Scott Herman: The OG Fitness Influencer? (Podcast)

Today I’m talking to Scott Herman, a trainer, BSN athlete, influencer, and founder of MuscularStrength.com. Scott was one of the first mainstream fitness influencers on YouTube and built out one of the internet’s first real video instructional libraries. Scott and I catch up on his background as a reality TV star, how fitness on the internet has evolved, and what he thinks is most misleading in the fitness industry.

I want to give a big shout out to this episode’s sponsor, BSN. BSN has been around for nearly 20 years, and they’re a global leader in sports nutrition. For their protein powder — including their partnership line with Cold Stone Creamery — to preworkout, protein bars, and more, BSN has won more than 35 sports nutrition awards over the last few years. (My personal favorite of their flavors? The Birthday Cake Remix Syntha-6. I literally hid some in my desk to keep the rest of the BarBend team from using it all.)

In this episode of the BarBend Podcast, David Thomas Tao talks to Scott Herman about:

  • Scott’s background in fitness (and springboarding from reality TV) (2:27)
  • The part of NYC Scott can never forget (6:58)
  • How Scott became one of YouTube’s first fitness stars — and why YouTube used to be “a much nicer place” (10:07)
  • How can I help people get excited about exercising? (14:29)
  • Fast forward to the current landscape of fitness videos (15:10)
  • Why getting the body of XYZ actor is so much more complex than how magazines might portray it (17:44)
  • What celebrity trainers get wrong, in Scott’s opinion (23:05)
  • Scott’s approach to quarantine training (27:10)
  • The impact of de-training (28:05)

Relevant links and further reading:

Transcription

Scott HermanScott Herman

Trainers that train celebrities that really aren’t that great, they always like to be in the picture touching everything and touching them to make their client, or in this case the celebrity, feel like they know what they’re doing and that they’re helping them.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Welcome to the “BarBend Podcast,” where we talk to the smartest athletes, coaches, and minds from around the world of strength. I’m your host, David Thomas Tao, and this podcast is presented by barbend.com.

Today I’m talking to Scott Herman, a trainer, BSN athlete, influencer, and founder of muscularstrength.com. Scott was one of the first mainstream fitness influencers on YouTube. He built out one of the Internet’s first real video instructional libraries.

Scott and I catch up on his background as a reality TV star. How fitness on the Internet has evolved and what he thinks is most misleading in the fitness industry today?

I do want to give a big shout out to this episode’s sponsor, BSN. BSN has been around for nearly 20 years, and they’re our global leader in sports nutrition. From their protein powder, including their partnership line with Cold Stone Creamery, to pre-workout protein bars, and more.

BSN has won more than 35 Sports Nutrition Awards over the last few years. My personal favorite of their flavors is the Birthday Cake Remix, Syntha-6. I literally hid some in my desk to keep the rest of the BarBend team from using it all. That’s not a lie.

Also, I want to take a second to say that we’re incredibly thankful that you listen to this podcast. If you haven’t already, be sure to leave a rating and review of the BarBend Podcast, in your app of choice.

I’d also recommend subscribing to the BarBend newsletter, to stay up to date on all thing’s strength. Just go to barbend.com/newsletter to start becoming the smartest person in your gym.

 

Scott Herman, thank you so much for joining us today on the BarBend Podcast. Just for listeners who might not be super familiar with your background, give us the elevator pitch. Who is Scott Herman and why is he doing this whole fitness thing?

Scott HermanScott Herman

Oh, what is going on? Thanks for having me on the show, man.

David TaoDavid Tao

Hey, it’s a pleasure, but you are already skirting the question, Scott. Who are you?

Scott HermanScott Herman

[laughs] For those who don’t know me, my name is Scott Herman. I run a YouTube channel, Scott Herman Fitness. We’re at about 2.4 million subscribers. We have Instagram, and Facebook, and all the other stuff, too. If you guys want to get to know me and why I started doing all this that I’m doing now, social media stuff, I basically started out when I was a kid.

 

I started working at a gym when I was 14 years old. I was basically cleaning all the equipment in the gym on Saturday for three hours. Every weekend for a free membership. It was really cool. It gave me an opportunity to learn a lot.

 

The owner of the gym I worked out, it was a Gold’s Gym at the time, really took me under his wing and guided me and saw potential in me and taught me the ropes. From a very young age, my overall goal was I thought I was going to own gyms and own chains of gyms with my buddy Dave, who was the owner of the gym I’m talking about right now, which he actually is doing that, he has about 12 locations.

 

You guys might have heard of it, if you lived in the Northeast called Best Fitness, those are my buddies’ Dave’s gyms. Through work with him, we ended up building two or three together.

 

Then I was a general manager of one when I was about 24 years old. I was running the fitness department and all the trainers. As well as the front desk and everything coming in, I was the general manager of the entire club.

 

Then this crazy thing happened. I got accepted to go in “The Real World.” I was like, “All right, I’ll try this thing out.” So [laughs] 23 years old going on The Real World Brooklyn in New York City for about three months. I was always interested in modeling and acting.

 

Since I was 18 years old, I was driving back and forth to New York City, trying to get modeling gigs. Ended up winning The Best Abs in the East Coast for “Men’s Health Magazine.” That kinda kicked the whole thing off.

 

When I was doing The Real World show, I kinda got a behind the scenes look at how things worked, right? I got really comfortable in front of the camera. Because you’re on camera for three months straight, I thought to myself, “This looks like something I can probably turn maybe into a business.”

 

YouTube was still relatively new. This was back in 2009. Twitter had not even come out yet if that helps puts things into perspective for you guys. I started filming videos in my small, dinky apartment in New York City, [laughs] on the lowerly side, just trying to get information out there.

 

Then I ended up getting contacted by somebody who worked in the Google offices in New York. He was a fan of the show that I did, The Real World. He brought me in basically explained to me, “Hey, if you do this thing on a consistent basis, you can turn it into a business.”

 

I moved out of the city, I moved back home, and I went back to the gym that I had previously been working in. Then every single day for years, the club would close at 10:00. I’d be there filming videos from 10:00 to 1:00.

 

That’s how I got my YouTube channel started. Then that turned into muscularstrength.com. Then turned into me being here. Because now, I have subscribers all over the world, and I do my best to provide fitness content for them so they can stay in shape and feel healthy and motivated.

David TaoDavid Tao

I have to ask as someone who’s bounced back and forth between New York and Boston over the years myself, what was it like being in New England or on the Brooklyn version of the real world? Did you get a lot of hate for that?

Scott HermanScott Herman

No, not really, man. Honestly it was crazy because my season was cold like a throwback season. All the seasons leading up to mine for the past few years were just basically shit shows, excuse my French, where people were getting drunk, having sex with each other, partying, throwing fists whatever. We definitely had our fights with each other.

 

We were chosen as a cast because we were all pursuing a career in the city. We were the first season with eight cast members. We were the first season where we didn’t have a team job. All my cast mates were pursuing something like either singing, or hosting, or writing, or film-making.

 

We did a lot of work with the LGBT community. We did a lot of focus on LGBT rights. We had the first transgender cast mate as well, my friend, Caitlin. The season was a refreshing season. That’s how people remember it. It wasn’t so much about us bickering with each other. We definitely bickered, but it was just going out and actually trying to make something of ourselves.

David TaoDavid Tao

It was a lot of your abs I assume because you don’t win…

 

…you don’t win Best Abs on the East Coast and then have a producer of a reality show be like, “Cover those up.” That’s not the case, I’m sure.

Scott HermanScott Herman

Yeah, we had an insane gym in the house. Do you want to know what’s really funny? You ever see those Liberty Mutual commercials, where they’re by this fence. The waters behind them. Then the Statue of Liberty is in the background?

David TaoDavid Tao

I actually do know those commercials. I recall those in my head.

Scott HermanScott Herman

If they were to just pan the camera five feet to the right, you would see the warehouse where our house was. That’s literally right where our house was. [laughs] Every time I see the commercial, I know exactly where they’re standing, or where that imagery, at least in the background is. If it’s green screened then I’m like, “They’re right next to my old house.”

David TaoDavid Tao

 The funniest thing about the Instagram fitness community…Just a little background BarBend is based in Brooklyn. I’m calling you right now from Brooklyn. I’m not on our office right now, because New York is still under pause. Our office is right next to the Manhattan Bridge, is right in Dumbo.

Scott HermanScott Herman

I like Dumbo.

David TaoDavid Tao

Yeah, it’s great. Every time a fitness influencer comes by New York, we always know. We generally have some sort of heads up depending on who it is and what community they’re at. They’re always taking photos of them flexing between the bridges, or doing push-ups or like L-seats in the park that’s right between the two bridges. It’s literally within two blocks of our office.

 

It’s like where I walk by to get lunch every day or like get my coffee. If there are all these artistic photos and all these very staged-photos and I’m like, “Yeah, I see that every day.” It really takes the zap out of Instagram influencing for me, when you’re like right there in one of the most photographed locations in the world.

Scott HermanScott Herman

You should carry an air horn. Every time you see someone just be like, “Waaaah.”

David TaoDavid Tao

 I’m just going to go head-to-toe in BarBend branded gear with like a BarBend like propeller hat that’s just really ostentatious and just photo bump people in the back. One of the most, well not right now, not a lot of tourists in New York right now. It’s like one of the most photographed three-block sections in the world. It’s only because of Instagram.

 

Fitness Instagram has been a huge part of that because even in the winter you see people with their shirts off, flexing, doing handstands. It’s like, “Come on fitness Instagram. This one’s played out, find somewhere new. Go to Jersey find some place in Jersey. I don’t know.”

Scott HermanScott Herman

It’s funny now too, a lot of my buddies I follow on Instagram. It’s like because everything is closed. I’m in Florida right now, in case you weren’t aware. I’ve noticed a lot of my buddies, they just keep posting an arm-flex photo at home. It’s like they’ve completely run out of ideas of what to do because they can’t go anywhere.

 

It’s like I’m scrolling through my feed all week and I’m seeing basically the same photo with a different shirt or shorts. I’m like, “You guys could get more creative.” [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

Some people are having fun with it. The first month was like, “Oh, here are a bunch of home workouts I’m doing.” Some people were making light of it. Some people are going into gym withdrawals. It certainly makes of a lot of sense. COVID has certainly thrown the influencer game, especially the fitness influencer game for a big loop.

 

Something that you’re better known for is not just taking pictures with your shirt off and posting them on Instagram. We can find those Scott, we can dig those up and put them in the show notes.

Scott HermanScott Herman

They’re everywhere.

David TaoDavid Tao

They’re everywhere but you’re better known for your videos. When you first started producing content for YouTube and growing your subscriber base, what kind of videos were you producing and how has that content evolved over the last number of years?

Scott HermanScott Herman

I’ll tell you what, man. Back in the day, YouTube was a much nicer place. Nowadays, most comments on videos, people are just trying to say the most outlandish things to get the most thumbs up. They don’t even watch the videos half the time.

 

I am saying this [inaudible 10:31] because I always go into my videos and I love responding to people and chatting with people. That was the bones of how I grew my YouTube channel from the very beginning. I would post a new video every day or every couple of days. Back then, also, you could make your videos super short and the YouTube algorithm wouldn’t ding you.

 

YouTube, the algorithm changes all the time. It’s not just how many views you get or how many subscribers you have. Half the time, YouTube won’t even send notifications to your subscribers because YouTube is so saturated. Nowadays, you have to be so careful. You have to focus on how many views you’re getting. You have to make sure that your watch time is really high.

 

For example, if you post a two-minute video and somebody watches the entire video, it’s like, “Great. They watched it from beginning to end.” If it’s only two minutes long, your watch time is two minutes.

 

If you post a 15-minute video and they watch if for five minutes, they only watch a quarter of the video, but they watched five minutes of it. Your watch time is higher, which makes it look better, which makes it trend more on YouTube. You have to think about all these stuff nowadays.

 

Back in the day when I first started, you post a video, it went to every single one of your subscribers, [laughs] and it didn’t matter. It was so much nicer. People were truly curious and interested because YouTube was such a new thing. It was a new way to get information. I would literally post a video…

 

When I was living in New York, to paint a picture for you guys, the money I was making, I was basically living off by doing appearance fees. I got paid anywhere between $1,500 to $3,000 to go to a bar somewhere and take photos of people, meet people because the show had just come out.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

This is springboarding off of the real world appearance?

Scott HermanScott Herman

Yeah, springboarding off of that. During the week, I had all these extra time to focus on other stuff. I was like, “OK, I need to build a business before the limelight’s gone.” Every single day, I would wake up, I’d post a video, and then I’d go back to video one. Then I would just go over every single comment.

 

I would either respond to new comments or if I had already responded to someone, then they asked a follow-up question, I would then respond to that again. Every single day, like 10 hours a day, I was on the computer hammering comments going through all of my videos.

 

As that library grew, obviously, it took more and more time, but I love doing it because I generally like helping people. That’s why I started the business to begin with. When I moved back home to start filming the videos in my gym…I could film 10 videos in a night because I was literally going over to the machines in my club.

 

That was the idea behind it. I was trying to figure out how to get members to not cancel their membership, or to get them excited, or more comfortable training in the gym so maybe they would eventually buy like a PT package.

 

When a member would come in and I would offer them personal training, they’ll be like, “Well, I can’t afford it.” Or, “I’m not sure if I want it.” I’d be like, “You know what? Go to my YouTube channel. Every single machine in the gym, I have a how-to video of it on my channel.”

 

If you’re in the club, you don’t know how to use the machine, just type in, how-to shoulder press. Then that video will pop up and it will be me in the club teaching you. It helped a lot of people. Those videos, like I said, they could be a minute long or two minutes long because the algorithm didn’t care back then.

 

Those videos are shared all over the world. It’s crazy how people contact me like, “Oh, I’ve been watching your videos since 2009. If I ever need to check my form, they’re right to the point and they’re awesome.” My how-to plank video, it’s a two-minute video. It has 20 million views.

 

It’s probably because people were doing exactly what you said when planking was cool. They’re probably trying to figure out how to plank so they can go to the bridge and plank off the edge of it. [laughs] Not the safest thing but that’s what we’re doing.

 

That was the mindset behind it. It was, “How can I help people come into my club, exercise, get excited about exercising, not feel intimidated?” Some people, they don’t want to ask for help, and it’s not even a pride thing. Maybe they feel dumb.

 

Like asking how to use a shoulder press machine. “It can’t be that hard to figure out on my own, but I’m not sure if I’m doing it right, but I’m too embarrassed to have somebody show me how to do it.” It was a really easy way for me as a general manager to get my members a little more excited about how to exercise in the club.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

The kind of content you’re producing now…

…how is it different? Yeah, second part of that question.

Scott HermanScott Herman

 

Second part.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

No worries.

Scott HermanScott Herman

The way I’m producing content now, for my how-to videos, I still try to keep it to the point but I try to drive a bit more education. Back then, it was like, “You sit down. You pull a bar this way. You flex your back and then you return to the starting position. That’s how you do the exercise.”

 

Now, I’ll redo some of my older videos. For example, instead of like, “How to lat pulldown,” sit and pull the bar to your chest, I’ll do, “Three golden rules of a lat pulldown.” I’ll talk about which muscles it works and which three specific things you should focus on and why.

 

The video is a tiny bit longer but it has a bit more information and there’s no fluff. It’s straight to the point still but instead of being of two minutes long, it will be 10 minutes long. Aside from that, nowadays, people, they like talking about hot topics. Hot topics are always been popular. That’s why magazines used to sell so much.

 

I actually just filmed a video yesterday that I’m going to be releasing tomorrow. My video editor, Ricky, is working on it. He’s pretty excited. Generally, the video is about how Robert Pattinson is refusing to bulk up to play Batman and how everyone’s pissed about it including myself.

 

I can give my opinion on a subject like that and come across in such a way where I don’t sound like I’m being a hater, but I’m also trying to deliver some fitness information at the same time. Superheroes and fitness, they go together really well. It’s like, “Well, I don’t want to see Robert Pattinson on screen playing Batman if he doesn’t look like he can actually punch somebody.”

 

The entertainment side of YouTube content, it’s almost like infotainment now. In the past, it was probably purely info and that did really good, but nowadays, people want to see your personality. They want to connect with you on a much deeper level.

 

Infotainment is the easier way to get that message across. You can show your community you’re not boring, but you still have a brain and you can relate that information to them. They don’t have to have a degree to understand what you’re trying to say.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

What is a video that sticks out to you that you’ve done maybe in the past year or so that you think was especially impactful or one that you look back on and you’re like, “Hey, I’m glad I put that out. That got something about the fitness industry or about fitness that I’m really glad I put out into the world”?

Scott HermanScott Herman

 I actually did a video on Henry Cavill and his transformation over the last few years. I feel like a lot of people, when they see these actors and they get ready for a role, the magazines and the trainers that train these people, a lot of times, they just fluff it up so much.

 

Like, “Oh, this is the workout he did. He worked out for seven hours in the morning and 10 hours at night. He did all these exercises and he ate 100,000 calories. That’s the reason why he’s so jacked.”

 

Great that I’m exaggerating a lot, but you get the picture that I’m trying to paint here, right? They try to tell you that these actors, aside from all the other stuff they have to do, all the filming they have to do, all the line studying and practicing they have to do, but they also have 7 hours a day to train while they are filming. It makes absolutely no sense.

 

I did a video on Henry Cavill getting ready for his role as “the witcher.” Have you watched “The Witcher?”

David TaoDavid Tao

 

I have not. I have seen him when he’s playing Superman, he’s completely yoked.

Scott HermanScott Herman

He’s super yoked. At the same time, he’s also not incredibly ripped. He just looks like a solid dude. In the video, I start from him in “Immortals.” I forget what year it came out. It was obviously a while ago now, at least six or seven years ago.

 

For Immortals, he had a crazy diet that he had to follow in order to stay that lean. Then they showed the workout he did and the conditioning he did. If you watch his body transform over time, when he eventually became Superman and then even now for The Witcher, and I took a look at how much he weighed and then the workout routines he did.

 

In the video, essentially, people want to know is it a natural transformation or not? I was basically on the side of that it was. I showed his progression and showed the hard work he did and showed the diet he had to do.

 

I love superheroes, and I love movies. I’m a huge movie buff. I have a closet full of 800 Blu-rays. You ever want to borrow a movie, just let me know.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Just hit up Scott Herman. He’s got the whole library.

Scott HermanScott Herman

I won’t give it to you because I’m super OCD about my movies. I’ll tell you which one to buy, at least.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

It’s the referral program. It’s not actually a library.

Scott HermanScott Herman

They’re all in alphabetical order. If my daughter comes in my room and grabs a DVD, she knows she better put it back where it went or there’s going to be hell to pay. It has to be alphabetical order, or it’s over.

 

That was a really cool video, and it’s just showcasing. A lot of times, unfortunately, these actors, they get a little help when they have to prepare for a superhero role.

 

Henry Cavill was one of those guys that I think did it. It was just hard work. Men’s Health put out a video on him talking about, oh, actually, there’s two videos that I want to talk about. [laughs] That just reminded me.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Go for it.

Scott HermanScott Herman

Men’s Health put out a video of Henry Cavill showing his workout routine. His trainer, I believe was the trainer that used to train The Rock back in the day. You could clearly tell that Henry knew what he was doing for exercises.

 

He was doing specific exercises that made it easier for him to swing his sword in The Witcher and be able to maintain that for like six or seven hours a day. He did a lot of arm-specific work and grip-specific work on top of his regular training. It was very obvious that he knew what he was doing because he took his training seriously.

 

Anybody who goes to the gym, you work with a trainer, you adapt, and you really want to learn the exercises while you’re doing them, when you start talking about fitness, it’s super obvious that you absorb the information that you’re applying. Would you agree?

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Yeah, I would. I would agree. There’s a vernacular you speak.

Scott HermanScott Herman

 

Yeah, exactly. The first video I did…I’m sorry Men’s Health, but you were going down the tubes I had to put you on check. I love that show “Lucifer.” Have you seen Lucifer?

David TaoDavid Tao

 

I have not. You’re a bigger nerd than I am when it comes to movies and TV.

Scott HermanScott Herman

 

Dude, and gaming. I’m a huge gamer. We’ll get to that. I’m actually sitting in my game room right now. I’m surrounded by Dragon Ball Z Statues and pops.

Anyways, they did a video on the guy who plays Lucifer who for whatever reason, I can’t remember his name right now. I’m sure it will come to me later. His trainer, Paolo, in the video was having him do all these exercises that were just absolutely terrible. He’s doing like a bench-press. His trainer is basically holding the bar the entire time it goes up and down on every single rep.

It’s like, “Dude, leave the barbell alone.” I’ve noticed that with celebrities. Trainers that train celebrities that really aren’t that great, they always like to be in the picture touching everything and touching them to make their client or in this case the celebrity feel like that they know what they’re doing and that they’re helping them.

When I was living in New York City, I went to David Barton gym on 23rd Street. Anderson Cooper was there working out. He was doing a triceps kickback. I kid you not, his trainer was holding Anderson’s elbow in the air so that he could do the kickback. I’m like, “Are you kidding me? Like just hold your own damn elbow when the air and then swing your arm backwards.”

I mean, I wouldn’t even have them do a triceps kickback to begin with because there’s so many other exercises you could do that are more bang for your back, especially in a gym. I’ve seen that first, and that was back in 2009. I’ve seen that so much with trainers, especially with celebrity trainers. They are always touching and holding you.

It was also made very clear that he didn’t really absorb the exercises that he was doing. In the video, he’s demonstrating how to do a squat as part of his workout routine. It’s just him on screen, the actor who plays Lucifer. He has the pad on the bar, which is a no-no, obviously. You don’t need the pad on the bar if he taught how to squat correctly.

The bar was resting in his neck. It wasn’t even across his traps. It was in his neck. Then as he was going down, it was forcing him basically falling over. He only had maybe 110 or 125 pounds on the bar. I just got so angry watching that video that I made a response to it and pointed out all the stuff we’re talking about now.

It’s like, “Dude, if you’re an actor, it’s your job to act. It’s not your job to know how to exercise. You want to pay a trainer for that.” I just get so angry when I see people like him who get taken advantage of. I’m a huge fan of the show. I’m still irritated why I’m blanking on his name right now.

I’m such a huge fan of the show. I can’t wait for season five. I don’t know if he’s going to make it to season five. He might break his neck squatting incorrectly.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

That would be an unfortunate end to a promising acting career.

Scott HermanScott Herman

 

Tom Ellis. There we go. Tom Ellis.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Tom Ellis. Scott, let’s talk a little bit about your current focus in the fitness realm. As someone who’s been in the fitness industry for a long time. I know that you’re working on more than just maintaining the East Coast Best Abs. What does your routine look like these days? How does that translate over into the content you’re producing?

Scott HermanScott Herman

I’ve actually made a huge switch, where now I’m focusing a lot on full-body training. It’s something that I never really used to do, is to do more bodybuilding splits and whatnot. What I’ve come to realize, I’ve been doing a lot of research on nuclei-overload. You guys can watch my videos on it. A really good video to watch is this one I did 100 bicep curls a day for 30 days.

 

Basically just trying to spark growth in some lagging body parts. I really get into the science behind nuclei-overload training and what it is and how it works. The general gist of it is, you’re basically just trying to de-train your muscles so that they become more sensitive to muscle damage and mTOR to try to create some more growth. That’s the gist of it.

 

It’s literally probably doing what most of you are doing now, which is training incredibly hard. Then you take a longer rest period like 10 to 12 days of doing nothing. Almost like how all of you are going to feel when you’re finally able to go back to the gym. You know you’re going to be sore as hell that week. It’s because your body’s de-trained and now more sensitive to muscle damage and mTOR which could actually spark more growth.

 

With that in mind, I’ve always been a fan of bodybuilding splits. I still do my bodybuilding splits now. A lot of people ask me,” Well, now you talk a lot about push-pull-leg programs, so you can train everything a few times a week, or if you’re training full-body, then obviously, you’re hitting everything three or four times a week. Do you think that those are better than a bodybuilding split type program?”

 

If you’re already at where you want to be muscle growth-wise, it’s not that having a chest-day, an arm-day, and a back-day, and leg-day is bad. Just know that you’re not going to grow as quick because you hitting all those muscle groups once a day versus multiple times. I’m trying to grow right now, I’m trying to get to 190 solid.

 

I was 190 before the quarantine hit. I’ve leaned back down again. I wasn’t 190 ripped, but I didn’t look fat either, if that makes sense. You could still see my abs. [laughs] Anyways, because of even the quarantine, it’s forced me to fine tune my training and try to figure out new things that work so that when gyms open back up, I can be, “Hey, this is exactly what you should do to get back on track to where you were before the quarantine.”

 

With all the research I’ve been doing, and talk about nuclei-overload training and just doing full body routines myself, I’ve been gearing my content more in that direction. If you’re going to go to the gym and train chest, instead of doing six different machines, these are the exercises that give you the most bang for your buck. You should do these and focus on more sets of those.

 

You’re going to get a lot more out of a compound movement like a chest press versus going over doing cable flyes, things like that. It’s a common sense things that people forget. There’s so much misinformation, especially on YouTube. People for example think, “I got to change my routine every six weeks till I have muscle confusion.”

 

You don’t need muscle confusion. Whether you’re doing an incline press, a flat bench, or decline press, you’re still hitting your chest. The entire chest is activated. Now granted, you might place more emphasis on your upper chest when doing an incline press. You’re still activating your chest.

 

“Oh, my gosh. I’m so confused right now.”

It’s not like you changed the position of the exercise and your body’s like, “Oh, my God. I’m so confused right now. I need to grow.” That sounds dumb.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

I want a whole video series where you’re just the anthropomorphize-thinking muscle.

Like, “He’s confusing me. You got to get bigger.”

Scott HermanScott Herman

Yes, I’m so confused right now. I need to gain 10 pounds just to handle this confusion. [laughs] If you de-train for eight to nine days and then go back to bench-pressing, you’re going to get sore again because the muscles re-sensitized to muscle damaged an mTOR.

 

I’m trying to let people know how to simplify their training and get better results without them thinking they have to buy some program they never heard of before because it has all these fancy words in it, like muscle confusion and whatever else people try to use in their marketing tactics.

 

Squatting, benching, deadlifting, bent-over rows, those have been around, pull-ups, forever for a reason because they get the job done.

 

David TaoDavid Tao

 

That makes a lot of sense. What is your diet looking like now in a bulking phase? I’m curious.

Scott HermanScott Herman

I do more of a lean bulk. I eat about 3,200 to 3,300 calories a day, which puts me in about 200- to 300-calorie surplus. It depends if I’m going to go for a run. I do like to run outside. Obviously guys, I’ve experimented with eating and calorie input and output my entire life. I’ve been doing this since I was 14. I’m going to be 36 this year.

 

I know my body. I know at that calorie level, I can steadily grow without putting on too much body fat. I don’t believe in doing these mega-jumps in calories. Even a lot of the clients that I work with, I have a lot of clients I work with online. I’m working with one of my new clients, James.

 

He started off basically skinny fat. He wants to build muscle. I’m like, “Well, let’s put your calories in my meal plan app and see how many you’re eating every day.” He was eating 1,200 calories. I’m like, “Well, you need to be close to 28 to 3 thousand, but I’m not going to jump you that high because your body isn’t going to be ready for it.

 

You’re going to feel probably super lethargic. You’re going to probably feel bloated, which is going to make you think in your head that you’re getting fatter when you’re really not. I don’t want you to have any of those problems mentally.”

 

What I did with him, or what I do with my clients with cases like that, is I boost them like 300 to 500 calories every two weeks until we get closer to where I think their maintenance level is. Once we get to that point I have them do the same thing that I do for bulking which is, we train for two weeks, we do the program, then we add some food.

 

We add like 200, 300 calories. Train for two weeks again, then we add some more calories if we need to. If we train for two weeks after adding those calories and you’re starting to notice some more fat gain, we dial it down a little bit. That’s kind of how I monitor my own bulks as well.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Makes sense.

Scott HermanScott Herman

 

Not kind of, that’s exactly how I monitor them.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

That seems extraordinarily specific for a guy like you.

We’ve talked about your YouTube channel but let’s just recap the best places for people to keep up to date with the work you’re doing and the content you’re producing.

Scott HermanScott Herman

Obviously YouTube, Instagram @scotthermanfitness. I do have a TikTok that has a lot of funny videos on it, that’s @scotthermanfitness as well. For those of you who are looking for programming and like I said, I just mentioned my custom meal plan app, you can go to my website muscularstrength.com or you can download the app.

 

Actually, I’m going to be releasing this hopefully over the next week. This is something huge that quarantine has basically forced me to finally bring to fruition.

 

I’ve had this amazing idea for a workout generator to be a part of my app for a few years now, I just hadn’t pulled the trigger because I’ve been working on a lot of other things as well, building my business, I just moved to Florida and all those other stuff. [laughs]

 

I’ve been filming exercises for the last two weeks, I think I filmed 300 exercises last week, body weight only to start. I should have that operational within my app within the next week we could have. If you haven’t downloaded Muscular Strength yet, make sure you do.

 

You’re basically going to be able to push a button and then have a full workout delivered to you based on your fitness level and how long you want to work out. Once the initial phase of the app is launched, I’m going to start doing dumbbell exercises, I’ll release a bunch of dumbbell exercises, resistance bands and then using a bench.

 

Over time I’ll build such a huge library that nobody can have any excuse, because you’ll be able to switch and swap your exercises, generate a new one every single day. I’m really excited about it. I think a lot of people are going to enjoy it.

 

Especially right now when you still can’t go to the gym. You want to work out from home but you’re tired of doing maybe the same workout programs everyday. How cool would it be to push a button and get a new one every single day, right?

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Sounds impressive. Appreciate that Scott, appreciate the plan. Scott thank you so much for taking the time. I definitely encourage all our listeners to check out the real talk stuff you’re pushing out on your various platforms and I appreciate taking the time today.

Scott HermanScott Herman

 

Thank you so much for having me David.

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