Mike: Hello and welcome to Muscle for Life. I am your host, Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for another interview with my buddy Jordan S on how to make fitness a sustainable lifestyle. At least that was the plan going into the talk, and as you will hear it meanders a bit, but I do think it was productive, meandering, and it also was mostly, at least tangentially related to the topic of.
Sustainable fitness, not just getting fit, but staying fit for the long term. How do you achieve that? How do you make sure that you are consistent enough with the things that matter the most to achieve and maintain a healthy body composition, a healthy relationship with food, and also just a generally healthy body?
And in case you are not familiar with Jordan, he is a world record powerlifter. He is Gary Vaynerchuk’s personal trainer and he’s also the owner OFS Fitness and Jordan’s down to earth approach to fitness and nutrition has made him a much loved figure in the fitness community. And Jordan is just an all around good guy.
I always enjoy catching up with Jordan and I hope you like this catch up as well. Hello, Jordan. It’s good to see you again.
Jordan: Hi. Good to see you, man.
Mike: Yeah. You’re looking, uh, you’re looking well rested for a dad of a 10 month old
Jordan: dude. She sleeps like a champ. It’s like the first five weeks were brutal. Like absolutely like brutal.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Sleep deprivation, torture, basically.
Jordan: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. But since five weeks she slept between eight to 12 hours a night, leaning more towards 12. So it’s, she’s been, yeah, she’s been killing it. It’s been great.
Mike: I wish, I wish I did not have that experience with Myah, especially my son. I think now my wife was sleeping.
I would usually, I, this time we, we were in a condo and so I just started sleeping on the couch because he would wake up every hour or two. And then he al he always wanted her. My presence was just not required. Like he didn’t, he wouldn’t accept my, uh, even attempts to soothe him anyway, so I was like, whatever, I’ll be over here on the couch sleeping, but I’m glad to hear that.
Jordan: Yeah. Yeah, man, every, everything’s going well. How’s everything with you? Everything good?
Mike: Yeah. Just, you know, busy with work and busy with, uh, this farm construction project that I have taken upon myself, my wife, we’ve taken upon ourselves, which is a pain in the ass. And, you know, I expected it to be a pain in the ass, but it’s always one of those things, it’s easy to intellectualize like pain.
Oh, it’s gonna be a pain in the ass. It’s, it’s another thing to go through it and be like, oh, this is a pain in the ass. You know what I mean? Like, I, I didn’t, I mean, Everyone I’ve spoken to has ever built a house even. It’s like, it sucks. Just expect it to take way too long and cost way too much money. You are not gonna have a good time.
And then you add some other farm elements into it. So you know now that there are more moving parts, but we’re gonna, we’re gonna stay the course, so it’ll be cool when it’s done. It’s just, is it’s, it’s one of those things actually, I mean, you probably can relate to this and maybe people can relate to this.
You, you can certainly just think of in your business, but really like any goal that you are really wanting to achieve and when things are moving too slowly or it feels like things are moving too slowly, and not only are you really anticipating this outcome, but there are elements of where you’re at currently that you really don’t like.
You know what I mean? So you’re, you’re like pulled toward this thing and there are things that are, you’re, you’re living through every day where you’re like, oh, I just can’t wait until it’s not like this. You know what I mean? And then so you put yourself in that situation and then make it take what feels like way too long and everything is slow and everything takes way, you know?
So it’s just, uh, I’m not a very patient person by nature, so maybe I can look at like this is a good spiritual challenge for me or something. Cuz it requires patience.
Jordan: I can’t even imagine. And then once it’s all said and done, I don’t know how in depth the farm is gonna be, but man, that’s like the personification of patience needed when you’re, when you own a farm, like that’s like an unbelievable amount of work time, effort, patience.
Like that’s amazing that you’re doing that.
Mike: Yeah, I mean what, we’re gonna have a scaled down operation, so to speak. But yeah, I would like to grow food and you’re absolutely right. And fortunately I have some good resources, some people who know a lot about that stuff and can help at least get it going and we’ll see how far I want to take it and look into, we have some horse horses looking to maybe a couple of other animals, but I’m not looking to create a commercial.
Enterprise. It is really just a, like a, first and foremost, it’s just a, a family residence. But you’re right, it comes with even just more cognitive overhead, so to speak. And, and I think that’s something that, I don’t know if you’ve had these discussions just over the years, I, I particularly with people who have been financially successful and then expanded their lifestyle.
I, I’ve just heard that I can think of a few instances of people who went through that process of acquiring more and more stuff That sounded cool to have until they realized that even when they had the money to create systems that, you know, include people for managing stuff, it just required their attention, some of their time.
Some of their energy on an ongoing basis. And uh, again, none of this, uh, I want people to think I’m complaining, oh, poor me with my farm. No. But there is something to be said for that where depending on what your priorities are, and this is something that I’ve also had to kind of like think about in terms of priorities between work and family and then I am needed now for things related to just this farm.
And, and it’s still just in the construction phase. So there’s something else to consider before taking on such an endeavor is make sure that you’re willing to give it what it’s going to require to make it run the way you want it to. Otherwise that it just, just adds further frustration, you know.
Jordan: I think it’s a good way to put it, like the cognitive overhead, because even like once you, you get to a certain point where things are more or less streamlined in your life, I think it’s easy.
I know I struggle with this where it’s like, oh cool, so now I have so much more time and energy to devote to this, which technically is true. But then, uh, I don’t think, at least for me, sometimes I overestimate what I actually can handle because I’ve streamlined X, y, Z amount. But then I don’t take into consideration like, okay, well those couple of hours of what I thought were downtime were actually essential to me.
And, you know, being with my wife, being with my daughter, making sure I get a full workout in without feeling rushed, things like that. Like those are essential to me. And then if I, if I try and add things on top, so for example, we’re, we’re actually in the process of building a house right now. And one thing I’ve, I’ve wanted for a while is chickens.
And I’ve lived in, uh, an apartment for the last over 10 years of my life. So this will be my first time back in a house with a yard. And chickens are something I really want. But I also know it’s like, That’s gonna be a lot of extra work, and it’s just chickens. So it’s like really trying to educate myself on that, figure out, like learn about it as much as I can.
So by the time that does happen, it’s not, uh, overwhelming, but I’m sure it absolutely will be. So it’s, uh, it’s definitely a, a everything is a learning curve.
Mike: Yeah. Uh, that’s funny that, so you started a similar process, it sounds like a a, a mini, a mini farm of sorts.
Jordan: Yeah. Like the most miniature that I could ever be.
Like, it’s not even a farm, it’s just chickens. And then we have a pond on our property that I wanna fill with fish. So it’s not a farm, it’s just like, I’d like to have chickens.
Mike: Yeah. I’m thinking about exactly for my property, my understanding, I haven’t looked into too much. My understanding is that chickens are relatively easy to care for.
That’s my understanding.
Jordan: Yeah. Correct. I think I would imagine they’re among the easiest and relatively low maintenance, especially compared to like, I don’t know, a cow or a horse or any,
Mike: maybe, I don’t know. I mean, I see cows, so right around the corner from my farm, there’s a, a large piece of land and there are cows out there just hanging out.
I, I’ve never seen a single person in that field. I’ve just seen cows. They seem to take care of themselves for the most part.
Jordan: Maybe, or maybe the person taking care of ’em is out there at like three or four in the morning. I don’t know. I’m not a farmer.
Mike: That’s very true. They’re on like a com. They have to be on a, on a reversed schedule.
That’s why I don’t see them.
Jordan: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So I’m excited about it, but that’s awesome that you’re doing that, man. That’s amazing.
Mike: Yeah. It’ll be, I, I do think it’ll be worth the. The headaches, when it’s, when it’s done next year, early next year, the house will be done, and then the rest of this stuff will probably be done, I don’t know, maybe mid to late next year.
And then if I haven’t sold it, if I haven’t sold it, that means that I guess I’m liking it. I have a friend who, so it’s go, he’s going on probably at least a year and a half, if not two years, building a house in Nevada. It was supposed to take a year to a year. Yeah, probably a year or so. It’s at least six to 10 months overdue now.
And so it’s this whole process and he spent a lot of money on the plans and project manager and builder and the whole thing. And they messed all this stuff up. And after all that, he’s so sick of the whole experience that he decided not only to just sell it and he’s gonna lose a lot of money, just sell it, say I’m done with this, finish it, sell it.
And I’m, I’m leaving this entire state. He’s living in Nevada and he doesn’t like, and he moved there primarily for tax reasons and he doesn’t like that. It’s so hot. And he’s like in a desert and there are tarantulas and scorpions and rattles stakes and stuff. And he can’t let his kids go out and play at certain times cuz there are coyotes roaming around and you know, things that he doesn’t like.
But it’s just that construction. Experience in particular just soured him so much. He’s like, I’m going back to California. This is it. I’m going to Beverly Hills where I want to be anyway, and I’m selling this and I’m never coming back to this state.
Jordan: Geez, that sounds like an awful experience and I’m just praying that’s not what happens with us.
Mike: Yeah. When we’re done speaking, I can share with you a few tips that I’ve, things I’ve gleaned, like looking back now already things have been smooth ish. Inevitably there will be delays. You probably are gonna have to spend a bit more money than you think, but I’ll share a few things that might help you avoid, like extensive delays and major budgetary overages where you’re like, uh, okay.
Like, I guess, uh, I guess I’m just gonna be writing checks a lot. Anyway, to switch gears here, let’s talk about, I wanted to get you on to talk about something that you’ve created a lot of content. You’ve, over the years, I’ve seen a lot of tweets from you and Instagram posts and so forth. We’ve talked about this and I like your viewpoints on it, and that is how to make fitness more sustainable, how to customize it for your lifestyle, for your goals.
And we, I think we can go all over the place with that. We can talk about how that relates to eating, how that relates to training, how that relates to. Maybe other kind of health considerations, lifestyle considerations, because while some of us. May wish that we could make fitness our top priority and get in the gym at least five days a week, if not six days a week, and train for at least an hour, if not two hours per session, and have our, our chef make every meal for us.
That’s perfect to the calorie and macro and so on and so on. I mean, I don’t do that, so I don’t, I don’t know how many people listening, uh, do that. And so we need, we need something, we need an approach, a fitness regimen that is more flexible and just more realistic, especially given where most people are at.
That fitness is important, but it is not the top priority. Sometimes it needs to be well down the list of priorities because that’s how life goes
Jordan: when it comes to sustainability. I have a lot of thoughts on this, and the first place that I look is like, why do people struggle with being sustainable? Like, why, why do people struggle?
Staying consistent at all? And I found that the number one reason is because people often, Overestimate what is necessary in order to actually see results. So, and as a result of that, they end up, I need to work out seven days a week and it needs to be for four hours and I need to be perfect with my nutrition.
And then as soon as they can’t do it, which is obvious because that that’s not sustainable for anyone. They feel like they screwed up and then they end up quitting. So the number one thing I think is understanding that consistently good is infinitely better than inconsistently. Perfect. Realizing you don’t need to be doing insane, insane amounts.
Now, candidly, I will like, I’ve been saying this for years and I very much believe it. I’m almost starting to go in the other direction now though, in terms of like, you should be doing more just because I’ve seen such a huge push for people to do less and to do less and to do less. But I’m almost like I’m trying to balance the messaging now.
Like I’ve seen people being like, yeah, as long as you get like 2000 steps a day, you’re good. I’m like, you’re out of your fucking mind. Like, why are we shooting? So. Low 2000, like, I dunno if you’re 85, maybe like, that would be like really great. But if you’re not 85 and Ill, I would lo like there’s a 93 year old woman out of Illinois who walks three miles every day and it’s just like, it’s significantly more than 2000 steps, you know?
So, um, I very much believe people don’t need to do as much as they’ve historically been told they need to do. But I’m also trying to balance that with people being told. Just do less, just do less, just do less. I, I’m
Mike: glad you brought that up. I think that might be worth speaking about a little bit further, and maybe, maybe this is what you were just about to do, is give some specifics in terms of what would be too much and then what is not enough.
2000 steps a day. Not enough. And I totally agree with you. And that’s partly marketing, right? It’s a, it’s kind of a sexy marketing message. Like, no, you don’t, you, you barely have to do anything really. You know, there are parallels to that, even in the body positivity movement where, no, you cannot be healthy at any size or at every size.
You can be healthy at many different sizes, and exercise is always healthy regardless of what size you are. Sure. But even the. Aesthetic component of it. I would argue not to go off on a long tangent, but I would argue that the classical standards of beauty, which is not like a starved out model who subsist on like ice chips and cocaine, but you know that if you look at the, the more classical aesthetic sensibilities are more rooted in biology than than social constructs.
And so now some people, there are always outliers, there are always exceptions to every rule, but I think there are similarities to what you’re saying. Even in that regard where anyone can be physically beautiful, not even, we’re not talking about like cute or mildly attractive. No, no. Beautiful to me that that’s strong term.
Beautiful. She is beautiful regardless of how she looks and or he, he is beautiful regardless of how he looks, simply because he says he’s beautiful. I don’t agree with that. I think it’s fundamentally just at odds with, we could start with common sense.
Jordan: Yeah, there’s a lot of research around this. The biological standards, like it’s, I don’t know why it’s taboo to talk about, but yeah, it’s very real.
In terms of what I look at having the most impact on health, I always go to just movement. I don’t even go to, like, I’m, I’m not talking about CrossFit, I’m not talking about power lifting. I’m not talking about high intensity training, just walking basically. And, uh, if someone can’t walk for whatever reason, just again, movement, whether it’s swimming, cycling, rowing, I don’t care, just movement walking just tends to be the easiest to measure.
And so like, you just give someone a pedometer and it’s a much easier measurement tool for
Mike: researchers. But it is just walking though to the point that you were making. I agree that walking is great, everybody should walk every day. However, I don’t know if you’ve seen this, I’ve certainly seen this on Twitter where I see a bit more because I spend a bit more time using Twitter, like creating content for it and blah, blah blah.
And it’s funny how consistently tweets regarding walking and the benefits of walking do quite well. And I think part of that though is coming back to what you mentioned is this, there is this marketing angle of you don’t really have to do hard stuff and if you just do the easy stuff, you’re totally fine.
I try not to to forward that message while still acknowledging that walking is great, everybody should be staying active, walking, get outside, get in the sun. But let’s remember though, It is just walking and 10,000 steps per day or 15,000 steps per day is only gonna get you so far in terms of your fitness and your health.
Jordan: Yeah, I think that, here’s the way I look at it in terms of, if I’m looking at someone’s overall lifestyle, the first thing I’m looking at is what makes up the majority of their day. And, and it’s like if I have someone who’s never worked out is super unhealthy, very like very unwell, walking is the first thing I’m gonna discuss with them.
Maybe walking and sleep. Realistically, in the last few years I’ve seen anywhere from on the low end, like 1500 to 2000 step recommendations a day, which is just wildly low. Uh, and I think dangerously low is a, a, a fair term to use all the way up to 25,000 steps a day on the very, very, very high end people in support and research, in support of either of those.
I actually haven’t seen any research in support of 1500 to 2000, but I’ve seen people saying there’s research, but I haven’t found that yet. It doesn’t exist. Yeah, it doesn’t exist. So what I’ve found is generally speaking, between 7,500 to 10,000, really being like where you get the most of your, of your benefits up to 16,000, I’ve found that there actually are like significant benefits with, but now where I come into play is like, what if instead of getting those extra 6,000, that’s when we strength train.
Mike: Yep. Because remember, that’s an extra, probably 45 minutes at least of walking. Now if it just happens because of your lifestyle, maybe your job, you’re on your feet a lot, that’s great. But if you’re having to make that happen by going out and going for a walk, I go out for a few walks. I like to also use that time to either listen to a podcast, something that, or listen to an audio book because why not?
I’m just walking around. Or if I have to make a phone call, I’ll hop on the bike back here or go outside and go out for a walk. But to go from 10,000 steps per day, which is probably about an hour and a half, two hours per day for most people to 15,000 or more, to your point. Well that is now another 45 to 60 minutes that you are having to allot for some sort of exercise.
Jordan: yeah, that’s exactly right. And so if during that time you could get strength training in, I think that would be a far better use of your time outside rather than trying to get an extra 5,000, 6,000 steps or maybe even 15,000 steps depending on the person. Or even
Mike: on certain days. I’ve told people that, you know, if they have their 45 minutes or so, 60 minutes in the day and they can walk, or let’s say two or three days per week, if they can do strength training just because of the consequence of their lifestyle, like that’s really all they’ve got.
And on those days they are not gonna be getting 10,000 steps. But if it’s scenario A, they get about 10,000 steps per day, but no strength training and they do that 5, 6, 7 days a week or scenario B where they’re getting those steps in most days. But then there are two or three strength training days in there where they’re.
Just getting in fewer steps. I think the latter scenario is wins out in every way.
Jordan: Yeah, I, I completely agree. This is another reason also why I’m such a huge proponent of zone two work because inherently you will be going a little bit faster and so you’ll get your steps in more quickly. And I also think just the health benefits of zone two.
Do you want to
Mike: explain what that is, just so people know?
Jordan: Yeah, so there are different systems. Some have five zones, some have seven zones, some there are various ones. But generally like you have different zone zone one essentially being what for most people would just be walking where. I sort of explain it by like, imagine you’re on the phone with someone.
If you’re in zone one and you’re walking, they wouldn’t even know that you’re moving. You could be on the couch, you could be walking, but based on your breath and your breathing, they would have no clue. Zone two is slightly higher intensity where it’s slightly uncomfortable, right? Where if you’re on the phone with someone, they’ll be able to know that you are moving and that you’re exercising.
But it’s not in any way, shape, or form impeding the conversation. It would be inappropriate in a business setting where like if I was in zone two right now, it would be enough for listeners to be like, what the fuck, dude? Just sit down and talk. But like I could talk without really an issue. Anything above zone two, we’re going 3, 4, 5.
It’s getting exponentially more difficult, and it would seriously impede the conversation. And this is getting into more higher intensity type training. So zone two, I think the main benefit is you get all of the benefits of zone one, just overall movement with the added benefits of more aerobic capacity, you get so many extra cardiovascular benefits without the negatives that come from zone 3, 4, 5 training, which is essentially more stress on your overall system and depending on the modality that you’re using, potentially more stress on your joints, tendons, ligaments as well.
So if you’re doing sprints on a treadmill or something, you’re gonna have a lot of ground impact forces on your body, which it’s not inherently bad, but you can’t rack up too much of that because it’s, it’s very, very stressful. You’re also using, uh, zone five. You’re using essentially the same energy system that you’d be using, doing like a max effort deadlift.
And so that produces a lot of stress on your central nervous system on overall recovery with zone two work, it doesn’t affect your recovery. In fact, I would argue it probably helps your recovery and you get greater cardiovascular benefits as well. So, This is another reason why I’m a huge proponent of zone two because well walking 10,000 steps leisurely in zone one might take an hour and a half.
Getting 10,000 steps at zone two might cut that in half or close to that so you get more bang for your buck in less time. Yep. I think
Mike: that’s a great tip. Really what it is, is walk faster and then as that gets easier, Walk faster. And then as that gets easier, that’s actually a, uh, one of the guys who works with me for my birthday, he got me a go ruck pack and then add that.
So it’s just, and for people listening, it’s just a backpack really. And then there are some weights. He got me, so I haven’t even set it up yet. It just, it just rides, but, and you put weights in it and then that allows you to make your walking just a little bit more difficult to, to Jordan’s point, to just bring it into that zone two level of difficulty, I guess you could say.
Jordan: Yeah, dude, the walking with a weighted vest has been my absolute favorite activity From like a, a cardiovascular perspective, I, I broke my rib about five weeks ago in Juujitsu, and so I can’t really do sprinting. I can’t really do, uh, high intensity work right now. So I’ve been putting that on. I just put the treadmill an incline of 15 and about like a 2.7 speed, and that’s my zone two right now.
And like, it’s, it’s amazing. I love it. I, I get significant levels of difficulty without needing to put my body through high levels of stress. I love their Go Rock or weighted vests or any, anything like that. I think they are severely underrated. And I’ll say for the average everyday person, especially if you’ve got a lot of weight to lose, you don’t need to put more weight on, like just go on a walk, maybe go on a walk on an incline or something.
But for someone who’s looking to get a little bit more intensity into their training without necessarily needing to increase the speed, which can add more, more damage, and more stress in your joints, just. Put a weighted vest on and that it makes it significantly more difficult and it doesn’t need to be super heavy.
15 to 20 pounds is fine.
Mike: Yep. Yeah. I prefer the faster walking. With, uh, a weighted backpack or a weighted vest over cuz then really the next, if you’re not gonna do that, you have to start jogging jogging’s fine. But I don’t particularly enjoy it and I just don’t want the added stress on my joints.
Jordan: Yeah, yeah.
Which is funny because 25 year old me would be like, what are you talking about? Stress over joints. But now, like, and I’m not old, but at 32 I’m like, oh, I, I feel that.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I’m, I’m 39 and so, and I, I’ve taken good care of myself, but there are differences between 39 and 29 and 19. There are differences.
Jordan: It’s crazy, man. And you hear it when you’re young and you’re like, yeah, yeah, yeah. But what, there’s a certain point where it’s like, oh, like I feel my Achilles now. Or like, I feel my knees or my lower back. Like, wow, this is, this is real. Yeah. It’s, it’s, uh, very important to be aware of that and a track of your, your biomarkers and how your body’s feeling so you’re not overdoing it.
And to know that there are different modalities that you can do that are relatively simple and easy to set up that don’t hurt you is amazing.
Mike: Do you want to transform your body, but you just can’t seem to break out of the rut? Have you read books and articles, watched videos, listened to podcasts, but still just aren’t sure exactly how to put all the pieces together for you?
Or maybe you know what to do, but you’re still struggling to stay motivated and on track and do the things that you know
Jordan: you should do
Mike: well, if you are nodding your head, I understand getting into great shape is pretty straightforward when you know what to do. But it’s
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That’s b y legion.com/vip and book your free consultation call now. And just to play off of what we were talking about earlier, I’d love to hear your thoughts on higher intensity work, which this kind of goes along with this trend of do less. You don’t have to do as much as all these people are saying, do the bare minimum, but we’ll couch that as like the minimum effective dose.
So it sounds kind of technical, you know, like 2000 steps per day, minimum effective dose, and don’t do 10,000 steps per day. Like, no, now you’re just sedentary, period. And, and so with that, I’ve seen. People also, I would say, downplay some of the benefits of adding some high intensity work. Maybe it’s not, I think you could make a, a good argument that it’s not vital.
But I do also think that many people, influencers and experts and so forth, I’ve seen talking about this type of thing, they tend to not acknowledge the very real benefits of doing, let’s say most of your work is in this zone one, zone two, or maybe just most of it is zone two. But then if you were to add, call it just 30 to max, 60 minutes per week of higher intensity interval of some kind.
It could be on a bike like this if you don’t want any impact or on an elliptical or swimming or rowing or whatever. I personally like you, I wouldn’t recommend running sprints. Outside on concrete or on treadmill, it’s just gonna beat you up unnecessary. I did that when I was probably 23, so physically as invincible as ever it was gonna be.
And even then I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do a few nights of sprints per week, plus the squatting, plus the deadlifting, it was just too much. What are your thoughts on that?
Jordan: Yeah, you know, it’s a great question and I, I agree. I think a lot of people are downplaying it and I think they’re downplaying it cuz they don’t understand it
Mike: and it’s hard.
It’s not particularly
Jordan: fun. Yeah, that, that’s exactly right. Yeah. And I see both sides. I see some people way overplaying it and saying like, this is all you. I literally, someone sent me a post today saying, I want to hear your thoughts on this. Basically someone saying, all you need is high intensity. And I’m like, good luck.
Like if you’re doing high intensity work properly, like you shouldn’t be able to do more than, I would say 30 to 60 minutes maximum per week. And that’s like a, a very high end when I calculate total minutes of high intensity. Let’s say you’re doing like, um, we’ll take a classic example of Tabata, like 10 on 20 off or 20 on, 10 off, whatever variation you’re doing.
I calculate the total amount of time at the high intensity sprint, so the rest actually doesn’t count. Uh, if you’re taking like whatever a minute rest or however long the rest periods are, I don’t count that truly towards the high intensity. It’s the total cumulative in that high intensity zone. So, I think for, again, going back to the example of someone who’s very unfit a lot of weight to lose, like I, I would not have them do that for fear of so many issues.
But once you get to an intermediate level, like I think it’s actually a, a great thing to play around with and especially if you’re someone who really, really cares about your performance. And, and we can break fitness down into three main goals just for the sake of, uh, ease, I would say There’s pain reduction based goals.
There’s aesthetic based goals and there’s performance based goals, right? So if you really care about your performance at a higher level and, and we’re not talking about pain reduction, we could loop. Aesthetics into this if we wanted to, but especially from a, I don’t know, improving your mile time or, uh, getting maximally strong or more explosive and more powerful, whether it’s competing in any type of athletic competition.
If you are at the very minimal, uh, uh, intermediate lifter, if not, or intermediate athlete, if not leaning more towards advanced and you’re not including it, you are short-changing yourself, you will be missing out on those benefits. And again, zone two, lower intensity should probably make, should not probably, but it should make up the majority of your conditioning.
But, That doesn’t mean that there aren’t serious benefits to including higher intensity training once or twice a week in short, but very high intensity bursts.
Mike: And what about weightlifting? Because you have, uh, gotten, I, I don’t know what your training is like currently, but you’ve gotten very strong, like you haven’t just dabbled in weightlifting or strength training.
You’ve put up some impressive numbers. And so have you found that in your own training and just in your experience working with people that including high intensity cardiovascular work has improved your strength, especially on kind of all out efforts with weights?
Jordan: You know, it’s interesting. I don’t know if I can honestly say high intensity cardiovascular work has improved, but what I can say is, and this might be a debate in terms of whether or not I consider this high intensity cardiovascular.
I’ll give you an example. I very much believe that very heavy. Very intense kettlebell swings for say five sets of five radically improved my deadlift. I absolutely think that speed deadlifts with 20 seconds rest between, and this isn’t high intensity, but between like 50 to 75%, one or at max radically improved my maximal effort deadlift.
So I think the kettlebell swing is probably a better example because it is very heavy. It is very high intensity. The only reason I’m shying away from calling it cardiovascular, even though I guess technically it is. So, yeah, fuck it is, it is cardiovascular be, uh, it absolutely is. So yeah, I think you just have to choose the modality correctly.
I don’t think that like a, a 22nd sprint would have the same carryover to my deadlift. But if you still apply the law of specificity and and technique and apply that to whatever movement you’re trying to get specifically strong in, absolutely it can 100% help.
Mike: I’ve definitely noticed it in sets. I’m thinking of deadlifting.
Probably starting at about six reps, certainly eight, certainly 10 reps that’s taken close to failure. I mean, those final few reps, it starts to feel like cardio. And as my cardio improved, I noticed that I just had a bit more gas in me toward the end of those sets and I, I probably was able to squeeze out at least another rep or two because I was just more cardiovascularly fit.
And I know that’s not necessarily like when people think of max effort, power lifting, deadlift, and they think of one rep max is, okay, fine, that’s not that. But not even high rep, just high your reps. That’s where you really start to notice your heart beating. I noticed improvements just by working on my
Jordan: A hundred percent. I love that perspective from the, just being able to, to make it through without as much fatigue. The other perspective, and this is really related to maybe the super heavy kettlebell swings, you’re essentially training your body through this cardiovascular modality to be more explosive, more quick, more powerful, have a higher rate of force development.
And so if you can increase your rate of force development, if you can improve your force output through this modality, then all of a sudden a set that might have been difficult for five before, you might be able to do that set for 7, 8, 9 now, because you’re able to create more force directly off the floor and then now it actually makes the lockout much easier, so you’re less fatigued by the end of it.
Mike: Yep. I, I never included speed training just because I never trained specifically for the big three for power lifting per se. I’ve always followed a, a hybrid type program where there’s a, a foundation of just kind of pure strength and then some body building work. But if I. Were to want to get maximally strong on the squat, on the deadlifts, on the bench press.
That makes perfect sense. And that’s also something that athletes should be doing. Basically all of them that should be part of their training. Uh, because even if you are like a professional ping pong player, more explosiveness is better.
Jordan: Yeah. Yes. And I think from an athletic perspective, it’s one of the most misunderstood and least represented aspects of training right now.
But even then, even not necessarily from an athletic perspective, like if I was working with a 65 year old woman, like I would want her to be able to be relatively explosive. I would want her to learn how to do that because there, there are many instances in which you need that. You need that ground reaction time.
You need that explosivity, and I obviously wouldn’t start her off with that, especially if she was completely untrained, because just basic strength training will improve that. But as you get to a a higher, more advanced level, it makes a lot of sense to include it a little bit. And I think the best part about it is, You don’t need much in order to improve.
In fact, it’s very easy to do too much. I think just a few sets, two to four sets of a few reps with real in solid intent at the beginning of your workout, immediately after your warmup, and you’re good. It doesn’t require a large volume. It’s a very low volume, high intensity. I think going back to what we’ve been discussing this whole time, it’s the intent of your intensity.
It’s like if you bring a, like all of your, your power, speed, explosive work, it’s real. It’s far less about how much or how fast and far more about how much are you intending to try to move as explosively, as quickly as possible. The actual benefits that you get are based on the intent that you bring to it, not necessarily how quick you actually move.
Mike: A mind muscle connection type of scenario and for people who want to try it, you mentioned could be two to four sets of a given exercise, sounds like even per week. And then, and then what does the loading look like? And you said, you know, it’s a few reps when, when you do that, or if you program that in for somebody who is curious, is just curious to see, you know, let’s say they’ve been strength training for, for a bit, they’re pretty strong now.
They’ve never done anything like this and they’re just curious how it might affect their, their regular training.
Jordan: Yeah, so it really depends on the movement, the modality that you’re using. Again, I wanna clarify this is after your warmup, before your main heavy lifts, you don’t wanna do this when you’re already fatigued.
This is consider a primer so that once you get into your heavy lifts, it’s actually gonna help you lift heavier. It’s gonna help you perform better. So you don’t wanna fatigue yourself doing it and you don’t wanna do it when you’re fatigued. We could use a quick example of something like a squat jump or a box jump where you don’t need any extra loading.
You do three sets, five reps, and I would take a full recovery in between every set. So I would take at least 60 to 90 seconds in between every set and. Here the intensity is gauged, not by how much weight you’re lifting cuz it’s just your body weight, but by the height of the box. So generally speaking, I would say like, and it can be somewhat hard to gauge, but the more you do it, the more more you learn.
It shouldn’t be a max effort box. Jump for three sets of five. Treat it in the same way that if you’re doing five reps with a a heavy weight, that’s what about 85% of the one at max. So generally by the fifth one it should be somewhat difficult, but you shouldn’t be failing. So it should be like about an 85% of your wander at max box jump height.
You can do same things with explosive speed pushups. Again, you’re not adding any extra weight. Three sets, five reps. I personally don’t like clap pushups, not because they’re bad, but because people are more focused on getting the clap than they are actually pushing themselves away from the floor. And so I just, rather than doing a clap pushup, I just do like explosive pushups.
Try and push yourself as far away from the floor as you possibly can as quickly as possible. I suppose if you
Mike: just left out the clap, maybe if you were to push and just, you let yourself come off the ground. Yes.
Jordan: That’s it. Yep. That’s it. So it’s like you keep your arms fully straight. You just try and get your, you’re
Mike: just trying to launch yourself as, as far as you can.
Jordan: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Because if you watch people do the clap pushup, they actually end up doing a partial rep and they just quickly bring their hands in. Whereas if you do, like a, some people would call it a superman style pushup, where they, they push themselves as far away, and then they can, well, their arms are fully extended, they can then raise them over their head.
That is true explosivity. So again, something like that, three sets of five would be great. If you’re starting to add weight, you could do something like a kettlebell swing. You could do something like, even like a sled push using a prowler. You can load weight with that. Again, the, the main thing to consider here is it’s short, explosive sets.
So I generally don’t like the sets to last longer than anywhere between like six to 12 seconds. I think that should be like generally where the, the length and duration of the set a working set lasts. So
Mike: that’d be something to consider when adding a kettlebell for a hip hinge or pushing a sled. The idea here, it’s to go fast.
It’s not to grind. We’re trying to do the opposite of grinding through reps.
Jordan: Exactly. If you start failing, if you start grinding, you are training the wrong system. You’re training the wrong modalities, you’re not going to get the adaptations that you’re looking for. So it should be quick, explosive speed, focusing on really good technique, using full range of motion and trying to really focusing on trying to be the most explosive with every single rep.
So if you’re pushing a sled, Every step should be as ex you’re trying to, the cue that I would use with my clients years ago when I was in person is if you’re, usually you’re on turf doing something like this. So I’d be like, imagine your foot is being so explosive that the turf is crumpling up behind you.
That as you push it so explosive that it crumples up behind you. When you’re jumping onto a box, try and push the floor away from you. All of these visuals. And we actually, there’s research around vertical jump training where the same person, if you just tell them to jump as high as they can, they’ll get a certain height.
But if you give them a marker above them to try and touch, they will jump higher because now they have something to shoot for and they can actually be like significantly more explosive. Same person, they think it’s the same effort, but because they have that external visual cue, they can actually produce more force and generate, uh, a greater rate of force development.
So little things like that can have a, a market difference in your performance.
Mike: Let’s talk about nutrition now. What are your thoughts on, I’ll let you take it wherever you want. Approaching nutrition. In a sustainable way, um, which is not gonna be make a meal plan and weigh and measure everything every day and don’t eat out ever.
Like, that’s fine if you’re getting ready for a photo shoot or trying to get on stage or something. But for most people, when they start to hear that, That’s when they, they just start to check out and they go, yeah, I can’t do this. Similar to what you were saying earlier about people on social media working out seven days a week and doing two hour workouts and thinking like, oh, I guess that’s what it takes to, to look pretty good and to get fit, and I can’t do that.
So I guess this is not for me.
Jordan: Yeah. So there are so many ways to take this and I’ll, I’ll start with one that is just so tired and so over spoken about, but it’s just, it’s the most important is if you’ve never tracked your calories and macros, you just fucking do it Like for a week. If you do it for a week, you’ll be better off for the rest of your life if you, than if you’ve never done it.
I always start with this. Do you want,
Mike: do you want to just quickly comment as to why. Just in case people, maybe they’ve heard it, but they never understood why. What, what, what’s a week
Jordan: really gonna do? Honestly, dude, it doesn’t even have to be a week. It could literally be 24 hours because most people have no clue how much they’re eating, and they don’t know how many calories are in certain foods.
They just have no idea. If you wanna see someone cry, have them weigh out a true measurement of peanut butter for the first time in their life. They will. It’s devastating. I remember the first time I did it. This isn’t worth it anymore, and all of a sudden it goes from like one of your favorite foods to like this.
I’m just, why would I waste my time on this right, right now? So when you really start to understand and get very quick glimpses of how many calories something is, it makes you think about is it worth it? Is this actually worth it to me? Which brings up a great question because if you don’t know how many calories it is, then like everything is worth it.
Like you just have no idea. I would liken it to finances and a budget. If you’ve always just been given money by your parents and your parents are super rich and money has never been an issue for you, then everything is worth it. It’s not a big deal because you can just always go like, yeah, you know, mommy and daddy’s money, I’ll go buy it.
Not a big deal. Well, let’s say, God forbid Mommy and Daddy’s money goes down the drain, you lose it, and all of a sudden you’ve gotta start budgeting and taking care of stuff. Well, now you’re gonna start, well, how much does this cost? And how much do I have in the bank and how much am I bringing in? And now is buying this Prada?
Whatever. Worth it. Maybe not. And so it, it’s the very similar concept where you don’t have to do it forever. You can do it for a very brief period of time, but it will radically enhance the rest of your life. And there’s
Mike: a similarity there between calories in, calories out and money in and money out in that, just as we only have so much money to budget with, whether we like it or not, we only have so many calories to budget with, so to speak, whether we like it or not.
If we spend more than we have, there are consequences there. There’s credit card debt, high interest, blah, blah. Similarly, if we consistently eat more, Calories, then we burn. There are consequences. We are gonna get fatter and that is not necessarily an issue if we’re okay with it up to a certain point, but you just need to know there are real consequences whether, whether you want it to work that way or not.
Jordan: Man, it is so funny to me how much the industry has changed over the years where it’s like, now we’re just like, uh, it’s okay if you want to. It’s like when I got in the industry, that would just never be something that was said. It’s just like we’re always checking, like, because people are getting so mad and offended by everything nowadays.
Like I got in the industry, it was, I think it was like 2008, 2007, 2008 is when I really started like becoming a coach and started making content in 2011. It’s just wild to me how much time has changed in such a very brief period of time and like overall messaging. It’s just funny
Mike: now. Now BMI is racist.
You didn’t know
Jordan: that. Oh dude, I’ve been meaning to make content on this. I’ve been meaning to make a video about it and
Mike: I, if you wanna comment on it, uh, briefly, feel free. It’s
Jordan: just ridiculous. It’s, you know what I think, here’s what I think. I think that by people going out of their way to say that this is racist, it actually diminishes how bad racism really is.
The word starts to mean
Mike: nothing cuz cause everything’s racist. Math is racist. B m i is racist. What does that word mean? Then give me a real definition of the word then. If all these things, especially something like B m I is racist.
Jordan: It’s one of those things where, from what I’ve seen, people are saying it’s racist because it, it only included white men in the initial research That would mean.
That there are way more things that are racist than just that. If we look at how many studies only include one group of people, so does that mean all of those studies are now racist? Like
Mike: how much foundational, seminal research is out there that really caused a, uh, a sea change in terms of, you know, breakthrough new understandings of, of things that just because of the consequence of, I mean, just think about in America up until the sixties, I believe is when it changed.
There were laws in place, immigration laws to maintain a white super majority in America. So if you look at the percentage of of America that. Was white, it was probably, I’m guessing you go back to the forties and fifties, it was probably in the 90 something percent would be my guess. And then it’s, it has steadily declined since then.
And I think since the sixties it’s, it’s started to decline faster. And so then what? You’re gonna say that simply because of that, All kinds of scientific breakthroughs that were made during that period are racist and should be questioned. Or maybe just, maybe just we should just, you know, throw them out.
They’re totally invalid and we just need to start
Jordan: over. Yeah. But my biggest gripe with this is that whether it’s math is racist or the BMI is racist, is we are now truly diminishing how awful real racism actually is. It’s sad, man. It’s sad and it’s scary and, and it’s, uh, I’m trying to figure out the words to articulate it.
It takes the attention away from the real big issues that we’re actually facing. It’s like, come on, B m i has a, has a lot of issues and, and like, I don’t think it’s, it’s the greatest tool. Do I think there are some aspects of it that are, are, are actually worthwhile? Yeah, I do. A hundred percent.
Mike: Yeah. I mean, l let’s, let’s just start with also on the other side of this coin, it diminishes the validity of B M I and that if somebody’s B M I is 27 and they’re not.
An if F B B pro, they probably need to lose some fat. If they want to optimize their health, they’re probably now overweight or obese and there are real health consequences associated with those conditions. And so something like, uh, B M I is racist and here’s why it’s not valid, could then discourage people from trying to lose some fat when they really could benefit.
It’s not just a matter of what they see in the mirror, it’s a matter of what’s going on inside their body and what that means for their future. But because, oh no, scientists have now said that whole thing’s racist and nobody pays attention to that anymore. I don’t need to lose fat. I’m just beautiful the way they am.
Uh, then, then there could be very real health consequences that they could have avoided if they would’ve not been fed that line.
Jordan: A hundred percent. Yeah, dude, I, I agree with you completely. It’s, uh, it’s very interesting to see what people choose to, to put in their content and all that. So yeah,
Mike: I, if we’re gonna be cynical, I mean, minimally stuff like that is, it’s great for getting attention.
I mean, look, we’re talking about it. A lot of other people are talking about it. A lot of people I’ve seen posting about it. It’s getting a lot of, a lot of clicks, a lot of eyeballs, a lot of ears. So there’s a perverse incentive to come up with wacky theories, especially if you can tie it into this very, Inflammatory topic
Jordan: of racism.
That’s such a good point because any content creator will know that it, it’s been getting exponentially and incrementally more difficult to get people to see your content, especially since TikTok came out. It’s been very interesting, Pret TikTok, how much your content was seen was usually almost primarily based on how large your audience was.
That was really like what, and, and you would slowly and incrementally build your audience. Maybe sometimes you had something go viral, but virality was far more rare at that point in time. TikTok made a whole new concept where it was less about how many followers you had and it was more about, alright, how long are people watching this one piece of content?
How many times are they sharing it? How many times are they saving it? And then we’re just gonna blow it up if it’s getting a lot of views very, very quickly and people are watching the whole way through. And so now that we’ve seen essentially the TikTok ization of Instagram and Facebook and YouTube reels and all this stuff, and that’s led people to change what type of content they’re making.
And I think there are pros and cons, but one of the major cons is that now people are, Specifically making inflammatory content because they know it’s going to go viral. And their egos attached to the virality of their posts and how many likes they get, how many views they get, how many followers they get, and it’s actually making content worse than ever before because this highly watchable, we can maybe even, it’s like highly palatable content that people are really viewing.
It’s like it’s so inflammatory. It’s like, well, I got BMI is racist. I’ve gotta watch this whole video. As opposed to a video that would actually be helpful. Like, Hey, let’s figure out how many calories you should eat. But it’s not nearly as as palatable
Mike: as next boring. I mean, you, if you see how people, I don’t if you’ve ever seen how people use TikTok in particular, where it’s like, Nope, next one, two seconds.
Boring couples. It boring. Okay. No, no. I’m bored now. Next, next. Imagine spending hours a day doing that. What that is even gonna do to your brain and your attention, your control of your attention. It’s bad.
Jordan: Yeah. And it’s funny because how many times, essentially do you say no to a piece of content before you say yes to a piece of content?
And then that one piece of content you say yes to is also the content that is making it seem like the world is crumbling around you. The world is awful. Everyone’s terrible, everything is racist, everything is, is bigoted. Everything. It’s like, but how many did you say no to? And how many wonderful stories were in each of those pieces of content?
You only said yes to that one because it got your attention, because it’s preying on understanding like, oh, this is what you’re gonna find the most interesting. It’s really interesting to me how this is affecting our day-to-day lives, how it’s affecting our brains, how it’s affecting our, our worldview.
It’s, it’s pretty wild.
Mike: Maybe if you, if you layer in some of the developments with AI that, I mean, Soon, probably relatively soon, certainly sooner rather than later. There’s gonna be so much fake stuff on the internet that it’s gonna be impossible to know what is real and what is not. And I don’t know at this point if it’s gonna be able to be stopped.
So maybe that plus some of this that you’re talking about will, will just cause like a mass exodus from just. The internet where people will spend actually just start spending a lot less time on social media and on their phones. Cuz it’s a whole fake anyway. You don’t know what’s real, what’s not. And, and it’s, these networks are flooded with a hundred million AI posts a day.
Uh, deep fakes of people saying all kinds of things that you really say that, who knows? And then they just go, all right, this is too much. And they just go outside and, and what, what do the kids say? Touch grass or something. Like, just go, start interacting. At least, at least I know that, that that tree is real.
I can go like, see, touch the tree. And that’s about as real as it’s gonna get. And maybe I should actually have some real social interactions with real people. I know these people exist. They’re not just AI constructs.
Jordan: Yeah, dude, I, I hope that happens. I, I think it’d be far better for humanity if it did.
It’s funny, we have a nanny that helps us a, a couple days a week with the baby, and she’s young, she’s new to the city, and, and I was asking her, do you have any friends in the area? And she was like, well, I’ve met some online. I was like, what do you mean you met them online? So like, you know, dating apps now, dating apps have the, or at least this one, Bumble.
Apparently there’s like a section where you could just meet friends online where it’s just like,
Mike: I’ve heard that it’s more marketed toward women, I think, right? To meet other women or I. I have
Jordan: no idea. She just told me about it like an hour or two ago, which I thought was very interesting. Yeah, it’s, I would love it.
And, and this is coming from someone whose entire business is solely based online and a major part of it is driven by social media. We went back to flip phones and just getting outside and spending hours at being bored
Mike: and being okay with being bored.
Jordan: Yeah. Yes. Yeah. And that’s just part of life. That’s it.
Mike: Yeah. Sometimes you’re bored and that’s okay. Especially if you, I mean, I don’t know if you’ve experienced this in just creative work that you know, is just a big part of your business and your personal brand. That boredom is, is kind of a part of the creative process too. And sometimes you get great ideas kind of out from nowhere in periods where you are just downshifted and, and you are bored and your attention’s kind of just wandering.
I, I’ve read a bit of research on this and there seems to be a clear link between that and creative ideas.
Jordan: Dude, anecdotally I couldn’t agree with that more. Everyone always says they get all their best ideas in the shower. Well, why? It’s cuz hopefully you’re not spending all your time in the shower consuming content.
You’re not probably having conversations. Hopefully you’re not consuming con, you’re like you’re a little bit bored and that you can actually finally let your brain go. It makes all the sense in the world to me. And I generally have my best content ideas. I’m just by myself or often when I’m lifting, when I’m lifting or doing cardio and I’m just not paying attention to anything else.
It’s funny. I’ll just have a random idea and that’s it. And then I text it to myself. Cause I keep all of my, my ideas in a text thread with myself and that’s it.
Mike: By like sitting down at your computer and trying to get into a hyper-focused flow state. Like, alright, it’s a brainstorming session. It’s time to have good ideas go.
Jordan: Or even, even in conversations like this, for example, I was really happy. When we were talking about, about why it’s important to count your calories even for a little bit, and you pushed me on it and you’re like, well, give an example on the spot. I’ve never used that analogy before, like, if you’re using Mommy and Daddy’s money, like I just made that up.
But I never would have ever made that up. And keep in mind, I’ve been making content now for like, what, 11 years? It’s like this is the first time I’ve, I’ve used that specific analogy, which I’m probably gonna make content on with that analogy. Cause I was like, oh, this is actually a really good one. I think people are gonna hit home with this.
That wouldn’t have happened if you and I, we weren’t like, we were just having a conversation. And that’s, you know, whether it’s business growth or whatever, having conversations, sitting down, getting out of your own head and just having a real conversation with someone can also be an amazing tool for creative growth.
Mike: Totally agree. For me also, although it’s usually not, hopefully not a boring activity, but consuming content. But for me, particularly reading, I often. We’ll get good ideas. If I’m reading good stuff related to whatever, I’m trying to have ideas that’s also been just consistently productive for me, that is usually more productive than not having any ideas and sitting down and trying to come up with ideas.
Jordan: Yeah, I think the, the worst type of content to consume for your own health and for ideas as short form, if there’s a long form, like the more effort you have to put in to getting the content, the better overall. Whether it’s sitting down and reading or listening to a podcast that’s a co like, like this for a couple hours long.
Generally I’ve found that’s where the best ideas come from. For me, one of my favorite ones is I love standup comedy. I absolutely love it and I love the art of it and looking at the transitions and looking at the setups and like the punchline is obviously where the funny part comes in, but I love watching the setup.
Mike: when they’re really good at it. Cause you can appreciate, they make it look so easy and so natural. But you know, what you’re looking at is the result of, who knows, I mean hundreds of hours of iteration and practice and self-critique. And
Jordan: I think it’s such an incredible art form. And you’re right, the the best.
They just make it look so effortless. And even it’s, I love the delivery of how they’ll do certain things. Like sometimes they’ll. The way they deliver, it could be the same word, but the way they deliver that word, they might even pretend to stumble or stutter over that word, but it’s actually deliberate because it makes that delivery so much more fi.
It’s a fine tuned machine that is just hours and hours and hours and hours of rehearsal and practice. And I get a lot of ideas from standup comedy because I, it’s a great art that is outside of fitness that actually gives me so many ideas for how I can incorporate it into my own, into my own content and coaching.
Mike: to try to incorporate humor, uh, sometimes depending on what type of work I’m doing. And, uh, I guess my, my mood at the time of. Am I going to try to inject humor into this? But I’ve, I’ve, I’ve tried to do it semi consistently because I do actually like trying to be humorous. It’s, I, I think one of the more difficult modes to communicate in and make it actually work.
Like people actually laugh when they read your tweet or, you know, watch your video as opposed to just like, haha Yeah, okay. Whatever. You know what I mean? So I, I can appreciate, I like the quote unquote challenge of that. And like, you, I can appreciate the artistry that goes into it, so I understand. I understand it’s difficult to do.
Right. But I think also from a content creation, I mean, depending on the project, it wouldn’t be appropriate for all projects, but generally with a lot of different types of content, if you can. Make humor work at least decently well. I think it’s a great way to make your content more engaging without cheapening it.
Like in some, you know, some of the examples that, that we’ve gone over. And it also allows you to show a bit of your personality, help people connect with you on a little bit more of a personal level. It’s just hard to do. So most people don’t do it or don’t do it? Well, in my opinion, at least in fitness.
Jordan: Yeah. Yeah. I, I completely agree. And it’s funny, I get a lot of coaches being like, can you help with my sales copy? Can you help with my sales copy? And, and I don’t think that sales copy is worthless at all. I think it’s, it’s incredibly important. But I think that if you can just make someone laugh, the sales copy just writes itself at that point.
Like it, cuz if you can break down the wall, there’s, everyone has a big wall in front of them right now. Everyone And the wall’s gotten thicker and bigger over time. Like, I’m thinking back to when email marketing first came out, the wall was like, okay, well like I wanna get your email. But the wall wasn’t even there cuz everyone was like, email, yeah, I’ll take your email.
Like, whatever. It’s, it wasn’t a big deal.
Mike: I mean, I remember when my first AOL address, it was actually cool to get email. Like, I wanted email, like you got mail. Oh, what was it?
Jordan: Exactly, you were super excited about it. But then once people realized, oh, I’m gonna get marketed too, and there’s gonna be spam, all right, well now to get my email, it gets a little bit more difficult.
And then, and say like, phone numbers and all of this now, like even people are like, people are private with their social media accounts. It’s like, I don’t know if I wanna give that to you. The wall has gotten bigger and thicker and more difficult to get past. So I found humor is the single best way to break down that wall.
I don’t care how good your sales copy is, I don’t care how good. Like, if you can just make someone laugh or just smile. Yes, it’s done. You’re, you’re good.
Mike: I’ve consciously worked toward that. Particularly I’m thinking with legion’s, email marketing over the years, quite a few different autoresponders and sequences that fire off depending on what people are interested in, how they’re coming into the, to the top of the funnel and so forth.
But the work that I’ve kind of iterated on over the years, um, a lot of those, especially the first contact emails where like, all right, who is this guy Mike? I’ve tested quite a bit of even the, the individual mess, like paragraphs in there and changing things and, and trying to express personality and get a smile.
At least try to get a smile out of them as quickly as I can, and I’ve seen that consistently. If I can get somebody to smile within the first, kind of, above the fold, maybe one little half swipe on the phone, right? If I can just do something that gets them to smile a little bit, that just goes a long way in getting buy-in to at least read the rest of the email and care what I have to say.
Jordan: Yeah, it’s funny, I think earlier in my career when I was like getting into like, I just thought in order to do really well as a coach, I just had to be a good coach. It’s not, it, there’s a lot that goes into it. And when I started to realize that and understood that, okay, well I have to create content, whether it’s writing or videos or podcasts, whatever.
I forget who said it, but I wish I could remember so I could give them proper credit. But someone said to me, the goal of every word is to get them to read the next word. And, and that’s whether it’s a video, podcast, email, whatever. And if you understand that, it’s like, cool, how do I just get them to just keep reading a little bit more, a little bit more?
It’s like break it down, be humorous, be be you. And this is the, the age of personal brands and right where it’s like it’s uh, it can be, I think, An easier start if your face and your name are behind it. That’s one of the things that’s so impressed about Legion is like, it doesn’t necessarily have to be about you specifically.
That to me is masterful. That in this day and age is, I think, the hardest thing to build from a business perspective, more or less a nameless, faceless brand that’s just about, like, that’s something other than one individual, which is one of the many reasons why I give you so much credit and so much respect, because building a brand not around you is truly infinitely more difficult than building a personal brand.
And if you, and if you have a personal brand like I do, using who you are and your personality and having that behind you is I think one of your greatest advantages.
Mike: I, I totally agree. And that was by design. Even when I started Legion, you know, whatever, eight or nine years ago, I had a, a following of. I had an email list, I had some social media, I had some stuff going for me then.
But I was very much thinking specifically about that. Like, I don’t want this to just be Mike Matthews supplements. And so what needs to happen for this to be, uh, an entity unto itself and something that doesn’t solely rely on the Mike Matthews brand and the ebbs and flows of. That. And so it’s gone fairly well in that regard.
And it’s pretty straightforward, the, the overall strategy, but it is a strategy that you have to pursue intentionally because it requires doing things that you wouldn’t necessarily do if you were just working on your personal brand and treating it like Mike Matthews supplements. But, well, we, we’ve gone all over the place and talked about all, all kinds of things, which, uh, maybe that’s what we should do in future interviews is just see where things take us.
Cause I, it’s always fun to, just to talk to you about fitness, about marketing, about business. Obviously there’s a lot more that could be said about sustainable fitness, which was. My idea going into this discussion, but I’m pretty happy actually with some of the, the other little side roads that we wandered down.
So we’ve been at it here for about an hour. Before we wrap up, if you’re so inclined, if you wanted to give people a couple quick hits on the nutrition side of things, just for the sake of. Balance, I suppose. We mentioned, well you mentioned tracking calories and macros for a short period. Is there anything else that you had teed up that you were gonna share and then I took you
Jordan: off on Yeah, I mean, I think that’s the number one.
Do that for a brief period of time. I think especially, I’m sure your listeners know like protein is super important. Like that’s, especially in the science-based world. I think everyone, hopefully everyone who’s listening to this already knows
Mike: that. And I will say though, if there are some women listening who have been resistant to that, and I, and the reason I say women is just in my experience, it’s easy to convince a guy just eat more, eat some meat, dude, you’ll be fine.
Whatever. Right? But women can be resistant, especially if I think of my wife, who she doesn’t naturally, she’s not, she doesn’t really like meat. She doesn’t, she’s not drawn to a high protein diet. And so if you haven’t given it, it a real try yet, commit to just. Max, let’s say four weeks of making the modifications and it’s, you’re not, it might feel a little bit awkward, you might feel excessively full for the first week or two, but you might also be surprised at how quickly your body composition responds.
If you are currently not eating enough protein, you might be surprised at how much better your workouts get, like fairly quickly. You also might be surprised at how much it, it brings hunger levels down, even if you don’t have a problem per se. With hunger, you can go from getting hungry a few times per day, but right up leading up to meals to like really not feeling hungry at all, or ver at at most just mild hunger.
So just sharing that for any women who haven’t really tried it
Jordan: yet. Yeah. Just to add onto that, I would say the only other thing I would say that I think more people need to focus on is fiber, especially in, in a day and age in which I’m seeing a lot of content around how fiber is now bad for you and poisonous and da, da da.
Mike: vegetables. Vegetables, Jordan, vegetables are gonna kill you. They have antinutrients, they have fiber. You are such an idiot for eating spinach every day. I can’t, I just, I just have to end this conversation. Right. You’re, you’re one of those people.
Jordan: I’m a bigot. Fiber is bigoted, by the way.
Mike: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Fiber’s racist. Actually, that’s the problem because the research, the research that has been done on fiber was mostly white people, so therefore it’s just wrong. I mean, that’s it. That’s how it works.
Jordan: Yeah. That’s how it works. I really think protein and fiber are, if you focus on protein and fiber at every meal, it’s very hard to overeat.
Mike: Let’s say not, not, you’re not saying protein supplements and fiber supplements. You can, I think protein supplements in particular can be convenient. Fiber supplements, I think more of an outlier, like if you’re eating well. Yeah, cuz I see, I’m sure you see that too, where people, they’re so, they’ll say, yeah, okay, they’re gonna agree.
Yeah, fiber’s good, joy, I like that. So I’m just gonna take some Metamucil and otherwise I’m gonna eat like shit. Oh, and I’ll take my green supplement too, so I don’t have to eat vegetables.
Jordan: Exactly. Yeah. It’s real food. And again, supplements are great. I’ve used lesion supplements for years. I’ve had the protein for years.
If you’re taking the supplement and then your plate doesn’t look any different. That’s a fucking problem, right? It’s real protein, like real whole food protein, real whole food fiber. And there’s quick, off the top of my head, raspberries. Blackberries have insane amounts of fiber. I try and have those with my breakfast every day.
Pumpkin seeds have a bewildering amount of fiber. Navy beans have an insane amount of fiber. Any beans, seeds, lentils, if you’re into the chia seed type stuff, those things are great as well. But more fruits, more vegetables, and more protein.
Mike: And that, see, that doesn’t make for a good TikTok video, that’s the problem.
How do you turn that? Or there’s a challenge at least like. Maybe if you inject enough humor, I don’t know, how do you make that message into a viral TikTok video? And that’s the problem with, with fitness content.
Jordan: Yeah. It’s exa it’s very difficult, which is why years ago I started wearing wigs in my content, just literally for that purpose.
And I haven’t done it in a long time because it just, it takes a lot of, I have to be in the right mood to put a fucking wig on. And I’m, I just like, I’m tired of it. So like, one day I might get back into it.
Mike: You know, you know, you haven’t had much wig energy in you
Jordan: recently. I have not had the wig energy lately at all.
Exactly. Even though my daughter’s been sleeping, I, the wig energy has been lacking. But, uh, yeah, I,
Mike: I’ve found that in speaking about creating humorous content that I sometimes have to get myself kind of in the right mood or it just doesn’t flow. I, I can’t even make myself smile. So how am I gonna make a reader smile?
There is a, a quote unquote energy. I, I actually don’t even like using that word because any like, slang term that’s popular I refuse to use, that’s just like a general standing rule of like my vocabulary. But no, I, I, I found that interesting that if I’m not in the right mood, so to speak, and if I can’t get myself into that kind of playful.
Wacky kind of mood, then it’s very hard to create something that I even find amusing, let alone what other
Jordan: people will. Dude, it’s very difficult, especially so much of my content strateg, like not even strategy’s so much of a reason why I will make content is because I get angry at what someone else said, and the anger is fuel is is due to my passion.
So then I’ll wanna make a piece of content. So then the last thing I wanna do is come across as angry. Like that. I don’t think that’s a good strategy. So I will transition more to the educational. But to go from angry to funny is very difficult. And especially like when you just wanna get that content done right there.
That’s why sometimes it can be helpful, you know, let me take a few hours, get into a playful mood, think about how I could do this, but maybe watch some
Mike: standup. It’s a good way to at least get laughing yourself and get in a little bit of a jovial, a jovial friend, uh, frame of mind.
Jordan: Yeah. Yeah. But yeah, man, this, this has been great.
Thank you so much for having me on. It’s always a pleasure. And, and I appreciate you and, uh, we’ll get you on my podcast next.
Mike: Absolutely. Yeah. Whenever, whenever you want, you just let me know and I look forward to our next discussion. Sure. There will be a next one. And before we wrap up here, why don’t we just let people know where they can find you, find your work, if there any, if there’s anything in particular you want
Jordan: them to know about.
Yeah, just Jordan Syt, s y a t t, Instagram, YouTube podcast. Not TikTok though. Uh, fuck TikTok. I got off TikTok a long time ago. I’m don’t, no, I’m on it, but I don’t use it, so Absolutely not. Okay.
Mike: Good. Awesome. Well, thanks again, Jordan. This was fun. Thank you, man. Have a good one. You too. Well, I hope you liked this episode.
I hope you found it helpful, and if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.
And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have, uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, [email protected], muscle f o r life.com, and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.
I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.