“If It Fits Your Macros”, Is Clean Eating A Waste Of Time, Hex Bars, Can’t-Miss Supplements & More With Mike Matthews.

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Mike Matthews is a bestselling fitness author of books like “Bigger, Leaner, Stronger” and “Thinner, Leaner, Stronger“. He is also the creator of the blog MuscleForLife.com and the supplement company Legion Athletics. His scientific approach to building muscle and losing fat has helped thousands of people build strong, lean, muscular, and healthy bodies, and his work has been featured in many popular outlets including Bodybuilding.com, Esquire, Men’s Health, Elle, and many more.

Here's a small sampling of a few of Mike's core beliefs about getting into the best shape of your life:

  • Lifting light weights for high reps is basically a waste of time. If your routine doesn’t revolve around heavy lifting, you’re doing it wrong.
  • Getting lean, and even super lean, does NOT require hours upon hours of grueling cardio, or crash dieting that leaves you starving and miserable every day.
  • If you know what you’re doing, you can gain 20-30 pounds of lean mass (yes, muscle) in your first year of training, regardless of your genetics.
  • Pretty much every machine in the gym should be avoided, and most exercises are horribly ineffective. Which brings me to the next point…
  • The idea that you have to constantly change your workout routine or your body will adapt and plateau is a lie. I change my routine once every 2-4 months and consistently get stronger month after month.
  • You don’t have to exercise for more than 1 hour per day, 5 days per week to be in peak physical condition. I personally lift weights Monday through Friday for about 45 minutes, and do 3-4 cardio sessions per week, with each session running about 30 minutes. And I do the cardio mainly because I enjoy it.
  • HOW MUCH you eat determines the effectiveness of your diet, not WHAT or WHEN. No matter what you’re doing with your diet, you can always work in cheats and indulgences and achieve your goals.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Why Mike now works out far less than what he used to, and gets better results…[10:45]

-Mike's opinion on the research that high reps, low weight actually works for hypertrophy…[14:20 & 20:00]

-Why both Ben and Mike like the hex bar for deadlifting…[32:50]

Why Mike says clean eating isn't the key to weight loss or muscle gain…[40:30]

-The can't-miss components of Mike's morning routine…[53:50]

-What Mike's diet and supplement regimen looks like, and the four supplements he always takes…[57:10]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

-Mike's extensive library of books

-Legion Supplements (Mike's company)

DNAfit Genetic Testing for Power vs. Endurance

Hex bar deadlift bar

Eat Wheat book

Show Sponsors:

-Casper – Get $50 toward any mattress purchase by visiting www.casper.com/ben and using BEN.

-HealthGains – Text the word “GAIN” to 313131 to receive $250 off HealthGains' HGH, testosterone or sexual health services at their Aventura, Florida location.

-BiOptimizers – Go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/biOpt to automatically get 10% off your order of Masszymes and P3-OM probiotic.

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Mike or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

18 thoughts on ““If It Fits Your Macros”, Is Clean Eating A Waste Of Time, Hex Bars, Can’t-Miss Supplements & More With Mike Matthews.

  1. Carlton says:

    I am glad to be one of many visitants on this great site (:
    , thank you for posting.

  2. Marty Jahazic says:

    Hi Mike and Ben

    Both your podcasts are Must Go To Listening for me (Mike, I particularly enjoyed your recent hanging-out with the Mind Pump guys.)

    Question for Mike: how do you get the “I’m on ‘roids look” without taking any of that stuff?

    Question for Ben: when you were bodybuilding how did you manage to stay clean and natural?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.


  3. William says:

    This is a dream podcast for me – my two health and fitness heroes in one shebang. I just wanted to ask about working out in the morning (vs. the afternoon). Like Mike, I workout in the morning because of my work schedule, and I follow his Bigger Leaner Stronger program.

    How much does one lose out (on the benefits of working out in the afternoon) if one really has to train in the morning?

  4. Big Tony says:

    Sounds like Mike needs to “read up” on a couple more things, there was a little bit too much bro-science in his answers.

    1) His whole ‘lift heavy’ heavy thing has been totally discredited by the ‘time under tension research’. Plus, of course, the trouble with only lifting heavy is that you end up getting injured: rotator cuff, biceps tendon, golfer’s elbow…

    2) The saturated fat thing: Mike had Dr Cate Shannahan on his own podcast explaining that butter, cheese etc was fine to eat.

    3) Whey protein – for me, at least, had to give it up. Bad for my gut.

    4) I don’t care if the ‘two Indian guys’ who sell on Amazon don’t lift. Just because you lift, doesn’t mean you make ethical products.

    Keep up the great podcasts Ben. Have you done something on training with common injuries (like those listed above)?


    1. Hey Tony,

      Thanks for the comment!

      1. Check this out:


      2. Eating large amounts of saturated fat can absolutely harm some people’s health. Check this out:


      3. Some people don’t do well with the protein fractions in whey.

      4. Obviously. Their formulations suck too. :P Regarding my products, you can read about my approach here:



  5. Matt B says:

    Interesting podcast. I have Mike’s ‘Bigger, Leaner, Stronger’ book which is very good. He certainly knows his stuff when it comes to lifting. However I was very surprised to hear Mike peddling the AHA line that saturated fat is bad for you despite a complete lack of credible evidence to show this is the case (Ben, I was waiting for you to jump in on that one). Sounds like Mike might need to a bit more reading on this one. Gary Taubes examination of the “science” behind the AHA’s position might be a good place to start.


    1. christy says:

      check out alan aragon’s roast of gary taubes. cherry picked science.

  6. Ed says:

    I often hear people who have lifted for a relatively long period and have built a substantial base talk about how short a workout they can do. Sure you can…..been lifting since 1979, 67 YO now lift about 1/3 to 1/2 what I use to lift more light weight workouts now. The need to move as you get older is extremely important. Also ones diet changes with age. You guys are very young and can get away with a lot of carbs, I can’t I use to be able to eat pizza and ice cream and still have abs…not anymore. Everyone is different and our metabolism changes as we age, along with are workouts. What works for one person might not be right for you,. You need to experiment and find what works for you. Back in 90s everything was low fat. Now it’s high fat..(ketogenic) My diet is Primarily plant based diet, no grains and no sugar certainly gluten free. No processed foods, all organic vegetables, salads a little grass fed beef, organic range free chicken and eggs, wild caught fish. Heavy on the fats….MCT oil, heavy organic whipping cream , grass fed butter organic olive oil,olives,avocados,organic nuts,coconut oil.etc. if I can leave you with one thing stay away from sugar and vegetable oils. Wishing each of you the best in health!

  7. Dara says:

    I really wish there were transcripts of your podcasts, Ben!! Consider it??🙏🏻

  8. Gary Patterson says:

    Heh Ben, NanoVi ROCKKKs ! It’s pricey but soooo fantastic ! I contacted them after you mentioned a few podcasts ago and they were so helpful. I have been using it for about a month and getting SUPER results. Thank you so much for being the torch bearer you are ! I never would have known about ENG3 if not for you !

    Gary Patterson

    1. thanks Gary! If you want, shoot a photo of you using it and send it to [email protected] and I'll publish your testimonial on FB!

  9. Chad says:

    Hey guys, thanks for the great show. I have a follow up question regarding training and recovery ability. Per my DNA Fit test, I’m a slow recoverer. When I learned this, I switched to only two, full-body training sessions per week with compound exercises; the sessions last about 45 minutes. I recover for three days between them with rest and active recovery. The day following a session, I’m pretty sore and feel pretty beat up overall. However, I feel fine in time for the next session. Is this a good protocol considering my recovery genetics, or would 3 to 4 shorter sessions per week with less intensity be a better approach? In other words, is it better to tax the recovery system hard infrequently vs. less intensely more frequently? It sounds like Ben does the latter approach in his training.

    1. Susan says:

      Slow recovery can also be from mild CFS. If you dont sleep well, don’t wake up refreshed, and dont have untreated sleep apnea, it is most likely you have CFS. Systemwide low ATP and inflammation is the issue, and everyone expresses it differently. Some get muscle fatigue and pain, some get brain fog, some get both. The body is also poor at using carbs and oxygen for energy, and depends more on ketones.

      Per blood tests, Normal people took 4 hours to recover from 1 hour of exercise, and CFS people took 41 hours on the average.

      The fix is a low carb diet and building up the immune system and Kreb cycle. Ben has plenty of info on that, as does Dr. Sarah Myhill in the UK.

      Workout every 2-3 days.

    2. You are on the right track based on your genetics to do the harder infrequent sessions, yes. I personally recover fast so use a different approach.

  10. HArry says:

    really ? NHA as a reference ?

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