We all know exercise is important, but what, specifically, are you supposed to do? How do you tell a good trainer, program, or gym, from a bad one? In this episode, Ray and I have a conversation with Corey Digman, owner of Digman Fitness in Madison, in which we answer exactly this question. We discuss:

  • What’s essential in a good  training program
  • What you should start with, if you’ve never exercised before (or haven’t in more than a year)
  • Why most people want to avoid the gym (it’s not what you think)
  • Why CrossFit may or may not be a good training program for you
  • and lots more!

If you enjoyed the conversation, and think Corey may be the guy to help you achieve your fitness goals,  tell him you listened to this podcast and get your first week of training FOR FREE! I know, I can’t believe it either. That’s very generous of him.

You can find Corey on the web at digmanfitness.com, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Corey’s Bio

Born and raised on a dairy farm in Platteville, WI, Corey developed a love for sports and working out at an early age. Whether it was helping his 4 older brothers with chores or working out in their homemade weight room, Corey developed a sense of what hard work was going to give him later in life.  College was particularly rewarding as he succeeded as a 4-year letter winner, all-conference and all- American in the Indoor Weight Throw while completing a degree in Health Promotion for UW-Platteville. Corey now resides in Middleton with his wife, Trisha, who works as a teacher liaison for Kids Junction Early Learning Center.


Scott Robison Welcome to this week’s episode at the Integration Bodywork Podcast. My name is Scott Robison. I’m a licensed massage therapist in Madison, Wisconsin, and in this week’s episode, Ray and I interview Corey Digman. Corey is the owner of Digman and Fitness, a small group personal training center here in Madison, and we spend a lot of time going back and forth with each other about how to choose a fitness program. What makes it effective, what makes it ineffective, places to … Things to look for, things to avoid and kind of get down into the weeds a little bit, but it’s a fun conversation. So if you want to hear three exercise nerds, geek out about training programs, this is the episode for you. Let’s listen in.
Scott Robison Hey, one more thing before we get started. Corey, let me know after we recorded the episode that he’d like to offer listeners of this podcast, that’s you a free week to try him out and see if his gym and his community are the right fit for you. So if you’re interested in what you’ve heard on this podcast today and you’d like to spend some time with Corey and see if he can help you achieve your fitness goals, reach out to him at digmanfitness.com or any of his other social channels that we will mention here at the end of the episode and get a free week with him for free. All right. Now it’s time for the show. All right. Welcome to this episode of the Integration Bodywork Podcast. My name is Scott Robison. I’m your host. I’m here today with Ray Eady.
Ray Eady Hello, how are you doing?
Scott Robison And Corey Digman from Digman Fitness. Corey it’s not a visual medium man. You got to say something.
Corey Digman Ahh, darn. Hey guys. What’s going on?
Scott Robison Awesome. All right. So Corey thanks for being on the show today. We’re really excited to have you on because you’ve got an unusual background for a gym owner and personal trainer. And we kind of wanted to talk a little bit about that, but mostly start off with like thinking about how to pick a fitness program. We talked about this probably before we were recording, but … And people heard me say this elsewhere. Things that are boring, frustrating, difficult, unstructured and lacking intrinsic meaning are the things you procrastinate. And Oh, by the way, that’s the gym and exercise for most people.
Corey Digman You can get all of those in especially when you think about a gym. Yeah. You don’t even stop. It’s like how do we break those barriers? Right?
Scott Robison Totally. Yeah. How do you break those barriers? Like do you have to go to the gym and like run on the treadmill for half an hour and then do some bicep curls and then bench presses like that … Nobody except for the three of us maybe. Nobody really likes to do that. I guess let’s kind of start from the very top. Like how should we think about finding a fitness program?
Corey Digman Yeah. So the biggest thing that I run into when I talk to people about first off, like my gym has a lot of functional equipment. We train similar. If you were to say as CrossFit or similar to sport specific training. First thing I say, when people come in is, “Hey I follow the guidelines of American college sports medicine of 150 minutes a week.” 150 minutes is our baseline to prevent against obesity, diabetes, and assuming that we’re following stress reduction and nutrition. Everything is like perfect for hitting 150 minutes a week or equivalent to 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity exercise. Then we’re covered. So are you able to do that on your own? What are you doing to this point to get your heart rate up between 70 to 85%? In that time we cover like, you know this is how to measure your max heart rate, something you can do. What are you doing outside the gym to get to that point? Not that I say, “Hey, let’s work together and get some stuff done.”
Scott Robison Get it. It sounds.
Corey Digman And then from there we cover like some things we do for training, what are you interested in? This is some things we do in the gym and then get them a free trial session and go from there.
Scott Robison Got it. You said functional training like functional equipment, what does that mean? Because I think that word has been around for like 15, 20 years at this point. Like a lot … What is functional equipment mean?
Corey Digman So yeah, that’s … It’s kind of a term that people are thrown out, you know, other professionals are like, “Hey, we use functional training a lot, but what does it actually mean?” And that’s interesting because like everything we do in is functional for moving. It’s functional. But my version of functional training is being ground base as much as I can. So I don’t have any machines where you’re sitting on or a leg extension or like curl, or like breast. So we’re doing conditioning while moving laterally, straight up and down. Maybe we’re doing some kind of a jump. Everything is obviously within progressions, or we’re carrying an object for conditioning or strength or we’re pulling or pushing. We’re using our body weight, a lot of the exercises. So, no-
Scott Robison What’s a … You said carryin. What do you carrying?
Corey Digman So carrying could include like sandbags, medicine balls, anything that’s heavy enough to elevate the heart rate and cause some kind of stress to the body to adapt to get stronger and more fit. Keep that heart rate at an elevated level throughout the whole time too.
Scott Robison Yeah. I love the sandbag idea, right? I mean, it’s such a … It’s an imprecise tool as whereas a barbell, right is a very precise tool. You hear you’re … The more you can sort of explore the space of movement, it seems like the more transferrable that physical development is. I know when I was rock climbing a lot. I could do a lot of pull ups, and even when I was doing a lot of pull ups in CrossFit, I still couldn’t do as many. Now you know the caveat I guess to that is that when I was climbing a lot I weighed a 135 pounds and now I weigh a 165 pounds, that’s the difference. But-
Corey Digman It’s large.
Scott Robison But exploration of space and right around those joint action seems to be important. So that’s why I love that you guys are using sandbags.
Corey Digman For me, it gets that, especially if somebody that’s starting out, it hits kind of that pain point of, “Hey, I come to the gym and then” … I’ve been to other places where like, “Hey, I’ve done a back squat. It’s painful. It’s frustrating. I’m a little bit tight. We can work through things within an assessment and mobility.” But then before we get into that, I say, “Hey, let’s try this instead.” We can do a sandbag front squat as you guys understand, what’s mobility and things like that, holding something in front. [inaudible 00:06:50].
Scott Robison Yeah. Kind of weigh.
Corey Digman And squat and throw a bar on my back and then we can progress to it that way. To get rid of that pain point you can transition people in without getting frustrated the first time they come to the gym. So, that’s what I like about it too.
Scott Robison Yeah. I guess … Ray you wanted to say something real quick.
Ray Eady Yeah. I was going to jump in because we were talking about functional training and Scott and I, we always have discussions talking, training. And I don’t know if Scott remember, but we were talking about what is functionality, and I had [inaudible 00:07:17] to me functionality really is, it’s result driven, right? So if you have a particular goal, okay, functionality is employing a modality that allows you to achieve that result, achieve that goal. So here’s the thing, I’ve been on this kick on isolation movement, isolation training, right? And when people think about isolation training, we’ll talk about bicep curls, people don’t think that’s functional and I kind of disagree. It really depends on the audience. Right? And is that mode of training going to produce a result? Because if you talked to the bodybuilding community, like doing bicep curls is functional, it’s result driven for that community because obviously you have to have big biceps, appealing biceps in order to win a bodybuilding competition. Correct? But also Corey, we’ve worked with female athletes, right? We understand that when you look at the upper body strength of female athletes compared to male athletes, right?
Ray Eady There’s going to be some limitations. There are going to be some weaknesses. And I believe if you want female athletes to perform well and certain upper body movements, bench pressing or pull up, I think it’s appropriate to do work that trains the synergistic muscles to allow females to exploit and perform multi-joint movement. So I’ve gotten away from saying this movement or this exercise is functional. I’m more looking at it. Does this exercise allow me to produce the results that’s needed in order for me to perform a task?
Scott Robison Yeah. That’s an interesting point.
Corey Digman That totally makes sense.
Scott Robison Yeah. The other thing I was, you know, as you were saying that, I was thinking about that too though If you had told me that 10 years ago when I … In 2008, if you told me that the people working out at a CrossFit gym were going to do bicep curls as part of their daily program. I would have laughed at you, right? Because they were the anti-bicep curl, anti-bodybuilding.
Ray Eady Yes.
Scott Robison Kings of functional fitness, whatever that means. But sure enough, it turns out when you have more resilient, right? Elbow flexors, it preserves right? … It protects them for when you’re doing those bigger, right? Those bigger multi-joint exercises. It must as like that it tears a bicep when you, right? When you train them regularly as opposed to just doing heavy deadlifts and pull-ups.
Corey Digman Yeah. You can see that in Strongman Sport too. You’d see like it kind of it’s not … There’s not … You’re not flexing like you’re on the stage and bodybuilding and you’re not necessarily doing curly movements, but in a way you are when you’re gripping and pulling a stone.
Scott Robison Sure.
Corey Digman Those guys set up a bicep charge. Or-
Scott Robison Yeah go on.
Corey Digman There’s some days where if you done lift a certain … If you get up to a certain weight then left your biceps a week, you are going to tear. That’s why a lot of the guys are going to double overhand instead of alternating.
Scott Robison Yup.
Corey Digman And it’s like, okay, you can do bicep curls is going to benefit.
Scott Robison Right. Yeah. It probably shouldn’t be like the only exercise you do though. You’re going to start with the big multi joint thing. So I guess like, I kind of want to step out, we kind of jumped right into the nitty gritty of what, right, of good training programs. But like, just coming back to that idea of the sort of five characteristics of things that you procrastinate. In some sense I feel like when people out in the community asked me like, “How … What do I … I want to add exercise in my life. What should I do?” the thing I usually go right to is “Something fun with other people.”
Corey Digman Yep.
Scott Robison Right? Because it gets the communal aspect, it holds you accountable. It’s fun. That’s important because unless you’re like us and you just like being in the weight room, right? That’s right? Most people aren’t like that. So it helps them find something and then it gives you the motivation to keep right … To find reasons to train, right? You can … If you love basketball, you can train to be a better basketball player. If you love ballroom dancing, you can train to be a better ballroom dancer. Right? Improve your balance and coordination and react to skills and those things. So how do you … I mean, what do you … Corey, what would you say are good, like good examples of those high level more sort of fun oriented fitness programs that you like?
Corey Digman Okay. So, that’s always an ongoing progression for me to get better at.
Scott Robison Sure.
Corey Digman But I’ve gotten into the position now where like I’ll tell people that it was a different workout every single day. People like change, they like variety, but within those workouts, if there was a five minute time limit or a 12 minute time limit, we have these certain exercises that are a little bit competitive driven. Even if they’re not competitive to other people, they can see the difference within that session. Like “Oh, I did more reps or I did a faster time. Hey, by the way, my heart rate was through the roof. It’s awesome.” So you can kind of create that comparison type workout. They can see. I’m mean, that’s huge. I mean-
Scott Robison Like a benchmark work out?
Corey Digman Beside like if I’m measuring … Yeah. If I’m not measuring, you know waist measurements every so often, but it’s just kind of like that quick. Kind of like if you eat a food and you know it’s going to taste good, that’s worth the price at that time. So it’s like you do that movement or that set of exercises, you do it again, you going to beat your time, you feel better. So, and then you can create … That’s one of the reasons I transferred over from one on one training to group training is that accountability aspect and working with others, laughing, encouraging people. And they can see that they’re not the only ones fighting, you know, that fight that they’re fighting with a mental block that they have. Yeah, just try to fit in games in there too, like if there’s a set of exercises I want to do incorporating like a baseball game. So we use a foam roll as the baseball bat and then a dodge ball as the ball.
Corey Digman And we do some certain things like that to kind of break up the class or use it as a warmup exercise where, for example, if you have four people in a circle and four sticks, everybody let’s go with a stick at the same time and they move counterclockwise or clockwise and they try to grab the next stick before it falls. So the first person to let it fall, then they do an exercise and this is part of a warmup. So try to incorporate-
Scott Robison Got it.
Corey Digman Stuff like that too. But yeah, it’s an ongoing improvement that I need to work on too.
Scott Robison Yeah, I liked that idea of working, right of getting those communal games into your warm up. The thing that was kind of on my mind when we sort of … When I asked my questions like, “Where?” … Because you’re talking about these benchmark workouts a little bit, and Ray, you and I have had this conversation the last couple of days here in the office about fitness as a sport.
Ray Eady Yes.
Scott Robison Yeah. Do you want to kind of give me your stick on the … Stick is the wrong word. Give me your piece on fitness as a sport and how that’s different from fitness as fitness.
Ray Eady Oh, we were discussing and talking about the CrossFit community?
Scott Robison [inaudible 00:14:07]. So CrossFit is where it usually comes up because it’s the right … Everybody knows the sport of fitness. And they didn’t invent interval training, right? But they sort of popularized this idea of strength training, right? It’s released as an in-house competition, right? So yeah, you can talk about this … It sounds like Corey is doing a similar thing with benchmark workouts, right? Workouts for time.
Ray Eady Okay, well, so let me back up just a bit and talk about like my thought process and what I’m doing. Personally I like to train by myself, and I’m sorry. I think for someone that’s looking to get into shape or look in particular jump. I think you and Scott are right and you have to find something that is going to make you consistently want to continue to train. Okay. So you’ve got to find an avenue that excites you or hold you accountable and it’s going to allow you to be consistent and in training. For myself, the gym that I go to, I’m around a lot of physique competitors, bodybuilders. For me, I’ve done everything. I’ve done Olympic weightlifting, strongman work, power lifting. What have you, I am at a point now in my life, in my age where it’s all about looking good. It’s about buying proposition. So, that’s how I choose to train at this point. I don’t really care if I’m fast.
Scott Robison Sure.
Ray Eady If I’m strong. I just want to look good. That’s what it is.
Scott Robison Totally amazing.
Ray Eady You’re going to be around population of men and women who, sort of kind of think the same. So I just wanted to put that out there. As far as CrossFit is concerned, I think CrossFit is … In my opinion, it’s great for the fitness community. And I was just talking to a client who is a cross fitter and we were talking about the community, the competitiveness, the engagement. And I personally believe CrossFit is not a training system. I believe CrossFit is a sport. Cross fitters out there please don’t shoot at me, but I think in order to be better at CrossFit, you have to do CrossFit. There’s no doubt about that.
Scott Robison Sure.
Ray Eady The issue is, does CrossFit make you a better basketball player? Does CrossFit make you a better football player? Does CrossFit make you a better volleyball player? There’s some derivative of CrossFit that I have employed as a strength coach as far as in many circuits of time. Time circuits what have you? But does it translate into someone being a good basketball player? Or a better baseball player? Is there some dynamic correspondence? That’s debatable in my opinion. And I’m welcome to speak to any cross fitter out there in regards to that topic.
Scott Robison All right. We’re going to have to get Josh [inaudible 00:17:27] on the podcast here and it’s … Or my friend Nate Candela. We’ll hash this out for real, because I guess like I think you’re right. Yeah. The daily metcon like as many reps as possible, the things … Whatever for time has definitely is more of a sport performance piece if you want it to be, right? If you’re really going to sell out and try to win the workout every day for sure. Like everything else … I found the CrossFit main page in 2006 back when you had to like download the videos as either Windows media player or QuickTime. Remember that?
Ray Eady Yep.
Scott Robison It’s bad days. And that’s pretty much what it was, three days on, one day off. Post your score in the comments and everybody’s sort of measuring themselves against each other. Like everything else that they’ve brought, other pieces of good quality strength and conditioning into the fold. So in the gyms, right? In the well run gyms like Madtown, Big Dane, St. Five Fitness. Here in Madison, we’re looking at … We’ve seeing a lot more unilateral movements than we used to. You’re seeing a lot more … Like as I was saying Five Fitness has like three levels for every day. So there’s like a beginner level, there’s like a health and wellness goal, right? And then the athlete performance and each one not only has different loading but also often neither a different rep scheme or a different movement. Like if you’re a health and wellness athlete, you don’t need a full snatch for time, right? Or right one rep max. You can get away with the … There are benefits to doing it, but they’re … You can use a power variation. You can use a hang variation to get similar adaptations. The thing that I was thinking about with sort of picking your thing, because CrossFit does tick all those things though, right?
Scott Robison Of like, “Is it boring?” No, it’s different. All right it’s constantly varied. It’s different every day. “Is it frustrating?” Yeah, but in a like satisfying way, right? Like, oh, I can’t quite get my muscle up, but every once in a while I get a little bit closer. It’s like a video game where you fail, fail, fail, fail, fail. Want to keep coming back for more. “Is it difficult?” Yes. But again, in a way that people like, right? There’s … I have this goal, where I want to get to a body weight deadlift or a double body weight deadlift or I want to get to muscle ups, right? There’s all these different tasks. Does it lack in intrinsic meaning? Like when you show up every day, eventually it does, right? You sign up for a three month contract at the end of it, usually you’re kind of in. And the thing that I really appreciate about being a member of CrossFit Big Dane for almost three years was that, I know how to move. I love all this stuff, but I’m a father, I’m a businessman. I could create my own program and go to Princeton Club or whatever, and do it myself. Or I could go to CrossFit Big Dane, show up for an hour, get a great workout, not have to think about anything but execution and leave, right?
Ray Eady Yep.
Scott Robison And that’s … It’s somebody else is taking care of all that other stuff for me. And that’s what I really appreciated about it. And Corey, I think you’re doing something similar at Digman Fitness, right?
Corey Digman Yeah. Yeah. There’s another cool thing that we have to do, I mean also at the end of the month we test out, and things that people like to train. If they want to train more strength then we test out their deadlifts.
Ray Eady That’s nice.
Corey Digman Or if they like bench press we will do that. If it’s a pull up, we’ll test out pull up. Or if they’re in a sport like a recreation sport like soccer or ultimate frisbee, we’ll test out like a minute bike test. We will measure heart rate and then keep track of that too. People like to see, “Hey, what did I get three months ago.” Kind of thing. So I have all that kind of track my excel spreadsheets and then the finishers are cool too. So at the end of the workout, it’s kind of a … It takes you through and it’s not so … I mean if you break it down into pieces, it makes it the workout, or the hour seems so much faster. Like, “Okay, I want to finish her today and we can do it.” If it’s like a farmer’s walk for distance like it was today or maybe like a simple wall sit or [crosstalk 00:21:35].
Scott Robison Oh, wall sits are kind of terrible. Don’t do that.
Corey Digman Yeah. Well, we’ve been … Yeah. [crosstalk 00:21:40]-
Scott Robison I hate that so much.
Corey Digman It’s like a bicep curl. So you know, like Ray was saying, “I throw that in as a finisher.”
Scott Robison Sure.
Corey Digman You know just that. Yeah. Let’s get a pump quick, so they feel that.
Scott Robison Right.
Corey Digman And they leave. “Oh yeah. I got my whole body worked out.”
Scott Robison Yup.
Ray Eady You know one thing I’ve noticed about your gym Corey, and other small niche gyms as I will call it, compared to like bigger chains is it seems like when your clients come through. Not just your gym, but other gyms they’re coming to because they are looking to get some type of result. And here’s an individual … There are this gym there’re it’s going to help me to obtain that. So if you’re talking about a CrossFit gym, like someone is going there in, in order to perform better in doing the workouts of the days, right? You’re going to probably go on your gym, maybe you want to get better at doing a strongman competition. So if you go to another gym, you want to get better at looking good what have you? And I think those gyms kind of drive … Your audience are driven by that than opposed to just going to a gym and they’re just a member and you know what? They may be looking for results or not. But I think just listen to what we’re talking about with the Dane County CrossFit gym.
Ray Eady Their progression, I think it’s outstanding and what you’re doing is outstanding. But I think people will choose a gym … Because people are spending hard, spending their dollars, their discretionary income. You know what I mean, to join a particular gym and I think what they’re looking for is, is this gym going to help me achieve some type of goal. Or am I going to get some type of results from it. So that’s why I see from like small niche gyms and that’s just my opinion is they’re really gaining something out of it, given the money that they’re given. You know what I mean?
Corey Digman Yes.
Ray Eady So, that’s my opinion. So nothing against any gyms out there, but if you want to be well at doing CrossFit, you’re going to join a CrossFit gym, right? That specializes in those types of activities. And your gym whatever you specialize in, that’s where they’re going to go. So, that’s just my opinion.
Scott Robison What do you guys think about … So thinking about this. You mentioned participating in sport and things. If you’ve got … If you’re a busy person, which most people are, let’s be honest, right? And you’ve got a limited amount of time to devote to physical wellness. And here’s the thing, why do we need to exercise? Yeah.
Ray Eady Like we need to exercise?
Scott Robison Exercise. Yeah. I mean this is like-
Ray Eady Well because of longterm health.
Scott Robison Yeah.
Ray Eady Which I believe-
Scott Robison So those are-
Ray Eady Is leasing.
Scott Robison Right. But why do we have to exercise to get those things? And here is my answer, and this is not … This is an answer I’m cribbing from people, but was the first was Katy Bowman and Mark Rippetoe, right? Is that we are in an unnatural environment.
Ray Eady Sure.
Scott Robison If we … And I’m convinced that if we all went out and lived as stone age hunter gatherers for five years, all of our aches and pains would be gone. Like your knees wouldn’t hurt, your back, wouldn’t hurt. We wouldn’t have any more headaches as long as you survived, right? You’d get the right dosage of the right movements to express like your optimal, like biologic makeup, because that’s what we … Like that’s how we develop. But we have created an environment for ourselves that is totally vanilla, right? It’s always like 68 to 75 degrees inside. It’s always kind of like medium bright inside. It’s all, right? What do we sit on chairs, which puts our hips and knees and ankles at 90, 90, 90, right? So we’ve created this like low output environment for ourselves because it’s a biological imperative, right? Every, every organism from sponges to bacteria to humans are trying to minimize our energy output and still reproduce as much as possible. So that’s what all that stuff is for, right? But it turns out as with most of us find out if either early on, or we hit our 30s, 40s, 50s. Like, “Yeah man, if you’re not actually moving, well often your body starts to hurt, starts to break down,” So you’ve got to start doing something to add some of that movement back in.
Corey Digman Right?
Scott Robison So-
Ray Eady But we also forget that exercise is also a stress reliever.
Scott Robison Yeah. For sure.
Ray Eady We forget about the psychological component of training. I agree with what Scott’s saying, but we’re also living in a world where we’re stressed, we’re constantly working, we’re trying to feed our children, take care of family members, what have you? We’re constantly on the go and I think that exercises add a component for us to kind of just down regulate and it’s work … And for a lot of people it’s a stress reliever. So I think we also have to look at the whole mental aspects of training and exercising as well.
Scott Robison Yeah, that’s a great point. So I guess my question is this to you guys. Having gone on my little diatribe there, if you only have three hours a week, and you’re 25, what do you think is a better use of your time? I mean, you’ve got things to choose like you could do it like a structured strength and conditioning program. You could do like a bootcamp type deal. You could play a sport, right? You just be part of a rec soccer league or something like that. Like where do you … Like it sort of different. Where do you think is the best use of most people’s time and does that vary … Or how does that vary for folks?
Corey Digman I think if you’re looking at overall health. I don’t know what kind of job you have? I would get outside as much as I can within that point in time.
Scott Robison Yeah, I love that.
Corey Digman I mean enjoy the … I mean there’s a lot of people that don’t like outside but for me I feel bad if I don’t enjoy the day. It’s like it’s a waste if don’t get out. If it’s sunny, if it’s warm, it’s like I want to go out in the trail or go hike or whatever. I mean, same time you’re getting a workout then. But then at the same time, improving the other components of fitness and strength and mobility. Get in the gym at least the other … Maybe split it up half and half in the gym and outside.
Scott Robison Yeah, I like that outside part. That’s a key piece we haven’t talked about yet. Yeah.
Corey Digman Its healthy growth and vitamin D all the other … All the things you get from being outside too.
Scott Robison Yep, for sure. Yeah. It’s a great way to … When you travel and try to reset your jet lag, to go workout especially outside, go for a walk, go for a run, something like that. Do yoga in the park. Well, who was I talking to about this? I don’t know. I was talking about [Sean Pratt 00:28:08] a couple weeks ago about the idea of grounding. Whether, or not there’s anything to the buildup of positive charge inside your body then going to stand barefoot outside is it will help, will help balance whatever. I was going to say balance your chin as a joke, but sorry Ray, that’s little close to home for you guy. Anyway. Yeah. With the outside piece is a critical part. Well, what’s your take on that Ray? Where do you think people should be spending their time?
Ray Eady No, I agree with you all. I mean anytime you can get outside, you know what I mean and move, that’s great. But I also believe too, there’s some importance to training and exercise. And we can’t dispute that fact. So I like what Corey said, you know what I mean, he’s trying to divide up your time where you’re doing some things that are outside, there are fun that you enjoy, but also got to find some time to get into gym. You got to find some time to train because there’s some relevance and importance in doing that as well.
Scott Robison Like what?
Ray Eady What? Getting strong? I mean-
Corey Digman Yeah, I was going to say like my-
Ray Eady There’s nothing wrong with being strong.
Corey Digman Favorite [crosstalk 00:29:13]. You got to get out the bar.
Ray Eady To my audience there’s nothing wrong with being strong. You know what I mean? I mean in order to move you’ve got to have some level of strength. Digman do you agree with that?
Corey Digman Oh, yeah. I like what you said-
Ray Eady Do you understand what I’m saying? So I mean-
Scott Robison Yeah. Well, and that’s it. I think that’s an under appreciated piece too, is that when you get to a certain age. And it’s like for most people it’s when there’re roughly retirement age. They spent … If they haven’t been working out in developing strength, whether that’s through barbells or they’re sort of farm stronger from carrying stuff around all day long.
Ray Eady Sure.
Scott Robison Like it’s this insidious loss of functionality that doesn’t show up until you get to a certain age and you’re like, “Oh man, I can’t carry my two year old grandchild up the stairs.” That’s a problem, right?
Corey Digman Yeah.
Ray Eady Yeah, it is.
Scott Robison So it’s not just the like, I think there’s a mindset piece about strength, or training for strength is being unfeminine or scary or dangerous, but it’s like it’s a vital part of just living a normal, healthy life.
Ray Eady Absolutely.
Scott Robison And that’s why I think I see it.
Corey Digman You know that’s all great. I mean we can also do a lot of corporate fitness within companies too. You know lunch break fitness is huge. I mean it’s getting, gaining popularity. There’s companies are taking time to have employees take leadership and formal wellness committee and hire … If it’s an outside coach, nutrition, massage, whatever it is.
Scott Robison True.
Corey Digman I think that’s a fun part of my day to get out of the gym and do training in different atmosphere and then get outside as much as I can and with them too.
Ray Eady Have you ever come in contact with a client … And I’m going to be funny here that said, “Coach Corey make me weak.” Have you ever heard anyone say, “Do you know what? I’m happy being weak. I want to be weak.” Have any of the clients that we’ve come in contact with, even some of our clients that we do manual therapy work, or when I was a strength coach, everyone is on the quest of wanting to move well. Everybody’s on the quest of wanting to … In my opinion, be strong and do the things that they love doing. So
Scott Robison Oh. I’ve heard people say they want to be weak. They just didn’t know that’s what they were saying, right? Corey, you know what I’m talking about, right?
Corey Digman Oh, yeah.
Scott Robison I want to look good, but I don’t want to get a break, but I don’t want to … I only want to lift like 15 pounds and my physical therapist said “It’s only safe for me to lift eight pounds.”
Ray Eady [crosstalk 00:31:36] gratification.
Scott Robison It’s not even this thing gratification, right? It’s a misperception of what this activity is going to produce in me.
Ray Eady Absolutely.
Scott Robison So.
Ray Eady And a lot of that is just education though Scott.
Scott Robison It’s totally. It’s totally education.
Ray Eady You know what I mean. You got guys like Corey, that’s your job, right? So if you have someone that wants to come in and transform your physique, right? I mean, first of all, it’s not going to happen overnight. There’s a commitment, obviously got to be consistent, but at some point you know what? “You’re going to have to move some weight.” Am I right in saying that Corey?
Scott Robison Oh, yeah. I mean to tell people-
Ray Eady And it’s guys like you … That’s where the coaching comes in, right? So you understand the science behind body transformation, what have you? But the coaching, the artistic part of what you do comes in and trying to get that individual to understand in order to get from A to B to C, D. This is what you have to do and you as a coach or try to guide that individual in getting from A to Z.
Corey Digman Yean. I mean you’re going to … I tell people it’s like there’s going to be some changes as you move bigger weight. You can think of it as like a bigger car with more horsepower. Like if you’re in real estate and you get paid while you rest kind of thing. So it’s like you can burn calories and take advantage of resting more while you have a stronger body and but then on top of that, you’re going to have to consume a little bit more protein to make up part two. And that can be scary for people. It’s like, “Oh, I don’t want to eat more. I don’t want eat more. I don’t want to bulk up.” But I tell people too it’s like to put on your hormonal you know for male, or female, everybody’s different too. So it’s a process.
Scott Robison Well the crazy … It just … I was listening to an interview, I don’t know who it was … I think it was Mike T. Nelson was talking about this on a podcast recently. He was talking about why people sometimes need to eat more in order to start losing weight.
Corey Digman Yeah.
Scott Robison Right? Because I guess it turns out what’s happening on the cellular level is that the body is stressed and in fight of … And in a very sympathetic state. So it’s defending against weight loss by metabolizing muscle tissue to create the energy. So even though you’re in this like crazy weight loss, extremely restricted meal plan, your weight isn’t going anywhere because you’re creating … It’s too stressful for, right? And the body-
Corey Digman Yep.[crosstalk 00:33:53]. Yeah.
Scott Robison Defends itself super [crosstalk 00:33:54] you actually have to like come back up enough with your calorie intake to get you to sort of homeostasis again and then start chipping away at it.
Ray Eady They’ve called that re-feeding. Is that correct when you’re in a caloric deficit, so to speak? I know I’m not nutritionist, but I agree with what Scott is saying. It makes sense.
Scott Robison Yeah. Yeah.
Corey Digman Oh, yeah, that’s big. It makes my job a little bit harder too, when you have to have those tough conversations and you’d be like, “Yeah, we’re going to have to eat a little bit more, you know, removing more is there how many calories you’re burning in this exercise, hey on top of that, you’re in a soccer league.” So this is someone, you know how much more calories you’re eating. And you’re only eating a thousand calories a day. That’s a probably a little bit too much deficit.
Scott Robison Yeah, that’s a … I was just talking to Emma Rose about that, a health coach we’re working with and she said, “Yeah, pretty much the only person who should be eating about 800 or a thousand calories is either … Is a bedridden grandmother, but who else needs more than that?”
Corey Digman They were saying like, I don’t know what the number is for an average person, but just at rest, your organs in your body burns like easily, almost a thousand let me put on-
Scott Robison Yeah, a thousand, 1500 depending on how big you are. Corey, you burn more than I do, I think.
Corey Digman I’m working on. I’ll be a raise position in a couple of years [inaudible 00:35:11].
Scott Robison There you go.
Ray Eady Good boy.
Corey Digman Though training won’t be as much of a priority. I mean heavier sport. I’m saying sports specific like strong man.
Scott Robison Yeah, I got you. Yeah. You’re still doing a lot of strong man work. I’m just … Yeah.
Corey Digman Yeah. I’m still going to burn-
Ray Eady Lightweight with intention.
Scott Robison It’s right. Kind of get to the peak.
Ray Eady Exactly.
Scott Robison Kind of get to the peak. I love it.
Corey Digman Hey, this is Corey Digman from Digman Fitness, the testimonial for Ray and Integration Bodywork, I refer clients to Ray simply because of two reasons. Number one is his experience in athletics and movement, a movement specific training is important in order to be well as they get better. Number two, the assessment process is important. Even as I train my clients in the gym to find out what they need to get better at in order to perform the exercises correctly, same thing goes for Ray. He has the understanding and the tools necessary to help people get better through assessments and in order to find what specific areas to work on, which is really cool. So not many massage therapists out there that do what Ray does and in terms of assessing and finding exactly what to do in our next step. So thanks a lot for the hard work. We’ll be doing lots of referring in the future.
Scott Robison So Corey tell us … Because we’ve kind of danced around this topic a little bit, but tell … How are you working with people in your gym from a health and longevity standpoint? As much fun as we love, as much … Because I know you’ve got a sport performance background. You intern with Ray at EW Madison. Ray obviously you have all this background with elite athletes, but most people out there are really after more health and longevity. Like how do you approach those people in your gym?
Ray Eady Yeah, that’s a conversation I’ve just had with a guy today. I try to do as much as I can in my power, even saying, “How are you progressing? How are you eating? How are you sleeping right now? Can I help you more than I’m helping you right now?” It’s a yes or no. Say yes, I do my job. If it doesn’t improve then I say, “Hey, these are some areas maybe out of my scope, there are some guys that I think can help you out.” Just recently, like a few people that I refer to you guys that have had some issues with lower spine or even … I’m not going to say any specifics, but it’s like, I’ve tried some things. It’s progressing, but it’s not completely improving. So I say, “Hey, let’s try this other stuff out with these guys.” So I’m a big part on referring to chiropractors, to massage therapists and all those things. Just to … I think it helps, not like it’s driving income away from my business, but it’s helping. I guess it’s kind of like a fiduciary doing what’s best for your client and being honest with them. I think they appreciate that.
Scott Robison Oh, for sure. Well, we just put out … We wrote something about that yesterday. I’m talking about being durable and durability, right? Most of the time we’re thinking about like building materials or canvas clothing or something like that. But really like in the physical sense, it’s really the ability to do what you want when you want it, without getting hurt, right? When your clients are more durable, right? When they’re getting the recovery methods, they’re seeing a chiropractor and bodywork for maintenance. They’re able to show up consistently and exercise to their fullest without having to regress. The movements are loads so it actually gets them to their goal faster and you look smart, right? Because look at this cool person you sent them to. So I think that’s a great synergistic business practice to have.
Corey Digman And the same situation from a different company or different business where I wanted to add a shower to my facility. I had a plumber come in because all I thought I was already in that position was like “Okay, what we’ve to do to dig all some of these walls to put a shower in?” And after looking in to the situation for like a minute and he’s like, “All right, I’m not your guy. You need a contractor to draw up a plan to totally like, restart everything in your business building. It’s a little bit older and you need to restructure things before we even talk.” So it’s kind of the same thing. He was honest, he didn’t take a bill from me and say, “Okay, let’s start.”
Scott Robison Right.
Corey Digman And be like, “Hey, sorry sucker. You know you must [inaudible 00:39:32]-“
Scott Robison Yeah. Or add 50% charge. You know change orders and all that stuff. Yeah.
Ray Eady No, I think that’s good business practice. And I think that’s what’s going to make you have some longterm success. When we talk about athletes, and the whole Soviet Union model, the old Russian model and working with athletes scores performance. And it’s something that we in the West, Western practitioners we don’t do well at. And Jimmy and I. Jimmy is not and I used to have this conversation, I believe he was there, is when there is an athlete, right? You would have the strength coach, you would have the sports coach, nutritionist, physical therapist, maybe a sports psychologist. They would all be a part of a team, working to ensure that athlete get what they need in order to perform within their sport, right? That’s a very … It’s been a very … That was a very successful model for the old Soviet athletes and let’s not talk about everything else that made them successful, but if you’re talking about that all [crosstalk 00:40:28]-
Scott Robison Supplements.
Ray Eady Yeah. Well, if you’re talking about that whole coaching dynamics, that’s … You can attribute their success to that. What we see here … And this is just my opinion, is you have a client, right? Yeah. They need strength training. They probably need some physical therapy intervention. They probably need a nutritionist, you know what I mean? And some places don’t have all of those entities at their disposal in order to educate those clients in those areas because we have to make sure that we were within scope of practice. So, that’s what we try to do here at Integration Bodywork.
Scott Robison Absolutely.
Ray Eady You know, we’re going to stay within scope of practice, but we’re going to form these partnerships with other entities so that if we need be, we can refer our client out because that’s good client treatment. You understand what I’m saying?
Scott Robison Totally.
Ray Eady So I agree with you providing good client treatment and that’s what it’s all about. And that’s when your retention rates will go up, and they refer more people to you because they know that you are invested in them. You understand that. That is why-
Scott Robison Yeah.
Corey Digman Yeah, that’s totally … It’s awesome.
Scott Robison Corey, who are you looking for right now? Like who do you typically see in your spot? Because you’re over there by sort of over by the Woodman’s area, right over on South Gammon. Where’s your … Sort of, what’s your sweet spot for your best get clients?
Corey Digman So this is … I range from 30 years old all the way up to 70. I like working with the kind of the old athlete, like the 35 year old. I think it’s exciting because-
Scott Robison I’m not old.
Corey Digman I do not-
Scott Robison What are you talking about?
Corey Digman I’m not saying old, old, but I’m saying older. I mean like 10 years ago we were in college kind of thing.
Scott Robison Okay.
Corey Digman It’s fun. It’s like you’re competing with them. Sometimes you’re working out with them. It’s like bringing back old memories and they could be like talking about, “Hey, I used to do this in college and Hey, I can still kind of do this stuff.” So it’s really enjoyable there at the same time in the other end of the spectrum, having the baby boomer come in 65, 70 year old, coming to the gym after a hip, knee, shoulder replacement and they’re really good app. That’s really motivating for me to continue what I’m doing personally. So I can be as healthy as they are at that age.
Scott Robison Sure.
Corey Digman And then have them as an example for other people that are … Especially the guys, you know that age, it’s harder for them to get to a gym, especially a specialty gym. Because that’s what their wives do. Like, “Hey, my wife needs a personal trainer, but I golf three days a week. I think I’m a good.” kind of thing. So it’s like-
Scott Robison Totally.
Corey Digman [inaudible 00:43:02] doing something outside their comfort zone I think is really cool too.
Scott Robison I like that. Yeah. Can you talk briefly on the importance of strength training for older adults and particularly, right? We talked a lot here about the six or maybe seven fundamental movement patterns, right? Squat, hinge, lunge, push, maybe press. What’s the difference between a pressing and a reach, right? Is that scapular protraction, neutral spine and pulling, right? And then like carrier or core stability, whatever your variation is, right? So like squat, hinge, lunge, push, pull, carry or reach. Why is that important for older adults as compared with sort of like somebody my age?
Corey Digman There was a good quote. I think I heard, I don’t know if it was on a podcast, “Less miles,” or something, I think said it, it’s like people get old, they stop learning, they stopped doing things and then they die. You die faster. So who wants to die faster?
Scott Robison Oh, not me. Yeah.
Corey Digman It’s a bit miserable. So like how can we kind of extend it. It’s like a rubber band, continue stretching it. So that way it doesn’t get cracked and then breaks. So we’ll just continually supporting them, providing them exercises and things that they can enjoy. And so that way when they go to … If they’re a dancer on the off days and if they hike, if they want to continue to travel … And that stuff takes energy especially in older age. You mean sitting in an airport, sitting in the car when you were more physically active when you’re training the stuff isn’t as hard anymore. That’s the biggest thing that I try to tell older adults.
Scott Robison Yeah, I like that. Yeah. The other thing I was thinking about too is that the difference between like a good structured strength and conditioning program like we’re going to get from you versus going to a dance class or something like that. Is that by … Like as we get older and we’re more exposed to this, right? To the built environment, we lose the ability to explore our full … Like our movement space, right? You lose access to ranges of motion and activities because you don’t do them, right? This is like a … You’ve got a positive feedback loop, so whatever you do more of, you get better at, it gets easier, but whatever you don’t do also gets harder, right? It’s not so much that you can’t touch your toes because you’re, right? Because there’s something intrinsically about your hamstrings. It’s tight. You will like never touch your toes. So it turns out your body forgets how to do it, right?
Corey Digman Yeah.
Scott Robison And it’s like, “Oh, we don’t need that. We’ll just get rid of it.” So the thing I like about a place like Durbin Fitness or a CrossFit gym or some other good strength and conditioning program is that it re-educate you and brings that available range of movements back into the fold and a safe progressed way.
Corey Digman Yup. That’s perfect. Hey. That’s tough, because then if you get somebody that falls, you know what happens when they fall. They’re not strong enough.
Scott Robison Totally.
Corey Digman [crosstalk 00:45:57].
Scott Robison Yeah. I mean we … Excuse me for a second. We were talking about that a few weeks ago. Yeah. It’s that falling is the number one by far the number one cause of accidental death by 86% of the fall related deaths every year are in people 65 and older.
Corey Digman Wow. That’s very-
Scott Robison Yeah. So-
Corey Digman That’s why I like to teach the Turkish get up even at an older age. To teach them how to get up as long as they don’t … Because that’s … Not holding a heavyweight overhead obviously, but showing them that type of move, to get up off the floor.
Scott Robison Oh, that’s great. I love that.
Ray Eady I like that.
Scott Robison Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Corey, if people want to get in touch with you, man, how do they do that?
Corey Digman Yeah, check us out on Facebook, Digman Fitness. Instagram, Corey Digman.
Scott Robison How do you spell Digman? I always get this wrong.
Corey Digman Yeah. D,I,G,M,A,N Fitness.
Scott Robison Okay.
Corey Digman Yup. We’re on Facebook, Instagram. Find me on Linkedin. YouTube. Yeah.
Scott Robison Awesome.
Corey Digman I think it’s all that.
Scott Robison Cool. No, that’s great. And do you have any parting shots for us today? [crosstalk 00:46:57].
Corey Digman No. Just keep sweating and stay strong and get underneath that bar like racist. Got to get under that bar.
Scott Robison You got to move weight. All right. Corey, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day. We’ll talk to you soon.
Corey Digman Thanks a lot.
Ray Eady Take care Corey. Thank you.
Scott Robison That’s it for this episode of the Integration Bodywork Podcast. If you enjoyed it, please subscribe on Apple Podcast formerly known as iTunes. That’s how [inaudible 00:47:21]. If you’d like to find out more about us and what we’re up to. Go to www.integrationbodywork.net, where you can find the show notes for this and every episode subscribe to the famous victory newsletter for scheduling an appointment.

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