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Episode 19: The Right Kind Of Fitness with Dane Miklaus

Updated: Jan 15

Podcast Drop Date: 7/12/23

Dane Miklaus is the founder and partner of both Work Training Studio and Hustle Fitness, a dad and passionate about mental, physical, and spiritual health. At a young age, Dane learned that having the right mindset matters, and chooses to live his life full of gratitude, especially in the midst of life's toughest challenges. In this episode, Dane and Amber discuss all things fitness, including the proper mindset, nutrition, the right kind of movement for strength training and weight loss, and so much more. Armed with a degree in exercise science, Dane has dedicated nearly two decades of his life to the pursuit of optimal health and longevity and has played a pivotal role in transforming the lives of countless individuals!

Transform your body and change your life with our precisely crafted five month weight loss program. Our approach combines cutting edge science with personalized support. Unlock newfound levels of energy and confidence today. To learn more, click here.


Amber Warren, PA-C: Welcome to the Functional Medicine Foundations podcast, where we explore root cause medicine, engage in conversation with functional and integrative medicine experts, and build community with like minded health seekers. I'm your host, Amber Warren. Let's dig deeper. Okay. Welcome back, everybody. Thanks so much for joining us today. I'm here with Dane Miklaus. He is an accomplished professional with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the realm of health and fitness. Armed with a degree in exercise science, Dane has dedicated nearly two decades of his life to the pursuit of optimal health and longevity. As the founder and partner of both work training studio and Hustle Fitness, he has played a pivotal role in transforming the lives of countless individuals. Beyond his professional endeavors, Dane's true passion lies in inspiring and empowering, empowering others to embrace happier and healthier lifestyles. As a loving father to two incredible little girls, he understands the importance of leading by example and instilling lifelong habits that promote overall success. With his expertise and unwavering commitment, Dane stands as a beacon of light and a catalyst for positive change. So good. Welcome, Dane. Wow. We're so glad to have you.

Dane Miklaus: Did Mom did mom write that for you? Did. Yeah, she did.

Amber Warren, PA-C: She emailed it over to me this morning. Like, tell me about your son.

Dane Miklaus: Oh, my goodness.

Amber Warren, PA-C: We're so glad to have you here. We're talking a little bit offline. We this is actually our first interview podcast about exercise and movement. And it's been I actually I haven't shared this, but when my husband and I first had this vision and we kind of knew where God was leading us, we were driving to Canada to go skiing and listening just a bunch of podcasts on like, you know, functional fitness and functional medicine, integrative medicine. And one of the podcasts that got him the most pumped to want to go down this path was actually a naturopath up there, and her clinic was part of a gym, like she had a gym on the side of her clinic and he's like, That's it. That's what we need to do up in Boise. And it proved to be way more difficult to have like a gym slash medical clinic. I'm sure you can imagine what that's like. But anyways, it was such an inspiration of us like, yes, if we're going to get people to change, of course we have to have nutritionists and health coaches, but we have to have a gym relationship. We have to get people moving and moving the right way. So anyways, tell us your journey into just the fitness world.

Dane Miklaus: Yeah, I mean, I was I was that kid that was always playing, you know, outdoors, climbing trees, doing all the things, but also traditional sports. So I played multiple sports growing up, high school, etcetera. My athletic career ended in college. I just simply wasn't good enough to keep playing, you know, eventually get cut. And that started sort of at that soul searching as most people, you know, you're going into into college or whatever, you know, most folks do after high school. Et cetera. For me, it was it was traditional four year university. And at first I actually started with business. My dad, his background is in banking and just wasn't quite sure of what I wanted to do, started there and just didn't love it. Right. And I'm going for a second year. It's kind of kind of joke. Anyways, you're doing Gen ed and all the requirements and when it came time to actually get serious about picking a major and sort of picking a direction, I remembered this really positive experience I had in physical therapy. I had a shoulder injury my junior or senior year playing baseball, and that experience with my PT was just super positive. He helped me get back into playing shape. He was a really nice guy and I enjoyed the actual rehab aspect and I was like, I think I could do that.

Dane Miklaus: It allows me to be part of movement, part of somebody's journey through movement, still maybe touch sport. You know, at the time I was thinking I'd get into strength and conditioning or again, maybe it was on the rehab side that led to a short stint in athletic training as a major for a little while. That kind of, I don't know, meandered a little bit. I did the traditional sort of ATC classes with assessment and diagnosis of injuries, some of the initial treatment classes and methodologies. But then that just it felt a little bit stale, so it felt a little bit slow for me personally. Know a lot of amazing athletic trainers out there. For some people, it's exactly what they want to do. For me, I wanted a little bit more high touch and a little bit more on the performance side. So in my what junior year, our curriculum director launched a new major applied exercise science. And that was perfect, right? Because it was the best of all worlds. You get to still be in athletics, but you get to be a bit more performance driven. I love the body. I love human movement, I love kinesis, I love physics. And so being able to study the body still in in depth, but then have a little bit more of that hands on application after the fact with my athletes, you know, clients really seemed exciting.

Dane Miklaus: So anyways, I graduated thinking that I was going to go back and maybe still do a DPT or at least go get a master's in kinesis or phys to try and do strength and conditioning at either the collegiate or professional level, but to pay the bills. I started working as a personal trainer and that was just a lot more transformative than I thought it would be. I have those really sort of quintessential client experiences where somebody has this immense growth internally, right? Not just the esthetic, not the right, but they have this immense achievement that they're able to. Feel viscerally that you get to be a part of. And that really changed really my trajectory from from then on. So I've been I was a personal trainer for a very long time, and then I got into group exercise and then working for other studios led me to opening my own. And and here we are. So my wife and I opened the first work back in 2015 in Southern California, and then we launched Work or Meridian up here in Idaho this past October with our partners, Jeff and Megan, who are incredible. Um, and then we've just launched this separate brand hustle in the last, in the last few months here as well. So it's so.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Cool. And I can speak from experience. I've been to both work and a hustle and I mean, I grew up in this valley and I've been to a lot of different gyms in this valley, and I can genuinely say, what you guys are doing is different. Thank you. And so you I want you to share with our listeners how how are you doing things differently and why are you guys doing things differently, your two gyms.

Dane Miklaus: Sure. Um, I mean. I mean, that should be the Y for anybody, right? If you go into business, it should be hopefully that you're going to put a different spin on things, right. That you're going to try and add to the collective. It's funny not to go like full tangent, but I was thinking about that recently in thinking through like education and how it's so different nowadays, right? You're passing a test. It's, it's some sort of baseline standard that you sort of need to, to showcase. And it used to be you had to add to academia, right? You had to it had to be a thesis or it had to be some version of something that you've done to advance the knowledge base of the career field or, you know, the discipline. So anywho, with, with work and hustle, both of them are our attempt to do just that, to do something a little bit more unique. And I would say they are each trying to do the same thing but in different ways, right? So my personal mission is positively influence as many lives as possible. A couple of different ways I can do that. In my opinion, I have certain skill sets. Again, I've been blessed to be able to acquire a lot of knowledge in the health and fitness space that allows me to help deliver that information to other people.

Dane Miklaus: So that means helping coach my coaches, right? Helping train my trainers, but also the actual end client, right? I still I'm still a practitioner, I still coach or train classes myself. I still have personal clients both on the fitness and nutrition sides. Um, and the thing that we're really trying to get across is that number one movement should be a part of your everyday lifestyle. The vast majority of people we know the numbers bear out. They're getting worse and worse and worse in terms of our sedentary lifestyle, people are becoming more and more unhealthy. We know how impactful fitness can be and how it's just a huge lever in terms of overall wellness. Right? That's what you guys absolutely have have cornered on, is that a lot of it is is practical, it is habitual and it's purposeful. And so we're just trying to do that. We're trying to move with purpose. Everything that we do in either studio has a why behind it. It all fits into what is called a a. Macro cyclical focus. So essentially when you go to when you go to personal training school, one of the first things you learn is that, you know, a traditional athlete goes through phases.

Dane Miklaus: There's the off season, there's the pre season, there's the in-season, there's the postseason. Most people don't train your general population client that way, but they should. There should be seasons of lifting heavier training harder, There should be seasons of maybe doing a little bit more powerful. There should be seasons of loading and maybe going longer distances or building more muscular endurance. So they all have their own different place, most, most fitness studios, most gyms, most PTS, etcetera. They don't think in that macroscopic point of view. And so that's what both work and hustle do, is we say, okay, let's let's train the everyday athlete like a legitimate athlete and let's try to add different stimuli over time that are going to not only lengthen their training career, but also I mean, the science bears it out. Like this is day one kind of textbook stuff like this is how you're supposed to write a training program for a client. And that's that's why we do what we do. So there's nothing crazy. There's no rocket science behind it. We're just trying to apply the principles that that are foundational.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah, that's so good. And it's very obvious. So one of my biggest pet peeves with just like how conventional medicine does things is, Hey, Mrs. Smith, you've got high cholesterol and maybe you're heading towards diabetes. I just need you to eat well and exercise and come back in three months, and we'll recheck your markers and see how you're doing. Right. Oh, my goodness. It drives me crazy. So I feel like we've brought in our PhDs and nutritionists to really help us implement the nutrition piece, the how and the why behind behind eating clean and eating smart. But we need people like you because it's like, okay, Mrs. Smith, we need you to exercise. What, What, what does that even mean?

Dane Miklaus: How?

Amber Warren, PA-C: Where? Yeah, exactly. Where. How, why, when? So let's break down a little bit the differences because I get this question asked a lot like cardiovascular exercise hit training, power lifting the differences in those and the different benefits that we see.

Dane Miklaus: Sure, they each have their time and place. Right? What I would say is every person has to ask themselves the why themself, right? What is the thing you're actually training for? Because different training schema elicit a different result, both internally, physiologically and externally. Let's be honest, a lot of people train for anesthetic and there's nothing wrong with that. Totally. You can get amazing internal metabolic cardiovascular. Et cetera. Health results by training for an esthetic. That said, like we were just saying a moment ago, there are principles when it comes to what we call loading and loading is essentially think the weight or the resistance that you're applying to the body and how many times you're applying it. So the volume of load is usually quantified in terms of reps and sets in a given session that we're all aware of, but also how many sessions a week? How many weeks in a row? Et cetera. Right. So when it comes to different modalities, so to speak, modality is that fancy term for any of the listeners who aren't aware of basically what type or what category of exercise. So like yoga is a modality. Pilates on a mat is a modality. Pilates on a reformer is a different modality. So when we talk about each of these different things, cardiovascular health is most efficiently trained by doing what's called hit style training. And classical hit actually operates on really short bouts of high intensity intervals, right? But also prolonged bouts of rest. So it's that really nuanced application of both the work and the rest that makes true, legitimate hit training effective.

Dane Miklaus: A lot of places will call themselves hit training, but it's really just high intensity the entire time. There's never a comedown, there's no recovery. So that's a little bit inappropriate. But again, the term is sort of flung around. But anyways, hit has been shown, proven to be just as if not more effective at increasing cardiovascular health markers as what we call steady state. And so the traditional, quote unquote cardiovascular exercise running on a treadmill, biking for long distances, swimming, etcetera. And so that's not to say those things aren't good, of course they are, however, law of diminishing returns. What's really interesting is that for a lot of endurance athletes, they kind of peak, they kind of plateau early on in their career. They'll run the same speed or the same distances over and over and over and over and not really ever get faster, not ever really like be able to go much farther. And again, that's because of law law of diminishing returns. Whereas when it comes to hit, a lot of times you can increase your power, your wattage, whatever it is we're talking about, whether that's running speed, cycling, performance, jumping acceleration with regards to certain lifts. Et cetera. Et cetera. Yes, everybody has a ceiling. There's a limit to what the human body can do, but we can kind of always kind of grow and then deload and then regrow and deload. So with hit, there's this ability to actually train for prolonged. Periods. And because it is typically shorter bouts, shorter applications, you're able to do, I would say, more in less time, essentially. Right. So that's that traditional strength training as you as you were talking about, that's where we're going to elicit some kind of muscular growth.

Dane Miklaus: And I know that that can sometimes be loaded for people. I don't want to be muscular. Trust me. It's a lot harder than you think. Most most men try for a lifetime to get bigger. And it does require, you know, bodybuilders are they're very disciplined individuals. It's a very specialized skill set to to really try and, you know, adjust your esthetic. But anyways, I digress. Strength training, resistance, any kind of external load being placed on your body is going to elicit what we call muscular growth. And that actually more more than what's called hypertrophy or the growth of those tissues is the densification, right? So your muscle tissue gets denser, it becomes more contractile, and so it increases its capacity when we challenge it appropriately. So again, depending on what the person's goal is, I would say first ask why? Why am I doing this? What is the goal that I'm trying to achieve? And then we want to try and pick a modality that's specific to that goal because again, not every goal is going to get you there. Can you get stronger doing yoga? Yes, to a point. If you're coming from not doing anything. But yoga has does not hold a candle at all to traditional strength training. If we're talking about getting you stronger, building lean tissue. Et cetera. So again, please don't be triggered. If you love yoga and you do it five times a week. That's not what I'm saying. There's lots.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Of other benefits, has.

Dane Miklaus: Amazing benefits. But that is not at all the the goal of of yoga.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah, I tell my clients a lot. Muscle is the organ of longevity. So if you're afraid to build muscle, I'm going to struggle to get you to your goal of longevity and anti-aging like it's so important. As a woman, I'm particularly sensitive to it because so many women don't want to get like, bulky. And I'm like, It's not what I promise you. That's not what it's about. Like, just trust me on this one. Let's go for it. Give me 3 to 6 months and let's see what we can do with body composition. Well, it's.

Dane Miklaus: Also not that easy. I mean, again, like. Like most women, they have this. I get it right. We all have been to that bodybuilder gym or we I mean, Instagram. Everybody knows what that body type looks like that they're saying like, I don't necessarily want to be that female. Now, first off, there are plenty who do, right? So let's not throw shade there. Right?

Amber Warren, PA-C: And I think those women look awesome.

Dane Miklaus: That's what I'm saying. Let's celebrate that. Let's celebrate that people have taken their bodies to that level. Yeah, but on the other hand, if you don't again, that's okay. But just being strong, like holy smokes, like just implicitly like that should be everyone's goal. Like you should not and I don't like that word. So just so we're clear. Audience I hate the word should. Oh, I thought.

Amber Warren, PA-C: You were saying you don't like.

Dane Miklaus: Strong. I'm like, No, no, no. I hate the word I hate the word should. I very rarely use this word, but I'm going to say it this time. You should want to be as strong as possible for your body because it makes you resilient to so many things. It makes you resilient externally. It makes you resilient internally. When you develop that that strength, all of us, just as a lifetime goal. You just said longevity, right? I like what's his name? David.

Amber Warren, PA-C: I don't know. I know a lot of David's.

Dane Miklaus: I know he's a doctor. David Gosh. But he talks about like the Longevity Olympics. And one of his is that is like, you know, when he's when he's 90, when he's 100, he wants to go travel across the country to visit his grandchildren. And so one of the things for him is I always want to be able to sit and stand, get on the ground, get off right playing with my grandchildren and lifting my own luggage into the overhead bin because maybe I'm traveling across. Right. So those different things we should all want to, at the drop of a hat, be able to go do physically the things that we want to be able to do. At no point should you ever be in a circumstance where because of your body's physical conditioning, you're unable to take care of yourself. Absolutely. For all of us, I think we can we can agree that's a universal aspiration.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah. And I mean, Dr. Holthaus and I, as we're talking about his new anti-aging precision medicine program, where we're launching, we were talking a lot about how people underestimate that the decisions that they make as individuals, us in our 30s and 40s, the decisions we're making now, how they impact us in our 80s, the ability to lift your own luggage and squat down and be with your grandchildren. And for me as a woman with family history of osteoporosis, just not ever have to worry about weak bones. Like I know that the exercises I'm choosing to do and the foods I'm choosing to eat right now in my late 30s are dramatically going to impact what my health does in my 60s, 70s and beyond. Absolutely. There's so much power in the decisions we make every day and what we do now. Absolutely. So many of the clients I'm seeing right now, because we're running some really great weight loss programs, they're just coming to me saying, I want to lose weight. They don't they don't say they want to be strong. They don't say they want to be. I mean, I know that's probably eventually what they're thinking, but right now, what's right in front of them is I have to get this weight off. So if I say, hey, go, go, go check out work or go see Dana Hustle, what would be the exercise regimen that you would. Prescribe for those women? Like do you buy into like some of the Zone two training and addition to the hit training for the fat loss aspect of it? Because I'm always worried with my clients, like especially those that have 50, 60, 70 pounds to lose losing muscle mass. Right. And so putting them on a regimen where they're going to maintain muscle while they lose the fat. What's your approach with those people?

Dane Miklaus: Yeah, a great question. I would say the number one thing that's important is finding something they enjoy doing right. People ask all the time, you know, again, I'm a business owner and so part of my job is to convince people that my way of doing things is neato and great. Right? But the truth of the matter is, there are a lot of ways to strength train. There are a lot of ways to lose weight. There's more than one right answer. But we live in a world where we want a pill for everything. We want to be able to press a button, whatever. So when people ask that question, what's the best? What they're really trying to say is like, what's my shortest way, right? What's my shortest path from here to there? Totally. So I always try to answer that with with the context of do the thing that you enjoy doing first. So that's my response to Zone two, because there are a lot of people that we will try to convince to maybe do more strength training. And they've been an endurance athlete before in a former life or what have you. And they they love it. They love getting out on the trail and doing 20 miles or a 50 K or whatever they love. Right. I don't want to take that away from you. But to your point, there are two different kinds of predominantly there's there's actually like seven now, but types of muscle fiber type, right? When you look at electromyography. So anyway, so for my my nerds that are listening, there's more than two. I know. But for all intents and purposes, there's two. And it's fast twitch and slow twitch. And so when we do that, when when Amber says Zone two, she's talking about low level intensity, steady state for prolonged periods of time, comfortable.

Amber Warren, PA-C: And comfortable exercise.

Dane Miklaus: Right. And also you'll hear right, because energy metabolism occurs on a spectrum and the higher your intensity output, the more carbohydrate you're burning, the lower intensity, the higher fat you're burning. So by extension, right when you could argue, well, why don't I just sleep for 20 hours a day, Right. Because I'm burning the highest percentage of fat. It doesn't work that way. Be nice, but it doesn't work that way. So with regards to zone two, again, I don't want to take it away from somebody. I think it can absolutely be a part of a training program. But I would say unless you are specifically training for a race, you specifically have something where you need to do that kind of distance or longevity in order to reach insert goal here no more than two days a week, I would try to instead have you doing a combination of resistance training and or hit cardio three times a week. So moving as close to 4 or 5, maybe even six days a week if you can. However, that intensity should alternate, so you shouldn't be doing high intensity five days a week, six days a week straight. Again, I want you moving every day if we can, but we have to apply a balanced approach. So in general, to to answer your question, the shortest way possible, I would say for the average weight loss client, I would love to see them doing resistance style training and or hit. I'm going to use those interchangeably because they they effectively do a lot of the same things at the muscular level, right. Three times a week and then something lower intensity two times a week.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Like hiking or biking with the.

Dane Miklaus: Family.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Absolutely. Yeah. But for long enough periods of time to where you can be the most fat. Yeah. Yeah. What is your thought like say on that. That's a perfect example of a client rest. How important is rest or even people like you that are trying to train at higher levels? Do you feel one day, a week of a rest day is absolutely important? Or do you do more of like an active recovery day?

Dane Miklaus: I would say for the average client, I prefer an active recovery day. Again, I love just this idea of, Look, guys, we haven't lived in boxes made of sticks and stone and amazing wheeled rockets that take us from place to place. This hasn't happened for a very long time. For most of human history, we have had to move every single day. We are chase our food. That's right. We are designed to move every day. So again, it depends on intensity. If you're training a ton at really high, intense levels, absolutely. A day of rest can be great. But again, I know you guys do infrared sauna, There's active recovery things you can do like that. Massage body treatment. Et cetera. Those things are active recovery, like you said, walking, hiking, those things are fantastic as active recovery days. But again, I like you. I'm a practitioner in that I'm trying to give the most practical advice as well as the right answer. And I, like I heard Jocko Willink say this recently in a meme, and it was like, I don't I don't he was being asked like, Oh, I've heard you don't take rest days. And he said, I don't plan rest days, Right? I don't plan because life happens. That's right. The kids, you know, the schedule, whatever, something's going to happen. It's going to happen. Right? Rest days, they're going to occur. You're going to have days that you just couldn't make it in.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Priorities are also have to be in place. And we all have families and we all have friends and we all have community and.

Dane Miklaus: Absolutely, Absolutely sure.

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Amber Warren, PA-C: Tell me about I know you guys place a lot of emphasis on group training, that accountability, I mean, that's the basis That's that's all. Your guys's classes are group training. Talk to me about the why behind that and where you see why you see the most success in that setting. Sure.

Dane Miklaus: Yeah. I mean, I guess it's a couple fold. Number one, you know, the why behind it, again, going back to me, I mean, it's it's I want to impact as many lives as I can so the it's more efficient for me to do that in groups of people, to be quite frank, quite honest. That said, I have done one on one and group for a very long time. And I will tell you that if you have a one on one client at some point and this is invariable, um, the relationship changes from client trainer to friend friend, and you spend a lot of time jawing and you spend a lot of time with an amazing relationship. I have some of my closest relationships are people who started as clients with me. However, at some point I become ineffective as their trainer and coach and. And we're not getting a lot done right. You're being paid to hang out and that kind of thing. And I don't care who you are. If you're listening to this and you're a trainer and you're like, That's not true. It is true. You know it's true. So with group, there's a little bit of distance, there's a little bit of arm's length, um, with regards to the trainer client, because you don't get to be as high touch intimate, but your effectiveness goes up, I would say exponentially because number one, there's a, there's an aspect of group training that there's this assumption that there's sort of this motivating factor.

Dane Miklaus: And a lot of group classes, they are sort of upbeat and there's music and right. So there's an ambiance there. There's an experiential component that we're trying to create. Research shows, right? You actually work out harder, better, longer with music because we're just we're rhythmic beings. We love that. So if you're vibing with that, there's that aspect. But just in general, again, we are tribal beings, we are communal beings. You talked about longevity a moment ago, and I know we'll probably dive more into just the effects of of muscle growth and what's going on physiologically. But the number one predictor of longevity is community and relationship number one, right? So if you go and look at the research, you look at the meta analysis, you look at whatever the number one thing is positive, healthy relationships. And so for us, training in a group setting elicits this group sort of tribal response where people literally work harder and enjoy it more because think about suffering like what is exercise like? It's it's induced suffering in a short amount of time. Right? I'm like.

Amber Warren, PA-C: More exercises.

Dane Miklaus: Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Anyone who's done it, go check it out, you guys. It hurts.

Dane Miklaus: I'm not pretending that it's, you know, sunshine and rainbows for everybody. You're choosing to go do something that's difficult. That's where the growth comes from. But think about doing that in isolation, right? It's hard, man. So having people around you that are going to high five you that are going to celebrate you, at the very least, they're going to keep moving. And what's funny and you know this, you've taken my my training sessions before. It's not it's really not competitive. I know some people are driven that way, but it's really more collaborative than than competitive. It's more cooperative. It's like, all right, we are all doing this. It is truly a we're getting through this. Everyone's taking this step, everyone's doing this rep, everyone's, you know. So that's where the group piece comes for us. There's just this, this elevated shared experience.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah, it sounds a little corny even just talking about it, but like, it's so true. And it is that, that like, yeah, that they're doing one more rep. They're grabbing heavier weights. They're like, I, I, I think even someone maybe it was like Jeff one of the first or maybe it was even you, one of the first work training sessions I went to. But it's like, you are so much stronger than you think. Like we do not give ourselves enough credit. We think we're just so much, much weaker physically than we really are. It's like, Oh no, you get in there and it's like so powerful and and there's so much energy that comes from just being around other beings that are there to like better themselves and push themselves and drive. So yeah, it's really, really remarkable as.

Dane Miklaus: As iron sharpens iron.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Totally. That's just life, right? And I think that that's also so true in life. Like I think about all the individuals or we were again offline having this conversation, people that do hard things. We have this mantra in my home right now where we talk to the boys and it's like we're warriors and we do hard things. And any time you do hard things with people, that relationship changes dramatically, right? So you you're building a business with people right now and it's you're doing a hard thing and you're going against the grain of what society wants you to do. But the growth that comes from that and the relationships you build from that, it's like, so as God intended, it's just so cool. So, so cool. So we can't ever talk about like healthy movement and can't talk in this amazing conversation. Have this conversation without the importance of nutrition, right? Because you cannot get the results. You're trying to get in the gym without having nutrition that is going to help you accomplish those goals. So tell me a little bit what you how you encourage clients. I know you guys I've. You multiple times also say, hey, what are your goals randomly like? Hey John, what are your goals? How are you doing? Are you meeting those goals? How can we support you? And I know a lot of that is nutrition based. So what are you know, let's just talk about someone who comes to you and wants to get strong. What are you recommending as far as nutrition?

Dane Miklaus: Yeah, it's a great question because as you said, it's integral to achieving any kind of real, lasting, sustainable change with your body. Yeah, you can work hard and over exercise your body into change for a short amount of time. It becomes unsustainable if it's unsupported. And so that's what nutrition does. I know again, where are we? We're at functional medicine of Idaho and the functional part of medicine, the way that you guys teach it and the way that you practice it is with this underlying belief, knowledge that the body is a perfectly created organism, right? It will do its job if you allow it to. You have to set the conditions. And so nutrition is the number one way to set the conditions appropriately for your body to re metabolize, to re transcribe, to rebuild, to regenerate itself in the way that it's designed to. And so for me, it really boils down to just whole Foods. We can go into the weeds with macros and again, that's going to be, in my opinion, as specific as the modality. So again, if you are doing lower intensity exercise, I would say from a macro standpoint, higher fat diet as a percentage, that doesn't mean go full fledged keto, right? Although again, time and place for different things. Um, if you are doing higher intensity exercise, higher carbohydrate fact, your muscles need carbohydrates are the energy constituent for high intensity exercise. And so if you're that means lifting heavy weights, that means again hit cardio. The more up tempo things you're doing, wind sprints, etcetera, you should be doing higher carbohydrate and then everybody in general should be higher protein.

Amber Warren, PA-C: We should talk about that. Regardless of what you heard the attention that it deserves. I think we've done a good, good job with sugar and maybe limiting carbohydrates with weight loss and inflammation and stuff, but protein and seed oils is another one I've been hot on lately, but protein percent.

Dane Miklaus: Yeah. So important. Yeah. Protein. I mean yeah you said it. There is right. This this leucine threshold that we've discovered recently. I want to say it's in the last decade that you need to take in a certain amount of the three branched chain amino acids. But specifically leucine has this anabolic effect, and anabolism means basically tissue growth. So we know that your body does not effectively lay down more skeletal muscle or there's not enough what we call protein synthesis unless we meet or exceed this leucine threshold. And that's not going to happen unless we take in enough overall dietary protein in a day. So we want to make sure that we're getting enough. I've been a big proponent of this for a long time. Just the research bears it out. And to your point, it doesn't get enough play. And there's so much of this. Um oh, well, the minimum RDA is da da da. And it's like, well, yeah, that's the minimum. Great. Like, are you starving somewhere? Like, are you or are you foraging for your food again? And we're trying to argue that like, oh, you know, neato, you got like, you know, 50g that day. No, no, no, no. We are we are blessed. I mean, again, I'm assuming all of our audience is in North America and I'm assuming most of them are in Idaho. We have grocery stores and we have hunters and we have great ranches. And we've got like we do, we have access.

Amber Warren, PA-C: To good quality, clean.

Dane Miklaus: Meat. Yeah, absolutely. And so there's there's no excuse to not get more of it in. I think it's again, there's a fundamental argument about there's the the ethical stuff and the vegan argument that comes in, which I think is entirely valid from an emotional and a sympathetic standpoint, although the research just simply does not bear out, A, the sustainability, B, the long term health viability. And so that's something I cannot in good conscience ever recommend to somebody or that they continue doing it from a health standpoint. So I'm just.

Amber Warren, PA-C: When I check micronutrient levels and panels on my patients, some of the most malnourished patients I see are those individuals that don't eat meat, right? Period. I mean, there's just no way to sugarcoat that. No. Or don't eat animal products in general. Like, of course, there's ways around that. We can supplement around that. But I agree, man. I just really worry about long term health effects on their health, impact on their body.

Dane Miklaus: Right. And so that's one I'm just throwing out there as a qualifier. But in general, because I coach on nutrition and I have nutrition clients as well, the thing that you and I know that again, just thinking pragmatism, right? As a tactician, I want you eating more protein because it is more satiating. I want you eating more protein because it's actually a way to kind of gamify caloric intake. We have this overconsumption problem in America, and yet we also have an undernourishment problem. How does that how does that work? Well, we're eating too much, too much, too many of the wrong kinds of foods, empty calories. It's really simple, right? We all know it's the. Process stuff. It's the junky stuff. It's whatever. It's really easy for you and me to say, Stop eating that, Start eating this. What happens when the client gets hungry? And so that's the thing that I try to tell people. Fill yourself up, fill yourself up on protein, fill yourself up on vegetables, fruits, healthy fats. Et cetera. If you are hungry eating exclusively whole foods, you're not eating enough. And that's all there is to it. For most people, it's a oh, no, it's calories in, calories out. And I've heard thermogenesis and no it's not Again from a is thermogenesis a thing? Yes. Can you measure net gain net loss and calorie balance and body composition? Yes. However, again, trust the wisdom of people who have done it before. You need to feel satiated. And that's the problem with diets for people. It's not that this diet doesn't work or that diet doesn't work. It doesn't work because you cannot continue doing something that makes you feel hungry, that triggers you with cravings, that has you wanting other foods all the time.

Amber Warren, PA-C: And you can't break bread with community. All of it, right?

Dane Miklaus: Yeah. So if you can't check these boxes, it's not going to last. It's not sustainable. So that's the thing is you should not be hungry. You should eat as many Whole Foods as you want. And that is interesting. I don't know who you follow or who you listen to. I mean, you're I mean, obviously much more established. You have a much higher pedigree in terms of knowledge than I do. But I was listening to Paul Saladino recently, and he had Georgie Dincoff on and they were talking about this longevity idea and fasting because that's what's getting a lot of play. And on one level there is research that corroborates the fasting. But I've always I mean, I'm interested in your take. For me, the hierarchy has always been what? And then how much and then when. So is is timing a variable? Sure, it's a variable, but it only matters in the context of what you're eating and how much you're eating, right? I mean, you can't get around that. Yeah. I mean, I guess you can write George Sinclair or David Sinclair argues there's another David. David Sinclair argues the opposite. But anyways, yeah, I just think so. Sorry. Tangent. So Georgie was talking about this other research and I want to find what he was, what he was referencing, but he was talking about research that actually shows the opposite. That is, the people who live the longest are the ones who are able to eat the most with the least amount of negative effect, meaning they're super charging their bodies on a nutrient level. So looking at again, readdressing some of the blue zone data, looking at some of the data on the Mediterranean diet where a lot of the vitamin and nutrient uptake, right, because of the dietary amount. Right. Is much higher because they were giving themselves a lot of these key nutrients as opposed to the kind of the starving effect that comes with the fasting.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Right. Well, I think that's what's difficult, right? When you extrapolate all the data, like no one ever talks about like, well, what were they eating, grass fed organic beef or elk that someone I joke caught? Did you catch any elk? My husband's like, oh my gosh. But it's like or were they eating? You know? You know, I mean, conventional meat products or conventional dairy products loaded with antibiotics and hormones. I mean, that's where we have to really break that data down. And it's not fair just to say study, to study, to study. You know, we know putting yourself even in just a 12 hour fast puts your body into a state of healing. I mean, I know what that does to the gut. It's like an athlete that's always trying to work out and never giving their muscles a break. That's the same with our gut. Digestion is a very inflammatory, very energy demanding process. And so a lot of people that come to me with poor gut health or gut infections or just poor immune function in general, we have to give their digestive system a break for it to for it to heal, just like you were trying to heal from your shoulder injury as a collegiate athlete.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So I think it's really it always comes down to, again, it always does. Like what is the goal? Where are we trying to go with this client? And then I can put together a program for them. When people go Google or look at YouTube videos about a 48 hour water fast and they throw themselves into that, it's not a one size fits all. Not everybody is going to benefit from that right off the bat. You know, like any exercise program, go into it slowly and any treatment protocol go into it slowly, go into it methodically, you know, lean on professionals to help you. Let's look at hormones. Let's let's look at cortisol levels. Let's look at micronutrient needs, and then we can decide what's best for you. Some of my patients do fabulous doing 18 hour fast, four days a week. They feel awesome. Cognitively they are on fire. Their workouts are great, but not everyone can perform highest doing that. And so, yeah, we have to look at the what and the why and the how and it's almost always quality over quantity.

Dane Miklaus: Well, and what I love about what you just said and this is the the really hard truth for any client is a trainer's favorite two words. It depends. Right. And I'm sure for you clinicians, it's probably very similar as well. Right. You get a question. It depends. Right. In what context are you asking me this question? And so what? You just said that's so important for people to to realize, for people to hear when when listening to information like this is n of one, right? The N equals the size of a population subset in a study. Right? So n of one means you are your own science experiment and you will do your best and I will do my best. And any clinician and practitioner will do their best to give you the most advice, the most data, the most whatever. But at the end of the day, it's the individual's responsibility and the individual's intuition that's going to guide them to where to what is optimal. Right. Only they know, you know, at the at the end of the day, only you know what's best for your body. And you can apply these different things. The struggle that I think most people get into is just the consistency piece, right? And so they'll say, Oh, this thing didn't work for me because the results didn't happen fast enough, whatever. So you do have to give it its due. You know, you have to you have to stay with things long enough. But again, n of one to your point, you.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Know, and guess what? Their seasons and so maybe you're walking through a really hard relationship or you're in a really toxic relationship or you're dealing with a sick child or there's a really difficult situation at work, maybe that's not a season to push the fasting or push the high intensity interval training five days a week. So it's like when you're giving it's always like, This isn't you forever. This isn't you have to be. I think people have to be willing to be flexible and knowing that their treatment protocol or their workout recommendations might change in six months. So I think there's that flexibility that people have to be willing to accept as well.

Dane Miklaus: 100%. Yeah. I mean, just speaking personally, like my fitness is not where I want it to be right now. Really. I am settling for, yeah, two, three days a week because I only have a few because of, of, of what's going on in my two businesses and how hands on it needs to be and my two my two girls. So I go really hard as heavy as I can. Yeah. You know, for 45, 50 minutes, two, three times a week right now I space them out. They're never back to back. But I spread that out, so I'm trying to get as much as I can in a short amount of time. And that's for me, it's maintenance right now. Yeah. So I'm trying to maintain what I have and then when the time comes that I have more time, I'm going to ramp it up. Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Absolutely. But you know what I bet you're doing on those off days? I bet you're out running around outside with those girls. I bet you're standing at your your workstation working, right? I bet you're doing things to keep your body moving because our bodies were built to move. Oh, you know me. I guarantee your.

Dane Miklaus: Classes.

Amber Warren, PA-C: You know me. Yeah. You're moving.

Dane Miklaus: All day. I do. About two miles per class, so. Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: I know you do. You run around. I'm like, Why are you going faster than me teaching the exercise? I'm supposed to be going fast right now? No, it's awesome. Um, gosh, I wish we had another hour because there's just so many brilliant topics that I want to really dig into with you. We'll do a part two. Um, I like to end each one of my interviews, Dane, with based on what we just got done discussing what's one piece of advice that our community, our listeners can take home and implement that you think moves the needle the most in this case? With regards to fitness, Yeah.

Dane Miklaus: It's my fitness philosophy, to be honest. As long as you're doing something, you're doing something right. So again, going back to that consistency, yes, there's overtraining. The truth of the matter is it's rare. Most people are not overtraining. Most people are not getting in enough. And so as long as you're doing something, you're doing something right. So, again, whatever that thing is that you love. Yes. We talked about different modalities and and you can apply specific variables for specific goals, but just keep doing something. And if you can add in a little bit extra, that's great. But as long as you're doing something, you're doing something right.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah. That's awesome. Thank you so much. I know we'll provide some links if you want to check out more about Hustle or Work, so please go check them out. They're located both in Meridian, not far from our Meridian clinic and also in Eagle, Downtown Eagle. So go check them out. They're doing some pretty good work in this community. Thank you so.

Dane Miklaus: Much. I'm honored.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Thank you. Yeah, it's awesome. Thanks, guys. Thank you for listening to the Functional Medicine Foundations Podcast. For more information on topics covered today, programs offered at Renew Institute and the highest quality of supplements and more go to


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