Podcast Episode 56: Rob Smith - The Life of an Everyday Beast
WBFF pro muscle model Rob Smith, the host of Bodybuilding.com’s Everyday Beast video series, shares his philosophy on food, lifting, and beasting through life.
Listen To Podcast Episode #56
Podcast Episode 56: Rob Smith - The Life of an Everyday Beast. WBFF pro muscle model Rob Smith, the host of Bodybuilding.com’s Everyday Beast video series, shares his philosophy on food, lifting, and beasting through life.
Publish Date: Monday, November 12, 2018
Behind The Scenes Video:
Ep. isode 56 Highlights & Transcript ▼
- Why workout "pairings" with food are so important to him
- "Cheating" versus "I deserve it" meals—there's a big difference
- How he avoids diet burnout as a competitive bodybuilder who also loves food
- Where he learned to cook, and how he refined his skills
- The problems of hunger and "food mis-education" in the United States
- How his fitness journey started in... group aerobics class
- Why he "got big" to survive on the rugby pitch, and how other players react to him
- His history on the stage, and how he's tried to learn from each show
- Why he has continued with rugby: "Your body fades, but your friendships are gonna last way longer than that."
- "When you're running at full speed, full stride, 800 meters, or you know you break a line and you're out there, there's no better feeling in the world than running full speed."
- How sports and bodybuilding can actually complement each other
- How competitor Jason Wittrock introduced him to the ketogenic diet, and how it has worked for him as an athlete and bodybuilder
Nick Collias: Good morning everyone, or good evening, good whatever. If you're listening to put yourself to sleep, that's all right, too. We're a bedtime podcast.
Rob Smith: That's cool.
Nick: This is The Bodybuilding.com Podcast. I'm Nick Collias, I'm the host up in here. And over to my right, we have Heather Eastman. She's our physique expert, physique-spert. No?
Heather Eastman: No, that does not work.
Nick: Our guest today, he's a familiar face, familiar set of shoulders, maybe, if you're someone who reads articles on Bodybuilding.com, or one of the 3.5 million or so people who subscribe to our YouTube channel. He's Rob "Everyday Beast" Smith, and he's a WBFF pro muscle model. Right?
Rob Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Nick: He's been the model for a lot of articles, on Bodybuilding.com videos, including our Foundations of Fitness Nutrition video series, which is really cool. You should check it out. And he's also the creator and star of a video series called Everyday Beast.
Rob Smith: That's cool.
Nick: You've heard of wine pairings? You've heard of beer pairings? This is food and workout pairings, which I think is a great idea. These have been getting a lot of traction on our YouTube channel, and so we wanted to have him on to talk about the beast life. So, Rob, thanks for coming, man.
Rob Smith: Hey, thank you for having me.
Nick: That's right. And you're also an editor. You work here, too.
Rob Smith: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Heck yeah.
Heather: Yeah, yeah. He works here.
Nick: He happens to be, probably, the biggest guy in the Bodybuilding.com gym right now. So, if you're that sort of person who's like, "You know what? I'm going to ask the biggest guy in the gym. He knows what's going on." That's what we're going to do today.
Rob Smith: Nice. That's dope. I like that.
Nick: So, tell us a little bit about Everyday Beast, for somebody who hasn't seen it. What is the idea behind that, and how did you come up with that idea?
Rob Smith: So, Everyday Beast is a program that's supposed to be a foundation, a platform, for people to come from every walk of life and just say, "This is what I do every day." If you embody what a beast is supposed to be, it's like we're doing this. We're living life. We're crushing it every day in the gym, in our families, at home, at work, and it's like we're still able to hit these goals. Fitness is the topic, but it's really a platform to just say, "Hey, you can crush it, man, whatever it is." So.
Nick: And that's one thing. Each one is a workout, but it's more than a workout. Like, you could go get a good workout from it, but it's kind of like a celebration, too, celebration of fitness, of working out. It's a celebration of food, and kind of these rituals that build up around it. You know?
Heather: A lifestyle.
Nick: It's not like, "Oh, God. I'm doing the work." This is, "This is what I love to do." There's a call-to-action in some of these that I really like, and I'm hoping Mark will cut some audio in here. But there's this great line you have, where it's like, "If you're passionate about the work you put in at the gym, you gotta be passionate about the food you eat."
You gotta eat a good meal. That's what this rib eye is going to do for you. It's about creation. How do those things go together for you?
Rob Smith: Man. First thing, I was thinking when you were just talking, is like, Everyday Beast, it's an action. You know what I'm saying? People are like, "Oh, you're the Everyday Beast?"
Well, I'm not the Everyday Beast, it's a community. But, it's more of an action, every day you're beasting at something. Every day you're hitting a new platform. You're hitting a new goal.
So, it's like, at the end of the day, what's your foundation? If you have a fitness goal in particular, you gotta eat. You know what I'm saying? If you're not eating, if you're not paying attention to what you put in your body, it doesn't matter what you're doing in the gym.
So, it's like, just obviously, fitness is, the workouts are a big part of that. But, it's like breaking it back down to some of the foundational concepts of just eat right, and set the goal, and then everything else will kind of fall into place.
Nick: And enjoy it.
Rob Smith: And enjoy it. Yeah, that's what I'm saying, enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it, you're not going to put the time in it takes to get to that goal.
Nick: Is that a way that you approach your life, where it's like, "You know what, this is a great back workout that I'm going to do here. It actually deserves a great meal. I'm going to think that way about the meal coming up as well."
Rob Smith: Totally. Yeah, yeah, yeah. My thing is this, if I want to have a good weekend, like a great weekend, where I'm going to kind of splurge a little bit, I better work my butt off Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
I better work my butt off Monday and Tuesday, too, but those last couple days before that big meal, it's going to be work. It's going to be some pain, and it's also going to be like, "All right, you deserve this." You know?
Nick: I like that. People talk about "cheat meals" a lot, and they talk about this like it's a bad thing, like, "You gotta earn it because it's gonna be this splurge." But, the way you're talking about it, it's like, "I deserve it."
Rob Smith: Yeah. I deserve it. Yeah, totally. Heck yeah.
Heather: I don't know if you've tried any of the Everyday Beast meals, but they are quite delicious.
Rob Smith: Nice. That's what we like to hear.
Heather: Even though they're keeping within the macros. Oh, yeah, yeah. And that's one thing I noticed, is that you make both the meals and the workouts very accessible. You know? You're not putting out this crazy, 12-exercise, long workout. You're putting out a workout that's maybe four exercises, but just a unique combination of exercises, or a unique set and rep scheme.
And then, your food, I mean you have this one that's a pizza-stuffed chicken breast, which is fantastic. And, correct me if I'm wrong, most of the recipes are kind of more in the keto...
Rob Smith: Yeah.
Heather: Or like a low-carb.
Rob Smith: Yeah. This time we went more keto-ish, only because a lot of this stuff was stuff that I was eating as I was getting ready for a competition. We also talk about it in the article, if you want to throw a side of rice on this, you can do that easily, by just, you know...
Rob Smith: ...you calculate that. So, it's like, the biggest thing is making it, like you said, accessible to... Some people don't have a big budget to go out there and go to Whole Foods and shop for this, and shop for that, and shop for this.
It's like, "All right, what can I make that my family can enjoy as well, and that will also help me reach my goals?" And it's like, keep it simple.
Heather: Yeah. That's the refrain of a lot of bodybuilders, is, "I'm making a separate meal for myself. Meanwhile, my family gets to enjoy this." And it feels like the Everyday Beast meals are something that everybody can enjoy.
Rob Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Nick: I think it's interesting that you bring up other bodybuilders here, too, because it's clear that you have a deep relationship with food, whereas you think of somebody who's preparing for shows on a regular basis, they have a deeply complicated relationship with food a lot of the time. You know?
Rob Smith: Uh-huh.
Nick: You think about bodybuilders and often it's food is something to analyze. Sure, you eat a ton of it, but it's not something you love. How do you, as somebody who... You know, you've been in a handful of shows. How do you find that balance? How do you keep from getting burned out?
Rob Smith: For me, I have to be creative. You know? Like, I got to the point where I couldn't eat a chicken breast, let alone look at a chicken breast, like a couple months. I got to the point where I couldn't look at eggs in the store. I'm like, "No, I don't want that."
And it's like, "Why is this, that you can't eat this certain type of food? Why don't you want eggs?" Because you overdid it. You know what I'm saying? You overdid it because you didn't have the knowledge to switch something out, or the knowledge to be a little more creative about it.
So, it's like, "Scratch that. Be creative. Get the knowledge to understand how to calculate your macros. Search out on Bodybuilding.com how to create a meal plan so you don't limit yourself."
Bringing it back to Everyday Beast, it's like that's what's empowering about it, because we're trying to empower people to make choices that fit into their lifestyle that's going to take them to another level.
Rob Smith: You know?
Nick: And I know there are a lot of people who, once they start putting numbers on things, once they start thinking in terms of macros, it's really hard for them to enjoy it, too. Like, how do you find the balance in that? It seems like cooking skills is part of it.
Rob Smith: Yeah.
Nick: I suppose. So, where did you learn to cook?
Rob Smith: Just watching my family cook. I'm from the South, so it's like food, that's a big part of Southern culture, you know? So, you can't really go to anybody's house without eating. So, it's like, if you have a goal, and you want to eat, you gotta know how to make that happen.
I know a lot of times, that macros or micronutrients can be discouraging to people, but it's like if you want this, there's going to be some give and take. You're going to have to be like, "All right. I'm going to be responsible, and I'm going to want this enough to learn the macros so I can empower myself to make those creative choices."
You know? If you got a goal, and it's, "Oh, macros discourage me." It's like what's more important, your discouragement or that goal? How can we as a platform help people get over that hurdle, and then empower them to make those creative choices?"
Rob Smith: You know, with your diet.
Nick: And to take ownership of that.
Rob Smith: Yeah, yeah. You gotta take ownership of it.
Nick: So, what pushed you to say, "You know what? This is really where I'm gonna put a lot of my creative energy into, my own food. I'm going to get those skills."
Rob Smith: I don't want to say it came second nature, but it was just natural. I just watched my mom cook for me when I was a kid. And I just, in college, you find the first week of college they're giving you $5 pizza coupons and this and that. And it's like two weeks later, "Nah. I want to eat like I ate when I was at home."
Me and my buddies, we actually brought like hot plates and stuff in our dorm rooms, and we would let the windows up, and we would be cooking dinner after band practice at night, trying to shoo the smells out the residence hall. Like that? So, it's like this thing is real. You know what I'm saying?
Food has never left my brain, or my thought process.
Nick: No, I totally understand where you're coming from. It was the same thing for me. I went to college, and I was like, "This sucks. I grew up eating pretty well. If I want to eat well for the rest of my life, I gotta take responsibility for it."
Rob Smith: Totally.
Nick: Nobody is going to do this for me.
Rob Smith: Unh-huh (affirmative).
Nick: You know?
Heather: And the way you present it, you make it very easy to pick up the techniques. You describe what you're doing, for those who haven't seen the recipes, and it's obvious that you love food. And we touched on it earlier, part of the Everyday Beast thing is that your goals are the most important thing.
So, if you kind of set your goal, and then everything kind of works out towards that goal. And so, your food fits your goal, not the other way around. And your workouts fit your goal. And I think that's the piece that a lot of people are missing, because since I've been here and known you, part of the reason why you're on the website is, you're kind of always competition-ready. You know?
You don't go through those ups and downs. I'm sure you bulk, but you maintain your leanness while you're bulking.
Rob Smith: Yeah. Right.
Heather: And there's not really that up and down that you see with a lot of bodybuilders. So is that something that you've always had, or is that something that you had to kind of figure out how to fit that into, and create, this kind of everyday lifestyle, versus the up and down of the bodybuilding and the competing lifestyle?
Rob Smith: A lot of people say it's luck, it may be genetics. But I think it's just consistency, just going at it every day, and just having that mindset of, "All right. You're going to have three burgers this weekend. What are you going to do on Monday to bring that back into balance?"
And it's like, I don't want to say I'm like, "Oh, yeah. I got this," like that, but it's like... I don't want to say it's a struggle, but it is an awareness thing that's like, "Listen. This is what you want to do. This is how you want to look. This is how you want to perform. You've gotta be on it."
Some are like, "Well, I don't want to think about it all the time." And it's like, "What do you want?" You know?
Heather: That goal.
Rob Smith: Yeah. Like, "What do you want?" And then, that's when everything else kind of falls into place.
Nick: I think there's something important in there, too, which is just that idea, the consistency and repetition, they're really the answer. You know? Ross Edgley, who was on this podcast, he's this guy swimming around Great Britain right now. He's about to finish it.
He had a great podcast, or a great little video on YouTube yesterday, where he was saying like, "Hard work is almost always the answer, it's the question that doesn't really matter." Like, people get so fixated on the question, just doing stuff, and just the repetition of life, over time, it answers the questions for you.
Rob Smith: Totally, man. I say go read a book by somebody that's like 60 now, and just read about where they were at 20. And what is it? It's the consistent. It's the everyday beast that that person did in whatever field that was, that's the reason why you're reading that book right now.
You know? So, it's like, yeah. That's your motivation. I think that should be your motivation, the process or that every day work.
Nick: One thing that I feel like I hear in your attitude, too, is gratefulness. And we did a profile of you on the site a few months ago, it's like a fit employee profile, and you talked about gratefulness on there.
You know, like, you think about hunger and hungry children, it seems like a lot. It's not just thinking about how lucky you are, but thinking about just being grateful for what you have.
So, tell me what is your relationship with hunger like? Because it seems like it's something that informs what you talk about.
Rob Smith: Yeah. I just think that ... I'm from the South, you know. Obviously, all over the country there's people who face food challenges and stuff like that, and just a lack of education around food issues and access to food, and food systems, stuff like that.
And it's just like I've dealt with it. You know what I'm saying?
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Rob Smith: I've seen it. I've seen people in my family that deal with just the miseducation that comes with food, and horrible food systems. You know what I'm saying? It's not that people don't have a choice or people don't want to do it, it's like if you're not educated and if you don't have access to the healthy foods, that's the problem. You know?
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Rob Smith: It's not the person or the kid. And it's like, if you're feeding the kid something bad in school, and they're eating that every day, that kid's not necessarily making that choice, that's a circumstance.
Nick: That's the choice they think they have, yeah.
Rob Smith: Yeah. So that gets me a little upset when somebody's like, "Oh, that person's lazy." Or "This mom is lazy." Oh, no–what is this mom making? What's does she have access to? And it's like that type of stuff makes me get a little bit like, "No, don't say anybody's lazy. They may not have the know how or knowledge to make those right choices."
So, just growing up in Georgia. Growing up in Atlanta and being from that environment, you see that and then you go to New York and you live in Manhattan, you live in Brooklyn and it's like, "Jesus Christ, there's so many people hungry in this country." And then you think about our country and then you think about around the world and it's overwhelming.
Nick: There's so much. So much food out there but so many people are still hungry, yeah. Do you remember when you felt like the curtain was pulled back and you just saw this, maybe you had never seen this before?
Rob Smith: What really opened my eyes to it was trying to get bigger and then eating a large amount of food and sometimes wasting that food. And then I'm complaining, "Hey, man. I can't eat 4,000 calories, I only hit 3,000 calories." And then you sit back down and you're like, "Wait a minute. I'm complaining because I can't get big enough? I can't eat enough food to get big enough when there's people struggling to eat?" Like, "Shut up, bro, and eat the food and get in the gym." And then it's like, what the charity thing is like, "Fine, if you're gonna eat a lot of food and if you're gonna try to do this, something better be coming back to the community. C'mon, if I gain this 10 pounds, I want two dollars or five dollars for every pound I gain. Donate that back."
It's fine to have goals. It's fine to want to be bigger and better yourself, but at the same time, you have to be aware of what's going on around you. So, that's it for me.
Heather: Now you said that it kind of upsets you to hear people say, "Oh, that person's just lazy." Do you get a reaction when people say, "Oh, you're just genetically that way." Because they're two sides of the same coin.
Rob Smith: Yeah, and it's like fine–if it's genetics, it's genetics–but it's like, "You don't see what I do every day. You don't go to bed when I got to bed. You don't get up in the morning..." I'm at a point in my life now where it's just, "Alright. Meet me in the gym and let's talk." Not to be cocky about it but if you're gonna say something open, it's like, "Come. Meet me in the gym. Walk with me for a week and then we can talk."
Heather: Yeah, because I feel like both of them are equally dismissive.
Rob Smith: Yeah. Welcome...
Heather: A lot of the top bodybuilders get that, "Oh, you're a genetic specimen and that's why you are where you are." And it's like they're not understanding...
Rob Smith: It's a lack of knowledge.
Heather: ...everything that happens behind the scenes so you seem to be very much, and again this pops up in your episodes, it's very much about educating. This is not one workout and you're done. This is an everyday kind of thing.
Nick: One thing I like though about Everyday Beast is the comments on YouTube. They're funny because you know, whatever, YouTube's a shithole for comments, but the ones that are on these Everyday Beast episodes, they're things like, "I wish Rob was my neighbor so I could hang out and train with him."
Rob Smith: You know what? It's funny you said that because I lived in Brooklyn for about two years and we lived in a high rise... not a high rise, probably 11 floors. Nice building, but you pass these people that you see every day and they're going to different walks of life. They're doing this and it's like, "Hey, hey." And you go to apartment 2B or you go to apartment... you see these people and it's like, "What if you had a bodybuilder next door and he invited you in and you just had a conversation?" That's the original thought process. I talked to my buddies, maybe four or five years ago in New York about that and was like, "What if we did this?" The bodybuilder next door. You just come now, you sit down and you have a meal and then you go back to your apartment whether it's 6E, 7E, 7B... you know what I'm saying? You see these people, you just see them in the lobby... you just see them getting mail and stuff like that.
Nick: No, I think it's great. I think that'd be a really cool way to do this, too, it's like the next logical extension of an Everyday Beast episode is you have somebody that you work out together, you sit down and you have dinner together and you have a conversation. It's like a podcast. It's the whole experience. I think that would be great. Maybe somebody's doing that out there. I think we need to make that happen.
Rob Smith: You need to make that happen.
Heather: Yeah, because you're intuitively answering a lot of questions in those episodes but then you could get even more into that conversation.
Rob Smith: Get down a little more into it.
Nick: So, let's talk training a little bit because one thing that I liked about the profile we did about you on the site once upon a time, was that you didn't just start out lifting. You were 175 lbs, six foot two, string bean, in a group aerobics class.
Rob Smith: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Nick: Right? So, tell us a bit about your history with training and when you got serious about that.
Rob Smith: Yeah, so I was always active, I ran track in high school. Was in a marching band in high school.
Nick: What did you do in the marching band?
Rob Smith: I was a saxophone player, and also the drum major.
Nick: Oh, you were the drum major, too? Damn. See that's a prestige position right there. I hated the drum major... I was in marching band and that guy was always telling me what to do.
Rob Smith: Yeah, yeah. And then I went to college and I was in the marching band–didn't do drum major of that but I was all banded up. But then, oh man, what happened? So, I went to film school, did a little training in film school. Came back home. I was sitting in Georgia. I was like, "Dang." I was waiting tables–nothing wrong with that–I actually enjoyed it, met a lot of people and just like... Food has always been... Whether I'm working for a catering company, or waiting tables on food, it's just been there.
But then I was l like, "Dang, I need to do something. I need to change my life." I kind of got down in a little rut and I wasn't doing anything in my life. And a lady named Sandra Holt, she had a fitness studio–Synergy Fitness–and she was like, "Rob, just come to one of the classes one day." I was like, "Oh..."
Nick: Just kinda for fun?
Rob Smith: Yeah, yeah, "Just come check it out." You know? And it's like, the place I was in in my life at that point, thinking 21, 22, not really knowing what the next step was going to be. I went to school. I got this degree. I spent all this time and I'm not working in that field and it was like, I think maybe 10% of people who get a film degree might actually go on to actually build a career in it, you know?
Nick: Hey, I have an English degree. I know what you're talking about.
Rob Smith: So, it's like... I was down, man, it was kinda like, "Uh." I had dreams of moving to New York and that didn't seem like it would ever happen. She invited me to the fitness class and I was like, "Alright. We'll see." She probably invited me two or three times before I actually went and it was like a lot of... I don't want to say older ladies, but it's a group fitness class at noon in Georgia, you know what I'm saying?
Heather: These classes are like the gateway drug of... No, I'm serious. That's what gets you into the fitness industry.
Rob Smith: And so, yeah, we did the circuit training and I went through circuits, lifting weights, doing this, using machines.
Nick: Pounding music?
Rob Smith: Yeah. And I just... my life started to change from that minute. I want to say it picked me up a little bit. You start feeling better. You start looking better. You start just responding differently and then, you have to eat right to support that you know? So, a natural progression and then that got me off my butt. I just want to say it was a mental change not only a physical change because it wasn't really a physical change at that point, but it was more...
Nick: Yeah, a physical change takes a while.
Rob Smith: Yeah, it was a mental change and I think within a year, I had moved to New York and I had got a job at a publishing company and I was on my way. And then my step from there was to join... I moved to New York, actually I moved to Jersey with one of my buddies from high school and then I moved to New York which was like a month or two period, and got my job at the publishing company and I was like, "Wait. I don't know anybody." So, then I joined a rugby team because I wanted to do a group sport to meet people and then joined rugby and had to get big so I wouldn't get killed.
Rob Smith: So, you're talking 170, so you got...
Nick: Okay, so you're playing rugby in Jersey?
Rob Smith: New York.
Nick: Okay, so that's a big population. There's gonna be some big boys out there.
Rob Smith: Yeah, yeah. So, I'm playing rugby... I'm on the wing which is a back position so a smaller guy can survive out there, you know? But I wanted to be... I've always been fast, track, so I wanted to be fast and big and to be able to run through some people. So, I had to eat and that's kind of where fitness really took off from there. Actually bodybuilding, shaping the body and trying to get a little more powerful and just...
Nick: But when you think about a rugby player and I don't want to offend the rugby players out there... I really, really, don't want to offend the rugby players out there...
Heather: So, Nick's address is...
Nick: ...you don't think about somebody who's built like a bodybuilder, right? It's a block. A rugby player, he's a thick guy, right?
Rob Smith: Yeah. Totally.
Nick: Do you get shit on the pitch for that?
Rob Smith: Oh, man. I do, I get a lot of crap for it. I get a lot of shit for it and then I get targeted for it, you know? The next biggest guy wants to come get me because I'm bigger, he wants to prove himself. But then it's a bad situation for him because he ends up laying on the ground somewhere and it's like, "Alright, bro. You tried..."
Nick: Put that shoulder down. Yeah.
Rob Smith: Yeah.
Heather: A lot of people assume that if you're a physique competitor, a bodybuilder, you've got show muscles but no go muscles.
Rob Smith: Yeah, exactly.
Heather: And so, in the very first episode, your workout was hill sprints and that's a very functional workout that also lends itself well to aesthetics and that's another thing you notice in these training programs is that your workouts, you're doing farmer carries, you're doing stuff that's not necessarily just a regular 'lift this up and put this down'. It has a purpose behind it and so that's...
Nick: But there's still some bodybuilding in there.
Heather: There's still some isolation exercises in there but it seems like you train in a way that lends itself to your multiple interests.
Rob Smith: Yeah, exactly. Right there, multiple.
Heather: At what point did you segue from rugby into, "Maybe I should step on stage?"
Nick: It was show. I'm gonna really try to be the all men.
Rob Smith: Yeah, so I think I had... It was maybe 2015, for some reason I had stopped playing rugby for a little bit and I was like, "Alright, let's just get in the gym." And it kind of worked out. I did an INBF show, I said, "I'm gonna do this show." It was a natural show in Lower Manhattan. I did that. I got like seventh place out of eighth. It was a bummer but it was like, "You did it. You didn't win but you did it and that was your first show." And I was completely, didn't know what the heck was going on. Starved myself, probably jacked my metabolism up a little bit. Ate chicken, boiled chicken, asparagus and sweet potatoes for weeks on weeks and to do that in New York is like crazy.
Nick: Yeah, that's no fun.
Rob Smith: Yeah. You had to go to the grocery store and buy sweet potatoes for 5.99 a pound like "Oh." That's so funny but did that show and then I just kept in touch with my rugby guys, I would go out and just watch it and then eventually I got into it and after that show, since I had starved myself a little bit, I was like, "I'm not doing this anymore." And at that point I was really like, "I want to do fitness."
One of my bosses was a competitor, as well. I was working at a PR company and I left the PR company and started producing some work for Men's Fitness and did some stuff with Gillette, left the health focus and what not and then the opportunity to come work for Bodybuilding.com came along and I was like, "This is money." I get to do video editing, work for a fitness company and just a new experience and what not. So, when I got here, I was like, "Alright, let's do it." The culture just grabbed me and I was like, "Fine. Maybe I'll step on stage again. And I did another natural show here. I did the Idaho Cup right after that and I was like, "Alright. Cool man. You did it." You know what I'm saying?
Nick: Each one was maybe a little bit better experience.
Rob Smith: Yeah, and then you just keep getting better and better and it's like you get tighter, you get tighter, you get tighter, and it's, "Okay. I gotta push myself."
And it's funny, because even today, I get to that lean point where I think I'm there and it's like, "No. Erf. Go a little bit further." And you just get better and better each time. And that's just progression. And then I became a WBFF pro and I went back out, started playing rugby again. And so, I went back out with a larger frame. So, I used to be a back but now, if I'm 170, I'm now playing rugby at 225 or 220.
Nick: Ooh, that's a big difference.
Rob Smith: Yeah. That's a whole new position. Now I'm in the forward pack with guys my size or 300 pounds, you know what I'm saying? It's like, "Oh, I'm not the big guy anymore. I'm actually one of the smaller guys." That I'm going up against my opposite numbers. So, it's been a cool little ride.
Nick: I think it's interesting to hear that you kind of went back to rugby though, too. We had this guy Darren Willoughby on...
Rob Smith: 'Cause it's fun.
Nick: Yeah. Well, I mean that's the thing.
Rob Smith: I'm not saying bodybuilding isn't, but it's fun. You know?
Nick: Sure. I think there's something to that. We had a great researcher named Darren Willoughby on. He's been like a pro bodybuilder for 35 years, he started his own division. But he's a die-hard bodybuilder. But he was also a semi-pro football player into his 40s, into his 50s even. There's just something about that playing out there that just calls to people.
Rob Smith: It's real, man. And I think...
Nick: I feel like there's a fitness angle to it, too, though. You know? I don't know, what does it give you?
Rob Smith: I think for me, personally, it's... I never started lifting weights to be a bodybuilder. It just... I built a great physique and it worked. But I never... My main goal was never to just be a bodybuilder. I wanted to be bigger, I wanted to be faster, and I wanted to be more powerful.
Then when you step on the field and you're building camaraderie, you have friends, you're traveling. The team I play with now, we travel all over the Pacific Northwest. We're the best team, we're undefeated. The club is growing. It's like you're a part of something that's bigger than just your image. You can't beat that.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Rob Smith: At the end of the day. You know what I'm saying? Your body fades, but your friendships are gonna last way longer than that.
Nick: No, I think that's great, yeah. Rugby, in particular, makes me think of my two boys. I have a three-year-old and a six-year-old. Wrestling all the time, right?
Rob Smith: Yeah.
Nick: And you watch kids, they fall so much and they hit each other so much. Just without thinking about it. They're so physical.
It makes me think yeah, we're supposed to do that. We're supposed to be on the ground. I think that's part of what's missing in fitness, is just...
Heather: That's what's missing from bodybuilding.
Nick: Impact. That's what I think Doug Kalman, who is a researcher that we've done a bunch of stuff with here, who is the host of the Fitness Foundation series. He's a boxer. He's a little guy, he's very muscular, but he's a middle-aged guy. He boxes. I think there's something to that impact that people still get value out of.
Rob Smith: It's you're alive, man.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Rob Smith: I still like... when you're running at full speed, full stride, 800 meters, or you know you break a line and you're out there, it's no better feeling in the world than running full speed. And then you take that and you run full stride, you're like you're actually full stride, you're like a fucking deer. You know what I'm saying? There's nothing better than that.
You're pushing your body to its... you know? Everything's connected. You know what I'm saying? You're just pushing your body. It's like you tap into that, and you want that. You know what I'm saying?
Nick: That's a powerful feeling.
Rob Smith: Yeah.
Heather: Yeah. But the two sports do kind of complement each other because bodybuilding feels very restrained. You're showing up and you are trying to get every muscle to look perfect for that one moment. There's no movement. I mean there's posing, but you're holding a pose. You're static. And so, to combine a very, very active dynamic sport...
Nick: There's tons of rotation and turns.
Heather: You get kind of the best of both worlds because bodybuilding is challenging in its own way.
Rob Smith: Oh, yeah, totally, yeah.
Heather: You know?
Rob Smith: Uh huh.
Heather: I know guys that will pass out from posing because it's so taxing physically on the body.
Rob Smith: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Totally.
Heather: So, you almost need that other sport to kind of go to to release some of that energy.
Rob Smith: Heck, yeah. Man, I know like posing so hard you walk off the stage and you're like, "Oh, my gosh, these cramps are gonna..." You know, it's like...
Heather: Yeah, cramping up. Yeah, just collapsing back stage.
Rob Smith: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Heather: It's nuts. People don't realize how physical it is 'cause it looks like you're just standing there. That's kind of the illusion of bodybuilding is that it doesn't look nearly as physical as it is.
Rob Smith: Yeah. To stand there and keep a smile, not a weird smile, that's work. You know what I'm saying?
Nick: You gotta smile in the WBFF, right?
Rob Smith: Yeah. The WBFF, you have to smile and you can't... Like, I remember I walked off stage my first show and she was like, "You know, you need to relax your face." I'm like, yeah. She's like, "Like that."
Heather: Relax your face.
Rob Smith: She's like, "You know, you gotta..." Because one minute you're like, "Oh, man, it's GQ smile." Then next minute it's like, "Oh, what the...," you know? So, it's like, yeah. You gotta practice that. Just like anything else, it's a consistency thing.
Heather: Yeah, my favorite part of every show is when they do a posedown and everybody kind of starts moving around a little bit more, 'cause then you just feel that release of energy.
Rob Smith: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But then that's camaraderie, too.
Heather: Yeah, oh, yeah.
Rob Smith: You know what I'm saying? In that action, you actually chill a little bit and everybody's almost like... Not saying, like WBFF is a little bit different than NPC. But for that moment that you're out there kinda like posing down, you're feeding off each other, 'cause you're trying to...
Heather: Yeah, there's a lot of energy at that moment.
Rob Smith: ...outshine that next person. So, yeah, they should just do a posedown probably.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And I mean that's the point when it's like what we're saying, okay, we're not just competing, we're entertaining, too.
Rob Smith: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Nick: Like, this is really a performance.
Rob Smith: Yeah. Heck yeah.
Nick: I want to talk with you a little bit more about keto, too, because this is not something you always did, but it's something that you've gone into a lot more recently, it sounds like. So, what made you sort of lean that direction? What's your experience been like?
Rob Smith: My buddy, Jason Wittrock, man. You know, he's talking about...
Nick: He is one of the ultimate keto...
Rob Smith: Heck, yeah.
Nick: ...shredded guys.
Rob Smith: Nah, you look at his physique and you're like, that's what I want. You know what I'm saying? If I can have that and still play rugby, that's what I want. You know?
Umm, then so he... I mean, that was like my inspiration to even try keto. Then once I actually got into it... I didn't have a lot of the negative effects that a lot of people say you get up front. So, I was like, oh...
Nick: You felt great from the start?
Rob Smith: I felt great, I felt good. I had probably one down day. That was probably like a sodium thing, you know? So, yeah.
And like the biggest thing, too, just bring this back to Everyday Beast, like I'm not a classically-trained chef or anything. But it's like I explore my food. I explore the options and then I come back and like, all right, this works. This is good.
So, keto worked. And it worked amazing. You know? So, it's like, why wouldn't I explore it a little bit more?
Nick: Have you stuck with it?
Rob Smith: No. I've only used it for competitions. But I want to... I'm gonna start a 12-week thing in a couple weeks. I want to use it to try to add some size. So, it's gonna be a new test. And I... Yeah.
Heather: Yeah, interesting. Yeah, 'cause we get lots of questions on that, is how do you bulk...
Rob Smith: With keto.
Heather: When you do keto?
Rob Smith: Yeah.
Heather: Because carbohydrates are the gold standard for...
Rob Smith: Growth.
Nick: Right. And for athletic performance. For a lot... You'll find people say, "Oh, yeah, if keto works well for a bodybuilder preparing for a show. But for somebody on the rugby pitch, they need some carbs."
Rob Smith: Yeah.
Nick: You know? Did you find that you suffered at all there?
Rob Smith: I never... I didn't use it while I was playing that sport.
Nick: Okay. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Rob Smith: But it's interesting. The rugby coach just saw in the article saying that some teams have been researching keto on the effect on rugby players. And they're kind of recommending it. I'll have to shoot you a link about that.
Rob Smith: Yeah. Just saw the pdf yesterday. But yeah, I like... I can eat, I can hit my goals easier doing keto. But my macro goals wouldn't or like my calorie goals. Trying to think, I was about to say something.
Heather: Well, one thing about keto is...
Nick: Did you have any trouble coming back from it? Because that's what we hear more than anything. Is like...
Rob Smith: Oh, man.
Nick: It's great when you're doing it...
Heather: Coming down off ketosis.
Nick: But then you come back after nine months on keto and your body just doesn't know what's coming.
Rob Smith: Yeah. I think... So, I was testing. Like I got ready for my show. This last show I did, I was about, I was ready about two weeks out. Two, three weeks out. I brought carbs back in and it was like, uh oh.
So, it was good to try it out and test it, so I would know what I need to do three weeks later. But it was like I held maybe 10, 12 pounds. Like I gained like a massive amount and then my body held water like crazy.
Nick: Oh, sure.
Rob Smith: So, it was like...
Nick: How did you feel?
Rob Smith: I didn't feel bad. But if I had of waited two weeks later to try that out, it would've been a no no. It would've been a no go. You know? Umm, 'cause your body just sucks that in, just holds on to everything, so like...
Rob Smith: So, I'm 10 pounds heavier, you know?
Nick: Right. Especially when you're depleted from a prep.
Rob Smith: Yeah.
Heather: Oh, yeah.
Rob Smith: Yeah.
Nick: I was talking to one of our contributors who was in the Ms. Olympia back in the '90s. She was saying she was around when creatine just first came out. Creatine monohydrate. A brand that she was sponsored by sent some to her and said, "You gotta try this."
She tried it the day before she got on stage. She was in the hotel room and it was like she just went... instantly. Not because there's something horrible about creatine, yeah, it makes you hold some water. But she was just so depleted as it was.
Rob Smith: Yeah, and that's the thing. When your body's like that, it's gonna be like, who do.
Nick: Whatever you put in it, it's gonna sponge, yeah.
Rob Smith: Yeah.
Nick: Well, Rob, I think we've got what three Everyday Beast videos out?
Heather: I think we have four out now?
Rob Smith: Three from the first season. Then we have four now.
Heather: Four now. Almost five. Probably five by the time we...
Nick: Okay, so by right about the time this comes out, I think we'll have the full slate out there.
Rob Smith: Yeah.
Nick: So, tell us, people who want to find you aside from that. You can go to our Bodybuilding.com YouTube channel, of course. It's a wonderful place to hang out. Where else can people find out about you?
Rob Smith: Check me out on Instagram at robksmith2.
Nick: It's not Everyday Beast at Everyday Beast?
Rob Smith: No.
Nick: Somebody probably already has that, huh?
Rob Smith: We're all everyday beasts. You know what I'm saying? I think the important thing to remember is that Everyday Beast is a call-to-action. You're an everyday beast, you can be an everyday beast.
But no, just check me out on Instagram at robksmith2 or the Bodybuilding.com page has my Rob Smith little clickable link or what not.
Nick: You got a lot of calls-to-action though. Like #letsgrow.
Rob Smith: Let's grow!
Heather: Let's grow.
Nick: #letsgrow. That's one of my favorites. That's the big hashtag.
Rob Smith: Let's grow!
Nick: I guess I made it sound like we're ending the podcast. I wanted to ask you about that, too. Because everybody wants to grow, right?
Rob Smith: Yeah.
Nick: I like that that you always say that. "Let's grow." How do people get growth dead wrong? You feel like?
Rob Smith: How do they get it wrong?
Nick: Yeah. Because that's what... what do they do wrong?
Rob Smith: They look at somebody else's endgame instead of setting the goal for their endgame and then working backwards to see what steps gonna take them to get to that point. You know what I'm saying?
So, if you look at... I think the biggest thing is if you look at somebody else's like endgame, maybe this person's an author, they wrote a book. They wrote a novel. It's like, "Oh, I want to have a novel." Then they get discouraged because they get three pages in and it's like, nah.
If it's a professional sports player, an author, a bodybuilder, what does that look like for you? And how are you gonna get there? I'm gonna start here. It's just taking...
What people get wrong about growth is the lack of patience. It's a lack of understanding and that's where knowledge comes back in. It's like you gotta understand that it's gonna take some time. You can't just do it for two weeks, three weeks, and then expect to be where you want to be.
Just be honest with yourself. Tell the ego, "No." And we're gonna take a little bit longer to hit this goal. So that's what people get wrong about growth. They just look at that final picture and don't really understand the process.
That's why education is so important. That's why setting that foundation, that platform, is the key. I hope that answered the question.
Nick: No, that's perfect. Rob Smith, thanks for coming and talking with us, man.
Rob Smith: Yeah.
Nick Collias: Great to have you on.
Heather Eastman: Thank you.
You're too focused on your goals to waste time in the gym or food in the pantry. WBFF pro Rob Smith shows you how to be efficient in both your workout and in the kitchen with his simple and effective Everyday Beast approach.
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