What To Do When You’ve Let Your Body Go Physically, And How To Get It Back On Track Today

Episode #753

Have you ever wondered why your fitness goals seem elusive despite your efforts?

Are you aware of the often underestimated impact of calories in everyday items, such as drinks and coffee creamer, on your overall health?

In a dynamic conversation, Doug Holt and guest, Scott Johnson, a fitness professional, explore the intricacies of nutrition, exercise, and rehabilitation, offering valuable insights and debunking common misconceptions.

In this episode, you’ll learn not only about the significance of calories but also about the need to focus on the basics for sustainable fitness results.

Steer clear of overcomplicating your fitness journeys and instead concentrate on foundational elements like strength training, nutrition, and stress management.

Hungry for more?

Head over to our BONUS page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man. 

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Doug Holt  00:32

Hey, guys, welcome back to another episode of The Powerful Man Show. I am here with my special guest, Scott Johnson. Scott is not only a physical therapist, he is also a human performance coach to the stars. And probably most importantly, to me, he is my go-to guy for all information regarding health and wellness. So Scott, thanks for being here, man. 

Scott Johnson  00:53

Thanks for having me. 

Doug Holt  00:54

Yeah. Well, I’m really excited about this because a lot of the guys that we work with, guys that watch the show, you’re talking about men in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s that are coming through that have been your typical guy that’s really gone after it for business, and maybe has left his physical fitness to the wayside. And I know they’re going to love hearing this conversation. 

Scott Johnson  01:16

Yeah, awesome. Are you asking for a friend or for yourself? 

Doug Holt  01:18

Yeah, it’s definitely for myself, I’m going to ask all these questions for myself. Luckily, I get to have a beer with you and ask these questions, typically, but here we go. So when you think about, from what you do and the average man that’s out there, so picture a guy, he’s got the 2.3 kids, the job, he’s working his tail off. And he’s woke up in the morning and realized, “Oh, crap, I kind of let myself go.” What are a couple things that guy, give me one thing that that man can do today to get himself back on track?

Scott Johnson  01:52

Get a plan. Find somebody just to get — I mean, you got to have a plan for your business, right? 

Doug Holt  01:59


Scott Johnson  02:00

You don’t just open a business and try it. I guess I kind of did. But yeah, have a plan of what you’re going to go or how you want things to go. Somebody like yourself for business, right? Somebody like me, somebody, just a personal trainer, physical therapist, chiropractor. Just get a plan. Second is just start moving. Right? You can go for a walk. We talk about that every day, right, just go for a walk. I think that’s the easiest way to start just doing something is better than doing nothing or paralysis by analysis, right. So that’s a good… Just start. 

Doug Holt  02:39

What do you think are the barriers to entry for a guy? Do you think they overthink the whole process? 

Scott Johnson  02:48

Sometimes under-think and just jump in, or just think they know too much. Like, I used to work out in high school or I worked out in college a little bit, but I haven’t done it in a while so I’ll just jump back in. But yeah, I would say like overthinking a little bit, not having a plan, right, that’s what ends up happening when you don’t have a plan. 

Doug Holt  03:09

Do you think when they… Yeah. So when I see a lot of guys who will all of a sudden jump back into it, and they’ll go back in and do the workout they did when they’re in their 20s, right? And they’ll go… [crosstalk]

Scott Johnson  03:19

Asking for a friend, correct? 

Doug Holt  03:20

Totally, for a friend. And so then they’ll jump in and try the last workout or the latest workout in men’s fitness they found online or something rather than going segmentally back into their wellness program. So for a guy that’s out there thinking, well, cool. You know, I wrestled in college. You know, now I’m 43. Now I can jump back in if I want to, I know exactly what to do. What are you commonly seeing in your practice, or in general, when you’re working with these guys?

Scott Johnson  03:52

Well, for me injuries, right? Because they think they can go back and doing something that they haven’t done in 20 years. And “Well, I could do it when I was 20.” It’s like, “Well, yeah, you could do it when you’re 20. But you were also doing it when you’re 5, 10, 15, 20. And then you stop for the same amount of years, and you try to jump back in.” So I think just trying to do too much too soon is… I mean volume is generally, when we’re talking about, like you and I talk about like strength training, CrossFit. Most of the time, it’s the volume that gets people banged up. And if you haven’t been doing anything for 20 years, almost any volume is a lot, right? 

Doug Holt  04:30


Scott Johnson  04:31

So just go slow, you know. That’s the big thing I see. It’s like, everybody wants to not be patient, wants to have a six pack in six weeks.

Doug Holt  04:42

Who wants to wait? 

Scott Johnson  04:43

Right. A six pack last week, right? So yeah, I think just slowing down and just taking it easy. You’ll get there, one foot in front of the other. Little by little, right? 

Doug Holt  04:54

Yeah, the journey is the destination as we say. Awesome. Yeah, because I mean it comes down to lifestyle. And obviously, you and I have talked about this a lot with my former life going through this. But the average guy listening to this is going to have no real idea on really fitness, nutrition, also injury prevention. And I got to imagine that a lot of the men listening to this are like, “Ah, man, yeah, I’d love to go running, but my knee hurts. My ankle hurts. My shoulder hurts.” Do you think a lot of guys should go see a PT or somebody before they start an exercise regime and kind of get things checked out? Or do you think they should wait until they get the bad knee or something else going on with their body and come in for a specific issue?

Scott Johnson  05:38

Both. Right. Like, there’s no reason you can’t get on a bike? That’s low hanging fruit. Right? Most people can go for a walk. But yeah, it depends on what situation you’re in. Getting on a bike’s an easy thing, if you get a gym membership, go for a walk, if you don’t have a gym membership, or you’re adverse to doing so, right. Then getting a plan, physical therapist. You know, there used to be this beef between PTs and chiropractors. But I see more and more great chiropractors, great PTs. And again, there’s a bell curve in every profession, right? It doesn’t matter. There’s a bell curve with physicians, like everything. 

So I think just getting started with the low hanging fruit of walking and biking, get a plan, go see somebody get cleared. Those people are generally good at doing, figuring out how to modify, figuring out how to work around some of the injuries, not all of them. There’s a lot of people, you know, we’re not really taught in those graduate programs real fitness, that has to come from before. They’re trying to get you out of pain to start. So, yes, that’s a good place to start. But find somebody that has a performance background or has a history as a college athlete. That can generally be a better place to start. 

Doug Holt  06:59

Okay, so do your research, basically. And obviously, word of mouth is always the best. But if you’re in this, and you’re in this to getting back in shape, getting your body moving again so you can play with your kids more, just have more energy within life, it would be smart to find a physical therapist, chiropractor or personal strength coach — [crosstalk]

Scott Johnson  07:18

 Yeah, a strength coach. 

Doug Holt  07:19

— that has the background of fitness. Because I think a lot of guys are surprised that most medical professionals have zero nutrition training program at all, zero exercise science at all. But yet, the different modalities will have specific interest levels, right, of what they’re designed to do. 

Scott Johnson  07:40

Well, it’s also really interesting that medical professionals all have a really big opinion on those things, without having any, like actual understanding. I mean, we could go down a huge road on this, but how much time we got? But yeah, that’s generally like, that’s the thing I see is giving recommendations from people that don’t actually have any sort of actual training, but also like, being in the gym, or actually working on fitness or nutrition, and implementing that in their life. And there’s something to be said about having real-life experience, right, like… 

Doug Holt  08:18

In the trenches. 

Scott Johnson  08:18

Yeah. I think that’s why you come to me, right? It’s like I know what CrossFit movements are and I’ve been in that arena. I’ve been strength training since I was 13. So, it’s interesting when you can, you know, I see a lot of physicians and PTs and chiropractors shying away from strength training, because they’re afraid you’re going to get injured. And when you see somebody if you’re active and they’re like, well, if that hurts, don’t do it. And it’s like, I mean, you’ve been under a bar with a one rep max and uncomfortable, you know, it hurts, like sometimes you fail. But if you’ve never done that, it’s hard to kind of relate to those people. 

Doug Holt  09:02

Yeah, I mean, it’s easy to do theory, right? Even if you’re — you could be a strength coach, right, which is a high designation in the US, be a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. But if you haven’t been under a four pound 500 pound squat, you don’t know what that feels like on the body, let alone the psychology of it. Right? Because to me that’s the biggest component. Because once you get the bar on your back and you start feeling that weight, you’re like, okay. 

Scott Johnson  09:24

Well, that translates over to life too, right? 

Doug Holt  09:25


Scott Johnson  09:26

Like some hard things happen and there’s the bar on your back and it’s pulling off the ground’s… I like the squat better than like a deadlift, just because you don’t have to pull the deadlift. Squats are on your back. You know? It’s either going up or it’s not, and we’ve all been on the bottom of that right. 

Doug Holt  09:44

Sit down, stand up. So again, I’m picturing this guy sitting at home without any fitness background because he decided to study something different than you and I did in school. And he’s woken up, he’s looking in the mirror. Things with his wife may not be as good as they could be. And he just wants to get sexy back, right? And so I mean, everybody wants to look better naked, you know? I mean, who doesn’t? So, what are some… Obviously, we want to get him a plan, we want to keep them injury free, how would you suggest he does that? At what point would you say, “Hey, Doug, come see me when, X.” In other words, when you start hurting or it becomes unbearable, or at the first sign of pain. And I know that’s a hard question to answer, but to the best of your ability, when you come, start seeing a professional like yourself?

Scott Johnson  10:38

Yeah, again, like, it depends if you have a coach already. So, what I see a lot from my practice as a physical therapist, not necessarily as like strength and conditioning. Physical therapy, I tend to see people that wait too long. You know, I’ve heard from people in the past, you know, physical therapy, just like takes too long. And it’s like, well, yeah, because you’ve been in pain for six months, and I can’t reverse this six month issue in one session. Sometimes you can, sometimes you get lucky or sometimes… 

For instance, I had a guy that was, he only had pain when he was back squatting over 315. Sweet. Let’s watch your back squat. No pain, no pain, no pain. And I noticed something when he was at like 135, right, never stood his squat up all the way, and was not bracing at all. So he gets to 315 and just imagine being in a little hinge position with 315 on your back. It’s like why don’t you just stand all the way up? Oh, it doesn’t hurt. There we go that. That wasn’t… I got lucky. But sometimes people have chronic pain. There’s so much to pain, you know. 

But if you’re somebody that’s just looking for a plan, that’s what I would say, just when you’re ready to make the jump. I would say not when you’re ready to dabble. I mean, when you’re ready to dabble, we can but it’s one of those things like my mentor said something to me, he’s like, “Get the fence posts out of your ass.” And I was like, “What? What does he mean?” He’s like just pick a side. Either you want to do something or you don’t? If that’s something you’re going to make a commitment on, then do it. Make the commitment. And once you’re ready to make the commitment, get somebody, grab a strength coach, a PT, a chiropractor for that maybe modality or the activity you’re wanting to do. 

And it’s sort of the same thing with being injured. I think it’s like, the sooner you can get into somebody, that’s trying to do the same thing that you’re wanting to do, right? The sooner the better. You’ll have less visits, you’ll have less time. You’ll have a better understanding if you get somebody that’s good, a better understanding of what your condition is, or how you cannot be in that conditioning in the future. 

Doug Holt  12:46

Well, basically you’re buying time, right. And so the men listening to this all know this cognitively that the limited resource they have is time. And by getting an expert, whether it be a strength coach, PT, personal trainer, joining CrossFit, whatever it is, you’re really buying your time back. It’s the same thing with being on the fence is something we talk about a lot, because men that watch this show on YouTube, or listen to it on whatever station they want to listen to, are often on the fence about joining the program that we offer, it’s called The Activation Method

And because they want their marriage to be ignited, they want more passion in the relationship, they’re like, “I don’t know.” And so guys, for some reason, don’t get as well as women, because women tend to jump in a lot quicker. They’re like, I have a problem. I need a solution. Let’s go find it. 

Scott Johnson  13:34


Doug Holt  13:35

Men tend to be on the fence more and more and then… [crosstalk]

Scott Johnson  13:38

Try to fix the solution or make the solution, right? 

Doug Holt  13:41

Yeah, yeah, fix the problem, get the solution. And that’s interesting that they see it in fitness as well. And also injury — I’m sure you see this with injury prevention a lot with compliance and things like that. 

Scott Johnson  13:50

Women are much more compliant, in general. We’re talking in generalities here, right? 

Doug Holt  13:57

Of course, yeah. Yeah.

Scott Johnson  13:59

Women are generally the ones that… Gosh, if I think about my patient population right now, I’d say 70% females from the age of 20 to, I think Betty’s my oldest at 94. 

Doug Holt  14:15

Yeah. Go Betty. 

Scott Johnson  14:16

And Betty gets after it. She’s still deadlifting. She lives on her own. You know, she’s doing great. She still does burpees because if she falls she’s got to get up off the ground, you know? But yeah, it’s interesting, men, I think part of it is because they — we all think we’ve got the answers, right? And so I think sometimes it’s hard to ask for help. It can be a sign of weakness, right? Or a sign of like, incompetence and we don’t want to be that. But yeah, I think that, yeah, mean are — we have a bit of a hard time getting there before we need to, right? Your original question was what?

Doug Holt  14:59

So, I don’t know if it was a question but more of long lines of not just compliance, but when people want to get on the fence, you said — you started off with talking about your old mentor.

Scott Johnson  15:16

Yeah, I do think that, and we’re talking a little bit about buying time, right? 

Doug Holt  15:21


Scott Johnson  15:23

And it’s interesting for somebody that’s so smart and has such a — wanting to do that, like, we’re creating businesses to buy ourselves time, right, or to create — for whatever reason it is, but ultimately, time’s the thing we want, or we need, or we’re trying to get back. And we build this great business, and we don’t have any health at the end of the day, you know. So it’s interesting that I see so many men that, especially wealthy or well-to-do, they’re so unfit and so unhealthy. 

And it’s like, you’ve done so well in another part of your life, and it’s like, now you only have 10 years to enjoy this. And it’s not even really enjoyable because you’re… Something I talk about is living at a one rep max. As these people get a little bit older and you see it, I see it, like 65 year olds, you know? Guys having a hard time getting out of a chair, not as much in the community we live in, right? It’s a pretty active community. But it happens quickly when you lose strength 1% a year. Those studies are not necessarily with people whose strength train, but you know, happens a lot faster than you think. So, yeah, did that kind of answer the question? 

Doug Holt  16:37

Yeah. No, yeah, it gives us a good idea. So we talked about one thing people could do is get a plan. Right? So let’s just say I got a plan, obviously, I got to take action on that plan. And to get follow up. What are some other things that men can do to, one, optimize their performance, and two, prevent themselves from having to get injured? Like, what are a couple of things that you’ve seen that guys could do today or in the coming weeks to really change things around? 

Scott Johnson  17:06

You know, I mean, strength training, right? I think that’s… you and I talked about it, we know about it, but I think the general public, was it, I think 24% of people don’t or only 24% of the people in the US meet the minimum strength training requirements by the government, or what the government puts out there, which is pretty low. So I think we all talk about, like, we know strength training is great, you have to do it, it’s beneficial for so many things. But actually implementing that and having that be a thing that is a part of your life and part of your fitness routine, I don’t think people really do it. 

So I would say, number one, like strength training. And I don’t know if there’s a number two. I think strength training through full ranges of motion and actually getting after it a little bit. You know, I think that is the number one thing. I don’t think there’s a close number two, I really don’t. 

Doug Holt  18:05

Yeah, it’s interesting, because my former life in the fitness industry, I have a lot of friends that are still in there, like yourself. And there are a couple guys out there who I really respect, who have the initials after their last name, who are now saying don’t go through a full range of motion; that there’s actually no proven benefit and the risk reward just isn’t there. Like for a squat, they’ll go to parallel, not below parallel. Obviously, you’ve heard but you know, obviously, shoulder impingement with the benchpress, sort of the classic moves. What are your thoughts on that based on the people that you’re seeing?

Scott Johnson  18:42

Well, I will say if you look at a biomechanical model, that’s not true. I mean, if you look at the sheer force on the lumbar spine, when you squat, the… If you can get full depth on a squat, you should do it because the sheer force on the lumbar spine is better. There’s this thing called the wrapping effect on the knee. So you know how we used to be taught, like 90 degrees, you stop? 

Doug Holt  19:04

Oh, yeah.

Scott Johnson  19:05

That’s actually the…

Doug Holt  19:06

Like lunges. 

Scott Johnson  19:07

Right, yeah. Right. That’s actually the highest area of patellofemoral pressure, like the kneecap on the femur. So as you go lower, there’s this thing called the wrapping effect. So the connective tissue, the retinaculum kind of actually holds, it kind of displaces the force a little bit. So I think that that’s like, maybe like more of a perceived threat than an actual threat. And it depends, right? Like, if you have an arthritic knee, then maybe you shouldn’t do that you should go for where you are. If you have patellar tendonitis or something, just for instance, at the knee, that very end range is probably going to be a little bit painful. But for general, people like you should definitely go through. You should definitely go through full range of motion. 

Doug Holt  19:54

What do you think about… I’m going to switch gears a little bit but similar vein. I have two questions here, but first I’ll start off with what do you think about… So when I had my practice, we did a lot of functional assessments, movement assessments. Do you think most people before they get under a bar or things of that nature should be doing some kind of assessment to see is your knee tracking? What’s your cueing? All those kinds of fun things to figure out, hey, should you be under the bar, under your squat? Or do you need to work on flexibility first or? 

Scott Johnson  20:27

Yeah, totally. And like, did you do the FMS? 

Doug Holt  20:33

I did FMS, yeah, [crosstalk] one of the models. 

Scott Johnson  20:34

And that’s a great tool. Yeah, it’s a great tool. I personally like to do just like hands-on, I don’t know how much hands on you’re doing with clients back then. I think there… [crosstalk]

Doug Holt  20:47

A lot. 

Scott Johnson  20:48

Okay. I think that there’s like a little bit of a, it’s a little bit frowned upon now, for coaches and trainers to be touching. I think there’s actually like legality issues, but… 

Doug Holt  21:21

It wasn’t when I was going. 

Scott Johnson  21:02

Yeah, yeah, yeah totally. But for me, like I like to get my hands on a patient to actually see is like, okay, well, is it soft tissue that’s restricting it? Is it like motor control? Is it strength? There’s a lot of things that can limit that. So yeah, I do think you should go through some sort of screening process from somebody that’s qualified. You know, I see it all the time with people. I mean, we’ve all been there, right? Somebody’s tries to do air squat and they can’t get very deep. And they’re like, “But if you put some weight on my back, I can get down there.” So it’s like, “Well, yeah, you actually have the mobility to get to that position, you just don’t have the motor control to actually get to that position.” So that’s all good information to know before you start getting on a program. Right? And that goes back to us talking about getting a coach or professional to help get you a plan, right? Because if you don’t know what the problem is, you can’t, or where your weakness is, you can’t kind of like tailor the program to that. 

Doug Holt  22:05

Yeah, I think that’d be a key indicator. If someone were to ask me how do I find a professional to write me a program. And if you’ve been out of the fitness field for a while, and what I mean by that is if you haven’t been active for a while, then you need to find someone who’s going to give you an assessment.

Scott Johnson  22:21


Doug Holt  22:22

CrossFit, you mentioned, CrossFit. You do CrossFit, I do CrossFit. And I’ve been to several different CrossFit gyms. And you know, there’s a difference between one that you bring in, they assess you to make sure that, hey, your risk of injury is going to be lower. Also good sales technique, too, right? Of course. You know, you can see through, but I appreciate it. Versus another one that I’ve been to was basically like, okay, let’s go. And they’re like, we’re doing snatches today. Like really? I got shoulder impingement, all kinds of things. But…

Scott Johnson  22:53

Yeah, good sales, tech, it’s good sales, but also it’s… I mean…

Doug Holt  22:58

No, it’s the right thing. 

Scott Johnson  22:59

It’s the right thing to do. 

Doug Holt  23:01

100%. That’s my point. 

Scott Johnson  23:02

Yeah, totally. It’s like…

Doug Holt  23:04

Or personal trainers should be assessing the — [crosstalk] 

Scott Johnson  23:06

Should be, yeah. 

Doug Holt  23:06

— clients, they shouldn’t just be putting them on weights, or machines or whatever else… [crosstalk] 

Scott Johnson  23:10

Yeah. And I think that should like kind of guide, for me, like treatment and like practice. You know, I almost always start clients, whether it be like strength and conditioning, or performance, or like, just traditional PT, we always try to do like functional movements. They’re all kind of functional, right? Some are more functional than others. But I always try to have somebody do a squat, hinge and some sort of pressing and try to figure that out. But for the squat, we always start with like, squatting to target. How’s that look? Looks good? Good. Can you do it consistently? Great. Now, let’s bump up the intensity, right?

Generally use a kettlebell. Kettlebell can clean up a lot of things that you… Once you put a barbell on somebody’s back, it changes, right? You’ve been there, you know it changes it. So I think like… So, this might even go back to before, if you don’t know what to do, obviously, getting a plan is the best part. But if you’re not, you’re still on the fence, you still got that up there, the fence post, take a kettlebell, do a goblet squat. Most people can figure out how to do a goblet squat fairly well. So yeah, that’s a lot of my assessment and kind of the way I go. 

Doug Holt  24:34

Yeah. I think So, for the average guy listening to this right now, I think the key takeaway that I want them to have is, if you’re going to go to the gym, you’re going to get a trainer or plan or you’re going to see your local physical therapist to get a plan or whoever it may be; make sure they’re assessing you first. Otherwise, you’re just getting a cookie cutter plan, right? And that’s a red flag. 

Another red flag that I would say is if you go hire a personal trainer maybe at Equinox or wherever, and they just put you on machines straight away, also not a good sign, another red flag that I’d be looking for. And these are just things that I know a lot of the men, because if you don’t know, you don’t know, right? You and I have been doing this for a long time. But these are the things I see all the time. Just because your trainer is good looking and fit [crosstalk] doesn’t mean that they know how to get you fit. 

Scott Johnson  25:23

Yeah, I mean you and I know how to get a six pack. Doesn’t matter how much you do and like, [crosstalk] it sucks, but it is what it is, like… 

Doug Holt  25:32

You can’t be drinking a six pack every night. [inaudible 00:25:33] Darn it. 

Scott Johnson  25:36

Right. Yeah, yeah. And I think that also has to go with a plan, right? Having a plan that will give you a plan. And asking, as the men that maybe are watching the show or somebody trying to get back into this, it’s really a good idea to have a plan of what you are actually wanting to do. So if somebody comes in and makes a point with me in my practice, I’m assuming they have pain. So they’re wanting to be out of pain, and there’s something that’s being taken away that they can’t do.

So for me, I’m like, I don’t know that until you tell me that. I’m going to ask you questions. So if this is a performance thing, and you have a goal, or if it’s just that you want to look good, that’s something you got to tell people too. So I think like a communication part is… Like, yeah, getting a plan is great, but if you don’t know where you want to go, and that’s where a professional will help, you guide you. But most people kind of know what they want, right? 

Doug Holt  26:36

I think they do. I think some people are scared to communicate it, you know? There’s some people that are going to want performance. There’s some guys that still just want to be stronger. You know, when you look at the hierarchy, like do you want a six pack or do you want to build a bench 300? Like, where do you want? Like, well, I want to bench first. Okay. Well, we’re going to adjust your macronutrients differently. [crosstalk] 

Scott Johnson  26:54

Yeah, you’re going to have that six pack, probably. 

Doug Holt  26:56

Not right away anyway. 

Scott Johnson  26:57

Yeah. You’ll get there. But…

Doug Holt  26:59

Yeah, we’re going to increase your strength, right, which requires more fuel, which are calories. Yeah, you want to be in surplus.

Scott Johnson  27:04

I’ve got a strength… 

Doug Holt  27:05

That’s what I’m working on.

Scott Johnson  27:08

You’re already bulking. Right? 

Doug Holt  27:09


Scott Johnson   27:10

I got a buddy that’s a strength coach up in Montana. And I really love his program. He keeps things simple, but every male he has, he’s like, they’re going to get bi’s and tri’s even if they don’t tell me, because name a guy that does want bigger bi’s and tri’s. And every woman, they always have some sort of like, butt exercise and some abs. 

Doug Holt  27:34

I did the same thing in my practice. 

Scott Johnson  27:35

Yeah. And he’s like… 

Doug Holt  27:37

Just chest and tri’s.

Scott Johnson  27:38

Just chest and tri’s, right? So it’s funny. Even though there are some things like you don’t have to tell me you want it. I already know you’re going to want it. 

Doug Holt  27:46

Well, it’s progression. So it’s a secret that, well, not much of a secret, I guess. But so I had a private fitness studio in Santa Barbara, like a very high end one where we had some great trainers. And one of the things you always knew, that you bring somebody in and they didn’t have basic core strength, right, they couldn’t do a plank for 10 seconds. If it was a woman, you still had to have them leave with a sore butt or sore abs, even if it wasn’t the right thing for them. And then if it was a guy, I had to have their chest sore, or their biceps or tri– their arms, right had to be sore… [crosstalk]

Scott Johnson   28:16

They’d have to pump.

Doug Holt  28:17

Well, yeah, they had to feel like wow, the next morning, my chest is super sore. And the thing I used to teach when I taught this was you got to give them what they want, so you can give them what they need. 

All right. So coming back to it. You came here to the TPM Ranch when we had an event. We had some of the men from The Inner Circle, which is one of our higher end mastermind groups that guys go into after they go through our base program. And you put the guys through the paces, through a series of assessments that the guys could take home. And one of the things that you talked about, which I found really interesting, and you and I talked about this prior is the correlation of, I think it was life expectancy to VO2 max. Is that what it was? 

Scott Johnson  28:55

Yeah, I think there’s a couple of markers of that. But yeah.

Doug Holt  28:59

Can you talk a little bit more about that or even generalization so guys can understand? Talk like you’re talking to me, like to a 10 year old.

Scott Johnson  29:07

I mean, VO2 max is just like the maximum amount of oxygen you can consume, right,  to — [crosstalk] 

Doug Holt  29:15


Scott Johnson  29:16

Yeah. And it’s been a while since I’ve taken an exercise phys course, so some things may have changed. But generally, the amount of oxygen you can take in generally means you’re exercising and you’re healthy and fit. But I think some of those things are also changing. I think there’s more correlations with like, if you look at grip strength too, right? There’s like expectancy for grip strength. So that’s something that… I sort of look at like all those things VO2 max is great. And we see those a lot and like how do you get higher VO2 max? Generally, running. [crosstalk]

Doug Holt  29:54

[???] move your body. 

Scott Johnson  29:55

Move your body over a long distance quicker. And the quicker you can do it and the longer you can do it the higher your VO2 max is. But like, again, it’s going to go back to strength training as well. I think that’s a big thing that’s not talked enough about, is like grip strength. You know and I know grip strength, you can just be working on grip strength, and that’s not going to make you… [crosstalk] 

Doug Holt  30:14

Well, that’s corollary. 

Scott Johnson  30:16

It’s corollary, right? But that goes in… That’s why I had the guys… What did we do? We did some pull ups? Right? I think we did some farmers carriers as well. 

Doug Holt  30:24

Yeah, we did them in stations so we did it in tandem with a partner. 

Scott Johnson  30:28

Yeah. So things like that, that’s just going to… You see… My grandpa was a farmer. He lived in ’94. When he stopped farming, he died, really, you know. Was his VO2 max high? I can’t imagine. He smoked two packs of cigarettes a day since he was 12. I’m not condoning smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. But I think that’s one metric to use to kind of look at fitness and how you’re going to live a little bit longer, a little bit healthier life. But we cannot take away from the strength metrics. Those are going to be bigger, in my opinion. At least for vitality of life, right? 

You might not live as long with VO2 as a VO2 marker. But if you fall, you’re not going to break your hip. If you… The likelihood of falling is probably not quite as high either, right, if you have the strength. So those two things, I think, go hand in… They don’t go hand in hand. They’re kind of inverse, right, a lot of times. So I think having both, it’s not — it’s or, right, it’s both those things need to be as high as possible. So that’s why I kind of challenged the guys at the retreat. Let’s see where you are on all those things. And I think some people performed pretty well. 

Some people did not, and some people performed really well on things I didn’t think they’re going to. And you know, it’s fine. I don’t think we can talk about those two things without talking about how to get there. And I think a lot of it’s just really just doing the work, right? It’s a little bit of grit, a little bit, you know, there’s some guys that wanted to quit. And I think pushing each other, they were able to dig a little bit deeper. And I think that’s a good reason to have a strength coach or even a workout buddy, you know. That’s why you and I got to CrossFit, right? 

Doug Holt  32:36


Scott Johnson  32:37

You dig a little bit deeper if there’s somebody sitting next to you, that’s just human nature. 

Doug Holt  32:40

Oh, it is. And there’s, I mean, good gosh, there’s not a CrossFit workout I wouldn’t walk out on. Or I definitely wouldn’t have pushed it to the level I would have because oh, I got to answer this guy, or this person’s calling me on my phone. So, it’s excuses, right? But you’re there and you’re in the environment. Like, when we had the guys here at The Ranch, there’s definitely at least one guy I can think of, and probably the same person you’re thinking of, that I think that person would have walked away right away with some of the exercises. And he pushed through, right. And he went to the darker spaces in his mentality, in his psyche, and he came out the other side a better and stronger man. 

Scott Johnson  33:19

Yeah, I think that’s great for — even for him to see. Like after we came back, I’m sure we’re talking about the same person. You know, he did say he’s, like thanks for giving that push. And sometimes, you need a little bit of a push, and sometimes really, to make change, we need some space that’s uncomfortable. Whether that be like relationship wise, or business. That’s like when the magic happens. That’s no different in fitness. I mean, that is — the challenging part is where change really makes — is where it really happens. 

Doug Holt  33:53

Agreed. So I’m going into some specific questions, because I’m thinking the two main goals that we know the guys are going to want to have that are listening to this is, one, longevity. They want to live a longer and more fruitful life. Want to be able to play with their kids well into their 80s and 90s if they can. The second thing is they want to look better so they can have — be more attractive so they have more sex, right? Two common goals that guys have

Scott Johnson  34:22

Good goals. 

Doug Holt  34:33

Those are great goals. They’re kind of goals we all have. And so we’ve talked about obviously getting a plan. One thing we haven’t talked about which you and I know is paramount and I know you’re incorporating this in the plan idea, but it’s also the hardest subject to talk about around this is nutrition. Right? So from what you do, because you have a unique perspective in my eyes. One is you’re a physical therapist, but two is you’re also deeply steeped in the fitness industry as well. What have you seen success with the most commonly? In other words, is there a particular diet, macronutrient profile? Or should people really, is it really calories in, calories out at the end of the day? 

Scott Johnson  35:07

Oh, gosh.

Doug Holt  35:09

Wanted to corner you right there. 

Scott Johnson  35:10

Yeah, right there. You know, I think the biggest thing is tracking, tracking and hitting some protein goals or finding some macro goals. And just also like biting off, no pun intended, biting off a little bit at a time, right? If you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, a complete change, right, it’s not going to last very long. What, six weeks? [crosstalk] Maybe. Like, that’s being generous, probably. Some people, they’ll get into it. But I would say, like I think it’s a law of thermodynamics, right. 

Doug Holt  35:49

Yeah. Calories in, calories out. 

Scott Johnson  35:50

Yeah. I think that’s important. But also I think tracking is probably the biggest issue is most people don’t know what they’re actually eating. So I think finding — I really like, I think we’ve talked about like Renaissance Periodization, the RP… I talked to a couple of guys, the RP diet. That’s the only one I really have personal experience with. I know Carbon Coach by Layne… [crosstalk] 

Doug Holt  36:20

Not sure what the name is. 

Scott Johnson  36:22

Layne Norton.

Doug Holt  36:23


Scott Johnson  37:23

I think he’s got a company called Carbon Diet as well, or like an app called that. I like using that just because for me, it gives me some accountability. And a lot of times I’ll look at something that I think is 20 grams of protein. And I’m like, that’s a lot of cottage cheese. You know, just having an idea of what it actually is. And I think most people don’t really know. So, number one, I think for nutrition is really track it. Even if it’s for a week. I think people will be kind of surprised when they look at what they’re eating and they think they’re eating 1,200 calories and they’re eating 3,200 calories. 

Doug Holt  37:08

Yeah. Or drinking it.

Scott Johnson  37:09

Or drinking it. Right. You know, like there are calories in alcoholic beverages or pop or like milk. [crosstalk] 

Doug Holt  37:15

Yeah. Orange juice in the morning. 

Scott Johnson  37:17

Yeah, all those things have calories. The creamer in your coffee, right. I think that’s probably the most important. I read something the other day, was it the average American, what they think they eat, right, is like 1,800 calories or 2,000. But the average American’s consuming 2,500 calories. That’s a lot of calories, right. That’s more than… 

Doug Holt  37:46

The average American eats. 

Scott Johnson  37:48

Yeah. There’s probably about 220, right, 210, 215, 220, would that be like your BMR is probably around there. 

Doug Holt  37:59

It’s been — yeah. 

Scott Johnson  37:59

Yeah. You’d be a heavier guy or gal to consume that much and not gain any weight or be training very hard. So, that goes to calories in, calories out. That’s my opinion. And I think there’s some — that’s basic physiology. There’s other things also, but I think, major in the majors and control the controllables, right? Like, you can control how much you put in your mouth, you can control how much you expend, for the most part.

And then hitting on protein, I like to say hit your bodyweight, like program, right? Just start there. You can up and down from that. But I go back to the RP diet and the RP app just because it’s really simple. It’s really, really, really easy. I talked to a couple guys about it. I think one of them downloaded it and he was starting to use it. But it’s great… they have an app for hypertrophy, so you can add to mass, if you want to just be in the performance or if you want to lose weight. And they automatically, it’s an AI-generated app, but it’s great. Everybody I’ve known that actually sticks to it loses weight. 

Doug Holt  39:14

There you go. Yeah, it’s funny. I’m thinking back when I used to be in that field and… [crosstalk]

Scott Johnson  39:20

It was way harder then. 

Doug Holt  39:21

It was way harder then. They still had it. My Fitness Pal was around, but that was pretty much the only player and it was not as robust, but you had it. But what I would do is for one week, I’d have every client write down their food log. And there was not one person who was honest with me, you know, and you get to know people — that actually knew they’re unconscious snacking. That was the most common thing that I would see. Or, oh crap. I always got a large mocha at Starbucks or whatever else it was. I didn’t realize that had….. I don’t know the calories so nobody from Starbucks sue me. But I didn’t realize I had 1200 calories in that cup alone, which could be their daily caloric amount.

Scott Johnson  40:05

Right. Yeah. 

Doug Holt  40:06

And so it was always interesting to me and it was a big eye turner, because what I would say, Scott is the common question during the interview, like, so let’s talk about your diet, not what you’ve had today, but what did you have two days ago? Because what they had today was clean, right? [crosstalk]

Scott Johnson  40:21

Oh, yeah. They’re coming to see you… [crosstalk]

Doug Holt  40:22

Or even in their imagination, but two days ago. And every time, I shouldn’t say every time, nine times out of 10, the response I would get is well, that day was an anomaly. And it could be on a Wednesday I talked to someone, on Thursday I’d talked someone, it was always well, that day, you’re asking me to record, that’s an anomaly. And when they started… [crosstalk] 

Scott Johnson  40:42

What were you saying to yourself when they said that to you? 

Doug Holt  40:45

I just laughed because I knew it was coming, right. I mean, I’ve done thousands of these at this point. And so it was just like I could predict the answers and responses I was getting for everybody. But you have to act like it’s new, right, and surprised, “Oh, yeah. I know it’s an anomaly, but still, just write it down.”  [crosstalk] Just walk me through it. Oh, well, I had pancakes with syrup and then you know, it was just a weird… [crosstalk] 

Scott Johnson  41:06

Would you have them like measure or weigh… [crosstalk] 

Doug Holt  41:08

No. So eventually when I had them do the week, I just had them write down their food. So anytime you put something in your mouth, except for water, you have to write it down; coffee, just write it in the log. 

Scott Johnson  41:19

And just to be aware of…

Doug Holt  41:20

Just to be aware of it, yeah. And just consciously. So, as an example, there’s a woman I worked with, amazing woman, but for some reason, she wasn’t losing weight. She was just like, “Doug, I’m sticking to the meal plan that you gave me. I’m sticking to the things.” And I go, “Wow, I just can’t figure this out.” And then I had to keep a log. And she came back and she looked at me sheepishly. I’m like, “What happened?” She’s like, “I didn’t realize it. Every time I walked by my kitchen, I grab a cookie.” I just subconsciously…. 

She’s like I had seven cookies. And that was when she was starting to write things down. So how many cookies did she have on an average day when she wasn’t even catching herself? You know, it’s just a common thing. And people don’t realize, whether it be a handful and nuts, snacks at the secretary’s desk, or like I said, [inaudible 00:42:03] I saw with lattes, coffee, coffee drinks that are really just desserts disguised with ca… 

Scott Johnson  42:08

Well, it’s even like, it’s interesting that you say like, the things that you drink, because I think… I didn’t… I just knew that there were calories in beer. I just didn’t care. But I had the same story. Like somebody’s not losing any weight and I’m like, actually, your diet looks pretty good, right? And then we dig in. He’s like, “Well, I have a couple of whiskies.” And it’s like, “Well, you got to write that down too. 

Doug Holt  42:28

Leave me alone.

Scott Johnson  42:30

The story is about Doug. 

Doug Holt  42:32

Yeah. No, yeah. I mean, well, this happens a lot too. As another example, I have a client I was working with one-on-one, and he would leave me messages and sometimes he’d be a little intoxicated. And while I’m working with him on his relationship I’m also, because of my background, I go, “Hey, I’ll help you out with losing a few pounds, no problem.” And so I talked to him the next day. I’m like, “Hey, how was dinner? What did you have?” “I had the chicken piccata and a glass of wine.” I’m like, “Dude, don’t lie to me. I know you had a glass of wine. How many glasses and what did you have before and after that?” “Oh, well I had three gin and tonics, four glasses of wine, a couple beers.” I’m like, all right, man. I think we have identified the weight challenge problem here. 

Scott Johnson  43:12

Yeah, right. That you drink your days a lot, man, of calories. 

Doug Holt  43:17

Yeah, it was your choice. 

Scott Johnson  43:19

And maybe tomorrow’s calories, right? 

Doug Holt  43:22

Yeah. It’s not… Well, and plus your body can’t process fat as easily when you have alcohol in the system. It just can’t uptake and utilize those calories as readily. 

So I’m going to change subjects away from nutrition, go into pre-habilitation. And the reason I want to do this as one is, as you know, I’ve gone in and out of fitness quite a bit in the last, since my kids were born. So seven years or so. And when I think, can I go back to the old dogmas that I taught when I was back in that field, foam rolling, stretching, mobility, which one of those are beneficial for somebody, or which one of those have kind of been thrown off?

Scott Johnson  44:08

Oh, man, foam rolling, stretching? I mean, static stretching, I think is… [crosstalk] 

Doug Holt  44:12

That’s why I’m using a stretching, sorry. 

Scott Johnson  42:32

Yeah, I think static stretching is probably the one. But they all have their… I’ll give you what I give anytime I have a student, it depends. It just depends, right? Like depends on what you’re trying to do. If somebody’s, you know, foam rollers’ great for like thoracic mobility if you have somebody has an issue with their spine or like staying upright with a squat or pressing overhead you have to have full thoracic extension to get your shoulder over your head. So it just depends on what you’re looking for. But I would say static stretching, it’s kind of gone by the wayside. [crosstalk] I mean so many people still do it. You know, I’d go to a CrossFit class and I’m like, this is very antiquated. You know, we know this isn’t… 

Doug Holt  44:58

Which is interesting, because there’s an app, it used to be called ROMWOD for CrossFitters. You familiar with it? It’s called Pliability now and we’re not going to talk trash about them. But whenever I load that app up, it is mostly three to four minute holds, which I think is like yin yoga, effectively, which I found very interesting. I was really surprised at that. I was just surprised it wasn’t more mobility. 

Scott Johnson  45:24

So, what’s mobility mean to you? Because I’ve got, I think I have a different definition than what most people talk about when they say mobility. 

Doug Holt  45:30

That’s fair. So I would say dynamic stretching, would be a mobility to animal flow type movements. So for those that aren’t familiar with it, that could be like shin box, going through something along those lines. I’m trying to think of how to describe this so someone listening can understand. But animal flow would be more hands and knees crawling and moving into interesting positions that I think the average guy couldn’t do, just to warm the body up. So basically, what I’m saying with mobility is you are taking your body through end ranges of motion in motion. 

Scott Johnson  46:07

So like a full motion squat? 

Doug Holt  46:08


Scott Johnson  46:09

So I mean, so for me, it all depends. That’s where — It does kind of depend. That’s why I think full range of motion exercises is really important if you have the capacity to do so. So when I think about mobility, I think about… I think a lot of people think, well, I don’t have that motion so I need to stretch. Well, you may… This is where we can kind of circle around, right? 

Doug Holt  46:29


Scott Johnson  46:30

This is why having somebody actually do an assessment of you is super important, right? So if I can lay you on the table, take your arm and put it over your head, you don’t have a range of motion problem. So stretching isn’t really that fruitful, correct? 

Doug Holt  46:46


Scott Johnson  46:47

Because you already have — the joint has the full capacity, your tissue has the full capacity to get you there. But you probably don’t have the motor control, and that’s where I would think more mobility is what you think. Some people are just tight and they just need to spend some more time in positions… And that might be where it’s like… I use squat a lot  because I think that’s something that most people are familiar with. Excuse me. Squat therapy. Have you heard of squat therapy? 

Doug Holt  47:16


Scott Johnson  47:17

No, you haven’t… How long have you done CrossFit?

Doug Holt  47:22

I’ve been doing CrossFit since I moved here. That’s when I started doing it, because it’s the only real gym in town. So it’s been two years. 

Scott Johnson  47:29

Oh okay. For some reason, I thought you’re doing CrossFit for like eight. 

Doug Holt  47:32

No, no, I did before because a buddy of mine had one I wanted to get out. When I had my gym in Santa Barbara, I had a fitness magazine, so I kind of was known in the area, so I wanted to go someplace different, and I did CrossFit there briefly. 

Scott Johnson  47:43

Okay. So squat therapy, you’ve seen people where they put a medicine ball down to the ground, and they use it like a target, a lot of times, they’ll put you up against the wall, and then try to squat down without, obviously falling backwards. So a lot of times, I’ll use that. So if I go with somebody and their hips and knees all have full range of motion, but they can’t do a full depth squat, that’s sort of like some of the pre-hab that I’ll do for them or have them do some muscle activation stuff as well. But some eccentric lowering down, hold that position. So it’s just another way to get to, like, the kind of primal movements that you’re kind of speaking of. 

Doug Holt  48:22

Okay. So, you’re not throwing out foam rolling, kind of tossing out static stretching a little bit. 

Scott Johnson  48:30


Doug Holt  48:31

Kind of tossing it out.

Scott Johnson  48:32

Kind of tossing that out, yeah. Maybe as a cool, as a cool down. Part of that’s also like, what are you doing with a static stretch? You’re kind of like milking the parasympathetic nervous system, right? When’s a better time to do that then after you’re done working out? 

Doug Holt  48:48

You’re also warm too, [crosstalk] that’s when you’re most pliable. 

Scott Johnson  48:50

Right. So I would say not necessarily. Not necessarily thrown it out, but throwing it out as a warm up to go exercise. 

Doug Holt  48:57

Got it. 

Scott Johnson  48:58

But foam rolling is a good way to kind of loosen up some mobility work. Have you heard of CARs? 

Doug Holt  49:03


Scott Johnson  49:04

Okay. Something like that. 

Doug Holt  49:06

Describe CARs to the people listening to this on audio. 

Scott Johnson  49:08

So it’s just sort of like what you were talking about, what is it, continuous articular motion… I don’t do a lot of them. I mean… [crosstalk] 

Doug Holt  49:17

Rotation or something.

Scott Johnson  49:18

Yeah, you’ve been in this long enough. The same thing we called something 10 years ago, somebody’s repackaged it and have some sexy name that makes people want to buy it now. So it’s basically end range of motion work.

Doug Holt  49:30

Yeah, in a circular fashion, right, circular rotating over a hinge joint? 

Scott Johnson  48:34

Yeah, generally. And you can do the same thing with… I will do that more in a different… I spend more time with just people at end range. It doesn’t have to necessarily be in a rotary motion. I think most people think about cars as like hip and shoulder right, because those are ball and socket joints and they can do that. But for shoulder I’ll do end range of motion work up on a wall. Maybe.

Doug Holt  50:03

Okay. And wrapping this all up and trying to come get back to, let’s think of the average person listening to this, if they’re still listening to this right now, us two talking about it, is hey, I want to get back into working out, you guys already told me get a plan, find somebody that’s trusted. We said verbal recommendation, always the best, right, personal recommendation from somebody that’s had a good experience to look at someone who’s going to assess you, if possible. You can do online workouts as well, just do something. Second, we talked about writing down your food, making sure you get a food log. And third, we’ve talked about also finding a professional when you get injured early to keep you on track. Anything else that you’d recommend that these guys do? 

Scott Johnson  50:49

Glad you asked that question. Major in the majors, don’t major in the minors. Do the basics well, right. Like, I have so many people that come and they’re wanting to try some crazy new workout routine and they cannot do an air squats, they haven’t done the basics of strength training, they are not even walking or running and they want to box jump and do something crazy. And it’s like, if you just worked on the basics, you would get 85% of the needs that you really needed. Probably more than that, you know, basics of nutrition, that’s what’s most important. 

And I’m not going to… When I say minor in the minors, I see… I guess out West. I don’t know, I haven’t been back East or Midwest or South recently. But like cold plunging is a big thing, right? I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with that. But if you’re using that to be 3% healthier, why wouldn’t you use something like strength training, sleeping, managing your stress, healthy nutrition, don’t drink so much? Those are going to give you like 95% of the value, what you’re really, really looking for. I think a lot of people try so hard to not do the work that all the other ancillary supplemental things that they’re doing; if they would have just done the work, they would have already gotten to the place where they wanted to be. 

Doug Holt  52:23

Yeah, don’t get caught in the details, do the basics. I love it. I see that all the time and that’s such great information. Scott, if somebody wants to learn more about you and your practice or wants to follow up with you, what’s the best way for them to do so?

Scott Johnson  52:38

I’m not really active on Instagram, I have an Instagram. It’s PT Nomad, like physical therapist, and I own a practice here in Central Oregon, Physio Fitness Solutions. They can email me at Scott@physiofitben.com, they can give us a call, or they can reach out to you. 

Doug Holt  52:57

Awesome. Thanks so much for being here, man. I really appreciate it. 

Scott Johnson  53:00

Yeah, thanks for having me.

Doug Holt  53:01

Well, guys, that’s a wrap for us here at The Powerful Man Show. As always, in the moment of insight, take massive action. And if you’re not listening to this while you’re moving, get off your butts and go do something now. We’ll see you next time on The Powerful Man Show.