Jordan is one of those individuals I’ve watched rise to popularity in the past few years. I knew him back when he had a website that was barely functioning, and not many knew who he was.
Now he’s published all over the place and is one of the individuals that actually helped ME out as I was preparing for that record-crushing meet in the summer of 2012. This guy’s got a wealth of knowledge and is a huge joker.
So get ready because you’re going to be laughing your ass off, learning some extremely valuable tips, and possibly become pregnant through osmosis.
me: Alright, so welcome to my interview series – where political correctness is frowned upon, you can say whatever the fuck you want, and nothing you mention can be used against you in the court of law because my readers are probably too busy cracking up to give a shit.
Jordan: Hah that sounds perfect, thanks for having me man
me: No problem homeslice. So this interview was actually a long time coming – why in the hell haven’t we done this sooner? I blame you
Jordan: That’s right, blame the JOO. Dick
me: Well I’m brown, so I gotta blame somebody. Either way, we still don’t have it as bad as black guys; poor Lee Boyce. Did you know he got pulled over for a DWB?
Jordan: pulled over for being black? lol wait are you serious?
me: Yeah, it’s called Driving While Black haha. Well, at least that’s what he said to my buddy Kris.
Jordan: hahahaha, oh that’s wicked funny
me: Those two get more speeding tickets between themselves than I do stamps on my prostitute loyalty card
Jordan: hahaha how the fuck do you come up with this shit?
me: Equal parts brotein and nootropics. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you about my stack off the record *wink*
But let’s get down to business. You’re here today because you are a legitimate beast and I know you have some knowledge bombs to drop. So because I hate formal intros, why don’t you take this time to do what you’re supposed to when an interview starts – brag about yourself, toot your horn, jerk your chain and basically, tell everyone why you’re awesome.
Jordan: Well I’m not one for big intros so I’ll make this brief and to the point…
People tend to listen to what I have to say because:
- I’m a Westside Barbell Certified Strength Coach
- I’m a Precision Nutrition Certified Nutritional Consultant
- I’m an IPA Powerlifting World Record Holder
- I’ve been featured in various publications such as T-Nation, Schwarzenegger.com, Muscle and Fitness Magazine, etc.
In short, I’ve been extraordinarily fortunate to learn from people a lot smarter than myself which has enabled me to help others. Fitness aside though, I’m a huge travel nerd (I just want see the world in all of it’s shining and shimmering splendour – Aladdin reference) and want to enjoy life as much humanly possible.
me: You make me sick.
How dare you reference Aladdin before me?
Jordan: Keep you on your toes, FJ. Gotta step up your game.
me: You couldn’t handle me on my toes, but we’ll get to that in a minute. So let’s talk about your past a little bit – specially at West Side. How was it like? What did you do, and what are the 3-5 most valuable things you learnt from that experience?
Jordan: Training at Westside was unlike anything I’ve ever done in my entire life. See, people talk about Westside and their methods as if they really know what they’re talking about… but in reality, no one knows Westside unless they’ve actually trained at Westside. Period.
There’s tons of misinformation circulating about what Westside recommends, but most of what people say is bullshit. Unless you’ve been there and trained for an extensive period of time, trust me – you don’t know Westside at all.
When I trained there I lifted a minimum of 8x/week. I trained 2x/day every Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday with some smaller sessions on Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday. It was unquestionably the most gruelling experience I’ve ever gone through. Anyone who says Westside is only strong because of the drugs is out of their freakin mind. Westside is strong because they train harder than anyone else.
Don’t beleive me? Go there and train – most people couldn’t make it through a single workout.
As for the 3-5 most valuable things I learned? That’s a great question:
1) I learned what it takes to get strong. Like stupid strong. Brutally and offensively strong. Contrary to what most people think, it has more to do with the mind than anything else. Get past your own limiting beliefs, lift heavy weights, and the strength will come.
2) I learned to NEVER stop asking questions. Louie is ALWAYS refining his methods and searching for the absolute best way of doing things. Lots of people say Westside is stubborn because they never change their methods. That’s utter nonsense. Westside is CONSTANTLY changing to be better, stronger, and faster.
3) I learned that strength is the foundation of all other athletic qualities. Want to be faster? Get strong first. Want to have better endurance? Get strong first. Strength is the base of the athletic pyramid and without it you will go nowhere. First and foremost…GET STRONG!
“…in reality, no one knows Westside unless they’ve actually trained at Westside. Period.”
me: That’s quite refreshing to hear – I too hear of people talking about Westside, then when I ask them if they’ve ACTUALLY trained there, their answer is almost always “no”. All this brutal training makes me want to take a trip. I want to be knighted by Louie with a rusted old barbell. Think he’ll bite?
Jordan: I dont’ know if he’ll knight you with a rusted barbell…but he’ll definitely slap one on your back and show you how to Squat more then you ever thought possible
me: Fuck that, I’m taking the Gray Cook train of thought on this one: “Work the deadlift. Maintain the squat” – even though he really looks like he doesn’t lift. But dude probably has good balance.
But truth be told I work the squat most often because I hate it the most. While we’re on the subject of squats – let’s talk box squats. Poliquin thinks it’s useless for performance. I stand somewhere in the middle; I think it’s a fantastic teaching aid. Anyone that has had trouble sitting back, I’ve helped with box squats while making sure their ankle mobility isn’t on par with the malleability of dried plywood. What say you, Jordy?
“Contrary to what most people think, [strength] has more to do with the mind than anything else.”
Jordan: Haha I’m more of a middleman on this one as well. I used to be all about the Box Squat but as I’ve coached more and more lifters (especially raw lifters and a variety of athletes) I’ve found that the Box Squat alone will not produce the best results.
As of right now I use the Box Squat:
- As a teaching tool (it’s always my first Squat progression)
- As a valid Squat variation intermittently throughout the training cycle
- When someone needs to develop Starting Strength as opposed to improving the Stretch Reflex
- With geared Powerlifters
- Individuals with knee pain/injury
I guess there’s a lot of instances in which I’d use the Box Squat but, truth be told, with Raw lifters I use free squats more than box squats
me: Right on. Alright so after Westside, it is generally known that you put on a tiara, and twirled around till your somehow ended up at Cressey Performance, amirite? Or did that go differently? All these rumours… I need to know what is true!
Jordan: Correct, suh. Don’t forget that it was also very fabulous and functional. But yeah, I was fortunate enough to be accepted as an intern at CP the following winter. Come to think of it, Eric was one of the first people to warn me of the dangers of excessive box squatting…
me: Really? If you can dig deep, and recall his reasoning behind that I’d love to hear it…and so would the readers, but at this point there’s only like 3 left so whatever; just me and you baby!
Jordan: Haha that’s intimate… I like it. So the main reason he expressed in our conversation was the need to develop the stretch reflex. When you Squat to a box, you don’t use the Stretch Reflex as effectively (if at all) which can create problems for Raw lifters and other athletes. He didn’t say they were useless, just to keep that little factoid in mind as I designed programs.
me: Makes sense to me – not using the stretch reflex can take serious poundages out of your squat – It’s also the reason why waiting for the bench command is such a bitch at competitions. So I guess I’ll ask you a similar question about your internship like I did with WestSide. How was the experience working with Cressey (Rog Law tells me he’s a cyborg – I’ll need verification on that) and what are 3 most important lessons you learnt while you were there?
“I’ve found that the Box Squat alone will not produce the best results”
Jordan: Well it’s interesting the conversation took a turn this way because after my internship at Cressey, I wrote an article entitled “6 Principles from Westside Barbell and Cressey Performance” that explained the similarities and differences between the two gyms. For those interested you can read the article HERE
Now, in regard to your questions:
1) Yes, Cressey is a cyborg. Unquestionably the smartest guy I’ve ever met. It’s honestly scary. Not only is he extraordinarily smart but he’s a ridiculously hard worker. He never stops. I don’t know how he does it.
2) What are the 3 most important lessons I learned from Cressey? Hmm, let’s see…
- Always Assess; Never Assume! The importance of individual assessments cannot be overstated. We’re all built and function differently. That being the case, we need to assess each and every person in order to create the safest and most efficient programs.
- Learn your functional anatomy! I would always pester Eric with question upon question upon question so one day he asked me to name all of the muscles attaching to the scapulae – there are 17. When I could only name 8 or 9 he challenged me to learn them all. Of course I did and I still remember them to this day. I’ve also taken extra anatomy classes in school per his recommendation. While they were undoubtedly boring lessons, the knowledge I’ve gained from taking those courses and learning the anatomy is truly incredible. As Eric once said to me “how can you know what the body does if you don’t know what the body is?”
- Training doesn’t have to be all serious. You can have fun too! Training at CP was a blast. I loved hanging out and joking with the staff and athletes. We always had a great time and enjoyed each others company. Never take yourself too seriously in the gym – aim to have fun
“Cressey is a cyborg. Unquestionably the smartest guy I’ve ever met.”
me: Haha I remember Aragon saying on facebook that when Eric spoke at a conference one time, you could tell by the faces of every trainer in the audience that they had forgotten their anatomy. Shit, I’m no exception – which is why I still have my massive anatomy book I got in college within an arm’s reach. It’s the only book I didn’t re-sell to the younger punks.
Jordan: Haha same here. Fortunately I saved all my slides from anatomy, kinesiology, physiology, etc. so I can reference them any time I need.
me: I’m the only brown guy that hates rote memorization. I’m pretty sure I bring much shame to my parents. Some ex girlfriends are angry as well – apparently remembering things such as their birthday and the date we met is like, important to them or something.
Jordan: They can’t be that upset…how can they expect you to remember everything when you look so damn good? They really need to pick their battles imo
me: I know right? And I’m not sure that I stroke myself as hard as you just stroked my inner self esteem just now. But I love you for it!
Jordan: The first ones for free. the next ones gonna cost ya
me: Baby I roll with my Amex Black Card – like me, it has no limits! But before the bromance takes off, let’s move on to something we both love more than bitches, beer and quite possibly life itself: The Deadlift.
Like me, you’re a known puller. However, UNLIKE me you love to spread your legs every chance you get, or use the “Sumo Stance” as they call it. First tell us why you use the stance and also, if there was a newbie lifter that wanted to know what stance to pick – how would you do to help him pick? (or her – don’t want this interview to cater to inequality or anything.)
Jordan: I use Sumo because I can lift more than I can Conventional. I’m a PowerLifter and I want to lift as heavy as possible. That’s the only reason. That being said, I use the Conventional Deadlift within my training programs for variation but, during competition, I only pull Sumo. I’d note, some people pull better Sumo and others pull better Conventional. It’s all up to individual preference. For a new lifter I almost always start out with Sumo because:
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