There’s such a massive amount of misinformation circulating in the fitness industry these days, and it can often be a very difficult task trying to separate the fact from the fiction. You can count on this Q&A as an honest, reliable source of information to apply to your muscle building or fat loss program, and there are a ton of useful tips that I’ll be outlining over the coming weeks.
A: Despite the “hardcore” bodybuilding mentality that tries to treat squats as the be-all-end-all of effective lower body development, the simple truth is that it IS perfectly possible to build big, strong, impressively muscular legs without them. Overall, a basic barbell squat is probably the most productive lower body movement out there, and if your goal is maximumsize and strength gains, then they definitely should be included in your program. However, that doesn’t mean there’s anything “magical” about squats, and it doesn’t mean they’re mandatory or that you can’t build big legs without them. If you have an existing injury that prevents you from squatting, equipment limitations, or some other reason why you simply can’t or don’t want to perform them, it’s far from the end of the world as far as your leg training is concerned.
ANY exercise that places the targeted muscles under tension and that allows for progressive overload over time will still be an effective means of achieving muscular hypertrophy, and there are a ton of other lifts besides squats that can do that for you.
Leg presses (45 degree or horizontal, and done either both legs at a time or one-legged)… barbell and dumbbell lunges… barbell and dumbbell step-ups… leg extensions… these are all perfectly acceptable means of training your quads for increased size and strength and will produce very significant gains as long as sufficient intensity and volume are in place. If it’s specifically back squats that you can’t perform, there are also an endless number of other effective variations to choose from there, including front squats, hack squats, dumbbell squats, split-squats, goblet squats and single-leg squats just to name a few. Again, I’m not saying that squats aren’t a fantastic leg exercise, because they certainly are. Q: What is the best way to approach cheat meals as part of a complete bulking or cutting diet? Stop thinking about your diet in terms of individual food items, and start viewing it as one complete, overall package. Your favorite “particularly-calorie-dense” foods should simply be looked at as one piece of your complete approach to eating, and as long as you include them in moderation it will literally have no noticeable effect on your bottom line results at the end of the day.
Simply put, this means that if 80-90% of your diet is based around high quality proteins, minimally refined carbs and healthy fats (and you’re getting in a couple servings of fruit and veggies each day as well), then the other 10-20% can come from whatever foods you’d like as long as it reasonably fits into your daily macronutrient totals.
Following a “flexible” approach to nutrition like this will make your life far more enjoyable day to day, and in my opinion, promotes a much healthier relationship with food as well. Q: Do testosterone boosters really work, and if so, what is the best test boosting supplement available? If you currently have below average testosterone levels that have been brought on by a specific vitamin or mineral deficiency, then it is possible to use supplementation as a means of bringing yourself back into the normal range. However, if you’re like most of the population and your testosterone levels are already within the normal range, then using natural supplements in an attempt to boost those levels into a supraphysiological range high enough to measurably increase muscle growth or fat loss is likely a complete waste of money. There’s simply no evidence at all to suggest that traditional “test boosters” (such as tribulus, d-aspartic acid, avena sativa, longjack etc.) are of any real use for bodybuilding purposes, especially considering that testosterone levels need to be elevated by several hundred percent for any real increase in hypertrophy to take place. The highest we’ve come is with d-aspartic acid, but even that will only yield a small 30-40% boost, still nowhere near large enough to produce measurable changes in body composition. However, if you’re using them purely for their “testosterone boosting” properties, you’d be well-advised to save your cash and spend it elsewhere. Cardio should simply be viewed as an overall calorie-burning tool, and trying to manipulate the specific type of fuel that the body uses during the session (whether it be carbs or fat) through special pre and post cardio nutrition techniques is really just a waste of time and effort. The body’s energy systems are extremely complex and dynamic, and since fat loss ultimately comes down to maintaining an ongoing calorie deficit in the big picture, there’s really no need to pre-occupy yourself with what takes place within small 30-45 minute windows a few times a week. Just base this one on personal preference and go with whatever specific food combination, in whatever amount, and at whatever time period prior to your session allows you to perform at your best and feel most comfortable during your cardio workout. Whether that’s a small shake, medium sized snack or even a large meal, it’s completely up to you.


Q: I’m having trouble eating enough throughout the day in order meet my calorie needs for muscle growth. A: First off, if hitting your overall calorie needs for muscle growth is really posing that much of a challenge for you, I’d first recommend making sure that you aren’t going overboard on total food intake in the first place.
Your body can only build so much muscle in a given day, and a moderate calorie surplus of around 300-400 above maintenance is really all that’s needed to max out your hypertrophy potential anyway, not to mention that it will keep fat gains minimized.
First off, experiment with different daily meal frequencies and meal layouts to find the one that maximizes your individual hunger, whether it be 3 large meals, 5 medium sized meals or 7 small meals. There are a ton of possible options here, such as nuts, dried fruit, fruit juice, dark chocolate, healthy oils, fatty fish, granola bars etc.
Find some particularly high calorie foods that fit into your overall macronutrient needs for the day, combine those with the other regular meals you’re already eating, and hitting your calorie totals for the day really shouldn’t be too hard. I hope you found these question and answers useful, and keep an eye out for Part 3 coming soon. Sean Nalewanyj is a best-selling fitness author, natural bodybuilder and success coach who has been publishing science-based, no B.S muscle building and fat loss information online since 2005.
By completing cardio first, cortisol is released without a concurrent increase in testosterone.
Another nail in the coffin for doing cardio before strength training is the inhibition of the mTOR pathways. If you try maxing out on squats after an intense cardio session, you may be mentally and physically fatigued, which increases the chance of injury. While there are several benefits for lifting weights before cardio, at the end of the day, the best fat loss plan is the one you will stick to and that continues to produce results. I have been doing cardio before weights for a while now because that’s the only way I really enjoy it.
Personally, I think you would be best served experimenting by splitting your routine in half. If my goal is to gain muscle, will doing HIIT type cardio AFTER my weight training, 3 times a week, make me LOSE muscle?
Ideally I would like to perform HIIT on my off days, but my schedule doesn’t allow it, therefore I prefer after my weights. Also, I was wondering, would walking on a treadmill, at a speed of 5, with an incline of 11 for 30-45 minutes be good for shedding fat but without losing muscle?
I think it’s very important to realize if you are trying to build muscle, the primary goal is to build muscle.
Wow, this is certainly an eye opener, and it really makes so much sense you’d think it would be… well common sense! Hi, I am doing 30 minutes of cardio that includes cycling, jumping, cross trainer and Streching. Marc, I am focusing on mostly fat burning right now while maintaining current muscle strength. Marc, I weigh about 165 lbs and have just started going to the gym .My goal is to put on muscle since i look really lean and thin (I am 183 inches tall).
Marc, I am taking a break from heavy lifting for the next three weeks in order to relieve my connective tissues. I much rather walk on a 15 incline at a 5mph speed for 45 minutes, than perform HIIT for 20 minutes, as it is rough on my knees. However, to say that you can’t train your lower body effectively without them is just downright false.


Stop telling yourself that “this food is good” and “that food is bad”, because your body doesn’t see it like that anyway. Zinc and magnesium are depleted through sweat and hard-training gym goers often have low levels of each, while D3 is a vitamin that nearly everyone doesn’t get enough of. Smoothies are a very easy way to consume a large number of healthy calories very quickly and easily, and using these in combination with whole foods will make it far easier to hit your calorie requirements.
Through the comprehensive free content found in his Articles, YouTube Channel, Facebook Page and online newsletters, Sean has helped hundreds of thousands of average, everyday people from all over the world build muscle, lose fat and completely transform their bodies and lives.
I give out real, science-based, no B.S training, nutrition and supplementation advice to help you build muscle and lose fat in the most productive yet practical way possible. Concurrent training: a meta-analysis examining interference of aerobic and resistance exercises. I work out monday through friday and the weight workouts don’t go over 45 minutes (high weights, low reps (2-8 range).
Do I recommend that you perform them as part of your leg routine if you’re physically able to? In an industry that has become completely overrun with gimmicks, false information and outright scams, you can trust this site as an honest, reliable resource to help you reach your fitness goals. After wards I do weight training I want to get a ripped look, however I hv got belly stubborn fat rest is fine just the belly. I like to lose some belly and waist fat and at the same time get some nice muscle (i just want to look good at the beach haha) can any one give me some advice? I’m a stone over weight and my main goal is to lose the stone and gain muscle.But i want to lose the stone asap so should i do cardio afterwards? However I also want to gain muscle though I know it is not possible to loose fat and build muscle at the same time.
I do 15 minutes of high intensity cardio on the treadmill before moving on to a traditional 45 minute bodybuilding workout.
I think it is more or less right for people who don’t have the mental toughness for hiit cardio 5 days a week. I have e desk job and thats killing me, every our of so i use to eat some candy of chaclate bar etc. But doing the HIIT on my bike or stationary bike help me a lot and doing workout 4 time a week is just fantastic. I will meassure my waist and check my weigt next week so i will lat you guys know of any progres. I have found that I am outperforming lots of kids in their twenties who are careful not to actually get their heart rates up too high lest they lose all their energy (sarcasm). In addition to the excercise I try to cut my maintenance caloric intake by about 500 calories a day. I burn about 340 during the cardio to that creates a good calorie deficit without every really getting crazy hungry.
When you start thinking of food in terms of minutes on the treadmill the food needs to be REALLY worth it or I just find myself passing. My feeling is that when I hit my bf% goal I can ease up on the cardio and have even more energy available for muscle building (but with a heart that is more fit).



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