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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet

Hey what’s up guys, Sean Nalewanyj here,
with part 4 of my bodybuilding and fat loss Q&A series, we’ve covered a lot of useful
information so far and I hope that you’ve been finding the tips that I’ve been discussing
helpful, I still have quite a few more installments to come, and you can use the links in the
description box below to access all of the other Q&A’s that are available. So, let’s
jump into the 5 questions and answers for today. Question #1, is “time under tension”
an important factor to pay attention to during each set, or is counting reps good enough?
The specific amount of time that your muscles spend under stress in any given set obviously
does play some role in optimizing muscle growth, but it’s still not something that I would
suggest that you worry about. Time under tension just basically tells us something that we
already know, which is that, number one, short sets done in very low rep ranges are going
to be best suited for making strength gains, number two, long sets done in very high rep
ranges will be best suited for improving muscular endurance, and number three, sets that land
somewhere in the middle between those two are going to be best suited for increasing
muscular hypertrophy. However, it’s not as if anyone actually knows for sure what
the ideal time frames are for each specific training goal in the first place, and as long
as you’re training within a standard bodybuilding style rep range, so that’s going to be anywhere
from 5 reps up to 12 reps per set and you’re doing your reps with a fast and explosive
concentric and a reasonably controlled negative, then you’re already going to land within
the typical time under tension “hypertrophy range” anyway. And not only that, but basing
your sets on a specific time goal, that might actually be counterproductive, because it
will take your focus away from the things that truly do matter during each set, things
like proper rep speed, overall intensity, and a focus on progression in weight and reps.
Question #2, what is the ideal length of time that a bulking or cutting phase should last?
Now there really is no such thing as an “optimal” time frame for any particular bulking or cutting
phase, and that’s because it just completely depends on each individual person and their
specific situation. If the primary goal is to put on muscle, then a bulking phase can
continue for as long as it needs to until that person has either gained an amount of
muscle that they’re satisfied with, or until their body fat percentage has reached a level
that they’re ultimately not comfortable with and that they want to reduce. Depending
on the person, that means the bulking phase could last for 8 weeks, 8 months or literally
even 8 years. And if the primary goal is to lose body fat, then a cutting phase can continue
for whatever length of time is needed for that person to reach their desired level of
leanness that they’re after, or until they just want to shift gears and start adding
some muscle mass based on their preference of how they want to look. And again, depending
on the person, that specific time frame could vary all over the map. So if you want to lay
out a set bulking and cutting cycle length right from the get go justto give yourself
a rough idea of what sort of time frames you might be dealing with, then that’s totally
fine, however, just keep in mind that these are only going to be rough estimates, because
there’s really no way for you to predict exactly what your specific rate of muscle
growth or fat loss will be or how those changes are going to reflect in your actual appearance,
or even how your preferences might change over time. Question #3, what are the differences
between freeweights, machines and cables when it comes to building muscle, and is one tool
better than the other? Now you’ll often get a typical black-and-white “free weights
are king” response from many people when it comes to this question, I’m sure that
I’ve actually said that myself in the past, but in reality, it’s reallynot quite that
simple and there’s no need to turn it into a “one or the other” argument in the first
place anyway. When it all comes down to it here, free weights, machines and cables are
all just individual items in your overall training toolbox and they each have their
own specific use and specific advantagaes depending on the situation. Yes, basic barbells
and dumbbells are awesome training tools and they probably will form the underlying foundation
of your training routine, however, machines and cables definitely still have their place
as well and in fact some exercises are actually going to be better suited to machines and
cables in comparison to the free weight variations. For example, exercises that are performed
in a circular motion, so things like side laterals or chest flys or tricep extensions,
those movements are actually more effective when you do them using cables because that’s
going to allow you to put your muscles under constant tension throughout the entire range
of motion, whereas free weights will always give you an inconsistent resistance curve
because they rely only on the straight up and down force of gravity. In addition to
that, machines can also be used to perform certain movements that are just better suited
to a machine variation or where they can’t even be replicated using free weights at all,
so exercises like leg presses, leg curls, leg extensions, calf raises, face pulls etc.
So in the end, none of these tools are inherently “better” than the other, and it just depends
on which specific exercise you’re performing and what it is thatyou’re trying to accomplish
with that movement. Question #4, does masturbation have any negative effect on muscle growth?
Now this one might seem kind of amusing to some people, but this is actually an extremely
common bodybuilding question that I get asked, I’m still asked this on pretty much a weekly
basis surprisingly enough. A lot of guys worry that an excessive fapping schedule for lack
of a better term is going tonegatively impact their muscle size and strength gains by lowering
overall testosterone levels, and wonder if doing it less frequently (or even abstaining
altogether) is a smart idea. Now the short answer is that, yes, when you do have sex
or masturbate, you will experience a temporary drop in testosterone levels, however, that
drop is compensated for later on by an increase in testosterone, and your overall levels will
basically balance themselves out in the big picture. Always keep in mind that just because
a given activity “raises testosterone levels” or “lowers testosterone levels” that does
NOT necessarily mean that it’s actually going to have any measurable impact on your
overall muscle building results, and that’s because those testosterone levels have to
be altered by a prettysignificant margin in either direction in order for it to be of
any real concern. So, from a pure physical perspective of masturbation’s direct effects
on testosterone levels and muscle growth, it’s really not something that I would suggest
you worry about. Now if you do find that doing it less frequently gives you positive psychological
effects, so things like improved motivation or improved focus orenergy, then that may
have some legit carryover to your bodybuilding plan, and anecdotally it is something that
a lot of guys do report, but that’s just something that you’d have to experiment
with and see if it has any noticeable effects for you. And finally question #5, what are
the best exercises and training techniques to build a bigger bicep peak? Well, your biceps
are made up of two individual heads: there is the short head (which is the smaller, inner
portion that’s closest to your chest), and then there’s the long head (which is the larger,
outer portion), and since the long head is the portion that stands the tallest between
the two heads, building a bigger bicep peak basically just comes down to adding more mass
to the long head. And exercises that optimally target the long head are going to be any basic
curling motion where your hands are in a supinated “palms up” position, so exercises like
barbell curls, dumbbell curls, cable curls and machine curls. Now I know that that sounds
extremely simple, but that’s really all there is to it. As you add more overall mass
to the long head of your biceps through consistent bicep training, its “peak” will naturally
increase, and from there it really just comes down to basic genetics. Some people shave
shorter, “taller” bicep peaks (and that’s because the muscle inserts further away from
their elbow), while other people have flatter biceps (and that’s because the muscle inserts
closer to the elbow), and there’s really nothing that you can do to, to change that.
So instead, just focus on building up overall bicep size as a whole through proper workout
structure and proper training form, and then whatever particular “peak” you end up
with on your biceps is ultimately just beyond your control. So thanks for watching this
video lesson, I hope you found this Q&A useful here today and Part 5 will be on the way soon.
If you want to learn a ton of other no B.S, science based information to help you build
muscle and lose fat as quickly and efficiently as possible, along with concrete step by step
plans that you can follow, make sure to head over to and grab
my complete “Body Transformation Blueprint” System by clicking the icon at the top of
the video or by using the link in the description box below. If you did enjoy the video, as
always, please make sure to hit the LIKE button, leave a comment and subscribe to stay up-to-date
on future videos. And make sure to check out my official blog over at for all
of my latest articles, tips and other updates. Talk to you again soon.

25 thoughts on “Bodybuilding Q&A Pt.4 (TUT, bulk/cut cycles, freeweights vs machines, masturbation, bicep peak)

  1. Hi Sean could you please do a special questions and answers for females. I train 5-6 Days a week. I have been doing a lot of muscle training in the winter ( live in Sweden. .. winter is from November to end of march) and feel strong and got a bit more muscle on me. I Was wondering since summer is coming can i just do cardio training ?( want to spend less time in the gym in the summer) My aim is to strip away the extra stubborn fat on my body as to show the muscle definition I've built underneath. Will I burn away my hard earned muscle by just doing cardio?(even if i maintain my protein ideal for the day?

  2. Thanks Sean. You present yourself and your business in a very intelligent manner and are a welcome alternative to some of the more "expressive" personalities offering bodybuilding advice on YouTube. I would appreciate your opinion on another well informed trainer named Doug Brignoles' recommendation to prevent injury by utilizing a rep range of 20 or more on all movements…especially for trainees over 40 years of age. Thanks again.

  3. on my personal thought though ! the more you use your testosterone the more you send a signal to your body to produce it and more testosterone more muscle growth , just like when you're on a cutting  phase you lift more heavy in a low rep range to send a msge to your body that he need that muscles , could be BS but thats my thought 🙂

  4. I get the most legit information on this channel and by implementing the tips that you give I have experienced amazing results..

  5. I have a few questions : 
    How to break past plateau ?
    Is it possible to build muscle without any significant improvement in strength ?

  6. Sean – you mention TUT which has been my biggest hurdle.  My 2nd biggest is ROM (range of motion).  Say I can do 80 lb dumbbells on flat bench with complete ROM, is this better or worse than the 90 lb dumbbells I can do with 3/4 range of motion (I.E. not letting the weight go all the way down on the eccentric movement, but still contracting fully at the top) on flat bench?  I'd appreciate it if I could get an answer to this.  Thanks man! LOVE your videos!!

  7. Sean my man! What's your opinion on being in a cut for too long and causing "metabolic damage" I have to lol cuz I think it's a joke, but your opinion would be appreciated. Thanks!

  8. Hi Sean. Really enjoying your series like your presentation too…One of the few that don't swear on yt and still present facts thanks. Please can u cover High n low bar squats. I know you not a great fan of supplements but what's your take on digestive enzymes? Also in terms of diet. ..what's your take on intermittent fasting. ..and if it fits your macros. I'm trying to break my plateau and willing to try something different. ..

  9. Hi. I'm confused why your videos are not as popular as others even though your explanation is very step-by-step and straight to the points where we as beginners are really concerned about. Probably I think because others' video like Mike's or omarlsuf's are more "fancy" and vivid, they explain with actual exercise in the gym. But most of your videos are words which many people may not pay much attention to it. And they always take their cloths off, and put it to the cover of the video. I really hope your excellent could be more popular. 

  10. Great video sean love ur stuff! I was hopeing you could do review on the athleanx supplements. Ive been looking into it and think they are top of the line products would love to get your opinion on the matter. Thx alot man keep up the good work!

  11. ur vids are really short and to the point with no BS added and tats y i love ur vids keep up the amazing work :*

  12. Could you do a vid on type 1 muscle fibers vs. type 2 for maximizing hypertrophy? My load bearing muscles don't respond well (legs, especially calves).
    On bicep peaks; I thought hammer curls hit the long head, not palm up.
    Regarding masturbation;… that porn ain't gonna watch itself dammit!

  13. Hmmm as you said Sean, we can bulk as long as we want based on our individual's preference. But what about cutting? Doesn't cutting for too long will cause a metabolic damage to the body the same as how a pro-longed atkins diet low carb will do on the body? Will a large deficit will cause the metabolic slowdown or the "starvation mode" to happen? If so, is that why we are recommended to introduce a maintanance calorie intake or to spike up our carb up to 200%+/- once a week?

  14. Being a chemistry/biology major I really appropriate the science and research aspect of these videos. Is their any book you would recommend for bodybuilding that have the same style of science based knowledge in them that you use in your videos?

  15. @Sean Nalewanyj I've always enjoyed watching all your videos as they are extremely informative. I'll definitely recommend my friends to check out this channel if one day they happen to lift lol. Anyway here's my question. I've seen many channels including scooby's that say bulking is a myth and that you can gain muscle while staying lean (not shredded to skin of course). is that true? I've started bulking 2 months ago and the fats gain around my waist is making me uncomfortable. please respond. thank you! 🙂

  16. I have been working out at home with basic tools for quite some time now and your advice have been like a magic potion. Though I do not go to a gym, yet I possess a good physique by following what you say. Thanks a ton!!

  17. 2:45 you mentioned that if the main purpose is to build muscle then a bulking phase can go on to as long as you want to.
    but a guy with higher % body fat tend to have lower T level, doesn't it affect muscle growth to continue to bulk in a high body fat % then?

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