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In this episode, I answer your questions about optimizing strength and hypertrophy phases, whether the latest research changes my view on intermittent fasting, and how much cardio is ideal for heart health. 

Plus, I offer advice for new personal trainers, discuss my thoughts on how to find your life’s purpose and career path, and a lot more.

As always, these questions come directly from my Instagram followers, who take advantage of my weekly Q&As in my stories. If you have a question you’re dying to have answered, make sure you follow me on Instagram (@muscleforlifefitness) and look out for the Q&A posts. Your question might just make it into a podcast episode!

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!

1:15 – Should you reduce total sets during a strength phase versus hypertrophy?

4:25 – What is the latest research saying about intermittent fasting?

7:51 – How much cardio is recommended for optimal heart health?

17:32 – My award-winning fitness books for men and women:

19:33 – Who is my pick for the next US president?

26:03 – Advice for new personal trainers on building their client base.

28:35 – Approaching the topic of hormones and weight loss with clients.

29:19 – Why is progressing on lateral raises often so challenging?

30:03 – Discussing the number of genders.

30:20 – Could someone like Vivek win the presidency?

30:48 – Benefits of doing an anterior and posterior chain workout split

31:38 – Is COVID-19 making a comeback?

31:53 – Best supplements for disrupted sleep during a calorie deficit.

33:27 – Defining the calorie surplus range for a lean bulk.

36:18 – How do you find your life’s passion and figure out what you want to do with your life?


Mentioned on the Show:

My award-winning fitness books for men and women:

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Hello, dear listener. I’m Mike Matthews and this is Muscle for Life. Thank you for joining me today for a new episode, which is a new Q& A where I answer questions that people ask me on Instagram. And what I do is every couple weeks or so, I post a story asking for questions. I get a bunch of questions. I go through them.

I answer ones that are interesting to me, or topical, or that I just haven’t already answered a million times before, and I answer them briefly there on Instagram, and then bring everything over here to the podcast to answer them in more detail. So if you want to ask me your questions, follow me on Instagram, @ Muscle4LifeFitness, and watch my stories every day because you never know when the Q& A story is going up. Usually it’s Tuesday or Wednesday every two or three weeks. And so in today’s episode I am going to be answering questions on strength versus hypertrophy training, on intermittent fasting, on cardio for heart health, how much cardio should you be doing, if any at all, who I would pick for the next U. S. president. What I would say to people who quote unquote can’t lose weight because of their hormones and more. Okay, the first question comes from tmvsloot7 and they ask, Should you reduce total sets when on a strength phase versus hypertrophy due to intensity? Yes, you have to because you are not going to be able to do more than probably 12 ish heavy strength sets.

So I’m talking about 1 to 5 or maybe 1 to 6 reps per set close to muscular failure. per week without running into problems. So think about squatting, for example. Heavy squats. Twelve sets of heavy squats per week is very, very difficult. And that’s why you will not find a popular, time tested strength training program for beginners and intermediates.

That has you squatting more than nine heavy sets per week. Deadlifting is usually one to three sets per week. Bench press also probably around nine, no more than 12 sets per week. Again, when you are training for maximum strength rather than hypertrophy. If it’s hypertrophy, Yes, volume can get higher and sometimes does need to be higher.

But that said, a well designed hypertrophy program should not have you doing more than 20 hard sets, sets close to failure, working sets per major muscle group. per week. If your hypertrophy program calls for a lot more volume than that, say 25 to 30 plus sets for any individual major muscle group per week, it probably doesn’t have enough intensity.

It probably does not have you training close enough. to failure. And if it did, you could get the same or even better results with less time in the gym. I would recommend you go listen to the most recent interview I did with Lyle McDonald. It got posted a couple of weeks ago on this topic, proximity to failure in training.

What it is, why it matters, how to incorporate it correctly into your programming, and so forth. But anyway, getting back to strength training, I want to share one more thing, and that is a simple little formula that works well if you want to get really strong. If that is your Priority, the three to five approach works, which is three to five reps per set.

So that’s 80 to 90 percent of your one rep max. And that’s taking sets relatively close to failure. Let’s say anywhere from one to three reps still in the tank, good reps left or reps in reserve. So by the end of each set, the bar or the dumbbell or the machine has slowed down quite a bit. The set is getting grindy and occasionally that final rep is a grinder.

You really have to fight it through. So, three to five reps per set with enough weight on the bar, enough intensity in those sets, and then you do three to five sets per exercise, and then you do three to five exercises per workout, and you take three to five minutes of rest in between those sets, and you do three to five workouts per week.

The three to five program. Okay. Sarah. Sure. Back asks, has your opinion on intermittent fasting changed based on any new research? No, because most of the new research that I’ve seen over the last year or two simply supports the overall weight of the evidence, which doesn’t justify a lot of the hype. It’s really just hype.

It’s Marketing and currently I don’t see any good reason to force yourself to follow an intermittent fasting or fasting centric diet unless you like it, unless, for example, you just like to skip breakfast. Or you just like to eat fewer, larger meals per day rather than more smaller meals per day. Or maybe, to give an exception to the rule, you have a health condition which may benefit from more fasting rather than less.

Like long COVID, for example, there’s some research that suggests that a fasting centric diet may help people get over those symptoms faster. But, if you are a healthy person who eats well, who exercises regularly, Who maintains a healthy body composition, who gets enough sleep, who does at least a decent job managing stress, then the weight of the scientific evidence says that intermittent fasting doesn’t have much to offer you.

A lot of the claims made. Related to anti aging, for example, and reducing the risk of disease are based on animal research, mechanistic research, in vitro research, research in humans who are unhealthy, who are obese and sedentary, and who have type 2 diabetes, and so on. But if you look at the more limited data that we have from healthy people, people with a healthy body composition, people who exercise regularly, you don’t see the theories.

Based on the other types of research panning out, you don’t see the expected predicted benefits in healthy people. And if you compare something like just exercise alone along the same parameters, again, if we look to anti aging and reducing the risk of disease as two broad categories of benefit often used to sell intermittent fasting.

What you see is that exercise is far more powerful by an order of magnitude than intermittent fasting has shown to be in its best light under the most favorable circumstances, which again is in unhealthy people. And so anyway, that’s currently my position on intermittent fasting, and I’m happy to change my mind if enough new data emerges that contradicts anything that I just said, but until then, I doubt I will change my mind much based on the existing evidence that we have because I reviewed this evidence rather on Earth.

thoroughly. I’ve talked to other very smart people who know a lot more about this stuff than I do about it. I’ve spoken with PhDs and I’ve spoken with professors just to get their interpretation of the data, see if I was missing anything, see if there were any obvious holes in my conclusions and so forth.

And the consensus of the experts I’ve consulted people again, who I would say are more expert than I am. is more or less exactly what I’ve just explained. Okay, Noah Swaim asks, How much cardio should I do for heart health? All I do is steps, but poor cardio hurts lifts. I’m gonna address both of those things there.

How much cardio for heart health and then does poor cardio hurt your lifting? So, For your heart health, ideally, you would be doing at least, let’s say, two to three hours of zone two cardio per week. So, moderate intensity cardio. You could hold a conversation, but you are going to be breathing heavier than you normally would.

You can speak in full sentences, but the person you’re speaking to, let’s say, on the phone or running next to you, would know that you are exercising. So I would say that’s a minimum amount for maintaining heart health, which really the primary metric we’re going for the primary proxy for quote unquote heart health or cardiovascular health.

If you wanted to simplify it would be VO two max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can use in a unit of time. And so, for example, in women who are under 30 years old, poor VO2 max is under 23 or 24 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute. That’s how it is measured.

And excellent is, let’s say, high 40s and above. And generally, as we get older, those numbers in each category go down because our capacity for fitness goes down. So, Excellent. Let’s say in a 65 year old woman is actually anything over probably 36 or 37 rather than 49 or 50 and poor is anything under 13 or 14 rather than 24 or 25 when she was in her 20s.

When she’s 65, 24, a VO2 max of 24 is now. average. And in the case of men, it is pretty similar, just a little bit higher. So when a guy’s in his twenties, anything below 25 is not very good. Anything over 53 or 54 is excellent. And in case you’re wondering what an athlete’s VO2 max looks like, an endurance athlete’s VO2 max, if you look at that data, you will see that it ranges between fifties on the low end to eighties, maybe even nineties on the high end.

Now, maintaining a good or better VO two max is very important because as our VO two max declines, our risk of dying increases and it increases sharply as we get older. If we don’t do anything to maintain a good or better VO two max now. Resistance training does do this to some degree. It is obviously better for your heart, for your cardiovascular system, for your VO2max than nothing.

It’s better than just walking around. But the absolute best way to train your VO2max, to improve it, to maintain it, Is cardio and it is zone two cardio if you had to pick one because it’s that sustained moderate effort that gets the job done best. It’s not infrequent, shorter, high intensity training that can also help, but the foundation, the base of VO two max training is a lot of steady state, moderate intensity cardio.

And so anyway, to round this answer off with some simple practical advice, it’s this. Generally speaking, you want to spend your younger years focusing on building muscle and strength. That should be your priority because it’s a lot easier to do when you’re in your 20s, 30s, and 40s than 50s, 60s, and 70s.

Especially if you’re in your 20s and you can dedicate a fair amount of time to it. You don’t have any injuries. You are basically on steroids naturally, not literally, but your hormone profile is going to be at its absolute peak when you’re in your twenties and you can gain a lot of muscle and a lot of strength in a relatively short period of time.

And that also is true of people in their thirties and even in their forties as well. So. It’s not that you should not do cardio if you’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s, but if you only have so much time, let’s say you have a few hours per week to give to training, make strength training your priority, build that foundation of muscle and strength.

That is also extremely important for anti aging effects for longevity. Research shows, for example, that less muscle. Generally speaking is correlated with a greater risk of dying from any and all causes. So the more muscle you have, the less likely you are to die from anything and everything. And so it’s not just VO2 max that you want to optimize to live a long, healthy life.

You also want to optimize your body composition. And that means gaining a good amount of muscle, gaining a good amount of strength and then maintaining it for the rest of your life. And fortunately, maintaining muscle and strength is way easier than gaining muscle and strength. It takes way less time. It takes way less intensity.

You almost can’t screw it up. If you’re willing to get in the gym once or twice per week and do some form of resistance training for an hour or so, if it’s once per week, maybe it’s an hour and a half max. Two hours, but you can pick the exercises. You can pick the rep ranges. You do have to train with some intensity.

It can’t be a bunch of warmup sets. You do have to still challenge your muscles, but if you’re willing to do that by medical standards, you can stay jacked for the rest of your life. Not by Instagram standards per se, but by medical standards. If we look at again, the research on muscularity and longevity.

Muscularity and just physical resilience, you can maintain a physique that is in, let’s say, the top 10 percent of the medical data on muscularity and all cause mortality. So then we have this first part of the strategy, focus on your strength training, gain that foundation of muscle and strength that also is going to improve your cardiovascular fitness, your cardiovascular health, your VO2 max, it will.

It will not as effectively per unit of time is doing cardio, but it will help in that regard as well. Now you have that foundation of muscle and strength, and now you’re getting older. Now you are in your fifties, for example, maybe even in your forties. It could make sense to start making. A shift toward more cardio, and that doesn’t necessarily mean less resistance training.

It depends on your time. If you have a lot of time or you really enjoy exercising and you are okay spending several hours per week in the gym, lifting weights three plus hours, let’s say three to five hours per week. So you’re in the gym three to five days per week and you You lift weights and you also are willing to do now several hours of cardio per week.

In addition to that, well, that’s great. I mean, that means that your fitness is going to be even better, but if you only have a few hours per week to exercise, then it makes sense to spend a bit less time lifting weights or doing resistance training to shift that toward maintenance. So you just want to maintain what you have and to spend more time.

Doing this moderate intensity, steady state cardio that is going to improve your VO2 max because as we get older, research shows that it can take quite a bit of work as we get older to maintain a good to great VO2 max. For example, I saw some data in 70 year old athletes, endurance athletes that were doing 1 to 2 hours of endurance exercise per day just to maintain.

Excellent VO2max. Now, that isn’t to say that you need to be doing 1 2 hours of cardio per day now or ever. It’s just an illustration of the point of how much work it takes to maintain an excellent VO2max, an excellent level, relative to age, of cardiovascular fitness. And, you know, it occurs to me that I suppose you could say more or less the same thing about resistance training.

If you wanted to maintain an excellent level of strength and muscularity, it would take more than just one or two hours per week. You could not do one to two hours of intense strength training every day. That would break you really at any age, actually. Eventually, even if you’re in your 20s, you’re invincible.

And you have a body that really responds well to strength training, eventually six or seven days a week of one to two hours of intense training will break you. But anyway, the point is that if you wanted to maintain an excellent level of muscularity and strength relative to age, you might have to do three to five hours of resistance training per week, but not one to two hours.

of exercise per day like was seen in the endurance data. And so anyway, my point is, as we get older, our regimen should reflect the importance of maintaining VO2 max and we no longer can just count on our age and count on our resistance training. We should be doing at least a couple of hours of cardio per week and we should treat it with as much importance as We have treated our strength training, our resistance training when we were younger.

If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, then you will probably like my award winning fitness books for men and women of all ages and abilities, which have sold over 2 million copies, have received over 15, 000 four and five star reviews on Amazon, and which have helped tens of thousands of people build their best body.

body ever. Now, a caveat, my books and programs cannot give you a lean and toned Hollywood body in 30 days, and they are not full of dubious diet and exercise hacks and shortcuts for gaining lean muscle and melting belly fat faster than a sneeze in a cyclone, but they will show you exactly how to eat and exercise to lose up to 35 pounds of fat or more if you need to lose more or want to lose more and gain eye catching amounts of muscle definition and strength.

And even better, you will learn how to do those things without having to live in the gym, give up all the foods or drinks that you love, or do long, grueling workouts that you hate. And with my books and programs, you will do that. You will transform your physique faster than you probably think is possible, or I will give you your money back.

If you are unsatisfied with any of my books or programs, the results, anything, for whatever reason, just let me know and you will get a full refund. on the spot. Now, I do have several books and programs including Bigger, Leaner, Stronger, Thinner, Leaner, Stronger, and Muscle for Life. And to help you understand which one is right for you, it’s pretty simple.

If you are a guy aged 18 to let’s say 40 to 45, Bigger, Leaner, Stronger is the book and program for you. If you are a gal, same age range, Thinner, Leaner, Stronger is going to be for you. And if you are a guy or gal 40 to maybe 45, Plus muscle for life is for you. Okay. The next question comes from anonymous, I guess.

No, no here. Pick anyone for the next us president who, well, I think it would be between Julius Caesar and Caesar Augustus. Julius Caesar was more impressive personally, just his force of personality and his force of will, however, if you look at bottom line results, the prize goes to Caesar Augustus and you could say that that was more dictated by the circumstances at the time, rather than individual circumstances, rather than specific mistakes or missteps of Julius Caesar, But I think I would disagree with that.

I would mostly disagree with that because Caesar did make some major mistakes that directly led to his downfall, and if he wouldn’t have made those mistakes, maybe he would have been overthrown in some other way. There would have been some other plot by some other people, but the plot that did you.

Overthrow him could have been prevented if he would have listened to various people in his inner circle who were telling him about it If he had not committed himself so thoroughly to this strategy of clemency for enemies rather than Clemency for some and exile and death for many practically speaking That’s what he probably should have done.

And if we look to caesar augustus, that is exactly what he did And after choosing his allies carefully, and after exiling and killing many of his political enemies who were trying to stop him from coming to power, he then made a transition that many other men in history were not able to make effectively, and that was the transition from a ruthless Warlord to a competent administrator, a benevolent dictator who then focused a lot of his energies, not on further conquests like Julius Caesar, but on less glamorous initiatives to make life better for all Romans, people in all classes.

And that included working to reform various aspects of their political system, their economic system, social system, even religious system. In some ways, it included a lot of work on infrastructure, building up infrastructure, repairing, improving infrastructure and so on. And the net effect was after a period of Augustus’s rule.

After enough time had gone by for him and his regime to complete a number of these initiatives, people started to notice that life is better. Things are pretty good, actually. We have peace. We have prosperity. We have functional systems in our society. Yeah, let’s just keep this going. Anyway, not to pull a Putin here and try to regale you with a bunch of arcane ancient history to come back to the question of US president.

What am I saying? Am I saying that only a dictator can save us? I think that’s possible. I do think that’s possible. I’m not sure there is a democratic solution for the problems that face us. I hope there is. I would like to be wrong, but if you just look to history, you can find this repeating pattern of a society that is functional.

is orderly, is virtuous to some degree over time, all of that degrades to the point where it has reached an inversion of those things. And then eventually it all collapses because it is completely unsustainable and it is anathema to civilization. It is. It’s the opposite of the primary principles that allow civilization to develop and operate.

And then out of that chaos, you have a strong man who seizes power and begins to reinstitute the foundational principles of civilization that make civilization possible. And that, by the way, is essentially how America came to be in the first place. Let’s not forget that the founding fathers were at the time, technically a bunch of terrorists who were fighting against the government, the authority of their time.

And then once they won that fight and they had seized power for themselves, they imposed their idealized form of government On their population, they didn’t take a vote with the people about how this government is going to operate. They just said, this is how it’s going to be. And we have a lot of soldiers who are going to enforce how it’s going to be.

And if you look to the early history. Of the United States, there were a lot of people who were not happy with how it was. And a lot of people tried to fight back and were killed for resisting the new authority. The Civil War was fought over the authority of the federal government, as opposed to the authority of the state.

Governments, it was not fought over slavery. That’s not why the war started. Slavery was a rallying point for the North at a point in the war when the war was not going well for the North. They were losing pretty badly. It was not popular among the people in the North, the citizens. They were having trouble recruiting soldiers, for example, and so the North, they needed Something to galvanize their people to galvanize their armies to give the war a moral character, almost an archetypal character of good versus evil.

We are fighting evil. We are not fighting fellow Americans who disagree about technical elements of how the government works and. Of federal overreach and constitutional, I guess you could say interpretations. It’s hard to convince men to leave their families and go die for that kind of stuff, for political machinations that they don’t really even understand, but they can understand good and evil.

And you can get them to leave their families and go die to stop evil that, if not stopped, will engulf the entire nation. Anyway, let’s move on. I’m not a historian. This isn’t a history podcast. Those are just some brain droppings. But, uh, Kea N. asks, Any advice you would give to a new personal trainer just starting to build a clientele?

Yes. I would recommend that you spend As much time, maybe even more time learning how to be a good coach as you spend learning the mechanics of losing fat and building muscle because simply knowing what people should be doing is a far cry from actually knowing how to help them Do it. You can learn basically everything that you need to know in terms of what do they need to do by reading a book or two or three.

I mean, if you were to read my book, one of my books, let’s say muscle for life or bigger than you’re stronger or thinner than you’re stronger, that’s going to give you 80 percent at least of what you would need to know, practically speaking. to transform somebody’s body composition, health, and fitness.

The trick though of course is how do you get people to actually do the things that they need to do which include things they don’t want to do like change their diet and exercise and be consistent and so on and how you get Compliance. That’s the art of coaching and many coaches out there. They don’t know much about coaching.

They don’t know much about persuading people and helping people to do what they need to do. The psychology of it. They just know what needs to be done and you can’t compensate for your ignorance of coaching by The end. Just pouring more energy into it or creating this tough and aggressive persona, or even by cherry picking your clients.

Many coaches do that, and it can work to some degree. For example, you only work with successful entrepreneurs because those are the types of people who generally are better than average at learning things and doing things and getting results. But inevitably, even if you were to try to take that. You are going to have a lot of failures.

You are going to have a lot of entrepreneurs who are unable to consistently do what they need to do, maybe for different reasons than the average person. And so anyway, if you really want to be a successful professional in your work, and if you want to have maximum success with a maximum number of people, yes, you need to understand the art and science of improving body composition, improving health, but you also need to understand the art and science.

Of coaching, Jeff Palm asks, how should I approach someone who says they can’t lose weight due to hormones? All right, simple. I have a challenge for anyone who says they can’t lose weight due to hormones. The challenge is you are going to eat 500 to 1000 calories per day. That’s your range for seven to 10 days.

And we’re going to see what happens now. You have to be accurate with your calories, so you have to weigh and measure food. If that’s necessary, you have to track those calories. I want you to be very precise, 500 to 1, 000 calories per day. That’s your range. You’re not allowed to eat more than 1, 000 and don’t eat less than 500.

And let’s see what happens to your weight. And then let’s think about why That happened. Alright, Jacob Callahan asks, Why does it seem like it is impossible to progress on lateral raises? Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass movement. We’re training a small muscle in that side deltoid. Dumbbells get pretty unwieldy as you get stronger.

It gets hard to maintain proper form, to not swing all over the place, but also use enough weight to train in a rep range of anywhere from, let’s say, six to ten or even six to twelve and so something that can help is to try switching to cable side raises for a bit and see if you can progress there because the cable side raise provides consistent resistance throughout the entire movement unlike dumbbells and it also minimizes swaying so give that a go hey d sauce asks how many genders are there well I have a prediction.

I think that one day scientists and historians are going to view this entire gender matter in the same way as we currently view phrenology. Greg Salisbury 622 asks, Do you think someone like Vivek could actually win? So this was before Vivek dropped out. President Rama, Ramaswamy, Rami? Um, I think that his name alone may be fatal for any future political endeavors.

I think that he should have went with a pseudonym. Nikki, uh, Nimrata is her name, had the right idea. G. Fleck. Asks, thoughts on anterior slash posterior chain workout split two times per week. Uh, that approach can work well if you’re trying to run a lot of lower body volume in particular. Otherwise, I don’t think it’s worth splitting legs into quads and hamstrings.

Instead, you can train both your quads and your hams on the same day in a legs day or a lower body day. But if you’re a bodybuilder and you need a lot of volume for your quads and hams to grow, then practically speaking, you may have to do that. But that’s not most people. That’s certainly not most people listening to this podcast.

Most people who just want to get into great shape, men and women just need to do. One to three lower body workouts per week consistently for a few years and that’s it. They’ve got now a great lower body. F D 1993 asks big bad COVID coming back? Well, uh, psychopaths are not generally known for admitting guilt and then willingly relinquishing power.

So yeah, probably. Eric Rab asks, What supplements are useful for when sleep is disrupted during a calorie deficit? Well, there are a few that have worked well for me, a few more that have good evidence, but have not worked well for me because supplements always have. an individual component. They’re not drugs and, and drugs even work better in some people than others.

But in the case of supplements, sometimes they work really well for one person and then they don’t do anything for another person, even with something like creatine, at least in its effects on strength and body composition. But anyway, the supplements that melatonin, especially when I take it after waking up in the middle of the night to go pee, as opposed to taking it before bed.

Valerian root has, has helped before bed, just getting sedated and getting sleepy. Glycine has helped, uh, two or three grams of glycine, 30 to 45 minutes before bed. Magnesium, in particular, sucrosomal magnesium, which my sports nutrition company, Legion, sells. You can find it over at legionathletics. com. And finally, although I can’t say I’ve noticed much of a difference for me, it does have good general evidence for efficacy, and that is GABA.

Now aside from supplements, one other thing I just want to mention is research shows that 30 to 50 grams of low glycemic index carbs, so slowly digested carbs, you can just go online, search for glycemic index carbs and find some low GI carbs that you like to eat, 30 to 50 grams. Maybe about 45 minutes before bed can also improve sleep.

Al Ho Jr. asks, What is the calorie surplus range that categorizes a lean bulk? Well, there’s newer research that came out in the last six months or so that suggests that we should try to keep it between 5 and 10%. So 5 and 10 percent more calories than we are burning every day on average. And 10 percent probably isn’t any better than 5%.

It probably just produces more fat gain. Now, possible exception to that is if you are an experienced weightlifter and you’re training hard, like near your maximum capacity for recovery, 10 percent of a surplus, so 110 percent of TDEE on average may result in more muscle growth than 5%, but that’s speculative.

One other thing to keep in mind though is 5 percent surplus is a very small margin for error. So let’s say you are burning 3000 calories per day. That’s your maintenance calorie. You’re probably a man or you’re a very active woman. You’re only looking at an extra 150 calories per day. And that means that you have to pay attention to Your food that you’re eating your meal plan because you could just accidentally not eat those additional 150 calories per day because you’re lean bulking and you don’t really want to track or follow a meal plan closely or weigh and measure anything.

And what can happen then is you think you are maintaining that small surplus, but you’re actually not. You’re really just down around maintenance. Some days you’re below maintenance. Some days you’re a little bit over. You get 50 calories over maintenance, maybe 100 calories over maintenance. And then you’re right around maintenance.

Then you’re under maintenance. That is not lean bulking. To get all of the benefits of lean bulking, you have to consistently be in that calorie surplus. So, my point with saying that is, unless you’re willing to be fairly meticulous about your calories or about your macros when you’re lean bulking, just as you would when you’re cutting, it’s probably smarter to go with a larger surplus, to plan for a 10 percent surplus.

So, then, if you Accidentally under eat. Okay. It’s a 5 percent surplus on that day that you accidentally under eight. Some days you may accidentally under eat by several hundred calories and get down to maintenance, but that approach should minimize the number of days that you’re in a deficit. And that’s really what you want to do when you’re lean bulking, because it’s.

If you’re in a calorie deficit fairly often, certainly if you look at it in days of the week, if you’re in a calorie deficit, let’s say three, four or five days out of the week, you are not lean bulking. You maybe actually are cutting or you’re just maintaining because you are in a deficit half of the week and then you have enough of a surplus.

On average over the next several days to regain the fat that you lost in your deficit days. Okay, last question comes from Jack Rini and he asks, how do you find, you know, what you want to do with your life? Well, I think ideally. You find the overlap between something that you can get really good at and something that you enjoy, generally enjoy, not always enjoy, but generally enjoy.

Certainly that you enjoy having done kind of like working out where sometimes you don’t want to go to the gym. Sometimes the workout also is Not enjoyable. You have to force yourself just to do every set. You always feel good leaving the gym, right? You always feel good having worked out. So I think there is a parallel to that in, in work.

Sometimes you don’t want to do the work. Sometimes doing the work kind of sucks. But you always feel good after having done the work, right? So we have these two things. Something you can get good at. Something that you can generally enjoy. And when you don’t enjoy doing it, you at least enjoy having done it and something that can provide sufficient pay and sufficient meaning and fulfillment.

I think that’s the sweet spot. And to find that it’s probably going to require some trial and error. You can think about your personality. what you like, what you dislike. You can think about any talents that you have, any inclinations that you have, anything that you are good at or that you could get good at and you can generate some theories essentially and say, Hey, I think maybe this could be something I’m going to go try it.

But I do think that you should have the right expectation and that is not to find it on the first try. Chances are you’re not going to find that Goldilocks zone. In the first thing that you try your first theory or two or even three necessarily it may take many theories and many tries to find the one that works for you.

For me, for example, when I was 18 or 19, that’s when I first found writing. I wasn’t particularly interested in writing. I wasn’t drawn to writing. The reason I started writing was I was just thinking about my personality. What types of things do I like to do that maybe could lead to something that is commercially viable?

And I liked to read. I was a good student, uh, growing up and I liked books and I liked learning and I figured, okay, I don’t want to be a teacher. There are no great obvious ways I can make money by just reading books, but what about writing? If I like reading books, maybe I will like writing books. And so I wrote a novel, actually, is how it started for me.

That was my original interest in writing was fiction. And I knew that I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I actually enjoyed the work so much that I finished it. Now. I know a lot more about storytelling and fiction writing and novel writing now, and it was not, not good work, but I still enjoyed it enough to go on to write other things and find my way into non fiction writing, how to writing, creating employee training programs for different companies.

And from there, I wrote my first fitness book, which was Bigger, Leaner, Stronger. That was back in 2013 , I self published it, and the rest is history, as they say.

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 ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, Mike at 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.

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