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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.


0:00 – Try Whey+ risk-free today! Go to and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points

4:31 – Do you ever train at 6am? 

6:49 – Where do you go for your daily news?

7:17 – Is it okay to consume 120 grams of whey protein and eat other whole foods to reach a total of 200 grams of protein per day?

10:00 – Where can I find friends that don’t completely support the vaccine narrative?

10:25 – How can you make your penis bigger?

10:35 – Does creatine cause or promote hair loss?

14:23 – What is the best advice you would give your younger self?

16:13 – Is COVID a conspiracy?

17:12 – What are your thoughts on Dr. John Jaquish’s X3 bar system?

19:17 – My joints aren’t great due to a previous accident and cortisone injections. What are some tips to train this way? 

21:36 – BCAAS or EAAS?

22:34 – Generally speaking, what is the upper limit of protein you can digest per meal?

22:55 – When following the BLS program, how many “newbie” gains are lost during a deficit as opposed to a surplus? 

23:33 – Which Legion protein is better for lactose intolerant people? 

24:30 – When lean bulking, should you go to maintenance calories on rest days?

25:49 – What percentage of bodyweight should you look to gain per week on your first bulk? 

26:27 – When do you think this COVID madness will be over?

Mentioned on the Show:

Try Whey+ risk-free today! Go to and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points

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


Well, hello and welcome to another episode of Muscle for Life. I’m your host, Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today. It is January 17th, 2022, and this is the year where nothing is credible until it has be officially denied, and where conspiracy theories are just spoil. Anyway, if you haven’t already, please do take a moment and subscribe to the show in whatever app you are listening to me in so you don’t miss any new episodes.

And of course it helps me cuz it boosts the ranking of the show in the various charts. And this episode is going to be, A Q and A where I’m gonna answer, oh, I don’t know, probably about 20 different questions that people have asked me over on Instagram. Every Monday I put up a ask me a question sticker in my stories and I get a bunch of submissions and I answer quite a few of them there in Instagram and then also answer.

Them here on the podcast, and so if you want to participate, if you want me to answer your questions, follow me over on Instagram at Muscle for Life Fitness every Monday or Tuesday. Look at my stories. Well look at my stories every day, multiple times per day, of course, but particularly on Mondays or Tuesdays.

Look for the Ask me a question post and submit your questions, and I review them. I try to choose ones that are topical or that are being asked by a lot of people or that are particularly interesting to me. Just something that I’ve never touched on before, but I try to give it a fair amount of time. I do get through quite a few of them, so again, at Muscle for Life Fitness is where you can find me on Instagram, and today’s questions range from early.

Training to where I like to get my news every day to eating a lot of whey protein. How much protein powder can you eat every day? To my thoughts on Covid being a conspiracy or not creatine and hair loss, the X three bar system and more. Before we wade into it, one of the easiest ways to increase muscle and strength gain is to eat enough protein and to eat enough high quality protein.

Now you can do that with food, of course, you can get all of the protein you need from food, but many people supplement with whey protein because it is convenient and it’s tasty, and that makes it easier to just eat enough protein, and it’s also rich in essential amino acid. Which are crucial for muscle building, and it’s digested well, it’s absorbed well, and that’s why I created Whey Plus, which is a 100% natural grass-fed whey ICE isolate protein powder made with milk from small sustainable dairy farms in Ireland.

Now, why Wei Ice isolate? Well, that is the highest. Whey protein you can buy, and that’s why every serving of Whey Plus contains 22 grams of protein with little or no carbs in fat. Whey plus is also lactose free, so that means no indigestion, no stomach aches, no gassiness, and it’s also 100% naturally sweetened and flavored, and it contains no artificial food dyes or other.

Junk And why Irish dairies? Well, research shows that they produce some of the healthiest, cleanest milk in the world, and we work with farms that are certified by Ireland’s Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme, S D S A S, which ensures that the farmers adhere to best practices in animal welfare, sustainability, product quality, traceability, and soil and grass manage.

So if you want a mouthwatering high protein, low calorie whey protein powder that helps you reach your fitness goals faster, you want to try Whey Plus today, go to buy Use the coupon code muscle at checkout and you will save 20% on your first order. And if it is not your first order, you will get double reward points.

So that is 10% cash back. And if you don’t, absolutely love way plus. Let us know and we will give you a full refund on the spot. No form, no return is even necessary. You really can’t lose. So go to buy now. Use the coupon code muscle at checkout to save 20% or get double reward points and then try way plus risk free and see what you think.

Okay, the first question comes from comfy sweats and they ask if I’ve ever trained at 6:00 AM because they are trying to get used to it. And yep, I used to get to the gym between six and six 30, a couple of years ago, and it takes time to get used to it. But research does show that if you stick with it, you should be able to adjust and perform about as well as at other times, and caffeine can help with that.

In particular, research shows with shaking the morning cobwebs, so to speak. That’s said. Studies also show that most guys in particular are stronger later in the day, like the middle or the, the later part of the afternoon. And I’ve certainly found that to be the case in myself. So I’ve trained at all different times, actually over the years.

The earliest I’ve ever trained as. Probably arriving between five 30 and six 30. It’s been some time since I did that, and I did that for a number of years, and then I switched to later in the afternoon, like 3, 4, 5 pm and then I switched to sometime between 11 and 1:00 PM and that’s my. Current schedule.

I get to the gym usually around 12 or 1230. And also when I was younger, I mean, I used to go to the gym at 11:00 PM but I haven’t done that in a long time. So out of all the times that I’ve trained, at least in the last 10 years or so, my worst performance consistently was early in the morning. And that isn’t to say that all of my workouts were bad.

Of course, I had plenty of great workouts and I made progress training early in the morning. But if I train later, even if it’s just a few hours, instead of training at six, it is training at 11. I do have a bit more energy and I can turn that into a bit more productive workouts and some people.

Experience that to greater and lesser degrees. So if you are currently training early in the morning and you could train later in the day and you’re curious if it is going to make a big difference in your workouts, give it a try. And if you have to train early in the morning and you are concerned that it is impeding your progress, It’s probably not, your performance might be slightly worse than if you trained later in the day, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t progress.

It just means that your performance is slightly worse. Alright, next is a question from Read J one. And they ask where I go every day for the news that I like to read. I like news aggregators the most, so I go to a few. I go to Drudge Retort For Left to Bias, I go to Drudge Report. Drudge Report is almost like a tabloid now.

It’s not nearly as interesting as it once was, but it still is a center kind of left-leaning outlet. And then I go to Zero Hedge for fascist hate. Next is a question from Khaled Soma, and he asks if it’s okay to eat 120 grams of whey protein per day if he is eating other whole foods to get up to 200 grams of protein per day and.

That is okay. It’s a little bit much. My general recommendation is no more than 50% of daily protein from powders, and that’s a little bit too much for me personally, I’m around 30 to 40% at most. And some days it’s a little bit less because I’ll just eat a little bit more whole food, like I’ll eat a little bit more chicken on my salad for lunch, for example.

It just depends on my inclination, I guess, and what I’m doing that day, how much of a rush I’m in, how much prepped food I have, but I. Rarely ever exceed 50% of daily protein from powders. And I would include bars with that as well from protein powder. Whether it is a powder you mix with water or it’s, uh, protein powder worked into something else, again, I would recommend a ceiling of 50% of daily protein from protein.

And the reason for that isn’t that having more than that is unhealthy per se, but it can upset your stomach, especially if you are using a protein powder with lactose or you are just using a lower quality, even if it’s a way isolate. I have. Heard from many people over the years who will tell me that my way I slit Legion’s way I sl is the first one that has never upset their stomach.

That they can have as much of as they want without any stomach problems. But that is not normally the case. It was not the case for me. And I have the stomach of a. Sarla, I suppose to use a star warism because I never get stomach aches. I have no food sensitivities that I know of. Although no, if I eat raw carrots, my throat will itch, but it’s not my stomach.

So anyway, despite having a veritable trash compactor for a stomach, before I had my own protein powder, every other way I had tried would start to upset my stomach at about 60 to 70 grams per day. That was the limit. Beyond that, I might not get stomach pain, but I would get a little bit gassy, a little bit bloated.

My stomach would just feel a little bit off. So that’s one reason to not have too much protein powder. And even if you are taking legions protein and it doesn’t upset your stomach, another reason to not. Have too much protein powder too consistently is it can lower your intake of key nutrients that are abundant in high protein, whole foods, different vitamins and minerals, and other things that you are not going to get from a protein powder.

Big Instagram asks where he can find friends who aren’t completely in support of the current covid narrative. And you know, I think that Australia’s covid internment camps could be great for this. You could head on over there. You could get yourself locked up by, you know, like going outside or something and meet all kinds of like-minded thought and speech criminal.

S one asks how to make his peepee bigger. Um, start measuring from your Hershey hole. Big guy, Ezra Levine asks if creatine can cause or promote hair loss and. Probably not the only evidence for this claim, this worry that many men have. I’ve heard from many men over the years since this started making the rounds.

The only evidence for it is a study conducted years ago with young male rugby players that found after 21 days of creatine supplementation. So they loaded it for seven days, 25 grams per. And then they, they had a maintenance dose every day for 14 days, five grams per day. And what the study found is that dihydro t testosterone levels, DHT levels were significantly increased at day seven 56% above baseline, and were 40 or about 41% above baseline.

Day 21, no effects were seen to testosterone, but dihydro testosterone, D H T, which is a metabolite of testosterone, was up. And why does that matter? Well, D h T can induce hair loss and particularly in men who are genetically predisposed to losing their hair. Now, if I were to just leave it at that, it might sound bad.

40 to 50% increase in D H T and elevated D H T levels are known to induce hair loss, and particularly in guys who are genetically predisposed to losing their hair. And that’s why many men who do have this genetic predisposition will not use creatine. But a few things to keep in. One is this is the only study that has shown this effect.

There are no other studies that have shown an increase in D H T levels. There are quite a few studies that have shown that creatine does not increase testosterone levels. That is the clear weight of the evidence. There are a couple of trials that have shown increases in testosterone, but the bulk of them have shown no increases in testosterone, so that alone casts some.

On the findings of this study, but if we take them at face value, we see that even with the increase in D H T that was reported in this paper, it still was within the range of normal. And so we don’t know if that, if increasing D H T levels, but keeping them well within the range of normal levels. If that increases your chances of losing your hair, we don.

And finally, there isn’t an agreed upon mechanism whereby creatine supplementation could increase D H T levels. There are a couple of theories. One being that maybe it slightly increases free testosterone levels, which could significantly increase D H T levels. Another is it might up-regulate an enzyme that converts free testosterone into D H T, which.

Could significantly elevate D H T levels, but they’re just hypotheses. One could be right. The other could be right. Neither could be right. Both could be. We don’t know. So if you are a guy worried about hair loss that is occurring or that is common in your family and you are not sure if you should take creatine one, you should know that you don’t have to take creatine.

You can do just fine without creatine. It does work well for most people. It does help them gain muscle and strength faster. It. Them recover better from the training, but it is supplementary by definition. It is not necessary. So if you decide against it, you are not missing out on anything major. But if you would like to use it because you do notice a difference with it, you respond well to it and you like including it in your regimen, you also don’t have a major cause for concern.

Okay. The next question comes from Nova Corp and he wants to know my best advice for my younger self. Well, a few things. Uh, one would be try not to spread yourself so thin. This would be me speaking to younger me because moving faster on fewer projects is just a better way to work. I would also tell myself to be nicer to the people in your life who matter to you because being.

Is not enough. Being kind is often more important, especially with relationships with interpersonal dealings. Another bit of advice would be to spend some more time with your little baby Lennox. My son, who I didn’t spend very much time with when he was a baby because I was working all the time, he’s a cute kid.

Spend more time with him. For what’s worth. I have course corrected here. I do spend more time with him now and make a point of spending quality time with him regularly doing something he wants to do, even if it’s only for 30 or 45 minutes. And he really enjoys that. And the same thing goes for my daughter who tends to get more of my attention by default.

So I try to keep that in mind as well. Alright, next on the list is to. Wasting time trying to fix broken people, especially ones who don’t want to be fixed because they’ll break you too. And lastly, I would tell myself to find out how to have some more fun, or at least make a point of having some more fun, , giving some time to just having fun because.

Making money and achieving success are important things, and they are rewarding to a point, but they are not nearly as satisfying or motivating as I thought they would be when I was younger. Next. We have another one from SED one. Is Covid a conspiracy? Wow. Listen sweetie, everyone knows that conspiracies are fake, like triangles and math.

I mean, it’s not like the CIA ran a top secret mind control project in the fifties and sixties called MK Ultra that involved using drugs and torture to try to obliterate people’s minds and personal. And embed new ones. It’s not like the US government employed more than 150,000 people to build an atomic bomb and then successfully kept the whole thing secret.

For nearly 30 years, that never happened, and there definitely was no business plot in 1933 involving a group of wealthy tycoons who were attempting to recruit a Marine Corps major general named Smedley Butler, to lead a military coup against fdr. Establish a fascist regime, do better. Mike Liven asks what I think about the X three bar system.

Unfortunately, it’s mostly marketing puffery because bands and other contraptions like TX for example, they certainly can provide an effective training stimulus, but. They can never match free weights and machines for achieving progressive overload and thus for gaining muscle and gaining strength. That said, bands and bands with bars and T R X, those things can be great for certain circumstances.

For example, if somebody is new to resistance training and is very out of shape, that is a great place to start. That is where I recommend. Those people start. That’s why, for example, in my new book, muscle for Life, the beginner programs for men and women use body weight exercises and bands, and then we work our way into dumbbell exercises and eventually machines and barbells.

That is a very smooth on-ramp. Two, being able to safely and effectively do free weight strength training, exercises, bands, and bands with bars and trx, those can also be great for training at home. If you don’t have a, a home gym set up and you can’t get to the gym and you just want to get something done, that is an effective training stimulus that is going to help you maintain your muscle and strength.

Good for that. Good for. Traveling, if you’re on the road, can’t do your normal training. You can have some bands in your luggage with you, or many hotel gyms have a TX set up. There’s a lot you can do with TX to again, just stimulate your muscles. The idea is to maintain your muscle, maintain your strength, so when you get back home and you get back in the gym, you can.

Pick up where you left off ideally, but anyone who claims that their special way of using bands or their proprietary banded contraption is far more effective than lifting weights is ignorant or lying. Mark a wants to know if I have any tips for him with my bigger, leaner, stronger program because his joints are not great.

He had an accident and he had cortisone injections, and it’s pretty simple. You want to, and this is for Mark, but anybody else who might be running into joint issues and is struggling to follow bigger than or stronger as. Lay it out in the book. You want to, one, avoid exercises that are causing pain and causing problems.

So just find substitutions that don’t, even if they are not optimum substitutions. For example, if the barbell back squat is causing too many problems and you can’t barbell front squat and you can’t safety bar squat, maybe your gym doesn’t have a safety bar, those would. First recommendations, but your gym has a belt squat.

Great. Do the belt squat. If you have to leg press, do that. My gym has a pendulum squat machine, which is neat. That might work. Or a hack squat. Now is the hack squat or the leg press as effective ultimately as the barbell back squat. No, but it’s plenty effective and let’s not let perfect be the enemy of good or even great, right?

And another tip is to lighten the loads wherever you need to try six to eight reps instead of four to six. And if that’s still an issue, go to eight to 10, or even 10 to 12. Because often it is the heavy weights that are aggravating the joints less than the exercises I’ve heard from many people over the years.

Who can’t squat? Heavy, heavy weight. They can’t squat fours pain free, but tens give them no issues. And remember that doing sets of 10 or 12 reps is not very enjoyable, especially if you are pushing close to muscular failure. But it is a plenty effective training stimulus. You can gain muscle training in that range.

Of course, you can gain strength, you’re gonna gain more strength if you can use heavier weights. But that’s okay because your goal is probably not to be a competitive strength athlete. You probably just want to look good, feel good, gain muscle in the right places, bring your body fat levels down to an athletic range, and you don’t need to be moving big load.

To accomplish that. Kinger two 14 asks BCAAs or eaas? Well, if you just want taste of your water, yes. For literally anything else? No. In fact, BCAAs and eaas. Are a good litmus test of any supplement company or promoter because if they offer or if they plump for either of those products, you shouldn’t buy anything from those companies and you should just unfollow the people promoting these products because they are either crooked or they are ignorant, or both.

You can think of supplementing with BCAAs, just amino acids, branch chain, amino acids. It’s leucine, isoleucine, valine, right? Three amino acids or eaas, the essential amino acids, the nine amino acids that you have to get from food. You can think of supplementing with either of those in addition to eating enough protein like watering your lawn after a.

David Tarus asks, what’s the upper limit of protein you can digest per meal? Generally speaking, and there’s no universal limit for all people and all circumstances, but let’s just say 50 to 60 grams per meal on the low end, and that would be a small woman and upward of probably a hundred grams. That would be the high end, and that would be a a large.

Ryan F. Baker asks how much newbie gains are lost in a deficit versus a surplus while following the bigger leader, stronger program. And my answer will apply to following any and all programs. And it’s hard to say exactly how much of the. Honeymoon phase, you quote unquote waste by starting your resistance training in a calorie deficit.

But it’s probably not much, especially for the first six months because I’ve seen many, many guys and gals gain a lot of muscle and a lot of strength and lose a lot of fat in their first six to eight, even 12. Jlu asks which of legion’s protein is better for people who have a lactose intolerance? And I would recommend trying Whey Plus first, if you like whey that is our most popular protein powder.

And for what it’s worth, my favorite flavors right now are cinnamon cereal and salted caramel. And that is a 100% way isolate. So the lactose has been removed. It also has basically no fat, which is nice, and one of the most consistent praises that. Gets is no bloating, no upset stomachs, but if it bothers anyone’s stomach, just let us know and we will give you your money back.

You don’t even have to send it back to us. We will just give you your money back or we’ll send you something else. For example, you might wanna try our plant-based protein, which I really like personally. Plant Plus is what that is called, and that one is rice and pea protein. So of course no lactose. Okay, Scott Zoo Hike.

Sorry if I got that wrong. He asks, when Lean Bulking, should I go to maintenance calories On rest days you can, but it is going to increase the chance of accidentally being in a deficit. Which wouldn’t be ideal if you are trying to maximize muscle and strength gain, and it’s also worth considering that the best case scenario isn’t really that exciting.

So let’s say you are right at your maintenance calories or just above them, you get it just right on your rest days. It is not going to make a significant difference in how quickly you gain fat. If you could clone yourself and run an experiment, you would not notice a difference unless I will add you are training, let’s say only two or three days per week, and so if four or five days per week are rest days, then I would recommend maintenance calories on those days and probably just mainten.

Calories on all days. I personally would probably just eat at maintenance until I could get in the gym at least three times per week, ideally four or five times per week when lean gaining to get the most out of that calorie surplus to gain as much muscle as I can, knowing that I’m gonna gain fat. Next we have a question from anonymous, and they ask, how much weight should you look to gain per week as a percentage of body weight on your first bulk?

Good question. And anything from one half to 1% of your body weight per month is good progress if you still have a lot of muscle to gain. Now, if you are already. Several years into this, you do not have a lot more muscle to gain if you have been doing the most important things mostly right. Most of the time.

And if that’s you, then I would say that probably a quarter of a percent of your body weight per month is a better target. Okay. The final question comes from Chuck’s gram and he asks, when will this covid mad? End. Well, it’s pretty simple. It’s just a matter of injections because the third one you see that strengthens your immune system.

So then after the fourth injection, you are protected. And then when 80% of the population has received the fifth injection, we are going to be very close to a resolution because the sixth injection. Well, that one, it stops the virus from multiplying and then it prevents it from spreading. And that means, of course, that the seventh injection, that’s gonna solve all of our problems.

And then we no longer have to be afraid of the eighth injection because clinical studies with the ninth injection, they’ve shown that antibodies are more stable after the 10th injection and the 11th injection. The one that ensures that there will be no new mutations. So then of course there’s no reason to not get the 12th injection.

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, muscle f o r 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.

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