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:
- Does ecdysterone work?
- When you’re fasting, when do you start losing muscle?
- What is the most important life lesson you’d like to teach your children and how will you attempt to teach it?
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:
4:34 – Does ecdysterone work?
11:36 – When you’re fasting, when do you start losing muscle?
19:32 – What is the most important life lesson you’d like to teach your children and how will you attempt to teach it?
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 f 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, although. 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 live fitness and send me a message, or just wait for one of my q and a posts.
So in this episode, I will answer the following. Three questions. The first one comes from anonymous. Uh, I don’t have a note here on who asked me this, but this is something that I have been asked here and there over at least the last year or two. And that is does Terone work? And the next question comes from Nick dot Brimmer from Instagram, and he asks, when you’re fasting, when do you start losing muscle?
Good question. And the last question, From K Floyd TK Instagram handle, and he or she asks, what is the most important life lesson you’d like to teach your children, and how will you attempt to teach it? Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p.
One-on-one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and all circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible. And we can do the same for you. We make getting fitter, leaner, and stronger. Paint by numbers simple, by carefully managing every aspect of your training.
And. Diet for you. Basically, we take out all of the guesswork, so all you have to do is follow the plan and watch your body change day after day, week after week and month after month. What’s more, we’ve found that people are often missing just one or two crucial pieces of the puzzle. And I’d bet a shiny shackle.
It’s the same with you. You’re probably doing a lot of things right, but dollars to donuts, there’s something you’re not doing correctly or at all that’s giving you the most grief. Maybe it’s your calories or your macros. Maybe it’s your exercise selection. Maybe it’s your food choices. Maybe you’re not progressively overloading your muscles, or maybe it’s.
Else and whatever it is. Here’s what’s important. Once you identify those one or two things you’re missing, once you figure it out, that’s when everything finally clicks. That’s when you start making serious progress, and that’s exactly what we do for. For our clients to learn more, head over to www.buy legion.com.
That’s v y legion.com/v p and schedule your free consultation call, which by the way is not a high pressure sales call. It’s really just a discovery call where we get to know you better and see if you’re a good fit for the service. And if you’re not for any reason, we will be able to share resources that’ll point you in the right direct.
So again, if you appreciate my work and if you want to see more of it, and if you also want to finally stop spinning your wheels and make more progress in the next few months than you did in the last few years, check out my v i p coaching [email protected] legion.com/vip. Okay, so let’s start with the first question.
Does eOne work? And to answer that, we first have to start with what is it? Well, eOne is an ecdi steroid or ecdi steroid. I’m not sure how to pronounce that because pronunciations go both ways, but I’ll just go with ecdi steroid. And an ecto steroid is a class of compounds that are structurally similar to androgens, so to hormones that play a role in.
Traits and reproductive activity like testosterone, for example, is the androgen that US meatheads are most interested in. Now, unlike testosterone, our body does not produce eOne. That is a naturally occurring ecto steroid hormone that controls the malting in the metamorphosis of arthropods, which are animals with exoskeletons like insects and crabs.
and some plants produce this stuff as well. And it’s thought to be a defense against insect pests by disrupting their development and their reproduction, making bugs want to stay away basically. Now, why am I talking about this stuff on a fitness podcast? Well, in the body composition, Space eOne and other ecto steroids are widely marketed to athletes and just everyday people as natural and safe dietary supplements that can have anabolic steroid like effects without the unwanted side effects.
So some of the claims used to sell this stuff are that it’s going to help you get stronger, faster. It’s going to help you gain more muscle. It’s going to reduce fatigue, it’s going to boost recovery, maybe even aid with fat loss as well. And as you have probably already guessed, the claims are mostly nonsense.
Like most of the things that go on in the supplement industry, it is mostly smoke and mirrors. Now, how can I make such a claim? Well, let’s get into it first. ExOne has not been extensively studied in humans. There is a study that is often cited to try to sell it that was conducted in 1988, and in that study, scientists wanted to find out what effect ExOne had on muscle tissue and fat mass and hormone levels.
And so 78 highly trained male and female athlete. Were the subjects in one of three experimental groups. One that supplemented with just protein, one that supplemented with protein and ExOne, and then a placebo group. And the people who were taking just the protein showed a a slight increase in muscle mass over the 10 day red flag, 10 day very short duration.
The placebo group lost a little bit of muscle, and then the protein and ExOne group showed a six to 7% increase in lean mass with nearly a 10% reduction in body fat mass in 10 days. Okay, that sounds too good to be true. Right, A natural supplement, no negative side effects, and in 10 days it is going to increase lean mass by six to 7% and reduce fat mass by up to 10%.
I mean, those types of results would be pretty good for. Anabolic steroids. So if bugs could duplicate some of the body composition benefits of anabolic steroids without the risks and without the unwanted side effects, that would be pretty interesting. That would be quite a find and supplement companies would make a lot of money.
But as you have probably guessed, there’s more to the story. So let’s talk about some more research that has been done on ExOne. So there is a study that was conducted by scientists at University of Mary Harden Baylor, and in this case, they found that 30 milligrams of ExOne per day and eight weeks of a pretty solid weight training program consisting of two upper body and two lower body workouts per week, made no difference in.
Fat free, mass body fat percentage bench press one m leg press one M, sprint peak power, active testosterone free testosterone, cortisol levels, and several other biomarkers that they were tracking. Now on the other hand, there is a recent study that was conducted by scientists at German Sport University co colon.
And in this case, they took 45 dudes who had at least a year of weightlifting experience, and they split them up into a few different groups. You had a placebo group and these people were taking placebo pills and training. And then you had a low dose group of 200 milligrams of ExOne per day, plus training a high dose group of 800 milligrams of ExOne per day plus training.
And then you had a control group of 200 milligrams of ExOne per day and no. Now, what happened after 10 weeks of training? Three sessions per week. Six Barb exercises per session. So three whole body resistance training workouts per week. Well, it is interesting. So the people who were taking 800 milligrams of ExOne per day significantly increased their muscle mass by an average of just over two kilograms.
And the low dose group, 200 milligrams per day increased by. Muscle mass by an average of about one and a half, just over one and a half kilograms compared to the placebo group, which apparently lost an average of 0.35 kilograms of muscle mass despite training three days per week for 10 weeks following a decently designed program.
And it gets weirder too when you look at what happened in the control. They gained an average of about 0.25 kilograms of muscle mass despite not training. So if we are to take this data at face value, we are to believe that people who trained three days per week for 10 weeks and lost muscle could have done better by not training and just taking.
Bug Royds. Something is wrong here. Something went wrong. That doesn’t mean that ExOne doesn’t work or that it is BS research. It wasn’t funded by a supplement company selling ExOne, for example. But something is off there and unfortunately there’s not much else to talk about in the way of human trials.
Many of the marketing claims are based almost entire. Animal studies that are using tests that are really not applicable to humans, like forced swim tests and grip strength tests with rats. So before I could get behind something like eOne, I’d have to see more evidence. I’d have to see more research to support both its efficacy and its safety, because we just don’t.
There is some preliminary evidence that it can help with muscle gain and that it doesn’t cause liver or kidney toxicity, but that’s really it. Okay. Let’s move on to the next question from Nick Brimmer, when you’re fasting, when do you start losing muscle? And this is almost always the first question that I get asked about intermittent fasting or any kind of fasting diet.
Am I going to lose muscle? When do I start losing muscle? And before the research that has helped intermittent fasting go mainstream was mainstream. Everyone knew that you had to eat food and you had to eat protein at least every five to six hours or. Your body would start breaking down muscle tissue, right?
And two to three hours is probably optimal. Five to six hours is pushing it well. Fortunately, we now know that is not the case. You can go a lot longer without food and without protein before you start losing muscle. And to understand how this works, let’s review why and when the body breaks muscle tissue down.
So glucose or blood sugar is a great source of energy cells. Love it Organs. And the easiest way to provide your body with glucose is to eat carbs, but your body is also able to create glucose out of other substances like immuno acids that are found in protein and glycerol that is found in body fat.
And the process whereby non carbohydrate substances are turned into glucose is known as gluco. Genesis now when you’re fasting, your body has to rely on its own energy stores, right? Obviously, because it has run out of food energy and it has two primary sources of glucose to continue powering all of the processes that keep us alive, we have glycogen.
which is a form of carbohydrate, and it’s stored primarily in the liver and in the muscles, and that can be converted quickly into glucose. And we have body fat. Now. When fat cells are mobilized, they release fatty acids into the blood, and then many of our cells burn those fatty acids for energy. as well as glycerol, which can be converted into glucose.
So with the breakdown of body fat, we have fatty acids and glycerol two different types of fuel now, so long as the body can turn to those two energy sources to sustain itself, glycogen in the liver and body fat, it really has no reason to eat up muscle. But as the liver runs out of glyco, The body does start converting amino acids into glucose, and of course, where does it get those amino acids from?
Muscle tissue research shows that amino acids obtained from the breakdown of muscle tissue are responsible for about 50% of glucose maintenance at the 16 hour mark of fasting, and about 100% at the 28 hour. This is why many if protocols designed for athletes and bodybuilders and just body composition people don’t have you fasting for more than 16 hours because after that muscle breakdown starts to ramp up, this is also why well-designed protocols recommend that your last meal.
Before the fast be high in a slow burning form of protein like casing or egg. The purpose of that is to provide the body with a large infusion of amino acids, so as liver glycogen stores are depleted, the body can turn to those amino acids that are being slowly released into the bloodstream as opposed to its muscle tissue.
To get the raw materials it needs. Gluconeogenesis. Now things are a little bit different. If you train fasted and there are reasons to train fasted, you can head over to legion athletics.com and search for fasted training to learn more about them. For example, it does offer some unique fat loss benefits.
That is not fake news. It is not one weird trick for burning belly fat. But it is particularly useful for people who are lean, wanting to get really lean, and especially if you’re willing to combine it with a natural supplement like Yohimbe. And if you’re gonna use Yohimbe, then you might as well throw in some caffeine as well.
And there are some blood flow benefits, particularly to the abdominal region. Research has shown that in the case of fasted training, but it does. A downside, it increases muscle breakdown rates, and particularly after a workout, muscle breakdown rates can really spike. And of course that’s undesirable because if muscle breakdown rates get too high, if they exceed muscle protein synthesis rates, you are going to lose muscle.
And even if they don’t exceed it, High muscle breakdown rates are obviously not conducive to muscle gain. When muscle gain comes from muscle protein, synthesis rates, exceeding muscle protein breakdown rates over time. And so if we want to maximize muscle gain, we want to do whatever we can to maximize muscle protein, synthesis rates, and minimize muscle.
Protein breakdown rates. Fortunately, you can overcome this downside to fasted training with a simple supplement called beta hydroxy. Beta methyl butyrate, also known as HM B, and HMB is often sold as a muscle building aid like creatine. If you just take it, you’re gonna gain muscle faster, but research shows that those claims are shaky at best and unlikely to be.
But what is well established is that hm b is a very effective anti catabolic agent. Meaning it is very good at preventing muscle breakdown in lowering muscle breakdown rates. It also has no effect whatsoever on insulin levels, which makes it perfect for facet training, cuz it’s not gonna break your fast, no calories, no effect on insulin levels.
It’s also worth noting that Hmb is superior to leucine. , which it comes from your body actually produces hm B from leucine when it is metabolizing leucine, which by the way is an essential amino acid. And hm b again, which is a metabolite of leucine, appears to be much better at suppressing muscle breakdown rates than leucine, which is pretty cool because leucine does impact.
Insulin levels to some degree, and it also means that you don’t have to waste money on branch chain amino acid supplements B C A A supplements, which rely primarily on leucine for their anti catabolic effects. Instead, you can just go with HM B and you can buy HM B as a standalone supplement, or you can find it in Legion’s Forge pre-workout Fat Burner, which has Hmb as well as Yohimbe ands.
And you can learn more about [email protected] slash forge. So the bottom line is fasting can cause some muscle loss if you go for very long periods of time without eating if you do 24 plus hour fasts. But so long as you stick to the popular protocols in the body composition space, lean Gains is really the one.
That is the protocol that popularized intermittent fasting, and that is time proven and even evidence-based. Now, there have been several studies conducted on the 16 eight approach that have proven it works. 16 hours of fasting, eight hours of eating, not consistently eating. You have an eight hour window to eat.
Your food, and then you have a 16 hour period of no food, no calories. Really what it is, is skipping breakfast. That’s how most people do it. They eat their first meal, maybe between 12 and 2:00 PM and then their last meal between eight and 10:00 PM That’s it. And so if you do that, if you follow my advice, There, and if you also supplement with HM b, if you’re gonna be doing fast training or legion’s forge, if you’re gonna be cutting because the Yohimbe will help you lose fat faster, then muscle loss is not going to be an issue.
If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p one-on-one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible. And we can do the same for you.
Okay. Let’s move on to the last question here from K Floyd tk. What is the most important life lesson you’d like to teach your children? How will you attempt to teach it? Thanks for asking this question, because it made me sit and think about that actually for a few minutes, and I came up with something good I think.
One lesson is really what you’re asking for. The most important life lesson that I can currently think of, and this may change as I get older and learn more things and have more experiences. But currently I would say it’s just find ways to make a difference in your work, in your relationships, in your personal life.
Don’t strive just for money or approval or applause. Really try to make your mark in as many ways as you can, big and small. Strive to become the type of person who isn’t easily forgotten. And that means that you have to show up, you have to show up every day. You have to help people out. You have to champion the good, you have to condemn the bad.
And so no matter what my kids grow up to be and do, and no matter how. Stakes they make along the way if they can figure out how to be of use to their fellow humans, how to make a positive difference in people’s lives, hopefully many people’s lives, and how to make many people happy that they were alive then.
I think I’ll have done a pretty good job as a parent. Now, as far as how to teach that, I think it is primarily going to be by setting a good example, by doing that myself and making sure they know that I’m doing that and that I value that because words are hollow, right. Actions are what resonate. So I need to make sure that I am being the type of person I hope they become.
Easier said than done. True. But I am in practice. I am not a hypocrite here. I do have the courage of my convictions, and I do spend most of my time trying to make a difference and trying to make other people happy that I’m here still. And setting an example. Is working with their fruits and vegetables,
They’re eating fruits and vegetables every day because they see my wife and I doing it, and that just seems to be the thing to do. So that’s cool. And I think if I can just keep making a difference in their lives, keep showing up for them and again, keep showing up for others and make sure that. They see that and understand why that’s important, then I would hope that they become naturally inclined toward those values and toward that philosophy, I’m also going to introduce my kids to good ideas that have helped me become a better person, uh, a more productive person, a more honorable person, and I’ll introduce them probably through books.
It’ll probably be better if they. Hear from somebody other than me, because I remember when I was a teenager and I didn’t want to hear too much life advice from my parents, and that’s not because they were unworthy of emulation. It was just because I was a shithead teenager, you know? But anyway, I think that is my best answer for now.
For that question. A bonus lesson though is find work that gives you energy, that energizes you, rather than drains you. Whatever it is. If you can do it for an entire day and feel alive and excited to do more of it, that is special. That sets you up for a lot of satisfaction, a lot of success, and a lot of.
You’ll probably have to try different things to get there. It’s probably not going to be the first line of work that you get into. So be patient and work at it and reflect on yourself to help you find it. Your personality, your talents, your tendencies. There is something out there that is the thing for you.
For me, for example, it’s writing, researching, and writing is still my favorite work that I do, and a part of me would like to do nothing. because I really do find that the most interesting and fulfilling work that I do, a part of me would love to sell the supplement business, shut down the podcast, stop everything, and just write more books.
Now, that would be a strategic blunder, so I won’t be doing those things, but that really is how much I enjoy. Researching and writing. And so I’m very grateful that people continue to buy my books and refer others to my books, and that my books are able to contribute greatly to legion’s success. So there is a lot of strategic value in the time that I put.
Into researching and writing the next book, and I’m always working on the next project. I finish one project and literally the next day, I start the next book project. And again, it’s nice to be able to do that because I find that the most fulfilling and the most challenging and the most. Interesting of all the things that I do, and it makes a lot of business sense.
It contributes greatly to my ecosystem. Well, that is all I have for you today, friends. Thanks again for joining me today. I hope you liked the episode, and next week I have more goodies for you. I have a motivational monologue called Think Big, do Big, win Big. I have an interview with the co-founder of Renaissance Periodization Nick Shaw on some of his secret sauce of success.
We talk about winning. Mostly in business, but also in life. And I agree with a lot of the things that he talks about in the newest book of his, which he’s gonna be talking about in that episode. And then the next installment of says, you is coming where I talk about Natty expectations, muscle gain, in particular low-fat dieting, and one of my favorite people in all of history, bill Gates.
All right. Well, that’s it for today’s episode. I hope you found it interesting and helpful. And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, could you please leave a quick review for the podcast on iTunes or wherever you are listening from? Because those reviews not only convince people that they should check out the show, they also increase the search visibil.
And help more people find their way to me and to the podcast and learn how to build their best body ever as well. And of course, if you wanna be notified when the next episode goes live, then simply subscribe to the podcast and whatever app you’re using to listen and you will not miss out on any of.
New stuff that I have coming and last, if you didn’t like something about the show, then definitely shoot me an email at mike muscle for life.com and share your thoughts. Let me know how you think I could do this better. I read every email myself and I’m always looking for constructive feedback. All right, thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.