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In this episode, we discuss new research on dreamer bulks, the top science-based practitioners on IG, Jordan’s dog Curtis and his landlord, the truth about deloads, 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


Thank you!

-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:


0:00:09.4 Mike Vacanti: Hello, Jordan.


0:00:12.6 Jordan Syatt: Congratulations to every single person who got into the mentorship while the sale was on.


0:00:18.8 Mike Vacanti: Let’s go.


0:00:19.7 Jordan Syatt: Congrats.


0:00:20.6 Mike Vacanti: Let’s go.


0:00:21.3 Jordan Syatt: Welcome. We’re excited to see you in the live Q&As every week. It’s been a blast already. And the sale’s over. It’s done. So, again, congrats to everyone who got in on time.


0:00:32.4 Mike Vacanti: Sale’s over. That’s it.


0:00:34.8 Jordan Syatt: That’s it, brother. How are you doing?


0:00:36.3 Mike Vacanti: I’m doing good, man. I’m doing good. How are you?


0:00:38.9 Jordan Syatt: Bro, Great.


0:00:39.9 Mike Vacanti: Happy birthday as of yesterday.


0:00:42.5 Jordan Syatt: Belated. It’s a belated birthday, but thank you. Yeah, thanks, man.


0:00:46.6 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, I think in podcast world, it’s just happy birthday because it’s the podcast we’re recording closest to your birthday, so I’m publicly wishing you a happy birthday.


0:00:53.3 Jordan Syatt: I just don’t want it to be like a, oh, it’s your birthday week or your birthday month to… You know what I mean? It’s like, I’m not a fan of that.


0:01:00.8 Mike Vacanti: You’re a birthday month kind of guy, you’ve told me before.


0:01:04.3 Jordan Syatt: No, no, no.


0:01:04.4 Mike Vacanti: One time I was like, Jordan, we should do a podcast. This was like, I don’t know, May 26th, 2021. So we should do a podcast. You’re like, “it’s my birthday month. I don’t do podcasts,” so we couldn’t record.


0:01:13.3 Jordan Syatt: No, that was clearly a joke.


0:01:16.5 Mike Vacanti: No, you never even said that. I just made that whole thing up.




0:01:19.2 Jordan Syatt: You see, I just believed you. I was like, wow. I can’t believe I said that, but I believe him ’cause Mike wouldn’t lie about that.


0:01:24.8 Mike Vacanti: No, no, no. No, you didn’t say that. But yes, happy belated birthday. 33, how does it feel?


0:01:30.7 Jordan Syatt: Dude, it feels like 32. It feels like 32 but a little bit older.


0:01:35.9 Mike Vacanti: Makes sense.


0:01:36.6 Jordan Syatt: It feels like I did at 32, except now I can almost do a front split, which I’m pretty stoked about.


0:01:41.2 Mike Vacanti: Aging like a fine wine you are.


0:01:43.7 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Dude, I was doing these things yesterday. I’ve been doing them for the last like three or four weeks where I sit in a straddle, Like I’m on my butt. On my butt, upright with my legs spread open. Okay? Yeah, Mike’s making a face on YouTube. Yeah, listen. It’s okay. On my butt, sitting straight up, leg straddled, and then I do like a one arm press overhead with a kettlebell. So it’s like, that’s called a Z press but a one arm Z press.


0:02:11.8 Mike Vacanti: Cool.


0:02:13.0 Jordan Syatt: But what I do here is, with my arm pressed overhead and my leg straddled, is I essentially, I bend to the side, right? So I try and get my, if I’m pressing overhead with my right arm, then I try and get my left shoulder down to like my thigh, my quad. It’s just like a nice lateral bend. And I’ll do five reps on one side, five reps on the other. Holding about I think the first few weeks were 26 pounds, yesterday I did 35 pounds. Man, just that lateral flexion and bending with the extra load feels so good with for the spine, man. Just feels amazing.


0:02:51.7 Mike Vacanti: Feels good for you?


0:02:54.8 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Super good for everyone.




0:02:57.0 Mike Vacanti: That’s not what @squatuniversity would say.


0:03:03.6 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, he probably wouldn’t like that. I like Aaron. I like Aaron, but he’s super smart.


0:03:10.4 Mike Vacanti: He might not mind that move, but just a lot of the loaded flexion. A lot of the loaded taking the spine through a range of motion, yeah, is less his thing.


0:03:21.4 Jordan Syatt: It’s funny though, like, I like him a lot. I consider him a good friend. In this day and age, I think people are shocked when people hear that someone might have slightly different opinions than someone, or even literally completely different opinions on one thing and still be friends with them. It’s like shocking. Like really? You have different opinions on loaded flexion and you can still be friends? Yes, as wild as that may sound.


0:03:44.4 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.


0:03:44.9 Jordan Syatt: I feel like it’s the people who like just get into fitness, who are like within their first couple years who are super passionate about something and then they learn something at one of their seminars and they’re like, “This is the only way.” And then all of a sudden it’s like they won’t be friends with someone because they have differing views on something fitness related.


0:04:03.7 Mike Vacanti: That feels like an internet phenomenon. I feel like in the absence of the internet, I don’t think that that would exist.


0:04:09.8 Jordan Syatt: 100%.


0:04:10.9 Mike Vacanti: I think it just changed communication and socialization so much in how we interact with others that something as silly as having differing views on a niche aspect of fitness would not cause the kind of negative repercussions that it does.


0:04:32.5 Jordan Syatt: I feel like that started maybe around like when Reddit first happened and people were being called neck beards and mouth breathers and stuff.


0:04:41.2 Mike Vacanti: Those are both good insults.


0:04:42.9 Jordan Syatt: Those are really good insults.


0:04:44.1 Mike Vacanti: They’re high quality like… Yeah, those are good insults.


0:04:48.6 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, but around that, I don’t know, well, around 2012, 2013, people started getting real arguments on the internet over stuff, where if they were in person, it just wouldn’t be a thing, and they just started…


0:05:01.0 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Like, who cares?


0:05:01.4 Jordan Syatt: Hurling these insults.


0:05:04.3 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Yeah.


0:05:04.3 Jordan Syatt: And then there became these subsets where like if you’re in person and you’re a powerlifter and someone else is an Olympic lifter, you’re both just lifters and it’s fun and like you are cool with each other. But online, then there’s this cult of like, well, I do power lifting and I do Olympic lifting and you suck. It’s like, you’re both lifting. Shut up.


0:05:22.1 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. New study just dropped.


0:05:26.8 Jordan Syatt: Oh, wow. Which journal?


0:05:30.1 Mike Vacanti: Whatever journal Eric Helms publishes his own studies in…


0:05:35.9 Jordan Syatt: Oh, nice. Okay.


0:05:36.0 Mike Vacanti: Because he was running the entire kit and caboodle. Two groups of men, I believe, like intermediate trained men and had them, there might have been three groups. There were definitely at least two groups. One was in a very small caloric surplus. So like a 5% surplus.


0:05:56.4 Jordan Syatt: Oh, is he talking about this with Dr. Mike?


0:06:00.6 Mike Vacanti: Uh-huh.


0:06:00.7 Jordan Syatt: I saw a thumbnail about this. Okay. Yeah, I didn’t watch the whole thing.


0:06:03.5 Mike Vacanti: That’s exactly the video that I watched. The other group was consuming 600 calories more per day on average. So one was in a slight surplus and one was in a large surplus. And over the course of eight weeks, they gained basically the exact same amount of lean tissue, except that the higher calorie surplus group gained five times as much body fat.


0:06:37.0 Jordan Syatt: 5x. That’s correct. I mean, it makes sense. It makes sense, but.


0:06:40.1 Mike Vacanti: 5x, if you’re in a 5% surplus, the amount of fat you gain is pretty small. So the 5x is relative, of course. But just goes to show, or I guess I would call it another positive data point on the thesis that the dreamer bulk where you go in a very large surplus, you’re not really tracking, you’re gaining a ton of body weight over the course of a muscle gain phase, is highly inefficient for someone who wants to add muscle while staying relatively lean or even maximize the amount of muscle over a period of time. Because in that dreamer bulk, you’re adding all this extra body fat. So then you need to spend a few months back in a calorie deficit after losing that body fat when you could have been continuing to gain strength and muscle through a longer muscle gain phase had you tracked and kept a smaller surplus. Yeah, interesting.


0:07:37.4 Jordan Syatt: Makes total sense. It seems like the dreamer bulk would literally only be good for someone who actually needs to gain substantial amounts of body weight. Not just muscle, but they need to put on more weight, whether it’s like a powerlifter strong man, or even someone overcoming like disordered eating habits, they need to put on weight more quickly. Otherwise, if your goal is for muscle gain and health and just overall, like athletic performance in general, there’s no reason to be doing a dreamer bulk, unless you’re just like, fuck it, I want to. Cool. That’s fine. But you’re gonna then have to go into deficit later on. But from an optimization perspective, yeah, a minimal caloric surplus seems to be enough to elicit the muscles changes that you want with minimal fat gain.


0:08:24.0 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Which is good to know and goes back to, I think I’ve said on here before, it’s borderline more important to be tracking meticulously in a muscle gain phase or in a lean bulk than in a fat loss phase, at least as important, if not more important.


0:08:42.1 Jordan Syatt: This is one of the really cool parts. Like we’re in a very unique period of time in the fitness industry and in specifically in fitness and specifically in research because up until very recently, researchers were not necessarily fitness enthusiasts. They were just, they were often researching based on health outcomes without much to do in relation to like optimization for muscle growth or fat loss. And it was just, and often it was very poor study designs because they didn’t transfer over to what fitness enthusiasts really cared about. A lot of studies initially were done on cyclists around muscle growth and not actually like weightlifting. And so, it’s just very interesting now where we have someone like Eric Helms, or we have someone like Dr. Mike, or we have these people who are unbelievably intelligent and also unbelievably passionate about science-based strength training. And they’re able to study the stuff that we really wanna know about and design really, really great studies. It’s actually a really wonderful thing that we have that we’ve never really seen before.


0:09:56.9 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, I completely agree. On that note, I actually had a question for you, being someone who’s more on social media. Do you have…


0:10:09.4 Jordan Syatt: Well, you’re on social media again, so.


0:10:09.5 Mike Vacanti: Not really. Not really. I had like a three day scrolling streak, and then I was like, this feels terrible. Deleted Twitter back off of my phone.


0:10:17.6 Jordan Syatt: Nice. Smart.


0:10:22.9 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Just been staying busy, getting a lot of steps.


0:10:25.0 Jordan Syatt: Oh, it’s the best.


0:10:25.8 Mike Vacanti: Steps are the best. But on Instagram, this is a question that I’m genuinely interested in your take on, who are the top five accounts for the purposes of new research, changes in the fitness industry?


0:10:47.8 Jordan Syatt: I don’t know if I’m the right person to go to because…


0:10:51.9 Mike Vacanti: No?


0:10:54.0 Jordan Syatt: I’m gonna say… I’ll give a few, but I don’t know if I’m the right person because so much of my feed is not fitness. Like I’ve really…


0:11:01.9 Mike Vacanti: Of course.


0:11:02.1 Jordan Syatt: Curated my feed to not be that. But I’ll tell you this. I still think Alan Aragon is one of the top ones for sure, from like a nutrition perspective. His account continues to grow and get very good engagement, and I still think he’s highly regarded as, even among the younger generation, even among like the 20s and 30s, the people who might not have been around when he was making a name for himself, I think they’re learning about him. So I think he’s a major one. I think there’s a really wonderful guy named, well, Kassem Hanson. I think he right now is one of the biggest for muscle growth. Him, and I would say Mike Israetel, Mike Israetel is huge. I mean, his YouTube just dominates. But I think Kassem Hanson and Mike Israetel are two of the biggest ones from a science-based perspective on muscle growth. Yeah, I would say, oh, you know who’s really big? And I actually don’t really follow his stuff. I used to actually, probably about 10 years ago, I used to follow, Menno Henselmans is like… Remember Menno?


0:12:18.2 Mike Vacanti: Mm-hmm.


0:12:18.8 Jordan Syatt: He’s really big. I see people sharing his stuff a lot, so I think he’s really big in that world.


0:12:25.7 Mike Vacanti: Cool.


0:12:30.1 Jordan Syatt: Who else is really big?


0:12:32.0 Mike Vacanti: Layne? Is Layne active on Instagram?


0:12:33.5 Jordan Syatt: Oh yeah, I can’t believe… Wow, I’m an idiot. Yes, Layne. Layne is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, in terms of all of it. Yeah, he’s absolutely, absolutely one of the biggest ones in terms of research that people look, and he has done a great job, for sure. You know who I actually really like who does not have as big… She has a pretty big audience, but like it doesn’t… It’s not as big as I think it should be. What’s her Instagram handle? One second. Oh, I actually, I think I told you about her… @foodsciencebabe, I think is what her… @foodsciencebabe. She has a big audience. It’s 561,000. So she has a very big audience, but I don’t think enough people know about her. I feel like she should have 10 million, but either way she’s great. Also who else is very science-based is this guy named @dridz. He’s based out of the UK. Very science-based, very research-based. I like him a lot. So yeah, I’d say those are some of the best. Also Dr. Danielle Belardo. She’s a cardiologist. I’ve had her on my podcast. She’s phenomenal. Dr. Nadolsky, Spencer Nadolsky. He does it in a very unique way, but yeah.


0:13:51.4 Mike Vacanti: All right. Thank you.


0:13:52.8 Jordan Syatt: You’re welcome, brother.


0:13:53.9 Mike Vacanti: You curated your Instagram or your Instagram curated you? Which way did it go?


0:14:00.8 Jordan Syatt: Oof. That’s a real philosophical question. That’s modern day philosophy.


0:14:03.8 Mike Vacanti: I would imagine…


0:14:03.9 Jordan Syatt: I curated my Instagram.


0:14:05.6 Mike Vacanti: You think so?


0:14:06.0 Jordan Syatt: I curated it. Oh, dude, I know so. Are you kidding me? Instagram didn’t teach me about jiu-jitsu. Instagram didn’t teach me about standup comedy.


0:14:12.4 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, but the majority of what you see, I would imagine, is from people you don’t follow.


0:14:16.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, but it’s mostly jiu-jitsu and standup comedy. You know what I mean? Like that’s the majority of what I’m seeing, and it’s like, because that’s what I interact with.


0:14:24.5 Mike Vacanti: Because those are things you’re more interested in, yeah.


0:14:26.6 Jordan Syatt: Correct. Yeah.


0:14:28.4 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. I feel like the era of curating your own social media intentionally is over unless you’re actually going into the people you follow and then you’re like following people who stuff you want to see, and then you’re muting people you don’t want to see or unfollowing or whatever. And then that’s the way to actually curate a feed, or you can do that on X as well, is only look at the people you follow. There’s an option. There’s whatever, For You and Following. I don’t know what the they’re actually called now. But nobody goes on the Following. Like you didn’t even know the Following tab was there. No one goes on there Following on Twitter.


0:15:03.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Correct.


0:15:03.4 Mike Vacanti: It’s all For you real base. Just like give me give hyper stimulation when people are consuming.


0:15:09.4 Jordan Syatt: I think that you curate your feed based on your interests, ’cause it will show you things that… It’s going to know you’re interested in based on what you’ve interacted with before. But I do think your feed can curate your opinion. And this is a super important distinction where it’s like, from the entertainment perspective, your feed will show you, it will be curated to your interests, right? For example, I look at my wife’s feed and it’s completely different. And she’s still getting viral videos and seeing stuff from people she doesn’t see, but she’s not getting standup comedy. She’s not getting jiu-jitsu. She’s getting makeup and baby stuff and house stuff.


0:15:52.0 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, ’cause she wouldn’t watch that if it was served up to her.


0:15:55.8 Jordan Syatt: Correct. So it’s like, so she curates…


0:15:58.5 Mike Vacanti: And the phone’s listening to what she is saying.


0:16:00.1 Jordan Syatt: So she curates the feed based on her interest.


0:16:00.2 Mike Vacanti: Alright. We are debating semantics, but it’s not intentional.


0:16:04.3 Jordan Syatt: But I think the opinion, this is the important part. This is the part that interests me. Is where the feed and the posts that you see, especially related to news and current events, it will change your opinion based on what it’s showing you, which it has massive implications in regard to the actions you take. It has massive implications in regard to what you believe in regard to current events, world politics, current like health standards, like everything. I think that’s a major distinction to be made.


0:16:40.8 Mike Vacanti: Interesting. I would argue that there’s much more just confirmation bias, and these social media companies are giving you more of what you already believe rather than actually changing your opinion on issues.


0:17:00.6 Jordan Syatt: I think I might’ve believed that until I’ve really seen, I’ve seen, number one, what’s going on with the conflict in the Middle East, Israel-Gaza. There are people who have no clue. They have zero education on it and they’re creating opinions based off of…


0:17:13.0 Mike Vacanti: Then there can’t be confirmation bias if… I’m talking about issues where you already have an opinion. If you don’t have an opinion, there can’t be confirmation bias.


0:17:19.8 Jordan Syatt: But even like vaccine stuff where people might not have had an opinion, but then all of a sudden they’re seeing all these posts. Yeah. So, yeah. So you’re right. But that’s what I mean, it can curate your opinion, where you might not have had an opinion and then it will literally create your opinion based off of what it’s showing you.


0:17:40.8 Mike Vacanti: Interesting. It’s probably a good lesson that you shouldn’t be forming opinions based on 15-30 second clips on the internet, but rather going to first principles using critical thinking skills, reading books, reading long form, which basically no one’s doing.


0:18:02.0 Jordan Syatt: Correct.


0:18:02.2 Mike Vacanti: So, we’re screwed essentially.


0:18:04.3 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, we’re fucked.


0:18:05.4 Mike Vacanti: We’re in real trouble.


0:18:06.8 Jordan Syatt: And we all need to get flip phones.


0:18:14.3 Mike Vacanti: That’s all I have on my list. I had the Eric Helms study. I had asking you about the five best Instagram accounts for keeping up with changes in research. Happy birthday, Jordan. Sales closed. You got the De Niro going with a cigarette. What do you got on your list today?


0:18:33.1 Jordan Syatt: Oh, my list?


0:18:33.8 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, remember, you were gonna add a couple of things to your list?


0:18:37.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, I was gonna add a couple. I’m on Leviticus right now in the Bible reading Leviticus.


0:18:42.1 Mike Vacanti: By the way, this is Jordan… Like the teacher’s like, “Jordan, what did you get for number six?” And Jordan didn’t do his homework, and he is like, “Ah, number six? I got… “


0:18:55.8 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, that’s funny.


0:18:55.9 Mike Vacanti: Leviticus. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus. All right. Book number three.


0:19:02.8 Jordan Syatt: Yep. Yep.


0:19:03.3 Mike Vacanti: Leviticus, I feel like there’s a lot of…


0:19:05.8 Jordan Syatt: Laws.


0:19:06.7 Mike Vacanti: That’s where a lot of the rules around what you can and can’t eat are, where like kosher is described?


0:19:11.0 Jordan Syatt: Just rules in general. A lot of rules. A lot of rules.


0:19:15.4 Mike Vacanti: A lot of numbers in that too. You build the Tabernacle seven by seven by…


0:19:19.6 Jordan Syatt: Was that Leviticus?


0:19:20.8 Mike Vacanti: It might have been Exodus.


0:19:21.1 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, I don’t think that’s Leviticus. I think that might’ve been the end of Exodus, where it’s like, yeah, you wanna build it to this many cubits, this long and… I was like, man, this is unbelievably difficult to read.


0:19:29.6 Mike Vacanti: Oh, is Leviticus where it’s talking about you cannot have sex with your mother-in-law?


0:19:36.0 Jordan Syatt: Yes.


0:19:36.1 Mike Vacanti: If your stepfather is this, then you cannot sleep with your sister, and like, yeah.


0:19:42.0 Jordan Syatt: If your brother dies, you cannot take his wife as your wife, da da da. Yeah, it’s like a lot of rules around that. It’s a lot, like pages and pages of that. But then there’s others where it’s like, the kosher laws, where it’s like, you can only eat things that live under the water if they have scales and fins, but if they… So that’s why Jews who keep kosher don’t eat like shellfish because they don’t have scales or fins. But it’s like, a lot of these rules and laws are coming in, it’s just, it’s very interesting. It’s very interesting. Yeah.


0:20:17.8 Mike Vacanti: That’s awesome. What has motivated you? Are you just slowly making your way through the Torah?


0:20:23.1 Jordan Syatt: I read a little every night. Yeah.


0:20:26.6 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Cool.


0:20:27.8 Jordan Syatt: I try and read like a few verses every night. I’ve been doing this for a while like that. I’m on several hundred pages in, so I’ve been doing it every night. But just slowly and surely trying to make my way through.


0:20:38.1 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, not an easy read either.


0:20:39.0 Jordan Syatt: It’s dense. Dude, oh my gosh.


0:20:40.3 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, it’s dense and confusing.


0:20:42.6 Jordan Syatt: It’s real dense. Yeah. Yep.


0:20:45.2 Mike Vacanti: But even, there’s debates among theologians and even like people of different religions or sects of various religions about how to… Like whether or not reading the Bible on your own makes sense or what… I would say that, simply out of curiosity, to see what… Like, even if you’re not absorbing all of it, or even if it doesn’t all make sense, there’s definitely value in sitting down and reading it by yourself.


0:21:14.7 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, and then I’ll google certain verses where I’ll be like, Leviticus 22:13, and I’ll just like Google it and see what people are saying about that verse. Like, what are some interpretations of it? And, yeah, just so I can get more potential insight because, man, there’s so much. But yeah, it’s interesting. Sometimes my wife and I’ll sit down and we’ll talk about it, so.


0:21:40.0 Mike Vacanti: I love that. Dog life. Curtis is good?


0:21:43.9 Jordan Syatt: He’s getting better. He’s definitely getting better. He’s getting more calm. He’s freaking huge. We got him, he was 12 pounds, now he’s over 30 pounds, just in like a month and a… Yeah, it’s crazy. He’s on a real, real, dreamer bulk, as you would say.


0:22:00.8 Mike Vacanti: He is.


0:22:01.1 Jordan Syatt: He’s good.


0:22:01.5 Mike Vacanti: But he’s adding a lot of muscle, a lot of lean tissue.


0:22:07.3 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. It’s crazy to see how much he’s changed?


0:22:10.7 Mike Vacanti: Are you injecting him?


0:22:10.8 Jordan Syatt: What?


0:22:12.4 Mike Vacanti: Are you injecting him every morning?


0:22:13.4 Jordan Syatt: With steroids? Yeah. A lot of steroids. A lot of steroids.


0:22:14.8 Mike Vacanti: Well, how else would he maintain that body composition? I mean, 12 to 30 in what, eight weeks did you say?


0:22:19.2 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, something like that.


0:22:21.3 Mike Vacanti: Like a 250% increase in his size, and it’s basically all lean mass?


0:22:25.7 Jordan Syatt: My Landlord must follow me on Instagram because I get a text the other day where she was like, “Hey, Jordan. I saw you got a dog.” And I was like, “Oh, cool.” And she’s like, “Well, I don’t know if you remember, but in the lease agreement, you owe like a $500 deposit and then $25 a month more in rent in order to have a dog.” I was like, “Great. Okay.” I was like… So, yeah, that was fun. That was a fun text.


0:22:55.6 Mike Vacanti: I did get a dog. Remember when I was having issues with my floorboards and you basically…


0:23:00.4 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, I know. Oh, my gosh. Yeah.


0:23:03.0 Mike Vacanti: Your landlord definitely doesn’t listen 20 minutes into this podcast.


0:23:06.6 Jordan Syatt: Watch her listen to this podcast. Watch my landlord listen to this podcast.


0:23:09.8 Mike Vacanti: Let’s put landlord in the title. “Jordan’s Rental is Falling Apart.”


0:23:13.0 Jordan Syatt: Jordan’s Landlord. Oh my gosh.


0:23:17.1 Mike Vacanti: Cool, man.


0:23:17.7 Jordan Syatt: You want me to look up some questions?


0:23:19.6 Mike Vacanti: Let’s fire up some questions.


0:23:21.1 Jordan Syatt: All right, Mike. Here’s one. I don’t know if you’re gonna like it or not. @Pbart50 says, “how often do you recommend changing up strength routines? Four weeks, eight weeks, something else? Thanks.” You could talk about for yourself, for your clients. I think this is an interesting discussion we could harp on for a little bit.


0:23:38.9 Mike Vacanti: Let’s do it. You wanna lead us off?


0:23:41.0 Jordan Syatt: Sure. If that’s okay with you. You want me to begin so you can have those carbs? Yeah.


0:23:46.9 Mike Vacanti: Please.


0:23:47.1 Jordan Syatt: Cool.


0:23:47.6 Mike Vacanti: Please do.


0:23:48.8 Jordan Syatt: Let the record show, I have no problem when Mike eats on the pod.


0:23:55.7 Mike Vacanti: I only did it because I could feel my mood dropping.


0:23:58.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, it did. I get it. I get it. Yeah. Mike, I’m glad when you eat on the podcast. What are you eating? What’s your carb?


0:24:09.6 Mike Vacanti: A Clif Bar.


0:24:10.4 Jordan Syatt: Oh, nice. What flavor?


0:24:12.0 Mike Vacanti: White chocolate macadamia nut. I eat it basically for the… It’s essentially a candy bar to me in taste, but with way better macros. It has nine tag along protein, only seven fat, 42 carb, and it’s got a sneaky 5 grams of fiber in there. And so it’s like the same to me as a Rice Krispie Treat in terms of taste, but way less sugar and a little bit of benefit.


0:24:39.1 Jordan Syatt: More filling. Yeah.


0:24:40.8 Mike Vacanti: So, scoop of protein right after my workout and this has been the go-to.


0:24:44.2 Jordan Syatt: Smart. Yeah, I like that. Okay. So the question being, how often do you recommend changing up your strength routine? So there are a number of things to consider here. I think we could look at it from the physiological perspective. We can also look at it from the psychological perspective, and we can also look at it from the convenience perspective. So, from the physiological perspective, you couldn’t follow the same program until you stop making progress. So it’s less about it being four weeks or six weeks or eight weeks or 10 weeks, and more about it just being like, follow it. And this is purely physiological, not psychological or convenience wise, but from a physiological perspective, just keep following it until you stop making progress. And I think generally, for an intermediate to advanced lifter, that would be somewhere between 4-10 weeks, which is a pretty fricking big range. It’s a big range. And the more advanced you get, the more frequently you’re gonna need to change. So, the stronger and stronger and stronger you get, probably the more likely they need to change, like at the most every three weeks, but usually it’s 4-5 weeks for the most advanced. Whereas beginners, you could follow it for 12, 16 weeks and be fine, and intermediate I would say about 10-12 weeks or so.


0:26:11.8 Jordan Syatt: That’s the physiological perspective. And that just means like, okay, well, are you still getting stronger? Are you able to get another rep in? Are you able to do this with a little bit better technique? Are you making some form of tangible progress? If you go two, three weeks without being able to add another rep, it’s over. I would stop. If you can’t add another rep to your set, then you need to change routines now. That’s pretty much how it would go. From a psychological perspective, you really have to think about, okay, is this person who’s following this program, whether it’s you or a client, are they at a point now where they’re so bored with it that even though it’s working and they’re making progress, they’re just not having fun, they’re not putting in as much effort and potentially even skipping workouts because they’re bored of it? Or is this the client that they can go six, seven, eight, nine, 10 weeks of the same program and have no issues with it? I’ve had some clients who are beginners and they need to change every four weeks or else they’re just gonna stop going ’cause they get bored. And I’ve had other clients who are intermediate to advance who will go 10, 11, 12 weeks, and they prefer that because they like to stretch it out as long as they possibly can. They enjoy that.


0:27:32.8 Jordan Syatt: It really does depend, which goes to show, it’s not just about their level. It’s also about their psychology and what they prefer and what they need in order to keep them consistent. So, then I would say, from the convenience perspective, I would say convenience on both parts, on the coach and the client. From the client’s perspective, you have to remember, if you have a person who likes running a program for a longer period of time and you just make them change every four weeks, well, that means that they might have to take… It’s gonna take longer for them to watch the exercise videos. It’s gonna take longer than for them to get to know the new program. It’s gonna take longer for them to make it through that for those first couple of workouts. It’s actually less convenient. Now, it’s also less convenient for you as a coach, the more frequent you do it, because then you have to write brand new programs way more frequently. Whereas like if you’re doing it once every eight weeks, for example, that six programs a year, but if you’re doing it once every four weeks, it’s 12 programs a year. It’s a big difference. It’s a huge difference in regard to how often you’re writing new programs.


0:28:34.6 Jordan Syatt: So, all of these things have to be taken into consideration. For the inner circle, for example, and for all of my clients, the standard was four weeks. Every month, you get a new program. There were some clients when I was doing one-on-one coaching who’d say, “Hey, could I extend this to six weeks or eight weeks or 10 weeks?” And I would absolutely do that for them. No problem, because they requested it. But I found most people prefer about every month or so. There are some people who like to go a little bit longer, especially nowadays, I’m seeing people going six weeks to eight weeks occasionally. But in my experience, most people, four weeks tends to be a really a solid recommendation where if you want to extend it, you’re welcome to.


0:29:18.5 Mike Vacanti: It’s a really good answer. It’s a very good answer, Jordan. Well done.


0:29:22.8 Jordan Syatt: Right off the dome.


0:29:24.0 Mike Vacanti: Right off the… ESTP off the dome, just navigating the trenches of…


0:29:31.3 Jordan Syatt: Let you finish your carbs. No problem.


0:29:33.8 Mike Vacanti: I feel great. I feel like my glycogen stores are just replenishing. Yeah, so we can dive in on individual parts of what you just said. I have found, through working with lots of clients, that when…


0:29:53.6 Jordan Syatt: Thousands of clients.


0:29:54.9 Mike Vacanti: I mean, over a decade now, it’s been a long time.


0:29:58.0 Jordan Syatt: Thousands, tens of thousands.


0:30:00.0 Mike Vacanti: Jordan’s worked with millions of people. [laughter] When I increase the amount of time that someone spends on a program, and this is usually beginner to intermediate, but then again, most lifters in the world are beginner to intermediate, and most of the people I’ve worked with historically are either beginner to intermediate, and the smaller percentage are advanced. I have gotten positive feedback from clients who were used to high frequency program changes and switch to lower frequency program changes. And here’s what I mean. Maybe when they came to me for coaching, they were following a program where they got a new workout every single week, or maybe they had some modifications to their workout every two weeks. It was either a previous coach or a program that they were like an ebook type program that changed things every single week. And they thought that variety was necessary to make progress. And then they started with me and we were doing program changes every four weeks, which they were great with it. I’m the coach. They’re gonna listen to what I’m saying. They trust me.


0:31:17.1 Mike Vacanti: When we moved to six weeks or we moved to a new program every eight weeks from four weeks, many of these people said, “Wow, I actually really like this because in weeks four, five, six, seven, when I previously thought I might have been getting bored or right when I would have gotten a new training phase, was right when I started to get comfortable with the current workout. So, maybe around week three or week four, I really started to get in a groove and then things would change.” Which maybe they thought was necessary to make progress for whatever reason. But they found that staying on the same training phase a little longer helped them probably with skill acquisition, right? Just getting more repetition in with the same workouts, using the same exercises, was probably the biggest aspect of that. But yeah, the overwhelming percentage of people and feedback that I got actually enjoyed slightly longer training phases compared to slightly shorter training phases.


0:32:27.0 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Yep. Agreed.


0:32:29.0 Mike Vacanti: Good. Somewhere between four and 12 weeks, and the more advanced you are, the more frequent a program change. You know what’s interesting actually? Program change doesn’t have to be anything crazy. When you get a new training phase, it doesn’t have to be a massive change in training style. It doesn’t have to be all new exercises. So that’s something that maybe some coaches, a common misconception or something that they misunderstand, is what needs to be changed in a training program from phase to phase.


0:33:04.8 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. Sometimes what you can do, and I think this is, it’s a little bit more… I personally don’t like doing this very much, especially, if I was working with a lot of clients, it would be harder to do this. If I’m working with a small handful, I could do this no problem. But if you’re working with 40, 50, 60 clients, like this gets really difficult. But what you can do is, is let’s say someone is still making progress in their deadlift, but their dumbbell row has stagnated. Rather than giving them a whole new program, you just change that one exercise. That’s literally it. So you don’t need to give them an entirely new program. You just, you change the exercise or exercises that are stalled and you keep the exercises that are still progressing. Again, I don’t personally like to do that, especially with when you’re dealing with more clients. It’s a lot to track and it’s much more difficult and much more time intensive. But you can do that. And I think more important than actually doing that is just understanding. It’s more based on whether or not they’re progressing and less based on a certain number of weeks.


0:34:09.0 Mike Vacanti: Yes, absolutely right. And having an understanding of what progressing looks like. Meaning, if you stall out on weight and reps on a leg press or on a deadlift as one of your first compound moves of the day, it makes more sense to make a modification to the program than, let’s say, a dumbbell lateral raise or something like a single arm cable side raise, which is very hard to make progress on. Like if you’re not making progress on your dumbbell lateral raise, that’s just because the weights are in 5 pound increments and the side delt is a very small muscle group, and it’s really hard to make progress on that move. So there are areas where you’re not gonna see the reps go up every single week, and that doesn’t mean you’re not making progress.


0:35:02.6 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, that’s exactly right. So this isn’t a question from the Q&A, but I think this is an important and relevant discussion point to how often you change programs. What are your thoughts on deloads? And I think especially deloads for that beginner-intermediate population, which is probably the majority of who you and I work with, the majority of probably the people who are listening to this podcast are working with. What’s your thoughts on deloads?


0:35:34.0 Mike Vacanti: For that population, beginner-intermediate, they’re not training for the Olympia. This isn’t their career. This isn’t their number one favorite thing in the entire world. For that population, deloads are gonna come naturally. Deloads come when they fly to Wyoming to visit their grandma for Christmas. Deloads come when their kids have spring break and they go to Florida, and they might do a little pumpy workout in the hotel gym, or they might just take an entire week off. Deloads come at random times throughout the year. Deloads come when you get sick and you get the flu in the fall, and you have to take a week off of training. Deloads come naturally and training breaks come naturally throughout the year, frequently enough that you don’t need to schedule a deload every four or five or six weeks.


0:36:28.0 Jordan Syatt: Correct. You know who I think… And we could talk about this, but aside from like the professional athlete, if we’re talking about the everyday person, I think the person who really benefits from planned deloads is that, we’ll call it 14-24-year-old kid who is just fucking obsessed with the gym. This kid, boy or girl, I don’t care, boy or girl, around 14-24, they go to the gym and they are there, and every set is taken to complete failure. They’re there for two hours a day, six days a week, and they love it. This is the kid who needs planned deloads, because left to their own devices, they will train to failure every single set of every single workout 5, 6, 7 days a week. And they need, hey, every 4-6 weeks, you’re taking one week of… And I wouldn’t even say you have to go 60%. I would just say, no going to failure. Just don’t go to failure. Like, just don’t go to failure. Like that’s it. No failure for this one week. That’s it. And I remember being that young and people would say, “You got to take a deload and just go really light,” or like, “Go at 50%,” or they would even be like, “Just don’t go to the gym.” I’d be like, “Don’t go to the gym? What are you? An idiot? What do you mean, don’t go to the gym? I’m gonna go to the gym.”


0:37:53.6 Jordan Syatt: I would be in the gym the day before powerlifting competition. I just loved being in the gym. It was just don’t go to failure. That’s it. Otherwise, just like you said, for the average everyday person, you don’t need a… I don’t even think you need a deload week. I think that you can really just be like, oh, you don’t feel very good today? Okay, just go lighter today. It doesn’t need to be a whole week of lighter weight that week. It could literally just be like, oh, do you not feel so good today? So maybe instead of doing three sets, we’ll just do one or two working sets and you just reduce the intensity. But then maybe they come in the next day and they feel great. I’m not gonna say, well, you still have to be on a deload today. It’s like, no, if you feel great, then fucking push it. Go really hard. I think it’s much more just, let’s go based on a how you feel on any given day. But I don’t know, if you have a newborn or if you’re traveling a lot for work and you haven’t slept much over the last month and a half, Yeah, let’s just take this week light. Let’s just not go crazy this week. It’s much more simple than people would really have you believe.


0:39:01.0 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. Completely agree. Do you have any strong opinions on deloads versus training breaks?


0:39:06.1 Jordan Syatt: You mean either reducing weight/intensity or taking time away from the gym?


0:39:11.4 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.


0:39:13.0 Jordan Syatt: I think it really depends on the person. If you’re a person who loves the gym, like I couldn’t really imagine telling you you need to leave the gym. You love the gym. Like you’re born to be in the gym. I feel like you love working out now just as much as you did when you were younger. It’s just like, it’s a different training style and different goals, but you still love working out. Like you love lifting. I’m not gonna tell you, you got to take a week away from the gym. Whereas for someone else who hates working out and they force themself to do it, and they show up 3-4 times a week every single week, and they’ve been doing it for three months, yeah, Take a week off. I don’t know, go hiking, go swimming, go rock climbing, whatever it is. Just don’t go to the gym this week. I think that is important for that type of a person who’s just forcing themselves to go every single week and they’re doing it. But for the person who hates to go and also doesn’t go consistently, no. Like you’ve got to show a certain level of consistency before you decide to take that week off.


0:40:16.7 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. I agree. Should we do one more?


0:40:21.0 Jordan Syatt: Let’s do one more. Then we got a mentorship Q&A every week, every Thursday.


0:40:25.8 Mike Vacanti: Weekly.


0:40:26.1 Jordan Syatt: At 1:00 PM Central, 2:00 PM Eastern. Live Q&As with the mentorship.


0:40:31.0 Mike Vacanti: Dude, I tracked yesterday, I tracked my nutrition yesterday for the first time in, I don’t even remember how long. I was in the gym. I don’t even remember what prompted me to do it, but I just opened up my app and plugged in, used Mike’s equation, and hit recomp as the goal, always be recomping, and I’m just like, “I’m just gonna follow these today.” And I adjusted them slightly because it was very high carb, very low fat on training day. And so I brought fat up just to touch and I left carbs where they were. I have been… I always assume when I’m not tracking that I’m in the ballpark of where I should be. I have been consuming so much more fat and so much less carbs and probably a little bit less protein than is optimal. And that’s fine for maintenance and that’s fine for digestion and that’s fine for general health, like carb versus fat levels and where they are relative to one another. But for training performance, having high… I’ve literally doubled my carbs and probably cut my fats in half, and my workout felt simple size one. But it flipped something in me that remembered, oh, this is what 400 grams of carbs a day and keeping fat under 60, like this is what these food choices are and this is what this feels like in terms of satiety and training performance, and, yeah.


0:42:00.8 Jordan Syatt: I think regular listeners of the podcast really have a good understanding of you, but for, let’s say someone’s listening and they’re new, or even someone who’s listened for a while and they don’t fully understand you, it’s like, this is a big deal because you’re dialed. Like you are an ISTJ. You’re a numbers guy. For you, this just highlights the importance of tracking. Because if you aren’t really even as close as you think you should be or as you are…


0:42:28.0 Mike Vacanti: No one is.


0:42:28.6 Jordan Syatt: I am definitely not.


0:42:30.1 Mike Vacanti: Yeah.


0:42:30.4 Jordan Syatt: You know what I mean? And most people are not. And it’s just, for someone who is as numbers oriented as you and as overall as dialed as you are, I mean, it’s a very poignant example of how you really need to at least have times throughout the year where you do track, even if you don’t track all the time. Just do it one a day here and there to be like, oh, shit.


0:42:54.6 Mike Vacanti: It’s a wake up call.


0:42:54.9 Jordan Syatt: What do you do to bring down your fats? Do you have less almonds or fewer almonds? Like what do you do?


0:43:00.5 Mike Vacanti: Fewer almonds. I have these kind of degenerate protein bars that are really fat bars that are delicious. I think…


0:43:07.9 Jordan Syatt: Guess what’s the brand? Fat bars?


0:43:09.5 Mike Vacanti: Power Crunch. I mean, it’s 14 protein, 13 fat.


0:43:11.3 Jordan Syatt: Oh, Power Crunch. Yeah. Are those anything gold wrapping?


0:43:15.9 Mike Vacanti: The vanilla creams in a blue wrapping. So by calorie, it has more than twice as much fat as protein. So snacking on those, what am I eating? Probably oils and butters that are adding up. Nut butters that add up a little bit. Fattier cuts of meat. And look, if you’re eating 2500-3000 calories a day and you’re not really paying attention to fats and you’re just saying, hey, minimum 150 protein. Salmon, this coconut rice that’s delicious but has 10 grams of fat per 80 carb rather than normal rice that has zero fat or one fat per 80 carb. All of these little places where it adds up. It’s just people who think they consume too much carbs, donuts, muffins, pizza, whatever it is, these foods are so much more fat dense than we think.


0:44:07.2 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah. That’s so true. They look at something like a muffin and think, oh, so many carbs. It’s like, yeah, I mean there are carbs, but like a lot more fat than you realize, and it really adds up.


0:44:18.0 Mike Vacanti: And fat is 2.25 times as dense as carbs. So if something has 20 grams of fat and 50 grams of carbs, that means they have very similar amounts of carbs and fats. That doesn’t mean there’s way more carbs.


0:44:29.8 Jordan Syatt: Are you gonna bring back the SnackWell’s?


0:44:32.3 Mike Vacanti: Dude, yesterday, do you know what I was craving? Because I was at like 52 fat out of 60 and still needed to hit another 130 carb. I’m like, how am I gonna do this…


0:44:41.8 Jordan Syatt: Gummy worms.


0:44:41.9 Mike Vacanti: Without trying to blast sugar through the roof because I’m trying to keep it relatively clean? But do you know what I wanted was those muffins from the Hamptons, from King Kullen.


0:44:50.9 Jordan Syatt: Oh man. Those were unbelievable.


0:44:53.8 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, a lot of sugar in these.


0:44:55.5 Jordan Syatt: What were the macros on those?


0:44:57.0 Mike Vacanti: 74 carb, two and a half fat.


0:45:01.0 Jordan Syatt: That’s crazy.


0:45:01.1 Mike Vacanti: And like six protein and delicious.


0:45:02.9 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. You used to eat four of them in one day.


0:45:06.0 Mike Vacanti: Oh, to be young again.


0:45:07.1 Jordan Syatt: That was when you were on test.


0:45:11.8 Mike Vacanti: Can you please clarify so people don’t actually think I was?


0:45:16.3 Jordan Syatt: Mike’s never been on anything. That was a joke. But people thought that he was. People thought…


0:45:21.1 Mike Vacanti: I thought I might have been.


0:45:21.9 Jordan Syatt: And you were huge.


0:45:22.7 Mike Vacanti: That C4 had something funny in it, had some funny business going on.


0:45:25.8 Jordan Syatt: It was unbelievable. You were super lean and just outrageously jacked. You could have stepped on the Olympia stage within like a year of that and you were going for 225 by 25 on the bench remember that?


0:45:36.7 Mike Vacanti: By 20. 225 for 20 reps.


0:45:37.8 Jordan Syatt: Oh by 20.


0:45:38.7 Mike Vacanti: Yeah, combine. I might have to bring back that goal ’cause I never hit it.


0:45:41.7 Jordan Syatt: Bring out the… Do you have the program still?


0:45:43.4 Mike Vacanti: Yeah. I would’ve to… I’m not even in a position to start that program though.


0:45:47.0 Jordan Syatt: Oh, yeah, you are. You’re definitely in a position to start that program.


0:45:50.2 Mike Vacanti: I might be. I might be. Great episode. Thank you for listening. We’re here every week Tuesdays. We love you. Have a great day. See you next week.


0:46:00.0 Jordan Syatt: See you.

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