Second Special Reader Q&A with Coach Andy Morgan

On this episode, I answer questions from members of The Family Facebook Group, we discuss newbie gains, intermittent fasting, adjustments when moving to a bulk and much more.

Thanks to all of the group members that submitted your questions. If you’d like to join the weekly Q&A, join for free here.

Show notes

  • What are the updates you said you’ve been working on for the website? The menus have been simplified and the website will load much faster. Andy’s inspiration for the changes to the website was from James Clear and Mark Mason. [00:45]
  • Who does Andy have coming up for the podcast? Joseph Agu is a sports nutritionist in the UK. Luka Hocevar owns a great gym just outside of Seattle. Patrick Umphrey has an exceptionally popular Facebook group called “Eat Train Progress” and wrote an article on called “Mindless Eating.” [1:30]
  • Will Keith actually show up tomorrow? Keith has missed three days at the gym, so Andy decided to take a stuffed toy Alpaca in his place. Follow the fun #cookiethealpaca [2:45]
  • Do newbie gains disappear as quickly as they appear? The losses come at the same rate as an experienced lifter, but the gains happen faster (in terms of muscle mass). In terms of strength, the loss is more temporary. [3:45]
  • What’s Andy’s favorite lifting tunes or podcast? Session by the Offspring (not the new stuff). Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. Noah Kagan is focused on business, not fitness. Gary Vaynerchuk (although, the concepts are repeated). [5:00]
  • Getting acid reflux during a fast, what should I do? See a doctor. [6:00]
  • Sometimes I need to lift late, but a big meal at 11 pm is not working for me. Advice? Some people will find a big meal before bed will help them sleep. However, there are some people who have a big meal that makes them sweat or uncomfortable. Andy suggests breaking up the meals so that one is in the late afternoon and one is before bed. Also, consider 40 grams a protein as the minimum intake for the meal. [6:30]
  • Any updates on the Muscle and Strength Pyramid Books? There will be a second edition of the Muscle and Strength Pyramid Books released sometime next year. There might also be audio books. [8:00]
  • What programming is best when switching from a bulk to a cut? If what you were doing was working, do the same thing but slightly less. You will have a lower ability to recovery, so tapering the volume down will likely help. [9:00]
  • Back from a four-day vacation, how fast will the extra water and glycogen weight come off? Between 3-7 days, your weight should drop off. This is assuming you were in a dieting phase and were eating a lot of carbohydrates on vacation. [10:00]
  • How would you structure macro and mesocycles for a power building phase? Read the Muscle and Strength Pyramid Books. [10:30]
  • How much cardio should I do during a cutting phase? A little bit less than the bulk and see how it goes. [11:00]
  • When is a good time to jump into a high volume program? Don’t make jumps, make tweaks. Choose a program that is at a level of volume that you think is going to work. Next, make adjustments based on how you are progressing. If you are not progressing, you can either increase volume (you are not doing enough) or decrease volume (you are doing too much). How do you tell? Soreness can be a good guide. Adding or removing one set is an easy way to adjust your programming. [11:45]
  • Cheapest source of healthy protein in the UK? Whey protein or chicken breast. [13:30]
  • Are my stubborn calves related to genetics? This could very well be genetics. However, try increasing the amount you are training your calves. Do not expect them to grow overnight. [14:00]
  • Is high protein dosage an issue? 3.5 grams per kilogram is a bit high and will be expensive. 2-2.5 grams per kilogram (1.1-1.3lbs/gram) would be fine for bulking. A very high protein intake would be negative of dieting because it will not leave enough carbs to fuel your workouts and fats to keep your hormones in check. As you age, you will need more protein (specifically leucine) to kick off muscle protein synthesis; 40 grams per meal over 4 meals is a good general target (based on a 160-gram total protein intake).  [14:45]
  • Can skinny-fat people diet to 10% bodyfat on their first cut? Yes. The question is, will they be happy? How to Set Realistic Goals is a great place to start. [18:15]
  • Dumbbell reverse rows on incline bench of bent stance? You can do either. Differences are minutia, so do what you enjoy and feels comfortable. [20:30]
  • Do you ever seek new clients? The blog has generated enough clients to keep Andy busy. He focuses on putting good content on the website and being helpful through answering comments. He has not had to seek new clients. [21:00]
  • How to look your fullest? Don’t mess around with this unless you have weeks to prepare. Eric Helms has a great paper on physique contest prep. [23:00]
  • Lockout vs. stopping just before lockout on press movements? Joint health would be similar unless you are jarring on the lockout. Hypertrophy would also be similar, although you might get more of a pump by not locking out completely. [23:30]
  • How do you use RPE with your clients? Here is a great overview on Training Progression. [24:45]
  • Do you still think dips are dangerous? Dips have a high injury risk rate. Why risk it when you can use other, safer, exercises? [25:15]
  • Is it a problem to use cluster sets vs. regular sets when the weight is heavy? You can, but it will be harder to track progression. [26:00]

Show Links

Thank you for listening! – Andy 

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About the Author

Andy Morgan

Hi, I'm Andy, co-author of 'The Muscle and Strength Pyramid' textbooks and founder of This site is my sincere effort to build the best nutrition and training guides on the internet. Some readers hire me to coach them, which I've been doing full-time, online, for the last seven years. If you're interested in individualized, one-on-one coaching to help you crush your physique goals, let's start the conversation. (You can read more about Andy here.)

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