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What’s the best cardio if you only have 10 minutes? Is drinking diet soda ok in moderation? What do I think about the 5:2 diet? Can you train heavy while also preparing for long-distance runs? What are my thoughts on biohacking? Are there different health effects between high-fat and high-carb diets while in a deficit? All of that and more in this Q&A podcast.
Over on Instagram, I’ve started doing weekly Q&As in the stories, and it occurred to me that many podcast listeners might enjoy hearing these questions and my short answers. So, instead of talking about one thing in an episode, I’m going to cover a variety of questions. And keep in mind some of these questions are just for fun. 🙂
So if you want to ask me questions in my Instagram stories, follow me on Instagram (@muscleforlifefitness), and if I answer your question there, it might just make it onto an episode of the podcast!
If you like this type of episode, let me know. Send me an email ([email protected]) or direct message me on Instagram. And if you don’t like it, let me know that too or how you think it could be better.
0:00 – Please leave a review of the show wherever you listen to podcasts and make sure to subscribe!
1:44 – What are your thoughts on Only Fans?
2:06 – Is diet soda okay in moderation?
6:03 – Are some people more carb tolerant?
8:04 – Do you foam roll?
9:39 – How is your calf training going?
12:22 – What investments do you think will have the greatest return during this recession?
15:05 – My free meal planning tool: buylegion.com/mealplan
16:33 – What is the best alternative to squats?
17:01 – What are your thoughts on biohacking?
17:43 – Do you always track macros or do you eat more intuitively?
20:40 – If you only have ten minutes for cardio, after lifting, do you recommend HIIT or LISS?
22:28 – What are your thoughts on the 5:2 diet?
24:30 – Are there any differences in health between high carb/fat diet when on a calorie deficit?
25:31 – Is it okay to train heavy weights while preparing for long distance runs?
27:52 – Who is the best world leader to have lived in history?
Mentioned on the Show:
Want a free meal planning tool that figures out your calories, macros, and micros, and allows you to create custom meal plans for cutting, lean gaining, and maintaining in under 5 minutes? Go to https://buylegion.com/mealplan and download the tool for free!
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
In because it’s just not relevant to my circumstances. Right now, my primary investment is Legion. Most of my net worth is in that business, and I am working toward bringing in a strategic partner, which will allow me to take some money out of the business, and then I will have to look more into investing.
How do I diversify this money now that I’ve taken it out of the business, but over the last several years, I have invested in stocks, just simple ETFs. I. So I don’t always post a new one every week, but usually every week or two on Wednesday or Thursday, I put up a story asking for people to give me questions, and then I go through all of the questions that get submitted and I pick ones that are being asked often or that are very topical or that are just interesting to me.
And usually I’m looking for questions that I haven’t answered a million times before, and I answer them briefly there on Instagram and then come over here on the podcast and give more detailed answers because I can only put so much into an Instagram. Story. Alright, so in this episode I am answering questions like, what’s the best type of cardio?
If you only have 10 minutes? Is drinking diet soda? Okay, in moderation. What do I think of the five two intermittent fasting diet? Can you train with heavy weights while you are also preparing for a long distance run? And several more. And again, if you want me to, At least review your questions. I can’t promise that I will answer all or any of them depending on what they are.
Follow me on Instagram at Muscle for Life Fitness and pay attention to my stories. Okay. The first question comes from c a a 1997. Thoughts on only fans, good or bad? Oh, it’s great. I mean, is there a bigger hallmark of an enlightened culture than depraved women degrading themselves for money from porn addicted sims, if there is one.
I don’t know it. Charlie o. Mac, Isaac, Charlie Omack. Isaac. Okay. He asks Diet soda. Okay. In moderation, or is it cancer water, . It’s definitely not cancer water. It’s totally fine. Basically, all of the alarming claims about the supposed dangers of diet soda and artificial sweeteners are false or very, very overblown.
That said, I would not recommend drinking a bunch of diet soda or just having a lot of artificial sweeteners every. Ever, because one claim that is panning out in research is that these chemicals may not be great for our gut health. And our gut health impacts many aspects of our overall health, performance and wellbeing.
And so if we want to maintain an optimally healthy gut and we. We probably don’t want to be having, call it six, eight, ten plus servings of artificial sweeteners every day forever. And many people in the fitness world do that because they take supplements. So they’re taking, let’s say, three or four scoops of protein powder every day that’s artificially sweetened.
And then they have some pre-workout, they have some post-workout, both of those artificially sweetened. Maybe you toss in a green supplement, maybe BCAs as well. That’s even more, let’s now add an energy drink on top of that and a diet soda or. You’re now up there that is many servings of artificial sweeteners every day, and that probably also will include artificial food dyes, which again, are not as problematic as some people would have you believe.
But I personally try to stay away from them. I guess my diet just doesn’t really contain things with them, but I personally, let’s put it this way, I would not be okay with, and I would not personally have the 68 to 10 plus servings of. Artificial food dyes every day in addition to the sweeteners. And those are a couple of the reasons why I went with 100% natural ingredients for my sports nutrition company Legion.
And I started Legion eight years ago now, and at that time there was some evidence. That artificial sweeteners may not be good for gut health. If I remember correctly though, at the time it was only in rodents and I made the call just because I was betting on that research panning out in humans, and I was thinking with my own health too.
I mean, I wanted to use my own products and I didn’t. Personally feel comfortable having all of those chemicals every day, and I that I also wouldn’t personally feel comfortable selling those products to other people and telling them to do it. And so I decided to go all natural, even though it costs a lot more.
To give you an example, it costs a lot more, even today with Legion, obviously much larger now than it was in its first year, second year, or third year, it still costs me anywhere from three to $5 a bottle for my powders to use 100% natural sweeteners and natural flavoring and. Oil coloring, which is just derived from like fruits or other foods.
And if I were to use artificial ingredients, I could bring that down to probably 50 to 75 cents. Certainly no more than a dollar. So think about protein powder. Think about pre-workout. So this year, Legion will sell, oh, I don’t know the number right off the top of my head. I’m gonna say six or 700,000 bottles.
Let’s just say five to 700,000 bottles of protein. Pre-workout and maybe, uh, you need to include post-workout to get there, but let’s just go with protein and pre-workout. And if I were to save two or $3 per bottle, that’s cost of goods savings. That means that money goes straight from the top line to the bottom line, and I don’t have any partners in leg.
And so that’s just profit that I have to pay taxes on and I could just take, so there’s a real cost to me personally in using natural ingredients, but I stand by it. I think it was the good move, the smart move. And I think now it’s uh, even better move, but. Uh, let’s move on. Duke, duke oh seven asks, are some people more carb tolerant than others?
Yes, absolutely. Some people do respond better to carbs than others, and that doesn’t mean body comp, though. There’s very little evidence that one person who quote unquote responds better to carbs is going to like gain less fat from eating carbs, for example, but certainly can enjoy how much you enjoy your, your diet, which is going to.
Compliance and that can affect your body comp. And so for example, some people find that if they eat more than a certain amount of carbohydrate in one meal, they get bloated and tired. They just don’t feel good. They don’t ever get a pump when they eat a bunch of carbs. Whereas other people, and I’m one of those people, I have a high sensitivity to carbohydrate in a good way.
And I know that from some DNA testing that I did some time ago, and it’s just in line with my experience. I can eat a large amount of carbs in one sitting and. Good. I get a little bit sweaty, even like I get a pump and I get no gassiness. I get no bloating, no lethargy, and I might be eating a hundred, 150, even 200 grams of carbs in one meal.
Again, other people, they would try to eat. That much carbohydrate and it might put them to sleep. And the same is true for total carbohydrate intake for a day. Some people find, I can think of some people over the years I’ve heard from what they find is if they exceed 200, 300, 400 grams of carbs per day, they get the same type of problem, the same type of reactions to a very high carbohydrate meal.
Their digestion gets messed up. They’re bloated all the time. They don’t have as much energy as they should have for all the carbs that they’re eating. They’re not getting the carbohydrate pumps, and they’re not seeing that effect in their workouts that you should see if you’re going from, let’s say 200 grams of carbs per day to 400 grams per day.
And so that’s just something to be aware of. There is a point where we just can’t stomach eating. Carbs. Ellie Kempt. N B P T asks, do you foam roll? No. Mostly because research shows that the way most people do it doesn’t probably do much. It maybe can reduce Dom’s muscle soreness, postworkout muscle soreness a little bit, but it seems to be mostly a waste of time.
I guess a caveat to that is if you have trigger points and you have like a Nobby foam roller or. If you have a flat foam roller and you can get to a trigger point and you can work on those trigger points, that can help tremendously. And trigger points are little points of pain that refer, usually it’s like hypersensitivity in an area, and usually that pain refers to another area.
So if you were to press on it, maybe the trigger point is in one of the muscles on your back and you press on it and then you’re now feeling it down into your biceps tendon, for example. And if you can work those and desensitize them, It can sometimes produce strangely, almost it seems like miraculous results.
Like, you know, you’re not able to bench press without some pain in your shoulder. You’ve tried so many things to address the shoulder and it just doesn’t go away. And then there’s a trigger point in your back and you have a massage therapist and they work that out, or you know of it and you work it out with like a lacrosse ball or something.
And then you can bench press with no pain, and so long as you keep that trigger point desensitized, as long as you don’t allow it to develop again, you simply don’t have the problem anymore. So a foam roller can help if you can get to some of those points, but. It doesn’t work usually as well as like a lacrosse ball or a spiky ball.
Okay. Next question. It’s just beige asks, how is the calf training going? Noticing any improvement. Yeah, absolutely. So what I’m doing for my calves, if you don’t know, is I’m training them every day. I’m in the gym four days a week right now, and I’m doing four sets every day. I’m in the gym, so 16 hard sets per week.
I am working in a variety of rep ranges. I’m doing some of those sets in the four to six rep range, some of them in the six to eight, and then some of them in the 10 to 12. And I have gained quite a bit of strength in my calves. I’ve been doing that for a couple of months now. So I’ve gained quite a bit of strength in my calves.
Like I’m I, I think I started, if I remember on the standing calf press machine, I believe I started probably two 20, let’s say for 10. I think that’s more or less correct. And now I think my. Was two 90 for six or seven. So getting up there, getting up there in, in strength. And I’ve also noticed an increase in size of course, and there is a, a good little rule of thumb here if a muscle group of yours is not growing, despite good programming and good eating.
Do what I’m doing. Do three to four sets, four to five days per week. So do a total of 15 to 20 hard sets per week for that major muscle group. And if you want to minimize soreness, train the muscle group every day. If that doesn’t really work for you, try to break those sets up into at least three sessions.
Try not to be doing 10 plus hard sets for any individual. Major muscle group in one workout and use double progression. So make sure you’re getting stronger. Don’t just fall into the routine of doing the same exercises, same weights, same reps. As you are getting stronger, make sure you are adding weight.
A double progression works really well. For example, once you hit a top of a rep range for one, two, or three sets, usually is how it works. You increase weight. And if you do that and if you stay patient, that muscle group will grow. And that’s really how specialization routines work, which I’m gonna be producing some more content on, I should be able to get into it in this next year, is specialization routines.
So, You need a routine to get bigger arms. Okay. Here is a three month routine or a four month routine, specifically focusing on arms. Now, we’re not gonna neglect anything, but we are going to train everything else a little bit less so we can get 15 to 20 hard sets direct. Sets for biceps and triceps, for example.
Actually, I probably wouldn’t do 20 direct. I probably would go for like 15 direct training for the biceps and triceps, and then the remaining five probably would come from pushing and pulling. But anyways. Next question. Jason Remer asks, what investments do you think will have the greatest return in this continued recession?
Well, this is an area that I’m pretty. In because it’s just not relevant to my circumstances. Right now, my primary investment is Legion. Most of my net worth is in that business, and I am working toward bringing in a strategic partner, which will allow me to take some money out of the business, and then I will have to look more into investing.
How do I diversify this money now that I’ve taken it out of the business, but over the last several years, I have invested in stocks, just simple ETFs. I. The name of them, V T I and vx, uss have put a fair amount of money on those, just total US and total global markets. Just trying to go for simple, steady growth, which obviously has been upended, but that’s okay.
And I have put a little money into some real estate and some mobile home park deals. I don’t know much about it. I know a rich guy who knows a lot about it, who is friends with another rich guy who does it, and so I’m just kind of riding their coattails, just because the first rich guy is also a longtime friend of my dad’s, and I trust him.
The guy just makes money. That’s what he does. He knows how to make money, so it was just an easy way for me. Make money on something that I could only give a cursory explanation of. I, I couldn’t really get into the mechanics of how that business, like what do you look for when you are wanting to buy a mobile home park?
Yeah, I could give you some high level bullet points, but I couldn’t break down the whole process. I, I don’t really know it that well, but I’ve bought some gold and silver over the years. Not that that’s so much of an investment as just kind of wealth preservation and disaster planning. If things got so bad, at least I have something there if I needed.
Trade my little junk, silver coins for money. I’ve bought some crypto, mostly Bitcoin bought back in 27 or 2018, put some money into it. And even with, uh, all the volatility of the last couple of years, I’m still up on that, but that’s just a long term. I’m just holding it forever to see what happens. I don’t really care about even the returns so much.
I look at that as gambling personally and in the short term, you know, I am looking to just invest more in my businesses right now. That’s where most of my money has, has gone over the last 10 years. Back into my businesses, my publishing business and my, and my sports nutrition business, because that’s where I got the best returns.
Uh, no other investments were gonna produce the returns that I could get in my businesses. And I have control over my businesses. At least I have a lot more control over my businesses than many other types of investments. Also, how would you like a free meal planning tool that figures out your calories, your macros, even your micros, and then allows you to create 100% custom meal plans for cutting, lean, gaining, or maintaining?
In under five minutes. Well, all you gotta do is go to buy legion.com/meal plan b u y legion.com/meal plan and download the tool. And if I may say, this tool really is fantastic. My team and I spent over six months on this thing working with an Excel wizard, and inferior versions of this are often sold for 50, 60, even a hundred dollars.
Or you have to download an app and pay every month or sign up for a weight loss service and pay every month, 10, 20, 40, 50, even $60 a month for what is essentially in this free tool. So if you are struggling to improve your body composition, if you are struggling to lose fat or gain muscle, the right meal plan can change everything.
Dieting can go from feeling like running in the sand in a sandstorm to riding a bike on a breezy day down a hill. So again, if you want my free meal planning tool, go to buy legion.com/meal plan b y legion.com/meal plan. Enter your email address and you will get instant access. Next question, CAIB F asks, what’s the best alternative to squats?
I know they’re the best leg exercise, but I hate doing them. Plenty of alternatives. You don’t have to squat to have a great lower body, strong muscular. You can do lunges, you can do the leg press, you can do the split squat. You can do the hack squat machine. You can do the pendulum squat machine if your gym has one that is a deceptively difficult.
I like the pendulum squad a lot. Next question is from Mary Anna 22 s. She asks, I’m assuming it is a girl. She asks, what is your opinion on biohacking? Uh, it’s basically all bullshit. That’s the unfortunate reality because the absolute. Best biohacks that they aren’t telling you about? Well, they’re things like getting good sleep and eating a lot of nutritious food and doing strength training and deloading in your strength training and not just running yourself under the ground and not drinking alcohol, and not using recreational drugs, and not looking at porn and reading books and managing stress levels and.
I think you get the point, Megan, nomadic fitness asks, do you always track macros or do you sometimes eat more intuitively? I generally eat more intuitively. I only track or measure if I’m cutting and I just wanna make sure that I’m not suffering from portion distortion where my idea of a certain amount of like rice or vegetables or whatever has just expanded.
Because that’s unfortunately what always happens is we, we almost always are eating more than we think we are. And so I will track or count or plan at least in the beginning when I’m cutting, just to get everything dialed in to kind of calibrate my expectations, uh, portion sizes and so forth. I think it’s also smart to do that every so often, even if you’re not cutting.
So if you’ve been eating intuitively for some time, and let’s say you’ve been noticing. A slow and steady fat gain that, that you’re not liking and you wanna see what’s going on. Audit your food intake by tracking or planning or counting your calories or macros for a couple of weeks, and you will probably find that again, you are eating more than you think you are eating.
It could be that the tablespoon of peanut butter is not really a tablespoon because the tablespoon that is a hundred calories weighs, let’s say 18 grams. I’m not sure that’s accurate. Be close though. And your tablespoon though is like 30 grams. Mm. Okay, so that explains something. And then the oatmeal that you’re eating, you’re thinking it’s about a cup of oatmeal, but that cup of oatmeal is supposed to weigh, oh, now I’m not sure what a cup of oatmeal’s supposed to weigh.
Let’s just say it’s 40 or 50 grams, but your cup is weighing like 70 grams. Oh, okay. Cuz it’s a heaping cup. So those quote unquote hidden calories all add up and it’s hard to catch that stuff unless you occasionally. Your intake. So for what I do though generally is I eat kind of the same stuff every day.
I eat stuff I like until I no longer am looking forward to it. That for me is the point when I start to make changes, when it’s time to make my salad, I’m gonna do that actually after I’m done here. And I really am not looking forward to it. I’m not getting any salivary response, and it’s feeling just like a chore.
Like I just have to eat this. Then I will make a change. And in the case of a salad, I’ve been eating a salad every day for a long time, and I just make changes to the ingredients sometimes, you know, I recently started adding some goat cheese that was a nice addition. Maybe some like little crunched up chips.
That was a nice addition. Different kind of vegetables you can throw in there. Especially if they’re cooked, that can make it different enough to prickle the, the pleasure processors. You can make various changes in the dressing. That often is enough where the salad itself doesn’t really change, but you start using different dressings, making different dressings, and so I just do that basically with all meals.
And then my portions don’t, uh, really change because my meal templates are not changing. It’s just some of the ingredients that go into each meal change. Ms. Cape asks, if you only have 10 minutes after lifting for cardio two or three times a week, would you do hit. Or lis, so hit high intensity interval training or lis, L a s s, low intensity, steady state cardio, and I would do hit here because it’ll burn quite a few more calories in those 10 minutes.
I would probably do like some sprints on the air bike if my gym had one or on an upright bike or ACU bike if it didn’t have an air bike. If that wasn’t an option, I’d look for a rowing machine, basically something that is no impact. And if the only option were a treadmill, then I would probably run sprints on the treadmill.
But I’d have to pay attention to my recovery because sprints certainly on concrete, they, and I’m speaking, I can remember in my twenties, there was a time when I would go out and I’d run sprints for probably 15 to 20 minutes outside on con. And I was in my twenties, so I was as physically invincible as I ever was going to be.
And I had to stop actually because my hips, particularly my hip flexors, they would get so sore that it was actually getting in the way of my squatting and deadlifting. And it, it also sprinting on on concrete puts a lot of stress on your joints. And although I. Notice anything in that way. When I was younger, I probably would notice that now I’d notice a little bit in my knees.
They would not feel as good. Like they’d probably be a bit sore in my squatting. And so I would avoid that. And if you don’t even have a treadmill, which is gonna be less impact, then you can run on grass that is better than running on the concrete. You can also. Up a hill, like a grassy hill. Obviously it can’t be too steep, but that’s even better in that you can get the intensity with less speed, which means less force, less impact.
Okay. Practical self dev asks thoughts about a five two diet. Optimized for fat loss. Uh, more protein five two is totally fine, which so, you know, this is basically where you eat the way that you normally eat five days a week and then you eat a lot less two days a week. Sometimes it’s pure fasting. I don’t think those protocols generally recommend 48 hours of fasting, so those two days are not back to back.
It’d be a 24 hour fast twice a week. Other. Two iterations allow you to eat 600 to 800 calories two days per week, and that’s the one I would choose. By the way, out of the two, I would only eat protein basically, and that is a viable way to lose weight. You eat as you normally do five days a week and then two days a week.
Don’t have to back to back up to you whenever, just two days a week. You are only eating, let’s call it 150 ish grams of protein. Obviously there’s gonna be like trace amounts of fat, maybe trace amounts of carbs. If you wanna throw in some vegetables. Um, you don’t wanna exceed 800 to a thousand calories.
So a lot of protein, maybe a piece of fruit, maybe. Little bit of vegetables maybe, but that’s it. Two days a week, that can work quite well, so long as you don’t accidentally eat more on the five days to compensate for the two days. You should know though that that’s an effective way to slowly lose weight.
You’re not gonna lose fat rapidly with that approach just because the weekly calorie deficit that’s required to lose even a pound of fat per. Is about 3,500, maybe even about 4,000 calories. And chances are, unless you’re a big dude or a very active woman, you are not gonna be in a, call it 1500 or 2000 calorie deficit.
On those two days, it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be a smaller deficit. It’s gonna be a thousand, maybe 1500, maybe at most, you know, 17, 1800 calorie deficit. But that means that you can lose anywhere from probably one third to. Two thirds, maybe a pound of fat per week using that five two approach. So SIB one asks, are there any differences in health between high carb slash fat diets when in a deficit?
Well, I would argue that high fat, low carb. Loses on one and possibly two important points. The first is cortisol levels are generally higher when carbs are low and high. Cortisol makes cutting harder, makes life harder, and then two, high fat, low carb cutting can result in poor nutrition depending on food choices because of how little fruit and vegetables can fit into your diet.
If you only have 50 grams of carbs per day, you are simply not going to be. Eat a few servings of fruit and 4, 5, 6 servings of vegetables every day. You’re just not gonna be able to do it. And when calories are restricted, it’s even easier to develop nutritional insufficiencies. It would take a lot of calorie restriction to develop full-blown.
Deficiencies, but it’s easier to develop nutritional deficiencies when calories are restricted cuz reading less food. Cendra 2 46 asks, is it okay to train heavy weights while preparing for long distance runs? Yes. Yes it is. But you are going to have to manage your volume properly. And by volume, let’s just say hard sets, sets taken close to muscular failure, strength training here.
And the reason that is important is the volume of your hard sets is really what drains us. That’s really what causes systemic fatigue. That’s what makes training most difficult to recover from. Not the load per se. Many people get. Mixed up. They think that it’s the heavy weights that are the hardest to recover from.
Not the lighter weights, but more sets. So like for example, many people would think that three sets of five with let’s say, you know, one or two good reps left, so pretty close to muscular failure. On the back squat, they would say the three sets of five is harder to recover from than let’s say 4, 5, 6 sets.
Eight or 10 or maybe even 12 reps. Now, inexperienced weightlifter wouldn’t say that because anybody who has done that, anybody who has done six sets of 10 on the barbell squat close to failure, knows that that is so much harder. So much harder in every way physically and psychologically and emotionally than the three sets of five.
Now, the three sets of five is harder on the joints. That’s true. So people with joint issues or who just want. Reduce joint stress for a period will reduce the load and they will just increase the reps per set and they’ll find that their joints feel better, but they are putting a lot more stress on their body as a whole joints excluded.
The amount of systemic stress is much higher with the additional sets. Uh, even if it’s. Wait. Okay. Last question comes from Sam j Smith 25, and he asks, who is the best world leader to have lived in history? Well, uh, that I’ve read enough about to have an opinion on. I would say. Number one is probably Caesar Augustus.
Number two would be William the Conqueror. Number three, Cyrus the great number four, George Washington, number five, Julius Caesar, and number six, Alexander The Great, even though he was a terrible administrator, but his military exploits are legendary, obviously, and he’s just one of my favorite characters in history, so I gotta put him on the.
Well, 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. 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.