Dr. Rick Kattouf II is a 2x Best-Selling Author and Fitness & Nutrition expert and has been named one of America’s PremierExperts® and one of the World Fitness Elite® Someone who has lived and breathed fitness all his life he really knows what it takes to train the mind and the body.
Rick has personally coached individuals in 30+ states and 10+ countries. Utilizing all his accomplishments to teach and train others! Continue reading my interview with Rick to learn more about his journey and how he is changing the lives of others.
NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority?
Rick: Yes, I’ve been a lifelong athlete. I can remember my father taking me to the YMCA as young as 5 years old. Sports and fitness were always a big part of my life growing up and still are today. As a young athlete playing baseball, football, basketball and running track, I was all-in when it came to workouts, practice, games, track meets, etc. I loved the training, practice and preparation as much as game day. I was always pushing myself to see how strong and how fast I could get. Once my college sports came to an end, my passion and enthusiasm for fitness continued, both personally and professionally. I continue to stay on top of my game and focus on my own personal health, fitness and nutrition. And I’ve been fortunate to turn my passion of fitness and nutrition into my profession.
NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?
Rick: Nutrition and fueling the body right such a key component for myself personally and for those I coach around the world. Go-to healthy snacks are so important; so much so, I decided to create my own line of energy bars. So, my go-to healthy snack is my K II Kookie Bar® and K II Brownie Bar®. These come in 3 incredible flavors: Chocolate Chip Crisp, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Crisp and Brownie Chocolate Chip. I designed this energy bar to have the ideal balance of Carbohydrate-Protein-Fat. And it’s great that you asked about ‘go-to healthy snacks’; because my trademarked tagline for these bars is, The Go-To Energy Bar®! These Kookie & Brownie Bars are high-octane fuel for the body before a workout, after a workout and/or as a snack during the day. People often ask me, ‘Rick, what is your favorite flavor?’ And my answer is, ‘Whichever one I’m eating at the time!’
NMF: How do you train your mind and stay motivated? I am definitely internally motivated. Even as a young athlete, I never relied on external motivation. I’m a firm believer that if someone wants to achieve greatness in the areas of health, fitness, sport & nutrition (and in any aspect of life for that matter), one must have an incredible amount of internal motivation. When it comes to each meal, each snack, each workout; I know what I want to get out of each one. I know how I want to feel after each one. And I choose to feel incredible after each choice I make. I keep things pretty simple with myself and the clients I coach. It all comes down to one thing; choices & consequences. Every choice we make has a consequence and we are 100% in control of every choice we make. And that’s what I like so much about this mindset; it’s all about personally responsibility. This is all the motivation I need, both mentally and physically. Choices and consequences; I choose to get 8 hours of sleep each night because I know the consequences in terms of my energy levels, my ability to run my 3 businesses, my ability to work out at a high level, my ability to recover, etc., will be positive. I choose to fuel my body right at every meal and snack because I know the consequences in terms of how I look and feel will be positive. At 47 years old, I’m as lean and ripped now as I was when I was 17, 27, etc. (without the use of banned substances, as per the United States Anti-Doping Agency, such as DHEA, testosterone, HGH, etc.). And choosing to be lean is a huge motivation for me. This is very important to me both personally and professionally. As a fitness & nutrition expert, I expect myself be lean and ripped, no exceptions. When individuals are overweight and not optimally fit and are trying to instruct and coach others; in my mind, this sends a very bad message. I choose to lead by example, and this keeps me super motivated, both mentally and physically.
NMF: How do you change your body?
Rick: Body transformation is something virtually everyone wants, but very few achieve. Not because it’s hard or impossible; rather, individuals have a misunderstanding as to what it takes to transform their physique and create meaningful and sustainable results for a lifetime. Just like achieving success in any aspect of life, achieving body transformation success is no different. It takes a ton of time, effort, energy, focus, discipline and attention to detail. When individuals do want to change their body, they think of one thing; losing weight. And herein lies the problem. Most people think it’s as simple as burning more calories than they consume. The focus on weight loss forces individuals into thinking that they just need to work out more/harder and the weight will just fall off.
Nutrition is one of the most critical pieces to body transformation success. And no, this does not mean following some ridiculous food fad and diet (A DIET is simply a, Disaster Imminent Every Time®!). And no, this does not mean eating healthy. Yes, you read that right; this is NOT about eating healthy. Eating healthy is not the key to success. Rather, eating right is the key to success, and these are two completely different worlds. For example, a bed of greens, vegetables and avocado with a grilled chicken breast is healthy, but it’s not right; not even close, why?
Eating right is based on 3 key components: The proper fueling frequency, the proper fueling timing and the proper balance of carbohydrate-protein-fat at every meal/snack. While the above salad example is healthy, it’s a high fat, high protein (in summary, it’s a complete train wreck) meal; way out of balance in terms of C-P-F. There is a huge difference between food and fuel. The above example is food, but it’s not fuel. Think of it like this; water & gasoline are both liquids, yes? Well then, why can’t we just put water in the gas tank of our car? The answer is simple, because it will not fuel and power the car; exactly. The human body works the same way. The above example is food, not fuel. Therefore, it’s simply putting water in the gas tank. If an individual chooses to change their body and they want to achieve meaningful and sustainable results for a lifetime, Eating Right, is one of the first key to success.
Next, weight training; yes, weight training. This does mean yoga and pilates; nothing wrong with yoga and pilates, but this is not weight training. Let’s get in the weight room and let’s move some weights; dumbbells, barbells, weight machines. This is the #1 key to success when it comes to working out and changing the body. Now, when individuals want to change their body (we have already established mistake number 1; they focus on food fads, diets and weight loss), mistake number 2 comes in the form of exercise. What do these folks tend to focus on? You guessed it, cardiovascular exercise. These individuals are on the elliptical, treadmill, stair climber, etc., and not getting any results.
Now, cardiovascular exercise is great, more on that later. If someone wants to transform their body, they need to build muscle in order to burn fat. And it is the weight training that is critical for building muscle; this is all part of working out smart.
One of the keys to working out smart is the cardiovascular training. When individuals want to change their body, not only do they gravitate to cardiovascular workouts but they also have the mindset that more/harder is better (back to the mindset of calories in versus calories out). These folks tend to work out at far too high of a heart rate, too often and for too long. For body transformation success (in addition to eating right and weight training), working out in the proper heart rate zones is critical. And yes, this may mean that at first, individuals need to reduce the effort and intensity. But in time, as they improve their fitness, they will find themselves becoming more efficient. They will find themselves being able to work out longer, harder and faster, at the same or lower heart rate. And this is what working out smart can do for the human body. In summary, when individuals focus on eating right, weight training and the proper heart rate training, they will find their body transformation goals become a reality. Workout Smart, Eat Right, Get Results®!
NMF: What are your fitness favorites? Weight training workouts are my most favorite.
Rick: I perform the strength training workouts that I prescribe in the virtual gym I created called, LEANDOWN FITNESS®. These workouts are incredible for both the upper and lower body. Whether someone’s goals revolve around improved overall health & fitness, body transformation and/or improved athletic performance, the LEANDOWN FITNESS® workouts will be a huge assist. In addition, after each LDF workout, I will get on the stationary bike, treadmill or stair climber. And I love training by heart rate. For every workout, I know exactly where I want to keep my heart rate in order to achieve my goals. I stay very strict with my heart rate training during my cardiovascular workouts. Over the years, I’ve competed quite a bit in running events (1-mile race to the marathon), triathlon (swim-bike-run) and duathlon (run-bike-run). I’ve put together some solid performances over the years with a personal best of 4:30 in the 1-mile, 15:53 5k, 1:14:18 half marathon, 3x Age Group Duathlon National Champion and I’ve competed Internationally in France, Italy and Switzerland. While I do not compete much anymore, I just enjoy my current workout routine, 7 days per week; I stay fit, lean and ripped and that’s my goal.
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