Tyler Bramlett, the Garage Warrior, was a fat kid turned personal trainer, boot camp owner and now an online fitness expert. In this call, we talk about the importance of habits and how to structure them for greater health, vitality and a better-looking body. On this call you’ll learn:
- How Negative Perceptions Lead Your Life
- What it takes to Systematically Recreate Yourself…Through Your Habits
- Start Your Day with This and Nothing Else
- Get Your Veggie Insurance
- The Value of Pain
- Building in Adaptability
- Progressive Methods to Cold Exposure
- Using Both Negative and Positive Role Models
- How to Make Sure Decision Fatigue Doesn’t Leave You Drinking Alcohol, Eating Ice
- Cream and Watching TV Each Night
- And Much More
Get Tyler’s 27 Body Transformation Habits book here and start building your habits today.
Click the link below to access the complete transcript.
Logan: Welcome to The Vital Way podcast. I’m Logan Christopher and I’m here with actually one of my best friends, Tyler Bramlett. He’s also been a personal trainer for years now, a very vibrant online community, teaching people how to transform their bodies, get their health back, get fit with a number of different programs from CT-50, 0 to 6-pack Abs and many more. Today, we’re talking about his new book that he’s basically giving away for free and it’s about a subject that’s such an important subject. It’s about habits. For two years or something, I’ve been really kind of digging deep into habits, what do you do in order to set them, what do you do in order to break bad habits because I realized if you can really take control of your habits, you’d take control of your life. Habits are going to lead you to be successful in any area. He wrote a book about this subject and he’s my friend so here he is on the call. Thanks for joining us, Tyler.
Tyler: Thanks for having me on the call, Logan.
Logan: I guess a good place to start, we’ll give a little bit more about your background and I guess what kind of lead you to writing this book.
Tyler: Yeah. Well, I grew up in a house that was not very healthy, right? Both my parents were extremely overweight. I was pretty overweight myself for most of the beginning of my life, probably until like 15 to years old. I tell this joke to people and say my parents thought that diet soda was a health food because I grew up in one of those like typical American families like whole wheat bread is healthy and white bread is not healthy and diet soda is healthy because is low-calorie and don’t drink regular soda because it’s high calories. So I had a lot of really dysfunctional beliefs in my mind.
The first one, when I started realizing that I had the ability to choose or what I wanted to become, I didn’t just have to be some fat slob was, was if fat makes you fat then all I got to do is not eat fat, right? So that was my first adventure. I remember like going to Costco at like 16 or 17 with my parents and seeing a bag of gummy bears or gummy worms, sorry. I was like looking at the container and I was like, this has zero fat; that means I can eat as many gummy worms as I want and I’ll never get fat. I literally thought that. So the first few years of my own personal body transformation journey was making some major mistakes and then.
Logan: I think that’s true for everyone, right?
Tyler: Yeah, yeah.
Logan: Pretty much.
Tyler: No and honestly that’s like a big lesson I could teach you right off the bat. Don’t be afraid to fail forward. Everything I’ve done for my online business, when I used to run an offline business, in my own personal body transformation has been a series of failures, right?
Tyler: And the failure is all you do and you just make them right and a lot times, my life motto is everything that happens to you happens for a good reason. It’s your responsibility to find that reason and this really kind of just puts a perspective in your mind that you have to change the perception about even negative circumstances because I know there are terrible things that happen to people, but if you don’t know how to change your perception on them then they can get the best of you and you can live a terrible life. Because there’s people out there who like Rwandan survivors who watched their parents get hacked to death and they’re content people, they’re generous people, they’re compassionate people when most people that would destroy. So it’s really about the subtle change in your perception.
So anyways, there I was at 16 or 17 years old, starting to try and lose some fat and failing miserably over and over again. Then I finally got just some basic grips underway of just eating more whole foods, just kind of exercising consistently. Even though my whole life I’ve never really been like a program, like here I just follow this exact program kind of guy with exercise, but to me like the magic the sauce that makes people more fit is consistency and progression. Can you just try to get a little better and can you consistently exercise? Because people what they do is they go on programs for like six weeks or twelve weeks and then they just stop for like twelve weeks and all it is is one step forward and one step backward. I think people need to focus on thinking about taking three steps forward and one step backwards because there will always be backward steps, right?
Tyler: So anyway, then right before I turned 18, I was riding my bike home from work and I got hit by a car. That was really challenging period in my life because I was just starting to make some progress with fitness, with my body and stuff and the next thing you know, I’m like basically like ridden to a chair or bed for like I think it was about twelve weeks and another twelve weeks after that I kind of had to relearn how to walk and move. If you’ve ever had a pretty serious injury, it’s extremely frustrating. You just can’t do what you used to do.
What that did to me is that it gave me an interesting window into the perspective of people who came to me later when I was a trainer. When people would come to me with injuries and when people come to me with arthritic issues and things like that, I became kind of like a stickler for understanding how joint angles work, understanding how muscles are supposed to fire so that I could take somebody who’s really beat up and really injured and still get them to consistently exercise. A lot of times people don’t do it because they’re injured, they’re aching, and they feel terrible. Maybe they just stick to one like really basic routine. They have no progression because they’ve never had to go through a series of progression with injured knees and whatnot before.
So that was again a blessing in disguise. It was shitty at the time but over the long haul, I was able to learn more about the human body by virtue of me just really having a really bad knee. So having a really bad knee is like you’ve got to learn how to squat, you’ve got to learn how to lunge, you’ve got to learn how to do all this stuff from scratch. And if you don’t learn how to do it perfectly, you’re going to feel it, right?
Logan: Yeah, I really like what you were saying. One the presuppositions from NLP, neurolinguistic programming is there’s not failure, only feedback. So basically if you fail, that just means it’s not working. So eating gummy worms does not make you healthier and slimmer. You’ve got to try something different at that point, right?
Tyler: Yeah, totally.
Logan: So as far as this whole habit thing, really how did you get focusing in on that? Because really if you want to be healthy, if you want to look good, if you want to get stronger, it’s going to come down to those habits and those routines that you do, right? So what got you sort of focused specifically on that aspect of it?
Tyler: Well honestly, it completely flew under my radar of what I was doing. So what I was essentially doing from the age of like 17 on was systematically recreating my habits, right? So in my original habit when I was a kid, it was like wake up, make some biscuits, eat some biscuits, chug some soda with it, have some macaroni and cheese and a milkshake for lunch and then Taco Bell for dinner. That was all habitual. I didn’t think it was anything wrong. To be honest, the reason why I didn’t think anything was wrong was because everyone around me was doing it too, particularly my family. You don’t realize how much you influence your children until look back and go oh my God, my parents influenced me so much.
So I had to like basically just overcome those by just changing my character, changing who I was. So instead of waking up and having biscuits, maybe I’d wake up and just have some eggs and bacon or maybe I’d fast for the day, right? Most of this really just came from just being voraciously interested in this topic of body transformation, particularly because I just had a crappy body and I was kind of fat and weak. So I became so interested that I just dug into the information. I’ve read hundreds of books and listened to thousands of hours of interviews and podcasts on the subject.
And then after that, I went on to go ahead and like train hundreds and hundreds of people in boot camp programs, dozens of people personally one-on-one and really that’s to me where you get your chops. You can have all the certifications in the world but the best chops are working with somebody who has arthritis, working with somebody who has joint injuries, working with somebody who’s like super unmotivated. How do you find a way to motivate those people? Then working with mass populations with class programs, how do you teach eight people at the same time and make all of them progress consistently? You know what I mean?
Tyler: So I started just re-patterning the way I was doing habits and then ultimately I didn’t realize that the habits were so important until I started working with like a volume of people. And that’s when I realized that these people wake up and the routine that they do every day and the mental that they subconsciously do with themselves right? And not like consciously I can do this, I can do that, but little things like I am this, like your identity, like who you believe you are. That’s when I started realizing like holy crap, like if somebody believes that they’re weak, if somebody believes that they have no willpower, if somebody believes that they’re fat and worthless, then that belief is manifesting that body in real time.
But what it’s really doing is not just like magically manifesting your body. What it’s doing is making you make certain decisions that are going to fulfil that as a prophecy. I know you’ve learned this early on, Logan. You had to change the way you thought about yourself. I had to change the way I thought about myself. In some ways people think this is bad but you have to have somewhat of an ego. You have to have somewhat of a confidence. So you need to basically start with hey, I believe I can do this. I believe I will do this. I’m going to do this. I am that person, not this person.
Then from there, you can use that as motivation to start tipping away at these small steps. Again, it’s really like okay, if you’re not where you want to be and you know where you want to be. You identified what you want to look at, maybe some metrics on your exercise, maybe the way you want to live your life with diet, where you want to shop with groceries and how you want to live your lifestyle. If you know who that person is then all you have to do to get there is take one tiny step at a time. And that’s the big problem that people try to do. They take all the steps for two weeks and then they go back to who they were. Then a month later they take all the steps for a week and then they go back to who they were. They’re not taking those one little tiny steps. Because what I basically discovered with training people was that it’s not the big things that we do, the large actions that we take, that give us permanent transformations; it’s the little, the little habits that are subconscious.
One of the things I do in the morning, I wake up and I chug like about 30 ounces of water and then I have a hot tea, and then maybe I’ll have like a decaf espresso, and then maybe I’ll have another glass of water like Pellegrino so that this is a habit I have. I wake up and I hydrate like crazy. It’s not a chore. But then I watch other people and then they wake up and then they go straight to like some sugary coffee. They don’t hydrate at all then they go to like a pastry. It’s just a poor habit, right? It’s not like I have to work to hydrate in the morning anymore. It’s just who I am.
Logan: Yeah. That whole issue of sort of the feedback loops in habits, I was thinking about just the other day. Okay, we’re trying to do something and yes, it may take some willpower in the beginning because you are specifically going from doing something that you’ve habitually so you’re got to change that. So yeah, often it does take willpower in the beginning but once you start seeing success with that thing, that really when it sort of hits its own stride because you’re getting that positive reinforcement, positive feedback from that. So if you wake up in the morning and you start drinking water first thing in the day, you may notice better energy levels or you’re not as hungry, different factors like this. Hydration is just such a huge thing for just about every function in the body so it’s going to do a whole lot. But you really do need to just do a little bit in the beginning because like you were like saying, all those beliefs, all that stuff that could be in the way of it but if you can get past that then that’s where the transformation begins to take place.
Tyler: Yeah, I like how you brought that up. One thing that’s interesting that you pointed out there that I completely agree with is that habits like anything, when you’re changing your habits the initial change is hard. It’s painful. There’s initial loss, right? There’s hurt in the beginning. But like you said, it positively reinforces over time as you start to see results. A simple way to think about this outside of health is investing. If you take 10% of your pay check and you put it away in your future account, you’re going to be like “Shit, I can’t go out to eat tonight” or whatever. There are things you can’t do because you saved that away for your future. But 10, 20 or 30 years from now, you’re going to look back and be like God, that was the best decision I ever made; I’m financially free.
So this is the reality. People will do this kind of stuff with their finances and they’ll break these bad habits because it’s so tangible. They’ll say if I save 10%, by the time I’m 55 or 65, I’ll have a million dollars and I’ll be able to retire or something like that. But it’s not as tangible if I tell you hey, follow these three diet rules: drink half your body weight in ounces of water minimum every single day, eat protein for breakfast and eat ten servings of vegetables a day. If you just did those three things, forget every other diet you’ve ever read in your entire life and just do those three things, you will see significant results from that. Because most people aren’t doing that. They’re not drinking enough water, they’re not eating enough vegetables, and they’re probably not using protein as a way to minimize hunger cravings, which is great.
So if you just do those basic things like when people come to me now—I think you asked me earlier what I did to get started with this. I used to take clients and I’d slide over this book to them that was like 20 pages long, here’s the exact diet. I was just hitting them with a sledgehammer because I thought that they wanted instant results. While they do want some instant results, what they really want is they want permanent transformations. What I learned was that permanent transformation doesn’t take 6 weeks or 30 days. You can see results in 6 weeks and 30 days but that’s not permanent transformation. That’s temporary transformation. Permanent transformation takes a year, eighteen months, two years but when you work with somebody like I have one-on-one for eighteen months at re-patterning their perception of who they are, re-patterning their daily habits, now you have somebody who’s changed for life.
There are very few of my clients who I look at now and go oh my God, you bounced right back unless they were one of those people who were looking for a quick fix and those people were gone. But anybody that I’ve worked with for eighteen months, they understand that it’s the fundamentals that gets you long term results, not the super complex stuff. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do a super complex, do paleo, low carb paleo, GAPS diets and complex exercise routines. If you’re able to consistently do that, there’s nothing wrong with that. But I’m going to tell you this: 90% of people out there do not have the grit or the willpower to do that.
So instead of like follow a specific exercise routine where you have to do weight progressions every single time, what if you just worked out three days a week? You went to the gym and you had some fun and you tried to work your butt off. But just have fun. Listen to your body. Enjoy it. And then you drank more water and you ate protein for breakfast and you ate more vegetables. If you hate vegetables, one of the things I’ve been recommending a lot in the last six months is get a sick [phonetic 00:14:41] greens powder. Just get an awesome greens powder and slug that down first thing in the morning. It’s like veggie insurance. It’s crazy, right? How hard is it to throw a scoop of some like spirullina, wheat grass, and some other stuff into a cup, shake it up, squeeze a lemon into it for flavour and then chug that down? Then you have the nutrients from really some of the best vegetables in the world, some super foods and it’s that veggie insurance. Because even myself, I don’t always eat as many vegetables as I’d like. So shit, find a way to hack the system. Do it fast. It’d be easier.
Logan: It’s funny that so many people do complain of that yet they go and drink alcohol and booze, right? No one when they first drink a beer or first drink of whisky or something really enjoyed the taste. You have to keep doing it before you actually acquire the taste for it. Right?
Tyler: That’s so.
Logan: None of this is good, just starting out. That’s the thing with the veggies, a lot more of the bitter taste, the more subtle flavors. But your taste buds are trainable. I don’t think most people realize that. Really how you think about things the same thing with all the beliefs. If you believe you hate veggies then you know it’s going to be much harder to down them. But there are things you can do along those lines to do it but I do really like that idea of veggie insurance.
Tyler: Yeah, veggie insurance, man. I love it. We keep going back to the same subject. This will probably end up being the theme of the call. You just said alcohol, right? So alcohol, nobody drinks a beer and is like wow, that’s amazing. That’s probably not going to happen the first time out with liquor or anything like that. But what alcohol does provide that several habits don’t is instant gratification. You drink some booze, you get tipsy and you do some things that you wouldn’t normally do. That’s fun and it’s instant gratification. That’s what is really challenging about habitually changing your health habit. It’s not easy. There is an instant withdraw from your bank account and that withdraw is what will allow you to live older and live leaner and live healthier as you go throughout your life, but it instantaneously is painful.
I’ll tell you the truth. After we wrote the 27 Habits, I talked to my dad a little bit about it and he’s like this is great, this is wonderful. Basically, I ping everything off my parent because they’re exactly who I want to help. I just guess it’s the way I grew up and I want to kind of help now. And my dad’s like, this is just too hard because the problem is he’s looking at it as a macro deal. I wrote this book The 27 Habits and he was like I can’t do 27 habits.
Tyler: I’m like stop, dude; you have to realize that [crosstalk 00:17:21].
Logan: Start with one, right?
Tyler: And I’m asking you to do one. How hard is it to drink two glasses of water in the morning?
Logan: Not hard.
Tyler: Let’s get real. This is not challenging. I’m not leading with some crazy habit there. Drink two glasses of water first thing in the morning. It’s so simple. So what I actually did was I wrote an extra book. I call it The 28th Habit. We’ve almost finished with it and were going to release it pretty soon for like super dirt cheap. It’s just a complimentary thing to The 27 Habits. The 28th Habit, I’ll just go ahead and tell you listeners pretty much what it is. It’s all about overcoming adversity because I feel like what happens is people shift their mind set in their own way. So they think to themselves, if I do this it will be painful now. They don’t embrace the hurt and the pain and then overcome it.
There’s a great quote I love. It says, “Your character is forged in the fires of your adversities.” I freaking love that quote because to me, you don’t get better by sitting on the couch; you get better by hitting the gym and like toughing it out. Workouts can be fun but sometimes workouts suck and they’re gruelling and you don’t want to do them, right? But if you do it, you can become a better person. You become a tougher version of you. You become somebody who’s consistent, who’s disciplined, who is able to do things that other people cannot.
I credit much of my success in business and in life to literally smashing physical barriers. If you pick up a kettlebell or dumbbell and you’re like this is too heavy, I can’t even do one rep with it and then two years later you can do fifty, all of a sudden you’ve changed your beliefs about what you can do, right? I am not a person who can’t do that. I’m a person who can do anything. That’s what I want people to do. Instead of thinking about body transformation, instead of thinking about health transformation, habit transformation or whatever it is, all the painful stuff in your life is the best stuff in your life because A) it gives you perspective on genuine good things. Without pain, there is no pleasure. You’re just bland in the middle. I found the greatest successes as breakthroughs from all of my greatest failures.
Tyler: So if people can just literally stop for a second and whenever something bad happens to them—give yourself a period of time to sulk. I’m not saying like don’t be human. My last knee injury, I ended up actually getting injured again about a decade after that original injury, that one was really hard for me because I really fucked up my knee good. It was bad. It’s still not healed. It’s still not to where it would be. It was like what we would call a career ending injury if I was like an athlete. I gave myself one week to sulk it out. I was like Tyler, here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to give yourself one week to play the poor me game. It ended up being eleven days. I’ll be totally honest. I’m pushing this out four more days!
But after that, it was like what good will come from this? I’ll tell you what came from that. At the time, I was running a boot camp business where I was basically like running four different like gym classes out of four different locations and we had like 300 members in the boot camp program. It was going really well but I was also trying to start an online community because that’s where my passion was. I was like I can help more people with this online community than just doing local stuff. I hadn’t started the online community yet but I had the drive to do so. But I couldn’t figure out how to get the time because I was spending so much time with the boot camp program.
So I injured my knee and there I am again, sitting on my couch and I had basically a set of options. My options are: I can sulk and basically let my business fail because I was so involved in the business at that time. I had to go in and coach people and I had to work with clients and I had sell memberships and I had to do all the accounting and all these different stuff. Or I can use this as an opportunity to learn how to run my business from a couch. I was kind of forced into that situation because otherwise we would’ve have pretty much gone broke. So I learned how to run my boot camp business from my couch.
It was the biggest blessing ever because when I transitioned into doing digital marketing, not only did I have the time to be able to build a website, build a product and start collecting followers, I had the ability to design a system around that because I designed it from my boot camp program. I went from spending like 60 hours a week working on boot camps to spending probably 8 to 10 hours a week. That freed up my time to be able to do what my real passion was. So yes, negative circumstance initially but I flipped that around and I turned it into a positive circumstance.
So I guess my long-winded kind of goal with this is to just be like stop with the poor me. Stop with the “Oh, it’s hard.” Shit is hard. Being a better version of you is hard. Nobody said that being a leader, being an excellent version of yourself is easy. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about tackling the hard stuff with a smile on your face. It’s about pushing through adversity. It’s about becoming the person you know you should be. That’s what I try to do with people. I try to teach them that it’s not like this easy, no-brainer stuff. It is about starting simple and consistent and slowly smashing down one habit at a time. But more than anything, it’s about changing the way you think, about yourself and about challenging situations in your life.
Logan: Well, one thing I like to look at in this is yeah, oftentimes habit change is hard but there are certain times when it’s not hard. There are certain ways if we change our thinking, we change our beliefs around it, things can come much easier. It doesn’t have to be a huge trouble. I’m not saying this always works but one of the things I like to look at this is how that sort of tied into your values and can you begin to really look more long term rather than instant gratification. If you can start to really look at that a bit more, it becomes easier.
One of the things that I just recently started doing less than a month ago was started drawing again, just pencil drawings, something I did a little bit as a kid but then I fell away from it. I didn’t really think of myself as an artsy person. I wasn’t very good but I decided I wanted to get back into it. Yeah, sometimes like late at night when I often draw, sometimes like I’m kind of too lazy but really anytime I start and once I’m into it, it’s a lot of fun. Then I’m creating things and within just a month’s time, I’ve actually like gotten pretty good, like surprisingly good at what I’m able to do and then surprised myself. So once again, that’s kind of like positive reinforcement.
With something as simple as drinking water in the morning, is that really even hard to do? Some people might think it is but again, that goes back into your thinking, your beliefs around it and how we think is a habit in and of itself. So if you can begin to focus on that higher level stuff then it really trickles down into your behaviour and everything else. I’m of the opinion of if there’s one thing worth mastering, it’s the idea of mastering habit change so that you can change bad habits, make good habits and then everything comes much easier because like I said, long term your habits are going to create who you are. So it’s so important.
Tyler: Yeah. You have to think about yourself like a lump of clay, right? You have to shape your life the way that you unconsciously intend to do it and I think that’s another big mistake people make. They end up on their deathbed and they never consciously took action about who they wanted to become. They never stepped back and said hey, I want to be this person. If you look at yourself in the mirror and you think about your life, what about it do you dislike? I guess the first place to start when you think about who you want to become is what do I not want to become? And that’s where I start.
I love my parents. They’re wonderful and they’re crazy supportive and everything but they showed me what I didn’t want to become from a health perspective. And that was fuel. That was fuel that allowed me to go hey, I’m going to keep on pushing forward at becoming a healthier version of myself. I’ll be totally honest. I have my years that are up and I have my years that are down, but the big thing is I’m not going to let myself go back to who I was because I know that that’s not who I want to be. Maybe I’m not making linear progress 100% of the time. If people are telling you they’re making linear progress 100% of the time, they’re a liar because you can’t do them in every single area of your life. It ebbs and it flows. But what happens is it’s like a Richter scale but I want the Richter scale to steadily go upwards. I want to be more knowledgeable financially. I want to be more free financially. I want to be more healthy physically. I want to be more flexible physically. I want to have better habits over the long run.
And it’s just the little things you do that take you to that person that you want to become. I try to think about it as this series of stepping stones. You want to become—let’s just go to basic body transformation which is just a generic term for lose fat, gain some lean muscle and be healthier. The basic things, what are you currently doing that is helping you get there and what are you currently doing that’s hindering you from getting there and how can you minimize the hindrances and replace some of the hindrances with positive things? Then how can we set this up in a series of steps?
Because that’s where I think people miss. They miss the architecture behind the journey. If your goal is to get there it’s like yes, you probably need to work out. Yes, you probably need to get a good night’s sleep. Yes, you probably need to drink enough water. Yes, you probably need to eat enough vegetables. Yes, you probably need to eat some protein. Yes, you probably should shop at a different grocery store. That’s one of the weirdest ones that people don’t realize. If you sit outside a price club or a Costco or something like that, you’re not going to see a bunch of lean people going in and out of like the cheapest food in town. If you go sit outside at your local health food store where the food isn’t like that, you’re going to see a lot leaner people just going in the grocery store. How crazy is that that literally where you shop could change everything?
Logan: I’m always surprised when I go in an average grocery store just how cheap things are.
Tyler: It’s mind-blowing.
Logan: It is really. Once you habitually go to food stores that only have like organic food, lots of fresh stuff and everything, going to those average stores is like whoa, this is insane!
Tyler: Yeah, it’s totally not but I know it’s more expensive. But it’s just like investing in your future by taking 10% of your pay check and whatnot. That’s so valuable because it’s the future that you’re thinking about. You’re not thinking about instant gratification. So yeah, you might save 30% on eggs or 50% on eggs if you shop at your local store versus somewhere else like a bulk store versus a health food store, but then you’re basically taking from your future, the time you have left on this earth.
Logan: I heard a very interesting stat and I don’t have the exact percentages, but people used to like 60 years ago and beyond that, they’d spend close to half their income on their food. Now we’re down to like 10% or something like that. It’s pretty insane.
Tyler: Yeah, that’s pretty wild because obviously it’s what we need. I really just want to touch on this one while it just popped in my brain, I think that a lot of people nowadays don’t have—we never grow up in true adversity. When’s the last time that you didn’t have food?
Logan: Right, never.
Tyler: You didn’t have shelter. Have you been like to the point like—let’s even call it a car shelter because I know people have lived in their cars and stuff like that because they don’t have a home. When’s the last time you had to sleep outside because you had nowhere to sleep?
Logan: Only by choice.
Tyler: Right. It’s only by choice. I think that people underestimate how durable of a species we really are and how a lot of the things that might have happened in the past like running out of food and basically like hey, there’s no food for three days. Think about how much tougher that makes you. Think about how that re-patterns your mind set because if there’s no food for three days, Logan, your choice is cry about it, curl up into a ball and die or like go find food and survive. Survival is like the ultimate instinct of the body. We never have to activate our survival instinct. When’s the last time you were like so starving that you had to like go hunt for food?
So it’s absolutely insane. So I think that a lot of our society, I think we invent problems. I think we invent non-realistic adversity and we think that that’s true adversity. Oh my God. And I do this all the time. Don’t get me wrong. I have total first world problems. Oh my Tesla ran out of batteries and I have to charge it [Crosstalk 00:29:57]
Katie: [Inaudible 00:30:00]
Tyler: Oh, we’re on a podcast, Katie. I hope [inaudible 00:30:09]
Logan: I’m debating whether I want to keep that in the podcast or not.
Tyler: Keep that in the podcast. So my point was that we don’t have enough—I’m sorry, that was just too funny, she had no idea she was getting recorded so she flopped on the ground afterwards. So we have no idea that—all right, I’m serious now. We have no idea that we’re living this life of false adversity and not genuine adversity. So a lot of what I do with clients when I was training them is get them to take steps that get them comfortable with being uncomfortable, like actual adversity, simple things like what if I told you couldn’t a meal till dinner, right? Fasting. I don’t always agree that fasting is the best approach with everybody but I do agree that it’s a wonderful approach at strengthening your minds et because if you can go without food 24 hours consciously, 36 hours, 48 hours or something like that, it’s going to make you a tougher person.
Just like if I told you, let’s say you could do a hundred squats right now. What if I told you to do a thousand? It sounds impossible. Now what if I can stand by you and watch you do a thousand. It might be really challenging but it’s a drill in mental toughness and every time you overcome an obstacle in your life, you become a stronger version of yourself. Like I said, I think that just too many people, their entire adversity is like oh, like, “Oh, the Kardashians didn’t record on my DVD. I’m so mad right now!” That’s what makes people frustrated, the small things when in reality we’re living in the best age ever. We have information at our fingertips for free. Yale and Harvard give free classes online about complex subjects now. This is insane. This is the land of the free. This is the land of free information, the ability to choose what you want to do with your life, the ability to become who you want to become with your life and if you’re not consciously doing it, guess what? Somebody else is using it to consciously to help them build their dream. So stop and you have to define what you want to do with your life because you only have one of them.
Logan: Yeah. Well speaking about adaptability, that’s the whole reason we work out in the first place right? The human body needs physical movement and because we live sedentary lives, even us sort of fitness people, we’re working in front of a computer most of the time.
Tyler: Yeah, it is sedentary.
Logan: Yeah. So literally our working out is like a supplement to our diet because we don’t get the quantity and quality of movement we would in like a real human, an indigenous person’s life. So we use that and that’s the whole reason we push the limits in what we can do. That’s building that sort of adaptability, that tolerance to adversity like you were mentioning with fasting, another example. My point with this is that these things should become habits, routines for a person and that’s going to strengthen your health because to be healthy, you must be adaptable. So if you strengthen your adaptability, you’re going to be healthier. Another example of that is the cold exposure, right?
Tyler: Oh yes.
Logan: Cold showers which no one wants to do. Everyone wants to be comfortable in their nice hot showers but there are so many benefits you get from cold showers from the activation of brown fat to the mental toughness aspects of it, all these different things.
Tyler: Blood flow and testosterone.
Logan: So you get to build that into your—
Tyler: Yeah, that’s amazing. I’m sorry to cut you off. That’s one of the 27 habits. It’s cold exposure because I’m a huge fan of it. I think if you’re afraid of it—
Logan: Then you need it.
Tyler: Then you need it, yeah. Here’s the thing. If you’re afraid to take a cold shower—I’m going to be blunt with you—if you’re afraid to take a cold shower, the likelihood of you becoming the person you want to become is pretty low. If you’re not able to overcome a very basic adversity like that then when something else challenging hits you in your life, it’s going to hit you like a brick and you’re not going to be able to recover from it. So that’s what these little—a lot of the habits I have are not just lifestyle tricks that you can use to feel leaner and feel healthier and so on and so forth but there are also tricks in there to improve your health and improve your ability to overcome adversity. Like you said, the adaptability of the species is what makes the species strong.
So the cold showers, man, that’s one of those ones where it’s really hard to talk people to do that. But it’s not. It’s more than just a cold shower. That’s the real problem there. It’s a lesson in embracing adversity and it’s a lesson in shift of perception. Because I tell you what, I’ve been taking cold showers for God, I don’t know ten years or more now, cold showers and cryo chambers and swimming in rivers. Just whenever there’s cold, I don’t shy away from it. I’m sure there’s a temperature that would turn me into a squirming girl [phonetic 00:35:19] but I try not shy away from it. It’s just been one of the best lessons in overcoming adversities because what happens is when you get comfortable being cold and uncomfortable then you watch somebody else who won’t do it, you laugh inside and you think to yourself like this person can’t do something this simple. You can’t just take away—because cold isn’t going to hurt you. It’s uncomfortable but it isn’t—
Logan: Not the cold that’s coming out of your shower anyway.
Tyler: Yeah, not the cold showers. I’m not taking showers British Columbia and like the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and it’s ice cold. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve walked through snow in board shorts and all this different stuff. Yes, it’s cold. It’s uncomfortable but what’s more important is your perspective shift. So instead of oh this is cold and I’m uncomfortable, I hate this, I want to get out of it, it’s wow, this is cold. This is a mental challenge. I’m going to overcome it and it’s going to benefit me both mentally and physically in the future. That’s where something as simple as like turn your shower for cold—and honestly, that’s the one thing I think people miss is there’s a progression to this. What if I told you that cold showers—
Logan: It’s not you can never have a hot shower again.
Tyler: Yeah. So let’s start like this. This is giving people a simple progression that I actually recommend to people. So get in your shower, take a nice awesome warm shower like you normally do and then at the very end of the shower, all you need to do is just turn off the hot and I want you to count to ten. That’s it. Even if the water barely gets cold by ten, just do that for like a week, two weeks, whatever. It doesn’t matter. And then count to 20. Then count to 30. Then count to 40. Then count to 60. Then slowly over time, by the time you get to a minute in the cold shower, it’s not going to bother you anymore. It’s not even going to be an issue. You’re just going to go cold and you get out of the shower and you’ll be like holy crap, I feel really good. I’ve never had somebody take out the habit of cold showers and not have a perceptive shift at some point and say wow, this is one of the best things that I do in a daily basis. So the trick is, like you were saying, don’t make it extremely painful because people think of cold showers as so painful. But what if it was just like—
Logan: I got to do an ice bath right now.
Tyler: Yeah. It kind of goes like even an ice bath like starting. I have [inaudible 00:37:28] thinking like that’s kind of probably my blessing and curse in my life is that in my life is that when I do stuff, I go all-in on it. That allows me to educate myself really fast about certain topics but it can be a negative thing at the same time. That’s why I don’t recommend that for everybody. I think everybody for the most part needs to just take little baby steps consistently over a long period of time until those things become a part of your life.
Logan: Right. I think that’s the important part when we’re talking about habits, right? After you do that for a while, you were saying like anyone that does that, they’re going to have a perceptive shift. They’re going to see benefits that come from it. At that point, I’d say most people are going to continue doing it and really the whole point of something becoming a habit, something that you habitually do is where you do it automatically. You don’t need to consciously think. You don’t need willpower to do it anymore because you’ve sort of verified those benefits to yourself, gotten the value out of it and it’s no longer an issue. It’s a thing for you to do. It just becomes automatic. And when you get to that point, that’s really one of the benefits because in recording a lot of the willpower research out there, it’s a finite sort of resource that we have. We replenish it each day with sleep but we can only do so much. So that’s the whole purpose of getting these health routines as habits, something we do automatically so that we don’t need to spend our willpower on that. Then we can move on to the next big thing. We can spend willpower on whatever else we’re working on at that time, this other stuff that’s taken cared of automatically.
Tyler: I love how you brought that up, the finite amount of willpower because a lot of people don’t know this, that in your day, you have a certain amount of decisions you can make effectively. Everybody here has probably self mentally fatigued, hard day at work, stressful day, whatever something happened in your life. You’re super stressful and somebody is like, what do you want to eat for dinner? You can’t make that decision. You’re just like I have no idea. I’m just so not there. I can’t make that decision.
That’s decision fatigue and that happens to every single one of us and each one of us has a different number of decisions we can make effectively throughout the day. But what you need to do is minimize the decisions that are not as important as you might think. If you look at some of the most successful people in the world, they don’t wake up and pick out their outfits. They don’t think about breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They have somebody bring them breakfast. They have somebody press their outfit and lay it out for them. They have somebody bring them dinner. They’re basically creating a lifestyle around them that’s systematic so that they can focus on the big decisions they can make so they can have laser sharp precision when something like that happens.
Now I’m not suggesting like you have to hire like a personal assistant to press your clothes and cook meals for you and whatnot, but if you have a routine that you can do consistently—like I will give you a simple kind of the way I typically do my weeks. Let’s just go on nutrition. Monday through Thursday, I generally fast most of the day and then I just usually have dinner and eat whatever my wife’s cooking. That just comes down to her choosing to cook healthy, which she does so it’s usually meat, vegetables and starch. Really simple. And then Friday, Saturday, we’ll either eat out or we’ll eat at home and make something a little bit more flavorful like some gluten-free pasta or something like that. Then on Sunday, we usually go over to her parents, my wife’s parents house for dinner. We just typically have a meat, vegetable, starch kind of thing over there, too. And Saturday, Sunday, I tend to eat like breakfast or something like that as well so I don’t do fasting every single day.
But that’s become so habitual. It’s just so easy for me to go from day to day and just kind of do that that I really don’t have to really think about it anymore. And I’m not making as many decisions. Maybe on Friday, I’ll make a decision on what I really want to enjoy eating but for the rest of the week it’s not that hard. The less decisions you have to make in your life, the easier it will be to make good ones when the time comes because ultimately the reason why you’re going to Taco Bell and you’re eating desserts and you’re drinking too much booze at night is because your day is over and you’ve had to make thousands of tiny decisions and you’re just done. You’re done making decisions and so your brain cannot make a good decision. It will just make whatever decision sounds most pleasurable at the time and that’s usually, get a little tipsy…
Logan: Get some sugar.
Tyler: Watch TV till late. Eat sugar. Get on the couch instead of going to the gym, all these different poor decisions. So decision fatigue is a huge one. Try not to be the person who has to make every decision all the time, all the time in your life. If you’re married, assign decisions to each one of you that’s you’re responsible for to keep you guys in these healthy habits and then allow the freedom to have debates about things that you want to do in addition to that.
Logan: Right. I think another important point that you sort of brought up within that, you were talking about how what your parents did and you grew up with them and that led you to doing the opposite because what they were doing wasn’t working so well. So that was kind of like your drive or a negative model for what you wanted them to have. I had the same thing, right? My mom died of breast cancer. I don’t want that to happen so that kind of drove me the other way.
But at the same time, you want sort of positive models. You mentioned at the beginning of this call, all the different books you’ve read and everything, you’re learning from all these people. What you just laid out, that can be like a positive model for another person. Specifically what I tell people to do and this is what I look at, what are the habits that that person is doing, whether negative or positive that are leading to the successes that they have. So if you can look more closely for those things and then all you’ve got to do is model what they’re doing. Copy what they’re doing. Put that into your life.
Now every person is different. Different people are going to have different things that work better or worse for them but you experiment. Think of your life, like you were saying, the thing with clay. You’re experimenting, seeing if this one works out for you or maybe not. Maybe you need to do a slight tweak or maybe it doesn’t work. You go do something else but you’ve got to always be experimenting. I guess that’s kind of a guiding principle I use in my life. I’m always experimenting with different things in health and business and training, all kinds of different things. I find what works. I discard what doesn’t. I tweak things and keep on going from there.
Tyler: Yeah. You brought up another good point that I really like to touch on. I feel like the reason I’ve been able to just succeed in body transformation, succeed as a boot camp owner, succeed as an online entrepreneur is literally not shying away from education and actually becoming like kind of obsessed with it. Because the thing is the people around you are the ones who influence your thoughts. You probably heard that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Well for a long period of time, the people I spent the most time with were in podcasts or interviews. So driving to and from work, while at work, I was listening nutrition podcasts, exercise podcasts. I’d come home. I’d read. I’d experiment. I’d go to seminars. I buy DVD’s. I’d test out stuff right? The more you surround yourself with information that is related to the person that you want to become, the more that you are likely to become that person. You’re not just going to snap your fingers and become lean unless you start to understand the real knowledge behind. A lot of people make poor decisions, not just because of decision fatigue because they don’t know better. I started eating gummy worms incessantly thinking—
Logan: You were trying to do better.
Tyler: I was trying to do better but I was just completely ruining my health. I think that a lot of times that could be used as an analogy. There are probably lots of things in your life where you’re eating gummy worms and you don’t even know you’re doing it. It’s hard because you don’t know what you don’t know. So one of the things I try and tell people is don’t be afraid to invest in knowledge, man. It’s just the most powerful thing ever. Even if you’re concerned about—like again, this is an investment so you have to spend $10 bucks now and you have to spend five hours reading a book or something like that. Yeah, that’s time away from you and that’s money away from you. But the knowledge in a book, the knowledge in a DVD, the knowledge in a seminar, this is something that took that person hundreds of hours, thousands of hours, tens of thousands of hours, hundreds of thousands of hours. So like when people come to me and we actually start working together, they’re like, “How did you learn all of this stuff?” I’m like well, just spend like $100,000 on your education and be obsessed with it for ten years.
Tyler: And the best part is though if somebody were to come try to learn, for example, just like personally train with me is they would learn it in a quarter of the time. It could be a tenth of the time because I made all the mistakes. That’s the big thing. Mistakes are okay. We talked a lot about adversity a lot in this call but it’s okay to make those mistakes because those are what allow you the ability to understand what actually genuinely works and what doesn’t work. I don’t even know what my point was in that one but wanted to focus on education. Don’t be afraid to educate yourself. It’s the most powerful thing you can do. Books, books, books, books, books. And even if it’s not books, just like internet, man. Jesus, what a wonderful world we live in. You can just type into Google anything you want and you can read scholarly articles on it. You can read blogs on it. You can listen to free podcasts like this on it. It’s just an amazing world that we live in and too many people aren’t taking advantage of it for that purpose. Instead, they’re bitching about their DVR’s.
Logan: Right. It’s that learning is a habit that should be in there and as you said, in multiple different formats. The one sort of caveat to that is just make sure that you’re taking action on that information with yourself and other people because I know there are some that just learn, learn, learn and never do anything. Then you won’t get any results. So unapplied knowledge is not power.
Tyler: Yeah, totally. Totally.
Logan: All right, so I think we’ll setup a link I highly recommend everyone listening. We definitely covered some of those specific habits but there are probably 20+ that we didn’t cover. You’re actually giving away the book free. You want to tell us just a little bit about that.
Tyler: Sure. We wrote this book a long time ago and I started selling it kind of as a digital copy and whatnot and I was like, I really want to turn this into a legitimate book, a legitimate print book. I was like okay, how are we going to get this out to as many hands as possible? I’m just going to go nuts on this. I’m going to self-publish it. I’m not going with any big publishing houses. That’s not really my style. I don’t have any ego about being on the New York Times bestselling list or anything like that but I am going to all-in on it. So we ended up buying 27,000 copies of the book.
Logan: Did you get 27,000 copies because it’s 27 habits?
Logan: That’s just its limit.
Tyler: I just felt like weird, repeating things like that. So 27 body transformations habits, I was like screw it, I’m going to go for 27,000 books, which is like we’ve never sold that much of any of our products so we’re just like hey, let’s go out there and give it a bang, right? Then we’re like, what if we gave it away for free instead? So instead of asking $15, $20 or whatever for the book, what if we just shipped it to your door for free and then all we ask for was the shipping price. So it’s $6.95 to ship it to your door and we’re giving the book away for free otherwise. You get that thing to your doorstep and it’s about a 180 pages.
We read through and made sure that the book is a 100% referenced. There’s no bro science in there anymore because I have a tendency on getting bro science-y based on all this. We read like a hundred books or a thousand books, like you just have so much information in your head that you start spouting it out of your mouth and you’re not really sure if it’s exactly what is was. So my team went through and referenced everything and called me out on bullshit that I had in there before. And it’s an easy read. It’s like a two-hour read. You can read it on a plane flight or something like that. It’s a real easy read. And then with the books, we have digital copies of the checklists so you can just go online and print out the checklist. This is where the actual habit shifting happens. You print out this checklist, you stick that bastard on your refrigerator and you go okay, I’m going to focus on this one and you check it off every day every 31 days.
Logan: Yup. We could do a whole call on just the power of checklists. That’s such an important piece of habit change I’ve used very successfully in my own life.
Tyler: Yeah. So I’ve even been using these checklists. And so it’s not 27 daily habits. It’s 15 daily habits. I call them the lean 15 and then it’s 7 weekly habits so one for each day of the week. Then there’s 5 monthly habits, which I did ask you take 30 minutes out of like a Saturday. I have some forms in there that are going to help you kind of identify whether you’re moving forward on your goals, whether you’re moving backwards on your goals, if you don’t have any goals and how to set them properly. So it’s designed as a system so that you can start out with 0 good habits and then you could start with something as simple as drinking water and then you could focus on that for like literally a month. Then at the end of the next month, you chip away at another one, you chip away at another one, you chip at another one.
And over the long haul, I want you to shift the way you think about yourself, the way you think about your life, the way you think about your health and your values, like you said, Logan. I want you to shift all of that so that you’re not just a leaner person, you’re not just a healthier person but you’re a happier person, you’re a more compassionate person and you’re a more grateful person at the same time. Because a lot of these habits have to do with that, have to do with giving back, have to do with taking time for yourself, have to do with taking time with the people you love, having to do with taking time to really laugh and enjoy life instead of just getting inundated television commercials and things like that. So anyways, you can grab a free copy. Logan, I’ll let you to post the link blow and I hope you guys enjoy the books.
Logan: Yeah. We’ll set that up at TheVitalWay.com/Habits so you can go check that out. Yeah, we’ll have the link of the show notes as well. So thank you so much, Tyler.
Logan: This was very helpful. This was a fun discussion. I want to leave people with this. This is sort of a poem about habits. It really moved me when I first saw it.
I’m your constant companion
I’m your greatest helper or heaviest burden
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do just might as well turn over to me and I’ll be able to them quickly and correctly.
I’m easily managed
You must merely be firm with me
Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically
I am the servant of all great man and the last of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine though I work with all the precision of a machine plus intelligence of a man.
You may run me for a profit or run me for ruin
It makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
Who am I?
I am habit.
Tyler: That’s beautiful. You mind if I say a little quick quote?
Tyler: That was cool so I wanted to throw something that really drives me, too. It’s a Muhammad Ali quote. He said, “I hated every minute training but I said don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
Logan: Excellent. Well, thanks everyone for listening. Go and apply some of these habits into your life and make sure listening to this podcast is a habit you have as well.
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