Get the athletic physique you’ve always wanted with tips for strength training for beginner to pro with strength coach Rob Tracz. Founder of TAPS Training, a proprietary 12-week strength training program, Rob spills his favorite fitness secrets including the top 2 things you need to start doing today to shed fat and build muscle.
Download this podcast episode now with the audio player above, or watch the show below.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- How to fight the all-or-nothing mentality
- Ways to make exercise a habit
- Strength training tips for beginners and pros
- The top 2 things you need to do to shed fat and build muscle
- Products and services offered by Tracz Athletic Performance Strategies
- Bareburger: https://www.bareburger.com/
- 2GetBeaverFit: https://getbeaverfit.com/
- How Much Water To Drink In A Day [PLUS 11 Tips To Hit Your Goal!]: https://hammersnhugs.com/11-easy-ways-drink-more-water-every-day/
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ABOUT: ROB TRACZ
Rob is the founder and CEO of Tracz Athletic Performance Strategies. His passion for learning and self-improvement inspired him to be a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, a Performance Enhancement Specialist, and a Level ll Certified Speed Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the National Association of Speed and Explosion.
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Everyone’s playing the game of life some way or another, and I try to show to them these are the things that it takes to be a successful athlete. And these are the things that it takes to be successful in life. Taking care of your body, taking care of your team, people around you, you’re the best player for yourself, so that your team can continue to win in the game of life.
Welcome to the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast with DIY Healthy Lifestyle Blogger on a former empowering you to transform your. One imperfect day at a time. This month, we are continuing to celebrate the upcoming episode, the 100th episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast, with a $100 Amazon gift card giveaway.
If you have not entered yet, this is a final call. Final reminder to be sure to click on the link in the show notes or on the blog email@example.com. If you’re watching on YouTube, click on the. In the description, it is super easy to enter. We will announce the winner at the 100th episode on December 6th, where I will also be sharing some really, really exciting news for the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast and what is coming in 2023.
You do not want to miss it. I want you to come along for the ride. Be sure to enter to win that $100 Amazon gift card. And again, thank you from my heart. I would not be here if it was not for you. Welcome back to another episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I am your host, Anna Fullmer. Today on the show we have Rob Tracy.
Rob is the founder and CEO of Trace Athletic Performance Strength Training. Taps. It is a program focused on strength and conditioning for an athletic physique, whether you are an athlete or not. Here to spill his secrets that have helped hundreds of clients transform their lives physically and mentally to live fit and strong.
Welcome strength coach Rob Tracy. How’s it going? Good, how are you? I’m doing great. It’s, uh, pretty rainy, gloomy day here, so it’s kind of, uh, where are you at? I can’t remember where you’re at. Stanford, Connecticut. Okay. So we’re on the same, we’re in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, so we’re on the same miserable
Yeah. The weather patterns East coast nonsense. Yesterday, it was so depressing. It was like, I don’t, well, actually I shouldn’t say that. Maybe Connecticut isn’t like this, but for us, winter is like 40 degrees. To 30 degrees and then it’s like rain slash ice all the time. Yeah. Oh yeah. . And it just got freezing outta nowhere too.
It was, it was like beautiful. Last, like two weekends or so. Yep. Yes. And on top of that, our heat is currently not working, so I’m huddled in my office with a space heater, . Oh geez. That’s terrible. . Yeah, it’s, it’s really depressing, but that’s okay. That’s all right. I had french fries for breakfast. I’m just kidding.
Actually, I’m not kidding. I did. I’m freezing cold. I have not worked out yet because I hate working out when I’m cold. Anyway, real life . That’s all right. Uh uh. I think I got some french fries in the fridge. Maybe we should have a french fry breakfast kind of going, I know I was laughing at myself. I was like, oh, this is the perfect time to be eating.
I basically trying to heat up what’s in the fridge, and we went out last night and I had all these leftovers, so I was like, Here we go. Potatoes. Carbs. There you go. Peel for my workout. Perfect. . Yeah. What do you got going on for your workout today? Strength draining. Yeah. Nice. Cool, cool. Yeah, I have all kinds of questions.
I can’t wait. What’s that? Okay. You got a busy week going on or what? So my husband’s a football coach, so he just wrapped up his season. So it’s kinda one of those things where now we are, it’s sort of the aftermath of the craziness of that season, and then everything kind of lets down. And then picks back up with the holidays, so, yeah.
Yeah. What level is, uh, does he coach at? He is a high school coach, so he used to be a head coach, and then we have three kids, and it was just not, they were feeling the absence from all the leadership responsibilities. So then he stepped down and he now primarily works with defensive backs. He moves back and forth.
He helps with offense too, so he’s a, an assistant coach now, which is nice. Yeah, there you go. A little more freedom. But I imagine season just ended. So does he, is he taking any time off or is he immediately getting into like pre-season for next year kind of mode? That’s a good question though. They really do.
They take a break. They start strength training in probably January, but they usually have a nice break between now and then. This is the first year in a couple years that they did not make playoffs. Ah, the competitive athlete in me is always like, oh, I want them to go, but then the mom and wife is like, mm-hmm.
Nope, we’re good. . Yeah. Is he in charge of the, uh, gym too, like the strength training and such? He, they actually have, if I recall, they actually have some strength coaches who I know they’re trying to get on staff cuz they love them. Um, so he does help with the strength training, but I think they’ve actually invested in bringing.
Strike coaches in to help help the guys. But yeah, they’re in the weight room together all the time. I actually, this is kind of funny, I, I was like, Hey, check out this guy. I’m having him onto my podcast. What questions would you ask him? Would you like, I know things that I wanna know, but what would you ask?
So we’ve like compiled all these, all these questions for you, . Oh, awesome. Perfect. Yeah, this is exciting. I was thinking we haven’t actually had, Somebody who’s especially focused on the strength training aspect of fitness and nutrition, although certainly you do all the things. So I’m excited to dive into the strength training element of it for all of our listeners.
But let’s press rewind a little bit. I always like to hear some of the backstory. How did you get to where you are today? I know you were an athlete rugby, am I remembering that right? I was scrolling through Instagram. Did I make. No, no, no. I’m actually still a rugby player, so that’s Oh, are you? That’s so fun.
Yeah, I took a, probably about an eight year hiatus and just got back into it this past year, so yeah, I can, I can start saying that I’m officially an athlete again, so I, that’s a whole nother conversation. What makes an athlete that’s like we could do a whole podcast on. If you’re fit, does that mean you’re an athlete?
Um, I’m thinking, yeah, we can do a whole talk on that. So we could do a whole hour. I know my husband and I have talked about this so many times. I would say the answer is no. By the way, anyone listening, , you can be in really good shape and not be an athlete. Just like you can be an athlete and not be in really good shape.
It’s definitely true. So tell us a little bit how you went, like give some of the backstory. So you have this program, it’s called taps. Mm-hmm. . Give us some of the backstory, how you even got to where you are today and what started. Your passion for strength training and helping other people? Sure. Yeah. So the, everything started starting back from square one when I was a, when I was a real young kid, probably about, let’s say like first grade, kindergarten age.
My parents got divorced and then we were, I was actually from Philadelphia, right outside of Philly. Uh, do you know where Springfield is? It’s like Delaware County. Um, yes. Actually not really well, but I mean, we’re like an hour from Philly. Okay. Yeah, so I was like 15 minutes outside of Philly. Okay. And parents got divorced.
I moved to New York. I was a short, doy, chunky little kid. I was way more into video games and TV and really against anything kind of athletic movements or sports or anything. Parents were trying to push me to get into being some sort of activity when I was younger, but I always refused. I wanted to just kind of do things myself.
And then when my parents got split up and I was moving, I didn’t really understand what was going on because it’s at such a young age, you don’t really know. You kind of think, is this something, something that I did? Why am I going away? Why don’t I get to see both my parents all the time? So I started developing some insecurities about myself, and then on top of basically being addicted to like peanut butter and snacks and watching tv, not the healthiest lifestyle.
So, and then moving school districts every year made it very difficult for me to make friends. So short DB little kid, no friends seeking attention, but I don’t know how to get the attention. Why were you moving around so much? Why all the moving? We were just my mom, my sister and I, we were looking for different, like just for a good place to kind of root ourselves.
So we were moving to one place and then we ended up moving to another place. We were very inconsistent for a few years there. That’s hard. Yeah, especially when I was pretty. So it wasn’t until about third or fourth grade, we had finally found a good place to establish ourselves. Small town called Highland in New York, upstate New York kind of area.
Not too much going on there. A lot of apple farms and a lot of cows. So not too much action. And walking into, sounds like Lancaster, Pennsylvania. . Yeah, there you go. Lots of cow. Walking into like first, first day of school. You know how the kids have like assigned seats so you can sitting next to people and you might not know who they are cuz you’re such a young age.
There was this quirky little dude. Funky red, bright red hair. His name was Sean, and I sat next to him. Quickly we became friends and this was like my first real friend in such a long time, and I didn’t realize that at the time, but becoming friends with this kid, Sean was actually gonna change my life.
And because his dad was actually the youth football coach. So hanging out with him, going over to his house, you know, after school and on the weekends and such, and his dad was kind of motivating and inspiring me to kind of come out for the football team, but I didn’t, I don’t know anything about football.
I don’t know anything. I just like playing like Pokemon and eating junk food. But this kind of encouraged me because now I have a friend, his dad’s kind of pushing me to go out and play in the sports. I was pretty terrible my first year I was, I didn’t play. It was, everything was uncomfortable just moving around.
My body hurt all the time, but the warmup that we went through with all the jumping jacks and pushups and different things really kind of stuck with me. And I saw some of the other kids on the team who were playing a lot more and they were like the popular kids on the team. I noticed that they were.
Much better at the warmup and they could knock out more pushups and they could do things, and I could see that they were getting attention from a lot of other players. So I adopted this warmup that we were doing, and I would start doing it myself at home on my own. And then I started And how old were you here?
Like third, fourth grade. So Wow. That must be like, I’m how old you are? Like eight, nine. My daughter’s fourth. Yeah. Yeah. So I started doing that all the time on my own at home, and then eventually I started get in a little bit better shape and then within the next year I transitioned to starting to play a little more until I eventually ended up becoming the, starting running back on the team.
So then that’s clicked in my head. So if I’m exercising and starting to drink more water instead of soda at such a young age, I could see the immediate benefit of it. So then starting to play. Starting to play more, started to develop more friends on the team, more friends on the team, turned into friends outside of the team.
So now I have more friends to hang out with after school and such. So now I’m starting to develop this attention and this confidence, which is the biggest part for me, was getting the confidence that I have value and I have a place and it’s, and all these insecurities of mine started to slowly disappear.
Being able to talk to more friends and kind of get outta my comfort zone. Just all from stemming from starting that one warmup and it wasn’t the whole entire warmup. It was okay, I’m gonna start with just a few jumping jacks and maybe do the plank and such for a little bit until I eventually built up, built up, built up.
That led me into Star, star tri sport athlete. So I was captain on Varsity for wrestling as a freshman in high school, so four years wrestling, varsity captain, lacrosse, two time captain and football, two time captain. And that led me into the world of athletics and friendship and fun and. Really got me into the weight room more and it was kind of getting the team together and pushing.
So my coaches then they put on some sort of, it was a little bit of a, like a pressure for me to be a role model for the other students. And then taking on that role model characteristic, I guess kind of brought me into leadership. And then that’s kind of what got me into some coaching. And then through college, I played football my freshman year.
And that became too much of a job with like film sessions and, uh, like having to go to the library for library hours and such and all those things. So I couldn’t really be myself. And then that’s when I switched over to rugby and quickly became a captain on the rugby team as well. We ended up going on and winning a, uh, state title in college, which is pretty exciting.
But then obviously as I was finishing undergrad, I wasn’t playing anymore sports and I didn’t have a place to kind. An outlet for myself that I was used to. Yeah. But getting into personal training and strength and conditioning kind of brought back that team, uh, camaraderie and that whole spirit of leadership and helping others work together towards a common goal, which obviously is be becoming better athletes and then working on a team and then, uh, working efficiently to win championships and such.
Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . So that’s kind of how I transitioned into, uh, the strength and conditioning world. It’s hard. I had somebody else, her name is Emily Kaufman. She was a elite college athlete and we had this conversation too on the show, but this idea that it’s really difficult when, whether it’s athletics or it could be anything, but it’s defined you so such a large part of your life for so long and then you transition out of sports or for maybe somebody it’s music or performing arts or whatever it is.
And then suddenly you sort of enter the adult world where there’s not that. Element and the immediate end goal where it’s like the end goal is to win a championship or whatever it is. It’s hard, I think, for a lot of people that to then create that lifestyle mindset. It’s like still trying to find the joy that you found.
Not to mention the health and wellness potentially as well from staying fit. How do you, how have you seen in your coaching experience, what are some of the keys that you have learned to. Men and women, but to help overcome that mindset where it’s like, just because you don’t, I think especially for men, this is a bigger deal.
The whole sports, like I’m part of a bigger team, there’s more motivating factors to stay in shape, to stay fit. Cuz I, you know, I’m running with a ball and I see the end zone. You know what I mean? It’s like a much more objective goal. So how do you encourage people to maintain a mindset of fitness and a lifestyle of it, as opposed to just that 12 week transformation and then you’re done?
The all or nothing mindset is, I guess what I’m asking. How do you avoid that? I’m not exactly the best way of avoiding it, but I know for me it’s really adopting that mindset as part of who you really are. So going back to how we kind of talked earlier, how I had mentioned that I just got back into rugby when I first started going.
I remember back in college playing all the time as a captain. I was confident. I knew exactly what I was doing. I knew my position so well, and I knew how to play and I knew how to play. Now, coming back after such a long time, I was a little hesitant at first, and then I didn’t have the same confidence of who I was.
And even though I knew I was still working out and I was still active and I still know how to play, but I had that fear, that kind of idea in the back of my head that I’m, I’m now an exa. So that’s what made me a little hesitant. It wasn’t until the first match where I kind of got it back in. I’m like, Hey, I, I still am an athlete, might not be the same athlete, but I still am an athlete.
I’m still playing. I’m still moving. And that kind of clicked in my head that I need to continue doing the things that are important to be a successful athlete that I learned so far back in my earlier years of life. And I think that’s important for a lot of my clients to kind of adapt to. You are still an athlete no matter what you do.
So I treat a lot of my clients, whether they do play recreational or uh, more competitive type sports. I treat everybody as an athlete cuz everyone’s playing the game of life some way or another. So everyone has, everyone is their own player in their own game. So I treat everyone like an athlete and I try to show to them.
These are the things that it takes to be a successful athlete, and these are the things that it takes to be successful in life. Taking care of your body, taking care of your mind, taking care of your team, people around you, family. Mm-hmm. , coworkers, friends, things like that. So it’s much more than just the making sure you go to the gym.
It’s right, making sure that you’re, you’re the best player for yourself so that your team, uh, can continue to win in the game of. Yeah, I love that. I love that concept. And just to reiterate, what you’re saying is that whether a client is or was an athlete in the like logistical sense of the word, whether you played a sport or you didn’t play a sport, when you’re coaching clients, you are approaching them like you would an athlete who’s part of a team.
You’re helping people embrace this concept that regardless of whether you were actually in a sport or. You are in a sport. It’s the game of life, and basically you are helping coach them through what it looks like to thrive in that game that they’re playing. Holistically Well, regardless of whether they were actually at ever, at any point in their life, part of a sport.
Is that correct? Is that what you’re saying? A hundred percent, yes. Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I love that. And that’s such a great point. I think especially for a lot of the women listening who you might be like, well, I was never an athlete. This doesn’t really apply to me. This is what he is saying. He’s making the point that we are all athletes in the game of life.
Mm-hmm. . And just like we would approach an athlete on a team, there are concepts that are appropriate. Any of us in thriving, especially when you can adopt that athletic mindset. It’s interesting. I don’t know. I know you work primarily with men, right? Would you say that’s probably more often? Yes. Yeah. And you’ve worked with some women too?
Yeah, I’ve worked with people, both male, female, every, everything under the sun. And uh, the youngest people that I’ve worked with were age three years old, so I’ve worked with very young. Yeah, its a lot of movement prep, just kind of holding yourself in positions and it was, it was really easy for me because he was working with two older brothers who were five and eight, so he was role modeling them.
So it was pretty easy getting them to do movement patterns and stuff. But then I’ve also worked with individual, In their late seventies, early. Yeah, so I’ve worked with the full spectrum of people. Yeah, it’s interesting. I don’t know if you have seen this or not, but in my experience as a fitness and nutrition coach, I find that men struggle more with that all or nothing.
Mentality, meaning they go hard for a brief period of time, but then they struggle to maintain moderation outside of that intense period where women also struggle with all or nothing. But I’ve found that they are, I think it’s actually more nurtured in them, meaning like society pushes them to the all or nothing mentality in especially fitness, nutrition, or just.
But they’re more interested in pursuing balance where, I don’t know if it’s just sort of more of the nature of, of men and the desire to be leaders and strong or whatever, but I have found that I have a harder time helping my male clients maintain moderation outside of that intense, you know, for my initial, it’s an initial six weeks.
Have you found any tips? For your clients to, even within that initial, I think you do 12 week transformations and they like, they just totally mess up a day of nutrition or they miss their exercises, whatever it is. What are some of the things that you have found helpful in your own life and then in communicating to clients to push through, embrace some perfect progress type of a mentality?
Have you learned anything about that over the years or in your own? Yeah, definitely. It always seems to go back to consistency. Yeah, and I try to, I try to track and monitor as much information and data points as possible so that we can look at big picture and we can look where we started and how much we’ve progressed and overcome, and making sure that my clients know that it’s okay to not be a hundred.
All the time, a hundred percent on a hundred percent of the time. And then also understanding that when you do slip up or there is a bad workout, that it’s okay and it’s time to just turn around and get back on it and get back into the swing of things. And I’m totally transparent and open and honest with my clients and audience that some days I don’t even feel like hitting my workouts.
And some days I’ll go in and I’ll hit my, won’t hit anything near the numbers that I’m in, expected to. But just getting in and just kind of going through the motion and making sure that I’m staying disciplined and consistent to the best that I can. Mm-hmm. so that I can look back on it as I’m still following through and trying my best to get to where I need to go.
Yeah, I love the concept of the data points. I think that’s something that we, we miss a lot. And I mean, this is one of the reasons that you need to be making realistic goals that are trackable. I’ve talked about this before, but one of the main reasons that we don’t hit our goals is because they’re not specific enough and it’s not a goal that we have put any plan in place to actually be able to track that progress.
And what you just said I think is brilliant because that’s why we do that. So when you have that day, That you know, you ate an entire chocolate cake or whatever the case may be, or you had french fries for breakfast, did you say? Or you eat two Yeah. , or you eat two chocolate cakes, I mean, whatever.
Whatever the scenario is. When you are tracking your progress, like you just said, you can look back and remind yourself, okay, I started at these measurements and now I’m at this measurement regardless of the fact that I just ate two chocolate. And that’s progress and we’re gonna celebrate that. I always say grace for today, but no excuses tomorrow,
So that’s kind of that, that concept. We’re gonna take a quick break, but when we come back, stay tuned. We’re gonna play a speed round of this or that with Rob, and we are gonna hear more of his expert advice on strength training to live, fit and strong right when we come back from this break. You have tried it all, worried you will never lose the extra weight or reclaim the energy you once enjoy.
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All right, we are back here with Rob Tracy. Okay, Rob, you’re gonna get two options, no stress, whichever one comes to mind First. Burger or a hot dog? I’m gonna go with Burger. Where’s your favorite burger you’ve ever had in your life? You know, that’s a great question. I think first thing that pops in my head is Bear Burger here in Sanford, I’m always looking for a good burger spot cuz I feel like I crave burgers often.
But there’s not too many good spots. Spots. Just had one last night, . Nice. Um, so you said Sanford, Connecticut? Yeah, Sanford, Connecticut. Yep. And it’s called Bear What? It’s called Bear Berger. B a r e. Berg. Okay. Bear Burger. I have so many restaurant recommendations on my podcast. I love it. Okay. Bear Burger and Sanford.
Sanford, Connecticut. We’ll make sure that’s in the show notes because food is important and it was meant to be enjoyed, including burgers. Okay. Coffee or tea? I’m gonna go with tea. Oh, tea. Okay. What kind of tea? Not a big tea person, but I, so I guess green tea, cuz that’s probably the most that I’ve consumed.
I. And you’re not a big coffee person. No, not really. No. Oh, and you’re still smiling and you’re upright. Oh, I need a sip of coffee now. Okay. Cake or pie thing to go with? Pie. Favorite pie? Pumpkin pie. Ooh, right. Season coming up. What’s your favorite? Have you ever had Costco pumpkin pie? I don’t think so.
It’s really, really good. The secret is heavy cream, not shockingly . It is really delicious. Highly recommend it. If you like pumpkin pie, pumpkin chocolate, uh, yeah, you really, you really need to or don’t or else you might eat two pumpkin pies. , just like the chocolate cakes. Okay. Would you rather lift in the gym or play basketball outside?
I would probably, I’d rather lift gym lift in the gym. I could lift outside, that would be the big winner. But yeah, that would be a winner. We always, we all these like houses that we’ve renovated, we always try to set up our weight rack in our garage for that very reason. Cuz it kind of feels like an outdoor gym, even though it’s not at all.
And then when the temperature gets to below 40, it’s just depressing. But yes, outdoor gym. Have you ever heard of, uh, a company called Beaver Fit? They make weather durable fitness equipment and squat racks and such like that. What? Yeah, I bought one during Covid and I could set it up outside and it’s interesting.
It’s completely weatherproof. What’s it made out of? I have no idea. Like a rubber, almost like a heavy rubber or something, or silly. I think there’s some kind of, uh, protectant stuff that they put on it. I’m not too sure. Uh, so then what do you, do you have a set inside then? Cause I mean, you’re on the East coast like us cold.
Yeah, no. So the, so the setup that I had purchased, it’s, that stays up at my mom’s house upstate New York, where I’m living here in Stanford is in an apartment complex and we have an amazing gym facility downstairs, two squat racks dumbs up to 80 and bunch of machines and treadmills and such. That’s awesome though.
I love that idea. At least you could use it in the summer. It’s spring and fall. Yeah. Hmm. Beaver, what? What was it called? Beaver fit. Beaver Fit. Ooh. I’ll have to look that one. Okay. Would you rather play rugby or football? I think I’d stick with rugby. Rugby, yeah. And then, this is probably an obvious answer, but cardio or weights?
Definitely weights. And if you’re doing cardio, what are you, what’s your preference? Nice. Slow going outside for a walk. Get the steps. A walk. So that’s not really cardio, then you’re going for a slow walk. I love it. So it’s nice and easy. I, I count It’s nice, my, it nice to get outside. Yeah. Unless you’re like speed walking and really moving your hips like some of these women do outside my house maybe.
Yes. My, my cardio is, it’s, majority of the time it’s just going out for a nice easy walk and then Yeah, when I’m, when I’m actually putting in some sweat time. It, like in sprint intervals. Yeah. So like suicide’s almost shuttle runs. Yeah. So, so your easy walk is like more your steps. Yeah. But I do it so often.
Yeah. And, and, uh, interval. I love cuz it’s put yourself through all the pain for about 10 minutes and then I’m done. So it’s not too Yeah. Yeah. This brings us to an interesting point. So what he’s talking about, and many people don’t know this, I have a podcast coming on this, but you know what he’s kind of talking about with cardio and exercise is an interesting, there’s like two different things called non-exercise activity thermogenesis and exercise activity thermogenesis.
Thermogenesis is basically talking about the concept of the calories burned, the energy that we need to move. And this is something that a lot of people don’t understand as one of the secrets to staying lean and fit is increasing that day to day caloric energy burn. And so what Rob is addressing like with that constant, you said you do it a lot, like you just go for walks.
That is what I would say is basically that non-exercise activity thermogenesis. It is increasing your daily steps. Your heart rate may not be elevated to that, like cardioprotective, you know, the benefits that we get from moderate to high intensity exercise. But talk to me a little bit about that and what you talk about with your clients.
Cuz especially when we address. Shredded, especially in our midsection, people always want to know like, what are the secrets to staying lean when you don’t live in a gym all day and you’re not eliminating entire food groups from your diet? I think this is one of the secrets is, is non-exercise activity thermogenesis that people don’t understand.
They’re actually not moving that. So, talk to me a little bit. I’m sure you’ve talked about this with your clients. Tell me a little bit about your thoughts on that. Oh yeah. It’s, it’s, uh, for some, oh, yeah. All right guys. Buckle up this, I’m not the only one saying this. Listen to. Yeah. For some reason it’s like the biggest secret in the world, I guess, that nobody understands.
It’s just going out, getting a little bit of extra steps in when you can like grocery store, park a little bit further away, get a few extra steps, like it’s standing more times during the day. Mm-hmm. , uh, I actually have a great, great example of this is I did a step challenge about two years ago in August, and in my apartment complex, I live on the 12th floor, so I would.
Take the stairs down, I’d go out for my walk and I’d come back inside and then I’d take the stairs back up. So I’d get the extra steps up on the 12th floor is kind of, kind of a little bit of a hike sometimes, especially after you’re out tired, after working out and the long day of work. But I had a friend come and he was stopping by and he was picking up some, uh, protein powder, and I was, he texted me, told me that he was gonna be downstairs, so I was like, okay, I’ll run down, ran downstairs.
I’m walking around outside getting a couple extra steps in, waiting for him to arrive. Text him a few times, no answer. So then I go back inside to take the stairs back up cuz that’s what I’m holding myself to. Mm-hmm. . Two minutes later I got a phone call, that he’s, that he’s here. So I’m like, great. So I run, meanwhile you’re drenched in sweat, run back downstairs and then I go find him outside, um, give him the protein and then come back inside and I’m like, man, I’m so exhausted.
I just gotta get back upstairs. I just can’t wait to just flop and chill out for the rest of the. But I told myself I was gonna take the stairs, and as I’m walking through the apartment, going up the building, I hop in the elevator and I get out on the 12th floor completely not conscious of what I was doing.
I just sucked into my phone, realized I walked out of the elevator and I go, I told myself I was gonna take the stairs. I have to take the stairs. So right then and there, I, I ran back down the stairs, didn’t take the elevator down. I ran down, got to the bottom step, turned around, walked back up. I said, there’s gotta be a lesson in here somewhere about accountability and discipline.
So, , right. Well, and this, I mean, that is such a perfect example. This is something that I’ve, I’ve talked about before, this idea of just increasing your steps, but. You know, people might say, well, is it really like a big deal to park farther away and walk? Like, how much is that really? How many calories is that really burning?
And the problem is when you look at it in isolation just one time, yeah, it’s probably not burning that many extra calories to park further away and walk. But when you add that up day after day and you take all those opportunities, like what you’re saying, Time is not an issue. And you can take the stairs, take the stairs in the airport.
I never, unless time is an issue, which has happened, you know, like I never take the walkway. I always just walk like, we’ve become such a sedentary society in ways that we don’t even think about anymore. And I love what you said about your phone, because I think we’re all guilty of this because technology is such a massive part of our day to day lives.
Now, not only. Keep us on our butt. Like since I left emergency medicine, I have never been more sedentary because I’m now in a virtual job. So I’m in front of a computer all the time. Like on Wednesdays, I sit for a couple hours on these calls, I could stand, but it’s not the setup I’ve gone on here. But the point is, We’re on our butts way more than we used to be, and the phones distract us and it is harder to be on your phone and walk up 12 flights of stairs than it is to just use the elevator.
So it’s a perfect example of where we need to be more conscious of not only just getting off of technology, but how to put it away. That will also give us the ability to move more. How can we like start to shift? So you mentioned a couple things. So sorry, go ahead. But I’m just gonna say, you mentioned parking farther away.
Mm-hmm. also PS if you are young and capable of walking and there’s, this drives me insane and there’s like the old lady who’s waiting to park that like drives me nuts. And then somebody just pulls in and like, what in the world? People? And you wanna look fit and you wanna secret pill? No. The secret pill is taking the parking spot further.
Sorry. It’s such a pet peeve of mine. So park further away. Take the stairs. Stand by a standing desk. I’m trying to think of what else you said. They’re all brilliant and I interrupted you. Go ahead. I got on a roll. Uh, no. I was just gonna say with how you had mentioned that parking further away one time isn’t gonna create that huge impact on everything, but parking further away.
Consistently over time, that becomes part of who you are. So you become the person who walks a little bit further. And then that goes back to the whole adopting the mindset of, okay, I am more fit, or I am still an athlete and this is part of the game. This is where I have to, I park further away because I walk a little bit more because I can.
Whereas the mm-hmm. , the elderly woman might need to park closer. Yeah. So, Well, and I love that you said you become, in some ways, you almost become what you do. And it’s that same concept of, you know, the, the client of mine who lost, you know, 30 excess pounds of body fat, and one of the things that just blew her mind was how she no longer felt out of breath, walking around a park with her kids.
And it’s like now she actually goes to the park more with her kids for that very reason, because now she’s stronger and she’s more fit and she’s adopting. That mentality. So it’s, it’s like, what do you want out of your life and what small ways can you be setting yourself up for success today to become that person while still recognizing that you are fully valuable as you are today, that your value is not tied to whether or not you’re out of breath walking to the grocery store.
That’s not where your value is. If you would like to walk to the store with more energy , then what can we do today to help you make those changes? With that in mind, let’s talk about beginner tips, strength training, beginner tips. This is a question that I think for myself, it’s easy to just, I, I forget sometimes that some people have never lifted a weight.
I just grew up around sports, so to me it’s like I have to remind myself that not everybody had the same, you know, athletic back. So somebody who’s never lifted weights before, never really done strength training. Or maybe it’s a guy who is frankly very intimidated because he doesn’t wanna be a gym bro.
Or there was like those guys and that’s not him. But now he recognizes that he needs to do something. Give me some strength training, beginner tips. Where do you even start? I would say it’s much like starting anything new for the first time. Start slow, simple and don’t overcomplicate anything. So there are hundreds of different variations of exercises, but.
To me, there’s only a handful of actual movement patterns. So one, starting very slow and simple, picking a few movements and just kind of getting good at doing those first two. Hiring a coach, hi. Having a friend or a buddy, somebody who can help you kind of work through the work, through the weeds as as like you’re trying to get better at becoming, getting into the gym and getting more comfortable with things.
Cuz having a body or a coach can certainly. Uh, make you feel better and more confident in the gym. But yeah, start and slow. Start and simple and don’t overcomplicate things. Is there a way for the guy who maybe doesn’t wanna go into the gym or, or woman who’s just. Like I wanna do something at home. Are there like strength training, beginner tips for somebody?
What could they be doing at home? Maybe it’s just body movement and using your weight as resistance. What kinds of things could somebody be starting at home to sort of build up that confidence to step in the gym? Maybe I hear that more from women, but I feel like there’s probably some guys out there too who would be like, ah, I feel like I need to be a little bit more confident before I step into a gym.
What can they be doing? Oh, definitely. Yeah, like there are definitely are guys who are a little intimidated with the gym. Anytime. Even when I go to a new gym, it’s a little like, A little intimidating sometimes cuz you don’t know who’s there or what’s going on. Your kid on the block. Yeah. I have a master’s in exercise science and I still get a little intimidated sometimes walking into new places.
But yeah, starting at home, starting with body weight exercises like pushups, body weight, squats, some planks, just different easy movements that you can look up quickly online and start practicing at home. Now you’re in the comfort of your own home so you don’t have to worry about other people and you just build up that confidence and those movements and then, Scheduling time to try to get to the gym cuz spending more time in the gym is gonna make you more comfortable with the, with the place itself.
I know people who. Have been deathly afraid of going to the gym and they just started off with just going to the gym for five minutes, going and turning around and leaving and just building that habit of just going to the gym and eventually getting there, walking on the treadmill for 10 minutes and then interesting walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes and then doing one exercise on in the weight room section.
Mm-hmm. , and then kind of building up from there. So starting very slow, simple, starting at home, and then gradually building up that confidence team going to the facility itself. I love that. That’s a great idea. How do you, from a strength training standpoint, this is a slightly more advanced question, but for people who are already kind of comfortable in a strength training rhythm or they have equipment at home or they’re regularly going to the gym, how do you encourage splits, like workout splits for muscle gain?
Um, for those of you listening who are like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s, from what I understand, I’m not a strength training expert, but there’s like five basic movements. Basically speaking, you’ve got. Upper body push, upper body pool, lower body push, lower body pool, that’s just like quads, hamstrings, triceps, biceps, et cetera.
And then core, if we’re really gonna break it down. So there’s like, do you do total body a couple times? Do you do like legs one day upper body? Like how do you, in your experience, how have you seen the best results in terms of splitting up those strength training? Workouts and how often? Yes, sure. When I write for myself, I base it off of, it’s typically a full body style ish workout.
It’s kind of kind of confusing. I know that might sound a little wonky, but like I said earlier, I train everybody like an athlete, and athletes are different from bodybuilders. So bodybuilders like to isolate different body parts, and that’s a great. And I treat myself and everyone as an athlete. So as an athlete, you are one unit on the field of whatever game you’re playing.
So the body has to move in different directions and movements and all the muscles have to work together. So when I’m programming for myself and many of my clients, I’ll typically pick one of those major movements that you have just mentioned, one of those movement patterns, and pick one of the major lifts for that.
And I’ll kind of dictate that as the day. So for example, Monday might be a squat pattern day, and the next day might be like a horizontal push day. So like a bench. And those might be the main focus. So that kind of dictates the day. That’s gonna be how the program or workouts gonna start. But you’re gonna have a lot of encompassing exercises and movement patterns that work synergistically with that.
So if you are on like a bench press day, I’m also gonna be doing a lot of upper back and maybe some, a lot of core loaded carry. So you’re getting a bit a full body workout every day, but the main focus is on one specific movement pattern each day. That’s your primary focus. Yeah, that makes sense cuz even like a core, well the reality is most core workouts require the extremities to move.
Yeah, that’s like again, a whole nother podcast. We don’t have Rob back. We had, I’ve already like, thought of a couple things that we could dive into a lot deeper, but this is like a whole nother, you know, the secret of abs that people don’t understand . But in order to really isolate your abs, you don’t wanna be totally fatiguing all of your other muscles first.
Like, why do we leave abs for last? I’ll never understand it. Because you have to use a lot of those other muscles in order to work out your core. So if all those other muscles are fatigued, then your abs are like getting, you know, a kind of shotty workout because you’re too exhausted to actually appropriately workout your abs.
So there’s a free tip. I haven’t even put that podcast episode out yet. , don’t leave your abs for last or incorporate them into the workout as you go so that you’re not totally fatigued before you even do your your ab workout. Let’s just really quickly talk nutrition. Sure. If you could give one princip.
That you see as like an overarching sort of repeat pattern, meaning this one thing nutritionally has been the most created, the most massive gains for your clients. What would it be like? Do you have like one thing that you’ve seen nutritionally that you consistently find. Successful for your clients?
That’s a really hard question, by the way, cuz nutrition is such a complex and my answer, I’m not even sure if it’s gonna be considered part of nutrition, but I’m gonna go with hydration, just drinking more water. Well, yeah, that counts. Okay, cool. Yeah, I wasn’t sure cuz it’s not, not like, depending on what kind of water it’s not.
Yeah, yeah. I gotcha. We’ll, we’ll allow it, we’ll allow it . But yeah, drinking more water. Cause I feel like everybody, you think you drink enough water but you really, you’re not drinking enough water. I feel like everybody can make a little more effort to make sure that they’re drinking. Uh, carrying water bottle around is so simple.
So just make sure you can kind of fill that up whenever you can and make sure you’re just drinking it at all the opportunities you. 100%. Our body is made up of a lot of water, and I did a podcast episode on how to drink more water every day. And one of the things that people don’t realize too, is again, speaking from a medical standpoint, a lot of headaches, those feelings of palpitations, there are little symptoms that you may be experiencing fairly regularly that may just simply be because of the fact you’re not drinking enough water and caffeinated beverages do not count as water.
Just as a side note. So water. That’s great. Do you have a Nu I I have a number that I give my clients. Do you have a number that you recommend for water intake? I do not. What does, what do you recommend or, uh, target for your clients? So I usually say half of your body weight in ounces. Mm-hmm. meaning if you, so like, I would weigh a hundred probably, I don’t even know.
I don’t ever weigh myself. Probably 135 pounds, hundred 30 pounds. So, like for me, I would need. Yeah, I’m doing math live. This is a problem. What is half of one 30? 65? Yep, you got it. Lord of mercy. Yeah, so like 65 ounces then. So if I weigh 130 pounds, 65 ounces in water a day, basically because of the body’s water requirements, if it’s made up of that, that much water, you need to be drinking.
A lot more than you probably are. So that’s a great, that’s a great answer. Especially if you’re then exercising. This is the other thing. Your body is using water all of the time, whether you’re working out or not, so then add extra activity to it. Then you’re really probably under hydrating, so that’s, that is brilliant.
Oh yeah. I feel like people, when they’re working out, they bring one small water bottle and they think that’s gonna keep them working out the best that they can. I go through like two or three water bottles when I’m lifting and that. And I, and I’m not going super intense. It’s just kind of casual going through.
So yeah, and just keeping water bottles at your daily places of work so that for a stay at home mom, that could be, when you’re making dinner every night, you know you have a water bottle there that you’re consuming. Or if you have a long drive for commute, like having a water bottle that you keep in the car, water doesn’t really go bad.
I mean, as long as you’re not putting other things into that water bottle, like you can just keep a water bottle full of water pretty much. It’s look warm, but . That’s all right. What is the number one thing that, um, when you were working with your clients, this is also an on the spot question, but can you think of something that people come to you and they think this about fitness and nutrition, but actually this is true.
Meaning this is like the one thing, the one mistake or wrong thing that people are doing and thinking and. You realize you’re telling them like, actually this is the case. Yeah. I feel like I have a couple of those, but I, the biggest one, this is also, might not be the exact one that you might be thinking.
Prioritizing sleep. Oh, so people think 100%. Oh, I love sleep. Okay, keep going. . Yeah. So many people think that they are getting enough sleep or they’re getting enough quality sleep and really they’re not. Or they have poor habits before bed and rising. You optimizing your bedtime and your sleep patterns can impact your health greatly.
And it can really change a lot. It can change your performance in the gym, your performance at work, just your mood, the way you’re thinking, your attitude, everything just working on your sleep a little bit. And it’s not too hard to kind of fix and improve on what your, your current situation for your sleep patterns too.
So it’s easy to, okay. Let’s build your dive into sleep. That was, that was a great answer. I’ve had several in my own head that I would’ve answered, and that was not it, and yet that is Golden Sleep is the body’s holistic reset button. And it absolutely can affect that. So that’s an excellent one. Poor sleep can inhibit fat loss for a lot of reasons and promote chronic diseases.
How do you encourage people to improve their sleep? First thing I try to do is to try to get consistent with a bedtime routine and then a morning routine. I believe too many people hit the, the alarm goes off in the morning and if they snooze, they snooze. And that’s just setting you up for failure for the rest of the day.
And I feel. Everybody wasted the last minute in the morning. So they’re rolling outta bed, rushing, trying to get everything going, and right there off the bat, you’re in a stressful environment and your body is already in chaos. So getting a morning routine and a bedtime routine and trying your best to stick to that seven days a week, cuz a lot of people like to sleep in and they’re waking up early during the, and then they sleep in during the weekend.
And then, Destroying their circadian rhythm and, and like their whole pattern. So trying your best to stay consistent through all seven days of the week is where I like to start. 100%. That’s, and research has made very clear, and it’s perfect that you said that. I’ve mentioned this before. One of the most determining factors of deeper REM sleep, like you just said, the circadian rhythm is trying to go to bed and wake up at approximately the same.
Which is I’m better at the wake up. The going to bed is where it’s a little harder to go to bed at exactly the same time. But to your point though, the bedtime routine can be very helpful. What kinds of things, when you say bedtime routine, somebody might be like, I brush my teeth, I get in bed. What would you say?
A bedtime routine, a healthy one might look like? I believe it starts pretty much as soon as the sun starts going down. I know here on the East coast right now, it seems like it’s, you’ll, you’ll, it’ll like 12 o’clock in the afternoon and the sun’s going. That’s what it feels. Yeah. It’s insane. But, so as, as the sun is going down, kind of transitioning your electronic devices to like a nighttime mode if you can, and then just kind of getting into a pattern.
So eating dinner and then what, what’s going on after dinner? If you’re eating dinner, what? Taking a shower, maybe brush your teeth, those certain things, dedicating a specific time of no electronics before bed to kind of wind down. Maybe some kind of journaling or spending time with the family. And a big thing too is, Getting into changing into bedtime clothes that is specifically designed.
I know a lot of guys, a lot of my friends, they just wear gym shorts and such. Mm-hmm. to go to sleep at night. Yeah. But your body picks up on these little cues of the material of the clothing that you’re wearing. So if you wear the same clothes to go to the gym and you’re all hyped up Mm. And working out, but you’re also wearing the same material to go to sleep at night, the body picks up on those small things.
So having. Pairs of clothing for bedtime, setting the temperature so that it’s a little bit cooler so you can fall asleep a lot easier. And then just getting into like a repetitive pattern. So maybe brushing your teeth, setting your clothes out for the next day. Um, maybe a little bit of reading, some small things like that can kind of stack up.
And once you have a. Longer, uh, routine where there’s many things kind of getting you into the pattern makes it much easier. Cuz then your body’s like, okay, as soon as I brush my teeth, I start to get a little bit sleepier. I get my clothes out, I’m a little more tired. I lay down, I reflect on certain things.
Mm-hmm. , that kind of, it’s like a domino effect of getting yourself to fall asleep at night. That’s perfect. And, and the irony is we do this very well for our children, but then we forget that we benefit from it as well. So it really is, it’s that same concept. Setting that routine for yourself. Those are, those are perfect.
I love what you said about pajamas. I’ve said that about sheets. Similar concept that sheets can actually, pillowcases can all make a difference. But that’s an interesting, so what way, cuz my husband would be like, I mean he like hardly wears any clothes to, cause he gets so hot. So like what are you telling people?
Like just don’t wear gym shorts is what you’re saying? Like maybe buy a pair of shorts you’re not wearing to the. Yeah, that’s kind of like what I have. I have like this pair of like tank tops and gym shorts that I, yeah. That I wear to sleep. And then I have my other clothes that I wear for the gym and such.
That’s a great point. So that’s a really good point. I’ve actually even started to incorporate like the body washes and soaps that I have. So I, I mean, this could just be totally just something that I made up, but now when I’m waking up in the morning, I have a specific scent that I use. So I, so now I’m training myself to, okay, when I’m using this soap, it’s time to wake up When I’m using this soap, at the end of the day, it’s time for me to start falling asleep and kind of getting ready to go to bed type of thing.
Yeah. It’s a sensory trigger that makes sense. It’s like you’re programming your body. It’s like, why? Again, we use like lavender soaps for kids before bed at. I mean, what you’re doing is perfect. It’s exactly, it’s literally what people do to help kids sleep better, and yet we’re not doing it for ourselves.
So that’s a great idea too. Or maybe just even like hand lotions that have lavender in or something. The same point that you’re making. Yeah. Program yourself that this is what you put on before bed, or this is what you use. That’s awesome. Tell us a little bit about your, about taps, about your coaching program.
What it looks like. Does it, is it virtual or do people have to be in person? I work in both hybrid styles. Okay. So I’m meeting with people in person and online, uh, that way. For some reason in person, if our schedules don’t mesh, we have the ability to still hit our sessions and our workouts. But yeah, so that’s, it’s an ever growing type of program.
So I’m just evolving constantly trying to add new things to it. Mm-hmm. , uh, but it pretty much originated back when I was transitioning out of, uh, athletics as much and I was more strength and conditioning in a private sector. And then in the private sector and private facilities, I started personal training a little bit more and.
My hours were skyrocketing, working sometimes 60, 70 hours, like multiple weeks in a row, just really burning out. So then I was trying to figure out how can I make more impact? How can I help more people, um, and continue to grow as a, as a business, as a person, as a coach, and helping all these people. So that’s where I got into the online world, and that’s also where my product line started too.
A lot of my clients were always asking me about different proteins and multivitamins to use. And instead of recommending all these big name brands that you can find in like GNC and such, I, I put in the time to research manufacturers and different ingredients and such to the point where I started creating my own line, started off with just a vanilla protein powder and slowly built that up.
So now I have all the supplements, all the products that I take are, uh, they’re all for like, basically for myself and my types of clients. Mm-hmm. . So it’s an exclusive product line that my, my clients get when they sign up with coaching with. That’s awesome. And you, and sorry, just to reiterate, do you take virtual only clients?
Uh, I am taking virtual only clients. I have people all over the world, um, that are working with me, checking in on a weekly basis and, uh, working on their goals. How do you, so if somebody’s listening and they’re like, Ooh, I’d be very interested to learn more, to walk them through a little bit of the process.
So like, if they sign up with you for virtual strength training, what does that look like for. Sure. So you get your program for, for like you specifically, so you have the 12 weeks of training. Um, we start off with baseline getting, figuring out where we’re at currently and designing the plan to get to where we want to be down the road.
We have weekly check-ins where we hop on a Zoom call and making sure that we’re doing our homework and we set small. Homework habits for us to, specifically to work on during the week that’ll continue moving us forward. And now I’m trying to have a, have that become more of a staple thing. So the more accountability, checking in with each other type of thing.
Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . That’s awesome. And then at the, I, I also wanna point this out, we’ll make sure that we have all the links for. Attached, but your Instagram account is a great place for people to follow you and hang out with you. You share a lot of your clients’ transformations and I love I, I just love seeing that.
So there’s some amazing transformations on there, but you also share a lot of tips. How tos with specific exercises. Even. I love the one you had on five points of contact, I think for a bench press and it was just really practical. But things don’t, yeah, I think we often don’t think about, you know, we’re really struggling, like maybe your hips are lifting off the bench, or you know, like how to really maximize those movements.
Mm-hmm. . So where else can people find you? What else do they need to know? If you’ve not already been convinced that Rob is an excellent resource, if you wanna get shredded and live fit and lean, then I’m not sure what else he would say to convince you, but in case, what else do you want them to know and where can they, where can they hang out with you more?
Like you said, Instagram is probably the the best and easiest option to get in contact with me or just to ask me questions or just to hang out and check out some of my stuff I got going on. But my website is also another great spot you can go to, and that’s just Taps t s hyphen. training.com, starting to put more blogs information up there.
So that’s slowly becoming a resource for more information for people. But you can check out all the different products I have and coaching opportunities there too. Social media on Instagram, it’s probably gonna be the best and quickest place to get more information. And your handle is, Rob, what’s your handle again?
It’s just at Rob Tracz. So my name, uh, r o b t r a C as in cat, Z as in z. Yeah, so Rob Tracy, and we’ll make sure all of that is included on the show notes. Rob, I, it’s so fun. I love following you in all of your tips. I love your whole approach. We will probably need to do another podcast episode. We already have so many other things that we could talk about, but I just pray God’s continue blessing over your business and all of the lives that you are impacting.
I think it’s only just the. I appreciate that so much. Thanks for having me on. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I would love to hear your thoughts from today, head to your preferred podcasting platform, and give the show an honest review and let me know what you think.
Remember, you cannot be redefined, only redeveloped, one imperfect day at a time. Your story matters and you are loved.