Dr. John Jaquish, scientist, inventor of the X3 Bar exercise band bar system, and author of Weight Lifting is a Waste of Time shares the story of how his mother being diagnosed with osteoporosis has led him to groundbreaking research and inventions that get real results.
Dr. Jaquish and host of #ThePlaybook, David Meltzer, talk about a broad range of topics including why people prefer harder challenges over a challenge that lasts, setting reasonable expectations for yourself, and some of the most common misconceptions about human health and fitness. The pair also chat about how mindset factors into the pursuit of your best self.
Full Transcript #
David Meltzer: On this episode of the playbook, I have the incredible Dr. John Jaquish. He’s the inventor of OsteoStrong, creator of the X3 Bar variable resistance training system. He is a doctor and author of an incredible book with a great title, Weight Lifting Is a Waste of Time: So Is Cardio, and There’s a Better Way to Have the Body You Want. You’re going to learn this and more on The Playbook.
David Meltzer: This is Entrepreneurs: The Playbook, where each week I bring you some of the greatest athletes, celebrities, and entrepreneurs to talk about their personal and professional playbook to success, and what made them champions on the field and in the boardroom. I’m your host, David Meltzer.
David Meltzer: This is Dave Meltzer with Entrepreneurs: The Playbook and I have John Jaquish, the inventor of Osteostrong, creator of the X3 Bar resistance band training system, PhD and author of a book that you got to read because it basically has a philosophy that may be a little bit controversial but Weight Lifting Is a Waste of Time. There’s a whole bunch of football trainers right now that I’ve been related to for the last 35 years that are turning in their graves. Why is weightlifting a waste of time, John?
Dr. John Jaquish: Here’s here’s what the book looks like right here. Now it’s funny you mentioned football. I got 12 NFL players that are completely subscribed to everything I say. And they’re not lifting weights anymore.
David Meltzer: Wow.
Dr. John Jaquish: So, well, it’s not that everybody was previously wrong. And so there’s just now a better understanding, right. Like when automobiles first came out, it was like, “Well, my horse never breaks down. So this is stupid.” People said that. There was books written about it but obviously cars got more reliable and it turns out your horse does break down. It dies. Or it gets dehydrated or has a muscle cramp or something. And so the idea that there might be a better way is frequently pushed away by people who have a tendency of being dogmatic or being married to different ideas or ways of doing things. But there is frequently a better way. And I discovered a one and I discovered one that’s super convenient.
Dr. John Jaquish: And I describe it in the book, Weight Lifting is a Waste of Time. And since then, we were just discussing before switching the show on, the professional athletes have really grabbed a hold of this. So the Miami Heat, there’s an endorsement on the back of the book by the Miami Heat. That’s the first endorsement right there. The strength coaches and then a bunch of other very influential people signed on. The whole Miami Heat team, some of the Detroit Pistons. There’s even some players I can’t mention because I don’t pay anybody. But if you search X3 Bar exercise band bar system and maybe The Lakers, there might be one or two really good guys on the Lakers that use it also. There may be one of the most famous quarterbacks of all time that uses it.
David Meltzer: You know what’s amazing too, is you take a step further and say that So Is Cardio, and There’s a Better Way to Have the Body You Want. So what is the body you want?
Dr. John Jaquish: Well, that’s a great question because a lot of the intentions, I actually put a quote from Milton Friedman in the book and he’s not a physical medicine guy. He’s not a doctor. He’s an economist but what Milton Friedman frequently said, which I admire, is to judge programs by their results, not their intentions. And the reason that we ought to pay attention to that is because we don’t do that. People don’t do that. It’s about intentions, not results. And I mean, look at, I can say almost everything in politics would fall into violating what Milton Friedman said. When it comes to the body most people want, they want to be as strong as possible and they want to be as lean as possible. And this is men and women and I hear all the time, “Oh, I want a customized program.”
Dr. John Jaquish: Oh, really? Do you want to get fatter? I don’t think so. So no. You can get the same program as everybody else. That’s just… Doesn’t make any sense. No one has differing goals. Now, every once in a while, somebody will say, “I want to make my legs… Like a female will say, “I want to make my legs stronger but I don’t really want to work on my arms at all.” Okay. You can skip the arm movements, right. So there is ways to tailor it, I suppose, but the body they want or my vision of that is everybody wants to be stronger, which also means more muscular and leaner. And those are also the two greatest drivers of long life. So high levels of strength and low levels of body fat are the two largest indicators if someone’s going to live a long time.
David Meltzer: You know, it’s amazing, you are a doctor and yet you subscribe to a very similar philosophy of mine of studying and you study what you want to study, not what people prescribe for us to study to which I consider to be training. My oldest brother was a physician. And when I went to college, he said, “David makes sure that you get educated. That you study and learn. Don’t be trained.” He said, “I am a doctor. And I feel as if I’m well-trained, but not well-educated. And I wish I would’ve studied,” which I came up later on in life with this philosophy of being more interested than interesting and which led to my mathematical equation of luck, which you seem to utilize all the time which is what you pay attention to and give intention to equals the coincidences that you want in your life. And X3 Bar resistance band bar system itself and your philosophy that led to building this different strategy was because you were studying and paying attention to and giving intention to something different than anyone else had ever thought of.
Dr. John Jaquish: That’s right.
David Meltzer: And do you use that now in this ideation of expanding upon what you’ve done? What are the things you’re studying now?
Dr. John Jaquish: Different kind of offshoots of the same thing. What can I add to the advice I’m giving? What’s the next edition of the book going to look like? There’s some different products that I’ve conceptualized, and some I prototyped, that I’ll get out there but it’s not like we’re going to completely overhaul X3 Bar exercise band bar system. It’s pretty perfect. And it doesn’t need to be like an iPhone where there’s a new one that comes out every year that’s way better. No, it’s not like that.
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Dr. John Jaquish: I see it as the ultimate statement of strength and fitness. Not because we couldn’t make it shiny or next year or something like that but it also is in a nice contained package. It works really well and it fits in a drawer when you’re done with it. There’s a lot of things it addresses that are just beyond the ultimate stimulus for muscle growth that it hits. And that’s why it’s so valuable to so many people.
David Meltzer: And I think one of the greatest values, I’m a time person, I’m doing a training on time management, is the effect in 10 minutes that you can have on your body and your fat in just 10 minutes. Is that through consistent behavior? It seems almost unbelievable when you’re talking to a doctor and I obviously ran the most notable sports agency. I’ve dealt with some pretty significant athletes and celebrities over the years. And when we’re talking about taking shortcuts, a lot of the traditional leaders in this space would tell you with fitness that you take shortcuts, that just means you’re going to have to get out of line and go all the way back around to the front of line and start over. But yet you’ve proven with some of the biggest names in sports and doctors that it just can be done with 10 minutes a day. What makes that difference?
Dr. John Jaquish: It’s a deeper level of exhaustion. So I tell people it’s quick. I never tell people it’s easy.
David Meltzer: I love that.
Dr. John Jaquish: I also noticed that people are not afraid of [inaudible 00:08:52] they’re afraid of along.
David Meltzer: I love that.
Dr. John Jaquish: And I see that every day. People just say, “God, an hour a day, I just don’t have that time. And I don’t even want to make that time.” Because the next statement is, “Well, you got to make the time.” But I don’t want to because if I had a free hour, I wouldn’t spend it working out. I would spend it working or spending time with my family or something like that. So I didn’t start with the intention of making something convenient. It was going to make something that was going to be the absolute best stimulus for the body.
Dr. John Jaquish: It just so happened that it doesn’t take very long to get through. So, that’s really where the time came from. It was just that’s the way the body works, you stimulate it to grow and then you let it grow. You don’t keep messing with it. And then the reason people do multiple sets when they lift weights is because the stimulus is terrible. Like how many sets does your skin need in the sunlight before you get a suntan? Right. It’s a silly question. What do you mean sets? You just go out on the 4th of July and you’re outside for 10 minutes. You come back in your skin’s a little pink, then you get a tan. Well, why didn’t you have to go out and then come in and let your skin rest and then go out again and then come in and let your skin rest.
Dr. John Jaquish: Why didn’t you have to do that five or six times? Because that’s the way we lift weights. They’re both adaptive responses, same kind of thing. So why are we behaving one way with one thing and another way with another thing. And then let’s also just look at the fitness industry in general. It’s probably the most failed human endeavor. How many people work out? Males over 18, 23 million. Who’s in shape? You just walk down the street in the average American city or walk in the average gym, the people in the average gym don’t look any different than the people in the average pizza place. They’re not in shape. It didn’t work.
David Meltzer: How does nutrition play into the system? Because some people say…
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, I mean, you can’t be eating pizza and gaining… You’re not turning pizza into muscle. People don’t love that piece of advice but it’s true.
David Meltzer: Okay. You seem very truthful. One of the other issues is fear you were talking about earlier and you and I both are friends, I think you actually have partnered with Tony Robbins, who’s taught me so much about the practice of ending fear, about clearing the interference or the ego-based consciousness. That even to me, the medic consciousness that exists within my own unconscious competency, as he would say, you have learned a lot about making decisions based on fear. Has that been applied to how this X3 system works with people? So they’re overcoming or practicing ending that fear that somehow they can’t be consistent. All the different variables that are in the conscious subconscious and unconscious mind that tell us it’s much easier to sit on the couch and have a happy meal than it is to spend 10 minutes with true impact on my body.
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Dr. John Jaquish: Right. I find that the fear and the laziness are not really there or they’re there but in a very, very cursory way. Once you show people they can actually get results because I think most people are really lazy about fitness because of what I just said, where are the results? So many people are going to a gym and getting involved in fitness programming and they don’t look any different a year later because there’s more than just showing up and working out. There’s the nutrition part but most workouts are lousy. And that’s why I talk about cardio not giving us what we want. You want to be a marathon runner, you got to run marathons but that doesn’t mean by running marathons you’re going to be lean and beautiful and look like a model. You’re not.
David Meltzer: It doesn’t mean you’re going to live longer. You know, I think…
Dr. John Jaquish: [inaudible 00:13:13] Right. So people that do steady state cardio for extended periods of time, they’ll chronically increase cortisol and cortisols job is getting rid of muscle and preserving as much body fat as possible. So it keeps you fatter longer. It gives you exactly the opposite of what you think you’re getting. And the book is full of examples like that. The fitness industry completely misreading science. Somebody sat on a podcast yesterday, somebody said, “Fitness industry is misled.” And I’m like by saying misled you’re implying there’s a leader. They’re just screaming monkeys, terrible. There’s no leadership there.
David Meltzer: It’s amazing because you remind me of Dr. Connolly who created MET-Rx, the original MET-Rx and working and studying.
Dr. John Jaquish: That guy’s cool.
David Meltzer: Yeah. Bioactive dairy proteins. And when he first explained to me just the basics of American mythology of nutrition, we don’t even understand what the measurement of energy means and that people will talk about calories and not understand that you could have the right calories or you could have very few calories in the wrong calories and gain fat, not have lean muscle mass. And that these bioactive dairy proteins are extremely impactful as well. If somebody is sitting here listening to us today and there’s billions of dollars spent in this space and they’ve been through the litany of the QVCs and the online ordering and all the hype that exists with different mechanisms to be in shape. And they’re at a point where they say, “You know what? It’s just a matter of discipline. All these programs work. If I stick to it every single day, whether it’s Suzanne Somers’ gig or Jay Steinfeld’s gig or Dr. John’s stuff, if I do it every day, I’m going to get into shape and be healthy. What would you say to that?
Dr. John Jaquish: I’d say no, not all programs are created equal. Yeah. There’s programs you can do for years and you won’t change anything.
David Meltzer: And last question, what about the programs that are the 90 day programs, right? Yours is a program for life. It’s something that you do 10 minutes a day for life, which is the most attractive thing. When I started learning about fitness for me and someone said, “Dave, you got to pick something. Minimum an hour a day,” They said to spend on my health, including meditation and nutrition planning but you need to pick stuff that you’re going to do the rest of your life. It can’t be this 90 day program because it’s just going to come back… Why does the 90 day program and the 30 day program sometimes set you back farther after 60 or 90 more days?
Dr. John Jaquish: Well, that’s the exact reason I don’t have that. Well I kind of do, I have a 12 week program but very often the expectations are unreasonable. Like someone’s going to work out at home for an hour a day, like, “No, I’m not.” They might do that once or twice. They might do that over the course of a few weeks. They really decide to give up their social life and go for it. But then they see the almost nothing results they have. So then they’re like, “Oh, forgot this.”
David Meltzer: I can’t even get people to say thank you twice a day for 30 straight days. That’s how far in our own way it is. In fact real, real quick, so I’d love to get a mindset question to you. Why do we get so far in our own way that we can’t be consistent about things? What do you think it is about the mindset that doesn’t allow us to be consistent?
Dr. John Jaquish: A lot of fear-based decision-making. A lot of procrastination. There’s this whole movement of pictures and memes online where you’re looking for fitness motivation. And I hate these things because it’s always some picture or group of pictures of total outliers in fitness. A guy who is a bodybuilder, his name’s Jeremy Buendia, probably the genetics to have one of the more aesthetically pleasing physiques than ever. If somebody had carved a statue and made it look like that guy, people would be like, “Throw that statue away. Nobody looks that good.” So I don’t think there’s anything motivating necessarily about that but what you should do is want to be a better you, which is you can see that in increments and you can congratulate yourself for that over increments.
Dr. John Jaquish: And when all you have to say to yourself is, “All right, I’m going to stick to my principles today. So today, I’m just not going to be a loser. I’m going to stick to my diet. I’m going to do my workout routine. And maybe finish reading the book that I was reading,” save yourself a couple of those real simple, going through the motions stuff. Because when you go through the motions, things start to become automatic. And when they’re automatic, you don’t think about them. You just do them then their habits.
Dr. John Jaquish: And that’s what you need, that discipline. So somebody every day can go and get something done that they need to, driving them towards their goals but they only have to make one decision, just don’t be a loser today. The next day, they got to make that same decision. Say, “When I go to bed tonight, do I want to be a loser or do I want to have stuck to my principles?” That’s another huge thing I teach.
David Meltzer: Well, I love the questions that you raise. The book is called, the new book here in August, Weight Lifting Is a Waste of Time: So Is Cardio, and There’s a Better Way to Have the Body You Want. Not everybody is naturally beautiful like Adrian Peterson, who’s a good friend of mine who when I’m with him, he takes his shirt off, he’s eating, Popeye’s Fried Chicken with a big dip in his mouth. And I’m like, “How the heck do you have that body and breaking every rule of nutrition? It has to be genetic.” Anyway, thank you so much for dispelling the myths and allowing people to empower themselves. Please if you’re going to have a takeaway from John, it has to be, don’t be a loser today. And definitely read Weight Lifting is a Waste of Time. I love that, man. You can find it anywhere. This is Dave Meltzer with the incredible John Jaquish here on Entrepreneurs: The playbook.
David Meltzer: I Hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of The Playbook as much as me. On a personal note, I just wanted to thank everyone for making The Playbook such a success. Don’t forget to continue it by sharing, subscribing and listening to your favorite episodes. This is Dave Meltzer with The Playbook.
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