When it comes to fitness, there is no “one size fits all” solution. Two people could be doing the same things and come out the other end with completely different results. Joining Adam Markel to discuss how you can develop a fitness strategy that works for you is Angelo Poli. Angelo is a 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. He helps you achieve success and maintain by not only evaluating your physical fitness but by focusing on your mindset as well. Caring for your personal health is a lifetime battle, but it’s won worth winning. Don’t miss out on valuable tips and life-changing insights by tuning in to this episode.
- 3:50 – Adam and Angelo’s perspective on life insurance and personal health
- 10:44 – The missing piece to taking care of yourself and how to get good at it
- 17:21 – Angelo’s pivot to business and fitness not being a one size fits all
- 23:44 – Why a person doesn’t achieve an outcome and evaluating health
- 27:30 – Is there a way to eradicate self-sabotage? Goal vs lifestyle
- 35:23 – Belief without process isn’t going to work and the domino effect that follows
- 41:34 – Building resilience to help us go the distance
- 45:21 – A belief system that produces a higher level of success
- 50:12 – Angelo’s rituals that created greater resilience
How do we leverage continuous uncertainty to thrive in this unprecedented new world?
The answer is to build the resilience we need to power us through the challenges we face so that we become “Change Proof.” Prepare to tackle the future with confidence by reading Adam’s latest book Change Proof: Leveraging the Power of Uncertainty to Build Long-Term Resilience.
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How To Develop A Fitness Strategy That Works For You With Angelo Poli – REPLAY
Our theme is self-mastery and wellness. To that end, enjoy the replay of my conversation with Angelo Poli. He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of body transformations. Poli pioneered the evaluation-based approach to weight management that has been hailed as a full-proof diet plan. He’s the author of MetPro: The Science to Transform, which outlines his philosophy and workout system. Poli is also a serial entrepreneur. He is the Founder of MetPro, the world’s first algorithm-based weight-loss engine, which is fueled by data that you feed into it each and every day.
In addition, Poli is the Founder of Whole Body Fitness, which provides weight loss, health, and fitness training programs for all ages and fitness levels. By using a combination of the latest nutrition, conditioning sciences, and evaluation-based methods, Poli and his team are able to create complete short and long-term fitness strategies that maximize people’s weight loss process.
Poli’s clientele is from all over the world, ranging from a scope NFL MVPs like Aaron Rodgers and other elite athletes, celebrities, physique models, and entrepreneurs. He has been featured for his specialty in neuromuscular re-education, posture and alignment, and weight loss sciences in major media outlets such as Men’s Health, Sports Illustrated, and The Wall Street Journal. He is a regular columnist for Huffington Post.
Poli has spoken at conferences such as TEDx and continues to be a wellness consultant for multiple universities and hospitals around the country. The things that we discussed, among others, were why people do what they do and the beliefs that we have that affect the lives that we have, why you should start taking care of your future, how progress is the greatest human motivator, and the importance of having actionable steps that work for you. Enjoy this replay of my conversation with Angelo Poli.
Welcome to the show, 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 would raise her hand and 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. 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.” I said, “I have 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 is a tough topic. Here’s a confession for you. Growing up in a household where my dad was a civil servant and worked for the city of New York, I 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 are going to get into some talk about habits. We are 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, and 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. One of the beliefs that were embedded in me early on was my dad saying, “Nobody is going to profit.” My dad is still alive. He is still 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, love people, and not discriminate. All these things were things that I got to hear but along with that good stuff, I’ve got to hear some negative things about money, business, the prosperity of sorts, and insurance in particular.
Back then, in my day and age, we would show up at your door to sell you stuff. Now, you can get arrested for that. The door cam will have you. Some guy would show up to talk about insurance, and my dad slammed the door. He was like, “Nobody is going to profit. Nobody is going to get anything out from a policy when I die.” I grew up with that belief.
Our personal health bank account gets drained because we prioritize other people’s needs above our self at the moment. Click To Tweet
It was a big deal for me when I became a lawyer and Randi, and I started having kids. We have four kids. I was like, “Am I going to continue that belief system that that should be the approach or not?” I got a whole big policy of insurance when I was in my twenties. Interestingly enough, I let one of those policies lapse because those beliefs are strong. It was not me. Let’s talk about that. What does life insurance mean to you? What has been your belief around life insurance?
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 and that I’m responsible for are taken care of. The benefit is I get it off my plate mentally and emotionally, and I can move forward with whatever it is that I have to deal with within the day.
Taking care of those that you love and making sure that they are 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 you described, you. He took care of his wife and his kids. He didn’t take care of himself.
That was a debate that I would have had with him from times. I go, “Dad, you think you are 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 are shortening your life because you are putting everybody ahead of yourself.” We are legging into your business.
This is the area that I deal with day in and day out. It’s interesting. We work with an exceptionally diverse clientele but 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, often a high-stress, and a high responsibility life, and because of that, what happens? Our personal health bank account gets drained because we prioritize other people and needs above ourselves at the moment. We never intend to do that big picture but at the moment, it’s what happens.
Those little things add up, and finally, we are in our 40s or 50s. Some are people even younger than that but we reach a point where we are at the doctor and they are saying, “If you don’t make some significant changes, you are not going to have the life you think you are going to have. You are not going to be around for the grandkids or to see great-grandkids.” That realization often hits people at that stage of life.
The old adage is true, “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 are coming back from a heart attack, 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 are clear. Anything you start early is always better. It’s like the compounding effect, and that’s important when you save money. You put it in simple interest, whether it’s 2%, 4%, or 8%, money doubles every eight years, approximately at 8%. The compounding effect is important when it comes to your health, what you eat, whether you exercise, and how you take care of yourself. I’m preaching to the choir that 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, or get in shape. Everybody wants that. What’s preventing us from getting there? I will 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 from executives to athletes and everything in between. I can tell you, by and large, that has not been my experience. Don’t get me wrong. There are those people out there that don’t want to put in the work but 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 decisions. 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 are 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. What the difference is that 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 exercise.” I will tell my clients, “I know that you know that. What I’m here to do is to help you get good at it.”
My definition of good is you being able to execute those things quickly because quickly and not quickly make the difference between sustainability and the difference between progress and not seeing progress. Here’s how we execute those things. Quickly, they are not cumbersome in your lifestyle. 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 think you right, and I think I am, you are condensing. Let’s look at a chart where time and outcome are the axis. Let’s say that over time, small changes, and this is our pivot philosophy, which is not in conflict with what you are 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 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 are adopting a different identity. That’s that whole fake it until you make it stuff. You won’t make it if you don’t find progress soon enough because you are out in the desert, and you’ve got no water and no food. You’ve got nothing to sustain you other than probably your mindset, frankly. You are condensing it. You are making it quicker. Is that what you are saying?
The greatest human motivator is progress. Click To Tweet
We need to be able to write it down. We need to be able to bullet and explain it. If it’s too vague, the action steps and the directions between where you are and where you want to get, call it out like, “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 outcome.” Call it out, and then we can map it out.
I’m always trying to leave readers and people that I get to talk to with some action steps. There are five areas that anyone can take home and with a little bit of knowledge and start executing on. Here’s the big secret. They are the exact five areas that all of our professional coaches work with their clients on. You reminded me of something. I got to tell you my 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 are focused on the outcome, you are like, “I want this or I want that. I want better health or a skinnier body.” Whatever it might be, those outcomes are fine but they lead you into that desert where you go, “What do I do? I’m out of the water. I’m out of food. I’m ready to quit. I’m ready to turn back,” but the process or system is what sustained you. Let’s say the progress is either in small increments or small doses, or it might even be that you are 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, which is a plateau. People think plateau weight loss applies to any area of human performance or transformation. There are specific action sets, science, priority hierarchies, and process of elimination. There are processes to break through those plateaus.
Years ago, I had a window cleaning company. I would have been eighteen. I washed windows on all the mom-and-pop stores in the area where I lived. It was a great little company. One day, I’m washing the windows at a local gym, and this lady comes out. She’s in her early 60s and 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’ve done working on this street, and for about an hour, I will meet you.” She’s my first fitness client. This was back in the day.
You were washing windows and a woman said, “You look like a guy who could teach.”
Back in the day, I looked like a guy who did. Now, they are like, “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 said, “We will meet back here.” This was before personal training was a hot and heavy thing. Personal training was related to the bodybuilding industry. This wasn’t when everyone on the block had 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 and decided, “I’m going to get into health transformations and fitness.” She brings her daughter-in-law. 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. I was like, “Here’s the same little meal plan. We are going to cut the sugars. We are going to do this and that.” Everything was exactly the same. Take a guess how much her daughter-in-law lost.
I have no idea. None.
You got it. It was 5 pounds. That’s basically, nothing. I realized that it is outrageous how unfair the metabolism is that could have two people doing the exact same thing with two completely different outcomes.
I’m positive at this moment that there are people reading this that are going, “I have 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 is no one-size-fits-all or if you do this, it works for everyone but 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 so 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 and put it through the filter of your genetic predisposition. Put it through the filter of your goals, nutrition and training history, and how your body is 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. I have been doing this for decades. I have seen every single program work.
I was alive through the decades with the sweatpants where everybody jogs and does Jazzercise and step aerobics. The 2nd and 3rd CrossFit that ever opened was two doors down from me. I was around for everything in between. 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, “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? You have processed as we said. There’s a process, and there are outcomes. Somebody has an outcome. They come to you, and maybe it’s unfair but in your experience, whether they come to you or not, that 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 are abiding by the process, why will they sometimes not succeed?
Call out the outcome. Then, we can map out. Click To Tweet
They have the wrong strategy for them. For your part B, it is expectations. I will give you a classic example of body types and genetic predispositions. You get two guys. They are in their 40s. They went to high school together. Both of these guys weigh 250 pounds. They both go on and decide, “We’ve got to be around for our kids. I don’t want to have to take out the next life insurance policy. We are going to go on a diet. We are going to lose weight.”
They go on the exact same diet. Guy A loses 50 pounds but for Guy B, it’s the exact same thing. He loses 20 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 is 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 20 pounds weighed 220 when he graduated. You cannot expect 2 totally different body types and 2 different genetics, bone structure, circumstances, and different metabolisms to have the same results. That creates 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 whether you are strategic or metabolic. I will 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 and exercise regularly, your body generally responds. That’s the majority of people. The challenge is that in our busy lifestyle and our go-go-go routine, we got family, kids, work responsibilities, bills, and deadlines. How do we fit in with 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 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. People call me up and say, “I’ve heard all of this stuff about MetPro and your coaches and what they help people do. What do I eat?” We are like, “We first need to know something. Are you married? How many kids do you have? How often do you travel?”
Evaluation and assessment all that. I want to get into one particular area of this, which is, let’s assume, they go through all that. They say, “You are the guys that are going to support me,” or whoever it is because there are a lot of people out in the space. I’m not promoting anybody or anyone. It’s something deeper that I want to inquire into. Regardless of the system that you buy into or 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 that somehow people will benefit from my death, it’s a weird message that I’m sending out to the universe if I’m like, “You will all be better when I’m gone because of my $6 million life insurance policy. All my screw-ups in life, everywhere I cheated, or if I deprived you or I was cheap is 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 will let it lapse. There is so much life insurance. We are 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 something new and pay more money. Lots of people get on the diet wagon, the health wagon or the stress reduction wagon, 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, that’s great. If that’s part of your process, that’s terrific. I want to hear it because that is 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 are never going to fully eradicate it. 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. What I believe you are getting at is the difference between values versus goals and the difference between character versus willpower.
I will give you a short illustration. I love goals. That’s action step one and why a good goal-setting session is about figuring out what you are not going to work on but that’s for another time. Goals are great as long as they are 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. 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 walking by a plate of cookies fresh out of the oven. Willpower is you deciding, “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 using that willpower over and over.
There are other decisions that are almost identical that have no pain whatsoever. You sit down at a coffee table at a restaurant. 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.
No, of course not. 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 are holding yourself to that standard. You adopt that as your value as your character. 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 are 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. It’s whether or not you have adopted the lifestyle that’s gotten you there as your value system and part of your character. If you have, there is no backsliding. It’s only forward progress.
It’s always going to be a battle and it’s a battle worth winning. Click To Tweet
There’s a section in there about identity and about how part of the process of reinvention, not the outcome of reinvention but the process of 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 phone booth, similar to the way Clark Kent would walk into the phone booth. He would 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? “I am a believer in the life insurance or I am not a believer in life insurance.”
What you are saying is that’s your value and 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, let’s say the cookies. You are walking past the cookies because your wedding is in three 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 three months later, and you are 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 are both talking about here. How do you think about yourself? How do you define that yourself as an example in that I am statement? Many of us were told we were fat or have a big body, we’ve got big bones, or we are this or that. You then adopt that as part of your identity. If you think that you are thick, you are whatever.
I’ve heard many terms about that or someone saying, “I have a slow metabolism.” That’s who you are, and that is your thing. You are into something like what you are suggesting, which is 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, system, and products? Do your beliefs always go out? What do you think?
want to say yes. I know where you are 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 and people that still are lacking some practical application. I’m also a believer in having 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 are getting kicked out of your apartment.
You have to be not just a believer but a doer as well. I like disruptive behaviors. There are 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.” They are like, “What do I eat?”
I’m like, “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.” They are like, “That’s easy. I can do that.” “That’s great.” It is a simple action, yet it is completely disruptive to your entire day in a good way. If you can commit to doing that one thing, you are committing to so much more.
What happens is if you are committing to preparing an afternoon snack in the morning, it means you are in your kitchen in the morning preparing food even though it’s only three minutes. You are going to get breakfast. We check that box. You are going to get breakfast because you are already there, so you might as well. If you have breakfast, then your blood sugar is stable. You are less likely to eat the donuts and the super sugary caffeinated beverage on your way to work because your blood sugar is stable.
You’ve got something in your body, and you are going to make it to lunch. Most people don’t miss lunch. Lunch is a standard deal. You are going to eat lunch but you are 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.”
You then have that snack and are 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 have less cravings after night. People say, “Angelo, you don’t understand my problems. I don’t have any problems during the day. 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, biological response that’s going to take place at night if we can even that all out.” These are small, disruptive behaviors, and it applies to mindset as well.
It’s the domino effect you are 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. It knocks over another domino that’s about twice its size, and then it knocks over another domino about twice its size. It keeps going and going.
They never get past a few dominoes because by the 28th domino, we are 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 1 that’s 100 pounds, you go, “Are you kidding me?” That’s what you are talking about.
What’s great is that it is 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 are suggesting, which is what’s brilliant is that those small disruptive behaviors or actions that you take produce a domino effect. You can get those results more quickly. We are all like little children. I don’t care how old, how mature or what you look. We are 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 are built. It’s the way we have been programmed in many ways. In fairness to us, seeing results sooner is helpful to the process. Do you agree?
Goals are great as long as they’re stepping stones to adopting actual values. Click To Tweet
I want to talk about resilience for a moment. For example, a lot of our keynote speaking in organizations, corporations, and even to a lot of my former colleagues or other lawyers are about resilience. In many ways, a lot of what we are talking about here is good health or a good diet, meaning the food you eat and the exercise. Our brand is 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 are going to succeed at the highest level like an Olympic athlete because you work with Olympians, former Olympians or NFL players. We do too. We train a number of those people in a different genre, which is in the public speaking area. 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 and what works.
You are 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 and be at the highest level of performance for us is about the 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. The 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 and 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.
It’s easy to go, “I’m excited about that. That’s new,” and you are going to do it. A couple of pounds are going to come off. You are going to see some results but you are 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. The resilience factor is reinforced by understanding the science behind it and what your body is going through. When you understand that, you are 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 are looking to see in the end.
It is always gradual but it does come.
It’s the 1% change. We usually graph what a straight line looks like. The straight line represents stagnation and, ultimately, death. We know what a flat line looks like on one of those monitors. When you make that small disruptive change in the direction, 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 is linear.
If you look closely at it, these up and down, a good day or a bad day, and the market is up and down, every situation you look at, it’s going to be like that. Yet, how do we continue to move forward within belief, faith, good energy, and loving hearts when we get despondent or depressed ourselves?
Let’s say that it’s not happening fast enough. You are helping people with the process. You are helping them with a great strategy. That’s not a one-size-fits-all. It’s the opposite. It’s a custom fit for a person based on the assessment that you do with them. What has been interesting for me about our conversation is that they are having to adopt a new belief.
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 or 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. They are not statements in the air. They are not airy-fairy things or 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 are helping people with produces a higher level of success.
People produce that higher level of success or relationship in your life. We will have to do part B. We can do a whole second episode. Part of how I arrived at where I am is 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 wellness field. I tried to be resilient and moved forward.
One of the things I learned during that time is 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. I got gigs in my early twenties where I would go into medium to the large health club and help the owners develop an effective private training program. I would match up clients with trainers and 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, diet, and workout and get two different outcomes based on the personality supporting you. When you have somebody who jives with you or 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 but we can in broad strokes.
We at MetPro, 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 and taking an interest in them. Other people thrive when they have the knowledge. They want to know the why and how. They are like, “If you explain it to me, I’m going to thrive. I’m going to do well with this if I understand it.”
You have to be not just a believer, but a doer as well. Click To Tweet
The third type thrives when they are invited to a challenge. They have inside them what it takes but 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 the buttons and levers are. They can 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. Instead of a spiral downwards, you have a spiral upwards of progress.
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 that’s bigger than nutrition, fitness, and 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 now. What are the most important things I need to accomplish this week and this month?” I have learned that I cannot accomplish everything, so I need to accomplish the right things.
That’s key. I have 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 attention. What I’m hearing you say, and this is going to help a lot of people too, is that to the extent, you can have that structure as part of how you go through a day and plan for a week, a month or a year out is the critical inches.
I remember the author that used to talk about what’s the critical inch. When I was a lawyer, I still had these signs all over my law office that said, “What’s the critical inch.” I’m constantly refocusing on what’s the big priority here. “Is cleaning my desk or my emails 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 but asking that question is super powerful.
We are at the natural ending point here for this discussion but I would love to have you back. We are scratching the surface. I appreciate the wonderful conversation. What we’ve seen and felt here was a great demonstration of that last point you made, which is that when you are with the right person, if it’s a coach or a mentor, or whoever it is that you are inviting into your world to support you, if the chemistry is good, it makes that process much easier. It’s about finding that right chemistry.
Thank you so much for being on the show. For everybody out there, I would love to get your comments as we thrive on your feedback. Please leave a comment. I will leave you with the waking ritual. The one thing that I do consistently and have done for years 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 would 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, your family, and everybody in your world but 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 are waking up and realize we have been given this extra gift, this unexpected gift or this miracle, if you will, we can be grateful right then and there to start the day with some gratitude.
Gratitude is a beast. It never fails to produce the result. It’s remarkable how dependable and reliable one small concept is in life. These words, what is you, “I am,” statement is for now. What’s the I am statement do you want to begin the day with? I do believe that our beliefs are the foundation for any new behavior. It’s not the behavior that it’s a one-off behavior.
When we talk about creating a new series of behaviors, new habits, or a new way of being, the beliefs will either facilitate that, grease the wheel of that or they will 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 or literally, 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 has been a blessing. Thanks, Angelo. I appreciate your time.
Thanks for having me, Adam.
About Angelo Poli
Angelo Poli is an internationally recognized expert in the field of body transformations. Poli pioneered the evaluation-based approach to weight management that has been hailed as “… a foolproof diet plan.” He is the Author of MetPro: The Science to Transform, which outlines his philosophy and workout system. Poli is also a serial entrepreneur. He is the Founder of MetPro, the world’s first algorithm based weight loss engine, which is fueled by the data you feed into it every day. In addition, Poli is the Founder of Whole Body Fitness, which provides weight loss, health and fitness training programs for all ages and fitness levels. By using a combination of the latest nutrition, conditioning sciences and evaluation based methods; Poli and his team are able to create complete short and long-term fitness strategies that maximize people’s weight loss process.
Poli’s clientele, from all over the world, ranges in scope from NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, among other elite athletes, celebrities, to physique models, and entrepreneurs. He has been featured for his specialty in Neuromuscular Re-education (Posture and Alignment) and weight loss sciences in major media outlets such as Men’s Health, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, and he is a regular columnist for The Huffington Post. Poli has spoke at conferences such as TEDx, and continues to be a Wellness Consultant for multiple universities and hospitals around the country.
Those who have been fortunate enough to gain tutelage from Poli and his team of Transformation Experts have consistently achieved exceptional results regardless of their hectic schedules, significant injuries, crippled metabolisms, and daily lives with exceedingly-heavy responsibilities.