Limber up! This week Prav sits down for a chat with dentist-cum-fitness coach Rohan Verna.
Rohan reveals how finding fitness helped him overcome anxiety to discover a new lease of life. Now dividing his time between dentistry and fitness coaching for fellow clinicians, Rohan discusses the importance of self-care inside and outside the profession, revealing his top five fitness and wellness for busy GDPs.
01.09 – Self-care
13.51 – Finding fitness
18.56 – Dental career
22.43 – The client journey
26.52 – Nutrition
33.18 – Top five tips
37.10 – Dentistry Vs coaching
43.13 – Bloodwork and supplements
49.29 – Last days and legacy
53.00 – Fantasy dinner party
About Rohan Verma
Roha Verma graduated from Bristol University and has practised in Surrey, Buckinghamshire, and Central London.
He now divides his time between dentistry and online fitness coaching for dental professionals.
Motivation is an excuse my language for anyone who doesn’t like swearing, but motivation is completely utter bullshit. It lasts maybe 24 hours, 48 hours a week if you’re.
Discipline and routine will always prevail, as you know. I mean, like you said, you’ve come from a competitive environment yourself. I know for a fact when I’m coaching individuals, if you can build a routine which works for you and it might be what works for your self, Prav may not work for me. What works for me may work for some of my my male clients or my female clients. You just need to work at trying to thinking about simple, measurable steps every single day that allows you to take control of your well-being. So it might be okay. Go to the gym twice a week. That’s better than you doing nothing.
Different things for different people, right?
This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.
Rohan, welcome to the latest podcast. It’s great to have you here. And just by way of introduction, Rohan is the online dentists fitness coach. We were just have a little bit of preamble earlier, Rohan and you were saying that obviously you’ve got a career in dentistry, that’s what your career is. But you know both of your colleagues and for yourself, there’s a lot more to life than just teeth, right? And as well as looking after your patients, put your own put your own oxygen mask on first. Right. Exactly. So usually we start with your backstory and where you grew up and parents and all that sort of stuff. We are going to come back to that. But I’m really intrigued how you got into the whole fitness thing and why that’s become a priority for you. And then we’ll talk about talk about why you decided to take it to a level where you’re now coaching and helping dentists to to get more out of their life than just teeth.
Yeah, I mean, that’s a bloody good question. Firstly, thanks for having me on here.
It’s an interesting story. I mean, I guess everyone likes a good story. That’s the best thing about this podcast. We get to learn about each other and learn from other people’s experiences. My transition from dentistry into fitness or how fitness came a big part of my life. Probably not the most conventional way. For me, it’s it was all about actually when my mental health really took a turn for the worst. It was actually an undergraduate level. I was actually always a very active individual. Like most people when they’re at school, they do something right. They’ll do maybe football, club, hockey, rugby, whatever it may be. And I seem to, you know, school level enjoy myself. I never was very anxious. I was very much one of those guys. If I did well, if I worked hard, I knew I could put my effort in and I’d get the results.
So were you when you say did well, do you mean physically in sports and stuff or just academics?
Academics, just generally in life? It wasn’t one of those things. Interestingly, I always found like if I just put my effort into whatever aspect of life it was, whether it be public speaking, dentistry, fitness, I tended to see, you know, what you put in the work, you get the results. Then what happened was when I went to university, I went to do my my Bede’s in Bristol in 22,008, and it was the first time in my career or let’s just say academic life, what I realised, shit, I’m not the smartest person in the room. And suddenly I realised, okay, I’ve got some perfectionism traits here. I’ve got potentially this need to always succeed and impress myself. My parents and I realised I put a lot of pressure on myself and I realised I’m not. None of this stuff really comes out naturally to me. And I remember that the biggest turn point was I remember my first year anatomy spot exam and I was trying to put pen to paper and no matter how much I studied, shit didn’t click for me and I realised I was starting to become more and more an anxious person. And I realised I start to have almost like an anxiety sort of sort of panic attack sort of situation, kind of cropping up more and more into my, my undergraduate level.
And Rohan, how did that manifest itself? You say anxiety, panic for those, those who don’t. Is it that just awareness of your heartbeat and a feeling feeling upstairs? Is, is it that sort of thing or is it a feeling of like failure? Where where like if we take you back to A-levels, GCSE or whatever it was that you did back then, Right. Yeah, I’m assuming you just smashed all of those and there was, there was none of that going on back there, right?
I mean, it’s interesting. I guess it kind of comes back to a little bit my back story. I was in a really fortunate position. My parents put me through private education. They worked their socks off. They sacrificed a lot financially to put me in a good place. And what my mum always said to me as a kid was lip row. You’ve been given this opportunity, your dad working extremely hard abroad five days a week. You’re not seeing him very much.
Don’t take it for granted. I don’t care what you do. The grades aren’t important, but give it your everything. And fortunately, like GCSEs, A-levels, it worked out well. I got my straight A’s, got my stars and A’s and got into university. It seemed quite routine, but then I was put in a different environment and suddenly I noticed my response to the stress was different. It ended up being, like you said, physically, it would be things like literally in that exam paper, I wanted to put pen to paper, but my hand didn’t move.
Would be a case.
Not going to lie. I had at one point some eating disorders. I would not eat because I felt so anxious. And by fifth year, like my my back five, I remember I was.
59, 60 kilos. And for a person who’s like, what, five foot seven, five, four, eight, I was pretty much sick and bone.
Barely sleeping. I wasn’t looking after myself and I thought this this isn’t me. I mean, I was trying to cast my brain back to the good days and I was thinking I was active. I was confident. I was looking after myself. I was eating just like a normal person. But I felt great within myself. And I realised one of the things I wasn’t doing was taking care of myself. So this is.
The fitness came back. I was like, What do I know? Or What did I know in those years that I had? I had routine. My mom made a great meal for me, lunch and dinner every day. I would always have hot food on the table and I was active and that was something which was missing. I used to play rugby to a high, high.
Level at school.
But when it came to university, that all or nothing mentality of, you know what, it’s the.
And it has to be the books.
What I want to just wrap my head around this is this five year period where you went from whatever you were weighing to 60 kilos, not looking after yourself, even though you knew that was important. Intelligent guy. Yeah, but how do you go into that? I guess. I don’t know. You explained to me. Is it a mode of self destruct or is it a mode of. I know, but there are other things that are a priority or is it that the anxiety taken over so much that you weren’t able to look after yourself or the first time on your own right away from home? Exactly.
Because it’s it’s a new experience for anyone going to university. I think you’re figuring out who you are. It’s the first time you’re finding your own opportunity to fend for yourself, make decisions. Simple things like cooking meals, like learning what to prioritise, how to spend your money, how to to. No one tells you at university, do this, you’re not set homework. They just say, look, you’ve got you’ve got semester, here’s your exam to crack on. You can decide to go to your lectures. You can decide to study. It was a case of put it on you. Interesting. I’ve never had a problem with motivation and in fact, I just took it to the extreme where I didn’t have maybe someone to say, Look, rein it in a bit. Calm down. I was just going, You know what? I’ve got this opportunity. Don’t. I don’t want to squander it. And rather than looking at it as, okay, let’s go work tonight then maybe have a couple of beers with your friends and then maybe go to the gym tomorrow. It was like, No, no, I felt guilty when I wasn’t studying. I remember in fifth year it would be, gosh, I was trying to do stupid things like preparing for finals. I remember trying to do like 18, 19 hours days, just thinking the more I did, the better.
Yeah. And who is if we go back to sort of the message from you folks, right? You mentioned your mom and don’t squander that opportunity back at school. You were the smartest kid in the class or one off, right? Yeah. And then you moved to this environment where maybe you’re not the smartest kid in the room. Were you were you striving to be like, is that why you were putting the hours in? Did you so were you one of these kids who sort of said, you know what, I just want to pass? No, I don’t care. I just want to pass on. So you want.
To. Okay, wait, wait, wait. Let’s let’s be I’ll be honest with you.
I did it.
I didn’t know what it was to think like that. Initially, it was I wanted to do well. I wanted to be proud of myself. I wanted to make my parents proud. And it’s strange because not you know, it’s not like I had the crack of the as the Indians call it, the champ or the super coming out saying, I’m going to do a chop with a slipper. By the way, guys.
Your mum’s your mum’s.
Slipper. Come on in the back of your head if you’ve done something wrong. I was never under that pressure. And actually I’m really fortunate. My dad was like, Whoa, I’m proud of you. If you give it your everything and if you do your best. My mum was also the same. I think it was more self inflicted, which is interesting. So yeah, I guess I was a motivated individual, but I just took it a little too far.
So look, I had a very similar experience in that Look, I at school, I was I was the smartest kid at school. I didn’t go to a great school. So it wasn’t, you know, I wasn’t surrounded by talent, shall we say. And then when I went to university, having been to a normal state school, end up at Oxford University, and I am surrounded by kids who’d done more A-levels than me play off and, you know, play the instruments, do this, do that. And I’m like, What am I doing here? Right? I just felt completely lost. But there was one thing I had I knew I had. I knew I had graft in me, right? Yeah. And I knew that academically I could perform. And, and in my mind it’s strange to visualise and go back, but in med school we had this photograph of all the kids, right? All these little, little passport type photographs and everyone gets one spot on their wall. Right. Yeah. And I used to literally I had all my competition on that and said I would beat you and you. And you and you. Yeah, that was me. And, and that was. That was competition for me, right? It was all academic. Yeah. But because I was the smartest kid at school, I wanted to be the smartest kid at university as well. And in the class and all the rest of it. Right. And. And there was definitely a pressure there. Yeah, there was definitely a pressure there. Self self-imposed. But similarly. Right. You know, my dad always used to say that the reason I’m working so hard is so that you don’t have to write the reason I’m doing everything that I do so that you can have a better future.
I think that’s a big agenda in our culture, though. I really do. I mean, talking to a lot of south east Southeast Asians, it’s a case of they’ve come our parents, our grandparents came to this country and in an opportunity where they didn’t have many opportunities, they had to beg, borrow and steal. They had to graft. And I think we’ve now got this environment and it’s almost like a gift on a fucking golden plate. And you’re thinking, Right, what do I do with it? I can I can do something about.
I can squander it.
Yeah. And it is a pressure. I don’t know whether you felt that pressure whilst you during those five years, but I certainly I certainly did, you know, and part of me wanted to want to impress Dad. Right. I’ll be honest. Yeah. I was always striving to make him proud.
Yeah, I completely relate to that too. So that’s a my wife always turns around to me, says you get that glint in your eye when your dad says, Well done, son. And I’m like, Well, it’s weird. I don’t. I don’t.
He’s never said anything to me, but I just like it. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
But yeah. So that’s, that’s where I guess it kind of where I realised when my balance was off off track and I realised I needed something to kind of pull me and kind of pull me back down to earth. That’s where fitness was my, my, my key.
But what was the moment? What was the pivotal moment? You were, you were down in the dumps. You were, you were feeling anxious. All of this was there like a moment, a sliding doors moment, something that happened that you remember anything? I think, yeah.
I wouldn’t say I can remember at the moment per se, but I remember the feeling. The feeling was when I looked at myself in the mirror, said, I’ve forgotten who you are. And this is what I when I looked in the reflection, it was like, This isn’t me. I saw this guy who was his posture, was shrivelled, struggled over like his shoulders were slumped forward. He looked fresh, he looked frail, he looked small. And it was almost like there was a part of me. I felt like, hold on, I’m not taking care of me. And that actually made me more upset more than anything. And then I’ve actually gone on to have some some mental health support through therapy. And I remember that was one of the big turning points in my therapy, was actually accepting it was okay for me to feel that way. That was a part of my life. And actually, you know what? I’m grateful to God that it happened because it’s allowed me to become the person who I am today. To do what I do would work with clients like myself, like other dentists and doctors who are somehow now struggling with their health and fitness in many ways. But also it gave me an opportunity to perhaps end up here talking to you guys. I met my wife. You know, I’m I’m blessed right now, so I don’t look at it with negativity. I look at it as it was a pivotal point for me to realise, okay, where do we go from here?
Okay, so you crawled out of that hole. You you what? You found Fitness. Just talk me through that.
Well, what I knew as I said, what I knew, which work for me was routine. So I started to build a routine. It was a very arbitrary, very Google it yourself, figure it out. And I’ll be honest with you, it was complete and utter bullshit routine initially, but it worked for me. It was a case of, okay, I’m going to start going to the gym and it really starts to flourish. When I left university, it was a case of I’m going to start eating foods which are nutritious. I started doing all the things which I wouldn’t do today, like no carbs. After six, I started hydrating. Well, go to the gym four or five times a week. I started to just take that time to work on me. And I use that one hour of the day to help. When I felt anxious after my VTI year or a tough day as an associate, it became my output. So I realised, okay, I can channel this energy some way, I can utilise it and put it into something which is productive so I can feel anxious. Okay, cool. How can I use that better for me? How can I spend that energy in a nicer way? All right, cool. And the next thing, how can I build on that? What could I do? I’m not.
I didn’t sleep very well at university. Maybe I’ll try and aim to sleep 7 hours a night. And then from there, it was another thing. It was, okay, I’ll eat some more. More nutritious foods. I’ll drink a bit more water from. And then it was just sort of snowball effect when I realised, Oh, okay, now I feel a little bit more confident. My body started to change. It was then a sort of a natural strange pathway, but a natural pathway. I kind of threw myself into a challenge because I like challenges, clearly. In 2015, I actually threw myself into a bodybuilding competition, just completely unknowing what I was getting myself into. And I said, You know what? I’ve always had goals. I always like to challenge. Let me try something different to dentistry. Keep that going. But let’s just give myself another focus on something to focus on. And I realised how much I loved it. And it’s gone on to now be me helping people with the skills that I’ve had for a decade, helping people take care of their lives, take control of their wellbeing, take control of their mental and their physical health, and it’s a blessing.
So did you step on stage as a bodybuilder?
Yes, I have many times. And I did it. I’m still doing it to this day.
Oh, wow. So talk to me a bit more about that. I’ve competed as well. I don’t look like it now. Back in 2005. Nice. I did the when was Leamington Spa Quality.
Spa UK for qualification.
And then did the British came forth nice and then stopped. All right. Yeah. I mean, for me, it was the discipline, really. Bodybuilding teaches you so much about. About discipline and routine for sure. Whether it’s timing of your meals, whether it’s it’s training, whether it’s know and thinking and figuring all, all of that stuff out. Right. And maybe the thinking back then about nutrition and stuff is very different from what we have now. You mentioned sleep earlier and I think I think sleep. Is coming to the forefront of everyone’s mind now in terms of how important it is. Absolutely. And people like Matt Walker and Andrew Huberman have brought this to brought this to the forefront, to the public, to actually.
Then, I didn’t know how important sleep was. Right. We’re told it is.
But I mean, I figured out by realising I didn’t sleep, so I was like, okay.
Maybe I should work on it.
But I mean, like from a competitive point of view, don’t get me wrong, guys, if you’re listening in, I mean, yes, I would call myself a bodybuilder, but I’ve actually I wouldn’t say I live like a complete and utter bodybuilder. My my life and the way I help people around me is teaching them how to use things which actually are relatable to day to day. If you if you try to live like a bodybuilder or a dentist, I’m sorry you’re setting yourself up for failure unless you’re a the strict maybe 0.5 to 1% of the people who can do it. I’ve used those skills of learning what I did wrong, what I’ve took from bodybuilding, from fad diets. I’ve spent the last ten years making the mistakes and learning what’s worked for me to help other people around me. But you’re you’re right in saying motivation is an excuse. My language for anyone who doesn’t like swearing, but motivation is completely utter bullshit. It lasts maybe 24 hours, 48 hours a week if you’re lucky. But discipline and routine will always prevail, as you know. I mean, like you said, you’ve come from a competitive environment yourself. I know for a fact when I’m coaching individuals, if you can build a routine which works for you and it might be what works for your self, Prav may not work for me. What works for me, We may work for some of my my male clients or my female clients. You just need to work at trying to thinking about simple, measurable steps every single day that allows you to take control of your well-being. So it might be okay. Go to the gym twice a week. That’s better than you doing nothing. Sure, You know, go to the gym three times a week, four times a week, whatever it may be, it might be. Try to not eat five takeaways a week. Have two.
Yeah, yeah. Different things for different people. Right. And. And absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. So, so just sort of moving on from there. You start this fitness journey, you started to feel better yourself mentally, mentally, physically at work. So you left uni, you started this fitness journey. What happened to your career in dentistry?
So when I left university, I did my VTI year in the Buckinghamshire scheme and this is in 2013. So I had the glorious trip to Chicago, which is happening I think happened last weekend. And then after that I joined as an associate in Roderick in Aldershot area, realised I didn’t really enjoy mixed practice so much. I’m going to be honest with you, my sort of mindset and mentality is very.
Your very best. And I remember at one point I think I was earning less than my nurse and I was like, okay.
I need to I.
Need to find a better way of honing my skills and making an income. So I actually transitioned into working for the civil service as a civil service dental officer.
Where that’s where I spent my first, I would say my first four or five years, just really honing my craft, really building my, my confidence, building my bread and butter dentistry. And whilst doing that, I did my cert in aesthetics for Restorative from the Eastman. So I use those first few years to kind of I guess it was just whilst I was building my body, I was building my dental.
And it was great because when I’d done that PG cert, I built myself a little portfolio. I was like, Cool, okay, I feel confident now.
I look good.
I think I can talk, I can be myself. Once again. I’ve got the I feel like I’ve got the soft and the hard skills which I need to for to, to walk into private practice. And lo and behold I applied for a job I wanted in Cookham, which is an area near Marlow Redding, if you’re familiar with that area. And yeah, I got the job and that’s where it’s brought me today. I’m working as an associate in private practice.
And you’ve been there ever since.
I’ve been there now for four and a half years. So yeah, that takes me to, yeah, the last ten years of practising. So yeah, I’ve been enjoying that. Got a really nice patient list there and it’s great because interestingly the area where I work is the area where pretty much where I grew up in and you’ll see there’s probably a recurring theme, whereas I found I realised my roots was where I felt comfortable. Why not come back to what I know, what feels right and let me help the people who help bring me where I am? You know, why not give back to the people that I’ve I’ve wanted to to support all my life and help me get to the position that I am from a school point of view. I mean, I’m I’m teaching I’m treating the patients of the kids who went to my school, which is crazy. So it’s kind of a nice thing, you know?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. And so what is your what is your week split up like now? So you do some dentistry. How does the fitness or coaching career work for you on the on the with your clients and stuff. So just talk me through a typical week for you.
So my typical week looks. Quite varied at the moment. So typically Mondays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday afternoons are dedicated solely to my online fitness coaching. So I have my 1 to 1 check ins with my clients. I have a client base who I spend time every single week making sure we go through any plans for the week, nutrition training wise to make sure that they feel in control of their lives, how they can maintain their sort of their course, and to getting into the best shape that they want to achieve, but also giving them strategies for their day to day activities, whether it’s be a tough week at work, whether it be a wedding coming up with their attending and they’re trying to drop body fat or gain muscle. So that’s what my Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays afternoons are looking like. And then Tuesdays, Thursdays or Friday mornings, it’s my dentistry. So I have my nice split between the two.
Really nice balance. We’ll talk less about the dentistry and more about the fitness to freely. I’m more intrigued about that. So a typical client, how do they find you? How do they learn about you? And then what is it that you offer? What’s the what’s the list? We talk about the patient journey in dentistry, Right? What’s your what’s your customer journey as someone who is is looking to improve themselves?
Well, first thing, I mean, in terms of how how my clients find me, it’s interesting. I spent about seven or eight years in the in the fitness industry, not coaching one person because I really wanted to make sure like anything if you’re going to if you’re going to give anyone any tools you need to make sure you know the shit inside out, you need to know that the back of your hand. So I spent those first eight years really making sure I really nailed it. And then I start people start approaching me just before lockdown, just saying, Oh, I want some fitness advice. Can you send me a diet plan, a training program? And I was like.
None of that bullshit.
Let me actually genuinely help you. And I thought, Hold on a second, Let why am I doing this if I’ve got the.
And the people who are approaching, funnily enough, dentists, why am I not Why am I not working with the people who I understand the most? I mean, if you go, it’s what I find really interesting. I see a lot of dentists go into personal trainers or coaches who have no understanding of their profession. You wouldn’t go to a if you’re trying to learn to ski, you wouldn’t go to a canoe instructor and say, Hey, teach me how to ski, would you? You’d go to the best ski instructor and say, Hey, mate, teach me how to skate. So what? I’ve realised I can work the best with dentists because I get you. I am.
So what happens now is they approached me on Instagram. They approached me through word of mouth. They saw my profile, they see what I do with other clients, and it’s just built very organically really now. And and that’s what I like about the business. It’s not me trying to hard sell like, Hey, come work with me, come work with me. It’s a case of if you want to take control of your well-being, I would definitely help you.
So what is the what is the patient journey then? As a as a patient, they come in, they have a consultation, you do an assessment, you write a treatment plan. Talk me through that process.
Very, very similar. So the first thing will be to jump on a call. I’ll listen to the clients what their goals are. I find out what they’re trying to achieve and how and what they’re struggling with. From there, we’d sit down and I explain to them what I do and explain my my practice principles, how I apply my theories and my practices, which I think is quite unique to compare to other coaches, because everyone says the same thing. Oh, here’s a training program, here’s a diet program, but it’s not really that tailored to them. It’s not really that bespoke to them. And I really try to step into the individual shoes. So I spend a whole week with my clients assessing them, literally everything about them from their medical history to what their goals are, to what they like training, how often they like training, what they like eating. And I start building almost this framework and you think of it like a cake. We start with the real basics. Let’s get I’ll get my clients to start eating maybe three meals a day. If they’re not even eating consistently. I get them to start tracking what calories they’re consuming currently and depending on where they’re.
Depending on where that goes, I start telling my advice to them accordingly. So if you’ve got a mum who’s a busy mum returning to practice and she wants to lose her postpartum weight, I create a program which works for her. So it might be a home workout program based off the equipment she has two or three times a week for half an hour, but that would be very different to what Prav what you may approach me and say I want to work out in a gym and I want to get back into a competitive state. Okay, cool. I can do that, but it has to be tailored to you. So that’s the patient journey. It’s assess them. The setting is crucial. And then from there, week by week, I work with them on a 1 to 1 basis so they can they have any any burning questions. They can WhatsApp me through the week, but they get bespoke video feedback every single week with their training and their nutrition and explaining them what went well, what they need to tweak next week, and how we can plan to make sure we set ourselves up for success. And that’s like.
The mentoring process a little bit like if you had if you had a dental plan and a dental treatment plan and you’re trying to plan it with a mentor, you’d sit down with that mentor and break it down to individual steps. Okay, Your sleep was crap last week because you went to bed and you would procrastinate on your phone. So maybe off a switch off time with your phone.
These sort of small things and you start breaking it down. It then empowers my client. Because what I’m trying to do different to other coaches is give you the tools to walk away and do the shit on your own nutrition.
I think it’s one of those things like, what’s the right diet, right? So we’ve got vegetarians, we’ve got vegans, we’ve got low carb, we’ve got intermittent fasting, we’ve got carb cycling, we’ve got the carnivore diet. Fasting. Yeah. Fasting. Yeah.
Yeah. I’m sure much more than what. What I’ve just spat out at you now, right. Yeah. What’s the best one?
I mean, you know, that’s equally the idea. There’s no body, right answer to this question. I mean, everyone’s got their own preferences. The most important thing I would say, if anyone’s listening and they’re trying to understand how they can take away what they should do for them is is trial and error experiment, just like with dentistry. And I’m going to be boring for a second and I make it very realistic and tangible when you’re doing back to back fillings and you’re thinking, how do I how do I make this work? How do I make these teeth like these fillings sit perfectly with the right contours. You’ve got a trial and error with your matrix bands. You’re trying to get a good veneer and you don’t like the colour match. You have to try out different colours. Same thing with fitness. Try the paleo diet. Try the intermittent fasting approach. Ultimately they all.
But what is important is not the quick fix which gets you results. It’s the results that you can stick to, the process you can stick to and enjoy. Because with that, like with anything, if you’re able to do this day in, day out, with enjoyment, with predictability, you’ll get better results and more long term results than any other method. So I spoke to another dentist recently and they were saying to me, I like I love intermittent fasting. It just works for me because I love big portions of food. I love being that guy who just has a huge portion crack on. Then if it works for you, do it. Me myself. I would never do the keto diet because I love carbs.
So you know, people will say, Oh, carbs are the devil, this is the devil. I think we’re very much here to victim blame. I think you just need to be a bit open minded and just know so long as you’re being sensible with your calorie intake, so long as you’ve got a fairly varied diet with some good nutrients in there.
Okay. Just make sure you can stick to it and you can enjoy it and it’s suiting your goals. If that’s if those are boxes you can tick off, I think you’re on the right track.
So you say give everything a try, right? Whether it’s paleo, keto, whatever. Right. How long should you try it for? How long should you give it before you say, You know what, this isn’t for me. I’m going to move on to the next one.
I mean, to be honest, I would say you would have to give it a reasonable amount of time. I don’t think there’s a perfect amount of time, but for example, I would say maybe 4 to 6 weeks to try something out properly. You can’t you can’t try something for a week and say, screw it. I haven’t seen the changes that I want to. It’s like I have clients approached me and they’re trying to get in shape and they’ve been eating. For example, I’ve got many clients coming to me trying to drop body fat. They’ve been eating a certain way all their life. They’ve put on, let’s say, ten, 20, 30 kilos of unhealthy body mass, and they expect it to drop off after three weeks of dieting or two weeks of dieting. I’m like, Dude, it doesn’t happen like this. The results will come with repetition and patience. So you didn’t put the weight on overnight. You won’t lose the weight overnight. Likewise, with a diet, you won’t figure out whether you like it straight away. You just need to see, okay, what sort of things can I look out for? Do I feel good doing it? Are my energy levels good at work? Do I feel ratty around the house? Do I feel generally happy doing this process? Is it convenient? Because let’s be honest, the people listening to this podcast are dentists and going to necessarily want to be doing things which are time affected because we’re time poor as a profession.
So is it convenient? Is it enjoyable? Does it leave me feeling good? Okay. And then the last one, is it helping me hit my goals? And I think if you’re going to look at all of those points, a couple of them, you’re pretty you’ll feel pretty quickly. But the goal situation, like I said, you’ve got to give it time. You can’t make a rash decision. And I don’t think we should be so quickly to tarnish everyone with the same paint brush. I think we need to just be honest and patient and say, look, there’s different methods out there. What works for one person may not work for the other, but just be patient and try them out.
But I do say tracking calories is one thing everyone should.
Do that should track calories.
Yeah, personally I do, because it’s a simple if. Let me caveat that. If you’re struggling with either weight loss or weight gain, you clearly don’t have a good balance of your energy balance because it’s simple physiology, simple bio physics here at calories in versus calories out. If you’re struggling with weight loss, you’re probably eating too much. And if you’re struggling with weight gain, you’re probably not eating enough. So at least have a pet perspective whilst doing those things. What sort of food quantities and calories you’re consuming? And it’s not because I want people to live by an app. But it’s because I want people to improve their their knowledge of nutrition. Because when you start tracking, it’s not the process of the tracking, it’s the mindfulness that comes with it. Oh shit. That Mars bar is 250 calories. I didn’t realise that. Oh, that cocktail at Las Iguanas was 280 calories. I didn’t realise that when you’ve had five pints on a Friday night and a Domino’s the day after, you’d think, okay, I was really healthy Monday to Friday. But now on Saturday I managed to smash for 4000 calories. Now it makes sense.
Sure, it’s that awareness of what’s going in. Right. And absolutely and I guess the come on.
Mean you asked me a question, why am I here? That’s why I’m here. It’s to raise the awareness that dentists we we need to start taking care of ourselves.
We we can’t pour from an empty cup. You know, we practice every single day to our patients that we need to think about longevity. But we’re working in such a highly tense environment, doing highly precise work, and we’re working long hours, sat in the most ridiculously uncomfortable position, which is terrible for our spines. And we’re expecting that we can do this for ten, 20, 30, 40 years, happy and be healthy. I think we need to think a little bit more long, a little bit more longevity. You start thinking, okay, we treatment plan for longevity with our patients, less treatment plan longevity for ourselves.
So what are the dentists out there listening? Right. We’re well aware time, poor, busy lifestyles, all the rest of it. What were the top? What? Your top five tips.
Stop looking for the quickest solution.
Well, see if you think they’re not even looking right. So. So majority of these dentists then cracking on, right? They’re not looking for a solution, right? Yeah, it’s all good. Well, they to a.
Degree, they are there. For example, when you’ve got a bad back, what do they do? Are banging on. You’re often I’ll go to my chiropractor, he’ll fix me up. But that’s just a patch up knee. That’s just a temporary filling over your problem. Start looking at the underlying issues. What about weight training? What about we’re using a saddle chair? What about wearing some loops is start opening your mind to okay, I need to look at the underlying issues.
Your five top tips. Yeah. Health and wellness. The the somebody a dentist can start implementing and executing tomorrow.
Get your weight per 25 kilos of your body weight is how much water so per per 25 kilos of your body weight should be one litre of water should be drunk. So if you’re a 50 kilo woman, drink two litres of water. So figure out how much water you need to drink and drink that from tomorrow. That’s number one.
Start hydrating to try to get ideally 7 hours a night asleep, try to get 7 hours of sleep at night to sleep.
Yeah. Water. Sleep.
Three. Move. If you haven’t moved today. Get up and move. It doesn’t have to be 10,000 steps, which, by the way, is a complete and utter arbitrary number made by some Japanese company who made a step ometer about in the in the sixties. It is a bullshit number. Just move.
Move more. Okay. Four.
Eat some protein. If you’re a vegetarian, you can eat protein. There’s so many sources out there. We’re spoilt in the UK, so eat some protein and look for that in at least two or three of your meals a day.
When you say some protein, what’s what’s the ideal amount. The the there’s.
A lot of, there’s a lot of different theories on this one, but the one which is most favoured for improving muscle tone and for strength is two grams. If you take your keep your weight in kilos and times it by two, that’s the number of grams of protein should be consuming a day. So for a 70 kilo ml 140 grams of protein a day is roughly what you should be aiming for.
And then number five as per the NHS. Lift some weights because it’s going to do a lot more than your body pellet on bikers.
That ship is literally.
If you’re trying to if you’re trying to build a body, which is not even just looking good, but it’s going to last you, you’ve got to have muscle if you want your joints to feel healthy, if you want to have that rigidity and robustness along your your back, your neck, your spine, you’re looking for a long, happy, healthy life. I personally think weight training is the way forward.
So some kind of resistance exercise to.
Absolutely. Absolutely. And you don’t have to be lifting like crazy weights. Just look to challenge yourself. If it’s lighter weights, just increase your repetitions over time. You don’t have to be lifting like a bodybuilder. I mean, the ladies think out there, they’re going to get bulky. All of the girls that who work with me end up turning up and getting stronger and looking even more feminine and even more proud of their curves. They don’t look like what they see on these Mrs. Mrs. Olympia pages. That takes like ten years, 12 years, 15 years.
Drugs, drugs and a lot of a lot of.
Growth hormone. Guys, It’s not I mean, I’ve been doing I’ve been I’ve been bodybuilding for the best part of ten years. And if I if I look the way I look today, which is I say pretty good, but without.
Okay, I will be really pissed off if that was simply just lifting weights and I didn’t look like a mr. Olympia. So.
So those are my five top tips.
Okay. And so the future for you and dentistry and the fitness career just just breaking it down to brass tacks. Right. It’s a good question. What does it look like from a financial point of view? Which which one’s more rewarding.
Financially rewarding or just rewarding?
Let’s let’s go for both of them. Let’s start with the numbers. Okay.
Let’s so let let me let me put it into context of where I see myself with dentistry and fitness going. I see myself scaling back dentistry, being honest with you, I think it’s going to become my my side hustle and my bread and butter is going to be my fitness purely from the point of view. I love this. And it.
You know, when people have a calling, I look at people like George, the dentist, I look at payment, somebody I look at Sam Jauhar, I look at these guys and I think that is their calling. You can just see the passion, the way they do their their anterior restorations. They see their full mouth rehabs. It’s beautiful. It’s it’s their bread and butter. I’ve realised dentistry is something I can do into a really good standard and I do push myself. But my bread and butter is helping individuals who are working in that field get the best out of themselves, make sure they feel healthy, they feel in shape, they feel confident, they feel sexy, they feel like they’re not going to be in a position of ill health compromised situations the next 20 years time. So, yeah, fitness is going to be hopefully the way I go and it’ll be a case of and I think in the next few months, maybe the next six months or so, I’ll be taking on another coach underneath me and scaling my business in that sense.
So are you. Are you at capacity now? Yes. And would your other coach be a dentist?
I’ve got a doctor and a dentist in mind. And it will be one female and one male.
Yeah. So you’re going to stick true to that, that value of will. We know who you are. Right. And so it’s a case of.
Like I said earlier, which would you go to see? Would you go to Andrew McLean, who’s an incredible anterior cosmetic dentist or Kailash, and an incredible veneer and implant dentists and ask him to do, I don’t know, dentures. That’s not his favourite thing. His favourite thing is clearly that you would go to what you go to the individual who knows that profession and is passionate about that profession like the back of his hand. That’s what that’s why I want people to come to see me because I get them. And I feel like when you reach down on something and you know what you’re calling is, it’s almost stupid to try to become the jack of all trades.
You mentioned dentistry by your side also in the future, right? Is that because you enjoy this more or do you believe that the financial rewards from the fitness online fitness culture is going to parallel that of dentistry for you, if not exceed it?
I mean, I’d be lying to say I’m not going to go in this blind and think I’m not going to go in this stupidly. I’ve spent the past ten years of my life upskilling, honing my career. But then I also realised that career has also given me the opportunity to work with the people that I want to work with and also do the things that I’m brilliant at. So it’s I don’t have any regret at all about making that transition. If you do it right, and I’ve got my own mentor in this in this side of the business to help me kind of push me in that right direction. It can definitely be a fruitful career, but you can’t just like with anything, especially when it comes to coaching, it’s not it’s still a volatile situation. You still need to be making sure you push yourself and making sure you’re staying on top of your your your delivery to your your clients. That’s crucial. So we’ll see. We’ll see.
And typically, how many how many clients can you work with at any one time?
It depends on, I would say, on time and quality. So for me, quality can never be something I’ll compromise ever based off my time that I have. Currently. I’m at capacity and that’s just I’m about 40 clients, so they’re all working on and sort of monthly programme memberships side of things. But as I said, I would.
Take on more than that. I can do so currently I’m enjoying doing two and a half days at dentistry. If as soon as I start to stretch myself, do I know for a fact the quality of my delivery of my my coach is going to be shit. And that’s why I pride myself on getting amazing results and I will never do that. So hence why I’m thinking about taking on another another coach. Now, if I decide to maybe drop more days, then maybe I might take on more. More coaches, more clients. Sorry.
Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And so you wave that magic wand and you cast yourself three years into the future and you look back at us today having this conversation three years ago, what must have happened for you to be personally and professionally happy with your progress.
Personally and professionally happy with my progress? That’s a brilliant question.
I would say about three years from now.
I would say definitely that I’ve had made no regrets in my decision making process. So just I took a big, huge leap of faith starting this process. And I think so long as I just keep on following my heart and just doing whatever I can to make sure it works and giving it my everything, I think I’ll be happy irrespective of the financial thing.
Yes, I would like to be able to earn a good living, but I’m not financially orientated or driven guy and I’m not hitting sitting there waiting for my Bentley to arrive tomorrow, Rolls Royce or Rolls Royce or the likes of or a Rolex or something like that. So long as I can do what I enjoy, so long as I can look back and say, Look, I can put food on the table, I can do what I enjoy and go to bed at night thinking, you know what? I get to go to my job tomorrow. That’s exciting for me. I mean, beforehand I put a lot of pressure on dentistry. I didn’t find that I was enjoying it as much. But now that dentistry is becoming my, let’s just say, less pressurised to earn and I’m enjoying working, I’m enjoying getting going into dentistry a lot more now. I’m enjoying waking up to do my clients and I think I’ve always heard this concept of You should love what you do.
And for the last for the last two or three years, because I’m putting myself more and more into.
I’m actually starting to feel that that feeling now. So if I can keep on loving what I’m doing, I’m going to be a happy guy.
Yeah, absolutely. Actually, there’s one question I didn’t ask you about the coaching training, bloodwork. Do you recommend that to your clients? Is that something you talk to them about?
Advisor Depends on the if I don’t work with any assisted athletes and by that guys I mean anyone taking enhancement or professional enhancing. But generally speaking, yeah.
But generally speaking, if there are signs and symptoms to me to say like an individual looks like they’re possibly looking like a bit more fatigued and a bit more lethargic than they normally should do, then I might encourage them to get some blood tests to look for anaemia, etc. But I mean it’s very much case by case dependent. There has been situations where I said there’s something like we might be looking at. I’ve got a couple of clients who’ve approached me because they’re pre-diabetic. So we do keep an eye on their blood glucose levels. And likewise we’ve got some individuals who are type one diabetic. So we do look at these sort of things, but it does vary depending on the client. It wouldn’t be like everyone needs to come to me with blood work and I just look at their panels and look at it like that sense.
Okay, It’s something it’s something I do quarterly and it’s something I’ve heard a lot of people talk about that, you know, you could look like a picture of health and your blood could be like custard. Do you know what I mean? And certainly for me, just monitoring my bloods, whether it’s looking at sort of diabetes markers such as HBA one C and blood glucose levels and things like that, and even your hormone panels and stuff. Right. You know, for me, anyway, it does kind of keep me on track. And I know what I’m looking to achieve in three months time or whatever. Right. I’m just wondering from a from a fitness and wellness point of view, the reason I’m mentioning this is a client got in touch with me just only last week who focuses on that area of wellness. He’s a private GP and he centres all of his care around, around the blood work. So just wanted to know what your take on that is and personally for yourself. Do you do you monitor yours?
I’ve done it only as I said, I’ve done it from the point of view. When I felt myself run down about a year and a half ago when I felt my body just wasn’t quite right. And I did look into it and I ended up finding that I had some vitamin D deficiencies and folic acid deficiency. So I ended up going on to supplementation for that. But generally speaking, it’s not. I’d be lying to say to you that it’s something that I look at routinely and regularly. Sure. I don’t you know, if you if we look at it, if we look at it from the point of view, the more information we have about anybody, the more educated decisions we can make about them. Absolutely. But it’s also one of those things when you have an individual who’s approaching you and like, for example, with my assessment week, you’re taking an individual individual who might be at one point slamming in a couple of beers that weekend, a Domino’s and a kebab. Then you start telling them about doing a blood work. They’re thinking, What the hell am I getting myself into? You got you’re going from extreme from, you know, 100 0 to 100. I think it would be a case of walking, walking the walk first, going into a bit of a canter, then a jog, a then a running pace and say, okay, cool. Now we can fine tune and look at things like that. So if there are concerning features, I would definitely look at them. If there’s something which doesn’t seem quite right in.
Signs, symptoms, physiology, then again, yeah, we’ll definitely encourage that. But you’ve got to I think you’ve got to be mindful not to jump from extremes, but I think that’s what we do as dentists. We look for very extreme.
Measures, very much so onto supplements. You mentioned supplementation just earlier on. Is there anything do you recommend like multi-vitamin greens and any sort of cocktail of sort of staples like D three, K two or what? What’s your what’s your goal to sort of thing that you’d advise your patient, your patients?
So it would be a combination of some simple, simple stuff. So if you’re not consuming oily fish twice a week and Mega three, six, nine. So I’d say that’s my one staple. If you’re a vegetarian, there are vegan options out there as well and vegetarian options. Then I would say number two would be a multi vitamin A box standard, multi vitamins, perfectly fine vitamin D, k, B, D, three, K two. Yeah, absolutely. Given the fact that we live in a temperate climate, we sit inside all day long, we’re not getting vitamin D, let’s be really, really honest. So vitamin D, I think is really essential. And then if you are training with weights, creating. Those are my four, I would say three essential vitamins, one essential sports supplement. Everything else is a bonus.
If you want it. I mean, I look at it again. Dentists are time poor and looking for a quick fix. I look it as a huge advantage. It’s tasty. They’re convenient. They’re actually the most cost effective way of getting protein into your system. So I personally do advise them, but it’s not something you need. It’s a it’s a nice half rather than a must have. But yeah, absolutely. They can be so useful. You can make puddings out of them, you can make a shake, you can make smoothies, you can make ice creams, you could do whatever you want. They’re so versatile. And compared to all the crap that we had, you know, the best part of 15 years ago, the start, the stuff which tasted like chalk and like literally mix like clumps to now these amazing flavours and clear isolates and stuff like that. You’re spoilt for choice nowadays.
To be honest, I can’t remember what the brand that I used many, many years ago. But you’re right, it just tasted gritty. Right. And yeah, I.
Remember this one’s called.
Nutrisse Nutrisse for that’s what it, that’s the one I remember. Yeah.
It was so cost effective. But I swear to God my, I remember I’ll tell you a funny anecdote very quickly, because I’m sure you don’t want to hear too much about this, but it was 2013, the year I qualified. I remember I was taking this at the time and I fell asleep in our staff room at lunch. And I remember I woke up and everyone looked at me like the most disgusting look on their face. And they were like, I think someone just died and it just came out of you. And I realised this The protein.
And protein wasn’t good. Yeah, I remember that nutri. It used to come in five kilogram tops. Yeah. And it was cheap as chips. I think it was about 40 quid or something like that. Yes.
Five kilos for 40 quid. There you go. That says everything doesn’t it.
Absolutely. Okay, moving on. We like to ask about sort of what life you got. You’ve got kids or married. Married kids. Okay.
Maybe if I’m blessed in the future.
Okay, so let’s. Let’s take ourselves to the future. Please. And imagine at the end of your long, long life that it’s your last day on the planet of God, okay? And you have to give your closest ones and three pieces of wisdom. What would they be? Geez.
Okay. I would say live with no regret because you have no idea what tomorrow brings. And. Probably from the point of view, having lost a few ones, a few loved ones quite unexpectedly, like in COVID. I would say definitely. You just don’t know, like whether it be arguments, whether it be whether you feel like you could have done a job better, push yourself down, a career that you wanted to try. Like I’m trying with my fitness, like to take that leap, you know, don’t don’t sit on the what if because honestly, it’s it’s frightening. I mean, I just had a WhatsApp just before I spoke to you guys on this podcast, and my mum’s got a colleague of hers who unfortunately her partner passed away very unexpectedly a year.
Ago and she’s.
Herself, the colleague, has just passed away this evening. She just had straightforward cancer. And I’m not trying to say this to, to, to frighten anyone, but it’s the case of you just don’t know. I mean, I had two patients last in the last two weeks have just come to me and they’ve just told me that their wives or partners have just had stage four cancer. And you think, Jesus Christ, that’s six months. Things can just change. So live with no regret would be number one and number two would be, I guess it’s in line with what I do. Don’t be afraid to be selfish and put yourself first because. I realised with myself and I’m when I help try to help other people is that you can’t pour from an empty cup like we said at the beginning. Put the oxygen mask on. All right, Let yourself breathe. Then help the other person. Because it’s it’s so easy to to give, give, give everybody else. Give our patients 100%. But then there’ll be a point where you snap because you can’t keep going the way you’re going. Just take a moment whether it be reading a book. Go for exercise. Go for a walk. Eat Better. Start taking care of you. I think that’s. It’s really why I do what I do. It’s just helping other people just start valuing themselves.
Sure. Three, Probably.
You are a product of your environment. So just choose your environment carefully. That’s that’s. I mean.
I wonder what you mean by that is are the people, is it, is it the place? Everything is.
Everything though. Like if you’re unhappy where you work, change your workplace. If you’re if you’re unhappy with your relationship with your loved one. Talk to them like ultimately we have a choice. I don’t believe in anything happens without our decision making process. I believe I have a choice to be happy. I have a choice to be sad if I’m unhappy with how If I’m unhappy with how this podcast is going, I could tell you like, dude, cancer. This this is this.
Is bullshit, but you.
Have a choice so you can change your environment any which way. If you if you’re in a situation where you feel perhaps, maybe I feel overwhelmed, what can you do in that moment to change the script and change the environment around you? Yeah, that’s what I feel strongly about.
And payments question. Okay. He didn’t party. Okay. Three guests, dead or alive? Who would they be? My. Oc.
Jonny Wilkinson. An amazing rugby player and an idol of.
Dynamo. The magician.
Interesting. Yeah. And David Goggins. Yeah.
He’s an absolute legend. And I would say Dynamo, because if you don’t know much about his backstory, you need to read about him. This guy is, like, incredibly inspiring. He was probably the most introverted people I’ve ever come across through reading his autobiography, going watching his shows, watching his TV programs like he’s so unbelievably introverted, but has built this persona and built this confidence. And what I love is how he’s mastered his craft to kind of build himself up. And it’s something how I can relate to. Like he he he used to get bullied a lot as a kid, and then he just did his he did his his magic tricks and learnt from his grandpa. And now look at this guy. He’s just you just look at him. You’re like, in awe, which is absolutely insane.
I didn’t know that. I did not know that. Yeah, man.
Tony Wilkinson For the point of being I mean, everyone looks at him as the most incredible, like number ten we had in the English jersey, but I would say more So again, his autobiography, like, is blown me away. Like, you wouldn’t realise this guy is probably the most anxious person I’ve ever heard of.
He was so self deprecating, like he was so hard on himself. But I would love to sit down with him and just kind of have a chat because I think he’s just got an unbelievable mindset to kind of just persevere and have that grit and determination. But also he also knows what it is to battle within himself. And I think it be really good. It’s good to kind of hear his take on that because you could see he’s he’s struggled with it throughout his whole career, right way to the very end, to be honest. But he also just just just blew me away, just how incredibly professional he was. So that was one of the things I liked about him. And then the last one, David Goggins I mean, was there a lot to say? Yeah, was there a lot to say? I’m actually in the middle of his second book right now, and I just every page, I’m enthralled. He is just again, it’s interesting, all those three guys I’ve realised when I was just thinking about it, they all have the same sort of like backstory. They’re all kind of like, I don’t know, the, the, the underdog who just come come their own.
From the guy who was working as a pest control guy to suddenly then become a Navy SEAL man, to do ultramarathons, to doing like the world’s record for pull ups. The guy is an absolute beast but it’s again, it’s down to mindset. He just shows you how you can tap into your brain. And I believe that’s what we all need to kind of do, is just get get into that brain and just know that we have so much more to give.
I’ve not picked up a second book yet, but I remember listening to the audio of his, so I read the first book. Right. But then when you when you listen to the audio, he adds colour to the book. He talks.
It’s insane. I listen to it as well. It’s insane. It’s insane.
And I just you know what the one thing is, you know, back in the day you’d sit down and watch one of the Rocky movies for a bit of motivation, right? But you listen to Goggins and you listen to his story and all the rest of it. My God, it fires you up.
I’ve not. I’ve not met one person who I’ve not recommended that book who hasn’t come out feeling empowered. And it’s not about fitness. It’s really not about fitness. It’s just the the principle that you can, if you want to. That’s the bit. It’s like when you feel like he describes it. I remember he says, like when you’re when you’re on a.
And you know, you hit that wall. He’s like, you’re only 44 steps there. You’ve got 60, you’ve got you’ve got another 60 to go. And some of the things he’s.
They make no sense. No, But then the power of the mind, you know, and if anyone believes anything, the power of the mind is unbelievable. I think you can really tap into that and make a whole world of a difference for yourself.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely Brilliant. Well, listen, Roland, it’s been an absolute pleasure. Thank you. Thank you. I really do hope our guests just take some messages away today and implement at least a couple of those five tips. I think if they can go away with if they want to learn about you, where do they go? Yeah.
They to jump on Instagram that DOT to underscore RV fitness and then drop me a follow, if you like, advice, which is bullshit free, realistic and applicable to your everyday life. And it will help you in all aspects, whether it be.
Taking a moment to not be so hard on yourself. Eat better, sleep better, hydrate better, and actually enjoy it.
Drop me a funny cool. Excellent. Well, thank you for your time and absolute pleasure, buddy Berry.
Thank you so much for having me. I’ve really enjoyed it.
This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts. Payman, Langroudi and Prav. Solanki.
Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this file, you must have listened to the whole thing. And just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it. If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing and if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks. And don’t forget our six star rating.