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episode #356

Interview with Justin Groth: Bodybuilding, Tracking Protein, and Overcoming Plateaus!

May 13, 2024 in Podcast


This week I interviewed former natural bodybuilder, personal trainer and podcast host Justin Groth!

In this episode, Justin shares his journey into bodybuilding and the lessons he has learned along the way. He also discusses the myths and misconceptions surrounding bodybuilding, such as the belief that lifting weights will make women bulky.

Justin highlights the need for individualized training and nutrition plans, as well as the importance of mindset and behavior change in achieving fitness goals. He also provides insights into his own training and nutrition protocols and offers tips for individuals looking to regain their body and mind!

Brian (0s):

Coming up on the GET, LEAN Eat, Clean Podcast.

Justin (4s):

So for me, I hit, I try to hit at least 225 to 250 grams of protein a day. Wow. I try to go about a gram 1.25 to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight. Wow. So my clients, so I owe, even for my male, my female clients, I always hit them at a gram per pound. I don't care. And if they're super heavy, like, let's say they're 200 pounds and they come into me, I'm probably not gonna put them at 200 grams of protein. I'm probably gonna put them on what their lean mass is, what I might presuppose or lean masses. So maybe for a 200 pound individual that looks like 130, 140 pounds, give or take, I'm gonna put them at that mark first and then go from there.

Brian (47s):

Hello and welcome to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. I'm Brian Gryn, and I'm here to give you actionable tips to get your body back to what it once was, five, 10, even 15 years ago. Each week, I'll give you an in depth interview with a health expert from around the world to cut through the fluff and get you long term sustainable results. This week I interviewed former natural bodybuilder personal trainer and podcast host Justin Growth. We discussed his journey into Bodybuilding and the lessons he's learned. We also got into the myth and misconceptions surrounding Bodybuilding itself and the belief that lifting weights will make women bulky. He highlights the need for indivi individualized training and nutrition plans, as well as the importance of mindset and behavior change in achieving your fitness goals.

Brian (1m 33s):

Really enjoyed my interview with Justin. I know you will too. Thanks so much for listening and enjoy the show. All, right, Welcome to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn and Justin Groan. Welcome to the show.

Justin (1m 46s):

Thanks, Brian. Thanks for having me, bud.

Brian (1m 49s):

Take two. Justin and I tried recording a week ago. It didn't quite work out, but we're back at it here. Yeah. And Justin, yeah. Glad to have you on Trainer, former natural bodybuilder, right? Yes. Podcast host of Straight From The Chest Podcast. And maybe give the audience a little backstory of yourself and how you, you know, got into Bodybuilding. I know you have a, you have a studio as well where you train out of as well, correct?

Justin (2m 19s):

Yeah. Personal training. Yep.

Brian (2m 21s):


Justin (2m 22s):

So I got into Bodybuilding really probably later on in life. I started when I was about 20, 21 years old. And it was just came out of a, a situation of trying to find my, you know, I hate to say it like this, but trying to find my identity, man. Like in high school, I always navigated towards what other people were doing. And I, and I, there was something I felt biologically wrong with that. Like, I, I didn't feel like I was a follower. I felt like I was a leader. And I, and I just always had that underpinning with me. But I didn't know quite how to extract it. I didn't know even how to identify it. And I, I basically make a long story short, I ended up dieting to get very, very s skinny.

Justin (3m 4s):

And for context, I was never a hefty person. I was never a really, really lean person. I was kind of right in the middle. I'm five 11, I was 5 11, 1 70 when I was in high school. So I was normal body weight. But for me, And what I compare myself to, it wasn't it, it wasn't, it wasn't where I should be. I felt like I should have been a little bit leaner, less pudgy around the waistline, et cetera. Right. So I ended up dieting, dieting really, really extensively. And I just didn't know any better. So I just did the best I know, which was eat little and do lots of cardio. I ran everywhere, skateboard everywhere, did all that. And I got to a point where I was really, really anorexic and I needed intervention, basically.

Justin (3m 47s):

I don't, I'm trying not trying to make it into a big ordeal, like inter, you know, using the buzzword of intervention But. It really was like, it was a, it was a self-imposed intervention on myself. I, I went to my family and said, look, I need help. 'cause I know with my addictive personality, I'm not gonna reverse this. Or if I do reverse, it's not gonna be for quite a while where damage has already been done. And they knew that, and they were helpful enough to, to guide me towards a nutritionist and then a personal trainer. So I started to revert things, and I went the opposite direction, started to put on a little bit of muscle mass, and I noticed something about the sport of body, the sport of weightlifting. When I got involved with it, it was something that I can, I, I did with so much more discipline than I did anything else in my life with Now, I played sports in my earlier days of baseball, basketball, I was never really competitive with those things.

Justin (4m 40s):

And I never really cared a lot about those sports. I never cared to get better at them. I, and for some reason, the, the notion of lifting weights, I gravitated towards that, even though it was way more challenging than anything I'd ever done sports-wise in the past. But for some reason that called my name. And I also was really good at it. And I realized that a, at a really quick, I guess really early on, I should say that I was really good at it, and I was compelled to keep doing that. And then that fed the, a I have addictive personality, like I just mentioned. So that fed the addictive personality. And I went from one end of the spectrum to the whole opposite end of the spectrum.

Justin (5m 21s):

And then that led into me being, you know, competing. Obviously I competed naturally, like you just mentioned in the, in the introduction. And that was my own moral pursuit. I mean, I just did that because that was something that I didn't, I've never done any drugs. I've never drank. I've never been high, never been drunk, never in my life, and even current day. And I'm 39 years old. So that, that was something that I just, it never was an option to me, even though it was an option. So anyways, I didn't do that. I, I always just took over the counter stuff, whatever I could get my hands on, creatine, glutamine, branch amino acids, you know, all the whole gamut of things.

Justin (6m 1s):

And that helped me to have an edge, but I never traveled down that path. And again, moral pers it was just my moral perspective over things. Now that led to me being a personal trainer, because in my gym, a lot of people notice my body transformation, and they always ask me, or they started to ask me, I should say, you know, what, are you doing that for Justin? Why do you train that way? Or what exercise for, can you come, can you come watch me do this and make sure my form's correct, et cetera. And I realized that I really loved to pour into people the knowledge that I had that I've accrued from Bodybuilding and doing it competitively, just training myself, you know, and ended up turning into a career. Right.

Justin (6m 41s):

And, and really that's what I ended up doing at Mobile for a while, going to people's houses, doing it, doing it at mobile. And then I landed up me to opening up a brick and mortar soon after that, or soon not, not so long after that, I should say.

Brian (6m 55s):

And where's your brick and mortar located? So

Justin (6m 57s):

We're in Aurora, Grande, California, which is probably smack DI always call it smack dab between the areas of LA and San Francisco. We're right in the middle. It's called the Central Coast of California. And so, yeah, that's where we're at.

Brian (7m 11s):

Very cool. And, what would you say, I mean, being in the natural Bodybuilding space, like what, what are some of the biggest things you've learned about just competing in your body when, when it, when it comes to Bodybuilding that you sort of can apply today? Well,

Justin (7m 27s):

I learned that you, you'll never look like the freaks on stage. I mean, that's just first and foremost. And that I've learned also that most people that claim that they're natural really aren't, and they hide behind that, that red veil of, of that, that ex that transparency. And a lot of people in the fitness industry want to take credit for what they haven't gained themselves. And that all is the body that's representative of the body and representative of the strength numbers. And it's something that is not talked about often, although it's being a little bit more, I guess it is being a little bit more expressed throughout the different mediums.

Justin (8m 8s):

Like, so like social media, Instagram, YouTube, et cetera. People are coming out more forth, they're becoming more forthright with it. But still, most people do not do not ex, you know, they're not transparent with the fact that they do do some type of sarm, steroid, et cetera. And it's really sad because that's, these are, we got youth coming into the fitness industry and they're just, they're, they're just overly compelled by what they see on social media, and they wanna emulate that. And they think that the way to do it is, let me just eat my ass off and train my ass off, and I'm gonna get those same results.

Justin (8m 50s):

And there's so many variables that go into play with developing a body, and most, most of the variables, they're not even, they're not even being transparent with. And so it leaves a lot of, it leaves a lot of, I guess it leaves a lot of people in the dark about how to navigate the fitness. And then they get, they end up, they don't get the results that they want because they're comparing themselves to someone like Bradley Martin or someone. And I'm just using, I'm just using vast comparisons here. I'm not trying to put a trigger on Bradley or, or anything like that, but you take people like Bradley or Kai, or I'm sorry, like Cali muscle, and these guys, they're not necessarily saying they're not on drugs, but they're not saying they're not.

Justin (9m 34s):

And these people are looking at these people and thinking that this physique is like, attainable. And it's just not, I mean, for one, you might not even have the genetic makeup as these guys do. And then two, you're not, you don't know what kind of drugs they're taking, and they're, they might be taking like everything under the sun and you just don't know. You think all they're taking is pre-workout and food and, and protein and eating lots of food and training their ass off. But anyways, it's, it is definitely a, a muddy message that, that people are sending to the youth that are just getting into training and they're not being openly honest with what really is involved with it.

Brian (10m 15s):

Yeah, no, I hear you. I mean, especially now, like with social media and everyone's Instagram page is pictures upon pictures of like, almost perfection. And I think it does sort of makes, I would hate, well I hate being like a, a kid growing up nowadays, it's definitely probably a little bit more difficult, especially if you're really conscious about your body and about your image and things like that. As I would imagine a lot of high schoolers are, I've actually taken a hiatus from social media and like, not that I was necessarily all over it, but like, it's, it's sort of a nice break. And I would recommend that to anybody, you know, no matter the age. Like you don't have to be off at all together, but, you know, go, go a day here and there, take a day a week of just not being on it.

Brian (11m 2s):

We just get caught up in all that. What, what kind of client, what's your typical client like at your studio that you see

Justin (11m 10s):

Really between the ages of 30 and 50? That's generally female. Generally sedentary generally just wants to get a little bit stronger, feel a little bit better, be able to move and feel strong while they're moving. And, and, and, and then also having a, have some type of accountability when it comes to what they're eating and kind of an outline of what to eat, And what not to, what to steer clear of or how to control their behaviors or their habits when it comes to eating. That's generally the, the, the main populace in my, in my business.

Brian (11m 49s):

And where do you start with most people? Do you start with, this is a question that comes up for me a lot. Like, do you start with, okay, let's get you going, let's get your fitness goals in line, and then we'll focus on maybe food and nutrition or like where, or do you do it all together or where do you typically start with the client?

Justin (12m 7s):

Man, it really depends on our sit down, our consultation that we have, where they, where they want to take this in the beginning. Some people are really gung ho, some people are just like, they, they tread lightly. And you, you as the professional, have to be able to take into consideration these cues that you're getting from the conversation and only dispense with suggestions that are going, that are gonna make this person more productive. And they're gonna ins and really stimulate them and not, not make them think that they're opening this Pandora's box of dread where, you know, oh, I'm gonna be three months of just hard fra and diet and chicken breasts and broccoli.

Justin (12m 48s):

I mean, you gotta, some people want that, but a lot of people don't. And you have to be able to decipher, which is which when you sit down and conversate with that person and only dispense it with, like I said, suggestions that are gonna serve them and they're gonna actually motivate them to want to do this on their own, at least on their own. When I say on their own with you, with you doing it with you and I, I guess working as a team, I should say, because people hate fitness already. Like most people that come to me, they hate working out. And it's the reason why they come to me because they know they have to do it. They know it's a, it's a very, very organic medicine to take, but at the same time, doesn't mean that they are, they're gonna be jumping up and down for joy when they come walk in the studio for the training session.

Justin (13m 30s):

They hate working out. And the reason why they they do it is because they know if they don't do it with a trainer, they're not gonna do it on their own. So they hire me for the accountability purpose. Right. Or I should say aspect. And, but also when they're there, you wanna make it a fun, enjoyable experience for them while producing productivity in them. And while it's giving them the result that they want, that's really what defines a trainer. Not somebody who can sit and count reps or who can, you know, oh, well you're this amount of body mass, we need to cut you down this, or we need to lose this amount of weight and this is your, this is your, your body fat percentage. Now you need to be within the range of this And, you know, all these different metrics that really don't make that much of a make, really don't matter all that much.

Justin (14m 14s):

When you get down to practical, a practical state, and, and this is something that I've learned throughout the years of personal training. There, there is no, there is a number on a, on a, on a chart that we could look at that's defines healthy. But ultimately, if that person is, is begrudgingly doing the work to get there, well, and you're not, and you're not, you're not ub or you're not, I'm sorry, you're not resubmitting and or, or enforcing different habits and behaviors. This person's just gonna bounce back to what their old way was after they get to that goal. So you wanna change the, the whole programming of the mind.

Justin (14m 56s):

You want to change the behavioral patterns of the person, you want to change the habits of the person in general. And you do that by working with them on a consistent basis, not just the personal training, but you work, you work in, in, in tandem with that, with that mental aspect.

Brian (15m 14s):

Yeah. Yeah. No, that's a good point. I always say, like, especially in the beginning, it's important to try to get like small wins, right? Because you wanna build some momentum, and a lot of times they might come to you and, and they don't have a lot of confidence And what they're doing. And so if they do get those small wins right away, that builds confidence and it sort of snowballs. And I think then, you know, then you build momentum, right? Yeah. And then, yeah,

Justin (15m 38s):


Brian (15m 38s):

Yeah. Very true. And typically, like for individuals coming into your studio, are you working with them? Like if you were gonna say two to three days, you know, come on in or, or what is, like, do you typically see someone on a weekly basis?

Justin (15m 54s):

It's about two to three. Yeah. Yeah.

Brian (15m 57s):

And then you sort of do their programming based off how many times they're coming in per week

Justin (16m 2s):

Based on their pro Yeah, based on how many times they're coming in week, what they, if they have any goals in mind, which most of 'em, they have kind of, they have kind of hazy goals. Nobody has really a definitive goal, but based on how much they're, how much they're coming in and where they're at currently. I mean, I set little markers, little small goalposts for them to meet every month, and we just titrate up or down depending on their, if they, if they met the goal, if they're having good productivity in the gym, outside of the gym, et cetera. It really is, is so vastly subjective, Brian, that you can't really put a stake in the ground of this is what I do generally, you know, because it's all based on the person And what they need at the time.

Justin (16m 48s):

So many people need so many different things, even though it seems like there's one overarching general goal, which is to get strong, get healthy, get in shape, blah, blah, blah. But that looks different for a lot of people.

Brian (16m 59s):

Yeah. And, and since you work, you said prominently with women, is there not to put a umbrella over all the, and like you just said, there's, it's an individual basis depending on, you know, the person, but would you say that a lot of women that are coming in actually are be, become too restrictive when it comes to eating? Or mainly when it comes to eating? I would say, are they, are they just too restrictive?

Justin (17m 27s):

Absolutely, man, they, yeah, they end up leading, they end up believing these myths about food or these myths about diet practices, and all too often it, it derails them from any progression, any real life progression. And this is the reason why they need somebody of a coach to keep them in line, to keep them dispelling the myths that they're believing. And these myths are oftentimes further cementing in bad behaviors that are keeping them from their goal. And they're, and more importantly, they're demonizing certain things, certain foods or certain ways of eating or, you know, what have you, right? You can go down the laundry list of things of, of, of demonization nowadays with when it comes to foods and diets and et cetera.

Brian (18m 12s):

Yeah. All the more reason to have a coach, right? I mean, I think there's so much information out there, it's like an overabundance of information that it can just leave you confused. Yeah. Yeah. So that could be a whole nother podcast talking about all the misinformation that's out there. Yeah. What would you say, I don't know if you were gonna say one myth of, of when it comes to fitness or nutrition that you think is that you'd like to just get rid of?

Justin (18m 40s):

One myth? I hear a lot of, well, I hear two a lot. The main ones are, I can't eat past 6:00 PM and then the other one is, if I lift weights, I'm gonna get bulky. And that's, those are the cons myth I'm having to dispen to, to dispel more over any other myth and or over any other query that that, that someone might have. It's always those two that seem to be the most rampant,

Brian (19m 4s):

Right. Women thinking they're gonna bulk up, right? Like they're gonna look like a man. Yeah. Or just like, too, too, too broad. Right.

Justin (19m 12s):

And it's gonna happen overnight.

Brian (19m 15s):

I know, like, I mean, I got, I've been married for a few years, but when, when I first met my wife, she was a runner, and I'm like, you know, running's fine, but like, you gotta start lifting and it, and it's amazing. And like, she wasn't scared of it, she did it. And like the transformation, just building that strength and it just, not only like, just obviously a appear wise looks great, but like, just for longevity. And, and as you get older, just try, you know, trying to just have to be able to do functional things throughout your day as you get older that you, that are, that you might take for granted when you're younger. But as you get older, it's, it's that much more difficult to do

Justin (19m 56s):

It. True. Very true, man.

Brian (19m 59s):

What would you say are, do you have any thoughts around like, nutrition and like where you would start someone as far as like, do you have them track initially and then sort of take a, take a baseline and then, and then draw your conclusions from there?

Justin (20m 15s):

Yeah, essentially what I do is somebody who's coming in and maybe they're 40, 50, 60 pounds or weight is obviously I know they've developed some bad behaviors, bad eating behaviors, et cetera, or patterns throughout the years, and that's the reason why they've gotten to this level. But I would, at the beginning, I say I want them to track a few days of the week, and generally I like them to track a Monday or Tuesday, and then I like them to track a Thursday and then a and then a Saturday. So I wanna have these difference in days because the difference in days will often lead to a difference in behavioral patterns throughout those different days of the week. And most notably Saturday when they're free from work, they're free from responsibility and they're, they're, they're just doing things with their kids or their family.

Justin (20m 59s):

You really get to see how, how loose they get. So what I do is I take a mean of those three days, and then I will set that as the target. I, i not target rather, I'll, I'll take the mean and I'll say, okay, let's say you have 1700 calories on, on Monday, and then on Thursday you have 1900 calories, and then on Saturday you're having like 27 to 3000 calories. I'll set a mean of ar It's all arbitrary, but I will set a mean of around, let's say, let me, I want you to meet at 2050 calories a day, meet me at 2050 a day, and I want you to track these 20, 50 calories a day.

Justin (21m 42s):

But you're not taking consideration. Is this person's now moving more often? They're training, they're weight training with me, they're doing supplemental workouts outside of the gym with me, or not with me, but rather on their own, but prescribed from me. So, they, their, the amount of productive energy that's expended outwards is now at a deficit from what they were previously doing. So 20, 50 calories, even though it seems like, well, they're only eating 17 on Monday, 19 on 30. You gotta understand that as we look at this from a whole macro perspective, not the micro, every day they're actually taking less calories and especially if they take that into the Saturday and Sunday schedule as well.

Justin (22m 23s):

So that, and I put a presence on protein, i I will set their protein marks for them to reach every single day. That's, these are non-negotiables. They meet the protein mark and they meet the re the, the cal, the caloric mark every day. I do not give them meals. I don't say, this is what I want you to eat for meal one, meal two more food. Because in my experience, that shit doesn't work. People do not adhere to that. And you're wasting your time and people are wasting their money getting a meal plan they might follow for a few days, but when life happens and they don't meal prep, well they're back to Burger King or they're back to the, the grocery store for some quick, some quick salad or burrito or microwaveable something.

Justin (23m 5s):

And so I don't wanna waste time my time doing that, and I don't wanna waste their money. So what I do is I have, this is a, this is a constant counseling process with them, and they pay me to do that. They pay me to teach them in real life how to navigate the nutritional world in real life. They learn, they experience, and then they see the result. And then that gives them the incentive to keep moving upwards. And when I say moving upwards, I mean raising the bar in terms of the challenge. So getting, you know, more restrictive with their, with their calories, getting more, more, more restrictive with what, with the fun days, the cheat meals or whatever, et cetera. Depends, again, it's all subjective based on the, the person where they're at, what their goals are, et cetera.

Justin (23m 48s):

But I always start them off with the mean of what they eat within the, for those three days marker. And I, and those are the days that I have them track, set the goals of the protein set, the goals of the calories, those are non-negotiables. They reach those targets every day. And I also check in on the whim. So I'll say, okay, for example, Jessica, what did you have on Tuesday? I want you to send me everything for Tuesday. I never tell them I'm gonna check in on Tuesday. I say, you, you're gonna track your foods every single day. And then I'm gonna at random choose the day and I wanna see all of the foods for that day. And so when I check in with them, they have to send, and it's all, it's all marked the day. The, you know, So, they can't, they can't make up that day.

Justin (24m 30s):

And I might say, I want Tuesday on a Friday. So I know that they were tracking, they were, they were making sure that they were diligent in their, in their targets of protein, calories, et cetera. And then also the big elephant in the room, if they're not losing weight, they're clearly not following my program. So there's always that too. And people love to, under-report, they love to lie about what they're eating. When real realistically, this is all an arithmetic. It's simple arithmetic. If you're eating what I prescribe in terms of the caloric consumption every day, I know you're training. 'cause I see you here and I train you personally, and you're doing the supplemental routines outside of the gym here, you should be moving downwards.

Justin (25m 14s):

So if you're not, it's because you're under reporting. More often than not, it's because they're under reporting. And this is common among people that have developed misbehaviors when it comes to food and when it comes to being a really a delusional state, they don't think that that, that that extra something or other didn't matter. That that soft drink didn't matter. That that, that small bite-sized Reese's didn't matter. All these things add up throughout the week. Now is that gonna keep pounds on your frame? No. But if you're engaging in, in these misbehaviors or in these faulty behavioral patterns, chances are you're doing much more than just those small little mishaps.

Justin (25m 55s):

Chances are it's leading to a bigger, more nefarious thing that you're, that you're taking part in that you're not telling me about. Maybe you got drunk with your friends, you consumed 900 calories in alcohol more than you would've, you know, but you didn't tell me about that. And you didn't even, you didn't even log it because who's gonna log that? you know, most people, like I said, this goes back to a, a delusional state of, well, it didn't matter. Or I'm, I'm not gonna count these. I'm not gonna, I'm gonna delve back into my misbehaviors and I'm just not gonna, I'm gonna forget that they ever, that they ever happened. And this is all in part what I need to change and I need to readjust.

Justin (26m 36s):

Which is the reason why I do not do diet models where this is more of a, this is more of a, a tutelage under me that they're, that they're undergoing because they need to rewire their brain. They need to rewire the way that they operate with food.

Brian (26m 54s):

Now Justin, as far as your routines are concerned, what, what do you, what are your like main principles that you work on based on your goals and where you wanna be? I mean, obviously I'm sure your goals have changed through the years, obviously when you were competing And, now you're not. But what, what types of routines have you implemented into your life right now as far as health and wellness,

Justin (27m 15s):

Diet or training wise?

Brian (27m 17s):


Justin (27m 18s):

So diet, I follow the same thing that I tell my clients to do. And I follow the amount of protein I'm supposed to take in every day, which is obviously much higher than their needs. And I follow the amount of calories that was to take in every day. So I've gotten good at eyeballing throughout the years and years that I've done competitive Bodybuilding and just living this lifestyle in general. I've done this ever since I was 20 years old. So, and I've done it at competitive levels too. So I'm very, very good at eyeballing portions, et cetera. And I'm very good at numbers in terms of what serving size has this, et cetera, et cetera. So I don't have to follow a chart. I don't have to follow a a a tracker, I'm a human tracker when it comes to this sort of thing.

Justin (28m 1s):

So, but I follow the same principles that I lend to my clients. And that is, you meet your protein requirements every day. You meet the amount of calories that you're supposed to intake every day, And

Brian (28m 11s):

What is your, what is your protein requirement? So

Justin (28m 14s):

For me, I hit, I try to hit at least 225 to 250 grams of protein a day. Wow. I try to go about a gram 1.25 to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight. Wow. So my clients, so I owe, even for my male, my female clients, I always hit them at a gram per pound. I don't care. And if they're super heavy, like let's say they're 200 pounds and they come into me, I'm probably not gonna put them at 200 grams of protein. I'm probably gonna put them on what their lean mass is. What I might sup presuppose their lean masses. So maybe for a 200 pound individual that looks like 130, 140 pounds, give or take, I'm gonna put them at that mark first and then go from there.

Justin (28m 56s):

But the point is, is that I set these parameters and I follow these parameters and you get to a point where you develop this certain, like a metabolic set point where your body governs based on appetite, hunger and, and cravings, et cetera. And it kind of autoregulates, right? And then you stay within that means, and I know, like for example, 'cause I'm very monitored over my body. I know if I'm gaining a, if I gained a pound of pure body fat, or if I collected three pounds of water retention, four pounds of water retention from a cheat meal that I just ate, I can discern between the difference. And then on top of that, what will happen is I'll likely not be, if I, I gained a little bit of body fat, which it's hard for that to happen.

Justin (29m 39s):

I have to go through weeks and weeks and weeks of overeating on my cheat meal days for me to gain a pound or two and it to be visible. I'll end up titrating down in terms of what I eat with the next cheat meal, the next couple of cheat meals, and this is all auto regulated. It's like I don't even crave the certain foods. I'll crave less food. I'll crave eating, eating, I'll crave eating less calorically dense foods, and my body just will fluctuate between a, within a certain range. And that's because I developed that range over years and years and years of, of basically resub stantiating resubmitting in that, that model, that framework of that metabolic set point based on the way that I eat based on my behaviors, my habits, et cetera.

Justin (30m 23s):


Brian (30m 24s):

What, what's your training protocol

Justin (30m 26s):

For? My training is a, a standard Bodybuilding bro split, you know, where I do legs, I do chest, I do, I do chest and thighs, I do shoulders and tries. I do back and I do back by itself. I do legs by themselves and I'll, I'll train a two on one off, two on two off.

Brian (30m 45s):

Explain that real quick.

Justin (30m 47s):

So Monday, Tuesday, so Monday will be legs. Oh. And then Tuesday will be an upper body workout, like a chest and biceps. And then Wednesday will be off, I'll do cardio that day. And then Thursday I'll hit back by itself, back in traps, et cetera. Then I'll go in on Friday will be a shoulder and tricep day. Then I'll have Saturday, Sunday off. And I've been following that protocol for years, man, where I do training just four days a week. I've done it all though. I've done seven days a week. I've done six days a week, I've done five days a week, I've done it all, man. The only thing I haven't done is three days a week. I haven't taken it down to that level. I, I presume that I will when I get older, but right now, I'm, I I'm, I'm too vibrant to take it down to three days.

Justin (31m 33s):

I can, I can recover just as good on four days, you know?

Brian (31m 37s):

Yeah, yeah. For me, four days is about where I'm at. I do more upper trying to figure mainly upper, lower. Yeah. And then upper lower, I, I like to hit lower twice a week. Yeah.

Justin (31m 49s):

I used to do that too. I used to do that too much.

Brian (31m 51s):


Justin (31m 52s):

I did that for a couple years on like just straight. I didn't take a rest. I, I, like, I, I didn't take a weeker deload or anything. I did. I trained straight, like a year and a half, two years, upper lower, upper lower. I did upper lower rest, upper lower, rest, rest. And I found that in natural Bodybuilding. And I, I preface with natural Bodybuilding because people have to, people have to hear this. If you are listening and you've been lifting hard for the last five, six years, and you've been paying very close attention to your, to your diet, you're fairly lean around 12% body fat and you don't party, you don't drink, you don't smoke, you get good sleep and you've been trained that way consistently where you haven't missed, you haven't missed a workout, you have missed a meal, et cetera.

Justin (32m 43s):

You're probably gonna notice that you haven't changed in the last year or two. Your biceps haven't grown any, your pecs haven't grown any, your lads haven't gotten wider. And that's probably because you're very close to the natural mark of how much muscle you can actually make as a, as a, as an organic specimen of a human being, you're probably, you're cut off. So for example, if I have that questionnaire with somebody that's coming in to see me that wants to gain more muscle, I'm gonna, when I ask them that and they tell me yes, yes, yes. And they check all the boxes, I'll say, well, and let's say, let's say that their goal is to gain 10 more pounds of body mass.

Justin (33m 24s):

I'm gonna say, well, this is not practical, it's not gonna happen for you. It's, it can happen if you take drugs, but chances are you're at your, you're at your pinnacle of how much muscle mass you can accrue naturally. And they've done studies on this. I mean, it's around 28 to 35 pounds roughly of extra contractile tissue above what your normal body weight is. So again, if we just go back and say, well, what were you normally as as a regular kid without, without any body dysmorphia, any kind of weird, like when I say body dysmorphia, I mean, you're not, like, you're not, I shouldn't say body dysmorphia, I guess if you're not fat, you're not lean, you're not really, really skinny, you're not underweight, you're not overweight, you're right in the middle and you are taking a, about 12, 15% body fat, which is pretty lean for a kid that doesn't do anything.

Justin (34m 19s):

But if you, that's your body fat, you can suspect to gain around 30 pounds of new contractile tissue. So whatever that is in terms of your height, et cetera. And then you, that's, that's what you're basically left with naturally. Anybody else that tells you difference, just lying to you, because we have data to support this. We have extensive data to support this. So people that think that they can just add, add, add, add, add, it just doesn't work that way. And most people, if they're real with themselves, they'll, they'll understand like, look man, it doesn't matter what split I do, it doesn't matter how hard I really train. If anything, the harder I train as a natural, the worse it does on me.

Justin (35m 0s):

Like the more it's putting me into the, into the gutter because I'm elevating cortisol levels higher than you need to be. I'm suppressing testosterone more than it needs to be suppressed. And all these things, they don't, they don't lend themselves a favorable hand, physiologically speaking. So I would say that it doesn't matter, once you've gotten to that precipice, it, you trained for long years, you're diligent, you're, you're, you know, you've been, you've not missed a day. It's safe to say that you can do any routine and you're probably not gonna regress, but you're also probably not gonna progress. You're gonna stay relatively so or so in the middle

Brian (35m 41s):

Or so. Are, are you, are you saying that in general, if you've sort of plateaued, let's say you've worked really hard for the last few years, but you've somewhat plateaued. Are you saying that maybe you should take a step back a little bit and then reassess and then come back? Like sort of fresher? Like are you saying someone can almost overdo it?

Justin (36m 8s):

Yeah. So it depends on how long you've been training, right? It depends on all those parameters that they've been, if they, if you're red lining all those parameters that I just mentioned, where your diet's on point, you're, you're managing your stress, you're getting good sleep, you know, and you've been training your ass off, you train with massive, massive work ethic and intention behind each set, each exercise. You don't just go in the gym and just push weight around And, you know, check the box that, oh, I did my workout for the day. If you're doing all those things and you've done those things extensively for the last five, six years, it's safe to say, man, and I'll put this up against any natural bodybuilder. You're not gonna gain that much more body mass in terms of like, what's noticeable.

Justin (36m 52s):

Like, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna turn 45, you know, in six years and be like a fucking mass monster just 'cause I trained for another six years. Hard. It's not gonna happen.

Brian (37m 2s):

Right. You're you're almost saying like there's a genetic potential that everyone probably get to within their frame. There is. And yeah. And no, I totally see that. Yeah. I mean, obviously I'm not gonna look like, gosh, I don't know, I'm interviewing, I don't know if you know Jordan Shallow, he's a big guy. He's, he's, he's been in professional Bodybuilding. I'm never gonna look like him. Right. And I'm not gonna look like you Justin. I mean, yeah. So I, I totally see that. Yeah. And most people, like you said, aren't doing what you said. They haven't probably maxed out every avenue possible, but some people maybe, but I even find with myself, I'm hitting new.

Brian (37m 46s):

I'm, I'm not, I've, I've been more dedicated to lifting. I've always, I've lifted for such a long time, but like, you know, you, you sort of go through these lulls, And now, like I'm getting out of like a lull and trying to push a little bit more. And, and you can definitely break through plateaus. I think for most people they can, but yeah, exactly. I think there is some type of potential like a DNA potential or whatever Yeah. Or whatever that, that, that you can potentially get to.

Justin (38m 17s):

Well, and it's essentially, it's, it's, it's basically comes down to mile statin and that's, that's the thing that will govern how much muscle mass we can generate on the body. And that's what, when you're, when you see these bodybuilders that are on stage, they, they're taking a plethora of different anabolics and pharmac pharmaceuticals. They, their myostatin is inhibited, which is the reason why they're able to gain a bug. What something is, what could otherwise be gained naturally.

Brian (38m 46s):

Sure, sure. Yeah. Yeah. And you're speaking just on a natural standpoint, right, which I, you know, which I get that. Well, this was good. What's I, I, I typically ask this question to all my guests. What, what's one tip you'd give an individual who's, you know, maybe looking to get their body or mind back to what it once was 10, 15 years ago? What one tip would you give that individual?

Justin (39m 13s):

I mean, if somebody's tr if somebody's entertaining the thought of getting their body, their mind back, they need to, they need to just dive head first into whatever it is that's gonna make that happen. And let's say something like, say, let's say that person needs guidance. They need accountability, they need to hire a trainer. Let's say that person can do it on their own. Well, they need to adopt a schedule and not break that schedule. They need to stay disciplined to the schedule, no matter what they feel like, no matter what their day looks like, they need to carve out time for themselves to get that work cut in. They need to carve out time to meal prep. They need to make the extra funds to be able to hire a meal prep company, maybe if they don't wanna do it on their own, but they need to make it a priority.

Justin (39m 54s):

So essentially they have to make this a priority. Right? It's funny what happens when somebody makes something a priority. What the human person, what the human mind, body, et cetera, is capable of. If you make it a priority, there's no distractions. But if you do not make something a priority, everything will distract you. And you'll find a reason to not do this thing at every different turn you take. But if something is a priority, if you're, if living is a priority, Brian, and you don't wanna die, then you're gonna make sure that you mitigate all the possible inferences that might cause you to die. You're gonna mitigate all the risk concern with you dying by doing everything perfect that keeps you alive.

Justin (40m 38s):

But it's just simply not a priority for people. If, if getting their mind, their body back as a priority, well, they'll put their head down and they'll put the work in and they won't make excuses for this work that has to be done. It's simple. It simply put us, if it's a priority, you will make it happen.

Brian (40m 55s):

Yeah. Perfect. Love that. Yeah, I, yeah, I couldn't agree more. Where's the best place for people to find it? Justin

Justin (41m 5s):

Right now, you can find me on social media, Instagram, Justin, Craig Gro, no underscores, no spaces, just a, a straight Justin. Craig Groth. You can also visit the website, the official Justin gro.com. We have a, an app that you can, if you, if you don't wanna hire a trainer and it's not affordable for you, we have a custom app that's on the Apple App Store and the Android Google Play Store. It's called Elite Mind plus Fitness. And you can purchase a program there and it'll track everything for you, track your foods, it'll track your workouts, it'll track your progress, et cetera. And very affordable rate. I mean, it's only $15, sorry, $20 a month right now. So check that out. If you're awesome. If you're looking for a trainer, you can't afford the thousand dollars a month that is gonna cost you.

Brian (41m 50s):

Yeah, I love that. And I'll definitely put Links in the show notes for that. And Justin, thanks for sharing all the knowledge with us today and coming on the podcast.

Justin (41m 60s):

Oh, thanks Brian. I appreciate having me. Ben,

Brian (42m 4s):

Thanks for listening to the Get Lean Eat Clean Podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there, and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes@briangrin.com for everything that was mentioned, In, this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again, and have a great day.

Justin Groth

Host of Straight From The Chest Podcast, Natural Bodybuilder, Master Trainer.

Some of the things I talk about might not be the things you want to hear or said in the tone of voice that you might like, but at my core is a passion for inspiring others and bringing out the best that is within them. It is this spark that ignites me to speak with an authoritative intensity that hopefully inspires you.


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