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Specialized ProfessionHello, we are a few stunt drivers/ stunt people with credits in The Dark Knight, Inception, and many many more. Ask us anything!

Jan 21st 2018 by LElige • 40 Questions • 682 Points

Hey Reddit,

I’m Mike and I’m best known for a few books (https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Matthews/e/B006XNAP6C/), my website Muscle for Life (https://www.muscleforlife.com), and my supplement company Legion Athletics (https://legionathletics.com).

I’m super excited to be here, so AMA! I’ll field questions on anything: diet, exercise, supplementation, business, marketing, velociraptors, Juggalos, whatever floats your boat.

Proof: https://imgur.com/a/RL5jt

EDIT #1: Hey everybody! I forgot to post how long I'll be doing this, soooo...I'll be going until 4 PM ET (another 30 minutes).

EDIT #2: That's a wrap! Thanks so much for stopping by and asking me questions. :) I hope you enjoyed it!

Oh and if you liked what I had to say, then you'll definitely like my articles over at www.muscleforlife.com and www.legionathletics.com/blog.

Q:

What was the hardest stunt for Inception? What would’ve changed if more CGI had been used?

A:

You have a book called Bigger Leaner Stronger, Thinner Leaner Stronger, and The Shredded Chef. Would you consider doing a book called Thinner Leaner Shredder, complete with a pic of Shredder (from TMNT) on the cover? The whole book can be about losing weight "The Shredder Way", which involves lots of cardio through intense stabbing and slicing.

Edit: added some stuff.


Q:

I wasn't there for the whole thing but probably the gimble for the hallway scene was the hardest. As far as large scale, it was the train; Driving it was a little dicey since I had to do it using only monitors. If more CGI had been used, they probably would've made the train fake. But thats what I like about Christopher Nolan. He wants to do it for real. - Jim

A:

Fucking brilliant. Email me. Let's write together.


Q:

Which was the most difficult stunt for you?

A:

Many if these accounts are new. How much did you pay for the upvotes?


Q:

Probably in terms of just the logistics and scale of it was the truck flip. It had never been done before and it had to happen on the first try, right on the mark, right in front of the IMAX cameras. - Jim

Got married... hahaha - Harry

A:

WHY SO CYNICAL MY FRIEND!?

Emailed a list of mine with over 200,000 people to notify them of this.


Q:

How much do you love Christopher Nolan for keeping your jobs relevant?

A:

Thanks for doing this Mike. Been a fan for years now.

When's the droid version of the stacked app coming out?


Q:

I think he's great yeah. He's one of our heroes for letting us do it for real instead of just on paper - Jim

A:

Thank you!

Right now we're gearing up to do a bit of an overhaul on the iOS (new UI/UX, few new features) and then, once that build is stable and people are happy, we'll look at bringing it to Android.


Q:

How many bones have been broken?

A:

I'm an Android dev and would love to help make this happen. Been unimpressed with most of the apps I've used on Android.


Q:

Ive lost count. Few broken backs, hips, ribs. A lot. - Harry

A:

Nice! Want to shoot me an email?


Q:

Yeah, will do today.

A:

Great.


Q:

So does anyone else find it weird as Hell that this AMA has multiple comments for every minute from brand new reddit accounts with no other posting history...?

And all the ones that are from brand new accounts start with "Hi Mike!" While all the ones from older accounts are much more natural sounding and don't have a greeting like that

A:

I emailed a list with 200,000+ people to notify them of this, heh.


Q:

Any tips for a woman trying to lose fat while having hormone issues?

A:

Definitely. Want to email me? Would love to hear more and see how I can help.


Q:

Mike,

I have been doing BLS for about a year now. I followed it day in and day out up until September of this year and my diet fell off around August of this year. After September I started working out with a friend with a exercise science degree and I just didn't like the program and just started back with BLS in December. In August I was 180 lbs and if I was estimating I'd say I was around 12% body fat. Fast forward to December and I was 196 lbs and I would estimate around 20% bodyfat. My dilemma is my body composition, amount of muscle, and strength has greatly decreased since August as I am now about 184 lbs. My plan is to continue the cut to 170 just to get my composition back and start a clean bulk/cut cycle of 3 months to 1 month for awhile. Is this a solid plan? Should I cut to a lower weight? Any advice as to whether to follow this thought process or not?

A:

Cutting back to the 10% range and then lean bulking is a good place. You'll have muscle memory on your side so it's very possible that you recomp a bit on your way down, which makes it more fun. :)


Q:

What is your opinion on EC(A) stacking?

A:

It works. I'd leave out the aspirin though.


Q:

That's what ive been doing. Thanks again!

A:

YW!


Q:

Hi Mike thank you for everything that you do for the community.

What aspects from your daily life did you notice change the most after becoming a more well known public figure? How does you handle knowing how strongly you can influence so many individuals at a time and what is your process for putting out new information?

Of all people in the bodybuilding community you’ve always been the person I can count on for “no bullshit” information. I can’t thank you enough for doing the research and making it digestible for those of us who might not have the bandwidth to do so.

A:

Thank you!

Honestly I don't think of myself as a public figure or even well known. I'm kinda well known in a kinda small subgroup of people who are kinda really into working out, haha. I hope is stays that way too. I don't want celebrity.

So to answer your question, nothing meaningful has changed, really, which has worked to my favor. I've just kept myself focused on researching, producing content, and growing Legion, and that has not only worked out tremendously well on the business side of things, I think it has also helped keep me grounded.


Q:

Hey mike! I’d love to get your take on the rising popularity of unsweetened but flavored soda waters. Seems like everyone is making the switch. It seems too good to be true though. Thoughts?

A:

Hey if you like 'em and they help you drink more water, why not?


Q:

Just wanted to say as a dental hygienist that I've seen a rise in this in patients and it can cause cavities. There is no sugar but the carbonation is acidic so having several times throughout the day isn't a good idea. I recommend drinking them when you're already having a meal to make them not as harmful to your teeth. 😀

A:

Hm, interesting point. Thanks for sharing!


Q:

Hey Mike, love your books. Both me and my husband have been following them for about 6 months and seeing great results. My husband hurt his shoulder somehow really badly and can no longer lift. Any ideas of exercises he can do in the interim to maintain his strength while his shoulder heals?

A:

Thank you!

The #1 rule of overcoming aggravations and injuries is WORKING AROUND THEM. That is, doing things that don't make them worse.

In your hubby's case, the first thing I'd recommend is seeing a good sports doc to asses the severity of the injury, as I'd really hate to give advice that might be right for SOME conditions but wrong for others, you know?

That said, I myself have dealt with shoulder pains in the past and something that has helped me, for example, is switching from barbell to dumbbell pressing (because BB was uncomfortable while DB wasn't).

This article might be helpful as well:

https://www.muscleforlife.com/rotator-cuff-exercises/


Q:

Very glad I logged on! Thank you for the advice. I had the same thing happen about 8 weeks in. I hurt my shoulder because I lifted too much too fast. Form matters and I rushed it. Hope to start back tomorrow. Looking forward to making some progress again, Lord willing.

A:

My pleasure. Live and learn. LMK how it goes.


Q:

How are the protein bars coming along?

A:

Well!

We actually approved the last samples and then discovered that one of the ingredients was suddenly unavailable (oligodextrin). :-(

We're now waiting for the next samples without it, which should come this week (and should be good--fingers crossed!).


Q:

How has the addition of selling on GNC and Bodybuilding.com affected business? Are you seeing an uptick in interest and sales?

A:

They're making sales but not much in the overall scheme of things.


Q:

Hey Mike! I find myself in conflict. I know I want to be leaner and stronger, those are clearly paramount as evidenced by their presence in two of your book titles.

But it's a toss-up between "thinner" and "bigger". If I get both books will I just sort of hover at the same weight?

A:

Probably, BUT if you include The Shredded Chef, you'll also get shredded...


Q:

Hey Mike, huge fan, glad you're doing an AMA, I have lots of questions I’d like to ask you but will stick to one for now.

I have a question about how to implement the stuff in ‘Becoming a Supple Leopard’. I bought it (based on this article you wrote) expecting guidance on stretching and general mobility and am overwhelmed by how much it requires a complete change in the way you move and think about mobility.

For example, I’m having trouble even knowing if I’m performing the mobility checks properly (ie. Am I even “externally rotating my shoulders” or am I misunderstanding what that means/feels like?). Kelly also moves so fast in his videos sometimes, and is so much more flexible than me to the point where I have a lot of trouble recreating his movements.

Did you have any issues like this? Do you have any recommendations on how to get the most out of the book?

A:

Thank you!

I totally understand. That's a huge downside of that book. It's a tome.

Have you checked out my articles on MFL on mobility? They give some simple routines to start with.

I also plan on creating a digital course on mobility this year (MFL 2.0, which is on the way, will include digital courses).


Q:

Following up, I want to thank you for committing to quality in your supplements and your content. It's genuinely changed the way I approach my life in that it's made me realize that there are experts and research behind most things I do, and I've since started seeking that research and those experts on everything I can.

I'm also a huge fan of the podcast, and appreciate that you really get into the nitty gritty on the research you cite, the chemical affects produced inside your body by supplements and activity, and that you bring on the actual scientists and researchers to discuss their findings.

Anyways, enough fanboying, appreciate everything and keep up the great work!

A:

So glad to hear this, haha thank you. I'm flattered. Lots more to come!


Q:

Wife and I joined high end gym and started working out regularly at age 50. We are now in our 60’s and looking to get better overall results. Started reading your book and value your advice regarding exercise, nutrition, etc. we are professionals and have busy schedules so our gym visits must be flexible. We’ve tried cross fit but trainer moved and we had to drop. We felt good but we’re also fearful of injury.

We’re looking for a workout that will get us toned, stronger and overall feeling great with minimum time. Commitment. HITT workouts? We’re bored with same old routine, and most trainers we talk to at the gym have their own program which we’re not sure would work for us. At trainers’ hourly rate of $100+ we’re not sure whether to just pick one and hope for the best or whether there is a better way for us to improve our results. Need motivation at this point. Any suggestions that might work fore us?

A:

I totally understand. First, check this out:

https://legionathletics.com/fitness-at-any-age/

Then, shoot me an email so I can give you something a bit more suited to your circumstances and goals.

P.S. I'm SERIOUSLY considering a "BLS/TLS for the 30s and beyond" book next. Going to be shopping it to publishers very soon...


Q:

Hey Mike!

Why don’t you cut your hair?

A:

BECAUSE I'M A FUCKING ALPHA MALE HUNTER GATHERER PROTECTOR PROVIDER WARRIOR POET AND PERSONAL LIBERTY SAYS I CAN GROW MY HAIR AS LONG AS I FUCKING WANT.


Q:

Hi Mike,

Big fan of the work that you and Jeremy do.

I have a business-realted question, if that's OK:

I'm looking to write and self-publish a self-help/self-motivation type book that'll cover a lot of psychology as well as physical fitness, diet etc. to help people with their productivity in their work and every day life (but particularly solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, business people etc.). Seeing as you absolutely smash it when it comes to promotion of your self-published books, do you have any tips for the best ways for me to market such a book, please?

Thanks.

A:

Thank you!

The #1 rule of selling a lot of books is write a really good book--a book that people are going to talk about. If a book can't generate word of mouth, it's doomed, period, no matter how slick the cover, title, endorsements, launch, etc. are. It will go like a bullet into a swimming pool.

Another major part of selling a lot of books is creating something unique and interesting that fills a real gap in the marketplace. When I published BLS, there was no other book like it on Amazon. Now it's glutted with me-too copycat books that go nowhere because mine are so well established (as a guy or gal looking to improve your body composition, what are you going to buy: a book with, in the case of BLS, over 3,000 reviews and hundreds of success stories written by someone who clearly walks the walk, or a book with a dozen reviews from a no-name?).

Point being: make sure you're not just swiping the material in the bestsellers. Make sure that your book doesn't address the same issues in the same ways as everything else in the space. Really dig in and find a concept that is fresh and unique.


Q:

Hi Mike!

I'm actually in the middle of the workout right now, monday chest day, trying hard to beat my 6x30kg at inclined dumbbell bench press!

I keep having trouble with my fitness app, I was wondering how Stacked was going and if there was any plan to add it to android?

Seriously, thanks for helping me get into fitness, I'm having a blast!

Best,

Nick M

A:

Haha nice! Glad you're rolling!

Yessir, but first we're going to do a round of improvements on iOS and see how they're received.


Q:

Hey Mike, What's your top three health/fitness misconseptions you wish people knew the truth about? Big fan of the books and tour work all round!

A:

Thanks!

  1. Strength training is just for people who want big muscles.

  2. WHAT you eat is far more important than HOW MUCH if you want to lose fat/not gain fat.

  3. You have to obsess over "clean eating" to be lean and healthy.


Q:

Hey Mike! Was thrilled to hear you were doing this today.

My question for you is what’s your advice on lagging muscle groups? For example I believe my arms, shoulders (having a difficult time getting that “capped” look) and upper chest are lagging (typical, I know) but I️m currently doing your Phase I workout from your Bigger Leaner Stronger book. I absolutely love I️t so far and i was wondering if there should be any other exercises or reps I should be adding on to help bring up my lagging muscle groups or just stick to Phase 1 and hammer I️t out?

I️m a 20 year old guy who’s been lifting for 4/5 years and as I get older I’m trying to make sure I️m keeping up with every muscle group evenly.

Thanks for taking the time to answer all of our questions today man!

A:

Hey hey!

Hmm for now I'd stick to the program as laid out and see how things are looking after 3 or 4 months or so. If it's still an issue then you can definitely make some modifications. I could help you via email when the time comes?


Q:

Hi Mike. I am a big fan and BLS helped me make some fantastic changes in my life. I have 2 questions. 1. Is there a path for stacked app to contain year 1 challenge from BLS and BBLS? 2. In one of your deadlift videos I see you using towels or something similar during your lifts. I am struggling with grip strength and knurl roughness around fingers for my deadlifts that are progressing heavier. Does whatever you are wrapping around the bar help with those? Also what is your take on alternating grip for DL and it's affects on muscle asymmetry?

A:

Awesome! So glad to hear it. :)

  1. Yes, we are working toward this. Big changes coming this year.

  2. Just paper towels for grip. Helps, haha.

I think it's good advice. I actually wrote about this here:

https://www.muscleforlife.com/deadlift-grip/


Q:

I’m a big fan of your books (both working out and cooking) and your shameless calling of broscience.

It seems like most of your success stories and tips are meant towards the ectoderm who has problems building mass. I sit on the other end (6’2, 250 lbs) - I can build strength (350 deadlift, 250 bench) and muscle really fast but damn that spare tire and manboob fat will not go away. I’ve been cutting for several months (2500 cal days) and, despite behaving at mealtime and keeping up at the gym, I’m not able to lose more than 1-2 lbs/mo.

Do you have science based evidence for the endoderms out there to get leaner?

A:

Thank you!

You can do VERY well my friend because you are not going to lose muscle easily when cutting.

Most of the claims about eating/training for one body type or another are bullshit anyway. Check this out:

https://www.muscleforlife.com/body-types/


Q:

Skinny fat people should lose fat first and then gain muscle or gain muscle and then cut?

A:

Lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. :)


Q:

Hey Mike - BLS is awesome! You’re the man.

Hypothetical - If you were sitting down for your last meal, because the supplement / fitness industry finally came after you and figured out how to have you framed and executed, what would you eat? (Macros and calories don’t matter anymore, right???)

A:

Thanks!

Hahahah shit, this is my recurring nightmare!

Uhhhh one scoop of Legion WHEY+, Legion THRIVE, and Legion ATLAS, washed down with some Legion PULSE, Legion RECHARGE, and Legion GENESIS!!!

...

Okay okay, a mountain of penne vodka from Carbone NYC. ;)


Q:

Hi Mike, just found out you were doing this. Thanks! Two questions: 1. Advice for someone who's 54 (like me) about gains/cuts--any differences for older people? I notice how slow muscles develop, and how fast fat develops, much more than when I was in my 30s, even 40s. 2. I've been reluctant to take on the whole macro-watch-everything-I-eat. Feels daunting, complicated. But I also see my progress stalling. So it's time. First steps to do that?

A:

My pleasure!

  1. Check this out:

https://legionathletics.com/fitness-at-any-age/

Should address most of your concerns.

  1. Yes, at least for a bit, so you can see how it works and familiarize yourself with the foods you like to eat. Then, once you have that experience under your belt, you should find it much easier to transition back to a more "intuitive" style of eating.

Q:

How many people work at Legion now? When do you anticipate expanding the team again?

A:

There are 11 of us now and yup we will be adding a few more this year. Right now we need a videographer, social media marketer, and ecommerce marketer.


Q:

Hope I'm not too late!

I'm a 5'11 female, 72kg and lifting regularly for about 3 years.

I'm a fitness instructor and teach Hiit classes 3-4 times a week. I do strength training 4 times a week but will the amount of cardio I have to do stop me from bulking? I don't build muscle easily as it is but at this point would it be purely down to diet?

I'm trying to keep my cardio fitness high so I can teach bit without impacting my strength and I think I'm failing!

A:

Hey!

Hmm it's not ideal for bulking but that doesn't mean you can't gain muscle. You'll just need to make sure you eat enough food to stay in a slight surplus, and I would also recommend a high-ish carb diet.


Q:

What is your favorite TV channel, and why is it the gorilla channel?

Also, could you please explain in detail how the way he hit that other gorilla was good?

Thanks Mike!

A:

Oh man if you only knew how much I love The Gorilla Channel.

Some days, I watch it for 17 hours straight kneeling in front of the TV, with my face just a few inches from the screen, so I can say encouraging things to the gorillas. I know they (probably) can't hear me, but when one gorilla hits the other one really good, I just can't control myself.

For example, one of my favorite gorillas, who I've named Harambe McHarambeface, is like a freakin' hammer in a nail factory. He has huge muscles and storms around like Donkey Kong on a diet of coffee and cocaine, and the way he hits those other gorillas isn't just GOOD, but damn near poetic. Imagine if you could watch Tyson in his prime roaming around the mall, uppercutting strangers. That's how good this gorilla hits the other ones.

My only complaint with TGC is sometimes it's boring because the gorillas aren't always fighting. All I want to see is gorillas hitting each other. A lot. And I know I'm not alone. If TGC doesn't fix this fascist microgression on my safe space, I'm going to burn my city down.

(Real talk, how fucking stupid/gullible/delusional do you have to be to actually believe that snippet was real? Gaslighting is way too easy these days...)


Q:

Can I translate your book to Arabic?

A:

I'd love to do a deal with an Arabic publisher. Working on it!


Q:

Is the plant protein powder by Orgain a decent option? I'm trying to stick to a budget and it seems to be the cheapest option.

A:

Honestly I'm really skeptical of any protein powder that's really cheap and sold in retail stores because high-quality powder is expensive and the margins needed to do well in retail are astronomical.

That said, Orgain MAY be legit. I haven't seen any third-party analysis, though.


Q:

Hey Mike! Ive been wanting to know a little more about your golf game. What’s your favorite club in your bag? what is your handicap? if you could play a round with anybody in the world, who would it be and where?

A:

Honestly didn't golf much last year BUT I will be doing more of it this year! There's a club right by my house, which is the setup I had in FL.

Hmm favorite club? Whatever I'm hitting best that day, haha.

Didn't get a handicap before I left as I was just making the transition from the range/swing work to playing, but I did shoot a legit 83 from the blacks, haha.

Ricky Fowler? Seems like a neat dude. Congressional? So much history there.


Q:

Hey Mike, thanks for doing a AMA. Is it easy enough to get back to my original weight and size of 18% body fat after giving birth? Or is that no longer a possibility?

A:

My pleasure!

Yes, you will be able to do that, but it may not be particularly easy while you're breastfeeding (assuming you will be) because most women find they're just too damn hungry while breastfeeding to maintain a deficit.

That said, once you've weaned your baby, you can get right to it.


Q:

[deleted]

A:

...please donate all of your money (plus all the money you can borrow) to the newly minted Mike Matthews Foundation?

Don't look into it but our mission is to grow a better and more beautiful and harmonious tomorrow by realigning global vibrations toward a 4th dimensional reawakening blah blah green tea infinity...will that be Visa or Mastercard?


Q:

Is Stacked coming to Android this year? Do you guys need any volunteers to test out pre-release versions of the app and provide feedback?

A:

Possibly! We're going to start work on a round of improvements to the iOS version very soon and see how that goes.