Podcast Episode 64: Scott Herman - Real World Fitness in The Era of Social Media
YouTube sensation and Real World alum Scott Herman knows there's no BS-ing on social media. After working his way up from maintenance to manager at his local gym and earning his personal training certification in the process, it didn't take long for this natural-born entrepreneur to see the value of YouTube when it was still in its infancy. Fast-forward a decade, and Herman has built an online fitness empire as one of YouTube's best-known authorities on exercise and fitness and a go-to guru for results-driven workouts.
Listen To Podcast Episode #64
Podcast Episode 64: Scott Herman - Real World Fitness in The Era of Social Media. YouTube sensation and Real World alum Scott Herman knows there's no BS-ing on social media. After working his way up from maintenance to manager at his local gym and earning his personal training certification in the process, it didn't take long for this natural-born entrepreneur to see the value of YouTube when it was still in its infancy. Fast-forward a decade, and Herman has built an online fitness empire as one of YouTube's best-known authorities on exercise and fitness and a go-to guru for results-driven workouts.
Publish Date: Monday, May 13, 2019
Behind The Scenes Photo:
Ep. isode 64 Transcript ▼
Scott Herman: It's interesting. Phexpert.
Nick: Feetspert. And over here, hey, it's Scott Herman!
Scott Herman: What's up, guys!
Nick: Scott, I want you to know I wore my Super Mario Brothers socks for you today.
Scott Herman: Oh, nice! Old school. And, um, also... You know there's two Marios. There's Jump Man and Mario. They're different people.
Nick: On my socks? I have no idea which one.
Scott Herman: You have Mario.
Nick: Okay. And then I also brought you a gift. I heard, the other day, that you're a fan of Strawberitas. So, I went down the road and the fine people at Fred G. Meyer were out of Strawberitas, unfortunately. But we've got some Lime-a-ritas here.
Scott Herman: Lime-a-ritas are just as good!
Nick: All right, we've got some Lime-a-ritas for the podcast. You want a Lime-a-rita?
Scott Herman: Hell, yeah!
Nick: It's a fantastic glycogen replenishment.
Scott Herman: Oh, yeah!
Scott Herman: I worked super hard this week!
Nick: This guy's been working pretty hard for Bodybuilding.com this week.
Scott Herman: We had some Lime-a-ritas in the fridge. So, my wife went on a work trip literally the week before I came out here. She was home for two or three days. My wife is like my...
Nick: Ooh, that's sweet!
Scott Herman: My wife's supports me in everything I do, but, she gets really hard on me sometimes. The whole time she's gone, she's like, "You going to the gym today? Did you go tanning today? Did you practice your workouts today?" Yeah, right?
So, she comes home, and then she comes in the room and this is like the day before I came out here. She's like, "I noticed all the Lime-a-ritas are gone out of the fridge!" She goes, "Thought you were on your diet! Supposed to come in shredded!"
I was like, "Babe, they're four-ounce cans!" She's like, "Yeah, but you had..."
Nick: No, eight-ounce.
Heather Eastman: Eight-ounce.
Scott Herman: She's like, "Yeah, but they're all gone!" I'm like, "I had one a night! That's fine!" After a workout.
Nick: Anyway, Scott over here, you know him from a bunch of different places. You have two million or so subscribers on YouTube. He's been on there for 10 years!
Scott Herman: 10 years!
Nick: He's on YouTube. Online coach, fitness model, once upon a time, he was Men's Health's best abs on the east coast.
Scott Herman: Best abs on the east coast.
Nick: And the eastern seaboard is just what's running down the middle of you.
Scott Herman: It was great! Actually, it was cool because I'm the only person to be a pull-out poster for Men's Health three times in one year.
Nick: I didn't know they did pull-out posters in Men's Health.
Scott Herman: Well, yeah.
Heather: I did.
Scott Herman: He just doesn't want to admit that he has all of mine on the wall! I'll come by later and sign them if you want.
Nick: Hey! Scott is also the talent of the new Bodybuilding.com All Access program MetaBurn90. Scott, great to have you here, man.
Scott Herman: Yeah! I'm super pumped to be here! I've been wanting to do some hardcore programs with you guys for a while now. So, it's so great that it worked out and it synced up and we're doing more than just another program on All Access! We're doing something that hasn't been done before. I'm really excited to see the turnout and how people like it.
Nick: Yeah, absolutely. Now, I'm sure that a lot of people who are seeing this on YouTube, they'll look at you and be like, "Oh, yeah, that guy! I know that guy."
Scott Herman: I remember that guy! That guy taught me how to deadlift!
Nick: Right, exactly.
Heather: Funny story. When he showed up, that's exactly what I said. Because he pops up whenever I'm searching for exercise names on YouTube. It's usually Scott Herman Fitness. I'm like, "That guy!"
Scott Herman: Heather and I had a dispute over an exercise name and so she's like, "Well, I'll look it up!" Guess whose video popped up! I was going to say... Well, you're going to have to call it that because...
Nick: If you've been on YouTube for 10 years, you've probably been putting bad information about exercise names up there for 10 years. We've been putting bad exercise name info out there for 20 years, all right?
Scott Herman: Got me beat.
Nick: Before we dive in, I want to talk about the program. I want to talk about what you've been up to, but I wanted to touch a little bit on where you are and where you come from. Obviously you're from the deep south. Everybody can tell.
Scott Herman: Far, far south.
Nick: But you've been living and breathing fitness, what since... forever, right?
Scott Herman: Well, since I was about 12. First started working on when I was 12 years old. Found my dad's old crusty weight equipment in the basement that he should be using. Sorry, dad.
But I found my dad's old weight set in the basement and I started kind of getting a passion for it then and funny thing about that. So, like my older brother, as older brother's do, they like to annoy the younger brother and I was very introverted as a kid. My older brother is like super witty, super quick. You can't say anything to him to try and make fun of him. He has a comeback like instantly. So anyways, one thing that he would like to do while I was lifting is try to make me laugh so I'd drop the bar on my face. Anyways, so that's kind of where it started.
Nick: You had to get stronger otherwise you'd drop the bar on your face.
Scott Herman: Because I would laugh because he'd say something funny but I'm like, "Leave me alone!" So I started working out when I was 12. I wrestled all through, for about 8 years. Did soccer.
Nick: Still wear wrestling shoes.
Scott Herman: Yeah, I like to wear wrestling shoes when I lift. They're super comfortable, familiar, you know? On the wrestling team, I had a buddy named Ryan and he knew that I liked to work out and he actually worked at a local Gold's Gym and he said, "Hey, I work three hours on a Saturday for a free membership. You wanna come down and check it out?"
That's kind of how I got started working in a gym and I just kind of worked my way up. I worked for the same guy for about almost 10 years before I started branching off and doing other things. For the beginning part of my life, I thought I was just going to own a gym because by the time I left and started doing all of this, I was the general manager. I had been groomed. I was head of the training department, head of the gym, general manager, all of that stuff.
Nick: What was your first job at the gym?
Scott Herman: Maintenance.
Nick: Oh, so how old were you?
Scott Herman: I was 14.
Nick: Wow, okay. Okay. That reminds me, I started working at a golf course because I wanted to play golf there and picking up range balls and cleaning toilets. Is that what you were doing?
Scott Herman: Yeah, you just gotta clean.
Heather: That's the first job at almost any gym is like, towel pickup and cleaning equipment.
Scott Herman: Yeah, so my friend, his name is Dave. He was the owner and he loved it because I like to tinker. My brothers and I were very fortunate that our dad taught us how to do a lot of stuff and fix a lot of stuff and so like equipment would break and I'd be like, "Ah, I'll go fix it." He'd be like, "Okay." I'd come back like, "It's all set." He's like, what? You're like 12, how'd you fix this machine?
Scott Herman: So, it worked out great and because I worked so hard as a kid and even when I would clean. You remember back in the day when all the equipment was white? White was the thing. I'd be like on my back like scrubbing the bottom that you couldn't even see getting everything nice and sparkly.
Nick: You'd never know there was anything on the bottom, people putting their gum down there or something?
Scott Herman: Ah, it just gets dirty or scuff marks. I'd lift the weight stack and clean under the stack which kind of ruins it now for me when I go to a gym and I'm lifting and as you lift it up and you see the weight go up and all the dirt and stuff there.
Nick: The bugs run out.
Heather: I'm going to see it now.
Scott Herman: Yeah, I'm like they don't even clean that now.
Nick: What's the worst thing you ever found in a locker during that time?
Scott Herman: Just like gross underwear. Dudes get holes in their underwear and skid marks and then they leave it in the gym locker and I'm like, ugh.
Nick: Not my problem anymore.
Scott Herman: No, not at all. Don't do that anymore. That was probably the grossest stuff we'd ever find. Again, I was a kid. I'd be like, how do you not remember to put your underwear on?
Scott Herman: Why is your underwear in here only?
Yeah, that was where I got my start and then by the time I was 15, I was running the front desk and signing up memberships and stuff. Because Dave would be like, "Hey, I gotta do a quick errand. I'll be back in 10 minutes." Four hours later, I've signed up 20 members, making protein shakes. I always had the drive to just take initiative and get things done. He kind of saw that in me at a very young age and he just kind of groomed me to know how to run a business. I've built three gyms with him. But things change and it was weird for me when I started doing all the social media and TV show and YouTube and everything. I never knew that was even a possibility. Just some kid from Salem, New Hampshire. You know, when I was trying to model, people were like, "How are you going to model? There's no modeling around here."
Scott Herman: Well, yeah, Boston is 30 minutes south. You never think those things are going to happen, you have to make them happen.
Nick: Sure, sure. And you also just need to spend a lot of time hanging out in the gym. It sounds like you're just somebody who the gym just kind of made sense to you from the very start like this is where I want to be.
Scott Herman: You know, it's funny. If you think about who works out, you know, during midday. Either unemployed. You're unemployed or you run your own business.
Nick: Or you work at Bodybuilding.com.
Scott Herman: Or you work at Bodybuilding.com. But because I was so ambitious as a kid and I was always talking to people, saying hello, doing a really good job working hard, it's like a lot of the other people in the gym that were successful, it's kind of like they wanted to take me under their wing. I felt like every day when I was a kid, I'd go to the gym and work, start to make friends with people and I was always being given advice, like life advice from all these people who own businesses and wanted to make sure that I was doing a good job and on the right path. Ifelt like that really helped me. It really helped me learn to take things seriously as a young age.
I had a few friends where they were going to the beach every day in the summer time. They were like "Oh, you wanna come to the beach today?" I'm like, I can't, I have to work. They were like, "Oh, that's stupid."
Heather: Who's stupid now?
Scott Herman: And now, they're the same age as me and they can't hold down a job and it's like because they didn't get that drive pushed into them at a young age.
I mean, don't get me wrong. I went to the beach and had fun, I'm just saying, I couldn't go every single day. I'd come on the weekend or Friday. It's Tuesday, I gotta work.
Nick: So from working on the gym side of things to actually being a trainer, was that a pretty natural transition for you? Like sure, I can teach people how to train, it's not that tough, or was that like a pretty daunting step for you at first?
Scott Herman: No, I just couldn't be a trainer officially until I was 18. So the day I turned 18, I took a NASM test and I was a trainer, within the same week of my birthday. From 14 to 18, I had the chance to work with a lot of the other, obviously, staff members and I was learning everything as I was going along and I had a few workout partners that were a lot older than me that were teaching me a lot of stuff. Compared to what I know now, obviously, a drop in the bucket, but I had enough knowledge to at least take somebody and put them on a fat loss or muscle gain program and I had the passion to get them there, which was very evident when I would talk about it or work with people. So the transition was really easy and I gotta say, if anything in the beginning when I was a trainer, I kind of felt intimidated by the other trainers because they knew so much more than me.
But I also learned at a very young age that people don't care how much you know as long as you can get them results. I remember one time I was sitting there and there was another trainer, this woman, her name was Jen. She was like so, so, so smart, right? And she's trying to sell a training package to a walk-in. And I'm listening to her and she's explaining how every muscle in the body works and how certain food affects you and she's talking about all these things which are really interesting to me, then I looked over at the woman she was talking to and her eyes were like rolling into the back of her head and I was like, you know, maybe I need to learn those things, but that's not the best way to connect with people. People just want to know what to do and then be pointed in that direction.
So, I quickly started... As soon as a walk-in would come in, I'd just take 'em right to the floor and just start showing them how to work out and I'd talk about nutrition while I was having them do exercises, versus sitting them down, making them bored as hell and already starting to hate the gym. I don't want to sit in the chair, I came here to workout. Let's go, you're a trainer!
Nick: Yeah, as we've been here years editing articles from hundreds of different authors, you quickly learn to realize knowledge is valuable, sure. Technique, queues are a dime a dozen and there's no ownership of any of that sort of stuff. Everybody changes over time and there's a lot of stuff that you learn that may be the correct way on one day for one person and it's totally not the right thing for another person on the next day.
Scott Herman: Oh, 100%.
Nick: You as a trainer get to see that before you're out there sending it over social media, right?
Scott Herman: Oh, yeah, well, if I was me now back when I first started being a trainer, so the head trainer of our department he would basically take us down to the gym floor, and this was a really big gym, it was like a 65,000-square foot facility so we had like a line of Techno Gym, a line of Hammer Strength, a line of Life Fitness, you know. He'd be like all right, start your client here and do this machine, this machine, this machine, this machine, this machine.
Nick: Right down the line.
Scott Herman: Yeah, just go right down the line and it made sense, I guess, at that time. Now if I could take those same clients, I'd pick like three exercises and just make them do it on a loop for 30 minutes.
Nick: Pullover machine, man, that's the only one you need.
Scott Herman: Exactly. Some of my overweight clients, I would just make them sit down and stand up like 100 times and then walk up and down the stairs, they would have gotten a better workout. But these are things you learn as you get older. To be honest, that's one of the greatest things about YouTube and about my own channel is that it forces me to do more research and to pay more attention to what I'm teaching and to even go back and look at what I used to preach and see if it still applies today. It's like people on YouTube nowadays are very smart and they know if you're BS-ing.
Nick: Oh, yeah.
Scott Herman: So it's like, you can't. You have to really know what you're talking about, you can't just throw a random workout or a random exercise and just make random claims anymore because you'll get ripped apart real quick.
Nick: For sure. You were a super early adopter on YouTube and YouTube Fitness. How was that transition for you? Did you feel like, obviously, I have something to say, this is going to be my future, I'm going to develop this or at first were you like, eh, this is just something I'm doing, I'm really a trainer at heart?
Scott Herman: Yeah, so what happened was from 14 to 23, like I said I worked in a gym and then when I was 23, I went on "The Real World: Brooklyn” which was in New York City. At that point in time in my life, I was doing the Men's Health modeling and I was starting to get into the entertainment world and I was like, "Hey, maybe this is for me,” which my buddy David did not like...
He's like, "There's people out there that are bigger than you and more ripped than you." He was like, "How do you think you're going to be able to go and do this?" And I'd be like...
Nick: Is that why you didn't have a shirt on in the first video?
Scott Herman: Exactly. Well, because he loved me and he wanted to make sure I didn't end up living in a cardboard box. But anyways so, I would say to him "I don't know, Dave, but I'm going to be rich!" And he gets so pissed, because I'm a dreamer you know. I'm a dreamer and it's nice to have people in your life that are more realistic. Like me and my wife, like I'm always over here and she's always back on Earth pulling me down.
Nick: "Where are the Strawberitas? Where are the Strawberitas, who drank..."
Scott Herman: But at the same time, like, that's why my wife and I get along so great because I pull her... You know, she's a chemical engineer, so she's very logical thinking, except for when we're fighting, then she's very emotional. But there's that tug of war that happens, which is great.
So, anyways, so we're on the Real World, I was pursuing modeling and acting and then after the show, I was living in New York City, in the lower-east side, for about a year and a half. And I was going on castings, and trying to make it work. I just started missing the gym. When you basically live in a gym, at the point when I was a general manager, I would just sleep there sometimes. I'd be there 15 hours. It just felt like home. I just wake up and all my friends are coming to see me at that point. You know what I mean?
Nick: Where do you sleep in a gym? What's the secret?
Heather: Usually in the kid's area, like the...
Nick: Oh, yeah, you've done this.
Heather: I know this sounds weird, but that because they have all the pads and the squishy stuff so you can kind of, yeah...
Scott Herman: Yeah, you have all the pads. You can bring a pillow and sleep on one of the...
Nick: Snuggle with animals.
Scott Herman: The tanning beds.
Heather: Oh, yeah, totally.
Scott Herman: We had a massage room, we just sleep on the floor in there. I'm like, "Why go home, just to wake up and come here when I have showers, I have music, I can work out some more if I want." But I just, I started missing engaging with people and helping people. And so, I was like, "Well, this YouTube thing is new. Maybe I can just sit down in my apartment and just make some videos about topics to try to teach people how to do stuff."
Scott Herman: That's basically kind of what started it. And so there was this guy named Ben Ling who worked over at the Google head offices in New York and he watched my season of Real World, and he contacted me. He's was like, "Hey, I see you're doing YouTube. Why don't you come down to the YouTube offices, I want to show you how YouTube works and what you can do with it." And he kind of explained to me that YouTube can be this platform where you can actually earn income by making videos and being consistently uploading and so, I had to make a decision.
Did I want to continue to pursue my dream of modeling and acting in the city? Or, go home and start a business. And it was right around that time, too, because you know on the Real World you do the challenges? And I really wanted to do a challenge.
I just wanted to smash all those kids. They called me and they're like, "Hey, we're doing a challenge. Do you want to do it?" It was of those decisions in my life where I feel like if I were to have done the challenge, I wouldn't be here today with you guys. Because the challenge is a three-month commitment. You have no internet, no phone, so, that was a crucial time for me to get this business started. And I said, "You know what, I'm not going to do the challenge. I'm going to move back home, I'm going to go back to the gym that I was general manager at." I went to work as a trainer, not as a general manager again. I was going to work there as a trainer while I build up this YouTube thing.
And so, every week, two or three times a week as soon as the gym would close at 10 o'clock, I had a couple clients that I trained. A gay couple, Cliff and Tom, my favorites, and they would help me film my videos every single night. Well, not every night, like three nights a week from 10 o'clock at night until one or two in the morning we would just do all the videos. So, all the videos that you guys see where the gym is empty and says, "Answer is fitness," and it's dark outside, that was because it was 12 o'clock at night. We were just filming the videos, and we used to have so much fun! It was great. I kind of miss those days you know? It was awesome.
Nick: Right. Yeah, I know and a lot of guys eventually, once they get used to it, then they build their own gym, work out at home, just to have control over that. Do you feel like you still really like just the gym setting with people in a real gym? Or are you kind of seeing the appeal of, like, "Yeah, I like doing this at home."
Scott Herman: Well, before I moved to Florida, I just moved to Florida about six months ago. I had a separate studio which did give me control, which made it a lot easier to film exercise videos. Even when I did my original videos gym was closed, so I could go over to a machine I could talk, say what I needed to say, and do multiple takes. I do like filming in a gym, but some gyms they don't allow you to do it, you know? And that was actually one of the hardest things I was worried about moving to Florida was, I no longer have these five or six gyms that I can just go to and...
Nick: Privileges, yeah.
Scott Herman: Yeah just go to and film, I had to kind of restart that process of finding gyms that will let me film. And I've actually been able to do it. Luckily, because fitness is so popular in Florida, it's always warm, a lot of the general managers or people that work at the gyms that I'm going to down there, they know of me and my channel. Like, "Yeah, come in and film any time." But I'm actually building my home studio in my house right now. So, I'm actually really excited because my floor got delivered yesterday. So, when I get home I can lay down the rubber floor and start building the equipment and I can start doing basically everything from home, which is going to be awesome.
Nick: Yeah. Yeah, control the lighting, have all that equipment you want, that's pretty sweet.
Heather: Basically, an at-home studio.
Scott Herman: Yeah. Well because before, to film a 10 minute video I had to pack my car, drive 15 minutes to my studio. If it was winter time, it's New Hampshire, I had to heat it up first. Unpack all my stuff, check the lighting, and then by the time that you're ready to start filming your video you don't even want to do it anymore. You know? There's really a lot that goes with being a creator. And once you're in that creative process and you have the inkling to do something, you want to just do it. And once that feeling is gone, you don't want to do it anymore.
It's kind of like when you see movies with painters or artists and they're kind of crazy, and they wake up at like three in the morning and they just start throwing paint on canvas. It's kind of the same thing. You just get an idea, you want to just get the idea done. But then once you're held back by two hours of setting up, you're like, "Well, I don't want to do this anymore." But, yeah.
Heather: So, that's a good tie in to this MetaBurn90 program that we just finished. Just wrapped what, yesterday?
Scott Herman: Yeah.
Heather: Yeah, filming. Because we talked about how you do a lot of these exercise videos and then you sat down and kind of created this program, but then you had to come out here and film it.
Scott Herman: Yeah.
Heather: And we were talking about this the other day, how writing it down on paper and then actually, to use your analogy, getting into the studio and throwing paint on the canvas.
Scott Herman: Yeah, exactly.
Heather: Can you just, share with us what that experience felt like? From creating it at home to actually coming here and doing it.
Scott Herman: So, it's funny. So, when creating this program, obviously the goal behind it was, "How can I create a program where I'm taking exercises that are familiar to anyone and make them want to try it, but at the same time not making the exercises so basic that you don't get the results that you want."
Nick: Right, it's a follow-along program, to be clear. Yeah.
Scott Herman: Yeah, it's a follow-along program. And so, you see videos sometimes for these super hardcore intense workouts, which those are great, they have their spot. But our vision, when we had our meetings and we talked about, "What are we trying to do with this program, who are we going after?" And it's like, "Well, we're kind of going after the general population, but we what the program to work whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced."
And so, I'm creating the exercises and I'm doing different variations of the exercises, because the program has six phases, and then the biggest thing that changes is as we're filming it, you know, practicing an exercise... So, for example, one of the last workouts we film was Rapid Body Fat Shredder. And you have to do burpees with dumbbells in your hands, and then the next exercise right after that is something called the sit through, and this is a more-advanced workout in the program, so you do sit through with a dumbbell in your hand, which if you do burpee with dumbbell you're like, "Oh yeah, this is tiring, but I can get through it." And then you practice the sit through with dumbbells in your hands, and you're like, "Oh, yeah, this is actually pretty cool, but I can do this."
Then you do them one after another for 30 seconds, and you're like, "Oh, my God, why did I put these exercises together in this program?" And it's like...
Nick: Shoulder burner.
Scott Herman: Dude, a lot of the more advanced workouts in the program, like, you look at the exercise list and that's what a lot of people on set said. It's like you look at the exercises and you're like, "Oh, yeah, I can do that, I can do that, I can do that. Yeah, that's not a problem." And then after about a minute and a half of doing it, you're like, "Oh my God, why do I feel this way?"
Scott Herman: But that was the point. The point was to show, like, "Hey, we can take these exercises that you're familiar with, and we can build a strong foundation for you throughout the beginning phases of the program, and then build enough strength and flexibility in your body, and mobility, that by the time you get to the more intense version of those exercises, you can do it." And you're still getting a great workout, you don't have to do like a back flip or anything crazy to change things up.
Nick: Right. And having watched a bunch of your videos, you have a history of doing a lot more muscular stuff, strength stuff, really focusing on the basics. Not as much of this sort of follow-along workout, sort of thing.
What was the appeal of this and why is this... They're so popular right now, right? What is the appeal of this right now do you think?
Scott Herman: Well, I used to do a lot of follow along-style workouts, and what I really enjoyed about them was making the titles. I always came up with...
My wife would always tell me, "You're really good at coming up with fun titles to the workouts." And I stopped doing ‘em for a while just because the shift on YouTube was, what was getting more views was like, "Five reasons for this." Or, "Two reasons to not do that."
Yeah. And those videos still do well but it's kind of shifted back now to the follow along. And it was great timing when BB.com reached out to me because, now that my gym is in my house, I want to start doing a weekly or biweekly live workout on my YouTube channel. Because I really want to take advantage of the live feature on YouTube, but just sitting there and talking live? To me it's like, yeah, it's great and it's fine, or...
Like for example, I tried taking the camera into my studio and demonstrating exercises live, people just want to talk to you at that point, you know? And it's hard to keep up.
Scott Herman: But if it's a live, follow-along workout, at least they're being given something to do. And it doesn't matter if you're not talking directly to them because you're pushing them through a workout. Do you know what I mean?
Scott Herman: And there's some people that might not even do the workout, but they want to watch it because it's going to motivate them to go work out later with whatever workout they're doing.
And so, I just, I decided "Hey, I want to start taking advantage of the shift that's going back towards follow-along workouts." And now that I have the home gym and I have really great network that I built, so I can do live stuff on my iPhone and not have to worry about Internet connectivity, because that was another big issue I had at my studio, is I tried to do the live workouts at my studio, but Comcast, if you guys ever heard of that Internet company?
Nick: Oh, yeah.
Scott Herman: They're terrible. And it would just lag, and I couldn't do it. So now it's like, things happen for a reason like they say, and now we got the Bodybuilding.com follow-along workouts coming out, I'm going to be doing it live on my channel, it just syncs so well with each other.
Nick: One thing I like about it is that you're doing it this way as a follow-along, thinking somebody might actually follow along with you. It makes you focus on simplicity and equipment a little bit more, too.
Scott Herman: Oh, yeah.
Nick: It's like, "Yeah, we're not wheeling out the pullover machine for this one." It's, "All right, we're going to use our bodies, we're going to use dumbbells." What else do you really need? You're just moving, you know.
Scott Herman: Well, I feel like when the trainer has to do the actual program, then they have to really think about what they're doing. We've talked about this, Heather, all of these online trainers, you're paying these guys a couple of hundred bucks for a program and you get a one-sided PDF with like 30 bicep exercises for a bicep workout, and it's like, "It doesn't have to be like that, that's terrible." It's like, "Keep it simple." And simplicity is going to drive more results because if a program is easy to follow, people will follow it. You know?
Heather: I mean, it does look really simple on the page. You know, we're sitting there looking at the workout written out and it looks simple, and then you've got these two pros behind you that are following along with you...
Scott Herman: Yeah, they're no slouches.
Heather: No these are two fitness people that do this every day and they're struggling, and you're struggling, and what I loved about the program is you're actually, you can see the sweat in your eyes, it's intense. And so, watching that I kept kind of running through my mind like, "Who?" And I'd come back to the office and talk to people and they're like, "So, who is this really for? Who is going to be interested in this program?" And that's kind of my question to you is, who do you think is going to really get the most out of this program?
Scott Herman: I mean it's an interesting point that you bring up, and I think the members on the team, Amber and Lee, they're both in phenomenal shape. They're no slouches when it comes to fitness, like you said, and it just goes to show you that the program is designed for, like I said earlier, really for anyone.
Anyone who, obviously if you're trying to pack on 40 pounds of muscle, it's not a muscle-building program, specifically geared towards building huge biceps, huge chest. It is a muscle-building program in terms of, "Yes, you will build the foundation. Yes, you're going to burn calories, you're going to shred fat, you're going to build lean muscle, and you're going to have an amazing physique. You're gonna look aesthetic." But you're not building 30-inch biceps with this program, it's just not what it's geared towards.
Nick: 30 inches.
Scott Herman: I mean I don't know if I'll ever get there but, even if I just get really angry one day, you know they'll just... AGGHHH!
But, the program is designed for anybody who wants to take their fitness to the next level from home, they don't want to go to the gym. I mean you could take the program with you to the gym if you have access to set up your phone or something to follow along, and you want to use the open space.
Nick: More common than you think.
Scott Herman: Yeah, I see it a lot lately, too. But the program is going to take you whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced athlete, the first phase is going to get you familiar with the movements, get familiar with the program, the first phase is two weeks. And as soon as you hit phase two, no matter fitness level you're at, you're going to be feeling it.
Because not the majority of people who work out, even if they do circuit-style training, they're not doing it the way this program is programed. They're not doing 30 seconds rest, or 15 seconds rest, 30 seconds of work and like, go, go, go, go, go, go, go. A lot of people tend to be like, "Okay, I'll do a Tabata work out. Oh, I'm a little tired, so let me hit pause on my timer and pick up the workout later."
When doing it, follow along with myself, Lee, and Amber and you see us struggling, and pushing ourselves to stick to the rest periods and work periods, you kind of feel like a douche if you didn't keep up. "I can't hit pause, they're doing it, I have to do it, too." You know.
Nick: One thing I like about that is that so much of it is time-based. It also allows somebody to control the pace a little bit, though. You're not saying, "Oh, my god, it's twelve and I'm going to get to twelve, or I'm going to fail at ten," or whatever. You have 30 seconds a lot of time, you're just working, there's no counting involved. That can almost be a little liberating for people, I think.
Scott Herman: Yeah, I agree with you, 100 percent. So, for me, as an instructor, what I like best about time-based workouts, is, I'm the type of person, I respond very well to knowing how much time is left over. I hate when I'm in the gym and someone comes over to spot me, and in my head, I'm already doing my last one or two, and they're like, "Come on, three more." It's like, "Bro, I can't do three more just because you came over here and said, "Come on, do three more." I know my limit.
But for people who don't know their limits, if you know there's 10 seconds left, 5 seconds left, because I do a lot of calling out, it's very important to me to make sure that I have a clear view of the timer when I do these types of workouts, because I can say, "Come on push it, you're half-way there."
If you're about to die, say you're doing a burpee, and I say, "you're halfway there", it kind of gives you a bit more energy, because you're like "oh, I'm half way there, okay I can go a little more," and then I start going "5, 4, 3, 2, 1 " and if you know I'm going to do that call out every single time, if you got one or two left in the tank maybe, you're going to be more willing to just do those last few reps because you know you get a designated rest period as soon as I say one.
I think that goes a long way in the terms of motivation and teaching people to build the stamina, and the mental capability to push themselves to that level. Because not everybody is born with that, I feel like I was. When I was a kid, I would always try to do things as long as I could.
For example, I remember once I was like eight or nine, and my stepdad needed me to move all these cinder blocks, you know. And I'm like, "I'm going to see how long I can hold them until they fall out of my fingers," you know. My forearms would be screaming, but I would do that, to me it was a game. Not a lot of people like to play that way, but I feel like a timer helps them learn to start to like it, at least when it comes to working out.
Nick: And for a follow-along workout, having a little bit of scaling, too, can be really nice. You can follow this person at this level of intensity, this person at this level of intensity. How is that factored into this?
Scott Herman: So, a lot of things that I say, too, I'll say, "Hey, I don't care if you do ten reps, five reps, four reps. I don't care how much weight you use, gauge how you feel." Because I lot of these workouts, you're doing the same group of exercises three time in a row.
So, let's say we just finish a group of three exercises and one of the exercises requires dumbbells. I'll say, "Now, if it was too easy, go up in weight. If it was too hard, go down in weight. The only thing I don't want you to do is stop." It doesn't matter how much weight you're are lifting, how many reps you're doing, all that matters is that you're doing as much as you can. You're not afraid to push yourselves and work a little harder than maybe you would if I wasn't there coaching you and pushing you forward.
Nick: So, speaking of equipment, how much equipment is necessary?
Scott Herman: For this program, I mean, I'd go as little as five-pound weights as high as maybe twenty, twenty-fives.
Nick: That's it, pair of dumbbells. I like it.
Heather: A pair of dumbbells. Yeah.
Scott Herman: Yeah, that's it. For most people, you could probably get away with a pair of tens and fifteens. And that's another thing, on day one and two, Lee and Amber are like, "How much weight should we grab?" And I've filmed a lot of programs like this in the past, so I'm like, "Listen, you probably don't want to hear this, get the tens. Because we've got a lot of workouts to film and you're going to get tired real quick if you grab those fifteens. I know you want to look cool on camera but also we are here to demonstrate and teach, so we can't exactly push ourselves to the absolute limit, because then we're going to be falling all over the place. We still have to keep it going." But I'll tell you what, man, those ten-pound dumbbells they get heavy real quick.
Heather: They still pretty much push themselves to the limit.
Nick: And people don't get that. Especially if they have been lifting for a while. I see people down in the gym here, who I've watched them just do pretty standard bodybuilding workouts for years, kind of getting called by the follow-along workouts a little bit. They're like, "I want to try FYR, I'm going to try Scott Herman" and they are surprised. I see them going to the smaller dumbbells and all of a sudden, all of that ego that sometimes, when you're just hanging out at a lat pulldown machine all day, you can kind of pretend, "Yeah, yeah, I'm getting stronger..."
Scott Herman: Using all that momentum...
Nick: You can't fake it anymore, man.
Scott Herman: Yeah, using all that momentum, not really focusing on the muscles properly. I mean I walk into a gym, I can deadlift 500 pounds, I can squat 315 for reps, I'm still going to get those tens, and have those fifteens to the side and see how I feel first. Because, it's a totally different way of training, but I'll tell you what though, if you get guys and girls to get out of the gym doing traditional workouts, and do a follow-along program like this, and they start working muscles that they haven't really touched before, all the stabilizers and the areas of movement that you can't get from a traditional workout, and they get strong from that, after 90 days and go back to their old workout, they're going to see so progression, like really fast.
Now their bodies are conditioned a different way. Their muscles have been pushed a bit further, past their limits, and now you take them out of that, go back to the traditional bodybuilding, you're going to be stronger. You will, I've done it myself, you will see a difference in strength.
Heather: Taking it back to what you said earlier, this is almost your answer to the you from 14 years ago who is watching your boss say, "Do this machine, this machine, this machine, this machine..."
Scott Herman: Oh, yeah.
Heather: And I think the longest workout has maybe nine exercises in it. It's not that many exercises. It's a lot. It's a lot of core work, you even have mobility work in the program.
Scott Herman: That mobility routine, the mobility routine was the only routine I like pulled a muscle in my leg. It's not a hardcore workout, but afterwards I looked at Lee and I was like, "I think I pulled something in my calf" and he starts laughing at me. He's like, "The one routine you're going to hurt yourself on is the mobility routine." It's like, "Well, I guess I wasn't as mobile as I thought." You know.
Nick: I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm sure that won't happen to anybody who follows the program.
Scott Herman: Well, we filmed mobility after like, five days of all the other workouts. I'm sure my muscles were like "Bro, give me a break. We've already filmed twelve routines."
Nick: They were only accustomed to like contraction at that point. No stretching, just give us sweet contraction.
Scott Herman: Yeah, exactly.
Heather: It's a serious mobility routine though, because when we were going through the exercises, I tried to do a couple of them and I'm like, "Nope, nope, can't stretch like that."
Nick: Having that little tonic routine, that mobility routine in there can be such a game changer for people though. Everybody's so accustomed to think in terms of, "All right, on my work day, I just work myself to the bone. On my rest day, I just totally collapse and don't do anything." That middle ground can just be a fantastic thing for somebody to have.
Scott Herman: One thing we wanted to have, we wanted to start getting everyone doing the program familiar with active rest. Active rest can be doing the mobility routine, or just doing ten or fifteen minutes on cardio.
My wife and daughter, they go to the gym a lot together, and they have been hitting it hard, we just moved into our house December 15th, so we're all kind of getting settled. While I've been gone, my wife and daughter have been going to the gym together almost every single day. They are like, "Oh my god, we are so sore, we haven't really trained in three weeks, we've been so busy." And I'm like, "Guys, just go to the gym, put the treadmill on like a five or six incline and just walk for ten or fifteen minutes. You're going burn some calories and you're going to feel a lot better."
Scott Herman: You know, and it works. Active mobility is better than just a pure rest day.
Nick: Right, we were just talking about this this morning, we're calling it steps and reps. So, Charles Staley, one of our writers who has been around for a million years, he's a big believer that, every day you meet your steps, and then you lift weights, and that can be enough. You know just keep moving, and do your steps and do your reps, it's not a bad way to approach it, that intensity is just so addictive sometimes.
Scott Herman: Well, that's the problem with traditional workouts. So, a question I get asked a lot, from my subscribers, is "What's the best workout to do?" Because you've got, five-day split where you train every muscle group once a week. You've got push, pull, legs, where you train every muscles group sometimes twice a week, depending on how you schedule it. Then you've got full body, where you can do two to three times a week. So, what do you do? There's so many different things you can do.
I basically say it to them like this, "If you are looking to pack on as much muscle as you can in the shortest amount of time, then you need to do a program that allows you to train your muscle groups multiple times a week." Which is like a push, pull, legs or full body. Then, so many people go to the gym and it's like, bicep day, tricep day, chest day, and I was just talking with somebody at the gym before I came out here.
This dude he's like, "Oh, I'm getting ready for a show, but I need to bring up some lagging body parts, and I need to work on my bicep peaks."
I'm like, "How often do you train biceps?" He was like, "I train biceps once a week". I'm like, "So what do you do? You basically like hit them once a week and you hit them so hard that you can't even touch them again for six days because they are so sore." He's like, "Yeah."
Then I'm like, "Well, there's your problem. The anabolic window is only going to be open for about 24 to 36 hours after you train a muscle. Soon as that time limit is up, your muscles are okay again to be trained. But if you're absolutely killing and destroying the muscle, by the time the anabolic window closes, you can't train it again because you're too sore."
So, for a lot of people, it's hard for them to learn, like, "Hey, if I bring the intensity down from like super crazy to like above average, where I'm breaking down the muscle, I'm getting movement, and I'm getting a pump. I'm doing like maybe 12 to 15 working sets and I'm done. I leave feeling a little bit sore, but not deathly sore the next day. Then they can hit the muscle again two days later. And then two days later after that.
And so, it's almost like a "less is more” kind of thing, and that's what's great about programs like this. You're working the same muscles multiple times a week. And that's why, maybe with an at-home program you're not going to build like I said the 30-inch biceps because it's not geared towards bodybuilding, it's geared towards lean muscular aesthetic physique. But you're going to get results really fast because you're training the same body parts multiple times a week, the way the program is designed.
Nick: Awesome. Scott Herman, thanks for talking to us, man. The program is MetaBurn90. It's on Bodybuilding.com All Access. And where else are you online for people to find you?
Scott Herman: You can find me on YouTube and Instagram at Scott Herman Fitness. My website is Muscular Strength and then, if you are into gaming and you want to get wrecked, you can go to "OhTheHermanity" on YouTube.
Nick: Oh, the Hermanity...
Heather: Oh, the Hermanity!
Scott Herman: And I'll be more than happy to beat you in Super Smash Bros or Call of Duty.
Heather Eastman: It feels like a missed opportunity for this program. Oh, the Hermanity.
Nick Collias: Awesome. Scott Herman.
Scott Herman: Lime-a-rita! Thank you, guys! Pleasure.
Build pecs that look like a Roman breastplate with BSN-sponsored athlete Scott Herman's two-part chest program.
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