Why Building Muscle And Focusing On Recovery Is Necessary For Healthy Aging

When it comes to healthy aging, many women forget to build muscle. However, according to fitness physician Dr. Eric Fete, that component is critical. Muscle building helps you look and feel better, but it’s also for everything else related to your health, too, including metabolism.

Muscle is the foundation, the framework, to help you move and function and exercise and live a good life. And as we all get older, we all lose it. When you focus on building muscle, you’ll help support your blood sugar, insulin function, brain health, and more.

In this conversation with JJ, Dr. Eric Fete shares his tips and how-tos for building muscles and having strong bones. He gives ideas for newbies, along with an easy, travel-friendly fitness hack that JJ swears by.

Then, they discuss the role of nutrition in fitness and healthy aging. Their tips are simple and doable – but they aren’t what many women are focusing on.

After that, Dr. Eric gives a quick primer on peptides – a great additional strategy for many health solutions. Peptides can enhance the body’s function in many ways; however, the foundation is nutrition and fitness. Just start with the basics, and then build from there for your best health possible, in your 40s and beyond! Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or a muscle-building newbie, you’ll want to tune into this information-packed episode!

Freebies From Today’s Episode
Get Dr. Eric’s FREE PRIME-X Muscle Guide and learn the basics of muscle growth


00:03:04 – Former ER doctor turned wellness and fitness advocate
00:07:07 – Muscle is important for aging well, focus on building up muscle
00:10:31 – Long slow distance cardio not effective for weight loss, short bursts more beneficial
00:13:25 – Importance of not delaying fitness, especially for seniors
00:18:10 – Compound movements are key for building strength and muscles. Start with simple exercises and gradually increase reps. Mix up workouts for optimal results
00:22:58 – Protein intake for lean body mass and fat loss
00:26:45 – Weight gain with muscle building is normal
00:30:27 – Listen to your body and know when to workout or recover
00:35:14 – Using peptides to enhance body functions, brain cognitive issues
00:40:36 – Eat more protein, lift heavy weights, easy cardio and walking

Mentioned in this episode:

Learn How To Make The Perfect Protein Shake in JJ’s blog 

JJ’s podcast The Best Exercises for Aging

JJ recommends the TRX Trainer  

Dr. Eric’s video: Tactics to Avoid Sarcopenia

JJ’s Collagen Peptides Powder 

Learn more about Dr. Eric Fete

Click Here To Read Transcript

ATHE_Transcript_Ep 517_Dr. Eric Fete
JJ Virgin: [00:00:00] Hey, this is JJ Virgin. Welcome and thanks so much for joining me. This is Ask the Health Expert here. I put the Power of Health in your hands and give you access to the top people in health and wellness. In each episode, I share safe ways to get healthy, lose weight, heal your gut detox and lots more. So if you wanna get healthy and get off the dieting for life merry-go-round, I'll give you strategies that will help you look and feel better fast.
All right. You know how much I love talking about. I am determined to get it out there that we gotta like forget the whole aging gracefully thing and that we, and especially we, us women need to be focused on building muscle. And I, and we, we gotta say all of us, like I'm on my husband too for doing [00:01:00] this.
And we go to the gym together. I'm like, lift heavy weights. So you're gonna hear more about that today. I've got the fitness physician with me. I've got. Eric Fete. He is the founder of Primex Cellular Nutrition and Fitness and kind of was a recovering ER doc that went down the rabbit hole of age management and hormones and peptides and, and really landed on like a.
You know, bottom line is all these things are fantastic and start with diet and exercise and I'm like, you're my man. So we are gonna be digging into all that and talking a little bit about peptides. So you, if you haven't heard about 'em, you can under start the understanding of them. They're pretty cool.
We've been using some of them. He is a graduate. Of Miami University. He's got a bachelor's in microbiology, his medical degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, and he's certified by age by the age management medicine group in age management [00:02:00] medicine. So, Very interesting conversation.
That's gonna give you the why's you should be doing these things and some how's as well. I always like to make things super actionable and you'll be able to grab his muscle growth guide at jjvirgin.com/dreric, d r e r i c, and I will be right back with Dr. Eric, so stay tuned.
Dr. Eric Fe, fate, feet. It's Fete, right? It's Fete. Fete. I'm super excited to have you here. I was like sniffing around on your website and I go guy talking about doc, talking about building muscle for women over 40. Come on in. So , happy to have you here.
Dr. Eric Fete: Thanks for having me. I appreciate being on and looking forward to it.
JJ Virgin: Sure. So how'd you get interested in that specifically? [00:03:00] Tell me a
Dr. Eric Fete: little about yourself and Yeah. I'll give you the abb well, somewhat short story. So, a long time ago I was kind of on the other end of medicine. I was an ER doctor and I did that for many years and I was kind of on the sick, sick care side of medicine model.
Right. And I loved it at the, you know, it was great for some time, but I always had the, I was told by a. A wiser older physician always to have a plan B. So I was always looking for other things. I've kind of had an entrepreneurial mindset, so I was always looking for that plan B. So and then I kind of started seeing, you know, the people, you know, kind of what we're seeing now, the sick care model of medicine where people are just ill and, and I saw a lot of people that were quite young and, you know, on the laundry list of medications and disabled and having surgeries and all these things could have been prevented with the healthier lifestyle and some better choices and simple things instead of you.
Being disabled at 30 on a list of meds and getting surgery and, you know, not able to exercise and having all these issues that a 90 year old person should be having. I thought, God, this could be prevented, shouldn't it? Right. So, you know, and er and surgery, it's great for when there's bad things happening, but for prevention and nutrition, fitness, [00:04:00] it's, it's kind of lacking.
So I started looking into that a little bit. I deviated a bit. I was in a, I was doing some other things and. I had a partner, we did a had a cosmetic surgical clinic. So we did a lot of varicose veins, aesthetics, skincare, Botox, fillers. Started getting to like stem cell treatments where we do like utilizing P r P and stem cells for rejuvenation of joints, muscle sexual dysfunction, things of that nature.
And then I got into you know, hormones kind of branched off from there, started doing hormone optimization therapy and trained learn, got certified, did a ton of training for that for years. And then I kind of branched off and. Got into the whole world of anti-aging. That's when I got hooked up with the, the world of peptides.
So I kind of combined my practice with a, it's a mix of things. So more kinda like the cellular medicine model. It's like a mix of functional medicine, personalized medicine, and. Just overall preve, you know, wellness medicine, I guess. So kind of treating the body at the cellular level. So we use a mix of a base of nutrition, fitness, lifestyle medicine, of course, functional aspects.
And, and then of course we get into the things like hormone optimization, peptide therapies signaling molecules, small [00:05:00] molecules supplements and all that. So kind of combine that and, you know, we try to get together with like, you go to conferences, meet up, meet up with, have mastermind groups with a bunch of other docs around the world.
You know, we, we collaborate and then it's just fun talking. We're always learning, as you know, there's a million things, you know, we're always learning. We, we never know it all. Every day I learn more and more what I don't know. So that's kind of how I got into it. And so my tagline is Dr. Eric, the fitness physician, the Muscle Doc.
So I kind of focus on everything, but definitely on the fitness side because I think a lot of people as you mentioned, women especially just kind of forget about muscle when they don't wanna build muscle. And as we get older, we lose it and. It's not just for looks, it's an endocrine organ and it's very important for not dysfunction, but our longevity and our overall health and our metabolism.
And, you know, if you can fix that, we can fix pretty much everything else.
JJ Virgin: So that's kind of, I've given you an amen there. This is like, you know, I, I like, the biggest thing I've been, I've been out talking about is forget aging gracefully. Age powerfully and go lift some heavy weights. And even, you know, I started out as a, an exercise physiologist 35 [00:06:00] plus years ago, and women were so afraid.
To lift weights cuz they'd get big. I'm like, you're not getting big. It's gonna get bulky. You're not gonna get big , you know, way back then. God. Marian Nestle was at Tufts doing research and she was like, every time women lift weights, they get smaller cuz it's just hold, I called it metabolic spanks, but I feel like that message is still not out there.
In fact, you know, you still hear people say, well, if you wanna lose weight, you should just do all the cardio first, lose the weight and then put on the muscle. I'm like, no, , you. Yeah, backwards. So I would love you to dig into this. First of all, why, let's, let's just start with the foundational basics because you know, the fact that you're using, when you started to list all the things you did, and you started first with fitness and nutrition, had me jumping up and down, that's fantastic, but why is muscle so important?
Dr. Eric Fete: So muscle is massively important and it's the foundation. You know, we, we think [00:07:00] of, you know, anytime, it's kinda like building a house. You have to start with the foundation and everybody thinks, well, obviously your bones right, but your muscles, you know, it's the framework of everything and it's importance of course structurally to obviously label you to move and function and exercise and live a good life, et cetera.
But that's kind of where most people. Stop thinking about it. They're like, oh, I just, I, I don't care. I'm okay. I don't want to get a, you know, bulking, bulging muscles. I don't need a six pack. It's, that's, I'm fine where I'm at. But unfortunately the reason it's so important is as we all get older, we lose it.
And a lot of people are like, as you mentioned, are like, well, I need to lose weight. I know I wanna live longer. I wanna live better. Well, that's one of the keys cuz sarcopenia or muscle loss is a massive. Key to aging well or aging not well. And if you already have sarcopenia, you will, you're not gonna age well and you're going to get osteopenia or bone loss.
Hip fracture. You fall, get hip fractures, lose your balance and fall and injure yourself and many other things. And on top of that muscle is the the largest endocrine organ in, in the body. It is massively involved with your overall metabolism. You know, again, women wanna, and men [00:08:00] wanna lose weight, they wanna improve their, your blood sugar, metabolism.
Everybody's worried. Insulin resistance. Everybody's talking about fasting and diabetes and blood sugar. Well, muscle is intimately involved with that. If you, the more muscle you have, the better you're gonna be in that regard. You're gonna improve your insulin sensitivity, shuttle blood sugar, so you can eat your carbs and it goes to your muscle.
It doesn't go to your belly and go to your liver where it's not supposed to go, and you can eat the things you wanna eat. You don't have to be on a starvation diet. You can eat well and fuel those muscles. So instead of focusing on. getting smaller, focused on building up your muscles and then everything else will fall
JJ Virgin: into place.
Amen. I love hearing that so much. It's you know, when you look at. this, if you just, I I, I wanna reframe the way we look at, at scales because I, I know there was that, the little card, I don't know if you saw it, Eric, that came out, that people could hand to their doctor that said, don't weigh me. It triggers me.
And I thought, you know, no one would walk into their doctor and say, don't take my blood pressure. It triggers me, or don't take my, don't do a blood test triggers me. And the fact that we've got like, We [00:09:00] are missing what we're getting there as information. And I think, I think the big challenge is I, I think of total weight, like total cholesterol.
Not meaningful, no reason. Like what do you do with that information? And if we could instead have people go in, get on a scale, identify both visceral adiposity. Where's that? Where's the, with the bad fat hanging out around your organs And then muscle mass, fat-free mass. And really focus on getting optimal fat-free mass first.
which is like what you just said. It would change everything cuz everyone's, you, you hear all the time, I need to boost my metabolism. Like, well then put on.
Dr. Eric Fete: Muscle. Yeah, exactly.
JJ Virgin: Yeah. It's costly. You want expensive, you wanna have an expensive body and muscle's expensive. It's gonna use a lot of calories to stay on there.
And just like you said and I was just interviewing my friend Dr. Beverly h she's like, muscle's, just a, a blood sugar sponge. So it's a, it's a way better place for you to be able to store, to store carbs. than to have to turn it [00:10:00] into fat and store it on your belly. Wouldn't you rather have it in there stored for energy to use next time?
Dr. Eric Fete: Yeah. Everybody wants to lose weight and they dread going on a diet cause then I have to give this up and give that. Well, if you train your muscles, you don't have to give it up. You can have your cake and eat it too literally and be fine and actually look better.
JJ Virgin: and sc. I remember early on I was reading Arisa.
I was in grad school. It. probably 30 years ago. And they were doing, and everything back then was about long, slow distance. You had to do at least 30 minutes of cardio, otherwise don't bother cause you wouldn't get in the fat burning zone. All this ridiculous damaging stuff. That was coming out and that you had to create this caloric deficit and, and all these things.
And the first, there are two studies that came out and they couldn't explain either one. And I think now in the light of day, they're pretty obvious. One of them showed that people who tried to maintain their weight by aerobic exercise alone, like if they skipped a day of aerobic exercise, what would happen?
they gained weight, right? Because they'd, they were losing muscle, not building it by doing all that [00:11:00] long, slow distance aerobics. And then if they didn't do it for a day, their body was so used to using that amount of calories. And that's the amount of calories. Eight. And guess what? They gained weight and then they did another study.
where they gave people, they had two different groups. One was supposed to exercise 30 minutes a day and one fell swoop. The other was supposed to do it in three sets, 10 minutes each. And the three sets, people improved across the board. They lost weight, they had better heart, cardiovascular fitness, and what they discovered was those people that were doing the 10 minutes, well, you either did 30 or you didn't do it at all, but the 10 minute people were doing it harder.
Yeah. , right? So, I mean, it's, it's pretty clear information out there. So how important is it, like, in terms of putting on muscle and really thinking? I think the, the way to flip this and reframe it, I, I love what Peter Atia talks about when he talks about the centenarian decathlon and like training for how you wanna be when you're a hundred and what activities you wanna be able to do.
how important is [00:12:00] it to be focused on this in your forties, fifties, and
Dr. Eric Fete: sixties? Yeah, very much so. The younger, the better. Kind of, you know, finishing off your le on our, the, the, the topic we were just discussing, the, the last part of that kind of ties into this is that. With muscles. It's as we mentioned about the metabolism, but muscles also secrete a lot of myokines which are those, those cytokines that are produced by the muscles, which have numerous benefits on the body, such as bdnf brain dried neurotrophic factor, which helps with the brain prevention.
Cognitive dysfunction helps your bones stay strong, helps. Produce produces cytokines of like i L six, et cetera, that could be helpful for metabolism and handling insulin, handling blood sugar helps, you know, liver health and so many other things that unless you're stimulating that muscle and growing that muscle, you're not gonna get those myokines and then your entire health is gonna suffer.
So all these things that people are worried about, you know, getting a fatty liver, you know, getting Alzheimer's, or getting fat, or getting a, a weak hip, you know, those are gonna happen. Again, and the further along, yeah, that path you are the harder it's gonna be to gain that back. So if you could start [00:13:00] focusing on this, the earlier, the better.
The time is now 40
JJ Virgin: right now. Right now. Wherever
Dr. Eric Fete: you are this time. Tomorrow, you know, so not tomorrow,
JJ Virgin: now . Yeah. So I've worked too long in diet pills or in diet, you know, the diet world. And it's like if I say tomorrow I know what happens. Nothing. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. , but I think that that's really important to, to note that like you do not want to put this off at all.
I was looking at some research that was showing kind of the co the, the risk people have 65 plus in terms of accidents and what happens when they break a hip and what happens when they fall. And, and some of those signal layers of like longevity are the ability to. Like stand and bounce on one leg. I did it this morning in yoga and you know, being able to get up off the floor, how important these things are that we just don't, you don't think about till it's too late.
I used to work in Palm Springs and I remember a woman came to me in her eighties and she, her whole reason she wanted to work out was so she could. , wear her high [00:14:00] heels and go up and down the stairs, , and I'm like, that's awesome. You know, , that's a motivation. Yep. Wish we thought about it a little bit sooner.
So what are your big tips then, since you know clearly we wanna build muscle and that will help have stronger bones and that will help like with brain health, big time and all these things. What are your tips then for working out? Like what's the regimen? .
Dr. Eric Fete: Well, as you know, there's a, there's a million regimens, you know, so it's just a question finding what works for you.
But in today's craziest society, I always start with the foundational stuff, right? You know, sleep and stress. I call it the double s like the superhero. You know, you gotta get that. Your recovery, you're sleeping, stressed, dialed in, cuz if you're stressed out and you're only sleeping five, six hours, it doesn't matter what kind of workout regimen you're gonna suffer.
So we gotta, you know, you gotta. I always tell everybody, train hard, but recover harder. You know? So focus on your recovery. Get your, get your, all your ducks in a row, make sure you're sleeping, et cetera. And that takes time and it takes work. And then start hitting it. And you know, for me the simpler, the better.
So, you know, some, if someone's new, that's a whole protocol versus someone who's experienced. [00:15:00] But as you mentioned earlier, just hit the waist, lift some heavy shit like you talked about. Just get in and do a basic strength training protocol. Something very simple. Maybe just start out with a whole body routine three day, two, three days a week, and walk, you know, the rest of the days.
And then slowly. Sprinkle in some other yummy goodness, like throwout, like a hiit someone
JJ Virgin: just starting out like, and just going in. They would like go into the gym, not like they go. I don't know what you're talking about, . So like, just a basic, what are some of the basic things that you would, you would have them do, like you'd recommend for them?
Dr. Eric Fete: Yeah. So if they're like a total newbie, you know, just start 'em out, you know, again, depending on their overall health and, and any health issues. But, you know, walk every day, you know, everybody knows that, right? Just walk every day and then maybe I'd start 'em out like two days a week, you know, just do a basic strength, a push, a pull a leg, you know, kind of thing.
Okay. Get on the ground, I'll show you how to do a pushup, or if you have a gym, go do some type of pressing movement. Do some type of pulling movement like a row. Do some, like a pull down or probably won't be able to do a chin up. So get on the machine and do a ch a pull. And then a hinge or [00:16:00] a a squat type moving, if you, all they can do is squat up and down with their body weight,
that's all they can do. That's a good place to start. And then slowly add the weight. build from there. Start with the, keep it as super simple, otherwise they're not gonna do it. So . Right.
JJ Virgin: Well, here's what you said that's really important because I find people, you, you'll see people in the gym and you see them doing bicep curls and then they'll go do like calf raises but, and I'm like, stop that.
the, those are the vanity ones that if you have time at the end that you're like, wanna finish the podcast you're listening to, go ahead. But the big focus should be these multi-joint exercises. So you talked about pushing and pulling and hip hinging, and so a simple thing like a pushup that if you had to, you could start against the wall.
Then go to a bench, right? Then go on your bent knees. Like you can just keep changing it up till you can do it on the floor, on your toes. And it might take six months to get there. It's fine. And then you talked about a pull down or a row, which is another fantastic one. I love [00:17:00] bent over rows because they mimic so many things.
Like there's so many times in life you have to bend over and grab something and you know, and I love the fact that you really talked about things that were. Machine base that they were free base because then you pull in the balance part two and much more of your core. Cuz I had a friend say this once, he goes, yeah, we're not bolted at the floor.
So like, you know but you'd get so much more bang for your metabolic buck when you go do. Exercises using either cables or free weights or body weight and you're doing multi-joint movements because you're crossing, you're pulling in more muscles. So love all that. Are you telling, like in terms of how many repetitions, that kind of stuff, what's your advice there?
Dr. Eric Fete: Yeah, for sure. So compound movements like you mentioned, are, are the key, you know, it's building that, not just building muscle. Getting stronger. As you mentioned, the longevity studies indicate loss of strength, you know, spirals down even faster than loss of muscle size, and that correlates with longevity, you know, grip strength picking, [00:18:00] like mentioned, getting off the ground.
So those big compound movements are great. And again, start with something simple. Maybe just do two, three sets of. Five to six reps, you know, or five to seven reps, somewhere in that strength, kind of borderline quote unquote hypertrophy range. You know, we all know we can get hypertrophy with any rep range, any weight, depending on how, how many you do.
But I think for overall strength, you know, a lot of people talk about like the, the, the five by five protocol or doing three sets of eight, three sets of 10, something like that. Totally fine wherever you can start with. And I, and as you mentioned, I like. Do something they can do anywhere where they have access to a gym.
Oh, I don't have a gym membership. Okay, well you can do it at home, right? Do push up, you can grab a heavy paint can or something and do a row, right? So just start simple, you know, do two or three sets of, you know, 10 reps, you know, keep it simple and then kind of build from there. And then I'll, I'll talk to 'em about, you know, mixing it up, you know, do high reps, slow reps, different, you know, mixing up, undulating, periodization, things like that.
So just start. Just start and then we'll build.
JJ Virgin: I tell you one thing I got to be a big fan of that, I think was the, the biggest [00:19:00] solution during the pandemic that probably got ignored is those TRX trainers. Yeah, those are great. Those are like, that is the, that is now my solution. If I'm traveling and I. Don't know where I'm going because especially during the pandemic, you'd go somewhere and the gym would be closed.
I'm like, you've gotta be kidding me. You know, . So what do I do now? Yeah, . Yeah. It's like, now what do I do? So this TRX trainer, if you haven't seen this is a great thing that you can travel. Oh, they're awesome. Travel with I. They're amazing. Yeah. So I have, I have one hanging out on my tree. I have one in my home gym.
so that I can, and I use it at the gym too. So you can do a lot to mess around with that. Cause you do wanna keep mixing it up. Now let's talk cuz you know, you always hear that your biceps are built in the kitchen. So let's talk about how now fitness and nutrition, you know, get together here to make a difference and what you're seeing, especially in terms of looking at, you know, building muscle and longevity, what you recommend.
Dr. Eric Fete: for sure. I think the biggest thing is, You know, [00:20:00] I, you know, again, I like to keep it simple, just whole food diet. And as you know, like, I think we talked about this when we first jumped on, a lot of people, men included, but definitely women just don't eat enough darn protein to build the muscle.
And that's crucial. You gotta have the, you gotta have the founda, you gotta have the building blocks to build it. So, you know, whole foods based diet, you know, keep it super simple, you know, you know, load up your plate with some vegetables and a big slab of meat and maybe a side of something else, you know, some healthy fats and you're good to go.
So a lot of people, , you know, I get full, I can't eat that much protein, so I love, not that I'm a, you know, a meal replacement guy, but if you need to, I think protein shakes are a great way to supplement proteins. I'm a
JJ Virgin: huge protein shake person. Yeah. I think they are the best thing to start, especially women off in the Yeah.
It's so easy to do first meal. And you know, the more I'm looking, I just listened to you know, Gabrielle Lyon's mentor. I'm trying to remember his name, but he talked about really bookending your protein and those that the first meal, and the last meal being the most important really for, you know, especially that morning one [00:21:00] triggering mTOR, which we should talk about.
And I just find a protein shake and then adding in, you know, some extra collagen is just a good way to ensure, especially for women, that they get what they. . Yeah.
Dr. Eric Fete: Protein shakes are awesome for women cuz you know, they don't like eating a big, huge 10 ounce ribeye you know, well
JJ Virgin: I do, but
Dr. Eric Fete: three times a day.
Yeah, some women do. Yeah. My wife does. So yeah, doing a protein shake, I love 'em. I think they're great and they can be supplement and they can be helpful for fat loss too, if you, depending on how you time it. But it's just an easy way to, you know, slam a couple of those throughout the day and you're, you know, if you do it right, you can be halfway to your goals and then you add in your meals and it makes it so much.
JJ Virgin: So what are you doing for protein recommendations? Because Yeah, it's, it's so interesting in the nutrition world because if you look at, at what's out there, pretty much people don't talk about protein. It's just a static thing. The only argument on protein is whether it's plant-based or animal, and then everything is, is the fight over how much carbs and fat, and I'm like, you.
Really I think everything should be [00:22:00] built around protein. Like first proteins first. You build around that and so you won't get, like, you won't not be able to eat your protein cuz you ate your protein veggies first. Whatever else you can fit in, great. But that's the, that's the important thing. So where, what are your recommendations on protein?
How much should someone have?
Dr. Eric Fete: Yeah. So you. What you, what people typically talk about is, you know, gram, you know, per pound of body weight, right? And of course that's based on your lean body mass. And again, you talk to someone, especially a woman, they're like, oh my god, that's a lot of protein. So, you know, I think some of the other, stu here's some studies that have come out shown, you can dial that down to a little bit, maybe to 0.8, 0.9, you know, gram per pound of, so, and you convert that to kilograms, you know, that's the, that typical 1.7 to 2.1 grams per kilograms.
You wanna convert it into kilograms. But they've done a lot of studies. Especially for fat loss and you're dialing up even higher, you're going up to two and a half, almost three grams per kilogram, if, especially for fat loss. So if you're, if you could do it and you're definitely gonna be supplementing protein shakes, cuz that's a lot of protein.
So but again, keep it simple, you know, if you just shoot for that gram per pound [00:23:00] that's an easy number. Most people are not gonna hit that. But if you can get damn close to it, then that's, that's a good place to start. And then build everything else around that. Keep it simple.
JJ Virgin: Well, and here's what's easy about that is if you start there and build around it, rather than do it as.
You know, so often it was like, your protein should be the deck of cards. It's like the condiment. I'm like, well, what if it, what if it was the main, it was the star of the show, right. . Right, right, right. Should frame it. It should be the star of the show. And I mean, the research is pretty darn clear with it, and especially and, and there's two things I'd love to talk about is especially with what happens as we age with anabolic resistance.
And then with that first meal and really triggering mTOR. So, and, and the issue with mTOR and potentially plant-based protein. So anabolic resistance you know, what's your, what's your take on that and what we need to do there? Just push more protein or what?
Dr. Eric Fete: Yeah, it's funny, I just did like a multi-part video and podcast on anabolic resistance, so, oh, I'm, I'm so [00:24:00] glad you're here,
Alright, so check out my podcast, my YouTube channel. I put it on there, but I did like I multiple videos, but in a nutshell, yes. I think number one, as with everything is just prevention, right? It's not just a, you know, Gorge Fest eat, you know, Tons of protein and a whole pizza and just eat as much as you can.
That's where a lot of especially guys get into trouble. They're, they're, they're doing their, their bulking phase. Right. And then they eat too much, and then you get some issues in the cell and you get issue in the liver. You get, and then it spirals outta control. So I think, yeah.
JJ Virgin: And, and we're talking about women, we're talking about having eight to 10 ounces of wild salmon instead of four to six.
Right. Right. You know, they're not having salmon on a pizza, just so you know. No.
Dr. Eric Fete: Women, I think are women tend not to have much of a problem with this. It's usually the guys that are trying to bulk, you know, the bodybuilder dude. So yeah, I think just playing it smart as we talked about, make, make the protein the cornerstone.
Make sure you're getting all your other nutrients with, you know, big slab, you know, big, big piece of meat, you know, your vegetables and balancing it out. And in terms of mTOR, you
JJ Virgin: know, well wait, wait, wait. Let's just, just cuz I threw it out there [00:25:00] and I realized I didn't define it. Define what anabolic resistance is for our audience so they understand why they need to do.
Dr. Eric Fete: Sure. Yeah. So basically what can happen is if you overdo it and eat too darn much or too much of the wrong things, what can happen is your body doesn't like that very much. You get, you tend to start putting on weight, and then you kind of get into a plateau where you're not putting, you are putting on weight, but now you're starting putting a lot of fat in addition to muscle, and then your workouts aren't, you're kind of stagnating and you're getting flat, and you're getting tired, and you're like, what's going on here?
I'm eating. I should be working hard and you're not, and you start getting fat and you're getting tired. So basically your body is telling you like, whoa, slow it down dude. You're, you're put on the brakes and you're getting, eating too many calories, you're not recovering enough. There's other reasons too.
And then it starts to accumulate. You get too much basically plug intake and you're starting to spill it into your liver. You're getting a fatty liver. It's a spilling into your cell. So the bottom line is, it's basically. Kinda think of it as overstuffing your pillow. You're getting way too much in there and your body's just telling you to slow the heck down and back
JJ Virgin: it off a little bit.
Yeah, and I don't think most, [00:26:00] most women do this. The one important thing for, for us women to understand is that unless you are just starting out, you're not fit at all. But once you've been working out for a while, you either have a choice, you're either building muscle or you're losing fat, but you're not doing the both together.
So you, when you're putting on muscle, you are going. Increase your intake, some, especially your protein, and you might see your weight go up a little bit. Yep. For and for a woman that is a freak out, like, so, but here's the big important thing, and I, and I say this I'm working on my next book, Eric. So I started messing around with this and I knew I wanted to put on a little bit more muscle.
and I watched my weight go up and, and then I had to do, have this whole mental game of like, and I have a $5,000 bioimpedance scale at home. So I was like, testing everything, but I'm like, Hmm, it's still the the mental thing that we women have, you know, my clothes are looser , you know, but that's the way. So it's really important for you to understand that you're, you're probably gonna [00:27:00] have to up your calories, up your protein.
You may see your weight come up a little bit, and quite often your weight comes up and your clothes size goes. , right. But if you, but even if you wanted to say lose overall weight, I always said, do you wanna lose weight or size? Because if you want to get your clothing size down, it might require adding a little bit of weight, more muscle, but then it will also adjust.
But the first focus would be muscle. So there's that. Let's talk mTOR. .
Dr. Eric Fete: Yeah, so mTOR is, mTOR is great. It's, everybody thinks of it as a double-edged sword, right? Cuz you can have too much mTOR stimulation. So mTOR is just one of these many cellular processes inside the cell that triggers muscle growth. Now, mTOR is involved in other things in, in the cell too.
Cell proliferation, differentiation, meaning making your your cells do what they're supposed to do, build, grow, heal, recover. It's involved in other metabolic functions too. And there's actually two, two subtypes of mTOR, but that we're not gonna get into that. But the basic mTOR what most people think of, yes, muscle growth.
And then of course you hear the other side that, oh my gosh, mTOR is bad. You're gonna get cancer, you're going to have [00:28:00] all these bad things happen to you. Which, yeah, if you go crazy, you can, but a very nice easy way to do it is, again, everything is balanced, right? If you balance everything out and you have your recovery cycles and you're not going through these constant feeding bulking cycles, you're gonna be fine.
And you, you know, you mentioned collagen earlier. I love collagen. You know, used to be that okay, we gotta do some protein restriction or take days where you're not eating a lot of protein to balance it out. You don't have to do that. And if you just do collagen and get those other amino acids, that's gonna balance out that excess of methionine, which is the most common amino acid in meats and protein powders, that's gonna cause mTOR stimulation.
And you can get a balance of that and get all the longevity benefits without that excessive mTOR. So you're gonna get the best of both worlds. So again, with everything, it's all about the balance. So if you're. What we talked about, you're gonna be fine. And you have to stimulate mTOR to grow muscle.
JJ Virgin: absolutely have to. Right? And you're cycling it, you're, you're, you don't eat, you know, you have a great overnight fast, then it comes down, then you eat, then you do a workout, you have some protein, it comes up, it helps you build muscle. So I think it's [00:29:00] important, like with everything. Too much insulin.
Bad, no insulin, you're done. You know? So all these things we, we need, it's really important. And you talked about at the beginning of this, you talked about recovery. So I'd like to circle back to that because I feel like that's still a kind of a missing piece that people as they tend to start to get into working out, it's like, more is better.
It's like, well, no, not really, you know, . So like what's your recommendation here on, and you, you talked about sleep and. , how does someone know if they're really getting good sleep? What, what are you doing on the stress side? What are your recommendations for recovery?
Dr. Eric Fete: Yeah, that's a huge topic. We could talk for hours about this.
I know actually, I, I just, I'm getting ready to launch a, a whole lifestyle course. I'm gonna have and I'm dealing with all these things one by one too, so that's good. Perfect timing. But yes, I always tell everybody, as I talked about, you know, if train harbor recover harder, I mean, and it's so easy to not do that.
I mean, I've, I've worked with a. Trainers and very well-known. You know, social media celebrities who are fitness [00:30:00] trainers are known all over the country. And you know, there's a couple that I worked with that they themselves, you know, I coached me, I helped, I worked with them and they were over training and I had to pull them back and they know better, right?
We all know better, but we can still do it. So it's, if they're doing it, Mom, and you know, Joe, and Joe and Sally in the gym are probably doing it too. So yes, the, the mantra especially, you know, here in America we're always like, go harder, harder, harder, harder. Right? Work out more work, workout, more, go to Warner's theory, go do CrossFit, sleep four hours, go do it again.
Right? It's, and, and that just, you're gonna hit a wall. So I think especially if you're starting out, just make sure you're recovering, you know, take it, workout hard, take the next day off or something easy. Just alternate it. Just keep it simple, you know? And if the other thing I tell people is just go by and it's hard to learn, right?
But you have to learn how to listen to your body and it's so hard to do, cuz. Okay, today is, Whatever leg day, and I have it in my head. But if you, if you didn't sleep good the night before, you're stressed, you gotta fight with your spouse and you're just not feeling it well, you'll know. And don't do it.
Do something else. Don't push through. And or if you start a workout and within the first five minutes you're not [00:31:00] feeling better, you're starting to feel worse, then you need to stop or do something else. You need to learn to listen to your body. And that's that whole autoregulation and that's hard. And it takes practice.
I mean, I still catch my self doing that. I'm like, oh, I'm gonna, I had this work on my head, didn't do it anyway. , I'm gonna do it. And I'm like, oh, no, no, no, no. Practice what you preach. Listen dude, you're not feeling it. You know, or something's.
JJ Virgin: Well, what's great is I was like, I, I don't know if you, I was trying to see if you had an aura ring on, but I kind of tag team my Oura ring and my Apple watch and they'll tell, now you have to listen to 'em cuz they'll say, Hey, looks like you like need to take a rest day today.
And I'm like, you might think so, but I'm not doing it. But I'm. You are right? Yeah. You be quiet. I'm shutting the app off. But it is good to see that because it will be like, oh yeah, okay, I'll just, I'll just lighten my load today or do something easier. And I, and I think, you know, that's, it's a big shout out for why we need to mix things up.
My husband and I have incorporated, I'm not gonna say I like this. Because I do not, but we do hot yoga. We do hot yoga twice a week when we're in town. I [00:32:00] literally count the minutes. I go, oh, I'm 10 minutes in. I'm one six The way through. It's, it's a whole mental game. , like I'm, you know, . That's great, but it's so, you know, it's like, but the more we can do different things as well than just lift I'll, I'll default and go throw heavy weights around all day long.
And then I. It's like
Dr. Eric Fete: it's a sign. You need more of that. Right. You know, that's My wife is the same way. She hates yoga because she can't turn this off up here. Right. I'm like, that's why you need it because you need
JJ Virgin: to Exactly. I got yelled at in yoga. In fact they put a sign on the door now, so I'm in yoga and I had the best idea and I thought, I'm gonna forget it.
And I had this whole inner dialogue going on. I'm gonna forget it. No, you won't forget it Inside. I'll just make a little note. She won't see, get, grab my phone to make this little note and Sure. Like, like she had 6 cents bee lines over to me. Put your phone down, you know, . And I was like going, now there's a little sign on the door, no cell phones.
Like, oh God, really? So yeah, you did it. But I, but I have ideas. She's like, bring a notepad. I'm like, [00:33:00] what is the difference between a notepad and a cell phone it's still , it's still the same stuff. Yeah. Yes, it's it is exactly that you tell your wife. That's why she needs it. She has to do it. That fair enough? That's fair.
All right, perfect. I, I would love to address one more thing and it's just, we'll just kind of touch on it cause I think it's a really fascinating area is this area of peptides and, and what peptides can do. And I'd just love you to just. Give a quick primer on what the heck are peptides, you know, someone looking into them, what, what might they be looking for?
What are some of the opportunities for someone with peptides in terms of recovery, anti-aging, all of that.
Dr. Eric Fete: peptides are great. Yeah. I, I, as I mentioned, I got into that after I combined that with the hormones. A as needed, as I try to fix everything naturally and as anything that's free or cheap. We'll start with that, you know, lifestyle and training and then we'll add on the other stuff.
So, well, don't you agree?
JJ Virgin: I see. I think that you should not be allowed, I think unless you do diet and exercise, you don't get to have the hacks. Like, to me, biohacking should only [00:34:00] be, and once you're doing. Diet and exercise and sleep and stress management then, then you can start to do it. But it's absolutely ridiculous.
It's like, you know, you wouldn't go bring an old broken down car in and say, I know the engine's not gonna work, but let's just give it a really great paint job. That would be stupid. So
Dr. Eric Fete: the class off my high horse. No, you're absolutely right cuz I get guys who, you know women too, but guys are like, you know, they wanna, you know, get better and they're asking about testosterone.
I'm like, well, are. , tell me about your sleep. Are you working out? Tell me about your diet. Because at night I just tell 'em, I said, look, if you're gonna sit on the couch all day at eat, McDonald's not work out. And you want testosterone to get big muscles. I'm not your guy. It's not gonna work. I'm telling you right now, it's not gonna work.
So no, I lay down the law. Trust me, , good. . So yeah, peptides. But sometimes there are people who are very metabolically ill, for lack of a better word, who sometimes they're. Bad or broken, then metabolically they need that to just to get them into the gym. So sometimes I will start them on a hormone or peptide just to get them feeling better and then they'll start working out.
And then it's a beautiful [00:35:00] cycle and it starts building on itself. But a lot of times, again, yeah, start with the foundation and build in usually hormonal is the issue first. Especially with women who will come to me wanting to lose weight or having thyroid issues or P c o S insulin re it's huge, as you know.
It's a big problem. Start with that. Peptides are a great additional strategy. And there are so many out there that we can use that do so many different things. So they're signaling molecules, they're protein molecules. Just think of 'em as a truncated or a short protein molecule. I always tell it, give the analogy of insulin.
Everybody knows what insulin is. Well, insulin's a peptide. It's a protein molecule. It's one of the first ones that's was discovered back in the twenties. So these peptides are now, we, we make 'em in our body. So basically what we've done, Basically make them in the, you know, in the lab, just like we make testosterone and thyroid hormone.
And they can be used to enhance the body's functions in various ways. So there's, they act mostly as signaling molecules. They do different things in the cell to get them to work so, And there's a bunch. So the most, probably the couple of the most common ones that I use are [00:36:00] the there's a recovery healing peptide called B BPC 1 57.
And another one that's there's a couple, like for example, cjc and Flin are two examples of, I always call it the growth hormone peptide. So, cause everybody knows a growth hormone is, you know, back in. Been around forever. You know, back in the eighties all the big stars we're using it to get lean and put on muscle, et cetera.
So, and growth hormone have, its has its place, but it's hard to use. It's a little bit more expensive, a little few more side effects. So the peptides can stimulate your body to release more of its own growth hormone. We make plenty of it even in our old age, but we just can't release it. So it gets it to release it in at the right time, in the right circadian fashion to enhance its benefits.
But it has benefits on the body other than just the growth hormone, which, you know, I can get into later. But basically the whole point of it is to. Get the body to heal, to grow, to get the cell functioning at the cellular level, to get the tissues functioning better, which is gonna get the organs working better, and then your body's gonna be working better.
So again, we, it's like, like as I mentioned, building that house. So the peptides are a great way to enhance certain functions and to do specific actions. Like for example, some people have. Gut issues, [00:37:00] leaky gut issues, or all these, it's prevalent nowadays, can heal the gut. Others can be helpful for healing, as I mentioned with the B P C.
Can heal soft tissue injuries, gut issues, gut inflammation, acid reflux. There's others that are helpful for brain function, enhancing brain function. If I have like a professional athlete or a shooter. Someone who really needs to have that, that calm brain, but focused brain. And there's peptides that can help with that.
Or they can be helpful for prevention of you know, brain cognitive issues, Alzheimer's, dementias, you know, Parkinson's and things that, things like this. So the peptides are a great addition to our. Stacks of whether, whether using nutraceuticals or hormones and everything to basically enhance the body and to get some of those goals achieved that we just can't get with just the basics.
JJ Virgin: Yeah, and it seems like long term, although we'll see if this can happen, like they really replace the need for a lot of these pharmaceuticals. Yes. We'll see if the companies let that happen.
Dr. Eric Fete: Cause I think pharma, big farmers on its tear right now to try to get rid of 'em all and get rid of work. [00:38:00] Oh, I know.
They don't, they don't want us being healthy. They want their pills and sick medicine and it's, it's scary and it's sad. It's all at the same time. It, it's a lot of economics and politics, which
JJ Virgin: is unfair. Yeah. , which is ridiculous that there is politics and health, but we've certainly seen it over the last couple years.
Well, what I love is getting back to the basics and showing how the basics can make such a profound difference, especially as we're aging. So thank you for all that. And I know you're going to. Gift everyone a guide on muscle growth. So I'm gonna put that at I don't even think we've had a Dr. Eric yet, so I'm gonna put jjvirgin.com/dreric d r e r i c and we'll put it there so everyone can grab it and then they'll be able to learn more about you too. There you go. Dr. Eric, the fitness physician, and for those of you in Ohio, you can pop over and see 'em. And I think you've got courses online too, don't
Dr. Eric Fete: you? I do have courses online. I'm gonna be launching my lifestyle.
I learned nutrition and fitness course, and then we go on a new telemedicine [00:39:00] program as I do a lot of telemedicine, but one specifically, as I mentioned, for women in fat loss. Nice. All the other stuff that I do for men and women. Is on the website, so happy to
JJ Virgin: help anyone. We will put that all into the show notes.
It sounds like you're, you're in a bowling alley over there, by the way. Oh really? Yeah. . I was like, what is going on over there? ,
Dr. Eric Fete: the wind is picking up out here. You can see all the, ah.
JJ Virgin: I was like, huh, something's going on. It's like
Dr. Eric Fete: literally, where is it? Came outside. I'm at home right now. I came outside cause I didn't want my dogs to bark in the middle of the show.
Got it. This.
JJ Virgin: And then, and then the, and then the bowling started. Right. Okay. So perfect. Again, it's jjvirgin.com/dreric, and thank you so much for hanging out with me. I appreciate it
Dr. Eric Fete: absolutely. Thanks for having me on. It was a lot of fun.
JJ Virgin: Okay, so eat more protein, lift heavy weights. That's my mantra for today. And make sure that you recover recovery even more than you lift. And I'll tell you, when you're lifting heavy weights, you need the recovery. So my [00:40:00] workout routine now really is heavy weights. Then I'll rotate in some easy cardio and walking and I'll rotate in.
I do hit trainings walls, you know, and I rotate in some hot yoga. Shout out to camp Yoga in Tampa. I have a love-hate relationship with you, , but pretty amazing place. And so those are the things that you're gonna want to be doing and incorporating in. And again, you can get that Muscle Growth guide at jjvirgin.com/dreric, Dr.
Eric. And if you've not yet subscribed to the show, make sure you do so, you do not miss anything. Subscribetojj.com. See you next time.


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