I’ve churned through over 150,000 emails, social media comments and messages, and blog comments in the last 6 years.
And that means I’ve fielded a ton of questions.
As you can imagine, some questions pop up more often than others, and I thought it might be helpful to take a little time every month to choose a few and record and share my answers.
So, in this round, I answer the following three questions:
- When is the second edition of Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger going to come out and how is it different from the first edition?
- How do you increase your biceps peak?
- What is your current position on reverse dieting?
If you have a question you’d like me to answer, leave a comment below or if you want a faster response, send an email to [email protected].
Recommended reading for this episode:
- How to Get Bigger and Stronger Biceps in Just 30 Days
- How to Reverse Diet Like a Pro in 3 Simple Steps
4:10 – When is the second edition of Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger going to come out and how is it different from the first edition?
29:52 – How do you increase your biceps peak?
34:05 – What is your current position on reverse dieting?
Mentioned on the show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hi there. I’m Mike Matthews. It’s time for another L Podcast. Casto, thank you for joining me today to listen to my latest round of ranting and rambling. No, just kidding. This is not going to be a rant or a ramble. It’s gonna be a highly educational and calm discussion where I’m going to answer three questions that people have asked me.
Yes, this is a q and A episode, and this is actually a part two of the q and a that I started. Oh, I don’t know. I think we posted the episode several days ago now. What’s the date today? Okay, it’s July 1st, so we posted an episode several days ago where I was talking about how I am currently eating, training and supplementing, and that actually started as a q and A episode.
I was gonna answer four questions in that one, and then that first, Took an hour. So I decided to just make that its own episode and then do the q and a with the remaining three questions, which is going to be today’s episode. And what are those three questions? The first one is when is BBLs 2.0 coming out beyond bigger, leaner, Stronger 2.0, which is the sequel to Bigger, Lean, Stronger, and it is intended for intermediate weightlifters and specifically male, although a lot of the information.
Applies equally to women, but I’ll talk about that in a minute. So it’s a two part question. When is it coming out and how does it differ from the current first edition that’s out there? The second question I’m going to take up, I’m gonna count that first one as a two parter, but just one. The second question I’m gonna take up is how do you increase your biceps peak?
And the third and final is, what’s my current position on. Dieting. Now, if you want me to answer your questions directly, just from me to you, and maybe to answer them publicly here on the podcast, depending on how often I get asked, whatever it is that you have to ask me or just how much a question of yours may strike me as something that I should feature on the podcast.
Usually I’m looking for. That I haven’t already beaten to death, that I haven’t already written or spoken extensively about or things that are just topical and that I am getting asked about fairly frequently. So if you wanna ask me your questions, I’d say the best way to do it is email. So just email me mike muscle for life.com, and you can also reach out to me on Instagram.
Dms and I probably will get back to you, but the system is a bit wonky and I don’t spend much time on Instagram, but there’s a good chance I’ll be able to get back to you there. It’s just less convenient for me. Emails better if nothing else, I can type on a keyboard, which is faster for me. But anyway, Instagram is at Muscle for Life Fitness.
Also, if you like what I am doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world, and we’re on top. Because every ingredient and dose in every product is backed by peer reviewed scientific research.
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Okay. Let’s get to the first question, which is, when is BLS 2.0 coming out and how is it different from 1.0? It is coming out this month. It’s going to be live everywhere. You can buy books online by the end of July, and that’s actually a hard deadline I have to meet because that’s part of the deal that I made with Simon and Schuster, and they’re publishing what’s gonna be my next book after.
BBLs 2.0 and a book that I coauthored with James Greer called Fitness Science Explained, and I will talk more about that soon. That’s gonna be ready also by the end of this month, but that’s a tangent I will get into right now. And part of the deal with Simon Schuster is I have to get these two books.
BBLs 2.0 and Fitness Science explained. I have to get them out by the end of this month because I’m also delivering the. Manuscript for the book I’m doing with Simon Schuster, which is specifically for, it’s a fitness book specifically for the 40 plus crowd, men and women, and I’m really liking how it has come together and I think it’s gonna do very well, and it’s going to meet its target market exactly where they’re at and give them exactly what they need to be maximally.
Successful in their health and fitness journeys. And so I’m gonna be turning in that manuscript this month this week actually. And then Simon Schuster, they need a year of me not publishing anything and then they’re gonna publish that book, which is tentatively titled Muscle for Life. And so I have to get BBS 2.0 and fitness science explained out and done this month to live up.
That agreement. And so that’s what I’m doing. And so how it’s likely gonna play out is BLS 2.0 will be live by the end of this month. So I’ll switch out. Really what it is it’s switching out the publication files, so the ebook will get updated. I should say eBooks, right? Cuz there’s Amazon and everywhere else you can buy eBooks.
So all those files will get updated, the audio book will get updated. The. Paperback book, the file that’s used to print those books will get updated because currently that book is a print on demand book through Amazon kdp, and I’ll be looking after the launch at doing proper print runs for it. Because print on demand books are fine.
They’re actually pretty high quality, but you can get better quality for less money if you just do print runs. Of course, the downside with print runs is you have to front the cash, but that’s okay. That’s what I do. Bigger Leaner, Stronger Thinni. Leaner stronger little Black Book Shred Chef. The workout journals, I’m already doing that with all these books and the finances work out if you sell enough books.
And I really do think that BLS 2.0 is gonna do quite well and will. Sell enough books to warrant the print runs, and so by the end of this month, you’ll be able to get the new book. And if you already have BBS 1.0 in a digital form, so if you have an ebook or if you have an audio book, you’re gonna get 2.0 for free.
You are just going to have to. Update the book and sometimes Amazon, if you read in Amazon’s ecosystem or listen in Amazon’s ecosystem, Audible, right? Sometimes you get a notification letting you know that a book has been updated and you can get the new material. Sometimes you have to do it manually. And you do it manually, I believe.
You just log into your Amazon account and you navigate to like my digital content or my Kindle content, and you’ll be able to see all of your Kindle books and then you’ll, there’s an option to either check for new content or update. And on the audiobook side of things, I’m not sure off the top of my head actually, because I stopped listening to audiobooks some time ago because I found that my retention is better when I read.
And the books that I tend to read, I read a lot of non-fiction and sometimes they’re denser and sometimes I need to slow down and make sure I’m understanding whatever is being talked about or even stop sometimes and think about something, work through some examples. And I just found that audiobooks are not great for that.
They’re good for easily digested content. And so what I do now is with the time that I used to. Listen to audio books. I just listen to interviews or lectures, which I’m not taking notes on. And I’m not concerned if, let’s say I’m preparing food and I miss 30 seconds of an interview, it’s not a big deal.
Whereas with an audio book, that would just bother me and I’d have to go back and continue listening and anyway, so I’m not sure how to update content with, but I do know it can be done. And I’m sure if you just search how to update your audible audiobooks, you’ll find it. And the same. For the other digital platforms out there, like iTunes and Google and Cobo and Barnes and Noble.
If you have already purchased Beyond Big, Leaner, Stronger in the past, no matter how long ago, you are gonna get the new second edition for free. Now, of course, if you’ve purchased a paperback, then you’ll have to get the new one, but it’ll be worth it, which is the segue. Into the second part of this question, which is what’s the difference?
How does it differ from 1.0? And the simple answer is similar to when I released Bigger Lean, Stronger 3.0 and Thin, Leaner, Stronger 3.0. BLS 2.0 is a full rewrite from Scratch. It took quite a bit of time actually. I went into it thinking that it would be an edit, mostly an editorial process, and then I realized as I got into it No, I just need to rewrite this entire book, actually.
So it took about a year to get this manuscript done because I only had a certain amount of time I could give to it because I also was working on, I’ve been working on Muscle for Life for, I don’t know, since February, and I’ve had to give that a lot of time because that book has a lot of original.
Content completely written from scratch, meaning that I wasn’t able to pull from a lot of my other work. And of course I would customize everything and make it read as well as I could. But Muscle for Life was a lot of new stuff for me because I haven’t produced that much content specifically for the 40 Plus Crowd.
And so that book, Muscle for Life had to, really I had to make that the priority and give that more time. And then when I had made sure that I. Enough done on multiple life every day, then I’d be able to put time into BBLs 2.0. So it’s been about a year writing this second edition and it is completely new.
There’s actually nothing in 1.0 that’s also in 2.0 and that’s for the better. I would say it’s a market improvement. I’m happy with 1.0 and I really did my best at the time to make it as good as possible, but that was, I don’t know, four or five years ago. I’m a better writer now. I know a lot more.
Both because of ongoing research and learning and working with people and hearing from people, especially people who had done BLS and BLS 1.0. And I’ve gained more experience in my own training with just my own body, and so I’ve been able to leverage all of. To create what I think is really an outstanding book.
I think BLS and tls, I don’t really know what else I could do to better serve someone who is new to proper resistance training, proper weightlifting or. Strength training primarily. And I’ve already got some ideas how I’m going to improve those books again, but it’s mostly just refining. Like I can do another editorial pass and I can clean up some of the wording.
And a lot of it’s probably just gonna be removing words and just making things extra clear and extra sharp. And. I can rerecord the audio books because a lot of people don’t like that I sounded robotic when I recorded them, and I understand. I don’t know how I missed that the first time around, but the core content of BLS and TLS 3.0 is really solid.
I think, again, it’s like the. Best individual book for someone new to the fitness game. And for many people, it gives them really everything they need to get the body they want. If you’ve read Bigger, Leaner, Stronger, or Thinni Leaner, Stronger, especially the third edition, you know what I’m talking about.
You don’t really need to know much more to get, let’s say about. 80% of the muscle and strength that’s available to you genetically. That’s it. You just need BLS or tls. However, if you want to go further than that, there is a point where BLS and TLS will no longer work. There is a point where those programs become maintenance routines, and I talk about this in BLS 2.0, and if you really wanna stretch and reach for that final, let’s say 20%, Of your potential physique or if you’re maybe more interested in performance.
So you just wanna see how strong you can get given your anatomy and given your musculature, then you’re gonna need more than BLS or tls. If you’re a woman, you’re gonna need to know a bit more on the diet and training side of things, and your programming’s gonna have to change. And really what that comes down to is your workouts are just gonna have to get hard.
That’s the main difference between the BLS 3.0 and BLS 2.0 workouts is you’re just gonna start working harder. You’re gonna be lifting both lighter and heavier weights. So there’s puritization worked into the program. Linear puritization, there is basic puritization in BLS and tls, but it is more explicit and deliberate in BLS 2.0 and you’re gonna be doing more volume, so more hard sets per major muscle group per week.
And as far as how some. I guess specific ways that BBLs 2.0 differs from 1.0 is let’s talk about puritization. So 1.0 used A D U P style of puritization, which I talk about in the book. If you’re not familiar with daily undulating puritization, I talk about it in BBLs 2.0, which is a workable system. But I’m not using it in BLS 2.0.
And again, I explain why in the book, so I don’t wanna get off on a long tangent here, but basically the style of linear puritization that I used in BLS 2.0 I think is best suited to that style of training, which it’s very similar. BLS 2.0 is gonna feel very familiar if you’re currently doing bl. First, Second Earth, third edition really?
Or even tls. So it’s a lot of the same exercises. It’s heavy weight lifting, but you’re gonna be changing rep ranges week to week. And as you move through what’s called a macro cycle, which you could think of it just as like a training block or a training phase that lasts for four months. In the case of BBLs 2.0.
So we have a 16 week macro cycle, and as you move through the macro cycle, Your weights are going to get progressively heavier and your volume’s gonna stay the same in terms of number of hard sets per major muscle group per week. But your intensity’s gonna go up, you’re gonna be lifting more weights and your reps are gonna go down of course.
And whereas in BBLs 2.0, you’re not changing. Rep ranges week to week. You’re changing them in workouts, so it’s like an R P T or reverse pyramid training system where you might start a squat workout with a warmup and then some very heavy squats. So like some doubles or maybe some triples, and then you’ll do some.
Sixes and then you’ll move on to some isolation or accessory exercises and do some eights or some tens. And again, that’s a very workable way of training. When I was creating BLS 1.0, I was doing the program myself, of course, and I did it for quite some time. It’s been years, but I wanna say six to eight months.
And I hit PRS across the board on that program. And those are numbers that I have not gotten. To, because what happened is I did that with BLS 2.0 and I was on a lean bulk for many months and tweaking the program and experiencing it for myself, just making sure that I liked what I was putting in the book, even though it made sense.
Theoretically, I really wanna make sure I go through it myself and then recruit some other people to go through it. And then after that I. Cut to get pretty lean for a photo shoot. And if you’ve seen any pictures from the beach photo shoot years ago, that’s the photo shoot I’m talking about. So that photo shoot was me cutting after BLS 1.0, and then I went into a very long maintenance phase really.
And that’s still where I’m at. If you have been following me on Instagram, you know that I stay pretty lean year round, and I would say my body fat has been anywhere from, let’s say, 11 to maybe 8% over the course of the last four or five years. Since I did that beach photo shoot and my style of training was really just BLS style of training.
It was, moderate volume, some heavy weights. And I knew that without Lean bulking again, for example, there’s not much muscle and strength that I, I’m not gonna gain any muscle and strength. And I also knew that given how much muscle and strength I had already gained, there was very little. Left for me to gain anyway, just genetically.
And so I was happy to do difficult workouts and workouts. I enjoyed BLS style workouts, knowing that it really was just maintenance and it was more work than I needed to do to maintain my physique because you can maintain your. Physique on, I would say at least one third of the volume that it takes to gain muscle and strength.
And some research suggests that you might even be able to maintain on one fifth, or even one sixth, maybe one seventh, of the volume that it takes to gain muscle. So I was doing more work than I needed to, to just. Stay fit, but I like that, I like my workouts to be in about an hour long. For example, I’m willing to do a bit more, but after an hour and a half or so, I feel like I’m just wasting time.
I like being in the gym, but 60 minutes or so is a sweet spot for me. And that comes down to doing, 13 to maybe 16 hard sets in the workout if you include the warmups, and sometimes needing to rest a little bit more if we’re talking about heavy squatting or heavy dead lifting. And then working, I like to lift weights five days a week and include cardio and my routine as well.
So that worked for me for a while now with BBLs. 2.0. I also followed that program for about eight months while writing the book and tweaking the programming. And this is leads right up to when the Ronna hit and Jim’s shut down. I was getting back to those BLS 1.0 PR numbers. I was close, like for example, on my squat.
My squat onem was probably back up. I’d have to look at my training sheet, but mid three hundreds, maybe three 40 to 360, somewhere in that range. And that’s not great. However, my previous best was 365 for two, and so I was getting back to it, and squatting has always been very difficult for me, primarily because I have long legs and long femurs.
So the sticking point, pretty long range of motion I have to move through and a longer than average sticking point, and it makes it difficult that exercise and the bench press, because of my long arms, I have long monkey arms. Go on Instagram and look at some pictures where you can see my arms in the length of them.
You’ll quickly see Oh wow, yeah this guy has really long arms , and that is, Good for deadlifting, but bad for bench pressing because again, longer range of motion, longer sticking point, and so again, for me, a squat one RM of ultimately, let’s say low fours or so, is probably the best that I can hope for.
Naturally, which is a good accomplishment. I’ve said this before, but a good strength benchmark to shoot for as a natural weightlifter as a guy is 3, 4, 5, 3 plates on the bench. So 3 15 4 plates on the squat, so 4 0 5 and five plates on the deadlift, 4 95, and I got close to that with PBS one point. On the squat and on my bench press, it was 2 95 for two or three, and my one RM with BLS 2.0 was getting back up into the two 70 to 80 range.
And on the deadlift, my previous be was, I believe it was like 4 35 for two. And on BLS 2.0, my onem was right around 4 35. So I was getting back, I was getting back and it was. and I also had cut during that eight months on BLS 2.0. So a couple of months were in a deficit, so I wanted to see how the program played out.
When you’re in a deficit, I just wanna make sure that it wasn’t too much. If you’re in a deficit, and I’m 35 now, so I’m not invincible like I was when I was 25. But I really do take good care of my body and I recover well from training, and I can’t say that I noticed that big of a difference between my mid twenties and now my mid thirties.
Maybe a little bit slower, recovery from higher volumes, but my figuring was that if BBLs 2.0 was too much for me when cutting it’s. Probably be too much for a lot of other people and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was not. It was actually totally fine and I had remained in a deficit for at least two months.
I wanted it to be like a proper cut and really see how it impacted me. And so that’s how BLS 2.0 was going for me. And as far as other differences go the book is separated into several sections, and I’m really just mirroring bls. I go over some inner game stuff, and currently in BLS 1.0, it has some inner game.
Stuff, but I feel like it’s just generalized. It’s not specifically addressing the obstacles, the inter game obstacles that US intermediate and advanced weightlifters face, Whereas BBLs 2.0 does a better job of that and really talks about a few of the things that can get in the way as we transition from being a new weightlifter, a novice to an intermediate, or from intermediate to advanced or at an advanced level, really trying to just.
To the absolute genetic ceiling in terms of physique and performance. And so after that, there is a diet section, and again, there’s some similar stuff in BLS 2.0 to BLS 1.0, like calorie cycling, for example, is still a great tool. And I talk about calorie cycling in BLS 2.0. And explain when to use it and how to use it and how I use it.
But I also give some additional tools in BBLs 2.0, like mini cuts that’s not talked about in BBLs 1.0. And it is a good strategy. It has its uses and I talk about what those are and how to do it in. 2.0 and I also talk about intermittent fasting in 2.0, which I also talk about in 1.0. And there’s some stuff in 1.0 that I removed, cuz I just didn’t think it was necessary to really talk about for example, 1.0 talked about the paleo diet and why I’m not a fan.
Wasn’t a fan, and still I’m not a fan of the. Mythology and pseudoscience used to sell it as a diet, like a primal style of eating is not bad actually if you’re just mostly eating relatively unprocessed stuff. And if you watch your saturated fat intake and you’re not eating like, a hundred grams of saturated fat a day, it’s a totally fine way to eat.
But it is not. The panacea that it is often sold as, And that was more relevant though when I published BLS 1.0 because at that time Paleo was huge and I was getting asked about it all the time. Now, not so much. It’s still big, and it’ll probably be with us now for a long time because of how much popularity it has achieved, but it’s not what it once was.
And so I don’t need to talk about that in 2.0. I also talk about in 2.0 about, I really don’t like the term. Super foods and I talk about why cuz it’s just marketing nonsense. So I think a better term is functional foods. And these are foods that are not just nutritious, but have special properties.
And these are great for including in your diet if you want to really maximize the health and. Performance and wellbeing benefits that you can obtain from eating food. Like for example, I talk about here are some of these functional foods, fish, garlic, blueberry, cranberry, oats, cruciferous vegetables, dark chocolate and black seed, and you don’t have to eat these foods, of course, And I talk about that.
But again, the theme of BBLs 2.0 is. The road to go from being stuck as now a, let’s say an intermediate, like a new intermediate weightlifter. So as a guy, you’ve gained your first 20 pounds of muscle or so, or as a woman, you’ve gained maybe your first 10 or 15 pounds and now you’re just stuck.
Not much is changing anymore. To go from that to gaining muscle and strength again, a meaningful amount, put it that way, and this is the theme of the book. You just have to double down on the fundamentals. You have to pay even more attention to your calories and macros. You have to consider adding additional foods to your meal plans that can help you with performance a little bit and help you with recovery a little bit, and maybe help enhance your health a little bit so you don’t.
Get sick. Instead of getting sick three times in the year, you only get sick one time and you don’t miss the training and the progress that you would normally miss with those other two sicknesses. And in your training, it’s very similar. You still have to focus on progressive overload. You still have to make sure that you’re lifting heavy enough weights.
You still have to make sure you’re doing enough volume. The major thing that changes is you just gotta work harder now for less. And so with this functional foods, Point. These are foods that are worth, again, considering. I do it myself. I micromanage my diet down to the individual foods that I eat because it doesn’t take any extra time to do that, really.
And there are significant benefits, especially if you do it in several different ways. Yeah, if all you did was start eating oatmeal every day. Maybe you’ll have better poops and there might be some positive effects in your cholesterol levels, but you’re probably not gonna notice much. However, if you include five or six of these quote unquote functional foods, the collective or the accumulative effect might be enough to really make a difference.
And even if it’s just in a slight way, Cause remember, as a natural weightlifter, we are just looking for those slight but tangible edges that we can gain. Together, add up to something notable. And the next section in the book is about muscle building. It’s the fourth part and it’s called a masterclass in muscle building.
And I talk about how much muscle we can gain naturally, how much strength we can gain naturally. There’s a chapter called the More for Less method of maximum muscle gain. And I thought that was a cute C title because again, that summarizes the training ideology of BLS 2.0 more for less.
You’re gonna have to work really hard and you’re not gonna gain nearly as much muscle and strength as you used to, but that’s okay. That’s just part of the game. That’s nothing to be discouraged by. BLS 2.0. Also has information that was in BLS 1.0 about how to build the mathematically ideal male physique.
It’s just a newly edited and improved version of what was in 1.0. And then the final part of the book is the program itself. So we’ve gone through all the. Theory and now we get into the practical, right? So now I show you how to turn everything you learned in the diet section into actual diet plans and meal plans.
And then we talk about the exercises you’re gonna be doing in the program, the new exercises in particular that you’re gonna be doing in addition to the exercises that are in bls. And then I give you training plans and break down how the programming. So you can program your own workouts or you can just follow my programming.
And like with BLS 3.0, I’m gonna give you a year’s worth of BLS 2.0 workouts, along with a bunch of other neat stuff in the bonus content. And there will be a workout journal as well if you just prefer. Pen and paper. And then finally there’s a supplementation plan just talking about how to use the additional supplements that I talk about, which I hadn’t mentioned.
But that’s also one chapter in the diet section is basically how to upgrade your supplementation in what to avoid. And there are a few extra supplements that I do recommend considering if you are an intermediate or advanced weightlifter in addition. Basics that I recommend in BLS and tls. And then there’s the final section, which is like the farewell for now, and some frequently asked questions and giving again a link to the bonus material.
And that’s it. That’s like a general overview of the book. And again, it’s very different than 1.0. There are a few bits and pieces from 1.0 that have made it into 2.0, but for the most part it’s just brand new stuff. If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world.
Let’s move on now to the next one. How do you increase your biceps peak? The only real way to do this, the only reliable way to do this is to just grow your biceps, because the shape of your biceps, including the peak, is mostly gonna be determined by your genetics. You see the biceps, it’s a two-headed muscle that flexes the.
And you have the short head, which is closer to your chest, and that’s visible from the front of a flexed arm. And then the long head is what creates the peak that is above it. And when you view it from the back, that’s what you’re seeing. That long head creates the peak and you’re not seeing the short head.
And there’s another muscle called the biceps bronchs. Is directly beneath the biceps, and it’s not as prominent visually as the biceps are, but it actually does play an important role in the overall appearance of your arms. A lot of people don’t consider it at all because it is small, but when you flex your biceps, it pushes the bicep.
And that can give you a better peak when you’re flexing. Another aspect of your biceps that affects your peak is just the size of the muscle belly. And if you’re not familiar with that term, a muscle’s composed of two parts. So you have the belly, which is the part that contracts and the part that you want to grow, and then you have the tendon which connects that part, the belly to your skeleton.
And as muscles can’t grow longer, they can only grow. Wider. The longer your muscle bellies are naturally and the shorter your tendons are, right? So if the longer bellies are gonna have shorter tendons, the more muscle mass you’ll be able to gain. And so for the purposes of having big arms, big muscle bellies is good.
However, as far as the peak goes, the opposite is true. Shorter Muscle bellies produce higher peak. And the reason for that is the longer a muscle belly is, the more length it has available to expand outward, right? Expand its width. And so when you have longer muscle bellies in your biceps, your arms will appear full kind of like a football as you continue to build them.
However, if you have shorter. Muscle bellies in your biceps, there isn’t as much room as far as the length goes for that expansion. What’ll happen is a lot of that growth becomes more vertical, which then turns into better peaks when you flex. Now at this point, you’re probably wondering about your biceps and wondering if you have longer.
Than average or shorter than average muscle bellies. And there’s a simple way to test this actually. So bend your arm right now to 90 degrees and flex your biceps and see how many fingers you can comfortably fit between your biceps and your forearm. So if you can fit three fingers, then your muscle bellies are shorter than average.
If you can fit two, that’s about average. If you can fit one, then you have longer than average. Muscle Bellies. So what about training tips for increasing Muscle Peak? At this point, you understand that there is no quick fix because if you got, If you have longer Muscle Bellies, for example, you are going to have trouble achieving the peak that you might see in someone who has shorter.
Muscle bellies and you can’t isolate the long head of your biceps to create a larger peak. Some people have claimed that you can do that, but there’s no good evidence that you can, and you can certainly train your biceps in different ways and vary the angles that you train your biceps just to make sure that you fully stimulate the muscles.
But again, you can’t just train for a. Peak. You can, however, help target the biceps bronchs in your training, and that can give you a little bit of a boost when you flex a little bit of peak boost. And an easy way to do that is just with a neutral or a pronated grip. So pronated would be palms down.
Hammer curls are good for this. That’s what I do. That’s one of the reasons I’ve always included hammer curls in my biceps training and a palms down grip, which is something I never particularly liked is. Viable option here. Righty. That’s it for biceps peaking. Let’s move on to the final question here, which is, what’s your current position on reverse dieting?
It is that it’s not necessary and that’s a new position because several years ago I. Thought that there probably was some value to it. It’s something I used to do myself, and I used to recommend it, and now I no longer do. Now, if you’re not familiar with reverse dieting, you probably have heard this one before.
You’ve probably heard that by slowly increasing your calorie intake after a cut, you can. Repair your metabolism. You can mitigate fat gain and maybe even supercharge your calorie burning and turn your new maintenance calories into something much higher than they were before the cut. And that approach of slowly increasing your calories, usually after a cut, but not always.
Sometimes it’s recommended to go from just a maintenance into a lean bulk this way, or to lean bulk that way indefinitely. Where you start at maintenance and then on a regular schedule, you’re just raising your calorie intake a little bit. And that is generally referred to as reverse dieting.
And so what I used to do, for example, is I used to finish my cuts by raising my daily calorie intake by about a hundred, maybe 150 calories every seven days or so, maybe five. And mostly by increasing my carbs a little bit, my fats, until I got back to my maintenance calories. And I wasn. Alone. Many other thought leaders in the evidence based fitness space recommended doing the same thing and for the same reason, which was that theoretically it may help you stay lean while reversing the metabolic adaptations, the negative adaptations that occurred while cutting and.
Now I would say that we in the evidence based fitness based know better, and many of my peers no longer bother with reverse dieting. And I don’t either. And I don’t recommend that you do it unless you just like it. And I’ll talk about that in a second. But why? What changed? As the. Evidence mounted both anecdotal and scientific.
It just became clear that reverse dieting doesn’t really provide any real advantages over just raising your calories immediately back to maintenance when you’re done cutting. And what’s more reverse dieting. May even be counterproductive, at least with some people. It is. Because all you’re really doing right is you’re switching from fast cutting.
So let’s say you are using an aggressive but not reckless calorie deficit. That’d be the fast cut to slow cutting because you’re not out of a deficit. You’re still in a deficit. You’re just in a smaller deficit that gets smaller. Each successive week, right? And what that means is you are going to spend more time dealing with the downsides of being in a calorie deficit.
Now that said, if you’re the type of person who really struggles with overeating after a cut, then reverse dieting may actually be good for you, not because it has any great. Benefits, inherent benefits, metabolic benefits, but it may just help you better control your calories as you ease back into normalcy.
So that would be the exception to the rule here where I still would recommend it if somebody knows that jumping right back to maintenance just for whatever reason, does not work very well for them, and they end up quickly in a surplus, and then they start regaining the. They lost and they get maybe discouraged, and that might lead to more overeating and so forth.
There is a counter argument even to that though, saying that, Okay, maybe reverse dieting does make sense. In that case, the counter argument is that those people if you’re gonna do that, if you’re going to reverse diet, you are still going to be in a deficit for, depending on what you’re doing, it might be 3, 4, 5 weeks.
And if you’re at the end of a. You probably if it if it has been a substantial cut, you’re probably dealing with some level of hunger and cravings and other unwanted side effects. And by remaining in a deficit, even if it’s a smaller deficit, you’re probably still gonna feel the same way. And of course, that increases the likelihood of overeating and may make it harder to stay on track even when you do get back to maintenance.
So it really just depends on the individual. Here you have. Try it and see what works for you. And I would say most people don’t need to bother, though. Most people do just fine finishing a cut and raising their calories back up to their new maintenance. You don’t wanna make the mistake of going back to your old precut maintenance.
Sometimes people forget that when you lose, especially a fair amount of weight, your new maintenance is lower, you are burning. Fewer calories unless maybe you’re brand new to weightlifting and you’re losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time. So the weight that you’re losing, that’s gonna reduce your daily calorie expenditure, because of course it doesn’t cost as much energy to move a lighter body, eh?
But if you’re putting on a fair amount of muscle, which is metabolically active, it’s gonna mitigate that to some degree, but probably not entirely. So make sure to calculate your new maintenance at your new body weight with your current. Workout schedule in your lifestyle and so forth. And then you can just jump right back to that.
Most people do well with that and they do well with it psychologically and physically. So it’s nice to finally get outta the deficit, eat some more food, feel nourished. And then the physical benefits are of course their workouts get better and the hunger and cravings generally go away. And sleep generally improves.
And in many cases people find they actually look their best. Not right at the end of a cut, but after they’ve been at maintenance for three or four weeks after the cut. What many people, especially women will find is they’ll retain less water, so they look even leaner, even though they’re not in a deficit anymore.
And so that’s pretty cool. And one other little tip to share on maintenance calories. If you’re not sure how to calculate your calories, I have a little rule thumb here. And then I’ll also recommend a resource if you. Dive into the details more. So a simple way to get there is to multiply your body weight by 14 to 16 calories per pound, and 14 would be if you’re lightly active, maybe an hour or two of vigorous physical activity per week and 16 if you’re quite active, maybe five to seven hours or so of vigorous activity.
Per week. And as far as getting to those calories, you’re at the end of the cut. You just found out that, okay, you need to be eating 2,500 calories a day or whatever it is. Maybe it’s 3000 if you’re a guy. And I recommend increasing your carbs and your fat as you prefer. So if you follow my recommendations for cutting, you’re gonna be eating plenty of protein.
You don’t need to raise that. You’re probably gonna be eating a fair amount of carbs as well, and a. Ish amount of fat, not super low, maybe 0.2 to 0.3 grams per pound of body weight per day. And if you’re at the 0.2 level, I would say maybe get up to the 0.3 just for health reasons. If you’re already there, again, you can just raise your carbs or your fat.
To get to maintenance as you prefer. And I suppose you could raise your protein as well if you want to, but chances are you probably don’t want to. You’re probably looking forward to eating some carbs in fat. And if you wanna learn more about how many calories you’re burning and how many calories you really should be eating, head over to legion athletics.com, Search for calorie calculator, and you’ll find an article I wrote called How Many Calories You Should Eat With a Calculator, And that will.
Help you quickly calculate how many calories you should be eating, and then it also explains all the theory behind the calculator and how to calculate yourself even how many calories you’re burning, and understand why the calculator built into the article says what it says. All right, friends, that is it for this Q and a episode.
I hope you found it helpful, and again, if you want to reach out to me with your questions, shoot me an. [email protected] or hit me up on Instagram at Muscle for Life Fitness and I hope to see you in the inbox or the DM inbox, . And I hope that you will check out my next episode as well.
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