of yourself.”
If you are 50 years old and Scott is starting a training program with you, he will not have you doing the same routines you did in your twenties. “Why would you try to approach it with the same mindset?”
Scott tells Wade, “One of my favorite sayings about aging is ‘consistency is more important than intensity. Back when you (Wade) first hired me, I would have slapped someone who said that. I used to be all about intensity.”
“But now, I can throw my back out in my sleep. I used to be able to train with a little bit of backache. Now, I can hurt myself getting out of bed in the morning.”
“People want to deny all this, but if you try to deny it, there’s going to be some serious consequences. I like to say, ‘train your age.’
If you’re “past your prime” physically, yet want to get into better shape and optimize your fitness so you can live at the highest optimal level possible for you, then be sure to tune into this episode. Keep in mind this is Wade’s trainer here. If you value and respect the knowledge Wade holds in the realms of fitness and health, then you will surely want to listen to what his bodybuilding mentor has to say. You know Wade is smart. Imagine how brilliant Scott is! There’s a reason why Wade sought Scott’s counsel.
Check out this episode – training at your age level could transform your life!
Check out more about Scott Abel
Scott’s books on Amazon
Scott Abel Coaching on YouTube
Coach Scott Abel on Instagram
Coach Scott Abel on Facebook
Scott Abel on Twitter
FLASHBACK: Episode 002: The Cycle Diet & What True Health Is
Read The Episode Transcript:
Wade Lightheart: Good morning. Good afternoon. And good evening. It's Wade T. Lightheart from BiOptimizers with another edition of the Awesome Health Podcast. And I have been itching for a while to do this. I've got my current and former coach Scott Abel joining us today. He was on one of the early additions of the awesome health formula. And he's taken time out of his schedule today to join us, to talk about some interesting components of training. As you know, he I've rehired him. After my first time, 25 years ago, I had saw Scott 1996. He was doing a lecture at the BC provincial championships. With one of actually it was his wife at the time, Laura Beneta who probably could have won the overall championship at that time as a female for the show, she was a professional and I was very impressed with their physique. Later that year I won the provincial championships went to the national championships in every one of your athletes that came out on stage looked better, and I remembered you from that. I was like, well, if I go into this show, now I'm going to be dead last. I'd better figure out what these guys are going. So I hired Scott. He guided me to many victories, but more important, more internal victories victories over when self victories over, you know, the ones that everyone struggles with and provides guidance and direction along fitness and nutrition, but mostly mindset as well as the habits of high performance. So Scott, welcome back to the show. Scott Abel: Well, that's quite the intro. Thanks for having me, Wade Lightheart: You know, it's, it's it's this calls 25 years in the making. And for those who haven't seen, I'm doing the 50 weeks to 50 one of my key discoveries in 96 to 97 after losing for 10 years, I remember starting my contest two week preparation, two weeks after the loss and saying, I'm going to prepare 50 weeks. And every week is 2% of how I'm going to look. And that means every workout is 2% of how I work. And by breaking things down, I ended up winning my first overall by a 43 margin. Not now, I'm not telling people that about the victory. I'm telling people about to get extraordinary results. You need extraordinary effort and you've been on the bleeding edge of extraordinary results for what's it been for decades five, five, fifth decades. So for those who haven't heard our podcasts, can you talk a little bit about maybe your background, your history, and then maybe a little bit about how you've journey through the whole high-performance coaching experience over the, over these decades and what you've seen? Oh, wow. Scott Abel: Jesus. How much time do we have? Yeah, that's a book in itself. The one thing you sort of reminded me of when you were talking about 25 years in the making and, and stuff is just the changes that we go through in that amount of time. I mean, when you reached out, you sent me our first interactive email and all I could say back to you, it was God, I was a. You know, in how I talk to people, taught people, you know, interacted with people. So it's been, yeah, quite a journey. Now my background, I always said my saving grace was my education. I was the typical rebel without a clue rebel rebel, without a cause we didn't want to get in and it's not necessary to get in and all that. But then, you know, going to school and, and getting into action academia, I was finding labels for all the things I was thinking and feeling, and it really helps you sort of short. Scott Abel: But then I was always a high achiever. I won scholarships for intellectual proficiency. I had my undergrad thesis done at the Christmas break, which was unheard of, you know, most people were staying all summer to finish and I was already done. I got one of the highest grades and I won one of the only academic scholarships in the whole university for, for that kind of thing. So I think that sets the tone for my physical analyst, that I needed to have something to do with physical expression. And at the time time I was so much of an outlier that I needed something that was individually based. Cause whenever I was part of a team, I just felt that no other team member had the passion or the desire to work like I did. So it was always like, really, I, I know you don't understand what I do. Scott Abel: So how are you my teammate and how are you? So it was very arrogant, but at the same time it allowed me to develop this skills to be a coach now to be a good coach. I've always said the reason I was able to induce competitors who really had no business being at a national level to win national championships and even pro shows and things like that was, again, going back to my education and my, my beginnings was in social work and the social work I was doing, whether I was working in a halfway house or I was working with abused kids who were placed in, in group homes. I had to be able to speak to them on their level and then take that and translate it in speaker to the professional, bureaucratic level and to parents and to, you know, spouses, when I was at the halfway house, I had to speak to the community because they felt threatened. Scott Abel: They didn't want that house there. So I learned how to speak various languages that you reach people at the level they're at, rather than barking to the, at the level you're at. And I think that's what made me an exceptional coach. We all had the same access to the same information or knowledge about training, about diet or whatever. But I excelled because I could get people to believe in me enough that I could reflect back on them, that it was okay to believe in themselves. And then that's just sort of gone on, but I wouldn't say at this point it would be sort of misleading to talk that I'm a coach and high-performance because that's, I just left that a long time ago. It kind of morphed it professional babysitting which was never anything I wanted to do. If it wasn't about personal growth for someone I could care less, if it was, you know, the best athlete on the planet or someone who wants to lose a hundred pounds, like could just, you know, if, if, if there's no growth at the end of that, and you've heard me say this a million times, I used to say back when I was a plate head myself and I was doing, you know like you said, lectures and bodybuilding and stuff. Scott Abel: One of the first things I would say is, look, if you're a jerk at 185 pounds, you're just a more visible jerk at 225 pounds, you haven't learned anything. And I think one of the reasons I left that is that that a lot of the people were just okay with that. And, and I certainly wasn't, and there's, you know, intellectual growth, spiritual growth, which you and I have both been on parallel paths in different ways and those departments. So I had to leave the body building behind. And while you were natural all the time, of course, I wouldn't want to give anyone that illusion when you're, you know, when I was coaching Olympia competitors and national champions, like they certainly were not natural and neither was I. So but there comes a point where you start looking at that stuff and just say, really, and if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Scott Abel: So, you know, I left that world long, long time ago and I get a lot, there's a lot more personal reward, helping someone, real people with real lives, real jobs, real careers, real real pressures lose 50, 60 pounds and feel better about themselves. And then that, you know, that spills out into their little world and touches other people in their world. And that's a lot more rewarding to me than, you know, whether someone has crossed radiations in their thighs at a contest. Like it just, you know, that stuff became so meaningless to me that I had to leave because there was no value in it for me. And then I knew I couldn't be doing a good job for the people that who were paying me money to help them. So that's you know, that's a snapshot of the journey from now, from then till now, but yeah, the whole hardcore bodybuilding thing that that's just, that's a chapter the it's been, you know, and you know, now I'm like 15 chapters later. So, you know, that was a long, long time ago and, you know, in a different mindset and a different person in a different, the sport, if you to call it, that was completely different than as well. So Wade Lightheart: I can think of a couple of inflection points in myself along the journey. Cause some people like to know some of the history and I believe it was after the 98 national championships. And I was a kid that came from new Brunswick, rural new Brunswick, and came up to Ontario. And you know, I got to see your operation as a coach that you were professional, had created a nice lifestyle. We've watched a Mark McGuire of all people hit the home run record we watched at your condo. I remember very clearly. And it was an inspiration for me to there was an inflection point that happened at the national championships that year when 1998 is I recognized to move forward in the sport. I was going to have to really commit to what I thought was an outrageous drug use should stack. And you know, at that time during, and the eights and Ronnie Coleman were in the, the, the mix of the thing and I was like, well, you know, there's really no amount of drugs. Wade Lightheart: That's gonna put me in a competitive nature against us. So I, if I can't be to the top, what am I doing this for? But I did take what I learned from you and was able to turn that into a personal training career. And then eventually that I was able to compete in contests as a natural competitor. Cause I loved the sport. I love the process of training. I love working out. I love the art of developing a physic. To me, it was like art. It was an expression, it was something that win, lose or draw. I always thought, Hey, if I put my best effort in and somebody beat me, congratulations, shake his hands, go home and, you know, let something to work on next year. And, but that eventually led to when we did do the Mr. Universe contest on oh three and I got to compete with that. Wade Lightheart: And yeah, I said, I wasn't going to do any drugs. Even though I knew my competitor, who I hasn't went through the whole process. And of course knowingly knowing that I'm going to lose that contest, but I want to be at my best and make it to a dream to compete on that stage, which I did. But that led to the development of our first bodybuilding internet product freaky big naturally, which was with Matt and I and mass times, Inc, which then a decade later morphed into BiOptimizers the company that we have today. So the whole historical aspect, but there was that inflection point there at that. The, this is what I love about high performance, high performance in you are a high performer period in multiple areas. You learn a lot about things and yeah, it's extremes whether it's extreme temperature, extreme training you know, you think of formula one cars, you know, no one draws to drive around the road at 220 miles an hour, but you know, the braking system and steering system can be applied to your, your, your, your daily, your daily equipment. How do you feel your history in high performance coaching and stuff has kind of led to this new wave of where you're influencing people for betterment of change and self-development and things like that, or is there any components to it? Scott Abel: Let me interject about one thing first. When you talked about the Mr. Universe, just so people understand what was going on at the time, you probably forget this, but I told you flat out. I remember telling you because again, wait, why are you beating your head against the wall? These guys at the same time, you hired me to train you naturally for the universe. Do you, I don't know if you'll remember this. Maybe you will, maybe it'll jog your memory. But there was a bodybuilder who contacted me from Russia, who was spending 80 to $90,000 on his drug stack to do the same contest you were doing mind you. He was like a heavyweight super heavyweight. And he had the support. I w I don't know if it was the government or whatever, where he would beat the test, cause he had already beat five or six of them. And I was like, you know, if you want to do a natural contest, spending $90,000 on steroids and other drugs, then good luck. But I'm, I'm not interested in that. Like, I'm going to help you do that. I don't know if you remember that story, but Wade Lightheart: I do. And there was another piece to that too, which was unusual. People don't know about is I would have been studying Eastern philosophy and inside of it, my spiritual teacher said that if something doesn't exist, but it is right for you, then it will be created for you if you follow the higher set of principles. And I said, well, that's a pretty outrageous statement. I'm going to put it to the test. I'm going to be a drug-free vegetarian bodybuilder. My dream at 15 years old was to compete at the Mr universe because I saw pumping iron and the guy calling out Australia and Canada and all these sort of, and I'd envisioned that over and over and over as a kid, but I'd given it up after the 97 ish realization. And I said, well, Hey, I'm going to put this thing to a test. Wade Lightheart: And in that year oh three, which I qualified for the contest, there was a miraculous thing that happened. One of your other students who wasn't a student of yours at that time, Kevin Weiss had been a competitor. I competed against the year before a fantastic athlete, power world champion and power world, phenomenal physique, just an absolute bulldozer of an athlete. And I'd competed against him the year before last to him in fair and square, put her athlete. And the next year, no three, we were going to have to compete in the same class at the national championships. And for the first time in 56 years, the IFB changed the categories and split it down the middle. And Kevin was in one category and I was in the other and we both want our classes in both qualify for the Mr universe and staying true to my principles. When I got back, Matt, my business partner said, Hey, this is kind of crazy. You're a vegetarian athlete that didn't take drugs and competed at Mr. Euro's. We could sell this online and make money. And I'm like, nobody's making money online. That's crazy talk. And that was the start of that visit. So that's the other side of it. And then years later, you and Kevin Weiss worked for for a time together, did a podcast, did a bunch of things and he's continuing to break records today. I believe Scott Abel: That, yeah, I haven't followed him in a while, but yeah, we, I nicknamed him the machine because back then when I was formulating different metabolic circuits and stuff, and I wouldn't, you know, that I could no longer do. And that's what God imagine what I'm at now, but, you know, I could just say Kevin, here's what this looks like. Here's what I want you to do. And boom, like no, no five takes or six takes just like Emma's. Yeah, he's a, yeah, he was a, wow. That's, you know, like, like the old saying goes, you know, great athletes are born not made. So but that's, that's what a lot of people don't understand. You can't compare yourself to the elite in any kind of thing. Because a lot of, a lot of what goes with that is if it's physical, we're talking about is a, an agenda and I a genetic predisposition. Right? Absolutely. Yeah. So let's Wade Lightheart: Get into some of the things I think which would be relevant. We've kind of walk down memory lane, but let's talk about some of the breakthrough things. I think that you became no full known for metabolism, particularly you wrote some great books on metabolism, you did some interesting things you know, with your spikes, your refeed, you had innovation training. You wrote some great books on kind of female dysmorphia, I guess what it was, is that what you would call it about the body dysmorphia yet? Can you give a few things maybe for people, cause I'd want to, I want people to understand your approach has been markedly different than many people that we'll see online or see in books or are touted in various publications or online performances. You've always been someone who has been willing to point out the fallacies of that thinking or group think or whatever. Wade Lightheart: What do you believe has been your most significant contributions or things that you're most proud of in your work or the development, whether it was a Slingshot training or metabolic training or w w what were the things that you think that are had the most impact over time? Because, you know, it's funny nowadays, I see things that I can see the, the, the etymology of where it originated from a Scott Abel concept, and it's some morph down the road, but you can trace it back through your, probably to the derivatives of your coaching clients and their careers and stuff like that. So what would you say, well, I don't Scott Abel: Think much about legacy. It doesn't really mean much to me, so I'm, you know, it's, it's a hard question for me to even, even, you know, cogitate on, but I guess one of the lasting things is like, and it was a stepping stone, one thing led to another, but it was it would be the cycle diet, as in, let's just capture it with one word, the reef, the value of refeeds, because people don't even know at this point, I'm the one that started that. And, you know, they'll talk about that on all the popular bodybuilding websites, my cheat day, my rebates, but none, no one really knew where it came from. And back when I was practicing it, that was a lunatic fringe man. Like I had that when I was down in where you are now, and I was in muscle beach and living down there, the bodybuilders then were eating their tune out of a can, like, they were afraid to like, even remove it from the, like, you put condiments on your food, like, oh my God, you know, and then they would actually come and watch me on a refill because they, you don't really eat that kind of stuff on a cheat day back then I called it cheat day. Scott Abel: And then I realized what that was doing to a certain mindset. So I call it refunds now and try to make it more scientific and less emotive. So I think that would be probably one of the biggest things that had like stickiness to it and, and really has lasted through the decades to a point where you know, thousands, maybe millions of people are doing it without even realizing that that was an idea that came from somewhere and it came from someone and that person was me. You know, so I, you know, I take a credit for that. I don't know, I wouldn't really call it a legacy thing, but and the people who can adopt to that lifestyle cause not everyone can you know, I, I guess that would be, that would be, I still live it, you know, I still have my reefy days or every Sunday. And that's probably be the way it'll always be Wade Lightheart: For those who don't know what that is. Can you kind of explain just in a, in a summary of, you know, the super compensation and then repeat like how that whole process kind of emerged or what that actually is and properly and how it's done in properly? Scott Abel: Well, that's, you know, that's a podcast in itself, but and again, the research and knowledge that's available now compared to when it's, when I started, it was, I mean, it's night and day right now, there is actual research to support all this stuff. But when I first started doing it, like I say, in the book, the cycle diet or the online course, the cycle diet, not meaning to plug it, but if people wanted to follow the, the re I was one of the reasons I was so proud of the discovery of it was it came from the world of experience and not the world of research and the libraries. Right. So at the time I was doing it as matter of fact, I remember a couple of years into it when I was getting attention. I got a call from a doctor, a professor from the university of Chicago who said, you know, do you have some time? Scott Abel: Can it, can I talk to you? Pick your brain? Yeah, yeah, yeah. And he was like, is it true? You do this, this and this. And I said, yeah, I, you know, I do that. And I've been doing it for a while. And so are my clients and it works. And he said, that's why I'm calling you. We have research that it does work. And, you know, like something, he even had numbers. So I know you like numbers something like 55 grams of carbs per I forget what it was, but it was an insane amount of food in order for it to work, which is what I advocated. So the cycle diet, basically the premise is that you cycle regular underfeeding with well-timed regular refunds. And what that does, it prevents your body from down-regulating metabolism, which is a consequence of prolonged dieting. Scott Abel: And then, you know, people's resting, metabolic rate can also fall. And then when they go back to eating normally, because they're so hungry and stuff, then they're, they've got a sluggish metabolism and their fat storing capacity. It goes way up because their body said to starvation. So they start storing more fat than they ever did before. So, you know, a lot of these people, there's like what we call the before and after, and then way after effect. Right. So there's before and after it gets all the 12 week transformation, websites and stuff, but a year later they're heavier than, than they ever were before they even died. It, you hear what they're tracking those people. Yeah. So, I mean, I did a whole podcast on that and that's years later, the biggest loser thing, proving what I've been saying all along. Right. And then, you know, the wannabes and the plate head world where like, Hey, you know, there's no evidence to support that. Scott Abel: And I'm like, the real world is my evidence. I see it all the time. I'm like, you know, like, this is, this is true. And then one of the things I put in the cycle diet book was if you just study again, high performance, well, high performance can apply to absolutely everything. So I guess maybe I did use it more than I, more than I'm recollecting. So in the book, the cycle diet, I said, professional eaters in eating contests are high performers, right? When, when you can eat a gazillion hot dogs in 10 minutes. Right. So I started looking at these people and there was one, I think, I forget, oh, the black widow, they called her a tiny little Asian girl. And some of her, some of her world records, nine pounds of cheesecake in 10 minutes. And, you know, and just a skinny rail, which also supported everything I'd been saying about metabolism, right? Scott Abel: Like, and the reason they, now there are some overweight professional too. Don't get me wrong, but it makes no sense that there's so many thin ones like Joey Chestnut and the rest of them. Right. Why would that be? And the consumer, oh, they're so lucky they have that kind of metabolism. No, they train that metabolism to be like that because in order to eat a lot, what do they do as a contest approaches, they eat very little so that they can take in more and more food. So they, I actually practice a regular thing. I was already practicing for years and years and years, I just happened to be born out in a different way, in a different venue, different avenue, different kind of industry, but it was, it's the same premise. So cycling, regular, under eating with, with well-timed, refeeds keeps your metabolism in fat burning mode rather than getting sluggish and going into fat storing mode. Scott Abel: And it keeps it optimized. One of the things I don't like now is this reference to speeding up your metabolism and revving up your metabolism. Those phrases reflect a misunderstanding of metabolism because you don't want to do either of those things. You want to optimize your metabolism. If you look at every species on the planet, the faster the metabolism, the shorter the life. So that's not a good thing. You know what I mean? It's the slow metabolism that live forever and ever, and ever, and ever, right. So we want to, what we want to do is optimize material. So that protein gets used to build and rebuild tissue. Fiber gets used to optimize a microbiome which contributes to weight control, which that's all like the new science, right? My new within the last decade. And we keep metabolism robust and optimize so that it keeps weight control, something you don't have to think about. Scott Abel: You don't have to obsess over, you know, it just is what it is. And, you know, that's how it used to be. It'd be before everyone lost their minds. You know, people well from my parents' generation or their parents' generation, never obsessed about food and about meals and about yeah. Their body weight or whatever. Everyone pretty much looked the same. You know they were pretty much the same height and pretty much the same weight. And the thing that changed all that of course, was in the 1970s with the discovery of fast food and what that did. So in one of the blogs I wrote, I posted there was pictures in black and white of beach parties and stuff from the fifties and sixties. And then one of the hotels in this area has a whole bunch of nostalgia, black and white photos on the wall. Scott Abel: And it just so happened that there were beauty contest winners from back in the forties and fifties. And so you compare that to, they found beach group pictures from, you know, I guess it was 2019 or 2018. And you see all of a sudden, you see this balloon people that never existed before, right. Everyone looks like Humpty Dumpty, you know what happened, you know, our, our species is the same. So how is that possible in such a short time period? And the other thing about just to, you know, throw this in there. What struck me at the time, because I was working with so many people with eating disorders and this stuff was the beauty pageant winners from the fifties and stuff were probably around five foot, four, five foot, 540, 150 pounds. You know, they were just curvy women. Whereas at the time, like if you weren't, you know, from our industry, even women have to have six pack abs or what are you doing? Scott Abel: And I'm like, no, that's not, it's not natural. And it's not even a biological imperative. And it's not even for most limited biological possibility, let alone probability let alone sustainable. So you know, trying to get messages like that across the people in the world we live in is a difficult thing because everyone wants whatever the vote trend is. You know, let me fit within that narrow window of definition of beauty or machismo or femininity or whatever the going thing has to be. So as a sociologist, I'm always very aware of that kind of thing. Sorry, I'm going off on a tangent, but you know, it also reminded me like when, when you and I grew up in our era, femininity was defined by implants, Pamela Anderson and all, they had all these big balloon implants and then fast forward, 30, 40 years later, what happens, Kim Kardashian comes around with the booty and now it's the, it's the booty, everything, even in our industry, guys are making millions by how to grow your booty, how to get a big booty, big round booty. Scott Abel: But if you told a woman that in the seven days, she would freak out, I don't want a big. I don't want to, you know, now it's all the rage, right? So we don't realize how all these things are just sort of arbitrary definitions. Like they're just, you know, they're, they're not, they're not real. So, you know, trying to fit that square peg in a row, in a round hole, if that's not, you is just like, there are a lot of other more worthy things. Someone could be spending their time on, you know, so sorry about that. I went Wade Lightheart: Off, I think that's really relevant. You know, I've always, you know, I, I often tell a story about my very first visual. My sister gave me a bodybuilding magazine in 1987 and Troy's a, claudo had just won Mr. California was on the cover with two pretty girls. And you know, me being 15 year old kid, seeing this level of hyper-masculinity with hyper femininity, you were going, I was like, oh, well maybe the geez. Maybe if I get those muscles to get there, as I say, I bought the Joe Wieder lie. And that's what started me on my journey. And it turned out all right. You know, it certainly had some bumps along the way, but now I'm kind of screaming towards 50 and as an older athlete, as someone who likes to train and work out, I've noticed some, some difference. And, and one of the reasons I contacted you to, to, to get me back into top condition for 50 was, you know, how does someone who maybe have had an athletic career in the background, you know, went through life and business and everything got out of shape or whatever. Wade Lightheart: What are some of the things that you've noticed that people need to address as they want to stay fit and healthy, moving forward into their upper adult years? If we should say hi Scott Abel: For yeah, sorry if I'm jumping in here. So I do have maybe a convention, but I do have the book I wrote physique after 50, which you talked about from my perspective, the best training methods for fitness, you want, you want maximum reward with minimum risk. For, for me, there is no doubt. The best way of doing that is traditional body part training, even though that's been abandoned and a lot of ways for safety and stuff, if you're over 50 and all you're trying to do is look better, feel better, be healthy. Then who cares if that muscle is functional, right? It should be strong. It should be taught. There's all those kinds of things. Now I will throw in another caveat there approaching 50 and approaching 60 are monumentally different years. So what I mean by that, I wrote the book physique after 50, and a lot of my people who followed me when I was back in the magazines, et cetera, et cetera, they've aged along with me. Right? Like they, they all tended to be a little long younger, like you are compared to me, but I can tell you and all your listeners that as you progress into your fifties, the ramifications and differences that happen as you approach 60 are monumentally, qualitatively avalanche difference from going from your forties to your fifties, that can Wade Lightheart: You break those down? Like the difference from maybe going from 40 to 50 to 50 to 60 to just cause I think this is really important. Scott Abel: It's beyond important. Like it's just, but no one gets it. Right. So well I guess pose when I was 43 and I was already, my physique was already compromised and all kinds of ways. I already had limitations. Tom Brady is still playing football at 43 and he's considered a phenom. He won't be playing when he 53. Right? He won't, he won't be playing when he's 46. Okay. So the, now the other thing, if I, I hate going off on tangents like this, but I want to point out something. When it comes to professional athletics and ability, the more we demand of our bodies in our younger years, the higher the price we're going to pay consequentially in our later years. If you look at any athletes, for instance, one of the hardest positions to play in football. Since I mentioned Tom Brady, mentally it's quarterback, but not physically, physically, it's running back and running back because of the demands on agility, speed, power, strength. Scott Abel: They're considered old when they're 31 32. So imagine that now the problem there is we have people who have been told aging is a bad thing. You got to fight aging with all that you have. And again, you and I share a spiritual component where acceptance is better than resistance, right? You're not going to change the aging process and you better accept that it is like a snowball going down a hill. It accelerates as we age sarcopenia is a very real thing. You're going to lose muscle. And you're going to have to accept that. You can mitigate that to some extent, but you can't stop it. Right? So you know, there's a reality there where I try to tell people, and this is in my book, physique after 50, it's not enough to stop comparing yourself to other people, your age or gender, whatever you got to stop comparing yourself to the younger version of yourself. Scott Abel: Because that's where, you know, I have people write me off, you know, I'm, I'm just turning 50 and I've been doing the program. You gave me when you train me in your twenties and you know, I've got this issue and that issue, and I've got this issue and that issue. And I'm like, but that version of you doesn't exist now. So why would you be doing, you know, trying to approach it with the same mindset. So having said all that, you can't train to failure. One of my favorite able isms about aging is consistency is more, more important than intensity. Whereas when you first hired me, I would have slapped someone who said that probably right. You knew me. I was, I was all about the intensity, every Speaker 3: Rep of every set. Scott Abel: Yeah. Yeah. Whereas those things change now, even myself, I can put my back out in my sleep, whereas before I could train with my back, being out a little bit, now you can hurt yourself, getting out of bed in the morning. You know, these are very real things that comedians make jokes about it. And we all laugh at, and they're very, very funny, but they're also true. And people just, they want to have this sort of denial about so many things in the world we live in, but that's one that if you try to deny that there's going to be some serious consequences to that. So, you know, I like to say train your age, you know, there's a great, great, just also I'm a media junkie, right? Like that's the one thing I remember you and I talked about, you were never in the media and I was all about media, right? Scott Abel: I'm just, I like I'll watch shows 50 times just first to watch the show and then to like dissect the writing. How did they come up with that line? That's brilliant. Why did that, why did, was it anyway, there's this fantastic show on Netflix called the Kominsky method with Michael Douglas. And it's absolutely fantastic because it's written for aging people and is it's sort of a dromedy. So it's the, it's a, it's a bittersweet three seasons of the realities of aging where your friends are dying, your family's dying or they're sick. You don't have to be there for them. You're aging. So you're not the person you used to be, you know? So they combine making really hilarious jokes about it, where you can go. Yeah, me too. You know with the realities of the other things we have to face individually you know, relationship wise as we age. Scott Abel: And so I always say, this is a huge roundabout. You have to train your age. And there's a, there's a scene in the final season where it's just hilarious. He ends up he's 75 years old, Michael Douglas in the thing, he ends up having sex with a 20 year old, 20 ish, old Russian, right. By accident, whatever. And so he's dying after and she says, ah, you don't, you don't screw your age. You know? So it's, it's even that like, she's like you know, you tried to do this, this and this didn't you. And he's like, yeah. And she said, ah, you act your age, but you don't screw your age. And it was just, it was just hilarious. Right. Because it's just like, yeah. And that's what I say about training. You don't have to train your age. And whenever I say that on social media or whatever, I'll have all these 50 year olds rushing and all that's and, you know, blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, okay, but you don't have the benefit that I have of dealing with hundreds and hundreds of people all the time, you know, and to see what the ramifications are by not accepting your age and working with the best you can. So one Wade Lightheart: Of the things I think a lot of people notice as they age is, is two key, I think, which you can add a lot of expertise to an experience, which is you've talked about training, but metabolism and hormone optimization. And there's a lot of people that now are using exoticness hormones under the guidance of medical doctors to kind of boost up what video diminished return of hormones. And then how does that play into metabolism or how do they interact? Or could you kind of maybe expand on what you've noticed in those areas? And that's different than say people going out and getting anabolic steroids or growth hormone or something from their local mass monster in the gym, you're talking about using science to optimize the aging process. Can you explain maybe what happens from a metabolism side as we age and how that relates to hormones and when, and where hormone optimization might come in for people? Scott Abel: Well, hormone optimization, it was metabolic optimization. These certain hormones are what we call master hormones, right? Thyroid testosterone, you know those are the two that come to mind leptin. But these master hormones, like it's not a one-way street hormonally and metabolically one influences the other, which influences back again. Right. so it's what we call a feedback loop. So what we know as we age is not only do we not process nutrition as efficiently sleep patterns, get disturbed, all kinds of things, right? This is why sarcopenia. And we start losing muscle all these kinds of things. Well, there's certain things medical science can mitigate and intervene with. So if you can have hormone replacement therapy and bring you up to a level that makes you function better, think better, work, better be in less pain, then why wouldn't you avail yourself of that? Scott Abel: But again, and that's in my book physique after 50, I think I went on quite a rant about that. And I've written a few blogs about it as well. And a few YouTube webinars to the point where now hormone replacement therapy for women, for real in the no endocrinologist also includes little bits of testosterone to optimize the rest of what they're trying to replace to function better, feel better work better. So, you know, a lot of these things that people start feeling just run down and stuff they don't equate to, you know, well, my testosterone is slipping and you know, why not look into hormone replacement therapy? So it's a, it's a big thing because it affects quality of life and that in the end that's, what's, that's, what's going to matter most, you know, not, not the quantity of your years, but the quality of your years. Scott Abel: So, you know, my dad died at 87 and he had open sores all over him from, from cardiac failure. You know, his last few years, you know, in a diaper, not doing well. And then here I am doing, when I was doing my podcast, I'm doing a podcast with T Colin Campbell. Who's writing another book, he's living strong. He's 87 as well, you know full function, you know, just, you know, giving her so there's those kinds of things to look at. Well, what, you know, what's going to enhance the quality of my life. And some people are just, so they're either way too open to better life through chemistry. Like you said, you know, they want to like, oh, that guy in the gym, what's that sorry, do everything that comes down. Yeah. Yeah. And then there's the other ones who are like, oh, it's medical. Scott Abel: I don't take aspirin. I'm not going to get involved with that hormone replacement stuff. It's like, well, have an open mind about it. You know, talk to someone in the know about it. And by in the, no, I don't mean on social media was, you know, get a referral from your family doctor to an endocrinologist or an internal medicine specialist and see what they have to say and get your blood work done. What's the harm, you know, especially if you're, you know, people are starting to feel run down and you know, when you start what you start, most of your conversations or descriptions with, I used to be able to, you know, but then maybe there's something to look into there cause maybe, okay, you can't do it like you used to do it, but you might still be able to do it. So, you know, it's like Cialis or Viagra for older men. Well, why not? If that's an issue for you and you know, you still want to be sexually active, then why wouldn't you avail yourself for me, it's just like someone taking blood pressure medication for a blood pressure issue that can't be solved nutritionally or whatever. Like it's just, well, yeah. Not to be topical, but it's like taking a vaccine when a vaccine is available, you know, so Wade Lightheart: Which, which lends me to the difference between we'll go back and circle back to that 50 to 60 versus the forties and fifties. Is that where the, where the avalanche kind of comes down? Is it the hormones? Is it the, is it, what, what, what is, what do you think is the mechanisms that happen? And it's an, of course, it's not one day, Hey, I turned 50 and everything, well, the alarm clock rings and I fall apart. But in that range, what are the what's happening to the person where they need to make these kind of pivots in both their thinking and maybe how they're approaching their diet or their hormone optimization or these types of things. What, what have you seen? I think, I think Scott Abel: It's reality. I think it comes a lot easier for hire former high-performers like myself. Like you will experience like you just when I watch retired football players and I see, you know, biographies or whatever, and they show them now in their fifties, like, there's like I remember seeing one the bus drum bed. It's like, he asked to hold the rail on his stairs at his house to get down the stairs properly after so many knee surgeries and whatever. But that's, like I said earlier, that's the consequence when you're in our youth, you know part of the way we express human spirit is through art or sport. Those things to find the human spirit and part of that, just pushing our bodies, you know, maybe beyond their limits, but there's a consequence to that. And you reminded me, as you were saying that you should dig up. Scott Abel: I don't know if I can find it. I used it in one of my recent blogs. So you might find it on their little, I think it's like 22nd clip, Sylvester Stallone on Instagram doing a a 22nd clip talking about bands and things like this. He said, you know what? He goes you know, I, I weight train for all these years. And then his line was, the check comes due on that, you know, your back, your joints, your, this, your, that. And he spells it out. Right. And I'm like, yeah, like, exactly. So what are you going to do? Well, I still like being fit, but I'm limited. So, you know, like he mentioned, like he works a lot more with bands and stuff now. And I remember going back to trying to make this point way back in 2006 with his movie, Rocky was just called Rocky Balboa. Scott Abel: I think it was like, you know supply or whatever it was, it was CQL number 99 or whatever. But there's a scene in it where he's training this young fight young fighter. And he said, well, why aren't you, you know, he said, I can't do that anymore. Like, you know, so he's been very real about even in, in his portrayal of, you know, a physical icon, right. He was very real, even in like a Rocky three boy, my aging myself. Your listeners might not even know what movies we're talking about, but he's talking with Apollo Creed's character and they're watching their, their first fight they had against each other. And he points to him and goes, we can't do that anymore. And they were only in their thirties. Right. So, you know, and that reinforces what I was saying. The more we push in our younger years. So the greater the consequence in our older years. So you, Wade Lightheart: Well, it's become a fascinating topic right now with these kind of aging icons who are still at it recently, Mike Tyson fighting Roy Jones Jr. In a boxing match. And you know, Mike Tyson looked incredibly impressive. Physic wise now, would he go and challenge for the heavyweight title of the world? Of course not. Let's let's be want let's be realistic and no, one's going to run on the field at 50 years old and dominate the NFL. They'll be like if they can run onto the field. Yeah. So what, Scott Abel: And Roy Jones Jr. Is no spring chicken either. So no, no. Yeah. Wade Lightheart: What was impressive was I thought was Mike Tyson's conditioning relative to Roger, his conditioning was exceptional also as a plant-based athlete. Yeah. So, so, so, so let's, let's dive with a great pro, glad you brought that up. So let's dive into that because back in the day, and when I went plant-based in 2001, everybody in their dog told me, oh my God, totally insane. I was made fun of for years. People stared at me. I thought it was weird. And, and I, I, I didn't mind it because it was, for me, it was just a discovery. Is this possible? Can I do this? And how that's fun. What is your position on, on plant-based diets now that there's some, there's two, there's three big fields. There's the ketogenic world. Oh, please. Plant-Based world. And then there's quote unquote, the paleo world. I would say is that the three horsemen of the, the, the Thai Terri philosophies out there? What have you learned over your years of experience, maybe related to plant based diets or anything else that you want to carry over, Scott Abel: You know, about we spin I've never been a low-carb advocate ever. I just think that whole movement is absolutely ridiculous for anybody with any level of research behind them. Now all answered that I did debunk paleo in my book. I think it's a, I think it's my book, understanding metabolism. There's two chapters, deep bunking, paleo one deep debunking, paleo two. It's ridiculous. It's it's not the, the, the ironic thing about all these diets is that if you're going to name a diet, at least name it, right. Cause if you go to even go to Ted talks right now, any of your listeners and type in paleo diet, and they actually have paleontologists on they're going nothing to do with how people ate back that, Wade Lightheart: Well, it depends where you're living. If you're living in Norway versus the, in Savannah, it's going, or the jungles of Amazon. Right. Ferries. Yeah. But Scott Abel: In general, like they've, they've looked at fossils now and they've looked at dental history, showing that even what they thought were protein based diets were actually not, they were vegetarian based diets and you know, this kind of thing just a small segue I have to say. And I thought of this way before you, even way before we came on today or whatever, I thought I've got to say to everybody. And I got to bring it up because there's very few people that, that trailblaze, even if it's on a local, tiny little level, right. There's like, and there's an old saying by Warren Buffett, that if you just follow the herd, you spend most of your time scraping your shoes back in 2001, when you did that, you were a member of my Abel forms, able files, forums, which back then the forums were really popular and all that kind of thing. Scott Abel: And even I was embarrassed that my forms, the abuse you were taking on there every time you even hinted at being plant-based or vegetative, the word plant-based didn't exist, then it was vegetarian. You're either vegetarian or you, and I don't even think vegan really existed then as a term. And I remember people just eating your lunch, like just, you know, like, and I even, I was, and then I wasn't exposed to any of that. And even I was like, okay, this isn't necessary. He didn't slap your sister. Like holy crap. Like just, you know, and yet you just shrugged it off water, off a duck. That was, that always impressed me in a pretty, you know, it, it, it, it, it, it, it warrants pointing out for all the people who follow you on the podcast that this isn't just some trend you jumped into when the water was warm. Wade Lightheart: Yeah. Thanks. So fixated that, I remember taking an early statistics class in grade eight, and it was showing me moan and medium and the standard deviation of distribution. Yeah. Group, I hated stats, but go ahead, ended up getting kicked out of the class, because I said to my math teacher, I said, okay, well, here's the standard deviation. If this is a group of people, I was fascinated with people like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther king that were able to initiate or Jesus or various religions, the people that were able to move the entire herd. I said, I wanted to know how far the one dot had to move out on the deviation point to move the collective herd. Yeah. Good. Well, that's I think I was born of a contrarian philosophy. I, early on being subjected to a rural environment, I was put into an observational situation, both of my sister's illness being isolated five miles to my nearest neighbor in a dirt road where the telephone bulls ended and witnessing the various of society because, you know, I was in a lower class than I saw the medium class working for their owner of the thing. Wade Lightheart: And then, and then the owner of the upper class. So I got to see all these things and pushed into this observer position. I realized that most people just kind of operated out of a herd mentality and didn't really put any thinking to it. And I realized that also most people didn't end up happy. They didn't end up in success for relationships. And they didn't realize their dreams. As I spent a lot of times with older people, when I was a little boy at my, the senior citizens home and asking older people, I remember specifically one time asking him, well, what should I learn about life as a young boy? Like, you know, from you? And they said, well, it goes by fast, which absolutely blew my mind. I could not conceive of these people were older than the Hills. I was like six or seven, you know? And I was like, what, what do you mean? It goes by fast, you guys like a million years old. And now it, now I recognize the wisdom of that. Scott Abel: Oh. And that accelerates to how fast it feels. It goes by as you get older, it goes by fast. Wade Lightheart: Well, yeah, like five it's 20% of your life. And maybe, you know, a third of your conscious life at 50 it's a years, 2%. It's not that much. They all kind of start to blur. So time is certainly not linear. It's linear and it's measurement, but not in its experience. Okay. Scott Abel: Let me, let me continue to answer your questions. So several things happened. I think one of the biggest things in general for the population at large is that someone finally organized the research. It's one thing to be into research. It's another thing to be able to organize it and present it in a way that everyone can consume it. Even as an expert, me coaching people, doing my own workouts, and then finding the time to do a good reasonable cross section of the research was difficult in those early years. All I knew was that low carb diets were complete joke. Now I'm going to like break this into sections. The best favorite for the consumer was when Michael Greger came along and wrote how not to die that I think changed everything in terms of people being able to consume research in a digestible way without being in a head and having it stare them in the face, then he followed that up with how not to diet, but I knew Michael Greger from his 2015 book carbo phobia, where he lays it out. Scott Abel: And w and he lays out Atkins and the Atkins diet, I mean, Kao in the first, like just, he shows what a scam at all was what a fraud at all was. And that, you know, there was proof of that, like all along the way. And, and that book made the Atkins corporation go bankrupt, actually. But all the testimonials and all the, which is still a marketing employed today, especially in our industry. Right. But I think when someone like that came along and put it in a, such a digestible format, the argument is really over about the healthiest diet. And then you've got things like the game changers and things like that. Now, the problem there is, there are people who like, you use the word contrarians, they're just contrarian for the sake of being carved contracts. They're just con trends, because if I say blue, and you say black, you know that you're going to get a bunch of likes on a bunch of Bibles. Scott Abel: And that's what the world is now, how many eyeballs can I get on my page? Well, you know, if you scream nonsense, then you're going to get even more eyeballs because some of the people will be saying you're screaming nonsense. And the other people would be going, yes, I'm, you know, I also go against the grain just for the sake of going against the grain, right? So that book is closed. Quito is absolutely the worst diet ever. Now, two things also come together in all of this, the best diets for our bodies are also, so the best diets for our planet at a time where it really, really, really matters what we're doing to the planet. Pardon? I'm going to have you even include that. But and that me off that, that people are just so sensitized now to anything, you know, I look at the weather now, where are we now going to have in our weather forecast all the time and partly cloudy rain, sun, we're just going to accept smoke. Scott Abel: It's just going to say smoke for the next four days because the world's on fire and we're just going to be, oh, you know, we can't leave the house today because, because of climate change, you know, and now I know I'm off on a tangent again. I hope you don't mind. Okay. I know there's people, the way I used to be that experts will figure this out. They always do, right? The experts have figured this out and you know what? They figured out that everybody better start playing their part. It's going to take a global effort of citizens [inaudible] to make acceptable, reasonable changes. And at that means eating a little less, not cutting out entirely a little less animal fare, which is going to be better for your body and way better for our planet. Then I need to accept that responsibility. I don't know where, especially in the states, this notion comes that has no responsibility component to it at all. Scott Abel: How dare you tell me to do this during COVID my rights, my individual rights, but you don't have the right to affect my health. You don't have the right to maybe kill me. You don't have that. Right. You know, and we have been entrusted with this planet. We don't own it. We don't even rent it. We've been entrusted. We're supposed to be caretakers janitors, if you will. And we're the generation, that's going to leave behind an unlivable planet. When we can make a change in our, that's going to be so much better for our bodies. The clients that I put that are open-minded and say, Hey, I've heard you talk about all that. I think I want to try this plant based thing. So I'll send them a normal diet. And I'll say, here's your plant-based options. Do what you will. I'm not, you know, I'm not cracking a whip. Scott Abel: I'm not saying, but you know what? 5, 6, 7, 8 months later, holy crap. I can't believe how good I feel Scott, because was this really causing all my constipation and all my bloating? Yeah, it was, you know, but you're not going to convince people with words. You know, they're when they actually experienced something, that's the game changer, right? The problem there in the diet world is short-term effects, which Gregor talks about in carbo phobia. Yeah. You go low carbs. You lose a bunch of body water. You stand on the scale and your clothes are looser. And you think, you know, it's a miracle. No, it's a short-term effect of water loss when you're actually going to end up gaining fat, because you're only looking in short-term windows and you don't understand anything about optimizing metabolism. And one of the things that I stress on all my boats is metabolism. First weight loss. Second, if you put those backwards, like the north American diet mentality does, then you're in for a world of hurt. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. And for the rest of your life, it's Wade Lightheart: Very well said. I, when I know my internal influence in my own journey, two things when I was 19 years old or excuse me, 18 turning 19, I ended up planting 40,000 trees. I said, okay, I'm going to take care of my carbon footprint. I can. Scott Abel: I remember you telling me this story. You've told me this before. Go ahead. Wade Lightheart: Yeah. And then the second thing I read a book called the holy science, which was Yogananda's, who was my spiritual teacher. His, his guru wrote a book on the digestive organs, the teeth, the response of the nervous system when humans were exposed to slaughterhouses versus orchards with the sentence, smell comparative to the carnival carnivorous animals that were had tearing incisors and smaller bowels. And so that was my, like, he put together a really great argument in this book, Scott Abel: John size, like the jaws. And I was like, Wade Lightheart: It was, it was in my face. Why I'm sharing this story is it was against everything that I had been raised, taught and was involved with in both my grown-up life in my athletic career. And I was like, but the argument's really strong here. I can't walk. Let me try a two week experiment. I did two weeks. I said, let me try another two weeks. I did two weeks. I said, let me try another month. And at the end of the two months, I said, oh, I guess I'm done eating meat. It's not that I, if I felt like going out and eating meat, exactly. I just don't, I it's never been about me being a vigilante vegetarian and telling people, but it was being open enough to experiment with something to say, Hey, does this work? And it was, but what I think has changed nowadays, because back then it was really difficult. There was the social, for sure. There was the availability of food and restaurants was terrible. You know, now it's, you know, almost every menu has plant-based options now, but the commuter to it much more in hotels and restaurants and things like what have you noticed? Like how, like you've kind of switched gears and embrace more plant based? Like what, what is your suggestions or recommendations for people and what has been the impact for you specifically that you've noticed for yourself or your clients? Scott Abel: Can you do you have a pause button? Yes. Okay. Can you pause for right on, yeah. So to answer your question, I wrote a book called lean without trying which kind of tell us what the plant-based diet leads to. One of the key pieces of research there that's been mentioned in, in all the books Gregor's book and all the other ones is ad libitum diet where people could eat as much as they wanted. So they were never hungry. They weren't in this controlled situation. The plant-based people lost not only the most weight, but the most percent body fat. So when I wrote that book, I said, well, I'm going to do this. I'm going to do it. Right. So I went and got my blood tests and it's all in the book off the charts, fantastic blood panel, even my doctor was like, you know, is there a reason you got your blood work and you know, everything from blood pressure to B12, to iron, to, you know, A1C all of it, right. Scott Abel: It was just like, you can't get a better blood panel. You just saw a doctor was like I said, well, I recently switched to a plant-based diet and you know, I'm writing a book about it and I want to show it as it is good, bad, or anything different. I didn't know what the results were going to be. I knew I felt great, but you know, I felt great before, because I took care of myself. Right. And so all the numbers are in there. So there's not just the qualitative element. There's also the numbers, you know, that don't, that don't lie. Oh, there there's a problem here. You're not getting the ironic aria again, that comes into plain view. Right. Especially now, like you said, when, when something's right in your face, you know, it's amazing how many people will just turn and look the other way, you know? Scott Abel: Well, I don't like that deal, you know? When people want to talk about that, where do you get your protein? How much protein it's like, if you're not, if you're not taking care of your fiber needs, the protein is a moot point. That's the one thing that's emerging about microbiome. I am research, right? That you're well aware of you guys, better people than the research I've done on your team for that. But this is what's emerging, right? We need 60, 70, 80 grams of fiber. And all these other people are still concerned about, you know, where they're going to get their protein. And they're not, they're not nearly having enough fiber to make all that assimilate the way it should be assimilated and biochemically available. So another of that, what I've noticed personally and professionally, I had to laugh. I was looking at some stuff and I tripped across Dave Ramsey. Scott Abel: Who's like a financial, you know, retirement guy, right? So he's talking about why people get in debt, how people can get out of debt, blah, blah, blah. And he mentioned in at least five or six of his little YouTube videos well, if you really want to get out of debt, you know, so you, you do this, this and this, and you eat rice and beans for a few years. And I smiled because it was like, he didn't, he has no idea about nutrition and he's on diet. He's not talking about eat rice and beans. Cause it was good for you. He was mentioning it because it was so freaking cheap. And then when I wrote, so if people really want to like do that too and save money, right. In my book, I think it's beyond metabolism. I talk when I was talking about optimizing the tablets, things like that, one of the best genetic demographic profiles of impressive physiques naturally that are naturally lean come from the west Indies, which I used to travel to all the time. Scott Abel: Right. So I noticed even then before any of this research was in my face, that the further into where the locals actually lived, the more you would see these tiny, tiny waist, six pack abs you know, ripped up delts, striatum triceps from people that don't even work out. They're just going about their day to day with the big thing on their head, carrying their water to and fro. But the closer you got to urban centers in Jamaica and these places that had Kentucky fried chicken and our base, all of a sudden, they're softer, they're fatter, they're bigger, you know, and then, you know, I meant two and two is four. And I'm thinking, and what were those diets in the west Indies in those native rice and beans, right. That's just what they, you know, rice and beans, rice and beans, rice and beans. Scott Abel: Like that's just, you know, and they didn't look at it like where's my protein coming from. And yet these people had like quilted abs that north Americans diet eight months to get right. And they're just walking around like that. Like just, you know, just it's. So it's like that never occurs to them. People who are just making their way in life to even fathom a question like where, where does your protein come from? Like, it's not, it's not in their radar. Right. So all these things come together. And then like I said, you had to start going down rabbit holes with all that. And then do you start seeing that there's, there's, there's bigger questions that need to be answered and there's bigger issues that need to be addressed. So it's not just personal health, but like, what the hell are we doing? What are we doing to this beautiful, beautiful planet we've been entrusted with? Scott Abel: And we can do something about it. And people are like, don't tell me, you know, I remember just watching just a couple months ago, you know, just the political nonsense they're coming for your burgers, they're coming for your burgers. They're going to take away your nobody's taking away anything, but really you, you're not as a human being. You're not willing to give up a couple of steaks a week to save the planet. I mean, to literally save the planet, this is what I don't get that this is, this is what the stakes are now. No pun intended on the word stakes, but this is where we're at. Right? And I keep saying to people that will listen to me, rant it's these same people when the effects that were predicted by climate change six, seven years ago are now happening right now. So for instance, people being displaced by floods and fires, they predicted that refugees would move into the urban centers and put incredible strains financially and resource wise in the urban centers because all these other places would be unlivable happening right now in British Columbia. Scott Abel: And who's being affected the most is the poorest people. So the natives who live on these places where they're right near dry land, that burns, and then they have to, well, just on the news this week, it just said like they're running out of places to go because so many people are displaced. All this stuff has been predicted. And when this starts happening on a level where there's not enough water to grow food, and we're not going to have water and we're not going to have enough food supply and demand, the prices are going to skyrocket. It's the same people that want to talk about their freedom and their rights that are going to say, why didn't someone say something? Why didn't someone do something? We are saying something and we are trying to do something people don't want to hear. Right. Ah, you know, someone else will figure it out. That leads me to, I'm sorry. I keep getting off on them. Wade Lightheart: It's okay. But I think there, there's some things that I'm tracking here, which I think are related to the conversation before we started, we talked about essentially what's happening. Now. We have the emergence of a voyeuristic culture through digital media and increased technological advancements to the detriment that people have become entry. They're not experiencing the world, tactically they're in sort of a fantasy world. I see people routinely walking out into traffic with their phones. And now the biggest trend right now is people dying, taking selfies on Instagram pictures because they're not aware of their environment. They're more aware about, is this going to be something that my followers would like? And everybody knows about training or knows about dieting or that sort of stuff. What separates the person who knows about versus the person who knows or experiences like when I interviewed her the first time, long time ago, I asked you a question which was stuck with me. Wade Lightheart: I says, you know, you've trained hundreds of champions at all levels of sport, both genetically gifted and genetically disadvantaged. Don't say it challenged myself. We would say, and I asked you what was, what made the difference between the champions? And you said heart. It was the, the heart to kind of go through whatever you had to go through. What makes us a success, a person's successful at making those transitions as they age and being successful in maintaining your, your physical health and vitality to the best of your ability as you go through the, the, the aging process in your experience Scott Abel: In a word lifestyle. I think I say my, say this to people five, five times a week to different people. Clients, if fitness is just a means to an end, then you're never gonna maintain that end. But if fitness is a lifestyle and it underlines who you are and everything you do, so it might not define who you are. And I would hope to hell it doesn't define who you are. That's one of the reasons I left that world of bodybuilding. Like we are more than our bodies. But it's, yeah, it's just a means to an end. In other words, I will have clients who will write me in times of stress. COVID lockdowns, whatever you want, whatever the current life stressor is in their life. I didn't really follow. My diet had been under a lot of stress with, you know the new dogs or hassle, and the kids had the flu, you know, blah, blah, blah. Scott Abel: Versus the people when the most major is going down in their life are even more pulled to want to work out today. You know, I want to get my meals in today because it's a grounding force. Right? Right. It, it grounds, it's a grounding force when nothing else, well it's may, you know, situations and circumstances can come at you in all kinds of ways. So people will say to me, those kinds of things, right. The stress, and I will say to them, so what you're saying, there is no such thing as a stress free life for anybody. So every time life throws these curve balls of stress at you, you're just going to capitulate to everything that you say you have a goal to do. That's just, well, that's, you know, that's off, that's off the, that's off the chart now because I got to deal with this sick loved one or death of a loved one. Scott Abel: Or, and I can tell you people, I know who, when they lost a loved one or even myself, when I lost my father and I had to fly back and stuff, I was getting wake up calls at 3:00 AM to drive to the 24 hour gym. And I didn't just go there. I spent even longer in there. And this goes back to a story I've been telling for decades that I learned about myself, even as a naive and didn't know, you know, I didn't know from putty back then, but when I was in grad school and when I was in university and I won all those scholars, when it came exam time, the gym was empty. The university gym was empty. And I went in there and I spent even more time in there. Yes, because it calm me down. Right. It was like, that was my place. Scott Abel: That was my, I was like, wow, there's nobody here. And all these people were there pulling all nighters. And they're all stressed. I went through all those years at university and won all those scholarships. I never once did an all pulled ahead to pull an all nighter because I was prepared. So I think at some point as we age, he asked the question, well, the aging process, the preparation and these kinds of things, they become automated. Right. It's just, it's just what you do. It's who you are, you know, blah, blah, blah. So you go from that kind of thing to a level of acceptance. This is where I'm at in life. Now, you know, the what's fed spiritual saying when I was a child, I did childish things, but I'm not a child anymore. So there's those kinds of things. Right? And there's, I think if people are going to compare, contrast, compete, which I call the three devastating CS, that's what gets everybody in a trouble compare, contrast, compete with others. Scott Abel: But if you are going to contrast with other people as you're aging, the best contrast you can make is to the really old people. So my mom has dementia. Now. I talked to her once a week on FaceTime. She makes no sense at all. I play along, blah, blah, blah. I watched my dad, you know, basically like disintegrate from a strong man, no one would ever mess with, to a man and a diaper, you know, who didn't want to. So I think when you get to my age at 60, you're like, okay, I have this window of time left before, you know, the quality of life is really diminished. Am I going to spend it worrying about six pack? Abs, am I going to spend it worrying about, you know, all these things? You know, I, I think of all these petty competitions for lack of a better word. Scott Abel: Back when, when I had the reputation and someone was up and coming, and this person's doing this and this person's doing that. And you, you concern yourself with these people on some level. Right? We see it on social media. Now we talked about that before we came on. Right. But one of the benefits of really watching old people is how that's so unimportant in the, you know, so w so now I, you know, I turned 60 in, in two weeks and I'm like, I've got this short window of time before the quality of my life. Really there's a book I read on retirement, and I can't remember, I'd have to switch off to find it it's in my notes and stuff, but it's about the realities of aging that people get caught up in this, you know, how old you live to be. And the book outlines actually are how many debilitation free years you actually have after age 60. Scott Abel: And it's freaking, it's a wake up, it's shocking. You know, you might live to 85, but you know, what they talk about in retirement is the three phases. I don't know if you've heard of it. You're probably not there yet, but it's the go-go years, the slow-go years and the no-go years, right. Based upon finances and capabilities and things like that. Right. So right now I'm in that window of sweetness, right? Where past aggravations and concerns about other people are like, so in the past, right. But I've got this time now that I can really like sink my teeth into indulgence for what that means at my age and my kind of personal thing before I get to that point where someone else has to take care of me, or, you know, I, I'm not in a position to travel or, you know, do, and we all assume that's never going to happen to us, but guess what? You know? Yeah. It's not reality at all. Wade Lightheart: I think it was during the Bush administration, I read a insert from the new England journal of medicine, by a professor Oshinsky who talked about the disability adjusted life span of north Americans had gone down to 60 years old. And at that time he projected that the youth, the children growing up today would be the first generation that would die sooner than their parents lifestyle-related illnesses and was forced to retract some of his statements by the education. But now we're on, we're actually experiencing that with the data showing that now people are the life expectancy is diminishing in north America largely in part, some of it due to opiate crisis, which is ravish the population, but there's a deeper thing why people are turning to opiates and these situations and instances, and, you know, this is a sociological issue and maybe the maladaptation to our rapidly evolving technological society. And I always say, we're just kind of monkeys with phones. So now that you are into this kind of the go-go aspect of your material, I mean, we talked a little bit ago and you said, that's it you're, you're not taking on any more clients. You're going to keep the ones that you have, you're moving into. What does the next 20, 30 years look like for Scott Abel? What would you like to see come out of those years? What are you moving towards? What's your direction? Scott Abel: I think those questions reflect a north American bias that we have to have. And I see it in all the retirement stuff I watch. And I go, no, that's just, that's just so biased that we, that we have to have this purpose. We have to have this thing that we have to do. We have to wear, you know, what are we without a goal? Well, what we are is a complete human being. You know, I, I got to this point with my human doing now, it's time for my human being. Right. So and not that I didn't enjoy that too. When you work for yourself and your work from home, you don't have to worry about commutes. You don't have to worry about, so there is no next for me, there's the moment. Right. And right now, the moment is that I finally am, you're not considering I have to write a blog by such and such a time. Scott Abel: I have to, you know, I want to write an article. You know, I need more exposure on this website. I need to, I have no of those occupational needs. So right now I'm indulging my love for media. Like I said, I just love movies shows like, just, I'm fascinated by, I have such a new found respect for creativity on any level. So, you know, at night when I'm done my emails for the day, I go sit on my big screen and I bring up YouTube and I'm watching music, videos of bands. I didn't even appreciate from my era. And now I think holy crap, is that person talented, like with it can be country and Western, it can be rock and roll. I don't, you know, like I said, I'll watch shows and I'll watch the writing process and go brilliant, brilliant. You know, just, you know, I'll watch comedy skits, I'll watch someone like a Seinfeld comedian in cars getting coffee. Scott Abel: And it's, it's kinda like it's a moving podcast really, but it's visual. And it's like, you got so many insights into how and why he is who he is. And it's just brilliant. Like, it's just, you know, so for me right now, it's, it's just being, and part of that being is not getting caught in the clap trap of the modern world. We live in like, you know, I don't follow people on Facebook. I don't follow people in general. I've, you know, there was a necessary evil for me all along social media was cause I was told it was imperative to my business, but it was something I never related to. I have no interest in what people I don't even know are doing or why they're doing it, or, you know, and I always tried to use my social media in the past to impart some kind of knowledge I learned from something I was reading or witnessing or just from my life experience. Scott Abel: I still do that to some extent. So I've been able to back right off of all of that, but given our well spiritual, if we can end on something that I've been saying for a while now that I think you'll appreciate that I've come up with, you know, and I say it to a lot of people. I was just telling this the other day to a guy comes by and works out in my, in my gym. And you know, I would get a lot of people over the last few years have said, why don't you take up something like golf? Like, why don't you just, and I would say to them, you don't understand for me working out is my golf. It is my fishing. It is my, and they, you know, they give me that deer in headlights, you know, young puppy twisted head kind of looked like, what the hell they mean? Scott Abel: Well for you working out as a means to an end for me, and this is the spiritual part I want to get at that. No one seems to understand any more, but whatever they're taking up, everything is, is not worth doing it's I can't measure it. So what I say is working out for me and everyone has to find that thing, that one thing that does this for them, it's a place where you go and lose yourself and find yourself at the same time. And it's a place where you can go where everything else becomes nothing. And while, and for the time you're doing it, that nothing becomes your everything. And then that is how you reboot recharge rejuvenate, you know, and keep, keep the messiness of the world at bay, without that I think, yeah, there's all kinds of maladaptive behaviors in substances because why wouldn't there be, you know, so yeah, so that, I mean, that's, that's what I think I see about what I do and how I do it versus other people doing the same thing and why and how they do it. Scott Abel: Because I was thinking earlier today, you know in 2016 I was in Dubai and I remember I could still do dumbbell shoulder presses with 65 pound dumbbells. Well now with the advanced osteoarthritis, I have I'm down to like 15 pounds, if on a good day, 17, if it's not the pain, then it's just the limitation from all the extra bony growth in my shoulders. But that doesn't, it doesn't defeat me. It doesn't make me sad. I still love this. I'm going into my gym, which is all mine. And I go in there and I do my thing. And the fact that I'm able to still do it is invigorating to me. As a matter of fact, it's more invigorating now because I'm not, I'm not pushing the, my body that way. I take my own advice on physique after 50, you don't, you don't do that. Consistency is more important than intensity. So for me, it's just a fun factor, right? So right now I think it's just about being in it, you know, at the same time being aware that, you know, we do have some responsibilities to the people who come after us and we're doing a poor job of living up to them Wade Lightheart: Well said. And of course, kind of indicative of someone who I think both of us gathered some inspiration of was bill Pearl and the keys to the inner universe. I think don't realize what's in the title of what he said and the inner universe, which I think ultimately our expression of life. And however we go about it, if it reveals more about our interstate in that interstate can be expressed to an outer state, then I think we've made a successful life. And you've been a big part of that journey for myself. And I appreciate that. Where can people find out, get some of these books that you referred to find out and how they can access some of this information? I know you're not taking on clients anymore, but they certainly the next generation of health and fitness enthusiasts could probably garner a lot of wisdom and save themselves a lot of time by getting some of the writings that you've put together. Can you illustrate or share with us where they can get all that stuff? Scott Abel: Some of the books, not all of the books are on Amazon. So if they went in under author typed in Scott Abel fitness, or Scott Abel, whatever all the rest of them are on my, you know Scott Abel fitness.com. And I have online courses as well, right? So the cycle diet, isn't just a book, it's an online course, the hard gainer solution. Isn't just a book, it's an online course. You know, those kind of, those kinds of things. There's a, you know, I did the food freedom course for people with food and eating issues which, you know, is like a whole like 16 week module, right? The first module is free, that kind of thing. So I mean, there's all kinds of, you know, I've amassed a large number of products over the years, right? From training programs and, and books to, you know, whatever. Scott Abel: I think the diet books stand the test of time because I never wrote invoke trends. I always wrote, you know, I wish I did more plant-based, but I wasn't exposed to it during the time I wrote some of those books, but the principles in the books are about other things that people don't consider. When I wrote beyond metabolism, it was about regular sleep and wake times and regular mealtimes and how the body thrives on regularity and those principles will never change. Right. So I think there's value in, in all of those things to be had hopefully. Yeah. And the rest is just coach Scott, Abel social media, or my YouTube channel has tons and tons of not just webinars about metabolism and about diets and of course, ranting on low carbs. But also like workout videos, exercise videos, and there's a whole playlist. The last thing I did was complete a playlist for resistance bands because so many people were inevitably ending up training at home. So I've got like, I don't know, like a and resistance band videos, how to is right from the very beginning of what, what kind of resistance bands to buy and why and exercises with them without anchors and you know, that kind of stuff. So yeah, they should be able to feast on, remember those things. I would think Wade Lightheart: It's a wealth of information. You've read it. You are truly a prolific creator that's for sure. I've always been impressed with just your volume of productivity. You've been able to turn out over the years. It's, it's very impressive. As we wrap it up, any, any closing words, any words of wisdom you'd like to share with our audience before we for we go Scott Abel: And I'm not without sounding sappy. I think just, I don't know, the mood of the day is can't we just be kinder to each other. Y you know I'm reminded of a quote from Michael Wilbon was a sports commentator, very smart man. And he was one long time ago, few years ago, I was watching pardon the interruption, it's a sports commentating show. And he was making a point about social media and he said, the two realities that social media has pointed out is that people are dumber and people are meaner. And I think it's time we got to get past that and just, just be nicer to each other. I mean, how, why is that so difficult? I don't understand, but anyway, Wade Lightheart: So words of wisdom in a social media driven world, Scott, thank you for taking this time to join us today. And for all our listeners at BiOptimizers Awesome Health Podcast, I hope you enjoyed the show. You can share it like it, make your comments, but more importantly, go check out some of Scott's writings. They are powerful influences that cut through the crap and get to the gold in a fast and concise manner that you can trust over his years of experience. Thanks so much for joining us today. We appreciate you liking this podcast and we'll see you on the next episode.
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