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How lean can you get without cardio? Are farmer’s walks beneficial? When will Legion be in retail stores? How much fat should you eat every day? Should you get blood work done or check your testosterone levels? Can you use a neutral grip on the dumbbell bench press? Should you do fulcrum deadlifts? 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: 

2:50 – Why is birthday cake Legion Whey + so damn tasty?

4:06 – Is it important to get testosterone tested when you’re young for future comparison?

6:27 – It’s been four weeks and I’ve lost eight pounds on the scale. Why can’t I see the difference in the mirror?

8:53 – On dumbbell press, flat, and incline, should I do neutral grip or pronated?

9:36 – What is the recommended daily fat intake?

10:20 – What are your thoughts on farmers walks? Are they beneficial enough to add to my program?

10:55 – When will Legion supplements be sold in stores?

14:19 – What are your thoughts on fulcrum deadlifts? Are they worth it or are they just another fad?

15:07 – Do you ever do pull ups or calisthenics as part of your training? 

15:41 – What is the best way to deadlift without hitting your junk at the top of the exercise?

16:00 – My uncle got triple vaccinated and shortly after became a cuckold. Is that correlation or causation?

16:23 – What is the ideal rest period between sets for hypertrophy?

18:19 – How low can you get body fat percentage with good diet and training with no cardio?

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 and welcome to Muscle For Life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for another q and a where I answer questions that people ask me on Instagram. If you want to ask me questions, follow me at Muscle Fly Fitness. Every Monday or Tuesday, I put up a story asking people to ask me questions.

I get a bunch of questions. I pick ones that are interesting that I haven’t answered a million times before I answer them briefly on Instagram. I only have a slide and I only can fit so much text where they’re on Instagram, and then I bring everything over here to the podcast. Where I can expound on my answers.

And so in today’s podcast, I am going to be answering questions about blood work, particularly testing hormone levels, testosterone levels in men. Should young men be doing that? Should you be getting blood work? I have a question here about cutting and why you often see rapid weight loss in the beginning of a cut, but you don’t really see much.

Difference in the mirror. Why does that happen? Recommended fat intake. How much fat should you be eating every day and how should that break down into saturated fat and other forms of fat? Farmer’s walks very underrated. Exercise. Who are they for? Should you be doing farmer’s walks? When Legion is going to get into retail stores and.

Also, 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? All you gotta do is go to buy plan, bu y plan and download the.

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. Enter your email address and you will get instant. Okay, where are we starting here? Nineteen eighty four seven. Dude asks, why is birthday cake Legion Way Plus so damn tasty? A self-serving question. I know, but he’s right.

It is one of my favorite flavors. It has been since we introduced it years ago, that cinnamon cereal and. Salted caramel are my favorite WHE flavors, at least right now. And if you like WHE Protein, if you are currently using WHE Protein and you have not tried mine yet, you have not tried Legion Whe Plus, go to by immediately and fix your shit B U Y L E G I O

And if that is not. Best WHE protein that you’ve ever tried. The tastiest, the smoothest mouth, feel the easiest on your stomach. Let us know and we will give you a full refund on the spot. You won’t even have to return it to us. You can just give it to somebody you know who’s also into this fitness stuff, and maybe they’ll like it.

So again, that URL is All right, Andrew Kre five asks, is it important to get testosterone tested when I’m young to know where I am for future comparison? No, not unless you have symptoms of low testosterone. It’s not important to test your testosterone to get blood work done so you can understand where your testosterone levels are, your total and free testosterone levels.

You’re just curious and you just want to know, then there’s no harm in doing it. And as for getting blood work done, just generally it is a good idea to do it every so often. Clinical guidelines generally are along the lines of every five years from the ages 18 to 39, every two to three years from the ages.

40 to 49 and every one to two years when you are 50 and beyond, and you can talk to your doctor about this the next time you see him or her for a physical exam or whatever else. And the point of getting that blood work done on a semi-regular. Basis is to just look at a host of health biomarkers and make sure that there aren’t underlying conditions that haven’t maybe produced pronounced symptoms yet, but if left unchecked will become problems later.

So think about cholesterol levels. For example, if your LDL cholesterol levels are too high, and let’s say you are fairly young, and so you don’t notice anything yet, if you don’t correct that, that can become heart disease as you get older, and you can catch that with. Blood work, and then you can make changes to your diet, to your lifestyle, whatever you need to do to bring those LDL levels down and drastically reduce your risk of heart disease.

And the same thing goes for just about any disease. You can catch it early in a blood test, but of course you have to be doing those blood tests to. Catch diseases early when they’re easiest to treat. Okay, Beller seven 17 asks, can you outrun your horses yet? I would say they’re more like my wife’s horses, but I suspect that if I were to try to do that, I would meet a similar fate to Greg Plitt.

May he rest in peace? See, Andre asks, it’s been four weeks and I lost eight pounds on the scale, but I can’t see any difference in the mirror. When you start cutting, you initially lose a fair amount of water and glycogen because of the reduction in carbohydrate intake. If you’re like most people to create a calorie deficit, you are mostly cutting back on carbs.

You are keeping your protein high, your fat is probably. Moderate, maybe you go a little bit lower, but you have to eat a lot less carbohydrate. And with carbohydrate goes water and glycogen, which is a form of carbohydrates stored in your liver and your muscles, and it is a fair amount. You are carrying around pounds of intramuscular water and intramuscular glycogen that you can shed in the first week.

Two weeks. And another factor that contributes to this phenomenon is the fact that we lose at first, certainly in the first month or so of cutting, tends to be in the areas that we don’t pay that much attention to. So for us guys, We’re normally looking at our abs more than anything else, but that is usually the last part of our body to really get lean.

Initially, we will lose fat in our faces. We will lose fat in our upper body, like the upper part of our torso, our chest, our upper back, our shoulders, our arms, and not very much in our abdomen and in women, it’s usually. Their hips, their thighs, their butt. That’s what they’re focused most on. And that area of their body tends to take longer to get lean compared to their torso, compared to their upper body.

And if you want to learn more about that, head over to legion, search for Stubborn Fat, and you’ll find an article that I wrote. There’s also a podcast there on this stubborn fat phenomenon, which sounds. Bro science, it sounds like BS, but it’s not. It is legit science. Certain fat cells in our body are easier to mobilize, easier to shrink than others, and you can learn about that again [email protected] if you want to.

Dive into that rabbit hole. Okay, Ethan, Joel 21 asks On dumbbell press flat and incline neutral grip versus pronated. You can alternate between these grips every so often if you want for a slightly different stimulus, or you can just stick with a neutral grip if the prone is bothering your shoulders.

Some people find that it does not play well with their shoulders, and so you don’t have to do it. The same thing goes for a wide grip bench press. Generally don’t recommend it. It is hard on your shoulders. Some people really like it and it doesn’t bother their shoulders at all, but in my experience, most people run into shoulder issues when they try to use a really wide grip on the bench.

Press, heart attack. 58 asks recommended daily fat intake. Let’s just keep this simple. 20 to 30% of daily calories from fat works. For most people, and that is usually between the range of 0.2 and the low end to maybe 0.4 on the high end, grams of fat per pound of body weight per day. I would also recommend limiting your saturated fat to around 10% of your daily calories.

That’s the upper limit. You don’t have to initially go that high, but maybe somewhere between five and 10% of daily calories and include plenty of mono unsaturated fat in your diet. You can get that from nuts, avocado. Olive oil. Those are my favorite sources because that type of fat is associated with many health benefits.

J Park E 29 asks, what are your thoughts on farmer’s walks beneficial enough to add to a program? Absolutely. Farmer’s walks are very underrated actually. They are particularly good at improving work. Capacity. So your ability to just exert whole body effort to work hard. And they’re also great for improving grip, and so if you want to improve those things in particular, yeah, I would say include them.

And if you are not sure if you want to include, let’s say your work capacity, you could try it out. See what you think. Luke M 81 asks, when will Legion supplements be sold in stores? I’m not sure, probably in the next year or two, but there is still an easy 50 to at least a hundred percent. Growth, like top line sales to be had in our e-commerce adventures and building retail correctly is almost like building another business.

That’s what I’ve been told by a number of people who have done it successfully. That just because you have a successful e-commerce business doesn’t necessarily mean you can just take it into retail and succeed at a level even remotely comparable to where you. Online. It requires a new team of specialists.

It requires new marketing and advertising initiatives. It requires new financial and logistical systems. It’s not something that you want to just rush into blindly. You want to execute properly because if you don’t, you can lose a lot of. Let’s say you try to go real big with it and you don’t really know what you’re doing and you spend millions of dollars putting inventory into stores, and then it does not sell through quickly enough.

You have problems. And so my current position on retail is there. Is no reason why Legion can’t do well in retail, especially considering how well we are doing online and how quickly we are growing online. But I probably won’t seriously pursue retail until I can work with a strategic partner who has successfully brought e-commerce brands.

Into retail, who has the playbook and has the money to finance it. And as it stands right now, I will get serious about looking for that strategic partner probably at this time next year because I think that we have another. Year of big growth ahead of us, both top line and bottom line. And I don’t want to prematurely do a deal at a much lower number than I could get, let’s say, a year from now, because a strategic partner buys into the business and then helps grow the business.

And so you want to, of course, maximize the valuation of the business. Within reason when they are buying in. And if I were to do that deal now, it would be a good number, but if I wait a year, it could easily be 80 to a hundred percent bigger. So I just have to stay patient. So that currently is my thinking on.

Going big with retail, like trying to get Costco, for example. However, what probably will happen before then is going small into retail. We are looking at hiring a salesperson or two to just start getting us into smaller independent stores that are all around the country, and that’s a low risk way to get retail going.

To show that your products can sell in retail, to start putting some of those marketing and advertising initiatives into place that would be needed to support a larger retail operation. And so that makes sense to me. Because I don’t have to risk that much to do it. Alrighty. Steel TP asks Thoughts on fulcrum deadlifts worth it, or just another fad?

The fulcrum deadlift is a useful exercise. It is a creative way to improve stability and coordination, but I would not recommend it as a replacement for your traditional or sumo or trap bar deadlift. I would think of the fulcrum deadlift more as a fun and challenging accessory exercise. Now, as for programming, you might want to reduce the volume of your normal deadlifting if you are also going to be doing some fulcrum deadlifting, and that’s fine.

So let’s say you are normally doing three or four sets of deadlifting per week. You could reduce your normal deadlift to, let’s say two. So then you can do two sets of fulcrum deadlifts as. Stuff by stuffy asks, do you ever do pullups as part of your training or any calisthenics work? Yes. Pullups in chin-ups are always on the list of important exercises to choose from.

They are not always in my training, but at least every other training block will include some pullups or some chin-ups because those. Always be some of the most effective back and biceps exercises you can do, especially because you can add weight to them as you get stronger, so you never grow out of those exercises.

The Iron Dojo asks, what’s the best way to deadlift without hitting your junk at the top of the exercise? I don’t know, man. Maybe you need to look into scrotal reduction. Surgery. I can’t say I’ve ever had this problem. Maybe I’m just a hashtag team. Small sack. The genius ceo, Robert. What’s up brother? Asks My uncle got triple vaccinated and shortly after became a coupled.

Correlation or causation? Dude, come on. It was not the CLO shot. It was probably climate change or Putin or the Second Amendment. Who knows? But don’t worry. A little bit more inflation will probably fix it. Vibe Cole Meha asks Ideal rest period between sets for high trophy two to three minutes. Let’s keep it real simple.

Rest, two to three minutes in between your hypertrophy sets, which are going to be your sets, either in a higher rep range, let’s say anything, maybe eight reps and above, and usually not on the big compound lifts. That’s usually not going to be your dead lift or your. Squat or your bench press or overhead press for those exercises?

I would say three to maybe three and a half minutes, especially if you are doing some difficult deadlifting, some difficult squatting. Two minutes is not going to be enough. Three minutes might be enough. I personally rest probably on average three and a half minutes, sometimes even four minutes in between a set of say, six or eight or 10 reps on the deadlift or the squat.

Is basically cardio at two minutes. My heart is still racing, so you gotta keep that in mind as well. You are not ready to do your next set if you are still breathing fairly heavily. If you can feel that your heart rate is still significantly elevated, and so you are ready to do your next set, when your breathing has returned to normal, at least normal for working out, not necessarily normal.

Lying in bed to go to sleep, but normal for being in the gym. And your heart rate has come down also to a more normal for being in the gym level, and you don’t feel any burning in your muscles anymore. Your muscles feel ready to go again. And my last comment here is, you know you are not resting enough.

If you are noticing major drops in performance from one set to the next. So if you get 10 reps with whatever weight in your first set, and then in your next set you get five reps, six reps, you need to rest longer. All right, RAA 22 asks, how low can you get your body fat percentage with good diet and strength training?

Cardio. This is going to vary from person to person. Some people, for example, engage in a lot of spontaneous non-exercise activity in the scientific literature that’s referred to as non-exercise activity. Thermogenesis NEAT is the acronym N E A T, and in some people that can be hundreds and hundreds of calories per day.

Just fidgeting, pacing, non-exercise activity. They just spontaneously engage in and in other people it can be not very much. It can be maybe one or 200 calories per day. That would be the low end of what is normally seen in the literature and maybe a thousand calories per day as the high end of what has been seen in.

Tests, and most of us are somewhere in the middle of that. And so if somebody, though, is a high neat type, let’s say they’re a guy, they might find it fairly easy to get to seven, 8% body fat without doing formal cardio workouts. Maybe they go for a walk or two, maybe they walk for 30 or 45 minutes per day, for example.

But they don’t do cardio. Workouts per say. They just strength train and move around a lot in general and go for some walks and find it fairly easy to get very lean. Whereas other people, and I would be one of these people, I struggle to get below 10% body fat or so without doing some cardio, and that is walks.

Plus 30 minutes, moderate intensity cardio sessions. I like to do it on an upright bike, and the reason why I struggle, that’s my threshold if I’m just doing strength training, is it just requires eating too little. That extra three to 500 calories per day that I can burn with my cardio and with some walking, some extra walking.

Helps a lot. It helps with dietary compliance because I’m less hungry, fewer cravings, fewer negative side effects associated with dieting. And I would say that is generally the case with the many people I’ve heard from and worked with over the years. Most guys find that they can get down to maybe about the 10% body fat mark with just strength training and dieting.

And if they wanna get leaner, they have to start doing cardio. Many women. Cut off to be around 20% body. 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. 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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