0:00:11 Michael: Hello, Jordan.


0:00:13 Jordan: What’s going on, Michael? 


0:00:14 Michael: Not much, man. I’m feeling good about this evening podcast that we’re getting in.


0:00:20 Jordan: How’s your day been? Busy day, not so busy day? 


0:00:23 Michael: It was a busy day. It was a busy and productive day here in New York City for the week. Yeah, I did a bunch of computer work the first half of the day and then did some cardio and ran around the city doing errands the next half, and here we are.


0:00:39 Jordan: Let’s go. I love it.


0:00:41 Michael: How was your day? 


0:00:42 Jordan: It was good, man. I’m tired, it’s been a long day. It’s been a very long day, it’s… What time is it right now? It’s 8:41 PM, and…


0:00:49 Michael: Yeah, we don’t podcast this late.


0:00:52 Jordan: Yeah. I had jiu-jitsu at 8:00 AM, so I’ve been going all day, but it’s been good. It’s been productive, got some Instagram done, got several podcasts done, got another… I got a workout in, so feeling good.


0:01:08 Michael: Nice, man.


0:01:09 Jordan: Yes, sir. What are we talking about today? 


0:01:10 Michael: We have five solid questions.


0:01:16 Jordan: Okay.


0:01:16 Michael: But we also have time to talk about whatever we want.




0:01:19 Michael: Because that’s what we do here. [laughter] I thought of a potentially genius concept that could also be something that I abandon in the next few days, but it could be something that holds up for years and decades to come.


0:01:37 Jordan: Okay. Have you deliberately held hold off on telling me this so that we could bring it up and see my reaction live? 


0:01:43 Michael: Yeah, I thought of it this afternoon and then I held off for the podcast just so that everyone can get an authentic Jordan reaction.


0:01:52 Jordan: Okay, what is it? 


0:01:55 Michael: I’m gonna start intentionally… I’m calling it a deload, because I am gonna deload my training once every four weeks, and this is born out of the fact that I just haven’t worked out in the last week. And so in my mind, I’m rationalizing, but I’m gonna start trying to batch as much computer work as I can for the month into five days, and I’m gonna pair that up, every four weeks I’m gonna do that, and I’m also going to de-load training at the same time, just as a time-saving mechanism. And for those five days, I’m gonna wake up at 7:00 AM and I’m gonna do a solid 6-8 hours of computer work straight, like actual 6-8 hours of computer work, not like office worker in the office for 10 hours, works two hours type of thing, but really do that. And then the other three weeks out of the month will be much more casual and doing other types of work that don’t require just sitting down and slugging away at the keys.


0:02:58 Jordan: What do you think the likelihood of this being something that really sticks for decades to come is? 


0:03:06 Michael: Decades? [laughter] So from now until potentially like 2050, I would say there’s a one in 350 chance.


0:03:18 Jordan: Okay. It’s not terrible.




0:03:26 Jordan: What about for the next three months? So realistically, if you do this once a week for three months… That’s like what, 12 weeks? 


0:03:34 Michael: One week out of the month for the next three months. I think there’s a 50% chance that happens. It also pairs up well schedule-wise, like not doing things during that week, not scheduling things, not scheduling calls or podcast, not scheduling filming stuff, not scheduling a mentorship Q&A, for example, I would do this de-load on a week where that isn’t happening, so those days, all I’m doing is computer work.


0:04:00 Jordan: Yeah.


0:04:02 Michael: We’ll see. Well, we’re not gonna give this any more air time than it deserves, so we’re gonna cut it off right now, but come a month from now, we’ll see if Round Two works, but this first week has been really good.


0:04:14 Jordan: I know I’m way more productive work-wise when I don’t do jiu-jitsu. Jiu-jitsu definitely impairs my work productivity, which is why I think several years ago, it would have been a non-negotiable that I couldn’t do it, because anything that impaired my work was off the table. Now, I’m at a different phase in my life where it’s the opposite, where now jiu-jitsu is a non-negotiable, where anything that gets in the way of jiu-jitsu is a non-negotiable, so it might be just, you know, sort of like Jim Rohn’s Seasons of Life where you have different seasons and different things to focus on.


0:04:53 Jordan: That might be a… I like the idea of scheduling, sort of periodizing your work. Right? That’s what we do in the mentorship, we periodize what they’re gonna focus on based on when they’re gonna pitch, when they’re going to focus on more social media content, when they’re gonna focus on building email lists, so it doesn’t make sense. And to notice on what activities that you might do early in the morning might either impair or enhance your work productivity.


0:05:22 Michael: You can periodize training, you can periodize work, you can periodize life too, like time spent on different goals and ambitions and work. We’ve talked a lot, and we don’t need to go deep on this right now, but about work-life balance in spurts, and it’s not like dividing a week up between work and family, but having chunks, like year-long chunks, multi-year chunks that are more focused on building a business compared to spending more time with loved ones or whatever you want to balance.


0:05:56 Jordan: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, even just thinking back now, just on my own personal experience, that’s what I’ve done accidentally always. First starting off with… Actually, I was gonna start off with my website, but it starts before that, even just with all the internships that I did, internship when I was in high school, internship at Cressey Performance, internship at West Side, just spent an inordinate amount of time studying and learning and interning before I ever even decided to make content, and then the next phase was a website, which was spending about 2-3 years only focused on the website, that was it, just to build that up. Then the next few years was the email list and copywriting, just spending two years solely studying that, then the next three years solely with Gary, and then just building up social media, doing that, it’s essentially… It’s this longer duration periodization cycle where it’s like you just basically focus on one thing and it doesn’t… You don’t let go of everything else, but you really emphasize one singular thing to improve.


0:07:01 Michael: Yeah, it’s like a challenge. It’s like a month-long challenge in the mentorship where you’re not letting go of all other output, of all other content creation of… But it’s increasing focus on one specific thing for a specific reason.


0:07:17 Jordan: Yeah, yeah, makes sense.


0:07:19 Michael: Let’s circle back real quick, I just forgot, we haven’t done a podcast since your jiu-jitsu competition, so wanna fill the people in? 


0:07:28 Jordan: Yeah, yeah. So I don’t wanna bore them just in case you read my post on Instagram, but basically went into it very nervous. I realized why I was so nervous. I didn’t talk about this, I realized why I was so nervous. So I think… I was very rarely nervous going into powerlifting competitions, very rarely, and I think that’s for two reasons. Number one is, it’s you against the bar, it’s not really another individual which going up against another human who’s trying to choke you out is obviously a little bit more intimidating, I think. But I think the real reason I was more nervous is because I made it public to everybody, and I would never do that with powerlifting. With powerlifting, I… Number one, I wouldn’t let anybody come to my meets, and number two is I would never go on social media and tell everyone I was about to do a meet, I would always just tell them what happens once it’s over. Once the meet was over, then I would tell people, “Hey, by the way, I did this meet, here are the videos, all this stuff,” because what it did is that allowed me to…


0:08:36 Jordan: It gave me a justification in my head, or almost like a fall back where, Okay, well, even if I don’t do well, no one has to know about it, but if I do well, then I can tell them. But for this, I was very upfront and I sort of wanted to walk people through the whole process, but I also didn’t wanna give myself that fall back, I sort of wanted to just be like, “Hey, if I do well, great, you’ll see it, and if I don’t do well, great, you’ll see it.” So that put a lot of pressure, or I… That was a lot of self-imposed pressure I put on myself that definitely made me even more nervous about it.


0:09:13 Michael: Do you think those nerves benefited you, hindered you, or were neutral? 


0:09:20 Jordan: Realistically, I think it hindered me for sure, because in my head, as I’m stepping out on the mat, it wasn’t the majority of my thoughts, but in my head, I was like, “Oh, people are gonna see these videos.” It’s like as you’re… That’s not what I wanna have in my head when I’m about to go out and fight somebody, I don’t wanna think someone’s gonna see this video, I wanna think about the individual in front of me and be clam.


0:09:42 Jordan: I think that was one of the coolest parts about watching the black belts, like watching all of them compete, they were so calm as they literally fought another individual, just… It’s pretty incredible to watch two extremely high-level fighters go against each other, and like you know what, when you watch someone sprint who isn’t a sprinter and their face crunches up and their whole body is tense and like they’re just… But then you watch a high-level Olympic sprinter and their face is just jiggling all over the places, very relaxed, they know how to relax throughout that intensity. It was the same type of thing. They were just so calm, and I was certainly in no way, shape or form calm at all, so yeah, I think it definitely hindered it, but it was a learning experience, so I won my first match, lost my second. I think one of the best parts about it is I studied the match footage intently for hours, and you know when you’re watching a video on your phone, you can just rewind one spot over and over and over again, you can slide it and go back, again even watch it in slow motion on a video on your phone.


0:10:51 Jordan: There’s just one spot, there’s just one spot where just one motion with my opponent’s arm, which is literally like one thing, he got what’s called an under hook, so he moved his arm from on top of mine to underneath mine, and that was the difference-maker in the entire match, that really changed everything. So the next day I went in to train, just spent over an hour drilling that one movement over and over and over, and so the way that I think about it now is, even though I lost the second match, I am better now because of it, than I would have been if I never had that match in the first place, so if I had never competed, I wouldn’t have known that was a mistake that I make and I wouldn’t be better, but now if I make the mistake again, well, yeah, that’s really bad. But now the goal is not to make that mistake again, so I’m that much better because of it.


0:11:37 Michael: Yeah, you learn from it.


0:11:39 Jordan: Yeah.


0:11:39 Michael: And by the way, two things, one, the guy who lost to was the guy who went on to essentially win the whole thing.


0:11:45 Jordan: Yeah.


0:11:46 Michael: I know he got second in the championship, but he was DQ-ed, right? 


0:11:49 Jordan: He was disqualified with 16 seconds left, so yeah, he did an illegal move and he was disqualified, yes.


0:11:55 Michael: And in Jordan’s first fight, he isn’t going to tell you this obviously, but he won 35 to zero, which I didn’t know was possible. [laughter] Like 6-4 or 4-2, those were the kinds of scores I was expecting. And then I remember you being like, “Yeah, I won 35-0.” I was like, “What?”


0:12:17 Jordan: Yeah. I mean, to me it was one of those things where, again, I watched the black belts and they’re so calm, they’ll look at the scoreboard as they are fighting. I was just so focused on just what’s going on in front of me, I didn’t even realize there was a scoreboard, so I wasn’t looking at it and then I finished and then I saw it and I was like, Man, I didn’t… I had no… I don’t even know how I scored a lot of those points, that’s how much of a beginner… I don’t even know how those points happened. It wasn’t like I was deliberately and intentionally like, “Alright, I’m gonna score points here.” Literally, it was just like, I looked up and if you asked me, “How did I score those points?” I could give you an idea, but I couldn’t tell you definitively, “Oh, well, in this moment, this happened, in this moment, that happened.” It’s like, “Oh, cool, apparently I did something that racked up a lot of points.”


0:13:00 Michael: Yeah. That’s what you expect though. First competition, so much adrenaline, just… Yeah. Great job, man.


0:13:08 Jordan: Yeah, man. So it was good, I’m excited about it. I signed up for my second competition the next day, so…


0:13:13 Michael: I was just going to ask if you had made that public.


0:13:17 Jordan: Yeah, yeah, made that public… I literally as soon as as I signed up for it, I put it up on my story and told people about it, and it’s cool, I like it. It’s keeping me in check with my nutrition, it’s keeping me motivated for training, and it’s… I know we’ve spoken about this before, so I won’t go too much on it, but it’s really nice to have something to train for again, it’s just like to have something to really, really strive to improve in for me to not have it be aesthetic, to have it something that’s much more primal. I really enjoy it.


0:13:54 Michael: And surprise, surprise, because when I got to New York last week, we got a little workout in together, you were in a cut-off and you look the best I’ve ever seen you.


0:14:05 Jordan: Yeah.


0:14:06 Michael: It’s funny, when you train hard, almost regardless of the goal and you’re consistent on both training and nutrition, and you bring a level of intensity that you have like, you’re going to look different.


0:14:18 Jordan: Yeah, yeah, significantly.


0:14:21 Michael: Should we get into some questions? 


0:14:23 Jordan: Let’s do it, man. You picked some five good ones for today? 


0:14:27 Michael: I picked five good ones. I actually have… I have three from our big list and then I have two, they’re a little bit longer questions that were emails I received that I thought would be a good discussion for us. So the first question is, how do you approach a client who is not doing any work on their end? 




0:14:50 Jordan: You wanna start off with that one? 


0:14:53 Michael: Sure. I think… The short answer is, I approach them with curiosity, and let’s just say this is someone who signed up for online coaching and isn’t filling out updates, isn’t replying to emails, maybe they got into their second phase, you haven’t heard about their workouts, you haven’t seen a single technique video, and… Because that’s, in my experience, the most common type of person who’s like the question said, literally not doing any work. You approach it with kindness and curiosity and just like, Hey, how are things going? What’s going on in your life? Is there anything I can do to help you right now? Fill me in on things. If you have a real inkling, and this will develop over time and experience coaching, but if you have an inkling that this is the type of person to really beat themselves up, to get really down on themselves, to be on track for a few days, fall off, and that alone can put them in a really bad mental place, I’ll get ahead of that by prefacing it with, “Hey, if you happen to X, Y, Z, A, B, C, it’s okay,” like talking them up in that way, but step one with a client who’s not doing anything is try to figure out why and see if you can help them get over whatever that bridge is, whatever that thing they’re struggling with is.


0:16:33 Jordan: Yeah, in my mind, when I hear this question, I see two different scenarios that crop up as the two main possible scenarios, the one hand is the one that you outlined where someone isn’t really sending in their check-ins, they’re not really communicating with you, but they’re also not complaining, right? So they’re just sort of there and their payments are going through, and you don’t like that their payments are going through, you feel guilty about it because you don’t know… They’re not even communicating with you, and you’re like, should I… Is this moral? Is this ethical? On the other side, you have the person who is communicating with you, they’re doing all their check-ins, and you’re looking at their progress, and you know for a fact that that person is not following the instructions and they’re getting mad because they’re like, “I’m doing everything that you say, but I’m not making progress.” And you know, from your experience and from science and just common sense, you know they’re not doing it. I would say these two have very different approaches, and so I’d say for the first person who isn’t communicating, who isn’t talking with you, isn’t filling out their check-ins, but they’re also not complaining, is I think what you said is the best way to go about it.


0:17:46 Jordan: Which is, you reach out, “Hey, how’s it going? You haven’t reached out back to me, to be very honest with you, I know your payments are going through, but I feel uncomfortable accepting them if we’re not actually coaching. So I just wanna make sure you know that I’m here for you. And is there anything else that I can help you with?” And they might come back and say, “Oh my God, no, it’s great, I love it.” And you could be super… You might be surprised and you might feel like you’re not doing that much, but just them knowing you are there, that’s really a lot of what they’re paying you for, right? It is really access to you, so if and when they need you, you’re there. And I think that’s… It never really gets easier, I should say, just like if that’s going on because you always feel some sense of obligation, you always know how much you could be giving them, but it’s not necessarily up to you, it’s really up to them how much they accept, right? So how much of coaching they’re willing to accept, and I think it’s important to remember that sometimes you’re the only support that these people will have, that your clients will have in their life, you might be the only one there, and just knowing that you’re there is worth the cost, so that I think is an important thing to understand.


0:18:58 Michael: And one last thing on person A will say, that that first person is… You might think that they’re “not doing any work on their end”, but that person is just as often… For every client I’ve had who isn’t communicative, who is having a hard time or is struggling, I’ve had at least one, if not two to 3X the number of people who are just following the plan, killing it, independent. “Oh yeah, sorry. Been super busy, but been getting all my workouts in. Oh, by the way, I am down six pounds, and here’s my bench technique video.” [chuckle] “I’m increasing week over week, thumbs up, good to go.” And then you won’t hear from them for another six to eight weeks.


0:19:41 Jordan: It was pretty shocking to me. It still it’s pretty shocking sometimes how some people are just… They don’t need the accountability portion, they’re like, they just crush it on their own. You keep sending them their program every four weeks and you keep checking in and they just don’t respond, and then one day after two months, three months, they’ll email you and be like, “Hey, the workouts have been amazing, thank you. Sorry I’ve been out of touch, just been crazy, but crushing it, I’ve put on 50 pounds to my deadlift.” “Oh wow, I wish you’d told me that so that I could congratulate you.” But there are a significant number of people who are like that. And I think they are some of the best clients because they do exactly what you say and they don’t really complain about it, and they’re just like, “Cool, this is the plan, gonna do it.”


0:20:26 Jordan: And then they might even email you and be like, “Oh, by the way, this move was… Or the forward lunges were hurting my knee, so I was doing Bulgarian split squats instead, I hope that’s okay.” It’s like, “Yeah, that’s great. Wonderful, wonderful substitution.” So I think you have to know if it… Is it someone that’s actually not doing something or are they just not communicating? And if they’re not communicating but they’re actually doing the work, don’t push them. There’s no… Not everybody needs to be in communication with you every day. I would just make sure if someone is unhappy with their results, and this gets to really person B, now you have a different situation.


0:21:08 Michael: Yeah. But don’t overly drill sergeant just for the sake of it, and I think that’s what a lot of clients expect, because I think that’s what a lot of coaches do. Like that person A could be doing extremely well, but they miss half their check-ins, like I’m not gonna berate the client for missing check-ins when they’re doing everything on their end.


0:21:29 Jordan: Correct.


0:21:31 Michael: But yes. Now, person B who I thankfully… I haven’t had a person B in recent memory, which… Yeah, I definitely just jinxed it. [chuckle] But I’ll let you… I’ll let you go ahead with this.


0:21:42 Jordan: No, I mean with person B, and just to reiterate, person B is someone who’s there checking in with you all the time, they’re probably writing you very, very, very, very long emails. They’re telling you that they’re doing everything exactly right, and they’re saying they’re following their nutrition to a T and they’re getting all their workouts in and they’re not making any progress whatsoever. They’re not getting stronger, their lifts aren’t going up, their weight is not going down, they’re being 100% perfect, and clearly something is wrong with the program and they should change something. And I know some of the first responses will be like, “Okay, you know what, let’s lower the calories a little bit.” And so then maybe you lower the calories, and just to get a gauge on it. And you know that on these low calories, they should definitely be making progress, and they’re swearing up and down they’re doing it, but they’re still not making progress. And then you get nervous because you don’t wanna take their calories even lower, ’cause it could be an issue, but they’re telling you, “I’m still not making progress,” so you’re at a standstill. What should I do? What should I do? 


0:22:45 Jordan: This is a very difficult situation and it’s tough, but I think the first and foremost thing is, if they’re being aggressive and angry with you, then I think the best route to go here is, “Hey, let’s… Do me a favor, let’s go get, let’s go to the doctor and let’s get your thyroid checked, and let’s get a metabolic cart test.” Because once you say that it sort of diffuses the situation and saying, “Let’s get you checked out physically, let’s get a physical. Let’s check your thyroid, let’s check your metabolic cart, because if those come back and there’s actually an issue, well, cool, now we can get you on medication, get that resolved, and then it’ll be great. And if it’s not an issue, well, then now we both know that you’re missing something, there’s something that you’re not doing, which is also great news because then we can fix it.”


0:23:34 Jordan: So basically, you frame this as it’s a win-win either way. We’re either gonna find out something is wrong with you, or there’s something that you’re not doing properly. And then if the person comes back and says they’re not going to the doctor, which I may have had two or three people in total out of hundreds and thousands of clients. So very few people will say no. If they do that, I’m like, “Well, listen, I can’t really help you if you’re not willing to help yourself.” But again, that’s very few people. Most people are like, “Okay, cool, you know what, I’ll go to the doctor.” And then most people will come back with no issues on their metabolic cart or thyroid, in which case then you can be like, “Awesome, so now do me a favor. Number one, let’s take a seven-day food log. So Monday through Monday, a seven-day food log, everything you’re eating. And also do me a favor, tell me what’s one thing you think you’re doing really well, and what’s one thing that you think you can improve on with your nutrition? Where might you think you go… Where do you think you could be slipping up a little bit? And after all of this, by the way, this could take a course of a week, two weeks, three weeks, after all this happens, then you can start to really pinpoint what might be going on.”


0:24:38 Michael: Yeah, that’s very well said. That’s a great approach. That is something that, like you said, only a small number of people would say no to the doctor. And so where my mind went as you were describing person B was, I wonder, as a coach and as someone… When people ask about finding their niche, we often talk about making content that helps the type of person that you want to help, that hopefully overlaps with something that you’re interested in. I just wonder if there are things within a coach’s control to have less person Bs in over the course of their career. And I don’t know the answer. And guess what, maybe I’m a bad person right now because maybe person Bs need the most help and maybe the focus should be finding more people like that and trying to help them with their mindset and get them on the right track, but…


0:25:42 Jordan: No. I don’t think so.


0:25:45 Michael: Well, maybe, that might be the right answer. Well, thank you.


0:25:45 Jordan: No. ‘Cause I just know what person B is, they can really drain you and they can take the fun out of what you’re doing. I don’t think everyone needs to be a person A, where they never communicate. I don’t think that’s realistic, nor necessarily desirable, ’cause even with person As, you don’t really get what you love as a coach. When someone tells me after three months, “Oh yeah, by the way, I increased my deadlift by 50 pounds,” I’m like, I would have loved to have known that, and to seeing the videos. Right, so it’s like, ideally, you’re gonna find someone more in the middle who like, maybe they’re struggling a little bit, but they’re willing… They’re a good student. They wanna learn.


0:26:22 Michael: Most people are in the middle, by the way, we’re talking like there’s two types of people. A plus B equals less than 10% of the total pie, like most people are in the middle. And in fact, like you said, person A isn’t optimal because, guess what, if that person was sending you weekly form videos for 12 weeks, maybe their deadlift goes up 80 pounds instead of 50 pounds. Like maybe they lose more body fat. And they actually very likely would. There’s probably progress being left on the table, but that’s no reason to berate the client into following things more tightly.


0:27:00 Jordan: The interesting thing about the person B though, is it really does follow Pareto’s principle, which is where 20% of your clients will take up 80% of your time and energy. So person B will be 20%, maybe even 10% of your total clients, but they will take up the vast majority of your time and patience and energy, whereas the vast majority of your clients, they’ll be great. You’ll love it. It’ll be so worth it. But part of that means those emails go by super fast and those interactions really don’t take up too much time or energy, it’s just what you love, it’s just one of the aspects of any job, not just being an online coach, but any job is there is some parts of it that are just very difficult to deal with and work through.


0:27:51 Michael: Next question, full-time worker that needs that paycheck, possible to become an online coach without internship. Definitely possible, anything’s possible. Here are the two routes that you can take if you’re a full-time worker and you need that paycheck, which basically means I’m in a position where I can’t quit this job I have right now, but I want to be an online coach. You can start coach… Actually, there’s only one route, you can coach people in the time that you have, or you can start building that business in the spare time you have outside of work. Or I guess option two is spend as little as possible over the next six, 12, 18, 24 months, continue to work that job and delay starting this thing that you want to try, this new career path that you wanna take on. What do you think, Jordan? 


0:28:58 Jordan: I had a rage blackout as you were talking about that, just…


0:29:02 Michael: Reading it? 


0:29:03 Jordan: No, no, no, I can’t see the question. I just had a rage blackout thinking about how you and I have seen people recently talking about how you don’t need to coach people in person in order to be a good online coach, and I’m just like… As I’m thinking about it, I’m getting infuriated. Man, I really… I don’t get real anger very much anymore. When I was in high school, you had that high school anger, it’s hard to explain or replicate, but like, man, listen, you can absolutely be an online coach without in-person experience. You can absolutely do that, but you can’t be a great online coach without in-person experience. And I think it’s a really important distinction to make. You could be anything, you could be anything you want, but you can’t be something great, you can’t be great at, you can’t be one of the best. You can’t do yourself or your clients the best service if you don’t have the requisite foundational knowledge and experience, you just can’t. Who knows? Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t think…


0:30:17 Michael: No, you’re not. You’re not wrong.


0:30:18 Jordan: This just gets me so angry, because I know the reason that people… There are people out there who are saying, “Yeah, you can absolutely be an online coach without in-person experience is purely to make money off of people who…


0:30:32 Michael: Let me guess, it’s because they’re selling something and they want to increase the potential buyer pool? 


0:30:40 Jordan: Correct. Yep, that’s it.


0:30:41 Michael: That’s it.


0:30:41 Jordan: That’s it. It’s infuriating. Also, I understand that right now, it might be more difficult than usual to get in-person experience if gyms aren’t open near you and all of that, but that doesn’t mean you should write it off, it doesn’t mean that maybe right now, you focus on studying and learning, and you start documenting your own training online and what you’re doing, and when things open up and the opportunity presents itself, then you do in-person coaching. But whether you do an internship or you build your own home gym in your garage and you have people come there and you coach your neighborhood…


[overlapping conversation]


0:31:23 Michael: Friends and family. That’s where we all start.


0:31:26 Jordan: Yeah. I still do that. I still do that, I still… I have people come here sometimes. The one, I think, common theme I’ve found among the greatest online coaches I’ve ever met is they still, even though they don’t have to, even though they’re not doing it for the money, they still coach people in person, because number one, they enjoy it, but number two is ’cause it keeps their skills sharp, it keeps you remembering, oh, this is a great cue, oh, people struggle with this. Even just this morning, literally just this morning, I was helping my fiance with single-leg planks, and I could see that her hips were tilted to one side, and it was just a small little fix, it’s something that you don’t know unless you coach it in person. You don’t understand there are many ways to maybe correct that technique issue with someone’s hip sliding a little bit to the side with their single-leg planks. So then you cycle through three to five things really, really quickly out of experience to know, okay, well, this one works with this person, it’s like… It’s hard for me to find the words to fully articulate how important I think in-person coaching experience is, and…


0:32:40 Michael: It was episode one of this podcast was talking about certifications versus internships, and we drilled from day one, minute one, second one, the importance of getting experience. That is going to make you better, it gives you a better base to stand on, which is gonna let all of the growth you make over years to come start from a better position.


0:33:10 Jordan: Not to mention, I think this is an important point we haven’t covered before, is more and more I’m getting messages from people who wanna be coaches saying that they suffer from Impostor Syndrome and they struggle with, well, I don’t really know if I’m qualified enough for anything. And I always ask, “Have you coached people in person?” They’re like, “Nope.” Well, that’s why, ’cause you’re not qualified. Of course, you have Impostor Syndrome because you’re not qualified yet, and you should feel that way. And it doesn’t mean you can’t put out content to help people, but it does mean that if you spend six months, a year, two years, three years coaching people in person for a couple of hours a day, your Impostor Syndrome will… I’m not gonna say it’ll go away ’cause I think it’s somewhat normal to have at least some of it throughout your life.


0:33:58 Michael: A little bit.


0:33:58 Jordan: But if you feel it 80% of the time right now, after six months, a year, two years, three years of coaching people in person a couple hours a day, notice I’m saying a couple of hours a day, I’m not saying six, seven, eight, 10 hours a day, but you have a couple of clients a day, a couple of people, your Impostor Syndrome will diminish to maybe 5%, 10% because you’ll know how good you are as a coach, you’ll know what to do in various situations. The only way to reduce that feeling of Impostor Syndrome is to actually be good and confident in what you’re doing. And you can’t be good and confident if you’ve never done it.


0:34:31 Michael: Yeah. Facts. A couple hours a day brings us right back to the question, which is, is it possible without an internship? Well, if it’s not an internship, maybe it could be a part-time internship, but find some way to get some in-person experience outside of your full-time, 9:00 to 5:00, 8:00 to 5:00, whatever it is. And that’s like the snippet answer to that specific question. But the broader answer, and this has always been unbelievably important to me, and in my eyes overlooked, is when you’re starting saving that first $1,000 in your bank account is the most important 1,000, is the most important money. And then getting up to 5,000 and then getting up to 10,000, getting enough savings so that you have… Saving money is future freedom, it’s future ability to take shots, it’s future ability to not be tied to a job, it’s future ability to have months and years to take a shot at a different career. And so maybe you’re just thinking about doing something different, maybe you’re thinking you might wanna be a coach some time in the future, start spending less and saving more now, so that when that opportunity comes or when you really feel pulled towards that thing, that you will be able to take that shot.


0:36:06 Jordan: Yeah, yeah, a 100%.


0:36:09 Michael: Question three? What do you think of these guys helping coaches scale their business to six figures? That’s just how I read all of these questions, in a voice like that. What do you think of these guys helping coaches scale their business to six figures? First, I think it’s important to state that there’s nothing wrong with having a six-figure business, there’s nothing wrong with making money. If you have 30 online coaching clients paying you 300 a month, that’s a six-figure business right there. We have seen and helped dozens of people accomplish that.


0:36:51 Jordan: Literally just got… I told you the other day about one of the people in the mentorship who went from literally zero to over 10K a month in the last six or seven months in the mentorship, it’s crazy.


0:37:04 Michael: Mm-hmm. So there’s… It’s not a bad thing. Now, in fact, I would argue that it’s a good thing. If you have a business that is doing the right thing, and obviously you’re not ripping people off, have one or two good years and then you’ve burnt your reputation and you have no sustainability for your business, but good coaches who work hard are going to Are going to see the results of that over time, but the way this question’s asked, I have a feeling they’re kind of angling towards something else, something with the marketing or something with the way that it’s positioned.


0:37:45 Jordan: I would imagine it’s more towards… And I’ve gotten a lot of these ads on Facebook and stuff, but people being like, “You gotta do high-ticket coaching, and then you can make a million dollars a year or da da da, six figures.” whatever it is. And basically, the difference is the way that they push their coaching program is make more money. Whereas what we do is we say, “Be a great coach,” so they’re not… And you and I have spoken about this, and I’ve spoken with a lot of other people who’ve done various programs, a lot of coaches will go into a build-your-business program, and it’s all 100% content and work geared towards marketing and sales. And all they do is being pushed towards, “We’ll make more sales, build your email list, learn sales copy, write sales, new sales,” and that stuff isn’t inherently bad, but that’s just one small part of the puzzle.


0:38:42 Jordan: And the reality is, if you’re a coach and you’re building a coaching business, and you’re learning how to do sales and copy-writing and email lists and automated sequences and blah, blah, blah, but the foundation of your coaching business isn’t good, well, you’re setting yourself up and your clients for failure and for something that you’re not going to like. The reality is most coaches get into coaching, ’cause they love coaching and they like helping people and yeah, they absolutely want to build a sustainable, healthy, strong business that supports them and their family, financially. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but if you aren’t fully confident yet in your ability as a coach to help people and what you know as a coach, then if all your time has spent focused on sales and marketing then you’re probably gonna feel a bit gross and icky about it. And it’s not gonna feel right to you, in which case, you have to really look at who are you hiring and who are you spending your time and money on? Is it someone who’s helping you be a better coach and thus building a better business, or is it someone who’s solely just trying to get you to make more money so that you can keep paying for their mastermind? 


0:39:52 Michael: [chuckle] Yeah, a coaching business built on great sales and marketing is like a house built on sand or even quicksand, depending on your level of coaching. But having that foundation of being a great coach makes you a rock, it’s a house built on a rock.


0:40:13 Jordan: If we’re talking about anti-fragility, if you build your business, your coaching business based on you being very good at sales, you are very fragile. You are very, very, very fragile, because the reality is, you can only sell so many people for so long before people start to realize you aren’t good at what you do, and they’re not getting what they paid for. But if you build your coaching business, having become a great coach based on, actually at the beginning sacrificing money to be better at what you do, you will never go out of business, ever. Because it’s so funny, I remember when I hired Pat Flynn as my business coach in 2015, and this was early on in my career, I was about four or five years into the online thing, and four years in the online thing, and I was doing well, but I wasn’t really confident in the validity of everything in terms of the business model, I was still very insecure about it, and I was changing a lot, and I remember asking ’cause he was so confident, he never seemed unsure of himself or unsure of the business model, and I remember asking like, “Are you ever worried that you could go out of business?”


0:41:38 Jordan: It was a fear of mine. And it still always is the fear of going out of business, it’s very scary. For whatever reason, people just decide to stop paying you. And he was always like, “No, no, not at all.” And I was like, “Why? Why aren’t you worried?” He was like, “Well, worse comes to worst I just go back to in-person coaching,” and it’s like, “What a wonderful mindset to have where it’s like, worse comes to worst, you can make a great career and a wonderful life coaching people in person, right?” And that’s real, that’s truth. Worse comes to worst, you could make a gym in your garage and coach people in the local neighborhood and live a wonderful life with your family. Maybe not a lavish life where you have a mansion, but you live a wonderful, healthy life with your family and you coach people in person for several hours a day. That’s a great mindset to have, and if you build your business on that foundation, now you’re truly anti-fragile.


0:42:33 Michael: Yeah, that sounds great.


0:42:35 Jordan: Yeah.


0:42:35 Michael: It sounds like a great life. It’s like, “Oh, that’s the worst-case scenario?” It’s like, “Sign me up.” [chuckle]


0:42:42 Jordan: That’s exactly right.


0:42:43 Michael: Did that help you alleviate some of the fear? 


0:42:47 Jordan: Oh, yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It’s like: Could lose Instagram, could lose YouTube, could lose all this stuff and be fine. I know I could always be fine, ’cause I’m confident in my ability as a coach, and I know I can always just take my equipment and go to a small town somewhere, and I know I would just meet someone at the grocery store or meet someone in a local area, and I’d coach them for free. And then I know what would happen as a result of that I know they would love it and they tell their friends. And I know ’cause I’ve done it before. I’d go to the coffee shop and I’d give all the baristas a free session with me. And then they would talk about me to their customers. Once you build a great foundation of coaching, the fear of going out of business really becomes minimal at best.


0:43:39 Michael: Yeah, that was a great answer. Okay, where are we at here? This is a little bit of a longer one. We’re shifting gears back into calorie land. “Hey, Mike, I had a question, I thought it would make for a good podcast conversation. I hear you and Jordan talk about giving the clients what they want in terms of programming and goal setting, example, if a client wants to lose body fat, you program them into a calorie deficit and adjust their training accordingly. However, my question is, if you come across a client and their goal is to “lose weight”, but after looking at their food log, you realize that they are only consuming 1500 to 1800 calories per day and are still putting on body fat with that intake.


0:44:29 Michael: As the coach, you know that putting them into a deficit wouldn’t be optimal for their health overall, you would have to adjust way down to a thousand calories a day, which is insanely low. How do you go about having a conversation that explains why going into a slight calorie surplus and lifting heavier will be better for them long-term because of the metabolism-boosting effects that heavier training can have on the body without scaring them away due to their scale weight potentially going up? In other words, how do you find the balance between what client wants and what you know your experience and education as a coach will be optimal for them? I hope that all made sense. Best to you, Trevor. Thank you for the question, Trevor. I think the short answer is you tell them the truth, and it’s what I have coined the “Martin Berkhan” where it’s almost like a bitter pill truth, and I think you told the story on the podcast, or was that in a mentorship Q and A? I think it was on the podcast.


0:45:29 Jordan: Yeah, I think it was the podcast.


0:45:31 Michael: About many years back when you hired Martin as a coach, and he gave you a very blunt answer that you and I today probably would sugar coat it for a person, but getting that bit of truth… Here’s another example, when I first started coaching Gary, we were six weeks in, I was on his family vacation…


0:45:54 Jordan: [chuckle] I love this story.


0:45:55 Michael: Because I coached him every single day. So we were down somewhere in the south Caribbean, I don’t remember exactly, but we were in a cool outdoorsy type of gym, and he was on the treadmill doing a little five-minute incline walk, getting the blood flowing, in the warm-up, and one of the most jacked men that I’ve ever seen walked by probably 5’5, built like a real running back, bowling ball kind of build with 4% body fat. And Gary said to me, he was like, “You think like two years from now I can look like that?” and in my mind, I’m thinking, “Absolutely not,” like, “That’s impossible for many reasons.” But there was a part of me that didn’t want to discourage him. We had just started. He had gone 38 and a half years with not caring about his fitness, we were six weeks in, he was making progress, and I kind of half-assed the answer, I didn’t say, “No, absolutely not.” I was like, “You could get your version of that. We can get abs, you’re gonna build some muscle. It’s not completely out of the question. Let’s get a good workout,” kind of thing. And then I remember a year later, he was really happy with his progress, but he said, “Yeah, I just remember, six weeks in, you saying that I could potentially look somewhat like that guy, and comparing where I am now to that expectation, I would be very disappointed.” But he had understood by that time.


0:47:44 Jordan: Yeah.


0:47:46 Michael: But basically giving people the truth, because at the risk of whatever downside there is, you’re setting proper expectations. And in response to Trevor’s question, basically, if you think putting them in a slight surplus and building muscle is the best play in the long run, tell them that and tell them that, “Hey, the scale might go up a little bit. That’s okay.” But rather than trying to tiptoe around their fear of increasing scale weight, I think it’s better to just give the straight truth.


0:48:22 Jordan: Also just to add on to that, just to go sort of different direction. In my opinion, I wouldn’t put that person on a surplus.


0:48:31 Michael: Yeah. I was gonna say, can I guess where you’re going with this? 


0:48:32 Jordan: Yeah. [chuckle]


0:48:34 Michael: You’re going to… This person says they’re consuming 1500 to 1800 calories, but they’re not.


0:48:42 Jordan: Well, no, no, no. So first and foremost you have to understand, I’m anticipating people listening to this and being like, “Wait, but, does that even make sense?” So I wanted to cover that ’cause using that example…


0:48:56 Michael: Well, we don’t know enough.


0:48:56 Jordan: Right. We don’t know enough.


0:48:58 Michael: Is it a 4’11, 105-pound woman who has 38% body fat because her TDEE is not pretty and 1500 to 1800 calories a day, depending on her activity level, that has her in a surplus, and you might not need to take her to a thousand calories a day to lose fat, but you… Sorry, I kinda just stole your thunder…


0:49:26 Jordan: No, dude. I’m glad that you said it ’cause I was like, “I don’t… ” Here’s the deal, you sort of just said one major part of it, but I think we have to eliminate the idea… For a long period of time, there were people who said… And My Fitness Pal, I think, is one of the worst perpetrators of basically, “Oh, you’re a woman, you eat 1200 calories,” right? And that was like seen as the standard for women, which then the pendulum has swung the other way, where now people are like, “You should never eat 1200 calories. That’s bad.”


0:49:58 Michael: “No one should ever.”


0:50:00 Jordan: It’s like, “Hold on, that is not true.” There are some people, not many, but if you’re smaller, if you’re on the smaller side, if you’re short, you’re petite, yeah, you’re gonna… Sometimes 1200 calories is an appropriate deficit for you and it sucks. And for them adding some extra cardio could be very beneficial, so they don’t actually have to do that, which is why I also hate the whole no cardio crowd. Which you and I did a whole episode on that last time. But there are some people at 1200, 1300 calories… That’s not outrageous, just based on their size. So I think that’s an important thing to say as well. But then even let’s just say… Let’s sort of take out the exact calories from that example, and we’ll take that out and we’ll just talk about someone who maybe they could really do with building muscle. And they say they wanna lose body fat, but you know they should really be focusing on building muscle. I don’t think I’d put them in a straight surplus.


0:51:01 Jordan: I think I’d keep probably more around maintenance, especially if they’re new to coaching with you. You have to establish trust. It’s a huge part of coaching. If someone comes to you and says, “This is what I wanna do,” well, you have to think about long-term. “Cool,” like, “If this person stays with me for a month or two, how much can I accomplish? But what happens if this person stays with me for six months to a year?” Can accomplish much more, if I can get them to be consistent and get them to trust in the process, well, that’ll be way better for them than if I just say, “Well, you know what, we’re gonna start right away with exactly this. The question asks like, “Well, how do you balance giving them what they want versus what they need?” And I think if you’re a coach, you have to understand sometimes in the long-term, and that’s what we preach is long-term success, sometimes you have to give them something short-term so they can succeed long-term. So maybe you don’t put them in a straight deficit from the beginning, but maybe slight deficit to maintenance, ’cause realistically, we do know that you can build muscle in a slight deficit if your protein is high enough.


0:52:03 Jordan: And especially if they’re a newbie, if they need to build muscle, they could definitely build strength and muscle in a deficit if their protein’s high and they’re going to the gym consistently. So I don’t see why in this situation, it would be such a no-no to do that. I think maybe you could say, “Hey listen, so here’s what we’ll do. For the first 60 to 90 days we’re gonna put you in a very slight deficit, so maybe over the course of the next two to three months, you’ll lose between two to four pounds.” Tell them right up front, “Lost two to four pounds, not that much, but you lose two to four pounds and you’re gonna build several pounds of muscle, so hopefully an equal amount of muscle in the same time frame, which would be incredible.” Well, now, especially on a smaller frame, that’s a noticeable difference. On a smaller frame, you’re gonna see two to four pounds of fat loss and two to four pounds of muscle gain, significantly. Their pants are gonna fit differently, they’re clothes will fit differently, and they’ll trust you now. And then if you decide to say, “Hey, I think we should go in a surplus now,” like three months in, now they’ll trust you. But if you just go right from the very beginning without them having a reason to trust you, you’re fighting a very difficult battle.


0:53:09 Michael: Yeah, great answer. Let’s actually, just for fun, let’s say this is a 6’2, 240-pound dude who’s…


0:53:22 Jordan: And he says he’s eating 1500? 


0:53:24 Michael: Yeah, he’s eating 1500 to 1800 and he’s gaining body fat. [laughter]


0:53:31 Jordan: Where do you go with that? 


0:53:34 Michael: I think that might be a person B that we have our hands on and we might need to have a little heart-to-heart, maybe get some food logs, potentially get his thyroid checked out, and go that route from earlier in the episode.


0:53:50 Jordan: Yes, that would be a person B. For whatever it’s worth I’ve never had anybody that size tell me that they were eating 1500 [laughter]


0:54:01 Michael: Not once. Zero times, not a DM, not an email.


0:54:05 Jordan: Literally, no.


0:54:05 Michael: Not ever, but we gotta have some fun. We gotta keep it light-hearted. Last question. “Hey, Mike, I have a question on a client of mine. I have a few ladies in the age range of 40 to 50 who have come to me with goals of fat loss.” It’s a similar-ish question. “One in particular is 140 pounds, 5’3 inches, and wants to lose 10 pounds. I had her track calories for a week and she averages around 1350 calories per day. Is it best to go through a reverse dieting phase in this situation to get her into a better metabolic position for fat loss? I struggle in these in-between situations without knowing whether to try to create a deficit because I know they want to lose or going through a reverse dieting phase to start. Let me know what you would personally do in this situation. Nicholas.” Thank you for the question, Nicholas. What I would personally do? I don’t have enough information, right? Because one of the most relevant factors here with assessing the fact that she’s on, let’s just say that she is on 1350 and maintaining and not losing body fat on that intake, we’ll just set that aside because there’s a lot to that. But let’s just say that is true. I completely lost my train of thought.


0:55:35 Jordan: That’s alright.


0:55:36 Michael: I know it’s alright, but it’s what happened? [laughter] 9:36 PM, got an early-morning Gary workout. Where was I going with that? 1350 calories at… Oh, what’s extremely relevant is what has been going on, right? Is this someone who over the last 18 months has lost 60 pounds and has been in a deficit that entire time? Or is this someone who basically just started trying to diet and she’s maintaining on that 1350? What she’s been doing training-wise, and it sounds like it was a week, so seven days she tracked and maintained on 1350. What happened to her waist measurements? Seven days isn’t a ton of time. I don’t necessarily think that you need to reverse diet her or put her at maintenance for a period of time or whatever it might be. She might still be able to lose body fat. I don’t know that we have enough information in this example to make that call.


0:56:47 Jordan: Yeah, I completely agree. I would say… You were talking about, “Well, let’s just say that 1350 is accurate,” it’s a really big thing just to… It’s a very big thing just to say, “All right, well, we’ll just trust that that’s accurate,” and I understand why you’re saying it just for the sake of the discussion…


0:57:05 Michael: No, let’s go back to it ’cause that was just to make one point.


0:57:08 Jordan: Yeah, I think there’s a lot that you just said that is very important to consider. Number one being, well, let’s assume that that’s just accurate. Number two is the seven-day timeframe. Coaches love to talk about, you have to be patient and long-term, but then the coaches will want to know exactly what to do within seven days. It’s like, “You gotta buckle in, bucko.” “Buckle in bucko,” that’s the first time I’ve ever said that in my entire life, “Buckle in bucko.” You gotta relax.


0:57:38 Michael: I’ve definitely said that.


0:57:41 Jordan: Yeah, that is definitely a Michael phrase. Yeah, you gotta buckle in bucko. Seven days isn’t that much time, and you know scale fluctuations are crazy, which you also mentioned what happened to their waist measurements? These are all things that… You can’t know exactly what’s gonna happen in seven days and that’s okay. The reality is this, this is a very important thing to understand about coaching, most people when they do it on their own, when they try and do their own fitness stuff on their own, they quit. Not because it’s not working, but because they’re looking for signs of success, too soon. And your job as a coach is to manage their expectations for how quickly they can know whether or not it’s working. So I think what’s really important to remember is that you’re the boss and you say, “Listen, we’re gonna do this for one month. We’re gonna track your weight daily, we’re gonna check your measurements every two weeks, and we’re gonna check your pictures every four weeks. We’re not gonna make a single change for an entire month, because what we’ll do is we’ll analyze this month’s progress to next month progress.


0:58:51 Jordan: So for this first month, is all data collection. It’s physically impossible to know if it’s working until we have this first month done. Then we can start the analyzation phase of it, where we go month-to-month after that.” It’s your responsibility as the coach to communicate that. So I think that it’s just you’re not being patient enough as the coach, and I understand that you can almost feel pressure from your clients like, “What do we do now, coach? What do we do now, coach?” And your job is to say, “Shhh, patience, keep going, we’re gonna do… ” Essentially, it’s a guess and check, and either someone’s gonna guess and check on their own, or you’re guessing and checking for them, and that’s your job as a coach to… Educated guess and check. But the only way to do that is if you have enough data. So you could have seven data points for a week, or you could have 31 data points for a month, and what’s better? Always more data points.


0:59:47 Jordan: So who knows, maybe they’re about to go through their period, so they’ve just gained a bunch of weight and they’re holding on to more water. You have no idea. Maybe they’re in a really stressful time frame. Who knows? There are so many different things that could affecting this, but for this individual, going off the very limited information that we have, I would, just based on my assumptions of the person, I would say, “You don’t need to reverse diet,” I’d probably try and keep them again, closer to maintenance and get them to lift. Get them strong, just based on my assumptions of that general population where oftentimes they’re not lifting heavy, they’re not in the gym, they’re not actually strength training, get them lifting, keep them right around maintenance and, usually, you’ll see body re-composition over the first three months.


1:00:34 Michael: Yeah. That’s a great play. It’s also, in general, the motivator for a potential reverse diet here is metabolic adaptation from, for one reason or another, whether it’s being in a deficit for too long or… That is what, Nicholas, you are thinking is going on that would cause you to want to reverse diet this person. As a general rule, assume there isn’t. Unless you have a good reason to think there’s some kind of downtick in TDEE, assume that that’s not what’s going on. And Jordan, your recommendation, which is rather than get seven days of data get a month of data, is the solution that I would go with too. That’s it. That’s five great questions. That’s a Tuesday evening podcast. That is a, “we are getting back in the weekly routine,” in the weekly swing. If you listened this far, thank you. If you haven’t listened to last week’s episode about cardio, that was a really good one. Check that out if you’re looking for more content and over and out. I’ve never said over and out. [laughter] Buckle up, bucko.


1:01:48 Jordan: Over and out, bucko. Thanks for listening. Have a wonderful day. If you enjoyed the episode, please give a five-star review. If you don’t wanna leave a five-star review just don’t leave any at all, ’cause don’t want anything less than five-stars, okay? [laughter]


1:02:07 Michael: That’s so good.


1:02:08 Jordan: Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day. We’ll talk to you soon.

1:02:09 Michael: Bye everyone.

Learn How To Become A Personal Trainer

Join our mailing list to receive the latest episodes and tools to become a personal trainer.

You have Successfully Subscribed!