Insights and Genetics With Matt Gallant and Wade Lightheart

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Hello, and welcome to The Wellness Mama Podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com. And this episode is about unlocking dietary success using data insights, genetics, and finding your unique path to health. And I’m here with Matt Gallant and Wade Lightheart, who are the founders of BIOptimizers. And I’m excited to have them on because they wrote a new book that I really like that goes deep on the topic of nutrition and really cutting through a lot of the myths that are out there. And it’s also extremely applicable and practical and gives very detailed practical protocols that you can jump straight into.

And I also love that they’re talking about some areas that most people are not talking about in-depth yet. They have information and products around magnesium, which I, of course, have been talking about for a really long time, but they also are doing a lot of work around the area of enzymes. And I feel like a lot of people tremendously benefit from getting this piece dialed in, and it’s not talked about enough, but we talk a lot about the gut microbiome side of this, the compliance, how to actually figure out your own personalized plan that is both sustainable and effective, and so much more. They’re both extremely practical and have done a lot of work with many clients over the years and helping really dial these pieces in. And they share a lot of that wisdom today. So let’s join Matt Gallant and Wade Lightheart. Matt and Wade, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for being here.

Matt: Thanks for having us.

Katie: I’m excited to chat. I got to read your book recently, and I love how specific it got on so many different topics. And it’s amazing how much you fit into one book. For context, I would guess a lot of people do already know who you guys are or may be familiar with your work. But for context, can you each share a little bit of your personal story when it comes to diet and nutrition and what led to the impetus for writing this book? Because I know you both have quite the journey.

Matt: Thanks. Yeah, I mean, everybody has to eat. So on some level, everybody is focused on nutrition, right? No one can escape that. Yeah, for me, it really started when I came home, and my uncle told me I was fat. I was 190 pounds. I had a bit of a belly, and I decided to lose weight. So I started running, and I got on the Atkins Diet, and I went from 190 to 147 in six months.

And then I went to the beach the following summer and saw two bodybuilders, and I felt really puny and small. It hit all my insecurities and I got bit by the bodybuilding bug, and I went the other direction. I went from like 147 to 235 over three years, got obsessed with bodybuilding, and competed once. That’s the first time I ever saw Wade. Wade actually won that show. And then Wade and I were both really successful personal trainers. So we helped a lot of people lose weight, build muscle. I worked with a few pro athletes as well. So we really got to see the power of nutrition in different goals and different settings. And then, of course, we eventually created a supplement company, but Wade and I have probably had thousands of hours of conversation about nutrition and a lot of that in the early days was arguing. And then eventually we found common ground in what we call universal nutritional optimizers. And it eventually led us to writing the book because we got tired of being zealots, and we got tired of seeing zealots on Instagram and social media telling people that their way is the only way. Wade?

Wade: Yeah. So I got started in the industry as a 15-year-old. I started taking up bodybuilding. My sister had given me a bodybuilding magazine while she had just been diagnosed with cancer. I watched her go through the medical model for four years before she died at the age of 22. And it had a big impact on me. And I realized that your health isn’t a guarantee, and your life isn’t a guarantee. Now, in my naive sense, I thought that if you looked muscular or you had muscles or you were fit or had a low body fat level, that translated to health. I went to study exercise physiology at the University of New Brunswick, and it was a great foundation, but it was all compartmentalized. There were no universal aspects.

So I took it upon myself to study people who are producing extraordinary results. And I worked through the entire nutrition industry from warehouses, representing companies, owning my own nutritional company, being around the inside of the game, and knowing some of the upside of it and a whole lot of the dark side of it as well. And then Matt and I, and then I ended up being a personal training coach in Vancouver while competing in bodybuilding contests that allowed me to eventually represent my country at the Mr. Universe Contest. Matt said, hey, vegetarians, not on drugs, going to Mr. Universe’s is really weird and strange. I think we can market this online. I thought he was crazy. I didn’t own a computer. He couldn’t believe I didn’t own a computer. I couldn’t believe he could sell stuff online. So we decided we’d start a company. And we did that. It was very successful out of the gate. We coached thousands of fitness and bodybuilding enthusiasts at that time. And then we rebranded our company BIOptimizers years later because we got into what’s now called biohacking, holistic health, and human forms. We were always passionate about it, but we realized that as a company, we had very unique solutions, best in class products, and in a variety of areas that people are suffering from. And our roots inside of the fitness and dietary industry just parlayed into how to become essentially a superhuman.

Katie: Well, I think there’s several important things to highlight in what you guys just said and so many areas we can go deep on from there. I love that you brought up and started with muscle. And I know you both have a background in bodybuilding. I actually researched my way into that world a little bit as well and realized, well, that’s not necessarily a common or popular community for moms, there’s actually a lot of wisdom that we can gain from understanding that. And I know there has been a lot of talk. I’ve had other guests on this podcast to talk about the importance of building and maintaining lean muscle mass, especially as we age and sort of it being the organ of longevity and how much it affects us, not just metabolically, but our brain health as we age. And certainly it’s no secret that statistically in America, we’re having issues in a lot of those areas. And there are some really alarming trends.

And I love that you guys, in this book, and I would love to have you go deep on it now, kind of unite those universal nutritional optimizers that you talk about with the personalization aspect. Because that’s what I want to talk about. What I’ve noticed over the last 10 years in the world of health and wellness is, like you said, everybody has their protocol that works for them. And I think that’s awesome. And I do believe they figured out what worked for them. But when they try to make that a template that works for everyone, I think a lot gets lost in the nuance. And at the end of the day, I say often on here, we are each our own primary healthcare provider. And we’re the ones responsible for what’s going into our bodies and our daily habits. And that’s what truly makes the long-term difference for our health. So can you talk about the personalization aspects and those universal nutritional optimizers that you guys explain in the book?

Matt: Yeah, because they really make all the difference in the world. When you start personalizing any diet strategy that you’re on, you can make it work. And I think a lot of people will get on keto or a plant-based diet without understanding their own genetics or their gut biome or other issues we can get into. So they don’t make the appropriate tweaks. They don’t use the right supplements and end up with nutritional deficiencies that cause them to quit the diet and then either give up completely or try to find the next magic diet. I think a good place to start is really defining nutrition, which a lot of people I don’t think really understand.

So first, of course, it starts with eating good food. We can define what that is, but food that’s ideally rich in nutrients and low in toxins. But then your body has to break those down. And one of the things that everybody can do is really optimize their digestive system. And that’s really where we focused on as a company starting with Masszymes in 2005. It’s still our second best-selling product because it is the strongest protein-digesting blend in the market. And a lot of people consume a lot of protein, which is a good thing, but they don’t necessarily break it down, which can lead to some issues, which we can talk about, especially if you’ve got a leaky gut. So optimizing your digestive system is critical because you need to break the food down. Then these molecules need to cross the intestinal barrier. And in the final stages, these nutrients need to be assimilated either into energy, into muscle tissue, into fat cells, or other biological material like neurotransmitters, etc., hormones. So it’s really important to understand all aspects of that. And again, when you start using things like enzymes and probiotics and hydrochloric acid, you can get way more value out of the food you eat. Maybe, Wade, you can touch on the five stages of digestion.

Wade: Yes. So right now, the, 12% of the emergency hospital visits are related to gastrointestinal issues. That means people are going to the hospital in an ambulance or something because something has gone so wrong. A hundred million people, about a third of the population, suffer from digestive conditions that, left unchecked, lead to a life of suffering and the dependence on pharmaceutical integrations and eventually surgeries and ultimately an early death.

So Hippocrates, a couple of thousand years ago, suggested that all disease begins in the gut. And he was right. And today with modern food production, a lot of our system is completely dysregulated. And what we don’t realize is if you put it in your mouth, that doesn’t mean it’s inside the cells of your body. And the process involves five stages. The taste, touch, smelling, preparing the food, all that stuff with the sensory experience, which primes the body. Like if I say dill pickles and vinegar or something, people might salivate, for example. There’s an actual physiological response just with the sight, smell, taste, or preparation of a food.

There’s mastication and chewing that as part of that initial process. The food then travels down the esophagus into the upper cardiac portion of the stomach. Now, humans are the only population that eats an enzymatically deficient food. Every other animal eats its food in a raw, live state. That means they don’t just get the nutrients, they get the enzymes. And virtually every nutrition book gives a couple paragraphs on enzymes and why they’re important and then forgets about them. But so all of us are eating food that is essentially enzymatically deficient. And what the best health experts that understand nutrition in a really defined way and how the process works realizes that we need to add exogenous enzymes into our diet in order to ensure that digestion because we just cook and pasteurize and radiate food. And there’s benefits of that. But reality is we have to recognize it.

After 30 to 60 minutes, hydrochloric acid starts to come into the stomach. And what that does, it does two things. One, it disinfects. It takes the bugs, the bacteria, the viruses, the pathogens, all the bad guys that are going to screw you up in your life. And then the second thing that it does is it changes the pH. And when that pH changes, that activates some enzymes and deactivates other enzymes. And if you’re just taking a random enzyme supplement that isn’t balanced through the entire range of pH, again, you’re not getting a sophisticated enzyme formulation. You’ll be left saying, well, that enzyme didn’t work for me. So that’s the two things that are important.

Then after that, the food comes out of the stomach. Your body uses a thing called bicarbonate buffers. These are essential minerals that buffer the acids from our stomachs so that it can go into our intestinal tract. Now, things like magnesium and calcium are items that would buffer that acid. Inside of the intestinal tract, you have what’s called the microbiome, which is the collective aspect of all the bacteria, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And it’s easy to think that there’s 10% good, 10% bad, and 80% are opportunists. Your microbiome is changing all the time. The diet that you choose is going to change your microbiome. Agents that you consume are going to change it. And why is that important? Bacteria are the last part of the digestive process. We live in a symbiotic relationship with these. If we don’t have these bacteria, we can’t convert the food that we consume into the energy units or the building blocks that we require from.

Simultaneously, if we have too many disruptive bacteria, they produce all kinds of toxins. You wake up in the morning with a brain fog, crusty eyes, bad breath, low energy, gastrointestinal issues, gas, bloating, all of these things because of mismanagement between your good, your bad, and your opportunists. And so supplementing with the right probiotics to beat down the bad guys and to support the good guys, it is an essential component in the modern world today because we have so many agents that are disrupting our microbiome.

And then finally is the elimination phase. So many people have impacted intestinal tracts with all kinds of nasty things that are just preventing you from getting everything that you want from your nutrition. And when you don’t have everything that you want from your nutrition, you tend to crave things that aren’t good for you because the bacteria are actually making you want to go to 7-Eleven at 12 o’clock at night and eat all of the stuff that you know you shouldn’t, but you feel compelled to do so. You do it after and you’re like, oh, why that is. But the elimination of that, making sure the smooth muscle contraction, you’re properly hydrated, you’re well-mineralized, and you have these digestive aids, will allow you to get rid of having constipation or that sense of going to the bathroom regularly or all the other gastrointestinal things.

So that’s the digestive system. And when you optimize it, that allows you to be successful on virtually any diet. And then you want to select the diet that’s right for your goals, your desires, your stage in life, and to offset that suboptimal aspect of your genetics and enhance the good parts of your genetics.

Katie: Well, that was quite the primer. And I love that you said that about cravings because I’ve thought for a while, especially in America, we are getting not enough nutrients, but as we’ve heard over and over, way too many calories. And it makes sense that the body and its wisdom would continue to crave things because we’re not getting the baseline nutrients we need. And you explained how that could also be even if we’re eating the food that would have the nutrients, which is hard enough to do to begin with because our food supply is depleted of nutrients. But even if we were, if we don’t have the right enzymatic thing happening in our gut, we might not actually be absorbing the nutrients from what we’re eating.

So I’d love to go a little deeper on the topic of enzymes, because that’s certainly something that stood out to me when I got to read this book. And it’s something I’ve now integrated into my daily routine. It was also helpful to me, I will say, when I was recovering from thyroid issues, and I no longer have autoimmune thyroid disease. I took a lot of enzymes and I think that probably helped from a nutrient absorption perspective and probably also helped my body clear a lot of the things that were contributing to the thyroid issues. But the topic of enzymes and certainly supplementing with them to aid in all these things you just talked about might be a new topic to some people listening. So can you explain more specifically about these particular enzymes and what they’re doing in the body?

Wade: Yeah, we’ve done thousands of enzyme experiments in our lab. So we have a partnership with the International BURCH University, which is in Sarajevo. We have a PhD in probiotics running the lab, and we have several other PhDs in the lab. We’ve supplied them with about a million dollars worth of equipment so we can do experiments. And the main experiment we do on enzymes is called INFOGEST. It’s considered the gold standard for laboratory tests.

So what we can do is we can test different enzymes and see exactly how much protein gets broken down. Undigested protein creates inflammatory responses, especially if you have a leaky gut. So if you have a leaky gut and you’re not breaking down the protein into amino acids and peptides, those undigested proteins can get into your bloodstream and cause inflammatory responses. In fact, most inflammatory responses come from protein. Which again, a lot of people talk about bad fats. Of course, bad fats, you want to avoid those as well. But protein, specifically undigested protein, can be problematic.

And, of course, everybody’s heard about protein. But what we really want is amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of the body. It’s the primary building block for neurotransmitters, for muscle tissue, for organs, etc. But again, when you consume food, it doesn’t matter the protein source, whether it’s plant-based or meat or fish, your body has to break those down. As we get older, especially as we get into our late 30s and 40s and so on, our enzyme-producing capabilities get lower, our hydrochloric acid gets lower, and it becomes more and more challenging to break the food down into amino acids.

So Masszymes is by far the strongest protein-digesting blend. And we’ve tested all the top-selling competitors. Not going to name names, but we were 600% better then the second-best enzyme blend we’ve tested so far. And literally, if you take, say, three capsules of Masszymes with your food, it will turn into amino acids in about 30 minutes. So your body can absorb these amino acids, and you get all the health benefits of consuming aminos, which is well-documented.

Katie: And you guys also claim in this book, and I think I love this approach, that to end diet wars. And I feel like even within the health and wellness world, there’s so much disagreement. And what I find interesting is that, and I think this is true across religion and philosophy and many other areas as well, we actually agree on a lot of things, but we tend to focus on the small areas we disagree with and then spend all of our energy arguing about that. But I love the approach you guys take. So can you explain what you mean by your plan to end the diet wars? And what are some of those core principles that you find are generally effective for everyone?

Matt: Well, Wade’s been attacked many times. I’ll queue it up to Wade here.

Wade: Yeah. So part of the way social media is structured is that you attack a certain philosophy and that allows you to gain a certain status inside of that, which gives you more likes. As well as conflict on social media is rewarded in algorithms because more people are yelling at each other and complaining. And that’s engagement. And that increases the likelihood.

So we actually live in a digitally influenced world that promotes conflict. So Matt and I have witnessed this, you know, in the course of, you know, we’ve got over 65 years of collective experience in this. And we see the rise and fall of what we call fad diets. It’s the blood type diet. It’s the keto diet. It’s a plant diet. It’s the low blood sugar diet. It’s the high-fiber diet. It’s the fire engine diet. It’s the policeman diet. It’s this diet. It just goes on. And it’s just another rebranding. A charismatic figure moves into that position. And if you understand the bell curve of distribution in science, what happens is, is that if I come up with it, I can come up with any diet. I don’t care what it is. And there’s going to be some small fraction of a percentage of people that this diet is going to solve whatever their issues happen to be at that time. They’re going to lose 30 pounds, reverse some medical conditions, and overcome some disease. And they become the advocates and the testimonials that are very convincing and very powerful and oftentimes legitimate.

Conversely, on the other side of the bell curve is going to be the people that did that. They gained 20 or 30 pounds. They developed some metabolic conditions. They were taken to the hospital, and they’re like, this guy’s a fraud or this girl’s a crazy person. And then, you know, someone takes that, wraps some science around it and goes and attacks the other guys.

Now we see this cycle over and over and over again. And as health experts, and I don’t care what diet you’re asking, we have to own the fact that the average person does six diets in their lifetime. And 97% of the people within three to five years have gained all the weight back and oftentimes more. Many times sacrificing lean body mass, which is an essential component for health, metabolism, and longevity. So as an industry, we’ve got to stop the arguing and stop the fighting. And be able to provide universal principles and recognize that due to genetic variance in lifestyle goals, there are opportunities to advocate for various types of diet that address those within the individual and to supplement with the suboptimal components of that diet.

And so Matt is a ketogenic guy. I’m a plant-based guy. We fought about this for years. And then, through those arguments, though, we start to realize that there was points. For example, I couldn’t digest enough fats in my body to do it, to be successful in a ketogenic diet. Well, it turns out genetically I have suboptimal fat metabolism. Guess what? Matt developed a digestive health product that has four different types of lipases, which helps break down all the types of fats. I could take that and increase my fat intake, which was important because I was low in essential fatty acids that were disrupting my brain function on a plant-based diet. It was an area I had. I had to address.

Conversely, you know, some people really struggle with blood sugar, and they’re not have enough amylase enzymes and those can help you digest carbohydrates better or cellulite because they don’t handle fiber. We have a Vegzymes that allows people can’t eat fiber and they really need fiber to make a healthy thing. So we can develop digestive solutions or nutrient solutions to address those in whatever diet somebody wants to do based on their genetics and goals.

Katie: Well, and like I said, that really, I feel like is the future is that us each figuring out what’s optimal and sustainable for each of us and being able to do that and ending the argument and discussion about the nuance when those answers could be like in your guys’s case, completely different for two people and be working phenomenally with that personalized aspect.

And I love that in the book, you really take people through almost like flow chart form and written form, how to figure those things out for themselves and help cut through the confusion. Are there any lifestyle factors that you find universally go along with this as well? Like I often talk on here about morning sunlight, for instance, or about making sure you get outside or get protein before you get caffeine in the morning to support your cortisol and your adenosine. Are there any lifestyle principles like that, that you guys personally adhere to and find helpful across the board?

Wade: Of course, yeah, we have a ton. And we have another book that’s more of a brand, a BIOptimizers book called From Sick To Superhuman, which has a lot of other tips beyond nutrition. But in terms of lifestyle, I think it’s really important that when you’re thinking about something you can sustain for the rest of your life, you can go on vacations and enjoy really tasty food that might not be perfect for a diet, but still maintain your body weight or come back and lose body fat is really important. You know, I think a lot, no, no one can sustain a calorie deficit for the rest of their lives, that suck.

So in terms of like really practical tips, and I went to Europe for three weeks and actually came back and I lost two pounds, and I was eating Italian food and Spanish food and French food. And, you know, some of the things I did was one, I focused on muscle building and when you’re trying to, if you’re eating a calorie surplus, it’s a great opportunity to actually put on muscle mass, right? And we talked about that in the book, when you’re in a calorie surplus, you’ve got an anabolic environment. So if you’re lifting weights along with that, you can turn a lot of those excess calories into muscle, which is great.

Of course, weighing yourself daily is always a good move. I think in general, people that weigh themselves daily are far more successful over time. That’s been well-researched. But not freaking out, especially if you’ve been on a diet for a while. You start eating, you’re going to gain 5 to 10 pounds of glycogen, water, intestinal bulk. So that 5 to 10 pounds is not body fat. It’s just, again, fluid essentially that’s in the body. And as soon as you go back to a calorie deficit, your body is going to release that excess weight.

Of course, creating a ceiling. You don’t want to go on vacation and gain 20 pounds because that extra 10 pounds above that fluid weight is definitely going to be mostly body fat. We have a whole like 10 dinners and party tactics that we use. And one of the things that I always do is I typically do a fast either before or after an extended diet break to get to basically lose that excess fluid and get right back into shape, into form. And Wade, maybe talk about the alarm concept because it’s a really big one.

Wade: Yeah, so everyone will have kind of like your set point of your dietary. And it’s about 18 months to, at certain weight that that becomes the new kind of set point for your body. And that’s an important statistic. A lot of people look at a diet as a 12-week or a 16-week program or 20-week program. And then they don’t create a diet after the diet. In other words, the reverse diet. And so once you hit your ideal body weight based on your goals. So if you’re a bodybuilding-type person or fitness thing, you probably want to carry more muscle mass than maybe, say, someone who’s into, you know, cycling or running. You want to build that. Or if you’re into longevity, there’s other aspects that you might be considering over and above lean body mass or cardio. You’re going to kind of have a more composite.

But what I’ve set forth and what I put forth, and this is an old thing out of actually, probably since the 2000s that a lot of bodybuilders are practicing. Before, they used to get really, really heavy and then lose a lot of weight. But now you create a set point. And the variance on the set point. So, for example, if I’m 185 pounds is my set point. That’s a body fat level that I look at. Muscle mass. I feel good. I function good. All that sort of stuff. My alarm bell top end is 195.

If I’m going to go into a bodybuilding competition, I’m going to diet down to 175 to go on that stage. I’m going to go 10 pounds down. That’s also setting another alarm bell because I’m probably suboptimal from a health perspective for body fat, but it’s a cosmetic thing related to my event. As soon as I get done with that, I’m going to coast back up, maybe go all the way to 195 because there’s a rebound effect after an extensive dietary practice, and then chip my way back down to 185. If I go over the 195 point, that’s when the alarm bell goes off, and I start to put in more restrictive components inside my diet to get myself back down to my target weight. And I might take myself down to 180 pounds. Right? And then kind of just soften up that rebound. So I always operate within that optimal zone of dietary regulation, and I have strict alarm bells that go off that says, okay, Wade, subconsciously you’re drifting. And I’m one of those people that would drift if I’m not watching. Like I don’t have great genetics, neither does Matt. We gain fat easily. We lose muscle easy. It sucks, but these are the ways that we’ve been able to be successful and our clients have been able to be successful.

Katie: Yeah. And I would love to really hone in on the movement and workouts and especially building muscle because I feel like guys get this dialed in a lot better. There’s a lot more, even the marketing in society is better toward guys around this. And I see a lot of women who struggle with this. And certainly for over a decade, I did as well, where I, looking back, I was drastically under-eating, which is like, you just explained that alarm bell signal. And so I was, there was a long period of time that I’m embarrassed to admit I probably only ate 800 calories a day for a lot of those days because just being a busy mom, and I was trying to lose weight and I had energy so I didn’t think about it. And I really messed up my cortisol patterns and stressed my body out because I wasn’t actually paying attention to what it needed. And it was a scary process, especially as a woman to eat enough to actually fuel my body effectively.

And it’s been a years-long process of learning that and getting comfortable with it. But it was really cool recently to get a DEXA scan and realize that while my size has gone down, my body weight has actually gone up, but I had basically no visceral fat, and I had a lot more muscle than I had in the past from doing that. And I know from the data, it’s super clear. Like if you want to age well, and if you want to live a long time, one of the best things you can do is build and maintain muscle. And I just don’t feel like society sets women up for success in that. And you guys obviously both have personal experience there as well.

So I would love tips you guys have for optimally for moms who are busy, who don’t have a ton of time to body build or spend hours a day in the gym. What are some of the most effective ways we can build and maintain muscle as we age? And I also love that you put in that perspective of keeping an eye on the scale, but also don’t freak out because to give the woman’s perspective, even through the course of your cycle each month, I know my weight can vary by four to five pounds and it’s not fat. It’s fluid changes with hormones and there’s that component as well. But for women who want to build muscle for the sake of living a long, active, healthy life, what are some of the top ways we can do that?

Matt: First of all, if we, Wade and I, would have received the Bitcoin every time a woman said, I don’t want to lift weights because I’m going to get too big, we’d be billionaires, right? That’s always a big fear. And our comment is, it’s almost impossible for a woman to get quote-unquote too big unless they have absolutely exceptional genetics and dedicate their lives to it, which very few people are going to do. Wade and I just came back from the Olympia in Orlando, and we saw literally the top athletes in the world. And all they do is focus on this for a very long period of time. And even then, there’s very few women that are huge, and they tend to use drugs and steroids on top of that in order to gain that kind of muscle mass. So I just wanted to get rid of that fear.

But the cool thing when adding muscle, there’s two big ones. One is, you touched on longevity, that’s big. But one is, it actually increases your metabolism. So you talked about being on an 800-calorie diet. What happens over time is your body adapts. Your metabolism actually gets slower and slower. And I remember one client I got, it was the one woman I failed with in terms of her weight loss goals. She had come in, and she had been on an 800-calorie diet for months and months. And her metabolism was just wrecked. And I didn’t have the answer back then. You know, I put her on a weight training program and all that. And we were able to build some muscle mass, but I didn’t understand how to really rebuild her metabolism, which we touch in in the book. It’s really an important concept called reverse dieting.

But the other cool thing about muscle mass, I’m going to cue it up to Wade, is you can really mold your body in terms of how it looks. And, you know, scientifically, this is like hardwired into people’s minds. You know, women look at a guy and they look at the shoulder to waist ratio. And men look at a woman, and they tend to look at the waist-to-hip ratio. The cool thing is for a woman, if you start doing a lot of squats and deadlifts, you’re going to put on a lot of muscle mass on your hips, your glutes, your legs. And you can actually shape that waist-to-hip ratio and become more attractive. And, Wade, maybe you can talk about that.

Wade: Yeah. So again, I’m a guy that has no business being on a bodybuilding stage. And then I read specifically some stuff from a fella by the name of Vince Gironda was a famous Hollywood trainer about how the muscle tissue of all the top athletes, actually, you could see these ratios, which are correlated with the golden ratio inside your body for aesthetics. So he took all these titled winners and the way that their shoulders and their arms and their calves and their neck and their legs and their glutes, they all fit together in a certain way, which created what we recognize subconsciously as an aesthetically pleasing package.

And so not blessed with great genetics myself, I took it upon myself to develop those characteristics myself. Allowed me to be successful in bodybuilding, but it also allowed me to be a successful trainer. Most people come to the gym because they wanna look differently. Primarily they think if they lose all the body fat that they’re going to look better. But I always suggest to people, hey, would you rather look like a marathon runner? Would you rather look like a sprinter? Most people would say the sprinter. Why? Because the sprinter requires a little bit more muscle mass than, say, an endurance athlete. So they got better shoulders, tight arms, and all that.

And I think that in Terminator 2, the world completely turned upside down when the role of the lady that played Sarah Connor came out, and she could show that a woman could have, she was kind of like pudgy and soft in the first movie. And in the next movie, she came out and she was kind of jacked and looked really lean and fit. And that launched a massive flow of people into gyms, particularly females, to realize, hey, I may not have the best shape, but I can build muscle, improve my metabolism, and change how I look, and ultimately change how I feel about myself.

And then, ultimately, it turns out that having that extra muscle in the right place, this is not only good for us physically or aesthetically, but it’s also good for us physically in range of motion, longevity. And now the top researchers, and hats off to Dr. Gabrielle Lyons, who I think has really changed this paradigm for women and talking about muscle. She looks great. She talks about the importance of it and how that goes on. And she’s very well-researched in this. And so I think for women now, it’s changed a lot, but we need to get that message out to the general population of using weight training in an aesthetic format.

Now, the average person, four times of 30 minutes a week can completely transform their life. And there’s lots of coaches. Hire a coach. Don’t try to figure this out for yourself. Don’t hurt yourself. Pick the things that are right for you, your body type. That’s the key element to be successful over the long term. A lot of people start something they don’t want they’re doing. It doesn’t work. They hurt themselves, and they fall back. And so hiring a coach and making that jump and investing, you know, three, six months, even a year to kind of master that you will not go back because of the quality of life improvements.

Katie: I can certainly attest to that. And also to echo what you said about being afraid to lift heavy weights, I was for a long time, and I’m very close to my first 500-pound lift right now. And I am smaller than I was and have much more visible muscle, like that kind of that look I was going for. And I find women can be as strong as men pound for pound lower body. Certainly I’m not their upper body with the guys, but it’s incredible the confidence and the mental benefits as well. And I feel like it’s a healthy addiction to get used to lifting weights and to love those endorphins from it. And it’s a sustainable lifestyle habit. And I’m excited, I’ll get to do another episode with you guys so we can go even deeper on some of these topics. But thank you both so much for your work. I’m a big fan of your book and your products. And thank you for your time and being here today.

Matt: Thanks for having us.

Wade: Thank you.

Katie: And thanks as always to all of you for listening. And I hope you will join me again on the next episode of The Wellness Mama Podcast.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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