Old School Fitness and Life Tips with John Rowley

Old School Fitness and Life Tips with John Rowley

Today I have another interview and I am very excited to have John Rowley on the line/computer.

Who is John Rowley?

John and I are going to do a little interview but first I’ll get John to introduce himself in case you don’t know who he is.

John Rowley: Well my name is John Rowley. The media called me America’s Lifestyle Strategist. I am a best-selling author. I’m a contributor to Fox News, Martha Stewart, the Wall Street Journals and several others. I have got long and detailed stories; I don’t want get into all that right now but my website, if you want to see anything, its JohnRowley.net.

Is Old School Training Dead?

Rick Kaselj: Awesome! John, you and I met in Tampa Bay or St. Petersburg in January, it was good to chat with you then and learn a little bit more of your background. But we are here to kind of talk about fitness and one thing that I have noticed is, there has been this shift out of you know away from doing dumb bell work, bar bell work, kind of the old school gym work. Now what are your thoughts on that?

John Rowley: I haven’t shifted too far from old school work. I’m an old guy. I have been around the gym since the 70’s. I own the gym Pumping Iron was filmed at and then I have also worked at Worker Club Manhattan and The York Athletic Club. So I have been to both sides of the street so to speak.

I’m not a big fan of a lot of the things that go on today. You know seeing people doing squats on balls. There’s a time and a place for certain types of exercise I think, but what it is, in my opinion certain things work, the basics work, whether if you are a basketball player, let’s face it practicing your free throws and jump shots works.

If you are a baseball player you practice batting, running and fielding. If you are in fitness, resistance training works, cardiovascular training works, to a degree, and proper nutrition works. When you start getting above and beyond that, in my opinion, it is people trying to figure out about how to make a buck? How to stand out? How to make something look a little bit different? And does some of it work? Yes, anything will work it’s just whether or not you get hurt while doing it.

Rick Kaselj: Oh, that’s true.

John Rowley: Which is why you do so well with your fixing program.

Rick Kaselj: Yes, all of my fixing programs.

John Rowley: So thank God for those people.

How do you Define Fitness?

Rick Kaselj: That’s why I do so well, with all that. You bet. You know I missed my first question. Everyone has a different definition to this. Now I want to know what your definition is when it comes to fitness.

John Rowley: My general definition when it comes to fitness would be being healthy to be able to succeed in every area of your life.

Let me backtrack just a hair. I said I was in the body building industry, I was also the youngest Senior Vice President in Manhattan. I worked for the Helmsys and I worked in various things. I am good friends with Barbara Corcoran who’s on the Shark Tank. So I have had one foot in the fitness world and one foot in the business world to a large degree most of my life. In the business world, people who are not in shape in my opinion are not as effective as they could be.

It doesn’t make any difference if you went to the Harvard or Yale. You know I started off as a janitor and ended up being one of the youngest senior VPs in Manhattan Real Estate. I was competing against guys who went to Harvard and Yale.

Was it because I was smarter? No.

Was it because I was better educated or had better connections? No.

It was because I was more effective at what I did. And in my opinion today’s currency, in today’s world the number one currency is human performance and if you are not in shape, human performance goes out the window. So that’s one side of the street.

Now the other side of the street is you can have an unhealthy addiction to fitness. Now you see it in the body building world. You know body builders are one end of the spectrum and bulimics are another end of that spectrum. I think you need to canopy in the middle which is why we came out with Old School New Body. It’s a time-efficient way of getting fit.

My definition would be of being healthy enough to be able to perform in every area of your life – at work, at home, with your church, in your community and hopefully looking good. There is nothing wrong with looking good and feeling good and feeling comfortable taking your shirt off at the beach.

Rick Kaselj: Nice. Good, excellent definition.

John Rowley: Long answer but then that will give you a little bit.

Rick Kaselj: That’s alright. That’s good. I like it. You know I think it’s like with the interviews that you do. A person might be specializing in a specific area but there are all kinds of other things that weave in that lead to their experience and knowledge.

John Rowley: Yeah and my take on fitness is that I am not here to train athletes. I am not here to train body builders. I am going to take the corporate executive or the household executive and help people who are in regular walks of life to be healthy, fit and be energetic and vibrant. That’s really my goal.

Rick Kaselj: Absolutely! Now one thing we kind of talk about in Old School New Body is that you shouldn’t work out for more than 90 minutes a week. Maybe you can kind of expand on that and explain why?

John Rowley: It’s nothing you shouldn’t work out more than 90 minutes a week but I find that 90 minutes a week is an effective time period. You can do it a little bit less or you could do it a little bit more. But let’s face it, for the average person, the average person tells me when I travel the world, whether I am in South Africa or the United States or anywhere in between, China or Kazakhstan, wherever I have traveled to, the biggest thing people always tell me is they don’t have the time to get in shape.

So 90 minutes, I’m trying to take that obstacle out of the way. Now it doesn’t mean you can’t get in shape working out more or working out less but 90 minutes is a nice chunk of change. It’s 30 minutes, three times a week. It will get you in great shape.

This is actually when I was in Manhattan Real Estate this is how I worked out. I did not have a lot of time. I worked from 5 o’clock in the morning until 11 o’clock at night, I was very busy. So what I did is, especially early in my career, I went Mondays – Wednesdays – Fridays for 30 minutes.

I went in. It was a really similar work out to this. I went in, got my workout done, got back to the office. I worked out at a place called Madison Avenue Muscle early on in my real estate career. And as time went on, I started going every day because I just liked going in to the gym. It was a good stress reliever for me. So it’s in and out of the gym 20-30 minutes at the top but I go every day.

So it’s not that you can’t work out more or work out less, this is just a good effective routine that will get you in shape.

Also keep in mind during the 80s it was the Mr. Olympic and during the 90s it was 290 lbs of solid muscle, ripped to the bone muscle. I feel like I worked out 4 times a week for 30 minutes at the top.

So when people tell me that 90 minutes isn’t enough, well Dorian only did a little bit more than that and it was enough for him. For the average person, 30 minutes or even 20 minutes a week, three times a week, get and see a schedule. You know people spend more time than that than watching TV, so I think they can get them in really good shape doing that.

If you are lifting the weight that we are telling you to, this is going to stimulate the metabolism but you also don’t need to do cardio then.

Rick Kaselj: Okay. Good point. And then one thing that you also talked about in the book is slow boring cardio. Now you suggest people not do slow boring cardio but then what do you suggest people do instead of the slow boring cardio?

John Rowley: Again, what we’re talking about here is not that you shouldn’t do cardio. What I was saying is when you are lifting this weight, when you are lifting the Old School New Bodyweight, this is the way Arnold Schwarzenegger and Larry Scott, the old guys back in the 60s and the 70s, worked out and trained. They didn’t lift heavy weights back then, you know, relatively heavy. They lifted heavy weights but they didn’t lift heavy crazy weights, the way some of the bodybuilders are today.

But the bottom line is even in the gym when you go into the gym, I don’t know how many people see this, but if you go into the gym and you see people on the treadmill. I’ll tell you something, I am afraid to go on the treadmill because there is nothing but fat people on those things.

Let’s say you shouldn’t do cardio. What we are saying is 30 minutes of moving at the clip that we have you moving, you are only resting 30 seconds at the most between sets. You’re elevating your heart rate, you’re stimulating muscle which will stimulate metabolism, but you’re also stimulating fat burning and getting your cardiovascular workout at the same time. So what we’re saying is a good time-efficient workout.

Now if you have a dog and you want to go walk your dog for a half-hour, we’re not saying don’t go walk your dog because it is bad for your health. Walking is good doing some cardio is good.

I’m not a big fan of this high-intensity cardio because I think you can get hurt doing it but some people love it. And you know if you don’t get hurt by doing it, whatever rocks your boat do it.

But there is a smart way of doing things and there is a dumb way of doing things.

Old School New Body is a smart way of not getting hurt, getting in top physical shape, doing the least amount of work, and getting the most results in the least amount of time. And that’s why we say that you can avoid slow boring cardio. We are not saying you shouldn’t do it but what we are saying is it’s not effective.

Do the resistance training first. Then, if you want to go beyond the 90 minutes, hey go do some cardio. Another rule of the cardio, by the way, especially the slow boring cardio we do like walking and doing things like that, nothing is wrong with that but it’s not a replacement for what we are talking about. That makes sense.old-school-new-body-John-Rowley


I will have part 2 of the interview up soon.

If you would like to check out John’s Old School New Body program, you can here:

Take care and bye-bye.

Rick Kaselj, MS

Cardio for Those Who Hate Cardio