Sal Di Stefano to Mike O'Hearn: Changing behavior is the key to consistency

Sal Di Stefano to Mike O’Hearn: Changing behavior is the key to consistency

Episode 23 of The Mike O’Hearn Show was posted on Generation Iron’s YouTube channel on November 4, 2022 and featured the host of the mental pump podcast, Sal Di Stefano. In the episode’s chill open, O’Hearn shared his excitement about Di Stefano’s appearance on the podcast, not just because he listened mental pump for a while, but because of Di Stefano’s ability to explain complicated concepts in more simplistic terms.

Di Stefano was asked about his “philosophy of life”, which O’Hearn and his team continued to discuss even after the cameras stopped rolling. Check out the discussion via the video below:

[Realted: Three-Time Classic Physique Mr. Olympia Chris Bumstead Shares His Inner Monologue on “Champion Mentality”]

Di Stefano, 43, has worked in the fitness industry, whether running gyms or coaching clients, since he was 18. He’s been hosting his podcast for about seven years and has learned the difference between communicating workout information to an “average person.” compared to a “fitness enthusiast”.

In Di Stefano’s experience, when he trains with a professional athlete, he finds he needs to be taken out. They don’t often need help to motivate themselves, but rather guidance on not overworking themselves. It’s very different from training the “average Joe” who usually needs help developing a better relationship with training and nutrition.

Di Stefano’s suggested success in training an “average Joe” is to position his relationship to training and nutrition so that he trains two to three times a week for the rest of his his life. This resonated with O’Hearn, who has always touted longevity as a main theme on his show.

They have a lot of misunderstandings about exercise.

O’Hearn seemed taken aback by Di Stefano’s notion of misinformation in the fitness space in modern times. O’Hearn has long maintained that social media has created a wave of misinformation in the fitness world. Di Stefano doesn’t directly disagree, but suggests that there is a lot more information out there, most of which is valuable, despite the misinformation that also adds to the mix.

Di Stefano recounted how in the late 90s, when he ran gyms, he rarely saw gymgoers doing deadlifts or squats for fear they would hurt themselves. Since then, Di Stefano has focused on reaching the majority of gym goers to understand how they can train sustainably and responsibly in the long run.

[Related: 8-Time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman Guides Larry Wheels Through a Grueling Leg Workout]

Di Stefano learned over time that simply telling clients what to eat or how to exercise wasn’t effective. He found that strategies that influence or change their behavior work best, and create a fun and welcoming atmosphere in the gym.

It’s like becoming a therapist. The biggest challenge to overcome with the average person is consistency.

From Di Stefano’s point of view, it doesn’t matter how much someone wants to change their physique or improve their fitness or anything else, if it’s not fun, they won’t do it. Someone who consistently does something they dislike is unlikely to be sustainable beyond the short term.

We are not Robots. We are emotional, behavior-based animals. We do a lot of things that are illogical. So how can we get around this?

Recognizing the psychological aspect of health and fitness as a more effective tool than looking at programming or nutrition plans has been a decade-long endeavor for Di Stefano. To hear all of the valuable insight shared by Di Stefano, watch the full episode in the video above.

Featured Image: @mikeohearn on Instagram

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