TheĀ Inside Out StrengthĀ Blog

Simple and practical strength training, nutrition, and mindset content for the busy dadĀ looking to build muscle and burn fat effectively

The 6 Foundations To Getting Jacked, Strong, and Healthy

Feb 22, 2024

I just turned 34 years old this week.

I love taking time to reflect at notable times throughout the year

A new year, a birthday, and anniversaries are some great times to do that

Looking back on this year, and really the last 10, 15, 20 years has me feeling very thankful for a lot of things

I'm blown away at how healthy I look and feel compared to different times in my life

I was asking myself: why is it that I've been able to maintain a certain level of health through nearly every season?

My health has remained a constant despite the changing of life seasons...

  • Through a demanding grad school program.
  • Through marrying my wife and starting our life together.
  • Through not one, but two, cross country moves and adapting to new areas/communities/routines
  • Through having two beautiful children (and all the challenges that come along with that when it comes to staying healthy)

Why has it remained a constant? These are the questions I ask myself

Not because I need to puff my own chest - but because I'm so passionate about helping other people do the same thing

If I can identify the key fundamentals I've used to stay healthy, I can better help you do the same thing

The more I continue to apply these fundamentals to other clients, friends, family, and people in our community - I become even clearer of what's really needed to get fit and stay healthy long-term

And more importantly, I can identify what's NOT needed to achieve long-term health and fitness

Perspective is an interesting thing

There is a WIDE range of ages reading this email

How do you view yourself when it comes to your overall health?

I know for certain there are people in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s reading this email that feel as healthy as can be.

I also know for certain there are people in their 20s and 30s reading this email with a body that's already breaking down on them

Some people would say they feel old and out of shape at 34

Many people think the peak of their health, their fitness, and their performance was in high school or college

I'm pretty close to being the leanest I've ever been

I haven't weighed what I weigh now since high school

And I'd have to do a little math, but I'm pretty sure I might be stronger pound for pound than even my college football days when I was squatting 500 lbs

I'm pretty dang close at the very least

And I'm only working out for 3 hours a week compared to 10+ hours that I was often doing preparing for a collegiate sport

Not to mention I didn't have a wife (or even a relationship), I didn't have kids, I didn't have a job

The odds were stacked in my favor to be the healthiest I've ever been back in college

Yet here I am today, confident that I'm far healthier now than I've ever been

So today I want to share with you the key foundations that I believe have helped me achieve that

A lot of this is from my own experience - a whole lot of trial and error

But after working with clients in the health and fitness space for 15+ years at this point, I've learned even more from what works for a wide range of people

If your goal is to lose weight and build muscle to look + feel your best - then these will be essential

If your goal is to improve your performance as you strive for a weightlifting, athletic, or endurance goal - then you better have these locked down

If your goal is simply to age well and be able to play with your kids/grandkids for years to come, free of pain or limitation - then you better listen up and get clear on which of the following foundations you need to improve on.

Each one of these foundations are interconnected, but there is a proper order of importance with these. I'll start with what I believe are the MOST important foundations before moving to the lesser important ones. Each of the following foundations will build off of the next one:


I firmly believe that without the right mindset, none of the other foundations matter that much.

I've seen people with no time, money, or specific fitness knowledge maintain a great level of health and fitness

I've seen people with the right mindset, following the wrong program, get great results.

I've also seen people with the perfect nutrition recommendations, workout plan, time available to workout, and everything in their favor be frustrated time and time again by their lack of results

Don't underestimate what a mindset that's filled with belief, consistency, and a long-term focus can do for your health


Moving well should always be prioritized over lifting heavy, running further, or any other fitness related goal

The cool thing with this is, the better you move, the better all those things will become anyways

Good movement = better performance

And good movement also protects your body from suffering an unnecessary injury that could set you back weeks or months

Make sure you're getting a trained eye on your technique - whether that's from a coach, trainer, PT, or posting a video in our Facebook group

Subtle changes here in how you are moving can make a world of difference in how your joints and your body feels (and the results you're getting)


If you've been following me for any length of time, or reading even a few of these emails, you should now know the importance of building strength and lean muscle

This will help you age better, lose more weight, look better, and be a more fit and functional human being

Whether you want to lean up and look your best, you want to jump in on a 5k or half marathon on a whim, or you simply don't want to rely on someone to help you off the toilet when you're older

Strength training is the cornerstone to helping you get there

If you're not sure where to start, I'll be posting the full workout program I use with all my clients in our new Reverse Dad Bod Facebook Group


The key to achieving a body that looks and feels the way you desire hinges on the food you put (and don't put) into your body.

Like it or not, this is the area (along with strength training) where most people miss the mark on looking and feeling their best

If you could focus on only 3 things to positive change your body composition and how you feel, it would be:

  1. Consistent Calories (eating the right portions and quantities for your specific goals
  2. Prioritize Protein (aim for 0.8-1.0 g per pound of bodyweight as a general starting point)
  3. Fiber Focus (aim for 14 g of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed)

If you simply tackle those 3 things, your body will radically change over the next 3 months


Results aren't just about what you eat and how hard you workout

Here are a few things to focus on that can really drive the needle forward in overall health and preparing your body for long-term success:

  • Prioritizing daily movement (ideally in the form of increasing step count throughout the day)
  • Mobility work (focusing on key areas lacking the proper mobility, typically ankles/hips/mid back/shoulders)
  • Stress management (using journaling, meditation, breathing, etc to reduce stress levels and responses)
  • Sleep (7-8 hours of high quality sleep)
  • Hormone balance and optimization


The last of the foundations is the one most people focus on first. This is focusing on athletic movements or aggressive fitness goals.

There is certainly a time and a place for chasing performance - but too many people neglect the fundamentals that will 1) keep them healthy and safe long-term and 2) build a stronger base to actually boost their athletic performance even more.

Most people miss the mark on these foundations because they either don't know how to structure their time to address each foundation, or they simply have no idea what they're supposed to focus on within each one.

I just created an exclusive community for Dad's where I'm giving away all of my knowledge and experience to help you burn fat, build muscle, and optimize your health as I aim to redefine what Dad Strength looks like for you father's out there.

This group will help Busy Dad's Burn Fat, Build Muscle, and Reverse Their Dad Bod...For Life:

  • Without having to work out more than 2-3 hours per week
  • Without complicated nutrition recommendations or giving up the foods you love
  • Will help you finally breakthrough the physical and mental barriers that have kept you from finally achieving the body you desire

You'll get the tools, handouts, templates, and frameworks I've put together over the years

You'll get the feedback and form critique you need on your technique to make sure you're reducing your risk of getting hurt as you build more strength

You'll get the coaching on how to build better habits and finally get the results you deserve

And you'll join a community of men passionate about leveling up their physical health like never before

I'm literally giving away everything - from the program to the nutrition recommendations to everything you need to burn fat and build muscle effectively and safely

Oh yeah, and it's 100% free

Click here to join the Reverse Dad Bod community

Dr. Dave

P.S. You don't want to miss being a part of the Reverse Dad Bod Facebook Group. Join to get full access to workouts, weekly trainings, full nutrition protocol, and community of like minded men (this group is currently 100% free, so take advantage of this special opportunity before I change my mind)

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