Achieving Your Best Health, Fitness, and Vitality with Ron Williams
Ron Williams believes that our bodies tell stories of how we feel about ourselves. When someone asks him for help to improve their health, one of his many techniques is chasing down the beliefs, the stories that hold people down and won’t let them thrive. He believes that the body will never do something without the mind’s permission, and that is why having a solid mindset is the key to a healthy life.
Steve Shallenberger: Welcome to all of our Becoming Your Best podcast listeners, wherever you may be in the world today. This is your host, Steve Shallenberger, and we have a very special guest with us today. He is a dear friend and I have been looking forward to this. He is one of the most decorated natural bodybuilders in the world, and by applying his knowledge of nutrition, fat loss, exercise physiology, muscle development, and body sculpting, he achieved the highest honor ever given in natural bodybuilding by becoming the sole recipient of the Natural Bodybuilder of The Decade award. Welcome, Ron Williams.
Ron Williams: Thank you, Steve. That was a great introduction. Thanks, man, I’m glad to be with you.
Steve Shallenberger: Oh, good. We’re going to have a great time today. And this is going to be a great resource I think for all of you who we’re honored to have listening in today because fitness, health, energy, longevity, feeling good – these are all among the very top priorities of life and Ron’s going to help us with those things. And before we get started today, I’d like to tell you a little bit more about Ron. Ron Williams is a seven-time Mr. Natural Universe, Natural Olympia, Mr. Natural World, and one of the most decorated natural bodybuilders in the world. He is the creator of the revolutionary workout machine, the Iron Chest Master. I’m looking forward to talking about that a bit later. And it maximizes the development of muscle size, muscle strength, and completely defines and sculpts the upper body. He’s the author of several books, including the award-winning groundbreaking Faith & Fat Loss and the developer of the life-transforming Ultimate Fat Loss System. Ron has devoted his life to educating, inspiring, coaching, and encouraging people. Ron, let’s dive right into this.
Steve Shallenberger: Before we get going, I just have to tell our listeners of my experience together with you. The first time that Ron Williams and I met was on a podcast show about three or four years ago, and we had a great time visiting, he gave some really wonderful advice. And then during the show, I said, “Ron, I’ve been trying to lose 10 pounds for maybe the last 10 years.” I said, “What tips do you have for me and our listeners?” He gave some advice and when we were all done and off the air, I said, “Really, Ron, I’d like to lose 10 pounds.” And he says, “Okay. I’ll tell you what…”, and we were in person on that interview. He said, “I’ll talk with you tomorrow, let me think about that.” So, the next day he said, “Steve, I want you to know, you don’t need to lose 10 pounds.” Ah, I was ecstatic. He said, “You need to lose 25 pounds.” Oh. I thought, “Oh, no.” Well, what ensued is Ron became a coach for me, and over the ensuing weeks that came up, I had lost not 10 pounds, but 25 pounds. He’s changed me in every way, I’ve kept the weight off, I feel in the best condition I’ve ever been in. I’ve been able to sustain the things that he taught me. And so, this is going to be a real treat for you, I think. And I referred Ron to a couple of friends; one, Mark Haulin – who had almost an identical experience that I had – and then another friend of ours, Rick Beard. Rick is a very successful bank president and he heard us talking about our experience with Ron and Ron became his coach and helped Rick lose 70 pounds. And again, that was several years ago. I saw Rick just a couple of weeks ago and he looks fit and trim and he is now retired as the bank president but he’s been able to have just energy. So, my experience with Ron is he changed my life. And the things that he’s going to talk about today are transformational and I hope that you will not only pick up some tips but find ways that you also can be at the very peak of your fitness and feel good about yourself. So, with that background, Ron, thank you so much.
Ron Williams: Oh, Steve. Thank you, man. It’s been a joy just working with you, also working with Richard Beard. And you forgot Terry.
Steve Shallenberger: Oh, my goodness. Yes. Yeah. Tell us about Terry. Of course, and his experience. Terry Grant, so wonderful. Go for it.
Ron Williams: Yeah. Terry was another one. He said… I don’t know how tall he is.
Steve Shallenberger: He’s got to be six-three, yeah, six-five, somewhere in that range.
Ron Williams: Yeah. But he couldn’t do one push-up. And so, one of my goals with him was to at least give him the ability to do one push-up. He said, even when he was in his best shape in high school, playing basketball, he couldn’t do one push-up because his arms were so long. But we got him to the place where he could do push-ups, man, and he lost the weight, he looks good, got married and I’m just so proud of him, too. But you are the master, though. I look to you, you’re a real inspiration to a lot of people, man.
Steve Shallenberger: Well, I’m glad you brought up Terry and our other friends because it’s fun to see what you’ve done repeated in other’s lives and it’ll happen another. So, let’s get right into this. So, what are some of the key lessons that you’ve learned throughout your career, Ron, that are helpful for people to get into a sustainable fitness regimen that gives them the type of benefits we’ve been talking about?
Ron Williams: One of the most important things is that they have a mindset and if they don’t have a mindset, to develop one. And that’s one of the things that we really concentrate on is developing a mindset. And sometimes that means troubleshooting to find out why they think the way they think and try to reverse that and to help them think differently. Because the body will never do anything without the mind first giving it permission. We eat physically – and diet, nutrition is so important – but we also eat spiritually, mentally, and emotionally too. We’ve got to find out and make sure we’re eating the right things, even mentally. So, that’s one of the keys. And another key to help us to be successful, one of the statistics says Steve, that it’s important for you to have a program that works for you at a gym, that’s fine, but you have a program that works at home. Because you can’t always determine what the next day is going to be if you’re going to be able to make it to the gym. So, if you have an in-home program, you don’t have to start missing workouts. And especially now with the Coronavirus, my goodness, a lot of the gyms were absolutely closed, and you just couldn’t make it to the gym. So, if you didn’t have a home workout, you were just out.
Steve Shallenberger: And while we’re on the mindset, what are your recommendations that you might have to help people develop the right kind of mindset? How do you do that?
Ron Williams: Well, one thing is, you’ve got to figure out if it’s towards working out, mindset is everything. Because there’s a book that’s written As a Man Thinks, So Is He. The description says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” So, whatever you think is really who you are. And our bodies… We can look at people’s bodies and we can read a lot about that person. Their bodies actually tell a story. If that person has been hurt, if that person overeats, if that person has been wounded, a lot of times you can read it in their physical body. If they’re a great athlete, you can look at their bodies, and you can tell their athletic ability just by their appearance. So, in building that mindset, the body responds to the way you think. And if you have a mindset that’s counterproductive because of some negative things that have happened, some negative words you’ve heard, some just negative beliefs, one of the things you have to do is you have to trace that belief back and find out why that belief has the power that it has over your life. Now, what determines the power of that belief is it affects you emotionally. Depending on how emotional or how strong that belief is, will determine how effective it is in your life. The best way to change a thought or a belief is with a new thought or a new belief that’s stronger than the current thought or belief.
Steve Shallenberger: Well, that sounds great. And have you found some tips that help you do that, Ron?
Ron Williams: Well some of the tips to help you to do that, what we do is we try to troubleshoot and we trace back where that belief originated, where it started, and how it got a hold of your life. When you trace it back, a lot of times, Steve, those beliefs that you have are attached to another person – somebody that you respect, somebody that said something to you, somebody that did something to you, or hurt you in some way. And to reverse that, sometimes it requires forgiveness because if you don’t forgive that thought or that influence continues having the power in your life.
Steve Shallenberger: Okay, all right, well, that’s good. So, in other words, you really have to believe that you can be fit, and you have to have the right aspect of mind, right? It has to be positive and upbeat and it affects every part of your life. Is that what you’re saying?
Ron Williams: Absolutely. One thing is, if you have a coach, somebody who’s coaching you through it, part of their job is to show you and convince you that just like everybody else that is fit – people that are fit – the reason they got there, how they got there, and how they can also follow that same path and pattern and they too can have the same result. And they’re worthy, and they deserve it.
Steve Shallenberger: Okay, well, that’s good. Well, that’s a big deal. And I love that powerful, positive influence that you are around life itself and it affects everything else. And also the idea that you brought up in terms of fitness of this aspect of having a home fitness program. Let’s talk about that because I haven’t really stopped to think about that, but when Ron set me up with the Iron Chest Master, and some videos that Ron has done to guide me through the exercise, it makes it simple, it gets me going. I do mine in the morning, I guess people can do it at different times of the day. But do you mind talking about having a home fitness program and what’s involved in that? Let’s talk about the Iron Chest Master because these are simple things that have a profound impact on our health.
Ron Williams: Absolutely. One thing I’ll say is that you can’t be successful at doing anything unless you’re consistent at doing it. And one thing the in-home program does, helps you to be completely consistent. And the easier it is, the more not necessarily easy but the more simple it is, the more effective you’ll be at it. And what I’ve done is I put together a program as you said, it’s really simple. I’m on the video with you, and I’m talking you through every step of the way. It’s almost like I’m holding your hand and coaching you through every set, every rep, giving you the cadence that you need to be at, have music in the background, and just kind of talking you through the whole process and making sure your form is correct so that you can be effective every single day. And I noticed this, what some people say, Steve, is that even though the programs, some are 15 minutes long, some are 30 minutes, some even up to an hour that it goes by so fast because they don’t have to think they just go through the motions and listen to what I’m telling them, following the instructions.
Steve Shallenberger: Okay, now this is a big deal. And so, if you don’t mind, Ron, I’d like to share my experience. Would that be okay?
Ron Williams: That’d be awesome.
Steve Shallenberger: Okay. So, I have what is called an Iron Chest Master. It is a device that helps build your whole upper body. Ron can talk about it in a minute. And I keep it in the closet, along with an exercise pad, and I also have some exercise bands. And that is what supports my exercise and fitness program. And I just didn’t kind of put it all together, that it’s my in-home exercise program, it’s easy to set up every morning for me. I do it in the morning, I have a laptop with Ron’s video, everything set, I push the button and guess what! I’m going. And everything Ron just talked about, he just takes you through it. It goes fast. Sometimes I actually listen to audible books. And I can do two things at once and follow Ron once you’ve done it a number of times. So, there you have it. I just do it regularly and it works. So, tell us about the Iron Chest Master, about the bands, and about an in-home exercise program that you can have.
Ron Williams: One thing that’s really important here is that all the exercises are designed around the body, designed around the muscle structure. All of the muscle groups, if you look at the biceps are made in an arc, you look at the shoulders, the chest, they’re all made in an arc. All the muscles throughout the body are made in an arc formation. So, in order to develop that muscle to its greatest capacity and the safest way to develop that muscle is to stay within that arc formation. So, all of the exercises are specifically designed in an arc formation to keep you safe. Most people, their desire is to get the results, but as the trainer and the coach, my first desire and first responsibility are to keep you safe. So, I keep you safe, making sure that the exercises are the right exercises for what you want to accomplish. Now with the exercise, again, you have a joint and you have the muscle that’s attached to that joint. If you just concentrate on the muscle and you don’t think about the joint, you can damage the joint to build the muscle. If you do that, you won’t even be able to use the muscle because the movement hurts so bad for the joint. So, you have to protect that joint and build the muscle. What happens with the muscles, Steve, is the muscles will grow and they’ll respond to resistance. But the joint, if you’re doing a movement that’s not consistent with that joint structure or goes against the joint, you’ll damage the joint. So, I have to consider the joint structure as well. And like I said, I take you by the hand through this whole workout and kind of walk you through it. Now the Chest Master itself is designed in an arc formation, it’s designed after a bird in flight. And that bird in flight protects his shoulder joint. If he loses that shoulder joint, he loses his life. The other thing is the largest muscle group and the leanest muscle group on a bird is his chest. That’s why we eat the chicken breast, the turkey breast because it’s lean and it’s the thickest muscle on that bird. Well, we use the same motion with the Iron Chest Master as a bird in flight. We protect that joint, and we build the muscle.
Steve Shallenberger: Okay, and then tell us about what the exercise bands are.
Ron Williams: Now, the exercise bands work in the same format. Because with a lot of physical therapists, and a lot of chiropractors, a lot of people that do rehab, they use the resistance bands because they know they tie into the joint structure and they don’t create a lot of stress on that joint and they have a consistent gradual resistance that gets heavier and heavier and heavier. The body does not respond to weight per se. The body only responds to resistance. When I say the body, I mean the muscle in order to make it grow and respond. It responds to the resistance, whether that resistance is free weights or dumbbells or any machine, it doesn’t matter, or resistance bands. So, the resistance bands are the most body-friendly form of resistance for the body. If you think about I want you to picture with me just for a moment, doing a bicep curl. When the arm is completely straight, there is no resistance, but as you start pulling the resistance, it’s gradual, and it gets heavier and heavier, more and more resistance as you consistently pull that resistance. Well with dumbbells in the very beginning the first 15 degrees, not very much weight, but when you add a 45-degree angle, that weight is extremely heavy and it gives you the desire to get a momentum to push through the sticking point. With the resistance bands, there are no sticking points. If you’re doing a squat, at the lowest part of the repetition is the most dangerous part when you’re using weights. But with the resistance bands, is the lightest part of the exercise. And when you fully extend your legs is the top of the exercise where the maximum amount of resistance is, so it’s body-friendly. So, the resistance bands are extremely good to help keep you safe and to help rehab the joints and build the body.
Steve Shallenberger: Okay, that is a really good description. And I want to let our listeners know that I have no financial interest in Ron’s company. I won’t be paid anything if some of you happen to invest in an Iron Chest Master, I won’t receive a penny. But I just want you to know that I have received the benefit myself and I continue to use it regularly. And so, this is the kind of investment that you can make that’s so reasonable, but it pays dividends throughout the rest of your life. And that’s a life that’s healthier and stronger and better. So, I’m all in on this and would tell this to my best friends and family. So, that’s why I’m excited to have you here, Ron. So, we’ve had talked about some really important things today. One is the value of having an in-home fitness program where you can have consistency regardless of the weather outside and I found that’s been great. That way I can really have a consistent schedule. Number two, Iron Chest Master, and the exercise bands together with your video make it really, pretty easy to do the exercise and once you get in it, you’re in it. You got it done, the first step is the hardest one. All you have to do is push the button and you’re into the exercise. So, how about diet, Ron? Any recommendations on diet? And then we have a couple of other questions and we’ll wrap it up today.
Ron Williams: With the nutritional part of it is not always how much you eat. Some people think the first thing I need to do is I’m eating too much, so I want to lose weight, so I’m going to decrease my calories. That’s not always the case because calories are not all created equal. So, what we have to do, we have to concentrate on the type of calories we’re taking in, making sure we’re eating proper combinations, the fats, the protein, and the carbohydrates. If your desire is to decrease body fat, you should never eat a carbohydrate by itself because it spikes the blood glucose level and what happens is the pancreas releases the insulin, and the insulin tries to push the blood glucose levels down. And in doing that, keeping your body safe, those extra molecules are converted to triglycerides and pumped into the fat cell, so we continue to increase body fat. But if you have a protein, a carbohydrate, and a fat, and a fiber, it helps to keep the blood glucose level down. Even though you eat more calories, you don’t get the high spike of insulin or blood sugar level so that you don’t create extra body fat.
Steve Shallenberger: Okay, so what you’re saying, Ron, then, is in every meal you have you want to be sure to have those elements.
Ron Williams: Especially if you want to decrease body fat. Yes, absolutely.
Steve Shallenberger: Okay. So, just to review it, you want to have a carbohydrate, a protein. Is that an essential fatty acid is that what you want to have or…?
Ron Williams: The essential fatty acid and the other thing is with those carbohydrates, you want fibrous carbs. The fiber itself can’t be used as net carbs because the body can’t completely digest and absorb them as energy. But there are other values that the fiber has for your digestion and for elimination, a lot of other things, but that fiber helps to bring the blood glucose level down.
Steve Shallenberger: Okay, that’s great. And sources of that would be avocado, essential fatty acids, almonds are great for you, eggs, protein, lean meats, I guess fish. Those would all be the type of things that are healthy. Of course, fruits and vegetables.
Ron Williams: Yeah, fruits and vegetables are awesome. But depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, if it’s decreased body fat, never eat carbohydrates alone. If you’re a distance athlete, that’s a whole different story. You have to look at what your goals are and whatever your goals are you eat to fuel that particular goal.
Steve Shallenberger: Can you give us an example of that? What would be a type of goal and then adapting your food to that?
Ron Williams: Say, for example, if you want to build muscle – I always say this – if you want to build muscle, then your program, you should use a program and energy system that the workout is between eight to 12 repetitions of resistance training, but you want to make sure that your protein is high because the proteins can be converted into ATP, which fuels muscle growth. If your desire is to get more definition, then you want to eat higher levels of carbohydrate because it requires energy and intensity to build that definition. So, you’re going to need the carbohydrates to fuel that. If you want to decrease fat, you’ve got to eat that to decrease fat. So, those are three different programs that you would be up.
Steve Shallenberger: All right, good. Well, now tell us about your book, Faith & Fat Loss.
Ron Williams: Faith & Fat Loss. That is a mouthful, right? I love that book, man. Because it tells you some of the 75 reasons why people carry excess body fat. It’s a book that it’s a very spiritual book, it’s filled with scriptures. This was a best-seller, but this particular book talks about food as a friend and not an enemy, and how you can use the food as a friend. It talks about the soul wounds that we carry that also contribute to excess body fat. I had a lady tell me what, this was a solo, Steve, she said, “To be overweight means to be overlooked.” because this lady was sexually abused. And because of her sexual abuse, she felt like if she carried more weight she wouldn’t be pretty and guys wouldn’t hurt her that way again. That was someone else’s responsibility. So, consciously she put on the weight, but when she looked in the mirror she hated was she saw. The doctor says, “You have diabetes, you’re obese, you need to get rid of this extra weight.” But she had a sabotage tendency that was inside of her, which was a sole goal and that was the weight that she hadn’t dealt with yet. When we dealt with that weight or that sexual abuse, she was able to lose the weight and keep it off.
Steve Shallenberger: Well, that’s an inspiring example. It kind of gets back to what we started about a little bit, doesn’t it? Having the right mindset and reconditioning your mind so that you’re set up to win.
Ron Williams: Absolutely. Yeah, you’re right.
Steve Shallenberger: Okay. Well, that’s exciting. I’m looking forward to that. Okay. Well, we’ve had a great discussion today. What final tips would you like to leave with our listeners today?
Ron Williams: What final tip would I like to leave with the listeners? One, we had talked about before a little bit about the business side and having a coach. One of the things I would say is, I’ve been coached my whole life, and somehow I still need a coach. So, I’m never above having a coach. And so, you guys know, Steve is also my business coach. But I learned that there are things that you don’t know, and you don’t know what you don’t know. And what I didn’t know, Steve knew. So, I want to leave that with you that you’re never above having a coach. The other thing is, what you’re best at. When it comes to business, do what you’re best at and let someone else do what you’re not best at, let them do what they’re best at. And it’s better to hire somebody to do those things so that you give your business a better representation of who you are. So, hire somebody to do what you can’t do. And when you hire, hire competency, don’t hire a friend. But let competency become your friend. In other words, when you hire a person, let them become your friend for that job to make sure they’re competent at what they do. Because if you hire your best friend at doing a job that he’s not good at, he will no longer be your best friend because you may have to fire him. So, that’s what I would want to say to people, Steve. I did that.
Steve Shallenberger: That’s great advice, great. Human nature and business advice both. Now what we’ve heard today, my friends, you wonderful associates and listeners are so great, really. We’re honored that you would join us today. What we’ve had the chance to do today is listen to one of the very best in the world at fitness and health and conditioning. This is a man who knows his stuff. And so, that’s what we’ve had the chance to hear and he has distilled this advice that we’ve received today. Having a home exercise program makes so much sense. And I’d like to have Ron, before we sign off, tell us how somebody can get an Iron Chest Master? And how can they find out more about what you’re doing? But they should know how to get these resources because it is a straightforward, really simple program. And that’s one of the keys to success. Like you said, consistency, continuity, and you start seeing real results, you start feeling better. So, how can people find out about the Iron Chess Master and if they’d like to get one, how can they get it? And how can people find out about what you’re doing, Ron?
Ron Williams: One is you can go to ironchestmaster.com. That’s one of our websites, you can go to championbody.com or rwchampionbody.com. That’s where we have some of our programs. And you can also go to ronwilliamsministries.com. That’s another website, and you’re more than welcome to go there. If there’s anything I can do to help you guys, you can find me there.
Steve Shallenberger: Ron is a pastor and a wonderful human being. Thank you, Ron, for being part of the show today. It’s been just among the best. So, thank you so much. And we wish you all the best in all the lives you’re touching for good.
Ron Williams: Thank you so much, Steve. Appreciate you.
Steve Shallenberger: Okay. Yeah, same here, and to all of our listeners never forget, you’re so amazing. And never sell yourself short for what you can accomplish and the people that you can touch. And we wish you all the best. This is Steve Shallenberger with Becoming Your Best Global Leadership, wishing you a great day.
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Founder, Author, professional fitness trainer