You can jump back to Part 5, of this interview series to see Martin’s recommendation for how much you should train on a daily basis or weekly basis.
One of the biggest workout excuses we hear is “I don’t have enough time in one day” to fit everything in.
Let’s hear how this busy father of four manages to get everything done including a fat burning workout.
Craig: Let’s keep going with that sleep thing that you just mentioned. What are your recommendations? It’s probably going to be the obvious, seven to eight hours. How do you wind down? You are super high energy, super busy, but you have to get some rest because I know how hard you train and how great of shape you’re in. Tell us about Martin’s sleep secrets.
Martin: Here’s the first secret. It’s kind of funny, this was quoted, I can’t claim this one. A buddy of mine was talking about me once to somebody else, and he said, “Man, that Martin, he has two speeds – ferocious and asleep.”
I will say, most of my day I am attacking. Here might be the secret if I was going to really describe it. I put exercise, diet, and sleep into my schedule first. Those are the things that are most important to me. I don’t compromise on those.
I’m in bed by 11:30 or 12:00 every night, which might seem late, but by the time I’ve put all my kids to bed and I still get the work done that I need to do at night, I’m there. The cool part is my wife and everybody else helps out because they know it’s important.
I’ll get up at about 7:45 or 8:00, so I get my almost eight hours, I wake up immediately, I dress, we get the kids breakfast, I take them to school, we do these things, and then I go and I work my full day. I come home and I still spend time with my family, I got my workout in.
The big thing is when it’s time to sleep, I know because it’s so important, I do it. A great analogy might be that I use with a lot of my clients is I say, “If you were sick and the doctor gave you some medicine and even though it tasted bad, would you take it?”
Martin: Yeah, of course. You would take that medicine. The thing is, the most important medicine to me is sleep and eating right, working out. I may not always feel like doing it, but I do it because of how important I’ve made it to me.
In my sleep secrets I guess if you want to say too, because I have done a lot of research on this, we keep our room at 70 degrees or less. I have some sporeless pillows, I make sure I have the right sheets, we have blacked out windows, I do not have a phone or a computer or a TV in there or anything that can disrupt me. We make sure that sleep is important.
The good piece is my wife is a really, really good sleeper so she’s always asleep before I am, so nobody’s keeping me up unless the occasional kid is sick or other things then hey, you have to do that. She knows, and that’s part of being together so long. My sleep is a premium, it’s paramount, so is my workout. I don’t miss that. Then, there had better be good food in the house, and that’s how I’m going to do things. If there isn’t, I’m going to starve because I’m not going to eat junk.
I guess in an interesting way, even how the question started, so many people are looking for this magic bullet. Is it ZMA or are you taking Melatonin? No, I set up a schedule and I make sure that what is most important is what I do.
Unfortunately, I think to people what’s most important is eating junk, TIVOing shows that they’re watching too late, having their phone next to them that’s buzzing all night and it’s keeping them up, and they don’t take it seriously. They’re waking up, they’re chronically tired, then they’re missing workouts because they’re wiped out, and they’re eating bad food.
If we could fix those three things, and that’s a job as a coach. The hard part is, as a coach everybody listening, can you get people to do that? If you’ve heard my energy and how I am, I guarantee, you spend enough time around me, you’re going to eat right and get enough sleep or I won’t spend time with you anymore. That’s always worked for me, if that makes sense.
Craig: That’s a good way of putting it. That’s a great way of putting it. I think you make some really valid points about just setting up the environment for good sleep, and I’m with you. I don’t have a TV, I don’t have the phone or any of the junk. I don’t have it blacked out, but I’m able to sleep pretty hard and I go to bed about four hours earlier than you do. We are on completely different schedules.
It’s the same sort of thing. I take it very seriously. It sounds weird to say that, take your sleep very seriously, but when you do, you’re bang on and you’re going to have great energy.
Keeping up with the recovery stuff, what do you recommend if anything on off days? People train three to four days hard. Are you the type of coach who says don’t even do anything, maybe just go for a walk or are you saying do some mobility stuff? What’s your approach to an actual off day?
Martin: My off days are off, but here’s what I would say. They’re off, but go for a walk? No, don’t go for a walk. Read a book. What else do people need to be good at? Remember, we’re not just talking about the world class athlete. If it’s the world class athlete, study a game film, study your opponent, study about the sport. What are you researching? What are you reading?
If it’s a regular person, what are you doing to master your craft? How many hours can you spend today mentally making yourself more valuable to the world? That’s what I do.
For instance, today I trained hard, tomorrow I’m going to be traveling before I present, and when I’m traveling, I’m going to be reading. I’m going to be reading things that are of value that make me more valuable for the next time that I either speak or talk.
What I would ultimately challenge people is on those days off, you’re not doing nothing. You’re doing the most important thing and that’s recovering. You might as well get a mental bonus, too.
I know what you’re saying. There are people who will be like, “Can’t I just do a warm up or can’t I do more stuff?”
I almost say to them, “What are you achieving with that? Now you have injured muscles and torn up muscles and an inflammatory response and now you want to warm them up and beat them up more, which hampers your ability perhaps to recover. The next day, if you have to work out again, you’re not all the way back.”
I think people just have the wrong idea about recovering. It’s almost like the lion in the wild that would hunt and do this treacherous hunt and catch a gazelle. The next day he doesn’t say, “Hey, maybe I should go for a walk today because I trained yesterday.”
No, he’s probably taking a few days off, and then he’s going to go attack again.
If people know me, that’s kind of how I approach things. We’re moving around, people are doing their regular ADLs. Nobody’s not doing anything. I’m not saying lay in your bed and don’t move a muscle. At the same time, if you just trained real hard or you did a lot of work, then the next day do something to make yourself still more valuable, but rest and recover.
Probably the most important one to throw in there is it’s eating well and making sure you’re eating for recovery. John Barardi can tell everybody about that one.
Craig: For that one it’s probably going to be rather than do a warm up, why don’t you go to the grocery store and buy that food that you say you’re too busy to go and buy.
Martin: Yeah, perfect time. If you have time to go for a walk, go walk down to the grocery store. Then I’ll let them, for a workout, carry the stuff back. It’ll be a good isometric on their grip and traps.
You’re very generous and we’ll end it here for today. Join us in part 7, as we finish our series with Martin.
Don’t for get to get your revolutionary “Turbulence Training” System where you can Now Lose Fat While Gaining Muscle At The Same Time With Just 3 Short, (But Intense) Workouts a week.
Stay strong and get stronger and keep on pushing,
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer