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If you have an injured arm, should you still do exercises with the non-injured arm? Is beet juice a good pre-workout? What’s a good grip for bench press? How do I get motivated for cardio? All that and more in this podcast.

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 – Go to to save up to 30% on everything in our store this week only! Save big during our Spring Site Wide Sale!

3:36 – My shoulder is in a sling for 2 months, is it worth it to do single arm curls, shoulder raises, etc. with my good arm?

4:03 –  You hit 4 sets of 10 on a secondary exercise. Next time, should you go for 11-12 or move up in weight?

5:55 – Are straps needed when you get to a heavy weight on conventional deadlifts?

7:56 – What’s a good grip for the barbell bench press?

8:52 – I feel better with a low carb diet mentally, can I still grow?

9:14 – What’s your next move professionally?

12:40 – Can beet juice (powder) be a good pre workout?

13:20 – Cardio sucks, how do I get motivated to do a cardio session?

14:32 – What are your thoughts on teledildonics?

15:11 – At what age should your kid start lifting? What should they start off with if they show an interest in lifting?

Mentioned on the Show:

Our first big sale of the year is taking place at Save up to 30% on everything in our store! Save big before we run out of stock!

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


Hello, and welcome to another episode of Muscle for Life. I am your host, Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for a q and a where I’m answering, oh, I don’t know, maybe 10 or 15 questions that people have asked me over on Instagram at Muscle for Life Fitness every week or two. On Monday or Tuesday, I put up an ask me a question story and then gather up a bunch of questions, answer them on Instagram, and then come over here and answer them again on the podcast.

And I’m always looking for questions that I have not answered many times before, you know that I haven’t written about or spoken about repeatedly. Or questions that I’m just getting asked a lot about and that I haven’t also beaten to death already. And sometimes I take some questions that just amuse me and give me a chance to at least laugh at my own jokes.

And so if you want me to answer your questions, just follow me over on Instagram at most for life fitness and look for the ask me a question story that. Uh, it goes up every week or two and asks me some questions, and maybe I’ll pick one of yours. And so in today’s episode, I am answering questions regarding how to train when one limb is injured.

Should you train the other limb the. Uninjured limb or train nothing. I talk about how I am progressing in my training on my accessory exercises, like specifically, what type of progression model, what method of progression am I using? I answer a question regarding deadlifting. Particularly the grip.

Should you use a mixed grip? Should you use a double overhand grip? Should you use a hook grip? Should you use straps? I talk about how I get motivated to do my cardio. I answer a question about teledildonics and more before we sink our teeth into it. If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you wanna help me do more of it, please do check out my sports nutrition company.

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Plus Legion is currently holding its first big sale of the year, right [email protected], B u y Legion dot. Com and that means for the next few days, you can save up to 30% on everything in our store, including our protein powders, our pre-workout and post-workout supplements, our fat burners, multivitamins, joint support, and more.

So skedaddle on over to bi v ui now and save big before we run out of stock of at least. A thing or two, sometimes it’s a flavor, or two other times it’s a product or two. Because demand is much higher than we forecasted. It’s basically impossible to predict these things perfectly.

And so when we have these big site-wide sales, which we only do a couple of times per year, we do tend to run out of stock of things. So if you don’t want that to happen, buy Lock in your savings and bask in the post. Purchase glow. A card 97 asks, shoulder is in a sling for two months. Is it worth doing single arm curls or shoulder raises, et cetera, with the good arm?

Yes, it actually is. As it happens, research shows that training an uninjured limb can help. Preserve muscle and strength in an injured or immobilized one. It sounds like pro science, but it’s real. It is called the crossover effect, and you can look it up if you want to learn more about it. Big, bad Booty daddy, which sounds familiar.

I think I’ve answered one of his questions before. Anyway, he asks. It’s definitely a he, right? You hit four sets of 10 on a secondary exercise and then you go for 10 to 11 the next time, or do you move up in. Wait now some context. He is referring to my training and I’m following my Beyond bigger, lean or stronger program, which you can learn about in my book Beyond Bigger Lean or Stronger.

And on accessory exercises, you progress from doing sets of 10 to 12, to six to eight, and in a future update to the book, I may. Go from 10 to 12 to four to six because I do think there is some value in doing heavy four to six rep sets with certain isolation. Certain accessory exercises like dumbbell side raises, rear raises not so much.

That’s kind of obnoxious. It gets hard to just maintain proper form as you get stronger. But a biceps curl, different triceps exercises. Accessory exercises for your lower body. I do think there’s some value in there. And anyway, so what I am doing currently is I’m adding weight on an accessory exercise when I get four sets of the top of the rep range that I’m working in at any given point in a training block.

As I mentioned, those rep ranges will range from six to eight. Sometimes it’s four to six. I’ve been doing that in my own training, even though in the book it’s six to eight to 10, 12 on accessories, and if you want to learn more about this type of. Progression, this method of progression. It’s called double progression.

Just head over to legion, search for double progression, and you can find an article that I wrote on it. I might have recorded a podcast. I probably have over the years, and I’m just not remembering. And yeah, Blake VA Barker asks, are straps needed when you get to heavy weight on conventional deadlifts?

And he’s probably asking me this because I use straps and anybody who follows me on Instagram at Muscle Life Fitness and watches my stories. We’ll see my workouts and we’ll see that. I do use straps on my heavy deadlift sets. Now why? Because when the weight gets heavy. So for me, anything over the mid three hundreds is where my double overhand grip will fail.

I can double overhand low, three hundreds at least for probably four to six, but probably not eight to 10. And so once the weight gets heavy enough, or if you are doing, let’s say, eight to 10 reps with heavy enough weight, you either have to use straps or you have to use a hook grip or a mixed grip. In the past, I did a mixed grip, which is where you, I.

Have one arm be palm up the other arm palm down for me, I’m right-handed and it always felt more comfortable to have my right palm up and my left palm down. But there are disadvantages to the mixed grip and there are major disadvantages to the hook grip, which is where you wrap your fingers, not around the bar in the traditional normal way that you grip the bar, but you wrap your fingers around the bar and around your thumb.

And it works. It improves your grip. Uh, well, it’s not really your grip strength. It improves your grip on the bar, but it is very uncomfortable. And maybe, maybe I’ve just been a woosie because if you do enough hook gripping, apparently your thumb just gets used to it. Basically kind of like a, a front squat position.

But I never got there. So instead, I started to use straps. And if you want the the whole rundown, if you want to hear about the advantages and disadvantages of straps, mixed grip, hook grip, head over to legion, search for deadlift grip, and you’ll find an article I wrote on it. Moving on to Brandon, 8 8 1 0 1 fours Question, what is a good grip for the barbell bench press?

Well, you want to be about shoulder width apart in your grip for normal pressing, so you want your forearms to be straight up and down. You want them to not be pointing towards you, not be pointing away from you, basically perfectly perpendicular with the floor. And depending on how long your arms are, you might have to go a little bit wider than that, or you might have to go a little bit narrower than that.

But that’s the key sign that you have the proper width grip for normal pressing. Now if you’re gonna do some close grip pressing, you want to have your hands a few inches apart, but not so close that it starts to hurt your wrists, that is too close. And I would not recommend wide grip bench pressing because it can hurt your shoulders.

I don’t think it’s worth the risk or the shoulder wear and tear. Can’t see his name asks. I feel better on low carb. Mentally. Can I still grow? Yes, you can. Research shows that even keto can work fine for gaining muscle and strength. High carb just tends to work better for most, but that is not a reason to do high carb if you just prefer otherwise.

Anonymous asks, what is your next move professionally? Well, right now it is published more books, so I do have fourth editions of bigger, lean, stronger and thinner. Leaner, stronger. Almost done on the way. And they will be here this year for sure. Bigger leader, stronger first, because I’m further along, not really with my work, just in the logistics of turning my work into finished products.

And so the ebook and the audiobook of the fourth edition of Bigger Leader Stronger, those are pretty close, probably a month or two away Max. And then, The same for thin, linear, stronger should follow within a couple of months of that. And then hard copies later this year because unfortunately lead times are very long on hard copy books.

And I’m also working on my next book, which I’m not ready to talk about yet, because unfortunately I, I think I’m gonna need probably most of the rest of the year to finish the manuscript. I’ve been putting a fair amount of time into it, but, The nature of these projects are, the more I get into them, the more the scope grows.

And I guess that’s partially my fault, but hey, at least I’m, I’m trying to, to make the best possible book I can, so that’s big for me. Continue publishing books and continue selling books. And number two on my list is to continue growing Legion. There is a very clear path strategically to at least 50 million in annual revenue within the next, I would say, one to two years.

And that’s without considering international distribution in retail, which will start this year, but not in earnest. I don’t think I’m going to go after retail in particular seriously for another one to two years because. From what I understand, talking with people who have built very big retail businesses is it’s, it’s almost like starting a new business.

It’s obviously not as difficult as starting a new business and getting it to go, but just because you have a very successful e-commerce business does not necessarily mean you are going to be very successful in retail. It is its own beast. And the economics are worse, the logistics are worse. And so, uh, again, my opinion based on the, the conversations I’ve had with people who know more about this stuff than than I do is.

Wait on retail, focus on e-commerce. Keep gobbling up the low hanging fruit that’s there, and then go after retail when the business is even bigger, even better established, even more profitable, and possibly with a strategic partner to provide capital because it’s very expensive to do retail properly.

It’s, it’s a gamble. Then number three is I really like to write fiction. I’ve mentioned this a few times, and it is something I will do. I have to hold myself back. It actually takes discipline for me not to start doing it now because I really want to do it. I’ve done some of it in the past and I really do enjoy it, and I really enjoy the art and the science of storytelling.

And making it all come together. And, uh, anyway, so when I do get to that, I am going to start with short stories, probably an alternate history with possibly some elements of sci-fi or fantasy worked in. But, um, I have some ideas that I think are interesting that would be alternate history, and I think it makes the most sense to start with short stories before trying to tackle a novel.

Alright, Daniel Muffy one asks, can beet juice, uh, be powder be a good pre-workout? Uh, yes. Yes, it actually can. That’s because it can help with power and it can help with strength and that’s why my pre-workout, why Legions pre-workout Pulse has betine, which you can get from, uh, beet juice and beet juice powder, but it can be hard to get enough to get a clinically effective dose unless you’re gonna.

Take a lot of that stuff. You can also just get b t E as an ingredient, or you can get it in a pre-workout like Pulse, which you can learn about [email protected]. Bui if you wanna check it out. And then Daniel had another question. Mike, cardio sucks, but I know it’s important. How do you get motivated to do a session?

Honestly, I don’t, I, I just do it regardless of how I feel. And that applies to a lot of stuff that I do on a day-to-day basis. Like a lot of stuff that you have to do to run a business. I mean, technically I have two businesses ’cause I have a publishing business, but a lot of stuff that goes into running and growing a business is, is really not that interesting to me anymore.

A lot of it, I just do it regardless of how I feel. And in the case of cardio, I try to stack that with something else that I’m going to do. Like q and As on Instagram, I’m often answering questions in these q and as. Uh, not for the podcast, but on Instagram. When I’m on the bike and I will take work phone calls, I will intentionally schedule work phone calls for when I’m on the bike, or I’ll make a personal phone call to make sure I stay in touch with friends and family and don’t just be a complete hermit, which is my tendency.

And if you wanna find more of my musings on motivation, go over to legion and search for motivation. You’ll find a couple of articles that have written on the topic. All right. Next question. Jay Ludlow 86 asks Thoughts on Teledildonics. Yes. Now this is a question. Now what is Teledildonics?

Well, think about it. We have tele and we have dildo. Yes, it’s what you’re thinking. Search it up for a minute. And if I were. An engineer on such a project, I would worry that I was giving the universe yet another reason. There are many, but giving the universe yet another reason to just send in the asteroids, send in the solar flares.

Just please just, just save. Us from ourselves. Alright, last we have a question from C Tiff play, and I think it’s a, she asks, at what age should kids start lifting or what should they start with if they’re showing interest in lifting? Great question. Body weight training is a great place to start and kids can start with that as soon as they’d like.

And then you can move to. Bands, you can move to kitty weights. Those can just be added whenever with proper instruction, of course. And then proper free weights are best introduced in their teens. You can find videos on social media of younger kids even doing Olympic lifting and doing a good job, and with great coaching and great programming that.

Clearly work, but that would not be my general recommendation. My general recommendation would be to start with basic strength training and to start probably somewhere around 13, 14, 15, 16, somewhere in that range, depending on how developed the kid is physically and where they’re at mentally, we don’t want.

Underdeveloped kids in, in a physical sense, getting in the gym and then trying to out lift their buddies or trying to do some of the things they see other people doing or getting into ego lifting. We really don’t want kids to get hurt with weightlifting at a young age, and that doesn’t have to happen.

But again, you need to make sure the kid is well developed physically. And is ready for it mentally understands that it’s not dangerous. We don’t want them to be afraid of it, but they, we want them to respect it and we wanna make sure they have proper coaching, that they’re being taught how to train properly.

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, [email protected], 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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