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In this episode, I tackle a variety of questions ranging from training and supplementation, to the threat of AI towards humanity. 

I discuss how to grow skinny legs efficiently, how to optimize your sleep and wake-up time after a late night, whether hyperextensions are a good exercise, 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!

(1:49) Go to to get BOGO 50% off during our Spring Sale!

(3:42) Will Legion introduce a standalone creatine supplement?

(4:19) What drives Mike Matthews’ inspiration?

(5:16) Reasons behind the recent reduction in podcast frequency?

(5:43) Is artificial intelligence a genuine threat to humanity?

(6:24) Late nights: better to maintain a consistent wake-up time or get 7+ hours of sleep?

(9:13) Why are hyperextensions discouraged by some fitness experts?

(10:27) Effective strategies for developing muscular legs for skinny individuals

(13:19) When can we expect more memes on your social media?

(13:48) Is it safe to use creatine while breastfeeding?

(14:28) Is conjugate training worth trying?

(15:03) Please share the podcast with a friend!

(15:39) Evaluating the time commitment vs. benefits of playing golf

(17:11) Does Mike use the same workout split as described in his book?

(18:54) Top exercises for building prominent upper trapezius muscles

(19:31) What’s the hardest thing about doing hard things?

(19:46) Explanation for why Lunar was out of stock

(20:27) Can you do a podcast on the dangerous future of exercise mimetics?

(20:56) How many times a day do you think about the Roman Empire?

(21:22) Recommended squat variations for individuals with knee injuries

(23:16) Insights into Mike Mentzer’s training philosophy

(25:04) Are there benefits to microdosing Pulse throughout the day?

Mentioned on the Show:

Get 50% off during our Spring Sale! Go to to save now and use coupon code MUSCLE to get double reward points!

Legion Pulse: and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points!

Legion Lunar: 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, hello, and welcome to Muscle For Life. I’m your host, Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for another Q&A episode where I answer questions that people ask me on Instagram over at muscle for life fitness. That’s my handle. I guess might be the term username on Instagram. So if you want to ask me your questions, just follow me on Instagram.

Every couple of weeks, I put up a story, and I put up stories semi regularly, but every couple of weeks I put up a story specifically for this, where I add the little ask me a question sticker, people submit questions, I go through them, I pick ones that I find interesting or topical, ones that I haven’t already answered a billion times before, and I answer them briefly there on Instagram, posting the answers to my stories, and then I bring everything over here to the podcast.

because I can answer the questions in more detail. And so, in today’s episode, I answer quite a few questions. I answer a question regarding Legion and Creatine. Is Legion going to be selling a standalone Creatine product? I answer a question regarding AI and the purported threat to humanity. A question about sleep.

Is it better to wake up later? Uh, to get enough sleep or to wake up at your normal time and be underrated. Or is there something else you can do? The hyperextension exercise. Is it a good exercise? Many people advise against it. Why? An efficient way to grow legs that don’t want to grow. Tall, lanky, stubborn.

There’s another question regarding creatine and breastfeeding. My thoughts on conjugate training, my thoughts on Mike Mencer’s training, and more. This episode is sponsored by me. Because I don’t have any show sponsors. Because I have never had any show sponsors and probably never will. Because I would rather you just check out my stuff, check out my books, check out my sports nutrition company, Legion.

Which currently is holding its big spring site wide sale over at www. mfl. show slash spring. And that means that for the next few days you can buy one, get 150 percent off site wide. All of our products, every supplement, buy one, get 150 percent off. And, you are going to get a 10 gift card on orders over 99, and that’s good toward anything in our store, as well as a 20 gift card on orders over 149.

And if you don’t want to go BOGO We have more. We also have discounted our stacks up to 40 percent off, and so that means you can save up to 40 percent on some of our most popular supplements bundled by goal, like building muscle or improving health or improving recovery, accelerating fat loss, and so on.

So if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, please subscribe. And if you like 100 percent naturally sweetened and flavored sports supplements with clinically effective ingredients and doses, and that doses point is important. It’s not just the ingredients, but it’s how much. And finally, if you like to save money, then again, head over to www.

MFL. show slash spring. Check out everything Legion has to offer. See what catches your fancy. Save big on it, and enjoy. Alessi 15 asks Legion creatine. Uh, yes, we are going to sell creatine as a standalone product, but first we are going to upgrade recharge, which is our post workout supplement with creatine.

I want to add at least one more ingredient, see if I can get two more ingredients into it, just to make it clearly more valuable than just The creatine and yeah, so once recharge is upgraded, we are then going to release a standalone creatine product. Ab Whitey asks, what inspires you? Um, work wise, uh, creating stuff.

I like creating intellectual properties in particular, but I guess generally I like creative work. So in the context of business specifically, I most enjoy stuff related to marketing. Because that is the most creative area of activity in a business, and it’s also the most valuable area of activity because marketing includes not just getting people to buy your stuff, but it also includes the whole process of creating the product.

Products and services that people want to buy. And so you have the creation of the products and services, and then you have the selling of the products and services. I mean, that’s the core of business. Without those things, you don’t have a business. Black Kevin asks, why the lack of podcasts lately? So this was asked probably a month or two ago, just to give some context when I switched from three episodes of the podcast per week to one.

And I did that to free up time for other work projects. And so far it hasn’t had much of an impact on the podcast’s total monthly plays or average rankings in the charts. And so I have stuck with it. A chair asks, is AI a real threat to humanity? Yeah, it absolutely does pose a threat. It can cause major problems, especially if it’s in the hands of the many psychopathic control freaks of the superclass who openly advocate for a global technocracy and a post human.

Future, if those people aren’t stopped, then humanity, as we know, it may no longer exist in the next 30 to 50 years. And AI will be one of the technological weapons wielded against humanity to bring that about. Ed Fritsch asks, if you’re going to have a late night, what’s better consistent wake up time or seven plus hours of sleep?

Uh, if it’s just one instance, maybe every so often doesn’t really matter. However, I prefer the same wake up time plus maybe a 30 to 45 minute nap around noon or maybe 1 PM. So long as together, my. Sleep from the night four plus my nap gives me at least something around six hours of sleep because occasionally not getting enough sleep, even if it’s once a week, let’s say on average, is not going to negatively affect your health, it would be like missing a workout once a week or something like that.

So Not following your meal plan once a week, not eating enough vegetables once a week, so long as you generally don’t miss workouts, so long as you generally eat your vegetables, what you do every so often doesn’t matter. Anyway, though, if I did not sleep nearly enough, In the night before. And so let’s say the night before, plus a nap is going to be less than six hours or less than five and a half hours.

If that is only going to get me to, let’s say four or four and a half, maybe five hours, then I would. Probably do both. I would sleep maybe an extra hour, so I would move my alarm ahead an extra hour, plus I would do the 30 minute nap around 12 or 1 PM again, just to get me up to that total sleep, including the nap of something around six, maybe six and a half hours.

And the reason why you generally want to make sure that you get at least five and a half or six hours of sleep at night and then you can supplement that with a nap if you just need a pick me up is that will meet your body’s core sleep needs, which means that you are going to get a significant amount of deep sleep.

And that’s particularly important for brain health and brain function and research shows that so long as you. Your core sleep, get that five and a half to six hours of sleep, you should generally be fine. Maybe you feel a little bit under rested the next day and maybe your mood is a little bit impaired, but you should be able to perform fairly well physically, mentally.

Now that’s not to say that you should consistently get just five and a half to six hours of sleep per night, but if it does happen every so often. Once a week, maybe twice a week. It’s not something to be concerned about. H. M. Eifert asks, that exercise for lower back, some people advise not to do. Why? So this was a hyperextension.

That was the exercise I was doing. Now, many people do it incorrectly, and that is why it is sometimes advised against. And the most common mistake that people make with the hyperextension is they hyperextend. Their lower back at the top of each rep, which seems right given the name, but it’s not, you don’t want to hyperextend at the top of the hyper extension.

You want to end the rep when you are in a straight line, when your torso and your lower body. are aligned with each other, similar to when you were at the top of a deadlift. You don’t want to hyper extend. You stop when you were standing straight up and down. Also, with the hyper extension, you don’t want to round your lower back at the bottom.

You want to keep it in a neutral position, similar to how you would keep your back when you’re squatting and deadlifting. You want to feel that tension in your hamstrings. You don’t want to release that tension by rounding your lower back. HP lifts asks most efficient way to pack on size on tall log legs.

So just work up to this two times per week, three hard sets, meaning sets taken close to failure one or maybe two good reps left hard sets 4 to 6 reps per set. Of a squat of your choice. It could be a barbell squat, you know, back squat, front squat. It could be a safety bar squat, or it could be a machine equivalent.

It could be a belt squat. It could be a pendulum squat. It could be a hack squat and so on. And then after that, do 3 sets of 6 8 or 8 10 reps of a hamstring isolation exercise of your choice. You know, a seated curl, a lying curl, glute ham raise, so forth. And then, do the same 3 hard sets of 6 8 or 8 10 reps of a quads isolation exercise, like a leg extension.

And if you work up to that, Two times per week, which means first you got to work up to one time per week, and then once you’ve been doing that for probably at least a couple months, and that is no longer producing pronounced soreness, and you feel ready to do more, then you start with your second session for the week.

However, don’t just repeat the first workout. Don’t jump from just doing it once a week to doing it in its entirety. Twice per week, because that’s a huge increase in weekly volume, and you’re probably going to run into issues related to recovery, and so what I would recommend instead is on that second leg session, start Bye.

With just the three sets of the quads isolation exercises and do that for probably about four weeks or so, then add in the three sets of the hamstring exercises. Do that now for anywhere from probably two to four weeks until you feel like again, you are not excessively sore and you are fully recovering from, from those.

Extra sets, those extra weekly sets. And then once you are now. Consistently doing the six sets in this extra session, then add in the three hard sets of the four to six reps of the squat, add that last, because that is the most difficult to recover from. And then once you are doing those workouts in their entirety, twice per week, stay patient, eat plenty of food.

Get enough sleep and do it for many months and your legs will grow. I promise you. Jacob Ziegler asks, when memes? So he’s referring to my Instagram stories, which sometimes are full of memes and sometimes are completely devoid of memes. And that’s because my meme dealer has lost his nerve. I guess he, he gazed too long into the 4chan.

Abyss, but this has happened before he will regain his wits and then I will have memes again Jeff Palm asks, Creatine while breastfeeding okay? Well, research shows that some of it will transfer to the milk, and the effects of that on infants is currently unknown. So, To be safe, I would avoid it until further research is done, which will likely come given the rapidly rising popularity of creatine among non weightlifters for brain health, and even cardiovascular health, and other Benefits that have nothing to do with body composition or physical performance.

JunkMD asks, Thoughts on conjugate training? Eh, it’s unnecessarily complicated for basically everyone who isn’t a competitive strength trainer. athlete. In my opinion, it’s just not worth the hassle. Again, unless you are a strength athlete and you really know what you’re doing with your programming or you’re working with somebody who really knows what they’re doing with their programming.

Now, if you just want to try it for fun, because it sounds interesting. Go for it. But if it does not have any intrinsic appeal to you, I would say pass. 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 us?

Or a loved one, or a not so loved one even, who might want to learn something new. Word of Mouth helps really 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. Joed Wessels asks, or Joed Wessels, Playing golf worth the time commitment?

Uh, well, I’m currently out of golf. I go in and out of golf. I’m in my out of golf phase because I don’t want to give it the time that it takes. And to be specific, if you are new to golf, you are going to want to commit at least Five to 10 hours per week to it. And this is too fun. What’s supposed to be fun.

This is just a hobby, but golf is probably similar to maybe tennis and that it’s not fun for at least the first few hundred hours, because you are terrible. You can’t hit the ball for shit. You can’t pitch the ball for shit. You can’t chip the ball for shit. You can’t putt for shit. It is not fun. And so you have to be willing to grind through that, to use a lot of quote unquote fun time doing something that is not fun in pursuit of fun, in hopes of having fun once you are not so shitty.

But if that makes sense to you, then go for it. Yeah, I would say it’s worth the time commitment because if you can get through that phase and you can learn to actually play the game and you will feel like you are actually playing the game once you are consistently shooting in the 80s, at least that’s how it was for me, and then it can be a lot of fun.

ChrisSanDiego93 asks, Do you use the same split that you promote in your book or do you do something else? I have been doing more or less exactly what’s in my books, including the workouts in the bonus material for over 10 years now, starting with bigger, leaner, stronger, and then moving on to beyond bigger, leaner, stronger.

And then for the last six months or so, Maybe eight months, I’ve been back to bigger, leaner, stronger, the three day per week program, more or less exactly as it’s laid out in the book, basically push, pull legs with a little bit of extra bodybuilding work because I’m in a maintenance phase. Whereas previously for two or three years, I was pushing for progress.

I was training five days per week, Beyond Bigger, Leaner, Stronger, doing it exactly as it’s laid out in the book and the bonus materials, and did well with that. Hit PRs and gained some muscle. I’m more or less at the end of my genetic rope for progress. Muscle growth, but I, I certainly gained muscle along with gaining a fairly significant amount of strength.

And now I’m in the gym three days per week, again, push, pull legs, bigger, leaner, stronger, straight out of the book, basically, which is more than is needed strictly for the purposes of maintenance. If I wanted to do the absolute minimum amount of work to maintain most of my muscle and strength, I could get away with probably one to two workouts per week.

But a bit more is better for the purposes of health. And I like getting in the gym three days per week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I do cardio on the other days. It’s a good routine, it works for me, so that’s what I’m doing. Lance Lotward asks, Best exercise to build high traps? Uh, weighted shrugs, full range of motion, no momentum, control each rep, pause at the top.

Um, that’s also a good tip for calf training, is a Pause at the top of each rep and a pause at the bottom of each rep. And this is specifically for calves. So you get that full stretch. Um, but yeah, weighted shrugs are a simple and straightforward way to build up your traps if your back training, isn’t doing it for you.

Lee Bailey asks, what is the hardest thing about doing hard things? Really? It’s just the first 10 minutes. Pause If you can get through the first 10 minutes of just about anything, it gets very easy to keep going. Lyndon Sepp asks, Why has Luna, been out of Lunar, been out of stock for a long time? So now Lunar is back in stock, but at the time it was out of stock because we were reformulating it, and we were changing the form from a powder that you had to mix with water, which I don’t like to do before I go to bed.

And I stopped drinking. Liquids a couple hours before bed just to minimize P interruptions in the middle of the night. And so we went from the powder to chewable tablets. And if you want to check Lunar out, you can find it over at buylegion. com. B U I Legion. com slash Lunar. Mike. Galego asks, can you do a podcast on the topic of exercise, memetics, dangerous future ahead?

That could make for an interesting interview. Actually, I’ll make a note of that. But yes, in the future, there will be two types of people. There will be the people who get the benefits of exercise through exercise and the people who chase the benefits of exercise through drugs. And so many. of the world’s problems are going to be caused by the latter.

Miss Danny Ryan asks, How many times a day do you think about the Roman Empire? Wait, Rome fell? When did that happen exactly? Because what roadways do you roam? What language do you speak? What monuments do you revere? Tell me, are you not Roman? Sasha Sherbak asks best squat variation for a knee injury box squat can be great a wide stance squat with your toes turned out to 20 ish degrees can work well a front squat.

That’s also great. back friendly, a safety bar squat, which you can rig with a regular bar and straps. You can just search online to find videos. If your gym doesn’t have a proper safety bar, which most gyms don’t, the goblet squat, another good alternative, and maybe a split squat, um, regular or Bulgarian, depending on what’s going on.

But between all of those variations, you should be able to find something that doesn’t continually aggravate the problem. But if none of those variations work, because they just cause too much pain, then find something else. You want to find something that causes, it doesn’t have to cause no pain, depending on what the situation is, it just can’t cause significant amounts of pain.

If it causes a little bit of discomfort, and again, asterisking this with it depends what type of injury we’re talking about, but let’s say it’s a repetitive stress injury, which It’s going to happen. You lift weights for long enough. You are going to develop these annoying, nagging RSIs. And the most important thing you can do to get rid of them is to not continually aggravate them.

And so let’s say on a scale of one to 10, a pain scale of one to 10, you’re looking for a one, two, maybe a three, but once it gets into the four or five plus, that’s too much. It’s just going to prolong the problem. And so if squatting, Any type of squatting is producing a four or five plus amount of pain in your knee or anywhere.

Just do something else. Find something that does not produce much pain, maybe just a little bit of discomfort. And then stay patient. Wallcrawler asks, Mike Mentzer keeps popping up lately. What are your thoughts on his way of training? I actually have a podcast coming on this because I’m getting asked quite a bit about this because his training methods have had a bit of a resurgent online and I know I’ve addressed this previously.

On the podcast here in Q and A’s, but I’ll just quickly answer again. There are several things that I don’t like about Mensur’s approach in the context of most people rather than enhanced and genetically gifted bodybuilders. So one thing I don’t like is the lack of volume. It’s very low volume training.

Another thing is the overemphasis on achieving failure. Training to failure is A useful tool, and it is not as detrimental as some people would have you believe, but Mencers training has you training beyond failure using different techniques and the sheer amount of training to and beyond failure is very, very valuable.

Hard on the body. I also don’t like the lack of frequency in Mensur’s programming. It’s also particularly grueling for newbies who are often poking around on social media for training programs. Moving on to the next point on my list, Mensur’s methods are less supported by evidence at this point than other methods that I do generally advocate and that do generally work well for most, if not all, people.

All people. And finally, Mencer’s programming has too many fancy training techniques for my taste, like forced reps and negatives, rest pause, supersets, and so forth. W. F. Turnage asks, thoughts on microdosing pulse throughout the day? Now, this may have been a joke question, but actually taking smallish, so let’s say around 50 ish mg amounts of caffeine every hour or so is actually best for maintaining cognitive and mood benefits and avoiding any crash if you tend to crash on caffeine.

So if that’s why you are taking PULSE, if it’s not for an acute performance benefit, if it is for Cognitive benefits and emotional benefits. And if you want to extend those benefits throughout the day, then, then yeah, actually micro dosing it is the way to go. But if you want to use it as a pre workout and you want to have a better workout, you’re going to want to have a larger amount of caffeine plus everything else.

It’s impulse 30 or 45 minutes or so before you train. And to be specific, when you are using caffeine for an acute performance benefit, you want the. dosing to be in the range of three to six milligrams per kilogram of body weight. Oh, and if you’re not sure what Pulse is, you’ve gathered it’s a pre workout.

It’s my pre workout, or Legion, my sports nutrition company’s pre workout. It is very popular. It’s our number one best selling product, and it has been since the beginning. If you want to check it out, just head over to buylegion. com slash Pulse. Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful.

And if you did, subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you. And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have.

Uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, mike 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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