Muscle for life

MFL Podcast 60: Live Q&A: Muscle:fat bulking expectations, CLA for fat loss, lifting plateaus, and more…

MFL Podcast 60: Live Q&A: Muscle:fat bulking expectations, CLA for fat loss, lifting plateaus, and more…

In this podcast I conduct a live Q&A and take a variety of questions ranging from how much muscle and fat you should gain on a bulk to weighing food before or after cooking to drinking calories and more!

If you want to get in on the next one and ask me questions, sign up here:  www.legionathletics.com/qa/


00:13 – What LBM (lean body mass) to fat ratio can you expect to gain while bulking?

05:14 – Is it bad/dangerous for my health to steal from my fats to add to carbs, leaving me getting around 10-15% of my daily calories from fat?

09:44 – When is Phoenix coming back in stock?

15:33 – I’m not progressing on my squats as fast as the rest of my body. Can I add squats to Day 1 and Day 3 on BLS? Or is that too much volume?

19:28 – Whenever I try to work my chest, I only really feel it in my “front” delts area. How come? How can I fix it?

22:56 – Can you talk a little bit about your fiction writing?

31:05 – Thoughts on CLA supplements?

31:34 – How is your Stacked App tracking?

33:39 – You recommend liquid calories like fruit juice for hard gainers. Is all that fructose a problem? Does it matter where your sugars/carbs come from?

36:07 – If you’ve been lifting for a while, but you’re still weak with an average body fat percentage, is recomping still possible?

37:48 – Do you ever play with your potassium vs sodium levels between cuts, maintenance and bulk?

40:02 – What happened to the forums on Muslce for Life? I miss the community!

41:46 – A while ago you mentioned potentially investing in European warehouses to house Legion stock for the European customers. Is this still an option you are considering?

42:54 – When you bulked in the past what were your top takeaways from the
experiences? Anything you wish you would have done differently?

46:55 – Suggestions for weight progression? I’m female, been lifting for about 6 months and seem to have stalled on adding weight to my big lifts.

48:44 – Any update on the new grass-fed whey protein from Legion that you’re working on?

51:43 – For tracking calories, do you weight meat before or after cooking?

53:09 – I’m at 8% body fat (using your 1 point method-video) and still have a considerable amount of fat around the bellybutton. Is this just really stubborn fat?

54:19 – You recommend Vitamin D3 and Omega 3. Do you need both?

57:06 – Why is the Legion Whey+ only 70% protein?

58:13 – I have heard that multivitamins do not dissolve well into the body. Is this true?

59:09 – Does Bigger Leaner Stronger work for Athletes? I am a Rower so its a mix of sprints and endurance.

1:01:05 – What do you think of the current season of True Detective?

1:02:15 – What is a good replacement multivitamin while Legion Triumph is out of stock?

1:03:27 – What do you recommend for people who get lower back pain/stiffness when doing traditional deadlifts? Would you recommend switching over to sumo deadlifts instead.

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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.

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  • raistrick

    It’s not necessarily just genetics that is controlling your growth (or lack thereof) if you give people the same diet and exercise plan (assuming their lifestyle is the same). You’ve got the whole complicated and largely unexplored world of epigenetics to consider also. So it isn’t just what is hard-coded into who you are, but how that hard-coded information is able/not to be expressed. This can come from your lifestyle before the test or even from your ancestors lifestyles.

    Because of this, it’s very hard to isolate any marker from potential confounders, particularly relating to diet. It would also be interesting to know what the polymorphism is that you cite from DNAfit; I’m interested to read whether they adjusted for any population stratification on the discovery of that marker, how big the sample size is, etc.

    • Epigenetics is a field of research that falls under genetics…

      You can check out my reports here:


      • raistrick

        Well, no, epigenetic isn’t *under* genetics, it’s over/outside of genetics (hence the epi-). And it’s fundamentally different, because it doesn’t *necessarily* mean you have inherited biological factors that are regularly affecting your interaction with environmental exposures.

        I make this point, because when people think of genetics they think of genetics, they think of it as stuff that they cannot control. Hence Mendelian Randomisation studies, where genetics can be used as a causal anchor.

        With epigenetics this is not always the case and we know comparatively very little yet about what effects common/rare variations in things like methylation, have on the population.

        We now have large scale arrays measuring this, but it takes a while for large cohort studies to obtain samples from different tissues at different time points, which can be used to interrogate the interaction between epigenetic variation and underlying genetic sequence or environmental exposure.

        So it’s possible that even if you did this study, you wouldn’t necessarily discover that the variant is actually in any way functional in the performance and not merely a marker that associates with a lifestyle (even if inherited) that is the true functional locus of increased performance. A locus that can be altered, unlike genetics, by exposure to interacting elements.

      • raistrick

        I’m skeptical about the use of genome-wide common variants from 23andMe by DNAfit as anything useful for people in sport. Their website lists many well-studied variants that have been top hits in GWAS (genome-wide association studies) – something I heard a nobel prize winner summarise in 2011 as “low input, high throughput, no output”. Much more work is to be done.

        Take their abstract for COL5A1 gene variant for example (PMID: 18443036): this highlights that research was conducted for two populations each with cases of Achilles tendinopathy, where they have controlled for ethnicity. However, they are in low numbers (520 cases and controls in in total; fewer in their more recent publication) and the p-values don’t appear low enough to declare a robust effect size either.

        Regardless, variants they refer to (one SNP alone and a pair as a haplotype) are in the 3′ UTR (untranslated region after the translated sequence of the mRNA). So the protein quality isn’t effected by this variant, therefore the effect is quantitative – more or less of the protein is generated.

        They’ve continued research into this and a more recent publication suggests “the secondary structure plays a role in the regulation of the COL5A1 mRNA stability and by implication type V collagen production”. In addition, they also identify more variants in COL5A1 which are independently associated with Achilles tendinopathy, as well as associated polymorphisms in MIR608, which interacts with this mRNA.

        Therefore there seem to be many variants in this pathway which may additively contribute to type V collagen production… so does your one marker stand for much as a test?

        Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that people are taking an interest in genetics and it’s likely as genome sequencing gets cheaper it will play an increasing role in medical care. But beware that you’re perhaps looking at low-hanging fruit, some of it potentially weak in effect or even spurious, when there is a whole tree of small effects that can amount to a big overall effect… pleiotropy, epigenetics, etc. See “Missing heritability problem”.

        Some of these organisations are no doubt pioneers that will eventually become the suppliers of clinical analysis platforms in the near future. I’m just not sure that now is quite the time for anything more than a bit of curiosity and not necessarily something you would wish to change your life by.

        • Thanks for sharing. You clearly know more about this subject than I do!

          I haven’t changed anything based on my reports. I just thought it was curious. 😉

  • Judd

    Another great podcast Mike! I’ve really been enjoying these. Keep up the good work!

  • Alex Wunder

    Mike, I am having some difficulty measuring my sodium and potassium intake to ensure that I am getting enough of each. I also want to ensure not too much of either simultaneously.

    As far as sodium goes I am trying to limit the process foods I eat and I estimate I eat between 2200-2500 mg sodium daily. I weigh only 143.5 (on one scale I use in the morning) or 146.9 (on another scale I use at the gym) so I figure I may not need as much as you with the 3-4 g sodium a day. On this note I should be fine.

    The potassium is what I am a tad worried about. I was wondering if you knew how much potassium was in a scoop of whey and casein protein? I daily eat a can of tuna with oil, 8-10 oz chicken, apple, broccoli, green beans, etc. I could throw a banana in there, but I am concerned that I may not be hitting 4 g potassium a day and that my levels may be a tad low.

    This may be just me being overly critical, but would you consider it wise to supplement with 1 g potassium as you do?

    For the record, my water retention really doesn’t seem to fluctuate much unless I really have a day where I ate an excess of processed foods. I generally try to keep my intake to small portions of a few processed foods a day max.

    Thanks as always,


    • Alex Wunder

      Also, love the podcasts definitely keep at them. Very informative and helpful.

    • Yeah 2 to 4 grams Na per day is totally fine.

      Hit up google for your K levels of your food. Again you don’t have to be accurate to the mg. I try to keep my K to within 500 mgs or so.

      Nothing wrong with supplementation.

  • Andres

    Hey Mike,
    I didnt’ make it to sign up for the Q&A; but I was wondering where Legion is with the Bone/tendon support supplement? In the meantime what brand would you recommend? I looked up source naturals and was either going for MPB osteo. w/ calcium (my total calcium is not where it should be) or Ultra bone balance; what do you think?

  • Zach Mitchem

    Is there a ETA for the new Watermelon Pulse?

  • MsJadensDad .

    Hey Mike. I believe it was in this podcast that you suggested you might do articles on adjusting one’s workout to focus on building a specific body part or two while maintaining everything else–I think that would be fantastic. Once I finish my cut (about 4-6 more weeks to go, I think), I was going to stray from BBLS a bit and focus on building my chest and abs while reverse dieting back up to a bulk (and just work on maintaining all other lifts). I just haven’t been able to put on the size I have been wanting, and a lot of my deficiencies I see are in my chest. I haven’t charted out my own plan to implement yet, so I’d be interested to see what total volume and rep ranges you’d suggest for focusing on chest (I’m not too worried about over training my abs). Thanks as always.

    • Yeah exactly. It’s on my list. For example, focusing on building the bench press over everything else, or increasing the deadlift or squat, and so forth.

      Remember, though, that gaining size requires proper dieting first and foremost. Check this out:


  • Andres

    Finally the perfect product with the right dosage ratios is here! No more needing to buy 3 separate supplements and consume 20 pills! Will forge be on amazon soon; is just my preference for buying things online. Also when will triumph return and when will the Green formula (can’t remember name but you mentioned it on a previous podcast) be ready!

    • Right!? Forge is available on Amazon right now. 🙂

      Triumph will be another few weeks. Believe it or not, I had to cancel my order with my manufacturer that was placed back in February…

      It’s being worked on now and should be back in about 4 weeks.

      We’re still getting the flavor down on Genesis, our greens product. I’d be happy to have it ready 4-6 weeks.

      • Andres

        Sorry I was talking about Fortify.?

        • Ah okay. Fortify is available on Legionathletics.com right now. It’ll be available on Amazon tomorrow.

  • Brian

    I have been doing the 3 day workout for about 6 months, my strength has stopped going up , should I be changing my workouts?

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