| July 6, 2017

Podcast

Podcast #319: Why Every Man Should Have a Workout Ritual

Are you tired of starting fitness programs with the best of intentions only to find yourself falling off the workout wagon two weeks later?

If so, today’s episode is for you.

I’ve brought back bodyweight strength training coach Anthony Arvanitakis to talk about his new book, How to Never Skip Your Workout Again. Anthony and I begin our conversation discussing what causes people to stop working out and how making exercise a ritual is the cure to this problem. Anthony then digs into specifics on how exactly to make exercise a ritual, including creating a pre-workout checklist (that you actually write out on an index card), wearing a workout “uniform,” and picking the best time to set your ritual in motion.

We then discuss why rituals are much more powerful than motivation in helping you stick with a fitness program, and how to keep with it even when your life gets really busy. We end our conversation discussing how to make your diet a ritual as well, so you can lose weight or pack on muscle.

Show Highlights

  • Why Anthony wanted to devote an entire book to the topic of building the workout habit
  • The things that get in our way and sap our willpower for working out and dieting
  • What Anthony means by “ritual” in regards to working out
  • The physical, written checklist Anthony has created to get him into his workout ritual
  • Why Anthony wears the same “uniform” every day for working out
  • The best time of day to train
  • Why you still need to remain flexible with your rituals
  • How to stick with a ritual even during extremely busy times of life
  • How rituals are more powerful than motivation
  • The “avalanche effect” and how it will improve your life
  • How Anthony used the avalanche effect to get himself out of a lengthy funk after he lost his leg
  • Applying the power of ritual to your diet
  • Anthony’s thoughts on eating the same thing every day

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

how to never skip your workout again anthony arvanitakis book cover

If you’ve been looking to start bodyweight training, Anthony provides by far the best resources on the topic. Check him out at Homemade Muscle. And check out his latest book, How to Never Skip Your Workout Again, for insights on how to make the exercise habit stick.

Connect With Anthony

Anthony on Twitter

Anthony on Facebook

Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)

available-on-itunes

available-on-stitcher

soundcloud-logo

pocketcasts

google-play-podcast

Listen to the episode on a separate page.

Download this episode.

Subscribe to the podcast in the media player of your choice.

Podcast Sponsors

Blinds.com. Get up to 20% off everything — faux wood blinds, cellular shades, roller shades and more — at blinds.com when you use promo code “AOM.”

Away. High-quality, resilient luggage for the savvy traveler. Comes with a lifetime warrantee. For $20 off, go to awaytravel.com/manliness and enter code “manliness” at checkout.

Read the Transcript

Brett McKay: Welcome to another edition of the Art of Manliness podcast. Are you tired of starting fitness programs with the best of intentions only to find yourself falling off the workout wagon two weeks later? If so, today’s episode is for you. I’ve brought back body weight strength training coach Anthony Arvanitakis to talk about his new book, “Train the Body and the Mind Will Follow.”

Anthony and I began our conversation discussing what causes people to stop working out and how making exercise a ritual is part of the cure to this problem. Anthony then digs into specifics on how exactly to make exercise a ritual, including creating a pre-workout checklist that you actually write out on an index card, it’s not some mental checklist, you need to write this out, wearing a “workout uniform,” and picking the best time to set your ritual in motion. We then discuss why rituals are much more powerful than motivation in helping you stick with a fitness program and how to stick with them even when your life gets really busy. We end our conversation discussing how to make your diet a ritual as well, because that’s a big problem for a lot of folks. You can lose weight or pack on muscle. Lots of practical tips in this podcast. After it’s over check out the show notes at aom.is/bodymind.

Anthony Arvanitakis, welcome back to the show.

Arvanitakis: Great to be back on the show and thank you for pronouncing my last name so properly.

Brett McKay: I learned from last time. We had you on the show over … Almost, yeah, a year-and-a-half ago, that’s episode number 177 for those of you who want to check that out, it’s called “Homemade Muscle and Body Weight Training.” We dug into this terrible accident that happened to you where you lost your leg and how you used body weight training to rehabilitate not only your body but also your psyche because you were just in this terrible funk for such a long time. For those of you who haven’t listened to that episode, check it out. It’s very inspiring but also lots of action-oriented advice where you can apply it to your own life.

You’ve got a new book out, it’s all about making fitness a ritual, making fitness stick. I’m curious, why did you feel like you needed to devote an entire book to this topic? Was it something you … A problem you saw with a lot of your clients, they were starting body weight training but then they just stopped for whatever reason?

Arvanitakis: I think it’s a very common problem for everyone nowadays, for coaches. It was also something that helped me solve my problem. We live in this age of abundance of information and I think there is too much … In a way too much knowing but not enough doing. As the classic quote says from Von Goethe or Bruce Lee, who also uses it, “Knowing is not enough, we must do, we must apply.”

I realized that, okay, what’s the point of writing books? I really like writing workout books but what’s the point of writing workout books when people don’t have a recipe … Something that can help them to learn how to incorporate these in their weekly routines and to keep on practicing them not only in the beginning when everybody’s motivated, usually when they get started with a workout plan, but also to make it a lifestyle. As I started my project, “Homemade Muscle,” things got more and more busy. I got really excited about it so I reached the point where I was working six days a week, about 12 hours a day. I realized that even I, personally, was struggling with balancing everything in my life and my workouts. That’s when I started doing a lot of research on time management, on life and work balance, productivity, habit formation, stuff like that. I realized this is great, if I put all this information in a book it will be, first of all, great for my clients, great me for me, something very important that I should have in my library. That’s how I got inspired to write this book.

Brett McKay: For you it was just being really busy got in the way of your fitness goals. What other things usually gets in the way of people trying to make exercise a habit? Is it busyness or are there other things involved as well?

Arvanitakis: Yeah. It’s being busy but also bad time management, spending too much of your cognitive resources, of your brain power, in things that can be very automatized, can be … Where you can use things such as rituals that we’ll be talking about today. Bad influences can be another thing. People that just get in our way and affect us in a negative way can be wasting time, again as we said, things that are not useful like TV, social media. Those are, I think, the big drainers that get in the way.

Brett McKay: That’s exercise, what about diet? A lot of people can get in the exercise habit but diet is where they trip up.

Arvanitakis: Yeah. With dieting there’s this word I found actually in a really great book from a coach that I really look up to, Dan John, he has a book with another guy, sorry I don’t remember his name, but it’s called “Fat Loss Happens on Monday.” He has this category of people that are called pushers. Pushers are people that go outside to eat and you’ll try to keep your nutrition healthy or maybe even in your own home and they’ll be like, “Yeah, just have another piece of dessert or just have a little bit more of that. Come on, don’t be that hard on yourself.”

Personally I’m really accustomed to pushers because I would say Greece has … Pushers in Greece are the best in the world in doing that. This is because it started from our grandparents that they went through a lot of hardship Greek people two generations before mine, my grandparents, went through a lot of starvation, a lot of war. I think the way they dealt with that trauma they had from their childhoods was to push food into their grandkids. That’s one of the biggest reasons Greece now has an epidemic of obese people.

Pushers are definitely a category of people that can mess up your diet. It can be your friends, it can be your spouse, it can be anybody. Every time you want to make change that intimidates people around you because they realize that it’s also in their hands to make changes in their lives. Sometimes people don’t like that. That’s one reason you can mess your diet.

Other reasons after that is it’s very important to remove foods that are not good for you from your home. If I have my favorite desserts at home, I don’t care how much I’m motivated with my diet, invested I am, it’s going to be very difficult not to have those foods when I’m really tired at the end of the day, when I’m drained emotionally and all that. Resisting is very difficult. Definitely having a clean kitchen with good quality foods. Yeah, I would say those are the biggest things that you should avoid with your diet, the biggest problems that can get in your way.

Brett McKay: Yeah, I’m a big believer in getting the bad food out of your house. We had a guy on the podcast, Ian Bogost, a while back talk about the difference between restraint and constraint. A lot of times we focus on the restraint. Okay, if I can just restrain my willpower and if I can just control my desires then everything is going to be good. Like he says, that’s exhausting to do. Eventually you’re just going to wear out and you’re going to go, “Okay, I’m going to just blow through that pack of doughnuts that is in the house.”

He says, “Instead of thinking about restraining yourself, think of putting constraints on yourself. Eliminating the thing so you can’t do it and you don’t even have to think about it, you don’t have to exercise any of that willpower or restraint to not do the thing.” Big believer in that.

Okay, let’s get to the meat of the book. You are advocating forming good habits through rituals, particularly exercise habits. When people hear the word ritual they often think church, et cetera. For the Greeks, what would be a great ritual there? The temple of Dionysus or something like that. What do you mean by a ritual?

Arvanitakis: A ritual is a routine, I just prefer the word ritual because it has a more … A warmer tone to it, a cozier tone. In some way it’s something that makes you respect the process more in some way. If you feel uncomfortable with the word ritual you don’t have to use it, but for me it works and for a lot of people it works.

In simple words a ritual, the way at least I use it in my book, is a cluster of daily simple fixed tasks that you have in your daily schedule anyway combined with habits. Let’s say an example of my morning ritual is I’m going to wake up, I’m going to have a cup of tea, that’s my daily fixed habit, that’s something I would do anyway. After that habit that I’ve incorporated the last years will be meditation. I’m going to do some mindfulness meditation for 10 to 15 minutes. After that I’m going to brush my teeth, which is again a daily fixed habit that I have in my schedule anyway. After that I’m going to have a second habit, which will be creating a list of today’s goals.

Why do I do that? It’s easier for your brain to connect new habits that you want to incorporate with things that are more deeply carved in your brain’s neuro pathways already. Things you’ve been doing for years, like brushing your teeth and all that, those are things that you probably wouldn’t like to do, you probably wouldn’t like wasting your time on those, but you’ve created a very solid habit out of these things. They’re easy to do.

When you combine with those with new habits it gives you a steadier ground to anchor that new habit. Your brain connects these new habits easier when you combine them with these fixed habits. It makes it easier to adapt to new habits. These are simple things, and for some people they might not sound that amazing, but in practice it works. It’s one of the few things that I’ve found that really helps us so much with creating new habits.

Brett McKay: You walked us through your daily ritual, but how do you make exercise a ritual? Is there something you do to get ready for the exercise, your workout? What do you do? What does that look like there?

Arvanitakis: For my workout I have my “magic pre-workout checklist.” What’s that? It’s a list of things that I’m going to do just before starting to work out. The reason I have a checklist with these is just so I don’t have to think every time. Did I do that? Did I do this? For example, my checklist is, number one, it will be … Depends on the periods. Some periods I like to listen to music, sometimes I like to train more mindfully. For example, this period I’m training with music so number one on my list will be charge my mp3 player. I do this because a lot of times I’ll be training in the middle of the workout and my battery is going to die and instantly motivation is going to drop. I’ll be frustrated. Why didn’t I charge my mp3 player? That’s number one on my list.

Number two is airplane mode. That means I’m switching off everything, computers, phones, everything that can get in the way because I don’t … I think for a lot of us you might start your workout and somebody is going to call you and you’ll be like, “Yeah, I’m just going to talk with him for 20 seconds.” Those 20 seconds end up being half an hour and then you don’t have time to complete most of your workout. Afterwards maybe you have to pick up your kids from school or do this and that and you just end up rushing through your workout, maybe skip your warmup, get injured and everything gets out of order. Very important, always switch off your phones.

Some people might be like, “Yeah, but I have family. What if something important comes up?” There are settings you can put for special people in your life that could be able to call you. You could do that.

Third thing on my list is preparing my water bottle, putting some water in my bottle. The fifth is what I call uniform and equipment preparation. Uniform is just a personal thing I like to do. I like to use the same clothes for working out because they put me in the mood to train. I first read that from David Allen in his book, “Getting Things Done.” That’s where I stole that tip from. He also has specific clothes he uses for his workouts because, he says, that puts him in workout mode. It seems to work for me as well.

Prepping my equipment. Everything is set up, all my stations, everything I’m going to need. You don’t have … Maybe you’re training and in the middle of training you realize that you’re missing a piece of equipment so you have to run back home or do whatever. Everything, all that just gets you out of the flow of your workout which just adds more internal mental friction. Sometimes it can be enough on a very difficult day to demotivate you from your workout.

All this removes decision making and decision making, even small decisions, you can read this in a lot of books on productivity, can drain your willpower and motivation in a big amount. Having that list that gets you in the flow of the workout eliminates decision making and makes everything flow, can make your workout a lot easier. The most difficult part in a workout is getting started for most people. I’m pretty sure that people who train for a while have noticed that a lot of times they’re not in the mood to train but if they get over that first hump of resistance the rest of the workout flows really easily and they’re really happy they got started and did the workout anyway.

Brett McKay: Do you have your pre-workout checklist typed out or written out somewhere?

Arvanitakis: Yeah. I have this rigid card … What are they called? I first read that from Ryan Holiday, it’s the way-

Brett McKay: The index cards.

Arvanitakis: Yeah, thank you, index cards. I use index cards that have this thick carton. I have five steps on that and I always have them available. I just put it in front of me and it gives me, in a way, some comfort. Even though I’ve been doing these for years now I like having that in front of me. Depending on your lifestyle, sometimes you might make some iterations. It helps a lot to just have that in front of you. I found that works pretty well with most of my clients as well.

Brett McKay: It sounds like what you’re doing is externalizing stuff from your head. Instead of wasting all that mental bandwidth thinking about what’s next on my list you can devote all that to thinking about your workout. An important part of ritual is timing. If you think about rituals we take part in in everyday life, go to church, there’s baptisms, holidays, you do it at a specific time, whether a specific time in your life or specific time of the year. Let’s talk about the timing of the ritual of exercise. Do you think there’s a best time to work out for exercise? Morning or afternoon or does it really matter and as long as you get your workout in you’re good to go?

Arvanitakis: In terms of performance and human physiology we know from sports science that training around afternoon, 5:00-ish, something like that, is the optimal time to train. Heart rate, blood pressure and all that are at optimal levels. For us regular people who don’t train to break a world record it doesn’t really matter. What matters is what’s mostly functional for your life. For people who struggle with consistency usually it is best to get your workout done as early in the day as possible because that just eliminates possibilities that you might end up having a lot of work later in the day, other things can pop out. If you get started with your workout early, ideally before your work and all that, before most of the people start waking up and start calling you, that’s the best time for me to train for most people, especially those struggling with consistency as I said.

For me I like training about three to four hours after I’ve woken up, that’s usually around 9:00 a.m. There isn’t a perfect time. The perfect time depends on your schedule and what’s more functional for your lifestyle. When it’s the time that there are the least possibilities that someone will get in your way, I think that’s the best time.

Brett McKay: I work out in the mornings when it’s relatively cool. I think that’s an interesting point with rituals. Often times we think we hear rituals and it’s this very hardened thing that you never deviate from. As I read your book, and it sounds like what you’re advocating is, yes, have something hard and firm but be willing to adjust when you need to.

Arvanitakis: Yeah. Things won’t always go the way you like them to. When it comes to that it’s all about priorities. How important is exercise for you today? Let’s say other things got in the way and it’s late in the day and you really don’t have the mood to train and you’re tired and you want to eat and go home. How important is exercise for you?

For me it’s a big investment. First of all, it’s a big investment for your health. Also for your wallet. If you’re thinking nowadays how many people have health problems because they don’t exercise and how much does that translate into paying money to doctors once you get that problem? It’s definitely also a financial investment. How important is exercise for you? Make sure you realize that and always keep that in mind when it’s not … You don’t feel like training and you’re having a bad day and you didn’t train the time you wanted to. These are things you have to always keep into consideration.

Brett McKay: Right. You talk about too that rituals are much more powerful than motivation when you’re pursuing a goal, rituals or systems or routines. I feel like the way most people approach fitness is they’ve got to get themselves really motivated, they read a bunch of Instagram memes about they’re going to be a beast in the gym. Then they get to the gym, or they don’t even get to the gym or start doing a body weight routine because they don’t know what they’re going to do. They don’t have any small steps that they can take so they just … All that motivation just goes to waste.

Arvanitakis: Yeah. Motivation is definitely important but it’s also definitely not something you can rely on. There’s this quote that says … How does it go? Motivation doesn’t last but so doesn’t bathing. You have to bathe every day just like you have to motivate yourself every day. Still there will always be periods when you wake up with low motivation, you won’t be feeling like training and that’s when rituals really kick in. If you just manage to get over that first hump of resistance that you experience in the beginning of the day or in the beginning of your workout, you keep in mind all the tips I include in the book, that’s when you can experience the biggest value of motivation.

For example, I did have … People think that even us trainers and people who are coaches, do this as a living and are really passionate about exercise think that this is 365 days a year how we are, which is not … For example, this year I did have a couple of weeks when I really didn’t want to train. Life just happens sometimes and you’re going through other emotional periods. That’s when my rituals really kicked in and really had my back in a way. We all struggle with consistency even with the things we love. Even with the people we love we all have difficult periods. Keeping in mind that these are just phases and depending on solid rituals that you’ve hardened and you’ve incorporated in your lifestyle is essential.

When life is good it’s easy to practice those rituals and you should. You learn to adapt to them. Yeah, when life kicks you in the teeth that’s when you can really see the value of rituals.

Brett McKay: Right. My coach, Matt Reynolds, says, “Those days where you don’t feel like training those are days you treat” … He calls them blue collar days. You just treat it like … You put on your hardhat, you put on your coveralls and you just do the work. You check in. It might not be that great of a workout and you’ll probably just be going through the motions, that’s okay. What you want to do is keep that habit ingrained in you.

Also what’s interesting, even if you don’t feel like working out in the beginning, what’s one of the powerful things of rituals is that it bootstraps you into taking action. As you take action you find yourself feeling more motivated to do the thing you’re doing.

Arvanitakis: Yeah. Most of those days, once I’m over the first 10 or 15 minutes of preparing stuff and getting my warmup, my mood is good and most of those days I’m really enthusiastic with the workout. As you said you also have days when you just punch the clock and that’s okay. Not every day has to be a super special day with your workout or with everything.

Brett McKay: You talk about in the book this idea of the avalanche effect with these rituals you develop, not only for exercise but for other areas of life. What is the avalanche effect?

Arvanitakis: The avalanche effect is the same effect that you have with … This also works with the pre-workout checklist. Starting with little things, accomplishing little things successfully builds momentum and gives you more confidence for slowly getting more challenging tasks done, more complicated things done, more bigger things done. For me, I know that if I start my day properly … For example, if I wake up successfully, if I … My alarm clock rings, it’s 6:00, and I don’t snooze, I don’t check out any social media on my phone, I get up, pour some tea, do my meditation and sign my checklist, I know that 99% of those days the rest of my day will flow as productively as that first half an hour.

The more you accomplish tasks one after the other … The other thing is the more you accomplish tasks one after the other the more invested you feel in staying into that flow of productivity. That’s how I experience it. That’s the feeling that the avalanche effect creates. I thought of that metaphor because I remember in those Disney cartoons where an avalanche effect would start with a little tiny snowball. Of course that’s not the technical way avalanches start but I always remembered that Disney metaphor, that Disney scene where things start with a little snowball and as that snowball goes downhill it gets bigger and bigger and has more momentum and more speed. It’s more unstoppable. That’s how I think how it works.

They also did a study and saw that when people, for example, got up in the morning and made their beds, they would also get into that flow of productivity and do more and more things successfully. Not that making your bed is something magical and it will make you do amazing things the rest of the day but it can put you into a flow of doing more and more things gradually during the rest of the day.

Brett McKay: How did the avalanche effect help get you out of … After your accident where you lost your leg you were in a five year funk, just a depression. How did the avalanche effect help you get out of that rut?

Arvanitakis: While I was writing this book I thought of this metaphor, I realized that was the way I got out of my depression those years. I didn’t know I did that that way but that’s how it happened. After my accident I spent five years having one operation after the other. All of my friends were moving on with their lives, finishing their studies, getting jobs, this and that. I was just stuck. That eventually got me really depressed. I couldn’t exercise, which was always something that helped me mentally. I was really stuck for five years. I couldn’t do anything. I would try to read a book, I would just stop after one paragraph. I couldn’t do anything successfully. There was zero willpower left in me.

I started with one little thing and that was meditation. Mindfulness meditation was something I started doing in the mornings. I didn’t really think it would help me a lot but I was like, “Okay, this is the only thing I haven’t tried. Let’s give this a try.” It really helped me into clearing up that fog of my head and having that emotional stability in the beginning of the day to think a bit more clearly and have a bit more willpower to invest on other things.

After meditation became a stable habit for about three weeks I added exercise again into my lifestyle. Once my exercise was stable I started eating healthy. No, sorry, first I started exercising, after that I started reading books and after that I started eating healthy. All these small habits started piling up and created this avalanche effect where I started working on this project, “Homemade Muscle,” I started socializing again more and life just started getting better and better.

Brett McKay: You didn’t try to do it all at once. I feel like that’s what a lot of people try to do when they want to improve themselves, they try to make all the changes all at once.

Arvanitakis: No, definitely. That fails 90% of the time. Maybe there are some people that can do that but you definitely want to make sure that a habit is fixed before you start adding more and more things. Then you don’t have a stable base. I would say add one habit … I would say it depends on the habit but at least make sure you stay disciplined to that habit for a month and it feels really fixed, you feel confident that, okay, I’ve got this now, I can slowly experiment with adding something new. Never add too many things all at once.

Brett McKay: You talked about sometimes you get really busy with your work and everything. How do you keep the ritual of working out when you get in those really busy times in your life? For example, one time in my life that got really busy is when my wife had kids. For the first two weeks things were nuts. I still managed to get a workout in, I don’t know how I did it. I’m curious, what did you do to ensure that you keep with that routine or that ritual even when you’re really busy?

Arvanitakis: Yeah. The first thing I would say is that a typical mistake is obsessing during these periods and trying to train as much as you trained during really relaxed periods during those difficult times. Maybe if you’re training five times a week, don’t obsess on getting five workouts a week again because what happens then usually is that you’re going to miss a workout and you will go to a downward spiral. You will have the opposite of the avalanche effect, a negative avalanche effect. You’ll skip one workout and then you’ll be disappointed and you’re going to mess up your nutrition as well and then you’ll be like, “Okay, I didn’t train, I didn’t eat healthy. Screw it, I’m going to maybe stop meditation as well,” or whatever other habits you have in your life. That creates a downward spiral, a negative avalanche effect.

The key to these periods is to compromise. Sit down, think how much time do I have, is it logical to really push myself to train five days a week, which was the same as I was training before, or maybe it would be healthier to train two times a week. Two days of strength training per week has been proven to be enough to at least maintain your progress. Focus during these periods on maintenance not … Don’t try to keep on breaking plateaus or losing more weight if that’s your goal or building more muscle. Compromise and focus on maintenance.

The end goal of fitness in a long-term lifestyle is maintenance. You’re only going to be improving for a specific amount of time and until a specific age. Maintenance is not a bad goal, at least for difficult periods of your life. Don’t obsess on doing things perfect, try to at least maintain your results or find the minimum effective dose that you can apply this period in your life that will help you to maintain your results but also maintain that habit. I would say that’s the healthiest way to go.

Brett McKay: Love that. We’ve been talking a lot about exercise but diet is an important part of fitness and your fitness goals. How can you apply the power of ritual to your diet?

Arvanitakis: A very important thing is to … What works really effectively is having steady times with your eating schedule. It doesn’t matter what’s the frequency of your meals. First of all the most important thing is getting your protein in and reaching your caloric needs. Either that’s caloric restriction or a surplus if you want to add mass. Make sure those are all regulated and after that make sure that you have steady times of the day that you eat. Maybe you have your first meal three hours after you wake up, maybe you have a snack around 3:00 when you have your break at work, maybe you eat at 8:00. Try to keep all that stable because the more stable these things are the easier it is for you to stay into that flow of eating healthy.

A lot of times if you eat stuff out of your normal schedule you will miscalculate your calories. A lot of times, it’s shown in studies, that people forget about meals and snacks they have and that’s especially when it’s done out of their regular eating times. Make sure you have regular eating times.

Another thing that’s very functional for me is eating the same foods every day. It might sound a bit boring but it eliminates that decision making. I won’t eat of course the same dinner every day, I will make sure that I cook something nice at the end of the day and something different, a nice home cooked meal, but the other meals of my day they are very typical. My first meal will be three eggs with 100 grams of cottage cheese and two rice cakes nowadays. My second meal of the day will be this super low fat yogurt very high in protein with a scoop of whey protein and some honey. Later on I’m going to have two pieces of fruit with some nuts and that’s what I eat every day. Maybe it sounds a bit boring, I don’t know, for some people but for me it really works because it just eliminates that decision making. I won’t be tempted to maybe I should have that, maybe it fits my macros a little bit or maybe it doesn’t. Just having that stable eating schedule every day and having a really nice rewarding dinner.

Brett McKay: Yeah, I do the same thing. I eat the same thing for breakfast every day, the same thing for lunch. Lunch is usually chicken breast, sweet potatoes, or some sort of beef and rice. Then I have some protein shakes in between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner and then dinner is whatever my wife cooks that evening. Pretty boring but, yeah, I don’t have to think about it, I don’t have to worry about my calories or whatever.

Arvanitakis: Especially functional for bachelors.

Brett McKay: Yeah. I think once you get married and you have kids you have to put in those routines or those rituals with your diet. You have to be more fastidious about it. It’s so easy when you have kids to sneak in stuff that you probably shouldn’t eat. You’re like, “Hey, they didn’t finish their food on their plate, I’ll just go ahead and finish that myself. They didn’t finish their pie, I’ll finish that for them.” You got to be a lot more disciplined when you have kids.

Arvanitakis: Yup.

Brett McKay: Anthony, this has been a great conversation. Where can people go to learn more about the new book and your work?

Arvanitakis: You can find everything on my website, that’s homemademuscle.com. I’m pretty active, mostly active on YouTube. Again, on YouTube if you search for Homemade Muscle my channel will be the first result. You can also find me on Facebook, Homemade Muscles, plural, there. Instagram, again, Homemade Muscles, if you want to check out daily photos, motivating stuff. Those are the best ways to find me. On Amazon, if you just search for Homemade Muscle, you’ll see my first book and you can just click on my author’s name and see the rest of the books as well.

Brett McKay: Fantastic. Anthony Arvanitakis, thank you so much for your time. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

Arvanitakis: Thank you so much as well. Looking forward to our next interview.

Brett McKay: My guest today was Anthony Arvanitakis, he’s the author of the new book, “Train the Body and the Mind Will Follow.” You can find out more information about the book and the rest of his work at homemademuscle.com. Also check out episode number 117 where you can find my previous interview with him, it’s really fascinating, hear the back story behind “Homemade Muscle.” Also check out our show notes at aom.is/bodymind, where you can find links to resources, where you can delve deeper into this topic.

That wraps up another edition of the Art of Manliness podcast. For more manly tips and advice make sure to check out the Art of Manliness website at artofmanliness.com. If you enjoy the show, have got something out of it over the months or years you’ve been listening, I’d appreciate if you take a minute or two to give us a review on iTunes or Stitcher. That helps us out a lot. As always, thank you for your continued support. Until next time this is Brett McKay telling you to stay manly.

Last updated: December 6, 2017