(Breather) As promised on the Get Over Yourself podcast, we go where no modern media has gone before. After wrapping up a great interview about the carnivore diet, I decided to record William Shewfelt talking about his strategies for focus, discipline, and productivity in daily life.
It starts with an “anchor’—in William’s case it’s waking up at 4:30am and getting to the gym for a nice workout before the crowds arrive and the day gets too busy. In this show, I wanted to get into the necessary balance between prioritizing sleep, being disciplined to get up and kick ass during the day, and also being gentle and nurturing to yourself and not pushing things too hard.
In my case, I’m wondering if I’m harboring latent rigid programming from my days as a professional triathlete, whereby I am a little wimpy on the sleep thing instead of getting up and getting shit done like a real man? I was literally asleep for half of my 9-year career on the pro triathlon circuit: 10 hours every night and a two-hour nap every afternoon. I believed the more I slept the better I performed, and didn’t have real-life pressures to compromise my luxurious sleep practices. William says getting into the habit of getting up and moving gives him more energy for the day, not less.
This Breather show will get you thinking about the relative merits of all your habits, the importance of engaging in mindful behaviors rather than let goals and focus drift (especially in today’s hyperconnected, overstimulated society), and also about the incredible wisdom of bodybuilders. Don’t laugh, the bros pumping iron have repeatedly been decades ahead of health and fitness trends. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his brethren in the golden age of bodybuilding in the 1970s and 1980s were eating keto/carnivore style diets, balancing stress and rest much more effectively than modern day endurance and CrossFit freaks, and had better physiques than today’s bodybuilders who are swole up on excessive doping regimens. Enjoy this lively and inspiring unplugged show with William Shewfelt!
William Shewfelt has a routine that is a combination of regimen vs. nurturing yourself. [04:13]
William talks about how the bodybuilders in the old days manage their carnivore diets. [09:40]
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Get Over Yourself Podcast
Brad: 00:00 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author and athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit, and happy in hectic, high-stress, modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge, and expertly balanced that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.
Brad: 04:13 I told you, told you the get over yourself. Podcast is going where modern media has never gone before. We’re going unplugged, man. So I just did a great show with William Shufeldt talking about goal setting, peak performance, and interestingly the carnivore diet. Then of course we kept talking. I said, nah man, I gotta push record here. We’re getting into some serious stuff and it was about his 4:30 AM morning wake up call, jumping into a busy, productive day and making this a habit no matter what he does. Acknowledge the importance of getting good sleep and tries to get to bed at 9:30 PM at night. Uh, but he’s in to this routine where he gets up, heads over to the gym, has that nice morning workout and off he goes with his busy day.
Brad: 05:01 And I’m posing the important question of where is that balance point between being focused and disciplined and into good habits and regimens versus taking care of yourself and nurturing your health and not pushing yourself too hard. And so it’s a pretty interesting conversation. I’m seriously reflecting on this because I’m wondering if I have latent psychological trauma from my triathlon days where I slept like a freak for 10 years and carrying that forward into daily life where I can always find an opportunity or an excuse to grab more sleep. So enjoy this breather show. It’ll get you thinking about your daily routine and your productivity factors, your lifestyle enjoyment factors, getting an anchor in your life. That’s what William calls his early morning wake up call. Here we go with William Shewfelt of carnivoreshredding.com is a breather show. We’re catching you off guard. The real, the truth behind Will Shewfelt after we recorded the official show. So what are you doing as soon as you pop up? Are you getting into activity? Are you doing your computer, your cognitive tasks? What’s your routine like? I love it.
William: 06:11 So when I get up at four 30, first thing I do is literally go straight downstairs. Um, I got my gym clothes all laid out on the ground, so I put that on. I go straight downstairs tying my shoes, head outside, go straight to the gym. I’m at the gym by about 4:50
Brad: 06:28 waiting, waiting in the parking lot for the guy to open it up?
William: 06:33 Pretty much. No, I, I did 24-hour fitness. So usually I’m good to go. Oh, the, the best thing about gym in the morning is you get all the equipment to yourself. Nobody’s hogging the machines. You know, mr swoll burrata is not on your curling machine. It’s great. And I also like to do blogging there as well, and nobody’s like staring, staring at you. Like, who the hell are you? So I can blog my workouts. Um, it’s just a really good time. So I get my workout in, that’s done by about 6:00 AM go home, shower, um, get ready to head out. And then 6:30, I’m usually at a Starbucks drink, coffee, 6:45, I start working on whatever I need to get done. And um, a big thing that’s really important for me is scheduling my entire day the night before. So I schedule everything.
William: 07:18 So when I get up, it’s the same thing with decision fatigue. I don’t want to think about what I have to do. It’s right there. I don’t have to think about, Oh, I need to work on a book today, or I need to write a talk today. And I think I’ll procrastinate on that. Like it’s already there on the calendar, boom, do it. Um, and I’ve kind of made those decisions for myself the night before and set my day up. So as soon as I get up, I like to like be off and running. I, I’ve tried the whole, like you meditate and read in the morning and then gratitude and then do some yoga and like all of that kind of stuff. And it just, it feels so slow. And then I finally get started with my day like two hours later and I’m like, man, I’d like, I should’ve been working. I think I have like 15 emails in my inbox. Like I have stuff to do.
Brad: 08:00 You’re ungrateful for missing all that productivity time.
William: 08:06 I mean, gratitude is great, but um, I, I don’t want to take too much time on it. You know, I, I do actually have a gratitude journal though, and I fill that out at night, but I think those kinds of things are good for the nighttime. Like you make hay while the sunshine, so when you’re up in the suns out like work, when it’s nighttime, then you can do that stuff. Like I read at night, I do the gratitude journal at night. I chill at night. Um, yeah, that’s where the relaxing stuff happens.
Brad: 08:31 Dear journal. I’m really grateful I didn’t waste valuable time with your ass this morning. And here I am tonight. Got a lot of shit done today. Thank you. Bye. Oh yeah. Bye. Uh, so you’re not eating anything after that workout. You’re allowing a continued fast from the previous meal.
William: 08:49 Yeah. So I’ll, I’ll usually eat at either 10, 11 or 12. Um, so I’ll, I’ll get a pretty good fast in and then I’ll have my next meal at about seven or 8:00 PM. That’s usually when I’ll have dinner. Um, for me, lunch is actually, I don’t like to cook lunch for the same reason. It just takes time. So I’ll usually actually just have a snack. I might have a can of sardines or I might have some hard boiled eggs. I’ve prepped from the night before. I might have, um, I even just had some roast beef slices earlier, which probably isn’t a healthiest thing, so I might have some of those. Um, I might even do if there’s quality beef jerky at Whole Foods, I might even do that as a snack. So for me, lunch is just a combination of snacks. And then dinner is where it’s like a real meal. Like I actually prepare a solid meal of steak and eggs and fish and all that kind of stuff.
Brad: 09:40 Uh, and you’re working out pretty hard in the gym. And has there been any consideration over time about replenishing glycogen from these glycolytic workouts? Or do you think you’re so far into Quito that you have that protein sparing benefit or how does that work?
William: 09:57 Yeah, so there’s the protein sparing benefit of ketosis, but also, um, I like to think that gluconeogenesis can provide me with enough to feel my workouts. For one, I’m only doing anaerobic glycolytic activity three days a week, so I have a day in between to recover. Zone two is not really tapping into my glycogen, it’s mostly fat. So I got that nice day to recover and then I’m also consuming a lot of protein so that my body can use some of that dietary protein for gluconeogenesis rather than leaching into skeletal muscle. So that’s, that’s something I just don’t worry about it anymore. Uh, it hasn’t been an issue with me,
Brad: 10:34 So. Right. So carnivores, um, most likely by default you’re going pretty high on the protein. Like, outside of that recommended Keto range of 7.7 grams per pound of lean mass. Just because your food choices
Brad: 10:50 For me. Absolutely. You don’t have to. I see a lot of people doing, you know, high fat, moderate protein, low carb, um, or no-carb. But for me, I love to do high protein and, Aw damn, I forgot to mention this on the podcast, but the thing about bodybuilders, so Arnold and the guys in his era literally ate a carnivore diet almost the same way I do it now. It’s crazy. We were talking to Rick Treyson who used to train with Arnold. Uh, Chris and I had him on the podcast and he said, yeah, so this is literally what we ate every day. We would have burger patties, we’d have steaks, we’d have eggs, we’d have tuna omelets, we’d have a cottage cheese, we’d have ’em. He said pretty much they would just eat meat, eggs, fish, cheese, um, super high protein. And he said we had basically no carbs.
William: 11:35 And then once a week we would go to a waffle house or whatever and we would just eat all the carbs. The next day you’re super pumped up, you’re a little bloated and then you get back on the diet six days a week. And I was like, that’s crazy. That’s like just about what Chris and I are doing right now. And you guys were doing this and they had better. The waste came in, the shoulders came out, they didn’t look like these big growth hormone dudes. They had like perfect aesthetic physique. So I modeled a lot of my diet and training off of the kind of stuff that Arnold and those guys were doing in the 70s without even knowing it. Oh. So they were even taking desiccated liver tablets. He was telling me, he was like, yeah, so we were taking our liver tablets every day cause we just knew that they made you stronger. And I was like, dude, you guys were doing a perfect carnivore diet. You had your calcium, you had your [inaudible] on your Omega threes, you had the red meat. Um, so I, I think it’s perfect for the kind of stuff that I do with like muscle building and weight training.
Brad: 12:28 Let me say, those bodybuilders get teased a lot by people outside. I don’t know if they tease themselves a lot, but you know, you look at these people and a lot of times the, the average fitness enthusiasts thinks they’re ridiculous. Their muscles are so huge a, but they have set the trend in so many ways and have trained in a more intelligent manner than the endurance community for the last 50 years. And the, the skinny college educated endurance geek is a, you know, smirking at the bodybuilder and how silly it is, but they know how to perform, recover. They know how to grow muscle, which entails so much balance between stress and rest, things that endurance athletes, uh, disregard. So I’ve always looked to that community and I, I used to work in the, uh, the supplement business, uh, CytoSport, muscle milk champion nutrition. So I’d get the bodybuilder magazines coming to the office and read the training strategies.
Brad: 13:18 And these guys are so cutting edge, it’s not [inaudible]. Next time you smirk at a bodybuilder or look at one of those muscle magazines, flip through it a little bit and read some of their articles cause they have a lot of value. Especially people are fighting this battle to try to get lean and the bodybuilders can do it with the snap of their fingers. Not the crazy shit I’m talking about dehydrating yourself and passing out on stage, but you want to drop a few pounds of excess body fat. We know right where to go now we can go to carnivores shredding.com [inaudible] yeah,
William: 13:45 the, the thing about bodybuilding is they don’t have time to wait on the studies. That’s right. Polokwane had said, um, you know, the clinic is always about 10, 15 years ahead of the latest science.
Brad: 13:57 Wow.
William: 13:58 Because they’re pushing it. So Charles Pelican was training these Olympic athletes who could care less about the science. They need the results. They need those gold medals. So they’re always ahead of things and you can really look at their example and see what they’re doing. Now, you know, you also, you want to be smart about it and you want to look at these guys that have done it for a long time. Where did they go wrong as well? So what did they do right? But where did they go wrong? I see Arnold is still training every day. I see Stallone is still training every day, but a lot of the guys that got heavy into growth hormone, insulin, but got heavy into massive amounts of steroids, you know, like cow-like doses. A lot of those guys, you know, they were done pretty early. Uh, those are mostly 80s and 90s Bodybuilders and their kidneys shut down. They have a lot of issues. So there’s a lot we can learn from them, but there’s also, you know, there’s things that we can learn not to do. Um, but I, I love that golden era diet. I think it’s perfect.
Brad: 14:52 The Golden Era diet, I love it. It called title isn’t really, that’s what they call it?
William: 14:57 Well, it, yeah, it was the golden era of bodybuilding. That’s what they call the 70s. And that was the diet they ate. But [inaudible] book title.
Brad: 15:04 a, William, getting them unplugged for the breather show with that morning routine. Something to think about. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Brad: 15:14 Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop, iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews, and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars. And it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves because they need to.