Mike: [00:00:05] Hello and welcome to episode 13 of the How To Become A Personal Trainer podcast, we’re your hosts Mike Vacanti.
Jordan: [00:00:09] My name is Jordan Syatt, and this episode was probably my favorite that we’ve done so far.
Mike: [00:00:14] Yeah, I had a great time.
We did not talk about building muscle, the muscle building pyramid part two will be coming next week, but in this episode, what’d we talk about?
Jordan: [00:00:22] We spoke about the lesson we’ve learned from coaching Gary, which were super important.
We spoke about the, probably the most important book that every coach, every trainer, and really every human should read, especially if they want to, uh, they want to get better at– actually, I’m not even gonna say, I’m not going to say you just, you gotta read this book.
Mike: [00:00:37] You gotta read the book. And, uh, I did a workout in street clothes that took 14 minutes all together. I didn’t warm up and it was exclusively bench press.
We will talk about that now.
Jordan: [00:00:57] Hello Michael.
Mike: [00:00:58] How are you?
Jordan: [00:00:59] I’m well, it’s a beautiful day out.
Mike: [00:01:01] It’s amazing outside, and I love our idea. Jordan and I have been hanging out for the previous 47 minutes, approximately, and so we’ve already had our own kind of intro section, but there’s still a couple of things I withheld from Jord, so he has some surprises coming in this introductory section of the podcast.
But going forward, we have a new strategy where we’re not going to talk to each other the whole day before the podcast, and then Jordan is going to come over and I’m going to have the whole podcast ready. We’re not going to say a single word to each other, and he’s just going to sit down, I’m going to hit record, and then we talk starting next week.
Jordan: [00:01:36] Mike does this thing for the entirety of our friendship where, doesn’t matter if we’re hanging out one on one or if we’re on the phone or texting. He’ll have big news. He’ll be like, “big news. Have something crazy to tell you.” And we’ll start talking and I’ll be like, “what is it?” He’ll be like, “I’ll tell you later.”
And it’s like, if he’s in Minnesota or something, I’ll be like, “what’s going on?” He’ll be like, “I’ll tell you when I see you,” which is going to be like, in a week. I’ll be like, “just tell me now.” He’s like, “no, no, no, no. I want to see your face when I tell you.”
So, I see him today as we’re driving across town to the lair in which we do these podcasts. And he’s like, “I have an idea for the intro of this, this podcast.” I’m like, “what is it?” He’s like, “I’ll tell you when we start.”
Mike: [00:02:27] I already kind of alluded to part of it, but–
Jordan: [00:02:30] In this intro?
Mike: [00:02:31] No, in, in hanging out with you.
Jordan: [00:02:33] Got it. Okay.
Mike: [00:02:34] But in this episode, we’re going to be talking about the muscle building pyramid and we’ll get to that. Right now, there’s a question you asked me on the way over, or at some point you said, what did I do for my work out? ‘Cause I had a good workout.
Jordan: [00:02:49] Oh, well you prefaced by saying, you were like, “dude, my workout.” And I was like, “was it good?” You were like, “dude.” I was like, “what was it?” You were like, “I’ll tell you on the podcast.”
Mike: [00:03:01] I walked in to New York Sports Club in the clothes that I was wearing on my way to go pick up some podcast equipment. I spent approximately 14 minutes in the gym. I didn’t warm up and I did a pyramid of barbell bench press, and after my last set, I dropped it down to 135 and I repped it out as many times as I could. And that was the entire workout. And I feel great.
Jordan: [00:03:28] Really?
Mike: [00:03:28] And to preface that, I haven’t been feeling the best. Last week I was a bit– just a bad cold, but there were a few nights where, like two nights in a row, I slept over 14 hours. And one day I didn’t reply to any client emails and I was just out of it and I’m starting to get back, but for my own health as well as not to obviously get other people sick, I hadn’t worked out in six days and I still hadn’t quite gotten back to 100%. And I’ve had this theory that might actually be a real thing that exists, but basically, having something to press against in life is necessary.
Like if you, if you stay still, if you stay in a state of relaxation permanently, you’re not only you’ll physically atrophy, but you’ll mentally and emotionally atrophy into inaction. And I felt like I should be healthy on the back end of a cold, but I wasn’t feeling quite 100%.
And even though I didn’t feel like working out, I was like, “what can I do that I wouldn’t hate?” Barbell bench press. And so, I just walked in, you know, I did a three-minute warmup and then did maybe eight or nine sets with minimal rest time, got out of there. And I feel 10 times better than I did this morning.
Jordan: [00:04:51] What’d you work up to?
Mike: [00:04:54] An amount of weight that embarrasses me to share on the podcast.
I think the top set I did was like 205 for some reps.
Jordan: [00:05:06] That’s good. I mean, you’re sick and you haven’t like consistently bench press in a while, right?
Mike: [00:05:10] That’s correct. But I still have an ego.
Jordan: [00:05:16] Fair enough.
Mike: [00:05:17] But it was, it felt really good just to do anything. Like, just to feel some– really to feel something to press against. And in this it was physical, right? It was training. So, it was a physical stressor, but any kind of like, you know, even doing work or having an attentive conversation where you’re listening to someone that maybe you don’t necessarily be wanting to have that conversation, but you force yourself.
Having something to press up against in life is important.
Jordan: [00:05:50] You know, something happened yesterday. I was– well, it was a post on Instagram I made. One of my usual messages about patience and about just like, “stop trying to rush it,” and someone’s comment sort of sparked something in me.
They were like, “I had to learn this the hard way.” And then I tweeted out, ’cause it made me think. The tweet was to the effect of, “usually learning things the hard way is the best way.” And it’s like, I don’t know any situation in which I’ve learned something the easy way or someone’s just sort of told me to avoid something in which I’ve really internalized why it was important.
Whereas when you actually go through something and go through it in a very difficult fashion and you’re forced to overcome it and you’re forced to push through it and you’re forced to find your own way — doesn’t mean you can’t get help from others, but it means that you have to sort of slug through it and find your way through it. That’s always ends up being the most important lessons in your life.
Mike: [00:06:51] Yeah, absolutely. Because you don’t forget them.
Jordan: [00:06:54] Yeah.
Mike: [00:06:54] Not only because of the time it took you to get through that period and accomplish whatever that thing is, but because of the sheer amount of effort and energy and mental fortitude and patience and all of the attributes that are necessary to accomplish it forces the lesson to stick with you.
Jordan: [00:07:15] I think on top of that, the perspective shift is radical in terms of, if you only do what you’re told and you never make any “mistakes” or you’re never in a situation– like, as a kid, if your parents never let you make mistakes, if they never let you skin your knee type of a thing, then you don’t learn anything and you don’t have the perspective of what worse is like. You don’t have the perspective. You only know what relatively good is.
So I mean, sort of, I’d go back to– I mean, we can relate this to business, we could relate this to fitness, like, I think if we want to relate it to fitness, my mind immediately goes to the people who have done physique competitions and oftentimes develop disordered relationships with food as a result. Where they were so restrictive, so restrictive, they went to the tilapia and rice cake diet. They did that stuff. They were scared of food. They had all this bad imagery and emotion around food. And through that, then they became more flexible dieters after getting to the end of that awful period in their life where they could then become more flexible, they learned more about calories, they learn more about all of this stuff, and then with that knowledge now they can have a much better relationship with food and they can help people.
But then that brings up the whole point of understanding, you know, letting people go through it to a point is also super important because you can’t just protect them all the time.
Mike: [00:08:45] And they can’t learn without going through it. There are some lessons that you can read about and you can hear about, but until you experience– and do you know where my mind goes? It’s a completely different place, even though I love that example, uh, getting beat up as a kid.
Jordan: [00:09:04] Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.
Mike: [00:09:06] And the reason I got into boxing initially, but even had a taste for martial arts a few years ago, was because I never, like, I really never got beat up bad. I would wrestle with my friends, but I never got my ass kicked as a 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15-year-old.
And part of that was probably fear and caution and me being “smart” about avoiding certain situations or being savvy in certain situations, but part of it was just being soft also. And so, when I did get punched in the face, when I did start taking real shots, when I did, you know, had my nose– I don’t know if it was actually broken, but it was gushing blood and like felt it and knew after like, “Oh. This obviously didn’t feel great, but I’m alive and it’s something that I can take.”
I learned something about myself and about a limit that I could not have known without experiencing. I couldn’t have known from watching a Rocky movie or Creed. I couldn’t have known from hearing someone else tell a story. I had to learn by doing.
Jordan: [00:10:22] Yeah.
I mean, as you were telling that story, I was thinking about the first fight ever got in. Like, the first real fight.
And it was before I started wrestling. So, I started wrestling when I was eight, so this must have happened when I was seven. Against Brian Hoffman. And the one thing I remember about Brian Hoffman is that he would always drink his fruit punch and his fruit punch would leave a huge fruit punch stain on his upper lip, like where he had a fruit punch mustache. And Brian Hoffman and I did not like each other. So, I would always make fun of his fruit punch, mustache.
And I’ll never forget, we got in a fight and he slammed my head into the pavement. And like, I can still feel like my jaw from when that– like, for whatever reason, I still feel– it was the first time. My brother and I would fight, but like, it was the first time that I really got in a fight and he slammed my head in the pavement. And my jaw felt weird and I was like, “what was that?” And like, my ears were ringing a little bit and I don’t even know– there’s not even really a lesson learned from that other than then the next year I started wrestling and there’s something addicting to this feeling of– I’m experiencing it now in jujitsu.
There’s this addicting feeling of getting your ass beat. Not even just physically, but mentally and emotionally, just going down, being completely and utterly humbled, and still getting back up and trying, and still learning. And this is– my jujitsu coach, Mark Cerrone, he loves to talk about the statistics. He’s very science-based in jujitsu, and he says, “statistically, 80% of people who start jujitsu. Will never get past their white belt. Not because they don’t graduate, not because they’re not good enough, but because they quit before they get their second belt, their blue belt.” And it’s so interesting because I think, speaking from personal experience in this moment, going to jujitsu, getting my ass beat every day.
It can be demoralizing to go in and just know like, “I’m going to lose this entire day.”
Mike: [00:12:34] When you told me yesterday that you didn’t submit anyone for your first three months, I was in shock. Like, for those of you listening, it’s almost the equivalent of going to the gym for three months and not seeing the scale move.
Jordan: [00:12:53] Yeah. Using the same weight for your deadlift.
Mike: [00:12:55] Exactly. Or not seeing your strength improve at all.
Jordan: [00:13:01] At all. And almost like, I wouldn’t say it’s almost like going in and hurting yourself every time, but like it’s, you go and every time you go, you know that you will not be stronger for three months. And keep in mind, I think I have a huge advantage coming from a 10-year wrestling background, wrestling from 8 to 18 and then I did a little jujitsu after that.
But I think to go in day after day after day after day for three months. And I vividly remember the first submission I got. It was actually against a blue belt. I got him in an arm bar and I freaked out and I called Mark right after. But that’s– what makes that submission so special is all of the work and all of the failures and all the failures and all the failures before that.
And I can see why people would quit so early on because day after day, after day, after day, you get beat and you get beat. And again, it doesn’t have to be physically beat, it could be anything in life, but in this case, it’s physically beaten.
Mike: [00:14:00] So, in something like that, and let’s stay with jujitsu here because–
Jordan: [00:14:06] You’re doing, jujitsu on Wednesday.
Mike: [00:14:08] Yeah, because Wednesday you, me, and Mark are having a little session.
I think of so many things in life where progress is self-evident, and if it’s not, it can be easily explained, right? A super simple fitness example is someone thinks they’re going to lose 30 pounds and be ripped in one month, but as a coach, you can give them the perspective that one to two pounds per week on the scale would be amazing. Even a few pounds a month would be very good, and that’s what we’re aiming for. And then that individual can measure their progress, their waist measurements towards that goal.
How do you, or how did you measure progress during those three months when, on like a binary zero/one, win/loss measuring scale, you didn’t have any wins. Where did you find progress?
Jordan: [00:14:59] That’s actually, a really good question. And I think it’s something that I’m fortunately– that I find in myself. And I can find it in clients and everything, but I remember, and I didn’t think about it like that until you phrased it, but I remember when I didn’t know any submissions, my wins were just getting control of people. So, it was just basically wrestling. Cool. Like, could I take them down? Could I hold them down? Whatever it was.
Then from there, my wins were, if I got into a position that I knew there was a submission available, just recognizing, “I know there’s some submission that I can do here, but I just don’t know what it is.” Because I feel like if we’re looking at wrestling as the sport of control, jujitsu is the sport of control leading to submission.
So, in order to be good at jujitsu, it really helps to be a good wrestler. So, before you can submit someone, before you can take their arm, before you can take their neck, before you can take their leg, you have to control them. You can’t just take that limb without having control. So, there was a period of time where I would get into these positions and I would be like, “I don’t know what to do.”
Like, I’d have someone, I’d be like, “I know there’s something here that I could do that I probably learned 15 minutes ago, but I forget. I forget how to set it up. I forget how to hold the arm. I forget how to position myself, but there’s something here.” And I was like, “okay, good. I’m recognizing that in this position.”
Then my next win was recognizing what the submission would be even if I couldn’t do it. ‘Cause it’s one thing to control someone, it’s another thing to actually get the submission. To actually set it up, do it properly, and then have them submit. ‘Cause then you actually have to control them throughout the submission as well.
So, getting to realize, “okay cool. So, in this position I can do this.” And that’s actually where I’m at right now. So, for example, leading up to my first competition my main goal is to: whatever position I find myself in, have one go-to move. So, if I’m standing up, and that’s easy for me to from the wrestling background, if I’m in someone’s guard, if I’m in side control, if I’m in half guard, if I’m in North-South, if I’m in guard, whatever it is, have one move from every position.
That way I at least have confidence in something in every single position that I go to. So now that’s where I’m really focusing on making sure I have one go-to move, which I’m not fully there yet, but there are several moves– several positions, excuse me, that I have several go-to moves in that I feel super confident in and that’s where I’m hitting my submissions over and over again.
So, if I’m not in those positions, I’m still like– I have different levels, right? So, for example, if I’m in someone’s side control, if I’m in side control, I have two or three things that I know I can do and I’ll probably submit them. If I’m in guard, I have one or two things I know it can do and I’ll probably submit them. If I’m standing up, I know what I can do.
Otherwise, not that good. If I’m in someone’s half guard, I don’t know what to do. Like, I’m pretty lost there. So, I’ll get there. I’ll pause and I’ll try and remember.
Mike: [00:17:57] And you’re been training consistently for?
Jordan: [00:18:00] Uh, six months now. Yeah.
Mike: [00:18:05] It almost sounds like you– I mean, obviously a great deal of this, you were taught, but it sounds like as far as creating a metric of progress, you talked your way through it yourself, or you noticed incremental improvement in your competence and ability.
Jordan: [00:18:28] Yeah. I think it’s learned through coaching, right? It’s where, I mean, through coaching fitness we can say, “okay, cool, so maybe you didn’t lift more weight, but your technique was better.” Or maybe “your tempo is better,” or maybe “your range of motion was better,” or maybe like “your actual technique is,” whatever it is.
Maybe you did lift more weight, maybe you did more reps, maybe you did more volume, maybe you did less rest time. So, like, having that knowledge, you can sort of apply the principles to other facets as well. So that’s sort of what I did with this. I Was like, “cool. So maybe I didn’t get the submission, but like I lasted the whole round and didn’t burn out.” Whatever it is.
Mike: [00:19:07] Yeah, endurance is up.
Jordan: [00:19:09] Yeah. Huge. Yeah.
You did that when you went against Rico, you were like, “Oh, wow.”
Mike: [00:19:13] Yeah. So, my jujitsu experience is, I went with you and Mark and, you know, rolled around a little and learned a few things back when you were first starting, and then had a two-minute match with Rico the other night where I was exhausted. So, I’m excited for Wednesday.
Jordan: [00:19:34] Yeah, it’s going to be good. Our coach Mark is the nicest guy. Super nice. If you don’t follow him on Instagram, @mark_cerrone, really, really, really great coach and very science-based and practical and just like the most positive and optimistic guy.
Mike: [00:19:50] His energy is like none other. It mirrors Gary.
Jordan: [00:19:55] Yeah, it really does.
Mike: [00:19:56] Yeah. Like special.
Jordan: [00:19:58] Yeah.
Oh, and actually it brings up a good point cause you were like, “let’s do one on ones and I’ll pay you.” And he was like, “Nope.”
He won’t let you pay him. He’s like, “I can’t. I can’t let you pay me.” Which just goes back to the whole, like, he didn’t ask for this shout on the pod. He didn’t ask for this, but like, when you do nice things, nice things come back to you. And one of the biggest pieces of kickback I get from coaches is, “why would I coach people for free?”
It’s like, you’re missing the forest for the trees.
Mike: [00:20:31] And you’re special for being able to continually hammer that. ‘Cause as soon as you just said that, like, I don’t know, I had a feeling in my gut of like…
Jordan: [00:20:43] “How do they not know this already?!”
Mike: [00:20:47] of interest in repeating myself is so– like, if you put a third person in this room and they were acting entitled and, “I’m not coaching people for free, like, I’m better than that,” right now, at this moment in time I wouldn’t have the patience to handle that situation like you could.
Jordan: [00:21:07] “Get out.”
Mike: [00:21:07] That’s exactly it. “Have you listened to any episodes?”
There’s one other thing I want to talk about here.
Jordan: [00:21:18] All right.
Mike: [00:21:18] Which is, you know, this is actually a great segue because what I just described is the opposite of what would be optimal to act, but I’m, like, four pages into “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.
Jordan: [00:21:33] Amazing book.
Mike: [00:21:35] I don’t even– I actually like the title from a “Made to Stick” perspective, but I don’t like it from a life goals perspective, because it’s not even what the book is about. It’s not about winning. It’s not about like having friends and needing to be popular. It’s literally about how to effectively communicate and deal with other human beings for a maximally, mutually beneficial outcome.
And I read the book back in 2014 when I first started with Gary around the time, 2015 maybe, and I listened to it on audio book and it was unbelievable. Like, just light bulbs going off, like, I never thought of this. I couldn’t like– literally all these brand-new concepts. And I remember a cashier or someone giving me a hard time, and I remember having so much patience and I don’t remember what exact strategies I was using– I did at the time, obviously, and they’ll come to me as I get further into the book, but so much of my day to day life was so much easier from incorporating these lessons that didn’t come naturally to me. So, I’m excited to continue with that book.
Jordan: [00:22:49] One of the reasons I like that book– I think you’re completely right about the title. It’s misleading, but it’s a tremendously well-done title. It’s very catchy.
What I like about the book is I think, number one, the way he tells stories is phenomenal. His storytelling is one of the best in the world. But what I like about his storytelling specifically is most people only think about themselves and through his stories, he’s teaching you how to think about other people first.
He’s teaching you how to be more empathetic. He’s teaching you how to put yourself in someone else’s shoes so that you can then better structure your own interaction. ‘Cause when you’re only thinking about yourself, sometimes you’ll be rude, you’ll be crass, you’ll be very selfish, you’ll say things that if you were in that other person’s shoes, you would never dream of.
So, one of the reasons I love that book so much is because it’s simply putting yourself in someone else’s shoes so that you aren’t an asshole. That’s really it.
And I think a lot of people might hear the title or think the book is, “Oh, you’re just trying to manipulate people.” No, no. It’s how to be a better person by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Mike: [00:24:06] Can you talk about the first time you read the book? It’s such a good story.
Jordan: [00:24:12] I feel like it’s better for you because you know me so well. But the first time I read this book, I was 18 and I was living in Israel and I got my first copy on a recommendation from a friend and I was reading the book and I was like, “the stories are great.” But as I was reading it, I remember vividly– I was in a hotel, I was reading it and I was like. “I already do all of this.”
Like, I was reading it and I– I mean, and this is one of the– to this day, this was written almost a hundred years ago or something, it’s still one of the bestsellers. It’s still a best seller.
It stands the test of time and everything in it still holds true today because it’s a people book. It’s a human book. It’s not about certain types of advertising or certain types of technology, it’s about people. And I vividly remember reading the stories and reading the lessons from the stories.
Even something as simple as– this was great, I’ll never forget this, but one of the lessons was, “when you’re on the phone with someone, smile because they can hear your smile.” And I was like, “I do that.”
Because when I was younger, I figured it out. Like, I realized that you can hear someone smile in the same way you can hear someone frown. It’s like, not only just through the energy, but your tone changes when you smile. It does. And I remember that there were a bunch of these things where I was just– like, he talks about someone’s name. He’s like, making sure you get their name. But there’s a lot of intricacies in there.
And I just remember being like, “I already do this.” And I kept reading, but I was just like, “why is this such a big deal?” And one of the funniest things recently, it was when you told me how, like, what the comparison was for you with like numbers and math.
Mike: [00:26:01] Yeah, and what made me think of talking about this is: what you just described about reading that book and thinking like, “why does anyone need to read this? Like, I already do all of this. Isn’t this just natural,” at 18 years old.
Dave Ramsey’s podcast. Dave Ramsey, I’m pretty sure is his name. He talks about finance– personal finance, money making decisions for an individual.
One of his videos got recommended on YouTube. And I remember the first time listening to him just nodding along consistently like, “I like this guy,” but not learning anything or not taking anything away from it. And it seemed like the questions he was answering were so obvious, and his answers were so like, like to me, I was just thinking, “well, how else would you do that?” to every– like four, five, six, seven videos I listened to and every single one. I just felt like that. And then I knew how you felt reading that book. Which is so, it’s just interesting to me what, you know, whether the lessons that those pieces of content have are in us genetically, or imprinted in our soul archetypally, however you want to describe it, but whether they are with Mike and Jordan or if– and it’s probably both, but, or if it’s from what happened to us in our childhood and our experiences that led us to be the way we are and act the way we act.
Jordan: [00:27:42] Yeah. I think it has to be both, a combination of just genetically what you’re good at and also like your upbringing and what you’re surrounded with.
Mike: [00:27:50] The best addition to the Dale Carnegie–
Jordan: [00:27:52] I know exactly that you’re gonna say. Say it.
Mike: [00:27:56] I would tease you when I would see you doing something that I recognize from the book, and just being yourself, I’d be like, “Dale!” Like, I would call you Dale and we’d have a laugh.
A couple of years ago in Florida, we were, I think we were actually planning for the Mentorship, that’s what we were doing. We were in a hotel room and planning everything out and I remember we were talking about; I think I was just getting into Myers-Briggs personality test and I had you take the test.
Jordan: [00:28:24] Yeah. And I was super against it.
Mike: [00:28:26] You were super against it. You finally took it because I basically forced you to, I wanted to know. And you’re an ESTP and then we Googled famous ESTPs and the first one listed was a picture of Dale Carnegie, and we both just lost it.
Jordan: [00:28:43] Because Mike would call me “Dale” and it got under my skin, so I would start calling him “Dale” and then when and he would, he would get mad when I called him “Dale–”
Mike: [00:28:53] ‘Cause I was like, “I’m not, I’m actually not.” And you’re like, “me neither!”
Jordan: [00:28:57] And then we looked up the personality type and it’s literally, I have the same exact one as Dale Carnegie. So, I was like, “all right, you win.”
But I think the part of that that is actually really important to remember is: as I’m doing that stuff, it’s not like I’m consciously thinking, “okay, so this is how to get this person to be on my side.” It’s literally about putting yourself– you know what, I’ll tell a story. I’ll leave names completely out of it, so no one has any idea of who I’m speaking about.
It was, it was years and years and years ago. Someone basically started getting torn apart in the fitness industry.
Like, everyone just started trying to bring this one person down and it seemed to be like the cool thing to do. And more and more people were doing it, they were making posts and stories and articles and all this stuff, just bringing this person down, for any number of reasons, which I’m, again, I’m gonna leave that completely out, but as soon as I saw that my first reaction– I wasn’t friends with this person, I was not friends with them. We had, we had interacted here and there a little bit, but not much.
My first reaction was to message them and say, “Hey, if you need anything, I’m always here.” And this was at like seven in the morning, I was in Florida at the time, and they messaged me back immediately. And it was super early in the morning and they were like, “thank you so much. Can you hop on the phone?”
And I’ve spoken about this more in-depth with other people and other people who are involved in sort of trying to tear that person down and they were like, “I never thought of it from that person’s perspective.” Like, they just joined in in the group think, they joined in like everyone trying to take this one person down, but they never thought about how it might have affected that one person and one person specifically who I was talking to about it, they were like, “honest to God, I never thought to put myself in that person’s shoes,” and I think that’s probably the most important lesson you can take from that book: is in every situation put yourself in the shoes of the other individual, because when you’re only in your shoes, when you’re only in your head, you’re only thinking from your perspective and no one else knows that. No one else knows what you’re thinking.
So the more you can try and think about how the other person is feeling or why they might be feeling that way, oftentimes the less insecurity you’ll be and the more you’ll be proactive in doing whatever is going to be actually best for that person, which will also be best for both of you.
Mike: [00:31:31] That’s very well said. I think that is the lesson. I think an even bigger lesson on the subject of what comes naturally to us and what doesn’t is: just because something doesn’t come naturally to you doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be pursued. And I can think of so many people that I would recommend should spend three hours a week listening to Dave Ramsey’s content.
And it’s the exact same reason why I’m rereading this book, because I know that even though it isn’t something that comes naturally to me. It will benefit not only me, but everyone I come in contact with.
Jordan: [00:32:15] Yeah, 100%
Mike: [00:32:17] Yeah. It’s kind of like working on– it’s working on your weaknesses rather than just going all in on your strengths, which certainly has merit.
Jordan: [00:32:26] That’s something that, you know, the stuff that Gary Vaynerchuk talks about. And we never call him Gary Vaynerchuk when we’re just together, but just in case people don’t know, one of the things he’ll talk about is “document, don’t create,” and I feel like we spoke about that before — about how there’s more of a balance between documenting and creating versus solely documenting.
This is another example of that where– literally, I just forgot what the example was.
Mike: [00:32:53] Strengths and weaknesses.
Jordan: [00:32:53] Strengths and weaknesses. Where it’s like, he’ll always be like, “double down on your strengths, double down in your strengths,” but I think he says that as a way to get people to really focus on what they’re good at.
Sort of very tactical on his part to get momentum. So, it’s like, ’cause if you’re always just starting off with the thing you suck at, it’s hard to get momentum. And Gary is like the biggest momentum guy in the world. Whatever he can do to get momentum rolling, he’ll do it. And I think by focusing on your strengths at the beginning it’s probably the smartest thing you can do.
But I always go back to one of my favorite quotes from Louie Simmons, which is just, “you’re only as strong as your weakest link.” And I always think about this in terms of strength training, where it’s like, Louie would often talk about this in terms of deadlifting or bench press, where if you’re weak off the floor in your deadlift and you’re only doing rack pulls because you can lift way more weight with rack pulls, then if your max deadlift off the floor is 315 but you can rack pull 600 and all you do is rack pull, your max deadlift will always be 315 because you are not training your weakness.
You’re not training the spot in the lift that is your weakest, and as long as you’re weakest there, you will never be able to reach your true strength. So, I think finding the balance between hitting your strengths, like really focusing on them, but not neglecting your weaknesses — you still have to address them. You have to find that balance between the two in anything. It could be strength training, could be business, it could be personal relationships, could be your relationships with yourself. It’s like in anything you have to address the both of them.
Mike: [00:34:32] Yeah, that’s absolutely correct. I actually haven’t, I haven’t been consuming much content of any kind recently, but I haven’t really seen Gary hammer that point as much. I think the reason that you stated, just that focusing on your strengths as a good way to start and to get into motion and to build momentum, but if you watch his action, like he says, he talks about how unnatural fitness is to him. How for the first 38 years of his life he did nothing. He didn’t pick up a weight.
Him and his best friend, Brandon, were the only two people in their entire Jersey high school that didn’t lift weights. He said every single, at least all of the men, then, in the 90s, lifted and they were the only two in the whole high school that never touched a through all four years of high school. But flip the switch, began focusing on something that was a weakness, hired a full-time coach, and as a result feels so much better and is in such a better place, but it still doesn’t come easy for him.
Jordan: [00:35:37] Right.
Mike: [00:35:37] So that, like, watching what I do, not just what I say will lead to focusing on your weaknesses. You know, like Louis said, has not only merit, but is necessary to improve.
Jordan: [00:35:54] I think what Gary does better than literally anyone I’ve ever met in my life is delegate. And I think he delegates his weaknesses out.
So, fitness. He knows fitness is a weakness for him and he knows that he’s not going to do it if he doesn’t have a coach. So, he hires someone and he pays them in order to make sure that he’ll do it.
Mike: [00:36:19] Remember your first, like, two weeks when he was on a day trip that you didn’t go on?
Jordan: [00:36:23] Oh man. Should I tell this story? All right, I’ll tell the full story. It’s not that long.
So, when I first started, and most people– it’s impossible to expect anyone to know what it’s like coaching Gary if you haven’t coached Gary. It’s very intense.
Mike: [00:36:37] And you and I had five or six weeks of overlap where it was my job to get you up to speed on him. And we communicated a ton on that and it’s still impossible to really know.
Jordan: [00:36:49] So when I first started, this was like within my first week or so. So we hadn’t, we didn’t have much communication at this point, but I assumed that my tickets would be booked for me, and my hotel would be booked for me, and that all of this would be communicated with me and Gary’s assistant at the time, Ty, who I love with all my heart.
So, I didn’t get my tickets, I didn’t get my hotel, I just had no word on it. And the one thing that Mike told me, he said, “if it’s only a day trip, then you don’t travel with him. If it’s only 24 hours then you don’t travel with them, ’cause usually the workout isn’t worth however much money that it’s going to be.”
So, I think the number was, if it’s $500 or less, you can go, but if it’s more than $500 then you don’t go. So, I’m in New York and I still don’t believe that I even got the job. I think this whole thing is a hoax. I moved from Tel Aviv to New York to coach Gary. I’m still in shock that even had this position, and I thought that the reason Mike was carrying over for another month was to sort of test to see if I was good enough and if I wasn’t, then he would call Mike back on.
So, I’m on super edge. I’m like on anxiety overload right now. And I see Gary’s going to Denver. And so, Gary goes to Denver and it was only a day trip, so it was like, “okay, so I’m not going.” At, it must’ve been like 8:00 AM in New York, so 6 or 7:00 AM in Denver, and I get a text from Gary.
And this is literally within the first few days, and Gary’s very brief of this text, as he should be, ’cause he gets 5,000 an hour and he just goes, “where are you?” And I was like, “New York,” and he was like, “why aren’t you here?” And I was like, “I thought I was only supposed to come if it’s like a more than a day.” He was like, “you thought wrong.”
And I’m like, “damn it, Mike. Mike told me that.” And then he was like, “it’s all good miscommunication.” And I was like, “okay, well how about — I have an idea.” And I sent him a super simple workout that he could do in a gym. And he’d been working with Mike for two years, so I knew he knew what goblet squats were, I knew he knew what pushups were, I knew he knew what dumbbell rows were, it was all like very hotel gym-friendly.
I was like, “you could do this.” And I take about, I don’t know, 15 minutes, to write a good workout and send it over to him. And, his response– I swear on my life, his response, and I think at this point in my time, we’ve, we’d only texted about 15 times total.
I sent him this workout. I’m like, “do this.” And his response is, “ha ha ha ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.” To date the longest sequence of ha ha ha’s he’s ever sent me. And I was like, “what?” He was like, “I’m not doing that alone. That’s why I hired you.”
Mike: [00:39:39] Delegate weaknesses.
Jordan: [00:39:40] And I was like, “do you want to FaceTime?” And he was like, “Nope.”
And looking back now, he was probably super happy.
Mike: [00:39:49] Yeah, he was. He was pumped.
Jordan: [00:39:51] I thought I was gonna get fired. He was so happy that he didn’t have to work out, but it was definitely a moment in which I went through the hard part. I went through the hard part in order to learn so that that never happened again.
But going back to delegation, he does that with all aspects of his life so that he can focus on his strengths. Gary’s strengths are talking to people and interacting. And whether it’s posting or making videos or podcasts, his strength is speaking and being with people. That’s what he loves and that’s what he’s best at.
It doesn’t mean he doesn’t do the things that he’s weakest at, but he makes sure that those things get done in some capacity and at this point in his career is often done by somebody else because he has that ability. But he still focuses on them.
Mike: [00:40:42] Yeah.
You know what– when we previously talked about Gary and “document, don’t create,” and how so much of the content that you and I have both made that over the years has been the most impactful and the most beneficial and resonated the most with our audiences is content that we spent a lot of time and energy planning and creating, and we talked about the benefits of creating.
What has made me swing back the other way is watching the Connor McGregor documentary again from 2017. When he and his girlfriend are– this is Connor McGregor, UFC fighter, this is in 2013, maybe 2012, is in massive debt, owes the government of Ireland, not the IRS, but their version of that, money and they’re hitting him up and, and he’s joking about it.
He’s laughing, but he’s living with his girlfriend in his mom’s house. They’ve been there for three years. He said, “we’re going to live with my mom for one month.” They’ve been there for three years. He’s trying to make it as a fighter. She’s supporting him emotionally, mentally, like, just there, believes in him and they’re filming all of this.
Jordan: [00:42:05] It’s crazy.
Mike: [00:42:06] And this is what you said, you’re like, “why were they filming that and who is filming it?”
But that is the definition of just documenting your experience because that tied together into– that’s one of my favorite documentaries, not only because I liked the story, but it’s extremely well made.
Jordan: [00:42:25] Yeah.
I think that the thing about that example is if Connor was posting those videos when they were made, when he was a “nobody,” before he was a UFC fighter, it wouldn’t have gone viral. No one would have cared. Very few people would have cared. Like, no one knew his name. He had never gotten a UFC fight.
It becomes more emotional and much more exciting and see when he’s already ascended to the top. So, you can watch this guy who went from in debt, living in his mom’s house, like trying to make his way through. To becoming literally one of the most famous people in the world, one of the best fighters in the world, and to watch that ascension is just jaw dropping.
But I think if you’re going to document, keep that in mind that if you want people to care about your documentation, you have to give them a reason to care about your documentation. And oftentimes they’ll care once you’ve already– number one, they’ll care if they know you care about them, which means through teaching them and educating them in the moment, but also as you continue to climb, they’ll care more and more and more to see where you came from. Which is why now I think people like to watch my old YouTube videos.
Like, a lot of coaches will go back to my 2012 YouTube videos and see how I started and see like, “Oh, wow. He was super nervous on camera.” “Oh, wow. Like, he was literally fidgeting he was so nervous.” Or like, “that video was really poorly structured.”
Mike: [00:43:58] And the types of videos you made.
Jordan: [00:44:00] Yeah, exactly.
Mike: [00:44:02] But those videos weren’t racking up views when we were initially putting them out.
Jordan: [00:44:07] At all. Yeah.
Should we talk about muscle building?
Mike: [00:44:12] We are 48 minutes into the podcast.
Jordan: [00:44:19] Should we save it for next time? And we’ll have to title this something
Mike: [00:44:24] else.
And we’ll do that. I feel good. We can– let’s save it for next time. I enjoyed this fun podcast.
Oh, you know what? Let’s announce– we weren’t planning on doing this, but in the last episode, we challenged you guys to try and predict the rest of the pyramid/create your own muscle building pyramid, knowing that we laid the base and the base– I’m going to dig it up just so I’m positive I get it right.
Consistency was at the bottom, followed by intensity, followed by technique. And then we shared, in no particular order, the remaining factors, what is important on the muscle building pyramid, which are: rep range, rest time, exercise selection, volume, frequency, nutrition, and rest/recovery, and challenged you to finish the pyramid on your own.
And we are actually going to give a free month in the Fitness Business Mentorship to one individual who put together a very comprehensive and well-done pyramid, and tagged both Jordan and I on his story.
And that winner for a free month in the Mentorship is Chase Matthew Baron. So, congrats.
Jordan: [00:45:58] Congrats, man.
And we just want to say, number one, that the pyramid you made was phenomenal. Taking the time out of your day to make the pyramid– and it wasn’t like chicken scratch, like, it was very well done, well thought out. And, uh, so we’re super excited–
Mike: [00:46:13] Wrote notes in the margins explaining things.
Jordan: [00:46:15] Yeah, so we’re super excited to give you a free month in the Fitness Business Mentorship.
Email Mike, you want to give me your email?
Mike: [00:46:20] Mike@ontheregimen.com
Jordan: [00:46:23] Email Mike, we’ll give you the free month.
Huge, huge props to everyone who’s already in the Mentorship. They’re doing super well. We’re really proud of you.
Is there anything else you want to end with? Next week we’ll go over the rest of the pyramid, but if you haven’t yet, make sure that you make your own pyramid and listen to the previous episode– if you haven’t already listen to that episode, then make your own pyramid, tag Mike and I in your stories so that we can see. And in the next episode we will finish the muscle building pyramid so we can complete that out.
Mike: [00:46:56] Thank you for listening and we will see you next week. .