Skip to content
The Thermo Diet Podcast Quarantine Edition Episode 34 - Hans Amato

The Thermo Diet Podcast Quarantine Edition Episode 34 - Hans Amato

 

In this episode of The Thermo Diet Podcast Jayton sits down with Hans Amato an independent researcher and mens health coach. Jayton and hans talk about topics around training, nutrition, and lifestyle. Check it out and let us know what you think!

 

Facebook Group and Fanpage -

Thermo Diet Community Group ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/16721... ) - Thermo Diet Fan Page ( https://www.facebook.com/thermodiet/ ) Youtube

Channels: - Christopher Walker ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTA1... ) - UMZU Health ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2IE... )

Instagram: -

@_christopherwalker ( https://www.instagram.com/_christophe... ) - @researchcowboy ( https://www.instagram.com/researchcow... )

Full Transcript

Jayton Miller:
How's it going, guys? Welcome back to the Thermo Diet podcast. I am your host, Jayton Miller, and I am here with Hans, is it Amato?

Hans Amato:
Yes, it's Amato. It's perfect.

Jayton Miller:
Okay. Sweet. If you don't mind, could you give us a little bit of your background and how you got here?

Hans Amato:
Sure. Let me give you a short summary of myself. Ever since I can remember, I always enjoyed doing parkour and martial arts. Only around the age of 17 that I started to get more serious about weightlifting and getting bigger, but I still combined the weightlifting with the parkour and the martial arts. After high school, I went to university, and that is when I started focusing more on power lifting and body building. I followed the program by my current goal to power body building, and that's basically what I focused on most of my time that I spent in university.

Hans Amato:
In the last year of university, I met my wife, and after university, we went to work for the family cosmetic company. Before I went to work for the cosmetic company, I basically knew nothing about health or nutrition or anything like that. I just knew the basics of how to count calories, how to count your macros, and that was about that. I didn't know anything about micronutrients, about biology, or anything like that.

Hans Amato:
Then at the cosmetic company, I was one of their researchers, and that's when I really discovered that I enjoyed doing research about health and the biology and how the body works, and how everything is integrated. But we weren't fulfilled in working for the cosmetic company in the family, so my wife and I decided that we have to start our own thing, because we had a talk and we were both fascinated about health and fitness, and we wouldn't be able to achieve what we really wanted at the family business.

Hans Amato:
Then I started a website and started doing the research and putting out content and growing it from there. About a few years later, I discovered the work of Dr. Ray Peat, which was just an amazing stepping stone, because his work allowed me to see the full picture, whereas previously, I was just doing research. You're kind of in the mainstream in terms of research, so you're researching here and you're researching there, but you're not really seeing the bigger picture. Once I discovered Ray Peat's work, it was like he really helped me see the bigger picture, and I could then research specific subjects that I want to learn more about in this bigger picture, so that was really amazing.

Hans Amato:
Then three years later, where we are today, we have just continued doing research, creating content, and just kept on growing and learning. I don't think we'll ever reach a point where we'll feel that we know enough or grow even more. It's all about the journey for us and helping others reach new heights in their health, training, wellbeing, and in life.

Jayton Miller:
That's awesome. Your website is phenomenal. It's men-elite.com, and you have some really awesome content on there, especially whenever it comes to hormones and the hormonal response from training. Do you mind kind of giving us a brief overview of some of the content that you have over training, and maybe what that encompasses?

Hans Amato:
Okay. I have a fair amount of content on training. Some of the earlier content were on the hormonal response to training, which basically is that the higher your reps go, the shorter you rest and the more volume you do, the greater hormonal response you get from your training session. So, hormones like testosterone and growth hormone go really high during that kind of training. But also the stress hormones such as cortisol and the catecholamines and your growth hormone, because that's also a stress hormone in certain regards, go up. So, the net anabolic to catabolic ratio isn't greater.

Hans Amato:
Studies have also found that the hormonal response from training is not what drives the hypertrophy, and that short rest and high rest is not better for hypertrophy or strength gains than lower rep and more rest. That's when I just decided that that's not the start of training that I'm going to do. I'm still going to utilize some of those methods, but my training is not going to be based on short rest, high reps, because that's not superior for hypertrophy or strength if that was my goal.

Hans Amato:
You basically want to minimize stress, and that will have a greater affect on your overall hormone levels over the long term. So, if you're constantly going to stress yourself with short rests, then you're going to skyrocket your stress hormones. If you're not able to recover, that will have a negative effect in the long run. So, my approach is rather to not overstress myself, and I can utilize both, primarily strength training, which is lower reps, longer rest, and also combine that with higher reps and shorter rest, but that varies based on my training.

Hans Amato:
Then I also have content on set reps, intensities, rest, and frequency, and that was basically awhile back when I was trying to figure out what would be, according to science, the best volume and sets based on all of that to do. I basically concluded that for optimal hypertrophy and strength, as well as for health, hormonal health and everything like that, it would be best not to stress the metabolism too much. Train primarily for strength, and you can also do the body building style workouts with the higher reps and shorter rest, but depending on how well you do, and I do cycle, that depending on how I feel, so sometimes I would focus just on strength training, sometimes I might focus just on the higher volume lighter weight. Sometimes I combine them. That's basically the content that I have on weight training that I created.

Jayton Miller:
I see. What are some of the most basic and common principles that you utilize in your training?

Hans Amato:
Some of my basic principles are not to over train and to avoid stress. That's basically the biggest one. I really train by feel. So, if I feel like I shouldn't be doing more volume, I don't. But also, if I feel I can do more volume, I don't. I have a program that I follow, but my main principle is to avoid stress and not killing myself, because if my body wants more rest, I give it more rest, because otherwise my recovery duration would be longer, and thus I would be hurting myself in the longer term.

Hans Amato:
Another principle is basically to train safe, where I just mainly focus on preventing an injury, training in such a way that I don't endanger myself. For example, if I feel a little bit achy with one exercise, I would rather do a different exercise where I don't feel achy. For instance, if I do shoulder brace and my shoulder feels a little bit achy, I would rather switch to an Arnold press, which puts more rotation in the shoulder, and I don't feel pain there. That's another principle, is that I focus on training safe. If I feel like I shouldn't be going heavy, I'm not going to go heavy. If I feel like the flat bench press is making my back feel icky, I would rather do something else like a dumbbell press. So, I'm always trying to keep it safe.

Hans Amato:
Then just generally, I vary a lot in my training based on how I feel, because I train mostly intuitively. Research have shown that people that train intuitively either make equal gains compared to people that do a set program, or they actually make better gains. For me, it just makes sense to be training intuitively, because that way I will be minimizing injury specified to me specifically and my metabolism and my environment and what's happening in that moment. For instance, maybe I would do for one month a higher volume, and then for another month, I might do a lower volume, and then I will vary between high intensity and lower intensity, or I might mix the two.

Hans Amato:
For instance, where I'm currently doing heavier weights with longer rest half of my workout, and then I'm doing the lighter higher reps with blood flow restriction in the second part of my workout. Awhile back, I was doing mainly only heavy, and then my shoulder start getting a little bit tweaky, so I switch over just to higher reps for upper body with blood flow restriction training, not to use any weights, and to overuse the injury. So, I can still train in a way that I'm not hurting myself and I'm promoting recovery by still stimulating movement and utilizing the healing properties of the blood flow restriction.

Hans Amato:
Another principle is I basically focus on not hyperventilating when I'm training. I am trying to retain as much CO2 as possible, because when you hyperventilate, you're exhaling too much carbon dioxide, and carbon dioxide prevent most cell degranulation, and serotonin is present in the mat cell, so when you're seeing two drop serotonin increases, and serotonin causes vasoconstriction, so your muscles is getting less blood flow and oxygen, and serotonin is also correlated with fatigue, so if you block serotonin, you're prone to getting fatigued more easily.

Hans Amato:
So, I'm focusing on trying to nose breathe or breathe really slowly, and that way I can retain more carbon dioxide, keep my serotonin low, and really push harder in my workouts. Another principle is that I don't train fasted. If I'm pressed for time, I would have something that digests quickly like maybe a fruit juice, or recently I'm having just some gelatin mixed with essential amino acids and honey, and that would be my pre workout if I'm rushed for time. Otherwise, I would wait later in the day until I had a decent meal to fuel my workout. Yeah, my workout is always better when I make sure that I'm fed.

Hans Amato:
Another principle would basically be I don't stick to a certain exercise and believe that's the perfect exercise. For instance, the bench press or the squat or the deadlift or anything like that, or you should only do pull ups a certain way. I believe in stimulating the muscle from multiple angles, and I feel that's the best way that I could progress. For instance, I've been doing chin ups for awhile, and then I notice my pull up is really weak and it doesn't have, for some reason, quite a good carry over effect, so now I'm just focusing on strengthening my pull up and not doing chin ups at all. Then I also vary the normal pull up with a narrow grip pull up, and that is also having effects on its own.

Hans Amato:
My approach would be the more advanced you get, the better results I do get with switching things up and not keeping it super duper basic. But there's nothing wrong with keeping it very basic. I personally just like switching things up and experimenting with new exercises, finding my weak point and trying to strengthen that. So, if I get really strong with a pull up but I'm weak with a closed grip pull up, I would go the closed grip because I'm weak with that. So, I'm trying to find my weaknesses, strengthen those, because you're only as strong as your weakest link. It's also usually the weaknesses that later cause problems, and that's when you start getting injury. That's just what I do.

Hans Amato:
Basically, what I've been doing more lately is blood flow restriction training. It's not really a principle, but I guess it did become a principle when it comes to recovery. Since I'm now trying to boost my recovery, I am using it, but I also really notice that I'm getting really good hypertrophy response from it, especially in my arms, although it can also have a beneficial effect on the rest of the body that's trained. I've really seen that my hypertrophy gains and muscle development has improved with the blood flow restriction training, and the blood flow restriction training is so unique, because the blood flow restriction training, you pick a weight that you usually do if that is 30 to 50% of your one rep max.

Hans Amato:
Then you wrap your arms or legs, whatever part of your body you're going to train, and then you do high reps with it, I aim for about between 20 and 30 reps, but I don't stick very closely to that intensity rule, and just that kind of training has been shown to really boost strength and hypertrophy compared to training with low intensity without the bands. There's a lot of benefit to training that way because it creates this buildup of metabolizing the muscles, which promotes the healing, promotes the hypertrophy and everything. So, yeah, that would be my primary principles that I follow.

Jayton Miller:
That's awesome. For the listeners who might not know what the metabolites in the muscle are and what that metabolite buildup is, can you kind of explain that to them?

Hans Amato:
The metabolites that are released during blood flow restriction is basically the lactate as well as hydrogens phosphate and free radicals that are produced during the energy production, such as hydrogen peroxide. There are multiple ways that blood flow restriction can boost hypertrophy, and I don't think the research has actually concluded through which mechanism, I think it's quite a few mechanisms, so there's a lot of theories, but some of the theories is that it's the [inaudible 00:15:08] metabolites and the anabolic growth factors, but I don't think they're necessarily the main mechanism.

Hans Amato:
It also stimulates each hedgehog proteins, it lowers [inaudible 00:15:18]. It might increase the recruitment of [inaudible 00:15:21] muscles, stimulate [intor 00:15:23]. I think the main theory of how it works is through cell sweating, so your muscles have an intrinsic sensor of the volume of the cell. With blood flow restriction training, you're pumping the cell full, and it's stretching, so it's swelling, and this is activating, or at least stimulating, hypertrophy, which is different from muscle protein synthesis.

Jayton Miller:
Okay, awesome. Can you go into the difference between that kind of growth for hypertrophy versus kind of the response from strength training that the muscles get?

Hans Amato:
The difference between the myofibrillar hypertrophy and the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is that the sarcoplasm is where all the energy is basically produced. This is where glycolysis is happening and just the ATP production in general, and this is where the glycogen is stored. This is basically deemed as useless according to strength athletes. It's just useless mass, but it's also what bodybuilders want, because it makes you look bigger. The myofibrillar hypertrophy is where the proteins such as [inaudible 00:16:33] spreads, so the more strength training you're doing, the more condensed those proteins will become, and the stronger you will be.

Hans Amato:
On the other hand, the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy just enables you to store more glycogen, but it can also promote strength by changing the angles that your muscles are connected to the joint, and that can also improve your strength. It's always been thought that the myofibrillar hypertrophy is stimulated through strength training, which is lower reps, and the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is stimulated by higher reps. Well, this is a little bit true, but the thing that contributes the most to sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is going high volume, where research using 20 to 30 plus sets for a week, that mostly stimulates the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, whereas more of a lower volume approach will stimulate the myofibrillar. But both approaches will stimulate myofibrillar.

Hans Amato:
If you're going to train some weights and you're going to gain strength, you're going to gain myofibrillar proteins. Then the more volume you do in general, the more you're going to get hypertrophy from the sarcoplasmic angle, which is important because you're doing a lot of work, so you're going to have to produce a lot more energy, and that's why that kind of hypertrophy is actually essential, so it's not useless. I can compare this to the difference between a hypertrophy with normal protein, like gelatin, whereas the normal protein with the amino acid leucine stimulates intor and myofibrillar hypertrophy, the gelatin doesn't have any leucine and doesn't stimulate muscle protein synthesis in the same way. But gelatin is also highly anabolic on its own, and that is thought by stimulating the remodeling and the hypertrophy of the extracellular matrix and speed up the cellular differentiation.

Jayton Miller:
So, kind of speaking of gelatin and some of the different dietary aspects of it, do you have any kind of specific tips that you use for nutrient timing or anything like that?

Hans Amato:
In terms of the nutrient timing, if you look at the research, it has concluded that nutrient timing is not all that important. If it comes to pre workout and post workout, I would make sure that I'm having a meal at least four to six hours apart from each other, and preferably not longer than that. You can literally have your workout anywhere between those six hours between those meals, and you should not be in a fasted state or in a suboptimal state. But like I mentioned before, I don't do the fasted training unless I have that gelatin shake beforehand, but usually I have a meal about four hours before my workout, and then after my workout I have another meal.

Hans Amato:
Research have concluded that post workout nutrition is not that important, if at all, but you might not gain any benefit if you are not consuming any nutrients. I prefer to consume nutrients after my workout, which is basically just a protein and the carbs to replenish glycogen stores, stopping the stress response and stimulating hypertrophy as fast as possible. A neat little trick is that if you're not eating a lot of carbohydrates, ketones and caffeine can actually stimulate glycogen resynthesis. I guess it's only really important if you're having a second session in the day, because if you're just training once a day, no matter your meal timing, your glycogen should be replenished by the next day of your workout.

Hans Amato:
Also, that you're only depleting the glycogen in the muscle you're training, or not even depleting, you're perhaps lowering it by 50%. If you're training shoulders one day and legs the other day, your shoulders might be at 50%, and you replenish it at 90%, but the next day you're training legs, which has nothing to do with shoulders, so you're not relying on the glycogen stores in the shoulders. So, meal timing is really not that important. The main reason why I basically just make sure I eat is just to keep all the stress hormones low. In terms of meal timing or nutrient timing, my main approach is just to keep the stress response low, and that would be it, not to train fasted.

Jayton Miller:
Is there any kind of specific macro nutrient ratio that you find most beneficial?

Hans Amato:
Sure. The macro nutrient ratio that I find most beneficial, there's no real macro nutrient ratio that I found beneficial, it's just that I stick to a certain amount of protein and a certain amount of carbohydrates, and then the fat is basically where it is, and I just make sure I'm... but because I'm bulking right now, I'm not too concerned where my calories are. Research have shown that 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight of protein is pretty much optimal for a beginner. But research shows for a more advanced lifter, about two grams per kilogram of body weight is more of an official. So, more protein for more outcomes. I'm having about double the protein to my body weight, and then I'm just making sure I have about double that in carbs.

Hans Amato:
That can be from starches or fruits or dairy or anything like that. Then for me, I have experimented with lower fat and higher fat, and the low fat is not that satiating to me. So, I have upped my fat, and as a result, my digestion is better, and my transit time, as well as my satiety. I personally like to have a little bit more of a higher fat, but I might experiment again with my macros if I'm going to change up some foods in the future. What I would do with clients is also jut have a certain amount of protein in the diet, and at least double that in carbohydrates, and then we can experiment with the amount of fat in the diet, depending on how insulin sensitive they are, or if they need more for digestion or for satiety or hormonal production.

Hans Amato:
What I have found that people might get away with lower fat intake if their dietary cholesterol is higher. So, if someone is eating a lot of organ meat, for instance, kidney, which has a lot of cholesterol, or eggs, they might get away with eating a big lower fat. So, I will definitely tweak the individual's diet based on how he is doing and his requirements. Some people do really well on the lower fat, and other people do really well on a higher fat. It really also depends on the kind of food you're eating that's allowing your body to function the way you do. For example, if someone's having a gut irritation or they're eating food they are allergic to, those sort of things you have to look at that is not necessarily going to be fixed by changing the macro nutrients.

Jayton Miller:
Someone who is more towards the insulin resistant side, how would you kind of manage that?

Hans Amato:
If someone is insulin resistant, I would definitely start off with making sure they're having enough protein, and then start reducing their fat intake. Make sure they have enough carbohydrates to [inaudible 00:24:09] response, because insulin resistance is caused by, firstly, inflammation. Always comes down to inflammation, and that starts somewhere, mostly likely in the gut. I'm going to limit their fat intake, and it's usually the elbow's tissue that is resistant to insulin, so it's not stopping lipolysis like it should.

Hans Amato:
If you're having more carbohydrates, your body has to produce more insulin. Insulin is anti inflammatory. It can shove down lipolysis. It's not the insulin that is causing the insulin resistance. It's the inflammation, it's the [inaudible 00:24:42] lipolysis. It's the gluconeogenesis in the liver that you have to shove down with insulin that's also resistant. So, yeah, first of all, I just make sure I'm getting enough protein, lowering the fat intake, and because fat can also mess with the oxidation of glucose, so I just want to make sure that people will have to measure the blood sugar as they are doing this, as they are reducing their fat. They have to test their blood sugar, like, "Okay, it's going down, so what we're doing is working." Or we can increase it if it's changing the blood sugar at all.

Hans Amato:
Then I would really focus on just reducing inflammation in general, because that is what is driving the insulin resistance in the first place. Common causes is it's coming from the gut, most often. They're eating gut irritating foods, they're having bacterial overgrowth because of hyperthyroidism. They're eating allergenic foods, or it can be a micro nutrient deficiency like calcium, vitamin E, vitamin D, zillinium, zinc, copper, and those kind of minerals and vitamins, or it can be a B vitamin deficiency. Then I would also recommend doing things like doing earthing, getting out in nature, exploring, just de stressing, because stress hormones also promote insulin resistance.

Hans Amato:
A lot of people are really overstressed, so it's really important to de stress constantly, realizing in what state of mind you are, and then de stressing before you go on with your day, especially important to de stress before a meal to stop the stress response, because stress hormones also prevent proper digestion, so you want to make sure that you're digesting your food optimally when you're in a rested state, and that will have a better metabolic response as well. Then a few tips and tricks that you can do to enhance insulin sensitivity is to be really active for a short period of time before your meal, or to walk after your meal.

Hans Amato:
That's basically what I do, is I just, my wife and I, we go for a walk after a meal, and that's what I recommend to most of my clients, just to go for a walk after their meal to regulate the blood sugar response. That also helps to de stress. If you're walking and you're thinking, you're not stressing too much if you're able to think and let go in earth and get out in nature. It's really important to de stress. Then to lower the lipolysis, I would specifically start with aspirin, because it's a really potent inhibitor of lipolysis, as well as inflammation. But that is just a bandaid, because a lot of people when they stop the aspirin, it doesn't necessarily resolve the issue. The issue does get better, but it doesn't resolve it. That's why I would focus on the other thing like the micro nutrients, and the de stressing, the focusing on the gut.

Hans Amato:
Another thing on the gut is that you can know you're having gut inflammation by your bowel movement. If you're not having a complete bowel movement, you're not having complete defecation, and you're not having a ghost wipe, there's a big possibility that you're having intestinal inflammation, and that's messing with your blood sugar. Other things that you can do to lower the inflammation would be herbs. That has been shown to help positively modulate blood sugar and the glucose response to the meal, which would be things like bitter melon, rock lotus, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and so on. Those are just cheap herbs that you can get that will help to lower the inflammation and improve your blood sugar and insulin sensitively.

Hans Amato:
Yeah, basically, micro nutrients are really, really important, all the vitamins and minerals are essential co-factors for everything in the body. If you're having a deficiency, then something is bound to go wrong, so that's why I always encourage people to go on Cronometer and log in their micro nutrients and see what they're missing, and really speak from foods that are really high in vitamins and minerals like milk and organ meat, oysters and certain fruits, and perhaps even starches if someone is not sensitive to that.

Jayton Miller:
Do you ever watch the antioxidant intake or the inset intake around training because of the kind of anti inflammatory effect that it has on the hermetic response from exercise?

Hans Amato:
Yeah. Only anti oxidants I would really try to actively avoid around the workout is vitamin C and E, because that is what have been tested specifically to hamper the response to exercise. But in small doses, vitamin C can also act as a pro oxidant as well as an antioxidant. But mostly the doses that have been tested is up to 500 milligrams and more vitamin C, and 400 IU for vitamin E. So, if someone were to protect themself against all the saturated fats and they might have a slight production issue, I would recommend they take 100 to 200 IU vitamin E about at least six hours away from their training session, or at least as far as possible away from the training session.

Hans Amato:
The similar goes for vitamin C, but I definitely don't think that small doses, like even up to 100 milligrams vitamin C would interfere with the training response. But that does not count for all the antioxidants, because if you look at, for instance, [inaudible 00:30:25], or things like epogen, cortisone, even vitamin A, have not been shown to interfere with the adaption to exercise, like the things that are naturally present in food like fruits and vegetables. No one is recommending to avoid eating fruits and vegetables close to a meal because that will interfere with the training response. It's just that I would avoid taking high doses, specifically of the vitamin C and E close to a workout.

Hans Amato:
I've done an experiment with aspirin for about 20 days and two doses of two grams, which was one gram twice a day in the morning and in the evening. I took measurements, and it didn't hamper my hypertrophy at all, and that it was a pretty big dose of aspirin. So, yeah, basically not concerned about antioxidants.

Jayton Miller:
Yeah, that's one thing that I've always kind of kept in mind, is trying to not mitigate the hermetic response with different kinds of antioxidants. You notice that vitamin C and vitamin E are typically the ones that you want to stay away from.

Hans Amato:
Yes. Vitamin C and E are basically the main ones that I would try to avoid close to a workout. I know some people usually are high doses, like a few grams of vitamin C, so I would not use that close to a workout, or high doses, like someone that's really trying to inhibit their aromatase or that's trying to lower their prolactin, so they're taking 400 to 800 IU, I wouldn't recommend taking that close to a workout, but rather as far as possible away from the workout.So, I think if you're taking it about six hours away from a workout, it's not much to worry about.

Jayton Miller:
Interesting. So, whenever it comes to post workout, what does it look like as far as your recovery methods or any kind of supplementation or eating in that realm?

Hans Amato:
In terms of post workout, there is not something special I would do. I would just have my regular meal, which would be a good source of protein or a good amount of protein of a high quality bar available, especially it would be specifically meat product, have a large amount of carbohydrates, at least 100 grams [inaudible 00:32:36] stores to stop the stress response. Like I mentioned before, you could use caffeine to enhance glycogen resynthesis if your carbohydrate intake is low, but if your carbohydrate intake exceeds a certain amount, then the caffeine doesn't help.

Hans Amato:
So, if the carbohydrate amount is small, below a certain threshold, and I don't know the specific number right now, but if you're having a small amount of carbohydrate, then caffeine can help, but if the carbohydrates exceed a certain amount, then the caffeine is not useful anymore. Like I mentioned before, that I'm not too concerned with eating as much as possible post workout, because I'm only having one workout a day. So, if you wanted to replenish your glycogen source rapidly, I would recommend eating a lot of carbohydrates post workout frequently to replenish glycogen source for the second workout in the day.

Hans Amato:
Then other things I would do in my lifestyle to enhance recovery would just be making sure I'm sleeping enough, I'm having Epsom salt baths, because that's been shown to enhance recovery as well, just keeping warm in general, I don't want to be cold because cold can drop blood sugar and can also promote inflammation. That also makes you susceptible to viral infections and stuff like that, so I'm just making sure I'm keeping warm, and just basically de stressing, relaxing. You don't want to be all stressed out, because cortisol mixed with the adaption to training. I'm always trying to make sure I'm de stressing when I'm feeling I might be getting some kind of anxious feeling or something like that, I make sure I focus on my breathing, control my breathing, and make sure I'm always keeping de stressed. Yeah. Those are basically the general things that have the best impact on the adaption post workout. Obviously, the micro nutrients also really important, but that's just as a general.

Jayton Miller:
Would you approach it differently for an untrained athlete versus a trained athlete? What would you do for someone who is just now starting out? Maybe they're 15, 16 years online, versus someone who's been training for a decade and is looking to optimize their ability to perform at that high level.

Hans Amato:
Sure. When it comes to someone that's just starting out, I would definitely start them by going on a better diet. I would make sure the diet is in check, because that will have the greatest effect on their recovery, as well as their growth, preventing beginner DOMS and stuff like that. Then I will start their workout slowly. I will not have them go anywhere close to failure. I will not have them go anywhere too heavy. Beginners do better when they do slightly higher reps just to start learning the movement. This is really short because learning is really fast.

Hans Amato:
They start learning the movement, they're building those neural pathways, and just getting a hang of everything. Then I will slowly start to up the volume, because also start low volume, slowly start to up the volume, increase the intensity and stuff like that, and that's basically what I would do with beginner, and just make sure his diet and lifestyle is optimal. If diet is not that optimal, I would have him take supplements or something like that to aid with the growth of the recovery and so on.

Hans Amato:
If it's a really advanced person, it also depends on what he wants to do, what his goals are. For instance, if someone is an elite athlete, he's actually making a living off of this, you want to optimize as many things as possible, and then I would really focus on optimizing recovery, because recovery is the most important thing that will help you go forward. I'd really focus on fixing everything in the lifestyle, getting it perfect in the diet, preventing all kinds of inflammation that might be caused by the gut or some kind of micronutrient deficiency such as calcium or vitamin D, make sure his serotonin and other hormones are in checked, make sure that his carbon dioxide production is optimal.

Hans Amato:
We can focus on things like avoiding the EMF and dirty electricity, because some people are sensitive, and that could also inhibit or interfere with metabolic processes and promote inflammation. Then I would also make sure his environment is optimal. You don't want to be in a fearful environment, anxious, constantly worrying that something might go wrong in the environment, or specifically also toxins in the environment, like such as what is the pollution, what's the noise pollution, the air pollution. Is there mold in the environment? And in the diet, again, just make sure they're eating low [inaudible 00:37:40], because I really found that that does make a difference when it comes to recovery.

Hans Amato:
Since following a low [inaudible 00:37:46] diet, or polyunsaturated fatty acids, my DOMS have been significantly less, and my recovery, I've been really so much faster. Then additionally, you can start getting into recovery devices, like is it you can start looking at sleeping apps if someone have sleeping problems like they can listen to binaural beats, they can take supplements such as magnesium, theanine. They can do meditation or do some foam rolling, where they're having some pressure on their body that helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system. They can look into B and F devices, utilize ultrasound, which have also been shown to speed up recovery. Especially it's also great for recovering from injury. Then topical magnesium and even possibly topical [inaudible 00:38:37] and some kind of vibration, like vibration for blood flow have been shown to be helpful, blood flow restriction training, or were just getting a massage, those are generally the things that I would focus on, just trying to find every kind of angle that you can optimize if he is trying to be an elite athlete and win competitions and all that.

Hans Amato:
But if someone is already have been training for a decade, but he's not trying to make a living out of what he's doing, I would not be that extreme, or I might share that info, like, "This is things you can focus on." But I'm not going to be having enforce all of that as rigorously. It's up to the person what he wants to do, how far he wants to go with his goals. I'm not going to be the motivating factor in someone's life. So, yeah, I guess that's basically what I would focus on. That would basically be the difference between a beginner and advanced person. The elite and the advanced person would basically be the same, but the advanced person doesn't have to be as rigorous as the elite person when it comes to lifestyle, diet, and training. But it's obviously beneficial.

Jayton Miller:
Whenever it comes to fat loss, I know a lot of people in the Ray Peat community are not fans of being in a caloric deficit. How do you approach fat loss whenever you're looking to lose fat yourself and with another person?

Hans Amato:
For fat loss, it depends on the state of the metabolism of the person. For instance, if someone is having a slow metabolism, I would definitely not have him focus on fat loss right from the start. I would help him fix his diet, lifestyle and so on, get him on supplements, speed up his metabolism, or at least restore his metabolism and health first before trying to cut down, because if someone is already in a hypermetabolic state, he would be doing more harm to go on a diet and cut even more. If someone is on a good state metabolically, I would enforce a small deficit, because no matter how much people really debate about this, you still have to expend more energy than you consume. But I prefer to be more active than eating less.

Hans Amato:
People argue that a deficit is a deficit. It doesn't matter what you do. But I do believe that if you eat more but you're more active, that's going to be a different state metabolically than someone that's eating less and also training less, because moving more and stuff stimulates the muscles to produce hormones when you're outside and you're in active state, and even Dr. Ray Peat has mentioned that sedentary muscles can be toxic. So, you want to be moving and stimulating blood flow and stimulating lymph. It's creating hormones, getting outside. The sun is also stimulating the production of protective steroids.

Hans Amato:
Personally, I would have higher calories with a slight deficit, and induce a bigger deficit with movement. They've found that if you look at the resting metabolic rate of someone that is hypothyroid and someone that is hyperthyroid, it's about a 300 calorie difference. It's really not that massive. Research have found that the only thing that really makes a very big difference for fat loss is movement, so how active you are during the day. But it's also if someone is in a better metabolic state, you will have more energy to move around. You do want to improve the metabolism, you do want to speed up the thyroid function so that person can be more active.

Hans Amato:
Research have found that the NEAT, the non exercise activity thermogenesis can account for about a 2,000 calorie difference. Just moving more can really make a huge difference. Someone can utilize tricks like having a standing or a walking desk, or standing on an uneven moveable platform to work their stabilizers. I've also heard about people wearing a weight vest when they're trying to cut down. That's also stimulating the muscles and the joints to a certain degree that it's speeding up the fat loss and releasing energy expenditure. Just having small bursts of exercise during the day, like with the group, you can go do a pull up here and a pull up there, you can do a push up into a burpee. You can do a set of jump rope, and all of these things will add up to your energy expenditure, and that will really help with boosting metabolism and fat loss, and that's the method I would prefer when it comes to fat loss, and that would be healthier, because you're stimulating healthy movement, but you're not overdoing it.

Hans Amato:
There's something to say for having activity spread out throughout the day than overdoing it in one session, because one session can become overwhelming for people, where if you can spread it out, it's much more bearable, but then not everyone has the ability, perhaps, to do that during the day, unless they do calisthenics, but not everyone's working from home or have a home gym where they can basically do that. Then initial things that you can try that might make a difference is cold thermogenesis, but then again, someone with hyperthyroid shouldn't be doing that. It can make them even more stressed out and more hyperthyroid. But someone that's actually in a good thyroid state might benefit from that metabolically.

Hans Amato:
So, yeah, generally my approach to fat loss is getting in a good state metabolically, and then you can use a small deficit with food, and a greater deficit by being more active. Oh, and just to add about the macro nutrients that I would do, I would make sure the protein intake is high, because that will help to preserve muscle mass as well. It's very satiating, it decreases thermogenesis, it provides the amino acids for the neurotransmitters, all of that. So, keeping protein intake high is really important. Then I would start lowering the fat intake and make sure people are eating more cholesterol to ensure optimal hormone production.

Hans Amato:
Then I would have to, depending on how big the deficit is, I will have to reduce the carbohydrates. Sometimes you can get away with still having that you do one ratio for carbohydrates to protein, but sometimes you have to reduce it. But I always try to make sure that I'm not having less carbohydrates than I'm having protein. If protein is up at 200 grams a day, I'm not going to have the carbohydrates drop below 200. I'm always going to make sure they stay equal or I'm having more carbohydrates in the diet. But that obviously depends on how lean the person is in the first place, how leaner he wants to get and stuff like that.

Jayton Miller:
Now, does this defer a little bit whenever you're dealing with women versus men?

Hans Amato:
Oh, no, I don't work with women. That is, my wife works with the women. I get the men and she deals with the women.

Jayton Miller:
That's pretty cool. So, y'all kind of tag team it?

Hans Amato:
Yeah, yeah, we do tag team it. If women do contact me for some reason, I just refer them to my wife, and vice versa.

Jayton Miller:
What does an average day in the life of Hans look like?

Hans Amato:
Well, it does depend on what day of the week it is, but usually during the week, we wake up, have some coffee, go outside in the sun, which helps to train the circadian rhythm. We spend some time again together for about 20 minutes in the sun, and then we come back inside and start prepping my meal and start working. Then I have my first meal, and then we continue to work for about three to four hours, after which I then start doing my workout, because then all the food is basically digested. Then after my workout, I have another meal and then go for a walk again, come back after the walk, and this is about mid day, then would work again for the rest of the afternoon.

Hans Amato:
Then about after dinner time, we just shut everything down, and then I would start relaxing, read a book, listen to a podcast. On the weekends, we might watch a movie or something like that. Usually, before bed, we have some hot chocolate together, just spend some time drinking hot chocolate. Yeah, that's just a general day.

Jayton Miller:
I noticed that you drink the coffee before you actually get your first meal. Is that usually a pretty sugared down, milked down coffee?

Hans Amato:
Yeah. My coffee is always with milk and sugar. I never drink it black. I used to, but I just feel way better when it has sugar and milk in it. Question 18. So, yeah, my training in general was actually very varied. I don't necessarily have a specific movement, but I do try to stick to some kind of basics. My current workout is basically a blend of power lifting, body building, and calisthenics. Currently building up the foundation strength before going over into the technique moves, because I don't also want to focus on technique moves which would not be optimal for my hypertrophy right now, because I'm still trying to max out my natural potential, so that's why I'm also focusing on the core movements. I'd rather be doing handstand shoulder press than doing straight on plunge training at the moment.

Jayton Miller:
Whenever it comes to your training, what are some of your favorite movements to do, and some of your favorite exercises that you consistently exchange in your program?

Hans Amato:
My workout movements consist of for legs it would be squats, it would be high bar, low bar front squat, Bulgarian split squats, or sissy squats. I vary those depending on how I feel. But usually once a week, because I'm currently doing training twice a week, a muscle group twice a week, and so one session I would do the low bar squat, and another session I would do more of a front squat, or I might do a Bulgarian split squat depending on how I feel.

Hans Amato:
For the chest, I would do the barbell flat or incline, or dumbbell. I specifically like the dumbbell, or I might do pushups. I've been doing pushups for awhile. I might do pushups, but I do feel that it's actually harder on my shoulder than bench press, so I'm going back over to the bench press. But specifically, I do like dumbbells more than a barbell. But I also do train the barbell. I'm not skipping on the barbell.

Hans Amato:
For my back, I focus mainly on pull ups, and at the moment front lever raises. I might also do one arm rows, but I'm ore of a fan of seal rows. I do a variety of pull ups. I'm currently doing the normal wide-ish grip pull ups, but I also do, on my second session of the week, I might do a closer grip pull up. Then for shoulders, like I mentioned, handstand, shoulder press. I might also do miniature press, but currently I'm alternating it with Arnold press. Then I do a variety of shoulder isolation movements, like around the world lateral raises, L raise with external rotation at the top. I do a lot of face pulls with external rotation with a band. That's been a staple of my shoulder training lately.

Hans Amato:
For triceps, basically dips, reverse grip bench press, doing skulls, close grip push ups, and this calisthenic movement called overhead tricep extension, where your body is basically horizontal, and you're going underneath the bar to train triceps. I'm really trying to focus on the calisthenics to be more mobile and strong in a real life situation, because with my history of the parkour and the martial arts, I always feel I want to be able to do things in real life, whereas if you're only training with weights, yes, you're getting really strong, but you won't be necessarily strong in all plains of movement.That's really what I'm trying to build up with the calisthenics and everything.

Hans Amato:
For my biceps, currently I really like doing arm curls, bridger curls, just normal standing curls, and incline curls. Those would be my favorite. I'm doing them with heavy or blood flow restriction training. That would be basically my staples. I do like the power lifts and the calisthenics and dumbbells. I really try to keep it simple. Those might obviously change depending on what I feel there's a weakness, and then I might do a different exercise to strengthen that specific weakness. Currently what I'm doing, I'm really feeling I'm hitting all the right places, building mass in the right places, and just avoiding injury in general.

Hans Amato:
Yeah, it's really specific to what I'm doing, how I'm feeling, and then I'm changing the workout. I might even at the start of the week and think, "Okay, this is what I'm going to do this week," and then I do my workout Tuesday on program, and then come Thursday, and I'm like, "Okay, now what? I want to do something else because I'm going to feel this exercise better," and then I change it up.

Jayton Miller:
How do you approach injury, and what are some of the things that you do to kind of prevent injury?

Hans Amato:
To prevent injury, I just basically try to train smart and listen to my body. If my body feels achy, I really avoid training in that area where I'm feeling achy. If I'm doing something like a bench press, a flat bench press, and I feel it in my shoulder or my chest, I will stop doing them and switch to something else where I don't feel it. Or, like I mentioned earlier, I had some tweak in my shoulder, and I feel a little bit achy when I'm doing the normal dumbbell shoulder press, so then I switch into the Arnold press, and I can still go heavy, and it's still difficult, but without feeling any pain. I can still train the muscle and there's more movement with that exercise, so I do switch things up depending on how I feel.

Hans Amato:
Then, like I mentioned, I try to train my weaknesses, try to find those, strengthen those, and that makes the biggest impact on if I'm going to get an injury or not. Just generally listening to my body, what my body says, how are you feeling with this exercise? If you don't want to do it, then don't do it. That's basically my approach, unless obviously I know that exercise... so, I know the difference between I should be avoiding that exercise, or if I'm lazy. If I'm lazy, I'm just going to do the exercise, but if I feel really this, "It would be best to skip this exercise for now," but always come back to the other workout that's rather what I would be doing.

Hans Amato:
For instance, I was training front lever raises for six sets twice a week, and then I felt like this might be a little too much volume for the intensity that I'm doing, so I then halve the volume and incorporate a different exercise that will be supplementary to my goal, and now my recovery is feeling much better. I'm feeling progress, and everything's better. Yeah, I would rather change an exercise, change my workout, and through that way, I'm making faster progress and I'm avoiding injury in the process.

Hans Amato:
Another thing that I would look at is if my strength gains start to stall, I don't force further progress. If you start with an exercise, you might initially have made a lot of gains, and you might come to a point where you're stalling and you're getting kind of stubborn, and like, "Okay, I'm going to keep on doing this because I really want to get strong with this," and you can do that perhaps for awhile, but then you might start burning yourself out. So, I try not to do that, and I would always try to take it from a different approach. For example, if I want to get stronger with bench press, instead of just forcing the low reps because you want to get a certain one rep max, I would perhaps change the intensity and sort of the linear progression coming from high reps all the way back to low reps, maybe play a little bit around with changing the rest, going from longer rest to shorter reps. That's also a great way to stimulate progressive overload.

Hans Amato:
Everything, my workouts just change workout to workout depending on how I feel. I always listen to my body. I don't overwork specific muscle, and I stop if an exercise starts to make me feel achy. I guess that's just my general approach to avoiding injury to happen in the first place. It's smart training.

Jayton Miller:
If you do have an injury, what are some of the things that you do outside the gym to kind of rehab it?

Hans Amato:
Specifically what I would do for an exercise outside the gym is I might do blood flow restriction training in a certain range of motion, where I can just stimulate blood flow with just movement, and that does help with the recovery where it doesn't hurt. Then initially I would use things like topical magnesium and progesterone to inhibit inflammation, and both of those have been shown to speed up recovery, especially in the joint, to stimulate the production of collagen and regenerate that.

Hans Amato:
Like I mentioned, I would do blood flow restriction with the gelatin and essential amino acids pre workout that helps to track the amino acids in the muscle. That can also greatly stimulate muscle protein synthesis as well as the regeneration of collagen and the extra cellular matrix. Additional things that have been shown to help with injury that I would do is an ultrasound. I would use red light and infra red light. I would use a BMF device. I would try to find spasms and roll that out of that as contributing to an injury. Then last but not least, I would look into BBC 157 injections. That peptide is naturally made in the body and has really been shown to greatly accelerate regeneration. If I'm having a stubborn injury that is really not healing with the other mechanisms, I would get the BBC 157.

Jayton Miller:
How do you approach over training? Is there a specific frequency that you find is most optimal, or is there a way that you just kind of tell whenever you're kind of on the verge of over training?

Hans Amato:
I would basically approach over training the same way as I would to prevent an injury, because people usually get an injury when they are starting to over train. I just listen to my body. If I'm feeling achy, I will not do the exercise. If I'm feeling like heavy weights is feeling really heavier than normal, I would switch it up. I will change the intensity, I would perhaps reduce the volume. I will reduce the frequency. I would do more blood flow restriction training, because the really cool thing about blood flow restriction training is that it's been shown to stimulate the same kind of hypertrophy as the heavier weights when you're doing light weights. You can use light weights, it's not going to hurt you, and get the same kind of hypertrophy as you would with heavy weights.

Hans Amato:
I think the research shows that it's up to 80%, or I think this was in terms of strength. You could even gain strength from light weights the same you would with weights less than 80% if you want [inaudible 00:58:33]. That's still a good amount of strength that you can gain. You can literally maintain your gains when you have an injury or you're over training with blood flow restriction, and speed up your recovery and not over train. But you still have to... you can also overdo the blood flow restriction training, because if you go until failure with each set, that does induce muscle damage. So, it can be overdone, so I would go with a lower volume, lower frequency, lower intensity, and maybe for a week or two, depending how we're going to feel, do a de load, basically.

Hans Amato:
My basic de load is a month long. No, not a month, sorry, a week. But if I feel really like I'm not recovering enough in that week, I will go for a second week, which happened just awhile ago. That's just all part of the journey and seeing how your body reacts, and that's why I think it's really important to not religiously follow a program where you'd rather follow the program instead of listening to your body, which makes it basically difficult to find a proper program for you. But, yeah, basically the most important thing to prevent over training is to listen to your body, what it is saying, because intuitively my body would tell me, "You're tired, you're feeling achy. Don't over train. Don't train at a high volume with high intensity." Then if you listen to your body, you can recover faster from the over training, but if you're following a set program and you think you're going to push through, you're going to be a man, and that's when you basically do most of the damage because you're not listening to the body, and you're following a certain program. That would be my approach to over training.

Jayton Miller:
What are some of the biggest tips that you would give the listeners that are listening, and how can they get a hold of you?

Hans Amato:
Yeah. I do have a lot of tips. But just to keep it simple, the most important things that I would look at is to optimize the diet and to optimize the lifestyle and make sure you're following a good training program. But most importantly, it's diet and the lifestyle. For the lifestyle, it's basically go out and explore. That'll help to lower the stress, increase your dopamine, and so on. Breathe fresh air, do earthing, swim in rivers and oceans, not just for the cold exposure, but also for the energizing effect that moving water has. Get sunlight, get that vitamin D. Get that antiviral hormone producing effect from the sunlight. Laugh. Enjoy your life right now, or you really miss out if you think, "Okay, I'm going to wait until I'm older. I have to work now. I have to make money. I have to do this and that." You're really missing out on a very important time in your life where you should be having fun.

Hans Amato:
That mean you should go out and party and stuff like that. That's not the right kind of fun. You should enjoy your life. You should go out and have fun with the right people, and that really helps relax and that can enhance your longevity. Then very importantly, reduce gut inflammation is really, really, really important that I've found for even gaining muscle and losing fat, and just health in general. Then eat all your macros, really important. Eat enough calories. So many people just don't eat enough. They think it's okay if they eat intuitively, which it is, to a degree, but then people might start consuming too little protein, they might be consuming too much calories in general, actually, and they gain too much weight, they're like, "What's going on?" It's like, okay, you're not eating right.

Hans Amato:
For me, I know that if I'm not counting my calories, I might start to under eat, so it's important for me to count my calories. I don't do that every day. I have basically an idea of how much calories I should be eating, so it's just in general, if you're eating enough calories, your metabolism will be faster. You'll be more stress resilient. This is definitely a mistake that I made during puberty, where I was just having no idea what I was doing food wise. I didn't even know that you had to eat. I was doing a live signing and not having food the whole day and thinking that was okay.

Hans Amato:
Just make sure you're eating enough, getting all your calories, especially if you're going through puberty or you're still young in your twenties, you're still growing, you're still adapting. Then don't worry about what others think and what the standard is. That's too much stress, and you don't have to... yeah, it's just unnecessary stress if you just worry about everything and everyone. Then big one, de stress. De stress a lot, focusing on breathing. That's really important to de stress. But all these things that I've basically mentioned is to help with the de stressing and having just a more enjoyable and healthier life.

Hans Amato:
That would be my biggest tips for everyone, and everyone can find me at Men Elite, which is men-elite.com. I'm also on Facebook at Freestyle Body Building, and on Instagram at Hans Amato. But everyone can find me on my website. I have the links there to my social media, and just thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate this opportunity to talk to you and share this knowledge with the listeners.

Jayton Miller:
Awesome. Well, Hans, I appreciate you hopping on here. To everybody listening, go check him out. He has some awesome content on his website. If you're not in the Facebook group yet, make sure to get into the Thermo Diet community. We have over 1,600 people, and they're absolutely killing it on the Thermo Diet. Then make sure to subscribe to the podcast, leave us a review if you can, and I will talk to you next time. Have a good one.

Previous article The Thermo Diet Podcast Quarantine Edition Episode 35 - Josh Rubin
Next article The Thermo Diet Podcast Episode 33 - Nicholas Simpson

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields