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Mastering Fitness at Any Age with Vic Verdier

51:52

In this episode, Derek Berkey and Natalie Garland sit down with Vic Verdier, a seasoned fitness professional with a passion for helping men maintain their fitness and wellness as they age. We delve into the reasons why so many people experience a decline in fitness as they get older, exploring the biological mechanisms that make it more challenging to stay in shape. We also discuss the critical role that exercise, diet, and sleep play in maintaining fitness and longevity after the age of 50. With his extensive qualifications in fitness and wellness, Vic shares valuable insights and practical advice on how to optimize your physical and mental health as you age, so you can live your best life for years to come.

TIMESTAMPS

  • 00:38-Derek’s intro of Vic
  • 01:30-Vic tells his backstory
  • 04:30-Paralyzed from a severe scuba decompression sickness
  • 06:15-Why the decline as we age?
  • 08:27-Biological factors and aging
  • 10:40-Advice for those who want to start becoming more active
  • 14:30-Why is movement so important, and what does it impact?
  • 17:50-Balance and its importance in daily life – falls and drastic injuries
  • 22:21-Extending your life with better balance and consistent movement
  • 23:34-Two very important areas – ankles and falling techniques
  • 27:27-Dealing with limitations – mental and physical
  • 32:14-Success stories
  • 35:19-Enhancing your fitness with a diet similar to our ancestors
  • 38:49-Testosterone and HGH replacement therapy should be a last resort
  • 41:30-Vitamin D, sunlight, testosterone, demonizing sun, and fat, myths in fitness
  • 48:25-Final thoughts – challenges are important, as well as taking small risks
  • 50:00-Best diving spots and finding Vic’s coaching online

Transcript

[00:00:00] Derek Berkey: Do you have any success stories just off the top of your head that you can think of, like people that you’ve helped and that have really been a major transformation?

Vic Verdier: No, no, I’m kidding.

[00:00:10] Natalie Garland: Well, and we’re done for today, folks. That’s it.


[00:00:14] Narrator: Welcome to the InVigor Medical Podcast, where we sit down with medical professionals and discuss a full spectrum of health-related subjects. It all starts in three, two, one. 

[00:00:26] Derek Berkey: Hello and welcome to the InVigor Medical podcast today. We’ve got a really great guest and we have a new co-host, Natalie Garland. Welcome, Natalie. Natalie, how you doing today?

Natalie: I’m good. I’m excited to be here this morning with you.

Derek: Yeah, I’m super excited. We’ve got a really great guest. His name is Vic Verdier. He was in the French Navy for 10 years, has a world record that he has broken of exploring the deepest underwater shipwreck. Fitness trainer nutritionist, scuba diving instructor, and teaches self-defense, for with, and as a firearm instructor. He also has a coaching agency. He focuses on helping older men keep their edge as they age. Vic Verdier, welcome to the show.

[00:01:02] Vic Verdier: Thank you. Thank you for having me. 

[00:01:03] Natalie Garland: We’re excited to have you on this morning. Vic, it was funny this morning. Before we pushed record, Derek and I were sitting here going over your bio and we kind of joked that we could read it like, “He is the most interesting man in the world.”

Vic: It’s really, I’m Green B, I’m sorry.

Natalie: Oh, well man, you just ruined that one. But it really is a pretty impressive and extensive background. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got here and just a bit of your story. 

[00:01:27] Vic Verdier: So I grew up in Paris. I’m French. Okay, the name and the accent… all French. So I grew up in Paris and I, as you say, I spent, a bit of time in the French Navy as an officer and I was mostly traveling in different countries in Africa.

I had a good time. It was really, really interesting job for, 10 years. So that’s a bit, the story of my, early years and after that I was interested in scuba diving. So for 25 years I spent a lot of time traveling, teaching, training instructors. I was specialized in deep cave diving and shipwrecks and things like that.

So I ended up in Thailand at some point. And in Thailand I discovered Thai boxing of muy Thai. And I really enjoyed that. So I started to practice and become a coach. And that’s where , when I met a guy named Aone Luko and Aone was starting a company named MovNat. And MovNat is all about outdoor fitness.

So it’s climbing on trees, crawling, lifting logs, and anything you can imagine that can be done outdoors. And I’ve been with MovNat for now, 14 years. And I’m the general manager for the company. I train instructors and, I travel a lot. That’s why, I was in Mexico yesterday, and I will be traveling extensively in the next few weeks and months.

So in a nutshell, it’s a bit, what I do. And I guess that’s the main topic of this podcast. I developed a keen interest in aging men and how to help them better deal with that. Cause it’s not a, it’s not a very, it’s not a very easy process for many men. It’s a bit taboo.

We don’t like to talk about that much. And many men don’t leave that period of time, their life very well, so I do my best to help them.

[00:03:47] Derek Berkey: Yeah, in that aspect, you know, I was listening to some podcasts that you were on, previous to this, and one of the experience that you were talking about was how you kind of had to come face to face with your own age after a scuba diving incident, right?

Where you basically came up and you had some sickness from the dive and you kind of had to face that. Can you tell us a little bit more about how you experienced that and how that kind of helped, inspired you, to be where you’re currently at? 

[00:04:14] Vic Verdier: So it’s not exactly related to age. Cause I was very young.

I was only 40 or something. Yes. When you, when you do deep dives, very deep dives, one of the risks is decompression sickness or decompression illness, depending on how you want to call that. And it’s, I would say, it happens the deeper you go, the more extreme the dive you do, the more risk you take.

And it happened to me several times, but nothing really serious till the day where, it was pretty bad. I was paralyzed pretty much from the waist down. I couldn’t walk for a while and I had to go through a long rehab. I had to relearn to walk, relearn to control my limbs, especially the lower part of my body.

So it’s like, it took a while and there’s some parallel with aging because when you don’t have a lot of mobility, you really rely on that. It sucks. 

[00:05:28] Derek Berkey: That being said, you know, like, a big part of what we do at InVigor Medical is we’re kind of aligned with the mission of like, we want to make sure that people as they age, they’re able to live their best lives.

They’re able to feel and do the things that they want to do. But one big question is why is it that people’s fitness levels decline so quickly as they age? And like, what are some of the key factors that contribute to that decline?

[00:05:49] Vic Verdier: I think it’s a twofold process. The first one is, yeah, we all know that there’s some kind of physical decline as we age, but I don’t think it’s as bad as some people want to think it is.

I think for the most part it’s mental, the mental aspect of it is a much bigger concern that we, we think one of the, the major one I see there often is risk. As we age, we tend to avoid risk. And of course when you don’t want to take any risk and you are in front of the, you know, of the situation, but in front of a movement you have to do, you tend to, dance.

And when you are muscle are all dance because of fear. The risk of actually failing and falling is actually. And I think that’s a, that’s a problem I see very often. And pushing people, pushing men. Cause that’s the market I’m dealing with. Pushing men to take more risk, actually help them to somehow to relax and move better. Regain some mobility. We gain some movement, we gain some…

[00:07:10] Derek Berkey: And I’m sure confidence is a big part of that.

Vic: Yes, yes. Yeah.

Derek: So, you kind of touched on this. So obviously the mental ability to kind of like push yourself and take those risks is a huge part of it. But I kind of wanna dive in a little bit and, I’ve seen that you’ve posted some of the stuff on your, on one of your blogs, on your, on your website, talking about some of the biological mechanisms specifically, like how as we age, our testosterone levels drop and our growth hormone levels drop.

Can you speak to that a little? 

[00:07:41] Vic Verdier: Yes, of course. And that’s the other aspect I was mentioning. That’s the mental aspect and that the physiological aspect, unfortunately, and it’s a well known phenomenon. Testosterone declines with age, not only testosterone, but growth hormone and a lot of co-factors.

What I noticed, you know, is it doesn’t decline as fast if people stay active. Okay. And when I say active, and when I was talking about risk, everything is in moderation. I’m not talking about taking crazy risk or anything like that. I’m talking about, I’m talking about moving and doing things that people used to do when they were a bit younger and for some reason stop doing.

And when I’m talking about movement and mobility, it’s the same thing. I’m not talking about something crazy, I’m just talking mobility and movement that we probably had, or at least our ancestors had maybe a couple of hundred years ago. And because we become very sedentary, we losing a bit this mobility aspect of life.

And it’s always the same thing. It’s always use it or lose it if we stop moving because we’ll be scared of moving. We move less, we lose mobility, and therefore it’s a bit more scary to move. 

[00:09:14] Natalie Garland: You know, I think that a lot of people, whether they’ve been active at one point in their lives and just kind of have tapered off or they’ve never really been active people, it’s easy to build it up in your head as like, oh, this is this massive undertaking.

I can’t even begin to imagine starting, right? And so it just kind of becomes this big story in their head. What would you say to people like that, that are in that mindset? I mean, I’ve read and heard so much of just even the simplicity of walking for 30 minutes a day and the impact that can have.

So what advice would you give to someone that’s in that position where they haven’t been active in years, or they’ve never really been active, but they’re growing aware of how important it is to take care of their health in the sense of having movement in their lives? 

[00:09:55] Vic Verdier: It’s actually interesting to think about ancestors.

I mean, I spend quite a bit of time with my grandfather when I was younger. And my grandfather was someone who was very, very active. And he is been active all his life till he passed. He was 96. And the thing is, for him, for his generation moving was part of their daily life. You know, they had some kind of, very physical life, hard labor and that was never a, it’s never been a problem for them to, to move and be active very late in their life.

Nowadays, it’s a bit easier to spend the time when your days sitting like we are doing right now. Guilty, but I mean, you wake up in the morning, you have your breakfast, you’re sitting, you drive your car, you’re sitting, you are at the office, you’re sitting, you have lunch, you’re sitting, you come back home.

In the evening, you’re sitting in front of the TV or whatever you do in the evening. But I would say walking is probably the easiest and the least, I would say, caring thing to do when you’re not very active in. The fact that you can always park your car a bit further and walk instead of just parking in front of the building where you’re going, is an easy fix.

Okay? There’s so many benefits of walking. You don’t have to run, you don’t have to sprint, you don’t have to jump, you don’t have to do any of the crazy things. You can, you know, video and so on. But the simple fact that you can walk more in a day is probably one of the easiest thing you can do when you’re not very active is moving as much as you can.

Simple thing, like, balancing on one foot, squatting, probably not in public, but, in your own house is something that helps you to keep some mobility. As I said before, I used to live in Thailand. I spent six years over there and pretty much everywhere in Southeast Asia, you see people squatting pretty much everywhere.

They’re waiting for the bus, even if they’re wearing a three piece suit: squatting.

[00:12:25] Natalie Garland: That’s impressive. That would be so funny to walk around. Obviously a cultural thing. Cause, can you imagine walking around Seattle and just like, there’s just people waiting for the bus downtown, in an air squat chair pose. Let’s go guys.

Vic: Exactly.

Natalie: You know, I actually heard a study recently, when we’re talking about sitting and how you can exponentially increase just your physical mobility every time you sit, if you resist the force of that sit and that gravity, so you’re really slowly going into that seated position and it’s activating all of these muscles and that eccentric movement, right? Isn’t that what it would be?

Derek: I think so, yeah.

Natalie: How important that is. So, all to the point of like walking, so simple, it’s like there are things that we can do that are so simple and are impactful, but I’m curious if you could speak to why is this so important, especially as we age. Why is move so important and what are the impacts that it has on our physical health, our mental health, all of these things when we get active and stay active, 

[00:13:26] Vic Verdier: There’s a lot of benefits in moving, and I say moving in the really general sense.

First of all, obviously as I said before, it’s lose it or, or use it or lose it, meaning range of motion strength or things requires some maintenance. Okay? It’s not even a matter of increasing your mobility, increasing your strength, increasing your explosiveness speed, power, or anything like that.

It’s just about maintaining what you had at some point in your life and not letting it decline over the years. So I think that’s probably one of the most important aspect of being active in general, being able to maintain the quality of life throughout your life.

If you think about it, you are giving an example of sitting down carefully maintaining some kind of control. How many times do you see people when they sit or when they stand up using the armchair, using the arms, using the hands? While you could simply sit down and stand back up with no support whatsoever.

Unfortunately, if you ask many people, especially over the edge of maybe 40, 50 or something like that, to sit on the floor and to stand back up, many of them will have a hard time to do that. Most of them will do it using their hands. It means there’s a real lack of mobility simply, they never do it again.

If you take the example of many countries in Asia or in Africa where people actually sit on the ground to eat, to rest, to talk, to drink tea or whatever, this lack of mobility doesn’t exist. 

[00:15:30] Natalie Garland: So it’s a product of our culture really. That we experience here in the States.

[00:15:34] Vic Verdier: Probably a bit, probably a bit. 

[00:15:35] Derek Berkey: Now, I know that that’s a big part of what MovNat is doing. I’m actually a big fan of MovNat. I have the book at home. And there’s a lot of really good things in there. I know kind of touching on what Natalie was talking about earlier, and what you’re talking about as well, is that this doesn’t necessarily need to be a super drastic thing.

Like somebody doesn’t, doesn’t have to have go from sitting on the couch to running barefoot, shirtless through the, through the woods, you know, they don’t have to make that transition that quick. 

[00:16:01] Vic Verdier: It’s harder.

[00:16:04] Derek Berkey: It’s very fun, no doubt. But it can be, it can start as something as simple. And I know this is a big thing that people in MovNat do is just have a two-by-four in your living room and just, walk across it and balance and something, even just practicing that on a daily basis can really help.

Early in my career, I worked at a caregiving center. And I can’t tell you how many times I saw people in those situations where if they could just have control of their balance, their lives would be significantly better. So, I don’t know if you can speak to that at all. 

[00:16:34] Vic Verdier: Yeah, I can. I mean, based on my personal experience, not only with MovNat but with all the guys, man, balance is one of the things that we take for granted.

Because we use it every day, it has nothing really athletic about being able to stay on both feet. However, it’s one of the things that can create dramatic injuries when we get older. I mean, think about an older, elderly person falling and all the damage, the structural damage you can, that can happen.

Because of that balance is one of those things that, where you can make progress very quickly, but you can also lose that very quickly as well. You mentioned the two-by-four. We do a lot of things in general to help people maintaining or regaining some balance. The two-by-four is an easy one.

It costs next to nothing. And it forces people to have a base of support that is a lot smaller, a lot narrower than usual. What is interesting with balancing is, you can balance on the two-by-four. You can balance on, make it more challenging on the two-by-four, that is a bit twisted.

So the tiny bit of movement, it wobbles, you can, instead of using a two-by-four, you can use a more round surface, a small log, a small log that rolls a bit. You can elevate a bit on that surface. So there’s a bit of a fear factor as well. Even if the balancing part is the same, the fact that it’s a few inches higher scares everybody.

So you can, you can challenge everyone regardless of their level of fitness, regardless of their, you can, challenge everyone when it comes to balancing. You can close your eyes, you can close one eye. You can move your head at the same time. You can do other things at the same time. You can change elevation going from standing to squatting or half-squatting.

There’s plenty of things, and I think it’s critical because everybody needs more. You need balance in your daily life, but you also need more balance when you practice any sport where you have to change direction quickly when you are running, regardless of the activity, the physical activity you do.

There’s always a balance in component. And I’m not even talking about any kind of, sort of, surfing, skiing, anything that really has a very strong balance component. 

[00:19:30] Natalie Garland: Well, even as we were aging, you know, I think of when my grandmother fell when she was in her early seventies, and she was just walking in the grass of the yard, you know?

You wouldn’t really think about, you know, at this age we’re thinking about taking care of our health and how much we move that that’s playing a part in, you know, how can we actually operate when we’re in our seventies and beyond just walking through the front yard of our home . 

[00:19:54] Derek Berkey: Yeah. Well, and the impact of those falls, I mean there’s a pretty clear statistic that after a certain age when you fall, it increases your chances of all-time mortality.

It skyrockets. It goes way up. And so being able to take preventative measures now, to make sure that you push off those falls as far as possible in the future, so that way you can maintain quality of life, you know, you extend your lifespan as well. By doing something just as simple as working on your balance on a regular basis.

[00:20:25] Natalie Garland: Well, and I even believe that you heal and recover better from those injuries when you’ve had a consistent movement practice in your life because all of those bones and tendons and muscles are repair more efficiently because they’ve had practice.

[00:20:39] Vic Verdier: Yeah. It’s actually two very important components that we walk in general besides the balancing part, that is more the best system.

The first one is ankle mobility and ankle strength, because most of the time when people fall, it’s because all the senses in their feet and their ankle are not active enough. So it’s a matter of challenging your feet instead of always walking on a flat surface, like probably the floor in your apartment or even the sidewalk.

[00:21:17] Natalie Garland: Well, I wear high heels almost every day. Does that count, Vic?

[00:21:20] Vic Verdier: Probably. I never really tried. 

[00:21:23] Natalie Garland: Maybe that’s the next thing for the guys you’re training, you know, just up the ante a little bit.

[00:21:27] Derek Berkey: All right, now here’s a two-by-four put on these heels stilettos.

[00:21:29] Natalie Garland: The skinny, the skinny heels.

[00:21:33] Derek Berkey: Let’s see who can beat that challenge. And now here’s a baby, a package is, maybe you carry across. 

[00:21:38] Vic Verdier: Exactly. But yeah, I think working on the ankles, strengths and mobility help a lot of people when it comes to balance. And for that to be, you need to be challenged. I mean, again, it never happened to our ancestors because they were walking in nature where I was seeing, uh oh, nothing is even and flat and smooth.

The other component, we work a lot with, all the people in general is falling techniques, falling techniques. Yeah. Because it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Everybody falls at some time. Okay, so if we can work on proper falling techniques to minimize any injury preventing, somehow any, fracture or bad form, it not only increases the chance of recovering quickly, but it’s also instilled some confidence in people.

They know that they can. And they can fall better. And the more you practice, some break fast and some falling techniques, the more confident you are, the less tense. I was talking about the risk aversion before the less tense you are and therefore the more mobile flexible, relaxed you will be.

[00:23:02] Derek Berkey: In that regard, where can people go to like, learn how to do this? Because I was in martial arts for a little bit and I know that we spend a little bit of time talking about like, how to, fall and how to make sure you minimize the impact. Like, is going to like some sort of martial arts studio or are there any other video resources or anything along those lines that someone can go to learn how to do this?

[00:23:24] Vic Verdier: Apart from MovNat, that I have to, promote, obviously, I don’t know. I don’t know any other resources. Of course, martial arts, but I don’t imagine my mother, who’s pretty old, is gonna, go to a martial arts studio and, learning to fall.

[00:23:46] Derek Berkey: All right, man. Put on the gi. We’re going to Brazil.

[00:23:48] Vic Verdier: Jiujitsu . Exactly. 

[00:23:50] Natalie Garland: Well, Vic sounds like you need to make a YouTube series then. That sounds like that’s in your future to get some education out there.

[00:23:55] Vic Verdier: But that’s, yeah, that’s, we have a, we have a whole progression when it comes to, falling better and preventing injury. But that’s a good, good idea. Thank you.  

[00:24:07] Natalie Garland: I’m always here for you, Vic, whatever you need. I got all kinds of ideas. 

[00:24:10] Vic Verdier: I will keep that in mind.

[00:24:11] Natalie Garland: No charge this time.

[00:24:11] Derek Berkey: So, another question. What is your approach when someone comes to you and they’re like, “Hey, I want to be able to improve my life.” You know, because that’s kind of the whole point of your website, right?

Is there men that are coming to you and saying like, “Hey, I want to get my edge back. But I have a lot of limitations. Things that are kind of blocking my way.”

How do you handle limitations? Like, you know, let’s say someone has like diabetes or someone is recovering from an injury or doing anything along those lines.

What’s your, what is your approach for men like that?

[00:24:39] Vic Verdier: I mean, it depends on what kind of limitation we are talking about. There’s mental limitations and that’s very often the case. Cause, I seen men who are in their fifties and they already start with the idea that after fifties nothing can, nothing good can happen.

[00:24:57] Natalie Garland: Right. They’re already defeated in their own minds. 

[00:24:59] Vic Verdier: Yeah. And the first step is to changing their mindset. Cause if you don’t change the mindset, it goes nowhere. Limitations can be weight. You don’t see many men above the edge of, let’s say 40, who are in top shape when it comes to weight control. Why? For many, many different reasons.

I think, being at, one stage of your life where you can maybe relax a little bit and not worry too much about your, all the potential threat for that, make a lot of men not be complacent when it comes to food. When it comes to physical activity. So I see a lot of guys, a lot of men who have a bit too much weight and they want to lose that.

And one of their limitation, most of the time, again, is here being able to take the first step and fighting what they think is kind of impossible to fight. You have physical limitations, obviously. People broke stuff and they’re in pain and so that happens quite awhile, simply because the longer you leave, the more chance of having an injury of some kind in most of the cases.

Having a long discussion and a will check up if you want already help, man to talk about that. There’s some kind of, probably, there’s a bit of an ego component in that, but for many men, they want to hide their limitation.

Okay. That’s kind of a very common thing. We can be strong and capable in our twenties and thirties and maybe in the forties, but after a while we feel like the years are taking their, toll and therefore we want to hide that. We kind of ashamed is not being as strong as we used to be.

You’ll hear many, many men in their fifties always talking about, oh yeah, “When I was in college, I was doing this, I was a football player or when I was in the army in my late twenties, my thirties, I used to hike for hours and hours.”

Yes. But time flies and it’s very difficult for many men to admit that and to say yes.

I’m not as strong as I used to be. I put a rough weight on. I have some injuries. Okay, that’s normal. So now what can I do about it? And that’s usually the first step to progress.

[00:28:07] Derek Berkey: That makes sense. Yeah. Just out of curiosity obviously you’ve probably helped a lot of men with your coaching and with your information.

Do you have any success stories just off the top of your head that you can think of like people that you’ve helped and that have really been a major transformation?

Vic: No, no, I’m kidding.

[00:28:24] Natalie Garland: Well, and we’re done for today, folks. That’s it? 

[00:28:28] Vic Verdier: No, actually, I would say pretty much if wanted a success story pretty much.

If they, the fact that nothing happens overnight, consistency is key. Somehow, if it took 30 years for someone to put 50 or 60 pounds extra, it cannot change overnight, 30 years for someone to be deconditioned, to lose their physical age, to lose their strength. Maybe it doesn’t happen overnight.

If you want to change. I think we have a culture of instant gratification, magic pill. And not putting the time and the effort to do something, but success stories. Yes, I have many, I have some men who’ve been working with me for the last two years. Transformation is, it’s pretty clear.

No one should expect when they reach 60 to become an Olympic athlete. But there’s some drastic change that can happen. You are talking about diabetes. I had a man I was coaching for quite a while who actually managed to get out of his diabetic condition completely.

That was a lot of different things involved. That was diet, obviously we live in at least in the western world, but I mean, pretty much worldwide now, it’s very easy to eat joint food. It’s very convenient. It’s very rewarding because it tastes good. And I think we are, we are used to that.

We are used to this idea of comfort food that is available all the time, that is usually pretty cheap and that we can find pretty much anywhere.

[00:30:42] Derek Berkey: Working on his diet, working on his physical activity, working on lifestyle, sleep, stress management, you know, so obviously you can’t just take a magic pill and just expect all your, all your problems to go away.

That being said, there, there are a lot of people that are doing their best to, you know, optimize their diet, optimize their sleep, and their, and their exercise routines and all that. And are still having a hard time, are still struggling. So people that are at that point and that are wanting to continue to optimize, are there any like supplements or any, uh, things that people could potentially take or is there anything that, you take or recommend for people to be able to continue to optimize?

Obviously not like a workaround, but something that can actually just enhance what they’re currently doing? 

[00:31:16] Vic Verdier: I actually don’t really use any supplement or anything like that. I’m sorry.

[00:31:23] Derek Berkey: Oh, that’s fine then. That’s an honest answer. 

[00:31:24] Vic Verdier: Yeah. Okay. What I recommend people in general is having a very varied and natural diet.

So natural or healthy diet doesn’t mean anything. Yeah, yeah. You know that as much as I do. And you go on the internet and you google healthy food and you will see many studies showing something and many of the studies showing the opposite. I tend to push people to have, I would say something that would’ve been the natural diet of our ancestors the way we evolved that is usually based on meat, fish, vegetables, foods, things like that.

Things that you don’t find everywhere in every convenience store, the street corner. So it requires a tiny bit of discipline. And probably a bit of cooking ability, but the result is there. I mean does it mean you cannot eat anything else? No, but, it helps a lot of people. At least the people I know, and I’ve been working with the people we have.

When we movement retreat, the people I have in my own coaching practice, being a bit careful not only with what we eat, the quality of the ingredients, but being careful also with the quantity of food and being careful with the timing as well helps a lot of people. So, no, I don’t really push any supplement because I think that if the diet you have is varied and based on natural ingredients, you should pretty much cover all the basics.

Is there anything that can help? Yes, probably. But it’s like everything. It’s maybe the five or 10 person extra. And we tend to forget the, 90% or 95% that are right actually and really important and really significant.

[00:33:42] Natalie Garland: Well, that even just like with the basic rule of everyone wants to exercise their way out of a bad diet, and when in reality it’s only like 25% exercise and 75% diet, if not even higher. You know, we’re talking about supplements, et cetera. I am curious though, cause you’ve, you kind of touched on the biological mechanisms behind why it becomes harder to work out as you’re aging.

And you, you brought up testosterone. I wonder if you could speak a little bit more to that and maybe even like growth hormone and if you had experience with clients who are finding lower levels of that and if they’ve been able to move through that or if they’ve needed outside help in order to increase those levels.

[00:34:19] Vic Verdier: Yeah, so one of, and I don’t want to call that a magic pill. One of the solution that I saw in different people was to go through testosterone replacement therapy. There’s different ways to do that. Different protocols, different data. I would say, for me, and that’s a very personal opinion, it should be the last resort.

If you sleep well, if you manage your stress level, if you have some kind of physical activity. And when I say a stress level, I’m a very strong proponent of short burst of intensive stress on a regular basis. We want to avoid any kind of daily chronic, brain stress.

That is so damaging, part of people, but having some burst of, short, intense, stress once in a while is, in my opinion, something that helps a lot of people. That helps you to reset a bit of your testosterone prediction that help you to reset your growth hormone prediction at night.

That’s why I say TRT is effective, there’s no problem about that. But when you start, you may never stop. 

[00:35:53] Derek Berkey: Yeah. That’s the hard part. You know, one thing that I know is, does help and has a pretty clear link to testosterone is actually vitamin D levels. Yes, you look at the general population and just like you said, the majority of the day you spend sitting either watching TV or at your desk or in a car and, the amount of sun that people get, which is our primary way of getting vitamin D is, very low.

And then the other source, which is diet, a lot of people have fairly low quality diets, and so they’re not getting their vitamin D from. And so I take a Vitamin D supplement and I found that it really helps a lot. You know, I try my best to get outside and to get some sunlight and get those kind of things, but having some vitamin D in my diet, as just even as a supplement I’ve noticed, has helped with a lot of different things.

And you know, I know that there is a link there between vitamin D and testosterone, so I don’t know what your thoughts are on that.

[00:36:45] Vic Verdier: We were talking about moving and obviously it’s moving in nature. Yeah. Moving outside. So I cannot tell you that I’m not a big fan of the sun.

[00:36:57] Natalie Garland: Well, and you’re sporting that Mexico tan too, showing off to us.

[00:37:02] Vic Verdier: Yeah. Yeah, I know, I know. I spent most of my life in sunny places, especially because of scuba diving. That’s usually done in, I mean, it could be done in cold country, but it’s so much nicer when it’s warm. So I spend most of my life in the sun. The sun is coming right now, through my window.

Spending time outdoors is good for your vitamin D production. We know that. And, of course, when you don’t have this, this opportunity, I mean vitamin D supplementation is the answer. I’m lucky enough to decide where I want to. It’s not something that everybody has a chance to do, but spending time out there not only increases your Vitamin D production and therefore you test their on production, but it’s also so good for your mental health.

Yeah. It’s also so good for your happiness. Somehow, I mean, again, the number of studies showing, that people who spend time outside, people who see who are close to a park, people can go outside and spend a few minutes, even few minutes barefoot. All those things help not only your body, but your mind.

And I’m convinced that most of the elements we have most of the diseases, most of the problems that people experience as they age, as a very strong mental component. Yeah. If we can fix that first, we’re in the right direction.

[00:38:38] Natalie Garland: Well, I’ll say even for myself, noticeably, whenever I do have a good, vitamin D supplement and even B12, that it automatically helps my mental state.

I’m just mentally in a better spot making sure I have those supplements. In fact, this is the first winter I thought I was always taking enough vitamin D, and then I was instructed that I should take way more than I was taking. And so this is the first winter that I’ve had a high level of vitamin D every single morning.

And it is the first winter that I haven’t felt the winter blues. And I felt so much more mental clarity. I felt more motivated, easier to stay in my workouts, have desire to do more things. And that was really the biggest change that I had, was making sure I was getting enough vitamin D every single day.

[00:39:18] Derek Berkey: Yeah. And Vic, I’m sure you can speak to this, I know you have a gym, up in Seattle and you know, obviously you live in sunny places. Being able to compare the people that you’ve met in Seattle and compared to the people that you’re, you know, probably meeting over in Mexico, probably night and day difference.

You know, the amount of sun that people get in Seattle, it’s so little, it’s so cloudy, rainy all the time. I think it’s very easy for people to become depressed up there and having to deal with it all. 

[00:39:48] Vic Verdier: You’re speaking my language now. That’s good. I think we, for many years we, demonized a lot of things.

We demonized the sun, sun exposure. We have to cover your whole body, put a lot of sunscreen and everything. Cause sun is dangerous. Even if we spend the last 3 million years somewhere close to the equator. We also demonize fat engineer. Many, many, many years, the fat was bad. And we finally thought to, understand that, yeah, it depends.

We demonize a lot of things. There’s a lot of misconception in the fitness industry as well. The usual, low pain, low gain, the usual, go hard or go home or things like. And we slowly start to end to uncover the truth, the truth that, again, maybe 200 years ago or a bit more than that we knew intuitively.

I mean, again, looking to my grandfather who spent time with his grandparents outside moving, doing some hard labor. Not being scared of the sun. All those things were pretty normal. The diet in France a hundred years ago was mostly, fat based and everybody was fine with that. There was no shame, no fat free, or anything like that.

Everything was based on we want some calories. Okay? We have some. Heavy, heavy on fat, cheese and new gut and meat. 

[00:41:42] Natalie Garland: Starting to make me hungry, Vic… 

[00:41:46] Derek Berkey: I guess just one last thing to kinda wrap up this podcast has been a wonderful conversation. Is there one thought or one piece of advice that you would want to leave with any of our viewers?

[00:41:57] Vic Verdier: Okay. I explain quite a bit about the, the mental aspect of the, of everything. I think, again, that’s the subject I know the most Men, especially when they age, need challenges. And the challenge can be in many different forms. The challenge can be to change your routine, not to be stuck in a specific pattern routine, daily schedule.

The challenge could be, as I mentioned at the beginning, taking small risk, progressively more risk or different risk. The challenge could be to think about your health, your physical activity, your life in general. And I need to change maybe something once in a while. I think it’s important for men, I mean, for everybody in general, to thrive in life.

And that doesn’t happen when you always do the same thing. I usually tell everybody that if you leave the same day twice, you probably lost. And I try to do that in my personal life. But I also try to push all the people around me, the students in MovNat workshop, my own clients as well.

I try to push that, idea about living in a constant challenge or at least in the keeping the mindset of changing a bit things every day somehow.

[00:43:39] Natalie Garland: I wanna know, where’s the most beautiful place that you’ve gone diving? That’s what I wanna know. 

[00:43:43] Vic Verdier: Diving. Yeah. Oh, it depends for what. I enjoy diving in caves in Mexico in the Senote, I enjoy shee res in many Pacific Islands or in the military N Sea. I enjoy reef diving in Thailand, Tahiti. 

[00:44:04] Natalie Garland: Man, it’s a lot of beautiful places. That’s why you’ve written so many books. You’ve got a lot of stories to tell. A lot of you could write a travel series at this point.

[00:44:12] Derek Berkey: So Vic, where can people find you? 

[00:44:13] Vic Verdier: So I have my own website, Vic Verdier coaching. If you can manage to spell the French name vicverdiercoaching.com or you can easily find me at movnat.com. 

[00:44:31] Derek Berkey: Perfect, well, awesome. Hey Vic, thank you so much for joining you. We’d love to have you again at some point, and we’ll talk to you soon.

[00:44:36] Vic Verdier: Okay, sir. Bye. Thank you.

[00:44:39] Natalie Garland: Thanks Vic, all right take care. Have a good day.

Podcast Guests

Mastering Fitness at Any Age with Vic Verdier

Vic Verdier

CSCS, C-ISSN

Podcast Hosts

Mastering Fitness at Any Age with Vic Verdier

Natalie Garland

Host
Mastering Fitness at Any Age with Vic Verdier

Derek Berkey

Host

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