Muscle for Life



Hey! My name is Mike Matthews and I'm a bestselling health and fitness author, and creator of My mission is to empower people to take control of their health and fitness by following a healthy, enjoyable lifestyle that not only gives them the body they've always wanted, but enables them to live a long, vital, disease-free life.


  • The Best of Muscle For Life: Building Effective Habits, How to Clean Bulk, & Destructive Things You Should Stop Doing

    23/07/2021 Duração: 25min

    I’ve recorded hundreds of episodes of Muscle for Life on 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.

  • How Sara Used Thinner Leaner Stronger to Lose 55 Pounds and Get Ripped

    21/07/2021 Duração: 50min

    In this episode, I interview Sara, who read Thinner Leaner Stronger and used what she learned to go from obese (with a BMI of 32) to ripped at 18% body fat, while getting significantly stronger in the process. Before finding TLS, Sara was 190 pounds and a size 16 after having 4 kids, and was at her heaviest. She wanted to get in shape, but didn’t know the best way to go about it. She started to learn about calories and tracking her food intake through Noom, and the weight started to come off. Once a friend introduced her to TLS, though, she deepend her understanding of nutrition and most importantly, started to learn how to train. She stopped doing heaps of cardio, learned about progressive overload, and actually started to gain muscle and improve her body composition. Now she’s 135 pounds at 18% body fat, and significantly stronger than before with visible abs for the first time in her life. In this interview, Sara and I chat about her story, and the obstacles she navigated along the way, including how she c

  • Can Alpha-GPC Make You Stronger and Smarter?

    19/07/2021 Duração: 22min

    This podcast is all about alpha-GPC, which is one of my favorite supplements. That’s why you can kind it in my pre-workout Pulse and my nootropic Ascend. Alpha-GPC has promise as both a performance enhancer and a cognitive booster and preserver. It’s also well-tolerated with very few side effects, which is not something that can be said about a lot of other nootropic supplements. So, should you try alpha-GPC? Will it help you push a little bit harder in the gym without the side effects associated with stimulants? Find out in this podcast. Timestamps: 5:27 - What is Alpha-GPC? 8:36 - What are the power and strength benefits with supplementing with Aplha-GPC? 11:57 - What are the cognitive benefits with supplementing with Alpha-GPC? 14:23 - What are the growth hormone benefits with supplementing with Aplha-GPC? Mentioned on the Show: Shop Legion Supplements Here: Want free workout and meal plans? Download my science-based diet and training templates for men and women: https://

  • 12 Great Weightlifting Cues for Better Form & Performance

    16/07/2021 Duração: 23min

    I got a lot of great feedback on my previous podcast about weightlifting cues. In that episode, I covered my favorite cues for the squat, deadlift, and bench press. So, I thought I would do another episode covering the best cues for the front squat, overhead press, pull-up, chin-up, and the barbell row, which are some of my favorite exercises besides the “big three.” So, if you want to learn what weightlifting cues are, as well as my favorite cues for better form and performing better in the gym, listen to this episode! Timestamps: 2:19 - What is a cue? 8:17 - Front squat cues 11:24 - Overhead press cues 15:34 - Pull up and chin up cues 18:55 - barbell row and dumbbell row cues Mentioned on the Show: Books by Mike Matthews: Want free workout and meal plans? Download my science-based diet and training templates for men and women:

  • Brooke Ence on Getting “Superhero Fit” and Winning in Business

    14/07/2021 Duração: 01h04min

    In this podcast, I interview Brooke Ence, an entrepreneur, actress, and CrossFit icon, which she became after winning 1st place in the California Regional at the 2015 CrossFit Games (her first year competing, by the way). She looks the part too, which is how she’s garnered over 1.5 million followers on Instagram, and landed roles as an Amazon warrior in Wonder Woman, Justice League, and Black Lightning. Reaching this level of performance and maintaining the look isn't easy, of course, and in this episode, we chat about Brooke’s story and how she ended up here. Specifically, we talk about . . . Her history in sports and athletics How she got involved in CrossFit and what it was like training (alone) for the CrossFit Games The data and mindset required to perform at your peak Why you have to do more than just "show up" Genetics and natural talent versus drive Social media and vlogging And more . . . So if you want to learn how Brooke became the “superhero” she is today, check out this podca

  • Does DHEA Boost Testosterone Levels?

    12/07/2021 Duração: 20min

    Today we’re talking about DHEA supplements. This is a popular supplement because DHEA can influence your hormones. Many people believe if you can enhance your hormones, you can look better, perform better, feel better, and more. That’s true because healthy living can help optimize your hormones, which has beneficial downstream effects. You can also affect your hormonal profile through medications, synthetic hormones, and supplements, but most of the stuff that actually works is only available through a prescription. As far as supplements go, most “testosterone boosters” are junk. However, DHEA can raise your testosterone in certain conditions, which is what I’m going to talk about in this podcast. Timestamps: 7:00 - What is DHEA? 10:29 - What are the benefits of DHEA? 15:16 - What are the side effects of DHEA? 16:23 - What is the effective dose of DHEA? Mentioned on the Show: Books by Mike Matthews: Want free workout and meal plans? Download my science-based diet

  • Does Energy Flux Matter When Dieting?

    09/07/2021 Duração: 23min

    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 question: Does energy flux have any significant effects on fat loss and muscle retention? 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 [email protected] Mentioned on the Show: Shop Legion Supplements Here: Want free workout and meal plans? Download my science-based diet and training templates for men and women:

  • “Knees-Over-Toes-Guy” Ben Patrick on Fixing Painful and Dysfunctional Knees

    07/07/2021 Duração: 01h37min

    If you (k)need help with your knees (har har), this podcast is for you. That’s because I’m having a chat with Ben Patrick, also known as the Knees Over Toes Guy, and we’re talking all about improving knee function and pain. In case you’re not familiar with Ben, he’s taken the fitness world by storm with a seemingly controversial and contrarian stance on the old adage of never pushing your knees past your toes. So much so that he’s gained over 1 million followers across social media fast, and been featured on the Joe Rogan podcast. Ben gave up a career in college basketball to help people build strong, healthy knees, reduce knee pain, avoid surgery, and unlock their athletic potential. We’ll get more into his background in the interview, but after spending his teenage years riddled with chronic knee pain and getting knee surgery, he developed his own system to build bulletproof knees. Now he can perform impressive feats of lower body mobility and knee strength, and coaches everyone from to newbies dealing with

  • Here's Why You Should Track Your Reps in Reserve

    05/07/2021 Duração: 27min

    This podcast is all about reps in reserve (RIR). Specifically, I’ll discuss what that is and why you should be tracking it in your workouts. If you’re familiar with my work, you’re probably already tracking a lot of things: your body weight, how much weight you’re putting on the bar, your sets and reps, and more. One thing you’re probably not tracking, however, is reps in reserve. After your first 6 to 8 months of training and you’ve passed the newbie gains phase, reps in reserve becomes vital in your training. This is true whether you're using double progression or linear periodization. I’ve talked before about how to use reps in reserve and why I prefer it over RPE, but this episode is specifically about tracking RIR and how I’ve found it very beneficial. Timestamps: 3:35 - What are reps in reserve? 8:35 - Strength training and reps in reserve 15:25 - Isolation exercises and reps in reserve Mentioned on the Show: Shop Legion Supplements Here: Want free workout and meal plans?

  • How Joe Chura Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Lose Over 50 Pounds

    02/07/2021 Duração: 56min

    In this podcast, I interview Joe Chura, who used what he learned in Bigger Leaner Stronger to get healthy and fit, and improve his well-being. Before finding my work, Joe was climbing the ranks in the automotive industry and building his own dealership company, Dealer Inspire. Unfortunately, while he was successfully growing his business, he neglected his health, and things started to deteriorate. Between drinking a lot of alcohol, not making time to exercise, and work stress, he was more than 50 pounds overweight and developed health issues like WPW syndrome and had to have back surgery. Once he sold his companies, though, and nearly having a heart attack, he realized how important his health was. After all, what good was all his hard work if he worked himself to death? And that’s where my work comes in. Joe found and read Bigger Leaner Stronger and started following the workouts and improving his diet, which has helped him get fit and dramatically improve his everyday life. In this episode, we chat about .

  • Mark Bell on Finding His Calling and Becoming the “Meathead Millionaire”

    30/06/2021 Duração: 01h12min

    In this episode, I interview Mark Bell, also known as the "Meathead Millionaire” who invented the Sling Shot. In case you’re not familiar with Mark, he’s not only a successful entrepreneur, and inventor, but he’s a world ranked powerlifter (top 10 all-time with a total of 2,628 pounds), and the owner of Super Training Products Inc. He’s also the host of his own podcast (Mark Bell’s Power Project, on which I was recently a guest), and has a popular Youtube channel. For this interview, we originally planned to chat about powerlifting, but the conversation naturally diverted into a veritable bevy of other topics, which I think you’ll find interesting. Specifically, we talk about . . . Natty expectations, the power of steroids, and the best way to compete without drugs Testosterone levels and what happens once you start taking exogenous T How Mark likes to learn (it's not reading!) Finding your natural gifts and interests, developing them, and becoming "world class" Changing your mindset (why it's ha

  • The Best Arm Workouts for Building Mass

    28/06/2021 Duração: 37min

    This podcast is all about building your arms. Whether you’re a guy who wants to put on mass or a gal who wants more defined and toned arms, this episode is going to help. While most guys want arms as big as possible, and most women I’ve talked to care more about toning their arms than adding size, the solution is the same. You want to build muscle and strength in your arms, and reduce your levels of body fat. That’s the key. And the surprising truth for most women is they need a lot more muscle and strength in their arms than they realize. That is, they’re going to have to get a lot stronger and more muscular than the average woman who doesn’t train to get their desired look. That’s how you get sculpted, defined arms that aren’t big and bulky. Most arm workouts online are all about blitzing your biceps and triceps with huge amounts of volume and fancy techniques until you can no longer move your noodly appendages, which just isn’t as effective as what I’m going to share with you in this podcast. So, press pla

  • Does the Blood Type Diet Work?

    25/06/2021 Duração: 19min

    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 question: - What is the Blood Type Diet and should you follow it? 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 [email protected] --- Mentioned on the Show: Shop Legion Supplements Here: --- Want free workout and meal plans? Download my science-based diet and training templates for men and women:

  • How Thinner Leaner Stronger Helped the “Minny Hustlers” Get Their Fitness on Track

    23/06/2021 Duração: 55min

    In this episode, I interview Ann and Lo (also known as the Minny Hustlers on Instagram), who read Thinner Leaner Stronger and used what they learned to dramatically change their physiques and lives. Before finding TLS, Ann and Lo focused on what many women do--lots of cardio and lifting light weights. While they managed to prevent weight gain (the dreaded “freshman 15”...or 20...or 30), they didn’t know how to build the bodies they really wanted with toned arms and glorious glutes. Ever since they read the book in 2015 and learned what really moves the needle in terms of body composition, they’ve totally transformed their physiques, adding muscle in all the right places while stripping away fat, and building their strength to levels they had never seen before. And the best part is by working together, Ann and Lo were able to keep each other accountable and motivate one another to push through the tough times. They also used what they learned in the book to become Legion Athletes and launch their own Instagram

  • How to Use Double Progression to Gain Muscle & Strength Faster

    21/06/2021 Duração: 29min

    In this podcast, you’re going to learn about double progression, which is one of the best progression systems you can use. In fact, double progression has been part of my programs since 2012, and it’s still what I recommend today. So, in this episode you’re going to learn what double progression is, how to implement it in your training, how it differs from other types of progression, and how to get more out of it to gain muscle and strength faster. And if you’re not currently using double progression in your workouts, you’re definitely going to find this episode helpful. Timestamps: 0:00 - Intro 4:01 - What is double progression 4:46 - How does double progression work? Mentioned on the Show: Shop Legion Supplements Here: Books by Mike Matthews: Want free workout and meal plans? Download my science-based diet and training templates for men and women:

  • Says You! Collagen Protein vs. "Heavy-Metal-Infested" Whey Protein

    18/06/2021 Duração: 27min

    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 s

  • Jason McCarthy on Transforming Our Body and Life with Rucking

    16/06/2021 Duração: 01h09min

    In this podcast, I chat with Jason McCarthy, the CEO and founder of GORUCK, a company that creates rucking gear and hosts events to build communities and empower people. This interview isn’t about how to get started with rucking (I already have one about that). Instead it’s about Jason’s story, including why he started GORUCK and how it developed and grew over time. While GORUCK sells loads of high-quality rucking gear now (rucksacks, footwear, and apparel tested by Special Forces combat veterans), and has hosted over 1,000 events worldwide, things weren’t always so peachy for the company, or for Jason personally. In this episode, we discuss . . . Jason’s Special Forces training and serving in Iraq Being a team player being part of something bigger than yourself The importance of investing in relationships and how he worked through marriage issues How he got started with designing rucksacks and turned GORUCK from a hobby into a business How he faced certain death in the business and figured out how

  • What Supplements Can Improve Your Focus?

    14/06/2021 Duração: 30min

    In this podcast, you’re going to learn about supplements that can help you focus better. The ability to control your attention and focus for extended periods of time is one of the most important metaskills. That is, it’s a skill that makes other skills better. Mastering your attention and eliminating distractions can make a big difference in your life. You can train your ability to focus with meditation or use techniques like Pomodoro to accomplish more deep work. You can also address your environment, tipping the scales in your favor to accomplish goals faster and easier. Your internal environment plays a role too. You can also get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat well, which will all help boost your brain power. The last part of the equation is supplementation. Are there any supplements scientifically-validated to improve your ability to focus? Find out in this episode. Timestamps: 7:00 - What do you mean by focus? 10:43 - What supplements enhance focus? Mentioned on the Show: Books by Mike Matth

  • Here's Exactly How I'm Training Right Now

    11/06/2021 Duração: 01h13min

    Many people who follow me on Instagram after reading my book Bigger Leaner Stronger have been asking about my workouts lately. That’s because I’ve been posting my daily workouts in my stories, and what I’ve been doing doesn’t match my recommendations in BLS. Naturally, this causes a bit of confusion. So, what exactly am I doing in the gym, and why? Why am I not following my own program? Well, I am. I’m following Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger, which is my book for intermediate and advanced weightlifters. The workout routine in BLS is great for beginners, but if you’ve already gained your first 25 pounds of muscle and want to gain the remaining 15 pounds or so you have left before hitting your genetic ceiling, you want to follow Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger. So for this podcast, I’m going to share with you a chapter from my Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger audiobook where I break down the program in detail and explain how it works and how to do it. So if you want to know exactly how I’m training and see if it’s s

  • Joelle Samantha on Overcoming Orthorexia

    09/06/2021 Duração: 54min

    If you like fresh content on a subject I haven't touched on before, you're going to love this episode. That's because I'm chatting with Joelle Samantha all about orthorexia, which is an eating disorder that focuses on food quality and “purity.” With more people entering the fitness game every year and consumers becoming more conscious of what they put into their bodies, many people are paying more attention to what they eat. For many people, this is a good thing. But with a greater focus on food quality, tracking food, and clean eating than ever before, and misinformation and fad diets abound, it's not too surprising that orthorexia and other types of similar eating disorders are on the rise. So, what causes orthorexia, how does it manifest in daily life, and what can people do about it? Joelle is here to help answer these questions. In case you're not familiar with her, Joelle has a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology and is an educator specializing in women’s health, nutrition, and physique development. S

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