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I’ve churned through over 150,000 emails, social media comments and messages, and blog comments in the last 6 years.

And that means I’ve fielded a ton of questions.

As you can imagine, some questions pop up more often than others, and I thought it might be helpful to take a little time every month to choose a few and record and share my answers.

So, in this round, I answer the following three questions:

  1. Is it a good idea to get a pump before hitting the weights?
  2. Are pronated grips or neutral grips better for engaging lats?
  3. How much does a mask helps fight the transmission of viruses?

If you have a question you’d like me to answer, leave a comment below or if you want a faster response, send an email to [email protected].

Recommended reading for this episode:


4:09 – Is it a good idea to get a pump before hitting the weights?

17:41 – Are pronated grips or neutral grips better for engaging lats?

22:07 – How much does a mask helps fight the transmission of viruses?

Mentioned on The Show: 

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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 a q and a where I answer questions that readers and followers ask me. If you want to ask me questions that I can answer for you and that may be chosen for future q and a episodes, shoot me an email. Mike Muscle for Life, just o r.

Dot com and let me know what’s on your mind. I get a lot of emails, so it may take me seven, 10, maybe even 14 days or sometimes a little bit longer, to be honest, to get back with you, but you will hear back from me and you will get an answer. And if it’s a question that a lot of people. Are asking or have been asking for some time, or if it’s something that just strikes my fancy and it’s something that I haven’t already beaten to death on the podcast or the blog, then I may also choose it for an episode and answer it publicly.

Another way to get questions to me is Instagram at Muscle for Life Fitness. You can DM them to me. That is harder for me to stay on top of. I do try, but the inbox is a little bit buggy and it just takes more time trying to do it, whether it’s on my phone or the Windows app. But there is a good chance you will still get a reply.

Email is better, and I also do post. I think it’s every few weeks or so in my feed asking for people to give me questions, give me fodder for the next q and a. So if you would rather do that than just follow me on Instagram at most for life fitness and send me a message, or just wait for one of my q and a posts.

Okay, so in this episode I will be answering three questions, and the first one comes from KW Canada on Instagram, and it is it a good idea to get a pump before hitting the weights? The next question is David underscore Adams underscore Fitness. Instagram are prone, grip or neutral. Grip pullups better for engaging the lats.

And then I have, A question from Luke Strange via email, How much does a mask help fight the transmission of viruses? Yeah, I’m gonna go there. Also, if you like what I am doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world, and we’re on.

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So again, if you appreciate my work and if you wanna see more of it, and if you also, All natural evidence based supplements that work. Please do consider supporting Legion so I can keep doing what I love, like producing more podcasts like. Okay, let’s start with the first question from KW Canada, Instagram handle, and that is should you get a pump before you hit the weights?

Now, I don’t think I need to describe what. The pump is, I think if you’re listening to this podcast, you know what the pump is, so I’ll just get straight to the answer. And that depends on why you are getting a pump before hitting the weights. Now, I’m assuming what he is asking about is pre-ex exhaustion, and I will talk about that in a minute.

But he may also be talking about. Pump training, so higher rep training. And the idea here is that by training in higher reps, you are going to gain more muscle than in lower reps. So to put specific numbers to it, you’ve probably heard that the hypertrophy rep range is eight to 12 or maybe even eight to 15.

And the strength rep range is like three to five or maybe three to six. And if you primarily want to get bigger muscles, you should train with the lighter weight. And you should do more reps. And if you want to get stronger muscles, then you should train it with the heavier weights and lower reps. That is mostly false.

You’re going to gain muscle whether you are doing sets of fives or sets of 15. And if you’re new, I would say you probably would be better off just sticking with the fives because you really want to start building a foundation of strength because when your newbie gains are exhausted, for most people it lasts maybe six or eight months.

10 or no more than 12. From what I’ve seen, having worked with a lot of people over the years, your body’s very responsive in the beginning and then things slowed down and in the beginning you don’t have to gain that much strength to gain a fair amount of muscle. You will get stronger in your first year of weightlifting if you’re a guy and you gain 15 or 20 pounds of muscle for sure.

But the correlation between strength gain and muscle. It is not very strong in the beginning. However, as you become more experienced, it becomes a lot stronger. And what that means is you primarily have to get stronger. If you want to keep getting bigger, you are going to have to keep getting stronger.

And so if you were to do a lot of higher rep pump training for your first year, let’s say, you could gain a fair amount of muscle and you will certainly gain some strength. But there is a point where you are going to want to start doing some heavier. Weight lifting you are as a guy, I’d say as a woman as well, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble.

I would go as far as saying you are probably not going to be able to reach your genetic potential for strength and muscularity only training in the 10 or 12 or 15 rep range. You may be able to get there, but it’s gonna be a lot more efficient if. Also include some heavier work in your program, and that can be a bit difficult.

The transition can be difficult if you are very used to training in higher rep ranges, and then you start trying to squat for sets of five or four, even three. You will adjust, you will get used to it, but it is going to be pretty awkward at first. And so I would argue if you are new to lifting, why don’t you start out doing the heavier stuff?

Because you’re gonna gain just as much muscle, doing the heavier stuff, doing sets of four or five, six, maybe seven up to eight as you would in the higher rep ranges. But you’re gonna gain a lot more strength and you’re gonna be very comfort. With heavy weights, and that’s gonna serve you better in year two and three and beyond.

Now, of course, there are exceptions. Every good rule has exceptions. A good exception would be if you can’t train in the lower up ranges in with heavier weights because it hurts your joints, for example. That is usually related to. Age, but not always some. I’ve worked with younger people who have really messed up their joints playing sports in particular, playing even high school football, for example.

And now they are younger than I am maybe in their late twenties, early thirties, and they have joint issues. They can work around them, but they can’t necessarily go do five sets of five on the back. You know it’s gonna be painful. So I understand there are scenarios where it would make more sense to work with lighter weights, but for most people, and that would include most middle aged people.

If you are new to weightlifting, you want to get into the heavier stuff as quickly as you can. If you’re 20, you can probably do it right away. If you were 60 and new to Weightlift, I wouldn’t throw you into heavy squats and deadlifts right away. We would start with workouts that are challenging, but not that challenging with an eye toward.

Reaching that though, I would love to get you to that point where you can squat and deadlift heavy weight where you have the whole body strength to do that. So I’m not sure, again, if this question was about pre-ex exhaustion or just including higher rep range work in your workouts. And so I just wanted to.

First address the higher up range. It does definitely make sense if you’re an experienced weightlifter to work in higher up ranges and lower up ranges. I talk about this extensively in my newest book, beyond Bigger than Years, Stronger, and I think that the scientific and the anecdotal evidence is clear that working in a broader range of reps is going to result in faster muscle and strength gain.

Inexperienced weightlifters in particular, so long as the programming. Sound. One last little thing of note before we move on to pre-ex exhaustion is if you are going to be working in different rep ranges in the same workout, which isn’t how I like to do it, and I talk about exactly how I do it and how I recommend it in beyond bigger than stronger.

But if you’re gonna do that, I’d recommend doing your heaviest lifting first and then the lighter weights after. So reverse pyramid training as opposed to tradit. Pyramid training where you start with your high rep stuff and then you work into your heavier stuff. And I could probably do a podcast on reverse pyramid training versus traditional pyramid training to explain why I prefer R P T generally and generally recommend it.

But I’ll just leave it at that for now so we can move on. So let’s move on to pre exhaustion. This is something that. Used to do and I no longer do. That’s really the short answer. So quickly, let’s just describe pre-ex exhaustion. What is pre-ex exhaustion? It is basically doing lighter weight higher.

Wrap set or sets of an isolation exercise to target a specific muscle before you’re gonna do the heavier compound training that mostly trains the same muscle. And the theory is that by pre exhausting certain muscles, by fatiguing muscles with an isolation exercise, before you do a compound exercise, you can place greater stress on.

Target muscle. During the compound exercise, you can get a larger training stimulus, and there’s another version of pre-ex exhaustion out there, which is generally referred to as reverse pre-ex exhaustion, and that’s where you fatigue secondary muscles with an isolation exercise so that they contribute less.

To a compound exercise. So theoretically, for example, you might do some lighter hamstring curls before squatting to try to emphasize the quadriceps even more. Now, squatting is primarily a quadriceps exercise, so that wouldn’t even make that much sense. But there are many people who. Do that. Now, as far as research goes, it is a mixed bag.

There are several studies that show pre-ex exhaustion has no benefit or even does the opposite of what it’s supposed to do. That is there’s evidence that it can increase the. Stimulation of secondary muscle groups instead of the target muscle group. And there are some studies that suggest that it has some merit and there are more that are open to interpretation.

So for example, there is one study that was conducted by scientists at Catholic University of Brazilia that split 31 detrained male participants. Between 18 and 40 into three groups. You had a group that trained traditionally, and then you had a group that used pre-ex exhaustion as well as a control group that didn’t train.

And both of the training groups trained twice per week and they did a few sets of the leg press failure with 75% of their one rep max, and they rested one minute. Between sets and the only difference between the groups was that the pre-ex exhaustion group performed one set of leg extensions to failure using about 20% of their one rep max immediately.

And that’s like less than 10 seconds before they did the leg press. And the results showed there was no significant differences between. Either of the training groups when it came to measures of muscle growth, strength, or body composition. The only semi meaningful differences were that the traditional training group were able to do more volume, and this was calculated as a volume load.

So you have the number of sets times. The number of reps times the weight lifted and also the leg extension one RM increased significantly in the pre-ex exhaustion group compared to the traditional training group. Now, these results are not surprising. The higher volume load recorded by the traditional group was probably because they were less fatigued than the pre-ex exhaustion group, which then allowed them to put more into.

Leg press, right? And the pre-ex exhaustion groups increase in leg extension. Onem was probably because they were actually doing leg extensions as part of their training program. So this study and others, like it would suggest that pre-ex exhaustion doesn’t have much to offer us. We might as well just stick to our traditional training because in this case, The pre-ex exhaustion group did not gain more muscle and strength.

That said, you could interpret this differently and you could say that the pre-ex exhaustion group performed less volume. So they did quite a bit less, actually, over the four weeks of the study, about 50% less in week nine, for example, and they got the same results. The only downside you could say is they had to take a set of light leg extensions to failure before doing the leg press.

And to that I would say fair enough. But one, those 20% of one RM leg extension sets to absolute failure are not gonna be pleasant. You may just rather do the extra heavy sets. You may just rather do, let’s say, three sets of. 10 versus three sets of five with the same weight because three sets of 10 may just feel less painful and it may be more enjoyable to you.

It would be to me, I would rather do three sets of 10 on the squat than one set of leg extensions to failure on each leg with 20% of one rm. And. A set of squats immediately after with the same weight as I would normally do for 10 reps. But in this case, I would only do five reps. I would rather just do the straight sets.

And my second objection to making pre-ex exhaustion a regular feature of your programming is, It’s still just a speculative training technique that may or may not be any better than traditional training. Again, the research is not clear and there would need to be more research done, particularly with the types of exercises that we do the most barbell stuff, for example, more traditional body building type of training.

And so why trade traditional training, which we know works. So long as you understand how to make intensity and frequency and volume and exercise selection work, and you don’t have to know that much to do that. You could read my books Bigger, leaner, stronger and Beyond. Bigger, Leaner, Stronger, Or if you’re a woman, Thinner, Leaner, stronger, and then also beyond Bigger, Leaner, Stronger.

And you will know everything you need to know about the fundamentals of proper strength training slash body building, and you. All the knowledge you need to reach your genetic finish line for muscle and strength. So why would you want to sacrifice any of that for an experimental training technique that may.

Be slightly better. It actually may help you at least get the same results for maybe less time in the gym, a little bit less, depending on how you are programming your workouts. Maybe your workouts would feel a little bit easier, but I think it’s safe to say that I would be very surprised and many other people in the evidence based fitness space who know a lot more about this stuff than I do would be.

Prize if 10 years from now enough research has been done on pre-ex exhaustion to show that it is clearly just a superior method than regular old hard sets. I highly doubt it. Now, if you are an experienced or an advanced weightlifter, You understand that you have gained more or less all the muscle and strength that you can gain, and you’re just curious how pre-ex exhaustion feels and how your body responds to it.

I totally understand. Have fun pre-ex exhaust a way, but I would not be surprised if the experiment is short-lived. I would not be surprised if, like me, you do it for a couple of weeks and you find it interesting and you put it back into the toolbox and you may not reach. Ever again. All right, let’s move on to question number two from David Adams, Fitness on Instagram.

Are Pronated Grip or neutral Grip Pullups better for engaging the LA’s? Great question. Now, to my knowledge, there’s only one study that directly compares Pronated Grip Pullups to neutral. Grip pullups. And just so you know what a pronated grip is, that is where your palms are facing away from you. And a neutral grip is where your palms are facing each other.

So this study was conducted by scientists at Massey University and they had 19 trained men do some different types of pullups, and they measured muscle activation. A number of muscles including the lats, and they were using EMG for this, and the variations that they investigated were the pronated wide grip, pull up, the neutral grip, pull up the rope, pull up and the chin up.

And the only meaningful difference between all of the grip variations was that the pronated wide grip pullups were better than the neutral grip pulls for recruiting the middle traps Muscle activation of all the. Muscles they measured, including the lats as well as the biceps and the middle deloid in the upper peck major and others was similar.

There was no statistically significant difference in muscle activation as measured by emg. Now, there’s one other study that’s worth mentioning. It was conducted by scientists at the University of Miami and they looked at what effect different grips and grip widths. So you have the orientation of the grip and the width of the grip had on LA activation on the LA pull down now.

Pull down machine, of course, is not the same as the pull up, but it’s a similar movement pattern and it can help us understand how grip orientation may be able to impact Latin engagement while doing vertical pulling exercises. And the result of that study is that the pronated wide grip pulldowns performed in front of the neck were superior to neutral grip pulldowns for activating the lats.

And they were also shown to be superior to reverse. Pulldowns, which would mean palms facing in toward you, as well as Pronated wide grip Pulldowns performed behind the neck. Now, this University of Miami study was small. There were only 10 participants, and they were looking at an exercise that’s similar to the pull up, but not the same.

However, it does suggest that using a. Pronated grip for your vertical pulling may be superior for targeting the lats. So if you are having trouble growing your lats, or if you just really want to focus on your lats for a training block, for example, then it would not make sense. Double negative to focus on your wide grip.

It may or may not make that big of a difference, but hey, it may make a slight difference. And why not? Right now? If you are not looking to focus on your lots per se, then make sure you use a variety of grips in your pulling. If you are looking to focus on your lats for let’s say a couple of months, then you’re gonna wanna do a lot of wide.

Pronated pulling, especially vertical pulling. But if that is not the case and you just want to develop your back in a balanced and holistic manner, then use different grips in your pulling. You don’t have to switch week to week or necessarily even month to month. Maybe you are gonna go a couple of months with a vertical pronated pull down, for example.

And then when you change up some of your exercises, your accessory exercises in particular, then maybe you do some neutral. Pull downs for the next training block, and then some reverse grip pull downs for the next training block. And the same thing goes for your horizontal pulling. So for example, you might do a traditional wide grip pronated barbell row for a training block, and then you might flip it around reverse grip barbell row.

And then you might do the seated cable row with the neutral grip handle. Remember, that is a horizontal pole, even though you are sitting upright because of how you’re pulling the weight into your torso, that’s a horizontal pole. And so if you do that, if you rotate through the different types of grips, you will stimulate the different big muscles in your back in slightly different ways, and it will help you get the most out of your back training.

It will help you develop. Back most fully and symmetrically.

If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the. Okay. Let’s move on to the final question, the hot button issue masking.

This is from Luke Strange. How much does a mask help fight the transmission of viruses? Theoretically, wearing a mask reduces the spread of. Not just the coronavirus, but this would apply to other pathogens as well by trapping small droplets of saliva and mucus and moisture that naturally escape from your mouth and your nose when you’re breathing and talking.

So if you have the coronavirus in you these little droplets that come out of you could contain traces of the virus, which then could land on stuff around you. It could land on people on their hands. It could go into their eyes. Even go right into their nose or it could just settle on stuff. You’re in the grocery store and little droplets come out of you and they land on the apples you’re looking at, and then somebody buys some of those apples and then the droplets are now on their fingers, and then they scratch their nose or their eye and their coronavirus.

Now in those little droplets, In their nose or their eye, and now they have the disease and they may not realize it for a week or two weeks, or maybe they’re just gonna be asymptomatic indefinitely and the cycle can repeat itself and new. And this of course, is why social distancing is recommended to just reduce the chances of your droplets getting on someone else and their droplets getting on You.

Masks though, how? Do they work well despite what the TV and the tatters would have you? That’s Twitter, by the way, would have you believe? Scientists aren’t sure yet. Now, wearing a mask does make logical sense. You can’t just make a common sense argument for it, given what I just explained to you, and I’ll take.

A mask over a melted down economy, for example, or a lockdown where people are losing their minds. And in some cases that is literally happening, like depression, spiking suicides, spiking domestic abuse, spiking. And so I will certainly take mask wearing over all of that. It doesn’t bother me personally. I know some people get really worked up.

Wearing a mask and they refuse to wear a mask under any circumstances. I don’t quite understand that. I would understand that if we were maybe a year from now where then it really just starts to get old. Where if a year from now, or certainly two years from now, we are still being told. To wear the mask and that our healthcare system could collapse and the curve has not flattened yet, and we still have to live the way we’re living right now.

I probably will feel different about it at that time, and I think many of you will, and many people who are currently very proma, are not going to be as scrupulous with their mask wearing anymore. There’s a point where collectively, I think we’re going to say, You know what? If the coronavirus is here to stay, and it would appear that it will be, because the vaccines are an absolute shit show, and unless we can reach herd immunity and watch it just fizzle out, which apparently is unlikely Life goes on.

I suppose it’s just gonna be one of those things that kills people every year, like the flu, like cancer, like alcoholism, and like many other things. I hope that is not the outcome of all of this. I hope that we have some sort of therapeutic breakthrough. I think that is more likely than a vaccine breakthrough, but a breakthrough of some kind.

Or maybe the virus mutates out of existence like. SARS virus did. I know scientists are saying that is unlikely to happen, but hey, who knows? Maybe. So anyway, coming back to the mask point, the common argument for it is if it is even slightly effective, and many people, at least in the discussions I’ve had, believe that it is either moderately or highly effective at not only reducing transmission if they have it, but also reducing the likelihood of them contracting.

Which is not true, and I will talk about that in a second, but people who are a little bit more informed say, Hey, if it’s slightly or moderately effective, we might as well. Again, it’s not that big of a deal. I understand that, but there is a lot of questions about its effectiveness. It is not scientifically clear if it is even moderately effecti.

So let’s talk about some of the research. Let’s start by adding an arrow to the masks quiver. Let’s talk about a study that was conducted by scientists at the University of New South Wales that found that in confined spaces like households and school dorms, wearing a mask did indeed appear to reduce the spread of germs and the researchers speculated.

Based on what they had seen in this study, that masks would have similar effects out in the wild, would have similar effects if people just wore them out in their day to day life. Although that hypothesis was not investigated in this study. Another study that supports mask wearing is a review that was conducted by scientists at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, and in this case, researchers found that in a laboratory setting, masks could reduce the distance that airborne droplet.

Could spread and they concluded that mask wearing should be made mandatory in public based on this. That said, they did not look at actual infection rates in the real world. They just looked at how far these airborne droplets were spreading in a lab setting, and they assumed that if wearing a mask reduced the spread of these droplets in a confined artificial environment like a lab, it would do the same thing.

Public places, and that’s a reasonable hypothesis. Right now, the media has been very quick to snap up studies like those and to promote them constantly, and those articles usually say the science is settled. It is simple mask wearing. Works and it should be made mandatory. What is rarely shared with you though is the other side of the story.

The rather large body of evidence that indicates that mask wearing is not nearly as effective as many people would have You believe. For example, a randomized controlled trial that was conducted by scientists at the University of Hawaii looked at the risk of infection. 32 healthcare workers in Japan, which were divided into two groups.

You have people who wore N 95 surgical masks, the gold standard of masks, and you have people who didn’t. And the scientists tracked about seven years worth of data among all of the participants, and they found no difference in the risk of infection. Between the two groups and the researchers concluded that face mask use in healthcare workers has not been demonstrated to provide benefit in terms of cold symptoms or getting colds.

There is also a large scale review that was conducted by scientists at the University of Cambridge that reviewed 12 studies on mask wearing in both. And community, so real world settings. And in this case, scientists found that only one of the studies, one of the 12 studies, showed a statistically significant benefit of wearing masks.

In this case, the researchers concluded that there is some evidence to support the wearing of masks or respirators during illness to protect others and public health emphasis on mask wearing during. May help to reduce influenza virus transmission. There are fewer data to support the use of mask or respirators to prevent becoming infected.

In other words, wearing a mask may slightly reduce the risk of infecting others, but will do little to protect you from getting infected. And a quick note, that conclusion sounds a little bit overly optimistic to me based on the actual findings. Study. But anyway, there are several other studies that have found more or less the same thing.

We have a study from scientists at the Health Protection Agency in London. We have a study from scientists at the National University of Singapore and from Northwest. Regional hospital that have found wearing a mask provides far less protection than many people think, if any. What’s more? Many of these studies were on medical personnel who are trained to wear masks and who are professionally obligated to wear them properly, and research shows that improper or inconsistent.

Mask wearing, probably wipes out a good chunk of any benefit that they may have. So for example, if you have facial hair, that creates a gap between the mask and your face that reduces its effectiveness if you don’t bend the top of the mask around your nose. That also creates an opportunity for droplets to escape.

And even if you are clean shave. And you do wear the mask properly, it’s still easy for droplets to sneak through the sides or out the top and out the bottom of the mask. For example, a study conducted by scientists at the University of New South Wales found that about 44% of the droplets breathed out by medical workers still escaped through their masks, and that number is probably even higher among regular people.

And then we have to talk about the type of mask that you’re wearing too, because that matters. A lot. There are surgical masks, which I don’t know if you remember at one point we were being told here in America at least to not wear a mask at all and to not bother with surgical masks in particular. And then we were told later, actually masks are good and they do work, but.

We wanted to save them for medical personnel. We didn’t want people hoarding them. Okay, fine. But you have people who are using many different types of masks, right? Some people are using bandanas or neck gators or homemade masks where they take old t-shirts or other cloth and wrap it around their face.

And ironically, research shows. Alternatives, like those are probably worse than not wearing anything. For example, a study published in early September of this year by scientists at Duke University compared multiple kinds of different masks, including neck, gators, bandanas, and 95 masks with valves that allow you to easily breathe out and 95 masks without valves and regular surgical masks made of plastic or cotton cloth.

And what they found is that bandanas. Gators, which I see a lot of around here, at least in Northern Virginia, although this area is not Virginia, it is Virginia. Anyways, so what the researchers found is that bandanas and neck gators did basically nothing to stop the spread of respiratory droplets. In fact, the face coverings actually broke up.

Larger droplets into smaller ones. So it acted like a kind of filter, which then created a larger cloud of potentially infectious droplets around the person, which could increase the risk of disease, transmission, and even N 95 masks with valves. Were essentially useless because the valves allowed large amounts of airborne droplets to escape when people breathed out.

And that same study from scientists at the University of New South Wales that I mentioned earlier, found similar results. They found that about 97% of all of the droplets breathed out by the participants escaped through cloth masks like neck gators and bandanas. What’s more the same study found. That people wearing cloth masks had significantly higher rates of respiratory infections than people wearing surgical or N 95 masks.

Now, why would that be? Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks, and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection. Now, all of those factors, Probably apply to reusing surgical masks too. I think that’s a fair assumption, which is why you are supposed to replace them every few hours for them to be effective and safe, something that most people don’t do.

So where does all of this leave us? We have some studies that show that wearing a mask could reduce the spread of. Disease in artificial or confined settings. So you could make a case that if you are in close proximity to other people, it could make sense to wear a mask. On the other hand, most studies conducted in real world settings have found almost no evidence that wearing a mask reduces the risk of infecting others.

Or getting infected yourself. And of course that makes it hard to see much wisdom in requiring masks to be mandatory in all places at all times. Or even worse finding people or arresting them for not wearing a mask as some people have proposed. And again, despite what the TV would have, you believe the science is not settled.

There still are a lot of unanswered questions about the usefulness of masks. For example, if a large number of droplets are still able to escape whether you wear a mask or not, does that substantially reduce the risk of infection? Maybe by reducing the viral load that is coming out of you. If you have the virus, maybe not.

We don’t know. And does wearing a mask reduce your risk of infection at all? Don’t know if you wear a mask driving around, for example. Think about that. Does improperly wearing a mask, meaning not sealing it around your face properly, or not being able to because you have facial hair or not replacing the mask.

Hours or lifting it up to scratch your nose. Does mask wearing still offer benefits under those circumstances? And then there are bigger, more controversial questions such as is striving to reduce the risk of infection as much as possible. Really, what we should be doing at this point, given what we know about the virus, How unlikely it is to harm most of us.

And if you don’t believe me, you can just consult the CDCs latest data on deaths and hospitalizations from the coronavirus if you are very unhealthy. If you are old. Yes, it is dangerous if you are young-ish and healthy. It is nothing much to worry. That’s the data speaking. That is not my opinion. And given that and other considerations regarding not just the economic cost of everything we have done so far, but the real human cost of everything we have done so far and the ongoing burden.

That this situation is placing on people, Should we be looking to reach herd immunity as quickly as possible? Should that be our overall strategy instead of, again, trying to just minimize transmission and infection as much as we possibly can and cross our fingers and hope that the miracle vaccine will be ready?

Maybe not by the end of the year, but hopefully sometime next year when trial after trial is. Producing either troubling results or just having to end because of complications. I’m sure you heard that the Johnson and Johnson trial ended because of a mysterious illness that occurred in one of the participants and they don’t know what’s going on.

Keep in mind, this will be, if it gets done in even a couple of years, it will be the fastest vaccine ever developed. It will be. First Coronavirus vaccine ever developed. It will be the first RNA vaccine ever developed. Ah, I am not going to be lining up to get that. I would love for proper phase three trials to be done with thousands and thousands of.

People where you watch them over many years, that’s normally how you make a vaccine because you are giving vaccines to healthy people. The standard of safety has to be extremely high. It’s very different. If you have a terminal illness and your doctor says, Hey, we have this experimental drug. It may kill you, but it may also cure you.

We don’t have enough data on it. Would you like to sign up for it? Of course you’re like, Yeah, I’m dead. Anyway, give it to me now. Vaccines we give to healthy people, so we need to first and foremost make sure that these things are safe and they are not going to make healthy people unhealthy. And that is why for a while, the average time to develop a vaccine was about 20 years, I believe.

Now in the more modern age of vaccine development, it’s about 10. 10 years though, on average. And we’re talking about a coronavirus vaccine again, first ever to work if it does work. And then we have a first ever in this new technology, this mRNA, and it’s gonna be done in a year. And you’re gonna tell me that, Oh, it’s gonna be perfectly safe.

Bullshit. Bullshit. Anyway, again, I hope we have a therapeutic breakthrough. I feel like that is more likely to occur at this point than the magic bullet vaccine. But back to the mask matter and the unanswered questions, I think I’ve made my. Point, the science is not settled, and the data we do have is that it may help slightly under certain circumstances.

It may not help at all under different circumstances, and it may make things worse in the case of certain types of masks or improper use. And before I sign off, I also just have. To comment on the schizoid behavior of many health officials and how obnoxious it is. So for example, back in March, we were told that masks were not necessary and we shouldn’t wear surgical masks because they were needed by healthcare workers.

And then a month later in April, the same people said, Everyone should be forced to wear masks when outside of their home. Then in May, Anthony Fauci recommended that people wear masks to make it a symbol for people to see. That’s just the kind of thing you should be doing. Okay, but that is not an evidence based.

Argument That is just an appeal to groupthink. Then later, Fauci said that he doesn’t support funding studies to see if masks are effective because we already have enough data, we have enough meta-analyses that show they’re effective, the science is settled. That’s not true, and I’m not saying that to.

Pick on Fauci, but to point out that many of the experts have been wrong about many of the particulars of this disease and this virus. At this point, it should not only be acceptable, but logical to look at their recommendations, at least a little. A scans to be at least a little skeptical.

I also have a problem with the fact that there is no clear criteria for when people can stop wearing masks. So remember back in April when we were being told that we just need to flatten the curve. We have to make sure that we do not overwhelm and collapse our healthcare system, and we just have to reduce the number of infections, and then we can work.

Toward normal and figure out how we’re gonna live with this virus if it is not going to just go away. Okay? The rate of infections go down and then health authorities started saying that it’s actually about reducing the number of deaths that are attributed to covid 19. And when that number went down, which it has gone way down, go look for yourself.

Health authorities then started to say that everyone needed to keep wearing masks to reduce the number. Infections now as the number of positive cases is rising. Again, in some areas, at least these people are doubling down on the recommendation to keep wearing masks and to keep social distancing and to stay in fear of the virus until a vaccine.

Is available. Now, what these people are not mentioning, for example, is testing has also dramatically increased. So of course we’re detecting a lot more people who have the virus. Most of these people though either have no symptoms at all, like they didn’t even know, or they have very mild symptoms, and the death rate from Covid 19 has plum.

Around the world, and so here we are wearing our mask and socially distancing and in many cases, living in a partial lockdown type of existence until what? Until a vaccine is available. While I’ve said what I have to say about that, I hope I’m wrong. I really do hope I’m wrong. I would happily be wrong.

And have a vaccine come out in the next 3, 6, 12 months that is safe. Ends this issue once and for all, but I will be shocked if that is the case. So to summarize, I don’t personally have anything wrong with wearing a mask. I personally wear a mask when I go out. I don’t go out that much cause I’m really just working and going to the gym and you don’t have to wear a mask here in the gyms of Virginia.

But if I go to the grocery store or go be around people, I wear a mask, not because I think that it is going to protect me from the virus. I know it is almost certainly not gonna protect me from getting it, and I know it’s very unlikely that I am an asymptomatic carrier. You can look into the data on that is not near.

As prevalent as scientists thought early on that it was going to be or even was, and certainly not as prevalent as the media wanted us to believe over the last several months. So I’m not wearing a mask because I’m particularly concerned that I may be an asymptomatic carrier. However, I do see it as a point of manners because many people do not understand.

Most of what I’ve talked about here, and they think that wearing a mask is vital. And if you do not wear a mask, you are killing grandmas and you hate science and you hate people, and I don’t care what people think about me, but. People are stressed enough, as it is. People have enough to deal with the situation.

So I don’t wanna make anyone’s day even a little bit worse because they see me without a mask and maybe they have a couple of health conditions and they are genuinely concerned, and then they. Get triggered and even just have a little bit worse of a day, not to mention, maybe have a heart attack or something.

I don’t want that to happen. So I wear the mask and I will continue to wear a mask up until some point again, if we are still being told to wear a mask everywhere we go, a year from now. I am gonna feel different about it and I may not be as compliant, but for now, I will continue to wear a mask as a courtesy to other people, mostly because it is very debatable how effective it really is.

And it is obnoxious, but not a huge inconvenience unless you are wearing glasses and then your glasses fog up. That’s always fun. So there it is. My take on masks and that is all I. For you today. I hope you found this episode insightful and enjoyable. Thanks again for spending some time with me today and quick heads up what I have coming up for you.

Next, I have an episode on the best way to train all six major muscle groups. I have an episode coming up on habits, how to build good habits and break. Bad ones. I have information for women on eating and training during your menstrual cycle. I have another episode with Pat Flynn coming up on religion, one of his favorite topics than something that I haven’t spoken much about.

I enjoyed that conversation. I hope you do as well and much more, of course is in the pipeline and I hope you enjoy it. All right. That’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful. And if you did and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening to me from in whichever app you’re listening to me in.

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And if you didn’t like something about the show, please do shoot me an email at mike muscle for Just muscle f o r and share your thoughts on how I can do this better. I read everything myself, and I’m always looking for constructive feedback, even if it is criticism. I’m open to it and of course you can email me if you have positive feedback as well, or if you have questions really relating to anything that you think I could help you with, definitely send me an email.

That is the best way to get ahold of me, Mike muscle for And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.

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