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Is a glass of wine every day harmful if you account for the calories? What books have had a lasting impact on me? What are my favorite front delt exercises? Is watching porn unhealthy? Can you use machines instead of free weights? Is it ok to cut for 5 months? What happens after you reach your genetic potential? 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!

1:34 – Is a glass of wine okay every night so long as I count the calories?

5:09 – If you have reached your maximum muscle genetic potential, what’s the point of pursuing more?

16:24 – Is watching porn unhealthy? Why?

17:20 – Can you make a “day in the life” video?

25:09 – My free meal planning tool:

26:36 – Is it a bad idea to do the chest press with equipment rather than free weights?

29:29 – What are your favorite exercises for front delts?

30:36 – If I’m maintaining but still losing weight, how would I adjust my macros?

32:15 – What are some books that left a permanent impact on the way you think?

34:52 – Am I inferior for clinging to bro splits?

35:53 – How should I decide between the Thinner Leaner Stronger 3, 4, and 5 day split?

39:43 – What are your thoughts on masculinity these days?

40:19 – What made you decide to build a home from scratch?

47:58 – If I wanted to go on a slower cut for 5 months, is it okay to be in a calorie deficit for that long? 

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 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!


Hello. Hello, this is Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for another Q and A, the 38th Q and A, because I number them here on my little Google Drive where I have all of my material that I prep for these. So the 38th q and a, which is of course me answering questions every week.

I post on my Instagram, although I didn’t last week because. Got busy with other things and forgot, but usually every week, every Tuesday or Wednesday or so, I post a story on my Instagram asking people to ask me questions, and then I answer questions there on Instagram briefly, because you can only say so much in an Instagram story.

But then I bring everything over here to the podcast and answer the questions in. Detail. And so if you want to ask me questions and get answers, maybe get featured on the podcast, follow me over on Instagram at Muscle for Life Fitness, and look for that story that I put up every week. And so this week I’m going to be answering questions about wine.

Can you drink wine and get and stay fit? How much should you be drinking? What you should be thinking about when you have reached most of your genetic potential for muscle and strength, what you can do with your training to still keep it interesting. Some of my thoughts on porn and whether it is unhealthy, if it is okay to replace free weight exercises with machines, the pros and cons of plant protein versus whe for muscle building and more.

Okay. Vin Anonymous asks is a glass of wine every night. Okay. So long as I count the calorie. Sure, but I would recommend that that glass not be like 16 ounces or more of wine because wine has about 24, 25 calories per ounce. Many people who drink wine who are kind of new to this fitness stuff, new to energy, balance, and understanding calories and macros are very surprised to learn that wine has a lot.

Of calories, and if you are drinking hundreds of calories per day from wine, fruit, juice, soda, milk, whatever, it is going to make cutting significantly harder because those calories are not nearly as satiating as. Food calories, liquid calories, quote unquote count just as much as solid calories as whole food calories, but they are much less filling.

You can drink hundreds of calories of any beverage, really, so you can be hungry. Drink hundreds of calories, let’s say 500 calories of. Whatever beverage and be hungry 30, 45, 60 minutes later. Whereas if you ate hundreds and hundreds of calories of relatively unprocessed, nutritious food, you might be full for hours.

And hunger is the nemesis. When dieting, you have to figure out how to. Hunger because while you may be able to suffer through a week or two of a lot of hunger, nobody can make it for months when they are always hungry and healthy. Sustainable weight loss often takes months. If somebody has a lot of fat.

To lose. If somebody needs to lose 20, 30, 40 pounds of fat, you could probably average that out at somewhere around one pound of fat loss per week. In the beginning, they might be able to be a bit more aggressive because they have so much fat to lose, but then toward the end of their cut, they might have to lose a half a pound of fat per week.

And so if we just go with a, with an average of one pound of fat loss per week, we are looking at months of dieting. And even if we. Assume they can be a bit more aggressive and average one and a half or even two pounds of fat loss per week. Again, if somebody has 40 pounds of fat to lose, they are going to have to diet for a few months.

And generally speaking, the more calories they are drinking on a day-to-day basis, the less likely they are to stick to their diet well enough to reach their. Now, one other thing on alcohol, just a comment on health. I would recommend that you drink no alcohol whatsoever if you want to maximize your health.

Alcohol is a poison. The research makes it clear that there are no major health benefits to regularly drinking alcohol that outweigh the downsides. Some people’s bodies just deal with alcohol better than others, but even in those people, they would do even better still if they just didn’t drink alcohol.

But if that’s not an option, if you really enjoy alcohol or really need to drink it, then I would recommend limiting yourself to no more than one to two servings of alcohol per day on average. And in the case of wine, one serving is five ounces. Next question comes from train with Keith, and he asks If you’ve reached your max muscle genetic potential, what’s the point of pursuing more?

Well, you don’t have to pursue more muscle and strength. Like right now, I am more in a maintenance routine than a. Progress routine. For the last couple of years, I was pushing hard in my training following my beyond bigger, leaner, stronger program, and I did make progress. It was slow because I have more or less gained all of the, the vast majority of the muscle and strength that is genetically available to me.

But I knew that I could gain at least a little bit more muscle somewhere, and I could get at least a little bit stronger. And so I went for it. And that is the case with just about everyone. No matter how jacked they are, they probably can get a little bit more jacked. Now, the problem with that little bit is, It might be vanishingly small.

It might be such a small amount that they are never really gonna see it in the mirror. Maybe they could see it if they were meticulous with taking body measurements. So maybe they could see that they gained a small amount of size in their arms. Again, something that you wouldn’t be able to see in the mirror, you wouldn’t.

Feel it in your shirts. Maybe it’s like, oh, you gained a quarter of an inch or something. Not just your biceps, but let’s say biceps and triceps. Cuz triceps are like two thirds of the mass of the arms. So you have grown your arms over six months, a quarter of an inch. That is progress. You’re not gonna see it in pictures, you’re not gonna see it in the mirror.

Probably not gonna feel it in your shirts, but it’s there. Right? And so the same thing would go for other muscle groups, especially big muscle groups like the legs, the quads, for example. Very large muscle group that you probably can. Make a little bit bigger and a little bit stronger, even if you are already very big and strong considering your anatomy and genetics.

However, you are going to have to work disproportionately hard to make those quads just a little bit bigger and stronger. It might take six months of. Beating the shit out of your lower body just to register an improvement. And so anyway, that’s one option, which again, I did for the last couple of years.

And you have to also enjoy training of course, because the external motivation is almost gone. Again, because even if you execute well on your plan, you are not going to see much of a difference in your physique, and you are not going to be adding large amounts of weight to any bars or dumbbells or machines, but, if again, you enjoy training, you enjoy pushing yourself, and you want to make sure that you are progressing, even if it’s just slowly, if that sounds like fun, then you can do that.

Another option that people who have basically maxed out their genetics pursue is specialization routines, and these are workout routines that focus our most of our time and most of our effort. On usually one or two muscle groups or regions of the body. So lower body. For example, if you were running a specialization routine for your lower body, you would be training your lower body probably three times per week.

It would be high volume, it would probably be 15 to even probably closer to 20 if, if you are an experienced weightlifter and advanced weightlifter, you’re probably gonna be doing upward of 20 hard sets. So those are sets taken close to muscular failure. Per week for your lower body. That is very taxing of course, so you are not going to be doing nearly that much volume for all of your other major muscle groups.

You would reduce the volume to a maintenance level for basically the rest of your body when you are specializing in your lower body. So you might do. Let’s say six to nine hard sets per week for each other. Major muscle group for whatever the period is. Often specialization routines run for two to four months, and the idea there, of course, is to try to.

Gain muscle and strength as quickly as you can in the target muscle group. And the reason why those routines can appeal to us advanced weightlifters is even if we have gained most of the muscle and strength that we can genetically, we always have. Muscle groups that are a little lagging, that can be improved aesthetically to a significant degree with a relatively small amount of muscle gains.

So let’s use me as an example. I was about 155 pounds when I started weightlifting. Now I am 200 pounds. My weight. Between 200 and 202 pounds. I’m a bit leaner now. I’m around 10% body fat now. I started around 12% body fat, so I’ve gained close to, let’s just call it 50 pounds of muscle over the last 20, 21 years of weightlifting.

And if we compare that to the research on. The potential for natural muscle gain, which if you want to learn about that, head over to legion Search for naturally and look for an article on how much muscle you can gain naturally, and it will break it all down. But if we compare my results to everything I break down in that article, we see that that is a pretty good result.

That is a better than average amount of total muscle gain. For a natural male weightlifter, and that means over the entire lifetime of a natural male weightlifter 50 ish pounds represents the absolute maximum that most men will be able to gain regardless of what they do in the kitchen and gym. And so in my case, it would be.

Unreasonable for me to assume that I could gain another 10 pounds, another 15 pounds of muscle if I really wanted to, if I really worked hard at it. No, that is simply not true. Maybe I could gain another couple of pounds. It would take years, and it would take years of a lot of hard work, and I would have to also lean bulk.

I would have to consistently be in a calorie surplus and make sure that I was. Getting enough sleep regularly and managing my stress regularly, I’d really have to try to create a lifestyle that was maximally conducive to an metabolism, to building muscle. Now, what is also true though is that individual major muscle groups have a total potential for muscularity, for hypertrophy, for size and strength, and what is often the case with experienced weightlifters even.

People who really know what they’re doing is certain muscle groups are going to max out in terms of potential sooner than others. So in my case, I would say that my chest is as big and strong as it is ever going to be. And I’m saying that based on my long experience training my chest, and it also. Hyper responsive.

My pecs responded very well to training. So my chest grew quickly, uh, over the first couple of years compared to, let’s say, my lats or my calves, which have been under responsive. And so what that means then is, although I probably could only gain, let’s say, a pound of muscle per year at this point, and again, I have to work very hard for that.

A lot of that pound that is. Possible to be gained might be in certain muscle groups that I could focus on specifically. So if I recognize that my pecks are basically done as far as development goes, my quads also have responded fairly well. To training my hamstrings. Uh, my upper legs have responded well to training.

That isn’t to say that they could be bigger, but there’s not much more room for improvement. My arms not much room there for improvement, but maybe in my shoulders, and that definitely was the case years ago. In looking at pictures of my physique, it just was obvious to me that my shoulders were underdeveloped compared specifically to my.

Arms, my biceps and triceps, and so I spent some time specializing on shoulders. I was doing about 20 hard sets per week for my shoulders. I was training ’em three days per week, and doing that for a couple of years made a noticeable difference in my shoulders. If you look at pictures before and after, you can clearly see that I added some size to my shoulders and more recently, For the last several months now, I’ve been training my calves five days per week.

Well, four to five days per week. I was doing five days per week, and then I went to four workouts, four strength training workouts per week. Now I’m back to five, and so I’m doing three to four sets every day of calves in a variety of rep ranges, and my calves are. Growing because they were underdeveloped.

Now, how much absolute muscle have I added? Not very much, because calves are a small muscle group, and adding a pound of muscle to a calf would be like a complete transformation. Think of a 16 ounce steak, right? That’s a pound of muscle. Imagine adding that to your calf. That’s going from nothing to a maybe intermediate level bodybuilder.

Calf and adding two pounds of muscle to an individual calf. You do that and guys are never going to leave you alone in the gym. You’re going to be interrupted at least 10 times per workout with guys asking how the hell you got those calves? So anyway, my point with the specialization routines is many experienced weightlifters like them because it allows them to focus on muscle groups they care about, and muscle groups that can progress faster than other muscle groups that they may care less about or they may care about, but they simply can’t develop them any further.

And one other thing just to mention for. People out there who have reached most of their genetic potential for muscle and strength, or achieved most of their potential. Or if you have not achieved that yet, but you are working toward that, something to keep in mind is once you are there, you can also then start focusing more on strength, like start doing some more.

Pure strength training programs because if you have never done that, even if you have done a lot of squatting and bench pressing and overhead pressing and deadlifting, let’s say you have followed my programs for years, which are kind of a hybrid between strength training and body building. If you have never done pure strength training, you almost certainly will be able to get stronger than you currently are on the big exercises.

And some people find that fun. Okay. Sharia Soleimani asks, is watching porn unhealthy? Why? Yes, undoubtedly one is it’s a huge time suck. Two. It serves as an artificial substitute for real human connection. Three. It reduces motivation to actually go out and find a partner, have that real human connection.

Four, it increases time, preference. Five, it can lead to behavior that closely mirrors addiction. Six, it degrades the quality of your romantic relationships. And seven, it can create unrealistic expectations, sexual expectations, and reduce intimacy when you actually have somebody to have sex with. And if you don’t agree with those things, I think you will at least agree that porn creates unrealistic expectations about how quickly a plumber can get to your house.

Sandy Duggan asks Day in the Life video. You know, I’ve been asked to. Do something like this many times over the years to do vlogs, to give some insight into how I live and I haven’t bothered because my routine is very routine. I mean, 80% of my weekdays is wake up, usually around seven to seven 30. Go to the bathroom, drink some water, make some coffee, write for a couple of hours.

That’s usually what I’m doing in the morning. I have my schedule built out in time blocks, and it goes day by day. And I prefer that method because then I know exactly what I should be doing at each time during day. It’s kinda like meal planning, but for time and work, I don’t. To have to stop in the middle of the day and figure out what should I be working on next and why I like to front load all of that work.

I mean, it starts with planning. Like, all right, what are my plans for this year? Work and personal? What things do I want to get done? Okay, now how am I going to get those things done? Like what specifically needs to happen? All right, how do I fit those actions into my week? And make sure that I’m doing them frequently enough to achieve the plans and so forth.

So in the end, though, I have. A schedule Monday through Sunday, and I have my morning time block. That’s often for any sort of creative work because I, I tend to do my best creative work in the morning when I have the most energy. As my energy levels decline, I still can do creative work, but it just doesn’t flow as easily.

It takes more time to get to the same outcome. So I do that kind of work in the mornings, and then in the afternoons I’m doing email, I’m doing social media, I’m doing various meetings. I’m doing podcast interviews where I am interviewing people, which mostly means I just have to have good questions, which are created before the interview, and then be quiet.

That’s mostly interviewing. It’s not the same as having to sit down and write the next chapter in the next book. It doesn’t require as much cognitive energy, I guess you could say. So that’s the kind of stuff that I do in the afternoon email, if I didn’t already say that is the afternoon. And then my early evening block is usually for studying.

So, I’m always reading various things. I’m reading one or two books at any time, and then I also read articles and PDFs and things, and so I will often do that later in the day, early evening because it doesn’t require as much cognitive alertness and it doesn’t require as much energy to read and comprehend as it does to.

Things or have interesting conversations. And finally, these days I find that it is important that I get off screens between eight and eight 30 and give myself at least a good 45 to 60 minutes of no screens. Otherwise, my sleep is probably going to be impaired, and that is most days. Now there are some breaks, of course I should mention.

Every couple of hours I will go out and take a walk, take my dogs out for a walk, for example, or I will go do some football practice with my son who started playing flag football. Will do that for maybe 30 minutes, a couple of days per week, and some days in the morning, depending on when I’m getting started, I will start with some cardio.

Was pretty consistent for a while, five to seven days per week. But then my sleep got particularly bad after my last exposure to Covid. Unfortunately, that was my long covid experience, I guess, was. The covid insomnia, they call it the sleep problems that I think are actually the most common side effect of Covid at this point.

And so what was happening is I would have trouble falling asleep, and then I would wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall back asleep for a couple of hours. And so I was having to stay in bed until sometimes eight 30, even 9:00 AM just. Get enough rest to do what I need to do. And unfortunately, a lot of my work requires my brain to be working well.

It’s not just digging ditches. And so if I didn’t get enough sleep, if I forced myself to just get out of bed early and operate on less sleep, then was optimal. Sure I could do that, but I wasn’t able to do a good job in. Writing, which also then spills over into my social media and email marketing and even legion marketing, which I’m often writing things that often involves writing things and thinking about words and language and doing podcasts and so forth.

And so, because I had to spend more time in bed than I normally would, I stopped doing the cardio because. Just wanted to get a little bit of extra work done, but now that covid insomnia is mostly gone, I still sometimes have a little bit of trouble falling asleep, but I’m not waking up in the middle of the night and then being unable to fall asleep for a couple of hours, and so soon I’ll be putting that cardio back in.

Otherwise, I’ve just been doing it here and there. I’ve been going for walks every day and then hopping on my upright bike, which is what I like to do for cardio a couple of times per week. But when I was doing that, I was doing it first thing in the morning before anything actually, because I’ve found that my creative work is even better if I do some exercise first, which is supported by research because it just stimulates your brain and it gets feel good chemicals pumping through your body.

And your cognitive abilities are temporarily enhanced by exercise that’s been shown in research. So I would use that to my advantage normally. And so to bring this back to the question, I haven’t done day in the life videos because that routine. Is not very interesting. I think most people would just find that boring, that that’s what I’m doing.

Like 80% of my weekdays are exactly that, and on the weekends I am usually working three to five hours, sometimes playing catch up, doing things that I wanted to get done during the week that did not get done. And if that is not the case, then I usually use that time for extra study time to catch up on reading more articles and getting further in the books that I’m reading.

Or just kind of speculative exploratory stuff. Like for instance, recently I’ve been playing around with some of these AI tools to see if and how I could incorporate them into my work to make my work better or to get it done quicker. And that’s something that I would do outside of my normal. Must get done, quote unquote work because so far I’ve found a couple of places where I can speed things up a little bit with ai, but I haven’t found anything transformative and so I don’t wanna put a lot of time into something like that that may not produce much in the way of results.

I’ll do that outside of the stuff that is important that I want to make sure gets done because. It is producing results. 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 plan b u y 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 plan b u y plan. Enter your email address and you will get instant access. All right. Patty Chinoy asks Changed to chest press with equipment recently rather than weights.

Bad idea. No. No, not necessarily. If you are relatively new to strength training and you can use free weights without any issues, then you will probably gain muscle and strength a little bit faster doing, let’s say the barbell bench press versus a machine press, but, If something is hurting or you just need a workaround, or maybe you’re big and strong and you want to try something different, and you want to be able to push right up to failure with a, a very low risk of injury, then a machine can be great.

Laura Power asks. Pros slash cons to p slash plant protein versus WHE for muscle building. While research shows that whey may be superior to plant powders, even when the total amount of essential amino acids are matched, however, this would only be an issue like practically speaking, if you were getting, let’s say 50% plus of your daily protein from plant powders.

And you are struggling to gain muscle and strength. So generally speaking, P protein, that’s one of my favorite plant protein sources is P Protein because of the immuno acid profile and the bioavailability rice protein is great too, and I most prefer a blend of p and rice, and that’s why I sell a blend of p and rice.

Protein called Plant plus that you can learn about [email protected]. B U Y L E G I O If you wanna check it out. I take one to two scoops of it every day, and I also take one to two scoops of whey proteins. I like to mix them together actually, just because I like the taste and the.

Consistency anyway. You can do just fine with pea protein, with some plant protein sources. Again, P and rice are two of my favorites. Some other popular sources that I do not like are hemp protein because it does not. Have a strong amino acid profile, and it is also rather low in bioavailability. Hemp protein is more of a food supplement really than a, or like a meal supplement, I guess you could say, a nutritional supplement rather than a protein supplement.

So that is a popular source that I don’t recommend. And then you have some seed based proteins out there, pumpkin seed, for example. And you have some other more exotic type sources, coconut and quinoa. And a lot of those sources also suffer from the same drawbacks as hemp protein. And so if you want to go with a plant protein, I’d recommend P or rice.

Or ideally a blend of both. Hey there, it’s Carro asks, what are your favorite exercises for front elts? One Arnold Press two, landmine press and three barbell overhead press. Not necessarily in that order. Probably if I had to rank them, I probably would actually put the barbell overhead in the first position and I would say Arnold and landmine presses would be probably, Equal in, in my mind.

And the landmine press is particularly useful if you want a unilateral exercise, an exercise that allows you to train one limb at a time, which can be great for correcting or preventing muscle imbalances. And it also can help generate an effective training stimulus with less weight, which can be useful if your joints are feeling a little.

Beat up, or if you have maybe an issue with your shoulders that prevents you from being able to go heavy in a bilateral exercise, an exercise that trains both limbs at the same time, like a barbell press, for example. Okay, great. Danes asks if I’m maintaining but still losing weight, how should I adjust my macros?

So if you are maintaining and you are trying to just maintain your body composition, you are not trying to get leaner anymore because you like how you look, or you are just done cutting and you’re ready to eat more food and have better workouts, and you are still losing fat. And when you say losing weight, I’m assuming that you are tracking this properly, and that means actual fat loss.

Like for example, you are weighing yourself every day and then taking an average every, let’s say seven days and watching that average and that average is still slowly ticking downward. And maybe you are also noticing that your waist is also still shrinking, even if it’s just by a little bit over the course of every.

Few weeks then. Then yes, you are still losing fat. That means you have to eat more food. That means that you are still consistently in a big enough calorie deficit to create fat loss. And the easiest way to increase your calories and the most enjoyable way for most people is to just. Add carbs, like add 25 grams of carbs to your daily intake, so it’s about a hundred calories.

And then just reassess over the next couple of weeks using the methods that I just mentioned. And in the opposite scenario, if you’re trying to maintain and your weight is creeping upward, Your waste is creeping outward, then you just do the opposite. You just subtract 25 grams or so of carbs from your daily intake and see what happens.

Over the next couple of weeks, GB Jamin asks, what are some books that actually left a permanent impact on the way you think? There have been quite a. Here’s a, an incomplete list. One that is very recent is Die with Zero. That actually had a big impact on me that I will maybe expound upon in a book club episode.

I’ll do a book club episode on that book and explain a little bit of why that. Book was kind of profound for me. I didn’t really expect that, but it really did change the way that I think about work and wealth. So Die With Zero, that’s one. Um, seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Mastery by Robert Green.

Flow by Chicks, Mahaley, I believe I pronounced that correctly. The one thing really liked that, the war of. Art by Pressfield, the Magic of Thinking Big, which is not normally the type of book that I read. I mostly stay away from self-help slash self-development, and I really stay away from anything that is like pop development or pop self-help and Magic of Thinking Big.

Sounds like it’s one of those books, but I thought it was a lot more sophisticated than. Those books usually are, and I really liked it. Another one, getting Things Done by Alan Message to Garcia, or maybe it’s Garia and G a r c I A, that’s, that’s more like an essay than a book, but powerful message, extreme ownership by.

Jocko Wilin really liked that, and Atlas shrugged by a rand, and that’s not an outright endorsement of her ideology. I actually mostly disagree with some of her most fundamental premises. However, I think that she captured. Something very meaningful in that book and something that is particularly relevant to the current year.

The dystopia portrayed in that book is developing right before us here in the West, and given the many absurdities and grotesque of. History. It would be very naive to think that, oh, that couldn’t really happen here. Not now. Oh, yes it could. It is happening in real time. It is unfolding in real time as western civilization unravels in real time.

Duke, duke oh seven asks, I’m clinging to bro splits. Am I inferior? Oh, oh, yes, definitely. I, I’m getting some, some strong small human and small peepee energy here. I’m kidding. Of course, because when they are programmed, well, Bro splits can work quite well, actually, especially if you are new to weightlifting or if you are experienced and you’re just looking to maintain and make slow gains.

Or if you are looking to specialize, like I was talking about earlier, that often looks like a mega bro split because maybe you have like arms three days a week, or shoulders three days a week, and if you. To learn more about bro splits and how to use them and when to use them, just head over to legion

Search for bro. Split two words and you’ll see an article. What is a bro split workout routine? Check it out. Courtney Parker asks, how should I decide between the thinner, leaner, stronger three, four, and five day split? And in case you are not familiar, thinner, leaner, stronger is my bestselling fitness book for women, and it has three, four, and five day programs to choose from.

And so the answer is, Three days per week is going to work quite well. It’s going to produce probably, let’s say, at least 80% of your potential gains in your big muscle groups. So think of the big muscles that push and pull and squat, and with a, with a caveat, I’ll add an asterisk. To that statement, and that assumes that you are new to strength training.

If thin or stronger is the first, let’s just say well designed resistance training or strength training program that you’ve followed, then that’s the case. You can do three days per week and you are going to progress quite well. Now, four and five days per week will be a little bit better, but it’s mostly going to benefit the smaller muscle groups that you just don’t have time to dedicate a lot of direct.

Training to with the three days per week, for example, your arms and your shoulders, and also just because these days many women focus on their butt. Like many guys focus on their pex and biceps. If you train four or five days per week, it does make it easier to add volume to, let’s say glutes or any other major muscle group that you want to develop.

Faster. However, if you are new to strength training, you don’t need to do more than call it 10 to 12 hard sets, which again are sets taking close to muscular failure, difficult sets. You don’t need to do 10 more than 10 to 12 hard sets per week. Per major muscle group. If you do more, if you do, let’s say 15 or 20 hard sets per week for your glutes, and you are relatively new to strength training, you have not been doing it for, let’s say intermediate.

The intermediate stage begins usually in year two. Sometime in year two is when some things change. It gets harder to continue making progress, and you have to work a bit harder than in year one just to keep getting bigger and stronger. But if you. Are in your first year and you do 15 to 20 hard sets per week for an individual muscle group like glutes.

Research shows that you are probably not going to gain much more, if any more muscle and strength in that muscle group compared to doing just 10 to 12 hard sets for it. Per week. And so that’s why some people, smart people in the evidence-based fitness space argue that newbies really shouldn’t be doing more than three strength training workouts per week.

And I would agree if we were taking an 80 20 or 2080 approach like a. Preto principle approach. Again, those three workouts per week are going to deliver at least 80% of the potential results. However, if you want to obtain 90 or 95 or maybe even a hundred percent of potential results, then four or five workouts per week, it’s going to be needed for most people, unless your body is just hyper responsive to training.

And then also some people. Like going to the gym. They like the routine. Like I’m one of those people. I’m going five days a week, not because I have to, but I like the routine. I like breaking up my workday with a 45 to 60 minute strength training workout. And so many people who are new to strength training know that they.

Could just do three workouts per week if they really just wanted to focus on the most results for the least amount of effort or time. Sometimes they want to put in the extra time or effort just because they like it, and I think that’s fine. Caesar Baz asks insights on masculinity these days. Well, this, uh, isn’t a topic that I’ve read much or really thought much about, so I’m kind of just shooting from the hip here.

But I do think that. Western civilization will collapse if we snuff out the traditional masculine archetypes, the warrior, the king, the magician, the lover, and replace them with defeat androgynous creatures of appetites that live like self-absorbed animals, but worship themselves like Gods. Said physical asks, what made you decide to build a home from scratch?

So for those of you listening who don’t know, I am building a home, really. My wife is, she gets all of the credit because she has done basically all of the real work making this house happen. But the reason why, well, reasons why we decided to build a house are one, we didn’t like anything for sale in this.

Which is Ocala, Florida. A lot of equestrian stuff going on here. My wife is into riding horses and so that’s one of the reasons why we came here and there was one house for sale that we liked, but not enough to pay what they were. Asking and when weighed against building, it just wouldn’t have made sense to try to buy that house because for less money we could build something that we liked a lot more.

So why not do that? So that was one issue. Couldn’t find something for sale that we really liked. And another reason why we decided to build is we plan on living here at least part of the year, more or less indefinitely. I don’t foresee a scenario currently where we would want to sell this house that we’re building.

At some point, maybe we get out of. Florida, at least for the hottest months of the summer because we don’t like it. We don’t like when it’s 105 degrees and a hundred percent humidity and 11 on the UV index. I grew up in Florida, but I never was able to acclimate really to the summer, come to enjoy it like some people do.

And so anyway, that is another reason why we decided to build. We are going to be here for at least the next 10 plus years. If we were planning on leaving in the next three to five years, I would not build a house. I mean, one, it takes like a year and a half to two years realistically to build a custom home.

And so if we were planning on being here for no more than five years, well then we’re really only in the house for, let’s say three years. And why go through all of the trouble, right? But if it’s a location where, You could see yourself living for at least 10 years, maybe 20, maybe 30. Again, maybe you never sell the house.

Maybe that’s your home for the rest of your life, or maybe it’s a home base for the rest of your life. Then that. Is part of an argument, I guess you could say for why you might want to consider building. Another reason why we decided to build is we can afford to build something that we will really like, and I don’t think we will ever grow out of or get sick of.

I don’t see a scenario in the future where we have, let’s say, a lot more money and could do something even more over the top, bigger or more expensive finishes or whatever, and feel that we are missing out because we have this house that we built at a previous time in our life when we had less money.

So if you are thinking of building a house or thinking of what would have to happen for you to want to build a house versus renting or buying something that has already been built, you should think about what you can afford compared to your standards. So if compared to your current standards you can afford, what you would say is okay, it might not be worth going through the hassle because building a custom.

Home is a pain in the ass. Every single person I’ve ever spoken to, no matter how much money they’ve had, and no matter how much money they’ve spent, has said it’s a pain in the ass. It’s not fun. And that has been my experience and it’s been more of my wife’s experience than mine because she’s had to deal with more of the details than I have.

But if you are building a house and you wanna make sure that it is getting built correctly and you are getting exactly what you want, you’re gonna have to be there at the job site often, several times per week, minimally. My wife goes every day. You are going to have to talk a lot with your architect. If there are going to be mistakes in the plans that maybe you are going to have to catch because your builder’s just gonna do whatever is in the plans.

And there are always mistakes in the architectural plans apparently. That’s what I’ve been told, unfortunately. So there is going to be that ongoing process of you figuring out. That things didn’t get done exactly the way that you wanted, or things are now getting done the way that you thought you wanted them.

But now that you see them, there’s something wrong and you have to fix things like on the fly, kind of in real time and on and on, and on. So the only reason to do all of that, I think, is to get something that is minimally outstanding by your standards. I don’t think it’s worth it for just, okay. Unless there’s something outstanding, aside from the house.

Maybe it’s the location, maybe it’s the land. But if all of it is just okay, uh, I personally wouldn’t build a house under those circumstances. I would just go find something to buy. That is okay. And by the way, I used the word outstanding here deliberately. You could sub in maybe exceptional, but not really good or even great because what you currently consider really good or great, may not seem so really good or great later.

When you have more money and you have more expensive taste, maybe because you’ve experienced things that you currently have not experienced, like you didn’t even realize how much better a house can be with double the budget that you would be able to allot or that you’d be able to. Now. However, if you go for exceptional, outstanding, now chances are later, even with more money, it’s still going to be at least really good.

Maybe it’s no longer exceptional in your. Mind, but it’s still really good. However, really good or even great now may turn into just good or even, okay later. Again, if you get richer and you start to have richer experiences, you start going to fancier resorts and fancier homes of other rich people you meet along the way.

And so, And then finally the fourth reason why we decided to build is we lucked out on location. The property that we bought is in, I guess arguably you’d say, the best location in Ocala, Florida. And we got 35 acres, which is the size that we wanted. And so that has lifestyle slash quality of life implications as well as financial implications because.

Bought before the Covid surge began. And so when our house is done, we’re gonna be into it for a certain amount of money, but it is going to be worth probably close to double what we are into it for at least 60% more. I’m gonna say 60 to a hundred percent more. And obviously we couldn’t have predicted that we were gonna do that well on the property, but we knew that it was going to be a good investment, even though you shouldn’t be thinking about your primary home as an investment.

That was an added perk, I guess. Okay. Final question as are 3 0 5. Asks if I wanted to go on a slower cut for say five months, is it okay to be in a calorie deficit that long? Yes, absolutely. There is nothing wrong with slow cutting, but you might find it actually a little bit more difficult than cutting more aggressively, which sounds counterintuitive.

I know. But the reason is because generally speaking, the longer you have to diet, the longer you have to consciously restrict your calories. The more. Chances you have to mess it up. And that’s actually why I usually recommend that people be as aggressive as they can when they cut up to a point.

Obviously, I do not recommend a calorie deficit larger than say 25 to 30%, but I do generally recommend. People to lose fat as quickly as they can without suffering any major unwanted side effects, of course, because then you get your cut over with, and you can get back to maintaining or even lean bulking, which is more enjoyable.

Uh, lean bulking can actually be just as obnoxious as cutting in a different way after a couple of months. But maintenance is, is always enjoyable. A lot more enjoyable than cutting. 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 have. Uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share.

Shoot me an email, mike muscle for, muscle f o r 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.

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