After the last year, many people found themselves without a place to exercise, and they watched many of their healthy habits disappear.
Now that things are slowly opening back up, I've been receiving a lot of questions about how to lean out and what can be done to build muscles after a year of being sedentary.
I brought on Mario Tomic to help guide us on good ways to get our health back, especially if we are busy with our careers and businesses.
What To Expect From This Episode
- [0:00] Welcome to the Summit For Wellness Podcast
- [1:30] How has having a computer science background helped Mario Tomic in the fitness industry
- [7:15] Mario's experience in engineering is what gave him the idea that people in those industries need help with their health
- [9:30] You can appear to have 'it all', but if you don't have your health, then you don't have much
- [11:00] The environment you are in are a big factor for your health
- [14:00] What is Mario's method to work on someone's overall health
- [19:15] How does someone who is really busy with work find time for making health changes
- [23:30] When you first start a lifting program, how much muscle can you build
- [28:30] Age definitely makes it more difficult to build muscle, but you can still get a lot of gains
- [33:00] What macronutrients should you change if you are trying to do a 'lean gain'
- [35:30] What are Mario's thoughts on using wearables to track different measurements
- [37:30] Which BMR formulas should be used to figure out how many calories someone is burning
- [40:00] What would a training protocol to get down to 15% body fat look like
- [42:30] Can you become too lean
- [46:15] What is Mario Tomic's vision of health and what does he do to maintain that
Resources From This Episode
Some of these resources may contain affiliate links, which provides a small commission to me (at no extra expense to you).
Transcript For Episode (Transcripts aren't even close to 100% Accurate)
Bryan Carroll: [00:00:15] getting lean and building muscle, or some of the common topics that I get questions about, especially after a year where a large portion of the population lost access to their gyms.
And weren't very active. So to help me talk about ways to lean out. I brought on Mario Tomic onto the show. What's up everyone. I'm Bryan Carroll, and I'm here to help people move more, eat well and be adventurous. And Mario will be sharing different methods to build up lean mass and to lose weight. We'll also talk about how much muscle you realistically can build over time and how to incorporate exercise into a busy schedule.
So let's get into my conversation with Mario Mario Tomic is a founder and head coach at Tomic.com. He specializes in helping busy entrepreneurs and professionals get in the best shape of their lives and build a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. Long-term is computer science and engineering background combined with a deep passion for evidence-based fitness and behavior change is at the core of his company's success with over 600 client transformations with lasting results.
Thank you for coming onto the show, Mario.
Mario Tomic: [00:01:24] Pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.
Bryan Carroll: [00:01:26] Of course. And I'm super curious about your background with the computer science and engineering background. That's gotta make your ability to create programs for people just really dialed in. So can you tell us more about your background, how that led you into the fitness industry and how did you get to this point?
Mario Tomic: [00:01:46] Yeah, good questions. So I, wasn't not really into fitness or sports growing up. It wasn't until my mid twenties that I actually started getting serious about fitness, unlike a lot of other people in the fitness world that have started very early. So they've kind of developed that passion. I switched over into fitness and I was more passionate about computers and video games.
And all my peers were chasing goals in high school and doing all these kinds of things. And I was basically the guy that was in the corner somewhere trying to, you know, find a floppy drive and trying to figure out computers and Then went to college. I was, again, still a computer science engineer. I was playing video games.
I was actually a world of Warcraft gamer. At some point I'd got me very overweight which then actually led me to go into fitness to begin with, because you know how it is when you're in that unconscious non competence mode. So you don't really understand what you don't know. And, but there was no need to actually change.
You don't feel it. You don't have any reason to go into it and actually thought that. All this stuff about fitness lifting weights. I thought it was really weird back when I was in high school. Well, friends wouldn't even go and someone would invite us. Hey, do you want to come over? No, no, no. I'm just going to go and I'm going to go home and I'm going to watch star Trek and you know, play, play some unreal tournament or something like that.
And then coming back into college, I mean, this is where you kind of experienced a shift in antivirus. So going again. Well, the Warcraft doing five years through a master's degree in computer science, starting a job. As a system admin, a software engineer that actually kind of started me to question certain things about generally life or my path, or, you know, following sort of the beef and path that, you know, parents are happy with.
You thought that that's what you want it to do, but then you start realizing when you see your environment, then people that have been doing that same thing for many years. And they're kind of ahead of you kind of see is that the life that I really want. And also you look at yourself, you start seeing.
Well, I'm not really, you know, taking care of myself. I'm immune, I'm lagging behind. I mean, I'm definitely living up all these characters in these video games, but I'm personally behind in my life and I'm not working on myself at all. And there's that shift that happened some sometime in that first year.
When I got that job, I started getting a bit more into personal development friend, introduced me to basic things like Bryan, Tracy, you know, Tony Robbins, some of the basic old school books. They just kind of start opening up my mind. And I was like, this was pretty cool. I mean, I'm leveling up all these characters there.
Why don't I just level up myself? Why don't I start taking, look at honest, look at my areas of life and see where I'm lagging behind. And then I saw my health and fitness. And I was totally out of shape. Even in my early mid twenties. I couldn't run a 5k without being borderline dead. I mean, it was really bad and I was overweight no muscle mass whatsoever, because once your, obviously your, your weight, but also kind of that skinny fat at the same time.
So really starting from scratch. And when I got into fitness, I mean that, that's what actually. The progression reminded me a lot about what I learned in gaming. It's sort of that step one step at a time, you see that advancement, you see that improvement that there's a feedback loop you get hooked on, and then you see that you're improving.
You're moving forward. You're seeing changes. The scale was going down. I'm getting stronger. The gym obvious as a beginner improved really fast. And that's what really reel me in because I saw results quickly as I was very restricted with my diet, even though I didn't know much, I knew, look, I got eight less.
I got to train more. So that immediate difference there was, was obvious within just a month or two. And you know, everything from there, I just went deeper into it. The type of personality that I have is the. Is an extreme personality in general. So if I set my mind to something, I really go deep into it.
That happened with gaming. So I was addicted to gaming. The same thing happened with computer science before I was addicted to computer science or anything, I would set my mind to, I go really deep. It would fitness. It was different because. It wasn't just that go really, really deep and sort of do it for a period of time, but it shifted into more of a, kind of a simmering relationship with fitness where I kind of kept that as a part of my life and went deeper and deeper and deeper.
And so it adds so much value to me. So there's. There's there's something special about it in that moment in time that really reeled me in as a person, I think was the right thing at the right time for me to make that shift, then it was the vehicle for me to discover that I can change, which I think is a, is a big factor.
Before that I was just, you can't change. It's not that you have the genetics, you have this or not. I was very fixed in my mindset, but fitness kind of opened me up if I can do this. Well, why can't I do the other stuff that I. Plan on doing and you know, there there's so much more possibility you suddenly see, well, I set a goal and I achieved it.
So why can't I just apply the same methodology? I can reverse engineer this. Why can't I reverse engineer something else? So it really kind of built on all the way from there. In, in my journey.
Bryan Carroll: [00:06:37] Yeah, it's, it's amazing that you were able to figure that out at such a young age, walking into that career, that that's not really the lifestyle that you wanted.
Cause I think surveys a couple of years ago came out that three out of five people don't like their career they are in or the job that they have. And so to figure that out at such a young age and pivot well done I'm also assuming that seeing that type of crowd also is what made you interested in helping entrepreneurs and business professionals to get fit and healthy.
Is that correct?
Mario Tomic: [00:07:11] Yeah, that was actually the idea because all my fellow software engineers and people that I studied with, and in general, people that I work with, they were working really hard. There were some of the smartest people that I know, but they were totally out of shape. Like there was this domain in their life.
There's this elephant in the room, their health that they were just totally missing. They did not take care of themselves at all. You'd had people drinking. It had people, you know, smoking to get relaxed at the end of the day. You know, you said all these bad habits, and these were really smart people.
We're not just talking about, you know, someone who is completely clueless about they're, they're some of the most intelligent, bright minds they're developing apps and software and algorithms that you just really need. Do have years of experience to do. And I'm like, why does it, why can't they see the obvious, you know, why they can't see what's actually happening there because they're struggling with productivity at some point when they had to get to a point of low energy and they're just struggling and they're stressed out, you can see on them, they would benefit from a little bit of data.
Yes. And that eventually kind of got me to mints once I understood it. Once I fixed it for myself, also, people started asking questions and I see there's a big demand and a big need for that, because most people. When you get into your thirties, forties, fifties, I mean, you have habits that have been with you for decades.
So those habits are not just going to be as easy as saying, I'm going to do this. And then just all go away. Those bad habits will be with you. And then I realized that this is something that I can add a lot of value with in terms of how I changed myself and obviously going through the whole process of building my business.
Eventually, then it led me to develop a system that I can actually cater to the specific. Demographic, which are entrepreneurs and professionals. And a lot of our clients these days are software engineers. We've got a lot of guys from Silicon Valley. So Google employees, we got a lot of Microsoft as well in there.
We got Apple. We got, we got, we got a bunch of people from a good Facebook employees. We got a lot of guys that are. Again, like in those roles that are extremely stressful deadlines, they're constantly working, but they realized I got to make some changes in my life. Otherwise I am going to burn out basically, you know, you reach a point in your life where something has to no change here.
Bryan Carroll: [00:09:16] Yep. You can be a super smart, you can have what appears to be at all, but if you don't have your health and wellness, you don't have much.
Mario Tomic: [00:09:25] Yeah. Yeah. And some guys realized it very late. Some guys realized it early. There's obviously a big differences in your environment. I mean, your fearing environment is again, as an engineer, your environment, isn't to talk about no calories, resistance training, you know, squats, macros, protein, eating healthy vegetables.
Now you're talking about our stuff and you're, you're essentially never really engaging in this conversation. Even if you, even, if you try to do something for your health and fitness and you try to do it. Certain things. You're getting this negative feedback loop for an environment that what you're doing is weird.
Like you're the guy that's doing something off and it everybody's somebody for drinks after work and you're going to hit the gym and you're saying no, and it just feels weird. And then you're just getting in those negative loops. And of course we're all human. We like to go through the path of least resistance.
And that's usually what carries us. Most people are living their life in reaction to whatever the environment or the peer group does. And very few will eventually wake up. And they will, they'll say, okay, I need to go against that. I need to go against the 90 to go against the friction, which is where growth really happens.
But it is only a few that come through that realization. Unfortunately, that's why we are in situation that we are today with no such a big health crisis. Yep.
Bryan Carroll: [00:10:35] Yeah. And it's interesting too, a lot of times in those different type of environments and offices people bring in treats all the time. There's a lot of temptations.
A lot of people are just pounding energy drinks to stay awake and focus on the work that they're doing. A energy drink could be coffee that could have, you know, two pots of coffee. And so the environment, like you said, could be a big factor in the condition and shape that these people are in.
Mario Tomic: [00:11:01] Exactly.
Every day is a special day in the office. You know, you can make it special. There's someone bringing treats. If there's no treats, let's order in together, let's do this or that. And it's just all going with whatever's convenient. Whatever's easy, whatever's comfortable. And we know that there's very few things in life that are comfortable and at the same time.
Good for you. So what do you get in that position when you're thinking that is there. Is there a good outcome out of this whole, this whole situation? And then you start realizing actually I'm going down a path where those decisions when they compound. Will lead to a disaster. It's not that eating one burger is going to get you to get a heart attack.
If that was the case, I mean, nobody would actually eat unhealthy. You know, you have a bag of chips, you drop, then you kind of have cardiac arrest. Now you obviously, you're not gonna eat the chips anymore. But the feedback loop is very, very long and we're terrible as humans to deal with long feedback loops.
The feedback loop is you get a heart attack when you're 60. So when you're 25, you don't think about it when you're 35. You don't think about when you're 45. Don't think about it. But when you're 60. Then you're in trouble and you start thinking about it after it's already happened. After you both go to meds already and you have to manage the situation now.
So those things that are based on delayed gratification, we have a really, really hard time dealing with, and that's the problem. I mean, we're living in an obesogenic environment as well. It's the easiest time ever to get extremely delicious, hyper palatable high calorie density foods are just everywhere.
I mean the cool thing. I mean, you walk into any supermarket, you have the healthiest foods ever available, easily available, but you also have the most unhealthiest food equally available in the same environment. Then obviously, you know, if you don't have a game plan, You're just going to go for whatever you might eat, the way your friends eat.
They like the way their friends eat and just everybody's essentially playing the same game. And if you're not deliberately doing what's best for you, you're very likely to fall into the plans of, I dunno, the food manufacturer, the grocery store aisle, whatever it is that they put conveniently the most processed foods at eye level.
So you're going to pick them up. They're going to hide the healthy stuff somewhere in the back there, where you have to dig through stuff to find, I know a salad with some lean protein, like that's going to be tricky. So they, they know they put it out there, but you need to work for it to actually discover it.
So there's a lot of examples. I mean, obviously I always say, look, it's. Not necessarily your fault, but it is your a hundred percent of responsibility to do, do something about this, right? I'm not saying it's your fault that you, that you're 20, 30 pounds over weight. And when I was 40, 45 pounds of weight, it wasn't my fault.
I just didn't know better, but it was definitely my responsibility once I became aware of it to make some changes. So I think that's kind of where, where it's really at.
Bryan Carroll: [00:13:40] Yup. Now you've talked about habits. You've talked about food, you've talked about fitness, so. Obviously you have some sort of method that you do with your clients that you work with.
That's very successful. So can you talk to us about what is that method like? Do you start with habits first? Do you get people started with fifth, with fitness? Do you get people started with nutrition? Is it all thrown in together simultaneously? What's your method?
Mario Tomic: [00:14:05] So I think what makes us different is we really focus on install design.
Now, I would say more than what a lot of other stuff. I mean, a lot of other people out there they're diet focused or they're training focused, or they're challenged focused do this 90 day thing. Do these 12 weeks, 16 weeks, eight week programs or whatever. The way I see fitness is it's an infinite game.
Right. So it's something that essentially you, you just don't do for a certain amount of finite time. You, you got to keep doing it. I mean, there there's no arrival in fitness. It's not like college degree. Like I got my master's degree back then I still have it. That's a finite game. That's a very different ball game.
An infinite game. Like my fitness, if I stopped training a year from now, I'm going to lose all my progress. I mean, that's just the way it is. I'm going to get unhealthier. That's a fact if I stopped training any healthy, so it's not the same rule book when you're approached something that's finite versus something that's infinite.
So these would be infinite quote, unquote habits. So we are looking at a set of habits that essentially make up a healthy lifestyle. And this is very individual. Like some people need a whole plethora of habits because they have nothing. They're starting from scratch with no foundation whatsoever. Other people need high level optimization of nutrition because they already are actually eating healthy.
They're might've even be tracking their calories and macros and hitting their training programs, progressed to overload and they've done the basics. So now they want to go from sort of good to great. Others are starting from scratch. They want to get to good. It really depends on where the client comes through them.
I think that's. The two combinations, that two things we combined with his experience level. So where's the person ad where they want to go. And so it has to be individualized. And also what that long-term lifestyle change has to be because ultimately everything we instill in our client, we're thinking about it as a way that they are going to keep doing those same things.
So we're helping them optimize their sleep. For example, which most fitness programs and trition programs out there don't even consider that. But think about it. If you're walking around it's six and a half, seven hours of sleep. You have all the odds stacked against you. I mean, your cravings are going to be through the roof.
You're going to be hungry or you're going to slowly re no-carb between the workouts. You're going to suffer. They're going to have high levels of it. The energy levels are going to be lower. So your work is going to suffer as a professional, especially as you go diet at the same time. So if you fix that one thing, suddenly everything else gets easier.
And there's a whole number of things like that. I mean, nutrition again, if you fix the nutrition, suddenly you sleep better. So all things are connected. It's not necessarily that you just fix this one thing and then suddenly magic happens. You have to attack it from angles and look at what areas you're at and optimize each area.
So if your sleep is one out of 10, on a scale of 10 being perfect one being. Nope, zero effort whatsoever and just random sleep. You're waking up in middle of the night, three, four times. Well, that's an area you need to improve. So if you bring it from one out of 10 to five, out of thin, suddenly huge improvements, take a look at your training resistance training.
If you're not doing any resistance training and you're complete beginner, I mean, you're starting with three sessions of resistance training a week for an hour. You're going to maximize your results as a beginner. You don't really need to do much more than that. Now, if you're a trained lifter and you've been lifting for four or five years, I mean, yes, you could do three and those are going to be really, really hard sessions and probably longer than an hour, but you might need to do a little bit more.
Right. And it just really depends on where the person ad I'm a really big fan of healthy habits, such as walking. I've done a whole series of videos on it. I got featured in men's salt, a bunch of times for it. People actually. Think of me as like the walking guy. Now, even though I promote lifting weights and eating your protein, eating healthy, but I like the message because yes, we're not walking enough.
Most people are walking two, 3000 steps a day when I have clients initially. And then we get them a Fitbit, one of those trackers and just use their phone to track their steps. And they see that they're walking 3000 steps a day. They get shocked. They think they're active. That's the people, I think they're active.
And that's nowhere near the actual recommended amount that you should be walking. And I usually say somewhere between six to 10,000 steps, a day, seven to 10,000 steps a day, it's a really good range. I mean, if you could do more on the weekends, finally going to go for a hike, take your kids out. That's great.
But in that range, you're going to see tremendous amount of benefit. Again, better sleep. You're less stressed out. You can listen to audio books while walking. You can make it a social activity. Maybe as a dad, you barely have any time to spend with your kids. Why don't you just take them for a walk? Why didn't you do something together?
I mean, we're a relationship situation. There's so many good conversations you can have with someone just taking a walk with them compared to sitting on a couch, staring at the TV. I mean, it makes no sense to me. So there's some of these things that we insist on sort of like we can recommend generally for people.
I talk a lot about this in my channel, but our actual system itself is individualized based on the starting point of the person and their goal. Of course.
Bryan Carroll: [00:18:55] Yeah. It's good that you brought up different ways to incorporate like movement and stuff into your day. Because I was going to say if a really busy entrepreneur is listening to this and they already put in, you know, 14 to 16 hours into their business, because they're just getting started.
And then they hear, you know, all these different lifestyle changes that they might need to make in order to be healthy as well. That could be hard to commit to. So it's, it's great that you broke it down, that your commitment right now could be going for a walk with your kids. It could be, you know, changing what you eat at lunch or something similar to that.
Maybe get seven hours of sleep instead of six. So it doesn't have to be wild and crazy at the beginning.
Mario Tomic: [00:19:37] Exactly. I think people come into the journey with an overhaul mindset and often they come into it with a mindset that if I'm really crushing it in one area, that automatically means that I'm good at the other stuff that I need to do.
So people might be running a seven, eight figure company, nine figure company to a really well successful startup or an already mature company. And then they have that success there. But then when they go into fitness, They're kind of assuming it's going to go flawless. Everything's gonna be perfect. It's a linear path to success.
And then of course, it's not like that you're in a new domain. So the skills that you built here don't necessarily apply in health and fitness because there's a reason why you're out of shape to begin with. So yes, there was definitely that point. You don't want to overwhelm someone and give them too much.
And we've routinely, I mean, especially busy clients, let's say we do 7,000 steps a day. Well that doesn't necessarily have to be outside and taking a full walk. You can. Do a, all your meetings, walking all your phone calls, just make sure you walk around, grab a Bluetooth pair of headsets. Just walk around the office.
Make sure no, the stairs never take an elevator. I can't park your car a little bit further away from the gym. Don't fight for the right spot right in front of the entrance. So make it work for you or take out the garbage, make sure you're just generally looking for opportunities to stay active and it really does add up to that 7,000 a day.
You would be surprised. How easy it is to make a few tweaks. And suddenly you start reaping extra benefits from this. You drop an extra half a pound at a little bit less than that without making that many sacrifices per week. And it does really add up and then a culpa nutrition changes at the right place.
Little bit of resistance training. Suddenly you got yourself something that's very sustainable. Our focus is sustainability. I mean, anybody can discipline themselves to do something for four to six weeks. Right. I'll do the craziest David Goggins, you know, just, you know, go nuts had no problem, but burnout is real.
And if you're spinning a lot of plates in your life, you've got family, you've got business, you got yourself. You, you have to be mindful of how far to be a comfort zone. Are you operating? It's okay to operate outside of your comfort zone, but you also have to kind of consider. That there's an overwhelm zone and there's a growth zone.
Growth zone is just slightly outside of the comfort zone. You don't have to go in straight, jump into that. You can slowly let that comfort zone and mature and expand. And then as those habits get stronger and stronger, the things that you need discipline and motivation for suddenly don't require as much because obviously habits are automation.
It's our brains being lazy in a good way. It's bad and good habits. The brain doesn't know the difference. Once you get in good habits, you can build on those habits. So it's essentially. You focus, something conscious effort into it, and you build it into your habitual system. And now you have that free ramp to focus on new stuff.
And that way you can keep storing new habits in there. And essentially that becomes, at some point you talked to a lot of guys that we work with and have been in this for a while. There it's harder not to go to the gym than it is to go. I mean, it's harder for them not to eat healthy because they're so wired now.
For healthy eating that they recognize when they're off and it's automatically pulling them back. And just because there's their good habits are so strong and they're not really needing a pep-talk every day, you know, to go to the gym or anything, they're just doing it. It's just a part of their, their identity.
It's who they are.
Bryan Carroll: [00:23:03] Now you mentioned earlier that you are a lifter, even though people identify you as a Walker now, apparently. So a lot of, like you said earlier, when you're first getting going, and you've been sitting sedentary on a job for a long time, you're going to make gains and changes very quickly in your body, which is awesome to see because it's very motivating.
Now for people that are just getting going and they start lifting. Are they going to be building muscle? Are they going to be a losing fat? Are they going to be doing both? And if so, how much muscle can you build in like a week or?
Mario Tomic: [00:23:40] Yeah. So that's a good question. So if you're a beginner, you're in a really good spot to see results.
Quick and that's as quick as you'll ever going to see them. So we call this sort of the honeymoon phase of the journey you have the first six months to a year gains come easily. And it's never like that again, you know, it just gets slower and slower and slower, which is not necessarily a bad thing because it, it motivates you in the beginning then later on to develop a passion for it.
So you're going to keep chasing it anyway. So it kind of works out. When we were strictly speaking about sort of who can let's say build muscle, lose fat at the same time, we're talking about very, very specific groups of people. So for example, or weight beginner, trying to lose weight, and then at the same time training with resistance, whether it's calisthenics at the gym at home.
Now most of our kinds actually training at home with all the stuff that's going on. Yes. Building muscle while losing fat. Right. That happens. That happens very regularly. The stimulus is strong. There's enough body fat there to serve energy. Very, very good results in terms of both building muscle, losing fat, which is great because you get rid of all the fat and then you have something to show at the end of that journey.
Because you have a physique that you built along the way, obviously you're not going to become a body builder. I know people have this fear and it was suddenly wake up one day, like on over Schwartzenegger I promise you like with all your effort, like everything, you do 10 X that you're not even going to come close.
So there was no fear that's accidentally, you're going to become one of the most successful bodybuilders in the world. It's not going to happen. The other group that can lose fat and build muscle would be someone that's. Been trained in the past. So they've taken a big break from training and now they come back to train.
So it could be an old athlete, used to train, took a long break due to some factor. And Al came back and they have that muscle memory effect working for them. So that individual, even while losing body fat can put on a decent amount of muscle, because they're actually putting on the old muscle they have, because they're basically beginning those gains and the third category, which is kind of tricky too.
Do exactly define would be someone who has very poor training and nutrition programming, and a bad lifestyle. And they've been lifting, but. You could still call them to be a beginner because they haven't done things seriously. So they're more like a sporadic type of a mentality. Not that consistent.
Maybe they're just doing some random bro split in the gym. Not really training that hard, not really pushing themselves, not sleeping that well, nutrition is all over the place. They're kind of going through the motions. And with those clients, we've also seen some incredible gains while they're losing fat.
They just gaining a lot of muscle, almost as much as an overweight beginner, just because now they're finally getting serious about it. They're in a proper program. That's individualized for them. They are getting their nutrients in there. They're sleeping. Well, they're recovering well, they're they're training at a more optimal.
Level and suddenly results show outside of those three things. If you're someone let's say I'm going to take myself for an example, I've been lifting for more than 10 years now. The chances that I'm going to go now and I'm going to lose fat and build muscle at the same time or practically zero. I mean, I try not, not, not to say that I'm just going to CBOE myself into, you know, losing gains and whatever I'm going to try and push really hard.
But at best at this point in time, if I'm going through a fat loss phase, I'm going to basically retain the muscle that I have, depends of how lean I get. If I go really, really lean. If I don't take my time and make it a very long journey, I'm probably gonna to lose a little bit, but that's not a big deal because you already have a ton of it.
You're close to your potential and you're already good to go. If you lose a couple pounds of muscle and go aggressive, it still doesn't make that much of a difference. People wouldn't even be able to notice. So it really depends on the experience level of the person. The cool thing about it. Again, being a beginner.
Everybody wants to be advanced, but they don't understand. Like I wish I was a beginner again. It would be crazy good. I would just go to the gym. I gained every workout. I can add some weight on the bar. That's insane. As an advanced person. Like, you know, the journey forces you to focus on patients. You, you train really, really hard to gain upon them to have muscle a year.
I mean, that's just how crazy slow it is. And you do everything you possibly can and it still does it, you know, still can't ever predict when it's going to come and get a little bit of a spurt of growth, a couple of extra pounds in this lift, the doubt lift. Then you just really fight for an extra rep or two.
And so people kind of. I think this whole advanced training thing is amazing. But look, if you're a beginner, you're in a really good place to make some incredible progress. So, you know, honor that and, you know, make them well side of it,
Bryan Carroll: [00:28:17] you know, and the older you get, the harder it is to actually build muscle too.
So it makes it a little frustrating on that end as well.
Mario Tomic: [00:28:25] Yes, there's definitely an age component due to a couple of, I mean, first and foremost, I know people will tend to, obviously some people use this as an excuse. If you're now in your forties, you can make plenty of gains. If you're a beginner at any age, you can make plenty of gains.
I'm talking if you're an elite. Lifter and you're going to your sixties. You're probably not going to be able to maintain that. And that's just natural and I'm not hoping that I'm going to maintain my gains into my eighties. That's just the way the body works at this point, unless we invent something. I mean, I have my hopes up looking at the research.
There's some good anti-aging stuff going on. So maybe we, we cracked the code and reach what they call like aging escape, velocity. So we can just essentially rejuvenate ourselves and continue moving forward and maybe live to a 700 years old. Who knows? Maybe we'll, we'll see what happens the next 40, 50 years.
Lots of research every year, but for now, I mean, unless something like that happens, you're really looking at. If you're currently in your thirties, forties, fifties, if you're in your fifties right now, and you haven't lifted weights is the ideal opportunity for you to start lifting, to build a solid base of muscle, to carry that muscle.
Now in your sixties and seventies, it's cause much easier to maintain it than it is to gain it. And it's your opportunity before that frailty kicks in, it's your opportunity to do this thing properly. So then you can be able to do that and even look, even if you're a sixties, seventies right now, start again.
Lifting some weights again, be careful. Obviously you don't want to go too crazy, proper form, and don't push yourself beyond your capacity to recover, which is essential and just embrace the journey. You're going to gain a lot. I mean, speaking of percentages, if you're kind of looking at this as a beginner, I'd say early twenties, beginner, you're going to lift weights.
You can gain up to a one and a half percent of your body weight per month. If you're a skinny person looking to gain, you can put on a lot of that is going to be muscle. But if you're someone who was an intermediate lifter, I mean, you're really looking at gaining of somewhere between half a percent to a percent of your body weight in a month.
A month. That's not a year that, I mean, that's not a week, that's a month. So across an entire year, you're not looking at a long, I mean, that's, doesn't take a long time to gain some substantial amount of muscle. And the other part of this is how much of that is fat. So you want to be very careful with the amount of surplus you add, because a lot of people will go on what we call like bulking.
Put on a lot of body fat, very low muscle, all that weight that's gained, putting you in trouble where you have to clean that up later on. So I'm a big fan of doing what's called lean gaining. So being very conservative in the amount of calories you add into the diet training, really hard and just embracing on the lower end of that.
So if you gain half a percent or even a quarter of a percent, I mean, you're still gaining, moving forward, staying relatively lean and, and pushing yourself. You're going to see some tremendous progress like that. I think people often. First and foremost, they overestimate how experienced they are in the gym.
So they, they think I'm not a beginner. And then they, they think are, they can't gain anymore. While in reality, most people are still beginners or early intermediate, so they can gain a lot of muscle and a lot of progress. And on the other hand, a lot of people. Will bulk to heart, and I'm going to gain too much weight, which is a big mistake instead of just letting the process unfold itself.
They're kind of used to the weight loss side of things, which is seeing the scale move really quickly. And on a weekly basis, you can drop a pound pound and a half, no problem. But when you're gaining muscle, that's a monthly thing. So patients and that persistence becomes critical. And I've noticed this on my own journey.
I mean, we just spoke about this a little bit earlier. The journey will force you to learn patience. What do you want it or not? You will have to become patient. Is there there's no other option because it just does get slower. But of course, by the time it does get slow. You're pretty much already, you know, in, in probably an incredible shape among the 1% of the population.
I mean, some of the clients we work were in their forties, fifties, I mean, there, there, there are people that are among not just 1%, even like 0.1% of their age group, just because they're just so. Committed to the long-term vision. And you know, they, they don't make excuses about it. They're just making the most out of their situation, which is already good enough for incredible results.
Bryan Carroll: [00:32:35] So once you figure out like someone's macro ratio for a maintenance, and then they want to do that lean gain that you talked about what macronutrient are you increasing or are you doing all macronutrients that you're increasing? And then how much are you increasing them by.
Mario Tomic: [00:32:52] Yeah, that's a good question.
So we actually, I mean, we tend to leave this up to a client. What do they prefer? Carbohydrates or fats, because that's usually the two that protein is sort of defined. You don't really need to change protein too much. Once you find your levels, you can. I mean, my preference is a bit more carbohydrate.
That's just because it's, it gives people a little bit more food and just, it's just overall, you'll get a little bit more options for healthier fruits, vegetables, and adding, especially more fruit because most people don't eat enough fruit and they kind of demonized fruit for many years. So people aren't eating fruit.
And then it also helps with the training performance, what we've noticed as well. So that's kind of the thing, but again, we're talking about a very small increase this year. It's not like you're going to start eating a thousand calories a day extra. If you're gaining a pound. A month. I mean, that's a hundred calories, an extra day, a little bit above a hundred calories an extra day.
I mean, that's not a lot of calories, so that difference is minimal. So that's 25, 30 grams of carbs a day. And if you put a little bit into fats and carbs, we really leave the fats and carbs up to the clients. Once we kind of have their baseline, just because people's diet can vary a little bit throughout the day.
So they might have a day when they eat more salmon, for example, which is a little bit higher and fats. So they would rather spend more fats or they, or they're eating a day when they suddenly found so amazing, fresh avocado at the grocery store, they want to add more of a Kado to their salads. And we were like, okay, well just let's make that a part of your surplus instead of.
Maybe some of the carbohydrates, because we're talking about a very small difference. It doesn't really matter. Right. As long as that person is in that small surplus, as long as we're our metrics align and the data is there to they're progressing, I think it's all fine. But yes, where I'm slightly biased, more toward carbohydrate up to a point when it gets really hard to actually maintain how, because obviously metabolism, it's not a static thing.
Maybe, you know, you are in a surplus now with an extra a hundred calories and you'd, let's say go from 2,500 to 26 50. That doesn't guarantee that it's going to keep working. I mean, you might reach a maintenance at 26 50 and that's it. So you have to go from 26, 50 up to 27, 50 or 2,800 calories. The metabolism itself is still you, how much you need to change.
And then when, because you have clear data, if you look at your weights, you look at your progress photos, which we assess very regularly with our clients. So we kind of know which direction they're going in. We also have training performance, we have circumference measurements. So we're looking at. All these datasets to see what's progressing.
How much is the waste going up is the way to go in, like what's going on with this person. And then based on that, where we're making further changes, right? It's all about that. Adjustment over time.
Bryan Carroll: [00:35:27] Are you using data from wearables at all in your training programs?
Mario Tomic: [00:35:32] Yeah. Some of it, like, for example, like the step data is very useful for activity levels are things like calorie burn are not really that usable.
We actually actively discourage clients from looking at that because it can get pretty confusing because a lot of people don't understand how off those formulas are that you would see in an Apple watch or Fitbit. And they will naturally if you don't tell them, they might. Sometimes I try to eat back some of those calories.
So you go and you burn a thousand calories in your Fitbit and you're, well, you know, I deserve the extra two or 300 calories here, but the algorithm that calculated that thousand is potentially very off. So you were going to throw off your auto numbers here. So we try to. Actually discourage clients from looking at some of that calorie burner, chasing that calorie burn metric there, that some of the other things we can look at is sleep quality, of course.
And that's a very useful metric. Again, it's not super precise for us, but we can also look at it. Just basic numbers, certain things like how long were your asleep? Did you, you know, wake up in the middle that you're your quality of your sleep? Some things like our ring, maybe some data there that's somewhat useful, but even that's all questionable in terms of the accuracy.
So we're just sticking to the basic things. Like, and not just quantitatively, but qualitatively. Have you had a good night of sleep? You know, you've been in bed for eight hours. How do you feel, right. Is it getting better? How are your energy level? So it's both a combination of. Qualitative data and quantitative data, and then we can see exactly what a person is at.
Bryan Carroll: [00:37:00] Yeah. Serious about the the formulas and the algorithms that the wearables use for calorie burn. Are you using a different type of formula then to kind of figure that out? Or how are you figuring that out and why are the wearables so off if they're tracking heart rate,
Mario Tomic: [00:37:17] Well they're off because did general there's so much variance between an individual that is just very difficult for them to be able to calculate exactly how much you're burning and they can cockpit on a, on a general basis.
But then they can't really predict the non-exercise activity thermogenesis, for example, that happens after the training session. So maybe you burned a certain amount of calories here, but then. Are you w what are you burning later when you lie down on the couch and you're exhausted instead of walking around the house, as you normally would.
So there's a difference there. What about net? Total calories burned because I'm burning calories talking to you right now. And someone listening to this they're burning calories, even if they're sitting down, but, you know, even when you're training and let's say you're doing running well, there's calories burned there, but is that taken into account?
The amount of calories you would have burned? Otherwise, if you're in front of the TV, So there's a net difference there. So the way I like to look at it, and it's very simple, I look at the weights change. I don't try to estimate the calorie burn. I just look at the weight change. If the weight hasn't moved for two weeks on average, you're in a maintenance.
Maybe three weeks, depending on again, someone prone to water retention could retain the water for three weeks. Fair enough. You know, food choices might've been different. They might've been traveling or whatever, but that is a clear sun. You're maintaining your weight. You're not in a calorie deficit. For example, if your goal is to lose weight.
So by looking at the weights change on a weekly average basis, you can, from there extrapolate into how ma how much your. Energy balance is in either a surplus or a maintenance or a deficit. So you can see where you're at rather than trying to rely on these spoiled. Most which again, one data point goes into my fitness pal and my fitness pal at some of their stuff in there.
So it just gets mixed up and you don't know what's going on there. The incentive density of exercise and all these other factors, the higher, the intensity of exercise, these machines tend to be way off, even with the heart measurement. And so if you look at something like a Fitbit and a proper chest strap, heart rate monitor, and then you kind of compare them, they can be different quite a lot.
I mean, it depends again on each person, which is also so much variability and the more noise you have in the data, the less, the useful data is. So we try to focus more on things that we know for sure, for a fact that they're showing us the right trends.
Bryan Carroll: [00:39:33] That's a good way to look at it. Now for someone that is trying to get down to, let's say a 15% body fat, can you give us an idea of what a training protocol might look for?
Something like that to get that lean.
Mario Tomic: [00:39:49] So each training protocol is different. So in the training protocol itself, you're always aiming to gain muscle and strength so that that's the training set of things. So you're trying to gain muscle and strength, even though your primary goal might be to get the 15% body fat you're training to build more muscle, you're trained to get stronger, which is automatically leading to muscle retention or gain.
So the training set of things is serving that purpose. What are you going to get down to 15% or not is driven primarily what are you in a calorie deficit or not? And the primary driver for a calorie deficit will be an nutrition. So you really, they, they say you can't out train a bad that you probably can.
If you're doing a 20,000 steps a day and training twice a day for seven days a week and killing yourself there. Sure. Maybe, but diet is essentially the key component. If you want to make this sustainable. And if you're also a busy professional entrepreneur and all these other factors, It's easier to not eat 150 calories than it's to burn 150 calories due to all the factors we just mentioned with an accuracy tracking its net gain.
You train really hard, then you're lying on the couch half the day, you know, because you're exhausted. So the net burden is less. So because of all those factors, energy intake is the primary place we'll look at right. So, and the training program, how it's individualized it's based on training experience and the logistics of the person.
Are they training at home? Are they training at the gym or they're doing calisthenics or doing weights at the home? What types of weight equipment they have? How. Their bodies are actually structured and what their priorities are because some people have certain weak areas that you can kind of clearly see, they need to be worked on.
If someone has an advanced intermediate lifter, you can kind of see if someone is a beginner. They probably have to work everything because they're weak everywhere. Then you kind of look at how much time this person has. How can we maximize that amount of time? So the training set of things again, is optimized for getting muscle and strength.
But the fat loss side of things, that's, that's really driven primarily by nutrition and of course, activity levels outside of gym, like walking and sleep and all that stuff can help a lot. But nutrition, I mean, if you're not in a calorie deficit, you're basically kind of wasting your time here. You're not going to get to 15% body fat or below for sure.
Bryan Carroll: [00:42:06] then is there a point where you can be too lean?
Mario Tomic: [00:42:10] Yes. In a sense that it's not sustainable anymore. I've been there several times, myself the lifetime natural. So, I mean, for people wondering, and I wanted to see pictures on, I think it is this. No, no, I'm not taking absolutely anything.
Never taken anything. I don't want to take anything ever, you know, I just want to really honor my body and the way, the way it is now, I'm happy with it. Then yes, I get down to 6% body fat and I feel like crap. And that's normal. I mean, that's just not where you're supposed to be naturally with my set of genes, at least, I mean, some people can tolerate being at very low body fat percentages and there are genetic outliers out there that can stay at seven, 8% body fat naturally.
And doesn't bother them as much. For me personally, I feel the best between 10 and 15% body fat. I based on around 12%, which I did. Down to 10 or up to 15, depending on the phase that I'm in. But when I died down to 6% body fat, for example, just far from my baseline, I mean, libido goes down. That's just one of the things girlfriend's never happy with that.
You get poor sleep that affects a lot. Then low energy levels, not just due to the sleep, but also lower calorie availability in general training performance starts to suffer overall. I just don't feel good. Throughout the days my immune system is not working well, you can start getting into all these issues.
So staying at that level, I mean, you're just visiting you, just visit the, the realm of 6% stick around there for like a week or two and go back up. You're just visiting. You're not going to stay there. So you're not like planning to be a 6% body fat. And even speaking about 6% body fat, I'm talking about a true 6% body fat.
Because if you go to the gym, they're going to put you in an InBody machine or one of those auto buyer, electrical, impedance analysis machines that can be off by quite a lot. And it can be very generous depending on the equipment in the gym, what you ate the day before that day, how much water you drank and all that stuff.
And then. You go there, you step on the scale and scale says, Oh, you're 12% body fat. Well, in reality, you might be 22%. I mean, I've seen people claim 15% body fat, they're going from overweight to obese. And they, they are claiming 15% because the machine told them some of the machines that are very, very generous and I wouldn't buy into what the machine actually says the same goes for a home scale as a smart scales that it can get.
Th especially the cheaper ones, they can be off bikes so much that it's just ridiculous. So when I say 6%, I really mean there's no fat left. I mean, there's really paper, thin skin old there. There's basically visually I'm seeing my, my legs are completely ripped my back. There's no more fat there. No love handles.
I got a little bit of fat left in my glutes somewhere. I don't even know where it is. So. It's really, really lean. And I think that at that point, most people will not be able to sustain that. My face looks weird. I mean, I just look like I'm not that well off. So I tend not to go below 10% body fat very often.
I don't think there's a point to do that unless you're a competitor. So. I'm staying in that 10 to 15% body federal range. And I think for most people, 12 to 15% body fat is very reasonable. I mean, this is where you can with good, smart training and nutrition and everything that we spoke about here. You can definitely be in that level and make it a lot to maintain, but especially 15%, I mean, 15% should be maintainable with a solid long-term habits.
And you're pretty much good to go and you look great. You feel great. I mean, it's, it's a great place to be. As far as health is concerned.
Bryan Carroll: [00:45:39] Perfect. Well, my final question for you is what is your vision and what healthy looks like and what are three things you do daily to reach that
Mario Tomic: [00:45:49] if you're speaking strictly, visually it's lean. Athletic and strong. So those are my three things that I'm looking for. Lean athletic, strong. I like to be lean agile. And I like to have a decent amount of strength and not athletic busy week is really what, what I think healthy male bodies should look like essentially.
I mean, you can be healthier at a heavier weight. Well, but that's sort of my vision. And that's where I see myself obviously different standards. It's personal preference, but that's kind of where I'm seeing myself as, as my ideal. Perfect. And you mentioned the three things. With that, I would definitely say first and foremost do some form of activity.
For me personally, I love to again, do walking. That's that's my thing. I love every single day I'm between eight or 10,000 steps. I bundled it with my audio books. So I get the reading done. And also get that done as well. I'm not going to put training in here because I don't train everyday. I train five to six days out of the week, but that will definitely be on that list.
The second thing daily that I do is that I make sure that I'm, that I'm doing correctly is I get to bed on time to get my eight plus hours of sleep. So sleep between eight to nine hours. This, this is my bread and butter. If I don't sleep eight hours, I definitely noticed a dip in my performance. I think if people that have.
I never slept an appropriate amount. They might've lost track on what it actually feels like to be properly slept. It is a huge difference. I work between 10 and 12 hours a day. I don't take any days off, so I need that sleep. That's my recovery. That's my rest relaxation. So I can push really hard when I'm working.
And the third one that I would recommend sort of that I do because I've been doing it intuitively at this point, but I would recommend. For people that are kind of just starting out or kind of intermediate is you know, pay attention to your, to your food intake, track your food, journal, your calories, journal, your food intake.
I think that's such a big, big factor in just understanding what's going into your body. If you don't have the habits already built, obviously if you do have it, have the habits already built, then you can just continue eating healthy and eating a salad with every meal and making sure you're getting your protein.
But if you don't have that, I would say. Journaling your food for a certain amount of months and, or you're, you're going to see a tremendous amount of change just from doing that.
Bryan Carroll: [00:48:01] What congrats on getting us eight plus hours of sleep at night. That's really hard to do. And I know most people are not getting that so way to put that one up, up at the top.
There's actually a this week, so it hasn't been released as of today when we're talking, but I have a podcast episode coming out all about sleep. So very good timing that you're talking about that This was a super fun conversation. I had a great time with you. Where can people find more about you and see all your videos?
Mario Tomic: [00:48:30] I put a lot of content out on YouTube. I have a daily video. I put a video on weekly, but I also done daily back in the day. So I have a library of videos already up there, but even if you just do it now, you'll see a lot of relevant content for getting lean. Getting strong, making a sustainable lifestyle.
Talk a lot about behavior, change, motivation, discipline, how to transition from motivation to building habits. So YouTube just put in my name, it was just even typing in Mario fitness. You've probably seen me on top there, Mario TMIC. I think you're gonna find tremendous amount of value there. The website is stomach.com.
So tmic.com got lots of stuff on there. You can see client results, my, my own sort of philosophy and a masterclass video that I've put out there as well. So that's kind of cool as well. It's just to get sort of like a summary of some of the points as well. And that's the other, I mean, I'm active a little bit on Instagram, a little bit of our platforms, but I think those two would be basically you'd be enough to get a old devalue.
Bryan Carroll: [00:49:25] All right. Well, thank you so much, Mario. This was fantastic. I, like I said, I really enjoyed this conversation and I love to have you back in the future again, and we could dive deeper into something topics.
Mario Tomic: [00:49:37] Thank you so much for having me. And my pleasure's all mine would be happy to come back on,
Bryan Carroll: [00:49:41] head over to Mario's YouTube channel.
If you want to dive deeper into topics around getting lean. And right now he has about 187,000 subscribers and has a whole backlog of videos to view. So his channel will definitely keep you busy for a while. Speaking of YouTube, you may have noticed that I have been making a lot more videos for YouTube, including adding a video component to these podcast episodes.
So if you want to get inspired by different adventures, learn different ways to take care of your body and every now and then see some of our home setting side projects, head over to summit for wellness.com. Slash YouTube to subscribe to the channel. Next week, I have Chelsea Marren on the show. Let's go learn who she is.
I am here with Chelsea Murn. Hey Chelsea, what is one unique thing about you that most people don't know? Oh my gosh.
Chelsea Murn: [00:50:31] I can lick my elbow lick. Okay. Prove it.
Bryan Carroll: [00:50:39] All right. That's impressive. I can't get anywhere near my elbow.
Chelsea Murn: [00:50:44] That was the first thing that came to mind for me.
Bryan Carroll: [00:50:47] Well, we'd be learning about in our interview together.
Chelsea Murn: [00:50:50] Oh, we're going to be talking all about brain rewiring climbing training. We're going to talk a little bit about business. It's honestly going to be a mashup of pretty much everything that makes me me.
And it's going to be really fun in a,
Bryan Carroll: [00:51:01] what are your favorite foods or nutrients that you think everyone should get more of in their diet?
Chelsea Murn: [00:51:06] Oh, man, because we just talked about this electrolytes, the element ones, the raspberry salt flavor is amazing. It is such a game changer. Like you wake up, drink some of that and you're gonna feel
like a rock star.
Bryan Carroll: [00:51:18] And what are your top three health tips for anyone who wants to improve their overall wellness? Ooh.
Chelsea Murn: [00:51:23] Okay. Get outside in the sunshine bonus. If you're doing an activity like rock climbing, making sure you're getting those electrolytes super important. And then also taking time for you. I think a lot of us, we put so many other people's needs and wants ahead of our own and really just prioritizing ourselves is going to make you a much happier person.
Bryan Carroll: [00:51:42] Brain rewiring is definitely an interesting topic. So until next week, keep climbing to the peak of your health.
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