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This podcast is a Q&A, but it’s a bit different from the kind you’ll typically find here on Muscle For Life.
In my usual Q&A episodes, I take a question from email or Instagram and then fully answer it in an episode of the podcast every week.
However, over on Instagram, I’ve started doing weekly Q&As in the stories, and it occurred to me that many podcast listeners might enjoy hearing these questions and my short answers. So, instead of talking about one thing in an episode, I’m going to cover a variety of questions. And keep in mind some of these questions are just for fun. 🙂
So if you want to ask me questions in my Instagram stories, follow me on Instagram (@muscleforlifefitness), and if I answer your question there, it might just make it onto an episode of the podcast!
If you like this type of episode, let me know. Send me an email ([email protected]) or direct message me on Instagram. And if you don’t like it, let me know that too or how you think it could be better.
3:46 – Do you train abs in BBLS?
6:06 – What do you think about pyramid sets?
7:09 – Are you living your best life?
7:41 – Tips for making healthy food while dealing with budget/inflation issues.
8:55 – Tips for genetically challenged biceps?
10:45 – Best exercise for chest without having a bench?
11:09 – Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J?
11:29 – Should diet breaks be times to coincide with deloads?
12:33 – How much cardio should be done in a deficit?
13:00 – Should I avoid sex before working out?
13:23 – Does it make sense and is it safe to take creatine all year long?
13:42 – Are higher reps better for growing smaller muscle groups?
15:51 – How are Legion supplements tested for purity?
16:30 – How to handle sweaty crotch in gym?
16:54 – What would you tell Sal Di Stefano about his 15k in book sales
17:26 – Do you still believe those not getting vaccinated are bringing us closer to the abyss?
Mentioned on the Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hey, Mike Matthews here and welcome to Muscle for Life. Thank you for joining me today. And if you haven’t already, please do take a moment to subscribe to the show in whatever app you are listening to me in so you don’t miss any new episodes. And also, so you help me by boosting the rankings of the show.
And that of course, then helps other people find it. Okay? So this episode is the. Installment of this new q and a format that people are liking and that it’s performing well and that I’m having fun doing, and that counts for something, right? And so what I’m doing is over on Instagram at Muscle for Life Fitness once a week, usually on Monday or Tuesday, I’ll put up in my stories, uh, a story, asking for questions, you know, the little.
What is it a, is it called a sticker or a tag or something? Ask me a question and then people can submit questions and I pick questions to answer on Instagram, and then I bring those questions and answers over here to the podcast. For those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram or don’t pay attention to Instagram, or don’t even have Instagram.
On your phone, you win the big prize. And so today we are going to be going all over the place. We are going to be talking about AB training, uh, traditional pyramid sets, living your best life, uh, eating well, but also dealing with the rising costs of food. Dealing with the inflation that remember that was, uh, never supposed to happen, and then it was just supposed to be transitory, but now we’re just told.
Good thing. Inflation is a good thing. Okay. And biceps training and a lot more. Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you want to help me do more of it, please do check out my sports Nutrition company Legion, because while you don’t need supplements to build muscle, lose fat and get healthy, the right ones can help.
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Honesty. Now, Legion is also holding its biggest sale of the year right now and its biggest sale ever. This is our biggest and our bestest sale ever. We are trying to make up for last year’s Black Friday Cyber Monday sale, which because of inventory constraints. Was not very exciting this year though, you can save up to 40% on everything.
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Ske alon. Over to there. Save big. Hurry up though because no matter what my exorbitant E r P software predicts, we always run out of stock of at least a thing or two every year. During our big Sitewide sales, especially our Black Friday sale, there’s always that flavor or two or three or that product, or two or three that just blows up out of nowhere.
So that means that your favorite flavors or products may or may. Survive the onslaught. Do not risk such a calamity. Instead. Head over to by legion.com now and claim your discount and bask in the post-purchase glow. Okay, let’s begin. First we have Hassan m Zer, and he asks, do you train abs in B B L S Beyond Bigger, leaner, stronger, which is the program that I am following.
It is my program for intermediate and advanced weightlifters, and you can learn all about it in the book called Beyond Bigger, leaner, stronger, if you want to check that out. And by the way, if you’re a woman who. Really want to be bigger, but maybe beyond fitter, leaner, stronger. There is a lot for you in that book as well, and I do plan on creating a female version.
It’s just on the list, and I do hope to get to that. Sooner rather than later. So the question, do you train abs in beyond bigger, leaner, stronger? And this would apply to, I would say, any intermediate or advanced weightlifter, which is why I wanted to talk about it here on the podcast, not just to people who are following my program.
And the question is, No, there is no direct AB training in beyond Bigger, leaner, stronger because heavy compound weightlifting adequately trains the core muscles. And many people who are intermediate and advanced weightlifters find that their core definition and their is quite good. They actually don’t want more size in their abdominal muscles.
For example, some guys in particular like that really bulging ab muscle. Blocky ab muscle look. Other guys think it looks a bit odd, it starts to look like a a turtle shell. And I’m in that camp. And what many people find is even if they start lifting with underdeveloped abs and core muscles simply by getting strong on.
The squat, the deadlift, the overhead press, even the bench press to some degree, and different variations of those exercises. Their core development moves along quite nicely without any direct AB training, and so I don’t think it’s appropriate to put direct AB training in an intermediate or an advanced program.
It’s. More applicable to newbies who maybe want to see a little bit extra development. They wanna speed that up and they often like doing it. But for those of us who have been lifting for a while and we already have good AB development, the heavy compounds are all we need to stay that way. Okay, the next question comes, Gareth ligo and he asks, what do you think about pyramid sets?
And I prefer reverse pyramid training over traditional pyramids because when you do your heaviest sets last like you do with traditional pyramids, where you work from, let’s say you, maybe you start with sets of 12 or 10, and then. Let’s say it’s 10, right? And then you’re gonna do set a set of eight, and then you’re gonna rest and six and four, and maybe even go down to two.
What happens is you’re most fatigued when you get to the heaviest weights, and that doesn’t really make much sense, especially in the case of big compound exercises when our form also gets worse as we get more fatigued. And the risk of getting. Goes up. So instead, if I were going to pyramid my training, I would do it the other way around.
I would warm up and I would do my heaviest and hardest sets first, and then I would work toward the lighter sets. And if you wanna learn more about that, head over to legion athletics.com and search for reverse pyramid, and you’ll find an article I wrote on it. Okay, next up we have funk, mw. Are you living your best life?
Well, you know, I thought about this and I don’t eat avocado toast, although it is good, but I don’t eat it, at least not regularly. I don’t drink green smoothies. I don’t. Fuel my hashtag wanderlust. Uh, I don’t slap parts with random strangers, so I guess according to clown world, I am not living my best life.
I am living something less than my best life. What are some good tips for someone who wants to make healthy food, but who is dealing with inflation? Mexican Nitro asks this, and a few tips are, one, stick with individual foods you can buy in bulk and then you can prepare as opposed to pre-packaged and pre-prepared foods, and then use recipes with different flavor profiles to introduce.
Into your diet. Another tip is to not buy out of season or organic produce because it can often be a lot more expensive than stuff that is in season, uh, and also conventional produce. Number three is consider. Chicken thighs over chicken breast. I know the macros aren’t as good. It’s a bit fattier, but you can make it work and it is usually quite a bit less expensive.
And the fourth and final tip is to buy a cheap protein powder from a trustworthy company like Optimum Nutrition. And you can buy, I think you can buy 10 pound bags of that stuff. And when you look at the price per serving and the price per gram of protein, it is. Hard to beat. Really. It’s hard to beat with any type of food.
Daniel Mufti one asks if I have any tips for his biceps because they are genetically challenged compared to his triceps. And in case you’re wondering if that is really a thing. Yes, it is really a thing. Uh, all of us have muscle groups that are more and less responsive to training than we would like. In my case, my chest and my biceps have always been highly responsive to training.
But my shoulders and lats not so much. It has taken a lot of work to get them to a respectable level of development. So coming back to this question, biceps genetically challenged. Any tips? Well, volume and a variety of rep ranges, those two things are gonna get it done. So, and this really applies to bringing up any stubborn muscle group.
If you do two to four months of 12 to 15, maybe. As much as 20 hard sets of direct training per week for that muscle group. And you might not be able to get up to 20 in the case of like your quads, but you might be able to, in the case of your biceps. And so biceps, that’s what we’re talking about here.
That means, let’s just say 12 to 15. 12 to 15 sets of curls of various types. We’re not counting the indirect volume that comes from pulling. So knot six to eight sets of curls. Then maybe the same. Poles, you’re gonna do 12 to 15 sets, direct training for biceps, and you are going to be doing some pulling as well, which is indirect volume for your biceps.
If you do that for two to four months and you make sure you are not in a calorie deficit, if you really want to get the most outta it, of course you want to be in a slight calorie surplus, you are going to get results. Something will change for the. Ideas, para qad, and then it gets cut off with an ellipsis.
Asks. Best exercise for chest without having a bench. Uh, I would say a floor press. That could be a, a barbell or a dumbbell floor Press. Good exercise. Doesn’t need a bench. And if you have no equipment whatsoever, get, get some bands, I guess that would qualify as equipment. But bands are cheap. Get some bands and do banded feet elevated pushups.
Javier, Jack asks Pfizer, Moderna, or j and j. This is such a racist question because the obvious answer is all of them. Obviously, max maxing is the only way that we are going to flatten the new normal and build back better billionaires. Jeff Singer asks if it’s a good idea to time his refeeds or his diet breaks with his deloads, and it’s not a bad idea because the reduction in training intensity and volume, you know, the deloading plus the extra food, plus hopefully some better sleep, maybe even a little bit more sleep.
If you can squeeze that in means you are going to feel really rejuvenated at the end of that refeed or that diet. , but you don’t have to go out of your way to synchronize those things. You can just take your diet breaks or your refeeds every four to eight weeks, depending on how lean you are and how aggressive you’re being with your cut and how you’re feeling.
And you also should be deloading probably every four to eight, maybe 10 to 12 weeks if if you’re newer. You can go longer without deloading if you are more experienced and if you are training hard, you have to deload more frequently, and so you can just. Those things independently. You don’t have to try to sync them up.
Lucas, Rochelle, or Rochelle asks how much cardio should be done in a deficit? Walking. Do as much as you’d like. Go outside, walk, burn some calories. Look at the birds. Look at how they don’t give a shit about us and our problems. Nice life, moderately hard stuff. Let’s say up to two to three hours per week.
And then the really hard stuff, let’s say up to one hour per week. And someone I will graciously withhold his handle asks, should I avoid sex before working out? Well, dude, two minutes every two months. Probably not gonna get in the way of your gains. You’re probably overthinking it. And the non snarky answer, well try to put a couple of hours in between the humping and the lifting, or you will probably do worse in the gym.
Rla. Big asks, does it make sense? Is it safe to take creatine all year long or should you take a break from time to time? You don’t have to cycle creatine. It does make sense to take it basically forever. It is safe to take it basically forever. Think of it like a multivitamin, uh, fish oil, a protein powder, and so on.
Luke M 81 asks, are higher reps slash sets better for growing smaller muscles like biceps versus three sets in the four to six rep range? Uh, in theory, no. But in practice sometimes, mostly because it’s hard to maintain good form and progress when you’re using 80 to, let’s say 85% of your one rep max on certain exercises like side raises or rear raises, doing.
Good. Let’s say strict in terms of form sets of fours on side raises, rear raises quite hard. Sixes is where it starts to work, but it’s still tough. You still have to pay attention to your form or it gets a little bit sloppy, whereas something like a bicep curl, you can do fours with good form, especially if you’re using dumbbells.
That said, remember though that research. For intermediates and advanced lifters in particular, a variety of rep ranges is likely best for hypertrophy, and that applies to all muscle groups, small and large, and that’s why bigger lean or stronger, which is intended for guys who have yet to gain their first 25 pounds or of muscle or so has you do a lot of four to six rep work, and then also some six to eight, where four to six just isn’t practically feasible.
We just don’t need to get fancier than that. If we. In that rep range, four to eight reps, we are going to gain a lot of strength. We are going to gain a lot of muscle. We don’t need to get fancy with our periodization. However, beyond bigger leaners stronger, which is again for intermediate and advanced weightlifters, you go from.
Twelves down to fours and sixes. In the case of isolation exercises, you go from tens all the way down to twos in the case of compound exercises, and that’s not because I just wanted to get fancy. I just wanted people to think that the program is more sophisticated. No, it’s really because research shows that that probably is the best way to train after you have gained a lot of muscle and.
Me Gustin Tortilla. And then ellipses asks, how are your supplements tested for purity? How are legions supplements tested for purity? And the answer is third party labs, including Covance, Eurofins, lab Door, and other reputable companies. Uh, we also over at Legion’s website, we post test results for each batch of product.
So you can see. What is in the product, what is not in the product? There are not chemicals or drugs, for example, and you can find those certificate analyses on every product page on our site, legion athletics.com. A female whose handle I will also withhold says, I don’t know whether everyone experiences or not, but how to handle sweaty crotch in gym.
Ew. No, that’s definitely just you. How embarrassing. But if I were afflicted with such a disgusting disorder, I would simply dust my bits with a corn starch based powder before working out. Caleb c Bradberry asks, what would you tell Sal DeStefano from mine pump about his 15 K in book sales? Be honest, laughing with tears, face, whatever that emoji’s called.
Well, I would say, Sal, remember, this is a competition with yourself. Don’t compare your book sales to mine. 15 K is pretty good for someone like, And by the way, in case you don’t know, Sal and I are friends, so this is not me being obnoxiously arrogant and rude. Last question, Stephen b Wolff asks, do you still believe those not getting vaccinated or bringing us one step closer to the abyss?
I definitely never said that, but look here, sweetie. It’s pretty simple. Okay, so. , you need the first shot, then you need the second shot. Then once you’ve done that, you still have to continue wearing a mask and you have to continue socially distancing because you can still actually catch the virus and you can still transmit it to others, but then you, you can get a booster shot and that’s what you’ll need to do.
And then that won’t really change anything because you’ll still be able to get the virus and transmit the virus and you still actually will be able to end up in the hospital and die. And then also everyone around you is going to have to complete the same process for it to possibly work. And so yeah, that’s about the size of it.
It’s not that hard to understand sweet summer child. Just think about it, let it sink in. Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful, and if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.
And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you. Uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share. Shoot me an email, mike muscle for life.com, muscle f o r life.com and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.
I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you.