I don’t appear on many podcasts these days, but when I do, I like to share the conversation here on my podcast if it’s something I think all you beautiful people will enjoy listening to.
And that’s what this episode is—a conversation I had with Cody McBroom on his The Boom Boom Performance Podcast where I pontificate about what should change as you transition from a beginner to an intermediate lifter, how I periodize the training in my new Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger 2.0 program (new book coming this summer!), the lean bulking study with Eric Helms that I’m funding, some supplement stuff like the value of intraworkout carb powders and CLA, and more.
Hit play and let me know what you think!
4:00 – How different does training need to be for each individual?
13:46 – How do you convince people to dial back 30-40 sets per muscle group per week?
23:39 – When do these techniques become relative?
30:59 – What are your thoughts on periodization for muscle growth?
42:06 – What are your thoughts on building muscle on maintenance calories?
50:18 – Can you describe carb powder for those lifting on an empty stomach? Have you ever thought about doing any of those? If you don’t, why not?
57:06 – Can mixing certain ingredients prevent the body from absorbing things?
01:01:51 – Can you review CLA and give your thoughts on it?
Mentioned on The Show:
Cody McBroom’s Podcast (The Boom Boom Performance Podcast)
Cody McBroom’s Instagram
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hello, and welcome to the latest and greatest episode of Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews, and I don’t appear on many podcasts these days, but when I do, I often like to share the conversation that I have here on my podcast. If it’s something new and interesting that I think all of you beautiful people out there will enjoy listening to.
And so that’s what this episode is. It is a conversation I had with Cody McBroom on his Boom Boom Performance podcast. Where I… pontificate about various things like what should change as you transition from a beginner to an intermediate lifter and particularly what should change in the gym, in your workouts, in your programming.
How I periodize the training in my new Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger 2. 0 program that I’ve been working on for, uh, it’s probably coming up to a year now, 10 months or so I’ve been working on the book and the program. And doing the program myself, and doing it with others. And that book, by the way, is coming this summer.
We’re on track. I’m probably about 80 percent done with the work. And then from there, it’s just the logistical stuff of turning a manuscript, a completed manuscript, into… A book that you can buy and that usually takes a couple months. So I think this summer is going to be it for this new book and the training program that comes with it.
I also talk about a lean bulking study with Dr. Eric Helms that I am helping fund and some supplement stuff as well we get into like the value of or lack thereof of intraworkout carb powders and CLA. As well as other stuff. So give it a listen. Let me know what you think. Should I keep doing this? Should I keep sharing select conversations that I have with other people on their podcasts?
Let me know. Now, before we get to the show, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you want to help me help more people get into the best shape of their lives. Please consider picking up one of my best selling health and fitness books. I have bigger leaner, stronger for men, thinner leaner, stronger for women.
I have a flexible dieting cookbook called the shredded chef as well as a. 100 percent practical hands on blueprint for personal transformation called The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation. These books have sold well over a million copies and have helped thousands of people build their best body ever.
And you can find them on all major online retailers like Amazon, Audible, iTunes, Kobo, and Google Play, as well as in select Barnes and Noble. So again, that’s bigger leaner, stronger for men, thinner leaner, stronger for women, the shredded chef and the little black book of workout motivation. Oh, and I should also mention that you can get any of my audio books for free when you sign up for an audible account, which is the perfect way to make those little pockets of downtime, like commuting, meal prepping, dog walking, and cleaning a bit more.
Interesting, entertaining, and productive. And if you want to take audible up on that offer and get one of my audio books for free, just go to legionathletics. com slash audible, and it’ll forward you over and then you can sign up for your account.
Cody: So the first thing I want to touch on is and you’re actually the perfect person for this because you’ve written and you have a company that helps a really wide spectrum.
You guys are similar to us where you help a really wide spectrum of individuals as far as like training experience goes. So the first thing is gen pop versus advanced population. Like how different do you feel training needs to be and how do you recommend like what are the differences inside of your books even because some of your books are tailored to one side of the spectrum versus the other.
Mike: Yeah, I think there is quite a significant difference. I mean, nothing changes. You know this, and I’m sure most of your listeners know this. Nothing changes in terms of the fundamentals of what works like progressive overload is what it is, right? That is the primary mechanistic lever that we get to pull to get anywhere with our physiques.
And I’d say volume is probably the number two. But The bottom line is whether you’re new or whether you’re experienced, if you are not consistently gaining whole body strength, you are going to plateau in terms of muscle growth. And so the question though, is how do you best accomplish that? So take my books for men and women, I’d say beginner books, but they’re for people who are new to proper weightlifting, not necessarily new to weightlifting.
Many people, and this is my own personal story, many people have spent many years. Kind of treading water in the gym, doing things incorrectly and then read bigger leaner stronger, which is for men or thinner leaner stronger, which is for women and kind of have like a second wind of almost newbie gains because they didn’t really get very far, you know, it’s take a guy regardless of what he’s done in the gym.
If he’s only gained 15 pounds of muscle, he’s a beginner. That’s like, you. Year one on the low end, most guys can probably gain closer to 20 of muscle in their first year and that’s not pounds of weight, but actual muscle like lean muscle tissue. So my general philosophy is let’s keep things as simple as possible and let’s focus on the 20 percent that produces 80 percent of the results and let’s not get lost in the weeds and let’s just focus on what works for where the person is.
And so for those people, for the people who are beginners. I really stand behind what I promote in BiggerLeanerStronger and ThinnerLeanerStronger, which is focusing on heavy compound weightlifting. For men, you’re doing a lot of 80, 85 percent 1RM with barbells, a little bit lighter with dumbbells, certain isolation exercises.
It’s a bit hard to do that. It’s a bit hard to just do sets of fours or fives with side raises, for example. For women, I recommend starting with a bit lighter, but still heavyweight, still 70, 75 percent of one rep max. But the reason why I don’t recommend women jump into the 80, 85 right away. Is I found having worked with many women over the years that it’s it’s a bit too much.
Many women, for example, when they start in the bench press, they have trouble with just the bar, maybe getting sets of five or six with just the bar. So if you tell a woman, okay, I want you to get on the bench press and work with 85 percent of your winner at max and do sets of five. Some just say, oh, and they figure it out somehow, but it’s more practical to tell a woman.
Why don’t you start in the eight to 10 rep range, you know, 70, 75 percent of our max on dumbbells and then work your way up to the bar. And then after maybe six or seven months of that, if you want to add some heavier stuff, especially on the compounds, you now have that baseline of strength that makes it productive.
But as far as progression goes. I like to keep it simple. So I’m a big proponent of double progression, which is simply working in a rep range and you work up to, let’s say it’s the eight to 10 rep range, right? So how double progression works is you would work with a given weight until you can get to the top of that rep range, 10 reps for a certain number of sets in thinner, linear, stronger.
I recommend one set. When you get to one set of 10, add the weight or add weight to the bar and add 10 pounds total, five pounds each side. If that’s too much, you can use two and a half, but most people, especially again, if they are new to proper weightlifting, they have no problem doing that. If though that is too heavy.
So if someone. Does that say, let’s say we’re talking about a woman and she gets 10 reps on the squat with 135 and then she bumps it up by 10 pounds and then if she doesn’t at least get the bottom of the rep range, eight reps, then if it’s seven, I would say it’s probably fine. See, see how it goes your next workout.
But if it’s like five, add less weight to the bar. But the idea then is cool. You’ve bumped the weight up and you’re going to lose a couple reps and you now work with that new weight until you can get to 10 reps, you bump the weight up and that. Right. There is progressive overload. That’s the key really makes the program that works perfectly fine.
But there’s a point when you get to somewhere in your intermediate in the beginning of your intermediate phase where it doesn’t work as well. We’re auto regulating like that where you are in the moment like you’re going for the top of the rep range. That’s your goal. That’s clear. But you also don’t want to be pushing every set to absolute muscle failure.
You want to be you. Ending a couple reps shy, at least a rep or two, I wouldn’t say at least I’d say a rep or two shy of technical failure where your form starts to break down because you don’t want to risk injury. You don’t want to push yourself extremely hard and going to even technical failure every set where again, your form starts to get sloppy.
You want to end just shy of that. It can be hard in the moment to know, did you go hard enough? You generally know if you went too hard, but what happens is the weight starts to get heavier. And you just have more fatigue from the heavy weights. Auto regulating just gets more difficult. And I have a lot of experience with this training like that, well into my intermediate phase.
And what I’ve found is a productive change, for example, when you’re an intermediate weightlifter, is changing to a more linear type of progression and using one rep max calculations for the primary exercises. I’ve found that double progression still works great for the accessory work for the bicep. And the side raises, even exercises that you could say are kind of compound exercises, but they’re just not as difficult like a barbell row or a seated cable row.
But for those primary big movers for the squat, the deadlift, the bench press, the overhead press, and the variations of those things, I’ve found that Working with a percentage of one rep max and baking progression into the program where you know that you’re supposed to put this much weight on the bar and get, let’s say, four reps.
That’s what you’re going for. There’s not a rep range. It’s just put this much weight in the bar and try to get four reps. And if you did it good, if you didn’t do it, then depends how much you missed it by and depends on the programming. But that way, though, if you do keep on hitting your targets, if the program is laid out well and is not trying to Push you to progress faster than you can, but just a slow progression of getting stronger over time.
You achieve progressive overload. You can do that with double progression. It’s just harder. So I’d say those are some significant changes that I think are worthwhile when you progress from a beginner to an intermediate. And one other thing that is worth mentioning is volume, the amount of volume that’s needed to stimulate maximum muscle growth.
When you’re new. You just don’t need that much. You need, I wouldn’t even say beliefs, but my understanding of things, I think is a better way of putting it is in line with loud McDonald’s, for example, that 10 to 20 hard sets per major muscle group per week, there’s your volume range. And if you’re new, you don’t really need more than 10 or so.
And if you are very advanced, you might need upward of 20 double the amount of volume when you started just to continue making progress. I personally have found 20 to be a bit high. I’ve found that somewhere around 15 or 16 hard sets per major muscle group per week is enough to keep the needle moving, but not push so hard that I start running into issues related to just fatigue and overtraining and experiencing excessive joint soreness.
And it’s, I found it to be a bit of a sweet spot. I am 35 years old and You know, I’ve taken very good care of my body for a long time, but my recovery isn’t necessarily what it was when I was 25. So there’s a bit of that as well. But I think it’s fair to say that most intermediate weightlifters do not need to do more than 16 ish hard sets per major muscle group per week to continue making progress.
That’s enough volume. Beginners, though, don’t need to do that much to make. Really as much progress as they possibly can and even if they can recover from it, which they may not be able to, they may not be conditioned enough, but even if they could, unless you just really like working out, why do more than is needed?
Like if again, if you’re a guy. This is your first year of training and your genetics dictate that you’re going to be able to gain 20 pounds of muscle. That’s it. That’s the most you’re going to be able to gain. And I don’t know if you’d say that’s a high responder, but probably like a fairly good responder to weightlifting.
15 pounds or less would be a not so good responder. I can’t say I’ve ever… Met someone that I could verify having gained 25 or more pounds. So I’d say 20 is probably pretty good. So that’s what you have available to you. You can get there doing probably 10 to 12 hard sets per major muscle group per week.
You split it up and you can split that up in different ways, but that’s just the bottom line. So why do more? Why do 16, 17, or even some of these crazy programs are out there that have you doing like 30 hard sets per week for certain muscle groups. You’re not going to gain muscle any faster. All you’re going to do is increase the risk of injury and overtraining and burnout and.
So yeah, I’d say those are some of my initial thoughts of what should change when you are beginner transitioning into your intermediate phase of the journey.
Cody: I agree 100 percent with everything you just said. And I think it’s funny because you’re actually a good example of this too. You’ve spoken with a lot of researchers, even just on your podcast, and I’m sure you’ve dug into a ton with the writings of your books and I think a lot of people gravitate towards the ultra high volumes because they see it’s almost like a sticker shock.
They see that number on a study and they dive into it, but they ignore the research that shows lower volume still producing muscle growth. And I’m not saying you don’t need any volume. I think volume is very important and I’m with you on the 10 to 20. What’s your explanation to people who see these 30, 40 sets per muscle group per week?
Research studies in think that that’s the route they need to go. Like, what do you kind of try to convince them as to dial that back a little bit? Cause I agree with you. I think a lot of times you just, I don’t know if you would necessarily go into overtraining per se, but definitely overreaching and just creating more fatigue and injury risk than necessary.
Mike: Yeah. I mean, we both know it’s very hard to truly reach a state of overtraining, but that would be the way there’s a point where like, yeah, keep going and let’s see what happens. And then again, there’s the risk of injury and there’s your joints just get beat to shit, which further increases the risk of injury.
And then you start not enjoying your workouts and that just makes the whole thing shittier and makes it harder to follow the program. And there’s a point where you realize that you can’t. Do this as a lifestyle, then if you don’t understand some of the stuff we’re talking about, though, that puts people in a shitty spot where they don’t know now they think that, oh, well, this one study indicated that there’s a direct linear relationship between volume and muscle growth.
And somehow this person, let’s say, has come to the conclusion that if they’re not doing at least 30 hard sets per major muscle group per week, they might as well just quit. And that might sound ridiculous and binary and just baffling how good, but it’s out there. And I understand because there’s so much bad information out there.
And there’s a lot of bad information that’s pushed by people who are supposed experts and who have impressive credentials. But I would say if you look at the weight of the evidence, and this is something that whenever Okay. You are considering evidence and considering research. You don’t want to just look at one study and be like, Oh, this one study said this.
Therefore, I should do that. You want to look at what the overall what’s the message that the body of literature on whatever it is that we’re talking about is sending and I understand that can be easier said than done because sometimes it’s hard to really be able to dive into the research. And there’s definitely a moat of jargon and technical information that you need to get through to even understand what is being laid out in a scientific study.
But There are hacks. I don’t like that word, but shortcuts, I guess, like, for example, it’s going to be easier to go through a research review because they’re written more colloquially and they’re intended more for I wouldn’t say a layman, but those are not going to be as technically demanding as a study that’s And You know, diving deep into the physiology of let’s say muscle hypertrophy, for example, same thing with meta analyses.
Those tend to be easier. I have a book. Actually, it’s a manuscript really at this point that I put together with James Krieger on how to better understand nutrition and exercise science. And unfortunately, it just has to. Lie around on the it’s it’s on the back burner right now because of this i’m going to be doing a book with simon and schuster and they don’t want me self publishing anything until this book is out which i understand it’s very normal and i don’t have any problem with that and then so i have to wait until next summer sorry the summer after next twenty twenty one is when.
That book is slated to be released and then I have to wait six months after, but this science book, I don’t expect it to be some great bestseller, but I do think that for the people who are interested in this kind of stuff, they’ll find it very helpful. And this is something that is discussed in detail in that book, but mid analyses and research reviews are a good place to start if you are wanting to get into reviewing research yourself and kind of.
Get underneath the hood of the evidence space fitness space. And because then what you’ll find is that’s really the intention of those studies is to give you a weight of the evidence. What are all the clinical trials that have been done and all the direct evidence that we have? What is that telling us right now?
Of course, that pens though. I mean, that’s not perfect because it depends on who’s doing that research and yeah. What their motives may be and who’s funding it, that’s better than just coming across some study that was a single trial and then come to some conclusion based on whatever. I mean, oftentimes, unfortunately, people are just reading abstracts.
So, yeah, to read an abstract and just read the conclusion and then make major changes to anything based on that is a bad idea. Because sometimes abstracts don’t even actually accurately reflect the data in the study. Sometimes you read the abstract and it says one thing and you need to really look at the details and the study can demonstrate the exact opposite or something quite different.
So. I’d say it’s a practical tip. It’s not a perfect one, but it can help inoculate you against some obvious bad thinking.
Cody: Well, and I think research reviews are great because they’re application driven and most people have to realize that understanding and reading research is actually a skill. It takes practice.
So, if you’re just the average individual who just wants to have a better physique. Nobody’s expecting you to be a researcher or someone who is actually skilled at understanding research. So just read the research review, join something like mass, invest some money and actually get the most out of it. But I’m glad you brought that up.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. I mean, just to interject there, actually, I was talking about review papers, but that’s, I didn’t even think of what you, yes, I agree with what you’re saying to when I said research review, just people know I’m talking about a review paper, a certain type of research paper that is similar to a meta analysis.
But not as rigorous in terms of its methodology. But yes, I totally agree with what you’re saying is there are then research reviews out there, which are just roundups of research where then you have qualified scientists, qualified researchers walking you through studies and explaining how they were conducted.
What the results were and what these different things mean that you might not understand if you were just trying to read the paper yourself and then also connecting whatever is being discussed there with other research on the topic to give you a better understanding of the. Data on the whole and so yes, I totally be like mass for example I really like mass James Krieger weight ology has a good review Alan Alan Aragon has had his review for a long time a lot of good information in there Those are the main ones that I’ve turned to I think Brett Contreras has one as well I haven’t read it recently, but in the past I had found some good stuff in his review as well.
Cody: For most people unless you’re Writing fitness content or coaching a vast majority of individuals or a wide variety of individuals I think that those type of things are probably Best just because the hand select the research that’s actually going to be applicable to you in the first place.
So you don’t go siphon through a bunch of studies that really won’t even be necessary for you to read or get confused by in the first place and get information overload.
Mike: So in the case of, you know, like a mass is one of my favorite good guys and don’t seem to have any ulterior motives and really are just trying to do a good job representing the research accurately.
Cody: It’s the most user friendly too, I would say.
I agree. I like what they’re doing. I think they’re doing a good job.
Cody: I’ll link that in the show notes for anybody listening, cause I’m a part of that and I’ve, I actually just, I pay for the whole year up front every time they do it. So it’s, I think they just did a huge charity for it too.
So everything you paid, half of it went to charity or something like that too. So like you said, they’re really doing it for the right reason.
Mike: Hey, before we continue, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you want to help me help. More people get into the best shape of their lives. Please do consider picking up one of my best selling health and fitness books. My most popular ones are Bigger Leaner Stronger for Men, Thinner Leaner Stronger for Women, my flexible dieting cookbook, The Shredded Chef.
And, my 100 percent practical hands on blueprint for personal transformation, The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation. Now, these books have sold well over 1 million copies and have helped thousands of people build their best body ever, and you can find them anywhere online, where you can buy books like Amazon, Audible, iTunes, Kobo, and Google Play, as well as in select Barnes Noble stores.
So again, that is Bigger Leaner Stronger for Men, Thinner Leaner Stronger for Women, The Shredded Chef, and The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation. Oh, and one other thing is, you can get any one of those audiobooks 100 percent free when you sign up for an Audible account. And that’s a great way to make those pockets of downtime, like commuting, meal prepping, and cleaning, more interesting, entertaining.
If you want to take audible up on that offer and get one of my audio books for free, just go to legionathletics. com slash audible and sign up for your account.
Cody: Coming back to training specifically, we got kind of on a side tangent there, which I think is good because I think it’s applicable. But one thing I wanted to touch on is intensification techniques.
So like drop sets, mile reps, things like that. It’s almost like the muscle and strength pyramids with nutrition. I think people kind of flip it around when they first start and they get into things and they start adding drop sets and things that are completely unnecessary. And I really appreciate the way you keep things simple.
I mean, even for people listening, if you follow Mike and you watch his story, he usually posts a lot of his workouts and even for himself as an advanced lifter, sometimes they’re very, very simple. Like you’ll put four exercises in a day and just focus on progressive overload and you have an impressive physique and you’re pretty strong guy.
So I think it’s a really good proof of the pudding of just keeping things simple. But I want to bring this up because I think it’s a good thing for people to hear from both of us. When do these type of techniques even become relative? One thing I always say is it’s kind of just for fun, or if you’re in a hurry and you need to get a workout quick, or if you just want to spice things up and have fun every once in a while, add a drop set, but do you ever find these necessary in even in advanced individuals?
Mike: Necessary? No. And in this book that I’m working on, wrapping up Beyond Bigger, Leaner, Stronger, sequel to Bigger, Leaner, Stronger, it’s meant for intermediate weightlifters. And there’s currently a first edition out. That’s good. A lot of good information, but I wrote it four or five years ago. I know a lot more now.
I know also the intermediate weightlifter better. So I know exactly who I’m serving now better having interacted with so many people. And I don’t care how smart you are, how good of a marker you are. You can’t replace the years of experience hand hands on with people with just trying to be smart early on and think about, you know, really, okay, get and try to put yourself in the shoes.
And I don’t care how much you read online from these people and do as much research as you can. There’s just something to be said for working directly with people for a long period of time and seeing things firsthand. But yeah. In that book, I talk about some of these advanced training techniques, and there are many that I don’t think are really have any place like drop sets.
I actually don’t include drop sets. I talk about them in the book, but I don’t include them as one of the recommended advanced techniques because I would rather do rest pause. For example, I think that’s a little bit more of a useful if you want to just add some volume to a lagging muscle group. Let’s say like Maya reps, like you said, I prefer that over the dog crap method.
And I give them both in the book and I tell people, Hey, you can try these. I prefer Maya reps, but I don’t do it very often and take supersets, right? Supersets. I agree that we should be pairing antagonistic. Opposite muscle groups, like that’s a better way to do it. As opposed to just blasting the shit out of one muscle group with no rest.
It’s better to just save time with going from like, okay, let’s say you want to superset your biceps and your triceps by just resting one minute in between each. And you want to do that because you just want to get through your workout a little bit faster. Makes sense. That’s really the only reason to do it, though, where you maybe I do that with like calves work.
So resting my primary muscle group, go do some calves. Why not get it done faster? There’s no reason to add an extra 10 minutes to my workout when it’s not really going to make any difference in terms of performance. Again, these advanced techniques are the I would say, like, like you said, you can do them for fun.
You can do them to get through your workouts faster. You can do them to add a little bit of volume. I talk about blood flow restriction training, which is useful. Again, if you want to add a bit of volume with less wear and tear on the joints, or if you have an injury, so you’re not able to train heavy, that can be useful because you use very lightweight and still get a pretty good.
Muscle building stimulus out of it, but those things should never be your focus. Like you should never be starting your workout with super sets or drop sets or, well, I guess I can’t say you shouldn’t be starting with super sets. If you’re just doing an arms day or something like, you know, upper body accessory day, maybe you do start, but you shouldn’t be starting with paused reps, which I also, I talk about in the book, you shouldn’t be starting with Maya reps or any other form of rest pause or drop sets or giant sets or cluster sets.
Because those techniques aren’t fundamentally going to help you better progressively up overload your muscles. They’re just not what is going to help you do that is just straight, hard lifting and ensuring that you are getting stronger over time. And there are a number of, of effective progression models out there again.
I’ve. I’ve already said that I’m partial to once you’re in their immediate phase, simple linear progression, working with percentages of one rep max on the primary exercises and double progression, just auto regulation on the secondary stuff. And so I personally, I don’t really do any fancy stuff these days.
I mean, I’ve gone through it all just in the, over the course of researching for this book, I want to make sure that I had enough. Personal experience, regardless of what the research says again, they’re kind of fun and you get a big pump and that’s cool. I do think it does make sense in certain cases where if you’re an intermediator, even an advanced weightlifter and you’d like a little bit more size in your biceps, for example, then you’re programming like you’re doing what you’re doing and your biceps are just not responding the way you want and you want to add a bit of volume for the biceps.
You could just add straight sets, of course, or you might want to add some rest pause. Just for fun, you can rack up quite a bit of extra volume with a bit less wear and tear on your joints than straight sets, or maybe you want to do some blood flow restriction instead for your biceps. So that’s how I look at advanced training techniques on the whole.
Cody: I think it’s one of those things where, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Dan John, but he was something I was introduced to. Early in my career, and I think he helped me realize that sometimes you almost have to be okay with things being just big, boring and basic, you know, and I think a lot of people struggle with that because they want fancy techniques, advanced strategies.
They want to add bands to everything. They want to speed things up. I get the question about rest periods all the time.
Mike: It makes for good marketing, too. It’s kind of does. You know what I mean? It has that sizzle of something exotic and here’s what they aren’t telling you. Here’s what the real, you know, the really top tier bodybuilders.
This is what they do. And this is why you don’t look like them. It’s not all the dedication they’re on. Can’t be that.
Cody: A lot of those in the fast rest periods and giant sets where you’re doing four different chest exercises in a row. It can be really brutal and kind of fun in the moment, but most of what this stuff does just increases fatigue and lowers the amount of weight you’re allowed able to lift.
Mike: And cause an excessive amount of muscle damage. That’s and that’s just counterproductive. You need a bit of muscle damage and the jury’s out as to whether it’s really even a connection between muscle damage per se and hypertrophy. But we know that if you’re going to do what it takes to grow your muscles, there’s going to be some damage.
And if you’re doing it right, There’s probably not that much. You’re probably not experiencing much in the way of soreness. But if you do something that you’re talking about, if all of a sudden you just do like German volume training or something and just blow yourself up, you are, and this has been shown in research, you are not going to gain muscle faster, but you’re going to be very sore and your body’s going to have a ton of muscle damage to repair.
And ultimately that’s just going to slow you down. It’s just going to reduce the amount of effective volume you can do every week. Yeah, sure. You could say, Oh, but I’m getting all this volume doing GVT. Yeah, but how much of it is truly effective in terms of muscle building stimulus? There’s a point where it just becomes trash volume as it’s called, right?
Cody: Yeah, absolutely. I think soreness is one of those things. It’s really hard to explain to people because I think some is good because it shows that you’re Level of effort is probably there. You’re probably pushing yourself in the gym and you need that so much that you’re just broken is just probably unnecessary.
Mike: Oh, completely unnecessary. I don’t know. Unless somebody starts out weightlifting for the first time and they’re following a very simple, reasonable program. And then they’re just very sore because it’s an apology. Yeah, whatever. You know what I mean? Then? Okay, fine. But they should quickly get to a point where it is.
Probably for most people, it probably becomes, if they’re doing it right, slightly enjoyable, even just because it kind of feels like you’ve been using your body and it doesn’t get in the way of anything. It’s not painful that I guess that’s my experience with it.
Cody: Yeah, I would 100 percent agree. One thing I’m curious on your thoughts on just, I think I know what your answer will be, but just.
To get your explanation for the listeners is periodization for muscle growth. You know, there’s some people who are very, very strict on periodization over time, and then there’s some that say that’s just need to be saved for like weightlifters and power lifters. And for muscle growth, it’s, it’s kind of unnecessary as long as you’re progressing.
And I think you and I program similarly in the sense of we enjoy having like kind of like a heavy lift for the day and then allowing reps to kind of get higher as we dive into more accessory and isolation work, but there’s not really. Much phasing month to month and that it’s more of each day kind of has a sequence, if that makes sense.
Mike: So it’s good timing because I’ve just gone through a lot of research and I’ve written a lot of stuff in this, in this book I’m working on, on periodization. And so in the past, so basically for a while, when I started doing things right, I trained just as I talk about in bigger, linear, stronger, a lot of heavyweight lifting, a lot of double progression made a lot of progress that way.
And then there was a point where that just became a maintenance program, mostly because of the volume and the lack of progressive overload. So it just becomes maintenance and I had to make things harder. And so then I started dabbling in different types of periodization, and there’s a conjugate style of periodization, kind of like a daily undulating periodization that’s in the current first edition of Beyond Bigger Than You’re Stronger, and I did well with that program, I was the strongest I’ve ever been actually doing that, so it certainly worked well for me.
Worked in that regard, but now as time has gone on, I’ve learned a lot more. I understand a bit more about periodization and the pros and cons of it, which there aren’t many cons, but I’ll get to that in a second. And also I’ve come to a different style of periodization that I personally like more of my training and think.
Is more optimal for the average intermediate weightlifter. And that is a weekly undulating periodization, which I’ll explain what that is in a minute. And then a wave loading scheme, which I can explain as well. And so to answer your question, I actually, my training now is a lot more deliberate and planned out than you might think if you’re just watching my stories.
I don’t post every workout and stories cause they are kind of boring. And I don’t know if people want to see necessarily everyone, but I like to. Put stuff up just so people can see workouts and put up posts and talk a bit about what I’m doing. And so if you look at the literature, the literature is clear that periodization is superior to non periodization when it’s done correctly.
And that has been shown in pretty much every sport and meaningful physical activity. And so I don’t think there’s any debate there, but how you go about it, that’s really what it comes down to. So take bigger, leaner, stronger, which First glance, you think it’s not a periodized program because you’re working in simple rep ranges like, okay, on these exercises, four to six reps, double progression on these exercises, uh, eight to 10, I believe, or 68 reps, double progression.
There you go. Have fun. But there is a little bit of periodization in there because your reps are going up and we should probably actually just quickly define periodization. So the idea of periodization, the theory is. That by focusing on certain aspects of your fitness, I guess you could say for certain periods of time, you can improve your overall results.
So a simple way of periodizing, just to give people an example of this is actually more of what I’m doing now and what’s in beyond bigger, leaner, stronger is you start a 16 week training cycle. That’s what the program is laid out in 16 weeks called a macro cycle. So you start your first mezzo cycle, which is a one month.
That’s it’s four weeks of it’s three weeks of hard training, one week of deloading. That’s a mezzo cycle. So you’re going to start that working in the 10 rep range with about 70 or 75 percent of your own rep max. I don’t remember exactly. And then the next week you’re going to be doing eights, a lot of eights.
Now this is the primary exercises for your accessories. You’ll just be working in the 10 to 12 rep range in the beginning. Right. So it’s 10, 12, it’s going to be 10 reps on the primary compounds. The big exercises, 10 to 12, double progression, very simple on the accessory. The following week you are doing eights the following week you are doing sixes and then you are deloading.
And then the next four week mesocycle of that macro cycle, you start with eights and then you go to sixes, then you go to fours and then you deload. And then it’s fours. Or sorry, 642, deload 421, and then you’re going to do an AMRAP week of testing your strength and restart. And so what I like about that progression is it has you moving from, so the training block, by putting the time into planning your training like that.
Because it does take time. It takes a certain level of understanding and certain level of care to want to go through that process. Now I’m going to make it as simple as possible with this book and it’s going to come with spreadsheets that lays everything out for you. There needs to be a reward right now for most.
People who are new to weightlifting, like I mentioned earlier, there’s no reward in getting that fancy. Just keep it simple. You can stick with a program like I’ve mentioned mine, but it can be starting strength, for example, just three sets of five. You can be very simple in the beginning, get strong in the big exercises.
You don’t need to get into this type of periodization until you are an intermediate. Or an advanced weightlifter. But once you get to that point, what I like about being more deliberate and having a longer period, like looking at, again, it’s a 16 week and then you just repeat that over and over. That’s it.
I’d say that you can find programs out there that you don’t restart for like, you know, six months or even longer than that. And. There may be a place for that, but I don’t see that for like I consider myself the average intermediate weightlifter. I’m not a strength competitor. I’m not an anything competitor.
I’m just a guy who wants to be strong and big and lean. So for people like me, I do. Believe more now than in the past that there really is a benefit to planning a little bit of a head a little bit ahead and like that layout that I just shared. What I like about that is you’re starting your training blocks with more volume and lower weights and research shows that volume is what What would you Produces most in the way of fatigue in the fatigue, the peripheral fatigue, not central nervous fatigue.
That’s more or less a myth, but the peripheral fatigue that just adds up comes mostly from volume. The amount of work that is the number of hard sets that you’re doing. You think of it that way or the amount of pounds that you’re moving, the amount of reps that you’re doing, different ways to look at volume.
But that drives more of the fatigue that just kind of builds up that you clear out with a proper deload than the intensity. So it makes sense then in the beginning of a training block when you’re freshest, you have the most, you just came off a deload and you’re feeling good. You hit yourself with volume and then as you progress into the training block, you reduce the volume, which reduces some of that fatigue that is accumulating from your training and increase the weights and then ending your training block with the heaviest possible weights that, you know, or the heaviest weights you’re going to be using in your training period and then restarting and you’ll find that that’s not like something unique that I came up with.
Not at all. You’ll find that type of periodization in a lot of power lifting programs. For example, it’s very common. For powerlifters competitive to start training blocks with more volume and then taper down to heavier and heavier weights, lift very heavy before their meat back off a little bit, and then try to go set a PR.
So I do understand I’ve trained like how you like to train right now. I’ve, I’ve done that for a very long time and it can be enjoyable and you can make progress definitely. And this might be more of a reflection of my personality, but I’ve found that by really Laying out the details and paying attention to some of these things that I’ve mentioned what it’s a little bit more fun, actually, I enjoy having a very specific like this is the challenge for today.
And I know if I achieve this, then I’m moving in the right direction. And also, I found it to be more productive in terms of results. Now, a caveat there. And this is something that I talk about in the book as well is as far as results go. There’s not much left for me and there’s probably not much left for you either.
Like we’ve gained more or less all of the muscle and strength that we’re ever going to gain. So the counter argument to everything I just said is, well, it doesn’t really matter what you do anymore. Like you’re not going to gain another 10 pounds of muscle. It’s not possible. The only way I could ever do it is if I got on steroids.
And so does it really matter if you’re pushing yourself and really trying to eke out those last little bits of muscle and strength gain. And I would agree with you. I’d say, yeah, totally fair point. I’m just enjoying it. So that’s the main reason why I should be doing it. However, if you take someone who still has 10 pounds of muscle left to gain, I do think they will get there faster approaching in the way that I just described versus more of just kind of looking at it day by day or most week by week, and just kind of trying to beat your last week’s numbers, you know.
Cody: Yeah, I think I oversimplified what I meant and you actually answered it perfectly. So I’m glad you did. I actually do very, very similar and essentially literally the exact same thing and I usually program in about 12 week blocks, which is basically the same as you described, just a little bit shorter.
And I think that’s the most simple way and it kind of just holds you accountable to push, right? Like if I know that my reps are going to be a little bit lower next week. My mindset is going in thinking I have to lift heavier and you’re just naturally going to lift more and get stronger over time.
Mike: Yeah, you will. I was just talking with a buddy of mine who I work out with today that there’s interesting research. I’m sure you’ve come across it on just the psychological aspect of strength and how like visualizing yourself performing sets successfully can increase your ability to do it. And there is something to be said for the psychology.
Of like you just said, knowing that this is what I’m going for today, and I’m gonna try to do it as opposed to just putting weight on the bar and seeing what I can do. There’s just a difference in that mindset. And I couldn’t point to any research that bears this out, but I’ve definitely experienced it many times myself.
And it’s one of those things that anecdotally has a lot of support. And that is that the former, when you go in knowing, okay, I need to put 315 on the bar today and get 4. Like that is the goal. That is much more likely to produce that then I’m going to put 315 on the bar and just try to get as many as I can.
And I’m gonna try to end two sets shy of technical failure.
Cody: Yeah. And I think what I was getting at too, is that some people, they read phases of accumulation, intensification, realization. They think they have to have this overly complicated periodization style or even like where there’s people who have like, Very low volume blocks and then like metabolite accumulation blocks, and they just get so technical with it when in reality, a lot of times is you just need to set up your training so you know what the hell you’re doing, and it basically forces you to get stronger.
Exactly. Really, that’s the easiest way to do that is exactly with what you said and kind of keeping it simple. The last thing I want to touch on, I don’t think we’re gonna have enough time to dive into content because that’ll be a really long conversation between you and I. So if any of the listeners really want to hear that, we’ll have to schedule another one, which I’m totally fine with.
But I do want to touch on one last thing inside of training and then kind of get into some of these questions because some of the people had some good supplement questions, which I think would be perfect for you to cover. But the last one is building muscle at maintenance calories. And the reason I wrote that is because If I remember correctly, I think I overheard Eric Helms talking about how they were doing a study and you were helping fund that study.
So my thought is that you had some kind of thought process on why that might be possible or if there is any benefit in that inside of kind of like lean gaining, if you will.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. So I am, I’m funding a study that’s being headed up by Eric and James Krieger. And it’s on lean bulking specifically. So what we want to explore, I mean, it’s them.
I can’t take credit for anything more than paying,
Cody: but it’s really cool because this has nothing to a supplement. So I have to throw that out there because the fact that you’re helping just fund something that just expands our knowledge is really, really cool. Usually supplement companies fund studies that will tell you, you need to consume this stuff.
Thanks. Protein powder at this time kind of thing, you know?,
Mike: Yeah, exactly. And that’s why I wanted to do it. I just thought it’d be a cool way to kind of give back to the evidence based fitness community. Cause I’ve benefited so much from so much of the work that has already been done. So why not give back?
I thought that’d be a meaningful way to do it. I love it. So, yes, so the idea to look into the size of a surplus and doesn’t make a difference. So if I remember correctly, I haven’t looked at the details in a bit now, but I believe it’s. Comparing a 5 percent surplus to a 10 and that may have changed though to a 10 and a 15.
Cause I remember we were talking that 5%, are we cutting it a little bit close there? Cause it’s kind of hard. We’re talking about a small number of calories, so it may have changed to 10 and 15%. But really what we’re exploring is does the size of the surplus make a noticeable difference in terms of the amount of muscle that you gain?
And just to follow up quickly on that 5 percent point, the reason why we just want to make sure that people were in a proper surplus. So, Eric, if you’re hearing this and I’m getting the methodology wrong, I’m sorry, I forgot exactly what the, because it changed a couple of times and I remember in the end, it all made sense.
And, but it’s going to be exploring, again, the effectiveness of a calorie surplus for building muscle. And so to your question, although it’s not about maintenance per se, I Don’t believe that is one of the groups again. It’s been six months since I went over any of these details and I only have so much ram in my brain for numbers and such, but I can still answer the question outside of the what’s being done on the research side of things.
And that is that I don’t think it’s an effective way to go about it. If you’re really trying to maximize muscle growth, the problem with trying to do it at maintenance calories is What does that really mean? What is maintenance calories? You don’t know how many calories you’re burning to the calorie every day, or even to the 50th calorie necessarily.
It’s a moving target. I don’t even have used the MET equivalent method. You try to be as detailed as possible. It’s still just kind of a guess. It can be an accurate guess, but it’s still a guess. And what I’ve seen and what I’ve experienced, you’ve probably experienced this too, especially with intermediate and advanced weightlifters who don’t like to gain fat.
Let’s face it, we don’t like, we like to stay pretty lean. We like to see our abs. We like to see vascularity. And that’s often why people are trying to gain muscle on maintenance calories is they just don’t want to experience the fat gain really what that turns into. Is it turns into being in a slight deficit far more often than a slight surplus again, speaking anecdotally myself, having worked with a lot of people, I would say that if you look at it in terms of a year of trying to quote unquote eat at maintenance, but not accept fat gain, it probably comes out to like two thirds of the year are a slight deficit and unfortunately, there’s no research on the effects of a Slight versus larger deficit in terms of impairing muscle growth.
But we do know a slight deficit does impair muscle growth to some degree. And we do know that it’s so damn hard to build muscle as an intermediate weightlifter, as it is, that’s enough. Like we do know if you put yourself in a 20 percent calorie surplus, a sizable surplus that produces meaningful fat loss, that’s enough to more or less.
Shut down your body. That’s not true. Not shut down. That’s enough to turn the dial down on your body’s muscle building machinery enough to effectively halt muscle growth. And so if you’re in a 5 percent deficit, is it going to be as bad as 20? Probably not, but it’s still enough. We know from speaking to enough people who I’d say natural bodybuilders people have been doing it for a long time and have meticulously tracked things for a long time.
And so that’s what I don’t like about trying to gain muscle at maintenance is if you are trying to do that, you’re probably an intermediate weightlifter. If you’re new, it doesn’t matter. You can gain muscle in a deficit. So I guess that should be said, sure, go ahead. You’ll gain probably a bit more if you maintain a surplus, but it doesn’t really matter.
But if your newbie gains are long behind you and you try to do it, what that really means is one day you’re going to be in a slight deficit. The other day, maybe a slight deficit again, even if it’s not intentional, you know, if you like, okay, I burned 2700 calories a day. I here’s my meal plan. And that day you burn a little bit more because you walked the stairs better sleep.
Yeah, you trained a little bit harder. You exert yourself a little bit harder in the gym, or maybe you ate a little bit less. Then then your meal plan called for it doesn’t take much when we’re trying to like really kind of walk that thin line. And so that’s why my standard recommendation if somebody said I want to gain muscle and strength as quickly as possible 10 percent surplus.
Do that because coming back to what I mentioned about design of the study, a 5 percent surplus, again, you’re cutting it kind of close. Now you may burn an extra 100 calories in a day and that might be enough to wipe that. And well, I guess that would be maybe a little bit low, but you get what I’m saying that you are kind of cutting it close at 5%.
But if you maintain 10 percent over your average, let’s just Keep it simple. Your average kind of T. D. E. E. Your average total daily energy expenditure. 110 percent of that. That’s enough to give you a buffer for unexpected increases in energy expenditure and to maintain that surplus that. There, I believe Lyle McDonald has written about this and I can’t say that I remember coming across it myself in the literature, but I believe he wrote about that.
There does seem to be something to that. When you go into a surplus, the muscle building benefits are not immediate. Kind of like creatine, how it has to kind of build up in your body. Same thing with beta alanine. It takes A couple weeks for most people to really start seeing and feeling the benefits from the calorie surplus.
And if you are getting that flywheel spinning and then stopping it with maybe three days of a deficit, even though it may not stop the momentum altogether, it definitely kind of puts the brakes on and then you’re trying to build it back up. It just is not very efficient. I think there is a time and place for mini cutting.
And I do talk about it in this new book I’m working on. But not like that, not where it’s okay, I’m going to be in a surplus four days a week and then a deficit three days per week calorie cycling. Again, there’s a time and place for that. I talk about that in the book as well. It can work, but if we bring back to somebody who tells me I want to gain as much muscle and strength as possible, just maintain a 10 percent calorie surplus, that is going to be the best way.
Cody: Yeah, I think my viewpoint on is if you’re a newbie, it’s one thing if you want to improve strength and performance and you don’t care about gaining any muscle, you can get away with that as well. I mean, it’s I think if your goal is pure muscle growth, one thing to think about too is it’s almost just demotivating because it would be such a slow moving target, even if you are building muscle that it’s almost like unnoticeable.
Because you’re just, you know what I mean? And it’s almost like demotivating. Like when you’re in a cut, you see the scale dropping, you see your body changing, that’s motivating to continue and you have a deadline. But for that slow progress with pure muscle growth would just take so much time. I would just get bored and unmotivated and not want to do it.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. It’s true. So that applies to in the gym and on the scale, things will move so slowly that you wonder if anything’s even changing.
Cody: Yeah. A hundred percent. Do you have another 10 minutes, 15 minutes for kind of rapid fire? Yeah. These questions are kind of almost all centered around supplements.
So this will be cool. And the first one is from our Facebook group, Renee Arnston. She asked, can you discuss carb powder during a workout for those lifting on an empty stomach? So basically it probably like highly brand cyclic dextrin and things like that. And I guess one question to add to there is have you ever thought about doing any of those?
Do you have any intra workout carbohydrate supplement? And if you don’t, why not?
Mike: So I don’t have anything like that and I don’t generally recommend it. A lot of it is just marketing bullshit. That’s generally a category of supplement that I lump in with like testosterone booster. I do understand if you’re an endurance athlete and you’re going to go on like a three hour bike ride having some…
Quickly digesting carbs that you can just kind of slurp down. I get that, but for a weightlifter, I don’t have an intro workout for that reason, because there’s nothing that I can honestly say would make a big difference that isn’t already in my pre workout. And so as far as having fancy carb powers. at any time period.
If you’re a weightlifter, I say, don’t bother. It’s not going to make any difference. Just eat your carbs and specifically have, let’s say 50 ish grams. So 30 to 50, depending on, I guess, how much you weigh 30 to 50 ish grams of carbs, 30 ish minutes before you work out. If you want to have the best kind of boost and that’s about it, you don’t have to have anything while you train and add some protein too.
If you’re working out first thing in the morning, if you’re working out later in the day, you’ve already had like a hundred and. grams of protein. It doesn’t really matter. Probably if you have protein before, it’s probably a good idea to have some protein after. And yeah, that’s my position. I mean, I may do an intro workout supplement, but it would be an endurance supplement.
And I haven’t done that because I, I’m not in that space at all. And I don’t know how it’ll do. I don’t know who I’m selling to. As I said, I’m just not comfortable creating product for someone. I don’t really understand, you know.
Cody: Yeah, I would agree for the most part. I think there’s like a couple situations where I see it relevant, like competitive crossfitters who have very long glycolytic workouts, for example, which is a very small population of people,
Mike: but to them, I’d say, I don’t know if you don’t need to overpay for like, you know, 40 tub of fancy, you could drink Gatorade sugars.
Cody: Yeah. And I think one thing too is like, even I believe in your pre workout has a little bit of something that would even create, cause there’s studies that show just swooshing some glucose solution in your mouth, right? Like, so any type of carb and just spitting it out, like that’s going to give you a response to help.
And then I know there’s like John Meadows made this pretty popular and I love John Meadows work. So there’s nothing bashing against him, but he has put forward into workout a lot as well to show like the benefits of like reducing cortisol and helping muscle growth. And. Although like what he’s talking about is true.
I think that a lot of people underestimate how much muscle that guy has and how hard he is working out and how high volume his training is that I think it still kind of. Pushes out the vast majority of individuals who would need that, especially if your goal is aesthetics, you know,
Mike: I’m not familiar with him.
I have to pull him up and see who you’re talking about.
Cody: Oh, yeah. The mountain dog, his nickname is the mountain dog. It’s a really, really popular bodybuilder and he has a lot of good information on it. And a lot of it is there is some studies that show essential amino acids and some kind of carb will help blunt the cortisol response, possibly help muscle growth.
And although I think that’s true, I just don’t know how applicable it is to everybody. And even then, I don’t think you need. As much as you would think, I know, I believe it was Alberto Nunez even suggested having a little bit of something, but it was like, he had like 10 grams of carbs from like Gatorade or sugar or something.
And I think a lot of people assume you need to have 50 grams of carbs in a drink while you’re working out. And the reality is it’s a very, very small amount. And some studies show you don’t even need to swallow it. It’s just having some kind of carb inside the, your blood glucose levels, like presently for training, if that makes sense.
Mike: Again, if you have 30 to 50 grams of carbs before 30 ish minutes for you, you’re going to be fine. Adding 10 grams of sugars in the middle is not going to do anything. And I just pulled up John. I mean, he doesn’t pretend like he’s natural either. So that changes everything. Not necessarily in terms of, Oh, because he’s on a lot of drugs.
The 30 grams of carbs in between or in the middle of his workout makes a big difference. No, but drugs change everything. And what can happen is people who are on a lot of drugs can either either they don’t realize it or they just it’s marketing and they want to pretend like it’s not the case that they don’t realize that it’s not.
The carbs and all the little weird kind of fringe, exotic tactics that they employ that make all the difference. It’s the fucking drugs. It reminds me of Tom Brady. And he ascribes a lot of his durability and even his just capability to his lifestyle, which is like a weird combination of all kinds of fad diets.
And. One of my conclusions, I wrote an article and recorded a podcast on it. One of my conclusions is that it’s almost like he just doesn’t realize that, that he’s a freak and he’s not an athletic freak, but he’s a freak at what he’s a freak at. Like he’s just super good at football because he’s super good at football.
It’s not because he gets like 19 massages a day and has some kind of weird stretching routine and doesn’t eat strawberries. So similarly, when you have guys on a shitload of drugs, like you could take out every supplement. Every pill and powder they swallow, take it all out and nothing changes. They still just get bigger and stronger.
And for their training to a lot of the, at least the smarter people, they know that now they can blast themselves with a ton of volume, but they have to do it intelligently because they still have to preserve their joint health and they got to make sure they don’t like. Tear muscles and tendons and ligaments and stuff.
So they will often not push themselves as hard as maybe as far as like one rep max on the bar and reps in reserve as you and I may even, because they know that, for example, their muscles can handle a lot more weight than their tendons and their joints. And so they have to intentionally kind of dial back the intensity and, and just rack up tons and tons of volume.
So anyways, I don’t, I don’t mean any of that as a. Criticism of John. I don’t even know him, but I’m just looking at his Instagram and it doesn’t say natural athlete for him. Yeah.
Cody: And he, he does content on how to like on his drug, like usage and stuff like that. So he’s completely open about it.
Mike: So he’s totally, he’s totally honest about it.
So good for him.
Cody: And you would probably like some of the, I think yeah. Omar and Eric did a podcast with him on iron culture and it was really good. So you would actually enjoy a lot of his stuff. And just to like cap out this question, she did mention lifting on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
Mike: So if you’re lifting super early, you don’t have time to eat. Yeah, it could benefit. It was sure, but it’s not. I mean,
I’d say though, like don’t waste your money though. Like figure out, I mean, it’s even me personally and I’m, I could afford adding a 40 supplement per month, but I just wouldn’t do it because I’m like, this is just a waste of money.
I’d rather eat a banana or something.
Cody: Exactly. This is actually a really good one. James Ward asked, Can you talk about the mixing of certain ingredients and multivitamins and actually can cancel each other out? I’ve read that certain kinds of minerals used in some brands can actually prevent the body from being able to absorb things.
So maybe just touch on that and why you created the multivitamin you guys have, which I highly recommend. Actually, it’s when we write initial nutrition plans for people. Anytime I recommend a multivitamin, I always link to your guys stuff. And it’s what I take every day as well. I’m going to get the name wrong, but I believe it’s Triumph.
Yeah. Yep. Okay, cool. So multivitamin by you guys is really good. And I think that
Mike: just to quickly interject, you’ll like that. We have, we’re splitting it now into two formulations, one specifically for men and one specifically for women. I’m excited about that.
Cody: Oh yeah. Very cool. And I get that question too.
As people always ask, like, should I get a men’s or women’s? And I always just, just take this and I think a lot of people are, and you can probably Explains better than I do. But a lot of people are turned off by the fact that you got to take eight of them per day. I know and what I always tell them is like well If you get some multivitamins that tell you to take one per day, there’s such small dosing of each Micronutrient inside of this pill that it’s basically fucking useless.
There’s a reason Mike has eight capsules in the servings because it’s actually formulated well, there’s enough of it.
Mike: And you could say that like from a marketing perspective, that was a mistake because I knew that that was going to be a problem for some people. They were going to see eight pills per serving.
What the hell? I’m not doing that. And I looked at that time. Okay. The best that I felt comfortable with was six a day. Okay. If we trim some things, that means I can’t have as many goodies in it. Okay, fine. But I’m like, at that point, what’s the difference between six and eight? Just go all in, just take the eight, just split it up for with breakfast and or with dinner.
But yeah, it’s something that I haven’t wanted to change, I guess, kind of selfishly because I really liked the product and I don’t want to do exactly what you just said. I would have to gut it to turn it in, let’s say into a two a day. That would be a meaningful four day. Four day would be a meaningful change and two day would be a very meaningful change, but even to go to four a day, I personally wouldn’t like.
I just would go from like really liking the product to, I guess, kind of liking it. And so that’s why it’s stated a your
Cody: transparency is your effective marketing. So I think it’s something that sounds dumb from a marketing standpoint, but I think it actually works because you’re not afraid of being transparent with it.
But that being said, I mean, to, to answer the actual question, I guess he’s kind of asking, is that true? There are certain ingredients and other multivitamins that actually cancel each other out. And did you have to kind of factor that in when creating the formula you created?
Mike: You know, that’s a good question.
It’s something I’ve never been asked before. There are definitely certain forms of certain vitamins and minerals that are absorbed better than others. And we’ve been careful in choosing the ones that are the higher quality, better absorbed forms. And sometimes have to pay a premium for that, like D12, for example.
But as far as. Forms canceling each other out. I’ve never come across anything like that. I’ve never even come across that claim. I’m gonna ask. So I also should say that I can’t take credit for the formulations. I have to give all the credit to my scientific advisory board that’s headed up by a guy named Curtis Frank, who is the co founder and former lead researcher and writer over at examine dot com.
Somebody who understands more about supplementation and biology than I ever will. And so much so that It’s hard for me to contribute anything meaningful when Kurt does his thing, honestly, just partnered with good people. Yeah, just to be honest. And then, and then he’s not the only guy. Then we have other people that he then runs the formulations by to get their input, like Eric Helms, like James Grieger, like Menno Henselman, like Spencer Rudolski, like Brad Dieter, Danny Lennon.
So these are these together. All those people know. I’m a insignificant fly on the wall at that point, but I’ve never heard anything about certain forms competing for, for absorption. But like, if I would have had that question beforehand, I would have run it by Curtis and then I would have just given him credit for the answer.
So I’m sorry that I can’t be helpful there. It’s just not something I’ve ever been, ever heard about at all, period.
Cody: Yeah, honestly, I haven’t either. And what I would suggest is I would go to examine. com. If anybody is going to have information on that, they probably have an article on it. I mean, that website is, is packed with content around supplementation.
Mike: So even going like exactly that point, I’ve spent so much time over the years on that site and I’ve never come across anything like that. So my initial assumption is probably not a thing, but I’m going to ask Curtis, cause now I’m curious. Yeah.
Cody: No, I am too. And I haven’t, and I’ve spent a lot of time on examine.
com as well, just geeking out and just researching stuff, but I’ve never seen anything on that. So I would agree. This one is from Kim underscore set today underscore. I don’t, I have no idea. So I apologize for that. And this will be the last one on supplementations. And she asked, can you review CLA and just give your thoughts, which I thought was a funny one.
And I would love for you to. To crush this one.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. That’s funny because I do actually talk about CLA in this book I’m working on. It’s a, this interview was meant to happen, synchronicity. And I actually give it as an example of a supplement that is not worth taking, that is popular among more experienced fitness people, obviously as a fat burner.
And it’s something that it’s been around for a while, popular back in the nineties after there’s some research in mice and rats that showed that it could induce fat loss. And as humans are more similar to furry little rodents than most people realize, we share a lot of DNA. And it doesn’t mean you can just extrapolate rat research to humans, but there’s, there are some similarities and there’s a reason why a lot of animal research starts there and then leads to human research.
It was hoped that CLA could. produce similar effects in humans. Also, it’s kind of cool cause it’s not stimulatory. So it would have been a unique fat loss product, but results as far as human trials go are just all over the map. So most of the studies have shown no fat loss. Some have shown increases in fat loss ranging from quite significant to.
Vanishingly small. And then there’s one study in particular that noted an increase in fat gain with CLA. So, when you take CLA, what the weight of the evidence is saying is the most likely outcome is no change, probably not going to make any difference, but you may lose a bit of fat, you may gain a bit of fat.
Scientists aren’t really sure why. It’s a dud. That’s why I don’t sell it.
Cody: And I think like just the last thing I’ll say, and then we’re going to close this out is one of the reasons why I really appreciate Mike’s company legion is because transparency is so evident. I mean, right when you get to the homepage, there’s a video about how supplements aren’t.
Necessary. And like, if there’s anything that shows you that they are only producing quality supplements that aren’t filled with just proprietary blends, where you have no idea where the evidence is coming from, like, that’s it right there on the homepage before you even get a chance to buy anything. So I highly recommend his products for anybody listening who wants a really well rounded company that actually produces, and I’ve commended you on this before.
Who actually produces a lot of content. There’s not that many supplement companies that actually give a lot of content too. And there’s, I mean, between, especially once you kind of converted muscle for life and Legion together, there’s just so much good content on the website, even outside of the supplement realm.
So it’s just such a good place to learn as well as get quality products. So for everybody listening, obviously go check out, there’ll be a link in the show notes, Mike, I appreciate you coming on the podcast once again, everybody always loves when you’re on, obviously that’s why you’re here. Cause. People were asking to have you back on.
So it’s a great time chatting with you as always. And if you have any closing thoughts of where people can find you on Instagram or your podcast, your books or anything like that, please shout them out now.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. And thanks again for having me. I’m flattered. I always appreciate the opportunity to come on other people’s shows because it’s strangely hard to get on other people’s podcasts.
I guess that could be a different discussion, but it seems to be very clicky, like, which I understand, I guess it seems to be driven just by personal relationships people like and know the best, I guess, but, but no, I appreciate the opportunity. And as far as where to find me and my stuff, I mean, legionathletics.
com is kind of the hub now of everything, which is. After the merger of muscle for life. com was a previous website I had now merged them together because I should have done it some time ago. It just makes sense. And Instagram is muscle for life fitness could change that. But I feel like if I change that now I have that link like in all of my books and I should probably should just keep it.
So it is what it is. And I’m semi active. I don’t put too much time into it because I put most of my time into creating content and running. My businesses, which I think is the smart thing to do, but I do repurpose a lot of the content and put it on Instagram. Some personal stuff, family stuff, whatever.
Yeah. And as far as books, Amazon’s where everybody buys books these days. So you can get all my stuff on Amazon, but you can also get them on, uh, iBooks and on Google. Books and Kobo and a number of my books are also in Barnes and Noble stores. So love it.
Cody: I’ll link all that in the show notes, man. Thank you again.
I really do appreciate your time. Yeah.
Mike: Thank you. All right. Well, that’s it for today’s episode. I hope you found it interesting and helpful. And if you did and you don’t mind doing me a favor, could you please leave a quick review for the podcast on iTunes or wherever? You are listening from because those reviews not only convince people that they should check out the show.
They also increase the search visibility and help more people find their way to me and to the podcast and learn how to build their best body ever as well. And of course, if you want to be notified. When the next episode goes live, then simply subscribe to the podcast and whatever app you’re using to listen.
And you will not miss out on any of the new stuff that I have coming. And last, if you didn’t like something about the show, then definitely shoot me an email at Mike at muscle for life. com and share your thoughts. Let me know how you think I could do this better. I read every email myself, and I’m always.
Looking for constructive feedback. All right. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.