All right. What’s up everyone? And welcome to the fit to fat to fit experience podcast. It’s me, your host, drew Manning here today, flying solo. So it’s just going to be me today. Uh, really quick before we jump into today’s episode. My guest today is Jay Kim. Now Jay, he’s joining me all the way from Hong Kong. You guys, uh, he was born and raised in North, it’s Carolina, but he currently lives out there. So for those of you who don’t know who he is, he’s a full time desk jockey and fitness hacker. Uh, he works with world class athletes and other high-performers to help them achieve the fitness results they need and sheriffs his methods at hack your fitness. That’s his website. The reason I brought Jay Kim on is because he has a really cool story, very relatable to a lot of people. Um, he struggled with, uh, you know, his, his physique his whole life for, for the longest time, he wanted a six pack, which is what a lot of guys want, right?
Um, he had trouble putting on the muscle. He, you know, he was following advice from, uh, men’s fitness magazines and other gurus out there trying to find what was optimal for him. And he never really achieved it. And it wasn’t until the day that his wife who kind of brutally said, you know, you’re going to the gym, you don’t look like, you know, you really go. And that just pushed me even further to finally find some ways to hack his fitness and finally get, you know, ripped and shredded, you know, about, you know, under 10% body fat and now he shares what he’s learned with his clients and with us on the podcast. So very interesting episode. A lot of interesting gyms here that like I said, that are very relatable, um, to a lot of people out there that struggle to get that physique of, you know, wanting to be ripped and shredded.
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Yeah man, I’m excited to have you on and all the way from Hong Kong, right? That’s right.
Five 30 in the morning, but I’m an early riser and so I’m happy to be awake and
on your show. That’s so cool man. So I love the travel Hong Kong. I haven’t been there yet. And how long have you been out there?
I’ve been out here since 2005 so 11 over 11 years. I came out here for a job and I ended up just staying and loving the city. And uh, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a lot of fun. There’s the fitness industry here is, is, has developed massively since I first got here. So it’s come a long way.
Yeah. You know what, I’m, you want to come out? You have an open invitation. Thanks man. Yeah, I’ll definitely need a guide of some type to get around. I wouldn’t even know what to do up there. But um, that’s a, you brought up an interesting point, the fitness industry out there versus what you see in the U S like is it just, is, are they like 10 years behind? Like what is it like out there from your perspective?
So just to give you an example, this is, this year was the first year that the Arnold classic ever came to Asia. So I mean everyone in the world knows who Arnold Schwarzenegger is and he is a fitness icon and he’s been doing his classic around the world for, for years and years. And finally they did Asia this year and it was in Hong Kong. It was great. It was only a few months ago. And I went and it was, it was an unbelievable time. But when I first came here in 2005, there was probably two or three gyms and it was just your standard gyms. And since then, now you can barely go a block without some sort of CrossFit box or fitness, a SoulCycle type setup or even a yoga studio. So they’ve, they’ve gotten very smart and, and very enthusiastic about fitness here and the amount of sort of health foods that are available now, uh, shipping’s a lot cheaper and they’ve kind of figured out how to get some of those great foods over here.
And so that’s helped as well. And just in general, I think the society in Hong Kong and in Asia where less fit, fit conscious. And I think part of that is because genetically I think Asians probably have a little bit easier in their, in their stack of cards when they’re born so they don’t put on sort of weight or maybe they have faster metabolisms. So it’s never been an issue. They can always cover up sort of with clothes and whatnot. Uh, and so that, you know, that’s a big thing. So when, when you don’t have to walk around with a God or a belly, then, then you don’t care about it as much. Right.
Yeah, exactly. So, so what do you see as far as like the supplement industry out there? Is it the same as it is here in the U S are there GNCs are there like local supplement shops? Where are they as far as, you know, the supplement industry out there? I’m just curious. Yeah,
same sort of thing. When I first came here, there was one, there was a one GNC and there and it was probably double the price of any, anything that you get in the States. And there was one other boutique fitness health fitness store that I actually went to to get my protein powder. Uh, but having said that, you know, the, it’s gotten a lot better now, but I, I have, uh, I have sort of a, you know, a realistic view of the, of the supplement industry and there’s a lot of problems with it. I believe and uh, which I’m sure you’re well aware of. So I’m very selective with sort of the supplements that I choose.
Yeah, no, I was just curious cause I wonder if there was Tedder regulations over there, you know, not allowing certain, you know, um, outside, uh, that country companies in or if they’re a little bit tighter on the regulations with what goes into supplements. Um, because you know, obviously here in the U S there’s not, you don’t have to have FDA approval for certain things and that’s why it has kind of a, a bad rap sometimes in the supplement industry. So I was just curious about that.
Yeah, I wish, I wish they did have tighter regulations here, but unfortunately it seems to be the case that everything in Asia is a little bit behind maybe five to 10 years behind, uh, the Western world. So, uh, if anything,
yeah. Interesting man. So, okay, let’s back up a little bit cause I want to get to your story, which is why I kind of wanted to have you on, because I think your story is very relatable to a lot of people out there. Um, so kind of walk me through, are you originally, you grew up here in the States, right? North Carolina. Okay. Um, yeah, sure. So, and then walk me through how your, your fitness story cause it’s really cool. Um, and how you got into health and fitness.
Absolutely. So I, uh, you know, like, like you said, I was born in the States and, and, and raised around sort of, uh, different parts of the States. I went to school on the East coast and after I graduated from college, I moved up to wall street and took a finance job because, you know, I wanted to make money. And when I moved up there, uh, it was sort of the transition time of, you know, in college you’re, you’re still young and you can kinda, uh, outwork your metabolism, so to speak. You can just kind of eat whatever you want and drink and have a good time. You know, I was, I was, uh, I was just living, living the life, living the dream. And then when I went up to New York to work, you know, the hours were much longer, but I was still in this mindset of, you know, you only live once, Yolo type thing where I just want it to be out every night and, and meeting people and experiencing the big city.
Uh, and so health and fitness was definitely nowhere on my radar. So my, my body fat start started creeping up. And it wasn’t until probably two years in 2003 that I started getting serious about fitness and more serious, and I was like, okay, I can’t keep this lifestyle up. Um, I’m feeling really, really ragged now, just from the constant going out and drinking an unhealthy diet. So I started working out. Did you have, did you have an aha moment or something that like a picture or you got sick or something that kind of was the eyeopening moment for you? Not yet. Not yet. I do, I do have an aha moment a few years later, which I’ll get there for sure. So I started working out and it was mostly because I was on a one year assignment to Tokyo from my company. I was working for a company that doesn’t exist anymore.
It’s called Lehman brothers. They were an investment bank. Oh wow. Tokyo. Yeah, with a, with a friend of mine. And so the two of us, we, we lived in the same building and we went to the gym every morning before, before work. And so that was when I started my sort of morning ritual of working out and I just felt much more energized during the day and I really enjoyed it and it was much easier because I had a workout buddy. So when I had an accountability partner, which we know in the fitness world is key. So I started working out in the morning, but I still made zero progress and I didn’t know anything about diet and nutrition. I was just, I just thought that working out was enough. So this continued, I moved back to New York after a year and basically, same sort of thing.
I worked out three, four times a week, usually in the morning, just focused on lifting because I hated cardio. And I thought that, uh, you know, I could, I could somehow out lift the cardio aspect and somehow get a six pack. So I was cherry picking workouts from men’s health magazine and muscle and fitness, you know, bringing them into the gym and, and reading them in between sets, you know, that sort of thing. And I thought that that was the way to do it. I thought that those magazines were, were gold and the gospel. And I thought that if I read enough and I just worked out hard enough, then I would get there. So fast forward, I moved to to Hong Kong in 2005 and then fast forward another three years and in 2008, uh, and here’s the aha moment. So three years, another three years on top, really bad nutrition.
And now I was really focused on my career. So I was in a job where I was doing sales. So I had to be out a lot entertaining with clients. So that was sort of my priority. And the aha moment came for me initially in 2006 when my brother came up to visit and my brother is, he’s, he’s naturally more lean than me and he’s also, he was in the military at the time. He was in the Navy, he was a Naval aviator, so he was much more into fitness than I was. So we were in the gym working out and he kind of called me out and he was like, you know, you got to take care of better care of your body. You can’t just come in here and lift and not be cardio and, and eat like whatever you want to and go out every night.
You need to be more, you know, you need to take it more seriously. And I, we got into a fight at the gym. Not a big fight, but like, you know, an argument because I was like, you don’t understand like I have to go out every night for work. This is my career. You have no clue. This is really important. Like when I make my money, I’ll hire a trainer and I’ll get fit then. Okay, so, but that planted a seed in my head in 2006 so two years later, 2008 and this is, this is kind of funny because the company I was working for then also doesn’t exist today, so I don’t really have a great track record. So the company is called bear Stearns went down. And so in 2008 I finally, I finally realized that, look, I need to get serious about my health and fitness and I have no excuse now because I don’t have a job.
So I basically said, look, 2008 it was the summertime and I was going, I said, for three months I’m just going to stop drinking, stop eating all that unhealthy food and I’m just going to do it. I have to do this. And I, I kind of recalled that TIF that I had with my brother in the gym and it was basically my aha moment because I really didn’t like the way I looked. It was to the point where I couldn’t hide my gut anymore. When wearing a shirt. And so I basically, that was it for me, that was the tipping point. So I basically committed to taking three months. And actually quitting Booz for me was a big thing because back then it was just part of life, right? And I was and so when I made that mental step to stop drinking and be more focused and serious on fitness, that’s when I saw this changes happen.
So and then, so this is quite interesting because I made a lot of progress so I cut probably about 15% of my body fat. And so I was down to sort of the high teens at that point and, and then I started working again. And so the next sort of five, six years was this second struggle that I had, which was where I basically tried every single type of workout because I wanted it to look like, well like I wanted that those six pack abs, I want it to be like a men’s health fitness mock cover model. And I couldn’t ever get there. I always had this sort of kind of spare tire that like when I sat down on a bench, you could see the fat creeping around your stomach. And it really, really bothered me because, and so I thought that I could just outwork it, just do more cardio, you know, do, do two a days, you know, I got, I got P90X and Shanti on insanity and I did everything.
I tried everything, CrossFit, I did soul cycle, everything, you name it. I tried it. And it wasn’t until 2014 where I was just exhausted and I was miserable. And I was in this yo-yo pattern where I would, I would, I would be pretty lean during the week. And then on the weekends I’d go out and have a big night out and I would just rebound and my weight would go back up. And I was just, I couldn’t, I was stuck. I was stuck in a, a, a vicious cycle. So, and it was then when I finally, I took a step back again and I was like, something’s not right. You know, I’m, I’m, I’m all for effort and you know, I’m all for working hard and working and doing what it takes to get results. But after six more years of giving it max effort, I realized, Hey, you know what, I’m not doing something right because for a normal person, this working this hard and this long, you should get a lot more results. So finally, the second aha moment was my wife, actually, my lovely wife who is actually a genetic freak, I call her because she can eat and drink whatever she wants when she’s super thin and just has the best physique. And she was just born, she was just born. She hit the genetic lotto, whatever.
One day, one day I’m getting ready for work and I’m showering and she walks by and just mix it, passing comments saying, you know, for someone that works out all the time and you know, and eats as well as you, you don’t look that ripped. And she just walked.
Wow. Very passing comment. Wow. It really, really hurt. Yeah. I can imagine. And it hurts
because it was true. It was so true. She just basically called me out, all the effort that I was, I had put into my physique and all the sort of counting calories and, and weighing my foods and this, that, and the other, and working out two a days, it was all, it wasn’t working and you know, and my end goal and end results that I had was nowhere near what I wanted. So there was a huge divergence there. And finally, finally after she called me out, I was like, enough’s enough. I had to figure out what’s going on. So I started really, really digging in deep. And I once again committed. I was like, I’m not the booze. And this was right when my wife sort of gave birth to our first daughter. And it was a good, it’s a good lifestyle change for me too, because I was like, okay, I don’t need to be out all the time and I want to be more around and I just want to be healthier for my kids, you know?
And so, yeah, so that was it. And so that’s what I sort of hacked fitness. I, I figured out exactly what I was doing wrong and I realized that it’s, I had what was called syntax error is how I used to describe it because I sort of had all the elements, you know, you kind of learn bits and pieces. You have to, you know, lift, you gotta do a little bit of cardio, maybe you have to eat right, cut your calories, you know, track your macros. But I wasn’t doing it in the right and that, that was the key. That was the big reveal for me.
So what, like what exactly did you do as far as you submission, tracking macros? What was like, what did you figure out or what did you, what works? So basically I,
up until that point, so in 2008 when I sort of learned, uh, you know, educated myself on nutrition, I’d only focused on the cat, like the sort of the quality of food choice part. So before then, I was really, really, I was, I was clueless. I didn’t know what was, I thought that a salad with dressing, uh, loaded with calories. I thought that was healthy. Right? So it was a, it was a classic amateur mistake. That’s fine. So first step, I have to educate myself on the quality of food choices and what’s actually good food and what’s bad food. So, uh, the second part was the counting calories part. So that was the part that I actually started doing, but I never, uh, vigilantly kept to, okay. So, and it was, it was kind of annoying to count your calories. And then the final sort of secret sauce that I never ever sort of actually did was detracking of a macros. Okay. I didn’t know anything about when macronutrients were, and that’s when I really drove that in 2014 and I was like, okay, I’m going to do everything. I’m going to do whatever it takes, literally going to learn everything I need to know cause I want, you know, I want results now.
Okay. So, uh, I guess we’ll, we’ll get into in a little bit. I want to kind of go back to a store that have X. There’s a lot of gyms and there as you transitioned, you know, and you went through these ups and downs. The first thing I wish that that was really interesting was, you know, you lost your job at the second company and you had three months, you know, where you had to figure things out and it sounds like you did. Like you got into it, you know, he started seeing some good results, you know, stop drinking, you’re exercising and, and things started to drop off up to a certain point and then you, and then you had, then you got a job eventually, right? And you had to go back to work. And that was where really things were challenging for you.
And what I thought in my mind was comparing it to the people on the biggest loser, for example, who, you know, they have the, the time of the opportunity to do this amazing journey where they don’t have real life to get in the way and they can dedicate that time and just go after it and then boom, after the show, then real life happens. And then it’s hard to put to test. And apply all those things that they learned during that time off when they didn’t have a job or were were, you know, had to take care of the kids or whatever. Um, you had to connect to real life and it was a struggle. And I think a lot of people go through that in their life where, you know, they, and you mentioned before, you know, like when I get to this point in my life, I’ll just pay for a train or pay for a nutritionist.
They’re going to make my meals for me, it’s gonna be so much easier. But until then, I gotta sacrifice my health in order to make this wealth. Right. And then eventually I’ll be able to like relax and retire and vacation and then I’ll get in shape. But that almost never happens. The way we, we think about it like, okay, I just got to work for a year, kill my body, kill my mind, and then I’ll focus on myself. It’s like, why not to start now? And we have, I think a lot of people have this all or nothing mentality either. I’m all in, you know, never mess up, you know, never miss a day at the gym or nothing. Right. And if they get derailed one day, they’re like, well, you know, what’s the, what? What’s the purpose of this? If I’m not seeing the results and I’m putting in all this effort, well then it’s just not worth it. I’m just going to go back to my old lifestyle. And so when people give up and quit and when they don’t see those results and, but you, you kept going, what helped you to keep going? Was it you having kids? What ended up becoming your why at some point that kept you to not give up because you were putting in the effort, man, two a days and your wife said that comment to you is like, well screw, like what? What’s the point? So what helps you keep going?
You know, to be honest. So in 2008 I had, I’d written a book by Tom Venuto, burn the fat, feed the muscle, and that was the book that educated me on the quality of food choices. Okay. So that was a big eyeopener for me. But what I was doing wrong at that point was I was not yet counting my calories and tracking my macros. Okay. So what I was doing instead was I was trying to out work, I was trying to work my diet as in I was trying to outwork my metabolism, so to speak, by my overcome setting, doing two a days, doing cardio and being able to eat healthy, but not really weighing my food and tracking what it is. So in my mind, I was like, okay, if I lift heavy and I do some cardio, I can eat five chicken breasts tonight and it doesn’t matter because chicken breasts are healthy, uh, and I don’t need to count my calories.
Right. So that was, that was, that was my big flaw, you know? And so I always had this sort of thought that I could outwork, I could outwork excess calories, you know, because you learn about calories in, calories out, and then you think that it’s simple math. And it is, it is quite, I mean, that’s science, you know, it’s the love energy balance. And what you put in your body versus what you expand. But I didn’t realize that it’s so much easier to control your diet than to do another hour of cardio for that extra slice of pizza, whatever it is. You know what I mean? So yeah, that was a, that was, that was sorta my mistake. Why kept me going? And that’s a great question too. And to be honest, I think it was sheer stubbornness and my bullheadedness to not give up because I put so much time into this and I was to the point where people had actually noticed from 2008 that change, cause I lost quite a bit of weight and I was kind of kind of fat before that.
And I kind of leaned. And so a lot of people are like, Oh, you’re doing well. You know, like, and so I started becoming kind of the quote unquote fitness guy within my social circle. But it was to the point where I knew I was healthy. I knew sort of the science behind it, but I was still, at the end of the day, if I walked out to the beach, I’d be embarrassed to take my shirt off because you know, I mean if you are really the fitness guy, then when your shirt comes off, you should, you should have, you should have that six pack, you know what I mean? So that was, that was probably the one thing. And look, I mean, at the end of the day, I, for me, and I think for a lot of people you have to kind of be real about what you want.
You know? And I’m, I, I’m the first to admit to anyone that I’m a little bit vain, you know, and I, I like to look good and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking good. I understand that different people look good and their idea of what looking good is, and I’m not into body shame or anything like that, but each person needs to be true to themselves. They need to realize, what do I want out of fitness? Do I just want to be, have good cardiovascular health or do I want to be able to lift heavy and hit certain weight standards? Or do I want to like me have a six pack, you know, and for me as shallow as that sounds, that was my end goal. And I think that if I had a, I know it sounds bad, but if I had been born a genetic freak and I had a six pack, naturally I probably wouldn’t have gone on this, this fitness journey. But the point is you have to be real with yourself. If you, if you, if you kind of make excuses as to why you’re actually doing it, then it’s very difficult to hit that goal.
Yeah. Yeah. No, that’s, that’s a great point, man. That’s, that’s a really powerful part of your story. I like that. And it kinda reminds me, I was talking to, um, a friend of mine recently and, uh, it hit both him and his wife. I was talking to them and, and you know, she kind of says something similar to what your wife said to you. Uh, as soon as like, you know, you’re spinning like two hours a day at the gym, you could be spending time at home with the family and the kids and you know, you’re not really in decorated shape. So it was like, well, why do you, well, you know, should you keep doing this? Like, you know, honestly, she asked him that honestly and he was like deflated. He was like, well, I feel like a piece of crap, you know, like, you know, but he, he kinda made a good plan and you know, kind of go into what a, along with what you’re saying about having this six pack, for some people that’s their goal and it might be of ankle, but for them, if that’s what pushes them to never give up and to keep trying, like, I’m not going to give up until this happens, then I get to each, you know, to each their own, each person’s different.
Um, but for, you know, for my buddy or for other people, sometimes it’s not about having the six packets. There is therapy in a way. Right. So, yeah. And so that’s kind of what he was saying. It’s like, look, you know, I’m happy in the best shape, but I do go to gym, but it’s more, it’s either or, you know, be miserable at home with my family if I’m, you know, I might have two hours a day extra to spend with my family, but I’m not giving them my best self, my full self. Um, and so it was just really interesting. I think it kind of applies to your story. And, um, so my next question for you is this, then Jay, um, now that you have a six back, it’s like, okay, you’re done. You’re, you arrived. Now what, uh, how do you say motivated to maintain that?
Like are you worried about losing it or is there another goal in mind that you’re trying to hit? Because I feel like from my own experience and even me, I get this way, I get burnt out if my goal is just to look good, yeah, I can do that. But I feel like it burns out. Like I need to set new goals throughout the year to keep me motivated. Cause then otherwise it’s like, yeah, I could kind of get away with this here and there and maybe bump up 10 and 12% by defense, still look. Okay. Um, but I feel like unless I have a specific goal, like a Spartan race or a tough MITRE, um, I kinda, you know, it’s hard to stay motivated. What do you do now like that you have the six pack that you’ve always wanted. Now what?
Yeah, that’s a great, great question drew, because you’re absolutely right. One of the kind of, it’s, it’s, it’s ironic though, but like you said, when you kind of get down to where you’re, you feel like, okay, I’m kind of at my ideal body, uh, it’s, it’s almost anticlimactic because it’s like, okay, I finally, I’m finally here and then you’re like, ah, sigh of relief and happy. But then you’re like, now what? You know, it’s all of a sudden you this thing that you’ve been chasing this, this Holy grail, you finally achieved it. And it’s almost like a let down because it’s like, okay, now what? I can go to the beach, take my shirt off, and then why, what else do I have? Right. So, um, for me personally, so the reason that I kind of came up with the hack your fitness program is, is, is it’s, you know, I’m a busy guy and I’m sure you are, you have a, you have a, you know, you have a full time sort of, you’re an entrepreneur and I’m sure you have a family.
And so for me it was minimizing the amount of time that I would need to spend working out and being able to maintain results. Okay. So that was step one. The step one is basically, I don’t want to be in the gym five days a week, 60 minutes at a time. You know, I want to compress it to the point where I can literally, you know, hack fitness where it’s literally the minimum effective dose of fitness that I need to do to look good. Okay. So that was goal number one. And then I can kind of focus on other areas of my life. But goal number two is basically once you get down there, you’re gonna want more, you’re going to want something, right? So I’ve, I’ve, I’ve learned that, you know, just maintenance is fine for some people and a lot of people who aren’t necessarily fitness enthusiasts, they’re fine cutting down to whichever percentage body fat they want to be and just maintaining.
And I have a lot, uh, coaching clients that are fine there and they’re kind of just fit into their lifestyle now and they’re like, okay, I’ll work out here and there. They’re really enjoy that part of the flexibility of, of just three days a week of working out and kind of being able to manipulate your calories and whatnot. So that’s fine for them. For, for guys like us, I think we want more. So I’ve always kind of looked for new challenges. And for me, one thing that’s always been a challenge is, is sort of my strength, right? So on certain lists such as my squad, cause I hadn’t, I hadn’t done squats until probably five years ago. Right? So my squat is massively lower than the rest of my comp on lifts. And so that’s always been a sticking point for me. So what I’ve done is done specific programs afterwards, like, you know, a squat focused program to try to get that weight up.
Um, and I don’t actually have a concrete goal at this point. I have certain weight standard goals, like I want to be able to squat twice my two times, my body weight or whatever. But, uh, it, you bring up an interesting point. You, I mean it’s, it’s a journey and oftentimes, you know, you need to have continually have goals. You know, my cardiovascular fitness is pretty crap right now and I’ll be the first to admit it because I’m focused on, on compound lifts. So at some point, yes, I would like to start improving my cardio fitness and maybe do a sprint triathlon or one of the, you know, one of the other things that you’re talking about.
Yeah. Okay. Yeah, that’s great man. And I think it’s a, it’s something that I think we all go through cause I think so many people look at people who are already fenced like, well dude, you’re done. Like you don’t even need to, you know, as like as like, no, and it doesn’t work that way. You gotta you gotta fight to get it. You gotta fight to maintain it, you know, either way it’s hard path. You choose, so choose your hard. Right. Um, but anyways. Okay. Let’s, uh, let’s dive into a little bit of kind of your philosophies and what you’ve, what you’ve seen over the years that’s worked for you that has worked for some of your clients. Um, so I think if I read right, you kind of subscribed to intimate fasting. Tell me about your journey with that and how you’ve tweaked it over the years to kind of become efficient addicts. I think that intrigues a lot of people. Um, and I’ve kind of recently messed around with it, doing that with ketosis combined and seen some great results. But before, you know, are taught to eat six meals a day, he never skipped breakfast, you know, you’ll lose your gains. Tell me what your experience has been.
Yeah. Right. So I started intermittent fasting in 2011. It was one of those, it was during that time where I was literally experimenting with everything. And so that was one of the things that I did start experimenting with. And you know, I, we all know who the big name Martin Birkin and, and who’s the other guy that he wrote a book on it. Anyway, there’s like two guys that I read and I followed that and I started learning about, and look, I’m, I’m not saying that intermittent fasting is the Holy grail, but what it did do, learning about intermittent fasting was it opened my eyes to exactly what you said. Like, we’ve all been trained and coached that you should be eating six meals a day. You want to keep your metabolism spinning and you don’t want your body to go into starvation mode. And this is exactly what Tom Venuto says in his book that I read in 2008 and so I was, I was a evangelist of that.
I said, you know, I was doing, you know, bringing the six Tupperwares to work. And I was that guy right there, annoying guy at your desk eating the hours. And so when I found intimate fasting, it was actually introduced to me by a friend of mine. And he basically said, you know, he was like, just give it a shot. So I gave it a shot and it kind of worked for me and I kind of noticed that it fit my lifestyle. Okay. So my whole philosophy on intermittent fasting is you don’t need to do it. I think it’s, I’m not fully convinced on, there’s a lot of, so I F sort of gurus and the guys who really subscribed to it, they taught a lot of things. They say, Oh, you know, it raises your growth hormone and there’s all these extra benefits of it.
For me, I haven’t necessarily witnessed them personally, but what it does do for me is it allows me to manipulate my caloric intake. Okay. So when you’re on a color calorie restrictive diet, I found it’s the most effective way. And that’s personal for me because I actually enjoy eating big meals. You know, I’m flying, skipping breakfast and eating a big lunch and big dinner. And that works a lot better for me because one of the things that was very difficult for me during that six year struggle was every time I would eat that mini meal, every three hours I was never full. And I was kind of just half full. And I, this always led to crazy binges as well on the weekends because I was like, I just want to eat like a whole pizza or a whole sandwich for ones or a whole chicken breast there, you know, not as many Tupperware portion.
So psychologically it was a big battle for me. And when I found intermittent fasting, the one thing that it did allow me to do was in addition to not having to prep all those meals, you know, my wife who was my girlfriend at the time, she was doing all my meal prep. And so yeah, for me, you know, the one thing about intermittent fasting was that you can push your calories to when you want to eat them. And you know, I think it’s different for every person. And I think it’s, if you’re not ready to do intermittent fasting, you don’t need to do it to in order to get results. But I think it’s an extra tool that you should have, you can use in your tool belt. Yeah. I, you know, I, I really do believe that different things work for different people and each person kind
of preached to people. You become your own self experimentation. Don’t just listen to me or listen to other people about what’s worked for them. You’re different than them. So find what works for you. Yeah. Take what they say. Apply it, give it at least 30 to 60 days, uh, if sticking to it. And see if it works. But you know, if it doesn’t work, if you don’t feel good after a day, that doesn’t mean it’s not good for you. You know, you really have to give it some time. Give your body some time to adjust. Uh, cause I remember when I did my fit to fat to fit journey, you know, again, 75 pounds in six months and that was like one of the most hardest. It was the one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. And I remember the first two weeks of going back to eating healthy again were like the two worst miserable weeks of my life because here I was this trainer eating healthy again.
You would think I would feel good and excited. I felt horrible. I was like, man, what is going on here? Like my body was not liking this healthy food and I just had no energy and I had headaches all the time. I was grumpy, it was moody. I’m like, man, this is not good. But it helps me realize what my clients go through and what a lot of people go through when they try a new lifestyle, right? So if you go from unhealthy to healthy, healthy to unhealthy or you know, you, you switch up the types of foods you’re eating, your body takes time, it takes some time to adjust. It’s gotten used to those things that it’s done for so long. And so there’s a transition period. After two weeks I felt great again. But you know, if I would have given up after a few days saying, well, I’m putting in all this effort eating broccoli again and spinach, but I feel horrible, well I might as well go back to cinnamon toast, crunch a mountain Dew. You really do have to give it some time and become your own self experimentation and find what’s optimal for you because what’s optimal for you might not be optimal for somebody else. And so that’s a, that’s another great story. And that’s what I wanted to kind of, uh, go into that with you to kind of see what your experience has been. So do you still do intermittent fasting or have you tweaked it since like most recently?
Actually, I, I enjoy intermittent fasting to be honest. And my mornings are usually is my busiest time, so it’s actually easy for me to, to not have breakfast. So I, you know, it’s just a personal choice. And like you said, I think the one thing that I’ve learned in my fitness journey is to question everything for yourself. You know, people, you, because of the internet now, you can get so much bad information and you can find the study literally for everything you, you know, this Jew. So, so when you’re out there and you’re trying to just scan articles and trying to figure out, ask questions and figure out what’s right, you gotta do your own homework, you know, I mean, we’ve, the fitness industry is this huge monster that that is just a moneymaking monster. And they’ll do anything to sell another product or another supplement to you. So if you don’t do your own homework, you’re just going to be susceptible to all the lies. Right. The falling for all the lies. So,
yeah. Yeah. I know that’s not true. Cause you mentioned how before you were into, uh, you know, men’s fitness magazines and so many people rely on that like, Oh well I read that this is going to get me shredded in four days, but it doesn’t always work out that way. So yeah, those, those magazines
crazy cause they’re all, first of all, they’re all mostly owned by the supplement industry, but companies the largest supplement entries and they’re just, they’ve, they’ve gotten really clever now with those, uh, those, uh, those articles, they seem like they’re articles but then they’re actually, they’re advertorials. So at the end of it, it’s this nice long article that really goes into depth. Then there’s like, Oh, buy this protein powder.
Yeah. So it’s kind of funny. Yeah. That’s interesting man. Okay. Um, so you do a 16, eight, like 16 hours of fascinator or feeding window and that works for you, right? That’s right. And the morning you’ll do BCAs and black coffee. Yep. I do
subscribe to, uh, Martin Burkins, uh, you know, lean gains, uh, methodology, which is, yeah, like you said, 16, eight, I do BCAA and black coffee. And sparkling water if I need to. But it’s, it’s, you kind of get into this habit and your body adjusts. It takes a while. I mean, like you said, when you’re going through your transition, it takes probably two weeks. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer. Some clients are really, it’s really difficult with, and they’re like, you know, they’re like counting down,
talking to me on chat and they’re like T minus one hour getting out of jail. And other guys that they have no problem with it though. The graduates, they’re really, it’s a breeze for them. So each person is different. Does your wife do it too or does she, what does she do now? My wife, like I said, she’s a generic, she has whatever she wants to follow me,
you know, if she doesn’t really eat breakfast much. But uh, um, yeah, she, she gets away with, with, with fitness.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s funny. Um, I can relate to that a little bit. Uh, that’s fine. Okay. So have you worked with any female clients with this and have they, what have you found with them or do you work only with male clients? Yeah, so predominantly I work with male. I have worked with females before and uh, basically what I’ve found
is, you know, the main difference between females and males is the amount of testosterone that a woman has. So, um, the, you know, you hear it all the time, I’m sure you know, women, I don’t want to get bulky, this sort of thing. And so I think the, the hardest part is actually educated the education part. You know, and for me, I’ve, I’ve always sort of been advocate that 85% is sort of diet and nutrition and 15% is actually the mechanics, like working out and going to the gym. And so what I really need to spend more time with, with female clients is educating them that look, lifting heavy is Mt. Gets you bulky. What will get you bulky is if you just have too high a level of body fat. You know? And there’s a, there’s a famous celebrity trainer called Ben Bruno that I kind of send his link cause he trains Kate Upton, that swimsuit model. She does like deadlifts, you know, and chap Bard red list and all this cool stuff. So I always reference
those videos and they’re like,
Oh really? Wow. And she looks great. Right. So, um, and yeah, so, and then the other thing with women, I feel like that’s a challenge is a lot of times the diet restriction is a bit harder. And I think, you know, and I think, you know, your wife is in the fitness industry, so she, she’s probably well aware of the nuances between men and women. But a lot of times for guys, you know, if you just tell them, okay, let’s do this and you stick to this and don’t cheap, then they’re okay with it. But I think for women it becomes more of an emotional journey, an emotional decision for them. So there’s this, there’s more handholding that needs to be done there. And so, um, so that, that part is also a slightly different for women. Um, and then of course with that, there’s a slight shift in sort of the macronutrient balance, so they’re less sensitive to fat versus carb and whatnot versus as opposed to men. So, um, but you know, more or less, I, I tell them to do the same sort of stuff, you know, I mean, it’s basic know, once they’re educated on the laws of energy balance, macronutrient balance, what good food choices are, what bad are, and in that order of priority and then they learned the compound lists, they’re pretty much good to go and they’ve had very, very good results.
Yeah, no, it’s good to hear that. Especially you talking especially with your female clients, uh, promoting, you know, lifting heavy weights versus cardio because I think so many women just have it ingrained, um, in them that they’re going to get bulky and that cardio is the quickest way to lose weight, you know, but I think, I think it’s slowly shifting. You know, most trainers, most coaches out there are getting their female clients to embrace this type of lifestyle, lifting heavy and not being afraid of it. Um, obviously with the proper technique and proper form and even proper coaching too. But, um, I still think there’s still a long ways to go because you see, you know, not the Kate Upton’s but other, you know, female celebrities that yeah, they do, you know, they’d go on a calorie deficit and they start with themselves, then I do cardio and that’s the quickest way to lose weight for them. But unfortunately that does not work in the longterm. Right.
You know what’s funny too is that I always catch myself because for fitness guys like us, we were in and out day in and day out. We read the stuff, you know, we’re in the business. So we, it’s kinda, we’re, we’re very on the cutting edge of sort of the trends and what’s real and what’s not and the science versus fact versus fiction. But I have to keep reminding myself that most of the people in the world don’t know as much about fitness as we do. And that’s why I’m always shocked because, you know, I have to always remember to, to, to, to bring my level down to make sure that when I sort of started teaching people about health and nutrition, you know, you don’t want to be like, you don’t know that, you know, you don’t know anything about calories. And we kind of take it for granted because we’ve been doing it so much. But the majority of the people, even, even in sort of developed markets that I speak to, they’re there. They’re kind of behind on the whole fitness thing. So I guess it’s part of the whole crusade. You know, we want to keep, keep spreading the truth, right?
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Dude, it’s a, it’s an interesting industry to be in, that’s for sure. Um, you know, uh, but I feel like, you know, you know, we are kind of in this bubble where, you know, your average middle America type of person still doesn’t understand that, you know, there’s good fats and there’s bad fats and that fat isn’t really the enemy, right? It’s so low fat or you know, nonfat foods, even though they have zero fat and lower calories, doesn’t mean that they’re healthy for you. So yeah, I tell people all the time, like I, I ate a low fat diet for six months and gained 75 pounds eating low fat foods like cereals, pastas, rices, white breads, then 90% of the time and gained 75, 75 pounds. So that’s not the issue. But yeah, we still have an uphill battle, a long ways to go to, to get people to really subscribe to this new, uh, methodology.
Um, and it’s, it’s slowly shifting. I really do see it shifting. It’s just taken a long time unfortunately because, well, there’s a lot of reasons we could get into that, but, um, okay, we’re, we’re running up on time here, Jay. Uh, but I, I really appreciate you coming on, man. I really was surprised by this and I had a great time with you coming on here and, and joining me all the way from Hong Kong. Um, before we go, I’m going to ask a few lightning round questions, but before we, before we do that, let people know where they can find you. Uh, social media, your website, your book as well. And maybe even talk about your new book that’s coming out.
Yeah, so it’s hack your.fitness. It’s one of those.fitness endings we decided to go with. So hack your.fitness. You can go there. I’m on Twitter at Jay Kimmer, J a, Y, K, I, M, M, E, R. And you know, I would just encourage people to, if they’re interested in what is hack your fitness and what’s the minimum amount of time that I need to spend to get results. I have a 13 page guide that I give all information there and it teaches you all the basics you need to know energy balance and macronutrient balance, food choices, even the workouts, what to workout, you know, a compound list three times a week and it’s all there in 13 page document that you can download for free. Um, so just go check it out. You know, and I’m all about giving away as much stuff for free as possible and you can basically download that and you’ll be on your way, you know? So that’s where, that’s where I am.
Yeah, I know. I think that’s great man. Cause it ha, you know, hacking yourself or biohacking is, we’ll just call it, you know, it’s so popular nowadays because people want the quickest results with the least amount of effort. Right? So what’s going to give people the best, the most bang for their buck so they can get back to their busy lives and do other things and, and uh, I think that’s super popular. And just
to, just to clarify though, drew, I know you say biohacking, this actually is nothing about biohacking. And the reason that I say hack is because it is the shortest way to learn sort of the real truth about fitness. I don’t want people to, I don’t want anyone in your audience to get mistaken that this is like a Tim Ferriss experiment or something where you just control your, your, your bio, your bio levels or whatever. But I mean this is real stuff that, that you can learn and it’ll, it’ll be with you for life if you learn these, these lessons. So that’s my goal basically. That’s cool man.
I appreciate that. We’ll have all that in the show notes and okay. Really quick before that you go get ask you a few questions man. Okay. So you said you were out of shape before.
Yeah. How, how much did you weigh? Do you remember? So at my peak I was one 85 and just for context right now I’m about one 53 so that was all body fat.
Okay. So honestly, my brand fit to fat to fit consists of me gaining weight and then that’s what my TV shows about. Right? We have these trainers who gained the weight. Would you ever do that? Would you ever, now, where are you right now in your life? Would you ever purposely gain weight and see if you could do it?
Yeah, I, I, you know, funnily enough after my last cut went on a bulk quote unquote bulk and I’m trying to experiment with some bulks because in the past it’s always been sort of the dirty bulk where you just take as many calories as you can and try to lift as much. So I’m trying to actually streamline that to figuring out exactly how much extra calories you should be able to eat. But yeah, I mean I definitely would do something like that for the sake of science, you know? I mean, I think one of the things that I realized is, it’s ironic when I talk to people that I’m saying I’m on a bulk and people that are all my cutting program and I tell them, you know, there’s, there’s an unseen psychological pain that you go through when you, when you start eating and they’re like, well, you get to eat what, you know so much more. And I’m like, yeah, but then when you start seeing that body fat creep, it’s really, really psychologically detrimental. It’s like after, after all the struggle you gone through to go down and I’m sure you of all people know how, how difficult it is psychologically seeing yourself get big. Right.
Yeah, exactly man. That’s the hardest part was the mental and emotional toll it took on me. So that’s interesting. Okay, next question. What’s your favorite cheat meal type of food that you, that’s like your biggest temptation? You know what I’m saying?
Oh man. So I’m a big, I’m a big pizza and burger guy and steak. So those are, those are probably my three fellas. If I was going to jail like 25th hour, that movie, I think those would be my last three. Gotcha. That’s funny man. And they have all those foods out there in Hong Kong, right? Yeah, they do. They don’t, they don’t have great pizza. But uh, there’s a couple of good burger joints. They have really good steakhouses here. Uh, all the chains that you know of in the States. So, um, cause I kind of reserve those for special occasions.
Yeah. Okay. Um, shoot, what was the next question I was going to ask? So it was a really good one too. Um, what is, in your opinion, what is the most important lift? Like the biggest bang for your buck as far as lift goes? Like one exercise, if you had to choose one.
Yup. It’s a hands now without question. The squat, just the back squat, barbell squat. And I think the reason is because it works the entire, it works more sorta muscles in your body in one single exercise than anything else. So it’s kind of counterintuitive. And for the longest time I refuse to do squats. I avoided it. I hated doing legs. And once you start doing squats, you realize that it works almost your entire body, you know, your upper body is, is under load your entire posterior chain, which it’s called. It’s like your whole core and your, your hips, that whole, that whole region gets exercised and, and it’s just a great exercise to do. And you realize when you start squatting heavy that your heartbeat goes up, his heart’s beating out of your chest and it’s a, it’s a perfect workout. So, if that was the one thing that I could do, I would actually, I would go even a step further if there’s one regret that I have in my entire fitness journey is not squatting earlier. And that starting to squat earlier, which I only started probably five years ago.
Yeah. Um, any interesting foods out there in Hong Kong that you fit into your meal plans?
Well, most of the local Hong Kong cuisine is not very good for my meal plan. They use a lot of oil out here and it’s very carb heavy and whatnot, which say, you know, fat and carbs, you know, again, are not bad, but, you know, bang for the buck wise, it’s not great. Um, you know, I eat a lot of, uh, chicken healthy chicken, chicken tenderloins. Um, one of my favorite sort of, uh, kind of, it’s not a cheap, but what, what really has helped me, um, is, uh, is quest nutrition, uh, and they deliver via the company called I herb. And man when I found quest, they is just a game changer for me because, uh, you know, when I, when I and I, and I follow, I follow, uh, Tom bill you a lot because he’s, he does a lot of great work. And when I heard his story and then how they created quest and I looked at their products, they were basically the best, uh, you know, I think their thing is hashtag cheat clean or something like that. It just tasted so good and it was the one way that I could adhere to, especially on a cut, the one way I could adhere to being in a caloric deficit and the cravings that would have for whether it’s chips or the
or something. Sweet. That was it. That was, that was my solution. So interesting. Yeah, it’s funny, they were actually the sponsor of our podcast and I’m actually having Tom, uh, coming up on the podcast here pretty soon, so that’s awesome. Yeah. All right Jay, I will let you go, man. Thank you so much for coming on and stay in touch and I’ll let you know if I make it out to Hong Kong someday. Thank you so much. I had a really good time today. I appreciate it. We’ll talk to you soon. Take care.
Thank you guys so much for listening to today’s episode with Jay Kim. I really hope you found some gyms in here and you learn something new from this episode and I appreciate you guys’ feedback. So feel free to reach out to me and let me know who you guys want me to bring on the podcast topics you want us to talk about. Uh, we definitely, um, are open to your guys’ feedback so you can reach out to email@example.com, um, or on social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat at fit to fat to fit. And I love hearing from you guys, so please feel free to reach out to me and we’ll see you guys back here next week for another episode on the fit perfect fit experience podcast.