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I’ve churned through over 150,000 emails, social media comments and messages, and blog comments in the last 6 years.
And that means I’ve fielded a ton of questions.
As you can imagine, some questions pop up more often than others, and I thought it might be helpful to take a little time every month to choose a few and record and share my answers.
So, in this round, I answer the following three questions:
- What are your thoughts on resistance bands?
- How do you convince your wife to have sex with you?
- Do you think that females over 40 who are trying to build muscle should stick as close to maintenance calories as possible?
If you have a question you’d like me to answer, leave a comment below or if you want a faster response, send an email to [email protected]
Recommended reading for this episode:
- Here’s How Much Muscle You Can Really Gain Naturally (with a Calculator)
- Here’s How Strong You Can Get Naturally (with Calculators), According to Science
- The 10 Absolute Worst Muscle-Building Myths and Mistakes for Women
4:24 – “What are your thoughts on resistance bands?”
16:43 – “How do you convince your wife to have sex with you? You’re a busy man, me too. My wife’s relationship requirement number one is quality time but I really struggle to give her that. I need physical affection to survive and how do we get what we need if we are miles apart in our requirements of each other?”
39:17 – “Do you think that females over 40 who are trying to build muscle should stick as close to maintenance calories as possible? if muscle gain is already a slow process, and particularly for women, is it even slower for women who are 40 and beyond?”
Mentioned on The Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hello, and welcome to Muscle For Life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for a q and a where I answer questions that readers and followers ask me. If you want to ask me questions that I can answer for you and that may be chosen for future q and a episodes, shoot me an email. Mike Muscle for Life, just o r.
Dot com and let me know what’s on your mind. I get a lot of emails, so it may take me seven, 10, maybe even 14 days or sometimes a little bit longer, to be honest, to get back with you, but you will hear back from me and you will get an answer. And if it’s a question that a lot of people. Are asking or have been asking for some time, or if it’s something that just strikes my fancy and it’s something that I haven’t already beaten to death on the podcast or the blog, then I may also choose it for an episode and answer it publicly.
Another way to get questions to me is Instagram at Muscle for Life Fitness. You can DM them to me. That is harder for me to stay on top of. I do try, but the inbox is a little bit buggy and it just takes more time trying to do it, whether it’s on my phone or the Windows app. But there is a good chance you will still get a reply.
Email is better, and I also do post, I think it’s every few weeks or so in my feed asking for. People to give me questions, give me fodder for the next q and a. So if you would rather do that than just follow me on Instagram at most for life fitness and send me a message, or just wait for one of my q and a posts.
So in this episode, I will be answering three questions. One comes from Heather Myers via Facebook, and she asks my thoughts about resistance. Bands like the X three bar that supposedly works better than free weights, allows you to gain muscle. Then free weights. And then I have this from actually I’m not gonna mention because maybe he wouldn’t want me to.
Somebody from Instagram who asks, How do you convince your wife to have sex with you? You’re a busy man. Me too. My wife’s relationship requirement number one is quality time. But I really struggle to give her that I need physical affection to survive and how do we get what we need if we are miles apart in our requirements of each.
And finally this one comes from Tiffany Linsky. I’m not sure how to pronounce the last name from Instagram. Do you think that females over 40 who are trying to build muscle should stick as close to maintenance calories as possible if muscle gain is already a slow process, and particularly for women, is it even slower for women who are 40 and.
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Okay, so let’s start with the first question regarding resistance bans and this X three bar that, again, is claimed to be better than free weights for gaining muscle. So resistance bans certainly can help you build muscle, they can work, and especially if you’re new to resistance training. And if you’re not new, if you are an intermediate or advanced weightlifter, then bands can be useful for maintaining.
Muscle and strength when you can’t get to the gym and can’t lift weights. For example, back in February or March of last year, all of the gyms where I live in Virginia were closed down, and so I was doing home workouts and I had some bands and I had some Boflex dumbbells, the ones that go up to 90 pounds, and I had a dip bar and I didn’t even.
Pull up bar that I could use because the molding around the doors in my house didn’t allow me to properly set up the pull up bar. So I was doing my pullups on an I-beam in the mechanical room in my basement, and after about six months of those workouts, the gyms weren’t shut down for six months. It was maybe two months or so, I don’t remember exactly, but I liked not having to drive to the gym.
I liked being able to just go downstairs and do a workout. And so I did that for six months. And then I got back in the gym because I missed it and I missed barbell training and I wanted to get back to my normal routine. But during that period, I lost no muscle. If you check out the pictures I was posting here and there on Instagram over at Muscle for Life Fitness, you’ll see that I looked just as big at the end of that six month period as I did at the beginning.
And I lost a bit of fat along the way because I took some of the time savings and just put it into some low slash moderate intensity cardio. 30 minutes or so on my bike every day and didn’t change how I was eating. Voila, calorie deficit. And over those six months I lost about six to eight pounds or so of fat and have been maintaining that look since.
So that’s cool. When I got back into the gym, though I had lost quite a bit of strength, at least ability to express my strength in the exercises that I wasn’t doing on my bench press, I lost about 20 pounds, 25 maybe off of my one rm. And on my deadlift, I lost about the same, maybe 30 to 40 pounds, which was surprising to me because for six months I did no deadlifting of any kind.
I don’t have a barbell set up here at home, and dumbbell deadlifts with 90 pounds are a waste of time. When my one RM. Was over 400 pounds. Just didn’t even feel like anything really, so I didn’t bother with it. However, when I got back in the gym, I was still able to pull a fair amount of weight, which just means that I did a good job maintaining my posterior chain strength, maintaining the strength of everything on the backside of my body.
And that translates, of course, into a good deadlift. But where my strength was markedly down, it was probably a reduction. 60 ish pounds on my one RM was my barbell squat, and I was surprised at that as well because I was doing a fair amount of lower body volume with my dumbbells and I was able to train pretty intensely.
Dumbbell front squats, for example, are hard load dumbbell front squats with anywhere from 70 to 90 pounds. If you’re a strong guy and C, see what it’s like. You’re probably not gonna get more than, I don’t know, eight to 10 reps, maybe 12 if you’re very strong and. Perfectly effective training for hypertrophy, for at least maintaining strength.
I was doing dumbbell lunges. Of course, those were hard. Good exercise dumbbell split squat. Difficult exercise. I was doing Nordic hamstring curls. Difficult exercise, but that. Did not translate into a good barbell squat. When I got back in the gym, I remember starting with 205 pounds, so going from a one RM, probably in the low threes before the lockdown coming back and struggling to do sets of six to eight with 2 0 5.
My hamstrings were just getting blasted. Again, which was a bit strange, but now that I’ve been back in the gym for four to five months or so, my onem is back up to where it was before the lockdown across the board actually. So that’s cool. I’ll keep on working on it and see where I can get over the next four to five months.
Anyway, my point with saying all of that is that bands helped me maintain, again, all of my muscle and a lot of my strength. And if you’re curious as to how to properly use bands, head over to legion athletics.com, head over to the blog and pinned somewhere at the top of the blog feed, you’ll find an article that I wrote on training at home, and it is thorough.
It’s probably 10,000 words and it. Everything you need to know to train effectively at home with minimal equipment. Now, what about using bands instead of free weights, though? Is that a good idea? No, it’s not. Free weights are more effective and let’s talk about that. So research shows that training a muscle through a full range of motion results in more muscle growth than training.
Partial range of motion. You probably know that. You probably agree with that, but what you may not know is one of the reasons why a full range of motion is superior to a partial range of motion is because it has your muscles under load when they are most. Stretched, and it’s not fully understood yet why this is important, why training your muscles in this stretch or loading your muscles in this stretched position is better for muscle growth does result in more muscle growth over time, but scientists believe that it may be because.
When you do this, when you load your muscles in a fully stretched position, it activates a protein called focal adhesion kinase, and that directly stimulates protein synthesis via the activation of the primary enzyme responsible for muscle building, known as mTOR, MT. O r, Mammalian target of rapamycin. So that is one theory as to why loading the muscle and training the muscle through a full range of motion, and particularly when it’s in its fully stretched position, produces better results.
And another one is that doing that training through longer ranges of motion may momentarily block blood flow to your muscles, and that can contribute to a hypertrophy in the same way that it does during blood flow restriction training. Is a perfectly viable training technique. You don’t need to do it, but it does have its uses.
And if you wanna learn more about that, just head over to legion athletics.com and search for blood flow two words, and you’ll find an article and a podcast that I recorded on it. So anyway, regardless why using a full range of motion results in more muscle growth and why having a lot of tension in your muscles when they’re in a fully stretched position contributes to muscle growth.
The evidence is clear. For example, there was a recent meta-analysis conducted by scientists at Auckland University of Technology that found those two things, regardless of the training intensity. Used. Now, what does that have to do with resistance bands? If you have used resistance bands, you know that they offer gradually more resistance the more you stretch them.
So what that means is that when our muscles are at their most stretched during an exercise, the band offers the least amount of resistance. Think about using bands for biceps curls, for example. Where you’re standing on a band and you’re holding either end of it and using it to curl. Or maybe the banded pushup, for example.
So in both of those cases, the band offers the most resistance when you are at the top of the curl or the top of the pushup, and that’s when your muscles are most contracted in the curl. And when your elbows are locked out and your peck muscles are at their shortest length in the. Pushup, right?
Most contracted. Now, when your biceps are at their most stretched and when your pecks are at their most stretched at the bottom of the curl or the pushup, the band offers basically no resistance. Now, compare that to the bench press, barbell bench press, dumbbell bench press, even a machine press when you are at the bottom of a wrap on any of those exercise.
And let’s say you’re doing the barbell bench press and the bar is touching your chest. A large amount of tension is in your pecs, is placed in your pecs because the muscles are fully stretched and they are under the full load that you have on the bar. Now, the second reason that free weights are superior to bands is.
Even more straightforward. When you use free weights, you’re able to measure the amount of resistance that you’re using precisely. You can get it down to the fraction of a pound if you want, and of course you can’t do that when you’re using bands. You never really know how much resistance you’re using and especially when it gets harder.
As your muscles start to contract now, why is that important? Why is knowing how much resistance or how much weight or load you’re training with important? Remember the primary driver of muscle growth, primary mechanical driver is progressive overload, progressively increasing the amount of tension that your muscles produce over time.
And if you want to keep getting bigger and stronger, you are going to need to keep increasing. That quotient, you’re gonna have to keep increasing that amount of tension that your muscles are producing. And the easiest way to do this, the method that is supported by decades of scientific evidence, and that continues to be supported by ongoing research, is simply.
Adding weight to the exercises, adding weight to the bar, adding weight to the dumbbells, systematically increasing the amount of weight that you can lift over time, increasing your whole body’s strength. I know I’m saying this in a lot of different ways, but I’m just making a point here. So with a barbell, of course you can add as little as, I mean in most gyms you can add as little as five pounds.
Some gyms even have smaller plates, so you can. One pound if you want, or two pounds, two and a half pounds. But most gyms are gonna have two and a half pound plates up to 40 fives. So you can add as little as five pounds to an exercise. Most gyms have dumbbells that go up in five pound increments. Some have dumbbells that go up in two and a half pound increments, which can actually be nice with certain exercises that are just difficult to progress in like a sideway for.
Now with a band, how do you do that? How do you add small increments of weight so you can work in rep ranges that you wanna work in and progress according to whatever progression model you’re using? You can’t, you just can’t do it. You can’t accurately and consistently increase the amount of resistance that the bands are offering.
Also functionally speaking, bands are inferior to barbells because they’re more awkward to use and you simply can’t really do big muscle building exercise with bands. You can’t do squats, heavy squats, hard squats. You can’t do heavy hard deadlifts. You can’t do heavy hard lunges and R dls and hip thrusts.
Other highly effective exercises for gaining muscle and strength, and even in the case of exercises and movements that accommodate bands better, let’s say, pressing a pushup, right? A banded pushup. If you’ve done them before, you know that it’s still awkward because it’s hard to know if the band is in the same position every set that you do, and that matters because that changes the amount of resistance when you wrap a band around your back to do that.
Push up. You may have the band a little bit twisted or looped, maybe a little bit too low on your back, maybe more like your mid back or maybe too high around your shoulders. And that of course, isn’t optimal because in some cases it’s gonna make the exercise a little bit harder. In other cases, it’s gonna make it a little bit.
Easier, and who knows, maybe that band is shifting every single set that you do. So the bottom line with bands is that they’re useful, especially if you are stuck at home and wanting to maintain some muscle and strength. But if you have access to free weights, stick with the free weights. It is absolutely fake news that bans of any kind, any banded contraption is going to help you gain muscle and strength faster than free weights.
Not gonna happen. Okay. Let’s move on to the next question From name withheld regarding getting my wife to have sex with me. How do I do it? I’m busy and it sounds like this guy is not getting the sex that he wants, and his wife is not getting the quality time she wants. And I guess a disclaimer.
Regarding this one is I don’t consider myself outstanding in the relationship department. Chances are many people listening are better than I am at that, But I have been at least good enough to keep a good woman for a long time now, 19 years. We started dating when I was 17, and we are raising a couple of kids together, and they seem to be doing well.
They’re happy. They’re healthy. They are good kids. They’re nice kids. Of course, all kids have their moments, especially my three year old daughter. But Lennox that’s our son. He’s eight and RO is three. Lennox and Ro get along well together, and they get along well with other kids. All in all, I would say there are a joy to have around and a joy to raise.
Now, as far as sex and affection goes, it’s certainly present in our marriage, but it ebbs and flows mostly because of me, mostly because my physical and my emotional availability. Ebbs and flows, and that’s mostly because I’m just very focused on my work, and that means that I work a lot and I’m always thinking about work.
And I tend toward that in the extreme where I can easily go for stretches without taking more than a few hours away from my work per week. And most of that time is gonna be working out, which is my work, and reading. And I’m usually reading something related to work and maybe a little bit of TV here and there.
Watch a little bit of something with Sarah, a show, a movie, but not much of that. And doing that definitely raises my stress and aggravation levels. Not to any great heights, but it will. In my speech, it will reflect in my behavior and it also makes me more inclined to want to just be left alone after a long day of dealing with all the different frustrating things that you have to deal with when you are running businesses and writing books and articles and recording podcasts and so on and so forth.
And so I will often be a bit prickly, not belligerent, but just quick to. Irritated, and that of course is detrimental to marital harmony. However, fortunately Sarah and I have a lot more positive than negative interactions, so we are doing more right than wrong. Okay, so full transparency. Disclaimer over, Let’s now get to answering the question.
What I immediately thought of when I read this question is the five. Languages. You know the book by Gary Chapman. And that has helped me understanding that has helped me. And what is that? Most people know that language consists of more than just words, right? There’s body language, there is the tone of voice.
And Gary Chapman explains in the book that there is a language of love and it is also complex and different people perceive love in different ways. They use different words, and they use. Actions to express love and to receive love as well. We all speak our own love language, so to speak. Now, the five types of love languages discussed in the book are words of affirmation, so that’s verbal compliments.
That’s the easiest way to express this. And in the book, Chapman explains that it’s most effective when it’s just simple, straightforward. You give encouraging, kind, humble words. That’s all words of affirmation language. The next language is quality time, which of course is what the questioner referred to, and the key to that language is undivided attention.
It’s not enough to just be together in the same room or on the couch. It’s about focusing on your partner. And nothing else. Even if there are distractions everywhere, putting the phone down, for example, not having the TV on, for example, and Chapman also notes that this works best when it’s something that both people actually want to be doing.
Minimally, though it can be something that you’re doing for the other person, it can be less about the event and more about the chance to express love for each. For example, an area where I should take that advice is going to a farm where Sarah has horses. She is very into horsing. She was, as I call it, horsing.
She was into it when she was younger and then wasn’t able to continue with it now. She is. And so we have a couple of horses and she goes there several times per week and she’s riding and trying to get better and she wants to do jumping competitions. I think it’s great. I think it’s cool. It’s a great hobby.
It’s expensive, but you get outside and it’s great exercise and it requires a lot of skill, and I get it. I think that again it’s great that she has a hobby like that, that she really enjoys doing and something that she’s very passionate. I, however, am not interested in it at all. I have no inherent interest in any of it, in understanding anything about the animals or the activity or the competition scene, but I’m happy to support Sarah in it.
I’m happy to agree to spend the money. Of course, it’s not just my money, it’s our money, but it is a 50 50 partnership, so to speak, and we need to both agree on. What we’re gonna be spending relatively large amounts of money on. And so I’m happy to agree there. I’m happy to watch the kids while she goes and does her horsing and now, and then I will go to the farm with her and just watch her ride.
But I don’t do that as much as. She would prefer. Now I have my reasons. It’s far away. It basically eats up an entire day, and I’m very focused on my work, as I mentioned previously, and I will talk a bit more about that in the context of my relationship in a minute. Anyway, moving on to the next love language.
Gifts. So physical symbols of love that materially express it. And what types of gifts really just depends on what your partner likes? And that of course means that you have to pay attention to what they like, and you have to keep track of what they like. You have to make notes of things that they liked in the past so you can find other similar types of gifts or make notes of things that they say they want or that you know that they want.
And. Part of the expression of love, because that takes effort. It’s not hard, but it takes a little bit of effort. You do have to work at it a little bit. It makes me think of when friends or even family members will ask me what I want for Christmas. I don’t know what I want. If I want something, I just buy it.
I don’t want many things. I don’t live in extravagant. But if I really want something, I just get it. So instead of the simply perfunctory, performative action of giving a gift that I essentially picked out, I don’t know, you can get me some socks, or some underwear. I guess I’ll replace some of my underwear.
Why don’t we just not do gifts? It’s either think about the things that I like, pay attention to the types of things that I like, and just take a flyer on something and if I don’t like it, who cares? Thought that went into it means more actually than the gift itself because again, anything that I really want and certainly anything that I really need, I already have.
So the same thing would apply in a relationship. Gifts mean a lot more when they are not just transactional, unless of course your partner prefers that. Ironically, Sarah prefers transactional gifts because she has many different things that she would like to buy. She’s into fashion and that budget has now been allocated to horses.
But whenever an occasion for a gift rolls around, she knows exactly what she wants. She actually would prefer that I just get her exactly what she wants over trying to make a judgment call about what. Purse or shoes or clothing she may or may not like because chances are she’s not gonna like it as much as what she really wants.
Anyway, moving on to the next love language acts of service. And so these are things that you know your partner would appreciate. You doing or handling? It could be mundane stuff, vacuuming, cleaning up, paying the bills, grocery shopping, helping kids with their schoolwork, whatever. And it often is simple things like those not huge favors that require large amounts of time and effort.
And the last love language, it’s physical. Touch. And in this case, of course, it’s stuff like holding hands, kissing, hugging sex, and it’s very easy to incorporate these little things into your everyday life by holding your partner’s hand when you’re out and about or. In the car or whatever and try hugging and kissing them more, and particularly when other people are around, just make them feel extra appreciated.
Give them a lot of touching outside of just sex. Now in my relationship, I know that Sarah most appreciates quality time, physical touch, and words of affirmation, so I try to ensure that I regularly include those types of interactions in. Day to day living and a little of those things just done often enough and over the long haul can make a really big difference.
To quote from a book that I recommend everyone in a relationship read called The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Many people think that the secret to reconnecting with their partner is a candle at dinner or a buy the sea vacation. But the real secret is to turn toward each other. In little ways every day, a romantic night out really turns up the heat only when a couple has kept the pilot light burning by staying in touch in the little ways.
Now, as for my love languages, it’s pretty simple. It’s physical touch and acts of service primarily. Of course, all of us appreciate. All five of those things to some degree, but we have the ones that we care about the most. And again, for me, it’s just physical touch, acts of service. Touch my penis, make me food, don’t make me waste my time with too many chores or errands, and I’m happy.
Pretty simple. Now, the questioner mentioned that he is not giving his wife enough quality time. And I can relate to that because I would say that I. Don’t give Sarah as much quality time as she would prefer, as she would consider ideal in a relationship. But we do have an understanding and really an agreement that sacrificing that time now so I can just work more and work very hard on some pretty big.
And what will be life changing financial goals? Sense. And so Sarah’s rarely upset about it again. Sometimes I actually take it a bit too far where I drop out even a lot of the little interactions because I’m so obsessively working. And that’s when she’ll get upset and she’ll tell me to knock it off and to be better, do better, as the Illuminati likes to say.
The key. Though in any relationship, I think is finding what balance works for you and your partner, and understanding that if you refuse to meet their margin for let’s say quality time or any other love language, and if that then results in them being uninterested in sex with you, which you want, that can be a problem that can lead to you gradually just growing apart.
Completely losing a sense of closeness, which according to the authors of the book that I mentioned, the seven principal’s book accounts for 80% at least, of the reasons given for divorce people. 80% of people say that the reason they got divorced was they just gradually grew apart, and they just lost that sense of closeness, and they didn’t feel loved anymore.
They didn’t feel appreciated. It is not as common for divorce to stem from big blowups, just massive fights. Instead, most relationships appear to fall apart through the thousand cuts, the death by 1000 cuts. Sarah also doesn’t take my emphasis on work personally because she knows that. Choosing work over her because I just like it more than being with her or being with our kids, or I just don’t even really like her or our kids.
She knows that I’m doing it because again, we’ve looked at the circumstances and concluded that it does just seem to be the logical thing to do, given the magnitude of the opportunity in front of us. What I am talking about is financial independence for our family, for the rest of our lives. True financial independence, which I define as passive income that.
Earning from your money, covering your living expenses. Not just passive income. Not passive income from books that I’ve written or from my businesses, because those types of revenue streams require ongoing maintenance, require ongoing work, and can always dry up no matter how good things are going right now, there are circumstances that can change that things can go.
In business no matter how good they are going right now, I’ve seen it many times firsthand over the years, just having known a lot of entrepreneurs and it’s a tragic story. Sometimes I’ve seen people go from making lots of money, tens of millions of dollars a year in business revenue. Basically thinking that they are invincible and they’re gonna be earning millions of dollars a year themselves forever.
And because of that, not making an effort to live well beneath their means and use excess profits to diversify their net worth and put themselves in a position to survive well. If their business no longer produces the income that it is producing. And because of that, I’ve seen people go from multimillionaires to having nothing.
And although I think that is unlikely to happen to me because of the nature of the book industry, for example, and how much momentum my books have, and because of the trajectory of Legion and the trajectory of the. Supplement space and the fitness space on the whole, but that’s just not enough for me. I would feel pretty stupid if I got myself into a situation where I no longer had any money or any income to speak of, or had a lot less income and had big financial problems because I didn’t take simple actions to make.
That this doesn’t happen, like living well beneath my means and investing at least a portion of the excess monies I have access to in other types of assets other than my businesses. I do reinvest large amounts of the profits in the businesses to keep growing them because that’s the phase that I’m in.
I’m not looking to optimize for personal income just yet, even for maximum profits just yet. I’m pushing growth top line growth because. There is still a lot of low hanging fruit that I wanna seize on while it is still available, before it disappears, before somebody else grabs it or before it just falls off the tree and rots on the ground.
So much so that, strategically speaking, I think that it is going to be pretty straightforward to double legion’s current size over the next two years or so. One year would be fast, three years might be a little bit long. I think two years is the sweet. And so that is my focus in terms of investing money, but I do also make sure that I am taking a fair amount of money out and putting it in other places just in case things don’t go to plan.
Now, Sarah understands all of that, and she agrees with. That. And so again, she’s okay that she doesn’t get as much time as she would personally like because she’s getting something else that she likes, of course, which is financial security and financial independence, and she understands what. That will mean for our quality of life going forward, and we intend on living a long life together.
So it just makes sense. And as for me, I do really enjoy working. It is one of my favorite things to do, but. I also do enjoy other Things that I am sacrificing. I could get into hobbies. I could go play golf again. I like golf. I like social activities that I don’t really engage in. I like watching TV shows and movies.
I don’t like most TV shows and movies, but when I do find. Something I like. Of course, I like it. However, I’m just happy to give all that up right now, and I’m happy to do that for the right game, for the right rewards. Not all games, not all rewards would fit that bill, but the current games that I’m playing and the rewards that are at stake warrant the sacrifice, I think.
So coming back to the questioner. If you are listening, my question for you would be, what are you doing with your time? Okay, You’re not spending much time with your wife. What are you doing? If you are mostly busy with things that are just personally interesting to you, but maybe not in the service of your family’s wellbeing or your family’s future, then.
I would have to side with your wife. I would say that you are probably just being selfish and that it is only natural for her to feel rejected and not feel sexually interested and to not want to give you what you want. I think that would be a perfectly reasonable. Response to the denial of quality time for just random shenanigans.
Now, if you are spending that time working, maybe that’s why you are very busy. Of course I can relate to that personally, but I would ask you how is that going? , Are you really moving the needle? Are you building your business? Are you moving up in your career? Are you increasing your income? If you are not, if you are not getting results, then I don’t think it would be fair to just automatically take a hard line position like.
It’s not working. You’re losing. Stop being a loser and I’ll get in bed with you. There is definitely something to be said for a partner that understands how much work it takes to get something started in particular and get a business up to a point where it is profitable or to make that next leap.
In your career and in your earning potential. And it can take many months of work without any real return. But if it is many years, for example, and nothing much is changing, then I think it would be appropriate to question the strategy. What are we doing here and why, and what needs to change because this clearly is not working.
Now. One other thing, Mr. Questioner, if you are working a lot and getting results, if you’re earning more money and you are improving your family’s finances and you are working to set you up for a great financial future, is your wife on board with that? Does she agree that is as important as you think it is?
I wouldn’t automatically assume that’s a yes because people are wired differently. Many people would rather just have a good time, would rather just savor life as it is now and not think too much about life as it will be, and not spend too much time or too much effort striving to accomplish things, and that’s okay.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think you just have to know where you are at and know where your partner is at on that strive to savor spectrum. And I’ll wrap this question up with another quote from the seven principles of marriage books, specifically related to quality time. There’s some good advice in there, some simple interactions you can incorporate into your relationship to increase the amount of quality, time, and positive interactions that you and your partner have.
So one is, Partings, and this is just making sure you say goodbye before you leave in the morning. And also Chapman recommends that you learn one thing that’s happening in your partner’s life that day. Maybe it’s gonna be lunch with the boss or a doctor’s appointment or some horsing. Or whatever. So that’s just a couple minutes a day and you have five working days in the week.
So 10 minutes a week, 10 or 15 minutes a week, that’s all. And then the next tip is reunions and Chapman says to be sure to engage in stress reducing conversation at the end of each day. And he recommends spending about 20 minutes talking about what happened. Feelings about what happened, ideas about what you can do about things that have happened.
So we’re talking about maybe an hour and a half to two hours per week there, and then admiration and appreciation is the next one. So find some way, even it’s just little, some way every day to communicate genuine affection and appreciation toward your partner. So that’s a few minutes a day, seven days a week, maybe 40 minutes a week.
Then there’s affection. So kiss, hold, grab, touch each other during the time you’re. Make sure that you kiss each other before you go to sleep, and think of that as a way to let go any maybe little irritations or disagreements that have occurred throughout the day. And lastly, Chapman recommends that you do a weekly date and it can just be something relaxing, low key, low pressure, just a way to stay connected.
Ask questions about the other person so you can learn more about them and what’s going on, and find new ways. He refers to as turning toward each other. And if you need to work through some sort of marital issue or an argument of some kind, you can do that during the weekly date. Ideally, every date wouldn’t be like that, but things happen of course, and they need to be discussed.
So that’s a good time to do it. But ideally it would just be simple conversation where you ask each other questions about things that you are up to, things that you are interested in, things you are looking forward to, and being there not on your phone focused. Your partner listening to their answers and engaging with their answers, with further discussion,
if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my health and fitness books, including the number one best selling weightlifting books for men and women in the world, Bigger, leaner, stronger, and thinner. Leaner, stronger, as well as the leading flexible dieting cookbook, the shredded.
Okay, let’s move on to the third and final question, which is from Tiffany Zelinsky. It’s W R Z Alinsky. Not sure how to pronounce that. From Instagram, and she asks if females over 40 who are trying to build muscles should stick as close to maintenance calories as possible, because the idea is, That they can’t gain much muscle to speak of, so why eat more food than they need to because they’ll just gain fat.
Now, one of the first things I refer people to who are worried about age squashing their dreams of getting fit is a study that was conducted by scientists at the University of Oklahoma, which had 24 college aged men. So 18 to 22 as well as 25 middle. Men, 35 to 50 follow the same weightlifting routine for eight weeks.
And what the scientists found is that the middle aged men had gained just as much muscle as their college aged counterparts. And strength gains were very similar as well. There are a couple of other studies similar to that with women that have basically echoed those findings. And in my experience, that is equally.
For women. Middle age is not a physiological strikeout zone. Even when you compare it to your twenties. Yeah, you can do a little bit better in your twenties probably, and that is mostly gonna come down to lifestyle. You probably are gonna be able to spend a bit more time in the gym. You are probably gonna be sleeping a bit better.
Maybe you’re not gonna have some joint aches and pains that you have now, but you can do just. Whether you are 40, 50, or even 60 and beyond, you can do quite well in the gym. Now, as far as females go, a common myth that I want to quickly debunk is that women just can’t gain muscle effectively, period. They can barely eek out muscle gains.
That’s not true. Women can’t gain muscles effectively as men. If we’re talking about absolute amounts of muscle. We know that the average woman can’t. As muscular as the average man, and the average woman is not going to gain 20 ish pounds of muscle in her first year of weightlifting, like the average man is.
If he does most of the things right, instead, the average woman is probably gonna gain about half of that, maybe about 10 pounds in her first year if she does the most important things. Correctly, but 10 pounds of muscle in year one is a lot that is going to make a big difference in the woman’s physique.
And the primary reason that guys can just get more jacked is because we start out with a lot more muscle and we also have bigger skeletons. We have more bone mass and research. That the amount of bone that you have in your body, the size of your bones is a good predictor of how big you can get. That is why the cliche about big boned people is more accurate than inaccurate.
Actually. People who have big bones and who are tall, just big skeletons are usually. From day one, they’re usually always big for their age, and then when they get into weightlifting, they respond really well. And those people, if they stick with weightlifting for a long time, are usually the ones who can get the biggest and the strongest.
So when you look at the average woman compared to the average man, of course the woman is going to be a lot smaller. She has a much smaller skeleton. She’s starting out with a lot less muscle. So it’s mostly a matter of guys having a big head start in terms of baseline strength, baseline muscle, baseline potential for muscle growth due to their baseline skeletal mass.
But when you look at the rate of muscle gain relative to body weight and relative to skeletal mass in men and women, you find that women can gain muscle about as effectively as men when you consider those factors. So if. That woman who could only gain 10 pounds of muscle in her first year were just bigger.
If she had more bone and more muscle to start with, then she would progress much like a man despite the major differences in hormones. If you wanna learn more about all of that, including finding out what your potential for muscle and strength gain is, just head over to legion athletics.com and search for natural muscle and you’ll find an article I wrote on how much muscle you can naturally gain and it has at least one calculator.
I think it has more than one calculator to help you see how big you can likely get big and strong. You can likely get given your. Anatomy and then if you search for natural strong, you’ll find an article I wrote that will help you understand how strong you can get naturally. Okay, so let’s come back to the question and talk about one of the biggest, probably the single biggest mistake that I have seen women make over the years, whether they are 20, 30, 40, 50, or beyond, that prevents them from gaining muscle and strength and that.
Eating too little, not eating enough food, eating too few calories. And this is important because if you consistently eat fewer calories than you burn, even if it is slightly few are 50 fewer, a hundred fewer, not a big calorie deficit, you are going to significantly hinder your body’s ability. To build muscle.
And on the flip side, if you regularly eat a bit more, 50, a hundred, maybe 150, I’m talking about daily amounts. If I didn’t say that, by the way more calories than you’re burning, then it has the opposite effect. It greatly aids in muscle growth. And in my experience, many women and particularly many women who are into fitness are very allergic to fat gain.
They do not want to gain any fat, and so they tend to err on the side of consistently undereating and not overeating. A common pattern is to be in a slight calorie deficit, probably. Four or five or even six days per week, and then a bit of a surplus on the other days to even out to more or less maintenance calories over time.
So they’re not gaining weight. They’re not losing weight. If you just were to look at like average weight taken every day and then maybe every two weeks, you average it, not anything is really changing. And that is one way to maintain your physique. I actually would rather have somebody be in a slight surplus, probably three to five days per week and then a bit larger of a deficit on the other days if we’re gonna do it that way.
But what happens is when you are consistently in a deficit, if you are no longer a newbie, if you’re no longer in your first year or so of proper lifting, you are going to find it very. To gain any muscle and strength you are going to likely just remain stuck in the gym. And if that is the case, if that’s what’s going on, the only way to break through that plateau is going to be eat more food, be in a slight calorie surplus, consistently, five, six, even seven days per week.
Really commit to a lean gaining phase and accept the fat gain that comes with it. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Yes, it will be some, and you will notice it if you’re going from lean. If you’re a woman at let’s say, 18 to 20% body fat, you are going to notice that you’re getting a little bit fatter month by month.
And that’s okay because you are also going to notice that you are getting stronger in the gym. And while you may not be able to see the muscle that you’re gaining yet, you may just be looking bigger and. Is not exactly what you’re going for. Just know that once you’re done with that lean gaining phase, which ideally would be at least three months, probably more like six months, and you would end at maybe 25 to 27% body fat, you can then go into a cutting phase, do that right, lose just fat, basically retain all the muscle that you’ve gained, and if you were to compare your before and after pictures, Where you were before the lean gating phase, so let’s say 18% body fat before and then 18% after.
You should notice small if you are an intermediate or advanced weightlifter, but clear improvements. Now that strategy works like gangbusters for men and women regardless of age. However, I will add a couple of points for people who are 40 plus. I recommend that you really make sure you are a stickler.
Form because the older that you get, the less you can afford to get hurt. And also the less you can get away with, the less nonsense you can get away with in your lifting and particularly with your form. And that’s one of the reasons why I put a lot of emphasis on learning and using proper form from day one, regardless of how old you are, regardless of your fitness level.
Another important point for. Everyone, but particularly for people who are 40 plus, is make sure that you are getting enough rest. Make sure that you are taking at least one day off of the weights each week. Ideally it’s probably two. Two is probably better. You don’t want to underestimate just how taxing strength training is, how much stress heavy weight lifting puts on your body, and particularly when.
Doing big lifts when you are squatting and deadlifting and bench pressing and overhead pressing. Even the youngins can’t do that every day, seven days a week after week without eventually running themselves into the ground. And the final point is make sure you are deloading or even taking weeks off the weights rest weeks if you prefer that to a deload, if that works better for you.
And if you are doing that, make sure you are doing it frequently enough. For example, every. Four to eight weeks is appropriate depending on your programming. And that’s true again for most people regardless of age, but particularly for people who are 40 plus. Because even when you are properly managing your workout volume and your intensity, you’re following a good program, you’re taking a couple of days off each week, you’re getting enough sleep, your body does eventually need a bigger break.
And as you get older, that time comes. Sooner. So whereas when you were younger, you might be able to go eight or even 10 weeks of hard training before you really started to feel a need for a deload. Now at 45 or 55, you might need to deload every four weeks or every six weeks. And if you don’t like doing it, I understand, I don’t like deloading, I deload every four weeks.
That is built into my beyond bigger, leaner, stronger program, which you can learn more about in. Beyond bigger, leaner, stronger, and I never look forward to the deload. I always want to keep training hard, but I force myself to do it. I force myself to just do the boring deload workout, get in the gym, 30 minutes, get out, because I understand the importance of deloading in the bigger picture and making sure that I minimally don’t get stuck in a rut because I am under recovering, and of course, much worse is getting hurt because of undercover.
And if you wanna learn more about Deloading, including how to do it properly, just head over to legion athletics.com and search for deload, and you’ll find an article and a podcast that I recorded on it. All right that’s it for that question, and that’s it for this podcast. I hope you liked it. I hope you found it helpful.
Thanks again for joining me, and next week I have a monologue coming on when you should give. On a goal, when does it make sense to quit? When does it make sense to cut your losses? I have another installment of book Club coming and I’m gonna be sharing my top five takeaways and my thought on each from a great business book called Ready, Fire, Aim, and then another q and a where I’m going to be talking about EC deone fasting and muscle loss and lessons I want to teach my children.
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.
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That is the best way to get ahold of me, [email protected] And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.