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How can dead hangs reduce shoulder pain? Is genetic testing worth it for health purposes? How can you get biceps veins and increase vascularity? Are there limits to progressive overload? Should you use a sauna before or after training? Does cryotherapy improve recovery? How can you stay satiated while on a diet? How can you model healthy behavior for kids? All that and more in this Q&A 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 – Find the Perfect Strength Training Program for You:

2:02 – Why is Legion’s Casein+ the only thing I taste while having covid?

2:52 – Do you recommend genetic testing for health reasons?

5:11 – Is vegan protein a source of vegetables?

7:48 – What are your thoughts on the Will Smith and Chris Rock incident?

8:18 – What do you think your shoulder pain was a result of?

11:39 – How can I feel full during a calorie deficit?

15:54 – Is there a limit to progressive overload?

17:08 – Do you have any advice for modeling healthy behaviors for kids?

18:56 – Do you recommend any fat burners that actually work?

20:17 – How to increase bicep veins and visual vascularity?

20:52 – Does cryotherapy work?

22:52 – What are your predictions for the year 2030?

23:06 – What are your most recommended history books?

25:05 – Should I use the sauna before or after workout?

25:25 – If you could only choose one Legion product what would it be?

23:44 – Should I take Pulse before all my workouts or just lifting?

27:07 – What do you love most about your wife?

Mentioned on the show: 

Find the Perfect Strength Training Program for You in Just 60 Seconds:

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


Mike: [00:00:00] 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, I put up on Monday or Tuesday, I put up and 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 [00:01:00] follow me over on Instagram at muscle life fitness. And look for the, ask me a question story that goes up every week or two and asks me some questions and maybe I’ll pick one of. Before we get into it. Have you ever wondered what strength training split you should follow?

What rep ranges you should work in? How many sets you should do per workout or per week? Well, I created a free 62nd training quiz that will answer those questions for you and others, including how frequently you should train each major muscle group, which exercises you should do, what supplements you should consider which ones are at least worth taking.

And more to take this quiz and to get your free personalized training plan. Go to muscle for muscle F R quiz. Answer the questions and learn exactly what to do in the gym to gain more [00:02:00] muscle and strength. So, this is an interesting one. This one comes from a loyal Legion customer who recently tested positive for COVID and lost their taste.

But Legion’s casing plus I guess is one of the few foods that they can taste. quote, casing plus is literally saving me from becoming insane. Why is it? And that’s the question? Why can I taste your casing protein, but I can’t taste anything else. Well, I’m not sure, but maybe I’ve found the cure. Maybe I am the science now.

No, seriously though. I have no idea why that might be. I have not heard that from anybody else, but I am happy to hear that my casing protein powder is helping somebody get through the COVID doldrum. Okay. Brenta Villa asks. Do you recommend genetic testing for health purposes? No, I wish I could get behind it because I could offer it.

It [00:03:00] is something that I could sell. If I believed that there was enough good science behind it to. Make it worthwhile. Unfortunately, this whole industry of diet and supplement personalization based on testing, even genetic testing, blood testing is mostly hype and bullshit. A lot more research is going to be needed to make it actually useful for everyday people.

Maybe you could come up with a couple of fringe cases where some of these tests might be helpful. Elite athletes maybe. And even then I probably would say, it’s not worth it, but maybe, and people with certain types of health conditions, maybe, but unfortunately though, for most of us, none of these services can live up to their marketing.

Claims you are not going to be able to take a test of any kind and then make very specific and non obvious changes to your [00:04:00] diet or exercise or recovery routine and notice significant benefits. And I say non obvious changes because there are certain things that everybody should just do that. Could take a test to confirm, but you don’t need to, like, for example, if you are not currently eating a lot of relatively unprocessed, nutritious food and you were to take even just a simple blood test, it might show that you are maybe not deficient, but you are in the.

Insufficient range in certain key nutrients, and therefore you should eat more nutritious food. You should eat more fruits and vegetables and seeds and legumes and whole grains and so forth, but you don’t need to take a fancy test. To know that, just know if you are not doing that right now, you should do that.

And the same could be said for eating enough protein, for example, and doing a lot of proper strength training and doing some [00:05:00] cardiovascular exercise as well and getting enough sleep and so on and so forth. Okay, Bubba Zig TV asks is vegan protein, a source of vegetables? No, definitely not. And neither are Green’s supplements.

Even ones that claim to provide many servings of vegetables in just a scoop or two of green powder. That is not the same as eating those foods. That’s what you need to do. If you want to maximize your health and longevity and performance, you. Eat fruits and vegetables every day. A couple of servings of fruit a day is a good target to shoot for four to six servings of vegetables per day.

That’s another good target to shoot for. And I think it’s also smart to include one to two servings of whole grains every day as well. And if you are not doing that, you cannot just take a greens supplement and think that you have your basis. Covered. And some people, they try to get fancy and they take a greens supplement and a fiber supplement because they [00:06:00] recognize that the fruits and vegetables that have been turned into the powder have obviously lost fiber.

And so they try to replace that fiber with supplementation. And I suppose that’s better than not. Eating much fiber at all, but that is still not the same as eating the foods because there are many other different types of molecules and nutrients that are in whole foods that are not in powdered versions of those foods that are lost in the processing that have many beneficial effects in the body.

And so in a best case scenario, your average Green’s supplement, which is just powdered vegetables and fruits, mostly. Is a poorly formulated multivitamin. Basically it can have nutrition. Of course it can have various vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients, but I’ve never seen one that is formulated in such a way to provide the right amounts of the 20 something vitamins and minerals.

That should be in [00:07:00] a high quality multivitamin. Instead Green’s supplements have a bit of this, a bit of that, too much of this, too little of that. And there usually isn’t much thought given to the actual nutritional profile because that’s not how the products are marketed. The products are usually marketed as an all in one nutritional shake and all in one nutritional replacement shake or just a direct replacement for.

Fruits and vegetables, which of course is what many people want to hear, especially the vegetables. They don’t want to eat vegetables. And so if they can just drink this glass of swamp juice every day, instead of eating vegetables, they will gladly pay 50, 60, $70 a month. C AA, 1997 asks thoughts on will Smith versus Chris rock.

And I realize this question is a bit dated by the time this podcast comes out, but I’m gonna answer it anyway. And I would guess if I had to [00:08:00] bet money and then look into the crystal ball and get my answer, I would say it was probably. But more to the point who cares screw Hollywood and all of its sanctimonious celebrities and all of its degenerate propaganda.

See gob asks, what do you think the shoulder pain is the result of? So this is my shoulder pain that I was having a couple of months ago. And for me it was the result of tight muscles. So on my right hand side, my. Was tight. My subscapularis was tight. My infers was tight. And eventually if those muscles get tight enough and quote unquote, sticky enough, at least that’s how my massage therapist describes it, where the tissues are not moving as smoothly as they should, or as smoothly as the other side of.

My body, then I can get shoulder pain. And this is actually a common issue among lifters. That [00:09:00] combination of tight LA tight subscap tight INFR, just the tight rotator cuff muscles and a tight LA can cause shoulder pain. And it can be hard to prevent. It can be hard to resolve, but what did resolve it for me?

I have mentioned this before on the podcast, but I’ll mention it again in case you have not heard is. Dead hangs just daily hangs from the pull-up bar. So I’ve been doing four sets five days a week when I’m in the gym lifting. I just go and hang in between sets of my regular training. So I’m hanging there for about 45 seconds.

I let everything stretch. I move around a little bit, move my head around a little bit. I kind of bring my shoulders forward, push them back. Twist my body, again, just really stretching and feeling that tension. And I do two of those sets in a just standard palms facing away, [00:10:00] pull up grip. And then I do two sets, palms facing each other, like a, like a chin up.

Grip. And I find that that gives me an even better stretch, particularly in my lats. And, and I feel also that subscapularis moving and stretching and within three weeks or so of doing those, not even daily. Dead hangs five times per week. My shoulder issues were completely resolved and the massage therapist I see every week also immediately noticed a difference that those areas were now not feeling sticky anymore and were moving smoothly.

So that resolved a couple of months. I’ve continued now my normal training back to pressing heavy weights and still no problems whatsoever. So if you are having any shoulder issues, I recommend trying the dead hangs. I’ve already heard from people who have emailed me just to let me know that they heard about [00:11:00] the dead hangs, probably here on the podcast previously, they started doing them and it also really helped their shoulders and whatever issues they were having, which are not necessarily the same issue.

That I was having, it can help with all kinds of shoulder issues. And if you do not have shoulder issues doing the regular dead hangs can help keep your shoulders healthy and prevent issues. So I recommend them for everybody. Again, I just do them when I’m resting in between sets of my normal training.

So it doesn’t even add any time to my workout. Okay. Angle oh two asks I’m following your muscle for life program, but I’m getting hungry on my calculated macros suggestions. Well assuming that your macros are set up correctly, assuming that your calories are then set up correctly, assuming that you are in a moderate to maybe aggressive calorie deficit, but not reckless, nothing larger than maybe 20 to [00:12:00] 25%, unless you are very overweight and have a lot of fat to lose, then you can.

Bit more aggressive and do just fine. But for most people, something around the 20% is a sweet spot. And if 20% does not work for whatever reason, if that’s too big for you, you can go down to a 10% deficit, but I would not recommend trying to go smaller than that because you’re simply not gonna lose any fat or lose any weight is really what’s gonna happen.

And even at 10%, you have to be very careful, very meticulous with your tracking or your planning, because obviously you don’t have that much wiggle room. And also keep in mind that a 10% deficit is, is pretty slow. Fat loss. You are probably gonna lose something around maybe a half, a pound of fat per week, maybe even less than that.

And so that might be appropriate if you are a jacked and shredded natural bodybuilder, who’s getting ready to [00:13:00] step on stage. But if you are a dude at 25% body fatter, if you are a, a woman at 35% body fat. That is not going to be very encouraging because you are not going to see much of anything in the mirror.

It’s gonna take months until you really start to notice a difference. And you almost certainly can be more aggressive in your dieting and see faster results with basically no negative unwanted side effects. So assuming that calories and macros are set up properly, here are a few simple ways to make fat loss easier.

Another way to, to look at it is you can calibrate your calories. So you lose something around 0.5 to 1% of your body weight per week. If you try to lose fat faster than that, you are probably gonna run into some problems again, unless you have a lot of fat to lose. So now my second tip is to. Big salad every day and put cucumbers in that [00:14:00] salad and put other vegetables, bell peppers, for instance, taste really good in salads.

Any other vegetables that you like that can go into the salad, do that and add protein. Great way to get in vegetables, to get in protein and to get full. Another tip is to get enough sleep. This is a huge one because under sleeping increases. And of course hunger is the nemesis of dieting. If you do not get enough sleep, you’re gonna have a very hard time reaching your body composition goal.

My next tip is to eat a big bowl of vegetable soup every day. And anything with a lot of zucchini seems to work particularly well, probably because of the volume that comes with it. It is. Filling and research shows that our body, our appetite, I should be specific, responds more to the volume of the food that we eat than the calories.

So if you can fill your stomach with a lot of food that doesn’t add up to a lot of [00:15:00] calories. You are going to do better with your diet. My next tip is to drink plenty of water every day. And you should really just be drinking when you’re thirsty. You don’t have to try to drink a specific amount of water, but whenever you’re thirsty drink some water and research shows that carbonated water in particular may further improve satiety.

So if you like. Club soda or sparkling water drink. That final tip is to eat strawberries and watermelon every day because a cup of each, so 140 to 150 grams of each is just 50 calories give or take. And so if you look at what a hundred calories, for example of strawberries or a hundred calories of watermelon is great snack, not a lot of calories, delicious and filling.

Moving on to great name. Well done. They ask, is there a ceiling slash max with progressive overload? That’s a good question. Yeah. Yeah, there definitely is. I mean, [00:16:00] eventually you can’t add reps. You can’t add weight, you can’t add sets. Without getting hurt at least. And that really means the end of progressive overload, right?

Because those are the only levers you can pull. You can do more reps, you can do more weight or you can do more working sets. However, practically speaking, most people will never. Get there with any major muscle group, because it takes at least five to seven years of tough training to gain most of the muscle and strength that is genetically available to you say, 80 to 90 plus percent of the muscle and strength that is genetically available to you.

Five to seven years of consistent stint. Training and proper dieting. And if you do ever get to the point where you can’t effectively progressively overload, let’s say most of the major muscle groups in your body, you are probably not going to be too [00:17:00] concerned about that because you are going to be jacked.

All right. I mega beast asks advice for modeling healthy behavior for kids. Well, some of the things I think about with my kids is I want them to see me eating a lot of healthy food. I want them to see me exercising and being active. I want them to see me reading. I want them to see me having fun, doing things just because they’re fun.

Asking questions, working hard, making good financial decisions, loving my wife and my wife and I are pretty good on all of those points. Not perfect of course, but you don’t have to be perfect in anything to get great results and it’s working well, my kids eat well. They’re willing to eat. Fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

They don’t have a, a big sweet tooth. We let them have these little ice cream bars. So we get them either these little fudge bars that are a [00:18:00] hundred calories or these little Yaso yogurt bars that are Greek yogurt based. And I think they’re also about a hundred calories. We’ll let them have one of those per day.

And some days they want one, some days they don’t. They’re into playing sports and being active, playing with each other, not sitting around in front of a screen all day. We don’t allow that if we were to allow that they would definitely do more of it, but we only allow a few hours of that on the weekend, not on the week days.

And they have a. Interest in books, not overly interested. They like when I read to them. So that’s something and they ask a lot of questions. Like most kids, sometimes it is too many questions, but that’s like most kids and they on the whole are happy, healthy kids. Kate foreman, yoga asks, what is your favorite fat burner was always under the impression these didn’t work or were not safe.

[00:19:00] Most fat burners are absolutely useless. That is very true. And that is probably never going to change. At least not anytime soon, because many, many people are willing to pay a lot of money for these products, regardless of what is in them. Of course, that is a great recipe for great margins and great margins is a great incentive for unscrupulous people to lie for money.

That said, though, I stand by legions fat burners, Phoenix, and forge. Those are very different. Formulations. I stand by the marketing and the conservative claims that are made as far as efficacy. They are not wonder pills. They are not sold as wonder pills. They’re sold as supplements supplementary by definition, that can help you burn a little bit more.

Calories burn a little bit more fat [00:20:00] experience, a bit less hunger experience, fewer cravings or less intense cravings and on the whole, make your cut a little bit faster and more enjoyable. Kayla Dhan asks biceps, vain, key factors, hashtag goals. Well, some people are naturally more vascular than others.

Like I, myself am not a very vascular person. I have to be quite lean to have a lot of vascularity, but if you get big muscles, so big biceps in this case and low body fat, you will have visible veins. And that also goes for any. Muscle group, you have to have big muscles and low body fat. That’s really it.

That is the recipe for vascular. Carrie a fellows asks thoughts on cryotherapy scam or legit. Well, the research that I’ve looked at and I’ve looked at a bit, because some time ago [00:21:00] I wrote an article on cold showers. I was taking cold showers every day. And at that time I looked into a fair amount of the literature on cold therapy.

So based on what I have seen. In the past cryotherapy doesn’t do much of anything. Maybe you’ll have a little bit less muscle soreness with cryotherapy after particularly intense training. But if you wanted to have less muscle soreness, or if you wanted to benefit from cold exposure in any other way, Cold water immersion.

That really is the best way to do it. And that of course is the most inconvenient. And it’s also the most uncomfortable. So most people don’t want to do it because the protocol that you’ll find in a lot of the studies that I’ve looked at. Is anywhere from five to seven minutes in very cold water, fifties, sixties degrees, water Fahrenheit, obviously, and fully [00:22:00] immersed up to your neck.

If you are willing to do that, then yes, you can bring down inflammation levels. You can reduce muscle soreness after intense training, but you will also blunt. Muscle building because remember inflammation is part of the process of muscle building. So I would not recommend doing a workout and then doing a cold water bath, an ice bath immediately after if your primary goal is to improve your body composition.

But if you are an athlete who has to do a lot of. Really hard training and you are struggling to recover in between your workouts, or if you could benefit from just a little bit less muscle soreness in between your training sessions, then that might help. All right. Kev Sandoval asks predictions for the year 2030.

Well, there’s a chance that we will all own things. And the elite pedophiles are going to be very [00:23:00] unhappy. Musa lube asks your most recommended history books to understand current landscape while. One I would recommend is new world order by stone is the last name. I believe it’s Sean Stone. And yeah, it sounds like a conspiracy theory book, but it’s very well researched and well reasoned and it throws a lot of light on current circumstances and trends and will help you understand the great reset crowd in particular, the people who are calling for.

Global transformation of, well, just about everything of life, as we know it. And they of course say that their intentions are noble and that they are working to create a utopia, but I am not so sure about that. Anyway, another book that I recommend for better understanding clown world is propaganda by benets, which is of course a [00:24:00] classic book on, well, the power of propaganda and specifically the power of mass propaganda through mass media and mass entertainment.

And benets was an influential guy by the way, look up who he was before you read the book. If you. Curious, a lot of powerful people listened to him. And a fun little fact is his great nephew is Mark Randolph, the co-founder of Netflix. And the last book I’m gonna recommend here is brave new world by Huxley.

Not because it’s a, a very good book. I actually didn’t like it at all. Not well written per se. The plot was meandering. The characters were cardboard, but that story represents a world that some people think we should live in. And if you read the book, you will immediately see many of the parallels in modern society.

And remember that for the most part, things don’t just happen. They are made to [00:25:00] happen. Papa P 59 asks sauna before or after a workout. Definitely after if you are going to be staying in long enough to work up a good sweat, which is the point. So after your workout, if you do it before it is going to drain you of at least some of the energy that you might want for that workout.

Next question comes from Philip Lafe and he asks, if you could choose one Legion product. What is it? My brain says our multi because on paper, that’s one of my favorite products that we have, but my heart says our salted caramel weight protein, because it’s so good. Ross. Oh, 7 0 5 asks pulse before all workouts cardio and lifting or just lifting.

What about deload weeks? Well, what I do is I take pulse, which is my pre-workout Legion’s pre-workout. I take that before lifting, but not cardio. And I do take the stem free version of it, by the way, because I have my caffeine in the [00:26:00] form of espresso, first thing in the morning, and then that’s it for me for the day for caffeine.

And I also do take that stem free pre-workout pulse on my deload weeks, but I’m not sure if I. Do that if I were paying for it, but I’m not paying for it. At least I’m not paying much for it. And so I do it. If I were a customer of legions, though, I probably wouldn’t bother on my deload weeks. I would just keep it for my hard training and one reason to keep using it.

On your deload weeks is to just keep your beta alanine intake consistent because for beta Aine to work, it needs to accumulate it accumulates actually in the form of Carin in your muscles. And that takes a little bit of time. So if you took a week off your Carin, your intramuscular Carin levels are going to decline at least a little bit, but that’s not a big.

Again, I wouldn’t bother with it when deloading, if I were Allegion [00:27:00] customer paying full price. All right. Final question comes from shaman seven and they ask, what do you love most about your wife? Well, a few things, her poise and her sanity and her loyalty, and those are things that I have come to appreciate a lot as I’ve gotten.

Older and understood a little bit more about the ways of the world and how people are when their masks come off. And, you know, those are things that I did not appreciate enough when I was younger, but fortunately for me, Sarah stuck with me long enough. for me to get at least a little bit wise. 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 [00:28:00] 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. Ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share. Shoot me an email Mike muscle for, muscle F or And let me know what I could do better or just 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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