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I’ve written and recorded a lot of evidence-based content over the years on just about everything you can imagine related to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy.

I’ve also worked with thousands of men and women of all ages and circumstances and helped them get into the best shape of their lives.

That doesn’t mean you should blindly swallow everything I say, though, because let’s face it—nobody is always right about everything. And especially in fields like diet and exercise, which are constantly evolving thanks to the efforts of honest and hardworking researchers and thought leaders.

This is why I’m always happy to hear from people who disagree with me, especially when they have good arguments and evidence to back up their assertions.

Sometimes I can’t get on board with their positions, but sometimes I end up learning something, and either way, I always appreciate the discussion.

That gave me the idea for this series of podcast episodes: publicly addressing things people disagree with me on and sharing my perspective.

Think of it like a spicier version of a Q&A.

So, here’s what I’m doing:

Every couple of weeks, I’m asking my Instagram followers what they disagree with me on, and then picking a few of the more common or interesting contentions to address here on the podcast.

And in this episode, I’ll be tackling the following . . .

Time Stamps:

4:59 – “Incline bench pressing is a waste of time.” 

10:50 – “The trap bar deadlift is a crappy exercise. It’s an unstable and dangerous deadlift.” 

21:16 – “If you want to build a great physique, you just need to get really strong on your big exercises.” 

Mentioned on the show: 

Shop Legion Supplements Here

My Instagram

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

Transcript:

Hello and welcome to Muscle for Life. I’m your host, Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today. Now, I’ve written and recorded a lot of evidence based stuff over the years on just about. Everything you can imagine relating to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy. I’ve also worked with thousands and thousands of men and women of all ages and circumstances and helped them get into the best shape of their life.

But, that does not mean you should just blindly swallow everything I say because let’s face it, nobody is always right about everything, and especially in fields like diet and exercise, which are always evolving thanks to the efforts of honest and hardworking researchers and thought leaders. And that’s why I’m always happy to hear from people who disagree with me, especially when they have good arguments and evidence to back.

Their assertions. Sometimes I can’t quite get on board with their positions, but sometimes I end up learning something and either way, I always appreciate the discussion and that gave me the idea for this series of podcast episodes, which I call says You, where I publicly address things that people disagree with.

And I share my perspective. It’s like a spicier q and A. So what I do is every couple of weeks I ask people who follow me on Instagram at most life fitness, please follow me what they disagree with me on, and then I pick a few of the more common or interesting contentions to address here on the podcast.

So if there’s something that you disagree with me on, and it could be related to diet, exercise. Supplementation business, lifestyle. I don’t care anything. Go follow me on Instagram at Muscle for Life Fitness and look for my says you story that I put up every couple of weeks where I solicit content for these episodes.

Or just shoot me an email, [email protected] All right, so here is what I’ll be tackling in today’s episode. The first comes from anonymous. I don’t have a name here, but this is something that I have heard many times over the years, and that is that incline, bench pressing is a waste of time, that it’s just a crappy compromise between the overhead press and the flat.

Bench press. And then I have another objection from anonymous. No note here as to who specifically brought it up this time, but again, this is something I have heard many times, particularly over the last year to maybe two years as the trap bar deadlift has. Become popular again. And that is, it’s really similar to the last one.

It is that the trap bar deadlift is also a crappy exercise. It’s just kind of an unstable and a dangerous deadlift, and you should just stick to a barbell deadlift instead. And then last I have, He had another anonymous critique, and that is if you want to build a great physique, you just need to get really strong on your big exercises, your squat, your bench deadlift, o p.

You don’t need accessory exercises, you don’t need body building exercises. You don’t really need to directly train smaller muscle groups like your arms or your shoulders. Chest or anything else really. Also, if you like what I am doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world, and we’re on top because every ingredient.

Dose in every product is backed by peer reviewed scientific research. Every formulation is 100% transparent. There are no proprietary blends, for example, and everything is naturally sweetened and flavored. So that means no artificial sweeteners, no artificial. Food dies, which may not be as dangerous as some people would have you believe.

But there is good evidence to suggest that having many servings of artificial sweeteners, in particular every day for long periods of time may not be the best for your health. So while you don’t need pills, powders, and potions to get into great shape, and frankly, most of them are virtual. Useless. There are natural ingredients that can help you lose fat, build muscle, and get healthy faster.

And you will find the best of them in legion’s products to check out everything we have to offer, including protein powders and bars, pre-workout and post-workout supplements, fat burners, multivitamins, joint support, and more. Head over to buy legion.com/. That’s B U Y L E G I n.com/mike. And just to show you how much I appreciate my podcast peeps, use the coupon code M F L checkout and you will save 20% on your entire first order.

Okay, so let’s take up this incline bench press point. First, you probably know what it is, but quickly, in case you’re not familiar with it, it is a compound chest exercise. It’s very similar to the flat bench press. You just do it using an inclined bench. I like around 30 degrees or so, instead of a perfectly flat bench.

That makes it a bit harder, and it also trains the chest a bit differently, which I’m gonna talk about now, I’ll say. The incline bench press isn’t an absolutely essential upper body exercise. I would agree that if you could do just one flat or incline, probably should choose the flat, but you’d be okay with the incline.

It is certainly not a waste of time, and I do think it has a place in just about any. Strength training program. It’s worth saying though that no single exercise, whether it’s flat bench or barbell squad or deadlift, is essential to building a great physique. You can get there in many different ways, but that doesn’t mean that certain exercises don’t have unique and worthwhile benefits.

And in the case of the incline bench press, it does. I think it can help you get to, especially if you’re a guy, it can help you get to the upper body you want a little bit faster. Doing just flat pressing, for example, especially flat and decline pressing. Why? The unique benefit of the incline bench press is that it emphasizes the upper part of the chest, the clavicular head of the peck.

And of course, it’s true that the flat. Barbell bench press also trains the upper part of your chest as well as the larger, lower part of your chest to at least some degree. Research shows that the flat bench press is not as effective in this regard as the incline bench press. Therefore, incline, bench pressing does help you prevent.

Muscle imbalances in your pecks. If you go on Instagram at Muscle Life Fitness and look at old pictures of my physique, I haven’t posted one recently, but if you scroll back far enough, you’ll see some before and after of some kind. You’ll see that my pecs used to be very bottom heavy, so I had a lot of muscle mass in the bottom of my pecs.

Not so much in the upper part of my pecs. And that’s because, are these partially because I. To do nothing but flat and decline, bench pressing flat, bench pressing, and I would really just do it on the Smith machine. But that was because of course, everybody had to do flat bench pressing. And then the decline bench press was fun because you can lift more weight.

It’s a shorter range of motion, so you feel stronger now. One of the primary ways I fixed that was doing a lot ofe. Bench pressing, barbell and dumbbell. A couple of years of doing consistently, probably anywhere from three to nine sets of incline pressing per week, and then doing a bit more, of course, flat pressing.

Got rid of the decline, pressing altogether in time, my pecs started to look more balanced. And again, you can see that in well, any recent pictures that I have posted. If you agree that my pecs. Balanced. They don’t look bottom heavy. They don’t look like they’re missing a top portion compared to the bottom portion.

That’s because I’ve done a lot of incline pressing now. It’s not the only way to get there. Reverse grip bench pressing is also an effective exercise for emphasizing the upper chest as well. I just prefer incline, bench pressing over. Reverse grip. Reverse grip always has just felt awkward to me, and it is an awkward exercise, so maybe I just haven’t given it enough time and really forced myself to get used to it.

But the incline bench press is easy and straightforward to do, but both can work. And another thing about the incline bench press is it is also great for your shoulders, which are also a notoriously stubborn muscle group because of. Inclined bench, your shoulders are a bit more involved in the inclined press versus the flat press.

Now none of that is to say that’s all you should do, though I wouldn’t recommend you just incline press the flat press barbell and dumbbell, and of course the overhead press, they definitely do deserve spots in your routine. The flat barbell bench, for example, likely does a better job of training the mid and.

Parts of your pecs than the incline bench press. It also lets you use heavier weights than the incline press, and of course heavier than the o p. And that is probably going to mean more muscle growth over time, of course, because we are most interested in achieving progressive overload, increasing our whole body strength.

And to do that, we have to lift maximally heavy weights. So that’s of course, flat pressing has going for it. And as far as the overhead press goes, this is almost certainly better for training your shoulders, particularly the anterior and the medial deltoids when compared to the incline bench press.

Even though the incline bench press does again involve the shoulders more than the flat, it is not the same as the o p and the o P also engages the traps and the abs and glutes. It’s even your legs really, depending on how you’re doing it. It is a whole body exercise. So if you want to optimally grow your chest and your shoulders, then I would say you wanna do flat pressing.

You wanna do incline pressing or reverse grip pressing if incline just doesn’t work for you. For example, some people find that incline pressing just bothers their shoulders or bothers their elbows. And for those people, reverse grip pressing can work better. And then also you want to be doing some sort of overhead press.

And for that, maybe that’d. Another tangent that I won’t go on, but for that I like to alternate between a traditional standing o p and a seated military press, which allows you to use a bit heavier weights and really emphasize on just overloading your shoulders and not have to pay as much attention to your technique as you do with the oh.

Okay. Moving on to the next point here, which is regarding the trap bar deadlift and the claim that it’s a crappy deadlift, that it’s even a dangerous deadlift. Again, if you’re not familiar with it, what this is it’s a deadlift that uses the trap bar, which is also known as a hex bar. And the big difference here is that the hex bar or trap bar is a bar that you step in the middle of, and then there are handles on either side of you left and.

And you hold onto those with a neutral grip as opposed to holding onto a barbell in front of you. Just search trap bar or hex bar, and you’ll see what I mean. And because of this difference in setup, the trap bar makes it easier to stay balanced over your center of gravity, and it makes the exercise more comfortable and easier to learn than the conventional deadlift for most people at least.

It also means that there’s little to no risk of hyperextending your back at the top, which of course, the conventional dead. Doesn’t encourage, but you do see a lot of people doing it because they think that they need to. You do not, of course you wanna stop at just perfectly upright with the trap bar though, you can’t stay balanced and hyper extend your back, so it forces you to stop when you are perfectly upright.

What’s more, the neutral grip that you use in the trap bar deadlift reduces the risk of muscle imbalances and biceps tears that are associated with using a. Grip in particular, which I do not recommend. I did do it for a long time and I didn’t take my own advice and alternate between the right and left hand being pronated and supervened.

So for me, what was comfortable was my left hand palm. Down and my right hand palm up because I’m right-handed. Ideally, if you’re gonna be mixed grip deadlifting, you will switch that around every probably six to eight weeks so you don’t develop a muscle and balancer, so you don’t place too much stress on that supernate arm.

So in my case, it was my right arm and fortunately I never tore a bicep or sustained any major injury. But I did aggravate my biceps tendon, and I can’t say it was only because of that, but I know that the mixed grip deadlifting did not help because I did get fairly strong. I did get over 400 pounds with a mixed grip, and I wasn’t alternating, and I was doing three to four sets of deadlifting per week.

So over time, it’s easy to develop a repetitive stress injury in your biceps or your biceps. Tendon when you are mixed grip deadlifting in just one way. Now with the trap bar, you don’t have to worry about that at all again, because you have your arms at your sides, your right arm on your right side, and your left arm on your left side, and you have a neutral grip, and that is a stronger grip I find, for example, that with a double overhand grip, which is what I would recommend for conventional deadlifting.

And for what it’s worth, I don’t like hook gripping because I don’t like excruciating pain in my thumbs, and I’d rather just wear straps. But with the double overhand, I can comfortably hold maybe up to about three 15 for sets of five or six before my grip just starts to give way. And that’s where I will add straps into it.

So I’d recommend that over the. Unless you are just not a pussy like me. Now with the trap bar, because of the neutral grip, I’m able to hold a lot more weight without straps. Just last week I was doing sets of 3 75 for eight, I believe, and my grip was AO K. In the past, I’ve been as high as the low 400 s on the trap.

Bar maybe four 30 or so, 4 24 sets of two to four. And if I remember correctly, I did have to use straps there, but I will be getting back to that weight at the end of this current training block. So I’ll see how it goes this time around. Now let’s talk about effectiveness trap bar versus conventional.

The Trop, our deadlift is one of the few exercises that rivals the conventional barbell deadlift. And although they do look slightly different, they are very similar. Mechanically and functionally speaking, both of the exercises train your lower back, your glutes, your hamstrings your posterior chain.

But the barbell deadlift does put more stress on the lower back and the hamstrings in particular than the trap bar deadlift, which in turn puts more stress on your quads. And that’s true even if you use the low handles, which I would recommend if you have the. Mobility for it. And the reason for this difference is the trap bar deadlift puts your back in a more upright position than the conventional barbell deadlift, and it also involves more knee and ankle flexion.

And because of that though, the trap bar deadlift is more comfortable than the barbell deadlift than the conventional deadlift, at least for most people. The trap bar deadlift is very newbie friendly in that way, particularly with people who are a bit older and very out of shape, and who have never really taken weightlifting seriously before.

Otherwise, though, aside from the differences I just pointed out, the trap bar deadlift is biomechanically identical to the conventional deadlift. That said, a common criticism of the trap bar deadlift is. Because you can handle more weight on it, then it must just be an easier exercise, which means it’s an inferior exercise and maybe it’s good for helping novices learn how to pull properly.

But once they have built a basic foundational level of whole body strength, they should just transition away from the trap bar into the conventional deadlift and not look back. And I disagree. I think that’s misguided advice because while it’s. That the trap bar deadlift is a bit easier and you are able to lift more weight with it than with the conventional deadlift.

You can make it just as hard If we’re talking about work, we’re talking about effectiveness by just lifting more weight. In fact, studies show that you’ll probably be able to lift about five to 10% more on the trap bar deadlift than the conventional deadlift, and that’s even when you’re using the low handles, so you can take advantage of that.

Increasing the load accordingly. So for example, if you can conventionally deadlift 300 pounds for a few reps, let’s say, and you wanna switch to the trap bar deadlift for let’s say 68 weeks of training, then you can probably increase that to maybe 315 to maybe even 330 pounds. And that means that you should be able to gain muscle and strength just as effectively because.

Yes, you are doing a slightly easier exercise, but you’re forcing your body to do it with more weight, which makes it more difficult. And if you have never done the trap bar deadlift before, if you’ve only conventionally deadlift, then try it for yourself and see if it feels easier. It will not. If you have your weight calibrated properly, sets of 8, 6, 4, 10, whatever on the trap bar, deadlift will be just as hard as sets of.

8, 6, 4, 10, whatever, on the conventional deadlift, so long as you have your weight set up properly. It’s also worth mentioning that studies on the trap bar deadlift have found that weightlifters can pull the bar faster than on the conventional deadlift and generate more power as a result of that. And that means that the trap bar deadlift may be slightly better than the conventional deadlift for athletes, because most sports demand not just strength, but speed.

And when you combine those factors that. Power, right? That is producing strength quickly. And if an exercise allows you to get more power out of your body, allows you to produce that strength, to express that strength faster, that is generally gonna be considered more beneficial for improving athleticism.

So all in all, the trap art deadlift is not a direct replacement for the barb. Deadlift, but it is certainly a worthy alternative. It is similar to the incline bench press and the flat bench press, and what I like to do in my training is switch from the conventional barbell deadlift to the trap bar deadlift every 12 to maybe 16 weeks, depending on how I am programming my training.

Currently, I’m following beyond bigger, leaner, stronger, so I have 16 week macro cycles, and so what I’m doing right now is. Conventional deadlifting for 16 weeks. And then I am trap bar deadlifting for 16 weeks. And currently I am trap bar deadlifting. I’ll be doing sets of six this week. And if you wanna learn more about how I’m training and what type of training I recommend for intermediate and advanced weightlifters who want to gain as much muscle and.

They possibly can check out. My newest book came out a couple of months ago, beyond Bigger, leaner, stronger. It actually is an updated, really rewritten from scratch, second edition of Beyond Bigger, leaner, stronger. The First Edition came out years ago. This new second edition is very different because my understanding of things has changed and my views have changed and.

Really like how this second edition came together. I love the program. I’m getting a lot of really good feedback from people who are gaining muscle and strength again, and really enjoying their workouts, especially people who have come from bigger leaners, stronger to beyond bigger, leaner, stronger, which is similar to bigger leaners, stronger.

It’s just harder. You have to work a bit harder in the gym and you are. Working with even heavier weights as well as lighter weights on your primary exercises. And I don’t wanna get into a big book pitch, but anyways, beyond Bigger Thing or Stronger, you can find [email protected] or Amazon or wherever you wanna buy a book and read a book.

Oh, and one other thing regarding the trap bar deadlift, if you are concerned that giving up the conventional deadlift for 1, 2, 3, or even four, For the trap bar deadlift is going to mess up your barbell deadlift numbers. If you are concerned that you’re gonna come back weaker, it’s not gonna happen. In my experience with my own training and just having worked with many people, including many intermediate and advanced weightlifters over the years, I think you’ll find them complimentary.

I think that you’ll find that if you gain strength in the trap bar deadlift over, let’s say, a 16 week beyond big, lean, stronger macro cycle, which you should, if you’re doing things correctly, you’re gonna come back to that conventional barbell lift in your next macro cycle, stronger as well.

If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world. Okay, so let’s move on to the final point of this installment of says You.

And that is if you wanna build a great physique, you just need to get really strong on your squat, bench, deadlift and ohp. You don’t need to do any accessory exercises or body building exercises for your arms, shoulders, chest, or other muscles. And I actually don’t disagree. I don’t think that you can’t build a good physique or even a great physique with just pure strength training, squatting, deadlifting, bench pressing, overhead pressing, but how great it’s gonna be is up for debate.

Obviously, there is a subjective component to this, what I think is great, may not be what you think is great or someone else thinks is great. For example, What I’ve seen over the years is often if somebody has done a lot of pure strength training, they’re gonna have very large legs, a very large butt. So a very large and developed lower body and an underwhelming upper body.

So much so that it looks imbalanced. If I’m allowed to make a joke about it, I call it the centar physique. Massive lower body and lackluster upper body, particularly the arms, the shoulders, the pecs, the back, not so much. Usually the posterior chain is well developed all around, but what on the front is not so much.

Generally speaking. Now, of course, you can find people who have done a lot of strength training and really nothing but strength training, who have very well rounded physiques, who look awesome. They are out there, but I would say they’re probably more like the exception rather than the rule. And often genetics are in play here.

These are people who were big and strong their entire life, who usually started lifting weights at a young age, who responded really well and who have been able to get very, But that is not most of us don’t have DNA like that. And so I would argue that most of us, at least US guys in particular, who have a very specific upper body, we want very highly developed pecks and shoulders and arms.

Of course, we want a highly developed lower body as well. But if you are like most guys, If you are a guy and you’re like most guys, then it is going to take a lot more work for you to get the upper body you want than the lower body. That’s generally the experience for most men, and most men do need assistance or accessory or secondary exercises, isolation, body building exercises, many terms for these things, but all the.

You’re gonna need those exercises to get there because as important and effective as the big compound exercises are, remember they do have prime movers. They do have the stars of the show, and although they involve other muscle groups, the volume. Isn’t the same like on the squat, for example, the barbell squat, the volume that it provides for your quads is different than the volume that it provides for your hamstrings.

Because the squat is a much more quad dominant exercise, it requires a lot more from your quads than your hamstrings. So if all you did was squat, if you did no exercises that emphasize your hamstrings, you certainly would get big legs. You. Big quads. You would of course, experience development in your hamstrings, but research shows you would also increase the risk of a hamstring injury.

You would probably increase the risk of knee problems, and if you were to look at your legs from the side, for example, in the mirror, you probably would think it looks a bit. Odd. You would notice how highly developed your quads are, and your hamstrings will probably look small in comparison, or at least not as developed as they should be for the ideal look, the ideal aesthetic.

It’s also worth mentioning that recent research shows that if you want to maximize hypertrophy in the hamstrings, you have to have your knees flexed. You want to have knee flexion exercises, particularly having your knees and your. Flexed, so that would mean a leg curl of some kind. And seated leg curls are likely more effective for growing your hamstrings than lying leg curls.

Now you might be a little bit confused if you follow me on Instagram and watch my workout stories because I only do lying leg curls. Why? Seated leg curls are very awkward to me. I can’t get into the right position and stay in the right position and really feel my hamstrings working in the same way as I can when I’m lying down.

Instead, I’m trying to fiddle with the machine and keep myself from sliding forward, and I understand that Theoretically it might be a little bit better if I were doing the seated leg curl, but the lying curl is good. Another good example of this point that I’m making about strength training is the shoulders, right?

So what’s usually missing in somebody who has done nothing but overhead and bench pressing is that round kind of capped look, the 3D delts, right? That kind of frames the upper body and makes the shoulders pop off the arms and makes the upper body look wider. And to understand why you need to know that the shoulders.

Three muscles. You have the interior deloid on the front. You have the lateral or medial deloid on the side. And I know people will be thinking it’s the lateral deloid, not the medial deloid. Those terms are not interchangeable. They don’t mean the same thing. I know, but many people have heard it as the medial deloid, not the lateral and vice versa.

So I’m just using both terms. Eventually it probably will just become synonymous because people refuse to. Calling them the medial deltoids. Anyway, so we have these side deltoids and we also have these posterior, these rear deltoids. And when you overhead press the anterior, the front deloid are the main movers here and the lateral deltoids, the side deltoids, they do assist, but they are not stimulated to the degree that the front deltoids are.

And as far as the posterior, the rear deltoids go, they really aren’t involved. All, and that’s pretty significant because the lateral and the posterior deltoids most determine how three dimensional, how capped our shoulders look, they’re small muscles, but if you work to develop them, they can make a. Big difference in how your shoulders work.

The anterior deltoids do not contribute much at all to that look that aesthetic. So what that means is you can have a very strong o p, but your shoulders cannot look that impressive. But if you then include some side raises and some rear raises in your routine, maybe three to six sets per week of each, and you just stick with it in time, you are gonna notice some big differences in how your shoulders look.

They are going to. Rounder. They are gonna look more like they pop off of your arms, and that looks cool, of course, but it also makes your upper body look wider, which means that your waist is gonna look smaller, and that’s something that pretty much every guy wants more of. Now, another reason why I think that body building exercises, accessory exercises are worthwhile is they allow you to better control volume for.

Major muscle group. And that’s important because there are many ways to look at volume. You could look at it in terms of total reps or total weight lifted, or my preferred method, total of hard sets performed. And a hard set is simply a working set, a muscle building set, a set that is taken close to muscle failure, maybe two muscle failure, and one of the key.

Elements of effective training is doing enough volume, doing enough hard sets per major muscle group per week, and research shows that so long as you are lifting heavy weights, let’s say at least 60 to 65% of your one rep max, the optimal volume is between 10 and 20 hard sets per major muscle. Per week.

Now, why the big range? Experience is the biggest determinant of how much volume is required to stimulate muscle growth. So what studies show is that people who are new to lifting, maybe their first year or so, they don’t need to do more than probably about 10 hard sets. Per major muscle group per week to gain as much muscle and strength as they possibly can in that first year.

But if somebody is several years in and they’re already big and strong and they’re just trying to gain the last bits of strength and muscle available to them, then they’re probably gonna have to be doing upward of 15, 16, maybe even as high as 20 hard sets per major mouse group per week. Although actually doing.

20 in particular is very difficult. If you were to bust out your Excel spreadsheet and start to program that out, I think you’d see what I mean. You’d be in the gym probably an hour and a half, two hours per day, and you’d better be eating a lot of food and you’d better be basically invincible. You’d better be in your twenties , or you’re gonna have some major joint issues within probably your first month or so.

So if we’re talking about sustainability and avoiding injury, Burnout. Probably something closer to 15 hard sets per major mouse group per week is a more practical ceiling to strive for. Now, if you are only doing the squat deadlift, bench press, overhead press, and maybe you are allowed some chin-ups or maybe some dips, one or two accessory exercises, what you’ll find is it’s basically impossible.

To optimize your volume, it’s impossible to do 15 hard sets per week for your biceps, for your triceps, for your shoulders, for your hamstrings, even for your back. Now, I do understand, of course, that the big compound lifts. By their very nature, provide volume for multiple muscle groups. The bench press, for example, is not just volume for your pecs, it’s also volume for your anterior deloid and for your triceps.

And it’s probably fair to count those on a one to one basis. But what about your lateral deltoids? What about your rear deltoids? Or take the squat? I mentioned earlier that it is certain. Very effective volume for your quads, but not so much for your hamstring. So much so that if you are not including hamstring specific or hamstring focused exercises, I would say you’re doing it wrong.

Think about the back as well. The deadlift is a great back exercise, but it is not the be all end all for back training, for example. It is not a. Lat exercise, not like a la pulldown is, or a barbell row is, or a dumbbell row is, or a horizontal row. And so again, if you want to make sure that you are hitting your back with let’s say, 15 hard sets per week, how are you supposed to do that?

If all you’re doing is deadlifting with maybe some chin-ups here and. And chin ups are a great exercise. I’m not knocking chin ups. I have chin ups in my current training block, for example, but they heavily involve the biceps and if you just wanna focus on your back muscles, you would do pullups or one of the other exercises I just mentioned.

I don’t want to belabor this point, but I’ll mention the arm muscles as well, and particularly the biceps. I’ve seen many people who are very strong and who got there doing a lot of strength training with pretty small bicep. And the reason for that is most strength training programs provide very little direct volume for biceps.

Maybe there are some chin-ups, which is direct volume for the biceps, but there is almost certainly not dumbbell curls of any kind or barbell curls of any kind. You do a lot of pulling, a lot of deadlifting, maybe some barbell rowing, and that does provide indirect volume to the biceps. But in my experience, having worked with many people over the years, It seems that there are not many people out there who have high responding biceps.

We all have our high responding body parts, but biceps and pecks in men seem to be generally pretty stubborn. They generally require a lot of work to get them up to where most guys want to be. And maybe that’s also because most guys want, functionally speaking, hyper developed biceps and pecks. We want biceps and pecks that are way.

Then they need to be, if we consider their function, and that’s okay. So anyway, to wrap up here on this point, my philosophy is you use the big compound lifts as the primary exercises. Those are the exercises you want to ensure you are getting stronger on, and you want to do first thing in your workouts and you wanna pay the most attention to.

And then you wanna look at where that puts you in terms of volume for each of your major muscle groups. Add accessory exercises as needed to bring up the volume where it is lacking, where it needs to be higher. All right. That is it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it, and thank you again for joining me.

Now, what do I have for you next week while I have an interview with Dr. Spencer and Alki on P C O S? What? Is it? What causes it? What can you do about it? I also have another installment of the Best of Muscle for Life coming where I’m gonna talk about the mental side of dieting. Three very common weightlifting mistakes people make and the right way to set goals.

And speaking of goals, I also have a monologue coming on what research has to say about when you should give up on a goal. When is it okay to quit and. All right. That’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful. And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or.

Wherever you’re listening to me from, in whichever app you’re listening to me in, because that not only convinces people that they should check out the show, it also increases search visibility, and thus, it helps more people find their way to me and learn how to get fitter, leaner, stronger, healthier, and happier as well.

And of course, if you want to be notified when the next episode goes live, then simply subscribe to the podcast and you won’t miss out on any new stuff. And if you didn’t like something about the show, please do shoot me an email at mike muscle for life.com. Just muscle o r life.com and share your thoughts on how I can do this.

I read everything myself and I’m always looking for constructive feedback. Even if it is criticism, I’m open to it. And of course you can email me if you have positive feedback as well, or if you have questions really relating to anything that you think I could help you with, definitely send me an email.

That is the best way to get ahold of me, Mike, at most for life.com. And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you.

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