Mike: [00:00:05] Hello and welcome to episode 11 of the How To Become A Personal Trainer Podcast. We are your hosts Mike Vacanti.
Jordan: [00:00:09] My name is Jordan Syatt.
Mike: [00:00:10] And today was fun.
Jordan: [00:00:12] It was a relatively quick podcast — 45 minutes or so, I think.
Mike: [00:00:15] Yep.
Jordan: [00:00:16] And, uh, spoke a lot about the type of content you should really be focusing on. Especially if you want to build deeper and more meaningful relationships with your audience, this is going to help a lot.
Mike: [00:00:27] We also talked about Jordan’s Carnivore Diet. Jordan’s, not eating anything but meat, eggs, and fish for two weeks starting today.
Enjoy the episode.
Jordan: [00:00:46] How are you Michael?
Mike: [00:00:47] I’m hanging in there. How you doing?
Jordan: [00:00:49] Feeling good. Feeling good. After the Florida trip I’m rejuvenated.
Mike: [00:00:54] That was nice.
Jordan: [00:00:55] That was very nice.
Mike: [00:00:56] Yeah.
Jordan: [00:00:56] Mike and I went to Florida a couple of days ago. I’m trying to reach my water– aaannnnd got it.
Mike: [00:01:03] Yeah, it was great. Just immediately, as soon as we got there– like before the sun even hit my skin, I felt really good.
Jordan: [00:01:12] New York is not the, not the place to be right now with the weather and the lack of sun and the busy-ness and the just– Florida felt nice.
Mike: [00:01:20] It felt amazing.
And, and it’s a– it’s a decision that we have the luxury to make. Meaning there are obviously worse problems in the world than being in a busy spot, but we’re both in a position where, given our businesses, we get to choose where we live in the world and we’re choosing here.
And uh, yeah, it just feels good to get away from all of the speed and the constant stimulation and being in not only a warmer climate, but also somewhere that’s slower.
Jordan: [00:02:00] It was the first time in really, as long as I can remember, that not only did I not post on social media, but I didn’t even open it. And I think that was, uh, that was interesting for me–
Mike: [00:02:14] The first time in legitimately four years.
Jordan: [00:02:16] Yeah. No, literally. Where not only to not post, ’cause there’ve been days where I haven’t posted, but where I didn’t even open it. That was, that was big. And it’s interesting coming back, ’cause I had a little, little like obvious anxiety.
Anytime you break a habit, there’s going to be anxiety. Like, you have a habit that you’ve ingrained for a long period of time, the first time you break it there’s going to be like, “Oh this feels weird.” But it felt super good and wicked glad I did it. And I think one of the best things about going to Florida for me was not seeing anything, but what was in front of me. Like, whether it was going to a jujitsu class or hanging out with you or whatever it was, like, there is no– it’s, it’s interesting ’cause New York is almost like social media in a sense where it’s like New York is, it’s so busy, you see new things every second, new people, new stories, new sounds, new images constantly and, like, on social media that’s even multiplied by a million. Where just like, you can go to a new page, a new, new account, you go to the, you go to the explore page, you see hundreds and thousands of accounts within the matter of seconds. And to go and just take time away and only see what’s in front of you. Number one, it slowed time down, like you and I spoke about, which is really great and it refreshed me to come back more excited and also with a new focus on what I want to do.
I know we’re going to talk about long form content later in the, in this podcast, but definitely a new focus on what I want to post and what is really valuable to me and, like, what means a lot to me. And I think there’s a balance that I want to try and find between posting what is valuable to me and continuing to post on social media, but not letting it take up so much of my life.
Right? Where it’s like–
Mike: [00:04:08] Interesting.
Jordan: [00:04:09] Watching Gary and being in that environment, which is literally so much of his life, just all day, every day. And I mimicked that and that very much became me, where like all day, every day, social media, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, whatever, posting, posting, posting, and then obviously consuming–
Mike: [00:04:26] Whether it’s creating, consuming and also just interact with your community.
Jordan: [00:04:31] Exactly. So I think finding the balance between making sure I’m putting out a lot of content and making sure that I’m still doing what I need to do in order to reach my business goals, but also being able to take a step back and not be on it as much — sort of trying to find that happy medium, which I think is sort of the eternal struggle.
Everyone’s always tried to find that, but one thing that I very much believe is sometimes you have to go to the extreme in order to know where your limit is. So, then you can find balance. Like, it’s hard to find balance if you’ve never been to the extreme. So, I think for me having, I think– ’cause I got to, and I spoke about it when I was in Florida, I wrote the post about my anxiety and stuff. I think getting to a point where I was like, “listen, this is just getting to be a little bit too much for me now after years and years of doing it. Now it’s time to pull back.”
Mike: [00:05:19] You earned the opportunity to be able to pull back.
Jordan: [00:05:25] Yeah. I think that’s a good way to put it,
Mike: [00:05:27] Right? Like you couldn’t have come out of the gate when you– even when you were living in Israel in 2015. Like at that time, you probably– maybe you were, but in 2013 you definitely weren’t in a position where you could–
Jordan: [00:05:43] No.
Mike: [00:05:43] Have balance and still be on the trajectory that you wanted to be on, or even have a sustaining income to provide you with a living wage.
Jordan: [00:05:53] 100% yeah, and I think, even 2015, my business was mainly via email, like my email list. And even then, I was spending a lot of time on my email list and growing that. So, like, there was a lot of unbalance on that front.
Mike: [00:06:09] And unbalance at that same time period with your style of online coaching where you were replying to clients so frequently.
Jordan: [00:06:17] Within twelve hours. Yeah.
Mike: [00:06:19] That was where the lack of balance took place.
Jordan: [00:06:22] Yeah. That’s an interesting conversation to have where it’s like we always hear about people talking about, “you have to find balance. You have to find balance.” But I think part of finding balance is being unbalanced–
Mike: [00:06:32] For periods of time.
Jordan: [00:06:34] And I don’t think it’s possible to be balanced in everything at one time. I think you can balance one area and if you want to improve in an area, there will be times in which you are unbalanced. I don’t think you can really– especially in the beginning stages, right? The beginning stages of learning something; skill acquisition, whether it’s calorie counting, whether, whatever it is, coaching. When you are really trying to improve and learn and accelerate your growth, I don’t think you can do it at a very– at enough of a rate that will improve your motivation to continue if you’re not unbalanced with it.
And then once you get that base level of knowledge and skill, then you can pull back and continue to grow slowly and more sustainably. But you have to be okay with a slight period of unbalance as you really move forward.
Mike: [00:07:26] Well, and part of that period is climbing a learning curve. If it’s related to weightlifting, if it’s related to nutrition, then you’re– it’s skill acquisition and you want to acquire skills more quickly so that you can put them into play, and so you can start making progress on those fronts because that progress is necessary to get in the feedback loop that is going to keep you engaged in those activities, like making fitness progress.
But I think you’re– I think you’re right that you need unbalance not only to test your limit, but also to immerse yourself in something before you have the option to decide where you want to go from there.
I think an interesting question that I could probably guess what some of your answers are, but what are we balancing. Right? It’s been a period of unbalance in your life, meaning you’ve been going very hard on business/social media. If that came down some, what are you filling up that new time with?
Jordan: [00:08:39] You know, it’s interesting. As you’re saying that–
Mike: [00:08:41] Not to put you on the spot.
Jordan: [00:08:42] No, it’s– I think it’s an interesting discussion, but, number one, as you were saying that you were saying that I was unbalanced in terms of business first. Then you went to social media. I think it’s an important distinction, almost like just rolled right over it, because I was unbalanced in terms of my social media.
That’s where I was spending all my time. I was almost doing next to no email lists, right? Whereas before I really spent an inordinate amount of time on my email list. Then I switched to social media, and that even shows that within the subset of business, there are even further subsets. I think– and this starts with coaching, right?
If you want to have a great online coaching business, the first thing you have to do is be unbalanced and spend all of your time coaching and learning how to be a good coach. You can have the best Instagram, you can have the best YouTube, you can have the best email list, but if you aren’t a good coach, then people will know. They will find out and it will not be a sustainable business.
So, first things first is being unbalanced and becoming good coach. Then from there, learning and doing whatever medium fits you best. But first it was long form articles, then after that it went more towards more email list, and then it went towards social media.
Now I’m thinking of, going back more towards the long form content, and I’ve been doing YouTube for the last year very consistently, but going more towards YouTube, maybe even article writing. I know you were talking about that. Um–
Mike: [00:10:02] Why?
Jordan: [00:10:04] So why long form?
Mike: [00:10:06] For you. I’m not– I’m, I’m still in the “personal talk about whatever” part of the episode.
Jordan: [00:10:12] I think for me, well I definitively noticed– ’cause I’ve taken time away from social media the last few days as well, like less than I normally would. And I would look at my screen time on Instagram–
Mike: [00:10:24] Yeah, you and I went in the sauna for an hour the other day where we never do something like that and just, like, didn’t have our phones with us and hung out after and just relaxed.
Jordan: [00:10:33] Yeah, and we’re going to do that daily now.
Mike: [00:10:35] I would love to do it daily.
Jordan: [00:10:37] Um, I think– I remembered writing long form articles– and we’ve spoken about on the podcast before, it would take 12, 15, 20, 20 plus hours of work. And that’s concentrated work. Whether it’s the thinking of what you’re going to write about, researching the topic you’re going to write about, writing the topic you’re writing about, editing the article, all that stuff takes an unbelievable amount of time. Whereas Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, these are all things that you can do relatively quickly. Not necessarily, like, Instagram can still take me sometimes an hour or more to do a post, but it’s relatively fast. And I like the idea of having a long form piece of content, something that one piece of content that I’m focused on for two weeks at a time.
One piece of content that doesn’t require me to be on social media. If I want to learn about it, I can go to a book or I can go find great articles online and go do the research. I don’t necessarily have to interact with other people and I don’t have to, uh, I don’t have to be somebody. I don’t have to put myself out there.
It’s literally just focusing on what I want to learn with myself in the information as opposed to being on a platform that is easily distracting me or bringing out any insecurities that I have, whatever it is. It’s, like, just purely focused on that one piece of content for one week, two weeks, three weeks at a time, and really making that piece of content the best piece of content as I can.
There’s obviously benefits from that as well. Within that one piece, one article, I could probably have five, six, seven, eight, maybe Instagram posts within there– different ideas within it, but from a personal level, I just like the idea of having something that I can get away from social media, get away from a lot of that interaction and a lot of the really quick, never ending stuff going on.
Take myself away from it and still do something productive towards my goal.
Mike: [00:12:28] Toward your goal. And I think the learning and creating aspect of it is, you know, you mentioned time earlier and kind of being– the theory that Jordan and I kind of came up with, and this is a very bro theory that we were throwing off each other in Florida, but there are periods of time where it feels like time is moving very slow, and there are periods of time where time feels like it flew by. And the busy periods– and busy-ness can be in life. It can be you have a lot of appointments; you can be enamored by a work project–
Jordan: [00:13:04] You can be busy in your head.
Mike: [00:13:06] Yeah. Yeah. Just racing thoughts. Yes, absolutely. Uh, time goes by very fast, whereas when you’re present and when you’re focused on what you’re doing in that moment and when you’re undistracted– and the way that we experienced lack of distraction was basically no cell phones and we were in nature on the beach, water, like good conversation with a person–
Jordan: [00:13:32] Or the cold pool.
Mike: [00:13:33] Yeah. Or the cold pool.
Jordan: [00:13:33] We should talk about that.
Mike: [00:13:34] Oh my gosh. Time doesn’t move when you’re in the cold pool.
Jordan: [00:13:36] Isn’t that crazy how slowly it goes?
Mike: [00:13:40] Because you’re, you’re just with it.
Jordan: [00:13:42] Yeah.
Mike: [00:13:43] We were in the hot tub and then jumped into the cold pool–
Jordan: [00:13:45] And this thing is freezing. Like this thing is– I want to bring a thermometer to see how cold– it is unbelievably cold. It really is.
Mike: [00:13:54] Yeah. Yup. I don’t, I would venture to guess it’s in the upper thirties.
Jordan: [00:13:59] Yeah.
Mike: [00:14:00] I think– if we’re just way off and it’s 65 degrees then I’ll feel like an idiot, but I think that’s the purpose.
Jordan: [00:14:06] Yeah.
Mike: [00:14:06] I thought I was in the thing for maybe 30-45 seconds, just jumping in and hanging out there for a little bit and getting out, and then we did it timed and the clock had moved maybe eight seconds. I was like, “Oh, this is about how long I was in here the first time.”
Jordan: [00:14:25] Yeah. Yeah. But that whole theory of like time moving fast versus time of being slow– it’s, it’s so interesting how when you’re doing something, and really– and this goes back to being present in the moment, which I think a lot of people talk about, more like for clicks and likes then then actually really caring about it.
But, it’s an interesting concept to look at in terms of whatever it is you’re doing, being able to focus on the people you’re with, the nature you’re in, whatever it is you’re doing, and really focusing on that– ’cause that’s when time really slows down. And I think the more you can– it’ll be interesting to do, but the more you can focus on that– it doesn’t have to be all day, every day, but having that as part of your day will probably, like, help you out in terms of rejuvenate you, give you more energy and more patience to deal with other stuff throughout the day.
Mike: [00:15:16] Yeah, absolutely.
How’s your Carnivore Diet going?
Jordan: [00:15:23] Day one, Carnivore Challenge started today. Had a diarrhea already, which is not really normal for me. I usually have great poops. I had one– I usually have two to three poops a day. Very frequent pooper.
Mike: [00:15:37] Yeah, that is a lot.
Jordan: [00:15:37] And uh, I had a normal one this morning, which was one of my better poops. I was really happy with it. Just clean. Came out clean, but it was like a lot. So, it was just like felt great.
Mike: [00:15:50] And anyone who thinks this is gross, you might think that, but it’s actually very important. The quality of your poop is, you know, I’m not a gut health expert, but from everything I’ve read and consumed, there’s a strong correlation between what’s going on there and how it comes out.
Jordan: [00:16:07] Yeah. I mean, yeah. I know literally nothing about it, but it was a great one.
Mike: [00:16:11] You had a good, clean poop.
Jordan: [00:16:12] And you and I had these talks all the time anyway about our poops.
Mike: [00:16:14] Correct.
Jordan: [00:16:15] So, then about, I dunno, 20-30 minutes after I had my first carnivore meal– I don’t know if it’s related or not, but I usually don’t get diarrhea and I got a pretty bad diarrhea after I had just steak. So.
And it’s interesting cause I have steak on a relatively frequent basis.
Mike: [00:16:36] And anyone who’s not familiar, the Carnivore Diet is a diet where you only eat meat.
Jordan: [00:16:42] It’s meat, eggs, fish, and some dairy is apparently okay, but I’m not going to have it just for the sake of the people who are really hardcore Carnivore and come on like, “you didn’t really do Carnivore ’cause you had dairy.” So yeah, I’m just, I’m literally just having steak, chicken, beef, maybe– I don’t really, I don’t like Turkey very much. It’s a little dry for me, but steak, beef, chicken.
Mike: [00:17:08] Plus, if you’re only eating meat, eating lean meats doesn’t, like, it’s just not satisfying. And, from a caloric perspective, you think about how many calories or how much chicken breast you would need if that was all you were eating per meal.
Jordan: [00:17:20] It’s nauseating to even think about.
So that’s it. Started off with that and had two steaks.
Mike: [00:17:30] Two weeks, you’re doing it for.
Jordan: [00:17:31] So, so the whole– I was originally only going to do the Carnivore Diet for two or three weeks. That was it, but– or 30 days. But there’s a fair amount of people online who’ve already done something like that and none of them, to my knowledge, have shown what happens when you stop and go back to incorporating more carbs into your diet or other foods in general. And I was like, this isn’t giving people the full picture. Because if someone goes and does keto, someone does Carnivore, or whatever it is– I know they’re different, but they’re very similar. They only see what happens when you stick to it, but they don’t see what happens when you stop.
So oftentimes– sometimes people stop, not because they don’t want to do it or because they can’t do it, but because they’re put in a situation where it’s almost impossible to do it. Whether it’s on vacation or at a party or whatever it is. Maybe you just have one meal where they go off track for that specific diet and then they see the scale spike up or whatever it is, and they think they’re ruined everything. And I want to show people what happens when you stop so that you can see that it’s very normal and you didn’t ruin any progress.
So, I’m doing two weeks on Carnivore and then one week just regular eating, just to show people what happens to the scale, what happens– but I’m also measuring my blood pressure daily throughout it. I’m going to measure my energy levels. I’m going to measure my performance in the gym and jujitsu. I’m going to talk about my sleep and my poops. Like these are like the main measurements that I’ll be taking throughout because I don’t only want to make it about weight loss.
I want to measure all these different aspects so people can see how it affects me, my health, my performance, my energy, all that stuff.
Mike: [00:19:10] Did you weigh in this morning?
Jordan: [00:19:11] Yeah, I did. I was 154.8, so.
Mike: [00:19:15] All right. We will see what happens. Predicting sub- 150 by day– day seven.
Jordan: [00:19:23] That would be– all right, so about five pounds down in seven days?
I think that’s a pretty– assuming I just don’t eat an outrageous amount of meat.
Mike: [00:19:31] Well, and part of the Carnivore Diet is– my understanding from what you’ve told me based on your research for this, is that you’re not supposed to track calories or macronutrients.
Jordan: [00:19:41] Yup. You just, you’re supposed to eat. Mark Bell said, “if you’re not hungry for meat or fish or eggs, then your hunger is fake,” which is interesting.
You know what I will say though, and this goes, this is a whole topic that I always get some kickback on this. A lot of people ask, “how do you get rid of sugar cravings?” And I think it’s a whole different– a whole discussion, we can talk about it if you want. But, I mean, this is literally day one, so, take it for what it’s worth, but when I only had steak and I didn’t have anything else, I wasn’t craving anything else.
Like, when I didn’t have any other carbs, I didn’t have any fruits. Like, when it was only one food, that was– I didn’t crave anything. I got full relatively quickly and that was it. I think it’s actually an important– we could go on and on talking about sugar cravings or palatable foods, what have you, but to limit– and this is, the research on this is overwhelmingly clear: if you look at research around how many calories people can eat at buffets, statistically people will eat more at a buffet when they can have any of the foods that they want, because they’ll change different foods, the palatability is sweet, salty, whatever.
Whereas if you’re limited to only one or two or whatever it is, just several foods, then statistically your calorie intake will drop just based– which makes total sense, because you can only eat so many of a certain amount of food. So, I think there’s a lot to be said for, especially if you want to get into the reducing sugar cravings, wherever it is, limiting it for a period of time before you then reincorporate it back in your diet if you want to.
Mike: [00:21:17] What I think is most interesting and not enough people do is eat– or try different styles of eating like you’re doing with this experiment. And testing not just their progress, because progress in a shorter window isn’t necessarily going to be indicative of long-term progress, but really gauge how you feel.
How are you sleeping? How are your energy levels? How’s your training? How is your hunger for the number of calories you’re consuming? How you feel in general, how are your poops? Like, I know, ’cause I’ve tried periods of low carbohydrate diets, I just do really well on more carbs. Especially from a training performance perspective.
Like, I suspect I have very good insulin sensitivity. I handle carbohydrates very well. But what’s interesting is when we were in Florida, I did the Carnivore Diet for one meal where literally we had steaks and the waitress asked if we wanted asparagus on the side. And I looked at Jordan and I looked back at her and I said, “no, thank you. That’s not part of our diet.”
Jordan: [00:22:32] She still brought the asparagus and French fries over.
Mike: [00:22:35] Which we set behind objects, so he couldn’t really see them, which is a little hack I’ve always used if I don’t want to snack on something. But I actually felt digestively really good not having any carbs in a meal.
But it’s, it’s interesting to try different “diets,” really just work in different food choices, not for the purpose of aesthetics or scale weight, but strictly how you feel, how your training is, how you sleep.
Jordan: [00:23:05] I think that’s so important. And it’s so– it’s actually, it’s surprisingly against the grain in the science-based community, which is very odd to me. The science-based community, a lot of people got really upset that I was even considering doing this challenge. And for me, the whole purpose of science is to, regardless of what you currently believe, try new things to see what happens. That’s an experiment. You have a– you want to run an experiment, you want to run a trial, you have a thesis, whatever it is, like try something, especially if you disagree with it. So at least you know you can run an experiment.
And I think doing that with yourself, whether it’s with food, whether it’s with exercises– like, how you’re exercising, the types of lists you’re doing. And that’s like the reason why I sumo deadlift. I sumo deadlift because I tried sumo, I tried conventional, I did both for a while and I always found my back hurt more after conventional deadlifting, even though my technique was “good,” it still was way more sore and sumo felt great. That’s why I stick with sumo usually.
It’s like, running experiments like this is so important. I think people run into issues when they try a new one every fourth day and then they never give it enough time to really see what works well for them.
Mike: [00:24:19] Or they abandon core principles completely.
Jordan: [00:24:23] What do you mean by that?
Mike: [00:24:26] Like, when I’m talking about trying different variations of diets, I’m not talking about the zero-calorie water only diet. Although I, you know, what, fasting for spiritual purposes, I’m, I’m into that. So even that I would give a pass.
I guess another example would be, you know, you talk about trying different training styles. Like, only long-distance running for the purpose of hypertrophy. Like, that’s not like a, don’t follow your intuition that way. Like, we’re pretty solid there. But yeah, testing within what, what you think might feel good for you, I mean, why not? I don’t, I don’t understand the pushback except that it, you know, people who are “fans” are like very into your work to the point that they might have some of their identity wrapped up in your ideas and then see you trying something different kind of breaks their world up a little bit.
Jordan: [00:25:28] I actually didn’t get anyone like that. It mainly was fitness professionals who are– who say they’re very science-based, who are very deep into the calorie-counting crowd, who like– listen, I’m big on calorie counting. I’m big on tracking calories.
Mike: [00:25:43] But I think you would– you would agree that if you eat 4,800 calories per day of meat that you’re going to gain
Jordan: [00:25:50] I’m still gonna gain fat. Exactly.
Mike: [00:25:51] Like, the scale might come down — muscle glycogen, we understand.
Jordan: [00:25:54] It’s the same thing– I got the same kickback with the Big Mac Challenge initially from people being like, “this is bad. You’re promoting unhealthy eating.” It’s the same thing. They’re like, “this is bad. You’re promoting people doing it.”
I’m like– the question that really got them. I was like, “how do you know I’m promoting it?” They’re like, “what do you mean?” I was like, “what makes you think that I’m promoting this?” “Like, well, you’re doing it.” I was like, “I said, I’m going to do it and I’m going to give you my full honest thoughts and feedback. I haven’t even done it yet. I haven’t even done a day of it yet. How do you, how do you know? I’m not going to say this is a bad idea for everyone to do it.”
And they had no– they just didn’t reply. It was like the whole purpose– and by the way, if we’re going to sort of segue into social media, my social media has not grown any more– if we look at like every single piece of content I’ve done, the single piece of content that has grown my social media the most is the Big Mac Challenge. And the engagement that I got from people watching me weigh-in on Instagram every day and interacting with people watching me eat this. It was astronomical. And I don’t say it from like “do it for the engagement.” I’m saying do it because when you– if you’re a coach and you’re not practicing what you preach and you’re not running these experiments on yourself, it’s very hard for people to relate to you. When you show– this is a great way to sort of document what you’re doing.
If you are on a– if you are trying to lose fat, show people how you’re doing it. If you’re trying to increase your deadlift, show people your programming, show people what you’re doing. If you’re trying to get 10 chin ups. Show people your program, make it public, make it a clear documentation of it, and you’ll get more people engaged with what you’re doing.
Mike: [00:27:31] Not only for that reason, but also something interesting you said to me recently, because when you’re really doing it, when you’re practicing what you preach, you’re a better coach as a result.
Jordan: [00:27:44] Absolutely.
Mike: [00:27:45] Who was the jujitsu coach that, that– wasn’t a jujitsu thing? Someone who– even when you’re a professor, you have–
Jordan: [00:27:52] Tom DeBlass. Tom DeBlass– uh, a guy I follow on Instagram, a very well-known jujitsu practitioner and coach, one of the most famous in the world. One of his posts recently was basically saying, to the effect of 10 things you need to know if you’re a jujitsu coach or something. And I like watching other coaches in other mediums, like I like watching how coaches will coach jujitsu even though it has nothing to do with strength training.
I like watching how they cue. I like watching how they manage the class. I like watching the words that they use. I like everything. I like watching how their write Instagram posts. And so, one of his posts was “10 things that you need to know if you’re a jujitsu coach.” And one of them was just being like: you can never stop training. No matter how much you’re coaching, no matter how many hours you’re on the floor, coaching your students, that should never ever replace your own training time. Because when you stop training, number one, you stop improving. Number two, you lose your passion for it. It’s like– it was very profound because I’ve gone through periods of time, and I know you have too, where– I mean, especially when you’re coaching in-person, especially when you’re coaching in-person and you coach for 10 hours a day, you’re on your feet, you’re exhausted. It’s like, it can be the last thing you want to do is your own workout.
Mike: [00:29:04] Of course.
Jordan: [00:29:04] You know? So, I really resonated with that.
Mike: [00:29:07] And– which, just hats off to the in-person coaches who are going hard, putting in 6, 8, 10 sessions a day and still getting your own training in. That’s huge. And that’s going to pay massive dividends. Obviously physically, but also mentally. Because what I have experienced is when I am pursuing a fitness goal, I am not only a better version of myself overall in life, but I am a more engaged coach, I’m a more attentive coach, I am, uh, I think passion is the right word.
I’m more interested and engaged with my client’s goals because fitness is more at the forefront of, of not only my mind, but my body and my decision making and everything.
Jordan: [00:29:54] Absolutely. And I think it’s equally important to have it– in the same way that when your client comes in the door, one of the first things you’re going to ask outside of, “Hey, how are you?” is like, “what’s your goal?” And if you’re a coach and you don’t have a goal it can lead to a lot of just feeling stale in your training and, just like with your clients, if they don’t have a goal, then why are they going to be excited to go? It’s one of the reasons I love powerlifting so much because powerlifting, it gave me an opportunity to compete and it made my training more purposeful and driven.
I have a lot of my clients and Inner Circle members compete in powerlifting, not because they want to or I want them to become a world record holder, but because it’s going to motivate them to go to the gym and have something to focus on outside of the scale and aesthetics and just drive them to be better.
I can see that– I mean, even just recently since starting jujitsu, my training has been better than it has been for years ’cause I have a competition. It’s like, I’ve been more consistent with my training in the last four months than I’ve been with, since I started coaching Gary, which was almost four years ago.
Actually. Crazy. I just got on my Facebook today, a memory from literally four years ago when I flew from Israel to here to interview with Gary and stayed with you.
Mike: [00:31:08] That’s awesome. February, 2016?
Jordan: [00:31:12] February 24, 2016– 2016 yeah.
Mike: [00:31:16] That’s so cool. I’m thinking about re-pursuing 225– this is, the NFL combine is this week.
Jordan: [00:31:23] Oh, is it really?
Mike: [00:31:24] We’re going to be in Indianapolis.
Jordan: [00:31:26] Got it. That’s why.
Mike: [00:31:27] And, uh, I remember years back, I had the goal of 20 reps on the barbell bench at 225 pounds. That I never– I think I, I think I got 13 and my right shoulder was, you know–
Jordan: [00:31:42] You were having some neck issues and all that. Yeah.
Mike: [00:31:45] Yeah. And uh, I’m getting the hunger to re-pursue that.
Jordan: [00:31:50] Especially after those workouts in Florida.
Mike: [00:31:52] Yeah. I have the best– I should absolutely be in Florida. There’s no reason that I’m still in New York City other than Gary. But that time will come.
Should we talk about in this era, this day and age of Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and TikTok, and people– millennials, and they don’t have a long enough attention span and you need to make the content quick and it needs to be easily consumable…
Is there a place for long-form content?
I mean, I think if you’re listening, you know both of our answers.
Jordan: [00:32:29] I would, I hope…
Mike: [00:32:30] As you listen to a podcast.
Jordan: [00:32:33] That’s really it, right? It’s like, if you’re listening to a podcast– and I don’t know where what, at least 20 minutes in right now?
Mike: [00:32:39] Yeah, I think a half-hour.
Jordan: [00:32:42] Everyone loves to talk about how no one has attention spans nowadays, and meanwhile, you’re listening to 30 minutes of a podcast, and I think that obviously the quick, rapid content on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook is incredibly beneficial, but I think, in the same way that, in the same way that cardio is beneficial, you don’t only want to do cardio. I would say, actually, if– and here, this is going to hit a lot of people in the stomach:
If you are a major proponent of strength training and even, you would say, prioritize strength training over cardio, but you are doing more short-form content like Instagram and Twitter and whatnot and not doing long-form content, whether it’s podcasts or YouTube videos or website articles, you are being hypocritical basically in the same way that your clients would be being hypocritical if they were doing only cardio, not strength training.
It’s the same thing. Like, the strength training, as you know, is more of a long-term investment. Over the long-term, it’s going to be harder to build up. It’s harder to build up strength, but– and you might get a more short-term kick from the cardio, like endorphin rush, uh, sweating, feeling good in the moment, which is great, you can do it. It shouldn’t make up the majority of your training, though, in the same way that the majority of your content creation should not be short-form content.
Mike: [00:34:11] And coming from someone who has over 600,000 Instagram followers. Can you elaborate on why? Because I know there are people listening who don’t do any long-form content, but who might be pretty consistent doing a good job on social media with short form.
Why is long-form like strength training?
Jordan: [00:34:32] Many, many reasons, but I’ll say this, number one, and I think we spoke– have we spoke about with versus depth this this podcast?
Mike: [00:34:38] I think so.
Jordan: [00:34:39] Basically to the effect of, when you’re making content, they’re two different goals. With content, you could have width, which is content designed to try and reach more people and uh, to help more people to– it more often is more information based. Uh, but then you also have depth-driven content, which is basically, you’re not trying to get new followers with it, but you’re trying to really make a deeper connection with the people who already follow you. And when you’re starting out from zero, zero followers on Instagram, zero people on your website, zero people on your podcast.
It’s going to be difficult no matter what. But seeing the follower number rise on Instagram and Twitter and whatnot, it can be addicting, number one. And number two is when you don’t have anyone following you on any platform I would say it is beneficial to spend a fair amount of time on the short-form content because that’s going to get new eyes, you’re going to get more width, more people, so when you do put out longer-form content, there’ll be more people to ideally spend more time on your stuff.
But as your audience grows, and it doesn’t have to grow a lot, it can be a hundred followers, which is a lot. If you have a hundred people listening to a 45-minute podcast, that is a lot of people taking a lot of time out of their day to listen to you talk for almost an hour. And that’s where people really misunderstand the value of long-form content.
When someone is willing to spend 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, an hour– Joe Rogan puts out three-hour podcasts and people watch the whole thing. By people, I mean myself. Like, people watch the whole thing. It’s when you’re– when you have people spending that much time, they are so much more invested in you, both as a coach but also as a person.
More of your own personality can come out in a longer-form piece of content. People feel like they’re more connected to you. They trust you more. They like you more. They want to support you more. The long-form content is where you– the short-form content is where you get more attention on you, the long-form content is where you separate the people who are just going to maybe double tap your stuff, but not ever care about you from the people who are going to support you in every endeavor you have.
It’s basically like the difference between your best friend in the world, who you’d want to be at your wedding and who you’d want to give a toast at your wedding, versus someone that you meet at the– at Starbucks and not even meet someone that in line behind you at Starbucks who you don’t even know their name.
It’s like, that’s the difference. It’s like, you want the person who is going to be at your wedding, who toasts you at your wedding, who is one of your best friends. And the more you create that long-form, in-depth content, the fewer people you’re going to have there. In the same way you’re going to have fewer people at your wedding than you will ever see in your life, but those are the people that matter.
Mike: [00:37:27] Really well said. That’s a really good point.
Another one that comes to mind for me is the searchability of most long-form content relative to short-form content. At least the way things are laid out now and have been for the last almost decade is the places where you can search for things, when you have a question, when your client opens Google and wants to know why the scale went up four pounds overnight, they are typing a question in.
And they are going to either get an article or a video that answers that question. And it could have been something created two months ago or two years ago, or I still see 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015-year published articles hitting the top of Google, getting thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of clicks per day.
Not from someone random who followed you three years ago and still follows you, and so you popped up in their feed because they were bored lying in bed before going to sleep scrolling, but because they had a very specific question to help them with a problem and your piece of content that you made three years ago is exactly what they get in that moment. It’s the thing they’re searching for.
And, uh, podcast searchability– Jordan and I are working on putting together a website, actually, for this podcast to help with the searchability, but, uh, podcast searchability through Google, to my knowledge isn’t great in this regard, but YouTube and articles are what’s called evergreen content, where that is going to exist for a substantial period of time and be useful for that amount of time.
On the contrary, an Instagram post that you publish today probably won’t get looked at beyond three or four days from now very much at all. And the same goes for a Facebook post, and the same absolutely goes for a Snapchat or a tweet or a TikTok video.
That’s just a, a fundamental difference that I think a lot of people don’t think about.
Jordan: [00:39:52] That’s incredibly well said and completely accurate. I mean, one of my videos– if you Google search “bat wing row,” my video from, that I made in college, in a noisy gym, I believe it was 2013, 2012-2013 maybe? You can literally Google it right now, Google search, “bat wing row,” my videos, the first one to come up. That still drives new people my way, and that was like eight years ago.
My Bulgarian split squat tutorial– and these are just exercise tutorials on YouTube. These aren’t like crazy videos; they’re just exercise videos. Me explaining how to do the exercise.
Same with my single leg. RDL if you searched “single leg RDL,” on Google, mine’s the first one to come up. And these are just exercise videos.
Mike: [00:40:34] Yeah. I still– people ask like, “Oh, you’re not posting, like, what are you doing? Are you doing– are you still coaching?” And like I get multiple coaching inquiries a week, just from the article I wrote on reverse dieting in 2015, like, that– articles and videos pay. And not every, not every video, the Jordan’s ever made SEOs #1 for any specific term.
Jordan: [00:41:02] A fraction of them.
Mike: [00:41:03] Yeah. Most of them don’t. But the ones that do–
Jordan: [00:41:07] Are worth it.
Mike: [00:41:07] Yeah, exactly.
Jordan: [00:41:09] It’s, it’s so interesting: a lot of people talk about how people, “people on Instagram don’t have an intention span.”
So why are you focusing on Instagram? Why are you surprised that a social medium specifically designed for quick content, that the people on there don’t have a big attention span? Why are you shocked? That’s like going to a vegan restaurant and being like, “Oh, they don’t even have any meat here. “It’s like, of course, because it’s a vegan restaurant.
Why are you on a super quick medium and surprised? If you want people who have a longer attention span, go to a social medium that demands a longer attention span. Do podcasts, write long-form articles, do YouTube videos. The YouTube videos and podcasts are the ones that I’m focusing on. I focused on YouTube all last year, doing YouTube and podcast this year because that’s what’s important to me.
It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing Instagram, but it does mean I’ll spend less time there and I’m going to spend as much time as they can on that platform, pushing people to my other platforms. It’s not that they’re not interested in it, it’s not that they don’t have an attention span, it’s that a lot of times they don’t know that you have it.
I still get, people ask me, “Oh my God, you have a podcast? Do you do coaching?” All that stuff. And it’s like in my mind, like, of course, but how are they supposed to know? They might’ve just found me. So getting people to those platforms– if I get, I don’t know if I get a thousand people swiping up to, uh– if I get, I don’t know, let’s say I have 40,000 people looking at my story and I have a swipe up to a YouTube video and I get a thousand people swiping up. So, all of a sudden, I had 40,000 people who saw it, only a thousand of them will swipe up. Of those thousand that swipe up, only a fraction of them are going to subscribe to the channel and only a fraction of them are ever going to watch another video.
So, it’s not to convert everybody at one time, it’s just to get as many people there as you can on a consistent basis because over time it will happen. Over– I mean, I, one of my longstanding clients, good friends, Tony Dolezal, he’s been in the Inner Circle literally since day one. He was, literally, he says this story all the time: he was my 27th YouTube subscriber. He was like, “I was 27.” He knew the number. And uh, and you’ll get that. You’ll like, you will get those people who just love you and support you and will, like, be there for you and will watch everything you put out no matter what.
And it’s almost funny going back to what we started talking about before, it’s like, those are the people that really matter. Like it doesn’t– not, not that the other people don’t matter at all, like, their lives matter of course, but, like, the people that really matter to what you are trying to accomplish are the ones who care as much about you as you care about them.
Mike: [00:43:54] Yeah. Very well said.
What else? Long-form content. Depth versus width is really important. SEO searchability is huge and something people don’t think about a lot. I think in general, and this isn’t to push people towards or away from long-form content, but making content that you enjoy making is– I’ll put it this way: if you can make content that you enjoy making or you can make content that you don’t love making and both have equal benefit to others, do the one you enjoy making.
Jordan: [00:44:31] Yeah.
Mike: [00:44:32] Because that’s going to make it more sustainable and that’s gonna make you happier as a coach and as a content creator. That’s something that recently– not even recently. In the last year or two, I’ve had the luxury of having a full coaching business, and so I haven’t had pressure to make a Facebook video every single week like I did for a long time or make content that I was enjoying making less and I’ve made less total content.
But part of the reason why we’re on episode 11 and we’re doing these every single week is because I love sitting down and talking with you about coaching and about fitness and about non-fitness and just bullshitting and whatever. And I knew that going into it was even if I don’t necessarily want to be on the grind of making certain types of content all the time, this is something that I wanted to do.
And thinking about that when not only testing different platforms and seeing what you like more or less with different forms of long-form content. If you like being on video more after doing a few videos, do more video. If you like talking and podcasts and it feels good after, do more podcasts.
If you can get in a flow state relatively easily while writing and you feel that meaningful sensation when you’re making written content, write more articles. But factoring in how much you enjoy making the content into your decision of what type of content to make.
Jordan: [00:46:09] Sounds exactly like the advice any coach would give their client. Like, find the workout you enjoy, find the diet, you enjoy.
Mike: [00:46:14] I love these analogies.
Jordan: [00:46:15] It’s the same thing, right? It literally–, as you were saying it in my head, I was like, just switch one word and it changes, it all of a sudden makes sense to them. It’s like you’re not going to have your client do a plant-based diet if they’re a butcher and they love meat.
Like, you’re not going to have them do that. And you’re not going to have someone who is like very adamant about not eating meat because they care about it and that’s what they’re really passionate about, you’re not going to force them to do the keto diet. It just makes no sense whatsoever.
Mike: [00:46:41] Yes.
Jordan: [00:46:42] Like there’s no reason to force yourself to do YouTube if you are petrified of being on video and that would lead to you doing the zero videos. Like, we would rather you do whatever you’re going to love it because that’s going to be more consistent and something is always better than nothing, as you always say to your clients.
Mike: [00:46:58] Yup, absolutely right.
Jordan: [00:47:00] I think we’re going to cut this one short today? This will be– what time is it?
Mike: [00:47:05] And not even that short. I think we’re– we’re over 45 minutes.
Jordan: [00:47:09] Got it. All right, so we’ll be back. We got a– we got a really good response to the one about programming for fat loss. That one got a really good response.
So, if you have any questions about that or anything that you’d like us to answer, we already got a few already in the reviews, please let us know.
Definitely a five-star review if you’ve enjoyed it so far. Any questions, leave them in the spot to review as well. We’ll do a Q&A for those. Uh, and thank you so much.
Mike: [00:47:34] You guys have a great day.