Jeff Halevy is the CEO of Altis Movement Technologies, a venture-backed technology startup that will bring its AI Personal Trainer to consumers in 2021.
An award-winning entrepreneur and fifteen-year veteran of the health, medical, fitness and technology industries, Jeff’s career counts successes and exits in verticals including health clubs, education and content creation, insurtech, television and media, and public health advocacy.
Jeff Halevy is regarded as a thought leader and innovator in the health and fitness industries, which has earned him distinction in the mainstream media, with features by CNBC, Fox, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and Women’s Health — to name a few — as well as trade publications like Club Solutions.
At a recent health and wellness program, we recently had a chance to learn from Jeff about the most common mistakes people make when they exercise, how to focus on what really matters at the gym and how to get healthy today!
“Why do we exercise? People talk about not feeling weak. They don’t want to feel weak when they do certain things. Someone may mention endurance? Not feeling winded. Other people, it’s really simple. Being able to put on your shoes alone. So how do most people start when they want to start exercising? Cardio.”
“As a matter of fact, among those who currently exercise, 50% of you, half, this is a real statistic, defer to cardio. Of that 50%, 60% of you defer to low grade, lower intensity cardio when you’re doing it. The problem though is that this cardio specific solution leaves a lot off the table. Well, certainly don’t build any lean mass. We all lose muscle and we must do something to at the very least preserve it.”
“You got to understand that the heart is a dumb muscle. The heart responds to the activity that we give it. So the notion that we need a treadmill in order to elicit a strengthening response or greater endurance within the heart is nonsense. Of the 10% that devote time to strength training, there are three critical flaws. Number one, there’s no periodization in your program whatsoever. The second one is, there’s no progressive overload. The third one is, there’s no multiplanar movement. I want you to just remember this, that the premise of periodization is very, very simple. We want to have a period of time that we adapt to a stimulus. We master it in some way, shape, or form. And then we move on.”
“Of those who have a routine, I know what you have. And you walk into the gym. You look at the equipment, have no clue what it does and you head straight to the cardio section. So we’re moving like robots. And I’ll tell you something. The robot is not cool on the gym floor, nor was it cool when you did it at your nephew’s bar mitzvah. So let’s recap what we actually need. We need a program that challenges our heart in some way, cardio. We need a program that challenges strength in some way, correct? We need a program that is periodized.”
“Before we start, the most important thing you can do is screen your body. So we’re going to look at the three main areas that are the causes of injury from exercise. It may not be where you feel it. It’s going to be the shoulders, the low back and hips, and the ankle. And these are screens that are so simple, you can do them on yourself, you can easily do this at home. So a lot of the things that you feel in the knee, or most things I would say even. I’ll go out on a limb, no pun intended. That people would feel in the knee is a result of what happens at the hip or ankle, restrictions that happen. When I tell you to, what I’d like you to do is simultaneously reach overhead with one hand around the back with the other and try to get your hands as close together as you can.”
“Now, this practice tells us a ton about pelvic stability, the low back, and the likelihood to injure oneself from something like deadlifting as an example. Okay. How do you fix this? Stay tuned. Okay. There are six ways that your body can move aside from gait, you can push, pull, twist, bend, squat, and lunge. That’s it. Not only do we have these six primal patterns, but we have three planes of movement. But we can obviously push and pull both vertically and horizontally, right? We can do things bilaterally or iso-laterally. I can do things with one arm, or I can do them with two arms, right? I can press with one arm or I can press with two arms. So unless you’re training for a sport, you really don’t need more than three hours of training. If you don’t like the way you look, re-examine your program, but even more importantly, re-examine your plate.”
“But even more important than that, re-examine when you set your alarm clock for, and when you wake up. Sleep is probably the most critical factor when you’re losing weight, in terms of what you’re actually losing. Is now going to also dictate what we’re doing every day. The sets, the reps, the exercises, whether we’re doing, is it a multi joint or a single joint exercise. All of this gets informed by the relative intensity. When we do a heavy movement, we’re probably not doing a one rep max on a bicep curl, unless you’re The Situation from the Jersey Shore. I imagine he probably does stuff like that. But just understand that the program that I’m laying out for you is a way to stay fit for the rest of your life. But what we didn’t get to yet is how you can actually hack this in order to target fat loss.”
“If any women in the room have noticed that it’s just a little harder to lose fat than it is for men, women are necessary for nine months plus. Men are necessary for nine seconds, if you’re lucky. So if we’ve now accessed our savings and we burned through our pocket cash and savings is fat and we want to get rid of it, what do we need to do? Hit Madison Avenue like it’s your birthday. We want to go on a spending spree.”
“I promise you if you work out like this, one thing I can guarantee is you will never look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. As a matter of fact, I guarantee you, all of you will never look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Very few people ever have. So you now have all of the tools that you actually need in order to assemble the program. I used to be significantly overweight, and this was after battling substance abuse, depression. And it wasn’t that I had a lack of desire to get healthier and to do so. I didn’t know how. There’s a lot of information and misinformation out there. And I wanted to at least cover some information, so you can start making educated decisions for yourself about how you’re going to exercise and how you’re going to move.”