0:00:09.4 Mike Vacanti: Hello Jordan.
0:00:12.8 Jordan Syatt: How’s your audio Michael?
0:00:14.4 Mike Vacanti: It appears to be holding up.
0:00:16.7 Jordan Syatt: Wow. If only people knew what we just went through to make this happen… Should we give them a rundown of what just happened?
0:00:25.7 Mike Vacanti: I mean, if you find it interesting, you may.
0:00:28.5 Jordan Syatt: I wish that we had a video recording, like a videographer recording everything that just happened. So Mike’s in Florida, I am in Texas, and Mike is like… We have this schedule, ’cause we’re doing weekly uploads as you know. And we get on the Skype call to do this recording, and I just see Mike sweating in his car, with his microphone in the car, and Mike is just sweating bullets, and I’m like, “What are you doing?” And he was like, “Bro, when the whole family’s in the house, it’s not a big house, I’ve gotta do the podcast in here or else it’s gonna be super noisy.” So we start talking, we’re about to get going, and then Mike is like, ” Ugh, my computer is overheating.” And he’s like, “It’s gotta be 100 degrees in here.” And I was like, “Well turn the car on and then put the AC on.” And he’s like, “No no it’s gonna ruin the sound quality.” I was like, “Man I promise, I would rather you have a little bit worse sound quality than potentially have your computer overheat and we lose the audio.” He’s like, “Alright alright so we’ll do that.”
0:01:29.3 Jordan Syatt: So he turns the AC on, and it starts getting a little bit better. And he had to recline his chair so that I could actually see his face in the camera ’cause he was sitting in this tiny little car. [chuckle] And then all of a sudden, the audio’s not working on his computer. Then finally after five, 10 minutes of deliberation, goes in the house, goes in the bedroom, he’s like, “The walls are paper thin so everyone in the house is gonna get a free podcast. You’re welcome.”
0:01:57.8 Mike Vacanti: They are.
0:01:58.3 Jordan Syatt: Then we’re sitting here in this room trying to figure it out, and every time we hit record, his audio apparently just isn’t working. So now, after about 34 minutes of trying to figure this out, here we are. So if nothing else, hopefully this shows you that making content is sometimes far more difficult than simply just making the content. But you still gotta get it done, still get it in.
0:02:19.4 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, it’s not always sexy. You just gotta push through. We’re at two minutes and 15 seconds, my Quicktime hasn’t fritzed out on me, so I think we’re in business for this episode.
0:02:28.9 Jordan Syatt: Let’s hope so, man.
0:02:30.0 Mike Vacanti: I appreciate your patience Jordan.
0:02:33.1 Jordan Syatt: Hey, that’s what I’m made out of. Patience. That’s all I’ve got.
0:02:35.5 Mike Vacanti: Is it?
0:02:35.9 Jordan Syatt: No, no, not really.
0:02:36.5 Mike Vacanti: No you have way more than that, but would you consider yourself a patient person?
0:02:41.8 Jordan Syatt: It depends on the situation. I’m trying to think of a situation where I have patience and where I don’t have patience. Like, this is a situation where I have patience. A situation where I don’t have patience, is when someone is walking really slowly on the sidewalk and I’m trying to get around them, I have zero… I’m like, “What are you doing?” When they’re… And it’s… Not like a little slowly… I mean… They’re just lollygagging and they’re in a line, and it’s hard for me to get around them, I have zero patience.
0:03:09.2 Mike Vacanti: Like a group?
0:03:09.8 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.
0:03:10.6 Mike Vacanti: They’re going like six, six laterally taking up the whole sidewalk, going very slowly. And they clearly have the ability to walk faster, but they’re just not.
0:03:17.4 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, zero patience. I get real upset.
0:03:19.8 Mike Vacanti: And then what do you do? You just run them over with your superior Jujitsu ability? You just like plow straight through?
0:03:28.1 Jordan Syatt: I try and find a way through. I’ll just be, “Excuse me… ” I’ll say excuse me a little bit loud and then I’ll just do…
0:03:34.5 Mike Vacanti: Hit the whole. Like a halfback.
0:03:36.7 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. A boxer will blade themselves, I’ll blade myself to get right through and make it known that I was like, “Hey, you guys were walking too slow for what’s going on right now.”
0:03:48.3 Mike Vacanti: I think you are a patient also.
0:03:49.9 Jordan Syatt: I also don’t have patience if someone is… I was in the gym earlier, and there was a dude who had all of his stuff on a flat bench. And not a barbell bench press flat bench which is one of the flat benches near the dumbbells, he had all of his stuff on a flat bench, and he was doing shoulder raises directly in front of the dumbbell rack, so he took up an entire bench and then I was standing in front of the dumbbells. And so I just went up in there, and I didn’t even need dumbbells right there, but I just cut right in front of him and picked up a pair of dumbbells just so he would move back and then I put the dumbbells back and then picked up the dumbbells I needed on the other side. I was just like, no patience for that. What are you doing?
0:04:31.3 Mike Vacanti: Very passive aggressive. Put them back and then grabbed heavier ones. I think that’s the way that that lesson is learned though. And it is one of the most annoying things in the world is just curls, or lateral raises right up on the rack.
0:04:46.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. What are you doing? Especially in a crowded gym, what are you thinking?
0:04:51.3 Mike Vacanti: You know how older people tend to tell the same stories over and over, and I’m thinking like parents or grandparents or like… [chuckle]
0:05:00.5 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, they say the same exact story, yeah.
0:05:03.8 Mike Vacanti: I think when we are 240 episodes into this podcast, there will have been 34 times that we complained about people standing next to the dumbbell rack. [laughter] And it’s almost gonna become a meme for everyone like, “Alright, we get it. You guys don’t like that. Neither do we.”
0:05:20.0 Jordan Syatt: Alright, grandpa, alright. Yeah, we know, we know.
0:05:22.5 Mike Vacanti: People blocking the dumbbell rack, we get it, we get it.
0:05:27.8 Jordan Syatt: How are you doing? How are you feeling now that you’re out of that super hot car and in the comfort of the home?
0:05:34.6 Mike Vacanti: I was actually… I was very excited to just sweat through the episode and really display some grit in this continuous weekly upload schedule that we just don’t miss on, regardless of the circumstances in life. But I’m more comfortable now.
0:05:48.5 Jordan Syatt: Good.
0:05:48.8 Mike Vacanti: We’ve got some great questions. Yeah, things are good man. Down in Florida, just enjoying some sun and some family time and yeah, I got nothing to complain about.
0:06:00.9 Jordan Syatt: Love that. Those are nice sunglasses you got right there.
0:06:03.8 Mike Vacanti: Yep. Sunglasses, thank you.
0:06:06.6 Jordan Syatt: You’ve been doing daily walks on the beach?
0:06:08.8 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, yeah. Going to the beach most days, getting steps in. I don’t remember if we talked about it on the podcast or not, I brought my step target from 12,000 down to 10,000 just because my hunger on rest days was.
0:06:24.9 Mike Vacanti: And with a step count goal, I was hitting it by 5:00 or 6 o’clock. So then I was actually going a few thousand steps even past that. So at the risk of reducing my life expectancy slightly, I’ve toned it down for the time being.
0:06:42.6 Jordan Syatt: That’s good. Get a little bit more relaxation.
0:06:43.7 Mike Vacanti: 10,000 is still a nice target, yeah.
0:06:47.8 Jordan Syatt: Reduced expectancy. Maybe a little bit, but also increased aesthetic appearance, [chuckle] ’cause you’re not overeating now, not overly hungry.
0:06:55.7 Mike Vacanti: It is. It’s the age-old debate, right? Of… Or one of them. [chuckle] of, It’s the age on debate…
0:06:58.9 Jordan Syatt: Live longer or body form.
0:07:07.0 Mike Vacanti: I think those are actually mostly linked until you get too lean and then, yeah.
0:07:10.7 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.
0:07:10.9 Mike Vacanti: But, no, I was gonna say of creating a deficit via activity or nutrition.
0:07:19.7 Jordan Syatt: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
0:07:20.2 Mike Vacanti: Right? Because it’s an old school way of thinking to, like, eat a substantial amount of calories or even eat in what would be considered maintenance or a very slight surplus for an average activity level, but then to do a lot of cardio, a lot of lifting, a lot of sports, a lot of whatever, and create a deficit that way, which is impractical for your 8:00-6:00 PM busy office worker with three kids. That’s just not a solution that’s gonna work: Doing 20 hours of activity a week. But for other people, and athletes especially, it’s a cool idea. A cool concept, and one that I think we’ve moved away from over the last 15-20 years in the evidence-based part of the fitness community.
0:08:10.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. It’s just not practical for most people who just want to include fitness in their life, as opposed to having to take up 25 hours of their week.
0:08:20.2 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.
0:08:20.3 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.
0:08:23.5 Mike Vacanti: But we’ve talked about this, but when you think evolutionarily and what we were doing as a species tens-of-thousands plus years ago, there was so much more activity. And… I mean… I’m saying 10,000 plus years ago, but even hundreds of years ago, there was way more activity than there is now.
0:08:41.5 Jordan Syatt: I also think in different parts of the world, it still is similar to that.
0:08:46.5 Mike Vacanti: Right.
0:08:46.7 Jordan Syatt: Especially in America, where it’s work, work, work, grind, grind, grind, make money, make money, make money, then yeah, you’re gonna have way less time to be physical, and be active, and you’re gonna have less interest in it because you could spend more time… Like, why would you be physical and active and you can start a business from your phone, and have all of the benefits that come with that. And that’s sort of me being a little bit facetious. I get it, but it’s also a little bit facetious, and it’s getting a little bit further and further away from sort of what we’re made to do is causing so many issues. What’s that famous quote? Maybe from the Dalai Lama, where it’s to the effect of like, “Man will spend his whole life working to make more money, and then he’ll spend his money to fix his health.” You know what I mean? Where it’s like, He’ll spend his whole life working and ruining his health to make more money. And then he’ll spend that money to try and fix his health, type of a thing? So…
0:09:40.6 Mike Vacanti: Mm-hmm. Yep, yep.
0:09:41.5 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.
0:09:44.1 Mike Vacanti: That’s a great point. And also not even just the societal like cultural expectation of working hard at knowledge working jobs, right? Phone, computer, not active. It’s not only just that mentality, but also the parts of the world that don’t have internet connection, have very little… Just have way more manual labor in their day-to-day to sustain life.
0:10:13.9 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah.
0:10:15.3 Mike Vacanti: And obviously, the total population living in those circumstances has decreased over decade, over decade, over decade, but those places still exist, some voluntarily, some not.
0:10:27.4 Jordan Syatt: Mm-hmm.
0:10:27.4 Mike Vacanti: But yeah man, 25 hours a week. Not practical for most people, but just because it’s not practical for your potential clients, or for the people who you’re making content for, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not practical for you, right? If you think about ways that you can multi-task… If you have a phone call, if you have… You can be active while doing stuff, especially low intensity cardio type work. So it’s worth exploring, if you’re really set in your ways with three strength sessions a week, 45 minutes each, high ROI compound movements. No cardio, no sport, no nothing else, and you’re just dialed in on nutrition and… Because that was me for many, many years and it works, but you might feel better doing more activity.
0:11:17.2 Jordan Syatt: Dude, that’s like what’s happened to me, since I’ve been doing jujitsu and training the Alex Viada, the dude has me doing so much cardio, it’s bewildering to me that someone would actually… It’s crazy how much I’ve been doing. That I’ve lost four pounds in about a month or so working with him while eating way more.
0:11:34.8 Mike Vacanti: I saw your face. I was like, Is your nutrition dialed recently or something? You look lean and you’re like, “I’m eating so much and doing so much cardio.” [chuckle]
0:11:45.1 Jordan Syatt: It’s crazy. And it’s so crazy how my body knows it too, because I’ve never craved carbs like I have been. I’ve been eating pasta for breakfast.
0:11:56.3 Mike Vacanti: Wow.
0:11:56.5 Jordan Syatt: I just wake up… Just like, “I really want carbs and a lot of it.” And I’ve just been doing so much activity. It’s crazy. And I feel great. I’ve been getting great sleep. It’s like one of the best feelings in the world when I get home at night and I’m just like, “Alright, I’m going to bed.” Just tired, my body is spent, and it’s almost like so much that… ’cause when all I was doing was just focusing on work, my mind would race when I’d go to bed. It was like, “What do I have to do? What do I have to make content on?” Like, “Did I do this? Did I post that? Da-da-da-da-da. Did I answer these?” And now I just go and bed and I’m like…
0:12:30.1 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.
0:12:30.6 Jordan Syatt: I am just out.
0:12:31.6 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, yeah.
0:12:31.7 Jordan Syatt: It’s just immediate.
0:12:32.9 Mike Vacanti: Well, partly because I’m sure you are in work-mode. And you had so many work stressors, that’s what you’re thinking about all day, so you’re still thinking about it at night, but also partly because, when you’re When you exert that much energy throughout the course of the day, you’re just going to be more tired at night.
0:12:51.8 Jordan Syatt: Mm-hmm. Yeah, yeah. Exactly.
0:12:54.3 Mike Vacanti: Right? A lot of people with sleep problems, part of it stems from the fact that they’re just not doing much physical activity throughout the day. My family actually has this ongoing… Speaking of parents saying the same thing over and over, and the kids are like, “Alright, we get it, we get it… ” Like being at the beach and walking up and down the beach, four times during the day, and having four or five hours with the sun beating on you, it’s like… “Yeah, those days at the beach, the sun really wears you out.” And it’s just been said over and over, and it’s like, “Okay, mom, we get it. The sun wears us out.”
0:13:26.2 Mike Vacanti: And it’s funny, but it’s true. It’s like, you know… You’re taking 14,000 steps walking on the beach and getting beat with sun when you’re normally in the… Further north, you sleep better at night.
0:13:39.4 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, it’s true. It’s very true.
0:13:41.9 Mike Vacanti: Should we dive into some questions?
0:13:45.1 Jordan Syatt: Let’s do it.
0:13:46.0 Mike Vacanti: Question number one. “Hi, Mike and Jordan, I’ve been listening to your podcast since Day One, I can’t get enough of it. Thank you so much for sharing so much good honest information and for free. I just wanted to email to ask for your advice. After years of wanting to, at the end of 2020, I started a fitness page on Instagram and I actually did some online group coaching for a month during lockdown here. It went really well, I got a lot of positive feedback, but I had the biggest Impostor Syndrome. I felt really insecure and like, I didn’t look good enough to be a PT, and secretly everyone that was supporting me was really just pitying me. So I ended up deleting my fitness page and since I’ve obtained a full 9:00-5:00 office job for a company that pays well and treats me well, but I am so bored and I know I’m not able to give this work all my best because it just doesn’t interest me. I love learning about health and fitness, and I really want to help people, but I just have this fear that I will fail and that I will give bad advice.”
0:14:46.9 Mike Vacanti: “I would love to be able to build up my fitness business on the side until I get to the point where I’m comfortable to leave my current job. When I first previously tried, I had no other job. So I felt more pressure. I genuinely do want to help people, and I know I might not make as much money as I do currently. I don’t need a six-figure business, I just need enough, and I want a job that fulfills me. I just feel a bit lost, and I was wondering if you had any advice on where to begin or maybe an idea of some sort of challenge I should do for myself regarding Online content/coaching people.” Thanks so much for your help, Bernadette.”
0:15:23.8 Jordan Syatt: Wow. I love the honesty, and the vulnerability there. Also love that, started it, and ran a group coaching challenge, and it worked right off the bat. That says a lot. That says a lot about you. I’m blown away that you could start it and then have so much Impostor Syndrome, that it caused you to shut the whole thing down. It sort of breaks my heart when I hear that. You know what I mean? It’s very sad to hear that clearly, you were helping people, and in the back of your mind, you’re thinking, “Well, maybe they’re only doing it because they pity me, and that it’s not actually working.” That’s very sad to hear. And I don’t want anyone to feel like that.
0:16:05.8 Jordan Syatt: I think it’s really important to understand that… I think every coach, especially early on, feels that way. Like… Every single coach, especially earlier on in their days of coaching feel that way. And I think if you don’t feel that way earlier on, that’s sort of a bad sign. That you just automatically think you’re the best and you know exactly what you’re doing. That wouldn’t be good. The thing that’s important to remember about when you start out is the most important thing is that you don’t hurt people. That’s the number one priority. Because as long as they’re moving, and as long as you’re teaching them and they’re learning, they’re gonna get better.
0:16:42.4 Jordan Syatt: And as long as you don’t have them do… Like, standing on one leg on a Bosu ball while doing overhead presses with a kettlebell. Like, you’re fine. That you just don’t have them do stupid stuff. Simple, basic, straightforward exercises. ‘Cause you have to remember, if they’re not doing it with you, they’re gonna do it someone else. And, or by themselves, in which they’re more likely to get hurt. So as long as you’re doing something stupid, you’re keeping them on on the floor, you’re making sure they’re safe, you’re giving them proper exercise technique, you’re fine, you’re good. And you will learn and they will learn, and you’re both gonna get better. As far as the question of giving you some type of a challenge, I think the best thing you can do, ’cause it seems like you have a good idea of how to start a social media, how to help people with helpful content, how to structure a challenge, even if it’s not perfect. You’ve already done it.
0:17:31.7 Jordan Syatt: That’s already in your repertoire. The issue for me is, well, what caused you to quit? So I think what you should do is, the challenge is, You should make a video, or a post or a number of posts, where you literally just say like, “Hey, this is what this account is for, and I wanna let you know that I have a real Impostor Syndrome.” I think you should tell everybody that’s currently your biggest struggle. That like… If you are struggling with Impostor Syndrome and feeling like you’re not a good coach, you should say, “Listen, this is my passion, this is what I wanna do, this is what I wanna help people with, this is what I’m here for, but I’m really scared, that either I’m not good enough, or you won’t think I’m good enough.” Because when you say that, you just put it out there, now it sort of breaks down that barrier, you don’t feel like you’re hiding it anymore, and it will give you a lot of confidence to keep moving forward, and you’re just being honest with them, letting them know, “Hey, this is the truth of where I’m at right now.” As opposed to trying to pretend like you’re an expert when you aren’t really there yet. That’s what my recommendation would be.
0:18:32.0 Mike Vacanti: I love that, especially being very honest with that first comeback piece of content. Yeah, everyone struggles with Impostor Syndrome to a degree. Kind of piggy-backing on and continuing with the idea of being honest, saying I don’t know, or being fully transparent and honest throughout your content creation, throughout your interactions with your coaching clients or with your group, is going to make you not only feel better and less like a fake or a fraud, right? You feel like you’re a fraud when you just start making shit up. You feel like a fraud when you pretend to know the answer or you have… There’s an expectation in you that you should know the answer, and you have a fear of just saying, I don’t know, I’m not sure exactly, but I will go get you an answer. Over time through making content, through coaching people, you’re gonna continue to learn more and more, you’re gonna continue to get more experience with people, which is going to reduce your Impostor Syndrome, so experience and time are the two things that are going to reduce that feeling.
0:19:44.0 Mike Vacanti: I go so back and forth recently on the idea of the side hustle compared to the idea of going all in because I burnt the boats. I, and part of that was I hated my job so much that I would’ve rather done anything else but there’s, you know you have to know yourself there’s benefits and costs both to working that like two, three hours in the evening while continuing to work your job, have that stability, build it up on the side and then having the option to jump. I have seen people do that unbelievably successfully and I have also, we actually just had someone join the mentorship like two days ago, who is in that position actually, working one to two hours at night she now has two kids. And so it can’t be a full-time gig like it previously was, but…
0:20:44.0 Jordan Syatt: We got Chris Gates doing that. You know, Chris Gates has a full-time job and he’s crashing in the mentorship.
0:20:48.0 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Yep. And, we’ve seen it countless other times too. I’ve also seen people try that. And the downside is that you’re potentially less motivated because you have security, right. You don’t have the, like, if I don’t get there, I don’t eat. And that’s an extreme example. Right. But you don’t have the fire under your ass, you have the like, okay. If I don’t do this, if I don’t wanna work tonight, I can push it off. I can push it off. And there isn’t really any cost. Whereas if you burn the boats and you have the motivation of, if I fail, like I’m in a really bad position, call it financially, call it whatever else so there’s pros and cons to both, but…
0:21:30.7 Jordan Syatt: You know who else did? Rachael Schwartz. Right. When she started, she had another full-time job while she was building…
0:21:36.4 Mike Vacanti: So many people.
0:21:37.7 Jordan Syatt: So what I think here that I think is an important mindset to have with this is if you are going to start this while you have another job ’cause you don’t have that, like you said, you’re getting paid well, like it’s a good job and all that. You’re just not passionate about it. I would say, instead of thinking about this as starting a business, I would just say, it’s starting a passion project, like start and do it because you love it and put out a lot of free content. And the cool part about that is as that, as you do that, you’re going to build an audience and people who will pay you and it can turn into a business. But I think sometimes for some people, maybe if you already have another job and you’ve got kids or whatever it is adding the pressure of calling it a business might make it even more stressful mentally and emotionally for you. Whereas if it’s just, “Hey, I’m gonna post because I’m passionate about posting and helping people for free.” That might be enough to like, take the pressure off, but also still allow you to like, stay consistent because this is your passion project. Might be one idea.
0:22:39.3 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Yeah. But start making content again, know that you’re not gonna be a hundred percent confident in yourself because you don’t know everything, be okay with being wrong and saying, I don’t know, and realize that through time and experience, you’re going to get better and more confident and feel better about what you’re doing. So keep us updated. I want an email update in the next three to six months. Bernadette. Okay. This is one that’s… That I find interesting. And I wanna know if you ever noticed anything or ever noticed anything with regard to this specific issue, which is clients emailing you from their smartphone.
0:23:19.7 Jordan Syatt: Okay, yes. Sometimes if they send pictures from their smartphone, if they send like a lot of them, they can like, just the format of it can be really annoying when I’m checking on my computer, like those huge blown up pictures. And like, so I remember sometimes that would be a little bit of an issue if they’re just like putting them or they would do one picture at a time and I would get like 17 emails in a row with like 17 different pictures. I don’t know what you’re talking about though.
0:23:51.7 Mike Vacanti: I recently noticed a trend and obviously it’s not all the time, but people who are consistently emailing and it has the sent from iPhone at the bottom, they’re shorter, they’re less comprehensive, they’re choppier more grammar error, like harder to understand exactly what’s going on. And oftentimes if we’re in like a deep discussion and I’m asking 3, 4, 5, 6 questions in my previous email, they’re not responding to several of them. And what triggered this because then I just noticed the sent from iPhone and I started paying attention to who’s replying on desktop and who is replying from a phone and I remember that in like 2014 at the… What’s the conference, the like evidence based conference in, I don’t know, somewhere in the middle… Do you know what I’m talking about?
0:24:46.6 Jordan Syatt: Kansas City?
0:24:48.4 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Kansas city. Yes.
0:24:49.7 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah. Is… I know what you’re talking about. I forget the name.
0:24:54.1 Mike Vacanti: Andy Morgan and I were hanging out and he was talking about how he makes a hard rule at the beginning of coaching, that you are not allowed to use a smartphone for communication. You have to be communicating from a desktop and he would like fire clients and refund them if they, because he had just noticed such a massive trend in the quality of client slash reply, when they’re just like giving you a you know, half-ass type answer. That is when they’re on the go, they’re busy versus sitting down and intentionally replying it’s something that I had forgotten for eight years. And it just popped back into my head recently and is something to pay attention to, and potentially you know, you don’t need to be that hardcore with your restriction or your rules, but little things like that, I find so interesting because you only learn them through coaching.
0:25:46.2 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Yeah. That’s exactly right. And it makes sense. I mean, you have like a list of questions and someone’s, you know, they’re replying while they’re driving to work at a stoplight, you know, it’s like, they’re not gonna give you a full on response. Yeah. Did someone ask about that in an email did they…
0:26:01.2 Mike Vacanti: No I just slipped it in because it’s our podcast.
0:26:10.4 Mike Vacanti: What exercises do you incorporate into your workout for BJJ?
0:26:20.4 Jordan Syatt: So there’s a bunch to consider here. So number one, I would say that the most important is actually doing jiu-jitsu, I think actually doing jiu-jitsu I think at least three times a week is important. If you wanna get very good at jiu-jitsu, it has to be at the very least, three times a week, mainly because… And this is probably really for any sport, if we’re thinking about it like any sport, but jiu-jitsu is such a unique sport that if you haven’t tried it, it’s gonna be hard to comprehend it, but there’s so many options with it, whether it’s tennis or golf or whatever it is, there’s a set number of clubs or a set number of types of swings you can do, with jiu-jitsu, it’s literally infinite, there’s a never-ending amount. And so when you’re learning these movements, if you’re going less than or fewer than three times per week, you’re not gonna remember what you were taught enough every time you go back. So I think at least three times a week, but honestly, the more I went, the better I’ve gotten, so now I do five or six times a week, and that’s really been helpful for me.
0:27:24.8 Jordan Syatt: As far as exercises outside of jiu-jitsu, I think the number one most important has been the lower intensities onto cardio, about 45 minutes, four to five times a week on top of it, which has just massively improved my ability to roll without getting tired and also recover more quickly, which has improved my jiu-jitsu. I think that’s without question the most important. There are other exercises that I’ve noticed have a massive carry-over as well, and this sort of once you start rolling, you’ll realize this, but… So I’m a very explosive person, that comes from my power lifting background, but I think just genetically, I’m an explosive individual, it’s why I exceeded in power lifting, it’s why I exceeded in wrestling. Jiu-jitsu isn’t as explosive, oftentimes people will call jiu-jitsu like the lazy man’s wrestling, because it’s a longer duration sport, and you don’t have to be as explosive, you can lie in your back and choke someone out, you don’t need to be going crazy, crazy, crazy the whole time but with that, you have sometimes a really long isometric contractions where you’re holding on to someone for 20, 30, 45, 60 seconds straight.
0:28:32.8 Jordan Syatt: And I’ll literally have someone in a position where I should be able to choke them out, but they’re in such a position that just makes it more difficult for me, and I’ll go as hard as I can to try and choke, but after 20 seconds, my arm is completely fried and I can’t choke them, so they get out and then they choke me out ’cause I’m exhausted after those 20 seconds. So doing… Slowing my lifts down doing actually less explosive work, doing more like tempo-based work with two to three-second concentric and eccentrics, doing longer duration isometric holds with medicine balls, whether it’s for my hamstrings, for my adductors, for my arms and my biceps. Usually between the 12 to 15, 12 to 20 repetition range, slow tempo, really, really working on the aerobic capacity of these muscle fibers has been the most important. So I say this because these are all principles as opposed to tactics, these are not like, “Okay, well, you gotta do the Arnold shoulder press,” it’s like, “No, it’s not about that, it’s about how you execute the exercises, not necessarily about which exercises you’re doing.” So if I’m doing RDLs, I’ll do sets of 10-12 RDLs with the two-second eccentric two-second concentric and really focus on that tempo.
0:29:47.1 Jordan Syatt: If I’m doing bicep curls, I’m doing like a two-second eccentric, two-second concentric, not just going up and down a shady technique doing it, ’cause the hammer curl would be better for whatever reason. It’s about the principles of making sure you’re including this tempo, including this onto cardio work as the base of all of your stuff, and then including some isometric work as well to improve your ability to hold isometrically for longer periods of time. So those are the principles that I incorporate for my jiu-jitsu training.
0:30:14.0 Mike Vacanti: I love it. And after such a beautiful, elegant answer, I’m gonna reply with a question about a tactic, grip strength important, not overrated, underrated.
0:30:25.5 Jordan Syatt: Grip strength is definitely important. I think overall, strength is very, very important, but with grip strength in jiu-jitsu, you get most of it from doing jiu-jitsu. And I know you’ll remember this, when I started jiu-jitsu… You have a unique insight into jiu-jitsu because you watched me from the very beginning, like you watched me through from day one, you saw me start going through it, and you remember… Do you remember when I would get home and I would ice my elbows when I first started? Because my elbows were so sore from all of the grip work, it wasn’t from… It was because I was gripping so much. And I came from deadlifting 535 pounds, my grip is strong, but it’s not like you deadlift 535 pounds in about seven seconds, it’s not five minutes straight of holding on to someone several… For like 30 minutes in a single hour, so it’s a different type of grip strength, so you get that grip strength from doing jiu-jitsu, and not to mention when you first start out, if you add extra grip strength work on top of your jiu-jitsu, your elbows and your joints are going to feel awful.
0:31:29.7 Jordan Syatt: So I don’t really do much extra grip strength work, but I also… If I’m doing three sets of 20-rep bicep curls, that’s a lot of grip strength work, and especially if I’m doing that two-second eccentric, two-second concentric for 20 reps of bicep curls for 60 total reps and three sets with a 60-second arrest, my grip is fried after that, and I don’t need to do necessarily farmers carries or dead hangs just… I get more benefit from having these other types of exercise that incorporate more into a single exercise. So I don’t do just grip work, I do exercises that improve my grip by association, if that makes sense.
0:32:07.6 Mike Vacanti: It makes complete sense. Great answer.
0:32:11.3 Jordan Syatt: Did you ask that question ’cause you’re gonna start doing jiu-jitsu?
0:32:14.7 Mike Vacanti: No, someone asked that question, but I selected that question because… Unfortunately, yeah. Should we go in on this? Because I think that we got a couple of nutrition questions that I think are somewhat basic, but I think people will find interesting and we can hit, and it’s always good for that base of knowledge.
0:32:34.5 Mike Vacanti: Yeah man.
0:32:35.5 Jordan Syatt: You’ve been wanting to do it for a while.
0:32:38.0 Mike Vacanti: No, no, that’s actually… I’ve been wanting to not do it ever for a long time. And I’m so glad you said that because I don’t wanna do it at all, I really don’t wanna put on the ghee and get on the mat and get choked out and tap, and have my neck cranked and have some guy’s sweaty balls on my head [laughter] and get kicked in the face and heel hook. I don’t want any of that. I wanna never have any of that in my life. But I know that I need it, and I know that I…
0:33:14.7 Jordan Syatt: Why? Why do you need it?
0:33:16.2 Mike Vacanti: Alright, so I was in a gym here. How do I wanna tell this story? Good friend of ours who coached you. I’m gonna leave him anonymous just for location purposes right now, but BJJ Black Belt, stud, coach, is in the area here. And he texted me probably a month and a half ago, and was like, “If you’re ever coming in the area, hit me up. We’ll hang out, you can come see the school, we’ll go out, we can roll,” all this. I’m like, “Yeah yeah sounds good man.” And at that time, I literally had a trip on the calendar, I was like, “I’m not telling him I’m coming down, I don’t wanna roll again.” [laughter] ‘Cause I had done with you in New York, I’d gone with you three times or twice or something, and it was like, “Alright, no thanks.” And I randomly bumped into him in the gym lifting and…
0:34:14.5 Jordan Syatt: Such a small world.
0:34:16.1 Mike Vacanti: I know, I know. [chuckle] God is…
0:34:18.4 Jordan Syatt: God’s just like, “Yeah you need this Micheal.”
0:34:20.0 Mike Vacanti: A real mystery. And I bumped into him, gave him a hug, I’m like, “What’s up, man?” Through the course of our conversation, all I felt though was a sense of shame because I hadn’t started doing anything because he had offered me free help back in the day, a couple of years back, pre-pandemic. And just been a really good dude and would have been a great resource. And, I can’t believe I’m verbally committing to this, I’m so annoyed with myself, but I also know it’s the right thing to do. I was like… I felt shame. And I thought to myself, I was like, “I wouldn’t feel this way if he was a chess champion who had offered to help me. Or I wouldn’t feel this way if he was a great golfer who was like, “Let me help you fix your swing and you’ll be shooting 10 strokes less.”” There’s shame because the ability to, let’s call it the ability to be hard to kill, to fight but really have self-defense capability ability, has been integral to going back a few generations at least every single one of my male ancestors forever.
0:35:39.0 Jordan Syatt: Mm-hmm.
0:35:39.9 Mike Vacanti: Since the beginning of my lineage.
0:35:41.6 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.
0:35:43.5 Mike Vacanti: And I know in my gut that it’s a skillset that I should have and that I should work on. And so I don’t want to do it even… And the part of what I’m excited about and how I know it’s gonna help me as a coach, is because I didn’t like weightlifting in seventh, eighth, ninth grade, but by junior year of high school, I liked lifting. So it’s been a long time since I mentally didn’t like going to the gym. And such a high percentage of my clients don’t like it, I’m excited to have something that I know I have to do, that makes me better, that improves me, that I hate doing and then doing it and having that parallel with… Gary’s a great example of a client who, he says out of his 340 workouts a year, he hates almost every single one of them, but finds a way to get it done. I’m excited to have that opportunity.
0:36:43.1 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.
0:36:43.3 Mike Vacanti: Or I’m excited for you to make fun of me in six weeks when I have quit and be like, “Remember that podcast, we were all fired up and what happened to you now buddy?” [laughter]
0:36:51.7 Jordan Syatt: No, you’re not gonna… You’re gonna give it six months right? You’re gonna give it six months before you quit three times a week?
0:36:57.0 Mike Vacanti: I’m not quitting. I actually have to do this. So unfortunately for me, I’m not quitting.
0:37:04.2 Jordan Syatt: I love that, I love that.
0:37:06.2 Mike Vacanti: I know you do.
0:37:07.8 Jordan Syatt: Is there anything specifically you’re excited about learning in Jujitsu? Aside from just learning how to fight, but is there anything that you’re specifically excited about having watched Mixed Martial Arts or Jujitsu, anything that you want to learn that you wanna start with or that you’re looking forward to?
0:37:28.1 Mike Vacanti: No. [laughter]
0:37:30.5 Jordan Syatt: Fair.
0:37:30.6 Mike Vacanti: No, I wanna… I’m excited, I’m excited to have the skillset that if anyone ever tries to start a physical altercation with my future family, that I have some degree of competence in that situation. And I hope it never happens regardless of my ability, but I’d like to not just be like a wet noodle ball of muscle, incompetent in that situation and end up on the pavement.
0:37:58.8 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Excited to feel competent in your ability to handle a situation, if you need to.
0:38:05.2 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. And be competent. Actually, ’cause I kind of feel… I trick myself into feeling pretty competent. [laughter] I can mentally hype myself pretty well, but to actually know that my probability of a positive outcome in a dangerous situation is higher, I’m excited for that.
0:38:23.9 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That feeling will go very quickly of feeling competent. [laughter]
0:38:30.2 Mike Vacanti: Oh I know. But the thing is, it’s because you’re… What percentage of the population actually trains?
0:38:37.5 Jordan Syatt: Correct.
0:38:37.7 Mike Vacanti: Any kind of martial… It’s such a small population. So the people you’re training with are in, call it like 1 to 5%, it’s probably less than 5%, but a small percentage. I’m gonna get my ass kicked every single day for years, I get that that’s part of it, I don’t have… But. That means I’m at least in better shape than 95% plus of the population.
0:39:00.8 Jordan Syatt: Oh, absolutely. Yeah.
0:39:01.1 Mike Vacanti: I also just think there’s almost an intrinsic duty to… We talked about this, Socrates talked about how philosophers had to wrestle, there’s brain and then there’s body and there’s the physical realm and there’s the realm of knowledge, there’s realm of spirit, but this is an area that I need to expand beyond just training and I’m excited to keep my lifting going, but maybe a few Imanari rolls, I’m excited to take the back. I don’t really like anything in between my legs. I don’t have a ton of flexibility. Not thrilled with that. I think I’m gonna be a guard passer. We’ll see. I’m excited to play from you.
0:39:45.5 Jordan Syatt: You’ll play more open guard than closed guard. You’re not gonna… You don’t wanna have your legs wrapped around people. You’ll keep them at bay. If you’re ever on bottom, you’ll push them away. Maybe stand up. Take them down.
0:39:57.5 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, you gotta teach me take downs from your wrestling days, these adductors don’t have any closed guard in them. I might never triangle anyone. Is that what it’s called?
0:40:04.7 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, triangle choke? Yeah. I just started really practicing triangles a couple of weeks ago, ’cause I have short legs, so the people of the best triangle chokes have long legs that can… You can catch someone in a triangle choke from far away. But I have short legs. So I’ve never really been wanting to do it. But I just started practicing it. And it’s interesting, ’cause shorter legs, it’s harder to secure the triangle choke, but once it is secured, it’s a much tighter choke, because they’re smaller. And so that space between the legs is much smaller. So might actually benefit you once you start practicing it.
0:40:43.5 Mike Vacanti: Okay, alright. Good to know. The same probably applies with quad and hamstring muscles, right? Less space? ‘Cause don’t you…
0:40:52.3 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, exactly. The issue is the flexibility issue, the dexterity of the joints, where if you don’t… ’cause in order to lock in, especially a triangle choke, but certain types of chokes, you have to angle your joints in a way that you can only do if you have a certain amount of flexibility and dexterity within the joints. And so I can do triangle chokes really well on one side. But on the other side, with my right leg, I can do it. With my left leg, it actually torques my knee too much. So I never do triangle chokes with my left leg over the top of the head. So it really does depend on how you’re built and how flexible you are.
0:41:28.2 Mike Vacanti: If you ever have Jordan head to head in a competition, you know he’s never coming with that left leg over.
0:41:35.0 Jordan Syatt: That’s exactly right.
0:41:37.8 Mike Vacanti: I’m curious, have you been continue… ‘Cause I know you had a real emphasis on flexibility for a while, you were doing your splits. Are you still incorporating any of that in your training? Or did you improve to a new baseline level where you were more flexible than you were?
0:41:52.3 Jordan Syatt: I’m way more flexible than I was. I am not as flexible as I was at the peak, I improved massively. And then I stopped ’cause I injured my knee. And then I reduced a little bit. But I’m probably about 50 to 60% more flexible than I was when I first started, which is insane. And I haven’t done anything to keep up with it, ’cause I’ve been spending so much time doing conditioning. There’s like when I’m done with that. I just wanna lie down and just watch TV.
0:42:19.6 Mike Vacanti: Makes complete sense.
0:42:20.8 Jordan Syatt: And I found at this point, I have more than enough flexibility than what I need for jujitsu.
0:42:27.6 Mike Vacanti: You think you’ll read Rickson’s book ever?
0:42:30.2 Jordan Syatt: Probably not, to be honest. I might eventually but probably not.
0:42:35.2 Mike Vacanti: You’re not interested.
0:42:36.1 Jordan Syatt: No. I…
0:42:37.7 Mike Vacanti: Did you watch that documentary ever?
0:42:37.9 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, his documentary.
0:42:39.2 Mike Vacanti: The one on YouTube?
0:42:40.3 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. I love that one. That was great.
0:42:42.3 Mike Vacanti: “Choke,” I think it’s called.
0:42:43.7 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, if you wanna watch a great documentary, watch “Choke,” that’s really good.
0:42:47.5 Mike Vacanti: It also incorporates a lot of stuff that like cold therapy, breathwork, interesting concepts that have overlapped into the health world. Okay. Should we hit a couple of nutrition questions?
0:43:03.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, let’s do it.
0:43:03.4 Mike Vacanti: How to Calculate Calorie Maintenance.
0:43:08.3 Jordan Syatt: How do you do it?
0:43:09.7 Mike Vacanti: I use the Katch-McArdle equation, which I have found to be slightly more accurate over time. As most listening know any equation is not gonna be perfect and is a good starting point, to have your client start on that intake. Then assess progress. And based on progress and adherence to nutrition, you’ll know whether or not an adjustment is necessary. Going bodyweight times multiplier, the benefit of Katch over bodyweight times multiplier in my experience is, it uses lean mass rather than body weight. So people with disproportionately higher percentage of body fat ends up being more accurate. And I know that isn’t because lean tissue has a drastically higher BMR than fat mass, but it probably does when you take into account the amount of activity that someone with less fat and more lean tissue can do. So it doesn’t really move their BMR that much, but having more lean tissue is gonna increase their total daily energy expenditure disproportionately because people with less fat and more lean tissue generally are more active and can move heavier weights and burn more calories than those who have more body fat and less muscle.
0:44:37.5 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, it’s interesting, a lot of people ask, how do you calculate maintenance, how do you calculate maintenance? And I think for most people, you don’t need to calculate maintenance first, you just calculate your deficit, especially if you first want to lose fat. So what I would do is, I would just use… I use Gold body weight, which is generally a pretty decent predictor of lean body mass.
0:44:57.4 Jordan Syatt: So goal bodyweight is, unless someone is saying their goal bodyweight of what they weighed when they were 12, that’s a stupid idea. But if you take a general goal body weight, it’s usually a pretty good predictor of lean body mass. And then you multiply that by 12, you get a good deficit, you track their weight loss over the course of a month or so, you see their average weight loss per week. And then from there, if they wanna continue losing fat, great, but if you decide you wanna go into maintenance, just add a few calories back in, and you track that over time. ‘Cause even if you use Katch-McArdle, or use a bodyweight multiplier, it’s still trial and error.
0:45:30.0 Mike Vacanti: Absolutely.
0:45:31.6 Jordan Syatt: You’re still trying to figure out… You’re still tryna… It’s still trial and error. So for me, most people who come to me are looking to start with fat loss. And I think that’s where most, probably people, most coaches who are listening have clients coming to them for fat loss in the beginning, at the very least. And then from there, maybe after two months, three months, six months, whatever, cool, we’re ready to go into maintenance. Awesome. So you don’t now do a calculation, after six months of a calorie deficit. You’ve already got the numbers. So now just add back in a certain percentage, or add back in several hundred per week until their weight starts to stabilize, and you’re good. I think a lot of people, they just want the equation as opposed to understanding it’s a trial and error game. And once you’ve figured out an appropriate deficit to lose about a pound a week, you’re good. You don’t need to do another equation, you’ve got it, just add calories back in.
0:46:16.1 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, it’s such a great point, people do want to use an equation. The only time you’re using an equation is at the very beginning with a new client. And sometimes, I’m not even using an equation then. Because I’ll often ask that client if they’ve been tracking and if they know approximately how many calories a day they’re eating, and what their scale weight has been doing. Have you been weighing yourself? Has it been fluctuating? Or has it been pretty consistent? And I try to get relatively accurate. They’re not often very accurate, but give me a sample day of eating, what it has looked like. And I’ll sometimes say, “Give me a good day and a bad day of eating so that you can try to net it out mentally.” But if you can have a better estimate of what their current intake is, and what progress has looked like, I’ll rely on that more so than any equation. So yes, I agree. Equations are definitely overrated. And then in line with that last one, what is a good macro split for my deficit?
0:47:25.1 Jordan Syatt: You’re the macros guy, Mike’s Macros, if you haven’t downloaded it, download it. [laughter] But what’s your ideal macros split?
0:47:34.4 Mike Vacanti: I don’t have an ideal macros split in a deficit. In a surplus, you’re going to benefit more from leaning towards higher… I mean, look, protein’s gonna be about the same in a gram per pound of bodyweight on the high end, and then down to wherever, like 0.5 to 0.7 grams per pound of lean mass is on the lowish end for someone who is lifting and wants to retain muscle. But as far as carbs and fats go, if you’re in a surplus, err on the side of having more carbs. Don’t try and… You’re not going to optimize your progress by keeping carbs under 30 and fats at 150 to 180 and doing a Keto bulk.
0:48:24.5 Jordan Syatt: That’s stupid.
0:48:24.6 Mike Vacanti: Unless you’re on all the juice you’re just not going to. And even then, you’re not optimizing progress, you’re gonna benefit from carbs. But if you’re in a deficit, I’ll often have clients who enjoy based on their sample days of eatings and based on foods that they like having, I’ll have them on higher fats, or I’ll have them on lower fats, depending on food preferences. But it really doesn’t matter what the carb to fat ratio is in a deficit, so long as neither is outrageously low.
0:48:57.4 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah, as long as calories and protein are good, whatever your carbs and fats ratio is is more or less arbitrary and based on personal preference. I will say, and this is something I’ve gotten especially from working with people who are significantly overweight, morbidly obese, and also talking a lot with Spencer Nadolsky who specializes in this. There is a benefit if someone is morbidly obese and has a lot of body fat to lose at the beginning of reducing carb intake. And not going keto, but keeping a little bit lower as they lose fat. And as they get leaner and they get better nutrient partitioning, and they get a little bit more insulin sensitive, you can then increase their carbs.
0:49:39.7 Jordan Syatt: What I found is that the higher body fat you are, and it’s not like 17% body fat, I mean like 35, 40, 45% body fat, and the more insulin resistant you are, the better you fare with a little bit lower carbs and a little bit higher fat and higher protein. But as you get leaner and leaner and leaner, you actually will do better with higher carb, lower fat and you’ll respond better to that, you’ll feel better with that, you’ll sleep better with that, you’ll lift better with that, you’ll have more energy with that, you’ll build more muscle with that. So the most important is understanding calories and protein are number one and number two, as long as those are met, you’re good. You can go completely by personal preference. But it’s important to understand that your current body composition might dictate how you feel with that. So just be aware of that and understand that as your composition changes and improves, maybe your macros split can change.
0:50:34.5 Mike Vacanti: Great answer. Great questions. We’re ripping weekly episodes. We’re gonna be back in the studio next week and by studio, I mean I’ll just be home. [laughter] Jordan is in his studio. And yeah, we appreciate you listening. Have a great day. Have a great weekend. We will see you soon.
0:50:50.5 Jordan Syatt: Talk to you soon.