Podcast #8 – Jordan Syatt on Training and Learning from Gary Vaynerchuk

Jordan Syatt, Ripped Body Podcast - YOAST

Jordan is 25 but already has an 11-year personal training career under his belt. What’s most impressive to me about Jordan is how relentless he’s been about putting himself in positions where he could intern under some of the best coaches in the world.

What he’s currently doing right now is no exception, except that he’s getting a business education of a lifetime. Jordan is Gary Vaynerchuk’s personal trainer. If you know Gary’s work then you probably have an idea of how intense this is. Jordan is contracted to train him every day, for three years, with no holiday, and gets flown around everywhere he goes.

In this interview, I dig into the details of how Jordan coaches his clients in person and online, and how working with Gary over the last 6 months has influenced his business for the better. 

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Show notes

  • How Jordan describes himself. – Jordan feels like the description of what he does changes every six months. Generally speaking, he tells people he is a personal training. To someone who has an understanding of the fitness industry, he describes himself as an online coach for nutrition, training, personal development, and business. [2:50]
  • The story behind how Jordan got into fitness. – Jordan started as a successful young wrestler. At fourteen, he got into his first personal training job and was thrust into the science-based training community. [3:30]
  • Jordan reflects on personal training at fourteen. – A lot of the people that Jordan coached at fourteen are still clients today. Jordan was lucky to have strong mentors that presented him as a professional. He was constantly learning from some of the best people in the world. [5:15]
  • On Eric Cressey’s facility. – Andy was there in 2013 and they looked at his shoulder. Both Andy and Jordan agree that it is a great facility. [8:00]
  • Working with Martin Berkhan and how Jordan has changed since being a student. – Jordan’s views have changed drastically since being a student. He feels like everyone is really missing the patience to stick with a program long enough for it to be effective. It really boils down to calories in, calories out, and hitting your protein. However, Jordan learned that clients need more than just numbers. There is much more to the psychology for most people. [8:30]
  • How Jordan helps his clients strategize for nutrition. – Andy has developed his own system instead of following other defined methods. Jordan’s clients email him every day because it increases the likelihood of adherence and allows an opportunity to answer questions for daily nutrition concerns. Jordan wants his clients to learn how to strategize so they can do it on their own. [12:10]
  • Developing independence in clients and what other coaches are doing. – Jordan personally hasn’t seen coaches not teaching clients to eventually become more autonomous. Andy has seen coaches that create a client dependency. Jordan’s business strategy is to work off of referrals because it keeps him accountable and drives him to be better. Andy has people check in every two weeks. [14:40]
  • How Jordan describes his clients. – A huge portion of Jordan’s clients are personal trainers who have battled with body dysmorphia or an eating disorder. The majority of Jordan’s clients are women. Jordan has found that women are more willing to confide in and check in on the emotional level. He finds that he gets a complete picture of the person when getting daily check-ins. Andy has to be very specific with the questions for his male clients to avoid the sense of complaining or moaning.  [18:10]
  • Andy gets people to rate their stress levels. – Andy finds a spike in stress often correlates with poor gym performance or a sudden weight gain. [21:50]
  • The benefits of long-term coaching over short-term. – Andy and Jordan both agree that short-term data points are much less valuable than being able to work with someone over the long-term. Andy changed the way that he coach in 2015 after he completed the Muscle and Strength Pyramid books. At this time, he removed the three-month limit and started to focus on the long-term for his clients. Jordan only limits his program based on time if he is doing a group training program. Jordan has a minimum one-on-one time limit of six months and has an average retention of a year and two months. On the way, Jordan measures progress is a person’s self-talk. [22:40]
  • Progression photos. – Andy loves to see clients’ facial expressions change over time. Clients usually start with a serious look on their face and end up with a huge grin. [26:00]
  • Jordan on coaching Gary Vaynerchuk. – One year ago, Jordan moved to Israel and noticed a posting that Gary was looking for a coach. Three months after applying, Jordan had a thirty-six hour whirlwind of flying to New York to train Gary for one hour. Jordan was left in limbo, so he called on his email list to post on Gary’s Facebook wall. Ultimately, Jordan got the three-year contract job and moved to New York. Jordan coaches Gary one-on-one, seven days a week. Jordan is not coaching Gary for the money. Instead, Jordan is working with Gary because he knows how to build brands. Already Gary is impacting Jordan’s success on YouTube. [26:50]
  • The progression of Jordan’s video content. – Jordan says if you go back three years ago on YouTube, you’ll immediately see the difference in his confidence. The focus of early videos was all on content. Now, the videos are much less technical and much more focused on mindset and “how to do it.” Jordan wants to create an action plan for viewers, not an in-depth education. [40:00]
  • A day in the life of Jordan. – Jordan says it’s insane. Jordan is constantly flying, coaching, responding to emails, and producing videos. Jordan does not have a girlfriend due to the demands of his current life. Jordan makes more money running his own business than he does working for Gary. Both Andy and Jordan see the benefits of putting the hard work in at the start of their careers. [42:30]
  • On coaches looking for the “easy road.” –  Jordan doesn’t feel like people getting into the industry are afraid of the hustle, but he does see them wanting something easy. However, once they realize the amount of work that is actually involved, new personal trainers often give up. Personal training has a high burnout rate because there is a big difference between loving the gym and coaching people. [46:30]
  • Jordan’s advice to new coaches. – Jordan always relates back to the same things you should be telling clients as a personal trainer. If your body took you years to build, why wouldn’t your business take you years to build? You will not have a successful online personal training business in six months, just like a novice client wouldn’t get a six-pack in six months. If you want to be found, you need to be putting out good and constant content. [49:00]
  • How Jordan got into business coaching. – Jordan’s business coaching started in a similar fashion to his online personal training coaching business. He started with free articles and content, which led to people asking him for help. It never started with making money for Jordan. In the beginning, you should spend all your time giving. Once you earn the right, you can focus on becoming more aggressive on the sales end. [53:00]
  • Training with Jordan. – Jordan currently is not accepting new clients. If you would like, you can email him to join his inner circle membership. [58:00]
  • Jordan’s one wish for the world. – Smile more. Watch this video! [59:00]

Thank you for listening! – Andy and Jordan

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About the Author

Andy Morgan

I am the founder of RippedBody.com, this is my sincere effort to build the best nutrition and training guides on the internet. Some readers hire me to coach them, which I've been doing online, via email, for the last six years. If you're interested in individualized, one-on-one nutrition and training coaching to help you crush your physique goals, let's start the conversation.

2 Comments on “Podcast #8 – Jordan Syatt on Training and Learning from Gary Vaynerchuk”

  1. mark oddi says:

    Hi Andy, I’ve just discovered ripped body.com and I’ve read every article. Your info sits well with the way I understand things. I esp like the nutrition, lean gains carb cycling stuff. Can I ask about progression. I understand the principle of course. I would say I’m intermediate due to the years weight training. I understand the multiple ways of inc overload, but I’m at a stage where inc weight or even reps is not happening. I can inc sets of course. This may sound stupid, but where does it end I’ll end up doing 20, 30 so on. I’m currently trying out schoenfelds Max muscle plan. It cycles strength, endurance, hypertrophy and then back to strength. Plenty of variety though progression over time doesn’t seem to apply. Surely we can’t progress for ever as we’d all be in the gym for 10 hours a day. We can’t surely always get stronger as we age, there must be a set point when that’s it. I’m 42. I hope you understand my question. Thanks for taking the time to reply. Regards Mark

    1. Mark, thanks for the comment. Very glad to read you’ve been finding my work helpful.

      Training isn’t always going to progress linearly (whether sets, reps, loading or intensity). Past the beginner stage it’ll come in waves, and structuring your training program with some simple periodization will be necessary to progress. Otherwise as you said, we’d justy end up having to do more and more forever.

      I’d probably follow Brad’s Max Muscle Plan to the letter. Brad is one of the most knowledgable guys in the world when it comes to hypertrophy. You probably just haven’t given it enough of a go to see results yet (or you’re confusing lack of short-term strength gain with lack of progress?). Also, if you can stand to do a little reading, I’d study up a little on training programming for hypertrophy.

      Three options for that in order of detail, two free, one not:
      The Core Principles of Effective Training (~10 minute read)
      The Muscle and Strength Training Pyramid video lectures (a series of video lectures by Eric Helms which the book was based off of.)
      The Muscle and Strength Training Pyramid book (~180 page book I wrote with Eric Helms and Andrea Valdez)

      Hope that helps Mark.

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