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Getting Bigger, Leaner, and Stronger with Michael Matthews | Starting Strength Radio #15

Mark Rippetoe | August 02, 2019

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Mark Rippetoe:
Comments from the haters!

Mark Rippetoe:
Instant remix says, "You look like you need veggies in your diet. A lot of veggies."

Mark Rippetoe:
Why? Why do you say that, Instant?

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Here, this is a good one. Zimmy McFlimmy says, "If you can't pronounce the topic correctly, then you shouldn't pretend to be an authority on it."

Mark Rippetoe:
What do you think he's talking about? The vegans thing?

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. I don't normally comment on comments from the haters, but I got to say, this: How do you spell... how do you pronounce v-e-g-e-t-a-r-i-a-n? Do you pronounce that veeg-itarians? veej-itarians? What is it veg? Yeah... veeg-e-tarians? No. How do you pronounce the category of what a carrot is? It's a vegetable. Therefore, you people are vegans. Get used to the idea.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. "Walking unintentionally over an ant is the moral equivalent of needlessly stabbing a cow in the throat? Moral philosophy be damned."

Mike Matthews:
More soy. That's what that person needs.

Mark Rippetoe:
More soy.

Mark Rippetoe:
Ah...I think he's soy poisoned already, I believe. Are anti...

Mike Matthews:
The way out is the way through. Just keep going.

Mark Rippetoe:
"Are all anti-vegans this stupid?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, yes, of course we are. Of course we are. We're stupid.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. SANITY IS FOR THE WEAK says, "Hard to beat off to this video, but I managed."

Mike Matthews:
There's the hard nipples. You got to get to that one.

Mark Rippetoe:
Hard nipples is coming up next.

Mark Rippetoe:
"So I can eat meat, pay for billions of animals to be tortured." Because that's so cost effective, you know. "Increasing my chance of dying sooner and have a body like you. Or I could be a vegan, love and care for animals, live longer, and be ripped and muscular looking. Hmmmm...That's a tough one."

Mark Rippetoe:
I like it that Peggy is going to love animals. What does she mean by that? Oh, she'll be irresistible to the horse. The donkey, the large dog.

Mark Rippetoe:
You're going. You're going to cut that one out? You fucking pussy. You fucking pussy.

Mike Matthews:
That's kind of bigoted, actually.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, it is.

Mike Matthews:
What are you implying?

Mark Rippetoe:
What are you implying?

Mike Matthews:
That women should not...

Mark Rippetoe:
Animals are not dogs. What?

[off-camera]:
She might identify as a dog.

Mike Matthews:
Are you Nazi? That's my question.

Mark Rippetoe:
Is beastiality somehow wrong? I don't.

Mark Rippetoe:
How... Who are you to judge that? That seems awfully judgemental. Is judgemental as bad as racisss?

Mike Matthews:
Well, those are pretty much synonymous. You know, racists come in many things.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes, in fact.

Mark Rippetoe:
"I would like to apologize to myself, my family, and all my teachers for clicking a video of a guy dressed like a WalMart employee and guys who look like they squat donuts expecting to learn anything. I truly apologize to you all for making me read this."

Mike Matthews:
That's really good.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh shit, that is good. And my favorite one of all, the perennial, "Why are Mark's nipples hard? Is he some kind of pervert?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh shit.

Mark Wulfe:
From the global headquarters of The Aasgard Company in beautiful, downtown Wichita Falls, Texas... From the finest mind in the modern fitness industry... The one true voice of the strength and conditioning profession... The most important podcast on the internet... Ladies and gentlemen... Starting Strength Radio!

Mark Rippetoe:
Welcome back to Starting Strength Radio. We're here with our friend Mike Matthews.

Mark Rippetoe:
Michael, thank you so much for flying out here.

Mike Matthews:
A long, awkward handshake.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes, in fact...and it's so much fun. Your hands are bit. My hands are not big.

Mark Rippetoe:
My hands are sweaty, too, because it's 108 today or something like that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, Mike's here is our guest. We're going to talk to Mike about all kinds of stuff today, but first, I wanted to talk... let him tell everybody about his new book. It's not really a new book.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah, it's a new edition.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's a new edition of the book. So let's... let's have it.

Mike Matthews:
Yes. So I in 2012 I... Maybe I'll just tell it as little bit of a story so it's not just... so it's interesting. So I'm saying "Buy my book" which is on sale for 99 cents right now in Kindle.

Mark Rippetoe:
They'll stop.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah, no but so in 2012, I published a book called "Bigger, Leaner, Stronger." Obviously for Men. And it was kind of just the book I wish some would have given me back when I was like 17, right. The basics of...

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, I know all about that.

Mike Matthews:
...diet, nutrition, exercise. Right. How to get abs, stuff like that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Abs are important.

Mike Matthews:
They are to some people. To us narcissists out there, they're important.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, Mike, that's so stupid. You're the least narcissistic person in the... with a guy... for a guy with abs, you are you... you don't know anything about narcissism. We do. I probably... We all know about narcissism and you ain't him. All right.

Mike Matthews:
That's part of my... I'm I'm a fitness guy. And anyways, so that book that book became popular and started selling quite well. And that was actually my entrance into into the fitness base was via that book. And then along the way, I wrote a second edition based on just feedback I was getting from people, my own list of things as I continued.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's the way it's done. You learn shit, you put it in another edition.

Mike Matthews:
And be like, oh, that would be good to change, add, remove blah blah blah. And and then so four years ago the second edition had come out, so I'd been four years since I'd update it and the list just got long enough to where it made sense to do it again.

Mike Matthews:
And so finally, what I thought was going to be... I don't know how this was for you... but what I thought was going to be more an editorial thing where I was gonna get into the second edition and read through it again, change things, go through my little checklist. Well, it wasn't actually that, maybe like 25 items that are just things I wanted to do. But as I started to read...

Mark Rippetoe:
Just your your notes list, we all have that.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah, exactly. But as I started to read through the second edition, I just hated it. I just did not like my voice. I didn't like how I was explaining things. I didn't like how the book was organized, even though, sure, it was popular and it had a lot of good reviews. And it's not that it was a bad book, but...

Mark Rippetoe:
This sounds real familiar.

Mike Matthews:
So, but that's a good sign, right? It means that I mean, I would say that it would be concerning professionally if I was not the case. If you could look at something you wrote four years ago and still be like, "Yeah, that's really fucking good."

Mark Rippetoe:
"Man, I haven't learned a damn thing since that."

Mike Matthews:
That's what that means, right. Or it means that...

Mark Rippetoe:
"I haven't seen anything new.".

Mike Matthews:
Yeah. Or I haven't improved at all as a writer or you know, communicator.

Mike Matthews:
So so basically as I was getting into it, I just was like, I need to I need to kind of... Not the information, I like, the core information, but I need to reorganize this and rewrite it from scratch and so that's what I did.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, God, I can't even open the first edition of Starting Strength. Can't read it. Can't stand it. Don't want to look at it. Hate that I've got it on my shelf. It's an embarrassing mess.

Mike Matthews:
It has your name on it.

Mark Rippetoe:
It has my name on it.

Mike Matthews:
I feel the same way about the first editions.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh you just can't... They're unreadable at this point because they're, they're just... Look, boys and girls. If you aren't learning things, just go away. You're not. You're not helping us out here. If you're not learning anything, if you haven't changed an opinion over the past 10 years that you once held as an irrefutable, existential, all revolving truth then you're not thinking very hard.

Mark Rippetoe:
And, you know, this is just what happens to you. You learn, you improve. And you'd better if you intend to remain professionally respected.

Mike Matthews:
Relevant.

Mark Rippetoe:
Relevant. You had better say "I was wrong. And this is right now." And if you won't do that, there's been a lot of people in this business that won't do this. And...

Mike Matthews:
A lot of people don't...they just don't like to do it at all. Personally, in their lives, because... It seems like one of their over... their primary objectives is to assert how right they are at all times.

Mark Rippetoe:
Narcissism. There it is isn't it. It's a narcissism. It's just if you can't be wrong...

Mike Matthews:
Or just an emotionality...

Mark Rippetoe:
If every bad thing that ever happens is somebody else's fault. If you are not if you are not capable of admitting that you did something wrong, you're you're just not going to be useful to many people. You know, people learn. Everybody fucks things up.

Mike Matthews:
And people, it's not like people... I mean, I haven't experienced this from people... They don't they don't give me a hard time where sometimes people email and ask about things that I've changed and I'll say, like, that's what I thought back then. Right. And I don't think that my reasoning was like wildly off base. But it's wrong.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's what you knew at the time and it happens to be wrong. I've done that dozens and dozens of times and people appreciate that. I know from interacting with people that they appreciate a guy who will say, "Yeah, that was that was not right. I've learned better. And here's the new shit." And that's what new edition are for, you know.".

Mike Matthews:
And so long as you get the most important things mostly right most of the time, then you're you're going to be doing well by people. Obviously there are certain things that you would not want to get wrong. Because they could be in the case of exercising...

Mark Rippetoe:
Could be dangerous.

Mike Matthews:
Exactly. But, these a lot of the things, though, that when you're getting into the more extraneous stuff, the fringe stuff, that is shifting. I mean, there's been in the last four years quite a bit of I think of with on the exercise side of things, a bit of research that now... because there was a time a few years ago when frequency was like THE thing. And people were saying that if you're not training every major muscle group at least three times a week, then you're an idiot and you're probably not gonna make any gains.

Mike Matthews:
And so, you know, that was once a strong opinion. I never had that opinion. But just a few years ago, there are people that that have credentials. That have acronyms after their name and stuff...

Mark Rippetoe:
And who doesn't?

Mike Matthews:
And but they were saying those things. And, you know, there's there's no question now that that's wrong, for example.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, it in one of the things I think we've accomplished is that we've demonstrated conclusively that a lot of that depends on how long you've been training and how you've been training previously. Because I squat once a week. But I wouldn't put a novice on it. You know, I'm I'm. I'm post-advanced on it, staving off death. Training is what I'm doing.

Mark Rippetoe:
And and, you know, 63-year-old guy like me, that's just on the downhill slide. You know, it's just about ready to be set out for the polar bears to eat his ass.

Mike Matthews:
In Texas?

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. You know, they'll probably move me to Canada. Move me to Saskatchewan.

Mike Matthews:
A camp. A concentration camp.

Mark Rippetoe:
A polar bear camp.

Mark Rippetoe:
And, but I'm not going to train the way a novice does. So, you know, all that frequency, all that stuff has always been dependent on on how long you've been training and what your previous training history has done to your physiology.

Mike Matthews:
Right. And I think also what you're trying to get your training too.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes. Yes. If you're staving off death... I'm not a competitor anymore. I don't care how much I squat. I've got to squat, but I don't care about PR squats because I'm not a competitor anymore.

Mark Rippetoe:
But somebody that's young, new, trying to get strong. You've got to... You've got to squat more than I do. And this is kind of a duh thing, isn't it? You know, and people that people that, for example...

Mark Rippetoe:
Starting Strength is a gallon of milk a day, right?

Mark Rippetoe:
Every time, for everybody. For you, for me, for Bre. Gallon of milk a day.

Mike Matthews:
I wouldn't do it. I would be a heretic.

Mark Rippetoe:
I wouldn't do it either.

Mike Matthews:
That's not... my stomach, I would not do well.

Mark Rippetoe:
And you know? It's just how people are people or people are.... And you know that the hilarious thing about this is, is that that people are so quick to stop thinking, you know. They hear it on the internet and they believe it. And that's one of the things the Internet has done for us. It has made us gullible. It has made us susceptible to just reading the headline of the article...

Mike Matthews:
The tweet.

Mark Rippetoe:
Reading the tweet. Reading the hundred and twenty three words or whatever the fuck it is. And. And believing that what this person said about Mike Matthews is what Mike Matthews believes. I saw it on the Internet.

Mark Rippetoe:
And, you know, people aren't any more circumspect than that anymore. And. Especially in our industry. There are. There are a whole bunch of people in this business, that really need to be selling cars, you know.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah or just hawking stuff, other things on the right. Just internet marketers.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes. Leave us alone. Leave that... Leave the fitness industry alone because you guys are not entitled to an opinion. And you know... But unfortunately, the market has changed over the years with the internet And the internet has shortened everybody's attention

Mike Matthews:
But a lot of good. Of course, not just...

Mark Rippetoe:
Access to information, unparalleled developments in society, all that other stuff.

Mike Matthews:
I mean, even the our... even in the fitness space has done a lot of good.

Mark Rippetoe:
But it's come with a price.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah, it's made it hard. If if... you have to be good at sifting through information and finding reliable sources and actual authorities, and that can be tricky.

Mark Rippetoe:
The more information is available, the better you have to be at sifting through.

Mike Matthews:
Because the good stuff is not always the shiniest or the most attractive.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's absolutely true.

Mike Matthews:
This is where the marketers come in. Right. Our space is dominated by marketers first and foremost. That's not to change. I mean, that's been the case. I don't think it's going to change anytime soon. No, it's just that's been the case forever. Since advertising, since Claude Hopkins back in the early nineteen hundreds when advertising really started to become a science and they really started to figure out how to persuade people and how to sell people.

Mike Matthews:
That's the way it's been in probably.... We'd probably complaining about the same things regardless of the industry we were in. It's probably very similar if it's if it's a direct consumer.

Mark Rippetoe:
No. The the.... You're absolutely right. The marketing aspect of any commercial endeavor probably is the source for most of the problems associated with that endeavor. Because of the need to find customers.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah. And they'll just lie to do it. And that's what it boils down to.

Mark Rippetoe:
And like, you know, some some professions are more... are worse about that than others, like. You know, if if I want somebody to lie to me, I'll go buy a car.

Mike Matthews:
Right. Or some supplements.

Mark Rippetoe:
Or beauty products. That's the most amazing bunch of people. They'll say anything.

Mike Matthews:
And are there are margins in that business.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, my God. Yes. Eighty dollar bottle of rologne or something like that costs about what? 83 cents.

Mike Matthews:
Probably.

Mark Rippetoe:
Something like that.

Mike Matthews:
Like landed. Oh done. You know what I mean... sitting on the shelf.

Mark Rippetoe:
Eighty three thousand percent markup.

Mike Matthews:
Yes, it's a good business.

Mark Rippetoe:
So anyway. Well, how's business?

Mike Matthews:
Business is good. I mean, the focus mostly from me personally, it's the books. And and just because... I mean, it's work that I enjoy. Out of random shit I have to do its probably the work I enjoy the most, actually. And then and then. But really, from as far as business goes, it's it's it's supplements. And I'm not like everybody else. Actually, that was why I'm sitting here.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, you know, I don't think you are, Mike. That's why. That's why. That's why you're here today. I could have asked all kinds of people to come on the on the podcast with us. But I've known you for quite a while. I know you to be a honest guy.

Mark Rippetoe:
You're your your approach is similar to ours. There are some basic things that work. Like your emphasis in terms of your programs of what has always been aesthetics. Ours has been strength, but we both based the programs on basic barbell exercise, complicated full body movements loaded incrementally. You just take a different spin on it than I do. But what we do is basically the same thing. We're not in disagreement on basic anything.

Mike Matthews:
Plus some bodybuilding stuff, of course.

Mark Rippetoe:
And on I fucked with Mike about him having his shirt on today for some odd reason, and stuff.

Mike Matthews:
That would get some views.

Mark Rippetoe:
I fuck with him about going up a weight class and would you know, I fucked with him a lot about stuff. But... you've heard it on our on our interview audio interviews. But we're basically doing the same thing here. He's just doing it at twelve percent bodyfat. We're doing it at thirty-four. Thirty-five percent bodyfat.

Mike Matthews:
Are you calling me fat? 12%, Mark?

Mark Rippetoe:
He's taking offense. He's taking offense at twelve percent.

[off-camera]:
Gonna go puke after this.

Mike Matthews:
I'm not going to eat for five days.

Mark Rippetoe:
Bulemia. He's gonna go [pretends to induce vomiting with his finters] "He's gotta get down."

Mike Matthews:
Take some more fat burners.

Mike Matthews:
He thought I was twelve percent. Fuck. What does that mean. Who am I?

Mark Rippetoe:
You've failed.

Mike Matthews:
Who am I? What am I doing?

Mike Matthews:
But yeah, I know. Things are... Things are moving along well.

Mike Matthews:
So. So, so Legion is the Southern Command. It's that's the primary business and so we got...

Mark Rippetoe:
Website?

Mike Matthews:
What's that?

Mark Rippetoe:
Your website.

Mike Matthews:
L-e-g-i-o-n Legion Athletics dot com

Mark Rippetoe:
Legion athletics dot com.

Mike Matthews:
If you want to check us out. But we got kicked in the dick by Amazon the hardest...

Mark Rippetoe:
What did they do to you? They're difficult to deal with sometimes.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So so if you just to preface this, if you don't have at least one catastrophe per year with Amazon, you're either not doing any sales on Amazon or you're like Jeff Bezos' cousin or something. Nobody's going to mess with you.

Mark Rippetoe:
You've been petted on the head.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah. Yeah. You're a made, a made person - let's be gender inclusive there. So. So. So my my number one best selling product on Amazon was my preworkout called Pulse. And it was number of the number one preworkout on Amazon. Right. And so it's moving along, doing very well. And then it just goes down. Right. Just. Just gets turned off. Right. And this shit happens. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Did they turn the page off?

Mike Matthews:
They just... you can't buy it anymore. It's just it just gone. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Are you serious?

Mike Matthews:
Absolutely. So I mean, it was I don't know the exact numbers, but I would say was probably cruising along at about ten thousand dollars a week in revenue, in sales and then it just to zero. And it took three to four weeks to even find out, like why what was going on.

Mark Rippetoe:
What did they do to you?

Mike Matthews:
So, yeah. So it gets better because there were some misunderstandings in the warehouse and what exactly they should be doing. And so they they accidentally destroyed three hundred and fifty thousand dollars...my cost of stuff.

Mark Rippetoe:
Of your product?

Mike Matthews:
Yes. And then said, oh, well, you know, we're not going to reimburse you for that. So. So. So it's fine. I'm working on. We'll we'll get money back. We will. But you just have to go through a process.

Mark Rippetoe:
They've never fucked us around like that. That sounds amazing.

Mike Matthews:
Well see...

Mark Rippetoe:
What really happened? Did you ever figure out?

Mike Matthews:
Well, you'll never really know what happened. And you know... one I've dealt with this kind of thing. This is this is one of the worst. I've had some other bad similar things were products just go down and it takes anywhere from four to six weeks to get them back. And so, you know, it's annoying, but I've gone through it before. So I'm kind of like blasé about it. But just for example, here's something.

Mike Matthews:
There's a problem that Amazon has. So there's a lot of money to be made on Amazon as a lot of people know. And so that means that it's really a battleground as far as the sellers go. So what you'll have is you'll have people out there that don't give a shit like that. We were talking that use hair to bump up the protein content of their dog food. These kinds of people.

Mike Matthews:
And so what they'll do is they'll get friends to buy your product and then they'll wait a week, two weeks, whatever, leave a review. So it's a verified purchase and they'll leave like a really alarming review like... "You know, I had to go to the hospital. I was, I was puking blood. I have no idea what was going on." And then they report those reviews to Amazon and that can get your that can get your product taken down just like that.

Mike Matthews:
And Amazon, unfortunately, because it's very much a bureaucracy at this point, it's you know 400,000 employees or whatever, they just kind of shoot first and ask questions later. That's kind of there.

Mike Matthews:
And so that's probably what happened here. It was related probably to some review of somebody, you know. It can even be beta-alanine tingles. We've had we've had Pulse, that product taken down simply because people complained about beta-alanine tingles.

Mike Matthews:
So it's just that's you know, that's just part of the game. But, you know, that aside, things have still actually like that that hit us we're probably like eight hundred K behind our pacing because of that.

Mike Matthews:
Because you lose you lose them.

Mark Rippetoe:
That is amazing.

Mike Matthews:
Because you lose momentum, you have to build back. So. So it's just like that. You can just get smacked. But despite that, I mean, the business is still doing well. We'll still have a very good year. But that's, you know, not that's that's fun.

Mark Rippetoe:
And then are these Google updates I don't know if you guys have felt the effects of them at all. They've rolled out they've rolled out a few updates. They started about a year ago and they particularly went after the health and fitness space. And they made this clear. They openly said this. And they're really big on now pushing for... credibility, authority, and trust.

Mike Matthews:
And so, I mean, there are websites that were getting hundreds of thousands of visits a month that literally got deleted off the internet, basically. I mean, like losing 95 percent of their traffic, of their search engine traffic. Just gone. Just gone.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, for example, who?

Mike Matthews:
I know... I don't want to say. I know of one who's a friend of mine. I'm not like... I don't know if he'd want me to say.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, what was he? What was he doing?

Mike Matthews:
It was it was it was good information. Information. If I say too much, it'll be we'll be closing the fitness base. But very high quality information on a lot of it. I mean, probably over 40000 studies reference on the website... and not just references, like this was real work. This dude built this from nothing.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, what do you think happened to it? Why did they do it?

Mike Matthews:
Weird. Like I've seen a big hit and traffic. Not not that big. And it hasn't made that big of a difference because it was mostly a hit to my blog traffic, which didn't make me that much money anyway. And ironically, when the blog... So Legion's blog had had peaked at about me one point eight million visits a month before the first update rolled out.

Mike Matthews:
Ironically, a lot of that traffic was AMP. And AMP for people not familiar... It's like it's a Google thing where you have a very stripped down website, has very little functionality, but it loads like instantaneously. Right. It's meant for news websites, really. And so somebody who worked with me previous isn't working anymore wanted to do that. Thought I'd be a good idea because Google gives preferential treatment to AMP content.

Mike Matthews:
If you load instantly, they go, we'll give you a bump in the search engine rankings. But the dude didn't make sure that we have a good working AMP webbsite so that traffic was literally worthless. Like the bounce rate was like 95 percent. Nobody bought anything. So we're getting all this blog traffic. It looks cool, but then it turns out like 70 percent of it is AMP. OK, so so we get rid of the amp. Turn it off. That naturally is going to... traffic's going to decline. Google rolls out updates. And so now Legion's blog is cruising at like 900 K a month. But, you know, it's not it's straight. It's not a straight having, but it was a big hit.

Mark Rippetoe:
It didn't gut you. It was a ding.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, yeah, absolutely. And we don't know what comes next. They've done three updates now. And so it's it's caused a lot of problems in the health space in particular. Like, you know, there there are some big, big websites out there that, you know, went from getting like millions and millions, 10 plus million visits a month to, you know, like 3.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh goddamn.

Mike Matthews:
Which is I know three is a lot, but it's it's. And I have a friend in the in the digital marketing space who has probably one of the most informative websites you can imagine. They do try as close to 4000 long form articles on his website. He has a brand... even he's getting hit. Like I don't know what Google's doing. The only known winners that my team is, we've looked into it that we found in our space is Health line, who bought Authority Nutrition. If people remember that website. And Very Well Fit like those two guys are doing great. The Google is giving them everything.

Mark Rippetoe:
Would you think that Google has got an ownership stake in one of those?

Mike Matthews:
No, I don't think it's that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Not anything that obvious.

Mike Matthews:
I don't know. I don't think. No. I don't I actually don't think it's that. I think it's like I don't know exactly. I mean, I get the... if the idea is to force - because you have a lot of bad information we're just talking about this in our space. So if you're a Google and you're like, what can we do about this? How can we help weed the weed out the bad? How can we separate the good and the bad? How can we assist in this?

Mike Matthews:
It seems like the idea is. OK, well, let's let's. Really start diving into these websites... Who's writing the content? What other credentials? Do they have anybody reviewing and fact checking? How believable is this information? And of course, that's not a bad idea, but the implementation...

Mark Rippetoe:
Well it is a bad idea, though. Because who gets to determine...

Mike Matthews:
That's the problem.

Mark Rippetoe:
The veracity, of the applicability of the credential.

Mike Matthews:
It sounds nice. It's one of those things. It's like it's like it's like the idea that the Enlightenment ideals of "we're all equal." It all sounds nice, but it doesn't fucking work. And so so.

Mark Rippetoe:
So, no, it doesn't. It doesn't fucking work.

Mark Rippetoe:
I mean, for example, in our business - exercise physiologist, PhD - the exercise physiologist would seem to be the authority.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah. Like Google would see that and be like [points and thumps on table].

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, that's the guy. Look, there's a terminal degree in this specialty.

Mike Matthews:
Approved!

Mark Rippetoe:
Immediate credibility and nothing could be further from the truth.

Mike Matthews:
I know it's unfortunate.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, it is unfortunate that they don't understand anything beyond that. This is...

Mike Matthews:
And how does an algorithm...

Mark Rippetoe:
Credential worship... scientism... this sort of thing. You know.

Mike Matthews:
And how is an algorithm supposed to overcome that?

Mark Rippetoe:
Ah... it can't.

Mike Matthews:
Exactly.

Mark Rippetoe:
All it can do is create problems.

Mike Matthews:
No way. That's up to the market. That's up to the people...the functioning of just just free market principles.

Mark Rippetoe:
People absorbing the information, making decisions...

Mike Matthews:
Propagating with good...

Mark Rippetoe:
Where to spend their money. Which means it's not bullshit.

Mike Matthews:
And what to talk about.

Mike Matthews:
I mean, as you know, every business, the number one goal is to generate word of mouth. Right. And you can obviously stimulate growth through spending money and advertising. But if the business is going to make it long term...

Mark Rippetoe:
Depending on the service or product you're you're you're trying to sell. For example. I don't think the gym business has ever really made any money off of advertising.

Mike Matthews:
You mean to bring in people?

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes.

Mike Matthews:
What about something like Planet Fitness?

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't think Planet Fitness derives much of that traffic from anything except word of mouth. Their friends join Planet Fitness. It was ten dollars. It was ten bucks. So they went and joined one day. They hadn't been back in three years, but they are still paying ten bucks. As you know they might wanna go back and it's only ten bucks. So but that's also word of mouth. I don't think...

Mike Matthews:
Fear of losing something. You feel like you have something with your 10$ a month.

Mark Rippetoe:
I got this cheap deal, you know. And Planet Fitness in that respect is a... what a brilliant idea. I mean, they...

Mike Matthews:
I was skeptical when I first heard about it. I was like, I don't know the whole... pizza day and shit?

Mark Rippetoe:
So superficially stupid.

Mike Matthews:
It almost seems like it's pandering, like what you think people feel almost offended, but I guess not.

Mark Rippetoe:
It appeals to the demographic that will pay you ten dollars a month, put it on their credit card, let you auto draft it and never go in the building. It's... that's designed.

Mike Matthews:
If they knew that.... If they knew that, those people are brilliant.

Mark Rippetoe:
These people are brilliant. They knew that.

Mike Matthews:
They knew. Like there are a bunch of these people...

Mark Rippetoe:
There are a bunch of people that will buy a membership and keep paying for it if it's cheap enough.

Mike Matthews:
Imagine if... We want people who don't work out, but will just pay us. We don't want them using the facility.

Mark Rippetoe:
Mike, I know that's what happened. I know for a fact that's what happened. We... a friend of mine back in '89...

Mike Matthews:
Like everyone that shows up, you're like...oh, come on.

Mark Rippetoe:
He was running a promotion and he proved that this will work in clubs all over the country. He would go in to the market and he'd hang around for a couple of weeks and kind of assess the the the the way the city moved and stuff. And then he would put out a lead box.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know what a lead box is? It's where you sign up for a free vacation, put your name in...and it won't work now, obviously. But what he was doing was he was putting a lead box in a restaurant or a donut shop or you know a place where people went - nightclubs and wherever they'd let him put that.

Mark Rippetoe:
And so he would have a little list of... little... you'd fill out the name because you're going to win a free vacation, you know, free vacation for two to the Bahamas. Just let us have your name and telephone number. So we he would go around. He'd put these lead boxes out, he'd check them every week, pull the leads out. And he would place these these boxes in in locations where he knew that the people that went there to shop were not in the fitness demographic, but they're in the free shit demographic.

Mark Rippetoe:
So he would bring them home and after the first week, Monday morning, he'd start calling all these numbers. And he'd say you didn't win the vacation, but you won a free two week membership to Wichita Falls Athletic Club. And all you've got to do to claim your free membership...

Mike Matthews:
Rack and charge your card.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, there's no cards involved in it. All you got to do to claim your free membership is to is to come in and bring the enrollment fee in of ninety two dollars. And these people would show up and they'd pay ninety two dollars...

Mike Matthews:
For their free...

Mark Rippetoe:
For their free membership. They'd work out once. And leave.

Mark Rippetoe:
And you'd run that promotion for two months and it would generate the club seventy five thousand dollars. This is, you know, 30 years ago.

Mike Matthews:
Imagine that's how you made your money though.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. He made a lot of money doing this. He'd split it with the club. He'd split it with the club. And he made a hell of a bunch of money doing it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Planet Fitness is exactly the same thing. They they have figured out a way to.

Mike Matthews:
On par, in my mind, with just like just usury. That's how you make money. Like I just loan... I give needy people money and I charge them 30 percent interest. That's nice.

Mark Rippetoe:
They're only going to have a loan for three weeks anyway. They can afford it. That kind of shut. But this is exactly what they did.

Mark Rippetoe:
And and it's brilliant. It's absolutely brilliant. The people that are buying the little shitty ten dollars a month membership get out of it exactly what they want....the ability to say "I'm a member of a gym.".

Mike Matthews:
And to feel like that first step has been taken.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. I mean, you know, I could go back to if I want to. You know, and they keep paying them. It's just it's brilliant. It's chickenshit. But it's brilliant. I mean, you have to admit there's a certain amount of genius involved in that.

Mike Matthews:
I mean, that's that's more aboveboard than what the other guy was doing.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, slightly.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah. I mean ninety-two dollars for your free...that's where the disconnect.

Mark Rippetoe:
It was free. And I you know honest to god we had eight or ten of those members that used the club for two years. That actually came in and use the club. And that when the thing was over, signed up at the gym. But that wasn't the purpose of the deal.

Mark Rippetoe:
The purpose of the deal. The deal was to harvest membership money from people who will not go. And really, if you think about it at at at any...in any corporate fitness facility in the country that's, you know, a large part of their membership.

Mike Matthews:
Oh, of course, absolutely.

Mark Rippetoe:
If they all went to the gym...

Mike Matthews:
It would be a problem.

Mark Rippetoe:
You couldn't fit them in the gym and the parking lot.

Mike Matthews:
Well, then, how much do you have to charge to, you know, if they had if had a high attendance rate, that if they charge so much money just to keep or no one would be a problem. You would show up and I'd be so full they'd just be like...cancel it, just go somewhere else.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, you know, there was a time when - oh, industry wide - the actual usage rate of a gym membership, a health club membership, was something on the order of 15 percent. That's all that you know of the membership, 15 percent would use it on a regular basis. And by regular basis, I mean twice a week now.

Mike Matthews:
A couple times a week.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. Yeah. It's very low percentage. And that's the industry standard. And it may be a lot higher that that now, but it's still the case. You know, if you remember of Gold's, you probably don't go that much, but you're still paying. But you go occasionally and it's... to you it's worth it. And that's fine. That's the market.

Mike Matthews:
Sure. Of course.

Mark Rippetoe:
Fine. I just.... Planet Fitness does a fine job of that. It just they're not in the same business we are. They are in the sales business, we're in the fitness business.

Mike Matthews:
Right. You're getting into the supplement business.

Mark Rippetoe:
We may be, we may be. We may very well be rolling out a couple of products here pretty soon. And we're to talk to Mike a little bit more about that because he knows more about it than we do. And he's graciously agreed to help us with that.

Mark Rippetoe:
So what else you want to talk about? You want to give everybody a breakdown your approach to the problem of what to do in the gym?

Mike Matthews:
Sure. Yeah. I mean, it's going like like you said, it's pretty similar, right? So...

Mark Rippetoe:
It really is.

Mike Matthews:
You know, so I have a book for men - "Bigger, Leaner, Stronger" - a book for women - "Thinner, Leaner, Stronger." And that came about because a lot of women were reading the men's book and saying like, "Hey, this seems pretty applicable to me, but I don't really want to be bigger."

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, the bigger thing, is a problem for them sure.

Mike Matthews:
Not. No, not really what I want. And also there's there's a fair amount of upper body training. And, you know, I'm more concerned with my lower body. Right. Right. So eventually it made sense to take the men's book and just customize it towards women as much as possible. Some of it...

Mark Rippetoe:
There's a small subset of the women's market that wants to get bigger.

Mike Matthews:
Yes, there is. Some women intentionally now still read that book because they they want to, you know, get as jacked as they can.

Mark Rippetoe:
They know they're...they know they're they're skinny. Even those that don't want to be jacked that are that are rail thin...

Mike Matthews:
That's true. And the title....

Mark Rippetoe:
...know they look better with a little bit more muscle mass.

Mike Matthews:
Absolutely. The title I was thinking like "Fitter, Leaner, Stronger" might be a better in terms of really the better statement of the benefits. Because there are many women out there who don't want to be thinner like they want to be by fitters. Maybe how they might think about it, but I didn't like how it sounded in there.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, I think that it doesn't comport well with the previous title.

Mike Matthews:
Yes, exactly. And it doesn't it doesn't really. "Thinner, Leaner, Stronger" just it just sounds better than "Fitter."

Mark Rippetoe:
No, for that market, I absolutely... it would certainly appeal to most of...the most of them.

Mike Matthews:
And I was also thinking with many of the women I had heard from over the years where mostly they wanted to start with losing some losing some weight.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes. That's almost a universal aspect of the women's fitness industry.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah. And not not because they're had body dysmorphia or something. But, you know, if a woman's at 30 percent body fat, she might look at 20 percent body fat and be like, oh, I'd be nice and say no. So nothing unhealthy about that. So so that's the women's book. And the fundamentals in terms of the diet side of things are very similar. Like, you know, I don't need to explain energy balance to a man differently than a woman. Calories in, calories out.

Mark Rippetoe:
Physiology is physiology.

Mike Matthews:
It is what it is. Right. But there were quite a few things that where I was able to really separate it out, like if we were talking about, you know, common myths and mistakes. Well, those are quite different, actually. Like a lot of women are concerned, at least that that come come my way, are concerned initially with getting to be bulky.

Mark Rippetoe:
Bulky, big, bulky bunch up what they call it? Bunchy?

Mike Matthews:
Think it's just bulky. It's just the word.

Mark Rippetoe:
Bulk. Bulk. They don't want to be hearing words like "bulk." And I hear "bunchy muscles." Which doesn't mean... You never heard that?

Mike Matthews:
I haven't heard "bunchy."

Mark Rippetoe:
I want to sculpt, long, lean...

Mike Matthews:
Like a ballerina. That's the key.

Mark Rippetoe:
I'ts "sculpt." Sculpt. Long, lean...

Mike Matthews:
Toned.

Mark Rippetoe:
Muscle. It's not "muscles," it's "muscle.".

Mike Matthews:
Lean muscle.

Mark Rippetoe:
Lean muscle.

Mike Matthews:
That's the key.

Mark Rippetoe:
Long lean muscle.

[off-camera]:
As oppoed to the fat muscle.

Mike Matthews:
Fuck the fat muscle.

Mark Rippetoe:
Long lean muscle.

Mike Matthews:
Gotta be lean muscle. And and so, so anyway, it goes over on the on the dietary side of things. Again, the practical approach is very similar, of course. It's just what it boils down to is that women generally are going to be eating less food. They're needing fewer calories than men because they just burn fewer calories, smaller bodies.

Mike Matthews:
And and how those calories break down in terms of protein and carbohydrate and fat doesn't really have to change kind of the standard approach that I recommend.

Mark Rippetoe:
Just proportioned out.

Mike Matthews:
Is up is like a you could start with that, you know, 40, 40, 20 type approach. We're about 40 percent your calories come from protein, 40 percent from carbohydrate, 20 percent from fat, or you could express it in different terms. Protein somewhere between, I don't know, zero point eight to one gram per pound per day and somewhere around zero point three grams of fat per day. You can go higher if you want, but that's probably enough for health and then fill in the rest your calories with carbs. Right.

Mike Matthews:
And and of course, you are you are taking your your energy out and you are calibrating your energy. And accordingly, if you want to get skinnier, gonna get leaner. If you wanna lose fat, you're going to have to have an energy deficit there. Right. So you're gonna have to eat fewer calories than you burn over time. And these are boring things to you and maybe to people listening. But if you remember, I remember when you first learned about this, it was like your mind was blown. I I mean, maybe I just remember because you hear all these weird things, you know, right now it's the keto diet or any of that, you know, that this food makes you fat. No, it's this food makes you fat and this food makes you lean. And, you know, you have to do much cardio. You hear all these things.

Mike Matthews:
And so when somebody comes along and says, like, not really. Just here, here are calories, you know, set them up like this, I want you to break these calories down into protein, carbs and fats. I do want you to eat nutritious foods because I do want you to take care of your body. It doesn't matter for your body composition. Let's make that clear. But let's think a little bit further than just body composition.

Mike Matthews:
So how about this? Get like the majority of your calories, 80 percent of your calories from nutritious foods. And if you want to take the remaining and eat whatever you want, then do that. And that gives you some some, you know, flexibility.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, this is this is precisely equivalent to our approach for strength training. You squat your bench, you press your deadlift, you do some power cleans, power snatches, chin ups. Right. That's all you need to do. But the key is, amazingly enough. You just add a little bit of weight every time you train. Add a little bit weight every time you train. If you do it three days a week, then you're going to get stronger. And it's astonishingly simple. It's astonishingly simple and it works every single time it's tried. But it's it's unimpressive.

Mike Matthews:
It's not sexy.

Mark Rippetoe:
To people...

Mike Matthews:
It doesn't have the marketing spin.

Mark Rippetoe:
...who like complexity.

Mike Matthews:
Yes. That's true. Right. And that's a marketing tactic is I mean, complexity sells. If if you are if you are a good salesperson, you know how to use it. Like muscle confusion, these kinds of things. Right. These things they they sell. I mean, maybe that that so at this point, I think most people know that's bullshit. But there was a time when.... And then you take that and it gets it gets spun into the next turbulence training or, you know, whatever.

[off-camera]:
Training on an airplane?

Mike Matthews:
And only when there's turbulence. That's the key.

Mark Rippetoe:
A smooth airplane ride's just no fun.

Mike Matthews:
What happened is that during normal turbulence is your testosterone levels rock by like 10000 percent. Yeah. Don't look into it. But that's what happens. Yes. Yeah. That's the anabolic window, is that turbulence periods. So.

Mike Matthews:
So, yeah, you know, funny. So a buddy of mine, he was in the gym with me and actually met him in the gym. Right. And so he was a bit overweight and he had tried a bunch of weird diets to lose weight. And he was asking me, you know, hey, he's like, you're the fittest guy I know, what should I do? Just tell me what I should do. Right. So should I do a low carb diet? Should I do keto, what should I do? Paleo? And his name's Josh.

Mike Matthews:
I was like, Josh I want you to eat 2000 calories a day and I want you to get 150 grams of protein. I don't care what you eat. It's it would be good for you eat like a vegetable or two. But for now, just just do that. Go on a calorie counting website. And I want you to just -- two thousand calories. That's it. That's what you get. I have got. I don't care how often you eat.

Mark Rippetoe:
Immediately induce a calorie...

Mike Matthews:
Deficit. Exactly. Right. And and so he was a little bit puzzled. He's a smart guy. So, you know, but he's still a bit puzzled. He's like, well, what about carbs? I don't care. Eat what what you want. I don't care. This is not the long term end all be all. But let's start...

Mark Rippetoe:
We're not going to do this the rest of your life.

Mike Matthews:
Yes. I just want to show you how simple this really is. Right. And he's like, so sugar. And like, I don't I don't care. But I don't recommend eating 150 grams of sugar a day because you aren't going to feel too good. But, you know, so maybe eat, you know, semi-sensibly, like how you'd want your kid to eat or something. And 2000 calories. That's it. Okay.

Mike Matthews:
And so he does it. And, you know, within five weeks, he's down 15 pounds. Right. And he's like, you know, he's telling you, he's like, this is ironic because he he was he was quoting Carl Jung. And you're saying, OK. He is a neat guy.

Mike Matthews:
He can't help himself. So he went he went to school and he studied...he had a master's in history, studied history and philosophy just for fun, because it's what he's into, and now he's a financial advisor. He knew he was going to use it for anything. He just did it for fun. Right.

Mike Matthews:
But he's like, you know, this is actually a funny concept. He's like, there's a thing that that Jung said that basically like the the truth. What you need the most, what you want the most is in the place where you least want to look. Right. And he's like, yeah, this is that version. This is that this I never wanted to... I told myself I would never count calories. I would never pay attention to that. I would always try to find some other way. And then you tell me two thousand calories a day and now I've lost 15 pounds. And then eventually that turned into 30 pounds. And that was the end of his weight problem.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right, and now he knows what to do.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah. And now he knows what to do.

Mark Rippetoe:
He's reset his habits.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah. And if he wants to if he wants to, you know, whatever. If he's on vacation, if he wants to gain a bit of weight or... it doesn't matter now. He doesn't he doesn't have to fret about it because he knows that. Cool. He'll just get back onto his exercise routine and he'll eat 2000 calories a day...

Mark Rippetoe:
And it'll go away.

Mike Matthews:
It'll go away.

Mark Rippetoe:
It'll go away. Right.

Mike Matthews:
So there's that there's a training equivalent of that, too. And that's that's very much the approach. And in my books, again, is very similar to what you teach. In fact, your book, Starting Strength was the first real sensible training program that I ever did. Before that I was doing bodybuilding stuff out of magazines, two and a half hour workout.

Mark Rippetoe:
So was I.

Mike Matthews:
And I guess I hadn't deadlifted... I hadn't done in seven years. I had never done a single set of deadlifts, not one. And I and I maybe had done a free squat. I had squatted on a on a Smith machine, of course, because that was "safer," you know.

Mark Rippetoe:
Mike, we all started off this stupid. You know...

Mike Matthews:
I did. I had a lot of chest flyes. I had some pecs, though, so. And a little bit of biceps, too.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, you know. It's interesting that we're we're talking about these misconceptions that we've all had to deal with. The most pervasive problem in terms of body composition that I see throughout...and this is not this is not particularly a problem within the industry, because I think we all know better than this, but popular culture clings to the idea that you can exercise off the fat. And there's just not any way to break in to this idea.

Mike Matthews:
I don't even like the ... how it's framed. I don't like framing it that way.

Mark Rippetoe:
I mean, it's absolutely untrue.

Mike Matthews:
I talk about that in the books, you know? Sure, you can support your fat loss with exercise, you burn energy. But you go in the gym to build muscle and and to get a strong.

Mark Rippetoe:
And the big muscles burn the fat, but you don't...the exercise itself, doesn't burn enough calories affect your body composition. There is no bodyfat loss without a calorie deficit. There isn't one. But most people, if you ask them, down deep in their little hearts...

Mike Matthews:
It's the one thing that you need to do.

Mark Rippetoe:
You got run off the weight. You know, you've gotta run off the weight. People still...

Mike Matthews:
You can look at it this way, right? So you can lose fat or weight, however you want to look at it, without exercising just by manipulating your calories, but you can't gain muscle and strength without exercise.

Mark Rippetoe:
And how many fat guys do you know that run at the YMCA at noon every day?

Mike Matthews:
You know, and you know, that's OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
Does it work or not?

Mike Matthews:
There's health benefits to it. I'd rather have one doing that than sitting on the couch.

Mark Rippetoe:
You want to run? Go ahead and run. Let's not labor under the delusion that you get abs from running. In the absence of a of a calorie deficit, you're going to have a belly.

Mike Matthews:
Which is hard to do if you're not really paying attention to what you're eating.

Mark Rippetoe:
And it's also hard to do if you don't care.

Mike Matthews:
Well, there's that too.

Mark Rippetoe:
I just... sixty three and I just don't I don't care. All the YouTube guys are writing up to... Rippetoe! the fat pile of shit. Look at him sittin' there. He looks like a homeless guy with a...

Mike Matthews:
Dressed like he works at WalMart.

Mark Rippetoe:
WalMart guy, yeah. Yeah.

Mike Matthews:
I can't tell.

Mark Rippetoe:
Hold on. Wait. Everybody see this? Free Starting Strength t-shirt.

Mike Matthews:
He stole that from a homeless guy....

Mark Rippetoe:
Free Starting Strength t-shirt.

Mike Matthews:
...in front of WalMart.

Mark Rippetoe:
To the first one that tells me what this is. All right, you all keep track of that, okay?

Mark Rippetoe:
So what else are we gonna talk about? We can't talk about politics here because that's not... that's too dangerous. Mike and I are in agreement about virtually everything and...you won't like it.

Mark Rippetoe:
So we're going to leave it alone.

Mike Matthews:
I have kids that need to be fed. I have an expensive wife I can't afford.

Mark Rippetoe:
Don't meet death threats.

Mike Matthews:
I can't afford it.

Mark Rippetoe:
I've always wanted a death threat. Mentioned this in one of the earlier podcasts.

Mike Matthews:
You haven't gotten a death threat?

Mark Rippetoe:
No, goddamn it. I've been asking for a death threat. Asking for a death threat. Please threaten my life.

Mike Matthews:
That's when you know you've made it.

Mark Rippetoe:
What did he say? He said he's gonna poison me with mead or something?

[off-camera]:
He said you better delete this video. You know what's good for you?

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, really? Nobody told me that. How come you kept that from me?

[off-camera]:
I just saw it.

Mark Rippetoe:
You'd better delete the vegan... We'd better delete the vegan video if we knew what was good for us. And it's still up. And we're still here. Building's still in place.

[off-camera]:
All life isn't sacred.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, but...

Mike Matthews:
Remember that humans are a virus. So.

Mark Rippetoe:
Humans are a virus on the face of the planet. And vegans are all estradiol poisoned, estrogen laced creatures with no hair.

Mike Matthews:
I haven't clashed with with with vegans, VEGans, you know, tomato, tomato.

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't call them anything but vegan.

Mike Matthews:
Because I mean, I wrote one article on just vegan bodybuilding but but didn't wasn't wasn't trying to make anybody wrong for anything. I was talking about like, OK, if you for whatever reason, if you want to if you want to eat like this, here's a way to make it work. Right now, you have some issues that it can be difficult to get enough protein.

Mark Rippetoe:
Real difficult.

Mike Matthews:
And you got you probably want to take a couple supplements as well to make sure that you don't develop...

Mark Rippetoe:
Have some B-12.

Mike Matthews:
Well, yeah. But calcium can can be a bit difficult as well. And iron and a few things. Zinc, but. But, you know, it was well received just because like I was I was I was being objective and just laying out. There are some downsides. Well, not from a moral. I'm just saying physiologically. Come on. Let's just look at this.

Mark Rippetoe:
Of course. And you were not intentionally being a horse's ass. Like I was and am right because it amuses me.

[off-camera]:
Sanguine. zenith

Mike Matthews:
That means like the the highest. I don't know. He't trying to say, like the highest blood. Yes. Here and he has nobility. Okay.

[off-camera]:
He looks like a vampire.

Mike Matthews:
Okay. Oh good.

Mark Rippetoe:
My video's a joke.

[off-camera]:
Prove it already. For your own sake.

Mark Rippetoe:
"For my own sake" is a threat?

Mark Rippetoe:
Zenith, 31 18 Buchanan.

Mike Matthews:
I think it would be sanguine.

Mark Rippetoe:
7 6 3 0 8. You know where I am, boy.

Mike Matthews:
He's going to show up at night.

Mark Rippetoe:
He's gonna show up at...that would be the wrong time to show up here. Yeah. I'm telling you, that's wrong time to show up here. And I'll show you why here when we get through.

Mike Matthews:
Okay, good.

Mark Rippetoe:
So anything else interesting we talk about? We...every time we talk, we have long conversations.

Mike Matthews:
Fake naturals are always amusing. Maybe that's more in my in my world, though. So many of these people that... anybody who has "lifetime natural" in their IG bio is full of shit. Is on enough drugs to like kill a rhino. That's the the starting point.

Mark Rippetoe:
Typically. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Especially if they claim to be a VEGan.

Mark Rippetoe:
They claim to be a vegan and they're huge.

Mike Matthews:
You're 6'1" 230, 6 percent year round. K right.

Mark Rippetoe:
You're a vegan.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah. Or not. You're...

Mark Rippetoe:
Right and you're clean.

Mike Matthews:
I wrote about this recently, a long autistic article, breakdown of FFMI and its correlation with steroid use. And it didn't actually... a couple people tried to nit pick a couple things. But we're... basically what what the I'd say the data the data shows - and there are a lot of other people out there, smart people who would agree with me - which building up my authority here. We have consensus. No, but it's around 25. Like there's an FFMI, normalized FFMI, around 25 is maybe achievable naturally. Very small number of people have the genetics to do that.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, I've seen guys that do. But that's not normal for a human.

Mike Matthews:
Now, remember, it also can be difficult, though, to determine a true normalized FFMI if the bodyfat level is too high. So like in guys, when it gets above 20 percent, it can it's it gets it gets bumped up because of the... there's a additional and non-lean mass tissue that will accumulate that will register as... it's not fat mass per se. It's additional connective tissue that also shrinks as you get leaner. And so...

Mark Rippetoe:
Skin thickness.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah. There...it matters.

Mark Rippetoe:
That is a that's a big deal. Yeah, that's a big deal. So much skin. And if it's thick, it's heavy. It takes up a lot of space.

Mike Matthews:
And so anyway, it's just though, you know, it's it's just funny when you have these guys, you have guys on Instagram with with, you know, FFMIs of ridiculous 28... To put in perspective. I mean, I just look small because of the shirt I'm wearing, but my...

Mark Rippetoe:
And that's the only reason.

Mike Matthews:
Yes. And I'm actually huge. No, no I'm six one one ninety five. That's just that's just where I'm at. Right. I'm not. I think I have small bones though, like my wrist. I was never meant to be a big guy.

Mark Rippetoe:
Did you do ballet at one time?

Mike Matthews:
I could have. Some people you know when I when I was when I got...

Mark Rippetoe:
Wasted your potential.

Mike Matthews:
People were like... I remember one person he was like, "You have like a nice swimmer's body." And that's my I knew I had to get bigger.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, it's like, oh, God, forgive me if.

Mike Matthews:
It wasn't a left handed... That was they actually were trying to give me a compliment. You know what I mean?

Mark Rippetoe:
Trying their best.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah. But anyway go to my Instagram and see me with some muscle mass and my up my normalized FFMI is like 23 in the low twenty three. So put in perspective twenty... Imagine my height fucking twenty eight. Muscles bulging out of my clothing.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh my god.

Mike Matthews:
Oh natural though. Natural.

Mark Rippetoe:
All natty.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah. Yeah man. At 220 220 shredded year round lifetime lifetime drug free.

Mark Rippetoe:
So just for me and Nick and everybody else that doesn't know what FFMI is, tell us. Yeah well I do. I just con't worry.

Mike Matthews:
No no I should have thought of this and so so just frame this has doesn't know that it's so it's fat free mass index. So it's just a relationship when your height and muscularity. Think of it that way. It all it takes into account though your bodyfat levels as well. So you are looking at that relationship.

Mike Matthews:
How tall you are and how big you are, basically. And there's been quite a bit of research on this over the years, over the decades now. And essentially what seems to be true is 25 or so is about it is about what you can expect. That that's tops tier genetics though. The muscle that's really like elite. Well, maybe not. OK, not top tier, but that is that is elite muscle building genetics.

Mike Matthews:
If you can get into the twenty fives and be like relatively lean as well, you are jacked. And if people are curious what theirs is, they can just Google FFMI calculator - and I have on my website - but open FFMI calculator, put your numbers. Numbers you know. You'll see what you'll see what I mean. You know, so so like my normalized FFMI, my FFMI's in that in the twenty threes low twenty threes and I'm about as big as I - genetically speaking according to different models maybe I could gain another eight pounds of muscle or so five to eight and it would take years. Probably three years to do it.

Mark Rippetoe:
At the body at the bodyfat level you are now.

Mike Matthews:
Yes, yes. Spending but, but, you know, there are a few different models, but those models usually are assuming stage weight. So they're usually assuming like, shredded.

Mike Matthews:
You mean like how how big would you be at like 6 percent body fat? OK. And then extrapolating from there and there's also, you know, Casey, you've come across Casey butts, his work on on how big can you get based on your your bone's size, how much bone you have in your in your body.

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't I don't know. I find that interesting. I figured I'd be interested. I just don't know that anybody derives any benefit from looking at that because there just aren't any big body builders that aren't all a bunch of drugs.

Mike Matthews:
Oh, yeah. For sure.

Mark Rippetoe:
And that's just all there. I'm sorry. But just the way it is.

Mike Matthews:
That's why I like, though. I mean, I think that again, there are. I wrote about this. There are like four different models that are generally used, but is one of them. Alan Aragon put out a model, Mark and Burt Martin Burke and Lyle McDonald put out a model. And if you look at those, though, I've found that those actually, I think, give people better expectations. And I talk about this in an article that I wrote on how much muscle can you build naturally. Right. And kind of goes into this. Actually, I think those give better expectations than just cruising around on Instagram where you don't know. There are too many guys on too many drugs.

Mike Matthews:
And some of them are obvious. Some of them are so big, like when a dude's shoulder is bigger than his head, he's on all of the drugs.

Mark Rippetoe:
And and I don't I don't we don't talk about drugs on this podcast very much. But. And one of the reasons we don't talk about drugs on this podcast very much is because I just don't really care about it. I don't care about it. It's just a fact of life. You know, I'm not I don't advocate it, but it's none of my business. And nothing I'm going to say is going to change a god damn thing about what anybody's going to do. People are gonna take drugs. Get over it and quit worrying about it. Quit trying to draw other people in that decision. It's their decision. Just shut up. Sit down. Don't care about it.

Mike Matthews:
The only thing I don't like, though, is and I hear from these people firsthand, I have for some time, is when people don't understand how to spot drug use and don't they understand how big of a difference drug use makes. And so then...

Mark Rippetoe:
That's why they're illegal. Well, in all sports federations, that's why they're illegal. And that's also one of the bizarre things that's come out of this women this transwomen thing in women's sports recently is...

Mike Matthews:
You think this is going to really continue? Do you to think, because then I guess...

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, it's it it can't much longer.

Mike Matthews:
Former men. Men are just going to dominate every female sport. I mean, it's gonna be actually a joke.

Mark Rippetoe:
It is. It's already a joke.

Mike Matthews:
Well, I know, but it's going to be... It's going to be like peak clown world when female sports are now just dudes who either now identify as women or went through some surgery or hormones or whatever. But when then what does that say to little girls? Like, why even bother?

Mark Rippetoe:
Why bother?

Mike Matthews:
When you're never gonna be half as good.

Mark Rippetoe:
Never going to win?

Mike Matthews:
Never, ever.

Mark Rippetoe:
Never, ever. Going to win.

Mike Matthews:
Never.

Mark Rippetoe:
And you know this. But part of the fallout from this is that some idiots are actually running around saying that testosterone does not enhance. Yes. And this is with respect to women taking testosterone. That it doesn't enhance athletic ability. OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
And yeah, that's fine. OK, you guys go ahead and pretend. Now I will say that some aspects of athletic ability are not affected by testosterone in adult women. Yes, it does not affect vertical jump and it doesn't affect explosiveness, doesn't affect athleticism, agility that sort of thing. But it does affect strength.

Mike Matthews:
You're not going to have a better golf swing or something.

Mark Rippetoe:
But it does affect strength in that you will have a better golf swing because you're stronger.

Mike Matthews:
Right. But I'm saying technically.

Mark Rippetoe:
There aren't any technique steroids. There are no technique steroids. And there are no explosion steroids. Strength... Anytime you hear the word "steroids," just substitute "strength" for it, because that's exactly what's being referred to.

Mike Matthews:
And muscle gain, of course.

Mark Rippetoe:
Muscle mass, strength. That's all it's about. But to say that testosterone does not contribute to muscle mass and strength is the same exact thing as saying that the sun, this morning, just this morning, came up in the West.

Mike Matthews:
It did.

Mark Rippetoe:
It did.

Mike Matthews:
I saw it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Because I, I say it it did. And I've seen this in print. I've actually seen this printed. It's so distressing that people are willing to be so silly in order to jump on this bandwagon. It's just it's just very, very weird and well, I wish they weren't that way, but they are and people are getting tired of it. The parents of female athletes are getting tired of it. The husbands, husbands and wives and boyfriends...

Mike Matthews:
Imagine it's your daughter and she's devastated...

Mark Rippetoe:
And she's placed third in the state track meet. It doesn't get her scholarship now.

Mike Matthews:
And she will do better because.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, because now she's gonna be older now and she's peaked out. And this was her opportunity to go to college free.

Mike Matthews:
So what do you think about the equal pay scandal? The soccer scandal.

Mark Rippetoe:
This is so stupid. It's just, you know. Why do you think? Well to begin with men's and women's soccer are compensated...

Mike Matthews:
I'll be the SJW.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, I. One thing I saw a little meme yesterday...All soccer really is women's soccer.

Mark Rippetoe:
Their compensated... Their compensation structures are are set up completely differently. As a percentage of revenue, women are already making... what is it? twice as much as men are percent in terms of. But but no. These people want to pretend like there are as many people interested in watching women's soccer as there are men's soccer. And that's not true. And it's not trure. That's a lie.

Mike Matthews:
It's reflected in revenue.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's reflected in revenue.

Mike Matthews:
So when the men's World Cup generates four billion in revenue in the women's over a four year cycle, does what 170 million, give or take.

Mark Rippetoe:
Something does that effect...

Mike Matthews:
What else is there to say?

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't know what else there is to say. And I don't know how you people can be this dense.

Mike Matthews:
What does it mean if someone can't understand that though?

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. You just don't understand arithmetic?

Mike Matthews:
Yeah. This is. Yeah. This is like a balance sheet. You know what I mean? You have some money that comes in, you know, and then you got to pay your your bills, then you have some money left over.

[off-camera]:
The men make 9 percent of revenue, the women make thirteen. So they get paid more.

Mark Rippetoe:
They just don't draw enough attention because nobody wants to watch them play soccer.

Mike Matthews:
Now, why is that? Is that because the. Because because of the patriarchy? That's why.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's why. Yeah. It's the patriarchy, you know.

Mike Matthews:
You know, I was always at the peak of the patriarchy. I was. I was at the country club golfing the other weekend.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, isn't that luxurious?

Mike Matthews:
With with with Jeeves there to assist me.

Mark Rippetoe:
Jeeves...with your with your clubs.

Mike Matthews:
And so the dudes next to me were talking about this. Right. So older guys, you know, just don't give a shit. They're talking about this. They're like, oh, no, I'll never fucking do it. I'll watch that shit if they're naked.

Mike Matthews:
So. So that's part of the problem is people.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know this is but this is an issue to about 80 people. You know that the girls on the team and their and their girlfriends. If... that's who this is an issue to. Nobody else is puzzled by this. All right. What are the people? What do the girls in the WNBA get paid relative to the NBA and why? Do you really need us to explain this to you?

Mike Matthews:
Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't I'm not going to insult your intelligence by doing so. You ought to be smart enough to know what the deal is. And I...you know is this... Look, if you really want to pursue this line of questioning, then we got to stop playing sports.

Mike Matthews:
That would be the fairest thing. That would be fair.

Mark Rippetoe:
Nobody can win. OK. Because when somebody wins..

Mike Matthews:
Somebody has to lose...

Mark Rippetoe:
..somebody else to lose. And in any sport, that's not fair.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's just not fair that somebody loses. Yes. So you're you people...

Mike Matthews:
Enlightenment.

Mark Rippetoe:
Your analysis doesn't go anywhere that you want it to be. You know, you you've you've got to back this off and grow the fuck up.

Mike Matthews:
And you gotta look at it... Ok. You want female soccer players get paid more then you got to make it a better business. So how are you going to make it a better business? That's the real... It's not just trying to.

Mark Rippetoe:
You're going to have more on money from it. Right. From what can't be paid. There isn't any more money because nobody watches your sport.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, how do you make them want to watch your sport? I don't think you're going to like the answer to that. I really don't think you'll like the answer to that. Women beach volleyball figured it out. But you guys don't want to do that, do you?

Mark Rippetoe:
You're you're not. You're not going to be able to force people to spend money to watch you do something that they don't want to watch you do.

Mark Rippetoe:
I'm sorry. You don't get to tell people what to watch.

Mike Matthews:
And it's not misogyny. That's not why.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's not misogyny. It's the nature of sports competition.

Mike Matthews:
Exactly. It's you want to see super freaks doing super things.

Mark Rippetoe:
You want to see athleticism.

Mike Matthews:
Women aren't skilled. Not at all. But, hey take the women's soccer team - they got beat by a bunch of 15 year old boys.

Mark Rippetoe:
So now, you know, we talked about that at an earlier podcast. There are several instances of that all over the world.

Mike Matthews:
And what's not a knock against women it just is what it is.

Mark Rippetoe:
What's interesting is their coach, their coaches knew that it would be good for them to play the boys, like because they knew they'd get beat and learn something from it.

Mike Matthews:
Some perspective.

Mark Rippetoe:
In other words, you already know this. You already know this. But it's 2019 and it's so fucking satisfying to be mad. It's just so goddamn satisfying to be offended by other people.

Mike Matthews:
Maybe it's just, you know, is it satisfied just to feel something maybe in today's... just sort of.

Mark Rippetoe:
Any kind of emotion. And anger will do fine. Anything to just get you off of your telephone.

Mike Matthews:
Oh, yeah. And in our get get you away from Netflix or social media or porn for...I guess you go to social media to this... Let's get you off Netflix and off the porn for long enough to get mad about get mad about something. To feel relevant.

Mark Rippetoe:
This is good enough and it makes you feel better.

Mike Matthews:
And to signal to everyone in your immediate vicinity that you too are virtuous...

Mark Rippetoe:
So that's a little insight into Mike and Rip's politics.

Mike Matthews:
Was that enough to get death threats though?

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, we'll see.

Mike Matthews:
Maybe.

Mark Rippetoe:
We'll see death threats or cool.

[off-camera]:
Comments are all going to be.

Mark Rippetoe:
They're all going to be "I'm going to kill you. I'm going to kill you. I'm going to beat off to the video.

Mike Matthews:
YouTube doesn't care.

Mark Rippetoe:
I'm out to kill you first and then beat off to the video. That's the usual or some combo.

Well, we'll see what they say...that ought to...you guys.

Mark Rippetoe:
Let's see the comment.

Mike Matthews:
What's that? Wouldn't be necrophilia, right? Is it Necro? If it's just if it's just jerking off to...

Mark Rippetoe:
If the cum lands on me when I'm dead.

Mike Matthews:
But is if that's...if there's no penetrate like that, it is necrophilia?

Mark Rippetoe:
I'm real sure it is. I'm real sure it is.

Mike Matthews:
Is probably is sexual satisfaction.

Mark Rippetoe:
If necrophilia requires penetration. I don't know where, but that's a pretty weak ex...then you're not a...

Mike Matthews:
No sexual intercourse.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, it stipulates penetration?

Mike Matthews:
Or attraction towards.

See I knew it was broader than that...

Dictionaries are racist anyway. I don't care.

Mark Rippetoe:
So, boys...

Mike Matthews:
I don't believe in dictionaries.

Mark Rippetoe:
You're ready? You got to kill me first, though, or you don't get to be a necrophiliac.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh fuck, we're going to get in trouble. Mike. We better wrap this up, man.

Mark Rippetoe:
Thanks for visiting. So what's your website? Let me post this on the...

Mike Matthews:
Legion. Legion athletics is the hub, so. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Everything goes through there.

Mike Matthews:
Yeah. I had another Web site, Muscle for Life that was a glorified blog. It was popular, but it didn't serve much of a strategic purpose. So I merged into Legion.

Mark Rippetoe:
Legion athletics Dot com is where you'll find Mike. Get his books and buy his supplements and you will be better for it. I promise you, Mike's a good guy and he knows what he's talking about. If that's the end of this deal you're attracted to, then go there and patronize him. And when we get into the supplement business, we're just going to...we'll murder him. We'll gut him. We'll gut him. Just be prepared to be gutted.

Mike Matthews:
Come at me, bro.

Mark Rippetoe:
Come at me, bro. That's a death threat.

Mike Matthews:
That's a microaggression actually.

Mark Rippetoe:
Thank you, people, for joining us of the podcast this time. We'll see you next time. Thanks, Mike.

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Mark Rippetoe and Michael Matthews discuss lifting for aesthetics, nutrition, supplements, and the book publishing business.

  • 00:00 Comments from the haters!
  • 04:13 Intro
  • 04:56 Making a new edition
  • 08:01 Being wrong
  • 13:14 Advertising
  • 17:09 How's business?
  • 19:36 Getting kicked in the dick by Amazon...
  • 23:19 ...And Google too
  • 28:40 Word of mouth
  • 30:37 The lead box and Planet Fitness
  • 36:31 Mike Matthew's approach in the gym
  • 40:18 What to eat
  • 46:47 Misconceptions
  • 49:32 Death threats
  • 50:59 VEGans
  • 52:49 Fake naturals
  • 59:35 Drugs, sport, & back to death threats

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