In this episode, we talk male vs female social dynamics, Mike’s new favorite gym outfit, today’s physique standards and how they compare to even just 10 years ago, online coaching, content creation strategies, 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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Or you can expand to find the full episode transcription below:
0:00:04.4 Mike Vacanti: Hello, Jordan.
0:00:12.4 Jordan Syatt: What’s up, Michael?
0:00:13.3 Mike Vacanti: Go ahead.
0:00:14.3 Jordan Syatt: No, I don’t have a J. I don’t have anything to J. I was… [laughter] You’re J-ing it today. What do you got?
0:00:22.6 Mike Vacanti: I told you I was going to, and you said “not if I can J it first.” And I said, “Hey, it’s not a competition. You can speak first and I’ll go second.”
0:00:31.5 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, I know, but then I forgot about what I was gonna J it on. From the past two days, there are two different things that I said I was gonna J it on and I just forget. We spoke about them on my runs.
0:00:42.0 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. While you were running. I know both of yours and I know mine.
0:00:45.5 Jordan Syatt: [laughter] All right, so you win. Well, let’s go with yours. [laughter]
0:00:50.6 Mike Vacanti: I am… You know the term these days. I don’t know if this is still being used, but journey or like phase.
0:01:01.2 Jordan Syatt: Oh yeah, like a fitness journey or a phase? Okay.
0:01:05.7 Mike Vacanti: I am in my…
0:01:07.3 Jordan Syatt: Fiber journey.
0:01:09.9 Mike Vacanti: No, no, no, no. That was short-lived. [laughter] I am in my baggy hoodie, and sweatpants while working out phase.
0:01:19.1 Jordan Syatt: Oh, nice.
0:01:20.0 Mike Vacanti: And I don’t know how long-lived it will be because it’s uncomfortable. I don’t like that level of heat during my workouts, but I’m gonna roll with it as long as I possibly can.
0:01:31.8 Jordan Syatt: What got you into this part of your phase journey?
0:01:34.1 Mike Vacanti: A spiritual awakening.
0:01:37.8 Jordan Syatt: Okay. I like that.
0:01:39.4 Mike Vacanti: Historically, I have, and you have, and we together on this podcast have a number of times been overt in our criticism of over sexualization of women specifically in the gym and basically the very, very, very small segment of women who dress completely slutty in commercial gyms. And it’s like, come on. Why do we need to do this? However and I think that was just… Or I personally associated that virtue of modesty with women exclusively when in reality I think we would all benefit from less vanity, less ego, less of that type of behavior and dudes alike. And I don’t know. Remember how we would talk about how I didn’t like the positive feedback of social media?
0:02:42.4 Jordan Syatt: Mm-hmm. Well, I remember.
0:02:45.9 Mike Vacanti: Because I’ve started to not like positive attention of my physique from both sexes ’cause dudes are like, oh, it’s so cool that you’re jacked or whatever and then like I’m married. But like women… Like any kind of positive attention around physique and pumped, I don’t want any of it. It’s all bad. And so I’m going full baggy, hoodie, sweatpants workout. Not a pump cover, not like I’m gonna take this off once I’m in the middle of my workout. I am…
0:03:24.1 Jordan Syatt: You’re covered head to toe.
0:03:25.5 Mike Vacanti: What’s the guy’s name? [laughter] This isn’t the time for a joke, Jordan. What’s the guy’s name?
0:03:30.8 Jordan Syatt: I don’t know.
0:03:31.8 Mike Vacanti: “200 pounds is always 200 pounds”?
0:03:34.1 Jordan Syatt: Henry Rollins.
0:03:35.2 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. I’m going full Henry Rollins, not even looking at the physique. There’s an element of this that’s… Prime peak JP 2017, 2018 said something along the lines, giving advice to young men on how to be in the world. It was essentially like, be attractive to all, but choose one. And he was making an argument from an evolutionary biology perspective that because women are the gatekeepers of sex, and that is what it keeps the species alive that it could be argued that an optimal way to live would be one that makes you attractive to many, but then choosing one is the virtue. Not indulging in the hedonic pleasure of sleeping with everyone you could, but rather choosing one and being committed. There’s some kind of parallel here with be strong, be aesthetic, train hard. Do all these positive things, but don’t do them for the positive feedback that you would get. Instead, do the right thing, but then don’t let anyone see it.
0:04:48.9 Jordan Syatt: Not even yourself.
0:04:50.5 Mike Vacanti: I mean, yeah. I have mirrors in my bathroom and I’m not gonna not shower, or like shower in clothes.
0:04:56.9 Jordan Syatt: Well, no, no. But like you’re not… Even when you’re working out, you’re not looking at your own muscles. You’re covered up. It’s not just because of other people. It’s also for yourself.
0:05:06.4 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.
0:05:07.8 Jordan Syatt: It’s like let’s focus on just doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, not because of the ego that I can get for myself.
0:05:15.6 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. And there’s a cool element of… I don’t know. I think I’m making very slight technique variations on certain movements based on feel rather than looking at how it is. And this is a complete aside from the actual purpose, but I’m like alternating underhand grip dumbbell curl. I think there’s something different about my elbow position and the finishing position of where my pinky is relative to my thumb at the top of the move because I’m not looking at it and trying to do anything. I’m going pure bicep squeeze like mind muscle. There’s something interesting there too, but at a higher level, I think that this is just what I’m feeling right now and are somewhat or very degenerate culture. I think that this is the proper way forward until I can no longer withstand the heat of these workouts or maybe for the rest of my life. That would be incredible.
0:06:12.6 Jordan Syatt: Is it really uncomfortable for you? Like the heat is too uncomfortable?
0:06:16.3 Mike Vacanti: No, I almost get claustrophobic.
0:06:17.7 Jordan Syatt: Interesting.
0:06:19.7 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.
0:06:20.8 Jordan Syatt: So what are you wearing? You’re wearing a sweatpants and sweatshirt? That’s what you’re wearing when you workout? Yeah. Hoodie up, is the hood over the top?
0:06:27.6 Mike Vacanti: No, no. Not that I would.
0:06:28.8 Jordan Syatt: No, that would be…
0:06:29.7 Mike Vacanti: I would like to for the coolness perspective, but yeah, I’d… Yeah.
0:06:34.8 Jordan Syatt: I like it, dude. So you’ve been getting a lot of attention from both men and women about how good you look? Everyone’s just like, “Geez.” You go in the gym or [laughter] everyone’s like, “Oh my God.”
0:06:58.2 Mike Vacanti: This is just the way forward. This is the proper way forward.
0:07:01.8 Jordan Syatt: I like it. That’s good. I like that a lot. I know and we’ve spoken about this, but just in case, ’cause I feel like we’ve been getting a bunch of new listeners and people who don’t… Who may not be familiar.
0:07:16.1 Mike Vacanti: Jordan’s gonna contextualize the last six minutes for you.
0:07:18.9 Jordan Syatt: No, no. I’m gonna ask… No, non, no. Because I think if someone just hears it and they’ve never heard it before, they’re gonna be like, “Wait, what do you mean women are the gatekeepers of sex?” They’re like, they don’t understand. They’re like, “What does that mean?” Could you just talk about that? What does that actually mean? ‘Cause I think someone might hear that and then just be like, “Oh my God, that’s misogynistic.” But it’s actually like the opposite. It’s like it explains how so much of evolution has worked. Do you wanna just talk about that for a second for someone who maybe has not heard that before?
0:07:49.6 Mike Vacanti: I don’t do… Why don’t you explain what it means, Jordan?
0:07:51.6 Jordan Syatt: A very basic one that we can all realize is like, if a guy wants to have sex, then it’s not like he can just at any point in time, like, okay, I want this happen, it’s gonna happen. I can’t just go to a bar and definitively make that happen. But if a woman wants to have sex, she could basically no matter what find some guy who’s going to have sex with her without question. It’s relatively easy. Basically, the woman gets to decide barring like being physically raped. Like actually getting someone actually taken advantage of. Assuming it’s consensual, the woman gets to decide if you’re gonna have sex.
0:08:30.0 Mike Vacanti: Correct.
0:08:31.4 Jordan Syatt: So that’s what it means like women are the gatekeepers where it’s like the woman chooses who she’s going to be with. And I think a lot of people will look at the most successful men, the men who are the most attractive, the most successful from a economic perspective, from a financial perspective, the most successful from… They have the largest friend group. They look at the top, top, top, top, top 0.0001% of men who do have a large choice of women who would be willing to be with them, but that is not even close to the majority. Whereas the vast majority of women at any point in time could find a guy who’d be more than happy to have sex with them. Whereas it’s not the case in reverse with women where it’s like, it’s much more difficult to find sex if you’re a man. So that’s what it means that women are the gatekeepers of sex that basically any woman at any point in time if she wanted to, could find sex whereas men it’s not the case. And I think it’s… We could dive into it from an evolutionary perspective, but that’s basically how that works.
0:09:44.0 Mike Vacanti: That’s a very good and simplified and accurate explanation by you.
0:09:48.9 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah.
0:09:50.0 Mike Vacanti: Which wasn’t even the… I was comparing the idea of be attractive to all, but choose one to the idea of train consistently. Aesthetics and health are tightly aligned until you get to a certain point of lean like sub 10% or something along those lines. But like do the right thing for the right reasons.
0:10:13.3 Jordan Syatt: Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And you’re listening to Eminem? No, you’re listening to… Not listening. You’re listening to… What are you listening to when you’re working out?
0:10:22.7 Mike Vacanti: Today it was a random mix of like gospel tracks and YouTube videos and Jon Snow motivational tracks and…
0:10:35.3 Jordan Syatt: Oh, let’s go. [laughter]
0:10:35.5 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, it ebbs and flows. I haven’t listened to Eminem. That’s real high school anger. I don’t have high school anger these days. And we’ve talked about, and you can contextualize this for new listeners too if you like, but running on anger is like it’s not a good long-term strategy. It works, it’s effective, but there’s better gasoline out there.
0:11:07.9 Jordan Syatt: It’s definitely not a good long-term health strategy. That’s for sure. Not good for your heart. Maybe not good for your soul.
0:11:13.5 Mike Vacanti: Well, no. Not good for your… Yeah, yeah. Not good for your physical health or every kind of health. It might be good to acquire material goods and status and worldly things that we celebrate, but how can you be so sure that that is what you want?
0:11:28.6 Jordan Syatt: That’s the real question.
0:11:29.9 Mike Vacanti: How is your life gonna be different if you go from 5 million to 25 million or 25 million to 100 million?
0:11:36.6 Jordan Syatt: I think the research is something to the effect, and I know it’s relatively old, so we probably have to take into account inflation and basic cost of living now and all that. But the most recent research I saw that to the effect of it’s around after like $75,000 a year, happiness does not actually increase after that which I think now it would have to be different. I really think with cost of living and everything, 75,000 it’d be a little bit low to be fair.
0:12:03.8 Mike Vacanti: I wanna say that’s minimum 10 years old if not 15 years old.
0:12:10.2 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So I think it would probably be now probably closer to 100, maybe 125 a year would make sense from happiness. And happiness also being health and the ability to not have money be a constant fear or worry. I think for the majority of people in the US, 75 might be a little bit too low, especially at this point, but it isn’t… After a certain point, you end up… You think just more and more and more is gonna solve your problems. You think just more money is like, I have more this, I have more access to that, I have more status here, and it’s never ending. It just absolutely never stops.
0:12:47.7 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Whatever the number is, it’s important to have enough. And I would imagine there’s correlation between happiness, however we wanna define it, and dollars up until whatever that number is, and it’s gonna vary based on cost of living where you are, but then above that it flattens out. So going from… And who knows if that curve climbs and then flattens and stays flat or if it starts to decrease at a certain point as Puff Daddy and the Family… No. Who said mo’ money mo’ problems? Biggie?
0:13:30.4 Jordan Syatt: I don’t know. That’s not my genre.
0:13:31.9 Mike Vacanti: Okay, good. I’m glad you don’t know either. It’s one of those two. Hang on. I gotta see now. [laughter]
0:13:42.5 Jordan Syatt: “Two white guys search who said, ‘More money more problems.'” [laughter]
0:13:44.9 Mike Vacanti: You know what, it was Puffy and Notorious BIG, so I just got ’em both right. Yeah.
0:13:51.8 Jordan Syatt: Oh, wow. Dude, I’ve been getting slammed with ads for a personal trainer mentorship courses, like slammed, just constantly slammed with it.
0:14:05.2 Mike Vacanti: Do any of them lift?
0:14:06.8 Jordan Syatt: I don’t think any of them actually work out ever. I don’t think they’ve ever worked out once.
0:14:09.8 Mike Vacanti: Mine don’t either, but continue.
0:14:15.0 Jordan Syatt: I don’t think they know how to spell workout. But anyway, I bring that up because I remember… This is in relation to how much money you need to be happy and healthy and all that. I remember early on in like maybe 2013, 2014 when things like these started to pop up a little bit, it was always like how to make like an extra $5,000 a month. I actually remember one that was how to make an extra $1,000 a month. That was it. It was how to make an extra $1,000 a month with online coaching. I vividly remember this. Now I’m seeing people being like… All these courses being like, “Make an extra $30,000 to $100,000 a month with our fucking online program.” It’s crazy the leaps that have happened in a relatively short period of time.
0:15:08.6 Jordan Syatt: And when I say the leaps, I don’t mean how much money people are making. I mean it’s crazy the leaps in how much people think they should be making in order to be successful. And I know for a fact that these people who are advertising like, make an extra 30 to 100 a month, number one, if these people knew how to do that, then they wouldn’t be advertising this fucking program because they’d be doing that on their own and they wouldn’t be spending this much money on advertising and they wouldn’t be trying to run this whole business with tons of extra expenses and all these employees. If you could… And you can do that to be fair. There are people you can do that. There are very few and far between. It is possible. It’s not necessary, but I guarantee you the people who are saying make an extra 30 to 100 a month in online coaching and selling you their method, they’re not doing it, they’re not.
0:16:00.7 Mike Vacanti: Correct.
0:16:00.8 Jordan Syatt: And if they were able to, then they would. And I actually think it’s screwing with people’s level of happiness and what they believe to be normal in the same way that people on social media, the airbrush and photoshopped pictures and all of that, it’s like, look at this level of… It’s like look at… We could look at… Even look at models or bodybuilders from the ’70s or ’80s or ’90s to now, and it’s like, well, of course people have completely different sets of standards of what they’re supposed to look like or… Now it’s like people go online and they say like, “I look fat.” And it’s like, man, that’s crazy that based on your perception of what health looks like, you think that I would look fat. But that’s based on like what you’ve seen all of these people who are roided out, juiced out and also photoshopping, editing all their pictures. Now it’s warped your perception as to what’s normal in health and fitness and I’ve seen that a lot with the business gurus.
0:16:57.9 Mike Vacanti: That’s an amazing analogy that you just drew and I have no idea what’s… I don’t… The expectations around physique have changed over the years because physiques have changed.
0:17:16.0 Jordan Syatt: Yes, exactly. Yeah.
0:17:16.1 Mike Vacanti: Like you just said. Here, we’re not talking about the average amount of monthly income by a personal trainer going up a 100x. We’re talking about just the internet marketers using that in their copy and like, oh, this guy said, make an extra 1000 a month and then he said, make an extra 5,000 a month. He said, make 10,000 a month. This guy said 40,000 a month. Let’s just say they can make an extra 100K a month. Yeah, that’ll do it.
0:17:49.1 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah. [laughter]
0:17:49.2 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, it’s…
0:17:49.9 Jordan Syatt: It used to be like an extra literally 1K month. That was the name of someone’s program. I think it was 1K extra.
0:18:04.3 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, I’m torn on this because there’s so much merit to give people what they want and/or give people what they want so that you can actually give them what they need both in fitness, coaching and business but I… That’s one of the reasons I still like our emphasis on coaching and on getting smarter and on having better client communication and on having better understanding of anatomy and technique and all of these things that actually help coaches help their clients rather than being hyperfocused on just the business side of things, which might be more lucrative. But I have to imagine it gets you a more annoying type of coach to work with like a person with different values than you. Like don’t come to us if you want to make 100,000 next month or this year and you don’t have a business right now. Or even if you do and you’re like doing decent and you’re making a few thousand dollars a month, but you wanna get to a 100K a month, the fitness business mentorship is not the place for you even though you could but…
0:19:15.7 Jordan Syatt: No, but don’t. And actually I’m glad you brought that up.
0:19:20.8 Mike Vacanti: No, I’m only saying you could.
0:19:21.2 Jordan Syatt: Oh, you could make that much money. Yeah, yeah.
0:19:22.4 Mike Vacanti: And that there have been a couple of people who have, but, yeah, that’s not the intended purpose.
0:19:28.0 Jordan Syatt: And that’s what’s another interesting aspect is everyone always shows their “best success stories.” We could show a couple of people who’ve just outrageously performed to a level that’s just… I wouldn’t have believed it if you had told me when we first started this that we were gonna have a couple of people who did this, but the vast majority are succeeding at a much more realistic and sustainable, and I would say happier level that is much more realistic for the vast majority of people to actually achieve. Now, I think from the perspective of…
0:20:07.3 Jordan Syatt: And the reason I’m saying this is because I think this plays out in regard to coaches who are gonna be trying to get clients. It’s not just about how many clients you can take on and how much money you can make, because if you take on more clients just for the sake of taking on more clients, anybody who will sign on with you and you’re making more money, your quality of life goes down dramatically. Your happiness goes down, your health goes down. When we’re looking at the mentorship, I think one of the things that I love about it most is that there’s nothing about the mentorship that I dread doing.
0:20:47.3 Jordan Syatt: There’s no one in the mentorship that I like, “Oh, I don’t wanna talk to this person”, or “I don’t wanna interact.” Everyone in the mentorship has the same goals, has the same values, has the same morals, has the same ethics. Everyone there is there because they want to be a great coach who can help people and live a happy, healthy life for themselves and help others achieve the same. In other groups, the goal is let’s see how much money we can make this month, and then let’s jerk each other off about how great it is that how much money you made. It’s nothing about how good of a coach you are or how much success your clients have had, it’s nothing about the improvement of the people you’re working with. It’s all about how much can I brag about how much I’ve made and that for us would be poison inside the group, it would be a cancer, it would be awful. So the reason I’m saying this is because if you have this idea like, “Well, I just wanna get more, get more, get more, get more”, then you’re not gonna be as happy doing the job that the reason you started the job is because you wanted to do it ’cause it would make you happy.
0:22:01.0 Jordan Syatt: It’s really, really important not to sacrifice happiness or sacrifice fulfillment or sacrifice the reason you started doing this just for the sake of trying to make more money to impress people who honestly they suck anyway. They’re not people that you’d really wanna hang out with, and they’re not people that you’d wanna bring home and introduce to your parents, and you wouldn’t wanna hang out with them on a Sunday afternoon. It’s not worth it.
0:22:31.9 Mike Vacanti: FDR’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt had a quote that I didn’t know who said it and she said it. I looked it up the other day. Along the lines of learn from the mistakes of others because life’s not long enough to make all of the mistakes yourself which is essentially you might not believe what we’re saying in that more and more and more isn’t necessarily always better, and you might want to try to make that mistake yourself, but it’s very impressive when people can learn and implement strategies based on the mistakes of others and save themselves the time and pain of having to make those same mistakes themselves.
0:23:18.3 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.
0:23:20.8 Mike Vacanti: And so yeah, the hamster wheel of dollars isn’t worth it.
0:23:24.0 Jordan Syatt: I’ll tell you, I think one of the biggest mistakes that we’re seeing, especially the younger generation, which is a little bit weird to say now, ’cause I still consider myself the younger generation, but we’re not. We’re not the younger generation anymore.
0:23:36.6 Mike Vacanti: We’re not.
0:23:40.4 Jordan Syatt: I think the biggest… One of the biggest mistakes that is scary to see this younger generation making is this outrageous abuse of drugs in order to get more views, get more likes, get more clients, make more money. And we’ve already seen a number of people who are very young pass away in the fitness industry, both men and women, from what would appear to be abuse of drugs. And we can’t know ’cause we’re not there, and we’re not the doctor, we didn’t do the autopsy. But it would appear as though that was…
0:24:17.4 Mike Vacanti: Performance enhancing drugs.
0:24:19.1 Jordan Syatt: Performance enhancing drugs. Yeah, I’m not talking about…
0:24:20.4 Mike Vacanti: Heroin.
0:24:20.9 Jordan Syatt: I don’t know. Heroin or cocaine or whatever. But if they’re using performance enhancing drugs and they’re also doing cocaine, that would definitely not be a good idea. But I see so many… And again, it’s going back to how things have changed dramatically. And you brought up a great point. Physique standards have changed because physiques have changed.
0:24:41.8 Jordan Syatt: Well, one thing that we’ve seen over the last forever is also strength has changed. I remember watching someone squat 800, 900 or 1000 pounds or up is always pretty fucking insane no matter what. But it’s much more common now to see that than it was seven years ago. That was a once in a lifetime thing to watch that seven, eight, nine years ago. Now I see people on Instagram doing it pretty frequently. It was insane to see someone at a powerlifting competition deadlift 700 pounds, 800 pounds. That was insane. The entire, entire competition was surrounded, everyone was watching, everyone was like holding their breath. Now I see people doing it in their training sessions on a regular basis. And the only reason it’s not because the programming and periodization has gotten better, it’s not because their technique has gotten flawless. It’s because they are juicing themselves up with so many steroids, and they’re so young, they’re so, so, so, so young. So they not only are able to recover more quickly ’cause they’re young, but also because they have so much fucking performance enhancing drugs in their veins.
0:26:01.1 Jordan Syatt: It’s scary and I think that… I hope not, but I think that that’s one of the biggest mistakes of the younger generation right now in the quest for more money, more followers, especially them having grown up in the age of social media being the currency, followers being the currency, the status that people are going for. They’re doing anything in order to increase it and they’re not understanding that those numbers are really not essential for success, and chasing them at all cost is gonna cost them everything.
0:26:41.1 Mike Vacanti: Some real gems in here. Some real life lessons.
0:26:44.8 Jordan Syatt: Mike hit me with a great analogy yesterday. I was on my run. I’ve been calling Mike on my runs. And I’ve been like gently just…
0:26:52.1 Mike Vacanti: By the way, Jordan, he’s gonna carry the boats. That’s why he’s running.
0:27:00.6 Jordan Syatt: [laughter] I’m not carrying the boats.
0:27:00.6 Mike Vacanti: You’re carrying the boats.
0:27:01.1 Jordan Syatt: I’m definitely not carrying the boats, definitely not carrying the boats. I am doing some rucking, some rucking. Got a little weighted vest on doing some… I do run a 4-mile run every day with it and it feels good, man, but…
0:27:14.6 Mike Vacanti: Imitating what it would be like if you were carrying boats.
0:27:19.0 Jordan Syatt: No.
0:27:19.9 Mike Vacanti: And by the way, I love that. I’ll throw the Goggins. There’s like a David Goggins embraced masculinity hype song YouTube video where he’s shouting who’s gonna carry the boats, and there’s music blaring. And I love that stuff, so I support you on your journey to carry the boats. You’re in the middle.
0:27:40.6 Jordan Syatt: Well, I’m gonna say something that… And I appreciate and I respect Goggins a lot, but I think he’s got some real issues. And that’s like me saying it from the… I hope he’s okay, part of my soul. I think he’s struggling, I think he’s suffering deeply, and I don’t think people actually understand it. I think people see what he does, like man, this guy is so hard. And he does some amazing things. He really does some incredible things, and I think he’s helped so many people. It’s one thing to be able to… Like Robin Williams, Robin Williams helped many, many people, an extraordinary person, but he was suffering very deeply on the inside. I think Goggins is suffering very deeply on the inside and it’s… I hope he’s okay, but I also hope that people watching him realize, I think a lot of what he’s doing is coming from a place of deep, deep pain. That’s not what you should be striving for.
0:28:38.2 Mike Vacanti: Alright, so you’re not gonna carry the boats?
0:28:41.3 Jordan Syatt: I’m not carrying the boats.
0:28:42.7 Mike Vacanti: You’ve been calling me on your runs.
0:28:46.6 Jordan Syatt: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, I’ve been struggling over the last couple of weeks, like struggling. I have to be very cautious of that because I’m not actually in Israel or Gaza right now, but I have family there and I’ve been getting death threats like crazy. It’s been very difficult. I’ve had probably the most difficult two weeks I’ve had in a long time. And prior to these two weeks, I’ve been praying every morning, I’ve been wrapping Tefillin every morning. If you don’t know what wrapping Tefillin is, you can google it.
0:29:13.4 Jordan Syatt: It’s a Jewish thing. But praying every morning, wrapping Tefillin every morning, I’ve been reading the Talmud, I’ve been reading the old… I’ve been doing a lot of that and it’s been wonderful. But then, man, I’ve been… Ever since that happened, number one, my brain has been all over the place communicating with my family and consuming the news, which has been terrible. But I also have been pulled away from prayer and pulled away from speaking with God, or trying my best to connect with God. And you just hit me with such a great analogy. And I had said something like, it’s just really difficult right now to do that, and you pulled out, you’re like, “Well, if when you were powerlifting, if there were some really difficult reps that you had to get through in order to finish the workout, but you wouldn’t just stop doing the reps, you wouldn’t stop doing the set just ’cause it was a difficult set. You’d keep going, you’d push through those reps.” I was like, oh, man. Mike just hit me with that. It was well-timed and a great analogy from the Vacanti.
0:30:18.2 Mike Vacanti: Thank you, bro. I learned analogies from the best of them and that’s not to say that one situation is easier or harder than the other. Obviously, they’re not really comparable, one being just on another level. But yeah, difficulty isn’t necessarily assigned to stop. It might be assigned to keep going or to lean harder into that difficulty. Do you want to… I know you did a whole podcast on the Jordan Syatt mini podcast about the attacks and what’s going on in Israel.
0:31:03.9 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. We don’t need to dive into it. If anyone wants to listen to it, they could go listen to that one. I wanted to bring up the analogy that you brought up. I just thought that was worthwhile.
0:31:15.7 Mike Vacanti: I know you like analogies my brother.
0:31:17.2 Jordan Syatt: Big fan. Wow. Man, time flies when you’re having fun.
0:31:24.3 Mike Vacanti: Time really flies.
0:31:26.0 Jordan Syatt: Do you have a plan for today? Do you have a Q&A or anything you wanna discuss?
0:31:30.5 Mike Vacanti: “Hey, Mike, question for the podcast. Do you need to write articles to build a sustainable business or would podcasts be enough? If podcasts aren’t enough, would YouTube alone be enough? Thank you for everything you do. Maddie.”
0:31:45.8 Jordan Syatt: What’s up, Maddie? That’s a great question. Do you wanna start or do you want me to start?
0:31:50.5 Mike Vacanti: Lead us off.
0:31:53.0 Jordan Syatt: Okay, so I’ll say you don’t need… There’s not like one thing you need to do. There’s so many different ways to be successful in this industry, and not even just with this industry. With any industry online, there are so many ways to be successful. There are some people who have been unbelievably successful with just doing Pinterest or just doing Twitter, or not doing anything on social media and just doing their email list. Some people have been very successful with just doing Instagram, some people with just YouTube, some people a combination of all of it, some people just podcast. They’re like… Some people have just this, just that. What I think is important to discuss is… I’ll start by saying this, and you’ll understand where I’m going. When you go to jujitsu for the first time, usually the first thing they’ll teach you is how to fall. Mike is trying not to laugh. He’s like, “Of course, he brings us to fucking jujitsu.”
0:32:48.4 Jordan Syatt: One of the first things you learn is how to fall, because let’s say… We’ll use another example, sailing. If you’re ever gonna try and learn how to sail, they teach you how to capsize because if God forbid, no matter what, you wanna be able to learn how to get safe if the boat flips over. Same thing with falling, capsizing, whatever it is. So the reason I bring this up is you have to understand your risk with whatever it is you’re doing. And when I look at people who have solely built their business on Instagram, their risk is unbelievably high because if… Number one, they’re completely depending just on that one platform, they’re depending on hopefully their account doesn’t get hacked, their account doesn’t get taken down, and people might think that would never happen. I see it happen all the time. Constantly, constantly it happens. It’s happened to me with one of my accounts.
0:33:41.9 Jordan Syatt: So from a risk perspective, you shouldn’t just do one thing. You want to diversify and have as many people and as many places as possible, so that’s number one. From there, in terms of writing articles, you don’t need to do that, but it is a really great way to diversify and it’s one of those… I would say writing articles and having really great long-form articles that do well on Google is like a sustainable, slow, steady, sustainable fat loss that you can then transition easily into maintenance, whereas just doing Instagram or just doing TikTok or just doing these short-form pieces of content, that’s more like doing… That’s more like just trying to do rapid fat loss. They both have a time and a place, but the one that’s gonna allow you to have the most success over the long-term with the least amount of risk is gonna be obviously the sustainable option.
0:34:46.6 Jordan Syatt: Now, you can use both of them, and I think you should use both of them, but you don’t need either one. It’s really up to you. I would say podcasting is an amazing option obviously, but Mike and I, especially with this podcast considering we post on social media occasionally with this account, if you don’t follow us on Instagram or Youtube, please do. But…
0:35:10.1 Mike Vacanti: @personaltrainerpodcast is the handle.
0:35:14.1 Jordan Syatt: The advantage that Mike and I had going into this podcast is that we had built up audiences prior to starting this podcast. So there were people who already knew who we were and what we did, and who were already asking us about help with their online fitness business before we ever started this podcast. If no one knew who we were and no one knew what we did and we just started this podcast, there’s no way that we would’ve been able to grow like we have in our business. The mentorship wouldn’t have been able to grow like it has because finding a new podcast and having someone listen to a new podcast, having never listened to it before is very, very, very, very, very difficult to do.
0:35:53.5 Jordan Syatt: So having some short-form content or even long-form website content or YouTube content is very helpful before you do a podcast. So long, long, long roundabout way of saying it’s important to have it all. I think the best place to start would be long-form website articles and some short-form, long-form website articles, potentially YouTube videos, and then short-form content, whether it’s Instagram, TikTok, any of that. But the other… Then I’ll let Mike go after I say this one last thing. The other main thing about long-form website articles that goes completely overlooked is I would think of it like almost like you’re doing warm-up sets or almost like doing the long-form website articles is sort of like you’re writing… You’re reviewing the program before you actually go to the gym.
0:36:53.8 Jordan Syatt: If you just go to the gym and you haven’t reviewed the program yet and you don’t do any warm-up sets and you just go in cold, you’re gonna… And you try and start off doing your top set of five squats at the very beginning, you don’t… No warm up, you haven’t practiced your technique, you’re gonna snap your shit up. If you review the workout beforehand, you understand what you’re gonna do, you do some warm-up sets, you get your technique checked, then you go in. All of a sudden, you’re gonna feel good, you’re gonna go through the workout much better. Writing long-form website articles helps you make better short-form content. When you write these long-form articles, it helps you get warmed up, it helps you get the kinks out, it helps you learn how to write better, it helps you learn how to come up with content ideas better. It’s not even just from the perspective of getting more clients and Google figuring out who your website is and showing it people on Google. It’s also about actually learning how to make better content before you start going 100% in on short-form content.
0:37:51.0 Mike Vacanti: Boom. I love all of that. Really good points, both about what writing long-form articles does for you in terms of being a better writer, being a better communicator, having more content ideas and the diversification across platform, which is just gonna help you for multiple reasons. The other point I want to make specifically about the types of long-form content that you mentioned Maddie is website article and YouTube currently have pretty good discoverability, they have good explore page. You can think of it like Instagram’s explore page, where on YouTube, it’s easy to come across someone who you don’t follow, don’t subscribe to, don’t know, and see their content and then start following them, and that can be through shorts or that can be through a regular YouTube video. Website article, you SEO it well, you title it well, you write a really, really good article. That thing can find its way to page one of Google.
0:39:02.1 Mike Vacanti: Jordan and I have both had who knows how many? Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions now at this point over a decade plus a new audience find us who didn’t know of us searching through Google find an article we wrote. Podcast right now has almost no discoverability. There’s no podcast feed where you’re scrolling through podcast episodes or even just podcast that you don’t know of, and then you see one and based on a title and a picture, you click on it and invest 30 or 45 or 60 minutes, or two hours or three hours to watch that podcast that you’ve never heard of.
0:39:45.0 Mike Vacanti: Now, having a podcast and then having micro content and having people find your micro content and then want more and go to the podcast is a viable strategy, but it’s nowhere near as effective as YouTube or website article for discoverability for long-form content. So we like early on picking a couple of platforms and focusing on them rather than doing nine at once, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram to like being everywhere is really hard when you’re first getting started, but picking one short-form and one long-form is generally a good strategy. For the long-form, podcast is gonna be the worst of the three, and I agree with Jordan, I think articles is slightly better than YouTube. However, it depends on if you’re horrible at writing and you hate writing and simultaneously you… I hate that I’m gonna say this after how we started this episode, but you have an incredible physique, you’re really good on camera, you really like being on camera, it’s just the truth, start with YouTube rather than articles, but pick one of those two where you’re gonna have opportunity for organic reach for new audience finding you from your long-form content. And in the future, if a podcast is something you’re really interested in, cool.
0:41:12.1 Mike Vacanti: And I guess I’ll finish that by saying, this is gonna be the best way to help you build your online fitness business. If you are someone who always dreamed of being a podcaster, and podcasting was your love, and you are doing this for the love of the game, and not for building your business and helping people with fitness, do a podcast because I know people like that, but for building your online fitness business and helping people with fitness, that’s gonna be the worst of the three long-form content options.
0:41:49.2 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.
0:41:52.2 Mike Vacanti: Okay, here’s one from Adrian, and I’m gonna shorten the question up a little bit, Adrian. Do you need in- person training and experience to be successful as an online trainer? I unfortunately don’t have any in-person training experience and I have too many expenses and commitments at home to work at a big box gym or go the route of working for free at a smaller gym. Ideally, I’d like to be a fully online trainer and use training as a side hustle. Well, I know my experience will be limited. Because of this, I just want to know if you guys have seen success going this route, or if I will always be a step behind those who started in-person and made the switch. Leaning on your experience to help me out and knowing how to get back on track. I appreciate the time you took to read this in advance and any insight/pointers, Adrian.
0:42:46.5 Jordan Syatt: So Mike and I have been very clear that we think coaching people in-person is gonna make you a better online coach, and nothing is going to change that. I’m not gonna say that… I’m not gonna pretend like we haven’t said that because it’s the truth. Coaching people in-person is gonna make you a better online coach. With that being said, I know many people who have never coached people in-person and have started coaching people online and have helped many people and have built a very successful online coaching business. So do you need it in order to help people? No. Do you need it in order to build a successful online coaching business? No. Would it make you an even better coach if you also did in-person? Without question, unequivocally yes. But with that being said, I mean, think about this, the only way to get better as a coach is to coach people. And so when I first started coaching people in-person, I wasn’t a good coach, and I made mistakes, and there were things that I did that were bad, but the only way I got better I was from actually just fixing it and learning and coaching more people and understanding from my mistakes.
0:44:12.7 Jordan Syatt: I’m not a doctor by any means, but I believe that I think one of the first rules… I don’t know, laws, rules, whatever it is, it’s something called like do no harm, right? Isn’t that like one of the major…
0:44:23.3 Mike Vacanti: First, do no harm.
0:44:24.8 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, first, do no harm. I think this needs to be the same thing as a coach. You need to… The number one thing you need to do is don’t hurt people, and the easiest way to do that is to not have them do stupid shit, and coaching people in-person can really help you understand what’s stupid shit and what’s not. But with that being said, there’s no reason to be having your people stand on the flat side of a BOSU ball or even the round side of a BOSU ball. There’s just no reason to have people online doing that. Most of your clients, unless they’re a higher level athlete, should not really be doing crazy jumping or bounding or any of that stuff. Probably shouldn’t be giving them a lot of like overhead squats with a barbell.
0:45:16.0 Jordan Syatt: The most important thing you can do, whether you coach people in-person or not, is keep them safe. Simple, basic effective movements, very low impact, because number one, it’s gonna be safer for them. You are far less likely to do harm and you’re gonna learn from it. The more you do, the better you’ll get, the more you’ll understand. And coaching people in-person will give you a better idea of this, but you don’t need it in order to help people or in order to build a successful business. You can absolutely still help people and build a very successful business having never done it before, but that doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t be even better if you also coach people in-person.
0:45:52.3 Mike Vacanti: Well said. Yes, you can do it because there are people who have done it, but they are exceptions to the rule. And the fastest way to get the information that you’re going to get from working with people in-person is working with people in-person. Like, yeah, I don’t… What are you looking up?
0:46:17.0 Jordan Syatt: I was looking up first, do no harm.
0:46:19.7 Mike Vacanti: And?
0:46:20.2 Jordan Syatt: It is part of the Hippocratic Oath, and in fact, even though it was first attributed to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, it isn’t a part of the Hippocratic Oath, I guess. The oath reminds clinicians to first consider the possible harm that any intervention might do. This approach to interactions with patients leads to an emphasis on the absence of harm rather than a focus on the creation of health. It’s actually, I think, a really important thing to consider when you’re writing programs for people, especially workout programs. The most important thing is making sure you will not hurt them. Rather than thinking about how much better it’s going to make them, first thing about is this going to hurt them? And once you can eliminate no, this will not hurt them, this will not hurt them, this will not hurt them, then you can start looking at it from the perspective of how is this gonna make them better?
0:47:12.9 Jordan Syatt: Anything that there’s like a large risk of actually hurting them, not worth it at all. I think, and I actually really learned this when I was interning at Cressey Performance, is it was a really life-changing way for me to look at program design. I was doing it with professional athletes, Eric Cressey’s mainly baseball players, but his main thing was he was like, “Listen, I’m working with these professional athletes with multimillion dollar contracts. The main thing is I just can’t hurt them. If I hurt them, they’re screwed, their career could be screwed, I could be screwed.” He’s like, “My job is to keep them healthy.” And this is a coach who’s working with some of the greatest baseball players ever, the best major league baseball players in the world. His main goal is just don’t hurt ’em. And if that’s the main goal for professional athletes, then that should absolutely be your main goal just for everyday people who are mothers and fathers and people working everyday lives. Number one, just don’t hurt them. And when that becomes your frame of mind for program design, then you just start to laugh at all the stupid shit you see on Instagram. These stupid exercises people are doing, it’s just not worth it.
0:48:21.5 Mike Vacanti: And so then I guess the question then is if you don’t have any in-person experience, how do you learn the specific examples of not hurting them? And amongst the other things that you learn in-person coaching, and I suppose the answer is something like self-taught research online. A combination of whether it’s certifications, whether it’s watching videos, whether it’s reading from research reviews, whether it’s any kind of like self-taught online courses or materials, but that takes time. So if you’re in a position where you’re gonna invest the time to learn these things to do online coaching, I would replace that with even if it’s one hour a week at home, at a home gym, working with a family member for once a week, for eight weeks, and then a different family member. So you get the 16-year-old athlete demo, and then you coach your husband or wife and then you get the 57-year-old who has this issue and this issue. And then who knows? Maybe you have an elderly neighbor because I get that time is an issue and I understand that it’s not realistic to get a part-time job at a gym or something along those lines, but I think an hour a week at home working with someone in-person is worth three to five hours a week plus of reading about it or watching videos about it.
0:49:55.5 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, even more.
0:49:55.6 Mike Vacanti: We learn best by doing… Yeah, exactly. 10, 20.
0:49:58.6 Jordan Syatt: I don’t even think you can even… It’s like it’s…
0:50:00.0 Mike Vacanti: You’re Learning something different.
0:50:03.3 Jordan Syatt: It’s a completely different skill.
0:50:04.2 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.
0:50:06.2 Jordan Syatt: It’s completely… And even… Not even necessarily a skill. It’s just an understanding of… I think one of the biggest things that took me by surprise when I first started coaching people in-person was especially when you’re a coach, you can do certain things that you take for granted, whether it’s a certain level of mobility or a certain level of movement proficiency, a certain level of understanding that you just would never imagine someone else doesn’t have. Whether it’s doing a lateral lunge, you can do a lateral lunge, you can sit right into it, not really a problem. Why can’t someone else do it? Everyone should be able to do this. Well, try coaching someone into a lateral lunge the first time. Like, good fucking luck.
0:50:51.8 Jordan Syatt: It’s one of the most difficult things for people who’ve never done it before to do, especially if they lack mobility, especially if they’re scared of falling backwards, especially if they struggle with balance, especially… Like the number… A lateral lunge is a very difficult thing to teach people, very difficult. Even like relatively people who move relatively well, even if they have a good level of mobility, it’s a very difficult movement pattern to teach. And once you start to understand it and understand what people are struggling with mentally and physically, then it can become easier, but it’s not enough to know the technique in order to do it. You have to understand the psychology, the mindset, what people are struggling with, the progressions. And then I remember like the… I have very good hand-eye coordination, and it’s weird ’cause I’m the only one in my family who has it.
0:51:43.5 Jordan Syatt: Like I have a very… So for me learning techniques and I could just watch it and replicate it. But when I first started coaching people and I realized that some people just don’t have that at all, like at all. I’ve had clients where I was trying to teach them how to do hip thrust and the idea of synchronizing their body movement, it was like I can’t believe this person can walk properly in everyday life. And it’s not to hate on them. It’s just like I was blown away by how difficult some of these things are for people just based on what their genetic inherent skills are. I am very good with hand-eye coordination. I’m terrible with math, so I’m sure they’d be shocked at how stupid I am with math. But you have to understand that different people have different levels of proficiency and it’s not just enough to understand the technique. You have to understand how to communicate, how to empathize, how to break things down for people from all different levels and there’s no book that I know of that can teach this. There’s not a single book or a resource that can teach this other than you just doing it.
0:52:47.7 Mike Vacanti: There we have it. Is there a… Is that in “How to Win Friends and Influence People?” Is there a rule that talks about like admitting your own fault?
0:53:01.0 Jordan Syatt: Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There is actually, yeah.
0:53:04.1 Mike Vacanti: I like that. I’m terrible at that. It’s just like…
0:53:08.2 Jordan Syatt: [laughter] You know who else does that? Is Gary. Gary does that really well. Gary is like, “I’m terrible at this.” Like Gary is… I think it’s like a, you can start to see it would come across as as pretentious or people would be like, it almost looks like you’re just talking yourself up. So then you have to step back and say, well no, this is something that I’m really bad at just so they know that you’re just trying to get your point across. You’re not trying to like prop yourself up. You’re trying to get the point across and sometimes to do that, you need to bring yourself down so people can not look at it from the why is he bragging type of a thing. It’s not a brag. It’s just trying to get the point across.
0:53:45.1 Mike Vacanti: See, I never even understood all of that technically, but from being around him so much and there was like a lot of mimicry in there, I would do that without even really knowing what I was doing.
0:54:01.6 Mike Vacanti: It’s a good episode.
0:54:01.7 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, super good episode. Anything else you wanna add? We got time.
0:54:09.2 Mike Vacanti: I think this is a good spot for it. Do you have anything that you wanna add? We got time.
0:54:13.5 Jordan Syatt: I think the sale’s over, right? The…
0:54:17.4 Mike Vacanti: Sale’s over.
0:54:19.3 Jordan Syatt: Sale’s over, so.
0:54:21.3 Mike Vacanti: Well. Yeah, but when does this go…
0:54:22.2 Jordan Syatt: It’s not really a sale. It’s more like the price has gone up.
0:54:25.7 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Yep.
0:54:25.8 Jordan Syatt: So that’s it. Congratulations to everyone who got into the mentorship at the lowest price that it will ever be. If you did not get in yet, we’d still love to have you. It’s just gonna cost a lot more now and we can’t wait to have you in there. It’s gonna be a blast. But congrats to everyone who got in at the lowest cost. We are very excited to have you. Reminder, as long as you are in the mentorship and you stay active member, then you’re never going to have to pay that higher price. So we’re very excited to work with you, very excited to see your businesses grow. Congratulations to everyone who got in. Thank you to everyone who listens. If you’re listening, please leave a five star review on iTunes or Spotify. They help a lot. And have a wonderful week. We’ll talk to you soon.
0:55:08.6 Mike Vacanti: See you next Tuesday. Goodbye.