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In this book, you’ll learn science-based and time-proven formulas for eating and training that’ll help you shatter muscle and strength plateaus, set new personal records, and build your best body ever. 

And better yet, you’ll do it without following restrictive or exotic diets, putting in long hours at the gym, or doing crushing workouts that leave you aching from tip to tail.

Also, to celebrate this momentous occasion, I’m giving away over $6,000 of glorious goodies, including . . .

  • 30-minute Zoom call with yours unruly
  • Vitamix blender
  • WHOOP fitness tracker
  • $200 Lululemon gift card
  • One month of Legion VIP coaching
  • Inzer weightlifting belt
  • And much more . . .

All you have to do for a chance to win is…

  1. Head over to, and buy a copy of BBLS 2.0 (any format)
  2. Forward the receipt email to [email protected]

. . . and voila, you’re entered in the giveaway.

You have to act fast, though, because the launch bonanza ends and the winners will be chosen on October 16th.

You can also increase your chances of winning by buying extra copies of the book (any formats). Specifically . . .

  • If you buy 3 copies, you’ll get 5 giveaway entries (+400% chance to win).
  • If you buy 5 copies, you’ll get 8 giveaway entries (+700% chance to win).
  • If you buy 10 copies, you’ll get 15 giveaway entries (+1400% chance to win) plus an autographed copy of the book.

So, for instance, if you buy the paperback, ebook, and audiobook, you’ll get 5 entries to win, and if you buy 3 paperbacks as well as the ebook and audiobook, you’ll get 8 entries, and so forth.

And what are you going to do with extra books, you’re wondering? 

You could give them to your workout buddies, donate them to your local library, hurl them at unpleasant children, I don’t know—there are so many options when you think about it.

Anyway, to learn more about the giveaway and get your copy of Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger 2.0, head over to

Alright, let’s get to the episode.


3:16 – I’m in my 30s, 40s, or 50s, can I still do this program? 

12:37 – Why aren’t there any ab exercises in the program? 

17:57 – Can I do this program with just dumbbells? 

Mentioned on the show: 

Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger 2.0

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Hello and welcome to my podcast. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to join me to hear about three other questions that people are asking about the new book I just released Beyond Bigger Leader, stronger 2.0, which is live right [email protected]. And those questions are one I’m in.

Thirties, forties, fifties, or beyond. Can I do this program? Two, why aren’t there any AB exercises on the program? And three, I only have dumbbells. Can I do the program? And so I’m going to answer those questions. Right now also to celebrate this momentous occasion, I’m giving away over $6,000 of glorious goodies, including a 30 minute zoom call with yours, unruly.

That’s priceless. Of course, a Vitamix blender, a Rupa. Fitness tracker, a $200 Lululemon gift card, one month of Legion v i p coaching and more. Now, all you have to do for a chance to win all those cool things is head over to and buy a copy of BBLs 2.0, any format, ebook, paperback, audiobook, whichever one you want, and then forward the receipt.

To [email protected], L E G I O N And voila, you are entered in the giveaway. You have to act fast though because the book launch Bonanza ends and the winners will be chosen on October 16th. Now, you can also increase your chances of winning by buying extra copies of the book.

Again, any formats, and specifically, if you buy three copies of the book instead of one, you will. Five giveaway entries. So that is a plus 400% chance to win. If you buy five copies, you’ll get eight giveaway entries. That is a plus 700% chance to win. And if you buy 10 copies, you are going to get 15 giveaway entries, which is a plus 1400% chance to win.

And if you buy. 10 copies, you are going to get an autographed copy of the book as well, that you don’t have to win, you’re just gonna get it. So for instance, if you buy the paperback ebook and audiobook, that’s three copies. You’ll get five entries to win. And then if you buy. Three paperbacks as well as the ebook and audiobook.

That is five copies and you’ll get eight entries and so forth. And what are you gonna do with extra books? You’re wondering, well, you could give them to your workout buddies, you could donate them to your local library. You could hurl them at unpleasant children. I don’t know. Many options when you think about it.

Anyway, to learn more about the giveaway and to get your copy or copies of Beyond Bigger Lean or Stronger 2.0, head over to Okay, let’s get to the first question, which is, I’m in my thirties, forties, fifties, or beyond. Can I do this program? And the answer is absolutely. If you are an experienced weightlifter who has achieved at least a couple of the strength standards I shared in the first Q and a episode, or another way to look at it is if you are a guy who has gain.

Let’s say at least 20 or 25 pounds of muscle since you started lifting. Then you can benefit from beyond bigger, lean or stronger. You can follow the program. It is not only for jacked college kids. That said, research does show that after about 50. Muscles, tendons and ligaments recover slower from exercise and tendons and ligaments also stiffen and that can increase the risk of injury.

So if you are middle-aged and you want to follow B B L S 2.0, I do have a couple of tips for you. One is be a stickler for good form. This is good advice for anyone regardless of. But it is particularly good advice for the 40 plus crowd because the older you are, or maybe I should say we are, because I’m 36, I will be 40 soon.

The less shenanigans we can get away with in our training. So lumbar rounding in our deadlifting knee, bowing in our squats elbow, flaring in our bench presses. All bad ideas, regardless of age, but particularly if you are older, because those things can significantly increase the risk of injury, and especially if you are an experienced weightlifter because the weights are heavy.

Now it’s different when you’re new and you’re lifting lightweights, but as time goes on, . And as we get older and as we get stronger, these mistakes just get more and more dangerous. Now, this is why I put a lot of emphasis on learning and using proper form from day one. I dedicate quite a few pages of bigger, leaner, stronger and thin.

Leaner stronger, for example, to the proper technique of the big compound lifts, because those are the key exercises that you. To care the most about in terms of technique. Technique matters on all exercises of course, but doing some sloppy dumbbell curls is not the same as doing sloppy deadlifts. And so that’s why I have learned, and this is something I had to learn, because when I was younger and less informed and more reckless, this was not the case.

But I’ve learned to resist the temptation to sacrifice form to hit personal records. I’m willing to train hard, of course, and I enjoy training hard, but if I feel my lower back start to round on the deadlift, for example, let’s say I’m deep into a set and I’m approaching technical failure, heavy weights, I am going to end the set.

I’m not gonna try to grind the rep out with poor form. Likewise, if I’m squatting and I feel that my hips are rising faster than my shoulders and I can’t immediately correct it because my back is too fatigued, for example, I’m gonna end the set there. And so I recommend you train with the same approach, the same mentality.

I’m not a competitive bodybuilder or strength athlete, and I’m guessing you are not either. But we do enjoy lifting heavy weight. We do enjoy training intensely, pushing ourselves in our workouts, progressing. Right, which ultimately means having to go right up against the limits of what we are capable of doing and then backing off and allowing our body to recover.

However, we probably also like being healthy and injury free, and probably more than setting new prs. So don’t get too zealous in your training. Be patient. Don’t sacrifice form for what feels like progress, but can actually turn into a major setback. Alright, my next important tip for any middle-aged people out there who want to follow BBLs 2.0 is to get.

Enough sleep. And yes, this is important for everybody, but having worked with many people in the 40 plus demographic over the years, what I’ve found is often they don’t sleep enough because they’ve heard and believed that their sleep. Needs have declined as they’ve gotten older and now that they have more things going on in their life, more things to attend to, they figure that they can take advantage of that and get a bit less sleep than they used to and be fine.

Well, while it is true that somebody at let’s say 50 years old does not need as much sleep as somebody at 13 years old, that doesn’t mean that the 50 year old can get by on minimal. Should I? Most of. Start out needing about 12 to 14 hours of sleep per night as babies, and then 10 to 12 hours or so as toddlers, and then nine to 10 hours or so as teenagers.

And once we reach adulthood, research shows that most people need seven to nine hours of sleep, and that depends on genetics, lifestyle, and exercise habits mostly. So while it is literally true that we need less sleep as. Older. We don’t need that much less. And yes, there is a tiny fraction of the population that can get by with six, five, or even four hours of sleep per night.

Bastards, you’re probably not one of them. I’m not one of them. I wish I were. What’s more intense training increases your need for sleep. So even if you could make. Without B B L S 2.0 with let’s say six or seven hours of sleep per night, on average, you will do better inside and outside of the gym with more.

While there’s no direct evidence that sleeping more is going to enhance your. Performance in the gym, your muscle and strength gain. Multiple studies have found that increasing sleep duration from seven to eight hours per night to nine to 10 hours per night can improve athletic performance in several ways.

And I think it’s very likely that these benefits would extend. To your workouts as well. And I hope somebody does that study actually, that would be interesting. Take a group of bodybuilders and have them sleep, eh, seven hours, maybe eight hours on average per night. And then have another group of bodybuilders sleeping nine to 10 hours per night and see how it impacts performance and body composition.

I would guess that within a couple of months, if it were just a, let’s say an eight or 10 week study, there would be a significant improvement in the group sleeping a little bit more. Anyway, my point is, if you are currently sleeping less than seven hours per night, on average, you are almost certainly not sleeping enough.

And if you bump that up by an hour or two, you will almost certainly enjoy some immediate benefits as well as some long-term benefits in. Workouts and in your overall health and vitality and longevity. And if you are going to follow the B B L S 2.0 program, please do make sure that you get enough sleep because it’s difficult.

For example, if you are currently following bigger lean, or stronger or thinner, lean or stronger, or some similar type of workout program and you start bvs 2.0 for the first couple of weeks, you’re gonna feel it. You’re not gonna feel run down and just completely beaten to. But you are probably going to be sore maybe for the first time in a while, at least in the big muscle groups, probably in your legs, your back, your chest, maybe not your shoulders and arms, for example.

But you will also notice that you feel the need to eat a bit more food. Because you are going to be burning more calories in your workouts because they are harder, they have more volume than BLS workouts, and you’ll probably notice that you sleep a bit more than usual if you don’t wake up to an alarm.

So let’s say on the weekends, if you don’t have an alarm set, you’ll probably notice for the first month, maybe even two months of BBS 2.0, that you sleep a bit longer on those days than you normally.

If you are liking this episode, you should know that it is one of the chapters of the new second edition of my best selling book for experienced weightlifters Beyond Bigger Leaders, stronger, which is live. Right [email protected]. Also, you should know that to celebrate this momentous occasion, I am giving away over $6,000 of glorious goodies, including a 30 minute zoom call with yours unruly, A Vitamix blender, a whoop fitness tracker, a $200.

Lululemon gift card, one month of Legion v i p coaching in Iner, weightlifting belt, and much more. And all you have to do for a chance to win is head over to BBLs Buy a copy of the book any format, and forward the receipt email to [email protected]. And voila, you are entered in the giveaway.

You have to act fast though because the book launch Bonanza ends and the winners will be chosen on October 16th. All right. The next question people are asking me, people who have already gotten the book and checked out the workout programs, is why aren’t there any ab exercises on the program? And another good question.

There are ab exercises on the program. They are called the squat, the deadlift, military press, bench press, chin up, pull. One arm dumbbell row and many others. Of course, my point here is there are no direct ab exercises on the program, like in bigger lean or stronger, you know, crunches, planks, sit-ups, stuff like that.

But the compound exercises that are on the program, many of them, most of them really. , they do heavily involve your core muscles, your abs, your obliques, and the other muscles in your torso. For example, a study conducted by scientists at Nord University measured the core muscle activity of 12 power lifters and national level.

Sprinters during barbell back squats and weighted planks, and what the researchers found is that on average, the barbell back squat activated the rectus abdominus, right? That’s the ab muscles and the external oblique muscles just as effectively as the weighted plank. And unsurprisingly, the back squat also activated the erector, spiny muscles on the back, the stabilizing muscles on the back more than the plank.

What’s also kind of interesting is the rectus abdominal activation increased with each rep of the squat, but not the. Plank. So as time went on with the plank, we didn’t see increased activation of the AB muscles. However, as the subjects completed, each rep of the back squat, rectus abdominal activation went up, and thus the researchers concluded, quote, we recommend targeting core muscles by integrated high intensity exercises, such as the squat instead of an isolated and isometric core exercise.

Especially for athletes. Now, if you’re wondering then why there are direct AB exercises in bigger than or stronger and thinly or stronger, it’s not because the exercises are vital that they have to be included in the program. Truth be told, they’re probably not making that big of a difference. But two things to consider.

One, those books are for people who are new to proper weightlifting and who often have under. Muscles everywhere on their body, including their core muscles. And two people who like training their core muscles and who really want to have a great core as quickly as possible. And so if you took newbies and had them do.

A lot of heavy compound weightlifting and no core exercises. And then if you had another group do heavy compound weightlifting plus core exercises, I would say that the ladder group is probably going to get to the core that they want a little bit faster, and they’re probably going to enjoy it a little bit more because having worked with so many people over the years, I know that people who are new to weightlifting really.

Training their abs, and as there’s no downside to training abs, there’s no danger to it. So long as you do the right exercises and you do them correctly, you are not going to increase your risk of injury. You are not going to impede your progress in the rest of your workouts. I thought it made sense to put the exercises in there, but you’ll notice there isn’t that much core training, at least direct core training in bigger lean or stronger and thinner, leaner, stronger.

It really is just supplementary. Now, this. Book that I’m releasing. BBS 2.0, the program for Experienced Weightlifters. It doesn’t need to have direct core exercises because this book is for people who really don’t need to be doing it. By now, these people have done enough squatting, deadlifting, and bench pressing, and probably enough core training as well, direct core training to have a great core.

Their cores are going to. Well developed. You cannot get strong on the big compound lifts without having a fair amount of core development. Those things are just mutually exclusive. If your core is too weak, you will not be able to work up to a strong squat and deadlift in particular, as well as overhead press.

That said, if you feel like your core development and maybe. Abdominal development, the rectus abdominus in particular, if you feel like it’s lagging or if you just like doing AB exercises, you can include them in the beyond vi, leaner, stronger program. That is okay. If you want my simple recommendation of how I would go about programming it, I would probably do, I don’t know, two or three sets of an AB exercise I like a couple of times per week.

I would probably do it maybe. at the end of a lower body workout, like a leg workout, or maybe at the end of a deadlift, a pull workout after I have already done the hard stuff. It would be the last exercise that I did, and if the workout normally ended with some calf raises, for example, I’d probably super set the calf raise phrases with the AB training in the way that I describe in one of the bonus chapters of BLS two point.

I would do what are called antagonist, paired sets, and again, I explain what those are in one of the bonus chapters of BBLs 2.0. Alright, the third and final question I’m getting is, can I do the program with just dumbbells? Many people are still working out at home or just have limited equipment because they’re on the road a lot.

For example, hotel gyms are notoriously underequipped and the answer. Kind of, you can’t follow the routines exactly as I’ve laid them out. So the book comes with a year’s worth of BBLs 2.0 workouts that I’ve programmed for you. You’re not gonna be able to do those workouts exactly as I’ve laid them out because they call for a lot of barbell work and some machines, and unfortunately there aren’t any great dumbbell substitutions for some of the exercises in.

Programming like the barbell deadlift for example, even the barbell squat. Yes, you can do something like a dumbbell front squat and it is difficult. I have been dumbbell front squatting during the entire covid lockdown. I’m back in the gym now week two, but I was dumbbell front squatting for, uh, shit, I guess it’s five or six months.

And I have dumbbells that go up to 90 pounds. And that was hard. I mean, I was doing sets of five or six with like. Two reps in reserve and so I had no problem maintaining leg muscle and what felt like significant leg strength. But I got back under the barbell and squatted for the first time last week, and it was very hard.

I was surprised. I’d have to look at a one rep max calculator, but I would not be surprised if my one RM is down about 40 to 50 pounds as of right now. Compare that to the bench press. It’s down maybe 20 pounds and deadlift it’s down maybe only 10 or 15 pounds. So I was able to preserve a lot of that strength.

It’s gonna take me probably, I would guess, four to six weeks of consistent barbell squatting again to get back to where I was before the Wuhan Weezer struck. Anyway, regarding BBLs 2.0 and dumbbells, you will be able to use all of the training principles taught in the book and the programming methods taught in the.

To create effective dumbbell workouts, but again, you won’t be able to do exactly what I’m laying out for you. That said, in the FAQ chapter of the book, I do give you some additional dumbbell exercises, uh, to make it more effective, and I also do give you some example routines to follow how I would go about programming.

Well, that’s it for this episode. I hope you found it helpful, and in case you didn’t listen to the intro, I understand. It’s okay, . This was one of the bonus chapters of the new second edition of my best selling book for Experienced Weightlifters Beyond Bigger, leaner, stronger, which is now live [email protected].

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