“Be who are you and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” The Dr. Seuss quote may as well have been written about Jordan Syatt, founder of Syatt Fitness, strength trainer and nutritional consultant and former trainer of Gary Vaynerchuk.
There’s a lot to unpack in this week’s episode, so let’s start back in 2011 when Syatt was in college, trying to gain traction for his online website offering one-on-one coaching. “I just remember I made my first business email and I just wished that people would email me. I wanted them to say, ‘hey, I read this article, can you help me?’ I was refreshing that email over and over and over again wanting people to ask me for help.”
Patience is a virtue when building your own business from the ground up, but after a couple of years, Syatt found himself with upwards of 70 one-on-one clients. “It was very overwhelming,” he admits. Not wanting to be tied down to emails and a computer all day every day, Syatt Launched the Inner Circle in 2015, a members-only platform with unlimited access to workouts, recipes, mindset guides and accountability forums.
If you tune into Syatt’s social media content, it’s clear he has the perfect formula figured out. He breaks it down into three categories: educational content, entertaining content and a combo of the two. “I’ve found that combining the two of them is where you get the best of both worlds,” explains Syatt. “It wasn’t until I started injecting more entertainment within my education that things really took off. It started with me just being more myself … What I’ve realized is, people are tired of fakeness … What I try to do is from the very beginning, immediately, I want you to know who I am and how I act.”
Speaking of formulas, Syatt’s quick physics lesson will tell you all you need to know about getting stronger without adding additional mass. “Force equals mass times acceleration. If we’re looking at how much force you can produce, there are two things that massively impact it – mass and acceleration … People will try for years and years and years only lifting heavier weight … they’re missing the acceleration side of it.” Here’s the Spark Notes version: add speed training to your workout routine.
And Syatt would know a thing or two about strength training. “The record that was really my claim to fame, if you want to call it that, was my four-times bodyweight deadlift. I deadlifted 530 pounds weighing 132 pounds … That’s what really kickstarted my career, was being able to very, very strong without being massively jacked.”
So, what training advice does Syatt offer to those not necessarily looking to become the next big pro athlete? “What you have to remember about some of these elite athletes is they succeed despite having bad workouts. LeBron James could be an elite athlete in probably any sport because he’s just a freak athlete … The best way to improve your athletic performance is just … basic strength training programming. It should just be very basic, simple, straightforward.”
“It’s not about being perfect, it’s about doing the best you can with what you have and understanding, if you get a win 70% of the time, you’re going to keep making progress,” explains Syatt.
There’s no denying that Syatt is not afraid to be himself, whether you like it or not. But what has he learned along the way? “If I could back and tell my younger self something, it would be, you’re young as s*** so be patient … stop being so cocky … Treat everyone with respect, be kind to everybody and don’t put yourself on too much of a pedestal, because if you fall off, it’s a long way down.”
Head on over to Episode #122 of The Athletes Podcast to hear more about Syatt’s fitness journey and regime, how he disproves the myth about coffee being dehydrating, the whirlwind that was training Gary Vaynerchuk and why jiujitsu puts other sports to shame. Plus, Syatt offers incredible advice to athletes on being their true, authentic self.