Eat Better and Get Fit by Going Back in Time

 

– The MOVEMENT Movement with Steven Sashen Episode 128 with Jakob Roze

 

Jakob Roze, CSCS, is the founder of RozeFit, a high-end concierge personal training practice. He began his practice in New York City as a Strength and Conditioning Coach and Wilhelmina Fitness Model.

 

RozeFit seeks to provide diet and movement solutions for individuals noticing age-related changes in their physique and physical abilities. With an emphasis on convenience, close communication, and empathy, Jakob coaches his clients with the respect they deserve.

 

Listen to this episode of The MOVEMENT Movement with Jakob Roze about eating better and getting fit by going back in time.

 

Here are some of the beneficial topics covered on this week’s show:

– How middle-aged individuals can metabolic health through cardiovascular movement and weigh training.

– Why finding a movement you enjoy will inspire you to exercise more.

– How there are many ways to work around what you perceive to be limitations.

– Why you don’t need to warm up before you work out, or cool down afterwards.

– How wild foods have a lot of nutritional elements that can help people live healthier lives.

 

Connect with Jakob:

Guest Contact Info
Twitter
@JakobRoze

Instagram
@rozefit

Facebook
facebook.com/jakob.roze

 

 

Links Mentioned:
rozefit.com

 

Connect with Steven:

Website

Xeroshoes.com

Jointhemovementmovement.com

Twitter
@XeroShoes

Instagram
@xeroshoes

Facebook
facebook.com/xeroshoes

 

 

Steven Sashen:

Technology is a wonderful thing. We grow, we learn, we improve things. It’s amazing, isn’t it? Yeah, okay, maybe not. We’re going to look at that on today’s episode of, The MOVEMENT Movement, the podcast for people who want to know the truth about what it takes to have a happy, healthy, strong body. Starting feet first, because those things they’re your foundation. And we break down the propaganda, the mythology, sometimes the outright lies you’ve been told about what it takes to have a happy, healthy, strong body.

 

More importantly, to play, and run, and walk, and hike, and do yoga, and CrossFit, whatever it is you like to do. To do those things enjoyably, efficiently, effectively. Did I say enjoyably? I know I did. It’s a trick question. Because look, if you’re not having fun, do something different until you are.

 

You’re not going to keep it up if you’re not enjoying it anyway. So I’m Steven Sashen from xeroshoes.com, your host of the podcast. And we call it The MOVEMENT Movement because we are creating a movement. That involves you. It’s easy, it’s free. It’ll be natural. About natural movement, having your body do what it’s made to do. And there’s a thing called the null hypothesis.

 

Which is basically, you start with the way things are already are. And if there’s an intervention, the intervention has to prove itself first. And so, natural is the null hypothesis. Anyway, if you want to be part of this, it’s really easy. Movement about natural movement. Movements about you, natural movement. All right, I got it all.

 

Go to www.jointhemovementmovement.com. I didn’t get any sleep last night, so I’m having a hard time. You’ll find previous episodes. The ways you can interact with the podcast. Where you can find us on social media, on YouTube, on Facebook, et cetera. And the way you become part of the movement, just spread the word. Share, like, leave reviews, give us a thumbs up, hit the bell icon on YouTube. You know how to do it. In short, if you want to be part of the tribe, subscribe. Let us jump in. Jakob, do me a favor. Tell human beings who you are and what you do with your life.

Jakob Roze:

My name is Jakob Roze.

Steven Sashen:

People do things like that to me all the time, and all we did was communicate via email, and it never occurred to me. So here, I’ll do this again. Jakob, tell people who you are and what you do.

Jakob Roze:

It’s a pleasure to meet you, Steven. Yes, my name is Jakob Roze, and I have a concierge personal training business. And simply put, my mission is to help middle aged individuals reclaim their metabolic health through cardiovascular movement, and also strength training as well. So that’s what I do in my professional life.

Steven Sashen:

How did you become someone who focuses on middle aged people as a not middle-aged person yourself?

Jakob Roze:

Interestingly, I think part of it had to do with the fact that when I grew up, I was mostly surrounded by adults. And so I’m an only child. I never had siblings, or I don’t really have a large family to begin with. So there’s not a lot of like people my age, so to speak. I didn’t have a lot of millennial friends growing up, even though I am a millennial.

 

So, I think just simply because it was the type of people who I was comfortable with most, which is, I guess you could say atypical for a millennial. But not only that, but I also did notice over time that around your middle age years, or specifically when we start to notice a lot of these metabolic health parameters that start to decline. Either high cholesterol levels, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, people start to get out of shape. They’re not taking their health as seriously anymore. So I thought, how could I contribute to this group of people who I spend a lot of time with around me and care about? And yeah, I just went from there.

Steven Sashen:

The middle-aged thing, speaking of someone who’s about to turn 60, there’s a technical term for it. It’s, it blows. And what I mean is that there’s things that you just have to adapt to, that you can’t change. And there’s things that maybe you can, but you can’t do it the same way you used to. for me, as a competitive sprinter, I would love to have about seven pounds less body fat. Getting rid of that now, whole different game than it was when I was your age.

 

Where it was, skip dinner once or twice. Or I have one less slice of pizza. And now, my body does this weird thing where if I change my diet, it’s like, “Oh, you’re doing that now?” And it just stays the same. It’s really crazy. Or, I’m not responsive to dietary changes, but I’m responsive to activity. But I just can’t do as much activity as I used to, Because I can’t recover as fast.

Jakob Roze:

For sure, the recovery element is huge, absolutely. But I mean to be fair, you really are turning 60, you’re saying?

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Jakob Roze:

Wow. Okay. So you look really, really healthy for a 60-year-old. Obviously, you keep yourself in great shape.

Steven Sashen:

I don’t know how much of it nature and nurture. My mom, when she was 40, came into my high school to pick me up, and someone stopped her and said, did you get your yearbook yet?

Jakob Roze:

My gosh, wow.

Steven Sashen:

So, it runs in the family. But I will concede, it’s very entertaining to hang out with people my age and go, “Oh my God.” I don’t look like that.

Jakob Roze:

That’s funny. No I think it makes a big difference. And also too, what is your current exercise routine? How many days are you running at the track or …

Steven Sashen:

I’m only on the track one day a week, because that’s all … Because I’m working the rest of the time. In the summer, sometimes I can get out early, and get two days in. But again, I’m doing high speed work. I’ve only got one really serious speed day in me a week, and then I got to recover. In fact, this will be, and I’m going to get back to you in a sec.

 

I was working on strength for sprinting, doing the Nordic hamstring curl, which for people who don’t know, you kneel, you have something or someone holding your feet down, and you just try to slowly lower yourself, your body to the ground. And I was trying to do that, like doing sets of that. I don’t know, three times a week, and I just wasn’t progressing. And when I stopped, and started … Stopped doing that and started doing that training once a week, doing five sets of five reps, however well I could do them, but only one day a week. Within a month, I could actually go all the way down, come all the way back. So that was a crazy adjustment. But the other thing is, lately I’ve been riding my bike to and from work. So that’s about 10 miles a day.

 

And it has not made a like of a difference in anything I can identify, other than I’m really enjoying it. And I’m riding faster than when I started.

Jakob Roze:

Interesting. Okay. Yeah, and it reminds me too, just of the fact that you mentioned that you enjoy it. And I think one of the biggest things that I notice with people too, is I think people, not everybody, people who are … A lot of people think that exercise isn’t enjoyable. And I think it’s, a lot of times, it’s just the fact that they haven’t found the right thing that they enjoy, because they think … you know what I’m saying? I think-

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. I spent from the time I was 32 to 45 looking for something that I enjoyed doing. That I could keep doing. Because there was things that I enjoyed. I was a competitive jump roper. I was doing some circus things. And they were fun, and I enjoyed them, but not enough that I was going to keep going. And then I discovered track.

Jakob Roze:

Exactly. So, at what point in your life did you discover running?

Steven Sashen:

I was a sprinter when I was a kid. I stopped when I was 15, and then I picked it up again at 45.

Jakob Roze:

Okay, excellent. And then that carried you forth. Obviously you had 15 years to continue on that journey, and continue enjoying it, obviously.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. I’m still master’s all American. So I’m fast, which I get predominantly genetic. But the thing about it that I love is it’s a … There’s a goal. Competition is a goal. There’s crazy people who also do this thing as a well. And you can’t get it right. There’s no way to do it perfectly. And that intermittent reinforcement of like, “Oh my start was better this time, but my dry phase wasn’t as good.”

 

There are all those little things at the end of a race where you go, “I know I could do it better.” And that’s very literally addictive.

Jakob Roze:

Totally.

Steven Sashen:

It’s a joke I have at the end of a race. People say, “How’d you do?” And I go, “Do you just want the number, or can I give you the excuse as well?”

Jakob Roze:

That’s great, man. Oh my God. Yeah, no, I think, and again, it’s just a testament to the fact that you enjoy it. And I think for anybody listening, I’d encourage anybody to explore many modalities of exercise. Because obviously there are some that are, from a physiological perspective, perhaps better than others by definition. But I don’t think that should discount, or discredit anybody’s enjoyment when it comes to getting out, and just moving as a human should move. You know what I’m saying?

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. Talking about track and field, there are dozens of different events, and finding the one that’s the one that you enjoy is critical. I know I run the 60 meters indoors, 100 meters outdoors. I don’t run the two. I don’t run the four. I don’t run miles. I don’t do distance. I don’t know how the corners on tracks work. It’s very confusing. I don’t have the GPS watch, so I get lost. But you can find your thing. And then of course there’s limitations. I love pole vaulting and long jumping. My back doesn’t let me do that anymore.

Jakob Roze:

Absolutely. Yeah, and that’s the thing, as well. There’s just so many ways in which you can work around whatever your limitations are. I think a lot of times people get really into a narrow mindset. That they see somebody performing a specific type of exercise, or especially in popular media, let’s say they see somebody squatting with really heavy weights, and they think, “My back would never be able to handle that.”

 

But you can regress and progress different movements down to pretty much anybody’s individual level. So I don’t think it’s limiting at all. And I think it’s just a matter of looking at it in a creative way, and approaching it from where you’re starting, as opposed to looking at what other people are doing, if that makes sense.

Steven Sashen:

Well, what you just said is interesting, because squatting heavy, or deadlifting heavy are two things that I really like doing, and I’ve got, basically, a broken spine. So I can’t do those. But to your point, finding the variations that are as close to equally satisfying, because they won’t be the same, as one can. That’s been interesting.

Jakob Roze:

Totally.

Steven Sashen:

And there are other ways of even doing the same exercises without the same amount of weight. We’re doing other exercises with what seems like a lot of weight. I think you’re right of, that mindset of experimentation is really important.

Jakob Roze:

Yes, precisely. And it brings me to something as well when we’re talking about how exercise should be enjoyable first and foremost. And something that’s always been super inspiring to me has been, I was an anthropology undergrad major. So we looked a lot at different indigenous cultures. And one of the things that I learned was specifically that indigenous cultures have no true, real separation between their play life and work life, if you will.

 

They’re one and the same, and they don’t necessarily formally exercise in the way that you and I have a very packed schedule. We have our days planned out to the hour, and we set aside one hour to go to the gym or the track. And that’s our, “exercise” time. But when you look at indigenous cultures, it’s like they find ways to express movement in various ways that enjoyable to them. And maybe it means chasing each other around, or kids chasing each other around, playing tag-like games, whatever.

 

And it’s just interesting that when we look to these people who arguably have some of the most optimal health. We have living day examples of hunter/gatherer tribes that just exhibit pristine metabolic health. And so, when we look to them, it’s interesting to see that they approach exercise in a way that’s like not so formal. And in fact, the benefits of it are just the very fact that they’re doing what humans have always done for all of evolutionary history, which is just express ourselves through movement, in a way that’s just natural, and not very prescriptive, or they don’t really think about it much, if you know what I mean.

Steven Sashen:

Well, there’s also something about having that lifestyle, where you engage in activities in a, this is going to sound weird, in a way that you can’t really replicate. So, for example, the difference between, I don’t know, going to the gym, versus walking down to the river, picking up rocks, bringing them back, and building a house. The difference between going for a run or even sprinting, very different than when you’re trying chase down food or being chased by someone that thinks your food.

 

And I like to say, “I can train as hard as I want on the track. Maybe I’ll be a little sore the next day. I do one race where it’s just hormonally different because of the adrenaline, and the competition.” That 13 second run, and I’m shot for four days. So you just can’t fake some of these things. You can come close, but it’s not the same.

 

And I’ve got to answer your earlier question in another way that relates to this. So we were talking before this started. We just got a dog, and I mentioned I’d learned that I can sprint all out with no warm up at six in the morning. Roll out of bed and sprint. That’s what the dog does. And it was actually shocking to me, because when I go to the track, I spend 20 minutes warming up. I do all this stuff, and it’s like, “Oh, wait a minute, maybe there’s more to how these bodies work than even I was thinking.”

Jakob Roze:

Definitely. And it was just like an automated process. I’m sure you realize you had the capability, but you never had to do it.

Steven Sashen:

No. Well, I never had the opportunity to, or the reason to test it. And it was just that. It was like, “I feel awake. Let’s just see how I feel.” And I only did a tiny little bit, like five seconds. It’s like, “What the hell?” And then now we still will do maybe out of a 20 minute walk or so, I’ll do a full out 100 maybe three times.

Jakob Roze:

For sure. For sure. Interesting. Yeah, actually it’s funny you should say that. I don’t have a pet, or a dog specifically. But I experimented recently. I also warm up extensively before I do most of my sprint or high intensity training. But there was a couple of times where going off of this concept of what it means to naturally move as a human, and looking to indigenous cultures.

 

And hunter/gatherers certainly aren’t warming up for their daily tasks. They just are doing them, right. And so I thought to myself, I was like, “What would it be like to just pretend like I was chasing an animal, or just go from literally inside on my computer, to just going out and sprinting.” And I was honestly quite surprised at how simple it really was.

 

I think I had this perception just growing up as a runner and stuff. We always went through this methodical warmup, and stretching, and it’s not to discount those. Because of course, arguably, we know from the literature that these things do in fact improve performance. But when you just … I don’t know, I think it’s something about letting go, and just letting your body … Trusting your body and just letting go. And it’s just, it’s amazing what we can do when we’re just on autopilot. It’s like, “No, let’s just be human, and just let it go.”

Steven Sashen:

You reminded me, I used to do a thing in a house that my wife and I used to live in. I had a pull up bar. We had a second bedroom that was our TV room. So we had a sofa bed, we had a TV, bathroom. And I put a pull up bar in the doorway between the room and the bathroom. And every time I walked by, I did some pullups or chin ups.

Jakob Roze:

I like that.

Steven Sashen:

No warmup, no thinking, no whatever, and I just do as many as I wanted to. And it made significant differences. Just having something to do without, like you were saying, not overthinking it, just do it and see what happens.

 

All right. Okay. So the intro to this thing I was talking about, “Hey, technology,” and human advancements were wonderful, but we’re already starting to talk about indigenous cultures. I love that you have an anthropological history. Because the guy who really kicked off the whole barefoot running movement was Dan Lieberman from Harvard, who is an anthropologist. Was not a physiologist, was not a physical therapist or biomechanist, or any of those, but was studying indigenous cultures. So let’s jump into that a little more, shall we?

Jakob Roze:

Yes. So it’s actually interesting. I didn’t know that.

Steven Sashen:

Oh, really?

Jakob Roze:

Yeah. Actually, I’m definitely going to go look him up now, and probably contact him.

Steven Sashen:

Well, he’s mentioned in, Born to Run, a couple times. And, what kicked off the barefoot movement was a combination of, Born To Run, being out, but that book had been out for a while before it took off. What really kicked it into high gear was when Lieberman’s study came out, showing that running barefoot, and landing midfoot, put less force through your body than running in shoes.

 

Where he took some people in Africa who ran barefoot habitually, put them in shoes, and they started over-striding, heel striking, and putting more force into their joints. I can never remember if that was in nature or science, but that got a lot of attention, and really made things start to move.

Jakob Roze:

Interesting. Oh, also too, I just, for the listener, anybody. Born To Run is a book that Steven and I were talking about before the show started, and highly recommend anybody who wants to dive into barefoot running, this is a great place to start, 100%.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, it’s just a great book too. It’s a great story. It’s a great narrative. My wife, who’s not a runner, found it. Just as fascinating as every runner that I know. Here’s a little teaser. I’m not even sure if I’m allowed to say this, Born To Run two is coming out in about eight or nine months.

Jakob Roze:

I didn’t even know that. That’s amazing. That is so great.

Steven Sashen:

I just found that out.

Jakob Roze:

Wow. All right. I’m very, very excited now.

Steven Sashen:

I think the idea of it is to be something more practical. The reason I know is Chris and his partner, Eric, they reached out to me. Not like partners, partner in the book. Reached out and said, we’re doing a section on footwear, can we get some shoes to test? And I sent them pretty much one of everything we make.

Jakob Roze:

Wow. That is super cool, man. And actually I’d love to just the quick aside, just dive into just some of the Xero Shoe stuff. So just give me a little bit of a background specifically, as to what your inspiration was. Was it also Born To Run specifically, or how did that manifest for you?

Steven Sashen:

People who’ve heard me know the story. So I’m going to do the really short version. It was a combination of a friend of mine who’s a world champion runner handing me a copy of Born To Run, and suggesting that if I took off my shoes and ran barefoot, maybe I would learn why I had spent the last previous two years getting injured pretty much constantly.

 

And I instantly figured out why I was getting injured. Actually I take it back. It was semi instantly. My first barefoot run, I ended up with a … It was super fun. Again, I’m a sprinter. I go very short distances. I don’t do anything longer than a hundred meters. My first barefoot run, we were out there for like 40 minutes. We ran something like 5K or 6K. I had never done that before in my life. And I could have kept going, so we decided to stop.

 

And that was amazing. I ended up with a big blister on the ball of my left foot. And I didn’t think, “oh, this is nonsense, because I got a blister.” I thought, “How come my right foot is fine?” My second barefoot run a week later when I have this gaping hole in my left foot still. I thought if I can find a way to run that isn’t hurting that, I’m probably not doing the thing that caused it.

 

And let’s give it 10 minutes, if it doesn’t work, I’ll try again later. Nine minutes and 30 seconds of agony later, something just changed. And my running got faster, easier, lighter. I could have kept going forever, it felt like. And what changed is I stopped over-striding. I stopped putting my foot out in front of my body, and like any good sprinter, I was pointing my toes, bad idea. And then it naturally, my gate naturally changed. My injuries went away. I became faster, et cetera. So I wanted that natural experience that barefoot like experience. But I didn’t want to have to argue with people about whether it was legal for me to come into the store or restaurant.

Jakob Roze:

Oh my God.

Steven Sashen:

And so, I made a pair of sandals based on this 10,000-year-old idea. And then the rest, as they say is history.

Jakob Roze:

Absolutely. I can attest to the restaurant analogy. So when I first got interested in barefoot running, I was in high school. And I don’t exactly remember what year the first models of Vibram five finger shoes came out, but I was-

Steven Sashen:

2006.

Jakob Roze:

  1. 2006. So it was probably 2008 or so maybe I got my first car. I was in high school at the time. And gosh man, there were some visceral reactions. From not only my classmates, but everybody, like anywhere I went in fact. And it just became like this, I think over time has become more of a good conversation starter. And I think obviously people have warmed up to the idea, maybe. I don’t know, maybe. But certainly the visceral response was the first thing I dealt with for the first five years of it.

 

Obviously, you’ve brought this to the forefront really, and it’s been amazing to watch the barefoot movement manifest in such a way that I think has been so much more … It’s more acceptable. And I think we now understand the benefits of it. And it’s just undeniable, and it’s-

Steven Sashen:

Well, I agree it’s undeniable. The research could not be more clear. That doesn’t mean that people have gotten it. There’s still a lot of pushback, especially from retail. Because the big shoe companies have been very deliberately trying to obfuscate the story, and basically spread propaganda. And say that, “If you do this, you’re going to,” you name it. “Your kids won’t get into college. Your mortgage rate will go up. Your car won’t start in the morning,” whatever it is.

 

But the interest is growing significantly. When people say, oh there was a boom, and then it busted. It’s, everyone I know in this business, our business has grown year, over year, over year, over year. Faster than almost any other business. So I’m hoping, and trying to make it happen, that we hit a critical mass. Where there are enough people who’ve had the experience, because that’s what sells it.

 

That we hit this critical mass point where even the doubters go, “Let me give it a shot.” And when that happens, it’s all over.

Jakob Roze:

I know. And I think the whole idea to me, even just in the first place, it’s quite backwards if you think about it, right? Obviously we’re born barefoot. We just through evolutionary history have always operated in a barefoot fashion. And it’s interesting to me that the idea of not being barefoot is taboo, if that makes sense. Or it’s bizarre, you know what I mean?

Steven Sashen:

Absolutely. Well, like I said at the beginning of this. The null hypothesis is start the way we’re built, and work from there. And there’s no evidence that modern footwear solves anything, frankly. And the reason that we’ve come to believe these things, like we need shoes with arch support, motion control, padded heels, et cetera, is because of admittedly brilliant marketing.

 

That, and after 50 years of everyone hearing that story, then you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth. It’s common wisdom. That’s where we are. So we’re just going back in time 50 years, and to when what we were doing is normal, and the modern athletics would’ve been seen as ridiculous.

Jakob Roze:

Totally. It’s an interesting frame shift, and going back to what you said before, I think it’s just like you tell a lie long enough and it just becomes … And if you think about it too, it’s like the modern shoe really hasn’t been around for that long relative to how long people have been walking … Think about the time span, right? How long have people been walking barefoot, versus-

Steven Sashen:

No, no, no. It’s even better. We know that people have been wearing footwear of some sort, something to protect your foot, something to hold that to your foot for 40,000 years. So the modern athletic shoe is 0.001% of human history.

Jakob Roze:

It’s crazy. It’s interesting. And yet, we still, and these companies, they have such an influence that we think that is a standard. It’s just really quite …

Steven Sashen:

It’s even more, like I said at the beginning. We are, in the west, we are prone to think that newer is better, that technology is solving problems. There are cultures that don’t think that. That think, that preserving the way it’s been done is better, and often that’s correct. And we’ll talk more about that. But that’s the crazy part. And more, even the new technology, none of it’s really new. It’s just variations on a theme, different kind of cushioning. Different kind of arch support, different kind of motion control. Again, where there’s no evidence that any of those things are beneficial. So, it’s like the boy who cried wolf, except it’s the shoe company who cried cushioning.

 

But in the original story, the villagers got smart. And in our story, the villagers keep running to a shoe store every time someone says, “Here’s a new form of cushioning,” even when it’s proven that it’s no better than what came before.

Jakob Roze:

It’s wild.

Steven Sashen:

It’s, it’s fascinating intellectually. It’s annoying as someone who’s trying to change the world, and help people, and make people better. But blah, blah, blah, enough about me. Back to you. Say more about your relationship with indigenous cultures, and especially how you’re applying that into what you’re doing with, I hate to use the word middle aged.

Jakob Roze:

Yeah, okay. For sure. For sure. I grew up originally in upstate New York, which is a very rural environment. And one of the things that I became interested in, just because what we did as kids was going outside and being in the natural world. And so I got super interested in wild food forging. From around the time I was around 12 or so. It started with just my family and I, we would pick blueberries up at these cliffs that we have near to where we live.

 

And from there, as I got older, and more aware of nutrition, I started to learn, well, there’s quite a big benefit to a lot of these wild foods. And so from there, I think it carried my interest in my early adolescent years into diving deeper into that nutritional side of wild foods, if that makes sense.

 

So, I just, I don’t know, I think it was just the coolest thing to be able to walk outside and pick plants outside that I could consume as food. And then let alone like, “Wow, these things are actually really great.” And come to find out, there are lots of scientific studies that have shown that their nutrient profile is so much greater than that of our domesticated varieties. If that makes sense.

Steven Sashen:

What were some of the things you were picking? Give me a good wild foraged meal.

Jakob Roze:

Yeah, for sure. One of the most common, which I think people may or may not know is … At least here in the northeast, every spring there’s asparagus, of course, that everybody’s familiar with asparagus. That’s a wild species for one. And then the fall time, blueberries. And then again, going back to spring, there was … There’s so many. At least here we have a plant species called trout lily, which is the spring ephemeral. That it is a sort of lily-like plant, but it comes with these two really, great leaves that essentially look like what a trout looks like.

 

It has these rainbow colors, and they make like a wonderful salad green. The list goes on, like mustard greens. There’s just so much. And no matter what climate you’re in, I think that’s the coolest part, is that there’s always wild species of plants that you can forge. And it’s just fun, man. It’s a good way to get outside, and impress other people when you’re like eating stuff off the floor. And they’re like, “What the heck are you doing, man?”

Steven Sashen:

Elaine and I were in Finland for the world masters track and field championships about 13 years ago. And we were there, it was August, I guess, early August. And wild blueberries, wild strawberries, wild raspberries, and mushrooms everywhere. The rule is if it’s on public land, it’s for the public. You’re literally just walking through downtown Helsinki, and just, Lunch. It was delightful.

Jakob Roze:

Awesome. That’s amazing. And so, I think going back to your original question, so that carried me forward into high school. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life from a career perspective. And so, when I got to college, I knew that I was interested in these things, and I initially wanted to become a botanist, because that was the interest that I had was these wild foods.

 

But I didn’t get into the school of choice that I wanted to, which was a forestry and environmental specific school. So that was okay. So I got into a different school up north in Saratoga Springs, New York called Skidmore College, which by the way, was a great experience. And yeah, it was there that I took a couple of anthropology classes. And I was just super fascinated by the fact that this was an area of study.

 

I think I loosely understood the idea of anthropology, through that the, Born to Run book, they referenced obviously some anthropologists in there. But I didn’t really understand that there was a formal career in which you could make out of exploring indigenous cultures, and their lifestyle practices.

 

So that took me to take more of these classes, and alongside with that, I was always interested in exercise. So I did some exercise science, and some biology, and tried to combine everything together. And then after I graduated, I decided, well, I don’t know if I want to specifically study plants for the rest of my life. At that time during, college as anybody grows a lot, they branch off and stuff. And I got really fixated and interested on exercise and exercise performance.

 

And prior to college, I’d had no experience in the gym weightlifting. I’m 6’5″, and gosh, in high school, I think I weighed, I was a 125 pounds when I graduated. It was ridiculous.

Steven Sashen:

That’s I weighed at 5’5″.

Jakob Roze:

Yeah, I know. So it gives you perspective. I was a string being. It was out of control. And I really did enjoy running. But I think I wanted to branch out and try something different. Because I was so used to my body just being on overdrive, these long distances. So I had a roommate, still to this day, one of my best friends, and he was a professional power lifter. And so that got me interested in weight lifting. And so he taught me a lot of these foundational things. And from there I just got obsessed with the progress that you could see on a physical level. Especially in the beginning. The first couple years that you weightlift, you make exponential gains in your muscle mass.

 

And if you’ve never lifted before in your life, it was just so addicting. So I got super interested in that. And then I was like, “Wow, maybe I want to help people change their bodies in the same way.” Because I had, had such a great experience with it. And so then, I had an internship at a strength and conditioning facility in Saratoga Springs. And that led me to the idea of, “Oh, wow, there’s actually a job in which you can help people professionally with their exercise, and improve their health.”

 

And so that took me to of course, personal training. And then, after I graduated, I moved to the city, and worked at one of the bigger box gyms called Equinox. And yeah, that was great for a couple years. But then I realized that there was something a little bit, just a little too corporate about it. And I wanted to branch off, and do my own thing in a more, I guess, you could say focused, and concentrated way in which sales weren’t the predominant focus. If that makes sense.

 

Of course, Equinox is a very big company, and they must … one of their main focuses is of course revenue. And I enjoyed that part of business as anybody will know, but I really wanted to just have something that was a little bit more focused, and only have a select group of people at a time that I could work with. But really spend quality hours with them improving their health from the inside out. And so that’s what got me into it. And I started my own personal training business and that’s where we are today.

Steven Sashen:

So, is there anything you’re bringing into what you do with people that comes from your understanding of what indigenous people were doing?

Jakob Roze:

Yeah. Going back to what we said in the beginning, it’s figuring out a way in which people can exercise, and also call it play. So, obviously one of the main settings I train people in, is either their houses, or in a gym, which is the majority of it, is what we do. But that being said, I often prescribe things, exercise things for them to do on their own.

 

And a lot of times I’m just prescribing them like, “Hey, get outside and go for an hour-long hike with your family, because that’s not only going to be enjoyable. It’s going to be you’re building social rapport with your family. It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s something to do, and you’re getting all the cardioprotective benefits from the cardiovascular exercise that you’re doing.”

 

So basically, going back to the indigenous culture thing, it’s like finding a way in which I could prescribe exercise to people that would be fun, fit into their lifestyle, and then also take some of the principles from hunter/gather tribes. I.e., for example, not over indulging in carbohydrates. Obviously, we know that for the majority of human history prior to agriculture, we didn’t consume a ton of carbohydrates.

 

And as a result, I think that’s one contributing factor to why hunter gatherer tribes specifically have superior metabolic health. And so taking a piece of that, and bringing it into the modern day lifestyle of the CEO, or whoever I am training. And saying like, “Look, if these are the principles that have worked for thousands of years, much like barefoot running, well, where did we go wrong? And why did we all of a sudden create this new improved, food pyramid.”

 

And I think people are just really confused about nutrition and exercise altogether. Because there’s just so much information in the modern world that we just really need to simplify things. We need to go back to those founding principles of evolutionary history of how did our species operate prior to us being told how we should live as humans. If that makes sense.

Steven Sashen:

It does to a point. And I’ll tell you why I say it that way. First of all, you’re right about how we … some of questions about how we got here. I don’t know how this happened. I was a cognitive psych major in college. And somehow, as a result of that, I got invited to be on a panel to evaluate the food pyramid before it became the food pyramid. And I said, if in fact … There’s two interesting points. One is if in fact you want people to be focusing on grains as a primary thing, the pyramid is not the way people think. The idea that, that’s the base is not the way humans think. If it’s more important, it has to be near the top. So just turned the whole side down. And they went, “We can’t do that.”

 

I went, “Well, yeah you can.” And the second thing was that when after our first round of feedback, they came back with some changes. And the biggest change is if you see the food period, the top is fats and oils. And it’s just some little white dots on a black background, which your brain just ignores. And you go down to the next thing, because the most important visual spot on a pyramid, other than the top, is that two thirds of the way up. Two thirds of the way up is meat and dairy.

 

And they got featured. The way they got featured, was because of let’s call it, “Input,” from the meat and dairy industries.

Jakob Roze:

Of course.

Steven Sashen:

They told us this explicitly. Meat and dairy people, and they said it needs to look like this. And I went, “Oh, no.” So yeah, that’s partly how we get here, is there are people with vested interests who are the ones responsible for that, how the information gets disseminated. So that’s an interesting thing. But my semi disagreement with the thing you said is simply that while we want to look back, it’s easy to make two erroneous assumptions. One is that everybody was the same.

Jakob Roze:

True.

Steven Sashen:

Because, my thing, as a sprinter, I don’t know one sprinter who isn’t very carb happy. I’ve never met a sprinter who’s on keto. I’ve never met a sprinter who is low carb. It just hasn’t been the case. In fact, the one time I was working with a nutritionist and he had me go low carb, at the end of two weeks, I called him. I said, “Dude, I just did something at the end of a workout I’ve never done before.” He goes, “What?” I said, “Fell on the ground, and couldn’t get up, because I couldn’t finish it.”

Jakob Roze:

Definitely.

Steven Sashen:

So, the idea that we’re all the same seems somewhat silly. And the other part is that I think some of the dietary stuff fits in with the activity things as well. And so if we are only changing our diet, but we’re not changing activity to match what that diet is, that can become problematic. And actually, that’s the third thing. There’s a woman named Denise Minger, who’s done some great writing on health and nutrition. Nutrition in particular. Diets in particular. She wrote a book called, Death by Food Pyramid. But her blog posts after the book are the most interesting.

 

Because she decided to look and see if there are in fact indigenous cultures and hunter/gatherers who eat completely differently from each other. And found that there are a couple of tribes that are on a super high carbohydrate diet. Some who are on a super high refined carbohydrate diet. And metabolically, totally fine.

Jakob Roze:

And totally healthy.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. Because it was from her take, it was calories and activity. And in fact, she’s said that she’s going to no longer write about nutrition. And the way she’s said it, I have a sneaking suspicion it’s because she started researching nutrition and longevity, and found no correlations.

Jakob Roze:

Interesting. And yeah, no I was going to mention specifically, so yeah. So I guess not to fetishize low carb or anything, because I certainly, as well as an athlete who does a lot of weight lifting and sprinting as well, certainly do not consume modest amounts of carbohydrates. But yes, specifically going to your point that we need to match the activity level to what people are consuming.

 

Because, yeah, of course, if you’re an athlete or somebody who is metabolically healthy, having carbohydrates to feel your workouts is essential. And I don’t think anybody would disagree with that. So I think that was the key element there. Is matching the exercise that somebody does with their diet specifically. Yeah, absolutely.

Steven Sashen:

In the same way we talked about finding the activity that you enjoy, and you want to do for whatever reason. Do you work with people doing a similar thing for … I don’t want to use the word diet per se, but basically deciding what they should be eating?

Jakob Roze:

Yeah, no, a 100%. because I think that it’s unfortunate. Everybody, I think has their own tribe of like, “low carb, high fat.” Everything’s branched, but I think going off of what you were mentioning before is that, I really do think we need to enter a paradigm where nutrition is individualized, and you really do need to look at the individual. Because, like you said, not everybody is created the same, just like not all indigenous cultures ate low carb and whatever.

 

I think that the consistent theme is that we see that they’re all metabolically healthy. But why they were metabolically healthy is the results, I think, of many different facets. So I think when it comes to an individual’s nutrition programming, I think it 100% has to be individualized.

 

Obviously if I’m taking somebody who’s severely insulin resistant, and overweight, I’m not going to be like, “Here dude, 500 grams of carbs, let’s go. Let’s go hit the track.” But conversely, if I’m working with a middle aged individual who is metabolically healthy, and they want to get stronger, of course that will dictate the carbohydrate intake that I would prescribe to them specifically. So I think it really, that’s a huge point, Steven, like you said, is we really to individualize this stuff. And I think the one size fits all approach is really why we’ve created such erroneous decisions around diet.

Steven Sashen:

I think there’s another part where we can take a weird thing. It’s a combination of personal responsibility, and totally abdicating personal responsibility at the same time. Which is that, we are wired to try to look for simple solutions. And if someone says, “I’ve got a simple solution, then we are white on rice, pun intended.

 

And it’s funny how we dismiss things or accept them. I remember reading a book or seeing a book at a bookstore that was going out of business. So this book was a dollar. And it was about resistant starch, resistant carbohydrates. Which for people who don’t know, if you take a potato, for example, you cook it. The starches are very, very accessible to your digestive system. If you then let the potato get cold, the starch is rearranged, and the molecules rearrange, and it becomes partially, if not totally, indigestible.

 

Not the whole thing, but a certain amount. And if you heat it up again, and cool it again, even more resistant starch. And I remember reading that thinking, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard my life. And I just put the book down. And it was like 10 years later when I bumped into it again. And found it was like, “Oh my God, that’s a real thing.” Who knew?

 

And then even more, I met a guy, there’s a guy that I had on the podcast named Peter Kaufman, who’s got a product called Ucan, U-C-A-N. And they developed an even more … It’s resistant starch you don’t digest. They developed what they call super-starch. Which is a super long chain digestible starch, that’s the only carbohydrate you can eat, and stay in ketosis.

 

He did it because one of the founders of the company, his kid has a metabolic disease, where if he doesn’t eat carbohydrates every couple hour, he would die. And they developed this carbohydrate that allowed him to sleep through the night when he ate it.

 

 

It’s fascinating. And then I said to him, “Oh.” And he says, it’s all natural. I said, “So you’re taking carbohydrates, and then just heating them, and cooling them, and just selectively doing things with temperature and pressure to create these longing carbohydrates? He goes, “Yeah, how’d you figure that out?” “Well, what else could it be?”

 

So, it’s super interesting. If you were going to give people who are listening. You’re not working with them, so you can’t give them explicit advice, or specific advice. If you were going to give people some suggestions on what they might want to do to experiment, and find the combo of things that work for them. Can you think of something you would suggest?

Jakob Roze:

Yeah. Specifically with regards to diet or exercise?

Steven Sashen:

Let’s do both.

Jakob Roze:

Okay, let’s start with the exercise piece. So I think first and foremost, I think anything more than what you’re doing now is going to be beneficial. Because I think people often get into this mindset of, “I’m starting to work out. I have to go from not working out at all, to hitting the weights five days a week, and hitting the track also in the afternoon.” I think there’s just this all or none mentality that I think a lot of people have.

 

And I think, honestly, we really need to be, I think, more conservative with our exercise programming. Especially with people who haven’t started. So I would say, especially if you are just starting off, I think one of the best things you can do is just do something just a little bit more than what you’re doing now.

 

And even if that means you’re going from completely sedentary to just literally making a commitment to walk for 30 minutes. I know a walk doesn’t seem like it’s really that beneficial. But it is, relative to what you were doing. So as long as you’re doing something more than what you’re doing now, I think it has immense benefits. And I just think that one of the things that turns people off from exercising, is that they think it’s so grueling.

 

And it can be, if you go from not exercising at all, to trying to run a 10K. Of course, that’s going to suck. That’s going to be terrible if you’re not trained and conditioned for it. So I think definitely starting slower is … Less is more, I think is the real analogy here.

Steven Sashen:

I’m going to tie to this suggestion something that I’ve been doing in a similar vein. I had a same thought. It’s like, “What can I do to add a little something?” And so on the chair sitting next to me, I have a jump rope. And I’m not saying, “Go jump forever.” But literally just go do 30 seconds. On the way to bathroom, do 30 seconds. Just do that a couple times a day. Or 10 seconds, if that’s all you can do.

Jakob Roze:

Exactly. And something like that as well is super simple. Is that anybody can find … I know a lot of us, we have busy schedules, and it can be hard to set aside maybe a complete hour to go to the gym, or to go outside for a run, or whatever. But if you can start incorporating little things into your lifestyle, you would be amazed at how beneficial something like that could be. You can take that example almost in the opposite direction as well.

 

You let’s say eat a candy bar, and you start off with one. Yeah, sure, it doesn’t make a difference. You do that every day, but then if you start doing that five or six times a day, you’re like, “Okay, maybe this is starting to add up negatively.” And so the same applies with respect to maybe you’re doing jump roping on the way to the bathroom. Or maybe you’re doing a set of five pushups. Anything you can do, that’s more than what you’re doing now, I think from a physiological perspective is going to benefit you.

Steven Sashen:

Let me recommend doing the jump roping after you leave the bathroom. On the way to the bathroom, it can be problematic. I’m not-

Jakob Roze:

Yeah, might not be a good idea.

Steven Sashen:

Not saying I have experience to back that up, but just words of wisdom. So what’s the dietary analog, what you were just mentioning. If you notice you’re having five colas a day, even if their diet colas, like going to four. Or switching one of those out for water. What else would you recommend on the diet side?

Jakob Roze:

I think the same to start off. I think the same principle applies, is people jump into dieting like this all or none principle. Where it’s like, “Okay, I’m going to go from eating my regular diet, to eating 500 calories or 1200 calories,” or this insane restricted … Being in this insane restricted state. But of course, anybody can attest that, that’s not going to be sustainable. So I think, again, less is more. I think just by simply … Even like … I have a lot of people, before I even prescribe them anything with regards to their diet, as I literally have them just do a food diary.

 

And not for the fact that doing the food diary is going to be immensely beneficial to their metabolic health, but rather just the idea of being cognizant of what you’re doing, in turn, that effect influences your choices.

 

So, it’s like, I don’t even have to tell, “Steven, I want you to eat 2200 calories today.” And while that may be an accurate prescription or not, I can just tell you, if you haven’t focused on your nutrition before, “Okay, for week one, all I want you to do is record every single meal that you ate today. And at the end of that, come back to me and tell me what you ate.”

 

And a lot of times, people will come back. And I know for a fact they weren’t eating like that before, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the metabolic state that they’re in, right. Just by definition. But just by simply saying like, “Oh, okay, I want to see what you ate at the end of the week.” It’s that observer, Hawthorne effect, I believe it’s called, that gets people to start thinking in a conscious level of what they’re eating.

 

Because I think a lot of people intuitively know that eating that snickers bar, or whatever it is, back to our analogy before, isn’t benefiting them. I don’t think anybody thinks like, “Oh yeah, this is a perfectly healthy habit.” So I think just being more cognizant of what I think we all know intuitively that we need to do, is in itself part of the nutrition prescription. If that makes sense.

Steven Sashen:

Oh no, it totally does. I have this fantasy that someday there’ll be an app where you can take a picture, or scan of whatever’s on your plate, and it will give you a reasonable approximation of the calories.

Jakob Roze:

I like that.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. I remember there was someone who had something like that. It was almost like a mass spectrometer. I don’t think it ultimately worked, because otherwise we’d all have one by now. But that’s another one. It’s like not only … Just writing down what you eat. And in fact, I think that’s a really interesting point. And I never thought of this one. Of, on the first week, just literally write down what it is. Don’t worry about the weight. Don’t try to measure it. Don’t whatever. Just put down what it is.

 

Later, you may want to weigh some of it, the things that are the most calorie dense possibilities, maybe. Just to see what that really is. I never thought to do that. Because I know when I’ve tried to record what I’m eating, I’ve wanted to weigh everything too. And it became such a pain in the ass, that I never do it. But again, I love this idea of a little bit something more or less, depending on what you’re doing, every … Fill in the blank, let’s call it week. And so, just write it down the first week, take the biggest items, or the most calorie dense items, weigh those, just for the fun of it.

 

And maybe you only do it for one meal in a day, for a week. Just to get a sense of what it is, and you see what reality looks like. What I love about that idea, is fundamentally you’re talking about the same instruction I give people for running barefoot. You do a little tiny bit. And the feedback is the most important part.

Jakob Roze:

Yes, there it is. It’s the feedback, a 100%, man. Yes, totally. Totally.

Steven Sashen:

Very interesting. Well, I hate to say we have to wrap this up, because I have a sneaking suspicion you and I could do this all day. But I’m feeling like this is a good spot, because those are both on the recommendation for adding activity, and for attending to diet. Getting the feedback from both. I think that’s a great place to leave people to, soon as we shut up, they can go do a, something.

 

Write down what they were eating while they were listening to us. Or go do a couple of pushups, or jumping jabs, or … Jabs? Jumping jacks. Man, I don’t know what it is with my face today’s. It’s just not getting words out correctly. And even that, finding the body weight things you like to do, same idea. Find out what you think is fun. During COVID, I did a 21-day pushup challenge. It was super, super fun. Because I did different kind of pushups every day. And at the end of it, I’d like doubled the number of pushups I could do.

 

But I’m a competitive guy, so I like that thing. And it only took 10 minutes a day. It was brilliant, fit in perfectly. I would drop behind the conference room table, and do 10 minutes pushups.

Jakob Roze:

That is awesome.

Steven Sashen:

So yeah. Find what works for you. And I want to hear it. So, Jakob, anything that people can … How can people get in touch with you if they want to engage with you in any way?

Jakob Roze:

Yeah, sure. You can go to my website www.rozefit.com.

Steven Sashen:

Anything else that people should know?

Jakob Roze:

I think that’s about it, man.

Steven Sashen:

Well, this has been a total pleasure, other than the part where I mispronounced your name. And again, really looking forward to what’s next. And I’m really hoping that people do try these little, do a little more experiments, and report back on what happens as a result of doing that. That could be life changing. Not only for them, but for people hearing that it really can be that simple to get started, and make a difference.

Jakob Roze:

Absolutely. People should not underestimate those incremental changes, even if it means a couple of sets of pushups in between things, or whatever it is. Just getting started with those incremental changes.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. I’m undeniably going to drop, and do pushups as soon as we’re done with this. I like that sort of inspiration. So anyway, well, thank you so, so much. This has been a real, real treat. And for everybody else-

Jakob Roze:

Likewise, Steven.

Steven Sashen:

Please. And for everybody else, just a reminder, go to www.jointhemovementmovement.com, for all the previous episodes. For all the places you can engage with us. And if you want to share anything, if you have any comments, any criticism, any recommendations of people we should chat with. People who might think I have my head completely up my butt, because I’ve been diagnosed occasionally with a case of cranial rectal reorientation syndrome.

 

So, I’m happy to engage with people, and see what we can find. Because the most important thing is finding out what’s true. And sometimes that happens by discovering that you’ve been wrong about something, which I get a kick out of. So you can drop an email to move, M-O-V-E, @jointhemovementmovement.com. But most importantly, go out, have fun, and live life feet first.

 

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