me&my health up

The right ingredients to Building Lean Muscle Mass

November 01, 2022 me&my wellness / Stefan Velevski Season 1 Episode 127
me&my health up
The right ingredients to Building Lean Muscle Mass
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you looking to increase your strength and build lean muscle mass? 💪

If this is you, then this 🎙 episode is for your empowerment in the field of exercise and nutrition. Our special guest is an Exercise Physiologist from Longevity - Stefan Velevski will enlighten you with his story and expertise in the area of building lean muscle mass. Complementing this is the host Anthony Hartcher who shares his tips on the right nutrition 🍏 to gain strength and gain lean muscle mass.

Stefan's Story

I grew up in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne and during my childhood and teenage years I was very active in sports such as swimming, soccer and Taekwondo. After practicing Taekwondo for 10 years, I became an instructor which allowed me to help people improve their fitness and self-confidence. However, my priorities changed during my teenage years when I was introduced to the gym. I was having an absolute blast getting bigger and stronger. However, during my first few years in the gym, I developed a rotator cuff tendinopathy and was extremely frustrated that I couldn’t do what I love anymore due to pain. During this time, I became drawn to learn more about how the rehabilitation process works. I also noticed how great it felt to go back to doing what I enjoyed. This opened up my world and brought me into my career in exercise physiology. I want to help as many people as I can, to get back to doing what they enjoy most.

To connected with Stefan and receive a free 15 minute phone consultation visit the Longevity Website.

About me&my Health Up & Host

me&my Health Up
seeks to enhance and enlighten the wellbeing of others. Host Anthony Hartcher is the CEO of me&my wellness which provides holistic health solutions using food is medicine, combined with a holistic, balanced, lifestyle approach. Anthony holds three bachelor's degrees in Complementary Medicine; Nutrition and Dietetic Medicine; and Chemical Engineering.

Credits

Podcast editing: WE EDIT PODCASTS

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Podcast Disclaimer
Any information, advice, opinions or statements within it do not constitute medical, health care or other professional advice, and are provided for general information purposes only. All care is taken in the preparation of the information in this Podcast. [Connected Wellness Pty Ltd] operating under the brand of “me&my health up”..click here for more

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Anthony Hartcher:

It's warming up here in the southern hemisphere. We're just in spring approaching summer. And it's time to think about putting on the costume and look and feel our best. And there's no better place to start than the me and my health up podcasts. The purpose of this podcast is to enhance and enlighten your well being. And I'm your host, Anthony Hartcher, a clinical nutritionist and lifestyle medicine specialist. And today we have on the show, Stefan Velevski. And we're going to be chatting about the right ingredients to building lean muscle mass. Stefan Velevski is an exercise physiologist from longevity. And we're going to be discussing the right ingredients to building lean muscle mass from a nutrition and an exercise point of view. So without much further ado, I'd love to welcome you into the discussion I'm having with Stefan. Welcome Stefan Velevski, on the me and my health up podcast show. How are you today?

Stefan Velevski:

I'm very well Anthony, how are you?

Anthony Hartcher:

Fantastic. So great to have an exercise physiologist on the show. And we're talking about a subject that's very important because I see a lot of clients that are wanting to achieve this goal. And it's essentially, the title of today's discussion is the right ingredients to building lean muscle mass, you know that you're the right person based on your background and your personal journey. And I'd love you to share your personal story as to how you've arrived at being an exercise physiologist.

Stefan Velevski:

Yeah. So as a kid, I was always interested in sport, I did soccer, swimming and Taekwondo. And then probably in my early teenage years, I put on a little bit of weight, nothing serious, but I wanted to, I want to drop the weight. So what I did was, I started dieting, which I know looking back the correct way to go about things. And I started doing some exercise around that as well. So I got quite lean, so probably a bit underweight at some point, I noticed, you know, I wasn't as strong as it was, as well. So I thought, let's get strong, let's go to the gym. So I went to the gym, and started training from there, starting putting on some muscle slowly, slowly. And then the more research I did quicker up put on muscle, but along the way, I kind of got some injuries as because it wasn't training optimally. And it was just pushing myself to the extreme all the time, which wasn't necessarily looking back. So from those injuries, I did rehab from them. And that kind of got me really interested in the way that exercise works to rehabilitate someone and the effects exercise can have on the body. And from there, I was kind of really drawn into it. So that kind of guided me on the path through exercise science to exercise physiology to where I am now. Yeah, it

Anthony Hartcher:

definitely sounds like you're calling because now you're helping people avoid that sort of yo yo effect that you experienced through those teenage years, early 20s, to where you are today and essentially at a more balanced poise physician around how to go about it. So there's no doubt you're sharing those learnings and teachings on to your students or clients.

Stefan Velevski:

Yeah, definitely. It's very exciting to do. So. I want to say like the change that people have and see how they grow and build on their knowledge, they hope they can do it in a very safe and efficient way. Very exciting for me, I love what I do. So yeah, always good to see someone grown and become better than a person themselves.

Anthony Hartcher:

Absolutely now, and I can see it in yourself in terms of, yeah, that personal journey. And you sound very, very inspired by what you're doing today. And hence why you wanted to grab this opportunity and have a chat to me on the Nehemiah health app podcast. And so really keen for you to share where you see people commonly making mistakes your clients coming to you, or the common pitfalls in terms of that building that lean muscle mass, there's probably

Stefan Velevski:

a few things, I'd say the biggest thing that they don't understand is progressive overload. So that's the big word around on hypertrophy is progressive overload. So it's about slowly increasing kind of your training volume over time. So what I mean by training volume is like your sets times reps times your weight, and that kind of dictates your whole training volume. So we want to be kind of progressively overloading so little by little increasing that over time, whether that be through any of them through sets, and reps and weights. So a lot of people don't understand that particularly well. And oftentimes, they'll be constantly doing the same training program for months and months on end. And there'll be quite a lot of stagnation around that. And then they get a bit upset because they're going to gym, they're going hard. They're not seeing much progress around that. So big changing up the training program, as well is a big thing to do. Not that it has to be done every week. But you know, every six, eight weeks, having some a little bit of variety in the program really does wonders for kind of the overall growth. I think those are the two big things but that progressive overload is huge. A lot of people need to be a bit more aware about that. And then maybe more scientific around the way where they train saving even writing down the numbers that you do get to know the way you do but how many reps you've done previously, how many sets you doing as well, and what that will that will look like in the next four to six, eight weeks and how you can build upon that thing, those are probably the two big things that I see with people that are quite often going to the gym and training. And then probably another one as well is finding a program that suits the person and sustainable for the person. Just like I'm sure, with dieting, he will often find guys that are understandable that maybe work for a bit, but then they're not feeling great at the four week six week eight week mark, and they feel not so fantastic by the end of it. So I think finding something sustainable is a huge thing to do as well. So I'm sure you got a lot of love to say that a sustainable dieting as well, especially with weight loss.

Anthony Hartcher:

Well, and those three points that you raise relate exactly to nutrition and around building lean muscle mass. So that first point you raised about the overload or essentially from my point of view, is it's the crashed it right. And as you mentioned, that doesn't work and it's not sustainable. It's not healthy. And I can see from an overload perspective, that's where you increase your risk to injury or getting an injury because you're pushing the envelope too far, and essentially not allowing enough time between training sessions for recovery or just essentially overdoing it. And it's the same with the dieting, then crash dieting, as you know, personally from personal experience, it results in really fatigue and low energy poor performance at the gym, you don't feel great, you can't think properly, you're not working to your fullest potential. You can't solve problems as well as what you previously could, and your relationships are affected because your moods are crap, you know, like you're just your wit's end, essentially. And so I certainly can relate exactly that point about overdoing it. And to me, it comes back to that not allowing enough time to achieve your goal. Essentially, people want results overnight, and push for overnight results drives that overload of training, as you've seen, and as you've experienced, and I've certainly been in that path, I guess, you know, with many things that impatience, yeah, your other point around variety of training, I relate back to variety in eating. And so just like with training, you'll get bored of doing the same thing over and over again, same with eating, eating the same foods over and over again, that gets boring, and hence the crash diet gets boring, and people want to mix it up. So certainly getting back to that personalized eating personalized training, as you refer to so these, you know, they apply across the board. And I certainly relate that from a nutrition perspective. And I really think it's not seeking expert advice would be the other one. I'm sure you'd agree with that one.

Stefan Velevski:

Yeah, definitely. There's so many times where I'd see someone coming to the gym, and they've just started, they're just doing a program that their mates mate has grown up from because I saw it somewhere online, which is a little bit of a recipe for disaster, because it's really not tailored to the person's goals, or what they can actually do previous injury history, and the list goes on. So I think a lot of people don't really understand like that too much. They just think I'm going to do a program because someone on the internet does it. And they're really big, and they've got a lot of muscle, so it must work. And it's about finding something that's personalized for yourself and tailored for yourself. There also would just be one workout program that everyone would be doing. And that would be the best one. But that's not how it works. So that tailoring something is extremely important. And I feel like this is same with dieting, there's some foods that people don't like and some things that people don't like to do, and they want to have this little trade and see it's not about finding the healthy balance between it all which is tricky at times, but very rewarding when you get it right the thing,

Anthony Hartcher:

two very important points, particularly relating to nutrition, and that is that personalization, everyone is unique and different in terms of their well, their background, so where they've been, how they've been raised and their micro, you know, we hear the word of gut bacteria and having you know, gut health and all that and, and that stems from our parents that goes through our ancestral path. So relating all the way back to your point of origin. So, you know, if you're in Asia, you're you can digest rice really well. And you know, if you're from Italy, then on the northern parts of Italy, for example, they have an association with wheat and being able to consume the bread and pasture and without much issue, whereas other parts of the world that have been brought up on other grains may have struggles digesting certain and so like, I think the great example is the Mexicans, right? They're the only population on this earth that can actually break down corn we all consume it right? You know, it's between globalization. It's spread throughout the world. And so often I'm telling share with my clients that it's important And to get back to what your ancestors ate, and make that the basis of your new eating. Because typically, westernization has turned that upside down. And essentially, people are eating more Western diets and really have neglected their traditional roots. And so that that's an important point is getting back to your traditional foods, your digestion easier. And you know, when you digest food easier, you assimilate the nutrients better, you have a higher efficacy of getting the nutrients assimilated. Whereas if you're eating foods that your gut bugs aren't familiar with and can't break down or struggle to break down, then you're not getting the nutrients. So you might have this perfect textbook diet, but you're not assimilating it. And so it's useless. So I think that's really important point around, as you mentioned, personalization, and I think it's also that thing around, we're all completely unique and different, we all actually have different health goals, too. So my health goals aren't going to be the same as yours or anyone else's. Right, there might be some similarities. But we have different visions of how we see health, you know, it's a perspective, and everyone has that different perspective on life. So I think that's another important point is that if you grab your mates training program, or your mates diet, or some diet off the internet, and start copying, that, you can guarantee you won't get the same results. If that was tailored to someone else, and really fitted in with their health goals, you may get some benefit. And I find with dieting, a lot of the benefits just come because people are cleaning up, they're eating, they're just they've cut out the crap. And so it's not necessarily the fact that you're doing the keto diet, or the Paleo diet or the vegan diet. It's more that you started to become disciplined around your eating and less Western eyes. So yeah, so I think that's probably the how I can relate to I guess what, you know, the field, your your work into my work and how they're very similar, but just changing the vise, whether it be exercise or nutrition.

Stefan Velevski:

Yeah, definitely. What you're saying going back to the kind of roots, the way I think about that, in my kind of setting, it's kind of like basics of strengthening conditioning, that basic movements. So you've probably heard these before, but there's for like the lower body, there's a squat, and a hinge. So they'll squat, it's pretty self explanatory. The hinge is more like your deadlift, your audios and everything like that. And then you have also a horizontal push. So think of like a benchpress. And then like horizontal pull, like a row, and then you got a vertical push and pull as well. And a carry it also, these are like kind of the the foundational prime movements, if you will. So it's more like the big functional movements. And they're, oftentimes when someone's programming or doing the program, they skim over some of these big movements, which everyone should essentially be doing. Like, these are the basics. They're foundational. They're fundamental, and they're there because they work and they're there for a reason. This is this Yeah, it was just good, like release back days are the big moves that we've always been doing for how many millions of years, let's, let's keep doing those movements, because our bodies are built to move like this, essentially. And we can we can move some big loads onto these movements. So exciting.

Anthony Hartcher:

Absolutely. And you took the words out of my mouth, because my question was the best gym exercises to get started with, essentially, events that really well, yeah, and tied it in with how it relates to nutrition, getting back to those traditional roots of where your ancestors what they your ancestors ate. So, the other one that I'm really keen, I'm sure the listeners are keen to hear is your top tips around building lean muscle mass in the gym, or whether it'd be outside the gym and maybe give an explanation for both. So some people might not have access to a gym, and then the others have got access to a gym,

Stefan Velevski:

probably one of the big things to do first is focus on the big compound lifts at the start of your exercise routine, you could do on the site. And we could probably chat about that a bit later. But what I mean by compound lift is a big multi joint lift. Okay, so as I was saying before, like those basic movements, they are all the big compound, multi joint lifts. So that's kind of what we want to be focusing on at the start for a few reasons. Because we've got multiple joints working, there's multiple muscles that are recruited. So with these lifts as well, we can usually push the biggest load with them. So we're getting a greater training stimulus as well, their greatest training stimulus is going to lead to more optimal growth. So focusing on these first and then towards say, say if you had 345 compound lifts at the end of it, maybe one or two, you could do like an isolation movement where you just isolating one joint and one muscle essentially, with kind of the compound lifts as well. I was going a little bit heavier. So maybe that six to 12 rep range and the isolation one, I would say going to slightly lighter with that as well is probably my preferred method training because Ideally when I claim yet some that metabolic byproducts and fatigue, which is a stimulus for, for the growth to occur through the muscle, that's kind of a great way to go about it and do it. And I think the next step, which we touched on already is that progressive overload, I think that's just such a crucial thing. That's what I want to say twice. So understanding that is really going to be the key to seeing that long term game. And understanding how you can change those variables, whether be increasing the weight, or maybe adding an extra set that dropping the rep slightly, that's how you can kind of change up and change your routine to increase training volume over time, and kind of see that growth in hypertrophy or Muscle Gaining over time, I think those would be my two big things to work on to see growth. One probably final thing as well, is technique, getting the technique, right. So with those big compound lifts, we want to be make sure our technique is correct before loading up properly. And that's pretty self explanatory. I think most people know that. But I think most people don't understand the technique. 100% Correct. Which is why it's great to have someone around you that can correct your technique. And having that back guidance is super important. Sometimes I wish I had someone to train me as well, because there's some angles you can't see from the mirror. So it'd be good to kind of have that loading, the understanding of what I'm doing through the lift. So technique is a bit of a hard one to explain online. But it's good to even if you to record yourself and like analyze it through that way, it's a great way to do it. So those would be my tips are akin to for long term and sustainability through progressive overloading. I think that'd be the best way to go about and gain some muscle in terms of your end for for the nutrition side of things. Back in the day, I did, I did a lot of tracking what I ate. So in terms of tracking my macros to a tee, every day, I think I even had a stroke of a year where I didn't miss a single thing that I ate. So I weighed everything to a tee. So I'm curious to see your thoughts on what people should be like, like a macro split, or even like just overall calorie intake. If they're trying to gain muscle on here, your thoughts about that

Anthony Hartcher:

as just relating back to what you said around exercise and translating that to nutrition. And that is exactly what you've just mentioned, macros and micros. So, as you mentioned, the the core exercises, the ones that are using more muscle groups, well, that relates well to the macro components of what you should be focusing on. And that's where your major focus should be is on the macro. And if you get the macro, right, you pretty much look after the micro, and you micro nutrition is your vitamins and minerals. And the the issue today is people are fixated on the micro side of things and forgetting the big picture because they think I've got to have magnesium. And these are micro things we needed small concentrations. And missing the big picture of is what we need in terms of macros, which are protein, carbohydrates and fat. And so we need to get those right. And then if there's a deficiency in that, then the micros then we can, you know focus on foods around addressing that micro, the micros that I typically see deficient like iron in women. And then ideen is probably another one that's overlooked, which is really important for thyroid function. And when we're talking metabolic rate, and metabolic rate governs the rate at which we break down our protein, carbohydrates and fats. If you're hiding, I mean, certainly not your ID. But if you are these low in your thyroids under functioning, then your rate of metabolism is going to be affected. So that will affect your health goals. And this part is often overlooked, or it's either too much in focus, people are just focused on the thyroid, I'm going to speed up my thyroid and they miss the bigger picture. So I think to answer your question around the macros, again, it's a bit like, you're getting back to saying, Well, if you don't have the technique, right, then regardless of what you're doing, it's not going to give you ultimate or optimized outcomes. And that requires really a coach to get that three dimensional perspective or that 360 degree view of what the person's doing and, and getting them doing the textbook technique. And then just building that foundation and constantly working on that technique. And it's a bit like you probably experienced when you're doing Taekwondo, you know, you can practice doing speed of that technique. But if the techniques flawed, then you're not getting optimal power out of that technique. You may have the speed pretty good, but it's not as powerful as what could be. So it's not optimal. And so it's a bit like nutrition. So we may be too focused on the carbohydrates and lowering them and miss the bigger picture that carbohydrates are needed in order for optimizing protein assimilation into the muscle for example, or optimizing training performance. So that's the other thing people think I've just got to go low carb, high protein, high fat or something like that. And it's all you know, carbs the enemy, but their training is going to be impaired. So their workout with you is essentially going to be suboptimal. And what's good I'd like for me, it's sort of thinking, Well, I'd rather have the carbs or beat up, awesome training session and feel great about, you know, hitting my PBS or getting my milestones in my training. And that carb, you would have consumed that extra carb or few carbs that you've eaten, you would have consumed in that really powerful workout. So I think this is where people lose the context of you know, how nutrition ties into their life, essentially. So. And the other thing that I often see is people going low carb, their brain doesn't operate as well. And so they're, you know, their performance at work is impaired, and the ability to think outside the box, the ability to have good relationships, it's not great. So I think that really needs to be put into the bigger context of things. So just to get back to answer your question, because I know the audience will say, Anthony, you're just waffling on and not answering the question. It's very difficult it I can give some general sort of rules of thumb. So the numbers I sort of probably start with is around around that 20% protein is probably a bit on the higher side for the general population, then you're covering off yes, I've got the protein tick, because the protein, again, you mentioned when you went underweight, and it really affects your strength, well, essentially, you know, sarcopenia sets in essentially, we start losing muscle when we're, you know, under eating, so our body will start consuming muscle to get energy. And that's what I find with some female clients is that they're under nourishing their body, they're losing all their lean muscle, this losing everything, essentially and wasting away. So really important that you get the protein part, right, and I'm saying that's around 20%. Now, that's 20% of total calories now, so I need to, I guess, explain this better, because I don't want you to think 20%. So if you know, and people think what's 20% Exactly. So we typically talk about a 2000 calorie diet. So I'm talking calories here, if you need to convert to kilojoules, and times that by four, so it's around 8000. So we're taking 20% of the calories, the total calories of the day, needs to be protein. So you take 20% of 2000, you're going to get 400 calories, essentially. So now you got to convert that to grams of protein. So there's, essentially one gram of protein will equal four calories, roughly. So then you divide that 400 calories, divided by four to get the grams. So essentially, it's 100 grams of protein per day. Now you need to break that 100 grams over the course of the day, it's best, again, proteins best to simulated between 20 and 40 grams per sitting or per meal, if you go over, it's just additional calories, essentially, the body can't utilize it as protein in that specific meal. So that 100 grams, you could either have over five, like, it could be breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus your morning tea, afternoon tea. Or you could have just three meals, you know, bigger breakfast, bigger lunch and bigger dinner and consume roughly around 30 grams of protein in each of those meals. Now, you're probably thinking well, okay, and you're talking grams of protein, how does that translate to food? Typically, a medium sized egg is about six grams of pure protein, you're talking like a steak, for example. 100 grams steak, or 100 220 grams of steak will be about 20 grams of protein, it depends on how lean the cat is, and what type of meat it is. So obviously, lamb and pork is a bit fatter than kangaroo, for example. So again, it depends on the cut of meat, the amount of it but I'm just giving you some rough guides there as to what constitute those grams of protein. So that's the protein component really important you get that? Because that's gonna help with building muscle, right? So you need that the carbohydrates is essentially your fuel. So it really depends on your total energy expenditure in a day, how active you are in your job, how sanitary you are in your job, and how hard you train. So again, it's if I were to simplify it, I'd say, you know, maybe start at 50% of your diet and carbohydrates and people are probably falling off their seat. Because the 50% carbs, I'm supposed to be low, good. You know,

Stefan Velevski:

carbs aren't the enemy.

Anthony Hartcher:

Cops are the enemy. Yes, but carbs are the friends of the athlete. So like 50% carbohydrates, you know, we're taking that 200 Calorie day of 2000 2000 Calorie day. So 50% or 2000 is 1000 calories. A grant again at one gram of carbohydrates equates to four calories. So divide that 1000 by four, you get 250 grams. Have carbs and people thinking, Oh, that's a lot, you know. And so let me break it down. So like say, if you take 100 grams worth of banana, there's about 22 grams of fewer carbs in 100 grams of banana, you get a man like so people get this wrong conception thinking that, okay, rice that's 100% carbohydrates is rubbish. There's protein as well in rice and or bread or breads, just carbohydrates, rubbish again. So there's fiber and bread, there's fiber and rice, there's also protein as well, and some fats. So like, you know, if we roughly break it down, it's essentially like 10, medium to large bananas will equate to 250 grams of carbohydrates for the day. So that's over the whole day 10 Bananas, you probably then thinking, well, that's not huge amount. Like, if you then break down that per meal, it's two bananas, you know, five meals a day to banana second, or three bananas. So it's not really a lot of carbohydrates when broken down. And again, it does depend on your tone, like, so if you're some people in their jobs walk 15,000 to 20,000 steps a day. And then on top of that they're doing a workout was defined. So like, it doesn't need to be modified based on that total energy expenditure. And the fat. Again, it's just what's left over. So it's about 30%, or 30%. Fat, that's a lot, it's, you know, so essentially, it is, in a way, it's 600 calories of fat. But in terms of gram equivalent, it's not much because there's nine calories per gram of fat, okay, so then you divide that 600 calories that we've got leftover in terms of that 2000 Calorie day, divided by 10, to make it easier, so essentially, you got 60 grams of fat, which is not really a lot over three meals, you know, particularly if you having half an avocado and things like that, and you know, using olive oil and coconut oil, and it starts adding up. But again, it's just sort of generalized here and got a starting points. Again, it really depends on the person's goals and where they're currently at.

Stefan Velevski:

Yeah, definitely yet, as you're saying, it's good to find something that's tailored to them. It's I know, it's tricky. But having those ratios is a good kind of starting point, I guess to be can go off of, but I was just gonna go off what you said earlier, that low carb and I've tried low carb before. And I'd really did not enjoy it. I felt exactly what you're saying no energy, my brain was just out of my head. I just, yeah, I think I lasted about two weeks, because I pushed it. And I was like that this isn't for me. So let's try something else. That works a bit better. So yeah, I think what worked for me was just kind of reducing everything just a little bit, just in moderation. So it's interesting, some people swear by it, they say it's the greatest thing ever. But I really did not have that experience. So

Anthony Hartcher:

I think I'm really keen to ask you about this warm up and cooling down. I think it's sometimes maybe over or underrated depending on what perspective you're coming from. But I certainly want to get an exercise physiologist, perspective on that warming up cooling down and the degree of importance in terms of the overall the bigger picture. And I can certainly relate the warm up and cool down to eating. So let's start with exercise.

Stefan Velevski:

Yeah, so I think it's important to do like a screening or an assessment to see how like your mobility is through that initial phase of the assessment and so on. From that, we can kind of tailor our warm up to the client. So if we feel like there is like a mobility issue somewhere in the client, we can tailor the warmup, to kind of still warm the client up, but target that mobility, so that some more mobile through the workout, this can mean they're a bit more, we're decreasing the risk of injury through that. And we can increase performance through that. And even if you don't have maybe mobility restrictions, warming up, and when I'm warming up, I'm talking more so about dynamic mobilization. So you're not just doing a static stretching, you only up through movement. And warming up through movements that are dynamic mobilization is really good for obviously warming up preventing injury, but improving performance as well. What I would say for many up that I don't particularly like at the start, but great for the end, if I was a static stretching, there's nothing per se wrong with it, but has been shown to somewhat slightly decrease force production. So unless you do have a major mobility limitation that you need to really get into and stretch a lot, maybe do some stretching bias, more that dynamic motion, to be honest, but at the end of the workout, definitely can do static stretching as a way to cool down and kind of deregulate down regulate and get back to kind of your more resting and natural state. And then at the static stretching at the end is another good way to work through areas of tightness that you're feeling and just chill out a little bit before you go out going throughout your day. Again. So that's kind of how I think about warming up and cooling down. That's how I would target it. Did you say you had something to relate back to nutrition in terms of this? I'm keen to hear your thoughts

Anthony Hartcher:

I did, I can see how important to what you mentioned is to preventing injury, you know, like doing the proper mobilization for what you're about to do in terms of exercise, I can see if you didn't properly mobilize an area. And if you went, you know, particularly with a loaded big squat. Yeah, what could potentially happen, right?

Stefan Velevski:

Yeah, definitely. And it can be not great. So we want to obviously avoid any injuries or decrease the risks to as little as possible, there's always some minor risk of injury through weight training. But if you're very smart about it, you're minimizing that close to zero. Because if you are injured, that means your training volume decreased or you're not training at all, it means you're not putting on muscle, which is not what we want. So when we consistently training to keep putting on some muscle, it talks

Anthony Hartcher:

about that progressive overload in terms of that progression in a workout from just you've done your mobilization exercise, then you're going in to do a load of say, squats or something like that. How much from your maximum weight? Should you start? Like, do you have a sort of a tempering full build up approach? Yeah.

Stefan Velevski:

So I would say, if I'm doing a squat, and I've done my warm up, like a bit of mobilization, I would do start from a bodyweight squat, and then do a barbell squat, and then work my way up from there. So say, if I was working towards, like 100 kilo working weight, then I would be doing so got my bodyweight squat, got my barbell squat, and then I would put on probably 220s on it. So I'd say 60. And then I'll get into my working set up for that. So I'm doing quite a few sets working up to it. And it's about greasing the groove and kind of priming yourself to get into it so and then that when you're going through the squats with the lighter weights, you can feel if something doesn't feel right, you know, if something feels a bit tight, something doesn't feel rough, that should be a sign to say hi, and let's just take a little step back and figure out what's going on. Because if something doesn't feel right, something feels tight, something's more sore than is normally, we should probably take a step back, maybe decrease the load that session or try something else. It's about you being smart with your training, which has taken me a while to get to but I feel like you've gotten some wisdom now to take a step back at times and realize hang on a minute, this is probably increasing my risk of injury going to do this, I don't want to do that, because I want to keep training next week. So let's take a little step back sometimes

Anthony Hartcher:

absolutely reminds me of putting it that training session into the context of the bigger picture. Because if you were to injure yourself in that session, how long is that going to set back your goal, you know, or your ability to perform at that event? So I think, you know, you can sometimes get too carried away in here. And now thinking every session has got to be the best session, right? That's the really needs to be put into context of where you're at, and how your body's responding in the overall process of your journey towards your goal.

Stefan Velevski:

Yeah, definitely, there's so many things like external factors that can change how that training session feels, from your standpoint, like their diet, what they've eaten today, or the past few days, or the past few weeks, the external stresses at work, or they've done in the day or the past few days, maybe it's been much more physical, they've done a lot of outside guiding and this and that. And this can just accumulate fatigue over time. And that accumulated fatigue can result in you know, breakdowns in technique, or you're not feeling as strong as you were. So you're not feeling as strong as it were, we probably can't do what we did, or what we're aiming for this session, which is fine. And that's, that's life. And that's why we've got to tailor things and move things around as we need to, to kind of see the person and suited to what they're doing everyday. And kind of hitting that right balance of still getting a training load in but not gone too hard. So we can keep going week after week.

Anthony Hartcher:

Absolutely. And that relates back to nutrition, as you said, you know, you want me to talk about the warm up cooldown period to eating and I just wanted to touch on that point in putting it into the context of the overall picture is that just as you know, stressors, and what you're eating that day can affect your workouts. The same with nutrition in terms of sleep deprivation, and stresses will affect what you eat, and what you desire to eat and how much you eat, and whether you overeat. So it's so important that you do look at the other parts of the pie, such as getting a good night's sleep and resting as well as managing your stress, because it will affect as Stefan said, affects your exercise. And it also affects your eating as to what your brain is telling you that you eat once versus where you could be totally not aligned to what is on your plan or your you know, for you to achieve your goal. So in terms of warming up, that's around priming the digestive system before a meal. And again, I just mentioned sleep deprivation. So if you have a poor night's sleep, then your digestive function is not as great it's not as optimal. So in some cases, you can be excessively hungry and other cases you won't be hungry. And again it is tuning into your body like Stefan mentioned tuning in to make sure you know if you've got a niggling injury don't push through it. Again, if you're not hungry, your body's not ready to eat. And so if you force your body to Eat, you won't assimilate or digest that food very well, and you're gonna feel not great, and you're not going to get much from it. So it is important to really listen to where your bodies are. And if it's hungry, then obviously, it's ready to eat. That means the digestive systems working. And other things that can complicate whether you're ready to eat is whether you're moving your bowels. So if you're constipated, then your propensity to be hungry is reduced, because essentially, you're backlogged that the system saying, Well, we haven't got out what you know, the other waste product from the previous meals. So therefore, we don't want you to consume more, because we're struggling to get out with what's in there. So there's many factors that will affect your ability to want to eat. And So stress can go either one or two ways, it will either make you not hungry, and you won't eat and therefore you might under eat, or stress will make you overeat. So. And that's where you get emotional eating, essentially, because you're overstressed and you're not coping, then eating food can be a coping mechanism to the stress, but then that's not helping you with your goal towards building lean muscle mass. So, again, it's important that you address the stressors. So that's, you know, don't overlook that. And certainly that stress will implicate sleep and lack of sleep will increase the stress the next day. So there's hadn't been, you know, if you're sleep deprived, you don't have good relationships, you tend to react in an emotional way, and they respond in an emotional way. And then it's fireworks. And then you're more stressed.

Stefan Velevski:

Yeah, I think sleep is so important and often overlooked, I think it's and relating back to this, it's where you grow. You know, like when you train as a stimulus that causes you to grow, but sleeps when you're doing your recovery. And it's when you're actually growing and getting bigger and stronger and faster, and everything. So I think it's often under valued to us. And I think everyone knows how good they feel after a good night's sleep. But oftentimes, it's not taken into account as much as it should be. So I think everyone needs to get their good seven, eight hours or however long they need. It's great. That just does wonders for your health, I think getting good sleep.

Anthony Hartcher:

Absolutely. 100%, you know, and you mentioned, that's essentially where you're growing muscle, it's essentially also where your intestinal system is repairing itself. So a lot of people may have heard of that leaky gut syndrome and things like that, well, if you're chronically stressed, not sleeping, then you're not going to get that repair happening to your body. And it's really hard to gain muscle mass, I'll tell you what you'll be, essentially, it will result in catabolism, which is the breakdown of muscle, which is going against what you're trying to create. So in terms of getting back to that warming up the digestive system, really calming yourself before you eat is important. So some deep breaths, I know notice, Stefan was doing some deep breaths to get him into this chat this conversation. And that's what I want the audience to do, when before they eat is just the calm the expanding the diaphragm breasts and really focusing on the breast. And also it can be a point where you give gratitude for what you're about to eat and, and that gratitude can help that assimilation, because essentially, you're appreciating all that love and labor that's gone into putting that food in front of you. And the fact that you've got it in front of you is a real blessing as well. So I think we really, you know, take for granted what we're about to eat, and we just slam it down. And then on to the next thing, we're not appreciating the importance of priming the digestive system. And this is where cooking comes into it. So the cooking process turns on our digestive system. And this is where they sort of you hear people say, I just don't have time, and I don't have time, but you know, they're constantly complaining of bloating and feeling yuck and no energy, it's because they're not assimilating their food because they treat food as sort of a inconvenience. And at times, it's an indulgence. So they're making an inconvenience and hence not appreciating, and then they're over indulging and and just get swinging the pendulum from one side or the other. And hence, both of which don't help you towards your goals. So you really got to adopt that moderation approach that Stefan mentioned earlier around food as well. So really calm yourself relaxed, eating a relaxing environment. So that's not to eat in front of your computer, doing work, trying to solve problems, your best to be outside with a friends having conversation, that's when you only get maximum assimilation. And this is if you improve this part, then you don't get all those digestive discomforts disorders associated with eating such as bloating, but again, there can be other factors causing the bloating, but it can help relieve bloating, it can help you maximize the energy from the foods so some people tell me I feel tired after eating, or that tells me that they're either overeating or they're not assimilating what they're eating. Essentially, I feel energized after eating, I'm ready to go again. And that's how you should be if you're eating the right foods in the right amount, and you're eating it in the right environment. So really getting that set up right before you eat is really important. Putting down the knife and fork between mouthfuls really chewing so Choo, choo choo choo choo. Do in excess of 20 times just start at 20, you should get up to 40 Is the food should be absolutely liquid before you swallow. So that's going to really enhance the uptake of nourishment into you and improve the digestion by doing that chewing, and that's the start really of the digestive process. Now in terms of the cooling off, that's the other end of things, right, so you've got the warming up at the beginning. And then it's really important that we move our bowels and keep regular because a build up in our bowels results in excessive toxins build up that causes inflammation, inflammation will impair your ability to balance blood glucose, it will impair your ability to build muscle because your body will be trying to put out the flames, essentially from the inflammation so and it's going to prioritize putting the flames out versus building muscle because building muscles only something you can do when everything's working well. So really important that you get your bowels moving. And that requires adequate fiber. And again, where do we get our fiber from carbohydrates. I said don't demonize carbohydrates, they have fiber. Again, eat the foods that complex, more complex carbohydrates really important to get the fiber and the fiber will help you move your bowels drink your water and relax. Actually, the cooling off you need to chill out on the toilet, don't give yourself I've only got two minutes to go in or whatever, don't put yourself under pressure because your body won't go it needs to be relaxed. And you know, you'll see animals in nature, they'll tend to walk around a bit in a circle and then find their spot. And that's them getting in the zone for letting go right the same as us we need to get into the zone. And you know, there's no point of doing work emails or talking on the telephone, you got to really deep breathe, you know, and really spend some time on there. You know, you spend like huge amounts of time eating the food, well, we need to allow adequate time to get the toxins out of our body. So really get that cool off, well, then you'll have more optimal digestion and ability to build muscle.

Stefan Velevski:

That's very interesting. Three points I've never really considered because I always just walk down the food and usually doing two things at once in a meeting is up because of that, something I'll try and consider moving forward to not be as in a rush and give myself that time to eat my food, while not doing anything else and kind of just spend some time away and chewing my food a bit more. That's something I'll definitely try and see how I go. Because yeah, I can get a bit of discomfort in the gut sometimes. So I reckon, I think that might have something to do with it. So I'm interested to try that because I've tried different foods, and I can understand some work better for me and some don't. But I think that's Avenue have never looked down before and nothing, something that I've never considered. So there'll be something interesting to see go into another look into

Anthony Hartcher:

100% Stefan, and it's often overlooked in terms of losing weight. So if you eat slower, you register fullness sooner, you know, and our body takes time to respond and send the communication to the brain that you're satisfied or whatnot. And so the more time the food spends in our mouth, the body's analyzing the macro composition as to the the ratio, and whether it's satisfied for survival, and so important to really spend time, that's where we most enjoy our food. So you think about if you like the taste of something, keep it in your mouth for longer and you'll need less of it, you'll be satisfied. So like if you're having chocolate, really enjoy it, and just leave it in the mouth for as long as possible to really and you'll find you'll eat less overall, the more you chew, the more you spend time engaging with what's in your mouth and enjoying it. Overall, your consume less so really helped with that weight loss side of things, as well as the improved digestion. So yeah, it's a big one. And it's very overlooked.

Stefan Velevski:

100% That is something I've never really thought about too much. So when next time I have a little treat for myself, I'm going to spend a bit more time with it. So enjoy that little bit more not just walk it down my throat and data into bytes and be like, oh, I want a bit more. So I think that's a really good tip. And every time I think about nutrition, or just think about what the food is that I'm eating, but not how I'm eating it also, it's very interesting point you bring up so something I'm really gonna consider moving forward because something I've never really thought about previously. So I find it really interesting

Anthony Hartcher:

in terms of the longevity and the study of the Blue Zone people the United, so large portions of the population living greater than 100 years. One of the most important things in terms of what they do is eating together and communally eating says, you know, when they have their meals, they're doing it together, they're cooking together. So it's their whole bringing together and the food traditionally has brought us together and it still does today. But were overlooking, I guess that part of connection and embracing the food and embracing the connection all together. So I think that is really important that we do get back to enjoying our food, we'll want less of it. We won't overeat because again if we eating Stress that when you overeat? Yeah, it's been an awesome conversation. Stefan, I really appreciate your time. And I'm really keen for you to share with the listeners as to how they can best connect with you and get some help around their exercise and achieving that goal of lean muscle mass gain.

Stefan Velevski:

The Thanks, Anthony, it's been great conversation we've been having on the podcast a fair bit today. So it's been fantastic. So I'm at longevity exercise physiology. So I'm located in Coburg at the moment. So if you look that up on Google, you'll find me there in Coburg, I'm working out Anytime Fitness there. So you can come in and have a chat with me there. Or you can reach out on the website and book a time to have a session with myself and we can get started on kind of the journey to building some more muscle.

Anthony Hartcher:

Absolutely. And for the Sydney listeners because longevity is also well established in Sydney.

Stefan Velevski:

Well, 100% Yes, I'm quite new in Melbourne in longevity, but Sydney, there's a whole lot of places. So if you're in Sydney, there is quite a few areas where we are. So I'd suggest having a look on the website and seeing where it's closer to you. We're in edgecliff Randwick, neutral Bay, and a few few other places. There's a whole bunch. So there's definitely a lot of options out there for in Sydney. So definitely reach out and find someone find someone from longevity up there.

Anthony Hartcher:

Absolutely. And I can second that I've experienced training sessions with the longevity trainers and they're fantastic take a very holistic approach and really live what they preach. So everything that Stefan shared today is how they will work with you very personalized, very tailored to you and your goals and look after you holistically so they'll also bring in other providers to make sure that you achieve your goals. So such a great and I love collaborating with longevity so thoroughly recommend that listeners and thank you for tuning in to another insightful episode of me and my health up really appreciate you listening in each week. And please like and share this with others that could also benefit from, you know, wanting to optimize their lean muscle mass. So thank you again listeners and thank you Stefan.

Stefan Velevski:

Thanks Anthony.

(Cont.) The right ingredients to Building Lean Muscle Mass