00:11 Mike Vacanti: Hello, Jordan.


00:12 Jordan Syatt: What’s going on, Michael? 


00:14 Mike Vacanti: Not much, bro. I’m feeling good. How are you? 


00:17 Jordan Syatt: Feeling good, man. I’m tired. I’m tired. The deficit’s hitting me.


00:22 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, you earned it.


00:22 Jordan Syatt: I can feel it.


00:23 Mike Vacanti: The end is near. You’re two and a half weeks out from competition.


00:26 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah, two and a half weeks out. I’m down…


00:30 Mike Vacanti: 16 pounds since the beginning of the cut? 


00:33 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, that’s exactly right, 16 pounds. Which is pretty crazy, man. I was pretty fluffy.




00:41 Jordan Syatt: I was pretty fluffy. I was like, “Man, 16 pounds.” And I still, I’m not outrageously lean at all.


00:50 Mike Vacanti: You mean by magazine…


00:54 Jordan Syatt: Correct.


00:54 Mike Vacanti: Or shirtless beach standards. Looking at your face and your body in clothes, you look substantially good and lean.


01:00 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, no. And from a health perspective, great, performance perspective, great. But even compared to when I was competitively powerlifting, I was lean year-round. I was probably between like, depending on the time of year, between 8% to 12% body fat all year-round. Now it’s like, I’m just nowhere near that. But I feel great, I’m good. So definitely, I’m more like from the… I think from the fitness Physique Magazine type of perspective, alright, yeah, not lean at all. But from a health perspective, yeah, I’m great. But 16 pounds is considerable, especially on a guy my frame.


01:37 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, 10% of your body weight.


01:40 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Yeah.


01:41 Mike Vacanti: Good for you, man.


01:43 Jordan Syatt: So feeling good, man. Feeling good. How about you? What’s going on? How’s your training? 


01:49 Mike Vacanti: I had an all-time, all-time workout this morning.


01:53 Jordan Syatt: Really? 


01:54 Mike Vacanti: Like 2013 style all-time.


01:57 Jordan Syatt: Sort of anger-fueled, kinda? 


02:00 Mike Vacanti: Last night I had way too much steak and gnocchi for dinner, and woke up not hungry at all, so had a little caffeine, got like 30 ounces of water in me doing emails, and then still not hungry. And I haven’t trained fasted in a while, but I just got a nice fresh new tub of the Martin Berkhan-sponsored Purple Wraath here in Bloomington, Minnesota, and took a full scoop of that, which is just BCAAs, for anyone listening. But it also has a… Purple Wraath has beta-alanine in there and…


02:37 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, I was gonna say.


02:38 Mike Vacanti: A lot of pre-workouts don’t have the minimal effective dosage of beta-alanine, so when you take a full scoop of this with a little bit of pre-workout and… Yeah, it was just a really good, angry Eminem-driven eight exercise random pull day.


02:58 Jordan Syatt: Do you get itchy when you take beta-alanine? 


03:01 Mike Vacanti: Not anymore.


03:02 Jordan Syatt: Really? 


03:03 Mike Vacanti: I mean, mildly maybe, but no, not like the first 10 times I ever had pre-workout where my forearms and face actually itched.


03:14 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And Eminem is the best workout music, by far.


03:20 Mike Vacanti: Dude, we talked about this recently. For the best workouts, and in my experience, the best workouts are driven by anger. Yes, that’s absolutely true. It might not be the best life strategy, but for within that hour, having the most high-quality training session, yeah, it felt great. And obviously, fasted training for performance, like if you’re trying to build muscle, is technically sub-optimal, but I like the psychological feeling, like the hungry lion training feeling, especially because I just wasn’t hungry this morning. But it’s a different full-body feeling training fasted, even than having a scoop of protein powder for me before a workout, so it felt real good.


04:08 Jordan Syatt: That’s awesome, man. Do you think that steak and gnocchi is gonna be a staple now? 


04:14 Mike Vacanti: No. [chuckle] I mean, I would love that. We don’t usually eat like that. My mom and girlfriend handmade gnocchi last night, and my dad went and picked us up some really nice steaks and grilled those while I just watched football like a complete bum, and yeah…


04:37 Jordan Syatt: Jeez. They handmade gnocchi? 


04:40 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. It was… They went to a cooking class together, the two of them, and learned how to make, like hand-make these different kinds of gnocchi, and there was a fall pumpkin/squash kind of flavored…


04:52 Jordan Syatt: Oh, man.


04:52 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, it was really…


04:52 Jordan Syatt: That sounds incredible.


04:54 Mike Vacanti: And so ate the dinner.


04:55 Jordan Syatt: I really wish I was invited.




04:57 Mike Vacanti: I’m sorry, Jordan. I wish you were invited too. But the best part was before falling asleep at half-time of the Sunday Night Football game, I went into the fridge and just ate all of what was leftover of the gnocchi. Not hungry at all, but just pounded it before bed. Woke up feeling not hungry.


05:19 Jordan Syatt: Did the Vikings play? 


05:20 Mike Vacanti: Oh yeah, we’re terrible. Absolutely.


05:23 Jordan Syatt: Are you? 


05:24 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, we could get the number one pick in the draft.


05:25 Jordan Syatt: But you might be the worst…


05:29 Mike Vacanti: I think 0-16 is a real possibility.


05:29 Jordan Syatt: No.


05:29 Mike Vacanti: Not actually, but yes, compared to pre-season expectations, and I know people don’t wanna hear about the Minnesota Viking’s roster, but we’re in real trouble. We lost our entire defensive line, we lost our starting three cornerbacks. Yeah, we’re bad.


05:45 Jordan Syatt: I’m sorry, dude. That sucks.


05:48 Mike Vacanti: It’s okay. When you’re really, really bad, then you get a good draft pick the next year, and that brings hope and promise. So there’s always something to look forward to.




06:00 Jordan Syatt: I’ve heard Gary is upset this year too. He’s just been super disappointed.


06:04 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, he’s not pleased.


06:06 Jordan Syatt: Not good.


06:07 Mike Vacanti: I told him what you and I spoke about when he posted that. I think it was like, “Fuck everything.” He posted…


06:14 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, he literally took a selfie and said, “Fuck everything.”


06:15 Mike Vacanti: And someone commented and was like, “In a good way? Or in a bad way?” Just ’cause it was so inconsistent with everything he posts.


06:28 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.


06:28 Mike Vacanti: He got a kick out of that.


06:29 Jordan Syatt: That’s the one thing that if I didn’t… ‘Cause I don’t watch football or really sports, except for MMA, at all. If I didn’t know him and I saw that come up, I’d be like, “That’s really odd. What a weird thing for him to post.”


06:42 Mike Vacanti: Like, Are you okay? Yeah. In a good way? 


06:47 Jordan Syatt: It’s so funny ’cause there are always people who are excited to explain in the comments why he’s upset. So there’s that person who’s like, “Wait, what’s going on?” And there’s always someone who knows why he’s upset and they’re super excited they’ll be like, “Oh it’s the Jets. He’s a Jets fan. They suck. This is normal.”


07:01 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, yeah. Part of like, community.


07:06 Jordan Syatt: What do we got for today, man? 


07:08 Mike Vacanti: We got some questions.


07:09 Jordan Syatt: Q&As have been doing well. People liking the Q&As.


07:13 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. And we still have so many good questions, so I picked out a bunch of them and we’re gonna keep knocking through this list. So question one, “Do you have to be super-fit to be a personal trainer?”


07:30 Jordan Syatt: That’s a great question. What do you think, Mike? You wanna take that one to start with? 


07:34 Mike Vacanti: Given that it’s a yes or no question, I’ll start just by giving the answer, which is No. You do not need to be super fit to be a personal trainer. You actually don’t need to be fit at all to be a personal trainer.




07:50 Mike Vacanti: Technically speaking. You could be one of the best, from a knowledge perspective, from a biomechanics perspective. You can have all of the knowledge and be an unbelievable coach without embodying any of those principles yourself. And by the way, let’s make a designation between super fit, kinda like normally in shape, because the question was, “Do you have to be super fit?” And then out of shape, we’ll call it. You definitely do not have to be super fit. The only benefit that comes from being in shape as a coach, or being super fit, I should say, is the little bit of marketing that that gets you, right? There’s a certain subset of the population who is only going to work with someone who they aspire to look like. Which is kind of silly because we can’t look like other people, we can only look like better and worse versions of ourself. But I’ve had experiences where dudes primarily sign up wanting to get my physique or do my workout to look like me. That’s an overwhelming minority of people who sign up, and outside of that benefit, no, you can be an amazing coach and not be super fit.


09:28 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, I agree. I think this is a good conversation to have though, it’s like, “Yeah, you can be but… ” I think a lot of people nowadays like they use that as justification to not try at all. It’s sort of like when I was competitively powerlifting, this question came up a lot in terms of, “Do you need to be strong in order to be a strength coach?” Right? And it was a debate I got in a lot. And for me, the answer was always like, “No, you don’t need to be strong in order to be a strength coach,” but being very strong, or at least being strong, will give you a massive advantage from your clients. Your clients will benefit because, you can know all of the science, you can know all the bio-mechanics, you can know all the leverages, you can know all the technique, but if you’ve never walked up to a heavy loaded bar and you’ve never gone through the experience of trying to get stronger mentally, you won’t have that understanding that your clients, or what they’re going through, and you won’t be able to help them as much as you could if you’ve never been through it.


10:39 Jordan Syatt: I think the same thing goes for coaching. Do you need to be as lean as a model on Men’s Fitness or a Women’s Fitness Magazine? No, of course not. I’m sort of like, I’m not at all. I’m nowhere near that. I’m like 17%, 18% body fat. But it will benefit your clients dramatically if you’ve at least gone through the process of prioritizing your own health, prioritizing your own fitness, doing your best to maintain a healthy body fat percentage. And again, I don’t think that anyone stepping on a bodybuilding stage is at a healthy body fat percentage. That’s not healthy. That’s unhealthy to the other end of the extreme. But putting in the work to maintain a healthy body fat percentage to work out consistently to eat well overall. Take aside the marketing aspect of it and sort of like the ‘practicing what you preach’ aspect of it, just only focus on the benefit that your clients will have because you understand the mental side of it is dramatic and it’s significant enough to the point where you will be a better coach simply because you live it and you actually do it. It’s like… Even me just going through this cut right now, there are things that I’ve remembered about foods to eat that will fill me up for fewer calories that I forgot about because I hadn’t done a cut in a while. It’s like, these are all things that you learn through practice.


12:05 Jordan Syatt: So if you’re not practicing what you preach, you could still be a great coach but… I don’t even think the question is, “Can you be a great coach?” The question is, “Can you be better than you are today?” Can you be a better coach than you are, and if you want to be better then always trying to improve will help you and your clients.


12:22 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, there’s something that you learn through doing that you can’t fully comprehend or can’t deeply understand by knowing through a book, right? 


12:35 Jordan Syatt: Correct.


12:37 Mike Vacanti: You can know the compilation of every relevant fact in an entire industry, let’s just say photographic memory, read every single book, you technically have all of the knowledge. You learn things in another way and on another level by doing them. So I think you’re absolutely right. There’s also a top of mindedness or relevancy, which kinda goes to the example you just gave with food choices, when you’re actually in a cut yourself. When you’re training for a specific goal and eating for a specific goal, you’re more immersed in the same things that your clients are going through, which makes you, not just more relatable but maybe it’s more interesting, more understanding on an emotional level, you’re more in the game with them, so you can better lead them.


13:35 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah. I agree completely. So yeah, in short, to answer your question, no, you don’t need to be super fit and you don’t need to be… And I think sort of by super-fit we’ll pull out the physique, competitor bodybuilding, powerlifting, strongman competitor, any type, you don’t need to be that level fit but it will benefit you to be fit at some level to show that you are practicing what you preach.


14:01 Mike Vacanti: Next up, how to gain online clients through social media? This is kind of a broad one but I feel like a fun one.


14:10 Jordan Syatt: I’m gonna go back. I have to go back to what we were talking about before, ’cause something else just popped into my mind.


14:15 Mike Vacanti: I love it.


14:16 Jordan Syatt: The other thing that I wanted to say on this is, it doesn’t mean that you have to wait until you’re fit to be a coach.


14:23 Mike Vacanti: Correct.


14:23 Jordan Syatt: Right. So, let’s say you’re just starting out as a coach and you’re not as fit as you’d like to be, it doesn’t mean that you can’t start coaching people. Like, start coaching people with where you’re at now and then also use what you’re going through as an opportunity to help coach and teach other people. So, as you’re going through your process of becoming more fit and becoming healthier and achieving your goals, you can coach people and become a better coach while you’re also going through it yourself. So, you don’t have to wait until you’re fit to be a coach but I would definitely… I would start now with wherever you’re at and then ideally as you become a better coach, you’ll also be more fit yourself.


15:02 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. That’s a great distinction. Yeah. If you think about it in terms of who can you help, you can help a tremendous number of people with where you are right now. And by waiting until you’re 10 pounds, 15 pounds leaner or you’re 25 pounds, 30 pounds stronger, whatever the mental roadblock is right now, you’re just delaying helping those people. So, continue on the goal you’re on but simultaneously jump in and start coaching, start making content, start helping people.


15:39 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Sorry, I just had to throw that one in there.


15:42 Mike Vacanti: I love it, I love it. How to gain online clients through social media? So, I’ll give a one-sentence answer to start and just kick things off. Make content on social media native to the platform that helps people with their fitness goals and ideally people who you want to work with. Meaning if you’re not interested in coaching powerlifters, don’t make content around how to take your one-rep max deadlift from 500 to 600.


16:25 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. I’d say, if I’m gonna say this in as few words as possible, it would literally just be, make content that helps people. That’s it. That’s literally it. And it’s like, don’t overthink it. I think an interesting point to talk about, which I know we’ve spoken about before, is this sort of the niche topic, like finding your niche. And people way over-complicate this in so many different ways, like, “Oh, well, I wanna work with entrepreneurs, only entrepreneurs.” It’s like, what is wrong with you? You’re only gonna target entrepreneurs… That’s… It’s not necessarily a bad goal, I just think it’s… If you’re starting out with zero clients…


17:07 Mike Vacanti: I think it’s a bad goal.




17:10 Mike Vacanti: What you’re doing is you’re taking a massive market of which you can help a very high percentage of those people and you’re narrowing your market by the number of people who are entrepreneurs out of the entire population of people you could help. You’re basically eliminating 99% of the people you could help, for no good reason.


17:31 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. And I think a better classification would be, “I wanna help, busy people.” Right? It’s like, I wanna help people who don’t have a lot of time and…




17:43 Mike Vacanti: Which is everyone.


17:43 Jordan Syatt: Don’t know exactly what they’re doing. Which is literally everybody. It’s just everybody. It’s like, why does it matter if they’re an entrepreneur or if they’re a single mother? It’s like… It doesn’t matter. Like, help them. They’re both super busy.




17:57 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, and they need your help. And I think a lot of people are like, “Well, you know, I wanna work with… Or I don’t need to figure out who I wanna work with, I need to figure out their age, I need to figure out their gender, I need to figure out what podcast they listen to, I need to figure out what pages of the newspapers they really spend the majority their time on, who their favorite song artists are.” It’s like, what are you doing? A lot of business coaches or academies are like, “Alright, you need to find your avatar and you need to find exactly the person that you are… ” No, you don’t. People want to learn how to eat, to achieve their goals. They want to learn what exercises and what workouts to do to achieve their goals. It’s like, that’s everybody. And if you want to work with a specific, I would say, athletic population, that becomes one of the instances in which… Okay. Actually, you know, what we’ll break it down like this. The three main fitness goals you have, aesthetics, like how you look, losing body fat, building muscle, this is one possibility. Another possibility is pain reduction, right? So if someone has pain or joint issues, whatever, that’s another. And then athletic performance. So, whatever sport you’re doing.


19:04 Jordan Syatt: So, I would say if you wanna find your niche, figure out which one of those you wanna target. If you’re more of a physical therapist, then cool, then target more pain, movement, that type of content. If you wanna do more athletics, then figure out what type of… Either if you wanna focus on one specific type of sport, whether it’s football, soccer, MMA, baseball whatever or if it’s overall athletic development and you wanna say, “Okay, here’s how you’re gonna improve rate of force development, here’s how you’re gonna eat to feel your performance, here’s the type of conditioning,” whatever it is. And then the other one being aesthetics, which is you’re gonna have to do nutrition for fat loss, strength training and all this, you’re gonna have all of that. But figure out what one of those three and make content that helps people for one of those three on a consistent basis and that if someone’s looking for fat loss or muscle gain, they’ll find you. If someone’s looking for pain reduction, they’ll find you, if someone’s looking for athletic performance, they’ll find you, but those are the three major ones to really figure out what your niche is and from there you just make content and that’s it.


20:02 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, and when you are picking one of those three or when you are picking any kind of category for a “target” which should be quite broad like those three were. Don’t pick that category based on where you see opportunity or where you see dollars. Don’t pick it based on, 40 to 50-year-old businessmen because they can pay for high-ticket, and that way I can make X dollars. Don’t, that’s the wrong way to think about it for a number of reasons but rather than thinking about it based on opportunity, think about picking the type of person you wanna work with based on one, what you’re interested in, and two, what you’re good at or plan on getting good at, because if you’re picking it based on something you don’t want to be doing just because you think there is money there, you will not last. You will absolutely burn out even if in the short run you do okay because there was “a better market opportunity” or there’s some arbitrage there or there is an excess of demand compared to supply in that area, you’re not gonna last because… You’re not gonna last and you’re not gonna enjoy it. So, that’s why it’s important to pick the types of people you want to help, the types of goals that those people will have based on what you’re interested in, what you enjoy and what you’re competent in.


21:33 Jordan Syatt: Someone recently asked me on Instagram during one of my Q&As, she was like, “Why should I be giving away so much content for free?” I think it’s a, in sort of a next logical question in this discussion and I sent a voice memo back and I was like, “Well, listen. Number one is, everything that people could learn about whatever it is you’re gonna teach them, they could find it somewhere else. Everything. There is not one thing that you can teach people that isn’t freely available on Google, on Instagram, on Facebook, on websites, that it’s just on YouTube. Everything that you could possibly teach them is available for free by somebody else. So, either, you make free content and they find you and then they end up trusting you and invest in your program or they find it from someone else.” So, it’s really a no-brainer. It’s like either they’re gonna find it from you or they’re gonna go on Google and find somebody else, or someone’s gonna say, go follow someone else on Instagram or go follow someone else on YouTube or go look at someone else’s website or “Oh my God. Sign up for this person’s email list, their emails are so good.” So it’s either you or somebody else. And that’s it. And if you’re the kind of person who’s like, “Oh well, I deserve to be charging for… I’m not gonna give all the way of my content away for free.” It’s like, well, then you are never going to succeed because…


22:49 Mike Vacanti: People aren’t going to find you.


22:50 Jordan Syatt: You’re never gonna get them to trust you enough to buy you.


22:52 Mike Vacanti: Not only trust you enough but they’re not going to find you.




22:56 Jordan Syatt: That’s exactly right.


22:58 Mike Vacanti: Right? It’s called content marketing. You’re giving away free, helpful information, entertainment, whatever you’re giving away, but you’re giving it away for free to bring more eyeballs to you so that you can… That’s what jab, jab, jab, right hook is. Give, give, give, and then ask. Or even sometimes without the sale, you’re going to have people who want to sign up with you, who want to give you money even without you hard selling but yeah, that’s… I feel like that is becoming a less common question like, “Why should I give it away for free?”, but I could be wrong on that.


23:38 Jordan Syatt: I think it is becoming less common. It’s still very much there. I think some people might make, I don’t know, 12 pieces of content and then say, “Okay, well, I’ve given enough now.” It’s like, “Alright, no, you haven’t.” I just don’t think they know enough. I don’t think they’ve done it for a long enough to understand the benefit of it ’cause I don’t know anyone who’s very successful, who gets really nitty-gritty with what they’re giving away for free. Nobody I know who’s very successful is like, “Well, I don’t know if I wanna give this away for free or not because it’s really it’s my thing and I’m really good and da da.” It’s like, everyone I know who’s super successful is like, “Oh yeah, We’ll give it away for free, no problem,” because they know the benefit will be massive if they give it away for free and it’s not a big deal but it’s always the people who are struggling with their business to who are often the ones like, “I don’t know if I should give this away for free.” It’s like, I think that’s part of the learning process is, what you’ll realize is the more you give away for free, the better you’ll end up doing because people will trust you more.


24:41 Jordan Syatt: That’s really the… We’re in the trust game. It’s like, that’s it. How many people trust you? The more people who trust you, the more customers you’re gonna have. That’s really it and if you don’t give them a reason to trust you, the fewer customers you’re gonna have, that’s really it. And your content is a reason for them to trust you.


25:04 Mike Vacanti: Well said. I don’t have anything else on that one.


25:09 Jordan Syatt: That’s a good question.


25:11 Mike Vacanti: Number three. How do you get over camera shyness and listening to how your own voice actually sounds? 


25:19 Jordan Syatt: Oh, man. You just do.




25:23 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.


25:23 Mike Vacanti: If… And anyone who… So, the first thing I’ll say is do it fast because the first few times you’re doing anything new that’s uncomfortable, like maybe you wanted to make a YouTube video and you filmed yourself and you’re new to this process and you didn’t like how your voice sounds and you don’t want to upload it. There’s not gonna come a day in the next week or month or year where you want to upload that. You’re going to be uncomfortable with it until you do it. If you look at the very first videos that I put out or the very first videos that Jordan put out, they’re clunkier, they’re awkward, the audio’s not good. We’re probably maybe slightly embarrassed looking, like weird on camera but you get over it and you get better but the key here is speed, like getting over that hurdle sooner than later because the faster you do it, the faster you’re gonna start getting more comfortable.


26:23 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. I don’t even know if I should add anything on this. It’s perfect. If you want, go to Mike’s YouTube channel and my YouTube channel and then click the button that goes, like the oldest, newest, and most popular, just click the oldest videos first. So you see our oldest videos come up first. Just watch a couple of seconds of both of our oldest videos and you’ll very quickly see how awkward both of us looked and I’m pretty sure there’s a couple videos with Mike shirtless that you probably wanna go watch and…


[overlapping conversation]


26:52 Mike Vacanti: This guy…




26:56 Jordan Syatt: I remember, for me, I was bright red in the face, super awkward in my college gym, weights being dropped and just the audio is terrible and I was moving side to side. It was… You just get used to it and you get better with practice. Sort of like I would imagine sort of the same thing your clients would say, “Well, how do you get used to the nerves of going into the gym?” It’s like, “You go into the gym.” It was really hard for me not to say the F word there. You go into the gym. You walk in. And the more you do it, the more confident you’ll get and that’s it. That’s the same thing with literally anything you do, whether it’s podcasts or articles or info. Go look at my first infographics. My first infographics were terribly designed. They were awful, they were hard to read, but it was the first one I ever did. And they still did well. And then they got better and better and better the more I did them. Same thing with any type of content or any skill.


27:56 Mike Vacanti: Takes practice and you’re only gonna get better by doing it, so put something out there. Also, address it. If you want to, be like, “I feel awkward,” and mention that in the video and then power through, and people respect it.


28:11 Jordan Syatt: Yep. And for whatever it’s worth, I still don’t like hearing my own voice. Hearing my own voice I was like, “Oh God, I sound so nasal-y.” I could say like every time.


28:19 Mike Vacanti: Really? 


28:19 Jordan Syatt: You might not… Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And in all fairness, I have poorly developed sinuses, that’s what I was told when I had an MRI, so it would make sense that I sound nasal-y.


28:31 Mike Vacanti: When you had that sinus infection that lasted two and a half years.




28:38 Jordan Syatt: I mean, it’s hard to go to the doctor when you’re coaching Gary, when you’re traveling. It’s hard. You’re going all over the place, you’re traveling, I’m posting three times a day on Instagram. When did I have time to go to the doctor? So eventually I went to the doctor and they’re like, “Wow, you have the worst sinus infection I’ve ever seen in my life.”




29:00 Mike Vacanti: I got another angle on this question that I had thought about when I initially selected it. Jordan and I had a lot of work for the mentorship last week, so we ended up having to take the week off with the podcast, but I remember one of the other reasons I picked this question was, if you set aside the negative here, and the negative is you’re embarrassed of what you sound like, you’re shy, you think you look awkward, you think you sound weird, put that all in a bucket and compare it with the positive or the upside, which is you get to help people, you get to grow a business that gives you freedom and financial independence, you get to do what you actually want to be doing for work rather than doing what someone else tells you. When you compare the potential upside with the potential downside, it’s not even close. Put those two on a balancing… I don’t know what those things are actually called, but it’s an absolute no-brainer. The possible upside that will come from pushing through the discomfort and getting started now. So do it.


30:07 Jordan Syatt: Do it.


30:08 Mike Vacanti: Alright, I picked a fun one, and we can hit this from any angle, and this might not be… Actually, I would guess this isn’t gonna be fun for you, but…


30:17 Jordan Syatt: Oh, you picked a fun one for you. Actually, you’re not gonna like this one.


30:23 Mike Vacanti: No, you might, but you just might think it’s more boring than me. What is your favorite carbohydrate source? 


30:28 Jordan Syatt: Oh yeah, this is definitely a you question. Definitely a you question.


30:33 Mike Vacanti: Start us out Big J.




30:37 Mike Vacanti: So I was thinking we could break it down by pure enjoyment, and then we can throw in a health/how it makes you feel, and then we could throw in a third option for satiety and for fat loss, what are you gonna pick? 


30:56 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, I think those are great. Can I guess what yours would be for pure enjoyment? 


31:00 Mike Vacanti: You may.


31:02 Jordan Syatt: Ice cream? 


31:06 Mike Vacanti: I would not say that, just because…


31:06 Jordan Syatt: The fat content? 


31:07 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.


31:08 Jordan Syatt: Got it. Okay, jelly? 


31:10 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, a plain bagel with jelly is right there. That was my go-to. And maybe some low-fat cream cheese on there, if we’re gonna maximize taste and add a tiny bit of fat. Can I guess your favorite? 


31:23 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah.


31:25 Mike Vacanti: Cinnamon toast crunch? 


31:27 Jordan Syatt: That wouldn’t have… It’s interesting. So, after I guessed ice cream, I had to change mine because I wasn’t considering the fat content so…


31:36 Mike Vacanti: And you were gonna say pizza? 


31:38 Jordan Syatt: I was gonna say pizza, yeah.


31:41 Mike Vacanti: By the way, I should have mentioned this, I had three-quarters of a Papa John’s pizza on Saturday for the first… That’s like a twice a year thing that I do.


31:49 Jordan Syatt: Really? 


31:50 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.


31:51 Jordan Syatt: I’ve known you for years, I’ve never heard of… This is something I do twice a year. I have three-quarters of a Papa John’s.


31:57 Mike Vacanti: Watch eight episodes of a TV show and eat half a pizza to three quarters and just sleep 11 hours that night.


32:07 Jordan Syatt: What kind of pizza? 


32:09 Mike Vacanti: It was a build your own. It was from Papa John’s, I get pepperoni and green pepper, and then they give you this garlic butter that I dipped it in.


32:18 Jordan Syatt: Oh nice.


32:18 Mike Vacanti: That was just unnecessary and heart attack inducing, but delicious.


32:24 Jordan Syatt: Sounds amazing.


32:26 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.


32:28 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, so pizza would if… I’m gonna take the fat content out of it, ’cause I’m more of a calories-protein guy, right? So…


32:32 Mike Vacanti: Okay, you’re right.


32:33 Jordan Syatt: I’m more of the macros guy, so yeah, I’ll say pizza is my favorite carb, even though there’s clearly a lot of fat on it.


32:40 Mike Vacanti: Okay, that’s fair. How about your favorite carb for health and how you feel? 


32:46 Jordan Syatt: That’s a good question. For health and how I feel, my favorite carb would probably be oatmeal.


32:55 Mike Vacanti: Oatmeal over watermelon.


32:57 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, ’cause too much watermelon, which I do on a pretty regular basis, leads to not the most high-quality poops, a little bit runny, won’t go too much more in detail…


33:08 Mike Vacanti: Interesting.


33:09 Jordan Syatt: But oatmeal makes me super regular and fills me up and I feel good on it. I feel really good on it, great quality. It’s easy to make, super convenient. It’s overall, I like that carb a lot.


33:24 Mike Vacanti: Beautiful. And then lastly…


33:25 Jordan Syatt: What about you? 


33:28 Mike Vacanti: I’m gonna forget our third category if I don’t ask you first. And lastly for satiety, for fat loss, do you have a favorite carb? 


33:35 Jordan Syatt: Oh man, honestly, I would shoot. It’s the same one.


33:39 Mike Vacanti: Oatmeal? 


33:40 Jordan Syatt: Oatmeal, yeah.


33:40 Mike Vacanti: Okay, that’s fair.


33:42 Jordan Syatt: Which is interesting, ’cause some people say oatmeal doesn’t fill them up. But for me, oatmeal and eggs is my go-to breakfast for protein and satiety, for sure.


33:50 Mike Vacanti: That’s a good one. And I have found that making the oatmeal… You can just make it a little bit runnier and make it a higher volume, and that can help more of satiety for people who might not think or might not get very full from oatmeal.


34:05 Jordan Syatt: Also, with almond milk as opposed to water. You use almond milk, makes it more thick for sure.


34:11 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, delicious. Okay, so bagel and jelly/possibly frozen… Like a nice Pinkberry with some fruit on there, that’s pretty legit too. That was a 2015-2018 staple.


34:25 Jordan Syatt: What’s the fat content in a Pinkberry? 


34:29 Mike Vacanti: Zero.


34:30 Jordan Syatt: Zero? 


34:30 Mike Vacanti: In the fat-free frozen yogurt.


34:31 Jordan Syatt: Oh, got it, got it, got it. That’s nice.


34:38 Mike Vacanti: And then they have… There’s a coconut flavored ice cream, like a temporary special that’s only out for part of the year at Pinkberry that has a little bit of fat, I believe, but that is outstanding. So…


[overlapping conversation]


34:53 Jordan Syatt: This episode is not sponsored by Pinkberry, just so you know. But Pinkberry, we are open to sponsorships.




35:01 Mike Vacanti: So good. For how it makes me feel and health, a banana.


35:10 Jordan Syatt: Really? 


35:11 Mike Vacanti: Bananas just hit the spot. I don’t know if it’s an electrolyte thing, if I might overdo the sodium a little and need the potassium to kick in, but yeah, if I have a protein shake with a banana, that’s equivalent to four espressos for me from a productivity perspective.


35:29 Jordan Syatt: Interesting.


35:30 Mike Vacanti: Just dominating work afterwards, feel really good, yeah.


35:30 Jordan Syatt: And it makes sense ’cause I see you eat bananas all the time, but I never knew that they make you feel super good.


35:41 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, probably a six out of 10 on the taste scale for me, but from an energy perspective, I just feel really good as a result.


35:50 Jordan Syatt: Bananas and peanut butter are also an amazing taste combo.


35:52 Mike Vacanti: Amazing combo, I agree. And then for satiety carb, probably a sweet potato, yeah.


36:04 Jordan Syatt: Nice. Yeah, that’s perfect. Do you put anything on the sweet potato? 


36:08 Mike Vacanti: No, just straight.


36:13 Jordan Syatt: You know what I was just thinking? Which is why there was that delayed response after you said sweet potato, is because I was like, man, I’ve been making content for about nine years now and for probably the first seven years of making content, I said the word satiety wrong. So in all of my videos and posts in which I said the word satiety, I said satiety, and I’m just thinking, man, the vast majority of my content has me saying that word incorrectly.




36:41 Mike Vacanti: Whatever. I say so many words wrong just because the way that I learn new words is through reading. And then if I just try to implement them before having consciously heard them in conversation, I say them wrong all the time. I’m pretty sure I’ve been saying and I think I’m gonna say it wrong, turmeric? 


37:05 Jordan Syatt: No, I think that’s right. Turmeric.


37:07 Mike Vacanti: Okay, I just started saying it like that, ’cause I was always saying turmeric.


37:10 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, that’s wrong.




37:19 Mike Vacanti: Alright, we got more fun questions. And this one we can take from a serious point of view.


37:27 Jordan Syatt: Turmeric.




37:29 Jordan Syatt: Trying to think of other words I’ve mispronounced. There’s definitely a lot. I can’t think of them off the top of my head. I’m just gonna blurt it out randomly when we’re talking. What’s the next question? 


37:38 Mike Vacanti: Please do. Is pre-workout, C4 for example, worth it? 




37:45 Jordan Syatt: What do you think? 


37:48 Mike Vacanti: You can take the lead on this one.


37:51 Jordan Syatt: So the reason C4 is funny is because, summer of 2016… Mike, was that the biggest you’ve ever been? 


38:00 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.


38:01 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, the biggest you’ve ever been. That was when I first started hanging out with Mike consistently. Just huge. Just… Scroll down his Instagram, you’ll see pictures of him. Just massive, massive. And you were taking C4 for all your pre-workout and you were like, “Yeah, C4, I don’t know what they put in this thing, but… “


38:20 Mike Vacanti: I wholeheartedly believe that the GNC near Gary’s house where we lived for the summer of 2016 was selling C4 that was chock-full of every anabolic, illegal substance known to man.




38:41 Mike Vacanti: Because that blue raspberry C4 and then the pink lemonade C4… And I don’t even like C4. I try and be reasonable with artificial sweeteners.


38:49 Jordan Syatt: The taste? 


38:50 Mike Vacanti: No, it tastes too good.


38:51 Jordan Syatt: Oh, got it, got it.


38:53 Mike Vacanti: It’s just ace K and sucralose just packed with delicious stuff, so I’ve trended [39:01] ____.


39:01 Jordan Syatt: Why don’t you like artificial stuff? Is that more ’cause the gut health? Or what’s that about? 


39:07 Mike Vacanti: It’s more of a I’m going to get it from certain things, like a diet soda here and there. In my coffee, I’ll put a little bit of Sweet ‘N Low. And so just for moderation overall. No, I’m not concerned about cancer over the long run. Just consistently going high volume artificial sweetener I’m pretty sure would have adverse effects for my gut health, but yeah, it’s more of just a moderation thing.


39:44 Jordan Syatt: Got it, got it, okay.


39:47 Mike Vacanti: But yeah, that’s why Jordan left both C4.


39:50 Jordan Syatt: I’ve never been a pre-workout guy up until… Actually, there have been periods in my life where I was. I would say in high school, when I first started working out, I got Gaspari Nutrition Super Pump 250, which everyone in the gym, all like the… We had something called the 6:00 AM club. So all the kids would wake up early, go lift at 6:00 AM, and we all called it super dump 250 ’cause immediately after taking it, you’ll have to use the bathroom. [laughter]


40:18 Mike Vacanti: How old were you? 


40:20 Jordan Syatt: 14 when I started. Then I did that like 14-17, I think or… Yeah, somewhere around there. All of my money that I ever got went straight towards my supplements, everything was put right in a GNC. And I would go to Framingham, right down Route 20, go to the GNC and just unload every penny I’ve ever made onto an unbelievable amount of supplements, which over those few years must have become many thousands of dollars pre-workout then. And then when I started powerlifting and really getting into Westside Barbell and Louie Simmons, I actually stopped. ‘Cause Louie was much more about lifting really common zen. And then I got really into zen lifting and not taking any type of pre-workout for a while.


41:07 Jordan Syatt: And then that’s just what I’ve done for years until recently when I started with jujitsu. And I started getting very intense with my training again and super into it, and sometimes having to do two-a-days where like, yeah, then I’ve started to take some pre-workout. Or even like on Sunday mornings when I’m working out, and I just like, “Uhh.” Like I don’t wanna get out of bed, I’ll take some pre-workout. It’s not something that I think is a smart idea before every workout, because then I think you’re going to expect to have a certain level of intensity with every workout that just isn’t realistic. So I try and save it for the workouts that I need it from an energy perspective as opposed to reaching this heightened state for every workout.


41:56 Mike Vacanti: Nice. I didn’t take any pre-workout in high school. But now I remember like NO-Xplode and there were a few floating around the locker rooms, but I just didn’t, for whatever reason, get into it at that point. I take pre-workout or have an energy drink or have a cup of coffee for most workouts these days. And it really just boils down to, one, what time of day am I training, two, how much caffeine have I had so far that day or plan on having, and three, how much caffeine is in what I’m about to consume. So I just think of pre-workout for the most part, there are a few ingredients that are probably marginally or are marginally beneficial mostly for muscular endurance, but caffeine is the main one, and whether I’m getting that from coffee or something else doesn’t… It’s not better or worse for me, I kinda like the variety.


43:00 Mike Vacanti: Actually, I had a theory that any time I was in a surplus, I was going to not use caffeine before lifts, just because if you’re properly hydrated, you got enough carbs in your system, you shouldn’t need it. And then if and when I was cutting, then I would really benefit from it, it would offset… It would even out the life enjoyment. You bring calories down but if you’re having pre-workout and having great workouts as a result, it would be extremely, mostly psychologically beneficial for fat loss phases. But for whatever reason, I just couldn’t stick with it.


43:40 Jordan Syatt: Do you remember the first-ever time you had a protein shake? 


43:44 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, Muscle Milk in high school in the Bloomington Jefferson High School locker room. I was probably 16 or 17 years old. And the Muscle Milk powder had 34 protein, 17 fat, and like 22 carb in a serving and it was delicious. My friend, Baremone, would get a few 2% milks from lunch and pour them in a blender bottle and shake them up for us, chocolate or chocolate mint. Unbelievable.


44:15 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, the Muscle Milk back then was… It was so good. But that wasn’t the first one I had. The first one I had was at Justin Gibb’s house after wrestling practice one day. And he had this Designer Whey Protein which was, to my knowledge, the worst tasting protein ever made. And it was put in such an oversized bin of a container. It looked like it could fit an entire city block’s worth of trash, it was just huge. And he put it on his counter, and he was like, “All right, we’re gonna have some protein.” And it was strawberry flavor. And I was like, “What does this do?” And he was like, “This is gonna help you build muscle.” And I was like, “Oh, amazing.” And so I had some and I almost threw up and I choked it down. And I was like, “Can I have some for later?” He was like, “Yeah, I’ll put it in a bag.” So he put this powder in a baggie, and I brought it home. And my mom got so mad, she was like, “What is this?” And I was like, “Mom, it’s protein.” And she called Justin’s mom to be like, “What is this?” Why does he have these steroids in his pocket?”


45:21 Mike Vacanti: She was worried.


45:22 Jordan Syatt: Oh, she thought it was steroids. Yeah and I had… “Mom, it’s protein.” And then Mrs. Gibbs had to tell my mom that it’s not steroids.




45:29 Mike Vacanti: That’s hilarious. [laughter]


45:32 Jordan Syatt: And she still didn’t like it. It was still a long discussion that probably for many months, my mom continued to think that it was unsafe and dangerous.


45:39 Mike Vacanti: That it was something bad.


45:40 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.


45:42 Mike Vacanti: It’s cautious parenting. Good, attentive parent. I like that. I actually come to think of it, in seventh and eighth grade, maybe even sixth grade, my mom bought a soy protein powder that she would sneak into my chocolate milkshakes at night because checking had recently been introduced in hockey. Up to a certain age, there’s some contact, but it’s illegal to just rail someone and then past what, I think it was maybe fifth grade, sixth grade maybe, you can start hitting. And once that was introduced, she wanted me to add some real size. So I was getting these soy protein chocolate ice cream milkshakes every night before bed.




46:30 Jordan Syatt: Did you put on a lot of weight? 


46:33 Mike Vacanti: No, maybe a little bit of body fat, but no, it didn’t work.


46:39 Jordan Syatt: That’s funny.


46:41 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, her heart was in the right place though.


46:44 Jordan Syatt: Moms are great.


46:45 Mike Vacanti: I have one more that brings us back to a slightly more normal note, unless you have anything else to say on the subject of pre-workouts, I actually do.




46:57 Mike Vacanti: Monitor total caffeine intake and the time of day you’re ingesting it because it’s going to matter. I’ve had a couple of really type-A, real go-getter type clients, whatever they do, they dominate that thing, and I’m thinking of two, specifically. One, Aaron who listens to this podcast, I believe, and another guy by the name of Tyler, who were consuming unbelievable amounts of caffeine without ever consciously tracking it. So if you start paying attention to how many milligrams of caffeine you’re having per day, 400 is kind of the tip-top max recommendation for heart health. You’re probably gonna see benefits from consuming less than that, and if you can keep your caffeine reasonably low, then it’s going to be more effective, primarily psychologically when you do choose to have it, but yeah, pay attention to how much caffeine is in your pre-workouts if you’re having it, and how much caffeine you’re getting in a day. Which isn’t really the reason most people listen to this podcast, but it’s a little bit of a PSA.




48:07 Jordan Syatt: Fair enough. Yeah, I wouldn’t take pre-workout late at night, if you’re gonna work out at night, it’s probably not the best idea, but if you’re working out earlier in the day, go for it.


48:17 Mike Vacanti: That’s what led me to that 5:00 AM to 1:00 PM sleep schedule was having pre-workout at 10 PM.




48:28 Mike Vacanti: Last question here, what’s your best response to a client that can’t seem to make time for themself? 


48:35 Jordan Syatt: That’s a good question. I hate busting this one out, but it’s true, to start off, it does depend. It does depend on the client and what’s going on, because some people will use that as an excuse. They’ll say that when they’re really being lazy. The vast majority of people who are actually being truthful with this, that I’ve seen are parents. I’m not a parent, so I don’t know, but being the son of a single mom and also working with many, many, many parents both moms and dads, those are by far the busiest people I’ve ever met. They legitimately have a difficult time making time for themselves because they’re prioritizing their kids so much. And I think what I would say is this, if you have a client, someone who’s already working with you, they already understand the benefits of exercise.


49:40 Jordan Syatt: They understand the benefits of prioritizing themselves. It would be a different conversation for someone who you’re not working with or who, maybe they follow you on social media, but they haven’t pulled the trigger yet, if we’re looking at the stages of change, which if you haven’t yet, I encourage everyone to study the trans-theoretical model of behavior change and look at the stages of change, if someone has already hired you to be their coach, they don’t need you to preach to them about, “It’s gonna be so beneficial if you can do this.” They’re gonna, “I know, I know, but I’ve got kids. Shut up, I’m prioritizing my kids.” So, you don’t need to tell them over and over again what the benefits are, it’s your job as the coach to try and come up with a strategy that will help them fit it in without taking up too much time.


50:27 Jordan Syatt: So oftentimes, I’ve seen coaches struggling with this and they’re programming four times a week workouts that are 75 minutes each. I’m like, that’s not the clients’ fault, that’s your fault. You’re screwing up as the coach. Maybe try workouts that are three to four times a week and 20 minutes. That’s great. That’s way better. Having them do four times a week that are for 20 minutes is way better than programming four times a week for 75 minutes and having them do none of it. Again, and this goes back to the question, “What about being super fit?” It’s like, our clients don’t need to be super fit, they need to be healthy, they need to be moving, they need to be exercising, they need to be looking at their nutrition and doing their best to improve it. They don’t need to be super fit, they just need to be healthy.


51:15 Jordan Syatt: And oftentimes, if you just get them to do something for five, 10, 15, 20 minutes, they’ll find the ability to prioritize maybe 30 or 45 minutes as a result of it. But if you start them off with 75 minutes or 60 minutes, they can’t do it, then that might be too much to begin with. So it’s your job as the coach to figure out a way to help them fit something smaller in so then they can progress to something maybe more and longer or just stick with something smaller and that’s totally fine.

51:42 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, that’s a great answer. That’s a great answer. We’ll wrap it up there. Thank you very much, everyone who listened to this entire episode. If you’re feeling generous and want to leave a review, we would love a five-star review. We hope you have a great day, a great night, a great week, a great weekend. Whenever you are listening to this and we will see you next week. Have a wonderful week.

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