- By The Brian Keane Podcast on March 23, 2021
#319: Dr. John Jaquish on Why Cardio Does NOT Work For Fat Loss, The Reason Weight Lifting Is A Waste Of Time and The Benefits of Variable Resistance Training!
Brian Keane: Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. I’m your host, Brian Keane, bestselling author of the book, The Fitness Mindset, and Rewire Your Mindset, here to help you by deconstructing expert guests in all things, health, fitness, and mindset. Today’s guest is Dr. John Jaquish or Dr. J. I asked him how to pronounce the surname at the start because I’ve heard it pronounced in several different ways. And he said, “Just call me Dr. J.” So Dr. J, he is the author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book Weightlifting is a Waste of Time: So Is Cardio, and There’s a Better Way to Have the Body You Want. Today’s episode was a very enjoyable conversation. Since I read his book, I wanted to pick his brain on a few things because there’s a lot of breakdown of different misconceptions, different myths, different potential ways to look at training and nutrition that might be a better fit for you. And one of the things that I try and do with this podcast is bringing you lots of different ideas so that you can find what’s going to be the best fit for you, whether it comes to the diet you follow or the training program you’re on. So in today’s episode, we talk a lot about where weights went wrong. So the opposite way of training, or Dr. J’s philosophy for training, which is variable resistance training, AKA his X3 Bar exercise band bar system program and how that works. And we dive into the falsehood of fitness, so cardio being a great way to lose weight or calorie restriction is the only way that you can lose body fat and some of the ways to navigate through the misconceptions online and how to find what’s going to be a good fit for you. We also, towards the latter part of today’s episode, talk about the philosophy of one meal a day eating. So I know some of you … and not something that I’ve touched on previously, I think Ori Holfmecler way back in 2017 or 2016 was the last time I touched on this philosophy, the author of the book, The Warrior Diet. So we get into that about how you could potentially transition to one meal a day if that’s something you think could be a good fit for you. So without further ado, here is today’s podcast episode with my guest, Dr. J, on why cardio does not work for fat loss, the reason Weightlifting is a Waste of Time and the benefits of variable resistance training. Enjoy. Hey, everybody, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I’m delighted to be joined today with my guest, Dr. John Jaquish. Dr. John Jaquish PhD is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the book, Weightlifting is a Waste of Time: So Is Cardio, and There’s a Better Way to Have the Body You Want. He has spent years researching and developing improved approaches to health. He’s the inventor of the most effective bone-density-building medical technology, which has now partnered with Tony Robbins and OsteoStrong for rapid clinic deployment. In venture of X3 Bar resistance band training system, a technology that is proven to develop muscle much faster than conventional weightlifting all with the lowest risk of joint injury. His methods are used in training the world’s most elite athletes and associations such as the entire Miami Heat organization, various NFL and NBA players, as well as Olympians. I’m looking forward to talking to all things, fitness training and diet in today’s episode, Dr. John Jaquish, welcome to the podcast.
Why Is X3 More Powerful Than Weights?
- More Resistance Where Your Body is Stronger
- Less Risk of Injury Than Traditional Weights
- Easier On the Joints, Harder on the Muscle
- Complete Muscle Fatigue for Greater Gains
Dr. John Jaquish: Thanks for having me.
Brian Keane: Before we dive into your book, which again, what I love about the opportunity to speak with people like you, is you come at it from a very different area, and you break down a lot of the myths and misconceptions that are out there around training and around nutrition. But before we do that, talk to us a little bit about your backstory. I know you finished your PhD in 2012, and you have an interesting story about getting into the best shape of your life before 40. So maybe jump us forward there and talk us what led you on your current path now.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. Well, actually I was in lousy shape before I turned 40. After I turned 40, I became in great shape. So I started focusing on studying bone density because my mother was diagnosed with osteoporosis. I wanted to treat that osteoporosis. She was unwilling to take any medication. So I wanted to come up with a physical medicine device that would trigger bone growth. I knew that bone loss is really a disused dysfunction as opposed to like a pathogen. I mean, it’s not a cold, it’s not the flu. So I just wanted something that she could do that would treat it as opposed to a pill she could take. So my method was to find the population that had the highest bone density. And I did, it was very easy to find them. They were gymnasts. There was so much research about gymnastics and how they absorb powerful loads, but only in very specific positions. So I didn’t exactly know what to do next other than develop medical devices that placed the proper amount of force on the human body. When doing the trials for those … I did it in London, University of East London, and there was a hospital nearby that the tests were conducted at. I went to observe and make sure that the device was being used correctly. Because you never know when somebody;s running the study, the person who ends up doing the work could be somebody who didn’t really pay attention to the documentation, they could use it wrong. And then it’s certainly not going to work. So the physicians would ask me, “Gosh, these loads that you’re putting through these post-menopausal females are six, seven, eight times their body weight.” And I’m, “Yeah, they are. And it’s just in very specific impact-ready positions that they absorb those loads.” And then they said, “What does the average person lift at the gym?” And I said, “Next to nothing.” Generally the difference between beginning athletes and elite athletes is 1.3 to 1.53 multiples of body weight, where we’re using seven multiples of body weight, for example. So it was a very interesting experience and then realizing once reviewing the publication that people were able in the very specific impact-ready positions to hold sevenfold what they could hold … it’s actually a little more than seven fold, what they could hold in the weaker positions, I thought, “Weightlifting doesn’t make any sense because it’s the same weight at the bottom and at the top, what we need is a weight that drastically changes so that it matches what our capacity is.” So lower weight at the bottom, which makes it easier on joints and a higher weight at the top, when the muscle is capable of so much more force, you get a deeper level of fatigue and then get a more profound growth stimulus. So then I did a literature review while I was doing the sort of prototyping of the device and thought I knew what I wanted. And I changed my mind a couple of times. There were some different versions of things, but ultimately landed on the same conceptual device that I had originally thought of like the day I made this observation. And it really just has to do with delivering incredible forces where you’re powerful and then dissipating those forces where the joint is at risk of injury, because you’re not hardly engaging any muscle there anyway. Most people are just bouncing off their tendons and ligaments and screwing themselves up, creating chronic injury. Most of the things I’ve seen weightlifting, now that I know what I know, are just idiotic. They’re not just ineffective, they’re counterproductive. After making all these observations then I launched the product, I did a very soft launch on a Dave Asprey’s podcast, the Bulletproof podcast. Sure you have some crossover into that audience. It was moving, I realized very quickly. And I was warned about this because my original idea … like I already had the bone density medical device business, and that was going well. And I suppose I could’ve just sat on a beach with a drink because I had a royalty deal, and do a lecture every couple of months somewhere. This is of course before coronavirus, and just enjoy myself, but I’m not really wired like that. I saw a task. I just can’t say no. Like when somebody puts a challenge in front of me, I have to do it. I was warned by a bunch of companies, I wanted to originally license the technology and the patents of X3 Bar portable home gym so that the new … muscle-building product. I want to license it to other manufacturers. And they’re like, Wait a minute. You’re to make a scientific presentation to the fitness audience?" And I said, “Yeah, that’s my plan.” And they’re like, “No, fitness people are absolutely stupid. They’re the dumbest, they’re the lowest common denominator in society.” And I thought about it. Okay, like you go after scuba divers and golfers and they may have a little more intelligence and wealth than the typical $9 a month gym guy. But I said, “They can’t be that stupid.” I was wrong. They are that stupid.
Brian Keane: When you say fitness industry, are you talking people that are looking to get in shape or people that are at the top end.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. It just blew my mind. And look at where the fitness information is at its greatest volume. YouTube and Instagram, video and pictures. That’s what these people can absorb. They can’t read, or at least it’s too hard for them. So I was so disappointed with the fitness audience, just get stupid comments and just nonsensical, not understanding basic physiology and claiming to be an expert or was what I saw hundreds of times a day. So I pivoted to busy executives, busy professionals that really just wanted the optimized answer. And then the company completely took off. So we just went after a smarter customer. And that was a great move, changed absolutely everything. And now professional athletes and professional teams, like the Miami Heat, a bunch of guys in the NFL, about 15 guys in the NFL, more NBA guys, Olympic athletes, Swedish soccer. I won’t remember everything, but quite a few people in bodybuilding actually have caught on, but of course these people have coaches and I think some of the people who are incapable of reading science, once they see professional athletes use it, then it’s a different story. It’s like “Okay, I don’t understand any of that science stuff, but I understand if some great quarterback who may even be called the greatest one of all time uses it, well, maybe I could.”
Brian Keane: Do you think, Dr. J, just out of curiosity, is it the science aspect of it? Because I’ve read through your book and it’s backed up. And in terms of biomechanics one-on-one and physiology one-on-one, I’m like it makes perfect sense that you don’t load through the bottom of tendons, you load through the top. It makes a lot of sense. Do you think that the reason that the fitness industry or people within … again, I don’t mean to tear everybody with the same brush. I think a lot of cultures would have the open mind that certain things work for certain people, and it’s about finding the best fit for the individual. But do you think that it’s because of the science that was stopping people adopting this, and they had to go the social proof of professional athletes using it? Or what do you think was the barrier initially when you went that route and then pivoted?
Dr. John Jaquish: Well, it’s interesting. I think they go by social proof, like really unintelligent people are lemmings. They just go in whatever direction everybody else is going. I mean, look at politics. Like, how has the world changed in the last 10 years? And it’s just kind of a lemming following mentality. And most people just are followers. Let me give you an example that I don’t have a bias in. Cardiovascular exercise. There’s 40 years of evidence that show cardiovascular exercise chronically up-regulates cortisol, which gets rid of muscle mass and protects the body fat you have. So you stay as fat as possible, as long as possible, because it’s trying to turn you into an endurance machine. You need to have a lot of extra fuel to go these great distances and having muscle exists is just burning extra fuel for nothing. Because like a muscle’s an engine at idle, even when you’re resting. So if you train for great cardiovascular endurance, you’re just getting rid of muscle as quickly as possible, 40 years of research on that. And most sports scientists you would ask even 40 years ago, they’d be like “Yeah, sustained cardio is like terrible for weight loss,” but that’s not where the industry even is today. Like right now, you walk into a gym, some trainer will say the cardio is for weight loss and the weights are for muscle. My attitude is there’s no such thing as cardio. It’s just shitty ineffective strength training. You’re just contracting muscles, but you’re not stimulating any growth. And you actually get more of a cardiovascular health effect from doing strength training. And I cite a meta analysis with more than 100 references in it that says that. And I cite down in the book. I’m not in the cardio business. I’m not even competing with the cardio business. It’s just that the science is not easy to absorb. So I suppose 40 years can go by where the obvious is ignored by an industry full of very unintelligent people.
Brian Keane: I’m going to definitely double back into the cardio and where weights went wrong. Because I think that’s just a fascinating aspect to come at just an angle that I haven’t previously covered on the podcast. But I’m just curious for you, Dr. J, just to get a grasp of the timeline, because you mentioned at the top of the podcast that you were in lousy shape before 40 and you’re in tremendous shape now and have been for a while. And did that timeline overlap with the creation of X3? Or what was the actual step-by-step into-
Dr. John Jaquish: X3 was the only difference. I was lifting hard up until I turned 40. I probably put on like 10 or 15 pounds of muscle in 20 years of lifting. I didn’t get much out of it. And I was always kind of a thin kind of sprinter type. I played outside center in rugby. I know I’m an American that plays rugby. Yeah, I just didn’t get much out of it. And for a while I was thinking, “I guess I’m just not supposed to be a big guy.” I put on a little bit of fat. I was like 16% body fat when I started this adventure, which is … There’s some people who are proud of 16%. I think 16% is high. Nobody should be there. You should be lower.
Brian Keane: Yeah. Relative to the person it varies.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. But I always saw myself as … I played on a rugby team after I graduated, it was a club team that travel all over to … like semi-pro, because we for a brief period of time did have a professional rugby league in the States, but we no longer do. So I was playing for one of those junior teams. And I played on a team where everybody was Tongan or Samoan. And I definitely felt like the guys that worked hard enough … some were leaner than others, but everybody was getting stronger except me and these guys were born to play rugby. I mean, look at Tongan and Samoan in history with rugby, they’re great. And I just thought like it was like a tied my shoelaces together before every game. These guys are just outclassing me because they’re just strong and you don’t play rugby forever, so I didn’t. I went into other stuff, but I always kept thinking like, “What am I missing here? I don’t think I’m just a person who can’t put on muscle. I think I just haven’t figured out how to do it right.” And I would read. There was a few books I read that were supposed to be the most scientific books about weightlifting. There was no science in there at all. It was just like, “Here’s what so-and-so does. We drew his blood.” Like, “Okay, so you drew his blood. Did it tell you anything? That doesn’t make it scientific.” So I saw a lot of just nonsense and no real process where somebody looked at the existing clinical literature. And also, I want to point out, everything I say is backed up by somebody else’s research, not just mine. So that’s a big difference. There’s 16 studies that I did not write.
Trusted by ProfessionalAthletes Worldwide
Brian Keane: When it comes to weight training in particular, and I do want to pick your brain on cardio as well. And I know because of X3, and we’ll go through this in more detail as we go along. But what was the thing you wish you had known when it comes to weight training? Because you obviously spent years lifting, getting stronger for rugby, for body composition to look better. All of these things that we lift weights for, what was the one or two things that you wish you had known about weightlifting back when you started or back when you were potentially pushing it the most or being the most consistent with your gym-based program or training program? What was the main one or two things that you wish you had known back then that you know now?
Dr. John Jaquish: Just the level of variants that we have in our output capacity. And that’s the main point of that book. And the book talks about the creation of a product and how I addressed these things so we can make it accessible. But the problem is variable resistance is not really accessible unless you have a gym that allows chains and bands and still it’s not the right ratio. And you don’t know the ratio that you’re at. You’re kind of flying blind. When I first saw … and this was years before I thought about … I was working on the bone density project, and I saw people training with chains and I said, “You know what? That makes sense.” Now the gym I was going to at the time didn’t have that so I couldn’t really do much about it, but we all know that when we do a pushup, the top of the pushup is easy. The bottom of the pushup’s the hard part. So I always had this idea like, it doesn’t really make sense if there’s a hard part in one place and it’s easy. Why don’t we make it so that everything’s hard? Why don’t we change the loading? So I had had that thought, but not more than like a minute. And then after doing the literature review … Because when I had my bone density data, I was like the only one in the world that had data that showed just how dramatic the difference was between impact-ready range and weak range. So I had to really focus on what that data told me. And then any other idea I had of variable resistance before that was like, “Okay, everything that everyone’s done with variable resistance is totally not even scratching the surface of what we could really do.” And that’s like when I do a chest press, I hold 100 pounds at the bottom, 300 pounds in the middle, and 540 pounds at the top, which is like 230 kilos I think-
Brian Keane: It’s a lot.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. A lot. Yeah, it’s like 230 kilos. So that’s what I’m dealing with in a chest press for over 20 repetitions. So I’m really tricking my body into lifting much heavier, which of course stimulates testosterone receptors. So there’s people who even take performance enhancing drugs and they don’t train heavy. Are they ever going to grow? They won’t because they don’t have the receptors that are willing to accept that testosterone. And I cover that in the book, too. Like there’s no getting away from heavy. There are just better strategies to go heavy.
Brian Keane: Yeah. That’s what I love about the method. I think it’s, as you said, you’re working through the difficulty and it makes sense that you’re going to be the strongest at the top. So you’re going to be able to hold a different resistance level at that top. I’ve got a two-part question, but I want you to just for the first to explain in your words, just because I know there’s some people who are listening, and again, I’m aware of my background, a little bit of cursory knowledge with this one, variable resistance. Can you explain that simply? And then I’ve got a follow-up question on the creation of X3 and what led you to that, but just in your own words, Dr. J, how would you explain variable resistance to people?
Dr. John Jaquish: A resistance that changes in accordance with your force output capacity. I guess that wasn’t less complicated. Was it?
Brian Keane: Again, for people listening to breakdown it’s that you’re hitting a different load based on the part of the movement. And I think the injury prevention aspect, what I took away from the book for sure was that when you’re not loading so much through the bottom, when you’re at the highest risk of injury or certain parts of the movement, that’s at the highest risk of injury, it makes sense that your risk of hurting yourself goes down drastically. Like it’s the same. I’ve seen it, Dr. J, of people doing ridiculously crazy form with certain movements in the gym. And you’re like, “You are going to hurt yourself.” And with this cuts it out, just the same as people who work with slow tempo resistance training, even though they have the disadvantage of not being able to go as heavy, but just with that variable resistance to paint a picture in people’s eyes before I asked the next question. When you were creating it, I’m really curious because this isn’t something that if I may have missed it when I was reading through the book, but when you were creating this, I assume that X3 didn’t just go from a concept, an idea to end product. Did you trial and test a few training methods in the gym yourself, or work out yourself before you actually got to the final product of X3? And the reason I ask that is for people that want to experiment with some form of variable resistance in their own training to see what it’s like, and then potentially move on to X3, what would that look like? Or what did that look like for you? Assuming that it wasn’t straight concept idea to finish products. Did you test it in terms with barbells, with dumbbells, with bands, you mentioned chains earlier. What did that look like?
Dr. John Jaquish: You’re not going to like my answer. I did everything on paper by finding multiple sources that said … The name X3 is because there was a Cornell study that shows that athletes who use variable resistance had three times the strength gains that people lifting standard weights did. And they were all randomly sampled out of strength athletics at Cornell university. That’s why I called it X3. I did the whole thing mathematically. I didn’t experiment at all.
Brian Keane: It works though. So there’s no way to dislike the answer when it’s the truth.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. I mean, I know there’s gyms with chains and stuff and yeah. Could I have moved to Ohio to hang out with the guys at Westside Barbell for six months? I mean, maybe because they were the ones who were really pushing variable resistance, but I felt like it wasn’t very applicable to what I had in mind because they had a very complex approach to it that I didn’t think had a scientific process behind it. But it was obviously working for them because the guys were training and were like breaking every world record. I think they broke like 400 world records out of that gym.
Brian Keane: Yeah. Let’s pivot out of variable resistance and training. I want to go back and double back on cardio. And probably my favorite chapter in the book is the falsehoods of fitness. Again, I’m a sucker for myths and misconceptions and breakdowns, but there’s a few in there on cardio. Talk about the falsehood of fitness and cardio being great for weight loss. You talked about it earlier about the cortisol, just expand on it for people because there’s a lot of people listening to this podcast who will think, weight training good, resistance training goods, cardio better for fat loss. Break that down for us a little bit.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. There’s never been a less true statement. So you don’t talk to your central nervous system. You don’t stand in the mirror and say, “Hey, central nervous system, I can stand to lose 20 pounds because I look awful.” The only way to communicate with your central nervous system is you create an environment where a change can happen and that change is going to give you what you want. So let’s use an automotive example. You can have a Prius or a Formula 1 car. Now when you strength train, you’re trying to be a Formula 1 car, huge engine, very powerful engine, bigger and thicker tendons and ligaments. If you put a Formula 1 engine in that Prius, you’d blow the wheels right off it. Thing would just come apart because it’s not meant to handle that kind of power, which is why you have neural inhibition, which won’t let you grow muscle that’ll damage your tendons and ligaments. It all grows together. When you do cardio, you lose bone density. Even when you run, that’s a big myth that people who do a lot of running have higher bone density. No they don’t. They have lower. I mean, sprinters have higher bone density, but that’s not really what we’re talking about. We’re talking about cardio. If you’re trying to be an efficient distance machine, your body will secrete the hormones that’ll make that happen. But I promise you, it’s not going to give what you want. It’s going to maintain body fat, it’s going to get rid of muscle, which is … distance runners are regularly referred to as skinny fat. They’ve lost a lot of muscle, but they’re still not lean people. Look at a sprinter. Sprinters have all visible abs, why don’t marathon runners? And then the evidence of the sky high cortisol. And just look at the body composition there’s data on this. So I’m not just speaking anecdotally. What is the body composition of the average sprinter? What is a body composition of the average marathoner? Well, the average marathoner’s really not in that great shape. Also, has far more C-reactive protein because of the chronic damage that they’re doing to joints and the body has to deal with that. And it’s such a low calorie intake based on what they do. Somebody may say, “Well, I have a whole bunch of calories, so that makes up for it.” No, it really doesn’t because you’re processing calories to attenuate damage, not to develop anything. Muscle damage is another big myth that I pointed out in the book. If you damage a muscle while you train … The idea, and when I was in high school, you have micro tears in the muscle and then when they heal, the muscle becomes bigger. Totally untrue. In fact, if you have micro-tears in the muscle, your body will use this protein synthesis process to fix the damage and you will not get stronger. So what you want to do is fully exhaust the muscle without damaging it. And then you get the maximum amount of growth, and you do that by offloading the weaker range where the damage happens. And that’s exactly what X3 is.
Variable Resistance System
- Lift Heavier With Less Risk of Injury
- 10 Minutes is All You Need
- A Full Gym Without a Gym
- Workout Anywhere
Brian Keane: Do you find personally, or with people that work on X3 because you’re working not too exhausting without damage, would they still have the same level of say delayed onset muscle soreness or is that something that goes away? Or what does that look like for people?
Dr. John Jaquish: Say that again.
Brian Keane: So the reason I ask is I’m curious about when you do traditional style resistance training, which is what has been my bread and butter, even though I’m open to lots of different training methodologies, but when you do resistance training first, especially new movement patterns, you get really sore, that delayed onset muscle soreness where two days later, you’re just like, “Oh my God,” you can barely sit down, you need that-
Dr. John Jaquish: Never happens with X3. You’re never sore.
Brian Keane: And is that because of that exhausting without the damage, is that the reason and not loading through the-
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. The soreness is not your body growing. The soreness is just damage and your body has to repair the damage, yeah. The last 60 pounds of muscle I have gained. So just round that to 30 kilos, it’s 30 plus, but who’s counting?
Brian Keane: What’s a couple of pounds between friends? We’re good.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. Yeah. So if you think about that, I have not been sore one time, not after one workout. I could go out and play golf after a workout, which nobody can say that about weights. Like you have the coordination of an eight year old after a weight workout, try playing basketball, you know what I mean? You’re sore, everything is just irritated. Yeah, it’s awful, but not this.
Brian Keane: Yeah. You break that down really well in that falsehood about muscle damage being required for growth, like something I’ve said on this podcast is, “Muscle soreness doesn’t equal most of the growth. If that was the case, marathon runners would have legs like a 30-year-old Arnold Schwartzenegger. Muscle soreness doesn’t equal growth.” But that ties in with another part because I think these may be connected in the session, which jumped out at me just because there was definitely a gap in my knowledge on this. Talk about muscle confusion theory, which is something that I had been a long-term subscriber to partly because I never really saw any contradictory evidence, but I know you talk about this and it’s opened my mind to it. Talk about what muscle confusion theory is and then your falsehood around it.
Dr. John Jaquish: Okay. So the idea was … and I blame Arnold Schwartzenegger for this because I think he was the first one to talk about how you need to change your workout all the time, because your body gets used to one type of workout. So you need to do a totally different type of workout to exhaust the muscle because you, and this is his word, you shock the muscle in the growing. It’s an interesting theory. It’s been proven completely untrue in every test. People who have the same workout year after year, they grow more.
Brian Keane: Does anything change within that workout?
Dr. John Jaquish: The confusing part of this is when you change up your workout completely, you get sore because before they thought getting sore was how you stimulated growth. And as soon as you stop getting sore it was like “Oh, well, we’ve got to do something different now because we need to be sore.” Totally wrong. It just puts growth at a halt. And coincidentally, now the American College of Sports Medicine has a position statement which is a strong level of evidence. It’s like a meta analysis where they’re trying to come to something very conclusionary where they’re saying, “Don’t engage in muscle confusion, it doesn’t work.” They don’t give the conjecture, like, “It was an interesting idea.” I mean, interesting has nothing to do with it. It’s just wrong. And a lot of people spun their wheels for a lot of years getting caught up in that.
Brian Keane: It’s an easy one to get caught up in for sure though, because as you said without-
Dr. John Jaquish: It sounds right.
Brian Keane: It sounds right without the evidence to support, it sounds in theory, but without evidence, it’s not. What about calorie restriction then? I know we have similar schools of thought on this, but I want to pick your brain that you say, and I know you talked about this in the book and I’ve heard you on other podcast, that calories matter, but not as much as we think. And particularly when it comes to trying to lose body fat. Talk about your thoughts on calorie restriction and calories in general and food and the nutrition side of fat loss in particular, as opposed to even muscle building.
Dr. John Jaquish: So ultimately, calorie restriction, yes that works if you want to lose body fat. However, it alone is not the most powerful method. Like I would say intermittent fasting is. Now, I don’t know why there are some people on the internet who are all about intermittent fasting. And they just think calorie restriction is stupid. For some reason I think it’s because everybody can hide behind their computer. People are mean on the internet and it’s not like, “Well, there’s conflicting research, but there might be merit in both ideas.” That’s what human beings would say to each other in person. But instead somebody hears an idea that’s different than theirs. And it’s like, “You should kill yourself.” We really need the psychologists to do some analysis on how unfortunate we have all become in our actions and reactions, more reactions than anything with other people. Your nutrition program is not your religion. Get over it. If somebody showed me that eating broccoli all day long would make me stronger and leaner than what I’m doing right now, that’s ridiculous. Broccoli is worthless, but I’m just coming up with a ridiculous example. If somebody could prove that scientifically, okay, I’m in. They can’t. And so I’m not. And so I really try to talk in a way where I’m not one-sided about it. So I encourage one meal a day so you get a fasted benefit. The 16/8 thing is just what we used to call skipping breakfast. And that’s not going to do much for you. And there’s studies on that. It’s just not a long enough time without food in your system. Something to keep in mind, your body will reach towards stored energy when it’s out of food to digest, we all know this. So every time you eat, you put that process on hold. So wouldn’t having fewer meals give you a longer period of time where your body is reaching for that fat tissue? Now, obviously the answer is yes, you’d be a fool to say no. So the question is, just constantly putting that process on hold, if you eat less, you have less to digest and it takes less time. If you eat a meal like I eat, I might have 2,500 calories in one meal. So it’s going to take me longer. But then I have a very long fasted period afterward. So it doesn’t really matter. Now are those two things the same? No, they’re not. Because there are studies where they would feed people the same amount of calories, two different groups of people, one group throughout the day, the other group they’d only get it in one meal. And the people who had the one meal a day, they had better insulin function. They lost body fat. And whereas the other people, they’re at a deficit, but their body fat remained somewhere. No statistical significance in their loss. So all these things count. And so what I generally favor is, depending on where somebody is and what they want, focus on long fasted periods. And I think it feels fantastic when you’re fasted a couple of days, so I’ll go 72 hours with nothing.
Brian Keane: Yeah. I’m going to pick your brain on that. Just as somebody that I know the evidence is very strong on those long periods of fasting for multitude of reasons as you said, insulin sensitivity, et cetera, fat adoption, all of these things that come with it. But as somebody that has definitely experienced it several times at one meal a day, not too often, but there was a period for about 12 months where I would try and do it at least once a week where I would have that long fast, not quite 72 hours, but I would try and do 21, 22-hour fast. And I felt amazing, even in that short period, especially with my training load, if I was training for an ultra endurance event and I was already half fasted already from just being in a caloric deficit, what advice would you offer to people who are potentially looking to transition to say a one meal a day strategy? And the reason I asked that is because it’s tricky. It’s a tricky change because we like food. Generally people enjoy their food, enjoy their meals. We’ve hardwired breakfast, lunch, and dinner, lots of different whether they’re serving or unserving depends on the person, of course. But what advice or tips would you offer to somebody who’s looking to transition to one meal a day? Or what did you do? I assume it wasn’t a one decision. This is what I’m doing. There was a process to it, or maybe it was, what did that look like for you, Dr. J?
Dr. John Jaquish: I just read a lot of research. All my decisions are based on something I read and research that I want to experiment with. Mostly because if it works or if it doesn’t work, I have the evidence to explain. Now every once in a while I’ll try something and it just doesn’t work out like it did in the study. And then I just don’t go down that road, or I’ll try and figure out what I did maybe wrong.
Brian Keane: Is there an example that jumps to mind just out of curiosity, anything jump to mind there?
Dr. John Jaquish: There’s a couple of things. Like a few years ago it was like sucralose was great, but then I knew a lot of people who would have a lot of Diet Cokes or whatever, or Coke Zero, I don’t remember which is the one with sucralose and which is the one with aspartame. They would never get any leaner. And the idea was that the sweetness was going to kill your appetite. No, it actually increases your appetite. Also grows fungus in your intestines, which causes a whole host of other problems. When I read that first round of research, which was funded by people who were producing the artificial sweeteners … I tried it and watched other people and I’m like, “No this is …” We didn’t know what stimulated appetite, yet. And when the studies first came out and looked at the hormones that trigger you to be hungry, well, then there was the answer. And then we understood the mechanism of why these things didn’t work so well. So that’s one example, but it’s an obvious one now that most people are on board with, you won’t meet many people who listen to your podcasts that are like, “Oh yeah, sucralose. It’s awesome.” Nobody’s saying that, though they continue to put it in Red Bull and Bang and all kinds of energy drinks that I see fitness people reaching for. And then I mention, I’m like, “You know there’s sucralose in there, right?” And they’re like, “Yeah, I know.”
Brian Keane: Yeah. It’s it’s like an, “I’ll have it anyway,” kind of job.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. Well, I suppose we all justify things. When somebody walks up to me in a bar and I’m drinking a Martini and they’re like, “You’re Dr. John Jaquish, right? And I go, “Yeah.” And they’re like, “Well, why are you drinking alcohol?” And I’m like, “Where did I say I didn’t drink alcohol?” I like alcohol. It’s awesome. Also dehydrates you. So if you have like a photo shoot in the morning, which for example tomorrow morning, I do have a photo shoot. So I will have a vodka or two this evening, so I can look nice and sharp for tomorrow.
Brian Keane: That’s so funny for non-fitness people. I used to compete in bodybuilding shows and I would have brandy or wine the night before and brandy before stage for the same reason just to dehydrate. And when you tell non-fitness people they’re like, “What?” To double back into the one meal a day … Sorry, I was just really curious when you said that you tried something that didn’t work for you, and that’s a really good one for people in terms of the sucralose and the diet drinks. Transitioning to one meal a day. What would you say is a good method for that? Would you recommend people start with 16/8 and then gradually go to one meal, or would you offer different advice for people who want to make that transition?
Dr. John Jaquish: Just go to one meal a day, rip the bandaid off. You’re not a hero if you do 16/8. That’s just a joke. That’s like you fell asleep on your flight and you missed breakfast. That’s like every day for me, if I wasn’t even trying, like I’m just busy, skip meals. So yeah, just have one meal, just have a big early dinner, dinner at five o’clock or six o’clock and have a couple of steaks and then enjoy the rest of your night and go to sleep. It’s pretty simple. There’s so much nutrition information that’s over complicated. And I think when you’re not following … When you have a truly low inflammatory diet, you don’t need to worry about things like antioxidants, because why would you need an antioxidant when you’re not oxidizing? Doesn’t make any sense. So people are like, “Well, you eat oranges, what kind of fruit do you eat?” And I’m like, “Nothing, none, don’t eat it. I don’t eat any vegetables, either.” Pretty much my diet is red meat.
Brian Keane: Is it heavy carnivore style or do you supplement it with other grains and stuff as well? Or is it mostly … I know you’ve talked about four steaks a day and things along those lines. Is it more so towards that carnivore style or does it vary?
Dr. John Jaquish: It’s more carnivore than anything. I’ve recently come to the realization that a lot of people don’t like to be that strict about their diet. I have willpower that’s annoying to most other people, but I just do. I’m just laser focused. I can go to a banquet and just say I’m fasting and not have anything and watch everybody else eat. I don’t care. Doesn’t bother me at all. But I know people who, when they’re fasting, if they smell a pizza place, they’re walking down the street, they’re like, “It’s over.” They have to eat pizza. And I would say that’s a large portion of population. So I’ve been looking at ways where we can use some supplementation with more efficient proteins, like Fortagen for example and it’s made out of bacterial fermentation. It’s the most bioavailable anabolic protein ever created. I recommend that. And that be your main source of protein. You’re at a massive caloric deficit then, and you’re fasting. And then when it comes to your one meal, maybe you don’t have to be so strict about it because just eating steak every day, that doesn’t get boring to me, but that does to some other people. So just as an experiment, there was a girl I was dating a couple months ago that had absolutely no self control. And so I tried to figure out what can I do with this person so that she doesn’t feel like she’s being deprived, but still gets the benefits? I’m actually filming a whole bunch of video about it tomorrow. That’ll be more interesting because ultimately … and my good friend, Kyle Zagrodzky says this all the time, and he’s the CEO of OsteoStrong. And he says like, “What’s the best diet?” And it sounds like a joke. And I’m like, “I don’t know, man. What?” And he says, “The one people will follow.” And I’m like, “Okay. Yeah, I think you’re right about that. Because if they don’t follow it, it’s not doing shit.” Yeah. I’m really trying to help people get to something they can stick with and maybe even enjoy because right now, strict ketogenic nutrition, which is a term I hate by the way, because there’s no such thing as ketogenic nutrition. Ketogenesis is a process of the body, period. It’s not a food source. I find it to be just a complete misuse of the term. Anyway.
Brian Keane: It’s what confuses people as well I think that’s the-
Dr. John Jaquish: It does because they think if they’re “eating keto” they can eat whatever they want and they’ll put a stick of butter on everything. And it’s like, no, you will become fat if you do that. That’s not a thing. You need to encourage the body to not become dependent again on glucose, but you need to focus on also those periods of time where you’re just not digesting any calories because that’s when the body’s looking to metabolize body fat, it’s in the absence of calories. So if you just keep on eating butter all day long like a lot of ketogenic gurus will tell you, you’re going to be worse off.
Brian Keane: Definitely when it comes to fat loss, 100% as you said there, what I definitely heard you say, which I love is when it comes to nutrition, it’s very much about finding what’s going to be a good fit for you, what diet is the best one, the one you want to follow. And I think there’ll be a handful of people even more so maybe a percentage who will go, “Okay, one meal a day. I’m going to give that a go. Or I’m going to stick with mostly red meat.” I’ve had so many people I’ve worked with over the years who hate broccoli and greens. And I think what you said there was probably music to their ears and they’re like, “Oh, Dr. J doesn’t eat broccoli either.” So you might have a few people that will jump on board with that. Dr. J, I really enjoyed this conversation. I really enjoyed the book in particular. As I said, it got me questioning some of my own health beliefs that I just hadn’t really been challenged, particularly the muscle confusion theory and a few others. I just have one final question before we give a call to send people over your way to X3 over to the website, but you’re doing so many things right now between … I know with COVID, obviously you’re not going to be able to go around and do as many in-person events that you would normally be doing, but between your inventing and the social media presence you have, over a million followers on Instagram and you’re putting up a video series, doing a photo shoot tomorrow, et cetera. What’s the single most thing that you are the most excited about right now? And that might be in your personal life, might be when it comes to the research or the evidence that you’re currently looking into when it comes to training and nutrition, or it might be something completely different, but what are you currently most excited about?
Dr. John Jaquish: I wish I could tell you. I’m working on something that’s a real breakthrough. It’s a new thing. And it’s going to be awesome, but it may be more than a year before it comes out. There’s a number of things I’m working on. But there is one thing that will have, I believe, just about every piece of fitness equipment thrown and melted down and turned into stables.
Brian Keane: I’m interested. You’ve given me the Tony Robbins hook. I was like, “Now I want to know.” But definitely.
Dr. John Jaquish: I mean, gyms will be history like in a day. Already, you look at X3, but there is a way that we can … I’m frequently accused of having a cult following because the people that put on 20 pounds of muscle with X3, and they’ve been training for like 15 years before that, and they only put on like five pounds, they think I’m pretty clever. And so they’re very excited about what I’m working on. So they’ve seen benefits, but what if I could really get into people’s minds what is happening physiologically to their body? It has more to do with … Why are diagnostics in medicine? Why do diagnostics drive more revenue, especially in your country, drive more revenue than treatments? I mean, the NHS, they’ll pay an arm and a leg for diagnostics and the treatments they’re like, “Well, I don’t know. You should probably go to private pay doctors for that. And I worked with the NHS on my study. And the NHS is better than the United States on getting things done and still they have the same problem. And I’ll tell you, it’s not any government problem. It’s an attitude that people want to know what’s going on more than they want to fix it. When a Type 2 diabetic who’s dying understands their hemoglobin A1C score, and they know all they have to do is just eat maybe half the Twinkies that they were eating before and they can affect that score, they tend to do it, and then they change their score and they’re proud of themselves. Now they may not continue to go down that road. But if I can give everyone who uses the technology a real way to see what is happening inside of their body, I’m telling you, all other fitness equipment will be viewed as trash. Brian Keane: Such exciting times. I was like, we’ll definitely have to do a talk on that in a year’s time or whenever that is out-
Dr. John Jaquish: When it comes out, let’s do this again.
Brian Keane: Yeah. 100%. Dr. J I’ve loved this conversation. As I said, I’ve been dying to talk since we set up this interview. For everybody that’s listening who is interested in learning more about X3, learning more about you, picking up the book, where’s the best place for them to get you? Through the website? Is it through Instagram? Is it the book anywhere online? Talk through-
No Weights, No Cardio
Dr. John Jaquish: I created a landing page where you can find X3, the book, the optimized protein, everything. And I did not put my last name in that URL for a reason. Because my last name’s hard. So it’s just doctorj.com. D-O-C-T-O-R, the letter J, .com.
Brian Keane: And for everybody listening, I will link that landing page in the show notes and everywhere you are listening to podcasts, in Spotify and iTunes, on Stitcher. Just click straight on through, go check out Dr. J’s stuff. Thank you so much again for your time. I know how busy you are and so I’m absolutely delighted we got to do this and I look forward to our round two. Dr. J, thank you again.
Dr. John Jaquish: Brian, thanks so much.
Brian Keane: There you have it. Doctor J on why cardio does not work for fat loss. The reason Weightlifting is a Waste of Time and the benefits of variable resistance training. So hopefully this was a very eye-opening episode, a nice one to bring in some different perspectives on how you can potentially approach your training, potentially approach your nutrition and ultimately find what’s going to be a good fit for you.
Optimize your health through science