Donovan Green, celebrity fitness trainer and author of No Excuses Fitness, joins Dr. Friedman to debunk many fitness myths.
Donovan’s clientele list includes A-list celebrities, politicians and renowned physicians, including Dr. Oz.
If you are into fitness, this is a do-not-miss segment. Learn from this expert how and why it's a myth that eating carbohydrates will make you fat... and much more.
RadioMD Presents: To Your Good Health Radio | Original Air Date: March 26, 2015
Host: David Friedman, DC
Guest: Donovan Green
To Your Good Health Radio brought to you by Chews for Health. Here are Melanie Cole, MS, and your host, Dr. David Friedman:
DR FRIEDMAN: Our next guest is a celebrity fitness trainer and author of No Excuses Fitness, is one of the nation's leading health and fitness experts. He's been featured on many radio and TV shows, including Dr. Oz, who he also personally trains.
Welcome to the show, Donovan Green.
DONOVAN: Yes, Dr. David Friedman. Thank you so much. It feels great to be here, by the way.
DR FRIEDMAN: Oh, great having you. Great having you. You know, many people know you as personal trainer to Dr. Oz and I'll tell you, for a 54-year-old man, Dr. Oz is in great shape. Why do so many people believe that once they hit the "Big 5-O" that they're at the point of no return when it comes to getting in shape?
DONOVAN: I believe that people feel that way because of what they see in magazines and in the sports world. You know, once you hit 30 plus, you're going over the top. You're over the hill. You're getting old. When you get to 40 years old, you're old. I'm a martial artist, so even in martial arts, once you hit like 35 years old, you're in the seniors’ realm. You know? We're still very young at 50 plus years old. We're still young.
DR FRIEDMAN: That's good to know because you're the first one that's calling me young. I love you already. You're my best friend.
DONOVAN: Sounds good. Sounds good.
DR FRIEDMAN: Speaking of friends, I actually have a good friend that owns a gym and he told me something staggering. A statistic. He said 80% that join a gym stop going after 90 days. Share with us some of the most common excuses as to why people don't maintain a regular exercise regimen and how can we get rid of some of these excuses.
DONOVAN: Well, here's one of the common excuses. One of the common excuses is, "I don't the time to go to a gym." And, what I tell people is, if you cannot get to a gym, your gym is with you all the time, which is your body. You can use your body and work out no matter where you are. You're living room is free. You can't even tell me you don't have the money either. That you can't afford it. You know, I have a lot of clients that say, "Oh, wah! I can't…I can't go to the gym anymore because…." Well, do you know that you can go to a park and walk outside? You can run. Do you know you can do some jumping jacks by the lake which is beautiful scenery anyway.
DR FRIEDMAN: Right.
DONOVAN: You get fresh air. Your lungs are open. Your heart is better and you are being active. So simple.
DR FRIEDMAN: Yes. You can even do lunges in the kitchen when you're cooking.
DONOVAN: Oh, man. You can clean the toilet and do squats.
DR FRIEDMAN: You can go on the toilet and do squats for the other thing.
DONOVAN: Absolutely. The other thing, too. Number one or number two.
DR FRIEDMAN: It still works your glutes.
DR FRIEDMAN: That's great. I like in your book. It delivers a 30-day fitness program focusing on exercise, diet and attitude. I like to see that you're focusing on attitude as part of the program because I'll tell you, with a lousy attitude, it really keeps us from reaching our altitude, does it not?
DONOVAN: Absolutely. Your attitude breaks you down. You know, I feel that once your attitude is damaged, your spirit is damaged. Once your spirit is damaged, your emotions are damaged and so forth. Your emotions get damaged and you're mentally damaged. So now, all of those aspects in your life that are supposed to be fit, have become unfit.
DR FRIEDMAN: Right.
DONOVAN: So, you say you want to lose weight or you want to gain muscle? How are you going to do that when your attitude sucks? You have to be able to deviate away from the negativity and start to do things that represent loving your life; that puts smiles on your face and what I call that is primary food. Your primary food is taking care of your nutrition. Taking care of your spirituality. Taking care of your family. You know, your finances. All of those little, intricate details in your life that will make you feel better.
DR FRIEDMAN: Yes. That makes a lot of sense. One problem that people have, I know, even dieting, whether it be on a diet or exercising is when they hit those plateaus. So, a lot of people start out strong. They hit the plateaus, they get discouraged and they end up quitting. Does your book address staying focused during these plateaus?
DONOVAN: Yes, I do. Yes, I do. We have a part in the book that talks about hitting plateaus and what are some of the myths out there when people hit plateaus. So, for example, right now I'm 195-200 pounds and I will sometimes hit a plateau where I feel like I'm not gaining any more muscle or I'm not approaching the level I want to approach. So, what I do is, I will cut back on my workout rather than increasing my workout. So many people feel like, "Okay. I'm stuck. I need to go faster or I need to go harder or I need to work out much longer." When, in reality, you can break your plateau by going slower or shortening your workout. Allow your body to relax. Allow your muscle fibers to heal so they can recover properly and then you can get back into the game plan.
The second thing is to change up your routine. Don't do the same thing over and over and over and over again. Your body will not move. It will stay stuck in that same thing.
DR FRIEDMAN: Great. Good advice there because I think that's one of my biggest peeves there is I get to that plateau. It's tough because you see the same weight. You see the same look and it's just like…So, that's good advice is don't increase, just decrease a little bit up and then build yourself back up because I guess you're tricking the muscles, correct?
DONOVAN: Yes. You're tricking the muscles and you're allowing your body to say, "Wait a minute. What's happening out there? Oh, this is something new. Alright, muscle fibers, recruit!" You know? "Recruit!"
DR FRIEDMAN: Is there a time of day that you like to work out? I've heard that first thing in the morning's good. Some people say, "No, right before bed because that's the growth hormone phase when your body produces, you know, when you sleep." What do you prefer?
DONOVAN: What I prefer is any time of the day. The reason why, is that in No Excuses Fitness is I'm talking about the confusion in fitness. So, sometimes people will not even work out because they feel that they missed that window of opportunity to work out in the morning. Alright. It doesn't make sense because they said I should work out in the morning. It's the best time. Or, it's too late. I can't exercise tonight. So, I tell people. Just move! I don't care if it's in the morning, in the afternoon, in the night time. I can work out any time. After this interview, I'm going to the gym. This is the middle of the afternoon. Yesterday I was at the gym in the middle of the night. So, you know? There's no preference.
DR FRIEDMAN: That's such a good point, you know, people that have a routine of morning, if something happens, let's say there's an emergency in the morning and the kids are sick and they don't work out, they stop the day. They say, "I'm just not working out today." You bring up such a good point. Find another time. It doesn't have to be always in the mornings.
DONOVAN: Absolutely. Find another time. It's just moving. I want you to move. Move, move, move. You know?
DR FRIEDMAN: Yes. You know, I see so many people at the gym, speaking of moving, they'll move on the treadmill for 45 minutes to burn off that donut they had for breakfast. Share the important role that diet plays in achieving optimal results in the gym.
DONOVAN: So, here it is. I'm so happy you brought up the donut. You know, a donut can have up to a whopping 300 plus calories. I mean…
DR FRIEDMAN: Unless you eat the hole. The center's calorie free.
DR FRIEDMAN: I love you already, too. I think we're going to be best friends, man. Donovan Green, the next close. So, here it is. With the donut example, I see a client. I'll say, "Alright. What did you have for a snack today or what did you have for lunch?" "Oh, I had a salad and….and that donut." "Okay. You've got stop at the 'and donut'." "But, I'm going to the gym. I'm going to work it off." I say, "Do you realize for you to burn that one donut off, you have to literally run about 8 miles to burn that donut off?" They're like, "No." I'm talking about at a very intense pace. So, I tell people, "Your nutrition really breaks down into at least 80% of your results." So, you get fit in the gym, but you lose the weight in the kitchen. That's a quote I love to use. You get in the fit in the gym, you lose the weight in the kitchen. Of course, that's in my book.
DR FRIEDMAN: I love that. Oh, I love that because I agree with you. I've always thought about 80% is diet and I get exercise people on saying, "No. No. You just burn off the food that you eat."
DR FRIEDMAN: You make such a good point. I think especially belly fat. Isn't that really about diet? A lot of people think. "Do sit ups. It'll burn that belly fat off." It's diet, right?
DONOVAN: Oh, it's diet. We could talk about that all day. You know, over the years, fitness has left from just being healthy and being able to function in your daily life to looking like a fitness model. That's what fitness has become. It has become very difficult for people to understand that your fitness is really about your lifestyle and just understanding how to live a happier, healthier life. Now, when it comes to that belly fat, people are under the assumption, I'm going to do a lot of sit ups; I'm going to do a lot of crunches; and I'm going to take fat burners.
DR FRIEDMAN: Wow. That's amazing.
DONOVAN: That is not the way to go. The way to go is the old-school way that has been proven to work time and time and time again. Include your macronutrients in your diet which is your proteins, your fat and, of course, your healthy carbohydrates. Stop cutting out proteins and stop doing the low-carb stuff and high carb and this other stuff because you're going to deprive your body of all of these extremely important nutrients. So, once you get a balanced diet, that belly fat will begin to minimize.
DR FRIEDMAN: That's great.
Well, thank you so much, Donovan. It's been a pleasure.
His latest book, No Excuses Fitness will be available April 14. Pre-order on Amazon.com. To learn more about Donovan Green, go to ProjectSlimDown.com. Follow him on Twitter @DonovanGreen and for our daily health tweets, follow us on Twitter @DrDavidFriedman.
More to come after this short break.
Stay well and stay tuned.