Today we go into “beast mode” with Craig Bongelli! Craig is a Strength and Conditioning Coach, gym owner, and author. He is the founder of Lil’s Gym and has worked with National Champions in Boxing, Track and Field, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Olympic Athletes, Miss Olympia Competitors, MMA World Champions, University Teams and continues to work with some of the fastest rising stars in Canada.

He certifications with the International Sports Science Association (ISSA) in both Strength and Conditioning as well as Sports Nutrition.

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In his career he has Gained 150 pounds to become a professional strongman.
Lost 100 pounds to compete as an amateur boxer.
Training for performance and joining the military.

So… if you lift a van full of people it turns out you can get a nosebleed 😉

Important links mentioned in this episode:
The Dirobi Un-Diet: https://blog.dirobi.com/un-diet/
Precision Nutrition: https://dirobi.com/pages/pro
Website: https://lilsgym.com
Email: craig@lilsgym.com
Book: Nicholas Taleb’s Antifragile: https://www.amazon.com/Antifragile-Things-That-Disorder-Incerto-ebook
Book: Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H453KGH/


Transcript: (Note that the transcript is created by a bot. We do a minimal amount of editing, please forgive imperfections.)

"I am a huge believer in intermittent fasting... I've used it extensively with clients and had awesome results."Dave Sherwin: 00:00:12 Hey, welcome to the show. This interview with Craig Bongelli was a lot of fun. He’s got some great stories and a lot of anecdotes and really high end, good, usable information for men and women. He is a strong man, but, he trains strong people. He’s got men and women in his gym that are doing amazing things and I’m sure you will enjoy it. One of the things we reference is the Dirobi Un-Diet, which at the time was a test I was conducting, but that test is over and the results actually exceeded my expectations. I can’t tell you how happy I am with how well that went and how thrilled that people were in the test group. It was just excellent. And so if you just google Dirobi Un-diet, a bunch of information will come up about just how to do it. There’s a video, you’ll see posts on Facebook and posts on our blog, so just enter, Dirobi Un-Diet on Google and you can learn all about that, but it is just an outstanding and much easier way to lose weight than traditional dieting. So make sure and have a look at that. Other than that, let’s just jump right in with world class trainer and strong man Craig Bongelli.

"I've noticed that women specifically lose significantly more inches around their waist following an intermittent fasting protocol."Dave Sherwin: 00:01:27 Hello and welcome to the Dirobi health show. Today we’re going to go into beast mode with Craig Bongelli. And uh, actually before I go any further, Craig, am I even pronouncing your name right?

Craig Bongelli: 00:01:37 You’re very, very close, but just about everyone gets it with Bongelli, you know, because I’m not a professional pod caster sometimes I just make the mistakes and correct them as I go. And uh, I, I’m glad I realized as soon as I said it, that didn’t sound quite right. So Craig Bongelli? Yes sir. Okay. From, from Canada.

Craig Bongelli: 00:01:58 I am. I’m from Ontario, Canada, outside of Toronto. Okay. Excellent. Well, so glad to have you on the show. For those of you who don’t know, Craig, he is a strength and conditioning coach, a gym owner and author. He’s the founder of little gym and has worked with national champions in boxing track and field powerlifting.

"It's the people who were able to stay the most adherent to their plan that get the best results regardless of whether or not it was the best plan."Dave Sherwin: 00:02:15 Bodybuilding. He’s worked with Olympic athletes, Miss Olympia competitors, MMA world champions, university teams, and he continues to work with some of the fastest rising stars in Canada. He has certifications with the International Sports Science Association. I S S A and both strength and conditioning as well as sports nutrition in his career. He has gained 150 pounds to become a professional strong man. He’s also lost 100 pounds to compete as an amateur boxer. He’s trained for performance and joining the military. And uh, I am so excited that he would come on the show. Craig, thanks so much for joining us. Absolutely. My pleasure. Now you have quite an interesting background both personally and with some of these people that, that you’ve worked with. What got you interested in the, the strength and a nutrition industry?

"The perfect plan is only the perfect plan if you can follow it on-going."Craig Bongelli: 00:03:11 Um, so that’s a, that’s a great question. This is one of my all time favorite stories. I was a high school student. I was about the height I am now and around six one and I weighed maybe 150 pounds. I had no interest in strength conditioning whatsoever. And a teacher invited me to a highland games event, which is for those who haven’t seen it, guys in kilts flipping telephone poles, throwing rocks, all this kind of primitive track and field essentially. And the guys are typically big strong man type guys and so I show up to earn these volunteer hours that I needed to graduate high school and I meet Scotland’s strongest man. So he is six one six, two, 270 280 pounds covered in tattoos and just an enormous ball of muscle and A. I felt like I’d been struck by lightning when I met him. I walked away from a five minute conversation with him knowing that I had to become a strong man and I spent the next almost 10 years pursuing exactly that.

"It doesn't matter what anyone else is doing if you find the thing that works for you."Dave Sherwin: 00:04:15 Was that in the Toronto area? Is that where you grew up? Where did you grow up somewhere else?

Craig Bongelli: 00:04:20 Very close to Toronto. Yeah. It was a small town called Fergus, which is known for almost nothing apart from farms and this massive highland games that they hold every year.

Dave Sherwin: 00:04:29 How interesting. I’ve got you beat in one area. I want you to know I, I at one point in, in high school was six foot one and 145 pounds, so I was. And Trust me, I can remember what it was like to be six foot one and 145 pounds. I, it was not a good feeling. I mean, my story is not the same as your story, but we do have that in common. I know what it means to be the scrawny Geeky guy. Uh, who is who, uh, you know, it, it is just that guy who would like to be stronger, but, you know, uh, yeah. So Scotland’s strongest man. Do you ever have any more contact with him or did he ever find out that he was an inspiration to you?

"Time restricted feeding solves the problem about what sucks about dieting."Craig Bongelli: 00:05:15 Uh, so before competing I ended up competing professionally. Years later I competed at the world amateur championships and before competing at the world amateur championships, he’s not a social media guy, but his wife and I were connected on facebook and I sent her a big message of saying, Hey, you know, you guys don’t have to do anything with this. I just want you to know he, he spent five minutes talking to me when I was 16, 17 years old, and it changed the entire trajectory of my life

Dave Sherwin: 00:05:44 that is so cool and must have been really nice for, for him and his wife to hear that,

Craig Bongelli: 00:05:50 I guess. So I, uh, I felt like I felt like I needed to say it. I’m sure there’s, there’s people who have enormous impact on those around them and they meet in a casual conversation that means nothing to them. And I thought if I had the opportunity to at least say, hey, like you, you really impacted me. That it was, it was worth sharing that with them.

"When it comes to weight loss the longer you can wait post training the greater the weight loss seems to be."Dave Sherwin: 00:06:10 And now you’ve gone on to become someone who’s like that you’ve made your own impact on a lot of people. So where did the transition come from? You wanting to be a strong man to become a trainer of strong people?

Craig Bongelli: 00:06:26 Uh, so that’s I another interesting little twist to the story for a long time. I really despised the personal training and coaching industry. I remember I didn’t grow up with very much money and I saved and saved and saved and I finally had, it was like 50 or $60 and I was going to this gym and a friend’s dad would bring me in on a guest pass and I thought, okay, I’m going to buy an hour with a personal trainer and I’m going to learn what I need to learn, you know, to become professional, strong men. And uh, so I go in and I attempt to buy this personal training session. And basically they laughed me off both for the goal I was pursuing, which was understandable to laugh out at that point in time. But more so for what I could afford to buy. They didn’t sell packages of one session.

Craig Bongelli: 00:07:12 You had to commit to x, Y, and Z for a certain length of time or you know, you were wasting their time and starting. I think from that moment I really despised what I thought personal training was. And then as I spent more and more time in gyms, I would see. I would see some good trainers, don’t get me wrong, but I’d see a lot of coaches and an average gym barely even paying attention to what their client was doing, nevermind, nevermind. Actually engaging with them and teaching them. Um, and it, as I continued spending more time in gyms, I was working a bunch of different jobs. I was doing manual labor, I was bouncing, I was doing just odd stuff here and there. And then I found out that these people are charging 50, 60 plus dollars an hour and I thought, wow, they’re, they’re terrible and they’re charging 50, $60 an hour. I, I could, I feel like I could do twice as good a job as this and I’m making minimum wage, you know, getting in fights with drunk guys on, on weeknights. Um, and that was kinda how I ended up making the transition in. I just thought, Hey, I love being in the gym and these people really don’t seem to be doing a good job. Maybe I could make a run at this for awhile.

Dave Sherwin: 00:08:24 Wow. And so did you just learn where to get a certification or did you just start by training people? How did you become a certified trainer?

Craig Bongelli: 00:08:32 So most of the certifications are, are relatively easy to come by. Um, there’s a, a major change in, in Canada called good life and when you get hired there, whether you have a certification or not, they’ll help put you through their program to get certified. Um, so I think I did a weekend to get my certification and then just started rolling. But all of the research I had been doing in the years leading up to that was so much more valuable to me. Um, in terms of helping my clients than anything. I learned that a weekend certification because once I decided to become a strong man, I buried myself in weights, in food and everything I could get my hands on to read.

Dave Sherwin: 00:09:14 Well, I, I have a certification and a health nutrition that I just got from Precision Nutrition and it was not like that

Craig Bongelli: 00:09:24 Precision Nutrition courses is one of the most respected in the world for, for a reason to come out as a precision certified nutrition coach like you. You’ve put months and goodness probably hundreds of hours into that course to come out on the other side. I’m a lot different than show up Friday night and half a day Saturday.

Dave Sherwin: 00:09:45 Yeah, I mean, if I’d have known that beforehand, maybe I’d have gone for the weekend thing. You. No, I, I loved it. I mean it is intense and there’s a Facebook group, um, you know, where, where people who are going through the course can go get help and I kid you not. There is a lot of stories of people just in tears. Um, you get to chapter three in the book when it goes into biology and, and here we are a bunch of grownups who have mostly been out of school for long time and literally people were going in there posting things. Like, I’m halfway through chapter three and I’m crying my eyes out because I don’t understand a word I’m reading and uh, so yeah, so that was a, just an interesting experience and it got easier there. There’s some really hard stuff, but it did get easier. But, um, uh, you were able to get some. So you did get some certifications. Um, but yeah, I mean you have all that experience that really matters most, right? Like, honestly, um, there are people who can get, you know, degrees in nutritional science and, and, and sometimes don’t garner the respect of someone who has more street sense and actually work with athletes like yourself as well. So I, I, yeah, the certifications certainly are good to get, but uh, not the be all end all.

Craig Bongelli: 00:11:06 Agreed. I think there’s some massive value there. I’ve since upgraded my certifications with the ISS, say like you mentioned previously to something with a lot more meat to it. Um, but I think at the end of the day you definitely need a mix of understanding the theoretical knowledge that you’ll gain from a certification to understand the general process you’re putting someone through. But apart from that you’ve got to know what it’s like. You could get the, you can get one of the best certifications for nutrition in the world. You can get a precision nutrition certification, but if you’ve never put yourself on any type of nutrition plan, what do you, what do you tell us? The woman they go, hey, when I feel like I’ve had a crappy day and I’d like to order a pizza and have a few beers and just lounge on the couch and sabotaged week, what do you say to that person if you’ve never been there, if you’ve never felt how they feel, if you’ve never had to make a hard choice to follow your plan, anything like that. Like the combining those two aspects of knowledge is, I believe will make you a good coach.

Dave Sherwin: 00:12:08 Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well listen, I’m not gonna ask you to do any name dropping here necessarily, but you’ve worked with some elite athletes and without sharing names, unless it’s appropriate to, and they’re okay care that. Any fun stories, I mean, you’ve worked with some people who’ve accomplished amazing things. Can you tell us a story or two of someone you’ve coached who’s really done something special?

Craig Bongelli: 00:12:30 For sure. I, uh, I’ll give you, I’ll give you two of my favorite stories. One with a relatively famous client and one with a client that no one would know. Um, so I, uh, I’ve, I’m relatively low key about the people I work with and all that kind of stuff because essentially they don’t pay me to talk about them. They pay me to coach them. And I remember I was outside of my gym one day and the world heavyweight champion at that point in time in boxing had flown to Canada to train at my gym for a week. And so we’re, uh, we’re doing an exercise with the sled up and down the street, out in front of the gym and a fight, a local fight promoter showed up because he wanted to drop off some fight tickets to be picked up by somebody at the gym.

Craig Bongelli: 00:13:14 And, uh, he looked over and like, hey, that, that looks like the heavyweight champ of the world. I’m like, you think you think it looks like? He’s like, yeah, really kind of looks like. I’m like, yeah, I guess I could see it. And it slowly comes back to the street with the sled and the guy’s just like this. What are you doing it kick it? Or that’s the city I live in just outside of Toronto. Like it was just, it was a hilarious moment to have such an amazing athlete come to really a town that he’d have no other reason to visit.

Craig Bongelli: 00:13:44 And that, outside of that, probably my favorite current story. Um, we keep a record board in the gym, um, of men’s and women’s weight classes with different barbell movements and then body weight movements for Reps. so chin ups, dips, that kind of thing, and one of the ones she was competing top 10 fitness competitors in the world was a client of mine for a couple of years, one of my all time favorite clients and she had our women’s Chin up record and just, I think two weeks ago it was broken by a client of mine who is 67 years old. So the 67 year old woman and she just broke the record. She got 16 or 17 dead hang body weight, Chin ups and uh, as cool as it is to train a world champion or an Olympian or something like that, those type of moments absolutely blow me away. And now of course I’ve been using that to shame almost every single member of the theater to work harder on their, on their pull ups.

Dave Sherwin: 00:14:46 Yeah. That’s awesome. And, and that really plays into a theme that I’m pushing in my company right now, which is something I call middle-aged awesomeness. And we’re trying to. We’re trying to help people to, to become recreational athletes if they’re not already and, and live at their best nutritionally in their fitness, getting the right supplements and uh, you know, this saying 50 is the new 30, it’s a real thing. And, and, uh, and I have had some people older than that say, Hey, what about us? Seventy year old, what about us? Eighty year olds? And more and more we’re seeing people in their sixties, seventies and eighties who are extending middle aged health out into a older ages. So that’s inspiring.

Craig Bongelli: 00:15:31 Absolutely. She’s a pretty amazing woman.

Dave Sherwin: 00:15:34 Now that leads me nicely into the next thing I wanted to ask you. You’ve worked with a lot of elite athletes and yet I love how the common person who can come into your gym and accomplished something great is so exciting for you. And, and so how, how have some of these lessons you’ve learned from elite athletes, uh, come into play with the regular person who walks into the gym and just says, I want to get in shape. What have you learned that really applies to the recreational athlete?

Craig Bongelli: 00:16:04 So I would say the similarities between a, let’s say we’re talking a 40 year old professional with a full time job with family commitments and that kind of thing, and we’re talking about a 20 early 20 year old, um, professional athlete who’s looking to take it to the next level. So to two groups of people who would normally see themselves as worlds apart. I’m the biggest lesson I would say that carries over between elite athletes and then you know, the more general population of people who are living busy lives, taking care of their families, all that kind of thing is that absolutely everything they do in their program has to be weighed out in terms of the time and energy it, it’s gonna cost them and the potential reward it will give them. I think when it comes to coaching elite athletes, very often I am, instead of adding things to their program, I’m chiseling away things that are unessential because when you have, let’s say, a mixed martial artists, I worked with a variety of professional mixed martial artists.

Craig Bongelli: 00:17:08 They have boxing training. They have to do during the day. They have wrestling training, they have Jujitsu training, they have mobility or yoga class. At some point they have strength and conditioning they have running. They have to mix all of these things into a day. So what? What’s imperative is widdling away the most, the least essential things. Are you familiar with the Credo principle, the 80 20 principle I am, so for anyone who’s listening who isn’t familiar, essentially this is the idea that 20 percent of your causes will yield 80 percent of your effects and this can be played around at a bunch of different ways, but in training, that’s essentially what you’re looking at. So what are the 20 percent of things you’re doing that are yielding 80 percent of your results and really making sure that you’re hammering those at 100 percent is integral for elite athletes who have a limited bandwidth for recovery for time during their day. All that kind of stuff with with people leading busy professional lives, they might not see widdling away the inessential aspects of their training or nutrition as that important, but if you have three kids and a full time job and a marriage where you’d actually like to see the other person, it’s integral to double down on the things that are giving you the most bang for your buck essentially. So that’s actually, I would say the most common thread between elite athletes and and the average versa.

Dave Sherwin: 00:18:33 Give me an example. Maybe someone you’ve worked with WHO’s a Oh, in their, in their forties, maybe with a family like you described. How does that look? I mean what? What type of advice or training program or you’re giving to them.

Craig Bongelli: 00:18:47 So a lot of time this is going to come down to time constraints for them more than training recovery constraints, but this could be as simple as going, okay, you’ve got three trading days a week in a three training day, a week program. How many times would you like to do? Or here’s a. here’s an example. You could do a seated row machine and a lat pull down machine and two different bicep exercises, or you could work on doing cleanups and you could maximize the amount of training efficiency you’re going to get out of a single movement to hit all of those things, or people think that, for example, if they want to lose weight, that they’re going to have to spend hours on the treadmill or hours jogging around their neighborhood. If you’ve got 20 minutes, you could do an incredible hit workout, or even if you wanted to, to kind of bump that up a little bit, you could do a interval swimming in a pool so you’re getting a muscular benefit as well as a cardiovascular benefit and get the same amount of caloric deficit or calorie burn out of the workout.

Craig Bongelli: 00:19:49 Get some additional muscular work. All those things to maximize how much result you get out of that, say 20 minutes that you can, you can dedicate on a particular day.

Dave Sherwin: 00:20:00 Okay. Excellent. Okay. I want to turn a change directions here for a minute. Uh, when I was a young man long, long time ago and was introduced to lifting weights, I was at scrawny 145-pounder, put on some muscle. I was introduced to the term no pain, no gain, and that was meaningful to me. I, it to me that meant work hard and push yourself. And when I had a, a training partner who could help nudge the bar a little bit so that I could bench press more weight or be there to help me do negatives or to me it meant work hard, get outside your comfort zone. Now I’ve heard a lot of people recently and seen on social media a lot of people saying, oh, that’s the worst thing anyone ever said. This whole no pain, no gain thing. You shouldn’t be in pain. And uh, and they take it quite literally about the pain thing and that you’re hurting yourself. And so what I’ve always understood intuitively for myself to be something that pushes you out of your comfort zone has also been critiqued by others as being something that could cause injury. What are your thoughts on the old adage and weightlifting? No pain, no gain.

Craig Bongelli: 00:21:11 That’s an excellent question. So I think first of all, we don’t necessarily give quite enough credit to people’s general, a common sense or intelligence. Um, I don’t think there are many people out there who say if they’re out for a run and they fall and fracture a bone in their shin or they break their leg or they break their ankle, are going to stand up and go, well, you know, I did see a meme that says no pain, no gain. So I better run this off. I don’t think there’s going to be too many people taking that in the way that the critics a, we’ll make it sound. I think the way you’ve interpreted is a hundred percent correct. The pain that makes sense for no pain, no gain is the pain of exertion. It’s the pain of trying. I was doing airdyne intervals last night and I was in what I would consider legitimate pain for probably the last five interval sprints I was doing on the air dot.

Craig Bongelli: 00:22:10 Now that pain was the pain of, you know, sweat getting in my eyes, it was the pain of my legs cramping a little bit. It was the pain of having trouble breathing. It wasn’t the pain of a muscle tearing or a bone breaking or a joint coming dislodged somewhere. So I think if, if it helps the critics feel better, they could refer to it as no exertion, no gang, um, but I think understanding much like you have innately, that what that means is the pain of hard work, not the pain of injury will lead you to gates and not the opposite.

Dave Sherwin: 00:22:44 Yeah. Yeah. Fair enough. I like that. Exertion, pain from exertion. That makes sense.

Craig Bongelli: 00:22:48 No exertion, no gain. It doesn’t sound as fancy, but it works.

Dave Sherwin: 00:22:52 Okay. And, uh, along those lines, one thing I have noticed in the fitness industry recently is a lot of coaches scaling back on how often they max out their athletes. Uh, you know, a lot of people want to know what’s my Max bench press, how much can I dead lift, how much can I score? How many Chin ups can I do? How much of this or that or the other, depending on your sweat, how fast can I swim a thousand meters, whatever your sport is, or there tends to be, um, measurements, things that you want to track every now and then you’re in the industry. What’s your sense on that? Uh, the, the, the, the here again, the critics would say, you know, when you’re maxing out your body, it’s a lot of stress. Your blood pressure is going through the roof. It’s something you should do kind of rarely. You sure, sure. Certainly shouldn’t be working out at 100 percent all the time. And uh, and maxing out just a few times a year. Do you agree with that? Do you, what are your thoughts on that

Craig Bongelli: 00:23:53 in practice? I agree. Um, I think I agree for different reasons than there typically promoting, but I agree that people shouldn’t be, say, seeing how much they can bench press all that often the reason isn’t so much that I feel that Maxi coat is dangerous. Um, as long as your, you know, as long as you’re doing the movements properly, you’ve built up to the way you’re doing properly and you’re handling weights that you can at least reasonably handle maxing out shouldn’t lead to that much more risk of injury. In my opinion. The real reason that I think maxing out, it’s something that should be avoided very often is because when it comes to making progress, it’s a waste. Very, very often people in, in my gym, from all the coaches will hear the little mantra train, don’t test. Maxing out is a test and testing is fine.

Craig Bongelli: 00:24:41 Testing is interesting. If your goal is to get a bigger bench press, it’s fun to test that and see if you’ve accomplished it, but really at the end of the day, if you’re in there for a training session that you would like to build your, your capacity, whether that’s like you mentioned swimming or bench pressing, we’re running or whatever, then you need to be training it and to train it you’re going to have to do a significant amount of volume typically following a set plan and protocol to help you continue increasing the amount of work you’re doing. If you go off to the side every once in awhile and Max that out, you’re missing that day of training. It’s Kinda like if, if you were building or building, excuse me, if you were baking a cake, the plan is to mix the ingredients, put it in the oven for a certain temperature for a certain amount of time and then take it out and see how it’s done. Maxing out of the equivalent of taking that cake out every 30 seconds and cutting a piece out and testing it. You can do that and eventually hopefully your cake will taste good when you finally do it, but it’ll cook significantly slower and you’ll probably have a lot of very disappointing mouthfuls of doughy cake.

Dave Sherwin: 00:25:50 Yeah. Okay. So different reasons, but you’re just saying it’s not really moving you towards your goals is what I’m hearing you say.

Craig Bongelli: 00:25:57 Absolutely. Absolutely, and that’s essentially. If you were to say, take a different example. Let’s say you’re teaching your son or daughter to read, at some point you’re going to ask them to start doing the reading instead of working through it with them or reading to them. You’ll hand them the book and see what they can do. If you were to do that to them every day instead of building their skills up and reading with them are practicing with them. Not only will they not be getting better, but their confidence is going to be hurt by the fact that they’re continually testing this and not improving. Read this book. I can’t. Well, alright, we’ll try tomorrow. Read this book. I can’t. Won’t will try tomorrow. If you were to spend two months practicing kicking with them and slowly letting them do a little bit more every time and then asking them to do, you get a much more positive result both in terms of where they’ve actually gone and psychologically for that.

Dave Sherwin: 00:26:50 Okay. Excellent. I want to ask you a question that I didn’t prepare you for, but uh, I’m doing it anyway and see how you do with it. Um, historically I look back and, and uh, over the decades, you know, in the, in the forties and thirties, from what I can tell, there was no gyms really. And, and, uh, there was athletics and Olympics and things like that. But then in the fifties you kind of had this, a gold’s gym phenomenon and the muscle guys have Venice beach and then, and then, uh, in the seventies there, there, you know, a lot of people started to run. And in the eighties, Jane Fonda came out with her workouts and a lot of women joined fitness classes and a lot of men were still hitting the gym and fitness over the last few decades has really grown and improved in women’s sports especially has, has really grown, um, where even in the eighties when I went to the gym, there’s a bunch of guys lifting weights and very few women.

Dave Sherwin: 00:27:48 And today if I walk into a gym, it’s probably 50 slash 50 of, of men and women and many of the women are lifting weights. And historically that wasn’t necessarily the case. And yet a lot of women listening to my show, that’s why I’m bringing this up. And we know that the benefits of strength training for women are unique. For example, there’s research that women who strength train have less likelihood of getting osteoarthritis when women who strength trained, who have osteoarthritis, a slow the progression of the disease. And that’s just one example. So it’s a wonderful thing to see. Do you, do you train or have advice for women different than men or is it pretty much the same protocol or what? What do you say to the women listening to the show as far as strength training goes, if, if there’s anything different than you’d say to the guys who train in your gym?

Craig Bongelli: 00:28:46 Whoa, that’s an excellent question. I’m kind of glad you didn’t prepare me for this. This is exciting. I’m so when it comes to the actual protocols between men and women, if we’re assuming that the goals are the same, there’s very little difference. Um, in terms of how I train men versus how I train women. Women. The Rep schemes are typically a tiny bit higher and we’re talking, let’s say a man’s doing for five reps on a set. I’d maybe have the woman doing six to eight. And the reason for that is I find women are typically better at grinding out more reps at a higher percentage of what they can lift. So if a woman can lift a hundred pounds on a dead lift and a man can lift a hundred pounds on a dead lift, I’ll typically find that if you gave them both 85 pounds, the woman would get more reps.

Craig Bongelli: 00:29:35 um, and I don’t have a good scientific answer for why that’s the case, but it’s something I’ve documented with my clients across the board for a decade. Um, so in terms of the protocols, that’s probably the only change I would make in terms of the advice that I would give to women over men. And I’m trying to articulate this as smoothly as possible. Um, off the cuff here. Men come into the gym and into a lot of areas in life expecting to be tough. Guys, they expect to do well. They expect to improve and they’re significantly on average, much kinder to themselves for every improvement they do. Make a guy loses a couple pounds or does a couple more reps on curls and he’ll spend 10 minutes flexing in front of the mirror. You know, telling himself he’s essentially he met, um, now whether or not he is or is not essentially, he man at that point is irrelevant to me.

Craig Bongelli: 00:30:30 But I find women are so much more critical of their performances, no matter how good they are. And they’re significantly harsher with their on the terms of their expectations, what they believed their potential to be across the board. My female clients have always on average outworked by male clients at the absolute top levels. It’s even men and women were equally hard, but trickling down from there, women are on average, significantly harder workers who, who make incredible progress. And they do that even with the handicap of expecting less out of themselves and being less kind to themselves to the progress they do make. My, my single piece of advice is that women should attempt to treat themselves like they would treat someone else. They care about the, the amount of potential they have and the rewards they deserve for their efforts are usually in excess of 10 times what they’re actually giving themselves. And if they can move that forward even a little bit, their progress will speed up exponentially.

Dave Sherwin: 00:31:39 Okay, well thanks for tackling that very, very thorny ground. And, and hopefully that was helpful to people. And uh, to have had two men here discussing women’s issues in the gym might be extremely dangerous. But you’re a pro who does this all the time, and so I value your feedback. I hope that those listening do as well, and got some nugget out of that that would help them. So now let’s move off of that thin ice dangerous ground that we were just on and let’s talk nutrition as, as you know, as a professional, nutrition is vital to success in sport and strength and light and in longevity and in every way we’re learning more and more of the importance of nutrition. What have you learned again from your elite athletes and from your, from Lil’s gym experience? Some of the big takeaways, um, that would apply to recreational athletes.

Craig Bongelli: 00:32:40 Okay. The big takeaway. So I’ve learned and unlearned and relearned on repeat so many things over my training career. It makes my head spin sometimes. There are things I thought I knew five years ago that I was positive, I didn’t know three years ago that I know again today. Um, so this is an ever evolving kind of process. But what I would say there are three monstrous takeaways that I find myself repeating all the time. The first is that for weight loss, I am a huge believer in intermittent fasting. Um, I love the intermittent fasting protocol. I’ve used it for the bulk of my 100 pound weight loss, um, and I’ve used it extensively with clients and had awesome results. The,

Dave Sherwin: 00:33:29 no, I’m going to jump in there before you get onto points two and three because I had Kevin Rail who’s one of the world’s leading experts on fasting. He was on the recent documentary called fasting and he said that people use the term intermittent fasting and restricted. I’m feeding a, I’m, I’m getting the word wrong now, but I’m restricted feeding times interchanged. Are you using the term intermittent fasting in the sense of shortening your eating window during the day or are you talking about intermittent fasting as a would be applied like to. I’m fasting for 24 hours a couple times a week or something like that. Describe. Describe it to us.

Craig Bongelli: 00:34:11 So I’m using the typical, you know, men’s, women’s health, version of fasting. The typical protocol that I recommend to people is eating for only eight hours a day. Typically from something like noon to apn and then fasting for that 16 hours everyday. So I guess that would be the intermittent feeding. A term of the strictest

Dave Sherwin: 00:34:31 time restricted feeding. That’s what it’s called. Like if you do YouTube videos, you want to go research this and watch what experts have made videos on it. It’s called time restricted feeding or time restricted eating. That’s the term that had slipped, slipped my mind. So that’s what you’re referring to? Absolutely. Okay. Okay. Excellent. So that’s your number one. I love it.

Craig Bongelli: 00:34:51 Number one. And these are in no particular order. I guess there’s, these are my three biggest, but that’s not, that doesn’t stand above the rest. So number two, um, number two would be consistency is key. Finding a routine that you can stick to is so much more valuable than finding the perfect routine that they’re not even in the same universe. There’s multiple, multiple studies that show that over say the course of a year when it comes to dieting. It’s the people who were able to stay the most adherent to their plan that get the best results regardless of whether or not it was the best plant. So as much as I love a restricted feeding times my getting that right, yeah, time restricted feeding as much as I love time restricted feeding. If that’s not something that someone could be adhered to and it’s not something that seems like it fits the rhythm of their life, then I’m willing to completely throw it in the garbage to find something someone can be consistent too.

Craig Bongelli: 00:35:55 Um, so that’s, I think very often we look for the perfect plan, the perfect strategy, the perfect whatever, but the, the perfect plan is only the perfect plan if you can follow that plan ongoing. Um, so that’s been, um, a monstrous less than life. There’s so much behavioral knowledge you’ve learned in the precision nutrition course and that’s one of the primary benefits to having a coach with that experience. Understanding that, hey, like you with your science that you learned in this program, you can come up with an ideal diet, but with the behavioral knowledge you’ve learned, you can also come up with a way to make that diet suit someone in a way they can move forward with, even if it has to be five percent removed from the most effective strategy. Makes Sense. And uh, the third and final point which comes off of that to some degree is that it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, if you find the thing that works for you, I’ve seen so many people hit these stumbling blocks where they find out that, you know, such and such an expert thinks that the plan they’re doing isn’t a good plan.

Craig Bongelli: 00:37:08 It doesn’t work for people, but it’s been working for them. But they switch off of it because, you know, someone in a, an intellectual ivory tower tells them that’s not a great plan. Um, I remember reading a bunch of studies out of a Russian training manual that said if you lift more than 90 percent of what you can lift on a particular movement for more than three weeks in a row, you’ll go backwards. And this is at the same time I was deadlifting every single day. I deadlifted everyday for 40 days and that led me to my first time dead lifting over 500 pounds. And according to this scientific paper who’s authors work infinitely more qualified to make suggestions on training than I was. What I would do was doing wouldn’t work, but it did work. So the paper to me is irrelevant. I’ve got this result sitting in front of me, you know, the paper could tell me that that doesn’t make sense, but the weight on the bar says it worked just fine. So I think not getting caught up in, in allowing anyone else to tell you what’s best, when you can see what’s best and feel what’s best in your own body is t

Dave Sherwin: 00:38:17 wow. Those are, those are three great tips. And, and interestingly, I am, I am currently, I have a test group of 30 weight loss subjects who are using our weight loss product in conjunction with time restricted feeding and a few other criteria that we’ve laid out for a new diet that we’re calling The Dirobi Un-Diet and so we’re in the Beta test of this right now and it’s something I hope to roll out with all of my weight loss product buyers in the near future. So we’re right now in the process of teaching these people time restricted feeding and seeing this as one of the biggest points that you are teaching people as well. I want you to go a little deeper on that subject. I’ve been doing it myself, uh, for a few months and I’ve been just thrilled with the results. I can’t overstate it.

Dave Sherwin: 00:39:10 Um, I’ve lost fat, I’ve gained muscle, I’m sleeping better, I feel better. Uh, the, the results of this for me have been spectacular. And, um, and so I track with you. I totally agree with it. Even though as I’m fairly new, I don’t consider myself an expert by any means. So give us a few more tips. If someone comes into your gym, you’re introducing them to these new and better habits of exercise and nutrition. Tell us how do you teach them to do time restricted feeding? What are your, your main tips, uh, to uh, and, and, and, uh, as you consider the answer to that question, is it something you ease them into? Do you start with a larger eating window and shrink back to eight hours? Talk to us about how you guide your, your clients through that process.

Craig Bongelli: 00:40:00 So I’m a little bit of a tough love coach. Sometimes I throw people right into it. My Hey, starting tomorrow, you’re eating for eight hours and eight hours only. And then typically I’ll take the foods they typically enjoy eating and I’ll break those down into two meals that they can eat over that, um, that feeding window, that eight hour feeding window, um, in a way that ideally combined what they like with what’s gonna be best for them rolling forward. Um, I typically one of them, the first couple of days you’re probably going to feel pretty sluggish. You, you’re not going to feel your absolute best, and after that, typically people start to come out of it and start feeling a lot more energized during the course of their time restricted feeding, the big things I hit people with when they start, um, there’s a pile of studies that at least suggest a lot of benefits to a, a time restricted feeding protocol.

Craig Bongelli: 00:40:58 I’m, none of those are, in my opinion, solid enough studies that I’d feel comfortable guaranteeing any of those results. But there’s a lot of really high quality studies that at least point to potential benefits outside of that. In my own test subject group of clients, I’ve noticed that women specifically lose significantly more inches around their waist following an intermittent fasting protocol. Then they do a same calorie and macro-nutrient breakdown spread over a whole day. I have absolutely no scientific evidence to support why this is happening at all. I think potentially a digestion, some improvements that hormonal health are potentially to, to, or potentially responsible for this. Um, but it’s hard to say, but it’s something that I noticed very consistently, which is an awesome benefit and a pretty easy way to help people be compliant. Um, and the final thing I tell people is intermittent, excuse me, time restricted feeding, solve the problems that suck about dieting.

Craig Bongelli: 00:42:04 The two biggest problems I find that derail, derail people when they’re dieting is number one. It is awful to never be full. If I tell you, you can have 1500 calories in a day, let’s say, and you have to eat five, 300 calorie meals or six, one, 250 or so, um, talary meals that sucks. Being hungry when you finish your meal is a terrible feeling. And that does not, that I don’t care how strong willed you are when you finish your meal, you have cool. I’m still, I feel like I haven’t eaten anything and I have to wait another three hours to eat again. That’s horrible. And maybe you can handle it for a day or week or a month, but it’s brutal. So literate in fasting solves that because you get to be full or excuse me, time restricted feeding, solve that because you get to be full, you, uh, because you have all of your calories within that eight hour window, you get to have satisfying meals and I think that psychologically is a major win.

Craig Bongelli: 00:43:03 And then apart from that, one of the biggest benefits I found an intermittent fasting is it eases the social pressure of dieting. If you, for anyone who started a diet, if you show up to a dinner out with family, friends, coworkers, whatever, and you go, hey, I’ll have a water, uh, and can I get a salad with the dressing on the side and you know, just four ounces of chicken and can I not get the walnuts on the salad? And No cranberries and like, can I get some extra ice cubes for dessert? Every single person sitting there, one is going to talk to you about your diet too, is going to give you their opinion. And three, you’re going to sit there eating this tiny little salad with the dressing on the side and no crew. Don’s watching everyone else enjoy a meal and you’re going to hate it with intermittent fast.

Craig Bongelli: 00:43:47 You know what? No one cares if you eat breakfast. No one is even going to notice half the people in your life are trading breakfast for a smoke and a coffee. Anyway, you can get up. Hey, are you having breakfast? No, I’m good. I’m going to have a coffee this morning. Everybody goes okay. And then when you’re having lunch, you’re having dinner. You can have those meals essentially like a regular person. You can be involved in the social aspects. You can eat with your family, you can be full. So I think the benefits of intermittent fasting or maybe even slightly weighted heavier towards the psychological value of doing it. And then all the physical benefits are fantastic as well. That is such great stuff. I love it. Um, what do you allow people to eat or drink during the fasted state?

Craig Bongelli: 00:44:32 Okay. So what I allow people to have and what I tell them they’re allowed to have are different. So if any of my clients are listening, pause for like the next three minutes. So typically I tell people absolutely no calories, you’re allowed anything you want with no calories and I highly recommend either black to your black coffee, there’s some appetite blunting effect of caffeine, which I think are awesome. You’re energized and I mean coffee is delicious, so it’s a plus all the way around and that typically will have people break their fast with ideally a large green salad and then they moved forward from there. What I allow people to have or up to 50 calories as needed. Um, so sometimes I’ll slip that into people’s plans, that kind of thing. And I put that in because all the research I’ve seen indicates that 50 calories or less won’t take you away from the benefits you’re getting from that fasting period. But if somebody needs it for a particular reason or they’re, you know, they have an early workout in the morning and they just can’t get going again without it. I’ll give them some tiny snack was about that amount. But I, I never tell them that that’s the limit.

Dave Sherwin: 00:45:42 Now I, I get up in the morning, I exercise first thing in the morning, I take a pre-workout inside just like to. I just feel better in my workout when I do that. The caffeine wakes me up. I feel like I just get a better pump. I like a pre workout. I then I am in a fasted state. I then drink a BCAA’s and Creatine while I exercise and then I come home and I don’t eat until about two hours later. So thoughts on that. And I’ve had people during the, during this test that I’m talking about who’ve asked me about BCAA specifically and I said, well, I’m taking them. Um, but, uh, what, what are your thoughts on that?

Craig Bongelli: 00:46:24 I consider BCAA’s totally fair game during a fast that period and I’ve actually seen some research that consuming BCAA’s, um, during your fast periods, negate even the most minute risk of any sort of muscle wasting during training. So I’m, I’m all for that. I think that’s entirely permissible. Um, as for everything else you’re doing, to be honest, I’d have no issues with that protocol at all. Um, I found that when it comes to weight loss, the longer you can wait post-training before eating again, the quicker the weight loss seems to be. Um, that’s been my own personal experience when I’ve tested this on myself, but I’ve also found that the more terrible the experiences, the longer I push that timeline out. So it’s definitely a balance you have to walk between how, how quickly you’d like to get results and how terrible you’re willing to feel while getting them.

Dave Sherwin: 00:47:20 Yeah. Okay. Well that was excellent stuff and a kind of a segue from what I had originally told you, uh, you know, giving you the outline and the questions. And so I appreciate you diving deep into that because I agree with you. Although like I said, I’m new. I don’t consider myself an expert by any means, but I’ve seen the same research that you have. I’ve been doing it myself. I’m now doing this experiment with 30 people and um, we’ll see how well they do are documenting their weight loss and having them ask all the questions. And, and we’re just going to monitor this for 30 days and it’ll be interesting to see what happens. But, uh, one thing I can predict based on my experience so far based on talking to guys like yourself, I predict that every single one of them will stay on some form of this a month from now because I just think it’s it. I just think it flat out works.

Craig Bongelli: 00:48:14 I completely agree. I think it sounds like a phenomenal approach. And just to interject for a moment, it’s, it’s so interesting to hear you say every time you mentioned time restricted feeding, that you’re not an expert there. I truthfully, truthfully believe that one of the problems with the fitness industry is that the people who are willing to title themselves very freely as experts are most often not. And the people who should give more weight to what they’re saying are quite often very humble about it. I’ve listened to people whose sole amount of experience on an investing is reading blogs or reading a few studies and then making a YouTube video about it or a podcast or an article or whatever and considering themselves an expert from having read someone else’s opinion or experienced the fact that you are personally doing this and have been for a few months and now have a relatively small test group which you have a lot of control over in terms of evaluating their experiences and seeing what works gives you so much more credibility in terms of talking about this than than most of the people I see doing it. It’s incredibly interesting to me in our industry how often the people who who should be heard are very humble in the people who perhaps need to do a little more self experimentation are very readily titling themselves as experts.

Dave Sherwin: 00:49:36 You know, I. I guess one of the reasons why I’m careful to declare myself an expert is because frankly, I have in the past thought I was pretty expert on something only to find out later on that I was wrong and that I needed to be schooled by someone who truly was. And so part of it is just bad experience of me thinking that I really had nailed something. Uh, and, and the older I get, the more I realized that there are people that dedicate their lives to studying just certain elements and areas. This is why Ted is so cool. Right? This is why we all love Ted talks because someone who’s got a phd and a subject and has done all types of, of experiments and, and, uh, you know, had all types of life experience gets up and condenses their wisdom into 10 minutes.

Dave Sherwin: 00:50:25 And so, uh, for me that’s part of it is. Um, and then the other part is if I, if I don’t consider myself the expert, I find experts. I consider you an expert in strength training. And so I’d rather have you, I, I mean I feel like I know some things about strength training. I’ve been doing strength training since I was a teen. Um, you know, I got 35 years of personal strength training experience. Uh, but I’m not, you. I don’t have a gym, I don’t have this experience. You’ve been able to talk about the differences between men’s training in women’s training and elite athletes and recreational athletes. So. So yeah, I, I, I just think it’s a better attitude.

Craig Bongelli: 00:51:06 I admired that humility. I just, I guess my most important point, I think the track that you’re on is absolutely ideal in terms of implementing it or investing, being able to share it with your clients, your customers, all that kind of stuff. This, in my opinion, is how people should operate within the world of strength, conditioning, fitness, health, nutrition. Try It yourself, try it on a small test group, condensed your findings, start moving up from there. I think it’s fantastic.

Dave Sherwin: 00:51:33 Yeah, I’m really excited about it and I am fairly confident from what I’ve done myself and from all the research I’ve done of what’s going to happen with this test group. So I’m excited. As a matter of fact, I’ll let you know, Craig, uh, when this is done in a month, um, I’ll, I will let you know what the results of this test were for your interest in, uh, you know, uh, how much weight people lost in that type of thing. I would love that. Okay. So now we’re gonna play a little game where I ask you questions and you answer them and there are no prizes and so it’s kind of a pointless game, but it’ll be, it’ll be fun for people listening. Uh, and this first one will be interesting given our prior discussion, uh, because I don’t think you eat breakfast. I was going to ask you, what’s your favorite healthy breakfast?

Craig Bongelli: 00:52:17 So I’ve actually recently started, I’ve started doing two a day endurance workouts and I’ve found that I’ve needed to slow down my weight loss a little bit. Uh, so my breakfast, my favorite breakfast is pretty simple. It’s a little bit of oats with some berries and a little bit of sentiment. Um, but for a long time my favorite breakfast was black coffee.

Dave Sherwin: 00:52:36 Yeah. Yeah. Right. Okay. Well, what’s your favorite lunch?

Craig Bongelli: 00:52:41 Favorite lunch? My favorite lunch is. Got To be a really big salad. I love salads if they have some berries and nuts in them. A really big salad. I’m with almost as much cauliflowers I can find and ideally have some really nicely grilled beef.

Dave Sherwin: 00:52:59 Okay. Sounds delicious. And how about your favorite healthy dinner?

Craig Bongelli: 00:53:04 I’m going to show how boring I am right now. My favorite healthy dinner would be the exact same as my favorite healthy lunch. I almost have the same meal over and over again every day.

Dave Sherwin: 00:53:12 That is really interesting. And you know, we talk about variety in neutral in nutrition and of course variety is important, but mostly the variety that’s important is between the of protein, carbs and fat. And then within the micro-nutrients, uh, making sure we get enough vegetables and, and a variety of colors and, and that type of thing. And yet in a salad there is quite a bit of variety. Like I am convinced that most people could choose one, two, or three favorite healthy breakfast, one, two or three lunches and one, two or three dinners and get all the variety they need. Um, yeah. Tim Ferriss covers that in his book for our body. For those of you that are interested is that there’s an excellent chapter that covers us, this very principle. But, uh, as a, as a strength and a nutritional coach, you’re on that same. You’re agreeing to

Craig Bongelli: 00:54:15 completely completely. If you’re, if you’re interested in variety, mix up your protein sources. Maybe instead of having beef every time, it’s sometimes beef, sometimes chicken, sometimes fish, et cetera, mixed up your carb sources. Maybe instead of rice today you’re having a sweet potato and vary your salads. Maybe I’m, you know, I’m mixing up the veggies in a Kale Salad as opposed to some different veggies and a spinach salad, that kind of thing. But in terms of optimal progress, the amount of variety you really need, once you do, as you said, and, and pick a couple of healthy breakfast, a couple of healthy lunches, a couple healthy dinners is really not sure you’re changing your salad, but I mean, you’re not going to go wrong with a salad, some lean protein and a little bit of carbs at every meal. That’s going to be a pretty standard way to get where you want to go.

Dave Sherwin: 00:55:07 Yeah. Interesting. And what about protein powder? Do you need, do you need protein powder to get enough protein in a day? Are you getting it all from food?

Craig Bongelli: 00:55:15 Um, so I will typically do a protein shake every day, mostly for convenience. Um, so right now I’m a weight train three days a week I’ll swim twice and I’ll run somewhere between 40 and 60 kilometers a week. Um, so I’m doing that weighing around 225 pounds right now. So my caloric expenditure is fairly high and I’ll use a protein powder for example. And you know, I get through a protein or a protein shake and an apple and a backpack. And run out the door to another meeting, another client, another whatever, and have that whenever I need it. So I’m in no way for or against a protein powders. I find them incredibly convenient. If I had a perfect world, you know, maybe I’d be sitting down to a meal cooked by a chef for everything I ate and it would be some kind of phenomenal chicken breast I was having as opposed to the protein shake. But I typically final take about a shake a day and that’s normally just to fit in some nutrition where I wouldn’t be able to fit a meal otherwise.

Dave Sherwin: 00:56:21 Absolutely. Now talk about sleep. We live in a sleep deprived society. A lot of people don’t get enough sleep. A lot of people don’t sleep well or deeply. Uh, you mentioned recovery, uh, earlier in the episode. I’m just talk to us about sleep for a minute. Is this something that you cover with your clients? How about for yourself? Any tips for us on sleep?

Craig Bongelli: 00:56:45 So sleep is a very much do as I say, not as I do when it comes to my clients and my personal experiences. I sleep as much as I can based on what I have to do during the day that I’m in and the following day. So if that means I’m waking up at four in the morning to get started, I’m waking up at four in the morning. If that means I can sleep in until six, I’ll sleep in until six. Um, that said, um, I typically don’t recommend my same attitude to clients. The essentially, the more sleep you can get, the better there is. There is nothing you’re going to do that’s going to allow your body the level of recovery from everything you’re doing mentally and physically throughout a day. Nothing beats sleep when it comes to that. Um, so you know, the, there’s the stereotypical eight hours a night.

Craig Bongelli: 00:57:37 I think that’s a phenomenal goal that people can experiment with from there. If you feel sluggish after rape, but great after seven, amazing. That’s what you should do. If you don’t feel rested after eight and you find you need nine, I think that’s what you should do. I think post industrial revolution really, we started looking at sleep as like a lazy person’s pastime. But if you recognize that you’re putting a high amount of energy into everything you’re doing, you’ve got to give yourself that decompression period. Um, I think if, if you notice that you’re watching two hours of Netflix every night and you’re waking up tired the next day, forget the Netflix, go to sleep. You really can’t beat it.

Dave Sherwin: 00:58:16 Yeah. Okay. You training for anything right now? Any events coming up?

Craig Bongelli: 00:58:21 So, um, I believe you mentioned this in the beginning. I originally enrolled in the military. So most of my training is surrounding being the most effective I can be in a military environment that said I’m doing a charity run in February. I, uh, I’m raising money for first responders and military PTSD. And the, the offer I put out was if I raised $1,500 or more in donations, I do a mid February Canadian winter run and just a pair of short shorts. So that’s an eight mile run. And uh, I’ve reached that donation limits. So now, now I’ve got to think some more thoughts and get ready for February. Um, but apart from that run the eight mile run, most of my trainees just surrounding being, like I said, the most effective and valuable I can be within my, my army unit.

Dave Sherwin: 00:59:15 Now I want to inspire you. I have a friend who completed an entire Ironman distance triathlon in pink, a pink sparkly Speedo. So the bar is set.

Craig Bongelli: 00:59:29 All right, I’m going to remember that the next attempt. I’ve yet to come. We get up on that level.

Dave Sherwin: 00:59:36 He did Ironman Cozumel in nothing but a sparkly pink Speedo. So if you’re gonna wear short shorts in Canada in the middle of the winter, why not just go all out?

Craig Bongelli: 00:59:48 I’ll have to see if I can track down some sparkly, sparkly pink Speedo to up the ante here. See if I can boost that donation a little bit with that announcement.

Dave Sherwin: 00:59:56 Oh, I think more people would show up. I think you’d make more money if you just announced it. That’s how this is going to go down. So doubt. Is there a book that you really love or recommend to our audience?

Craig Bongelli: 01:00:09 A training book or a

Dave Sherwin: 01:00:12 book? I had no rules on this one. A favorite book or book you love. I don’t care if it’s a novel or training book or personal development. You pick it.

Craig Bongelli: 01:00:22 Alright. I’m going to hit you with two if that’s all right. Can I cheat and give to?

Dave Sherwin: 01:00:25 Yeah, let’s hear it. Absolutely.

Craig Bongelli: 01:00:27 Okay. Both of these books are, in my opinion, standouts for both things that can be applied to your training life, your personal life, personal development, everything up. So the first is Nicholas Taleb’s, Antifragile. I think that is one of my all time favorite books and it’s essentially the idea that there are certain systems, people being one example of a system, but certain systems that are crushed by stress and by uncertainty and there are systems that grow and become stronger from stress and from uncertainty. And how he explores this topic is massively enlightening in my opinion. Um, the second is a relatively new book. Um, it’s by David Goggins. He’s a former navy seal. He’s an ultra marathon runner. He is probably the toughest dude on the planet. Uh, the book is called Can’t Hurt Me and I could not put it down. It just came out. He self published, I believe on Amazon. Everything. David Goggins is amazing. If you had to follow one person on social media, if you had to read one book, if you had to, if you had to model yourself after one guy, I don’t think you can go wrong with David Goggins.

Dave Sherwin: 01:01:44 Interesting. I haven’t heard of either of those books, so I’m going to look them both up.

Craig Bongelli: 01:01:48 Honest you will. If you didn’t like either of those books, you could fire me a message. I will cover whatever you spent on them. They are so good. I would bet the house on them.

Dave Sherwin: 01:01:59 That’s awesome. Well listen, thanks so much for being on the show. How do people reach out to you or get ahold of you or do you, do you have services to offer for, for people remotely?

Craig Bongelli: 01:02:08 I do, but to be honest, I’m, I’m more than happy to help. Just to help if, uh, if someone has any questions that they’d like to discuss anything or get any clarity on anything I said, my personal email is craig@lilsgym.com, lilsgym.com. Um, I, I’m relatively busy, but I always get back to people if you have a question, if anyone needs anything, fire me a message. There’s, there’s no harm

Dave Sherwin: 01:02:39 that is outstanding. And any final message or thought maybe we haven’t covered in this episode that, uh, you want to share before we let you go?

Craig Bongelli: 01:02:48 I think via all of my personal life experience, becoming a professional, strong man, moving into the military, the way my body’s gone, the way my business experiences yawn. I would encourage people to suspend their disbelief about the things they’d like to achieve. Um, if you had told me 15 years ago, 10 years ago, five years ago, that I was going to do the things that I did, following that I wouldn’t have believed it. And often I’ve undertaken projects believing they would fail. But being able to put aside that disbelief and just going, yeah, do I think this is going to fail? Absolutely, but we’ll see and then pursuing it 100 percent and that if there’s anything beyond, you know, blind luck and universal intervention in my success, it’s been that and I would encourage people to try that in every area they possibly can.

Dave Sherwin: 01:03:41 Well, that’s outstanding advice and you’ve given so many great nuggets. I am really excited to publish this episode and of course when we do, we will send you over the link and graphic design and whatnot that we create. Thank you so much for being on the show.

Craig Bongelli: 01:03:54 It was absolutely my pleasure talking to you.

Dave Sherwin: 01:03:57 Okay. And for all of you listening, you can find information on this episode and others at dirobi.com. That’s D-I-R-R-O-B-I.com. Go to the blog. We create a blog post with a transcript. All the important links and books and anything we talked about will be on that. So you can go to blog.dirobi.com. And look up Craig Bongelli to find out any information regarding this episode. Until next time, this is Dave Sherwin wishing you health and success.

Miranda: 01:04:27 Thanks for listening to the Dirobi health show. Visit dirobi.com. To learn about our free bottle Friday contest and subscribe to our newsletter to get sweet deals and flash sales. And if you’re sick of.