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In this episode, we talk about whether or not Mike actually cries, training to failure, how to deal with clients who always want to do more in the gym, and more.


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-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:


0:00:11.1 Mike Vacanti: Hello Jordan.


0:00:12.6 Jordan Syatt: What’s up Michael?


0:00:14.0 Mike Vacanti: The sale is over.


0:00:15.0 Jordan Syatt: Done.


0:00:16.0 Mike Vacanti: So please no more emails. You missed your chance unfortunately.


0:00:21.2 Jordan Syatt: Please. No more.


0:00:22.9 Mike Vacanti: We said it. Once we said it a hundred times. It’s when the sale’s over the sale’s over there’s no more sneaking in. There’s no extras. There’s no freebies, there’s no special handouts. It’s just…


0:00:35.0 Jordan Syatt: Welcome to everyone who joined. Congrats to everyone who made that amazing decision to join. I love it.


0:00:43.1 Mike Vacanti: Absolutely huge. Congratulations. We’re very excited. Let’s dive in. What’s happening? You’re not feeling the best?


0:00:48.7 Jordan Syatt: No I’ve got a little sore throat so I got a Ricola. That’s not a paid advertisement by the way. I got a little Ricola in there so if you hear a little clanking around in between my teeth I apologize. Hopefully David our amazing podcast editor can help with that. But yeah I got a little sore throat but overall everything’s good.


0:01:09.1 Mike Vacanti: You have you have a sore throat but we’re knocking out back-to-back pods.


0:01:14.2 Jordan Syatt: Oh yeah.


0:01:15.3 Mike Vacanti: You’re still looking after your daughter, you’re still doing your workout, you’re still doing what you have to do.


0:01:19.5 Jordan Syatt: My wife was very concerned about doing back-to-back podcasts with a sore throat. She was like, “Shouldn’t you cancel?” I was like, “No. Sometimes you gotta do stuff you don’t want to do.”


0:01:28.3 Mike Vacanti: In fact, one could argue that that’s the point of life.


0:01:32.3 Jordan Syatt: One could argue that.


0:01:33.3 Mike Vacanti: Consistently doing things you don’t want to do.


0:01:36.4 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. That’s definitely how you achieve certain things in life. How are you feeling?


0:01:41.7 Mike Vacanti: I feel good. Just hit a little leg day. Legs and abs. Flying to Arizona.


0:01:46.8 Jordan Syatt: Going to the Super Bowl. Suuuuuuper Booooowl.


0:01:49.5 Mike Vacanti: I’m going to the town that the Super Bowl is in to coach Gary in the mornings. And then I’m flying back and I actually land back home 20 minutes before kickoff. So no, I’m not going to an event…


0:02:02.4 Jordan Syatt: Oh you’re not even gonna be there during the Super Bowl. Got it. Got it. You’re just there leading up to it while he’s having meetings and stuff.


0:02:09.5 Mike Vacanti: Super Bowl tickets are 10 grand.


0:02:10.0 Jordan Syatt: No I know that. But I thought you were gonna stay there and then coach him the day after the Super Bowl.


0:02:15.6 Mike Vacanti: No Friday, Saturday, Sunday morning workouts and then back home. It’s kinda… remember back, I know it’s been a while now, but in your days of coaching Gary and people would be like, “Man that is… you get to travel and you get to see all these different cities and countries.”


0:02:33.5 Jordan Syatt: You get to see the inside your hotel room. Yeah. [laughter] and the gym that you work out in with Gary [laughter]


0:02:38.2 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Yeah. It’s not just vacation all the time.


0:02:42.2 Jordan Syatt: But it’s also different ’cause back then we were grinding constantly and now it’s like “Oh, you know what? I’ll get my work done in the morning and coach Gary and then maybe I’ll… ” I could see you going on a little hike in Arizona. A little desert hike.


0:02:58.0 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Absolutely… Yeah, correct. I’m not on technology working for 12-14 hours a day at this point although who knows.


0:03:06.2 Jordan Syatt: Who… Could be, could be.


0:03:08.7 Mike Vacanti: No. Not 12 14-hours at this point but yeah man that’s what’s going on with me.


0:03:14.4 Jordan Syatt: What are you sipping on? Is that just straight water?


0:03:16.9 Mike Vacanti: It’s just…


0:03:19.4 Jordan Syatt: BCAAs?


0:03:20.1 Mike Vacanti: No it’s just water. I was trying to think of something remotely witty or funny but it’s just water out of the fridge outta that filter.


0:03:27.6 Jordan Syatt: Oh man. I’ve always wanted one of those refrigerators. One of the refrigerators that have water and ice come out of it.


0:03:33.6 Mike Vacanti: You don’t have that?


0:03:35.1 Jordan Syatt: No. I’ve always wanted one.


0:03:36.6 Mike Vacanti: I have a hard time believing… You really don’t have one in your apartment there.


0:03:40.2 Jordan Syatt: I swear to God. I don’t have that.


0:03:43.4 Mike Vacanti: Okay. Easy. I believe you.


0:03:44.7 Jordan Syatt: In my new house. I would one eventually but I remember growing up we had a ’70s fridge growing up. Like those old old refrigerators.


0:03:53.6 Mike Vacanti: Of course.


0:03:54.1 Jordan Syatt: Like little like wooden handle that opens it up. Yeah, we and then we had the ice trays. The ice tray.


0:04:03.4 Mike Vacanti: Of course.


0:04:04.3 Jordan Syatt: Had to fill them back up every time you took the… Is that what you had growing up?


0:04:07.5 Mike Vacanti: Absolutely. Yeah.


0:04:08.7 Jordan Syatt: Oh nice.


0:04:10.0 Mike Vacanti: Fill them up with that beautiful tap water. And then sometimes someone would just leave one cube left in there and you get really annoyed at whoever in the family made that move.


0:04:18.3 Jordan Syatt: Oh, I hated that.


0:04:20.1 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. I honestly I probably did that more than anyone else in my family. So I’m to blame more than they are.


0:04:27.8 Jordan Syatt: There was a prank shop. They had this joke shop in Quincy Market in Boston. It was like a just a prank shop. So I got Whoopee cushions and fart machines and all that stuff there. But one of the things I got was an ice cube was a fake ice cube with a bug inside.


0:04:46.3 Mike Vacanti: Classic.


0:04:46.3 Jordan Syatt: And then mom would get so mad when I would put that in the ice tray ’cause break it up boom put it in and they put it in their cup and all of a sudden they’re looking in their cup. They’re what the fuck is this?




0:04:58.8 Mike Vacanti: That’s good. That’s good. That was a classic along with the Whoopee cushion.


0:05:03.6 Jordan Syatt: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.


0:05:05.8 Mike Vacanti: Remember the time when I told you that I randomly cry and you didn’t believe me? And I was like, “No, bro I actually in a random movie or in a random moment in life.”


0:05:17.2 Jordan Syatt: Was this on a podcast or.


0:05:18.0 Mike Vacanti: No no it was just in conversation.


0:05:21.4 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. I remember that.


0:05:21.5 Mike Vacanti: And you were laughing and you’re like, “No, you don’t.” You thought I was bullshitting you basically.


0:05:26.2 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.


0:05:27.2 Mike Vacanti: Season five Game of Thrones Samwell Tarly’s speech for Jon to be Lord Commander. This was like three nights ago. Tears.


0:05:39.2 Jordan Syatt: You started bawling?


0:05:40.9 Mike Vacanti: No not bawling but tears.


0:05:43.9 Jordan Syatt: Really?


0:05:44.9 Mike Vacanti: I don’t even know why.


0:05:45.9 Jordan Syatt: Like legit tears. Like a lot of tears?


0:05:50.1 Mike Vacanti: How are we gonna quantify it? Yes. There were tears.


0:05:52.6 Jordan Syatt: More than one.


0:05:54.0 Mike Vacanti: Sure. My eyes…


0:05:55.7 Jordan Syatt: Wow.


0:05:56.5 Mike Vacanti: Welled up with emotion. And…


0:06:00.0 Jordan Syatt: What caused that?


0:06:00.2 Mike Vacanti: I’m gonna continue to track these and let you know. I just said I don’t know. You’ll get there soon enough. You continue to hit that cardio watch that Game of Thrones not pivot shows or anything you’ll get there.


0:06:08.4 Jordan Syatt: I’m on. Yeah. See season two episode three something that. When Catelyn Stark is talking about…


0:06:15.6 Mike Vacanti: I thought you were deep into season two.


0:06:17.8 Jordan Syatt: I don’t think so. Somewhere between… Either way Catelyn Stark is at her uncle’s house or something or… castle. Not a house. And she’s sitting in the window talking about how every time her father would go away to war he’d be like, “Wait for me Cate. Wait for me.” And she’d be like sitting in the window every morning waiting for him, waiting for him. And then I started thinking I was like, “Oh man.” Now, I’m thinking of my daughter. If I go away on a business trip that that really hit home for me for sure. I didn’t cry but I don’t think I’ve ever seen you cry.


0:06:58.7 Mike Vacanti: “I’m not soft like you. I didn’t cry. Wouldn’t make me cry.”


0:07:03.3 Jordan Syatt: “I didn’t cry.” [laughter]


0:07:07.4 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Season five is underrated though. I forgot—in my mind three and four, like four was the peak in my mind. But everything going on around Castle Black in season five is really solid and one of the most underrated character arcs that I really didn’t pay any attention to and really didn’t think a lot of him but a lot of the interactions in season five was Stannis are really interesting.


0:07:37.0 Jordan Syatt: Interesting. Okay. All right. I’m excited to to get there.


0:07:40.3 Mike Vacanti: He’s like the dark side of ISTJ which is not who you want to be obviously but it yeah it’s interesting.


0:07:50.9 Jordan Syatt: There’s a lot of weird stuff going on with Stannis and the Red Woman and all that. Yeah.


0:07:56.7 Mike Vacanti: Especially in season two. I know what you’re talking about but the season five interactions between him and Jon Snow because Stannis knew Ned Stark so well and then watching those twos back and forth and episodes one through five of season five. Really interesting.


0:08:12.1 Jordan Syatt: How’s your wife liking Game of Thrones?


0:08:17.1 Mike Vacanti: She tolerates it. [laughter] Doesn’t love the violence. Doesn’t… Sometimes, like, would rather just throw a comedy on and not really have to think or have me explain certain things but.


0:08:29.7 Jordan Syatt: There’s a lot of thinking in Game of Thrones. That’s not a passive watch thing.


0:08:33.8 Mike Vacanti: Right. She’s much more into it in seasons four and five than she was in season two for example.


0:08:39.8 Jordan Syatt: Okay. Yeah that makes sense. That makes sense.


0:08:42.8 Mike Vacanti: All right I got one for you. I wanna see if we’re aligned on this.


0:08:48.1 Jordan Syatt: Okay.


0:08:49.9 Mike Vacanti: What are the possible scenarios that you think are going on with a coaching client who continually begs you to do more?


0:09:04.9 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, so let’s break it down first into there are different types of this client. So there is one client who continually begs you to do more but they’re not even doing what you’re already giving them. Alright. So it’s like but I want more, I want more. Or the person who’s like I want you to lower my calories. It’s like but you’re not even hitting these [laughter] you keep going way over so why am I gonna reduce it even more? Or the person who’s like, “Oh, could we do five training days?” It’s like, “You’ve been 40% consistent with three training days.” So why [laughter] would I do that?




0:09:40.4 Mike Vacanti: And I wanna make a quick distinction. I was talking specifically about training frequency, training volume, more exercises, longer workouts, sweatier workouts. I actually, with certain clients there are clients who it’s if you’re not hitting these calories why would we reduce them? But then there are certain instances where a rapid fat loss phase makes sense or like a shorter challenge makes sense but continue. But ’cause that’s interesting ’cause I didn’t even consider the client who wants more training volume who’s not actually doing the workouts.


0:10:12.7 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. I mean I’m just my immediate thought went to the whole it depends. And I was well what does it depend on? It depends on the client and here are the different types of clients that might be saying that. I will say in terms of the client who’s like, “Hey, I want you to reduce my calories,” but they haven’t actually been hitting it anyway. You’re right. I would say the the main instance for me would be some it wouldn’t just be me indefinitely reducing their calories. It would be me being, “Hey for seven days, let’s do a seven-day challenge where let’s try and do this to prove what’s gonna… It will work if you actually stick with it.” But the other client who is who wants more is the person who is actually doing everything but they’re just a glutton for punishment.


0:11:00.0 Jordan Syatt: And they also like they love it. They truly love working out. They really they get a lot from it mentally and emotionally. They like really beating themselves into the ground almost masochistic in that sense and the way that I often like it is not everything needs to be optimal on paper. In terms of sometimes I will give someone who doesn’t working out something that’s not optimal on paper but I will allow them to be consistent with it because the enjoyment factor and because it’ll just be help them with consistency. So a lot of times with those people who are… They’re being super consistent with their training, their nutrition, their sleep and they just want more I’m not just gonna say no just because it’s not optimal.


0:11:57.5 Jordan Syatt: Very few things in life are optimal. I will give them something and usually I’ll make it something ridiculously hard with as low of an impact and as low of a stress on their nervous system as possible so that it has the least amount of negative effect on it. Because if I don’t write it for them they will either add it themselves and probably do something stupid or they’ll find another coach who’s going to just drive them into the ground. So I’ll find ways to make it more difficult for them without making it inappropriate.


0:12:31.8 Mike Vacanti: Can you give a quick example of what adding more work that does fry the CNS looks like relative to giving them what feels like more work that isn’t gonna kill them or risk injury?


0:12:46.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, I mean one would just be adding way more volume at high intensities. For example instead of doing three sets of five deadlifts, let’s go like even doing German Volume Training. It’s like, all right, well that’s just gonna destroy you. Or doing something where it’s like instead of three sets of five we’re gonna go to five by five. A five by five is really only good for brand new beginners. And that sort of accounting for the fact that the first couple sets are still warm-ups anyway. It’s like five by… Like I would not add more volume with high intensity compound movements. I would also not add a ton of high intensity intervals doing whether it’s an insane sprints and especially one thing for example that I actually really like doing in this scenario is if let’s say the person wants to do more sprinting.


0:13:41.6 Jordan Syatt: I will have them do a sprint on a bike or an elliptical not on the treadmill. When I add more some of it might be on a treadmill but the extra stuff I’m not gonna have them sprint on a treadmill. The extra stress on the ankles, on the knees, on the hips, on the back there are risk of tearing a hamstring off the bone. It’s just not worth it. I’ve never seen anybody get injured on the elliptical unless it’s them falling off or I’ve never seen someone get injured from sprinting on a bike type of a thing. It’s a stationary bike. So having something that is a really good tool. There’s also something to be said for there are ways to draw out more out of a high intensity sprinting session. So for example you can do more total sets if you have more rest in between.


0:14:32.9 Jordan Syatt: You can do more total work if you space your rest properly. So an appropriate amount of rest. For example you could do like a… You could do just as a crude example you could do eight sets of 20 seconds working and 60 seconds rest. And those 20 seconds working would add up to a significant amount of total volume and high intensity at doing that. But sometimes what I’ll do is rather than just say, “Hey, let’s do 8, 10, 12 sets of this with a bunch of high intensity.” I’ll literally just say, “Go for five minutes as hard as you can or one round of five minutes.” Because if they start off as hard and I’ll say I want you to go as hard as you can from the very beginning no cheating, no trying to continue to sort of hold back.


0:15:27.3 Jordan Syatt: I want you to go as hard as you can from the very beginning. How long can you sprint for. Like maybe 15-20 seconds at absolute max. Then after that it’s inherently sub-maximal for the rest of it. And so you get literally one 20-second sprint. By the end of it they’re fucking exhausted because it’s a five-minute session but they really only were at peak maximal force and output for the first 15-20 seconds. And then the rest it’s like it’s inherently lower in intensity. So that is one way that you can manage it.


0:16:00.0 Mike Vacanti: I love it. Two great examples and of specific programming instances and then two good client examples. The person who is actually not doing anything but wants more. And then the person who is a glutton for punishment so to speak. That second one is definitely one of the the main client types who will request doing more. The other one that I see commonly is someone who isn’t making the type of progress that they want to make or whether that’s speed of progress or no progress on the weight loss front on the muscle gain front usually one of those two on the physique in the mirror front. And so they’re not making the type of progress that they wanna make and usually additionally they’re not bringing enough intensity to each individual set.


0:16:53.3 Mike Vacanti: So getting nowhere close to failure, maybe sloppy technique, not controlling the weights and leaving way too many reps in reserve. And then feeling like I need to change something to start making progress because I’m not seeing the type of progress I wanna make. And thinking more exercises, more sets, longer workouts, more days per week is the solution to the problem. When in reality the solution to the problem especially someone who’s kind of passed the newbie gains phase and wants to be making better progress isn’t to do 40 sets in a workout instead of 18. It’s to take those 18 sets way more seriously and much closer to failure.


0:17:40.1 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, that’s a great point as well. That person who’s like, “Oh, I’m just… It’s not hard enough da da da.” And then you’re like, “Well how long are you resting?” “30 seconds.” It’s like, “Okay, well clearly you’re not lifting heavy enough.”


0:17:52.8 Mike Vacanti: That’s a good one. It yep. Not resting long enough or just mentally… And I’ll have these clients all right send me a one set. One working set of X movement to take a look. And I don’t say when… Like I’m not… I’m not sending that email and saying, “All right and I wanna see how close to failure you’re getting here.” I’m just saying, “Hey, I just wanna take a look at one working set. Leg extension, barbell back squat whatever it is I wanna see one working set,” and then “okay how many reps,” once I get it back “how many reps do you think you had left?” I see six reps gun to head. I know this person could have done 20. There’s your answer.


0:18:36.3 Jordan Syatt: Pick more weight up.


0:18:37.0 Mike Vacanti: Pick more weight up.


0:18:39.8 Jordan Syatt: Do you think the Lumen device is worth it?




0:18:44.6 Mike Vacanti: I don’t know what the Lumen device is but I was thinking about devices a lot today. I was actually thinking about devices because there was a YouTube pre-roll ad for Whoop and talking about how this’ll tell you based on these metrics whether or not you should work out that day or not. And even Body Battery on the Garmin which I after a week I hit it because it… I don’t want subjective measures. I only want things that I know are accurately measured. Similar to how I’m not gonna be paying attention to calorie expenditure on a treadmill because there’s no good way to measure calorie expenditure. There’s no good way to… Like sure we’ll take your heart rate, we’ll take your sleep quality to the extent we can track it off your wrist, we’ll take HRV to the extent we can track it off your wrist.


0:19:31.8 Mike Vacanti: We’ll take these factors and and tell you whether or not we think that you should have a training day or a rest day today. And it’s not accounting for other things too overreaching for example there should be periods in a program that are higher stress than other periods in a program. And your watch is gonna see you at two hard workouts in a row and tell you not to do the third one when maybe it was the intention to have a really hard week. And then knowing that we’re gonna back off in volume and intensity the next week. I just don’t think we’re there yet with watch. So I don’t know anything about the Lumen device specifically. Obviously, I just kind of jumped to an assumption about what it is. But I like the hard objective data off of these devices, steps being one of them that are pretty accurately tracked. Heart rate being one of them that is pretty accurately tracked. But when you get into these measures like Body Battery or stress or things that we don’t… That are less concrete and then we’re making decisions about training day or rest day or should I work out hard or take it easy based on that feedback. I just don’t think that feedback is useful enough to rely on yet.


0:20:42.2 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Yeah. Makes total sense. Lumen is different in that you breathe into it and it tells you if you are burning fat or burning carbohydrates.


0:20:56.1 Mike Vacanti: Cool. I don’t… Yeah.


0:20:57.2 Jordan Syatt: And basically the the marketing around that is saying, I Googled what exactly does Lumen do? And it says “Lumen is the world’s first handheld portable device to accurately measure metabolism. It will provide a daily personalized nutrition and meal plan as well as other insights to your sleep, workouts, meal timing etcetera.” Basically the major component is saying are you burning fat or are you burning carbohydrates? And if the idea is that you’re burning carbohydrates then you can’t be losing body fat. So you have to change your nutrition around based on that, which is obviously horseshit.


0:21:34.9 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.


0:21:35.7 Jordan Syatt: But what do you think about it?


0:21:37.0 Mike Vacanti: What do I think about that concept? I think rather than spending your money on Lumen, track how many calories you’re eating consistently over time and that is the way to lose body fat.


0:21:48.2 Jordan Syatt: Yep. Which style of lifting is better for long-term joint health, powerlifting or bodybuilding?


0:21:54.1 Mike Vacanti: Bodybuilding.


0:21:56.7 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. A hundred percent.


0:21:57.1 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. If you’re saying just utilize powerlifting like utilize big three moves in your programming with proper technique. Like really paying attention to intensity. Of course you can design a program that promotes longevity and leads to your joints being fine. But if you look at the guy, the people who lifted the heaviest weights for many, many years squat, bench, deadlift and watched them move around at age 65 or even younger than that for so many of them it’s not pretty at all. Talking spine, talking hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, everything.


0:22:43.3 Jordan Syatt: You know what I think is one of the biggest issues here that goes sort of under the radar in regard to powerlifting versus bodybuilding and which is better for joint health. I think more than even the type of movements that’s going on ’cause powerlifters and bodybuilders they use a lot of the same movements. I think that powerlifters historically because the goal of powerlifting is to lift as much as you can. They too often lift as much as they can and they lift way too heavy on too consistent of a basis which is not good for your joints. Whereas bodybuilders because it has, they don’t care how much they lift, they care about how big they can get and they know how big they can get stems from how much mechanical tension they can place in the muscles. And they know they can do that more easily and in readily with an 8-12 repetition range as opposed to a 1-5 repetition range.


0:23:36.1 Jordan Syatt: So they inherently lift lighter weights so that then they can not put as much stress on their body. Now they will also often use more isolation type exercises because they’re trying to focus on specific muscle groups as opposed to maximizing leverages to lift as much as possible. Powerlifters will use certain leverages that put them in pain while they do it but because it yields the result of more weight lifted then it’s good in their mind. Whereas bodybuilders if it’s not isolating that specific muscle group or if they’re not feeling the muscle working and they’re only using leverages in order to accomplish it, that is not good because that will not lead to the best results. So it’s not only just what movements they’re doing it’s what the end goal is of that specific sport or endeavor whatever you want to call it that leads to better health outcomes from bodybuilding. There’s no question about it.


0:24:31.8 Mike Vacanti: This segues into something I’m interested in about you specifically after you… well, I guess the first question is was your 4x body weight deadlift the peak of your powerlifting career and two…


0:24:45.8 Jordan Syatt: Yes.


0:24:46.3 Mike Vacanti: And two, why did you choose to not continue powerlifting? If it’s even like a… If it was a conscious decision and trying to just push more weight more weight more weight and get stronger and stronger and stronger on the big three?


0:25:03.5 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. So there’s a lot there. It was a very conscious… So far yes that was my peak. Deadlifting four times my body weight was my peak. I was also deadlifting or I was also squatting about triple body weight at that time. And bench pressing about 2x body weight at that time. So I was 2, 3, 4 bench, squat, deadlift which was very, very good.


0:25:24.8 Mike Vacanti: Even though you hadn’t squatted for eight weeks leading up to that meet.




0:25:28.8 Jordan Syatt: That’s exactly right. And actually that leads into one of the reasons why I quit. Why I did not squat very much leading up to that meet in turn before my 4x body weight deadlift is because my hip was in so much pain. I couldn’t squat without unbelievable pain in my hip. I was dating a different girl at the time and we would lift together. She competed in powerlifting as well. And she would, she was always like you… Like, “What are you doing?” I would be squatting and squatting and squatting in every rep. I can’t even begin to tell you the excruciating pain in my hip. And I was 24 years old 24. And I was I’m gonna need a hip replacement soon. It was bad. And my technique it was amazing.


0:26:16.8 Jordan Syatt: My technique was so good. It was just I had done too much. I had put too much stress. We’re not designed to lift three and four times our body weights. We’re not designed to be able to put three times our body weight on our back, four times our body weight in our hand and do that over and over and over again on a regular basis. And so my body started to show that. And so one of the main reasons I wanted to stop was because I was in so much pain. Another reason and it… It’s partly because I was in pain but also I wasn’t having fun with it anymore…


0:26:50.4 Jordan Syatt: I didn’t enjoy it as much. And so I remember after I hit 4x I was getting 4.2x is not gonna make my business any better. It’s not gonna drive more people to me. It’s not gonna make the any of that. And I was just I wasn’t looking forward to my workouts anymore. I wasn’t excited about it. I didn’t enjoy writing about it, talking about it. I was tired of it. So I made a decision. A very conscious decision to quit powerlifting or retire from powerlifting. But I remember it would being so conscious ’cause I was petrified up to that point in my career everything I had done was built off my powerlifting. And I was petrified that my business was gonna go under and everything was gonna… I was gonna lose everything because everybody knew me as a powerlifter. And so it was a conscious decision. I was like I don’t… I’m only what 24, 25 now. I don’t want this to be my whole life when I don’t even fucking like it anymore and I’m in so much pain from it. So yeah it was a very conscious decision to to change directions.


0:27:55.4 Mike Vacanti: Cool.


0:27:57.6 Jordan Syatt: Let’s see. “A PT once told me to always take leucine and creatine with protein powder… BS or not?


0:28:06.3 Mike Vacanti: Well, let’s talk about the creatine one first. No, it’s not important to take creatine with protein powder. The timing of creatine ingestion is irrelevant to the benefit that you derive from the creatine. So I guess the question would be a standalone does it make sense to take creatine for most people? Yes. There’s more recent research around brain and potentially even heart a little don’t quote me on that. Definitely some cognitive upside to supplementing with creatine. We’ve all seen 30,000 what do you call them… infographics that say that creatine is the most heavily researched supplement going back the furthest. And that it doesn’t make you lose your hair and it doesn’t make you ruin your kidneys and it doesn’t do these things that naysayer says it does. But rather that for people who are responders to creatine it will have some marginal benefit in strength gains. Which hooray. Great. I take it something 20-25 grams a week spread out over 3, 4, 5, 6 days however you wanna do it is awesome. I don’t know if you have anything you wanna add on creatine? .


0:29:26.4 Jordan Syatt: No, I’ll add when you’re done.


0:29:27.7 Mike Vacanti: Leucine is the amino acid most responsible for muscle growth. Based on the evidence I have seen where if you have… If you’re getting adequate protein and whatever a reasonable percentage of leucine is as a percentage of that protein compared to someone getting the same amount of protein. So you’re getting adequate protein and also supplementing an extra 5 grams of leucine a day, 10 grams of leucine a day. This is something that Layne Norton, he might have done his PhD thesis…


0:30:15.1 Jordan Syatt: Doctorate. Yeah.


0:30:16.6 Mike Vacanti: On this specifically. And no there is very little if any benefit to adding leucine to your regular protein supplement for the purposes of muscle growth, muscle retention and deficit whatever it may be.


0:30:34.1 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Yeah, I agree on all that. The creatine one is interesting for me. I just see everybody in their mother making Instagram posts about why everyone needs to be taking creatine. And I really just think it has less to do with everybody firmly believing that they need to take creatine and more to do with coaches not knowing what to make content about [laughter] And so they’re like, “Oh okay. Well, I’ll just make content about this.” And they they make content about creatine. And I think it’s… I don’t know. I maybe this is the older curmudgeon in me coming out. I just think it’s obnoxious. It’s people lifted without taking creatine for many, many, many, many years and they did totally fine. It’s great if you want to take it but I think this is a… A lot of people are reaching right now even especially with the lately a big talk around creatine has been the neuroprotective benefits of it.


0:31:32.8 Jordan Syatt: How it can actually be good for for mental health. And number one, I don’t argue against it but I do think the research on that is still very preliminary for people to be coming out and saying things like, “Well, this is definitely good for that.” And saying, “It could prevent against things like Alzheimer’s,” which I’m like, “That’s a pretty hefty fucking statement.” Especially with people who have family members who struggle with something like Alzheimer’s to be, “Oh, well, if you take this and it could help prevent against it.” It’s like, “Nah let’s talk to your fucking doctor and not make these massive, massive claims just yet.” If it does, amazing. But I think it’s too early to be saying that. The other thing is.


0:32:14.1 Jordan Syatt: I’ve never been a big let’s hammer home what supplements people need to be taking because most people aren’t doing anything, period. The first question people, “Oh what should I do If I’m… ” As soon as they wanna start working out, “what supplements?” All right, well how about you just work out for three years first and and get eight hours of sleep and make sure you’re hydrated and getting enough protein period before we start. We’ll make sure you add in creatine and all that stuff. So yeah my thoughts on that and the neuroprotective benefits one just it really irks me. I’m like there’s so many things you could do for your brain health that are probably infinitely better than taking 5 grams of creatine a day is why don’t we talk about that? Cool you wanna talk about working out and nutrition for fat loss and for health all that great. But if you wanna talk about brain health and your first recommendation is taking creatine you’re outta your fucking mind.


0:33:10.2 Mike Vacanti: Well, I think…


0:33:10.5 Jordan Syatt: How about like…


0:33:11.3 Mike Vacanti: I think we know why… ’cause it’s easy… It’s easy to put 5 grams of something in your protein shake and think that you’re getting the same benefit as as some other doing five hours of Zone 2 cardio a week or getting x number of steps per day which which aerobic exercise.


0:33:32.3 Jordan Syatt: I think people playing chess would be better off for brain health than taking creatine. I think people learning a new skill, reading a book, are things that would be way better than taking creatine for brain health.


0:33:46.8 Mike Vacanti: I’m almost certain, I mean you might be right on that but I’m almost certain that all of those things aren’t anywhere as beneficial for brain health, chess, brain teasers, the Sudokus…


0:34:01.2 Jordan Syatt: Sudokus.


0:34:01.3 Mike Vacanti: Yeah yeah yeah. Exactly.




0:34:04.8 Mike Vacanti: …As physical fitness is by far the number one based on my distant understanding of the research.


0:34:13.5 Jordan Syatt: I don’t know about that. I know obviously it’s super important but yeah I mean, that’s one of the reasons here we go again it’s one of the reasons I love jiu-jitsu [laughter] It’s just you get the best of both worlds in one. I was talking about with this with Susan ’cause every time she comes to to Dallas we do jiu-jitsu together and she’s early on in her white belt journey and she’s just one of the things we talk about is so it’s so good for the mental aspect of it is so great because you’re just it’s this skill that is beyond anything that we’ve ever done before. And it also incorporates longer duration cardio as well. So it’s just the ultimate.


0:34:51.5 Mike Vacanti: Hang on. So you think that using your brain is more beneficial for brain health than physical health is for brain health?


0:34:58.7 Jordan Syatt: I don’t know. I’m not well-versed enough on the literature nor am I…


0:35:02.7 Mike Vacanti: Me neither. Nor does the literature even know. But if you had to pick between the two.


0:35:06.8 Jordan Syatt: If I had to… so we’re going back to the “I can’t prove this, but…” segment. I can’t prove this but I very much believe from a brain health perspective I think using your brain in a thinking capacity is probably better for your brain than just simply for example if I’m doing Zone 2 cardio 45 minutes while watching a movie versus sitting down and playing chess or reading a new book or learning I would assume that do the sitting down activity where I’m actually using my brain more decisively and more to make these decisions over and over and over again and and taking in new information and learning it. I would imagine that is better for brain health than just the Zone 2.


0:35:55.8 Mike Vacanti: Interesting. Interesting.


0:35:57.8 Jordan Syatt: Do you think the opposite?


0:36:00.2 Mike Vacanti: Yeah I do.


0:36:01.3 Jordan Syatt: Why?


0:36:02.3 Mike Vacanti: Um.


0:36:03.1 Jordan Syatt: Just what your gut thinks?


0:36:03.5 Mike Vacanti: It’s mostly my gut but a lot of it was based on the Alzheimer’s and dementia research from… Who’s that? Who’s that doctor that I actually really liked a lot of the stuff he was putting out. And then during Covid he became CNN’s guy and then Rogan had him on and they had this big…


0:36:24.1 Jordan Syatt: Sanjay Gupta.


0:36:25.1 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. He wrote a really solid book and a lot of the literature he talked about around…


0:36:32.0 Jordan Syatt: Did you read his book?


0:36:33.8 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. This was before any of this but yes. Yeah. I knew of him from that. And I loved the guy. Actually… There’s…


0:36:41.6 Jordan Syatt: He pissed me off on Rogan.


0:36:43.0 Mike Vacanti: Absolutely.


0:36:44.1 Jordan Syatt: He wouldn’t denounce the people that were clearly lying and he and I get it ’cause he wanted to be loyal but also he probably didn’t wanna lose his job more than anything. It’s like, his coworkers clearly did some really bad shit and he just would refuse to to denounce it.


0:37:00.0 Mike Vacanti: The research he cited in that book around Alzheimer’s and dementia prevention related to I don’t remember exactly… Like it wasn’t do your Zone 2 but it was aerobic and anaerobic and strength-based work compared to doing things that test your brain. It was overwhelmingly be in good physical health overall is the best thing you can do for your brain. Now.


0:37:28.3 Jordan Syatt: Now that is very interesting.


0:37:29.0 Mike Vacanti: We don’t live in the world where you have to pick one thankfully. So right.


0:37:33.2 Jordan Syatt: You could do both.


0:37:35.0 Mike Vacanti: Do both. Absolutely.


0:37:35.3 Jordan Syatt: I’m just… I mean if that’s the case then I’m killing the brain health game right now.


0:37:40.1 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, absolutely.


0:37:40.7 Jordan Syatt: And I’m super excited but yeah my gut just tells me that’s not accurate. But what the fuck do I know? I’m not a fucking brain researcher. I have no idea. So I don’t know. But I think of it in the terms of the brain’s muscle.


0:37:54.7 Mike Vacanti: An organ.


0:37:55.5 Jordan Syatt: An organ. In order to… yeah. I have no idea. I have no clue.


0:38:01.4 Mike Vacanti: Both. And we’ll find out.


0:38:03.3 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Do both and maybe creatine as well.


0:38:07.3 Mike Vacanti: But back to the original point. Yeah. It’s like that seems the shortcut to something rather than doing the 5-7 harder things. It’s like, “Oh, well you’re binge drinking four nights a week you don’t sleep enough. You’re not actually strength training. You’re nutritions crap. You’re da da da da dah.” It’s but I wanna take creatine. It’s no no no no. We’ll get to that. Let’s take care of these things that actually matter. And then if you want that 1% benefit that can compound over yours sure we can explore that. But let’s let’s not procrastinate.


0:38:38.8 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. A hundred percent.


0:38:40.5 Mike Vacanti: Thank you very much for watching, listening, @personaltrainerpodcast on all social media platforms. If you enjoyed this episode please leave a five star review. It helps us a ton and helps other people find the podcast. We appreciate you listening. Weekly uploads 2023 is the year. Let’s go. See you next week.


0:38:58.8 Jordan Syatt: Have a good one.

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