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Matt Chaplin – Optimising Human Performance For Longevity

Content by: Matt Chaplin

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Stu: This week, I’m excited to welcome Matt Chaplin to the show. Matt’s a veteran of the fitness industry who transitioned from the pace of the city to set up a more holistic studio in Byron Bay called Health Is For Life. His vision is to promote health, wellness and optimise human performance with longevity as a constant focus. In this episode we discuss how to determine the best exercise and movement program for ourselves with so many options available. We also dig deep into restoring the body for recovery and performance and discuss how to use our environment to optimise our health, over to Matt…

Audio Version

downloaditunesListen to Stitcher Questions we ask in this episode:

  • How can we determine the best methods of exercising for ourselves with so many options?
  • What are the biggest misconceptions you commonly encounter with your clients?
  • What are your thoughts on the importance of recovery?

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Full Transcript

Stu

00:03 Hey, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and welcome to another episode of The Health Sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness, and human performance in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve a long lasting health. Now I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do.

00:23 Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We’re into whole food nutrition and have a range of super foods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, want to find out more, just jump over to our website, that is 180nutrition.com.au, and take a look. Okay. Back to the show.

00:44 This week, I’m excited to welcome Matt Chaplin to the show. Matt’s a veteran of the fitness industry who transitioned from the pace of the city to set up a more holistic studio in Byron Bay. His vision is to promote health, wellness and optimize human performance with longevity as a constant focus. In this episode we discuss how to determine the best exercise and movement program for ourselves with so many options available.

01:09 We also dig deep into restoring the body for recovery and performance and discuss how to use our environment to optimize our health. Over to Matt.

01:21 Hey guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition and I am delighted to welcome Matt Chaplin to the podcast. Matt, how are you?

Matt

01:28 Good, thanks, Stu. Thank you for having me.

Stu

01:29 Matt, I’m very excited to dial in [inaudible 00:01:32] today, so really appreciative of your time. But first up, for all of those that may not be familiar with you, your work, I just wondered if you could tell us a little bit about yourself please.

Matt

01:45 So I’ll go back to the start. I was born in a small country town, grew up in a small country town, which was just based around. You went to school, you played sport till it went dark, you had dinner, and you wanted to go play more sport. That was life up until I finished school. Then I moved to the big smoke of Melbourne and I originally went there to play cricket. But my body let me down really badly by the time I was 22. Shin splints, I tore muscles, osteo pubis, you name it. I was a broken man at 22 and that led me to the personal training career that I’m in now because I wanted to work out how to fix my body cause I knew I’d broken it down by training really hard push, push, push the work out.

02:34 Right. How do I fix this? So then I cut my teeth in personal training in Melbourne and I spent 20 years there.

Stu

02:43 Oh wow.

Matt

02:44 And inside those 20 years, I’ve been a trainer for about 16 years. So the first eight years I worked in a studio to say… I after that I needed to reinvent myself. I ran my own studio in Melbourne for seven years, predominantly working one on one with people right from CEOs, business operators, right down to your moms and kids and stuff like that. So that was pretty intense work. Looking after 10 appointments a day, five days a week, riding programs… But I loved it. I did that for seven years and then the opportunity arise that I could move to buyer and have a complete reset and that’s where I am now. So this is the next stage of my life is in Byron.

Stu

03:32 Fantastic. Well that’s excellent and… so very intrigued to dig deep into your thoughts and philosophies on longterm health and all the different modalities that we can call upon to optimize that and just as a side to our listeners. So I was recommended your services locally because we’re almost neighbors for everyone that doesn’t know and I was intrigued when I had a look at your website. You were doing lots of things that I wouldn’t typically see in a personal training exercise environment. You are using words like energy, flow, stick movement and all of these strengths and power sessions. And so I ducked in and had a flow session which was breath work and meditation and ice bath, which was massively invigorating, I must say.

04:28 So I’m intrigued then on the philosophies, because rewind like 20 years ago, 10 years ago, exercise is very much gym culture based. So it was these Globo gyms and then we started to see the advent of high intensity interval like CrossFit at 45 and then all of the other stuff like the woo woo stuff was kind of separate in terms of yoga and mindfulness. But now it’s kind of coming together. So what are your philosophies then from a holistic health perspective on optimizing your longterm health?

Matt

05:09 My number one focus for myself is protecting my mitochondria function and increasing that. So the backstory of that is when I first started my own business, I moved into an apartment that was full of mold and I did not know how detrimental that is to your health until I got really sick. So the apartment was full of mold, had no natural sunlight, the air was really bad and I just felt terrible and I could not work out what it was. My skin was all rashy. I’d never had a skin problem inflammation. It was always puffy. I couldn’t open my eyes half the time. I’d train two people and have to fall asleep. Like, man, I’ve got half an hour and I need a 10 minute nap.

Stu

05:50 Oh wow.

Matt

05:51 Heaps of coffee, charge up again. So now I understand why. Because my mitochondria was killed by the mold.

05:58 So now my number one objective for myself is to increase it, supercharge it and protect it like there’s no tomorrow. So everything I do for myself, it’s all about mitochondria function and decreasing that longterm inflammation, that chronic inflammation, which is that dripping sensation of, I’m just going to get you one day. I’m just going to get you one day. That to me is a huge philosophy for my health and I also want to pass that on to everyone I come into contact with and they’re all the systems inside the studio. That’s why they’re broken up into little segments, because they’re all designed to increase that mitochondria function.

Stu

06:38 Okay. I guess for anybody that doesn’t understand too much, mitochondria, hasn’t heard of it before. So typically the power plants of ourselves, like the little batteries that live in all of our cells and when, as we age or I guess at any stage of our lives, our mitochondria can be affected by any number of things or be it mold, food, lack of movement, mindset. And we might typically then start to feel low energy. And people often relate that to… Well it’s just part of aging. You know, I haven’t got as much energy, but I’m a big believer like you that I don’t think that’s the case. And I’ve seen very, very healthy, vibrant, 70, 80, 90 year olds and often thought I want some of that. But then I start to talk to them and look at what their daily rituals are and how they live their lives. And they’re doing a lot of stuff that I think you’ll probably be doing. So I’m keen to understand more then about the things that you do to optimize your mitochondria.

Matt

07:39 Okay. So that again, that was one of the reasons I moved to Byron or to a coastal town.

Stu

07:46 Yeah.

Matt

07:47 So there’s some things that we can do to increase that mitochondria, which are free, which is earthing.

Stu

07:52 Yeah.

Matt

07:52 Getting in contact with the ground, whether that’s the grass, the ocean, whatever… Or be sunshine. Now I’m a trainer, I’m supposed to be sending the message of health and fitness and I hadn’t seen a sunrise for seven years because I was driving to work in Melbourne in the dark, training people till at two o’clock in the afternoon. And then finally seeing sunlight. And it blinds you cause I was working in a really poorly built environment, so people don’t think about your health when they’re building a building. So you’ve got earth thing, you’ve got the sun, and then you’ve got breath work again. It’s free. You can just drop down and do breath work whenever you want to. And then we get into the cold and the hot. So the extremes of some really, really cold water. The extreme heat, which is like a sauna or simply just using a hot and cold shower.

Stu

08:40 Yeah. Yeah.

Matt

08:41 Those things are pretty much at disposal every single day to increase their mitochondria function. So my first introduction to this was doing a whim off session and doing an ice bath. And I was like, Oh my God. It was hot. I felt for the whole day, I just had all this energy. I didn’t need a food. I was just like, man, where’s all this energy coming from? So I dug deeper. But in Melbourne the workshops were gaps. It was like a four or six week gap between each workshop. I was like, I need to work out a way to do this on a regular basis. I brought a chest freezer, filled it full of water. I kept it at four degrees to zero degrees and I can jump into it whenever I want to. And I started feeling so much better. And then I was like, Oh, the breath work and, and drinking water with minerals in it, stuff like that. So I started stacking all these things to my advantage to increase the mitochondria and then you dig a bit deeper with my fascia. So that’s where the sticks come into it to release all my fascial junk that might be building up which block energy pathways, entity systems is a training style with breath work on top of that. So they’re all the things that I do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis to keep that mitochondria function flowing.

Stu

09:57 So as a member of the public, and I just want to get, I want to feel better. There are so many different methods and modalities to exercise and train. I could do my cardio session, a bootcamp, I could try CrossFit or a hit session or a bike session. Where do we start? And I guess if I walked in your door tomorrow, I probably wouldn’t be in the right physiological shape to just jump into a lot of the stuff that you might know would optimize me further down the track. So where would I start if a newbie walked in your door tomorrow?

Matt

10:39 I start with all that free stuff. So I’d build a system where they’re going outside the grounding, they’re seeing the sunlight in the morning, exposing their skin and their eyes, have a hot and cold shower, do some breath work, drink some water with some minerals in it. And then on top of that walking like a 10,000 steps. Now they’re all enhancing mitochondria. We haven’t spoken about exercise yet. They’re all very low level things that we can do on a daily basis to start to get the engine going.

Stu

11:08 Yeah.

Matt

11:09 Because when you’re training, when I do my strength work, I’m focusing on becoming stronger or grooving out the exercise. If it’s a kettlebell, it’s like I want to master the yard of whatever the exercise is, doing the exercise to lose weight. One of the payoffs is I increase my metabolic function, I become stronger, all those other things.

11:29 But if we’re just looking as a… that entry point, I’d be doing all those things on a daily basis and then slowly adding in wherever you are in regards to doing your movement practices, your strength work. Everyone’s got a starting point, so if I was working with someone individually, I’ve got to screen them and get those things going and slowly build up the momentum. But I’d be handing them to do all those other things every single day as the backbone of the system. Cause if they’re not doing that, then we’re really going to struggle with progression, cause most people want to come in to lose weight, have less body fat, look good, whatever it is. But they’re the things that we don’t pay attention enough and there’s so much money in doing those things. So since I’ve been to Byron, I left Melbourne a little bit heavier than what I wanted to be. That was just because I was working inside seeing the sunlight. Since I’ve been here, my meal intakes have gone down and I haven’t forced that. That’s just because I’ve changed my environment. So I’ve been [inaudible 00:12:32] to do that and now my training becomes more efficient because I’m not trying to force it because all those other things are starting to work in harmony, which is what I want it to be.

Stu

12:43 Perfect. Perfect. So typically people would… The image that people would conjure up in their mind of a gym environment is lots of machines, lots of free weights. And when I visited you the other day, I didn’t see the bench press machine or the pec deck machine. I didn’t see the sit-up machine or the treadmill or any of those things. Why didn’t I see those in your studio? And I’m intrigued as to the type of equipment that you use to be able to then address the strength and the energy. Because it didn’t look like the typical Globo gym setup

Matt

13:27 So you can call me a strength coach or a health and fitness personal trainer, whatever is, but each client I work with should be able to do the seven basic principles. So a squat, a hinge, something single legged push, pull, carry and rotation. So you can strip that back and work body weight with that. So you can teach someone to do a squat, teach the hinge, work on one leg with a single legged dead lift, launch, something like that. Pressing away, doing a push out, some sort of pull up and then being able to carry a load or rotating. So if someone can’t do those and then we’re starting with that, we’re going to strip it right back and work with whatever tools I need to build that system. And then it’s layer upon layer upon layer upon layer. Then I might get a guy who’s a brute, but I can always find there’s a weakness somewhere.

14:18 It’s like, dude, you can do a great hinge but you can’t squat.

Stu

14:20 Yeah.

14:21 But I can also tell them if we fix a squat, we fix your digestion. Cause if your hips are all jammed up, then you can’t get down into that deep squat. All your digestive system is going to be all blocked up. There’s other payoffs to it. If you start telling them you need to be able to do these things, but also injury prevention and stuff like that. So I want to create a safe environment for the client so they trust that they can do those movements. But then all those exercises don’t need any weights. So you can actually do most of them down at the beach or you’re on holidays or you come back into the gym, you go to the hotel gym, you can always do a squat. Somebody can do a lunge and you can do a single leg, you can do a push up, pull up, you can carry a couple of weights or you can rotate. So I’m giving the person some life skills they can take anywhere. Even cleaning the house, vacuuming, picking up something from the floor, getting under the couch, whatever it might be. Instead of just folding from their spine or [inaudible 00:15:16]. And then they come into the gym and they’re like, oh my back hurts all the time. A lot. Well, it’s probably a process of what you’re doing on a daily basis, which is causing it.

15:24 Yes. Yeah, totally. Or what you’re not doing perhaps as well, because I love the fact that… I mean your company’s called health is for life. And the ideal scenario is that we are fit, healthy, active, cognizant for as long as we possibly can. So we have this quality of life and it would be quite common to want to join a gym, take some supplements, burn yourself out, trying to burn calories in the hope that you can gain a six pack, look better in a swim suit. And it’s vanity metrics, really, when what we actually want to do is become fitter and stronger than we were before. And carry that over the course of our lives to be able to do things that we actually need to do. If our house is on fire, can we pull ourselves out of the window to escape? Probably not. We might better look good in the mirror and show off our six pack when the house is burning, but can you be functional at that age? So yeah, I’m very keen to want to become resilient, as resilient as I can the older and older I get. So what are the biggest misconceptions that you commonly encountered with your clients? I’m keen to know.

Matt

16:41 That you always have to put the foot down and trying at 100% every single training session. And as consumers, we always just go to whatever’s hot. So if we go back a few years, like it was all Globo gym, so all based on our Schwarzenegger and those guys, and these are all just flows that happen. It was great. Gets people into the gym. Then we worked. That breaks everyone down. Then there’s this, but then the Swiss ball came out of nowhere. It’s like you’ve got to sit on a Swiss ball because your core’s weak. But because of all the machines, then all of a sudden bootcamps became massive and everyone’s like, I’m going to go from machines to bootcamp. So we all fall apart. Then from bootcamps, CrossFit came along and just reinvented the whole thing again. But we were so out of condition to do it. Then we all blew up.

17:24 I know, like 10% sort of made it through. And then I guess you are now in the era of massive group classes and minimizing the risk somehow with untechnical exercises. So you’ve got a technical exercise, which might be a [inaudible 00:17:40] or something like that. So the new group classes have tried to go, right, how can we make it less dangerous to get heaps of people moving, but there’s still no depth created in those programs. They’re great. You get people out and about. That’s just where the industry is at the moment. That’s the next flow we want to fix. So in five years

18:00 [inaudible] there’ll be something else that comes along and those people would just gravitate to that. But one of my biggest things is I’ve been speaking to people about why can’t we look at training as a 24 hour thing or even a 12 hour thing. So you still do a session with a trainer in a group, whatever it is you want to do, but then just don’t sit down in the chair all day.

18:23 And be stagnant. And then you go back to the gym, you’re like, Oh man, I can’t move. But that’s because of the tightness that was caused from doing something very extreme than sitting down and get really stiff and rigid. Why can’t we then go, okay, every hour we break out for five minutes and do a yoga flow, next hour we just practice a few moves, take a kettlebell in and just move it around. So then you’re milking that workout over a longer period, so then you’re more supple when you go back in and do your training session. And that way, the intensity is not 100% then nothing. You’re trying to milk that workout out during the day a little bit more.

Stu

19:02 Got it. Makes sense. So recovery, and I know I spoke to Mark Sisson a while back who said, “You don’t get fitter, stronger and faster in the gym. You get fitter, stronger and faster recovering from what you did in the gym.” And I believe that many people are more gung ho in the approach that more is better. And if I can do this every single day, then I’m going to get fitter and stronger and I’m going to be more resilient. And it’s intriguing since I’ve started tracking health metrics personally. So I use the oura ring like I know you do and it will give you a heart rate variability score and HRV score that does give you an indication of the load your body is under in terms of stress. And I have seen radical improvements in HRV the more I recover. And so what are your thoughts then on the importance of recovery? And I’m keen to know what you do because some people might think, “Oh, recovery. Well, I’m just going to sit down and watch Netflix”, but I think there’s probably more to it than that.

Matt

20:14 So the recovery process is milked through everything from during the training session straight after the training session. Like I just spoke about breaking out and doing mini little workouts during the day, which for me might be just mobility exercises to keep my joints lubricated.

20:33 Nutrition is part of my recovery. Then you got the hot and cold aspect and then you’ve got the sleep. So I go right back to the breath work. So during a workout, I need to be able to recover as quickly as possible with my breath work. So I have a gear system and I didn’t create this, I got it from some other guys. So I always want to get back to nose to nose breathing as quickly as I can. So if I’m doing some speed work, for instance, 30 seconds, as hard as I can, I might work nose to mouth. Then my recovery I’ve got to go nose to nose, try and keep that lactic acid at bay and that inflammation at bay.

21:07 So if I’m not paying attention to my breath work, lactic acid is going to be really high. Inflammation is going to be really high. I start going back to that original thing we spoke about. My mitochondria is going to start slowing down. So if I work on my breath work during a session, I can train with more intention for longer. It also controls the intensity. So if I start going mouth to mouth training, I’ve lost my workout. I’m just going to blow up big time. But if I do, I’ve got to pull it back down to nose to nose breathing. And my goal is actually to get all my training done nose to nose at whatever that intensity needs to be. That’s my goal.

21:43 I’m not there yet. I am in sections of it, but that would be the goal. So then my recovery is quicker. Then I’ve got the cold, so straight into the cold plunge straight after a workout, just to wipe any of that inflammation out of my body as quickly as possible. Now, some people might think that’s impossible, but until you do ice baths after a workout, you won’t know what I’m talking about. But if you came and did a workout, I chucked you in an ice bath, you jump out 10 minutes later. Felt like haven’t done a workout, you could go again. It’s just amazing. Then you’ve got all the mobility stuff I might do during the day. At the moment we’re doing the podcast, I’m in a squat position, so I’m working my hip mobility as we do the talk.

22:23 I might move around a little bit just because I’m not a fidgety person. I just know I don’t like sitting still or standing still. I think the hardest thing for me is actually flying cause I got to sit in a chair, I just can’t handle it. Then the nutrition, I work on low inflammation based foods, so I have a protocol for that. So I want to try and minimize any of the lectins coming in, mycotoxins coming in, any manmade toxins, stuff like that. Because every little percentage helps. Then just before I go to bed on wearing blue light blockers, the room’s quite dark. I’ve got to send that message to my body. It’s time to relax, turn the parasympathetic nervous system on. Just relax, shut down the engine, shut down the engines. I’ve got my stack of supplements I’ll take before I go to bed.

23:11 And then the sleep is like number one. All of this is helping me sleep as best I can. So when I wake up in the morning, I’m as close to a hundred percent as possible. Now this all comes back to when I was sleeping in a house full of mold. Because I was running at 20% and I was always going down to 5% 20% 5% now I never ever want to go back to that state again. So all these little things that I do during the day, are designed to help me go to sleep. So I get the best sleep possible and I wake up in the morning, I can just go again.

23:46 Just like yourself, I wear the oura ring. So I’m checking, my deep sleep, my REM sleep. How many times I wake up every night. That’s been a shocker. I thought I was a deep sleeper. Anyone who’s seen the oura ring, it gives you the data of how many times you go into your wake cycle. That’s something I need to work on. But I think that comes back down to the environment of not seeing the sunlight, the melatonin release, all those sorts of things. So over a six month period, I’ll start to see that change it’s because I’ve changed my environment. So back to the original question. My recovery is probably the top of the food chain. Everything else filters down underneath that.

Stu

24:24 Excellent. So in terms of the type of exercise you do, because typically people want to say, “Right, okay, well look you’re the exercise master. Just tell me what you do. And that will pave the way for me to think, well, how can I apply what you do to my life? And what tips and tricks and strategies, techniques can I take away from that?” So if we’re going to talk about your exercise, because I know that you are sidetracked by a business and hours and training schedules and all of the above.

Matt

24:57 Just like everyone else.

Stu

24:58 Just like everyone else. So what do you do? And we’re talking about the type of exercise, the frequency of exercise, and also the intensity as well.

Matt

25:11 So I created a booklet called the health matrix, which we’ve sort of spoken about, it says movement, nourish, mind, environment, and restore. So we just spoke about the restorative process. Everything I do is based on movement. Even cardiovascular, it’s moving the lungs, the capillaries, all that sort of stuff. So I created a pyramid. So the pyramid works in percentages of scales. So anything from 0% to 40% should be the stuff I can do day to day. Take the dog for a walk, do some light mobility work, work on my joints, do my breath work. I’d even put cold and hot into that because I can do that every day and it’s going to tax my body. That’s the base of everything. Then if I got up to the pyramid, this is going to be the 60 to 80% mark. This is kind of like the bulk of my conditioning work, so that’s where three sessions will fit each week.

26:06 Now at the moment I’m doing, one is energy systems, which I’ll come back to in a second. One is a strength day and one is what I call primal hit, so that’s the two together. So energy systems are working on endurance, power, and speed. So however that looks in the workout, but I never go 100% because my breath work will control that and I also want to keep some fuel in the tank to run a business, spend time with my partner, go and play. Then my strength work I get is 80% of my maximums. I never max out in the lifts, so it could be anything from the dead lifting or my kettlebell work, body weight depends on what my program looks like. But again I never go for full max out lifts all the time. I’m putting money in the bank and then my Friday session is a part of my energy systems, a part of my strength work and I mush it together and test myself, but I’m still not going 100%. It’s a round about 80% because I can control it with my breath work.

27:02 I might go, I’ve got to do X, Y, and Zed for 20 minutes, but it’s just nose to nose and that way I kept that energy output. Then once a month, I do 100% day. Just once a month where I go, do you know what? I’ve put everything on the table, but it could be, I’m testing my dead lift, I’m testing my bench press, I’m testing my back squat, I’m testing my energy systems. I’ll have a protocol in place to go right. All that work I’ve been doing, how does that fair compared to last month? So now the consumer normally goes the other way around. I’m going to go do a hit class every single day. And then have one day to recover. Now we’ve only got a certain timeline. How long that’s going to last. It could be anywhere from six weeks to six months.

27:49 And your body’s just going to spit you out either through injury, fatigue. You just can’t get it there anymore and you just go, do you know what? I just don’t enjoy this anymore. So I flipped it around the other way and I’ve always got a pyramid going. Then all I need to do is move the markers in and out, depending on what I feel like I want to work on. So then I might do a six week block and go, I’m going to give energy systems two workouts for six weeks, but the rest is going to base on strength work. But again, I’m never going to be capping it out. I’m going to sit around that 80% max. Let’s say my maximum dead lift is 140 kilos. I might just always sit around about a 100 kilos, but I just want to groove it in, make it efficient, make it efficient, look for little tweaks in it.

Matt

28:29 So then if I need to up it, I’ve got a really solid foundation. Just to go up for one session and pull it back down. Then the next time I come back to the dead lift. I might go, it’s going to be 1-0-5 and I’d just sit at 1-0-5 and make that feel like it’s 20 kilos. So this is a longterm plan of attack. I want to be able to do this when I’m 60, 70, 80. I’ve got to look after my joints, look out to my nervous system. I can’t create this health system in a four week window. What does it look like over a longterm period? Then there might be a week or two. I go, do you know what? I’m not touching any weights. I’ll just go back down to the very bottom of my pyramid. Work really hard on hot and cold breath work, more sun, go and throw the Frisbee, have some play time, and then come back into the gym and reset it up again.

Stu

29:22 So there are going to be a lot of people that want to know more about this health matrix and how they might apply it to their lives as well. How readily available and accessible is the health matrix?

Matt

29:34 I had it up and running last year in Melbourne, but I’ve pulled it back down. I’m just going to refine how I’ve worded a lot of things, but it should be up end of March say, but just keep a look at on the website, Instagram, Facebook and stuff like that. So I’m just about to relaunch it, just tighten it up a little. But it’ll be up and ready for consumers to get their hands on it.

29:59 And it’s really simple. From where I am in the matrix of the world, there’s some super smart people above me. All I’m doing is gathering all the stuff that they’re masters at and I want to capture all that information so then I can use it. But when the client comes in, I can filter it down to that client when they need it. I’m the facilitator between these super smart people who focus just on one area. I want to grab and then try and dilute it to the client and go, this is why I need to do this. This is the bread and butter of it. So that’s what the health matrix is. It’s what are the low hanging fruit things that we could do for today, but also for 20 years down the track.

Stu

30:41 Got it. Interesting. Well, I can’t wait to check that out myself, so let us know when it is. I’ll blast it out across our audience so they can dig deep. So for anyone that’s listening to this that is super busy, time poor, like most of us these days. They might do a high intensity session, they might go to the gym three or four times a week. What would you say to them now then in terms of… everything that we’ve spoken about, well maybe there’s some other things that you could be doing. Maybe instead of doing a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday hit class, you might just want to consider some mobility at home. Maybe some yoga. Maybe some mindfulness stuff and just pull back on the intensity of exercise and let your recovery systems come into play. What would your advice be then to the time poor exercise enthusiast?

Matt

31:45 Well, we’ve all got the same 24 hours in the day. It’s [inaudible 00:31:48] how you use it. So when you get out of bed in the morning, instead of looking at Instagram for half an hour, which is pretty easy to do. That’s when you could be doing your morning routine, which is some sort of meditation to set the principal for the day, some breath work and have a cold shower. So you’ve already stacked a couple of things in your favor. You already started the ball rolling, go to work and find a space at work or speak to HR and go, “Where can we put a couple of yoga mats?” Or spend $200 and get some therabands and some kettlebells, whatever it might be. So you have the opportunities during your day just to go and do some mobility work three times a day. Instead of having a smoko break, you have a mobility break.

32:31 And then lunchtime again hopefully go outside and get some sunlight. But everyone’s got an hour lunch break. That’s still what happens these days. Surely you can find 10 minutes inside that lunch break just to do some mobility work or whatever it might be. So then you just sort of greasing the groove as you go through and then by the time you get to that class you won’t feel as stiff and sore and stuff like that. But you’re starting to filter it through the week a bit more versus intensity, nothing, intensity, nothing, intensity, nothing. But also on that, I spoke to some people about how I would explain the method of the hard training where it’s just go as hard as you can. You’re actually doing the sport of fitness.

33:20 So that would be like being a football player and playing football five times a week. Now don’t do that. We play on Saturday and Sunday’s recovery. Monday might be your work on your strength again. And then Tuesday, do some skill. Wednesday might be a gym session again, Thursday skill. Then you go and play the sport again. So I’d say to someone, still do your hit classes or your ward or whatever it might be, but don’t do it as many times a week. You might just go right one day a week, Wednesday, Saturday is that day where I test myself, but the rest of the week filter it back a bit.

33:58 Spend some money on getting a trainer or whatever it might be and go, how do I get a stronger hinge, squat, chin ups. So they want to go back into the sport of fitness. I’ve actually got a stronger foundation to get more out of it versus just flapping yourself through a workout and you’re drenched in sweat and you’re been breathing mouth to mouth the whole time, which has a negative effect on the body if you keep doing it over and over and over again. So try and pull back a little bit and spread the load on other aspects and then go and test yourself once a week.

Stu

34:31 Great, fantastic advice. And so that leads us then into another topic that is hugely controversial, huge contention. It’s nutrition. So there are so many different camps that offer radically different approaches to the what we eat. So how we fuel our body. Some people think, well I’ve smashed myself in the gym, I can eat whatever I like because it’s just a calories in, calories out scenario. Other people think, we should start to consider time restrictive feeding, fasted states and feeding windows, things like that. Then there’s the omnivores, carnivores, vegetarian, vegan, like all of the above. What is your philosophy then? You touched on it a little bit earlier, but if you’ve got a customer who is really vested, so a client that comes in and says, “You know what, you’ve got my full attention. Throw everything that you can at me. Tell me what I need to do to be the best version of myself.” Because they could typically wreck what you’re doing with the completely wrong approach to nutrition. So what would your optimal approach be?

Matt

35:53 So what I would want to do is create a system of foods that

36:00 I have no inflammation responses to the body. So I have, inside the health matrix, I call it living in the green zone.

Stu

36:08 Okay.

Matt

36:08 So all these foods… again, I’ve got all this data from all these people who are super smart and I’ve looked for the common denominator. Like if six people say this thing and it’s low inflammating foods, they’re going to go into the green zone. So what I would say to somebody is we need to heal the gut first. We need to get that really strong. So if you’re eating foods, again full of lectins, myotoxins, manmade foods, all that sort of stuff that keep puncturing the gut, they’re never going to get anywhere, cause the inflammation markers are always going to be too high. Then that’s where all that over training comes from. The stress response of like, “I’ve got to train, I’ve got to train, I’ve got to train.”

36:46 Because the gut is just letting us down. So my first protocol would be all right for six weeks, let’s heal the gut.

Stu

36:52 Okay.

Matt

36:53 So the gut is pretty amazing. It can heal. It’s like it can heal a part of it within three days. Like it keeps turning itself over every three days. But if you keep puncturing it every meal, it’s never going to heal. So I’d say right, for the first six weeks, let’s live in the green zone.

Stu

37:09 Yeah.

Matt

37:09 So there’ll be a list of foods of proteins, fats, starches, all that sort of stuff that you can put together. But that’d be my first protocol. Now we are actually living in the era of where science is going to start helping us and it’s the N equals one study. Then after someone does that, if they want to dig a little bit deeper, I’d be like, let’s order a kit and start looking at what’s actually happening inside your microbiome.

Stu

37:33 Yeah.

Matt

37:33 So even things like the Viome test. You just do a feces sample, you send it back in, and they send you back a list of foods that you can eat.

Stu

37:43 Yes.

Matt

37:43 So I’ve done that. It worked wonders, cause I always struggled with a lot of inflammation through the digestive tract. So then I start putting those two things together and say, this is the list of foods that the Viome test gave you. This is the green zone. There might be some outliers, but they’re probably the ones that we don’t need to spend too much time on. Again, sit in that system there where we get the body to start working for you, not against you with what you eat. So that’d be the protocol that I’d start with.

Stu

38:10 Great.

Matt

38:11 Then from that, we’re going to start looking at where’s our food come from?

38:15 So everyone’s talking about veganism, carnivore, paleo. I’d be saying where’s our food coming from? Is it sustainable farming? Is it biodiversity? Is it monocropping? So there’s no use being, whatever it is, ism, all your food is monocropped.

Stu

38:32 Yes.

Matt

38:33 It’s covered in glyphosate, does not matter. We’ve got to start looking after the environment that we live in and that’s with the sustainable farming method. Biodiversity, the richness of the soil. Because if that food is dead, then it’s not going to help us. But if that food is full of nutrients, it’s going to help you so much more. So I’d stack, again, stacking all these things in your favor to make life easier, then you don’t have to go and overtrain. It’s normally when all these other things that add a balance, our first default is I got to go to the gym and just smash it.

Stu

39:10 Yeah.

Matt

39:10 Then you get all this food delivered in packages and stuff like that. God knows where that food came from. How old was it? Even to the point of like what mood was the person who actually chopped it up and put into to the food? It all carries the vibration. But if you go to the farmer who cares about his soil, sustainability, it’s local, it has a higher vibration, and that actually goes back into the body and again, the mitochondria, all that starts working in your favor. Your parasympathetic nervous system is in relaxation. Life is so much easier.

Stu

39:43 Yeah, I completely agree. And the deeper you dig on the topic of nutrition as well, I think you’re almost pushed into the kitchen to start creating your own meals. Again, like reconnecting with the preparation and the actual cooking and the community of feeding yourself and your family, which is so key because like you said, package, processed food. We don’t know the origins, we don’t know the systems and we’re getting to know the consequences of it right now. But yes, so important. And as well, very key. Get to know your own body. You mentioned Viome and I’ve done that too and it is profound in some of the recommendations that it would present in as much as, wow, you’re telling me that I shouldn’t eat kale this month? People think, oh, like da-da. But when you do start to eat intuitively into alignment with the recommended recommendations for your microbiome, you start to feel like you’ve never felt before. So definitely a dig deep into your own biology. Great, great advice.

Matt

40:56 And start listening to your body. Like if you’re not hungry, then don’t eat. Just because clock says what time it is, you don’t actually have to eat at seven o’clock in the morning. Just wait til you’re hungry. Let your body start telling you, all right, I’ve actually got rid of all that food you ate last night. My stomach’s now empty. I’m actually ready for some food now. And actually ask the question like, what do I need? What does my body need? Don’t just sit in this autopilot process or let other people dictate what to eat. Just go, no, actually what do I need?

Stu

41:25 That’s it.

Matt

41:26 Like do I need a meat free day? Just every now and then. But there might be days if you train hard, you need a red piece of meat or some fish. You just got to listen to what’s going on.

41:36 Even with regards to fasting and compressed eating windows, that doesn’t work for everyone. Some people love it. Again, just listen to your body. They might say, it’s like you want to do your compressed eating windows and 10 o’clock is breakfast, but for some reason seven o’clock in the morning, you’re starving. Do you know what? Just eat that day. Your body just might need a bit more of a top up on fuel cause it’s like yeah, I’m digging deep on all this body fat and getting rid of all the inflammation. But you’ve been training really hard, whatever it is. Today’s the day, we might actually need to lift the fuel tanks up a little bit, but then you’re probably fine the next day. So I was back to where I was anyway.

Stu

42:11 Yeah, no I agree. That’s good advice. And I think the more nutrients you’re able to access from your food, you’re almost in a situation, “well I actually don’t need to eat as much now.” Because your body is getting all of the nutrition and the goodness out of this new way of eating. So you know, completely, I’m in alignment there. So we’re getting close to time. So I’m always keen then to ask every health expert that we have and, and irrespective of their background, I would like to know what your top three tips are. So three pieces of information that you could share with our audience that you think will make the biggest impact on our overall health.

Matt

43:08 I think that the number one thing is you’ve got to invest in your health.

Stu

43:12 Yes.

Matt

43:13 So we’ve all been taught to invest in your wealth, so get your house, get another house, get a car, get a portfolio. But that means nothing if you get to 60 and your body starts falling apart and you have to live on pills, you’re at the doctor’s every second week, like you can’t take that stuff with you. So then your quality of life is just going to go downhill. Who cares if you’ve got 10 houses and you’re at 70 and you need help every single day, getting out of bed. Zero quality of life out of that. So I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but you should invest in your health. So that would mean like go and get a good personal trainer, but you don’t have to have that trainer forever.

43:52 Yes, there’s expense, cause you’re one-on-one and it’s expensive. It’s the top of the food chain when it comes to investing at a physical level. But then you might have to step back and do some group stuff or whatever, but invest in that part. Invest in understanding how nutrition works a bit better and don’t just rely on someone like myself or Instagram to tell you what to eat. Understand the principles of how food works in the body. Understand how the mind works and how meditation works for you. Understand how restorative processes work. So then you’ve got your own little toolbox that you can keep growing as you keep going through this life. Like we said before, we want to age gracefully, but stay very youthful as we do that. So that would be number one. Invest in your health.

Stu

44:39 Yeah.

Matt

44:39 Number two, look after the mitochondria. That goes back to where we very first started, like we’ve got that mitochondria, if that words new to the listener, it’s going to start popping up more and more. It’s not a buzzword. Mitochondria’s been around since I started looking at the human body, but for some reason it just got forgotten about. It’s like a kettlebell. It got forgotten about because it wasn’t a cool thing anymore. People think that’s like a 10 year old tool. It’s like started back in the, I don’t know, 1800’s or something like that. So protecting mitochondria, do something every single day to enhance that mitochondria, so you’re supercharging it again through your moving practices, nutrition through your sleep, your environment.

45:17 And then the last one would be don’t forget to play. So all the stuff we’ve spoken about is very controlled and strict and stuff like that. But don’t forget to play. Go on, throw the Frisbee with your partner, kick a football, go play golf. I don’t know, just do some things that get you outside of the gym and you’re not thinking anymore. Hit a tennis ball because it’s like you’re just reacting to what’s going on.

Stu

45:42 Yeah.

Matt

45:42 Go learn acro yoga. I don’t know, do something where you’re just taking it outside and you’re playing, having fun and all of a sudden two hours has passed like, “Oh my god that was so fun.” Cause then that floods into everything else. And you’re like, “Oh geez, I need to get better rotation.” Cause they want to throw the Frisbee, I’m stiff as a board. How come we’re not doing that in our training? It’s a little hole. Then you get better at rotation or golf or whatever it might be. Golf being a sport that like we gravitate to as you get a bit older cause we don’t do a lot of group stuff. You might go, “Oh I actually want to start playing better golf.” So invest your training so you start moving better and stuff like that. So get outside and play.

Stu

46:22 Great. Yeah. Good. You made some interesting points when you said play as well cause I’ve got three younger children and every now and again we’ll just go absolutely crazy outside rolling around on the ground and just getting caught up and having a lot of fun. And often times the next day I feel like I have done the ultimate in full body workouts. Every muscle in my body that I’d never even thought existed, hurts. And you just realize that we can get caught up into doing the same, “I’m just going to do my curls and my bench press and I might throw in a dead lift or I get on my bike and I’ve just got this motion of forward motion exercising.” But yeah, when you’re twisting and turning and crawling and dragging, doing the things that we should be doing in life, which we did for most of our childhood, those are the things that we need to be good at. It’s this full range of motion, full mobility. So we can get off the floor easily or we can chop and change and duck and dive.

47:29 So yeah, I felt the full force of that one for sure. That’s great advice. So what’s next? What’s next for Matt Chaplain? What’s next for health is for life? You’ve got a great studio, you’ve got some fantastic foundations and philosophies. Where to from here?

Matt

47:50 Well, yeah, so at this stage the studio is only 3 weeks old.

Stu

47:53 Right.

Matt

47:54 I’ve only been a buyer for eight weeks or so, so it’s all fresh. But I just want to come along and meet people and show them that there’s another way of actually getting to your goal than what I guess the industry is trying to jam down our throat a little bit. So you know, I run all these classes, we’ve got the flow state workouts. I’m really thinking outside the square when I put these workouts together. So everything molds and works in harmony. I’m so looking forward to that challenge of meeting new people, getting the clientele in, getting to know how they move. Because you know in Melbourne I had clients for 15 years. I know how they move. It’s so second nature. So I’m looking forward to the challenge of meeting new people, starting their journey with me, wherever that goes. And also hopefully one day creating retreats where people can really lock down into all this stuff in like a four day cycle.

Stu

48:52 Yeah.

Matt

48:53 And they [inaudible 00:48:54] this sort of stuff and then take that back to wherever they go to. So I’m really excited for this next chapter of my journey.

Stu

49:01 Fantastic. Fantastic. And for everyone that’s listening to this right now, now we’re going to put all of the items that we’ve spoken about today in the show notes and we’ll blast that across the blog post and we’ll share that to our audience. But for everybody that wants to learn more about you, wants to follow you online, wants to find out about some of the protocols and methods that you spoke about today, where can we send them?

Matt

49:30 So like everybody else, I’m on Instagram at the health is 4 life and it’s actually the number four. Same on Facebook, same as the website. Obviously into the studio. I’m running a small groups and I want to keep it small so I keep the workouts tight, so they’re not messy. There’s no junk trainee, the client can’t hide. I stay on top of them. Also, I still do the one on one work. If people want to do that. Consultations, if people just want to come in and do a consultation on that health matrix and then take it wherever they want to go. And obviously the beauty of today, we can do that over a Skype call. So I do do stuff online with clients back in Melbourne. So it’s quite diverse how someone can get in contact with me. And there’s also different levels that people can enter in at, cause you know, we’ve all got different amounts of money that we can put into our health. So I’ve tried to keep it quite diverse in that way.

Stu

50:29 Great. Fantastic. Well look Matt, really appreciative of your time today and I know that our audience is going to get a lot out of this conversation as well. We’ll put all of those links in so everybody knows where you are, how to contact you, and hopefully they will. But until next time, thank you so much. Really appreciate it. And we will catch up at some stage soon, no doubt.

Matt

50:52 Thanks to you. Thanks for having me.

Stu

50:53 Thank you, mate. Bye bye.

Matt

50:55 Bye.

 

 

Matt Chaplin

This podcast features Matt's a veteran of the fitness industry who transitioned from the pace of the city to set up a more holistic studio in Byron Bay called Health Is For Life. His vision is to promote health, wellness and optimise human performance with longevity as a constant focus.... Read More
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