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episode #288

Interview with Kelly Siegal: Overcoming Obstacles and Staying Fit at 47 Years Old!

September 18, 2023 in Podcast


This week I interviewed speaker, podcast host and author of Harder Than Life - Kelly Siegal. Kelly takes personal progress to the next level by continuously improving his physical, emotional, and mental health by working out daily, reading, and practicing mindfulness. In this episode, we discuss how Kelly overcame a challenging childhood to take charge of his life. We also talk about:
  • His Morning and Evening Routine
  • What Kelly Eats and Lifts to Stay Fit at 47
  • Importance of Mindfulness
  • His book - Harder Than Life
and his one tip to get your body back to what it once was!

Brian (0s):

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

Kelly (3s):

I wake up at four 15 and right when my eyes open, I start doing gratitude. And it just three or four things that I'm grateful for. It can be my cat laying next to me. The dog could be just the roof over my head. the food that I ate the night before, quick three or four things. Boom, my feet hit the ground. I'm walking into my bathroom. I give a high five in the mirror. I sit down, I do a quick journal entry, and then I throw my gym clothes on. I shoot a video for, for Harder Than Life, my inspirational video for the day. And I'm out the door. Oh, I, I, I stop, sit down and do a quick meditation, 10 minute meditation. And I'm out the door to the gym by five

Brian (41s):

Hello. and welcome to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. I'm m Brian Gryn and I 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 speaker, podcast host and author of Harder Than Life Kelly Siegal Kelly takes personal progress to the next level by continuously improving his physical, emotional, and mental health by working out daily reading and practicing mindfulness. We discussed how Kelly overcame a challenging childhood to take charge of his life.

Brian (1m 22s):

We also talked about His Morning and Evening. Routine What, Kelly Eats, and Lifts to Stay Fit at 47, the Importance of Mindfulness His book, Harder Than Life. and his one tip to get your body back to what it once was. Really enjoyed my interview with Kelly. 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 I have Kelly Siegal on. Welcome to the show,

Kelly (1m 49s):

Brian. It's an honor to be here. GETLEAN Lean, and that sounds like me.

Brian (1m 54s):

Eat clean. GETLEAN Get Lean Eat Clean. Oh,

Kelly (1m 57s):

I do have a propensity. I, I, full, full disclosure 'cause I'm always honest. I love chocolate cake.

Brian (2m 4s):

Hey, you gotta have some sort of cheat food, right?

Kelly (2m 6s):

Well, my daughter is 14 and she's a baker and I wouldn't, she could eat, she could make garbage and I'm gonna eat it to, to honor her. So, but I do, I love me some sugar. I don't drink at all. Zero alcohol, zero pop, zero that crap. And, and yeah, I need my sugar calories somewhere.

Brian (2m 27s):

Hey, I mean, nothing like something homemade, right?

Kelly (2m 30s):

Oh man. Chocolate's my vice.

Brian (2m 32s):

Yeah. Well, I'm excited to have you on and Harder Than Life is, is the brand. I know you run an IT company as well. Maybe give the audience just a bit of background of, so what got you into that, you know, branding, Harder, Than, Life, and you know, some of your speaking, you know, keynote, I know you're a keynote speaker and things like that. you know, where, where are you coming from and how'd you get into like, health and wellness as well?

Kelly (2m 57s):

Oh, that's such a good story. I, I, I'm glad you narrowed it down a little bit because I'll tell you the reason. It's, it's actually not really a good story. It's a good story, but it's not a happy story. So I w grew up physically and emotionally abused by my parents. My stepfather was a big dude, 6 2, 2 60. And I started working out because I wanted to freaking take 'em on. And I, and literally I started lifting really, really heavy And, you know, we're, I'm 47 Years Old, so we're talking, I was 16 when I started. So 40 or 30 years ago, 31 years ago, Now, I had a wooden bench, and I'd be lifted cement weights, and that's how far I go back.

Kelly (3m 42s):

I think that after 30 years of working out, we should be get a pension and I should, God should let me keep this body and not have to work out anymore. But that's not the way it works, right? So, yeah, I I, it started off negative where I, I did it to protect myself and it just became a mindset. And I'm addicted. I, I love working out, but it's, it's, it's a good healthy addiction to, to have, I've done a one bodybuilding show in college for charity. Of course I won. No, I'm just kidding. I did win. But I, that's how arrogant, I didn't wanna be arrogant. And at the end of the day, it's just, it starts my day off correctly. I work out really early in the morning, and it, it's a, it's a great door opener.

Kelly (4m 26s):

I met you from this. I get to meet some amazing people because I'm in shape. It's an icebreaker. But it most importantly clears my mind every single day while I work out. I'm listening to a podcast to expand my mind while I'm expanding my body.

Brian (4m 44s):

And, well, I'm 43 and I've been lifting. Maybe I started when I was like 18. So, so same sort of stretch that you've been on, and obviously you're in great shape. A lot of individuals that are listening to this Podcasts are probably 40 plus. What would you say was the key, is the key to maybe if you're into, not, into working out, into getting into it and then staying consistent with it?

Kelly (5m 11s):

Well, I, you speak to my heart at this point. I, I, if I walk into a gym and I, everywhere, I travel a lot for the Harder Than Life podcast and for keynote speaking. So I, I, and when I'm traveling, I still work out. Most notably, I was in LA and I ran, ran out to Gold's Gym, and that's iconic. If you're ever in LA and you get a chance to work out there, Arnold Schwarzenegger was working out. I took some pictures with some men that, that absolutely engulfed me. But I go up to people who are just, you can tell, are just starting out. And I give them the biggest kudos 'cause they're courageous. It, it is not easy to get started. It's embarrassing. It, it must feel deflated.

Kelly (5m 51s):

So what I say is just put one foot in front of the other and get started. And you, nobody has ever left the gym from a workout and felt worse than when they started. Hmm. So do it consistently. Be disciplined and you will love yourself. Or I believe if you're, if you workout consistently, you've got 90% of life figured out, everything else falls into line from the consistency and the discipline of going to work workout.

Brian (6m 23s):

Yeah, I always say it is about being consistent, you know, not necessarily about being perfect. Has your workouts changed through the years from when you were, because mine have, and we talk about it on this podcast quite a bit, but how have you changed and adjusted as you've gotten older?

Kelly (6m 43s):

Well, when I turned 40, I, I, I, there was parts on my body I didn't know I had that started hurting. Yeah. So I made a, a major change at 38 where I started, you know, going a lot lighter, doing a lot of stretching, adjusting supplements, because no matter what I was doing, I, I, I, I just, it was, I was not having the gains I want to have. So, fast forward now, coming up on almost 10 years later, people asked me, how much do you bench and how much do you lift? And I, and, and the truth is, I don't know because I don't, there's definitely not an ego. I don't, I don't care about how much weight I can lift, but I just wanna make sure I do it correctly.

Kelly (7m 26s):

So the two things that have changed over the years if I got older is I d I must do cardio every time. I do abs three times a week, and I really do watch what I eat. I don't eat garbage. And the only other thing is I don't lift Super max anymore because I can't hurt anything. 'cause I, I have 25 employees that depend on me, plus a personal brand. There's no ego. Other than that, everything else is pretty much feel the same. I, I stretch a lot more than I used to because I'm getting old and that's where the stress stays in. And weird thing about it, I do work out seven days a week.

Kelly (8m 9s):

I don't know that I recommend that, but I, I, I do take days off. I, I probably get 355 days a year. And, you know, it's, it's, I, it's only days that might even be low. I, I might be 360 days. I, I only take days off that I just absolutely cannot get into the gym because of my schedule is full. But it's, it's hard 'cause I, if I can get up, the only times I miss it is if I have a 6:00 AM flight somewhere, because I, you can't get to the airport at 4:00 AM and still get a workout at. So usually I land and go to the gym, but if I can't because I'm landing and going to meetings or, or events, those are the days that I get myself up.

Kelly (8m 52s):

But, you know, I'm walking like crazy. I don't count walking as my workout. I do gratitude walks with my dog every day. I put it on social media. But that is part of my personal development. That is part of my daily routine. I gotta be out in nature and I wanna, wanna experience gratitude and, and be grateful for being able to get to the gym and being able to walk and just being above ground is a great one, you know?

Brian (9m 17s):

Yeah. And you, you talk about routine. What, what is your typical routine? Because I'm a big routine guy, morning and evening. What, what is, what is the day like for Kelly? Be

Kelly (9m 30s):

Be careful what you're, it's insanity. I wake up at four 15 and right when my eyes open, I start doing gratitude and just three or four things that I'm grateful for. It can be my cat laying next to me. The dog could be just the roof over my head. the food that I ate the night before, quick three or four things. Boom, my feet hit the ground. I'm walking into my bathroom. I give a high five in the mirror. I sit down, I do a quick journal entry, and then I throw my gym clothes on. I shoot a video for, for Harder Than Life my inspirational video for the day. And I'm out the door. Oh, I, I, I stop, sit down and do a quick meditation, 10 minute meditation. And I'm out the door to the gym by five, Hit my workout.

Kelly (10m 10s):

I, the, the workouts, Now I. Forgot to add this in. I'm probably an hour 20 now. And I don't know how, why it's taking longer other than I think I just talk a little too much to people in the gym. 'cause people come up to me. And I think really truthfully, I think it's because of the heart of life brand because nothing has changed. It's just people come up to me and want to talk to me and, and I'm not, I'll talk to anybody. So it's about an hour 20 with 20 minutes of cardio and probably 40 minutes of working out and 20 minutes of jibber jabbing with people. So after that, get home. Yeah, I get home, I, I cook or I, I shower, get ready for work, cook breakfast with my daughter, take her to school, drop her off head to my N t M office.

Kelly (10m 56s):

And then usually it's littered with some Podcasts. I, I kill my day, come home, grab my daughter. We have dinner together. We, we talk about what, what made her laugh, what made her smile, what she's grateful for. And then we read, go to bed and rinse and repeat the next day. And I, and the very last thing I do is three more gratitude things that I was grateful for for the day. Rin, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat

Brian (11m 21s):

And eating. What's your eating routine? Are you, are you eating after that workout? Is that when you, when you first start or?

Kelly (11m 28s):

Yeah, I, I, I've tried all the little fads and I don't wanna step on anything that you say or do. Everything that I do works for me. My, the results work for me. So I don't do any of those fasting. I can't do it. I have got, I go so intensely all day that I need food. And I will tell you, Brian, I literally don't eat enough. Yeah. And I can always tell when I eat enough, because I got that energy. I, I burn, I'm sweating right here, right now just talking to you because I've burned so many calories so fast. So I have, and this is not good and I don't recommend this, but I have protein bars and protein drinks at every office and every house. And I snack on 'em nonstop. So when I get back to have breakfast with my daughter, we usually have the same thing every day.

Kelly (12m 12s):

Four to six eggs, two to four Turkey bacon and every, and some fruit every single day for breakfast, for lunch, I try to eat some sort of protein. And I take in a carb because I, if I, if I eat anything that's less, I'll be starving. I have a snack in between, which is usually a protein bar, a protein shake, and, and another snack at two, which is a protein bar, protein shake. And then dinner at six or seven, which is usually my biggest meal of the day, which is a, a big steak, potato rice. And, and, and that's not enough. I have, when I get

Brian (12m 50s):

Do you track, do you track, have you ever track it for like a, a day or a week just to see which, how much you're taking in?

Kelly (12m 56s):

I did when I did my bodybuilding show, but we're going back 30 years. Oh, 20.

Brian (13m 1s):

Okay. Maybe, maybe you should try it just for a week. No,

Kelly (13m 4s):

I might be scared. Now you got me scared. 'cause now I'm probably gonna do it because I, I, I'm tired all the time. I drink copious amounts of caffeine and I know why, because I'm not taking in enough calories. When I wasn't tired, I, I had this, I, we, my assistant would order me. These pre-pro meals. I'm not gonna say the name of 'em because we've since divulged our, our relationship, we're, we're looking for another sponsorship right now. 'cause obviously we got a big social media following. Everybody asks that. So whoever I say people are gonna buy. So I have to be in alignment. We're currently working on a new company, but I highly recommend getting some sort of meal prep company. So you do eat healthy.

Kelly (13m 44s):

I've seen my schedule over the last couple weeks be so busy. I, my eating has been sporadic and, and not as great as it can be. I'm not maniacal about it. But if I do eat something crappy, if I have indulge in some chocolate cake, I will go harder on the cardio the next day. Just, what's

Brian (14m 2s):

The cardio are you doing?

Kelly (14m 4s):

Ooh, I mix it up. I do the, the stairs. I do elliptical. I ride the bike. I do what, whatever I do, I do it intensely. Like level 12 and above, usually 12 to 15 for 20 minutes. And I, I mix it up 'cause I get bored. I yeah. Hate cardio, hate it with a passion. Like, but at 38 I started getting Fat and I had to and it was 'cause I wasn't doing cardio. And so I would tell you if you're not achieving your goals and mix in some cardio.

Brian (14m 39s):

Got it. Yeah. That's one thing I sort of realized, like I used to be, have like a couple meals a day. I realized I just wasn't eating enough, not getting enough protein. I mean, I can, I can see with your, I mean, how much, how much do you weigh right now?

Kelly (14m 53s):

Two 15.

Brian (14m 54s):

Okay. Yeah.

Kelly (14m 55s):

And I'm, I'm five foot, I'm five foot nine, five foot eight, you know, so it's, I look like a tree trunk, even though I think I look normal that everybody else tells me I look like a tree. So No.

Brian (15m 8s):

Well, you look, you look great. So, you know.

Kelly (15m 10s):

Thank you. I appreciate it. I And now you've got, do you recommend an app or do you have anything to track? Yeah,

Brian (15m 16s):

I mean you could just use chronometer. That's an easy one. I mean, there's a ton now But, it, it's simple. I mean, I don't need the pay version and yeah, you, you, I would, I I would definitely recommend it even if you just do it for a few days just to see And, and then

Kelly (15m 31s):

Do I have to download it?

Brian (15m 33s):

Yeah. Yeah.

Kelly (15m 34s):

Okay. I'll, I'll, I'm gonna look at it now. See, I listen, I'm gonna learn it all. I yeah, I, I I'm making assumptions that I'm not eating enough, but that doesn't sound like enough. I it's right. It's probably only about 2000 calories. That's not even near enough for me.

Brian (15m 48s):


Kelly (15m 49s):

What, what do you recommend? I I ib at,

Brian (15m 52s):

I mean, with the weight, I'm

Kelly (15m 53s):

Not trying to gain and I don't want any more mass. I I'm not trying to be bigger.

Brian (15m 57s):

Well, I think, I think, here's the thing. I'm, I can't give you like a perfect number, but I think it's one of those things that what you'll find is initially you might put on a little weight, but then you'll come back to baseline. And so you're gonna be running the same, eating more and not putting on weight, which is sort of where you wanna be. Right? And so I think that you could definitely probably up that a thousand and be fine, put on, you know, you know, you might put on a little bit of weight initially, but it'll, you'll get right back to your baseline and you'll be, you'll be fine.

Kelly (16m 28s):

What's your take on these protein bars and shakes?

Brian (16m 31s):

Yeah, so I mean, I'm, I I used to be, I think for convenience, like you said, and, and, and just getting in, you know, the calories and the protein for the day. It's not a bad alternative, but if you can eat Whole Foods, I always recommend those. But like, you know, you're busy on the run. I don't mind 'em, you know, it depends on the, on the bar, you know, I don't know what bars you're using. I mean, there's so many out there. I'm not a huge fan of some of them that have like a ton of sugar alcohols and those just, you know, for a lot of people making bloating, you know, bloating and things like that. So yeah, I'm not, I'm not, I'm not opposed to 'em for someone like yourself, if you're, especially if you're trying to get in a certain amount of protein and calories per day.

Kelly (17m 14s):

I just met a new company that I love the owner and I want, I, I, not many people know about it. So I wanna make, I'm gonna give a shout out. It's probably called Fro Pro. Oh,

Brian (17m 22s):

I know them. And they're just little, I know them.

Kelly (17m 24s):

They're little protein snacks. They're 10 grams of protein. They're so good. I can eat like four of 'em in one setting. But I went down there and I met the owner and their operation is amazing. And I did a ice barrel challenge with 'em, and it was, it, they just was so accommodating it so nice. And I'm gonna do more for them now. I'm not paid, I'm not gonna be paid. I just love the owner. He is just in alignment. Really good guy. His name's Matt Williams has this wake up, this Wake up the Sun podcast. They're just, he's just a good dude and it's a good clean company and a good clean protein. So I just wanna give him a shout out. I I adore him.

Brian (17m 59s):

Yeah, you know what? I know them. I actually know his wife. They're, they're in Florida, right? Yes.

Kelly (18m 4s):

Yeah, yeah, they're right. They're, they're in

Brian (18m 7s):

Delray. Yeah, I I know who they are. Yes, yes, I know who they're, yeah, I gotta

Kelly (18m 11s):

Spend the whole day with him.

Brian (18m 12s):

That's cool. Yeah, I'm looking at their bars now. That's great. Yeah, they're

Kelly (18m 16s):

Available on Amazon. I'm gonna have a link here shortly that, that, that I wanna send to people because I'm going to, he, it just, they're good. They're yummy.

Brian (18m 24s):

Yeah. Yeah. And it looks like, you know, I think a lot of these bars where there's not too many ingredients, I think that's a good sort of rule of thumb But. it looks like there's, it's fairly clean bar. So that's, yeah, that'll work. Okay. So, we got the morning routine and then evening our, I know you do some meditation the morning. This is something that I've actually implemented. I just do like 10 minutes a day. Like is that, is that something that you do about 10 minutes a day?

Kelly (18m 53s):

Yeah, I, I use right now, and I, I'll throw this out there, even though it's, they're not paying us what it's, it's, I use the daily calm, I need a guided meditation. I'm trying to up that I need to get more, I, I thought it was some, maybe it was the Dalai Lama or the Buddha, some Buddhist smoke. Somebody called me the, the Ripped Buddha the other day. I couldn't stop laughing. So, oh,

Brian (19m 12s):

There's a new brand,

Kelly (19m 14s):

Right? Ripped Buddha. I, I wanna get more because I find what, anyways, the Dalai Lama said, someone who's busy should meditate 10 minutes. Someone who's extremely busy should meditate for 30 minutes. So, and I get it. I know the more that I meditate, the more functioning I am, I need, it's like rest time from your muscles or time between sets to recharge.

Brian (19m 41s):

So yeah, it's that recovery. Right.

Kelly (19m 42s):

And I, so I'm trying to add a second meditation and, and I'm getting there, I'm trying out a new product too. That's is a meditation app that somebody reached out to me. And I'm gonna see how that works. If that works. That'll I'll start publicizing that. Yeah. But

Brian (19m 58s):

I use Headspace. I mean that Headspace, they do, they have a nice, a daily meditation that's like 10 minutes long and Yep. you know, the voice is soothing. I forgot his name. He is the guy that started it. I can't think of his name, but I think he was a Buddhist monk at one point, or, and so that was,

Kelly (20m 16s):

That's not Vincent is it.

Brian (20m 18s):

Can't think of his name. Right. Now.

Kelly (20m 19s):

I. Can't remember who, Headspace, who

Brian (20m 20s):

Does this. Yeah. That started, the guy that started Headspace. Well, let's get into your book. Harder Than Life. When did you write this And? what, what sort of inspired you to, to get this book going?

Kelly (20m 34s):

Well, first of all, it's available on, on Amazon. The audio audible version is me reading it. So if you're not a reader, you can download the Audible and listen to my story. It is quite remarkable. There's a couple of pieces in there where I can't believe I put it out in public, you know, you know, specifically a point where my stepfather, you know, darn near, almost killed me from drowning me in a, in a tub, which, you know, made me want to get stronger. So what made me write it was, you write the book, they say you write the book that your, your younger, your child, your inner child needed, and your younger kid needed. So, but really all I did is just, I had to get this negativity out of my head and it was very cathartic.

Kelly (21m 21s):

I mean, I would write it and then I would cry, and then I would then the, the, my publisher would, would send me the proofread to tell me and I would cry and no. And, and, and then literally when it was overwhelming, guess what I did? Went to the gym. 'cause that's what I do when, you know, I don't eat, I don't drink, I don't do drugs. So when I get stressed, I go to the gym and I remember dropping everything multiple times, going, I gotta go to the gym. And I couldn't finish some of the chapters. So it was cathartic. And then Now I can read it and be like, whoa, I'm healed. So I use it as a healing process. I wrote it literally during the pandemic, while everybody was drinking day drinking and commiserating and wondering where it was ended.

Kelly (22m 6s):

I, I built a home gym and before my home gym arrived, I ran around the neighborhood and did pushups and sit-ups. And then my home gym arrived and I got in the best shape physically. I wrote the book. And then I got, when I started meditating and listening to Podcasts and I got the best shape mentally. So when the pandemic came to an end, I was a new version of myself.

Brian (22m 30s):

Yeah. I feel like with the pandemic, I think people either rose above it and like improved or some people sort of went the other way.

Kelly (22m 38s):

Yeah. There was no InBetween there,

Brian (22m 40s):

There wasn't really, I got married during the pandemic, so, you know.

Kelly (22m 44s):

Well that's interesting. And you're in Chicago, so where the hell did you manage to pull that off at?

Brian (22m 51s):

Oh, well what do you mean? Like, well, we got married,

Kelly (22m 53s):

Like where did, there was nothing open. You guys were just as bad as we were. Where'd

Brian (22m 57s):

You Well, I had a thir 30 person wedding, so just family pretty much. And a few friends. It was August of 2020 and we did it outside, you know, it was a beautiful, beautiful, you know, summer day. And yeah, I'll tell you, the small wedding was nice. We,

Kelly (23m 14s):

I gotta tell you, we did my daughter's bat mitzvah in the summer of 2022. And people were still, they're like, oh my God. and we did it outside. They're like, oh my God, whatcha gonna do about the, about Covid? I go, nothing.

Brian (23m 28s):


Kelly (23m 29s):

You know, and turned out we, you know, we were right. It wasn't as big as what they made it out to be. And, you know, I, I'm not trying to be negligent of people that have suffered. I'm sure that we all, we all know people that have passed from it. But, you know, that wasn't the greatest advice. Sit still and put a mask

Brian (23m 48s):

On. Right. Yeah. What about for eating? Is this is cooking. You, you cook with your daughter in the morning and the evening. I think that such a great, my last podcast guest talked that we talked a little bit about cooking with your kids. What are type of things do you guys make? And and is that something you did do with your daughter? Pretty much twice a day.

Kelly (24m 8s):

Yeah. We cook. She, I've take, I took, talked her my secret to my eggs and my secret to my eggs. Forgive me for say that's what's in the book. I got arrested for selling drugs in college. So I had to go do a little stint in jail. And when I was in jail, I was working in this restaurant to get out of jail for, it was a work release. So to get outta jail, I, I, and I ended up, I learned from this, from this cook. He taught, taught me to be a short order cook. So I just did every job in this restaurant. 'cause I was want, I'm, I was wanting to know what people did. So he taught me the secret recipe of how to cook these eggs, put a little bit of a creamer in it, a little bit of seasoning, salt, and you gotta take them and beat 'em.

Kelly (24m 49s):

And they just, they come out so fluffy and so good. And my daughter, I te I taught her it. And then my grandfather has this little secret where he put cottage, or not cottage cheese, cream cheese. And it was cream cheese omelet. So, ah, you know, again, some of this stuff is, is not so healthy, but in moderation. Hey, So, we have, you know, the, that's, that's what we cook in the morning. I do the breakfast. 'cause she's usually, she's a teenager so she looks like this. Right. you know, she's, she's half dad. Yeah. It's too early for her. Yeah. So I do the breakfast and then in dinners we, we break it up and every once in a while she'll just cook dinner like certain days, you know, you know, every day isn't the greatest.

Kelly (25m 34s):

But I make the best out of every day. Sometimes I do these crazy work on myself where I, I do E M D R therapy, I do hypnotherapy and certain days I, I deplete myself so much. I have nothing left in the tank. And I go, honey, will you cook dinner? And she's like, absolutely, dad, no problem. So for, but we do a lot of grilling. We, we both like the grill. Yeah. So it's not like zero fried food. The rest would be baked. But mostly we grill 75 to 95% of the time. And, you know, when we're not here, we're in Florida. So of course you're gonna grill in Florida 'cause it's beautiful.

Kelly (26m 16s):

So we'll grill tonight is a, is just a simple dinner, chicken and rice. So it's the, the chicken is already marinating and waiting and we fire up the grill and a lot of times my big vice, I smoke a cigar, so I'll be sitting outside smoking a cigar with black grilling and she'll be preparing, you know, she'll set the table and prepare the rice and some sort of vegetable. And, and we talk, we sit at, sit down and have a dinner, not in front of the tv. and we talk. And then we go and either go for a walk, we take the dog for a walk or, or we sit and read. Just simple man. We're simple people.

Brian (26m 53s):

Yeah. And evening routines. After you read, like what time are you go, do you typically go to sleep and is something, is that something you prioritize? I know you get up early, so that's,

Kelly (27m 5s):

Yeah, I'm usually in bed. She goes to bed at eight 30 to nine o'clock and then I'm not far behind her. Yeah. The latest I can stay up is usually 10. And if not, then you know, you start doing the math backwards. So if I wake up at four 15, not gonna sleep at 10. That's only six hours. And unfortunately for some reason, six hours seems to be my max now, last night I slept nine hours, which was an abnormality. Wow. And I ha you happen, I happened to be on your podcast the day that I actually took a day off the gym. And this was an actual take day off. That never happens. I can't even tell you the last time I just said, I'm not gonna the gym today.

Kelly (27m 45s):

And it was, it was a conscious effort because I knew that I slept in and if I would've went gone to the gym, I would've pushed extra hard. And I wouldn't have been my best self. Like I said, this is my third podcast today I would've been a little irritable and I just wouldn't have been my best. I wanted to be relaxed and be my true, authentic self and not be rushed rush, rush, rush. So I have a day off today. Yeah.

Brian (28m 8s):

I mean, like you said, I I think working out seven days a week is not for most people. I mean, I always talk about, especially as you get older, the recovery days are just as important of the days that you're actually putting the work in. I'm assuming, are you lifting those seven days? Are you doing, when you say workout, you're doing, like what are your splits like?

Kelly (28m 30s):

So yeah, I lift all seven days. So I do one body part except for buys and tries a day. So

Brian (28m 36s):

Old, old school.

Kelly (28m 38s):

Oh yeah. I, I tried to flip it up. I've done some real fun things where I've done push pulls, you name it, I've tried it. And what always, always gives me my best feeling and my best gains and my best thinness is the, the old school one body part. I, I, I do the push pulls once in a while to shake it up. I, but I never do the same workout twice. It's what do I feel like doing? I, I'm also a big firm believer that if somebody's in my way, I just go to the next exercise. And, you know, in today's world we have got to teach these kids etiquette with their cell phones sitting on a machine or a bench with your cell phone.

Kelly (29m 18s):

You should be able to be slapped if you do that. Literally. And I, that's the only time I'm not my personal positive self. I go, excuse me, do you want me to send you a text message to get you to move? Please get up. you know, and, and, and it's, it's frustrating because, you know, I'm not trying to be, their time isn't any more important of mine and my time isn't any more important of theirs. But still, still, man, don't sit, you know, remember the old school we work in together, let's work in, you know, you can work in, just don't sit on your phone and we're gonna go fast. So,

Brian (29m 52s):

So you're split through doing a body part a day? Yeah.

Kelly (29m 56s):

Mondays a i Mondays I usually do legs. Tuesdays are chest Wednesdays, back Thursdays, bison tries Fridays shoulders and then it repeats. And I, so I get two extra body parts a week. So, and, and, and I, I feel like I have small legs and I just can't build them. So I try to hit those legs as much as I can. But I also don't go too hard and heavy. 'cause I, I, I've tweaked my back 7 million times and I'm not trying to be a bodybuilder here anytime soon. So if I'm gonna do anything that's gonna screw anything up, and if you see me walking like a duck because I was squatting too heavy, that's just not conducive to my lifestyle.

Brian (30m 45s):

Yeah, yeah. Lower body's always been, I've always been better with lower body, upper body. Not as, not as much. You're you're a lot more built in your upper body than me. But you also Yeah, I'm, I have more of a, I'm more of a golfer, so, but I, oh

Kelly (31m 1s):

Yeah, I just played golf on Friday and, and you can't have, you can't be a boater, a golfer and a weightlifter. You just, you gotta pick two. And my swing was bad before and it was horrible on Friday and I usually am pretty good. I have it all set up where I take this backswing real, it's very small and then I use all my weight to and and, and to, to generate all the force. But man, my swing plane was off badly because I've been lifting in intensely and I have just not been playing golf. I like to get out once a week, but it's, it's when I'm launching this Harder, Than Life brand has got me all over.

Kelly (31m 43s):

I was in, I was in LA last week, I was in Nashville two weeks before that. I was in Boca the week before that. And next this weekend I'm gonna be in Phoenix and then back to Florida. It, it's just hard. The only thing that doesn't get prioritized is golf.

Brian (32m 3s):

Right. Golf is time consuming. And I'm lucky I started five

Kelly (32m 6s):

A theory. You'll love this. Yeah. I think they should change the 18 holes to six holes. Oh

Brian (32m 10s):

Yeah. I we, there's been people that have talked about it. Six holes would, well six holes would be good, but e even like 12 holes.

Kelly (32m 19s):

Yeah. I would play 12 all day long. It's, it's 12 is perfect. 'cause right around hole 14 my back starts tightening up.

Brian (32m 27s):

Yeah. You've had, you're just about, you know, I think if you play, you got 12 holes, you play that in whatever, two and a half, three hours. I think that's about right.

Kelly (32m 36s):

I would play six holes every morning. I betcha if, if I could play six, yeah, I could do that in an easy hour, probably less 45 minutes. But it just go. And I would be better. But, you know, it is,

Brian (32m 47s):

I think, and, and honestly I think if they want it, this is off topic a little bit, but if they wanna grow the game a little bit, I think having these par three courses and shorter courses will attract the youngers, the younger players. Because everyone, you know, a lot of, you know, whatever, 20 year olds and teenagers, they want to just do stuff now and they don't want to be waiting around in four and a half hour rounds. And so yeah, that would help grow the game, I think. But that's,

Kelly (33m 13s):

I'm interested too. Let me ask you a question. What do you think about all these other things, these CrossFits, these, you know, these, what are the,

Brian (33m 23s):


Kelly (33m 24s):

Stretch shops and the, and these specialty workouts that, there's a place in Michigan called Peach Lab, which is, you know, these, all these specialty culty groups of getting together. Wow. What Think about

Brian (33m 36s):

Those. Well, I mean, you know, CrossFit is something that grew like crazy and I think part of the reason why people love CrossFit, it is the community, right? Like the people bring, you know, I was part of a studio here up north of Chicago and our workouts were good. We did group training. It wasn't CrossFit or anything, but like people come back 'cause of the community and the people. Yeah. It's, you know, the workouts are almost secondary to some degree. So I think that's what makes Cross makes CrossFit so popular is that do I prescribe to doing some of the stuff that's done? I mean, I've had plenty of friends who've gotten injured. That's not to say that that, you know, if you're, if you're just sitting on your couch, I would say then go, if that's the only thing that's gonna get you up and going, then go ahead and do it.

Brian (34m 17s):

But yeah, I mean I, you know, there, there's a lot of specialty shops out there nowadays. I think for some people it's good just to mix it up like you said. But I'm a little bit old school like yourself, Resistance training, keep it simple, but whatever, whatever, keep whatever workout that is consistent is probably the one that you should do.

Kelly (34m 37s):

I love going to new gyms by the way. And, and if you tho those out there, I don't know if you guys have in Chicago But it, it, we have Blue Cross Blue Shield here in Michigan and through Blue Cross Blue Shield we get this health, this fitness app, which you can pay into it. It's, and, and you can go to like almost any gym you want and it's a discount. Interesting. It's pretty cheap. I, I, so I don't know how they do it, but

Brian (35m 4s):

There's, I got it. There's something called ClassPass and that is a sort of a cool thing where you have access to like all different types of gyms and you can, you, you can, I mean, it's not through your like insurance or anything like that, but I know my wife who was with Lululemon, they used to have Class Pass where they could go to different places and work out. So that's

Kelly (35m 24s):

Brilliant, man. Yeah. Brilliant. Like I, I, I, I, I just, I love going to different places all the time.

Brian (35m 32s):

What would you say, what would you say your top tips for individuals who are, you know, in their forties and fifties to, you know, stay consistent, build muscle, what would you say some of the, you know, the typical question I a I I asked my guests are, you know, what one tip would you give an individual that's looking to get their body back to maybe what at once was when they were in their twenties? What, what, what tip would you give that individual?

Kelly (35m 60s):

This is gonna be controversial. I, I would say get your doctor involved, meaning go get your blood test done. I do it religiously and see what they say is healthy and integrate that into your plan. I'm not saying to get on anything, I'm just saying go make sure you get your health checked because how many times are you hearing somebody has a heart attack or, or they have a myocar they have a heart episode that they didn't know that they had and they dropped dead. So go get everything tested and then see what they'd recommend. you know, some people are, are T r T people, testosterone replacement therapy.

Kelly (36m 43s):

Some people just get some V 12. But I would say go get your go, get your barometers tested from, from your doctor, get your blood drawn and see where you at and then go. So it's kind of backwards. You gotta go get where your baseline is and go get better. And then I go every six months just to make sure everything is in alignment. So, and then if you're looking for a specific health tip, I would say be, you know, it's very simple. Be watch what goes in your mouth and work out. Like with, with proper intention. I, I saw saw something on social media that day where somebody says what?

Kelly (37m 25s):

Find a purpose and use that. So it's, it's what's your why? It isn't to get more women. It isn't, it's to, it's how about to be around longer for your family? And then if you think about that, you, it's a lot easier to go. But when you're there, do it with purpose and intention. I see so many people walking into the gym like, why'd you even bother coming today? He didn't do anything. He didn't even sweat. So get there and sweat and give it an honest effort. you know, kudos for getting there and I I'm going to commend the heck outta 'em 'cause that's really half the battle.

Kelly (38m 10s):

But once you get there, you, you've already spent the energy to get there. Do something and I'll know another thing. If you don't know what to do, ask everybody will help you. Every that's, you're run a bunch of like-minded people. Don't be afraid. Everybody, people come up to me nonstop. Hey, what do you think of this? What do you think of that? And, what can I do for this exercise? Sure, I'll help you Can And, you know, remember the age old days of people spotting you? Anybody ever tell you no, we're all there together. You said it, we're there for, you're looking for your community here. I call it my tribe. That's my tribe. I my 5:00 AM crew, I know 'em all, they're all business owners. They're all great guys.

Brian (38m 47s):

Yeah. So no, nothing controversial about the that advice. I mean, I think I just, it

Kelly (38m 51s):

Was the advice. It was just, you know, lot of

Brian (38m 53s):


Kelly (38m 54s):

The doctor going, yeah, I would tell you as we get older, I just, like I told you, I just interviewed the midlife male and he's on testosterone replacement and hey man, you still gotta do the work. So I don't have any problems with anybody doing anything that doesn't hurt their body. I'm not, don't, don't go on Arnold Schwarzenegger and taking horse tranquilizers and, but testosterone, some of these pills that, that increase testosterone. Just, you know, use everything to your advantage and everything in moderation, including moderation is good. The, the a cheat code for me when I really got in shape is when I quit drinking.

Kelly (39m 37s):

The, the calories are ridiculous that you're in alcohol. I didn't realize it. And the sugar, oh the, the sugar alone should be avoided. So.

Brian (39m 49s):

Well, no, I mean I, I think it great advice is have, knowing the baseline, like where you're at and like you said, blood work. I think even, even if you wanna do like some type of DEXA scan, you know, maybe something like that, you know, just to see,

Kelly (40m 4s):

I just had my heart scan, man, a heart calcium scan. I gotta go, actually you just remind me I gotta go to the doctor. They just called me and said, we got your results back. And I said, you don't sound good. She's, oh, no, no, no, no. I was just busy. I was like, dang,

Brian (40m 16s):

Don't scary like that. She's had a rough, rough, she's had a rough day that Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. But yeah, no, getting a baseline on all that's important for sure. Hormonal panel, things like that. Thyroid,

Kelly (40m 30s):

When you're getting a blood test, you're, they're gonna tell you what your testosterone is and if it's 300 or lower, you, you're gonna wanna do something. Yeah. I mean, I, I keep my testosterone around 500 and, and, and that suits me well.

Brian (40m 44s):


Kelly (40m 45s):

You know, these bodybuilders, when they're doing it, they're like 2000 to give you a, you know, really

Brian (40m 50s):


Kelly (40m 51s):

It for your, like when Arnold and those guys are, they're,

Brian (40m 53s):

They're, oh, they must, they're, yeah.

Kelly (40m 56s):

Yeah. That's absurd.

Brian (40m 57s):

Yeah. No, that's not normal. Well, this was great. Where's the best place for people to find you? Harder Than Life dot com.

Kelly (41m 7s):

Yeah, they could find all things. you know, I, I would YouTube where all, all the videos and all the podcast, everything's on YouTube, YouTube, Harder, Than, Life. You could always search Kelly sno pop up in 85 different places. Shoot over to Instagram. I I live on Instagram a lot again, I, I have a, an app coming out, which is gonna be, you know, all things fitness, all things nutrition, all things personal development. Because I get asked this over and over and over again, And, you know, in between people screaming and yell at me for doing steroids or saying I do steroids. I wish I did half of the things that they said that they, I did because I would be twice as big.

Kelly (41m 47s):

But, you know, I let people, I, I always tease, tease people is, unless you're doing better at it than me, then I don't really want to hear you. You know, it to be like me taking advice from somebody that doesn't work out. Like, come on man. So I drawn all that stuff out and we're gonna have an app that'll be released and you can get all things me, And, you know, I'm not trying to push everything I do on anybody. It's take the things from me that work for you that you enjoy. I, not every exercise I do is, is great. you know, I have my elbow acts up all the time. I gotta go get cortisone shots in it once a year and it's flaring up right now. So there's certain exercises that I tend to tend to stay away from, but Okay.

Kelly (42m 31s):

you know, I'm addicted. I love it. It's the best thing in the world. I, I, I'm in the personal development space. I walk into a room, people notice right away the physique So, they come over to me to ask questions. So it, it's an, it's a great icebreaker. Not to mention I plan on being around here till a hundred, 120 maybe.

Brian (42m 50s):

Yeah. Awesome. Kelly Well, nothing wrong with being addicted to working out. So

Kelly (42m 55s):

There's anything I can do to support you, the heart and life brand. Me, myself, Kelly Siegal, please. You have my cell phone. Reach out. Any of your people wanna reach out to me. My email is all over. Social media, reach out and, and anything I can do to help, I, I will. Even if it's, this is a big one, is to help them get in alignment with the naughty water. Because you know, a lot of times people will be working out like crazy, but there's, they're having, you know, 3, 4, 5 beers a day and they don't realize how much, how much calories and sugar. I was broke this down for a girlfriend of mine. She's like, she works out like crazy and she's like, I'm not getting Skinner. I go, well you, how many calories you build work out out of a time. She's about 600. I said, and you're killing a bottle of wine a night.

Kelly (43m 37s):

Go look up how many calories there are. She goes, oh my God, it's 600. I go, so you're basically break it even No, that, that's not gonna advance you.

Brian (43m 47s):

Right. No, I, I agree. Well, Kelly, thank you Harder Than Life, appreciate you coming on and sharing the knowledge.

Kelly (43m 56s):

Hey, love it. It's nice to meet you.

Brian (44m 0s):

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 at Brian Gryn dot 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.

Kelly Siegal

Kelly Siegel is the CEO of National Technology Management (NTM). He has an educational background in criminal justice and sociology from Western Michigan University. Kelly has been delivering results since running his first paper route as a twelve-year-old. Besides his goal to make NTM the gold standard of the IT industry, his mission in life is to leave a legacy, or in Kelly’s words, “make a dent.”

His relentless drive to better himself is breaking his family’s cycle of abuse, addiction, and poverty. Kelly takes personal progress to the next level by continuously improving his physical, emotional, and mental health and performance by working out daily, reading voraciously, and practicing mindfulness. You’ll find him feeding people at spontaneous cookouts in his backyard, volunteering his time for causes close to his heart, and mentoring the next generation of leaders.

Kelly lives in Michigan with his daughter Arianna, their Yorkie Sammy, and cat Felix. He spends as much time as possible in Florida, preferably out on the water with Ari and good friends.


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