Ad Ligtvoet – How To Cultivate The Ultimate Training And Diet Mindset

“I don’t workout for the looks, that’s secondary … I work out to expand the area under the curve … to be functional in life.”  – Ad Ligtvoet

Ad Ligtvoet is a training instructor and MedX therapist for Keiser Training in Aachen, Germany. He also runs his own business, Ad Ligtvoet Training Therapy Nutrition, which focuses on helping people restore metabolic health through an efficient and practical application concerning muscle training and nutrition. The exercise programme takes place at Ad’s private facility and his nutrition counselling is based on the Bodymed system.

As a young adult, Ad trained for 2-hours per day, 7-days a week. He now trains for ~15-minutes once every 5/6 days. At 53, he looks incredible.

Email Ad Ligtvoet to info [at] ligtvoet-training.nl

We cover:

  • Ad’s journey from butcher to high-intensity trainer
  • How to cultivate better eating and drinking habits
  • How to think about training and diet over the long term
  • … and much more!

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This episode is brought to you by Hituni.com, providers of the best online courses in high intensity training that come highly recommended by Dr. Doug McGuff, Dr James Fisher and Luke Carlson. Course contributors include world-class exercise experts like Drew Baye, Ellington Darden and Skyler Tanner. If you want to become an excellent HIT Personal Trainer, create a great team of trainers, build a successful strength training business or just significantly improve your knowledge of high intensity training, use code CW10 to get 10% OFF courses HERE

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Selected Links from the Episode

People Mentioned

  • Rob H

    Great podcast guys – Ad you really are a very inspirational guy, I’m so grateful that you shared your wisdom and experience with us. I pretty much agree wholeheartedly with everything you said, and you have motivated me to strive to always keep improving..

    One thought that struck me as I was listening though: I suddenly realised that Lawrence, Doug, Drew, yourself and others have all done a fantastic job in clarifying our understanding that to stay fit and healthy (both mentally and physically) is not that complicated. I think most of us now agree that the basic minimum requirements are: SSTF of resistance training once per week, 1.6g/Kg of protein, overall calorie balance (or slight excess/ deficit depending on whether trying to gain muscle or lose fat), balanced micro-nutrition/ phyto-nutrition, 7-8 hours of sleep per night and stress-reduction practices (my favourite is 30 minute daily brisk walk whilst practicing mindfulness). We really have no requirement to complicate things above that – as Ad says, we can just continually ‘refine’ the art of implementing these practices. However, whilst I totally respect this perspective, personally I like to stretch myself beyond this – to continually try out new things just to see what benefits they may offer for me: eg experimenting with more frequency/ more reps closer to failure (myo reps/ reverse pyramid training/ higher protein etc) and seeing what benefits I gauge from these experiments versus the incremental cost (eg fatigue/ time/ money etc) and then weighing up if it is worth integrating the experiment into my ongoing daily practices. I just find this approach to life very interesting and rewarding – being in a constant ‘beta’ mindset. Although of course, it is difficult to extrapolate that to other’s lives/ personal circumstances. Lawrence, I get the sense that you feel a little guilty when you follow the same route – as if you are berating yourself for trying to find a ‘magic bullet’. Personally I’m not looking for any magic bullets – but my experience in life has been lots of little improvements integrated into my daily routine over time = one hell of a magic bazooka!

    • ad ligtvoet

      Thanks Rob. I know what you are saying. I would say for me, been there, done that. As I see and feel now I have no real need for feeling better. Does that make sense? There is nothing wrong with getting one”s own experiences and calculate afterward. I never would like to lay down before falling. Same in life I rather die on my feet before begging on my knees.
      Regarding finetuning and going for more gains/improvement and the like I will talk (remember me Lawrence) in the next podcast.

  • Andrew May

    Great to listen to for context after my earlier frustration. I agree with a lot of what Ad says, I just find the diet thing a bit extreme.

    • ad ligtvoet

      Thanks Andrew. Ahh come on, don’t get frustated about that. As I said, life is finite….there are much worse things in life happening compared to eat animals with or without some other stuff. Aslong……it doesn’t hurt one and it is eatin because some instances tell the generall public what to eat.
      Peace (as long as my meat won’t get taxed more!!)

      • Andrew May

        I guess for me, it’s hard to separate your views with the wider “zero carb” movement. I’ve had a good look around the facebook groups etc and to be honest a lot of the most vocal proponents are nuts, really neurotic, pathologising, extreme cases. Looking at your Instagram there’s a lot of overlap with the fallacious thinking of the “ancestral health” crowd and the food fetishism of the zero carb folk but hearing you speak does help to clarify your views.
        Can I ask further, why do you limit your carb intake to less than 30g? In my own “N=1” I have seen a big improvement in my “wellbeing” since recently upping my carb intake from less than 50g per day to 110-150g, surely your body is just making up the deficit via gluconeogenesis?

        • Ad ligtvoet

          My carb intake is limited due to my carnivore influenced and well thought menucard.it is what it is and MY wellbeing is top for ME. Gng helps my stable glucoselevel. That is what it’s meant for.
          In every group one find nutty people, has nothing to do with what ideas one or the group stands for. These can be true or false or in a state of hinting in such direction. We can have different thoughts and we can count ourselves lucky to be allowed for that. Why do you yourself call others per definition strange or stupid or unable of critical thinking only on the base of not sharing your views??
          Mankind would not have survived if they discussed nutrtion instead of eating that fucking animal and once in a while plant stuff.
          Meanwhile( i said it before)…… diabetes is on the rise……..lets share coffee and enjoy the fact that we don’t live in state that allows only the haircut of the leader while millions starve…….mostly from limited animal food intake. Peace…..

          • Andrew May

            If you present views far from accepted norms then you have to be prepared to be challenged. Having those views doesn’t make you incorrect but the burden of proof is on you. I find carnivory extremely attractive as a way of eating but I can’t help but be extremely skeptical. Comparing your worldview to say, Dunning’s pseudoscience checklist: https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4037 for example raises multiple red flags. If you find it hard to compare the information that you present then perhaps use another extreme dietary proponent’s views, a vegan or something and see how you could be seen as a mirror image…?

          • Andrew May

            Anyway I don’t want this to descend into unpleasantness, I don’t want Lawrence to boot me off on the site!

          • ad ligtvoet

            WHy would you become unpleasant? I have a thick skin. Lawrence?

          • Andrew May

            Before this turns into an argument, let me get your position straight. You present yourself online as an exercise and nutrition professional? You believe that due to the nature of human evolution that we should model ourself after hunter gatherers, dietaryly; eating mainly meat? But you’re not telling anyone to copy you? I’m not trying to disprove you, I’m just saying that confirmation bias and motivated reasoning play a large part in how we interpret the world.

          • ad ligtvoet

            I’m not a scientist but base my conclusions on the scientific work of others. These conclusions/insights are what I use in helping my cliënts , and regarding nutrition I use a certain range of carbs ,fats and proteins, not all but enough animal based (not just meat). My service is mainly for Metabolic health improvement, so my clients belong to the major part of the population, the ones that don”t eat healthy and have a generall bad lifestyle. I know that my own eating habits will not be accepted by them at first nor don’t they have the mentall and practical abillity to implement it. So , here I use a range or variation of macros to at least get them into a change. That is for the practical aspect, not because I think this is abetter eating habit compared to my own. I do not hid for them how I eat, I make sure as hell they know about it and that it is achieveable for then too. But , we have to take one step after the other.
            So , MUST they copy me? No. I live by example, what you see or hear is what you get. In the end it is a free choice, and if they choose to stay at the primary way of eating change they are way better off compared to they former habits.
            If you have listen concentrated you heard me telling that I had a certain way of eating before I turned in the direction of today. Well, during that period I was maybe biased or not but did change anyway. So I said goodby to my believes for improving myself, no emotional constrictions.
            I’m not sure but I sense a bit that you think I just accepted some nutritional ideas and didn’t think about it further, just felt emotional attracted to it. And that you think that as long as I stay convicted to these thoughts I”m biased. How van one ever hold strong convictions? At some point this becomes just babble, using debate techniques while offering no value for the people that need a lifestyle change. I’m a blue collar worker in the gym…..but know my craft not by magis insights but by thinking and practicing.
            So what value do you offer to the world besides argumenting?? Do you hold conviction? Are you afraid of certainty? Are you afraid to use services in the devision of labor society?
            I know, you didn’t go public with your thoughts so you don’t have to prove anything here. Well so be it. You can disprove what you want, I got results in the real world and enjoy my life. I hope so do you.
            This takes to much time for typing so I leave it with this.

          • Andrew May

            Hey, I think you’re doing great work by the sounds of it. It’s just interesting to see what appear to be textbook cases of folk living in echo chambers. Not just here but on both sides of the spectrum, presented with broadly identical data people can come up with diametrically opposed conclusions based on their “convictions” aka cognitive biases. Personally I’m far from perfect but prefer to hedge my bets and keep a foot in both camps.

          • enlite

            Getting into debates or exchanges with people over nutrition / food is just as pointless / meaningless as getting into the same with people when it comes to training . People are very dogmatic about their views on training , nutrition , politics , or whatever it may be and they’ll find ” evidence ” to rationalize what they’re doing . However this evidence is cherry-picked through selection bias and echo chambers as you pointed out . I always try to get to the truth of a thing irregardless of whether i like where it leads or not ! If you say to people that they can eat eggs , bacon , sausages , ribs , steaks and the like until their hearts are content of course it’s going to appeal to them ! Logic / common sense should be the arbiter through which conclusions are arrived at because scientific studies / evidence will and do conclude anything you want !

          • ad ligtvoet

            How do you know YOU didn’t cherry-picked the eveidence? We can keep talking like this in circles. We need to ground our thoiughts/ideas on fundaments / reality. So show that evidence I would say.
            I say eat till your full, mainly animal based food, that isn’t only meat and may even include some veggies if one can tolerate them(so do i). And yes I myself am a big eater. But then I most often eat only twice a day.What do you think is illogical of that way?

          • enlite

            I’m not trying to tell anyone what and how they should eat . As for showing evidence what’s the point ? I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything as it’s pointless and a complete waste of time ! As for me cherry-picking evidence re-read my previous statement .

          • ad ligtvoet

            Just stay skeptical. If that is how you live, how do you decide to act?? I have no need nor reason nor duty to view something through “a proponents ‘ eyes. I will be challanged in many aspects during life and I guess so will be you. So what. Proof? Evolution and the human degestive tract in this instance tells me how to eat in modern life. What I have read and thought about this WAS the PROOF for me. I have a GUT feeling you will never accept a proof in many aspects. I tell what I do, how I do it and what it does for me. I do not tell someone has to do the same. As I said in the podcast I go on my path and I support everyone on the same path. If the path isn’t for you………go another direction. Do not expect me to proof that the path is the correct one for you. Science is available for everyone, you have to make your own conclusions and act on it. Simple.

  • enlite

    I find it very interesting that many HIT advocates will speak of logical and intellect based training and yet when it comes to food / nutrition all that logic / intellect seems to go out the window .

    • ad ligtvoet

      So you can telll very precise what a logic based food intake will be I guess. I”m all in for that information. Tell me my logical mistakes since right now Its hard to know whom are what you mean.

      • ad ligtvoet

        “Tell me my logical mistakes since right now Its hard to know who you mean and what you mean.. ”
        That was what I typed as the last sentence of the former comment.

      • enlite

        I’m no longer going to get into debates with you nor anyone else on this topic as it’s a waste of time and totally pointless .