Interview with Mike Doehla of Stronger U
I’VE GOT A GUEST ON THE BLOG!!
The guest is Mike Doehla. He’s the man in charge at Stronger U Fitness and Performance. The specialty of Stronger U is diet and nutrition for clients of all ages and abilities levels from around the world. Many of our Yellow Rose athletes, my wife Rachel included, work with Mike and his team and are already seeing incredible results. My favorite thing about Stronger U? They don’t demonize food. They simply teach you a way to eat that is going to be best for your goals. It’s no nonsense, and no fluff.
Check out the interview, and let us know what you think!
Clark: Mike, tell us a little about yourself! How did you get started in Nutrition?
Mike: I got my start about 14 years ago or so on internet message boards. I was that guy that wanted to be in shape but didn’t have a clue what to do. I spend a ton of free time talking to strangers on various sites and fortunately I met a ton of helpful people over the years. After trying and failing every diet you can imagine I realized what people needed. A scientific based approach paired with exceptional support. I never got into this to make money. I got into this because I truly wanted to help people see how simple and enjoyable the process could be. We didn’t have to cut out our favorite foods and sit in the corner alone with a plate of salad at our friends wedding. We just had to pay attention and stay within certain boundaries.
Clark: How long have you been doing nutrition coaching? How many clients approximately?
Mike: I’ve been doing this officially for almost 2 years now and worked with over 3200 people in 20+ countries. That number is kind of crazy and I could not do any of this without the awesome team we’ve built and the amazing community.
Clark: What’s the most exciting results you’ve ever seen from a client?
Mike: That’s a tough one to answer. We’ve had people break records in lifting and others get the abs they always dreamed of but I think the most exciting results are the ones you don’t see. It’s the one’s the clients feel. The feeling of being healthy and moving better. Knowing the decision they made to change their eating habits added years to their lives. That’s the best feeling in the world for us.
Clark: So what’s the deal with MACROS? Why are they so important?
Mike: To see why Macronutrients are important, lets look at what determines fat loss/muscle gain. It’s calories. Eat the right amount to put yourself in the correct energy balance for your goals.
Calories are derived from the 3 macros, Protein=4 calories per gram, carbs= 4 cals gram, and fat 9 cals per gram (you can see why I suggest cutting fat). When we follow a macro based program we have total control of our body composition, health, and performance. What I want people to realize though is no one has a specific breakdown they should follow. There are too many moving parts to assume someone of a specific gender/workout style/size is a one size fits all calculation.
Clark: A lot of people struggle with what to eat before they workout. You know that the internet can be a bewildering place full of bro-science and misinformation. What would you say is the best thing for people to eat before a workout? Does it make a difference in the morning or evening?
Mike: I think people generally over think this whole meal timing thing. We often joke that most people will ask 10 questions regarding timing for every question about calories/macros. I can give you what I think is the best but it may not make all that much difference in the grand scheme of things. It can greatly depend on the persons workout style too. Ideally a carb and protein source prior (1hr-45min out). Limit the fats and fiber (these will slow digestion). Any combination of lean meats or whey protein with pasta, potatoes, rice, or cereals are great.
Clark: What about after working out?
Mike: Similar to the question above. Another one people overthink. I would say this will be just about the same to the pre training meal. Get those proteins and carbs in. Don’t worry about pounding a shake within 30 minutes. It won’t matter.
Clark: What is the WORST diet tip you’ve ever heard?
Mike: I can list hundreds but the worst one has to be “you can’t gain weight if you eat clean”. To me clean doesn’t have a definition and even if it did it’s a little dangerous to believe an abundance of calories can’t be stored as fat as long as it meets some random persons definition of what clean means. We can gain weight on cookies just like we can on almonds.
Clark: What can I add/alter/remove right now to add muscle?
Mike: Building muscle is extremely slow and frustrating. A muscle focused program, a caloric surplus, sleep, hydration, and the hard part…lots of time. Building muscle is a whole different game than losing fat. Everything has to be spot on for a long time to see the benefits. This may sometimes be small tweaks in your current lifestyle or major changes depending on how far you’re off.
Clark: What’s the easiest tip you could give someone today that could help them get started with losing weight?
Mike: Reduce the amount of fat they are eating. There seems to be this Pro-Fat movement that is getting people in a lot of trouble. Sure we need fat but I can assure you we don’t need as much as everyone wants to believe.
Clark: So… I SHOULDN’T dump a bunch of butter in my coffee? What are you, a monster? I’m trying to be bulletproof.
Clark: Ok ok… so what are your thoughts on people skipping breakfast?
Mike: I honestly don’t mind if people do this so long as they are having a little protein when they wake. Pushing back breakfast can be advantageous for ones satiety levels which is a huge benefit in sticking with a program. If someone has a set amount of macros to eat for the day and they blow through them in the morning they may be in trouble later. I always say macros are like money and we have to be smart about where we spend them.
Clark: Is it ok to eat dinner RIGHT before going to bed?
Mike: 100% fine. There are usually crumbs in my bed that’s how late I eat. Again, the timing of food is not too much of a factor and we should focus on what does. Total calories/macros being met over long periods of time (not 4 days a week).
Clark: What are some good snack options?
Mike: Snacking is a tough one. I generally don’t love the idea of snacking because it’s always like you’re just kind of full. I’m more of a fan of larger meals. I do realize some like to snack so I would say some of the better options may be beef jerky and mixed veggies. Although snack foods like chips and cookies may be ok they can really use up a lot of macros and leave people very unfulfilled which leads to more cheating later.
Clark: What do you tell people when they think they need a specific meal plan vs macro plan?
Mike: That’s always a little tough because it’s someone assuming a meal plan is going to get them to their goal but the very characteristics about meal plans are why they never work for most people. They’re restrictive for no reason at all and often lead people to food guilt. We need to teach, and people need variety.
Using a macro based approach (Teaching how to fish instead of giving them the fish) allows people to eat how they want not how we want and sustainability is the game changer here. There are certain things we need to focus on, and it’s calorie balance/macro breakdown and most of these meal plans do not address that. The macros allow people to eat like normal people in the right amounts and doesn’t make people feel like the broke a law when they drank a beer.
I understand the apprehension when someone asks us for a plan and they don’t get a menu but in a matter of weeks they are thanking us for introducing them to something so refreshing they can’t believe it works.
Thanks again so much, Mike! If you’d like more information about Stronger U, or to see more results from real people just like you and me, head over to www.strongerufit.com, or email Mike at [email protected]!
Hope you enjoyed today’s guest spot on the blog! I’m thinking this should be a regular thing…
20 down, 11 to go. WOW! 20 down!