0:00:12.2 Mike Vacanti: Hello Jordan.
0:00:12.9 Jordan Syatt: What’s going on Michael?
0:00:14.4 Mike Vacanti: Not much my man. How are you?
0:00:16.2 Jordan Syatt: Feeling good man, having some kombucha. Getting the gut health in.
0:00:20.9 Mike Vacanti: This guy’s got the greatest gut health.
0:00:23.1 Jordan Syatt: Had a bunch of… I had two bagels today with lox.
0:00:28.6 Mike Vacanti: Nice.
0:00:29.3 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, feeling good.
0:00:31.1 Mike Vacanti: You got your omega-3 fatty acids, you’ve got your topped off glycogen stores for any kind of anaerobic activity, you got like… You’re just ready to go.
0:00:41.5 Jordan Syatt: Thinking about getting a lift in and after this, but I need to do this video, so trying to figure out what I’m gonna do.
0:00:47.5 Mike Vacanti: Trust your gut.
0:00:50.4 Jordan Syatt: [chuckle] How are you, man? You lift today?
0:00:51.9 Mike Vacanti: I’m good. No, I had a rest day. Pretty dialed too. I got about a Halo Top worth of macronutrients remaining, which is gonna put me 20 carb over for the day, but I’ve also taken 15,000 steps, so… I’m very okay with that.
0:01:04.2 Jordan Syatt: Wow. 15,000 steps today? Was that deliberate or just a… You just happened to walk that many…
0:01:08.8 Mike Vacanti: No just… A lot of things going on where I was moving around the city and… Do more walking back to my place tonight and… Yeah, man, I was… Before we jumped on, ’cause we have five amazing questions here, we might end up getting to four of them… We might get to five of them, we’ll see, but I was like, “What should we BS about before we talk?” And you said, “Well, whatever,” but we just talked for a half hour on the phone about a lot of really good stuff that unfortunately, I don’t think we can recreate that conversation. The Too Long Don’t Read is that the quest for improved character is one of the great gifts we as humans have, if we choose to embark on that journey.
0:02:01.5 Jordan Syatt: You sent me a good tweet that I just saw right before we hopped on, it was like… There’s… I forget what it is verbatim, but something in the effect of like, nothing feels as good as when you see your buddy embark on a spiritual quest and they get better for it. They become a better individual because of it. I like that, I like that a lot.
0:02:22.7 Mike Vacanti: But yeah, everything is good. I head to Las Vegas tomorrow for my brother-in-law to be’s bachelor party.
0:02:32.1 Jordan Syatt: Let’s go. You’re gonna play some poker?
0:02:36.3 Mike Vacanti: I am gonna play some poker.
0:02:38.7 Jordan Syatt: Are you gonna wake up early and go down in the casino at like 7…
0:02:44.4 Mike Vacanti: This will not be like Jordan’s first time to Las Vegas while coaching Gary, where you [chuckle] thought you had a side hustle in addition to coach. Coach and…
0:02:54.7 Jordan Syatt: Should I tell the story? Should I tell it?
0:02:56.6 Mike Vacanti: Should we tell… Did we tell that on our last episode in NYC? I feel like we talked about that.
0:03:03.3 Jordan Syatt: No, there’s no way I told that story. Long story short, when I first went to Vegas to coach with Gary… I was coaching Gary, went to Vegas… And Gary would go to Vegas all the time… By all the time I mean usually at least once a quarter.
0:03:18.9 Mike Vacanti: Yes. CES in January, speaking at conferences.
0:03:23.2 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah, sometimes just meetings, whatever it is, go to Vegas and… I don’t remember… I swore I wasn’t gonna gamble ’cause gambling was a big problem for my grandfather, so I was always like, I’m just not even gonna try it ’cause he had real issues with it. And then I was there and I went to the gym at the Cosmopolitan. They have a sick gym, I was really into boxing at the time, they had the heavy bag there, and this is a whole separate story, and now I’m remembering something else that I completely forgot. This guy wanted to spar in the middle of the gym, but one of the guys I met up there, we were doing rounds back and forth on the heavy bag, and he was just a really cool dude. I think he was from Texas, strong southern accent, and he’s like, “Let’s go hit the tables later tonight,” and I was like, “You know what, I’ll just go down and hang out with him, he seems like a really cool dude.” So we’re down there on the floor of the Cosmopolitan… What do they call it? The Casino, and this waitress comes around the table and we’re playing… What’s the game? What’s the name of the game?
0:04:32.8 Mike Vacanti: Roulette.
0:04:33.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah we’re playing Roulette. And I’m not playing, I’m just watching him. And he just tells the waitress what he wants to drink, and she goes and gets it, and she comes back and he didn’t pay, and I was like, “Wait, how come you got that for free?” He was like, “Oh, as long as you’re playing, you get drinks for free,” and I was like, “No way.” I could not believe that, I was like, “It makes sense now that I think about it,” but I could… So I was like, “You know what, I’ll get a drink.” So I got a drink but I was like, “Okay, now I have to play, I can’t just sit here.” So I was like, “Alright, I’ll play a little bit.” And we started playing the Roulette, and he was teaching me all about his system and all about how it works, and I was up like 300 to 500 bucks by the end of the night, and I could not believe it, I was like, I just made like 300 to 500 bucks within, I don’t know, an hour and a half. Playing very conservative, not doing anything risky, just going 50-50s and just a little bit, a little bit, a little bit. And it was fun. We were drinking, whatever.
0:05:27.7 Jordan Syatt: So then after that, we both go get a steak dinner and a super nice steak dinner, basically, half of the money I made went towards this steak dinner. It was like, worth it. I’m still up 150 bucks, and then… I can very easily see now how it could become so addicting for people, because I was coaching Gary the next morning, but I woke up about two hours early before I was supposed to coach Gary to go down to the casino ’cause I knew it was open 24 hours a day, and I started playing Roulette again and I was like, “Oh man, this is not good,” and then I lost a bunch of money.
0:06:05.6 Jordan Syatt: I was like, Alright, now I understand why this isn’t a good habit to get into.
0:06:11.6 Mike Vacanti: Dude, one of the worst things I think that can happen to someone, especially someone with an addictive personality who’s maybe in a certain place in life, but to have their very first time gambling for real, have a big winning session, is more of a curse than a blessing, because… And when we say gambling, you have to understand that Roulette is a game where, yes, you can win money in the short term, you can get lucky and win money in the short term, but you are at a disadvantage mathematically, statistically against the casino. So that in the long run, no matter what this guy, this Texan, no matter what his strategy was, no matter how we was spreading his chips out red, black, bet the zeros, on the line, whatever… You can’t win in the long run at Roulette against the casino. And so for that reason, when you win your first session, you’re all pumped about it, then you’re always chasing that feeling, luckily, I think you have… I don’t know if it’s the intelligence or it’s something, but you don’t like the experience of loss, so I would imagine… I would imagine that morning after you lost, you weren’t like itching to go back and dig yourself out of the hole, it was like, “Screw this, I’m done with this.”
0:07:30.6 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah, it was the part of… The losing, but it was really like… My grandfather lost everything to gambling, especially horse gambling, horse races, but that was literally… As soon as I lost a couple hundred bucks, I was like, “Dear Lord, Nope, done.” I’m not a big spender. I’m super conservative with my cash, I don’t like to throw it away, I save everything, so for me to lose a couple of hundred bucks, I was so angry that I was like, “There’s no way I’m risking that again.” But initially I was like, “Why don’t people… Why doesn’t everyone move to Vegas?” If you could put some chips on a table, you had a 50-50 chance, you’re gonna make money, and I was like, “Oh okay, never mind,” good thing I didn’t switch my career to a professional Roulette player.
0:08:19.9 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, and that’s… If you can count cards… We’re getting on a little bit of a tangent here, but I think some people might be interested, if you can count cards, there are black jack strategies where you can have a slight edge against the casino, in which case, you’re just eventually going to get banned from the casino and your name is gonna get on a list then… That doesn’t end well.
0:08:41.4 Jordan Syatt: Taken to the basement and beat the shit out of you.
0:08:44.0 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, exactly, exactly. There’s a great movie about that, I think it’s called 21.
0:08:49.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
0:08:53.1 Mike Vacanti: But then you asked if I was gonna play some poker, I’m definitely gonna play some poker. Unlike all of the table games in a casino where it is you against the casino in a game set up so that the casino has a slight to moderate edge, in poker, you’re not playing against a casino, you’re playing against five to nine other players, other people who are there, and the casino makes their money by taking what’s called the rake, they take a small percentage of every single hand that they deal, but if you’re significantly better than the people who you’re playing with, again, you can still lose… Anyone can win or anyone can lose based on how the cards fall, but… Yeah, I’m not gonna give the whole back story, but I watched Rounders, Matt Damon, Edward Norton movie in eighth grade, at Chapin Knault’s house on a random Friday night, his brother popped it and we were like, “What’s this?” And started playing poker then, and I played all through high school. We would have these giant 40, 50, 60-person poker tournaments in high school where everyone put in 20 bucks and got a certain amount of chips and we would play down to a final table.
0:10:00.2 Mike Vacanti: The poker boom, Chris Moneymaker in 2003… I was a sophomore in high school, so it was exploding. Played poker throughout college, I played poker while… Semi-professionally after college when I was… On the side when I was working my accounting job, which is one of the things that allowed me to pay off my student loans faster, which allowed me to take the shot at fitness, which… I owe a lot to poker, I love the game, so I’ll go have fun and mess around, not play seriously this weekend, but I’m excited.
0:10:32.8 Jordan Syatt: Not seriously? You’re not gonna have one serious game?
0:10:36.3 Mike Vacanti: When I’m playing, I’m gonna play to win, but I’m rusty… I haven’t studied up, I haven’t… The last time I played was probably over… That’s not true. During COVID, a few of my friends who I grew up with, we do Zoom poker sessions, and so we’d play on free on PokerStars and Venmo to square it up, but…
0:10:58.1 Jordan Syatt: What do you like more? Poker or chess?
0:11:01.0 Mike Vacanti: Wow, I love both… Those might be my two favorite games. If you throw lifting in there, I might just be able to do those three forever.
0:11:11.6 Mike Vacanti: Wow, probably poker. I’m a little bit better at poker, but both great games.
0:11:21.0 Jordan Syatt: Which one would you say there’s more skill in? Are they equal skill?
0:11:24.5 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. There are so many tens… Hundreds of thousands of people better than me at both of those games in the world… Yeah, they’re both… If you look at the titans of poker and the titans of chess they’re… They’re both highly…
0:11:45.2 Jordan Syatt: Genius level?
0:11:46.6 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.
0:11:48.1 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. That’s cool. Are you gonna bring your future brother-in-law and have him play with you? Does he play or no?
0:11:58.5 Mike Vacanti: I don’t know if he plays or not. We’ll see. He and his friends are quite tame, they’re not going to clubs or doing that stuff, we’re gonna be at the pool, gambling, sports betting, dinners, low-key. I’m actually excited for it as a form of relaxation and I plan on getting nine hours of sleep every night.
0:12:22.1 Jordan Syatt: Vegas hotel are the best.
0:12:24.3 Mike Vacanti: I like the Vegas hotels, although I swear they put something in the air that makes it hard to sleep. Hyper-oxygenated.
0:12:29.6 Jordan Syatt: Interesting. [chuckle] It would make sense. They just want everyone up, they have no windows in the casino, so it just looks like it’s just daytime all the time. Man, some weird stuff going on in those places, I’ll never forget some of the stuff I saw in the lobby waiting for Gary, just like early, 6:00 in the morning, Gary’s upstairs in his place, and I’m just waiting for him to come down for the work out. Some of the people that you see in the lobbies of these casinos, just like… People should be getting up, going to work, whatever it is, I was like, “Man, this is a weird place.”
0:13:03.3 Mike Vacanti: Dude, there… There are… There’s no real-time structure there, not to mention poker games are good, meaning soft when there’s recreational drunk players. So Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night, a lot of the live pros I know who play cash games, their sleep schedule is like 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM or 3:00 PM or 4:00 PM and get a workout in in the afternoon and then they go start playing at like 6 o’clock or 7 o’clock at night and play through the night.
0:13:38.8 Jordan Syatt: That’s crazy.
0:13:40.3 Mike Vacanti: So not only are there wild characters, but everyone’s on a different schedule, it’s… Yeah. Let’s dive in. We got some great questions.
0:13:49.9 Jordan Syatt: Let’s do it.
0:13:51.4 Mike Vacanti: Where should we start? We’ll just do them in order here. Number one, does it matter what time you eat or how often you eat?
0:14:01.8 Jordan Syatt: Do you wanna start with that one?
0:14:03.3 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. So many years ago, a young, young Mike who didn’t really know what he was doing, hadn’t stumbled across Martin Berkhan yet, read Men’s Fitness cover to cover and did the workout that was in there, the shoulder blaster, 500 reps for boulder shoulders, whatever. I remember distinctly telling my girlfriend at the time, ex-girlfriend, one of them who… She said to me, “Calories matter,” and I laughed, I said, “Ha.” I am…
0:14:43.2 Jordan Syatt: I said, “Ha.”
0:14:43.8 Mike Vacanti: I’m fueling this metabolic fire, I don’t care how many calories I eat, I’m eating every two hours and my metabolism is going and I am constantly eating and that’s why I’m lean.” I was like, “I beat the system.” It’s like, calories? Calories are a joke. And to her credit, she was right, if you didn’t know that.
0:15:09.8 Jordan Syatt: Hopefully, you did.
0:15:14.8 Mike Vacanti: Now, it seems like when I do decide to jump on Instagram, it’s almost meme’d that calories are all that matter, it doesn’t matter what time you eat, it doesn’t matter how many meals you eat, just get it in, that’s what matters. It’s a more nuanced answer. So we can pick it apart into little individual pieces. First, if we just look at two extremes, eating five times a day, pretty reasonably spaced out versus eating all of your calories in a one-hour window. For the purposes of fat loss, is the thermic effect of food going to be about the same in those two situations? Yes. Are there benefits to spacing your muscle protein synthesis and protein dosing, relatively evenly or at least like three, four, five times throughout the day compared to having all of your protein at once? Yes, there are benefits for building muscle and for retaining muscle while in a deficit to spacing your protein out throughout today. Another example of why meal timing and meal frequency matters, there’s been some research around eating right before bed and sleep quality and how much sleep you need if you’ve eaten a substantial number of calories right before bed compared to if you go to bed on an empty stomach, and I think an empty stomach was, not consuming calories… It wasn’t outrageous, it was maybe…
0:16:45.7 Mike Vacanti: It was either two hours or three hours before bed, but there was improved sleep quality, and so there’s an example of, yes, to an extent, meal timing does matter for this purpose, and then there’s obviously the, what works best for you as an individual, what works best for each of your clients as individuals, what are you most likely to adhere to? People who like interment fasting and really do well with it and have a great relationship with food, but caffeinate in the morning, get their work done in the morning, like bigger meals, like bigger dinners, awesome, if that works for you, do that, compared to someone who favorite meal of the day is breakfast, genuinely enjoy breakfast-type foods, and are okay with eating fewer calories later in the day, those are examples of, no, meal timing doesn’t matter, because what’s most important is the schedule you can stick to and adhere to and enjoy the most.
0:17:39.1 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, I love everything you just said. I think this is something I struggle with with my Q&As on Instagram, because I see how people don’t phrase things properly. They think they’re asking one question, but they’re not. And so could you just read this question one more time, the way… The exact question?
0:18:00.6 Mike Vacanti: Does it matter what time you eat or how often you eat?
0:18:06.1 Jordan Syatt: So this is really important because I think whoever asks that question is probably… What they’re really asking is, does eating more frequently increase your metabolism? Is one of the most common questions that I get, is, does how often you eat affect your metabolism? Which is a very different question from, does how often you eat matter? It’s a very different question. And honestly, this is… I don’t think I really started paying attention to words as much until I started listening to JP… ‘Cause man, Jordan Peterson, the way he picks his words so carefully, and so… Watching him… In huge interviews where millions of people are watching, to watch him just comfortably take a long pause and think about exactly which words he was going to use was really… That changed me. And…
0:19:08.0 Jordan Syatt: And so coming into this, it’s like you have to be very specific with what you’re asking, and if your clients are asking you questions, you have to make sure that you’re helping them become better critical thinkers in how you respond. If your client just says, “Does it matter how often you eat?” and you know what they mean, but you don’t correct what they ask, that you’re not doing your job as a coach. I think… Does it matter how often you eat? Like… Well, listen, are you asking, “Does how often you eat affect your metabolism?” The answer to that is, no. You can have one meal a day or 21 meals a day, metabolic rate… That’s not gonna affect your metabolism, but it definitely matters for all the reasons that you just said. It definitely matters. So I think this is something that whether you’re a coach or not a coach, you have to be very clear with what you’re asking because… I’ve seen this all the time on Instagram, and it’s like… You’re right, it’s become a meme, where it’s like, “Calories are all that matter.” It’s like, no, of course they’re not all that matter at all, but we have to be very specific with what we’re actually trying to get to the bottom of.
0:20:13.3 Mike Vacanti: I wonder how much of that is newer coaches who might not understand some of the nuance, but really do want to help, and that message is helpful for… Certain people need to hear that, if that’s driving some of that. I think you’re absolutely next level, by the way, for considering what people are trying to ask, because in my mind, I’m like, “Why would… ” In a face-to-face conversation, I guess a little different, with a client who you’re getting to know and know some of their tendencies, I can see it, but in a Q&A to think about what the person is trying to ask, this might be the ISTJ in me, but I’m like, “Why would you not ask what you’re trying to ask?”
0:21:02.6 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah, I think it just…
0:21:04.9 Mike Vacanti: You see so many people asking and making that mistake.
0:21:08.5 Jordan Syatt: And I think it’s one of those things where it’s like, I realize that most people, they don’t know… Everyone, you don’t know what you don’t know. And I think a lot of them… I’ve seen… Man, someone… I’m trying to remember what it was the other day, someone… I tweeted… I’m trying to remember what exactly I tweeted. I tweeted… Oh, I remember. This was the craziest thing to me. I tweeted, “If you spend your entire life in a calorie deficit or trying to be in a calorie deficit and all you do is just focus on trying to lose fat, you’re screwing up,” because you have to spend periods of time eating more calories in a calorie surplus and building muscle, not just from a physique perspective, but from an everything perspective, but also from… Whether it’s physique strength, mentally, emotionally, you can’t always try and be in a calorie deficit, and I did a Q&A later that day, and someone said, “I saw your tweet saying that eating more helps you burn fat, can you elaborate on this?” And I was dumbfounded, my jaw dropped, but I also realized, I was like, “Man, this is how things get so twisted and misconstrued, and people read one thing, but they won’t really take the time to read it or comprehend it, and then the next time they relay it, it turns into something completely different.”
0:22:25.6 Jordan Syatt: I was watching Bill Burr stand-up comedy again for the… I don’t know how… From his 2019 special. It was amazing. And one of the parts, and it was so funny… I forget what part of the skit this was, but he said something, and then someone in the crowd screams out what… Oh, yeah, and I’m not gonna go into the whole skit. Someone in the crowd screams out something in response to what he said, and Bill Burr was like, “What the fuck are you talking about?” He’s like, “This is how reporters and people try and cancel people because you say one thing and then it goes into your ear and somehow you turn it into something completely different,” and he just tore into the guy being like, “You’re the problem.” He’s like, “You’re the problem.” But I understand that there are many people who they don’t know what they don’t know, and they’re listening to things that their friends or their family or their trainer or someone on Twitter’s saying, and then they’re relaying it in a very jumbled way, so it makes sense to really try and be like, “Okay, what are they trying to say? And then how can I explain the nuance?”
0:23:29.6 Mike Vacanti: Smart, it’s more helpful it’s, you’re… All of us really as coaches are a level ahead and have more experience of starting to pick up those patterns and trying to help people when we see the opportunity to help them refine the question and then answer the question that they have. I do think… The first one is not really a fun question, it’s like, no, we used to think thermic effect of food is based on meal frequency, now we know it’s not. The end. But the, “Does it matter” is actually… If the person did genuinely want to know if it mattered I think is an interesting question.
0:24:10.2 Jordan Syatt: Absolutely, it’s sort of like… You could make the question, does the type of… Does the quality of your calories matter? It’s like, yeah, of course, the quality of your calories matter, in terms of fat loss…
0:24:23.6 Mike Vacanti: Not so much.
0:24:25.5 Jordan Syatt: What’s the question? What’s the question? And this is where you have to really like, what are they actually asking? But yeah.
0:24:31.9 Mike Vacanti: And that’s where precise speech becomes so important, and which is a responsibility that each of us have to work hard to say what we mean.
0:24:44.5 Jordan Syatt: It goes both ways. I love this talk. We have to be very careful to be as precise as possible and say what we mean, and we also have to be equally as careful to listen to what others are saying and understand what they’re actually saying and meaning not how you interpret it. It’s like… Well, I interpreted it this way. What did you say though? What was the actual words out of their mouth? What did they say? Not how you interpreted it, but what did they say? And this is something that… It’s both, It has to go both ways.
0:25:19.6 Mike Vacanti: I’m with you, I’m with you.
0:25:22.8 Jordan Syatt: You got that smirk on your face. We could go down a rabbit hole.
0:25:25.2 Mike Vacanti: We’d go down a real rabbit hole. I’m thinking about… I didn’t like your tone, it’s like, well, okay. How often does a client need a diet break during fat loss?
0:25:45.0 Jordan Syatt: Good question, it’s a good question. You and I spoke about this a little bit earlier. Definitely gonna be… I think… We have to… We have to discuss the difference between ideally versus what’s actually happening. Ideally how people are being in a calorie deficit versus what’s actually happening in real life, and I see most people… This isn’t just I see. This is, we can see based on the obesity epidemic, we can see most people are not in a calorie deficit for any meaningful period of time, and almost always the people who really, really, really struggle to lose weight, even when they say they’re in a calorie deficit… There are people who say things like, “Oh, I’ve been dieting for years.” It’s like, “No you haven’t. Clearly you haven’t,” and it’s not like anything mean, it’s just like you have not been in a calorie deficit for years, ’cause you’d be nothing, you’d be… You’d disappear. If you were actually in it… So I call it like there’s a difference between being in a calorie deficit versus being in a calorie deficit mindset, and it’s like where you might be thinking about dieting all the time, you might constantly want to lose weight, you might always… Every other week, be trying a new diet for a day or two, but then when you give up all the time and you’re not actually in a calorie deficit, well, this is why you’re not losing weight.
0:27:09.0 Jordan Syatt: So for that person, it’s a very different answer than for the person who has been 94% consistent for the last 16 weeks and they’ve dropped a considerable amount of body fat and an overall percentage of their total body weight, and it’s like, well, that person might actually need a diet break from a physiological perspective, the other person might need a diet break from a mental perspective, but it’s two different perspectives, and then the question becomes, does the person who is just being inconsistent… Do they need a break, or do they need a period of real consistency so then they can get motivated to take more action and make more progress?
0:27:53.8 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, I love that you broke it into the two benefits of a diet break or an intentional period of time, two to four weeks around maintenance calories, and there are psychological benefits and there are physiological benefits, and obviously that person who has been in the diet mindset… And by the way, that’s exhausting to be in the diet mindset…
0:28:20.7 Jordan Syatt: It’s brutal.
0:28:21.7 Mike Vacanti: For two, three years and see very little progress, but you’re constantly trying to be… And maybe like Monday, Tuesday you’re in a deficit and Wednesday, and this is just a repeating cycle… Yeah, that’s terrible.
0:28:34.4 Jordan Syatt: Some people are in that for like 50 years, legitimately. It’s exhausting.
0:28:43.6 Mike Vacanti: But it’s just so that person doesn’t need the physiological benefit of a month at maintenance. I had this conversation today with a client and the two points I brought up, one thing that she said was, is it just lifestyle or is one of the factors… I don’t remember exactly, I’m gonna butcher the question, but she is gonna have a diet break because she has a lot going on in June, and she’s made awesome progress over the last four-ish months, and having higher calories make sense for that purpose, just that she wants to be at maintenance for these things going on in her life, and that’s definitely a factor, if there’s a vacation, if there’s… Those are good win-win situations where you can physiologically benefit from having more calories and you can benefit because having more calories is gonna make this life experience better for you. So that’s a factor. And the other one is… Call it hunger, call it irritability, call it fitness, not… Being less fun, having less energy, just really getting run down, and if I see that combined with losing a decent amount of weight over a decent amount of time, call it half a pound to a pound a week for 10 to 20 weeks, depending on how big the person is and how much total fat they want to lose, but when they’ve made that kind of progress and they’re starting to get antsier and they’re starting to get hungrier, and they’re starting to…
0:30:27.8 Mike Vacanti: Whether they are starting to slip up more or they’re tempted to slip up more, that’s a factor that will make me say, “Hey, let’s spend a month at maintenance, maybe even gain a little muscle here, your workouts are gonna be much better. And then we’ll reassess at the end of the month.”
0:30:43.4 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Love that.
0:30:46.7 Mike Vacanti: How to fix my hip thrust. I feel it in my shins.
0:30:52.8 Jordan Syatt: It’s a good question. I’ve never heard someone say they feel it in their shins, for me, that makes me think that they’re probably on their toes, they’re probably… Weight is really, really forward on their toes. So I guess we should say… Let’s talk about this, generally speaking, the two most common issues I see with people with hip thrust is they either feel in their quads or they feel it in their hamstrings instead of their glutes, the goal is to feel it in the glutes, that’s the target muscle group. If you’re feeling it in your quads and/or your shins, your feet are probably too far back towards your butt. They’re probably too close to your butt, and you’re putting too much weight in your toes. If you feel them in your hamstrings, your feet are probably too far away from your butt and your knees are not bent enough. And also you… For example, oftentimes people who do this… I do hip thrusts with my toes slightly elevated, but if you do slightly elevated… If you do toe slightly elevated with your feet too far away, you’re gonna end up hamstring curling it. You’re gonna be doing an isometric hamstring contraction the whole time and that’s not what you want.
0:32:06.6 Jordan Syatt: So you wanna stack your joints, you want… At the top of the hip thrust, you want your ankles and your heels directly beneath your glutes, at the top of the hip thrust, not at the… It’s impossible at the bottom… You want at the very top, your heels and ankles to be directly beneath your glutes and about shoulder width apart with a slight external rotation, and for me, I like… If you don’t wanna lift your toes up off the ground, just think that there’s a thumbtack underneath your big toe… What’s up?
0:32:33.9 Mike Vacanti: You want your ankles directly under your glutes or directly under your knees?
0:32:38.9 Jordan Syatt: Sorry, under your knees. My apology if I said… Yeah, directly under your knees. Yes, so you should stack the joints and knees and then heels and ankles underneath the knees, and then if you don’t wanna elevate your toes, it’s totally fine. I think some clients, they will overdo it, if you tell them to lift their feet off the ground so instead of saying, “Lift your toes up,” just tell them, “Imagine there’s a thumbtack directly beneath your big toe and you don’t want your big toe to push through that thumbtack,” that way, they don’t have to lift their toes up, but it’s soft, it’s softly on the floor and they can really drive through their heels, and then eventually you’re gonna start feeling your glutes. I will say, and this is important. Sometimes you’re not gonna feel the muscle working for a while, it takes… It’s a skill to learn how to feel your muscles working, and sometimes if you haven’t really been strength training for a while, you don’t have much muscle, you might not have enough muscle to actually feel it yet, and you’ll build it over time, but you gotta be patient with it. I’ve had some clients it took them six months before they could really start feeling their glutes. Other clients they feel it on day one, it is very individual.
0:33:45.1 Mike Vacanti: Did I ever tell you that Gary tried to push me to make an e-book called How to Feel your Muscles, that wasn’t the name he suggested, but that was the thesis of the e-book and…
0:33:56.2 Jordan Syatt: It’s a great idea.
0:33:56.8 Mike Vacanti: He wanted to push it. Do you think it’s a… Do you think people really out there want that, they’re like, “Oh, I wanna be… “
0:34:01.3 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.
0:34:02.6 Mike Vacanti: Do you?
0:34:03.3 Jordan Syatt: If I wanna make a social media post do well, I know off the top of my head that one of them, I could be like, how to feel your glutes or how to feel your back muscles when you’re rowing. Without question, those are two of the most common… Two of the most common questions I get and anytime I do one of those posts, it goes bananas.
0:34:22.6 Mike Vacanti: Interesting.
0:34:23.5 Jordan Syatt: How to feel your glutes or how to feel your back… The back muscle one is how to feel your back muscles when you row. Today, someone asked me in my Q&A, How do you feel your pec muscles when you bench press or do incline bench press? Also that same question about hip thrust was also in my Q&A today is like, people ask all the time, I think that would do really really well.
0:34:43.2 Mike Vacanti: Interesting.
0:34:45.6 Jordan Syatt: 10 hacks to feel your muscles properly, I don’t know, to feel your muscles when you’re lifting weights.
0:34:51.1 Mike Vacanti: Would you say the average person actually places too much attention on wanting to feel their muscles?
0:34:58.8 Jordan Syatt: Oh, absolutely, without question.
0:35:01.4 Mike Vacanti: Interesting.
0:35:03.2 Jordan Syatt: I even take that to an extreme because I think body builders take it too much, but obviously they need to… For your physique development, it’s important, it is important, but I don’t give a shit about that. I’m like 100%, 98% performance-based, so I’m far more about speed, power, rate of force development, doing everything from a technique and movement perspective, but yeah, I think most people care way too much about how much they feel their muscles working, how much like the burn… I think they care way too much about their heart rate, how fast their heart is going, and they care way too much about how much they’re sweating, all of these things that they care way too much about.
0:35:44.2 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, absolutely on the latter too. And yeah, you probably have… It depends on the goal, but you probably have people on both sides, some don’t care enough or are just maybe doing movements improperly and not feeling it, and then you have people who care too much. Yeah, I completely agree with you and that’s… Hopefully, that’s helpful for some of us when it comes to cueing clients, whether it’s moving your feet in a little bit closer or having your feet a little bit further away depending on where you or your client are feeling… Which muscles you’re feeling that movement in.
0:36:24.6 Jordan Syatt: Another thing I’ll add there is I see a lot of clients, they’ll get to the top or close to the top, but there will be no posterior pelvic tilt, so they’ll get to the top, but they won’t actually squeeze the glutes, so they’re missing out on those last couple of inches of posterior pelvic tilt when you really fully engage the glutes. For whatever it’s worth, this is one of my favorite cues, I’ve used this since 2010, I think. 2010 is I think when I came up with this. All my Jewish people are gonna know this right away, I used one of two… I use either one for… If I had a Jewish client, I would use this all the time and they would love it, if they weren’t Jewish, then I wouldn’t use this example. For the Jewish ones, that would be like, Imagine… At the very top, I was like, “Imagine I put a piece… Imagine you put a piece of matza in between your butt cheeks.” And then I would always be like, “I don’t know why you put matza in between your butt cheeks but for whatever reason, you put matza in between your butt cheeks, I want you to break the matza with your butt cheeks.” And immediately they would know exactly what to do, and I don’t have to be like, “Well, you wanna posteriorly pelvic tilt.” No, no, no it’s shut the fuck up.
0:37:26.6 Jordan Syatt: Just tell them to squeeze the matza and break it and for anyone who wasn’t Jewish or who wouldn’t know what matza was, I would always be like, imagine you have a penny in your butt, again, I don’t know why you put a penny in your butt, but you do, if the penny falls out, you’re doing it wrong, you wanna make sure that you squeeze the penny as tight as possible at the top.
0:37:43.0 Mike Vacanti: And is Brian a new development?
0:37:45.9 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, Brian was one that I just… I don’t even… Were you there when I filmed that? Were you there…
0:37:51.7 Mike Vacanti: I think I was there.
0:37:53.3 Jordan Syatt: I think you were there when I did that one. And you know when I get in character, it’s just like a new person comes out and I made it up in the moment, I just made Brian up in the moment, like, “Don’t Brian… Don’t let Brian stick his finger up your bum.” Yeah.
0:38:05.5 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, yeah, that was hilarious. Those are all good cues though. Great. Protein intake for clients, just a general headline, I guess, we can take this in many different directions.
0:38:20.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, do you wanna start?
0:38:21.9 Mike Vacanti: I can definitely start. Protein intake for clients. I mean… I think it…
0:38:29.9 Jordan Syatt: I mean. [chuckle]
0:38:31.5 Mike Vacanti: Everyone… It’s like, “Okay, let’s get 0.7 to 1.0 gram of protein, and protein is beneficial for XYZ reasons.” My mind goes to the things that we may have developed through experience coaching so many people that might not be common knowledge, the first of which is just, if someone’s very overweight, obese, don’t give them a gram of protein per pound of body weight because that 270-pound woman is not going to be able to eat 270 grams of protein, and if she can…
0:39:04.5 Jordan Syatt: Nor should she.
0:39:05.7 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, nor should… She doesn’t have to, and she can’t, and if she does, she’ll be able to do it for one day and she will absolutely hate it, and not sustainable whatsoever. You can modify that by setting protein based on estimated lean mass rather than based on total body weight, or just… I think that’s actually probably the best way to go with it.
0:39:30.5 Jordan Syatt: Do you notice anything yourself if you eat too much protein? Are there any changes with you physiologically or bodily function-wise, if you eat too much protein?
0:39:40.9 Mike Vacanti: Chronically in a day for many days or in a single meal?
0:39:44.8 Jordan Syatt: No, no, no. A number of days in a row.
0:39:48.6 Mike Vacanti: No, and I’m pretty in tune with it. However, I do notice within single meals, if I ate a lot of protein in one sitting, if I had a steak in the middle of the day, I would be… Maybe this is obvious, but I would have less energy and I would be more lethargic and my body would need to be digesting that and I would be more unable to do other things. Why, how about you?
0:40:17.9 Jordan Syatt: I feel like gonna get the same responses when I said I remember when I was being weighed at my birth, people are gonna be like, “No, you don’t.” When I have a lot of protein, and I don’t mean outrageous amounts, I mean more… Slightly more than one gram per pound of lean body mass, just slightly more, not much, but slightly more, I start to notice my pee feels different on the way out. I can actually… It feels different, and not in a good way. I don’t…
0:40:48.6 Mike Vacanti: Have you Googled this to see if they’re…
0:40:50.6 Jordan Syatt: No, I’ve never Googled it. I’ve just noticed it. So I just don’t eat that much protein, and… Yeah, I just…
0:40:58.2 Mike Vacanti: And everything feels good.
0:41:00.7 Jordan Syatt: Everything feels great, yeah yeah. I’ve never been… I’ve never felt good with a lot, a lot of protein. It felt like it just sits in my stomach, my pee ends up feeling weird on the way out…
0:41:12.6 Mike Vacanti: Hey Jordan, let’s talk about protein intake for clients.
0:41:15.7 Mike Vacanti: Sometimes I notice when I have a little too much, my pee, on the way out, it feels funny, so I stopped, and I feel good.
0:41:25.7 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.
0:41:28.0 Jordan Syatt: No issues with muscle gain or strength, so that’s a good sign.
0:41:30.9 Mike Vacanti: Dude, I’m a big, big fan of individual experience that is closely analyzed, and rational, and trusting our own experience there versus the science, because the science is only so far, and you know what, in 75 years, there might be a study comparing 1.1 grams to 0.8 grams and they find that there’s something going on there with the urine, but as long as you’re within this range and you feel good, I like… If you’re my client, I’d be pumped that you made that little modification on your own to feel better and everything’s still going great.
0:42:10.8 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, I would be that client, just letting you know I’d be like, “Hey, just so you know, when I eat more than you tell me to, my pee feels weird,” she’d be like, “Alright, cool, cool, just make sure you don’t eat more than… I’m glad that you figured this out.”
0:42:27.7 Mike Vacanti: What else is relevant here with protein? Something that I’ve… I think it’s… I just… Actually, I had a conversation with someone this afternoon, and he was telling me that he’s been very busy at work, and he has a meal prep, meal delivery service, but sometimes he’s out driving around doing real estate and he can’t always get back to his office and get the food, and he’ll get frustrated when he misses a meal and then just has to get something else that he didn’t plan on getting, and then that wheels are off and just gets McDonald’s, Big Mac, McFlurry, whatever, try and get back on track the next day; but I said to him, I was like, “That actually happens to me a lot too when I have a loose plan for the day but I’m out in the city, I’m doing things and I can’t get to the meal that I would want to be having. I have six to 12 things in my head, I know gas station, Muscle Milk, I can go 40 or 25, depending on what I need. I can go Core Power if I wanna mix up the flavor and have it a little less thick, a little… “
0:43:37.7 Jordan Syatt: Those are the best.
0:43:38.8 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. I don’t trust it though. It’s too good and it’s too light, I don’t believe there’s 40 grams of, who knows? Maybe it’s all glycine and you’re just getting no gains from it. I don’t know what’s going on there, but I hedge and I don’t always get Core Power because it’s too good to be true.
0:43:55.9 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah yeah.
0:43:56.4 Mike Vacanti: You’re like, “You’re insane.”
0:44:00.5 Jordan Syatt: No, I believe it, but I still get it just ’cause it tastes so good.
0:44:04.5 Mike Vacanti: I said when you go to McDonald’s, or Burger King, or Chick-fil-A, or Subway, just because that wasn’t the meal you intended on having, have two to three things that you like from those places that gets you some protein and aren’t just off the charts with calories. And learning that, basically because there are a relatively limited number of lean protein sources in the world, there are far more fat and carb options than there are protein, understanding that, and finding options that are convenient that your client enjoys, that’s a useful thought exercise.
0:44:45.8 Jordan Syatt: 100%. I love that. I think one thing over the years of coaching that I’ve realized is, there are some clients who will severely under-emphasize protein, and then there are other clients who will severely over-emphasize protein, and neither is good. I’ve had some clients who… I might tell them, “Alright, you’re gonna have somewhere between 0.7 to 1.0 gram per pound of lean body mass, whatever, somewhere around there,” and they’re like, “Well, can I go upto 1.5, or 2.0?” And I’m like, “Technically, yeah, you can, but I don’t think it’s a good idea, because the benefits will diminish after… You have diminishing returns very quickly, number one. Number two is you’re gonna be missing out on some carbs and fats, that aside from just… Aside from just tasting good, they’re really important for your health mentally, physically, hormonally, all of that stuff. And from a sustainability perspective, how long do you really think you’re gonna be able to maintain 1.5 grams plus? Is it per pound of lean… That’s a lot.”
0:45:53.7 Jordan Syatt: So I think that’s one thing to keep in mind, like to… I would give your clients a range. I think you said 0.8 to about 1.0 gram is… It’s a good range, I use 0.7. But on the other end, you have clients who severely under-estimate, or under-eat it, they’re like, “Oh, I just can’t… Oh. I just can’t get more protein in.” There are a couple of things to be aware of here. Number one is, usually their meals are just shit. Usually. I mean like, “What do you mean you can’t?” It’s like, “Just send me a picture of your meal,” and meal one is like two bowls of cereal, I’m like, “Okay.” And then meal two is like Fettuccine Alfredo.
0:46:32.3 Mike Vacanti: Has anyone ever sent you two bowls of cereal?
0:46:35.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, absolutely. Two bowls of cereal isn’t even that many calories, depending on the cereal that you’re having.
0:46:40.4 Mike Vacanti: I get that, but if the goal is to get protein… Okay.
0:46:44.0 Jordan Syatt: They’ll send me Kashi Go Lean, or whatever it is. It’s like, “Well, I’m having Kashi Go Lean,” and I’m like, “Alright, well, great… “
0:46:49.6 Mike Vacanti: I ate that in college. Respect.
0:46:49.9 Jordan Syatt: Really overpriced… And I don’t even think it… Yeah, I had that in high school all the time but…
0:46:54.6 Mike Vacanti: A lot of fiber.
0:46:56.6 Jordan Syatt: Oh yeah, a lot of fiber. Always pooping very quickly after eating that.
0:47:00.2 Mike Vacanti: But… Sorry, I cut you off. These people are under-eating protein.
0:47:04.2 Jordan Syatt: Under… But it’s not even that they’re under-eating, it’s that they’re saying they just can’t. This is a common question that I get from coaches, “How do you get a client to eat?” Well, number one, have them send pictures of the food they’re eating ’cause it’s like, “Listen, you told me that… Oh, you thought that there was a lot of protein in that Kashi Go Lean. Well, there isn’t. So what can we do instead? Well, maybe you have instead of two bowls of Kashi, have one bowl and a protein shake.” Boom. Very, very simple. “Maybe you have one bowl and a couple of eggs. Maybe have one bowl and some cottage cheese,” whatever it is. It’s like…
0:47:37.9 Mike Vacanti: One bowl and four tablespoons of peanut butter.
0:47:43.7 Jordan Syatt: No.
0:47:47.9 Jordan Syatt: This is why food pictures are super important. And then the other thing is, and this is really important is, a lot of times, especially if you have someone… I’ve never had someone overeating protein who wasn’t weighing and measuring. People who tend to overeat protein are also probably weighing and measuring, they don’t have an issue with it. People who under-eat protein are probably not weighing and measuring. Oftentimes I’ll be like, “Well, send me pictures of what you’re eating,” and they’ll send me like, “Alright, so here’s three ounces of chicken breasts,” I’m like, “That’s definitely closer to a pound of chicken breast, that’s a lot of chicken breast.” And they’re thinking, “Well, I just can’t get that much protein,” and it’s like, “You’re getting more than enough, you’re actually getting more than enough,” but they’re not realizing it ’cause they’re not weighing or measuring their food.
0:48:29.9 Mike Vacanti: The food pictures are huge, for that reason.
0:48:31.8 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. And the last thing I’ll say about protein is, I remember early on in my coaching career, if I had someone, like you said, the 270-pound woman, we were… I felt weird, I felt at a crossroads, ’cause on one hand I wanted… I was “supposed” to give her at least 0.7 grams per pound, whatever it is, but I was like, “That’s way too much for this person,” and I didn’t wanna under-shoot it. But what I realized over time… And this is something that I think has really helped me as a coach, is in the same way you’ll progress a client through an exercise, you’re not gonna start off a client with snatch grip deficit deadlifts, you’re gonna start them off with maybe an elevated kettlebell deadlift and then go to regular kettlebell deadlifts, and progress from there. Sometimes their nutrition plan might not be “optimal” from the very beginning, sometimes maybe you’ll start them off with too little protein because for wherever they are, they need baby steps, they need just one thing at a time.
0:49:33.7 Jordan Syatt: There have been times where I haven’t had them focus on protein at all, I’m like, “Let’s just focus on calories first.” It’s like, “Let’s just… I just wanna focus on calories from the very beginning.” ‘Cause if you start them off at too much and too much is different based on the individual, then they might… If they’ve… “Oh, I just can’t do it, I can’t do it. I keep trying, I can’t do it,” then they quit, well, what good was that? But if you waited a month before they started tracking protein or you had them hit a… I don’t know, started them off at 25 to 50 grams of protein, which is very doable, well, now they’re stacking up wins, stacking up wins, stacking up wins, and then they’ll be more likely to stick with it.
0:50:06.4 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, great stuff. On the subject of overeating protein, number one, protein is financially by far the most costly macronutrient, so to unnecessarily grossly overeat protein is gonna hurt your wallet, and that’s something that you can bring up as a reason if the client wants to, for whatever reason, be eating 2.0 grams per pound of body weight. And I’ve seen a little bit of… I don’t remember, I think it was 4.0 grams per kilogram of body weight, so just an excessive amount of protein actually led to a little bit more body re-comp… A very, very small amount in one trial, slightly more body re-comp than a gram, or maybe it was 0.8 grams per pound of body weight, but that… I don’t think there’s enough evidence to justify grossly overeating protein from a psychological perspective, from a lifestyle perspective, I just don’t think it’s worth… From a financial perspective, I don’t think it’s worth it.
0:51:17.9 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, agreed. Agree 100%.
0:51:20.4 Mike Vacanti: I heard Alex Viada say something that I assume is true, ’cause he’s insanely smart, about, if you… ‘Cause this has happened to me before. He said, he got a question about, if your sweat smells like ammonia, what is that? And he said that’s usually driven by converting amino acids to energy, so your body is using protein…
0:51:49.9 Jordan Syatt: Oh wow.
0:51:50.5 Mike Vacanti: As an energy source. And his recommendation was, you can probably knock the protein down a little bit and bump the carbs up some, and that should go away, and it’s also a sign that you’re getting more than enough protein. Not a doctor though.
0:52:05.4 Jordan Syatt: He’s super smart. I like him a lot.
0:52:06.7 Mike Vacanti: I’m not a doctor. Yeah, he is, he is. Alright, that’s a good place to wrap.
0:52:11.5 Jordan Syatt: That was good. This is fun.
0:52:12.8 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, great… Weekly episodes, we got two in a row here, we got a little momentum, we got a little schedule, little routine. We appreciate you listening very much. Do you have anything, Jordan?
0:52:23.7 Jordan Syatt: We’re gonna be running a little sale on the mentorship soon.
0:52:25.6 Mike Vacanti: Oh, we are. We are.
0:52:28.8 Jordan Syatt: We just need to get that organized, but if you’ve been thinking about joining the online fitness business mentorship, we’ll be running a sale very, very soon, so make sure you stay tuned for that. I just ran a sale for the inner circle recently, and I had people, once the sale was over, just being, “Oh, can I still use the code? Can I still use the code?” And I’m very big on, if I say the sale ends on this day, the sale ends on this day. So we’re gonna have a sale, it’s gonna be about 30% off. I just turned 30, about a little less than a month ago, so 30 for 30, 30% off to join the mentorship. If you want to join, make sure you listen to the next episode. The sale will probably go on for about a week or so, but make sure you listen to the next episode so that when it comes out you can know that the sale is live, and don’t wait because once the sale is over the sale is gonna be over.
0:53:16.2 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, I’m pumped.
0:53:18.3 Jordan Syatt: That’s it. Thank you so much. Dude, question, is it… This FaceTime angle, my head looks huge from where I’m… Does my head look huge to you?
0:53:29.5 Mike Vacanti: No.
0:53:30.3 Jordan Syatt: I feel like my head looks massive right now.
0:53:32.6 Mike Vacanti: No. Looks normal. Looks normal.
0:53:33.7 Jordan Syatt: Alright. Are you just saying that to make me feel better?
0:53:36.0 Mike Vacanti: No, I’m not.
0:53:36.9 Jordan Syatt: My head feels like it’s taken up like the entire screen.
0:53:40.6 Mike Vacanti: I disagree. I think you… Well, I’m leaning away from the camera, so if anything, my head looks small. Yeah.
0:53:46.8 Jordan Syatt: Oh yeah.
0:53:48.2 Jordan Syatt: Maybe I was just leaning too forward.
0:53:54.1 Mike Vacanti: And we will see you next week.