26: Michael Matthews: The Simple Science to Building the Ultimate Male Body

Michael Matthews is the founder of muscleforlife.com and the author of the best selling book Bigger, Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science to Building the Ultimate Male Body.

Michael believes that every person can achieve the body of his or her dreams, and works hard to give everyone that chance by providing workable, proven advice grounded in science, not a desire to sell phony magazines, workout products, or supplements.

Through his work, Michael has helped thousands of people achieve their health and fitness goals, and shares everything he knows in over a dozen books in the health and fitness space. You can connect with Mike and learn more at Muscleforlife.com

Favorite Success Quote

“In this age, which believes that there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest.” – Henry Miller

Key Points

1. Building the Ideal Body is a Simple Formula

We live in an age of information over load.

Each and every day videos and articles are released detailing this “one weird trick” that “secret to weight loss” and oh… don’t forget the constant barrage of studies telling us that lifting weights is bad for you, running will kill you, and damn it those carbs are giving you cancer.

But despite the proliferation of bad information and flashy marketing b.s. the basic formula for building the ideal male body is simple.

While Mike dives into the exact science in his book Bigger, Leaner, Stronger, if you want a better body, then follow these principles.

Lift 3-5 times a week for an hour each.

Train 4-6 reps per set with 3 working sets.

Shoot for 9-12 heavy sets per work out.

Focus on the “Big Four” lifts: Bench Press, Military Press, Squats, and Dead lifts.

Eat in a caloric surplus or deficit based on your goals.


It’s actually that simple.

2. Use Negative Feedback to Improve Yourself 

One of the biggest weaknesses of the millennial generation is that the vast majority of young men are too thin skinned to handle the negative feedback and criticism that abounds in the modern world.

You need to realize that you are not perfect.

And especially if you are starting an online business, there will be haters and trolls who will mercilessly point out your imperfections.

Instead of getting upset about the criticism, use it to your advantage.

Learn to filter out the crap and accept negative feedback for what it is: An opportunity to improve yourself.

3. Shave Out What is Unnecessary from Your Schedule

If you want to truly succeed in all areas of life, then you need to mercilessly eliminate the superfluous and unnecessary from your schedule.

Find the things that are stealing your time and cut them out like a cancer.

Whether it’s TV, video games, porn, or even a relationship, understand the ramifications that they are having in your life and make the conscious decision to cut them out… or at least severely limit the amount of time you spend on those activities.

If you need the extra push, just think about it this way.

Let’s say that each day you spend roughly 90 minutes sitting in front of the xbox, 90 minutes watching Netflix, and 30 minutes watching porn.

That’s 3.5 hours a day, 24.5 hours a week, 98 hours a month, and 1,176 hours a year!

That means that you are literally spending 29.4 work weeks on activities that do nothing to push you closer to your goals!

That’s enough time to start a business, master a new skill, or take the intimacy in your relationship to a whole new level.

Whatever the time leak is for you, find it and plug it immediately.

4. Understand Opportunity Cost 

Whenever you make the decision to do one thing, by default you are deciding not to do another.

If you decide to go to the gym, you are also deciding not to spend that time at work, with family, or with friends.

If you decide to go out with your wife or girlfriend, you are also deciding that you are not going to spend that time building your body, growing your business, or investing time in yourself.

But this is not a negative thing, it is simply a reality that you must be aware of when you are setting your goals and creating a vision.

Do you really want to take your physique to the next level? If so, then you need to realize that you are going to have to give up at least 6 hours of your time each week to attain this goal.

But if you just want to pack on a little muscle or lose that extra 10 lbs. hanging around your gut, then you can get by with only 3 hours a week.

There is no wrong way to do things here.

But you need to realize the implications of opportunity cost and what you are going to be sacrificing as you seek to achieve your goals.

5. If You Want to Win Friends, Get Engaged 

The quickest way to win friends in business, at the gym, or in life is to get engaged.

Drop all the crap and the false pretenses that fill most interactions and just get engaged.

Put your phone down, quit asking questions so that you can steer the conversation in your direction, and start focusing on the other person.

This is the quickest way to get people to like and trust you and it will have a drastic impact on your life and happiness.

Some of you might find it funny that this particular piece of advice is reering its head in an interview/article about fitness and the ideal male body.

But you need to realize the power that relationships have in determining your overall health and longevity.

Many studies have shown that social isolation can cause depression, weaken our immune system, and even lead to chronic diseases.

So while it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about living a healthy life, you need to realize the important role that learning how to win friends and influence people plays on your health.

Influential Books

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Talent is Overrated by Geoffrey Colvin

Next Steps

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