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In this episode, we discuss an incredible new study that analyzes the effects of exercise (and also gave rats cocaine), how cortisol impacts body fat, 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


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-J & M


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You can download a PDF version of the transcript here


Or you can expand to find the full episode transcription below:


0:00:11.0 Mike: Hello, Jordan.


0:00:12.8 Jordan: What’s up Michael?


0:00:14.1 Mike: Welcome to the How to Become Personal Trainer podcast.


0:00:15.5 Jordan: Thanks for having me on.


0:00:18.9 Mike: [Coughing violently] Thanks for having me. Oh my gosh. Rough start. I was trying to wolf down the protein and Clif Bar post-workout snack before we pod, and half of it’s in my esophagus. How are you?


0:00:30.4 Jordan: Dude, I’m good. I’m good, man. Doing well over here. Curtis is doing better.


0:00:36.2 Mike: That’s amazing.


0:00:39.0 Jordan: Yeah, it was good. I was telling you we had the tornadoes over the last couple days. Just the weather’s been nuts. Been taking him out and these high winds is no joke.


0:00:47.7 Mike: I bet. I bet. For both of you.


0:00:51.1 Jordan: And he’s like, he loves it. He’s out there.


0:00:54.8 Mike: Oh really?


0:00:55.7 Jordan: He’s got the zoomies, he’s running around. He’s just stoked. He doesn’t like thunder. Thunder is not his, the happiest thing, the thing that makes him the most happy, but as long as there’s no thunder, he loves the high winds. And he’ll just go out and grab sticks and leaves and run around. And I’m just out there, I’m like, oh my God. Let’s go in man.


0:01:16.5 Mike: This isn’t weather that we just play in, do your business and let’s go inside.


0:01:22.9 Jordan: It’s so funny. The more I learn about dogs, and I’m not an expert by any means, it just seems like each dog is its own individual. And it’s different things. Some dogs are scared of something, some dogs are more outgoing, some dogs are more introverted, whatever it is. And for whatever reason, he just, high winds, loves it, just loves going outside and playing out there. He also, it’s so crazy, he’s very smart in that I’ve already taught him sit, stay, come, leave it. All these commands, he knows all of the commands, but he will only do them for food. He knows all of them if I have treats in my hand, if I don’t have treats in my hand, he will ignore them all.


0:02:13.9 Mike: Interesting.


0:02:16.1 Jordan: But if I have treats in my hand, he pays attention and does it on the first try, it’s absolutely insane. And he’s also very protective of my wife, and we think it’s because she’s pregnant. So we go on family walks every day, not today ’cause of the tornado warning, but almost every day we’re out on a family walk together. And if I start lagging behind them or if the sidewalk gets narrow and she has to go in front, he is dragging me to get up next to her. But once we’re next to her, she’s fine. He’s fine. As soon as we’re next her, he’s good. No worries. And then when we pause to give him water or something, he’s sniffing at her belly. He’s like, it’s really crazy that…


0:03:00.2 Mike: Wow.


0:03:01.0 Jordan: And I have no evidence other than what I’ve googled, but it would seem as though that he knows she’s pregnant, and when we’re lying on the couch, he’ll rest his head on her belly. He doesn’t do it on my belly. It’s only on her stomach where, it’s very, it’s crazy. So I don’t know if it’s accurate or not, but yeah, it’s really cool.


0:03:16.1 Mike: And how old is he?


0:03:18.6 Jordan: Four months.


0:03:19.1 Mike: Yeah. Four month old golden retriever to have that wired into him is crazy.


0:03:22.9 Jordan: Yeah. It really is. And I don’t know, maybe it’s just all coincidence, but it’s cool to have that in my head.


0:03:31.1 Mike: Doesn’t sound like a coincidence. Really cool.


0:03:34.6 Jordan: What’s up with you man?


0:03:36.5 Mike: Dude, new study dropped.


0:03:38.2 Jordan: Oh wow. You’ve been holding on to this one?


0:03:40.5 Mike: No, I just saw it this morning. May 20th, 2024, exercise spurs neuron growth and rewires the brain helping mice forget traumatic and addictive memories. So basically, PTSD and substance abuse recovery. I’m not gonna go super in depth on the studies, but there was one where these mice were in a lit room and when they went into this sectioned off dark room, they got a shock. So this was the PTSD test. And they did it twice. So the second time it went in the dark room, got a shock, and then that was the control group.


0:04:28.1 Mike: The other group did the same thing, but then after, or for four weeks after their second shock, they got access to an exercise wheel. And the mice that got access to the exercise wheel displayed less anxiety, were more likely to venture back into the room, and were more exploratory in general than the mice that didn’t have access to the exercise wheel. And they did some other tests to make sure that it actually was neurogenesis and not some other reason why the exercise wheel led them to display less PTSD. The other study which was grouped in here was, mice had two rooms. One had water and the other one had water that had cocaine in it. And so…


0:05:15.5 Jordan: Geez.


0:05:17.0 Mike: And so the mice, yeah, this is why they do it on mice and not humans. So they obviously spend way more time in the room with the cocaine in it. And then they take the cocaine away.


0:05:24.5 Jordan: They’re just loving that water.


0:05:27.3 Mike: Just drinking that coke water. Then the researchers replace the cocaine water with regular water and the mice…


0:05:39.0 Jordan: And they’re pissed.


0:05:41.4 Mike: Well, and here’s the thing. They still spend a significant majority of their time in the cocaine water room, even though it’s just regular water. But when they take the cocaine water away and replace it with regular water, they give that group, or one group doesn’t get access to a running wheel, the other group gets access to a running wheel. I think it was four weeks in this one as well. And after the four weeks of exercise, the mice that exercised don’t go in the cocaine room as much. And the mice that didn’t have access to the wheel spend all their time in the cocaine room. Even though there’s no cocaine in there anymore.


0:06:21.3 Jordan: Man, that’s so interesting.


0:06:25.0 Mike: My mind just goes to, my intuition has told me forever that for me personally, N-of-1, the reason why I go to the gym on the day-to-day basis, not long-term, long-term is for physical health primarily. But on the day-to-day, it’s to feel better in the short term. It’s literally mental health in the short term. I’ve said going back as early as 2012 that exercise is therapy to me. In the last handful of years, there’s been a hard push against this from this therapy is therapy crowd, exercise is not therapy, exercise is something different. Just another study and more research leading to what I suspected. And by the way, both are good and both can be used for different things. But another data point pointing to the positive effects of exercise on mental health. In this one, specifically related to PTSD and substance abuse.


0:07:21.9 Jordan: Dude, a 100%, I love that. There’s so many things I wanna say briefly on the therapy is therapy versus working out is therapy. It’s funny, there’s so many different types of therapy, even within the traditionally thought of as therapy where you’re talking to a therapist type thing. Even within that model, there are many different types of therapy for that model. And so, it’s interesting to me that the therapy is therapy crowd, all with good intent, they’ve really been going hard on saying, well, working out isn’t therapy. The gym isn’t therapy. It’s only this. It’s like that’s, it’s not accurate. There are many different types of therapy. And as you’ve pointed out here, it’s a very interesting study. It’s a really unique study design. And I also just keep thinking about, just, man, these doctors just have coke lying around.


0:08:13.7 Jordan: “All right, we’re gonna put coke in this water for these mice.” And then, we hear about doctors or researchers, scientists, whatever. And I think we automatically have, “oh, okay, that’s a good person.” But then I’m like, I wonder if any of them have ever taken any coke for themselves, you know what I mean? [laughter] Are any of them doing any coke?


0:08:33.6 Mike: Probably. Probably. Somewhere, some of them I would imagine…


0:08:37.4 Jordan: Somewhere down the line.


0:08:39.2 Mike: I would imagine the amount of cocaine necessary for these studies with rodents that weigh a fraction of what a human being weighs are very small.


0:08:49.2 Jordan: Yeah. But they’ve got a storage closet somewhere or a whole refrigerator filled with these narco… They’ve got it somewhere. And obviously it’s guarded and you probably can only take a certain amount out and you’ve got to show your ID card and show how much you’ve used. But they have large quantities of this shit somewhere that they’re dealing it out.


0:09:09.2 Mike: I don’t know that, maybe they have large quantities for mice. I don’t know that they have actual large quantities. And I could be wrong.


0:09:16.7 Jordan: Yeah.


0:09:17.5 Mike: I don’t know.


0:09:18.6 Jordan: They definitely do. I mean, they’re…


0:09:20.7 Mike: You think just bricks? Just pounds of cocaine in this research lab?


0:09:23.6 Jordan: Yes, I think they do. And I think it’s locked and it’s stored away. And you’ve got to sign in and say, I took exactly this much and all that. But yeah, I think they’ve got fucking huge amounts of weed and coke and all. I think they absolutely do. And I went, where are they making it? It’s an operation.


0:09:41.0 Mike: Where is it coming from?


0:09:42.9 Jordan: It’s pretty crazy. Yeah. Is it coming from the cartels? Or is…


0:09:48.2 Mike: No, I don’t know.


0:09:50.1 Jordan: They’re definitely, they’re making it themselves for sure. But it’s a super interesting study design. And I’m at a point with this stuff where it’s just like, I think it’s important and useful to have this research, but I’m also like, yeah, exercise is literally amazing. It does everything amazing you can possibly think of. It’s just, it’s great. It’s fantastic for you in every way you can… And it’s important to have these studies because it’s important to find new reasons why it’s so good for you. But it’s just so not surprising at this point that, oh yeah, it could also help with that. Shocker.


0:10:30.0 Mike: I have, there are many known reasons why exercise helps. I have a theory. This might, I’ll try and be fast because this might be very boring to you.


0:10:41.5 Jordan: No. Don’t be fast. Take your time.


0:10:43.1 Mike: I might be fast. I’ll try. So amazing. I have a theory. I’ve talked about Dopamine Nation on this podcast. I don’t even know how many times at this point. But real quick recap to this book, pleasure and pain come from the same part of the brain. We can think of pleasure and pain as a seesaw. And when you spend too much time leaning into pleasure, that can be meth, that can be cocaine, that can be processed foods…


0:11:17.3 Jordan: Alcohol.


0:11:18.0 Mike: Alcohol for many, for a percentage of the population, alcohol is extremely dopaminergic. For others it’s less so. But alcohol for many, even pornography, video games. I’m trying to cover the whole scale. If we think of methamphetamine as the most dopaminergic all the way down to something like a doughnut, which is clearly not the same, but also still pleasure. And then on the pain side of the barrier, she talks about things like ice baths. She talks about, what does she talk about in that book? Exercise. She talks about, basically when you do pleasurable things afterwards, your body wants to get back to homeostasis. So you’re gonna, you feel pleasure, but then in the hours afterwards or days afterwards, you feel “pain” to get back to homeostasis. Whereas if you lean into pain first, which is one of the benefits of cold water therapy and why it’s used for treatment for cocaine addicts, is you’re going into pain first and then the hours thereafter you come back to homeostasis.


0:12:24.9 Mike: So you actually feel better when you lean into pain first. Exercise is a form of pain depending on how hard you’re pushing yourself. Taking sets to RPE 9, actual RPE 9 is physiologically painful. And so to do that, my theory is one of the reasons this might work, and obviously in this specific study, they’re talking about cardio. They’re putting mice on a wheel. They don’t have these little mice bench pressing. But for me personally, one of the benefits I feel on a mental health level from exercise is, I’m theorizing that it’s leaning into pain first, and then feeling so much better as a result of that getting back to homeostasis.


0:13:10.8 Jordan: I was thinking about that when you were talking about how the mice who exercised, they were more likely to go back in the dark room. I was thinking about how after I exercise, my confidence goes up in the short term. So maybe it’s not that they’re forgetting, maybe they’re just like, I could take it this time. I could take that shock.


0:13:30.9 Mike: Yeah.


0:13:31.8 Jordan: Maybe it’s just like, fuck it, I don’t like, fuck. When I finish a workout, I’m like, yeah. I could, whatever. I’ll do it. I don’t care. Yeah. A hundred percent. So maybe they’re just like, ah, fuck it. They’re just, the mice are just like, I’m gonna go in there. I’m gonna like that shock, that workout was way harder than the shock was. It’ll be a nice cool down.


0:13:51.2 Mike: More courageous, more bravery.


0:13:51.4 Jordan: Yeah.


0:13:54.3 Mike: Yeah.


0:13:55.1 Jordan: Could be.


0:13:56.9 Mike: That could be. They did something to test whether it was neurogenesis. We’ll link the study in the show notes, but they did something to test whether it was actual neurogenesis or whether it was something else that I didn’t fully understand when I was reading it. But…


0:14:10.4 Jordan: Endorphins type thing?


0:14:13.2 Mike: That’s super plausible. Yeah. Yeah, use different drugs that stimulate something to see, and they didn’t go in the room as often when they were given those drugs.


0:14:24.9 Jordan: Dude, these mice just get loaded up with drugs. Geez.


0:14:29.8 Mike: And shocks like pain. It’s…


0:14:31.2 Jordan: Yeah. That’s not a good life.


0:14:32.0 Mike: No. It’s not a good life.


0:14:36.5 Jordan: Do you think vegans support studies on mice?


0:14:38.4 Mike: Not like this. Not if they’re in pain. Well, it depends. The health vegans are probably indifferent, and I feel like health vegans are the majority of vegans in this day and age, but the 1990s vegans who don’t want to eat animal products because they don’t believe in cruelty to animals/animal death/humans using animals for their benefit, yeah, I would imagine don’t support this at all.


0:15:02.8 Jordan: It’s a real ethical dilemma.


0:15:04.7 Mike: It is.


0:15:05.8 Jordan: On one hand, we wanna know what’s going on, wanna study it, but how do you do that and not harm some species?


0:15:14.6 Mike: These are good questions.


0:15:16.7 Jordan: I told my buddy David here, he’s visiting, he’s leaving today. For everyone who doesn’t know, if you followed me for a while, I have a famous pube story. If you know the pube story, it’s the same, David. I was talking to him today, and he had mentioned dopamine a couple times, so I was like, “Hey, have you read Dopamine Nation?” He was like, “No.” I was like, “Oo, man, you would love that book.” And he goes, “Man, you’ve really been reading a lot, huh?” I was like, “No, I’ve never read it. But my buddy Mike talks about it a lot all the time, it’s all he ever talks about.” [laughter] Yeah. And then as you were explaining, yeah, pleasure, pain from the same part of the brain, I was like, okay, I’ll remember this so I can explain to David more about this book.


0:16:02.7 Mike: That’s funny. I saw you start to laugh when I went into that.


0:16:04.1 Jordan: Oh, it’s funny. I think yesterday we were talking about finances. I was like, “Have you read Die With Zero?” He was like, “No.” I was like, “My buddy Mike has read that book. You should, I’ve basically read it. He’s told me about it enough.”


0:16:14.8 Mike: That actually is a very interesting… The inputs we consume are important in terms of what comes out of us, our brains, not our GI tracts.


0:16:35.8 Jordan: Interesting.




0:16:37.5 Mike: If you think of your brain as your GI tract and you think of information as food, you can… Those are two interesting ideas and concepts that were interesting enough for you to discuss with someone else, that’s never coming out of a TikTok, that’s never coming out of some trash, but an actual good book that you read, digest, think about, tinker around, and then talk about. It’s interesting.


0:17:06.5 Jordan: Completely agree. Way off topic.


0:17:11.4 Mike: I feel like I’m getting a little more back in the know in terms of what’s going on in the world…


0:17:13.2 Jordan: Are you scrolling again?


0:17:14.9 Mike: With the internet. I’m scrolling more than I want to be. Yeah.


0:17:18.7 Jordan: There you go. That’s where it’s coming from, right?


0:17:21.3 Mike: Yeah. Yeah. Just understanding things. And also just YouTube videos as well as a little bit of scrolling, but I’m curious, do people still call the hip adduction, abduction machine, “good girl, bad girl”? Or is that not appropriate any longer in 2024?


0:17:42.9 Jordan: I think some people still call it that.


0:17:47.9 Mike: Cool.


0:17:48.9 Jordan: I mean, yeah.


0:17:49.0 Mike: That’s it. That’s the question.


0:17:50.5 Jordan: Yeah. I think people still call it that. That’s what, yeah. I mean, not everybody, but I know a lot of people do. I’ve seen it on videos, I think.


0:17:56.9 Mike: Just feel like you’re in touch with the culture in the fitness industry with things like that.


0:18:04.7 Jordan: I don’t know, man. I feel like I’m really off base with the culture. I made a post yesterday about how cortisol isn’t making you fat, and I got some real backlash on it. And I was taken aback that how angry people got. ‘Cause right now in the fitness world, a lot of… Cortisol is the demon. Cortisol is the demon and people are like, don’t have coffee in the morning. It’s gonna raise your cortisol, da da da. People are like, everything right now is, and that’s the most common question I’m getting on my Q and As right now is about cortisol. Everything is cortisol, cortisol, cortisol. I was like, all right, I guess I’ll just address it. I made just a fact-based science-based post about how cortisol is not making you fat. And actually, if you don’t have cortisol, you die. It’s essential for life and there are actually really important benefits of cortisol.


0:19:00.0 Jordan: And dude, some people got so furious with me. I was like, geez, I had no idea. So I feel out of touch at this moment with the culture.


0:19:12.5 Mike: Are they, in their responses, are there, like, are they like, “Hey, here are these metabolic ward studies where people with elevated…”


0:19:19.2 Jordan: No of course not.


0:19:19.3 Mike: “…Cortisol levels who are in a calorie deficit gain body fat.”


0:19:25.2 Jordan: No.


0:19:25.3 Mike: And they present you with good science?


0:19:25.4 Jordan: No. They’re like, “you’re an influencer…” [laughter] There’s no good science. What? “You’re an influencer…”


0:19:32.5 Mike: Are the people replying… Because I see it, I actually see a little bit of this one too. And I would imagine that a certain subset of people who struggle to lose weight and then see other people talk about cortisol being this big bad wolf, preventing them from losing weight and then them attaching that to their identity. I can’t lose weight because I have high cortisol then would want to lash out at somebody. Is it people like that or is it, you know?


0:20:04.2 Jordan: No, you know, it’s really interesting.


0:20:05.4 Mike: It’s someone with 500,000 followers who is replying to you.


0:20:10.4 Jordan: So it’s interesting. I would’ve expected what you first said where it’s like someone who’s struggling to lose weight they’ve identified with what they’ve been told. I must have high cortisol, blah, blah. Those people were the most happy to hear what I said. They’re like, oh, thank God. It’s not as big of a deal. Like now I feel like I can actually do this. It was these coaches, and there’s one in particular who I think looking at her profile, she like competes in bodybuilding or physique or something. But she’s created her identity as a coach around telling clients that…


0:20:42.5 Mike: She’s a cortisol coach.


0:20:45.4 Jordan: Yes, that telling clients that cortisol is ruining their progress and da da da. So then here I come basically saying, well, that’s not a big deal. And so now everything, if she’s spent years telling her clients that cortisol is the killer, that cortisol is the problem, and then here I come and say, well, it’s not the problem. For whatever reason, she, instead of looking at it objectively, took it out on me and got really upset. And there were other people as well. Yeah, I’m with you, I’m with you da da da. But there, it seemed like the majority were actually coaches. It’s just, and it’s wild to me that they’ve demonized this hormone that is essential for life. That it’s actually wild. So yeah. I’m very out of touch with the culture on that one.


0:21:31.5 Mike: On one issue. Overall, you’re in touch. And that makes total sense that because it’s not somebody’s, let’s call it lack of fitness progress being part of their identity. It’s their whole livelihood that they’ve hitched on this cortisol bandwagon.


0:21:48.0 Jordan: It’s a really convenient one too as a coach, because it’s such a convenient way to say, this is why someone’s not losing weight. Because it takes all the responsibility off of both people. It takes the responsibility off of the individual who is trying to lose weight because, oh, well, maybe you just got a cortisol issues and it’s your life and you’ve got kids and you’re working and you can’t really control it. So sorry. You just can’t do anything about it unless you want to change your entire life, which you probably can’t. And it takes it off the coach. Oh, it’s not my fault. Your cortisol is high. It’s not my fault. It’s like, it gives an easy out for, and the reality is it’s like man, if the [laughter], if these people like, would stop fear, because what they’re doing is they’re fear mongering.


0:22:35.6 Jordan: They’re fear mongering around cortisol. They’re fearmongering around stress. And it never holds. ‘Cause some people their cortisol is sky high and they’re very stressed. And when they get really stressed, they stop eating. When they stop eating, they lose weight. You know, people who get super stressed and they lose weight. There are other people when they get really stressed, they stress eat and they gain weight. It’s the behavior. It’s not the cortisol. And so instead teaching your clients how to deal with the behaviors is where you’re gonna see the success. Not demonizing a hormone, a natural physiological process.


0:23:07.8 Mike: Clip it. Clips Nation.


0:23:12.5 Jordan: Posted in 2026.




0:23:20.1 Mike: Yes. Yes. Do you ever use the, “okay, cool. Let’s do this. We’ll each send a $100k to a reputable escrow. I’ll go with live with one of your clients who’s high cortisol and can’t lose weight because of their cortisol for two weeks and watch every single thing they eat and watch the scale go down over the course of two weeks, even though cortisol is sky high, because I’m going to control their food and every bite and every sip every single day and night for 14 days.”


0:23:54.0 Jordan: I’ve done that before. I didn’t, I haven’t done that recently. Just because I have a daughter.


0:24:00.2 Mike: No one takes you up on it?


0:24:00.8 Jordan: My wife is pregnant. People don’t take me up on it. And in case someone does, I don’t wanna have the offer and be like, “well my wife’s in the third trimester. I really shouldn’t be leaving the house right now.” [laughter]


0:24:11.7 Mike: That’s a good point. That’s a good point.


0:24:14.0 Jordan: But I did do that yesterday in the same post. ‘Cause I did three things I said about, I spoke about organic food, cortisol, and one other thing. Organic food is another big one. People get so mad about organic food. But I said organic food isn’t inherently safe, or healthier. And this one guy comments, he’s like, “yeah. Brought to you by a Monsanto.” And basically saying that I’m like getting paid by a Monsanto, which like is just hilarious.


0:24:39.8 Mike: You are. What you haven’t told to…


0:24:42.6 Jordan: Yeah. I’m getting tons. [laughter] I said to this guy, I was like, “let’s do this.” I said, “how about this? I will fly you to my house. I’ll pay for the entire trip. You can, I’ll let you comb through all of my financials. Every single thing. If you find one penny from Monsanto or any related company, anything, I’ll pay you $500,000 in cash. But if you don’t find anything, then you have to pay for the trip and you owe me $100,000, deal?” And then he, his only reply was, he’s like, “dude, spraying shit with chemicals can’t be good for you.” Which is also just fantastically ironic because he doesn’t understand that even organic fruits and vegetables get sprayed with pesticides too. So it’s just like they hear, they know so little about such a complex topic and they make up their minds. But yeah. I’ve done that stuff before where I reach out and say, Hey, let’s do this. But no one’s ever taken me up on it.


0:25:40.8 Mike: No. It’s a good way to win the argument though.


0:25:43.6 Jordan: Oh, yeah. Yeah. It works well.


0:25:46.6 Mike: Yeah. There’s a lot of hot button issues in nutrition that are backed by very little, if any science these days. It’s too bad.


0:26:00.0 Jordan: If you’ve been following the, how to be a personal trainer Instagram page, YouTube page, you’ve seen me posting three times a week. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.


0:26:10.3 Mike: Even on Memorial Day weekend.


0:26:12.4 Jordan: Even Memorial Day weekend. Got it done.


0:26:16.3 Mike: @personaltrainerpodcast across the board, Instagram, YouTube.


0:26:19.5 Jordan: It’s a pretty damn good Instagram handle name. YouTube name, @personaltrainerpodcast. Yeah. You kidding me? That’s a good one.


0:26:27.0 Mike: And some good content that Jordan’s been uploading.


0:26:29.9 Jordan: It’s just content from here. So you’ve been listening to every episode.


0:26:32.5 Mike: Yeah. But you don’t retain after one listen. So you get the multiple. Gets reiterated to you. Yes, exactly.


0:26:41.5 Jordan: Yeah. Yesterday’s post, actually, people really liked you talking about orange juice.


0:26:44.5 Mike: Oh, did they? I assumed that was not gonna perform well.


0:26:47.6 Jordan: To be honest. I did as well. I thought it wasn’t, I thought people were gonna be like, you’re out of your mind. That’s not good. But we had Kim Schlag, we had a few other people commenting about how it’s a great idea for a carb source in the morning if you’re training early in the morning and you don’t want to eat before you train. Yeah. A lot of people liked it.


0:27:04.1 Mike: I got to get in there. I got to, thank you, Kim.


0:27:06.8 Jordan: Get in there.


0:27:07.5 Mike: I got to get in. I’m gonna get in there right after this. Yeah. I assumed I caught that one on YouTube at probably 10:00 PM last night when I was just mindlessly scrolling YouTube shorts. And yes, just so, I mean, we don’t, you can go listen to it there. We don’t need to talk about it here, but Jordan’s been crushing it on Clips Nation.


0:27:28.4 Jordan: Every day. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. Mike, text me first thing in the morning. Hey, time to post, get it done. Bangers only. [laughter] So it’s a good reminder.


0:27:37.5 Mike: We got a system. The ISTJ, ESTP partnership is the ultimate. It just works. And I’m not saying that because of us, I’m saying that because, what was the book I read? I don’t remember. I read a book that basically said that. Exactly.


0:27:56.1 Jordan: It’s true.


0:27:57.8 Mike: Oh, I got something we can rant about that I know you’ll like.


0:28:00.0 Jordan: Oh gosh.


0:28:03.4 Mike: Dude, self-employment tax is such a joke.


0:28:06.0 Jordan: Don’t get me started.


0:28:09.3 Mike: For like my first three years of business, I don’t think I understood what it was. Taxes are high enough. We are living in New York, and so you pay federal and then you pay 7.5% or 7.75% state, and then you pay another 4.25% New York City tax, but then your self-employment tax, which is social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and if you’re a W2 employee, you just pay 7.5%. But if you’re self-employed, you have to pay the employee portion and the employer portion. So you pay the 7.5% of, because you’re the employee and the 7.5% that your boss would pay if you were at a corporation or the company would pay rather 15.3%. We just get taxed. Here in the United States, we just get taxed left and right.


0:29:01.1 Jordan: It really, it doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t, it’s for small businesses, it gets harder and harder and harder to survive and for to even have a reason to continue to try and do better. It’s incredibly difficult. And I don’t understand it. And yeah, even the people who are like always say, yeah, I support small business, I support small business. But then they’re the ones who say like, tax the rich. Right? And in their mind, they think they’re talking about billionaires. They think, well, when I say tax rich, I mean billionaires. Okay. But like, who is the “Rich” ’cause we have to look at how much money that these small businesses are actually making. And so then when it boils down to it, like, oh, well, yeah. I mean, if they’re making a million a year then they’re rich. It’s like, okay, well that’s a small business.


0:29:54.1 Jordan: And they’re probably not, like they have employees that they have to pay and the health insurance they have to pay. And then all the state tax, federal tax, property tax, like all of these taxes, they’re making significantly less. They’re bringing home significantly less than half of that. Like oftentimes like maybe 20-25% of that. And that they…


0:30:18.1 Mike: It depends on the industry. It might be 10%.


0:30:20.1 Jordan: Yeah. And just absolute insanity. And I think people don’t realize who they, that they’re actually hurting small businesses when they’re voting for these policies. It’s insane.


0:30:31.3 Mike: And even less than a million, I mean, it’s capped at 168K. So what that means is if you make $200,000, you have to pay. I mean, you pay your federal, you pay your state, but you also pay this 15.3% up to $168,000 like the majority of your income. If you’re making 150,000, you’re paying an extra 7.5%, so 15% total on all of your income. It’s nuts. And you’re absolutely right. It’s, I mean, there are reasons for it, but yeah, it’s disincentivizing small business. It’s too bad.


0:31:10.5 Jordan: Yeah.


0:31:10.6 Mike: I’m a new coach and I see a lot of people in the gym doing exercises wrong. It makes me want to correct them.


0:31:22.2 Jordan: Nope.


0:31:22.3 Mike: Is that okay?


0:31:23.2 Jordan: No. No, no. No.


0:31:25.7 Mike: I love that that’s the instinct though. Just the interest, the excitement, the desire to help. These are all really good qualities. But why do you say no?


0:31:38.3 Jordan: It’s, there’s so many reasons why you don’t just go up to someone and say, Hey, you’re doing that wrong. Basic human psychology. The vast majority… I mean, think about this. You’re, number one, you’re in a public gym. People are already, there’s a little bit of a on edge there, right? There’s already people who are insecure, they’re unsure. Some people deal with those insecurities differently. Some people are more confrontational. Some people are more reserved. So it’s already a difficult place to be in, a vulnerable place to be in. You don’t know what they’re going through. You don’t know why they’re doing it that way. You don’t know if they have a coach already. You have no idea what state of mind they’re in. And even if you have the best of intent and you do it very nice, I’m not gonna say I’ve never seen it work out well. There have been some times people who’ve received it well. I would say 96% of the time it doesn’t go well.


0:32:36.9 Jordan: It doesn’t. And even if they are nice and polite, when you give them the advice, they’re then going on social media being like, fucking prick just told me how to do this. Whatever it is, it’s just not good. And it will probably get them to dig their heels in and do it the other way. What I’ve found works much better is consistently going to the gym. And when you’re there, just being a good example of what a good lifter looks like, and you will often get these exact people asking you for help just because they’re watching you. When you set the example of what good technique and good lifting looks like, people notice, they see it, they understand it, they respect it. And it’s funny, we all understand, or any good coach, any moderately good coach understands the importance of progression with exercise.


0:33:25.0 Jordan: First, you start with this and you progress to this. Once you’re, you improve your mobility, your strength, you can progress, do exercise progressions. I think now people are starting to understand there’s progression with nutrition as well, calorie counting. And then you can progress from calorie counting to maybe a little bit less calorie counting to, and then eventually progressing to intuitive eating down the road. But there’s progressions to these things. It’s not just you start with one and immediately go to the most advanced. I think we need to understand that with human interaction, there’s also progression. And if you go up to someone that you’ve never interacted with before and just immediately correct them on something that they’re doing in a very vulnerable situation, odds are it’s gonna be a very, a terrible, terrible interaction. Whereas if you go to the gym, they start to see you, great.


0:34:11.7 Jordan: Then you give them a head nod, great. Then you introduce yourself, Hey, my name’s so-and-so hey, awesome, nice to meet you. Have some laugh back and forth, and this is over a several week period. Then by the time they’ve gotten to know you, you’re not a danger. You’re a nice person, a good gym friend. Then either they’ll ask you, or once you’ve established a close enough relationship, you could be like, Hey, you know what? I’ve been trying something. Would you mind if I gave you some, my thoughts on how you might do this technique better or more safely? Then you can try that once you’ve already reached a point where you have significant rapport, but going up to a random person that you don’t know and haven’t spoken to, and just saying, Hey, you’re doing that wrong. Even if you do it in a nice way, not a good idea.


0:34:52.0 Mike: Good answer. I like it. I once heard, I don’t remember where, so I unfortunately can’t give credit. But the only situations where it would be warranted is if someone is either very old or very young and doing something where they are at risk of immediate danger, would be like…


0:35:18.8 Jordan: Or hurting someone else. Yeah.


0:35:20.8 Mike: Rare instances. Or hurt. Yeah. Hurting themself or hurting someone else. Yes.


0:35:23.7 Jordan: Honestly, let’s say it’s someone really young, I would be more likely to do it with an elderly person. But if it’s a young 15, 16, 17, 18-year-old kid and they’re deadlifting and just doing something like…


0:35:36.0 Mike: 12, 13, I think of, when I heard very young, I didn’t think of an 18-year-old, but…


0:35:42.4 Jordan: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, if it’s younger than 14, I’ll say something to them. If it’s older…


0:35:50.5 Mike: High school and above.


0:35:51.8 Jordan: Yeah. If it’s older than 14 and younger than 65, I’m not saying anything. If it’s out of that range, I might say something. If they’re in an immediate risk, and, but I don’t care who it is, if they’re putting other people at risk, I’ll say something immediately. If they’re throwing their dumbbells around, if they’re making other people either feel unsafe or actually be unsafe, I will absolutely say something. But if it’s for them personally, I’m not saying something.


0:36:23.8 Mike: Well said. Has it been enough time to tell the poop story?


0:36:30.1 Jordan: We’re not telling the poop story.


0:36:32.1 Mike: Cool.


0:36:33.4 Jordan: Cut that, David.


0:36:34.4 Mike: Not enough time here. Wait, wait, wait. No, we got to leave it in because it’s gonna be a teaser and then like four years, it’s gonna be like an ongoing joke like every few months.


0:36:39.0 Jordan: All right. Eventually one day we’ll tell the story, but not for at least a year.




0:36:49.7 Jordan: I thought you didn’t like poop talk anyway, but this story you’re about.


0:36:52.0 Mike: That’s a good point. [laughter] I just I’m excited to have it in my notes for every episode just to bring it up.


0:37:00.7 Jordan: Okay. It’ll be a good recurring theme. Okay.


0:37:03.0 Mike: This could be real quick, and I don’t even know if it’s that interesting, but an episode or two ago, you asked me if I would ever do a bodybuilding show because I love lifting so much, and I struggled to articulate my answer.


0:37:16.0 Jordan: Okay.


0:37:18.5 Mike: And then it came to me, but this was like 10 days ago and I made a note. So I’m trying to pull it together here, but I think I know why I am not interested.


0:37:28.6 Jordan: Is it the thong?




0:37:36.7 Mike: When Jordan Peterson made the case that as a man you should be attractive to all women, but choose one, which is like, he makes an evolutionary biology argument for “being attractive” to all is akin to like doing the right thing consistently. Like living in a very good way leads you to be attractive to all. But then choosing one. There’s almost a parallel, which is something like training in a way that leads me to that result without ever actually like a little bit of Henry Rollins spiced in. A little bit of, “Do the right thing, be consistent, be on point with your nutrition.” And dieting down for bodybuilding show isn’t “doing the right thing,” but I’m being a little loose here. But basically, “Be consistent. Do the right thing. Push yourself hard. Do all these things, but do it for the process. Don’t do it so you can be judged by a panel and stand up there in the thong, for me, but do it, and then don’t even showcase the result.”


0:38:58.0 Jordan: Yeah. I like that.


0:39:00.0 Mike: And it kind of actually ties back to the beginning of this episode, which is the realization that on the day to day, the primary benefit of strength training is positive mental health outcomes. Like, that’s the reason. It’s not to stand on a stage for me at least.


0:39:18.8 Jordan: Yeah. In this instance, you’re talking about showcasing it, like you don’t need to show it. There’s also the other aspect of it, and you sort of hit on it being and dieting down isn’t necessarily the right thing. That from an actual health and performance perspective, people who are competing in bodybuilding, physique, whatever, like they’re at their least healthy the day that they’re competing. Like they’re the least healthy. They are often have terrible relationships with food, often their blood work is not good. They’re like, they feel miserable. Like if you ask them to perform, like at a high level of performance, like to compete in a race or any type of physical event, they would never do what they did to before they stepped on stage. They would fuel themselves completely differently. So even from the perspective of doing the right thing and in performance that’s their, that’s like the worst day of their life when they step on the stage like that.


0:40:19.5 Mike: The worst day since they started training, and this is actually interesting because you brought this up to me with the unhealthy relationships with exercise. I would argue depending on what their starting point was, the day before they started fitness was probably more unhealthy than the day they step on stage.


0:40:36.9 Jordan: That would be interesting to look at.


0:40:39.1 Mike: Totally depends on where they started.


0:40:41.9 Jordan: Where they started. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.


0:40:46.0 Mike: Yeah. But yes, you make a good point that that isn’t, where you’re at when you’re standing on stage isn’t optimal.


0:40:51.4 Jordan: Yeah. It’s always interesting watching ’cause I have friends and colleagues who do that stuff and just talking to them while they’re in the middle of their prep, they’re just like, “I’m so hungry. I’m so tired. Going to the gym sucks.” And that’s like eight weeks out.




0:41:08.6 Mike: Yeah, yeah, yep.


0:41:11.4 Jordan: Just terrible.


0:41:12.2 Mike: Yeah. It does not seem fun.


0:41:14.2 Jordan: It’s funny. Like you look at some of the best athletes in the world, whether it’s hockey players or fighters or basketball players or football players, like real, real athletic positions, real athletic. Like they don’t look like bodybuilders.


0:41:29.4 Mike: Yeah. Many of them don’t. Most of them don’t.


0:41:32.4 Jordan: The vast majority of them don’t. The vast, it’s some genetic freaks do year round, but the vast majority don’t.


0:41:38.1 Mike: Yeah. When they’re at peak performance. Yeah.


0:41:40.5 Jordan: I even look at like, look at Tyson Fury, it’s like it’s so interesting. It’s so…


0:41:46.9 Mike: And you could argue that he is not so good because of his physique, but in spite of his physique, meaning, and I’m not saying he should be 5% body fat and then he’d be a better boxer, but with healthier habits, he perhaps could have been even better.


0:42:07.3 Jordan: Maybe yeah. Or Andy Ruiz Jr. [laughter] Yeah. Right. Or Butterbean. Which all of these are like cherry picked examples of dudes with a much higher body fat percentage who are also great boxers. But even look at like…


0:42:26.5 Mike: I’ll give you an even better example. Patrick Mahomes, who’s been floating around on social lately.


0:42:30.0 Jordan: Yup, yup, yes. I meant to make a post about that. Exactly.


0:42:30.5 Mike: Elite, elite. Just tag me when you do. That’s all I ask. [laughter] Yeah. And people being like, oh, Mahomes is out of shape because he’s carrying a little bit of body fat around his midsection. It’s like, no, he’s not out of shape. And then there’s another picture after they won the Super Bowl, his physique looks almost exactly the same. It’s like you don’t need to be single digit body fat to perform at a high level athletically. Now I’m not performing at a high level athletically and have like a degree of vanity. And if the goal is to maximize efficiency of muscle gain phase, then you’d rather stay, you’d rather not gain more fat than necessary but the punchline is being too lean is not good for health or performance. And too lean is different for everybody.


0:43:26.5 Jordan: What would you guess his body fat is?


0:43:30.7 Mike: Body fat?


0:43:32.0 Jordan: Based on that picture. It’s tough. It’s not like a shirtless picture.


0:43:33.1 Mike: Well, so the Super Bowl one or the playoff one was shirtless and we can throw that up there. And then the walking into training camp, he had the shirt on and maybe he is in worse shape right now than he was then.


0:43:42.7 Jordan: Slightly. Yeah.


0:43:43.7 Mike: Yeah. But we could guess. But similar.


0:43:47.8 Jordan: 18-20?


0:43:50.7 Mike: My gut was right in that range, 17 to 20. But then I go to…


0:43:58.8 Jordan: He’s got more lean mass for sure, but he is also…


0:43:58.9 Mike: Lean mass and also…


0:44:00.1 Jordan: He’s got some body fat.


0:44:03.7 Mike: We as a culture, even fitness culture or even culture at large, looking at dude physique and judging leanness is hyperfocused on abs and different people store body fat in different places, so I don’t know if he disproportionately stores fat in his abs or in like his stomach area relative to low back…


0:44:22.5 Jordan: Legs, thighs. Yeah, exactly.


0:44:23.6 Mike: And so it’s hard to give a really good guess just based on a picture in close, but 18 seems plausible.


0:44:38.5 Jordan: Yeah. Makes sense. I couldn’t believe people were saying he was out of shape. Like this guy is an absolute animal, like one of the most in-shape people in the world, like it really highlighted how people conflate body fat percentage or like they look at bodybuilders on stage and think, “oh wow they’re like super in shape” And it’s like, you guys have no clue what the fuck you’re talking about.


0:45:04.4 Mike: It just depends on what you mean. It’s aesthetics and performance are different.


0:45:08.8 Jordan: Yeah. And people don’t know that. They don’t realize that it’s really incredible. It really shows how many people have never really been super, super, super low digit body fat because…


0:45:18.3 Mike: Yeah. You know what it feels like, it’s brutal.


0:45:20.8 Jordan: You know how terrible it feels. [laughter] What are you laughing at? Mike’s been doing this in the mentorship Q&As lately [laughter] The people who have been attending the mentorship Q&As. Like, I’ll be talking. Well, we answer questions every week in the mentorship Q&As, shout out to everyone in the mentorship. And last week we were answering questions and every time I started talking, Mike would get this shit eating grin on his face. I had to be like, “Mike, what are you laughing at over there?”


0:45:47.3 Mike: I was just in a really good mood, postworkout. And both times you were telling a story or like a lesson you were teaching and I knew where it was going and I was just smiling and enjoying the story, but it was distracting. Usually you’re indistractable, you’re usually like a…


0:46:06.3 Jordan: No, that’s not me at all. I’m very distractible.


0:46:09.5 Mike: No.


0:46:13.2 Jordan: I’m like arguably the most distract, like my… Ms. Callahan…


0:46:13.1 Mike: You’re both, you’re both.


0:46:13.2 Jordan: My fourth grade teacher, wrote home on my report card saying that, “every time someone walks in the door, Jordan immediately looks up from whatever he is doing to see how he can act or interact with them.”




0:46:22.5 Mike: Yes. You’re a distractible listener, but you’re usually an indistractable speaker.


0:46:29.6 Jordan: Oh, interesting, interesting.


0:46:31.0 Mike: Yeah. Like when you’re in a groove and teaching a lesson, you’re dialed in. So I’ll monitor my facial expressions in this upcoming Q&A. Don’t worry.


0:46:38.1 Jordan: All right, just keep an eye on them.


0:46:40.5 Mike: How many steps a day are you getting lately?


0:46:46.8 Jordan: The lowest I’ve gotten in the last couple of months is like 6,000 something like that. But usually it’s like 7,500 to usually between 7,500 and 8,500. I’d say a couple times a week. I go 11 to 14, but usually between 75 and 85. What about you?


0:47:07.4 Mike: Man. You’re dialed. I’m in that same range, but very intentionally. I don’t remember when it was, I think it was my last New York trip actually when I had the realization that scrolling had replaced walking for me somehow over the last number of years and did the year by year step analysis on my phone. But for the last month of prioritizing steps, I feel so much better. Yeah, I’m aiming for 8,000 minimum a day. I hit that most days I would say, call it 80% of days and then a handful of days per week or two to three days per week it’ll be up in the 10 to 15 range.


0:47:47.6 Jordan: Yeah, man, it’s been great because I’ve been taking Curtis out for walks every morning and that like immediately gives me like almost half of my steps, just on like one loop of my neighborhood right away. And it’s great for him. He’s exhausted when we get back so he can take a nap and just like sleep while I get work done. And it’s nice ’cause my wife will come with me, our daughter comes with us. It’s like, it’s actually been probably the best way to start the morning. And we go early. It’s like 7:30, 8:00 in the morning, we’re out the door ’cause it gets hot here so we wanna go early. And man, it’s just been a great way to start the day. Just get outside, go on a walk.


0:48:27.9 Mike: You get that AM light in your retina.


0:48:30.7 Jordan: Dude, yeah.


0:48:32.3 Mike: Gets your sleep dialed, stimulate proper timing of melatonin production.


0:48:38.5 Jordan: That’s what I was thinking. That’s like literally what I told my wife, “I’m trying to stimulate the melatonin. Let’s go.”


0:48:45.8 Mike: I know, I know. That’s what you told me off air.


0:48:48.9 Jordan: That’s not true for everyone listening. Not even close.


0:48:52.0 Mike: No it’s not remotely true. Although, speaking of melatonin, I saw a hilarious meme that might not make sense here, but basically it was like a kid’s homework, and maybe like a third or a fourth grader’s homework, second grader. And it was my mom looks the prettiest when dot, dot, dot. And then the kid wrote, the kid wrote, “Before that man comes over and she makes me take melatonin.” And spelled melatonin like M-E-L-U… Like just the funniest spelling of melatonin.


0:49:30.9 Jordan: Oh my gosh. [laughter] Was this real? This is like an actual homework or something?


0:49:39.2 Mike: Yeah.


0:49:39.3 Jordan: Oh my gosh. [laughter] Makes me take melatonin.


0:49:44.5 Mike: Makes me take melatonin.


0:49:47.0 Jordan: Oh, that’s funny.


0:49:49.5 Mike: Yeah.


0:49:50.2 Jordan: Are we gonna end it on that note?


0:49:53.1 Mike: I think so. Unless you have anything else you wanna end it on.




0:49:53.2 Jordan: How to Become a Personal Trainer Podcast. Melatonin.


0:49:56.1 Mike: I think today, dude, we were citing studies, this today was hyper-focused on how to become a personal trainer/fitness industry in general.


0:50:05.0 Jordan: Agreed. No, it was a good one. It was a good. Thank you everyone for listening. We appreciate it. Thank you to everyone in the mentorship. We freaking love you.


0:50:12.7 Mike: We do.


0:50:13.9 Jordan: It’s amazing seeing you every week, talking every week, watching your businesses grow, watching you grow as coaches. So thank you everyone listening. Have a wonderful week. We’ll talk to you soon. 


0:50:20.6 Mike: Bye everyone.

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