Today I have another interview, and I am very excited to have John Rowley on the line/computer. Let’s learn some old-school fitness and life tips from him.
Who is John Rowley?
John and I will 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. And contribute to Fox News, Martha Stewart, and the Wall Street Journal. I have long and detailed stories; I don’t want to get into all that right now, but my website, if you want to see anything, is JohnRowley.net.
Is Old School Training Dead?
Rick Kaselj: Awesome! John, you and I met in January in Tampa Bay or St. Petersburg; it was good to chat with you then and learn a bit more about your background. But we are here to kind of talk about Fitness, and one thing I have noticed is that there has been this shift out of, you know, away from doing dumbbell work, barbell work, and 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 70s. 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.
I’m not a big fan of many things that go on today. You know, seeing people doing squats on balls. I think there’s a time and a place for certain types of exercise, 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.
You practice batting, running, and fielding if you are a baseball player. 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, I think it is people trying to figure out 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: 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 of 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 bodybuilding industry and the youngest Senior Vice President in Manhattan. I worked for Helmsys, and I worked in various things. And I am good friends with Barbara Corcoran, who’s on 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 go to Harvard or Yale. You know I started 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. 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 bodybuilding world. You know bodybuilders 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, home, church, community, and hopefully looking good. There is nothing wrong with looking good and feeling comfortable taking your shirt off at the beach.
Rick Kaselj: Nice. Good, excellent definition.
John Rowley: Long answer, but that will give you a little bit.
Rick Kaselj: That’s alright. That’s good. I like it. I think it’s like with the interviews that you do. A person might specialize in a specific area, but there are other things that weave in that lead to their experience and knowledge.
John Rowley: Yeah, my take on Fitness is that I am not here to train athletes. I am not here to train bodybuilders. I will take the corporate executive or the household executive and help people in regular walks of life to be healthy, fit, energetic, and vibrant. That’s my goal.
Old School New Body
Rick Kaselj: Absolutely! Now one thing we talk about in Old School New Body is that you shouldn’t work out for more than 90 minutes a week. Maybe you can 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 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 by working out more or 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 how I worked out when I was in Manhattan Real Estate. I did not have a lot of time. I worked from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m.; 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 similar workout to this. I went in, got my workout done, and returned 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 liked going to the gym. It was a good stress reliever for me. So it’s in and out of the gym for 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, remember that 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 four times a week for 30 minutes at the top.
So when people tell me that 90 minutes isn’t enough, 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 watching TV, so I think they can get them in good shape.
If you lift the weight we are telling you to, this will stimulate the metabolism, but you also don’t need to do cardio.
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 do not do slow, boring cardio, but what do you suggest people do instead of 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 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. So what we’re saying is a good time-efficient workout. You’re elevating your heart rate and stimulating muscle, stimulating metabolism, but you’re also stimulating fat burning and getting your cardiovascular workout simultaneously.
Now, if you have a dog and want to walk for a half-hour, we’re not saying don’t 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 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 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, do some cardio. Another rule of the cardio, especially the slow, boring cardio we do, like walking and doing things like that, is nothing wrong with that, but it’s not a replacement for what we are talking about. That makes sense.
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