Most people know newbies can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, but can intermediate or advanced lifters accomplish a body recomposition?
In other words, if you’re already fit, can you optimize your body composition by building muscle and losing fat simultaneously, or do you have to cycle through bulks and cuts?
More importantly, how do you actually do a body recomp? Is there a difference between recomping and bulking or cutting, and what are the key factors and variables to adjust if you want to build muscle while burning fat?
To help answer these questions, I tagged in my friend and scientist, Chris Barakat, who’s actually published research on this topic.
If you’re not familiar with Chris, he’s a published scientist, educator, coach, and natural bodybuilder, and he’s a repeat guest on the podcast for good reason. His years of developing his book smarts along with his practical knowledge of gym know-how means he knows how to get results while also having something interesting to say, and I always learn something new in our chats.
In this interview, Chris and I discuss . . .
- What a recomp is, and whether more trained individuals can build muscle while losing fat
- Who should aim for a recomp and how to do so (as both a beginner and more advanced trainee)
- Common mistakes that prevent people from recomping
- The signs you’re recomping effectively and how to track it
- How to adjust your training volume and rep ranges while in a deficit and why
- Strategies for advanced lifters to recomp
- What to expect in terms of strength loss while cutting (and how to know when to make an adjustment)
- And more . . .
So, if you’re interested in learning about body recomposition in intermediate and advanced lifters, and the best ways to ensure you’re recomping effectively, listen to this podcast and let me know your thoughts!
0:00 – Try Pulse today! Go to https://buylegion.com/pulse and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points!
4:41 – How should body comp training look like for intermediate lifters?
26:22 – How should people approach recomp if they are no longer hyper responsive to training?
33:17 – What about rep ranges?
45:00 – What are your thoughts on traditional recomp methods?
52:28 – Why do people get stronger when they gain body weight?
59:58 – Can muscles be more responsive with proper training?
1:01:53 – Where can we find you?
Mentioned on the Show:
Try Pulse today! Go to https://buylegion.com/pulse and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points!
Chris Barakat’s Website: https://schoolofgainz.com/
Chris Barakat’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christopher.barakat/
The Ultimate Guide to Body Recomposition (listen to the podcast for a special promo code!): https://www.schoolofgainz.com/digital-products/the-ultimate-guide-to-body-recomposition
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hello, and welcome to a new episode of Muscle Four Life. I am your host, Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today to learn about body recomposition, to learn about building muscle and losing fat at the same time, and particularly in the context of experienced trainees. So most people know that if you are new to strength training, to resistance training, you can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.
Many, many, many people do it, and that will always be the case, because in the beginning, your body is so hyper responsive to training that the negative effects of a calorie deficit in terms of muscle building are too inconsequential compared to the hyperresponsiveness of your body. To the training. So if you are getting to put it in very simple terms, let’s say you are getting plus 10 to muscle building because you are brand new and you are getting minus three to muscle building because of the calorie deficit.
You’re still at a plus seven to muscle building. Now, after a couple of years of proper training, things change, your body is not nearly as responsive to training anymore. So let’s say you’re down now to a a plus two to muscle building. Zero is no training at all. You’re training hard just to get to a plus two just to gain relatively small amounts of muscle regardless of how hard you work.
You just have to work really hard to continue gaining much of anything. And then the calorie deficit is a minus three. You are now at a minus one, and you are not going to be able to gain muscle effectively. Now, that is why many people say that experienced trainees can’t gain muscle and lose fat at the same time under any circumstances, period.
Is that true? No, not quite. There are certain scenarios where experienced trainees can accomplish body recomposition, and that’s what today’s episode is going to be about. It’s going to be about the nuance of the topic of body composition, of the art and science of achieving body composition, and to break it all down for us.
I have brought Chris Barakat back on the show who has published research specifically on this topic. And in case you’re not familiar with Chris, he is a published scientist. He is an educator coach and natural bodybuilder, and he’s also a legion athlete. He has been working with Legion for years now.
He’s a repeat guest on the podcast. And I always enjoy picking his brain about this stuff because he has many years of book smarts, but he also has a lot of practical knowledge. He has done a lot of training himself. He has competed as a natural bodybuilder. He has coached many natural bodybuilders. He has also coached many gen pop people as this, hey, just everyday normal people who want to get into good shape.
And so he knows how to take the theory that you find in published research and turn that into practical programs, practical fitness programs that work. Mr. Baratt,
Chris: how’s it going, Mike? How are ya ? Uh, good, thanks.
Mike: Uh, thanks again for, for taking the time as always. I’m was looking forward to today’s discussion because a different take on the body recom, or at least, uh, maybe it’s a a 2 0 1 as opposed to a 1 0 1.
So often when, when people talk about recom, which for people listening, that’s just gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time. Uh, body recomposition often it, it’s in the context of people who are relatively new to training or maybe they’re very detrained and they’re just getting back into it. And yes, there’s no question that people who are new to strength training or people who are, who took a long break, or maybe people who have been doing some strength training for some period of time, but really not doing it correctly.
And if, if any of those people start to train correctly, In a calorie deficit, yes, they are going to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Okay, fine. What about more experienced trainees though? And that, that was the question obviously that, that, uh, we were talking about in our last discussion that made us wanna, wanna schedule another one.
And so I’ll let you start wherever you want this and then let’s just get into. Body recom in people who are not brand new or completely detrained or we’re lifting the Barbie weights for a bit and now, and now we’re finally squatting for the first time. You know? Yeah,
Chris: for sure. Yeah. So there’s, there’s a lot of different ways that we can kick this off.
I mean, in regards to some of the literature, um, some of the things that I’ve covered in the past. Those subjects, a lot of the times they’re between the ages of 18 and 24. So even if they are considered, quote unquote trained, they might have been lifting for two years, three years, four years. And the type of training that they were doing does not necessarily mean it was hypertrophy, body building focused.
Right. So, um, some of the things that come to mind were some of the studies I reported on, like we worked with, uh, our, our volleyball team at the University of Tampa, and we saw. Insane recom when looking at both groups. We investigated on average, uh, these girls like gained six-ish pounds of lean mass while losing six ish pounds of fat mass simultaneously in a short period of time too, right?
But it’s one of those things where it’s like, yeah, they have resistance training experience, but maybe they’re really just doing the typical full body strengthened conditioning type workouts. Maybe they’re doing more power-based training, so yeah, they could be familiar with a barbell back squat or a bench press, but they’ve never really trained like bodybuilders necessarily.
So, and, and just for people,
Mike: Wondering, can you just give a little bit more information on what that looks like if people aren’t familiar? Okay. What does that mean, strength and conditioning type of, uh, training versus body building hypertrophy?
Chris: Yeah, so the strength and conditioning type of workouts for people listening right now, that is what you would kind of see in like a highlight reel.
If you see like professional basketball tr uh, players like resistance training or you see sometimes even like mixed martial artists are doing resistance training and you see these different athletes in different sports. They are doing weightlifting exercises. , but you generally see them train in a particular style.
They’re usually doing full body workouts. They’re usually not pushing close to failure, and a lot of time they’re trying to move the weight, they’re lifting with maximal velocity and they’re very focused on power output rather than taking a muscle to concentric failure. And that bar velocity is super, super slow and you’re getting maximal motor unit recruitment and maximal muscle activation.
And some of those things are really key to maximize muscle growth rather than maximize strength or power, right? So yeah, it’s just those, those typical workouts that you see in a highlight reel even I feel like people doing battle ropes and all that stuff, like you see those videos and kind of would just consider that your standard like strength and conditioning workout, so to speak.
And then it obviously depends on who the strength and conditioning coach is, what sports are you looking at, so on and so forth. Yeah.
Mike: And, and in an ideal scenario, you might not be doing hypertrophy, body building per se, but if you’re doing proper strength training, there is gonna be hypertrophy, you’re gonna be pushing close to failure in certain exercises.
And so it’s kind of a random comment, but I’ve just seen a lot of what you might call s and c, but it’s more like, I guess you could say power like P and c, but without significantly improving strength, you’re actually missing out on a lot of power. Like I get training, specificity, training for explosive quick movements because that’s what you need to do.
And if all you did was grind through heavy strength training reps, you’re gonna get stronger, but you’re not necessarily gonna get all of the explosiveness out of that. You know, some athletes, and, you know, I, I accept this, that, and, and coaches will say, You can have a weird situation where somebody is getting stronger but they’re not getting faster, or they even are, are getting a little bit slower because they’re training too slowly.
Like they, it’s all grinding heavy strength training. So I get, you know, the need for lighter weights and just moving as explosively as you can to just train your body to be able to do that. Train your muscle and your nervous system to do that. But it’s just interesting that there seems to be a lot of focus on that stuff, and this is maybe too much of a generalization, but I’m.
Thinking of what I’ve seen, you know, just going through my head, a lot of focus on that, less focus on just traditional strength training in addition to that. But
Chris: yeah, if you look at a lot of the literature that, that are on, like collegiate athletes, there’s a lot in RU rugby players or NCAA football players.
A lot of those studies demonstrate recomp too. And a lot of their strength training, it’s kind of, I wanna say it’s pretty simple where a lot of the, uh, equipment availability, Especially these older studies had access to, and these universities had access to. You’re just doing barbell work, like you’re doing bench press.
It’s like a, a rippa
Mike: toe. Like they got starting strength and
Chris: that’s it. Yeah, exactly. You’re doing overhead press. Bench press a bent over row. You’re doing a squat, you’re doing a deadlift, and, and that might be it. And you might be doing five by fives or three by eight or whatever it may be. But again, you’re not training like a bodybuilder, you’re not on a typical body building split.
And that type of training is way different. And, uh, I share that just because you can take someone that has experience with weight, with weight training and weightlifting, but if they haven’t done hypertrophy focused or body building focused things, if they can still be like, I don’t wanna say true, true noobs, but they can still, they, they can still be so far away from their genetic potential when it comes to their muscle building, that they can respond very quickly and very well to a more body building focused training plan.
Mike: Yep. Yeah, and that’s a good point because if, if somebody doesn’t understand what you just laid out and if they just were to read the abstract of a study and not understand when they see like, oh, resistance trained, you know, two or three years and look at this crazy recom effect that they may not understand that that doesn’t necessarily apply to them because yeah, they only have two or three years of, of resistance training, but they’ve been doing hi proper strength slash hypertrophy training for two or three years, and then they try to do the same thing and they don’t get the same results and maybe it get confused, you know?
Chris: Sure. Yeah. Um, one thing I’ll, I’ll kind of shift the, the conversation super quick and just share something that I think a lot of people potentially miss out on or they potentially make a mistake doing when it comes to improving their body composition as a whole, I think. Males and females are sometimes hyper focused on fat loss and therefore, Also hyper focused on being in a relatively significant calorie deficit, call it 250 to 500 calories per day.
And I think that kind of shoots them in the foot in regards to how much progress they can make over a larger period of time. So I’ll give two examples. Let’s say we have a male that’s 18 to 20% body fat, and I don’t want to say completely untrained, but hasn’t ever maximized their muscle building potential.
Maybe they’ve trained on and off for quite a long period of time. I think that individual would be way better off eating really close to theoretical maintenance and focus more on increasing their performance in the gym and building muscle. So that their body fat percent comes down without it being so focused on fat loss.
So like let’s just say you take somebody, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll put some numbers out there. You have a male that’s like 155 ish pounds, or let’s even say they’re 165 pounds, but they’re 18% body fat and their average height. That person probably has a lot of muscle building potential. We kind of spoke about it last time.
We were like, a lot of men can build like 20 to 35 ish pounds of muscle compared to like their pre lifting physique, right? So again, that person that is 18 to 20% body fat right now, I would rather them do everything they can. Gain 10 pounds of lean mass rather than do everything they can to lose 10 pounds of fat mass right now.
Because their body composition’s gonna significantly improve, even if they’re not losing a ton of fat mass simultaneously. So like if they gained six pounds of lean mass and also gained two and a half pounds of fat mass, that’s fine. Their body fat percent still went down, and most importantly, their strength is better, their physique looks better and they look more aesthetic.
So I think that’s where a lot of people go wrong. Same thing with females. Females are generally hyper-focused on the scale weight. They think that their goal physique and their ideal physique is gonna be at a specific. and that weight is usually really wrong. So even if they’re looking at social media and they have inspiration from certain people, they’re probably guessing what that person weighs incorrectly and
Mike: or even if the person shares their weight, let’s just give ’em the benefit of the doubt and say they’re sharing their real weight.
Weight can vary a lot, even. You know, and I get it, if somebody is doing a little bit of due diligence, so like, okay, I’m about the same height as this girl and we have a similar build, but that, that still doesn’t necessarily mean that 135 pounds or whatever the number is on her is, is gonna look the way that you want it to look on you.
I mean, my body weight, for example, has, has often confused people. It’s, it’s always been probably people would, would guess me even, I remember I was at a theme park and one of the booths was they guess your, your weight, right? And if they, if they’re, if they’re off by a certain amount, then you win a prize.
And this person’s a professional weight, guesser, basical. Right. And so I was, I was quite lean at the time, which throws people off even more because when you’re lean and you have some muscle, there’s that visual illusion where you look bigger than, it’s kind of a weird, anybody who is like, I mean, you’ve experienced it many times where it, it almost looks like you’re getting bigger as you’re getting leaner, but you’re not.
Right? And so I weighed no more than, this was years ago, so I, I can say it was probably no more than a hundred eighty five, a hundred eighty nine pounds, something like that. Pretty lean, probably 7% or so, maybe 8%. And she guessed it was over 200, was her, guess it was, I think 2 0 5 or something like that.
Right. So I won the prize, and, but I’ll say that that. My weight as people will consistently guess me at least 10 pounds heavier than I am. And that’s not because I don’t have any legs. I don’t have much in the way of calves. However, however, I will say I’ve been training calves five days a week. I finally broke down.
I was like, I fuck these little bastard, and I’m tr I’m training ’em every day. I’m gonna do three sets, uh, five days a week, and I’m gonna throw in a little bit of rest, pause just for some extra volume, and that’s what I’m gonna do. And they’ve been growing, but, but it’s not because I have no legs. It’s probably one of the reasons is I have very small bones, like yeah, my, my and, and you don’t really, you can’t see that.
And if you don’t know what you’re looking at, it can be, it can throw you off. So all that is to say for, for people listening, keep that in mind when you’re looking at other people and their weight and try and correlating that with body composition. That may map nicely to your physique, but it may.
Yeah. Like, I’ll just use random contextual numbers too to kind of paint a picture for some of the listeners, especially if there’s some females listening. Let’s say there’s a female that comes to you and they’re, they’re 150 pounds and they say that they wanna lose 20 pounds. If they took that 150 pound physique and they lost 20 pounds of pure fat mass and didn’t lose any lean mass, or gain any lean mass, they probably wouldn’t love what their physique looks like at one 30.
Even though they lost that 20 pounds, they’re not gonna have the shape and the aesthetic that they want. Right. So like they would be way better off being 145 pounds, but maybe they dropped, you know, 15 pounds of fat mass and gained five pounds of lean mass, whatever it is. Yeah. So a lot of people just, they put too much value in their skill weight, and they’re usually uninformed in terms of like, what.
A realistic skill way it should be and like what is actually best for them? It’s funny because I’ve, over the years, I, when I first started coaching, I kind of worked with 50% gen pop, 50% competitors. And then as I continue coaching, I started working with really just competitors and I stopped coaching gen pop, and now I have a handful of gen pop clients and it’s, it’s like a nice refresher and reminder of like, yeah, you’re relearning.
Mike: You’re like, oh yeah, right. This. This is the real world, like this is where people are actually at.
Chris: Yeah, yeah. But I feel like recomp is relatively simple and it’s almost to be expected if you really get your ducks in a row and you are that beginner, intermediate, and you, you’re so far away from your muscle building potential.
Like I feel like if you start doing things the right way, you should almost expect that. So again, for a lot of people eating closer to theoretical maintenance rather than just like diving into a deficit, I think is really advantageous. And
Mike: what would be the counter-argument? What would be your counter-argument to that?
Because there are people listening who now I guarantee you are wondering, like let’s say they’re just getting into this. Okay. They were initially thinking, I, I’m gonna lose some fat. I’m gonna start in a deficit. But now they might be questioning, well, should I just eat maintenance?
Chris: So that’s gonna come down to what your current body fat percent is.
So like I’ll say like, if you’re over 20% for a guy, sure, let’s, let’s get into a deficit and you still have plenty of muscle to build. Let’s get into the deficit. If you’re over 38, 40% for a female, let’s get into that deficit. And you still have a lot of muscle building potential to tap into. But if you really haven’t crushed the resistance training program for four to six months consecutively and really progressed, you have so much muscle building potential to do.
Just consider. Doing that for those four to six months, eating close to theoretical maintenance, your body comp will improve overall. And then down the road, get into a deficit and really, really focus on fat loss. I think you’re gonna have better long-term success if you focus on building sustainable habits and getting into a good routine.
And I just think it’s more realistic to do that when you are closer to maintenance, because now you don’t have those psychological and physiological cues kicking in of like, oh, I’m hungry, I’m fatigued, I’m tired. Right. So what are gonna be some of the things that inhibit somebody getting in all of their workouts on a weekly basis?
It’s gonna be. If they’re dragging as and they’re tired cuz they’re not necessarily eating as much and feeling themselves super well, that can hinder them actually getting into the gym. And then what can also hinder them from falling off your diet? Feeling like they’re really hungry and they’re not satiated.
And you know what? Screw it. I don’t want to be in this episode, I’m gonna just start eating a bunch of the things that I kind of know I shouldn’t be eating or that don’t fit my current plan but f it, I just have these psychological and physiological cues that I’m not used to. So I think so many people would really benefit if they just focused on resistance training.
Eight at theoretical maintenance ish, focused on getting three to five protein feedings per day with good bolus each time, get in their fruits and vegetables, develop those habits. And then once that is kind of second nature and routine, going into a moderate deficit’s gonna feel. . Like if everything else is kind of flowing really, really well, it’s gonna be less drastic.
And it’s, it’s not gonna be this zero to a hundred thing, it’s just gonna be like, all right, I’m keeping everything the same except I’m making these minor changes where I’m just reducing the portion sizes of the, of the food that I’ve already been eating for the last 46 months. So I think there’s just so much, um, potential on the table that people kind of miss out on by saying, I need to lose fat, so I must enter a deficit.
And I’m just like, be patient with yourself. Develop better habits now, and then you can get into the deficit later. I think it’ll serve you really well. Um, and then like last quick thing I’ll say is if you’re performing better in the gym, calories are higher. Your ability to build muscle is going to be greater.
So maybe if you weren’t a deficit, you could have recom. Um, but, and, and I’ll just use random numbers. Let’s just say somebody lost six pounds of fat and gained three pounds of lean mass now, rather than losing six pounds of fat, Maybe you only lost one pound of fat or zero pounds of fat, but you gained seven pounds of lean mass instead.
And again, that’s gonna really impact your physique and, and. How you, how you do look down the road when you do shed more body thought. So yeah. I’ll, I’ll just add, I’ll add
Mike: to that just based on my experience, you know, working with and hearing from so many people over the years, there are some people who seem to, they derive the most motivation from fat loss because they don’t like, and they, they’ve tried and failed multiple times before, and so successfully losing fat, like for the first time, understanding how it works, keeping it off is extremely motivating to them.
Whereas trying to get them to start around maintenance, I, I think you make a good argument for it, but I, I can just think of, and this maybe is more, more women than men, people over the years who, not that it would’ve been a problem per se, but starting in a fat loss phase. Probably if, if we look at like total satisfaction that they derive from their first six months, probably higher, starting that way, and they understand that that means maybe less muscle gain, but you know, it’s, it’s been such a problem for them and they just want to get rid of the problem.
And I do understand that.
Chris: Yeah, I understand that too. I got both sides of the story. I guess something that I. Contribute some of the longer term success that I’ve seen from clients is by getting them to just be okay with, hey, for the first X amount of period, this is, this is the primary goal, is actually driving trim performance and gaining muscle rather than losing fat.
And, and that doesn’t mean that we’re necessarily expecting scale weight to, to go up. That doesn’t mean we’re eating in a heavy surplus at all. That might just mean that we’re eating sufficient protein and we’re around this theoretical maintenance and we see what happens and we make adjustments as we go.
And then going back to what you said about. People being hyper-focused on fat loss. I, I think something that is probably underutilized is taking a, like waist circumference measurements. Like I said, I, it’s funny that I haven’t worked with Gen Pop in a while for a while until recently. I had a client, Cole earlier, so I’m thinking about this one particular guy, but he’s 51 years old.
He started with me at 162 pounds and his, part of his goal was losing fat and improving his body comp. We’re only like seven weeks in, and now he’s 1 68, so he’s gained six pounds of scale weight, but his waist circumference is down an inch. So I’m like, okay, cool. Generally, like if somebody’s goal was, was weight loss and fat loss, they would think that this.
A disaster. But because we had one extra piece of data, which is the waste circumference measurement, it’s able to put him at ease. And he is like, yeah, I, I don’t look any fatter, and I just kind of feel fuller. My, my, uh, arms are filling out my shirts better, and so on and so forth, right? So it’s important to have multiple tools to assess your body comp besides the scale, um, because that’s just giving you your, your absolute mass.
Mike: circumference is something I’ve long recommended over CalPERS over body fat scale, uh, body fat percentage coming from a scale. I know some of those devices, grant Tinsley came on a couple months ago to talk about some of these devices and some of them he was surprised like, wow, these are actually quite good.
But waist circumference is just an easy way to. If you’re getting fatter or leaner or if nothing much is changing. Because if you just take that measurement, how do you do? Do you have your clients take it every day and do an average or you just take like once a week because it’s, you’re less likely with weight as you know, you can have these wild fluctuations that’s less likely to occur with a waste circumference unless there’s like some weird reason they’re just, you know, they’re constipated or very bloated or something like that.
But otherwise, pretty
Chris: consistent with scale weight. I have clients weighing either three to seven days a week depending on like, and then take, take the averages. Yeah. Yeah. They’re psychological kind of fix with the scale. Um, but with was circumference, I only do it at most biweekly and then sometimes it’s as infrequent as, you know, every six to eight weeks.
So it depends on the client and what phase we’re in, but that’s fine. That makes sense.
Mike: Because you’re less likely to have a, an unlucky bad waste measurement like you are. You can have an unlucky bad weigh in as everybody knows very easily, and then think that you’re five pounds up for the week when, no, not really.
It’s just you ate a bunch of salt yesterday and a bunch of carbs, and now you’re holding a bunch of water, you know? Yep, for sure. So why don’t we, why don’t we come back to then, so let’s talk about now more experienced weightlifters. So I think we did a, you did a good job now laying out some scenarios related to, again, people who are hyper responsive to training.
But now let’s talk about people who are no longer hyper responsive to training, and if you want to talk about intermediate, and is there a big difference in your mind between the intermediate and more advanced, and how should those people be thinking? Recomp and what’s possible, what’s
Chris: not. For sure, for sure.
Once you are a late stage intermediate, that is when you’re going to be most productive by doing lean bulks and pure cuts, so to speak. . It’s just one of those things, you always should be training in a way that at least if your goal is body building, I should say, your training shouldn’t really change much.
So whether you’re bulking or cutting, it should stay relatively the same. You’re just strong
Mike: and then
Chris: you’re weak. That’s . Yeah. The biggest thing I change, um, for those that do need to focus on a Atlas phase and, and have plenty of experience, so their super late stage intermediate or advanced lifters is while they’re in deficits, sometimes I actually reduce their overall training volume, if that enables them to keep their performance high.
So I, I really want to do everything possible to kind of keep their strength where it’s at. Right. So I would be okay with doing less volume to therefore accumulate less fatigue during that phase. Because if our goal for. Advanced lifter isn’t to build muscle and it’s really, it’s truly to retain muscle.
I think we’re better off doing less volume at a very high quality, good intensity and doing everything we can to maintain our strength rather than doing more volume and losing strength. Because the way I kind of view is that if you’re doing a lot of volume and your performance starts going down, I feel like you’re just digging a, you’re digging a larger ditch than you can recover from.
You don’t have those resources to recover as well. So that’s kind of when muscle protein breakdown is gonna outweigh muscle protein synthesis. So if we can’t do anything to elevate muscle protein synthesis, we’re not using anabolics. You’re already consuming a very adequate amount of protein, like eating more protein’s, not gonna do anything for you.
Then what’s our next best bet, in my opinion, is just reducing the amount of muscle protein you’re breaking down by doing less volume. Because a lot of the research shows like if you want to retain muscle and strength, you really don’t need to be doing nearly as much work as to gain. So that’s the biggest thing that I change is reducing training volume a bit in order to keep intensity high and and try to preserve as much strength as.
And what, what
Mike: does that look like specifically? Yeah, no, it’s good for people wondering how does that look practically. So let’s say that I, I’m guessing a lot of people listening are doing anywhere between 12 and probably 18 hard sets per major mouse group per week. And that that’s kind of their standard maintenance, maybe even kind of gaining amount of volume.
What have you found works well in terms of cutting volume? And then you can also maybe speak to some intensities. So we’re talking about now rep ranges percentages. One rep max, like
Chris: Yeah. So what that generally looks like, let’s just say somebody’s doing three to four sets, uh, per exercise and their improvement season or, or gaining phase or whatever that may be on their compound lifts during a cut.
I only do this too once they start noticing that their strength is. Is just about to start to dip. I don’t want to get to the point where they’ve already lost a ton of strength and like making this adjustment. I don’t wanna say it’s too late, but you wanna be proactive with it. So that would be like on my compounds, rather than doing three to four working sets, I’m just doing two working sets.
And then on my isolations, I probably keep volume the same just because those isolation movements aren’t creating as much fatigue and they’re not as demanding. So just as an example, if we’re doing, you know, um, an overhead press compound movement, in my improvement phase, I’m doing three to four working sets.
When I’m cutting, I might just be doing two working sets, like a top set and a back off. And then if I was doing three sets of laterals in my off season, I’m still gonna do three such a laterals on my cut. So that just looks like reducing your working sets on your compound lifts. So you’re still getting a great stimulus, you’re training that muscle.
Through that particular movement pattern, through that same range of motion, you’re just not beating it into their ground. Again, if you’re not even expecting to grow, and we know from the data that retaining muscles relatively easy, let’s back off there and just get a great stimulus and kind of walk away.
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The reason I ask these questions is these are things that people have asked me many times over the years, and I guess it seems like it’s a little bit counterintuitive what you just said. Okay. We, we might, we might work out a little bit less and our goal is to maintain our, our performance when cutting.
Some people find that to be, well, I guess it just runs contrary to other advice out there, which is still out there that emphasizes volume might even go up or like total reps might go up. So it’s like, oh, well when you’re cutting, you wanna, you want to increase the number of reps per set and so maybe you’re not increasing the number of sets, but you’re just, you’re spending more time in the gym, you’re doing more reps and you really want to focus on the pump and the burn, et
Chris: cetera, et cetera.
Yeah, it’s, it’s awesome that you mentioned that there’s actually. A published research paper with two of my colleagues that are, that are authors on there, and uh, they actually recommended based on the data, that you should potentially increase your volume while cutting. So my recommendation is not, quote unquote, evidence based based on peer reviewed published literature.
It’s evidence based, based on my
Mike: increased volume when cutting. Yeah. From from what to what Now I’m curious not to get off on a total tangent, but
Chris: that’s a good question in terms of how they quantified it. But they essentially said, and from what
Mike: baseline and,
Chris: and the argument. Yeah. They essentially said increasing training volume could potentially, uh, mitigate the detriments of being in a deficit, whereas, The analogy I shared before, that doesn’t make any sense cuz now I just see it as you’re literally increasing muscle protein breakdown while you have less resources coming in to recover from it.
So I totally disagree with that. I just share that because you said my recommendation can be contradictory compared to what other people are saying out there. And it’s actually contradictory. Compared to what’s published in the literature. But again, if you look at evidence-based practice, you should be taking your anecdotal experience into consideration as well.
So from what I’ve seen with myself and what I’ve seen with my clients, that approach actually works really well. And, and you know, I remember
Mike: reading something, uh, that Lyle McDonald wrote on this many years ago. He was making your argument essentially the same argument. And if I remember correctly, he was advocating for no more than three strength training workouts per week when cutting and just kind of a minimal, uh, effective dose approach.
And I’ve always liked Lyle’s work. And if you were in the conversation, you probably would agree that sure, you can train five days per week. But again, if we look at minimal effective dose, three strength training workouts per. That’s gonna be plenty if they’re well designed to maintain all of the lean masks that you can maintain.
And then you add in low intensity cardio, a lot of walking maybe, and you run your calorie deficit and you just wait until you’re lean enough, uh, was kind of the, the Lyle approach, at least at that time.
Chris: Yeah, no, absolutely. It’s interesting when I, when I look at some of the literature on natural bodybuilders who contest prep, you often see them lose a ton of lean body mass in those case studies.
And I think a reason for that is just because they’re doing. Too much volume while they’re prepping. And it was interesting, my, my last prep, I had, you know, d of data and muscle thickness data on, on what I was doing. And I barely lost any lean mass at all. I lost like two pounds of lean mass. And that might not have been muscle, right?
It could have came from different tissue, whereas some other people lost 14, 18 pounds of lean mass during their preps. And, and to me that’s crazy. I just think people were generally keeping their volume exactly the same or doing too much, or again, maybe overdoing the cardio, whatever it may be. So those are all things that people need to take into consideration for sure.
Mike: I think of a, a guy, I haven’t seen him in a bit, I wonder where he spent, he was a regular at my gym at the time. I would go, he natural bodybuilder. He, I mean, I don’t know him well enough to know, but he looked natural to me, which means he looked good, but not that good. That’s, that’s usually a sign that he’s a natural body builder And, uh, His, his contest prep, um, was, I mean, he was doing more volume.
If we just look at hard sets, like hard volume, not like reps volume, you know, that that can not necessarily be as difficult depending on how those sets are. But like true hard volume, I mean, he was doing at least 20 hard sets per major muss group per week. At least 20. So maybe even more. And no, he wasn’t doing any deadlifting, I don’t believe he was Barb squatting.
So he was staying away from compound movements, but a lot of volume and two hours of cardio per day, two hours of low intensity cardio per day. And it was, it was rough like in the end. Yeah, he got super shredded, but he was extremely weak. I remember he was sharing some of, he couldn’t believe how much, like he lost half of his, like his strength was cut in half by the end of that cut on certain exercises in half.
Like if I remember correctly. He was struggling. He told me he was struggling with like doing sets of six to eight with like 1 35 on the bench
Chris: by the end of that. Yeah. So I would say that is a clear sign that he overdid it from a training volume perspective. Yeah. Something I, I wanted to share with you real quick, Mike, in, in regards to advanced trainees that are potentially trying to, to recomp or a really smart way to.
Get out of your fat loss phase. This is what I did in, in 2021, where I was in a true deficit from May 1st, all the way through September. I was losing a bunch of fat, losing a bunch of fat, and with that, there came one point where I was now only a couple weeks away from a show, six weeks out, and I was behind.
I was like, oh, shit. I kind of look like I’m nine, 10 weeks out, so I really gotta pick up the pace on this fat loss thing. So I made my deficit even greater, right? So with that, I lost lean mask while I was cutting. So the first competition of the season, I didn’t love my look, wasn’t my best look to date and stuff like that.
But what ended up happening thereafter was really, really cool. What I started to do was on my training days, I started eating at my theoretical maintenance, and on my non-training days, I stayed in a moderate deficit. So from a weekly perspective, I. Stayed in a deficit, but at least I was eating way more on my training days.
I literally bumped up four to 500 calories overnight, and what the data that I collected showed was over the next seven weeks, I still lost six pounds of fat mass, five and a half pounds of fat mass, and I regained three pounds of lean mass. . So most of that is regaining muscle tissue that I lost, or it’s just a fact that, okay, I was more glycogen depleted at the original scan, so to speak.
But, um, the way my physique looked really, really improved. And I think that’s a good way for advanced trainees or anybody who wants to kind of transition out of their cut or they have a little bit more fat to lose at the tail end of the cut. Once you start having all of these negative symptoms kick in where just fatigue is higher, your irritability is higher, your mood is worse, your sleep is worse, but you still want to get a little bit leaner.
All right, cool. Let’s eat at theoretical maintenance on training days and only being a deficit on your non lifting days. I think it’s a really practical way. Extend the diet for a little bit longer while still kind of starting that reverse simultaneously in a weird way. Right. Um, that worked wonders for me and I’ve, I’ve been implementing that with a lot of clients thereafter towards their tail ends of fat loss phases.
And it’s just a really nice way to drive performance up in the gym. So that strength that they did lose while the pedal was on the gas a little bit harder, they start to regain that their fullness comes back. They have more muscle glycogen, they feel better. and they still get leaner week by week. So it’s just like, it’s a win-win and um, it’s something I’m definitely going to continue to explore and, and do with a lot of my clients and see how that kind of works.
I’ve done that myself.
Mike: In fact, in the first edition of a book I wrote, it’s a sequel to bigger, leaner, stronger Beyond, bigger than or Stronger. I wrote this sequel years ago and I, I’ve released a second edition. I revised it, but it’s still in there. I shared that exact approach, calorie cycling, I guess you could call it.
So I’ve done it myself and also experienced Exactly. You experienced. So I was like, I’m still getting leaner, but I just feel better. And you could say maybe even if the weekly calorie deficit is the same. There’s something a little bit different about this, and I also have done it, so I’ve done it cutting and I’ve also done it as a maintenance.
Now it does require a, a bit, you have to pay attention more to how you’re eating than maybe you would if you were just kind of, you know, trying to eat around your theoretical man maintenance every day. So some people, they don’t want to take the extra time to do the meal planning and okay, what is your, for me, it was, I was training five days a week, so I was in a slight, uh, actually I was airing on the side of eating a little bit more than I was burning rather than a little bit less throughout the week, just to make sure that I wasn’t accidentally just in a deficit like five days a week basically.
And so I was basically like lean bulking, but really kind of just shooting for a five max, 10% surplus, just enough to know that I wasn’t in a deficit. And so I was doing that five days per week, and then I would, I would be pretty aggressive with my deficit two days a week. With the numbers to try to reach just neutral energy balance by the end of the week.
And some people they don’t wanna do that. Cause also that meant on the weekends I wasn’t going out to restaurants and just enjoying myself cause I had to eat, I forget my number, but it was probably like 22, 2300 calories a day, Saturday and Sunday to kind of wipe out that surplus during the week. But I will say that it worked quite well for making almost what felt kind of like lean bulking progress without the fat gain.
Now over time I did gain a little bit of fat just cuz the numbers, obviously they’re, they’re gonna work out one way or the other. And I, and I did want to air on the side of maybe gaining a little bit of fat rather than losing, but I was able to do that for months, make good progress in the gym with very little fat gain.
I can’t remember, I don’t think I was taking measurements meticulously. However, if you’re an experienced weightlifter and you are consistently gaining strength, it’s a fair assumption that you are also gaining some muscle. I mean, where, where else is that strength coming from? You already know how to do the movements right?
And so then what is that? Well, theoretically that’s kind of a recomp, there’s some, uh, element of, I mean, I guess maybe you couldn’t say recomp. Maybe that’s a little bit of a stretch. I’d have to try in an actual deficit. I, I did it in a cut. But again, I’ll say that it was interesting to make kind of lean boish gains.
Without seeing much of a change in my body, fatness.
Chris: Absolutely. Again, everyone, you know, the traditional definition of recom will be gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time, but if you’re gaining more muscle than you are fat and your body fat percent goes down, that’s like a super successful lean bulk and or recomp ish.
Yeah, for sure. Yeah. No, that’s, that’s awesome. What are your thoughts?
Mike: Do you have any experience? So traditional recomp, we’re talking about gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time. And, and maybe just to give, uh, specific numbers. So we’re talking about a guy who has gained, cuz training experience, as we said, can mean something.
It cannot mean something. It kind of depends where they’re at. Right? So we’re talking about a guy who has gain. Call it at least 20 pounds of muscle. He’s gained at least, you know, 50, 60, maybe even 70% of his genetic potential and, and, and a gal. Same range, right? Not the same number, but the same range. And is there any scenario where you, where you see a true recall being possible for those people or possible to enough of a degree.
Is worth pursuing or is it really just forget about it and either maintain lean bulk or cut?
Chris: Yeah, that’s a great question. I, I think it’s one of those things like what did those people have to do to get to 70% of their muscle building potential and like, how much can their training improve compared to what they’ve previously done?
Can you talk a little bit about that specifically then? Yeah. I almost feel like some people can reach 60 to 70% of their, their muscle building potential. I don’t want to say like by accident, by, but just by doing weight training consistently. Persistence, , like just consistency and persistence, but not necessarily crossing their t’s and dotting their eyes when it comes to how they’re training and how they’re approaching their nutrition.
So that kind of just falls on like this genetic spectrum of like how gifted ish are they? And like how easy did that come to them? But what I will say is those people still do have potential to recom, in my honest opinion, if their training is just further optimized and better and better. And,
Mike: and sorry to interject, but I’m assuming that the, the improvement in training is gonna have to be fairly significant.
It’s not like, oh, well you were doing your lap pull downs like this, but you really should do them a little bit like this. It’s, it’s not gonna be
Chris: that . No. Yeah, it’s, it’s not gonna be like doing a new exercise or something differently, but it’s more so gonna be improving your execution even further, improving your intensity and like honing in on that skill of, of learning how to train closer and closer to failure, stuff like that.
I think. That’s gonna be what’s what moves training volume.
Mike: I’ve seen that where people are, they’ve gotten quite far on a pretty low volume program and they’ve never once pushed volume up to what would be considered a high volume. And so I’ve seen people work, you gotta work toward that. You can’t just make the jump but work into those higher volume that, you know, somebody like me, I would’ve not been able to get as far as they got on that low of a volume.
I’ve seen that kind of scenario work out in their favor in terms of recount for
Chris: sure. Yeah. And like just one thing I wanted to point out that you mentioned is when you were gaining strength while being in the surplus, you say that that should be a great sign that you are gaining muscle. Cause where else is the strength coming from?
You already know how to perform the movement pattern. This skill is already there. And I totally agree with that. So on the flip side of that, it’s like, . If you are in a cut and you’re losing a ton of strength, that’s probably a good sign that you’re actually losing muscle and you, you should make an adjustment.
You shouldn’t say like, oh, I’m cutting so I’m gonna lose strength and I’m just gonna keep losing strength and be okay with it. You really want to mitigate how much strength you do lose and then for that person or the example you just gave, the male or female that are maybe at 60 or 70% of their, their muscle building potential, if they can gain strength while they’re in a deficit, to me that is a good sign that they’re potentially gaining muscle while, while losing fat, while cutting.
Yeah, those are great
Mike: points. If we can just, um, cuz again, these are things that people have asked me about, so that strength point. Very good point. What would be a successful. Cut. I mean, obviously we would like to lose no strength. In my experience, that has not been possible when I’ve had to cut for more than eight weeks, and I’ve had to go from like pretty lean to very lean, and I’ve been able to retain a lot of strength.
But ever since I’ve learned how to do things correctly and, you know, gain a fair amount of muscle, I have not been able to gain, gain strength in a cut or retain strength for a long period. So what does that margin kind of look like? People ask this, so I think it’s a, it’s a, it’s a good question to answer.
Chris: That’s an awesome question. I’m gonna share probably a different perspective here too. I think it’s really, really hard not to lose strength on your free weight movements. If you’re doing incline barbell, you’re doing flat barbell, you’re doing barbell back squat. I basically expect all of that to eventually dip if you’re getting really, really lean because your leverages are changing quite a bit.
So interestingly, when I’m cutting right now, I do so many machine based movements that provide me with a lot of stability. So my force output can stay the same and my leverages don’t really change much cuz I’m using a machine. Can
Mike: you explain that, leverage this point just so people understand?
Chris: For sure.
So like, let’s say you lost 20 pounds on a cut and you’re used to squatting a certain way. Your center of mass now is a bit different. Like how much weight you have on the front side of your body and your, your lower abdomen region and how much weight you have on your glutes is different. So while you’re performing this back squat, your ability.
And your need to maintain that center of mass to perform the movement and not top over is actually changing as you’re cutting. So even though you’re performing the same movement and you have the skill of performing, the squat, neurological adaptations, and the biomechanics of you squatting at 200 pounds is different than you swatting at 180 pounds.
So even though it’s the same exercise, your body’s kind of needs to acclimate to where you are in space while you’re performing that movement. So the skill demand of that movement makes it more complicated. Same thing with like an incline. Barbell bench press, let’s say,
Mike: which is where I always would lose the most strength when
Yeah, I think some people don’t take this into consideration and it’s, it is small, but it makes a big difference as we’re losing fat on our chest and on our back. We’re kind of becoming slightly smaller this way. And if you are hyper focused on, okay, I need to touch my chest, so to speak, you actually might be performing like two more inches of range of motion now than you previously were just based on how your, your body has actually changed.
And with that said, if you’re working through a larger range of motion, you’re going to a more lengthened position on that movement. The muscles being stretched more, you’re actually weaker in that very, very stretched position. So doing something like potentially. Decreasing your range of motion at the very, very end of the movement might help you retain strength on some of those free weight pressing movements or just sticking to some machine-based movements where you have a, a ton of stability and your force output can stay really, really high because there’s less skill demands for that movement pattern can actually be a really good way to maintain your strength while cutting.
It’s a lot easier to do that.
Mike: And, and just because this is also been an often a, a follow up question where people wonder, why do they, do they just get stronger at when they add body weight, as they get fatter? They, we just get strong. Why is
Chris: that? Yeah. A lot of people will say it’s due to the leverages and movements fitting your body a little bit better.
Mike: had a, I always had a hard time processing that exactly. Like I get it on the bench. Like, okay, you’ve now reduced the range of motion because you’re fat. Like, okay, . All right, I get that. I get that. But how does that carry over to the squat, to the deadlift, to the overhead press? I don’t
Chris: quite get that. I honestly don’t think that there’s a good explanation for that either.
If your skeletal muscle is what’s contracting the load, uh, contracting to actually move the load that should be responsible for you, quote unquote, getting stronger. I think it’s totally normal. When you look at the power lifting sport, obviously the heavier weight class people are lifting heavier loads.
They also should have more muscle mass per inch of height, so to speak. Right? They’re heavier people, they’re stronger people from an absolute perspective, but not necessarily from a relative matched perspective. So yeah, I almost feel like, again, if, if people are focusing on those free weight movements that just require more, more skill, more stability, you can almost expect the strength detriments to be larger there.
Whereas, and, and what’s
Mike: that range? What does that look like? What do you expect you’re working with a client and what’s not a red flag, essentially? And, and at what point are you like, okay, this is, this is a bit much,
Chris: I’m kind of thinking off the top right now. I’m using numbers that I would see. I would say if you’re losing more than 15%, you need to reconsider what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.
Mike: and do you mean 15% on the bar just to maintain your
Chris: reps? Yeah. 15% of absolute load to work in the,
Mike: in the rep range, whatever it is. Like, okay, you could bench 2 25 for five and then now it’s 15%. Uh, let’s say it’s 25% less and that’s all you can get for five. Like all that’s a bit much.
Chris: Yeah. You just reminded me to, to mention something super important.
I also would say, I think it’s really important that people keep their maximum loading in for as long as possible, even if they’re losing reps. And then you can do more volume with with back off work. So let’s just say you were able to do 2 25 for five at your strongest, and it eventually drops off to four reps and it eventually drops off to three reps.
I would rather that individual do one set of 2 25 for those three reps, so to speak, and then do more back off work to accumulate volume and get more effective reps in so to speak. But I think it’s important if that skeletal muscle tissue is used to that absolute load of 225 pounds, I think it’s great to continue to keep that signal in, even if it’s for lower rep count and then get in your effective reps or your effective volume with back off weight.
That would be fine, but I think there’d be better off doing that than. Not touching 2 25 and now only doing two 15 and then eventually only doing 2 0 5. So even if your reps go down, try to keep those maximum absolute heavier loads in, even if that means you’re losing a few reps and then get more effective work on your, your lighter sets.
I like that.
Mike: I like that. I’m thinking in my. Cuts. So I can remember times where I was getting six with, with a weight, and by the end of the cut I was getting maybe three to four reps. But I, I totally agree with what you’re saying. I think that’s smart. And I guess I was just thinking, I guess I kind of accidentally done that , or, or maybe by the end of the cut I, I took five pounds off the bar, but I actually agree with your approach.
Instead of doing that, do that set of three, or maybe it’s even two, and just stay, stay acquainted with that heavy load and have a spotter, you know, push close to failure and, and then,
Chris: and then back off. Yeah, I think that’ll be really beneficial for people to like fight to maintain those heavy loads, even if reps drop down and then they can do more work with lighter loads or their back off such.
I think that’s a really good approach to
Mike: take. And a tip that I’ve always shared, and I think you’ll agree with it, is for advanced weightlifters, even when you start your cut, keep trying to make progress. Like don’t go into a cutting mentality and think that you’re just gonna be weak now and you can’t build muscle anyway.
So why bother? No push for progress train with the same mental intensity that you would train in a, in a lean bulk, even if you have reduced your volume a little bit or whatever.
Chris: But, but push. Yep. I totally agree. And um, another thing that’s related to that is when you are cutting, even if your total calories are coming down and your total carbohydrates are coming down, um, something I think is really beneficial is to keep your pre-workout meal and post-workout meal and intra-workout meal, keep that nutritional intake relatively the same as your improvement season or off season.
I think if somebody is, you know, eating 80 grams of carbs pre-workout and post-workout in their off season and overnight they drop it to 40, the likelihood of them seeing a performance detriment is gonna be higher. Whereas if you can reduce your calories from the meals furthest away from the workout window, It’s a lot more practical and logical to sustain performance and, and still keep recovery as good as possible.
Don’t just say, I’m, I’m in a deficit, so doesn’t matter where I pull my calories from. Like if you’re, if you’re trying to optimize Yeah. It’s gonna suck anyway. Whatever. Yeah. Yeah. Then you’re just thrown in the towel like too soon, like you’re not even fighting for it. Yeah.
Mike: Yeah. That’s a great point. Uh, you have to, you have to run in a few minutes, but one last, uh, scenario I wanted to just bring up for recom, and this is something I, I did experience myself and I’ve seen it in other people, is, is where you’ve had.
Maybe high quality, but imbalanced training. So in my case, for the first seven years of weightlifting, I did a bunch of upper body, like very little lower body and, and I gained maybe 20, 25 pounds of muscle. I had a big chest. It didn’t quite look the way like I did. I didn’t really do any incline or it, it was kind of lopsided, a little bit like very bottom heavy.
But I had a bigger chest. I had some arms. I had an upper body, 20, 25 pounds of muscle gain. And, and maybe let’s, let’s just, I mean, maybe it was a little bit fat. Let’s just call it 20, right? But still 20 pounds of muscle gain is not that, that you’re now definitely an intermediate weightlifter. But , I, I don’t know if I had done a single set.
I don’t think I had done a single set of a. Back squat, for example. Uh, like a free barbell back squat. I had done it on a Smith machine once every two months maybe. So then when I learned some things about training and about dieting, I started in a deficit because I was probably 18% body fat. And this was also me just kind of like scratching my own itch.
So I, I wanted to have abs and see what that looks like. And so that was motivating and I gained a lot of strength, which you’d expect with movements that are new, but it was a lot in my lower body, even in my upper body, by fixing some of my training, but particularly in my lower body. So w would you agree that that is also.
A specialized case of where you could have someone who has just really neglected a muscle group and it really has not grown nearly as much as everything else. And now they start to train that muscle group correctly, even though, and, and they are an experienced weightlifter and maybe they’re in a deficit cutting, but that muscle group is very responsive because it really didn’t get
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And I was kind of in a similar situation when I first started weightlifting, I was primarily focused on upper body and there was a time period where I was weight training a lot when I was way, way younger, and I just simply wasn’t eating enough. So I wasn’t maximizing my muscle building potential.
And then once I just started dialing things in, even though I’ve been training for three years, I had tremendous progress. I started training lower body, started eating enough protein, started eating enough total calories, and like three years into my training, I put on 15 pounds of lean mass rather. You know, a lot of people say, oh, that, that, yeah, I should have acquired that my first three years.
But I was doing so many things wrong that I had a huge growth spur three years down the road. So, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. So it’s
Mike: just something for people to think with. If there’s a muscle group that they know they’ve neglected and they’re gonna be cutting it. Might not be unreasonable to almost treat that as a specialization opportunity to ha maintain the muscle groups you’ve trained adequately and train that maybe it’s one or two smaller muscle groups or whatever, and try to make, try to make some progress during your cut because you might be able to, again, if those muscle groups have been
Yeah. Yeah. Absolut.
Mike: Awesome. Well, um, we are running down to, to, to the wire here, so, but we did, we did get to cover everything that, uh, I, I thought that it would be great to to hear from you on, and so again, I, I appreciate you taking the time. Why don’t we just wrap up with where people can find you, find your work.
You mentioned you’re now coaching Jen Pop. Does that mean that you are taking on clients? Do you want people to reach out to you?
Chris: Well, yeah. One thing I’ll mention is you, you can find me and my [email protected]. Gaines is spelt with a z and then specific to body recomposition material. Few years back in 2019, Jeff Nippert and I co-wrote a book, and you can find that on my website as well.
It’s the ultimate guide to body recomposition. So a lot of the stuff we talked about today, you can tell it’s very nuanced and context specific, and within that text we kind of paint different scenarios. Okay, you have a female. She’s this height, this weight has been lifting for X amount of time. We have a male that’s this height, this weight’s been lifting X amount of time, how we are approaching their nutrition and why and how can that be manipulated over time.
So if you’re looking for a resource, you guys can definitely check that out. And yeah, you can, you can find me [email protected]. I’m also on Instagram. I haven’t been super active on there, but still on there. That’s just my full name at Christopher dot Barca. And um, like Mike, if you’re cool with it, can I leave like a little, uh, discount code for these listeners?
Sure, yeah, yeah, yeah. So I’ll use Code Muscle and that would save you 20% off the Ultimate Guide to Body Recom. So you guys can check that [email protected]. And uh, feel free to DM me if you have any questions or shoot me an email at uh, chris competitive breed.com. And, uh, yeah, I look forward to hearing from you guys.
Mike, it’s always a pleasure chatting with you. I appreciate you having me on and uh, I look forward to the next one man. Same brother and, and
Mike: that email, just so people, is it competitive breed.com?
Chris: Yes. Chris at Competitive.
Mike: Awesome. All right, well, thanks again. I look forward to the next one as well.
Chris: Likewise. Thanks so much, Mike. Well,
Mike: I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful. And if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.
And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have, uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, mike muscle for life.com, muscle f o r life.com, and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.
I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.