Every human body has its own complex mix set of aspects and factors, so by default, no one fitness strategy is guaranteed to work for everyone. Guest Angelo Poli is an internationally recognized expert in fitness and nutrition and the Founder of MetPro. Given that there’s no “hack” or one-size-fits-all strategy to achieve your fitness goals, Angelo shares strategies for on figuring it out for yourself. In this episode, Adam Markel interviews Angelo about his experience in this area, sharing his insights from having worked with a the large variety of people of all shapes, sizes and goals. At the end of the day, fitness is something only YOU can figure out once you put in the work, so start with this thought-provoking episode.
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Finding Your Fitness Strategy With Angelo Poli
I’m sitting in the seat. I’m super energized. I was sitting down and was doing a show and I could feel my energy being tied closely to my sleep. In fact, I started off talking about how I felt like I was still in that subconscious space, that dream state. It was clear, but still nonetheless in that little fog, that little haze. I’m looking a clear day and a lot of blue water, that’s how I feel now. I feel clear. It’s nothing but a lot of great energy and that’s perfect for the guest that I’ve got. I’m going to jump right in because we’re going to have a lot to talk about.
This guy has got a ton of insight and energy. There’s good stuff. Our guest is Angelo Poli, transformation specialist and Founder of MetPro, the advanced methodology that analyzes an individual’s specific response to diet and activity and adjusts based on their personal needs and goals. Through MetPro’s tactful and personalized approach to health, Angelo and his highly respected team have the ability to strategically redirect each of their clients toward achieving their greatest results. With a high-profile client listed includes Olympic athletes, NFL MVPs, physique models and business leaders, it’s no wonder that Angelo has become one of the most celebrated and desired body transformation experts in the world. Welcome, Angelo.
Adam, thank you for having me. This is going to be great.
What’s not written in that intro that you would love for people to know about you?
My wife would be happy to answer that question. She’d raise her hand and she’d say, “He puts his pants on one leg at a time. Let me tell you, he’s as ornery as everyone else.” Our life insurance came up and I had to ask my wife the question, “Do you want me to re-up? Do you want me to get this policy, that policy? What do you want to do when I die?” She goes, “I don’t even like talking about that. We’re going there.” I said, “I have I lived a full life. I have had much fun and I’ve gotten to do many of the things that I’m passionate about. It has been a huge blessing for me. I’m grateful every day I get to do what I get to do.”
I’m a little bit older than you. I’m looking at your hairline versus mine. Life insurance, that’s a tough topic. Here’s a confession for you. Growing up in a household where my dad was a civil servant, worked for the city of New York, grew up in a small little apartment. My mom was a travel agent. This probably has nothing to do with what I’m about to say other than it sets the stage. My dad didn’t believe in insurance. We all have certain beliefs. This is interesting. We’re going to get into I believe some talk about habits. We’re going to talk about why people do what they do in their world, they look the way they look, their money is the way their money is, their business is the way their business is, their relationship is the way it is because of what they believe. Deep down inside, that’s what creates the habits that ultimately lead to these outcomes in our lives.
It’s interesting because early on, those beliefs are formed. For me, one of the beliefs that were embedded in me early on was this thing my dad saying, “Nobody’s going to profit.” My dad, by the way, is still alive. He still is ornery, almost as ornery as ever and definite in his opinions. I’ve always loved that about him. Many of the things that he was opinionated about were good like how you treat people and love people and not discriminate. All these things were things that I got to hear. Along with that good stuff, I’ve got to hear some negative things about money, business, prosperity of sorts and about insurance in particular.
Back then in my day, they would show up at your door to sell you stuff. Now you get arrested for that. The door cam will have you like, “Whatever.” Some guy would show up to talk about insurance. My dad slammed the door because nobody’s going to profit. Nobody’s going to get anything out from a policy when I die. I grew up with that belief. It was a big deal for me that when I became a lawyer and Randi and I started having kids. We have four kids. It’s like, “Am I going to continue that belief system like that should be the approach or not?” I got a whole big policy of insurance. Interestingly enough, I let one of those policies lapse because those beliefs are strong that it was not me. Let’s talk about that. Life insurance, what does it mean to you? What’s been your belief around life insurance?Money shapes people's beliefs and their relationships with the world. Click To Tweet
For me, it’s more of a peace of mind. It’s one less thing that I have to have in the back of my mind to worry about. I want to make sure that the people that I love, that I’m responsible for are taken care of. For me, it’s the benefit is I get it off my plate mentally, emotionally and I can move forward whatever it is that I have to deal within the day.
I never imagined I had to dig that old relic of a memory, of a belief. Taking care of those that you love, making sure that they’re going to be okay. There’s an element of that. There’s also an element. I had this discussion with my father-in-law. He’s passed and I miss him every day. I love my Papa Lou. He didn’t take care of himself. He had life insurance. He was always that guy, like the one you described, you. He was that guy. Take care of his wife, take care of his kids. He didn’t take care of himself. That was a debate that I would have with him from times. I go, “Dad, you think you’re being unselfish but isn’t it entirely the opposite? Aren’t you being super selfish that you eat too much? Your belly is too big. You’re shortening your life because you’re putting everybody ahead of yourself.” We’re legging into your business.
I was going to say this is the area that I deal with day in and day out. It’s interesting. I would say that we work with an exceptionally diverse clientele, but I would say an executive in his or her 50s is a common scenario for us where they have gotten to a point where they’ve led a high-velocity life, often a high-stress life, a high responsibility life. Because of that, what happens? Our personal health bank account gets drained because we prioritize other people, other needs above our self at the moment. We never intend to do that big picture, but at the moment it’s what happens and those little things add up. Finally, now we’re in the 40s, 50s.
Some people even younger than that, but we reach a point where we’re at the doctor they’re saying, “If you don’t make some significant changes, you’re not going to have the life you think you’re going to have. You’re not going to be around for the grandkids or to see great-grandkids.” That realization often hits people. We find I’m at that stage of life and it’s true the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” because I work with both sides. We get people after they’ve had a major episode, maybe they’re coming back from a heart attack or stroke or something like that. It’s not that you can’t still turn it around. That’s what we work with people all the time, but it’s much better if you can grab hold of it and make it a priority in your life before you get there.
This is a weird theme here, but life insurance is the same way. I don’t own a life insurance company. There’s a Markel Insurance Company out there. It’s not me, so we’re clear. Anything you start early is always better. It’s like the compounding effect and that’s important. When you save money and you put it in simple interest, it’s 2%, 4%, 8%. Money doubles every eight years approximately 8%. The compounding effect is important. When it comes to your health, when it comes to what you eat and whether you exercise and how you take care of yourself, I’m preaching to the choir here, that’s a big part of it.
Let me dive into a little bit of the nuances there. I can tell you what the secret formula is. Raise your hand if you want to have better health, better fitness, lose a few pounds, get in shape. Everybody wants that. What’s preventing us from getting there? I’ll tell you what the missing ingredient is. A lot of people would say they don’t want to do the work. I’ve dieted over 20,000 people in my career. I’ve coached and trained many of everything from executives to athletes and everything in between. I can tell you that by and large that has not been my experience. Don’t get me wrong. There are those people out there that they don’t want to put in the work. There are those, but by and large, people are willing to put effort into something. Here’s what’s missing. They have to see the results. They need to see progress.
The greatest human motivator is progress. What’s holding someone back from seeing that progress is not the effort, though that is always an interwoven theme. 95% of the time it’s an efficient strategy because people say, “I want to eat better. I want to exercise.” They go about their day as if those choices are a decision. They are not decisions. They are skills. You don’t wake up one day and say, “I want to be an accountant,” and start being an accountant that day. You don’t wake up one day and say, “I want to be a lawyer,” and you’re a lawyer that day. You don’t wake up and decide you want to be healthy, so all of a sudden you know the tools and the tricks of the trade because there’s a right way and a wrong way.
I’ll tell you what the difference is. It has to do with our lifestyle and speed. I give people a lot of strategies like, “I’ve read about you. I know some of the athletes or celebrities you work with, so I know some of your approaches. I know that I need to eat these types of foods. I need to do some food prepping or I need to exercise.” I’ll tell my clients, “I know that you know that. What I’m here to do is to help you get good at it. Here’s my definition of good. It’s my turn. My definition of good is you being able to execute on those things quickly because quickly and not quickly make the difference between sustainable and make the difference between progress and not seeing progress. Here’s how we execute those things quickly. They’re not cumbersome in your lifestyle.” That’s the science and the principle behind MetPro and what we do in helping people transform is execution to get all comes back to progress. People want to see progress.
If I hear you right, and I think I am, you’re condensing. When we look at it in a chart that time and outcome are the axes. Let’s say that over time, small changes, and this is our pivot philosophy, which is not in conflict with what you’re saying. It’s another way to look at this, but our belief is that small changes consistently executed produce a result over time. The problem with that as you’ve stated is that at some point you enter into the valley of death. You end up in this desert place where you do not see results and because you do not see results, the tendency is to stop, quit, get distracted or go back to a different belief system. Part of why we change often is that we say, “I want to be different. I want something in my life to be different.” You’re adopting a different identity. That’s that whole fake it until you make it. You won’t make it if you don’t find progress soon enough because you’re out in the desert and you’ve got no water, no food. You’ve got nothing to sustain you other than probably your mindset frankly. You’re condensing it. You’re making it quicker is what you’re saying?
We need to be able to write it down. We need to be able to bullet and we need to be able to explain it. If it’s too vague, if the action steps and the directions between where you are and where you want to get and call it out, “I want to lose 25 pounds. I want a better mile time. I want to deadlift my body weight. I want to be the next super.” The outcome, call it out. We can map out. I tell you there are five areas. I’m always trying to leave listeners and people that I get to talk with some action steps. There are five areas that anyone can take home and with a little bit of knowledge, start executing on. Here’s the big secret. They’re the exact five areas that all of our professional coaches work with their clients on. You reminded me of something. I’ve got to tell you my pivot story before I get into the five areas.
Your five areas are your process. That’s the difference here. I want people to take note of this because there’s a difference between an outcome and a process, meaning a system that produces an outcome. If you’re focused on the outcome, “I want this or I want that. Better health or a skinnier body,” or whatever it might be. Those outcomes are fine, but they lead you into that desert. We go, “What do I do? Because I’m out of the water and I’m out of food and I’m ready to quit. I’m ready to turn back.” If process or system is what sustains you, let’s say the progress is either in small increments, small doses or it might even be that you’re not seeing progress at all for some reasonable amount of time. I don’t know that there’s any way that you can change that part of it.
That’s what people experience. We have a term in our industry for that, plateau. People think plateau weight loss. That applies to any area of human performance or transformation. There are specific actions sets, science, priority hierarchies, the process of elimination. There are processes to break through those plateaus. Years ago, I had a window cleaning company. I would’ve been eighteen. I washed windows on all the mom and pop stores in the area that I lived and it was a great little company. One day I’m washing the windows on a local gym and this lady comes out. She’s in her early 60s and she says to me, “I want to learn how to lift some weights and get in better shape. You look like you know how to lift weights. Have you ever given lessons? Have you ever taught anyone?” I said, “I’ll tell you what, I’ve done working on this street and for about an hour, I’ll meet you.” She’s my first fitness client. This was back in the day. I’m washing the windows.
Who says, “You look like a guy who could teach?”
Back in the day, I looked like a guy who did. Now, “You look like you could be a Rogaine commercial guy.” Back in the day, I was moving along. The lady came out to me and she said, “We’ll meet back here.” This was before personal training was hot and heavy a thing. That more personal training was related to like the bodybuilding industry. This wasn’t everyone on the block which has a personal trainer and a fitness program. I’m dating myself a little bit here, but that’s the reality. I met with her and it was a fairy tale story. She quit smoking. She lost 60 pounds. She married her high school sweetheart. Her self-confidence and everything went up. She felt healthier. It motivated me. I sold the window cleaning company decided I’m going to get into health transformations, fitness. She brings her daughter-in-law. We’re going back a few years and she said, “Can you help my daughter-in-law?” She has a little more weight to lose, but she’s half my age. She’s in great shape. She’s going to do wonderful. I did the same exercise with her, “Here’s the same little meal plan. We’re going to cut the sugars. We’re going to do this. We’re going to do that,” everything exactly the same. Take a guess how much her friend lost?
I have no idea. Five pounds?
You got it, five pounds, basically nothing. That was my pivot moment because I realized that it is outrageous how unfair the metabolism is. You could have two people doing the exact same thing with two completely different outcomes.Two people can be doing the same exact same thing with completely different outcomes. Click To Tweet
It is positive at this moment that there are people reading this that are going, “I’ve been thinking that forever. That’s unfair. It makes no sense.”
When I realized that, I had to know why. There’s no magic bullet. There are no quick fixes. There’s no one size fits all if you do this, it works for everyone. There is an intelligent evaluation process that helps get us on the right track so we cannot waste time with strategies that are going to be ineffective for you. We want to pick the strategies that are going to work for you because there is much information out there. If I had to boil down what my professionals do for a living, here’s what we do. We help people to take all the information they’ve heard out here. “You should do cyclical fasting. You should do a ketogenic diet. You should count calories. You should watch your carbohydrates. You should do cardio. You need to build muscle.” All of that boil it down. Put it through the filter of your genetic predisposition. Put it through the filter of your goals, your nutrition and training history, and how your body is currently responding and output the actual best strategies. What is the most relevant information for you?
People ask me all the time, “What’s right? What’s wrong?” I’m going to give you the actual answer. You want to know which program is right and whether it’s better to count calories or manage your carbohydrates. I can tell you the truth. Twenty thousand people have dieted and I’ve been doing this for decades. I have seen every program work. I was alive through the decades with the sweatpants and everybody jogs and everybody does Jazzercise and step aerobics. The 2nd, 3rd CrossFit that ever opened was two doors down from me and I was around for everything in between. Guess what? I have seen every one of the iterations and generations produce outstanding jaw-dropping physiques. I have seen every strategy and diet through the decades produce subpar results for people. It’s all about finding what you need and having a system for identifying and quickly, by the way, is this working or not? If it’s not, here are our next steps.
What’s the biggest reason that you would say a person doesn’t succeed in achieving their outcome? As we said, there’s a process and there are outcomes. Somebody has an outcome, they come to you, and maybe it’s unfair. They come to you, but in your experience, whether they come to you or not, that a person does not succeed. Is it a lack of a process? There are two parts to this question. Even if they do have a process and they’re abiding by the process, why will they sometimes not succeed?
They have the wrong strategy for them. For your part B, expectations, and I’ll give you a classic example. Body types, genetic predispositions. You get two guys, they’re in their 40s. They went to high school together. Both of these guys, they both weigh 250 pounds. They both go on, decide, “We’ve got to be around for our kids. I don’t want to have to take out the next life insurance policy.” They both decide we’re going to go on a diet. We’re going to lose weight. They go on the exact same diet. Guy A loses 50 pounds. Guy B, exact same thing, loses twenty pounds. In his mind, guy B is going, “This didn’t work for me. I’m a failure. My body isn’t responsive.” Here’s what nobody’s talking about. Let’s rewind back to high school. In high school, the guy who lost 50 pounds weighed 165 when he graduated. The guy who lost twenty pounds weighed 220 when he graduated. You cannot expect two totally different body types, two totally different genetics, bone structure, circumstances, and different metabolisms, so much frustration. We have to look into all of that. We have a process.
This is step three in our process. We identify right out of the gate are you a strategic or a metabolic? I’ll give you a clue. Everyone falls into both of these categories at some time, but where are we generally living? Here’s what they mean. Strategic means when you eat clean, when you exercise regularly, your body generally responds. By the way, that’s the majority of people. The challenge is that in our busy lifestyle and our go-go-go routine. We got family, we got kids, work responsibilities, bills, and deadlines. How do we fit in clean eating and regular exercise? How do we make it stick and make it stick in a way that isn’t overly cumbersome?
I want to cover a couple of things here. Is there a quick yes or no answer to that or not even a yes or no, but is there a short answer to the question you posed?
There’s a short evaluation. We have to find out what your needs are because everybody’s needs are different. First of all, people call me up and they say, “I’ve heard all of this stuff about MetPro and your coaches and what they help people do. What do I eat?” We’re like, “We first need to know something. Are you married? How many kids do you have? How often do you travel?”
Evaluation, assessment, all that thing. I want to get into one particular area of this, which is let’s assume they go through all that. They say, “You’re the guys that are going to support me,” or whoever it is, because there’s a lot of people out in the space. I’m not promoting anybody, not promoting anyone. It’s something deeper that I want to inquire into. Regardless of the system that you buy into or that you invest your time in, there are a substantial number of people that still will not get an outcome. There’s a reason for it that I want to see if we can dig into it because it started with the beginning of our conversation about beliefs.
Ultimately, if I don’t believe that life insurance is a good thing or if I believe that it’s a bad thing or if I believe that somehow people will benefit from my death, that’s a weird message that I’m sending out to the universe. “You’ll all be better when I’m gone because of my $6 million life policy and all my screw-ups in life and everywhere I cheated or I deprived you or I was cheap,” or whatever it is. “It’s all going to be cleaned up when I die because there’s that money.” If that’s a part of your belief system, you may never get life insurance or you’ll let it lapse. There is so much life insurance, we’re not going to get into that. There’s a lot of money made on people letting their policies lapse and then they have to get them new and pay more money. Lots of people get on the diet wagon or on the health wagon or the stress reduction wagon or any of these things and they fall off the wagon. I want to understand from your perspective, is there a way to eradicate that self-sabotage? If you do work on that, great. If that’s part of your process, terrific. I want to hear it because that’s where at the root of it, people can change when they understand why they stay the same.
There are two answers to that. The first one is no, you’re never going to fully eradicate. We have to eat to live. We have busy lives. It’s always going to be a battle and it’s a battle worth winning. It’s never over. You’ve never won it. It’s never, “I conquered this. I can move on to something else.” That is a constant. Here is what I believe you are getting at. The difference between values versus goals, the difference between character versus willpower. I’ll give you a short illustration. I love goals. That’s action step one. Why a good goal-setting session is about figuring out what you’re not going to work on. That’s for another time. Goals are great as long as they’re stepping stones to adopting actual values.
Here’s the classic illustration that everyone will be able to understand. I’m getting married soon. I want to be in the best shape of my life. That’s a goal. That’s not yet a value. What happens? We hit that goal. We get in the best shape of our life and then after the wedding, maybe not so much. If somebody then adopts that lifestyle and places a greater value on living that lifestyle, it’s going to transcend any wedding date because they’ve adopted into their character. I’m going to borrow the example of a psychologist and I feel terrible because I can’t even credit his name. I don’t recall his name, but it was an example that I heard on willpower and character. It was excellent.
I might get a little wrong. He used the example of you walk by a plate of cookies fresh out of the oven. Willpower is you decide, “I’m not going to eat those cookies. I’m on a meal plan. I’m going to avoid that.” It’s a pain that you have to endure every day. You wince a little bit. There are decisions that you make in life. It’s like a muscle. It fatigues that using that willpower over and over, but there are other decisions that are almost identical that have no pain whatsoever. You sit down at a coffee table at a restaurant and the guy who left right before you put a $20 tip down for the waiter or waitress. You know for a fact that a waiter or waitress did not see them put the $20 tip down. Adam, would you take that $20?
Never in a million years.
Of course not, but here’s the thing. Does it take any effort to make that decision? Do you have to wince and go, “That’s not my money?” You don’t. That’s your character. It’s in your character. You’re holding yourself to that standard. You adopt that as your value, as your character. Now, it’s not painful. We can take that and apply those two principles. People ask me all the time, “How do I know when I’m at the place where this is sustainable?” They’re looking for what weight am I? What exercise routine? How athletic do I have to be before I’ve reached that point? To your point, with everything we’ve talked about, it’s a mindset. It’s not where you get your body to or where your health is now. It’s whether or not you have adopted the lifestyle that’s gotten you there as your value system, part of your character. If you have, there is no backsliding. It’s only forward progress.
The book, PIVOT, that’s what this is based upon. There’s a section in there about identity and about how part of the process, not the outcome of reinvention, moving out of one career into another or reinventing your body or any other thing that you want to change in your life, has to do with adopting a new identity. We use this analogy of getting into the pivot phone booth, similar to the way Clark Kent would walk into the phone booth. He’d come out of the phone booth as Superman. They adopted a new identity. I am statements are one of those things we use a lot. We think about it. I think about this a lot. What am I filling in the blank after, “I am is? “I am a believer in life insurance or I am not a believer in life insurance?”Willpower is a muscle, and you get fatigued by using it over and over. Click To Tweet
What you’re saying is that’s your value. That’s your character. The person who walks past the $20 bill is saying, “I am not a thief. I am someone who respects someone else’s money and I leave it alone.” The other analogy of let’s say the cookies. You’re walking past the cookies because your wedding is in a few months where you go, “I am going to be fit for my wedding.” I love that example. What’s cool about that is that your wedding comes and goes and sure enough, you achieved your goal, you’ve got your outcome, you look killer, the pictures are great. You go on the honeymoon and everything goes to pot. Fast forward a few months later and you’re back to the weight you were before you started that whole trek because you haven’t changed your identity.
That’s the route that we’re both talking about here. How do you think about yourself? How you define that yourself as an example in that “I am” statement? Because many of us were told we were fat or we were told we have a big body, we’ve got big bones, we’re this, we’re that. You then adopt that as part of your identity. If you think that you’re thick, you’re whatever. I’ve heard many terms about that or I have a slow metabolism. That’s who you are and that is your thing. You’re into something like what you’re suggesting, a new process to achieve a new outcome. This is my question rather than a statement. Do you believe that ultimately your beliefs went out over the best process, the best system, the best products? Do your beliefs always go out? What do you think?
I want to say yes. I know where you’re going. I am going to say yes, but I do have to put an asterisk and tell you that I talk with believers every day, people that still are lacking some practical application. I’m also a believer in having a balance and having that you want both.
Belief without process isn’t going to work either. That’s like saying, “I am rich,” every day walking around. Meanwhile, you’re getting kicked out of your apartment.
You have to be not a believer, but a doer as well. I like disruptive behaviors, things that you can do that are small, simple, but highly disruptive in a good way. Sometimes people will say, “I’m not about to go on this whole fitness journey, but give me one thing to start that will make an impact.” I tell people, “I want you to prepare an afternoon snack and take it with you and eat it,” one thing. “What do I eat?” “Something healthy, I don’t care. Stick to it. It’s your routine every day. Here’s the catch. You have to prepare it in the morning when you first wake up.” “That’s easy. I can do that.” That’s great. Simple action yet it is completely disruptive to your entire day in a good way. Here’s how. If you can commit to doing that one thing, you’re committing to much more.
What happens is if you’re committing to preparing an afternoon snack in the morning, that means you’re in your kitchen in the morning preparing food even though it’s only 3 minutes. You’re going to get breakfast. We check that box. You’re going to get breakfast because you’re already there, might as well. If you have breakfast, then your blood sugar is stable, you’re less likely to eat the donuts and the super sugary caffeinated beverage on your way to work because your blood sugar’s stable. You’ve got something in your body and you’re going to make it to lunch. Most people don’t miss lunch. Lunch is a standard deal. You’re going to eat lunch, but you’re more than likely going to eat a better choice than you may have because you already had breakfast. You also remember, “I promised Angelo that I was going to have that afternoon snack, which I have right here in my brown paper bag. I’m going to order reasonably because in the afternoon, I’m going to have this snack.”
Now you have that snack and you’re at meal three by 3:00 in the afternoon. What happens is no blood sugar dips at night. It’s easier to order better at night and then fewer cravings after night. Because people say, “You don’t understand my problems. I don’t have any problems during the day. In fact, I hardly eat during the day. It’s at night at about 8:30 or 9:00. I get the munchies.” I’m like, “Your problem is back during the day starting with breakfast. You set yourself up for a hormonal, a biological response that’s going to take place at night if we can even that all out.” Small, disruptive behaviors and it applies to mindset as well.
It’s the domino effect you’re talking about. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this demonstration. It’s cool. The premise is that every domino has the capacity to knock over another domino that’s slightly bigger than itself. I’ve seen this demonstrated with a domino that’s 3/8 of an inch high and it knocks over another domino that’s about twice its size and then it knocks over another domino about twice its size and it keeps going and going. They never get past a few dominoes because by the 28th domino, we’re talking about a domino that would knock over the Empire State Building. To see a domino that’s 3/8 of an inch high, 4 or 5 dominos later knock over one that’s 100 pounds. You go, “Are you kidding me?” That’s what you’re talking about.
What’s great is that it’s physics. That’s not mindset per se. That’s the physics of it. That’s the compounding effect. That’s why to get out of your own way and do what you’re suggesting, which is what’s brilliant is that those small disruptive behaviors or actions that you take, they produce a domino effect. You can get those results more quickly. We’re all like little children. I don’t care how old, how mature you look like. We’re all little kids at heart. If we don’t see something good happening quickly, then we get distracted and that’s not even so much how we’re built. It’s the way we’ve been programmed now in many ways. In fairness to us, seeing results sooner is helpful to the process.
I want to talk about resilience for a moment because for example, a lot of our keynote speaking in organizations to corporations and even to a lot of my former colleagues, other lawyers for example, is about resilience. In many ways, a lot of what we’re talking about here, good health or a good diet, meaning the food you eat and the exercise and all these things, in our brand, they are about building resilience. Ultimately, we want to build resilience because it helps us to go the distance. You can’t win a race you don’t finish. If you’re going to succeed at the highest level like an Olympic athlete, because you work with Olympians, former Olympians, NFL players. We do too. We train a number of those people in a different genre, which is in the public speaking area.
Ultimately, if you want to become great at something, there is an element of being able to have to stick around long enough to figure shit out, to figure out what works. You’re going to figure out what doesn’t work quickly, but you’ve got to figure out what works. That staying power to not only be around to figure it out, but also to produce the best results, to be at the highest level of performance is about for us this word resilience. I want to know what your definition of resilience is. I want to also understand one ritual, for example, that you engage in to create greater resilience in your own personal life. First of all, how do you define resilience?
I’m looking through everything through the lens of my craft. That term resilience transcends and it’s bigger than that. For the sake of our conversation, bringing it down to my craft, that’s the ability to identify, the process of elimination, what my steps are. Once I am convinced that this is my best next action, nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, etc., I am willing to see it through and not waiver. Because it’s easy to go, “I’m excited about that. That’s new,” you’re going to do it. A couple of pounds are going to come off. You’re going to do it. You’re going to see some results, but you’re not going to continue, it’s not a linear pace. It’s overtime. It’s an endurance race. It’s not a sprint for most people. That resilience factor is reinforced by understanding the science behind it and what your body is going through. When you understand that, you’re willing to stay in it mentally for the long haul.
You can be patient because you understand it’s not an aberration. There’s nothing wrong with you because you do not see immediately what it is you’re looking to see in the end.
Always gradual, but it does come.
It’s like the 1% change. For pivot conversations with folks, we usually graph what a straight line looks like and ultimately the straight line represents stagnation. Ultimately death. We know what a flat line looks like on one of those monitors. When you make a change in the direction, that small disruptive change, the trajectory is forever different. That straight line will never be a straight line. Even though we know there are no straight lines in the universe anyway, nothing’s linear, everything’s going to be these. If you look closely at it, these micro pivots up and down, good day, bad day. The market’s up, the market’s down. Every situation you look at, it’s going to be like that. Yet how do we ourselves continue to move forward within belief with faith, with good energy, with loving hearts when we get despondent or when we get depressed? Let’s say that it’s not happening fast enough. You’re helping people with the process. You’re helping them with a great strategy.
That’s not a one-size-fits-all. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s a custom fit for a person based on the assessment that you do with them. What’s been interesting for me about our conversation is that there’s this level of they’re having to also adopt a new belief. They’ve got to go into that pivot phone booth, if you will. As a person who might believe, “I have not succeeded in this area before because,” whatever that because is and say, “I’m going to adopt a new set of values. I’m going to come out with a new character with a new identity.” That might mean, “I’m thin, I’m healthy. I have all the energy in the world that I could ever want.” Whatever those things are that are not statements in air. They’re not airy-fairy things, declarations that don’t mean anything unless you don’t have a process to support them. That new belief system with a process like the one that you’re helping people with produces a higher level of success.If you want to be great at something, you have to stick around long enough to figure it out. Click To Tweet
People produce that higher level of success or relationship in your life. We’ll have to do part B. We can do a whole second interview. Part of how I arrived at where I am, I walked with a cane for a few years. I basically missed my twenties because of a serious injury. I decided I didn’t want to leave the health and nutrition, health and wellness field. I tried to be resilient and I moved forward. One of the things I learned during that time as I stepped back. I’m no longer handing people dumbbells. I’m no longer exercising with them. I’m being more of the broad stroke strategist now. I got gigs in my early twenties where I would go into medium to the large health club, and I would help the owners develop an effective private training program. I would match up clients with trainers and I would help with designing an overall strategy.
The trainers would take that client and spend the day by day time with them. Here’s what I learned. You can have the exact same strategy, the exact same diet and exact same workout and get two different outcomes based on the personality supporting you. When you have somebody who jives with you, understands what makes you tick, it can motivate you to want to be better. It is magical. I promise you, no two people are motivated the exact same way. We can in broad strokes. At MetPro, we use three broad categories. Everyone qualifies for each of these categories at different stages in their life. There are some people who thrive with a strong support system. They thrive with encouragement and someone walking hand in hand with them taking an interest in them.
Other people thrive when they have the knowledge. They want to know the ‘why’ and ‘how.’ If you explain it to me, I’m going to thrive and I’m going to do well with this if I understand it. The third type thrives when they’re invited to a challenge. They have inside them what it takes, but they have to be measuring themselves against something else to be at their best. In this case, having a coach or a mentor that is used to working with different psychological types will identify where are the buttons and levers to help you get that mindset to where it needs to be to execute the process that’s going to get you the results that are going to fuel that mindset now you have. Instead of a spiral downwards, you have a spiral upwards of progress.
Your resilience, I’m happy that you shared that story that you walked around with a cane because that’s not an easy thing, especially in your twenties or at any age. Have you adopted either a set of rituals or one in particular that helps to create greater resilience for you over time? What does that look like for you?
I know this may sound odd, but for me, having a strong priority hierarchy in my life, I’m looking at it through a lens but that’s bigger than nutrition, fitness, health. That’s the way I live life, having a strong priority hierarchy. How is my ritual? I wake up in the mornings and I think about what are the most important things that I need to accomplish? What are the most important things I need to accomplish this week and this month? Because I have learned that I cannot accomplish everything, I need to accomplish the right things.
I’ve never been a great time manager. Let’s say time management has never been my strength, but priority management has been for sure. I know where to put my energy and my attention. What I’m hearing you say and this is going to help a lot of people too is that to the extent that you can have that structure as part of how you go through a day and how you plan for a week, a month, a year out. That the biggest and most important critical thing, the critical inches. I remember the author that used to talk about what’s the critical inch? In fact, when I was a lawyer, I still had these signs all of my law office. What’s the critical inch? Constantly refocusing on what’s the big priority here? Is cleaning my desk, is cleaning out my emails, is that the critical inch? Is that the most important priority in my life?
I know it will suck up a lot of time and I might feel better about the lack of clutter. Maybe decluttering is a priority. It could well be, but asking that question is super powerful. We are at the natural point here for this discussion, but I would love to have you back. We’re scratching the surface. I appreciate the wonderful conversation. What we’ve seen here too, I feel, it was a great demonstration of that last point you made, which is that when you’re with the right person, if it’s a coach or a mentor or whoever it is that you’re inviting into your world to support you. If the energy between the two, if the chemistry is good, it makes that process much easier, finding that right chemistry.
Thank you for being on the show. For everybody out there, I’d love to get your comments. As always, we thrive on your feedback. Please leave a comment. I’ll leave you with the waking ritual though. The one thing that I do consistently and have done for years now, which is to plant seeds at the beginning of the day. I’m always looking for a little extra distinction about this process because it is super simple. Simple yet not simplistic is how I put it. We wake up and it’s no joke. It’s not a guarantee when I went to bed that I’d wake up. Angelo, how about you? Did you get a guarantee in writing? The lawyer in me says they didn’t get it in writing. There’s no guarantee.
Nonetheless, you did wake up and that’s a blessing not only for you and for your family and everybody in your world, but now it’s a blessing for all the people that we’ve gotten to introduce you to. I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful that we got to interact. I suggest that at that moment when we’re waking up and we realize we’ve been given this extra gift, this unexpected gift, this miracle if you will, we can be grateful right then and there to start the day with some gratitude, for any gratitude. Gratitude is a beast. It never fails to produce the result, never. It’s remarkable how dependable, reliable that one small concept is in life. These words, which what is your I am statement for now and what’s the I am statement you want to begin the day with? Because I do believe that our beliefs are the foundation for any new behavior. Not the behavior as a one-off behavior.
When we talk about creating a new series of behaviors, new habits, a new way of being, the beliefs will either facilitate that, grease the wheel of that or they’ll get in the way of it. What do you want to believe about yourself? When I wake up, I say, “I love my life.” Regardless of whether it’s going to be, a cloudy day or a sunny day, figuratively, literally, whatever, I believe I love my life. That’s exactly what I create every day. My question to all of you is what do you want to believe about yourself? Put that into an I am statement. Wake up, be grateful and say that out loud. It’s been a blessing. Thanks, Angelo. I appreciate your time.
Thanks for having me, Adam.
Ciao for now.
About Angelo Poli
Angelo Poli is an internationally recognized expert in fitness and nutrition. He’s the founder of MetPro, an evaluation-based health coaching program specializing in transformations. Using a process called “Metabolic Profiling,” MetPro analyzes your metabolism and provides an individualized approach to obtaining your health goals.
Angelo has spent much of his career as a motivational speaker, and was featured at TEDxChico, where he discussed his own achievement in overcoming obstacles. After recovering from a crippling injury himself, Angelo brought to light a whole new way of thinking about health, fitness, and weight loss.
In his 20 years of educating the masses and challenging generalized health guidance, Angelo has become one of the most celebrated and desired body transformation experts in the world.
His high-profile client list ranges in scope from Olympic athletes, NFL MVPs, physique models, and business leaders. Those who have been fortunate enough to gain coaching from Angelo have consistently achieved exceptional results regardless of their demanding schedules, significant injuries, and crippled metabolisms.
Angelo is a writer and featured speaker at conferences, as well as a consultant for corporations, universities, and hospitals around the country. He has been featured in major media outlets such as Men’s Health, Sports Illustrated, and The Wall Street Journal for his specialty in coaching athletes and weight loss sciences.