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I’ve recorded hundreds of episodes of Muscle for Life on a huge variety of things related to health, fitness, and lifestyle, ranging from the basics of diet and exercise like energy and macronutrient balance and progressive overload and training frequency and volume to fads like the ketogenic and carnivore diet and collagen protein to more unfamiliar territories like body weight set point and fasted cardio.
Some episodes resonate with my crowd more than others, but all of them contain at least a few key takeaways that just about anyone can benefit from (that’s what I tell myself at least).
And as cool as that is, it poses a problem for you, my dear listener:
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Well okay, some people do make the time to listen to most or even all of my podcasts, but my wizbang analytics tell me that while many listeners tune in on a regular basis, they don’t catch every installment of Muscle for Life and thus miss out on insights that could help them get a little better inside and outside the gym.
People have also been saying they’d like me to do more shorter, multi-topic episodes, like my Q&As.
And so I got an idea: how about a “best of” series of podcasts that contains a few of the most practical and compelling ideas, tips, and moments from my most popular episodes?
This way, people who are new to the show can quickly determine if it’s for them or not, and those who enjoy what I’m doing but don’t have the time or inclination to listen to all of my stuff can still benefit from the discussions and find new episodes to listen to.
So, in this installment of The Best of Muscle for Life, you’ll be hearing hand-picked morsels from three episodes:
Kurtis Frank on the Science of Controlling Your Appetite
(Originally published 10/24/2018)
6 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Steroids
(Originally published 9/28/2018)
(Originally published 8/21/2017)
And we’ll be starting with number one, Kurtis Frank on the Science of Controlling Your Appetite.
5:05 – Kurtis Frank on the Science of Controlling Your Appetite
13:59 – 6 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Steroids
21:25 – Book Club: The ONE Thing
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 the latest and greatest episode of Muscle For Life. I’m Mike Matthews and thank you for joining me today. Now, I have recorded hundreds of episodes of Muscle for Life and I’ve. Talked about a huge variety of things related to health, fitness, lifestyle, mindset, ranging from the basics of diet and exercise, like energy and macronutrient, balance and progressive overload, and training frequency and volume to fads like the ketogenic and carnivore diet and collagen protein to more unfamiliar territories like body weight, set point, and fast.
Cardio and some episodes resonate with my crowd more than others, but all of them contain at least a few key takeaways that just about anyone can benefit from. At least that’s what I tell myself. That’s what helps me sit down in the chair every day and do this, and as cool as that is. It poses a problem for you, my dear listener, especially if you are new here, and that is, ain’t nobody got time for that.
We’re talking about probably a thousand plus hours of content at this point. And while some people actually do make the time to listen to most or even. All of my podcasts, my Whizbang analytics tell me that while many listeners tune in on a regular basis, they don’t catch every installment of Muscle for Life.
Thus, they miss out on insights that could help them get even just a little bit better inside and outside the gym. Because if you just get a little bit better, consistently enough, that can add up to big results in the long. People have also been telling me that they would like me to do more shorter multi topic episodes like my q and As and says You episodes.
And so I got an idea. How about a best of series of podcasts that contains a few of the most practical and compelling ideas, tips, and moments from. My most popular episodes going all the way back to beginning. This way, people who are new in particular can quickly determine if this is the droid they’re looking for, if this podcast is for them or not.
And then those who are regulars and enjoy what I’m doing, but just don’t have the time or inclination to listen to all of my stuff. And I do understand that I don’t take it personally. . You can also then benefit. The discussions and the episodes that you are not listening to in full. And you can also find new episodes to listen to without having to give an hour of your time to determine whether it was worth it or not.
So here we are with the best of Muscle for Life, and in this episode you’ll be hearing handpicked Mors from three episode. The first is an interview I did with Legion’s Director of Research and Development, Curtis Frank, on the Science of Controlling Your Appetite. The second is a monologue that I recorded called The Six Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Steroids, and the third is a book club episode where I share my top takeaways from a book that I’ve recommended many times to many people.
The one. 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 and 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 dyes, 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. Pills, powders, and potions to get into great shape. And frankly, most of them are virtually 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 by legion.com/mike. That’s B U Y L E G I O n.com/mike. And just to show you how much I appreciate my podcast peeps, use the coupon code MFL checkout and you will save 20% on your entire first. All right. Let’s start with the highlight reel from the interview I did with Curtis Frank on the science of controlling your appetite.
When it comes to how your diet affects appetite, there are two main factors that are important. One of them is a sort of balance between the intake of fats versus carbohydrates and how they interact with your own biology. It’s gonna be different for each person, but the other factor is more of a mechanical fiber based one when it comes to the fat and carbohydrate balance.
There are some people who can handle carbohydrates very well. They tend to be younger, more athletic, and I don’t really think there’s a major genetic connection. It tends to be just people who ate a lot of carbs in the past and were always very athletic and they were never actually fat at any point in their entire lives.
And what do you mean by handling carbohydrate? So the hormone insulin that is secreted when you ingest carbohydrates actually suppresses appetite. A lot of people don’t really know this because every time insulin comes up with a conversation, it’s always the negative effects of insulin, but every hormone has positive and negative effects, and insulin is an appetite suppressant that increases cognition.
So it’s pretty bloody cool. The thing is, if you can’t handle carbohydrates well, you become insulin desensitized, which means that the positive effects of insulin are blunted, so it’s not able to suppress appetite as much. It’s not able to increase cognition as much. So when you eat a bit of carbohydrates, your body only gets.
Let’s say half the stimuli from that. So then your body assumes we only ate half as much carbohydrates as you needed. We need to eat a bit more to get the full stimuli so you end up eating double the imagine carbohydrates. These are the type of people who do well on a ketogenic diet because they just eliminate carbs from the entire equation.
But for people who this does not exemplify, they can eat carbs just fine and have no problems with appetite or anything. And what are some of the symptoms? So if someone’s listening wondering, Do I do well with carbs or not do well, I’m not sure. What are some of the. What happens? Let’s say you have a problem with insulin sensitivity, or you have somebody who has lower insulin sensitivity and they eat, let’s say it’s a decent amount of carbs.
Let’s say it’s 80, a hundred grams of carbs. How might they experience that, especially after the meal versus somebody with high good insulin sensitivity? The major factor would be, Blood sugar levels. If you are the type of person who can eat either a small or large amount of carbohydrates and not feel any different, like you just feel normal, then you probably have good insulin sensitivity.
But if you eat a small amount of carbohydrates, then you’re fine, but you eat a large amount of carbohydrates and all of a sudden you go like from a bloated to a highly energetic state to a very lethargic downstate, and you have that big old curve of energized to lethargic, to energized, to lethargic.
That is completely based on when you eat carbs. That is the major sign of you probably not handling carbohydrates all that well. And I guess another one would just be if you were to have a meal that has X amount of calories, let’s say 500, and the protein is kept static. If you were to have a meal that has fats or you would have a meal that have carbs alongside the protein, of course, and they’re both equally satiating, like they both fill you up the same.
You’re probably good on the insulin sensitivity, but if the meal with fats fills you up, but the meal with carbohydrates actually makes you a bit more hungry, makes you want more, then that’s probably a sign that you’re not the best at insulin. So what else can people do to reduce their appetite while cutting?
Beyond the whole like finding the macronutrient that works for you and focusing on the bulk in your diet and then drinking water. Yeah, I think that’s a good tip. I think that’s that should be highlighted that people, if you do have appetite problems while cutting, if you do tend to be hungry, and if it is at a level where it’s annoying, then doing that test that Curtis was talking about earlier would make sense to find out.
I guess really what you’re trying to find out is. How, whether you’re a fat person or a carb person. Yes, exactly. And then adjusting your diet accordingly. And then like of course, increasing protein intake is always beneficial. Protein does not contribute to fat gain, but contributes to satiety, given how both carbohydrates and fat could potentially contribute to fat gain, get the third macronutrient doesn’t do that, so increase that to about 40% of calories.
Or one 50 grams whichever’s easier. But beyond those the last avenue would be anything pertaining to adrenaline or the fight or flight response. The more adrenaline you have circulating through your veins, every now and then the better. Cause adrenaline, like when it comes to the fight or flight response, you can fight, you can flight, and recent evidence suggests you can also freeze.
But in none of those situations are you eating. This is because all the CATA layer means suppress appetite. And if you can stimulate your body in such a way, it will suppress appetite. And if there are certain times of the day of which your appetite peaks, if you time exercise at those specific times, you could potentially negate the increase in appetite.
So if you have your lunch and all of a sudden. Three 30, you get really hungry. You could potentially just have a workout at three o’clock and completely aate that hunger. So timing when your body becomes stimulated by adrenaline could potentially go a long way in having a successful cut. Okay. I think we should flip to the other side now of increasing appetite while bulking.
What are some tips for people who struggle to eat enough, when they’re bulk? Weed and cookies. Basically weed, or wheat weed and cookies. Let me start with, lemme start with the cookies ones cause it’s a bit more interesting. The hormone insulin suppresses appetite, but the sensation of sweetness stimulates appetite.
If we are to eat normal food, these two things balance each other out, and this is the dichotomy that sometimes comes up a lot when it comes to artificial sweeteners that have a sort of perception of sweetness, which stimulates appetite, but then don’t increase insulin so they don’t have a refractory suppression of.
And I bring this up because when it comes to a lot of bodybuilders who bulk on high calories or simply have low appetites, a common technique is to have ginger cookies. Because Ginger first and foremost has a bit of anti nausea effects. And the anti nausea effects can help if you’re just cramming a bunch of fruit in your stomach.
And ginger cookie is also very sweet, so you take a bite of your actual meal, then you nibble on a ginger cookie, and it just slowly stimulates the appetite a little bit because you perceive sweetness and maybe it reduces nausea just enough for you to shove another pile of steak in your face.
That’s like a sort of I’m not sure if I can say ghetto solution, but it’s totally ghetto solution. Just get some ginger. It’s a simple one. What about something like diet cola or diet soda? I do not think that’d be a viable option because they are carbonated. Unless you can like burp large amounts at will carbonated beverages will increase the pressure of the stomach and activate the mechanical receptors.
And so on the flip side then that when you’re cutting, that may help or. Oh, if you’re cutting, Yes especially if you’re somebody who just cannot burp, then like diet sodas can increase pressure of the stomach and press appetite. Then it’d be any ar any carbonated beverage. It could be sparkling water or just straight soda water.
Or I guess if you don’t, if you don’t wanna be drinking a bunch of artificial sweeteners, if you’re concerned about that, it could just be some naturally sweetened, like what is there zevia? I think that’s one of them, right? That’s out there. I think so.
And that’s it for the snippets that I’ve selected for you from Curtis Frank’s interview on the science of Controlling Your Appetite. And if you like what you heard and you wanna listen to the whole interview, it was originally published in October of 2018, so you can just go back and find it. It is called Curtis Frank on the Science of Controlling Your Appetite.
Alrighty, let’s move on now to the next episode. Featured in this episode, and that is a monolog. Called the six Things you’ve always wanted to know about Steroid. How effective are steroids? Many steroid users would like you to believe that their superhuman physiques are more a result of just hard work and hashtag dedication than drugs.
But this is not true. It is true that it takes a lot of hard work to build a top tier physique, absolutely no question. But it also takes a lot of drugs, and the reason for this is very simple. You can only. So much muscle and get so lean naturally. And if you wanna get an idea of how much muscle you can build naturally, head over to Muscle for life.com and search for build muscle.
Naturally that should pulled up and you’ll see an article that I wrote that has a calculator that allows you to estimate how much muscle you will be able to gain natural. And we’ll talk a bit more about the limits in this podcast, but if you really wanna dive into it, go check out that article.
However, before we get into the natural limits of muscle growth and fat loss, let’s take a brief look at the facts of how powerful steroids really are. So one study which was conducted by scientists at ma, I wanna, there’s my German pronunciation. University, found that during a period of 10 weeks or less, Average muscle gain in people doing resistance training while on anabolic steroids ranged between four and 11 pounds.
And the most impressive amount of muscle growth that they saw the researchers found in the review of the literature was nearly 16 pounds of lean mass gained in just six weeks of weightlifting with steroids. And if those numbers don’t boggle your mind, consider this the most. Science based models of natural muscle growth predict that men can gain no more than 20 to 25 pounds of muscle in their first year of weightlifting, and women can gain about half that amount.
Therefore, with the right steroid cycle and training and diet, you can do in just two to four months, what would take a year to accomplish Natural. Right now let’s talk about side effects. Side effects of steroids. So these drugs may not be as dangerous as some people think or would have you believe, But anybody who’s using steroids in the belief that they are completely safe and harmless if managed properly.
Is whistling past the graveyard. For example, research shows that some of the side effects of steroid use are reversible and some are not reversible. Permanent damage is possible. For example, reversible changes include testicular atrophy. Shrinking acne cysts, oily hair and oily skin, elevated blood pressure and elevated bad.
LDL cholesterol levels increased aggression and lowered sperm count and irreversible damage. Includes male pattern baldness, heart dysfunction, liver disease, and gyne camas. Bitch hits right male breast development. Another major downside to steroids is the risk of biological and psychological addiction.
For example, one study found that 30% of steroid users developed a dependence syndrome. And if you speak to enough honest drug users, you will hear about the. Properties. One of the more common things that I hear from steroid users is just how much better they feel while on cycle than off. When I was living in Florida, I would often talk with a long term user of many different steroids in the gym, who would work out in the morning with me.
Super cool dude, Nice guy. And he put it very simply, he said that when he’s on cycle, he feels invincible. He can train hard, he has sky high energy. All day. He pursues his goals more aggressively. He needs less sleep and his confidence is out the roof when he is off cycle, Though he would say that he felt like a shadow of his superhero self.
It was like he was just stuck in second gear. And he was open about regretting ever starting steroids for this reason alone. He knows the many health risks that are associated with long term steroid use, but he just can’t bring himself to quit. Because the drugs make ’em feel too good. Before we get into how to actually spot steroid use, let’s quickly talk about why we should even care, because as a general rule, I actually don’t think that we should.
I think that people have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies. I don’t think that using steroids is cheating. If someone just wants to look a certain way or if they compete in a sport where pretty much everyone is on drugs, regardless of its official stance on drug use, or if the person’s job requires that they be in extremely good shape.
Such as fitness modeling or acting and so forth. Where I do object to drug use, however, is when people use steroids to achieve a physique that isn’t attainable naturally, and then claim that they did attain it naturally to sell other people on their advice products and services. This, I believe is a huge disservice to people because as you well know, everything changes when you are on drugs.
You can train a lot more frequently and intensely. You don’t have to be as strict on your diet. You don’t have to be as concerned with recovery, and you can actually make a lot of. Mistakes, particularly in your training, in your programming, you can have a pretty poorly designed workout program, but if you combine it with enough steroids, it can go really well for you.
And that of course, becomes a problem when that person is claiming Natty and advising others to do what they do because those people will never get anywhere. The same results. And I know this firsthand, having worked with and heard from and spoken with so many people over the years, many people, guys mostly of course then assume that they just don’t have the genetics to have a great physique and either give up or relegate themselves to mediocrity or turn to steroids.
And I know there are definitely fake natural trainers and coaches out there who do understand the difference between. Natural and enhanced and know how to modify routines and diets for natural weightlifters. But these people are few and far between.
Okay. That’s it for the highlights from the episode on what you always want to know about Steroids. That was originally published in September of 2018, so if you wanna listen to the whole thing, you can just go back and find it. And now let’s move on to the final episode covered in this episode, which again is a book club episode where I talk about a book that I really like.
Called the One thing. 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. Now this is one of the books that I have recommended most to people that wanna be more successful in business and life.
This book is very short. It has very little filler content, which is much appreciated, especially with these types of books. But it also delivers a very powerful and practical message, which can be summarized in a simple question, and that is, What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary.
In other words, how can we go from merely being busy in any area of our lives to developing a sense of the essential Now, Napoleon once said that a military commander should be slow in deliberation and swift in execution, and the authors of this book think that we should apply that type of thinking to every area of our lives.
And I agree. They think that we should, before we act, we should pause long enough to really look at and decide on what matters and allow. To drive our days, allow that to consume the majority of our time, attention, and effort. And one of the reasons I find this concept so compelling is, I think that modern living is, in many ways, it’s just an embarrassment of riches.
We have more freedoms and more options in every aspect of our lives than we. Ever have before and I think that’s why a major part of achieving success and fulfillment in anything is first identifying the things that are going to produce the disproportionate share of the results. Identify that 20% that’s going to produce.
The 80%, and because of that success I think is more about doing the right things than doing everything right. It’s not about developing superhuman discipline and endurance. It’s about exerting just enough effort and self-control to establish the right. Habits, the ones that make everything else easier or just unimportant.
All right, so the third takeaway here is do your most important work your one thing early before your willpower is drawn down. And my note here is that most people, they start their days with a full tank of mental energy and willpower. Then every decision that they make. So whether they’re gonna snooze their alarm or go to the gym, what clothes they’re gonna wear, what they’re gonna eat for breakfast, or if they’re gonna eat breakfast at all and everything else of the day has in store.
All of these decisions, they progressively diminish these. Reserves. Now, some of us are more mentally resilient than others, but at some point we all just run out of cognitive juice, and then we become more susceptible to illogical and impulsive behaviors and it becomes harder and harder to do the things that we know we should do this.
Scientifically speaking, this is known as decision fatigue, and one of the easiest ways to inoculate ourselves against it is to simply eliminate distractions and decisions that don’t. Matter. Reserve your energy and willpower for the activities that are critically important. All right, my fourth key takeaway here, we usually succeed in spite of most of what we do, not because of it.
And my thoughts here are that the key to success isn’t in all the things that we do, but it’s in the handful of things that we do very well. And because of that, you can gain a lot from just evaluating the various compartments of your life and deciding in very clear terms. What you want, and then working backward to identify the key actions, the actions that are gonna be most productive, and then make those your number one priority every single day.
Now, if you do that, then what you’ll find is that it, there’s a shift from. Waking up and asking yourself, What shall I do today to what should I do today? If you don’t have a clear sense of purpose and direction, then you know, I would say it, it really doesn’t matter what you do because whatever you do, it’ll get you somewhere.
It’s like an Allison Wonderland when Alice asks the Cheshire Cat. Which way she should go. And the cat says that kind of depends on where you’re going. And Alice doesn’t know where she’s going, so the cat says, then it doesn’t really matter which way you go, there’s a life lesson there.
Because the only way to know what you really should be doing is when you can say you want to go in that direction for this reason. And that’s it for the featured bits of the book Club episode for the One thing. And if you want to hear the rest of my takeaways and my thoughts from that book, and on that book, you can find the whole episode back in August of 2017.
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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 better.
I read everything myself, and I’m always looking for constructive feedback, even if it. 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 soon.