The following is an interview I did with Matty Fusaro and FusaroFitness. Matty runs one of the most popular Youtube channels on fitness with over 78,000 followers and a huge fan base.
I love Matt for his no BS approach to transforming your body.
Enjoy the interview.
1. What’s up, Matty! So how did you get started in working out? What motivated you?
My entire life ever since I was a kid I was athletic and involved in sports, but in my early teens my love for food and overindulging took control. When I turned 17, I developed an interest in the “fitness” lifestyle but never really trained with purpose or intention; it was just a hobby.
I’ll never forget when my two older brothers Mike and Jay told me they would give me $20 if I could do 1 pull-up. I tried my hardest – I ran and jumped but couldn’t get myself over that bar. Today, I would give them $50 if they can do more than me [laughs].
Going into my senior year of high school, I realized it was time to change my life. My wardrobe consisted of 15 hoodies because I was too insecure to wear a t-shirt most of the time.
If there was ever a trip to the beach, waterpark or even hanging out by the pool with friends I would try to avoid the event because I wouldn’t be seen without a shirt on (yes I did swim with my shirt on). I got fed up living that life and would Google “what is the fastest way to get a six pack?” rather than just work for it. After endless hours of cardio and marketing hype about the quick fixes, I had to find a better way.
In January of 2011 I decided to take “before” pictures and immediately wanted to delete them, but had a feeling that would end in regret so I kept them in a folder and never opened it up. I went trough a few phases of diet obsessions, overreaching and under eating but as time went on I continued to learn.
Fast forward a few years, I took on a genuine interest in fitness and nutrition and was motivated to improve my physique and expand knowledge. Fitness and health has become a priority in my life and I love the challenge of building my education, surrounding myself with positivity and always working hard to improve my quality of life while helping others do the same.
Needless to say, it felt damn good to go back into that folder of before pictures and visually see the transformation.
2. If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you do differently with your workout and diet?
Man I wish I could haha! I interact with beginners on a daily basis and I usually give them all the same advice. Do your research, read, learn, and track your progress. When I first started there wasn’t an abundance of information on macronutrients and diet like there is today.
We relied on popular websites and magazines, and most of the time it was a boatload of BS myths and misinformation.
I would have taken as much time as needed to learn about and understand macronutrients, micronutrients, flexible dieting etc. so I wouldn’t have to be a slave to the handful of “foods that work” and not classify foods as dirty and clean.
In regards to training, I would find a program in line with my goals, stick to it and track my progress.
One of the biggest reasons people fail to see results in the gym is because of program hopping and not documenting their training sessions. I was guilty of going into the gym just to lift, but realized I wasn’t really getting stronger or bigger.
Having a log of your training is crucial if you want to visually see the progress you are making!
3. What does your current workout look like?
I am a sponsored athlete and being coached by The Strength Guys and we work together to build my training phases.
Currently I am following a mix of DUP (daily undulating periodization), Russian strength methods, tempo training and exercise sequencing, training 5 days per week with two rest days. An example of a training week would look similar to this:
- Day 1: Surovetsky Bench Press Strength day
- Day 2: Deadlift and Lower Body Hypertrophy
- Day 3: Upper Body Hypertrophy
- Day 4: Lower Body Muscular Endurance
- Day 5: Verkhoshansky Contrast Load Bench
Days 1 and 5 focus primarily on the Barbell bench Press, while days 2 and 4 place emphasis on deadlifting. Day 3 is a complete upper body hypertrophy day.
All of these days include accessory work, some examples being:
- Barbell Hip Thrusts
- Prone Raises
- Face Pulls
- Leg Curls
- Skull Crushers
- Barbell Curls
- Calf Raises
- Chest Flys
Sets, rep ranges, percentages and rest times differ for each day and for each exercise but the intensity is always high. I also always make time to work in mobility, stability, and plenty of core work. It is a pretty demanding program, but training isn’t supposed to be easy.
4. Do you have muscle building tips or tricks that have helped most with your gains?
My main tip, as I stated earlier, would be logging your training and focusing on progressive overload. As far as muscle building tricks or tips, I would stress the importance of learning the motor pattern correctly and understanding the basic functions of the muscle.
When you know what a muscle is supposed to do, it makes it much easier to understand HOW that muscle should work. Proper mobility and form is crucial as well! People get so caught up in supersets, drop sets and muscle confusion and forget about the main goal of constant progression. My YouTube channel also has great videos and tutorials on proper ways to perform movements to optimize your training.
5. The IIFYM (if it fits your macros) approach to dieting is huge in the YouTube fitness community. It’s almost reaching a scary cult status haha. What’s your take on it?
You’re definitely correct about it becoming a “cult” as people fight and defend it to the death. My only issue with the acronym “IIFYM” is for some people who don’t understand dieting, it implies one can eat whatever they want as long as it fits their macros, but they tend to forget about the importance of nutrition.
In my opinion the most important thing about diet and nutrition is flexibility, which will ultimately lead to a greater adherence. I believe the majority of ones diet should be comprised of minimally processed, whole, micronutrient dense foods, following an 80/20 or 90/10 approach.
With the 80/20 approach, 80% of my caloric intake would come from minimally processed, whole, micronutrient dense foods while the remaining 20% can be used at my own discretion, as long as I met my nutrient intake. I aim for 2-3 fruits and vegetables per day, 30-40g of fiber and drink plenty of water.
I am not a fan of cookie cutter meal plans that say “eat this not that.” Since I track my macronutrients I just make sure to get a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats. My diet typically changes from day to day although there are a few foods that’s are staples in my nutrition:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Lean Beef / Turkey
- Egg Whites
- Rice Cakes
- Greek Yogurt
- Almond Butter
The list goes on, but I also eat ice cream, pizza, and other foods typically deemed “unhealthy” in moderation.
Flexible Dieting > Food Classification!
Simply put, categorizing foods into being clean, dirty, healthy and unhealthy should be avoided. This brings about a negative mentality and is often one of the reasons why “diets” fail. I encourage the clients I work with to be more flexible with their food choice. By tracking macronutrients (we will talk about this later) you are in complete control.
6. If someone who was skinny fat came up to you and asked for help, what would you tell them to do?
I would tell them to watch this video!
Skinny fat is definitely something that is difficult to deal with and I have been there before. I feel as though it is something that has to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. Some people are more fat than skinny and can benefit from dropping the body fat for health reasons, where others just need to build a foundation of muscle.
I think the majority of people who are skinny fat suffer with the psychological feelings more than anything, so it’s important to base your decision of cutting or bulking on how the person feels (unless again their actual health is a concern and they need to lose fat first). We also have to take into account whether or not this individual is an untrained beginner with poor eating habits etc., but overall I think the video covers a good basis of information on the topic!
7. What’s your take on supplements and what supplements are you taking right now if any?
I see people every day spending hundreds of dollars on supplements, either because they heard they worked, their friend told them to buy it, the marketing was great, or it got a 9/10 review on a bodybuilding website: all of which are horrible reasons to purchase them.
The truth is that most supplements are not worth your money. I only like supplements that are proven to work and have research showing that they are effective, although you can’t argue with the power of placebo. I just personally hate to see people waste money on supplements loaded with filler and proprietary blends, hiding the actual ingredients!
Some of the supplements I currently take are:
- Fish Oil
- Vitamin D
- Whey Protein
- Creatine Monohydrate
- Beta Alanine
- Citrulline Malate
- Caffeine (sparingly)
Also, if you enjoy using supplements and would like to save some money, you can use my discount links and codes below!
For more info on supplements I highly suggest checking out this guide by my good friends over at Examine.com – Supplement Goals Reference Guide.
7. Your YouTube channel is huge (over 78k subscribers at the time of writing this). What’s next for Fusaro Fitness?
The overall goal always was and always will be to help others. Fusaro Fitness is set out to inform and educate the masses on nutrition and training while motivating people to transform their lives. The mission is to inspire people to become the strongest version of themselves mentally and physically. We are helping thousands of people everyday to look, feel and perform their best while enjoying the process!
I love what I do on YouTube and look forward to putting out more quality and entertaining videos, I will continue my online coaching services for those in need, and I will do my best everyday to spread awareness about fitness, and hopefully someday travel the world! I have no plans of slowing down as an entrepreneur and there is much more to come with Fusaro Fitness so stay tuned!