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Muscle for life

MFL Podcast 44: Cutting calories when cutting, late-night carbs, training & soreness, & more…

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MFL Podcast 44: Cutting calories when cutting, late-night carbs, training & soreness, & more…

In this podcast I talk about how to properly reduce your food intake to keep fat loss going, whether or not you can train when you’re sore, why eating carbs late at night isn’t an issue, and more.

ARTICLES RELATED TO THIS PODCAST:

CHECK OUT MY BOOK LAUNCH HERE

Want to submit questions for me to answer? Go here!

8 Signs of Overtraining That Most People Don’t Know

Water Retention and Weight Loss: You Can Lose Fat, But Not Weight?

Why and How I Use Fasted Cardio to Lose Fat as Quickly as Possible

The Definitive Guide to Why Low-Carb Dieting Sucks

The Top 4 Scientifically Proven Benefits of a High-Protein Diet

How to Reduce Muscle Soreness

Does Carb Backloading Work? A Scientific Review

TRANSCRIPT

Hey, Mike here, thanks for stopping by to listen to another episode of the podcast. In this podcast, I’m going to take a few questions from my Google moderator, which I’ll link down below. If you don’t know what that is, you can submit questions and other people can vote on them if they would like them answered or not basically, and then you can vote on other people’s questions.

Every other podcast or so, I take questions from there and answer them. The questions this week are going to be related to working out through soreness. If a muscle group is sore, can you still work it out? Is it good? Is it bad?

Then, we’re going to talk about carbs, eating carbs at night before bed. Is that good or bad? Last but not least is going to be a question, I didn’t pull from the moderator, it’s probably in there somewhere because’ they have asked it fairly frequently and that is, how do you reduce your calories when you’re cutting? How do you do that correctly?

Then also, I’ll talk about because it goes with it. How do you increase your activity level? How much can you increase your activity level when you’re cutting before sores become a problem? This is particularly, because when you start cutting, things are going to go smoothly for let’s say, four, five weeks and then, what usually happens for most people is at that point, the fat loss starts really slow down, almost becomes negligible, and then what?

You have to either move more, eat less, and how do you do that correctly? So you can not only reach your goal when you’re cutting, which is reaching your target body composition or body weight but also do it in the least painful way.

The way that’s going to preserve as much muscle as possible, preserve as much strength, and workout intensity as possible, help you avoid major problems with hunger and cravings and so forth.

Those are going to be the main topics of the Podcast and then, I want to talk about one other thing, a cool concept that I ran to in a book that I was reading and it’s a concept of “What kind of scorecard you’re keeping in life?” How can that affect your perception of things, especially relating to success and happiness.

When we get there, you’ll see what I’m talking about. All right. Let’s just start with the one that I get asked most frequently which is this, reducing calories when you’re cutting or increasing activity level.

First, something that is worth clarifying where off the bat is, when you start cutting, what I like to do is, I like to start at a 20, 25 percent calorie deficit. Which means that I’m gonna be eating 20, 25 percent fewer calories than I’m burning every day.

The point where you want to start is where you are currently eating. Some people have particularly fast or particularly slow metabolisms. The standard type of TDEE calculation, if you do a Katch-McArtle, on what you’re told daily energy expenditure should be, obviously any sort of formula is never 100 percent accurate. It gives you a semi-accurate guess basically.

I’ll hear this mainly from guys that have either, reverse dieted, meaning they’ve slowly increased their calories over time, or they just have fast metabolisms. According to Katch-McArtle, their TDEE is, let’s say, 2,800 calories, but they’re eating 3,500 calories a day, and their weight is staying the same.

Which indicates a state of neutral energy balance, if you were to take their weekly intake. Most people, unless they’re following a very, very strict meal plan, their calorie intake is going to fluctuate on a day-to-day basis. One day maybe it’s 3,100. Next day it’s maybe 3,800. Let’s say it averages out to 3,500 a day. When you look at their total energy intake versus energy expenditure over a week, it balances out. They’re in a state of more, less neutral energy balance.

I’ll hear pretty frequently from guys like that. They’re then asking, They want to start cutting. Should they take their Katch-McArtle TDEE and start with eating let’s say, 75 to 80 percent of those calories? Or, should they start from where they’re currently eating?

The answer is, start from where you’re currently eating. If you’re eating 3,500 calories a day, and you want to let’s say start with a 20 percent deficit, obviously now you’re going to take 700 calories off that. That’s where you start. It’s just not necessary.

The reason why? Is because if you were to start from let’s say 70 percent of the 2,800 number, that’s a large deficit to jump right into. It’s going to be uncomfortable. You’re going to be particularly hungry. You’re probably going to have problems with cravings. Your workout is going to suck. It’s just going to be a shock to your body.

Ideally, before you’re cutting, you would have your food intake as high as you can possibly get it without just continually putting on fat, essentially. Because what that does is it buys you room for when you’re cutting.

Let’s say a guy’s at 3,500 a day and he starts cutting from there. He goes to 2,800 a day, and he starts losing weight, losing weight, and let’s say that four or five weeks of 2,800 a day, with his exercise routine the way it is. Let’s say he’s weight lifting four to five times a week, and doing maybe an hour or hour and a half of cardio a week.

Then he stops losing weight after four to five weeks, let’s say he loses a good four, or five pounds of fat in that time. Now he either has to move more or reduce his calories. The cool thing is, one, and this is what I’ll get into, he can exercise a bit more.

I’ve worked with so many people, and the vast majority of people, what I’ve found are their bodies are similar to mine, and what I can do is when I’m cutting I do about five ours of weightlifting a week, and about two hours of high-intensity interval cardio a week.

Not very much exercise. It’s six and a half to seven hours of exercise a week. For my body, I know that that’s about as much as I can do while also running a 20, 25 percent deficit without causing overtraining problems.

I’ve tried to do more, and eventually my body just doesn’t feel good. My workouts don’t feel good, I have low energy throughout the day, but if I keep it in that range, then I feel totally fine, and I’m able to lose fat.

Let’s say the guy, he starts at 2,800, and then he stops losing fat, which would be determined by weight not going down anymore, and waist, not shrinking anymore, and you can also see in the mirror as well. Now he has an option here, he either is going to eat less, or he’s going to move more. My goal to is move more if you can.

You want to use calorie reduction as, I wouldn’t say a, last resort, but if you can exercise more, do that. That means if you have the time for it, and that means if you aren’t already maxed out in terms of your exercise. Like I just mentioned earlier, there is a max.

The type of issue I run into more with women, for instance, that have been trying really hard to get really lean, is they’re usually doing too much exercise, especially too much cardio, very, very common.

I’ll hear from women very frequently that are doing, they’re exercising six to seven days a week, and in total time, in some cases it’s kind of crazy, 12 to 15 hours of exercise a week, plus a large calorie deficit. That’s a recipe for just feeling shitty, over trained.

Especially with women, you’re going to have a lot of water retention issues because those cortisol levels are going to be out the roof. That can get real frustrating, where they’re working really hard, they’re not eating that much food, and they just look puffy, and soft, and their weight’s not changing, which, ironically, they actually can be using fat, but they can be replacing the fat, in terms of weight, with more and more water retention.

It obscures the fat loss on the scale, but it also does in the mirror too because you just look puffy and soft. You look like fat, you wouldn’t know the difference. Subcutaneous fat, or water, you really wouldn’t know the difference. Increase your exercise before you decrease your calories. Max that out.

You’re going to have to learn your body, but I think a reasonable ceiling would be probably four to five hours of weight lifting a week, and two, to let’s say two-ish hours, maybe you can do a little more, maybe you need to do a little bit less, of cardio per week, and that’s high-intensity interval cardio.

That’s what I prefer to do for fat loss purposes because it’s just more effective for fat loss, and it takes less time. I’m sure you could do, if you only did low-intensity walking, of course, you could walk a lot more than two hours a week, and not over train, but that walking is going to be far, far less effective than high-intensity interval cardio.

I’ve written about this extensively on my website. I’ll link an article down below. For example, one study showed that 60 minutes of incline treadmill walking, which is a very common, you’ll see that in the gym all the time, especially among bodybuilders, that’s the standard cardio, 60 minutes of that was less effective in terms of fat burning than, I believe it was 6, 15 to 25 second sprints.

I don’t remember. I read this study a while ago, but it was six sprints with maybe a minute or two of just low intensity in between those sprints. It was a total of like 10 to 15 minutes of exercise, of high-intensity interval exercise, burned more, fat over the next several days than 60 minutes of incline treadmill walking.

That’s why I do high-intensity interval cardio. I know that some people are going to say that, “Oh, you can’t do HIIT when you’re in a deficit because you’re going to overtrain.” I’m just going to say that’s not true.

Not only that I’ve just been doing it myself for years, but I’ve worked with so many people at this point that do the exact same thing that I’ve been doing, and I actually can’t remember ever hearing from a person once that what I just laid out, in terms of total exercise, caused them to feel overtrained, or cause any problems whatsoever. The only problems that I would run into or that I do run into more frequently is over eating or under eating.

Those are the problems that people more run into, is that given their activity level, they eat too much or they’re eating too little and that can cause problems. We also have to realize that when we’re doing high-intensity interval cardio like I do on the recumbent bike. That’s what I like.

I like that it’s no impact, I like that I can really push myself on my high-intensity intervals without frying my legs. Whereas an upright bike is really tough on the quads which is fine, but I found that it can mess with my squatting actually.

If I do that the day before I squat, I can lose five pounds of my squat just because of that. The recumbent bike is easier on the legs. You’re just trying to spike your heart rate. That’s really what you’re looking to do on your high-intensity intervals.

When we’re doing that, it’s not the same as the study done with an elite cyclist who is on an upright bike and on his high-intensity intervals, he’s going all out, pedaling as hard as he can.

That’s quite different than even someone like me, I’ve been doing HIIT cardio consistently for over a year now and so, my cardio is actually very good and I can push myself pretty hard but I’m not an elite cyclist. I’ve just never run into any CNS issues or it just doesn’t seem to put as much stress on the body as some people think.

Of course, it depends on what type of HIIT you’re doing. I used to do sprints and that was rough. I used to do sprints outside, I’d sprint probably 80-yard sprints. I’d sprint as fast as I can run and then I would walk 80, walk 80, sprint.

It would be like sprint 80, walk 160, sprint 80, walk 160 yards and that was tough. That was much tougher on my body than what I’m doing right now with the cycling. I guess it does depend on what you’re doing, but most people that I’m working with or I’m just in communication with, they’re doing what I’m doing.

Or they’re doing it on the elliptical or they’re doing it on a rowing machine. Again, never run into any problems of over training because of doing an hour or two hours of HIIT cardio per week. Of course, I’ve run into people that are trying to do five, six hours of HIIT cardio per week and that is a problem.

You could walk for five or six hours a week and have no problem. So, there’s no question that HIIT cardio puts more stress on the body than low-intensity cardio but the great thing about hit cardio is you just don’t need to do that much to get what you need to get out of it.

The whole point of doing cardio when you’re cutting is just to assist in fat loss. That’s why I’m doing it. Of course, it has health benefits, but I don’t sound like I particularly enjoy cardio. I bring my iPad and that’s when I watch whatever TV show I’m watching, that’s when I watch it. It’s when I’m doing my cardio. For me, it’s almost relaxing.

It’s like I’m not working for those 25 minutes or whatever. If I can get all the fat loss I need out of just doing three, four 25-minute sessions a week, I’m going to do that. I don’t have any interest sitting on the treadmill or sitting on a stair master for two hours a day and most people are of the same mind.

Let’s get back now to the calories versus moving. Let’s go back to our guy here. He’s at 2,800 calories, he’s no longer losing fat, he now adds some cardio to his routine. He goes from two days a week to four days a week 25 minutes per session.

Now, he’s maxed out. There’s no more exercise that he should be doing and then, let’s say that now gets him another two weeks of fat loss. So, he loses a pound and then, he loses a pound and then, he maybe loses half a pound and then, he’s not losing again.

Now, he has to cut back on his calories. He has no option, he can either stop here but if he wants to lose more fat, he’s going to have to eat less. What I’ve done here, this is what I personally do, is I reduce carbs. When I’m cutting, I don’t reduce protein, I don’t reduce fat.

I like to keep my carb intake as high as I can keep it basically, because it helps maintain workout intensity, carbs are satiating and low carb diets, for most people, the low carb experience sucks. You just don’t feel good, you have low energy levels, your workouts are terrible because you have no glycogen in your muscles.

Ironically, you only lose fat faster. I’ll link an article down below but when high protein, low carb diet versus high protein, high carb diet, you’re going to lose the same amount of fat and that’s been proven scientifically.

As popular as low carb is these days, it’s just like how low fat was very popular a decade ago or so. At the time, fat was the evil macronutrient, so you just want to eat as little as possible. Now, the pendulum has swung hard in the other direction where carbohydrate is now the evil macronutrient that makes you fat and kills you and this and that.

Now, you’re supposed to eat as little carbohydrate as you can or as possible or depends on who you listen to. Hopefully, a decade from now, the pendulum is somewhere in the middle which is the reality of that.

Not only is it the reality of when we’re talking changing your body composition is a balanced intake. A high protein diet, no question, there is just no question. That is superior for fat loss and especially superior just for overall living.

Well, I’ve said it’s superior for overall living especially if you’re physically active but even if you’re not, the ODI of protein, of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight has been shown to be not even sufficient for retaining lean mass as you age.

If sedentary people ate a little bit more protein every day, they would lose less muscle over time as they age and that’s very important for overall health. High protein diet and a moderate carb intake. There’s no reason to go super low, but there’s not necessarily a reason to go super high either.

It is flexible. I’d say if you’re weightlifting regularly, then a higher carb diet is going to serve you better. If you’re not, let’s say you just do some cardio here and there, maybe some body weight stuff, you don’t need as many carbs.

You can probably go into a moderate to lower intake. In terms of dietary fat, your body doesn’t need any more than let’s say 0.3 to 0.4 grams per pound of lean mass. That’s just for supporting overall health, hormonal health, cellular health. Your body just doesn’t need more fat.

I know high fat is very trendy these days, but it really is just a trend. Hopefully, we come to something more in the middle in 5 or 10 years from now or somewhere more in the middle because unfortunately, like I said, the low carb experience just sucks for a lot of people.

It’s not sustainable as a lifestyle and also, it’s not very enjoyable. There’s so many types of carbohydrates that taste great and are great sources of nutrition. Anything from, whole grains to a starchy type of carbs to fruit, seeds.

So many good ways to get your carbs that are very nutritious for the body and very enjoyable. Especially these days, enjoying your diet is low on the list of priorities for a lot of the mainstream diet trends. It’s more about trying to sell a person on “This the ultimate healthy way to eat whether you enjoyed it or not,” Like suck it up.

If you want to live long and be healthy and not get cancer and die. This is what you have to eat. That type of dogmatic extremism, it just isn’t true. I’m going to be writing a pretty extensive article on this and I’m going to start on it soon and it might take me a couple of weeks. I’ve done a lot of research, but I now have to put it all together and then write the whole thing.

On the diet healthy hoax, there is one true healthy diet. It is just not true, that the human body can survive and thrive on so many different types of diets. There are basic guidelines, there are basic fundamentals or commonalities between “Healthy diets.” What healthy diet is, that is a very flexible description. There’s a lot of different types of diets that could be called healthy. Part of that, it does really to enjoyment.

People get a lot of enjoyment from food and not even in a weird way or fear like there are people that have weird psychological issues with food and they’re being jitters.

They can’t control themselves. But then, there are plenty of people, myself included, that just like food. I like food that tastes good. I can eat blend, food and I don’t care much about food, but it’s a pleasurable experience to have a good meal.

For many of us good meals, include foods that certain diet gurus would say are terrible and have anti-nutrients or causing our bodies to be deprived of this and that. That’s so much. That is just bullshit.

Anyways, that’s seemingly more of a home of another subject that I am re-writing about. To get back to the subject that Han here, we have our guy, that needs to cut his calories. I reduce carbs because I’m already on a lower fat, and I want to keep my fats, and all of my fat get too low because that’s unhealthy.

So I’m reducing my carbs when I’m cutting and, what I do is I cut my daily carbs intake by 30 grams. About 100 or 120 calories is what I’m reducing. I keep my activity level at the same.

In working with people, I found usually the daily intake reduction is somewhere around 100 to 150 calories seems to be the sweet spot for then getting the weight loss going again, getting it back up to that one pound a week or so.

It doesn’t exactly even make sense given the approximately 3500 calories of an energy in a pound of fat. There are other things to take into account when we’re talking about energy bounds and calories in and calories out.

Calories in is easy to track and it’s very easy to quantify. Calories out is tougher because of things like the thermic effect of food, in all of the exercise activity, thermogenesis and how much energy you are actually burning when you exercise.

I can’t say exactly why that 100 to 150 calorie drop seems to work best. It seems to be enough to get that weight loss going again. It sounds like it would be little but again I’ve worked with a lot of people and that generally is what it gets going.

Some people do need to cut a bit, more of fruits, reduce, through daily intake by about 200 or even 250. I would rather air on the side of too little reduction because if you can get that weight loss going again by reducing by 150 a day, I have rather have you do that than reduce by 250 a day.

Cut carbs by anywhere from let’s say 25 to 40 or 25 to 35 grams a day and then see how your body get the weight loss going again. For me, what I’ve noticed is, once I have to do that first reduction, I generally have to reduce every week or two to the same amount again.

What I pursue with my body is I do a 100-calorie reduction. For simplicity, let’s say it’s a Monday. I’m going to reduce my calorie, my daily intake, by 100 and I’m going to pull out 25 grams of carbs. Then the next Monday, I’m going to do it again, the next Monday, I’m going to do it again, I’m going to do it again. That keeps my weight loss steady.

This is especially important as you get lean and want to get really lean. If you are already, as a guy 10 percent, 9 percent, as you are a girl, 19 to 20 percent. You want to get really lean, this reduction is going to be necessary.

There is just no way around it because as your body fat levels get lower and lower, your Leptin levels get lower and lower which means that your metabolism is slowing down. It’s not strictly unhealthy it just is what it is. You’re trying to stay ahead of that and keep your body in a deficit essentially.

I reduce calories like that, keep the weight loss going and then I stop when I am around BMR I won’t go. Maybe I’ll go 100 calories below BMR for the final week if I want to get whatever I can get at that last week. But then, I stop reducing at that point.

You don’t want to get into a situation eating hundreds of calories under your BMR because is just that is unhealthy and your metabolism continue to slow down. All it means is it’s going to take you longer to get back to a healthy metabolism in a sense and get back your metabolism up to speed.

Once you get down to your BMR, then now you start flipping it to other direction where you’re going to be increasing your calories slightly every week to speed your metabolism back up and you’re going to gain little to no fat as you do this. It’s called a reverse dieting.

I’ll link an article down below so you can check it out. It’s very simple. The easiest way to do is to increase your weekly intake by 100 and bringing your carbs back up.

Once you’ve got your carbs back up, let’s say, increase by 50 to 75 grams, then you’re starting to bring your fat back up. Again, it’s laid out in the article but the very simple, the very workable way, to just come out of the cut.

Where your intake is quite a bit lower than where it could be given your activity level and getting it back up to the activity level. That’s pretty much everything on how to cut calories and how to use calorie reduction and exercise more to keep the fat loss going.

If in that whole period of reducing down to your BMR or under BMR, if you haven’t reached your fat loss goals, then your reverse diet back up and then you start with the process again. Very simple. Let’s move on to the next.

The next is the question from Charlie Bill from Kentucky. He says, “Does that doesn’t necessarily mean you are not recovered enough to work on a muscle group if you’re still sore and is it possible to knock your carbs enough even though you don’t feel sore?”

It’s a good question. First, yes. You can still. Just because muscle sore doesn’t mean that it’s not recovered. I’m going to link an article down below that I actually wrote on this. If you want to dive on it more, you can.

Actually the physiology of this, this isn’t totally understood from this research that I’ve read on it. There is a theory that some of the soreness that we are feeling is more related to connective tissues. That are holding muscle fibers together as opposed to the muscle fibers themselves. The muscle fibers may not even be that damaged but the connective tissue is and you feel that.

We also know that the more muscles are exposed to a certain type of stimuli, the less sore that you get. Certain exercises can cause quite a bit of soreness but not a lot of muscle growth which is another kind of myth I want to just talk about quickly.

Because a lot of people think that workout seem to make them really sore. If you’re really sore, that means you’re really building muscle. That is not really the case.

The research has shown that the correlation between muscle soreness and muscle growth is pretty weak. Workouts that makes you really sore don’t necessarily help you built a lot of muscles. Workouts that don’t make you sore can actually help you build a lot of muscles. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true. I’ve experienced that myself as well.

I used to do very high rep type stuff and I’ve been always trying new types of routines and expose my muscles to a new type of stimuli that make me really, really sore. Of course, I built muscle doing that because I stuck with it over a long period of time.

I’ve built a lot more muscle working out the way that I work out now which is a lot. I don’t do like I used to think muscle confusion. I have to change my routine all the time and I won’t do that anymore. My routine is built around a big compound lifts, squats that lifts big presses.

I do change some of additional stuff every eight weeks or so, but these days I don’t get very sore. Even to the touch. Even when I get massaged, my legs get a little bit sore. My back gets a little bit sore but nothing major. I don’t even notice until I’m getting worked. Doing those types of workouts, I’ve built a lot of muscles even though I don’t really deal with soreness issues anymore.

For an instance, downhill running is known to make peoples legs very, very sore. But you’re not going to build big legs or strong legs doing once, a downhill running. Back to the question, if a muscle group is sore, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t train it. It more depends on when did you last train it and how is the performance?

If you just train a muscle group, let’s say you did a bunch of chest pressing on Monday and now it’s Wednesday and your chest is sore, and you want to do it again. That probably is going to, your chest hasn’t recovered from the first workout. If you got a heavy workout on a Monday, there’s no way actually by Wednesday, that it’s going to be fully recovered.

You’ll notice that not only in soreness but you’ll also notice that in performance. Your strength is going to be way down. That’s a more reliable indicator. If you’re not able to do what you did in your last workout, then you probably are not recovered yet.

If you are benching 275 for sets of five and then few days later you put up 275 and you can only get 2 and it hurts, then you’re probably not recovered. Some people, they stay sore, seems to be inordinate amounts of like longer periods of time.

Someone trains their chest on let’s say a Monday and then they don’t have done anything else on it. Come Sunday, it’s still sore. Then I would say that is much more like it would be something, other than muscle fiber issues because they could probably do a good warm-up and that’s just plenty of time for most group to recover. Even people that recover slower could be safely train their chest again on a Sunday.

I would say probably, in my bigger than your stronger program. I have guys do chest work on Monday and do a bit more on Thursday. Just because it seems to be enough recovery time for, it’s a heavy Monday and a lighter Thursday. That works well. It’s more a matter of, you have to figure that if you’re doing a tough intense workout, it’s going to take your body no less than 48 hours to prepare that muscle. That’s being very optimistic.

I go into this in my book, “Bigger, Leaner, Stronger” and also “Thinner, Leaner, Stronger” are going to more of research on this. If we to take the average person, we can assume that it’s quite more four days, give or take a day that it’s going to, if you have a heavy type of bigger and stronger workout which entails about let’s say 60-ish heavy reps. That’s going to take your body four days to fully recover and be ready for the next workout.

Whether you’re strong or not, some people, like I said, that applies to me also, my body has been working out for so long. My recovery maybe a little bit better. I did heavy dead, lifts yesterday and I don’t feel anything in my back, but I worked hard.

I couldn’t do dead lift. If I tried to do deadlift right now, I’m sure that not only will I feel soreness but I would just, won’t be able to perform it. My muscles haven’t recovered even though they feel totally fine.

All right. That’s all on that one. I’ll keep that short and sweet. Let’s move on to the next which is carbs late at night, carbs for bed, is that a problem specifically for fat loss and the answer is, “No, it’s not.”

In the first edition of “Bigger, Leaner, Stronger,” I had spoken about this and in, reference from research regarding growth hormone production that, if elevates insulin levels can blunt growth hormone production. Growth hormone induces the policies which is when fat cells release their stored energy to be burned, It’s called the “Policies.”

A large amount of your growth hormone production occurs in your first phase of deep sleep. So if you’re eating a bunch of carbs right before bed, does that large insulin spike, which is going to last several hours, is that going to blunt the production of growth hormone? It was the theory but since writing the first edition of “Bigger, Leaner, Stronger,” new research has come out.

I’ve read a lot more and also worked with a lot of people. I took that section out. I took that out of the book because it actually seems like it just isn’t a problem. Your body learns to deal with it essentially. You can eat your carbs whenever you want.

There is not going to be a big benefit of eating your carbs late at night. I know that carb backloading is, I guess, semi-popular which is where you’re basically saving all your carbs for your big post workout meal and you workout later in the day.

I’ll link an article I wrote down below on it. I think it’s cool that it teaches people that you can be very flexible with your food intake. You don’t have to follow any kind of rigid, dogmatic, you have to eat this at this time or you can’t eat this at that time or whatever.

I think that as a protocol, it’s very oversold, overhyped, it’s not the secret to re-comping or losing fat, which is losing fat and building muscle. I’m not going to talk shit about it, but I think it’s oversold. What you should know is that you can, if you want to eat a lot of carbs at night, you can do that.

Like if you have late dinners and you like those dinners to be very carb dense, do that for a few workout late. Say you workout at 10:00 PM, and you like having a lot of carbs after you workout, then you’re going to go to bed. The main research on this, I feel like I’ve seen that a large carb meal before going to bed, can lead to better sleep.

I feel like I’ve seen that somewhere. I know I’ve run into people that prefer it for that reason because it keeps them full throughout the night and they just feel good when they’re going to sleep with that, I don’t know if it’s a carb, you call it carb high or whatever but they like it.

It’s totally fine as long as you’re daily numbers are where they need to be, you can eat your food whenever you want really. The only thing I would say is that it’s probably a good idea to have some protein before and after you workout. Their research is a bit contradictory on this but there is research that shows over time you’ll build more muscle doing it that way.

Then there’s research that will say that you won’t. In my opinion, the skills are balanced on that. It’s hard to choose one side or the other. So I jus, might as well be safe. It’s not that hard to just have, I just use whey protein, so have a scuba whey before you workout. Have a scuba whey after you workout, have some carbs too.

I just like having carbs after a workout because it feels good and it’s a good opportunity to eat your carbs. Because you’ve created that carbs sync in a sense, you’ve depleted your muscles of glycogen. They’re in a prime state to absorb that back. Again, it’s not a huge thing but it’s kind of a, “Why not?”

If you can’t in one day, then it’s not a big deal. But as a regular routine, most people, they also enjoy that. Which as I was saying earlier, enjoying your diet counts. Enjoying how you eat, counts. Looking forward to your meals, counts. So yeah, that’s really it on the carbs.

All right, now last but not the least, I want to go over this score card concept. I thought it’s kind of cool, it’s on a book I read recently called “Peak.” Which I’ve recommended, I think, a couple of times and I do recommend it if you are an entrepreneur or interested in building your career. Really regardless of what it is, I highly recommend this book.

Basically in the book, there’s a little anecdote, maybe he just got it from somewhere else. He was telling it as if it actually happened to him, not so sure. [laughs] Basically, the story is so he’s playing golf with, who is it? Oh, whatever, playing, I made some notes about playing gold with somebody.

Playing terribly and the other person was good. He’s getting all frustrated and that he’s never going to be good at golf. The person’s reply was, “Just because you have a high handicap in golf, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it.”

Also to extrapolate that to life, just because, if you have a high handicap if you’re familiar with golf, a high handicap means you’re bad. It means that you are shooting, it takes you quite a bit more shots to get the ball in the hole than it should essentially.

So, just because you suck at golf, doesn’t mean, just because you suck at the technical aspects of golf, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy it. The concept is just, you have your score card, and you have your numbers that, measures the technical ability that you have. There are different types of score cards that you can keep.

Like just some examples, how many squirrels did you see in the course? How many cloud formations did you see in the sky? Or how many times did you get your grandpa to crack a smile with your silly jokes? Maybe he’s playing with his grandpa with the story. Just remember, you can decide which score card you want to use in life.

I really like that concept because the score card that, if we have to take that golf analogy, or take just that golf example and apply it to life, of course, the scorecard that people are most concerned with generally is money. That’s the score card that many people, we often judge ourselves on the most and judge other people on.

That in my opinion is just a bad score card. It’s just whether, I don’t say that as somebody that dislikes people with money. I make a fair amount of money doing what I’m doing and I grew up around money. I know quite a few people with a lot more money than they even know what do with.

I have nothing against rich people, in general, or the one percent, or any of that shit. I don’t care about any of that shit. I’m just saying this really from my viewpoint in it. Because if you put too much importance on this score card of money, I think there are several negative aspects of that. One, for example, is, I can really apply this to my work.

So Muscle For Life, Muscle for Life is a pretty big website, it gets about a million visits a month. It’s growing very quickly, big email list and I have quite a following on social media, blah. The reality is, it’s under-monetized. It really is under-monetized.

It makes money of course and it sells. It pushes a lot of sales to legion, it sells a lot of books. We sell a lot of meal plans but given the size of the website, I was speaking to someone recently that had a fitness website. I think he was doing about 50,000 visits a month.

It was set up to just sell affiliate products. It wasn’t set up to really be all that helpful, it’s just to make money. I think he said he was doing about 90,000 a month profit on 50,000 visits a month. When he heard my numbers, almost it was like offensive to him.

He’s like, “You should be doing at least a million dollars a month profit.” At least a million dollars a month profit. My rebuttal is, “Yes, my affiliate’s under-monetized and you know, I’m going to be doing some things to address that.” I mean, obviously I’m all for opportunity.

Like I’m going to be launching a store and I’m going to sell all kinds of cool stuff on the store. A lot of the stuff I recommend, I’ll just sell myself. I want to sell shirts, I want to sell posters, I want to sell, there’s a lot of cool things I know that people would actually enjoy that I could sell.

I’m going to be producing la flagship information product which is going to have all bunch of video content, whatever. I have some various ideas and things that, yes will make a lot money. That’s fine. But my score card with MFL is not just money.

If it were just money, like a lot of people especially in Internet marketing world, then that would be the dreaded, that’s like the obvious direction for people like that. Like why do you care what you’re promoting? If you’ve noticed on MFL, I only advertise my own stuff.

I advertise my books, I advertise my supplements. It’s not because I don’t have offers to advertise other people’s stuff. If I didn’t care what I advertise in MFL, I could, right now, be generating an additional, probably $75,000 a month in advertising. That’s a profit, that’s $75,000 into my pocket, every month.

If I didn’t care, if I was just, just this morning I was emailed by another company, digital advertising company. They have a bunch of clients and they want to advertise in MFL. This space is health and fitness space is very, very expensive to advertise in. Advertisers pay a shitload of money to run ads on websites especially websites like MFL which has a very loyal following.

Very, very good analytics, very, very good demographics et cetera, et cetera. I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually would be more along the lines of about $100,000 a month. If I also threw in some email stuff, paid posts and stuff like that. I could pretty quickly get it up to $100,000 in my pocket by doing that.

Why don’t I do that? Because my score card is not just money with MFL. My score card also is in how I am connecting with people, that’s why I spend a lot of time answering emails and answering comments. I want to be actually helpful to people, that’s more of my score card is.

If I’m advertising products that I have used myself, I think are good and I know are going to help people, then that fits that. That’s why my recommendations for instance in MFL, those are all things that I’ve used myself. All the supplements, good science behind them, the gear and everything because that’s actually helpful.

If I have some advertisement on the side of the website, let’s say that is like some garbage supplement, some other supplement company wanted me to, that wouldn’t quite make sense cutting on supplements, my sponsor said that was the case. You as a reader, you go, click on it or even AdSense, same type of thing.

Putting AdSense, in my articles, AdSense alone, I was talking with that same person actually that was like offended, comparatively speaking, of how little money MFL is directly generating. He’s saying that AdSense alone is probably $30,000 a month. If I just put AdSense up, $30,000 a month is in my pocket. But again, who’s on the AdSense now?

Yes, I could control the type of companies that could advertise on AdSense and I may look into that. I mean, I don’t want to add too much clutter on MFL. I think it’s already a big clutter, I need to take a look at reducing the amount of side Navs and stuff, whatever.

Again, the point is, if I just didn’t care and I just, but you as a reader now, you click on an ad and you go, waste your money on some stupid “A no supplement” or something like that. That is telling you that it’s good as steroids or whatever, I’ve done you a disservice. That’s why I haven’t done that, that’s why I’d rather just advertise my own stuff.

I’d rather put my own store, sell things that I can feel good about and I know are going to help. Yes, even doing all that, MFL makes less money than it could. Even if, through the store and through, there’s a point where having a store and then advertising it where you really create an e-commerce ecosystem.

Like bodywithin.com, obviously everything that’s advertised within the website you can buy at bodywithin.com. That’s the ideal type of situation and I want to go more in that direction because then I can control what I am promoting. Because people are coming to me and they’re trusting my recommendations.

That matters to me, that’s because my score card is different. Sure I care about money but money delivers diminishing returns. There’s a point where, if you’re jumping from making $30,000 a year to $60,000 a year, that makes quite a difference from 60 to let’s say 100, that makes quite a difference.

A 100 to 200 makes less of a difference, 200 to 500 makes even less of a difference, 500 to a million, less and less and less. Unless you just want to live the most extravagant type of lifestyle and you need personal assistance, you need a chef and you need a mansion. You need cars and you need all that stuff, but even that, if you’re that driven for stuff, then what’s that?

A few million dollars a year and you can have all that, and then what? Most people though are not like that. People like to have nice things, but most people, at least that I know, that have worked hard for their money are a bit more frugal with it. Yes, they have nice things, they live in nice homes, they drive nice cars but relevant to their income, they’re not very extravagant.

That also applies to Legion as well. When I first went to my manufacturer, I may have told this story before but I’m not sure so I’ll just go through with it. When I was launching Legion, and Jeremy and I first went to the manufacturer that we were using. We gave them the formulation for Pulse, the first formulation for Pulse.

It actually had a bit more in it, stuff like Alpha GPC, that’s so expensive, we just didn’t know. But our account rep came back to us initially like, “This is wrong.” He knew we were new to this. He was like, “Just so you know you guys, this is not what you want to do. This is way too much, way too many actives, this is way too expensive. Like this isn’t going to work, you should, here, here’s what we recommend.”

They sent some garbage dietary blend pre, the normal way like that people, they would just go, “Yeah give me some shitty problem product, I don’t care,” like someone let’s say in my position would probably go. If all I cared about was money, if I was like…

My score card was dollars in the bank and that’s it, then I would have just said, “Hey people buy what I tell them to buy and I want to make as much money as possible. So I’m going to make a free workout for $4 and I’m going to sell it for $50.”

There we go, my score card’s look real good. That’s what the manufacturer was assuming because everyone that comes in that’s what they do.

When we were explaining to them, we have to go back and forth like three times actually. Like, “No, we’re doing it differently.” We quote that formulation, we need to see how expensive it is and they would come back and be almost like trying to give us business advice. Like, “Trust me, you don’t want to do this. Like you don’t want to do this differently. It’s not going to work. You can’t spend that much on a product and get anywhere.”

Where his name was Todd, we’re like, “Todd, just shut up and quote the product, dude. We’re doing it whatever. If it fails, then it fails. This is the way we’re going to do it.” Ironically, the first formulation came out at like $40 a bottle or something like that. [laughs] My cost so obviously that doesn’t work.

We have to kill off the GPC for instance because that stuff was, I don’t remember, it was like $200,000 per kilo or something. It was absurd. We got down into a formulation that we have now which allows us to make enough money to run the business. Obviously when you compare it to other pre-workout formulations, you will see that it has a lot more of the good stuff than anything else.

It has a lot more Citrulline Malate per serving, Beta E, Beta Alanine and so forth. It’s also with Legion that’s been our guiding. That score card yes, of course, make money but also what is more important to us though, is producing good products that actually help people. I know, I used to waste so much money on supplements.

I used to go into GNC every month or two and probably spend $200 to $300 [laughs] I’ll just go to the back and be like, “Yeah, sure I’ll try that. I’ll try that.” I wouldn’t really necessarily listen to the sales guys, I would just try things and so I know how annoying that is to just waste money every month.

Eventually I was just like, “Oh well, all this shit’s worthless so I’ll just…” I paired it all the way down to just protein, creatine and a pre-workout because I like something to get me going before a workout. The moral of the whole story is you can, I think there’s value in just keeping that in mind, how you are determining whether you are winning or not, is you don’t necessarily…

Defaulting to what other people would consider is not necessarily going to be good for you. There are a lot more important things than just making money or I guess another one out there would be, achieving recognition. Sure I think recognition is cool but it can get a bit narcissistic where people are not just trying to achieve recognition.

They have a desire to be admired. They want to be famous, they want people to recognize them and tell them how awesome they are. That’s also something I have no interest in at all. I don’t consider myself a celebrity at all. But even if I ever got to that point where I was a celebrity of known whatever, I don’t desire that actually.

I’d much rather just be anonymous to be honest. [laughs] Because I like doing my work, I like staying in touch with people, I like helping people out. I don’t care if I’m going to get a bunch of public recognition for it, I just don’t care. I guess maybe the only thing cool about being a celebrity is you get access to interesting experiences that you don’t get access to otherwise.

That would be the only thing I would actually care about. Anyways, that’s it. I’m not going to ramble on about this but if you like that concept, I definitely recommend you pick up the book “Peak” by Chip Conley. A lot and lot of great insights in that about work, about running a business, working in a business, dealing with investors and finding your calling, I guess.

That’s it for the podcast, I hope you liked it. I have somebody lining up, a lot more guests so we’re going to get back to that. For now, just doing one myself. Last but not the least, my book launch does end, I’m launching my second edition of “Bigger, Leaner, Stronger,” “Thinner, Leaner, Stronger” that whole thing. I’m giving away $10,000 and stuff, real stuff too.

Not PDFs that I say are worth a $100 each but real hard goods. That’s ending this Thursday, which day…It’s Thursday, no it’s tomorrow. Hello, yeah, tomorrow the 19th. [laughs] By the time this goes up, I think it’s going up soon, that’s going to be today basically at the end. You can check it out at www.muscleforlife.com/launch.

Yeah, that’s it. All right, see you next time.

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

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  • An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.
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  • Nick

    Hey Mike!

    Thanks for all your help! Just wondering if HIT cardio needs to be done a few times a week for 25 mins or could I just do one long session?

    • I like to keep shorter to preserve muscle.

      • Nick

        Awesome. Thanks man.

        In the podcast you mentioned using another day in the week for an additional incline chest set. I do chest on Tuesday and upper body/shoulders Thursday. Too close? What’s the minimum?

        Thanks!

  • Pingback: MFL Podcast 44: Cutting calories when cutting, late-night carbs, training & soreness, & more… | georgeherman205()

  • Ivo Naves

    Hi Mike

    Its my forth week of Y1C Phase 1. I just did 80kgs x6x3 on my M-Press! And 38 kgs on one arm db-roll, 80 kgs x 12 on calves… I’m looking forward to see how it’ll be at the end.

    More than that, I was quite blue last year, but the determination that’s required and this every-day-hitting-PR’s are spreading it’s effects in other areas of my life. Studying, work and even religion.

    Thanks a bunch.

    • Awesome! Great job!

      Yeah getting fit affects all areas of life. It’s great.

  • Jonathan Cole

    Mike, in reference to the “$$ scorecard” point, you made at the end of the video…..I am sure I speak for the majority of your Loyal followers, you have been one of the most straight forward, “cut through all the BULLSHIT” online Trainers/Coaches I have found. THANK YOU for that and, PLEASE, continue to do what you do BEST. Stay STRONG and don’t let the Seduction of more $$$$$ SCREW up, what you have going. Too many people wide up selling out, and in that process sacrifice EVERYTHING that was valuable in the first start.- JC

    • Thanks Jon and yeah that’ll never change for me.

      Trust me if I wanted to sell out I could have done it a while ago and at this point I can make more money than I will know what to do with just being honest and helpful so…I’ll just do that…heh…

      • Kay

        You are doing it right. Your honesty is the reason why this is the only website i ever go to for articles, books, meal plan etc.. since day 1!

  • Jack

    Hey Mike, I just did a body diagnosis yesterday and I’m wondering if you could help me decide whether to cut or bulk. I have been training for a year now.
    Gender:M, Height: 184 cm, Weight: 84 kg; Fat: 13 kg(15%).
    Thanks.

  • Adam

    Epic podcast Mike! I will be taking this knowledge & putting them in to action!

  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

    Oh and if you like what I have to say, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter! You’ll get awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious “guilt-free” recipes, articles to keep you motivated, and much more!

    You can sign up here:

    http://www.muscleforlife.com/signup

    Your information is safe with me too. I don’t share, sell, or rent my lists. Pinky swear!

  • Peter C.F.

    Mike, just wanted to congratulate you on the great podcast. This was probably the best podcast you’ve recorded (for people, like me, who already read your books and articles on a frequent basis). Lots of VERY useful info. Thanks man. Regards.

  • Mandi

    Hi Mike. Say you don’t hit your daily calories (calorie deficit) can you eat more the next day? Does the numbers just matter at the end of the week or sometime different? Tx a lot

    • Sure if you’re looking to maintain but if you’re bulking you’ll do best by maintaining a slight surplus every day.

      • Mandi

        I’m trying to cut, so if I don’t reach my daily limit its chilled and shouldnt eat more the next day. 🙂

        • Okay cool I would try to stay within 100 calories of your target. The more variability the more ways to mess it up…

  • Juan

    Hey Mike,

    Thank you very much for your insightful and very informative articles. I have been enjoying listening to your podcasts for a month now and going through many of your articles. It is great to have someone who is knowledgable give straight no nonsense talk of the subject of natural bodybuilding the correct way. I have an inquiry that maybe you can help me with.

    I am 53 and not new to the bodybuilding arena. I started BB in my late 20’s went from 130 to 177 (took me until age 33). Long story short, after age 34, I dibbled and dabbled (life situations) here and there with training. But I let too much time go by and I lost all those gains that I worked so hard for (I have been back at the gym for 2 years now). Last week I started your workout of once a week per body-part (5 days) and in the 4-6 range (and journaling). I worked out the diet ratios you recc.50/25/25, so I can consume much more carbs then I was presently consuming. I had been taking in a lot more fat (paleo) and not enough carbs. I have not gained very much weight at all. I am 6’1 and a pathetic 142 (imagine). I know I can gain the weight now that I can across your information and am focused on gaining correctly.

    This is my question. You recc. 2360 calories (bumping up along the way) per day, 50/25/25. I am a delivery courier with FedEx and I am always on the run. Would that amount of calories be enough to create an environment conducive to gaining weight considering my high -level of activity at work? Do you suggest I stay at your recc. caloric intake and gauge my progress weekly and adjust the calories, or should I bump up my daily calorie intake from the beginning to make up for the workouts and active level of work?

    Sorry for the long email. I appreciate your time and any input you may be able to offer to help guide me. BTW, I ordered your BLS and cant wait to dig in. Thank you very much. I look forward to more of your great content.

  • Adel-Alexander

    Hey Mike, regarding bench press ( any kind) My shoulder blades start to hurt if the bar touches my chest.. Like, I do try to get the bar as close to the chest as possible, but for some reason when I get to that point, my upper back/shoulder blades start to hurt. I mean, I could still feel the muscles being worked out despite not having the bar touching my chest. I hope that’s alright? 😛

    • Hmmm have you tried addressing with some stretching/mobility?

      • Adel-Alexander

        No I haven’t, but how come there are people who tell you not to hit the chest? I have a friend who is super jacked with a huge chest and he told me not to hit the chest with the bar, only going to go as close as possible to the chest, but I shouldn’t hit it.

        • Because they don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s not bad for your shoulders unless your form is off.

          • Adel-Alexander

            Well it’s not really my shoulders that hurt, but it’s more like the area that makes up my upper back/shoulder blades. Then again, I am on medication that makes me a bit sore and more prone to muscle aches so that could be why..

          • Oh okay sounds like the rhomboids? Mine get REALLY sore sometimes.

          • Adel-Alexander

            I just googled, sounds ike that’s that. 🙂 But yeah.. I dunno, I’m on medication that makes muscle aches much more common. And I dunno, I guess I could try to go as close the chest as possible without touching it. Or I could try some stretching.

          • Oh okay well the meds may cause issues that won’t easily go away. You could try a good calcium and magnesium supplement. There are drinks out there.

          • Eric Whitesell

            I had shoulder pain after bench day and I checked my form first (which was off) then started shoulder dislocations stretching as well as door frame stretches and now no pain

          • Nice.

  • Ryan

    Hey Mike,

    Thanks for the great info, as always! One question, when transitioning from cutting to bulking or vice-versa, should I reverse diet up or down until I’m at maintenance before figuring out where I should be at for the bulk/cut (more specific to me but takes more time)? Or should I just switch immediately and follow the bulking/cutting guide in BLS and see how it goes (general guideline but quicker transition)?

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  • Katie

    I just read eat green get lean. What made you change your stance on eating carbs at night?

    • Hey Katie,

      Just more research, really. I will be updating that book soon.

  • P Mort

    I’m feeling this on the HIIT. I did upright bike on Tuesday, did squats this morning, and man my squat numbers suffered. My quads felt like battery acid during the HIIT session, and during squats I felt unusually weak. I may move to the recumbent, though it does feel weird to use.

    • Yep, that can happen.

      A lot people find they do better keeping the HIIT sessions away from their leg days and back days.

      LMK how it goes on the bike. Also, this may help:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/reduce-muscle-soreness/

      Talk soon.

      • P Mort

        Recumbent went a lot better. 30 mins including the 3 min warmup and cooldown, 20 on, 40 off (can probably adjust to near 1:1 next time) at roughly 180+ rpm on the work phases. Legs still felt a bit of a burn but it wasn’t like with the upright where it felt like I couldn’t stand when I was done. It felt like a good workout. I need to double check if it was adjusting the seat or just the intervals that made the recumbent wind up about 1 foot back from where it was sitting while I was on it. :/

        I do HIIT on Saturdays and also on Tuesdays, whereas my squats are on Thursdays per the BLS 5-day plan. Wondering where to put the Tuesday one because I do back on Tuesday and legs are Thursday, and I already got Saturday in.

        • Glad to hear it!

          If it was because of the intervals, you must’ve been going hard!

          How about doing HIIT on Saturday and Sunday? If Sunday isn’t available, how about Monday?

          Thoughts?

          • P Mort

            Sunday is my off day so I want to avoid that, and Monday is the day before my back workout the next morning (I do fasted); basing my routine on your 5 day BLS plan Monday-Friday for weights, Saturday morning for just HIIT. I’m thinking of switching my days around to where back is on Mondays and legs are on Wednesdays, and then do HIIT after legs are out of the way on Wednesday…my rationale here is the hardest lifts are out of the way at that point, giving me a chance to do my HIIT from there on out…problem with this is it potentially puts me with back to back upper body days of some sort.

            Or is it the doing HIIT and legs/back workouts on the same day that’s the problem?

          • Ah okay. Fair enough. You can do HIIT before your back day if you want just so you know.

            Whatever days work out better for you to do your HIIT is what I recommend. There’s no problem doing HIIT and a leg or back workout on the same day. It may be tough, but there’s nothing wrong with it.

  • Jonathan Young

    Hey Mike… On phoenix, forge, caffeine, on your 5 day program, and HIIT mixed in. Running a 2k Calorie (deficit) @ 195 LBS. Great results so far… 2 questions…

    1) I’ve been doing different types of HIIT (fully body, sprints, etc). I noticed you use recumbent bike primarily for HIIT. In one of your videos you stated because it didn’t put stress on heavy muscles etc. For fat loss, is it more ideal to do full body HIIT, or just stick to recumbent bike?

    2) I strained my calf today doing calf raises… primarily because i cramp SO hard in my calves, no where else. It’s been an issue for like… a year, strong calves, but they cramp easily. How in the world do I fix this?

    Been on MorelliFit, Ryan Engel, Athlean-X, without question love your stuff the best.

    P.S. My girlfriend loves you because of my results. 🙂

    • Hey Jonathan! I believe I answered you somewhere else on these? LMK!

  • Drew Palser

    Hey Mike, my TDEE is 2738, but to gain weight on a bulk I have to eat close to 3500 calories. I decided to cut since I got up to 15% body fat. I went ahead and cut 20% from my TDEE which turns out to be 2190. I’m losing a pound a week, but should I have cut 20% from my 3500 calories instead of my TDEE? Should I continue eating 2190 or go up to 2600 and go from there? I haven’t felt hungry at all, and I am also weight training five days a week and doing HIIT cardio for a little over an hour a week. Thanks man love your stuff!

    • Drew, you were correct in cutting from TDEE. As long as you’re losing steady weight, you’re all good!

      YW. Keep up the great work.

  • Richard Brown

    Hi Mike, Trying to get my numbers right for cutting. Over the last week I took my TDEE which I worked out to be 2087 Calories… (Weight=77.8, Height 176 and Age=40) So BMR 1739 * 1.2 (Following BLS Programme 5 days a week but limited Cardio to the weekends).

    So TDEE of 2087 – 25% for Deficit = 1566. However my BMR is 1739 so I am already 173 Calories under BMR on the first week of the cut.

    After listening to the Podcast again I am now thinking this can’t be right based on your advice of reducing 100 Calories a week until you get to BMR or 100 under. Anyway tried a week this week at 1550 Calories each day and it’s been pretty difficult and been more tired than usual. Average weight loss for the week is 0.6 KG which seems okay…

    So do I continue with 173 calories under BMR for a few weeks or should I be increasing to have less of a deficit such as 10% etc?

    As background I am onto my second year of the BLS Programme and it’s been going well overall. Training progression is slow but progressing and training is all now routine and enjoy it most days. Nutrition has been up and down with making good progress to the point I could see the Abs for the first time in my life as was at a weight of around 74KG last year. Didn’t last for long though with messing the diet up with ups and downs, tried a bit of bulking etc. Now trying to get to a point I can get to around 10% body fat and then start a steady bulk, however always seem to be spinning a bit due to eating too much at the weekends and then being strict during the week..overall being around maintenance or a very slow weight loss…. Anyway trying to get to a good starting point here and get to my goal so just trying to figure out if I am on the wrong path calorie wise :-).

    Cheers, Rich.

    • Hey Rich,

      With a 5-day split, and some cardio on the weekends, your activity multiplier should be at a bare minimum of 1.3x, which brings your TDEE to 2260kcal/day, and a 20% cut at 1808kcal.

      Hope that helps!

      • Richard Brown

        Thanks Roger, makes sense. I see where I was going wrong. Back up now to 1800 for the last two days so far and much better. Will be interesting to see the progress.

  • Yash Gadhiya

    Hey Mike, I am on a cut. Since last 2 weeks. Uve said to average out the weight each day for 7 days to get the best estimate. What I am observing is my weight fluctuates by 1 -2 pounds between each day. Suppose my weight is 153 lbs on Monday, it was 152lbs on Tuesday and then 153.5 on Wednesday.
    Is it normal?
    Is it water retention? Coz my salt intake seems high
    Note that my diet is on point macros wise and calorie wise. Its just that on a few days I have more carbs or more calories at night than in the morning while still staying at my calorie level. Is it because of that?
    I am new to proper heavy weightligting so expecting results of a body recomposition.

    • Hey Yash, 1-2lbs fluctuation is normal, and you should see the overall trend of your weight decreasing if you are on a cut. If not, then increase your activity through HIIT cardio and reduce cals if necessary. Also, it helps to take weekly waist and BF% measurements to track your composition.

      • Yash Gadhiya

        Thanks mike, I am wondering how are you managing to personally reply to each and every comment with thr traffic youve got. Keep on the good work!😊

        • Any time! It’s tough, but I have one of my coaches Roger help out on here 🙂

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