Success comes from many places – the right education, the right experience, the right mentors. But it also starts from within. Keeping your body healthy also makes the mind sharper and more focused. And who wouldn’t want that edge over their competition?
Jeff McMahon explains how making a few small and easy changes in your daily routine can not only lead to a healthier life for your body, but it can translate into greater success for you business-wise as well. Jeff crushes the typical excuses (“I don’t have time”), and provides, easy, quick, and realistic “hacks” to your normal routine that will have you feeling healthier, more alert, more energetic, more productive and more creative.
Rich: Jeff McMahon has been a trainer for almost a decade working with over 600 people, and now taking his talents to the online world. Training no other than John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn, Trivinia Barber, Jadah Sellner and so on. His degree is in Pre-Med and Pre-Pharm, and a dual certified Exercise Science and Sports Medicine. He has a passion for helping people and helping them transform their lives mentally, physically and nutritionally. Jeff, welcome to the show.
Jeff: Hey Rich, thank you for having me on, I’m very excited to he here.
Rich: Now in the bio that Jeff gave me, he also mentioned one Rich Brooks as somebody he’s working with. I took that out because I just felt awkward after John Lee Dumas and Pat Flynn, and then it’s like, who is that guy. So I took that out, but Jeff has been my virtual personal trainer now since Social Media Marketing World, almost since we met.
Jeff: Yeah, since April.
Rich: And been giving me virtual advice, and you’ll just have to take my word for it that I’m probably in the best shape that I’ve ever been in at the ripe, old age of 65. No, I’m just kidding, I’m 48. But I am in good shape, probably the best shape of my entire life, and a lot of that is due to my own hard work. But also to Jeff, who gave me the exercises, pointed me in the right direction, and has just really been helpful. So I want to thank you, Jeff, for helping me on my fitness journey.
Jeff: Well, it’s been a privilege to be working with you, and continue to work with you, I have fun every single week.
Rich: Absolutely. And so I know how you got involved with all of this Skype-based training, but why don’t you share with us your story.
Jeff: So I was a trainer for a long time in the brick and mortar gym business, and my gym got bought up by LA Fitness, so I went out on my own and one of my clients referred me to start listening to podcasts, I didn’t even know what a podcast was. And in that chance, the first person I listened to was Pat Flynn, because I was like, “Oh, Smart Passive Income, let’s see what this means.” And in his episode, he said he wanted to train for a triathlon, and I’ve had multiple Ironman triathletes under me, so I reached out to see if he’d like me to train him virtually. He ended up saying “yes” – very reluctantly – two years ago, and ever since then it’s helped spawn this growth and need for running your business and how much health important help is for that and how we can make your business more productive, have you more creative, have you more energy, all that kind of stuff with not taking up 2 hours a day driving to a gym.
Rich: Excellent. Now this is obviously a different topic than I usually cover, we’re usually talking about search, social and mobile marketing. I’m sure there’s a few people who are listening who are just like, “Why is this important to me?” So Jeff, why is this important to entrepreneurs?
Jeff: Well it’s super important because you’ve got to remember your ultimate wealth when dealing with business and everything else is going to be your health. So the more energy you have, the more you take care of yourself as far as sleep, hydration, and things of that nature, even within the first week of being more productive in your business, you’re going to see your creative levels increasing, and your efficiency increase, and you’re going to see your sleep be more regular so you can wake up refreshed and get more stuff done.
So many people that are in business stress out and deal with being overwhelmed, deal with deadlines and things of that nature, that they don’t take care of themselves because they think they’ve got to spend all of their time building their business. But you’re going to plateau, you’re going to run out of energy, you’re going to run out of effectiveness, because your brain is foggy. And exercise and the nutrition plan and the mental side will help you conquer that and you’ll take your business to whatever level you want to grow it to. And it all stems from you, within, feeling good to do that.
Rich: Yeah, and I would just add it’s like when I go to the gym in the morning – even when I feel like I don’t have enough time, because there’s so much to get done – when I get into the office, I always feel in a better position to get things done. I feel sharper, I feel stronger, and the day usually flies by. The days where I don’t have time and I just run into the office and I start cranking through things, I find I’m just not as effective and not as time efficient, either. So it really is an investment in yourself.
It’s almost like you’re watching Nascar – and I’m sure those guys hate going into the pits, they love to just keep on driving – but if you don’t go into the pits, you’re going to burn through your tires, you’re going to run out of gas, and your whole car is going to break down. And it’s kind of similar when you think about your own body and your entrepreneurial journey.
Jeff: Yeah, that’s actually an awesome analogy, I might steal that from you.
Rich: I literally just came up with it right now, so feel free to. In fact, you could probably use it before the show goes live and claim credit. So you probably hear all kinds of excuses from entrepreneurs about why they’re not exercising, or why they’re not living a healthy lifestyle, or why they’re not eating right. What do you say to people when you hear these excuses?
Jeff: The biggest one is, why do you feel the importance is not there. And the response is, “I don’t see the immediate results, versus I can go online and I have 100 emails from people on my email list.” They can do a course and see immediate results, whereas health you don’t necessarily because they aren’t educated. No one’s educated to understand how quickly health you can see results in.
So for instance, with the proper set of instructions from a coach like me or anyone else out there, you’re going to see results within one week or two. Like you said, you go to gym and you immediately feel better for the rest of your day. That’s not a line of B.S., that’s not a line of anything, it’s scientific. Your endorphins, your cortisone, your serotonin levels are all equaled out, so you don’t have any hesitation throughout the day to be tired at two in the afternoon and need coffee, which is just going to dehydrate you and speed up your heart rate. Then you don’t need these long nights and things like that that always wear down on your body. You can now control and take over and be more efficient in the day so you do get more hours of sleep, because you’ve gotten so much done throughout the daytime.
Rich: Now I’ll be honest, I didn’t understand any of the words at the beginning of that sentence about the cortisone and those levels. And don’t ever talk smack about coffee on my show again. But those two things aside, I will say that sometimes you do discover little wins, and one of the things that Jeff and I worked on was I could be the least flexible human being on the planet – it’s really difficult for me – and when I first started working with Jeff and I explained what my goals were, which included increased flexibility ad well as wanting to have a body that Bruce Lee would be proud of, he said those things kind of work against each other so you’re going to have to do some stretches.
And one of the stretches he gave me was arms up like a goal post and leaning into the doorway, and just to kind of keep on stretching that way. And the first couple days I did it, it killed. But after about 3-4 days, I started to notice – just because I was visually looking to my right and to my left – that my chest and my head were further and further along through the door jamb until I was looking at the other side of the door. And that just came from a few days of doing some stretches. So there are some small wins you can start to see immediately, as well as long term gains. So I would just say focus on a lot of different things to measure, because it does feel good to see those immediate wins as well.
So Jeff, entrepreneurs – and marketers as well – are all about hacking the system, finding better ways to get things done. Now I understand that you have some biohacks that you can share with us to kickstart our fitness. Would you like to share some of those with us?
Jeff: Yes, absolutely, buddy. Biohack #1 goes right into your favorite topic of coffee. Everyone wakes up and they say they need a cup of coffee to get the day going. Well I urge you, scientifically, to hold off for at least 60 minutes after you wake up – ideally 90 minutes – before you have coffee. And instead, wake up and go grab a nice cold water with a squeeze of lemon in it. What that’s going to do is it’s going to help detoxify your liver, because as you sleep you build up toxins from your body breaking down foods. As you drink water with lemon or lime – some sort of citrus – in the morning, will help your liver jumpstart your metabolism, flush out those bad toxins, and then when you have coffee now your body is ready to take the benefits of coffee, which is keeping your metabolism going, reduces the capillaries blood flow to your brain so you don’t have headaches and things like that.
It’s just a better approach so you’re actually benefitting from coffee as opposed to hurting from coffee. If you drink right in the morning you’re depleting your vitamin B6, which if you’ve seen any 5-Hour Energy videos, B vitamins are what give you energy. So coffee actually depletes that, so you want to get your body going with water first, and then the coffee second, and you won’t have that lack of your B vitamins anymore. So that’s Biohack #1, water in the morning.
Rich: Well I always try to drink water, I’m going to try that next week. I’ll hold off on my coffee until after I go to the gym, because I’m usually at the gym within the first hour that I’m up.
Jeff: Yeah. I mean ideally, get ready for work, go to work, and then when you get there then have your coffee and you’ll see a lot different effect as opposed to the other way.
Jeff: The other big one that everyone always ask is, I don’t have 2 hours a day to work out and get to the gym and things like that. So Biohack #2 is the knowledge that you need 30 minutes, that’s it. So plan a time in your day, put it literally in your calendar. I live on Fantastical, the iPhone app that runs my calendar – there are plenty of calendar apps out there – put your workout in your calendar and just make it ideally in the morning, that’s the best time to work out, but even if you do it in the afternoon or early evening, as long as you’re getting your workout in is more important than when you’re getting a workout done.
Thirty minutes, push yourself. Rich, I always have you do 3-4 exercises at a time, pushing yourself through those, so that way you’re keeping your heart elevated and you’re not doing a set of bicep curls and texting on your phone and sitting around, then going another set. You want to be moving for those 30 minutes and then you’re done. Then you don’t have to worry about it and it’s not conflicting or taking up time away from your family. We all have 24 hours in a day, and the way we can manage that best is by working out in the morning, feeling that energy flux throughout the whole day, so when you do get home from work you’re not too tired to play with the kids and hang out with your family and stuff like that.
Rich: Alright, makes sense. Any other Biohacks you’ve got for us?
Jeff: The last one would be for people looking to sleep better. Number one, you always want to try and sleep on your back. People that sleep on your sides, either put a pillow between your knees or put sheets between your knees so you can keep your knees lined up together. Because if you cross your legs over for 8 hours at a time, you’re torquing on your lower back for a very extended period, which is why a lot of people have a lot of back pain when they are sleeping.
So sleep on your back as much as you can, and know that your body sleeps in hour and a half intervals in your circannual rhythm. So if you go to bed at 10:00 at night, you want to shoot for 6 hours of sleep, 7 1/2 hours, 9 hours. Find the time that you’re in an hour and a half interval, so that way when your alarm goes off, you’re waking up at your least deepest amount of dreams so that you feel refreshed and you’re not groggy, hitting the snooze alarm, slamming your clock on the floor, things like that.
Rich: Interesting, and hour and a half. Alright. I’m going to start paying attention to that, that’s interesting. Alright, cool, some good hacks for us. Now I work out of an office now – I haven’t always – I know a lot of our listeners workout at home. If I’m working out at home, obviously there are some limits to what I can do. What are the pieces of equipment that I should have in a home gym if I want to get fit?
Jeff: The home gym to get fit, I would highly recommend starting small and growing from there. So I tell everyone to get a set of dumbbells, get a stability ball – which is one of those big round balls that you see people sit on and do situps and things – and then I tell people to get a yoga mat. So those are the three essentials. From there you can get a kettle bell, it’s very versatile and you can do a lot with it. And then getting more dumbbells to add weight and variety. Or resistance bands would be another easy one to do. But the three that I always tell everyone to get is a stability ball, dumbbells and a yoga mat. That is basically a gym wherever you go. So even if you’re traveling you’ll know what to do with those if you go to a hotel gym to workout.
Rich: Now for those dumbbells, obviously there are a lot of different exercises where some you might be able to do 10 pounds and others you might be able to do 50 pounds. I’ve seen those dumbbells that you can disconnect and reconnect and have a big range. Are those good or is that gimmicky and do we just go for something that’s middle of the road?
Jeff: I personally don’t like them because with my style of training, I have people using dumbbells in a wide variety – like having them on the floor doing push ups off of them, or things where you’re suing them as a base of stability – and if you have those select rise ones like you’re talking about, they’re plastic and can break pretty easily. So I personally would rather you get a set of 10’s and a set of 20’s, and then as you get stronger, buy a set of 30’s, and then as you get stronger buy a set of 40’s. Just because I’ve had 3 people that had those select rise weights and all of them have slowly transitioned away from them because of the fact that they’re just gimmicky and they’re not built to last that long.
Rich: Alright. So obviously doing the exercise is a big part of it, but the other part of the equation that we always hear about is what we put into our systems. So let’s talk diet for a second. What are some of the things that we should keep in mind when we’re shopping at the grocery store, cooking at home, or eating out?
Jeff: Shopping at the grocery store the first thing you want to realize is usually most grocery stores have the healthy stuff on the outside. So the organic fruits and vegetables, the meats and things like that, are usually on the outside perimeter of the store, and usually the inside is where all the processed boxed foods, TV dinners, things like that. So try to become a better cook.
I like to batch process my food when I cook, so I’ll make 12 eggs at once and refrigerate and use the other ones after. Or do a whole lot of grilling at once and then put stuff in tupperware so I can eat it for the next day. So stay on the outside perimeter of the store, when you are eating at home definitely focus on vegetables and fruits. Vegetables help you burn fat while you sleep, so if you guys are ever looking to lose weight, eating green vegetables at dinner time will help your body burn fat while you sleep. So that’s asparagus, spinach, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower. That kind of green vegetables will be super helpful for you to lose weight, and gives you the vitamins and minerals to break down fat.
Then the third part is when you’re going out to eat, just be mindful of carbs. Remember, your body uses carbs for energy. So unless you’re going to be active or just got done with an activity, you don’t need a lot of carbs throughout the day because vegetables and fruit have carbs. So try to stick to more of your proteins, veggies, fruits, yogurts, a lot of water.
Rich: So when you’re going out to dinner, what are you looking at on the menu? You go to dinner with a group of friends, with your wife, and you sit down, there are times when it’s just difficult to choose well. So in a perfect world, what are you looking for on a menu?
Jeff: Perfect world I’m looking for some sort of protein – whether it’s fish, lean turkey or lean meat – things of that nature. I’m looking for vegetables, preferably steamed without the butter and everything else that they try to put on there for flavor. And then the last thing, sweet potatoes are super healthy for you, they have potassium which helps keep you looking lean and flushes water out so you don’t have that extra water weight. So asparagus and sweet potatoes are super healthy to be eating out at dinners because they can help flush out all the alcohol you have at dinner that dehydrates you, this helps flush the water out of you so you can stay leaner and continue the weight loss process.
Rich: I’ve heard some people say they keep weight off by not eating anything after dinner. And I’ve heard other people who say you definitely want to eat right before you go to bed so that – like a campfire – you’ve got to keep things burning inside. Do you have a strong feeling one way or the other?
Jeff: I have a strong feeling, the campfire is a good analogy where they’re saying you should be eating throughout the day, smaller meals and things of that nature. But I typically don’t eat after 7:00 or 8:00 just because I’m winding down on my day. That’s why I drink more water. If I do have some sort of snack I keep it light, so not potato chips or things like that. I’ll have hummus with some cucumbers. Or peanut butter is a great appetite suppressor, so I’ll do a little bit of peanut butter with some celery or peanut butter on carrots or something like that, just to keep the vegetable thing going. You can eat vegetables all day long if you want to. But those are just healthier snacks than Oreos or potato chips or things of that nature.
The problem is people at nighttime get bored and they’re usually dehydrated and your body needs to get water from something, whether it’s from food, water itself, it’s always craving water. So the more you stay hydrated with that, the less of those snacks and appetites you’ll have at nighttime.
Rich: So maybe every time I get hungry at night time and possibly during the day, the first thing would be to have a glass of water and see if it wasn’t that I was thirsty instead.
Jeff: Correct. Be mindful of where you’re at and say, “Am I really hungry, or do I just need some water and then I’ll be fine?” 90% of the time you just need water, but your body will let you know when you’re hungry.
Rich: Ok, now I’m at the office during the day and I’m trying to make it through to the next meal, but I just can’t. Now I personally have discovered Whole Foods turkey jerky – which kind of gets me through to the next meal – what are some other things that we might have in our desk drawers, whether in the home office or the work office, that kind of get us through the next meal that aren’t going to destroy our diets and our health?
Jeff: Two of my “go to” ones is I like organic rice cakes and put either almond butter or natural peanut butter on it. The butters are fattier foods which will help keep your appetite suppressed until that next bigger meal. So one rice cake with some peanut butter or almond butter on it is not going to be a significant amount of calories that is going to deter you from the main goal that you’re trying to get. So that’s one of my “go to” snacks.
My other one is I do a mixture of a quarter cup of sunflower seeds, a quarter cup of walnuts, a cup of green yogurt, and then I’ll throw in some fruit like berries – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries – berries are very high in antioxidants which increases your circulation in your body so you’re producing more blood flow and helping your organs, but they also help fight cancer. I’ve got a lot of cancer in my family history so I’m trying to stave off from that as much as possible. So if anyone has cancer in their family, stick to the berries, they will help out immensely.
Rich: That is awesome to know. Alright, this has been really helpful, and I’ve got some of my own personal questioned answered, which is always a plus of having your own podcast. Now Jeff, I understand that you have kind of a big launch program coming up soon, tell us a little bit about that.
Jeff: Yeah. Thank you, Rich, for the opportunity. I’m launching a group Mastermind health program. We’ll be doing our first webinar on December 8th, then we’ll be launching in January. Everyone that’s in business usually knows what a Mastermind is and they are very effective for growing your business. Well I’m taking that same theory but incorporating it into the health world so now you will get workouts every single week of what you should be doing. We’ll have a health expert on the calls, answering all of your health and fitness questions, so they’re guiding you along your process specific to your goals. And then there’s a community of other entrepreneurs that you’re in the same path with, so you get to talk about your business, talk about conquering your goals and things of that nature, and get to see that different side of how important health is to your business to see how it can maximize your opportunities down the road.
Rich: Now I love this idea. I think this is brilliant and I can’t believe nobody came up with it before. And just from my standpoint, Jeff and I have been working together and it’s great to get every week a new series of workouts to do and it keeps things fresh and interesting. But what he’s actually adding to the mix here is this kind of accountability, where I know from being part of other Masterminds that when you set goals every week and you know that you’re going to be on the cal the next week with eh same group of people, you get that stuff done and you hold other people to it.
So the idea of working exercise and fitness into this, I think is just brilliant. And the ability to be able to work with a professional trainer to answer specific questions that you have, because no matter how good these lessons are, you’re always going to have a question that comes up. That kind of accessibility with everything else and the extra exercises is just a brilliant plan. So you’ve got that launch coming up to kind of talk a little bit more about it, we’ll be sending out some additional information about that, too.
I just kind of want to throw out a big “kudos” to Jeff because I’ve been working with Jeff and I was kind of concerned about the whole remote thing, but it has not been an issue at al. The very first time we had met in person we hit it off, which is why I reached out to him. But before we got started we did an assessment, we did it via Skype, he looked at me and within a few seconds Jeff pointed out things that no one else – no personal trainer – had ever mentioned to me before in terms of how I bend, how I move. It was eye opening, it was fantastic. And all of the exercises that Jeff gives me is based on what he saw that first time, and also my own questions and concerns and goals.
Jeff’s been fantastic. Anytime there’s an exercise where I don’t know how to do this and I’ll ask if I’m doing it right, he’ll send me a quick video of himself doing it and showing me how to do it better, within a couple hours. It’s been incredibly helpful. So Jeff, I just want t thank you from the bottom of my heart in helping me get more fit at this point in my life.
Jeff: You’re absolutely welcome, and it’s been an absolute pleasure and fun to do so because even if you have injuries or anything, that’s the best part of the group is you can then ask what else you can do. You can’t do that with a P90X dvd or an Insanity dvd. Now you have that opportunity to get those questions answered and conquer your goals every single time. Just like Rich has been doing for the past 6 months.
Rich: Absolutely. And I will say one of the things that I’ve noticed about a lot of the marketing experts and entrepreneurs that I interview on this show, is that the ones who are most successful are the ones that go for the best courses, the best Masterminds, they just decide to commit to the process. It’s almost like that scene out of the Matrix when they’re on the top of the roof and they’ve got to get free and she spies the helicopter and says. “Let’s get out of here.” And he asks if she can fly a helicopter, and you can see the manual being downloaded in her brain and she says, “I do now.” That’s kind of like what these Masterminds are like. So definitely take advantage of any type of learning opportunity, any type of Mastermind, especially when you get to work with an expert which is what Jeff is lining up for you.
Jeff, I want to thank you. But before we go, if people want to learn more and check you out online, where should we send them?
Jeff: You can look me up personally at tbc.fit, which is Total Body Construction. And then if you guys are interested in the group launch, then sign up for Rich’s newsletter and we’ll be sending out information shortly.
Rich: Awesome. Jeff, thanks again for your time today.
Jeff: Alright. Thank you, Rich.
- Find out more about Jeff and his business at his website, on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.
- When he’s not binge drinking coffee, Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a web design and digital marketing agency in Portland, ME. He is also the founder of The Agents Of Change Digital Marketing Conference, where he brings together the biggest names in search, social and mobile marketing to teach and inspire entrepreneurs and small businesses.