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In this episode, we talk about how often you should email your list, how to handle client check-ins, Mike’s new diet paradigm (it’s amazing, fyi), and more.
We hope you enjoy this episode and if you’d like to join us in The Online Fitness Business Mentorship you can grab your seat at https://www.fitnessbusinessmentorship.com
-J & M
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You can download a PDF version of the transcript here
Or you can expand to find the full episode transcription below:
0:00:12.1 Mike Vacanti: Hello, Jordan.
0:00:13.2 Jordan Syatt: What’s up, Michael?
0:00:14.5 Mike Vacanti: We’re here. We’re live. We got a real podcast ahead of us today.
0:00:19.2 Jordan Syatt: I’m excited. I don’t even know it’s about to happen.
0:00:20.0 Mike Vacanti: That’s kind of how these operate. 95 episodes in, video pods are here, I got a nice list in front of me. What do you… How about this, I’m gonna say a few things, and you tell me what you wanna dive in on?
0:00:36.1 Jordan Syatt: Okay. Let’s do it.
0:00:36.8 Mike Vacanti: This will be a fun way to start.
0:00:39.3 Jordan Syatt: Okay.
0:00:39.7 Mike Vacanti: All right. I’ve got a brand new nutrition paradigm that I’m operating from.
0:00:45.5 Jordan Syatt: Wow.
0:00:46.9 Mike Vacanti: Related to clean bulking.
0:00:50.0 Jordan Syatt: Okay. Culking.
0:00:51.6 Mike Vacanti: That sounds too close to other weird words. Program hopping except not fitness program hopping business program hopping. We got an Eric Roberts question. We got some email questions. I mean, we could riff on therapy as therapy or is it, we got a lot of things that we can talk about today.
0:01:16.1 Jordan Syatt: Okay. Let’s start off with your new nutrition paradigm. I like this one.
0:01:19.7 Mike Vacanti: Wow. All right. I’m about five days in like I’ve, I…
0:01:32.8 Mike Vacanti: Okay, let me preface this. The most important factors in building muscle are related to your training, related to your rest and recovery, energy, balance, getting enough protein/macros, being in a certain realm, that is the circle of things that matter when it comes to adding muscle. We know that food quality is important for health, for longevity, for how you feel on the day to day, if you’re… That’s the preface. We’ll leave it at that. I have in the last five days started to try to hit my calorie surplus macros consistently while also doing it with traditionally clean foods. Perhaps for the first time in my life. Hitting 3400 calories a day from almost exclusively, “like basically way more vegetables and fruits and whole grains and taking sugar much lower.” And I feel a lot better as a result. And in this like, n equals one anecdotal, minuscule sample size, that doesn’t matter at all. I have a funny, funny feeling that it’s going to positively impact body composition.
0:02:54.7 Jordan Syatt: Why do you think that?
0:02:56.4 Mike Vacanti: Just feel good.
0:02:57.0 Jordan Syatt: It’s just there. Yeah.
0:03:00.1 Mike Vacanti: It’s just, it’s there. It’s there.
0:03:01.4 Jordan Syatt: Any ice cream in these macros or no?
0:03:04.1 Mike Vacanti: Have I eaten any ice cream in the last five days?
0:03:06.1 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.
0:03:06.7 Mike Vacanti: No I haven’t.
0:03:08.3 Jordan Syatt: Wow.
0:03:09.1 Mike Vacanti: I know. The wildest thing, it’s basically a swap of like adding more potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, like traditional bro, cleaner, micronutrient dense stuff in place of things like cereal, bread with jam. The biggest difference is I’m hitting my 450 grams of carbs a day via sweet potatoes rather than those other food sources. So sugar’s, lower fiber’s higher micronutrient intake is higher. And my energy focus, brain activity and general wellbeing feel… Body almost feels better as a result in this tiny sample size that doesn’t really matter.
0:03:52.7 Jordan Syatt: What about digestion?
0:03:54.5 Mike Vacanti: Well, it’s harder to get meals down, right? For anyone who’s ever taken two giant sweet potatoes, prepped them however you want to, I peel them, dice them, air fried them with a little bit of olive oil and it’s like an entire plate of sweet potatoes. 700 grams, 160 carbs worth of sweet potatoes is an insane amount to eat in one sitting. And so maybe there’s like some fullness from the food volume, but in general, digestion feels really good.
0:04:28.5 Jordan Syatt: That’s awesome.
0:04:29.5 Mike Vacanti: We’re all behind Jordan on this though. Jordan’s been on the fiber train for what feels like years throwing down chia seeds and basil something or other. And you just, you got all the tricks.
0:04:40.4 Jordan Syatt: Listen man, I’m just excited about this new nutrition paradigm and to watch your body recomposition unfold, ’cause when you make that comeback on social media and now that we’re doing video pods might just be shirtless on these.
0:04:53.8 Mike Vacanti: I told Jordan… Perhaps. The shirtless video podcast.
0:05:01.4 Jordan Syatt: What did you tell me?
0:05:02.9 Mike Vacanti: I told you before this podcast that I was gonna stop training lower body before these pods and start training upper because I think the pump is required for the video podcast, but I don’t think I’m actually gonna change the schedule for that.
0:05:13.8 Jordan Syatt: Okay. All right. How’s your training been going overall? You’ve been doing some conjugate periodization, some speed work?
0:05:20.6 Mike Vacanti: A little bit of speed work on the bench specifically. It’s going good.
0:05:23.9 Jordan Syatt: How have you liked that? You’ve enjoyed it?
0:05:25.8 Mike Vacanti: I’ve enjoyed it a lot. Yeah. I mean, it’s been three sessions of it.
0:05:30.5 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, but you’ve had five days of this new nutrition paradigm. So I mean, three sessions of this should… [laughter]
0:05:35.6 Mike Vacanti: So, here’s the only reason I have my speed work as a one, and I should switch this around because I have a 3 × 5 and a 3 × 10 bench day. And what I should have done was put the speed work before the 3×10. Right now I have it before the 3 × 5, so I’m having a harder time making strength progress on B one on my 3 × 5 flat barbell bench because it’s after six sets of speed work.
0:06:04.6 Jordan Syatt: Are you feeling fatigued after the speed work?
0:06:07.1 Mike Vacanti: No, I’m not.
0:06:08.4 Jordan Syatt: Okay.
0:06:09.7 Mike Vacanti: It’s such a… Even on like my higher day yet, it’s like 60%. So I’m… No, but I can tell that it is affecting me because on the other bench day it, I feel fresher. It’s good though. It’s good, I enjoy it. It’s the first time I’ve ever done it and it’s feeling pretty good.
0:06:30.7 Jordan Syatt: And it looks good. Fast, explosive.
0:06:34.2 Mike Vacanti: Trying, trying. What else?
0:06:38.0 Jordan Syatt: Dude, you’re running this podcast. I’m just p’ing it up.
0:06:40.8 Mike Vacanti: Okay, well, I gave you all the options of what we can talk about. We got email questions too from people who are subscribed to the how to become a personal trainer email list, which I think, did we promise weekly emails last week? Did we make that statement?
0:06:55.7 Jordan Syatt: No. No way. I mean, you know I don’t remember, but…
0:06:58.6 Mike Vacanti: Remember we were talking about Silver Bullet Sunday and bringing back a weekly email.
0:07:03.0 Jordan Syatt: Did we promise a weekly email?
0:07:05.7 Mike Vacanti: We didn’t promise. We didn’t promise we were kicking the idea around.
0:07:08.8 Jordan Syatt: Okay. Yeah. I could see us kicking the… I could never imagine promising that. That’s a big promise.
0:07:14.2 Mike Vacanti: I think we should do a monthly email newsletter.
0:07:17.1 Jordan Syatt: Our younger selves would be so embarrassed of our older selves right now. They just said a weekly email is a big promise. Like, “You lazy motherfuckers.”
0:07:28.1 Mike Vacanti: It’s so true. Dude, when I think about how I want to structure the future of my day-to-day in my business, it revolves around not spending too much time sitting down and being like computer/phone-centric.
0:07:43.4 Jordan Syatt: Dude. A hundred… That’s why, ’cause I got three back to back to back podcasts today and I was like, “Man, I’m just gonna spend like three and a half hours straight just sitting down staring at my computer.”
0:07:53.2 Mike Vacanti: Well, and that’s even way better and easier than staring at your computer doing something that…
0:08:00.1 Jordan Syatt: And typing.
0:08:00.3 Mike Vacanti: Exactly, exactly. Like email something along those lines. I wonder, I’ve actually thought about this in trying to have an optimal podcast set up. Would walking during a podcast ruin the audio?
0:08:15.9 Jordan Syatt: I think for your and my standards, no, but for like an audio engineer, I think it would drive him absolutely bananas. They would just be so mad they’d be like, “What the fuck is this little humming in the background?”
0:08:29.5 Mike Vacanti: Wait, what if it wasn’t on a walking pad? What if you were actually moving through space and time?
0:08:39.1 Jordan Syatt: What a way to phrase that question. What if you’re actually like, you mean in terms of like just walking around your apartment?
0:08:44.8 Mike Vacanti: Yes. That would probably be the only way to do it because I don’t you could…
0:08:48.5 Jordan Syatt: Like you can’t do it outside, the wind and stuff.
0:08:49.0 Mike Vacanti: Wind and noise, correct.
0:08:51.7 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Yeah. I mean I think if we got one of those… Remember the ones that Ryan Fischer had that we did when we were at that big event, if we got those headphones that allowed us to walk, I’ve been wanting those for a while. ‘Cause I hate leaning over my fucking desk like this. So yeah, I think those would actually probably help a lot.
0:09:09.7 Mike Vacanti: There’s probably an in between ground here and we’re brand new where this is only like number two a video podcast. But in terms of setup rather than being in front of hunched over computer, I wonder if there’s a setup where your computer’s further away from you and you have a chair that lets your posture be more how you want it than leaned forward.
0:09:30.7 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. I think they have those ones that like you can, they’re attached to desk and you can move the mic around wherever you want to go. So yeah, but I would like to be able to walk during it. I think that would be nice just to get it. ‘Cause like when I’m on the phone, I stand up and walk around. I feel like I’m more creative when I walk.
0:09:48.5 Mike Vacanti: A 100%. It’s not just the multitask of moving rather than sitting. It’s that the blood flow or whatever you get from moving around enhances your creativity in the conversation.
0:10:00.5 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Yeah. And I get more hyped up when I’m walking around and I can move my arms and stuff.
0:10:04.6 Mike Vacanti: We might need some… This might need to be a walking podcast. Or maybe an entire rebrand around this too.
0:10:10.2 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. “The walking… PTs.”
0:10:15.6 Mike Vacanti: Speaking of PTs, Jord, what do you think about…
0:10:20.5 Jordan Syatt: Don’t even get me started. I know what you’re gonna say. It pisses me off, bro. It pisses me off.
0:10:22.9 Mike Vacanti: This is not about anyone in particular. No one’s specific. If this feels like we’re coming at you… And by the way, we’re on a bigger delay here than we used to be, right?
0:10:35.2 Jordan Syatt: What do you mean?
0:10:35.3 Mike Vacanti: Well, because of the production involved in video podcast, getting micro content out. Side note, give us a follow on TikTok, Instagram, all of the places, if you’re listening to this, we would really, really appreciate it. Our handle is @personaltrainerpodcast. This is week two of 12 on video pods. This is a trial. We’re gonna see how it goes. And so giving a follow on those channels will really help us out a lot and yes, please do that.
0:11:06.6 Jordan Syatt: Motivate us to keep doing the video pods.
0:11:08.4 Mike Vacanti: Exactly. What do you think of coaches, or just people who might get some advice from one person and then a little advice from another person and they’re following this person’s business content and they’re following that person’s business podcast. And there’s essentially nine different people who have nine different philosophies. You got the content creators, you have the cold DM-ers, you have the hire a videographer and make movie like quality on a weekly basis. And this person might say like, “You know, I tried uploading on Instagram and that didn’t work and then I hired a videographer for like a week and a half and I didn’t get any clients from that and I cold DMed like 13 people and no one signed up for… ” Just like going from one thing to another. Is that an effective strategy?
0:12:07.7 Jordan Syatt: People watching the video right now could seem Mike’s face. “Is that… Do you think that’s an effective strategy?” No, it’s fucking worthless. Just like when you have a fitness client who’s… Imagine you have a fitness client who… I’ll give you another, I’ll give you… Rather than imagine I will outline a real, a legitimate scenario. This hasn’t happened yet, but like this is gonna be… This is how ridiculous it sounds. Let’s say I have someone who signs up for my inner circle. Okay. They sign up for my inner circle and they start doing my workouts. And unbeknownst to both of us, they also hire you to do their workouts. And now this client is going between both of us being like, well, “Hey, so I’m doing your workouts, but I also hired another coach to also do my workouts.”
0:12:58.6 Jordan Syatt: And so “Jordan, I see that you put sumo deadlifts in my program, but my other coach says that sumo deadlifts are a waste of time. So why am I doing this and what should I do instead?” And in my mind I’m like, “Why the fuck did you just hire another coach to do your workouts when you already hired me to do your workouts?” And this is what we see people doing with business all the time now. And these coaches are the first ones to make fun of clients who do stupid shit like that. But then they’re hiring multiple business coaches, taking advice from multiple business coaches. And listen, it’s one thing to take advice from people for free, like to follow different accounts, and to get different ideas. That’s fine. But when you hire someone, you should go all in on what that person does.
0:13:46.5 Jordan Syatt: Like when you hire someone to do your coaching, you should go like… Realistically, you don’t have to unfollow other people, but stop taking the advice of other people. Just follow what that person says for at least three months straight, just what that person is telling you to do. And then if you wanna hire someone else, go for it. That’s totally fine. But hiring multiple people at the same time, you’re inherently gonna be getting mixed reviews, you’re gonna be getting mixed ideas and they probably all work, but you’re not giving any of them enough of a chance to see any of it work. So you’re just gonna end up spinning your wheels. So those are my thoughts. Mike, what are your thoughts on that Michael?
0:14:26.3 Mike Vacanti: The same thing, and we know this because we kind of riffed on it a little bit this morning when we were talking. But that is the… The kicker is there’s so many different ways to get it done. There’s so many ways to grow a business. There’s so many ways to grow an online personal brand. There’s so many ways to get new online coaching clients. It’s committing to one and executing on it. And I don’t wanna say it doesn’t matter which one, like obviously you and I are much bigger fans of, like a jab, jab, jab, right hook method of helping as many people as possible for free. And then on the back end of that it’s like a slow burn business growth. But also you’re doing the right thing in the short run that ends up being both the right thing and the most lucrative in the long run rather than this, “We can make you 10K in your first three weeks in the program.” Like hook and then that person, has to cold DM a thousand people a day or whatever it might be. That being said, they can all work, but you have to follow through with the one that you choose and choose the one that makes the most sense for you and then execute and then blinders go on. And then I’m not letting other information get in and affect my strategy. I already have my strategy, I’m just doing.
0:15:43.3 Jordan Syatt: It’s very similar to our views on fitness, right? Where it’s like, yeah, I think keto is stupid for the vast majority of people ’cause most people aren’t gonna be able to sustain it. But if someone says to me like, “Hey listen, I have been doing keto for seven years and I’ve seen great results and I feel better and I don’t crave carbs or want carbs and I feel great,” then awesome, that’s fantastic. I fully support that as long as you’re healthy and happy and you can do it consistently. Same thing with business stuff. It’s like everything works. The stuff that you and I talk about. I think the reason that you and I have a business together and this podcast together and do so much is because like our morals and our ethics align so much and our tactics also align so much as a result of it.
0:16:29.1 Jordan Syatt: For example, you and I were talking the other day about how… I’ll never forget when we were sitting in your apartment in Manhattan and we both realized that we both did the exact same thing with emails where we would go out of our way to send a personalized email to each individual who signed up for our email list before you and I knew each other before we knew anything like this is like 2012 where sending personalized emails to every single person who signs up for our email list. It’s just like, it makes so much sense that we get along because we have the same values and morals and standards by which we hold ourselves for our business. Whereas there are other people in the industry who do very well, especially from a business perspective, but we don’t agree with what they do.
0:17:10.8 Jordan Syatt: It doesn’t feel right for us in the same way that keto doesn’t feel right for me. And I still might be friends with people who do keto, but I’m not gonna do it ’cause it doesn’t, it’s not a good fit for me. So if… The reality is this, if cold DMing a hundred people a day doesn’t sound like a good fit for you, then that’s probably not a good fit for you. But if you hear, “Oh yeah, cold DM a hundred people a day, I could do that, no problem, I would love to do that,” then go for it, that’s fine. To me that sounds fucking awful. And I would rather spend that time making free content that helps people than just cold DMing a hundred people with the intent of trying to get a sale on the back end. But you have to find what works best for you. That’s what it all boils down to. And when you hire multiple different people telling you to do multiple different things, it’s all gonna get convoluted and you’re not gonna know which one is “right.” When in reality it just all boils down to what suits you best.
0:18:05.7 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, Well said. What’s funny about that, I don’t remember if it was 2016 or 2017, but when we were having that realization that we had been doing the same things for many years, we were simultaneously in our inboxes looking back at emails from 2012, 2013 and like looking at the old emails in the sent folder of our inboxes. Like, here’s where I was sending all these, having these like here’s my lead magnet one on one just firing ’em out. I’m gonna pull up, Mr. Eric Roberts had a question. Eric’s a coach. He’s been in the mentorship for I think over two years now. He’s an absolute… Yeah. I mean he just dominates on the content creation on the business side. He’s someone who has done a very, very good job. And he had a question that he specifically said, “Hey, do you and Jordan wanna talk about this on the podcast?” So I figured why not. “Question for you and Jada maybe jam on the podcast. I have about 40,000 on my email list currently and I’m sending emails five times per week, honestly…”
0:19:20.5 Jordan Syatt: What a beast.
0:19:20.8 Mike Vacanti: “Because I, ’cause I enjoy doing it. I’m providing a ton of value in the emails. He’s recently seen his open rate jump up to the 45 to 50% range.” Which is crazy, and he said his concern is that he’s seen a rise and un-subscribes on each email that he sends. “So I guess what I’m asking, although 45% to 50% open rate may be good, is it actually good if I’m seeing 50 to 100 unsubscribe per email? I just wanted to get your perspective and thoughts on it.” And I asked him… Because this is relevant, how long he’s been sending 5X a week, if he’s been doing it for an entire year and he’s still getting 50 to 150 unsubscribes per email, there’s probably something off there, but if you just started doing this recently, it makes a lot more sense. I also asked him what his email frequency was in the one to two years before he started doing this. And he said the five x per week just started in the last month or so, and before that he was doing… So before that he was doing twice a week in the last three to five months prior, and before that, very minimally opening or very minimally sending emails, just in anticipation for launches. “If it helps, I feel I have a pretty good gauge on the audience and for the most part, I get really good feedback from the people who do reach out, but I also know there are the unsubs there, so clearly, something has to give. LOL. Like MJ tells Kobe, his prime ’96 could be Kobe’s prime ’08, never forget it.”
0:21:07.4 Jordan Syatt: Listen, so…
0:21:07.5 Mike Vacanti: What a guy.
0:21:07.6 Jordan Syatt: Here’s the thing. As long as your subscribes are more than your unsubscribe on a… I would say on a monthly basis, that’s the most important from that perspective. I don’t care… If you had 1000 people on your email list and you were getting 100 to 150 subscribes per email, yeah, that’s a big problem, but with 40,000 in the list with a 40% to 50% open rate, 100000 for the onsite email really isn’t that bad, especially if you’re getting way more than that on a monthly basis. If you’re un-subscribes are significantly higher than your subscribes, you’ve got a real problem, I would say over a three-month period, I would gauge that. But what might be happening is you just might have a fair amount of people who are like, “Yeah, I don’t need this anymore.” And it’s not like they don’t like you, and it’s not like they might not follow you on social media, they’re just like, “Yeah, my email is pretty clogged up, I don’t read them anyway, so I don’t need it.” So what is important to make them aware of is if you’re sending out emails four to five times a week and they see your content on social media all the time, they have to know there’s a reason to stay on the list, and the reason might be like, “Hey, when I do a launch, you’re gonna get a discount or you’re gonna like, you’re gonna get like first dibs,”… There’s a reason for them to stay on the list.
0:22:27.2 Jordan Syatt: So you have to give them something that they’re not getting on social media, that they’re not getting elsewhere, that I would make sure that’s very clear and that they know that’s why they’re on the list. One of the benefits of making that so clear is essentially they’re gonna now stay on the list so you can sell to them, which is a huge mindset shift. When people are on and email us knowing that they’re gonna get better deals, it’s still a deal to buy something from you. So when something comes or when a sale comes, they’re not gonna be upset because that’s why they’re on the list in the first place.
0:23:01.0 Jordan Syatt: So give them that understanding from the very beginning and like, “Hey, listen, why are you on this list?” Yes, so I continue with this information. Yes, so you can see it, but maybe you’re also seeing on social media, so it seems to overkill, I want you to know, because you’re on my list and I really appreciate you, you’re gonna get first dibs when big things come out. You’re gonna get discounts, you’re gonna get all of this. So make sure they know that. But yeah, I’m not worried about that many unsubscribes, as long as your subscribes are more than that at the end of the month, and your open rate and conversions are still doing well.
0:23:32.4 Mike Vacanti: I agree. I also think there’s a conversation to be had right now where you and I might not know the exact answer, but has to do with the shifting of type of content that is doing well or not doing well on social and the increase in people… The increase in the number of creators and how much those people are creating. So here’s what I mean. There are a lot of people who do email marketing really well who send daily emails or 5x a week emails, those people are usually very good writers, very entertaining writers, they also usually, not always, but aren’t absolutely crushing content across the board. They’re not doing multiple TikToks, multiple YouTube, like just hammering everything and writing deal emails to usually email focused. Eric, Eric is banging the drums across the board.
0:24:28.6 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Correct.
0:24:29.7 Mike Vacanti: And so I don’t know if this is my personal bias toward less frequent email in this world where we are drowning in content to consume, there’s literally infinite scrolls and stuff to read, and there’s just so much out there, but I actually think that a lower frequency of emails written… And this is partly because an email to your list is purely like adding value to the people who already follow you, there is no distribution upside. Unless you’re just phenomenal and you’re asking people to forward this to your friends, you’re not growing as a result of that email. Whereas if that time and energy, say instead of 5x, you go back to 2x and you do one extra YouTube long form video a week that’s SEO’d well, etcetera, or you get an extra article per month as a result of re-allocating that time toward that thing, you get more organic reach and more new audience than you do focused on email. And I don’t… And this could be where the personal biases, ’cause I don’t need to hear from anyone 5x a week, 2x a week is plenty, especially from following them in all these other places. I feel like using that time elsewhere would be more beneficial.
0:25:49.7 Jordan Syatt: I completely agree. I 100% agree, there’s no question. I would say if you’re purely an email marketer and not on other platforms very much, then daily emails makes tons of sense. But if you’re Eric here, who’s posting multiple times a day across Instagram, across YouTube, across articles, across TikTok, all this stuff. I think email should just be a place where maybe once a week at most, is really where you need it. And until you decide, “Hey, I’m going to launch something,” and then, “Hey, get on my list, I’m gonna email you a bunch over this launch duration,” but using it more as an ability, “Hey, I’ve got your email, I got your contact information, just in case.” And maybe you give a weekly recap of some of your best content… “Hey, I don’t know if you saw this, I don’t know if you tell this article, but here’s some of my best content over the last week,” and then otherwise, saving that stuff for big launches. I think you’re 100%, right.
0:26:44.7 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, I just think that’s a better use of that time spent. And also, so much of writing emails is so that you’re not the guy who only emails when you’re selling something.
0:27:00.7 Jordan Syatt: Correct, correct.
0:27:01.5 Mike Vacanti: Basically me for the last three years even though I haven’t.
0:27:05.6 Jordan Syatt: Well even… That’s what I’ve been mostly… And that’s where I think having a little bit of social media and email is the best of both worlds, where it’s like the way that I basically talk about it, I’m like, Listen, people are trying to hack my instagram constantly, trying to hack my stuff constantly, so regularly, let’s say like, “Hey, get on my email list,” and even the opt-in page says, “Hey, just in case I get hacked, sign up.” Because people are constantly trying to do it, and it is a legitimate worry. Well, now I have all their contact information, and then I can say like, “Hey, when I do my sale, two three times a year, at most, I’ll be able to contact you.” And people have been very receptive to that. People have been like, they’ve really enjoyed it.
0:27:48.4 Jordan Syatt: So I think it’s one of those things where they know when they’re signing up for it, they’re not signing up for daily emails, they’re not signing up for another email to be in their inbox, ’cause realistically, most people, they’re not gonna read an email every day, their email is so clogged up most of the time anyway, and they’re often more in their social media. I think having one email a week that is just based around, here’s three of my best pieces of content over the last week that I think you would really enjoy, that you like them to maybe one on Instagram, one on YouTube, one on your website. That’s fantastic.
0:28:18.8 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Let’s talk briefly, this isn’t gonna be a super in-depth, but I wanna touch on it, we’re capped here on our time today this week, we got 24 more minutes roughly. Let’s… Let me ask you this, and it’s a question about me, but then it’s gonna lead to a… It’s gonna lead to a more educational conversation. Robert De Niro…
0:28:47.8 Jordan Syatt: If you’re watching video pod, you know.
0:28:48.6 Mike Vacanti: You’re ready?
0:28:50.1 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Okay.
0:28:50.4 Mike Vacanti: You’re ready?
0:28:51.1 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, I’m ready.
0:28:52.8 Mike Vacanti: Knowing me, why do you think that I enjoy high bar back-squatting more than low bar back-squatting?
0:29:02.5 Jordan Syatt: Let me think about this. Okay, so I’m gonna sort of think out loud.
0:29:06.0 Mike Vacanti: I love that.
0:29:07.9 Jordan Syatt: So you prefer a high bar over low bar?
0:29:10.1 Mike Vacanti: Mm-hmm.
0:29:11.1 Jordan Syatt: Okay. So historically, Mike has had some back issues. You’ve had some back issues, you also have some neck issues. Now, there are many reasons for this. I think that high bar back-squatting forces you to keep a more upright torso, you cannot bend over like you can in a low bar, and when you do it with a low bar, it’s actually… It helps you to bend over a little bit more, ’cause if you don’t, then the bar is gonna slide right off your back and it’s gonna hurt yourself. So with the low bar, you bend over more, which can help you lift more weight, but also can… In some cases, it might tweak your back, especially if you let too much weight too quickly. High bar forces you to have an upright torso, you can’t cheat it, so you probably inherently are limited in how much weight you’re gonna be able to lift because you have to stay upright, which helps make your back feel better. That would be my analysis.
0:30:08.3 Mike Vacanti: I think that’s spot on. And just interesting sidebar, tenure. Interesting sidebar is, since I started training my neck directly, which is supposed to be like a 15-minute, 15 minutes twice a week, but it’s really like 15 minutes once a week or once every 10 days, I’m not as on it as I should be.
0:30:28.0 Jordan Syatt: You’re using the Iron Neck?
0:30:30.7 Mike Vacanti: I’m using the Iron Neck. I’m also just doing weighted flexion and extension.
0:30:33.7 Jordan Syatt: Nice.
0:30:36.3 Mike Vacanti: My neck injury, neck tweaking, neck discomfort has gone close to zero since I’ve started training it, which is cool, and also pisses me off ’cause I’m 35. It’s like, “Why wasn’t I doing this 15 years ago?” Somehow I was in the mindset of… I don’t know of the training, it could potentially lead to hurting it versus where I don’t think like that with any other body part or muscle group. So that’s the update on the neck right now. I agree with everything you just said. And the shitty part is, you’re basically everyone, once they get better at high bar versus low bar, is going to be stronger on a low bar back squat, and so strength is capped on high bar, but I agree completely from the low-back perspective. There’s also… I feel… I don’t think I actually lack the upper body mobility, but it’s so much more comfortable on my chest, shoulders, upper back to high bar than it is to low bar, just getting my upper back and my shoulders and where my grip is in the right position on a low bar back squat is much more uncomfortable for me, whereas a high bar, it’s like… I don’t even want think about it.
0:32:03.2 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, I mean, it requires far less shoulder external rotation, far less extraction of the shoulders and far less extension of the shoulders as well. So it’s just a much more comfortable position.
0:32:16.0 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.
0:32:17.9 Jordan Syatt: Really the only people who would be… Who tend to be stronger. High bar or low bar are people with a ridiculously short femurs, so they have super short femurs, so that that moment arm is just ridiculous, and those are the people who love squats. These are the guys who be like, “Oh, squats are great. I don’t know why everyone can’t get so deep.” It’s like, “Well, yeah, your femur is only like two inches long.”
0:32:39.6 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. The people who love squats and the people who have the most seemingly beautiful squats.
0:32:45.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
0:32:46.4 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. That’s a good exception to call out. You know what? I actually think I said this last week, but then we never… We never answered the question. This is from Ciaran, Ciaran McHugh.
0:33:06.4 Mike Vacanti: I’m sorry, brother, for just butchering… I would think it’s Ciaran, which sounds like it sounds like a cool name out of Peaky Blinders kind of, but…
0:33:16.4 Jordan Syatt: How do you spell it?
0:33:17.1 Mike Vacanti: I’m getting there. I just completely dismantled my desktop accidentally there, hang on. C-I-A-R-A-N.
0:33:28.4 Jordan Syatt: C-I-A-R-A-N. Is he Irish?
0:33:30.3 Mike Vacanti: I would imagine.
0:33:30.6 Jordan Syatt: Yes. Yeah.
0:33:32.3 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, well, I wanna hear you say it since you…
0:33:35.1 Jordan Syatt: C… You have it in front of you. This is difficult, and I gotta put in my head… C-I-A-R-A-N. Is it Ciaran?
0:33:42.7 Mike Vacanti: Oh. It could be. But isn’t Ciaran with a K?
0:33:45.3 Jordan Syatt: Bro, I don’t know.
0:33:47.4 Mike Vacanti: Ciaran McHugh That’s a pretty cool name.
0:33:49.5 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, Ciaran McHugh. I like that.
0:33:52.9 Mike Vacanti: Ciaran, let us know. Leave a five star review and let us know in the review how to pronounce your name.
0:34:01.3 Mike Vacanti: Ciaran says, “Hey guys, can’t imagine you’re stuck on content ideas, but on the slim chance, I would love to hear you talk/answer some of the following.” Basically, Ciaran wants to know, ! Jordan, did you ever watch Batman Begins on Mike’s recommendation?”
0:34:21.0 Jordan Syatt: I didn’t yet. I’ve been watching Breaking Bad. I’ve been obsessed with Breaking Bad. I’m almost done with it. But no, I have not watched Batman Begins yet. Also The Hunger Games. Wow. The Hunger Games blew me away. That was an amazing series that I just finished.
0:34:38.5 Mike Vacanti: I also like The Hunger Games, it pales in comparison to that Batman trilogy.
0:34:45.8 Jordan Syatt: Really?
0:34:45.9 Mike Vacanti: Yes.
0:34:46.0 Jordan Syatt: Oh wow.
0:34:45.8 Mike Vacanti: Yes.
0:34:45.9 Jordan Syatt: Okay. I need to watch the whole trilogy. Okay.
0:34:48.9 Mike Vacanti: We’ll save the Batman Begins analysis for…
0:34:54.4 Jordan Syatt: The next pods.
0:34:54.5 Mike Vacanti: Well, no, I don’t wanna make that promise, but once you’ve watched it.
0:34:58.2 Jordan Syatt: Okay. Is Batman Begins the first one, obviously, ’cause it’s the Begins.
0:35:00.6 Mike Vacanti: It’s the first in this trilogy, in the Christian Bale Batmans. Yeah.
0:35:07.7 Jordan Syatt: Okay, okay.
0:35:08.0 Mike Vacanti: All right. So we gotta put that one on pause.
0:35:09.7 Jordan Syatt: Wait, that was the only question?
0:35:11.9 Mike Vacanti: No, he’s got another here.
0:35:17.5 Mike Vacanti: Other questions, “Client check-ins, how often via email and if once a week on average, how much back and forth is there between you and a client in that one check-in and does it usually end up being back and forth for a couple of days due to delays and reply from clients? I found that with a handful of clients I’ve worked with, the only client online I have at the moment, I do a check-in on Sunday, but then I end up not getting a reply either until late Sunday or the day after and I’m trying to troubleshoot and expand on more things, but then at most I might get a second or third reply or they still don’t really provide information/their opinions, and when they do, it’s very vague. I feel like I’m trying to get a deeper understanding, but not really getting there. I hope that makes sense. PS, Jordan, big congrats. You look so cuffed and proud when you… Big congrats on the baby, you look so chuffed and proud when you hold there.”
0:36:08.3 Jordan Syatt: Thank you very much. I’m gonna start using the word chuffed. I love that.
0:36:11.8 Mike Vacanti: Irish.
0:36:12.9 Jordan Syatt: I’m very chuffed. [laughter] Hope we got… Hope we’re pronouncing your name right, as well. Please let us know. Do you wanna start with this or do you want me too?
0:36:24.2 Mike Vacanti: The first thing we’ll say is… Or that I’ll say is that this is definitely something that will happen, and because you… I think you said you have one online client right now, the fact that this one online client is potentially being vague or maybe not the most enthusiastic or not replying immediately. That’s extremely normal. Not only is it the nature of email that you’re not necessarily going to be going back and forth over the course of a single day, it’s just… That’s the way that some people respond to check-ins and email in general, and for some clients, you are gonna have to ask more questions and you are gonna have to press them a little bit to get that information out, whereas other clients, you might ask how they’re doing and get seven paragraphs. So it depends on the person, and it’s not abnormal to… Even if they are giving proper replies, it’s not abnormal to go back and forth over the span of a few days to get to the bottom of something or to solve whatever issue is going on.
0:37:32.8 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah. That’s exactly right. Some clients, you’re gonna send an email and they will apply within a minute. Literally as soon as you send an email, they’ll reply right back, and other people, they will go to you and other people… They’ll take 12 hours. Other people take 72 hours, there’s a whole gamut. And as you work with more and more and more clients, you’ll notice these different trends and patterns. I always tried to figure out, based on the questions and the way they answered questions in my preliminary analysis of someone before I take them on as a client, which type of client they would be. And no matter what, I just couldn’t figure it out. The only consistent was, if someone wrote massive 2000-word answers to the questions that you asked them in the preliminary screen, that’s probably what their emails were gonna be like.
0:38:23.5 Jordan Syatt: So just be aware if someone is very wordy in the preliminary thing, they’re probably gonna be very wordy in their emails to you on a regular basis. In terms of client check-ins and how it works, this is also another example of, you have to do what works best for you as a coach. And I know I went through multiple systems, I tried many different strategies throughout the early parts of my career until I landed on what worked well for me. And I landed on daily check-ins, Monday through Friday, daily check-in, send me your weight every morning, send me your calories and protein from the day before, and any questions that you have. And Mike traditionally has done a one-time a week check-in with his clients, they both have pros and cons, and it really just depends on which one you prefer and which one feels right for you.
0:39:12.0 Jordan Syatt: I wouldn’t have multiple options, I wouldn’t have… Well, some clients can do this, check-in daily, and other clients can check-in weekly. I would not do that, I would try it, try each system, figure out which one works for you best and stick with that and have the clients fall into your system, don’t try and fit yourself into whatever the clients want, ’cause that’s a recipe for disaster.
0:39:34.5 Jordan Syatt: After a certain point, I know, event… Let’s say once you get to 50 clients, you’re gonna have a number of those clients replying immediately back to you as soon as you send them an email, you’re gonna have other clients who are ghosting you, and other clients who are taking a more normal time frame to get back to you. So what I would actually recommend is they have an amazing feature on Gmail where you can delay when an email sends. And this is… This became very helpful for me as my client roster got more and more loaded, where I was getting a lot of anxiety from email, because I would have a lot of emails in my inbox, and I would try and be emptying it. But as I was emptying it, they were coming right back in. So I’d be like, “Oh man, I’m trying to get this empty, I’m trying to get this empty.” But as soon as I send an email, I would get people replying back, and it would just increase my anxiety.
0:40:28.4 Jordan Syatt: So one thing that you can do is you can delay an email, so you can write and send all your client emails. You can also pause your inbox so emails don’t come back into it. But what I would do is I would write the email, and I would set a delay so it wouldn’t be sent for 12 hours. So all of those emails would be sent about 12 hours from that point, that way I could send all those emails, they’d be out of my inbox, the inbox would be empty. And then 12 hours later, those would be sent, then I could… I knew it in about 12 hours that’s when the emails would start coming in again. That’s a very good strategy for as your client roster grows and also pausing your inbox to sort of deal and manage with that anxiety. Like you send them, you know you’re not gonna get it in for… Gonna get any emails in until you un-pause your inbox. But for right now, especially when you’ve got, say between one and 12 or one and 15 clients, you have the freedom to try and experiment with new systems and try new things, ’cause you don’t have that big of a roster, yet you have more time and flexibility with that. So at least once a week check-ins, if not daily, I would say one of the major pros of a weekly check-in means that you don’t necessarily have as many daily emails.
0:41:40.0 Jordan Syatt: One of the pros of the daily check-ins is you often can, rather than one big check-in weekly, you might get smaller, smaller emails on a day-to-day basis, so it’s not as big of a check-in once a week, but figuring out which one is better for you.
0:41:55.1 Mike Vacanti: The main reason for that delaying an email being sent is because you’re trying to reply to all your emails, you’re trying to get that inbox to zero, and that anxiety, I would imagine, came from the fact that you got 40 emails, you replied to one, you’re working on another one, while you’re working on another one, that person replied and it’s like, “I’m not making any progress here in my inbox for as they keep coming in as I’m sending them out.”
0:42:20.0 Jordan Syatt: Correct. Exactly, yeah.
0:42:20.0 Mike Vacanti: So that’s a strategy that allows you to actually get to inbox zero.
0:42:24.7 Jordan Syatt: Such a genius invention by Google and Gmail where they’re like, they allow you to pause your inbox or delay the email being sent, it’s just… It’s so helpful. And it’s really, really good. They also have something, I don’t know if this is a plug-in where you can see if someones read your email, that’s really good for clients who are ghosting, and you can see… And what I used to do is I used to… If I had a client that started to ghost, I would send those emails just to make sure they were okay, like cool, at least they’re reading it, at least they’re getting it, so cool. I’m good. So that is another very good tool to have as well.
0:43:00.0 Mike Vacanti: Then you know it’s more likely that perhaps that person is not following the program, might be a little embarrassed, might not want to reply for that reason rather than something actually happened to him or her that is leading to your client not responding.
0:43:19.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.
0:43:19.7 Mike Vacanti: Real quick, back in the short femurs, I just had a thought. Obviously those people are going to be more comfortable performing a high bar back squat. If their life depended on it, and I guess I’m not talking like the 1% of the spectrum in terms of femur length, but if their life depended on it from a strength perspective, you still think that high bar is the way over a five-year window that they could maximize their one rep max squat strength.
0:43:52.8 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah, there are some people who are just built that way, where for sure, like build based on their torso length and their femur length…
0:44:00.7 Mike Vacanti: The ratio.
0:44:02.4 Jordan Syatt: And their tibia length. Yeah, some people are just gonna be way more efficient with a high bar, they’re few and far between, but that’s actually why when we look at some of the best Olympic lifters, some of them have that exact build and it’s just like, “God, how are they so damn upright in this squat.” Yeah, that’s what’s best for them. Those are the elite of the elite of the elite.
0:44:21.7 Mike Vacanti: And then you have people like me trying to emulate that…
0:44:27.1 Jordan Syatt: Correct.
0:44:27.2 Mike Vacanti: As like a 20-year-old and being like, “Why does my squat not look like that?” Yeah.
0:44:29.2 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, why in the hell does it look like they’re just going up and down so easy, and for me, it feels like I have to lean so far forward yet it’s not because of a technique thing as much as it’s how they’re built. Those people are also typically better at conventional deadlift as opposed to Sumo. Okay, so I have a question from someone, aok180, he said, “What are your thoughts on full body workouts?” And I thought that might be something worth discussing. Just as a coach, what do you think about full body workouts, Mike?
0:45:04.3 Mike Vacanti: I’ve never been a fan.
0:45:07.2 Jordan Syatt: You wanna extrapolate or…
0:45:09.0 Mike Vacanti: I’m looking at the clock and I’m like, I don’t know that I can… Be more specific. So full body workout, we’re talking three times a week, we’re talking how many times are we hitting each muscle group or… I have to think of the why would I even want to consider a full body workout for this person, and then what are we trying to optimize… Is this someone who… Are we doing full-body twice a week because this is a super busy person who only has 90 minutes per week to train, so we’re like we’re giving you a few compounds on day A, few compounds on day B, 45-minute workouts each, high ROI training, you’re not gonna make that much progress, but you can at least get it in and move in the right direction. Yeah, maybe I wrote an an article a long time ago called the “Hustlers Workout Plan” that is essentially that.
0:46:00.5 Mike Vacanti: If it’s three days a week, I just like an upper lower full body or for dudes, upper lower upper, just because guys generally want more upper body mass than lower. You can get 18-24 sets of legs and in one lift, and we know that if volume is equated, it’s more optimal to split that volume over two sessions a week, but it’s not that far off from putting all that volume in a single workout, so if we’re doing three days a week, I just drastically prefer upper lower upper or upper lower full rather than full, full, full, it’s so systemically taxing to hit upper and lower compounds in each workout.
0:46:45.7 Mike Vacanti: It just is exhausting. So from a personal preference perspective, and this applies to most people, I’ve seen, just the sheer willpower and determination required to bring sets close to failure in both the upper and lower body that often is difficult to do when you could get two upper body sessions and two lower body sessions on a 4X a week, in 45 to 60 minutes per session.
0:47:12.7 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, 100%. It really depends on how often you’re doing the full body workout. So I know some people who do full body workouts three times a week, and I think it’s a bad idea. I don’t like doing that because…
0:47:21.7 Mike Vacanti: Or more…
0:47:23.2 Jordan Syatt: Inherently you can’t… Yeah, or more. You can’t go as hard as you want to go every workout when you do when you train full-body every time. For the inner circle, I have either an upper lower split where it’s lower upper, lower upper four times a week or the three times a week, which is lower body, upper body, full body, and that full body day is brutal, like that full body… It’s fucking awful. It’s a little bit longer. It’s more intense. I mean, full body workouts are no joke. So if you’re gonna do full-body, I would say it’s either on the last day of that three-day split where you’re lower, upper full, or someone who’s training only two times a week, and they’ve just gotta get something in, that’s the most bang for their buck in the least amount of time possible. And when they do that, they’re probably not gonna get as many sets in as they need for optimal growth for each body part, it’s really just more of like a strength and performance and, “Hey, let’s just make sure we get some movement and strength training in.”
0:48:22.7 Jordan Syatt: So that’s gonna be more of a full body from the perspective of one set or one exercise per movement as opposed to like doing X amount of sets per muscle group, so making sure we’re getting everybody push, upper body pull, lower body push, lower body pull, that’s really gonna be the… How we structure it from that perspective, just from a general health. But if we’re talking about any type of performance or any type of aesthetic improvement, anything in that sense, that’s not gonna be your ideal scenario at all…
0:48:54.1 Mike Vacanti: Well, on that upper lower full, in that day three full, you’re essentially combining the volume from days three and four in an upper lower split…
0:49:02.0 Jordan Syatt: Correct.
0:49:04.7 Mike Vacanti: Which is if you’re going to have the proper number of sets per muscle group over the course of the week, and therefore that workout three is gonna be a long grueling workout. Most people just aren’t physically or mentally capable of the… Say your first four or five exercises, sure you can bring the intensity, but on that full body day, it’s gonna be like eight to 10 exercises. Most people don’t have enough sleep, rest, recovery, calories, nutrition in order to fuel that. And even if they do, it’s still a brutal workout, like your seventh, eighth, ninth exercise is good luck bringing the same intensity that you could if you split that volume up over more days.
0:49:47.2 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. The wherewithal needed to get through that workout is insane.
0:49:55.1 Mike Vacanti: You got another podcast. This was great. Video pods, episode 95. I got it. We’re about to hockey stick, hockey sticking coming. Please leave a five star review. We’d really appreciate it. Helps the podcast grow. @Personaltrainerpodcast, that’s the handle, TikTok, Instagram… Facebook? Look for it, follow…
0:50:12.7 Jordan Syatt: Maybe.
0:50:12.9 Mike Vacanti: We would really appreciate it.
0:50:13.9 Jordan Syatt: YouTube.
0:50:14.4 Mike Vacanti: We’re really gonna start to try and grow this thing, this is becoming more than a passion project as we speak. See you soon.
0:50:21.5 Jordan Syatt: See you.