00:11 Mike Vacanti: Jordan Syatt, welcome to the podcast.
00:13 Jordan Syatt: Michael J Vacanti, thank you for having me on the podcast. I’m very excited.
00:18 Mike Vacanti: Jordan R Syatt. It’s our podcast.
00:12 Jordan Syatt: Rico’s looking at me like, “Wait, what?”
00:27 Mike Vacanti: How are you doing?
00:28 Jordan Syatt: I’m doing well, just got off another podcast with actually two personal trainers. One from New York, one from Boston. They were struggling with social media content talking about the industry being so overly saturated. And I went right in, I was like, “It’s not saturated.” I was like, on the top layer, there’s a lot of coaches in there, but you go one layer lower, there are not a lot of good coaches. You go another layer lower, there are not a lot of good coaches posting content. Go another layer lower, there are not a lot of good coaches posting good content on a regular basis. I was like, “When you get to that level, it’s not a saturated industry at all.”
01:08 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, that’s a great way to put it. And we’ve always said that.
01:12 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yup.
01:13 Mike Vacanti: For that reason as well as the fact that no matter how saturated it gets, demand is infinite, not infinite, but demand is massive, the potential consumer is like, there are just so many people in the world. But tell me about your ribs, Jordan. When are we gonna get these things to at least 85% so you can compete?
01:34 Jordan Syatt: I’ve got a fractured ninth rib. So, I’ve been doing acupuncture. So this dude reached out to me, he saw my story, who does acupuncture in New York, and he was like, “Hey, I don’t know if you’ve ever done acupuncture or not, but I do it and I’d love to help you out.” And I’ve never done it before. I’ve never liked the idea of someone putting a lot of needles in my body, but I was like, “You know what? Why not? I’ll try it.” I can give the carnivore diet a try, just for a YouTube video, why can’t I try this? And I actually got a little kickback, some people on Instagram were like, “Oh, this is so pseudoscientific, blah, blah, blah.” I was like, “At least I’m gonna try it and see how it feels.” And I had two sessions so far, and I mean, it’s been interesting, ’cause as soon as he was done for the remainder of the day, both times, more mobility, less pain.
02:31 Mike Vacanti: Amazing.
02:32 Jordan Syatt: After I went to sleep and woke up the next day, it was back to about baseline, but it’s interesting how once he’s done with it for the remainder of the day, and he does it at 9:30 in the morning, so the whole day, more mobility, less pain. And we’ve only done two sessions. So he recommended three times a week for four weeks. So I was like, “Cool, I’ll give that a shot.” and if it helps amazing, if it doesn’t help, at least I’ve tried it. So that’s where I’m at.
02:57 Mike Vacanti: And the thesis behind that is acupuncture for enhanced recovery would be more blood flow to the area for a faster recovery?
03:08 Jordan Syatt: Correct, that’s the main benefit that he’s spoken about, is you get much more blood flow to the area for a faster recovery. Yeah, so I don’t know if it’s actually gonna work. I have no idea. The interesting thing is I do sort of have a before acupuncture and after acupuncture, because I broke my rib about a month ago, right? So I broke it about a month ago, took a week off training, went back, and then about two weeks after I went back, I hurt it again. And now this time I’m trying acupuncture, so we’ll see if in the same time frame that I hurt it, and in the same time frame from the first time to this time, see if it heals faster or more or better. We’ll see, so I have no idea, but I’m excited to give it a shot.
03:56 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, you can compare. What I’m most into about all of this is your competitiveness and the grittiness of; I just know 98% of people, maybe more, if you’re four or five, six, seven weeks out from a competition like this and found out they have a broken rib, they’re automatically rescheduling to next year. Like the thought of competing basically from behind with an ailment, so less training, leading up to the competition and potentially, or probably like most likely, you’re gonna be hampered in some way, to a degree, both mentally and physically even for the competition. But you’re like, “Screw it, I’m gonna do everything I can to hopefully get myself in a place where I can compete, and I’m gonna train around it, I’m gonna do conditioning, I’m gonna get myself to the best version of myself with a broken rib that I can, because I wanna compete and I wanna do everything I can to win.” That mentality and pattern of behaviors just seems non-existent to me. And is fun to watch.
05:04 Jordan Syatt: Thank you, man. You’ve seen how I’ve fallen in love with jujitsu over the last year, but having this competition date, it’s fired me up so, so much. I hate cardio, but it’s so funny, I’ve always thought I hated cardio, but I’ve hated cardio when my main goal was to deadlift four times my body weight. I hated cardio when my main goal was maximal strength. But now that I’m focused on jujitsu and I know I need good cardio. Cardio is the vast majority of my training right now. I’ve got a bike. That’s the vast majority of what I do, and I’m so into it. I love it.
05:42 Mike Vacanti: Did you hate cardio in high school when you were wrestling?
05:45 Jordan Syatt: No, I didn’t. I mean, it was a brutal workout.
05:48 Mike Vacanti: When it enhances… Yeah.
05:50 Jordan Syatt: But I love whatever helps me achieve my goal, right? So whatever is helping me achieve my goal, I’m super passionate about doing. So it’s so funny how that works. It’s like, this is where I think your goal, whatever you decide your goal is, it plays such an important role in not only what you do, but how you do it and how you perceive it, right? So for some people, if their goal is aesthetic-based, and they’re like, “Oh, and I just hate cardio.” It’s like maybe that shouldn’t be your goal, maybe your goal should be something performance-based, maybe your goal should be something else. I think for me personally, having competition makes me my best self individually. Like, having a competition coming up and whatever it is, just making a competition for something gives me the best opportunity to work my hardest, enjoy it the most, and turn out on the other end being the best version of me.
06:45 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Well, there’s two options, right? Like if you can either change the end goal to make the thing enjoyable which for you is the assault bike or you can keep the goal the same and not do the assault bike.
07:01 Jordan Syatt: Exactly, yeah.
07:01 Mike Vacanti: Those are the two options.
07:03 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, you’re exactly right.
07:05 Mike Vacanti: Nice man.
07:06 Jordan Syatt: So, feeling good, man. How about you, how are you feeling?
07:09 Mike Vacanti: I feel good. I feel good. Did a push day today.
07:13 Jordan Syatt: How did it go? You’ve been liking push days recently.
07:16 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, push days have superseded pull days as my new favorite day. It was good. I progressed on everything and felt good and was moving well. And yeah, it was a good workout. The timing with Gary’s workout was perfect because he texted me as I was walking out of the gym saying like…
07:36 Jordan Syatt: Oh, that’s perfect.
07:36 Mike Vacanti: “Hey, can you train right now by chance?” And I was like, “Yep, as a matter of fact, I can.” [chuckle]
07:41 Jordan Syatt: You used FaceTime in the car?
07:43 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, well, I drove across the street to Holiday, got that protein and carb, and then got back in the car, and yeah, did his workout on FaceTime from the car, in the parking lot. And yeah, now here we are.
07:56 Jordan Syatt: I love it. So we got another Q&A today, right?
08:00 Mike Vacanti: Yes, sir. We got some questions lined up.
08:02 Jordan Syatt: ‘Cause we had a great response to the first Q&A, so we’re just gonna keep hammering these.
08:07 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.
08:07 Jordan Syatt: ‘Cause people loved it.
08:09 Mike Vacanti: Well, and we knew it too. After last week’s episode, which if you haven’t listened to, double back there after this one, but we were both like, “That was really fun, that was really good.” Like, “That felt like really helpful content.” And the response David, our audio engineer, first texted me and he was like, “Man, you guys were on on that one.” And then DMs and emails and everything were flying through. So we’re really happy that everyone enjoyed that. And because of that, we’re going to continue to pull from this question list. So, ready?
08:43 Jordan Syatt: Oh, I’m ready. You look like you got something up your sleeve. [chuckle]
08:49 Mike Vacanti: It’s just a good one and it’s something that you and I are both quite passionate about to start.
08:55 Jordan Syatt: Alright. You just got that evil smirk on your face.
09:00 Jordan Syatt: You look like a seven-year-old kid who’s about to shove his sister’s face into her food or something. And he’s like got the smile like he’s about to do something bad, I’m like, “Oh, what’s this? What’s this about to be?” [chuckle]
09:12 Mike Vacanti: Does intentional weight loss for aesthetic purposes mean I am sold to diet culture?”
09:20 Jordan Syatt: Oh, I knew it that it was gonna be something about this. I knew it. Yeah, there was that evil smirk. I get it now, okay. Alright, you wanna start with this one?
09:28 Mike Vacanti: I’m gonna start and here’s how I wanna start. I wanna get on the same page with you and hopefully with like reality about what diet culture actually is. Because of my absence of consuming fitness content outside of maybe a select handful of people who I’m friends with mainly and then research. But outside of that, I’m not consuming mainstream fitness content. And so I feel like I don’t have a really good understanding. So I went to Google here, and per Google.
10:00 Jordan Syatt: Oh, you prepped, you prepped for this. You knew this was gonna be a topic, I like it. I think this is the best starting point, I think you’re right to figure out, “Alright, what is diet culture?” We got to talk about it. What is it?
10:10 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. And per Google, diet culture definition, “Diet culture is a belief system that focuses on and values weight, shape, and size over well-being. Variations of diet culture also include rigid eating patterns that on the surface, are in the name of health, but in reality are about weight, shape, or size.” So, based on that definition. That definition isn’t my understanding of diet culture, because I agree, I think that you should prioritize well-being over one, scale weight, who cares. Two, shape like, everyone is going to have a different shape for various reasons, some of which are within our control, and some of which are outside of our control. And size, like, none of those three things are more important than well-being.
11:07 Jordan Syatt: Correct.
11:08 Mike Vacanti: That wasn’t prior to Googling this, that wasn’t my interpretation of what diet culture is. And maybe you can expand on how that term is used on Instagram.
11:20 Jordan Syatt: Well, so there’s a bunch to this, right? So the first thing I would say is looking at that definition ’cause I think I’ve seen that exact definition on Google. Is that linked to an article? Is that definition coming from someone’s article?
11:30 Mike Vacanti: Yes.
11:30 Jordan Syatt: Got it. Okay. So that’s I’m assuming the most popular article referencing diet culture, which is probably written between, was it 2018/2019?
11:39 Mike Vacanti: Good question. It was written, this is on edrdpro.com, and the date of this publication was, is not listed.
11:56 Jordan Syatt: Alright. Well, either way, I think it’s important to remember, number one, this is just a definition on one person’s website. And I actually, I think it’s a good definition. I think it’s a good, strong, working definition, I agree with it. The issue is, there isn’t a singular definition that everyone can come back to. And I think what we’re seeing on social media is a lot of people misconstruing what diet culture is. Like what one person thinks is diet culture, someone else might not think is diet culture. So for example, if someone talks about losing weight on their Instagram, they’re very well might be someone coming in being like, “Oh, anything related to weight loss is diet culture. This is bad,” right? And like, that’s what I’m seeing on social media, where people would be like, “Oh, this is just diet culture,” right? And no, I think it sort of flows into some people’s political views and some people’s stances on a variety of topics. But a lot of the people who are big on diet culture also talk about Health At Every Size. And a lot of the people who believe in Health At Every Size, for whatever reason, think that your size literally plays no impact on your health, which is actually really interesting for a number of reasons because we could go into that for a second.
13:13 Mike Vacanti: That’s my interpretation of diet culture, was I thought it was tightly linked to Health At Every Size or the belief that body fat percentage does not have any bearing on health.
13:25 Jordan Syatt: Well, so I think what happens is, I think a lot of people who are really big in Health At Every Size, look up to diet culture. And they’re like they are vehemently Anti-Diet culture. So I think a lot of the most vocal proponents of Health At Every Size are also vocal proponents of being anti-diet culture, but I think, for example, you and I could be not big proponents of diet culture, but also disagree with Health At Every Size.
13:54 Jordan Syatt: So you and I aren’t gonna be going around being like, “Yeah, Anti-Diet culture, anti-diet culture.” ’cause not to mention, what does that do? It doesn’t help anybody, it doesn’t help anything. So a lot of the Health At Every Size movement, they are avidly against and vehemently against any form of weight loss, so these are the people who are the most vocal about anti-diet and the most vocal about any form of weight loss being good or okay, and then or intentional weight loss being good or okay. So I think it’s an important word that has to be in there, like any intentional weight loss is not okay. So I think that’s where we see a lot of the anger and arguments coming about using diet culture as that starting point. But the reality is, if that’s the working definition of diet culture, I think it would be hard put to disagree with that. I 100% agree with that definition, but now we get in different subsets of it.
14:50 Mike Vacanti: And I think it’s almost like a little bit of a straw man, because unless someone is really struggling with mental health or body dysmorphia to an extreme degree or their relationship with something, I would say the overwhelming majority of people agree with this statement.
15:10 Jordan Syatt: 100%.
15:10 Mike Vacanti: For someone to say, “No, actually, my scale weight is more important than my well-being.” And truly believe that, I think that’s less than one in 658 people.
15:25 Jordan Syatt: I agree, I agree. I don’t think anyone would say their shape is more important than their well-being, I don’t think anyone would say their size is more important than their well-being. I just think there’s a lot of… That 100%, it’s a straw man, but I see… I think most of the anger and most of the stuff coming from people being like, “Oh, this is diet culture, this is bad.” is mainly coming from the people who are coming from Health At Every Size or think that any intentional weight loss is inherently bad.
15:55 Mike Vacanti: Okay, so let’s use that. Is pursuit of an aesthetic goal that involves losing body fat…
16:01 Jordan Syatt: Bad.
16:02 Mike Vacanti: Is that bad?
16:05 Jordan Syatt: Don’t get me started on this. I’ll go off.
16:08 Mike Vacanti: Okay.
16:09 Jordan Syatt: I think any logical person listening to this is gonna say, “Of course, it’s not bad.” like of course, I think we even spoke about this in the mentorship recently in one of the Q&As, right? Where someone was like…
16:20 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Andy. Shoutout to Andy.
16:21 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, Andy brought it up and he was talking about how he was feeling pressured from some people because they thought that it was bad to be focusing on intentional weight loss. I’m like, “What are you talking about? Get out of here.”
16:35 Mike Vacanti: All else equal, there’s a reason why, to an extent, and basically, let’s just call it everything above 10% body fat, let’s just say that’s… We’re just setting that aside, which is the overwhelming majority of people, that’s what we’re talking about. For that population, anyone gaining muscle mass or losing body fat and let’s even go a little higher, like going from 30% to 20% body fat for a male, all else equal is going to make you healthier. It’s going to make you more aesthetic, but it’s also going to make you healthier. And in that same vein, because I’d saw another post when we were doing a little research for that mentorship Q&A, where someone was talking about body recomposition and then clarified in the caption like recomposition can mean fat gain and muscle loss. There’s not like a better or worse form of recomposition. I was like, “No, no no no no no no.”
17:35 Mike Vacanti: Unless someone has way too much lean mass and no body fat, right? And okay, it’s like one in however many people. It just doesn’t exist. We’re dealing with people who aren’t stage lean, basically. Like your average person adding lean muscle, like total amount of muscle mass is strongly correlated with all-cause mortality, meaning on average, the more strength and lean mass someone has, the longer they are going to live all else equal. And we know that being obese or being morbidly obese are… It is a health risk, it increases your risk of a variety of diseases that kill us. So to become “more aesthetic”, and we’ll call that going from 40% to 20% body fat and gaining some muscle in the process, that is an intentional pursuit of an aesthetic goal, that also make someone healthier.
18:40 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, and one thing that the Health At Every Size movement I’ve heard say is to the effect of basically they say, Listen, the amount of body fat you have doesn’t determine your health. And well, that’s wrong. Number one is if you have a very high body fat percentage, you’re significantly more likely to have type 2 diabetes, you’re significantly more likely to have heart disease. You’re significantly more likely to have metabolic disease, all this stuff, it’s very clear in the research. But let’s just say you’re right, let’s just for argument’s sake pretend that that’s accurate. Which it’s not. They say as long as you are moving and exercising, you can be very heavy and still healthy. It’s like; Well, yes, you can still be very healthy and moving and exercise is gonna help that it a lot, but that’s like saying; You could be smoking and as long as you’re exercising, you can still be very healthy. It’s like, yeah, there are some people who live to 90 years old and smoke every day and they exercise, and it’s great, but that doesn’t mean that that’s based on science. It doesn’t mean that it’s accurate for everybody or for most people, not to mention, I think the most misleading part of this discussion is if you’ve ever worked with someone who’s severely overweight, you know it is very difficult for them to move.
19:51 Jordan Syatt: This is something that you don’t understand unless you’ve actually either been severely overweight or worked with someone who’s severely overweight. The amount of joint pain and back pain, knee pain, hip pain, the difficulty physically that comes with moving at when you’re severely overweight is tremendous. And it puts the body under a significant amount of stress, not to mention the mental and emotional toll that can take. The mental and emotional toll of looking at walking up all the stairs and being like, this is gonna be a very difficult task. So maybe I’m just gonna stay here and not move. So yeah if you are overweight, you have a very high body fat percentage, and if you still move and exercise a lot, then yes, you can still be healthy, but how likely are you to be moving and exercising a lot, if you are severely overweight, you’re just not as likely. So why don’t we promote movement and health and exercise, even if it’s also towards an intentional weight loss goal, when we know for a fact that someone going from 40% to 30%, 30% to 20% body fat is going to improve their health.
20:55 Jordan Syatt: It’s mind-boggling to me, not to mention, let’s just talk about aesthetics. If your goal is to lose body fat because you think you’ll look better, and who the fuck is anybody to say otherwise, do it, and maybe you’ll learn through the process that you’re happier with a slightly higher body fat percentage that instead of 17%, you’re happier at 23%, cool, go for it. But don’t let someone tell you that you’re doing something bad because if they’re telling you that, then odds are they’re talking from their own insecurities and they couldn’t do it without having a bad relationship with food. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
21:27 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, that’s it’s exactly right. Saying that is pointing out an anomaly, just because you can be healthy at a higher body fat percentage doesn’t necessarily mean that that is where you’re going to be most healthy or that that is the best route.
21:43 Jordan Syatt: I will say one of the most encouraging things I’ve seen over the last six to eight months is a lot of people… I’ve seen a lot less noise, like a lot less people participating in the extremist Health At Every Size movement, and a lot more people coming back to me DM-ing dm’ing me being like, “Hey, I really got roped into the Health At Every Size world, and I gained 25 pounds because I was around people who were saying, just eat and gain weight, and now I feel awful and I’m ready to get back on track because I see that it was too much.” So it’s encouraging for me to see people being like, “Alright, I went there, I did that. They’re wrong. I really drank the Kool-Aid too long, now I’m ready to get back on track.” It’s like, cool. So people are starting to realize that this might not be the best movement. And for whatever it’s worth, I think it’s important to say, I think the Health At Every Size movement started with great intent.
22:35 Jordan Syatt: I think the Health At Every Size started with the idea of like, “Listen, let’s not body shame people, let’s not hate on people for their body.” I agree 100%, but that doesn’t mean that we should make up data and facts that aren’t accurate about people being severely overweight, that it doesn’t attribute to negative health outcomes.
22:53 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, to the extent of it, that the movement is a battle against many of the unrealistic body image expectations that are shoved in our face every day.
23:06 Jordan Syatt: 100 percent yep.
23:08 Mike Vacanti: Steroid, spray tan, like angles…
23:10 Jordan Syatt: Photoshop.
23:10 Mike Vacanti: Photoshop exactly, all of that. You don’t need to fight against those things, which I think universally we agree are not good, individually or collectively, you don’t need to go all the way to saying, 64% body fat equals 18% body fat from a health perspective.
23:31 Jordan Syatt: Yep, that was a hell of a one to start with.
23:34 Mike Vacanti: Cool. Yeah, I figured we’d do it when we had the most juice. The second question we got is: How do you handle clients who don’t… By the way, when I’m picking these, I kind of like picking, ’cause there’s psychology around coaching, there’s nitty-gritty fitness stuff, there’s high-level topics going on in the fitness industry, there are there’s specifics about business and improving your business. So let us know either in a review or in a message or in an email, what you think of these episodes, what you think of these questions, and feel free to submit questions for us.
24:11 Jordan Syatt: And feel free to submit a five-star review if you’re enjoying it.
24:15 Mike Vacanti: We would love that too. We would love that too. How do you handle clients who don’t check-in, and you have to keep reminding them to do so. So this is a good online coaching question.
24:29 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.
24:30 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. So if this hasn’t happened to you, it will, because this is a fact that a certain percentage of people you coach, and as you coach more people, you’ll come across those who just don’t check-in, no matter what you do really, right. Like you could email someone every day, you could try to get them on the phone, you couldn’t nag them, which isn’t something we recommend doing. But you could do everything in your power to get somebody to check in, whether that’s their weekly check-in, or if you have them, you want them to send you daily emails, whatever your coaching system is, and they’re not going to do it. So the best place to start here is with expectations. Let the client know when you’re starting, like, “Here’s how everything works, here is how updates work, and I expect you to fill out your updates every week. Like if you miss a week, that’s completely understandable, that happens, but you’re an adult, I’m an adult, I’m not going to chase you down, I’m not going to email you every single day, I’m not gonna keep peppering you if you’re not filling out your updates, that’s your responsibility.”
25:44 Mike Vacanti: And setting that expectation upfront, it’s gonna do a few things, one, it’s gonna make that person feel more accountable to consistently fill out their updates. And two, it’s going to let you avoid a potentially uncomfortable situation that I dealt with early on, which was someone didn’t fill out an update, I sent him an email like, “Hey, you didn’t fill out your update.” I didn’t hear anything back. The next week, they didn’t fill out their update, I sent an email like, “Hey, is everything okay? What’s going on? I know you missed a couple of updates, that’s okay. It’s perfectly normal. But like, is there anything I can be doing to help?” They don’t say anything. And then I kinda back off because if I send a couple of emails, what am I gonna do? I’m not your mom, I’m not gonna track you down at your house in a different state. And two months go by, and then that person is like, “You know I felt like you didn’t even care about me, why didn’t you… ‘ And I said, “Look I sent you a few emails, you never replied, I’m not really sure what else I can do,” but by setting the expectation upfront that you aren’t going to chase someone down you avoid that potentially uncomfortable situation in the future.
26:53 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. I think that’s it’s super important is the expectations they have to be set or else there’s gonna be issues. And even when you just set them, there still might be issues, but at least you have in a writing, “Hey, you need to check in with me. I will not be chasing you down. I will not be coming after you.” The other thing that I think is important to discuss here is why someone might not be checking in with you. There’s a lot of potential reasons here. But I think something that happens, especially when you first start coaching or online coaching, if someone isn’t checking in, oftentimes, you’re gonna think that it’s something you did. You’re gonna think that it’s your fault, that you’re a bad coach, that you’re making a mistake. And that could be true, maybe you suck. I don’t think that’s the case for the vast, especially if you’re listen listening to this podcast. Odds are if someone isn’t checking in with you, they’re not replying to your emails, they’re not checking in, they’re they are discouraged. And they are oftentimes ashamed and they feel like they let you down. So you have to understand, if someone isn’t checking in, they’re probably not following the program and they feel like a failure.
28:00 Jordan Syatt: And this is most easily exemplified and when people are doing well, they’re they’ll usually email again. They’re usually like, “Lost two pounds,” like, “I increased my deadlift by 15 pounds,” and being consistent. But then if they go on vacation, they gain a couple of pounds. They don’t get back on track that week. They’re finding it really difficult. They gain a few more pounds. They’re down, and they feel like they’re letting you down. You have to understand the psychology of a client. A lot of clients will come to you, maybe after seeing a couple of your client success stories, and in their mind, they’re like, “I wanna be a success story for this person,” like, “I want them to post about me. I want them to be proud of me.” So they go off track six weeks in, gain a couple of pounds, and they start seeing themselves go back to old habits. They’re not not checking in because you did anything wrong, they’re not checking in because they feel bad. And you have to understand that and that’s how you can sort of adjust your approach to reaching out to them, to make it more likely for them to get back on track.
29:00 Jordan Syatt: So one of the things that I would do is, I would record a voice memo and I would send it to them. And basically, I’d say like, “Hey… ” An email I’d write like, “Hey, I haven’t heard from you in a couple of weeks. I attached a voice memo. I hope you’re doing well.” And the voice memo would say something to the effect of like, “Hey, I don’t know if this is what you’re going through right now, but if by chance you happened to go off track, if by chance maybe you’ve gained a couple of pounds, you haven’t been good with your nutrition, it doesn’t matter. You’re good. You can get right back on track. I’m here to help you. Even if you decide you don’t wanna do coaching anymore, you decide that this isn’t for you, I’m always here as a friend, first and foremost. Anything you need, please let me know.” The response rate to that was outrageous, and people are were like, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I’ve just been so ashamed of myself. Thank you so much for that voice memo. I’m ready. Let’s go. Let’s hit it.” And then they’re back on track. I think a lot of coaches forget that coaching isn’t just about giving someone a plan and expects them to do it.
29:57 Jordan Syatt: Coaching is understanding the ebbs and flows of the process and being there to remind them that you’re there for them no matter what. And a lot of times, that will be enough to get them back on track. And the sooner you can get them back on track, the more “damage control” you can do, the more they’ll believe in their ability to succeed, and the longer they’ll stay on track and the better they’ll do long term. So if you can understand this right now, so if someone doesn’t check-in for a week or two weeks, then immediately you send that email and or that voice memo, so they get back on track rather than waiting three months. And for whatever it’s worth, I made that mistake early earlier on in my career. I would wait one month, two months, three months. I’d still send their programs and to be like, “Hey, I haven’t heard from you. Hope you’re well,” and I’d send their program, but I didn’t understand why they weren’t checking in and I resented it. I was like, “Oh, I was getting angry.” I was like, “I gave you the instructions. You should be checking in. You’re an adult.”
30:48 Jordan Syatt: But that was my ignorance from a coaching perspective like a good coach is going to understand that they’re not avoiding you because they don’t like you, or you’re doing a bad job. They’re avoiding you because they’re ashamed. So understand that as a coach and your response rate and your success as a coach will radically increase.
31:08 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. And without that understanding and without that… Whether it’s an email or a voice memo, but that message, you’re not going to have the person back on track because, in their mind, they’re thinking they need to battle back to where they were before they even reach out to you, because they don’t want you to know that they, in their mind let you down, that they had a bad weekend, a bad week, a bad two weeks that they’ve gained five pounds, whatever it is. A current client of mine, this actually didn’t happen, but he’s been sending daily food logs. And for the last two and a half weeks, three weeks maybe, he hasn’t really lost any weight, and we’re leading up to some big board exams that he had. And so I said pretty early, maybe two weeks out from them like, “I don’t expect you to lose any weight during this time period. Maintaining during this time period is a huge win. If you have to miss a workout here or there because you’re studying, if you need to prioritize sleep, like consistency over perfection here, that’s what we’re doing.”
32:10 Mike Vacanti: And just the other day, he wrote me a note and he was like something to the effect of, “You’re so much more understanding than other coaches,” or like other people that he’s talked to. Which is something you and I have talked about a lot, which is basically just like it’s reality. It’s having realistic expectations and communicating those to our clients. And I think it’s also a function of coaching more people and being able to understand what actual good versus not great progress looks like compared to only having N equals one yourself, someone who loves fitness and using that as your barometer for what good and bad progress is.
32:56 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Yeah, I agree 100%.
33:00 Mike Vacanti: So, hopefully, that answered that question. Number three here is from Rene, who’s in the mentorship. And she actually just said that she wanted to hear you and I riff about it on the podcast. So that’s why we’re putting it, which is mobility versus flexibility. “I am confused about the difference between mobility and flexibility and the purpose for each. Also, what’s the best way to improve each, and when you know which one to work on or if you even need to.”
33:31 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. So this is a really good question. The basic differentiation between mobility and flexibility is, flexibility is passive range of motion, and mobility is active range of motion. So what that means is, if you have a client lying on their back and you stretch their leg to do a hamstring stretch, that’s passive range of motion. They’re not doing anything, you’re doing the work for them, and they’re just getting a stretch because you’re doing it for them, right? And so you’re testing their passive flexibility, mobility, on the other hand, would be, in this case, let’s say, that person is standing straight up and they decide to do a straight leg raise and they can control their body while they’re lifting their leg up and you can see how much range of motion they get, now that’s more mobility. You could also see them do that, the difference between adductor flexibility, someone doing like a stretch, they’re stretching their adductors versus someone doing, let’s say, a lateral lunge, right?
34:43 Jordan Syatt: So if someone’s just gonna do a… They’re on the ground, they’re doing a split stance adductor mobilization, if you don’t know that is, you can Google it or YouTube it. Eric Cressey, I believe, is the one who really popularized that mobility drill, it’s phenomenal. A split stance adductor mobilization is more of a flexibility style drill. You increase mobility, you can improve mobility from it, but you’re really testing your flexibility, whereas if you do a lateral lunge, you’re testing your mobility because you have to actively brace and stabilize and move through that range of motion. So mobility is more of a functional assessment of your flexibility, whereas flexibility is more just you don’t have to be “functional” with it. It’s so you’re just going through how much range you have. But it doesn’t matter how much range you have if you can’t use it in a functional way, right? If you can’t use it while you’re actually moving, so that’s where I think mobility becomes a much more important assessment in everyday life, just because if they don’t have that mobility, it doesn’t matter how much flexibility they have. And the reality is, sometimes people can have so much flexibility that it becomes a danger to them.
35:53 Jordan Syatt: So we call a lot of these people, they’re congenitally lax, where maybe they’re too mobile, they’re hyper-mobile to the point where they don’t have enough stability to be able to maintain control in an active range of motion. So you have someone who maybe they’re doing a lateral lunge, but they don’t have enough stability… They might have all the mobility in the world, but they don’t have enough stability to control that lateral lunge to the point where either their knee or their hip or their ankle, something is at risk of getting injured because they don’t have that stability. So for me, if I’m looking at a client and assessing them, yes, flexibility is important, and passive flexibility is something you might want to look at, especially if someone is unbelievably restricted and very, very, very tight and immobile, but generally speaking with my clients, I’m far more concerned with their overall mobility as opposed to just strictly their flexibility.
36:44 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Syatt Fitness crushed it. I don’t even have much to add to that. One helpful way to think about the difference between the two, in addition to what Jordan just said is, mobility has a strength component to it too. If you think about that, that adductor stretch versus a lateral lunge, it requires strength to control that same movement through the range of motion. And in the last part, kinda like how to know if you need to work on, like, how to know if you need more mobility.
37:27 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. So this is a good question, and this is where I think you can use a number of different assessments just to see. So for example, a lot of people might not be able to get to depth in a squat. Maybe they can’t get low enough in a squat, and if someone can’t get low enough in a squat, they might need more mobility, but not always, they also might need more stability. So now we have to ask, what should we be trying to improve? Generally speaking, so here’s what I’d say. If you get someone who’s just unbelievably tight, like you’re trying to do a passive hamstring stretch on them, and they just… They will not move. If they don’t have enough passive flexibility, then it’s impossible for them to have enough mobility. They just can’t. They don’t have enough flexibility, then they won’t have enough mobility. So if they’re not flexible enough in their hamstring to be able to do a certain… To get a certain degree of movement in their leg, then cool, you gotta work on their hamstring flexibility, you know that.
38:27 Jordan Syatt: But let’s say you’re looking at someone, they’ve got great flexibility, and you’re looking at their movements and it looks like they have great overall mobility, but they can’t get deep enough in a squat, well now, it’s like, do you still need to work on their hip mobility? Do you still need to work on that, or is there something else going on? And odds are, in that case, something else is going on. So one of the best ways for me to differentiate a mobility issue… Between a mobility issue and a stability issue, especially for a squat, is you just put them on all fours, put them on the ground on all fours. And essentially, if you turn them 90 degrees, they would be in the bottom of the squat position, okay? So they’re on all fours, each hand underneath their shoulder, and each knee directly beneath their hip, but then you push them back towards the bottom of the squat. If you take that image of them and you flip it 90 degrees, so that if they were standing up, then they’re in a deep squat without any butt wink or any issues, then it’s not a mobility issue, because they have the range, it’s there.
39:23 Jordan Syatt: But if you see them, their lower back starts to round out, they can’t get deep even when they’re fully supported by the ground, now you have some form of mobility issue because they can’t do it even when they’re fully supported by the ground. If they can do it on the ground, if they’re fully supported and they have enough depth in that squat, then… But they can’t do it standing up, that’s a stability issue, that means they need some more… Either more core stability, maybe they just need to improve their balance, maybe they need to change their stance in order to get more… A wider stance in order to have a better balance and grip with the floor, but odds are, if you can put them on the ground and they can go through the entire range of motion without an issue, then it’s not a mobility issue, it’s a stability issue. If they can’t go through the range of motion, even when they’re supported by the floor, that means that it’s a mobility issue.
40:12 Mike Vacanti: A stray cat just walked by my window here. We’ll continue.
40:23 Mike Vacanti: What is the best way to measure calories burned?
40:28 Jordan Syatt: Don’t.
40:29 Mike Vacanti: So calorie expenditure. Don’t. Number five. This is a good question, and I’m gonna assume we don’t mean your TDEE or your total daily energy expenditure, but calorie expenditure through an activity, through a 45-minute cardio session, how many calories did I burn doing the strength training session? You probably have a better pulse on this, but I feel like they’re not as popular of questions as they used to be which I think is a good thing.
41:03 Jordan Syatt: It’s pretty popular.
41:03 Mike Vacanti: They’re pretty popular?
41:04 Jordan Syatt: It’s pretty popular. I can’t do a Q&A without getting a lot of these questions.
41:08 Mike Vacanti: Never mind. There’s three variables here. We have how many calories you’re consuming, we have how many calories you’re burning, and we have your progress. And you don’t see the video, but Jordan and I are doing one, two, three on our fingers. And as we all know, if you can figure out two of three variables in any an equation, you’re going to solve for the third one. So which of those is easiest to know?
41:41 Jordan Syatt: You explain this so well. Like God, he’s is super articulate with it.
41:46 Mike Vacanti: Thank you.
41:46 Jordan Syatt: Keep going.
41:47 Mike Vacanti: Thank you, I appreciate that. Well, first, the technology to measure calorie expenditure doesn’t exist. So whether it’s a little flashing thing that says 287 calories on your Nordic treadmill, or whether it’s a watch on your wrist that they’re marketing saying that by your pulse or by your whatever, they can estimate calorie expenditure, that technology doesn’t exist. Fortunately, tracking how many calories you consume and getting close enough does exist. That’s just a simple habit that requires a little bit of time and a little bit of consistency. Tracking progress is also something that is within our control. And obviously, we’re gonna have to work with averages because the scale can go up and down a little bit here and there based on water, etcetera, etcetera. But tracking scale weight over time and tracking waist measurements over time is going to solve for that progress component. So we have two of our three variables, from there we can back into “calorie expenditure”.
43:00 Mike Vacanti: And practically speaking, what you’ll do with a client is assign them calories based on whatever equation you want, right, estimate maintenance, whether it’s a single number multiplier, whether it’s… Like I use Katch-McArdle times an activity multiplier in Mike’s Macros, in my app to give maintenance calories for that. I know Jordan uses goal body weight times a number to come up with fat loss calorie targets, but pick a calorie intake and then track progress. And based on their progress, you’re going to be able to… If you think they’re gonna lose a pound a week, but after three weeks, they’re down 11 pounds, and they’re starving out of their mind, and then you know you overshot. But yeah, You’re not gonna measure calorie expenditure other than backing into it.
43:58 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, it’s actually, it’s funny ’cause I recommend everyone download Mike’s Macros whenever people ask me on my Q&A, I always like, Yeah, they’re like, “What Calorie Tracker should I use?” I’m always like, “Download Mike’s Macros, really good app.” And it’s funny because a lot of their people will DM me after they put their information in and they get their calorie intake, they’re like, “Well, his calories say something different than your calories.” And I’m like, “Well, yeah, but he uses a different equation.” They’re like, “Well, which one’s right?” I’m like, “Fucking try it. Just try one. They might both actually be right, they might both put you in a deficit, that might actually work, but maybe one is gonna be easier for you to maintain. And it’s gonna depend. So a lot of people get so hung up on, “Well, where do I begin?” Pick one and try it. A lot of people don’t like to hear, this is all trial and error. But that’s what coaching is.
44:51 Jordan Syatt: When you’re a coach and you take away the guesswork for your clients, taking away the guesswork means that you’re taking the information they give you and you’re using you’re experimenting, you’re the one using the trial and error. It’s like, Okay, well, you gave them these calories, these macros, and they’re not losing weight for four weeks, so it’s like, “Alright, you know what? Well, We’re gonna try these instead. Let’s see how these work.” And those don’t work. “Alright, we’re gonna try these instead.” It’s like, Alright, well, these don’t work. So basically what that means is they’re not following your fucking guidelines. It’s like it’s not that the macros don’t work. It’s that they’re probably not following it unless you’re really screwing up with your numbers here.
45:24 Jordan Syatt: So it’s all trial and error, and the coaching part of it allows you, the coach, to take that trial and error part, and they trust you with that, but when people are just doing it on their own, it becomes like they get nervous because they don’t have as much knowledge as a coach. So they get worried, they don’t know if they’re doing the right thing or not. So you don’t need to worry about your calories burned as long as you pick one equation, you know exactly how much you’re taking in, and you measure your results. That’s it. You look at your progress. If you’re losing weight, your pictures are improving, your measurement’s going down. Cool, keep going. If you’re too hungry, if it’s completely unsustainable, cool, you can increase your calories and still be in a deficit. It’s that simple, it’s not easy because if you’re not very knowledgeable on something, then you’re gonna be second-guessing yourself, you’re not sure if it’s working, but it’s trial and error. It’s the only way it’s gonna work.
46:14 Jordan Syatt: I think, honestly, I think one of the best piece of advice I ever got from Martin Berkhan when I was like 18 and following him, I don’t know if he wrote this in an article or if it was an email back and forth, I think it was an article. Was basically like, “Listen, when you’re going through the process of cutting and bulking and just doing this, you’re gonna mess up. It takes you multiple times of going through the cutting and bulking process to find what works for you,” And when he said that, I was like, “Oh, so I’m gonna do a cut, I’m gonna get super lean and I’m gonna mess it up after that, and that’s good,” ’cause that’s part of the process. If you think you’re gonna do your first cut and get however lean you want and just maintain that and it’ll you’ll be good forever.
46:54 Jordan Syatt: That’s not how it works. You’re gonna go through a cut, you’re gonna gain body fat, you’re probably gonna gain too much body fat, then you’re gonna cut again, then you’re gonna have more strategies in place, and the reason that we’re talking about this here is ’cause you can explain this to your clients, explain this to them like, “Listen, the goal right now isn’t to get to the point where like, Okay, cool, you reach your ideal leanness and you’re good forever. The goal is to give you the tools and the knowledge and the ability to do it on your own, so you can work back and forth and trial and error to the point where you feel confident enough in your own ability to manage your progress.”
47:25 Mike Vacanti: Well said. Let’s hit a fifth one here. I think we got time for it. “Do you have a business mentor. I’m interested in hiring one, I’m an online coach.” My biggest business mentor or the person who I consumed their advice passively in what they were putting out, and then I had the opportunity to have more direct access to them and get more customized feedback was Gary. And his philosophies around marketing, around attention, around social media usage, around content, but really around people and helping people for free and coaching people for free, and just giving unlimited jobs without expectation. He is the person who had the biggest direct impact on my business, and the person who I would call a business mentor. At this stage, I’ve internalized his messages, I understand them, and if I had a goal to like triple my business in the next year, those are the principles that I would apply to make that happen. Business isn’t as high a priority for me right now, as it has been in the past, so you’re seeing less of that. But yes, I’ve had a business mentor and it was him.
49:00 Jordan Syatt: Obviously, Gary has been a huge mentor for me as well. I’ll give a little bit more backstory just based on… I hired my first business coach, I think when I was 23 or 24, and he was awful. And then I hired a second business coach not long after him, he was awful, and then I hired another business coach several years after him, and awful. And then I hired my fourth business coach, and that’s Pat Flynn. And Pat Flynn is not only one of my best friends now, but also just an extraordinary human, but unbelievable business coach and business mentor, he was really the guy that…
49:46 Jordan Syatt: He taught me a lot about writing, he taught me a lot about not just copywriting, but just writing, good writing. He led me in the right direction, gave me a lot of great books and resources. He taught me about email marketing, email campaigns. Pat Flynn really took me and my mentality and my business to a new level, and this was back before I ever started coaching Gary, this was back in like 2015. Then when I started coaching Gary, then he became another tremendously important and positive influence in my life, both in business, but also just in life in general, and that’s massively influenced my business, and as of right now, I don’t have any direct mentors, anyone that I’m specifically learning from.
50:37 Jordan Syatt: At least not in business, in Jujitsu, I would say, yeah, I have a lot of mentors, but for business mentors right now, no, but I think I’m at a point where I’ve… And the same thing with fitness, I interned with Louie Simmons I interned with Eric Cressey, I learned from Tony Gentilcore, I learned from Stacey Schaedler and Kevin McCarthy and all these people. I interned and learned from enough people that now I sort of I have my own voice, I know it works for me. I still hire coaches to do my programming so I can continue to learn from them, I never stop learning, but I’m also at a point where I’m comfortable enough with my own voice and persona and fitness knowledge to continue moving forward with progressing on my own. Same thing in business.
51:23 Jordan Syatt: I know, I’m confident enough in who I am and what I believe and what I do to continue progressing on my own. But again, if business ever becomes a serious, serious goal of mine, which I’m sure it will at some point, then I’ll probably hire a business coach or a business mentor, because when I want to focus on something, it massively benefits you to hire out. If for nothing else, I think one of the best parts about hiring Pat Flynn was the accountability that came with it. Like I paid Pat Flynn $1000 a month when I did not have that much spare money, I was not in the place where I could afford that, but I made it work. And the accountability that came with spending that much money took my business to a level that I can’t even begin to tell you, I worked so much harder because I had that accountability. So and I also told that story because I went through three coaches that I didn’t like before I found one that I loved. So I think part of the process is understanding you’re not going to always have a… The first coach you find, the second coach you find, the third coach you find maybe they’re not a good fit, but through working with each of those coaches, I learned a lot, and I also ended up with the one that is one of my best friends forever.
52:39 Mike Vacanti: That’s awesome.
52:40 Jordan Syatt: Which we can’t end that without saying, Hey, if you wanna join the Fitness Business Mentorship, which basically, This is what Mike and I run, this is what we do for coaches right now. Which is we have a place that is very affordable, it’s a way lower cost than if you’re ever gonna work with a one-on-one coach, it is a group community where we have a Facebook group and everyone’s incredibly kind and encouraging, but we also have so many courses teaching you literally everything you need to know about being a great coach, program design, client psychology and motivation, behavior change, nutrition programming, strength programming, online systems and assessments, how to communicate with your clients. If you want to be a great online coach and build an online coaching business, this is it, like go to fitnessbusinessmentorship.com and sign up. Because we’re gonna hold you accountable. And you’re gonna learn everything you need to know.
53:36 Mike Vacanti: Well said, sign up. Hope to see you in there. Jordan, this was is a great podcast.
53:40 Jordan Syatt: This was is good, I love it. Thank you so much for listening. Have a wonderful day. And we’ll see you next week.
53:46 Mike Vacanti: Bye everyone.