Muscle for life

MFL Podcast 33: Q&A Part 4: Flexible dieting tips, lifting and cardio, and female training

MFL Podcast 33: Q&A Part 4: Flexible dieting tips, lifting and cardio, and female training

In this podcast I answers reader questions on how to make flexible dieting as “flexible” as possible, how to best work lifting and cardio into your schedule, and my recommendations on how women should work with weights.

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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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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.

If you like what I have to say, sign up for my free newsletter and every week I'll send you awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious "diet-friendly" recipes, motivational musings, and more.


If you want a "paint-by-numbers," step-by-step blueprint for building a muscular, lean, strong body...faster than you ever thought possible...then you want to check out my bestselling books.

Here's a little sneak peek of what you'll learn inside...

  • The 7 biggest muscle building myths & mistakes that keep guys small, weak, and frustrated. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • How to build meal plans that allow you to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy with ease…eating foods you love (yes, including those deemed “unclean” by certain “gurus”)…and never feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”
  • The 5 biggest fat loss myths & mistakes that keep women overweight, disappointed, and confused. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • 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.
  • A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.
  • And a whole lot more!

The bottom line is you CAN achieve that “Hollywood body" without having your life revolve around it. No long hours in the gym, no starving yourself, and no grueling cardio that turns your stomach.

My book will show you how. Get it today and let’s build a body you can be proud of.

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

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  • Miroshka

    Mike thank you tonnes for this podcast!

    Seeing as you were on the topic of female-training, I was wondering what I should do when I’m happy with the size of certain muscles?

    See I’ve been following your program for thinner, leaner stronger on a cut diet religiously now for two months, and I feel fantastic! I’m getting so much stronger + leaner!

    I feel like my arm-muscles really are as big as I would like them to be now though! I was thinking to either raise the number of reps (10-12?) on arm-day or skip the arm day entirely and change it for something else (To stop my arms from growing)? But I’m so apprehensive to changing the schedule you’ve given in the book because it’s worked so amazingly so far and I don’t want to fuck anything up haha!

    How should I change my training to keep them this size? I’m currently 52 kgs and 170 cm tall (if that helps) and doing 4-6 reps on the 4 sets you’ve recommended for women in the past. I’ve danced poledance in the past so I’ve got some definition on my arms from then also. What do you think?

    • Michael Matthews


      That’s awesome you’re on the program and making progress! Congrats!

      Honestly you could skip arms day as the pushing and pulilng will maintain their size and, to some degree, strength.

      Instead we could train your lower body a bit more. What do you think?

      Oh and I’d love to feature you in a before and after success story if you’re interested! It’s a simple matter of taking/digging up before pictures, reaching your goal, and then taking after pictures and sending them over to me. What do you think?

      • Miroshka

        I’m at AWE at the amount of work, love and time you’re putting into helping your community! Thank you a million for your reply Michael 🙂

        Loving your suggestion to exchange my arm-day for more lower body sets, so I will make that change immediately haha!

        And I would GLADLY share my before and after photos (I’m taking progression-shots every week to put them together into a gif at the end for every bodypart. Here’s my progress for my back in just 7 WEEKS?!:
        Can-you-believe-it? Your program works RIDICULOUSLY good man! My progress wasn’t this good even when I danced 2 hours a day, 5 days a week for MONTHS haha.)

        I’m finishing my cut in one month, so I’ll send you pictures sometime after New Years! 😀 Until then, just continue being awesome man!

        • Michael Matthews

          My pleasure and WOW, you’re KILLING it. That’s really, really impressive. Great job.

          Definitely keep me posted on your progress and I can’t wait to see your transformation!

  • Ty


    Stumbled onto your website and have to thank you for building such a wonderful resource!

    Quick question for you – I am a 35 year old male and carry more size on my lower body, mainly butt and hips (my polite tailor calls it an athletic seat), and would like to increase size on my upper body while not getting any bigger in my butt and legs.

    I’ve read this questions asked on forums before, and the answers typically claim the question is stupid, or that big upper bodies and small legs look stupid. So much for advice.

    I’ve read that deadlifts and squats help produce testosterone and may contribute to upper body gains, but again, i’m blowing out the crotch in my suit pants and don’t want to bulk up at all below the belt!

    When you have a moment, any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


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  • AnnaD

    Hi Mike, coming up to Phase 5 of TLS, and I see that hack squats are included in this stage. My gym doesn’t have a hack squat machine. What would you suggest as an alternative? Lunges?

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