Nick Collias: Nick from The Bodybuilding.com podcast here. So the damn thing happened to me. Some of you have pointed out who viewed video versions of our podcast: I'm not a bodybuilder, I'm not a powerlifter. I'm just a guy, a pretty normal guy. I raise a lot, I've had that for a few years now. I go for a couple of runs. I'm climbing a bit here and there. I'm not amazing at any of them, but I'm pretty consistent. But last year, at the end of last year, I participated in some competitions here in Boise, the armlifting sport, a grip-oriented sport. There are quite a few unique lifts, an axle bar, double overhand deadlift, and then variations on other deadlifts and some grapples. Lo and behold, I was good enough to qualify for the Armlift World Championship in my weight class, which is 80 kilograms, about 1
They will take place in Russia in May and 15 countries and well over a hundred lifters will be there, and it turns out that I will actually be there too. I will represent our country in Russia at the World Championships. If you're wondering what that sound was like you just heard, it's the doomsday clock that approaches just before midnight. Seriously though, I will not go all the way to Jujimufu and start making a lot of grip content with the podcast, but I will do my best to be a world class athlete for the next four months. Take this opportunity to have interesting discussions we might not otherwise have.
And that brings us to today's episode, today's podcast. We've had Doug Kalman in the podcast a few times already. He is a well-known nutritionist and co-founder of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. He is also one of the two stars of the outstanding Foundations of Fitness Nutrition series from Bodybuilding.com. In his spare time, he works a lot as a consultant for top athletes, and I wanted to think about Doug's brain, how he can achieve maximum body composition focusing on strength and recovery at the same weight. I wanted him to give me the same kind of initial counseling he would do for someone more talented than me so we can all learn a lot from it.
To be clear, my goal is that I want to get stronger, right? Who does not want to become stronger. But now I have a real goal. I want to get stronger in four months. But I do not want to upgrade a weight class, because the 90-kilogram weight class is not a place I'm traveling on business for. Well, Doug and I had a great conversation and frankly it's mostly about my life. However, I hope there are really good nutritional nuggets that you can include in your own life and goals. So let's listen.
Nick: I'm fine, man. In some days it feels sore in some places.
Doug Kalman: I imagine you would have a lot of physical English, I would imagine a lot of torque and a lot of what someone once called.
Nick: A little bit. Yes. Some of the moves we're training are a deadlift on the axle bar, which is no different from a normal deadlift, but in some one-armed deadlift movements, you somehow need to roll up your body slightly. It's a different position and I feel good when I do it. But then, an hour later, three hours later, 24 hours later, I'm like, yes, this touched some shit that had not been touched before.
Doug Kalman: I know the feeling when I participated in competitions earlier. Well, I do not want to say powerlifting, because I only participate in competitions if it were bench press. Not all other things. Well, and I've always found it, I do not know, a little bit surprised, how sore I was in areas I did not think were anything to do with pushing a weight off my chest. Very much so. I remember that after the first competition I could not believe how painful my back was.
Nick: Right. If you start to increase the volume a bit, if all are trained in nice, familiar, three-ten sentences, three sets of 12 repetitions, it can be pretty easy not to push that. But my trainer is really big in this density training where you do as many quality reps as possible in four or five minutes, and in the end do as much as twice the amount of work you do on a computer in a normal small training session would lift. And it starts to feel different pretty fast. But I enjoy it. I definitely feel that there is some potential to get stronger there.
Doug Kalman: Oh, I could imagine that. I would really do it. Because when you are new, you learn it. Not only do you learn the technique, it's the muscle overload you get. All the good stuff.
Nick: Sure. Well, I appreciate that you did that and are willing to talk to me. And I did, I tracked my macros for the past week as you asked, or I think I did my best anyway. I've written so many crazy articles about the peculiarities of macro tracking, but I honestly never did. And once you start, you realize how completely inaccurate it is.
Doug Kalman: It's an imprecise art, and although … if unfortunately for some people who are tracking macros, I'm sure you know they're obsessed with pursuing everything and they miss the bigger picture. Just use a food diary and a food analysis to see just what trends you have. Unless you are looking for a specific destination. In principle, however, it is always the case that you can see your trends.
Nick: I think my initial question to you would be someone preparing for the World Championships of some weight classes in one sport. Whether it's powerlifting, whether it's Olympic, biathlon or something similar, what do you want to know first and what are the first questions that you feel you need to answer?
Doug Kalman: Oh, that's really good. When an athlete comes to me to get nutritional advice and evaluation or assessment, I actually start with about 10 or 11 questions that I ask the person. I have already asked you some of these questions and you have shared some information. So, if you're right, Nick, I'd like to go through the kinds of questions I ask, what I call information gathering, so that I'm as prepared as you know when it comes to your daily life, what you do eat your goals and how we can get you from A to B. Bring it to your destination.
Nick: Sure. That sounds good.
Doug Kalman: All right. I actually have something that I originally called an athlete questionnaire, but basically there are 11 questions and some of them are more than just questions because it's a takeaway. And what I mean by that is that the athletes provide a food diary, ideally for three days. If they could do it for seven, that's even better. Ideally, however, at least two days a week and a weekend. And, as you know, regardless of your life, most people eat differently on their days off, which for most people is Saturday, Sunday, weekends on weekends, compared to school week or work week. Therefore, I would normally like to get an idea of what you eat from Monday to Friday and how you eat and how you know your lifestyle on Saturday and Sunday.
So that's one aspect, and we go through that a few times, and only because you get a good idea of what someone is doing. Typically, sufferers report about 25 percent of total food, the total calories of food.
Nick: Really? So much?
Doug Kalman: Some of them are … yes. And it varies, frankly, it varies between leaner people and more obese people. In general, however, it's a deviation of about 25 percent from what someone tells you. It's like working in a hospital and asking someone how much alcohol they drink a day? And if they give you an answer, one, two, three, four, then it's a rule of thumb to always multiply them by three, because people are not always truthful. With the calorie thing again something is not even deliberate. Only people do not really know the portion sizes or they forgot, oh, I had a normal orange juice today and usually not. The first is to get a good idea of how someone's food is and what eating style it has.
But I also want to know what time of day people are doing things. And the reason why I go with you is, I was curious when you wake up? When do you have your first meal? At what time you start to work? What time do you have a snack? When do you fit into your training? What about another meal? And what about when you live a hectic life? How long do you stay in traffic in your car? Things like this. This will give you an idea of the schedule.
Doug Kalman: Then, of course, it's always wise to know someone's anthropometrics, their size, their weight. And when it comes to goals related to body weight, either weight gain or weight loss. Normally, I also ask the person to lose weight, when was the last time you reached this target weight? For example, Nick, it's something else than you want to lose. I only make arbitrary numbers that you wanted to weigh 150 pounds. I would ask you, when did you last weigh this? And then, when it happens, that it's more than three years, more than three years ago, that kind of idea of how realistic it could be to come back to that weight.
And I also use that as a learning tool to say that we put one foot in front of the other before we see if we can run the marathon. So let's not concentrate on this lower number. Let's just focus on getting your body in the right direction. So, how do I do that with people? Honestly, I do not like changing the food someone eats. I always ask for a list of all the foods you like and a list of all the foods you will not eat, no matter what.
And the reason for that is pretty simple, because if you hate broccoli and you eat a pound of broccoli or even two stalks of broccoli every day, you would not do it because you hate it. Or you would do it for a while and then, because it's not your favorite, stop it. So my goal as a sports nutritionist is to work with what you give me and then help you to make better decisions, no matter if it's the timing of the food, the type of food within your taste, or the Serving size or anything above is up. These are some of the things I consider. As I said before, the foods someone likes to eat, which he does not like to eat, when he's very, very hard on following a particular eating style. If you say, listen, I want to win 10 pounds, but I'm just eating paleo
 Nick: Or Whole30 or something.
Doug Kalman: … just an example. Or Whole30 or Atkins or whatever tomorrow's next bestseller is going to be. And my idea is, if that's what you do, that's your lifestyle, so let's make the most of it to achieve your goal. Again, because it is difficult to make people change from the heart, and then maybe there is no reason, because actually the goal is when it comes to the diet of most people who work with other people, one Lifestyle. Now it is completely different in sports, because sports nutrition is bigger, faster, stronger or leaner, not necessarily a low cholesterol or the like. When it comes to sports nutrition, health is not the first thing that comes first. It's power, it's energy and things like that.
And talk about energy. There are a few things that have to do with your own diet, and I would love it if you choose your brain over it and the people who listen a little about the relationships between the types of food we eat Macronutrients and the energy systems let the body understand. I'm sorry to skip a bit now.
Doug Kalman: Returning to the questionnaire I use with you and others also means I like to share a list of restaurants from which to eat or take away How often you that and what is your typical order? For example, if you tell me Doug, I'll always eat chili, for example, a restaurant chain that everyone knows, then I can help you because you can not hide it, and then we can help. The better choice for what's going on This menu is located towards your destination. So you could still go to this restaurant if your family wants to go there. Or you want to watch football there. You could still eat, but now you make a better choice that will help you achieve your goal.
And, of course, it is always wise to know which restaurants or takeaways people have, whether they are currently on medication. The reason for this is that there is often something called the interaction between drugs and nutrients. The interaction between drugs and nutrients is simply an interaction between the drug and something in your nutritional state, or it changes your ability to digest, absorb, and metabolize certain nutrients. And I will give an example that is very, very overlooked in the endocrine world, right? And what I understand by endocrine disorders is diabetes, it's a disease of the endocrine system, but one of the most popular drugs, one of the most popular drugs used to treat diabetes, is known as metformin.
Doug Kalman: And metformin has a negative side effect, as it over time induces a vitamin B12 deficiency and thus disturbs the B12 metabolism. And most doctors do not talk about it with their patients. And most people do not know, oh, I feel tired. They think it's a type of iron anemia and it's really a B12 insufficiency or a deficiency. So that's an example of an interaction between drug and nutrient. The doctor has you on metformin for diabetes and behold, six months later you are inadequate or inadequate.
Nick: That's interesting.
Doug Kalman: That's just one example.
Nick: I think of all the people who take Metformin for a long life now, they are only, they will live forever, but unbelievably little energy.
Doug Kalman: They are likely to mingle with people following the calorie restriction.
Nick: Exactly. That they are hungry and tired.
Doug Kalman: Yeah, so they do not move much and are not really useful. Some of the other things that I would like to know, and you were, thankfully, very nice to share, a detailed overview of someone's training. You can not just tell me, oh, I'm going to the gym one day, and it's the upper body, the lower body the next. Well, this does not tell any sports nutritionist or physiologist or trainer about your range of repetition, about the amount of work you do, about the power work, about the time between sets, the total duration and all of the other things that can have an impact, if you go into a gym door. Because we all know that people, oh, I did an hour with the StairMaster, but still they spent the whole hour putting their whole body weight on the StairMaster instead of getting it through the legs and standing right. So, the one person putting all their weight on the screen of the StairMaster does not get the calorie burn they think, not the metabolic benefits they think, but still, after an hour or so, they leave the gym and it's me I trained hard for one hour today. I can do what I want.
Nick: Someone somewhere
Doug Kalman: That's not how life really works.
Nick: Someone, anyone, listens to this while he's on the StairMaster, and we'll tell that person, "Get up, god damn it."
Doug Kalman: Yes, definitely. If you need to hold on, the intensity may be a bit too high for you. But that is a learned thing. And then, some of the other things I like doing are your schedule, because if you're a person who wakes up, for example, when I work with many college athletes, and a Many college athletes have two workouts a day. It is not untypical for any college athlete that the training period is at least 30 to 32 hours per week. Normally, this is interrupted between the sports-specific training in the morning with the team or depending on the time of day. And then mostly strength and condition, in the afternoon or afternoon.
So, most of these athletes. For example, if I work in the pool with the swim team at 5:30 am and do a first workout, most of them are not up at 3:30 or 4:00 or even 4:30 in the morning to get something to eat to make sure that they have enough carbohydrates and protein, and so on, and hydration. You will roll out of bed, maybe take a cup of coffee and a banana and go to the training center. It happens on the college campus.
So my point is: It's always important to know a person's schedule because I can not force someone to eat that way if he does not eat. But what I could do is to make sure that at other times of the day, she gets enough carbohydrates and other nutrients to support her workout for the times she does it. These are just a few of the things I do not want to go through all of them because I think they are important. But and these are some of the things I looked at as you and I started our conversations. Even if I talk to you, if you do not mind, I'll summarize this a little bit.
Doug Kalman: They had the goal of gaining weight, and of course, anyone can gain weight. It's the kind of weight that someone wins that makes a difference, right? We can serve a buffet every three times a day and become a sumo wrestler in no time. But that was not the kind of weight you wanted to gain. You may want to explain a bit about why you wanted to gain weight and what you intend to do, and then we can think again about it.
Nick: Okay. Yes. So I've been down to 160 pounds for 15 years, and I've been working here for seven years, focusing more on strength and overall health and just feeling good about adding a lot of height, but at the same time I always felt like if my current body weight was a pretty hard blanket. And then, my friend and I last year, I do not know, maybe it was about August, we looked at a picture of Eugen Sandow, because we were working on an article about him, and he's just a really interesting guy , And he was no more than 180 pounds and he was huge. And we both had that realization where I think I wonder how much stronger I would be if I was 10 pounds heavier. But you could call me a hard profit, I think, because I eat like a horse and never gained a single pound.
I just did not worry about it. And I thought, you know, this time I'm going to put on 10 pounds and just see what my strength is doing on a number of different elevators. What I did, then, was doing something like an iconic High Rep Rep Squat program in which we have these sets of 20 and 30, and I did a lot of kefir at home. Kefir is this fermented milk. And I had an instant pot and I did all that kefir and I would drink kefir and eat and squat. And occasionally, on busy day, I also passed McDonald's and got two sausages from Egg McMuffin before.
Doug Kalman: Wow.
Nick: And I probably did that twice a week for six or seven weeks.
Doug Kalman: Before. Waiting. Before?
Nick: Yeah, no, I'd crouch down at lunchtime and probably eat these two Egg McMuffins at six in the morning because I get up pretty early.
Doug Kalman: Right. So, if you've really done that to increase the calorie load on your body, just explain that the word calorie means energy. So, if we look at a bag of pretzels that gives 120 calories per serving, that amount of energy can be released when the nutrients in those pretzels in the body are oxidized or burned. Metabolized. So you really had two high-fat, high-calorie, low-quality foods, I do not know, breakfast
Nick: I mean, they were delicious.
Doug Kalman: You wanted to make sure you had enough calories, one to gain weight, and two to train throughout your workout.
Nick: And I know that I do not like a lot of fat in my stomach before I do it, just like before I do everything that's particularly intense in the gym. I would, but I liked the idea of having two meals in my stomach before a hard workout. This was only twice a week. Other days I would get up and do those kettlebell or sandbag complexes in the morning and maybe I would have something like a little protein shake, but maybe not. But on those busy days, I knew it was a battle. So I wanted to have two meals in my stomach and I felt it worked really well as long as the second meal was not too heavy. It was usually as if I might have oysters and crackers or just a small portion of my lunch or something, a bit of protein, a bit of carbs.
And after six weeks, or indeed, I occasionally drank kefir before doing the squats. After six weeks, I was 170 pounds and I brushed my teeth one night, and I noticed, hey, I wiggle while brushing my teeth a bit. I think that might be a natural indication that this little lock-up period has ended. And so, I somehow chose it back, usually took a week off, just because I was exhausted because I ate so much at the time. Anyone who has ever completed a high repetition squat program can tell you that hunger, no matter how much you eat, can ruin your life.
Doug Kalman: Well, you know, the funny thing is when you talk about hunger, hunger, partly in terms of exercise physiology, when doing squats and squats with high repeatability, or just normal squats, but high repetitions, certainly, it is very, as they call it, glycolytic. Glyco, which means sugar, stores sugar, glycogen. Stored sugar stored in your muscles and in your liver. This stored sugar, which we call glycogen, breaks down to use the body during such periods of high-grade squat workouts. And it comes as no surprise that you are enthusiastic about these workouts later in the day.
Nick: I was in high demand for 24 hours.
Doug Kalman: Right. It's no surprise. It's actually and also because, just to let you know, your diet will prove that you had about 35 percent carbs. That is, unless you do it specifically, that is low in carbohydrates, that is less carbohydrate. This is not necessarily the amount of carbohydrate from which someone benefits from this type of workout in the long run. So there are some improvements we need to make here.
Nick: Yes. And I do not do that in training anymore. The training style. Well, I guess, to finish the story, I got much stronger with different lifts and I finally qualified for it … you know, my deadlift and things have gone up a lot and I could qualify for this sport. But it's a sport where I'm competitive in the 80 kilogram weight class that I'm in. I do not think I'll set the world on fire, but I can go and be hopeful that I can not completely embarrass myself. But if I was in the 90-kilogram class that starts at around 178 pounds, I would not stand a chance because the 90-kilogram guys are monsters. And so, for me, to look at this …
Doug Kalman: Yes. I know. Because you and I have a similar weight.
Doug Kalman: I know the difference when … I'm struggling against people 20, 30 pounds heavier than me and you can feel it. You know it. No matter how strong you are, they just have a little firmer.
Nick: Oh, yes, yes. And remarkably, I mean, it was a few months ago, and I stayed up there, exactly between 168 and 170 pounds. And I think my goal here for this particular preparation would really be to maximize the amount of body composition I can do without risking any further weight gain simply because of the fear of international travel and, above all, others. For example, oh yeah, you turn up and think, you think you have three pounds left, and, oh, look at that, you have a bunch of water from international travel and you're at 179. And now you're easy over the head in the competition.
Doug Kalman: Right, right. Yes, certainly. And you bring out a good point. And for everyone in the audience who travels here, whenever you fly, the solo flight action of being on the plane actually keeps your body hydrated for about 24 hours. They actually notice it and people sometimes say, "Oh, my shoes are so tight" if they were not so tight at the beginning of the flight. But they are close later in the day.
This way, you can see that your body is collecting water. It holds water and it comes from this height. That is why we do not tell athletes who are competing anywhere that we say that you do not want to fly there the day we have to weigh and compete. If possible, you want to be one week, or at least three to four days in advance, so that your body can adapt to anything.
Nick: Yeah, and I bought my tickets to Russia this week, and I think we got three days to go, just to really try something.
Nun haben Sie etwas Interessantes angesprochen, nämlich, dass ich seit letzter Woche meine Makros für Sie aufspürte, und ich tendiere zu mehr Fett und weniger Kohlenhydraten, nur weil ich das Gefühl habe, dass ich gerade so esse. Das ist, wo mein Geschmack neigt, zu gehen. Ich denke, dass es im Laufe der Woche rund 45% Fett, 25% Eiweiß und 35% Kohlenhydrate gab.
Und das war ein wenig überraschend für mich, weil ich das Gefühl habe, hey ich esse, ich esse nicht absichtlich Low Carb oder so. Es ist nur so, dass ich mich nicht so sehr danach sehne, wie ich fettige Dinge mag. Sie denken, das ist irgendwie überraschend und vielleicht etwas, das für jemanden, der in den nächsten vier Monaten viel Krafttraining und Krafttraining durchführt, etwas ist, das wir vielleicht ändern müssen?
Doug Kalman: Ja. Ganz sicher. Ganz sicher. Die Antwort, kurz und lang, lautet: Ja, ich glaube für Ihre Vorbereitung auf diesen Wettbewerb, den Sie dominieren und gewinnen werden.
Doug Kalman: Oder wir lassen Sie in Russland.
Nick: Ich vertrete hier mein Land auf der Weltbühne.
Doug Kalman: Nur schreien "Drago, wo ist Drago?" Aber eines der Dinge, die ich sagen wollte, ja, ich würde gerne etwas mehr Kohlenhydrate sehen, etwas weniger Fett. Und es ist nicht so, dass du schlechte Fette hast, es ist nicht so, als hättest du Croissants und dann gibst du Butter auf Butter und volles Eis. Die Fette, die Sie in Ihre Ernährung aufnehmen, sind natürlich vorkommende Fette, die in Eiern enthalten sind. Sie mögen einfach nur Eier und dann ist Müsli eine fetthaltigere Mischung und Joghurt.
Nick: Richtig. Und ich esse viel Nussbutter, viel Joghurt und viele Muscheln.
Doug Kalman: Richtig. Also, um die Muscheln, um die ich mich keine Sorgen mache, bedeutet das, dass ich die Muscheln nicht wirklich fett bin. Es gibt nur zwei Arten von fettreichen Fischen, wenn Sie so wollen. Fried, und einige Leute würden sagen, dass Fisch dunkler ist, wie Lachs, Makrele oder Oto, was manchmal als fettreicher Thunfisch bezeichnet wird. Diese haben einen höheren Fettgehalt, aber selbst diese sind nicht unbedingt hoch, hoch, hoch wie ein Stück marmoriertes Steak oder ein Hamburger.
Nick: Ja, ich glaube, ich esse auch eine Menge Sardinen. Sie sind ein ziemlich öliger Fisch.
Doug Kalman: Ja. Nun, die Sardinen auch, wahrscheinlich kaufen Sie sie in Dosen und sie sind in Öl konserviert.
Nick: mm-hmm (bejahend). Exactly.
Doug Kalman: Sie sind also nicht in Salzlake oder etwas in der Dose. Aber lass uns noch ein bisschen zurückgehen. Das ist, wo Sie bekommen, das ist, wo etwas von diesem Fett kommt, das in Ihre Diät kommt. Die Nussbutter, die Granolas, solche Dinge, die wir gerade erwähnt haben.
But one of the other things that I wanted to ask you about, to talk to you about, was it seems that you have a definitive love for what I call, fermented foods, 'cause I notice very strongly in your food diary, is a heck of a lot of kimchi, and a heck of a lot of kefir.
Nick: I mean, I don't have much kefir anymore. I was kind of doing an experiment with the kefir bulk, and I felt like it was very … That stuff's delicious. I've always been a big yogurt guy. My family's Greek and Greek yogurt is a huge thing now. But when we were growing up we just called it yogurt, and in my house, we would have plain yogurt as a condiment on the side of just about every dinner.
Whether we were having pasta, or lamb chops or anything. It would just be like a little pile of plain yogurt, and maybe my mom would put some Mrs. Dash on it or just eat it as it is. And that's something that I still do every day, almost, have a little bit of yogurt. And kimchi is just something that, it's not for everybody, but I just think the stuff is completely delicious. And a lot of times in the morning we'll have eggs, kimchi and toast. And I do definitely have a love of the fermented foods, I will say.
Doug Kalman: One of the things I was gonna say about the fermented foods is, fermented foods for those of you that don't know, are actual natural sources of probiotics. In the fermentation process, is when probiotics are born, if you will. So, for example, kimchi is a natural source of a probiotic that's known as bacillus coagulans. The same thing with kefir, along with a couple of other naturally-occurring strains of probiotics.
So, I mention this not only for the Jeopardy value, we know that when somebody is training hard and perhaps not getting enough sleep, that over time they get what's called being in an overreaching place, where their body is a little stale. It's not recovering as it once was and maybe you're a little more over-trained than you need to be.
So, when somebody goes to high training volumes, it does have an effect, at times for a good amount of people, to cause a reduction, if you will, a little bit of a suppression of the immune system. And that suppressed immune system sometimes leaves people to become more at risk for upper respiratory tract infections.
It's one of the reasons why if you ever follow anybody that does marathons, triathlons, or even some of the CrossFit competitions, from the volume of their workouts and the amount of days that they do, then after they get through their competition, they're sick for the next two weeks because they killed their immune system.
Nick: Right. Marathoners, in particular, are notorious for that.
Doug Kalman: Yeah, as a former marathon runner myself, I could tell you definitely. But that being said to you, the other benefit of the probiotics that are naturally occurring in your diet, besides again helping to support your immune system, and helping to reduce inflammation, is that there's some evidence also that probiotics help our bodies utilize protein more efficiently.
Nick: Oh, I didn't know that.
Doug Kalman: Right. Yeah, there was a study that we did a couple of years ago looking at bacillus coagulans, where we took a group of athletes and we tested them. Let's just say, whey protein alone and whey protein with bacillus coagulans mixed in, and we were able to see … And we were looking at the differences in protein kinetics and protein metabolism in these athletes. And those people that had the probiotic mixture as part of their protein meal, if you will, had more efficiency of absorbing protein. Which means that the body, which really just means that your body does not have to work as hard to absorb the nutrients from it.
So that's a major positive for you. We will have to switch up some of these things 'cause I feel like, I know that you also mentioned in our conversations that you like to, you and your wife like to do two or three days of, I think, intermittent fasting.
Nick: Yeah, and it's something that I got into, I don't know, maybe a year and a half ago, because I had never really… I found the science behind intermittent fasting really interesting from a longevity perspective, from blood sugar management perspective, and just from a hunger management perspective. Sometimes, it's like, "God, I'm tired of being hungry. I wonder if that would help."
And what I found that was if I arranged it around my training, where on lighter days I would skip breakfast. On Sundays, which is basically a rest day, we would not eat until afternoon sometimes. But on my training days, I would eat pretty normally. I would have a good-sized breakfast, have a good-sized lunch, solid snacks, solid dinner.
And what I found was that there was really no downside. None of my training suffered, but at the same time, I felt like I had a better control over just how I felt throughout the day, how hungry I felt, how mentally I felt. And it's been enjoyable, but at the same time, I'm open to the idea of dropping it during a dedicated prep for something that is… the world championships of something.
Doug Kalman: Right. I got it. You're open to dropping that style if there's a specific goal or reason…
Doug Kalman: … at hand. And I'm actually gonna say to you, I'm not so sure that we need to drop it totally. If it's something that you enjoy, what we need to really focus on is what happens, because if I think again, I think that you were saying you do it two, two and a half, or three days a week. But then you're training, your training is gonna be at least probably five days a week. And possibly, and possibly three or four out of those five days a week, you might be doing what we call, two-a-days.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes. And it seems like two-a-days for me, if they are gonna happen, is gonna be fairly light on at least one of them. It's, one would be more strength-oriented. The other one would be pretty restorative. But still, yeah, that's a possibility.
Doug Kalman: Well, the way I look at it, it's like when I'm working with some of the mixed martial artists that I work with doing their nutrition, and I go to the gym to watch them do their training with their coach. And they'll have two training sessions per day. And let's say that morning is sparring. So, sparring is usually very intense. A good hour of sparring, warm-up, spar and some drills and then cool down. But then, six hours later, it's strength and conditioning. Or it might be a technical workout. And they'll be, "Oh, the technical workout is not hard. We're just working on technique." But what the athlete doesn't realize, you're working on technique for 45 minutes doing… It's just not hard to you because you're a high-level athlete that's used to it. Other people would be asleep or tired from it.
So, my point to you is, yes, you're gonna have some two-a-days where both sessions might be a little bit draining to you, and some, where they won't. But the cumulative five days or six days per week with maybe three or four of those being two-a-days, which will really mean that you have to pay much more attention to staying hydrated, getting adequate protein, getting adequate carb. We do need to reduce your fat a little bit, 'cause I notice that one of the things that you did to increase your protein and caloric intake was a whole bunch of different kinds of fatty fish, if you will. Actually, it looks like a whole bunch of different type of canned…
Doug Kalman: … items.
Nick: That's true. I have a fondness for smoked oysters, smoked clams and sardines, which are also lightly smoked. And whenever I've kind of needed to up my protein, my plan has just been, all right, I'll just have a snack that's some canned fish at some point in the day. It usually has about 20 grams of protein in a can. And I'll have that, either on its own, right out of the can, or with a couple of crackers and call it good.
Doug Kalman: And what I do like also though, you have been utilizing either whey protein or bone broth protein, whichever one you had available at the time. Correct?
Nick: Yes. I've been somebody who works at Bodybuilding.com for seven years now, and we have a protein dispenser in the gym, and we have all sorts of different proteins, and we do get a little employee discount.
So, I'm a believer in the post-workout shake. I tend to do either unflavored whey or some sort of plant whey. I've got some bone broth whey that somebody, or some bone broth protein that somebody gave me a while back. And it tastes pretty good. I don't know how it matches up to whey in terms of the amino acid profile is the only thing. I know that sometimes some of those more collagen-heavy proteins are reputed to be fairly low quality, especially when it comes to the leucine content.
Doug Kalman: You bring up a great point. And it's kind of funny, my research group that I work with, we actually published a paper, I believe it was during the summer of 2018, where we did a study. And what we did in the study is we compared isolated chicken protein versus isolated beef protein. And isolated beef protein that's sold on market, beef protein that's sold on market, most of them are very collagen-rich proteins on the beef end. So, it was kind of interesting for us because basically, think of it as a dehydrated chicken breast versus a dehydrated steak, if you will, right? But the bone broth is really the dehydrated bone…
Nick: Ligaments and stuff like that?
Doug Kalman: Right. So, a dehydrated, that bone that's in that steak that is then dehydrated, ground up, blah, blah, blah, is yes, going to be a poorer source overall of amino acids and protein, but richer in some of the other nutrients that have shown benefit for joint health. And which is important.
So, if you're doing a lot of lifting and you're doing, and I don't know if everybody knows here the kind of competition that you're getting in, but your kind of weightlifting or arm wrestling or armlifting competition, is one that's gonna place a lot of stress, at least in my mind, on your wrist joint, on elbow joint, and possibly on your shoulder joint.
So, when you're doing your training, not only is it smart to get more than enough protein in your diet, but also the nutrients that can help protect or rebuild things like your cartilage, your tendon, the things that surround your bones, if you will.
Nick: Right. And my coach, whose been in competitive grip sports for a really long time, he's a big believer in collagen for that, because he says that the limiting factor in people's hand strength, which is really what we're measuring in the sport, isn't muscular. It's really, it comes down to connective tissue strength. And that's a harder kind of strength to build and at the same time, it's also one that people associate more with lingering injuries.
So, he's a big believer in protein, but also in collagen for that. Now collagen is super hip right now. You see it everywhere, but it's not something you hear… You hear people talk about it, oh, for skin, and hair, which you and I could probably both use a little bit more of. But you don't hear it as much in terms of the potential it has to help people avoid injury and strengthen connective tissue. Is there decent science on collagen and connective tissue and joint health?
Doug Kalman: There's growing science on it. There's growing science and most of it came out of actually some of the studies that were looked at using gelatin. And gelatin is very similar to bone broth, by the way. Looking at gelatin and osteoarthritis and gelatin and connective tissue. And that is where some of the collagen supplementation recommendations have come out of.
And so, most of the studies say that the serving size needs to be at least 10 grams or more. And you have to be consistent with it. And one of the things that I do warn people about when it comes to dietary supplements, it's consistency over time that will give you your benefit. It's not take one pill and your headache goes away.
Doug Kalman: So, the mentality, again it's having the right mental approach, understanding that, just as important as you doing your kettlebell lifts, will be the nutrition that you put in your body. And that one kettlebell lift is not gonna make you a Mr. Olympia, if you will. But it's over time that increases the overall strength and physique and so forth.
Nick: Okay. So, there's kind of a vision of a post-workout shake coming into my mind here. What if it was something like 25 to 30 grams of whey, or something similar, and then 10 grams of collagen in that shake? So, bringing it up to closer to 40 total grams of protein, but a fairly mixed type of protein. Does that seem like a decent shake for somebody like me in this training block?
Doug Kalman: Exactly. That's seems, there'd be a couple of other goodies that we would recommend, but that would be great backbone. To have a fast-absorbing protein such as whey, and then to have the bone collagen protein, not only for the protein value, but for the joint and connective tissue recovery uses. So, most definitely.
Doug Kalman: There are a couple of tweaks that I would make. I would make sure, believe it or not, there are a couple of, I would probably have creatine in the post-workout shake for you. Low dose creatine on a daily basis, meaning just three to five grams of creatine on lifting days. No creatine loading needed, but again, you would take the creatine, because one of the benefits of creatine, besides that when somebody weight lifts and uses creatine, you get more strength than if you just weight lifted alone, is that creatine also helps the body for energy cycles.
Actually, the function of creatine in the body is to be used to produce something that's known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). When our bodies burn energy and ATP is what's known as oxidized or used, that ATP becomes ADP, and or, which is adenosine diphosphate, right?
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Doug Kalman: So, my point in bringing that up is its creatine or something known in the body as phosphocreatine that rephosphorylates the energy to bring it back up. So, you could think of it as creatine as being a nutrient that helps refuel your muscle's gas tank.
Nick: That's good. And this sport is, the lifts are very brief. There's very little that happens that lasts over… It's a little bit like powerlifting in that regard. There's very little that happens that's over 10 seconds long, so it makes sense to me that the creatine would be of value there.
Doug Kalman: Without doubt. And then I do think some other things would be of value nutritionally to you, but you already eat a lot of fish. I would just want to make sure you're getting at least two grams of omega-3 fatty acids. That you're getting a smattering of vitamins and minerals. Because supplement-wise, I think that you said besides the protein shakes, you only really use Vitamin D or D3, specifically, and you probably should.
Doug Kalman: Anybody that lives north of the latitude that goes through Atlanta and through the US really, probably should be on at least 2000 units of Vitamin D a day. But, for everybody listening, I always believe it's better first, before you take something, go get a blood test or what the appropriate test is to know what your level is. It's always good to know where you start to see whether you really need to increase something or not. But in general, people that live north of Atlanta are not exposed to enough sunlight and out in the sun enough to have their body activate Vitamin D.
Nick: I remember talking to you in the past about how you would prepare for a boxing match is what you've done for a number of years. And you would say that as the training got more intense, as you were getting closer to a bout, you would start taking a multivitamin and start taking fish oil, things like that. I mean those are staple supplements that tons of people take. But what do you feel like they did for you as you were preparing for a weight-classed event, where you really want to preserve your power and strength.
Doug Kalman: Yeah, that's a great question. And the way that I look, yes, I would take a multivitamin. I would take fish oil. I would actually take Vitamin D, and I would also use curcumin. So, let me go through why. I might be a registered dietician. Well I am, I shouldn't say might be, I'm pretty sure I am.
Nick: You might be.
Doug Kalman: I am a registered dietician and I'm also a Ph.D. I'm a professor at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. And I teach sports nutrition. And I work with the athletic teams.
And why do I mention that? Is that because, I don't eat perfect every day. There are days where I don't have a wide variety of vegetables in my diet. And most people don't eat perfect.
So, to me, picking up a good quality multivitamin, helps fill the gaps. We already know from analytical data of the United States population, that, in general, we have nutrient shortfalls during different ages, or different times of your life. The nutrient shortfall just means that we're not getting enough of it through our diet. And that's why we take supplements.
So, if I looked at the sample diet that you gave here, Nick, there are a whole host of vitamins and minerals that at least according to the typical day that you wrote down here that are missing from your diet. So, I look at a multivitamin as filling the gap. I always, food first, supplements help fill the gap. And when I go over that, like I said, and then adding the fish oil, and especially for somebody like you. When they're doing a lot of training it's very inflammatory to the body. And there are good studies that show that omega-3 fatty acids that in a right dose will help reduce general inflammation. And also help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. Two things that lifters or athletes don't really wanna have when it comes near competition time.
Doug Kalman: Right, you don't wanna be overly sore. And you wanna be recovered, you don't wanna be inflamed that way.
Doug Kalman: And there is also great evidence, strong evidence of correlations in between somebody's vitamin D levels and their strength. So, I look when I'm working with professional athletes, we test their vitamin D and then we generally like to get it in a certain range because there's a known range of when your vitamin D levels are, let's say, around 80 or 90. Anywhere really to 50 to 80, but let's just say 80 to 90, that that correlates with greater strength than somebody that has lower vitamin D levels. And, unfortunately, many people walk around with vitamin D levels in the 30 range, which is really insufficient and does affect not only your immune system and recovery and strength, but a whole host of other things as well. Even mood states.
Nick: Are there any other nutrients, minerals that people in strength sports need to be on the lookout for in terms of a deficiency really damaging their performance more than they realize?
Doug Kalman: Well, the other thing that crosses my mind, and I'm not trying to pick a fight with any food group or people, is that just because the popularity now of either being some type of vegan or vegetarian, we cannot say enough that if somebody really is eating as a strict vegetarian or vegan wholeheartedly, they're not getting vitamin D. Wholeheartedly, they're not getting adequate B12 no matter how much they really try. Nor are they getting adequate iron. And we do know that when people have lower levels of B12 and iron, not only does it cause fatigue in the body or you get fatigued faster, but your mental abilities are impacted as well. You don't think as fast.
So, I worry about those depending on the type of diet that somebody eats. But in general, I think that we were just covering some things that I think would be worthwhile in the post-workout and daily period, which would be a couple different sources of protein, some omega-3 fatty acids, some vitamin D. And I'm a big fan also of curcumin. And turmeric, or curcumin also known as golden milk, right? Is one of the names out of India for curcumin, has strong science, really good growing science showing the benefit on the immune system. The benefit on recovery. The benefit for inflammation. And even the benefit for delayed onset muscle soreness.
So, to me those are all good reasons to include 1,500 mg or so of curcumin in the diet. That doesn't mean that we only have to take, or that you one has to take curcumin let's say in pill form. Cook with it. Make yourself yellow rice.
Doug Kalman: Cook with it in your chicken, just make sure to use a little bit of oil, it absorbs better in the body with oil than it does without, from the food form.
Doug Kalman: So again, that's why the more colorful a person's plate, the greater variety of spices that are used, the better the athletic recovery and overall health will be.
Nick: Right. And I've been somebody who's taken that to heart over the years and really tried. We eat a ton of vegetables in our house, we eat a lot of different vegetables. We really like to cook. But at a certain point that does sometimes come at the expense of the amount of protein that you can put on your plate.
Doug Kalman: Sure.
Nick: And looking at the macro tracking that I did over the last week I noticed that I was pretty consistently up around 130 to 145 grams of protein a day. Which it hits that .8 per pound of body weight that I've heard recommended, but…
Doug Kalman: Which is good.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative). But it's not … I think only one day of the week did I ever touch 1 gram per pound.
Doug Kalman: Not easy.
Nick: Do you feel like that's something that I need to aim for?
Doug Kalman: You know what, this might sound backwards to some people. I like to tell somebody the minimal amount of protein that you need, knowing that most Americans, most people, don't like to do minimum, they like to do more.
Doug Kalman: Right? So, in other words, if you were averaging about .8 grams per pound, you're more than well off.
Nick: Okay. And I didn't really have much in the way of shakes in the last week.
Doug Kalman: You know that's what makes up the difference. It's really hard to have a lot of food protein, but the portable protein, the drinking, the shakes in between or after a workout, or as a snack. And it doesn't even have to be a shake. Last night, I took myself one scoop of whey protein isolate powder and I took… What was it? I'm sorry. Siggi's Icelandic yogurt.
Nick: Oh yeah, that's good stuff.
Doug Kalman: And it was just a plain one, and then I mixed it together and it was sorta thick, more like a chocolate pudding kind of texture. And just sometimes mixing those kinds of foods, making your own protein pancakes or, I make protein ice cream all the time. All the time in my house I make protein ice cream. It's just ice cream that has a little bit more protein in it, about 10-12 grams of protein per serving, per half cup. You know, I'm sorry, per cup.
And these are things, there are other ways of getting it in. So, it doesn't always have to be shakes. I have one athlete right now that we do one shake and one bar because that's all they can really handle before they feel overly full. They'll have a shake after their workout, and then they'll have a bar as a nighttime snack because that's what they wanna have. And it's one of these 20-gram protein plus bars. So, I think that you're on a good trajectory, but I do think that we need to clean it up just a little bit so that we can help support your efforts in the gym. That's what I really worry about when I see like a 35% carbohydrate intake and a 45% fat.
That if we could tweak that a little bit, where maybe it was 45% carbs and 35% fat, that would be better for you.
Nick: Okay. And when you see something like that in an athlete's nutrition, what recommendation do you give them? Like hey eat some damn rice. Eat a piece of fruit.
Doug Kalman: Yeah sometimes. So, for example, I might tell them, if you're gonna have your two or three eggs in the morning please let's have two or three slices of Ezekiel bread. Or whole grain bread, right? So, this way there's some carbs coming in with that. If we're going to have… I don't wanna just say it has to be the same boring bodybuilding rice, potato, rice, potato, rice, potato. There are a lot of different kinds of potatoes that are out there. How about trying yucca?
And I'm being serious there, so it's something that we do. And I try to get people not to be afraid of carbohydrates. There's nothing wrong with having a bowl of cereal as a snack. Heck, if you wanna make sure that there's protein with it, have it with one of the Fairlife milks that are high in protein. Or what I do sometimes is I'll make an eight-ounce protein drink. Four ounces I use for my cereal, and the other four ounces I drink, instead of buying a high-protein grain cereal that your body doesn't really absorb and the people behind you don't really like. It's better to do it the way that I said.
Doug Kalman: You know, become creative. Become creative with it.
Nick: Right. And I do find that before a workout I can have some carbs and not feel like I'm particularly full or weighted down during my workout. Whereas, I used to occasionally have a protein shake before a workout and then I had a few experiences where it felt all wrong. My energy level was all wrong, I felt kinda cloudy during the workout. And I stopped doing that. Do you think adding in… Before my workout today actually there was squash in the fridge, some roasted squash and sweet potatoes that I just grabbed as leftovers, and I had that before my workout. And it was actually a really high-quality workout as a result. I ate it about an hour beforehand and just got pretty much a blast of pure carbs before my workout.
Doug Kalman: That's the key, actually, the timing before. So, you know, when. I wouldn't be having a bowl of pasta a half hour before I go train, but if it was two hours before I might.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Doug Kalman: Now is it's an hour before I might have something lighter like you had. Heck, I could tell you that when I work, I've been fortunate enough to work five Olympics, right? And so, with the swimmers that I work with in the Olympics, competitive swimmers they'll go warm up in the pool before their race for about a half hour. Then they have their race, which may last all of 50 seconds or less, depending upon distance that they race. And then they go back to the pool for a half-hour cool down swim.
So, they're really doing an hour worth of energy expenditure, but they're really only doing all out for let's say 25, 40, 50 seconds, whatever their race might be. But we actually have a meal three hours before they come. We might drink a Vitargo drink 30 minutes or an hour before their race. Just in the same way that you had the food. Other times we'll just use a couple tablespoons of honey as a portable carbohydrate that doesn't sit heavy in them. Makes them drink water and then they're able to go into their event, or go into their training.
Honey is sort of like the natural version of Gu, if you will.
Nick: Oh, yeah. I've always preferred it, I think it's really good. And there are certain times of the year when I will take it, just a spoonful here or there because I found that it can be helpful with my allergies actually. But I've also definitely found as a little pre-workout, 'cause I don't really take caffeine before a workout. Usually I'll have my cup of coffee in the morning and that's about all the caffeine I can handle in my middle age. But do you feel like there's anything else that I should keep in mind from that overreaching perspective?
Because one part of this story is definitely that I'm a very normal guy in my abilities up to this point in my life. I've trained very consistently for the last seven years, but never at a really high level. Never truly challenged myself toward some elite goals. And the goals that my coach and I are aiming for in the next four months are pretty significant, you know adding somewhere around 30-50 pounds to my axle bar deadlift. Which is a full body lift, pretty challenging lift.
There's a lot of changes that could happen in my body over the next four months. Is there anything else that I should really be on the lookout for?
Doug Kalman: Well, yeah, I would just say again, I wanna push you to have adequate carbohydrates, don't be afraid of things like couscous. Which is a different way of having a pasta. It's a fast-absorbing easy to make carbohydrate. If you add boiling water, your pasta's made. So again for you, I wanna to ask you to try to keep your protein intake where it is, increase your carbs a little bit, decrease the fat a little bit. You need to add more vegetables in your diet from what I saw on this page. But I would suggest a multivitamin just as cheap insurance policy, covering for what you're missing from the foods.
'Cause your whole goal is… Here is the question that I always ask a freshman athlete. What kind of an athlete is a bad athlete? It's the sick athlete.
Doug Kalman: 'Cause that sick athlete can't train. And/or they can get their other teammates sick. So, a sick athlete is no good. So, we need to keep your immune system intact. So that's why I'm saying that we wanna probably make sure just to round it out that you're getting a multivitamin along with your vitamin D3 that you were taking. And so forth.
Doug Kalman: What I'd love to do with you over the next couple of months of training as you work your way into the championships in St. Petersburg, Russia, is to see what you're eating and to coach you a little bit, or even put together a sample different meal plan for you…
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Doug Kalman: …to follow. You know, just I wanna make sure 'cause even in the meal plan that you gave me, you say that it came out to averaging something like 2,300 calories a day.
Doug Kalman: And you've gained weight on that amount of calories, or were you eating more?
Nick: Oh, when I gained I was eating far more than that.
Doug Kalman: Right. So, 2,300 to me is not a lot. Really, it's not a lot. That's not even 10 calories per pound of… I mean that's just slightly above the 10 calories per pound of your body weight. That's probably like 12 calories per pound of body weight. So, metabolically you could probably add in another 1,000 to your diet and not worry that you're gonna have grandma arms that jiggle when you wave to your kids goodbye for the day.
Nick: I'm a 39-year-old man though, there's something scary about adding more calories and more carbohydrates to your diet. There's just this massive societal association right now with, okay you're gonna add more carbs, you're gonna add more weight, you're gonna add more fat.
Doug Kalman: Well no, so what we're gonna do is we're gonna add a little bit of carbs, take away a little bit of the fat, which his gonna keep the calories relatively the same. I mean relatively slightly higher than what you're having now. But at the same point, because you're training consistency will be very consistent. And you're still going to do your intermittent fasting, you have to not look at how many calories did I have today? You have to start looking at what am I averaging over the week?
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Doug Kalman: And you'll see that from your scale weight and from the average that you're not getting excessive and you're not getting fat. But you're keeping the muscle that you wanna get, or even gaining a little bit more. And maintaining or gaining even more strength.
Nick: Right. And maybe having a little bit more to devote to individual workouts as well. A little bit more energy to pour into those.
Doug Kalman: Exactly. Because sometimes when you're under fed you're under energetic. You might think, oh I get enough calories. I'm a great writer, I'm great at this, I could do this, I complete everything. But are you achieving all the physical output that you can in the gym? And we don't know that yet. Maybe you could do a little bit more if we had a consistent maybe 2,700 calories a day for you.
Nick: Okay. So, there it is, 2,700. That's about three Snickers bars, right? Or five cups of couscous.
Doug Kalman: And a slice of pizza.
Nick: Yeah, exactly. All right, well, I guess one final question I was gonna have was, do you think it would really be beneficial for me to get a blood test or get a test to really see where I'm at nutrient-wise to start off before a big journey like this? Do you think that's something that people should consider doing before they start a big goal?
Doug Kalman: I really do. I honestly do. Probably if you went to your general physician and said can I have a vitamin/mineral blood test they're gonna look at you like you're crazy. They're gonna say, what you're not like in the sub-Saharan desert?
Nick: I think that's what keeps people from doing it honestly is yeah, I think I've done that where I asked my … You know you read about it, hear at Bodybuilding.com, people say that they do it. And then I went to my doctor and I said I want this, and he said, what do you need that for? You're healthy.
Doug Kalman: Yeah. I've had a doctor say that to me before, too, and I said, well we only really know if we test. You know? And so, my point being is, yes, I do encourage it. I do think it's worthwhile. And I do think that if for example your doctor won't send you to the lab for a vitamin/mineral test, there are labs that'll allow you to come in to do those tests. Like Anytimelab.com, which is a lab chain around the United States, you can go in and have any blood test you want. Including vitamin and mineral status.
I will tell you, I have sent athletes to specific labs that will allow the testing to get done, and then we share the reports with everybody that we need to. But yes, I'm an advocate of have a baseline. So, in this instance, it would be a vitamin/mineral baseline, including vitamin D of course. But it'd be a vitamin/mineral baseline. If you're a person that does not eat a lot of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet either through foods or supplementation, then I would also get the omega-3 test. Which you can order through the internet through the mail, they send you something to your house. You send them something back. It's pretty easy.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay.
Doug Kalman: So, yeah, I advocate having a test so we know the baseline.
Nick: All right, I'll do that. It seems like a worthy thing.
Doug Kalman: Nick, think of this, if you were literally in south Florida in my lab, right? In my testing lab, we would test your body composition. We would test your metabolic rate. We would test some strength indices, which has nothing to do with nutrition, but it's good to have that as a basis so that your coach would know. But we would be testing your metabolic rate. We would be testing your body composition. We would be testing these nutrient status because this is what you're looking to improve upon, so it's good to know where you start.
That's why you say like, oh I had my body fat tested, I went from 12% to 9%, let's say. So, you knew where you started, it's the same philosophy for when it comes to vitamin/mineral status of the blood.
Nick: Right. Well and I've been a big advocate in the past that people that before they really get serious about working out, meet with somebody who can give them a good baseline of their physical abilities and weaknesses. Somebody who knows movement screens, or something like that. That can just give you some sort of objective starting place.
Doug Kalman: Good points.
Nick: Some of the best information I've ever gotten was just from a friend of mine who gave me a functional movement screen and he said, basically you're injured in these three areas. And you just have never realized it and it's holding you back.
And it just gave me some place to start. Like, "Oh, wow, I had no idea." Okay, well now I have something to build a plan around. And I could see this functioning in the same way.
Doug Kalman: Yes. Exactly. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. So, it's good to have a plan. And the plan besides to succeed, is that we have everything that we prepared, with everything that we could to do our best.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Doug Kalman: Right? Just like you would for college exams, or any exams, you prepare everything. Same thing for this physical contest, for this competition you're going to. You want not only to put all your effort into the lifts that you do in the gym, but remember, this is when you have to look at nutrition as fuel, not nutrition as pleasure.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Doug Kalman: And that's not easy for everybody. So, nutrition is your fuel in order to get your body, your car from here to there. Where after you accomplish what you want, or 10% of your time, then you have the pleasure part of food. But right now, food is your fuel to accomplish your goal.
Nick: Right. And that's a mindset that I've been able to avoid for the most part as long as I don't have any candy in my diet, I don't drink soda. I don't drink coffees with a bunch of crap in them.
Doug Kalman: Nah, you eat pretty clean.
Nick: That's been enough for me to stay a lean and athletic guy. But at the same time there are times in your life when an opportunity presents itself and you just think, all right maybe I'm just gonna try something completely different now. And I think that that's the mindset that you describe is one that I need to embrace. And it'll be a little bit difficult 'cause my family is an enjoyment-based family. We like what we like, we just learn how to control the portions of it. You know?
Doug Kalman: Tell them that this is what you like now. Even if you don't, tell yourself it.
Doug Kalman: Positive mindset.
Nick: All right, Doug Kalman, thank you so much for talking with us. This will be a good journey. And I think we should talk again as it goes on.
Doug Kalman: Seriously, I'd love to be along the path with you on this journey. And seeing you accomplish your goals is just awesome. It's motivating to me. So, I'm happy for you and excited and I know that you'll get there and do it.
Nick: Great, thank you. And for those who are listening, Doug's perspective is also available on Bodybuilding.com in the Foundations of Fitness Nutrition series on Bodybuilding.com All Access which is just a great 9-video course that we did that outlines a lot of the stuff that you're talking about today.
Doug Kalman: Yes. And with more precision and take-home utility than what we were able to cover in this short session. So, thank you again, and yes, everybody please go take a look at the Foundations of Fitness Nutrition on Bodybuilding.com All Access.
Nick Collias: All right, we'll talk to you again soon, Doug.
Doug Kalman: All right, take care, Nick. Many Thanks.