00:10 Mike Vacanti: Hello, Jordan.


00:12 Jordan Syatt: Hello, Michael.


00:13 Mike Vacanti: How are you doing?


00:17 Jordan Syatt: I’m good, man. I’m good. Had a good day. Got over 17,000 steps in thus far. Yeah, feeling good. Feeling good.


00:22 Mike Vacanti: Love that. I love that.


00:24 Jordan Syatt: How about you?


00:26 Mike Vacanti: I’m great, man. By the way, for everyone listening, Jordan is down in Florida, and so his audio seems fine, but just in case it’s not, that’s why. Yeah. So it will still be worth it, we promise.


00:39 Jordan Syatt: Literally… We agreed 30 seconds ago that I would start by saying, “Hey, apologize for the audio.” And I was like, “Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Let’s go.” And I completely forgot to do that, so I apologize if the audio is not as good as usual, but next week, we’ll be back with regular audio, promise.


00:56 Mike Vacanti: It’s not every week you’re traveling for a Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition.


01:01 Jordan Syatt: That’s exactly right. That’s… Who knows? Maybe, one day, eventually, that’ll be my life, but for right now, that is certainly not my life.




01:08 Mike Vacanti: Not your everyday life, but it is your life right now, because at 3:00 PM tomorrow, you’re on that map.


01:17 Jordan Syatt: That’s right, laying in.


01:17 Mike Vacanti: How you feeling?


01:18 Jordan Syatt: I feel good, man. I’m excited. I haven’t competed like this since high school, for a big competition. You and I were talking yesterday about how, even for powerlifting, I never got this nervous ever, even at the highest level of competition. I think it’s because, with powerlifting, you are going against a weight, right? Are you gonna do better than you did last time? Are you gonna get a personal record? But it’s… Really, the main variable is you. Whereas, with something like wrestling or jiu-jitsu or any type of fighting, or really any sport where you’re going up against something else or someone else, is you have another person you’re going against. And this is one of the things I think that’s very different in individual sports versus team sports, like with a team sport, you have your other team members, there are other people you can always rely on or blame. With a sport like… Whether it’s wrestling, jiu-jitsu, whether it’s singles tennis, it’s always you versus one other person, right? And there’s a significant amount more pressure, I think. And they can sort of play on the mind and the emotion, so it’s fun to have those again.


02:27 Mike Vacanti: I would say it’s even more because my mind went to tennis too, when you said you against an opponent…


02:32 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.


02:35 Mike Vacanti: But what you’re doing is even a level above that because it’s one-on-one, but it is also… It’s not to the death [laughter], but it’s broken limb or going unconscious, like those are the stakes of the match.


02:51 Jordan Syatt: Right. Yeah. It is… My coach was telling me the other day, he always said he hated losing, he said he hated losing. Especially, he always hated losing by getting choked out because, in his mind, what that meant was that person could kill him. And even though there’s rules here, and that’s not gonna happen, it’s like, basically, that’s what they were saying, is like, if this was real life, you’d be dead. And it’s like he always… It always got in his head when that happened. So, yeah, it’s definitely an intense mindset, but I really love it. I really… I enjoy it and I’m excited about it. It’s cool to get this nerves again, and to be this excited and passionate about something. So we’ll see.


03:32 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s…


03:33 Jordan Syatt: I will say I think the best piece of advice that I got recently was from a black belt, I believe his name is Jake Watson, high-level black belt, really great guy. And basically, I asked him, “What’s the one piece of advice?” Sort of like the things that people do to us as coaches, like what’s the one piece of advice you have for losing fat? Or what’s the one piece of advice you have for building a business? I was like, “What’s the one piece of advice you have, going into my first competition?” And it was tremendous advice. He said, “Set standards, not expectations,” which was basically, he was saying, “Listen, you can set the standard of how well you will prepare for the competition, like are you missing workouts or you’re getting all your sessions in? How’s your nutrition? Are you making your weight?” Or like, “You should have a game plan, going in. Are you gonna at least try and attempt to do something to each opponent?” If you live up to all of your standards, it was a success, but trying to set the expectation of you must win the competition, that’s the one thing you don’t necessarily have control over. What you do have control over are the standards you set for yourself. So, I like that a lot.


04:35 Mike Vacanti: I love that too, and you and I talked about that for a half-hour when you first told me on the phone, but it’s… Yeah, that is what it is, is what you can control versus what you can’t control, and it’s bringing it back to you, and that is what you have done, from what I’ve seen, and what you’re still doing right now. You did a little test cut this morning, water cut, and it worked well, and you’re feeling good about making weight tomorrow.


05:01 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, worked well. It’s so… Stuff that I… I was talking to my buddy, David, about this, ’cause we used to wrestle together from eighth grade all the way through high school. And it’s so interesting, I wish I knew what I know now back then. It makes the weight cut so much easier and less restrictive and more enjoyable. It’s like, back then, it was just following whatever the older kids were doing, and then you carry that throughout your whole high school career, so what you learn, as a freshman and sophomore, you do as a junior and senior, and then you pass on down to the younger kids. It was just the dumbest stuff. And I’ve cut almost 20 pounds in the last 15, 16 weeks, and my performance has improved, and my strength has improved. I feel great, not restrictive. And back then, it was like losing… I mean, losing six, eight, 12 pounds is no easy feat, but it was way more difficult to do that than it is now to lose 20 pounds just because I know how to do it. And it’s… It’s just science.


06:03 Mike Vacanti: We were talking last night and you were basically along the lines of, I’m not hungry. Or maybe not, I’m not hungry, but I don’t feel low energy. I feel good. I have energy despite being on a small amount of calories and being this many weeks into a deficit. Like I know food volume choices, I know how much protein to get, I know kind of meal timing for yourself, so that you can make this progress, and feel awesome in the process. And granted, that can’t go on forever. If you did this for another…


06:33 Jordan Syatt: Correct.


06:35 Mike Vacanti: 16 weeks, let alone six weeks, it would get weird and impossible, eventually, but, for this duration, you’ve really made it incredibly manageable.


06:47 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, it’s one of those things that the more you do it, the more you get passionate about certain things, like I wanna go into high schools and talk to high school wrestlers about, “Hey, this is how you can manage your nutrition. So you do it in a safe, healthy way.” Here’s the mistakes I made. Here’s what happened. Here’s what I want you to do instead.” And it’s something… When you’re in high school, usually, you’re not the one choosing the food through your household, right? Your parents are generally saying, “Alright, here, we’re gonna go to the grocery store. This is what we get. And I would love to be able to have a meeting with the parents of the athletes and say, “Hey, listen, these are the foods that might help them be able to lose weight in a healthy way, keep them full, keep them focused in class.” Ideally, they’ll wanna be focusing on sleep, but just all these things that, going through the process, has helped me remember and realize, man, there’s so much room for education across so many different platforms here. I’m sure this is applicable to many different people, in many different sports, not just wrestling or jiu-jitsu.


07:45 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Yeah. It’s cool.


07:47 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, man. What’s going on with you?


07:50 Mike Vacanti: Same old here. I just had a great leg day, progressed on everything. I also didn’t have caffeine for this late afternoon workout…


08:00 Jordan Syatt: Wow.


08:00 Mike Vacanti: Which I’m pretty pumped about.


08:01 Jordan Syatt: Would that have affected your sleep?


08:03 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, it would affect my sleep. And I’ve just been… I’ve been having like 100 to 200 milligrams a day, only first thing in the morning. And then I’ve been sleeping like lights out, crazy lucid dreams, nine hours sleeping hard, and then wake up and just feel energized and ready to go. And I know that’s a by-product of total caffeine intake and not having it later in the day. And so, I did cardio this morning, which we’re gonna talk about. And which I’ve been doing basically every day for almost two weeks, maybe like 10-ish days at this point.


08:41 Jordan Syatt: Do you think that’s improving your sleep?


08:44 Mike Vacanti: Maybe, that definitely could play a role, physiologically and mentally, but yeah, I got the cardio in this morning, and then had a decent amount of food today, and then I was dragging late afternoon, didn’t wanna go to the gym. It’s a leg day. Not my favorite to train, but… Got there. Got it all in. Feel good. And yeah, that’s what’s going on. And then, like you and I have talked about, I’m giving a… Not a best man speech, but like a groomsman speech at one of my good buddy… Shout out, John Arnold, his wedding groom’s dinner tomorrow night… Or not tomorrow night, Friday night. So I have that written now, and I’m kinda like playing it in my head, and visualizing, and…


09:31 Jordan Syatt: You’re ready to give it… You’re confident with it?


09:34 Mike Vacanti: I’m not ready to give it right now, but I will be ready to give it.


09:39 Jordan Syatt: Got it.


09:39 Mike Vacanti: I know what I’m gonna say, and I got it mapped out, and I’ll run it a few times, but I just got a few bullet points, and then I’m just forgetting it, and get up there and talk.


09:50 Jordan Syatt: So you’re not gonna look at any of the notes while you’re up there?


09:53 Mike Vacanti: No, I’m not.


09:54 Jordan Syatt: Wow. Okay. Respect.


09:56 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, I just… If I can rip one takes for YouTube, and if I can just riff, how can I not talk about someone I’ve known 20 years? And it’s not… First, it’s outdoor, so they’re doing it real safe and they had to cut the total number of guests way down with COVID restrictions.


10:18 Jordan Syatt: Got it.


10:19 Mike Vacanti: And they really wanna do right, but so it’s not like a massive crowd either, but, yeah, I feel good. I’m excited.


10:28 Jordan Syatt: That’s awesome. That’s great.


10:28 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Yeah. So that’s about all that’s going on here.


10:36 Jordan Syatt: Why did you start doing cardio? What prompted that?


10:39 Mike Vacanti: I just didn’t want to do more emails [laughter] And so it was like I still had some more to do, and I had actually gotten through client emails, but I had more ad mini-type emails. And I was like, I don’t wanna… I’m sitting here. I’m like, “I wanna do anything else besides this right now.” And I was relatively caffeinated, and it was a rest day, and I was just like, “I’m going for a walk.” And I threw on my shoes, and grabbed my headphones, and put on a hoodie, and went walking. And the walk turned into… I think I was listening to an audiobook, and then I switched over to music, the pace started to pick up. I was further than I had ever walked on this trail by this river, kind of by my house, and I was just like, “I’m gonna go further. What’s… ” This far… And probably, I think it’s a little over four miles, is how far I went, but by some point, I was like, I’m gonna walk as fast as I can right now. And then it started to rain. And then, in my head, I went to that angry place. I was like, “I bet a lot of people would turn around right now, I’m not turning around.”




11:52 Mike Vacanti: So just going guns blazing, and feeling my heart…


11:58 Jordan Syatt: Did you have your phone on you?


11:58 Mike Vacanti: In the process and just feeling like this is something that I’ve been missing, physically and mentally, for a while. It’s something I had done quite a bit in the past, which we spoke about a little bit last week, but I’ve just ingrained it as a habit over this past week, but, yeah, it was literally boredom combined with my intuition, wanting to move was what led me there.


12:23 Jordan Syatt: Got it. Got it. Did you have your phone on you when it started raining?


12:27 Mike Vacanti: In my pocket. Yeah.


12:28 Jordan Syatt: But it was alright? There were no issues with water or anything?


12:31 Mike Vacanti: No. No.


12:32 Jordan Syatt: Got it. Got it. Yeah, but you felt good after it. You were like, man. You texted me, you were like, “Cardio, this is… [laughter]”


12:40 Mike Vacanti: And you’ve been obviously getting your cardio up because it is required, not only through… Just rolling gets your cardio up, but all of the assault bike work that you’ve been doing.


12:51 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, I literally bought a cardio machine, which I… You and I were talking about this. I think we’ll talk about it a little bit here. It’s like cardio has become so taboo in the strength and physique community, which is like, it’s become this thing where people are like, “Screw cardio. You shouldn’t do cardio.” And I fell into that trap for many years, where I was just like, ‘Cardio is stupid, da da da da da.” And now here I am buying an assault bike or a Rogue Echo Bike, and it’s probably the piece of equipment that I use the absolute most out of everything, and it feels amazing. My blood pressure’s improved, and I feel great, and it’s…


13:33 Mike Vacanti: How about when we spoke on the phone after your first time of like…


13:35 Jordan Syatt: Oh my God. Oh, yeah, this was awful. Basically, I did a…


13:40 Mike Vacanti: Jordan sounded like an elderly person with some kind of…


13:45 Jordan Syatt: Emphysema.


13:46 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Yeah, like you had smoked a pack a day for 70 years. That’s what you sounded like.


13:52 Jordan Syatt: It was awful. And it was… Every time I laughed, it was that wheeze. It was like the…


[wheezing vocalization]


13:58 Jordan Syatt: It was that awful wheeze that you get, and my chest was burning, ’cause basically, what my coach had me do was she wanted to get a baseline for what my three-mile test was, like for how quickly I could ride three miles on that bike. And so I didn’t understand how that bike worked. I didn’t understand how difficult it was gonna be, but I went hard. And Rico filmed the whole thing. And oh my God, by about a minute and a half, I was like, “Oh, dear Lord. I am screwed.” And when I got off the bike, I think, for the next four to six hours, my chest was burning. And I didn’t redo the three-mile test, but I did do similar tests since then after the first week, first three weeks, first month, first six weeks. And like, man, it’s so crazy to see how much my cardio is improved.


14:49 Mike Vacanti: And how quickly…


14:49 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Yeah, it’s crazy how fast cardio improves.


14:56 Mike Vacanti: It feels so much better doing cardio once your cardio starts to improve too.


15:02 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, 100%. Yeah, it does.


15:02 Mike Vacanti: Right? And all I’ve been doing is walking…


15:07 Jordan Syatt: Fast-paced, high-intensity walking.


15:07 Mike Vacanti: And I did a little… Fast-paced. I did some on the treadmill, and so I did 45 minutes at 135 beats per minute, which is…


15:16 Jordan Syatt: That’s no joke.


15:16 Mike Vacanti: Like a pretty aggressive percent of max for walking an incline like hard… But it’s cool how fast it becomes easier, and then… It’s like progression, in any sense. It’s like strength progression, when you feel a lot better doing the same thing or doing something more difficult, you feel better doing it. It’s just a good, positive emotion feeling. There’s also so many benefits.


15:48 Jordan Syatt: It’s crazy. The benefits to it are unbelievable.


15:53 Mike Vacanti: And when you talked about falling into the… We’ll call it the aesthetics trap of not needing cardio. And I like to think of it as a spectrum really, right? Because on one side, you have what you described, which is, I can get lean, I can get strong, I can build muscle, I can do all of those things, I can look great without cardio by dialing in nutrition and strength training, which is a true statement. And then, on the other side of that spectrum, you have people who literally only do cardio for their workouts.


16:23 Jordan Syatt: Correct.


16:24 Mike Vacanti: You have marathon runners who… We’ll call it casual marathon runners who are running with the true, underlying intent, whether they’ll tell people or not, some of these people are running because they want to lose weight and they want to improve their physique through running, but they’re not paying any attention to nutrition or paying minimal attention to nutrition. They’re not prioritizing strength training, meaning they’re either not lifting or they don’t have a properly-designed training program, or they’re not trained with enough intensity, whatever it is. They have cardio as their gold star, and it is leading them not to where they want to be. And we can put like… We can put cardio bunnies in that category. We can put any… The opposite of the spectrum.


17:06 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, and I think part of the definition of those people, or characterization of those people would be they’re doing cardio because they feel like it is the only way to lose fat. And they often do it out of a fear that if they don’t do it, then they’ll get fat, and the cardio is what they do because without it, in their mind, it’s impossible to lose fat.


17:30 Mike Vacanti: And so, clearly, that’s not a place where I want to live, or you want to live.


17:36 Jordan Syatt: Correct.


17:37 Mike Vacanti: And so if we say, “Oh, what’s on the other end of the spectrum?” It’s like, Hey, dummy, just cut four Oreos, and instead of doing 45 minutes of cardio because the calorie expenditure of what you’re doing really isn’t that high. And I’m talking to past me. When I say dummy, I’m talking to 18-year-old Mike Vacanti, who was marathon training and who was doing massive amounts of movement partly out of like it would be cool to do X, but also driven partly by aesthetics. It’s easy to slide to the other side of the spectrum of like, oh, cardio’s silly. I’m gonna lift. I’m gonna track. I’m gonna eat mostly healthy, and I’m gonna look great as a result of this. But this is a podcast where I almost wish I would have done a little research, and maybe we’ll do a part two of the benefits by the book, but some of what I was reading about neuron production through aerobic cardio, and I think the heart health benefits are pretty well-known and well-documented, even if they weren’t motivation enough for me, personally, to prioritize this, but the positive effects on the brain are astounding, and are something to look into.


18:56 Jordan Syatt: I just remember being in college and one of my professors, who at the time, I didn’t like, but looking back, I really appreciate what he did… And I think many people who pay attention to my content will have seen this come through over the last probably six months to a year, as I’ve really been pushing the idea of just getting your clients to walk for five minutes a day, if that’s like… You don’t know where to begin. And even sometimes when people are like, “Well, what if you have a very overweight client, and should they start with workouts or nutrition?” I used to say start with nutrition. I’ve recently switched to saying start with five minutes of walking, and it goes back to what we were talking about earlier, being like, it improves so quickly, and it’s so motivating to see how quickly it improves that it gets you to really want to, “Wow, this is gonna work.” And that really drives your motivation to keep taking action, but I’ll never forget this professor. I wish I could remember his name. He was so adamant about pushing walking, and he was always talking. He was like, if people knew how much of an impact five, 10, 15, 20 minutes of walking had on your cells, had on your body, had on your brain, then everybody would be doing it.


20:02 Jordan Syatt: And I remember back then, I was… At that point in my life, I was reading Martin Burke and reading a lot of McDonald, and reading all these people, and I was very much in the anti-cardio crowd. And I was like, ah, blah, blah, blah, but now, going back to it, I’m like, “Man, from an overall health perspective, from just an everyday person who really needs to get their health in check, get their fitness in check, regardless of the physique aspect, let’s just look at the health benefits, mental benefits, physical benefits, emotional benefits, psychological benefits, it’s just… It’s so overwhelmingly obvious that including cardio in your exercise program is critical in so many ways.” And more than just, I would say, a quote-unquote ‘finisher’ at the end of your workout, more than just like the five, seven, 10-minute thing you do to get your heart rate up and get your client sweating, like walking for a sustained period of time, or a faster-paced walking or jogging, depending on where they are in their fitness level, if they can tolerate it, their joints can tolerate it, but then that’s where it comes… Sort of like the stationary bike comes into play, where I’m like, “Man, if you have a client that can’t tolerate the joint stress of walking or running, get them on a bike, get them on a rower. Do something that doesn’t necessarily require them to put all the stress on their joints.”


21:18 Jordan Syatt: But man, if there’s one thing that I really regret now, it’s dismissing cardio for so long and being so anti-cardio for so long, and I think that’s one of the things that we’re gonna work to correct over the next few years, is really pushing that, not as a way of being like you need to do it for fat loss, but it can help, and more importantly, you need to do it for health.


21:42 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, likewise. Is part of… Does this hit your radar, which is the fact that it’s probably easier to build a five-minute walking habit than it is to build any kind of nutrition habit, no matter how easy, or to build any kind of strength training habit?


22:05 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, especially because you don’t necessarily see the results of a nutrition habit so quickly, right?


22:11 Mike Vacanti: Right.


22:15 Jordan Syatt: You switch out a meatball sub for a grilled chicken salad, initially, you don’t see the result of that so quickly. Whereas, a five-minute walk, number one, after the walk, you’re gonna feel amazing. Immediately, endorphin release, just the overall response, so proud of yourself for making that decision, getting the sweat going, like you’ll feel better immediately.


22:41 Mike Vacanti: Or how about it’s also five minutes that you’re not sitting hunched over, staring at blue light in this position that so many of us are spending six, eight, 12 hours a day doing, that isn’t optimal for our long-term longevity.


23:00 Jordan Syatt: 100%, absolutely. So I think, in my mind as a coach, it’s basically how do I get my client to feel amazing as often as possible while changing their habits. And for someone who struggles with their weight and you’re not sure where to begin with training or nutrition, I used to… It used to be, for me, nutrition all the time. I’m not gonna say you should always go a five-minute walk first, but I will say that can’t hurt, right? If you have someone who’s very, very overweight, and they already move a lot, well, cool, now obviously, you have to start with nutrition. But a lot of the people who are very overweight, they’re not moving, they’re not doing anything, and they might move way less than you actually think. In the same way, people will not necessarily be fully-honest or objective with their nutrition intake, they might not necessarily be fully-honest or objective with their movement. They might be getting less than 200, 300, 500 steps a day, which is like… Might sound crazy to people, but it’s true. That’s the reality for some people. So getting that person to walk for five minutes straight, go up and down their stairs 10 times throughout the day, that makes a big difference.


24:08 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, absolutely. You wanna hear something that just came to my head? Which is many times I like the idea as a coach and as a marketer. I like… And I’m not much of a marketer, so when I have a marketing thought, I like the idea, historically, of… For someone who doesn’t like fitness but wants the result, I want to show them the minimal effective amount, how few hours a week you can put into this thing, to get 80% or 90%. We’re not gonna train twice it, we’re not gonna do two-a-days, we’re not gonna do hour-and-a-half sessions, six, seven days a week, to get quote-unquote ‘100% maximal results’. We’re not gonna hit every macro to a T every single day. Here’s what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna strip that down and we’re gonna do maybe 30% of the work, which is gonna give us 85% of the result. And this is gonna be sustainable. You can do 45 minutes of lifting three days a week, and you can track most days. If you fall off, get right back on. And this package right here doesn’t take that much time once you learn it, and it’s gonna help you for the rest of your life. And in my mind, I don’t wanna add, on top of 45 minutes, three days a week. So they’re like, I can fit that into my schedule. I can still go out on the weekends. I still have time for my family. I can still do this and do this and do this. What if I’m like, “Oh, hey, by the way, and every morning, I think it’d be cool if you hit an hour of walking.”


25:40 Mike Vacanti: It’s like [laughter], no. That isn’t as shiny. That’s not as… And for what benefit? When I can get this physique, and feel pretty good, and do this on this 3x week, 45-minute plan, why would I do all of this extra quote-unquote ‘Work’? And for me, recently, and by recently, I mean in these last 10 days, but also in 2012, ’13, ’14, when I subconsciously had this streak of doing night-time walks, there’s so much psychological and emotional benefit to being alone, being in nature, if you can, not having anyone like bothering or interacting, not scrolling on my phone, but being able to be in my head, which can mean visualizing what I have to do later that day. It can be setting up my plan for the next day. It can be sorting through thoughts that if I’m scrolling on my phone, I’m distracting myself from a lot of what could be going on here with me, but if I’m out there, if I’m in nature, and I’m just pounding one step at a time, and then I have a thought, it’s like I can deal with that. I can figure out, “Okay, I’m gonna make this decision,” and then, cool, set that aside.


26:57 Mike Vacanti: That was such a huge benefit to how I was able to think through big decisions, quitting my accounting job, like moving around the country, taking internship… Don’t take an internship. Like, what should I be doing? A lot of that productive thinking and visualizing, and almost a form of prayer, in some sense, at certain times came through the process of being in isolation, moving, doing something relatively difficult, having the blood pumping, having the oxygen pumping, this meditative drill to the whole… That let me be a better person. So it’s not the calorie expenditure of the 8000-step walk, but there’s so much more that is built and that is derived from doing that.


27:49 Jordan Syatt: Correct.


27:52 Mike Vacanti: And 3x a week, 45 minutes in track is a lot cleaner than whatever kind of gurgurly explanation that just was.


28:02 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. No, I love that. And it was making me think, I forgot to tell you. I called you today when I was walking. I was like, “Man, Florida, nature, walking, feels amazing. Space, it feels so good, just like walking on grass, feeling this… ” Smelling the grass. Feeling the grass. It was something I don’t get very often in New York City. And something else that I was doing, I forgot to tell you, but I was in the middle of nowhere, in the big field, no one around. And I just started whooping really loud, screaming, letting out… Breathing really loud, screaming like, woo! Just as loud as I could. And it was this feeling that I feel like oftentimes we feel suppressed, like we feel like we’re stifled, like we have to be quiet, we can’t fully express ourselves…


28:46 Mike Vacanti: Social cues.


28:46 Jordan Syatt: There’s something freeing very free just to be able to whoop and scream and, “Yoop!” As loud that I can without the worry of being embarrassed or someone hearing, whatever it is. And I think that’s something that you can get when you’re doing cardio. You can’t do that at the gym without annoying other people and being really looked at, but if you can get out on your own, get in the woods, even down a street, and be able to… You and I were also talking about the difference, like strength training feels great, in some sense, to overpower a certain weight, overcome a certain weight, feel really strong, but there’s a different type of strain, mentally and physically, with intense cardio, in terms of the sustained effort over time.


29:28 Jordan Syatt: Whereas, a difficult set in strength training might take 15, 20, maybe 30 seconds if you’re really going a long set, but to do something for 20, 30, 45 minutes straight at like a… Not a near max, but at a sustained, very difficult… That’s a completely different strain, which I think is another way of being able to express yourself and sort of free your mind of everything going on. So I think the important thing to take from this is it’s not saying, do cardio instead of strength training. It’s saying, if you’ve been in the camp that we’ve been in, which has been mainly strength at the expense of cardio, it might be worthwhile to invest some time in getting back into some cardio, and taking some time to really push yourself that way. You might find that you absolutely love it.


30:21 Mike Vacanti: Dude, I love that you mentioned that because I often like yell when I’m out there, whether it’s words or just under my breath, like, “Come on,” like self-taught kind of stuff. Yeah. And emotions too, because when you said suppressed or feel suppressed, ’cause we’re not actually… Like social cues aren’t actually suppressing our actions. It’s the perception that is suppressing the way we behave.


30:48 Jordan Syatt: Correct. I could go out into New York City and scream and be fine. It’s pretty normal there, actually. But you feel pressure not to do it. Yeah.


30:58 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. That exists for what you just mentioned, let letting out a random whoop. It also exists, in my opinion, or for me, at least, with movement patterns, like when I’m back there, I’ll kind of skip and hop like a boxer a little bit, or I’ll put my arms over my head, or I’ll get a lot of twisting motions in, or I’ll do like a… I’ll do like a lateral kinda slow run, then switch it and go the other way, and walk backwards, and I’m just moving around and getting into movement patterns that aren’t in the stifled, like sitting in a chair, sitting at a desk, like standing, walking on a subway, like… The normal movements.


31:41 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, it feels really good and it was interesting ’cause, as I was walking, I was like, “I wanna yell. I just wanna like whoop.” I wanna like let out like a big whoop. But I looked around first to see if there are any people, and I was like, Ah, that shouldn’t matter, but then the first one I did, it was stifled, and I could feel that I was stifling. I could feel that I was not fully letting it out, unrestrained, that it was still sort of muffled. And I did it again, and it was a little bit louder, a little bit less restrained. And then the third time I felt my chest and my throat and my mouth relax, and just let it out loud. And again, I looked around to see if anybody saw, and I was like, it shouldn’t matter. But it’s interesting how you feel this… Consciously or not, this pressure to be quiet or to not be full of yourself. And it’s nice to get out and just whoop, just be yourself, let it all out. It feels very, very relaxing and freeing.


32:37 Mike Vacanti: And look, yes, you can play the mental game with yourself that you can make yourself not care at all about other people, and you can go to the… You can go to London, you can go to New York City, you can go to Tokyo, and you can be in the most packed areas, and you can just be your own weird self, right? You can get yourself there mentally. Cool. But those are behaviours that are better suited to nature. And I’m like sure, that’s an option, but I think there’s something even additional about not having to go through all that, and genuinely being in the forest, like being on a path, getting off pavement, like we’ve talked about feet on grass, like feet on sand, body in ocean, these feelings, these different textures, different grounding techniques, whatever you wanna call it, that have a real potent effect on how we feel.


33:42 Jordan Syatt: Oh yeah. If anyone wants to look up the research on this, look… Go to PubMed, go to Google Scholar, whatever, and look up grounding. There’s a significant amount of research about walking out barefoot, like getting in the grass and the positive effects. It’s one of those things that, especially living in New York, New York City, you can’t just go outside barefoot. That’s definitely not a good bet. So it’s interesting for me now. I’ve loved New York City for so many years, and I’m starting to be like, “Alright, I wanna get out of it. I wanna have more nature. I wanna be outside more.” And I think if it’s something… So this is definitely the most different podcast you and I have ever done, but I really like it. And I hope, if nothing else, if not for yourself, maybe for your clients, but also for yourself is finding ways to incorporate nature and being outside and opening up and not feeling suppressed, because the more you can make that a daily habit, the more you can make that something that… The more they’re going to feel confident in their ability, and you’ll feel more confident in your ability to make it a habit and to be yourself on a regular basis.


34:54 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Great, great words. What else on cardio here?


35:01 Jordan Syatt: I think that’s it. If you wanna try a really difficult form of cardio, get into some jiu-jitsu. I’ll tell you, it’ll humble you very quickly. I still remember the first time you and Rico went at it for like two minutes, and after those two minutes, it’s crazy.


35:17 Mike Vacanti: Oh, it’s exhausting.


35:18 Jordan Syatt: It’s really really crazy.


35:19 Mike Vacanti: It was exhausting dominating Rico in jiu-jitsu.




35:24 Mike Vacanti: That’s an unfair shot, but I mean, he’s not here.




35:28 Jordan Syatt: The thing about it though, I think about… It’s sort of the same thing with lifting, you know when you get very good with lifting, or you see, I think, a really good example of this is with sprinters, like high-level elite sprinters. If you watch an elite sprinter, you’ll see their faces and the muscles in their face are just bouncing up and down, like jiggling as they run at top speeds, like world record speeds. And it’s the perfect picture and example of being able to be explosive and tight in some areas, and unbelievably loose and relaxed in other areas. And that takes a tremendous amount of skill in order to really understand how to be tight in some areas and relaxed in other areas of your body.


36:10 Jordan Syatt: Whereas, myself, when I sprint, my face is all tight, everything is scrunched up, everything… Everything is tight. Nothing is relaxed whatsoever. But I’m noticing this with jiu-jitsu too. For example, the other day, I was holding on to someone’s collar, and you’re going around, and my coach was like, “Hold on, hold on, hold on. In this position, you can relax your hand, relax your arm, hold on, but you don’t have to hold on for dear life, ’cause like when you hold on like that, it’s gonna tire you out. It’s gonna make it in 30 seconds to a minute, where you’re gonna lose your grip strength. So you hold on, relax here, but then you are tight here in your legs, in your feet,” and da da da da da. So it’s another aspect of cardio that I think is sort of learning to let your shoulders down, let your neck relax, your muscles relax, your traps relax, breathe in through your belly, in through your chest, get full-belly breaths in, and relax while you do it, and push yourself mentally and physically.


37:04 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, which takes two… Many things, but one, the awareness, the body awareness, the self-awareness, and then two, continual practice, just takes reps.


37:16 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.


37:16 Mike Vacanti: But yes, wrestling with someone is exhausting, it is a great form of cardio. When you mentioned running before, and I used to get this question when I would post doing forms of cardio, like, “Oh, you’re running a lot.” And I was walking. I was like, “No, I’m walking.” People are like, “Walking? Is that anything?” For myself, I have… There’s a few things. One, there’s obviously… There’s more stress on ankles, knees, hips when you’re running, even jogging, than when you’re walking, which is why cycling is such a great form of cardio, which is why swimming is such a great form of cardio, which I think walking is such a great form of cardio. The trade-off between you can get more intensity running than you can walking, even if you’re walking as fast as you can, but the impact on the joints over the long-run… And look, I’m not… Like my technique, running, isn’t perfect by any means. So I’m not like… Obviously, I could be doing better there, but the wear and tear there makes it not worth it over years and decades, for me. But two, getting past that hurdle of DOMS from running, my calves, even just glutes, hamstrings, like the training interference that that has on mainly my lower body training, but really, the gap in difficulty between walking and running, for me, personally, is massive.


38:55 Mike Vacanti: And that bleeds into the amount of gas in the tank, whether we’re talking mentally, physiologically in specific muscle groups, whole body CNS. I have less in me to do strength training when running. It just doesn’t make it worth it. And I think that’s a personal thing, right? Choosing your form of cardio is something that requires some thinking, requires some testing, requires paying attention to how you feel, requires communicating with your clients about it. Obviously, there are certain things that don’t make sense, like don’t do sets of 100 explosive jump squats, probably. But yeah, I do think the type of cardio selection and the logic that goes into that form of cardio or picking that form of cardio could be a podcast in itself, really.


39:57 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the most important things that coaches should be taking from this is real estate. I think probably the most important thing is helping your clients understand the importance and benefit of simple walking. If your clients wanna do more than that, amazing. But every day, I get people being like is walking an exercise? Does walking count? And it’s one of those things that I really think that, as an industry, to help this industry improve, to help people get healthier, showing… Put on your Instagram stories, show them you’re walking, just that you’re getting your steps in. Talk about the importance of it, talk about the benefits of it, and then talk about ways to progress it. Maybe start with five minutes and then move to seven minutes, then move to 10 minutes. Talk about ways to progress in terms of levels of intensity, if you’re walking… If you’re doing half a mile, try and beat your half-mile time, right? There are so many ways to improve your cardiovascular fitness and your health, mental health, emotional health through doing this. Be a good coach and good example through talking about this, and I guarantee you you will get people thanking you up and down, left and right, just thanking you for showing them that something is always better than nothing, and giving them a practical example of it.


41:11 Jordan Syatt: And I think that, through the process of you doing that, you are actually really going to enjoy it yourself, you’re going to learn a lot as a coach, and you’re going to inspire many, many, many people, far more than I think you might realize. If you’ve made it to this point in the podcast, congrats, ’cause I don’t think Mike or I expected us to talk this long about cardio, but it’s so important, it’s just so, so important. And I really think if you take from this, that you put into application that this is something you make a staple, it doesn’t have to be on your main feed every day, but make it a habit to show them that this is a habit, and it might make a really big difference in people’s lives.


41:48 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, I love that. You do such a good job at making things relevant for the audience. Just from like a what all this is perspective, this episode wasn’t crafted for how can we maximally help coaches? This was… Jordan and I have both individually been very into this subject, so we’re just gonna talk about it, and we’ve got a lot of positive feedback about people liking that portion of episodes, so we wanted to do a whole episode just riffing on it. Next episode, we’ll be answering some of your questions again, but yeah, shout out, Big J, on bringing things to relevant action points for the audience.


42:30 Jordan Syatt: Also, I like the discussion around just whooping and dancing in different movements, like last time, you and I were in Florida together, and we were in the kitchen, and we just started doing that like da da da da, just dancing around in the kitchen, like it’s… And I remember how surprised I felt in that moment, how restricted my body felt to not just fully flow and move. And this is getting really more hippy-dippy and woo-y than I ever thought that I would, but there’s really something into letting your body just move, and that also includes your vocal cords and your lungs, and just letting it out, and just like feel this… I think it’s so important. And it’s a form of meditation, I think, that really, really helps.


43:14 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, I’m into this.


43:16 Jordan Syatt: Maybe we should just make a video of you and I just doing a dance, just like da da da, shaking and moving our arms all around.


43:21 Mike Vacanti: Well, there were, the movement patterns… That the movement patterns and holds and random movements that we don’t do in our day-to-day lives, our breathing patterns that we don’t do in our day-to-day lives, whether it’s faster than normal, whether it’s deeper than normal. And you just know… After five minutes of doing that, you know that you feel different.


43:42 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Yup. That’s right. Oh, by the way, you know, more than anyone, how much I hate going in cold water. I really… I hate going in cold water, but the Airbnb I’m staying at, they have a pool. And so I woke up this morning and first I went in the hot tub, I practiced, the water couch went super-well. And then I was eyeing the pool, and I was like, “Ugh, I don’t wanna do it.” And immediately, I was like, I gotta do it, I just gotta do it. Stop being a wuss, just get in the pool. So, a couple of times today, randomly throughout the day, I’ve just been walking around the apartment naked, ’cause no one else is here. So I’m just walking around naked…


44:20 Mike Vacanti: I love it.


44:20 Jordan Syatt: Going in the hot tub naked. And I would just like be naked, and I would just jump in the pool. I’ll be like, “Alright, cool.” Just like making it a habit to do the thing that I really hate, getting in cold water. And another thing to think about is just if you don’t wanna do something, just stop being a wuss, just do it.


44:37 Mike Vacanti: Two things, and I’m extremely into all of that. One, are you bringing back the word wuss?


44:42 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, I think we should.


44:44 Mike Vacanti: I love it. I’m in [laughter] Two, what if like, two years from now, someone’s like, “Syatt Fitness? He used to live in New York City, and he trained Gary, he Instagrams… What’s he doing now?” It’s like, “Oh, he’s a nudist. He lives out in the country [laughter], he’s still making content, he’s… But he whoops, and he does a lot of grounding and dancing and he… Yeah, he’s still a great coach, but no clothes, no clothes.”


45:09 Jordan Syatt: He paints his face, puts war paint on his face, and dances and swings his arm around. He has no stairs in his house, he’s only got tree branches to swing from.




45:22 Mike Vacanti: Your body would feel so good.


45:23 Jordan Syatt: Oh, man, that would be a great house, like floors… Trampolines for floors, just no real, actual floor. The trampolines are just grass. You might have a floor all made of grass and little hills, like moguls on it.


45:37 Mike Vacanti: Optimal moving and grounding.


45:39 Jordan Syatt: Oh yeah [laughter] Well, listen, everyone, thank you so much for listening. We hope you enjoyed the episode. If you did, we would really appreciate a five-star review. If you have any questions, feel free to DM Mike or I on either of our Instagrams. We’re happy to answer them in subsequent podcasts, but thank you so much and have a wonderful day.


45:57 Mike Vacanti: And good luck tomorrow, Jordan.


46:00 Jordan Syatt: Thank you, Michael.



46:00 Mike Vacanti: Bye, everyone.

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