David, Matt and Tara working out

How to turn weakness into strength

Fitness expert, champion bodybuilder, and MS advocate, David Lyons, teaches Matt and Tara the importance of community when starting (and sticking to) a fitness routine when you have a chronic illness. David talks about mindset, goal setting, and the importance of joining the right program. David shares tips from his Optimal Body Personal Fitness program. You can find David on Facebook where he shares awesome fitness tips and videos.

This is part four of our interview with David. The transcript is below. You can also watch the video or listen to our podcast.

[00:00:00] Matt: Hey everybody. My name’s Matt and this is Tara, and we’re from Situation Positive. We’re here today with our good friend David Lyons of Optimal Body Personal Fitness. Um, we’re here for a special workout because we joined the program and we wanted to learn more about it. David welcome to the show.

[00:00:24] David: Thanks for having me guys.

So I appreciate it. And you know, something I’m going to get you guys in top shape and I’m going to get you guys feeling better but more important than that, I’m going to get your brains connected to those muscles of yours.

[00:00:37] Tara: Alright, so we’re ready to get started if you are?

[00:00:45] Matt: So those two are great. I like how it’s convertible right. Because one of the things I don’t want to have to do is move. Like, if I’m throwing this over a door. That’s already hard enough to do. Is there a third one that comes out of this or?

[00:00:59] David: Oh yeah. I mean, we can do our triceps right now.

Now I can show you a triceps movement where it’s going to be in the same position as well. The thing is there are groups of muscles that we’re working together. Usually, we’re doing our chest, our back, and our shoulders on day one. Okay. The next day we’re doing our legs so that we’re not doing our upper body giving a chance to rest.

The third day we go and we do triceps and biceps. So went back to your upper body. The next day is a rest day. So we need to take one or two days off depending on how you feel, but no more than two days of rest, then you do that three-day cycle. Again, there are multiple training methods in my program. So this is only one type of training method.

We change training methods over time. So whether do you need 30 days, which would be 10 cycles of this, or whether you need 90 days, which would be 30 cycles of this, you will then change that training method when you feel your body says, okay, I get it. I’m starting to adapt a little bit and you. You get to feel that you understand that your body does adapt.

Some people adapt quicker than others. So you want to push forward faster. But no, no less than 30 days. No more than 90 days and anywhere in the middle of that is okay. After 90 days, it’s enough. Even if you’re thinking that I’m not feeling a hundred percent, the way I want you to move forward, we cannot let our bodies adapt our bodies are lazy.

They want to adapt. They’re going to find a way to not get any results. So if you trick it into putting a different training method in front of it, it’s going to start getting results. So we’re constantly forcing our body to get results by doing different training methods that create those three processes. Contraction training, there’s stretch training, there’s one and a half rep training.

There’s negative resistance training, there’s time and detention training. So there are a lot of different terms to these training methods, all of which are in the program. But let’s talk about our triceps and I’ll show you how to do one movement for our triceps. So you’re in the same position. We’re stepping back for enough that we feel resistance to the band.

We’re locking our elbows into the side. Okay. So we’re not up here. We are using our elbows as the pivot point of this movement and we’re squeezing. So we’re holding the triceps in this squeeze contracted position. 1, 2, 3, 4. We bend the elbow up, bring our hands to arch. And then back again, then a four-second contraction.

You’ve got to feel the triceps squeezing as hard as you can up. It almost feels like it’s going to cramp. That’s all hard you want to squeeze.

[00:04:00] Matt: I’ve had, I’m glad we’re getting into this one because I’ve had some problems, especially on my right side.

[00:04:09] David: Push it down and back. Feel your triceps. I can feel those muscles. Okay. So they’re working.

[00:04:15] Matt: Do you notice that the right side?

[00:04:17] David: Okay. It’s starting to come up because it’s weaker, but what happens, Matt is over time, the muscles balance out the weaker arm will then catch up to the stronger arm, but you’ve got to get them moving. You’ve got to get both arms moving.

[00:04:33] Matt: Well, I had, um, I had a bad relapse in 2016, where I lost the right side of my body. And it’s as a dad, it’s been making me really sad because I can’t throw the football with my kids anymore. And you just saw there I’d get pretty bad right-side deficits. How do I balance?

[00:04:57] David: Very simply I’m going to demonstrate. So the mind and the way the brain connects to the muscles is that if your weak arm, you’re trying to get it to force, to be as strong as the strong arm.

It’s not going to work. Is he going to be all messed up? What you have to do is you have to release the strong arm to the level of the weak, then you’re balancing it out. And then as your weaker on getting stronger, then you can engage the strong arm the way you want to otherwise. What happens is the strong arm, keeps getting stronger and the weaker one never catches up to it.

So you don’t want to keep pushing that stronger arm the same way you’re trying to push the weaker arm. So I’ll give you a for instance, in the demonstration of this, and hopefully, you guys could see this well. If my right arm is weaker, this arm could go here and this arm is coming here. You’re going to bring the strong around here.

And this is where you’re going to engage that four seconds. So now you’re telling those arms that they’re balanced. So you’re tricking your arms. You’re tricking your muscles through the constant focus of what you’re doing. And you’re saying to the weaker arm that you’re strong as the strong arm, even though it’s not.

But if you push down here and are struggling here, you’re telling that arm it’s weaker. So there’s so much science behind this, and it’s hard for people to kind of understand it because they’re like, well, why can’t I just push my stronger arm? And just jerk this one down here. It doesn’t work that way because we can try to just jerk it.

You’re not doing the movement correctly. Your form is going to be terrible. And you’re really not creating what you want, which is a balanced body. So here I am with my weak arm going this far by my stronger arm, which I could push further. I’m stopping here and I’m saying 1, 2, 3, 4, I’m coming up 1, 2, 3, 4. I’m coming up.

So the weaker arm, as I know, it’s stopping here. I’m going to take this strong arm and stop it in the same position. Eventually what happens? The song starts getting stronger because she’d been doing this correctly. Now the arm is here. So now you bring the strong around there. Eventually, you’re here where it’s supposed to be.

This has worked over and over for 10 years for me and with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people, I’ve worked with one-on-one and thousands of people that have done this online. It works.

[00:07:42] Matt: Well, I should’ve come to you years ago because I ended up quitting the gym because I went back and I can’t get this side to wake up.

[00:07:52] David: Yeah. But this will do it for you. This will do it doing bicep. So that another movement from this top position, you can do upper bicep curls from here, which is part of the program as well in the arms of stretched and getting that stretch you bring it in and you squeeze it. 1, 2 3, 4. Now maybe this arm here is only coming here.

So then you only bring this on here and you’re squeezing. I can go here. If you can go here. That’s where your contraction is. It’s all adjusting. So the weaker side. Well not with this. What we do is we do it seated and we get the bands on both our legs. We press up where it’s in here, and this is a big one.

Because most people have an arm that will not go up all the way. Okay. So I’ve done this so many times with people that can’t lift their arms equally, they take the weaker one. Let’s say it’s the left side. And the weaker arm is only up here and this arm could go here. Well, you don’t do this. What you do is you take that strong arm, bring it here as you’re doing these exercises, as you continue, continue.

And the Optimal Body program that we go on is going to get stronger from the repetitions and the repetitive motion and the straight training of this. So you’re going to come up here. It’s going to come here eventually. It’s going to stop doing this. I’ve had people and I’ve got a little of this video cause, I videotape people that I work with one-on-one and you will see people starting off with that imbalance.

And then three months later they’re balanced, You know, some of them aren’t perfect because like I said, everybody’s different in how they respond and how long it takes. But I guarantee that every single person that follows a program for at least three months is going to get serious and noticeable improvements in the balance of the weak side and the strong side.

And that’s all because of what I call focus-driven or thought-based training. So we’re focusing we’re thinking, we’re not just doing an exercise to do an exercise. And I tell people this exercise for the sake of exercise is great! Gets blood flowing makes you feel good. You know, it’s like walking is good for you, but walking does not help.

MS. It helps you in walking and it makes you feel good. But I know so many people who go out walking and then all of a sudden they fall and then they’re done walking. Why because they’re just out walking, they’re not doing anything to get those legs connected to their brain so they can lift their legs up.

They’re still dragging the leg. They’re still doing that MS thing. So eventually they trip and that’s that, it’s the same thing with every single body part. You will have your brain connected to those muscles, doing a program like this eventually, so that the movement becomes normal. Okay. It’s just a matter of time, persistence, consistency, and focus.

Thought-based, focus-driven training.

[00:11:06] Matt: And I’m going to put in that three months you get is you’ve given me something today, which I haven’t had it in a long time. And that’s hope because I thought that this was gone. I thought it was never coming back.

[00:11:19] David: Far from it. When the doctors told me 15 years ago, I would be in a wheelchair in 6 months.

I mean, you know, that was a blow. I was like, are you kidding me? What do you mean? I’m going to be in a wheelchair. I’m not going to sit in the wheelchair. The only time that I’ve ever been in a wheelchair is to show people how to do exercises in a wheelchair. It was more for the fact of, I wanted to prove that I could figure this out.

So they motivated me. So when you’re looking at that form and you’re saying I can’t throw and have fun with my kids, isn’t that enough motivation for you Matt? Shouldn’t that be the goal? Shouldn’t that be how you wake up in the morning and say to yourself, I’m going to do this because I have kids I need to play with, this is not about you now.

It’s just about how do you play with the kids? There should goal. So from this day on, you’re going to visualize throwing that football and throwing that baseball and being able to do what you want to do, and then you will be able to do. But you have to be in a proper program. You can’t just go to the gym and start going like this and think it’s going to work

[00:12:26] Matt: I quit. I tried, it just does not work.

[00:12:30] David: You know, as I said, it’s all great. And it’s, and it makes you feel good, you know, Hey, I’m getting all pumped up, but what does it do for the condition you have? What does it do for chronic pain? Nothing. What’s it do for MS? Nothing? What does it do for fibro or fibromyalgia or, or ALS or whatever you got?

I’ve worked with people with ALS, and unfortunately for them, it’s a terrible, terrible disease, but they can still have a decent quality of life as long as they can, if they do something like this, as opposed to just letting the disease just take over. But it’s all a matter of what we think and how we do things.

And again, for you, if you are not motivated by playing with your kids, I don’t know how to motivate you that.

[00:13:16] Matt: No, I, I definitely am. And I think you’ve taught me how I could turn this situation positive.

[00:13:21] David: Yeah, just do it.

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