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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 – Want a free meal planning tool that figures out your calories, macros, micros, and allows you to create custom meal plans for cutting, lean gaining, and maintaining in under 5 minutes? Go to and download the tool for free! 

3:04 – What is the maximum amount of volume that can be done in a single workout? 

4:29 – What are your thoughts on the anti-work movement and people demanding more from their employers? 

5:55 – What are your hopes for 2022?

6:21 – How much do you have to maintain after reaching strength and physique goals? 

6:50 – What is the proper tempo for calf exercises? 

9:30 – Can you bulk for half the week and shred fat the other half? 

10:12 – What are some ways to workout calves at home? 

10:39 – Is there anything that can help speed up the healing of my wrist due to inflammation besides pausing workouts? Do you recommend any supplements? 

11:12 – Do you have to take your post workout shake within 30 minutes?

12:20 – How much meat can you eat daily?

13:39 – Is the new frosted cranberry pulse flavor good?

Mentioned on the Show:

Want a free meal planning tool that figures out your calories, macros, and micros, and allows you to create custom meal plans for cutting, lean gaining, and maintaining in under 5 minutes? Go to and download the tool for free!

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


Well, hello there and welcome to Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for the 11th installment in my q and a series where I give brief ish. Answers no more than a few minutes, which is hard for me because I like to talk, but brief ish answers to questions that I get asked over on Instagram.

So what I do is once a week, usually Mondays, I put up a story where I ask for questions. People submit lots of questions and I choose eh, 15 or so to answer there on Instagram. And then I also bring everything over here to the podcast. And so if you have questions for me, follow me over on Instagram at Muscle Live Fitness and look for the.

Ask me anything story again. It’s usually on Mondays, usually in the afternoon. ET and submit your questions. And if they are questions that a lot of other people are asking about or if they are questions that. I haven’t already answered many times before or that are just interesting to me, then there’s a good chance I will choose at least one of them.

And so in today’s episode, I will be answering questions about how much meat you can eat every day, how little training you can do to maintain a physique. So once you have. The body you want. How much exercise, how much training does it take to keep it post-workout protein, and should you be having it within a certain time period of finishing your workout?

And more. Before we get started, how would you like a free meal planning tool that figures out your calories, your macros, even your micros, and then allows you to create 100% custom meal plans for cutting, lean, gaining, or maintaining? In under five minutes. Well, all you gotta do is go to buy plan b u y plan and download the tool.

And if I may say, this tool really is fantastic. My team and I spent over six months on this thing working with an Excel wizard, and inferior versions of this are often sold for 50, 60, even a hundred dollars. Or you have to download an app and pay every month or sign up for a weight loss service and pay every month, 10, 20, 40, 50, even $60 a month for what is essentially in this free tool.

So if you are struggling to improve your body composition, if you are struggling to lose fat or gain muscle, the right. Meal plan can change everything. Dieting can go from feeling like running in the sand in a sandstorm to riding a bike on a breezy day down a hill. So again, if you want my free meal planning tool, go to buy plan b y plan.

Enter your email address and you will get instant access. Okay, let’s start with the first question, which comes from Joe D Wes, and he asks, what is the maximum amount of volume that can be done in a single workout? That’s a good question, and I’m gonna give a real simple answer. 10 to 12 hard sets. Per major muscle group and a hard set is a set taken close to muscular failure up or up to muscular failure depending on what type of exercise it is and what you are doing in your programming.

But 10 to 12 hard sets per major muscle group, not 10 to 12 hard sets per session, but per major. Muscle group. And the reason for that is beyond that, research shows that the muscle building stimulus declines markedly. So for example, 15 hard sets for, let’s just say your chest is not. 50% more effective for muscle building than 10.

It’s hard to put an exact number to it, but it is a lot less than 50% more effective. It might be only five or 10% more effective because once you reach 10 to 12 hard sets for a major muscle group in an individual training session, you are now entering the realm of diminishing returns and. The quality of the additional volume tends to go down as well, so the stimulus is already less effective and the training quality tends to decline.

Okay, the next question comes from Josh Hurley and he asks thoughts on the anti work movement and people who are demanding more from their employers. Well to share, I guess all of my thoughts that would probably take a podcast, but I’ll just say this. If these people, if their jobs can soon be replaced by robots, so computers and robots, or some combination thereof, then these people are only speeding their demise and instead they should be working.

To upgrade their skills. They should be working to remain relevant in the economy of tomorrow. And that makes me think of trade schools, for example. Why aren’t trade schools more popular here in America like they are over in Germany, for example, where it is not expected of everyone that they go to university and study something, anything lesbian dance theory, who cares?

Just get your degree. It is more common. For people to weigh trade schools versus university, and a lot of people go to a trade school and they learn a specific skill, a practical skill, uh, an economically viable skill, a skill that will allow them to earn a living for a long time that will future. Proof them, so to speak.

Okay, Kinger two 14 asks, what do you hope for in 2022? Okay, so imagine this. We’re on our sixth booster shot for the Decepticon scar and Tiger King four was just released and RuPaul is now president and the camps. Well, those are keeping us safe and we’re very excited for our day of sun next week Life.

Is good. Lucas James Johnson asks, once you’ve reached your strength slash physique goals, how little can you train to maintain? Very simple answer. I’m gonna keep this one short. It is one third to even one fifth of the volume that it takes to make progress. So for most people, that’s just three to six hard sets per major muscle group per week.

For maintenance purposes, you might lose a little bit of strength, but you are not going to lose any muscle to speak of. Matt R 7 24 asks, what is the proper tempo for calf exercises? That’s a good question. Here’s what I like to do. I like to do a hard contraction and a slight pause at the top of each rep, and then a full stretch and a slight pause at the bottom, and I will have you know that my calves have been.

Progressing quite nicely actually. Uh, particularly in this current macro cycle that I am in the middle of, I have added nearly 25 pounds to my calf raises. That’s a lot, and I don’t even have a great explanation for it other than it might have to do with my intensity discipline. I realized that I wasn’t pushing close enough to failure, and with calf exercises, you really can just go to failure.

Every single set I was bailing on sets a little bit. Too early where I was telling myself, or I was thinking, oh, that’s probably zero one good reps left. But then I started to push harder and really push to absolute failure, and I realized that that zero to one was more like. Three, four, even five. And that was a little surprising to me, and I started to pay a little bit more attention with all of my training, and I found that that was true, not to that degree, but to a lesser degree in most cases, except for my biggest heavy compound.

Lifts. I have maintained good intensity discipline, so to speak, on my squat and my deadlift and my bench press and my overhead press. When I make a note that, you know, I had maybe one or two good reps left at the end of that set of deadlifts, I can be pretty. Certain that I’m correct on that. And the same thing on the squat because of the sheer amount of effort and the sheer amount of whole body exertion that those exercises require.

But I noticed that on other exercises like biceps curls and shoulder raises and dumbbell rose, that I was ending some of my sets a little bit. Too soon. I was thinking that I only had maybe one or two good reps left when it was more like two or three. And so for the last couple of weeks, probably four weeks now or so, I have been doing, I.

More reps is really what it comes down to. My volume has gone up a little bit because I am training with better intensity discipline, and you know, this would probably make for a good podcast unto itself, so I’m gonna make a note on that because I need to get to the next question. MB Haywood one 17 asks, can you bulk half of the week and shred fat The other half you can, but it’s going to work out more like a, a maintenance routine unless you are new to lifting.

If you are new to lifting, your body is hyper responsive. You can do that and do well, but if you are an experienced weightlifter, if you have at least a year or so of proper weightlifting behind you, you are not gonna gain much muscle or strength. Trying to go have Z like that. And if you wanna learn more about mini cuts and mini bulks and how to do that correctly, head over to legion and search for mini cut towards, and you’ll find an article I wrote on that.

All right, let’s move on now to Sean Hale Yaz question, and that is Ways to Work calves at home. Well, an easy way is just to do a bunch of sets of single leg calf raises and just take them to absolute failure. It’s not fun. It hurts, but it can work better than you might think. And if you have a backpack and you have some books, put the books in the backpack, put the backpack on your back, and now you have, uh, some added weight.

All right, Sergio Heads asks anything to speed up healing of wrist inflammation besides pausing. Workouts. Any supplements? Well, as far as supplements go, legions, fortify might help, uh, and regular icing can help if you do it a couple of times per day. 10, 15 max 20 minutes per time. And I know that ice has been overhyped and over-prescribed, but it is useful for bringing down inflammation if the problem is inflammation and you need to bring the inflammation down.

ICE can help. Alright, next is a question from Vibe Cole Meha, I’m sure I butchered your name. I’m sorry, but your question is, post-workout protein shake within 30 minutes. As a general rule, eating 20 to 40 grams of protein within an hour or so of training is a good practice. It’s not entirely necessary.

It is not nearly as important as eating enough protein every day. That is the 80%, but protein timing, I would say is probably the biggest factor of the remaining 20%. And a couple of things here, one, Eating four to six servings of protein per day. Spread out by a few hours, uh, between, you know, each serving that is better for muscle building than eating, say two or three servings per day with longer periods in between each, and it makes sense to have protein.

Before you train, if you haven’t had protein within the last couple of hours or so of your workout. If you have, then you don’t have to worry about it as well as protein after you train within about an hour or so. The next question comes from vase k Poco, Bradsky. And they ask, how much meat can you eat daily?

Now, if we’re talking about relatively unprocessed beef and pork and so forth, then I would say as much as you want. So long as your saturated fat intake doesn’t exceed 10 to 15% of or so of your daily calories, which is going to limit you to maybe a serving or two per day. If you go and look at the saturated fat in even leaner cuts of meat, and if we’re talking about.

More processed, less nutritious stuff like sausages and beef jerky and bacon and the like. I wouldn’t recommend eating that stuff every day. You could argue that if you live a healthy lifestyle, if you exercise regularly, if you maintain a healthy body composition, if you don’t smoke, If you don’t drink too much alcohol, if you sleep enough, then eating a serving or even two servings of the more processed quote unquote junk meats every day won’t matter.

And that’s possible. I think that’s a fair argument, but my general recommendation would be to limit your intake of those types of foods to maybe a couple of servings per week. Next comes from Giro. Levine and they ask, is the new frosted cranberry pulse flavor? Good. So this is Legion. My Sports nutrition company.

Pulse is our pre-workout. Frosted Cranberry is a new flavor that we released a couple of months ago. A limited time flavor, a holiday only flavor that is, Going to be sold out soon. We are under a thousand bottles left. And anyway, I think it’s good, but if you gentle listener, wanna try it, and if you don’t like it, then just let us know and we give you your money back.

That’s it. No forms. You don’t even have to return it to us. Maybe find someone else to give it to. 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 have. 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 soon.

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