You can be the person you have dreamt of becoming. Join your host Rodney Flowers as he talks with Russ Yeager on developing a strong and positive mindset to achieve your goals and reach success. Do you want to stay fit? Then you have to program your mind to do it. In this episode, Russ emphasizes that he enjoys what he eats 20% of the time but still maintains the right physique and fitness. Russ Yeager is one of the top Body and Business Coaches in the world. Bodybuilding is not just all about having a good body shape and toned muscles; but it is also building your mind. You have to condition your mind to continue being motivated and to continue what you are doing to reach the change you want for yourself eventually.
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Fueling Motivation For Success Through A Strong Mindset And Fitness Goals With Russ Yeager
As always, I’m excited about this episode. For those of you who have been reading for quite some time, you know I’m a fitness guy and love working out. I think that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind, and I’m always advocating for fitness. I get up at 4:00 in the morning, and I prepare myself for a 5:00 AM workout, five days a week, no questions. It’s what I do. It has served me well. I advocate that for people who want to have a strong mindset.
My mindset has been developed from being an athlete when I was younger. I believe having that athletic mindset or a competitive mindset help has helped me in my business, in my professional life, and in many areas. I advocate for people to become fit, to have a strong and healthy body. Given that I was hurt before, injured in my body, I advocate for it even more because without that mindset and then putting my body through that vigor, I wouldn’t be walking for those of you who know my story.Strive to achieve huge things. Click To Tweet
I have someone who is also an advocate of fitness and have their own story. They’re going to share their story and mindset towards fitness and why it’s so important in terms of changing the game in your life. They even grew up wearing husky pants but then ended up winning an international physique transformation contest at 27 years old. That’s Russ Yeager. He’s here with us and going to share his story and his mindset. He’s one of the top body and business coaches in the world. I have a little treat for you. Let’s welcome, Russ Yeager.
I appreciate you, Rodney. It’s great to be here.
I’m glad you’re here. I get excited when I get to talk to fitness buffs like you because, first of all, I love to know what’s the latest and greatest state-of-the-art information is in the fitness world. At the same time, you have a certain mindset that I resonate with. I’m glad to have you here. How have you been, and how are you holding up and all this going on in the world?
I’m doing great. We’re amazingly blessed. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t had to make some tough decisions, some fast decisions, just like everybody else. When COVID hit, I had two personal training studios here in Atlanta, where I am, and then I do online coaching and personal training all over the world. The online division was not affected that much, other than figuring out a lot of my clients already work out in their homes. The ones that had gyms, we had gyms, we had to get creative, “Let’s figure out how you can work at home, potentially with no equipment.” That was not that hard, but my studios were some of the first to get shut down.
I had just done a $200,000 plus remodel on one of my studio’s brand new, beautiful. I’m sitting there. We’ve been in business for almost twenty years. I’m like, “Is this it? Am I going to lose this?” like a lot of people that we’re scared. I made it, luckily. I got around. I was already around some good people, and I dug in with some good people that had the right mindset.
Some people, unfortunately in business, are still waiting to see. A lot of people have gotten taken out. I hate that, unfortunately. A lot of people have given up, and a lot of people are still waiting to see what’s going to happen. I said to my team, “Guys, this is going to be the hardest thing we’ve ever had to go through but we’re going through it. If we go down, we’re going down fighting. If you don’t want to come with me, that’s okay. If you do, let’s go.”
We said, “We’re getting shut down. Let’s try doing one-on-one Zoom personal training.” We met our clients online, personal training, and we had to figure out how to do it with no equipment. We said, “This will hold us over until we can open up.” What happened was some of our clients said, “I didn’t have to drive to the studio. I can roll out of bed. Maybe I’m not comfortable coming in yet. I can add an extra workout in because it’s so convenient.” They started telling their friends in other states. We’re in over ten states and internationally doing one-on-one personal training through Zoom, which if you had asked me that before, I would have said that’s impossible but it’s our fastest-growing division.
Obviously, things continue to change. It’s a crazy world. There’s a lot of crazy stuff going on. One of the things I’ve learned is that you can’t control what’s in the outside world and what happens but you can control what’s between your ears. You can control your mindset. You can control what you talk about. One of my favorite mentors, Brandon Dawson, says, “What you think about is what you talk about. What you talk about becomes your life.” The cool thing is when you focus on what you can control, your sphere of influence gets wider. We’re doing great. Better than ever business-wise, health-wise. I’m blessed to have an amazing family but there are always challenges, and it’s how you respond to them.
What are some of the tactics that you use to respond powerfully to the challenges that you face?
It’s developing a strong mindset. I’ll tell you one thing that I can give because a lot you were talking about it, “A healthy body develops a healthy mind.” I believe in that so much. Many people, you need to read positive things, do affirmations, be around positive people, being tough mentally. That’s true. I do meditate. I do all of that stuff but the fastest way to get your mind strong is to work your body. Force yourself to move your body. Don’t wait to get motivated to move. Move to get motivated. You don’t have to want to do it. That’s another secret.
That’s probably one of the biggest secrets. Many people are waiting to feel like doing something. You got to decide what do you want. That’s important. I’m sure we’ll talk about mentors and coaches. I’m a huge believer. Being a coach, I’ve used coaches my whole life but not what your coach wants for their life, not what this person wants or what society tells you. What do you want? Figure out a plan to get there. Figure out the daily disciplines that you need in order to reach that goal. Do those daily disciplines every single day, whether you feel like it or not, and that’s not easy but that’s what it takes.
It’s worth it. Let’s not forget that it’s very well worth it. I heard Bob Proctor say, “You don’t have to do something until you want to, and when you want to, you don’t have to do it anymore.” I found that when I started working out at a very young age. It wasn’t something that I wanted to do but as I continued to do it, I fell in love with it because of its competitive nature. I liked how I looked. I like how I felt. I like the comradery of being around people in the gym and working out with folks. It’s a natural thing. I can’t live without it.
When I miss a couple of workouts, it’s like, “We got to stop. We got to get it in.” I tell people, “You’re going to start to feel what it feels like to be a fit person if you continue to do this if you make it a routine, and make it a habit. It’ll be something that you want to do if you stick with it.” There are going to be so many rewards that it changes your identity, about who you are, changes as a result of working out. Have you found that true with your clients?Program your mind to get your body to do what you want to do. Click To Tweet
That’s 100%. You said it’s your identity. That’s why, like The Biggest Loser, most of the people in The Biggest Loser that lose all that weight go back because number one, they don’t have accountability, being on TV and having a trainer with them 24/7. Number two, they haven’t changed their identity. They still identify as a fat person. I can relate to that growing up wearing husky pants. I’ve struggled with overeating my whole life. I’m completely transparent about that. I think one of the biggest things that fitness trainers and personal trainers do, that’s a detriment to helping people, and it’s not intentional because I’ve done it too, is trying to portray that they eat perfectly and what perfect is.
I’ve won the International Physique Transformation Contest. I was taught by some of the top natural bodybuilders in the world. I did the chicken and broccoli rotated with a protein shake every two hours, and that works. That’s how I trained my clients in the beginning but it’s not sustainable for most people. The biggest thing is making it a habit but knowing that you’re not going to be perfect, you don’t have to be perfect but you do have to be consistent.
That’s worth saying again, “You don’t have to be perfect but you do have to be consistent.” I find that a lot of people are hesitant to get into fitness and working out because the discipline scares them. They feel like all of the things that they’re not going to be able to do or they’re not going to be able to eat, or the things that they have to do.
Talk to us a little bit about that. Could you give us a more approachable landscape to entering working out and being healthy? A lot of times out there, there’s this illusion that I got to die like everything about me has to change completely. It doesn’t to enter in. I think working out is a progression you get in, and there are levels to it. Could you talk to us a little bit about that?
It’s intimidating. I have to remind myself sometimes, and I had a great reminder. I’m part of a franchise. We came together last time we were in person. This is all fitness studio owners. Most people are pretty fit, not everybody but most feel pretty fit. They had a workout planned for the first morning, and all these trainers and owners were like, “What’s the workout going to be? What are you going to do?” They were nervous. I was a little nervous. This is what we do for a living, and we’re nervous. Imagine the person, the 55-year-old woman, who’s never stepped foot in a gym. She’s completely embarrassed about how she looks and feels. She’s scared to death. We have to understand people are scared.
People need to understand and this is hard but this is one of the things I try to do with people. Don’t compare yourself to others. It doesn’t matter where you are. It does matter but the best time to start was ten years ago. The next best time to start is now. You can start by doing something that’s going to be positive for yourself. I’m an extremist. I’m an all-or-nothing guy.
I grew up a chubby kid. I hated it. I can’t remember what I did two minutes ago sometimes but I can see a clear picture. When I was eleven years old, my dad was holding the VHS camera, “Introduce yourself, Russ.” “My name is Russ. I like soccer. I like basketball. I love my dog, Rudy.” I looked down, paused, and I’m fat. My mom says, “Russ, you’re not fat. You’re just husky.”
Seven words that changed the direction of my life forever. I had to wear the husky pants going back to school. I freaking hated it. When she said that, I think she was trying to do this. I don’t think she was trying to make me feel better. I’m thankful for her that she just lit a fire under my butt. I said, “I’m going to figure out how to be one of those fit guys. I wanted to have abs.” I used to watch wrestling, had some okay success on my own. I got into working as a CPA. I had late nights, business dinners, drink, and partying with my friends and coworkers in my twenties. I was working out.
I was consistent. I was like, “You said you were going to be like the fit guy on the magazines.” Again, it was all about looking good before. I still cared about how I looked. I’m proud of how I look, at this point having three kids. I want to be healthy, fit, active, live to 100, God willing, and actually be able to fulfill my purpose on Earth. At 27, I got fed up. I said, “I’m going to do this. I’m going all in.” I entered 1 of those 12 weeks before and after the contest, with the pictures, tan, and the whole deal. Trained exactly like a bodybuilder went from about 25% to 5% body fat, which people aren’t familiar with. That’s not obese but pretty chubby to like no body fat, competition stage-ready.
People started saying, “What happened to you? Can you train me?” I did. Long story short, for many years, I have helped tens of thousands of people get the body health and the energy they want. I tried to train them like a bodybuilder because that’s what I knew. The problem is, it worked quickly. I became known as the guy who could transform people’s bodies in three months but the problem is it’s not sustainable. Sometimes you have to go through evolutions. Now, I’m in a different space. I’m vain like everybody else. I still want to have abs. It’s not the most important thing but it’s still fun to have abs.
I said, “Can you?” This has been the question I’ve been asking myself. There’s another lesson, “The quality of your questions determines the quality of your life.” If you’re not getting the results you want, ask, instead of, “Why is this happening to me?” “Why do I have to decide between being the normal dad bod or not being able to spend time with my family and have a successful business?” A bad question.
My question for the past years, “How can I have great health, energy, longevity, feel good, eat normal freaking foods like pizza, ice cream, burgers, have some wine, have margaritas and chips with my wife if I want to in a controlled manner and still have the abs and working out 3 to 4 times a week?” That’s what I figured out. The answer is, yes, you can do it if you know what you’re doing.
That’s what I do for myself. That’s what I do for my clients. I don’t make them eat the burgers, fries, and pizza but the reality is one of the things I talk about is the difference between eating healthy and eating to look good. They’re not the same thing. The best thing is if you can do both together, and the ultimate is if you can eat 100% healthy and eat the right calories and macronutrients, that’s what it takes to look good to have a good physique.
I know three people that say they never eat any junk food or fun food. One of them is lying. The second one is one of them probably going to live longer than all of us. For the rest of us, I use my version of 80/20. Eighty percent of the time, eat the healthy stuff, the fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean meats, get plenty of water, stay away from the processed sugar and all that stuff. Twenty percent of the time, eat whatever the heck you want without guilt, without labeling foods, good or bad.
That’s another terrible thing that we’ve done as fitness trainers is label food good and bad. 100% of the time, or as close to 100% as you can, get the right amount of calories and macronutrients. There are three types of calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat. You can make it way simpler, get the right amount of calories and protein. That’s something you can figure out if you get with a fitness professional or I can give a quick formula if you want just a starting point. That’s something again, you can have great energy, great health, great body, and it’s sustainable for the rest of your life.
Talk to us about the mindset. What is the mindset that’s necessary to look good and be healthy?
The mindset is making a commitment first, “This is who I’m going to be.” It all comes with the minutes. Everything in my life, from doing that contest to making a decision after my hip dislocated to making a decision to quit my safe paying, good job as a CPA. You got to make a true decision, and with the decision, comes commitment.
After that, you got to figure out, what your target is? Where do you want to go? What are the daily disciplines that I’ve got to do, whether I feel like it or not to get there? The secret sauce is to get around people who are successful at what you want to do. A lot of the most successful people say, “Who you hang around with, it’s who you become.” It’s true.
If you hang around people who are fit, healthy energetic, it’s going to be very difficult for you not to get healthy, fit and energetic. If you want to get there faster and ensure success, hire a coach. Hire someone that can get you there because they’re going to provide. A couple of things, you want to make sure you get a coach who is actually successful at what you have. I know that sounds like common sense. We use fitness, for example. It doesn’t have to be the most perfect body, and ripped a person in the world. You don’t go to the dentist with has rotten teeth. Go to somebody who practices what they preach because knowledge is one thing but applying that knowledge is what counts.
That great coach can do a couple of things for you. They can give you the information. If you’re determined enough, you’ve got that mindset, you’ll get there. You just keep going through brick walls. Life is short. We have limited time. If you get a coach that can give you the direct line, they’re going to provide accountability, which is at least half of our job’s information. That’s the least important part. It’s not that complicated to fitness is not that complicated but the accountability, making sure you’re doing it consistently, inspiration, belief in yourself when you don’t believe in yourself. The fourth thing a great coach is going to do is they’re going to push you beyond the limits that you can push yourself.
Having a mindset, I don’t believe it’s just something we’re born with. It’s something that has to be developed. It has to be worked on. I work on my mindset every single day, and I know you’re the same way. I’ve been reading, practicing, listening to this stuff forever. A lot of people say, “Motivation doesn’t last.” Zig Ziglar says, “Yes, neither does bathing. That’s why you have to do it every day.” It’s true because as long as I’ve been doing this, as much as I know all the mindset tricks and things that keep you positive, on track, and disciplined, if I stopped doing it, you lose it fast. Just like if you’re working out for twenty years and you stop, you’re going to lose it fast. The most dangerous place, in my opinion, to be is where you know it all.
Sometimes I’ll share a book with somebody, “I already know that success principle.” That’s like saying I already know how to squat, so I’m not going to do it anymore. I already know how to bench press. If you want to keep getting results, you got to keep doing it. That’s probably the biggest thing. It’s feeding. All the stuff I talk about. I didn’t make it up. I learned it from other people. I am constantly pouring into my mind every single day. Positive things, inspirational things, motivational things, tactics on how to improve my business, how to be a better dad, how to be a better husband, how to be a better fitness professional.
Take us a little bit deeper. You mentioned that a lot of people don’t sustain fitness or a certain mindset because they don’t change their identity. How do we go about doing that, in your opinion?
I got off track. I felt like I didn’t answer one of your questions fully. I’m glad you brought it back around. We were talking about The Biggest Loser contestants and how most of them go back to where they were because they have that identity of being a fat or overweight person. One of my trainers, Micah, who’s been with me, came in second place on the last episode of The Biggest Loser. He lost over 150 pounds, and he has kept it off for a couple of years. He’s gone up a little bit and down a little bit. You change that identity, in my opinion, the best way is, meditation, mindset. Maybe doing therapy, all that stuff is beneficial.
The best way, in my opinion, is to do the things that a fit person does. Every time you act like a fit person. You do your workout. You told yourself, “I’m doing this workout at schedule,” and you do that. You told yourself, “Here’s how I’m eating,” and you do that. You told yourself, “Here’s my sleep schedule,” and you do that. You build your confidence because you are now acting as a fit person. You can program your mind to get your body to do what you want it to do. I just think it’s easier to force your body to do what a fit person does. That’s going to condition your mind over time. It doesn’t mean it’s always going to go away because, as I said, the fat kid is still coming out and wins inside of me, sometimes.
Sometimes I overeat. I get pissed at myself but I’m stronger. My mindset now is fit Russ. It’s stronger than fat kid Russ. It’s another thing too, I would notice I’d get pissed at myself. I still do, sometimes. “I know this stuff. I am a fit person. I’ve stayed in shape for many years. How can this little fat kid still be coming out and get me to overeat?” It’s okay. Accept it, acknowledge it. Just doesn’t live there. Make a decision to move on and keep going towards what you want. Every time you do that, and make that right decision, it’s going to make that mind a little bit stronger. The fat kid gets a little bit weaker.
I’m glad you brought that up because I deal with that. I really do. The guy that likes to overeat, the guy that likes sweets, cakes and all of that. He likes to come out every now and then. The guy that’s lazy likes to come out every now and again. The guy that is in a wheelchair that is paralyzed from the neck down likes to come out. He likes to say, “It’s okay,” sometimes.
I have to keep forcing that away constantly. I keep killing that person in myself. I am not allowing that person or that identity to have its way. I constantly push it down. There may be times where I do certain things, like I may eat something or feel a little lazy and allow myself to be completely lazy or reliant. I won’t allow that to happen very long. I’ll give myself permission for a very short time. After that, it’s like, “You’ve had your time, and it’s back to ride.”If you're in shape and you want to get fit, hang around people who do. A lot of the most successful people say who you hang around with, you become. Click To Tweet
I’m so glad you’re sharing that. Many people see a strong mindset, successful people like you and I, and they think it’s just something we have, and it’s easy. I would love to just sit on the beach and eat junk food, and drink margaritas all day. That’s way more fun than working out and building a business. The successful people I talked to say this is too inherently lazy, and gluttons, and all the stuff that isn’t good for us. It’s not easy but it’s also not easy to be out of shape, sick, tired, broke and depressed. It’s both hard.
Which hard do you want? You said it earlier. It’s worth it. It’s hard to be disciplined, to be structured but it’s worth it. The mindset part is you said, you got to work on it constantly. It is the mental strategy. I gave the physical energy earlier because you said, you want to eat the Oreos, the cake. What I found for me is when I denied myself, all of that and said, “You can’t have any,” but what happened is I’m strong. I have much stronger willpower. When I was competing in natural bodybuilding, I’d go six months without eating any junk food. Guess what happened at the end? I went insane and ate everything in sight for a month because there were no more deadlines.
Now with the 80/20, allowing myself 20% of the time to enjoy whatever I want without guilt. Again, within parameters, you have to enjoy the quantity. If you struggle with overeating like myself, you have to be very aware of that. Make sure you’re checking yourself, getting enough monitor, enough protein, enough healthy food so that you’re not hungry, first of all. What’s your favorite junk food?
Me too. I won a pizza-eating contest one time. Let’s say you love pizza. What you do, you’re going to like pizza, no matter what, psychologically. If you’ve got plenty of food in your system, you’ve got good foods, you’ve got water, you’re not hungry, you still would love some pizza. Starving doesn’t have to mean not eating. It’s one of the biggest mistakes people do. “I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to go on this drastic diet.” They’re eating a thousand calories when their body’s burning 3,000 a day. There’s a huge deficit. They’re basically starving themselves. Your blood sugar is way down here.
You like pizza inherently. You love pizza. Now your body’s craving for sugar. You got no hope. You’re going to get the next biggest pizza. The physical strategy to help control those cravings and still be able to enjoy them, in my opinion, is eating enough food. If you want to lose body fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit but make it a 300 to 500 calorie deficit.
That’s enough to lose body fat consistently but you’re still going to feel good. You’re going to have energy. You can actually build lean muscle if you’re doing it the right way. You’re a little hungry but you’re not starving. It’s much easier, and you’re allowing yourself some of those fun foods within reason. You’re much less likely to overindulge, binge or fall off the wagon, so to speak.
A trick for me was asking myself, “How was my thinking and my behavior serving me?” I’m just like you. I do the 80/20. I allow myself to have certain things at certain times. The way I can stay in the 80, like eat healthy and good, the majority of the time, it’s because I know that serves me. I want to do what serves me most of the time. These other things, they’re not going to serve me as much but they’re pleasures.
They are nice little guilty pleasures that I allow myself to have. I know in the long run, if I continue to eat this way, that’s not going to serve me. It’s not going to serve my body for longevity. It’s not going to serve my mission because I’m not going to have the health and the strength to do what I want to do. They helped me cut it off like, “That’s enough of that. I’m satisfied. I got the pleasure out of it.” I then go back to eating healthy.
It’s that yin yang. I’m a big believer in that. I’m an all-or-nothing guy. Sometimes you need that all-or-nothing muscle. It can serve you. I know people take a week off working out every 8 to 12 weeks. Some people, “I never take a week off.” What happens in reality? “I missed today because I was sick this day, and because I had the dog for this or the kids for that.” You did take a week off or probably more, or you burn yourself out, and you get sick. I’m just strategically planning that downtime. I do think it’s important to yin and yang. Is that what you’re saying?
Yes. You brought up something that I want to touch on as well because I like the fact that you’re an all-or-nothing guy. I can sense your aggression, and I have that, too. I feel like that is part of having a strong mindset. You got to be able to turn that switch on. You got to know when to turn it on. Obviously, as you said, you know when to pull the throttle back. Talk to us about that.
I’m a firm believer that you got to have some grit. You got to have some aggression. It’s not always, “I have a soft strategy that works for me. I believe that for an introductory level.” That’s a normal. That’s what it takes. When you’re training for a competition or you’re trying to compete, there’s a different mindset that you kick into. Talk to us about that.
It is a different mindset. I work out hard now, and I have to do many contests or challenges for myself continually. I tell people the two types of workouts they should do. Number one, something you enjoy, so you actually do it. Number two is some kind of strength training because nothing is going to transform your body, give you the strength, give you the posture, give you the bone health, muscle health shape that is strength training does. That’s why you see so many people doing cardio, and they never changed their bodies. For me, I’m lucky enough that what I love to do is strength training. I did a twelve-week lean-down program, lean down summer challenge for myself, and I wasn’t fat.
At the beginning of the summer, I was in good shape, probably 12% body fat, which is pretty lean. I got down to like 8%, and I did that because I needed to have those challenges. It gets me into a different gear because I have a deadline, and I’m posting on social media, so I have accountability. There’s always another level down when I did that first contest.
When I started getting into natural bodybuilding, when you’re going to get on stage, and you’re going to be in a freaking bikini in front of thousands of people, that it’s a whole another level of intensity. It takes you to another place. I’ve got a client who said they’re signing up for a 150-mile bike ride. He said, “I can’t do it now. I could do it but I will be in extreme pain but I’m doing it no matter what.”
He automatically has to up his game and get in shape. He knows the pain he’s going to go through in those two days and it does. For me, in business, this is probably unfortunate when my back is against the wall, when the pressure’s on like when COVID came, there was the part of me that was scared and cried for about five minutes. I don’t know if you can relate to this, then something inside of me was like, “Let’s go. Bring it on.”
It takes you to another level. It’s cool to have that muscle. What would be cool, this something I’m working on, is to have that level of urgency when your back is not against the wall. I think that’s the hard part. When the backs are against the wall, pressures on, people either crumble or they rise up, I rise up and I know you rise up. You’re like, that’s just no doubt. What I’m working on is being able to keep that same level of intensity and drive. My intensity and drive are high. Don’t get me wrong but to keep it at the highest level when the pressure’s not on and not getting complacent.
We always have to have a why. When we don’t have a why, it’s more challenging to have that sense of urgency, when there’s no deadline, there’s no why. There’s no reason for you to have that intensity, then you won’t have that intensity. If you give yourself a reason to have that intensity, I think that you can turn it on, at least for me. That’s what I do.
I like the fact that you give yourself challenges. As a matter of fact, I’m going to talk to my trainer. I think we need to do that. We haven’t done that in a while. We need to do something that just changes it up a little bit. We changed the workouts but we haven’t done a challenge. Let’s say, in six months, let’s see if we can increase the strength or the muscle mass by X percentage or something like that. I’m going to talk to him about that. Thank you.
I bring everything back to this fitness and sports because I’m thinking about this as you’re asking, and like in business, I would imagine there’s a lot of business owners, entrepreneurs reading your blog. I think sports working out is so important because when you push through physically a challenging workout, a game, a competition, boxing, or whatever it is that just develops that grit toughness, and that mindset carries over into business where you feel like you’re getting punched in the face all day long. It’s critical. That is my connection. I do as much business coaching as I do fitness coaching. When I’m working with my business owners, the first thing I got to help them realize is that the biggest excuse is, “I don’t have time. I know it’s important but I don’t have time.”
I asked them the question I say, “If you had an asset in your business billion-dollar asset, that was the most important part of your business, nothing could run without it, would you run it 24/7, redline it, never do maintenance and hope it doesn’t break down?” Of course, the answer is no but I’m like, “You are the most important asset in your business.” For many business owners there, if they’re gone for a week, definitely a month, the business is done. It’s not optional to invest in your health. I tell them, “You’re not only getting those long-term benefits.”
Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, talks about one of the reasons he’s one of the richest in the world is because he’s lived a long time. He’s had a long time to get things done and figure it out. The cool thing about working out and fitness are you get a benefit immediately. You get a great workout in. You walk into the office, the Zoom meeting, a different man or woman.
You’ve got confidence, you’ve got energy, and people respond to you differently. That feeds off. I see a direct correlation when my clients get it. Their energy goes up. They feel better, look better but they start making more money. That’s how when you can help a business owner. This is not optional. This is not extra time. This is a key component of you growing your business and your bottom line, then they get it.
How do you deal with fear?
I do things that scare me. I hear people say they’re not afraid of anything. They’re fearless. I get scared of stuff. For example, I hate heights. I don’t know why. We were at the beach with my family. We were up on a balcony. Maybe because I’m so tall, I’m 6’6. The balcony only comes up to my waist. I always feel like I’m just going to fall over and go flying. A few years back, my buddy said, “I’m going skydiving. Do you want to go?” I was like, “Yes.” Scared out of my mind. I almost passed out on the way up but I did it. I jumped out of the plane. I didn’t die. I had a lot of fun.
Realizing that your fear is where they say it’s false evidence appearing real, and it’s so true. Once you do it, it’s not that scary, and it’s fun. I just do things. I’m a ready-fire-aim guy. I go. I’ve learned the faster you do things. People talk about the 5-Second Rule. That’s true. Don’t give your mind time to talk yourself out of it but just do it. The real answer is, I don’t know who your readers are, and I don’t force my beliefs but Jesus Christ, I have truly had faith. It doesn’t mean I don’t get stressed. Everything’s going to be okay. Fear not. We’re on this Earth for a short time.
I want to achieve huge things. I’ve only just gotten started. I want massive success. I want to make a difference. I want to be great but I try not to sweat the small stuff. What’s going on in the world? It’s crazy. A lot of people are saying this end of times, maybe. I’m scared of that. I’m also at peace with whatever is, is and I’m going to control what I can control, and whatever I can, I can.
Why is it important to believe in higher power from your perspective?
I don’t know. That’s a great point. I can only answer it from my perspective. It’s something, this could be a whole another show on my whole spiritual journey but I’ve always felt it. For me, like most men, I’m very logical. For example, I’m brought up Catholic, we didn’t read the Bible, and I’ve never read the Bible. I’ve heard verses and stuff. I’ve known I should read the Bible as a Christian but I’m reading, and I don’t get it. I can’t do it.
The new church we’re going to, I don’t even remember what he said, the preacher, I just, “Here we go. In every area of life, I made a decision, I’m going to read the Bible, start to finish, and I made a commitment.” Now, I finished Ezra. I’m about a third away through the Bible. It’s hard. Everybody says, don’t do the Old Testament first. I was like, “This is just how I am. I have to go start to finish. I’ll go back and learn other stuff.” I’m not one of those people, where they read the Bible and they feel God speaking to them. I’m like, I just read about a bunch of names, words and wars, and it’s tough. It’s giving me more questions about my faith.
Logically I’m like, “This is weird. It’s hard to understand. It doesn’t make sense.” It is because of things that have happened in my life that I can’t explain that are miracles. Just because of something feeling it in here in my heart, I just believe, and it gives me a sense of purpose. It gives me help. I feel like I can’t do things on my own. That is what it is from me.Having the right program or workout schedule will still depend on you having your mind in sync with your body to do what needs to be done. Click To Tweet
It’s the same thing for me. It’s an anchor. My understanding only goes so far. After that, I rely on the anchor to keep going, believing, thriving. I think it’s important. As an athlete, you’re always looking or seeking something beyond what’s in front of you. You’re seeking the championship, win, fit body and the goal. The goal is something that’s present.
The goal is something that’s you’re reaching for. It’s something that you want to pull down into reality. You have to believe in something that you can’t see, and then believing in a higher power amplifies the possibility of you being in the present, being able to bring something futuristic or a vision into your reality.
This is what’s cool. I didn’t know what directions were going to go but you told me before, “I like to make it conversational.” This has been awesome. I taught a buddy I talked to about business working out, and faith. He is a great friend. I say, “Do you have doubts? What if we’re wrong? This and that.” He’s like, “If we’re wrong, I know that even if I’m wrong, I’m living a much better life. I’m living it with this mindset. I don’t believe this Earth is ending but even if it is, I’m going to live a much better life and interact with people in a much better way by having that mindset.” That was powerful. I guessed comforting when he said that to me.
I use that rule in a lot of things like giving up. “Things are not working. I feel like giving up.” The reality of that situation means if I’m trying and they’re not working out, there’s still the possibility that I can get them to work out. If I give up, then there’s no possibility of it ever working out because you’re not even putting forth the effort for it to work out. If your dream is a moonshot, “I’ll never get there because it’s on the moon. I don’t think I would get to the moon,” If you shoot for the moon, if you don’t make it, you’re among the stars. You’re not on the ground. You’re at some altitude higher than where you are now. It’s worth the shot.
That’s huge. That’s why a positive mindset is so important and it’s not fake, “I’m happy, I’m rich,” and you’re not doing any action. It’s when you have that positive mindset, it’s what you think about, what you talk about, what you do, you’re moving towards what you want versus if you shut it, it’s negative, “I can’t have that,” even if there’s a 10% chance you can achieve your goal. If you’re working towards it, you got a 10% chance. If you’re saying it’s impossible, you got a 0% chance.
I know a lot of people that won’t get into fitness, “I can never be size 7. I can never be size 6. I’m a size 16. I’m a size 14.” What if you’re 9 or 10 may look good on you? Once you get to a 10 or 9, then you can figure it out. Maybe you just need to make some small tweaks and get down to a six. If the vision is a six, let’s start with the steps. That’s going to get you down to the next level below where you are. That’s the starting point.
We all underestimate ourselves. The proof is you go back 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, or whatever and think of something that you’re doing now, that seemed impossible several years ago. That’s proof. I know this. This is why I’m constantly around people who stretch me and coaches who stretch me. I know the me compared to the 36-year-old version of me, I’m destroying that guy in every area but the 56-year old’s version of me is going to be like, “What were you doing? You’re playing around.”
Russ, this has been a great conversation. How can people connect with you if they want to learn more about you?
I’m on social media. Go to my website, RussYeager.com. Instagram, Facebook I started a TikTok account. The best thing I can do for people, I wrote a book in 2014, Live Longer, Feel Better, and Look Great Naked!. I turned it into an eBook and just released it so that I can help reach those ten million people. I also did updates. My marketing team said, “Just turn it into an eBook. You can reach more people through eBook. You don’t need to update, it’s good enough.” As I told you over the last several years, I’ve dramatically changed my philosophy on things. They can go either on my website or go to FreeNakedBook.com.
Just be careful typing that in. You get something you don’t want, and you get a free copy of the book, and it goes over. I know I like firehose throughout a ton of stuff with the 80/20 and doing the strength training, this and that, that goes through exactly what I do to be in many ways in the best shape of my life, physically, mentally, emotionally, and again, doing it in a way that’s sustainable. That’s not too extreme, and that has worked for a lot of people.
Thank you for that. Give us 1 or 2 takeaways from this book that would be the reason why people need to go and download this book.
The biggest one I touched on would be eating because that is the hardest part. Working out is not easy but more people can work out consistently than they can be eating and I always like to say, “You can’t outwork a bad diet but it’s fun to try.” It’s impossible. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to eat chicken and broccoli every couple of hours. You don’t have to eat no carbs. Here’s one thing. The keto diet is popular now. It works. You lose weight, and you lose weight quickly, primarily use what you lose weight quickly because people don’t realize every gram of carbohydrates holds 3 to 4 grams of water.
You get rid of carbs, water flushes out. Our bodies are 70% water. I’ve lost 10 pounds, which is water. It’s not bad but it’s not good either. You’re going to lose some fat but you’re very likely to lose muscle. Even if you can, if you’re working out properly, you’re getting protein, you can maintain your muscle using keto. Here’s the question I ask people, “How realistic is it for you to never eat a carbohydrate again in your life?” If the answer is no, it’s not sustainable.
You’re going to end up going back. Most people wreck their metabolisms because they’re not eating enough protein or they’re definitely not doing that with the right type of consistency and intensity of strength training. They lose lean muscle. They decrease their base metabolic rate, which is the number of calories you burn every day just at rest.
They go back to eating normally, and they actually are worse off than if they had never done the diet in the first place. That’s the first thing, which is specific. Second, I’ll be general is that I am a business owner of 3, dad of 3 kids, 5 and under, husband, busy as anybody that I know, all of the stresses of the world, and I’ve managed to figure out how to be healthy, fit physically, mentally, emotionally, eat the things that I enjoy and keep abs 365 days a year.
Thank you so much for coming to the show. This has been a great conversation. This is good to get to know you and anything I can do to support you, please let me know. I appreciate it.
I appreciate that. I’ve enjoyed it, Rodney.
There you have it, folks, another successful episode of the Game Changer Mentality show. We started the show with a healthy body leads to a healthy mind, and I know there’s a lot of you out there that are go-getters. You want to make sure that you bring your purpose forward, that you serve, that you contribute, and that you express your best self.
Fitness is a part of that. I know a lot of you love your work. You work long hours, you work hard but if we’re neglecting our body, if we’re not focusing on nutrition, we can’t reach peak performance. Russ is a wealth of knowledge. We need to show us to pull out, not even a half of what he has to share cause it’s just so much.If you're determined enough, you'll get there. Click To Tweet
Check them out, go to the website, pull down the book, and read about how you could be a better version of yourself physically. I believe that physical health is wealth. If you can get your body in the best shape that it can be, then you’re definitely on the right track to you being the best version that you can be. Until next time. Peace and love.
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