Muscle For Life with Mike Matthews

By Mike Matthews

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Subscribers: 522
Reviews: 3

Rachel
 May 25, 2020
I first got into lifting after reading Mike's book "Thinner, Leaner, Stronger" and just found this podcast. Great information as expected! I just finished listening to a guest episode on training differences in women and left enlightened. I can't wait to apply these concepts that are new for me. Thanks for what you're doing!

Marius Posogan
 Feb 4, 2020
Awesome podcast awesome guests. A lot of very useful information

Chris Hogervorst
 May 29, 2019
This is a great podcast Mike! I've been steady listening to all the new episodes then getting through the older ones as well. Tons of great info in all respects to fitness (training, nutrition, supplements). Love hearing your guests as well

Description

OVER 10,000,000 DOWNLOADS AND COUNTING! If you want to know how to build muscle, lose fat, and be healthier, happier, and wiser...faster than you ever thought possible...then this podcast is for you. Hosted by the bestselling author and entrepreneur, Mike Matthews, each episode gives you simple, science-based know-how and inspiration that will help you build your best body and life ever. Find out more at www.legionathletics.com

Episode Date
Says You! Full-Body Workouts, Long-Distance Running, and Fat Burners
2824

I’ve written and recorded a lot of evidence-based content over the years on just about everything you can imagine related to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy.

I’ve also worked with thousands of men and women of all ages and circumstances and helped them get into the best shape of their lives.

That doesn’t mean you should blindly swallow everything I say, though, because let’s face it—nobody is always right about everything. And especially in fields like diet and exercise, which are constantly evolving thanks to the efforts of honest and hardworking researchers and thought leaders.

This is why I’m always happy to hear from people who disagree with me, especially when they have good arguments and evidence to back up their assertions.

Sometimes I can’t get on board with their positions, but sometimes I end up learning something, and either way, I always appreciate the discussion.

That gave me the idea for this series of podcast episodes: publicly addressing things people disagree with me on and sharing my perspective.

Think of it like a spicier version of a Q&A.

So, here’s what I’m doing:

Every couple of weeks, I’m asking my Instagram followers what they disagree with me on, and then picking a few of the more common or interesting contentions to address here on the podcast.

And in this episode, I’ll be tackling the following . . .


4:56 - Are full body splits better than upper lower?

29:33 - Is long distance running bad for building a lean physique?

37:05 - Do fat burners actually work?


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Mentioned on The Show:

Save 15% on fat burners: https://legionathletics.com/shop/


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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

May 27, 2020
Here's Why You Should Stop Trying to Detox Your Body (and What to Do Instead)
2306

If you’re having trouble losing weight and keeping it off…

If you’re battling hunger and cravings…

If you want to “reset” your system after a period of poor health habits…

Or if you generally just feel like crap…

You might find yourself seriously considering some sort of “detox diet.”

The yoga girl swears by a 3-day water cleanse. The smiley doctor guy says a juice diet can give you a shiny new liver. The raw food weirdo gushes about the wonders of eating everything uncooked. And don’t get me started about the Instagram “models” smugly posing with their green smoothies and kale chips.

The more you look, the more cleanses and detox programs you find, with each one apparently better than the last.

The problem, however, is all of them are missing the forest for the trees.

While it’s true your body is regularly exposed to a wide variety of toxic substances, and while some of them are particularly nasty and can accumulate in body fat, there’s no evidence that trendy “cleanses” and “detox diets” help mitigate the damage or rid the body of toxins.

That is, yes, your body has a certain amount of harmful chemicals deposited in its fat stores, but no, drinking a bunch of lemonade for a week isn’t going to do anything about it.

Now, before we get into the details and science of toxins and detoxification, I want to give you a bit of good news.

If you’re struggling to lose weight or prevent weight gain, your problems have nothing to do with toxins.

There are really only a handful of reasons you’re wrestling with your weight and the solutions are quite simple.

Let’s get started.

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Timestamps

5:42 - Do toxins cause weight gain? What causes weight gain?

23:31 - What are toxins and how does the body process them?

29:02 - Do detox diets help with rapid weight loss?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

May 25, 2020
Does Eating at Night Make You Gain Weight? (What 32 Studies Say)
1620

Poke around online for weight loss tips, and you’ll invariably come across the idea that you shouldn’t eat at night.

Why?

Proponents of this idea usually claim that your metabolism doesn’t work as well at night, and thus any calories you eat are more likely to be stored as fat instead of being burned for energy.

Sounds ... kind of scien-y-ish ... but is it true?

Does your metabolism really slow down as the day drags on?

Are calories eaten in the evening inherently more fattening than calories eaten in the morning?

Can eating more calories in the morning and fewer calories in the evening really help you lose weight?

You’ll learn the answers to all of these questions in this podcast.

You’ll learn exactly why people think eating at night makes you gain weight, what really causes weight gain (hint: it’s not eating at night), and what science actually says about how late-night eating affects your metabolism.

Let’s get to it!

the morning?

9:15 - Does intermittent fasting help you lose body fat?

19:41 - Does eating at night reduce your quality of sleep?

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Mentioned on The Show:

Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

May 22, 2020
Nir Eyal on Becoming “Indistractable” in a World of Distractions
3370

“My Life-Changing 30-Day Digital Detox”

“10 Signs You’re a Smartphone Zombie”

These are headlines you might see if you search the interwebz for digital “addiction.”

It’s no secret that people use their smartphones, social media, and various apps more than ever before.

The benefits of this technology are obvious, but there’s also a downside. We end up distracted, spending too much time on things that don’t matter, with less time for things that are important to us, like our health, families, and life goals.

But are these modern technologies really a new, unique problem? How can we navigate a world filled with limitless distractions?

To help shed some light on the topic, I invited Nir Eyal onto the podcast. Nir knows both sides of this coin intimately.

His first book, Hooked, is all about how to build habit-forming products. He's helped numerous companies (including the New York Times) build “addictive” products that can do good in your life and he’s even taught a course on the subject at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

But by being so intertwined with the inner workings of habit-formation, Nir also knows how to break habits and make these apps and services serve us rather than the other way around.

That’s why Nir wrote his latest book, Indistractable, which is what this podcast is all about. In this interview, Nir helps us understand ...

- The root causes of distraction and how productive tasks can still be distractions
- Why you shouldn't try to be satisfied or happy all of the time
- How to "surf the urge" and supercharge your willpower
- Why you should timebox your day
- How to discover your values and find what resonates with you
- And more ...

So if you want to take back your life and not feel so addicted to apps and services, listen to this podcast.

8:13 - You went from writing a book about getting people hooked on products, to a book that is intended to help people avoid that. How did that happen?

16:38 - What is the difference between external and internal triggers?

22:20 - How do we get better at embracing discomfort?

49:33 - How does time boxing work and how do you use it?

53:04 - What are your thoughts on finding your personal values?

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Mentioned on The Show:

Indistractable by Nir Eyal: NirAndFar.com/Indistractable
Schedule Maker Tool: nirandfar.com/schedule-maker/
Summary Article: www.nirandfar.com/skill-of-the-future/
Distraction Guide here: www.nirandfar.com/distractions/
Habits vs routines article here: www.nirandfar.com/habits/
Nir's Instagram: www.instagram.com/neyal99/

Books by Mike Matthews: legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

May 20, 2020
Motivation Monday: Why We Train
315

This episode is part of a weekly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

Every Monday morning, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back every Monday morning for the latest and greatest installment.

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

May 18, 2020
Q&A: Positive Nitrogen Balance, the Problem with Sitting, and Losing Muscle from a Body Part
2537

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:

- What is positive nitrogen balance?
- How bad is sitting?
- How can you lose muscle from specific body parts?

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 mike@muscleforlife.com.

Recommended reading for this episode:
legionathletics.com/sitting-is-the-new-smoking/
legionathletics.com/energy-balance/

Timestamps:

3:36 - Can you lose fat and build muscle at the same time if you maintain a positive nitrogen balance?

14:57 - How do I lose muscle from a specific body part?

26:24 - How detrimental is sitting?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching: legionathletics.com/coaching/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

May 15, 2020
How Long Should You Stay in a Calorie Deficit?
1604

You’re about to start a weight loss diet.

You know you need to eat fewer calories than you burn.

You know roughly how much you need to eat every day to lose weight.

Maybe you even have a meal plan mapped out.

But there’s still one question you haven’t been able to answer: how long should you stay in a calorie deficit?

If you poke around online you’ll see different theories about the “ideal” length of time you should stay in a deficit before giving your body a break.

Some say you should diet no longer than 12 weeks.

Others say you can diet as long as you want.

And others say you should only stay in a deficit for a few weeks at a time before taking a diet break, giving your body and mind a breather, and then enduring another bout of dieting.

Who’s right?

Well, here’s the truth of the matter:

How long you should spend in a calorie deficit boils down to how fast you can lose fat without losing muscle, and this depends on how much fat you have to lose and how lean you want to get.

So, instead of giving you a one-size-fits-all answer like “12 weeks,” I’m going to show you how to decide exactly how long you should stay in a calorie deficit to reach your goal weight.

Let’s start by looking at how fast you can lose fat without losing muscle.

2:49 - How long do I need to be in a calorie deficit?

6:14 - How do you calculate how much fat you can lose before you lose muscle?

16:51 - How long should i stay in a calorie deficit and when should I take a diet break?

23:31 - How do you do a diet break?

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Mentioned on The Show:

Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching: legionathletics.com/coaching/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

May 13, 2020
Jordan Harbinger on Building Good Relationships and Avoiding Toxic Ones
5146

Humans are social creatures.

We like having our “tribe”—people we can rely on when times get rough or who we can celebrate with when times are good.

That said, most of us have experienced negative Nancys who just bring us down. Maybe they’re always complaining, or they’re a business partner not pulling their own weight, or they only share bad news, these people make your life worse when you interact with them.

A simple step to make your life better, then, is not only eliminating these people from your life, but avoiding them in the first place.

And that’s exactly what I chat with Jordan Harbinger about on this episode of the podcast.

In it, we discuss how to foster good relationships, how to avoid “radioactive” people, how to develop a sense of self worth, and “one simple trick” to cultivate a network in just a few minutes a day.

In case you’re not familiar with Jordan, he’s been coaching people on relationships and social skills for over 10 years and is the host of the award-winning Jordan Harbinger Show, one of Apple’s most downloaded podcasts.

Let’s dive in!

11:33 - How can you overcome the scary feeling of making a big change in your life?

14:43 - How do you analyze a situation and see how that decision will affect your life?

21:21 - Do you think it’s common for a person to stay with someone so they can blame their failures on them?

23:14 - Does this also apply to romantic relationships?

28:41 - How do you develop a sense of self worth?

54:06 - How do you deal with people who bring you down?

01:00:22 - How do you cultivate a healthy network?

01:06:13 - How do you network under 6 minutes?

01:09:01 - What can you bring into this person’s life that can benefit both people?

01:23:42 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Jordan Harbinger's Website: www.jordanharbinger.com/
Jordan Harbinger's Podcast: www.jordanharbinger.com/subscribe-to-the-podcast/
Jordan Harbinger's Instagram: www.instagram.com/jordanharbinger/

Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching: legionathletics.com/coaching/

---

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

May 11, 2020
The Best of Muscle for Life: Booty Building, Eating & Training According to Body Type, and More . . .
2098

As of right now, I’ve produced over 500 episodes of Muscle for Life, totaling over 700 hours of content.

I’ve talked about a huge variety of things related to health, fitness, and lifestyle, ranging from the basics of diet and exercise like energy and macronutrient balance and progressive overload and training frequency and volume to fads like the ketogenic and carnivore diet and collagen protein to more unfamiliar territories like body weight set point and fasted cardio.

Some episodes resonate with my crowd more than others, but all of them contain at least a few key takeaways that just about anyone can benefit from (that’s what I tell myself at least).

And as cool as that is, it poses a problem for you, my dear listener:

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Well okay, some people do make the time to listen to most or even all of my podcasts, but my wizbang analytics tell me that while many listeners tune in on a regular basis, they don’t catch every installment of Muscle for Life and thus miss out on insights that could help them get a little better inside and outside the gym.

People have also been saying they’d like me to do more shorter, multi-topic episodes, like my Q&As.

And so I got an idea: how about a “best of” series of podcasts that contains a few of the most practical and compelling ideas, tips, and moments from my most popular episodes?

This way, people who are new to the show can quickly determine if it’s for them or not, and those who enjoy what I’m doing but don’t have the time or inclination to listen to all of my stuff can still benefit from the discussions and find new episodes to listen to.

So, in this episode of The Best of Muscle for Life, you’ll be hearing hand-picked morsels from three episodes:

Jeff Nippard on building your best butt ever
The Best Diets and Workouts for Your Body Type
MFL Book Club Podcast: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

And we’ll be starting with number one, Jeff Nippard on building your best butt ever.

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4:48 - Jeff Nippard on building your best butt ever

19:13 - The best diets and workouts for your body type

26:52 - MFL Book Club Podcast: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

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Mentioned on The Show:

https://legionathletics.com/podcast-jeff-nippard/
https://legionathletics.com/body-type-podcast/
https://legionathletics.com/mfl-book-club-podcast-7-habits-of-highly-effective-people/

Shop Legion Supplements Here: legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

May 08, 2020
How Important Is Getting a Pump for Building Muscle?
1310

If you’ve read anything about bodybuilding, you’ve probably heard about something called “the pump.”

In a nutshell, this refers to the temporary increase in muscle size that occurs when you lift weights.

Bodybuilders have been strangely obsessed with this phenomenon since people started lifting weights, and according to many, it’s the cheat code for unlocking rapid muscle growth.

George Butler and Charles Gaines, authors of Pumping Iron: The Art and Sport of Bodybuilding, claimed getting a muscle pump, “feels like one of those fast-frame films of flowers blooming or seeds ripening; the muscles seem actually to go from pod to blossom in seconds under the skin.”

This explanation reveals one of the main reasons weightlifters like getting a pump: it’s a visible sign your efforts in the gym are paying off. Your muscles are getting bigger before your eyes!

This preoccupation with the pump hasn’t waned, either.

You’ll still find articles touting the benefits of “chasing the pump”—bodybuilder lingo for doing lots of reps with short rest periods until your muscles are swollen and sore.

Others counter that chasing the pump is a fool’s errand. Temporary muscle swelling has nothing to do with muscle growth, and your time is better spent getting as strong as possible, they say.

So, who’s right?

In this podcast, you’re going to learn what the pump is, what causes it, why people think it’s important, why it isn’t essential for muscle growth, and why it’s still worth doing some “pump” training in your workouts to get the best results.

Let’s get started!

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6:20 - What is the pump?

8:23 - What is pump training and is it good for building muscle and strength?

17:31 - How can I program pump training?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

May 06, 2020
James Krieger on How Many Sets You Should Be Doing (and Why)
3145

“How many sets should I do?”

“When should I add more volume and how?”

These are questions I get all the time, and especially lately. That’s because some recent studies have shown that basically, the more you do in the gym, the more you grow.

Some studies suggest that doing as many as 40 sets per muscle group per week results in more growth than doing 20 sets.

Is that really true though? And if so, how many sets should you be doing every week for optimal growth? Should we just do as many sets as possible?

And on the opposite side of the coin, is there a minimum amount of volume we can get away with?

To help answer these questions, I invited James Krieger back onto the podcast. Not only is he a published scientist and researcher, but he’s an accomplished writer who’s published a humongous treatise on training volume on his blog Weightology. His work is a legitimate “bible” on training volume that’s examined just about every study you’d be able to find on this hot topic.

In this episode, James enlightens us on …

- The different methods of counting volume and which one’s best
- How many sets beginners should do and how that changes as you get more advanced
- Whether you can “resensitize” your muscles to volume increases
- If you should “cycle” your volume
- How to specialize certain muscle groups
- And a lot more!

So, if you want practical guidelines on how much volume you should do for optimal training, and how to keep making gains, and breach plateaus, listen to this episode.

7:02 - What is volume?

8:56 - Why do you prefer number of hard sets over total reps?

10:13 - How much volume should I be shooting for, for each of the major muscle groups?

14:23 - Why do you have to up the stimulus from intermediate to advance weightlifting?

20:02 - At what point should you consider doing more, how far can you take it, and why?

26:37 - How would you approach focusing on one major muscle group?

36:16 - With the studies that showed growth with lower volumes, were those with experienced weight lifters?

37:22 - Is there a point where volume doesn’t become a stimulus anymore?

45:11 - What are your thoughts on direct versus indirect volume?

49:42 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Mentioned on The Show:

James Krieger's Website: https://weightology.net/
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

May 04, 2020
My Top 5 Takeaways from Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
2284

“Can you recommend a book for…?”

“What are you reading right now?”

“What are your favorite books?”

I get asked those types of questions a lot and, as an avid reader and all-around bibliophile, I’m always happy to oblige.

I also like to encourage people to read as much as possible because knowledge benefits you much like compound interest. The more you learn, the more you know; the more you know, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more opportunities you have to succeed.

On the flip side, I also believe there’s little hope for people who aren’t perpetual learners. Life is overwhelmingly complex and chaotic, and it slowly suffocates and devours the lazy and ignorant.

So, if you’re a bookworm on the lookout for good reads, or if you’d like to get into the habit of reading, this book club for you.

The idea here is simple: Every month, I’ll share a book that I’ve particularly liked, why I liked it, and several of my key takeaways from it.

I’ll also keep things short and sweet so you can quickly decide whether the book is likely to be up your alley or not.

Alright, let’s get to the takeaways.

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Mentioned on The Show:
Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to be notified when my next book recommendation goes live?

Hop on my email list and you’ll get each new installment delivered directly to your inbox.

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

May 01, 2020
How Chris Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Get Down to 15% Body Fat and Beat Depression
2999

In this episode, I interview Chris, who used my work to help turn his life around and even escape depression.

When he first started working out, he didn’t know what he was doing with his training or diet. But thanks to newbie gains, he made progress anyway and learned to enjoy lifting weights.

Along the way, though, things started to turn sour outside the gym.

Financial troubles mounted, his relationship began to unravel, and Chris stopped going to the gym. He gained more and more weight as stress and depression began to take their toll, and then things came to a head: Chris and his wife separated.

That was the moment he decided to get back in shape.

It was around this time his brother (who lost over 200 pounds following Bigger Leaner Stronger!) introduced him to my work. Chris started following the Bigger Leaner Stronger program inside and outside the gym and, well, it helped him completely transform his life.

He lost a boatload of fat, getting down to 11% body fat, added a ton of strength to his big lifts, and perhaps most importantly, was able to stop taking medication for depression.

In this interview, Chris and I discuss his story, how he originally fell off the rails, how stress and strained relationships impacted his physical fitness, and how he turned it all around, including the small changes he started making to build long-lasting habits, how he improved his mental health, and more.

So if you’re looking for a jolt of inspiration and like motivational stories, I highly recommend you listen to Chris’s.

7:10 - Where were you before and after finding Legion?

8:08 - How much weight did you lose and what was your body fat percentage at the beginning?

12:39 - What was going on in your life before you started getting back into shape?

16:33 - At what point in your life did you come across Legion?

19:05 - How long did it take your brother to lose 200lbs?

19:52 - How has getting back into working out affect your headspace?

23:26 - How was it transitioning into a better diet?

27:47 - What does your current diet look like?

38:29 - What are your future plans?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 29, 2020
The Best Home Workout Routines for When You Can’t Go to the Gym
3422

Well, here we are, quarantined because of this VIRAL BOOGALOO blitzing around the world like it’s 1941, ravaging the defenseless lungs of tens of thousands of men, women, and children.

Gyms are shuttered, Charmin Ultra Soft is now worth its weight in gold ammo, and protein bars have become a prized delicacy.

The worst part for us fitness folk?

HOME. WORKOUTS.

Because for most of us, that means instead of our divine daily communion with the iron, we have to putz around with boring bodyweight exercises and bands.

Guess what, though? Home workouts don’t have to be an unproductive slog.

Although you can’t fully replicate the effectiveness of compound weightlifting, you can still gain (or at least maintain) muscle and strength with a well-designed home workout routine consisting of bodyweight exercises. And if you have some bands or dumbbells, that’s even better.

So, if you want to learn how to work out at home when you can’t go to the gym, keep reading. You’ll learn the best bodyweight, band, and dumbbell exercises, and I’ll share workout routines you can start right away to stay swole through these trying times.

Before we get to that, though, let’s address a question I’m sure you’ve asked yourself already.

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Time Stamps:

4:26 - Should I go back to the gym after the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted?

15:58 - Are home workouts worth it?

26:17 - What are the best body weight exercises?

30:00 - What is the best way to use resistance bands in home workouts?

13:11 - What is the best way to use dumbbells and kettlebells in home workouts?

35:56 - What is the best home workout routine?

44:17 - What equipment should I have for home workouts?

45:37 - What are some advanced strategies for making my home workouts more effective?

48:31 - How do you use tourniquets and knee wraps properly?

50:31 - Should I incorporate sprinting to my home workout routine?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 27, 2020
Mark Rippetoe on How and Why (and How!) Women Should Train Differently than Men
3327

The argument over whether or not men and women should train differently is an old one.

Years ago, “experts” said women should train with light weights and high reps to “tone” and “sculpt” their bodies, whereas men should train with heavy weights and low reps to pack on muscle.

In the past few years, the pendulum has swung in the other direction, with many people claiming women and men should follow the exact same training programs.

And others say that while men and women should follow most of the same training principles, they should still follow slightly different programs for optimal results.

Who’s right?

Well, I tend to fall into the latter camp (the principles of training remain the same, but how they’re applied differs for men and women), but I also wanted to pick the brain of author, coach, and podcaster, Mark Rippetoe.

In this episode, Mark edumacates us on ...

- How and why women differ from men in terms of strength performance
- What neuromuscular efficiency is and why it matters when designing a strength training program
- What vertical jumping skill tells us about motor units, power, and raw strength
- Why women should train with triples
- And more ...

Press play and let’s dive in!

12:54 - What’s the significance in the difference of a vertical jump?

32:26 - Why do singles for women translate into better performance?

44:20 - How would you take menstrual cycles into account?

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Mentioned on The Show:

Mark Rippetoe's Website: https://startingstrength.com/
Mark Rippetoe's Podcast: https://startingstrength.com/radio
Save up to 30% during Legion’s Spring Sale: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 24, 2020
Here’s the Best Diet Plan to Follow During the COVID-19 Quarantine
1667

It’s hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, life was business as usual.

Now, we’re just a few weeks into the COVID-19 lockdown, and it’s looking like this will be the “new normal” for at least another few months.

And us fitness folks are having a time of it.

For one thing, you have to work out from home, and if that weren’t bad enough, some grocery stores are running out of stock on meat, vegetables, fruit, and other healthy staples.

So you’re probably wondering, how the heck are you supposed to eat healthy through this mess?

Should you cut, bulk, or maintain?
And how are you supposed to avoid overeating?

You’ve probably seen news stories about people binge eating junk food to mollify their frayed nerves, and others grazing throughout the day to mitigate their boredom, leading some people to call weight gained during the lockdown the “quarantine 15” or “COVID-15.”

Well, the good news is that if you know what you’re doing, eating healthy during the quarantine is bat . . . er . . . duck soup.

In this podcast, you’ll learn exactly how you should diet to not only avoid getting fat, but to maintain your muscle mass and even lose fat while stuck inside.

Let’s get started!

2:18 - Should I be cutting during quarantine?

12:03 - Should I be lean bulking during quarantine?

19:08 - How can I avoid overeating?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Save up to 30% during Legion’s Spring Sale: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

---

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 22, 2020
Motivation Monday: Never Say Die
452

This episode is part of a monthly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

One Monday every month, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back for the latest and greatest installment.

 

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Mentioned on The Show:

Legion Supplements: legionathletics.com/shop/

---

 

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 20, 2020
Says You! Why Heavy Lifting for Newbies, Why Heavy Accessory Work, and Why HIIT for Fat Loss?
1856

I’ve written and recorded a lot of evidence-based content over the years on just about everything you can imagine related to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy.

I’ve also worked with thousands of men and women of all ages and circumstances and helped them get into the best shape of their lives.

That doesn’t mean you should blindly swallow everything I say, though, because let’s face it—nobody is always right about everything. And especially in fields like diet and exercise, which are constantly evolving thanks to the efforts of honest and hardworking researchers and thought leaders.

This is why I’m always happy to hear from people who disagree with me, especially when they have good arguments and evidence to back up their assertions.

Sometimes I can’t get on board with their positions, but sometimes I end up learning something, and either way, I always appreciate the discussion.

That gave me the idea for this series of podcast episodes: publicly addressing things people disagree with me on and sharing my perspective.

Think of it like a spicier version of a Q&A.

So, here’s what I’m doing:

Every couple of weeks, I’m asking my Instagram followers what they disagree with me on, and then picking a few of the more common or interesting contentions to address here on the podcast.

And in this episode, I’ll be tackling the following . . .

---

4:12 - Is heavy compound lifting really best for newbies who are going it alone in the gym?

14:14 - Should you really be training your arms in the range of 4-8 reps?

22:45 - Is HIIT better for fat lost?

---

Mentioned on The Show:
Books by Mike Matthews: legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 17, 2020
What Is Up? Legion Rebrand, New Book for 40+ Crowd, 50% Off Health Supplements, and More
1013

“When’s your next book coming out?”

“What kind of supplements are you going to release next?”

“What would you name your boat if you had one?”

I’m asked questions like these all the time and so I thought I’d start doing monthly updates about what’s new and exciting here at Legion HQ.

So here’s a quick hosedown of what me and my jolly band of pirates and bums have been up to lately.

Enjoy!

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Mentioned on The Show:

Legion Rebrand: https://legionathletics.com/new-and-exciting-march-2020/
Legion Health Boosters: https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/
Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!
Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 16, 2020
Yes, You Can “Boost” Your Immune System. Here’s How (According to Science)
1594

If you’re like most people, you’ve been paying attention to what’s happening with coronavirus.

Over 300,000 people have taken ill as of this writing and, depending on who you ask, the death rate ranges from 0.3 to 1 to 3% (one of the latest studies pins this number right in the middle at 1.4%).

This makes it slightly more deadly than the flu, and significantly more deadly for those who are over 60 years old.

While it’s easy to blow the situation out of proportion (and the media firestorm isn’t helping), it’s still wise to do everything you can to shore up your immune system in times like these.

You’re probably already taking preventative measures like washing your hands, avoiding large crowds, and so forth, but you’re still exposed to thousands of different germs every day (and possibly, COVID-19). That’s not to mention the thousands of other seasonal diseases that sweep around the world every year like a swarm of locusts.

And if one of these germs manages to sneak past your guard, it’s up to your immune system to knock them out before they make you sick.

That raises the question: can you do anything to boost your immune system?

If so, which methods work and which don’t?

You’ll learn the answers to all of those questions and more in this podcast.

So, let’s start with discussing what the immune system is and how it works, and then we’ll get to how to strengthen it and how to prevent and quickly overcome illnesses.

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Mentioned on The Show:


Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 15, 2020
Scott Carney on “Hijacking” Stress to Overcome Fear and Push Your Limits
3319

Scott Carney is an interesting guy doing fascinating things.

I first had him on the podcast to discuss his New York Times Bestseller What Doesn’t Kill Us, which took an investigative look at “hacking” our bodies and using the environment to stimulate our biology.

Specifically, Scott went on a journey with biohacking legend Wim Hof, using special breathing techniques to push the limits of strength and endurance, submerging himself in ice water and climbing a freezing mountain with only a pair of shorts.

Scott decided to take what he learned from Wim even further in his newest book, The Wedge, where he explores controlling mind and body to hijack stress and experience life in a whole new way.

In this podcast, we discuss . . .

- How too much comfort can actually be unhealthy
- Developing unstoppable grit
- Using kettlebell tossing to enter a flow state
- Creating new neural symbols to change your experience of sensations
- And so much more . . .

Let’s dig in!

4:47 - What is The Wedge and why did you write it?

7:44 - Is there a spiritual or paranormal component to how you respond?

9:42 - Can you change the way your body instinctively reacts?

14:14 - How do you change the way your body instinctively reacts?

18:52 - Does controlling comfort enhance other aspects in your life?

27:34 - Can change your emotional response to danger?

37:24 - Are there other interesting techniques that you discuss in your book?

48:44 - What do you mean when you say there is a spiritual element to your practice?

---

Mentioned on The Show:
Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

---

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!
Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 13, 2020
My Guide to Staying Fit, Productive, and Sane While Self-Quarantined
3391

FRANDO!

It’s-a-me, your Pandemic Pal, Corona Chum, and Quarantine . . . uhhhh . . . Quixote?

And here we are, socially stranded, steadily sanitized, and slightly stir crazy thanks to The Rona, which isn’t merely “another flu,” as many not-doctors on (delete your) Instagram would have you believe.

But hey, there are some white clouds in the sky, too.

For instance . . .

1) Thanks to the cancellation of sports, many men have discovered they live with women and children who seem pretty nice.

2) We’ve discovered how someone eating bat soup in China can cause a worldwide shortage in toilet paper.

3) This may lead to an orgiastic baby boom, and in the 2030s, we’ll witness the rise of THE QUARANTEENS.

Ha ha ha, and that’s not all sweet cheeks—open your mouth, so I can ladle some more rich, creamy good news into it.

According to a March 19th message from Harvard Health Publishing . . .

- Most people with COVID-19 recover. Estimates now suggest that 99% of people infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 will recover. Some people have no symptoms at all. And while thousands of people have died, the overall death rate is about 1% (or perhaps even lower), far less than MERS (about 34%), SARS (about 11%), or Ebola (90%), though higher than the average seasonal flu (0.1%).

- Children seem to be infected less often and have milder disease. According to the CDC, the vast majority of infections so far have afflicted adults. And when kids are infected, they tend to have milder disease.

- The number of new cases is falling where the outbreak began. During his speech declaring the new coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, the director-general of the WHO pointed out that “China and the Republic of Korea have significantly declining epidemics.” In fact, Wuhan province (site of the very first cases) has just reported no new local cases for the first time since the outbreak began.

- Scientists around the world are making breakthroughs in developing a vaccine. For instance, vaccination trials are already underway at Kaiser Permanente, Israeli scientists are nearing development of their first vaccine, and China is testing five different vaccine options, claiming it could have one ready by next month.

- Many businesses have stepped up to help us through the crisis. The sports world is raising money for stadium employees, Uber Eats is divvying out free delivery to help independent restaurants, professional soccer players are entertaining viewers with a FIFA tournament, and restaurants are doling out free food to those in need, to name just a few out of dozens.

What’s more, if we all comply with the requested precautions, we may get to enjoy a tide of positive developments and see a marked shift toward normalcy by the end of next month.

So, let’s just mind our own business for a couple of weeks, and then we’ll be able to say we survived the Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020 and not . . . something else.

That said, if you’re new to working (and working out) from home, the quarantined life is a long row to hoe.

How are you supposed to organize your day? What should you do with your newfound free time? How do you keep from skipping workouts, eating too much, frittering away all your time on social media and entertainment, and shirking your work?

That’s what this podcast will be all about.

Before we get to all of that, however, let’s begin with a bit of perspective.


5:00 - How do I manage my time better?

14:19 - What should my routine look like?

23:06 - How can I eat well?

34:17 - How do I stay productive and busy?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching: https://legionathletics.com/coaching/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 10, 2020
Haley Shapley on the Legendary Women Who Changed Sports
2576

For centuries, women were more or less excluded from organized athletics, relegated to more “feminine” tasks like being homemakers or taking care of children.

A lot has changed.

Women have their own leagues and divisions in all sports now, and while the WNBA might not ever be as popular as the NBA, for example, things are more equal now than they’ve ever been.

But it’s been a gradual process that took many iconoclastic women to get to this point.

To learn more about the culture of women’s strength and the history of women in sports, I invited journalist Haley Shapley on the podcast.

In this episode, we discuss Haley’s new book Strong Like Her, which offers a deep dive into the world of women’s athleticism throughout history. We chat about . . .

- How she got involved in women’s sports and why she wrote the book
- How you’re in control of your body and can avoid getting bulky
- The differences in how women and men are treated in sports
- Unique challenges women face like being paid less and lack of sufficient maternity leave
- The different dimensions of athleticism and why men are viewed as more athletic

Let’s get to it!

4:57 - What inspired you to make this book?

7:21 - How was that experience for you personally?

17:24 - What were some of the most inspiring stories you wrote about?

28:50 - What are your thoughts on the challenges that women face today?

39:13 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Mentioned on The Show:

Haley Shapley’s New Book - Strong Like Her: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Strong-Like-Her/Haley-Shapley/9781982120856
Haley Shapley’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/haleyshapley/
Haley Shapley’s Website: https://www.haleyshapley.com/
Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching: https://legionathletics.com/coaching/

---

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 08, 2020
Dr. Greg Brown on the Science of Transgender Women in Sports
2804

The issue of transgender women competing in women’s sports has become a hot button affair in recent years, mostly because many are blowing biological women out of the water, and in some cases, setting records that no biological woman will likely ever be able to break.

Some people argue this isn’t a problem, because men who have transitioned to women and follow official competitive protocols don’t have any advantages over other women.

Others argue that the significant physical advantages that men enjoy over women, such as more strength, speed, and power, can’t be eliminated by hormone therapy, and thus, biological men shouldn’t be able to compete against biological women.

Who’s right?

I invited Dr. Greg Brown onto the podcast to help explain what science has to say on the matter. He’s a professor of Exercise Science at the University of Nebraska Kearney who recently wrote an “expert declaration” on this very subject that examines all of the relevant research currently available.

In this interview, Dr. Brown breaks it all down, explaining the physical advantages men enjoy over women, how much they matter in sports, and what happens to them after men transition to become women.

Press play and tune in!

5:02 - Who is Gregory Brown and what is his background?

6:14 - Why did you write this controversial expert declaration?

7:17 - What are these inherent advantages that men have compared to women?

12:46 - How do physiological differences affect performance?

15:00 - How does transitioning before puberty affect the body?

19:27 - What are your thoughts on how this could affect women’s sports?

22:50 - If there are physical advantages in transgenders, where should we go from here? Should we ban them from women’s sports?

29:01 - How does your average transgender athlete compare to an elite women athlete?

44:19 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Mentioned on The Show:

Dr Gregory Brown’s Declaration: https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/a69528e3-c613-4bcc-9931-258260a4e77f/downloads/2020.01.07%20G%20Brown%20Report%20Executed.pdf?ver=1578668890484

Thermonuclear takedown of the case for letting transgender “women” compete against biological women: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzg9QtQelR8&t=138s

Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching: legionathletics.com/coaching/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 06, 2020
David Nurse on Turning Great Basketball Players Into NBA Stars
4200

In this episode, we’ll digress from our regular programming on how to lose fat, gain muscle, and stay healthy, and enter the world of professional sports with David Nurse, who’s one of the premier shooting coaches in the NBA.

David once had aspirations to play in the NBA himself, but eventually, he learned the painful truth that he simply wasn’t good enough to compete at the highest levels of the sport.

This was a tough row to hoe for David, who had devoted most of his life to the sport. Basketball was more or less all he knew and loved, and if he couldn’t make it as a pro, what else was he supposed to do?

Instead of quitting his passion, however, David redirected it, successfully pivoting to a career of helping other good athletes become great. And today, he works with some of the best players in the world to help them continue to hone not just their physical talents but their mental game, as well.

So, if you’ve ever wondered what professional sports teams do when the cameras aren’t running to achieve such superhuman feats of athleticism, you’ll enjoy this episode.

In this episode, David talk about . . .

- How David transitioned from failed player to coach for some of the best basketball players in the world
- How a "swag reel" can help players get into a flow state
- Why preparation and confidence are the true keys to success
- The importance of wanting to be educated and coached
- The unseen extra work that creates elite athletes

Click the player below to listen!

9:48 - How did you transition from being a player to coach?
13:54 - What are some of the negative talk and self limiting beliefs that you help NBA players overcome?
17:40 - What are the things that you can do to get a high probability that can produce a positive return? How do you put yourself into that situation as much as possible?
25:07 - How do you make what you say persuasive to NBA players?
38:09 - How do you help cultivate the willingness to be coached in the NBA players that you work with? With NBA players that aren’t born with extraordinary talent, how do you persuade them?
56:50 - What is your book Pivot and Go about?
58:11 - What are some examples of shifting your mindset?

Mentioned on The Show:
David Nurse's Book - Pivot and Go: http://davidnurse.com/book/
David Nurse's Podcast (The 1%): https://linktr.ee/davidnurse5
David Nurse's Website: http://davidnurse.com/
David Nurse's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davidnursenba/
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 03, 2020
The Best of Muscle for Life: How to Make “Lean Gains,” Build a Successful Brand, and Set and Achieve Goals
2182

As of right now, I’ve produced over 500 episodes of Muscle for Life, totaling over 700 hours of content.

I’ve talked about a huge variety of things related to health, fitness, and lifestyle, ranging from the basics of diet and exercise like energy and macronutrient balance and progressive overload and training frequency and volume to fads like the ketogenic and carnivore diet and collagen protein to more unfamiliar territories like body weight set point and fasted cardio.

Some episodes resonate with my crowd more than others, but all of them contain at least a few key takeaways that just about anyone can benefit from (that’s what I tell myself at least).

And as cool as that is, it poses a problem for you, my dear listener:

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Well okay, some people do make the time to listen to most or even all of my podcasts, but my wizbang analytics tell me that while many listeners tune in on a regular basis, they don’t catch every installment of Muscle for Life and thus miss out on insights that could help them get a little better inside and outside the gym.

People have also been saying they’d like me to do more shorter, multi-topic episodes, like my Q&As.

And so I got an idea: how about a “best of” series of podcasts that contains a few of the most practical and compelling ideas, tips, and moments from my most popular episodes?

This way, people who are new to the show can quickly determine if it’s for them or not, and those who enjoy what I’m doing but don’t have the time or inclination to listen to all of my stuff can still benefit from the discussions and find new episodes to listen to.

So, in this episode of The Best of Muscle for Life, you’ll be hearing hand-picked morsels from three episodes:

Eric Helms on the Simple Science of Making “Lean Gains”
Helping people, building a brand, and my biggest lessons learned
Here’s How I Go About Setting and Achieving My Goals

And we’ll be starting with number one, the simple science of making lean gains with Eric Helms.

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Timestamps

5:59 - Eric Helms on the Simple Science of Making “Lean Gains”

16:05 - Helping people, building a brand, and my biggest lessons learned

25:13 - Here’s How I Go About Setting and Achieving My Goals

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Mentioned on The Show:
legionathletics.com/eric-helms-build-muscle/
legionathletics.com/building-a-brand-podcast/
legionathletics.com/achieving-goals-podcast/
Shop Legion Supplements Here: legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 03, 2020
How to Use Portion Control to Lose Weight For Good
2155

Weight loss advice has been muddled for decades now.

For example, in the 90’s, we were told that all we had to do to get the body of our dreams is eat as little dietary fat as possible.

That didn’t work.

Now we’re being told we can eat a snootful of fat every day so long as we restrict our carbohydrate and sugar intake.

That’s not working, either.

Hormones…artificial sweeteners…chemicals and “toxins”…genetically modified foods…wheat and gluten…they’re all to blame for our collective fatness, according to one “guru” or another.

And the weight loss solutions they offer?

Restrictive dieting, of course, which, in many cases, means facing down a short list of what you can eat with everything else being strictly verboten.

Ironically, and fortunately for you, they’re all missing the forest for the trees.

You see, losing weight is much simpler than you’ve been led to believe, and in this podcast, we’re going to talk about a weight loss and maintenance strategy that not only makes sense and is supported by good science, but actually works in the real world: portion control.

The reason portion control works is simple. It strikes at the heart of why our weight changes for better or worse, which is the fact the quantity, not quality, of the food we eat matters most.

Yes, when we’re talking weight, what we eat matters much less than how much.

Couple that with the fact that people’s overall food portion sizes keep getting bigger, leading them to passively eat more and more calories, and it’s no wonder that obesity rates are rising faster than a Viagra erection.

Research shows that portion size is one of the strongest environmental factors contributing to weight gain, and by the end of this podcast, you’re going to know why, how it works, and how to use it as a tool for not just losing weight but preventing unwanted weight gain as well.

Let’s get started.

5:08 - Why does portion control matter?
8:51 - Why do we accidentally overeat?
16:51 - How do internal cues cause overeating?
21:44 - How can I use portion control to my advantage?
28:20 - How can I apply portion control at restaurants?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

---

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Apr 01, 2020
Layne Norton on Training at Home, Pandemic Dieting, Overcoming Fear, and More
2492

Coronavirus.

The only thing anybody is talking about right now as it continues to upend life as we knew it and highlight all the things we’ve been taking for granted, like eating at the local pizza joint, walking more than 100 steps per day, and oh, I don’t know, being able to leave the fucking house.

And then there’s the fitness fallout, what with lifters everywhere yearning for their usual diet and training routines, driven to boredom and overeating by lame home workouts with soup cans and small children for resistance.

If all that weren’t enough, there’s also the scumpot of scammers and losers clogging our Instagram feeds with posts about pills, powders, and potions that’ll purportedly ward off infection and disease.

And so understandably, you have questions about stuff like what to do with your diet, how to best work out at home, and how to help your immune system, and that’s why I wanted to bring Dr. Layne Norton back on the podcast.

Not only is he a pro bodybuilder, accomplished powerlifter, and published scientist, but he’s also an all-around knowledgeable dude who’s known for putting things in context and putting diet and exercise gurus and zealots in their place.

In this podcast, Layne answers questions people have been asking me quite a bit, including . . .

- Am I going to lose all my gains if I can’t go to the gym?
- How can I make my home workouts more effective?
- How can I support my immune system? Will the carnivore diet help?
- Should I cut right now?
- And more . . .

Let’s dig in!

4:04 - What are your thoughts on COVID-19?
5:20 - Where can people find your resources for online learning?
5:49 - How can we get a good workout from home?
13:26 - Why is heath and nutrition important during this time?
21:16 - How do you deal with fear of the unknown?
24:49 - What do you think about scammers capitalizing on the COVID-19 outbreak?
34:27 - How can we enhance immune function? Should I be cutting right now?
36:55 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Layne Norton's Carbon Diet Coach App: https://joincarbon.com/
Layne Norton's Books & More: https://www.biolayne.com/
Layne Norton's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/biolayne/
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/


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Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Mar 30, 2020
Q&A: Coronavirus, Home Workouts, Eating at Night, and More
2373

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:

- What do I think about the coronavirus?
- What are the best home workouts for maintaining muscle and strength?
- Is eating at night unhealthy and does it cause weight gain?

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 mike@muscleforlife.com.

Recommended reading for this episode:

- https://legionathletics.com/home-workout/
- https://legionathletics.com/how-to-prevent-mindless-eating/

Timestamps:

2:18 - What do I think about the coronavirus?
6:53 - What are the best home workouts for maintaining muscle and strength?
34:32 - Is eating at night unhealthy and does it cause weight gain?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Legion's Charity Sale: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Mar 27, 2020
Ben Greenfield on Upgrading Your Immunity, Sex, Longevity, and More
2960

Today’s episode is with the one and only Ben Greenfield, the bossman of biohacking and New York Times Bestselling author of several books, including his latest work, Boundless, which is a delicious buffet of techniques and tricks for optimizing your mind, body, and spirit.

And with most of us huddled up in our homes with our families, only venturing out for necessities like groceries and toilet paper, what better subjects to talk about in this moment than immunity, longevity, and . . . sex!

In this episode, Ben and I chat about . . .

- How specific breathing techniques and nasal breathing can decrease stress and improve your sleep
- Ways you can support your immune system
- The benefits of cold exposure
- How “sex salad” and oxytocin can enhance your drive and satisfaction
- “Doomsday” prepping and using newly found pandemic time productively
- And more . . .

Enjoy!

9:40 - What forms of breath work do you discuss in your new book?
13:29 - How can you train yourself to breath through your nose when you sleep?
17:44 - How can you boost your immune system?
37:53 - How can you increase satisfaction while having sex?

 

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Mentioned on The Show:

Legion’s Charity Sale: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

Ben Greenfield’s New Book ‘Boundless’: https://boundlessbook.com/ 

Ben Greenfield’s Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ben-greenfield-fitness/id283908977

Ben Greenfield’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bengreenfieldfitness/?hl=en

 

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Mar 25, 2020
How Bad Is Alcohol for You, Really?
874

There’s no doubt heavy drinking is a ticket to an early death.

The CDC estimates 88,000 Americans die annually from alcohol-related causes, which includes car accidents, a cornucopia of cancers, and liver disease.

Fifteen million Americans are believed to have an alcohol dependency disorder, and until recently alcohol killed more people than opioids.

That’s not to mention the disastrous effects of alcoholism on quality of life, mental health, productivity, and relationships.

Of course, you’ve heard all this before, and don’t need me to tell you heavy drinking can ruin and shorten your life.

That said, you’ve also probably heard that moderate drinking is good for you. That’s the claim doctors, scientists, and beverage companies have promoted for years—heavy drinking is bad for you and moderate drinking is beneficial.

Now, though, the pendulum is swinging in the other direction after a series of studies emerged that seemed to show alcohol is dangerous in any amount.

For example, CNN published an article titled “Even one drink a day could be shortening your life,” in reference to one such study (which you’ll learn about in a moment). Now, the fashionable opinion is that any alcohol is bad for you, full stop, and even moderate drinking is an invitation to long-term health problems.

Is this true, though?

Are you shortening your life by having a glass or two of wine or beer each night?

Well, the simple answer is no, probably not.

The more complicated answer is that there’s still a lot we don’t know about the long-term effects of alcohol and there’s no one size fits all answer for how much alcohol you can safely drink.

So, what exactly does alcohol do to your body, and how much can you safely drink?

Keep listening to learn the answer.

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Mentioned on The Show:
Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Mar 23, 2020
Chase Chewning on Transforming Tragedy Into Triumph
4006

Chase Chewning hasn’t had an easy time of it.

When he was still a teenager, he lost his father to Lou Gehrig’s disease. A few years later while he was in the army, he got seriously injured, requiring multiple surgeries, and got medically discharged.

Chase’s life was in shambles. His body was broken, his mind was muddled, and his spirit was shattered. He had no money, no job, and no purpose.

What he did have, though, was a lesson his father taught him—one he shares in our interview—that he used to emerge from this dark period and regain his physical and emotional strength, build a popular podcast and following online, and launch successful coaching and media consulting businesses that allow him to make a living doing work he loves and believes deeply in.

In this episode, Chase shares his story, including . . .

The transformative “gift” that his late father gave him
How he ended up getting discharged from the army
The experience of going “all in” on entrepreneurship and quitting a stable career
How to stand out in a saturated field like the fitness industry
How to find your passion
And more . . .

So, if you like inspiring stories and want to learn how Chase used tragedy to ignite a motivational fire under his own butt, listen to this episode.

5:33 - Why did you move to Los Angeles?
7:27 - What does Ever Forward mean and why did you choose that as your brand?
11:19 - How long ago was it when you discovered Ever Forward?
14:19 - Was your major injury the beginning of the descent?
19:49 - How did you turn that experience into where you’re at today?
23:34 - How did you start doing your podcast and brand?
39:23 - Was transitioning from coaching to podcast another leap you had to make?
49:12 - How do you find your passion? Should I turn my passion into my career?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Chase's Podcast: https://chasechewning.com/radio
Chase's Website: https://chasechewning.com/
Chase's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chase_chewning/
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Mar 20, 2020
The Complete Guide to L-Citrulline Supplementation
1744

Look at most popular pre-workout supplements and you’ll find they have several ingredients common.

L-citrulline is one of them.

Its name comes from citrullus, the Latin word for watermelon, which is a natural source of it. Other food sources include peanuts, soybeans, and kidney beans.

Most supplements aren’t all that special and can’t live up to the hype, but, as you’ll see, L-citrulline is one of the proven winners.

And in this podcast, we’re going to answer all your questions:

- What is L-citrulline?
- What are its benefits and side effects?
- How much do you have to take to see results?
- What’s the best way to supplement with it?
- And more…

Let’s start at the top.

9:57 - How did citrulline get its name?
10:27 - What is l-citrulline?
11:40 - Why do people supplement with l-citrulline?
14:09 - What are the benefits of supplementing with l-citrulline?
19:24 - How much l-citrulline do I need to take to get the benefits?
23:24 - How do I get l-citrulline?

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Mentioned on The Show:

Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Mar 18, 2020
Is Masturbation Killing Your Gains?
1026

You’ve probably heard that masturbation can drain your testosterone levels, dampen your drive to work out, and decrease muscle growth.

This idea that masturbation (or more specifically, ejaculation) hinders muscle building and athletic performance goes all the way back to ancient Greek and Roman times, when athletes would refrain from sex before athletic contests.

It turns out this idea still persists among many modern athletes.

As former heavyweight boxing champion David Haye said, “I don’t ejaculate for six weeks before the fight. No sex, no masturbation, no nothing. It releases too much tension. It releases a lot of minerals and nutrients that your body needs, and it releases them cheaply.”

Hmm . . . sounds an awful lot like an international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

Perhaps he’s right. But what does the scientific literature say?

Does masturbating interfere with your gains or your athletic performance?

The short answer is no, it doesn’t, unless you masturbate immediately before working out.

The long answer is studies show masturbation and sex have a variety of effects on the body and can impact your testosterone levels in the short term, but they’re highly unlikely to affect muscle growth.

 

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

 

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Mar 16, 2020
The Best Way to Get Rid of “Man Boobs” and Chest Fat
934

Chances are good you found this podcast because you think you may have “man boobs.”

And, chances are also good you’re willing to do just about anything to get rid of them.

And I’d also wager you haven’t had much luck so far. Even when you manage to lose a few pounds your “moobs” don’t seem to shrink, and maybe you’re even wondering if you’ll need surgery to get rid of them.

After all, many other guys are taking that route.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, male breast reduction surgeries increased 32% from 2000 to 2017, and in 2015 men accounted for 40% of all breast reduction surgeries.

Is that really your only option, though?

Is surgery the only way to get rid of man boobs?

And even if you manage to get rid of them, are they just going to come back thanks to your genetics?

The short answer is no, no, and no.

The long answer is that most cases of “man boobs” are simply caused by having too high of a body fat percentage, and once you reduce your body fat percentage your man boobs will disappear along with the rest of your chest fat.

So, if you want to learn how to get rid of man boobs as quickly as possible, you’re in the right place.

Let’s get started.

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Mentioned on The Show:
Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Mar 13, 2020
Max Lugavere on “Genius Foods” and Lifestyle for Better Brain Health
4415

What’s the best way to eat for optimal health—and brain health in particular—and longevity?

That’s a question Max Lugavere is working to answer.

When Max’s mother’s mental health began to decline, he became obsessed with how it could have been prevented. And that culminated in his first book, Genius Foods, which was a New York Times best-seller all about using diet and nutrition to help prevent dementia.

Unfortunately, Max’s mother developed pancreatic cancer, which she died from shortly after. Max’s determination didn’t wane, though, and he’s since gone on to write his newest book, Genius Life, which expands on the premise of his first book to go beyond food and build a healthy lifestyle.

In this episode, Max and I talk about . . .

- Why many people don’t need to eat so many carbs
- Misconceptions about olive oil for cooking
- The effect of late-night eating on hunger hormones
- Blue light blocking and magnesium for better sleep
- And more . . .

So, if you want to live a longer, healthier life while avoiding disease and optimizing your brain, listen to this episode!

12:49 - What are some of the big takeaways that you discussed in your book?
34:21 - Why is eating at night not healthy?
51:57 - How much time outside should you spend to increase better sleep?
53:45 - Can you simulate natural light with artificial light?
1:00:01 - What are some toxic chemicals that we are constantly exposed to and how can we avoid them?

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Mentioned on The Show:

Max’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maxlugavere/

Max’s New Book: https://geniuslifebook.com/

Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Mar 11, 2020
The Best of Muscle for Life: Faster Fat Loss for Women, More Willpower and Discipline, and More . . .
1436

As of right now, I’ve produced over 500 episodes of Muscle for Life, totaling over 700 hours of content.

I’ve talked about a huge variety of things related to health, fitness, and lifestyle, ranging from the basics of diet and exercise like energy and macronutrient balance and progressive overload and training frequency and volume to fads like the ketogenic and carnivore diet and collagen protein to more unfamiliar territories like body weight set point and fasted cardio.

Some episodes resonate with my crowd more than others, but all of them contain at least a few key takeaways that just about anyone can benefit from (that’s what I tell myself at least).

And as cool as that is, it poses a problem for you, my dear listener:

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Well okay, some people do make the time to listen to most or even all of my podcasts, but my wizbang analytics tell me that while many listeners tune in on a regular basis, they don’t catch every installment of Muscle for Life and thus miss out on insights that could help them get a little better inside and outside the gym.

People have also been saying they’d like me to do more shorter, multi-topic episodes, like my Q&As.

And so I got an idea: how about a “best of” series of podcasts that contains a few of the most practical and compelling ideas, tips, and moments from my most popular episodes?

This way, people who are new to the show can quickly determine if it’s for them or not, and those who enjoy what I’m doing but don’t have the time or inclination to listen to all of my stuff can still benefit from the discussions and find new episodes to listen to.

So, in this inaugural episode of The Best of Muscle for Life, you’ll be hearing hand-picked morsels from three episodes:

Lyle McDonald on How Women Can Improve Fat Loss https://legionathletics.com/lyle-mcdonald-podcast/

How to Safely and Healthily Lose Weight Fast
https://legionathletics.com/how-to-lose-weight-fast-podcast/

The Science of Supercharging Your Willpower and Self-Discipline
https://legionathletics.com/increase-willpower-podcast/

And we’ll be starting with number one, fat loss tips for women from Lyle McDonald.

5:24 - Lyle McDonald on How Women Can Improve Fat Loss
14:53 - How to Safely and Healthily Lose Weight Fast
18:19 - The Science of Supercharging Your Willpower and Self-Discipline

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Mentioned on The Show:


Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Mar 09, 2020
Q&A: Touch-and-Go Deadlift, Sugar Intake, Calorie Calculators, and More
2511

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 four questions:

1. Should I do touch and go deadlifts or should I pause between reps?
2. How quickly should I expect results with muscle gain and fat loss?
3. How much sugar can I eat and still be healthy?
4. I’ve used online calculators to determine my ideal calorie intake, how come I’m not losing or gaining weight?

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 mike@muscleforlife.com.

Recommended reading for this episode:
legionathletics.com/paused-reps/
legionathletics.com/sugar-facts/
legionathletics.com/how-many-calori…s-should-i-eat/

Timestamps:

1:35 - Should I do touch and go deadlifts or should I pause between reps?
12:17 - How quickly should I expect results with muscle gain and fat loss?
23:55 - How much sugar can I eat and still be healthy?
30:13 - I’ve used online calculators to determine my ideal calorie intake. How come I’m not losing or gaining weight?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Mar 06, 2020
Here’s Why the GOMAD Diet Is a Dumb Way to Gain Weight
2301

I’m pretty sure that’s how the “Gallon of Milk a Day,” or GOMAD Diet was conceived.

It’s equally simple to follow because the name alone tells you everything you need to know:

You drink an entire gallon of milk every day.

(You eat other food too, of course, but you’re not following the diet unless you’re getting down that gallon.)

Most people would say that’s silly, but when you’re struggling to gain weight and have tried just about everything but steroids, well, why not?

I mean, there are plenty of jacked dudes on the Internet that swear by GOMAD for gaining muscle fast and hitting PRs, so who knows…maybe there’s really something to it?

Unfortunately, it’s not that black and white.

Yes, GOMAD can help you gain weight faster…but a lot of it isn’t going to be the type of weight that you want to gain (fat).

You see, putting down a couple thousand calories of milk per day will certainly move the needle to the right, but it isn’t going to do much good for your body composition.

It’s not going to do your gut any favors, either.

That’s why there are much better ways to go about gaining weight, and in this podcast, I’m going to break it all down for you.

By the end, you’re going to know why people turn to GOMAD, what’s wrong with it, and how to go about gaining weight the right way.

Let’s get started.

4:45 - What is the GOMAD diet and why do people do it?
9:45 - Is the GOMAD diet better than eating more food?
10:24 - Does milk have the ideal nutrient profile for muscle building?
16:22 - Does milk have saturated fat that boosts testosterone levels?
20:20 - Does milk spike insulin levels to accelerate muscle growth?
28:40 - Can guys gain 20-30 pounds in a month on the GOMAD diet?
30:23 - What should I do instead of GOMAD?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Mar 04, 2020
Says You! Why the 4-to-6 Rep Range, No Porn, and (Mostly) Ignoring Competitors
2691

I’ve written and recorded a lot of evidence-based content over the years on just about everything you can imagine related to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy.

I’ve also worked with thousands of men and women of all ages and circumstances and helped them get into the best shape of their lives.

That doesn’t mean you should blindly swallow everything I say, though, because let’s face it—nobody is always right about everything. And especially in fields like diet and exercise, which are constantly evolving thanks to the efforts of honest and hardworking researchers and thought leaders.

This is why I’m always happy to hear from people who disagree with me, especially when they have good arguments and evidence to back up their assertions.

Sometimes I can’t get on board with their positions, but sometimes I end up learning something, and either way, I always appreciate the discussion.

That gave me the idea for this series of podcast episodes: publicly addressing things people disagree with me on and sharing my perspective.

Think of it like a spicier version of a Q&A.

So, here’s what I’m doing:

Every couple of weeks, I’m asking my Instagram followers what they disagree with me on, and then picking a few of the more common or interesting contentions to address here on the podcast.

And in this episode, I’ll be tackling the following . . .

4:20 - Why I recommend 4-6 reps for most exercises in Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger
16:16 - Why I think watching porn is bad
32:38 - Whether or not I pay attention to my competitors more than I lead on

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Mar 02, 2020
Mark Divine on Unlocking Your Leadership Potential, Navy SEAL Style
3798

Leadership may sound glamorous, but it’s far different from what most people imagine.

It’s hard work. It takes brains, grit, and persistence. You have to earn the trust and respect of your team.

You have to do more than just learn new skills to become a good leader, too—you have to work on yourself to overcome the mental hurdles holding you back, including deeply-ingrained negative behaviors and emotions.

Luckily, no matter your previous experience, you can become a better leader. And who better to learn from than Mark Divine, who’s releasing a new book on leadership called Staring Down the Wolf: 7 Leadership Commitments That Forge Elite Teams.

In case you’re not familiar with Mark, he’s a master in mental toughness and leadership. He’s not just a New York Times bestselling author and creator of several multi-million dollar businesses (including SEALFIT and Unbeatable Mind), he was also a Navy SEAL for 20 years and climbed the rank of commander before retiring.

So it goes without saying that Mark isn’t just talking the talk.

In this episode, we talk about . . .

How leading a team in the civilian world is different from the SEALs
The hard lessons he learned from his first major business failure
Common leadership problems like internal biases and a lack of emotional awareness
Stages of leadership development and the importance of “vertical growth” and mastering yourself
And even a bit of book publishing, meditation, and spirituality . . .

So, if you want to become a better leader or even just a more well-rounded person more capable of serving a greater cause than yourself, definitely give this episode a listen!

13:25 - Why did you decide to write this book and why now?
20:29 - How was the transition from the navy seals to business?
30:13 - Why is vertical growth so important?
33:05 - What does that higher perspective look like?
50:05 - What does spirituality mean to you?

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Mentioned on The Show:

Mark’s New Book Staring Down the Wolf: 7 Leadership Commitments That Forge Elite Teams: staringdownthewolf.com/pre-order-page-3

Mark Divine’s Website: markdivine.com/

Mark Divine’s Podcast: unbeatablemind.com/podcast/

Mark Divine’s Corporate Training: unbeatablemind.com/

Shop Legion Supplements Here: legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Feb 28, 2020
The 5 Best Natural Appetite Suppressants (According to Science)
1931

The number one reason people struggle to lose weight is they don’t stick to their diet.

Why?

Well, that’s the million dollar question.

Some people get bored with their food choices, lack of progress, and daily routine, and revert to their old eating habits.

Some people get thrown off course by a holiday, vacation, or unplanned restaurant outing and never pull themselves back on track.

Others try to lose weight too fast and end up running into a quicksand of low-energy, irritability, hunger, and obsessive thoughts about food that causes them to binge and gain back much of the weight they lost.

While those first two obstacles are relatively easy to solve, it’s that last one that’s often the bane of even the most experienced dieters.

Losing weight requires that you maintain a calorie deficit for weeks or months on end.

That is, you need to be eating fewer calories than you burn for quite some time to see a noticeable change in your appearance.

Most people have no trouble maintaining a calorie deficit for a few days or weeks, but it’s sticking it out day after day after day that wears people down and breaks their resolve.

And one of the key gremlins that plagues their progress is hunger.

There’s a lot you can do to counter hunger—eating more protein and fibrous fruits and vegetables, eating fewer processed foods, and (ironically) exercising, but if you diet for long enough it will become noticeable, especially between meals.

One of the things you can do to avoid being harried by hunger is taking natural appetite suppressants.

Now, appetite suppressants generally have a bad rap, and understandably so. Many harsh weight loss drugs like clenbuterol work partially because they also reduce appetite, and the most effective appetite suppressants often come with strong and potentially permanent side effects.

For example, while “clen” is an outstanding appetite suppressant, it also increases the risk of heart failure, potassium deficiency, and insomnia.

That said, it would be unfair to paint all appetite suppressants with the same brush as clenbuterol.

There are healthy, effective, natural appetite suppressants that can help you curb hunger and cravings without compromising your health.

While I’m an advocate of getting as much mileage out of your diet and training as possible before resorting to supplements, there are several kinds of natural appetite suppressants worth trying if you’re struggling to keep the hunger hobgoblins at bay.

And by the end of this podcast, you’ll know everything you need to know about which natural appetite suppressants are worth trying and which aren’t.

Let’s get started.

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Feb 26, 2020
How Pro Golfer Dru Love Dropped 40 Pounds and Fixed His Relationship with Food
4493

Today's episode is the story of a professional golfer named Dru Love (son of the Hall of Fame golfer, Davis Love III), and how my team of coaches helped Dru lose close to 40 pounds and gain a bunch of strength and muscle.

When Dru was first introduced to me and my work, he was struggling with his body composition and fitness. He’s 6’5” and at the time weighed about 250 pounds. He had no idea what to do with his diet because of all the myths he’d heard in the past.

You’d be shocked what sort of fad diets make their way into professional sports, and most people don’t realize athletes don’t get good advice on how to eat, how to train, or how to do many things outside of how to play their sport.

There are plenty of good coaches specific to their sport, but when it comes to diet and training, athletes have a lot of people giving them a lot of bad advice. And that was definitely the case with Dru.

On the dietary side of things, he’d go from one extreme diet to the next, and fall off the wagon because it was too restrictive. His plans weren’t sustainable and he hated it.

He couldn't wait to get back to eating what he wanted, when he wanted, and as much as he wanted.

On the training side of things, Dru wasn’t much better off. Instead of strength training, he was working out with cables and BOSU balls—a bunch of “functional fitness” stuff—as it's often called in the golf space.

Those are the workouts I see many professional golfers doing, and really, they’re kind of silly. It's a lot of very low weight, low resistance exercises, with tons of reps and a lot of isolation work.

Of course, this is better than nothing. But I always wondered, why isn't strength training more popular in golf, especially considering most of the power in your swing comes from your lower body?

Wouldn't it be helpful to have stronger legs, stronger hips, and stronger glutes that can produce more force and produce it faster? You know, more power.

The faster you can swing the club, the more energy you can transfer to the ball, and the further you hit it. That's one of the things I talk to Dru about—why aren't more golfers doing strength training?

We also talk more in-depth about how his training looked before and after working with my coaching team, and how that’s impacted his golf game.

Dru has lost upward of about 40 pounds now, and while he saw his swing speed drop initially, he saw it come back up as he gained muscle and strength. Now, he’s 40 pounds lighter yet his swing speeds are higher than they were when he weighed 250 pounds.

And Dru’s just getting started. He’s 6 months into coaching and probably has another 6 months of newbie gains to go. So it's going to be exciting to see where this journey takes him.

Dru and I also chat about how his relationship with food has dramatically improved. Before, he struggled to “eat well”—eating a lot of fried foods and barbecue instead. (He lives in Georgia.)

Then he’d go from some extreme diet to the next, yo-yo dieting his way to nowhere.

Now, he's eating a lot of nutritious foods and fitting in indulgences to celebrate tournament wins on tour.

Anyway, I found this podcast particularly enjoyable because I like golf and I admire people who are really good at it. And as you’ll hear, what Dru is doing now is setting himself up for future big wins, and has positive ramifications outside of his sport as well.

Hit play and I hope you enjoy!

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8:58 - Where were you before you found Legion and my work?
11:34 - What did your body composition and weight look like before and after Legion?
19:30 - What is the fitness scene like in professional golf?
26:42 - Is there a stigma in golf against losing weight?
31:03 - How have you managed your workouts so soreness doesn’t get in the way of your goal? What have you noticed in terms of flexibility?
42:50 - How was the transition from how you were eating previously and how you are eating now?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Feb 24, 2020
Intra-workout Carbs, Drop Sets, “Maintenance Bulking,” and More Featuring Cody McBroom
4034

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?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Books by Mike Matthews: legionathletics.com/products/books/

Cody McBroom's Podcast (The Boom Boom Performance Podcast): mindvsmuscle.podbean.com/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Feb 21, 2020
The Best Training Frequency for Building Muscle (According to 20 Studies)
1756

Optimal training frequency is a hotly debated subject.

Some believe you should train your entire body two to three times per week, whereas others think this approach will lead to overtraining, injury, and burnout.

Anecdotal evidence is all over the place as well.

Skim through online forums and chat with fellow gym goers and you’ll hear stories of fantastic progress training major muscle groups just once per week as well as three, four, or even five times per week.

Some weightlifters also mix it up, training different muscle groups with different frequencies.

For example, some say smaller muscle groups like the shoulders, biceps, and calves should be trained three or four times per week but large muscle groups like the upper legs only need one intense workout per week.

If you turn to the scientific literature for insight, you’ll get few reliable answers.
Some studies seem to show higher frequencies work best and others show you can make equally good progress with fewer workouts per week.

So, what should you do?

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Time Stamps:

4:28 - What is training frequency?

5:53 - What is the best training frequency for building muscle?

17:55 - How do you figure out how frequently you should be training?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Feb 19, 2020
My Top 5 Takeaways from Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
980

“Can you recommend a book for…?”

“What are you reading right now?”

“What are your favorite books?”

I get asked those types of questions a lot and, as an avid reader and all-around bibliophile, I’m always happy to oblige.

I also like to encourage people to read as much as possible because knowledge benefits you much like compound interest. The more you learn, the more you know; the more you know, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more opportunities you have to succeed.

On the flip side, I also believe there’s little hope for people who aren’t perpetual learners. Life is overwhelmingly complex and chaotic, and it slowly suffocates and devours the lazy and ignorant.

So, if you’re a bookworm on the lookout for good reads, or if you’d like to get into the habit of reading, this book club for you.

The idea here is simple: Every month, I’ll share a book that I’ve particularly liked, why I liked it, and several of my key takeaways from it.

I’ll also keep things short and sweet so you can quickly decide whether the book is likely to be up your alley or not.

Alright, let’s get to the takeaways.

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Mentioned on The Show:
Books by Mike Matthews: legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Feb 17, 2020
Everything is Amazing But Nobody Is Happy
948

This episode is part of a monthly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

One Monday every month, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back for the latest and greatest installment.

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Feb 14, 2020
Marc Perry’s Favorite Time-Proven Fitness Tips for 40+-Year-Olds
3859

“I don’t have time to workout.”

“Eating properly is too hard.”

“I’ve tried it all before. Fitness just doesn’t work for me.”

I get hundreds of emails every day and often hear stuff like that, and especially from folks in their mid-30s and 40s.

Whether they’ve fallen off the wagon and want to get in shape again, or have never really tried to achieve any serious fitness goals, these people are frustrated. And I understand.

Building muscle and losing fat isn’t easy. Creating a sustainable lifestyle that allows you to stay consistent over the long-haul is even harder. That’s especially true when you have a busy professional career and a spouse and family to attend to, and even more so if you also need to travel frequently.

That’s why I invited Marc Perry back on the podcast. In case you’re not familiar with Marc, he's the creator of BuiltLean.com and specializes in helping men in their mid-30s and beyond create systems and habits that allow them to reach their fitness goals faster and enjoy themselves along the way.

In this episode, we discuss . . .

- The different stages of getting fit as you get older
- Unique challenges of getting in shape especially with hectic work and home lives
- Where to start if you’re out of shape
- The benefits of crawling
- The importance of accountability
- And much more . . .

So if you’re 35 or older and want some actionable fitness advice that goes beyond “tough love,” give this podcast a listen!

13:10 - How would you start to form an individual program for a person?
16:39 - What do you with people who are in stage one and want to reach the next level?
18:27 - What are some common habits and beliefs you work on with people during stage one? What is the winning mindset?
25:56 - How can you change the mindset of “I can’t eat properly”?
27:38 - What are some common examples to eating properly and forming a habit?
51:07 - What type of workouts do you typically have your clients do?
52:33 - What are some of your favorite exercises to do and have your clients do?
55:01 - What are the benefits of crawling smoothly?
57:11 - What does the form look like to crawl correctly? Where can I find more information on crawling?
1:02:13 - Where can people find you and your work?

Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: legionathletics.com/shop/

Marc Perry's Website:
www.builtlean.com/

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Feb 12, 2020
What 33 Studies Say About the CICO Diet for Weight Loss
1406

Weight loss can seem wildly complex.

Some say that carbs are the culprit when it comes to weight gain, and going low-carb is the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off for good.

Others say that weight loss goes beyond carbs—it’s about the quality of your diet.

If you avoid toxins, lectins, phytates, and other nutritional bogeymen that are menacing your metabolism, the pounds fall right off.

And others say that you just need to eat clean. Eat more fresh, whole, minimally processed foods and less junk, and you’ll lose weight like clockwork.

Most trends ebb and flow in cycles—liberals and conservatives in power, booms and busts in the economy, and complexity and simplicity when it comes to popular diets.

It’s not surprising then, that after several decades of fake doctors, fitness gurus, and marketers shilling complex diets like The Plant Paradox diet, the ketogenic diet, the carnivore diet, the military diet, and the like, that many people are yearning for a simpler approach.

It’s not surprising, then, that people are becoming tired of complicated diets, and are becoming more interested in simple ones, like the “calories in, calories out” diet, aka the CICO diet.

Proponents promise that it’s the simplest, most reliable, and effective way to lose weight, and that once you try it you’ll never try another weight loss diet again.

Critics say that while it can help you lose weight, it does so at the cost of your long-term health.

Who’s right?

The short answer is that the CICO diet isn’t really a diet at all. It simply describes the mechanism by which all diets work and have always worked—eating fewer calories than you burn.

As the old saying goes, though, everything old is new again, and in this article, you’re going to learn why the CICO diet is being exhumed once more.

By the end, you’ll know . . .

- What the CICO diet is
- Why people follow the CICO diet
- What the benefits and downsides of the CICO diet are
- A better way to eat than the CICO diet
- And more!

Let’s get started.

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: legionathletics.com/shop/

---

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Feb 10, 2020
What's New? My Free Workout App, Legion's First Arnold, and More . . .
641

“When’s your next book coming out?”

“What kind of supplements are you going to release next?”

“What would you name your boat if you had one?”

I’m asked questions like these all the time and so I thought I’d start doing monthly updates about what’s new and exciting here at Legion HQ.

So here’s a quick hosedown of what me and my jolly band of pirates and bums have been up to lately.

Enjoy!

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Mentioned on The show:

Books by Mike Matthews: legionathletics.com/products/books/

My Free Workout App Stacked: getstackedapp.com/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Feb 07, 2020
Donata White on the Right Way to Set (and Achieve) Ambitious Goals
5176

As you can imagine, I’ve heard many January resolutions over the years.

“This is my year. I’m finally going to lose 20 pounds.”

“I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’m going to get fit again!”

“I’m going to set an example for my friends, family, spouse, kids, etc.”

And I’ve seen many people, when armed with the right know-how and an extra helping of piss and vinegar, do exactly as they intended.

I’ve also seen many unsuccessful attempts at personal transformation inside and outside of the gym, and while a sheer lack of discipline and stick-to-it-iveness is often partly to blame, many times the problems begin right at square one: how they go about setting goals.

And then, to add insult to injury, they often botch the next crucial step, and that’s creating a system that will produce their desired results.

If you can do those two things well--set goals and build systems--there’s no telling what you might be able to achieve inside and outside of the gym.

That’s the topic of today’s discussion with Donata White, who I invited back on the podcast to share her personal story transitioning from a successful law career to social media and business consulting as well as how she helps her clients tackle goal setting and execution.

In this episode, Donata and I talk about . . .

- Why people often fail at their resolutions
- Creating goals you care about rather than ones that “sound” good
- Setting up systems to achieve those goals
- Outlining your core values
- What failure really is
- And more . . .

Give it a listen!

6:52 - Why do people fail with their new years resolution?
24:35 - What sort of goals sound good but actually aren’t?
38:37 - Whats the difference between quantitative and qualitative goals?
43:59 - What is your system for achieving goals?
01:08:34 - When did you realize that you didn’t want to be a lawyer anymore?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Books by Mike Matthews: legionathletics.com/products/books/

Donata White:
Website: donatawhite.com/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/donatawhite/
Twitter: twitter.com/donatawhite

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Feb 05, 2020
How to Be More Physically Attractive to Women (According to Science)
1088

One of the main reasons many guys get into working out is to be more attractive to women.

And for good reason—it works.

Men have known for thousands of years that women generally prefer men who are muscular, lean, and strong to those who are soft, fat, and weak, and modern research has vindicated this fact.

This isn’t surprising, of course.

Having a fit, healthy, athletic body is a good indicator of many desirable traits, such as discipline, determination, patience, perseverance, and self-respect.

So if you’re a guy and looking to improve your chances of finding a partner, getting in better shape should be near the top of the list.

Of course, that raises the question:

What kind of body do women find most attractive?

Let’s get started.

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Mentioned on The Show:
Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Feb 03, 2020
Q&A: Intermittent Fasting, Isometric Exercise, "Selling Out," and More . . .
1998

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 questions:

1. Why haven’t you sold out yet?
2. What is your current take on intermittent fasting?
3. Does isometric exercise work?
4. How much does time under tension contribute to muscle growth?

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 mike@muscleforlife.com.

2:32 - Why haven’t you sold out yet?
14:26 - What is your current take on intermittent fasting?
19:12 - Does isometric exercise work?
20:47 - How much does time under tension contribute to muscle growth?

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Mentioned on The Show:

Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching: https://legionathletics.com/coaching/

---

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Jan 31, 2020
Can Paused Reps Help You Gain Muscle and Strength Faster? Science Says Yes . . . Kind Of.
2113

There are many different ways to program your training, many different exercises to choose from, and many ways to do them.

Some methods and choices are better than others.

Periodization, for example, helps keep the gears of gains greased as you move into the intermediate phase of your weightlifting journey and beyond.

Supersets, on the other hand, are like supplements—a sometimes helpful but nonessential tool.

And then there are many training techniques that have no place in most people’s routines, like forced reps, negatives, and cheat reps.

What about paused reps? Worthwhile or worthless or somewhere in between?

Well, the short answer is when used properly, paused reps can help you gain muscle and strength faster, but not for the reasons people often say.

And in this podcast, you’re going to learn why, as well as how to effectively incorporate paused reps into your workout routine.

Let’s get to it.

Time Stamps:

2:54 - What are paused reps?

4:52 - Why do people do paused reps?

5:14 - Can paused reps improve technique?

8:42 - Can paused reps help you prepare for a powerlifting meet?

11:13 - Do paused reps make exercises more difficult?

18:09 - Can paused reps make your training more interesting?

20:20 - Can paused reps help you break through training plateaus?

22:37 - How do I incorporate paused reps into my training?

29:31 - How do you properly execute a paused rep?

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Mentioned on the show:
Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching: legionathletics.com/coaching/

---

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Jan 29, 2020
This Is Why You Shouldn’t Use Water Fasting to Lose Weight
981

Fasting is becoming more and more popular.

You have intermittent fasting, alternate day fasting, 24-hour fasting, the 5:2 diet, and endless other variations.

And most of these methods don’t seem all that difficult or complex.

Instead of evenly spacing your meals throughout the day, you eat all of your calories in a shorter period of time (usually 4 to 10 hours) and you don’t eat the rest of the time.

According to some, though, there’s a better mousetrap out there—water fasting.


As you can guess, water fasting involves abstaining from all forms of food or drink except water, and you keep this up for anywhere from a day to several weeks.

You don’t have to look far to find stories of people who swear water fasting offers all kinds of benefits, including:

- Effortless weight loss
- More energy
- Improved complexion
- Slowed aging
- Better health
- And more . . .

Sounds good so far.

To many people, the most appealing part of water fasting is it’s so simple.

You never have to wonder what you can or can’t eat during the fast. You don’t have to make shakes or meal replacements or take supplements. You don’t have to plan your meals.

All you have to do is stop eating and drinking anything except water, and you’ll look sexier, feel better, be healthier in a few days, the water fasting proponents say.

Sure, you’ll be hungry some of the time, but it’s not that bad.

At least that’s what everyone on the Internet tells you.

You have your doubts, though, too.

It has the stamp of “too good to be true” written all over it, and if it doesn’t deliver on these promises, you’ll have suffered for no reason.

And yet . . . what if it only helped you lose a few pounds, or have slightly clearer skin, or gave you a little more energy, wouldn’t it be worth it?

In a word, no.

Water fasting will help you lose weight, but not because there’s something unique about only drinking water for a few days. Chances are also good that you won’t be happy with how you look at the end of your self-imposed starvation experiment.

It’s also not going to “detox” your body, improve your skin complexion, or do much of anything else for you except make you really, really hungry for a few days.

In this podcast, you’re going to learn why water fasting is an unhealthy way to lose weight and what you should do instead.

Let’s get started.

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Mentioned on the show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Jan 27, 2020
Ethan Suplee on Losing 300 Pounds and Getting Jacked
4123

You may not recognize Ethan Suplee’s name, but you’ve almost certainly seen his face.

He’s appeared in quite a few blockbuster movies and hit T.V. shows such as Mallrats, Without a Paddle, American History X, Cold Mountain, Remember the Titans, My Name Is Earl, Chasing Amy, and many more.

During much of this time, Ethan was big, tipping the scales at nearly 530 pounds at his heaviest. As he jokes in our interview, he basically had the “fat guy who can act” niche cornered in Hollywood.

While this was helpful to his career and bank account, it wasn’t doing his body any favors.

And so, about a decade ago, Ethan realized his life was likely to come to a painful and humiliating end if he didn’t make a major change. He got a wild hair and through crash dieting, keto, martial arts, and cycling, he managed to get all the way down to 220 pounds.

As impressive as that was, Ethan still wasn’t happy. He didn’t have much muscle mass and he felt small, weak, and uncomfortable in his own skin.

So back up his weight went, all the way into the mid-300s.

Eventually, however, he found his way to me and my work as well as the good work of others in the evidence-based fitness space and learned about proper meal planning, macronutrient balance, and heavy weightlifting, and today, you wouldn’t even recognize him as Louie the lineman from Remember the Titans.

He looks like he’s ready for the next Mission Impossible flick.

What’s more, Ethan is using his celebrity and story to help spread the word about proper nutrition and training through his growing Instagram account and new podcast, American Glutton.

So, if you want to hear Ethan’s inspiring story and how he went from super fat to fit to really fat to super fit, this podcast is for you.

16:00 - At what point did you get serious about weight lifting?
20:50 - How was your experience with losing fat with the keto diet?
27:29 - When did your weight become an issue and you decided to change your lifestyle?
28:42 - What kind of conversation did you have that helped you change your life?
36:58 - How did cycling affect your work?
48:08 - Now that your physique has changed dramatically, how is it going to affect your work and the type of placements you get?

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Mentioned on The Show:

Ethan's Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/american-glutton/id1490933138

Ethan's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ethansuplee

Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Jan 24, 2020
Should You Use a Protein Sparing Modified Fast to Lose Weight?
925

Want to know what protein sparing modified fasting is, why people do it, and whether or not you should try it? Keep listening.

You probably know trying to lose weight too fast is a mistake.

You’re going to run into the hurdles of extreme hunger, lethargy, irritability, and the metabolic hobgoblins attendant to all crash diets.

Plus, you’re walking a tightrope where one misstep could lead to a binge that wipes out your progress.

That said, there are advantages to losing fat as fast as possible.

You see results faster in the mirror, you don’t have to diet for as long, and you can get back to building muscle and getting stronger sooner.

If you want to lose fat as fast as possible, though, you need to do it the right way.

The worst thing you can do is follow some half-baked diet like water fasting, the military diet, or a detox diet, which are just forms of reckless calorie restriction in disguise.

Instead, you should follow an evidence-based, structured, effective crash diet that helps you lose fat as fast as possible without losing much muscle.

And the only diet that checks those boxes is known as a protein sparing modified fast (PSMF).

If you want to learn what a PSMF is, why it’s so effective, how it compares to other crash diets, and how to use it to lose fat as fast as possible, keep listening.

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Mentioned on the show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: legionathletics.com/shop/

---
Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Jan 22, 2020
Dr. Andy Galpin on Muscle Fiber Types and Muscle Growth
3585

There’s a lot of confusion and debate about how muscle fiber types relate to muscle growth.

Some people say only fast-twitch muscle tissue can get big and strong and some of us naturally have more or less of it and can’t change that regardless of what we do in the gym.

Others say both fast- and slow-twitch muscle can grow bigger and stronger and the makeup of our muscles is malleable, but we shouldn’t take any special measures in our training to try to emphasize one muscle type over the other.

And others still say “muscle-specific hypertrophy” training—using different rep ranges with different muscle groups based on their dominant fiber type—is the optimal approach to training, and especially as an intermediate or advanced weightlifter.

Who’s right?

Well, I wasn’t even sure myself, that’s why I invided Dr. Andy Galpin on the show to explain.

In case you’re not familiar with Andy, he has a PhD in Human Bioenergetics, teaches various university-level courses on sports nutrition and exercise physiology, and heads a lab that runs studies on muscle fiber type and muscular adaptations to exercise on a cellular level.

His lab is also conducting an intermittent fasting study to learn more about the implications of fasted training on muscle growth, which I’m helping fund through my sports nutrition company Legion Athletics.

6:38 - What are the different types of muscle fibers?
13:49 - Is muscle fiber type the main reason why people gain muscle faster than others?
23:14 - Why do you think the olympic lifters had more fast twitch muscles?
24:37 - Can some people transform from type 1 to type 2 faster than other people?
26:16 - Is this information useful for normal lifters or experts? Should training be optimized or altered according to muscle fibers types?
28:58 - How do you emphasize building type 1 and type 2 muscles?
40:12 - How should people perceive muscle groups and how does that affect your exercise routine?
46:20 - Can you lose your fast twitch muscles by focusing on slow twitch?
55:10 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Mentioned on the show: 

Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

Bigger Leaner Stronger: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/bigger-leaner-stronger/

 

Find Dr. Andy Galpin Online:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drandygalpin/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/drandygalpin

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Jan 20, 2020
Dr. Gundry’s Plant Paradox Debunked: 7 Science-Based Reasons It’s a Scam
3879

Every year, a couple health and wellness books go great guns, saturating the airwaves and selling millions of copies.

You know, books like How Not to Die, Grain Brain, and Why We Get Fat.

The talk of the town is currently Dr. Steven Gundry’s The Plant Paradox, which claims the conventional advice of eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is flawed and in many cases even harmful.

In other words, according to Dr. Gundry, many of the foods you’ve been told were good for you contain substances that spark “chemical warfare” in your body and insidiously undermine your health over time.

Gluten, dairy, and sugar—the usual suspects—are fingered, but so is another component of many fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains that many people haven’t heard of: lectins.

These little “splinters of protein,” as Dr. Gundry calls them, purportedly wreak havoc in the body, causing weight gain, “leaky gut,” cancer, and heart, brain, and autoimmune disease, as well as a slew of nuisances like acne, gas, morning stiffness, joint pain, migraines, and chronic pain and fatigue.

In fact, lectins are so destructive that Dr. Gundry denounces them as the common cause for most health problems, full stop. Thus, he says, it’s time to slaughter the sacred nutrition cow of generally eating more plant food, because it’s making people sick, fat, and ultimately dead.

To support his claims, Dr. Gundry stands on the shoulders of his 40-year career as an accomplished surgeon and medical expert, which includes:

- Performing over 10,000 heart surgeries
- Patenting multiple medical devices widely used in heart surgeries
- Pioneering new research on heart transplants for infants
- Serving as volunteer president of the American Heart Association
- Founding a “waitlist-only” clinic for disseminating his wisdom to a lucky few

He’s also scored major social proof for his teachings, including appearing on just about every major mainstream media platform and receiving celebrity endorsements.

It’s hard to argue with bona fides like those. Or is it?

While Dr.Gundry presents himself as a charismatic caregiver who only wants what’s best for his patients and the world, many of his peers aren’t buying it.

They point to gaping holes in his interpretation of the research, which they say clearly rejects his lectin hypothesis and maintains the nutritional value of getting the majority of your calories from plant foods.

Who’s right?

Well, the short story is this:

The Plant Paradox is rife with inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and outright misinformation, and the diet espoused in it is unnecessarily restrictive and blatantly designed to sell people overpriced and ineffective supplements.

And in this podcast, you’re going to find out why.

5:38 - What is the plant paradox diet?
9:47 - What are lectins and why are they the target of Dr. Gundry’s book?
12:43 - What are the benefits of lectins?
16:48 - Do the healthiest people in the world eat a lot of lectins?
24:06 - Do lectins make you fat?
33:29 - Do lectins cause heart disease?
36:38 - Do lectins cause leaky gut?
41:10 - Were our ancestors diet low on lectins?
44:22 - Can lectins make you sick if they’re eaten raw?
46:57 - Are Dr. Grundy’s products and supplements good?
56:37 - How can you use food to optimize your body composition, physical health, and longevity?

---

Mentioned on The Show:
Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Jan 17, 2020
8 Ancient Laws for Creating a Simpler and Happier Life
1427

Confucius once said that life is simple but we insist on making it complicated.
Come again?

What’s simple about the myriad demands, dilemmas, and dealings of everyday life that push and pull on our body, mind, and soul?

What’s simple about love, success, health, wisdom, satisfaction, spirituality, and the rest of the brass rings we all strive for?

Many times, life appears overwhelmingly complex, like trying to build an airplane while in flight, or even bitterly abusive, like licking a car battery.

And understandably so.

In this age of liberty and abundance where we’re free to be and do whatever we want, we must choose tasks and responsibilities from a dizzying number of possibilities. And then, as efforts evaporate, wins elude, and penalties encroach, we realize we’re not spinning an elegant web but cobbling up a clumsy knot.

And so we sputter, skid, and spiral as our self-confidence leaks from a thousand wounds.

Many people try to escape this existential strike zone by heaving more lumpy stones into the rock tumbler of life. This only makes more noise.

What they need to do instead is, as Confucius counseled, strive for simplicity by jettisoning everything that’s unclear, unsound, and unworkable and seeking the opposite—clarity, sanity, and practicality.

Often, this means doing less but doing it better by focusing on what’s essential and saying no to everything else, by learning to do the right things, not trying to do everything right.

And in this podcast, I want to share with you several simple and essential laws of successful living, some of which go back thousands of years.

These principles have remained in currency because they form a robust operating system for life—one that not only helps you make smart decisions but also avoid very stupid ones, which many people fail to appreciate the importance of.

Most of my biggest wins in life have come from remembering the obvious and ignoring the esoteric and trying to be consistently not stupid instead of sporadically brilliant.

Anyway, let’s get to the laws . . .

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Mentioned on The Show:
Books by Mike Matthews: legionathletics.com/products/books/
The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation: legionathletics.com/the-little-blac…out-motivation/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

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Jan 15, 2020
Mark Rippetoe on Effective Workout Programming for Getting Strong
3452

The pendulum of workout programming is always a swingin’.

Some people say frequency is the ticket. You know, you have to squat every day if you want big legs, and if you’re squatting once a week, you’ll always have pinions.

Others claim absurd amounts of volume is the key. If you’re not doing 20 to 40 sets per muscle group per week, you’re basically an unlifting slug.

And others still beat the drum for intensity over everything. Not big enough yet? Lift heavier, you trousered ape.

The bottom line is it’s an extreme world out there and many people have extreme opinions.

Today’s guest Mark Rippetoe is one of those people, but he also has over 40 years of experience with strength training and coaching and is the creator of the iconic weightlifting program Starting Strength.

In this episode, Mark and I talk workout programming, including the needs of beginners versus advanced lifters, how to know you’re no longer a novice trainee, how age affects volume needs and recovery, and more.

Buckle up!

11:13 - What is the stress recovery adaptation cycle?
19:28 - Is progressive overload the best way to get gains for a beginner?
31:57 - What is junk volume?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Jan 13, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About the Pescatarian Diet
2202

Plant-based diets are more popular than ever, and for good reason.

Research shows that people who eat an abundance of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains tend to live longer and stay healthier than those who eat little.

You probably know this and, understandably, are considering a major overhaul to your diet, but aren’t wholly sold on the idea of cutting out animal products entirely.

How are you supposed to get enough protein?

Will you be able to cover all of your nutritional bases with plants alone?

Will you actually enjoy your meal plans?

Well, the short answer to each of those questions is “yes,” but it’s not necessarily easy because certain animal foods make it much easier to improve your body composition and stay healthy.

That’s why more and more people are turning to “modified” vegetarian diets like the pescatarian diet, which is simply a vegetarian diet that includes seafood.

Some pescatarians also eat eggs and dairy, as well, which is technically known as “lacto-ovo-pescatarianism.”

As you’ll see, pescatarian diets require a little more fine-tuning than regular omnivorous diets, but if you understand and address the downsides and limitations, you’ll have no problem using the pescatarian diet to build a lean, healthy, athletic body you can be proud of.

By the end of this podcast, you’re going to understand . . .

- What the pescatarian diet is
- Its pros and cons
- The most common muscle-building mistakes pescatarians make
- How to use the pescatarian diet to maximize muscle growth, fat loss, and strength gains
- What foods to eat on a pescatarian diet plan
- And more!

Let’s start by defining exactly what a pescatarian diet is.

3:31 - What is the pescatarian diet?
5:36 - What are the benefits of a pescatarian diet?
16:37 - What are the drawbacks of a pescatarian diet?
26:05 - Does the pescatarian diet help with weight loss?
28:00 - Does the pescatarian help with building muscle?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Jan 10, 2020
Dr. Mike Nelson on Using Heart Rate Variability to Improve Recovery and Training
6880

When I first heard about heart rate variability (HRV), I was expecting it to be yet another lame “biohacking” gimmick.

The pitch is by analyzing the rhythm of your heart beat with special software, you can gauge how stressed your body is and adjust accordingly.

For instance, if you wake up and your HRV indicates your body is overstressed, you may want to save the heavy squat or deadlift workout for another day, or if your HRV has been off for several days in a row, it might be time to deload or take a diet break or get a little more sleep.

Again, it sounds like very fake news, but lo and behold, there’s good evidence of its validity. This is why high-level athletes have been using it for years, and now that the technology has become cheaper, it’s becoming more popular among recreational athletes too.

In this episode with HRV expert Dr. Mike Nelson, you’re going to get a crash course in HRV, including how to measure and track your HRV, what lifestyle factors affect it most, how to use it to regulate your training, and more.

Let’s dive in.

5:13 - What is heart rate variability?
10:06 - What are the differences between average heart rate and heart rate variability?
15:07 - What do higher and lower levels of heart rate variability indicate?
17:26 - Why is variability affected by the physiology?
25:08 - What affects heart rate variability?
37:36 - Does diet affect heart rate variability? Does caffeine affect HRV as well?
40:02 - How does diet affect heart rate variability?
58:07 - How much does training intensity affect heart rate variability?
01:15:24 - Is there a specific range where you you tell the client to slow down?
01:30:35 - How does nutrition affect heart rate variability?
01:43:04 - How can someone track their heart rate variability?

Mentioned on The Show:
Dr. Mike Nelson's Websitemiketnelson.com/
Shop Legion Supplements Herelegionathletics.com/shop/

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click herewww.legionathletics.com/signup/

Jan 08, 2020
8 Highly Effective Ways to Get Stronger on Your Isolation Exercises
974

If you’re serious about weightlifting, one of the worst things that can happen is getting stuck.

Your workouts become robotic chores, you stop giving each exercise your all, and you begin to wonder if you’re simply at the end of your genetic rope for muscle and strength gain.

This is particularly true of isolation exercises like the dumbbell side raise, barbell curl, calf raise, and the like.

For one thing, you’re forced to lift what seem like relatively light weights compared to your heavy compound exercises.

Every pound of progress is precious, and it can be maddening to show up to the gym every week and lift the same weight for months (or years) on end, with no idea how to pull yourself out of this rut.

Moreover, you may find yourself plateaued on most of your isolation exercises despite making steady progress on your heavy compound exercises, which is even more puzzling.

Why does this happen, and what can you do about it?

Well, the short answer is there are several very simple explanations for why progressing on isolation exercises is more difficult than compound exercises.

Once you understand what these are, you can use the eight strategies in this podcast to get stronger on all of your isolation exercises for years to come.
A word of warning before you continue:

Progress will always be painfully slow on isolation exercises once your newbie gains are gone. Anyone who seems to defy this rule is either new to lifting, returning to lifting after a long hiatus, or on drugs. Period.

If you keep at it, though, and commit to the process, you can make consistent, predictable progress on even the most stubborn isolation exercises, without taking steroids.

So, if you want to learn why isolation exercises are so damn difficult, and the eight best ways to get stronger despite this, venture forth once more unto the breach, dear friend, for this podcast will show you the way.

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Mentioned on the show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Jan 06, 2020
How Cheri Used Thinner Leaner Stronger to Drop 46 Pounds and 12 Sizes
3848

In this episode, I interview Cheri, who read my book Thinner Leaner Stronger and used it to completely change her body and life.

When she first started on her journey, Cheri was 187 pounds and well over 30% body fat. She tried everything to lose weight, including low- and high-volume training programs and even the HCG diet.

After years of frustration, she read my book and got started with proper training and nutrition.

And she started seeing results almost immediately.

In the span of about a year, she not only dropped to 141 pounds and 12 sizes but also completely transformed her body composition. By adding muscle in all the right places, she learned firsthand why what you see in the mirror is far more important than on the scale.

In fact, Cheri was so happy with her results that she’s gotten several other women to start the Thinner Leaner Stronger program and has even created a “Fit Over 50” Facebook group for like-minded women to join a community and hold each other accountable.

In this interview, Cheri and I chat about her story and the important lessons she’s learned along the way, including how she learned to use gym equipment properly, how she found a balanced approach to her diet, why she became a certified personal trainer, and more.

So if you’re looking for a jolt of inspiration and like motivational stories, I highly recommend you listen to this episode.

5:57 - What was your health and fitness like before Legion?
10:24 - What type of shots were you getting in the stomach?
11:29 - Did you start with diet or exercise?
13:50 - How did exercising go in the beginning?
17:40 - How long have you been properly training?
25:44 - Was there a point when you realized that the training program was working?
27:30 - What obstacles did you have to overcome?
37:48 - What are your numbers now?

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Mentioned on the show:
Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching: legionathletics.com/coaching/

Cheri's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cherilynn_livethelifeyoulove/

Cheri's Email: iknowmikematthews@gmail.com

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Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Jan 03, 2020
Chris Kresser on What The Game Changers Got Right and Wrong, According to Science
4271

You don’t have to look far to see that extremism and alarmism sells.

Turn on any cable news network at just about any time of the day, for instance, and it’s a daisy chain of drama and conflict—”breaking news” banners preceding humdrum bits of information and “countdown clocks” to minor events underscored by melodramatic music and striking sound effects.

The same forces are at work in the health and fitness space as well, and especially in the realm of diet and nutrition.

Everywhere you look there's another self-styled expert selling the superiority of one regimen or another, and plant-based dieting is a favorite of many.

Its popularity is also bolstered by a number of successful documentaries produced over the last decade, including Forks Over Knives, What the Health, and the most recent, The Game Changers.

I wrote and recorded a long, evidence-based review of What the Health a couple years ago, and as The Game Changers repeats many of the same talking points, I was disinclined to repeat the process.

I kept getting asked about it though and so decided to do a podcast on the film with someone who has already done the heavy lifting and can walk us through what the scientific literature has to say about the major claims in the film.

Chris Kresser is that guy, and in this interview, we talk about all the major claims in The Game Changers, including . . .

- How a vegan diet can affect athletic performance
- Common nutritional deficiencies among vegans
- Plant vs. animal protein for health and body composition
- Potential health issues associated with eating animal products and meat in particular
- Environmental impact of plant-based dieting
- And more

Oh and in case you’re not familiar with Chris, he’s one of the premier evidence-based Functional Medicine practitioners and a New York Times bestselling author, and if his name sounds familiar, it may be because he recently was on Joe Rogan's podcast to talk about The Game Changers.

7:10 - Can a vegan diet affect an athlete’s performances and their health?
10:56 - What are some examples of nutrients that can affect how you handle a vegan diet?
13:41 - Is plant protein the same quality and as effective as meat protein?
24:20 - Do you think the vegan diet is optimal for any athlete?
25:57 - What are some common deficiencies in a vegan diet?
34:42 - Do problems with the vegan diet happen to most people or a small percentage?
37:18 - What are some of the claims that eating animal products have negative side effects?
50:21 - What kind of impact does veganism have on the environment?

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Mentioned on the show:
Chris's Website: https://chriskresser.com/
Chris's Podcast: https://chriskresser.com/podcasts/
Chris's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chriskresser/
Chris's Twitter: https://twitter.com/chriskresser
Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching: https://legionathletics.com/coaching/

---

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Jan 01, 2020
How to Build the Mathematically Ideal Male Body
2076

Let’s face it: a big reason most of us guys work out is to look great.

You know, muscular, lean, proportional . . . “aesthetic” as the narcissists like to say.

People are always looking for “hacks” and shortcuts to live a better life and looking good is a big one.

When you look good, people instinctively like you more and treat you better, and this more or less always pay dividends no matter what you’re trying to do.

How exactly do you build that type of physique, though?

In this podcast, you’re going to learn . . .
- The ancient formula that dictates the proportions of the “ideal” male body
- How to compare your body to these standards to see what parts need the most work
- How close you can expect to get to these numbers based on your genetics
- And finally, how to eat and train to build the ideal male body.

Let’s get started.

6:56 - What is the golden ratio?
14:56 - How can we use the golden ratio to create the ideal male body?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching: https://legionathletics.com/coaching/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Dec 30, 2019
Q&A: Eating Below BMR, Getting Photoshoot Ready, Eating Red Meat, and More
1776

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 four questions:

1. What is the best way to get ripped for a photoshoot or event? (2:32)
2. Is it harmful to eat below your basal metabolic rate? (8:09)
3. How can Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger be modified for intermediate and advanced weightlifters? (12:33)
4. Should I stop eating red meat? (20:56)

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 mike@muscleforlife.com.

Recommended reading for this episode:
A Simple and Accurate BMR Calculator (and How to Use It)

Is Red Meat Really as Bad For You as “They” Say?

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Herelegionathletics.com/shop/

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Dec 27, 2019
MERRY NON-DENOMINATIONAL SOLSTICEDAY
512

“When’s your next book coming out?”

 

“What kind of supplements are you going to release next?”

 

“What would you name your boat if you had one?”

 

I’m asked questions like these all the time and so I thought I’d start doing monthly updates about what’s new and exciting here at Legion HQ.

 

So here’s a quick hosedown of what me and my jolly band of pirates and bums have been up to lately.

 

Enjoy!

 

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Mentioned on The Show:

Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Dec 25, 2019
What Is CoolSculpting and Does It Work? (What 17 Studies Show)
652

CoolSculpting…

The name itself reminds me of the 70s, perhaps an artist scene. Rebel against the government by making radical statues (back when radical was less “feminist” and more “Sonic the Hedgehog on a skateboard”.)

Fight against the institution like Greek statues fight against pornographic standards of penis sizes.

Then I learned it was a fat loss technique popular with middle-aged mothers with too much money and instantly felt like I needed to apologize to sculptors everywhere for the comparison.

Then I looked into it.

Boy, does this shoe taste bad. Shouldn’t have stepped into the realm of judging things by their cover if it just made my foot go into my mouth.

Can’t really blame me though.

After browsing a ton of CoolSculpting reviews I felt like I was so far into mommy blog territory that I needed to bring spare nappies and a welcoming gift of scented candles and wine just to continue listening.

It was only after I googled the scientific name, cryolipolysis, that I understood how such a cool process with such a cool name could catch on.

So what is CoolSculpting? Who thought of this positively radical name, and will it help my kickflips and graffiti?

Not much, but it could help your family members from looking like bulldogs with their jowls ... if they have the money for it.

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

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Dec 23, 2019
Chris Duffin on Life Lessons Learned Going From Homeless to World-Class Powerlifter
4061

Many people have had rough childhoods thanks to stuff like oppressive parents, grinding poverty, and mental and physical roadblocks, but few have experienced what Chris Duffin has.

First, he grew up in the wilderness. Not metaphorically, but literally. As a child, Chris and his family were vagabonds who wandered the California countryside, essentially living off the land.

As you can imagine, this didn’t exactly put Chris on the fast track to success, academic or otherwise, yet today, he’s an MBA with a successful career as a corporate executive as well as a top-tier powerlifter who has deadlifted 1,000 pounds . . . for reps.

Chris also has also created a popular coaching and education brand called Kabuki Strength as well as innovative strength training equipment including the Transformer Bar, Duffalo Bar, Kadillac Bar, and Trap Bar HD.

And as if all that weren’t enough, Chris recently released a book called The Eagle and the Dragon, and in this interview, we’re going to talk about all the aforementioned, including some of the key lessons Chris has learned about parenting, leadership, and reinventing yourself for a better life.

6:24 - What is your background story?
24:37 - How did your background affect who you are now?
32:49 - What values mean the most to you?
39:37 - What are some lessons you’ve learned from leadership?
58:44 - What fears are you chasing now?

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Mentioned on The Show:

Chris's New Book (The Eagle And The Dragon) https://christopherduffin.com/
Chris's Website: https://kabukistrength.net/
Chris's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mad_scientist_duffin/
Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Dec 21, 2019
The Definitive Guide to Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation
2849

If there’s one supplement that has truly passed the test of time, it’s creatine monohydrate.

It has been the subject of hundreds of scientific studies, and the evidence is clear:

- It helps you gain muscle and strength faster.
- It improves anaerobic endurance.
- It enhances muscle recovery.

And moreover, it does it all naturally and safely.

When it comes to improving your body composition and workout performance, creatine monohydrate is basically all pros and no cons.

And in this podcast, we’re going to talk about why.

By the end, you’re going to know what creatine monohydrate is, how it works, how effective it is, how to take it for best results, and more.

Let’s get to it.

2:45 - What is creatine monohydrate?
6:20 - How does creatine monohydrate benefit muscle growth?
8:49 - How does creatine monohydrate benefit strength gain?
10:27 - How does creatine monohydrate benefit power?
12:14 - How does creatine monohydrate benefit muscle recovery?
13:04 - How does creatine monohydrate benefit endurance?
14:24 - How does creatine monohydrate benefit joint pain?
15:41 - How does creatine monohydrate benefit type 2 diabetes?
18:28 - What is creatine ethyl ester and is it better than creatine monohydrate?
19:32 - What is buffered creatine and is it better than creatine monohydrate?
20:50 - What is creatine hydrochloride and is it better than creatine monohydrate?
21:19 - What is creatine magnesium chelate and is it better than creatine monohydrate?
21:57 - What is creatine malate chelate and is it better than creatine monohydrate?
22:29 - What is creatine nitrate and is it better than creatine monohydrate?
23:10 - What is micronized creatine and is it better than creatine monohydrate?
24:17 - What is creatine pyruvate and is it better than creatine monohydrate?
24:52 - What is creatine citrate and is it better than creatine monohydrate?
25:13 - What is liquid creatine and is it better than creatine monohydrate?
26:42 - How do you take creatine monohydrate?
28:37 - Does caffeine interfere with the effects of creatine monohydrate?
30:02 - Do you need to take creatine monohydrate every day?
30:59 - Do you need to cycle creatine monohydrate?
31:44 - Does creatine monohydrate cause bloating?
32:43 - Is creatine monohydrate bad for your kidneys?
34:28 - Should women take creatine monohydrate?
35:13 - Should you take creatine monohydrate when you want to lose weight?
35:39 - Does creatine monohydrate cause baldness?
39:36 - Does everyone benefit equally from creatine monohydrate?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Dec 18, 2019
Self-Care Tips for People Who Hate Self-Care Tips
813

This episode is part of a monthly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

One Monday every month, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back for the latest and greatest installment.

 

Mentioned on The Show:


Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Dec 16, 2019
Stephen Guise on Using “Elastic Habits” to Create Positive Changes That Stick
2620

If you’ve been in the fitness game for any amount of time, you know that consistency is the key.

It takes months of work to see any major changes in the mirror, and it takes years to see how fit you can really get.

This is why developing good habits is a major element of long-term fitness success.

Motivation comes and goes, and often without rhyme or reason, but habits can endure. You're far more likely to stick to your diet and training plans when they're as ingrained into your everyday routine as taking a shower or going to work rather than something that may or may not happen depending on how you feel day to day.

Developing good habits is only half the battle, though. You then have to protect them against the vicissitudes of life.

That’s why it pays to have “elastic habits” as opposed to rigid ones—habits that can “flex” according to your ever-changing circumstances as opposed to shatter.

That’s the premise of Stephen Guise’s new book, Elastic Habits, and what today’s discussion is all about.

I’ve had Stephen on the podcast before to discuss his previous bestselling book Mini Habits, and this time around, he talks about why he wrote this new book, how it differs from his first, and why his elastic habits system is a natural “next step” for people who are ready for a more robust and rewarding approach to habit building and optimization.

So, if you want to learn some simple and highly practical ideas for using Stephen’s unique elastic habits model to create positive changes in your life that stick, hit that play button!

5:35- What are elastic habits? What is your take away on habits?
8:58 - How does elasticity and resilience apply to habits?
12:55 - How do you use elastic habits in your life and what are some examples?
19:13 - How do you track your habits?
19:38 - Do you share your template on your website?
22:16 - Do you do any myth busting in your book?
29:04 - How long does it take to establish a habit?
30:33 - What do you recommend for people to start making good habits?
32:56 - How can you eliminate bad habits?

Mentioned on The Show:

Elastic Habits by Stephen Guise

Stephen’s Website

Mini Habits Website

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Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Dec 13, 2019
Lyle McDonald on the True Limits of Natural Muscle Building
6573

Optimists say that with enough hard work, patience, and the right nutrition, you can get as big and strong as you want.

That there really is no hard ceiling on your potential for whole-body strength and muscularity.

To support this rosy outlook, these people often point to top-level bodybuilders and elite college athletes who claim to have never used steroids.

I’ve written and spoken about this extensively already, but I wanted to get Lyle McDonald’s take on the limits of natural versus enhanced muscle gain, and particularly how they relate to the fat-free mass index (FFMI).

In case you’re not familiar with Lyle, he has been one of the foremost evidence-based fitness researchers and writers for a couple decades now and someone whose work I’ve always liked. He pulls no punches, brooks no bullshit, and makes no apologies when he feels he has the evidence on his side.

In this interview, Lyle and I chat about the difference between natural and enhanced muscle gain, what FFMI is and whether 25 is a true natural cutoff, common “fake natty” red flags, and more.

Let’s dig in!

11:18 - What is FFMI?
19:27 - Why is a normalized FFMI of 25 a likely ceiling for most people?
50:14 - What is your opinion on the studies on limits with college athletes?
01:13:16 - Would you agree that a FFMI over 25 is a red flag for steroid use?

Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

Lyle's Website: https://bodyrecomposition.com/

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Dec 11, 2019
How to Get Rid of Cellulite Naturally and Safely
949

I want to do some posts specifically for women, starting with a question I get asked often: how do you get rid of cellulite naturally and safely?


Ironically, cellulite was once respected as an attractive symbol of wealth. It meant you could eat rich foods and didn’t have to physically labor. Well, these days almost all women have cellulite to one degree or another, and it’s generally considered a blight–a sign of a lazy, unhealthy lifestyle.


Millions of women spend tens of millions of dollars per year on all kind of cellulite treatments looking for a cure, and aren’t any better for it. Is there anything you can do, really? Fortunately, there is.


It seems like a good time to dive into the subject and help you sort the BS from the truth, and work out what you can do to get smoother, sexier legs, hips, and butts.

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Dec 09, 2019
The 3 Best Supplements for Muscle Recovery
1254

If you can’t recover from your workouts properly, you’re going to have a hard time.

You won’t be able to lift as much weight, progress on your lifts and get stronger as quickly, and you won’t enjoy your workouts, reducing the likelihood that you’ll stick to your routine over the long term.

Muscle recovery supplements can get you back in the gym faster and allow you to train harder, speeding up your progress.

And in this podcast, we're going to cover the 3 best ones you should be taking. 

Let's get to it.

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Mentioned on The Show:
Shop Legion Supplements Here

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Dec 06, 2019
Menno Henselmans on the Myth of Central Nervous System Fatigue
3347

If you’re a veteran gymgoer, you probably know what it’s like to feel fatigued.

You’re drained, achy, and lethargic. The weights feel oppressively heavy. You’d rather go home and take a nap than train.

Look around online for an answer as to what causes this, and one of the first explanations you’ll likely find is something called central nervous system (CNS) fatigue, aka “neural fatigue.”

The reason you feel so down, the goo-roo will explain, is your nervous system has become overtaxed and needs a break, not unlike a barrel of a gun that has overheated from intensive firing and needs to cool off.

To resolve the problem, the solution offered is always some form of more rest and less stress, like taking a few days off or deloading or the like, and to avoid such issues in the future, suggestions usually include training less frequently or intensely, taking special supplements, and sleeping or eating more.

In fact, some fitness folks claim that minimizing CNS fatigue is a vitally important (and often overlooked) aspect of getting jacked—and especially for us natural weightlifters—and promote low-volume training plans as optimal for maximizing overall long-term results.

How reasonable is all of this? Is your body really so fragile that it can only manage a handful of productive weightlifting workouts per week? Is CNS fatigue even real?

To answer these questions and more, I invited Menno Henselmans back on the podcast to break it all down.

In case you’re not familiar with him, Menno is a bodybuilding coach, writer, and published scientist who’s also on the Scientific Advisory Board of my sports nutrition company, Legion Athletics.

In this interview, Menno discusses the different types of fatigue, what CNS fatigue really is, how much can result from training, how to deload properly (and why), and more.

Let’s get to it!

5:50 - What is fatigue?
9:40 - How can you tell the difference between mental and physical fatigue?
20:17 - Is there any way to achieve an ongoing deficit?
25:26 - How long can CNS fatigue last?
37:27 - What is your recommended method of deload?

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Dec 04, 2019
My Top 5 Takeaways from Julius Caesar by Philip Freeman
1424

“Can you recommend a book for…?”

“What are you reading right now?”

“What are your favorite books?”

I get asked those types of questions a lot and, as an avid reader and all-around bibliophile, I’m always happy to oblige.

I also like to encourage people to read as much as possible because knowledge benefits you much like compound interest. The more you learn, the more you know; the more you know, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more opportunities you have to succeed.

On the flip side, I also believe there’s little hope for people who aren’t perpetual learners. Life is overwhelmingly complex and chaotic, and it slowly suffocates and devours the lazy and ignorant.

So, if you’re a bookworm on the lookout for good reads, or if you’d like to get into the habit of reading, this book club for you.

The idea here is simple: Every month, I’ll share a book that I’ve particularly liked, why I liked it, and several of my key takeaways from it.

I’ll also keep things short and sweet so you can quickly decide whether the book is likely to be up your alley or not.

Alright, let’s get to the takeaways.

Want to be notified when my next book recommendation goes live?

Hop on my email list and you’ll get each new installment delivered directly to your inbox.

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Dec 02, 2019
Dr. Brad Dieter on the Ketogenic Diet for Fat Loss and General Health
2678

Almost every day, I’m asked about the hugely popular ketogenic diet.

I’ve written about it some time ago and more recently had Dr. Eric Helms here on the podcast to talk about it in the context of lean bulking, but as keto has become THE next “it diet” and science is always moving forward, I figured it’s high time to address it again.

That’s why I invited Dr. Brad Dieter on the podcast to discuss all things keto including its advantages and disadvantages for weight loss and general health, how to get (and stay) in ketosis, what ketones are and if you should supplement with them, and more.

In case you’re not familiar with Brad, he’s trained exercise physiologist, molecular biologist, and biostatistician with Master’s and Doctorate degrees, as well as the COO of Macros, Inc and a member of the Legion Athletics Scientific Advisory Board.

Needless to say, Brad’s an accomplished chap with the experience and scientific chops to tackle a complicated subject like the ketogenic diet.

So, if you want to know what the keto diet is good for, and whether or not you should give it a shot, this episode is for you.

4:44 - What is the ketogenic diet and how did it start?
7:12 - Would the ketones spillover be after fat gain?
9:06 - How does energy balance affect the results of a ketogenic diet?
11:04 - Do you need to be in a calorie deficit to be on a ketogenic diet?
12:12 - Why is it that if you eat more carbs you tend to lose fat more efficiently?
18:27 - What are the advantages of a ketogenic diet?
24:35 - Where is the carbohydrate cutoff to maintain a state of ketosis?
27:31 - Are there situations where you recommend a ketogenic diet?
29:11 - What kind of health benefits do you get from a ketogenic diet?
33:42 - Are there any health conditions that a ketogenic diet could help with?
35:41 - Can a ketogenic diet help with skin issues?

Mentioned on The Show:

Macros Inc
Brad’s Instagram
Science Driven Nutrition

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Dec 01, 2019
Danny Lennon on Gluten Sensitivity, Leaky Gut, and More
3621

Gluten-free is still going strong these days.

According to Google Trends, it’s just about as popular now as it was at its peak six years ago, and gluten-free foods still pack the shelves of grocery stores, coffee shops, bakeries, and the like.

In other words, gluten-free dieting is no longer just a buzzword among bloggers, paleo fanatics, and health gurus.

It’s become a bonafide mainstream diet fad.

Despite this, gluten is still a hotly debated and polarizing little protein. Some claim it’s literally poison and should be avoided at all costs and others say the only people that need to limit their gluten intake are people with celiac disease.

To help clear up this confusion surrounding gluten and present a fair, balanced take on the current weight of the evidence, I invited Danny Lennon to join me on the podcast. 

It’s been a number of years since I last had him on the show, but he’s been a member of the Legion Scientific Advisory Board since its inception and also has a master’s degree in Nutritional Sciences. 

He’s also the host of his own podcast called Sigma Nutrition Radio, where he interviews world-renowned experts from the fields of nutrition, medicine, and sports performance.

In this episode, Danny and I discuss all things gluten, including what gluten is, what happens when we eat it, the difference between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, whether “leaky gut” is a real thing, and more.

7:14 - What is gluten?
8:12 - Why is gluten an issue for some people and not others?
10:34 - What kind of symptoms does celiac disease cause and what happens when people with celiac disease eat gluten?
12:52 - What is intestinal permeability and is it related to leaky gut?
15:05 - Why is having an increased intestinal permeability bad?
18:34 - What is a gluten allergy?
20:04 - How does a gluten sensitivity differ from an autoimmune response and a gluten allergy?
21:56 - Are there any tests to see if you have a gluten sensitivity?
24:33 - What happens with repeated exposure to gluten? Is it different for every individual?
25:36 - What are some common symptoms of the non autoimmune and nonallergic gluten sensitivity?
27:29 - What is the percentage of people that have a gluten sensitivity?
32:00 - What studies best explain why some people have gluten problems and others don’t?
35:13 - How would someone with a gluten sensitivity be diagnosed?
30:31 - What are fodmaps and how can it confuse someone who is trying to find out if they have a gluten sensitivity?

Mentioned on The Show:

Sigma Nutrition Website

Sigma Nutrition Radio

Danny’s Instagram

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Nov 30, 2019
Q&A: "Eating Back" Calories, Eating More on Training Days, Eating Less More Easily, and More!
1801

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 four questions:

  1. Should I eat back the calories burned from exercise?
  2. Should I eat more on the days I workout?
  3. How quickly can I lose fat without losing muscle?
  4. How can I eat less without being hungry while cutting?

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 mike@muscleforlife.com.

Recommended reading for this episode:

Mentioned on The Show: 

Click here to shop Legion’s Black Friday sale and save up to 30%!

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Nov 29, 2019
Can You Carry a Message to Garcia?
1413

How often do you hear sympathies these days for the “downtrodden, exploited, and underpaid” common folk, along with harsh, condemning words for those people with any measure of financial success?

Well, it’s very true that there are criminals operating in the largest corporations, the highest levels of Wall Street, and our government that make the robber barons of the past look like noble saviors, and I hope to see them put in prison one day, where they belong. Crony capitalism is a travesty of free market capitalism and is to blame for much of the inequity we see in today's society.

That said, that condemnation doesn't apply to the average rich person, who is simply a small business owner that worked his or her ass off to build a team of people that sell and deliver valuable products and services that others need and want. Only a small fraction of the "1%" are the problem.

Many of the "downtrodden" avoid this reality and instead try to place the responsibility of their failures at the feet of the generalized "rich," but there's a cold, hard fact they don't want to face:

They are unsuccessful because they can’t carry a message to Garcia.

What the hell am I talking about? I’m talking about Elbert Hubbard’s famous short story, A Message to Garcia—a story that contains one of the most fundamental principles of success that I know.

People who can carry a message to Garcia are a special breed. They're invaluable not only as workers, but as friends and, indeed, members of society. I guarantee you this: If you can simply carry a message to Garcia, you will always make money, always accomplish goals, and always be in demand.

Think I’m overstating the issue? Listen to the short story in this podcast episode, and let me know what you think.

It's short but powerful. Enjoy.

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Mentioned on The Show:

Click Here to Shop Legion’s Black Friday Sale and Save Up to 30%!

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Nov 28, 2019
How Fred Used My Work to Lose 215 Pounds and Turn His Life Around
4200

In this episode, I interview Fred, who used my work to help radically transform his life and literally save his life.

Fred originally got in touch through one of my Live Q&As on Instagram, and after hearing his story, I decided he’d make a great guest.

Why?

Before finding my work, Fred was 415 pounds, and dying.

That sounds dramatic, but the truth is he had a heart attack, his kidneys were failing, and his doctors suggested he say his goodbyes to friends and loved ones.

This was enough to make Fred take stock of his situation and decide to make a change.

He started going to the gym. And he lost some weight. Then he found my site, which helped him lose over 200 pounds.

Now Fred is a fitness coach himself, paying it forward and inspiring others, showing through example that anyone can improve their health, fitness, and longevity, no matter how bad their situation may seem.

In this interview, Fred and I discuss his story, how he ended up in the hospital, how he started getting healthier, how he refused to make excuses, and what it takes to completely change your life.

So if you’re looking for a jolt of inspiration and like motivational stories, I highly recommend you listen to this episode.

5:14 - What were your numbers before and after finding Legion?
7:00 - What was your diet and fitness like 7 years ago?
29:05 - How do you free up time to maximize other tasks?
34:51 - What motivated you to loose weight?
57:21 - What are your plans for the future?

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Nov 27, 2019
How to Break Through Weight Loss Plateaus
1010

Fat was practically falling off your body just a few weeks ago, and now you're wondering if your scale is broken because no matter what you do, your weight won't budge.

What gives?

Why did your routine suddenly stop working, and what can you do to push through this weight loss plateau?

Listen to this podcast to find out.

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Nov 26, 2019
The Military Diet: What 25 Studies Say About Losing 10 Pounds in 7 Days
1005

Aside from the basic military diet meal plan and eating schedule (which we’ll go over in a moment), there’s no official military diet and the recommendations and rules vary based on who you ask.

Furthermore, there’s no fitness guru claiming credit for the military diet.

There’s no diet book promoting its eating principles.

There’s no official website on the diet and the main argument thrown around in its favor is the rumor that Khloe Kardashian used it to lose weight . . . at some point . . . maybe.

Despite this dubious track record, it’s still wildly popular, as evidenced by the 150,000 people who search for it every month online.

Some of the appeal is understandable, too.

Like many weight loss diets it has an attractive schtick:

  1. You only have to follow the military diet meal plan 3 days per week.
  2. You can still enjoy some normal foods while following the diet.
  3. You don’t have to follow the diet forever to lose weight.
  4. You can lose “up to 10 pounds per week.”
  5. You don’t have to exercise.

What are the downsides, then?

For starters, the meal plan you’re supposed to follow looks like the diet of a famished racoon rooting through a restaurant dumpster.

There’s no rhyme or reason to any of the food choices, and it’s almost as if someone threw them together purely to troll people who don’t know any better.

For example, dinner on the third day of the diet is 1 cup of tuna, ½ a banana, and 1 cup of vanilla ice cream.

The meals are also designed to provide no more than 1,000 calories per day for the first 3 days of the diet, and the other 4 days of the week you’re allowed no more than 1,500 calories.

If you aren’t familiar with what 1,500 calories looks like, that’s very little food—about half as much as most people eat.

That being what it is, there’s a groundswell of dieters eager to learn more about the military diet and plenty of vloggers, influencers, and other bush-league diet gurus happy to spread the gospel.

You probably know enough about dieting, though, to be skeptical. In fact, I’ll wager a hotdog and half cup of vanilla ice cream that you have a lot of questions about the military diet, such as . . .

  • Why is it called the military diet?
  • What are you supposed to eat on the military diet?
  • Will the military diet actually help me lose 10 pounds of fat in a week?
  • And more.

You’ll learn the answers to all of these questions and more in this podcast.

Let’s get started.

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Nov 25, 2019
The Definitive Guide to Beta-Alanine Supplementation
2126

Take this supplement and you’ll be able to train harder.

Train harder and you’ll gain more muscle and strength.

Gain more muscle and strength and you’ll get the body you want faster.

The pitch sounds alluring … and familiar … right?

It’s how pre-workout supplements (among others) are sold, of course.

And these days, many of the most popular pre-workout supplements contain beta-alanine and spotlight it as a key component.

According to their product labels, beta-alanine increases strength, power, and endurance during strength training, sprinting, and most sports.

On the other hand, the skeptics claim that while beta-alanine may help with sports that involve a lot of sprinting, like soccer, football, and basketball, it won’t help you perform better in your strength workouts. Plus, they warn that there aren’t enough studies to prove that beta-alanine is safe.

Who’s right?

The short answer is that beta alanine can help you squeeze out a few more sets and reps in your workouts and it will almost certainly help you perform better in your HIIT workouts, but it probably isn’t going to directly increase your strength.

In this podcast, you’re going to learn …
- What beta-alanine is
- What the benefits and side effects of beta-alanine are
- How much beta-alanine you have to take to see results
- The best beta-alanine supplements
- And more …

Let’s start at the top.

Time Stamps:

3:18 - What is beta-alanine?

7:16 - Does beta-alanine improve muscle endurance?

12:07 - What is beta-alanine’s effect on traditional endurance exercises?

14:18 - Can beta-alanine improve muscle growth?

16:07 - What’s the clinically effective dose of beta-alanine?

18:54 - When should I take beta-alanine?

21:10 - What are beta-alanine tingles?

26:01 - Does beta-alanine have any side effects?

27:37 - What are the best beta-alanine supplements?

Mentioned on the show:

Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Nov 22, 2019
Kurtis Frank on the Benefits and Risks of Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs)
3334

There has been a lot of grumbling about genetically modified foods over the last decade or so, and many of the claims are alarming enough to scare your pucker shut.

These foods are POISONOUS, some people say, and increase your risk of all kinds of disease and dysfunction. At some point, they prophesy, we'll look back on GMOs like we do fluoroscopes, lobotomies, and DDT.

Hogwash, the other camp proclaims—GMOs are well studied and perfectly safe, and we should stop tilting at windmills and embrace this wonderful product of modern food science.

Who's right? Well, that's what this podcast is all about.

In it, Kurtis Frank and I break it all down, starting with what GMOs are and how they’re created, the difference between some GMO foods that are probably not a reason for concern and others that may be, why genetically modified plant and animal foods are different, and more.

And in case you’re not familiar with Kurtis, he’s the co-founder and former lead researcher and writer of Examine.com, as well as the Director of Research for my sports nutrition company, Legion Athletics.

Let’s get to the show!

6:24 - What is a basic definition of GMO’s?
8:43 - How do you cross breed plants?
14:41 - Are they modifying one gene or multiple genes?
15:27 - What is an example of a modification that might not be a good idea to change?
16:53 - How do GMO’s affect humans?
21:48 - Are there consequences when we modify animals?
25:07 - How does Monsanto fit into all of this?

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Mentioned on The Show:

Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

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Nov 20, 2019
Jeff and Mikki Martin on the Right (and Wrong) Ways to Help Kids Get Fit
3959

News flash: us Westerners aren’t exactly paragons of health and wellness.

While it’s easy to blame our bloated body fat percentages and sedentary living on many different external factors, the reality is that much of what’s ailing us collectively has stemmed from the compounding effects of bad habits that began in childhood.

And these trends aren’t getting any better.

Kids these days are less active, less interested in physical activity and sports, and spend more time in front of T.V.s, computers, tablets, and phones than ever before.

Their dietary habits aren’t any better, either, with less than 10% of teenagers meeting the minimum number of daily servings of fruits or vegetables.

Many parents think this calls for extreme measures like micromanaging their broodlings’ every calorie and extracurricular minute in an attempt to save their kids from the pitfalls of modern living.

This too often backfires and can lead to alarmingly unhealthy behaviors as the children get older and eventually leave the nest.

And so parents wonder what's the right way of addressing this issue? How can we teach and encourage our kids to eat and live healthily in a way that will stick and become their own?

I invited Jeff and Mikki Martin on the podcast to help answer these questions and more.

They’re co-owners of The Brand X Method, a coaching program devoted to youth training since 2004.

Through their training centers across the US, live seminars, and coaching programs, they’ve helped tens of thousands of kids learn proper movement patterns, improve their athleticism, avoid injury, and develop a healthy relationship with food.

And in this episode, Jeff and Mikki share some of the key lessons they’ve learned over the years, including where to start when they're young, how to help them enjoy sports as they get older, how to introduce them about proper nutrition, and more.

Let’s get to it!

9:40 - Why did they remove PE from public schools?
21:53 - How do we educate parents with new information about raising kids?
29:31 - What are some movement solutions that work best for kids?
39:51 - How do you approach nutrition with kids?
49:48 - Are there any supplements that you recommend for kids?
52:30 - What are your thoughts on omega-3, vitamin D and multivitamin supplements for kids?
58:09 - Are energy drinks and caffeine intake becoming an issue with teenagers?
59:56 - Should teenagers stay away from caffeine altogether?

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Nov 18, 2019
Is the Mediterranean Diet as Great as They Say? The Answer, According to Science
2852

In the early 1960s, a scientist named Ancel Keys was puzzling over a question:

Why were rich, middle-aged businessmen in Minnesota more likely to die of heart disease than poor villagers in Italy?

Up to this point, most scientists considered heart disease to be part and parcel of the aging process—a result of your decaying DNA rather than your diet or exercise habits.

But then there were these remote villages in Southern Italy that had the highest rates of centenarians in the world and some of the lowest rates of heart disease, despite being populated with people genetically similar to American men.

Data like this convinced Keys that heart disease might be preventable, and was bolstered by other findings.

For instance, Keys discovered that in food-starved regions of post-war Europe, cardiovascular disease dropped along with the food supply, implying a connection between the two seemingly unrelated circumstances.

As the evidence mounted, Keys became more convinced that diet was a key factor in the risk of heart disease, and to test his hypothesis, he conducted an enormous study—one that would become his magnum opus.

The short story is that the Mediterranean diet is popular among scientists, doctors, and the average dieter for a reason: it’s a perfectly healthy way to eat.

That said, it’s not for everyone and not the only way to eat well.

Let’s find out why.

7:28 - What is the Mediterranean diet?
12:08 - Why is the Mediterranean diet popular?
12:50 - Can the Mediterranean diet prevent heart disease?
26:22 - Can you get the health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet while still eating red meat, dairy, and poultry?
29:15 - Can the Mediterranean diet prevent type 2 diabetes?
34:32 - Does the Mediterranean diet help you lose weight?
38:59 - Can the Mediterranean diet help you live longer?

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Mentioned on The Show:

Books by Mike Matthews

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Nov 15, 2019
The 3 Best Supplements for Gut Health
1157

As a general rule of thumb there are two reasons people take gut health supplements:

1. They have been told that to be optimally healthy you need to maintain a healthy gut.
2. Something just hurts and doesn’t work properly and they’d rather it was normal.

A theoretical and more long-term reason that you put your faith into, and a super simple “as long as it makes me feel better and makes the washroom trips go easier” reason.

Both are valid reasons, mind you, and it wasn’t until the rise of probiotics that people even cared about gut “health.”

“Gut health” can also mean many different things, and so gut health supplements can work in many different ways.

And we’re going to go over the main ones that work and don’t work in this podcast.

Let’s get to it.

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Mentioned on the show: 

Book by Mike Matthews

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Nov 13, 2019
Jordan Syatt on the Big Mac Diet and Staying Fit On the Go
3815

Recently, Jordan Syatt lost 6 pounds in a month.

Ho-hum, so what.

Well, the twist is he did it eating a Bic Mac every day, which is also completely ho-hum if you understand energy balance, but many people don’t or don’t want to and, well, many discussions ensued after word got around.

Some people refused to believe the results, others denounced the experiment as irresponsible, and others still tried to reconcile it with their fetish for calorie denial.

And in this interview, Jordan shares why he pulled the stunt, what he ate on the diet (besides Big Macs), how people responded, and most importantly, what he wants people to take away from it.

We also discuss strategies for staying in shape while traveling or just really busy, because as Gary Vaynerchuk’s strength and nutrition coach, Jordan knows a thing or two about helping busy, on-the-go people reach their fitness goals.

Not only that, but Jordan’s also a guy who has set several powerlifting records and definitely doesn’t just talk the talk.

Let’s get to the show!

4:18 - What is the Big Mac challenge?
5:23 - What are some objections you received from doing the Big Mac challenge?
10:15 - Were you just eating a Big Mac or did you eat anything else?
11:31 - Have people criticized you for encouraging people to make bad dietary decisions?
15:17 - What causes the “what the hell effect”?
24:19 - Are you thinking about doing another challenge?
31:26 - How do you stay fit while traveling?
42:39 - How do you maintain a diet while traveling?
53:24 - How to manage alcohol while on vacation or business trips?

Mentioned on The Show:

Books by Mike Matthews

Jordan's YouTube

Jordan's Instagram

Jordan's Mini Podcast

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Nov 11, 2019
What I Learned About the Supplement Business While Scaling My Startup to 8 Figures in Annual Sales
3932

As you might know, I’m the founder of a supplement company called Legion, and it has gone pretty well so far.

In just six years, Legion has grown into an Inc 5000 company with 8 figures in annual sales and close to 200,000 customers served and much more to come.

Thus, I’m often asked about how it all started, what the supplement industry is like “on the inside,” and what advice I can share to others wanting to follow in my footsteps.

I was invited to go on another podcast—the Supplement Engineer Podcast—to discuss these things and more, and as I don’t talk much business here on the podcast, I thought you might find the discussion interesting.

And so I’m sharing the interview here.

Tune in and let me know what you think!

3:24 - Why did you step into the supplement business?
10:29 - Did any of your previous experience with building Muscle For Life help you with Legion?
12:36 - What challenges did you face with manufacturing?
17:34 - Is there any recourse for you as a brand owner when a manufacturer screws you over?
19:06 - What drives you to make a new supplement?
32:02 - What do you think separates Leigon’s proteins bars from the rest of the market?
37:18 - What has kept you level headed and allow you to keep pushing forward?
45:34 - Do you think the way your parents raised you had a key determining factor on how you built your business?
48:06 - How do you manage to run a business while still being a family man?

Mentioned on The Show:

Shop Legion Supplements Here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

 

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Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Nov 08, 2019
Alex Hutchinson on Developing the Power to Endure
3873

If you can’t endure discomfort, you’re not going to make it very far in your training, not to mention your life.

Lifting weights is hard. Doing HIIT is hard. Stick to a diet is hard. Learning valuable skills is hard. Burning the midnight oil at work is hard. Overcoming setbacks is hard.

What’s more, willpower and motivation are notoriously fickle, and when they’re at a low ebb due to poor sleep, stress, angst, or whatever else get us down some days, everything only gets harder.

That’s why it’s often the ability to endure that separates the successful from the unsuccessful in just about every arena of life, not just athletics

Now, endurance can be defined in many ways, but my guest Alex Hutchinson has an elegant one: the strength to continue despite an increasing desire to stop.

Even if you aren’t an endurance athlete (I’m not), understanding how people find the physical and mental stamina and grit to finish marathons and other even more extreme endurance events can help you reach more of your own finish lines, inside and outside of the gym.

In fact, one of the reasons so many people enjoy endurance exercise is because of how it empowers them to struggle through hardship of any kind.
All of this is why I invited accomplished endurance athlete, writer, and researcher Alex Hutchinson back on the show.

In case you’re not familiar with Alex, he’s a New York Times bestselling author of several books including his most recent, Endure, as well as an award-winning science journalist and former physicist and national-class runner.

And in this interview, he shares many of the insights he gleaned from researching and writing his book Endure, including how the brain influences our physical and mental limits, how elite athletes are able to exceed these limits, how to “recharge” after intense effort, and more.

Let’s get to it.

5:49 - Can a mother lift a car to save her baby?
12:54 - How is our performance limited by our brain?
15:46 - What are some of the reasons the brain limits itself?
21:13 - What are some ways that elite athletes are able to exceed brain limitations?
25:41 - Does enduring physical pain improve your ability to push through discomfort in other areas of your life?
31:32 - What are some strategies to recharge between mentally demanding tasks?
50:02 - Does incorporating fun into your life improve sleep and decrease anxiety?

Mentioned on The Show:

Shop Legion Supplements Here

Alex’s Website

Alex’s Twitter

Alex’s Book: Endure

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Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Nov 06, 2019
Everything You Need to Know About Leptin and Weight Loss
1029

The first few weeks after starting a diet are usually smooth sailing.

You aren’t that hungry, your energy levels are good, and you’re still adding weight in the gym.

Then, often at about the four to eight-week mark, the gears begin to grind to a halt.

You feel more hungry before meals and less satisfied after.

Your energy levels drop and it becomes increasingly hard to add weight to your compound exercises.

And worst of all, the number on the scale moves slower and slower with every weekly weigh-in.

What changed?

Why did dieting suddenly transform from a sprint into a slog?

Are you eating too much or too little? Not doing enough cardio? Not eating the right foods? Not taking the right supplements?

The answer to all of those questions lies in a hormone called leptin, which is the topic of this podcast.

Leptin lies at the center of the constellation of problems every dieter experiences as they lose fat—lethargy, hunger, metabolic slowdown, and even increased risk of illness.

Like anything related to weight loss, there’s a lot of misinformation, hype, and chicanery surrounding leptin.

In the past decade, a new wave of Internet doctors, fitness gurus, and online influencers have seized on the significance of leptin and come up with specialized diets and supplements designed to “hack” weight loss by controlling leptin.  

They throw around enough big words and studies to make their pitch sound sciency, but like any fad diet, it’s all a bunch of smoke and mirrors.

There’s no such thing as “hacking” your metabolism, hormones, or body fat, though, and controlling leptin levels isn’t the secret to weight loss any more than controlling other hormones like insulin or testosterone is.

Now for the good news:

Understanding how this hormone works can give you a better perspective on what’s going on inside your body as you lose weight and how to make fat loss easier by making a few simple modifications to your diet.

On the plus side, though, understanding the workings of leptin allows you to make a few informed changes to your diet that make losing weight significantly easier.

Let’s start by looking at what leptin is.

Mentioned on The Show:

Shop Legion Supplements

Bodyweight Set Point Podcast

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Nov 04, 2019
In Which I Give a "Physique Update"
488

This episode is part of a monthly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

One Monday every month, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back for the latest and greatest installment.

Mentioned on The Show:

Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Nov 01, 2019
How to Use Energy Balance to Lose Fat & Gain Muscle
2975

Have you ever stopped losing weight despite “doing everything right” with your diet?

Have you ever struggled to gain weight no matter what you ate?

Have you ever wondered why some people can stay lean eating sugar and junk food regularly?

Well, the principles of energy balance answer these mysteries and more.

They’re the fundamental laws that dictate how your body weight changes over time, and they can be used to intentionally gain and lose weight as desired.

That means that you're going to be able use what you learn in this podcast to...


- Consistently break through weight loss plateaus.
- Kickstart weight gain (and even if you think you’re a “hardgainer”).
- Maintain your current body fat percentage with ease.

The bottom line is out of everything you could learn about dieting, energy balance should be at the top of your list because it’s the biggest linchpin.

In other words, if you don’t understand energy balance and know how to use it to your advantage, you’ll never be able to put the rest of the puzzle together.

You’ll always struggle with your weight, and you’ll never quite understand why some approaches to dieting work and others don’t.

So, if you’re ready to learn how energy balance can help you lose fat, gain muscle, and stay lean, then listen to this podcast.

4:10 - What is energy balance?
9:21 - What are common misconceptions about energy balance?
23:01 - How can I use energy balance to lose weight?
27:07 - How many calories should I be eating?
27:59 - What are macros?
30:17 - What should my macros look like while I’m cutting?
35:33 - How can I turn macros into an effective meal plan?
39:13 - How do I use energy balance to gain muscle?

Mentioned on The Show:

Books by Mike Matthews: legionathletics.com/products/books/

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Oct 30, 2019
What 35 Studies Say About Winstrol and Muscle Growth
1040

Winstrol is one of the most famous steroids of all time, mainly thanks to a man named Ben Johnson.

In 1988, Johnson was the reigning world champion in the 100-meter dash, widely considered the most prestigious of all track and field events.

He had set a world record a year before, beating Carl Lewis with a time of 9.83 seconds. He was instantly propelled to world fame, reportedly making almost $500,000 a month from endorsements.

He was showered in accolades including the Lou Marsh Trophy and Lionel Conacher Award, and was named the Associated Press Athlete of the Year for 1987.

Johnson cemented his status as the golden boy of track and field on September 24, 1988, in one of the most competitive 100-meter races ever run, when he sprinted to an Olympic gold medal and a new world record of 9.79 seconds.

Unfortunately, this would be the capstone of his career.

Three days later, the Olympic Doping Control Center found traces of an anabolic steroid in Johnson’s urine sample.

The drug?

Stanozolol, aka Winstrol.

Johnson denied taking steroids at first, but was promptly stripped of his new world record and the one he’d set a year before. Later, he admitted to taking steroids such as Winstrol and testosterone since 1981, and was banned for life from professional sprinting after he failed another drug test in 1993.

Although Johnson made stanozolol famous, it’s been used by sprinters, bodybuilders, and athletes of all stripes long before Johnson got busted and is still used today.

It’s known as one of the best steroids for cutting, helping people gain moderate amounts of muscle without any increase in water weight or body fat.

What does the science say, though?

Why are athletes still risking their careers to reap its benefits?

And, what are the side effects?

In this podcast, you’re going to learn the answers to all of these questions and more. You’ll learn . . .

- What Winstrol is
- Why people take Winstrol
- What the Winstrol side effects are
- How to tell if someone is taking Winstrol
- And more.

Let’s get started.

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Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Oct 28, 2019
What Maariana Learned Beating Cancer and Getting in the Best Shape of Her Life
6395

This is part two of my interview with Maariana, who used my Bigger Leaner Stronger program to gain over 20 pounds of muscle, fit into her college clothes again, and even improve her career as an opera singer.

In case you missed the first part interview, it ended with Maariana revealing that she was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after starting Bigger Leaner Stronger.

I couldn’t end the discussion there, of course, and so on it went, which is what you’re about to hear.

In this part of the interview, Maariana talks about her battle with cancer and how she refused to take it lying down and instead chose to view it as a challenge and opportunity to become stronger, inside and out.

This meant regular physical training in the gym alongside her treatments as well as deep research into behavioral psychology to find practical techniques for elevating mood, boosting willpower, and reinforcing resolve (and she shares some of her favorites in our discussion).

So if you’re looking for a jolt of inspiration or like hearing motivational stories, I highly recommend listening to part one of this interview and then tuning in to this episode.

4:57 - How did you have the energy to exercise while battling cancer?
32:42 - Where did you get the idea of making an app?
35:17 - What are some examples of mental exercises?
51:56 - What are some examples of a learning mindset?

Mentioned on The Show:

Legion VIP one-on-one coaching: https://legionathletics.com/coaching/

Maariana's website: https://maariana.com/

Maariana's app: https://fulfillapp.com/

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Oct 25, 2019
Lacey Dunn on the Pros and Cons of Organic Versus Conventional Foods
3936

Organic food is big business these days.

Here in the US, it raked in about 50 billion dollars last year alone, and that number is projected to exceed 135 billion by 2025.

What does “organic” really mean, though? And is it worth it?

Are you really improving your health by eating organic food, or is it just a marketing ploy to exploit the common belief that if something is more “natural,” it’s automatically better for you?

Some people say you should eat as much organic food as possible, full stop. Avoid conventional produce, dairy, meat, and any GMO products at all costs, they say.

Others claim there’s nothing special about organic food whatsoever beyond its price tag.

Well, as is often the case, the truth is somewhere in the middle, and I invited Lacey Dunn on the podcast to break it all down.

In case you’re not familiar with her, Lacey is a personal trainer, registered dietician with a master’s degree in nutrition, and the owner of UpliftFit Nutrition, where she provides science-based diet and fitness coaching for people around the world.

So, if you want to learn the truth organic versus conventional food and what this ultimately means for your long-term health and well-being, this episode is for you.

5:42 - What is organic food and how does it differ from conventional farming?

8:10 - Are there any downsides to organic farming?
13:17 - What is the nutritional quality in organic food compared to non-organic?
17:15 - Is it important to have a variety of fruit and vegetables in our diet?
22:13 - What are some common mistakes with taking vitamin D supplements?
23:57 - Why is it important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables?
33:05 - If you want to save money, what foods should you focus on buying organic?
39:16 - What are GMO’s and how do they affect food?
43:03 - What are some tips for eating organic?
48:11 - What are some key things to remember for organic dairy?
1:01:35 - Where can people find you and your work?

Mentioned on The Show: 

Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

Legion Triumph: https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/triumph/

Lacey’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/faithandfit/?hl=en

Lacey’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/laceyadunn

Lacey’s Website: http://www.upliftfit.org/

Lacey’s Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/upliftfit-nutrition/id1207668246?mt=2

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Oct 21, 2019
How Maariana Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Fit Into Her College Clothes Again
4005

In this episode, I interview Maariana, who used my Bigger Leaner Stronger program to radically transform not only her physique, but also her career and life.

Before finding her way to me and my work through her boyfriend, she had fallen into just about every health and fitness trap out there—excessive cardio, very lightweight lifting, inadequate protein intake, and on and on.

Despite working at it very hard for very long, the best she was able to accomplish was a “skinny fat” physique that left her constantly hungry, tired, and frustrated.

Bigger Leaner Stronger changed all of that.

Through the magical wonders of heavy compound weightlifting, proper meal planning, and effective supplementation, Maariana has gained a bunch of muscle and strength while still being able to fit into the types of clothes she was wearing in college.

What’s more, Maariana is a professional opera singer and Bigger Leaner Stronger has made quite a difference there, too. She’s more confident and less nervous on stage and has even noticed improvements in her singing capabilities.

So, in part one of this interview, Maariana and I discuss her story and some of the key lessons she learned along the way, including how she dealt with gym intimidation, how to travel the world without gaining weight, and much more.

Now, why part one of two?

As you’ll find out, as we were wrapping up our interview, Maariana shared a whopper: soon after starting Bigger Leaner Stronger, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I knew this going into the interview but as she hadn’t mentioned it up until that point, I thought she didn’t want to talk about it.

Well, it turns out she did, and it also turns out she has a neurobiology degree and abiding passion for self-improvement, and so we then went on to have a whole new discussion along those lines.

All in all, our conversation clocked in at around 3 hours, so I figured it’s probably better to break it up into two parts.

So, here’s part one, and part two will follow in the next week or so.

6:09 - What was your diet and fitness like before Bigger Leaner Stronger?
17:46 - What were your numbers before and after Bigger Leaner Stronger?
46:41 - Was it intimidating for you to start weightlifting?
35:50 - How do you fit in exercise when you travel?
42:53 - Is Triumph for men and women?
47:33 - How long did it take you to get from 30% body fat to 20% body fat?
54:00 - Did you run into any hunger problems while cutting?

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Oct 18, 2019
My Top 5 Takeaways from the Book Thinking In Systems by Donella H. Meadows
1541

“Can you recommend a book for…?”

“What are you reading right now?”

“What are your favorite books?”

I get asked those types of questions a lot and, as an avid reader and all-around bibliophile, I’m always happy to oblige.

I also like to encourage people to read as much as possible because knowledge benefits you much like compound interest. The more you learn, the more you know; the more you know, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more opportunities you have to succeed.

On the flip side, I also believe there’s little hope for people who aren’t perpetual learners. Life is overwhelmingly complex and chaotic, and it slowly suffocates and devours the lazy and ignorant.

So, if you’re a bookworm on the lookout for good reads, or if you’d like to get into the habit of reading, this book club for you.

The idea here is simple: Every month, I’ll share a book that I’ve particularly liked, why I liked it, and several of my key takeaways from it.

I’ll also keep things short and sweet so you can quickly decide whether the book is likely to be up your alley or not.

Alright, let’s get to the takeaways.

Want to be notified when my next book recommendation goes live?

Hop on my email list and you’ll get each new installment delivered directly to your inbox.

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Oct 16, 2019
Why MCT Oil Is Basically a Scam (According to Science)
2661

“Lose fat by drinking fat!”

“Turn on the fat-burning power of ketosis with the flip of a switch!”

“Supercharge your brain with this super-oil!”

These are just a few of the many reasons MCT oil peddlers say you should give them your money (and a lot of it—this stuff ain’t cheap).

In fact, according to many of these self-styled gurus and “biohackers,” MCT oil is one of the most effective supplements you can take for upgrading your mind and body.

Just a few tablespoons per day, they say, and you’ll drop weight, turn on ketosis (which can help you drop more weight), boost exercise performance, and increase your brainpower . . . and that’s just the first week!

Now, how much would you expect to pay for such a privilege? Hundreds? Thousands? Billions?

Well, would you believe that it’ll only set you back a mere $1.60 per ounce!? Yes, that’s right, for just $205 per gallon, you too can basically have superpowers!

You don’t want just any MCT oil, though. You want mine, which is grass-fed, gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, blah blah blah will that be cash or credit?

Okay, so I think you get the point. Here’s the long story short:

The benefits of MCT oil have been wildly inflated by the reigning health and fitness propagandists and their minions and unwitting dupes. As you’ll soon see, it’s more or less just another overpriced, overhyped weight loss supplement that doesn’t work as advertised.

Let’s get started.

3:56 - What is MCT oil?
8:38 - What are the benefits of MCT oil?
17:30 - What is the research on MCT oil and weight loss?
22:31 - Does MCT oil help you lose weight faster on a ketogenic diet?
24:34 - Does MCT oil lower cholesterol levels and improve your heart health?
28:20 - Does MCT oil improve athletic performance?
32:35 - Does MCT oil improve brain function?
35:57 - Is MCT oil better than coconut oil?
40:01 - What are the side effects of MCT oil?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Oct 14, 2019
Exciting & New! Legion Partnership, Free Workout App, BBLS 2.0, and More . . .
887

“When’s your next book coming out?”

“What kind of supplements are you going to release next?”

“What would you name your boat if you had one?”

I’m asked questions like these all the time and so I thought I’d start doing monthly updates about what’s new and exciting here at Legion HQ.

So here’s a quick hosedown of what me and my jolly band of pirates and bums have been up to lately.

Enjoy!

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Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Oct 11, 2019
Can Intuitive Eating Help You Get the Body You Really Want?
1130

There are two very different philosophies of dieting.

One revolves around planning or counting/tracking the calories and macros of everything that you eat.

The IIFYM Diet is a good example of this method.

The other eschews numbers and opts for rules about how, what, and when you should eat, instead.

All forms of dieting that agitate for one form of “clean eating” or another fit into this category, including the subject of this podcast: intuitive eating.

Both of these approaches can work, and both have pros and cons.

The first, quantitative approach more or less guarantees results, but it requires a fair amount of technical know-how, and it can be rigid, impractical, and tedious.

The second, qualitative method is generally easier to understand and apply and more flexible and accommodating, but it’s also easier to screw up, and thus comes with a higher failure rate.

Now, I’m going to assume you’re here because you don’t want to go through door number one.

You don’t want to have to weigh and measure everything that you cook, you don’t want to fiddle with My Fitness Pal every day, and you don’t want to learn how to count macros on the fly.

Instead, you just want to eat a few balanced and enjoyable meals every day without gaining weight or ruining your body composition.

Well, intuitive eating is the answer.

Let’s find out why.

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Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Oct 09, 2019
Kyle Hunt on Bodybuilding for Beginners, Practical Training and Diet Advice, and More
4172

If you’re new to working out or weightlifting in general, the world of bodybuilding can be intimidating, confusing, and contradictory.

Maybe you’re getting mixed signals about how much muscle you can gain or how lean you can get.

Maybe you’re struggling with the terminology of sets, reps, mesocycles, cutting, bulking, and so forth.

Maybe you’re unsure of exactly what you should be doing in your workouts.

Well, today’s guest, Kyle Hunt, addresses all of these things and more in his new book, Bodybuilding for Beginners, and I invited him onto the show to discuss some of the key takeaways from his book.

In other words, Kyle shares a “bodybuilding 101” crash course that will help newbies get up to speed faster and remind more experienced lifters of the fundamentals that never change.

We also touch on a few other topics including fitness quackery and credibility, exercise science degrees, evaluating scientific studies, and more.

If any of that strikes your fancy, hit that play button!

32:43 - What is the book Bodybuilding for Beginners about?
35:27 - What are some practical tips for nutrition?
38:02 - What are some tips to sticking to a diet?
44:01 - What does the training program look like in Bodybuilding for Beginners?
45:05 - Are there options for different types of strength building in Bodybuilding for Beginners?

Mentioned on The Show:

Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

Kyle’s website: https://www.kylehuntfitness.com/

Kyle’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/huntfitness/?hl=en

Kyle’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0oaevqIdo0CrYGIUJqjtRQ

Bodybuilding for Beginners by Kyle Hunt: https://www.amazon.com/Bodybuilding-Beginners-12-Week-Program-Muscle/dp/1641523611

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Oct 07, 2019
Dr. Anthony Jay on the Surprising Science of DNA Testing
6110

These days, there are a variety of companies offering DNA testing so you can learn about your genealogy, origins, and genetic makeup. Chances are you’ve already used one of them, like 23andMe or Ancestry.com.

There’s even more you can do with these services, though.

Poke around online and you’ll find quite a few self-styled experts who are eager to review your raw DNA data and provide you with very specific lifestyle recommendations that will purportedly maximize your health, performance, and well-being, including specific foods to eat and avoid, exercise programs to follow, supplements to take, and more.

On the other hand, you’ll also find plenty of credentialed guys and gals saying that such DNA-based plans are little more than pseudoscientific scams that won’t have any meaningful impact on your life beyond your wallet.

As is often the case, the truth is somewhere in the middle, and that’s what Dr. Anthony Jay and I discuss in today’s episode.

And to make it more interesting, I sent Dr. Jay my raw data from Ancestry before the episode so he could not only explain the ins and outs of genetic testing and how our DNA can affect our sleep, mood, body composition, risk of disease and dysfunction, and more, but also demonstrate what a solid, science-based DNA consultation looks like.

In case you’re not familiar with Dr. Jay, he’s a scientist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota who earned his Ph.D in Biochemistry from Boston University School of Medicine and provides genetic consulting to everyone from professional athletes to special forces soldiers and everyday gymgoers and everybody in between.

Dr. Jay’s also the author of the book Estrogeneration, which is all about a class of estrogen-like chemicals that are prevalent in our society and contributing to many different widespread health problems, including weight-gain, depression, infertility and many others.

(And if you want to learn more about that, check out the previous interview I did with Dr. Jay on it!)

So, if you want to learn more about how to use your unique genetic blueprint to live a longer, healthier, and happier life, this episode is for you.

7:54 - How does atrazine affect humans?
14:26 - What is a snip?
29:43 - What are the five categories of genes?
37:24 - How do our genes affect stress, anxiety, and caffeine metabolism?
48:06 - What is HRV and is a higher HRV better?
50:51 - How does the blue light gene affect our sleep?
58:39 - How do our genes affect obesity?
59:55 - What is brown fat and white fat?
1:09:20 - Which genes increase your risk for leaky gut?
1:23:07 - How do our genes determine our muscle types?
1:26:46 - Which genes determine how weak or strong our joints are?
1:31:49 - Which genes determine if you’re a gout risk?
1:37:55 - Where can people find you and your work?
1:38:56 - Have you found commonalities in the genes of professional athletes?

Mentioned on The Show:

Shop Legion supplements here: https://legionathletics.com/shop/

AJ's Consulting Company: https://www.ajconsultingcompany.com/ 

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Oct 04, 2019
Pat Flynn on How to Get Started with Kettlebell Training
3321

If you’re a regular listener of this podcast, you’ve heard me talk about many things related to training.

I’ve covered how to squat, deadlift, bench press, overhead press, break through plateaus, utilize different rep ranges, deload, and on and on.

Something I haven’t talked about before, though, is kettlebell training.

This isn’t because I think it’s without merit, though—it’s simply an unintentional oversight—and that’s why I invited Pat Flynn back on the show to break down kettlebell training for beginners.

Why Pat?

Well, he was once the youngest person to ever pass the Russian Kettlebell Certification, and he’s coached many people over the years on how to properly use kettlebells to lose fat, build muscle, and get stronger.

In this episode, he delivers a fantastic kettlebells 101, including his favorite exercises for gaining muscle and improving conditioning, how to do the exercises properly, how to program kettlebell training, and more.

4:51 - What are kettlebells good for?
7:57 - What do kettlebells have to offer?
15:35 - How do you use kettlebells effectively?
19:25 - How do you program in kettlebells?
29:19 - What’s the difference between a single and double arm swing?
30:18 - What other variations are there for the swing?
47:57 - What type of technical advice do you have for kettlebell exercises?
53:36 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Oct 02, 2019
The Absolute Best Way to Improve Your Muscle Definition
2510

If you’re like most people, you don’t just want “big muscles”--you want defined muscles.

For example, if you’re a guy, would you rather be big and “fluffy,” or smaller but ripped?

And if you’re a gal, would you rather be skin and bones or lean and toned?

Well, if you chose the second option, then you’re in the right place, because in this podcast, I’m going to teach you the simple science of not just gaining muscle, but gaining muscle definition.

We’re going to cut through the myths and lies, too.

“Clean eating” isn’t the key, and neither is exercise choice, rep ranges, or supplementation.

Genetics aren’t the answer, either (fortunately!).

You may not have the genetics to look exactly like your favorite Instagram model, but you don’t need singular genes to be a shining example of muscle definition.

You have the same types of physiological hardware as the rest of us, and your body (and muscles) will respond fantastically if given the proper stimuli.

So, if you’re ready to learn what muscle definition is, and what doesn't increase muscle definition and what does, then listen in.

3:51 - What is muscle definition?
10:22 - Do you have to eat clean to gain muscle definition?
14:42 - Do you have to do a lot of high rep training to gain muscle definition?
19:32 - Do you have to use cables and machines to gain muscle definition?
20:47 - Do you have to eat a low carb diet to gain muscle definition?
24:39 - Do you have to do a lot of cardio to gain muscle definition?
28:01 - How do you increase muscle definition?
32:48 - Do I need to take supplements to gain muscle definition?

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Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Sep 30, 2019
Q&A: Bro Splits for Muscle Growth, Weightlifting Belts, How Long to Stay in a Calorie Deficit, and More!
1601

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 four questions:

  1. Are bro splits optimal for muscle growth?
  2. Should you use a weightlifting belt?
  3. How long should you remain in a calorie deficit?
  4. Is intermittent fasting better for retaining muscle than traditional dieting when cutting?

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 mike@muscleforlife.com.

Recommended reading for this episode:

Mentioned on The Show: 

Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Sep 27, 2019
Tom Brady’s Diet Is Healthy But Ridiculous. Should You Follow It?
3307

Tom Brady’s diet has become something of an obsession for many Americans.

Since the publication of his 2017 health and wellness book, The TB12 Method, “Touchdown Tom’s” eating habits have gone mainstream in a major way.

Every major media outlet has weighed in multiple times and you can even find “I tried Tom Brady’s diet and here’s what happened” videos online.

And unlike many fly-by-night celebrity diets, Brady’s has earned staying power.

The main reason for this is obviously the halo effect. He’s indisputably one of the greatest and most accomplished athletes of all time, so anything he says and does is likely to be judged favorably.

Moreover, Brady isn’t just a Hollywood hunk who got jacked for a superhero movie. Brady’s a world-class athlete who appears to be invincible by normal NFL standards, which many players joke stands for “Not for Long.”

Due largely to the brutal nature of the game, the average NFL player lasts just 3.3 years, and many careers are cut short by torn ligaments, broken bones, severe concussions, and the like.

Not Brady, though.

He’s wrapping up his 19th year in the league with his 9th Super Bowl, and aside from a knee injury that sidelined him in 2008, he hasn’t suffered a major injury in his career.

How has he managed to stay so healthy?

Well, Brady says his unique diet has contributed to his robust health in a major way and enabled his body to endure and recover from levels of stress and punishment that would break the average person.

Hence its popularity.

So, what does the Tom Brady diet look like? Well, it mostly consists of plenty of fresh vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and a moderate amount of lean meats like salmon, turkey, and chicken.

In other words, it sounds like your average “healthy diet” that many obesity and nutrition scientists have been advocating for the last several decades.

It doesn’t stop with “eat a bunch of nutritious things,” however, which is where the controversy begins. Brady’s version of “clean eating” requires more or less only eating nutritious things and prescribes a menagerie of restrictions, including . . .

- No gluten, bread, pasta, or white flour of any kind
- No coffee or caffeine
- No cooking oil
- No potatoes, peppers, or mushrooms
- No drinking water during or around meals
- No eating within 3 hours of bedtime
- No eating fruits with other foods

In fact, once you’ve wound through all the twists and turns of Brady’s diet, as we’ll do in this podcast, you can’t help but wonder if there was any real method to the apparent madness.

I mean, if you were to tear random pages out of the bestselling diet books of the last 20 years and follow whatever you found, you’d likely end up with something similar.

Not only that, but thanks to the aggressive commercializing of the TB12 brand, the regimen also includes a number of Brady’s proprietary supplements and other products.

All that doesn’t necessarily mean the Tom Brady diet deserves the scrapheap instead of the spotlight, though.

As you’ll learn, Brady’s fastidious eating gets more right than wrong and is far superior to the average Western diet, but it’s not without major flaws and fallacies.

6:25 - What is the Tom Brady diet?
12:00 - Should I eat mostly anti-inflammatory foods?
19:16 - Should I eat mostly alkaline foods?
26:07 - Is it bad to combine food groups in one meal?
30:10 - Should I drink half of my body weight in ounces of water per day?
33:48 - Should I eat as little saturated fat and cooking oil as possible?
43:29 - Who is Alex Gurrero?
49:05 - How can I use food to optimize my body composition, well-being, and longevity?

 

Mentioned on The Show:

Books by Mike Matthews: https://legionathletics.com/products/books/

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Sep 25, 2019
How Bigger Leaner Stronger Helped Tom Beat Sciatica, Lose 45 Pounds, and Transform His Physique
4436

In this episode, I interview Tom, who found me on Youtube and used my teachings to completely change his body and life.

When he first started working out, he didn’t know what he was doing with his training or diet and after a spurt of newbie gains, fell into a rut.

He was also dealing with debilitating sciatica that sometimes had him crawling to the bathroom in the middle of the night and asking his girlfriend to help him put on underwear.

Everything changed when Tom discovered the world of evidence-based fitness, however, and started implementing my advice. 

In the span of 1.5 years, he bulked up from 160 pounds to 205 and then cut back down to a much leaner, more muscular 160 pounds. And even better, his back pain was more or less gone. He couldn’t believe it.

In fact, Tom was so astounded that he decided to pay it forward by starting to share his journey and learnings on the popular website Twitch. 

Now, his channel is now the most popular fitness-related hangout on the website, and every day, Tom uses it to stream workouts, answer people's questions, and share his favorite tips that have helped him build his best body ever.

In this interview, Tom and I chat about his story and the many important lessons he's learned along the way, including exactly how he beat his back pain, how he optimizes meal prepping for maximum enjoyment, efficiency, and economy, and more.

9:23 - Where was your physique when you started the program?
19:29 - How many calories do you eat per day at the end of a bulk?
20:43 - How does alcohol affect muscle gain and fat loss?
25:02 - What kind of back issues did you have?
42:04 - What led you to be on Twitch?
48:26 - Do you have any tips on meal planning?
1:10:49 - Where can people find you and your work?

Mentioned on The Show:

Tom's Twitch Channel: https://www.twitch.tv/tominationtime

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Sep 23, 2019
Do Painkillers Reduce Muscle Growth? What 23 Studies Say
792

For many people, ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen are godsends.

Whenever they feel a niggling ache or pain, they pop a pill and feel right as rain.

Elbow pain from benching? No problem.

Knee pain from squatting? Nothing a few pills can’t fix.

Shoulder pain from overhead press? Not today.

Have a bad case of DOMS? NBD, man.

Take a few pills, and you’ll be able to push through workouts that might otherwise keep you sidelined.

And others even take these over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers on a regular basis, just in case something starts to hurt.

If you’ve read anything about these drugs, though, then you may have heard that they can also interfere with muscle growth.

Some even go so far as to say that you should avoid them at all costs. It’s better to stay home and wait for your body to heal itself than to take a pill that kills your gains.

Who’s right, and what should you do?

That’s what you’re going to learn in this podcast. By the end, you’ll know how painkillers affect muscle growth, whether or not taking them will interfere with strength and muscle gain, and how to balance the pros and cons to get the best of both worlds.

Let’s get started.

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Sep 20, 2019
Everything You Should Know About Newbie Gains, According to Science
2518

If you’re new to proper weightlifting, you have much to look forward to. 

You’re taking your first steps in a journey that can transform not only your body but your entire life. 

With every bit of muscle and strength you gain, you’re going to look a little better, feel a little better, and thrill a little more at the prospect of what else you might be able to achieve. 

You have a special advantage, too—one that even the most accomplished weightlifters envy. 

Whereas they have to fight tooth and nail for every ounce of improvement on the scale and bar, thanks to a quirk of physiology, you’re going to progress with relative ease.

For instance, for someone like me, no matter how hard I work in the gym, the best I could possibly do over the next 12 months is maybe 30 to 35 pounds added to my key lifts and 1 to 3 pounds of muscle gain.

You?

Well, in just your first year of proper training, you should have no trouble increasing your whole-body strength by several hundred pounds and gaining 15 to 25 pounds of muscle (and about half that if you’re a woman).

Such is the power of “newbie gains.”

Notice I’ve said “proper” a couple times now, too. This is important because even if you’ve been into lifting for a while, if you’ve made little progress since starting, you too can benefit from newbie gains.

In short, if you’ve yet to gain your first 15 to 25 pounds of muscle (again, for women, about half that amount), you can get there a lot faster than you might think.

If you’re skeptical, I understand.

  • Maybe you think you’re a “hardgainer” who’s destined to stay small and weak. 
  • Maybe you think you’ve already more or less maxed out what your physique has to offer and your only hope of getting bigger and stronger is using steroids.
  • Maybe you just don’t know what to do in the gym to gain more muscle and strength.

Well, I have good news:

  1. Although some people gain muscle and strength easier than others, nobody has to remain forever frail.
  2. Although we all have hard genetic ceilings for muscle and strength gain, you’re probably well short of yours.
  3. Although the art and science of training can appear hopelessly complex, all you likely need to achieve your goals is intelligent and rigorous application of the fundamentals.

I have proof, too.

Through my books, articles, podcasts, and videos, I’ve helped thousands of everyday men and women build their best bodies ever, and I can do the same for you. 

And I can start right here, right now, by providing you with an in-depth review of the science of newbie gains—a rather controversial phenomenon. 

Some people say newbie gains aren’t really a thing because there’s nothing special occurring at the physiological level.

Others say newbie gains are hit-and-miss and mostly come down to genetics. Either you have it or you don’t. 

Others still say most people can benefit from newbie gains but only as complete beginners and to any sort of training.

Who’s right? 

The truth is if you’re new to proper weightlifting and dieting (and we’ll talk about what these look like), you’ll gain more muscle and strength in your first year than ever again.

In other words, you’ll be able to make newbie gains.

What’s also true, though, is that it's easy to cheat yourself out of this honeymoon phase if you make a few common mistakes.

And in this podcast, we’re going to break it all down, including . . . 

  • Why newbie gains are possible
  • How much muscle you can expect to gain in your newbie phase
  • How long newbie gains last and why they eventually end
  • How to maximize your newbie gains
  • What to do when your newbie gains end
  • And more

Let’s start at the top.

7:23 - What are newbie gains? 

9:36 - Why do newbie gains occur? 

12:44 - How big of a difference do newbie gains really make? 

23:50 - Why do newbie gains end? 

26:47 - Can you miss out on newbie gains? 

29:01 - What happens after newbie gains are over? 

31:21 - What are 5 tips to continue making gains after the newbie gains period is over? 

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Sep 18, 2019
Chris Barakat on Advanced Bodybuilding Techniques for Faster Muscle Gain
3933

As fun as it can be to geek out on obscure and advanced muscle-building strategies, most people looking for advice on how to gain more muscle and strength just need to double down on the fundamentals instead.

You know, compound exercises, heavy weights, progressive overload, and the like.

There comes a point, though, where a basic understanding of the basics is no longer enough to keep the needle moving.

Then, you should add some more advanced tools to the shed, including programming techniques like periodization, set schemes like drop and rest-pause sets, and exercise variations to address weak points.

That last point—exercise variations—is what Chris Barakat and I talk about today, and specifically, how to use different types of exercises and ways of performing those exercises to maximize muscle gain in every major muscle group you train.

As you’ll learn, relatively small changes to the exercises you do and how you do them can make quite a big difference in the bottom-line results.

If you’re not familiar with Chris, he’s not only a member of Legion’s Scientific Review Board, he’s also a published scientist, educator, coach, and natural bodybuilder, so he’s intimately familiar with the respective needs of beginning, intermediate, and advanced weightlifters and bodybuilders.

Let’s get to it!

6:51 - What is the architecture of a muscle?
9:30 - What is an alternate exercise to leg extensions that will help develop the distal part of the quads?
10:16 - Which exercises best target the upper part of the pecs?
12:55 - What are your thoughts on how different exercises impact the development of the biceps and triceps differently?
14:05 - Which exercises best target the biceps and triceps and how would you program it?
15:55 - Which exercises best target the shoulders and how would you program it?
28:06 - Which exercises best target the back and how would you program it?
39:09 - How does an alternate grip on pulls affect the back?
41:54 - Which exercises best target the hamstrings and how would you program it?
45:15 - Which exercises best target the calves and how would you program it?
49:46 - What are your thoughts on improving abs and core?
58:43 - How important is controlling the concentric and eccentric phases?
1:00:42 - Which exercises best target the glutes and how would you program it?
1:02:17 - How can people find you and your work?

Mentioned on The Show:

Legion VIP one-on-one coaching: https://legionathletics.com/coaching/

Chris's one-on-one coaching: https://www.competitivebreed.com/

Chris's educational content: https://www.bodybuilding.com/author/christopher-barakat

Chris's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christopher.barakat/?hl=en

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Sep 16, 2019
My First Live Event, Legion's Scientific Review Board, An Exciting Barnes & Noble Deal, and More . . .
681

“When’s your next book coming out?”

“What kind of supplements are you going to release next?”

“What would you name your boat if you had one?”

I’m asked questions like these all the time and so I thought I’d start doing monthly updates about what’s new and exciting here at Legion HQ.

So here’s a quick hosedown of what me and my jolly band of pirates and bums have been up to lately.

Enjoy!

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Sep 13, 2019
Is CrossFit a Good Way to Lose Weight and Get In Shape?
2021

“CrossFit won’t just transform your body,” an acquaintance once told me, “it will change everything—who you are, how you view the world, what you think is possible.”

I’m a big believer in the life-changing power of being fit, but . . . really? I felt like I was being pitched on an MLM, not a workout program.

This type of talk is common in the CrossFit universe, which has enjoyed tremendous success in the last decade. There are over 13,000 CrossFit affiliates (gyms) around the world, and CrossFitters are some of the most passionate fitness folk you’ll ever meet.

But is it everything the true believers claim it to be? Is it really the best way to get fit? Does it really transform mere “working out” into something transcendent?

Or is it just another fad with nothing particularly special to offer other an increased risk of injury and overtraining, as many of its detractors claim?

Well, the long story short is this:

CrossFit can absolutely help you get in great shape, and depending on the coach you work with, it’s not as dangerous as some people would have you believe.

That said, CrossFit is not the best way to gain muscle and strength and lose fat, which is why many people get into it in the first place.

Let’s find out why . . .

3:49 - What is CrossFit?
6:55 - What are the positives of CrossFit?
13:11 - What are the negatives of CrossFit?
17:57 - How does CrossFit measure up with gaining muscle and strength?
22:04 - What’s the best way to improve cardio and gain muscle and strength?
23:27 - Is CrossFit good for fat loss?
30:28 - Should I do CrossFit?

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Sep 11, 2019
Stop Trying to Have Great Workouts
643

This episode is part of a monthly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

One Monday every month, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back every Monday morning for the latest and greatest installment.

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Sep 09, 2019
Does Training to Failure Help You Build More Muscle? What Science Says
2008

If you’ve been slinging iron for any amount of time, you’ve probably seen quite a few “ONE MORE REP” lifters.

They’re usually a 20-something year-old dudes in stringers and Waffen-SS haircuts with oompa loompa tans and maybe, just maybe, a bit of lip gloss too (yep, I’ve seen it).

These boys just love training to failure, often ending set after set with the weights on the floor or their bodies.

We might think they look ridiculous, but maybe the joke’s on us?

Maybe training to muscle failure—the point where you can no longer move the weight—is the key to gains?

Well, like rep ranges and training frequency, the topic of training to failure is a contentious one.
Many bodybuilders, experts, and “gurus” claim it’s at least beneficial, and some say it’s essential for maximizing muscle and strength gain.

On the other hand, others say we should never train to failure because it doesn’t increase anything but our risk of injury and overtraining.

Who’s right?

Well, in this podcast, you’re going to learn what the scientific literature has to say on the matter, including the effectiveness, safety, and usefulness of training to failure.

3:33 - What is training to failure?
6:20 - Why do people train to absolute failure?
9:22 - How does a workout routine that includes training to failure compare to a workout routine that doesn’t include training to failure?
25:46 - When and why should I train to failure?
25:11 - What are the benefits of training to failure?

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Sep 06, 2019
Dr. Eric Helms on the Best Way to Lean Bulk (Gain Muscle and Not Fat)
3409

Poke around the Internet for advice on gaining muscle as fast as possible, and you’ll find a lot of advice along the lines of “eat big to get big.”

You know, eat everything in sight, drink a gallon of milk per day, and so forth.

This will definitely help you gain muscle, but it also results in a lot of unnecessary fat gain. And while a YOLO bulk or two can be productive and fun when you’re a beginner, it becomes counterproductive as you move into your intermediate phase and beyond.

Luckily, though, there’s a better way to gain muscle and strength.

Instead, you can do what’s called a lean bulk, where you gain muscle a bit slower than you would gorging every day but with much less fat gain.

And in this interview, you’re going to learn how to best go about it from Dr. Eric Helms, and particularly, how to ensure your calories are in the right place—not too low, which hinders muscle gain, or too high, which accelerates fat gain.

And in case you’re not familiar with Eric, he’s not only is he an accomplished bodybuilder, powerlifter, coach, author, scientist, and member of the Legion Athletics Scientific Advisory Board, but he’s also one of my favorite guests for offering pragmatic advice you can apply to your diet and training.

Oh and if you like what Eric has to say, you should definitely check out his research review Monthly Applications in Strength Sport (MASS). Every month they put out interesting, practical information on the latest research.

10:28 - What’s the website for the events you’re putting on?
11:36 - How much of a calorie surplus is enough for muscle gain?
28:26 - What was the caloric intake between the slow and fast?
32:30 - How big of a surplus are we looking at for each group?
35:53 - Is that more muscle gain than expected from experienced lifters?
43:01 - How do the two studies we discussed compare to the story you’re working on?
49:10 - What diet advice do you have for people lean bulking?
53:02 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Sep 04, 2019
How to Stop Binge Eating (Even If You Love Food)
2669

Pop quiz: which days of the week are most fattening?

Yes, you heard the question correctly. Which days of the week are most associated with weight gain?

Don’t overthink it. Listen to your gut here (it should know!).

If you go with your intuition, your answer is probably “the weekends.” And you’d be right. 

Research shows that most people maintain a steady weight throughout the week and gain weight on the weekends.

How does that work, you ask?

Well, what happens to the diets of most people that have trouble with their weight come Friday night? I’ll tell you what happens: mayhem.

The problem with this all-too-common ritual of weekly binge eating is the sheer amount of body fat you can gain in just a few days of overeating. Depending on your genetics and activity level, a couple moderate bouts of bingeing can easily “undo” the fat loss of a whole week of proper dieting.

I’ve worked with thousands of people and, hands down, the biggest mistake made by those baffled by their inability to lose weight is binge eating. 

The bottom line is nothing will stop your fat loss dead in its tracks faster than binge eating, and especially bingeing on fatty foods and alcohol (a perfect storm for gaining body fat).

 

If you want to not only get lean but stay lean, you simply can’t afford to struggle with binge eating. Sure, you can eat foods you love and generally enjoy your diet, but you can’t regularly live out your bacchanalian fantasies and have a physique of the gods.

In this podcast, we’re going to talk a bit about why some people struggle with binge eating and a handful of simple, practical strategies you can employ to prevent and beat the urges.

5:27 - Why do we binge eat? 

8:22 - Why do we gain weight from binge eating? 

12:49 - How can we enjoy the foods we like without getting fat? 

22:49 - How do you stop binge eating? 

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter! Click here:

https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Sep 02, 2019
Eric Trexler on Creatine and Hair Loss, Caffeine and Strength, and More
5521

You always hear about supplements for fat loss and muscle gain, but what about strength?

What are the best supplements for getting stronger, and how well do they work?

What’s the best way to take them?

To answer these questions, I invited Dr. Eric Trexler to come on the podcast and discuss the science behind strength supplements, including two of the most popular and effective ones—caffeine and creatine.

In case you’re not familiar with Eric, he’s the Director of Education for Stronger by Science, and is one of the main contributors to MASS, one of my favorite monthly research reviews.

In this episode, he answers questions like . . .

- Does caffeine tolerance affect its performance boost?
- Should you load creatine or not?
- Does creatine cause hair loss?
- What are nitric oxide boosters and which are worth taking?
- And more . . .

So, if you want to learn more about the science of supplementation for boosting your performance in the gym, check it out!

23:13 - How does caffeine affect the body?
32:12 - What are some food interactions that affect caffeine?
39:18 - Caffeine tolerance and how it affects performance
47:44 - How to maximize caffeine benefits in everyday workouts
50:28 - How does caffeine affect fat loss?
56:52 - Creatine and muscle building
1:00:17 - Should you mix creatine and caffeine?
1:05:34 - Should you load creatine or not?
1:08:16 - Does creatine cause hair loss?
1:19:45 - Does creatine cause bloating?
1:22:54 - Nitrous oxide and nitric oxide boosters
1:29:09 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Aug 30, 2019
How Thinner Leaner Stronger Helped Meaghan Lose 40 Pounds and Transform Her Life
4052

In this episode, I interview Meaghan, who used my Thinner Leaner Stronger program to completely transform her body and life.

Before finding my work, Meaghan was 160 pounds, 28% body fat, and didn’t know what to do in the kitchen or gym.

Then she found my book for women, Thinner Leaner Stronger, and now she’s about 40 pounds lighter and whole helluva lot stronger.

Meaghan also has a much better relationship with food and fitness and truly enjoys her new sustainable lifestyle, which she knows can keep her fit and healthy for the rest of her life.

Not only that, but she’s now paying it forward by coaching other women to follow in her footsteps and transform their bodies and lives too.

In this interview, Meaghan and I chat about her story and some of the key lessons she has learned along the way, including the importance of consistency, overcoming gym intimidation, staying in shape while traveling, and more.

6:16 - Who is Meaghan Janisse?
10:05 - What was your diet and fitness like before and after our program?
16:40 - What was it like managing your weight through energy balance?
19:56 - What were some of the difficulties you had to overcome?
30:33 - What are some tips and tricks to stay fit while traveling?
42:04 - What advice do you have for women who are about to start resistance training?
51:07 - What are your next fitness and business goals?
59:45 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Aug 28, 2019
Pat Flynn on Politics, Memes, Religion, Logic, and More
6651

This was supposed to be a podcast about kettlebells.

Instead, it turned into a digression into politics, psychology, religion, and more, which let’s be honest, is more interesting than kettlebells.

Pat is an interesting dude to talk to about this stuff, too, because while he’s certainly a fitness expert, he also has a master’s degree in systematic philosophy and has written several bestselling books, including How to Be Better At (Almost) Everything.

In this interview, Pat and I go all over the place, pontificating on questions like . . .

- How much do memes influence political elections?
- What are the rational (and irrational) arguments for believing in God?
- How seriously should we take “conspiracy theories”?
- How do you make decisions when there are no good decisions?
- What are the chances our lives are predetermined by fate?

Not exactly the norm here on my podcast, but it was a fun excursion into some of the bigger questions about how the world around us works, and if you wonder about such things yourself, I think you’ll enjoy the interview as well.

And if it’s not your kind of thing, don’t worry, Pat will be coming back on to talk kettlebells.

10:04 - Meme culture
14:27 - Humor as a marketing technique
16:36 - Jordan Peterson’s world view
28:54 - Persuasion technique
35:20 - The peg system memory technique
37:01 - 9/11, politics, and conspiracy theories
47:50 - The trolley problem and ethical experiments
52:01 - Nihilism versus relativism
1:02:13 - Transcendent dimensions
1:05:36 - Our world views and how they impact us
1:17:03 - Near death experiences
1:19:53 - Christianity, catholicism, and agnosticism
1:41:27 - Faith and free will

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Aug 23, 2019
Does Electrical Muscle Stimulation Work? What The Science Actually Says
1472

What if shocking your muscles with electricity helped them grow and develop faster?

 

What if it could reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and help you recover better from your workouts?

 

What if it could straight up make you stronger?

 

Well, this is why people buy and use electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) machines.

 

They believe they’re an easy and safe way to gain muscle and strength faster and boost post-workout recovery.

 

You might want to believe, too, but you’re skeptical.

 

On one hand, the whole approach sounds pretty scientific, and haven’t we seen various professional athletes hooked up to these machines?

 

Then again, some scientific studies aren’t worth the paper they’re published on and some athletes will beat the drum for anything that brings a paycheck.

 

EMS machines are expensive, too, so there would need to be a considerable payoff to justify the cost.

 

Well, when you take a cold, hard look at the science, here’s what you learn:

 

EMS isn’t silly pseudoscience, but it’s also not as great as the machine manufacturers would have you believe.

 

Yes, it’s safe, but no, it’s not going to dramatically impact muscle growth or recovery.

 

That said, it doesn't mean you shouldn't necessarily give it a go. You should just have the right expectations.

 

And in this podcast, we’re going to break down what EMS is, how it works, and what science has to say about its effectiveness. Let’s get started.

5:00 - What is EMS?
5:26 - Does EMS work?
6:37 - Does EMS increase muscle growth?
7:59 - Does EMS increase strength?
12:35 - Can EMS improve muscle recovery?
12:52 - How do I do EMS correctly?
18:56 - How do I use EMS to build strength?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Aug 21, 2019
Can IIFYM Wreck Your Health, Physique, and Relationship with Food?
2805

What if you could eat hamburgers, pizza, and ice cream every week—hell, maybe even every day—and still have abs? 

 

Such is the rallying cry of many people who subscribe to the “If It Fits Your Macros” (IIFYM) style of dieting.

 

Others claim the principles of IIFYM shouldn’t be used to merely get and stay lean while eating like a spoiled child. Instead, they should be used to look and feel great while eating a wide variety of foods including those verboten by more traditional, restrictive forms of dieting.

 

For instance, this might mean regularly eating foods like pasta, bread, dairy, and sugar while also maintaining a healthy intake of more nutritious foods like lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. 

 

Who’s right?

 

Often the most accurate answer to such questions is “it depends” or “somewhere in the middle,” but in this case, there’s a clear winner: moderation.

 

In other words, IIFYM works best as a more flexible, accommodating approach to “clean eating,” as opposed to its polar opposite, where you follow meal plans that emphasize whole, nutritious foods while allowing for less wholesome indulgences.

 

And in this podcast, you’re going to learn why and get simple, science-based answers to all of your questions about IIFYM, including . . .

 

  • What is IIFYM?
  • Does IIFYM work as well as people say? 
  • Is IIFYM healthy?
  • What’s the best way to use IIFYM principles?
  • Should you follow the IIFYM diet?
  • And more.

 

Let’s get started.

 

5:46 - Do calories count?
18:55 - Will IIFYM wreck your health and physique?
30:10 - Does IIFYM promote eating disorders?
41:07 - How do you use flexible dieting and IIFYM principles correctly?

 

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

 

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Aug 19, 2019
My Top 5 Takeaways from The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley
1523

“Can you recommend a book for…?”

“What are you reading right now?”

“What are your favorite books?”

I get asked those types of questions a lot and, as an avid reader and all-around bibliophile, I’m always happy to oblige.

I also like to encourage people to read as much as possible because knowledge benefits you much like compound interest. The more you learn, the more you know; the more you know, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more opportunities you have to succeed.

On the flip side, I also believe there’s little hope for people who aren’t perpetual learners. Life is overwhelmingly complex and chaotic, and it slowly suffocates and devours the lazy and ignorant.

So, if you’re a bookworm on the lookout for good reads, or if you’d like to get into the habit of reading, this book club for you.

The idea here is simple: Every month, I’ll share a book that I’ve particularly liked, why I liked it, and several of my key takeaways from it.

I’ll also keep things short and sweet so you can quickly decide whether the book is likely to be up your alley or not.

Alright, let’s get to the takeaways.

Want to be notified when my next book recommendation goes live?

Hop on my email list and you’ll get each new installment delivered directly to your inbox.

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Aug 16, 2019
Kurtis Frank on Improving Your Metabolic Flexibility
3863

One of the problems with rigidly following a restrictive or narrowly focused dietary protocol like low-carb or low-fat is when you go off-plan for whatever reason, you can get slapped.

For instance, if you’re a high-carber and miss a meal, you might find your energy levels plummeting, or if you’re a low-carber and indulge in some cake at a party, you might find yourself craving—and eating—every carb in sight.

Ideally, these things wouldn’t happen—our bodies would be able to adapt to varying dietary circumstances and maintain an even physiological keel. In other words, ideally our bodies would possess a fair amount of “metabolic flexibility.”

If you haven’t heard of metabolic flexibility, that’s understandable because few people have, and in this episode, Kurtis Frank explains what it is and how to improve it so our bodies can better shift between different fuel types and thus be more adaptable to whatever situations we find ourselves in.

In case you’re not familiar with Kurtis, he’s the co-founder and former lead researcher and writer of Examine.com and the current Director of Research and Development for my supplement company Legion Athletics,.

Here’s a sneak peek of what we talk about in this interview.

- Insulin resistance and carb sensitivity as you age.
- The signs that you lack metabolic flexibility.
- How to avoid sugar crashes or carb-triggered binges.
- And more...

5:01 - What does metabolic flexibility mean?
6:36 - Do genetics play a role on whether the body will burn carbs or fats for energy?
7:45 - Are high carb diets still the go-to for endurance athletes?
9:31 - Does the body have an easier time processing carbs if you’re active?
15:44 - What are some signs that show lack of metabolic flexibility?
42:59 - Do certain exercises affect the way your body burns carbs?
58:48 - What’s new and interesting in the formulation front?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

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Aug 14, 2019
The “Mike & Mark (Rippetoe) Show" on Death Threats, Women’s Soccer, Necrophilia (??), and More
3830

Last month, I flew out to Wichita Falls, Texas, to hang out with Mr. Starting Strength, Mark Rippetoe, and go on his podcast, Starting Strength Radio.

I’ve been a fan of Mark’s work for a long time, I’ve had him on my podcast a number of times, and over the years, we’ve become buddies.

Mark even wrote the foreword to the latest editions of my books Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger, which I think is pretty cool as Starting Strength was the first book to turn me onto proper training techniques.

Now, in this interview we go all over the place, ranging from writing to how I lost close to a million dollars in Amazon sales, Google’s aggressive algorithm updates, the women’s soccer pay “scandal,” and more, so if you’re here strictly for practical and educational material, this isn’t for you.

But if you’re interested in hearing Mark and I chew the fat for a bit, tell some jokes, share some war stories, and the like, keep listening.

4:09 - Tell us about your new books
14:21 - How’s your business doing?
16:32 - What happened to Pulse on Amazon?
19:44 - Tell us about Google’s updates and how they’ve affected the health and fitness space.
21:49 - What are your thoughts on Planet Fitness?
31:48 - What should people be doing in the gym?
37:47 - What’s a simple way to easily start losing weight?
40:49 - What’s the most pervasive problem in body composition?
44:29 - What’s your take on vegan bodybuilding?
46:00 - Fake natties and FFMI
51:52 - Why are steroids illegal?
54:31 - What do you think of the equal pay soccer scandal?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

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Aug 12, 2019
Italy + Winning + First Live Event (!)
767

“When’s your next book coming out?”

“What kind of supplements are you going to release next?”

“What would you name your boat if you had one?”

I’m asked questions like these all the time and so I thought I’d start doing monthly updates about what’s new and exciting here at Legion HQ.

So here’s a quick hosedown of what me and my jolly band of pirates and bums have been up to lately.

Enjoy!

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Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Aug 09, 2019
Dr. Jordan Feigenbaum on What Your Doctor Should Tell You About Exercise
4360

What’s the easiest way to make your life better in every way?

Exercise regularly.

You’ll have more energy and mental focus, you’ll sleep better and get sick less frequently, and, of course, let’s not forget the fat loss and muscle and strength gains, either.

Most people know they should be more active, but don’t know exactly what to do and how to go about it and often choose to do nothing instead.

Unfortunately, the professionals who are in the best position to offer a helping hand here—doctors—are often just as clueless as their patients when it comes to effective exercise and nutrition.

Why is that? And what can be done about it?

Those are two of the questions I explore with Dr. Jordan Feigenbaum in this episode.

If you’re not familiar with Jordan, he’s an elite powerlifter, strength coach, medical doctor, and the founder of Barbell Medicine, so he has a unique perspective on the failings of medical school in preparing doctors to offer pragmatic exercise advice to patients. In our conversation, we discuss:

- Why Jordan unironically refers to barbell training as “medicine”
- Major “blindspots” in medical school curricula
- The problem with the “health at any size” movement
- Red flags for supplement companies and Instagram influencers
- And more . . .

3:54 - Why did you choose Barbell Medicine as your company name and what does it mean?
7:43 - What are the healthiest things you can do?
13:36 - Why don’t doctors learn about exercise and nutrition in medical school?
43:01 - What do you mean by a dose dependent response on exercise?
54:00 - What are the top 5 red flags for supplement companies?
1:06:08 - How much does it cost to make a bottle of collagen protein?
1:10:30 - Where can people find you and your work?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Aug 07, 2019
Does Blood Flow Restriction (Occlusion) Training Really Work?
1446

Blood flow restriction training is making waves of late.

It sounds new. It sounds scientific. And some are saying it’s revolutionary.

Well, it also smacks of artifice. Like it was contrived by marketers to sell the latest round of magazines, pills, and powders.

And so if you’ve been skeptical, good. You should be.

You see, the more time you spend educating yourself in the ways of muscle building, the more you become certain of one thing:

If something sounds too good to be true — too easy, too effective, too innovative — it almost always is.

Eventually, you learn that there really is no shortcut to building a strong, muscular, lean body.
There are right and wrong ways of going about it, of course, but at least 80% of your long-term results will come from diligent application of the fundamentals:

- An emphasis on heavy compound lifting.
- Sensible workout programming.
- Ensuring you recover adequately.
- Proper diet and nutrition.

Everything that falls outside of those boundaries should be viewed with a gimlet eye. As, at best, marginally important.

Which brings us to the subject at hand: blood flow restriction training (also known as occlusion training).

What is it? How is it supposed to work? How effective is it? Is it dangerous? How do you do it correctly?

Well, this episode is going to give you answers to all those questions and more. By the end, you’re going to have everything you need to determine whether BFR is right for you and how to do it safely and effectively.

4:05 - What is blood flow restriction training?
4:50 - How does blood flow restriction work?
6:17 - How does blood flow restriction affect muscle growth?
12:51 - What are the benefits of blood flow restriction?
14:18 - Is blood flow restriction safe?
16:08 - How do you use blood flow restriction correctly?
19:00 - What are common mistakes that people make with blood flow restriction training?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Aug 05, 2019
Q&A: The Best “Weight Loss Foods,” Time Under Tension, Periodization, and More!
1866

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 four questions:

  1. How important is time under tension (TUT)?
  2. How important is periodization?
  3. What are the best weight loss foods?
  4. Is lifting lighter weight explosively better for gaining muscle and strength than lifting heavier weight more slowly?

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 mike@muscleforlife.com.

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.legionathletics.com/signup/

Aug 02, 2019
How Jake Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Lose 10 Pounds & Add 275 Pounds to His Lifts
2897

In this interview, I talk with Jake, who used my Bigger Leaner Stronger program to transform his physique and, in many ways, his life.

When he first found Bigger Leaner Stronger, he was about 16% body fat with middling strength, and now, he’s about 9% body fat and about 275 pounds stronger on all of his major lifts. Furthermore, and more importantly, really, other areas of his life have been impacted in tremendously positive ways as well, including his mood, energy levels, self-esteem, productivity, and more.

In other words, Jake used my work to go from “fit” to “superfit” with quite a few cherries on top, and in this interview, he shares his story—he talks about how he was training and eating before finding me and my work, and how things started to change after implementing what he was learning in my books and articles.

Two major parts of Jake’s journey were dispelling common misconceptions about diet and training he had bought into over the years and overcoming various hurdles ranging from focusing too much on the scale, scheduling workouts and meals, breaking through plateaus, program hopping, and more.

So, if you like hearing motivational stories about how people have changed their bodies and lives, and if you want to pick up a few tips that may help you in your journey, this episode is for you.

5:09 - How was your diet and training before and after you found Muscle for Life?
7:11 - How long did you feel stuck for?
10:36 - How much did you weigh and what were your lifts like before Muscle for Life?
11:30 - How did you cut?
16:10 - How do you keep dieting and training interesting when you’re getting close to a threshold?
22:14 - How do you look after following my program?
25:23 - What’s your Instagram, website, and podcast?
33:58 - What are your future plans?
40:33 - What are your favorite books?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

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Jul 31, 2019
Should You Eat Protein Before or After Your Workouts?
891

Some people say you absolutely need to eat protein before your workouts to maximize muscle and strength gains.

Others say eating before you train doesn’t matter, but eating after is vital.

Others still say neither of these “feeding windows” matter, and that you just need to make sure you’re eating enough protein on the whole.

Science isn’t exactly clear on this matter, either, because each of these people have studies that purportedly bolster their arguments.

And so you’re left wondering who’s right and what to do.

Should you “play it safe” and just eat protein before and after every workout? Or should you just ignore everyone and just eat on a schedule that you like most?

Well, in this podcast, we’re going to get to the bottom of all of it, and it starts with this:

As far as eating protein goes, eating enough every day is what matters most for gaining muscle and strength as quickly as possible.

Everything else related to protein intake--when you eat it, how many servings you eat per day, how large each serving is, etc.--is subordinate to total protein intake.

That doesn’t mean these other factors don’t matter at all, though.

If you scoff at them, you're overlooking an important part of natural muscle building:

While 80% of your progress comes from the fundamentals, you can speed things up by making a number of minor improvements to your diet, training, and supplementation.

Individually, the effects of each refinement may be slight, but collectively, they become significant over time.

Well, protein timing is one of those slight refinements, and it includes pre- and post-workout nutrition.

As you’ll soon see, eating protein before and after workouts isn’t as important as many people claim, but it’s not entirely without merit, either.

Let’s get started.

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Jul 29, 2019
How to Use Deloads to Gain Muscle and Strength Faster
2789

In many ways, building the body of your dreams is just like building anything else worthwhile.


The more you put into it, the more you get out of it . . . to a point.

You’ll have to train hard to get the body you want, but you can’t only rely on your afterburners.


Punish your body with intense workouts week in, week out, without taking breaks or deloads, and your journey will be marred by . . .


- Regular plateaus
- Overuse injuries
- Lack of motivation
- Lackluster workouts


This is why top level athletes of all stripes—from hockey players to cyclists to powerlifters—include planned periods of rest and recovery in their training.

In fact, the highest level athletes place tremendous importance on this because the consequences of overlooking it are so severe (chronic underperformance, career-ending injuries, and so on).

When it comes to gaining muscle and strength, one of the best recovery tools at your disposal is the deload.

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely heard of deloads before, but you probably aren’t sure why they’re done, how to do them correctly, or how often to do them.

Poke around online for answers, and you’ll find many conflicting opinions:

- Some people say deloads are a waste of time, others say you should just take a week off.
- Some people say you should deload by reducing your weekly sets and how much you lift, others say you should only reduce your number of weekly sets.
- Some people say you should deload whenever you feel like it, and others say you should plan them in advance.
Who’s right?

The short answer is that if you’re following a well-designed workout routine, deloads are an effective way to prevent injuries, plateaus, and burnout.

That said, they need to be planned and executed correctly or they either fail to adequately boost recovery or simply waste time that could be spent doing just about anything else.

So, by the end of this podcast, you’ll learn . . .


- What a deload is
- Why some people don’t benefit from deloads
- How often you should deload
- When you should deload versus just take time off
- How to do a proper deload
- And more!


Let’s get to it.

5:40 - What is a deload?
9:55 - Why do people deload?
12:39 - Why should I deload regularly?
15:13 - Why do a lot of people not benefit from deloading?
22:55 - How often should you deload?
28:38 - How do you deload properly?
36:46 - Will you lose muscle or strength in a deload?
38:38 - Should I take a week off instead of a deload?
39:39 - Can you do cardio on a deload?
40:23 - How should you eat during a deload?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jul 26, 2019
Dan John on How to Optimize Recovery and Avoid Injury
4145

Getting injured sucks.

It’s not just the pain of the injury itself that’s annoying, either. You also have to alter your diet and training or even take time off altogether.

Under-recovering sucks too. Push yourself too far and your training becomes a slog. You’re sore all the time, your lifts stagnate (or worse, regress), and you increase the risk of hurting yourself.

Such are the reasons why it’s smart to make sure you’re playing good “defense” in your fitness journey by ensuring you’re not just pushing hard in the gym (“offense”) but also taking steps to prevent injuries and optimize recovery.

As you probably know, the basics get you most of the way here, like proper sleep hygiene, a nutritious diet, and a well-designed training plan.

There’s more you can do, however, and that’s why I invited Dan John on the show—to dive a bit deeper into this side of training and share some non-obvious tips on how to not only decrease the risk of injury and improve recovery but also better deal with nagging issues that we all have to deal with now and then.

In case you’re not familiar with Dan, he has quite the resume—he has competed in the Highland Games, written 14 books, and coached athletes and weightlifters for over 40 years now. As you can imagine, he has seen and heard it all, and in this episode, we discuss:

- Easy ways to prevent injuries
- The surprising benefits of loaded carries and farmer walks
- How to better recover from your training, especially as you age
- Powerful fitness lessons that can be applied to life and finance
- And more...

6:37 - How can weightlifters prevent injury?
7:19 - What kind of injuries do box jumps cause?
16:22 - How do you do shoulder rocking?
21:59 - Why are you a fan of loaded carries and farmer walks?
26:35 - What’s a good milestone for the carry family?
28:15 - How do you like to run the sled?
29:43 - What is a good milestone for the sled?
30:33 - Is there value for the sled with everyday people who want to get fit?
31:46 - How can people over the age of 40 prevent injury?
34:57 - What can people over the age of 40 do to recover better?
43:13 - Where are your seminars and what are they like?
46:43 - What are lessons that you learn in fitness that can be applied to your personal life?
50:50 - What type of financial goals should I have?
54:18 - What type of vegetables do you eat every day?
54:36 - What type of peepers should I eat?
1:05:25 - Where can people find you and your work?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jul 24, 2019
The 3 Little Big Things About Building Lean Muscle
1662

This episode is one of the 37 chapters of the new third edition of my bestselling fitness books Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger, which is now live everywhere you can buy books online.

I’m thrilled to release this new edition of the books because it has been in the making for about four years now, and has been reorganized and rewritten from scratch to make it as clear, practical, and effective as possible.

Even more exciting, however, is the eBooks are currently on sale on Amazon for just 99 cents and when you forward your purchase receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com, you’ll be entered to win over $6,000 in free prizes, including . . .

  • An all-expenses-paid trip to meet me and my team in Washington DC.
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller
  • Bose Soundsport Headphones
  • NoBull training shoes
  • And more...

To get in on this deal, search your local Amazon site for Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger and navigate to the Kindle book or simply go to www.biggerleanerstronger.com or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com and you’ll be automatically forwarded to it.

Then, buy the book for just 99 cents and forward your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com and you’ll be automatically entered into the giveaway.

You have to act fast, though, because the sale and giveaway ends on July 22nd, so don’t put it off for later and then forget! Head over to Amazon now!

Oh and you can also gain additional entries in the giveaway by helping spread the word on social media. You can learn more about that at www.biggerleanerstronger.com/launch or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com/launch.

Alright, let’s get to the episode. I hope you like it!

Jul 22, 2019
The 3 Little Big Things About Rapid Fat Loss
3354

This episode is one of the 37 chapters of the new third edition of my bestselling fitness books Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger, which is now live everywhere you can buy books online.

I’m thrilled to release this new edition of the books because it has been in the making for about four years now, and has been reorganized and rewritten from scratch to make it as clear, practical, and effective as possible.

Even more exciting, however, is the eBooks are currently on sale on Amazon for just 99 cents and when you forward your purchase receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com, you’ll be entered to win over $6,000 in free prizes, including . . .

- An all-expenses-paid trip to meet me and my team in Washington DC.
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller
- Bose Soundsport Headphones
- NoBull training shoes
- And more...

To get in on this deal, search your local Amazon site for Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger and navigate to the Kindle book or simply go to www.biggerleanerstronger.com or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com and you’ll be automatically forwarded to it.

Then, buy the book for just 99 cents and forward your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com and you’ll be automatically entered into the giveaway.

You have to act fast, though, because the sale and giveaway end on July 22nd, so don’t put it off for later and then forget! Head over to Amazon now!

Oh and you can also gain additional entries in the giveaway by helping spread the word on social media. You can learn more about that at www.biggerleanerstronger.com/launch or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com/launch.

Alright, let’s get to the episode. I hope you like it!

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jul 21, 2019
The Smart Supplement Buyer’s Guide
5960

This episode is one of the 37 chapters of the new third edition of my bestselling fitness books Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger, which is now live everywhere you can buy books online.

I’m thrilled to release this new edition of the books because it has been in the making for about four years now, and has been reorganized and rewritten from scratch to make it as clear, practical, and effective as possible.

Even more exciting, however, is the eBooks are currently on sale on Amazon for just 99 cents and when you forward your purchase receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com, you’ll be entered to win over $6,000 in free prizes, including . . .

- An all-expenses-paid trip to meet me and my team in Washington DC.
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller
- Bose Soundsport Headphones
- NoBull training shoes
- And more...

To get in on this deal, search your local Amazon site for Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger and navigate to the Kindle book or simply go to www.biggerleanerstronger.com or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com and you’ll be automatically forwarded to it.

Then, buy the book for just 99 cents and forward your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com and you’ll be automatically entered into the giveaway.

You have to act fast, though, because the sale and giveaway end on July 22nd, so don’t put it off for later and then forget! Head over to Amazon now!

Oh and you can also gain additional entries in the giveaway by helping spread the word on social media. You can learn more about that at www.biggerleanerstronger.com/launch or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com/launch.

Alright, let’s get to the episode. I hope you like it!

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jul 20, 2019
Finding Your Biggest Fitness Whys
1593

This episode is one of the 37 chapters of the new third edition of my bestselling fitness books Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger, which is now live everywhere you can buy books online.

I’m thrilled to release this new edition of the books because it has been in the making for about four years now, and has been reorganized and rewritten from scratch to make it as clear, practical, and effective as possible.

Even more exciting, however, is the eBooks are currently on sale on Amazon for just 99 cents and when you forward your purchase receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com, you’ll be entered to win over $6,000 in free prizes, including . . .

- An all-expenses-paid trip to meet me and my team in Washington DC.
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller
- Bose Soundsport Headphones
- NoBull training shoes
- And more...

To get in on this deal, search your local Amazon site for Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger and navigate to the Kindle book or simply go to www.biggerleanerstronger.com or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com and you’ll be automatically forwarded to it.

Then, buy the book for just 99 cents and forward your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com and you’ll be automatically entered into the giveaway.

You have to act fast, though, because the sale and giveaway end on July 22nd, so don’t put it off for later and then forget! Head over to Amazon now!

Oh and you can also gain additional entries in the giveaway by helping spread the word on social media. You can learn more about that at www.biggerleanerstronger.com/launch or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com/launch.

Alright, let’s get to the episode. I hope you like it!

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jul 19, 2019
The 10 Absolute Worst Fat Loss Myths and Mistakes
3487

This episode is one of the 37 chapters of the new third edition of my bestselling fitness books Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger, which is now live everywhere you can buy books online.

I’m thrilled to release this new edition of the books because it has been in the making for about four years now, and has been reorganized and rewritten from scratch to make it as clear, practical, and effective as possible.

Even more exciting, however, is the eBooks are currently on sale on Amazon for just 99 cents and when you forward your purchase receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com, you’ll be entered to win over $6,000 in free prizes, including . . .

- An all-expenses-paid trip to meet me and my team in Washington DC.
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller
- Bose Soundsport Headphones
- NoBull training shoes
- And more...

To get in on this deal, search your local Amazon site for Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger and navigate to the Kindle book or simply go to www.biggerleanerstronger.com or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com and you’ll be automatically forwarded to it.

Then, buy the book for just 99 cents and forward your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com and you’ll be automatically entered into the giveaway.

You have to act fast, though, because the sale and giveaway end on July 22nd, so don’t put it off for later and then forget! Head over to Amazon now!

Oh and you can also gain additional entries in the giveaway by helping spread the word on social media. You can learn more about that at www.biggerleanerstronger.com/launch or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com/launch.

Alright, let’s get to the episode. I hope you like it!

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jul 18, 2019
The 10 Absolute Worst Muscle-Building Myths and Mistakes for Women
2779

This episode is one of the 37 chapters of the new third edition of my bestselling fitness book Thinner Leaner Stronger, which is now live everywhere you can buy books online.

I’m thrilled to release this new edition of the book because it has been in the making for about four years now, and has been reorganized and rewritten from scratch to make it as clear, practical, and effective as possible.

Even more exciting, however, is the eBook is currently on sale on Amazon for just 99 cents and when you forward your purchase receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com, you’ll be entered to win over $6,000 in free prizes, including . . .

- An all-expenses-paid trip to meet me and my team in Washington DC.
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller
- Bose Soundsport Headphones
- NoBull training shoes
- And more...

To get in on this deal, search your local Amazon site for Thinner Leaner Stronger and navigate to the Kindle book or simply go to www.thinnerleanerstronger.com and you’ll be automatically forwarded to it.

Then, buy the book for just 99 cents and forward your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com and you’ll be automatically entered into the giveaway.

You have to act fast, though, because the sale and giveaway end on July 22nd, so don’t put it off for later and then forget! Head over to Amazon now!

Oh and you can also gain additional entries in the giveaway by helping spread the word on social media. You can learn more about that at www.thinnerleanerstronger.com/launch.

Alright, let’s get to the episode. I hope you like it!

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jul 17, 2019
The 10 Absolute Worst Muscle-Building Myths and Mistakes for Men
2923

This episode is one of the 37 chapters of the new third edition of my bestselling fitness book Bigger Leaner Stronger, which is now live everywhere you can buy books online.

I’m thrilled to release this new edition of the book because it has been in the making for about four years now, and has been reorganized and rewritten from scratch to make it as clear, practical, and effective as possible.

Even more exciting, however, is the eBook is currently on sale on Amazon for just 99 cents and when you forward your purchase receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com, you’ll be entered to win over $6,000 in free prizes, including . . .

- An all-expenses-paid trip to meet me and my team in Washington DC.
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller
- Bose Soundsport Headphones
- NoBull training shoes
- And more...

To get in on this deal, search your local Amazon site for Bigger Leaner Stronger and navigate to the Kindle book or simply go to www.biggerleanerstronger.com and you’ll be automatically forwarded to it.

Then, buy the book for just 99 cents and forward your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com and you’ll be automatically entered into the giveaway.

You have to act fast, though, because the sale and giveaway end on July 22nd, so don’t put it off for later and then forget! Head over to Amazon now!

Oh and you can also gain additional entries in the giveaway by helping spread the word on social media. You can learn more about that at www.biggerleanerstronger.com/launch.

Alright, let’s get to the episode. I hope you like it!

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jul 16, 2019
Finally! My New Books Are Here and They're Just 99 Cents!
827

Today is the day. 

Today is the official launch day for my new fitness books, the third editions of Bigger Leaner Stronger (men) and Thinner Leaner Stronger (women). 

Books that have helped thousands of men and women gain and lose tens of thousands of pounds of muscle and fat. 

And even better, to celebrate this momentous occasion, the books (eBooks) are on sale for just 99 cents. 

And no, there are no strings attached. 

For the next few days, you can get exact, step-by-step blueprints for building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy faster than you ever thought possible for less than a buck.

To get in on this deal, search your local Amazon site for Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger and navigate to the Kindle book or simply go to www.biggerleanerstronger.com or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com and you’ll be automatically forwarded to it.

(Protip: When you buy an eBook on Amazon, you can add the audiobook for just $7.49 and listen along.)

It gets even better, too.

I’m also giving away over $6,000 of glorious goodies to make the pot even sweeter, including... 

  • An all-expenses-paid trip to meet me and my team in Washington DC.
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller
  • Bose Soundsport Headphones
  • NoBull training shoes
  • And more...

All you have to do for a chance to win is…

  1. Buy a book (BLS or TLS or both, any formats)
  2. Forward the receipt email to launch@muscleforlife.com

...and voila, you’re entered to win.

(You can also gain extra entries by sharing the contest on social media.)

Visit this link to learn more about the giveaway: www.legionathletics.com/new-third-editions/

Jul 15, 2019
How Fast Do You Lose Muscle When You Stop Working Out?
1377

When you first got into fitness, everything you read and everyone you spoke to said consistency is king.

The more you put into your workout routine, the more you get out of it. There are no shortcuts or free lunches. You learn, you hustle, and hustle, and hustle, until…finally…you get the body you want.

Don’t have time? You just don’t want it enough.

Don’t feel like going to the gym? Same thing--suck it up.

Don’t want to lift heavy? Have fun staying small.

And, no stranger to hard work, you meet the challenge every step of the way. You give 110% to your training. Every day…week…month…and year.

So far, things have gone as you envisioned. You’re bigger, leaner, and stronger than you’ve been in a while, and you don’t want the party to end.

But, what if it does have to end, at least for a little while?

What happens if you have to take a few days, a week, or even a month away from the gym?

You’ve always heard that, “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” and the second you stop lifting weights, your muscles enter a slow, steady state of decay. The longer you spend out of the gym, the smaller, weaker, and softer you’ll be at the end of your hiatus.

How true is that idea, though?

After months or years of lifting weights, do your muscles really shrink that quickly?

Well, the long story short is that yes, if you take a long enough break from lifting weights, you will lose muscle and strength. The good news, though, is that it takes much longer than most people realize, and you’ll rebuild muscle much faster than it took to gain it in the first place.

In this podcast, you’ll learn how long it really takes to lose muscle and strength when you stop lifting weights, what you can do to maintain your progress when you take time off, and what to expect when you get back in the swing of things.

Let’s jump right in.

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jul 12, 2019
Dr. Mike Israetel on Breaking Through Muscle Gain Plateaus
3788

Do you ever feel like you’re just spinning your wheels in the gym?

Are you having trouble remembering the last time you added any real weight to the bar on any of your key lifts?

Has your body weight and body fat percentage been hovering in the same range for what seems like forever?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, I get it. I’ve been there myself and understand the frustration firsthand.

You see, the hard lesson us weightlifters have to learn is once our “honeymoon phase” is over—the first six to eight months in most people—continuing to gain muscle and strength gets harder and harder, until eventually progress becomes so slow you can barely measure it.

That’s not even the kicker, either. Not only is muscle and strength gain harder to come by the more you train, the more training you have to do just to continue eking out improvements.

In other words, as time goes on, you have to do more and more intense work in the gym for less and less reward.

This is one of the key reasons so many people get stuck in a rut, and in this episode, Dr. Mike Israetel explains why this happens, what else contributes to plateaus, and how to overcome these obstacles and keep the needle moving.

In case you’re not familiar with Dr. Israetel, he has been one of my most-requested podcast guests and for good reason. Not only does he hold a PhD in Sport Physiology, but he’s the cofounder of Renaissance Periodization, a successful blog, coaching program, and fitness platform, similar in many ways to my own company Legion Athletics.

So, in this interview, Mike and I discuss what a real plateau is, strategies for breaking through plateaus, the importance of deloads, exercise order, sleep hygiene, and more.

6:50 - What is a plateau and what are some strategies to break through plateaus?
14:53 - How do you determine if you’ve plateaued?
26:45 - What do you do after you hit a plateau?
53:33 - Is intensity important for muscle growth?
57:52 - Where can people find you and your work?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jul 10, 2019
Eric Helms on Supersets, Dropsets, Forced Reps, and More!
3688

If you've been lifting weights for any amount of time, you've undoubtedly heard about "advanced" training techniques like drop sets, supersets, forced reps, negatives, and the like.

Years ago, I thought such methods were great ways to boost muscle and strength gain and so used to do quite a bit of them. These days, I do very little because I now know that straight hard sets are the bread and butter of getting big and strong.

That said, that doesn't necessarily mean there's no place for "fancier" stuff, but only if you do it right.

That’s what I invited Dr. Eric Helms back on the show to discuss--which of the common unconventional training methods are worthwhile and which aren't and how to use the good ones correctly and effectively.

If you're not familiar with Eric, he's a natural bodybuilder and powerlifter, coach, researcher, writer, member of Legion’s Scientific Advisory Board, and all-around mensch, and in this interview, he discusses the evidence for and against "advanced" training techniques and explains exactly what to do and what not do in the gym to get the most out of your training.

Oh and if you like what Eric has to say, then you should definitely check out his podcast, The Stronger by Science Podcast, as well as his research review Monthly Applications in Strength Sport (MASS) because I think you’ll really appreciate what he and his colleagues are doing. I know I do!

7:06 - How do advanced training techniques fit into our fitness journey?
12:00 - Do you recommend supersets?
21:38 - What do you think of pairing movements that don’t affect each other?
28:19 - What are your thoughts on drop sets?
32:01 - Do you use drop sets in your training?
34:15 - What are your thoughts on forced reps?
39:58 - What are your thoughts on pre exhaustion training?
53:57 - What is MASS?
56:35 - Do you offer a free preview of MASS?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jul 05, 2019
Justin Andrews on Quick and Easy Ways to Improve Whole-Body Mobility
3179

If you’re an experienced weightlifter, chances are good you experience the occasional aches, pains, and tightness that sometimes get in the way of your training.

Maybe a shoulder is tight, which limits your benching, or your hips are stiff, which restricts your deadlifting, or your ankles aren’t flexible enough, which prevents you from achieving proper depth in your squatting.

What can you do to overcome and prevent such issues?

That’s what Justin Andrews of Mind Pump Media came on the show to talk about.

Before he was a podcast star, Justin spent many years as a trainer and helped thousands of people identify and resolve various movement issues and thereby improve their training performance and results.

In this podcast, Justin goes over common exercise movement mistakes, how one injury or mobility issue can lead to another in non-obvious ways, how to screen for movement limitations, simple stretches for improving mobility, and more.

6:32 - What do you mean by movement esthetics and why is it good?
10:46 - What are the common mistakes that you’ve seen in the gym?
31:08 - How do the tests look and how can people assess themselves?
35:11 - What are some of your favorite corrective exercises for shoulders?
47:23 - What’s new and exciting for Mindpump?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jul 03, 2019
Q&A: Should You Track Macros or Calories While Cutting? Why Different Rep Ranges for Men and Women? And more!
1882

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 four questions:

1. Why do I recommend women start lifting in the 8-to-10-rep range in Thinner Leaner Stronger but men start lifting in the 4-to-6-rep range in Bigger Leaner Stronger?

2. Should you just track macros when cutting or calories too? And what if your calories and macros don’t match?

3. How should you modify Bigger Leaner Stronger if you’re no longer a beginner?

4. How should you get back into working out after taking a long time off?

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 mike@muscleforlife.com.

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jun 28, 2019
How Legion Coaching Helped Corri Lose 12.5 Pounds and 8% Body Fat in Just 90 Days
3901

In this episode I interview Corri, who recently completed my 90-day coaching service and dropped 12.5 pounds and 8% body fat, while getting stronger on all of her key lifts, and at 40 years old!

AND after having a baby that she was nursing!

Basically, Corri’s a perfect example of how there’s always a way to get into great shape if you want it enough, and that’s why I wanted to have her on the podcast.

Now, as with everything, nothing ever goes exactly as planned, and learning to adjust and adapt to conditions is an important part of the fitness game, which is something Corri experienced firsthand.

She ran into a number of obstacles along the path to success, including beating hunger, finding time to prepare meals, and working her way through challenging workouts often on too little sleep thanks to the baby, and Corri had a number of insights to share on how she overcame them.

So, if you like hearing motivational stories about how people have changed their bodies and lives, and if you want to pick up a few tips that may help you in your personal journey, this episode is for you.

5:26 - What have you accomplished with our coaching program?
13:45 - What was wrong with your thyroid?
19:41 - How did having a baby affect your training and diet?
26:21 - How did you deal with hunger while you were nursing?
37:29 - What was your workout plan on our coaching program and what were some obstacles you had to overcome?
41:35 - Have you injured your knees before?
42:32 - How was your sleep
49:56 - Anything interesting that you’re working on?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here to sign up now!

Jun 26, 2019
How to Get Stronger Than Ever in 3 Simple Steps
2049

Biceps and abs are cool and all, but you know what really turns heads in the gym?

Being strong. Really strong.

You know, bench pressing a few plates, and squatting and deadlifting a few more.

Getting really strong also inevitably builds you a great physique.

In fact, as a natural weightlifter, your number one goal should be increasing whole-body strength, not getting big pumps or "feeling the burn."

That's the big "secret" to gaining muscle quickly and effectively, because it's the best way to "progressively overload" your muscles.

You see, by working to slowly and steadily add weight to your exercises over time, you progressively increase tension levels in your muscles. Mechanically speaking, this is the primary driver of muscle growth.

That's why the biggest guys and gals in the gym are also generally the strongest.

Another advantage to this approach to weightlifting is it's very simple and straightforward. There are just three steps:

1. Choose the right strength program for you.
2. Get your calories and macros right.
3. Make sure you're fully recovering from your workouts.

That's it.

If you just consistently do those three things, and keep showing up and putting in the work, then your strength will skyrocket and your body will transform.

Let's take a look at each.

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here to sign up.

Jun 24, 2019
Pat Flynn on the Life-Changing Benefits of Generalism
3294

While there are many ways to thrive in many sectors of today’s modern economy, there’s no arguing that it’s getting harder and harder to identify and capitalize on these opportunities.

Robots and AI are eliminating jobs, globalization and the democratization of high-quality education is expanding the talent pool, and customers are becoming more selective, sophisticated, and stipulating.

To overcome these obstacles, we’re often told to specialize—to focus all of our energies, efforts, and resources on becoming really good at one thing to the exclusion of all else.

This isn’t entirely wrongheaded, but for most people, it isn’t likely to lead to long-term success and fulfillment but disappointment, burnout, and failure, instead.

This extends beyond merely moneymaking too, and applies to just about every endeavor you could want to undertake. The reign of the hyperspecialist is coming to an end and the rise of the skilled generalist is at hand.

What does that mean, exactly?

Well, as the author of the book How to Be Better at (Almost) Everything, Pat Flynn, shares in this episode, generalism refers to acquiring a variety of know-hows and abilities, and he argues this is a smarter and more practical approach to winning in today’s world.

Generalism, Pat explains, is one of the keys to making more money, getting in better shape, and becoming more successful, effective, and happy in every aspect of your life, and his personal approach to generalism starts with developing skills that’ll serve you well no matter where the red thread of fate takes you—meta-skills as Pat refers to them.

6:12 - What do you mean by generalism?
11:52 - How does generalism make us more money than specifism?
29:58 - What are some examples of metaskills and force multiplier skills?
32:33 - What are some of the myths and mistakes of logic and reason?
39:51 - What are more examples of metaskills and force multiplier skills?
46:36 - What are your tips to improve focus?
50:51 - What is the name of your book and where can people find you and your work?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jun 21, 2019
Is Eating Too Much Protein Powder Unhealthy?
839

Protein powders and drinks are more popular than ever for good reason:

They’re convenient, tasty, affordable, and in most cases, well-digested, well-absorbed, and rich in essential amino acids vital to gaining and preserving muscle and strength.

They also make eating a high-protein diet a cinch. A few meals per day with a protein shake or two thrown into the mix gets the job done, regardless of how much protein you need to eat.

Now, while we know that protein powder isn’t harmful per se, is eating too much harmful? And if so, how much can you eat every day before it becomes a problem?

Well, according to some people, if you drink too many protein shakes, you’re asking for all sorts of trouble, ranging from an upset stomach to severe digestive disorders, nutritional deficiencies, and even kidney damage.

Others say such claims are nonsense because protein powder is just dried food, and therefore doesn’t fundamentally affect the body any differently than other forms of protein like chicken, eggs, or milk.

Who’s right?

Well, the short story is this:

There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with drinking a couple protein shakes per day. Getting a large portion of your daily calories from protein, however, is probably a bad idea.

And in this podcast, you’ll learn why.

By the end, you’re going to understand why people think eating too much protein powder is bad for you, what science has to say about it, and the upper limit of how much protein powder you should eat every day.

Let’s get started.

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jun 19, 2019
Bedros Keuilian on How to Turn Adversity Into Advantage
3537

It’s one thing to talk about finding opportunities where others only see obstacles . . .

. . . seeing the silver lining in difficult situations . . .

. . . turning coal into diamonds . . .

. . . but it’s something else entirely to actually behave this way when the chips are down and to then actually win against all odds.

Bedros is someone who has done just that.

Most people know him as the founder of the multimillion-dollar Fit Body Bootcamp franchise, which is an impressive achievement by itself, but his backstory makes his entrepreneurial wins even more remarkable.

Bedros grew up in a country gripped by Soviet communism, came to America as a child and grew up in abject poverty, and eventually pulled himself up by his bootstraps and became a screaming success in business.

And as you can imagine, Bedros learned quite a few lessons along the way about responsibility, leadership, and perseverance, which is what we talk about in this interview, as well as other aspects of entrepreneurship, including marketing, branding, sales, and business strategy.

So, if you want to get some powerful and practical insights into how to deal with life’s many challenges head on and not only survive but thrive, you want to listen to this interview.

5:36 - How did you get to where you’re at today?
28:43 - What were the struggles you had to face to get to where you’re at today?
35:16 - What is your best advice for upcoming entrepreneurs?
41:46 - What resources and books do you recommend for leadership?
43:11 - What do you think is the next big thing in the fitness industry? What do you have planned for your future?
54:29 - Where can people find you and your work?

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jun 17, 2019
Hafthor “The Mountain” Bjornsson on Life as the World’s Strongest Man
4309

Hafthor Bjornsson is the strongest man in the world, and in this podcast, he gives us a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be him, a 6’9, 420-pound man who can squat, deadlift, and bench press over 2,500 pounds.

He’s also the 2018 champion of the World’s Strongest Man competition (and hopefully the 2019 champion by the time this episode goes live), which involves incredible feats like . . .

- Lifting five large stones ranging from 220 to 350 pounds onto columns the height of a man.

- Pulling gargantuan objects arm-over-arm using a rope, such as planes, boats, cars, and giant tires.

- Carrying a 900-pound yoke made of two refrigerators across a 30-meter course in under 60 seconds.

You probably already know this, but Hafthor also played Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in Game of Thrones (RIP), and in this interview, we talk about how he’s currently training to defend his World’s Strongest Man title, how he manages his recovery, what his diet looks like, what supplements he takes (Hint: Legion), his favorite Game of Thrones experiences, how he’s dealt with injuries, what his long-term aspirations are, and more!

As a genuine Hafthor fan, I had a hell of a good time talking to him, and I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did.

5:33 - How do you train in preparation for events?
7:53 - Do you try to achieve your PR at the gym or at events?
13:21 - What weakness have you been trying to address in your training?
14:49 - What do you do for hot and cold therapy?
19:50 - What are some of the big lessons you’ve learned?
21:52 - What is your diet?
24:53 - What’s your sleep hygiene like?
29:10 - Do you have a routine at night to help you relax?
36:30 - What is your supplement routine?
42:36 - What drives you?
51:23 - What was your favorite experience with playing The Mountain in Game of Thrones?
55:16 - How do you prepare your diet and training when traveling?
58:41 - Have you had any serious injuries?
1:03:28 - What are your long term goals?
1:07:31 - What’s new and exciting for you?

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Jun 14, 2019
Eric Trexler on How to Minimize Metabolic Adaptation
5660

If you’ve ever lost a substantial amount of weight, you’ve likely experienced one or more of the following issues:

- Hunger
- Fatigue
- Lethargy
- Loss of sex drive
- Slowed weight loss

And if you ask the Internet why, chances are good you’ll come across something about metabolic damage, slowdown, or adaptation.

According to many people, all these terms refer to a condition where various physiological systems have been disrupted due to dieting and, as a result, your metabolism begins to decline, making it harder and harder to continue losing weight.

And if you keep on pushing it, your metabolism can crater.

How accurate is this?

To find out, I invited Eric Trexler, who’s a bodybuilder, researcher, and the Director of Education for Stronger by Science, to hop on the show and break it all down.

In this episode, Eric answers questions like . . .

- What is metabolic “damage” versus adaptation?
- How and why does weight loss become more difficult the leaner you get?
- How fast (or slow) should you lose weight to avoid metabolic adaptation?
- How should you change your training while cutting to minimize metabolic adaptation?
- What’s the best way to transition from cutting to lean bulking to minimize fat gain and maximize muscle gain?
- And more

6:19 - What is the background of your paper? What is metabolic adaptation?
7:08 - What do you mean by weight loss becoming difficult?
12:02 - What are some metabolic adaptations?
33:05 - What are some strategies to minimize metabolic adaptations while cutting?
39:47 - What rate of weight loss should we be aiming for and what are the best practices?
48:50 - Do you have any rules on volume?
53:08 - Why is maintaining intensity important?
1:03:15 - Do you prioritize carbs when you increase calories?
1:11:06 - What’s the best way to transition from cutting to lean bulking?
1:29:25 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Jun 12, 2019
My Top 3 Takeaways from Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
1188

I realize this is a curious recommendation based on what I normally suggest, but I’m including it in the series because I think it’s an important and timely read.

To understand why, consider the following from a speech the author gave in 1961:

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”

And then look at the world around you. Here in the West, people . . .

-Watch an average of 38 hours of video content per week.
-Spend an average of 1.5 hours on social media per day.
-Play an average of 6.4 hours of video games per week.
-Spend on average over 90% of their income.
-Are abandoning marriage and religion.
-Collectively watch billions of hours of porn per year.
-Collectively eat over 84 million fast food meals per day.
-Collectively spend over $230 billion on alcoholic beverages per year.
-Collectively spend over $10 billion on marijuana per year.
-Collectively smoke over 250 billion cigarettes per year.

. . . while also spending just 17 minutes reading per day (and mostly fiction and novels), just under 2.5 hours productively working per day, and less than 30 minutes exercising per day.

BUT HEY the optimists say . . . at least infant mortality and carbon monoxide emissions are down, renewable energy consumption is up (a little), the internet is getting faster, and more people are recycling!

That’s neat. And completely unsatisfying, like a picture of oxygen to someone drowning.

Anyhow, my point is Huxley was remarkably prescient in his predictions (or maybe it wasn’t so remarkable given the circles his brother Julian ran in), and in Brave New World, he paints the whole picture for you.

And it’s unnervingly familiar.

So much so that by my lights, the recipe for the world unfolding before us is something like three parts Brave New World, two parts Atlas Shrugged, and one part 1984, with a dash of, oh, I don’t know, Alice in Wonderland?

In other words, technocratic totalitarianism and transparent topsy-turvydom disguised as enlightenment, enrichment, and empowerment.

Don’t believe me? Read the books and see for yourself. Why bother if we’re doomed anyway? Says who? Humanity has seen much darker days than these and rebounded. We can do it again.

First, however, we need enough people to see the world as it is and not as they wish it were, and that’s why I’m recommending Brave New World.

It represents the logical conclusion of this late stage of our current civilization: the complete and scientific subjugation of the human spirit.

Let’s get to the takeaways.

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Jun 11, 2019
Legion made the Inc. 5000 List! And Muscle for Life Is Going to Disappear!
1136

“When’s your next book coming out?”

“What kind of supplements are you going to release next?”

“What would you name your boat if you had one?”

I’m asked questions like these all the time and so I thought I’d start doing monthly updates about what’s new and exciting here at Legion and MFL HQ.

So here’s a quick hosedown of what me and my jolly band of pirates and bums have been up to lately.

Enjoy!

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Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Jun 07, 2019
Lyle McDonald on How to Recover Faster from Injuries
5399

If you work out or do just about anything physically challenging often enough, chances are you’re going to have to deal with an injury or two along the way, even if they’re just minor issues like muscle strains, tendonitis, joint aggravations, and the like.

In most cases, a little extra R&R is all it takes to heal up, but if an injury is more severe, there’s a lot more you can do to accelerate your recovery. And that’s what Lyle McDonald is going to talk about in this interview.

In case you’re not familiar with Lyle, he has been one of the foremost evidence-based fitness researchers and writers for a couple decades now and someone whose work I’ve always liked.

He’s also uniquely qualified to talk about injury recovery because he has not only scoured the literature on the topic but used what he learned to help recover from a rather gruesome rollerblading accident that literally shattered his leg.

After the strategies he discusses in this episode worked so well that his doctor was genuinely impressed by how rapidly his leg healed up, Lyle documented everything in book called Optimal Nutrition for Injury Recovery.

Obviously the book focuses on how to use nutrition to recover faster and better from injuries, and that’s also the focus of this episode, but Lyle also shares some other tips that can markedly increase healing.

5:23 - Why did you write this book on injury recovery?
11:17 - What are some of the healing myths of injury recovery?
20:28 - Why is inflammation good?
29:14 - How does nutrition play into injury recovery?
31:07 - How pronounced are those effects?
32:48 - How do you figure out if your maintenance level has changed?
42:31 - Why are micronutrients important?
49:34 - Does collagen benefit tendon health for people who aren’t injured?
53:09 - Was your doctor impressed with your recovery?
1:14:30 - What’s next for you?
1:24:52 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Jun 05, 2019
How to Calculate Your Body Fat Percentage Easily & Accurately
3142

In this podcast, I want to share what I've learned on calculating body fat percentage, including ...

  • What “body fat percentage” means.
  • The pros and cons of popular ways of calculating body fat percentage.
  • How to determine your body fat percentage with a fair amount of accuracy.
  • Why obsessing over body fat percentage is counterproductive (and what to do instead).
  • And more.

Let's get started.

5:37 - What is body fat percentage?
6:56 - What’s the difference between body fat percentage and body mass index?
8:56 - Can you determine your body fat percentage based on your body mass index?
11:09 - What is a healthy body fat percentage for men and women?
22:26 - What are the different ways to measure body fat percentage and how accurate are they?
35:31 - How do you calculate body fat percentage?
42:26 - What is the best way to reduce body fat percentage?

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Jun 03, 2019
Adam Schafer on Masterminds, Esports, Gambling, and More
5902

In this podcast, I talk with my friend and fellow podcaster, Adam Schafer, who’s the co-host of the popular podcast Mind Pump.

Unlike most of my interviews, this isn’t a focused discussion so much as a fireside chat about things on our minds, and in particular, on the current trend of business mastermind groups that have been popping up left and right over the last few years like mushrooms and roadkill.

In case you’re not familiar, the pitch for these groups goes like this: pay us $1,000 to $10,000 or more per month and we’ll give you the inside baseball on how to achieve some highly coveted goal or status like becoming an Internet millionaire to superstar “influencer.”

Not only that, you’ll also get exclusive access to our VIP Inner Circle of beautiful people who will deign to shake your hand and pretend to give a shit about you a few times per year at our annual “retreats” that you’ll be invited to attend on your own dime.

Just think of how impressed your 500 followers on Instagram will be when they see you fist bumping with people as rich and amazing as me and my friends and how jealous they’ll be when you tell them about all the 7-figure businesses opportunities being tossed around--opportunities for you to give and risk everything for a chance at absolutely nothing.

So if you’re ready to progress on your personal path of manifesting higher vibrations for a better tomorrow . . . blah blah blah infinite income loop opportunities . . . will that be cash or credit?

Well, I guess I’ve kind of tipped my and Adam’s hand regarding what we think about most masterminds out there, but in this interview, you’ll learn why.

Before we go there, however, we do a bit of meandering on esports and gambling as Adam is interested in and I’m more or less ignorant of both. For instance, I was surprised to learn that in 2018, esports had more viewers in the United States than every traditional sport except the NFL, and major esport events are held in huge stadiums and attract over 100,000 fans to come and watch.

Anyway, I hope you find this discussion interesting.

9:03 - What type of gambling do you like?
8:59 - What does line mean in sports betting?
12:26 - Do you think video game gambling will bring more attention to the gaming industry?
13:56 - Do you think video game gambling is culturally good?
21:06 - What are your thoughts on masterminds?
44:33 - The biggest life lesson Adam learned.
52:49 - Adam’s thoughts on social media and where it’s going.
1:04:29 - Adam’s thoughts on the online coaching industry.
1:19:56 - What are the differences between you and your brother?
1:23:06 - What do you splurge on? Do you collect anything?

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May 31, 2019
How to Make Meal Plans That Work For Any Diet
3021

I'm going to make a couple assumptions as to why you're here.

Sure, I know you want to learn about meal planning, but I'd wager a cheat meal that you're looking to achieve something very specific.

Namely, weight loss or muscle growth or, God willing, a little bit of both

If I'm right, this might be the most important meal planning piece you ever hear.

I know I know...but seriously. That's not hyperbole.

By the end of this podcast, you'll know a lot more than "how to make a meal plan."

You'll know how to have the body want eating the foods you love...for the rest of your life.

Imagine...

  • No more fad diets.
  • No more forcing down joyless, tasteless meals.
  • No more battling hunger and cravings.
  • No more struggling to lose or gain weight.

What if you could confidently soar above all of the mainstream diet hysteria and gimmicks?

What if you could use your diet to feel completely in control of your body composition and health?

And what if you could do it without having to follow a bunch of restrictive rules or give up everything you actually like to eat?

Well, all those things are possible. Easy, even, when you know what you're doing.

So have I got your attention?

Good. Let's get to work.

4:42 - Is clean eating the key to getting and staying lean?
8:26 - Will you gain weight if you eat certain foods?
10:47 - Is low carb dieting the best way to lose fat?
15:30 - Is low calorie dieting the best way to drop pounds quickly?
18:04 - Do you have to eat frequently to speed up your metabolism?
20:12 - How can meal planning save you from dieting?
28:07 - Which foods are good and bad for weight loss and weight gain?
33:20 - How do you create meal plans for losing weight?
39:45 - How do you create meal plans for building muscle?
43:23 - Which apps help with meal planning?

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May 29, 2019
Q&A: Should You Train Abs While Cutting? Is It Bad If You Don’t Sweat Much While Training? And More!
1676

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 four questions:

1. Is it bad if I don’t sweat while I work out?
2. What should I do if I struggle to maintain good form on accessory exercises?
3. Any recommendations for staying in shape during pregnancy?
4. Do you have to train abs on a cut?

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 mike@muscleforlife.com.

Recommended reading for this episode:
https://www.muscleforlife.com/tdee-calculator/
https://www.muscleforlife.com/pregnancy-exercises/
https://www.muscleforlife.com/weight-gain-during-pregnancy/

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May 24, 2019
How Legion Coaching Helped Laura Lose 8.5 Pounds and 6.5% Body Fat in Just 90 Days
2995

In this episode I interview Laura, who recently completed my 90-day coaching service and dropped 8.5 pounds and 6.5% body fat, while getting stronger on all of her key lifts, and at 49 years old!

She’s a perfect example of how it’s never too late to get into great shape. Regardless of your current age, condition, and history, you can lose fat, gain muscle, and get healthy, you can enjoy the process, and you can stay fit for the rest of your life. Full stop.

You may not be able to get as jacked as you were or could’ve been when you were younger, but how much does that really matter? Especially if you love the way you look and feel?

That’s what this episode is all about.

Now, as with everything, nothing ever goes exactly as planned, and learning to adjust and adapt to conditions is an important part of the fitness game, which is something Laura experienced firsthand.

She ran into a number of roadblocks along the way that most of us can relate to, including issues with balancing work with her workouts, getting her meal planning just right, and dealing with hunger and cravings, dietary temptations, peer pressure, and more, and in our chat, Laura shares what has helped her navigate these barriers skillfully and prevent them from getting in her way.

So, if you like hearing motivational stories about how people have changed their bodies and lives, and if you want to pick up a few tips that may help you in your personal journey, this episode is for you.

4:09 - What did you look like before and after our coaching program?
5:16 - How long were you traveling for?
8:02 - What type of traveling did you do?
8:47 - Why did you go on a plant-based diet?
11:19 - What benefits did you have from a no-dairy diet?
13:46 - What did you learn from taking things away from your diet?
14:58 - How long were you on our coaching program and what were the results?
15:28 - What were you doing for workouts?
16:18 - What changes did you experience after you increased your protein?
23:08 - What obstacles did you have to overcome?
26:39 - What are your current goals and what’s next for you?
32:42 - Do you feel any physiological difference with training in your 40s compared to yours 20s?
33:04 - What did you do to fix your tight hips?
34:13 - Are you able to do squats comfortably now?
35:54 - How did you go from a client to a coach for our coaching program?
40:46 - What is your advice for people considering our coaching program?

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May 22, 2019
The Simple System I Use to Find, Choose, Read, and Remember Great Books
2200

This episode is part of a weekly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

Every Monday morning, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back every Monday morning for the latest and greatest installment.

9:50 - When do I read and for how long?
12:20 - Should I read hardcopy books or audio books?
14:45 - How do I choose books?
20:23 - How do I choose one book among a list of worthy candidates?
22:21 - How do I read for maximum retention?

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May 20, 2019
Cody McBroom on How to Build a Successful Fitness Coaching Business
5554

For better and worse, online fitness coaching has exploded over the past decade or so.

I say that because on the one hand, this has enabled many people to affordably connect up with legitimate experts and get into great shape, and on the other hand, it has also led many others into the gaping jaws of the legions of charlatans, shysters, and phonies who have swarmed the online coaching space.

And unfortunately, the coaches who get the most eyeballs and buzz often aren’t the ones who offer the best services, and many superior coaches are struggling to gain any traction whatsoever let alone become a screaming success.

I have quite a few of the latter folk in my orbit and so I thought a longform discussion on how to become a successful fitness coach would be worthwhile.

I’ve spoken about this before as I have a coaching service that will do just over seven figures in revenue this year, but I felt like I couldn’t fully do the topic justice as I was able to “shortcut” the process by first achieving notable success as an author, podcaster, blogger, and entrepreneur.

By the time I launched my coaching service, I already had a large and loyal following, and it’s not exactly helpful for me to tell aspiring coaches to just do what I do—to first write a few bestselling books, then create a top-100 health podcast, then create an 8-figure supplement business and a couple blogs that get a couple million visits per month, and then voila, your coaching business will soar.

That’s why I wanted to get somebody who a) has a bigger coaching business than me and b) has built it more traditionally to come on the show and share their insights about how to go from nothing to something in the online coaching game.

There are probably quite a few of those somebodies out there, but I particularly liked what Cody McBroom is doing and so chose him for the interview. As you’ll learn, Cody has done very well for himself, his business, and his clients, and in this episode, he shares a very down-to-earth, practical roadmap for following in his footsteps.

10:27 - What is your advice to people who want to become a personal trainer and have their own business?
29:08 - How do you become a better coach?
33:37 - Are there certain personality types that wouldn’t work well as a coach?
1:17:59 - What are your thoughts on how to find passion?
1:27:43 - Where can people find you and your work?

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May 17, 2019
Collagen Protein Is a Waste of Money, Science Says
2343

In the past few years, collagen protein has become a glittering moneymaker.

According to some, it’s the new fish oil, what with its long list of benefits for nearly every major part of your health and physiology.

The most popular claims include . . .

-Reducing joint pain and improving joint health
-Improving the health and appearance of your skin and nails
-Increasing muscle growth and recovery

And if none of that tickles your processors, then maybe you’d be interested in boosting immunity, making your hair prettier, and improving your digestion?

On the other hand, collagen protein detractors say that the benefits are misrepresented, overblown, or flat out false. You know, like most supplements.

Who’s right? Well, the short answer is this:

Collagen protein is basically garbage—literally and figuratively.

While some forms of collagen can help your joints, most, are nothing more than low-quality but highly profitable fodder for supplement shysters to separate people from more of their cash.

And in this podcast , you’re going to learn why.

4:17 - What is collagen protein?
6:35 - What are the three most common and most effective selling points of collagen protein?
10:49 - How is collagen protein digested in the body?
16:52 - What form of collagen protein help joints?
20:01 - Does collagen protein help with skin, hair, and nail health?
25:17 - Does collagen protein help with muscle building?
31:53 - Why is collagen protein so popular?

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May 15, 2019
The Best Diets and Workouts for Your Body Type
3605

If you're a skinny guy or gal struggling to gain weight…

Or a "fluffy" one struggling to "shift" fat…

Or somewhere in between…

This is going to be the most important fitness podcast you listen to.

Seriously.

And I want to start it with some good news:

Your genetics can't stop you from getting the body you really desire.

Yes, some people's bodies respond better to training than others', but I don't care how much of a "hardgainer" you think you are or how "stubborn" your body fat seems to be…

-You can build muscle.
-You can lose fat.
-And you can do it faster than you think.

Now, if you were to tell me your goal is to be an elite, competitive weightlifter or bodybuilder or physique competitor...that would be another story.

In those cases, genetics are hugely important.

Yes, steroids are involved and yes, training experience and methodologies matter...but the biggest and strongest guys and gals in the world were abnormally big and strong their entire lives.

My point is this: at the top, where everyone works smart and hard, genetics determine who's truly great and who's not.
That doesn't mean that us mere mortals are screwed, though.

Your genetics will influence how quickly you can reach your goals but aren't going to keep you small, weak, and fat.

And in this podcast, you're going to learn the three major body types, how to determine which you (primarily) are, and how to approach dieting and training for maximal results.

Let's get to it.

8:09 - How do I determine my body type? Which body type do I have?
14:14 - What is the best type of body for ectomorphs?
35:35 - What are the best type of workouts for ectomorphs?
39:09 - How much cardio should ectomorphs do?
40:02 - What are the best supplements for ectomorphs?
42:23 - What is the mesomorph body type?
43:48 - What is the best diet for mesomorphs?
46:28 - What are the best type of workouts for mesomorphs?
48:40 - What is the endomorph body type?
49:59 - What is the best diet for endomorphs?
53:01 - What are the best type of workouts for endomorphs?

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May 10, 2019
Dr. Spencer Nadolsky on How Not to Die of Heart Disease
3497

If you’re over age 65, you’re more likely to die from heart disease than any other cause.

Why, though?

Is it due to stress? Over or under exercising? Eating too much fat, cholesterol, and junk food? A bit of each or something else altogether?

Scientists have been searching for answers to those questions for a long time now, but if there’s one culprit that has been fingered more than any other, it’s diet. For a couple decades now, we’ve been told by experts everywhere that saturated fat, cholesterol, and often just dietary fat in general increases our your risk of heart disease, full stop.

This idea has been further bolstered by the promotion of the food pyramid, which tells us to get most of our calories from whole grains like pasta, cereal, and bread, and as few calories as possible from added fats like oils, butter, lard, and others.

Is it really that simple, though? Is reducing our dietary fat intake really the best way to avoid heart disease?

Frankly, while I’ve read enough to know there are some major holes in the “less fat = less heart disease” hypothesis, I’m not an expert on the topic, so I invited my buddy Dr. Spencer Nadolsky on the show to break it down.

I caught him at a good time, too, because he’s currently studying for certification on this very topic and shares some great insights on the most current scientific understanding of how our diets actually affect our tickers.

6:16 - How was the food pyramid created?
8:30 - What are the different types of fats and how do they affect your cholesterol?
10:25 - Does eating cholesterol raise your cholesterol?
14:09 - If you usually eat no cholesterol and start eating cholesterol, will you have a jump in your blood cholesterol? Does that normalize over time?
15:49 - What’s the purpose of having two different types of lipoproteins?
17:46 - What does endogenous and exogenous mean?
18:58 - What is familial hypercholesterolemia?
21:03 - What does the research say about the Mediterranean diet?
23:00 - What kind of effect does the stearic acid in chocolate have on LDL?
25:46 - What foods should people limit their intake of?
27:42 - Have you seen doctors go to the dark side?
36:26 - At what number is our LDL cholesterol a risk of heart disease?
39:25 - How much red meat should we have?
43:07 - Any more advice you had on saturated fat?
43:42 - How many servings of butter should we have per day?
51:11 - Can eating poorly from a young age have irreversible damage to your body?
53:14 - Where can people find you and your work?

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May 08, 2019
What’s New and Exciting in April? Legion Rebranding, Thinner Leaner Stronger Launch, and More...
836

“When’s your next book coming out?”

“What kind of supplements are you going to release next?”

“What would you name your boat if you had one?”

I’m asked questions like these all the time and so I thought I’d start doing monthly updates about what’s new and exciting here at Legion and MFL HQ.

So here’s a quick hosedown of what me and my jolly band of pirates and bums have been up to lately.

Enjoy!

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

May 06, 2019
Sal Di Stefano on Mastering the Mental Side of Dieting
4645

My books for men and women—Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger—include an entire section on the “mental game” of getting fit. I’ve also recently published an entire book on the topic called The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation.

The reason I’ve put a lot of time into discussing the “softer” side of fitness is just knowing what to isn’t enough. You also need a strong enough why—strong enough to help you persevere through the struggles and setbacks, pick yourself up when you fall, and ultimately see your goals through to completion.

Fortunately, you don’t need a psychology degree to accomplish this, either. It mostly boils down to understanding and applying a few powerful mental strategies that effectively combat many of the mental hobgoblins that can sabotage you.

If you can overcome these obstacles, you’ll probably get the body you really want, and if you can’t, you probably won’t. It’s really that simple.

All that is why I invited my friend and fellow fitness professional, Sal Di Stefano of Mind Pump Media, on the show. Sal’s a bit of a specialist on the inner game of getting fit because he spent the better part of a couple decades in the trenches helping normal, everyday people get into great shape and he knows what the real issues are and what really solves them and what doesn’t.

In this show, we talk about . . .

- The psychology of “food addiction”
- How you can prevent and fix intense cravings and binging
- How to resolve body image insecurities
- The benefits and drawbacks of prolonged fasts
- And more.

So . . . if you’re curious how you can conquer the mental demons that so often demoralize dieters, this episode is for you.

18:03 - What is the psychology behind food and why is it hard to break bad eating habits?
20:34 - What are some of your strategies to help break people’s attachment to food?
53:34 - How have you dealt with the high expectations of body standards?
58:17 - Do you still have body insecurities?
1:13:23 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

May 01, 2019
What "They" Aren't Telling You About Sugar Withdrawal
1482

“Sugar is the new crack cocaine!”

Yeah, people are actually saying that these days.

They're telling us that sugar is as addictive as cocaine, and the more we eat, the more likely we are to get fat, sick, and, ultimately, dead.

It sounds bad. Really bad.

How true is it, though?

Does every dessert we eat push us a little further down the slippery slope of disease and dysfunction, and make it ever harder to claw our way back to optimal health and vitality?
Can we develop a “sugar dependence” in the same way we can become physically dependent on alcohol, cocaine, or heroin?

Can it get so bad that we can experience legitimate withdrawal symptoms if we stop eating sugar?

Well, the short answer is this:

The “addictive properties” of sugar are being grossly exaggerated by many mainstream diet and health "gurus."

Yes, it’s tasty and pleasurable, and yes, many people might think they're addicted to it, but as you’ll soon see, that doesn’t make for a valid medical condition.

Likewise, most discussions of “sugar withdrawal” are equally bogus.

In fact, the absence of genuine withdrawal symptoms, like those seen with hard drugs, is one of the dead giveaways that sugar doesn't warp our brains in the same ways.

So, if you’re ready to learn the truth about sugar withdrawal, and what constitutes a real addiction and what doesn't, then you want to listen to this podcast.

4:36 - What is sugar withdrawal?
7:09 - Is sugar withdrawal real?

Mentioned on the Show:

10 Proven Ways to Relax Your Muscles and Mind: https://www.muscleforlife.com/ways-to-relax/

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Apr 29, 2019
Ben Pakulski on Meditation, Consciousness, Focus, Spirituality, and More
5297

Meditation has become wildly popular in the past decade or so.

So popular, in fact, that’s it’s easy to write it off as another “woo woo” fad, like water fasting, cupping therapy, or lectin-free diets.

It’s not, though.

While the health benefits of meditation are often overblown, it’s hard to argue with the subjective benefits it provides.

I don’t have much personal experience with meditation, so I wanted to pick the brain of someone who does: Ben Pakulski.

Ben has been through intense highs and extreme lows in his life as a professional bodybuilder, and he’s used meditation to help him grow from these experiences for over a decade.

So . . . if you’re curious if carving out some time every day to meditate can actually improve your ability to cope with and benefit from life’s many stressors, this episode is for you.

5:50 - Why are you getting into meditation and what does it do for you?
13:21 - How did it look before and after you had overhauled your ability to focus?
19:57 - Do you find it hard to switch hats from a business man to a family man every day?
21:44 - Have you written down the traits of each of your avatars?
36:59 - What’s your plan for your new venture?
46:07 - What does spirituality mean to you?
51:04 - What’s an example of an altered state of consciousness?
52:18 - What do you think experiencing an altered state of consciousness means?
1:21:28 - Where can people find you and your work?

Mentioned on The Show:

Bigger Leaner Stronger: http://geni.us/BLSBook

Reincarnation Research from UVA: https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/who-we-are/dops-media/video-reincarnation-research/

The Anglo-American Establishment by Carroll Quigley: https://www.amazon.com/Anglo-American-Establishment-Carroll-Quigley/dp/0945001010/?tag=mflweb-20

Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time by Carroll Quigley: https://www.amazon.com/Tragedy-Hope-History-World-Time/dp/094500110X/?tag=mflweb-20

The Muscle Intelligence Podcasthttps://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/muscle-intelligence/id1448211060

Ben’s Website: https://www.mi40nation.com/

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Apr 24, 2019
How Many Calories Do You Really Burn Every Day?
2115

If you want to lose fat or gain muscle, then you need to know how many calories you burn every day.

If you don’t, it’s going to be a lot harder than it should be, if not impossible.

But if you’re here, that’s probably not news to you. (And if you don’t, read this article first and come back.)

You just aren’t sure how to actually do it – how to easily and accurately calculate how many calories you’re burning.

You’ve probably also poked around for an answer already and discovered that you have quite a few options.

Mathematical formulas, fitness and activity trackers, workout machine readouts, and so on.
Which can you rely on, though? Which will be best for you?

Well, that’s what you’re going to learn in this podcast.

By the end, you’ll understand which methods of calculating calories burned work, which don’t, and which are the simplest and most practical.

3:28 - How do scientists measure energy expenditure?
11:21 - How accurate are the calorie readouts on workout machines?
15:11 - How can you figure out how many calories you’re burning through exercise?
20:26 - How can you figure out how many calories you burn every day?

Mentioned on the Show:

Bigger Leaner Stronger: http://geni.us/BLSBook

A Simple and Accurate BMR Calculator (and How to Use It): https://www.muscleforlife.com/bmr-calculator/

How to Use Calorie Cycling to Build Muscle and Lose Fat: https://www.muscleforlife.com/calorie-cycling/

This Is the Best TDEE Calculator on the Web (2019): https://www.muscleforlife.com/tdee-calculator/

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Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Apr 22, 2019
Jordan Shallow on Chiropractic for Weightlifters
4168

Chiropractic is a controversial subject in the fitness community.

On the one hand, some people claim it can fix all kinds of aches, pains, and ailments ranging from low-back pain to indigestion, headaches, brain fog, and more.

On the other hand, some say that chiropractic is a pseudoscientific discipline run by greedy charlatans who provide absolutely no value beyond the placebo effect.

And if you poke around on the Internet and there’s plenty evidence of the latter, what with the myriad Internet “gurus” who use their “Doctor of Chiropractic” credentials to mislead people into thinking they’re medical doctors and thus experts on anything and everything related to health and wellness.

What’s the real story though? Is chiropractic a science or a sham?

Well, that’s what prompted me to invite Jordan Shallow on the show. Jordan’s a licensed chiropractor but also a high-level strength coach and competitive powerlifter, and in this interview, he helps shed light on the pros and cons of chiropractic, how it works, why people use it, and how it can and can’t benefit you, and more.

7:41 - What is chiropractic?
10:21 - What is the point of adjustments?
13:43 - What is the golgi tendon reflex?
22:02 - How do you find a good chiropractor?
25:30 - What type of common issues would warrant a trip to the chiropractor?
34:26 - What are your thoughts on mobility and yoga to prevent pain, improve function, or maintain function?
38:56 - How do you stretch properly to fix an underlying issue?
41:51 - What are some good exercises to improve stability?
48:19 - What are your thoughts on whole body exercises like the squat and deadlift for improving stability?
54:08 - What do you mean by stabilizing a position once you’ve gotten into it?
1:04:00 - Where can people find you and your work?

Mentioned on the Show:

Legion Athletics Triton: https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/triton/

Clinical Athlete Website: http://www.clinicalathlete.com/

Jordan’s Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/rxd-radio/id1197955534

Jordan’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_muscle_doc/?hl=en

Jordan’s Website: https://themuscledoc.com/

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Apr 19, 2019
Don’t Be Fooled by the Alkaline and Ionized Water Scams
1978

You probably know drinking water is good for you.

You probably also know dehydration is bad for you, and you’ve probably heard you should drink water frequently throughout the day and err on the side of drinking a little more than you feel necessary rather than less.

And you’re probably here because you heard that instead of drinking boring peasant water, you should avail yourself of the miraculous health benefits of alkaline water, including . . .

- Less inflammation and oxidative stress in the body
- Better hydration
- Anti-aging effects
- Weight loss
- Less joint pain and fewer headaches
- Lower risk of cancer, fatigue, leaky gut, osteoporosis, and basically every other ailment
- More energy, drive, and vitality
- And more

In fact, according to some of the self-professed H20 experts shilling alkaline water, you should never drink anything but high-pH water.

To do that, all you have to do is fork over a few grand for a contraption that uses a process called ionization (magic, basically) to transmute toxic tap water into a super-hydrating, inflammation-fighting, life-giving elixir “they” don’t want you to know about.

If you’re uncomfortable with that price tag, you’re looking at this the wrong way. Just think about how much money your pristine health is going to save you in the long run.

When your friends and family start dropping like flies due to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and the like, you’re going to be bouncing gleefully from one day to the next, like you’ve swallowed the star from Super Mario.

So the real question is how can you not afford to buy a water sorcery machine from me for which I’ll be paid a 50% sales commission?

What’s that? You want to know if there’s any scientific evidence of these claims?

Of course there’s scientific evidence. Don’t look into it, but 97% of water scientists agree with everything I’ve just said. Now will that be cash or credit?

And this is where my comedy shtick ends and real joke begins, which is alkaline water itself. Because the short story is it’s nonsense. All of it.

Let’s find out why.

5:06 - What is alkaline water?
6:59 - What is ionized water?
10:22 - Why do people drink alkaline and ionized water?
18:39 - Who popularized alkaline dieting and drinking?
20:24 - Is ionized water better for you?
21:25 - What does ionized water do for you?

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Apr 17, 2019
Kurtis Frank on the Best Pre-Workout Supplements
4623

Ten years ago, pre-workout supplements were for the unhinged looking dudes in the gym who nobody made eye contact with.

You know the type: steroids, stringers, water jugs, strutting and peacocking, and the like.

Back then, the pre-workout space mostly consisted of products like Craze, Jack3d, and Detonate (all of which have been banned, by the way) that contained mega-doses of amphetamine-like stimulants and little else.

Fortunately, times have changed, and now we have pre-workout supplements that contain lower levels of much safer stimulants plus clinically effective doses of safe, natural ingredients scientifically proven to enhance performance and muscle and strength gain.

That’s why people who take their training seriously aren’t asking whether they should take a pre-workout supplement anymore but instead which they should choose and why.

And that’s what Kurtis Frank and I talk about in today’s interview.

In case you’re not familiar with Kurtis, he’s the director of Research and Development for my supplement company Legion Athletics as well as the co-founder and former lead researcher and writer for Examine.com, which is the premiere online resource for science-based information on supplementation.

Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll learn in this episode:

- What a pre-workout is
- Ingredients that do and don’t significantly improve performance
- How much you need to take of these ingredients to see benefits
- The pros and cons of including creatine in a pre-workout supplement
- And more.

7:00 - What is your definition of a preworkout?
11:40 - What ingredients help and don’t help increase power output?
18:18 - How does Alpha-GPC work?
20:12 - How much Alpha-GPC do you need to take and when in order to see beneficial effects?
23:01 - How long before a workout should you take Alpha-GPC?
30:09 - What’s the best time to take creatine?
33:04 - What preworkout ingredients help with anaerobic exercise?
36:30 - What’s the effective dose of citrulline and when’s the best time to take it?
45:17 - What’s the effective dose of beta-alanine and when’s the best time to take it?
47:38 - What about betaine?
57:35 - Are there any other ingredients worth noting for aerobic or anaerobic training?
60:26 - How do you detect a bad preworkout supplement?
69:28 - Anything else you’d like to share?

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Apr 10, 2019
Layne Norton on Mini-Cuts and Mini-Bulks
4036

As you’ve probably guessed, these are shorter-than-usual cuts and bulks, normally in the range of three to four weeks, and in this podcast, Layne and I talk about how well they work.

Are they worth the trouble or should you just stick to the traditional bodybuilding approach of “lean bulking” until you’re uncomfortably fat, cutting until you can see your abs again, and then repeating?

That’s the question we answer in today’s interview, where we share what we’ve learned from our experiences with our own physiques as well as the thousands of people that we’ve worked with over the years.

So, if you want to know the pros and cons of continuous versus intermittent lean bulking and cutting and what’s probably going to be best for you, keep listening.

8:25 - Is it better to do longer or shorter periods of bulking/cutting?

13:30 - Should women do mini-cuts?

18:00 - What are the benefits of implementing diet breaks while cutting?

24:10 - What’s the body’s evolutionary response to caloric restriction?

28:00 - Is exercise a good means for fat loss or not?

32:46 - Do you think eating nutritionally bankrupt food increases the desire for more food?

42:20 - Should someone follow the carnivore diet?

54:45 - Should someone cut or bulk if they’re brand new to weightlifting and at a high body fat percentage?

57:35 - Where can people find you and your work?

Mentioned on The Show:

Triumph Multivitamin: https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/triumph/

Layne’s Website: https://www.biolayne.com/

Fat Loss Forever: https://www.biolayne.com/fat-loss-forever/

The Complete Contest Prep Guide: https://www.biolayne.com/the-complete-contest-prep-guide/

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Apr 05, 2019
Whey+ Salted Caramel Giveaway!
107

I'm running a giveaway on my Instagram!

Five (5) will receive a bottle of the newest flavor of Legion Athletics Whey+ - Salted Caramel!⁣⠀⁣⠀
⁣⠀⁣⠀
The flavor maestros at my manufacturer spent months working on this, and they really outdid themselves here.⁣⠀
⁣⠀
Imagine . . . a caramel-flavored protein powder that tastes like caramel and not burned wallet. That you don’t slam down but sip slowly. That makes sweet, dulce de leche love to your tongue.⁣⠀
⁣⠀
That’s what awaits you in every serving of salted caramel Whey+.⁣⠀
⁣⠀⁣⠀
Listen to this episode to learn how you can enter to win or click here for more details: 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvwq4luDJfr/

Apr 04, 2019
How Much Cardio You Should Do (and How Much Is Too Much)
1875

Every time I go to the gym, I see the same crowd of overweight people grinding away in their spin classes and treadmill, StairMaster, and elliptical sessions.

Every day they're there, sweating on the same machines--probably reserved and named by now--and they're just as fat as they ever were. Some are even fatter than when they started.

After all this time do they really think anything is going to change or am I witnessing some twisted kind of Stockholm Syndrome between fleshy slaves and mechanical lords?

Jokes aside, the truth is these people are just following decades of bad exercise advice centered around long hours of cardio, which has produced millions of overtrained, overweight, underfit people addicted to burning calories instead of getting fit.

Now, you might be thinking I'm staunchly anti-cardio. I'm not. I do cardio regularly and as you'll see, it has its benefits and uses.

When done properly, cardio can improve your health, help you lose fat faster, and even help you build muscle. But when done improperly, it can do the opposite: impair health, fail to help you lose weight, and negatively impact body composition.

So, in this podcast we're going to break down how much cardio you should do, how to get the most bang for your (sweaty) buck, and how much cardio is too much and why.

Let's start with how to determine if you should be doing cardio at all and if so, how much you should be doing.

4:53 - How much cardio should you do?
7:19 - Does cardio help you lose weight?
14:04 - How can you lose weight with cardio?
21:01 - How does cardio affect muscle building?
24:13 - Should you do cardio or weights first?

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Apr 03, 2019
Motivation Monday: Advice I'd Give to My Younger Self
657

This episode is part of a weekly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

Every Monday morning, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back every Monday morning for the latest and greatest installment.

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Apr 01, 2019
Is Microwaving Food Bad for You? What 23 Studies Have to Say
1073

Since the first affordable microwave ovens arrived in 1967, they’ve become an indispensable tool in most people’s kitchens.

They’re one of the quickest, easiest, and, compared to open flame, safest ways to cook food.

Or maybe not.

Some say that microwaves make your food “radioactive” and release toxic radiation, which raises your risk of cancer. Others say that microwaves destroy the nutrients in food, which could increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies. And still others say there isn’t enough research on microwaves, so we should all play it safe and avoid them.

On the other hand, people say that the claims against microwaves are unfounded. They’re just one more example of better living through science that people need to stop handwringing about.

So, who’s right?

Well, despite the constant Internet fearmongering, there’s no evidence that microwaves are dangerous. They have been studied repeatedly, and not only are they safe, they may actually be a healthier way to cook some foods.

There are legitimate concerns about microwaving plastic containers, but it’s still debatable how dangerous that is, too.

In this podcast, you’re going to learn the top four reasons people say that you shouldn’t microwave food, why they’re wrong, and why microwaving food can actually be a safer, healthier option than other cooking methods.

Let’s get started.

Mentioned on The Show:

My interview with Anthony Jay: https://www.muscleforlife.com/low-testosterone-estrogen-podcast/

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Mar 29, 2019
What's New and Exciting in March? New Books, Flavors, and World Records
967

"When's your next book coming out?"

"What kind of supplements are you going to release next?"

"What would you name your boat if you had one?"

I'm asked questions like these all the time and so I thought I'd start doing monthly updates about what's new and exciting here at Legion and MFL HQ.

So here’s a quick hosedown of what me and my jolly band of pirates and bums have been up to lately.

Enjoy!

Mentioned on the Show:


Bigger Leaner Stronger: geni.us/BLSBook
Birthday Cake Whey+: https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/whey/?flavor=birthday-cake
Stim-Free Pulse: https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/pulse-stim-free/
Hafthor World Record Deadlift Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RacP3CN0Wkc

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

 

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here: https://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

Mar 27, 2019
How Jake Gained 20 Pounds of Muscle on My Bigger Leaner Stronger Program
4148

In this interview, I talk with Jake who’s 32 years old and used my Bigger Leaner Stronger program to completely transform his physique.

He shares his personal fitness journey, including what he was up to before finding me and my work and how it was going, and how things started to change after implementing the advice in my books and articles.

The bigger picture looks like this: When Jake first found Bigger Leaner Stronger about six years ago, he was about 16% body fat at about 155 pounds, and today, he’s about 10% at 167 pounds and has added a ton of strength to all of his major lifts.

Jake’s transformation wasn’t without struggles, of course.

He ran into a number of roadblocks along the way that most of us can relate to, including issues with workout and meal scheduling, hunger and cravings, dietary temptations, and more. And in our chat, Jake shares what has most helped him navigate these barriers skillfully and prevent them from derailing his progress.

So, if you like hearing motivational stories about how people have changed their bodies and lives, and if you want to pick up a few tips that may help you along in your personal journey, this episode is for you.

4:12 - What was your diet and fitness like before the Bigger Leaner Stronger program?
8:28 - How tall are you and how much did you weigh before you started the Bigger Leaner Stronger program?
13:08 - How do you eat well while traveling?
26:20 - What are your current numbers?
28:30 - What is your current body fat?
1:01:12 - What did Elon Musk say about feudalism on The Joe Rogan Experience?
1:01:49 - Did Elon Musk have a solution on how to slow down the progress of artificial intelligence?

 

Mentioned on the Show:
MFL Coaching
Jake's Book, Marooned

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Mar 25, 2019
Christian Finn on Safe, Healthy, and Effective Training in Your 40s and Beyond
3175

Every day I hear from people in their 40s and even 30s who are worried it’s too late to get into great shape.

If you’ve spent any time around these parts, you know this isn’t true. So long as you know what you’re doing with your diet and training, you don’t have to be in your 20s to build a body you can be proud of. You can do it just about any age, really.

There are a few things you have to do differently as you get older, though. The main thing that changes is your ability to recover from your workouts declines, and this often manifests in more muscle, joint, and tendon soreness after training, and particularly if you’re working hard in the gym.

Many middle-aged people aren’t prepared for this and think they can just grind through the pain like they did in college, but this usually leads to further injury, overtraining, and burnout.

My friend and fellow researcher and writer, Christian Finn, knows a thing or two about this himself. He’s over 40 himself and in great shape, has worked with thousands of people, and recently had to slog through a rather nasty bout of joint problems, and in this interview, I pick his brain on what happened and why, what he did about it, and what we can do to give our joints a break without sacrificing our hard-earned muscle.

In this episode, you’re going to learn:

- What causes most joint injuries in older lifters
- The right and wrong ways of dealing with joint injuries
- Christian’s favorite exercises for “training around” joint problems
- How to program your workouts to prevent and fix joint issues
- And more.

Mentioned on the Show:
Recharge: https://www.muscleforlife.com/store/supplements/recharge/
Muscle Evo MX4: https://muscleevo.com/mx4/

9:39 - How old are you?
10:43 - Did you stop playing tennis after your knee injury?
12:01 - Do you think tennis injuries are related to volume overloads or is it just the nature of the sport?
12:45 - How did the strings of your tennis racket cause elbow problems?
13:22 - Does a tennis ball produce more spin if it spends more time on the surface of the rack?
14:23 - What kind of joint pain were you suffering from and how did that impact your training?
15:30 - Was your knee pain above or below the knee cap?
27:18 - Did you do split squats for your lower body as an alternative?
40:54 - What are the criteria for determining whether you are progressing or not?
43:36 - What did you do as an alternative for pulling?
47:31 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Mar 22, 2019
Why Your Hip Flexors Are So Tight (and What to Do About It)
1503

If you’re like most people, your hips feel tight all the time, and especially right at the top of your thighs.

They probably flare up when you do lower body exercises too, like the squat and deadlift.

Such is life with tight hip flexor muscles.

What can you do about it, though? Should you stretch? Strengthen? Something else altogether?

Well, poke around on the Internet and you’ll find a lot of conflicting opinions on what causes tight hip flexors and what to do about it.

Some people say that sitting is to blame because it shortens and weakens the muscles, others say exercise--and weightlifting in particular--is at fault, and others still say that muscle weakness is the root cause.

There isn’t much agreement about how to best fix the problem, either.

“Stretching is the key,” says one expert. “No,” counters the other, “strengthening must come first.”

And there you are in the middle, wondering whom to believe and what to do.

Well, the truth is hip flexor tightness isn’t as cut and dried as many people would have you believe. As you’ll see, causation is murky and “magic bullet” fixes are unlikely.

The good news, though, is you don’t have to know exactly why your hip flexors are acting up to figure out how to fix it, and with a little trial and error, you can do just that.

Let’s start at the top...

4:10 - What are hip flexors?
5:38 - What causes tight hip flexors?
9:02 - What are the best stretches for tight hip flexors?
12:47 - What are the best exercises for strengthening the hip flexors?

Mentioned on the Show:


https://www.muscleforlife.com/yoga-routine/

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Mar 20, 2019
My Top 5 Takeaways from Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
1336

It’s high time I reviewed this book because it’s one of my favorite self-development books.

To understand why, close your eyes and think back to an instance where you were doing something that made your consciousness feel harmoniously ordered, that absorbed all of your focus and attention, and that dissolved your awareness of time, worries, and even yourself.

Maybe it was playing an instrument, spending an evening with loved ones, coding a website, cooking a meal, driving a car, whatever.

Csikszentmihalyi refers to such occurrences as “optimal experiences” and the psychological and emotional state they produce as “flow,” and this book is a scientific investigation of these phenomena and how to increase their frequency and intensity in our lives.

Flow is cool, clinical, and sometimes discomfiting, which some people find off-putting. It wasn’t written to lift spirits, alleviate insecurities, or justify weaknesses and failures, and it doesn’t contain flowery prose or resonant stories.

Instead, this book reads more like a friendly but firm textbook that doesn’t care much about your problems or feelings, but don’t let that stop you from absorbing and applying its wisdom, which revolves around this central premise:

The more time we can spend in a state of flow, the less time we’ll have to be disconnected, dissatisfied, or dejected.

What’s more, as flow-producing activities are almost always active and constructive in nature, the more we engage in them, the more conscious, competent, and complex we become as individuals and the more stimulating and rewarding our progress and achievements are.

Thus, Csikszentmihalyi believes one of the most powerful ways to improve our quality of life is to spend as much of it in flow as we can. And although he doesn’t provide a pat, step-by-step checklist to follow, he does give enough pragmatic principles and real-world examples for you to understand how to lift the information off the pages and incorporate it successfully into your day-to-day.

For me, the flow framework has helped me make better choices in just about every area of my life because I’ve found the more flow-producing activities I engage in, the more my real-world conditions improve and the better I feel about them.

To do that, sometimes I modify activities to incorporate elements that are conducive to flow (more on this in a minute) and other times I simply say no to things that I know I’m going to find boring and unengaging no matter what I do.

Let’s get to the takeaways.

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Mar 18, 2019
8 Signs of Overtraining That Most People Don’t Know
1829

There’s a basic law of living that goes like this:

If you want more, do more.

It applies more or less across the board. You tend to get out of life in proportion to what you give.

Want more money or a bigger business? Work harder at it and you’ll have the best chances of success.

Want deeper, more fulfilling relationships with friends or family? Spend more time building those relationships and watch them blossom.

Want to be the best player on your team? Practice longer and harder than your confreres and you’ll slowly pull ahead of the pack.

You get the point.

Working out isn’t that simple, though.

The “more is better” approach works…until it doesn’t. And then it becomes counterproductive.

That is, in terms of building muscle, strength, and endurance, more training is generally better than less…but once you exceed your body’s ability to recover, the wheels start to fall off.

Here’s a short list of what can happen next:

-You struggle to finish your workouts.

-You lose strength and endurance.

-You sleep poorly.

-You struggle with fatigue and lethargy.

-You have odd aches and pains.

-You get sick more frequently.

These are all signs that there is a systemic imbalance between work and recovery.

Scientifically speaking, this symptomatology is known as “overtraining syndrome,” and chances are you’re going to wrestle with it to one degree or another at some point in your fitness journey.

Well, this podcast is going to help.

In it, you’re going to learn how to spot overtraining before it becomes a serious problem, what to do if/when you find yourself overtrained, how to prevent it in the first place.

So, let’s start with one of the more common (and misguided) cliches about overtraining…

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Mar 15, 2019
James Krieger on the Science of Diet Breaks and “Refeeds”
1804

The first few weeks of a cut are usually smooth sailing. You aren’t that hungry, your energy levels are good, and you’re still enjoying your workouts.

Somewhere around the four- to six-week mark, however, the other shoe begins to drop. You’re starting to feel hungrier leading up to meals and less satisfied after. Your energy levels begin to sag, and especially in the afternoons. You’re no longer progressing in your workouts, which are feeling harder and harder.

There are two schools of thought on what to do next:

1. Grit your teeth and keep dieting so you can move on to the fun stuff as soon as possible (maintaining and lean gaining).
2. Take periodic diet breaks where you increase your calorie intake to maintenance for several days or weeks, then continue dieting after your reprieve.

Many diet break advocates say that taking a break here and there can speed up your metabolism, help preserve muscle mass, and even “hack” your hormones to supercharge fat loss.

Others claim diet breaks offer no real benefit beyond “feeling good” and are only necessary if you’re too “weak” to stay the course.

Who’s right?

That’s what I ask James Krieger in this episode.

James is an accomplished researcher and writer as well as a lifter who knows what it’s like to diet down to extremely low body fat levels, and in this episode he tells you everything you need to know about the real science behind diet breaks and refeeds.

In this episode, you’re going to learn:

- Why people incorporate diet breaks and “refeeds” into their cutting regimens
- How taking diet breaks affects fat loss, muscle retention, and metabolic rate while dieting
- When you should or shouldn’t take a diet break
- The pros and cons of diet breaks versus continuous calorie restriction
- How to take an effective diet break
- And more.

6:06 - Why do people do diet breaks?
10:30 - What did your research find regarding diet breaks?
13:11 - For most people, isn’t the bulk of their total daily energy expenditure really their resting metabolic rate?
17:54 - How can you use diet breaks effectively?
23:56 - Is the weight loss related to a reduction of cortisone levels?
24:48 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Mar 13, 2019
Q&A: Monthly Fat Loss Targets, Sleep and Muscle Building, Adjusting Meal Plans for Fat Loss, and More . . .
2267

I’ve churned through over 100,000 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 five questions:

1. What do you do when resting between sets in the gym?
2. Can I still gain muscle and strength while training for long-distance running and, if so, how should I set up my training?
3. How much fat can you lose in the first 30 days of a cut if you’re doing everything right?
4. Do you need to adjust your meal plan while losing fat, or can you stick to the same plan from start to finish?
5. How many hours of sleep should you get to maximize muscle growth?

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 mike@muscleforlife.com.

Recommended reading for this episode:

https://www.muscleforlife.com/how-long-to-rest-between-sets/

https://www.muscleforlife.com/cardio-or-weights-first/

https://www.muscleforlife.com/cardio-workouts/

https://www.muscleforlife.com/not-losing-weight/

https://www.muscleforlife.com/how-to-sleep-better/

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Mar 08, 2019
Are Compound Exercises Better Than Isolation Exercises?
2095

You want to build muscle.

You want to get strong.

And you want to do these things as quickly and effectively as possible.

What exercises should you do and why?

Ask different people and you’ll get different answers.

Some will say that compound exercises are all you need. They train every muscle in your body and are “highly functional” to boot.

Others will say compound exercises are overrated or even dangerous, and that the right isolation exercises can give you everything your little heart desires.

Who’s right?

Well, in this podcast, we’re going to find out. By the end, you’ll understand the pros and cons of both compound and isolation exercises and how you should use them in your workouts based on your goals.

Let’s start with a simple question: what exactly are compound and isolation exercises?

4:13 - What is a compound exercise?
10:04 - What is an isolation exercise?
15:36 - What are the advantages of compound exercises?
22:15 - What are the advantages of isolation exercises?

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Mar 06, 2019
Motivation Monday: How to Motivate Yourself to Keep Working Out
977

This episode is part of a weekly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

Every Monday morning, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back every Monday morning for the latest and greatest installment.

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Mar 04, 2019
Mark Rippetoe on the Absolute Best Way to Get Rid of Elbow Pain
3535

If you’ve spent any amount of time pushing or pulling heavy things, you’ve probably experienced elbow pain.

Maybe it only flares up when you’re doing heavy compound exercises, like the bench press, military press, or barbell row. Or, maybe it only happens when you’re doing isolation exercises like curls, triceps extensions, or skullcrushers. Or maybe it comes and goes with no rhyme or reason.

Regardless of what triggers it, elbow pain can be maddening, and finding good answers for how to resolve it can be even more frustrating.

Luckily, one guy who has good answers is Mark Rippetoe, so I invited him on the show to shed some light on this common nuisance.

Mark has worked with thousands of lifters, and thus helped people work through many, many injuries, and he has quite a bit to say about how to deal with elbow pain.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

- The three most common types of elbow pain
- The difference between “golfer’s elbow” and “tennis elbow”
- How to diagnose what’s causing your elbow pain
- What exercises usually contribute the most to elbow pain
- How to resolve elbow pain
- And more

9:29 - What are the three types of elbow pain?
14:58 - What is the most common type of elbow pain?
18:58 - What is golfer’s elbow?
31:17 - What type of elbow pain did you have?
35:17 - What type of exercises cause golfer’s elbow?
37:11 - What’s the difference in form between chin ups and pull ups?
48:11 - Is the bench press commonly associated with elbow issues?

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Mar 01, 2019
What’s New and Exciting in February?
916

“When’s your next book coming out?”

“What kind of supplements are you going to release next?”

“What would you name your boat if you had one?”

I’m asked questions like these all the time and so I thought I’d start doing monthly updates about what’s new and exciting here at Legion and MFL HQ.

So here’s a quick hosedown of what me and my jolly band of pirates and bums have been up to lately.

Enjoy!

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Feb 27, 2019
How Legion Coaching Helped Rachel Lose 15 Pounds and 6% Body Fat in Just 90 Days
2524

In this episode I interview Rachel, who recently completed my 90-day coaching service and dropped 15 pounds and 6% body fat, while getting stronger on all of her key lifts.

Before finding me and my work, Rachel didn’t look unhealthy, overweight, or feeble, but that’s how she felt.

Like many women, she was an avid runner who avoided weightlifting because she thought it would make her look “bulky” and “manly,” and especially because she’s tall and has relatively broad shoulders for a woman.

Also like many women, Rachel had subjected herself to all kinds of starvation and fad diets over the years, which had taken their toll both physically and emotionally. She was confused, she was frustrated, and she was starting to feel hopeless.

Then she stumbled across this podcast, liked what she heard, started applying my teachings, and was thrilled with the results.

Once she starting eating and training properly, the improvements came quickly, and she realized that gaining muscle in the right places in her body and reducing her body fat percentage is the key to getting the body she really wants—a lean, athletic, toned body, not a blocky, masculine one.

Rachel's next step was signing up for my one-on-one coaching service, and now, about a year into her transformation journey, she’s looks and feels better than ever before and is really just getting started.

So, if you like hearing motivational stories about how people have changed their bodies and lives, and if you want to pick up a few tips that may help you in your personal journey, then this episode is for you.

4:58 - What was your diet and fitness like before and after our coaching program?
6:57 - How many push ups can you do now?
7:21 - Where are you at with your dumbbell bench press?
7:47 - Were you concerned about getting bulky while gaining strength?
12:49 - What was your diet and fitness like before our coaching program?
15:14 - How did you find our coaching program?
15:42 - How was your transition into our diet plan?
19:12 - What was your meal plan like during our coaching program and how did it compare to your previous diets?
26:08 - What was your exercise routine before you started our coaching program?
26:17 - Why was the gym intimidating to you?
29:08 - How much cardio and resistance training did you do on our coaching program?
33:49 - What are your current goals?

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Feb 25, 2019
Carter Good on How to Finally Stop Binge Eating
3625

My years in the fitness racket have taught me many things about people, and one of them is that binge eating is far more common than I previously realized.

In many cases, it’s prompted by extreme forms calorie restriction like water fasting, detox diets, and the like, and in others, it’s the result of bad eating habits developed on the way to becoming overweight.

Binge eating isn’t just a problem for overweight people, though. There are many fit people out there, usually ones trying to maintain very low levels of body fat for one reason or another (social media, usually), who binge and purge rather regularly.

Regardless of how fit or fat someone is, however, bingeing is a problem, and even when it’s done more “strategically” by drastically undereating for a period before or after a binge to keep body fat levels generally in an acceptable range.

That approach can work for maintaining a nice looking body composition, of course, but it’s unsustainable and unhealthy, both physically and psychologically. It takes its toll, which often includes eating and body disorders.

That’s why I invited Carter Good to come on the show. Carter lost 140 pounds—partly with the help of my Bigger Leaner Stronger program—and now has a large following built mostly through sharing simple, effective, science-based weight loss strategies and runs a successful fat loss coaching service.

One of the biggest obstacles Carter ran into in his journey from 305 to 165 pounds was binge eating, and as you’d expect, many of his clients come to him struggling with it as well. In this interview, he’s going to share his most helpful observations, recommendations, and insights on how to beat binge eating once and for all.

In this episode, you’ll learn . . .

- What binge eating actually is (how it differs from simply overeating)
- How much binge eating actually slows fat loss
- The most common factors that lead to binge eating
- Effective mental strategies for preventing binge eating
- What to do after a binge (because we all fall off the wagon now and then)
- And more

8:07 - How do you define binge eating?
12:48 - What are common factors that cause binge eating?
14:07 - How do you help people work through binge eating?
26:45 - How do you prevent binge eating?
34:41 - How do you help people work through the guilt of binge eating?
39:26 - Are there any outlets to prevent emotional eating?
54:53 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Feb 22, 2019
Is Milk Bad For You? What 30 Studies Have to Say
1841

For years, milk has been touted as one of the healthiest foods you can eat. 

It’s packed full of protein, calcium, and other nutrients, and it’s delicious to boot. 

It’s also hugely popular among bodybuilders and people just generally interested in improving their body composition.

If you go asking around the gym for the best way to gain muscle and strength as quickly as possible, it won’t take long until you’re told to just lift heavy weights and drink a gallon of milk per day.

(The heavy weightlifting is a great idea, but the “GOMAD”? Not so much…)

Recently, though, milk has come under heavy fire from the health “gurus” of the world who not only question its nutritional value, but go as far as labeling it a poison responsible for all kinds of disease and dysfunction.

Drink milk, they say, and thanks to the lactose, pus, blood, hormones, and other “unhealthy” substances it contains, you’ll be more likely to gain weight, weaken your bones, and even get cancer and die.

Many of the people making these arguments seem to have logic and science on their sides, too.

Maybe they’re right? Maybe milk isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Maybe we’d all be better off without it?

Well, as you’ll soon see, although the case against milk can be made to sound convincing, it’s based on trumped up charges.

When you analyze the bulk of the research, which we’re going to do in this podcast, the takeaway is clear:

Milk is not a magic bullet for bone health, muscle gain, or general wellbeing, but it doesn’t deserve condemnation, either, and you probably don’t need to stop drinking it.

Let’s find out why, starting with square one:

What is milk, exactly? 

5:30 - What is milk?

6:51 - Does milk cause weight gain?

8:26 - Does milk spike insulin levels?

10:02 - Does milk contain estrogen-like hormones that cause weight and feminizing effects in men?

11:17 - Does milk weaken your bones?

14:36 - Does milk contain dangerous hormones?

18:05 - Is milk too processed to be healthy?

19:06 - What is pasteurization, homogenization, fortification?

22:03 - Is milk filled with pus, blood, and somatic cells?

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Feb 20, 2019
11 Scientifically Proven Ways to Increase Your Bench Press
1407

Like it or not, the Bench Press is one of the primary lifts on which your strength is judged.

Nothing turns heads faster in the gym than an impressive Bench Press, and it’s the first (and often only) lift people want to know your numbers on.

There’s a good reason for this beyond ego, though.

The Bench Press is one of the best upper body exercises you can do because, when performed properly, it trains not just the pectorals but the lats, shoulders, triceps, and even the legs (through a proper leg drive, as discussed later in this podcast).

Every chest workout or push workout should include at least a few sets of the Bench Press.

That said, like the other big compound lifts (Deadlift, Squat, and Military Press), the Bench Press is actually quite technical. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll quickly hit a plateau, which is not only frustrating, but can set you up for injury as you try to break through it by compromising form.

So, in this podcast, we’re going to look at 11 safe, scientifically proven ways to increase your bench press and, in some cases, also reduce the risk of injury.

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Feb 15, 2019
Eric Helms on the Ketogenic Diet for Building Muscle
3221

The ketogenic diet is all the rage right now.

According to many, it’s the single best diet for losing fat, staying lean, and improving health and longevity.

It’s not, of course, because there’s no single diet that’s best for accomplishing all of that in everyone all of the time, but the ketogenic diet can work well as a weight loss diet for some people some of the time.

That’s how it has mostly been promoted, as well—as an effective way to lose weight rapidly—but recently, more and more people have been talking about the ketogenic diet’s superiority for building muscle as well.

They’re calling this approach “ketogaining” and the story is that it’s a healthier, more effective way to gain muscle and not fat than the traditional high-carb diet popular amongst most bodybuilders and weightlifters.

Poke around online and you’ll find some freaky big and lean people promoting ketogaining as well as a few studies that seem to validate their claims, and so understandably, it’s starting to catch on.

How legitimate is ketogaining, though?

Can you really have great workouts and gain just as much muscle but less fat by eating less than 50 grams of carbs and over 100 grams of fat per day?

To help answer these questions, I invited Eric Helms back on the show.

In case you’re not familiar with him, Eric’s one of the premier natural bodybuilding coaches in the game and is himself a professional natural bodybuilder and strength athlete, as well as an author and credentialed scientist with several peer-reviewed publications under his belt.

In this interview, Eric breaks down the research currently available on ketogaining and explains . . .

- The basic theory of ketogaining (why it’s a thing)
- What studies have shown and what questions still remain
- How the ketogenic diet is likely to impact your training performance
- How much fat you can expect to gain following a ketogenic diet vs a high-carb diet
- Eric’s personal recommendation for carbohydrate intake for maximizing muscle gain
- And more

12:27 - Does the ketogenic diet work for someone who wants to gain muscle and strength?
15:18 - Why does the ketogenic diet make you feel satiated?
27:19 - Why do you think that the performance was maintained?
33:37 - Does your body get more efficient with the glycogen it uses once you switch to a high fat, low carb diet?
37:48 - Does increasing carbs improve performance?
47:58 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Feb 13, 2019
My Top 5 Takeaways from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
1334

The featured book this time around is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

And I know, this recommendation is pretty “basic” of me as stoicism is all the rage these days, but I’m going to make it anyway because I really do believe everyone can benefit from this book and stoic philosophy.

I feel that’s especially true in today’s zeitgeist, which is moving further and further away from individualism, resilience, and responsibility and toward fear, fragility, and egoism. In fact, many young people in particular are upping the stakes by downright scorning many traditionally admired attitudes and behaviors and blindly celebrating their opposites.

And I fear the consequences of this cultural experiment, which are already unfolding in a number of aways, are going to be severe. In short, I’d bet a lot of shekels that here in the West at least, the scene is going to get a lot worse before it starts getting better.

But hey, hopefully I’m wrong.

Anyway, back to the book—in case you’re not familiar with him, Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor who earned the reputation of “philosopher king” during his lifetime and has since been recognized as one of history’s greatest rulers in both character and deed.

Meditations, originally titled To Myself, contains Aurelius’ reflections on virtue, desire, rationality, emotions, the nature of the gods, and more.

While many of his insights resonated with me, the messages that hit home the most were his views on how to dispassionately and effectively deal with the difficulties of life, the importance of avoiding hate and the intention to harm, and the value of living honestly and with purpose.

A bit of humble self-reflection is good for the soul, and Meditations will take you on a brief, but meaningful (and maybe even cathartic), introspection.

Let’s get to the takeaways.

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Feb 11, 2019
Kurtis Frank on the Best Functional Foods for Improving Health and Wellbeing
4105

Typically, “functional foods” are those that can provide additional health benefits beyond fulfilling basic nutritional needs.

For example, fatty, cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines contain omega-3 fats, which can positively impact your health and wellbeing in a number of ways.

Colorful fruits and vegetables like broccoli, berries, and Brussels sprouts are another good example. They contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but also other goodies like sulforaphane, anthocyanins, and carotenoids that can reduce the risk of disease, support brain, eye, and heart health, and more.

And even much-maligned foods like beef, pork, and lamb contain a special type of fat, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), that’s associated with a reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes and cancer (and grass-finished/fed meat are particularly rich in CLA).

All this is why food and supplement marketers have seized on these types of foods and molecules and spent who-knows-how-many millions of dollars over the last decades promoting their purported wonders.

For example, several well-known wellness gurus are trying to make sulforaphane out to be the natural cure for cancer, when it’s far from a magic bullet. Omega-3 fats are important, but they can’t bulletproof you against heart disease as some people claim. And while CLA has some health properties, it’s hard to quantify how helpful it really is for the average healthy person.

So, my point is while some foods are more nutritionally “special” than others and deserve consideration in your meal planning, most aren’t as helpful or vital as many self-styled diet experts would have you believe.

And that’s why I wanted to get Kurtis Frank, the director of Research and Development for my supplement company Legion Athletics, onto the show to break down the real science of functional foods.

Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll learn in this episode:

- What a “functional food” is and isn’t
- The best functional foods you can eat
- The most popular foods marketed as “functional” that really aren’t
- And more.

7:49 - What are functional foods?
10:31 - What are the health benefits of fish?
11:39 - What type of fish are good for omega-3 fatty acids?
14:25 - What are the good molecules in broccoli?
16:21 - Is there a physiological difference between eating broccoli regularly versus supplementing?
17:26 - How many servings of fish do you need every week to meet a proper dosage of omega-3 fatty acids?
20:40 - How many servings of fish do you need to balance omega-6 intake?
21:36 - Is salmon good for omega-3 fatty acids?
22:28 - Do plant-based people have to worry about balancing their omega-6 intake?
23:21 - If you need high intakes of omega-3s, can you achieve it from food or do you need to supplement?
24:05 - What dosage of omega-3s do you recommend to reduce muscle soreness?
25:15 - How many grams of epa and dha do you need for brain boosting?
26:18 - Which foods are marketed as functional foods but are not functional foods?
26:49 - Is there another cruciferous vegetable that has the same health benefits of broccoli?
27:57 - Do you have a lot of variety in your diet or do you like the same foods?
29:03 - Is chlorella a functional food?
32:18 - Are jackfruit and moringa oleifera functional foods?
35:41 - Is kale a functional food?
38:24 - Is garlic a functional food?
40:00 - What’s in garlic?
42:01 - How much garlic should you eat to gain its health benefits?
43:10 - Does cooking garlic alter its health benefits?
46:36 - Which spices are functional foods?
47:16 - Are blueberries a functional food?
47:25 - Do frozen blueberries have better health benefits than fresh blueberries?
48:51 - What are the health benefits of blueberries?
53:19 - Are cranberries a functional food?
55:02 - Is rosemary a functional food?
55:48 - What are the health benefits of rosemary?
56:24 - Which food has the most rosmarinic acid?
58:10 - Is coffee a functional food?
1:00:13 - Is bitter cucumber a functional food?

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Feb 08, 2019
Here's the Best Evidence-Based Way to Tell If Someone Is on Steroids
3332

How can you tell if someone is natty or not?

This is a wellspring of controversial fitness gossip, and particularly among men.

Some people say that it’s childish, rude, and unnecessary to ask or even wonder if so-and-so is “natty” or not. Don’t ask for whom the bell tolls and all that.

Others don’t take issue with the line of discussion but claim there are major problems with the common methods of analysis. Thus, they say, unless it’s completely obvious, it’s really impossible to know whether someone is on the sauce or not.

And still others can’t fathom why people purportedly into being healthy and fit would secretly use dangerous drugs to impress strangers on the Internet.

Here’s my position:

1. I couldn’t care less whether someone does or doesn’t take steroids. That’s their business.
2. I do care, however, when someone takes steroids and lies about it to deceive people. That’s when it becomes other people’s business.

Why?

Because it’s no different than lying about anything else to make a buck or burnish your bona fides, and it’s one of the reasons so many young men and women have wildly unrealistic expectations about what type of physique they can achieve naturally and should aspire to.

This is why you should get savvy about discerning who does and doesn’t use drugs. Let’s learn how.

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Feb 06, 2019
Motivation Monday: How to Know When "Good Enough" Is Good Enough
1453

This episode is part of a weekly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

Every Monday morning, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back every Monday morning for the latest and greatest installment.

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Feb 04, 2019
Here’s How I Go About Setting and Achieving My Goals
3102

I’m a big believer in the value of aligning the various parts of our lives toward goals.

In fact, I think it’s the only way to resist the forces of entropy that govern the universe and create a life worthy of our ancestors.

While spontaneity and short-term thinking certainly have their uses (“what song should I listen to right now?”), I firmly believe the better we can conceive of positive long-term outcomes and create and execute plans to produce those outcomes, the more rewarding, meaningful, and satisfying our lives will be.

For instance, many of the more significant goals we all share, like . . .

- Building a great body
- Improving our physical and psychological health and wellbeing
- Becoming financially secure
- Growing a successful career or business
- Raising a healthy, harmonious family

. . . all require goal setting, long-term planning, sacrifice of present pleasures, and perseverance.

That’s probably not news to you, but what you may not know is some methods of goal setting are better than others. And that’s what this podcast is going to be all about.

Specifically, I’m going to share with you some practical ideas and tactics for making your dreams a reality—ones that are not only evidence-based but have also worked for me time and time again, and to which I ascribe a fair amount of my own successes and wins.

And no, I’m not going to just rehash platitudes about SMART goals, affirmations, meditation, or journaling. I’m going to go deeper than that.

As you’ll hear, this is an interview I did on another podcast—The Food for Fitness Podcast by Scott Baptie—and I’m reposting it here on my podcast because I thought you, dear listener, would enjoy it.

5:53 - Who are you and what do you do?
8:54 - Why do people wait until January to work on their fitness?
16:40 - How do you help people make realistic goals?
28:37 - How do you limit the tendency to try to change everything at once?
43:00 - Where can people find you?

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Feb 01, 2019
“Metabolic Damage” and “Starvation Mode,” Debunked by Science
1961

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re either experiencing or have experienced the following scenario:

You’re dieting to lose weight and are doing everything right. You’re...

- Maintaining a calorie deficit
- Eating enough protein
- Sticking to your meal plan
- Lifting weights regularly
- Limiting your cardio

And at first, everything more or less went as planned. Your weight and waist went down and muscle definition went up like clockwork.

And then, the gears inexplicably ground to a halt.

For no apparent reason, the scale stopped moving and your reflection in the mirror stopped changing. You understand energy balance and so, determined to get the ball rolling again, you further cut your calories and increased your cardio.

It worked, of course...to a point. And then you got stuck again, and this time you felt even more haggard than before.

What to do? Is this as far as your body will go? Have you reached its “set point”? Is a lower body fat percentage just not in the cards for you?

And then you hear about “starvation mode” and “metabolic damage.”

You find stories about people, typically women, who say they aren’t losing weight with extremely low-calorie dieting and hours of exercise every week, and the culprit is (supposedly) metabolic abnormalities caused by calorie restriction.

Essentially, the story goes like this:

Dieting dramatically and incrementally decreases your basal metabolic rate, which eventually halts fat loss, and which requires a lengthy and involved “recovery” protocol to fix the “damage” should you ever want a healthy metabolism again.

Hence, the term “metabolic damage.”

When your body is experiencing the complex set of physiological adaptations that apparently cause metabolic damage, it’s said to be in “starvation mode.” This apparently kicks in the first day of your diet and gets progressively worse and worse as time goes on.

How true are these claims, though? Well, the short story is this:

- “Metabolic damage” isn’t real, has never stopped someone from losing weight, and doesn’t need to be “fixed” with complex and meticulous diet voodoo.
- “Starvation mode” is sort of real, but isn’t nearly as dramatic as many people think.

And in this podcast, you’ll learn why.

Furthermore, you’ll also learn the real reasons why weight loss stalls and what you can do to easily break through weight loss plateaus.

Let’s dig in.

Time stamps:
6:28 - What is metabolic damage?
10:05 - What is starvation mode?
20:32 - Is starvation mode real?
25:15 - What are the real reasons you stop losing weight?

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Jan 30, 2019
The "Secret" to Losing Your Face Fat and Double Chin
1131

Face fat can be slightly baffling.

You can be fairly lean, with decent muscle definition and even a nice set of abs underneath your shirt, and still see double chins in every picture.

Why? And what the hell can you do about it?

Well, I have good and bad news.

Let’s eat the frog first:

There are no amount of face stretches or exercises that you can do to slim your mug.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet or quick fix.

Now the good news:

You absolutely can lose face fat, and it’s easier than you probably think.

I can’t promise that you’ll get that superhero jaw or those superheroine cheekbones, but if you feel your face is too fat, there is something you can do about it.

So, let’s dive in and find out why some people’s faces seem disproportionately fat when compared to the rest of their bodies, and how to get leaner, more chiseled features.

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Jan 28, 2019
Q&A: My Favorite Snacks, How to Train Abs while Cutting, Correcting Leg Muscle Imbalances, and More . . .
1657

I’ve churned through over 100,000 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 four questions:

-Is it okay to use a higher rep range for some accessory exercises?
-Do you have any snack recommendations for cutting?
-Do you have to train abs while cutting to get six-pack abs?
-What should you do to fix a muscle imbalance between your quads?

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 mike@muscleforlife.com.

Recommended reading for this episode:

https://www.muscleforlife.com/rep-range-podcast/
https://www.muscleforlife.com/8-snacks-for-losing-weight-or-building-muscle/
https://www.muscleforlife.com/low-calorie-snacks/
https://www.muscleforlife.com/muscle-imbalances/
https://www.muscleforlife.com/muscle-imbalances-podcast/
https://www.muscleforlife.com/ab-workouts/
https://www.muscleforlife.com/how-long-to-get-six-pack-abs/

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Jan 25, 2019
What's New and Exciting in January? Social Media Shenanigans, Protein Bars, and More . . .
898

"When's your next book coming out?"

"What kind of supplements are you going to release next?"

"What would you name your boat if you had one?"

I'm asked questions like these all the time and so I thought I'd start doing monthly updates about what's new and exciting here at Legion and MFL HQ.

So here’s a quick hosedown of what me and my jolly band of pirates and bums have been up to lately.

Enjoy!

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Jan 23, 2019
How Legion Coaching Helped Lyell Lose 37 Pounds & 15% Body Fat in 6 Months
2616

In this episode I interview Lyell, who’s 46 years old and used my one-on-one coaching service to completely transform his physique and add 300 pounds to his big compound lifts in just 6 months.

In this interview he shares how he found his way to me and my work, including what he had tried previously, how things changed after he started implementing the advice in my books and articles, and how my coaching service helped him take his body to a whole new level.

As with everything, nothing ever goes exactly as planned, and learning to adjust and adapt to conditions is an important part of the fitness game, which is something Lyell experienced firsthand.

He ran into a number of roadblocks along the way that most of us can relate to, including issues with workout and meal scheduling, hunger and cravings, dietary temptations, and more, and in our chat, Lyell shares what has helped him navigate these barriers skillfully and prevent them from getting in his way.

Lyell’s story is particularly interesting, because as you’ll learn in this interview, he had been trying to get fit for a long time and simply couldn’t get the needle to move. As he told me, “I’m blown away by what this has done compared to my previous experience with exercise and diet. It’s just been truly unbelievable.”

So, if you like hearing motivational stories about how people have changed their bodies and lives, and if you want to pick up a few tips that may help you along in your personal journey, then this episode is for you.

Timestamps:

5:20 - What was your diet and fitness like before and after our coaching program?

7:20 - Why were you afraid to go to the gym?

10:21 - What was your training program like before our coaching program?

13:29 - What were some obstacles you had to overcome during our coaching program?

14:15 - How was your experience with our diet plan compared to your previous restrictive diet?

19:13 - How did you make your diet work with your busy schedule?

23:40 - What does your current training program look like?

28:59 - Have you had a diet break?

31:04 - What were some training obstacles you had to overcome during our coaching program?

36:00 - What are your current training goals?

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Jan 21, 2019
Dr. Stuart McGill on the Real Causes of Back Pain (and How to Fix It)
4710

Back pain is the bane of athletes everywhere.

About a third of adults deal with it at some point, and that number is even higher for us fitness folk.

To make matters worse, the cause of back pain, and low-back pain in particular, is rarely obvious and notoriously difficult to diagnose. It also often strikes out of nowhere, lingers for a while, and then suddenly vanishes for no apparent reason. Or not—sometimes it sets in the for long haul.

All this mystery, confusion, and frustration has made low-back pain a reliable honeypot for Internet profiteers, fake doctors, and supplement shysters who aren’t bothered one bit by cashing in on people’s pain.

That’s why I wanted to talk to one of the most respected, experienced, and knowledgeable experts in the world on spinal health and function—Dr. Stuart McGill—to help cut through the noise and get an honest, practical, evidence-based take on treating back pain.

Dr. McGill has spent over 30 years studying the mechanics of the spine and what causes back pain and how to safely and effectively treat it, has published several books including The Back Mechanic, and through his work has helped tens of thousands of people prevent and eliminate back pain without invasive surgery.

In this interview, Dr. McGill and I start more or less from square one and then dive into the nitty gritty details and address a whole host of questions I get asked fairly often, including . . .

-Is back pain always caused by structural damage?
-Can you have structural damage without pain?
-How do different forms of exercise affect the health of your back?
-How common is degenerative disc disease?
-What can people do to self-diagnose and heal their back pain?
-When is surgery a good idea and when it is unnecessary?
-And more.

The bottom line is by the end, you’ll know more about the real science of back pain than 95% your fellow lifters (and more than many doctors and personal trainers).

6:28 - Does back pain mean good or bad structural damage?
16:24 - Can there be structural damage without pain?
23:55 - How does mechanical stimulation damage tissue and correlate to pain?
31:18 -What’s wrong with the diagnoses that many back doctors give to their patients?
35:29 - What are your thoughts on back surgery?
41:15 - What should back surgeons prove to their patient before recommending back surgery?
44:15 - What is a scenario that requires back surgery?
48:47 - Is deadlifting and squatting safe for the spine?
57:38 - What is the goldilocks zone for squatting and deadlifting?
1:09:30 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Jan 18, 2019
The Definitive (and Practical) Guide to Muscle Hypertrophy
3770

Muscle hypertrophy is a confusing subject.

Hell, it’s a confusing word. How do you even say it?

(Hi-PUR-trophy).

And what does it mean, exactly?

(It’s the technical term for muscle growth.)

Some people say that the best way to stimulate muscle hypertrophy is to use different rep ranges to develop different kinds of muscle fibers.

Some say that there are different kinds of muscle hypertrophy—"myofibrillar" and "sarcoplasmic"—and if you aren't emphasizing both in your training then you're leaving gains on the table.

If you want bigger muscles, you're told, you want to maximize sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, and you do that by training with light weights and high reps, supersets, and so forth.

And if you want stronger muscles, you want to maximize myofibrillar hypertrophy, and you do that by training with heavy weights and low reps.

Then, others say that muscle hypertrophy is almost entirely genetic. They say your DNA determines whether you can build a lot of muscle or not, and how you train isn't going to make much of a difference one way or another.

Then, of course, almost everyone says that cardio is horrible for muscle hypertrophy.

When I started working out, I was your average tall, skinny dude, and for the first one and a half years, I followed run-of-the-mill bodybuilding magazine workouts.

It kinda worked. By the end of this period I was, uh, a little less skinny?

Fast forward about five and a half years, and while I had gained a fair amount of muscle along the way, it wasn’t exactly what I would have expected for seven years of dedicated weightlifting.

So I decided to educate myself on the real science of muscle and strength gain and implement what I had learned.

And in this podcast, I’m going to share with you the key lessons I’ve learned so you can follow in my footsteps.

Let's get to it.

6:14 - What is muscle hypertrophy?
7:31 - What are the two kinds of muscle hypertrophy?
15:16 - Can you grow new muscle cells?
19:58 - How do you increase muscle growth?
21:29 - What are the muscle fiber types and how do they affect muscle hypertrophy?
28:11 - How does strength training affect muscle hypertrophy?
33:05 - How does your diet affect your ability to gain muscle?
37:12 - How do genetics affect muscle hypertrophy?
40:28 - How does cardio affect muscle hypertrophy?
45:20 - What is the best way to stimulate muscle hypertrophy?

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Jan 16, 2019
How Long Does It Take to Get Six-Pack Abs?
1145

What is it about six pack abs?

Why are so many people so enamored of a rippling stomach?

Why is it the epitome of being fit and sexy?

Well, I’ll leave those questions to the “fitlosophers” of the world, and instead, answer this one for you:

How long does it take to get six pack abs?

And I mean a real six pack, not some hazy lines that are halfway visible in perfect, “half natty” lighting.

You know: lean, tight, and defined core muscles, and maybe… just maybe… some vascularity too, gods willing.

Well, you’re going to know by the end of this podcast.

So, if you’ve been cutting for months now and are frustrated with your lack of results, or if you’re just getting started and want to know when you’ll finally see abs in the mirror, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get to it.

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Jan 14, 2019
The Story of My 7-Figure Fitness Publishing Company
49:43

According to a 2016 article in the New York Times, only 40 authors had sold more than 1 million books on the Kindle store in the previous 5 years.

Another survey by Digital Book World found that the vast majority of self-published authors made $1 to $999 per year—with most authors on the lower end of that range.

These numbers are a stark reminder of how grateful I should be to have achieved the level of success that I have as a self-published author. Specifically, I’ve sold about 1.3 million books in the last 6 years, and last year was my best yet, with over 300,000 books sold.

This is why I get a lot of questions from aspiring writers about publishing, writing, and the business of selling books.

Sometimes people are looking for help writing a book of their own and other times they’re just curious about how the sausage is made.

I haven’t spoken much about the ins and outs of publishing here on my podcast, so I thought it might be worth sharing an interview I did on another podcast called The Food for Fitness Podcast.

In this discussion, the host Scott and I get under the hood of my publishing company, the publishing space, and the fitness industry in general and discuss the good, bad, and ugly.

We talk about the genesis, growth, and goals of my publishing efforts, some of the key factors that have made my books so successful, some of the common mistakes, shenanigans, and skullduggery used to sell books, and more.

5:21 - Who are you, what do you do, and how did it all start?
14:37 - Why did you decide to write books and create businesses?
20:53 - Why do you think fitness gurus overcomplicate weight loss and muscle building?
35:54 - What type of diet will be big in the future?
44:10 - What’s the one thing you know now that you wished you knew when started?
46:20 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Jan 11, 2019
The 3 Best (and Worst) Muscle Building Supplements
1919

I've tried a lot of supplements in my 13 years in the gym.

Protein supplements, pre-workout supplements, fat loss supplements, and, of course, muscle building supplements.

You see, I used to think that supplementation is far more important than it really is.

I naively bought into the myth that supplement companies were on the cutting edge of science.

That they were in the business of selling legitimate products that delivered tangible benefits.

Well, I've since pulled the wool from my eyes.

And here's what I've learned:

The vast majority of workout supplements--and especially those that claim to aid in muscle growth--do absolutely nothing.

Scientifically speaking, they're just overpriced placebos.

That said, not all supplements--including muscle building products--are worthless.

There are natural substances that are scientifically proven to help you build muscle, lose fat, and stay healthy...if they're used properly.

They aren't game changers in the ways that proper diet and training are, but they're result amplifiers.

And in this podcast, I want to talk about "muscle builders" specifically.

I've wasted a small fortune on these types of supplements over the years, and I don't want you to make the same mistake.

Instead, if you're going to spend money on supplements, I want you to get your money's worth.

So let's start with debunking three of the most popular muscle building supplements out there...

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Jan 09, 2019
My Top 5 Takeaways from The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
1449

Chances are you’re not a politician, sociopath, or psychopath (*cough* often interchangeable *cough*), so you’re probably not much interested in the arts of obtaining, wielding, and preserving power.

Your primary focus is probably producing a better life for yourself and your loved ones and allowing others to do the same.

Thus, you might think this book isn’t for you. And you’d be wrong.

Your liberal (in the classical meaning, mind you) attitude is a good thing—the type of impulse that promotes peace, security, and prosperity—but it’s naive to assume everyone else operates the same way.

Some people who can’t survive on their own merits are parasites. Others believe they know best and seek to impose their ideas on everyone else. Others still are dominated by antisocial urges that command them to “do unto others before they do unto you.”

Such bad actors are many and often specialize in self-aggrandizement, so you’ll often find them in high places in organizations, commerce, government, and society in general.

This means that unless you plan on operating in complete isolation, you’re going to be involved in the machinations of power whether you realize it or not. And your ultimate success or failure is going to depend at least in part on your ability to advance and protect your interests (power) against those who would stop you.

That, then, is one of the reasons you should read this book: to avoid the tricks and traps of those who would use power to harm and hinder you. That is, to beat them at their own game.

The other, more positive, side of that coin is you should read this book to upgrade your ability to effect your will—to create the body and life you really want. Again, unless your dreams involve you and only you, they’re going to require the considerable accumulation and use of power in the forms of persuasion, inspiration, cooperation, reputation, compulsion, and others.

This book gives you information you can use to form your own “power playbook” to facilitate your goals.

Some people find 48 Laws distasteful because of its cynical disregard of morality, but this is hardly a reason to condemn or avoid it. In fact, I think we can benefit from its clinical, unprincipled posture because it allows us first to observe what works and then decide for ourselves what’s right.

For example, in the book, Greene says the following:

Honesty is one of the best ways to disarm the wary, but it is not the only one. Any kind of noble, apparently selfless act will serve. Perhaps the best such act, though, is one of generosity. Few people can resist a gift, even from the most hardened enemy, which is why it is often the perfect way to disarm people. A gift brings out the child in us, instantly lowering our defenses.

This is true. It works. Honesty and generosity are powerful psychological influencers that can be used for good or evil. Whether you use them to exploit or enrich is up to you.

Let’s get to the takeaways.

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Jan 07, 2019
Ben Pakulski on What It’s Really Like to Be a Professional Bodybuilder
4525

Bodybuilding is a strange sport that requires a special type of masochism.

If you want to make it in the big leagues, you not only need great genetics but you also have to micromanage your nutrition, beat the shit out of your body with absurd amounts of training, and do enough drugs to make Jordan Belfort blush.

It also makes for a rather isolated and lonely life spent mostly in the gym grinding away to add that next pound of muscle, and even when you make it to the professional level, it doesn’t pay all that well.

And so I’ve often wondered why people choose to become bodybuilders and what it’s really like to dedicate your life to the sport.

Well, a couple months ago, I was invited to attend a podcasting event put on by my buddies at Mind Pump and interview the ex-pro bodybuilder Ben Pakulski.

In case you’re not familiar with Ben, he was an Olympia-level competitor who used to step on stage at 280 pounds and walk around in the low 300s during the offseason, and in this interview, I got to ask him about what that experience and lifestyle was really like and how the transition out of the sport has been for him, both physically and psychologically.

Ben also shares some great training advice, including his favorite exercises for developing different muscle groups, observations on the relationship between volume and intensity and muscle growth, how stress affects your ability to gain muscle, and what to do about it, and more.

Enjoy!

5:55 - How much do you weigh?
6:27 - Why did you stop your pursuit for Mr. Olympia?
10:34 - How much do drugs play a role in professional bodybuilding?
14:20 - If you didn’t eat a meal for an extended amount of time, did you lose weight?
14:55 - Why did you want to become a professional bodybuilder?
18:55 - What exercises work well?
23:00 - What is an example of a an exercise that gives good mechanical advantage?
25:25 - What’s the best exercise for the chest?
27:17 - Do you believe in high or low volume?
27:58 - What are the best exercises for you?
30:42 - How should your foot be functioning during a squat?
33:59 - What are the best exercises for you?
37:12 - What are your go-to chest and back exercises?
42:06 - How does stress affect muscle building?
43:48 - What is the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system?
48:46 - What is your pre-sleep routine?
53:49 - What is your new identity after leaving body building?
57:29 - What are your new goals?
1:06:33 - Do you feel a burden as a leader?
1:11:21 - Where can people find you?

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Jan 04, 2019
Why CBD Oil Is Basically a Scam
2821

It’s hard to go anywhere nowadays without hearing about the benefits of cannabidiol (can-ab-id-EYE-all), aka CBD (and often CBD oil).

It’s all over the Internet, celebrities are endorsing it left and right, and it’s made its way into everything from lattes to sports drinks to sex lube (seriously).

Sales of CBD are already thought to be north of $350 million per year, and some analysts are predicting that number will surpass $1 billion by 2020.

Proponents say this is fantastic.

While CBD is a drug that comes from the same plant as marijuana, it doesn’t get you high, doesn’t have to be inhaled (no lung damage), and it’s kinda-sorta legal (more on that in a moment).

Purported benefits include alleviating anxiety, addiction, and epilepsy, accelerating post-workout recovery, curing chronic pain and even cancer, and helping with many other psychological and physiological conditions and ailments.

Some people even go so far as to say that CBD has healing properties that’ll help you live a generally healthier and happier life.

It also taps into the desire to indulge in social taboos (drug use, in this case), making it even more appealing to young people in particular.

On the other hand, CBD isn’t without detractors who claim that it’s an unproven, understudied, and potentially dangerous new health fad.

According to the naysayers, at best CBD isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and at worst regular use can lead to major long-term health complications.

Who’s right?

Well, the surprising and disturbing answer is we don’t really know.

As you’ll learn in this podcast, parsing the research on CBD is about as easy as combing your hair with a broom and in the end, you’re left with far more questions than answers.

The short story on CBD is that although it may have some benefits, it’s being wildly overhyped and oversold and it most certainly poses some serious health risks.

Let’s kick the discussion off by first exploring what CBD is.

5:43 - What is CBD?
8:29 - How does our endocannabinoid system function?
11:08 - What are the benefits of CBD?
18:31 - Does CBD reduce chronic pain?
22:59 - Does CBD help with epilepsy?
27:23 - Does CBD help curb drug addiction?
30:32 - Does CBD help curb nicotine addiction?
31:59 - Does CBD help fight cancer?
33:11 - Can you get high from CBD?
36:09 - Is CBD safe?
38:02 - Is CBD legal?
39:15 - What are alternatives to CBD?

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Jan 02, 2019
Motivation Monday: The Real Secret to Toughness (Probably Isn't What You Think)
913

This episode is part of a weekly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

Every Monday morning, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back every Monday morning for the latest and greatest installment.

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Dec 31, 2018
The Story of My 8-Figure Supplement Company Legion Athletics
3503

As the founder and CEO of a successful supplement company, Legion Athletics, I get asked quite a few questions about the business and industry.

Sometimes people are looking for help starting a supplement business of their own and other times they’re just curious what goes on behind the scenes.

I don't talk much about the ins and outs of Legion here on my podcast, so I thought it might be worth sharing an interview I did on another podcast called Muscle, Mindset, & Meal Prep.

In it, I give an in-depth look beneath the hood of both my company and the supplement space in general and discuss the good, bad, and ugly.

The host Simon and I talk about the genesis, growth, and goals of Legion Athletics, how to be an informed consumer in the corrupt, treacherous, and deceitful world of supplements, where I hope the industry will go in the future (and how I plan to help make this happen), and more.

6:08 - How do you feel the fitness industry is doing with delivering high quality products and delivering a honest message to consumers?
13:24 - Why did you create Legion Athletics?
30:28 - Do you think making honest products will help you become a bigger player in the long run?
35:37 - How does Legion Athletics set themselves apart from competitors who advertise poor products?
47:57 - What’s in the future for Legion Athletics and Muscle For Life?

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Dec 28, 2018
Is Autophagy the Secret to Health and Longevity? What 36 Studies Say
2472

According to an ever-growing number of popular doctors, researchers, and influencers and “gurus,” autophagy is the next big health breakthrough.

By making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, they say, you can harness the power of this mysterious physiological phenomenon and . . .

  • “Cleanse” your body of harmful toxins
  • Slow or even reverse aging
  • Protect against various types of disease, including cancer, dementia, and heart disease
  • Feel more revitalized and rejuvenated

In many cases, the arguments sound pretty convincing. Buzzwords, whiteboards, and diagrams abound.

In fact, if the strategies shared (usually fasting or low-carb dieting or a combination of both) only worked half as well as many “experts” claim, the long-term results could still be life-changing.

And so it’s no surprise that autophagy is one of the hottest “health hacks” around right now.

It really shouldn’t be, however, and you’ll learn why in this podcast. By the end, you’re going to understand . . .

  • What autophagy is
  • How it works
  • How it impacts your health
  • How it relates to fasting
  • What you can and can’t (and should and shouldn’t) do to “optimize” it
  • And more

Let's get started.

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Dec 26, 2018
How Steve Pulled Off a Perfect “Recomp” on my Bigger Leaner Stronger Program
4163

In this episode I interview Steve, who’s a 37 year old father of two young kids who read my book Bigger Leaner Stronger and used the program to completely transform his physique.

We talk about how he found his way to me and my work, including what he had tried previously, how things changed after he started implementing the advice in my books, articles, and podcasts.

As with everything, nothing ever goes exactly as planned, and learning to adjust and adapt to conditions is an important part of the fitness game, which is something Steve experienced firsthand.

He ran into a number of roadblocks along the way that most of us can relate to, including issues with workout and meal scheduling, hunger and cravings, dietary temptations, and more, and in our chat, Steve shares what has helped him navigate these barriers skillfully and prevent them from getting in his way.

So, if you like hearing motivational stories about how people have changed their bodies and lives, and if you want to pick up a few tips that may help you along in your personal journey, then this episode is for you.

You can learn more about Steve and his work here:

  • Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/adapnation/
  • Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/adapnation/
  • Website - https://AdapNation.io

5:00 - Where were your numbers before you started Bigger Leaner Stronger?
7:13 - What are your current numbers?
16:35 - How did you find me and my work?
20:16 - How was your experience with Bigger Leaner Stronger?
29:29 - How did the Stacked app help?
35:29 - How did this help you choose a new career path?
38:55 - What else has made a big difference for you?
39:11 - How did you change your habits from not reading at all to reading regularly?
52:11 - What were your before and after results?
1:05:11 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Dec 24, 2018
What's New and Exciting? December Update (Holiday Edition!)
1014

"When's your next book coming out?"

"What kind of supplements are you going to release next?"

"What would you name your boat if you had one?"

I'm asked questions like these all the time and so I thought I'd start doing monthly updates about what's new and exciting here at Legion and MFL HQ.

So here’s a quick hosedown of what me and my jolly band of pirates and bums have been up to lately.

Enjoy!

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Dec 22, 2018
Should You Do Cardio or Weightlifting First? What 20 Studies Say
1193

You’ve just stepped into the gym.

Should you hit the weights or do your cardio first?

Some people say that you should start with cardio because it’s a great whole-body warmup, and it’s easier and more enjoyable before an intense lifting session than after.

Others say you should do your weightlifting first because you need all the energy you can muster for it if you want to gain muscle and strength as quickly as possible.

Others still say it doesn’t really matter either way so you should do whatever works best for you.

Who’s right?

Well, here’s the short answer:

If you want to maximize muscle and strength gains, you should do your weightlifting before your cardio.

And in this podcast, you’re going to learn exactly why.

We’re going to discuss how cardio generally affects strength and muscle gain, the pros and cons of doing cardio before or after weightlifting, when to do your cardio workouts to get all of the benefits of cardio with none of the downsides, and more.

Let’s get started.

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Dec 05, 2018
What’s New and Exciting in November?
1144

“What are you up to?”

“When are the new books coming out?”

“When are we going to get a new flavor of Whey+?”

I get asked these kinds of questions a lot.

While I usually prefer to keep my nose to the grindstone and unveil the finished product when it’s ready, I also want to keep all of you apprised of the goings-on at Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics.

I’ve been working on several long-term projects that most people won’t get a chance to see or hear about until they launch. So, I want to start giving you all a little glimpse behind the curtain as to what I’m doing, making, and working on before it’s finished.

In this episode, you’re going to learn . . .

  • When Legion’s protein bars are (finally) going to be available for sale.
  • When my new books for men and women are going to be finished.
  • The latest and greatest flavors of Whey+ that are coming out in the near future.
  • Some MFL-approved heavy metal music produced by a MFL team member.
  • An outstanding opportunity for you to work with me and the rest of the MFL team, should you choose to accept it.

 

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Nov 30, 2018
Motivation Monday: In Filth It Will Be Found
1372

This episode is part of a weekly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

Every Monday morning, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back every Monday morning for the latest and greatest installment.

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Nov 26, 2018
3 "Everyday" Weightlifting Mistakes That Keep People Small, Weak, and Frustrated
1412

There's a reason why the majority of people that work out regularly don't have much to show for it, and why so few people ever build truly impressive physiques. And, contrary to popular belief, it's not (the lack of) steroids--many drug users are just as flabby and weak as the next guy.

The reason why so few people are able to build muscular, strong, lean, healthy bodies is they are doing too many things wrong in and outside of the gym.

Training and eating right isn't particularly complicated, but there are quite a few moving parts that need to be integrated and coordinated. It's not as simple as "train hard and eat big." There aren't a couple "secrets" to getting big, lean, and strong. There are a collection of principles that must be properly and consistently applied.

In this podcast, we're going to talk about the training side of the equation. Specifically, the biggest weightlifting mistakes that I see people make, and why they keep you small, weak, and frustrated.

Let's get to it.

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Nov 23, 2018
The Ultimate Fitness Plan for Women
2220

If you’re like most women, you want a very specific type of body.
You want to be lean but not too skinny (and most definitely not “skinny fat“).

You want a toned upper body but don’t want to look like a “bulky” weightlifter.

You want a flat, defined stomach.

You want tight, shapely legs, and last but most definitely not least…

You want that perfect, gravity-defying butt.

Well, you–yes, lil’ ol’ you–can have all these things.

Seriously.

You don’t need top-shelf genetics or a lifetime of training to look like a million bucks.

You have to know what you’re doing, though.

Forget what the fitness magazines have told you–you don’t become a “goddess” through starving yourself and doing an unconscionable amount of cardio.

Instead, you need to take a completely different approach. And believe it or not, a much healthier, more enjoyable, and sustainable one.

In this podcast, you’re going to learn exactly what that approach is and how to build the body of your dreams.

If that gets your attention, then you’ll want to listen this episode, because we’re going to start with what you most definitely shouldn’t be doing…

4:29 - What's the worst fitness plan for women?
9:54 - How much muscle should you gain?
11:37 - How do you do get to where you want to be?
12:06 - Doesn’t heavy weightlifting make women bulky?
17:48 - How much cardio should you do?
23:47 - Do I have to starve myself?
28:36 - What's an action plan to put these strategies into place?

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Nov 21, 2018
How Luke “Recomped” on my Bigger Leaner Stronger Program
3434

In this interview, I talk with Luke who’s 28 years old and recently completed my 90-day transformation coaching service.

He shares his personal fitness journey, including what he was up to before finding me and my work and how it was going, how things started to change after implementing some of the advice in my books and articles, and how he recently used my coaching service to really accelerate his progress and get into the best shape of his life.

The bigger picture looks like this: When Luke first found Bigger Leaner Stronger about two years ago, he was about 20% body fat at about 185 pounds, and today, he’s about 10% at the same weight and about 280 pounds stronger on his key lifts. As far as natural recomps go, that's about as good as you can get.

Luke’s transformation wasn't without struggles, of course. He ran into a number of roadblocks along the way that most of us can relate to, including issues with workout and meal scheduling, hunger and cravings, dietary temptations, and more. And in our chat, Luke shares what has most helped him navigate these barriers skillfully and prevent them from derailing his progress.

So, if you like hearing motivational stories about how people have changed their bodies and lives, and if you want to pick up a few tips that may help you along in your personal journey, this episode is for you.

5:16 - What were your before and after results?
17:46 - What lessons did you learn during a cut?
18:42 - What tactics did you use to stay on track?
24:30 - Do you think it’s better to track calories or apply intuitive eating?
29:51 - What obstacles did you have while cutting?
35:51 - What are you doing now for training?
37:01 - What obstacles are you encountering while bulking?

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Nov 20, 2018
Mark Rippetoe on the Absolute Easiest Way to Get Rid of Back Pain
3334

You don’t have to read much of the pain literature to discover that it’s a fairly mysterious thing.

Some people experience regular and excruciating pain for no apparent reason while others experience very little pain despite having severe structural damage.

And this is especially true of back pain, which is can be a truly baffling phenomenon that seems to follow no discernable patterns or rules as far as prognosis and treatment go.

That sucks too because the fact is most everyone will experience back pain at some point in their lives, and sometimes it’ll resolve on its own and sometimes it won’t.

When it doesn’t resolve, many people go see doctors and specialists and do x-rays and MRIs only to find their way back to square one, with no idea why their back hurts so much and what to do about it.

Well, “what to do about it” is what Mark Rippetoe and I talk about in this episode. Whether you’ve been struggling with back pain for years, have only had it a few times in the past, or just want to do whatever you can to avoid it in the future, I think you’re going to enjoy this chat.

In it, Mark and I discuss common questions such as . . .

- What causes low back pain for most people?
- How effective is surgery for reducing back pain?
- Should you keep doing squats and deadlifts if you have back pain?
- How helpful is stretching for back pain?
- How long does it take for low back pain to go away?

The bottom line is by the end of this interview, you’re going to know more about back pain than most people ever will, along with some counterintuitive tips about how to deal with it that you probably haven’t heard elsewhere.

6:57 - Why do people experience back pain?
10:50 - Is back pain seen more in mammals that are walking on their two feet than quadrupeds?
11:30 - What is a Q-angle?
13:07 - Why does the degeneration of a disk result it back pain?
22:20- What do you do if deadlifting or squatting hurts your back?
29:58 - What do you think of foam rolling, massages, and active release therapy?
34:37 - Does yoga positively affect back pain when training?
38:04 - What are some equipment recommendations to help prevent back pain?
39:58 - Are there any substitutes for the deadlift when experiencing back pain?
51:38 - Where can people find you and your work?

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Nov 16, 2018
Should You Try the Carnivore Diet? What 74 Studies Say
3440

What if I told you that by eating nothing but meat and other animal products—no fruits, vegetables, or plant foods of any kind—you could . . .

-Lose fat without counting calories

-Bulletproof yourself against and even cure diabetes

-Prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes

-Increase your testosterone levels, build more muscle, and improve your athletic performance

. . . BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

You may also be able to resolve digestive problems like bloating, gas, and constipation and overcome depression, fatigue, joint pain, and other maladies.

Well, according to a growing number of self-styled health and diet gurus, that’s exactly what happens when you follow the “carnivore diet,” which involves eating only animal products (along with water and salt).

If you poke around online and read people’s experiences with the carnivore diet, you’ll find some compelling success stories.

Men and women of all ages and circumstances are saying that it has cured their arthritis, stomach bloating, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, brain fog, depression, and alcohol and nicotine addictions, as well as helped them build muscle, lose fat, and look and feel healthier than ever before.

On the other hand, there are decades of research showing that eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is healthy, and some evidence that suggests eating high amounts of animal products increases the risk of disease and dysfunction.

Which position has the weight of the evidence on its side?

Well, the short answer is that while it’s possible to be healthy on the carnivore diet (at least for a while), there’s an overwhelming amount of scientific research showing that it’s far from optimal and that there are much better options.

And in this podcast, you’re going to get the whole story, including . . .

-What the carnivore diet is

-Why people follow it

-What the benefits and downsides are

-How safe it is

. . . and more.

Let’s get started.

8:47 - What is the carnivore diet?

10:05 - What would a carnivore diet food list look like?

11:37 - Why do people follow the carnivore diet?

15:34 - What are the benefits of the carnivore diet?

20:57 - How does the carnivore diet affect cardiovascular health?

31:30 - Does the carnivore diet reduce inflammation in the body?

35:43 - How does the carnivore diet affect testosterone levels?

42:02 - Do you get the nutrition you need on the carnivore diet?

44:37 - How do you get enough Vitamin C without eating plants?

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Nov 14, 2018
Book Club: My Top 5 Takeaways from Good to Great by Jim Collins
1599

Simply put, if you’re in business either for yourself or working for someone else and want to become a better entrepreneur, businessperson, worker, boss, or even, I would argue, a better person, you want you read this book.

In short, it provides a compelling and comprehensive answer to the question of why some companies excel and others don’t, and it’s the result of a tremendous amount of in-the-field research and scientific analysis, not a single author’s experiences or opinions.

One of the reasons I recommend Good to Great so highly is it deals with the strategic level of business and work, where decisions carry far more weight and influence than those made in the trenches.

In fact, sound strategic thinking is probably the ultimate success “hack” there is because no amount of hard work can transform a lousy strategy into a screaming success, and nothing succeeds like a brilliant strategy executed competently.

I believe that applies not just to business, but to all areas of life. Assuming you can do the types of things most people don’t want to do, the more bright ideas you can generate and implement, the more your life is going to be filled with hope, excitement, and reward.

And this book can help by showing you how to make more good strategic decisions than bad ones.

As you’ll see in my takeaways, Good to Great has heavily influenced my own decision making particularly in my businesses, and to great effect.

As a matter of fact, I’d ascribe much of my success as an author and entrepreneur to the “hedgehog” and “flywheel” concepts alone, which have informed much of the direction of my work and companies for a number of years now.

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Nov 12, 2018
Q&A: How Many Calories Should You Eat to Lose Fat? (And More!)
1120

I’ve churned through over 100,000 emails, social media comments and messages, and blog comments in the last 6 years.

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. What’s the best weightlifting program for natural bodybuilding?
  2. Is cryotherapy a good way to boost post-workout recovery?
  3. How many calories should I eat to lose weight?  

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 mike@muscleforlife.com.

Recommended reading for this episode:

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Nov 07, 2018
Motivation Monday: What Got You Here (Probably) Won’t Get You There
2347

This episode is part of a weekly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

Every Monday morning, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back every Monday morning for the latest and greatest installment.

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Nov 05, 2018
Dr. Mike Ruscio on How to Improve Your Gut Health (and Why)
3197

Gut health has become something of a buzzword these days and, quite frankly, a bit of a red flag, like “detoxing” or “pH.”

Whenever I hear someone talking about how to improve gut health, my Spidey sense starts to tingle because there’s a fair chance that shenanigans are afoot.

That said, it’s not all quackery.

Gut health is a very real thing and impacts your overall health and wellbeing in a number of different ways, and that’s what Dr. Mike Ruscio and I discuss in today’s episode.

Before I continue, however, I just have to give a sincerely sloppy kiss to my friends Sal, Adam, Justin, and Doug over at Mind Pump Media for inviting me to their #PODCASTHARD event where I met and interviewed Dr. Ruscio.

They have one of the biggest podcasts in the fitness space and are a bunch of cool dudes to boot, so head over their way and if you like what you hear, tell them I sent you.

Okay so back to business. In this episode, you’re going to hear from Dr. Ruscio on a number of hot-button issues, including…

- What is a healthy gut, actually?
- What is leaky gut and what can you do about it?
- How can you tell what foods are good or bad for your gut?
- Is gluten as bad for your gut as people say?
- How does eating sugar affect your gut health?
- And more.

5:54 - What is gut health?
7:43 - What are inflammatory foods?
8:30 - Why do certain foods trigger an immune response?
11:27 - What is the low-FODMAP diet?
12:27 - What are soluble and insoluble fibers?
14:43 - What is leaky gut?
15:40 - What are symptoms of leaky gut?
17:17 - How does gluten affect your gut health?
24:24 - How can we improve our gut health?
27:01 - How does sugar affect our gut health?
29:38 - Why does sugar lead to weight gain?
32:24 - Do artificial sweeteners affect your gut health?
36:04 - How do probiotics help?
42:42 - Are the probiotics at the store shelves already dead?
44:27 - Where can people find your book?
45:26 - Where can people purchase your supplements?
45:47 - Can lifestyle factors improve gut health?
48:32 - Is there a connection with exercise and gut health?

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Nov 02, 2018
How to Lose Fat Faster With Fasted Cardio (and Keep Your Muscle)
4093

Doing cardio on an empty stomach doesn’t necessarily help you lose fat faster.

Doing fasted cardio can help you lose fat–and “stubborn” fat in particular–faster, though.

(And it works especially well when combined with several other fat loss strategies, which we’ll talk more about in this podcast.)

This sword cuts both ways, though.

Do your fasted cardio wrong and you won’t lose fat faster. You’ll just lose muscle instead, which is a good way to wind up skinny fat.

We’re going to break it all down in this podcast and learn the simple science of fasted cardio, including…

  • What fasted cardio actually is (and isn’t).
  • How it can help you lose fat faster.
  • Why it can cause muscle loss.
  • How to maximize its benefits (fat burning) and minimize its drawbacks (catabolism).
  • What types of fasted cardio are best.
  • And more.

By the end, you’ll know how to use fasted cardio to speed up fat loss without sacrificing muscle.

So let’s go.

5:52 - What is fasted cardio?

9:10 - How does fasted cardio affect fat loss?

11:37 - What does the science say about burning more fat with fasted cardio?

18:54 - How does fasted cardio affect calorie burning?

21:11 - What is stubborn fat?

26:39 - What is yohimbine?

33:30 - What is synephrine?

34:52 - What type of fasted cardio is best?

40:30 - What about fasted weightlifting?

43:49 - How do you maximize the effectiveness of fasted training?

46:39 - What is HMB?

55:21 - What I take before fasted training?

56:51 - What should you eat after fasted training?

60:32 - What's the bottom line on fasted cardio?

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Oct 31, 2018
Kurtis Frank on the Science of Controlling Your Appetite
3332

 

In this episode, I interview my buddy Kurtis Frank, who’s the co-founder and former lead researcher and writer of Examine.com and the current Direct of Research for my supplement company Legion Athletics.

This time around, Kurtis and I dive deep into the science and physiology of appetite, including the body’s primary levers for controlling it, how appetite is influenced by different types of foods and diets, easy ways to reduce your appetite while cutting and increase it while lean bulking, and more.

So, if you’d like to gain a deeper understanding of how your body’s appetite works and how to make it work more the way you’d like, you want to listen to this episode.


4:11 - What is appetite?
6:04 - What are some common factors that screw up natural appetite?
16:15 - How is appetite affected by different types of diets?
17:59 - What do you mean by handling carbohydrates well?
19:13 - What are some signs of insulin sensitivity?
21:04 - How does a high fat diet affect appetite?
22:44 - Is it true that your body is better at sensing food volume than caloric density?
24:46 - Is a high fat low carb diet what it tends to be lower in fiber?
27:35 - If you could cut on 2500 calories per day, should you add more carbs?
30:35 - How do you reduce appetite while cutting?
31:07 - Is it true that having water with food increases the satiating effect?
32:33 - How much water should you drink per day?
33:57 - What else can people do to reduce their appetite while cutting?
36:14 - Does caffeine suppress appetite?
37:38 - Can you sense caffeine tolerance?
38:41 - What are some tips when increasing appetite while bulking?
45:16 - What does the endocannabinoid system affect?
48:19 - If someone is hungry all the time what should they do?

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Oct 24, 2018
How to Use Double Progression to Get More From Your Workouts
1182

When you first start lifting weights, getting stronger is simple.

Show up, add weight to the bar, and hit your reps and sets, and go home.

As you inch your way toward your natural muscular potential, however, progress slows.

You’ll start missing or even losing reps, feeling burnt out and overtrained, adding little if any weight to your lifts for months.

Where to go from here?

There are a number of ways to keep progressing in your weightlifting workouts, but one of my favorite models is known as double progression.

It’s a simple method that anyone can put into use right away, and it’s one of the most effective ways to keep making progress after your newbie gains begin to evaporate.

So, in this podcast, you’re going to learn what double progression is, why it works, and how to do it right so you can get the needle moving again.

Ready?

Let’s start at the top.

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Oct 22, 2018
Charlie Engle on Lessons Learned Beating Addiction, Running the Sahara, Going to Prison, and More
5144

Charlie Engle has had a lot of ups and downs in his life:

- He ran 300 miles straight, without a break.
- He ran across the Sahara desert.
- He almost died from a cocaine binge.
- He was a producer of a top-rated T.V. show.
- He served 16 months in federal prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

And as you can imagine, he also has a lot of hard-won lessons and wisdom to share that we can all benefit from, which is what this interview is all about.

If nothing else, maybe by the end you’ll have a few things to remind yourself of the next time you’re tempted to tell yourself that you “can’t,” because let’s face it—we almost always can.

For instance, I loved how Charlie dealt with being sent to prison for mailing loan documents that, unbeknownst to him, had been illegally altered by his mortgage broker, which he proved in court.

Yes, Charlie beat the IRS’s claim that he forged documents and proved that it was in fact his mortgage broker and he had no idea, but was still sent to prison because he mailed the fraudulent documents to the bank.

#justice

Anyway, as you’ll hear in the interview, Charlie made the absolute most of the experience and by the end, was saying a lot of sad goodbyes upon his release.

Oh and I have to also give a big shout-out to Spartan for inviting me to their world championship to interview Charlie, who’s working on a very cool project with them that you’ll learn more about in this episode.


6:43 - What was the most extreme thing you did before running across the Sahara Desert?
9:31 - How did you get an academy winning crew to create your film?
12:05 - Why did you run across the Sahara Desert?
14:06 - What lessons have sobriety taught you?
15:36 - How did you become comfortable with discomfort?
32:59 - Have you recorded an audio book before?
40:13 - Do you still have inertia when you begin a project?
41:35 - Why is your project called 5.8?
58:56 - Why was your tax return such a mystery to the IRS agent?
1:00:19 - Did you overstate your income on your home loan?
1:03:28 - Have you read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius?
1:07:48 - What plans did you have after prison?
1:13:26 - Did you get a prison tattoo?
1:14:55 - Are prisons privately owned?
1:17:29 - What's next for you?

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Oct 19, 2018
Motivation Monday: The Number-One Reason to Read (Is Not What You Think)
1378

This episode is part of a weekly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

Every Monday morning, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back every Monday morning for the latest and greatest installment.

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Oct 15, 2018
How Geoff Lost 79 Pounds & 25% Body Fat on my Bigger Leaner Stronger Program
2345

In this episode I interview Geoff, who’s 34 years old and used my Bigger Leaner Stronger program to completely transform his physique.

In this interview we talk about how he found his way to me and my work, including what he had tried previously, how things changed after he started implementing the advice in my books, articles, and podcasts.

As with everything, nothing ever goes exactly as planned, and learning to adjust and adapt to conditions is an important part of the fitness game, which is something Geoff experienced firsthand.

He ran into a number of roadblocks along the way that most of us can relate to, including issues with workout and meal scheduling, hunger and cravings, dietary temptations, and more, and in our chat, Geoff shares what has helped him navigate these barriers skillfully and prevent them from getting in his way.

So, if you like hearing motivational stories about how people have changed their bodies and lives, and if you want to pick up a few tips that may help you along in your personal journey, then this episode is for you.

5:03 - What were your diet and exercise habits before BLS?
5:59 - Why did you gain the weight back?
7:05 - Where are you at now with your diet and training?
8:47 - How do you fit training into your busy lifestyle?
10:50 - Did you always have an ‘all in’ mentality?
14:15 - How did you find my work?
15:49 - How did your body respond to the BLS program?
23:29 - How has getting in shape affect other areas in your life?
29:31 - What would you like to achieve moving forward in your training?

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Oct 12, 2018
How to Use Rest-Pause Training to Gain Muscle Faster
1999

You’ve been training hard and eating right, and you’ve been making gains.

Your stomach is tighter. You’re stronger than ever before. Your friends are starting to make meathead jokes.

But progress has slowed.

It’s getting harder and harder to add weight to the bar and your body isn’t changing like it once was.

What to do?

Well, if you turn to the magazines, you’ll probably conclude that you just have to eat more. “Eat big to get big” right?

Sorta kinda maybe…

Yes, a caloric surplus is conducive to muscle gain, but no, adding a gallon of milk per day to your meal plan isn’t advisable. You’ll gain weight, alright, but too much will be fat.

You need a smarter approach, and rest-pause training can help.

As you’ll see, this simple weightlifting tool can be adapted to any type of workout program, and, unlike most fancy-sounding training tips, it has science on its side. It actually works.

So, in this podcast, you’re going to learn what rest-pause training is, why it works, and how to do it right so you can get the needle moving again.

Ready?

Let’s start at the top.

5:11 - What is rest-pause training?
7:10 - How do muscles grow bigger and stronger?
10:56 - How does rest-pause training help build muscle faster?
15:34 - What are the benefits of rest-pause training?
17:10 - What are the disadvantages of rest-pause training?
18:40 - How do you do rest-pause training?
20:26 - What is the dogg crapp style of rest-pause training?
21:34 - What is the Myo-reps style of rest-pause training?
24:58 - How do I get started with rest-pause training?

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Oct 10, 2018
Book Club: My Top 5 Takeaways from Principles by Ray Dalio
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It’s rare for a billionaire legend to take his time to carefully outline his own personal “operating system” for achieving success and fulfillment in work and life, and that’s exactly what Ray Dalio has done with Principles.

Inside, you’ll find many of his ideas and procedures for many aspects of his professional and personal life, ranging from his definition of meaningful work to his recipe for turning pain into pleasure, his prerequisites for deep relationships, his “fierce intolerance” of badness of any kind, and much more.

Unlike similar books, Principles doesn’t try to entertain you with anecdotes or fancy prose or sell you with references to science or history. Instead, it simply presents Dalio’s thoughts, experiences, and practices in a clear and highly organized manner, which I appreciated because it allowed him to share an almost overwhelming amount of high-value information. By the end of this book, I had made a ridiculous amount of highlights and notes.

I also appreciated that Dalio also isn’t one to mince words. He professes an unwavering fidelity to discovering, facing, and embracing truth, and he communicates accordingly. His goal isn’t to make you feel better about yourself or help you justify your shortcomings, but to challenge you to change your core beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors for the better.

I also found his personal story rich and inspiring, and especially the period immediately after his first downfall. Imagine this for a minute: you and your growing team spend eight years working tirelessly to build an investment firm, which is well on its way to becoming a thriving enterprise, and then, in one very public and humiliating deathblow, you lose it all by betting the farm on a market downturn that never comes. Soon after, you’re borrowing money from your dad and selling your second car to feed your wife and two kids.

What would you do?

I won’t spoil the rest of the story for you, but Dalio not only didn’t give up (obviously), he applied one of his primary principles to turn the catastrophe into an invaluable learning experience that ultimately led to his development of a revolutionary new investment strategy that would catapult him to greater success than ever before and set the trajectory for the rest of his life.

So, if you’re looking for powerful but unvarnished and sometimes unpalatable advice on achieving more happiness and satisfaction in your life, then Principles is for you.

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Oct 08, 2018
6 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Steroids
2302

Some people say steroids are safe and awesome. Others say they cause permanent damage to your body and can even be deadly.

Many drug users swear they’re not addicted and can quit at any point. Others admit that life is just better on steroids and don’t plan on giving them up.

Many recreational bodybuilders often claim that steroids don’t make as big of a difference as everyone thinks. A quick look at professional fitness competitors suggests otherwise.

My point is there’s a lot of mystery surrounding steroid use and even more confusion. Like most things health and fitness, opinions are all over the place.

I assume you’re interested in listening to this podcast because you want to know things like how steroids work, how effective they are, their side effects, and how to know if someone is likely natural or “enhanced.”

Well, in this podcast we’re going to take an in-depth look at steroid use and touch on all of those points and more.

Before we start, I’d like to make my position on steroids clear:
I’m mostly (but not completely) anti-steroid, I’ve never used them and never will, and I think most people don’t need steroids to achieve their goals.

Keep that in mind as you listen to the first half of this podcast, which may give you a bit of a chub for doing at least a cycle or two of steroids. Get through the rest of the podcast before you run off to the juicehead in your local gym.

So, let’s start at the logical beginning: what are steroids, exactly?

4:53 - What are steroids and how do they work in the body?
6:22 - Why are there so many different type of different steroids?
7:22 - How effective are steroids?
8:15 - How powerful are steroids?
13:31 - How much muscle can you build naturally?
19:04 - How can you determine your muscle growth potential?
21:35 - What are the side effects of steroids?
24:35 - How can you tell if someone is on steroids?
33:01 - Are there any natural alternatives to steroids?

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Sep 28, 2018
The Easy Way to Find and Fix Muscle Imbalances
1912

Let’s face it.

One of the biggest reasons to toil away in the gym is to look good. Really good.

Most of us guys want a big, broad upper body, bulging biceps, washboard abs, and a thick, strong lower half.

Gals usually want lean legs, a curvy butt, and a toned upper body and abs.

If you listen to the right people, you’ll discover that getting there isn’t all that hard, really.

Get your calories and macros right, follow a well-designed workout program, take the right supplements (or not), and just put in the work, and you’ll gain muscle and lose fat each and every week.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll wind up with the exact body that you want.

In time, you might notice that one side of your chest is slightly smaller than the other, or one arm is clearly larger than the other, or one thigh is more developed than its counterpart.

What to do?

Many people say this can’t even happen if you’re training properly.

Many others say it’s purely genetic, and that you have to just play with the cards that you’re dealt.

Well, both are wrong.

You can develop muscle imbalances following any weightlifting routine, good and bad, and you can absolutely take measures to correct them.

It’s pretty simple, too.

You don’t have to drastically change your training or buy special equipment.

As you’ll see in this podcast, all you have to do is make some simple tweaks to your training routine, keep an eye on how your body responds, and adjust accordingly. And by the end, you’re going to know exactly what to do to fix YOUR muscle imbalances.

Let’s get to it.

4:36 - What is a muscle imbalance?
8:20 - What causes muscle imbalances?
14:18 - How do you spot a muscle imbalance?
15:49 - How do you prevent muscle imbalances?
20:51 - How do you fix muscle asymmetry?

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Sep 26, 2018
Motivation Monday: What's More Important than Necessity?
1097

This episode is part of a weekly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

Every Monday morning, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back every Monday morning for the latest and greatest installment.

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

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Sep 24, 2018
How to Change Your Body Weight Set Point
1958

There’s no denying the fact that people’s body weight tends to remain settled in certain ranges over long periods of time.

There’s also no denying that “dieting” simply doesn’t work for most people. Sure, they can lose weight, but many regain it all once they stop the diet.

And to add a cherry of hopelessness on top, we’re also often told that exercise kind of sucks for weight loss too.

What are we to do, then? Accept whatever body weight nature and our environment has given us? Is there really no effective way to achieve and maintain an ideal body weight for the long term?

Well, there’s a counterpoint to the above research: evidence that about 20% of overweight people successfully reduce their body weight by at least 10%, and then maintain their new weight for at least 1 year.

What’s going on here?

What’s going on is a result of people’s body weight set points, which are very real and can either work for or against you in your quest to get and stay lean.

In this podcast, you’re going to learn why your body weight has “settled” to its current level, why it’s a pain in the ass to reduce your “default” weight, and how to actually do it.

4:45 - What is the body weight set point theory?
6:58 - Why can some people eat anything and not gain weight?
10:28 - What determines your body weight set point?
17:48 - How do we influence our body weight set point for the better?
21:18 - How do hormones affect body weight set point?
23:02 - How do you change your body weight set point?

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Sep 19, 2018
Motivation Monday: How to Use “Environment Design” to Accomplish Your Goals Easier and Faster
1611

This episode is part of a weekly series that I have dubbed “Motivation Monday.”

(Yes, I know, very creative of me. What can I say, I’m a genius…)

Seriously though, the idea here is simple:

Every Monday morning, I’m going to post a short and punchy episode that I hope gets you fired up to tackle the workouts, work, and everything else that you have planned for the week ahead.

As we all know, it’s one thing to know what you want to do, but it’s something else altogether to actually make yourself do it, and I hope that this series gives you a jolt of inspiration, energy, and encouragement to get at it.

So, if you like what you hear, then make sure to check back every Monday morning for the latest and greatest installment.

Want to get my best advice on how to gain muscle and strength and lose fat faster? Sign up for my free newsletter!

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Sep 17, 2018