Working From Home: Episode 13 – Building the body and life of your dreams: fitness and nutrition – with Max Cathcart
Nelson is joined by fitness coach and nutrition expert Max Cathcart to discuss how we can level up our physical fitness and stick with our health goals.
Topics include: building a health and fitness routine when working from home, common pitfalls to avoid when addressing your physical health, creating a schedule that you can stick to, developing self-discipline, prioritizing nutrition, and other topics.
[00:32] – Nelson introduces today’s guest, Max Cathcart, who shares how hockey led him to dive deep into the world of fitness and nutrition.
[06:47] – How to stay on top of your health and fitness as a sedentary freelancer or entrepreneur who spends most of their time at home.
[10:14] – Start with nutrition. This will always be the biggest game-changer.
[16:38] – Max breaks down his approach to working with new clients, and how they approach fitness and nutrition together.
[18:11] – Common problems people face when trying to make lifestyle changes to improve their physical health.
[27:13] – There are no shortcuts to self-discipline. It has to come from within, no one can give it to you.
[30:22] – Tips for building up self-discipline, and habits that can support us along the way.
[34:31] – Observations Max has made about his most successful clients.
[39:02] – Why an accountability partner or coach will elevate your game to the next level in any discipline.
[47:25] – What is the number one thing people living a sedentary lifestyle can do if they have a specific health goal like losing weight?
[51:56] – Diversify your interests to avoid burnout and maintain energy while living a high-intensity lifestyle.
Nelson: Hello, and welcome to the ‘Working From Home’ podcast with your host me, Nelson Jordan. Today I have Max Cathcart, who is a fitness and nutrition expert, who coaches entrepreneurs online to live a better, healthier life. So very much in tune with what we’re trying to achieve for people on the podcast here, Max. Thank you for joining us.
Max: Thank you for having me. I’m excited to see where these next couple questions go to.
Nelson: No, no, no, it’s my pleasure. It really is. So, I wondered if you could start by kind of letting our audience know a little bit about your background and how you kind of found the world of fitness.
Max: So I guess you would say, I started playing hockey at a very young age. That’s kind of where it all started. So about that, 13-14 years old.
Nelson: And just because we have an international audience, and hockey means different things in the world is that ice hockey or field hockey?
Max: Ice. Yeah. So this is ice hockey. Yeah. So, I started really working out with the teams then. So that’s kind of how I got introduced to working out. We’d do the dry land sessions, off five sessions, we’d have some stuff on ice too. And then that’s when they kind of levelled up, when I was playing, when I was 18-19, and I really started to like the working out part more than playing the hockey part. And that’s kind of where I started to go away from the hockey aspect, and then really focusing on the training part. And I think my coach was really like, ‘Hey, like this guy’s taking it really serious’. But no, it’s just like I’m working out more than playing hockey itself. So that’s kind of how it started to go, and then that’s also that 18-year-old mark is when I really started to focus on the nutrition part too. I was working at a supplement store when I was like 16 to 18. And that’s kind of where it went. So, it started with taking supplements and then it was it was ‘Okay, like, I want to learn more about the nutrition aspect of it’. And that’s kind of where it went. And I mean, it’s been up and down since then till 26. That’s where it is now.
Nelson: So, sure. Was there a time that you you’ve stopped hockey completely, just to focus on the fitness side?
Max: Yes. So that was 20 years old, I stopped them because I was trying to work full-time and then school. And then obviously, I had hockey too. And I was like, ‘I can’t do these, I need to make money. So this isn’t going to work’. So school and work, ditch the hockey, I’m not going to get a job.
Nelson: No worries. And when did you decide that you wanted to plunge kind of full-time into fitness and nutrition? For that to be not just kind of a hobby for you, but also what you did for work?
Max: Yeah, so that would have been, I started training people when I was about twenty years old. I had quite a I’ve done it for quite a while myself, I had a good a good grasp on how it kind of worked. I was a couple years into it as well, and then I would just take family members or, or people who are close to me to start with and it never cost anything. But that’s kind of how it started, and then was about 22-23 is when I kind of jumped into it. And I was kind of bouncing about half and half here. And then like that.
Max: Yes, it was like 23 Mark, I was like I’m ready to do this.
Nelson: So ready to do it properly.
Max: Full time.
Nelson: Yeah, nice. So, with your training, I suppose when I come across trainers in the online world, they tend to have a specific philosophy. And just to give you an example of what I might mean, you have coaches that really focus on the high incentive, high intensity workouts, the hit workouts. You have coaches that are more full body stuff. So I’m thinking of like the CrossFit guys and yeah, that. Where do you kind of see yourself fitting in?
Max: I would say just physique and bodybuilding is kind of what I would go to. For me personally, it’s how I train and stuff that’s strictly, it’s a bodybuilding style. It’s not looking to get a crazy amount of strength. I’m not looking to be like the CrossFit King, I just want to develop the physique that I want and work on those areas that I need to. As far as my clients, that’s going to range to whatever they want to do, right? So, for me, it’s just, it’s just developing and working on areas I need to develop and eventually you get that, that that symmetrical or whatever you want, right? So, that’s always how it’s kind of been. I mean, in the start it was it was more like for performance. But now it’s just to maintain and build something that’s that I’ve always wanted to.
Nelson: Cool. So who are the people that got you first introduced, like, really interested in that bodybuilding style?
Max: So, there is I’m trying to remember his name. I wasn’t looking to be really big, or like massive, like Ronnie Coleman, they’ll have to search that up. No really big guys, it was more like the way I say it was, it was more just the very athletic. They were smaller muscle wise, they were quite a bit smaller, but they were just like really shredded, like really wrapped. And that’s kind of what I wanted to go with.
But yeah, there’s a lot of them out there. It’s almost too many. It was more of just like that magazine fitness style. That’s what I was going for. I was like, that’s what I want. I don’t want to be too big.
Nelson: That kind of look really good at the beach sort of thing, rather than just in these huge bodybuilding gyms. Cool.
Nelson: Yeah. Nice. So with what you’re doing now, I’m really interested. Obviously, you’re coaching people online in quite a holistic way. So I’m really, really interested in this from a personal perspective, because I think people in my position who are freelancers, who are people working from home, they might be online business owners. Number one, we sit on our own most of the time, in our houses, all the time, without the best posture with like snacks and junk food to have. There are days that I just don’t leave the house. And a lot of the time, those days are quite consecutive. So how do you kind of, I guess, motivate your clients, who are in a similar position, to focus on their fitness and to focus on their nutrition?
Max: I would say that this one even is like most related to me. So, trying to figure out how I was going to…because most of my clients, they’re busy. Like they’re driving around all day, and they’re in meetings all day. None of them are really like, kind of like what I do, which is fine. But this is this is probably the best one I can answer to because this is mine. This was my life. And I was trying to figure out how can I like keep productivity up, keep my sanity, I guess you would say because like I lived by myself, I work by myself, I trained by myself, it was everything – I was just by myself. And it was same as you like, I wouldn’t leave for a couple days, I had everything I needed, I wouldn’t, whatever. But I think it’s coming up with a solid routine both morning, middle of the day, and nighttime, where you have it all again, planned out, set up. Where you can leave the house, you’re going to train here, you’re going to train again here. I just had it very set out so I was moving a lot. I didn’t sit for too long at a time. The maximum would be like three, four hours. And then I was out doing something, or I was just doing a different task in the house. If it’s all work, I mean, you’re going to lose your mind. But if you can break it up into little things, that’s the best thing you can do. And definitely don’t you get in that spot where you’re just wasting time almost, where you’re not getting anything done, but you want to. That’s okay, pack your stuff, do something else and move on. So, that’s a huge one for sure.
Nelson: And how important is planning in that process?
Max: I think planning for me is everything. Breaking it down into even just like the time blocking to like the exact times where you’re going to stop, the exact times where you’re going to start. I just take it to that level because I find it satisfying and I think it’s efficient. And I just, I like having everything down to exactly what I want it to be because I know that once that happens, I’m excited to start the new thing. Okay, that’s done. Let’s start the new thing. And it keeps it, it’s not just one thing all day, you have one task and it’s write a book…I can’t do that. You got to break it up, right?
Max: Break them all up. You can circle back to them in a couple hours if you want because then it just keeps it fresh. Productivity or just the quality of that work, starts to go down and I notice that in myself. So, I have to break everything up into chunks and kind of maybe even rebalance to it later.
Nelson: And when you’re speaking to clients, what kind of emphasis do you put on the fitness part versus the nutrition part?
Max: I mean, they’re both, their hats hand in hand. I mean, you want to be doing both of them. Are you kind of asking like, which one would I want to start with? Or which one do I push more?
Nelson: Well, which question do you want to answer?
Max: Well, they’re both really good. I mean, I would probably push the nutrition first, that’s always going to be the biggest game changer. I mean, that will that changes everything, right? I mean, like, if you look at someone going to the gym, who doesn’t do anything for their diet, or the nutrition, I mean, they’re probably going to stay the same. If you’re eating too much trying to lose weight, you’re going to stay the same; you’re not going to lose your weight. Nutrition and aspect, yeah, I mean, that’s what we’re going to do to get to that goal. But obviously, working out is good for your health, too. So I’m not going to say don’t do that. I’m saying maybe just, if you can focus on this first, and maybe get that down before we even start going there, then that’s awesome. But a lot of people become more consistent within the gym first, before the nutrition. Why? Because it’s apparently easier, which I mean, physically no, mentally, and just the discipline aspect, yes. That’s the part where people really struggle.
Nelson: So, I don’t want to put you in the spot here, because I know just how vast a subject nutrition is. But other than kind of understanding the calories that you’re taking in versus what you’re what you’re burning, what are the most important things somebody like me could concentrate to learn more about nutrition?
Max: I mean, there’s just endless information, you just want to make sure, it’s either from recommended sources and just a lot of studies. I mean, in my spare time, I look at a lot of different case studies. And I could look at 10 that are on the exact same topic, and I’ll read them all. And some are saying the complete opposite, and some are pretty close. But there’s little topics within those, right and that’s where you can kind of grab those ones out in there, they’re generally the same, then you’re like, ‘Okay, that’s pretty good’, because nothing’s going to be like, ‘Hey, that’s exactly what it is’. So, you kind of have to almost do it yourself, especially in a niche that you want to go on, right? Because they’re not going to, they’ll teach your basic all around at school, but then if you want to go specific to this, you’re the only person that’s going to do that, in my opinion, anyway. So, I mean, that’s just been a lot of studying like that, but breaking down into just ingredients, and then also the micros the macros, like figuring out what they provide for your body. I mean, yes, there’s the calories, and we burn this much and that much. But I mean, you can take in the same amount of calories and hit a plateau. And then you can just switch the ingredients, and you’ll start losing again, but you’ll stay the same calories. Like it’s, there’s a lot of different things that that you can do. And same with, you can stay the same and start carb cycling, and then you might break through it too. So, as far as learning it, I mean, you just got to figure out what you where you want to go and then go from there.
Nelson: So is that kind of starting with your personal goal and working backwards, whether you want to lose weight or put on muscle, but you’d have two different diets or similar diets, but two different volumes of food?
Max: Yeah, so it doesn’t matter. My goal, if I’m gaining or losing, my food will probably be the same. The only thing is going to be the amount that I consume. That is as straight as it gets.
Nelson: Cool. So there’s, there’s not too there’s not too much difference in terms of your ratios of fat to protein to carbs or anything like that. It’s more just about the volume, depending on your calls at the time?
Max: That that’s a good one. It is it is about the main thing you want to look at is the volume of your overall calories; that’s going to be like rule number one. And then two, which can help you progress even further, or just how you feel, is going to be your ratio. Which is are you going to have higher carbs or fats? Protein generally stays the same, but just between those two is what you’ll mess around with.
Nelson: So, how would somebody like me or in my position? I’ve got a lot better at this recently, but I obviously spend a lot of my life sat at the computer, which isn’t the best. It’s probably the understatement of the year there. But how would I even go about finding how many calories I’m supposed to be having to just maintain my weight. Where would I find that information?
Max: Yeah, so you can, you can just put it in to Google; type in macro calorie calculator. And you can just go right there and just put in your information and it’ll shoot out some stuff. If you want, you can really go into it and do the calculations yourself, and it will show you how to do that in there too. So, RMR, your BMR, figure those out, there’s a formula that you put in for activity, as well. And then it’ll kind of spit out a number and you’ll have to keep going from there. They’re usually pretty good. But yeah, it’s hard to say because some are really good. And some are just so off. That’s why it’s a little bit hard. But I mean, if you ask any coach, they’ll probably just send something to you, it’s pretty easy for us to do that. It’s not so much, here’s your calories for our coaching, right? It’s the day to day and contact stuff. This is what it is, we’re not worried about, if you can get that free or not. So that’s Yeah, that’s one thing, it’s really easy. Just you can type it in macro calorie calculator, and it’ll shoot it out for you. Um, for maintenance wise, make sure you put either maintenance, lose weight or gain weight. Usually for me, I put maintenance, and then I’ll subtract 300 to 500 calories if I’m losing weight, just because I don’t want that formula to mess it up or drop too low, right? Because I want to drop this percentage, it’s like one, I only want to drop this percentage actually. Right? They’ll make up their own.
Nelson: Hmm. Okay, that makes a lot of sense. So what I’m really interested to hear now like about your actual process, when a client comes to you for the first time; they’ve not done any sessions with you, you’ve not had any discovery calls or anything like that, they just approached you and said, ‘Max, here I am’.
Max: It’s pretty simple. So the first step is we have a call, it’ll be a zoom call like this. And we’ll really go into what they’re looking to do, what they’ve done in the past, any health complications, or anything else that we might run into, their overall habits, kind of what’s good, what’s bad, we break those down. And then we kind of just go into like a health questionnaire type thing. And then we really dive deep into personal stuff. And from there, after that, we just, we get on another call, and we’ll start thinking of kind of a process of which, which way they want to go, right. So, what have they tried for diets in the past? What worked? What didn’t? Which way do you want to go? Which way do you want to try? I want to make sure that they want to do those certain things as well. I’m not just telling them, ‘Hey, like, this is what we’re doing’. I want them to be in it as well, and not hate it. We want to enjoy it and turn it into a lifestyle. That’s the goal. That’s the biggest thing; just finding, how are we going to turn this into a lifestyle?
Nelson: And what typically are the objections or the problems that you see that are quite common to people, that come up frequently?
Max: It’s going to be just finding the time and that’s why we first thing we do is scheduling. So, finding a time. Or it could be just not knowing, that’s a big one. It’s just not knowing what to eat and stuff. So that’s something that we put out right away, as well is focusing on just different food groups. How to build proper meals, how to build a balanced one, and then how to somewhat track it to a degree, that one’s a little bit later. But right now, we just focus on the scheduling in the first couple weeks, and the overall just eating better food. That’s what we really focus on; water intake, your sleep. And then we start to get into the tracking wise, where we start really start moving results. But we have to get those foundation things down first, or else we’re not moving anywhere.
Nelson: No, that makes a tonne of sense, obviously. With the with the schedule then, are people generally able to stick to that or are their times that people fall off?
Max: It’s up and down. We usually don’t go too overly aggressive with it. I mean, it’s not going to look like mine, and not down to the minute and drive time, and stuff like that. We usually break it to five main things that they want to do that day. They don’t have to be big. We just want them to be productive and move them towards their goal. It could be a phone call. Like for me, if I write mine down, it could be just one phone call or one email. Make your bed in the morning. We want to start with simple things first, I mean, I would target them more to moving them towards their goals, their fitness goal and stuff. So, it would be like, ‘Hey, today, we’re just going to go grocery shopping, right? Tomorrow on your list, it’s going to cook that stuff’. So, we’ll start with things like that, I mean, those are a little bit bigger but that’s kind of how we started out with. Like ‘Hey, these are the days that we want to start the cooking or the food prep or leader workouts around these days’. And I mean, it doesn’t have to be daily stuff, as long as we’re scheduling and writing a few things down for that week. I mean, that’s something right? So, it’s all about how far ahead they are already and what I think that they they’re going to need, and how much they’re going to need of that to move forward.
Nelson: Okay, and so with the breakdown, I love that kind of just doing one goal, for example, per day, or whatever that might look like, to get people in the swing of things. So, you do one thing, you start feeling good about yourself, and you start feeling like you’re capable of doing maybe two things –
Max: That’s what it is.
Nelson: – as opposed to, here’s the 10 things that you’ve got to do on your first day, and you get maybe seven of them done, you feel stressed and you feel like a failure for not accomplishing the remaining three, for example. So yeah, do you break those down by certain time limits? Do you have like daily or weekly goals? Or is it kind of just, they all they all add up?
Max: So, it’s kind of this is what we want to do daily, in order to hit this goal by the end of the week, which would be the consistency part, or it’s like a certain weight goal, or their energy, we could be focusing that for the week race, or we’re trying to break through plateaus. So whatever it is, it’s going to be either, it’s probably going to be daily, right? Like we have like the end, like the three month goal, we have those written down, it’s like I want to feel better, I want to lose weight, I want to have more energy, like that’s our end goal, then we break those down into a monthly goal. It’s like, ‘Okay, so this month, we want to get down to this much, or we want to improve in just this area for now, or we want to prove just that area, so we just sleep’. Then we break that down into like the weekly things like, ‘Okay, this week, we want to make sure that we get these things done in order to get this one. So we want to hit like one pound, or we want to really focus on sleep schedule, see how we feel next week’. So it all depends on what the person is looking to do. And that’s kind of how we break it down. But the daily things are where it’s all going to happen, for sure. So, the more we can put in to the daily one, is where you’re going to get more results on the way out, for sure. That’s why we don’t start with 10 things, it’s kind of just ‘Hey, like, these are the three things that we want to do’. So the example would be, ‘Okay for you, I want you making sure you’re hitting your calories, you want to build muscle, so you’re hitting your calories, we’re focusing on that track and in some sort of way, you’re staying hydrated, I want you to hit three to four litres of water a day, starting with that, and then make sure you have at least three workouts planned this week’. And then you have those written down. And that’s it.
Nelson: Wow, cool. I think if I was doing three or four litres a day of water, then my sitting down problem would be solved because I’d be up and down the toilet every twenty minutes.
Max: You get used to it.
Nelson: Yeah, no, I’m sure. Well, I’m just curious to find out if people have similar things that myself and my friends and people that I know in the industry, in terms of problems. When I used to travel a lot. So, my wife and I lived in Valencia, in Spain, for a few years, while I was still working for a company in the UK. One of the things that really, I suppose, knocked me out of whack a little bit was the travelling. So, getting on an aeroplane and basically not preparing. Just having whatever food was available at the airport, and quite a lot of the time I was going via, like a few different countries to get to the UK. So, I might be flying from Spain into Germany or Italy, or Ireland to go back to the UK. It’d be like a whole day event. I just be eating whatever I could find and so that was like a big thing for me.
Max: Yeah, it definitely depends on how much you’re doing that is really going to change as well. But you can really prepare for it, you can see what airports you’re going to, you can see what restaurants they have, what food they have in those. I mean, I would break it down to how strict you want to be though. Like that’s what people don’t like realise, it’s kind of just like, ‘Well, how strict do you want it? Like are you trying to be a pro-bodybuilder, pro-physique?’ Well, that’s not our goal here, but I think, I don’t want you to stress so much about like not eating food, because it’s a gas station sandwich rather than just not eating anything at all. I mean, obviously, that’s not our first choice but when we get into a bind, we kind of have to make something happen. So, I mean, I wouldn’t stress about it, I think the biggest thing is people will do that. But then they’ll either feel guilty, do it even worse, or just like try to backpedal so hard and just mess everything up, or just fall off the wagon completely, because they think they can’t do it. So that mindsets kind of where it gets a little sticky. But as far as preparing wise, I mean, there’s a few things like for your day, I mean, you’d have to pack a bunch of little bars you can have or like sandwiches that you’ve made that you’re allowed to bring. Stuff like that is what I would probably do. I’ve seen that a lot; people bring like these Kodiak pancakes and stuff like on aeroplanes, or they bring in like, like special waffles or sandwiches or just meat in a bag. Like I’ve seen it all. I’ve literally seen people bring like chicken and rice in a plastic bag and bring it on the plane. And I’m like that It’s weird. But those people are going to probably fly into their show. Yeah, it’s just how far you want to take it. Like for me, absolutely not. I’m going to sit down here at the restaurant and airport and eat food. I know, I can just get back to it on Monday.
Nelson: So you mentioned ‘falling off the wagon’ there, which is something like everybody on Earth has done, whether it’s with your diet or nutrition. You’ve wanted to lose a little bit of weight and then for me, like alcohol has always been the big thing. Not necessarily because I don’t tend to drink very much when I do drink, I just tend to drink quite regularly. So, like I’ll have a beer or two most nights. I’ve kind of curbed that recently, like I haven’t been drinking for the last couple of weeks at all. But that used to be it. Particularly, like in Spain, it’s very much an outdoor lifestyle, it’s kind of just the expectation that you’ll be out almost every night, because it’s hot, it’s sunny outside. And that’s just kind of the expectation. But what happens when you have kind of set your mind to something, to a goal, and then you’re, you know, nine days in, and somebody comes round with like a chocolate cake, or somebody invites you to a meal, and you may be indulge in a couple too many wines?
Max: This is tough, because there’s no way to really teach this, you have to develop this from yourself. So to work on discipline, and mental discipline, and just like the grit and stuff, like you have to dig deep, you got to look in the mirror, and you got to realise that this is what you’re going to do to change it. Like, I can’t do that for you. No one can. So, to start doing it, you have to start doing stuff that you don’t like. And that’s going to be setting a goal for maybe 15 or 20 days, like ‘Hey, no liquor for 30 days, diet only’, like whatever it is. And you know what, I’m okay with going zero to 100 like that with some people because they need to develop that mental discipline. But I mean, I don’t push that on my clients at all, because I think when it comes to – if it’s for too long, number one, and if it’s too hard, then it can just reverse it. Nothing good will come from it. But I mean, if you’re really trying to fast track it, I would start with doing like those small things that you don’t like, and you have to consistently do those things because how else are you going to get there. If you want to get there, but you don’t like doing the things you need to do to get there, then…It’s really tough to teach. That’s something that’s you kind of have to do on your own. But we can set you up with a plan, in order to do that. And I mean, that’s why I think the workload thing comes in again, not putting too much on their plate and making sure it’s very achievable, and you can also get those results. There’s nothing wrong with that either. Yeah, like, even for me, if I want to do something crazy, I’m writing myself, almost like a contract. And I’ve done that before, like money wise, like to charity. Like, I’ll write 1000 bucks to charity if I don’t complete this in the next 30 days, because I’ve wanted it so bad, but I know that this is one of the only thing that’s going to make you do it. I’ve done that in my early days for sure. So, you got to look. Yeah, I mean, you got to really just look in the mirror because no one’s going to lie to you, right? So it’s you and you. So, you figure out kind of and once you can accept like, ‘Hey, I need to do this to change and I’m really going to do this’. I mean, that’s where you kind of get the drive going. But the big thing is once you do that, and you realise you’re 5, 6, 7 days in, and you’re doing really well, the momentum, you don’t want to stop now, you can feel it, you feel amazing. You’re completing those things, your success, you’re hitting success right now, and you want to taste more and you keep going and keep going and it just keeps building. So that’s, that’s pretty much all I have to say for that one. It’s a tough one.
Nelson: So Max, a lot of what you’re talking about seems like it’s linked to habits and consistency. Other than building up one by one. Have you got any, any kind of top tips to help us be more consistent, to put those habits in place? I love kind of the idea of your contract, by the way.
Max: Yeah, so are you kind of more or less talking about like speeding it up. Like if you want to crash more, is that kind of it?
Nelson: No, actually less about speed. Less about speed of change, and more about more about like sticking to it.
Max: Like soaking it up and really following through with it?
Nelson: Yeah, because I’ve always subscribed to the advice – I’m probably not going to word it very well – but it’s essentially that it’s better to be able to do something, but not as aggressive, but be able to stick to it for a longer period. And actually, when I talk about it, I learned that in finance, I learnt about compound interest. So, it’s better to find something kind of an investment strategy that you’re able to stick to for the longer term, even if it guarantees smaller returns, then you’re likely to get other places. But because of compound interest, it’s better to be able to do it for 30-40 years, rather than something that works really, really well until there’s a recession and you feel like you have to take all of your money out and interrupt that compound interest. So, I learnt it through finance, basically. But yeah, I think the same applies to many things in life.
Max: No, I 100%. Agree, I think that’s where we kind of circle back to the workload. And even finding out what you want to do. That’s a big thing: what strategy do you want to go about that’s going to carry you for a lifetime, that you can consistently do for the rest of your life? Because we know that diets and I mean, there’s going to be times where you want to cut a little bit faster, or like, a little bit harder, where you’re going to have to do a little bit more strict situation, but for the most part, it’s just going to be finding your lifestyle, and that’s where we really sit down with the client and figure out what we do want to go. We develop kind of a strategy and a plan of how to go about that day that is, or about that plan, that is sustainable. So that’s all it is, is finding out how to go about that way. And I mean, it’s super hard to narrow it down to like, the specific person because they’re all very different. It’s you just have to figure out what plan you want to go about, I wouldn’t even say plan, but what route and then really dive into. How can you make that a lifestyle? And that’s where I kind of come in and be like, ‘Hey, like this is what we’re gonna do. But this is what we start kind of focusing on, like, how do you feel about that,’ and then we kind of move forward from there. But I think again, circle back to the workload thing. That’s really important too, is not making sure that there’s too much you have to do. Like I remember being younger, too. With some of the, like photoshoots I had to do and the amount of consistent daily, like food intake supplements like everything. I mean, it was it was a lot and I couldn’t wait for the day I was done. Like this day, I’m done, like I’m done. And I’m not doing it for like two years. And I don’t want that to happen to anyone either. Like, I want you to enjoy it and love it. So yeah, as soon as it becomes too much like even for me, then I won’t, I will stop. And that’s where it gets bad. So, you have to like either dial it back, or just find another way to make it happen. But like I said before, it’s sometimes you need to go a little bit further to get those specific results. But again, it’s how bad do you want those results? I mean, there’s always going to be a sacrifice for something and difficulty, or else everyone will do it.
Nelson: Sure. And I wondered if there’s any characteristics or traits that you see in common with your most successful clients?
Max: Especially in the business aspect, because they’re already pretty organised. They’re successful people, they really want it like I can see the hunger when we initially get on the call, like, they’re ready to go. Like, that’s what I love is that I really choose my clients wisely. I want to make sure that they’re going to get the best results with me that we’re going to be able to work together really well. And that’s how you make sure that kind of happens. But the main thing is like, I can tell their drive on the phone, I can tell that they’re excited, like, they’re ready to just get it going. And it’s great because they do take those little things serious. And I mean, I have a guy that I’ve been working with for a month right now. And yeah, he’s a crazy, crazy hustler. But he works a tonne. He’s up at four. He’s working out at five. But he says like, ‘Hey, six o’clock comes around, it’s family time. Like that’s, that’s it. So we got to make everything work before that. But yeah, even for him, I gave him a few things to start with. Like it was very small. And he’s doing amazing now. I think he’s down on five or six already in the first month. This isn’t even anything crazy, this is just switching up some food, healthier choices. He was eating out a lot. So now he’s eating mainly from his home cooked meals that tastes really good. I mean, he has them ready available, like this is the stuff that we wanted as soon as you can incorporate that. I think he’s only working out three times a week too. So, let’s just as soon as we can incorporate that. He’s finding a routine, he feels amazing. And he’s like, ‘Man, I’m never stopping this now’. Because he’s like, ‘If I’m successful entrepreneurs and if I’m also fitness wise, like successful fit opportunities, like I’m going to kill everything’. And I was like, ‘I 100% agree. That’s where that’s where it all happens’. So, he’s doing amazing like that. And I mean, that’s just like, we have maybe five, five tasks that we started with. And that was it. So, you got to pick the ones that are right. And you can see great results really fast.
Nelson: So sounds like I think that kind of ambition and drive that got to see a successful place in business, also helps men they kind of adjust their focus to health and fitness.
Nelson: Yes, but again, it really depends on the person. And you can really tell because I know a lot of successful people that wouldn’t do this. They wouldn’t; like they don’t care. And I mean, that’s fine. Some people don’t care about it. They don’t want to improve their health, which is insane to me, but they don’t like they just don’t care about it. I remember being young and I did accept that I was like, ‘Well, not everyone wants to be like this or not everyone wants to work on it. And I mean, you can’t change that. That’s what they think. And that’s what they feel. You can give them information, but some people just won’t do it’. So, I’ve had a few people I know like that too; I’ll try to help them but I wouldn’t even bring them in as a client because I know that they wouldn’t do it.
Nelson: Well, that’s part of it, right? That you can only do so much in terms of laying out what they should do. And that’s kind of down to them as well to do your encouragement.
Max: Yeah, of course and that’s where it all comes down to is just like me being beside them being like, ‘Hey, let’s go, let’s go or what do we need help with? What do we need to change?’ They love that too. And I get the text in the morning, he’s down like, loving the check-ins. This is what’s happening, right now. He’s excited the next week, right? Like, that’s how I like it. That’s who like I want to work with I don’t want someone who is like, ‘I kind of feel like changing; I kind of don’t’. It’s just like, ‘No, let’s get it done. Let’s get it done faster’. I don’t want you to sit on this for five more years and e like, ‘Oh, I wish I started this five years ago’. It’s like, ‘No, let’s go, let’s get going here’. But no, even for those other ones, like I said too, I think even like the money thing, I think would work for them, like the contract situation. I said that to them, too. I was like, ‘Yeah, I think you need to write yourself a contract into charity or something. If you don’t make it you’re giving that up’. Because I know that money means a lot.
Nelson: No, exactly. Everyone has kind of priorities there. I get this as well, and this is something that I talk with a lot of freelancers and online business owners, because it really helps with kind of overcoming procrastination, is this sense of accountability to someone. Like, if you’re working with a coach, then it’s not just this thing that you can pretend that, oh you tried, but it didn’t really happen. There was a list of tasks that you were supposed to complete and then you’ll, you’re accountable to somebody to say yes or no. And why didn’t you do them, if you didn’t?
Max: Yeah, that one works really good. Yeah, I like it for me. Because I’ve had multiple coaches too, not fitness coaches, but business coaches. They love how they can come in, they can see what they need to do, this is what they’re doing for the week, and then we talk about, what did we do? Why didn’t we get it done? And then we kind of figure out how to get that done next time. Or, like, just back up the load, so it’s not too much. But like, even for me, I’m working lots, lots too. And I mean, there’s some things that I didn’t get done that my business coach wanted me to specifically do this week, and there might have been like five things and I only did two of them. And I knew going in that call, I didn’t want to do that call. I don’t even want to do this call because he’s going to rip me apart. No, you feel that and then that pushes you even harder because I messed up that week. Yeah, I had too much I didn’t schedules right, or this and that, there’s a lot of stuff that changes and you can’t guarantee it, right? So, I remember there’s a few where I was just ‘Oh, I don’t even want to call this guy, he’s going to kill me’. But no, that fires you up, right? That makes sure you’re getting that stuff done. I mean, it works amazing for me. Everyone’s going to slip doesn’t matter where you are. But as long as you just get back on it, right? Like the following week, you just you kill it. Right? And you just keep going with that.
Nelson: Yeah, works really well for me.
Max: I think checking in, and accountability is huge.
Nelson: Yeah, I think it’s, I think it’s really important. I kind of recommend it for a lot of people, it doesn’t work for everyone, like any of the tactics and methods we’ve talked about. But I have a call every Tuesday, nine o’clock with my accountabuddy, which we call each other.
Max: That’s good.
Nelson: And we all we do, it’s like a half an hour call max. It’s normally about 15-20 minutes, all we do is map out the three things that we want to accomplish by next week. The only stipulation is that it can’t be about regular client work. So, it can’t be stuff that we would do for clients. It has to stuff we’re doing for our business.
Max: I do the exact same thing.
Nelson: I think it works really well. And I think might also talk about what we did in the last week and what went well, and what we what we messed up on and stuff.
Max: No, that’s perfect. That’s exactly what you want to do the exact same thing, except mine’s not once a week, it’s probably like every third day. We just start talking with what are we doing this week yet, but the exact same thing. I’m like, ‘I gotta finish this this week for like, but like my stuff that moves me towards whatever it is’, but it’s the same thing. You got to have those people though. That’s huge. As soon as you get away from everyone who just wants to talk about people have not good things. I mean, the only phone calls I make is to have a few people in there. We’re pushing each other in every direction. They’re pushing me and pushing them. We’re coming up with ideas for them and their situation. Same for me. And that’s it. That’s all I want to talk about is that, I don’t want to talk about anything else even. How is your day? How’s your life and how do we grow it? That’s it.
Nelson: How do you go about forming that community? Because for people like us kind of freelancers, online business owners, lot of the time we are we are just working from home like I live in the middle of the English countryside. I just don’t have those people around me in a physical way, obviously with the internet has been very, very useful. But how did you go about finding those people to push you?
Max: I mean, I was lucky enough that I had these two specific ones I’m talking about since I’ve been very, very young. I mean, probably eight, nine years old. And we all kind of grew up with the same kind of mindset. We’re all pretty driven. We like doing really difficult stuff. But no, I think I’m lucky that I had those two. And those are pretty much I mean, there’s not many more than I have from those that I talked to that often or trust that much with the advice that I get. And I definitely do everything to help them in any way. But I mean, trying to look for them, social is going to help for sure. You just can tell our early on how they started talking for sure. If it’s more negative or positive stuff, or if it’s like, sitting down right away, and they’re trying to throw you ideas for whatever you’re trying to accomplish. I mean, that’s someone who’s going to be pretty good already. You can feel right, so yeah, I would definitely pick it wisely. There’s some you can judge or be like, ‘Hey, like, this person could be pretty good’. And just because they’re successful, or they, whatever it is, right? And you’re like, ‘Hey, they’re going to push some good advice, and they won’t give you two cents’. I mean, that’s not something you want to be around. You want to learn from people, right? And you want to be around people that want to help you as well. So, they’re pretty easy to pick out, but trying to find them. Yeah, I don’t have too much on that. No, I would say this, talk to as many people as you can. That’s what I would do. Get to know people you can tell right away if they’re going to be how they are, I guess you’d say.
Nelson: So in terms of like, how I found my accountabuddy, I think depending on the industry, you’re in, there are normally communities. Yes, that’s up already. If you’re in a situation where you’re in an industry, and that doesn’t appear to be an online community setup, like go ahead and set up one yourself. It doesn’t need to be some big official thing. It can be you and two or three other people that that schedule something in your diary you meet up every week, or you use some sort of Google spreadsheet to keep track of your goals for the week, which is what we do. Yeah, like if you’re, if you’re a freelancer, depending on your industry. You know, I’m a copywriter. So there’s Right Minds, there’s 10xfc, there’s Copyhackers, there’s all of these things out there for different things. Like I’m setting up a community, myself, or well, I will have already set one up by the time this episode comes out, that’s going to be called the Working From Home community. And that’s specifically for freelancers. Sorry, anybody else who listens to this, I might get around to you guys one day. It’s for freelancers, because as a freelancer, you have to be involved in doing so, so much. And it’s very, very hard to be an expert at all of them. You know, you have to learn how to win clients, you have to learn how to manage those clients and do the work, how to do things like invoicing and accounting and how to market yourself. And at the same time, you don’t have like, naturally, it’s not like being in an office where you can you’re stuck with something and you can just turn and ask somebody Yeah. Hey, can you help me with this? We don’t have that.
Max: Yeah, that’s the toughest one is you got to figure out, try phoning people, you got to figure this stuff out. And usually I get so like mad that I can’t do it, then I’m just going to go to like, get it done. But no, I yeah, your your every, like your every person in that business. So it’s, it’s a lot like to get started. It’s, it’s a lot.
Nelson: What do you think is like the number one thing that somebody in my position can do to better their health? Say if they wanted to, to lose weight?
Max: Are you talking more or less just for your situation? like sitting at a computer? Like, is that kind of what we’re going with?
Max: To lose weight I mean, it’s going to be coming up with an organised plan to just be like, ’Hey, like, these are the days that I want to work out’. I would say dedicate yourself to 3 days a week. Make sure you’re getting those done, whether you want to go home, an at-home workout or to the gym, that’s fine. You can build and find whichever one you want to do, maybe get a few things to help you with that. But other than that, it would just be like, start transitioning into little things. So be like, ‘Hey, like, I’m going to start cooking different or more healthy meals. I’m going to start’, and just start with one like I’m not talking every day, three times a day for your first week. It’s like no, let’s start doing one meal per day even, right? It’s better than nothing.
Max: Just progress up.
Nelson: So yeah, building that kind of habit from the very, very small base. So just trying to do once and then trying to do it twice.
Max: And then yeah, that’s just building on it. Yeah, that’s why I mean, it really depends on the level that they’re at. I mean, I have some that go right out of the gate that are doing 3 days and I got some where we’re just starting to, like, learn the foods and cook one meal for that one day. And we’re eating out the other two, or, like, I hope we’re not. But that’s kind of how it happens sometimes, like, that’s what it is, I mean, as long as you’re moving forward in any speed or in any direction, I mean, that’s progress, right. And that’s what we’re looking for, eventually, we’ll get there, might take some more time but that’s what we’re going for. You don’t want to push too hard, where they just resent the whole thing, and they’re not going to, but that’s not what we want, we don’t want you to never do this, like, we want to make sure we can put you in the right direction to complete it, and get what you want.
Nelson: I’d like to switch gears a little bit and just talk about you and what you’re trying to go for in the next couple of years from like this business goal sense.
Max: Of course. I really want to work with, with people one on one with myself. I wouldn’t say I don’t want to, but I would like to keep it relatively small community, maybe a few other people added on later. What I like to really do it myself, I’m not in it to get really massive, I really enjoy doing the one on one thing, taking the time. That’s why I don’t take that many clients as well. Because I want to make sure that there’s a lot of time set aside for us. You can ask me, whatever you want, there’s everything like that I don’t want to get out of control and, and have too many people, I can’t give you the right time, I want to make sure we have quality results. So that’s number one. Number two is, is keep moving forward with that keep learning, and keep pushing on, trying to help as many people as I can effectively. And then also, we have another company called Okhla manufacturer and the manufacturer company for fitness equipment. We started that about a year ago, we launched it about I think it was about January this year. And that one’s doing really well too. I love it. It’s very creative, interesting stuff. And, and I wanted to deliver high quality products to people who appreciate not only like the functionality of something, but also just like the artwork itself. I really like that too. And I do that one with my brother, he’s more of the creator. In his head, like the design guy, he likes adding on like the crazy details and stuff. But that’s the other one I really enjoyed doing too. So, I kind of get the computer stuff like the one on one with my clients and then I also get to go on a shop and I get to do whatever metal work that we’re doing that day, that I really enjoyed too. That’s what I’ve been doing for my younger, younger age too. And like all the tools, trucks, building, stuff like that. So welding, so I like doing that as well. So, I was wanting to keep something interesting.
Nelson: It’s so nice, hopefully on multiple creative avenues and not just be restricted to one thing, and I find that the other things that I do give me energy for, for my copywriting, for my marketing and for the podcast and vice versa, so it’s really nice.
Max: Yeah, I think I think that’s a huge, that’s a huge mental. Just ease and break is just like hey, like I don’t have to, you get two different things. They’re both really different. But that’s kind of, for me how it keeps bouncing. Well, how do you go, like, work at at six to five, and then you’re in the shop from five to 12 at night. And I’m like, well, because like I love it number one and number two, I like that they’re both very different. So, I can do that. I can’t sit on a computer from 6am 12 at night. So like I was talking, the fact that they’re completely different. As long as you can do that, but I think the balancing is huge to making sure you’re not burning out and all that. Everyone’s balance is different. So, some people go you’re going to burn out, you’re going to burn out. I can go three, four months, like gas to the floor. But as soon as I feel something that I’m like, ‘Hey, like something’s getting weird here’. Like I’m taking one right now. It’s just like, I’m going to go away for a weekend. That’s it. Just reset and then you get back on it.
Nelson: It strikes me that you seem a lot more measured and balanced then a lot of kind of fitness coaches like that I’ve seen so that’s quite refreshing.
Max: I think it’s Yeah, I think it comes down to just how, how bad you kind of want it and, and how organised. I can’t like I can’t see the organisation thing you know, because that is like, it doesn’t matter if that’s your fitness your life, anything like your business, like it doesn’t matter if you’re scheduled enough and you have like your key things down that you want to do, both the short term and long term, you have a plan. And I think Who says that? Is it Warren Buffett are some he has that quote, it’s like you can, what is it you can beat? You can beat a genius without a planner, an idiot can beat a genius with a plan or something. I don’t know how it goes. I know I remember I saw it. I was like, Oh, that makes sense, though. As long as you have a plan, like you’re already beating the genius guy without a plan. So that’s kind of how it is. And that’s whatever goals you want to do. But that’s Yeah, scheduling. organisation is key. And I like I said before, too, like I’ve had clients literally be if they’re too stressed and stuff like that, and like you need to declutter some stuff, like, seriously domestic, it’s like you clean, clean out your car, like, make sure your room isn’t like you got stuff everywhere, like your desk that the offices because like, I know when stuff gets too cluttered, though. I know, I get like anxiety, and I’m like, I got it. Like, this just ruins my life for some reason. I’m like a little OCD like that. So like everything in the house is where it needs to be like it’s clean. There’s no dishes anywhere, like, because I just, it just, I just can’t do it. And it just ruins everything else. But that might just be my issue.
Nelson: No we’ve all got these little things that we need to pay attention to, rather than just kind of ignoring and putting off is like our little quirks. Well, you know, they’re not doing too much damage, and they help you feel better than I’m kind of all for them for the most part.
Max: Yeah. I think yeah, that’s amazing to really discovering yourself as well. And like, where do you perform your highest? And what happened? And then you can adjust that very well. Once you kind of figure out you’re doing this, then how do we kind of fix that, and figuring that on your own, as well is huge to understanding yourself.
Nelson: Well, thanks so much for joining us today. Max, I’m sure our audience really appreciated listening and hearing about kind of the steps that they can kind of incorporate into their own routine, whether it’s kind of their health overall, or getting their nutrition to a better place. And the value that you put in organisation. I think that came through loud and clear, like all the organization, scheduling, planning. Where can people find out more information about you and what you do?
Max: Yeah, so you can go to my Instagram. That’s the number one spot you’ll see a lot of information on there. That’s going to be at Max Cathcart. Actually, sent I’ll send you guys a link to for my little scheduling guide as well. That’ll help a lot. And then you can just go to my website through the Instagram or just maxcathcart.com and those are the two spots.
Nelson: Fantastic. Yeah, so I will include all of those links in the show notes for anybody that that wants to find out more about Max or kind of interact with his scheduling guide. And thank you again, Max. Really enjoyed it.
Max: Thank you. I really enjoyed talking about these days. I mean, I can go on forever. But no, it’s really fun. Like I really do enjoy doing this and trying to spread the word on how to improve anyone in any way. So, thanks for letting me spit some words here.
Nelson: And that’s it for today. You’ve been listening to the ‘Working From Home’ podcast with me, Nelson Jordan. We’ve been talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly side of remote work. Thanks so much for listening, and I really hope you’ve enjoyed the time you spent with us today. If you’d like to discuss the podcast, you want to make a new friend or you’re interested in working with me on a copywriting or digital marketing project. Then visit nelson-jordan.com, that’s nelson-jordan.com, where you can also sign up to my newsletter to hear about this podcast and other exciting projects. Until next week, goodbye.