22: Fitness, Workout Routines, And Finding The Time To Get It Done
Dave: You got to do the intro for this one. We're going to talk about fitness today.
David: Uh- oh!
Dave: That's good.
David: So we're going to talk about fitness here. Dave and I have been talking about pushing Seeking Wisdom into some new areas. Health is one that Dave and I actually talk about a lot outside of the podcast. And Dave is healthy, me, not so much, but I like to talk about it at least.
Dave: He's being humble.
David: Yeah. So we talk about it, and we probably spend as much time sometimes talking about this as we do other things throughout the day that we usually talk about here. So we want to pull you in. We want to actually share what we're doing and we want to learn from all of you listening to this. So hit us up on Twitter, hit us up directly and just tell us what you're doing. We want to learn. We're here to learn, right? This podcast is called Seeking Wisdom. It's not We Have Wisdom.
Dave: That's a good intro. That was pretty good. Unscripted, good intro. So we want to talk about, we love things other than tech, but the thing that I think that we like about all of these other things; learning, working out, family, whatever, is that they all have so many lessons that apply to business. And so that's what we're going to... So today I'm going to call this episode 10 Minutes on Fitness. Just to switch it up, we're going to talk about some indifferent. As David said, something that we talk about all the time. So first of all, when did fitness become so important for you? We got a coffee before this and you were talking about working out this morning, and we talk about that almost every day. Has it always been that way for you? Is this something that you come onto later?
David: It's new, new- ish. No, I'd say, so I used to lift weights back in the day when I was in high school, and high school and elementary school mostly.
Dave: Bench press, crosstalk.
David: Bench press, yeah. Backread early Muscle& Fitness and Flex magazine. And me and my friends would go work out at this gym called Ferrigno's-
Dave: Like Lou Ferrigno? That's awesome.
David: ...which was Lou Ferrigno's gym, if you know, if you've ever watched Pumping Iron with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lou Ferrigno was someone who was Mr. Universe a long time ago and competed from Mr. Olympia.
Dave: And he was the Hulk.
David: Yeah, he was the Hulk on TV. And so we used to work out at his gym. And actually tangent, but the other people who used to work out there that we would see is Q- Tip from A Tribe Called Quest would work out there. Got to spot him a couple times.
Dave: Where was this gym? In Queens?
David: This was in Queens.
David: Tiny, no air conditioning, mostly professional bodybuilders who were all juiced up to their eyeballs, giant, humans you would never see walking the street, monsters. And then for some reason, Q- Tip worked out there, and LL Cool J worked out there.
Dave: That's amazing.
David: It was amazing. And we were young high school or junior school kids in there working out. And so got into it there, continue to do it later until my early 20s. And then really got into starting companies and had kids and whatever and didn't work out for a long time, gained a lot of weight. And then I'd say about five years ago, I lost a lot of weight and really got into fitness. Five years ago, I started doing CrossFit. I had been following CrossFit for a long time and really got... And it's something Dave does. But I got really got into because I was reading back in the day they had this thing, they might still have it, the CrossFit Journal. And so I was reading all these papers they were publishing. They were PDFs. You had to pay for a subscription, that they were publishing. What I loved about it was that it was great for someone with ADD because every day you'd have a different workout and all that stuff. And so that got me back into it.
Dave: You have a good balance, I feel like, maybe from the outside, not being inside your head. But you have a family, you work out, but you fell off the wagon for a little bit. How did you get it back on track? Because I think that that's something that comes up, is a lot of friends that work in the startup world, they're just like,"I don't have the time." And now this goes back to something that we talk about all the time on this podcast, is about priorities.
David: It's priorities. So that's how I got back into doing it, was just, I had to figure out, and everyone figures out their own template, but how I was going to make it a daily habit to do something related to fitness. And so I had to carve out some part of my day, and always, the easiest part for me is in the morning. That's the most controllable. So it just meant I had a sacrifice, I had to get up earlier. I had to force myself to do it. In the early days I had a person who owned a CrossFit gym train me in the early days. So I did private lessons in the beginning before jumping in and doing the regular workouts. So got a bunch of private trainers. And private trainers were good in that they held me accountable. So you needed some level of accountability because I paid for it and I scheduled it and there was someone who was texting me.
Dave: You paid for it by the... Yeah, you pay for a gym membership, but that's a monthly charge and it gets done. But when you pay by appointment-
David: By appointment, it's really expensive. And then there's someone texted me saying," Where are you? It's time to come. I'll see you tomorrow morning 5: 30 AM. Get ready." And so just was that accountability that I needed. And I did that for a couple years, had a private trainer in CrossFit. And then I didn't need it anymore because I had the accountability built in.
Dave: Reps and sets. Yeah, you got you... Yeah.
David: Yeah, reps and sets. And then what I've always loved about lifting weights in some form or another is progression. And we talk about progression a lot on Seeking Wisdom. It's something, when you a goal, whether it's," I want to lift a certain amount of weight by this date," or," I want to be able to do this many reps or run this fast-"
Dave: Or," We got to get X number of customers by this quarter."
David: Exactly. And you start making an incremental day over day progress and you see that, and then you see that you can actually do it. I mean, I think as humans we are naturally geared towards setting goals and having progression in our life.
Dave: I like that because there's so many lessons in what you just said, which is like, you have the time, you just got to prioritize the right things. And if anything, I know you're the same way. Like for me, I think getting that workout in actually makes all the other stuff I'm going to do later in the day more productive. And so it's important. So I wrote a little note, you said the morning is controllable. I never used to be a morning person, hated it. Just wouldn't get up. I could sleep till whenever. So my routine was, I was in my early 20s, single guy, wake up 7: 30, shower, go to work, go to the gym after work, have dinner, 8: 00, 9: 00.
David: That doesn't work very long.
Dave: Then I started dating my now wife and she-
David: She'd want to go out.
Dave: She was getting pissed because we weren't having dinner until 8: 00. And we weren't living together so we'd have to make time to hang out. And I was like," Oh, I want to work out but we got to hang out." And I didn't want to admit it to myself, but the only time that I could have to myself was in the morning.
David: Yeah. And so that's what I find is common with people who are able to make this last, is that they either carve out super early. Most people I know do through it early. But then there are some people who do it, especially if they're married or they have and/ or have kids or have a crazy professional life, they may do it when everyone else is asleep. So they go pretty late. So you got to pick one extreme.
Dave: You got to pick one end or the other.
David: Yeah. And you can't... One mistake that I've always made is you can't oscillate between those two. You can't be like early for two days, late one day. It just messes everything up. You just got to pick one and try to commit as much as you can towards it and say," I'm always going to be the morning guy. I'm always going to be the night guy." Doesn't always work out that easily, but you got to shoot for that. That's got to be your goal. But one little trick that I want to talk about quickly here is that-
Dave: Do it. That's why the people listen. Give the trick.
David: Is this one trick that I tripped my head. This is how I tripped my head, is when I meet someone, because everyone falls into this pattern of like," I don't have enough time. I'm too busy. Too many things going on. This week is crazy. I'm traveling," blah, blah, blah, all this kind of crap. I do it all the time too. And one thing, one way that I trick myself is that when I meet someone who's accomplished, that doesn't mean professionally. That could just be is incredibly incredible from a fitness standpoint, from a family standpoint, whatever the dimension is that I'm interested in, they're just great at something that I'm lacking in, the thing that I tell myself or the way that I trick myself is I tell myself, that person only has 24 hours in a day, just like I do. Right? Sounds simple. Sounds silly. But every time I just keep retelling myself that, of just like," They have the same number of hours I do." Bill Gates has the same number of hours as you do. Warren Buffett has that. Whoever it is, that's on the financial side, but it could be someone athletically. Rich Froning, who's the CrossFit champ. Right? You do CrossFit, Dave does CrossFit, Rich Froning has as many waking hours as you do. Right?
Dave: But you don't even have to go to that extreme. You could find, we talk about tech companies, right? You could find somebody who works at a startup and is in amazing shape.
David: Oh yeah, definitely.
Dave: And guess what? There's no shortcut. They don't have a secret. They don't go to the gym at 5: 00. Just like a lot of things, you know what the answer is going to be. You know when that person gets that work in. And you don't want to admit that it's 5: 00 AM, 6: 00 AM. So, yeah, it's just like the mind shift of-
David: I love that notion of, which we talk about, which is, you know what the answer is. I always have this thought, and the more time that goes on in my life, the more I keep thinking, so many times in your life, in my life, for sure, you're going to wake up at different points and say," I always knew what the answer was and it was right in front of me." Just remember that. Remember that as your life progresses, you've heard that from us. But just think about that over time. And I'm telling you, it's going to be true. So many times in your life you're going to say," I already knew what it was, and it was right there, but I couldn't see it. For whatever, you couldn't see it.
Dave: You know what's funny? I've been noticing that a lot more because, like I told you, trying to read more, it's become a habit. Very, very rarely do I now read a book, that a amazing book, but I never feel like," Oh, my God, that's a new idea." The reading has just been reinforcing the things that I already knew, or I already thought I knew.
David: crosstalk like," Damn, I forgot that. I forgot that. I knew that, but I forgot it."
Dave: Like Ego Is the Enemy, something we're reading, or I just got, you suggested to the rest of the time here.
David: I love it.
Dave: We'll probably do a review on that. But if you say that out loud, you already know the answer to that. You just need to sit down and read 300 pages on it to really-
David: Let it sink in. And so it's back to what you said, reps and sets, because you need reps and sets for it to sink in. So tell me about what you do fitness- wise. And when did it start?
Dave: You mentioned that I do CrossFit, and I started two years ago. And up until that point, I hated everybody that did crossFit. So I've always played sports my whole life. I played Division 1 sports in college and so lifting and working out has always been, basically since high school has been a part of my universe and I've always loved it. My best friends from home, every summer when we were home from college, and our thing would, we go to our jobs, at night we go to the YMCA in Worcester. That was our favorite thing to do, is go to the gym together. That's what we'd like to do. There was girls there, there was people there, that was the spot to be and we liked working out. And then I started working and I would keep my... Always very disciplined about keeping my... I'm a very routine guy, always kept it going. But then a couple of years ago, I just hit this point where there was only so many... Monday would be chest... I lift weights. Monday would be chest and Tris. Tuesday, back and Bis. Wednesday would be cardio.
David: He's doing the bodybuilder workout.
Dave: That's what I wanted to do, because you want to get big, right?
David: Yeah, yeah, yeah. For the beach.
Dave: And so that would be my routine. And then it just got so boring and it got really hard to stick with it and really, not stick with it, but I would go but I felt like I was going through the motions. Right around that time, everybody started talking about CrossFit and I was like," Man, I don't need to go to a class to be taught how to workout when I've worked out-"
David: Yeah. And CrossFit people can be annoying.
Dave: They are, yeah. And I don't like 90% of them. And it doesn't mean you have to change to be a part of that. And so I started just sneakily looking at the workouts on crossfit. com, they post a workout every day. And I loved how I didn't have to plan my workout. I didn't have to think about," Oh, here's what I'm going to do today." I would just go to this website. It would tell you," Here's the workout," and then I would go do it. And eventually, I couldn't keep doing all the stuff at the Y or our Boston Sports Club. So I finally went to a gym, ponied up the money.
David: Yeah, it's expensive.
Dave: It's expensive. But back then I would say," Oh, my God, it's so expensive. I don't need to teach myself how to work out." But now two years into it, I've seen the difference. I've seen how good shape it gets you into. And now I'm like," Yeah, it's 200 bucks a month, but how are you going to tell me that a couple of grand a year is not a good investment in your health and wellbeing?"
David: An investment in yourself is always the best return, right?
Dave: And you get what you pay for. You pay 40 bucks a month to go to the Y and you know?
David: You get nothing. It's so funny. I don't do CrossFit anymore, and we can talk about that, but I did. I still love it but I stopped doing it a few years ago. But in 2009, 2010, I can't remember what year it was, but right around the time that we had started my last company, Performable, Elias, who's our CTO here and co- founder at Drift and who was also CTO and co- founder at Performable, I talked them into taking a CrossFit class, 2009, 2010. There wasn't even a box or a gym in our area so we drove up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which was in early-
Dave: And this was ragged. This was when CrossFit was just, people thought it was just flipping tires and carrying logs.
David: Oh yeah, crazy. True.
Dave: Which is not like that at all.
David: Somehow I convinced them to do this. And it's around that timeframe because I know we started the company in 2009 and we were working out of my house in the very beginning and we drove from my house there. So it was around that time. So we drive up there, we take, it's not even a full class because it's the intro because they have to test you. So it's just the instructor, the guy and Elias and myself. And he takes us through, if you know, a CrossFit, it's a Cindy workout. And it was modified so it wasn't a full one.
Dave: It says five pull- ups, 10 push- ups, 15 air squats.
David: Yeah, exactly.
Dave: And you do that for 20 minutes.
David: For 20 minutes. So it was modified so it was something like 12 minutes or something like that or whatever then that was. It was more than 10 but less than 20. So he takes us through that, and all of a sudden we're doing it, and out of the corner in my eye, I'm looking at Elias, who's in better shape physically, I think, than I am at that point. But for some reason I see him go, he goes down in the ground. I'm like," What is going on?" And all of a sudden, he doesn't make it through the workout and he has to run to the bathroom and he throws up in the bathroom. And so I'm like," What the hell is going on?" And I'm like," This guy's in better shape than me. He couldn't do it." Then we left. So we leave there, we're driving back home. All the way home, I'm pulling over on the side of the road because this guy is throwing up on the side of the highway. So we get to my house, my wife's... I can't stop laughing. It's both nervousness and laughter so it's like nervous laughter I can't stop laughing. I get in my house, I'm laughing like crazy and my wife is... Elias does not look too good. He's looking blue. My wife comes down the stairs, she's like," What's going on?" She hears me laughing. And so I tell her this story and all of a sudden she turns to me and she's like," What's wrong with you?" She's like," You could have killed him. Elias has three kids. What are you doing? This stuff's too extreme. You're so extreme all the time."
Dave: This is the best example. So this workout, it's pull- ups, push- ups, and bodyweight. And you put yourself in that type of situation.
David: So quickly, because it's so funny, if you haven't done CrossFit, and it was one thing that was always interesting to me. Most of the workouts are really short. You warm up for a long time, but you would look at the workouts, if you come from any other modality and you'd say like," What? Eight- minute workout?"
Dave: "This is what I'm paying 200 bucks a month, for an eight- minute workout?"
David: And then you go in and two minutes under you're like," I'll panic."
Dave: Your heart rate gets so high and you don't know how to get it down.
David: You don't know how to get it down. You're like," I got to leave this place." I remember the first time that I went. So I continued CrossFit after I almost killed Elias. And I went and I was doing the private training and all of a sudden I go, I show up on a Saturday class. And what I didn't know was Saturday classes are partnered classes. They partner you up. Not good, no bueno. No bueno.
Dave: I hate it so much.
David: So I show up and it's packed gym. And they're like," Oh, we're going to do partner Murph." And Murph is like-
Dave: It's a, you do a mile run, then you do a hundred push- ups, a hundred pull- ups, 200 push- ups and 300 air squats, and then another mile run.
David: It was longer than that because partner Murph was in double, but it was because you and the partner are splitting.
Dave: So you each... Whoa.
David: You're splitting it, so it was more than that. I don't know if it was double or whatever, but it was higher numbers than that. So I get there and it's one of these things, so you pull in, it's packed. I walk in and I'm like, I still haven't looked at the workout of the day. I'm like," Why are there so many people here?" I didn't get it was partner yet. And all of a sudden the gym owner who's my trainer says," Oh, you're partnering up with Sally over here," whatever her name was. And she looks pretty in shape. And I'm talking to her and she's like," Oh yeah, I'm a marathon runner," this, that. I'm like," What?" And at this point I can't run very much. And then all of a sudden I turned back and I look at the numbers that Dave was talking about, and they were higher than these numbers in partner Murph, and I went into panic mode. I was like," Holy shit." And I'll I'm thinking, this is the first time in my life that I really felt fight or flight. And this is all flight. I was like," How do I leave here? I got to get in my car right now. I'm going to leave. I'm going to leave here." And I'm telling you, if they had not partnered me up with this woman, I would have 100% left the gym. It was that much panic.
Dave: Because when you see that, when you see it's eight minutes, you're like," Even though this is going to suck, it's going to be eight minutes." When you see it's that much work, you're like," I'm going to have to be here for an hour and a half, through suffering for an hour and a half."
David: Yes. And they said basically it was a time limit of 25 minutes. So it could go as long as 25 minutes or something like that. And it was like that, it was whatever, mile run, and I can't run at this point. It's like," Wait." Mile run, then come back, then we're splitting whatever, 500 air squats, whatever, 200 push- ups. I was like," Holy shit." Anyway, I made it through. And I enjoyed doing CrossFit through that.
Dave: And then that was it.
David: And then I did it for a couple of years and then I started to change it up and do different things and went back to more of what you were doing before CrossFit, a bodybuilder style workout. I got into powerlifting a little bit because I was... Really, the things that kept changing for me was my goals. And so in CrossFit, it was just in the beginning, it was like," I just want to get back into fitness." And then at CrossFit, I was like," Man, I'm not strong enough. My strength is not there." And so I started doing modified Strength Bias CrossFit. And then that led me to get into more powerlifting stuff, because I just needed to get my core lifts up. I just felt weak.
Dave: What's your goal now? You're doing all this bodyweight stuff, which is the next movement. This is the next wave of fitness, is this bodyweight stuff.
David: Yeah. So for the last... I've always been a voracious consumer of information, reader or whatever. And so CrossFit, I started to follow that pretty early, 2008, 2009, early days. There weren't many... There were like two gyms in Massachusetts that I can remember, and then it exploded. And then powerlifting inaudible. And then I got to a point where my goals changed and I said, " I just want to be able to do certain bodyweight things. Man, I can't really do handstand push- ups," which is the thing in CrossFit. So I started to think about that. " Why can't I do more pull- ups? I feel like I'm doing my pull- ups wrong." I feel like I want to be able to do a lot of stuff that we were doing in CrossFit, muscle- ups. But I started to lean more towards these bodyweight crosstalk-
Dave: And it's even... So this is bodyweight is crazy because even the strongest people that you might see, so you might go to the Y and you might see that guy and he's got all the plates laying under the bench, right? But if you grabbed him and you said," Do a handstand," couldn't do it." Do five pull- ups." Couldn't do it.
David: Yeah." Do a muscle- up." No way crosstalk-
Dave: It's a new challenge. I can see why you like it, because it's like," Wait a second, there's no way, there's just you and this shit is really hard."
David: Really hard. And the progressions are... One thing that has been challenging and getting into the bodyweight stuff is that the progressions are much harder to understand. When you're doing pure bodybuilding stuff or even CrossFit stuff, the progressions are pretty black and white. It's time- based. It's as many reps as possible, arm rep, or crosstalk-
Dave: Or you know, you're like," Oh, last week I did 200 pounds, this week, I'm going to try to do 210."
David: Or," I did five reps and I'm going to do six reps." It's such an-
Dave: It's not as quantifiable.
David: Yeah. The linear progression is really simple. The hard thing in bodyweight stuff is that the linear progression involves different movements. So you may start, if your ultimate goal might be to do a muscle- up, you may start with something that looks nothing like a muscle- up or a front lever, let's say, or a L- sit. These are all different bodyweight movements. Your first progression looks nothing like what the end progression is. And so you've got to get really good at that, and then the next thing, the next thing. And so it's harder. I started to follow a guy like three or four years ago online. His name is Ido Portal, a guy who has this movement kind of movement movement.
Dave: Just look him up on Instagram and your mind will be blown.
David: Yeah. I- D- O P- O- R- T- A- L, Ido Portal. And his thing is really just movement, that's all he cares about. He doesn't care about exercise, he doesn't care about gymnastics versus weightlifting, whatever. It's just like we as humans were built to move, in his opinion, and so let's put an emphasis on how much we can move each day, in which dimensions we can move in and all that kind of stuff. So I got into that. Just followed him online a lot and got interested in bodyweight. I now have a coach who comes to my house luckily once a week, twice a week sometimes, and is helping me through these progressions. But I'm really into this idea of at some point being able to do the muscle- up of the handstand, pull- up, push- ups or all of these different, basically mastery of my own body.
Dave: All right. So let's leave people with a goal. Actually the goal is to, I think-
David: To move.
Dave: Okay, so first of all, yeah, this is a little pet peeve of mines, is, one of the things that you see in startup culture a lot, it's like you see these people write these media articles and it's like," How drinking water and working out was a life hack for me." That drives me insane.
David: Me too.
Dave: It's one of those things, you know that. So I think one of the things is, make it a priority. It has to be a priority for you if you really want to do it. But you said, I think a lot of people think the way you think, and I do too, which is like, if you have a goal, you can see, you can see how you're going to get there. So even if you just set like," You know what? Twice, the first week, two times a week, I'm going to try to get 30 minutes or something in a day."
David: And we'd love if you tweet at us and share your goal. We'll be happy to share our goal crosstalk-
Dave: That's a better call to action for this. All right, so here's the deal. So you listen to this episode, we want to know, okay, we told you about the stuff we do. What's your fitness routine like? Or maybe if you're not into it yet, are you trying to set a goal for this year? So tell us what you do, tell us what your goal is, and just holler at us and maybe we can be helpful in helping you get there. Or just share some stories.
David: Awesome. And my goals right now are, in bodyweight, get a better L- sit and finally be able to do, it might take me a few years, a front lever. So look that up, front lever to gymnastics move. It's hard. I don't know how long it'll take, but that's my ultimate goal. What's your goal, Dave?
Dave: Man, you put me on the spot.
David: Let's hear it, man. How much weight? crosstalk-
Dave: It's not even weight. So I've gotten a lot stronger in the last two years. I want to be able to do a muscle- up on the rings. I can do them on the bar. The rings are really hard. So a lot of gymnastics stuff. That's the hard stuff.
David: Awesome. So tell us your goals. Extra points if you send us a picture of you working out.
Dave: Yeah, there we go. That's a good one. All right, we'll talk to you next week.
David: All right. Stay healthy.