Cameron Francis is joined by Chris Ackland, the Head Coach at CrossFit Box Hill and Founder of Iron Tribe Weightlifting, to discuss Health, Fitness, Workouts, Meal Preparation, Nutrition & so much more for the busy, busy business person. Tune in to learn how to workout without going to the gym, what to eat and when and how to get the most out of sleep.
- If you fail, start again – 00:07:36:05
- Realistic goals -00:09:48:03
- Tips to improve physical state, mental state, emotional state – 00:11:49:13
- The rule of 5 – 00:13:15:01
- Find something that you enjoy that you consider as exercise – 00:16:56:24
- If you can’t go to the gym, squat – 00:18:24:23
- Documenting your progress – 00:20:46:29
- Tracking tools – 00:22:29:15
- How gymnasts train – 00:23:30:15
- Healthy eating – 00:29:14:13
- Sleeping habits – 00:46:15:13
- How do I start – 00:53:13:11
Beyonce Tension Gymnastics
Dr. Kirk Parsley – America’s Biggest Problem
Dr. Kirk Parsley – Quick way to Naturally Increase Testosterone
For more information on Chris Ackland and Iron Tribe, log on to www.irontribe.com.au
I think step one would be just get to the gym three days a week. And
actually, not even the gym. You need to find something that you really enjoy
that is considered exercise in your mind.
One of the best sayings I’ve ever heard is pressure, stress is pressure.
Pressure makes diamonds, right? I love that. When pressures comes and
when you’re feeling that stress you’ve got two options. You can either take it
on and get better from it, or you can let it affect you.
Digital Cowboys episode three. We discuss everything digital marketing and
growth hacking for small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs. So if you
want that competitive edge then saddle up, because Cameron Francis and
Sam Roshan are about to drop some value bombs.
Hey everybody, this is Cameron Francis and this is episode three of Digital
Cowboys. Now I’m really excited today, I have got Chris Ackland, he’s the
head coach at Crossfit Boxhill and founder of Iron Tribe Weightlifting. He
was one of the founders of a very successful digital marketing company in
Melbourne, but he sold his shares to pursue his passion for movement and
Chris has been coaching for five years, and in that short span of time he has
left no stone unturned, having worked with some of the best coaches in the
world. A consistent podium finisher at state championships and 10th placer
in the nationals, Chris also headed to China to learn about coaching and to
improve his techniques. Chris’s biggest motivation is to improve the state of
weightlifting as a sport and give it the recognition it deserves.
For Chris, strength training is the fountain of youth. It is an effective
approach in improve a person’s strength, power, movement, and vitality.
He’s known as someone who actually walks the talk and he believes that the
real adventure happens in the journey itself. Ladies and gentlemen, Chris
How did that, did that feel a little bit awkward going through all of it?
That did feel awkward, yeah, it was beautiful.
Excellent. So you’ve been doing this for, how long have you been doing Iron
Tribe Weightlifting for?
Iron Tribe officially started middle of last year.
And how’s it all been going?
It’s been going really well.
Yeah, I didn’t probably have any expectations when I first started it, but
through the help of my current boss at Crossfit Boxhill he’s helped kind of
push it which has been fantastic. And organically, like I’m not actually trying
to necessarily attract new clients now, I’m just trying to put out great
What have you been putting out? What have you been doing?
Just educating people on the technical side of the movements that I teach.
I’ll soon be doing a video on food prep for the person sitting in front of me.
It’s a pain in the ass to do it. It’s actually not easy.
It isn’t, it isn’t. And I think when you start to enjoy the process a little bit of it
all that’s when it makes it a little bit easier. But when it’s seen as a chore,
like anything we’ll avoid it like the plague.
What’s the next step for you? What’s the focus?
The next step for me is just to keep moving forward, try and grow the sport.
I’m going to hopefully give back a little bit. So this year I plan on getting the
referee license and starting to volunteer a bit more.
What does that mean? Referee for what?
For weightlifting. I’ll be one of the people eventually making a decision on
some poor lifter if they made the lift successfully or if they didn’t make the
So what is a successful lift? And what is the definition?
So the sport of weightlifting is the sport of the snatch and the clean and jerk.
Two movements. The snatch is taking from the ground or a barbell is taken
from the ground overhead in one movement. The clean and jerk is taken
from the ground to your shoulders and then to overhead. A successful lift
would be, there’s a couple factors come into it. Basically doing it without
pressing out. So you’ve got to catch the bar with straight arms above your
head, you’ve got to show control at the top of the lift for the three judges in
front of you to then give you the three white lights. So one judge per one
white light. Two white light gets you a good lift out of three. And two red
light gets you a no lift or three red lights as well.
How’d you go in the last contest?
Last contest came third at state championships. I didn’t do too bad.
Obviously it was a bit of a battle for second, but the guy unfortunately got
Did he? By how much?
I think he beat me by four kilos.
Is that a lot? It doesn’t seem like a lot.
It’s not. But it is. My first goal was to go six for six. I’d had an average
competition the one beforehand. So I wasn’t actually aiming at beating the
total that I got the competition beforehand, it was just to go on. Because
you get three attempts at the snatch, three attempts at the clean and jerk.
And it was just kind of a confidence building competition. I was doing that, I
ended up hitting five out of six. And the last lift probably would have put me
a kilo behind, so I could have essentially gone for the win if I’d have put two
more kilos on the bar.
What’s your PB in comparison to what you did?
So my best, depends on how you look at it. My best clean is 134 kilos. My
best clean and jerk is 128. 127 on the day.
Okay. Well that’s good. Is there a goal of getting as close to your PB …?
Yeah, and every competition’s got a different goal so you might do four,
upwards of maybe five to six competitions depending on how new you are,
and you don’t look to PR at all the competitions, you just look to build
confidence and you might use them as warmups for national, state meets,
international meets, things like that.
Okay. When’s the next one?
The next one, I haven’t set a date, I’ve got two options. I could enter myself
into a Crossfit weightlifting competition which actually carries prizes and
possible monies. Which is always a kind of nice thing. But because I’m in the
process of moving up a weight class I’ll struggle to do super well in that one.
If I was at my lighter body weight doing what I do now I would probably
push some people to be competitive. So that’s a kind of maybe one, which is
a bit sooner than I’d like. I’m in a bit of a building phase at the moment.
Probably four months from now I’ll do another one.
Do you know that we’ve probably known each other for about 15 years.
I do know that.
And you hear a lot of people talk about health, they talk about fitness, about
what’s the best deadlift and all of these kind of things. And a lot of the time
it’s just rehashing other people’s information. So the reason I say this, I’ve
wanted to speak to you today to give some tips, tricks, or ideas for the busy
business owner, the busy founder, someone exactly like myself that doesn’t
prioritize their health over everything else. A perfect example, I try very
hard, but very, very easily it can fall down on the priority list. Something
comes up, I’ve got to do A, I’ve got to do B, I’ve got to take this phone call.
And then that compounds. And then I get into this really negative
momentum where it’s like now I wake up it’s like, “Fuck, I really can’t be
bothered going to the gym.” And then just now I’ve accepted it, and so now
I’ve got to break it somehow. But the crazy thing is, if I go to the gym I’ll feel
A million bucks.
Two million. Like I feel really, really good. I feel strong, I feel handsome, I
But why can’t I just do that the next … you know what I mean?
You know, I had a group client … I think the tough part about it is, and
especially from someone in your shoes, the busy corporate male or female,
whatever it might be, I think the big issue can be they want to do everything
100%. If they’re going to do it, they need to start tomorrow and they can’t
fail, they can’t falter, there can be no issues in what’s going on. Now the big
problem with that is we all fall down, we all make mistakes, it’s never going
to start at 100%. I mean, you’ve only got to go and look into your own
business at the mistakes that have been made. And that’s basically how we
learn, right? Instead of having a learning mentality or a teachable moment
mentality we kind of have it, “Well no. Tomorrow I’m going to the gym, I’m
going to be there at 5:00 and I’m going to be there for the next seven days in
a row.” And if we fail one of those days, then we’re like, “Fuck it, I’ll start it
Yes. It’s exactly what happens.
Do you know what? I’ve got a 21st coming up or now at our age, we got 30th
we got a baby shower’s coming up, I’ll wait until after that. Or a holiday. And
sometimes people use that as motivations and obviously, look we’re goal
driven people, which is fantastic, we need those goals. But the problem with
a lot of those goals is, let’s use you as an example Cam, getting married in
October 14th. Thanks for remembering, you just happen to be in the bridal
party. Make sure you put that in the diary.
I’m just thinking about the bachelor party, we’ve got to get through that
first, haven’t we?
And what’ll end up happening is you’ll hit your goal, because majority of
people actually hit their goals, it’s just how long do they hit their goals for?
So people have a bit going in, they get to that goal and they don’t set the
next one quick enough or they don’t set a long term picture, and next thing
you know they revert back to old habits. Because they don’t have that drive
or that why.
With every one of my clients the first thing I have to try and find out is,
“Why do you want to do this?” And unfortunately, losing weight for your
wedding although it might be motivation now, if I’m going to work with you
for years to come it’s not a good enough motivator.
What if I continually get married though?
Well then you’d be set for life.
Yeah, because then it’s not much of an issue.
I think you’d need three jobs to cover that.
Okay, so for those normal people that aren’t going to continually get
married what would be some of the good goals that, what are some realistic
They need to be, your ‘why’ needs to be special to yourself. Because 8 week
challenges, 28 day challenges, things like that. 8 week challenges, things of
that nature, they’re great because they get people moving, they get people
in the gym, and they get them working towards a common goal with people
that have similar interests. Now when you’ve got that motivation around
you and you’ve got those people messaging you it works really well. What
naturally happens is the 8 week challenge finishes and the gym might offer
you a discounted gym membership and signs you up, and that’s fantastic.
But if you lose contact with those people who you were with you just kind of
lose motivation. That’s not going to get into the gym, right? So having the
goal of, “I want to lose five kilos,” at 5:00 in the morning isn’t going to get
you out of bed.
So you can have performance goals. I think the reason what keeps me kind
of going to the gym personally is mine are all performance based. So if I miss
x amount of days that pushes my goals back. I’ll never compete at the
Commonwealth Games or the Olympics or anything like that. I think a great
goal of mine would be to one day get selected for a Commonwealth Games
shadow team, which is like kind of reaching for the stars, reaching for the
moon and the stars type scenario. And that’s what keeps me driven.
And the other thing is for now, while I’m a bit younger, I want to stay ahead
of my athletes. And that’s what motivates me, the ability to have done it. So
that 10 years from now I can say that I competed in a nationals before I took
an athlete to nationals. So as a coach that only made me better. Because I
made a couple of mistakes with myself that I didn’t make with my lifter and
she ended up placing second at nationals.
So what about if we’re looking at someone that runs their own business,
they work anywhere from 60 to 100 hours a week. Their diet’s inconsistent.
You can imagine their sleeping patterns.
But high performers, you know? That’s what they do. What are some of the
tips that you would want to give them in order to improve their physical
state, their mental state, their emotional state, all of the above?
I think step one would be just get to the gym three days a week. Actually not
even the gym. You need to find something that you really enjoy that is
considered exercise in your mind. Because obviously the brain is where half
the battle takes place. And just the act of exercise whether it’s exercising
playing racquetball or something …
When you’re playing squash. Whether you’re going to the gym, like I happen
to find that most busy executives love getting strong. They’ve got that alpha
male about them, they love putting a heavy bar and just being like, “I can
deadlift 200 kilos, when I go into the office and I’m sitting across someone
who looks like he doesn’t go to the gym, I’ve got an edge on him.” Whether
it’s a psychological edge or whatever. So you need to find something first
that you can justify to yourself and you can take time away from your
The weight lifting one’s very interesting. It’s very interesting because there’s
a lot of parallels between that alpha male strength and just the mental
aspect of everything that we do. So okay, so weightlifting. Trying to go three
times a day.
Three times a week.
Three times …
So that’s the thing, it needs to start slow and it needs to become like you
said, habits. So step one might be pick, I think it’s called the rule of five, pick
five things that really, really mean alot to you with regards to your health.
And prioritize it from one through five. What you do from that is, get rid of
number five, focus on the first four.
Interesting. So give me an example of what that looks like.
So let’s say for example I need to, sleep for number one. Because if I’m not
sleeping it’s going to affect my work, and output if I don’t go to the gym.
Number two would be nutrition … This is just off the top of my head.
Number two would be nutrition. Three would be actually going to the gym.
Four might be the quality of my nutrition, as opposed to like … My big thing
when I say nutrition is there’s eating and then there’s people that starve
themselves. Like I’ve got a corporate client at the moment who it wouldn’t
surprise me if he didn’t eat for two days. He’d live off coffee and …
Deliberately, or …?
Well, just busy.
Yeah, yeah, okay.
He might, what I would consider not eating. I think people have different
mindsets as to we have an overeating culture. I think to a degree that’s true,
but I also think there’s a lot of people out there that
eat to fuel themselves.
Do you think that an element’s got to do with knowing and understanding
what to eat, why, and how?
For sure. And I think the biggest issue is it’s all complicated. And the fitness
industry likes it really complicated. Because a confused person is kind of
easier to manipulate. Because then you fall into categories. You’ve got the
you’ve got the paleo, you’ve got …
So many, man. [crosstalk 00:14:45]
falling back to that place, we fall into that same issue. And if we don’t do
that we fail and then we kind of resonates into failure or whatever happens.
You know, I want to touch on nutrition and what should you eat. I want to
touch on the gym thing. So busy, go three times a week.
Go three times a week, just do your weightlifting. So again, you have to
enjoy it so I’m not going to force someone to lift weights if they don’t enjoy
it. Because they’ll stop coming to the gym.
So for those that don’t enjoy weightlifting, what do they generally like?
It could be if it’s a girl, yoga. I think some fellas like yoga.
So would you consider yoga to be, and I don’t know, but would you consider
it a type of working out?
So that counts. So yoga, yogalates, pilates, weight lift,
Just be active. Movement is one of the biggest components to everything.
You look at what we do in a day like today. Let’s say for example you drive
45 minutes to work and you’re in meetings all day from 7:30 in the morning
until 6:30 at night. You’ve done approximately 12 to 13 hours of sitting
down. We’re not meant to sit down. We are meant to rest, cervezas,
Did you just say cerveza? That is excellent.
Oh yeah, cerveza too. What’s the Spanish word for sleep?
But you know, and actually this is one thing I changed myself, because you
don’t come here much, but you notice that I have a standing desk, right? I
stand up until my feet are sore and then I go, “Shit, I’d better sit down.” I
agree. But I think I do it for a different reason. I do it because of momentum.
Like even right now sitting down I’m not as comfortable speaking than if I
was standing up.
You can’t be as animated.
Exactly, I’m more confined. So when I’m in my standing desk I’m able to
move a lot more, I can be a lot more animated, and I’ve just got a lot more
emotion flowing through me, whereas sitting down … Then also, by standing
up there comes along all those health benefits and all that stuff attached to
So I think number one, find something that you enjoy that you can consider
exercise. And it has to involve some form of movement. So obviously chess
exercises the brain, but unfortunately I don’t think that’s going to cut it.
It’s movement, activity, sweat. I think sweat would be important.
Sweat to a certain extent, yeah.
So no sweat. So if you don’t sweat then that’s not good.
No, I wouldn’t say that at all. Exercise needs to be, there’s too many
different categories for it, but to keep it simple let’s move for half an hour
and burn up a bit of a sweat. I think what I want to touch on is that and why
I kind of said it’s a little difficult is, something I want to train out of people as
much as possible is people have if it doesn’t hurt, it wasn’t worth their time.
But what’s hurt mean?
If I can’t walk for three days after my gym session I didn’t train hard enough.
Who says that?
Ah, people, “I wasn’t that sore on Monday so obviously I didn’t try hard
enough or you didn’t push me hard enough.” Or if it’s some guys who are
trying to get massive, like, “If my biceps aren’t exploding out of my arms for
the next three days, I didn’t train biceps hard enough.” And the only cool
quote I’ve got to say to that is if muscles soreness is a direct correlation with
getting bigger, go run a marathon with no marathon training and see how
sore you are. You wouldn’t have built any muscle doing that. And I think I
stole that from Layne Norton but …
Okay, well let’s just say if someone can’t go to the gym
do stuff in their office or can they do things at home?
Okay. So what can they do?
First step would be learn how to squat. I think that’s key to most human
You can YouTube that or you can email Chris. But you want people to learn
how to squat.
Learn how to squat …
Okay, I want to squat now.
Sure, go for it.
You tell me if this is good. I’m squatting. I’ve got a sick squat.
I was going to say you’ve got the jeans for it. Yeah, it’s perfect. You guys just
missed out on the best squat I’ve ever seen.
I didn’t want to brag. So tell me why that was the best squat you’ve ever
Well basically you can use a squat as a diagnostic tool. If you see someone if
they’ve got a healthy squat and they’ve got good hips, good ankles and
obviously if they’ve got good knees and good ankles, the knees are in the
middle, they’re probably going to be healthy as well. Big generalization, but
you can see that from the first get go. I’ll look at that and if I was doing a
movement screen on somebody, most to all body movement screens are
done, because that’s perfect.
So if I saw that and let’s say your left knee was caving in, things like that, I
would then look at why. Like, why’s that caving in? Is that caving in because
the person doesn’t know to push their knee out or keep their knee over
their foot? Or is it because there’s a weakness somewhere? Or is there an
So is there a particular video that, like can someone just search how to do
the perfect squat? We’ll put it in the show notes.
Yeah, maybe I’ll do a tutorial after this.
And we’ll put it in the show notes, cool. Now that they know how to do the
perfect squat, how many should they be doing? Not that they know, just get
in the act of practicing, how many should they be doing?
Start, go old school, three sets of 10.
Three sets of 10. No weights, they’re doing everything free hand.
Well like if you were doing it, and let’s say you’ve got 15 spare minutes. If it
was a strength training session and you had a whole hour I would say, “Take
your time, take your rest periods.” If you’ve got 15 minutes, let’s look at it
from a weekly perspective. You have three sessions in a week and you’ve got
two 25 minute sessions. That’s going to allow you to get there, have a
shower, you do your 15 minute session, and you leave. Or vice versa, sorry
you should shower before you leave because you won’t want to be stinky.
Or you might want to be.
I might. My sweat actually doesn’t smell too bad. It’s true.
What I would do is, most people if they’ve never trained weights before, if
they’ve never been in a gym before, that’s going to be tough enough. And
you would pick two or three exercises for your lower body, three sets of ten.
Two or three exercises for your upper body. Now it sounds super simple and
it is super simple. If you want to make it more complicated, don’t rest
between the movements. At first I would go over, I would be trying to stress
movement quality over the amount of repetitions.
So do you think it’s important for the
compete but you want to be healthy you want to be fit, it impacts all of the
different aspects of your life, that you should be documenting what you’re
lifting, when you’re lifting, how many …? Is that important for the
Depending on what they’re training, if they’re training to get stronger I think
it’s important. I think it’s important for many reasons other than the fact
that it helps them progressively overload from week to week, month to
month. But also from the psychological factor. So that they can look back
three months, because after a while you’ll go to the gym, you’re like, “I don’t
feel like I’m going anywhere.” Let’s say the scales haven’t moved for a little
bit, you’ve been lazy with your nutrition, you could still get stronger with
both of those things not going your way. But you don’t realize it because you
forget when you started.Like the first time I went into a gym I think my 1
REM back squat was 60 kilos.
So it’s got to do with the memory …
Oh sure. [crosstalk 00:21:52] because people will eventually get fixated on a
number and they’ll forget about the process that they’re going through. So
like for some people you have a perfect squat there, I might spend weeks up
to a couple months trying to get somebody to that squat. And that’s a big
achievement, right? And they might look at that when they first start
squatting going, “I’ve been doing this for six months and I’m only on a bar.”
But they might forget where they started. From a health perspective by kind
of tracking it, it keeps you a little bit more accountable. And then you can
see where you started, where you are. You might take six months off for
whatever reason, then you come back, you’re like, “Well this is where I
finished last time, I’m going to go a little bit below that and I’m going to try
to beat it in the next four months.”
Any tracking tools that you recommend?
There’s a number of them.
The one that you use.
Pen and paper. I use Google Sheets for myself.
Good. No tools, no subscriptions. I think that I’ve got my routine down pat
when I do go and what I should be lifting. I think I’ve just got in ingrained in
my brain. And I’ve also got, like I know that I should at some point change up
one exercise to keep it, knowing to go a little bit heavy with lighter reps or
more reps and then a little bit lighter. Like changing those kind of things up.
But yeah, Google Sheets, I think that that’s a great idea.
Google Sheets, yeah, I use that all the time. I use it for all my clients. I’ve got
personalized sheets made up depending on what their goals are. And it
looks different from someone who is, just like you said, health conscious
versus someone who’s training specifically for an Olympic team.
So we went into the squats, I mean surely you’d be doing crunches and
pushups, right? Would you include that into your work?
I would include that, yeah absolutely. Anything bodyweight movement, I
think if somebody’s only going to choose body weight movements, do some
research on how gymnasts train and go through their really, really basic
beginner stuff. And I’m talking beginner stuff.
What’s some of the stuff that they do? I have no idea.
Well, if you had video footage hereI’d make you do a couple of them.
Because obviously gymnastics is all body weight …
Forget it, I’ll put it on.
Oh, you’re going to put on some screen stuff.
I’ll put on some screen stuff. Let’s go to, let’s look up Beyonce Tension
gymnastics, see what comes up. Now I’m very fortunate, I work with … yeah,
that top one …
There’s no Beyonce.
Ah, she’s singing.
Is that what it’s …? I want to listen to it. Cameron’s going to put on …
Okay. I’ll put the video in show notes. Wow. So basically they’ve got a
routine where … see, but they … you know what’s interesting, their faces,
they don’t even look like they’re stressing. Whereas if I go and do that right
now I just couldn’t. I couldn’t do it. So are they strong?
Very strong. So could they cop a punch in the stomach? [crosstalk 00:24:59]
That’s really incredible. Okay, so they’re tired there.
So basically they’re doing side by side crunches with their legs lifted really
It’s called a hollow.
Is that what it is?
There’s a couple of foundation moves in gymnastics that have a lot of…
Jesus. So now it’s like a, what would you call that? That’s superman, they’re
the supermans. So you’re basically holding a superman. Now they’re doing a
superman just with their bodies, now superman with their legs, all on their
stomachs. Like each beat they’re pumping. So pump, pump. And now they’re
doing a swan. Actually this is a really, so I’m going to pop this in, I want
people to see it and then give that a go. I don’t think I would do, would
many men do that?
That just doesn’t look like, but that’s cool.
No, I wouldn’t say that last stretch that you saw. And this is dependent on
the person. If somebody’s like relatively fit and not severely overweight, I
mean even overweight people could probably do that, I would start with
that if they were looking for something they could do anywhere.
So basic gymnastics, there’s a book by Christopher Sommer called, actually
he’s got a whole website on it, Gymnastic Strength Training. To put it in
perspective, one of the movements when you watch the video they do
what’s called a hollow. And it kind of looks like a dish. Some gymnasts call it
a dish. Basically they’re lying on their back and they tuck their legs up and lift
their arms up so their biceps are next to their ears, and kind of create a dish
with their body. That position there is called the hollow. Let’s say that, I
don’t want to use level because I’m not a gymnastics coach, but let’s say
that’s level three of ten. Level one and level two are tucks. To move on from
each of those positions you need to be able to do five rounds of 60 second
hold with a 30 second break between each. Now you gotta build up to that.
So do you get belts in gymnastics?
No, you wouldn’t get belts.
You get bracelets.
I don’t want to say it, because most of this is really tough.
Just joking gymnasts.
There are levels, so I think a girl who I work with, she was a national level 10,
which I would assume is just a couple steps below …
That’s in level 10. Can they go higher than 10?
Yeah, I think. I’m not sure, I could be butchering it. Maybe level 14’s
international? But that’s a massive guess. But yeah, bodyweight training is
fantastic, I think it’s from a weightlifting coach perspective if I have someone
who’s done even one or two years of gymnastics come to me, my job is 10
times easier. Because they’ve probably got a little bit of flexibility carry over
even though they probably haven’t done it for a number of years. Their body
awareness is off the scales. It is just unbelievable how many people when
you first get into the gym, and it makes sense so it’s not their fault, when
you’re like, “Okay, this is how you do a lunge,” you demonstrate it and they
just about fall over.
But you can do that in your house. Like I could put on my leotards. I would
be flopping out of everywhere from top and bottom, it’s no good. But you
can just do that on the floor. You get a yoga mat and away you go. I think
the reason why I suggested for things to do at home are for those people
who are finding an excuse not to go to the gym. But for the execs or for the
business owners it may be an idea to … Your microphone’s working mate,
don’t worry. Just flicking my equipment. Just full flicks it. Ah, you lost my
train of thought. That maybe just getting in the habit of working out,
sweating, getting excited before you can actually go to the gym.
And like I said before, that’s a great foundation for anything.
I can’t wait for people to see it and give it a go. And look, if you want to send
some photos through of yourself doing it, please do so. I’ll be doing it
For some shits and giggles. Okay, so we’ve gone through the gym and
exercise. Let’s move onto some health food. So food related stuff. I believe
on the weekend you’re going to help me, well you’re going to be doing the
meal prep. But yeah, let’s talk about what someone should be eating, why,
how often. Remember, I’m busy, right? I’m busy. So how do I speed up the
process, how do I simplify it?
Yeah, so if I didn’t have someone who was short on time I wouldn’t have
done what I did with Cam. So basically for Cam I provided him with a whole
training routine and a whole nutrition exactly to the grammage. How much
olive oil goes in it, how much butter, you name it. Broccoli, it’s got 300
grams of spinach, whatever happens to be in each meal. Now I wouldn’t do
that for the everyday person because it’s just setting them up for failure.
Someone like Cam, Mr. Overachiever, I’ll give it to him and he’ll just pay
someone to organize it for him. So what I want to do is, if they’re a busy,
busy person I think step one, eat a bit of protein in every meal.
Okay. And what does that look like? Because protein is a protein shake.
Let’s go, if it’s from a lean cut of meat, a palm sized protein.
So steak, chicken breast, chicken thigh, salmon, tuna, all the good stuff.
So have a palm of chicken or some kind …
If you’ve got a thickness of a deck of cards, about the size of your palm.
It’s not that much.
It’s not, but if you’re having say four meals a day, that’ll start to be good
enough. And the bigger person the bigger the palm. So they’re obviously
going to need a little bit more protein.
Okay, so that’s a good rule of thumb.
So yeah, a palm size of protein is really good. Let’s say that’s at every meal.
So you’re talking even breakfast?
Ah, interesting. So my breakfast of …
Shit, what do I have for breakfast? Whatever it is, it’s not very good. I should
be eating chicken breast in there.
Well, it doesn’t have to be chicken breast. It could be eggs. It could be, my
personal favorite for a little while, especially for like corporate guys as well,
eat a steak for breakfast. It’s the best.
So what’s the difference between steak and chicken breast?
The reason why I would do it like that is because slow digesting. So let’s say
for example you’re a busy businessman and you have breakfast, and then
you can’t eat until 2:00 in the afternoon. So I’m going to try to eat some
things that are going to be as slow releasing as possible. So obviously eating
a piece of steak is going to digest a lot slower than eating a piece of chicken
breast. Versus then having whey protein which would be gone within the
hour or whatever it is.
You’ve got to be a bit smart with your food choices. Now if we had rules of
thumb, if you could eat three or four times a day it would be palm size of
protein per meal, fist size of carbohydrates per meal.
What’s that? Like potato chips?
Let’s say starch or carb. So white potato, sweet potato, basmati rice,
anything like that.
And then I would count your kind of cruciferous vegetables, your green
vegetables. I’d kind of count them separately, and I’d probably have almost
like what you could fit in the cup of your hand, on the plate with it. If that
could take up more , by all means. And then a thumb serving of fat, which is
olive oil …
So why did you laugh at what I was eating upstairs? I thought it was good. I
had tuna, and then I had the brown rice.
And I think what you did was good. So you had no time to food prep. This is
where when you categorize food into bad and good it puts people in an
impossible situation so they don’t make a decision, and then they get
hungry. And when you’re hungry you make the worst decisions.
Correct. Walking past and you’re like, “Oh my god, Hungry Jacks, I’m
So if we don’t categorize foods into good and bad, there’s just, I’m not even going to categorize them, everyone knows what they should and shouldn’t eat. When they’re satisfied, if I was to put all these foods in front of you and say, “Which is good and which is probably
Yeah. You’d at least get 80% of them right.
So why do people get it so wrong?
Because what they would do is, let’s say some people are confused about
what decision to make, so they don’t make a decision, because a confused
mind is probably not going to make a decision. And then from that they get
hungry. And we go into preservation mode, we’re going to eat something,
and it’s probably going to be the thing that’s in the drawer, whether it’s
chocolate, whether it’s whatever it is. I know lots of corporate guys they
only eat what’s accessible. And unfortunately you just gotta walk down the
street right now and try and find a good option. I like my clients to prepare
all their food if possible, but let’s say they can’t …
Do you know, a true story, I’m pretty sure that one of the burger joints down
the road actually have a burger called the Double Bypass Burger. The Double
Fucking Bypass Burger.
That’s the best.
Very funny. But very quick. So rice, tuna, and then I put a sprinklings of some
Yeah, so that’s a natural fat choice.
So I just put some peanuts, and then I cut up some broccolini, because I
prefer broccolini over broccoli.
Does it make you less gassy?
Yes. So gassy. Because I used to …
Capsicum and cucumbers and things like that.
That’s crazy that you mention it. But they never smell.
Yeah, they might …
No. When I was eating raw broccoli, just straight up eating raw broccoli, and
I just thought, “Jesus, I’m farting so much.”
You know why?
Crazy. But yeah, broccolini you don’t get any flatulence. What else did I put?
I’m pretty sure that was it.
And the cup of corn. Corn’s okay?
It’s okay, yeah.
It’s not good bad.
Not good bad. Just another vegetable. I don’t think it’s got much nutrients in
it, but …
I just wanted to put a secondary vegetable.
You could have the healthiest meal in the world, and if it’s got no flavor
you’ll have three bites and then you’ll eat a bar of chocolate.
Yeah, I’m all over that, so badly.
So you gotta enjoy your food.
You have to.
You gotta enjoy your food. And that’s why I won’t take certain foods away
from people, like at the moment …
Do I have to stop eating Doritos?
Well it depends on the amount.
Well, the family size.
Family size, yeah, let’s … And here’s the thing, I was listening to Robb Wolf
talk yesterday on another health and fitness podcast which was fantastic.
The Mind Muscle Project, shout out to those guys. And he was talking about,
and I’ll butcher this because I’m not good at secondary information, I’m only
kind of good at what I know. Abstainers and moderators. So a moderator is
someone who I could give you, let’s say there was a whole block of
chocolate here, I put it in front of you and then you could have one little
piece and you’re fine. And then there’s an abstainer who, the block’s gone.
They can’t have one piece without having it all. So for some people you’ve
got to make the decision just to be smart about it, just don’t put it in the
household. When you’re out with friends, enjoy it, because obviously we’re
social beings, we need to eat where we go.
But getting back to the food, I think having that with most meals will start to
keep people satiated for longer which will start to make to better decisions
around food. Better decisions around food will lead to probably better
decisions around going to the gym. And then it just becomes this cascading
effect of … Whereas if you skip the gym and then you have a bad day of
food, you’re probably going to get a shit sleep that night …
It all goes to shit.
… and then you make a bad decision the next day, and the next thing you
know it’s been a week and you haven’t gone to the gym. So trying to put
everything on autopilot, so if we quickly go back to Cam’s lunch, what I like
about it is there was not food prep involved in it.
So good. The food prep was in the container.
So he had … Who was it through?
Yeah, so from what I saw you’ve got the cup of rice.
A cup of rice.
Cup of rice. Canned tuna.
Canned tuna. Then the canned corn.
Canned corn. Then you had …
I had broccolini but I cut it up and then, I don’t know if this is the best thing,
but I put water and I put in the, I know you’re
it just made it a little bit softer. I like the hard crunch.
I think, again, if I was to look at that meal and I was to look at the alternative
that you would have eaten, family size of Doritos, it wins.
I think so.
It does win.
And then also put a little bit of peanuts. But can you win off that meal?
You can do a lot of good with that.
Because it sounds like you’re not going to lose. But can you win? Can you
excel, can you grow, can you build mass?
Yeah, absolutely can.
Well then, don’t be lazy fuckers. It took a couple minutes.
It needs to be, it doesn’t need to be easy it just needs to be doable. I could
give you, like let’s say that piece of paper I gave you was the golden goose.
The golden chalice.
If you just follow this for five weeks you would be 10 pack …
You’re kidding me? Are you lying?
No. I never lie.
Because now I’m going to do it.
But let’s say I gave you it laid out, but it seemed to hard. You didn’t have a
strong enough why, going back to what we said a little earlier. You’re not
going to do it. Which is why I like to kind of layer it on, start bit by bit, start
nice and slow, achievable goals. And it might be step one, let’s just get
protein in every single meal. Step two, okay, well now we’re getting protein
in every meal and I’m enjoying the protein …
Sometimes I’ll just start with meal one. Let’s get breakfast. Let’s get you two
or three options. Let’s get the really fast and easy option which might be like
a shake and a banana with some type of nut butter, you know, there’s
protein, carbs, and fats on the way to work. Or a better option could be eggs
with, or steak, let’s say steak. My favorite one, steak, capsicum, how do I not
remember my favorite breakfast? But yes, things like that. So we could have
three options, the great option. Well let’s say the most amount of time
option, least amount of time option, and then a kind of moderate amount of
And then kind of when you nail that, that’s a habit, right? You do it for x
amount of days, 30 or 60 days, whatever the rule of thumb is, and you don’t
need to think about breakfast anymore. What I try to do with a lot of my
clients is set up habits so that a year from now they’re kind of like, “Well I
would never do that.” And you have to remind them, like, “Six months ago
you would do that.” I think that’s a good place to start.
So you said four meals, what about when first meal and last meal of the day.
How would you break those up?
And it doesn’t have to be four meals. If you have only two options to eat in a
day that doesn’t mean your chances of getting your goals are ruined. You’re
limited to what you probably could do, but getting the right amount of
nutrients and calories in for the day is number one.
So that’s more important than how many times you are eating.
For sure. Unless you’re a strongman and you need to eat every single two
hours, nowhere near as important for the general person. For your ability to,
which is where it comes down to, not get hungry and then not make poor
decisions. You know, eating four times kind of gives you plenty of time to
make those decisions. It could be three meals and shake for your
So first, last meals. Like how would you break up your meals from when you
wake up to when you go to sleep?
Personally, and for a lot of my clients depending on how they train, let’s say
just keeps me full for longer. If I had the breakfast that, so let’s say for
example, I have let’s say I had five eggs …
How many yellows? Or yolks?
So four yolks.
For me, yeah. I need to get …
How many yolks.
For you? For you I would probably go for three. You’re sitting down a lot
more than I am. I’m on my feet all day, I train for an hour and a half to two
hours a day.
So different needs.
Even though you’re a bigger guy and you’d probably need more calories if
you were to do the same amount of moving as me, you don’t need that
much energy. So let’s say I was like, you’d do, for you you’d probably do a
three egg omelet with a heap of vegetables in it.
What type of vegetable’s in an omelet? Ew.
What do you mean?
I’ve never done it in my life.
You’ve never put vegetables? That’s capsicum …
Okay, that’s different. I don’t know why I was thinking, the normal, like
onion, tomato. I was thinking broccolis. When you say vegetable I go straight
to that. I don’t even factor in tomato, onion as vegetables, you know?
But that three egg omelet with a good amount of vegetables in it might be
That sounds like a delicious breakfast. And can you
you just suggest …
You could. Absolutely can. I’m not really good with
whenever I have steak, steak is kind of like my medium option, it’s already
cooked the night before. And I’ll just get it on the way out.
So steak and eggs is actually a good breakfast.
Yeah, from my perspective. I’ve seen great results with it.
Okay. So again, it’s got to be doable for you and it’s got to be palatable.
Because if I gave my girlfriend steak, she couldn’t think of anything worse in
the morning to eat. And I think that’s true for a lot of women. Whereas a lot
of guys, not all guys, but a lot of guys, especially the alpha kind of males,
give them a bit of steak in the morning they think it’s the best.
Without cutlery or a plate.
No, just chew it,
Okay. So if I wake up at 5:00 when should I eat? If I wake up at 6:00 when
should I eat? If I wake up at 7:00 when should I eat?
If you wake up at 5:00 and you’re going to the gym straightaway?
I would have, let’s say you have your
biggerish shake and I’d have half before and half after. So on the way to the
gym I’d probably have half a protein shake with …
But the meal, the meal.
Well that’s what I mean. I’ll substitute that meal. Because you probably
wouldn’t want to, and you could if this is the decision you make, you’d
probably rather be training on not an empty stomach, but you’d rather be
training with the nutrients, it’s like really accessible into the bloodstream.
You don’t want to kind of be like, I wouldn’t want to be digesting food if I
had the option.
So you wake up, gym, come home, then eat.
And then are you looking at say every three hours?
That’s one thing that I do like. Pick a times that suit for you, and it could be
three hours, it could be four hours, it could be five hours, whatever it is. And
try to stick to it because not so much about what’s going on in the inside,
but just from your psychology of it all, if you’re getting hungry every three
hours maybe just eat every three hours. That’ll probably help you make
better decisions in the long run. If you’re getting hungry every four hours,
eat every four hours. But if your job says otherwise you might have to eat
half an hour earlier, things like that. I like to have a bit of a schedule but I do
understand coming in and out of meetings you’ll have to make sacrifices
sometimes with when you eat and what you eat.
Okay, cool. So if it’s every three, whatever hours, what about the last meal
before you go to sleep?
Last meal before you go to sleep is going to depend on what goals you are,
what you’re having basically. If I’m, me personally let’s say, I’m in the
process of moving up a weight class. My last meal would be very high
carbohydrate, high protein. And then if I’ve had a training day that day I
might have a slow digesting protein or a protein with a bit of fat because
that’ll help digest it nice and slow over night. Because I tend to lose weight,
or not even lose weight, I tend to lose muscle really easily. I need to have
something that digests a little bit while I sleep, just to kind of keep feeding
my muscles because they’re nice and small.
But if someone, say my dad, my dad for example he’s currently sitting at 108
kilos, he was 116 kilos. We’ve been kind of training, I’ve been training him at
my house for four months after he let himself go a little bit. It’s all by feel
with him because he’s a little bit older, he doesn’t necessarily know what to
do, he started having broken sleep. So what I suggested that he do is, after
his dinner, I don’t mind what it is, meat and veg, meat and three veg, easy. I
said to him, “Let’s try a bit of protein and some type of fat.” For him, just
because it’s tasty for him, I’ll put a little bit, like a tablespoon of peanut
butter in it, have that before you go to sleep and see what it does for you.
So there’s good information out there that if you, it’s kind of contradictory,
but if you have a bit of carbohydrates before you go to sleep, even though
that’s going against an old wives’ tale, it helps give you a bit of an insulin
spike and it puts you to sleep. But with him, I’m just wanting him to sleep
through. Because he would wake up at 2:00 or 3:00. So we just
experimented with it for a little bit. One day was
When he has the
Don’t know why, couldn’t tell you the mechanism for it, and I think that’s
probably the best way for people to go about it. Test it out, try it. If it
doesn’t work, and not if it doesn’t work night one, if it doesn’t work over the
course of 7 or 10 day, move onto something else. Try something else.
I really want to touch on the sleeping aspect. I’m sleeping a lot more now,
but I think it’s got to do because I’m working out a lot less.
Okay. Because you’re sleeping longer, more so than …?
Yeah, I’m just sleeping longer. So I don’t know if that’s a good thing, because
I like to think that I can survive … I think that if I go back into the gym and
when I go to the gym every day and do my 6k …
Doesn’t have to be every day. Just go three days.
But I’m all in. I’m just …
Bloody corporate …
I can’t, I’m just all in. If I’m going to do it I’ve got to be the best at it. It’s just
my attitude towards it. If I’m not going to be the best, I don’t want to do it.
Or the best that I can be. So when I was going to the gym every day I could
really survive off five hours. I still could, you know, there’s some days that I
can. But as I’ve stopped going now I’m sleeping more, but sleeping’s good
for you. So make sense of that.
There’s a, I think he’s got a TED talk, I know he’s been on a few podcasts, Dr.
Kirk Parsley. He’s like the sleep guy. He was an
they starve people of sleep. And I think he got into health and fitness, and
then eventually he became a sleep doctor. He’s got some fantastic …
So is he called Kirk Parsley, or the Sleep Doctor? How do I find it?
Just go YouTube Dr. Kirk Parsley. He’s got some phenomenal facts on sleep.
And it’s something like, now what I would say from what I’ve seen is there
are some people that can deal with five hours sleep a night. And then there
are also people who think that they can deal with five hours sleep a night.
And they’re very, very different. But I think one of the stats that he kind of
likes to give out … Yeah, that’s it there. Yeah, and there’s another podcast
he’s on is, it’s a good episode as well. He talks about, I think they did a study
on the effects of lowering people’s sleep. And it was, let’s say he did two
hours a night for x amount of time, it was the equivalent of a blood alcohol
rating of .05 or .06 or something. So it affects us in kind of more ways than
one, just like cognitively and stuff like that.
From a performance perspective it’s huge. You are only as good as what you
can recover from. And sleep is a massive part of recovery. I won’t say more
important than nutrition, but god, it’d be getting pretty close.
So like how many hours? What’s the hours that I should sleep?
It’s just try to stay close to eight hours. I mean, ideally, I just went camping
with my girlfriend’s family for Easter weekend. And obviously a lot of
business is, programming is calling people backwards and forwards. There is
definitely a lot of face to face time, but obviously we’re in front of screen.
Now in the four or five days we were away, no reception so my phone was
away. Perfect. Every night. So we wake up at 6:00 and every night around
the fire at around 8:30 looking at the flame I was falling asleep. Every single
night. There was no need for it, no alarm set, it was just like go to bed at
8:30, wake up at 6:00, go to bed at 8:30, wake up at 6:00.
Which for me, I normally sometimes work until 10:00, 10:30 at night face to
face, and I might do another half an hour on the computer. By the time I go
to bed I’ve now jigged it so that most of my mornings I have my first clients
in just after 9:00. So I would sleep until 7:00 easily, and then sometimes 7:00
is probably not enough for me. So for rule of thumb, try to figure out what
works the best for you. See what you operate the best on, because
sometimes you could have a crappy sleep because you’ve done too much.
And it just wasn’t enough for you to recover from because you’ve gone to
the gym that morning, you’ve been up since 5:00, you’ve done meetings, like
your stress is just through the roof, you’ve just been having meetings until
midnight, and your work is not doing what it’s supposed to be doing. And
then you go to sleep and you wake up five hours and there was not enough
time for you to recover. Or you could sleep for ten hours and it still wasn’t
enough time to recover.
So is oversleeping a real thing?
I couldn’t tell you. I don’t know enough about it. I just know what I’ve seen
with my clients. And that there is, from what I’ve seen there is definitely a
you’ve done too much to recover from in that one night of sleep.
And especially with the way everyone wants to train, like, “If I train one day
a week, two days is better. If I train two days, three days is better. If I do
five, ten, twelve sessions a week.” The athletes that you see who are
training that much, that’s their lifestyle. When I was in China, they would
wake up at 8:00 and they would be at the gym by 9:00, which was a bike ride
away because it was on campus, Beijing Sports University. They would train
for two and a half to three hours, they would go get a massive feed, they
would sleep for three hours, they would wake up, walk back into the gym
still half drowsy, do their warmup, train for another two and a half to three
hours, go get dinner, their phones were taken off them at 8:00 every night
to 8:30, and they’re all put to bed.
How old were they? Who was this?
The kids were ranging from 14 to 22 in that gym.
But that’s an anomaly, right, they have their lifestyle. Their stress is, they do
go to school, I’m not sure, I didn’t get to ask them how much their school
impacts and what happens there. But if you look at the average person
who’s got x amount more stress in their life from the job, the fact that did
my kid get a good grade at school this week? Is my kid doing whatever? And
then throwing gym on top of it it’s another stress. Which is why earlier I was
saying your exercise needs to be something that is a bit of a release for you.
It could be stressful, but that’s how we get better, right? Stress isn’t
necessarily something to be worried of unless it’s in chronic amounts. We
adapt with x amount of stress.
Do you know one of the best sayings I’ve ever heard is pressure, stress is
pressure. Pressure makes diamonds.
Absolutely, yeah, yeah.
I love that.
When pressure comes and when you’re feeling that stress you’ve got two
options, right? You can either take it on and get better from it, or you can let
it affect you …
And that’s like the basis for all strength training, training in general, is you
need to stress x amount, recover x amount. You kind of repeat that process,
right? That’s how simple it needs to start when you are a beginner until
maybe a year or two into your training, then it can get complicated. A lot of
people want to start with what the best people are on, and if you went and
actually saw what they did in their first few years, it was simple. They did a
little bit of everything. They didn’t want to specialize, like high level sports,
they probably didn’t specialize until a little bit later in life.
So it’s really getting that start? Getting in that momentum and letting it just
naturally and organically build up and grow.
Have you read The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck?
I have not.
Highly recommend it. Highly recommend it. There’s a part in that book
where, I’m sure it’s that book, where he’s talking about he gets emails all the
time from people who are like, “How do I start? Where do I go? What do I
do?” And it might be like let’s say you’re putting off doing the housework.
It’s like start with the simplest thing you can think of.
So best thing for me, if I’m sitting around and I’m trying to avoid doing my
work, let’s say I work from home Tuesdays and I like to also do a little bit
around the house and try to make at least so that I do something around the
house once a week. I’ll have to start with something. And the simplest thing
for me to do is put on a podcast or an ebook or audiobook or whatever, and
start doing the dishes. Because I don’t need to pay attention to the dishes in
order, my girlfriend would say otherwise, I don’t need to pay attention to
the dishes and I get to still kind of listen. So I’m killing two birds with one
stone. Next thing you know, music will come on and the house will be
spotless. I have no other option but to do my work for the rest of the day.
So step number one when you’re trying to figure out how to start, start just
do anything. Like you said, squat in your house. Do ten, that’s a big
achievement. And then when you get bored of that, “I reckon I can start
with some weight.” Pick up a kid, pick up a pot plant, whatever it happens to
be, start with that.
Pick up the kids. Start squatting with Elissa on my back.
And then kind of go from there. I think everyone wants to start at the best,
and it’s years of practice. So I think, how do I start? Just start.
How do people get in contact with you Chris?
Email [email protected], my website www.irontribe.com.au, and
Facebook. My Facebook, Instagram. Instragram, I don’t know,
instagram/iron tribe and then Facebook.com/irontribe.
I’m pretty sure they could just search for Iron Tribe.
Weightlifting. Iron Tribe Weightlifting is the best way to do it.
Thank you so much for coming in, man.
Thanks for having me.
I reckon you’ll be in again and we’ll try and go through some … [crosstalk
00:55:09] … I don’t think if we ever, like when we talk upstairs we go for
hours, right? So this was actually a short session.
I’ve probably made people’s heads explode. I’ve answered none of their
questions, given them no directives.
No, no. You’ve been really good.
Lots of maybes.
Really, really good. And thanks for coming in, buddy.
Thanks for listening to the Digital Cowboys with Cameron Francis and Sam
Roshan. Now if you enjoyed today’s episode, head on over to iTunes and
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