Artfully Exercising: Podcast Interview With Adam Zucker

Artfully Exercising: Podcast Interview With Adam Zucker

Time2Thrive Podcast Episode 1

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Image by Adam Zucker

Welcome to Time2Thrive’s first podcast episode! This will be a series of interviews and discussions with people who have had a journey of personal transformation or growth.

I was fortunate to chat with @Adam Zucker, who writes Artfully Exercising on Substack. It was a great interview, and I learned a lot about Adam and his focus on fitness. You can listen to the podcast, or check out the transcript.

If you’d like to get ahold of Adam, you can head over to Artfully Exercising and leave a comment.

Welcome, new readers, I’m glad you’re here!

Check out this post if you want to find more out about who I am and what I can do for you.

Time2Thrive is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

Podcast Transcript:

Tim: “Hey there everybody. This is the first episode of a new podcast I'm starting. You may have heard me before on reliable narrators. And this one's going to be more of a series of interviews with people that have had a bit of a personal journey. And today I'm here with Adam Zucker from Artfully Exercising. Adam, could you give your introduction to yourself?

Adam: “Sure, yeah, thanks Tim and glad to be here and honored to be the first guest too. Because usually with a name like Zucker, you know I'm always at the end of the alphabet, so kind of a...

Tim: “Oh yeah, I guess you would be. I probably pronounced your last name incorrectly, so it's Zooker?”

Adam: “Well, I say it's Zucker. Some people say it's Zucker. I think, you know, it's with the U in there, it's kind of like some people accentuate it, some people don't, and that's in my own family too. So I think it's like sort of a apple, potato, potato kind of thing, you know? So either way, I say Zucker, but. But yeah, so I'm a born and raised New Yorker. I have a background in studio art, art history and public education. I live in Queens, New York with my wife, a cat named Ziggy and a dog named Palbert. I enjoy spending time outdoors in parks. I enjoy wilderness sites and taking trips to different cultural spaces. And I'm also somewhat of a foodie, a self-declared foodie, and food motivates a lot of my travel as well, as well as my... just kitchen experiences.”

Tim : “You sound like a pretty well-rounded guy. Especially combining all those different interests. So, what's your... I wanna... I like to call it your origin story. What... cause you're... let's just look at this from a hero perspective. You're hoping to inspire other people with your exercise and you're teaching others about fitness. So what is your origin story and why did you get interested in that?”

Adam: “Sure. I wasn't always interested in fitness and or influencing other people either. But my relation towards it has ebbed and flowed over the years. I definitely wanted to be a jock in middle school. And in high school, I got really into punk rock culture and eschewed fitness to a degree, although I did participate on the varsity wrestling team. So it was... you know, that was a contrast for me as sort of a cultural shock in many ways, you know, but I, but you know, this sort of juxtapositions kind of now I look at it as something very beneficial and something that definitely has defined my identity in some ways. But yeah, fitness, you know, I've just had a strange and awkward relationship to it in the past. Like in college, there'd be a gym in my dorm. And so I would go occasionally, but it wasn't a regular experience. And I do have a natural knack for athletics. You know, I do come from a family that has some athletic people in it, very fit people. So, you know, I've always been interested in high-endurance activities, I have a lot of energy. So getting into a fitness-minded lifestyle felt kind of like a fluid process once I returned to it, or rather started embarking on it more seriously, turning a passion into something that I am now emerging in a professional kind of setting with. So, yeah, but as I mentioned before,

Education has always been something that I was interested in. I went to school for that. I taught public school. And so with fitness, I have a very pedagogical perspective about it, which I think that has maybe led to what I'm doing now with personal training and wanting to inspire and coach other people along on their fitness journey, too. So I'm just taking what I knew and what was familiar, and now also learning new things myself. I'm growing, you know? And I hope to grow with other people. So that's where this whole artfully exercising journey came about from that yearning to do so.”

Tim: “Well, that's pretty cool. It's kind of like you've learned your different skills in more than one area. And then you're combining them now. So when you were younger, it sounds like you were more in the moment with the fitness you weren't you didn't have a plan behind it But you were fitness-minded and then you probably took a bit of a break from that as you went through college, right? And then because you're focusing on your teaching career. But now you're combining the two. Is that a fair summation?

Adam: “Yep, exactly. Yeah, it's now it's I realize that everything's connected in right. Whereas back then I didn't, you know, I thought like, oh, you know, if I'm going to be an artist or musician or into punk culture, exercises, so the antithesis of all those things, so I'm not going to like, do that, because it's I hate to say, but I viewed it as not cool, or not important. And, but you know, That's growth. Now it's taken me well into adulthood to sort of realize that all these things can be connected and really should be connected.”

Tim: “Yeah, it makes you more of a well-rounded person when you can connect all the parts of your life, right? And then it also, I imagine, that gives you more of a sense of purpose too, correct? For yourself?”

Adam: “Yeah, exactly. I like to mention purpose because doing everything purposefully is something that I took away from my studies in education. I had a professor who said, you know, the purpose of art education, which is what I was studying to teach K through 12 art, you know, we're not training artists. We're training people to live artfully, which means to do things with purpose, with intention, and to do it with a passion. So that's combining all of these interests that they may have, making it relevant to their lived experience while helping them grow. And yeah, so that's exactly what it is, purposeful.”

Tim: “That's great. So the name of your substack is artfully exercising, which means exercising with purpose.”

Adam: “Yep, exactly. And it comes from artfully learning, which is my, you know, my other more academic writing. I still publish, you know, in academic journals with a focus on art education. But yeah, that whole concept of artfully doing things is huge in my life.”

Tim: “That's really cool. Okay, so I know just reading from your about page a little bit there that you had mentioned in there, you made a bit of a change in 2020, which so many of us did, but would you mind elaborating a little bit on like what pain points were behind that?”

Adam: “Yeah, exactly. March of 2020 was the big shift. And I had stepped away from teaching when schools were closed. And the pandemic in general was already weighing heavily on my mind and triggered a relapse in my OCD thoughts and rituals, which have always been centered around a fear of contamination and illness. So it was not really.”

Tim: “Okay.”

Adam: “Yeah, not really ideal to have this pandemic happening with my mental health at stake. But also, I had an annual checkup later in that year and got blood work. The doctor called me and told me I was vitamin deficient, which I had never heard from a doctor before. So I'm thinking, huh, this is interesting. And it's like, you know, it was, there were different factors. He's like, you know, I can't really say what, what could be a number of factors. Cause I was taking some medications at the time. So, you know, but I, that, that really, just influenced me to begin and maintain an exercise routine. I sort of, I guess I was scared straight into, you know, I was sort of hearing that news and. You know, also knowing that my cholesterol has always been a bit high, having a family history of, um, high cholesterol and blood pressure and, and stress, high stress. Um, all those played into me just jumping on the exercise bike that was downstairs in the basement that really hadn't been used since we moved into the house. So it's been sitting idle for so many years and I just started pedaling and I haven't really looked back.”

Tim: “So you basically you started your journey on a stationary bike and you just kept going.”

Adam: “Yeah, kept going and, you know, as I really started both seeing results and also just enjoying it, and enjoying the whole process, I decided, you know, I should actually learn what I'm doing, you know, to grow and challenge myself more.”

Tim: “Okay, so now let's move ahead a little bit. What's your daily routine like then for your health and wellness? Yeah, I know you mentioned OCD. So I don't know, how does that all play into the whole routine?”

Adam: “Well, that's what helps with that. Therapy helps, but thankfully, I'm getting to a point where I've been in therapy basically my entire life since really age six on a somewhat consistent basis. So, I don't take drugs for that. I don't really. I feel that, you know, in my case, that's necessary. Maybe some people with more serious conditions and imbalances need that, but you know, I'm not anti-drug, but for me, that's not for me. I don't like the way it makes me feel. So I do self-talk, meditation, deep breathing kind of things when I have thoughts that pop into my head. But you know, I think diet and exercise has really made a difference, you know, and I'm...

sort of, again, it's like trial and error a lot of times. So when I find something that works, I try to learn more about it to really get all the benefits that I can. I'm an insomniac and I think that a lot of people with OCD, I think, suffer from insomnia because that is when our thoughts are racing. So I get terrible, terrible sleep hygiene. And, you know, I, so that's where my focus is now, uh, in terms of my health and wellness routines. I take some supplements in the morning. You know, I unwind a little bit. And then, you know, I don't exercise until the afternoon. You know, there were times, I think, you know, in the warmer months where I do get up early, and I do a morning routine as well as an afternoon routine. And that sort of is ideal for me, but in general I don't sit still much. So that is also something, you know, I try to just maintain an active lifestyle in all my waking hours.”

Tim: “That makes a really big difference to keep movement in your life. That's something that I think a lot of people need to add more movement. We do so much sitting nowadays, right?”

Adam: “I agree, yeah, we do, we do. And yeah, and it's, I mean, it's ingrained in us. It starts from an early age where we're forced to sit in schools and, you know, that's just, yeah. Movement is a big, big issue, at least in this country, you know, that's causing so many different health problems. And I also think mental health problems associated with it.”

Tim: “Okay, so regarding your, on your about page, you mentioned visual art and exercise. Could you tell us a little bit about that?”

Adam: “Yeah, so visual art and exercise. Yeah, my two, well, visual art has been my longstanding passion and my background. And my training was in studio art and art history and art education. So I have very formal training in that and experience in that. Whereas fitness was more of a teaching myself kind of thing. You know, I've, so, but what, but what interests me in, in both fields is that each of them are about aesthetics process and self-expression. So just as art has established certain standards over the course of its long history.

It has been at the forefront of powerfully rejecting and diverting the status quo of body image as well, which I think is important to bring into the fitness world because fitness is very much about all those things, body image especially. And I consider what I do in my physical training to be akin to what I did when I was making art in my studio.

For example, the fundamentals are similar in terms of learning the trade by studying the work and theories of others. So I studied art theory and now I'm studying exercise science. And once I learned the rules, so to speak, then I put my own flair into it as needed. But I think for me, you know, I view exercise like a living sculpture, which is a reference to these two artists, Gilbert and George, two contemporary artists who work together, who they are known for covering their faces in bronze paint and walking around the streets of London while they danced and performed very repetitive series and actions, repetitive series of actions. So repetition is the crux of many exercise routines. And like art, fitness is very much about portraying a certain type of image and expression. So for me, it's all about projecting self-love by looking and feeling the best I can.”

Tim: “Mm-hmm. Well, that's pretty interesting, and I never really thought about it, but I guess many things are based upon a repetition of actions, right? Not just, like if we look at dances and art, or pushups. And I don't know if this is anything similar, but I've been doing some exercises where I've never used a mirror before, and you realize how asymmetrical your actions are when you stand in front of a mirror and say even do a band exercise from one side of the body to the other. So is that some of the things that you're looking at when you're studying the basically the art of exercise is the actual form and improving on that?”

Adam: “Oh yeah, form is a big thing. Yeah, and that comes down to learning the rules and the foundations of it. In art, it's the principles of art, starting with color theory, shape, form, or texture, all those kinds of things to build an image. And in an exercise, like you say, it's observing yourself, and your body in motion, and making sure everything's in sync or working properly in terms of form and function. And I think first and foremost, you know, that's, that's where exercise often starts and ends with, with form. I mean, because you either do it right, and then you're able to, you know, continue and enjoy it, or you do it wrong, and you don't ever come back to it because it doesn't feel right. So yeah, form is a huge thing and I like that you mentioned the mirror because observation you know it's a big component of both disciplines as well visual art and exercise is the taking the time to really observe and notice all those nuances.”

Tim: “Yeah, you wouldn't be able to do it with as much purpose if you never pay attention to how you're doing it. I know just for myself, in the last couple years I've been more aware of my movements and for instance I do a lot of trail running and my movements get sloppy when I get tired and then that's where I find that potential for injury. Because you're not moving properly anymore.”

Tim: “So what's your favorite fitness accessory if you have one?”

Adam: “Sure, yeah, that's a great question. And also it's like a, it's a very hard question too, because I, mine is my own body weight is the first thing that I would say. I love doing calisthenics and endurance cardio and strength training that utilizes body weight movements. So like burpees, pushups, pull-ups and chin-ups, those are basically a part of my everyday training. And I'm also an avid runner. And, you know, like you mentioned, I also love trail, trail running and hiking. And I know you like rucking and I'm sort of was inspired by reading your post on rucking and, you know, I'm looking forward to really breaking out, you know, a heavy backpack and taking my dog up steep inclines, you know, as when it gets warmer here. So yeah, that's sort of like my own body weight and sometimes adding resistance to it. So if I were to pick my favorite external accessories, so to speak, they'd be, I guess it's a tie between the dumbbell and the kettlebell. Lately, I've just been back on a kettlebell kick because I find it to be such a versatile accessory. And you can really just do so many movements with it. And I think it just works the body better than a dumbbell once. But I think kettlebells may be more advanced. So I think going from the dumbbell to the kettlebell is a nice transition.”

Tim: “Yeah, I've used a kettlebell quite a bit myself and I find it, cause I, I like even right now I'm on the, I'm working on the road. So, uh, they're just easier to pack than most of the other things. And that's why I, I use them a lot. Um, and then, uh, just, just to share my favorite fitness accessories, the yoga mat, because that I start, I don't do a workout in the morning, but I start, I start the day with 15 minutes of stretching and yoga.”

Adam: “That's a good one.”

Tim: “Like you, I don't do my actual workout in the morning. For some reason, it just feels better if I do it in the afternoon or the evening. So do you have any thoughts on diet?”

Adam: “Yeah, well, yeah, because especially as I mentioned earlier, I'm somewhat of a foodie, so I'm not really too strict with myself when it comes to diet, but I make sure that I'm getting enough of a diverse serving of foods, you know, definitely very limited amount of processed foods, trying to get down to zero if I can help it.

You know, sometimes I'll in a pinch just resort to some kind of processed food, which, you know, goal is to be as clean as I can with eating.”

Tim: “I think as long as we can hit the 80-20 rule, we're doing pretty good these days. Heh heh.”

Adam: “Yeah, that's a great ratio, right? But I'd imagine that's very slim, like maybe 1% of the population is getting there. I don't know.”

Tim: “Yeah. So you're a bit of a foodie. What sort of things do you go after when you're going for your ultimate in food?”

Adam: “Sure, yeah, I mean, I'm in New York City, so that also makes it very tempting. And in Queens, we're sort of the international food bizarre of the United States in many ways. So I mean, I like, you know, unfortunately I have GERD, which makes it challenging too, because I've had to sacrifice certain foods that trigger that low acid. So I have a low acid diet when I can, you know, I should have a low acid diet. But, you know, I have cheat days both with working out and with the gird. So, you know, I love coffee. I'm not gonna, I don't think I could give up coffee or caffeine, but.”

Tim: “Oh yeah.”

Adam: “You know, we have so many good coffee shops and I really like the different, I mean, I like pizza here in New York. It's, you know, and if I get pizza, you know, it's, I know it's from a good place. That's, that's using, you know, fresh ingredients. So that helps a lot too, because it's less processed materials going into the food that I'm getting when I go out to eat. But yeah, that's, that's sort of my thing is, is just like a lot of foods that I like, or unfortunately, the foods that fight my body.”

Tim: “I understand that one for sure. In my case, I have to avoid things that are going to be a runaway for me because I tend to go on a bit of a streak of eating improperly if I have too much. So who's your fitness inspiration if you have one or two?”

Adam: “Yeah, off the top of my head, my younger brother is, I would say he was a lot more into fitness while we were growing up. So, he played a lot more sports. I mean, actually we played the same sports. He was just better at them and more involved with it, whereas I was sort of going through the motions. We were both good wrestlers. So that was...Nice to see him, you know, doing wrestling as well. And we both were good at tennis. So, you know, we had, and there was a competitive streak between us for a while in that. So it was nice, but you know, when it came to weightlifting, he was always a bigger guy. He was, he bulked up, you know, in high school and he was, you know, really into the gym. And I mean, I honestly don't recall his personal bests in anything, but it was pretty amazing for an adolescent, what he was doing at the time, his lifts. So yeah, I really looked up to him in terms of that, but now it's nice that we can share experiences and enjoyment of working out together. So that's cool. And I'm also... a fan of Lean Beef Patty, the fitness influencer. You know, I don't really, I don't have the attention span to be on like those Tik Tok or YouTube much, you know, besides like creating workout music. That's my extent of really YouTube, but I did come across her channel and I find it, you know, sort of like a diamond in the rough amongst these so-called influencers. I just find her authentic and creative in terms of what she's doing. And, you know, the advice that she gives is generally on point. I mean, she's all about form and maintaining good form and, you know, her recipes are really good, which is a big influence because I'm looking to have more of a protein intake and eat healthier while fueling my workouts. So I really enjoy learning from her.”

Tim: “Okay, well what else would you like to talk about here? Do you have any points of your own? I was curious about what you picture for yourself as far as being a teacher of fitness.”

Adam: “Yeah, and, you know, I'm emerging in that, in that field. But what I am finding about that is that this is the first time I'm really going into something where I guess I where I have that role as a teacher or a coach, where I don't have any imposter syndrome sinking in. So when I was teaching art, I really would have days where I would just feel dread about, you know, going into class because I felt like I wasn't prepared and I didn't know the content as well as, you know, my colleagues and maybe even some of the students who were really skilled or just read a lot, you know, and knew a whole bunch of things and maybe I hadn't. So with fitness, it's different. I mean, and I'm largely self-taught in that, but also I find that it's something that just comes maybe naturally to me. For example, when I study the form, and I like to read a lot of journals anyway, academic kind of journals. And so reading, exercise, science, articles is actually to me maybe more interesting than like a fluff piece about a fitness trend or someone you know like a big bodybuilder or whatever gym culture. So that's all helped me perfect my craft and I really am now able to give advice. I feel like, you know, I'm able to, if someone comes to me wanting to at least, you know, start their journey and is looking for some fundamentals and routines, whether it's to lose weight, to build muscle, all the whole package, you know, just feeling good about themselves. That's where I feel competent. And so, yeah, so, and then that all comes with process of getting certified, so I have extra credentials to back up that confidence.

But yeah, education to me, it's fitness and traditional education are very similar in that you learn from failure. And in fitness, like it's both, you know, doing things wrong and then correcting them or working to failure, which is something we say, you know, working to failure is like beneficial. And then yeah, in education, of course.

We're always making mistakes and it's okay to say we don't know things. So that's something I feel good about. If I don't know something, I'm able to figure it out. And I'm grateful for this community as well that we have. And I found that within social media platforms like Substack in particular, there's a great wealth of information and a supportive group of writers who focus on fitness and wellness, who are very open to being asked questions and asking other people for advice and sharing experiences and knowledge. And so that is what sparks, you know, my... my thirst to learn more and to grow. And I, yeah, and that's what I hope to impart upon others, just the good feeling that I get from my routines. I hope that I can share that with others, influence them in whatever fitness or wellness goals they have.”

Tim: “That's a really interesting and apt analogy you mentioned there. You're saying work to failure and now I'm thinking about the reps of doing the actual, the learning and the teaching and everything else. And it all just fits together in a weightlifting analogy basically or an exercise analogy.”

Adam: “It does. Yeah. You know, and it's, it's really, it's interesting too, because fitness, there's a lot of, uh, you know, there's so many, I think, stereotypes about people who are into fitness, right? We're like, we're meatheads or we're gym bros, but really like, it's a philosophical endeavor, even, uh, you know, I've been reading like, uh, Mike Mensers, uh, about his life. Um, you know, definitely a typical, you, if you saw him on the street, be like, this guy's a meathead.

But he had a really good outlook and philosophy, I think, about working out and really pushing the limits of the mind and the body and also recognizing that they're one of the same. So yeah, to me, fitness is very much about the human experience and self-love and true fitness enthusiasts and people who are influencers or coaches, they bring out the best in other people because they understand that.”

Tim: “So let's talk to somebody that maybe would be listening to this and they're not doing much of a routine of any sort and they're thinking about getting into fitness. What kind of advice would you have for somebody that's looking to expand on their workouts or fitness life?”

Adam: “Yeah, sure. It's about doing something that you're going to first and foremost enjoy, because that's what's going to keep you motivated to keep coming back, but also pushing yourself too. So it's not, not doing something that's easy. And I think, you know, in fact, when you start challenging yourself, something kicks in endorphins and other sort of chemicals in the mind and the body that really fuel it and you get excited about it. So I would just say, you know, keep with it. And that's, you know, the days when it's going to be a slog, but just doing anything is better than nothing. I mean, I don't go about it with, I don't regret anything now when it comes to fitness. I understand that, you know,

The key is you really have to be good to yourself. And I would say, you know, get into it because it's something that you wanna do for yourself and not for other people. So, you know, you wanna lose weight, you wanna build muscle, do it for yourself. Don't do it because, you know, you think other people are judging you. Yeah, you have to be the... motivator of yourself, you have to value yourself. Otherwise, you're gonna, I think, either give up or, you know, you're gonna hit a plateau and you're just gonna sort of get complacent. So, so yeah, it's all about, it's all about growing and learning new things.

And self-love is my main thing. I can't stress that enough. It's like, you got to do it for you. You're the one living inside of your body. So that should be motivation enough.”

Tim: “I think your one point there about picking something that you can enjoy or that you like to do is one of the things that I did wrong at first. I had it in my head that I had to get a gym membership and go to a gym and that just isn't something that I liked to do. So then I would constantly find excuses as to why I should, you know, I would duck out on myself basically because I was picking the wrong activity. I was more interested in, I was off and running, literally, because I went running by myself and that was something I was interested in. When I was trying to force myself to go do gym things, I just couldn't make myself do it. So that's a...”

Adam: “Yeah. Do you go to the gym now or do you go to the home?”

Tim: “No, I do my own thing at home. I'm just not interested in strangers watching me while I work out. I just don't like it.”

Adam: “That's fair enough. And yeah, and I hear that from a lot of people too, who come to me for advice, or wanting to train with me. I think it's nice because I do everything at home. I also don't like gym culture for several reasons. I mean, I just, I think, I don't wanna be giving money to, I mean, there are some nice mom and pop gyms, but like a lot of my corporations that I think have these memberships, but I do take sort of, you know, advantage of people. I hear a lot of these stories of it and I've experienced it myself with these added on fees and it's like, you know, I could just do this at home and I don't need all the equipment either. Uh, like you say, it's finding something, you know, that you didn't, you enjoy doing running requires no gym membership can be done anywhere. And most strength training also doesn't really require the gym. So, you know, I mean, there's an investment maybe of getting some accessories or equipment, but it's really much cheaper than a gym membership when it comes down to it. And also, I think having the comfort to do it, either by yourself or with people you enjoy spending time with makes a big difference too in keeping with it. So yeah, I mean, I think that my philosophy is everything is art and the whole world can be a gym too. Just getting up and moving and doing exercises in between bathroom breaks or meetings at work.”

Tim: “Mm-hmm.”

Adam: “or while you're on the phone, you know, just moving around is just another way of just maintaining an active lifestyle and not getting complacent and sitting around.”

Tim: “So tell me a bit about your substack. I've watched some of your videos. I the one that sticks in my head the most for some reason is the I think it's a scorpion push-up. It looks like you spend quite a bit of time on your videos right now on the screen. I've got Workout of the Week and it's in a video game housing even with dumbbells in the in the top there like you've obviously spent a bit of time on your presentation here.”

Adam: “Oh yeah.”

Tim: “I guess that would be considered part of your visual art, correct?”

Adam: “Yeah, and it's sort of like, to me, it makes sense that I present it nicely like that. So it's good to hear that. I haven't gotten that feedback yet, so I'm glad you brought that up. I mean, I'm sure people are noticing it, but for me, yeah, for me, that's like a very big commitment in terms of my time is creating sort of graphics like that doing a lot of Photoshop and I'm not really that involved in video editing. I mean, I have a very low stakes kind of setup for filming right now. That's something I think if I wanna grow the platform, maybe I'll invest a little more in that. But you see some of these influences with. crazy cameras. I mean, I'm not interested in being an influencer, but I do think there's something to be said for having good quality so people can see the form. And so that's why I do it. The videos is just to show people form, which I have been. People have been saying, you know, it's nice to get those animated GIFs so they can see what I'm talking about.”

Tim: “Mm-hmm.”

Adam: “Because I think some people are not really familiar with just the names of the exercises. So yeah, and it's just, it's also for me, it's a nice way of seeing my form and then making adjustments. For example, like with the kettlebell, I have really been straining to get proper form with that piece of equipment. And I noticed in some of the early videos of myself using the kettlebell. I'm cringing at the form. And, you know, but it's great to see how that does progress. And filming yourself, I think, helps if, if that's a focus, if form is a big focus, you know, especially when you're doing high reps of a workout, I think it's, it's very important to, to really focus on the form first. So, yeah.”

Tim: “I remember watching a lady, they filmed her at various times throughout the year doing just kettlebell swings and it was amazing how much her form changed just from her practicing the repetition of the swing. By the end of the year she looked like an amazing athletic pro but the first few were any person could see that her form was not that good. But the evolution was great to watch.”

Adam: “Yeah, I like that. And I like that about the internet too, because people are good about that. They like to show that kind of time progression and time lapse. It's a way of showing their progress. And it's helpful for other people because no one comes out of the gates perfect. Very few people will have come out being able to do the perfect form. And unfortunately, I see a lot of bad form. As someone who produces content, it's somewhat of a pet peeve of mine, and partially because I would consider myself on the very... emerging end of being a content producer in the fitness world. Whereas I'm seeing someone with hundreds of thousands of followers posting a video push up challenge. Meanwhile, they're not getting their chests all the way to the ground. Their push up is not a push up. You are showing thousands of people bad form. I, you know, it's just it's. I think when you're at that level, you need to have some sort of responsibility to be reflective. And I think that is where I sort of have a gripe with so-called influencers. And I don't think they're interested in it, many of them that I see with bad form. I don't think they're interested in correcting it. I think they just do it for the notoriety or just the views. But I like the vulnerability that you mentioned there person showing an actual journey.”

Tim: “Mm-hmm. Well, speaking of influencers, pros and cons, I can tell by looking at your videos that I feel like you're... Well, you're in great shape, obviously, but you look like a real human. You don't look like a Barbie model. If you know what I mean. So, like, I'm more likely, from my point of view, I'm more likely to pay attention to what you're doing because...”

Adam: “Thanks. Yeah.”

Tim: You seem like a real person that I could learn from. Whereas, so if you manage to get your form right, then I'm more likely to notice it than somebody that seems unreachable, like some sort of a magazine cover, if that makes any sense.”

Adam: “Totally does. Yeah, I was actually at my brother's wedding two weeks ago and one of his friends, again, they were big into fitness back in the day. So it was sort of, it was, it's nice to hear it. You know, I don't do it because of that, but it is nice to hear the compliments. And so his friend did say to me, you know, he's like, wow, you know, like, it's a big change, you know, seeing me from before. But again, yeah, he's like, you know, and you're not like. You're not like a total meathead. You have a very functional body. You have a cardio body, he said, which is interesting. I did a cardio body, that term. I don't know. You know, I think that's just like functional. You know, the body is strong and does what it needs to do, but I don't need to go that extra mile and really bulk for aesthetic purposes, you know, I'm not interested in that as much.”

Tim: “Mm-hmm. Ha ha ha. Okay, so if somebody was looking to work with you, what would be the best way to get a hold of you?”

Adam: “Yeah, I should create a website because with Substack, I had no idea you can contact people through Substack. So I was trying to figure that out to message you. And so now I realized you can reply to an email. So I mean, the people that want to work with me, it's been through word of mouth right now. But I want to expand in terms of creating a website. And I really appreciate the platform that you provide too, because it's good to get my name out there in any way that I can within different networks. And yeah, but I'm very open to being contacted and being approached by people. And it's nice when I see someone out of the blue too, from childhood that I haven't spoken to in like 20 some odd years, contact me now, as an adult with a busy career and family, they wanna get back into shape and they wanna do it with me cause they have seen my posts and I guess, it's nice to have a familiar face from the past or present guiding you along the way. So, yeah, I mean, I really hope, and since I'm, you know, going towards becoming certified, that's going to help obviously, but I'm not interested in working with the gym, so that limits me in a way. But I am very flexible in terms of where I will train people. You know, I love the idea of outdoor training. So, I even do virtual training, which I found to be nice. People enjoy that too because they feel more secure. They're able to do it in a place where they're comfortable. And it's just me, you know, it's not, I thought it would feel weird at first, but it doesn't, it's, it's less voyeuristic and weird than I thought it would be. So yeah, I'm open to so many different ways of interacting and helping people.

Tim: “Well, I guess if for the moment, for sure they can go to artfullyexercising.substack.com and they can leave a comment on any one of your posts. There's a lot of interesting content there, so it's worth going to take a look. Is there anything else you'd like to add before we close up this interview?”

Adam: “I think, yeah, thank you for mentioning that. That's what I should have mentioned. Yeah, definitely drop me a comment on there, whatever resonates, a particular workout or theory that I have about art and fitness, because right, it's very, I try to spice up the content. It's not all gonna be about exercise routines, it's going to be about exercise connecting to the greater lived experience. And that's what I want to help others with. And I want to connect with others who are interested in having this purposeful fitness routine in their lives. So yeah, thank you. That's it in a nutshell of what my goal is. My aim is with the Substack and with my personal training journey in general.”

Tim: “Okay, well, I'm gonna, there's gonna be a transcript of this and underneath I'm gonna put a link to your sub stack so people can easily find it. And as time goes on, we can always update that if you have more contact information you'd like to leave in there. And I think, I'm pretty happy with this interview. How do you feel about this?”

Adam: “Yeah, this is great. I mean, the sound quality is great. And I really like the questions you asked. I like the way it went. I think it's, yeah, hopefully it will be interesting to others.”

Tim: “Okay, well, we'll stop it there. Don't go anywhere. We'll talk after we're done. And thanks everybody for listening.”

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Simple ways to get healthier, eat with intention and take care of your body. Learn the truth about what causes so many modern health problems.
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Tim Ebl
Adam Zucker
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