If anyone ever said that getting fit was a serious matter, Nate Miyaki is living proof that that theory is completely false. In fact, if there was ever a personal trainer that portrayed a healthy lifestyle as simple, it’s Nate!
Maybe it’s his sense of humor. Or his SoCal easygoing attitude. Or perhaps it’s the certifications, college degrees, bodybuilding championships, and years of training. Whatever it is, he’s doing something right.
Tell us a little about your background and where you’re from.
I grew up in Half Moon Bay, CA, which is a small beach town about an hour south of San Francisco. We’re known for the big wave surf spot Mavericks.
Although I never surfed, I certainly adopted the laid back, roll with whatever comes, don’t take yourself or life too seriously, be flexible like water, treat the people riding the waves of life with you like family — Beach Dude Mentality.
I don’t know. I think it’s a good way to live, but I could be wrong.
But I’m sure most of your readers don’t give a sh*t about me personally, they just want to know how my professional background might be of some use to them.
Academically, I went to UC Berkeley, completed post-baccalaureate studies in Kinesiology, thought about getting a Master’s in Nutrition but decided against it because I didn’t want to be tied to prescribing archaic and predominantly bullsh*t ADA advice.
Instead, I used my science background to personally study a variety of different nutrition approaches (which is a personal hobby and something I continue to do to this day), obtained a few certifications, and then opened and have been running a private training and nutrition coaching practice for the last 12 years.
Athletically, I’ve competed in natural bodybuilding, done a few fitness-modeling gigs, trained in Capoeira, gymnastics, stunts, and toured as a professional wrestler for a few years.
Tell us about what you do and your site.
Which one? The R-rated one or the XXX-rated one. Hahaha, just kidding.
Well, my primary focus right now is writing in the industry, and more specifically, nutrition education. So my website is kind of my home base for that.
I write blog posts on a variety of nutrition topics, posts videos of some of the speaking engagements I get hired for, and whenever an article of mine is published somewhere else (I write for T-Nation and LIVESTRONG among other places), I make sure to link to it.
The overall content goal of the site is to: Merge Evolutionary Nutrition Theory with Modern Sports Nutrition Science in order to SIMPLIFY people’s nutrition plans.
Nature and history can teach us a lot about what we are meant to eat and where we’ve gone wrong, without the biases of the health food industry, the blindness of some governing bodies, the marketing hype of the fitness and wellness industries, and general dietary confusion and over-complication.
Add some targeted Sports Nutrition principles (detailed macronutrient calculations, calorie/carb cycling protocols) to that foundation for those with higher-level performance or physique goals, and you have yourself one heck of a plan to optimize health and ruthlessly slash body fat.
A lot of health and “wellness” practitioners live and look like goblins to improve their biomarkers of health.
A lot of extreme bodybuilders and figure girls will completely destroy their natural hormone production, metabolism, and overall health just to get ripped. Both are unnecessary and uninformed.
Go about it the right way, and you can accomplish both goals simultaneously. That is my personal passion, and my professional goal is to research and teach these methods to whomever wants to listen.
What’s your favorite style of training?
I’m a firm believer that there is no One Universal, Right Way to train, or one system that works for everyone, everywhere. There are many viable methods. The program simply must match the athlete’s specific goal at that time to optimize results.
When I was training for stunts and pro wrestling, I used a lot more explosive, full body movements and a performance-based style of training.
Now, I’m not ashamed to admit it, I train solely for cosmetic reasons. I would say it is primarily to get laid, but I’m married, so that excuse is out. We’ll call it training for natural bodybuilding, to have a beach-ready physique year-round, and of course, for my personal mirror time.
For this, I don’t think 40 years of training evolution has surpassed the great Vince Gironda’s methods. I think he was way ahead of his time in terms of training for classic physique development.
In summary, exercise choices based on anatomical kinesiology principles, 8 total sets per body part (usually with 2 exercises, 4 sets eat), 8 reps for upper body and 15 reps for legs, short interset rests = 30 seconds, train most body parts 2 times a week with 72 hours of rest in between, etc.
I add to that some mobility training to work the body as a functional unit, offset computer posture, maintain natural range of motion and joint mobility, and to stay injury free.
What’s your favorite post-workout meal?
I’m not a big supplement guy, so I usually go with whole foods. I usually have a 8oz serving of relatively lean animal protein and 1-2 pieces of whole fruit. That will have most Sports Nutrition guys cringing, but here is the truth.
Protein for amino acids of course, but the fruit provides some fast digesting carbs for quick glycogen restoration and to prevent muscle protein breakdown/catabolic activity, without a huge insulin spike and subsequent rebound hypoglycemia (this is important because I train at lunch and still have the rest of the day to get through).
Immediately post-workout is the one time you don’t really need insulin to get carbs into the muscle cell.
Muscular contractions translocate glucose transporters (GLUT4) to the muscle cell membrane, and facilitate glucose uptake into the muscle cell. It’s called the insulin-INDEPENDENT phase of glycogen restoration.
What you want is fast-digesting carbs post-workout, not necessarily insulin-spiking carbs. And although fruit is low glycemic, it is one of the fastest digesting carbs.
I then follow that up with a huge dinner, with the majority of my calories and all of my starchy carbohydrates eaten at night.
Overall, it is the Intermittent Fast/Hunt & Feast structure, with some post-workout modifications. By the way, that’s just theory, but there is a ton of science that backs this approach up.
What’s your favorite non-healthy food?
I’m half Japanese and half Irish, so I’m split right down the middle. Whiskey and Tempura.
What’s the best fitness advice you’ve been given?
Well it is not advice that was given to me personally, and it’s not even fitness advice. It comes from the world of martial arts and philosophy. But I think it applies perfectly to our Iron Game. It comes from the one and only Bruce Lee.
He was against the dogmatic adherence to systems, following traditions, gurus, and creeds instead of finding your own way. And what was his advice for the martial artists, and for living a good life in general?
“Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is essentially your own.”
What tips do you have for people looking to lose fat?
This one is easy my friend. Focus on diet first. Any bodybuilder worth his posing panties will tell you diet by far has the greatest impact on your physique goals, more so than anything else.
Don’t become one of those lost souls who works out 8 days a week, thinks they can out-train a poor diet, and ends up getting nowhere.
More About Nate Miyaki
Besides being a certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist, Nate Miyaki is also a regular writer for Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, T-Nation, Bodybuilding.com, and LIVESTRONG.
Become your best self today by signing up for a PRO membership with Exercise.com. You will have instant access to hundreds of workout plans, diet guidelines and even a personal trainer!