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Is coolsculpting legit? Is rest-pause training beneficial? Does casein before bed help with fat loss? Are there any side lateral raise alternatives? Should you build your metabolism before cutting? What’s the best way to deal with “off,” nonproductive days and a lack of motivation? Is there any truth to the idea of vegetables or whole grains being harmful to health? All that and more in this Q&A podcast.

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 – My free meal planning tool: 

2:49 – Is coolsculpting real? 

3:56 – Is there any merit to the carnivore diet claims?

5:42 – What are your favorite shoes for lifting?

7:31 – Is casein before bed good for weight loss?

12:00 – Is rest-pause training good for your shoulders?

13:27 – Can you make more fun flavors of your plant protein?

14:18 – Can you take Recharge with Pulse? 

14:49 – What are some movement patterns for side delts?

16:20 – What are your thoughts on the no vegetables and whole grain thinking?

17:51 – Should I start cutting or build my metabolism first?

21:39 – How do you address off days when you’re not motivated or productive at work?

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!


Hello, lovely listener. I’m Mike Matthews and this is Muscle for Life. Thank you for joining me today for another q and a where I answer questions that people ask me. So what I do is every week, every Monday, Tuesday, usually on Instagram at Muscle for Life Fitness, come follow me. I put up a story asking for questions.

I get a bunch of questions, and then I choose ones that are interest. Or topical, or that I just haven’t answered a billion times already, and answer them briefly there on Instagram. And then bring everything over here to the podcast and answer the questions in more depth, because I can only put so much information in a little Instagram story.

So if you want to ask me questions, follow me on Instagram at must Fly Fitness. And look for that story that I put up every Monday or Tuesday and submit your questions and we will go from there. All right, so in today’s episode, I am answering questions about cool sculpting for fat loss. Does it work?

My favorite shoes for Weightlift If eating casing protein before bed can help with weight loss, if rest pause training is worth incorporating in your. How much protein your body can absorb in one sitting and more before we get to it, 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 maintain?

In under five minutes. All you gotta do is go to buy plan bui 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 by plan bui plan. Enter your email address and you will get instant access. Okay, this time around, I don’t have any information here on who asked these questions.

I think there was something wrong with Instagram at the time. Anyway, they are all going to be anonymous questions today, and the first one is Cool Sculpting for Fat Loss. Please tell me this is a joke. Now, if you haven’t heard of Cool Sculpting, it is a technique that involves cold temperatures and suction to destroy fat cells.

It obviously sounds like a scam, but ironically a few studies have shown that it can smooth out and remove small amounts of body fat that is directly beneath the skin. It can’t help you lose large amounts of fat though, which is often how it is marketed. And it’s very expensive. And so it is not only hype.

And if you wanna learn more about it, just head over to legion, search for Cool Sculpting one word, and you’ll find an article that I wrote on it. I don’t think I actually wrote that article. Somebody. On my team wrote it, but you will find a good evidence-based article on it. All right, next question.

Do you think there is any merit to Paul Salad? Dino’s carnivore slash animal-based diet claims? Unfortunately, mostly nonsense, and getting quacker and Quacker. Because that is how you win in the game of getting attention online. You just say more and more outlandish things and more and more people pay attention and talk about all of the outlandish things that you are saying, and then you team up with other quacks saying outlandish things like Liver King for example.

I saw that Liver King and Paul Saladino are doing, I. Little collaborations on Instagram saying outlanders things together. And if you are good at that game and get at least a little bit lucky, you get a bunch of followers and admirers and customers, you make a lot of money. Now if you want an evidence based refutation of the carnivore diet and some of the major claims made to support it, head over to legion, Search for carnivore, and you’ll find a long article I wrote with a lot of research linked, cited for all of my major claims against the major claims of the carnivore diet and.

My recommendation regarding carnivore dieting, which is if you need to do an elimination diet, that is a great place to start. But if you don’t, then I wouldn’t recommend the carnivore diet. And if you’re not sure what an elimination diet is, Make sure that you clarify that before you try the carnivore diet because it is factually an elimination diet.

All right, next question. Favorite shoes for lifting? I like something light and simple with a flat soul. Over the years, I’ve tried shoes from Innovate. I’ve tried New Balance. I remember liking their minimus. Model for a while, and I currently just wear a pair of zeros, X E R O. I’m not endorsed by that company, but they sent me shoes.

I had the owner of the company on my podcast, he offered to send me some shoes. I don’t remember the model that I chose. It’s one of their simple, just bare bones, minimal. Little training shoes, and I’ve been wearing them for, I think it’s like a couple of years now, and they still are fine. They haven’t fallen apart.

There’s no obvious wear or tear, which is cool because I’ve done a lot of training in those shoes, A lot of deadlift in those shoes. Now, as for squatting, I like a proper pair of weightlifting shoes. I use Adidas weightlifting shoes, but there are other good options out there. And I actually have an episode coming on Training shoes.

It is an interview I did with a guy named Jake Bowley, who has a YouTube channel where he does reviews of training shoes, cross-training shoes, running shoes, weightlifting shoes, all different types of shoes that you exercise in. And so if you want to learn more about finding the training shoes that are going to work best for you, if you care enough to learn a little bit about what goes into choosing good shoes to train in, to run into squats slash deadlift in, look for that episode.

By the time this is up, Jake should be up within the next four to six weeks. I run fairly ahead on interviews, but it will be going up soon-ish. Okay. Next question. Is casing before bed good for weight loss? No, not in and of itself. Eating protein of any kind before bed is not going to directly help you lose weight, but of course, it’s not going to hurt so long as your calories and your macros are calibrated properly.

Some people do find that having a serving of protein and particularly a serving of slow digesting protein like Caine, Later at night, after dinner helps them avoid late night snacking on other stuff that can get in the way of your cutting simply because it’s very tasty and has a lot of calories. And what they find is that final serving of protein at, let’s say if dinner is at six or seven, the final serving of protein is at.

  1. It just makes sure that they’re not hungry, come bedtime and then rummaging around in the fridge to find something to eat. And one other benefit of having some protein before you go to bed. Some slow digesting protein in particular like Caine or P Protein works as well. Is more muscle growth over time.

A couple of studies have shown this. It’s not going to make a major difference, but it does appear to help because what it does is it gives your body some amino acids to work through while you are sleeping. And of course, Your body’s muscle building machinery requires amino acids to repair muscle, to grow muscle.

And so if you eat dinner at say, 6:00 PM and you have a serving of protein with that dinner, you are done processing that food by probably somewhere between 10. 12, depending on what you ate, the larger the meal, the longer it takes. Also, mixed meals with protein, carbs and fat, for example, take longer to process than meals that just have protein or just protein and carbs, or just carbs and fat.

What that means though, is. Let’s say you are in bed until six or 7:00 AM and so from, let’s say 12, from midnight to six to 7:00 AM your body cannot continue to repair or build muscle because it has finished. Processing the food that you ate at dinner. It has finished using the amino acids provided for muscle repair and muscle growth, and it’s just waiting for the next serving of protein.

Now, what is not true is not eating protein before bed can lead to muscle loss. That is not true. Your body’s muscle building machinery is just. Idle, so to speak. Your body is not going to break down muscle to get amino acids because it doesn’t have any, It just can’t continue to repair and build muscle until it has amino acids.

And so what happens when you have a serving 30 to 40 grams of a slow digesting protein rip before you go to bed? So let’s say you’re going to bed at 10:00 PM. That will give your body a few hours of amino acids to work with. It will take your body a few hours, probably somewhere between three and four hours to fully digest and process that 30 to 40 grams of casing or pea protein.

So what you have done then is taken the downtime, so to speak, as far as muscle building goes of six to seven hours. Cut it in half. So for the first few hours of sleeping, then your body is able to continue working with those amino acids to keep creating new muscle proteins and repairing muscle proteins and so forth.

And by the way, in case you didn’t know, My sports nutrition company, Legion, has casing protein, has my cellar casing, which is the highest quality casing you can buy, and a plant protein as well, which is a combination of P and rice protein. And we use that combination because they have complimentary amino acid profiles.

And when you combine those amino acid profiles, it actually looks pretty similar to. Protein, and that’s why that combination of p and rice protein is often referred to as the vegans way. And if you wanna check those products out, you can find them [email protected]. All right, next question is rest pause training?

Good for your shoulders? Yeah. Yeah. Rest, pause. Training is a good technique. Generally it’s good for jacking up volume. Without putting a lot more stress on your joints, and it does work well for smaller muscle groups in particular. It works well for the shoulders, it works well for the biceps, the triceps, but I would not bother with that until you need to do a lot of volume to continue growing until you need to do, let’s say more than 15 hard sets per major muscle.

Per week. And even then, I would personally first work up to probably about 15 to maybe 20. That’s pretty high, but at least 15 hard sets. Normal sets, just working sets for whatever muscle group. If we’re talking about the shoulders. Fine, but could also be the biceps or the triceps. Some people will do rest pauses with the calves as well.

And so again, I would personally work up to a high amount of straight set volume, so to speak, before adding rest. Pause volume because rest pause training is not necessarily more effective than just plain old. Quote unquote boring straight sets. It’s just a way to get in extra volume without all of the structural stress that comes with straight sets.

Okay, Next question is, can you make more fun flavors of your plant protein? The same ones you do for way. Yes I can. And I am Cinnamon Cereal. Plant Plus is coming soon in the next month or two. I don’t have the schedule right in front of me, but certainly this year and we will continue adding flavors to Plant Plus because it is becoming more and more popular.

It’s getting really good word of mouth and probably because we reformulated it a few months ago and now it tastes better. I thought it taste. Pretty good before, but now it tastes really good, and especially compared to any other plant-based, all natural protein powder out there. I challenge. Challenge anyone to find a plant-based all natural protein powder that tastes better than my plant Plus.

Okay, next question is another supplement question. Can you take Recharge, which is my post workout supplement with creatine and a couple of other ingredients with your pulse? That’s my pre-workout supplement. Or do you have to do recharge after workout? So the best way to use those supplements and just pre and post workout supplements in general is to just take the pre-workout before you train and take the post workout.

After you train, and in the case of recharge, ideally after you train with some food. Next question. Besides side raises, any other move for side doubts? If we’re talking movement patterns, not really. We can just raise our. Arms to the side if we wanna train our side belts, but we don’t have to only use dumbbells or train both of our arms at the same time.

So with dumbbells, you can do your traditional side rays. You’re holding two dumbbells, you. Raise them out to the side, or you can do single arm dumbbell side raises. And usually when you’re doing that, you are holding onto something like one of the metal poles for the lack of a better word, of a cable setup.

So you are hanging off of this pole. At a slight incline, and then you are holding the weight in the hand that’s not hanging onto the pole, and then you are doing side raises. So you can do it that way. You can do cable side raises. Double or single arm cable is a nice variation because of the constant tension, whereas with dumbbell side raises, it gets a lot harder as you are raising the weight.

So you get a lot of tension. Top of each rep and then you get no tension at the bottom. Another variation I like is a machine raise, and again, you can do double arm or single arm. Most gyms have a side raise machine, and one of the things I like about the machine is also that constant tension. All right.

Moving along here. Thoughts on the no vegetables and whole grains thinking any truth? I really don’t like the plant avoidance. Movement, the plant deniers, , if you will, because claiming that eating certain vegetables, certain plant foods, certain grains, or just eating those things in general is unhealthy. That is Orwellian level science denialism.

It’s like saying that exercise is bad for you. It really is. It’s as ridiculous as saying that research shows that exercise is bad and you need to stop. Or that water is toxic unless it has been specially treated to be a certain pH, or that energy balance is fake, actually, like triangles and math. It’s all just a social construct.

So my point of course is eat your vegetables, eat four to six servings per day. The weight of the scientific evidence is tremendous and tremendously clear. The people who eat the most plant foods tend to live the longest. Now, it doesn’t mean that you can’t eat animal foods, of course, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t eat meat or other animal sources of protein or just other animal foods that you like, but.

Most of your calories should be coming from relatively unprocessed, highly nutritious foods that incidentally come from plants. Next up, we have, should I start cutting or build my metabolism first? The best ways to build your metabolism are to build muscle and eat a lot of nutritious food, which is what you want to be doing when you are cutting.

So I would say, Both. Now, that said, some people do claim that you should reverse diet before you cut, and by that they mean just progressively eat more and more food, increasing your total daily calories by maybe a hundred for a week or two weeks, and then increasing by another hundred, sometimes even smaller amounts.

Sometimes it’s just 50 calories. And the story is that if you do that, you can speed up your metabolism. Without getting fatter or gaining any significant amount of fat. And then when you start cutting, it’s going to be a lot easier because if you are a woman currently eating 2000 calories per day, let’s say that’s your maintenance level, and if you were to just start cutting right now, maybe you have to.

Go down to 1500 if you want to be aggressive, maybe 1700 if you want something in the middle, calories per day. But if you were to go through the reverse diet process, you could get that up to 3000 calories per day, and then you could cut on 2,500 calories per day, 500 calories more than you are currently eating.

Imagine that. Or if you really wanted to be aggress, You could cut on 2000 calories per day. Your current diet could produce rapid fat loss. That’s the pitch, and it sounds great, and I wish it worked like that, but it doesn’t. Instead, all that’s gonna happen is you’re. Just gonna get fatter and then you are going to have to cut for longer to reach your goal.

Now, some people do gain less fat than others when they try this because they are the type of person who responds to overfeeding with more physical activity, often spontaneous physical activity that they are not even entirely aware of. There is a genetic component in this, whereas other people, Don’t seem to naturally increase their physical activity levels when they’re consistently in a calorie surplus.

And so of course they gain fat faster than the people who tend to move around more when they eat more. But I will say that in my many years now of doing this, I have not come across a single person who responds so strongly. To a caloric surplus, that they spontaneously move around so much more that they are able to just slowly work their calories up without gaining fat.

The only people I know who have successfully increased their daily calories significantly. While preserving their body composition explicitly worked more movement into their lifestyle. So they extended their workouts or they did more workouts, often cardio. They often added cardio to their routine or started to do more cardio than they were doing previously.

And so then if you wanna do that before you start cutting, because maybe right now. You are not very active. Maybe you are doing one, two, or three strength training workouts per week and you’re looking at your calories, and you look at the number you’re gonna have to eat to lose, let’s say a pound of fat per week, and it is depressing because it’s a small number then sure.

Add some physical activity so you can eat. And that generally makes cutting easier. Okay. Last question is, how do you address off days when you’re not motivated or productive at work? I just accept them as inevitable. Remember even elite athletes have bad games where they’re totally off form. And so I don’t see any reason to be self critical.

Even the greats are. Always great. Often they’re not even consistently great. They’re often just great at being consistent. They always show up and they always put in the work. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s not so great. But even the not so great still moves the needle. Somewhat, and so usually I just focus on what I’m going to do the next day.

I try to make sure that I don’t have two bad days in a row. One bad day is totally fine. There’s no reason to have two bad days in a row, right? Oh, and also I remind myself that even if every day could be perfectly productive, or let’s just say highly productive, can’t ever really achieve perfection, but close to perfect in terms of absolute results.

It wouldn’t look that different from, let’s say, 80% of my days being really productive, 24 out of 30 days. Really productive. It’s like dieting in that regard, right? Because if you can follow your meal plan not perfectly, just for let’s say 24 out of 30 days, so 80% consistency, and so long as on the other six days you don’t.

Many thousands of calories more than you burn, you’re gonna do great. There’s nothing you can’t do with your body composition if you can do that and get your strength training workouts in. And so then should you roast yourself on one of those six off days? No, of course not. You might even wanna plan them in.

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. 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 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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