By Work Hard Play Hard Podcast on January 4, 2022

Dr. John Jaquish on Why You’re Wasting Your Time with Traditional Weight Lifting

Dr. John Jaquish on Why You’re Wasting Your Time with Traditional Weight Lifting

The innovative Dr. John Jaquish explains how traditional weight lifting is a waste of time, how current diet and exercise need to be reassessed, and the challenge in presenting these new ideas to the world.

Full Transcript

Rob: Hey, everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Rob Murgatroyd Show. Each week, I have conversations with some of the most fascinating people on the planet that can help you live a life of fulfillment. All right, let’s jump into today’s show.

Dr. John Jaquish This is just like taking any other product to market. The difference is nobody had ever seen anything like this before. And of course, there were physicians that would say, “This is a fraud, it’s a scam, it’s a lie.” And it’s really weird when you’re the first one to do something, you get called a liar right out of the gate. And it’s just like, you idiots haven’t even seen this thing yet. You haven’t touched it. You don’t even know how it works. And you’re already banging a drum, screaming fraud. You don’t know. And so this is what keeps so many entrepreneurs just stopped in their tracks.

Rob: Dr. John, welcome to the show.

Dr. John Jaquish Hey, thanks for having me.

Rob: You know what, man, I am super excited to have you here because I’m looking out my window right now. I don’t know if you know this or not, but I live in Florence, Italy. And every day I walk down the streets and I look at these statues, and when I look at your body, and right here, just through the Zoom, you look like one of these statues that I see walking down the street in Florence, so I’m excited-

Dr. John Jaquish That’s what I was going for.

Rob: So I’m excited to try and figure out how the heck you do it. So before we jump into all the products that you’ve created, I want to dig in a little bit on your background. And I’d like to talk about your dad. Your dad was an engineer.

Dr. John Jaquish That’s right.

Rob: And he came up with 300 different patents, and he, if I understand correctly and did my research correctly, he was a part of or built the lunar rover. Is that right?

Dr. John Jaquish That’s right.

Rob: Tell me about that. My father was a truck driver.

Dr. John Jaquish That was well before I was born. He had a crazy exciting life before I came. He was a scientist and an inventor and very innovative. Did a lot of things for General Motors, developed a lot of automotive technology. And then he worked for a group called Defense Research Laboratories, which was a General Motors-owned weapons contractor, which General Motors didn’t want to be in that industry. But what they did, they were the ones that built the lunar rover vehicle for NASA. And so it was a small team, eight guys were working on the team, they had a billion-dollar budget. Sounds nice, right?

Rob: Amazing.

Dr. John Jaquish Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think it was that project, the magnitude of that project, when he was done, he was like, “Wow, I just added so much shareholder value to the General Motors share price.” Now, by the way, you’ll still see the lunar rover vehicle in General Motors advertisements. They can use that forever. They have limitless rights to all that footage and information and everything like that.

So the idea was, it was a billion-dollar advertising campaign. Oh, and one thing in the contract as if the roving vehicles didn’t work for any reason, nobody was allowed to know they were made by General Motors. Because that’s just a stereotype, it’s like they bring the car to the moon and it doesn’t work and everybody’s like, “Oh, GM,” you know? That’s not what General Motors wanted.

Rob: They didn’t want to be tied to it.

Dr. John Jaquish Yeah.

Rob: Well, let me ask you this. In what ways do you think your dad’s sort of engineering background, entrepreneurial spirit, and inventor side of him, in what way do you think he has impacted what it is that you do now?

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Dr. John Jaquish He was always interested in the fact that there can be many solutions to one problem. And this was not intentional, but he gave me a kind of lack of interest in standard education because he would always say, “Your teachers are going to tell you this is the way to do something. And what they should be saying is, this is a way to do something. But there are many different ways to go about solving all sorts of problems.” So, he just didn’t care for the sort of standard answers.

Dr. John Jaquish He didn’t care for the standard technologies. He’s one of those guys who no matter what he buys, whether it’s a riding lawnmower or a clock or something like that, will improve it, he will take it apart and make it a better product. Because he just kind of doesn’t like the mediocrity of a lot of the products out there. It’s just a way of thinking that I don’t think anybody has, and so he taught that to me.

Rob: All right. Before we get into the actual product that you created, I want to approach it from a little bit of a different angle. You have delivered a product, which we’ll talk about in a second, that the market has never seen, nobody’s seen this. Are there any particular approaches that you take when you are developing a new product? Because when you’re creating something that nobody’s ever seen before and you got a blank, as they say here in Italy, tabula rasa, there’s a blank slate, right? Are there any particular approaches to how you look at something when you’re trying to create a product?

Dr. John Jaquish It usually starts with a population. Like, when it came to bone density, for example, like my mother had a low bone density, she was diagnosed with osteoporosis. Many people who are listening probably don’t realize that it kills as many people as breast cancer does, it’s just not as dramatic. It’s sort of like, you have a hip fracture, you go to the hospital, you can’t move around, you get pneumonia, and you die.

After the age of 50, you have a 50% chance of death within one year of a hip fracture. That’s a crazy statistic. So, she was diagnosed with that, and she was super-active and athletic, and the idea that people were like, “Oh, well I work out, or I ride a bike, and I’ll never have to worry about osteoporosis,” yeah, they’re totally wrong.

Dr. John Jaquish And coincidentally, we have discovered how much force it takes to grow bone density. You need 4.2 multiples of body weight through the hip joint to do anything at all to the bone. So weightlifters don’t get that. And so, once realizing that, I thought, okay, how do we build bone in the first place?

Well, we do through high impact. Little kids running around, jumping, that’s how we build bone density. When we become adults, typically our bodies are too heavy to absorb some of the shocks on the ground, what scientists would call ground reaction forces. I always hated that term because the ground doesn’t react, you do, but anyway. Such an annoying term.

Dr. John Jaquish But we go through a process where when we’re young, we pound our heels on the ground and that builds bone density. As we get older, we shift our weight to the balls of our feet to decelerate ourselves, and as we begin to develop and decelerate and absorb less impact and bone density starts going down. So, what

I wanted to do was create a therapy method where we could build it like it was built in the first place. And so it was an impact emulation device, a series of devices, which would give us the benefit of high impact without the risks of high impact.

Dr. John Jaquish So, somebody gets in a position to absorb high-impact force. Let’s say, like a shallow squat, just knees bent, so 120-degree angle of inclusion behind the knee, and then loading the lower extremities instead of with a two, 300 pounds somebody might do at a gym, you are far more capable when you are just short of locking out the joint. These are the impact motions, so if you’re to stand up on a chair and jump off, you would land with a 120-degree angle of inclusion behind the knee. So, get people in that position and even the postmenopausal population has never lifted weights, ever, they’re using 600 pounds, the first time.

Dr. John Jaquish And then it builds up and they’ll get over 1,000 pounds. And it continues from there. The first kind of clinical trial style study that we did was at the University of East London, and the hospital we used, called Stratford Village Surgery. And the individuals there, nobody had ever exercised of the test we didn’t… Because we don’t want somebody to say, “Well, so and so had an athletic background, so maybe that’s why they had a higher bone density, even though they started with lower bone density.”

So, pure sample, never exercised before, poor nutrition. It usually accelerates the bone loss problem, but also just general lack of activity. So we had a great test group and then we began running tests. And as these individuals started loading, their ability to produce and absorb force just went up so quickly.

Rob: I listened to Peter Attia on Joe Rogan’s podcast, maybe a week or two ago. Did you happen to catch that episode?

Dr. John Jaquish I didn’t catch it, no.

Rob: It was good. He’s got this thing where he’s saying everybody’s training for a marathon or training for this or that. He’s training for the 100-year old Olympics. He wants to be able to be 100 years old and be in the Olympics, right? It’s a metaphor, really, but it’s stupid shit, like the ability to pick a suitcase up. He’s got this whole list, like could I pick a suitcase up at a 100 years old and put it in the overhead compartment on a plane? All this stuff. But he said something interesting. I’m going to get this wrong, but you’ll get the idea. It was something like 80% of people who are over 60 years old who have a fall, or maybe 70 years old who have a fall, will die from the fall.

Dr. John Jaquish Oh, yeah. That’s totally true.

Rob: Which is, I was shocked when I heard that number. And it’s like, and Rogan’s like, “What are you talking about?” He said, “Well, it’s like, when they fall, they die, because their bones are so… Osteopenia, I guess, is what it’s called, right?

Dr. John Jaquish Yeah. You could just say brittle. Osteopenia is like pre-osteoporosis. So the bones will become more porous.

Rob: Yeah. And they just fall. So, okay, so now you’ve got this device, so the device is called, you mentioned it earlier, it’s called OsteoStrong. It’s a OsteoStrong Spectrum System, which is its full birth name, is that right?

Dr. John Jaquish Did your homework, didn’t you?

Rob: I did.

Dr. John Jaquish I’m shocked you know that. Yeah, it’s called the Spectrum System.

Rob: Okay. What were the steps that allowed you to take this thing to market? How did you go from idea to actually getting it in the consumer’s hands?

Dr. John Jaquish Well, testing. Because it was medical, you got to do a lot of testing and documentation. You got to publish. The quality of publication is not really all that important. For a drug to be FDA-approved, you typically only need one step. Sometimes they’ll ask for a second one to verify, but the bar’s really low.

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Now, that’s also a pharmaceutical, but for a physical medicine intervention, like OsteoStrong, you’re not giving somebody a chemical that’s not found in nature, you’re triggering the body to fix itself. Physical medicine interventions, or what they call non-invasives, are much easier to get through testing.

Dr. John Jaquish And then they don’t really give FDA approval for devices, it’s more like a certification, as in they’ll certify it won’t hurt you. We ended up doing that and it went well. But delivering it to the market, it was a delicate balance of finding out what we could get manufactured, trying to get it manufactured so that a medical office could first support it and get enough people using it so that it could be profitable. And there was some playing with that, but this is just like taking any other product to market. The difference is nobody had ever seen anything like this before.

Dr. John Jaquish And of course there were physicians that would say, “This is a fraud, it’s a scam, it’s a lie.” It’s really weird, when you’re the first one to do something, you get called a liar right out of the gate. And it’s just like, you idiots haven’t even seen this thing yet. You haven’t touched it, you don’t even know how it works, and you’re already banging a drum, screaming fraud. You don’t know. And so this is what keeps so many entrepreneurs just stopped the tracks.

Rob: Why didn’t it stop you?

Dr. John Jaquish Because I expected it. Because I knew I would meet resistance. And it was like, that’s just part of the game.

Rob: This is interesting, right? So now we’ve got the first invention. You have to deal with all the ridicule, the backlash and everything that’s coming at it. Was the second invention easier in terms of all this stuff that you’re talking about because you now had the credibility?

Dr. John Jaquish I would have thought so. But my second invention really had to do with loading of the body from a fitness standpoint, not a bone density standpoint, so it needed to work differently, it needed to have full range repetitions, it needed to have a lot of blood flow. It needed to have a cardiac effect and stronger than any existing fitness solution out there. It needed to be something that people who had compromised joints can have access, or limited access to. Because basically, something that only works for the young athletic population, probably not even worth going down that path because at some point it’s going to injure somebody, which is most likely why it’s reserved for young athletic people. You need something that everybody can… Because if everybody can’t use it, there’s something wrong. Or it’s too risky, or something like that.

Dr. John Jaquish So I was thinking about all these different things, and I also, when realizing that a human is seven times stronger here than he or she is here, why would you ever lift a weight? That is why I wrote the book, Weight Lifting Is a Waste of Time: So Is Cardio, and There’s a Better Way to Have the Body You Want. So I wrote the book and explained that lifting a static weight is terrible stimulus to try and grow muscle. Already, even efficient weight lifting is better for your heart and your lungs and your circulation system than cardiovascular activity, which also chronically upregulates cortisol, diminishes muscle, and preserves body fat. So cardio’s not the answer. And then strength could be the answer, but strength is done so incorrectly that I really wanted to go deep into first just kind of variable resistance research, meaning we changed the resistance from the bottom to the top of the movement.

Dr. John Jaquish Well, when doing that, it became super obvious that… Because at first I was thinking of just writing a book, because I was already really busy with OsteoStrong. I didn’t need another thing to do. But of course, most entrepreneurs don’t need another thing to do, but that’s not what they do. So I was like, I had this idea, I believe this is going to change the world. We’re going to be able to take an industry: fitness and strength training, and point out why it’s so ineffective. I put this in the book, I put it right on the back cover of the book, “Fitness is the most failed human endeavor.” Between home workouts and people that go to the gym, with males over 18, just about half that… No, I’m sorry. It’s like 26%. Yeah, I don’t know where I got half. I was thinking of a different study.

Dr. John Jaquish 26% of males over 18 are doing strength training. How many are in spectacular, photograph-worthy shape? Maybe one out of 10,000? Maybe one out of 100,000? So rare. Everybody I know with a decent six-pack has a supplement. Except everyone, every male, should have a six-pack, all of them. So I just look at the fitness industry and it’s just a joke. Nobody’s succeeding. They’re pretty good at selling memberships. They definitely sell the dream, but they don’t deliver it. And so I had a better solution. I’m like, okay, I got to bring this to market too, but I have a superior scientific argument. So there’s a 260-page book and there’s 250 scientific references in there.

Dr. John Jaquish Here’s the problem. I was used to talking to physicians, who, when you show them science, they’re very excited and impressed. The fitness industry, I didn’t realize, and I was warned, because I talked to a lot of people in the industry, they’re like, “Oh, no, no, you’re talking about the lowest common denominator.” A lot of people who are attracted to fitness are just not intelligent, like not at all, like maybe some of the dumbest people out there. And it was pointed out to me also that the majority of fitness information is on Instagram and YouTube, pictures and videos. Why? Because a lot of fitness fans are illiterate or really can’t read very well.

Dr. John Jaquish And I did not particularly listen to that advice, because I was like, “Yeah, I mean, if you got a better solution, you got a better solution.” Boy, were they right. And so within a week of launching a product and pivot because I was focusing on a fitness group of people, basically realized I need a smarter customer, because they’ll read the science and understand. And then once they all do it and become successful, then it’ll go everywhere. Because the people that just aren’t smart enough to be able to absorb that message, like people who were violently opposed to the iPhone ended up all getting iPhones, but it took some time because once everybody else had one and was having a better mobile experience, they just sort of quietly threw their Blackberry in a drawer and went to the Apple Store.

Dr. John Jaquish So I know the same thing’s going to happen, and so we started targeting busy professionals, and that changed everything. It was a slightly different market in looking at who was interested in absorbing a more scientific message. Now, a more intelligent person won’t go to the gym year after year and work out with no results, but an unintelligent person will do that, thinking that any day now they’re just going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, even though right now they look like Homer Simpson. And that is like 99, I think it’s 80% of males in the United States are either overweight, obese, or morbidly obese, as of this year. It’s kind of mind-blowing.

Rob: If you were to give a percentage, what percentage of diet has to do with getting the six-pack, versus training?

Dr. John Jaquish Great question. A lot of people like to come up with being in great shape is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Well, but that implies that exercise doesn’t really mean much. It’s 100% percent diet and it’s also 100% exercise. They don’t need to be perfect, but they need to be… The exercise needs to be stimulating growth, which almost all workouts don’t do that. And the nutrition needs to be giving the body the building blocks to build muscle and at the same time reduce body fat. And another myth in fitness is that you can’t lose body fat and gain muscle at the same time. Total bullshit. There’s many studies that show if you’re at a protein surplus but a calorie deficit, you can absolutely build muscle and you can absolutely lose body fat at the same time.

Rob: Speaking of calorie deficit, did I understand correctly that you are eating one meal every two days? Did I get that right?

Dr. John Jaquish That was for an experiment, but I eat one meal a day.

Rob: Now you eat one meal a day. So, you’re more on the sort of Mark Sisson sort of approach to things, is that right? Do you know who he is?

Dr. John Jaquish Yeah, of course.

Rob: Yeah, okay.

Dr. John Jaquish Yeah, Mark’s a very smart guy. So I want to benefit from an intermittent fast. Everything I do is backed up by research. Calorie deficit, I definitely apply a calorie deficit every day. But I still have body fat to lose. Until I’m at the body fat I want to be, I will have body fat to lose. But I’m very low right now and that won’t go on for much longer. Second thing is that a lot of these other principles that some of the people in the industry that realize that their customers are real stupid, they think it’s intermittent fasting or calorie deficit, and because calorie deficit has more information behind it, it’s been studied for 75 years.

Dr. John Jaquish Also, it really hasn’t worked very well for 75 years, but they’ll push that, and they completely cherry-pick the studies that support calorie deficit and they’ll find some nitpick problem with every single study about intermittent fasting. I think they do that because they know their customers are stupid and they can’t approach it from a more mature standpoint, which is there are benefits that are unique to intermittent fasting and there’s also benefits to calorie restriction. Why not just do both?

Rob: Okay. I want to jump in for 15 seconds and say if you’re an entrepreneur grinding away and not taking time to experience extraordinary things around the world with other entrepreneurs, you may want to join us on our next Work Hard Play Hard Mastermind to Dubai on November 19th. Head over to and fill out an application. Have you ever been to Europe, France, Italy, any of those countries?

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Dr. John Jaquish Yeah.

Rob: Yeah, okay.

Dr. John Jaquish I’ve been to every country you mentioned probably 10 times.

Rob: Okay, perfect. This will help. So I moved to Florence, Italy three months ago, and the thing that has shocked me is I’m surrounded by people that are… I’m 55 and I’m surrounded by people that are my age or older that are clearly fitter. They’re much more mobile, and I suppose it’s because of the amount of walking they’re doing. But the bigger point is they’re all… I can’t find an obese person here, I really can’t. And I look for it. It doesn’t exist. And these motherfuckers are eating croissants for breakfast. I go out to dinner with them, they have like six… The antipasto, the primi, the segundo. And the only thing I can figure out… And not to mention, they’re all drinking at least two, three glasses of wine a day. The only thing I can figure out is they’re walking a lot, the ingredients are better, and the portions are substantially smaller. But I’m-

Dr. John Jaquish You’re right about everything.

Rob: Is that right?

Dr. John Jaquish Yeah. Yeah, also they’re much more averse to packaged, processed foods. Pretty much everything is kind of like the way it is in nature. I mean, yeah, the pasta, that’s ground up grains and flour, and then they turn it into pasta. But other than that, they really aren’t messing with much. And so that helps a lot. So, one of the reasons food is processed is to make it more dense, meaning more calories in a bite of food. So if you take a bite of pasta, that might be like, I don’t know, 12, 15 calories or something like that. You take an Oreo cookie and that might be 30 calories.

Rob: Ah.

Dr. John Jaquish So they’re ramming a lot of… It’s not nutrients, it’s calories. And when you can deliver sugar and salt at the same time, your body very much enjoys the sugar and wants as much of it as it can get, but it doesn’t taste sweet because it’s covered up by the sodium, which also helps you retain water, which gives a… Let’s call it a satisfying feeling, when you end up retaining that water. They strategically made food addictive, and, yeah, the Italians, almost nobody in the European Union, with the exception of… It’s the latest exit partner, the United Kingdom. There’s a lot of packaged food in the United Kingdom.

Rob: Yeah. Closer to America.

Dr. John Jaquish They’re closer to America, right. But in France, if you’re looking for a bag of chips, you kind of have trouble finding it.

Rob: That really helped me, what you just described, because that was a piece I didn’t understand. Even though the portions are smaller, I’m still looking at the frequency of the meal, and even though it’s a smaller portion, it’s still a first plate, a second plate, a third plate. But calorically, it’s probably lower because of what you just described, because it isn’t processed.

Dr. John Jaquish Absolutely. Here’s another thing. Italians skip meals all the time.

Rob: They do.

Dr. John Jaquish So they’re doing intermittent fasting, they just call it, “I’m busy.”

Rob: All right. Two more quick questions. First one is what is your guilty pleasure?

Dr. John Jaquish I’m going to catch hell for admitting this. I do like vodka.

Rob: Last question. We’ll change things up a little bit. What one question would you like to ask me?

Dr. John Jaquish What drove you to Florence, Italy?

Rob: Well, I would say probably three reasons. Reason number one was I believe that we have nature, nurture, and I’m going to add one, neighborhood. So my grandparents are from Naples, Italy, so I was raised with a bit of Italian background, so it was kind of in my DNA. But when I am here and I’m walking through these streets, the neighborhood, the epigenetics, for lack of a better word, walking through what is ostensibly an outdoor museum, I feel inspired and creative and alive. So that would be the first one. The second one is politics.

Rob: I’m not a political guy, but I’ve been around 55 years and we are in a place right now in America, particularly, where, as you’ve mentioned, people of one side or the other… And it’s so polarizing that I feel like I can’t even open my mouth about… You can’t have an opinion about any… I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat or whatever you are, you can’t have an opinion without fighting. That got old after a while. And then the third thing was I have a seven-year-old daughter, and it has become commonplace to have shootings in schools in America. And that didn’t exist when we were growing up, that never happened. And the amount of shootings now, when kids get shot, don’t even make the news anymore.

Dr. John Jaquish Our country has a mental illness problem, and I think it’s an SSRI specifically plem. And we’re calling it a gun problem. It’s not a gun problem, it’s a mental health problem.

Rob: I think you’re probably right. And one day, I was living in Hermosa in LA and my daughter’s school… My home backed up to my daughter’s school. And my wife and I are sitting there having lunch in the afternoon and we can hear when the bells go off at the school, or whatever, and my daughter was in kindergarten. And all of a sudden we hear on the intercom, “Get under the table, get under the table, get under the table.” And we’re like, “Oh, shit, this is not happening.”

Rob: So we call the school and we ask them, “What’s going on?” They say, “Oh, no, no, no, everything’s fine. We’re just doing the shooter drill.” I said, “The shooter drill? She’s in kindergarten.” They said, “Well, yeah, just in case a shooter comes in, we have to get them ready.” She comes home with a pack that has tourniquets and bandages that they put in their book bag, just in case somebody comes in and starts shooting. And it was the thing that I needed-

Dr. John Jaquish That’s slightly manipulative.

Rob: Yeah.

Dr. John Jaquish I mean, it has happened a handful of times. Equipping every student with gunshot bandages is almost like, that’s propaganda.

Rob:It’s propaganda.

Dr. John Jaquish It’s just anti-gun propaganda.

Rob:Yeah. It’s crazy.

Dr. John Jaquish Yeah. Our country’s terrible.

Rob: Yeah.

Dr. John Jaquish We got a huge manipulation slash tyranny problem.

Rob:It’s got crazy. So then I made the decision, I said I’m just going to, I’ll experiment. I’ll come here and see how I like it. And it’s been three months and I have no intention of leaving. I’m loving it. It could be beginner gains, I don’t know. But right now I’m in love with it, so we’ll see what the future brings. Well, Dr. John, this has been fantastic. Any final words, suggestions, or an ask for people that are listening?

Dr. John Jaquish If anybody’s interested in learning more about theX3, about gaining muscle as fast as possible, being as lean as possible, as fast as possible, I have a landing page because of my social media… My last name is tough to spell for a lot of people, so it’s D, O, C, T, O, R, the letter J, dot com, and you can find links to everything there.

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Rob: Beautiful. Thanks a lot, Dr. John.

Dr. John Jaquish All right. Have a good day.

Rob: All right. Thanks for listening. If you loved this episode and you know someone that needs some help in either stepping up their work hard game or their play hard game, it would mean the world to me if you shared this podcast with them to help me get this movement out there.

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