How should you deal with workout slumps? Is reverse pyramid training better than standard pyramid training? Should you do cardio while bulking? Are ashwagandha and tongkat ali supplements worth taking? 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!
1:40 – What are your thoughts on plasma donations to pay for Legion products?
2:09 – Does your carb intake and fat intake matter when you are on a weight loss plan?
6:00 – What is better for progression, reverse pyramid training or standard pyramid training?
11:20 – What are your thoughts on metabolic eating?
12:47 – Do you have a favorite song on your playlist?
14:21 – Is retinol okay to use? Will it have adverse effects on my training?
15:22 – Do magnesium supplements help with sleep?
16:13 – What are your thoughts on Elon Musk and Twitter?
18:03 – Find the Perfect Strength Training Program for You: www.muscleforlife.show/trainingquiz
18:51 – Do you still get workout slumps?
29:51 – Does walking provide the same health benefits of cardio?
31:22 – What’s the update on your Legion probiotic?
32:26 – Should I prioritize training or sleep when sleep deprived?
34:31 – How does alcohol affect building muscle?
35:33 – What are your personal and fitness goals for 2023?
41:12 – How useful is cardio during a bulk?
42:37 – What is the update on BLS 4th edition?
44:24 – Do you have any advice for getting picked up as a new author?
45:59 – What are your thoughts on ashwagandha and tongkat ali?
47:23 – What are your thoughts on myo-reps?
Mentioned on the Show:
Find the Perfect Strength Training Program for You in Just 60 Seconds: http://www.muscleforlife.show/trainingquiz
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hello there. I’m Mike Matthews. This is Muscle for Life. Thank you for joining me today to hear another q and a episode where I answer questions that people ask me. So what I do is once a week, usually it’s on Wednesdays or Thursdays, I post a story asking people to ask me questions. You know, the little question sticker on Instagram, and then I get a bunch of questions and I go through them and I pick ones that are interesting to me or just topical things that a lot of people are talking about or asking about.
Or that are perennial questions. Questions that people have been consistently asking me since the beginning. And I’m usually looking for things that I haven’t already answered a million times before. And then I answer them there on Instagram and then come over here on the podcast and share the questions.
And then expound a little bit on those answers because I can only give so much information in a a little Instagram story. And so if you want me to answer your questions, follow me on Instagram at Muscle Life Fitness. Look for that story every week and submit your questions. Alrighty, so this week I’m going to be answering questions about pyramid training versus reverse pyramid training, which is better for what and why.
Met. Eating as it’s called. This is a little bit of a trend that somebody was asking about magnesium for sleep. Does it help what to do when you are in a workout slump when you are not enjoying your training, not looking forward to your training? I talk about walking and cardio benefits. Is walking enough or to get the many benefits that cardiovascular training can give you?
Do you need to do more than walking? And I answer a question about alcohol and muscle. And more
aromatic extracts asks thoughts on plasma donation to pay for legion products gains killer. No, definitely not a gains killer. Studies show that it may cause a slight decrease in endurance. Exercise in particular, but the evidence is limited. It’s not exactly clear that that is even the case. And if it is the case, the effect appears to be minor.
So go ahead, AZ Math and Z asks, does your carbon intake and fat intake matter when you are on a weight loss plan? Yes, it matters, but not for the reasons that many people. Think so, you’re gonna want to have a minimum amount of dietary fat for health and palatability. You try to go too low fat and it’s not great for your hormones.
Uh, it’s not great for other aspects of your health, and it makes a diet very hard to stick to because try to make a meal plan that only has 20 to 30 grams of fat. Per day, for example. So I would say, let’s say don’t go below 20% of your total daily calories from dietary fat. Now you can find examples of evidence-based smart natural body builders who will go as low as 15 or even 10% of total daily calories from fat toward the end of a contest prep.
So they’ve, they’ve been dieting for many months and they are super shredded and they’re trying to get even more super shredded. And so, They cut their fat down to, uh, as close to, to, to nothing as they can get it because they’re trying to eat as many carbs as they can to retain their muscle, to retain their workout performance, uh, to retain muscular size, you know, intramuscular fluids, but that’s not applicable.
Probably anybody listening, so for anybody listening, if you’re just looking to get into great shape and stay healthy and feel as good as you can while you are cutting, get at least 20% of your daily calories from dietary. Fat. Now as far as carbs go, a minimum of carbs helps with nutrition, right? Because you’ll want to eat plants and stuff and those have carbs and a lot of nutrients, and it also helps with satiety and workout and performance.
So a, generally speaking, a higher carb diet is more filling than a lower carb diet because out of the three macronutrients that we pay attention to in our dieting, our protein, our carbs, and our fat protein is the most filling. Carbs are the second most. Filling and fat is the third most filling, uh, as if we’re, if we’re looking at them as individual macronutrients.
Now, the most filling of all research shows is a mixed meal, so a high protein meal with a, with a good portion of carbohydrate, as well as some fat, that’s the most filling meal. . But as as far as individual macros go, protein and carbs are more filling than fat. So you’re gonna want to have a minimum amount of carbohydrate in your diet.
So you are as satiated as you can be when you’re cutting, and it’s also good for your workout performance. And I would say, I would set the, the floor at 20% of daily calories, at least 20% of daily calories from carbs. But, uh, most people will find that they do better with more. And not less carbohydrate.
So if you can get that up to 40%, uh, probably no need to go higher than that. When you are cutting, if you are lean, bulking or maintaining, you certainly can go higher because you have the room to go higher. You have a lot of calories to work with. You can get plenty of protein, plenty of fat, and you have a lot of calories left over.
So you might be able to. Get 50 or even 60% of your daily calories from carbs, especially if you’re lean bulking. But when you’re cutting, it’s, it’s not very feasible to go above 40%. But that’s where I like to start. Most people, if I’m, if I’m just giving one size fits all advice, that seems to work best for most people, it is start at 40% of daily calories from carbs.
All right. Calum Moore 93 asks, what is better for progression, reverse pyramid training or standard pyramid? Well, R P T reverse pyramid training is definitely better for strength and that is going to be better for long-term muscle gains. So I will take r p T over tradit. Pyramids, but traditional pyramids are easier on your joints because the weights are lighter and they do still generate an effective training stimulus.
Uh, it’s just not a great way to periodize your training if you are trying to maximize progress. So R P T, reverse pyramid training is going to be better for that, and it just occurred to me that I haven’t defined my terms. So in a reverse pyramid structure, you are. , let’s say you’re doing four sets of an exercise.
You are doing your heaviest work first. So let’s say you start with a set of twos or a set of fours with, you know, if it’s twos, maybe it’s 90% of your one rep max, or maybe even 95. If it’s, if it’s a, a set of four, maybe it’s 85% of your one rep max. And then in the next set you might do eight reps and then, or six reps.
Uh, you take a little weight off the bar, of course. You do more reps and then in the next set you might do, let’s say, 10 reps with maybe something around 70% of one rep, one rep max on the bar and in your final set. In this scenario, maybe you do a set of 12 or 15 reps that is reverse. Pyramid training because a traditional body building pyramid works in the other way.
You start with the lighter weight, you would start with let’s say a set of 12 with 70% of one rep max, and then you do a set of 10 with maybe 75% of. One or m and then you would do a set of eight and a set of six. And again, that can work. But the problem with that traditional pyramid, if you are really trying to push for progress, really trying to gain muscle and strength, is you are simply not able to handle this.
Same loads with your heavier sets as you would if you were just doing fours or sixes, or doing reverse pyramid trading, starting with fours or sixes, because that first set, let’s say the first two sets are 12 reps and 10 reps. Those are hard fatiguing sets. If you’re taking those sets close to muscular failure, that produces residual fatigue, that is going to impair your performance in the next two sets, let’s say those are fours and sixes, your heavier sets.
and that matters because if you want to gain muscle and strength, you want to generate large amounts of tension in your muscles, and you want to generate larger and larger amounts of tension in your muscles over time, that is progressive tension overload or progressive overload. That’s the most effect.
Mechanical way to drive muscle growth and muscle growth drives strength gain. Uh, at least after your honeymoon phase, after your newbie phase, after you’ve learned proper technique on the big exercises and you’ve gained most of the skill that you are going to gain on those exercises, from that point forward, most of the strength that you are going to gain is going to come from gaining muscle.
And what is the most. Way to continue to generate larger and larger amounts of mechanical tension in your muscles. It is to get stronger. It is to add weight to the bar. Now, there are other ways to progressively over overload your muscles. You can do more reps each week. You can do more sets each week.
But the most effective way is. Using more weight for the same number of reps gaining strength. So if you start the year squatting 225 pounds for six reps and you end the year squatting 275 pounds for six reps. That is progressive overload, and that is the most effective form of progressive overload. So you want to set up your training to primarily, to first and foremost produce that more strength in every major muscle group.
Now you might use more reps and more sets in one or two, one or two other. Uh, let’s say subsidiary. Methods of progressive overload to allow you to gain that strength, to allow you to add weight to the bar or to the dumbbell or to the machines, but you don’t want to make more reps or more sets the primary target of the program, the primary method of progressively overloading your muscles.
You want to use those things to achieve the proper primary method, which is getting stronger and. For those reasons, reverse pyramid training generally is just gonna be more effective for gaining muscle because it’s going to produce larger amounts of tension in your muscles over time that get progressively larger and larger compared to.
Traditional pyramid training, and if you wanna learn more about R P T and how to do it, how to incorporate it into your training. If you want to give it a try, head over to legion athletics.com, search for Reverse pyramid, and you’ll find an article that I wrote on it. Alrighty. Charity Lay Smith asks, metabolic Eating.
Been seeing a lot about it, especially for women. Thoughts. Well, usually this is just a buzzword that is, Term, I guess you could say, a compound term that is just used to convince women, and these are usually women who want to lose weight, that they need to eat more food, not less to achieve their body composition goal.
And that is literally never the case. If your weight loss is stalled, the only way you can break through a weight loss plateau or consistently lose more weight by eating more is if you eat more and move a lot more and do a lot more exercise. And that is often what happens with some of these success stories of metabolic eating.
And that is often what you are not being told is that, yes, this woman went from eating. 1300 calories to 1900 calories per day, and she looks a lot better. Her body composition has changed a lot. She clearly has lost a lot of fat and gained a lot of muscle. How did that happen? Well, she also went from exercising one hour per week, two five hours per week.
And if you want to learn more about weight loss plateaus, head over to legion athletics.com, search for Weight Loss Plateau, and you will find an article that I wrote on it. Alrighty, Dan Yev D seven asks, your playlist has such variety workout playlists that I share on Instagram now and then, and if you want to check it out, you can find [email protected] slash playlist.
So they. , your playlist has such variety, but do you have an outright favorite song on there or genre? So what I tend to do is I will listen to nothing but one genre, like electronic or rock or um, some of the other stuff in this playlist, or I’ll listen to nothing but a slew of songs, maybe five or 10 songs, or even a, a single song on repeat.
And I’ll just kind of listen to the same. For weeks and weeks and weeks, and then I’ll move on to something else and I will not come back to that genre or that bunch of songs or that individual song for maybe months. And I’ll also have songs. Specifically for certain exercises. So, uh, particularly squatting and deadlifting.
And currently I’m liking some of the recent electronic stuff that I’ve added to my workout playlist for squatting and deadlifting. And there’s one song in particular that I still really like, I haven’t gotten sick of it yet. It’s on my playlist. Uh, it, it’s called Insomnia by Montel 2099. Uh, anyway, if you wanna check out.
The playlist again, muscle For Life. Show slash playlist. Daniel Mufti one asks, is retinol okay to use? Will it have adverse effects on my training? Uh, yes, it is okay to use, but you don’t want to take too much of it. So what I do is I include a small amount in my diet from cod liver oil, so it’s maybe 500 to a thousand micrograms of Retin.
Per day because the carotenoid to Vitamin A conversion can vary widely based on the foods that we eat and our genetics. Some people convert very well and don’t need retinol. Some people convert. Um, Mediocrely and could benefit from a, at least a small amount of retinol. And some people convert carotinoids to, um, vitamin A very poorly and could really benefit from retinol supplementation.
Uh, I do not recommend that you exceed a thousand micrograms of preformed a or retinol per day, however, Francis w Bentley. Asks, is it a good idea to take magnesium supplement to help sleep at night? Uh, yes. Research shows that 500 migs of magnesium per day can improve your sleep in several different ways.
It can help you fall asleep faster. It can help you stay asleep longer, feel more rested the next day. And as for. The forms ssom, magnesium has been shown to be the most bioavailable, and after that you have magnesium citrate and oxide that are, and then, um, uh, glycinate as well that look to be about equal in, uh, bioavailability.
And it is decent, decent biovail. Very good vi bioavailability with suso, though. All right. Gabriel Davidson asks any current opinion on Musk slash Twitter? Oh, it’s great. It’s, it’s a big, beautiful, delicious Shain Freud sandwich before Musk 75. Hundred employees. Oh, okay. Okay. It makes me think of the movie office space.
If you haven’t watched Office Space, you gotta watch it. It’s a classic Mike Judge. Fantastic. And there’s a scene in it where, who were these guys? Were they like consultants? They were guys brought in to assess the productivity of the various employees and figure out who to fire. . And in one scene they were interviewing a guy who worked with the customers and were trying to figure out what he actually did.
What does that mean? And so there’s a line where one of them is like, so what would you say you do here? That, that’s the flashbulb memory that I get when I think about the Twitter situation. And so now that most everyone has been fired, the only thing that has seemed to change over at Twitter is they’re actually deleting kitty porn now.
And a fun little thought experiment is if you can fire 90, 95% of the people at Twitter with. No noticeable change in the quality of the product, the quality of the service. I wonder what we could do with the federal government. Anyway. I would love for Ilan to next move the Twitter HQ to Texas and to just remove it from any country that doesn’t allow free speech and to take away Stephen King’s Blue Check.
Have you ever wondered what strength training split you should follow, what rep ranges you should work in, how many sets you should do per workout or per week? Well, I created a free 62nd training quiz that will answer those questions for you and others, including how frequently you should train each major muscle group, which exercises you should do, what supplements you.
Consider, uh, which ones are at least worth taking and more to take this quiz and to get your free personalized training plan, go to Muscle for Life, show Muscle O R Life, do show slash training quiz, answer the questions, and learn exactly what to do in the gym to gain more muscle and. Hello. John asks, do you still get workout slumps where you’re not as focused as you’ve been before?
Yes, absolutely. I was just experiencing that recently, a couple of months ago actually, because I was training hard. I was pushing myself hard for about two years, and I made good progress. I gained at least a little bit of muscle. I gained a little bit of strength, but I was having to eat a bit more food than I wanted to eat, so I was a little bit fatter.
Wanted to be. And I was spending more time in the gym than I wanted to spend because I had to do longer workouts to get in enough weekly volume to consistently make progress. And I was feeling it a little bit more in my body just again, because my training was, was pretty intense. It was basically my beyond bigger, leaner, stronger program.
So if you check out my book Beyond Bigger, leaner, stronger, you download the bonus material, uh, and you will see exactly what I was doing. I was following. , the workouts actually in that bonus material. Those are workouts that I myself made, uh, first and foremost for myself, but not just for me. I, I’ve just run them myself for a long period of time, which I always like to do before I release a program.
And it was, it was fun for a bit, but then it was less fun because I didn’t really care. Push that hard and do everything that I needed to do to keep gaining inconsequential amounts of muscle and strength, like inconsequential in the scheme of things. And that’s because I’ve gained most of the muscle and strength that is genetically available to me.
So I have to work really hard just to gain maybe a pound max, two pounds, but probably closer to a pound of muscle. And by that I mean work really hard for like a year. that at this point would be a good year. Between one and two pounds of lean tissue gained would be considered a good year at this point.
And so I was training, training, training, just. Pushing, pushing, pushing, and was losing motivation to keep training at that intensity and keep pushing and keep eating. And so I changed my training. I reduced the volume, and I now spend less time in the gym. So instead of doing like 16 hard sets per workout, I’m doing 12 hard sets per workout, and three of those sets every workout now.
For my calves, which is working well, by the way, I’m doing 15 hard sets per week for my calves. A variety of rep ranges as high as 12 reps per set, as low as four reps per set. I’m doing a combination of seated and standing. Cal phrases because the seated and any bent leg calf phrase is good for targeting the soleus muscle and the standing calf phrase any straight leg calf phrase.
So that could also be like a calf phrase on a leg press that is better for focusing on the larger gastro anemia muscle. And I haven’t been taking measurements. and it just occurred to me that maybe I should have been taking measurements, but I have been recording a lot of my workouts so I can see my calves are growing, clearly are growing.
I think that another year or so of this, and I probably. Will officially not have small calves anymore. Now, body building standards are probably not attainable for me because, uh, in body building, your calves are supposed to match your upper arms. So if you were to flex your arms and wrap a tape, measure around them at the peak of your biceps and the thickest part of your triceps, and then flex your calves and rapid tape measure, uh, around them at the largest point that should be the.
Measurement and so I haven’t measured my arms recently, but I would guess they’re probably around 17, 17 and a half inches. I’ve measured them a number of times in the past and they basically are always in that range. Whereas my calves, when I started my little calf blitz were probably. 14 and a half to 15 inches, probably no bigger than that, and now are probably 15 and a half to 16 inches.
And so we’ll see. Maybe I can gain another inch and a half of my calves. Uh, I am skeptical though because I started, when I started weightlifting, I basically had no calves. Like my dad has no calves. He has ankles that go to his knees. Nothing. And I played a fair amount of ice hockey and roller hockey as a kid, which works your calves, so you would think that I would’ve gotten some calves from doing that, but I did not.
I had to start from almost nothing. And so my calves have also been just very resistant. Two, um, resistance training. And that’s probably because research shows that the calf muscles are typically predominated by type one muscle fiber, which is resistant to growth and is more of an endurance muscle fiber.
It’s not a, a strength and size and force and power muscle fiber. That’s the type two muscle fiber. And so for those reasons, it’s taking a lot of training just to see, uh, slow and steady progress in my calves. it is working. And so I’m just sharing that as simple advice for anybody who wants bigger calves, who has trained them a lot but has never went up to 15 to 20 hard sets per week and done heavy calf training.
And that also works with really any major muscle group that is very stubborn if you have trained it a fair amount and it just has not responded the way that you wanted it to or the way that other muscle groups have responded. Push up to 15 to 20 hard sets for that major muscle route per week. Do anywhere from three to 10 sets per session.
I’m doing three sets of calves five times per week, not because that is inherently any better than, let’s say five sets, three times per week. I’m just. Finishing every workout with three sets and it fits my schedule and it’s easy to stick to. And so you could do the same thing if you wanted to focus on your biceps, for example, train them at least three times per week and do at least five sets per session.
If you are currently doing, let’s say 10 to 12 sets, uh, hard sets for your biceps per week, you could then bump up to 15 sets that, that’s maybe a little bit aggressive, but it’s a small muscle group. You probably won’t have any issues, uh, with that. If you were to. Be doing, let’s say 10 hard sets per week for your lower body and immediately jump to 15 hard sets for your lower body per week.
You’re probably gonna get pretty sore. That might be a bit much I might recommend. Let’s go to 12 first and let’s just acclimate. To that, maybe do that for a week or two and then from 12, go to 15 and, and some people even advocate for a slower accumulation of volume. Adding just one hard set to your total weekly volume and doing that every week or two.
and uh, that’s probably more applicable to bodybuilders and competitive strength athletes. Practically speaking, increasing by two sets every week or two rather than one is unlikely to cause any problems. And so anyway, what I’m talking about here really is a specialization routine where you want to specialize in a muscle group.
Two, if it’s a small muscle group that you wanna focus on like biceps, you might be able to add another one, like maybe your side delts or maybe your triceps. And for a period of time, um, set up your training to make sure that you are getting in. A lot of volume for those muscle groups. You are going to be training them at least three times per week.
But if you wanted to focus on your lower body for example, I would recommend focusing on that. Uh, bringing that up to 15 to 20 hard sets per major muscle group per week. Assuming you are an experienced weightlifter, if you are not an experienced weightlifter, you really don’t need to be doing this because 10 to 12 hard.
Per major muscle group per week is going to produce more or less all of the muscle and strength gains that are currently available to you. And you can get that done in two or even one session per week per major muscle group. But if you’re experienced and you now are having to work a lot harder for, uh, Progress, then you’re gonna have to get up to at least probably 15 hard sets per major muscle group per week, uh, or for a major muscle group per week that is well trained, that is conditioned, and it might even require upward of 20, uh, hard sets per week or 20 hard sets per week.
Might produce even better results than 15. And so if that is your lower body and you are going to do 15 or 20 hard sets per week for your lower body, I would not recommend also trying to do 15 or 20 hard sets for your PECS or anything else. Just set your training up so you get in all of your lower body volume and then try to do six to 10 hard sets.
Per, uh, week for the remaining major muscle groups. So that’s maintenance volume, because doing that much lower body training is very difficult. It might sound fun, it might sound like it’s not that hard. It is draining. You accumulate a lot of fatigue. It is very hard to recover from. And so you wanna make sure that you are not pushing too hard in any of your other.
Really, I probably would even stop deadlifting heavy during that period. I might do some Romanian deadlifts. I might do some rack poles, but I probably wouldn’t do heavy conventional deadlifts. Or if I did do them, maybe I would do one set per week. I would not be doing three or four sets of heavy conventional deadlifting per week plus 15 to 20 hard sets for my lower.
And so anyway, I will end the tangent there. I hope you found that helpful. And the last thing I’ll say, coming back to the question here of workout slumps not being as focused, I have a, a very simple periodization plan that I think works for most people and it. Goes like this, you train hard When you’re feeling good, you ease up when you are exhausted or you are stressed or you are sick, and you always do at least enough to not get too fat when you are busy or unmotivated.
That is a great plan. That is something you should be able to stick to for the rest of your life and that should keep you healthy, fit, and happy. Alright, Joe d Wes asks, is walking alone sufficient to get the health benefits of cardio? No, not. All of the health benefits. There are many benefits to walking.
I would say it’s probably the most underrated, it’s the most unsung form of cardio, just going for walks. You should be doing that every day, but if you want to get. All or most of the health benefits of cardio. You also want to do some moderate intensity, so that doesn’t have to be running if you don’t like running.
I prefer biking. I prefer an upright bike, and I just do 30 minutes on it several times per week. And if you want to get. All of the benefits that we at least currently know of, of cardio. You also want to do some high intensity work. Doesn’t have to, to be very much. It could be 20 to 40 minutes of high intensity, so one or two 20 minute sessions of high intensity interval training per week.
But, uh, A combination of walking moderate intensity and high intensity, and that would be also the order of predominance. So a lot of walking, let’s say one to two hours of walking per day, and let’s say at least an hour or two of moderate intensity. Cardio per week, and then at least 20 minutes, probably no more than 40 or 60 minutes of high intensity interval training per week.
That would be a prescription for maximum health benefits from cardio. Okay. Uh, Kohler, Roman asks, can you update your Legionnaires on your upcoming probiotic? So this question was asked back in November when the product wasn’t out yet. It is out. Now though it is called Biome and it’s something that I was very excited for because it is the only probiotic on the market with three patented strains with solid scientific evidence of efficacy in healthy humans.
And, and that means in people who don’t have. Gut issues. And these strains also have a rather impressive list of benefits, including better gut health and function, of course, uh, but also better immunity and even better body composition. And it is not through metabolic Voodoo, but through better appetite and better food intake regulation.
If you. Learn more about Biome. You can check it [email protected]. B U I L E G I O n.com/bio B I O M e. Okay, Laura k Penter asks sleep deprived from young kids. Prioritize sleep or training first. Prioritize sleep first for sure. And naps do count and they can. Quite a bit. You probably can’t make up for everything that you lose by not sleeping enough at night, but even just 30 to 45 minutes, uh, in the earlier part of the afternoon, maybe 12:00 PM 1:00 PM but not four or 5:00 PM because that will probably just make it harder to sleep at night, can really make a difference.
It can improve your health, it can improve your energy levels, and just. Help you survive the sleep deprivation stage of children, which I understand it’s tough. And if you can do that plus a walk or three every day, one to two hours of walking per day, plus get in, let’s say a strength workout or maybe three max three, but one to three strength workouts per week, you are an absolute star.
And with that routine, you can improve your health and fitness if you are new to all of this. Or you can maintain a relatively high level of health and fitness if you are an experienced gym goer, and now your routine is all screwed up because you’re not sleeping enough with just one to three, moderately difficult, doesn’t even have to be as difficult as it normally is.
Moderately difficult strength training workouts per week and some walking every day. You are going to look pretty good. You’re, you might end up looking better than you feel, but that’s a win when , you’re sleeping three to five hours per night on average. And one other thing I’ll mention that is encouraging if you are not getting enough sleep is research shows that regular exercise can mitigate or even eliminate a number of the health risks associated with poor.
Patterns, including, uh, a higher risk of various types of disease. Mopar Suse asks, how does alcohol affect building muscle? Uh, it has no meaningful effect actually, so long as you don’t overdo it, so long as you don’t get drunk fairly frequently. If you do that, yes, it is going to impair your workout performance.
It can impair your hormone levels, it can mess up your hormones, which can make it harder to gain muscle and strength, but, if you drink mildly even regularly, it shouldn’t impair your gains unless your body does not respond well to alcohol. And some people really do not do well with alcohol. Remember, alcohol is a poison.
It is not healthy for anybody to have in any amount, but some people’s bodies are quite good at processing it and some people’s bodies are not. So you have to also listen to your body as they. . If a night of mild drinking makes your workout the next day noticeably worse, and if you feel noticeably worse the next day, then you might wanna stop.
If you want to prioritize your fitness rye Brown 29 asks, what are your 2023 fitness goals, personal goals? Well, in my fitness, I am gonna be trying out some new routines, which I mentioned actually earlier in this podcast. So I changed up my routine a little bit from my beyond. Bigger, leaner, stronger to.
It’s like a hybrid now between beyond bigger, leaner, stronger and bigger. Leaner stronger. And I will probably do some specialization routines, and I guess you could say I’m kind of doing a calf specialization routine, but I’m probably going to. Do some other specialization routines and try some other things that I may end up putting in books or I may end up selling separately selling training programs.
A lot of people have asked me if I am going to do that, uh, because they want to know my take on different workout splits. For example, my take on an upper lower split, a full body split, a body part, split push, pull legs, et cetera, et cetera. Also specialization routines are requested a lot, a glute specialization routine, uh, a chest specialization, an arms specialization, and so on.
And that sounds like fun. So, uh, I do plan on doing some of that. And as far as personal goals go, I need to get this in frontal. Farm construction project done that has been going on, I guess for about a year and a half now, not the construction, but at the very beginning. It starts with architectural plans and so that was a year and a half ago, maybe even like a year and eight months ago, and so my builder.
Says there’s a good chance, or at least a fair chance, that I’m in the new house in October of this year, and a very good chance that I’m in it. In December when this started, I was saying, if I can have Christmas 2023 in the house, I’ll be happy. But then there is more construction that is about to begin.
There is. Barn there is a, a horse riding arena cause my wife is into riding horses. So the arena is probably going to be done in the next month or so. The barn has not even started yet. We have not gotten our permit. So that maybe is done by the end of the year. Maybe it stretches into Q1 of next year.
And then I also am going to build what I’m calling a fun house. I’m gonna put a home gym in there and like a ping pong table and, uh, a hangout area. Like a card slash board game table, a tv, a couch. I’m gonna put a theater in that building as well. Kitchenette Bathroom Storage room. And we don’t even have the plans done yet for that because that was a recent addition to the project.
Initially we were just gonna do the house and the barn and landscaping, and then I added the fun house. That probably is not even going to begin construction until August or September, and it’ll probably take five months. And, and then, then there’s the landscaping, and then there’s the furniture, and then there’s the garden.
I’m gonna be growing food on the property, and so it’ll be cool when it’s done. I’m not complaining. But it’s kinda like building a business. Everything just takes longer than you want it to take and costs more money than you want it to cost, and is more complicated and more difficult than you think it’ll be.
But if everything goes well, , it’s great. And then aside from that, with Legion, my support nutrition company, I want to find, I’m not sure this is gonna be this year actually, possibly, I want to find a great strategic partner who can buy into the business and who can help take it into the, into its next phase of growth.
Have some very, um, cool things that, that we can do with Legion. But I want some very deep pockets. I want people with a lot of. Who can help fund some of these things, and also ideally, people with some experience doing exactly what I want to do because when the stakes are high, when you are making large investments into expanding internationally or expanding in retail, for example, you want to make sure that you do it right and the best way to do it.
Is to work with people who have already done it right many times before. And then I also want to finish the new book that I’m working on, a health and fitness book. I’ll be talking more about it probably later this year. Uh, I’ve, I’ve finished the first draft of the manuscript, no, actually, sorry, the second draft of the manuscript.
And now I’m. First round of beta reading. So I have a number of beta readers who are going through it, and I will probably finish processing all of their feedback in the next, let’s say, month or so. And then I’ll be ready for the second round of beta reading, and that will probably take another couple of months realistically, for them to go through it and for me to process all of their feedback and make all of the changes that I wanna make.
And then I have to decide if I wanna. Third round of beta reading, probably not. I think two rounds will be enough. And so maybe, you know, sometime in the summer I’m ready to now work with my editor on the manuscript. I haven’t even given it to her yet because, uh, I do the beta reading first. I do my own drafting and then beta reader drafts, and then I start working with, Editors, and so my goal then is to have the manuscript fully done by the end of this year and ready for publication next year, which would be exciting.
Ryan Shannon 12 asks, how useful is cardio during a bulk? More useful than many people realize? I recommend you do some cardio at least an hour, maybe two hours per week when you are lean bulking because it’s good for your health. It’s good. Interset recovery. So you’ll notice that if your cardio’s pretty poor because you never do cardio, you don’t play sports, you just lift weights, and then you start doing cardio.
What you will notice is you recover faster in between sets in the gym, doing your strength training, you catch your breath faster, your heart rate comes down faster, and that in. Improve your strength training performance, and cardio’s also good for when you want to start cutting. So if you already have a routine established, you have the habit established of doing an hour or two of cardio per week, and eventually your lean bolt comes to an end, you want to cut it makes it easier because cardio.
Just helps you lose fat faster because it burns a fair amount of calories. Just makes it easier to maintain the calorie deficit that you need to lose fat. And so many people find that if they haven’t done any cardio in many months, it’s just harder for them to get into the routine of doing it, uh, as opposed to just continuing what they’ve been doing for many months now.
Less food. Sam Hoffler 23 asks any update on bigger than or stronger fourth edition release? Yes. Uh, the ebook and the audiobook are live everywhere online and the hard copy is ordered and will be selling in about a month or so. So currently, if you go on Amazon where most people buy books, if you buy.
Bigger than or stronger. If you buy the e-book, you will get the fourth edition. If you buy the audiobook, you will get the fourth edition. If you buy the paperback, you’ll get the third edition. Cause I have to finish selling through my stock of third editions before I can switch over to fourth editions.
And it’s looking like that switchover is going to occur sometime in March or April. And once it has occurred, I will make an official announcement so everybody knows. I’ll send some emails and just let everybody know. Also, just so you know, I am also updating the year One Challenge for Men, the workout journal that goes with Bigger, leaner, stronger.
So that’s going to reflect the new material in 4.0. And I am finishing up the fourth edition of Thinner, leaner, stronger as well. And also the workout journal that goes with it. The year one Challenge for women and the. Ebook and the audiobook of TLS 4.0 should be out in the next couple of months, let’s say April or May.
And the ebook of the workout journal probably around the same time. And then the hard copies of TLS 4.0 and let’s say workout journal. The year one Challenge for Women 4.0 will probably be August or September. , and again, I may do a little book launch when everything is available just to, to make it fun, but if I don’t, I will just let everybody know as each format goes live.
The Kyle Castro asks advice for getting picked up as a new author. My best advice is to self-publish successfully first, because that makes getting a traditional deal, a cakewalk. You are. Now a hot commodity. If you can sell even a moderate amount of books as a self-published author, if you can self-publish a book that sells at least 10,000 copies, you are probably going to get.
An agent’s attention and if you can sell 50,000 plus copies of a self-published book, you can absolutely get an agent and absolutely get a chance to pitch publishers. And if you have a good concept for a follow up book, there’s a very good chance it will get picked up. And if you wanna make your chances of succeeding even better, build a social media following as well around whatever it is that you are going to write about whatever your topic or genre is, because publishers love to see that.
And lastly, I guess I should also recommend building an email list if you feel up to it. And the reason for that is email marketing works really. Really well when you know what you’re doing. And so for example, if you could start a newsletter in the space that you want to write in and get thousands of people, maybe even tens of thousands of people subscribed to that newsletter, that is also going to make you very attractive to an agent and to a publisher.
RAA 22 asks, what are your thoughts on Ashwaganda and Tonka Ali? Well, I like both actually. Ashwaganda has good evidence for improving physical performance immunity and fertility in men. It can also reduce stress. It can reduce anxiety. It’s in my multivitamin triumph, for example, for a reason, which you can learn about over at bi legion.com/triumph.
If you want to check it out now. Tongkat Ali. Often promoted as a testosterone booster, but the evidence is pretty thin for that. The evidence is better for improving fertility and erections, but not testosterone levels. And I will share my own personal anecdote here. I’ve been taking Ton Cata for a couple of months now.
Because I was curious what effects it would have on my dick in particular. I didn’t expect anything really in terms of testosterone, and I did a saliva test, a saliva testosterone test after about a month or so of taking it, and my free testosterone was just right in the middle of normal, so nothing special there.
It would seem as expected. However, I did notice the pro erectile effects, as they say, and really what I noticed, Just really hard erections, and I didn’t have a problem with that without Tongkat Ali, but it was noticeable. I’ve noticed that with Yohimbe as well, that can have the same effect. Uh, and Citraline Malate can have that same effect.
But for me, I would say Tongkat Ali probably had the most noticeable pro erectile effect out of the three. And then I would rate Yohi being as number two and Citraline malate as number. Y PreK asks, what are your thoughts on Myre? Uh, good. Which exercises can it be used on? Well, myo reps, if you’re not familiar with it, it is a form of rest pause training, which is an effective way, an evidence-based and an effective way to generate, uh, a good training stimulus in a lot less time.
And it’s also a good way to add volume with less stress on your. Than straight sets, than normal sets, but it is also generally inferior to straight sets for overall muscle and strength gain. It is not something that you want to focus on in your training. It’s kind of like a supplement. If you want to try it out and you can learn more about it [email protected].
Uh, and if you just search for rest, pause two words. You’ll find an article that I. 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 soon.