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In this episode, I tackle a diverse array of questions from my dedicated Instagram followers, ranging from optimizing muscle explosiveness, to the influence of genetics on vascularity.

I’ll also get into the age-old debate of zone 2 cardio versus high-intensity interval training, the benefits of beetroot for exercise performance, and the impact of weekend drinking on muscle gains.

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!

(1:23) Try Triton today! Go to and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points!

(3:52) Advice for training muscle explosiveness to jump higher and run faster

(7:05) Is zone 2 cardio enough or should you include high-intensity training?

(9:05) The single greatest threat to civilization

(10:15) Mike’s super secret skin routine for supple skin

(10:46) How many kids should I have?

(11:05) What’s up with the aliens?

(12:06) The influence of genetics on vascularity

(13:53) Please share the podcast with a friend!

(14:28) Benefits of beetroot for improved exercise performance

(15:00) How many times a week do you train? Is it 5 or 6?

(16:12) The impact of weekend drinking on muscle gains

(16:44) How often do you think about the Roman Empire?

(16:52) Does calf size matter if they’re strong?

(17:56) A guide to electrolyte supplements: What to look for when shopping

(20:12) The best dumbbell leg exercise for mass and strength

(20:24) If you had to start all over again, would you do it all the same or completely change it up?

Mentioned on the Show:

Try Triton today! Go to and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points!


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


Hello there. I am Mike Matthews. This is Muscle for Life. Thank you for joining me for another Q& A episode where I answer questions that people have asked me over on Instagram. What I do is put up a story every couple of weeks or so asking for questions. People submit a bunch of questions. I go through them.

I choose ones that are interesting or topical or different than the types of things that I’ve already Written and spoken about ad nauseum and I answer them briefly there on Instagram in my stories And then I bring everything over here on the podcast and answer them in more detail So if you want to ask me your questions, just head over to Instagram find me at most of life fitness.

Follow me Watch my stories, laugh at the memes, and then when you see the ask me a question sticker, submit your questions. And in today’s episode, I’m going to be answering a diversity of questions. How to train for explosiveness. If zone two cardio is enough. Or should you be doing zone two plus maybe higher intensity training?

What I think the single greatest threat to civilization currently is my super secret skin routine, how much genetics influence vascularity, and quite a few more. Research shows that getting enough omega 3 fatty acids in your diet can benefit you in many ways, including reducing the risk of heart disease, increasing muscle growth, increasing cognitive performance, increasing fat loss, decreasing inflammation.

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No form and no return is even necessary. So you really can’t lose. Go to buylegion. com slash triton, use the coupon code muscle at checkout and save 20 percent or get 6 percent cash back and try Triton risk free and see what you think. Isla Movic one asks, do you have any advice to train for muscle explosiveness?

I want to jump higher and run faster. So a few things to include in your regimen. You’ll want to be doing your basic strength training. But in addition to that, I would recommend Olympic lifts, just the, just the basics. For example, the power clean, the squat clean, the power snatch, the squat snatch, those types of movements, as well as speed training on those lifts, which are sets where you use lighter weight, and you focus on moving quickly, moving explosively.

And in terms of programming between traditional strength training and speed training, it would make sense to do at least a few sets per week, let’s say three to five sets per week on the Olympic lifts where you are than Pushing for progress. You are treating it like strength training, heavier weights that you have to work up to.

You first have to learn how to perform these movements properly, of course, before you start loading them. But once you’ve learned how to perform them, the idea in your strength training sets is to push to get stronger on those exercises to be able to do. Let’s say anywhere between four and eight reps per set with progressively heavier weights.

That’s your strength training. And you’re doing anywhere from, let’s say, three to six sets per week for that, as well as the same amount of volume, let’s say, three to two Six sets per week of speed training with the exercises that you’ve chosen for your current training block. Maybe you’ve chosen one or two exercises and those are the ollie lifts that you’re going to focus on for this training block.

So you’re doing your strength training with those exercises as well as your speed training. Now, in addition to all of that, I would recommend sled pushes as well. And I would recommend loading them enough to provide resistance that you have to push against, obviously, but not so much that you can barely move.

Again, the idea here is to be able to move fairly quickly against resistance and to build your speed against resistance. But if you load up too much resistance, so much that you have to grind for every inch, that’s going to defeat our purpose here. And then, if you want to be fast, you should train running fast.

So that means doing sprints. All out, you know, 30 to 40 yard sprints. Maximum effort training to get faster specificity. And finally for jumping, I would include box jumps in this regimen. And unlike how I see many people doing box jumps, at least in my gym, I would not do a few sets of. Let’s say 20 reps, so higher reps per set of moderate effort jumps, moderate height jumps.

Instead, I would do more sets of fewer reps of maximum effort jumps, maximum force production. And so, for instance, that might look like six sets of, let’s say, three maximum effort jumps with a short rest in between each set, maybe a minute to a minute and a half. Okay, Daniel Mufti 1 asks, Is Zone 2 cardio enough or do we need to be breathless for one hour a week?

Well, at least a couple of hours of Zone 2 cardio per week is going to build a strong cardiovascular base. It’s going to Steadily improve your VO2 max, which is very important, but there are additive benefits to let’s say an hour or so of high intensity work per week as well. You don’t quote unquote have to do that, but if you want to maximize your cardiovascular performance., if you want to maximize your cardiovascular health, you would do some high intensity work in addition to the base of moderate intensity work, but you don’t want to do so much high intensity work that it cuts into your recovery from not just your cardio training, but also your strength training.

And so, Generally speaking, I tell people they can do as much walking as they want. That’s not going to cause any issues. And they can do a lot of moderate intensity cardio before it becomes a problem. If we’re looking at it interfering with strength training or interfering with post workout recovery.

Unless somebody is very out of shape, it probably requires at least 10 hours per week of moderate intensity. Cardio, maybe less if it’s high impact like running, but if it’s low impact, if it’s rowing, if it’s biking, if it’s swimming, I, I really can’t see a scenario where less than 10 hours per week is going to cause any issues with strength training performance and recovery.

And then I do recommend that people limit their high intensity work to no more than an hour or so. Per week, if they’re also doing at least a few hours of strength training and at least a few hours of moderate intensity, cardiovascular training, Greg Salisbury, 622 asks the single greatest threat to civilization.

That’s a, that’s a tough one, but high on the list. High on the list. I don’t know if it’s the single greatest threat, but up there is over socialized midwits. Who are racked by feelings of inferiority, and thus they intensely identify with inferior people, with inferior groups, inferior values, and they vehemently hate.

Anyone and anything that’s strong and superior and successful and because these inferior people are afraid and they are incompetent and they are mostly incapable of making their way in the world, they want to create a society that is That will solve all of their problems that will satisfy all of their needs cradle to grave.

And all of that, of course, is one of the primary impulses in human psychology toward collectivism and statism and away from individualism. Hoda 1 1 asks, What do you use to keep your skin so supple? It’s the, the skin hack that nobody wants. You know, lots of nutritious food, lots of water, lots of exercise, lots of Good sleep, no alcohol, no sunburns, no smoking, no self inflicted overstress, and a daily moisturizer, I will admit.

Josh Gonzalez, MWS, asks, How many kids should I have? Well, let’s think about this in relative terms. So let’s take somebody like Genghis Khan. He had hundreds of kids that carried his blood to millions. Do with that what you will. JRO1010 asks, what’s up with the aliens? I don’t know. But whenever anything even remotely controversial or sensational is widely promoted by Western governments or their media organs, I generally assume it’s a fake PsyHop and go from there.

That said, I would be completely unsurprised if in our lifetime we are faced with irrefutable evidence that there are There are indeed other intelligent beings out there, even in our solar system, and I would be completely unsurprised if they’ve been here on Earth before, many times, maybe even regularly visiting currently for whatever reason.

I would be completely unsurprised if governments here on Earth have known this for some time but suppressed it. For obvious reasons, et cetera, et cetera. In fact, I will be surprised if none of that comes to pass in my lifetime. I will be quite surprised. Lyndon Sepp asks, how much does genetics influence vascularity?

Well, vascularity is mostly a product of just having big muscles and having low amounts of body fat. If you get both of those things, you will have. Above average vascularity, you will be vascular, at least by normal standards, maybe not by steroid fueled Instagram standards, but the main genetic factor that does come into play is fat distribution, so where you store Your body fat or your body preferentially stores body fat.

So, for example, some people, they don’t preferentially store fat in their arms and thus they have noticeable levels of vascularity in their arms, even at higher higher levels of body fat. And then when they get lean, their arms look absolutely freaky. And other people, maybe it’s their lower body where they just don’t preferentially store body fat.

And so when they get lean, their quads look crazy. And even when they’re at higher levels of body fat, they still have noticeable quad vascularity. And then there are people like me with a fairly balanced pattern of fat distribution who have to get pretty lean To have noticeable vascularity, especially out of the gym basically anywhere on my body.

So for me, I have to be let’s say no fatter than 10 percent body fat. I have to be at about 10 percent or less. To have noticeable vascularity really anywhere in my shoulders, let’s say in my arms and my legs, especially outside the gym, you know, when I don’t have a pump. Hey there, if you are hearing this, you are still listening.

Which is awesome. Thank you. And if you are enjoying this podcast or if you just like my podcast in general and you are getting at least something out of it, would you mind sharing it with a friend or a loved one or a not so loved one even who might want to learn something new? Word bigly in growing the show, so if you think of someone who might like this episode or another one, please do tell them about it.

Mark McElroy 94 asks beetroot for improved exercise performance based. Well, nitrates. Yes. Yes. Nitrates are indeed based and they’re even clown pilled. Actually. That’s something I’m working on trying to add to pulse. I want nitrates to be in the next pulse upgrade. And unfortunately it’s not going so well because they taste really, really bad.

But I haven’t given up yet. I’m working on it. McGregor 96 Ronin asks, how many times a week do you train is a five or six. So currently I am doing strength training three days per week. I’m basically doing my three day push pull legs, bigger leaner, stronger program, slight modifications, but, but basically following it exactly as you would learn in the book and in the bonus material.

And then I do 30 minutes of zone two cardio on the other. four days of the week. And that for me is a great program for just maintaining muscle, maintaining strength, maintaining leanness, maintaining cardiovascular and metabolic health and freeing up time that I need for other things, things that currently are more important than spending another few hours in the gym per week.

To make little or no progress anyway, because I’m not willing to consistently be in a calorie surplus and get fatter because I don’t care. I like my body. The way it is, I like how it looks, I like how it feels, I like how it performs, and I’m just not in the mood to bulk and cut. Okay, Mike Yearly asks, How detrimental is weekend drinking to gains?

Well it depends how much. I mean if we’re talking about a drink or a meal. or two a couple times per week. That’s not going to cause issues. But if you are drinking too drunk or worse, once or twice per week, that can, that is going to impair health. That is going to impair performance and thus impair body composition over time.

Mike Livin asks, How often do you think about the Roman Empire? More and more these days, that’s for sure. Maybe even more than sex. Peter G. Dewitt asks, Does calf size really matter if they’re strong? I have to say, I like the cope. I want to adopt it. I want to embrace it. But, I can’t. Because my calves are not big.

Or strong, or even lean. And that’s after a lot of calf training. More than most guys who have great calves, for example. And jokes aside, that’s only because genetically I started with no calves, I trained them a lot, they, they did good. Grow, but to get them to the quote unquote right size by let’s say bodybuilding standards, which would be at least as big as my biceps, it would require way more work than I care to put into them.

I’m talking about training them probably five days per week, doing four to six sets per session for probably a couple of years. Prendy asks. Tell me about electrolyte supplements and what I should be looking for when shopping for them. Look for the nearest trash can and throw them into it because that’s where they all belong.

Total scam, totally useless in the same category as BCAAs, as EAAs, as natural testosterone boosters. Nobody, well, let’s say virtually nobody needs to be taking an electrolyte supplement who may benefit from an electrolyte supplement. Okay, an extreme, let’s say, endurance athlete who does very, very long endurance workouts in extreme conditions, very hot conditions where they’re sweating an inordinate amount.

Okay. If you’re one of those people, you actually may benefit from an electrolyte supplement. You may not too, but you may. If you’re not doing that, if you’re like me and you do a couple of hours of cardio per week, you do a couple of hours of weightlifting per week, electrolyte supplements have nothing to offer you, absolutely nothing.

And I wish that were not the case. Remember, I do own a sports nutrition company and electrolytes is a big category, a growing category. There is a lot of marketing money being cut. Funneled into that category to grow it even further. It would be in my personal self interest to not say any of that and to just sell an electrolyte supplement.

I would add millions of dollars a year to Legion’s top line, to Legion’s sales. If I were to do that, PCAs, same thing, EAs, same thing. Those are multi multi million dollar categories. That ironically, customers and prospective customers ask us about frequently, when are we going to make the BCAA? When are we going to make the EAA?

When are we going to make the electrolyte supplement? Well never. Anyway, if you want to learn the details about my position on electrolyte supplements, head over to legionathletics. com, search for electrolyte, check out the article on why electrolyte supplements are a scam. All right. S Banker, Bankier asks, best dumbbell leg exercise for mass and strength, Bulgarian split squat.

That’s my number one. Extra medium asks, if you had to start all over again, would you do it all the same or completely change it up? Well, I wouldn’t change any of the broad strokes, because generally, broadly, I have accomplished most of the most important things that I’ve set my mind to. I’ve mostly accomplished my intentions, and I think that that is an important component of living a good life.

Achieving satisfaction, achieving happiness, achieving excitement. And in addition to that, I think making a lot of friends along the way is also important. And those two things together, achieving intentions, making a lot of friends. Or maybe even a complete recipe for living a good life. However, I definitely would have done certain things differently, particularly in my businesses and particularly with Legion.

So I made some bad hires early on, put the wrong people into key roles and made some dumb moves that set Legion back quite a bit. For instance, if I had not made. A few of those bigger mistakes. Legion would be at least double its current size, maybe even triple. If I would have made the right moves early on, it very well could be triple its current size.

And so that is unfortunate. It’s unfortunate that I had to learn those lessons that way, a bit unnecessary, especially considering the fact that I had at least a few people who saw the problem. early on and warned me about it and told me where it was going to go and I chose not to believe them or I chose not to take the actions that were really required to fix the issues rather than half measures that were more maybe emotionally palatable but which were almost certainly not going to work And so, I had to learn through experience, and I had to pay for it.

I did learn the lessons, so that’s good. And I did fix the issues, and I have not repeated the mistakes. So, all good things. 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 ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email Mike at muscleforlife. com muscleforlife. com and let me know what I could do better or just 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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