Advanced training programming considerations [Revive Stronger Podcast]

Lots of interesting material for serious lifters on this podcast! We talk about dealing with injuries, new findings on stretch-mediated hypertrophy, ideal step counts, training programming for advanced lifters and my cost-benefit analysis of using steroids. Enjoy!




  • 01:52 Maintaining muscle mass when injured, squats, bench and deadlifts for hypertrophy
  • 05:13 Preferred squatting variations; stretch-mediated hypertrophy
  • 08:34 Are DB flies any good?
  • 13:24 How new studies on ROM have changed Menno’s programming
  • 20:54 Does stretch mediated-hypertrophy apply to every muscle group?
  • 27:33 Training different muscle fiber types
  • 33:18 Different rep ranges for different exercises
  • 36:52 Upper limit of step counts
  • 38:47 What causes edema
  • 41:38 Preferred way to peak clients for shows
  • 45:50 Loading fats in peak?
  • 49:13 Tracking complete vs incomplete protein
  • 52:39 How to track muscle gain
  • 58:14 Ever considered going on steroids? (Surprising answer)
  • 01:04:11 What’s next for Menno?


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Automated transcript

This is an automatically generated transcript of the podcast.

Steve 0:04

Hi guys, welcome back to the revived stronger podcast. I’m your host, as always Steve Hall and today I’ve met Noah back on the podcast, we get a little bit of an update on how his back is going because he’s had an injury there for an extended period of time. And then we dig into some of your questions, which by the way, I always gather over on my Instagram revive stronger over on IG, if you want to get that it’ll be on my story at some point when I have these kind of q&a with some of these guests. So if you want to get in on that, be sure to be following me and checking my stories out regularly because these happen all the time. So some of the questions we covered today with meadow included, has he ever considered going on steroids? Really, really interesting reply to that? How does he like to pique his clients for the stage? Is there an importance to tracking complete versus incomplete proteins? Lots and lots of great questions and of course really great nuanced answers from men. Oh, and guys, if you do enjoy the podcast, please do remember, subscribe if you are on Youtube, or if you’re on Spotify, or the like. Be sure to subscribe over there. If you can review us over on Spotify. Give us a five out of five. Come on to YouTube. Give us a nice comment. Really appreciate it. And share this with anyone you think might be interested but without further ado, let’s get into the chat

Steve 1:23

Hi guys, welcome back to the revived stronger podcast. I’m your host as always Steve Hall and today I’ve met Menno  on the podcast again for another chat. don’t happen to my brain. They’re kind of I hit pause and I’m gonna go with it. Menno,  I just said I was we’re talking off there. I’d love to hear kind of injury update. I know last time we spoke those kind of no clear diagnosis or anything like that. I don’t know if that’s important. I’m hoping it’s improved time generally is a great healer so I guess are here now.

Menno 1:51

It’s improved a lot. Not in terms of having a diagnosis. But in terms of being pain free doing pretty much everything now except spots and deadlifts, squats and deadlifts are kind of pain free but the last time I tried squats pretty much immediately after like a few hours I got like slides playing again. So I was like okay, taking some more time off that because after a year of paying right now I’m just happy to be being free during most things and squats and others can wait a little bit longer. So I’m pretty happy it’s also nice experience to train without squats and deadlifts. It certainly reduces the effort of the sessions massively. Even when equating for all the volume which is interesting. Instead of squats you have to do like three exercises to kind of make up the volume that squats or deadlifts will do. But even that’s easier I find than squats or deadlifts there are really brutal chest exercises.

Steve 2:46

Do you think one is better than the other? Or do you think it’s kind of equivocal if you kind of want to regulate it so you’ve got the equivalent volume and things

Menno 2:54

that mean based on my weights? I’ve been able to maintain muscle mass surprisingly well, I would say only losing a little bit in the glutes on erector spinae FM, but also maintain that much easier than I thought especially because for months I could do essentially nothing for those muscle groups, nothing more than the very indirect stimulation that they get from like laterals and the like, you know and based on my way now, which has also been going on for a few months. I would say that’s quite some deadlifts. But I’m pretty much back to my previous body composition maybe maybe a little bit worse but pretty much the same, I think, at least in terms of like weight weights, body fat percentage does.

Menno 3:39

So I would say there’s there’s no difference from bodybuilding perspective. I don’t think you need squats and deadlifts. I’d say two parts in general are pretty. I mean, they’re great exercises, in particular to bench press and squat deadlift for bodybuilding purposes. I wouldn’t say so. Much but they’re not necessary. And I think a lot of people put too much mental focus on those. I mean, it’s very common for my clients to report that they spend basically half the session on the four sets of squats, and then they spend the other half of the session on the other 20 sets of the session. Yeah, that’s kind of like it this year, basically boiled down. I used to try and put some volume or leg days like maybe some delts or some arms or something by trying almost keep it exclusively just like basically quad and hamstring kind of compounds and isolations otherwise, those sessions even though it’s like half the Set volume, they take double the time just because it’s so exhausting to recover from like a single set of even I’m doing smith machine squats and even though I’m just like, man, they completely tire me out massively. Yeah, for that reason. I also don’t put that lifts on squats on the same day with very few exceptions. Is just to Rudel. I think the quality of the workout just goes down right down the drain so fast that it’s almost always better to put them on separate days. No matter if you have to name your split something different, you know, it’s not a neat, push pull or whatever it is. Yeah, just put them on different sessions. You’ll be glad you did. Yeah, for sure. And of interest with the when you’re talking about squats, do you ever preferred kind of I’m thinking it’s the free bar, like a barbell squat? Is it kind of high bar squat, low bar squat, you have a preference for kind of what you think’s more ideal for hypertrophy.

Menno 5:23

Other I don’t think the differences are massive. There’s a slight difference in res motion. So you know, the traditional saying high bar and then He’ll lift for class and a low bar more for glutes. It may it makes a little bit of sense in terms of his motion, but whether that’s actually going to make a difference if you look at the actual joint ranges of motion, the exercise looks and feels quite different. It feels very different. It looks a little different. But if you actually measure the joint degrees of range of motion, and torques and the muscle activity at least based on EMG the differences are small very small. It’s like you’re doing two different variations like medium versus medium wide grip bench press or something. They’re really not big differences. And in fact, in terms of EMG research, finds no significant differences between even phone squats and low bar squats, because it’s still the same muscles performing the same functions. And they can kind of compensate for each other as well. So to the extent that there will be differences in the joint torques, the muscles can kind of compensate also in squats, you know, you can stay a little bit more upright if your quads are strong or be a little bit more hip dominant if your hips are stronger. So I don’t think the differences are going to be major ended his motion differences also. Yeah, I don’t think they’re gonna be big because it’s such a small difference in resolution and what we see from the research on stretch period at Berkeley. It doesn’t appear super crucial to really Max up next out on the passive tension or stretch the UK it’s kind of you get the benefit as long as you hit long muscle EMS and there’s good tension there. And then, based on the few studies we have at the moment, it doesn’t seem Belfry important to really hammer down on the stress position like one study by noon yes at all from Brazil, I’m guessing based on them that they did, essentially cable versus Dumble preacher curls, and they got similar results and the dumbbell curl really hammers down on the stretch media partly because you get your arm stretched and you got the big tension all the way in the stretch position. there’s essentially no more tension even when you fully lift the Dumble and then the cable will provide some more even resistance curve. And that seems sufficient, please based on that one. Study and then we have one more study by Veronica Weimar housing, we’re in a housing whatever. Last year was 21. And they it was a crappy study, but they looked at leg presses, either just the bottom, which is an interesting study design or the full range of motion and they also got similar results. But both groups essentially get no muscle mass. So it’s hard to say that we can really read much into that because that’s what you sometimes have an exercise science, you’re comparing zero and zero. So that’s responsible for a lot of new findings, I think.

Steve 8:20

No, absolutely. And actually, this is great because it kind of leads on to actually no it doesn’t. I was thinking of a question that I had no way I can ask about it wasn’t actually one of the ones that came through talking about kind of the the research that’s come out about kind of stretch mediated hypertrophy, but one of them was actually what do you think of dumbbell flyes because he was basically saying people went off them due to the kind of lack of tension up in that shortened position. And now evidence is showing that kind of stretch mediated hypertrophy is like quite important and you get a really big stretch, I guess, similar to that preacher curl to the kind of cable Preacher Curl example. So it was like, Do you think a dumbbell flyes a good movement? How does it compare to a cable? What’s your kind of thoughts on that?

Menno 8:59

Yeah, I definitely favored a lot more now than they used to. Because the research on stretch media there is quite clearly shown that it’s responsible for the majority of the benefits of training for a full range of motion. Like we we did, you really weren’t really sure why floorings Motion training was superior. There were some theories. And it’s like regional hypertrophy probably still plays a role. But, I mean, we did have research showing it increases muscle activity and IGF one production. But it wasn’t really clear mechanistically what triggered all of that and now we do have pretty solid date. I think that stretch media portfolio, which is more apt name for the phenomenon that you get more growth along muscle aches. The two primary explanations for that are likely passive tension. In particular, I think theater Titan myofilaments, which is essentially spring loaded. They’re an eccentric muscle contraction to long legs, but also just the passive tension of reaching muscle lengths to some degree, I think data is more important than the actual pure stretch. And then at least in novice lifters, probably some contribution of muscle lengthening. So the increase in sarcomeres in series met literally making the muscle fast goes longer, rather than making the muscle thicker by adding sarcomeres in parallel. So double flies, in that sense, score very well in terms of stretch media, virtually. Yeah, they neglect the top part almost completely. But if we look at that numerous example, they would be the equivalent of the Dumble preacher curl. So released, they probably hold their own. Now, I would still favorite cable because again, drawing on the analogy from the linear study, like a Bayesian fly a cable fly. It’s probably produces equal growth that you get more equal potential for other means motion and for fly. I’d say that’s particularly important because the injury risk with a double fly I think, is a lot higher. Not just a strain on the backs or something but also the backs or the shoulders. Shoulders are quite precarious position. In the bottom position, especially the combination of full abduction plus full back stretch is for a lot of people with shoulder injuries and even people just without shoulder injuries. problematic and if you if you can get rid of that position, which it can partly do by not abducting as much so instead of being like a full guillotine, you can slightly tuck the elbows, which many people intuitively don’t do, but they do it for practice, but don’t flies, but actually the same applies if you want to protect the shoulder. But still Yeah, if you can use a cable once slightly reduce that risk. Without probably compromising on muscle growth. I’d still generally favor that.

Steve 11:45

Yeah, that makes that makes a ton of sense. And he’s interesting to think, because I guess again, intuitively, my mind is set on Okay, so if long muscle lengths seem to be kind of more hypertrophic versus the short, surely kind of biasing the load there. And the kind of even matching kind of, I guess, strength profiles of the muscles is important, but the literature doesn’t seem to be kind of supporting that you need to worry about doing that sort of thing.

Menno 12:09

Yeah, and especially, I think if you just have some exercises that really hit the stretch position, well, it’s probably enough that you don’t have to go overboard and that all exercises do that. Another thing is that we don’t have read literature on this, but it’s quite likely that an exercise like flight extends to the recovery time of it, because it can induce more muscle damage. And if it doesn’t induce more growth, but it does do more muscle damage. And the stimulus to fatigue ratio might be worse. So even if it does induce like a little bit more growth, you have to wait as against, couldn’t you rather spend that those recovery resources on other exercises and thereby get more gains because you can keep accumulate more total volume? And that’s where I pick an exercise like hip thrusts, which kind of fall by the wayside. It’s based on the stretch media dystrophy research. They do really well because they don’t burn you up as much. So you can accumulate a lot of volume with exercise like a pressed without getting injured without like, so long recovery times, etc.

Steve 13:16

And I guess, a question I would have as a whole with the research that’s come out, and obviously Milo Wolff released his meta analysis has that influenced your programming at all? Or has it made you make any changes to way that you might do things?

Menno 13:31

So we have two new systematic reviews, one meta analysis, one new systematic review, and they I mean, they have similar conclusions. One the systematic review is a little bit more conservative, probably the meta even said essentially, like just the data show in the analysis. That’s the focusing on long muscle length actually results in more gross muscle growth, the full range of motion training, but it’s basically only based on the low side study, which is where the leg extensions and then the bottom outperformed for as motion but there are quite some issues with that they weren’t training to failure. They were, I believe on trans women. And he’s not well trans women. And they, it really depends on the leg extension machine because some leg extension machines just have like no resistance in the bottom. And then it’s like yeah, and that’s it. Also, they added I think I’m not sure what the exact time I think it was 20 to 50% more weight or something like it was a substantial amount of extra weights that they could list by only doing the bottom part. And then it’s like, yeah, if your machines like that, maybe it’s better to emphasize the stretch, but probably if you have a good mistake machine, you lean back to lengthen director smores inherently and you train to failure which inherently makes you utilize the or close to failure makes you utilize the entire race portion more. I think you’re gonna be a lot closer in terms of stimulation. So I wouldn’t put too much stock into that and but the studies themselves when they were published definitely changed my view on things to particularly the think Japanese research group that did the two studies on the laterals, showing that seated laterals like outright outperform lying leg curls. That was I think, a game changer study. And then the Pedraza study was like, okay, maybe I could see people taking this too far based on this result. And the union is not sure if they get an answer for those. I think they can shortly after, which kind of put a damper on it’s like, shall I Okay, we don’t have to go all in on the strategy at least it’s not evidence that we should. So an N word warehouse or wherever and whatever they, they will also around that time. So we’re a lot of lot of studies that’s kind of like I see people shifting the pendulum a loss based on the original two studies on the leg extensions and leg curls. But then the next slide is after that’s kind of, yeah, put things a little bit more into perspective. You often see that in research where history kind of develops in a pendulum like fashion where we go from one dogma or one way of thinking and then we have new research and personal people accepted but then it’s like, when you do accept it, we go all the way to the other sides, and then we find out in the end, okay, the truth is kind of in the middle. Yeah. So I think that also kind of kind of happened with yeah, like I said, exercises like it has meaningfully changed my exercise selection, especially for people with own gyms. Whereas before, I would try to avoid exercise like dumbbell flyes. And the preacher curls. Now I’m like, yeah, if we, if we can do those actually, probably that’s fine. And maybe I even fold them in sometimes for variation. So I’m definitely utilizing and also paying a lot more attention than making sure that every muscle group is benefiting at least on one exercise, preferably more from stretch media Wi Fi, because a lot of programs they don’t they take this knowledge but they don’t really apply it. Then for the biceps, for example, they will do something like chin ups, barbell curls, dumbbell curls. Okay, that seems like a pretty complete typical traditional bicep training. They were programmed, whatever. But there’s no exercise in there that really stretches the biceps well as long legs. So you would be probably much better off changing that to like, Bayesian curl that will preacher curl, and then chin ups are fine as a compound exercise, but chin ups alone are not going to cut it’s probably

Steve 17:35

Yeah, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I guess maybe, with at least for me, it made me look at like lateral raises quite a lot with the dumbbells being kind of no tension, I guess, because you’re, as Catherine pointed out, to me, that kind of initial movement is kind of your your firing inertia at that bottom point. But if you’re just static holding it there, it’s just gravity down. There’s no initial starting tension, whereas now with a cable so I focus a little bit more on kind of tables for my lateral raises, but I think it’s nice that you kind of described, I did see the industry in some areas swing to the kind of long muscle events and it does seem like it’s kind of coming a little bit more back in Central. So that’s interesting, and it’s also good for you to emphasize because I have seen again, I guess it comes from this new kind of resurgence of biomechanics became very popular and people are looking at these kinds of small degrees of freedom and you are talking about if you’re like a little bit more lengthened in this position, it’s not like it’s night and day or it’s very marginal gains. So I don’t know if you’re not going out of your way to kind of extend the stretch on every single muscle and I guess there is a point of which where you can be too stretched as well, where you can’t produce as much force and things like this.

Menno 18:44

Yeah, that’s that’s very interesting. We, if you’ve got to pass if insufficiency for example, you get to a point where passive tension is extremely high, but active tension is near zero. And that’s an area where I think we just we just need more research. Like I would really like a long term study to compare true stiff legged deadlifts, versus Romanian deadlifts, because I’m currently more on the Romanian deadlift fence based on much higher active tension and maybe your best is a combination that you can kind of do both. But yeah, it would be interesting to see, based on this research that would put give more credibility to the stiff legged deadlifts in the sense of stimulating probably more stretch me to the periphery, but then again, is it actually more or do you hit a ceiling effect? And while the active tension is certainly going to be a favorable Romanian deadlifts, with with the knee being allowed to bend slightly, but yeah, that would be something where we just want to study and I’m going to collaborate on a study that’s going to start pretty soon next year where we compare a prostate versus squats. And that’s also going to be extremely interesting, I think, because we have to one resilience study, which seems to show that squats are superior to hip thrusts. But then yeah, that research will turn out to have a lot of essentially outright fraud data, or most likely outright fraud data. Incredible is to the point of most likely being fraud it I’m not sure if that protects me more legally than but it’s most people think it’s fraud. And the if so it depends on can we trust the data to begin with? Yeah. And yeah, it will help a lot to have independent replication of that, because that’s also going to tell us a lot whether so what are the EMG researches probably do something better to go by or whether it’s really the rays portion of the stretch that we need to bank on. So I think that’s it’s a great study, because whatever the outcome, we’re

Steve 20:43

gonna learn from it. Yeah. No, I’m very interested in that. And that’s actually another question I had was where your head was with. If this kind of stretch mediated hypertrophy applies to every muscle group or if you think it’s specific because a lot of muscles have been tested through resistance training, some have been tested just through like stretching them, and they’ve seen growth that way. So I don’t know not every muscle has been tested, though. So I don’t know where your head is whether if it if it is something you can kind of apply as, like a rule towards every muscle group or not.

Menno 21:12

Yeah, so there’s this ID, which I think traces back to Chris personally, because I’m not sure Well, speed. Extensively wrote on it that some muscle groups don’t benefit from stretch media purchasing. And I have no trouble calling me out because he blocked me and he doesn’t want the inputs. So you’re in fighting it. And it’s basically based on pure theory, like he theorized that you have to be on the descending limb of the length tension relationship. thing, that’s the theory like you have to get weaker essentially. Which which kind of makes sense. Like, if you’re, it will increase passive tension on the muscle. Like if you’re, you’re basically the theory says you’re you’re going to such lengths but the muscle is becoming weaker. And as a result, there’s also more passive tension and less active tension, but more passive tension on the muscle, and that’s what’s driving the stretch media dystrophy. But if you look at the research on which muscles we see stretch media production that includes the biceps and biceps is actually strongest in atomic composition at besides just extra bows, which is I think, why it’s extra important to train that position like stretch position, because there’s the highest active and passive tension in the case with the biceps, which is why dumbbell and barbell curls really fill on both ends to optimally stimulate the biceps. And, yeah, there’s really no way to to explain that based on that theory. And it’s quite consistent because it used to be just a Pinto study, which found all the trends, and it’s funny in the meta analyses, like the systematic review said like the Pitta Pinto study was clear, no finding, but then I was like, the effect size was way bigger and a p value was like point nine or something. So it was it was a it was a even a statistically trends. And I think, not clear but definitely evidence of full range of motion being superior to partial range of motion. And then we had, quite recently we had the study showing that muscle growth was three times as large when training, I’m not sure if it was isometrics or partial is motion I think partially as motion essentially curls. It long legs for the short lines, there was like a lot more of like, three times more based on some measure two times more on other measures. So no one study you can ever extrapolate that to saying that in every one is going to be like two to three times more growth. It’s common for single studies to overestimate estimate effect sizes, but clearly it’s meaningful, it’s not going to be zero. So I’m going to be 2% is going to be a real number of interest. So I don’t think it’s, I think it will certainly vary per muscle group. But I don’t think there are muscle groups that don’t benefit at all and other muscle groups that do, I think, exercise or muscle groups like pecs, maybe but in particular hamstrings and calves. Those can probably benefit a lot like all the research we have on pure stretch media that bird fee as an apostrophe that’s done, or that’s achieved purely by static stretching. We could also have an explosion of studies in that last two years. They’re pretty much only casts and also an untrained individuals, but the calves are really easy to get to pass if insufficient, so you can learn from them so much that the calves cannot produce course. And even it goes surprisingly fast even if you walk out of the normal gait. So if you’re walking during these motions during walking, desegregate cycle, you go out of that you’re very quickly going to pass on insufficiency. And you essentially it’s the soleus that’s doing most of the work and just rebounds from the Achilles tendon and the like. So those muscles I think you’re gonna you’re gonna put a lot of passive tension on those kinds of muscle groups to hamstrings, the calves, so probably, there’s more potential for stretch me to depart puffy. But that fact that we see it even in biceps, which would theoretically not should not show much, or based on Chris’s theory, at least, should not show much growth. I think it will be applicable to most muscle groups, maybe something like the traps that’s like, what you know, what’s the reason most you can get into traps?

Steve 26:22

Yeah, no I that makes a lot of sense that some muscle groups might benefit more than others but it’s probably kind of a holistic thing across the board that stretch mediated hypertrophy applies across muscle groups. And yeah, when you think about this on muscles, I guess that is quite similar at the muscles that are at least the hamstrings Zuken example they get sore very easily and damage quite easily and they can get stretched very easily like any hip hinge. Even seated leg curls if you have as good seated dicho you can get your hamstring sore through that whereas like I’m thinking like traps delts they’re quite hard to get in a stretch position. They’re also quite hard to get so even, I mean lats can sometimes for some people I think they get kind of sore but a lot of back kind of pulling movements. I know that prayer does stretch the lights pretty damn well. But a lot of back movements don’t get like a huge stretch on the lats. So yeah, it’s it’s very interesting stuff anyway, and it’s great to get your perspective on it because, again, it’s kind of like the new thing in the industry. I think a little bit in terms of like, it’s the kind of newest bit of science that’s come out that I’ve seen at least that’s been quite interesting and applicable across the board to like, programming and things like this so we can get to another question unless you have anything more on that one.

Menno 27:28

Let’s keep moving.

steve 27:30

So the next question is, I know I’ve actually heard you talk about this previously, and I’m not sure if your perspective has changed. What I haven’t heard you talk about it recently was this idea of training kind of different muscle fiber types. So kind of trying to train a fast twitch muscle fiber versus slow twitch, can we target different muscle fibers by our programming?

Menno 27:49

Yeah, I’ve actually come to some sort of revelation quite a while ago, but I don’t think I’ve written about it much. That’s if you look at the research, the research is simply very mixed. Look at the Russian literature. It’s clear, it’s very clear, not just in one study, but multiple studies that high reps target the type one fibers more low reps, target the type two fibers more and then the American literature was like one or two studies found a trend and then there was basically no finding no finding no finding no difference, no difference. Even the studies have very different designs. So then people are like, Yeah, okay, I think it’s just complete BS in Russian literature just doesn’t make any sense. But then we’ve got the studies showing with blood flow restriction training, we can actually induce type one specific muscle fiber hypertrophy, which is also interesting because water restriction is you could kind of think, well, it’s, you’re restricting blood flow, so it’s more anaerobic. So surely it’s the type two fibers that grow more because they don’t need oxygen. But, you know, it seems to be still the type one fibers that you grow more still. In fact, the longer duration over time and attention, like seem to lack of recovery probably also have to type two fibers. And then I was looking at the studies and reading them again. And it dawned on me, what are the Russian studies and blood flow restriction type training have in common? Very limited relaxation, because the Russian studies all use no way they call it like no relaxation training, whereas the English translation closest to the Russian the Soviet kind of keeping the tension on the muscle and not pausing whereas the American studies did they produce normal tempos, which actually in studies produced quite slow tempos artificially slow, I would say, like four second eccentric, you read it on paper, you’re like, oh, yeah, makes sense. And then you do it. Try doing a four second eccentric. You’re like, oh my god, this takes forever. So I think it’s the normalization part that’s making a difference. And that means basically, yeah, reps can probably stimulate type one dominance, or preferential muscle growth in the type one fibers. If you’re kind of keeping the tension on the muscle and doing like pump work. So that’s, and then the question is, is there still some difference between like a normal vertical RAM and a five run? Maybe? I think you’d have to go into the range of like, 123 RM Max five RM to get type two preferential growth. With maybe then it’s more that the time and attention is too short for the type one fibers rather than that it’s better for type two fibers. So I don’t think that’s like a winning scenario. But yeah, that might be a way we can achieve it. I think the main thing, I mean, the other thing I learned about it, or my change in my practice is that quite quickly abandoned the ID post by what I read my original articles I thought, based on my Poliquin and Thibodeau interview was my first article actually, that arose publicly. I was like pretty big on muscle fibers specific hypertrophy. I thought it would be like there was all the rage at the time and the theory theory did like it makes a lot of theoretical sense. But just doesn’t really pan out and research and was like, like I said, No finding a funnel finding. So I quite quickly abandoned the idea there was like really important, but then we had other findings showing. It does like your muscle fiber type. If you read for example, Epstein’s, the sports gene, it’s really interesting how top level coaches and alike saw big differences in the training practices required for sprinters in the marathon runners. And if they use different methods for the the use for the marathon runners, they use it on sprinters and if you get injured, they’re gonna get hurt. They couldn’t recover. And so that suggests that there is clearly something going on. And then there’s other research showing. Yeah, muscle fiber type. Percentage barely influences the how many reps you can do at a given percentage of one run. But things like capillary density do, and some people do that. Okay. Yeah, so almost fiber typing doesn’t matter. But then it doesn’t. Maybe capillary density is also important. So it’s just a different mechanism, but it still means that different rep ranges might have different effects. If not on muscle hypertrophy directly, then on recovery times. We also have another study showing that specifically in the type two fibers or people with more type two. Numerous other research.


With more type two fibers or muscles reported numbers, if the higher reps, the recovery time was louder but if the low reps it didn’t matter. So that would basically mean that the four super fast pitch elements would have a hard time, which also kind of a disclosure found the interval of time during my work work, because it’s going to destroy so I think based on these facts, they my methods basically always use percentages, but I won’t say it is also 80%. And then, if somebody can be tall for us, they need us for time off others we need to be short capillaries. We really hate low reps and you like higher reps, whatever the thought is that most people are getting better at science transcending adaptations. From the thing that they are better at, regardless of whether it’s, like, genetically suited for it.  So I think the methods can still make sense. But the rationale has changed a lot.

Steve 33:22

That makes them into a lot of sense. I think when you work with a number of clients, see between people, and in some ways is a little bit unfortunate, because quite often it’s that people were very, very jacked and I’m genocide and they just respond very well from lower volumes, or that ranges towards us. The dice are a bit more ectomorphic Maybe a bit more like myself. I don’t know if I should even use them tomorrow. But it was worth it. But then they find also challenging to kind of play referee just just seemed to pick them up better, I guess stimulus to fatigue ratio. I guess that’s your kind of practice. We take those. But if we use maybe bites or training to the rep range where you’re just giving up it’s working better for you in order to just mindlessly going through repetitions or it’s not just like crushing your joints and ligaments and things. It’s feeling well at the muscle.

Menno 34:12

Yeah, it also makes a big difference. Which is not always the increments between weights but women experience for real time progress. Often. I’ve seen multiple times like a man, if you’re getting stuck on 15 or more the easiest way to get unstuck is to start being like yo is our training intensity which can have trouble concentrating or better gets loose and stuff and that’s the most important thing before them. I’ve actually seen the opposite up in Alaska where they get stuck on 51 and we intensify and they just get washed out. But then when they get stuck at like 4am I think he’s locked out on a plane. So the first thing and then progress because anyway it’s such a big step. If you want to do lots of things, for example, insulin spikes, it’s impossible. It’s a wondrous jumping. So I’m familiar with the lowest paid agencies can be private, to your school to high level, but not always is maybe you left for Facebook just kind of struggles pretty difficult for lunch, and then the incremented weights which was 2.5 pounds, five pounds. It’s still hard and then increasing reps.They do a lot better and it might have to do with Joe to be more codominance quicker recovery, but I think also simply be decisive people it’s like, you know, 14 to 59. So very different small percentage.. Whereas if you’re working with  small percentages., pipelines it’s a perfect it’s just a mostly practical matter.


Steve 35:56  Yeah  the practical thing is huge, especially on people we’re trying to add load every week to isolation basically printers often it’s a 10 20% jump so you’re gonna drop t so many reps like you’re going to fall out the rep range of inner strength rep range, it was it was also wrong. So I’ve been sort of the same now and I guess he has another point. Not only might it differ between individuals, even muscle groups as well, but you found that with yourself and your own training as well. So muscles respond better to separate ranges.

Menno 36:28

That we know that muscle groups differ in terms of classified composition, density, and all the other factors responsible for however you actually can do over a given percentage. cost differences, motion and just overall strength level and nature. isn’t perfect, but it sounds like different muscle groups. Possibly your advantages are.

Steve 36:56

The next question is. Is  there a step that might be so high that it can limit  muscle growth ? I think this individual is doing 30,000 steps a day.

Menno  37:06

So yeah, I mean, just actually read an email from a clients who said that she has a shoebox activity. She also has a standing desk, and then she found out what a beautiful day actually says, but some edema  in her feet and so she put implants of stockings and socks is you can see her legs are strong. I think at that level is probably going to take up some of your recovery resources. So yes, yes I don’t think we’re gonna have an interference effect or anything but yeah, if you just do enough volume, it’s gonna be special damage. So we can look at muscle growth. The other factors, but I definitely think it’s possible and it will probably be mostly specific to the lower body. You ever taken off because of resources loss? I blog about it? Maybe a little bit. But I think it’s certainly possible.

Steve 38:06

That makes a lot of sense. And the edema is something I’ve experienced and I’ve always put it as like a stress response at that point. Also, I guess it’s cooling because you’re stood a lot of the day but I think there’s also about from the sounds of things you’re thinking as a stress response.


And also, the choice will be pulling from just yesterday and so I think it’s gonna be a stress response.

Steve 38:31

Perfect. Yeah, I guess that’s something I used to experience. I’ve got better I think prepping so I haven’t experienced as much edema through my contest burps but that’s something I used to have a real problem with was the edema around the ankles, and I could only put it down to the straps. I thought it maybe it was other things but only since I’ve been stressing I’ve seen the number go through that. In fact, I’m going to ask this question because I’m, if I’m going to send this to Connor because he’s just completed his so who I follow online and he got this response to the edema and he wanted someone in the know to explain what is exactly going on with the kind of stress of salts why it is working and what is cortisol doing to lead to potentially kind of that facility opens up I’m just going to put it to you because I think youre the person to ask.

Menno 39:17

So you have two different types of edema. One is central everywhere. It’s called by for example, what was the first in practice barefoot so like is it gonna be higher on average, especially for clients or sizes effects is going to be as simple as that. So everything assessments we’ve installed and there should be blocks that’s got to be one specific location such as enjoy dinner, and then of course, ice is going to happen in Brazil. We’re on the topic of virus or whatever guys were shot. And that’s not what you normally get with centralized, especially fonts. One thing that’s very characteristic, it says a lot of things often in the younger one particular application because obviously you can have a lot of swallowing in the stomach, most kind of bloating, which also, you know, it even shows such provide attention that you get from eating foods, you’re a volunteer, you also get a lot in the abdominal region. This is why I think people that’s important for guys just kind of guys, sometimes they look successful because people just eliminated things that they didn’t know they were intolerant  to. And you’ll find words that are dire. Big difference. And then the local title damage is essentially just gonna be something to do with the water. Some sometimes even loss damages, video training that can actually happen to some temperature flush as quickly as the lymph nodes, the lymph nodes that also can accumulate to somebody in the areas that have local damage, especially after things like filters and stuff, if you’re not accustomed to that, then that that really feeds on body level you probably actually get some of that type of information like

Steve 41:18

yeah, that makes more sense. And it tickles funny because he was also describing how it comes in. I found a similar thing where it wasn’t like I could have a refeed class is that there’s a delayed response. I could have to repeat it and maybe it would pass and then it would accumulate again. So it’s yeah, that kind of the stress of PrEP is something that’s challenging forever and I think you just have to do your best with it because it’s gonna come inevitably. So yeah, we get to the next question. And this related kind of to the topic, ask what are your preferred ways to keep peak clients for shows

Menno 41:51

I mean, my general approach is, I’m not  a fan but I think, by the way, if you have time should probably  trial car uploads carb loads or there’s even evidence based studies shown to increase also some new buttons but we have pretty good evidence that it actually increases muscle size and if we didn’t ask that you could just see you can see it on the screen. You can see it easily your science programs you get the photos but now it’s also time to face them. When they’re gonna make a big difference. It’s a skill you’ve developed that feels right. Sometimes it doesn’t seem massive, but it looks more like 60 years. Because you’re literally filling up the difference between high carb and low fat diets and full sugar. It it seems more than likely what to your difference in this field. And it’s because the muscles literally look at the muscle. You know how to put it up on your face you can get rid of it. So I think that’s very important performance. And then the the additional parts that you want to do after the last minute. Maybe something I try, but I’d say at this point 8% of clients, we’re going to stick with it to make sure we don’t have loads and maybe like just make sure you stopped drinking before the whole show. More to make sure that we know that notify them to be like regular diabetics also, very some people don’t respond to them. I don’t think it’s stuck on multiple channels and it’s nothing. So people like that, like people really fast so it’s really hard to excuse me think it’s most important because there are some places that the abortion shouldn’t necessarily be the goal of some of the blogging, which can easily be adapted to any of those metrics you before the conference as a potential patient, which often still works, it’s like endurance training. TimeTrade way to go is to go low carb can be an efficient workout is basically the higher the more you don’t want to compensate afterwards. And but you don’t want to try it as we don’t want to get too much muscle damage because that will damage production receptors and then you want to basically want to be optimized the corporate need to do some evaluation. I just don’t mess with potassium and sodium. really cut it out. We definitely want to pay attention to it. If you don’t, for example, better than we ever know. I’m going to show that and I’m just gonna go with it. Two days of the report be super blown with what happens. But other than that, it’s just country nutrition products. Low Sodium is super hard. To get right. Especially for enough and especially also female. It’s very unlikely to be beneficial. Spedition should hold solely for water anyway, at that point that there’s nothing left to get rid of. So it’s just going to come from your muscles.

Steve 45:44

Yeah, I think that kind of mirrors. I think what a lot of the, I guess evidence based practitioners tend to have with their approach now. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at loading facts at all. That seems to be something that came out Scott Stevenson’s kind of, I think, put that into the paper that kind of came out last year, the year before. I don’t know if that’s ever something you’ve experimented with.

Menno 46:08

Yeah, I’m not sold on the fact that for a few reasons. One is total volume. And in fact, it’s just going to be very small. Muscle doesn’t have that much seconds. There’s no I’ve been showing you actually who’s the sponsor sighs I haven’t seen it. Some of those Keto Recipes are gonna take the net effect is clearly super detrimental. For muscle size. You do it to provide the Formosa sizes period as metal and even if you could load the factory as extend not to have your own most of the fattest elephant in the room and it doesn’t attract other so it’s not going to give you that muscles about the time. It’s just gonna make the muscle denser, not really popping. So I’m actually very skeptical if you’ve been, it’s literally physically possible to see from the outside. And then the practical problem is fat loading. How do we kind of need I call it the high calorie intake to do it effectively. And then it’s kind of messes with the coffee days. Or something like that, you know, cardboard, super important. Anything that could mess with the purpose is the I think you’re aiming for this kind of benefit that was just like this. So I’m not sold on it. Evidence for anecdotal support for being effective. But I’m gonna take a moment to future research.

Steve 48:38

Yeah, the I know the intro muscular triglycerides, like the storage within muscles is small and then I’m looking at how big people IP naturals unfortunately, we’re not the biggest people so like the amount that we could get from it is very trivial. I kind of semi tried it my last prep and it was fine. I was actually surprised I managed to kind of handle the high fat intake fine because I was gonna be most people at that point have very low fat intake so then jacking your fat up like two three times you know it’s been you have to eat a lot more than I was used to which was fun and I can see some people who are like, digestion could get hit negatively from that I was fine. But again, the tried and tested. carb loading for me is the way that I’d like to go to. So next question is importance of tracking complete versus incomplete proteins. Is that something you differentiate once you just kind of have an open protein target for a client?

Menno 49:24

Well, most protein intake recommendations are based on the assumption that you get this kind of an assumption as we’ve never mentioned and more that’s actually crucial that you get 50% of your total protein from high quality sources. And if you do that, you’re probably fine. It’s not the proposal, but you do need to go to social media to get an animal protein pretty much beef, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and then almost regardless of the portion size if you get full protein, okay, you’re probably fine. If you don’t, which is particularly relevant for vegans. It can definitely be the most research on vegan vegan protein sources has been very promising very, not nearly as bad as the original studies, most showing that even more always quoted you take something simple to the executive, you get the same photosynthesis response. And I’m still a little bit skeptical of that to see if it translates into maximum muscle growth. Because one thing we have some studies is we don’t for example, that a full body workout stimulates more muscle protein synthesis than only one muscle group at the whole body together. So the fact that you can maximize photosynthesis in one study with like three sets of leg extensions does not mean that that’s important. From a vegan source. It also maxes from a bodybuilder being full body workout with optimized everything. So, more typically with my video clients, I advise them aside of just get a lot of protein which typically means protein supplementation, and then I like 80% beef production rice protein dense a lot because then you’re going to get a really nice fat beads. Almost like well, it’s 40 baggage that year doesn’t matter. That’s a much bigger practice. In particular, the take home message for most people is get enough protein and make sure you have a high quality source and we knew that the exact ratio is going to be super important.

Steve 51:28

That’s really interesting. Everything I’ve ever heard it stated that the recommendations in protein are assuming 50% high quality and 50% lower because I think myself included I think most people just assume it is like saying it’s all high quality. That’s what it’s suggesting to the fact that it’s 5050 That might even change some of my practice because when I for myself as well when I go maxing or more five 600 grams of carbs I eat like a few bagels and pasture like these lower quality proteins really add up so I tend to be like okay, I’m going to push my protein intake a little bit higher. And then I might be on my 240 grams of protein and I’m sitting at 190 pounds. Maybe I’m over over killing but I always thought it was probably slightly over killing it. But I’d always kind of like you with being a bit skeptical with the kind of plant based proteins being as good as maybe the animal and like I prefer to be on the side of too much protein and too little. But I’m probably on the side, which is still a bit too much if it’s if it is that 5050 That’s actually really interesting.

Menno 52:29

Especially with doing activities that are kind of estimates of protein, and then I kind of ignore the veggies and everything which probably means some way overshooting ability. Because Oh for sure.

Steve 52:42

For sure. Cool. The next question is, what are your preferred ways to track muscle growth over time?

Menno 52:47

Yeah, I think the main thing I would say about that is that it’s super difficult. I think. In fact, I kind of have an issue is what people are saying like this works for me. And like how do you know like he was really difficult to know that because most people for what they don’t even try anything. They just kind of look in the mirror. And I know that if I go to different departments in the newer center, it looks like they give a lot of muscle and a really bad sometimes it also like and it’s been so long for like three months with a really bad bathroom lighting. And like, if you kind of bad about my my physique is because this is like I go to a different department which is like blaming screaming like Oh, nice. So just lighting differences makes so much more difference than years to go sometimes. So, just to keep in you know, you have a good idea of what happens in Amazon, you know, certain different steps just goes against for the individual and they’re almost useless. Like if we look at scientific research there they are, you know, over the span of years. Yes, the devils in terms of actually guide equipment design, you need something a lot more boxes than yours. You want to know weeks. Yeah, preferably weeks is always at least once a month if you’re doing more muscle investments, Mr. compensators through in studies we see clearly what’s happening stage where massive fevers and it also makes sense because just the hydration level, the way you put the day, the type of database all these things massively change from country. So I think people vision mainly individual levels we got in for local muscle growth in any reasonable which means we need other measures. And I think strength, especially strength of higher rep ranges from exercises if you’re not making your life mission to do all the time. They also, just your total body composition is if you use skateboards or to compensate for that to the waist, which is a lot more reliable, because the changes in the waist are bigger and it takes a long time to build on each on the biceps. But it’s not that hard to keep dropping from the waist. So if you’re at a given waist member, you’re not two kilos heavier, you’re most likely better. And I think sometimes what I call, use what I call the witness lift, which is an exercise that you essentially never do. But you do it once a year just to see how strong you are. And if for example maybe a type of polish will never do or certain type of beards chin up or maybe only press for that person. Of course there’s always going to be transform related exercises. But let’s assume for a moment we have an exercise that really you have zero experience about putting if you’re getting stronger on that because I’m training that’s a strong indication of muscle growth. Because the only thing that’s gonna make you better it’s a stronger lift and moving better in general, without any kind of neural development. will be possible. I think you’re big trove of general muscle, your general strength level, it’s actually a pretty good score. Let’s go sighs So, in Africa, recent research we’ve become sort of disillusioned with strength as a measure of muscle growth. Because so easy to change strength and muscle mass it’s hard to show for the exact correlations vary a lot before sort of generals and bodybuilders people often say it was only for one or something. But also secondly, if you see their strength level if you ask them to do exercises on the floor, it will be good at that though, because the staff in the organization has a much bigger discrepancy between the government itself and the politics and a lot worse is neutral vegetables and meats, good squats or grass to make choices. And that’s a good indication of your total muscle mass exercises they do not really. So it’s probably one of those more approximately if you’re being spot if you’re adding more than 20% or 15 RM are very precise. So I think its strength is actually in practice of the better indication and trying to be elected. Regional muscle muscle mass.

Steve 57:30

Yeah, I think that makes that makes sense. And so I really appreciate your comments on like, this works for me. And again, I didn’t know that comparing a photo under completely different circumstances. It’s just like, like, that’s completely null and void and it’s actually interesting. I’ve never heard anyone talk about using proxies of exercises you’re not skilled at because the skill component is the issue. But if you’re not skilled at it, you’re never skilled at it. So if you’re not doing it, kind of for months and months or what have you. I’ve always thought about maybe like some movements that are more isolation based being helpful because you’re not likely to get super skilled at them but even there, you know, like you said, the neural component can play into it and just get really efficient at that movement. So that makes that makes a ton of sense. I have one final I don’t know if this is a quick question for you ever considered going on steroids. This isn’t my question. This also came in but I don’t think you’ve ever been asked or at least I’ve not seen you kind of

Menno 58:31

Yeah, definitely. I think everybody should kind of consider it. A very serious question at least. And for me, it will be something really big that I do once I hit my 40s 50s and my natural levels are going to be where I’m going to at that time, because I want to thank both actually used to be pretty sure that I would. But I think for me the main downside would be a platform effective from that moment on everything maybe was and we became like knowing this free market is one thing, but having being on stage knowing not just us but also renting your massive event ever gonna look at the rest of your life plus potential health effects and then he also goes but maybe I can’t resist.

Steve  59:22

So is that you’re considering soon as TRT, something you’re still considering and it’s like whether you go further than just that.

Menno 59:27

Yeah, I mean, I’m definitely going to t as soon as possible. So dropping your T foot, but then when I go into your tea, I like okay, might as well at this point, as one more way to do it could potentially be to like is this sort of a natural disaster level? And with DLT I’m probably gonna make it like here and there because I’m gonna go into your team, we’re gonna go towards the operational and then if you want to know that you’re going to be hired, obviously also, especially your 40s you should end up at age 42 with more muscle mass than age 48. So you’re going to have that increase. Maybe you can play it after the show. And the younger there’s there’s been moments where it gets a little bit attention to like a decade I would actually use one local myself in but you just kind of go by the indicator students and be like, Okay, this is like this looks just look at myself as a judge as a body. And then afterwards, kind of forget I ever had that one. But just do it for the experience and then on to it. I should be still under bigger so it should still be happening, because that would be one way to do it. But I think people are the biggest, the biggest danger or soldiers but I think it’s also about the least discussed is what’s your plans for the future. So I must also always get asked my payments so we can do as we can. The medical risk and the life especially single cyber really get that bit if you know what you’re doing. You’re going to be like I can I can help clients do reasonably medical responsible cycle of course, full interest. We are not worried about that. Lifelong protectionism. What I’m worried about is if you get natural to the game at max at that point, they’re already at the stage and if they haven’t had to join, where the rest of their life we’re just gonna make sense. And they’re not ready for primetime again, when people don’t have that. You’re gonna have cycling, and they don’t have to recline still, and they’re just cycling their entire life actually exposing themselves to lots of steroids, of course, their whole life, and lots of side effects and everything and constantly never been satisfied your body because the CFTC they’re constantly have these switches, and they’re not maintaining. And then if you’re gonna get laundromats, then by definition volumes, the vast majority of countries come back to normal levels. Or even worse if you cooperate with normal levels, lower which was a lot of people and opportunity, then you’re gonna spend the entire life looking worse than you did before. Is that really worth it? Because we look at happiness, literature, these things are worse. We have these tools in your life that casts a shadow on everything else. You do is most happiness is much more important to be content with the little things and the things that are daily life, rather than like these amazing peak experiences, because it’s a cost shadow over everything else. And then the moment of glory, you’re gonna be one of those guys that’s like, you know, back in the days,

Steve  1:02: 40

That’s very interesting. Yeah. I’ve always looked at some of these masters, natural competitors, and I’m like, Ah, maybe that will be me. But then I have always said I probably would go down the TRT route as well and it’s like, maybe I didn’t even think about competing then as an enhanced like in the untested arena.

Menno 1:02:57

 So I think it’s perfectly viable to go interested. That’s another thing. But Alternatively, you could definitely still compete just as long as your level of normal range. You’re essentially natural in a few different levels back to like if you have this level for whatever reason, you don’t have to work and don’t go out to your team just to show up again, that you are essentially natural to the customer. Because it doesn’t matter if you get this testosterone immediate.

It’s the same because the same time your body doesn’t care what a functional manager to fake news, you have more leeway. You can set up a monitor. But yeah, even if you set it on top of rage, you could make the arguments, you know you could have been blasted for genetics, and you would have not been there naturally. So is that worse?I’ll leave that up for debate but you can always go please. And especially like technically leave it because the test they just care about the dividend, rightfully so.

 Steve: 1:03:58 I guess it depends on some Federation’s. I don’t know, kind of for me. It’s kind of like yeah, what’s natural is defined by the Federation all the time. So it’s kind of challenging.

But I’m cognizant of the time we’ve come to an hour now I do want to give some time because I know you’ve got a few things coming up. I know one of them. It just saw it. You’re working on a book and you book the Bayesian book, which sounds really interesting, actually. So I don’t know if you want to speak to that a little bit.

Menno 1:04:19

I won’t speak too much because it’s very, it’s going to be at least those two years. quite ambitious in terms of topics I want to cover, an added cap as many notes as I did for the previous book, which has been like 10 years of note taking and then putting it into this book.

There are a lot of things I’ve studied in life, but I never kept most of them because I didn’t know I was going to do anything professionally with it.Investing in algae was one of those things. I started young because I wanted to do it but I never noticed. So you know what you should select your margins. Those factors are going to be it’s going to be like a manual for evidence based living. So yeah, I’m excited about that, but I don’t want people to get excited about it, because it’s gonna be all along. And I have so many things on my plate right now.

Steve  1:015:17

That sounds really interesting evidence based living like that. I think probably a lot of the listeners like to apply what they’ve learned in terms of evidence base like bodybuilding, health and fitness to other areas of their life, too. I find myself do it all the time, because that sounds really interesting. But yeah, you’ll keep it under wraps for a while, but you do also have I believe, you talk to me via email. You’ve got the London seminar coming up on your seminar specifically, but you’re going to be in London next year at some point. Yeah.

Menno 1:05:42

Half March or so perform performance. It’s going to take place in London. And I’ll be speaking, so it’s nice. And I think for new followers in May new famous, I’m on YouTube. So I’ve gotten into videos, and mostly shorts and like most of our social media, but I’m also also because of some longer form content.

Steve 1:06:10

Very cool. Yeah, I’d seen the reels come up. I didn’t realize you’ll move over to YouTube. But yeah, YouTube’s good because people are ready for at least like 10 minute videos, sometimes 20 Maybe a whole podcast at times. So that’s that’s super exciting. Yeah, so thank you very much, man. Oh, for tuning in. I’ll make sure I have to get a YouTube link copy and I’ll link that all in the description box below. And thank you guys for tuning in. We’ll catch you next time


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About the author

Menno Henselmans

Formerly a business consultant, I've traded my company car to follow my passion in strength training. I'm now an online physique coach, scientist and international public speaker with the mission to help serious trainees master their physique.

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