Sunday, August 18, 2013

Isaac H: A Before And After Case Study

Poker Pro To World Series Bracelet Winner

WSOP bracelet winner Isaac H. came to us in the worst shape of his life!

It was over a year ago. He dropped out of school to play pro poker and had moved to LA to pursue this full time. But he was tired all the time, getting hurt working out, didn't feel confident in social settings, no motivation, and he had basically tried everything. If this doesn't work, nothing will.

The kind of back against the wall situation most training programs are faced with. I told him if he wants to train with us he has to make a leap of faith and trust us.

Don't come in ready to fail

He can't come in with a, "let me try it out" attitude. In most other languages, there is no word for working out. There are lessons, practice, or sport. And there is no word for trainer, unless they adopted English word. There are words for coach and trainer however. So if he desires to start our program, he has to come in with the mindset to be educated and taught and see us as his coaches/teachers. As Coach Cindy puts it, we can only help those who desire to be helped.

It's really all on you, you provide the courage, we provide the encouragement and science. As a poker player, he analyzed the risk/reward and went all in.

Success in health and poker both rely on what's most efficient and most effective. He just applied the same mindset to both.
"I'm always looking for the most optimal way to do anything I care about. In fact, I see no reason why I can't be exceptional in every significant aspect of life. I believe that all I have to do is find the most successful people in the field that I'd like to improve in and learn everything I can from them."
Background - He had surgery for a hernia he sustained from lifting weights, sprained his knee and both ankles in high school. He didn't cook and all he ate was casino food.


Height: 5'6
Age: 25 to 26 (body age is now 18)
BMI: 27.76 to 21.79 (overweight to healthy)
Weight: 172 to 135 (-37lbs)
Body fat: 31% to 12% (-19%)
Visceral fat: high to low (high risk to healthy)
Skeletal Muscle: 30% to 45.5% (+15.5%)

Around the month 3 is when he said, "I guess it's not just enough to work out. I really need to change everything including how I eat to ramp this up huh?"

A year later, athletic, won his first World Series of Poker event, and is now working on his first start up. Fitness and health does NOT exist in a vacuum from the rest of your life.

Out motto: You can't improve health unless you are improving every other aspect of your life.

His work outs aren't trying to break him down or a puke inducer. They are just scientific.

Isaac also tracks his sleep and steps per day. He eats according to our diet even in the casinos. He cooks. He starts his morning off with protein, he drinks BP coffee, takes fish oils, works out regardless of where travels, uses the kettlebell at home, he tracks his bloodmarkers with InsideTracker, and has read everything on our reading list.

He probably was in the worst of scenarios, late nights of poker, surrounded by bad food, smokers, alcohol. But he's taken his game and his level of adherence to a 5 out of 5.

He didn't need to do all of those things to get to this level but he's on a quest to improve every aspect of himself.

Each new behavior he changed, he got better. Each new thing he quantified, he improved.

How do we know all this stuff is really making him healthy? 

He got tested it with InsideTracker. Most before and after transformation can't provide this much information nor proof of someone's well being. How do you know anything until you quantify it? How fit you are, your internal health, how well you move? We tracked all of those things with Isaac. On his part, he was willing to improve. People want change, not everyone is willing.

Here's what else we know:

Blood glucose: optimal
Cholesterol ratios: optimal
HDL: optimal
Triglycerides: optimal
B12: optimal
Creatine Kinase: optimal
Hemoglobin: optimal
Testosterone: optimal
C-reactive protein: optimal
White blood cells: optimal
and many more optimal markers.

He trains 3x a week (his work outs includes lots of rest and sometimes a heart rate monitor), he gets lots of sleep, eats well, drinks lots of water, and is mindful of his actions. He also meditates and manages his stress. It doesn't need to be insane, fancy, or sexy, or something you've never seen before to create change. It's not being holistic either, it's about a deeper definition of health and wellness.

From Isaac:

"I'm always looking for the most optimal way to do anything I care about. In fact, I see no reason why I can't be exceptional in every significant aspect of life. I believe that all I have to do is find the most successful people in the field that I'd like to improve in and learn everything I can from them.

I was always skinny growing up. In high school I ran track and played football, despite being one of the smallest guys on the team at 5'6 145. I stopped playing organized sports in college and started putting on the pounds. When I came to AOE I was over 170. I felt like I couldn't lose weight no matter what. I never ate after I was full, avoided late night meals and exercised a few times a week. Not only couldn't I lose weight but I'd feel weak and lethargic for long stretches at a time.

Eventually I decided that I couldn't stand being sub-optimal in such an important part of my life. I looked for personal trainers on Yelp and picked the one with 40—something consecutive 5 star reviews. When I first met Sam I was surprised; he was Asian and not a meathead. That was good. I don't like meatheads. When I'd imagine working out with a trainer, I'd always envisioned a guy who looked like The Rock flexing his guns in a sleeveless tee, while yelling at me to stop being a pussy and pump out one more bicep curl. I was also surprised to learn that my fitness homework was to read some books and a bunch of online articles.

Initially I was far from convinced that following Sam's diet advice would help me achieve my fitness goals. I wanted somebody to help me work out, not tell me how to live my life! However, if I commit to trying something, I'm going to try to do it to the best of my ability. I decided to follow Sam's suggestions as best I could and check on the results after a few months.

Well waiting a few months turned out to be completely unnecessary, as I lost 6lbs my first month, 18lbs after 4 months and have continued losing weight at a gradual pace since. It's been 16 months now and I'm down 37lbs to 135, and have a 6—pack for the first time ever! This is the first time in my life I've been able to see any of my ab muscles, let alone all six!

Sometimes my friends ask me why I still see a trainer and eat such a weird diet. "Why do you punish yourself when you're already in such good shape?" To me that question makes no sense. I've finally found something that has helped me optimize my body, health, and fitness and now I should change just because I look healthy? Of course, I cheat occasionally but it makes no sense to me to change something that makes me feel stronger and more energetic throughout the day, while helping me maintain the body I want.

It's not a stretch to say Sam and Cindy have changed my life. Sam is always there with new information and ideas on what I can do to be a better, healthier me which never gets old since I'm always striving to be my best. He even gives me semi—compliments sometimes! And Cindy is always there to kick my ass and make me grunt like a variety of animals. But I can't complain since she creates such a fun and completely supportive environment for my grunts. At this point, they feel like friends as much as coaches. But as much as they've helped me get in great shape, I know that I'd also be fine on my own. I haven't stopped losing weight when I've gone out of town for a month or two because I still control what I eat and how I work out. I know they can't eat healthy for me, or drive me to my work outs, or make sure I get enough sleep. So I do my best to do all those things on my own and when I'm in LA, I know they're always here to help me get the most optimal work outs I can."
- Isaac 
All Out Effort is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to